Sunday, August 27, 2006

Home Sweet . . . ????

"It will feel so good just to collapse onto the couch and watch one of my 4 TV channels," I thought to myself while walking to my apartment door, after spending 6 hours on an airplane and another hour and a half on the shuttle home, subjected to an overly talkative van driver. I opened the door, and saw . . .

this. I realized that my roommate owned most of the furniture, but apparently she owned ALL of the furniture, including the rug, lamps, and aforementioned couch. Despite having to eat dinner while sitting on the floor, I'm actually quite excited: a new year, a clean slate, and endless design possibilities thanks to Ikea!

While I have lost a housefull of furniture, I have gained a very important addition!

This is kitty, a found kitten who does not yet have a name (although she seems like she should have a Russian name). Okay, technically she doesn't live with me, but rather with Jason in New Mexico, but she's still my baby nonetheless. Currently she is fighting for dominance over a stuffed buffalo footrest, and it apparently quite talkative.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Red Bolero

The red bolero made its debut, as planned, at the Santa Fe Opera. I made it to go with a black and white polka-dot dress as a little cover-up, since the opera is an amphitheater open on both sides. It would have been quite effective on a cool, breezy night, but not so much in a 55-degree torrential downpour. Because that's what happened. The rain came in sideways, prompting hoards of people to run as the opera was still going on, chanting from the audience, and smuggling of alcoholic beverages. Classy crowd, it was. Anyway, here's the sweater after I did a lot of math to re-knit the sleeves. I used size 5 circulars and Elann's Endless Summer Collection Luna in I think what is called Zen Red. The pattern is at, but I wouldn't suggest it unless you feel like writing your own pattern for the sleeves.

Santa Fe, Nuevo Mexico

Ahh, mountains. I spent last week in the northern half of the state, in Santa Fe and Taos. People tend to have an overarching view of New Mexico, but really the two halves are quite different. The bottom is truly desert, where there are some mountains but no trees on them, and temperatures frequently are above 100. In the north, there are abundant trees, rain, and humidity - and also a lot of rich people and art. We did all of the stuff that people do in such places, such as shop, eat green chile smothered everything, look at things Hecho en Mexico, and try to get away from bad public music. Some of the highlights included driving many hours to eat at the "Burrito Banquet," a trailer in Cimmarron selling home-made burritos, and a song that Jason wrote while floating in a pool in Taos. "Appendage man, appendage man, doin' the things that appendages can / Like walking around and grabbing stuff." Brilliant.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Questionable Art

Because I flew out to New Mexico instead of driving, I'm currently car-less. The only place within walking distance (1 mile away) is a small, junky thrift store. I spent an hour there just to be out of the house, and came away with this:

I know, you're probably asking yourself why an art historian would bring home something like this. Well, for one, it only cost a dollar. Its also not difficult to notice that two people painted this - or, more likely, one person painted it and someone with questionable artistic ability painted over it for no apparent reason. The reason I loved it so much was the original colors - the green of the leaves and the blue background are great.

The chili peppers are another story - the plan is to possibly remove some of the paint (since its very thick and totally different from the original painting style) and re-paint the chilis. Gotta love do-it-yourself art restoration.

Confident in my recently aquired French reading ability, I finally ordered some knitting patterns from France. I think Phildar rivals Interweave in the wearability of their patterns - no crazy multi-length cardigans or insane colorwork a la Rowan or Vogue. I ordered the Tendances winter 05-06 magazine, which worked out to only around $10 including international shipping. Here are the highlights:

I want to make ALL of them! Yet that may be something of a challenge:

Before Dawn

On Saturday morning, I got up at 3:45am on purpose. Why would I do such a thing?? Well, I had volunteered to work at Carlsbad Caverns 49th Annual Bat Flight Breakfast. I spent an hour and a half serving croissants to tourists, who for some reason had decided to get up insanely early on their vacations. When my shift started at 4:30am, there was a line of hungry visitors. I guess the point of this was to see 100,000 bats fly back into the cave after dining on tiny bugs all night. Since I'm generally violently opposed to waking up before dawn, I had never seen this even after 3 summers of park rangering. Wow! I was totally impressed - the bats made an audible "whooshing" sound as they dive-bombed the cave. I even got my picture in the paper! And by picture I mean "the back of my head is barely visible" and by paper I mean "the specimen of horrible writing known as the Carlsbad Current-Argus." (Bat picture by the talented photographer Luke Fields.)

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