Feienabend

(sorry for the blog-silence, I’ve been busy. . . )

Just so you know, Dear Internet, I don’t actually know German. (And yes, the title of today’s post is in German! how exciting!). Well, I do know a few words and phrases in German, learned from my mom (and singing some songs in German as a kid) who grew up there. So I can pronounce German (well, one dialect anyway) but pretty much understand none of it.

It pretty much translates to “celebrate the evening” – it’s the moment where you can all of a sudden relax and enjoy some free time, put up your feet, and (in North American parlance) veg out. It’s really just a perfect word, and marvelously describes a feeling I have always had in my life, the joy of being able to suddenly have all the remaining time in the day all to myself. For me, this is especially important because it means that I can turn off, reset, and be myself. I’m rarely ever completely myself with other people, and it is supremely exhausting to go through a day consisting of public transit, work, conversations with colleagues, more conversations with colleagues, lunch – more conversations with colleagues, talking talking talking, meetings, then when work is done, more public transit. And if I’m going to the gym, there’s further human interaction and public transiting. And there is only so much talking with people that I can take.

So I really do take a moment, once I’ve gotten home and started to unwind, to realize that – HUGE sigh of relief – I don’t have to talk with ANYONE for the next several hours. I can work on my crafty projects, surf the Intertubes, blog, internet window shop, nap, ANYTHING!! And it is amazing.

Feienabend is pretty much up there with schadenfreude (for me) of awesome words/concepts. So I thought I would share it with you, Dear Internet!!

And, speaking of projects. . .

The boyfriend’s sister has two young girls and apparently could not find nice mittens with idiot strings (you know, the ones that keep your children’s mittens from constantly vanishing??). She guesses that it’s a liability issue – if a child can strangle itself on something, even if it’s you know useful, it cannot be sold anymore. . . So she asked me to make a couple pairs for her girls. So I went looking for a challenging and pretty pattern that would be fun for MY FIRST KNITTED MITTEN PROJECT EVAR!!! YAY!!!!!

So I went to Knitty.com to look for options. And I found this pattern:

Matrix mittens

And, well, I couldn’t say no! I’ve only recently started to plumb the depths of two-colour knitting, so this was a perfect project to further develop those skills. Very quickly as it turns out, since it took less than a week to knit four mittens, their respective idiot cords, finish them, and sew linings for them out of polar fleece. FAST PROJECT, guys!!! Check out the pattern here!!

Here are the mittens I made!!

First project 2012 - Completed!

You use a fairly chunky yarn, so they really knit up fast. And I went a little Mod with my colour choices 🙂  My mom was skeptical that the fuschia and mauve went together, apparently, but did own that they look really cool, once made up in the pattern. I love playing strong colours off each other. And the underlying blue to both colours helps them work quite well together, I think.

And now for our close up. . .

Another pair of mittens!!

So, there you have it, Dear Internet. The reason I’ve been too busy to blog for the last week.

I’m hoping to post about my hike along the Humber River last weekend sometime soon. And you’ll be hearing about my other ongoing projects as they get completed. . . One hint though, to keep you on tenterhooks: there will be more knitting. Surprise! Bet you didn’t guess that one!

Hopefully I’ll be baking soon too – a new recipe has caught my eye! Oooo!!! And there’s my 8-part choral experience coming that I will be telling you about so, rest easy, Dear Internet! I have lots up my sleeve for the next little while 😉

Advertisements

My vintage obsession

Ok, I’m lying in bed, exhausted from my first week back to work after my Christmas vacation. So why am I blogging, you ask? Cause I could be doing other things. Things like sleeping, even. But I’ve decided I should share something with you, gentle readers, before I plain forgot.

Soooooo. . . I just watched the first episode of season 2 of Sherlock (!!!!!!), in which there were some seriously cool vintage-style fashions modeled by the lovely Irene Adler character.

Like this one:

20120107-005714.jpg
(Source: Addicted to Media)

Which is apparently the Illusion-Bolero Sheath dress from Alexander McQueen. So 40s and gorgeous. Very Hollywood heyday.

