Archive | June, 2007

Birthday Meme

27 Jun

Ingrid tagged me last week for a birthday meme. Here are the rules:

Look up your birthday on Wikipedia and write down 3 events, 2 birthdays and one holiday that happened on your birthday.

My birthday is November 29 and I already knew two famous people born on it — Louisa May Alcott and C.S. Lewis. (Nothing like having a couple of famous writers born on the same day as you for inspiration!)

There were a lot of revolutions and wars on this day in history. Nothing like a little uprising to get you in the holiday spirit I guess. Here are the 3 events that sounded the coolest (and least violent) to me…

1. Thomas Edison demonstrates the phonograph. 1877

2. The Meiji Constitution (in Japan) came into being. 1890

3. Admiral Richard Byrd flies over the South Pole becoming the first person to do so. 1929

I was surprised to find holidays on this day but here is the one I think is the coolest — Albanian Liberation Day.

Will tag in another post after I figure out who hasn’t gone yet…


Busy week…

19 Jun

The past 2 weeks I’ve been teaching on the weekends for an ESL teacher training seminar which means that I have had no time at all to do anything except teach, write, and unpack!

Thanks to all of you for your comments about my guest list! They really helped! After really careful consideration I did decide not to invite the 3 female cousins. It may cause some friction in the family but it’s not like I see them very often (the last time was 4 years ago). I realized that I didn’t want this to become like a memorial service for my dad with all the relatives from his side of the family.

I have gotten comments (positive) on my hair. I think that the person didn’t really style it when I left but she ended up cutting it pretty well. It did take a couple of washes, a flat iron and some Aveda hair wax to get it back into shape after the wing-styling, though.

There has been nothing crafty happening recently, save for making paper for my invitations (maybe will post a tutorial on how to do it some day…). Am just that much closer to being able to unpack my wheel, though, and finally found the first skein of yarn I spun on it. Yeah! Realized that I never set the twist in it, so I hope it’ll be okay…

Belated KTE Package Post

13 Jun

I know this is a bit late, but I wanted to post pics from the awesome Knitter’s Treat Exchange package I received from Rebecca. It had a little bit of everything in it — some Harry and David’s Chocolate (mint truffle — can’t think of a better combination of flavors — yum…!)

H & D Chocolate

a cool magazine I hadn’t heard of called Wildfiber (with an awesome article about Bhutan — such a treat, considering I’m interested in Buddhism!).


There was also a lot of other non-fibery things such as: a magazine about jewelry-making — Step-by-Step Wire, a book about dyeing with natural materials called A Dyer’s Garden, a journal, message pad, a big block of Lavendar soap and a Sudoku puzzle book (how did she know that sudoku was almost as addictive for me as knitting was last year?!).

KTE packet

But, the piece de resistance was really the fiber treat…. a 1/2 pound of Alpaca — can’t wait to unpack my wheel and try it out!

Rebecca gets the best treater in my book (a way better treater than I am, I have a lot to learn from her!)

As an aside, while looking at my stats today I noticed a funky link. It didn’t look like a spam link, so I decided to click…and up came a Thai website that had found my knitted amigurumi tutorial. How cool is that?

To invite or Not to invite…What’s the Answer???

8 Jun

Okay, I guess every person who has organized a wedding has had to go through this — who do you invite?

The original plan was to keep our wedding super small (like 20 people) with only really close friends and immediate family. The problem is that I have a huge extended family out here in Southern California — some of whom I’m close to and others I’m not. Whenever I first talked to my mom about this she said that I should still invite 3 of my cousins who I haven’t seen in over 4 years (who also have pretty big families themselves — at least a kid or three each). I’m pretty close to the brothers of these cousins and would like to invite them to the wedding (they call and keep up with me and were really there for me after my dad died) but not really the women. In fact, one of the women cousins really annoyed me at her sister’s wedding when she turned to the priest and introduced me,

“This is my cousin, Katie. She’s an atheist. ” (Which isn’t even true, but probably her description of anyone who is not a practicing Catholic.)

My take on the situation is that this is Our wedding, meaning that the only people we would want there are people we truly care about and love. We’re planning on having a potluck BBQ sometime after the wedding to include the people who couldn’t come, and I think that for the 3 cousins I’m not close to this would be a great time to see them. (I’m trying to keep to the rule of thumb that anyone I haven’t talked to or seen in the past year isn’t invited…)

So, how divisive would it be to not invite these people, I wonder? (Inviting them will easily add 1/3 to our total count because of the size of their families…)

Any thoughts out there???

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Love, Exciting and New…

8 Jun

Just call me Julie. That’s right, that’s what I should (but don’t necessarily want to) be called today.

No, I haven’t succumbed to multiple personality disorder like Joanne Woodward in “The Three Faces of Eve”. I haven’t forsaken all of my identity to become subsumed into another completely different persona. No, the only thing that has happened to me is…

I got a haircut.

I have curly thick and unruly hair. What I asked for was a “flip” style that really works well with my hair and face. What I got was…


Yep. I could be a host of things today. Julie, your illustrious Cruise Director, a chicken, a duck, a plane. You name it. You see…today…my hair…can…FLY!

It all started out innocuously enough. I needed my roots touched up and thought that instead of my usual trek to the beauty supply shop I would pay someone to do it for me. I figured that it would be nice to start getting some more shape and texture cut into my hair so that by September it would look stunning for the wedding. My budget for the month already being shot on wedding deposits and such, I was tempted to go to Supercuts, but opted instead to try a salon on a tree-lined street with a lot of upscale shops and spas. My goal was to find a really relaxed hair styling place where there no gay men saying to me “Sweetheart what have you done to your hair?” and trying to sell me tons of expensive products. (Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against gay men, it’s just that this type of conversation is guilt-inducing to the extreme — and the last thing I need is more guilt trips in my life… And, as an aside, I also like to keep the hair products I use to a minimum.)

