Thursday, August 30, 2007

Not to give you any ideas, but it *is* about hot tea, right?

The _______ Hotel is one of ________’s most distinctive and beautiful landmarks. Built in 1908 at the height of British influence in ______, the _______ is a fine example of late Victorian colonial architecture, and has been carefully restored to its full grandeur. Walk through the lobbies and main halls to admire the lofty and intricately carved mahogany ceilings. Many of the hotel’s original fixtures are still present, including 12 massive and ornate chandeliers.

For many visitors the _______ is synonymous with afternoon tea. The chef has taken the British tradition of tea time and raised it to an art form that is enjoyed by over 100,000 people each year. Tea includes small sandwiches of smoked salmon and cream cheese, carrot and ginger, egg salad and cucumber; then on to fresh scones, homemade preserves and thick jersey cream. A selection of fresh pastries rounds out the meal. All are of course accompanied by _______ blend tea, served in Royal Doultan china. Past diners have included Queen Elizabeth II, Harrison Ford, Barbara Striesand, and John Travolta, to name just a few. Dress is "smart casual" with no torn jeans, short shorts, or jogging suits.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Max and Anna

Max and Anna
Originally uploaded by queenmaxine
This is a transparency print of a photo my dad took of his parents about 50 years ago. The transparency is coated in ModPodge then painted on the reverse side with acrylics. The top side can also be further embellished for a highlighting effect, but I ran out of time for that. I used a Japanese paper for the background.



I dropped Will off at school and went to the Lawndale to pick up our tins for this year's Dia de las Muertos. The tins are gone. This is tragedy part one.

I found great consolation in a small serving of Brownie Supreme ice cream from the Chocolate Bar.

I felt so much better after my ice cream, yes, it was *that* good, that I decided to go visit my painting at Cafe Artiste. It's GONE. Tragedy, part two.

Someone is very lucky as the price dropped from 800 clams to 600, and the y own a very lovely piece of art.

Okay, I am over it.

The worker bee at the Lawndale did say it was okay to reuse tins from previous years, so I think we will be in business, and we are alsoo on the waiting list should they decide to get more tins as they did last year. I am going to do another of my father's pictures similar to last year's entry which I will post in a minute. my tin sold last year, so I am going with that general themGFB has one I did in memory of her cat Spooky, but I know I have at least two that can be recycled. If Will is lucky, three. I was shocked they were gone as I thought I was going early this year to pick them up. The worker bee said he doesn't remember them ever going so fast.

Will had his first class last night and they were let out after just an hour. Today he is due to be out at 5, so I will post in case they are let out early and he calls. More later, maybe.

Monday, August 27, 2007

The line is long...

Have you heard about that little knitterly thing called Ravelry? I jumped in line on July 22. I am #19479 on the list. There are now more people behind me in line than there are ahead of me in line which is somehow comforting, but there are still eight thousand, nine hundred seventeen people in front of me in line.

The thing about it is, I am ot even sure it is something I will fully embrace once I am at the head of the line. But I think the resulting database will be worth the wait.

The picture is still a wee bit foggy.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

August: the month of sports

Earlier this month, we went to see the Comets play at the Toyota Center. That was a first for me. The game was pretty good, they have hot cheerleaders, and the tims went by rather quickly because I was knitting. I think for basketball, it goes by quickly anyway.

We had an opportunity to see the Texans play the following day, but it was a preseason game and eb suggested we pass, so I still haven't been to a Texans game, but that isn't something you will see me crying over.

The day after that was the Astro's Stitch & Pitch game. I have been to a few Astro's game and I can actually follow baseball, so the knitting was a bonus, and we sat with the knitters. William went, and we had a ticket for Thomas as well, but he had forgotten and got tickets to go with his girlfriend, so I offered our extra ticket to Berrylicious(that's good friend Irene). We went and had a good time at the game. It was the celebration of Biggio's 3,000th hit, and there was a sell-out crowd. Craig Biggio has played his entire 20 year carreer with the Astro's, and he is the first Astro to join the 3,000 club, the 27th in baseball history, and at the time, was at 3,029, which ranked him number 20. That I know that much about baseball is too taxing on my brain on this lovely Sunday morning.

Yesterday, I went with my good friend Edna to see her son's first game at Blinn College. It was a football game, of course, the first I have ever been to. I know almost nothing about the game and couldn't follow for shit. Thankfully, Alexander is in the band, not on the field. I think his mother would have been having a heart attack if he were actually playing. I learned early enoughon that when the man in front of me got up, totally decked out in his Blinn Bucanner's paraphenalia, and raised his right hand with his pointer finger bent and shaped like a hook shouting "AAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrgghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...", well, that was a good thing and we could cheer. He was definitely the unofficial (or maybe official) section leader.

