Friday, February 29, 2008

What's happening?

Life has been good AND I'm spending most of my computing time on RAVELRY. I wander through patterns and yarns, talk to people on the forums, lose all track of time. But I do have a life away from the computer and the last month has been eventful.

My oldest is in the marketing department at the California Center for the Arts in Escondido. As such, she can get into every production with one guest. We all take turns being her date. On February 10th, I got to see The Ten Tenors. Wow! If you ever get the chance - go. It doesn't matter if you are not an opera buff. No, not me in any way. But these ten Australians put on such an entertaining and outstanding show. They play their voices like finely tuned instruments, regardless of the language they sing in. They joke around with each other and the audience in those accents. All are young, most are stunningly gorgeous. Something for everyone. The website even has a couple of tunes you can listen to. We subscribe to Rhapsody so I have been listening to their music at home from computer while I knit or crochet.

Valentine's Day is my husband's birthday. Our newest tradition is to celebrate his day in Las Vegas. We stayed downtown at Main Street Station. Our first time there and I think it's my favorite of the ones we've stayed at down there. Lots of wood and antiques. You go straight from the parking garage to check in then up to your room without having to run the gauntlet of the casino. They did not have internet access in the rooms, but did have free WiFi access in the lobby area with tables and power outlets for your laptop. On the Wednesday before Valentine's Day, Vegas had the strongest wind storm in recent memory. Gusts were up to 60 miles an hour. There was blowing sand everywhere and some damage around town. In the residential area, a mobile home flew over a concrete fence and landed on his neighbor's roof. Shades of Oz. We tried walking around, but when I heard a security guard at the Four Queens talking about windows blowing out, we went back to our hotel. For Bob's birthday, we went to the Improv at Harrah's, mid strip. They sat us in the front row, but didn't pick on us too much. Later I found out George Clooney and his latest squeeze, who used to be a Vegas cocktail waitress, also spent Valentine's Day in Las Vegas. But since they were not cruising the nickel poker machines, our paths did not cross.

I bring a certain amount of money to Vegas to last my 3 days. When I go to the ATM, I classify that money as my gambling coupons, so that losing them doesn't bother me as much. I am extremely happy when I return home with unused coupons. I set them aside, and usually blow them on yarn. I came home with most of my coupons. Which was good, because the day after we returned, The Bonita Knitting Store had a Sock Yarn Tasting Event.

Cia, the Skacel rep, brought a bunch of yarns for people to play with. Susan took special orders for those not on hand. There were refreshments and ever so much fun. Sock knitters came from all over the county in that never ending quest for fiber. From the acylic and nylon Berroco Comfort, to the Panda with the silk in it, there was an amazing array to choose from. I'm unclear about the Panda Silk, since Trish, the one in the purple tee with her back to the camera bought all 10 skeins on hand of the colorway I was lusting after to make herself a top.

Alas, even though I had coupons to spend, I was not allowed to buy anything until the guests had purchased all they wanted. Not to worry, 2 skeins of Fortissima Mexiko came home with me, as well as some Disco Susan gave me as a giftee. I also special ordered some of this - FLAT FEET.

It's one of a kind hand dyed, machine knit sock yarn. It's visibly divided in half and each section is enough for a sock. You drap it over your shoulder like a dishtowel and just knit from it as you unravel. What a concept! Portable, easily stored and intriguing. I have an old knitting machine and the only thing I know how to do is straight stocking stitch. I may play around with some older sock yarn to see if I can mimic the results for my own use.

Also thinking of portability, I reluctantly delved into the world of Magic Loop sock knitting. I have to say I love my DPNs and won't be giving them up, but I am having a serious affair with this method. Especially for the toe ups. It was great when Bob and I took a Daytripper bus tour up to Los Angeles to see WICKED. In the past, I have dropped a DPN on the bus and have wandered around the floor between people's feet ISO of the lost utensil. No so with Magic Loop. I had tried it before, but unless it's Addi or Knitpicks Options, the joins on other circulars make it too annoying. Even with Addis, I still dislike the 2 circular needle method.

WICKED was amazing. Bob and I go to a lot of musicals, Shakespeare, comedies and other live theater. We both agreed, this was the best stage production we have ever seen. Oh my. I was enthralled the entire time. The stage sets and effects were spectacular, the singing, humor and storyline all fit perfectly. I want to go again.
We went up to Los Angeles on the Thursday before the Academy awards. It was an added bonus I was not expecting. I always watch the show, especially the Red Carpet pre shows. I was delighted to see the Red Carpet set up and to learn of the Oscar exhibit, where I got to hold a real Oscar. The thing is heavier than expected, 8 lbs. Notice it's tethered. You can't see the big security guard nearby in case some crazed fan wanted to take it away. I also got to touch the Red Carpet through a hole in the protective covering. Bob caught me being silly.

Back to my mundane San Diego life. I was lucky enough to win $100 from KSON [yep, I like country music], but alas, did not win the big prize of $10,000 in this morning's drawing. Of course, the first thing I thought of when I learned I had an extra 100 bucks was YARN MONEY.

Lastly, I spent 2 days, only 1 night, at Balboa Naval Hospital this Monday and Tuesday. I have an ongoing acid reflux issue that every few years causes me chest pain on my left side. I try to ignore it, but when it persists, it's off to the Emergency Room. This is the first time they kept me. I was poked, prodded, sonogramed and put on a treadmill. Not only do I have a heart I got to see for the first time in action, it's working great. Yay! Now I have to see some more gastro type people to sort out the other issue, but at least I'm not scared about the pain, numbness and tingling down my arm. Getting old sucks and I found out it's hard to knit with that oxygen thingy on your finger and an IV in the crook of your arm. But I managed, magic looping as best I could.