Wednesday, July 27, 2005

...and she's back!

Back from three lovely weeks in Southeast Asia.

We saw a lot of really cool places and people and ate a lot of yummy food. The weather was only brutally hot a couple of days, so that was good.

Good Stuff:
Saw Angkor Wat at sunrise -- our awesome guide in AW who was very good at selecting times to visit temples when they weren't over run by tourists.

Increased my "merit" by rising at 4:30am in Luang Prabang and giving alms to Buddhist monks

Air conditioning at all hotels

Cool souveniers, including a custom made silk jacket. (and I flexed my bargaining skills all over the place!)

Food in Vietnam -- yummy, though we ate at fairly sanitized places most of the time. Never got traveler's tummy, which says to me that we played it a little too safe and probably missed out on some really good food.

The sticky rice in Lao -- if you've been, you know what I'm talking about. Its served in these cute baskets & you grab up a clump of it, and dip it in the food you are eating. so so good.

Lots of stuff that I am sure I am forgetting. Must review my travel journal for more.

Coming home to the kitties

Bad Stuff:
Weather was totally brutal on some days -- no clouds in the sky, sun beating down, huge humidity factor and no breeze to speak of (plus, stupidness in itinerary planning so we were walking around at the hottest part of the day)

Wearing 100% Deet in Siem Reap to ward off Dengue Fever due to recent outbreak in area -- very nasty to the skin

Dehydration factor

I was way, way, way overly ambitious about how much knitting I'd get done. Took three projects totally about 10 skeins. Got through part of one of the front panels for Kyoto, using about 1 skein of yarn. Ha ha ha.

Our new baby camera was dropped and BROKE!! :( (But at least it happened on the second to last day of the trip)

Coming home to the kitties -- because one had diarrhea attack in the last 24 hours before we got home (when there was no cat sitter in the house) so we spent first jet lagged hour home cleaning up cat poop from the cat and the carpet.

Brought home cold from Vietnam

Realizing I have to start the job search again.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Off Off and Away!

Wahoo! We leave today!

Mr. CTK is running around trying to do everything at the last minute. Yours truly packed yesterday, but of course I cannot truly relax until *he* is ready.

Thank goodness BART doesn't potentially go into strike mode until Wednesday as that is how we are getting to SFO.

Flight/Trip Provisions:

Snacks: Jelly Bellies, Swedish Fish and Wine Gums. Luna Bars, Almonds and Dried Apricots to balance out all of that sugar. We are flying business class, so I probably don't need all of these snacks, but I'm sure they will be consumed over the trip.

4 books -- I hope this will be enough, though I've found an English language book store in Hanoi just in case (and it could help ease my one big regret about this trip -- we will not be here on the day HP6 comes out!! I'm thinking the Hanoi store would probably carry the British edition, so that could be a cool consolation prize for missing out on the midnight shopping trip on the 15th.)

3 knitting projects -- Kyoto, the bunny hat from SnB Nation & a teddybear from Berrocco that only takes one skein so I could justify it as an "emergency" knitting project. Plus it uses #11, which will be a nice break from the #5s that the other two projects use. I upgraded my unused 16" #5 bamboo circs to AddiTurbos yesterday.

Here's a great way to justify the expense of AddiTurbos, for all of you out the in yarn & needle diet land.

1. Purchase size you'd like in Addi Turbos in another brand, costing, oh, $8.25 or so.

2. Wait a few weeks while you knit things with other needles.

3. Go back to LYS & exchange bamboo needles for Addi Turbos.

4. Pay $6 difference.

5. Compliment yourself on how inexpensive the Addis seemed to be since you spread the cost out over a couple of weeks. :P

Only 2.5 hours until we leave! Mr. CTK is traveling for three weeks with only a smallish rolling suitcase!! Clearly I didn't give him enough of the common items to pack! I am not a heavy packer, but at least I know how handy it is to have a carry on.

At least I have a collapsable duffle bag in my suitcase. He doesn't believe we will acquire enough goodies on the trip to necessitate bringing a carry on. Silly Boy!

OK, I may try to post while gone, but have often encountered awful keyboards in foreign countries where it takes you 30 minutes to type:

Dea& MOm,
We aRe here%. It i? hot. See YOu.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Chinchilla Mania

So my friend Amy used to have two chinchillas -- Spoon and Jasper. Spoon got knocked up and gave birth to Ivan (who they later found out was a girl). Jasper passed away one extraordinarily hot evening in San Francisco. :(

Recently, Ivan had some health problems and died too (after living 8 years or so, a pretty good run for a chinchilla, though still very sad).

I learned to knit. You've seen the magic scarf below. Then Amy's birthday was coming up and I thought I could knit her a chinchilla. So I made the little knitty baby pictured below -- it came out so well (esp. for my second item) that she asked where I bought it.

She sent me these photos yesterday, which she said was Spoon reenacting the end of "The Velveteen Rabbit". Amy has already loved an eye off of the knitty chinchilla.

You can't tell from the photos, but I used Bernat's Boucle in a heather grey along with some fluffy black-ish yarn to give it chinchilla like fuzzy-ness. There is also a little pom-pom tail which is pretty akin to what a chinchilla tail really looks like.

Spoon will eat sunflower seeds from your fingers if you stick them in the bars of her cage. Knitty Chinchilla doesn't live in the cage, it lives on Amy's bed. Awwwww.

Reenacting the end of "The Velveteen Rabbit"

Spoon and her knitted chinchilla buddy