Blinn College is about an hour from Houston. When we got there, we could park relatively close and did not have terribly far to walk. Then we hit the bleachers. It was 3 in the afternoon. Clear sunny sky. tells me the high was "96, feels like 106"....and yes I can vouch for the feels like 106 degrees part. We left Houston and it had been pouring, so I was half expecting to get to Brenham and have the game cancelled. I didn't have a single thought about being out in the hot sun in August. at 3pm. hey, sunscreen might be a good idea. Nope, none of those thoughts.

The bleacher seats were metal, my hoo hoo thought it was getting a spa treatment. Naturally, we got there about halfway through the first quarter and the bleachers were pretty packed. there were a few seats by the band, goodie, and near enough that Edna could talk to her son, oh, only about 27 rows up, and please, uunderstand this is a serious concern for uncoordinated bad ankle and currently bad knee me, no hand railing on the stairs!! We got up there easy enough, but seriously, I had no idea how I was going to get down. I considered oonching down on my but one stair at a time the best alternative.

Did I convey to you exactly how fucking hot it was? I sent a text message to eb who was on the road back from taking T to Syracuse. I think it said, "Omigod it's fucking hot here". It didn't occur to me that I had not told her what I was doing. She called me back and as I answered the phone, there was a big Argh going on (the section was in full swing by this point), and then we got cut off. EB called back a while later in the middle of the halftime show and I asked her if she could hear the band. Then I told her where I was and no that was not static on the line before.

The band had a break for most of the third quarter, so Alexander could sit and talk with us.

A: Hey, guys, thanks for coming.
E: Of course baby, I told you I will come when I can for the home games. You want some chips? (we had nachos}
A: Sure, I know better than to ever turn down real food now.
E: What did you have to eat earlier?
A: (holding up the basket) Nachos.
E: Omigod, Alexander, you need to eat, let me go get you something.

So Alexander and I watched the game while Edna hoofed it down the stairs for the second time to get her boy some food. She was back about ten minutes later with a hot dog with chili and cheese and a gatorade. He ate. He was content.

E: So baby, I think it is too hot for me and Maxine and we will go now if that is okay.
A: Aw mom, I hoped we would go get dinner and hang out a little.
E: But it is so hot.
A: Well, okay. I understand. But I just miss you.
E: Okay, we'll stay.

We sat about 10 more minutes and then Edna told Alexander we would go to Starbucks and he could call when he was done. Frankly, I was surprised that Brenham has a Starbucks. Can you say small college town? So we went to Starbucks for about an hour and then when Alexander was fone, we got him and went to Applebee's for dinner. Salty, but good.

A: Where do you want to go eat?
M: We're just visiting, you should already know where all the good places are.
A: (Not really sure if I was kidding or if he could be a smartass as we just really met) But I have only been here a week!

We left my house around 2 and I was home again at 9. It was all in all a nice diversion for a Saturday afternoon. Connor had the opportunity to join us, but at 2 he was still sleeping and elected to stay in bed. William had to work, so it was a nice getaway for me.

Other things I appreciated while at Blinn: the game was at Spencer Stadium. Pretty basic as small colleges go I imagine. If I had a child there, I would have to head up the hand railing on the bleacher stairs fund raising committee. Everytrime I looked down at the field, I was expecting to see a goalie. NOw I know that football has no goalie, but it is my experience with school sports to see hockey or soccer, so it was a goalie I expected to see. Other than knowing there is no goalie and there are four quarters, I might need a football for dummies primer.

The cheerleaders were in front of our section the entire game, and most of you rterading this and knowing me realize this might be a draw. Well, not so much. Certainly they were all cutr. but very much children. During half time, the pom pom girls did a routine. Of the chearleader types, the pom pom girls were definitely the a line while the regular cheerleaders the b line. Is this the norm?

Let us not forget the featured twirler. She was really pretty awesome. Constantly twirling a baton the entire game and during the half time show she was juggling three twirling batons. The girl has some talent. Really.

I was totally surprised this morning to look in the mirror and see no sunburn. Not even pink. As I was in the shower, there was a light knock on the door. EB is home!! I was up early because I was taking Will driving in to the bagel store. He was going to get up on the big bad freeway. I think eb in the card made him a little nervous. We turned the corner and were on the feeder road and he was a wee bit close to the right curb. I need a new rim, but Will learned how to change the tire. We are all okay, and maybe the freeway will be on the agenda next Sunday. After changing the tire in the mall parking lot, we opted to go to Panera Bread instead since we were right there. Will is a little freaked out by it all, but we parent folked remained rather calm and unfazed. I think he was expecting someone to go off and when neither of us did, he was a bit in shock. He can shake it off at work and we will be back on the horse soon enough.

