February 2008

It’s a bit weird to see that baseball season is only 45 days away when it’s eleventy million degrees below zero right now and there’s tons of snow as far as the eye can see.

In the meantime, I’m off to El Salvador for work, where it’s eleventy million degrees above zero! Catch you later!


A list of things I never expected to encounter while I was in Nashville recently for some work stuff –

1. getting evacuated because of a tornado

While the rest of the country was busying itself with Super Tuesday, a number of tornadoes were tormenting the Nashville area. Unfortunately, because the conference I was attending was held inside a hermetically sealed, climate controlled biosphere – the convention center, hotel, and connecting mall were all enclosed by a plexiglass dome! – I had no idea that outside, the winds were howling and the rain was pouring. Until 1:00 a.m., when the fire alarm went off, and the hotel staff started pounding on doors to evacuate the hotel. We were led to the bowels of the hotel basement, along with other sleepy/ grumpy/ bored hotel guests. I think the evacuation was more of a safety precaution and the hotel wasn’t in any real danger of being swept away by a tornado. However, I would’ve been much less grumpy if the fire alarm didn’t proceed to go off 2 more times in the dead of the night!

See? Hermetically sealed!

2. seeing a 10 foot plant walking towards you

The day after the tornado evacuation brouhaha, while my friend Jill and I are catching up, I spot a tall, leafy plant walking towards us. I have to do a double take. Turns out, it’s one of the attractions in the convention center. The plant’s actually a performer covered in leaves and green make-up, walking on stilts and manipulating another pair of stilts as “branches.” Really cool, and at the same time, slightly creepy looking. Particularly when she wraps her leafy limbs around posts and makes like ivy.

Needs a lot of coordination, also, lots of green make-up

3. actual knitting happened. Complete with finished product!

I’ve been in knitting ennui lately. Dreary weather (I am ready for winter to be over!), crazy work schedule and the occasional life blues have all conspired to sap my knitting mojo. So imagine my surprise when I actually finished something!

Pattern: Bloody Mary by Sandra Park
Yarn: Koigu KPPM color #12060, 2 skeins. Size 2 Crystal Palace bamboo DPN’s

This was my first time working with Koigu. There’s already a lot of love out there for Koigu. Let me join the bandwagon. Koiguuuu, so soft and squishy and nice to knit with. The yarn was a generous gift from Amy’s mom 2 Christmases ago. This particular colorway was so color-rich that I was afraid it was going to pool like crazy. The slipped stitches of the Blood Mary pattern though, seems to have done the trick. Also, I really like how the slipped stitch rib leaves these raised ribs. Yeah, it’s a pair of ribbed socks, but it’s got some pizazz!

These socks had been languishing in the unfinished pile for a while. I started them in September 2007, when we went to the Finger Lakes Fiber Festival. And then they just sat there, unfinished and neglected. These were supposed to be my travel knitting when I went to Manila (and the butt numbing 27 hour plane ride that accompanied that trip), but I couldn’t bring myself to knit much during that trip. So they sat neglected some more.

Unfinished no more.  Bring on the knits!

While in Manila a couple of months ago, I managed to fit in a trip to Macau and Hong Kong with my aunt and uncle. I finally (finally!) uploaded pictures from that trip to Flickr.

sensory overload
Macau is an interesting place. Up until 1999, it was a Portuguese colony – the European influence is pretty evident still in the food, in the place names, and in the architecture. There are also lots of churches. The most famous landmark happens to be the Ruínas de São Paulo (the Ruins of St. Paul) , the facade of a 17th century Portuguese cathedral.

Ruins of St. Paul
Macau is now a “special administrative region” of China. China may be run the fruits of the proletariat revolution, but in Macau (and Hong Kong too), capitalism rules the day. The last time I visited Macau, it looked and felt like the poor backwater cousin of vibrant, cosmopolitan Hong Kong. Now, Macau is all tarted up, being billed as “the Asian Las Vegas.” Casinos galore – gigantor ones, with Las Vegas pedigrees like the Venetian and MGM Grand, dot the cityscape. All filled to the brim with gambling Asians. It was strange seeing all these slot machines in Chinese.

we’ll take your money in any language

Hong Kong, on the other hand, is as bustling and crowded as I remembered. Only, there seems to be three times more people who want to breathe the same air as you. More pictures here.

In the meantime, I’m off on another work trip.