Wednesday, November 28, 2007

clapotis

Well I suppose the one thing that can be said for being flat on one's arse for 4 days is that one tends to finish up those lingering projects...

clapotis finished!

I didn't do as many repeats across as the pattern called for, so have a definite scarf sized finished object. I don't think I'm going to block it either, I really like the way it curls in and around on itself.

The yarn is Schaeffer Helene in the "Mr. Funny" colorway - it was a gift from my Handsome Cabin Boy about 3 birthdays ago. I'm so glad I found the perfect project for it!

It's amazing how much better antibiotics can make you feel. I'm not saying I feel *good*, mind you, but I feel a hell of a lot better than I did 24 hours ago.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

All I want for Christmas is...

two happy kidneys!

I'd been feeling kind of crap the last few days - really just like six kinds of arse warmed over. It started on Saturday when I came home from work and uncharacteristically passed out. By Sunday night I was in a lot of pain, the fever was edging up and I was thinking maybe we should head to the ER. I held off because I am a doctor's child. A doctor who used to take ER call. Experience has taught me that unless blood is pouring out, bones are splintered and one is vomiting aliens, one does NOT bother the nice doctors at the ER with something that can otherwise be seen during business hours. And honestly? The aliens thing is debatable. If they're very small, it's polite to let the doctor enjoy his holiday weekend with his family. Make an appointment on Monday**. Anyway, things backed off just enough for me to get through yesterday until I could get an appt. with my own comfy doctor - and sure enough, I have a nasty kidney infection brewing. But now I have drugs. And drugs are good. In the next 24-48 hours I should be up and, if not bouncing around again, at least not pretending to be one of the living dead.

I've missed a LOT of work. Fortunately my co-workers have been amenable to shift swapping so my paycheck won't take a hit (a good thing, considering XMr.YP's current unemployedness) but I'd best be able to get my arse to the shop on Thursday or I will start losing money. And now would be a bad time for that.

The one good thing about being sick is that it is good for finishing, and I am soooooo close to being finished with Clapotis. I think I may even finish it tonight and that would be SO dandy.

**This only holds true if it's me. If it is one of my kids, fuck that, we're going to the ER at the first sign of alien activity.

Also, my own doctor has mentioned that perhaps this attitude is a tad extreme and that really, the ER docs won't mind if I come in for something a titch less dire than aliens of an unusual size.

But whatever. I know the truth. Everyone waits until the weekend or the holiday. I just never want to be That Guy, even if I'm sick enough not to qualify.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Internet Dating, or, No, I Will Not Help You Get Your Green Card.

Internet dating is not as awful as I had anticipated, though I have not, as yet, gone on any actual dates and indeed am really wary about doing so. I've had some messages from one or two people that resulted in some nice email exchanges. The idea that we might go do coffee has been put forward. One hopes that if chemistry and the laws of attraction and life and other things don't pan out, that the option for expanding local community is still open. One problem with sites like these is you run into people and think, "Dude! I don't want to date you but I'd love to hang out, I think we'd have fun and be great pals." but of course, everyone is there to hook up, so "let's just be friends" doesn't often result in an invitation to come to regular poker games or beer and pizza nights with the guys. And that's sad, because I am not too bad at just being one of the guys, too. Even if I am usually knitting while I'm playing poker. And I could use some more plain, old, garden variety friends of the flesh and blood variety.

Then there've been one or two messages from people that made me think things like...

"No, I'm not going to help you get your green card." and "Oh my god you've got to be kidding, did you even READ my profile or did your little horny Republican ass just register 'female' and 'breathing'?" and "No, I don't want to f*ck your wife while you watch."

*sigh*

But on the whole, not as awful as I feared. I think I do live in a good area for it. There's a lot of folks here in So Cal and it's entirely possible to miss like minded individuals in the sheer crush of humanity.

And if none of that pans out, well... I've got plenty of hilarity ensuing around here with just me and the cats.

circumstantial evidence

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Oh prepaid sock clubs... how instant is your gratification. How welcome!

