Saturday, October 27, 2012

De-Stress

Over the past week or so, I've come to realize that I am a very stressful person.  I like to hold onto things and obsess and generally drive myself a little crazy.  So this past week I decided to start making some positive changes to lessen my stress, such as doing deep breathing exercises, journaling daily, and just trying to maintain a more upbeat mood.

Today, I decided to try something a little different and came across this wonderful video.  Even if you're not into meditation (I certainly haven't ever been), I think you'll find this to be very helpful.  My entire body felt lighter and looser after just this eight minutes.


Friday, October 26, 2012

Back to Haight


When wondering what I was going to do with my afternoon, I realized that I hadn't been to Haight Street in a while.  So I took a walk in the sun, enjoying the always eclectic crowd as I headed to Mendel's Craft Store. I was completely surprised to find it jam packed with other college students, all buying some finishing touches for their Halloween costumes.

Now I know for sure that I'm not embarrassed to buy knitting supplies in front of other people my age!



 I managed to limit myself to only these two skeins of Lion's Pride Wool Ease Yarn, and I have big plans for them!  I bought this highly suggested Vogue Stichionary a couple of weeks ago, and I plan on going through it and knitting little squares of each and every stitch in the book.  I'm hoping that after I've finished going through the book, I can crochet the squares together in a sort of variation of the granny-square blanket.



I finished up my jont among the hippies and excited college students with a Chicken Pesto Panini at the little shop called Panini.  My friends and I discovered this place our freshman year and it was great to finally satisfy a serious craving.

My plans for this Halloween weekend?  Keeping happy and keeping busy - more specifically on a lit essay for next week.  Anyone doing anything more exciting?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wall Wednesday: For Giants Fans


It's really starting to feel like fall here in San Francisco.  We had our first few rainy days of the season, it's starting to cool down, the Giants are in the World Series... That's right, I'm actually watching now as I write this post!  In that spirit, I wanted to add some decorations to my room that reflected the season and what I love about it most: post-season baseball.


The first thing I added was a little Giants garland out of string and construction paper.  It was super easy (I did it while watching one of the NLCS games) and I love the way it adds a touch of black and orange without dominating the wall or making the room feel darker.


On my closet, I'm collecting pictures from the SF Chronicle of my favorite players and moments.  I'm sure it will only get bigger as the World Series plays out!


Finally, I completed my Giants scarf!  I started knitting it during the last week or so of the regular season while I watched the games, and just finished it during Game 6 of the NLCS.  And, because I'm a superstitious fan, I've been wearing it as much as possible.  Who knew that the free pattern that came with the yarn would be so cute?


Well, off to keep watching the game.  The Giants are already up 4 - 0!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Dew Tour San Francisco


After a cold and rainy Friday, today was an absolutely beautiful San Francisco Saturday.  But before I get into that, I want to talk about something that I don't particularly like to: feelings.

I've been feeling a little, well, off lately.  I'm having a hard time articulating what I'm feeling, but all I know is something's not quite the same with me.  Maybe I'm feeling a bit lame for not going abroad like all my friends this year, maybe I'm actually lonely without knowing it, maybe I'm just feeling a little pathetic that I never get around to doing as much as I would like to.  Whatever the reason, this morning was a hard one, even after talking with one of my best friends from Paris.  Luckily, my ever-patient mother was able to talk some sense into me after a long phone call.

She reminded me that while sitting around and moping is bad, getting out there and doing something is good.  It's always worked for me before, whether it was just going to the store for a quick errand or spending the day out and about.

So in this spirit, I headed to Civic Center Plaza to check out the 2012 Dew Tour.  For those of you who don't know what this is, well, the best way I can explain it is that it's a low-key extreme sports competition.  There's skateboarding, BMX, concerts, and lots of products and companies to check out.  I'd always managed to catch it on TV before, but decided to take the opportunity of actually being in the same city to go see it in person.  Unfortunately, I missed the skateboarding for the day (darn), but I got to catch the end of the BMX competition.


The free viewing definitely could have been set up better, but it was still pretty cool to get so close to the action.  And best of all, it cured my blues for the day.