And this one:

20120107-010447.jpg
(Source: Fashioned for the Geek)

You can’t see it super-well (or at all. Sorry about that) but that one is a stunner. Modern details with classic silhouettes, how can you go wrong?? It seems to be another take on the classic sheath dress, but with a beautifully detailed neckline. I wish I could find a better picture of it somewhere. . .

But, to get to a point of some sort, this is feeding into a newly revived obsession with vintage, and vintage-style clothing. See, I’m starting to follow sewing blogs (like Adventures in Dressmaking, and A Dress A Day, both of which are awesome! Go to my blog roll if you’re interested in checking them out. Or, just go anyway, cause they’re awesome!!). And since my party dress challenge this fall when I learned that I hadn’t lost my sewing skills, I decided that I will try to start making more clothing for myself. Cause 1) I can choose what fabrics to use, 2) I can choose what patterns to use, and 3) I can alter the pattern during the sewing stage to fit me perfectly (and thus develop a repertoire of patterns I can use multiple times with great ease). Plus, with my love of high quality fabrics and finishing, doing it myself will probably end up costing me a whole lot less than what a ready-made dress of equivalent quality would run. Patterns vary from 4$-50$ (for good condition vintage), you generally use 3-4 yards (or less) of fashion fabric and 2-3 of lining, and you can get some really good deals now with online stores from 3$-20$ a yard, which I think is more than reasonable. Zippers, bias tape, and other notions are generally negligible costs in the long run (I can get 500m spools of Gutenberg thread for a few bucks, and they last for multiple projects). So material costs would generally come under 200$ easily. I won’t get into value of my time, cause hey, I’m getting a fucking dress or whatever out if the deal! How easy do you think it would be to find a well-made vintage (in good wearing condition) or vintage-style dress that would fit a “generous” figure like mine?? And if the vintage is even in my size, what are the odds I’ll find good vintage styles that I’d actually want to wear?? So far I haven’t found any anywhere. There are companies like Bettie Page Clothing that are styling modern clothing on retro styles. But I’d like to choose the styles, not just from the styles someone else has chosen to make. The sheer number of patterns out there means that I can fairly easily find a great pattern that is very close to what I’m looking for.

And, there’s the satisfaction of making your own clothes to consider. Cause it’s quite its own peculiar kind of high – I made this!!! It’s actually very similar to knitting a sweater for me. You slog through the uninteresting process of creation, cause well, it’s not a fun activity in itself for me, and you slog through the problems that inevitably arise, and in the end you have this garment you made that someone can actually wear! How cool is that??!?!!!

Pretty damn cool, I say!

So, an ongoing project for this year is to collect patterns and fabric, and start building my new career-woman wardrobe. Though. Not pants. I’ll continue to leave that one to the professionals. To that end, I’ve begun to search (and order. . .) through McCall’s and Simplicity, et al. for patterns new and vintage reprints, as well as through the vintage sellers, for actual vintage patterns. I might even get into eBay at some point as another vintage pattern search option. And there’s the awesome Vintage Pattern Wiki that is collecting all the different vintage pattern info, for posterity. It is a perfect place to search for styles I like, silhouettes that would be great, all the possibilities!

Who knows? Maybe I’ll be showing off some new awesome threads sometime in the not too distant future. . .

Anyroad. I think, Dear Internet, that it is time to fall asleep. Cause, damn but I’m tired. Maybe I’ll even be able to sleep in past 8. . .

Good night, Dear Internet! I hope you have exciting plans you’re working to bring to fruition 🙂 And to help bring sweet dreams to you as you fall asleep, I leave you with this:

20120107-014904.jpg
(Source: holligenet.tumbler)

Not as sexy as Irene’s I’m-going-to-be-naked-for-a-whole-effing-scene thing, but vastly more amusing . . . Night night!!

One reason why spinach is AWESOME

In the midst of all the knitting, singing, and preparing for Christmas, I had a cooking (is making a dip cooking??) project: this week it was the Quintet’s turn to provide tasty treats for our after-service wine and cheese shindig. Yay!! We always have fun bringing tasty snacks for everyone to eat 😀

Now, before all you spinach-haters go “Why did you do something with spinach?????” I have to let you know – spinach, it is awesome. It Is super-tasty AND highly nutritious! Both things make my taste buds (and thighs) happy. I know spinach can be a contentious issue, so I just want you to know, Dear Internet, that you’d be crazy to hate spinach. That is all.

