Thursday, March 29, 2007

Of Sneezing and Stockingette

I had a home softball game on Tuesday. It was very windy. At least twice during the game, a particularly large gust of wind blew a WALL of pollen off of the trees in the outfield. It was so thick that for a split second, the scoreboard in left field was obscured.

Our PA announcer asked what that was. When I informed him that it was a cloud of evil yellow pollen, he remarked that "Damn. That tree should be having a cigarette about now!"

Well, I thought it was funny. ACHOO! Now if I could only find an allergy med that worked that I didn't have to spray up my nose, I'd be happy camper!

On to the knitting ...

I've gotten a few inches into my alpaca V-neck sweater. I wanted something plain so that the pattern wouldn't "fight" with the yarn, since I happen to think that this yarn is amazing all by itself.

Lots of people complain about how they get bored with plain stockingette. I have to admit that most of the time, I'm not one of them.

I get so busy with ... life. And work. The Mountain of softball season doesn't seem very daunting when you're in the middle of the hike. But when you're standing at the foot of the Mountain about to start the climb ... well, it has a tendency to bum me out. Stockingette sweaters are simply perfect to fight the mid-season blues.

And let me tell you, I have a five-star case of the blues right about now. I'm tired of my life being unsettled. Although I love my quilting and knitting friends and the resources for those hobbies here in LA, I'm so over this place.

On the drive back from San Luis Obispo last weekend, the traffic changed as soon as we hit Santa Barbara. It got more crowded. More cutthroat. More aggressive. Then we topped the hill on the 101 coming out of Camarillo. BOOM. Sprawl. The Hubster and I just signed and agreed that we're ready to get outta here. Keep your fingers crossed. I think he has an iron in the fire that's starting to get warm.

Oh, and rather than leaving my brown cable sweater in pieces to sit as a UFO forever, I cast on for Sleeve #1 last night

More stockingette. This is not a bad thing in my life right now.

[NOTE: To all of my quilty buddies heading north, have a wonderful time in Asilomar. I want to hear all about it and see pictures when you get back!]

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Weekend at the Coast

The Hubster and I spent the weekend in San Luis Obispo. The spark for the trip was that my softball team resumed its schedule with a doubleheader up there on Sunday at Cal Poly, but the bonus was that we were able to stay with friends. And their golden retriever, Kalie!

Ain't she cute? She's nine months and quite well behaved, although there are definitely chunks of "puppy" that come through.

If I could figure out how to fix puppy red-eye without spending a big chunk of time on it, she wouldn't look like Exorcist Dog, but you get the idea. :)

Here is the hubster and I at Pismo Beach. Unfortunately, the free day we had happened to be the overcast day of the weekend. Oh well!

No pics, but I finished the back of the brown cable sweater and have cast on with the vareigated alpaca for my v-neck. I'll try to get some pics in the next few days, between LOTS of softball. *sigh*

The grind isn't so bad when you're in the middle of it, but when you're staring the start of it in the face, that's when it pretty much just sucks.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Yarn Pr0n Thursday?

OK. I didn't even think about joining Turtlegirl's blog ring for Yarn Pr0n Fridays, because I know I'm not reliable enough for her (perfectly reasonable) expectations. If I had a "normal" 9-5 job, I could probably pull it off, but that's just not my world.

However, in the last week, I have acquired some pretty great fiber, none of it at full price. So I'm gonna share some pics!

First, last Saturday the Hubster and I attempted to go to Santa Anita for a day of racing. He likes going to the races. I like the horses and history. He usually goes to Hollywood Park, which is a lot closer to our house. The day was a disaster. We didn't get there as early as he wanted to (maybe he should have set an alarm? Whatever.) and we were unable to get a table in the club area. From that moment on, I wasn't spending a day with the Hubster, I was spending the day with Captain Cranky.

After three races, we decided to punt. At that point, I was willing to do anything to improve the day and not finish it by shouting at each other. I loved Santa Anita. It's a beautiful track and you can see its heyday as you walk around. There's a statue of Seabiscuit in the paddock, and after having read the Laura Hillenbrand book several years ago, being in that place made the story come alive in a way the movie never would.

Anyhoo, after feeding the hubster a yummy lunch, I asked if we could make a stop at Unraveled since we were in the neighborhood. Captain Cranky agreed, so I dashed in and took advantage of their 30% off sale.