For those of you living in or visiting San Fran, I would highly suggest checking the Dew Tour out.  Tomorrow's the last day!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Of Bug Bites and Bad Plays

Picture from The Reporter

Welcome to the start of another week!  I had a very fun and productive weekend, although I somehow managed to get five very itchy and very inconveniently placed bug bites.  As anyone who know me will tell you, no matter the bug, I always swell up the second I get bitten.  Unfortunately for me this time around, two of the bites are on the backside of my knee, and the swelling is not only extremely uncomfortable but makes it difficult to bend my leg.  If only I didn't attend a college with millions of stairs...

Actually, I really can't complain, as long as I have amazing baseball games like tonight's NLCS Game 2 to distract me.  It seems like most of the Giants are finally starting to find their rhythm and we won 7-1 over the Cardinals.  The only downside of the game was that Giants second baseman and top-hit producer Marco Scutaro had to exit the game after taking a harsh slide by Matt Holliday in the first inning.  And now to consider the question that has the media buzzing: Was Holliday's slide into second base a "dirty play"?

Keep in mind that I am merely a fan, and a fairly ignorant one at that.  I don't know much about the nitty-gritty rules of the game (although I bought a book for just this purpose), but I do know what I heard and what I saw.  I heard both Bruce Bochy and the commentators state that the rule was you had to start sliding before you hit the bag, i.e. you have to start sliding on dirty.  I saw Holliday suddenly go airborne right above second base and then smash into Scutaro in what was an obvious attempt at stopping a double play.  Was the play intended to be "dirty" or illegal?  Probably not.  Holliday himself insists that he was only trying to break up the double play, not injury Scutaro or take him out of the game.  So, yeah, while I think that it was a poorly executed slide and that I'm not eager to see a play like that again, I don't think it was intentional.

That is all.

Did any of you see the play?  Or better yet, anyone out there with more baseball knowledge than I do who would like to weigh in with your opinion?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Wall Wednesday: Adding Some Color


My latest adventures in decorating have taken a little bit longer because, 1) I've been busy and 2) they've been slightly bigger projects.  I did this drawing over the long Columbus Day weekend.  I trekked up to the park to draw the beautifully cloudy and colorful sky.  The sky was done in pastels and the bottom with my favorite drawing tool, black Sharpie.  I like the contrast between the softness of the pastel and the sharpness of the marker.  This is now hanging on my wall by the same string and binder clips that I used before.


My other project over the last couple of weeks was this adorable, stretchy knit basket.  It's based loosely on this Pickles pattern.  I have to admit, I didn't really understand it and have never really knitted in the round before, so I modified it a bit to achieve the same basic look.  In case you're interested in making one yourself, I used Lamb's Pride Bulky yarn and:

1) Cast on 30
2) Garter stitch across until almost the end of your skein
3) Stich together with a tapestry needle as though you're making a flat pouch.

I love the basket because it was super easy and can be as big or little as you need it to be because it's so stretchy.  I have another skein of Lamb's Pride just waiting to be turned into another basket of another color.  I like mixing and matching with different bright colors to create a cozy spring feeling inside as the weather gradually gets colder.  Let me know if you try this out; I'd love to see any pictures!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Review Book: Invisible Man

Invisible Man
Ralph Ellison
581 pages


It's been a while since my last book review, and although I don't normally do books I've read for school, I think I'll make an exception for this one. I would highly suggest Invisible Man to those of you who are serious about reading and don't mind a bit of a challenge.  The prose itself is actually quite accessible; rather, the text is saturated with allusions and historical references that make reading it like digging through a treasure chest.  Finishing it is very satisfying.

That being said, I think that because of it's very complex nature, this book is best read in the context of a class or book club.  Not only will this help you get more out of the book, but the discussions that arise from reading certain passages are all but guaranteed to be interesting.  This novel is concerned with ideas of race, identity, and individuality vs. the community.  These all make great discussion points, even if you're just talking to one friend about it in a rather casual manner.

So, for a quick summary: Invisible Man is about a young African American man who is searching for himself.  We follow him through his memoir from his time at a black college in the south to his work as a young man for an American Communist group in Harlem, New York.  He faces many challenges along the way, not only from the white community, but from himself as well.

Too vague for you?  I guess you'll just have to read it!