Now to my spinach dip!! Ok, so you should know that as much as I lurve the spinach, I usually quite dislike the usual spinach dips you find. You know, the ones that are mostly mayonnaise and effing water chestnuts?? (just so you know, I think water chestnuts are among the most disgusting food items you could stick in your mouth and chew on. . . But I digress) They’re heavy, rich, bland, and above all boring. Also, in about 90% of the recipes I looked at when planning my version, the flavouring consisted of powdered onion or leek soup mix. Powdered. Soup. Mix.

Blech 😛

Now. Back when spinach dip became popular, in the 70s?? maybe??, I’m thinking that these soup mixes might have actually been made of food, originally, before the powdering process. Have you tried one of these things lately??? Cause they gross now. Maybe they always were, don’t really know. It’s nothing but chemically saltiness now. And two things I dislike in my foodstuffs are chemicalliness and saltiness. Just saying. . . So it wasn’t until I found this recipe that I was actually inspired and started really thinking about what I’d like to do for my version.

I don’t mind creaminess, in fact it can be amazing, but it needs a balance. For me, food can’t just be creamy, I like some flavour in there too. So aside from creaminess and spinach, what makes a good spinach dip, you ask? Well, there’s a reason they tell you to use those onion soup mixes, you know. So, Wednesday afternoon after I got home from work, I whipped up a batch of some of the tastiest spinach dip I’ve had in ages. And everyone told me how tasty they thought it was, so I think that’s a success for Katie’s mad culinary skillz. Also, I have no photo of this tasty dip, cause it got all eated up, and I didn’t think to snap a few pics while putting it together. Sad face.

So here’s the first recipe I made up to go up here. So excite!!

Katie’s Tasty Tasty Spinach Dip

ingredients
2 packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed, excess water removed (squeeze the spinach in a towel over your sink after it’s been thawed!!)
1 medium avocado, peel and seed removed
1/2 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
4 or 5 green onions, whites and greens, chopped as finely as you desire
1 clove garlic, minced as finely as possible
3/4 cup light sour cream
3/4 cup Greek-style plain yoghurt
1/4 cup mayonnaise (olive oil mayo works nicely here)
1 package light cream cheese, softened (don’t get the fat free stuff, cause it’s just gross)
Spices and seasoning to taste: Cayenne, smoked paprika, cumin, coriander, freshly ground black pepper, garlic powder. Don’t be stingy here – this dip can deal with a LOT of flavour. Start with small amounts and build them up until you have a good balance.
1 large round loaf of either pumpernickel or sour dough, hollowed out into a bowl and the insides cubed
A variety of fresh veggies, for dipping

procedure
Get a nice big bowl and dump your chickpeas and avocado in it. Get a potato masher or fork and go to town until you have a fairly smooth paste. Don’t worry if you think the colour is funny, this gets hidden forthwith. A splash of lemon or lime juice now would work really nicely as well as reduce browning, if you care about that a lot. Next, break up the cream cheese into the bowl and mix it in thoroughly. The mashers does this quite well. If you like a thinner dip, feel free to add only half the package. Add the yoghurt, cream cheese, and mayo and mix all that in. Next go in the onion and garlic and mix this all in well. Add the first wave of spices, and taste how things are going. Adjust balance to your tastes. Now add the spinach and mix it all together. Taste again and add spices until you get a good balance of flavours. I added probably (at least) 2 teaspoons of cayenne (because I wasn’t sure of everyone’s spice tolerances, feel free to add as much as you like!), 3 of the smoked paprika, 2 each of cumin and coriander, and 1-2 of garlic powder. I forget how much freshly cracked black pepper I put in, probably at least a teaspoon.

An now you have a tasty spinach dip to share!!

I hope you enjoy my tasty spinach dip, Dear Internet!!

Opera, and other stuffs

Ok. So. . . That was an AMAZING opera production. AMAZING!

