Sunday, June 21, 2009

Top of the Morning...

It's been over a week since I've posted anything, so I thought maybe this morning I would throw a little blogging into my morning routine. Coffee, surf the internet, is typically what I do, but I tend not to blog for fear of lack-of-coffee-induced-typos, and general non-sensicalness. But it's been a while, and before I go off and study all day long (or find ways to procrastinate from studying) I thought I'd stop by.

Most of the last week or so hasn't been all that interesting, just studying. I've got a 300 page study guide that I'm working my way through, a box of flashcards, a CD and a sample test booklet...all of which I need to go through before the test on Tuesday. We've been trying to make that a little more interesting by going out to coffee shops, but mostly it is what it is, not too exciting.
Almost done
I still found some time to finish off my knee-high socks, but they're still waiting on the weaving in of the ends, and I need to take some nice pictures as well. I've got plenty of shots of the progress, so once I take the last set of pictures I might post a collection of those images, just for fun.

Tempeh Meatball
Oh, and I meant to find a moment last week to post about something we ate, just to say we used a recipe for tempeh meatballs from the blog vegandad, which turned out great. We also picked up a smoothie mix by Naysoya that they've started carrying at our local grocery store, which was also very tasty.

Lastly, we did get in some movie watching this week, and have sorta made the theme for the weekend "movies directed by Sam Mendes." I was pretty interested in seeing Away We Go since we saw the trailer attached to Limits of Control, because of the concept of a couple trying to find the right place to live and the fact that David Eggers wrote the screenplay. I was not disappointed, it wasn't quite what I expected and instead was sweeter and more intelligent. Then last night my parents had rented Revolutionary Road, which I was interested in seeing, so we stuck around to watch that with them. I was less excited about that movie, it just wasn't terribly interesting. But I do enjoy a somewhat themed weekend of movies nonetheless.

As a side note, I think we were at the theater that recently hosted the premier of that new Johnny Depp movie. The evidence of that was the fact that they had removed all of the movie posters in the mega-plex AMC and replaced them with posters of Johnny Depp. I believe the premier was the night before, although there seemed to be something going on as we were leaving. Anyway, not terribly exciting since we didn't see anyone famous, just thought it was interesting!

Friday, June 12, 2009

We're walking....

I got the results back from one of my exams and within a few days signed up for another, so I've been trying to study. The test date is coming up quickly, at the end of the month, since I had to get it in before they make me transition to a new version. (I will have to transition, and there's a fancy chart explaining which old tests are equal to which new tests...basically I wanted to keep going with the tests, so it was either take one before the end of the month, or wait until the transition happens, and I already have materials for the old version anyway.)

Of course, since I've only been studying sporadically, I think the real reason I haven't blogged this week has more to do with the fact that we've been taking lots of walks. Somehow they have taken the place of blog entries. We went up north on Sunday, made a short visit to the Field Museum, wandered our neighborhood eventually stopping to eat some Indian food and wandered around Chinatown last night. I guess this is mostly because it's finally been pretty nice weather-wise.

So, anyway, it's not really much to blog about, more time out/less time in. This weekend is the big Chicago Blues festival featuring Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, and Betty LaVette. Both of whom we have seen before, but certainly won't miss the chance to see them again for free! And I'm finally close to finishing off the knee-high sock project, so you might see some pictures of that soon!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Something we ate this week

Pancake Coins

Though I enjoyed participating in Vegan Mofo last fall, my posts about food have been few and far between since then. The last few weeks I've been thinking I really ought to make a point of posting something about food on a weekly basis, even if Chuck is the one who made it, or it's just some packaged product we like, or that we ate out somewhere nice. Well, Chuck was the one who got around to making us a fancy breakfast this time and I'll have to do some catch up cooking next week.

