Friday, December 31, 2004

Starting The Year Off Right

It's 9pm on New Year's Eve and I'm in bed with a cold. This is not how I would like to be spending New Year's Eve. Every year I have one main resolution that will stand until it's accomplished. Every year I resolve to spend the next new year's eve in a foreign country and every year I'm still hanging out somewhere in San Francisco, which let's face it, isn't so bad. But still, I swear, next year I will spend New Year's Even in a foreign country, sniffle sniffle, cough cough.


I've always been a believer that how you spend your New Year's Eve is an indicator of how you will spend the next year. So I try to do things that reflect some of my new year's resolutions. Sadly, this whole being sick with a cold situation has hindered my aspirations. I have spent the day at home, watching rented movies (and knitting too), which is good since I want to write an entire screenplay next year. A full-feature film. This isn't so good for the foreign country new year's eve goal. If I wanted to spend next year travelling, I should be doing some research on airfares. I guess I still have three hours left. On the other hand being sick tonight could mean that I'll be sick all year long. However, I recall that I was rather drunk last New Year's Eve, but I didn't spend all last year drunk, thank goodness. sniffle sniffle.

Truthfully, this has been a good year for me. I will fondly remember 2004, if not look back and wish I appreciated it more. I've accomplished a lot. I bought my own car. It wasn't a brand new car, but it was an improvement on the old car. I did some travelling -went to vegas for my birthday, attended my cousin's wedding, and visited my grandparents in Texas, I got married and my in-laws came to stay, Luke and I moved out of our tiny one bedroom apartment and into a 3-bedroom house. Luke and I grew even closer, I made some new friends, became closer to my family and had the best Christmas I've had in years. I discovered Napoleonic history. I moved up in my job. I don't have a lot to complain about. I am happy. That's what I call success.

There was only one truly sad event and that was the death of my brother in law Cain. I will always regret that I never got to meet him. He will always be a mysterious character for me, something of a myth, but I am able to know him through the love of his family. The strength that Luke and his sister and parents have shown in the face of this devastating loss is inspiring. It makes me proud to be part of their family.

All of this has made me more confident and focused. I feel prepared to go even further in 2005. Next year Luke and I will travel to Europe, I will pay off my credit debt (which is quite manageable, thank god), I will install a car stereo in my car, lose ten lbs, write a screenplay, continue to move forward in my career, become a more frequent blogger, further improve my cooking skills, watch more movies, hang out with my friends and spend time with my family. I want to continue a well-rounded life.

I'm only so happy because 2002 and 2003 were such difficult years. I had to adjust to being a working adult. I had to adjust to living with someone. I had to deal with being out of school. I wasn't prepared to know that it would be so difficult. Finally, it was in 2004 that I enjoyed the fruits of that change and hard work.

cough cough, sniffle sniffle.

Happy New Year everyone. Let us not forget those who have been lost or devastated by the Asian tsunamis. Go here: to see how you can help.

All the best,
The Crafty Blackjack Girl (thanks to Misa)

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

All Apologies

I'm sorry.

It's been a while.

I"ll be back soon....

Pictures to come

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

I am working my ASS off. At least at work. I should start doing the same at the gym. My suburban lifestyle is sneaking up on my figure. My resolution for 2005, aside from being to spend next new year's eve in a foreign country is to lose 10 lbs. My going record for New Year's resolutions isn't so hot. Every year I resolve to spend the next New Year's Eve in a foreign country and every year I'm still counting the strokes of midnight in the states. This does not bode well for the 10 lbs.

Christmas is already looking busy. It's only December 8th and I've already attended 2 parties. My friend Anne's birthday was spent in a fabulous restaurant in North Beach called The Steps of Rome. Every woman should spend their birthday there. It's full of loud, pumping Italian dance music, incredibly hot Italian waiters who will dance for you when they deliver your birthday tiramisu. Not only will they shimmy on top of you, they will lick tirmisu off of your neck and give you lots of kisses. My lucky friend Anne was fortunate enough to have 3 hot Italian men wishing her a very happy birthday. Go there yourself. It's near the corner of Broadway and Columbus - the good food is a perk in light of the titilating atmosphere! I've got to post some pictures of that event!