ZYG-cabernet

A month or two ago, Zen Yarn Garden put up a blog and sign up for the "Sumptuous Sock Yarn Club" and she said she would be featuring things like Mongolian cashmere, silk, and other luxe fibers. How could I resist signing up? How very happy I am now that I did!

It's very happy to get random yarn in the mail.

I was at the yarn store yesterday, getting the last few things for my SP11 final reveal box (I'm late, I know, but better late than never!) and I walked up to the counter with my gifts and whipped out my card to pay for them and said, "Well none of this is for me. I'm on a budget." and my Yarn Pusher said, "Oh then you won't want to see the new Rio De La Plata handpainted sock yarn we just put out. It's merino. But you don't want to see that."

RDLP

Bitch.

No, just kidding, she's my favorite yarn pusher, and I won't be supporting the store this holiday season because this was my last yarn purchase for a good long time (ahahahahaha! she says that now! Ahaha! ha!) and so I didn't feel so bad for, um, just one last skein before I'm on my budget.

I'm going to try to actually spin today if I can ever get through the household chores (2nd load of dishes and I still have to do the bathrooms and the living room). The morning got rather filled with errands. SO much for that "relaxing day at home" I had planned!
pie for breakfast

This is the best part about thanksgiving.

happy

There's something about the comforting ritual of a pot of tea, a quiet breakfast after the revelry of the night before.

sated

Infinitely satisfying.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Finally!

stuffed mushrooms

The oven sort of half-assedly broke and meant that our turkey took forever to cook - dinner didn't get onto the table until quite late.

green beans

But there was dinner. And it was marvelous. We were very grateful to have it.

lots of rolls

I have a lot to be thankful for this year, as ever.

silly

And yes, the youngest is flipping her sister off as a matter of fact. Obviously I've raised them to be young ladies with exquisitely genteel manners.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Well now I'm ever so much more glad for having the foresight to sign up for yarn clubs and pay for them when I had a little extra cash. Because that's gonna come in handy.

The ex Mr YP just lost his job yesterday, poor guy, which is also potentially really crappy for me and the kids. I've got some emergency funds socked away that'll help me keep afloat in the short term, but I must say that I'm a titch worried about what we'll be looking like after the first of the year and the holidays if a job doesn't pan out right away. Ok, I'm a lot worried. But I know we'll figure something out. Good vibes for the ex Mr. YP to find a great new job in his field that will be challenging and exciting and positive for him (and also pay really well and include bennies) are very appreciated if you feel like sending such vibes our way.

I'm really ready for the plagues of ice cream parties, ponies, fluffy bunnies, ducklings, rainbow sparkles and alpaca to start. When do those start? I'm heartily sick of this whole plague of unemployment, divorce and locusts paradigm.

Happy Thanksgiving, y'all. May there be bunnies, rainbows and alpaca.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

*sigh* I am procrastinating when I should be leaving for work.

I've been surfing porn.

pigeonroof 4

How can you not when it's just spread out for your delectation on the table like that?

pigeonroof 1pigeonroof 2pigeonroof 3pigeonroof 5

This is several Pigeonroof Studios orders I'd made and paid for previously over the last, er, 6 months? And due to supplier problems, they just all got here today. It was like, Christmas, in a box.

Can I just roll around on my stash naked instead of going in to work today? I don't WAAAANNA go to work today. I want to wallow in fiber.
On less than 5 hours of sleep, this just cracked me the hell up.



today is our big pre-TG shipment. The one that broke me last year, in fact. It is an understatement to say that I am less than pleased to have been scheduled to put it away again this year. *headdesks* I understand staffing needs, but, can I just say in advance.... OW.
Internet dating.

Where you refresh your matches and stare at the same profiles and see that those profiles have been "stalking" you but not messaging you, and you're not messaging them either because OMG it's like a 7th grade dance and what if they're not messaging you because they don't LIKE you and so you're just going to sit there and twiddle your thumbs while disco lights play across an empty dance floor.

It is lesbian sheep syndrome extreme.