I must admit to preferring early opera to Romantic or Classical opera. I just like the music better. Don’t get me wrong, I do ocasionally lurve the Mozart, it’s just that well. . . He never really hits my heart the way earlier music does.

That being said – if you’re in Toronto, I HIGHLY!! recommend going to see Opera Atelier’s production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni. Guest conductor, Italian Stefano Montanari, is charismatic, expressive and a great leader for the exceptional Tafelmusik Orchestra. He didn’t even let smacking his stand light off at the Concertmaster phase him. Did I mention that he was expressive? Veeeeeeerrrryyyyy expressive. My fearless leader and I could imagine that Mozart would have conducted very similarly to him, which did add quite a lot to our viewing pleasure. I’m only sad that I don’t have several sets of eyes so that I could have watched him throughout the opera as well as the action on stage.

And boy, was there some action on stage, let me tell you.

They definitely played on the Opera Buffa aspects of the piece – there was a certain amount of Ham Acting going on. But it was never too much. They played with that line (between hilarious and tedious) and never crossed it. There was a freshness to the performance that maintained its buoyancy throughout the show. No miscasting either – the stars were definitely suited to their roles.

The sopranos were effervescent, in this soprano-heavy opera. Carla Hutanen as Zerlina, Peggy Kriha Dye as Donna Elvira, and Meghan Lindsay as Donna Anna were all superb. The different colours of their voices suited them particularly well to their respective parts and they are all fabulous singers. Donna Elvira was my favourite, but then I’ve enjoyed Dye’s singing for several seasons of Opera Atelier productions now, and she always delivers the goods. And then some.

On to the basses: Leporello, played by Vasil Garvanliev (who, oddly enough, I have actually sung with. If briefly – he was a member of my Sunday choir for a few months, before he got all famous and stuff) was both buffoonish and endearing. And damn, but he can sing. He is also able to act with his singing voice, which isn’t something everyone can do well. Opera Atelier mainstay Curtis Sullivan (playing both Masetto and the Commendatore) was great as usual. Though, to be frank, he’s got a better baritone range than bass range and for some reason he keeps getting bass-y parts. He can sing the lowest notes, he just doesn’t have the same power on them. Though this was less evident in this performance than in his turn as Sarastro a few years ago (Sarastro’s solos are one of my favourite things, ever, so I must admit to some disappointment there. . .). And finally, Phillip Addis as Don Giovanni himself. Hoo Boy. I’d let him seduce me too. He has a beuatiful, supple bass voice – it just flows over you like silk and cashmere and some smooth alcohol that i can’t think of right now. I definitely came close to jumping out of my seat to jump into his arms. . .

The cast is intentionally young and fresh which adds a believability to the insanity of the story-line: only young people are that dumb about stuff. Also, the chorus and dancers were great. Not to mention the tight pants on the men – Opera Atelier is definitely known for their busts and bulges and this performance was no exception.

And, in the tradition of saving the best for last, the tenor. You thought I’d forgotten about Don Ottavio, didn’t you?! Well, how could I with Lawrence Wiliford playing the part?? I’d seen him previously as Damon in the Opera Atelier production of Acis and Galatea last season. And, forgive me basses (you are my one and only true love, never fear), but holy hells can this man sing. Don Ottavio’s solo brought me to tears. Wiliford, in contrast with the majority of opera singers, has very little vibrato, and sings with a pure tone. And what a pure tone. He also has incredible power and supreme control over his voice that is simply a treat to hear. This guy could sing the highway code at me and I’d swoon. I’m not kidding.

All in all, I’m going to have to say that Opera Aetlier’s Don Giovanni is a masterful production that marries beauty for the eyes and beauty for the ears in one sumptuous spectacle that is not to be missed.

________________________________________________________________________

Now for some life stuffs. . .

I can’t wait for work to be done so I can go for a lovely swim. I might be having some sinus troubles that are spreading to my ear canals, but hopefully the Otrivin will offset the water in the ears. I should really invest in some ear plugs for swimming, what with my being prone to ear infections and all . . . But regardless, I’m going to love my swim – it’s been a little bit of an indulgent week so far – Hallowe’en, opera and a lovely meal out, no exercise. . . – that I really need to get back on that horse.