Quote of the evening: Italian waiter to my friend Anne before her birthday lap dance "You're screwed, my friends and I think you're very hot!"

As for the crafting. knitting needles have been glued to my hand like a cigarette between the fingers of a pouty French teenager. I can't get enough of it. I am jealous of the people who will be gifted with the fruit of my handiwork. Oh how I enjoyed making these gifts. Why can't I have four hands so I can knit two projects simultaneously, or better yet so that I could quilt and knit at the same time? Imagine what kind of productivity women could achieve with additional limbs. Is someone looking into a way of genetically achieving that?

Is it possible that I really don't have anything interesting to say tonight? Inconceivable! I don't know. I'm just happy. I look back at the last year and it was AMAZING. I got to travel quite a bit. I saw a lot of my family. I am doing well at my job. I got married. The Boston Red Sox won the world series. Of course nothing can't ever be perfect and I wouldn't want it to be. There have been some tragedies. The Bush administration among them. My brother in law's death the most terrible tragedy of the year. Our lives must be tempered with the sad for we would never know how good we have it if we were happy all of the time. We musn't take life for granted. That is my lesson for the year.

bon soir mes amis...

Life Dream #1: Spend a year living in France...
Life Dream #2: Make a feature film
Life Dream #3: Own a store
Life Dream #4: Have children
Life Dream #5: Build a swanky house
Life Dream #6: Travel throughout the world
Life Dream #7: Sell a piece of artwork

Monday, November 22, 2004

Easy Blogger

Dear Friends:

Welcome to the latest edition of "getting to know your friends."

What you are supposed to do is copy (not forward) this entire e-mail and
paste it onto a new E-mail that you'll send. Change all the answers so they
apply to you, and then send this to a whole bunch of people including the
person who sent it to you.

The theory is that you will learn a lot of little things about your friends,
if you did not know them already!

1). What time do you get up?
7:30 am
2). If you could eat lunch with one person, who would it be?
Johnny Depp or Ewen McGregor I can't decide
3). Gold/silver?

4). What was the last film you saw at the cinema?
Garden State
5). Favorite TV shows? 
      Kath and Kim
6) What did you have for breakfast?

7). Who would you hate to be stuck in a room with?
I wouldn't want to say, because then I might end up stuck with them

8). What inspires you?
A really good song (right now it's what you waiting for by Gwen Stefani or Take Me Out by Franz Ferdinand)

9). What is your middle name?

10). Beach, City, Country?
beach or city

11). Favorite ice cream?
heath bar crunch

12). Butter, plain or salted popcorn?
lightly buttered and lightly salted

13). Favorite color?
aqua and hot pink
14). What kind of car do you drive? 
volkeswagon  1987 Honda Accord (thanks Liz)

17). Favorite flowers? 
Gerbera Daisies

18). Where would you go on vacation?
Paris or Hawaii

19). What color is your bathroom?
 off white and purple

20). Favorite brand of clothing?
brand shmand

21). Where would you retire?
Merimbula, Australia

22). Favorite day of the week?

23). What did you do for your last birthday?
I made Pumpkin enchiladas for my friends

24). Where were you born?
In New England

25). Favorite sport to watch?
English Premier League Soccer, please is there really any other sport out there? 

26). Who do you least expect to send this back to you?
my mom

27). Person you expect to send it back first?

28). What fabric detergent do you use?
Safeway, it's just like tide

29). Coke or Pepsi?
yuck neither, give me sparkling water
30). Morning or night person?
31). What is your shoe size?
none of your beeswax

32). Do you have any pets?
my husband - just joking!

33). What is your favorite season?
34). What name appears on your birth certificate?
ms. cheeky angela

35). What time is it?
10:19 pm

36). Nicknames?
Ange, customer service, Angie, The Dragon, apb, Mrs. Dunn

37). Number of candles on your last birthday cake?
38). Kids?

39). Hair color
mousey brown
45). Favorite Food?

46). Been to Africa?
no and in our current political climate I don't think so

47). Been toilet papering?

48). Been in a car accident?

49). Croutons or bacon bits?
bacons all the way
50). Favorite saying or phrase?
Je t'aime, take a chill pill,

51). Favorite restaurant?
The Rusty Scupper or Mel's
52). Favorite nonalcoholic drink?

