Sunday, February 27, 2011

Snowboarding: Take Two

Despite some knee troubles this week I ventured back up to Ski Roundtop for another go at snowboarding. I lightened up on the layers, but still found myself sweaty by the end of it. This time went a little better. I wasn't exhausted from a snowboarding lesson, so I was able to do a lot more runs. The snow wasn't really snow, but rather ice chips. I practiced coming down the slope on the heel edge of my board, but didn't get much practice on the toe side. I even managed to make it down one time without falling. I had a lot of fun, but called it quits after about 4 hours because both knees were hurting. I don't think I'm ready for my own snowboard and gear, but I would like my own helmet and maybe goggles. I'm glad I rented a helmet. I caught an edge and hit the ground really hard once. I hit my head and got the wind knocked out of me. There was solid ice underneath the ice chips, so I'm sure that would have hurt a lot more without the helmet. I have myself some nice new bruises on the knees. I suppose I could use some knee pads too.

After I quit I changed into some dry clothes, drank my tea, and knitted in the lodge while Ross and his coworker Patrick spent a couple more hours on the slopes.

I think I did better this time--as I hope is evidenced in this video:

At least I don't look like a squatting zombie!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Made to Match, But...

For Valentine's day I whipped up Ross this simple little scarf out of cashmerino yarn that was leftover from the hat that he made for himself. I used a two by two rib with a garter stitch border. He made the hat with a two by two rib, so I thought it would match. There was less than one ball of yarn leftover, so the scarf is a little short. The only problem is that Ross can't find his hat! It is hard to have a matching set when you lose half of the set. Oh well. He's convinced the hat is in the house somewhere.

I knitted this with size 8 needles. It went so fast compared to the scarf I'm working on with size 2 needles!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Patience With Penny

I guess being patient with Penny is paying off. That little shoot from December has grown in the last couple of weeks. Some more leaves have fallen off, but things are looking stable. I've moved Penny to the kitchen and I leave the light on for her during the day. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I might actually get blooms at some point.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Bailey is What?

Today I took Bailey to the vet and they had a big chart on the wall to convert years to cat age. Bailey is 11 years old. That is age 60 in cat years. Bailey isn't considered senior. She's geriatric. I'm in total denial. The vet said that she is healthy, but I need to start cleaning her teeth. She has one tooth that's really bad. They also recommended I give her some joint supplements. I also need to watch her water intake. I want Bailey to live to 35, so I need to start cleaning her teeth, and check into those supplements.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

My First Time ... Snowboarding

I told Ross that I'd go with him snowboarding at least once this season. In case you don't know, I have skied before and I gave it up years ago. I didn't enjoy being cold, frustrated, scared, and in pain.

So yesterday we headed to Ski Roundtop to go snowboarding. I didn't want to be cold so I put on as many layers as I could. On top I had on a bra, two tank tops, two long sleeve shirts, a long sleeve cashmere sweater and two cashmere hoodies. All of that underneath my jacket. On the bottom I had underwear, a base layer, a leggings layer, and a sweatpants layer. All of that underneath my ski bib. I was also wearing a scarf. When we got into the sun I got pretty hot and took off one layer of cashmere. I never got cold (not even my toes), but let me tell you, I was soaking wet from sweat at the end of the day. I think I overdid it a little with the layering. Thank goodness I had a pair of jeans, a pullover and a long sleeve top in the car to put on afterward.

We just chilled until snowboard lessons at noon. I was not happy at the beginning of the lessons. We would slide down to the bottom of a small hill, then push ourselves back up the hill (like skateboarding), then do it all over again. I am out of shape. My heart was pounding, I was sucking wind. I was tired and shaking. I had problems with my bindings a couple of times, and it seemed like I never got a break (to rest).

After a few drills on the bunny slope we got onto the lift. I had no problem getting on or off. Ross said he's really impressed. Really, if that's all I had to do to snowboard, I'd have it made. We started down the hill, and I started having more fun (I wasn't having to drag myself and the board back uphill.) I learned how to slip and side and do the falling leaf. I did all right. I started to enjoy it.

Ross and I went back up to the top of the hill (I hesitate to call it a mountain) after the class and I was able to make my way back down without too many problems. The second run was not as smooth. It was downright painful and frustrating. The trail was too flat and I kept falling down. I landed on my sacrum a couple of times and it hurt. The third time down I did better. I was slow (especially to get up), but I was pretty impressed with myself. I managed to make it down with only a couple of falls. I really had to concentrate on which way I was heading and leaning, but I managed it all right. At some point on the second run I hit my left knee really hard and so after the third run I decided to take a rest. Ross did a few runs on his own and then I decided I was done. I went inside and Ross continued to snowboard.

Overall I had a good time. I never cried like I did when I went skiing. We are planning to go back with Ross's coworkers in two weeks. I've already started looking at snowboards on Craigslist because that's how I am. I want my own stuff. I prepaid for my next lift ticket and it comes with free rentals and free classes, so I don't need my own stuff quite yet.

This video shows my really slow going. I'm so glad Ross took this video. I can see that I'm bending my knees WAY too much (check out the snowboarders that pass me) and leaning forward.
Ross looks like a soldier from the video game Rainbow Six. He's decked out head to toe in black and looks super cool.