Though, I did do a little hike yesterday afternoon, so my week isn’t a total loss exercise-wise. I had an appointment with my ophthalmologist yesterday for a routine check up. Well, I was supposed to have my check-up, but a lateitude of buses made that unpossible. So I’m going again next week, and this time before work, so I won’t have to deal with afternoon rush hour that somehow starts at 2?? When did that happen??? Well, anyway, I walked home from there – From Weston and Eglinton to Dundas and Islington. If you know that part of the city, you’ll know it’s a bit of a hike – about one and a half hours or so, walking pretty fast. I listened to the Sixteen’s recording of the Missa Papae Marcelli, so I didn’t really notice the time. At all.

And then, after a very satisfying nap (thanks Otrivin!) we sang some beautiful music for the Samhain/All Souls service – which went swimmingly 😀  And there was booze and food after the service (with stupidly tastsy pierogies. mmmmmm pierogies. . .).

To wrap up, I’m just going to let you know, Dear Internet, that my posts will become rather more infrequent in the next little while, as my plate, it is full – I’m almost finished my Christmas shopping, but I’m waiting for my yarn to arrive to start the immensely long to knit list (it’s like externally-enforced procrastination, I prefer internally-enforced myself. . .), I have two belated X-mas present dinners to plan and execute, music to learn for Wednesdays as well as a Carol Concert I’m doing with some friends, baking, preparing a TARDIS cake for a friend’s Dr. Who Indoctrination Marathon this weekend, a cake and a tasty present to bake for my dad’s birthday, more baking, buttloads of knitting, etc. ad infinitum. Not to mention working full time and being desirous of exercising regularly (to offset the extreme amount of eating that will be happening in the next couple of months. . .). I’m tired just thinking about it. . .

Well, I’m really looking forward to the recipe I’m going to be trying out for the TARDIS cake! That’s going to be fun 😉

I hope your holiday-season lead up isn’t super stressful, Dear Internet. I know I’m only doing this to myself, but it isn’t Christmas without several nervous breakdowns, I always say.

p.s. There will be a separate post of some photos regarding Hallowe’en coming your way soonish. . . so stay tuned!!

Let’s hear it for the arts!!

I should be on my way for a lovely swim right now. Tuesday is my swimming day now (and maybe Saturday and/or Sunday if I ever get my act together. . .). But, instead. . . I’m going to meet up with a good friend (my fearless leader, actually) for a lovely dinner and Don Giovanni.

With my good luck for being born in Toronto, I have access to some awesome stuff – Opera Atelier being one of my favourites. Mostly due to the amazing operas they put on. Though, the tights pants worn by the dancers (and stars too. . .) shouldn’t be overlooked. In the spring we’re seeing Lully’s Armide, which I am sooooooooo looking forward to.

Also on the topic of the arts, I went with a couple good friends to the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s performance of The Wizard of Oz (with the mobile playing on the big screen). Which was amazing!!!!! We got to dress up in costume (I’ll show a picture of my crazy costume as soon as my friend uploads photos!). And see other people in cool costumes, some of which didn’t have a whole lot to do with the show (pikachu??). Even some of the players in the orchestra dressed up. Which was awesome. My favourite was a bassoonist who dressed up as Dorothy, but kept his beard 😉

Well, I’ll keep it short – I’m almost at the station, and my phone is acting up again. Stupid phone.

Talk to you later, Dear Internet. I’ll let you know how the night went!

Blarg. I was in the middle of an x-mas- themed addendum when my mom called and so the stupid iPhone application thingy deleted everything I’d just written. So I’m too annoyed to rewrite it. I’ll fill you in when I post about the opera in more depth.

Sooo annoyed. Stupid phone.

The posts that never come. . .

Okay. . . So much for resolutions like “I _will_ write at least one blog post a week!!” or “I need to finish talking about my bleep-ing Newfoundland trip!” or “I should sleep more!!!”

This “gainful employment” thing kinda sucks, aside from the money, the doing something awesome with my days instead of being eff-ing bored All. The. Time., the meeting new and awesome people, the money, and gaining useful experience for my CV. Did I mention the money? Cause two years of almost total unemployment paired with me still wanting some kind of life left me with one sad credit card statement. So money coming in is both very confusing and awesome. Confusing since it’s weird to see the bank statement increase bi-weekly. Though that does get sucked into the credit card pretty quickly.