This amazingly cute Brit came into the store today and bought some amazing stuff as a gift, and I said, "Wow someone will be happy." and he said, "I am hoping she'll cook me dinner with it." and I thought, "OMG! I WILL COOK FOR YOU SEXXEH BRIT BOY! I WILL! ANYTHING YOU WANT, I WILL COOK IT." and instead, I said, "That'll be $..." and "Have a happy holiday." and then sighed wistfully as he walked away.

I suppose it's nice to know at least, that this sudden desire for companionship and social interaction means that I am not dead, right? I mean, I guess it means that I'm "back" in some way, among the living and breathing and no longer shell-shocked by divorce?

I heard "Santa Baby" 15 times today.

Fif. Teen. Times. And it was mostly the Madonna version too. The crappy one. I only heard the Eartha Kitt version once.

"Jingle Bell Rock" came in at a measly 4.

Still 4 times too many.

Monday, November 19, 2007

That's a whole lotta Raven...
BMFA-the raven

Haida, Korrpi, RookY, and Corvid, to be precise. OMG. Am so very getting Haida and Korrpi in S2S kits when I can afford to buy fiber again.

tempted/spinning bunny

Sock Club! The first rule of sock club is, of course, don't talk about sock club. Unless sock club is fabulous and contains angora, cashmere or handpainted fabulosity, in which case one must whip out the camera and blog it immediately, right?

The orange skein to the left is Tempted Sock Club's November offering. Gorgeous! Not my usual palette, but I think I like it way more than I'd ordinarily like orangey colors. I think it's the speckles that make it texturally interesting to me. I can't wait to knit it up! She always does such insanely gorgeous colorways and if she can make me like orange, that's really saying something. The one to the right is Spinning Bunny's Angora Sock Club's November offering in "aurora borealis". SO. PRETTY.

I was smart - when I had some extra cash I signed up and paid for several sock or fiber clubs. So now I shall be getting periodic fixes of fabulous sock yarn and rovings wot are already paid for, which should help me stay on my yarn diet.

The holidays are in full swing at my place of employment, which means Santa's Magic Castle is back, as are the strolling Victorian carolers, the music, the lights, the shoppers, the crazy hours.... I am working every night this week except for Thanksgiving. Not a lot of time for knitting. Mostly I'm just putting in a row here or a row there on various projects already in progress. Trying not to stab anyone with a knitting needle on purpose or by mistake, while trying to get through the crush of people who are between me and food while on my lunch breaks.

Yesterday was a baby shower that a friend and I helped put on for one of our friends who is finally pregnant after over a year of trying, so not much knitting time either. Lots of good food, good presents, good friends and happy baby vibes, though.

Pretty!

Not sure what face the youngest is making there, but they are both so awesome, yes? I do love them so.

I decided to dive into, er, internet dating, after watching Must Love Dogs again. Because it's been 11 months since Mr. YP moved out and I wouldn't mind going to the movies or to coffee with someone nice. Not that I'm looking to move someone into Casa YP, but, a date would be nice. Dressing up and being appreciated would be nice. Right? Yeah. That's going well. Except, not really and kind of laughably really. I don't think a single mom with two teenagers, four cats, a dog, and a HUGE yarn stash is exactly the hottest thing on the singles internet market.

And I keep getting "matched" with computer geeks who like tiki culture and fire spinning. I just DIVORCED a computer geek who spins fire and loves tiki culture. Am I typecast much? I'm not saying anything about computer geeks, fire spinning and tiki, in fact, I'd go for that if the person were nice - but hey, how about an international financier with his own jet, a collection of vintage motorcycles, Simon Le Bon's phone number? Or for that matter, how about Simon Le Bon?

I dream. I digress. I think I am probably never going to do well at internet dating, except to provide hilarious blog fodder, should someone ever bite.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Yunnan gnome hat

Sometimes you really need to finish something. The fact that this is now a completed item of holiday knitting just makes finishing it better!! I have officially finished one of my holiday gifts! Let there be dancing!

