Friday, February 24, 2006

More notes on the Upper Crust Bakery

Clearly, the UCB made a big impression on me last weekend, because now I've been there two more times! However, I now have some reservations about it. I think a full opinion on the place requires a bit more research.

The first time, I took the Chairwoman there for breakfast before she left town on Tuesday. Unfortunately, the cinnamon rolls that day were not as good as before. I think they had been pulled out of the oven just a little too early, so they didn't have a nice crisp crust on the outside and they were a bit greasy on the inside. The Chairwoman didn't even finish hers.

Then I went there again today to buy cinnamon rolls for GPG (I'll drive down to Houston after school today) and a sandwich for lunch. I haven't tried the cinnamon rolls yet, so I don't know if they're any better, but the sandwich was decent. The Oatmeal Bread they used was particularly tasty, but the chicken salad was a little bit disappointing. I guess I'm not a fan of chicken salads with grapes in them, since the grapes get soggy and smushy if they've been sitting for too long.

Anyway, I'm still a UCB fan . . . but maybe I won't show up three times in one week anymore.

In other news, I did finally finish the Chairman's birthday present: socks! I don't have any pictures, but at least I can now disclose what they were. I knit them up in KnitPicks Essential black sock yarn--basically, the leftovers from GPG's Christmas socks--and used the "Broken Rib" (?) pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks. (I'm not sure about the name of the pattern, but it was just a k3, p3 round alternated with a k1, p1 round.)

Now I'm plugging away at the Violinist's wedding present and I also started a satchel? pouch? bag? from the Handknit Holidays book, basically as a thank-you present for two of GPG's friends from Germany, who sent me a book in the mail. I really ought to start on the second Wyvern sock, but I think I will have to put that on hold for a bit until I get rid of some of these more pressing knitting obligations.

I'll be off to visit GPG for the weekend, but I hope to post something while I'm there or when I get back into town. Hope you have a good weekend!

Monday, February 20, 2006

Down to the line

The Chairwoman is visiting me for a few days from Japan, and I'm struggling mightily to finish up the Chairman's birthday present so she can take it with her when she leaves and bring it to him. I'm almost done, but things may come down to the line in the next day or so before she takes off. Let's just say I'll have to find more time to knit than just my usual bus ride.

Weekend recap:

* GPG and I caught two new exhibits at the Harry Ransom Center this weekend. Like the previous Ansel Adams exhibit they had, these exhibits were great and my regard for the HRC is now even higher than it was before.

The exhibit that GPG and I spent the most time looking at is called "The Image Wrought: Historical Photographic Approaches in the Digital Age." It features some historical photographs taken when photography was a new emerging technology and photographers were experimenting with different ways to record images: pinhole cameras, daguerreotypes, etc. But, the neat thing about the exhibit is that it features modern photographs taken with similar techniques, so you can compare the pictures.

They also had another exhibit, The Technologies of Writing, which was a lot more extensive than the small photographic exhibit. GPG and I didn't spend so much time with this one, so I don't have as much to report on it, but it was done with a great level of skill and detail. Basically, it covers the evolution of systems of writing and how these systems were executed through the ages (e.g., papyrus, printing presses, etc.). I think I'd like to go back and take more time to look at everything.

* Upper Crust Bakery: A great bakery and an awesome substsitute for Houston's Croissant Brioche. GPG and I went there and had a cinnamon roll, a strawberry danish, and tasty versions of a chocolate croissant and almond croissant. And even better? With two bottomless mugs of coffee, the total came up to LESS THAN TEN DOLLARS. For a capital breakfast! Two big thumbs up for the UCB. In fact, I plan on taking the Chairwoman there tomorrow before she has to leave.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Ski Trip II!

Well, I'm back and more or less recovered from Ski Trip II: Boondoggle Boogaloo. I actually got back on Sunday night, but it was pretty late (11:45 pm by the time I got home) and the past two days I've been trying to catch up with school work. Now I have some breathing space again and can post.

