sparkfrost: (Glinda Cocktail)
The race! That happened! A week and a half ago I decided to go out at 1 in the morning and run a 5k, like a crazy person! Along with 700 other crazy people, and my mom. It was fun! Managed to run the whole way, no walking, and never felt like I was about to die. It also helped that my mom set the pace, so we went a bit slower than I would have on my own; almost certainly why I never felt like I was about to die. We ran it in 35 minutes, approximately, cooled down, turned in our chips, and went home to sleep. But still, fun! I doubt I'll run much if at all this winter, but once spring comes around I'll start up again. I'd like to run a few 5k races each year, and I think that's about it. Maybe eventually work up to a 10k, but who knows. But yes! Completed the race!

Ah, what else? Gave my friend his Redskins scarf, he loved it. Another friend has since also asked for a Redskins scarf, so I'll add that to my queue. But first, finishing my scarf. Which I might not even be able to wear, because me and animal fiber don't get along.

Still applying to jobs. Just got a call back from one, though it was while I was work and therefore couldn't answer. Called back and left a message, hopefully we'll connect soon. A lot of what I'm currently looking at is advocacy and campaign stuff. I don't particularly relish the idea of campaigning through the winter, but alot of these positions have the option of upwards movement. And outreach/advocacy/education is where I want to be headed, so as long as the pay is comparable, why not?

Ooh! I won a prize! Filled out a "Best Of..." survey by the Gazette, and won a Visa gift card! Most of it will go into savings, but I want to buy some panniers for my bike, and some hiking boots. All the rest will be transferred over to my bank. But yay, money! And yay, things! I was already planning to buy those, but the purchases would have been way spread out. Now I get ALL THE THINGS!

Um. Saw Wreck-It Ralph, which was wonderful. Going out for tacos tonight. Gym+wine date on Friday. Possibly hanging with my friend Joe this week as well. Busy! And yes, I said gym+wine date. My friend Elle and I go to the gym for an hour or so, then back to my apartment, drink some wine, and gossip. Its great!

And that's it. More on fitness later, probably tomorrow. Ciao!
sparkfrost: (Boom!)
We stocked up on non-perishables, booze, and candles, filled several spare containers with water, pulled everything off our balcony, and hunkered down to sit through Sandy. We stepped out onto the balcony a few times to listen to the wind, and watched a shit ton of Doctor Who. And then I went to bed and slept through the worst of the storm. Lucky for us, DC was not hit as hard as expected. Some flooding, some trees down, some power outages. But not nearly what was called for, and not nearly as bad as the derecho storm over the summer. So! We've been checking out the damage that *did* occur, and I'm thinking of all my friends up the coast. All seem to be well, and I hope their power gets restored soon, and that NY and NJ recover quickly. That being said, watching the reports out of Ocean City, MD is a bit devastating. I love that pier, and I know those streets, and just this summer I met an older man (a WWII vet) who lived right on the Bay, and I'm hoping that his flood-proof house lived up to its name. So.

In other news, the 5k is coming up this Saturday. I don't feel at all prepared, but will have a run or two over the next few days and will hopefully make it through the race without dying. And then that Sunday is another Redskins home game, at which I will give my friend Chris the scarf!

I got to see some family this past weekend- both sisters were in town, as well as my brother in law and the babies. Who can't really be called babies any longer, as they're running around like little mad things. I gave them some carved wooden toys I picked up at the Fenton Street Market, and that seemed to move me past their distrust of me. I'll see Ed and the twins again this week, and Serena at the end of the week. Clarissa I'll see again at Christmas.

And that's about it! I did start on another project- it was supposed to be the first project from the Sticks & Chicks Guide to Knitting, but my local yarn shop did not have lace-weight metallic yarn. So I decided to just make a scarf for myself, with tassels, and then I'll try project two. I might not go to LYS for Project 2- it calls for novelty yarn, so I might just buy a fun acrylic from Michaels or AC Moore. We'll see!
sparkfrost: (Boom Di Ya Da)
Palmer and I decided to be active members of society (rather than couch-dwelling hermits as is the norm) and went out to Sugarloaf Mountain in Dickerson, MD. Technically right within the bounds of Montgomery County, Sugarloaf is a popular destination for the DC area because its the only place that is actually somewhat mountain-like. And since it was a beautiful fall day and all the leaves have been changing colors, EVERY SINGLE CITIZEN of Montgomery County was at the mountain on Saturday. There was a line to park. There was a line on the trail. There was a line to exit. Lots of people.

