Thursday, September 27, 2007


The weather is starting to turn a little in Michigan. Acorns are falling out of trees onto the pavement like machine-gun fire, it rains in the evening, and the leaves are just beginning to turn. Tracy and I went to the Renaissance Festival last Sunday (another sign of fall), and I took a few pictures:



Belly dancing

Dress hem detail

I've almost turned the second Jaywalker heel, and I'm making slow but steady progress on Petal. I have finally broached the knitting-in-class idea, and so far my profs don't seem to mind. I am still participating, I'm just doing something with my hands (that isn't doodling, playing with my hair, checking my email, or texting). In fact, my acoustics instructor walked past me as I was pulling out my bag and remarked, "Huh. Another knitting linguist." Who'd have thought?

Brian and Beth get married tomorrow, and I am taking my (big bad) camera along. I bought a new (and jeebus! expensive) flash and I can't wait to try it out- the man at the shop (Eric) assures me it's fully auto. That'll be good till I get the hang of it.

Hey, Secret Pal, here's a shot of the soap- the body wash ran out this morning so I am looking forward to giving a full review.

Soap from my Secret Pal

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Heartbroken, and other emotions

This weekend was bad. Grandma Mae passed away on Friday, while I was at work. I really wanted to go visit her recently, and I have been thinking about her a lot, but I let stupid things like work and doing dumb stuff on the computer prevent me from driving the whole mile and a half to see her. I suppose it's a wake up call- I only have so much life to do what I want and to spend with the people I care about, and I am not going to live anymore in the service of anyone but me and the ones I love. I am sad because she is gone, but she had a long life and was surrounded by her family. She was the last of her generation in our family, even though she wasn't the youngest. She was a stubborn woman (a stubbornness that granted her ten years of life after beating aggressive breast cancer), so if she thought it was time to go, I believe her. The family has planned a fitting tribute- we're going to rent a hall, eat till we burst, cram some dessert in on top of that, and sit around, looking at pictures and laughing about that time she made grilled cheese sandwiches with the plastic still on the cheese. (But seriously, she was a really good cook, by Midwestern standards. Her magic bars were better than your grandma's.)

So that was tough, and I was already feeling pretty low on Saturday when my sister called to tell me that the dog died. The family dog, my childhood pet, called it quits after sixteen years. She was a good dog, and old. When I look at my puppies (or, rather, when I am being pinned to the ground and kissed by my puppies), I am reminded of the boundless energy she had as a pup. When we adopted her, the previous owners had said that she needed more room to run than they had for her. She was never a particularly athletic dog, but she loved to bound up and down the fence until she was pooped, and then she liked to sleep under the ping pong table in the garage. She never lost her puppy fur, and even as a big old smelly dog, she was still bunny soft, and she loved to be patted on the head. At the end, even my father, who used to joke about giving Angel her "monthly pet" would sit with her and stroke her fur. She was gentle, friendly, and patient. I loved my fuzzhead. I am glad that she lived a long life, but I'm sad to see her go- it's like watching the end of my childhood pass me by.

Secret Pal: I owe you some glamour shots of the soap you sent (I think my husband is going to steal it- he is a soap connoisseur). I've got some progress to show on the Jaywalkers and Petal, but it will wait till I feel like knitting again. Right now I just want to sit around and watch baseball with my family (yes, you heard me- I have watched a number of collegiate and professional sporting events on television. Alert the authorities- I've gone mad!).

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Plugging along

The first week of school is ovah! I met some of the other grad students. They seem pretty nice, although they tried to scare me a little about the syntax class I'm taking. It's not going to be hard. I have had syntax before. Minimalist syntax. With a guy who wrote his dissertation on noun phrases.

I'll be okay.

I've been taking the bus when I can to and from work. Dan really wants to fix the Impala's break lights on his own, so I'm letting him fiddle. The Detroit bus system is kinda crappy, but the route I take comes reasonably close to my house and to work. I hate the stigma that the bus is only for the poor and those who have lost their licenses to irresponsibility, but I guess I have to ask myself: will I continue to ride the bus when I have my car back? On one hand, it's damn convenient to drive. But on the other, gas is expensive, and standing at sketchy bus stops at quarter till midnight makes me feel like a badass.