This was the yarn that I had in my head that pushed me to ask if we could stop. It's Koigu KPPPM in the "Arctic" colorway. The only problem I have now is deciding if my next pair of socks is going to be out of this color or the green I showcased a week ago.

Isn't it awesome? I can't wait to play with it. Gotta finish the second toe-up short row heel sock first.

After confirming that there really was a sale going on, I explored a little bit more. And I found this. Malabrigio Worsted Weight. 216 yards. Color is "Oceanos"

I got two skeins, so I have about 430 yards of it. Any suggestions? I'm kind of thinking about making this scarf. There is a green that's amazing too, but this blue ... I just couldn't resist.

And finally, last night I went to Beach Knitting for their super-secret Spring Fling sale. I went in specifically to get this yarn. It's Misti Alpaca, baby alpaca in worsted weight. The close-up (below) is almost perfectly "true" in color.

It's going to be a V-neck pullover sweater in stockingette. It's such a beautiful variegated colorway that I don't want any pattern that's going to fight with the yarn. Just let the yarn be itself and shine.

The store wound up getting SLAMMED, so I wound up staying an extra hour or so and just helping all the customers that wandered in for the night. It was fun!

The hubster and I are going up to San Luis Obispo for the weekend. We are planning to stop at The Treasure Hunt in Carpinteria on the way up there tomorrow. Don't I have a great hubster? We're spending Friday and Saturday nights with friends who live in SLO. Then my softball season starts up again on Sunday, and my free time will disappear into nothingness. Oh well. At least I have plenty of yarn to keep me busy between then and when I get my life back at season's end!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

All Socks, All the Time!

Well, not really. But I did finish my first ever toe-up short row heel sock last night. Tah-dah!

I'm pretty happy with it. I think I ripped and re-started the toe about a half-dozen times. I'm quite happy with how the toe turned out and am halfway through the toe of Sock #2.

The short row heel, however, has issues. You can see the hole at the "apex" of the heel from a distance. *sigh*

I bow at the feet of experienced short-rowers and beg for enlightenment! What am I doing wrong, or maybe just not quite so right?

Gotta run. Off to an afternoon blood test that required fasting. Few things worse than that. Ugh.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Chicken Little

Every time it rains in Los Angeles, even if it's just a very light mist, I think of Chicken Little. The sky is falling! The sky is falling! (Loved the recent animated move, BTW ... BNL doing the title track is just a bonus!)

It rains so infrequently here that people just freak out when it rains. If it's what I consider "actual rain" then it's the lead story on the news with STORMTRACKER 7000 and people either refuse to get in their cars to drive anywhere (because it's too dangerous) or drive like idiots because the roads might be slick. It's a mess.

It has rained here today, but it's an exceptionally light rain. Only qualifies as rain in an area like this as far as I'm concerned. I managed to force myself to go work out (and got in a really good sweat thankyouverymuch) and am now trying to psych myself up to complete the work that must be done today.

In lieu of actual sock or sweater pictures, I give you a meme.

I got tagged for this meme when I was keeping track of floribunda’s blog. I thought it was pretty interesting, so I didn’t mind the “you read, you’re tagged!” caveat.

Have a go at this - and if you spot any you think I really should have read tell me which one(s) and why........

Look at the list of books below: Bold the ones you’ve read; Italicize the ones you want to read; Leave blank the ones that you aren’t interested in.

If you are reading this, tag, you are IT!

The DaVinci Code (Dan Brown)
Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)

The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien) – May have read this as a kid, but don’t think so (and don’t remember. Same with whole series
The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)

A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)

A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Rowling)
Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
The Stand (Stephen King)
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)
Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
The Hobbit (Tolkien) -- just re-read in advance of the movies
The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
Little Women (Louisa May Alcott) -- first book I ever read that my mom recommended. I read it in ONE SITTING (yes, one sitting) and left a circle of Kleenex around the spot on the couch where I was sitting. I now try to read everything that my exceptionally well-read mother recommends (hi mom!) :)
The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold) -- have it, need to read it
Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams) – read parts when I was a kid. More my brother’s cup of tea than mine.
Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis) -- re-read in advance of movie
East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
Dune (Frank Herbert) – Again, more CE’s cup of tea than my own.
The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
1984 (Orwell)

The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel) – Tried, but … yechhh
The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
The Bible – read it? No. Familiar? Yes.
Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)

She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
Great Expectations (Dickens)
The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)

The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)