Also, eb brought me a box from the beautiful people. There is an an appreciation award citing me as a proud sponsor of the V Word bracket tourney. It is an awesome original watercolor from Weese's MAW(tm). Thanks so much!! I will post a pic as soon as the camera is revitalized form eb's journey.

This post has gotten way too long to edit, so typos be damned. Nap time.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Out of sync

This is how I am when eb is away. It isn't really something that can be changed, I have come to accept that it just is. That doesn't mean I like it.

At work yesterday, all day long I just was out of sync. I think it is in part because I am still in a training mode. I asked for a to-do list, but eb did not get around to it before leaving. At the end of the work day I was able to label myself unable to think for myself as far as work as eb's assistant goes. I did get some things accomplished, but it was a series of trips the long way around the barn. The learning curve, is very steep still. Very. Steep.

So after work, I had to take Will to Strarbucks for his followup interview. They told him they would let him know something by Wednesday, but then they called him back last night. He will give Quizno's notice tomorrow and he will begin at the star next Wednesday. Woohoo.

We then went to the central HCC campus so we would know where the hell he was being dropped for class on Mon and Tues starting next week. I am comfortable navigating on some streets downtown, but it was a challenge locating the right places. The buildings for class, not really a problem. The bookstore? 6 or so times around the block. You'd think that the bookstore might say so on the side of the building in big letters. Umm, no. After the third time around the block, I knew what building it was for sure, but then traffic diverted me up a block or so, and I got a wee bit turned around. We had a full tank of gas and no other agenda, so Will finally was able to drop $145 on two text books. Woo.

Then, we headed to Cafe Artiste for some dinner and to just decompress, though admittedly, I was able to remain pretty chill and not too frustrated. We both had shrimp po-boys which were muy excellente. On the way out the door, I saw a painting that I absolutely must own. The artist is Sheng Kuan Chung. It might be the solo monk depicted here, if not it is similar. I want it. I am tempted to drop it on Visa. I will wait to see if eb likes it as well.

Today at work, I am feeling a little more as if I am working as if eb were here. Still not at peak, but better than yuesterday. Way better.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

500 years of women in art

That was a title in the off topic section of my favored knitting forum. Then there was the following link:


Thursday, August 16, 2007

Seven Whole Hours

DO you know how long it has been since I have gotten seven whole hours of sleep? O. Mi. God. i might not know how to act today. It is so nice to wake up, however early, and have gotten a restful night of sleep. i htink I must have remained on my back the entire night as well, because it is not aching. All around feel good to start the day. What a concept. Dare I hope for more of the same?

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

My addiction was the cause of my demise.

That is a direct quote from my son Connor(16.87 years). I got a call last night and the caller ID on my cell showed it to be from my wasband. If you know my history at all, you know this can't be a good thing. After saying a cautious hello, I discover I am talking with C.

C: Hi mamaa...
M: Hey, baby...How's it going? You are still coming next week?
C: all is well, yes, still coming.

Lightbulb shines brightly...

M: Why are you on your father's phone?

Long pause...

C: History repeats itself. My addiction is the cause of my demise. I am writing a book and that is the beginning.

He was cracking me up. Really. Last year about this time he all of a sudden had caused us to have a $700 phone bill. Of course his line was cut off imediately and that was basically his xmas present. Then when xmas came and he was traveling here for the holiday, I reinstated his phone so he would have it for emergency use and he did good for a while again. EB monitored the line more closely and the minute there was a deviation we dropped him again, this time permanently.

Soon enough, his dad added him to his plan as he had gotten quite used to C having a phone. So now he sees his son's addiction for what it is...the boy should have a phone implant, he is on it that much.

In other news...I was actually two full days without knitting. That was so tragic, that I picked up some yarn and knit eb a skull hat. Mostly done in one day. I will try to get pics of the skull hat series up in the next day or so. I have knit four of them so far. I am also knitting a scarf for myself, the Montego Bay scarf from the summer issue of Interweave Knits, and I am making another My So Called Scarf for a xmas gift for someone.

Surprise planning continues. A commitment has been made. We are going. Somewhere. For our 10th anniversary. Woohoo.

The new job situation seems to be working out just fine.

I am about halfway through HP 7.

Knit? Read? I have to choose?