I'm calling this the Yunnan Gnome Hat because the colors remind me of tea (Yunnan tea in particular) and this is a very acorny/elfy/tomten sort of hat with the wee point and tassel. I actually did that part on purpose to make it elfy. Like the oldest says, "Mom, it wouldn't be yours if something wasn't whimsical and a little silly about it." This was knit with some of my handspun in the "nightshade" colorway from Spunky Eclectic. I think it will be very, very warm. And I love the self striping nature of the yarn. Handspun is nifty!

funky singles

First bobbin of singles in the "unearthed" colorway from Funky Carolina. Not doing anything special with the colors in this one, just letting them spin up and will ply together the way they want.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

My jury duty is done. At the end of it all, I am drained and sad, so I am getting some kitten therapy in the form of Honey who is keeping me company. Actually, I think Honey is keeping my hot rice bag company, and I just happen to be under the hot rice bag, but, I'll take what I can get. It's purry and cosy.

I hope I never have to do it again, or at least not for a good long while. I have done my civic duty. I sat on a jury that handed down a verdict that is probably going to send two people to prison, CA law being what it is about felonies and strikes. I'm gonna carry the weight of it for a long time. That's what I'm carrying tonight and it's a tough one, much as I think we were right. Much as I know their own choices landed them in front of our jury box. I'm not much of a prayer saying person, and I don't mean this in some smarmy "I'll pray for them to 'see the light and be good people.'" way, but I will pray for those people. Because they are going to a hard, dark place and they are IN a hard dark place and I will pray for some light for them that is not about morals or judgement, but is just about sustenance and the human soul.

Sometimes, "right" is not "easy" and doing the right thing can be heartbreaking. But I am glad that the law and the judicial process is something that is heavy, because it would not be ok if it were "easy", I think.

Kitten and penzey's hot chocolate for me. I'm just too sad to talk about yarn tonight, though I'm hoping I feel like picking some up later.

Monday, November 12, 2007

handspun lace detail
Sakina Needles Dusty Cornflower roving, BFL, 4 oz.

About as close to a lace 2 ply as I've gotten. Still drying, so not sure what the wpi is. Gorgeous. The roving was all in shades of blue, mauve, cream and brown and the result spun/plied up into a yarn that will have long stripey stretches of heathered color. I am thinking that it will be good for a lacy scarf. Not quite sure how many yards I got, but at least 200. Yay!

handspun detail

Couldn't wait to get started on the Funky Carolina "unearthed" roving today, so that's going onto the bobbin in bits and spurts. Just about to start the decrease section on Clapotis, that too is coming on swimmingly. I think I'll get the Clap done in time to wear it during the cold bits of November and December. Or for what passes for "cold" here in LA, at least!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Yesterday's spin in at the WeHo Farmer's Market coincided with the WeHo SnB, so we had quite a jolly little group. Bunch of spinners couldn't make it, but 3 of us joined the rest of the knitters already in attendance and much fun was had.

I finished plying up the Sakina Needles "Dusty Cornflower" BFL this morning. I think it's maybe the best handspun I've ever done to date. Definitely verging on the laceweight 2 ply. WOW! How did that happen??? I don't know. But I love it! Alas, it is begging to be gifted to a specific someone, so I can't keep it. :-) but I think the recipient is going to love it.

Pictures tomorrow after I wash it and set the twist. Tomorrow is my day off between jury duty all week and working all weekend, and I intend to do fuck all with it. Except perhaps some laundry and some cleaning and... yeah. You know. All the stuff one does when one is doing nothing.

Friday, November 09, 2007

I am.... so damn tired.

Jury duty continues. I have to go back next week. I don't know when we're going to be done but I really hope next week is it.

I was supposed to have tomorrow off but that is not to be. No, I get to work a closing shift and then another one again on Sunday. Why is my nice day off cancelled? Well...

Dear Co-worker who blew off his shift and didn't show up for work and is now so very fired which means I have to cover and have no day off this weekend.
F*ck you very much. Could you ram your head any farther up your arse if you tried? I don't think so.
No love.
Me
PS: You are so very fired.


