Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving goodness and badness

Hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving! Mine was overall excellent, look at what I got to eat!

I had to hurry, otherwise Hooboughwhoo was about to mow down on my butternut squash galette (served on a platter of the purest gold). I beat him to it though.

Here's a life lesson- Trying to peel a butternut squash can be dangerous if you are an idiot. If so, you will find a way to instead peel your finger, and your boyfriend will have to save Thanksgiving by taking over all kitchen duties involving sharp objects, and then take you to emergency room. After eating of course, we have our priorities straight.

Pop quiz: Am I sad because of my bloody finger, or because my giant goblet of wine is currently empty?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Goes to show you

Of course the day after I sing the praises of Brookline Trader Joe customers and their self bagging ways, I get a full day of NON bagging customers with heavy-ass turkeys. It is always true that saying (or blogging) something good will cause the equal and opposite event to happen almost immediately. Just to make you feel like an asshole, I guess.

I've been reading this book called The Historian, and I think I'm going to give up. It's about scholars who become obsessed with Dracula, who's still alive, or something. There are people dying or being bitten left and right, and I am so bored I fall asleep everytime I pick it up. I'm also a little embarrassed about reading a vampire book. Books about wizards? Totally cool. Vampires? No magic powers, just some sort of innate sexiness and good fashion sense. Totally superficial.

Anyone have any good book suggestions? I'm really not that picky, just no more vampires. If I get some good ones, I'll post some of my favorite current reads. That's IF, see? Look at me, getting off on being withholding.

Monday, November 24, 2008


I made a crap-ton of tofu and brown rice salad today so I could eat healthy all week at work. However, the tofu looks pink. So it looks like I am eating undercooked chicken chunks and brown rice. And I will be for days.

I've been working at Trader Joe's which is alright. The store is like the 5th busiest store in the chain, and people keep asking me if I'm doing alright, like my mind is going to be blown by Brookline Trader Joe's on a Sunday afternoon. However, the store is huge, unlike my old store, which would get crammed UP with people. I don't want to sound like an old fogey, but things were worse back in my days. Also, almost every customer bags their own groceries, which is so amazing that the first few days I wanted to kiss every single customer full on the mouth. I've dialed back the gratefulness, but it is SO much better than angry La Mesa families with not cute kids. (In fact, almost no kids at all! It's a miracle!) On the whole, people are pretty self sufficent about the shopping, and if we don't have what they came in looking for, their world does not shatter. Still, it's a big time commitment, which I already have in my other job, so I might not be in it for the long run. Also, I am apparently unable to adequately figure out their system of running the store. Every time I think I get it, I'm doing the wrong thing at the wrong time. I'm pretty sure the full timers think I do not have what it takes. They might be right. I just don't want to try that hard for a job where I can't sit in my own home all day. I'm giving myself until January to decide whether or not to stay.

Wow, that's a lot of talk about a boring job and gross looking food. Let's end this with some knitting!

Here's the story behind this classy little neckwarmer. Awhile back, I made a scarf. I pretty much made every bad decision I could, with wrong yarn, wrong needle size, wrong skill level for the pattern style, and wrong amount of patience with trying to learn a new skill. I was trying to kitchener stitch, but I got frustrated and just wanted this scarf out of my life, so instead of invisible seaming, it looked like Frankenstein's neck. It was also too wide and looked funny when I wore it, so I didn't. However, I realized that a good portion of the middle lace section looked pretty good, and it was a shame to waste it when it could be keeping me warm. So I cut out the good part, unraveled and re-knit some edgings, and added a button. Ta-da! It is not so blurry in real life. You will have to trust me on that.

And I need it, because it is cold out here. Last week it's been in the 20s to 30s. I'm usually getting off work at midnight, and it is pretty craptacularly cold. Here's a picture of me getting ready to brave the elements. I dimmed the coloring to heighten the chill factor for you. I may take bad pictures, but I can fuss with them to look slightly less bad!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Doublepost Tuesday!

I like to knit. It can be an pricey habit though. Once you graduate from Micheal's acrylic yarn, you can end up spending lots more than you'd think to make a sweater. One of my personal knitting tragedies is a failed vestish shruggy thing that I spent sixty dollars on. This is what I should look like. It doesn't look like that on me. No matter how hard I try. So it sits in my closet, bumming me out.
Point is, nice yarn is expensive. But some inventive knitters out there figured out that you can buy nice yarn in sweater form in thrift stores, and then unravel them and reuse the yarn. Since I love thrift store shopping, and had ample free time, I decided to give this a shot. I read a couple of online how to's, and turned this:

Into this:

One thing I failed to realized until after I started unraveling: This yarn is tiny. And since it's a silk angora blend, it's very fluffy. I unraveled while I worked/watched hulu, and my computer was covered in fur. Overall result? Lots of lovely soft warm yarn that likely would have cost me over sixty bucks for four bucks, a couple of night of work, and a fine coating of angora fur blanketing my esophagus and stomach lining. Keepin me warm from the inside out.

Since white isn't really a color I wear a lot of, I'm taking this diy-ness to the next level- yarn dyeing. But I'm going to need some help...


