Friday, August 31, 2007

Pickle pictures

Matthew came over for dinner and because of an unexpected number of the right sort of cucumbers at the St. Joseph farmers market I thought making pickles would be a good idea.

Here is Matthew; he's a sweet heart.

Here is Flopper hovering upside down over my five gallon crock.

And here are the pickles floating happily in their brine.

Tomorrow I will make two loaves a challah (the sourr dough sponge is on the counter) and frog the last week's worth of sweater because I managed to miscount stitches. So back to the point where I attach the sleeeves I think it will be a while before I knit anymore sweaters.


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

There are times I want to kill Elias

So I walk into the living room and notice my lace shawl on the floor. I think, "That's odd." Then I note the giant hole in the lace I spent hours knitting.

A hole that appeared to be edged in dry dog drool.

Elias appears somewhat chagrined.

Though I now have to knit a new shawl.

I think I'll be taping a ball of yarn to Eli's head in an attempt at aversion therapy.

It worked for books; he hasn't touched one since.


Lonely sunflower; the only one to bloom so far in my garden.
There is another one on the way but these two are the only survivors out of the two dozen I Planted. I believe squirrels are to blame.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Books and Knitting

If there is one thing that I do not lack for it is a loving bunch of friends.
And if there is one thing they do not lack for it is copious amounts of literature.
The meeting of these two happy realities is manifest in my receiving many books when I go to see my friends.

Baba gives me lots of old fantasy and science fiction (much of which predates me and I'd never encounter otherwise) and the occasional bizarre volume. Such as "In This House of Brede" which is a recounting of an author's living in the gate house of a cloistered convent for a year.

Dan Vera always has a few issues of White Crane for me to give to people. This time around I was gifted with some lovely poetry and a new edition of Taking Off the Masks by Malcom Boyd and the Isherwood Century; I looked on my bookshelf and have a copy of A Single Man and think I'm going to read it before I read a book of commentary and biography about the author.

For my part I bought the Boys from Boise , about the famed "scandal" in the 50's written in the 60's, and Wrestling with the Angel, a compendium of essays regarding gay authors struggles with the institutional religions that have rejected them.

On to knitting.

I made my first needle case. It did the job but then I suddenly had DP needles in every size, and straight needles, and then circulars.

I thought it time to get a new case. So when I was in Stitch DC my eyes fell on this lovely case.

The outside is tapestry like while the inside is a raw silk print.

I think it's quite lovely and there is plenty of space for anything I could want to place in it. The only downside is that circulars don't fit easily.

As far as actual knitting goes I've been busy with a number of projects.

This lace shawl out of the EZ Almanac. It is very simple and just goes around and around I'm on the 48 rows of 250 stitches and am not looking forward to the 48 rows of 500. I'm knitting a pattern of lace diamonds into it. I'm enjoying the mohair yarn though.
Then there are these socks; Tofutsies yarn though I am sad because my last socks in this yarn have hole that I need to darn already. I've got another ball in green but recieved some yarn from Dan that I'll use for my next sock project.
And finally there is the sweater. It's for Flopper and I have been working on it for months.

I love the reduction lines in this pattern that form the shoulders and neck.

It will hopefully look like this eventually except in blue and not in black and white.


His Eye is on the Sparrow and possibly on the Otter though that is probably Apocryphal

At Teaism in Washington, DC there lives a horde of sparrow that will literally land on your knees as you sit there to try to get crumbs.

Which is why this picture has my fingers in it, one of the birds made a go at my salty oat cookie while I was taking it. I always feed them when I'm there though I know I shouldn't.

I went to the National Zoo twice to see the new Asia trail and was quite amused by the smooth otters.

They really are distressingly adorable little creatures.



Back in Pennsylvania there are a myriad of "amusement parks" to chose from and like elsewhere there used to be many more. My favourite and the closest to my childhood home is called Knoebels. They realized decades ago that they couldn't compete with Hershey or Dorney Park when it came to giant rides or size and so maintained a free admission policy and many of the old rides.

Here is Flopper hugging Kosmo the park mascot.

My mother, Mandi, and Flopper, perusing through the crafts.

My nieces Kira and Macenzie in their prison/stroller.

And some of the lumber equipment that Knoebels is noted for. The park started as a pool in the 20's, then a camp ground, and finally a park. During that 40 year stretch the family who owns the park also had a lumber mill. So there are all manner of lovely old woodworking machines scattered throughout the park.


Albino squirrel in minneapolis

Monday, August 27, 2007

Ben and his cute duck

Sunday, August 26, 2007

The sweater nears completion; I love Malabrigo Worsted

I have been working on a sweater for Flopper for the last few months. It seems the sweater curse is true and I will never again make a sweater for a boyfriend.

I opted for the EZ Saddle Shoulder Sweater from Knitting Without Tears. It's a seamless sweater knit in the round and I am 10 rows into the shoulder shaping.