Um, so, yeah. Rough week. Over an hour and a half to make it home from downtown to the westside tonight after court recessed. I only live 20 minutes away from downtown via the 10. That's just redonkulous to sit in traffic for so long.

Still very much going to make it to the spin in tomorrow. I can spin, have lunch, then go to work and do my shift. Long day, yes, but I don't have to miss the one fun part of my weekend, at least!

I'm trying to muster the energy to make dinner and then maybe spin up the last bit of BFL from Sakina, so I can start something new for the spin in tomorrow. Or ply. Or something. Pictures tomorrow!
I think there's a knit blogger drinking game that tells you to take a big ole shot of something when someone blogs, "OMG, I have too much fiber and no money, WHAHAHAHA, call the whahhhhmbulance, OMG, like, yarn diet totallyoMG!!!"

Yeah, omg. Yarn diet. Me. Too much fiber, no money. I gotta become a yarn teetotaler for a while, alas. Whahahahahaha.

Go ahead. Pour a shot. I'll wait.

No, no, really. I've got time.

Better now? Glad I could help.

In all seriousness, we learned today that the ex Mr. YP's company is terminating our health insurance at the end of the year. We'll be able to continue to pay for it out of pocket and get it through the company's plan, but they will no longer cover any portion of it. Rates have, apparently, tripled, in the last year. To say that I'm a bit nervous about this is an understatement. To say that we'll have to tighten up is also an understatement. It's a good thing I paid off all our credit cards. Now we can funnel the payment to insurance instead. Too bad about college, kids. I doubt we'll keep our dental coverage, it'll be all we can do to maintain the medical.

So yeah. It was really fun while it lasted, being able to buy yarn and join clubs and spend "extra" money on fun things like that. But losing our paid health insurance? That is a big reshifting of priorities. Oh boy is it ever. I've really taken having access to healthcare for granted. I've taken having doctors and dental care for granted.

There is something fundamentally broken when you wake up and think, "gosh I've taken going to the doctor for granted, and that was really unrealistic of me." because I'm sorry but, access to healthcare should NOT be a luxury.

Access to healthcare IS a luxury in this country. Health insurance is a luxury. And it oughtn't be. It makes me angry. It should have made me a LOT angrier, a lot sooner, and I'm ashamed about that.

I know what MY big election day issue is going to be next year.

Back to reality.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Hey, those Raven Clan colorways I mentioned last night? They come in Sheep 2 Shoe kits. And laceweight. Just sayin, you know, in case you felt like you had an abundance of sock yarn.

I have the best SP11 partner EVER. She went to Rhinebeck and she bought me a Sheep 2 Shoe kit! And the pattern for Loksins which I have on my Ravelry queue! And funny postits! I am full of the squee!

SP11 reveal

That colorway is, I think, Purple Rain. I could be wrong, that's my only complaint about the S2S kits, they don't put the actual colorway ON the kit! But I'm 99% sure it's Purple Rain, which makes sense as that'd be my name and all. Whatever colorway it is, I love it! Hours of spinning, hours of knitting, hours of fun! My SP made sure that everything she sent me was a complete project's worth, which is pretty cool since my stash is getting more and more complete project oriented these days.

Thank you Secret Pal!

FC-UNEARTHED
Funky Carolina's roving of the month club offering for October. "Unearthed" isn't it gorgeous? I can't wait to spin this up!

a pasha's retreat
My kittens are NOT spoiled. I just want to make that very clear. Not. Spoiled. Though you should see them chasing the new laser pointer toy we just bought them when we acquired the bed and their $2 a can organic food. Stop laughing at me. Just stop!

Awakened today by the sound of my eldest screaming "Hey MOM! Why is the bathroom FLOODED???" and it's gone downhill from there. Add in our old cat Puff projectile horking all over the house in the wee hours and my youngest getting horribly sick in the night, and you've got my morning. And now I get to go get ready for jury duty!

Today, instead of architectural ramblings, I plan to do a side by side comparison of all the taquitos on Olvera Street. I plan to start at Cielito Lindo on one end and hit all the stands on the way up. I have done research. I have looked into this issue. I'm sure I will have important taquito information to report when I get home.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Quoth the Raven...