53.) How many times did you fail your driver's test?
0 - Ladies, it's all about the low cut shirt. You wanna pass your driver's test, wear a low cut shirt.

54.) Before this one, from whom did you get your last e-mail?

57.) What do you do most when you are bored? 

58.) Bedtime:

59.) Glass half empty or half full?
half full-always

60.) If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?

61) Last thing you got angry about?
something at work

62) Favorite place to shop?
Dharma Trading Company 

63) Time you finished this e-mail?
10:20 pm

DIRECTIONS: Now, here's what you're supposed to do....and DON'T spoil the
fun! Copy and paste the entire email into a new email. Change all the
answers so that they apply to you. Then send it to a whole bunch of people
you know INCLUDING the person who sent it to you. The theory is that you
will learn a lot of little known facts about those who know you.
Remember to send it back to the person who sent it to you

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Beginner Knitter Blues

I'm back.

Again with this whole multi-tasking on the crafts. I have this beautiful french themed quilt in the works, but I can't stop knitting. Even my husband is sick of the knitting, but he'll be happy since I'm actually knitting a scarf for him.

Here are some annoying lessons I have learned about knitting:

Always buy one more skein of yarn than you anticipate using. You WILL need it. I have one very special project that I can't finish because everyone has run out of the yarn I was using and I can't find an appropriate substitute. How distressing.

I am a "loose knitter", no I am not promiscuous and I don't go around using other people's yarn. I just hold the needles and the yarn a little too gently. As such, I keep inadvertantly adding stitches and on thinner yarns, losing stitches. My pal Gus gave me a few tips to remedy this and I have improved my knitting consistency.

Don't buy more yarn than you can knit. I have too many projects in quilting and beading alone and now I have a line of knitting projects cluttering my room. My New Year's resolution: do more quilting! But I think I am addicted and I can't stop. C'est la vie.

Life Status Report:

current employment: customer service rep for trendy home accessories wholesaler
marital status: married, no children
headspace: content
stomach: a little hungry
life's goal: to own a little store somewhere or to live for one year in France or both
book I'm reading: the Women of Napoleon
Movies I want to see: Neverland and Spongebob

Friday, November 19, 2004

I've come into some money

And now I'm going to spend it on yarn

needless to say I'm a happy camper...

check out these cool places:

oh and these nifty web sites:

Tell me what you think.... Please comment...

All the best,

La Grenadine....

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

The Election - It still hurts

OK i just went to John Kerry's web site for the last time and this is what I found and I realized that I still hurt from the loss and I'm still angry with Bush's administration and I still think we're in Iraq for all of the wrong reasons. Is there anyone who still isn't over it yet?

sooth your pain with the diginity of John Kerry: He's still a good loser even if I'm not.

John Kerry's Address to Supporters at Fanueil Hall 11/3/04

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much. You just have no idea how warming and how generous that welcome is, your love is, your affection, and I'm gratified by it. I'm sorry that we got here a little bit late and a bit short.

Earlier today, I spoke to President Bush, and I offered him and Laura our congratulations on their victory. We had a good conversation and we talked about the danger of division in our country and the need – the desperate need – for unity, for finding the common ground, coming together. Today, I hope that we can begin the healing. In America it is vital that every vote count, and that every vote be counted. But the outcome should be decided by voters, not a protracted legal process.

I would not give up this fight if there was a chance that we would prevail. But it is now clear that even when all the provisional ballots are counted, which they will be, there won't be enough outstanding votes for us to be able to win Ohio. And therefore, we can not win this election.

My friends, it was here that we began our campaign for the presidency. And all we had was hope and a vision for a better America. It was a privilege and a gift to spend two years traveling this country, coming to know so many of you. I wish that I could just wrap you in my arms and embrace each and every one of you individually all across this nation. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Audience member: We still got your back!

Thank you, man. And I assure you – you watch – I'll still have yours.

I will always be particularly grateful to the colleague that you just heard from who became my partner, my very close friend, an extraordinary leader, John Edwards. And I thank him for everything he did. John and I would be the first to tell you that we owe so much to our families. They're here with us today. They were with us every single step of the way. They sustained us. They went out on their own and they multiplied our campaign, all across this country.