Chuck was working with this recipe for "Pop up Pancakes" from a site called Make and Takes. Of course this recipe called for something like 6 eggs, which were replaced with egg replacer. In the end they didn't so much pop-up, but were still tasty and wonderful. Chuck theorized that the recipe could possible use some baking powder, or that the batter could be hand mixed rather than blended to keep it fluffy/full of air. Regardless, I hope he plans on expirimenting with this idea again because they were very yummy as coins or as pop-ups. And hopefully I'll remember to post about something food related on something like a weekly basis. Sunday seems like a good day for these posts, in general.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

3rd Largest Things in Chicago

1. McCormick Place, 2. Untitled, 3. Iron and sheilds, 4. Service Access,
5. Wandering in the Convention Center, 6. Water Show, 7. A Must have, 8. Sailing,
9. Chuck in the Vista Room, 10. Dream Catcher, 11. 350 Cermak Entrance,
12. Bang and Splash, 13. Very Huge Spaces

We've been doing some exploring since I got back into Chicago. Practically the first thing on the agenda was checking out the new Whole Foods Store (we also were in need of lots of groceries, so that worked out.) It's apparently the 3rd largest now. I had a kombucha at the bar.

We also went for a long walk around our neighborhood, ended up at the McCormick Place Convention Center. It's huge. It is actually the largest in the US, and the 3rd largest in the world.

So, if anyone knows of anything else in Chicago that is the 3rd largest something or other, I will add it to my list of things to check out!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Traveling begets Finished Objects

Entrelac Socks w/shoes

I knew the trip to Ohio would involve a lot of travel time, so I packed accordingly. As far as knitting projects go, I mean. I packed about 4 projects, which of course was ridiculously over ambitious. The mentality here was similar to when I would pack 10 different books up for a 2 hour car trip as a kid. I wanted to be sure to have exactly the book I was in the mood for at any given time. And so I had lots of knitting project options.

Of course I only got one project completed in the week I was in ohio, the above pictured Entrelac sock pattern from Son of a Stitch'n'Bitch. I cast on in the car on the way there, and almost finished it before I got home, but ended up sleeping most of the ride home. So I finished off the last bit of the toe the day after getting home.

Entrelac looks impressive but I really didn't find it very difficult. Like any other project the most troublesome issues were gauge related. Initally I started making a pair of these for chuck, but they were coming out way too huge. So I adjusted down from 13 stitch to 10 stitch squares. Fortunately that seemed to do the trick. More than likely I will end up using a different pattern for Chuck's socks now, though I have to admit I still sort of like the idea of his and hers entrelac socks....

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Turtles & birds/caps & gowns

1. Turtle with racing stripes, 2. Hibiscus, 3. Grandma's Yard, 4. Zorniger Education Center

I have finally returned from my original home state of Ohio. Most of the week was spent with my grandma, who lives in Middletown, OH. Middletown is a steel town (home of Armco) that I always think of as the middle between Dayton and Cincinnati. As a kid I would always spend a few weeks in the summer with my grandparents, so this trip, which was over a week long, was somewhat reminiscent of childhood.

Some of the highlights from the trip included a trip to an ice cream shop with my Aunt Jan in Lebanon Ohio and a trip with my mom to a really lovely knitting shop in Springboro. I resisted the urge to stash more yarn, even though a sugar based yarn peaked my interest and overall the shop carried very nice colorways. We also spent some time at the Cox Arboretum on the edge of Dayton. And of course, the ultimate purpose of the trip was to attend the high school graduation ceremonies of two of my cousins (the only males of my generation on each side of the family are coincidentally the same age!) Which took us to New Albany, outside of Columbus. I'm not sure how many of you (who aren't family) are following all this geography, but basically we were near my grandma's for most of that, with the exception of making a trip requiring just under 2 hours of car travel to get to New Albany.

Overall, it was a nice time of year to be back in Ohio with birds chirping, lots of green and sunshine. Although the first few days were muggy and humid, it cooled off making the trip generally much more pleasant than the Ohio I remember. And being there at the start of summer definitely beats the mid-winter Christmas trips, or the heat that will come in the next few months. It's still cooler back here in Chicago but I think I am glad to be back before it turned into Ohio summer. Plus I had been away from Chuck and Lucy for long enough.