Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ten on Tuesday - 5/31/2011 - Salad Mix

This week, Carole asks what us to tell Ten Things to Put in a Salad.  I lurve me a good salad.  I especially like Greek salads, being Greek and all...

I will eat all kinds of other salads though, but here are my usual Ten Things to Put in a Salad:
1. Lettuce - Iceberg is best for Greek salads, but spring mix will work.
2. Tomatoes - I sure like homegrown tomatoes, but they are not always available...especially if one doesn't plant any...
3. Cucumbers - In my salad, they should be chunky cut.
4. Onions - I like the red ones the best.
5. Celery - Can't have too much crunch, as far as I am concerned.
6. Feta cheese - Love the stuff...
7. Kalamata olives - I prefer the pitted ones, but the ones with pits will do.
8. Olive oil  - It does not have to be EVOO.
9. Vinegar - anything from plain white to red wine vinegar to balsamic...
10. Salt and pepper.

There you have it.

MK out.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Movie Monday - 5/30/2011

...and it's Memorial Day.  Hope yours is going well.

Katie Jarvis' real life is not too different from Mia's, the girl she plays in Fish Tank.  Michael Fassbender and Kierston Wareing also star in this film about a rebellious teenager who goes up against her mother for the affections of a man.  It was an interesting study of life in the British projects.  It was alright.

I've been hearing about the book, Water for Elephants, for several years.  I don't know why, but the title wasn't very appealing to me.  Since time is a premium resource, I skipped over it until recently.  When it was announced that the film was coming out, I knew I would have to read the book.  I finally did earlier this month.  It is a good story, about a vet student who finds out that his parents are killed in a car accident, is left with nothing, and decides to leave all he has known to to find some sort of job.  He ends up on a circus train, falls in love with a married woman and starts tending to the animals.  The film is an adequate adaptation of the novel.  I liked it.

I've watched Season 1 of The United States of Tara - Showtime's look at life with a family member with Dissociative Identity Disorder - formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder.  It is quite entertaining, if I do say so myself.

Don't eat too many hot dogs...

MK out.

Friday, May 27, 2011

FO Friday - 5/27/2011

I've said it before...At Chez Merry Karma, there always seems to be way more knitting going on than finishing...

To distract you, here is an old FO.  I made this shrug out of Cascade 220 wool to wear to STARS games, since it is a little chilly in the building that has a sheet of ice on the floor.  To top it off, they keep the air-conditioning going like gang-busters...

I bought the yarn at the Woolie Ewe, and Jill engineered the pattern for me.

I did finish a washcloth out of Louet Euroflax Sport Weight. I was going to use another pattern from the Knitter's Stash book called the Seed Stitch Stripe Washcloth, but I wasn't feeling the love. I liked the concept of alternating ribbing with another stitch pattern; so, I settled on garter stitch. I suppose it could be called Rib and Garter Stripe Washcloth...

It now completes the set:

Will I ever use this yarn again?...Don't know.  Although it softens quite a bit after washing, it really was hard on my hands.  I've mentioned before that I've heard that they have made it softer to begin with, but I don't know about that first hand.

MK out.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Wild and Exciting Night That Ended With a Dilemma...

Don't the guys look relaxed before the game?  And this is after being down by 15 points with about five minutes to go, making a run and forcing overtime, before winning the game on Monday night in OKC.

It was quite the defensive game all night.  There were missed shots, bad calls, good plays, wonderful stops, big baskets - and the Mavericks were down most of the game, but always within easy making-a-run-to-capture-the-lead distance.  They were down by five around the five minute mark, when they started their move.  At 1:14, they took the lead and took it all the way to the buzzer...Go Mavs!

The Dallas Mavericks are the 2011 NBA Western Conference Champions!

Everybody had fun!

So, during all this watching of the basketball game, I was knitting.  I knitted away happily and it is looking less and less likely that I will have enough yarn to have a decent cuff - let alone the 5-6 inch cuff that I prefer.

Oy vey!

MK out.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

WIP Wednesday - 5/25/2011

It's Wednesday again...cannot believe how fast the weeks just fly by.

There is no news on the knitting front.  I have been working on the same two projects this past week.

Elphaba is coming right along.  I've inserted some horizontal bust darts and am now knitting my way down to the waist shaping:

The Dimpled Socks have progressed a little...I've done the gusset increases and am ready to turn the heel:

I hope I have enough yarn to get a decent cuff length...