I have no self control. They just posted the Raven Clan colorways over at BMFA and I bought, um. Four. Rook-y, Haida, Korrpi and Corvid. But seriously I want them ALL. OMG. It's just gothiliciousness and subtle colors and black, black, black. The yarn is positively poetic.

Speaking of poetic, I got my SP11 reveal package and it ROCKED because my secret pal got me a BMFA Sheep 2 Shoe kit and I am full of the squee. Hours of fun. Tomorrow I will take pictures when the light is good! Thank you secret pal! This was such a great fun swap. I hope your upstream pal was as good to you as you were to me.

Y'all, seriously, why are you still here??? Go to Blue Moon Fiber arts and ogle the new yarn!
I love downtown Los Angeles. Well, in general I love Los Angeles so much, except when I am hating it, but the things I hate about it are the temporary annoying things like fires, traffic, tract housing and the 405. What I love about it are the historic buildings and the history, the neighborhoods that each have their own unique flavor, the different ethnic mixes and enclaves, the people who make up this city.

Every day I take the DASH bus right past the new cathedral (which is arse ugly on the outside, I have to say, sort of a nouveau spanish-weird-wtf style) and then past the old Hall of Justice building.

"Hall of Justice" All superhero cartoon memories from Saturdays in the 70's aside, don't you love that name? The Hall of Justice. The building dates from 1926 and was built in the Beaux Arts style. I imagine it to be this monument to justice, fairness and the law. The top of the building is complete with ornate columns and really temple-like compared to the boxy foundation building. I have liked to think, as I pass by every day, that it was perhaps some hushed sanctum for lawyers, judges and lots of books. All paneled in elaborate rosewood and brass, green lamps on wood tables and everywhere leatherbound law books with gilt lettering. I can almost imagine the smell.

Erhm. That's a nice visual, non? Well, a nice fantasy, anyhow. According to the LA Conservancy website, those top floors were actually the original county jail. But still. I can imagine what I want.

Right now it's empty due to quake damage, but they're talking about refurbing it. I sure hope they remove the jail bit and put in that hushed, sacred space that is devoted to learning and truth and justice up on those top floors. I have imagined it, it must be so. You can see some pictures of it here.

Lotta history in those walls. The Manson family was tried there, for one.

I could go on and on about the buildings. I probably will because god knows I can't blog about what I'm actually doing each day and I'm not knitting. I found a great directory of historic buildings here so you could totally take a gander for yourself.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

So Cal Ravelers are at it again!

That's right, we're meeting up for another spin in, this time at the Original Farmer's Market. We'll gather up in the community room above Kip's Toyland (same location as the WeHo SnB) at 10am on Saturday morning (that's next Saturday, Nov. 10) and we'll hang out for a few hours with as many folks as feel like hanging out with us.

Want to learn to spin? Don't know how? Don't have stuff? Don't worry! Some of us are planning to bring extra drop spindles and rovings so that whoever wants can take a whack at it! Don't care about spinning? Just want to knit on your scarf all day? Hey that's cool too, come knit or crochet or whatever with us!

There will be a raffle! And a door prize! When we met at Synergy a few months ago, I gave away 4oz of Lisa Souza roving... who KNOWS what might be lurking in the prize package this time? I guess you'll just have to show up to find out!!

Remember: Saturday, Nov. 10 at 10am, upstairs in the community room at the Original Farmer's Market at 3rd and Fairfax. Hope to see you there!!

I've resurrected Clapotis and have gotten quite a bit done on it - still no where near finished, but I've got my groove back for a bit. Lady E is taking a breather. I think I'm finally starting to get the hang of this whole rotating projects but not letting them languish forever, thing. No, I'm no fast finisher, but whatever. I just have fun.

Also spinning up 4oz of BFL from Sakina Needles in the "dusty cornflower" colorway. It's SO beautiful. Again, I am aiming for something in a heathered striping sock yarn. We'll see what I come up with. Next batch I think I am going to go for a more tweedy effect.