No one did this more with grace and with courage and candor. For that, I love than my wife, Teresa. And I thank her. Thank you. And our children were there every single step of the way. It was unbelievable. Vanessa, Alex, Chris, Andre and John, from my family, and Elizabeth Edwards who is so remarkable and so strong and so smart. And Johnny and Cate who went out there on her own just like my daughters did. And also Emma Claire and Jack who were up beyond their bedtime last night, like a lot of us.

I want to thank my crewmates and my friends from 35 years ago. That great ‘band of brothers’ who crisscrossed this country on my behalf through 2004. Thank you. They had the courage to speak the truth back then, and they spoke it again this year, and for that, I will forever be grateful.

And thanks also as I look around here to friends and family of a lifetime. Some from college, friends made all across the years, and then all across the miles of this campaign. You are so special. You brought the gift of your passion for our country and the possibilities of change, and that will stay with us, and with this country forever.

Thanks to Democrats and Republicans and independents who stood with us, and everyone who voted no matter who their candidate was.

And thanks to my absolutely unbelievable, dedicated staff, led by a wonderful campaign manager Mary Beth Cahill, who did an extraordinary job. There's so much written about campaigns, and there's so much that Americans never get to see. I wish they could all spend a day on a campaign and see how hard these folks work to make America better. It is its own unbelievable contribution to our democracy, and it's a gift to everybody. But especially to me. And I'm grateful to each and every one of you, and I thank your families, and I thank you for the sacrifices you've made.

And to all the volunteers, all across this country who gave so much of themselves. You know, thanks to William Field, a six-year-old who collected $680, a quarter and a dollar at a time selling bracelets during the summer to help change America. Thanks to Michael Benson from Florida who I spied in a rope line holding a container of money, and turned out he raided his piggy bank and wanted to contribute. And thanks to Alana Wexler who is 11 years old and started kids for Kerry all across our country. I think of the brigades of students and people, young and old, who took time to travel, time off from work, their own vacation time to work in states far and wide. They braved the hot days of summer and the cold days of the fall and the winter to knock on doors because they were determined to open the doors of opportunity to all Americans. They worked their hearts out, and I wish… you don't know how much they, could have brought this race home for you for them, and I say to them now, don't lose faith.

What you did made a difference, and building on itself -- building on itself, we go on to make a difference another day. I promise you, that time will come. The time will come, the election will come when your work and your ballots will change the world, and it's worth fighting for.

I want to especially say to the American people in this journey, you have given me honor and the gift of listening and learning from you. I have visited your homes. I have visited your churches. I've visited your union halls. I've heard your stories, I know your struggles, I know your hopes. They're part of me now, and I will never forget you, and I'll never stop fighting for you.

You may not understand completely in what ways, but it is true when I say to you that you have taught me and you've tested me and you've lifted me up, and you made me stronger, I did my best to express my vision and my hopes for America. We worked hard, and we fought hard, and I wish that things had turned out a little differently.

But in an American election, there are no losers, because whether or not our candidates are successful, the next morning we all wake up as Americans. And that -- that is the greatest privilege and the most remarkable good fortune that can come to us on earth.

With that gift also comes obligation. We are required now to work together for the good of our country. In the days ahead, we must find common cause. We must join in common effort without remorse or recrimination, without anger or rancor. America is in need of unity and longing for a larger measure of compassion.

I hope President Bush will advance those values in the coming years. I pledge to do my part to try to bridge the partisan divide. I know this is a difficult time for my supporters, but I ask them, all of you, to join me in doing that.

Now, more than ever, with our soldiers in harm's way, we must stand together and succeed in Iraq and win the war on terror. I will also do everything in my power to ensure that my party, a proud Democratic Party, stands true to our best hopes and ideals.

I believe that what we started in this campaign will not end here. And I know our fight goes on to put America back to work and make our economy a great engine of job growth. Our fight goes on to make affordable health care an accessible right for all Americans, not a privilege. Our fight goes on to protect the environment, to achieve equality, to push the frontiers of science and discovery, and to restore America's reputation in the world. I believe that all of this will happen -- and sooner than we may think -- because we're America. And America always moves forward.