And Christmas is coming.

Which leads me to a raft of excuses for why I’ll probably be AWOL for most of the rest of the year. See, I’m going to try to actually _do_ stuff in the next couple of months, along with working 5 days a week, singing Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays, knitting a stupid number of X-mas presents, going to the gym 4-5 times a week, and baking the usual ridiculous number of cookies. Plus several birthday treats for the several birthdays coming up, and finally making good on a couple of presents the boyfriend and I gave a couple of years ago. Heh, you heard right – a _couple_ of years ago. . .

We’re so awesome. . .

And, oh yes, I almost forgot Hallowe’en. Because 1. I’m actually trying to make a costume for the first time in years (I don’t know if you remember how old I am, but it’s pretty ridiculous, since I’m not 7 anymore. Not that there’s anything wrong with other people who dress up who aren’t 7, _I_ just feel ridiculous), 2. It’s my Mom’s birthday and I have a new recipe I want to make for her (it involves potatoes. My mom _loves_ potatoes in an unholy way), 3. I have to carve a ridiculous pumpkin (I might not _have_ to, technically. But this is me, and if I can be truly ridiculous, I can’t help but be even more ridiculous than that), and 4. There’s not enough time this weekend to come close to finishing everything I need to do. . . Unless I don’t sleep of course. . .

If only that were a feasible option.

In addition to making myself waaaaaayyyyyy too busy, I’m also in a kind of not awesome place, emotionally. Which is part of why I’m filling my days too full, so I don’t have time to think about things. I’ve talked about the problems I’ve been having with my choir before, so I won’t belabor that point. But it’s getting to the point where sometime in the near future I’m going to have to make a decision. And I don’t want to. I don’t want to have to leave a choir I’ve been a part of since I was 6. I don’t want to have to be the one to tell my church’s priest exactly what’s wrong and why I’m leaving the Sunday choir. I don’t want to be the one to tell my choir director why the choir isn’t as good as it could, no _should_ be (i.e. Her. . .). I’ve been talking about this off and on for the last few years, enough so that the boyfriend is probably a little fed up with me. But there’s a reason I’ve put off looking for another choir, that I’ve put off telling the people who need to know what they need to know, that I’ve remained (increasingly) frustrated about the situation I find myself in. One reason is the convenience of it – the church is literally 2 minutes away from my parents’ house. Which won’t always be the case, if I can keep up this fully employed thing and move out next year. But more problematic is the emotional attachment. I’ve sung at this place for more than two decades, my grandparents are buried in the cemetery on the church grounds, I know and care for a lot of people in the parish, it’s my Dad’s church, I’m friends with a significant number of members of the choir. And this is all tangled up together in a big jumble of emotion that pretty much paralyses me. I’m in a kind of straw-that-broke-the-camel’s-back kind of situation, and yet I can’t let myself do anything about it. Why should it be me that leaves? Why does it have to be me??

And after some gnashing of teeth and tearing of hair I came to a realization: for now, the good outweighs the bad. Just barely, but still. I’ve always been one to put friendship above my own needs, and why should I change that now? There are plenty of points at which I can reevaluate the situation, other times I can think about this.

In the meantime, I’m going to be looking at possible options. . .

Back to work! Any tough decisions on your plate, Dear Internet?

I guess I should subtitle the blog “And don’t forget the knitting!”

Cause yeah. . . this post is going to be about a bunch of the next knitting projects I have in the planning stages. Already. My “To Do” list is kinda scary. I plan years in advance on some things. . .

For Christmas I got Hansi Singh’s Amigurumi Knits which I’ve been lusting after since I heard about it. And with a bunch of people on my present-giving list, I like expanding my pool of potential gifts to make. And who wouldn’t like an octopus, or jackalope, or hermit crab for Christmas? Am I right??