MK out.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Ten on Tuesday - 5/24/2011

Carole's topic this week is Ten Favorite Mail Order Catalogues

Back in the day, when I was a bachelorette and then young married person, I ordered consistently from the following:
1. Chadwick's
2. Isabella Bird
3. Knights Ltd.
4. Lillian Vernon
5. The Speigel Catalogue

The UPS man actually asked me once why I would order all that stuff, just to send it back.  (The nerve...)  Didn't he know that if something didn't fit, a person shouldn't keep it?  And that extra step of waiting when having to send something back and having a different size sent is the main reason I don't shop for clothes through the mail much anymore...

These days, although I don't really shop for clothes much through mail order, I  like these catalogues to see what's in the stores and if it is worth it to go:
6.  Chico's
7.  Coldwater Creek

Finally, even though I have several wonderful LYSs fairly close, and the world wide web is endless, I love to receive these catalogues to hold in my hand, turn the pages, and add things to my wishlist:
8.  Knitpicks
9.  Patternworks
10.  WEBS

That's it...that's the list!

MK out.

(Note:  Picture is totally unrelated to subject matter...just so you know.)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Movie Monday - 5/23/2011

I'm back this week with another mixed bag of films to discuss:

All the usual actors play the same characters we’ve come to know and love in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1. The adventure is coming to a close with this first part of the last book of the popular series written by JK Rowling. As the story unfolds, it gets darker and darker, and this installment was fairly dark. Harry and the gang are on a quest to find the pieces of Voldemort’s soul that he has hidden in different objects across the globe. They must destroy them all to prevent the big V from becoming immortal. It was very good. I cannot wait for Part 2.

Adventureland, with Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Kristen Wiig, Wendie Malick, Ryan Reynolds and more, is about a recent college graduate (Eisenberg) whose parents cannot afford to send him on his dream trip to Europe. Instead, he starts working at this sad amusement park and gears up to have the worst summer of his life, until he meets a coworker (Stewart) who livens things up for him. It was not bad.

Tortilla Heaven is a dumb movie set in a small town in New Mexico, where the face of Jesus is burned into a tortilla, and soon, pilgrims from all over flood the place to see the miracle. There were some funny parts, but this film was pretty silly and only good for a stormy day when you’d rather not leave the house and there is nothing else better to do. Jose Zuniga, Miguel Sandoval, George Lopez and Olivia Hussey (where has she been?) starred in it.

In The Back Up Plan, Jennifer Lopez plays a woman who wants to find a nice man, settle down and start a family. When that doesn’t happen quickly enough for her liking, she decides to get artificially inseminated and become a single mother. So she does and on that very day, she meets the man who could be of her dreams, played by Alex O’Loughlin (who plays Steve McGarrett on the new Hawaii Five-O and is a hottie deluxe). She doesn’t tell him she’s pregnant right away, but when she does, he is game to go for it. All sorts of predictable mayhem ensues, but in the end, it’s a cute, little chick flick.

Gulliver’s Travels is a silly, modernized adaptation of Jonathan Swift’s classic. It stars Jack Black as Gulliver (of course), Emily Blunt, Jason Segel, Amanda Peet and Chris O’Dowd. It is kinda slapstick, funny in parts and definitely a renter, but one worth seeing.

Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph star Bridesmaids, about two good friends – one who is getting married (Rudolph) and one whose life is really sucky (Wiig) but who agrees to take on the role of maid of honor and all that goes with it. My friend Jules calls it “An SNL skit gone bad.” It was very crude in parts - very crude - but there were some laugh out loud funny scenes. Other bridesmaids were played by Rose Byrne, Melissa McCarthy, Wendi McClendon-Covey and Ellie Kemper. When the bride’s wanna-be new best friend starts throwing her expensive tastes and ideas around and goes over-the-top with wedding events, the relationship between the two long-time friends is tested. I thought it was alright – very predictable and funny...

MK out.

Friday, May 20, 2011

FO Friday - 5/20/2011

It's Friday, and I have things to show for it...

Yesterday, I took the FnF Scarf (measuring about 8" X 37" in it's preblocked state):

and blocked it.

It measures 11" X 44.5" and it turned into a Shawlette:

I love it!

I used a Brooks Farm Yarn that is not in production, size 6 needles and the Feather-n-Fan pattern.

