25 November 2012

At the Close (of Thanksgiving)

Note to self: when there are only two of you, chances are you don't need to cook an entire bird. However, while we are on the subject, the bird was pretty freaking amazing. Just saying.

It's the first Thanksgiving I've done on my own and while it was a ton of work, it was workable. Granted, no one is knocking down my door to take photos of my feast, but the food was tasty, the conversation lovely, and my mother's stuffing recipe, pictured above, put to good use.

The tree, it is up. The mantle, it is bestockinged. (If that isn't a word, I totally want it to be.) I have two weeks of classes before finals begin and then on to the holidays. My first semester as a prof - it's almost a wrap. Crazy.

A few of my favorite moments this weekend:

St. Louis loves a parade. This is my favorite float, put forth by the German Musical Society (or something along those lines). There was a tuba, a stuffed deer, and a red nose on said deer. Brillz.



And that last one? On the observation deck of the Gateway Arch. I've been up the blasted thing twice now and each time I find myself in a bit of awe at the crazy, amazing things people can do.  

I will survive the next two weeks. There will be a little crazy, a little amazing, but dang, this weekend has been good. Hope life was good on your end. 

20 November 2012

A Bit More Vegas

While the city of Las Vegas is not my favorite place in the world, it was so good to see my academic siblings, those people who I went studied with in graduate school. Given I began graduate school six years ago, I was struck by the ways in which our work has changed over time. The research questions that brought us to graduate school have changed and morphed in really fascinating and interesting ways. I am fortunate enough to be surrounded by interesting and curious people, people who push me to do better and be better.

While not my favorite city in the world, Vegas is filled with pretty amazing stuff. Take, for instance, the Fremont Street Experience. Located downtown, the Experience links several of the casinos downtown beneath a lit canopy that bursts into color and sound every hour on the hour. We were there for a Doors medley and it was really quite awesome. The Experience is downtown's answer to the Strip and it was a markedly different feel: this is the Vegas of the Rat Pack. A little gritty, less polished, and, overall, much more enjoyable. Too much polish is bothersome, particularly as I am not a very polished person. 

Another attraction I didn't know about but really enjoyed was the aquarium at the Mandalay Bay hotel. It is, apparently, 1.6 million gallons of water culminating in a pretty amazing shark habitat. Being in a hotel/casino, it was less educational than I would have liked but the staging was amazing. 


Congrats, Christina.

All in all, I'm glad to be home, though there is a to-do list that is so, so, so long as I attempt to get caught up and prepare for my bestie to arrive for turkey day. There will be stuffing, there will be turkey, there will be pumpkin cheesecake. But first: email. Lots of it.

18 November 2012

Leaving Las Vegas


Fake Eiffel Tower. 
Fake New York City. 
While not a fake shark, definitely a fake habitat. 
Fake huge Coca Cola bottle. 
Meh. Lots of fun stuff, but I doubt Las Vegas and I will ever move beyond careless flirting.

12 November 2012

 There has been knitting. Some knitting. In stops and starts. Mostly things for babies as I have given up the idea of a Ho-Ho-Homemade Holiday this year. Careful shopping, here I come. 

Regardless, a good friend is welcoming his fourth sometime after the New Year and I recently wrapped up this sweet little sweater, the In Threes cardigan. super quick knit and it seriously doesn't get any cuter than this.

Less than a skein of yarn. I kid you not. I made this out of Malabrigo Rios (superwash!) in Archangel. I bought this lovely stuff back in September at Windy Knitty, a great yarn store in the Andersonville area of Chicago. Brilliant selection of colors and fibers - definitely jealous of peeps for whom this is their LYS. 

Regardless, an easy knit and one I'm looking forward to casting on again. Having used so little yarn for the first sweater, I'll be able to cast on another for my new niece for the holidays. 

So maybe there's a few homemade presents in the works. 

But just a few. 

11 November 2012

Thrifty Finds: BOSTONS!

Every thrifter has a wishlist, a collection of items they are always on the lookout for when they embark on their adventures in thrifting. Over the course of my thrifting career, there have been some pretty standard items on my personal wishlist: vintage pieces of Fiesta, green swirl Owens-Illinois depression canisters, and McCoy pottery. Then I happened upon this image in 2008:

A freaking wall of dog paint-by-numbers. A wall of them. I tend to be in general awe of gallery walls, but was particularly infatuated with the portrait in the right hand corner, a paint-by-number Boston Terrier. And thus began my obsession. 

So, yeah. Nearly four years of searching. I scoured eBay, repeatedly checked my local thrift stores, and set all my thifting family and friends on high alert. The closest I ever came was on eBay, where the paintings - there are two of them - would go for upwards of sixty dollars or more. I finally decided, after having lost out on one of the paintings earlier this fall, that I was going to take the next auction seriously. A paint-by-number Boston would be mine. 

And there hasn't been a single one listed. Not on eBay, not on etsy, not anywhere. 

And then! And then! I was in TFA The Future Antiques this weekend and THERE. THEY. WHERE.  Two of them, in beautiful condition, for not exactly cheap but not anywhere near the upper limits of what I was willing to pay. In fact, they were asking for both what I was willing to pay for one. I would like to say I handled the find like an adult, gracefully picking them up and placing them beneath my arm. Rather there may have been the flapping of hands, perhaps a bit of a happy dance, and perhaps even some whooping. And so goes it when a thrifter finds an item from their wishlist. 

Now to find frames and figure out where they will live. I think I was so convinced I would never ever find them that I haven't considered where they will live in my house.  Also: Excuse the funky iPhone photo. I need to get my DSLR back in regular rotation. 

Oh, and blog more. Hm.