Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Movie: "Whatever Works"

This one is classic Woody Allen: neurotic, urban, intellectual, beset by existential angst, finds love in an unlikely place. I like Larry David, but he doesn't seem to do it as well as Woody Allen. Certainly not one of Allen's best, but still enjoyable.

My rating: *** (out of 5)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Movie: "Departures" (in Japanese with English subtitles)

A symphony cello player is laid off when the symphony is disbanded. He and his wife return to his hometown where he inadvertently accepts a job as prparing bodies for cremation. (The ad says the job involves "departures," and he thinks it is for work in a travel agency.) Apparently work involving touching dead bodies is looked down upon in Japan, and he is snubbed by friends, and his eternally cheerful wife leaves him because of the job. This movie gives an interesting look at Japanese attitudes toward death.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Book: "Oblivion"

While I enjoyed this book of short stories, I didn't like it nearly as much as the two books of essays by David Foster Wallace that I've read: A Supposedly Fun Thing that I'll Never Do Again, and Consider the Lobster. In his fiction, Wallace is unafraid to tackle unpleasant subjects and he demonstrates his talent for irony. These short stories are enjoyable, but they didn't leave a lasting impression on me.

My rating: *** (out of 5)

Monday, July 13, 2009

An Afternoon to Myself

Yesterday I took BART to the Mission District in San Francisco. I headed to a yarn store (Imaginknit) to see if they have the yarn I've run out of in the middle of my current project. It's a great store, and they carry Louet Gems sport weight, but unfortunately the don't carry the color I need (Caribbean Blue).

My plan for lunch was a grilled sandwich at Tartine, but when I got there the line was out the door, and it looked like it would be difficult to find a seat. So I continued down 18th Street to Regalito Rosticeria where I had a delicious lunch (carnitas with avocado, pinto beans, and salsa fresca). Next stop was dessert at Bi-Rite Creamery. I had a bowl of salted caramel ice cream which was delicious.

Then I took BART to Berkeley and hiked from the BART station to the Rose Garden. Spent an hour or so enjoying the roses, then back to BART and home.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Day Trip with Niepa

I took my 3-year-old grandson on a ferry ride from Oakland to San Francisco today. As we walked toward the dock, he saw a group of senior citizens lined up for a bay cruise. He pointed at them and said, "Grandma, are those people pirates?"

At Ferry Plaza, the farmers market was in full session. He ground grain in a grist mill and we shared a box of strawberries. We also spent some time looking at the lobsters and crabs in the fish market. We walked along Embarcadero to the Claes Oldenburg sculpture of a bow and arrow and took BART back to Oakland. All in all, a very pleasant outing.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Finished Object: Fetching - Girl's Version

I modified the original pattern to make it fit a 9-year-old by casting on 40 stitches (eliminating one 5-stitch repeat). I used an applied I-cord bind off.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Lunch at L'Osteria

Today's lunch was at one of our favorites,  L'Osteria in North Beach.  We had roast scallops with arugula and roasted fennel and carrots.

Kool-Aid Yarn Dye

One of the goody bag gifts at Tina's Knit-Away Week-end last January was a kit for dying yarn with Kool-Aid.  My granddaughter and her best friend dyed the yarn earlier this week.  They were very pleased with the results, and so was I.   However, they were a little overly concerned with which flavor of Kool-aid would be left over for drinking.