It actually wasn't that bad- once we got off of the Orange Trail (that goes straight UP to the summit) and started hiking around the mountain, there were a lot less people. It seems that most people want to climb up, take pictures, and climb down. Boring! So we walked around the mountain (though not the big loop, the little one) and took pictures that I later Instagram'd, and had inappropriate conversations in between groups of hikers. After we left the mountain, we stopped at Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard, and bought some local wines. Place was packed, lots of drunk people pretending that their day drinking was sophisticated cause it was wine, and a long line for the sales counter. But we eventually got wine and got out. Got some cheese and grapes to eat with it, and felt very hedonistic that evening.

Sunday was lazy, watched the football game, had dinner with Palmer's family.

Monday I completed my 2nd knitting project, the Redskins scarf! LOOK! )

I've already bought yarn for another project, but that is a post for another day. For now, I'm tired, and there is a beer calling my name. Ciao!
sparkfrost: (Glinda Cocktail)
In keeping with my New Years resolution to do more crafting, I've finally completed Project Jewelry Display! You can read a detailed post on it here, but if you just want to see the result and not read about the process, a picture is under the cut.

Crafty! )

Anyhow, life proceeds apace. The job hunt continues, as do my pathetic attempts at networking. Seriously, how do people do this all the time? I'm a people person (I've worked in food service for years without killing anybody, that qualifies me) and yet attempting to network turns me into an awkward insecure mess. Blargh. I think it stems from my general unwillingness to ask for/need help, and thus I work against my own best interests. I need to try to fix that. Probably by just sucking it up and networking more. Gah.

Our balcony garden is doing well. The basil has doubled in height, the pepper plant has gotten super tall, and the tomato plant has four, count them FOUR blossoms! Hurray! I know it may all come to naught- we don't get a huge amount of direct sunlight, but we do get a lot of reflected light, so hopefully the tomato will pull through and fruit for us.

Possibly going to see the Avengers again tonight. I've fallen head first into Avengers fanfic, and I really would like to watch the movie again. I guess we'll see how we feel after dinner. It might just turn into, "Lets drink beer and watch the new Suits episode" so who knows, really.
sparkfrost: (Glinda Cocktail)
On Thursday I decided it would be a good idea to go on a 15.5 mile bike ride. Well. To be fair, I was biking to Bethesda, it was a beautiful day, I thought I'd go a bit farther. I didn't realize that I'd add almost 10 miles onto my trip, but hey. It was pretty awesome, actually. The ride down was super easy (once I passed Bethesda) and lovely. The ride back up to Bethesda was rough- I was definitely feeling it for a few miles. But once I passed River Road it was pretty easy, and I made it to my parents house 1 hour and 15 minutes after I'd left my apartment in Silver Spring.

I know 15.5 isn't a huge distance for avid cyclists, but it is the longest ride I've ever done. Yeah, yeah, I know. Whatever. Next goal is to do the entire Capital Crescent Trail, from Silver Spring down to Georgetown, then back up to Bethesda. That'll be something like 22.5 miles, and difficult coming back from Georgetown, as that's the steep part. But! Once I manage that, I plan on increasing the distance. Possibly Great Falls, MD, or possibly just doing the Capital Crescent/Rock Creek Park loop. Biking will be done!

I moved one step ahead in the "make a jewelry holder" project. I saw how-to online that was quite similar to what I want to do, with minor differences. So I took that project's suggestions of using cup screws and eyes screws for the necklaces and earrings respectively. This week I believe I'll buy the backing paper I want from Paper Source. It won't be until next week that I'll actually cut it, just because of school. Then cutting, then gluing, then screwing, et voila! I will take pictures and post once the project is complete.

[personal profile] lillbet came over today for some stitching and bitching. Have always wanted to say that. But yes, she came over bearing tea and (delicious) cookies, and we spent a few enjoyable hours talking and knitting. It was a lot of fun, and helped motivate me to actually knit, and not just think about it. :-P Definitely want to do it again. [personal profile] lillbet also suggested that I turn Palmer's and my new experimentation with boxed wine into a Tumblr. We've begun trying different boxed wines because they are apparently the next big thing in the wine world. Actual legitimate wineries are selling their wares in bladders nested within cardboard boxes, and the trend is growing. It could be fun to do some reviews, see where it goes.

I bought flats! I needed shoes to wear with jeans that aren't sneakers, so I bought some Rocket Dog flats from DSW. Two pairs, fairly similar, differing in the color and the detail over the toe. Wore one pair all of today, and it wasn't until the end of the day that my feet started protesting, so I'll count those as a win!

Off to bed shortly, as I work first thing. Ta!
sparkfrost: (Glinda Cocktail)
I bought a book! It is the Chicks with Sticks Guide to Knitting which is a getting-started book for knitting. It takes you through simple projects to more complicated ones (ending with sweaters, omg) but teaches you new techniques with each one. It seems interesting! I still have to finish my friend Chris' Redskins scarf, but then I plan on getting started! Of course, the first project is another scarf, but I'll make this one for me! Thick, chunky yarn in a vibrant color, rock!

