School started this week. Although I teach in a year-round program, the summer months are typically slower, so I have a bit of a life. But fall and spring terms get really crazy. As a last hurrah before the craziness starts in earnest, I went to Seattle for a few days.

I had a great time. One of the many things I like about Seattle is how lush and green and alive everything looks, stereotypical wet Seattle weather notwithstanding. I mean, who can resist an explosion of color like this?

This trip also turned out to be mini reunion of sorts. My aunt made a last minute trip up from SoCal, one of my cousins was in town for an extended business trip, my globe-trotting 90 year old grandaunt was in town between trips, and two of my friends from Manila (who I’ve known since we were in the fourth grade together) were in town visiting. The stars were aligned this time.

Seattle also happens to be home to many totally random and odd sightings. This was one among many “huh?” moments. Spotted inside a Chinese dimsum restaurant. Maybe because the red in the sign matches the decor?

More photos here.

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My little circle of friends and family seems to have come down with a case of baby fever. Gotta be the water.

This is for my cousin B’s little one, who is supposed to make her entrance in a few short weeks!

I’ve made Bobbi Bear before, but he’s so cute I had to make another one! Plus Bobbi II can help scare away the monsters under the bed, or stand guard while the baby’s napping. I used 2 balls of Lion Brand Organic Cotton on this one – I’ve lost the ball bands, but I think it’s the Almond colorway. Size 10.5 DPNs.

I also made some booties and a hat. I was originally planning on making a sweater, but nixed the idea because my cousin lives in sweltering Las Vegas, and is giving birth at the height of summer. The yarn is Debbie Bliss Cashmerino in periwinkle; the patterns courtesy of the good folks at Ravelry. The hat is Vibegrrl’s Bananahead Baby Beanie, (Rav link) and the booties Ruth B’s Perfect Baby Booties. (Rav link)

Knitting for babies is fun because it’s instant gratification! Also I got to use stash yarn for this project – I feel so virtuous. Bobbi II wanted to try on the booties and hat, but he’s a big bear.

Yesterday, my apartment got “randomly” picked to be inspected by the city. You know, to make sure I wasn’t living in a total hovel. Heh.

At any rate, the inspector shows up at my place promptly at 9 in the morning, digital camera in hand. Proceeds to test the lights and electrical outlets, then snap a bunch of pictures of the fire extinguisher and the fusebox. Casts a critical eye around the apartment –

Inspector: You don’t seem to have a lot of furniture in here.

Me:

Inspector: Are you a student?

Me: Nah.

Inspector: Oh.  Sometimes, student habits are very hard to break. Very hard.

Me: Are you trying to tell me my apartment is messy?

Inspector: Uh-huh.  You should get better furniture.

Me: At least I don’t have milk crates.

My, posting has been a bit sparse, hasn’t it? At any rate, back from a short trip to the Washington DC area. Mostly for work, but also a bit of play.

Work = boring and stressful. The less said about that, the better.

Play = exploring a city with so much to see, going to this awesome exhibit (picture a roomful of adults happily singing along to obscure Sesame Street songs!), getting in some aikido practice at Shobukan, catching up with friends.

Shameless follower I am. Please pardon the extreme bad hair day.

Pattern: Gloria cowl
Yarn: Sundara superwash sock, somewhat solid aqua with purple. Size 8 DPNs, yarn held double

Cowls don’t get much easier than this! This project turned out really well. Looks good, perfect for social knitting, and a great way to use up stash sock yarn. The Sundara yarn was squooshy and knits up very well. I’m a big fan of the semi-solid color, I think it gives depth to the finished garment.

I cast on 91 stitches instead of the called for 99, and did 5 rounds of seed stitch instead of 3. I wanted to use up the entire 2 skeins of yarn, so this turned out just a teeny bit longer than ideal. But no leftover yarn! In fact, I managed to overestimate the yardage a bit that I ran out of yarn before the cast off row. Problem solved by using leftover purple sock yarn. Design element, ahem.

Better late than never!

The Summer of Travel continued on to Boston, for my friend Mike’s wedding! Boston is a city I really like. Yeah, the streets don’t make a lot of sense, which is the kiss of death if you’re as navigationally-challenged as I am, but it’s got a lot of character and a lot of history, plus a lot of good places to eat.

Weddings are a good excuse to see friends and pig out. The ol’ Houston gang turned up to wish Mike well. Here’s a rather grainy picture ganked from Oki of the gang at Dali’s, a really good tapas place.

At Dali\'s

The wedding was perfect. The bride looked radiant, the groom didn’t look too bad either. The wedding banquet was fantastic (yum yum!) You’ll have to take my word on the food because my camera died at the banquet.

This has been turning out to be the Summer of Travel. There has been much airport hopping and snacking on bad airport food. Also the inevitable travel delays that crop up when I take to the open skies – the Travel Curse is strong in that one and so forth.

Here’s where I’ve been the past several weeks.

At the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in San Francisco. Doing some trail building and trail maintenance work at several national parks in the Bay Area, as part of an American Hiking Society crew. A great excuse to see national parks. Getting dirty and doing heavy manual labor isn’t so bad if you wake up to sights like this –

I’ve now added park ranger to my list of back-up career plans. I have this urge to set up a tent and just live in the Muir Woods.

A few of the people who were on the trail crew had never been to San Francisco before, so I got to tag along and do some tourist-y sightseeing.

We were able to stay at the Presidio for a few nights. It turns out that George Lucas is leasing some parts of the Presidio for Lucasfilms. Of course as soon as I heard that, I HAD to go see! My membership in the nerd union would’ve been revoked if I left without having my picture taken at the Yoda fountain.

Notice that the Ravelry shirt made it into the picture too!