You know I'm totally making that angler fish

And I know how obsessed with me you are, Dear Internet, so I know you’re also following my links (hint: they’re on the right side of the website, underneath the “About Me” page. You’ve found it now? Awesome!! Now go! Internet away!! After reading my deathless prose, of course. Wouldn’t want you to get distracted and forget all about little ol’ me, now would we?). Well, one of my more favourite intertubes discoveries is Mochi Mochi Land – Anna Hrachovec (dear lord I hope I spelled that right. . .) has an amazingly offbeat design sensibility that instantly endeared her to me (as did her free patterns. . .), and the pdf patterns she sells through her website are very well priced. And awesome. She writes patterns very well, so they’re easy to follow (as well as to adapt to your own knitting style, as I’m wont to do). Her first book came out last year, and somehow I only got it a month ago. For shame! Some fan girl I am. But, thanks again to the intertubes, I set that to rights and Knitting Mochimochi arrived at my doorstep to my great delight.

Don't we all need cute moster slippers that are eating our feet??

This is not a book for someone who doesn’t like weird shit. Though, why would you be reading my blog if you’re not into the weird? Anyway, a confused moose, mod muff (for your hands when it’s cold, if you don’t know old-timey lingo), pigs in wigs, and a scooter-squirrel = awesome!! And I have even more possibilities for upcoming x-mas and birthday presents! It’s win-win-win! Also awesome are the instructions and suggestions for how you can design your own knitted monstrosities, which I’ll totally be playing with once I start really feeling fall set in and the knitting bug comes back in full-force.

Aaaaaaannnnnddddd. . . I hope you’ve been following Mochimochi, but if not – there is even more awesome! Ever since Kitting Mochimochi, Anna’s been doing this tiny knits challenge and making the most adorablest awesome little thingies evar. And made a book of them!!!!!! Which I ordered as soon was humanly possible. Guess the heights of my joy when I came home to an unlovely large packing envelope!!!

SQUEEEEE(to the power of infinity)!!!!!

YES!!!!! As soon as I get a new job, I am totally buying out the nearest knitting store’s supply of fingering weight yarn to make as many as these as I can before I succumb to extreme cute. Going through the book, I’ve already decided what my first project out of it will be. Which I’m going to tell you about, Dear Internet, cause that’s what I do 😉 You can get your very own copy of Teeny-Tiny Mochimochi at Mochimochiland’s web store or amazon (if you get it from her store, she signs it for you!!). And you should do so, right now.

You done? Ok, moving on. . .

The project I want to start with will highlight my amazing nerdity. One of the patterns in the book is to make a teeny Earth, Neptune, and Moon. So naturally I think, “Hey, all the planets are kinda planety shaped – Infinite adaptability!!” Which naturally led me to the decision to make a weeny solar system mobile! I don’t know if you know The Magic School Bus, the one about the solar system was definitely my favourite. Cause I’m Nerd-squared, apparently.

I’m certainly going to have fun with this one – choosing yarn colours, researching the relative sizes of the planets so I can approximate that in the mobile (did I mention I was a nerd at all?), figuring out the mobile apparatus (again, nerd). This is gonna be sweet! And maybe I’ll be able to part with it. But maybe not. I’d have to really like whoever would be receiving it. . . As in Let-me-have-your-babies-like. . . So pretty much just Nathan Fillion or Benedict Cumberbatch. D’you think they’d be interested?

Any awesome projects on the go, Dear Internet?

_______________________________

Update! Half an hour with the aforementioned books and look what I’ve done!

20110825-110424.jpg

Yup. I used up an entire post-it pad marking up the projects I intend to eventually work on. And I have a bunch of x-mas present, stocking stuffer, and other present ideas! As I said before, I am a total nerd.

Healey Willan’s Missa Brevis nos. 2 & 13

Our fearless leader gave us our first order of service of the new season (eeeeeeeee!!), which starts September 14th. So that’s coming up pretty soon. It’s mostly music we’ve done before, but we’re adding a couple of new pieces from Willan’s oeuvre – the Kyrie from his Missa Brevis no.2 and the Agnus Dei from no.13. And I’ve been really enjoying learning some new music, especially music as gorgeous as this.