I've been honored to represent the citizens of this commonwealth in the United States Senate now for 20 years. And I pledge to them that in the years ahead, I'm going to fight on for the people and for the principles that I've learned and lived with here in Massachusetts.

I'm proud of what we stood for in this campaign, and of what we accomplished. When we began, no one thought it was possible to even make this a close race. But we stood for real change, change that would make a real difference in the life of our nation, the lives of our families. And we defined that choice to America.

I'll never forget the wonderful people who came to our rallies, who stood in our rope lines, who put their hopes in our hands, who invested in each and every one of us. I saw in them the truth that America is not only great, but it is good.

So here -- so with a grateful heart -- I leave this campaign with a prayer that has even greater meaning to me now that I've come to know our vast country so much better. Thanks to all of you and what a privilege it has been. And that prayer is very simple: God bless America. Thank you.

Monday, November 15, 2004


So I am in the middle of the "Great Studio Clean Up" and going through all of my papers which include bills, paystubs movie tickets, magazine and newspaper clippings, Ikea furniture directions , catalogs, old correspondence... I've become paranoid about identity theft so I haven't really thrown away anything of importance. However I am going to get a SHREDDER, which should make my little room a little more palatable to creativity. Joy.

One of the little pieces of paper I found was an airplane napkin that my husband and I passed to one another on a trip to Connecticut. I found a card that I wrote to myself back in 2001, which scary as it may seem, wasn't really that long ago. This got me thinking today, where was I a year ago? Two years? Three years? Can I tell where I'm going if I look at the past??

November 2004: recently married, working in customer service, living in a rented Eichler -it's so big and it's got a fireplace (I'm finally home), favorite album: Franz Ferdinand, favorite movie: Garden State

november, 2003: applied to grad school for a writing degree (didn't get in), had just postponed my wedding, working in office assistance, favorite movie: Lost In Translation

November 2002: had just moved in with future husband, working as an ad agency receptionist (the worst job that has become my job hating barometer, if I am ever as unhappy as I was at that job, I will quit immediately, without notice) -favorite movie: Amelie, favorite album: Bjork Vespertine

November 2001: Starting my last year in college, just met my future husband who totally rocked my world and totally turned it upside down. started studying screenwriting. Met good friend Gabrielle. Got evicted from apartment with good friend Jenny. Moved into the inner richmond section of San Francisco to the biggest flat I've ever seen in my life. the living room alone was bigger than the house I live in now. Luke moved to another apartment closer to mine. Favorite movie: Ghost World, Favorite album: Basement Jaxx - Rooty

Novmber 2000: Started the downhill slide in a long term relationship, which was one of the scariest times of my life. I had attached my whole self to one person and deprived myself of key youthful experiences, which was bad for me and bad for the man I was with. You need to take the time to get to know yourself, or be with someone who will allow you that space. Favorite album: Coldplay - Parachutes

November 1999: Just came off of a high of spending a long summer hanging out in LA studying film. Met some amazing people, all foreigners. Wish we kept in better contact. Favorite album: Beth Orton - Central Reservation: Best film: Eyes Wide Shut

November 1998 - Starting working at an upscale toystore during Christmas. one of the hardest and best jobs I ever had. Taught me everything about how to deal with people at their worst.

My only regret in the last six years is that I didn't travel more.

So where will I be in the next six years? Looking over the past and remembering all of the surprises, I think I prefer to know when I get there. I'm sure I'll be sitting on a plane somewhere thinking how lucky I am and how I didn't expect to be whereever I will be.

I certainly didn't think I'd be here getting married in 2004, but here I am:

the wedding photo

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Been Busy Crafting

You may have noticed that I haven't been posting much. I've been making my little room more organized so that I can do more stuff. It is important to have your own space where you can close the door and just get focused into your world.

My brain is so full of crap and stuff. I have to do some collage work to unload it. Seriously I'm starting to get headaches. I have this huge dream quilt that I've been planning for a while. I haven't put anything to paper yet. I basically want to scan all of my collages I have been working on and transfer them to fabric. Then I have this beautiful cotton dress that I don't wear any more. I want to applique that over all of the collages and favorite fabrics. But first I have all these other things to finish...