Did you know you can whip up a batch of kool aid, dunk some yarn in, and the yarn will remain that color permanently? Just like your insides!

More pictures of my attempts at creating beautiful things on the cheap to follow!

Who's excited about Thanksgiving! I am! I love cooking, eating, drinking, and moving as little as possible. Thanksgiving + me = 4eva! I'm going to make this and this and this and this and this!

Ilan asked for examples of my California-esque speech patterns in a previous blog comment. (By the way, leaving comments on my blog is a sure-fire way to my cherished friends forever list. I stalk my blog for new ones all the time.)
I think a lot of that feeling was a mixture of my own paranoia and being around people I don't know very well. I also use the words "like" and "really" more than I had noticed before. I have met the stereotype and it is me. Now that I've started working at Trader Joe's, I have met tons of people, and my feeling of the bias has faded. I can only think of one clear example now- I was at a knitting group, and a girl was telling a story about watching a hawk kill a mouse by throwing it against a dumpster and then eating it. My reaction was a louder-than-I-expected "Hawks are so horrible!" which caused an embarrassed silence and one woman started to explain the circle of life to me. I then tried to explain that my reaction comes from more of a rabbitcentric, anti-bird of prey world view than a hippy-dippy, all-you-need-is-love-and-tofu, west coast vibe, but I don't think they got it.
Maybe now that I will be up close and personal with the food-buying Boston public, I will have a broader view.

Seriously, though. Look at those eyes. Hawks suck.


Most of you know that I have a robot issue. It is not a phobia, since one day robots are going to attempt a take over and since I will avoid contact when possible and smash those with troubling tendencies, I'll be in better shape than those who find them "neat". This all stems from watching AI and seeing a future I do not like. Also, they are fucking creepy. Check this model out and tell me that you want that taking care of you in your old age. AWFUL. The video where it pushes himself up from the floor and it's arms turn around is going to give me nightmares.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Good news for people who love good news that pertains to other people.

Things seem to be lining up for old Hagerty right now. First, I was offered an extension of my current employment at Jack in the Box. I will be doing my thang, wearing my sweatpants, for the next year. To supplement that and in the interest of leaving the house and making actual conversations with people, I also got a job at a Trader Joe's. Right before the big holiday rush, due to my impeccable timing. I hope my tired old body and mind doesn't betray me.

Also, pretty good presidental news, no? After the big depression of the 2004 election, this is a nice feeling. Don and I went to see The Decemberists on Thursday, and they could not get over the election either. They brought out an Obama life size cut-out and it was crowd surfed through the theatre with more respect than a cardboard cut-out is normally afforded. I think it made it through the show intact. They ended with Sons and Daughters, inviting people to come on stage with them and sing. It was lovely. I forgave their exclusion of Mariner's Revenge.
When Obama went to Harvard, he lived a few blocks from where I'm living now. It's hard to imagine without seeing my neighborhood, Winter Hill, but it's not what you would expect of an up and coming Harvard law student. Winter Hill historians are thrilled that this is not the only thing that's historically important around here. Next time I leave the house with the camera, I'll take a picture so you can see the bizarrity(?) of it.

I've been using this natural face cleaning method, and so far it has been pretty nice. I have somewhat oily skin now, thanks to Jack in the Box and their giant vats of fryers I slaved over, and this is helping get that in line, which seemed strange since you basically coat your face in oil. It feels really nice to deep clean your face twice a week or so. It's also much cheaper than store bought face "systems" I've used before. Rochelle's helpful home remedy of the day. Next week, I tell you how to unclog your drains using just vinegar and baking soda!!!!!!!Q!!!

Really though, I can, if anyone's interested.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

I know this is a day late, but don't these pumpkins look so happy? This is from a pumpkin festival I went to a couple of weekends ago. There were over 10,000 of these guys covering a city plaza, trying to set pumpkin records. (Photo is by Tracey, a fellow Boston transplant/knitter.)
I'm going to try and have a better week than the cat vomit-y one I had last week. I think the problem is that I'm having some major homesickness. It's not that I want to move back to San Diego, I just want to feel like I'm home. And Boston is not there yet. Everything is different and weird, and it's not so exciting anymore. The intial culture shock is one thing (accents! pizza on every corner! Harvard students on the T!), but the subtle effects are starting to sink in, and I feel like being from the West Coast is seen as a liability by some people (It has also been said to be a liability in one case, but I'm not going to go into that on here). I do and say Californian things all the time, and it's weird to see it contrasted so dramatically with my enviroment. I hear my (unnoticed before) accent, and I cringe. I wish I could just buck up and throw my West Coast weight around with some self confidence. "Here it is. Like, what the hell?". BOOM.

I do want to point out that Boston accents make overheard bus conversations better. Also improved: radio dedications, customer service calls, and WHAT THE HELLs directed at errant drivers/pedestrians. This might eventually get old, but I hope not.

Don and I are going to see The Decemberists next week! Yay!

Big day for Frisk coming up. Our apartment building is being fumigated, and Tracey kindly offered her place as an escape from the fumes for us. Frisky is going to take public transportation for the first time! I'm imagining a trail of molting fur and bunny poos all the way down the Orange Line.