I cannot wait to start singing with the group again!! It’s going to be a bit different now that we have a new soprano, but it’s going to have a lot of challenges in store – especially since the three weeks after our first service, both our fearless leader and out baritone are going to be off singing at a synagogue for the high holy days. Leaving me to both figure out what we’re going to be singing and conduct the whole service by myself, three weeks in a row.

No, why do you ask? I’m not at all nervous about that. . . (hsssst!! I’m totally freaking out! Don’t tell anybody, Dear Internet!)

20110822-033339.jpg

Though I’m also really excited to look at a bit of new three-part music, and to figure out how we’ll do things in three that we normally do in four. I have conducted a service before – this past Maundy Thursday I was the conductor, which was a bit hair-raising (and I also did the week after Easter too – the fearless leader needed a break). I know it’ll go ok, it’s just a little nervous-making.

But to quickly turn to something completely different – I’m doing a mini exercise challenge this week! I’m going to try to go to the gym every day after work. I’m going to spin class tonight, and I’ll swim tomorrow. I haven’t decided exactly what I’m doing the rest of the week, but I’ll probably go swimming twice more and either to another spin class, or a body combat class (which is super-hardcore).

The challenge isn’t starting off in the best way imaginable though. Today my body decided to have the worst PMS. Ever. And I’m hoping that a little nap will help before I go to the gym. I felt so sick that I had to leave work a bit earlier than I’d planned. Luckily it’ll be easy to spread the time I missed over the rest of the week. At the very least, my headache is finally receding.

Though I feel a bit bad for fixating on how terrible I’m feeling – Jack Layton, the leader of the federal NDP has, very suddenly, passed away. He brought idealism back to Canadian politics, and we will not easily replace his leadership. Regardless of your political leanings or ideology, Layton was the only leader in our country who had charisma, optimism, and an ability to cut through the apathy that so dogs our voting population. He will be sorely missed. R.I.P. Jack, I hope you’re in a better place, free of your suffering.

So despondency gets you places

So, after my moan-fest yesterday afternoon, I actually got a call to do a phone interview for a position I applied to a couple of weeks ago. I didn’t want to make much of it, cause of the two years of lovely rejection, but it was definitely nice to feel a little desirable, in the gainful employment sense. Especially now that I’m officially about to be back in the job market.

I was nervous about the interview (as always – new people, speaking on the phone. . . Not a good combination), and all morning I was variously jittery and half-asleep (I don’t know how many hours of sleep I got last night, but it certainly was a lot less than my body wanted . . .).

But the interview seemed to go ok. I wasn’t overly self-deprecating, I was even kinda confident I think. We actually ended up talking for a bunch over the expected time. Well, we’ll see if I get a face-to-face interview.

The moral of the story, Dear Internet, is to mope and gripe and whine about stuff until things go your way! Wait, that doesn’t sound right. What about, be overly hard on yourself about factors almost completely out of your control? No? Hmmmmm. . .

Maybe the moral of the story is to go to bed early if you have something nerve-wracking to do the next day, and especially if you just had a killer spin class.

Or maybe there’s no moral. But I guess I’d say that if you’re going through a period where it feels like you’re going nowhere and nothing’s going your way, keep at it, try harder. Distract yourself occasionally with shiny objects, and then get back to it and work even harder. Cause maybe the douches always come in first, but second isn’t a particularly bad place to be 😉

And who knows? The odds here aren’t highly in favour of me getting the job, they never are. I could be back to square one in a week, which is very scary. But I have a lot of things to do, and maybe a break would be useful.

How’s that for attempting glass-half-full?

Though it’s probably more like, why is there a glass with some water in it sitting on the counter? Who’s water is that anyway?

Billy Bishop Goes to War

One more post today, Dear Internet. (imagine that – my first day and three posts already!! admittedly, none of them focus particularly on either music or food. . .)

As a Father’s Day present, my mom and I took my dad to see Billy Bishop Goes to War at SoulPepper, with John Gray and Eric Peterson.

It was phenomenal.

There are many things I can say I loved about it. I can say it had me in tears a few times. I can say that it is hilarious, poignant, damning, and Canadian. I can say that both Gray and Peterson are phenomenal. And I can say more, but you won’t really get it. If you have the chance, Dear Internet, go see this amazing play.