I also finished my April socks last weekend:

They are Skew, made with Lucy Neatby's Celestial Merino, size 0US needles.  It was an interesting pattern to knit.  The socks don't go over the ankles and heels very easily.  Maybe, next time I will upsize the needles.  I like them though.

MK out.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

WIP Wednesday - 5/18/2011

I have the finished picture of this project that I took today, but my camera died before I could upload it to the computer; so, y'all are stuck with the same old shot you've seen before...I finished the knitting of this Feather-n-Fan scarf at the end of April.  It was the only thing I finished in April.  I am counting it as a WIP because it still needs to be blocked - and I am not sure what it is going to be...

It is too short to be a scarf.  It may grow up to be a shawlette or something like that.  Stay tuned...

Last night, we went to Game 1 of the NBA Western Conference Finals...Awesome game! 

I worked on my May socks.  They are almost to the heel. Yay!

Finally, see that yarn wrapped around the ball?  I frogged back about 2 inches on this top when I noticed a couple of wonky stitches right in the middle of center front.  I tried to fix them before I frogged, but it was not pretty.  Elphaba must be perfect...

I really like working with the TML.  I heart the color.  I heart the way if feels in my hands and I heart the fabric it makes.  It's definitely a happy project.

MK out.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Ten on Tuesday - 5/17/2011

This week, Carole asked us to name ten things we liked to do outside.  I know, I know...I am the Queen of Unnatural Things...I am not very granola and I am such a princess and I like to smell and look pretty all the time...My Ten Favorite Things to Do Outside:

1.  Lay out in the sun - I don't do it very much anymore...I mostly spend good amounts of money trying to undo the damage done in my sun worshipping days.  I still like the feel of the warm sun on my body though...Just wish it wasn't so dangerous.
2.  Ride a bike - Again, haven't done it in a while, but I remember the wonderful way it felt to coast on the Seawall with the sun and wind on my face...good times.
3.  Take a walk - I like taking power walks as well as slower, more reflective, just breathing and walking walks.
4.  Cook - I love to grill, although The Kid has been doing a lot of that around here lately, but he's growing up and not around as much...
5.  Eat - in my backyard, in your backyard, at a pic nic, at the beach, at a restaurant on the side of a mountain or overlooking the ocean...just not in Texas in the middle of the summer...
6.  Host or attend a party - The Kid had several outside birthday parties in his day...a costume party when he turned two, a party at his preschool where the kids had the run of the playground equipment when he turned three, a Lion King party when he turned four in which I turned the backyard into Pride Rock...We've had adult parties, too - a block party in our cul de saq, a Cajun couples shower for some friends who were getting married - the list goes on....
7.  Read or Knit- preferably under a tree, with or without people around.
8.  Cruise The Seawall with my friends, with the top down - or sunroof open or all the windows down and the radio turned up...singing at the tops of our lungs.  (I haven't done that in many, many moons...)
9.  Enjoy the sunset - standing on a deck or in the street or at a restaurant or a party outside or on a boat...
10. Garden - I never thought I'd ever list gardening as a favorite anything...but I do enjoy sitting outside or strolling from bed to bed and enjoying the pretty flowers that I put in the ground.

Thanks Carole, for another good topic.

MK out.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Movie Monday - 5/16/2011

OMG...I am still a little woozy from watching all that tee vee last week.  Can you believe, I haven't watched all the video I taped from the Royal Wedding yet?!?  Believe it...

I did watch two movies on DVD though:

The Next Three Days is implausible from second one.  A man (Russell Crow) plots to break his wife (Elizabeth Banks) out of prison for a murder that she swears she didn't commit, but for which she is convicted.  Liam Neeson also stars in this train wreck of a thriller.  Yuck.

Angelina Jolie stars in Salt, about a CIA operative who is accused of being a Russian spy by a guy who defects from the Soviet Union.  Liev Schreiber and Chiwetel Ejiofor also star. As the plot thickens, you are no closer to solving the mystery...It was pretty good.

That's it for this week...

MK out.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

There's a New Game in Town...

...and it's called Clear the DVR.