Thursday, November 04, 2004

Site of the Day

This is for all of us who are still distressed about the outcome of the election. Moby is someone who is finding this hard to take as well and I encourage you to visit his web site to get some much needed Bushland relief:

I myself have found lots of relief in knitting. That's really the whole thing about the crafts is that it's a creative way to disconnect from the world. I can't sit still when watching television or waiting. I like to be making something. Knitting relaxes me after a long day at work. When I'm knitting, suddenly I am at peace with the world. My brain clears. It's like yoga for the hands.

This whole election thing has made me feel like I don't belong in this country. You may be feeling this too. Joan Ryan's column made a lot of sense to me today:

This UK Newspaper Headline has made my friends feel a lot better:

I didn't vote for Bush!

take care out there,

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Finally Real Live Crafts!

Hello Everyone,
In order to keep myself distracted from the reality of election 04 I have gone to work on getting some real live proof that I actually make crafty stuff. I don't have any knitting on site yet -digital camera isn't fully charged- erg!, but I did get some quilting stuff running.

Please excuse my poor sewing. I am a beginner but maybe this learning curve stuff actually makes my work more interesting. This is my first quilt, which I am still hand sewing.

mystic quilt

Here's a close up of the quilt. I love fabrics with suns or moons.

Mystic Baby Quilt

Then I made this Across the Universe Quilt with all moon and stars patterns. It's a HUGE quilt and it's taken forever to finish so I'm kind of over the sun moon and stars:

So then I made this freckle quilt, which is for my mother-in-law
I have much more than this, except that I have to upgrade my Flickr account, which I can't do until later.
I'll go more into detail about these quilts later this week. I hope all of you kerry fans are feeling better out there. Thank you all for your support.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Election Eve Jitters

A moment away from the crafting alright?

Let's just put it all out on the line. I'm a liberal democrat. I used to be a moderate, but seeing as I keep voting like a democrat I might as well accept myself for who I am. I will never want to give tax breaks to the rich, deprive women of abortions, blurry the line between church and state or allow gay people only limited rights. It's the only way that I'll be able to live with myself and sleep at night.

I just got married last month. Why should I be privileged as a straight woman to get married and a gay man or woman shouldn't? It was the most beautiful day of my life that I got to share with all of my friends and family. We are demeaning marriage by not allowing these people to legally partake in this human tradition.

I am worried about the election. I'm afraid that the legitimacy of our democratic system was put into question in 2000. I'm afraid that we're going to have just as many questions after this election -so many states are too close to call. Needless to say I'm voting for Kerry and I'm shamelessly encouraging you to do the same. Vote for a change in leadership that will invigorate our society. We need a president who recognizes the need to maintain respect throughout the world, not some Texas cowboy who has trounced on the toes of our allies and given America a bad name. Vote for a president who will make the world a better place by making the United States a better place. We can change the world by changing ourselves first. How are we ever going to make peace if we don't promote it ourselves? We need to stop playing Cowboys and Indians with third world nations and find nonviolent ways to encourage freedom. Peace, Education and Tolerance will be the only ways to ensure that terrorism decreases around the world. I believe that John Kerry understands this and that's why I'm voting for him tomorrow.

ps: When it comes to the war in Iraq. The 1,000 American Casualties upset me, but the 10,000 Iraqi casualties are atrocious. We have prosecuted a people without a trial.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Gonna Have to Face it I'm addicted to Craft

First there was cross stitch. Then there was beading and then quilting and now knitting. I really can't stop. I've had to move houses to contain my crafting stash. I'm trying to figure out which craft is next on the horizon, but for now quilting and knitting are taking up most of my spare time. Any suggestions?

I went to the local farmer's market today, which always inspires me because everyone there is in good spirits. The food is the freshest you can get. This week there was also a lovely granny who was selling crocheted hats and I bought one -could not resist supporting a fellow crafter. Maybe one day I'll set up shop there. I am wearing my new hat in my little photo. It's kept me quite cozy in this cold rainy weather and if I pull my hat low enough over my ears and eyes I can pretend that Bush isn't president.

Today I'm working on a knitting needle case. It's the first non-quilt related thing I've ever tried to sew and as such it's looking a little pathetic. I'll post a photo later, along with some others of my recent projects. I'm also getting some scarves started. So many projects...