Spinning is play and play is good!

Friday, November 02, 2007

There are two things you can't do when you are doing the jury duty thing.

You can't bring a camera.

You can't bring your knitting.

These both suck for various reasons. The knitting thing is obvious, but cameras? Well naturally I'm not talking about taking pictures inside the courthouse, that'd be illegal. But see here's the thing. I've got almost two hours to kill for lunch each day, I'm in the coolest part of downtown LA with Olvera Street, Chinatown, Union Station and other places within walking or DASH distance, and I can't take any pictures.

How on earth can I be all, "I'm so blogging that!" without pictures?? It's hard, folks. Plus, I like to take random pictures of old buildings and you can't really get away from them down there. I love architecture and in particular I love urban architecture from around the late 1800's to early 1900's.

Yesterday I walked over to Olvera Street on our mid-day break. They were having their annual Dia De Los Muertos celebration. It was kind of a cacophany of noise and happy people, little kids were running all about with their faces painted into skellies, bashing each other over the head with confetti filled paper pods. There were ofrendas all over the place set up by various organizations or individuals. There was a nifty exhibit downstairs in Pico House across the square from Olvera Street. They were showcasing different cultural artforms with the timely theme of death. Shiny!

While I was on Olvera Street, I scored a little bride and groom muertos set for my grandparents, a couple of skelly cards and I could have spent SO much more if I'd let myself. Hard to tear myself away but I did manage to remember that the whole point of my little excursion was to get lunch. Once I managed to rip myself away from the folk art, I found some serious foodie heaven. Just 2 blocks past Olvera Street, at Alameda and Ord, is Philippe's - the home of the original French Dip Sandwich. OMGponies. The yum was exponential.

philippe

Philippe is one of those old LA places where things haven't changed much in 40 years. This is a GOOD thing. You walk into the old building, there's sawdust on the floor, there's long communal tables so you just sit on down with whoever is there, where ever you can find room, the candy counter sits next to the door and the long counter is in back where you step up to order your sandwich. A cup of coffee still costs $.10. The french dips are a little more pricy, but still a steal at less than $6 for a huge, gorgeous, meaty sandwich. I got a side of cole slaw and it was probably the best slaw I've ever had. I'm damn picky about my cole slaw, too. This stuff was manna - crisp, tangy and perfect. Even better than the slaw over at The Pantry (another old LA institution that hasn't changed much over the years) which until now had been the undisputed best ever. Add in a coke and lunch was less than $8, not counting a tip.

I have a feeling I'll be hitting Philippe's a lot over the next few weeks. The Pantry, alas, is a little far to walk, though I might be able to map out a DASH route that'll get me close. Time might be better spent exploring other lunch options, maybe up in Chinatown.

Anyone know of a good place to eat on Olvera Street? There's a ton of restaurants there, but I'd love to know a really good one.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Today I am sitting in the jury assembly room just after our orientation had concluded and the two women behind me start talking. I can't help but overhear what they're talking about because one of them was very sincere and very loud and very into what she was saying. This is what she said:

"I told my daughter that she is like a beautiful cake. Every year my husband and I, we add roses and frosting swirls to the cake. One day, the cake will be done and we will give that cake to her husband and his family. I told her that letting a boy near her is like letting someone take a fingerful of her cake. What nice boy is going to want fingered cake?"

I had to go to the bathroom to laugh. And laugh. And laugh some more.

Personally, I am an advocate of safe, consensual cake. I am of the opinion that as you go on in life, trying out different kinds of cake so that you really get a sense of your preferences is not a bad idea. Because you never know until you try some cake, what you are going to like. You might like vanilla. You might not. You might like Stuff with your cake. Ganache. Fondant. Jam. How can you know if you never ever have cake? There's a whole world of cake out there.

Practice safer cake, yes, use reason, use judgement, be smart and don't be an asshat about it, but dammit, CAKE IS OK.

CAKE IS NOT BAD.

I will never ever be able to un-hear the phrase "fingered cake." Ever. In my life.

I am pro ownership of one's own cake and all that entails.