The first salon I walked into charged $75 for a cut. (I won’t mention how much their color treatments were, but just to give some idea, close to half of what I now pay in rent.) No way was I going to pay so much just for a few snips from a pair of scissors. (I don’t care that much about my hair.) So, I found a little salon down the road with a really nice Vietnamese lady, walked in and asked if she was free. She was, the price was right and the next thing I knew, I was in a chair with cape around my neck awaiting my hair color.

It was a leap of faith, because I really don’t trust anyone to cut my hair. The only person I liked who ‘got’ how my hair should be cut was my former neighbor (whom I dubbed ‘Dippy Neighbor Chick’). I could get an edgy cut, color and highlights from DNC for under $80 — unheard of anywhere, most of all LA. But, she did a great job and I was so sad to see her move away a year ago. Since then it’s been me, a pair of scissors, a layering tool from Japan and a bottle of color.

I have to say that I was taken by the experience. She was very meticulous, showing me pictures of haircuts, asking me what I wanted. I loved talking to her and hearing about her experiences. The way she shampooed my hair was wonderful, tender, and thorough. When I got back into the chair I watched her cut, snip and trim, carefully measuring to make certain things were even. Wet the cut looked fine. But then she took out the blow-dryer and…

My hair exploded! (Figuratively, of course.)

I thought at first that it was one of those important-first-step-secrets-of-styling that the people who charge the big bucks say they do (you, know, in order to charge the big bucks). I told myself that I would trust the hair-styling gods to take care of me and that I couldn’t leave the salon looking like I just walked out of a bad 80’s melodrama. As I was thinking all of this she handed me the mirror looking upon her work proudly and said…

Well, what do you think?

Shock. Horror. Sadness. What does one say in a time like this? I don’t think she misunderstood my English — flip and wings don’t really mean the same thing or even sound alike, after all. I was too stunned to do anything but gulp, pay, and hope that my bobby pins were still lodged somewhere in my bag.

As I walked down the street, I realized that this situation called for the one thing I was avoiding — product. So, off I headed to the Aveda salon nearby. When I walked in, I could see the girl at the desk looking me over and turning up her nose, peering at me around her desk as I was searching for some gel. Behind her was the stylist giving a middle-aged woman with dark roots a Connie Chung-style haircut, waxing on about the products she should use in her hair, and I as I plunked down my money for some de-poofing hair gel, I thought…

Well, now…maybe wings aren’t so bad after all!

His, Mine and Ours

5 Jun

I’m convinced boxes grow. Not merely sprout, but actually have creepers that slink across the living room silently, stealthily and then, in the small corner behind the lamp next to the sofa, BURST out so that there are at least 2 or 3 more boxes.


At least I can see the floor now. Yesterday was a turning point — I uncovered my now long neglected (3 weeks, maybe more) spinning wheel box and found places for most of my fibery things.

Recently I’ve been reminded of the (original of course!) movie, “Yours, Mine and Ours” with Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda. Take two thirty-somethings both with one-bedroom apartments full of things such as DVDs (Doug’s passion), Fiber (my passion) and Books (both of our passions) and try to fit them into one of your one-bedroom apartments and what do you get?

Boxes. And

More boxes.

Just when I empty one box, I turn around and there’s another. And, of course, there’s the question of where to put things once the box is emptied (those things seem to magically multiply too…) Part of me just wants to throw everything away, but then again, what would I do without my collection of books, fiber and art supplies? Being the craft-addict that I am, If I threw or gave them away…

I know that I’d just wind up buying more!

2 Jun

It’s been such a busy week that I have hardly had time to breathe! First there was Stitch N Pitch on Tuesday. Somehow the person organizing the event lost or didn’t get our tickets early on, so we had to run around hunting them down while I was moving & Doug was passing his second kidney stone (poor guy — that makes two in the last two months!). But eventually we got the tickets. We wound up sitting pretty far from most of my SnB friends, but we were near two diehard Dodgers fans — young teenage guys accompanying their mom — behind us who were a riot to listen to… and two really cool SnB friends, Heidi and Johnnie who are really fun. Didn’t get much knitting done, and the Dodgers won, which was cool.

I had one of those bad camera-up-the-nose we’re-taking-our-own-pic-pictures of Doug and me, but he was really upset that I posted it. So here’s one of me that is blurry but has a picture of the field instead. (Ever since living in Japan I’ve hated having my picture taken — could be the fact that everyone is picture crazy there…)

Katie at SnP

We also had plans to go to Utah for Memorial Day weekend to see my brother and his family (planned way before engagement, wedding plans, kidney stones and moving.) It was a fun trip with a small family hike, 1/2 day canoe trip, a family dinner and a trip into Salt Lake City (more about that in another post).

Christina and Naomi

(Sister-in-law, Christina with my niece, Naomi-chan)

Sitting Pretty

(Naomi-chan ‘sitting pretty’)

j&n hike

(My Brother, James, and Naomi-chan)


Cousins at Roosters

(Out to dinner with my cousin, John)

We got back super early on Tuesday morning and I spent the whole day power-cleaning my apartment for the final turning over of the keys on Thursday. Hard to believe that I managed to live in such a small space for almost 7 years. My spinning wheel literally took up half my living room!

28 sunset dining room


living room

Now they’re asking $1400 for this tiny apartment! (It was super expensive at $975 when I first moved in, I thought….)

So, now it’s a lot of unpacking (will it ever get done???), cleaning, catching up on work and adjusting to being inland. Even though Pasadena is only on the other side of LA, it is truly another world!

Just a few months ago I thought my life wasn’t changing fast enough. Well I certainly got what I wished for!