Between the time my momma first went into the hospital and Saturday, when we returned home after the funeral, all my shows recorded in those two weeks as scheduled.  The DVR had only about 4% free recording space left.  Other than a hair appointment and a lunch date with a friend, I didn't really need to leave the house. I thought I would just sit on the couch, watch my shows and eat bon bons all week.  Between Monday and tonight, I watched:

2 episodes of Mike & Molly
2 episodes of Ruby
2 episodes of The Judds
2 episodes of The Real Housewives of New York City
3 episodes of Bethenny Ever After
3 episodes of Brothers and Sisters
3 episodes of Desperate Housewives
3 episodes of Glee
3 episodes of Grey's Anatomy
The DVR has lots of space now...like 46% free!
There were season finales involved...but some shows haven't ended for the season yet:  What's going to happen to Susan?  Will the Gleeks win Nationals?  Will Meredith's actions mess up the clinical trial?  Will Jill and Alex really become friends?
Stay tuned.
MK out.
[This post was written Thursday night 5/12 - but I wasn't able to go back in and make final revisions and publish it until 5/13 due to issues that blogger was experiencing.]

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

WIP Wednesday - 5/11/2011

Elizabeth Zimmerman's Knit on through all crises is my motto these days...

I have some new projects on the needles.  The Madelinetosh Lovers forum on Ravelry is hosting Mad May this month, where people knit things using Madelinetosh yarns. There are all kinds of KALs and general clothing item categories.  There will be prizes, but for me, the fun part is just seeing the colors and bases people are using for their projects.  I am participating in the Elphaba KAL.  One of the group members is an accomplished designer (Mary Anarella) and I just love her designs.  She designed this pullover, named after The Wicked Witch of the West in Wicked and The Wizard of Oz.  (We never find out her given name in TWoO.)  I am using Tosh Merino Light in Tart, cause I can be kind of tarty.

The picture doesn't do the yarn or the pattern justice at this point.  I started the project in the car on the way to the Mavs game the other day.  I have knitted about 8 rows since that day - I got a lot done at the game, didn't I?  It was keeping me from getting too nervous.

I also have an entry in the General Sock category - Dimpled Socks, a Madelinetosh pattern, using Tosh Sock in Robin's Egg.  I had a bunch left over from a test knit I did for her, probably enough for a pair of socks, but I am knitting them toe-up.  I'd rather have a shorter cuff, than knit them top-down and run out of yarn before I got to the toes. I may like fingerless gloves and mitts, but not a fan of the toeless socks... I am using my new Kollage size 1US circulars.  I like the feel of knitting with them, but the joins are not smooth enough to my liking.

MK out.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Movie Monday - 5/9/2011...and more

I cannot lie - the last two weeks at Chez Merry Karma have been really tough, and movie watching was not a priority. I watched a movie earlier today to have something about which to write:

Taking Woodstock is about how Elliot Tiber (played by Demetri Martin) saved his family's hotel in the Catskills by helping one of the greatest events in American culture take place.  Imelda Staunton, Eugene Levy, Emile Hirsch, Paul Dano, Liev Schreiber and Jeffrey Dean Morgan also star in this entertaining film that captured the times.  I wish the music from the concert was featured more prominently, but this story was not about concert, but a little about how it came to be.  It was good.

Movie Monday should start getting back to normal now...

And then there's the Dallas Mavericks...

Last night, they beat the Los Angeles Lakers 122 to 86, sweeping them in the series and advancing to the Western Conference Finals.  They will play the winner of the Memphis Grizzlies v. Oklahoma City Thunder match up.  Much has been written and said about how it came that the Mavericks won the first and third games in the series - specifically that it was because the Lakers collapsed, not that the Mavericks played well enough to win.  In the first three games, the teams were close in points.  The Mavs won by 2, 12 and 6 points, respectively.  Last night, the Mavs led the Lakers 63-39 at the half - That's a 24 point lead, people, and they ended up winning by 36 points.

The Mavericks made a record-tying twenty 3-point shots during the game, with Jason Terry and Peja Stojacovic making fifteen of them.

The Mavericks bench scored 86 points last night - the exact number of total points that the Lakers scored.  Every Mavs player contributed to the point total. For the Lakers, Kobe Bryant scored thirteen points in the first quarter with a total of seventeen points for the game.


MK out.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

                                              My Momma
                               December 23, 1923 - May 3, 2011

MK out.

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Balcony is Closed Today

Chez Merry Karma is experiencing a family medical crisis. I have not been able to watch a movie since the last Movie Monday post. Please be patient. I will start blogging again as soon as possible.

MK out.