The trip itself was really nice. We went to Deer Valley in Utah, and although the snow wasn't quite as nice as it was in Colorado, the mountain itself had lots of good routes for all kinds of skill levels. Certainly enough to wear me out over two days. It also didn't hurt that we got fed good food and put up in good lodging. Nope, that didn't hurt at all.

Something that's worth noting is that Deer Valley, along with some other resorts in the Park City area in Utah, apparently offers a free ticket to anyone who flies in to Salt Lake City and wants to ski that same day. I think they have this promotion to encourage people to come ski in the area--you know, basically to show what great access SLC has to these resorts and how easy it is to get into town for a weekend of skiing.

Anyway, in knitting news, I bought the yarn for the Violinist's wedding present and started knitting. I figure that if I manage to do a few rows every night, maybe I'll be able to finish it in time.

I also am sort of trucking along on the Chairman's (now belated) birthday present. Unfortunately, knitting in the dark on the bus causes problems--who would've thought?--and I had to frog quite a bit today. Grr. But I think I almost have things straightened out and will be able to resume regular knitting.

Hope you all had a good Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 10, 2006

Skiing Hiatus II!

Sorry for the lack of posts this week. After I got back from Ski Trip I, I had to work on a paper draft for school that was due on Thursday. Now that I'm done with it, I'm almost ready to head off for Ski Trip II: Boondoggle Boogaloo, hosted by the law firm I'm going to work for in L.A. this summer. They are flying us to Utah this evening for a day and a half (maybe two, since my return flight on Sunday is fairly late) of skiing.

So, posting will be sparse, unfortunately. In the meantime, for knitting, I've started on a wedding present for the Violinist and I'm maybe a third of the way through the Chairman's birthday present. Lots and lots of presents to make right now. I still have to make the Chairwoman's cowl out of the lovely Kathmandu yarn, but that has to wait for a while. So do pictures of all these things, since obviously I don't want to spill the beans before the recipients receive these various knitted goodies.

Have a good weekend. More posting following the boondoggle.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Ski Trip I

Well, I am back from Ski Trip I, and unfortunately . . . no pictures. GPG and I are not very big picture-takers, so we didn't really take any good photos to capture the trip experience. GPG did go wandering around Breckenridge with Yiqianzi (Cheechoo's dad), who is a great amateur photographer, so he got some art-ier pictures of the town and some ice sculptures in a big sculpture competition going on while we were there. But there are only a few blurry pictures of skiing, and they are only of me because GPG had the camera. You'll have to check out Yiqianzi for some of the ice sculpture pictures.

And, because I was so tired after getting back from the trip, I didn't even get them saved at GPG's before I had to leave to come back to school. So there will definitely be no pictures for a while, since visiting GPG won't happen any time in the near future.

The trip itself was decent. I'm a bit lukewarm in my report because it was sort of a zero sum game--good things mixed with bad things. The main good thing was the snow. The skiing was great; on Sunday morning we had fresh powder to ski through, and the rest of the time there was nicely groomed snow without a single icy or rocky patch.

The main bad thing was my altitude headaches. I hardly ever get such headaches, but I had them on this trip and was pretty grumpy for most of it, as GPG will tell you. I was eating ibuprofen like candy, and it didn't help that everyone was staying up late and that there weren't quite enough blankets to go around at night, so I was sleeping fairly fitfully. Not enough sleep + altitude headaches = very grumpy Seedless Grape.

Plus, the traffic through the Eisenhower Tunnel was just awful. I don't understand why it was so terrible, but it took us hours to get anywhere on I-70. I finished part of the Chairman's birthday present while we were stuck there, inching along. The traveling logistics definitely grumpified the trip for both me and GPG.

But, it was good to see the Family von Seedless Grape again and to meet Cheechoo for the first time. And it was probably good to get a warm-up for Ski Trip II this weekend. More on that later.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Skiing Hiatus I!

Today GPG and I are going to Colorado to ski with the Family von Seedless Grape. This includes visiting Cheechoo for the first time. He's gotten quite big, so I hope he fits into the hat that I knit him, which is a bit on the floppy side.

Anyway, no posts until next week. I'll try to take some good skiing pictures while I'm gone.