Thursday, August 30, 2007

Live music, Friday night

My dearest darling Trent, along with singer Misty Weaver, will be performing Friday night at Mr. Spots Chai House in scenic Ballard. They're scheduled to go on at 8:00, and you can stick around to see and hear Aubrey Birdwell and our good friends The Ensemble Sub Masa. Mr. Spots serves chai, coffee, wine, beer, and some food. The show is free, but donations are gratefully accepted.

For a preview of Trent, you can listen to some of his songs on his MySpace page.

I'll be there with my knitting, of course.


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Got my goat

Adventures in cooking
Lake City, my 'hood, has a new store, the Discount Warehouse. It's a purveyor of Halal meats, assorted Indian and Mediterranean foods, and some other oddities. I bought some delicious (and insanely low priced) lamb for stew last week. Today, Trent and I went there to try to get some stew beef. They didn't have any boneless stew beef, so we ended up buying goat.


Why not.

So, we asked the nice guy at the counter how he'd suggest cooking goat. They sell boxed spice mixes for assorted Indian foods [edited to add: the spice mixes are from Pakistan, but you'd recognize some of the dish names from Indian restaurants], and he recommended the "Karahi/Fry Gosht spice mix for meat", which we duly purchased. Trent cooked it while I went off to the Bernina shop for a demo of some soon-to-be-released pattern software. It was delicious, but holy mother of Ganesh, it was HOT. What's more, the recipe on the box recommended adding 8-10 chiles, which we didn't do. My throat hurts just thinking about it.

At any rate, should you find yourself in Lake City, and find yourself thinking, gee, I could use some meat, I can highly recommend the Discount Warehouse. It's a little hard to spot, tucked away on the backside of the Rekhi building, but it's well worth a stop. Where else are you going to buy your fresh goat and lethal spice mix?


Sunday, August 19, 2007

Conclusions and introductions

The end of the Amalia saga
Her Royal Highness the World's Most Expensive Stray Cat, Amalia, has gone to a new home. She was pried out of her chair

Stuffed in a carrier

And went home with her new person, the lovely and delightful Erin.

So there's a happy end to my good deed for the year. (edited to add: no matter how pissy Amalia looks in all those pictures, she likes Erin and is doubtless sitting on her lap even as I write this.)

Approaching the end of a quilt
I spent most of yesterday evening turning 361 quarter blocks into 180 half blocks (with a quarter left over), which I'm now combining to make 90 whole Star Struck blocks. Here's a few of them laid out. I'm hoping the star pattern will show up better when they're actually sewn together instead of just flopped out on the bed.

Now on MySpace!
Trent has asked me to let y'all know: he now has his very own MySpace page, where you can hear his tunes. You can find it here, or there's a link over there in the sidebar. Also, for those of you here in the Seattle area, Trent and Misty will be performing on August 31 at Mr. Spots' Chai House in Ballard. Our friends the Ensemble Sub Masa are also playing.

Coming soon to your local Bernina Dealer
I'm going to start teaching some classes at Bernina Northwest in October. I'm very excited (not least of all because I get employee discount). I'll inflict more details on you as I get them.

Homeward bound
Our dear friend Jenine (aka my commenter, Perkster) is moving back to the Seattle area after a stint in Arkansas. She needs an apartment, and it looks like the rental market is pretty tight right now. If any of you locals know of a vacancy convenient to UW-bound buses, please let me know and I'll pass it on.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Amalia update

Maybe it's the antibiotics. Maybe she's getting over whatever ailed her. Maybe she's relieved to be safely back in the garage and not forced to interact with other household pets. Whatever the reason, her majesty has started eating again (I saw her eat crunchy chow!) and is noticably perkier. She's feeling well enough to resist vigorously when I pry her jaws open to syringe antibiotics down her.

Me? I've managed to grade a few papers, knit a tiny bit, and sew more Star Struck blocks. I've lost count of the blocks again, so there's going to be a soothing spell of counting, endlessly counting. I suspect I'm now in the 200's somewhere.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Quilts and cats, part #13779

It's been a hellaciously busy week. Amalia drama continues. After a spell of good health, she stopped eating and became increasingly listless. We've been to the vet three times this week, and we still don't know what's wrong. Blood tests came back normal, so now they're running another viral panel and a urinalysis. Meanwhile, she'll only eat stinky meat baby food in microscopic quantities, and I'm once again giving her antibiotics. The upside is that I'm getting really good at poking syringes down the cat's throat. I'm considering this my charitable contribution to the universe for the year (or maybe the decade, at the rate we're stacking up vet bills).

Here's a happy family shot from before she became feeble. She's willing to be in the presence of dogs if she has a lap to sit on.

Meanwhile, I'm still working on the Star Struck quilt. I can't remember how many blocks I have now - somewhere between 100-200. I also finished up the bright baby quilt:

While I was photographing it something very predictable happened.

Oh well, I needed to wash it anyway.

Note to my Feral friends: I miss y'all. My work schedule means that I'm now in transit and at work from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm on Mondays (and I'm sure it will be later with the upcoming delights of road construction), and I've been just too wiped out to get back in the car and come. I'll try harder.

Special note for Linda K.: You want to start sewing again. What else will you do with all that fabric? Besides, I need a partner in quilting crime.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Don't drink and sew

And if you do drink and sew, and then knock over your glass of white wine, be really grateful that you just dumped WHITE wine all over your quilt blocks. The vaguely boozy smell is much easier to deal with than red stains would be.
These, by the way, are the ever growing double wrench blocks (current number: 26), some of the victims in last night's tragic wine spill. (It was tragic because it was the end of the bottle, not because there was permanent damage.) Rudy decided to assist me in the layout and photography of these blocks.
I've also started a Star Struck quilt from Quiltville. (As an aside, wowza. Bonnie is incredibly generous to maintain and share so many patterns with the public.) So far I have 36 of them (although the picture below only shows the first 19). The pattern says you need 396 or something like that for a full-size quilt. Hee hee hee. And to think, I started sewing again because it led to faster gratification than knitting.
The Star Struck started out as a scrap quilt, using up leftovers from the first baby quilt and some fat quarters I bought in the first flush of quilt fabric frenzy. After I chopped all of those up, I thought it could use some more variety. (I've rapidly learned that I'm in the "more fabrics better" camp in quilting.) Yesterday I visited The Quilting Loft and added 9 more fabrics to the collection. They'll get cut tonight, unless I decide to be responsible and grade literature papers.

I had a sweet surprise at the Quilting Loft yesterday. They ask for your name when you're rung up (because they keep track of your purchases in their database to reward you after you've mortgaged your firstborn). When I told them mine, they said "Oh, we have something for you." I was flummoxed. Did I leave something there in the past? They handed me an envelope with a lovely plump gift certificate, courtesy of Trent. He was out and about yesterday, and knew I'd be hitting the store, so he stopped by and left it for me. Say it with me: Awwwwwww.

In cat news, it's pretty much the cold war. We don't leave Amalia out and about unless one of us can supervise. Rudy actually emerged from under the bed last night to hang out in the hall and glare at Amalia, which had no discernible effect since she was curled up sleeping. We may have a potential home for her, but it's one of Trent's students who is currently on an exchange program and won't be home for three more weeks. Eep.