Sunday, May 3, 2015

And years later . . . .

I wrote my last post for this blog years ago. Blogging took a back seat to life which includes parenting, teaching, my health and of course general exhaustion.

Big News: I had a successful total hip replacement in August 2014 which has changed my life. No more chronic pain. It is amazing how long a person can put up with everyday pain and once it's gone you can't believe you tolerated it at all.

My Littleman is finishing up the 2nd grade and is showing incredible growth. He's still resistant when it comes to homework, but really who wants to do homework.

Teaching is the bigger challenge these days. There are only a few weeks left to the school year and my students still struggle with basic writing. Sometimes it feels like a Sisyphean endeavor. Having one's career linked to so many variables is incredibly stressful.

My only plans for the summer are travel and rest, I hope that will make a difference for next year.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

MOVIE REVIEW: (500) Days of Summer (2009) I just watched "(500) Days of Summer"(2009) with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel. I absolutely LOVED it -- funny, sad, and bittersweet. Makes you think about boyfriends past and how a breakup looks from the other perspective. "(500) Days" reminded me of "Amelie," both movies are poignant, quirky and have beautiful art direction.

Plot: (SPOILERS ALERT!!!)* ************************************************************
The story follows Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a lonely greeting card writer who once aspired to be an architect. He believes in love and soul mates and becomes obsessed with the new office assistant, Summer (Deschanel). She is a mid-westerner who does not believe in love and is not looking for a boyfriend. In spite of making this very clear to Tom, they start dating casually and their fling becomes his passion. The movie takes us back and forth in the timeline of their relationship with a 500-day counter going up and down before key scenes. The early days of the romance are fun and romantic but the movie's non-linear scene shifts reveal signs of the impending break up, and the toll it ultimately takes on Tom. You feel for both Tom and Summer because you've probably been there before, on both sides of the break-up divide. Luckily, the movie ends on a positive note so hopefully you won't give up on love altogether.
Oh, and I should mention that the soundtrack is fantastic and I will be downloading it very soon.
I watched "(500) Days" on E!TV but it is also available on Amazon Video, and iTunes. Go watch it and enjoy.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

YARN REVIEW: Schachenmayr Regia World Ball Color 4-fädig/4ply

For 2012 I have promised myself I will try to blog more and provide details about my experiences with various yarns, patterns, fibers, and tools. So here goes. . . .

I was gifted a lovely ball of Regia 4ply fingering yarn purchased by my knitting sister at the Webs Year End sale. It is a discontinued yarn but Regia has many, many similar options. This yarn is fairly soft, I suspect it will soften up after washing but I like a coarser yarn for socks so it does not bother me. However, I would not use this yarn for a cowl or scarf because of the softness factor. I thought the stripes would obscure any stitch pattern I used, so I knit plain vanilla socks. The stripes are very interesting, thick and thin with the dark brown of my colorway forming the thickest stripe. I had hoped to create a denser fabric with size US 0 but was slightly disappointed, still a little too airy/ open for my taste. Again, I think a wash and brief run through the dryer may help.

Of the "workhorse" yarns I have used thus far I would not rank Regia World Ball 4ply at the top -- fyi: Patons Kroy and S.R. Kertzer On Your Toes are durable and "squishier" and turn out a denser fabric on size US 0-1 than I could get with the Regia. Nevertheless, if you find this yarn in a discontinued sale bin it would not be a bad idea to stock up on a couple of balls for gift socks, toys, or maybe even some interesting colorwork.