Nevertheless, commute=commuter knitting!


I'm a little sad that the green only appeared near the heel and toe. I think that means there'll be a lot more in the second sock, which will make them similar but not matchy.


This is too much to lug on the bus now. You can see Stefanie's trademark raglan increases, which I really like. I'm almost to the part where I join the body, and let me say, I am not loving the purl rows right now. I think I will ultimately make the sleeves longer than called for in the pattern because I am using a wool blend, but we'll see. Dan and I have been watching the second season of Twin Peaks, and this makes for great mindless knitting.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Blogging from school

Surrounded by kids who think the world is their playground and that their behavior is so adult... and for the most part it is. I don't believe for a second that the lack of restraint is something that fades from most people as they age from just-old-enough-to-drive to office-lackey to middle-management; rather, you have it or you don't, and even if you have it, it's an effort every day to use it. I will say, however, that I prefer the bravado and the boisterous performance of the student union to the weird, silent in-grouping in my speech acoustics class.

But hey: free wifi. We've come a long way since undergrad. I, for one, can't wait to be high enough on the food chain to get an office.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Chicago Anniversary

Dan and I love going to Chicago. It's not so far away, and even after all the trips we've made, there's still a lot of fun touristy stuff we can do. We loved this trip so much we would hope that anyone going to the city would at least check out some of the things we did. You won't be disappointed!


This trip we took the bus, which, despite small setbacks, was a wise choice (and cheap!). I love love loved not having to drive or park in the city. I am a major proponent of mass transit, and I hope that someday Detroit will have something worth riding (but I'm not holding my breath).


We saw the CIA and the Museum of Contemporary Art (free on Tuesday) this time around. I preferred the art institute- the works there are a little more tried-and-true, by my tastes. I really liked the Jeff Wall exhibit, but unfortunately there were no photos allowed. His is the kind of art I would pay to have a real live piece of it in my home. Insightful and disturbing.

We ate at some really tasty restaurants that even our Chicagoan friends hadn't tried. For our anniversary, we got (veggie) fondue at Geja's Cafe- they have half off bottles of wine on Monday. Dan loved the ambiance. Some folks might find the candlelight and cave-like walls cheesy, but we had a blast. Service was lovely (and that means something, coming from a fine-dining server!). We also ate at Cafe Iberico, which had some mighty fine tapas (I didn't dig the paella- but we got the veggie version) and pitchers of sangria. I recommend taking friends here, and be prepared to wait- we stood outside for 30 minutes on a Tuesday. The real gem of our dining experience was Irazu. It was a hole-in-the-wall place in a neighborhood a tourist would probably never go, but I encourage everyone to hop on the blue line and get there! The potato tacos sounded absurd, but I ordered them (and laughed when they came with rice AND plantains- starchy!). They were delicious, delicately spiced morsels, and they were accompanied by a knockout mole and a cabbage and cilantro slaw. Order a plate of potato tacos to share (they're a lot on your own), and on the way out the door, grab an oatmeal shake to go. It's like a liquid cookie and it was the perfect thing to sip as we walked around. And hey- it's got fiber to boot.


And, as in all knitting blogs, here's the obligatory action shot, courtesy of my husband, from the lounge on the 96th floor of the Hancock Building at sunset:

chicago 027

All the yarn I buy in Chicago I get from Loopy Yarns. This time they were way understocked, but I still managed to drop a little cash. They send out birthday coupons for folks on their mailing lists, and they let my use mine two months late. Thanks!

Happy anniversary, babycakes.

My Life in Pictures
Veronica M's items Go to Veronica M's photostream

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I love language. I love knitting. I love photography. I love my husband. I love my daughter. I love my puppies. Reach me at vmachak at gmail dot com.

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She Has Arrived

Vivienne Beatrix

June 20, 2008
12:00 pm
7 pounds, 15 ounces
20.25 inches


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