I bought a second book! The Urban Biking Handbook which talks about gear and safety for urban biking, but also a bunch of how-to maintenance for your bike. I'd like to be able to tinker with my bike a bit more, so it seemed like a good purchase. And now I want to go bike touring. Not a crazy long trip, but out to the Delaware beaches maybe. (Or maybe just to Sandy Point)

After procrastinating for much of last week, I freaked out and did two papers in two days, including one 10 page paper in 4 hours. Because I'm crazy like that. This week should be a little easier, as I don't have 5 things due on the same day. But I do have to start working on two projects that are due in the next 3 weeks, so that'll be good times. Yup.

Palmer and I were super social this weekend! On Friday we went out to Adams Morgan to celebrate my friend Duante's birthday. I don't really... go clubbing at all, so I was super nervous about going to District, but it turned out to be a lot of fun. There was a big group of his friends there, and everyone was dancing and having a good time, and I ended up dancing for something like 5 hours straight. It was intense! Also, I have discovered that I shouldn't sing when dancing, because if someone snaps a picture of me doing so, I look like an idiot. Sigh. But still, super fun! And then we had Jumbo Slice. I really felt like a DC cliche on Friday, let me tell you.

Saturday after the freak out and the paper writing, we met up with our friends Stuart and Kim for dinner and a movie. Dinner was at Lebanese Taverna, which was delicious. We had drinks at Fire Station, which I don't think any of us will be going back to. It just wasn't that great, and it was super noisy and not in a good way. Then we went and saw Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, which was phenomenal. Palmer wasn't a huge fan, but I loved it. Gary Oldman was amazing, and Benedict Cumberbatch is my favorite, seriously. Colin Firth and Mark Strong were wonderful as always, and good lord Tom Hardy is an attractive and talented man. But yes, quite liked it, and I may have to start reading some Peter le Carre novels. I do love me a spy thriller!

Sunday I did more studying, then we went out to dinner with Palmer's mom and brother. We went to a Greek place out in Rockville, which served the largest portions ever. Like, I ordered a sampler which had a bunch of stuff like moussaka and spanakopita, and each "sample" was like a full sized serving! I did not finish it all, needless to say. I have leftovers that I will enjoy for lunch today! Palmer and I also got to meet his mom's new kitten, Cami. So tiny! So rambunctious!

Cut for discussion of weight )

That's about it! Going to do some more studying here at the apartment, then snag some lunch, then bike to Bethesda, do some studying there, and collect the car so I can get to work tomorrow. Tonight we're being social again, going out to Quarry House for Taco Tuesday. I am excite!
sparkfrost: (Adulthood)
I spent all last week working really hard on schoolwork, and I did manage to get it all done by the various due dates. But that means that this week I'm feeling super lazy and unmotivated, and all I want to do is surf the internet and watch Doctor Who. I'm on to Season 3, by the way, and I do like Martha quite a bit. I just... wish they'd written her as less love-struck right off the bat. I really liked how they wrote Rose and the Doctor's building friendship and trust, and it just seems that Martha wanted to jump on in and felt like she deserved all his trust at once... whatevs. I still like her, just wish they'd let her and the Doctor build their friendship more organically. I'm about halfway through that season, so anything up until that point is fair game to discuss. But no spoilers please! Or rather, no specific spoilers, I already know quite a bit just by having ya'll as friends :)

Knitting is proceeding apace. After a week of barely any progress due to crazy school demands, I added on about 8 inches last night. I also started in on the stripey bit, and I think the finished product is going to look really cool. I created a "project" for it in Ravelry, thought I've not yet added any pictures. Soon, my dears. Soon.

I may or may not have spent much of Tuesday on craft blogs, bookmarking projects to get started on after Christmas. The first two are the ones I need most, a jewelry case made out of a silverware tray, and an earring holder made from an old picture frame. I showed the second one to Palmer, and he said it looked awesome, and would look really cool hung up on the wall. So yay! I also thoroughly cleaned and organized our bedroom, including sorting through my various necklaces and such. I didn't get rid of a huge amount, but I did cull some older pieces that I don't wear any longer. I also broke apart some pieces that I didn't want to wear, but whose pendants (or charms, or whatever) I wanted to keep.

I've gotten into nail art recently. For those who follow me on Facebook, you've seen my early attempts. I'm going to keep it fairly simple for a while, just practice lines and keeping my non-dominant hand steady. But once I get good at that, just you wait! Awesomeness will occur!

I had the shittiest day yesterday, and I don't really want to talk about it because I already cried all over Palmer. But because he is the best boyfriend, he hugged me and then took me out for sushi and sake, and made me laugh. I love that man. I also really love sushi. How so tasty, raw fish?