Here I am waiting for my class. I wore my sunglasses instead of goggles cause I don't have any. I'm happy to report that I still fit in the ski bib that my mom got for me over 15 years ago at a garage sale (and Ross still fits in his.) Oh, I was happy that my board and boots were Burton brand.

I told Ross that if my knee didn't bruise I was going to be pissed. It really hurt! Well, here's the bruise. My butt also bruised, but you probably don't want to see a photo of that.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Spies, Sweet Syrup, Dirty Nappies, and More!

This morning we headed to DC to visit the International Spy Museum. We got discount tickets through Living Social, which also entitled us to free key chains. We weren't allowed to take any photos, and I didn't even take one of the outside of the building. I visited the museum back in 2003 I think. There were more exhibits than I remember. It was pretty cool. We only lasted for 2.5 hours. I learned a lot. Unfortunately, I've forgotten most of it already.

After the museum we headed to Ella's Wood Fired Pizza. We started with the butternut squash risotto. The flavor was great, but the rice was undercooked. A bit crunchy. I was hungry, so I inhaled it. Then we had the wild mushroom pizza--which came with mushrooms, tomato sauce, spinach, and goat cheese. It was pretty good, but I agree with Ross that there was just something missing. I think it was garlic. We didn't have room for dessert. I wanted to try the tiramisu, but I'll be making some tomorrow, so I let it go. Ross had a Dr. Pepper that was all syrup. It tasted so good! Between the two of us we polished off 2 glasses. That was probably enough syrup for 5 glasses! It was so tasty though. It almost tasted like real sugar. The service was friendly, but a bit lacking.

After lunch we walked to the Cowgirl Creamery. We decided to buy one of the cheeses that was on sale--we sampled it and it was pretty tasty. We'll take it to tomorrow's superbowl party. When the lady at the cash register asked if I wanted a bag I said no--that I'd put it inside my bag inside a bag inside a bag. I wrapped up the cheese in a plastic grocery sac, dropped it into my reusable bag that I always carry with me, and then put it into my purse. Ross and I then noticed a sign on the register that businesses inside DC charge 5c per plastic bag. I didn't know that.

We left the Creamery and headed back down to the Metro. Something smelled really terrible, so Ross and I moved further down the platform. I moved again. Then as I was sitting on a really cold concrete bench I noticed the smell again. Like a dirty nappy. I put my head into my purse (Yes my big head fits into my purse, have you seen my purse?) and the dirty nappy smell came out at me. I yelped "It's me! I'm the stinky one!" Seems the cheese we bought is rather fragrant. We drove home with the cheese in the trunk, and the smell still crept up and tried to knock us out.

We did some grocery shopping on the way home. I needed things to make tiramisu. I also grabbed some fruit for Pimm's cups. I saw a coat in WW that I liked, but they didn't have my size. I'm jealous of Ross's new $15 coat. I'm going with him snowboarding next week and I want to look all cool. I ended up buying a $6 coat, but it isn't very heavy. I'm going to check another WW tomorrow (how sad is that...)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Au Revoir Les Enfants

I've been meaning to watch this movie for years. I would always see it at Blockbuster in the foreign films section, but I never actually picked it up. It has been in my Netflix instant watch queue forever. Today while Ross was at school I decided to watch a movie and get some knitting done. I didn't know anything about this movie except that it had won a couple of awards.

Well, there I was, trying to knit while watching a film in French when I realized--BAM--this is a jew story. I'm telling you, I'm a jew story magnet.

This was a simple film. It just told a story. It didn't try to be grandiose or revolutionary. I guess knowing that it was a foreign film and a jew story I was prepared for the ending. It was a good movie.

I got some knitting done and I'm surprised at how much French I understood.

Oh, and I recognized one of the monks in the film as Inspector Tarconi from the Transporter movies.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Recent Movies

We watched Sherlock Holmes on DVD over the weekend. It was fun. Not great, but not bad. Holmes was very observant. Like Patrick Jane. Oh, and he could fight. That made him really cool. I wish I was cool. Alas, I am neither observant or capable of fighting.

We watched Cronos on Netflix instant watch. Cronos was Guiellermo del Toro's first movie. I thought it was weird. Ross says it was just bad. The acting was terrible. Really terrible. The little girl in the movie was creepy with her non-reaction to everything. It wasn't a bad idea, just a badly made movie.

Last night we watched Resident Evil Afterlife on DVD. I enjoyed the last couple of Resident Evil movies. This one wasn't as good. Something was missing. Milla Jovovich looks a little older, but she is still strong and sexy. The zombies were different--they had squid like things that they projected out of their mouths. Odd. The bad guy was awful. The terrible writing, his awful acting, the matrix-y special effects (too much), all added up to a very painful scene. The end was left wide open for another film. I hope they do a better job next time.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Double Tap

In the movie Zombieland the main character has all these rules for surviving. One of them is the double tap. Even if you think the guy is dead, shoot him again. The rule really comes in handy when playing Call of Duty. Some of those guys just won't die! So remember, when confronted with Zombies or enemy soldiers--double tap.