I'm using Malabrigo Bobby Blue (#32) and have used 8 balls so far. It knits 5 stitches slightly tight on 8's.

After this sweater I have 3 or 4 pairs of socks to knit but my night job begins shortly which affords me plenty of time to knit; what else is there to do at 4 in morning in the international student dorm?


Friday, August 24, 2007

Having Returned to the Midwest I Want to Go Back East

After 15 hours of driving we left the beauty of the East Coast for the flatness of the Midwest. Now at this point in my stay in the vast under appreciated and unnoticed middle of the country I must point out that there are many lovely things in MN; they are just separated by a few hours of driving between each of them.

The greatest charm of the East Coast and Washington DC in particular is that they are concise. Everything you could want is in DC inside a ten mile radius and if you decide to travel Baltimore is forty minutes by train, Philadelphia an hour and a half, and New York 3 hours; everything is reachable.
Just look at all those neighborhoods; each one a little gem and rather distinct. I knew all the ones north of the Anacostia.

I spent my two full days in DC walking. I probably walked ten miles each day and ate more then is seemly (or healthy. +5 lbs ; salad times ahead).

Dupont Circle. Many happy afternoons reading here.

Adams Morgan. Falafel; the first place I stopped in DC.

U Street. I love U Street. Specifically the stores in the basements or up on the second and third floors of the row homes.

The Eastern Market (being rebuilt thankfully). They have erected a temporary building after the fire and were opening it to much fanfare as I walked by on Wednesday. Our cheese shop was here and the old couple who ran it thought that Flopper and I were European (go figure).

My Italian Store Litteri's hidden near the Florida Avenue Market in the food wholesale district. The only good hoagie in the city and in a neighborhood that scares the majority of yuppies away. There are no windows and the rows are so crowded and narrow you don't even consider bringing a cart down them. I love to kvetch with the guys who work here; frumpy old Italian men and Salvadorean teenagers for the most part.

Teaism. The Salty Oat Cookies are laced with crack. I bought a bag and they were gone before we made it to Iowa.

These and a myriad of other haunts that I frequented alone and with Flopper greeted me as I wandered the city. While most CUA students huddled on campus ferrying into the better parts of the city on the metro Flopper and I biked almost everywhere and intimately knew the city block by block. I felt a bit naked without my bike but there was no way for us to bring them.I miss being connected to the place I dwell. Perhaps my few months in Minneapolis this spring semester will let me forge a bond with that city. I can't wait to move back to a city on a long term basis.


Thursday, August 23, 2007

I miss my italian store

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Risk at Fritter's

I win; I love Risk. I played the white army in case you were wondering.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Thank god for good tea

Monday, August 20, 2007


Sunday, August 19, 2007


This morning finds me in the City of Brotherly Love.

I am personally rather fond of Philadelphia; it has that gritty East Coast city feeling that makes me feel alive and wonder if I'm going to get mugged.

DC had parts fo the city that were gritty but by in large has been anestethized of any character that would identify it as "East Coast".

I'll defiantely be focusing my job search on the coasts and Philadelphia is fairly high on my list of potential places. At this point I think the list runs DC, Baltimore, Portland, San Francisco, Boston.
My living in Saint Closet, MN has taught me that I require a city for mental well being. It will be good to move to Minneapolis in a few months.


Thursday, August 16, 2007

Off to the Land of Kielbasi.

Summer Classes are over! 18 credits later I'm free for a whole three weeks.

This coming semester I have part time student teaching and classes three nights a week so I'll be busy but tonight it is off to the land of Kielbasi.

20 hours of driving will deposit us in Pennsylvania.


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Seperate Ways

It seems my life has changed. I did not look for this change, I do not want this change, but I am not so foolish as to ignore it.

Flopper has decided that it would be best if we parted as lovers. It is my sincere belief that will continue as friends. For the last three and a half years I have been among the most fortunate men in the world to wake up next to him every morning, spend my days near him, and my nights in his arms.

I do not know what he is seeking but hope that he finds whatever it is. I had hoped he would find it in me. He has not. Perhaps our paths will come together again some day.

Nothing in this world is certain and what small measure of certainty I had is little evidenced in my reality at the moment.

I have loved to the extent that I am capable and am better for that. I have never before been so happy and loved in my life and am better for that.

I am thankful to whatever grace brought me such happiness for so long and can only hope that I will find it again.

My thanks to all the friends who have supported me in this .


Damnable Saint Cloud State University

As though the classes being mediocre adn the proffessors being distressingly uninspired were not bad enough today the computer network is down. This means that I can't access my paper which is due at three. This makes me slightly cranky and is causing no end of startled looks from the hapless Minnesotans as I curse the computer I'm working at.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Look a New Blog

All the cool people are starting new blogs.

I figured I should as well.

I'm sure I'll write something pertinent about life at the moment sometime soon.

Obviously my world is in flux right now.

Our Great Minnesotan Adventure is not yet over so I'll post things we do together there and things reflecting my own devices here.