That's about it! Gotta go do stat homework, then clean the apartment, then get the car so I can get to work tomorrow morning. THEN there will be knitting and Doctor Who!
sparkfrost: (Just Coffee)
I had another expedition to the yarn store this weekend. I had originally bought two skeins of that lovely baby alpaca yarn, but after getting through them the scarf was still not long enough. So my friend Gerti and I went back out to Woolwinders in Rockville to get me some more skeins and to then hang out and knit. Well. I guess I wasn't the only one drawn to that yarn, because it was sold out. I spoke to the woman who owns the store, and she is special ordering two more skeins for me, but still, that was disappointing. So I ended up starting early on my friend Chris' Redskins scarf. I bought 4 skeins, two of a rusty red, one cream, and one yellow. Stripes will happen! And tassels! Gerti suggested that I try doing a ribbed scarf, and taught me the purl stitch. However, 3 inches in and the stitch wasn't looking that great with the cotton yarn. So I've pulled it apart and am just doing a garter stitch for this project. When I start on the fingerless gloves I'll give purling another try, but I'll probably also get a thicker yarn to do it in.

So after the yarn store we walked over to Mayorga, a local coffee chain, to drink coffee and knit for a while. I ordered my new favorite drink, a dirty soy chai. I know, it kinda makes me an obnoxious coffee drinker, but here are my justifications: 1)Lactose intolerant, must drink soy. 2)Love chai. 3)Chai is not caffeinated enough to prevent me from getting headaches. 4)Kind of hate how espresso and soy taste together, with a few exceptions. So! It makes the most sense for me to get a soy chai, and have them throw a shot in there. Tasty and prevents caffeine headaches! Rock on! Except for on Saturday, because the barista gave me cows milk. The chai and the espresso masked the taste, so I didn't realize anything was wrong until about halfway through. Which means I drank 8 oz of cows milk. I don't know how many of you are lactose intolerant, but in case you didn't know, digesting dairy products without the aid of an enzyme pill like Lactaid is incredibly painful. I was in a severe amount of pain and discomfort for the next 4 hours, alternating with bouts of nausea so bad I *wished* I were throwing up rather than feeling this. It ruined our plans for Saturday evening, and I felt like shit until I finally was able to go to sleep around midnight.

Look. I'm a barista, I get that sometimes mistakes happen. But I have NEVER made a mistake that could hurt someone. When a person orders soy, I don't assume they're doing it to be trendy, I assume they are either lactose intolerant or have a milk allergy. And I ask! Because if it is intolerance, I just need to rinse out a pitcher. If its an allergy, I need to sanitize a pitcher, or grab one that hasn't yet been used. I don't fuck around with something that can hurt people! And I'm really pissed that this barista either didn't write down that I ordered (and paid for) soy, or didn't care. I've submitted a complaint to the company, though I doubt anything will come of it. And I won't be going back to that coffee shop. Frankly, I'm not really in a place where I'm trusting anyone but me to make my own drink, because I don't want to be poisoned again. Soy. Not an unreasonable request!

Anyhow! This took longer than I though, and I have homework to do. So. Off to work on my final exam, and finish up my term project powerpoint. Til later!

Also- it might make me a hipster, but I am clearly using this icon ironically. SO ANGRY! WILL NOT BE CALM!
sparkfrost: (Boom di yah dah)
So, I believe that several weeks ago I mentioned that Palmer and I were working on a hutch for our television, constructing it out of two bookcases. I believe I also said that I was worried that this hutch would become the new Dresser of DOOM! in that it would take us far longer to complete it than necessary. Well. I was right, kinda. To be fair, neither of us are all that experienced at woodworking (despite several required Tech Ed courses in high school) and on top of that, we were working with less familiar material (composite wood). It took us a while to figure out what, exactly, we needed in order to attach these pieces of wood together, what drill bits were necessary, and when we would have the time to work on this project.

All of this meant that over the past month we've multiple trips to the hardware store (the Strosneiders people now recognize me, its eerie), double and triple checked our supplies, and had unassembled bookshelves taking up space in our living room.

However! Whilst trolling Craigslist furniture listings, I discovered that someone in our area was selling an Ikea sectional (lightly used) for $500 less than the original price. We wanted a sectional, we didn't want to spend $900, we had liked this specific style of sectional when we visited Ikea, clearly we had to get it. That meant, of course, that we had to finish the project first, so that we could fit our shiny (almost) new couch in the apartment!

Well. After much Sturm und Drang, and one improperly measured and drilled hole, we have constructed the bookcase/tv hutch!

Learn How! )

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Roulette Girl

May 2016

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