You know those dorky superfanboy/girl that show up to readings, shows, or appearances hours before it’s supposed to begin?  Umm, that was me this past weekend.

Neil Gaiman gave a reading at the Cleveland library as part of their Writers and Readers series.   I’ve been a huge fan of his work for a long time –  no way I was going to miss this, my hatred of driving notwithstanding.  I got to the venue rather early because I had expected to get lost on the way there – my sense of direction is unerring!  A lot of other people may have had the same problem –

are other people lost too?

are other people lost too?

The reading was fabulous!  Neil Gaiman read from the Graveyard Book, and Odd and the Frost Giants.  He is a really good interpreter of his work – you could definitely discern the nuances of the different characters.  Also, I want to marry his accent.

There was a signing afterwards.  I don’t think the event organizers expected quite a turn-out.  I heard later that about a thousand people turned out (the auditorium seats about 600), and people had to be turned away.  The signing was a bit chaotic – it was essentially a free for all in the beginning, with the requisite line-jumpers, loud super-stalkerfans, and people trying to get their entire Neil Gaiman library signed.  Still, it was a mostly laid-back, patient crowd.

fangirl dorkdom

fangirl dorkdom

When it was my turn, he had to replace the inkwell on his fountain pen ( I love that he still uses fountain pens!) – and that’s when ny new friend Bonnie snapped this picture.   The signing was supposed to end an hour after the reading, but Mr. Neil was really generous and kept signing for a couple more hours, signing for everyone in line.

What did I get signed?

My mom was a great cook and baker, but she could be a bit obsessive when she was trying out a new recipe.  When I was a kid, she went through a mooncake phase.   Mooncakes are Chinese pastries traditionally eaten during the Mid-Autumn festival in mid-August or early September.  If I remember my Chinese history lessons from childhood, mooncakes were used to pass along secret messages when the Mings were trying to overthrow the Yuans.

Right.  Mooncake phase.  Every night for a month, she fed us (and unsuspecting friends, neighbors and relatives) the results of her latest mooncake trial.  I still remember vividly the whack-whack-whack of the mooncake mold hitting the thickest book in our house as she tried to unmold the cakes.   Contrary to making me sick of mooncakes though, I love mooncakes! Especially the ones with crumbled egg yolks in the middle.  NOM!   So I was so thrilled to get this in the mail today –

contented sigh

contented sigh

I have the most awesome friends! That blank square in the corner?  Inhaled.

Also, an embarrassment of unexpected of treats!  Unfortunately inedible, but so wee and so cute!  Penny for reference.

we are wee with perfect details

we are wee with perfect details

Off to inhale some more mooncake.

It’s been awhile, hasn’t it?

Since the last update, here’s what I’ve been up to, in no particular order –

  • recovering from dental surgery.   My wisdom teeth belatedly decided to give me all sorts of problems,  so out they came.  The surgery itself wasn’t too bad – I remember being loopy and feeling high as a kite, but don’t remember anything during.  After a couple of days, am feeling better than expected.  There is of course, the sore jaw and swollen cheeks, and the overwhelming urge to poke my fingers into the gaping holes in my gums (sorry TMI!).  Also, I am getting tired of eating soup.  The ice cream though, is made of win!
  • witnessed nasty car accident in San Francisco, complete with on the scene first aid (by me!), getting statement taken by nice policeman, and getting asked stupid questions by rubbernecking passersby.
  • went camping at Salt Point State Park.   Salt Point State Park was where the sandstone for streets in San Francisco were mined back in the day.  Also, there were tanning seals and random abandoned safes in the middle of the hiking trail.  Click and see!

    sandstone formation

    sandstone formation

  • saw fishies!  And pretty water things! More here.

    sea anemones at the National Aquarium

    sea anemones at the National Aquarium

  • drove to Detroit for work and to visit Nana, and accidentally ended up on the bridge to Canada.  Without my passport – see part about driving to Detroit.  Ended up having to get my car searched, answering a bunch of tedious questions from the nice immigration folks, and watching the guy in the next car pod getting yanked out of his car and arrested.
  • there was knitting.  Most of which have been gifted.  Unfortunately, before I remembered to take pictures.  Except for this – which I made for my cousin Celeste.  Gooseberry hat and wee socks, out of good ‘ol Cotton Ease in Azalea.  Rav deets here.

    Gooseberry hat and wee socks

    Gooseberry hat and wee socks

  • a renewed commitment to hopefully blog more!  Fingers crossed!

Spring break was spent in the Bay Area.  Catching up with dear friends.  Eating good food.  And then there’s this –

embracing the sky

Drawing me in and making me not want to leave.

No sign of winter there.  No sign of spring here.  At least not yet.

More pictures here.

Since I last posted, I have been to Atlanta, where I spent the holidays with my cousin B. There was much laying about doing nothing, eating good food and trading of family news. There was also a trip to the High Museum to see the excellent Chinese Army terracotta warrior exhibit. It’s so strange to see these in the flesh – I still remember the 5th grade class where we talked about the Chin dynasty and the warriors buried in Xian. More pictures from that trip here.

comparing heights with the terra cotta warrior at High Museum

comparing heights with the terra cotta warrior at High Museum

On to the Bay Area, where there was much laying about doing nothing, eating good food (sensing a theme here?). There was an awesome camping trip to Point Reyes, where it is impossible to turn around and not encounter a breathtaking vista. More pictures of that trip here.

there were sea lions sunning themselves at the beach

there were sea lions sunning themselves at the beach

(more…)

Ummm…I sort of fell off the face of the earth, didn’t I?  I think I’ll blame ennui for this one.  Also end of semester grading purgatory and workplace moving hijinks made for an extended stay in crankypants-land.  So there.

Anyway, there were quite a few knitting projects completed since the last update so –

with extra purple for pizzazz!

with extra purple for pizzazz!

Pattern: Gentleman’s sock in railway stitch, from Knitting Vintage Socks.
Yarn: Crystal Palace Panda cotton in jet black (2 skeins) and royal purple (1 skein), size 1 DPNs.

These were a present for Oki, who seems to like ’em (huzzah!).   Contrasting purple heels and toes on request.  The yarn has a nice heft and feel to it, but was a bit splitty.  The colors are pretty vibrant and kind of sheeny.  Pardon the somewhat washed out photograph – I wanted to try to show some of the stitch detail and the black was not cooperating.  (more…)

Wow, where does the time go? I wish I could say time flies when you’re having fun, but really, this little matter of being employed is a huge time suck. So while time is flying, the fun? Not so much.

At any rate, September’s almost over. Here’s a mishmash of the months highs and lows:

I finally made it to Niagara Falls! I live a few hours drive away from the Falls and have been meaning to go check it out for the longest time. My friends Meg and Jenny (we’ve known each other since grade school!) were visiting from Manila and Niagara Falls was on their must-see list.  I met up with them there, where we joined a large throng of tourists on the Maid of the Mist, got thoroughly drenched and had a great time. The Falls are pretty spectacular, although there was a lot more construction near the shores of the Falls, both on the American and Canadian sides, than I expected. (more…)

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.