The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood) – Don’t remember, but I REALLY think I’ve read it.
The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrew Niffenegger)
Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
War and Peace (Tolstoy)
Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Ann Brashares)
Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
Les Miserables (Hugo) – Haven’t read it, but the musical is what hooked me on Broadway
The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)
Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
Shogun (James Clavell)
The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett) – Did I? Don’t remember!
The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
The World According to Garp (John Irving)

The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
Charlotte's Web (E.B. White) a kid-hood favorite
Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
Of Mice and Men (Steinbeck)
Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
Emma (Jane Austen).
Watership Down (Richard Adams)
Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
Blindness (Jose Saramago)
Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
Lord of the Flies (Golding)
The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)

White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
Ulysses (James Joyce)

Monday, March 19, 2007

Free Time Distribution

I want to be sewing, but can't motivate to get my quilting cabinet cleaned off so that it will accept a sewing machine. **sigh** Instead, I have been knitting like it's going out of style. Warning, I took these photos on Friday morning. Much progress since then. I'll try for new photos tomorrow.

Here is my sock-in-progress. It now has a short-row heel and about 1/4" of cuff ribbing started.

I have holes at the end of my short rows. Any experienced sock knitters have a suggestion for how to prevent this on future socks? Didn't have holes when I closed the toes, but I certainly have holes on my short-row heels.

This was my cable sweater about an inch before the armpit decreases. it's a modified drop shoulder, so it was a BO 10 stitches each side, then knit away until I get to 8" of arm hole. I"m probably 5" into that process now.

And here's a close-up of the cable. It has been fun and easy to memorize. Plus, the mini-cables on each side of the large motif have been perfect for cabling without a cable needle. Bonus! This yarn, Classic Elite Wings, has also been a pleasure to work with.

This is my last week of general enjoyment for the foreseeable future. I hope to spend it sucking the marrow from life and enjoying this time as best I can. This plan may include a weekend trip to San Luis Obispo with the hubster, but we'll play that by ear for now. I just know it comes to a screeching halt on Sunday morning, since softball season starts back up at 1 pm in SLO that day. Wish me luck!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

A Chapter Closes

Seven years ago, almost to the day, I took the first steps towards becoming a Quilter.

In March, 2000, I went to the Glendale Quilt Show. That year, I went on Sunday, the last day of the show.

When I moved to Los Angeles in June of 1999, I was a cross stitcher. I was working on a hardanger wedding sampler as a wedding gift for my best friend from college. Once I finished that project (in November or December if I remember right). I was looking for a new project and was shocked stupid to discover that there are no cross stitch stores in Los Angeles County. None. Zero. A metropolitan area of about 10 million people, and there aren’t enough cross stitchers to have a local store?

My solution to this problem was to change hobbies.

My mom, who taught me how to knit and cross stitch when I was a schmoo, had been making quilts for quite a while. Totally hand-pieced and hand-quilted. While the thought of doing all of that hand work gave me hives, quilting had always been a hobby that I aspired to.

So during mini-breaks during that first Bruin softball season, I started researching sewing machines. Boy, was I ever surprised at how much they cost!

Still, I went to the Glendale show that Sunday in mid-March of 2000. Admired the quilts. Gazed at the vendor booths having no idea what I was looking at. And then, at the end of my journey, I found the Bearly Stitchin booth.

I got lucky. Really lucky. I started talking to the owner’s daughter (Melinda), who wound up selling me a Bernina 150 QE. I walked out of the show bewildered, excited, and with a sewing machine in the back seat of my car. It had been a classroom model for use at the show (not that I knew what that meant), but I figured I got a reasonable price and the payment on the financing was well within my budget. I was already sucked in.

I went back to my apartment. Stared at the still-closed box for a few days. Almost a week later, I ventured to Pasadena to visit the actual Bearly Stitchin brick-and-mortar store, about five miles west of their current location on Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena. Again, I was bewildered and overwhelmed.

Then, this amazing little woman came over and introduced herself. Her name was Joann, and she worked in the store. She chastised me, in a very kind, humorous and friendly way, for having not played with my shiny new machine yet. She made sure I got some thread (Mary Ellen gray, of course!), she got me signed up for a Quillow class with Melinda, and she suggested a good first quilting class once I successfully negotiated my Quillow experience.

My first-ever “real” quilt was “My Friend’s House” from some Thimbleberries pattern. It was my first ever Mary Ellen class and the finished product is currently hanging in my dad’s office in Pittsburgh (Sorry! Thought I had a digital photo to share, but I don’t!).

From there, I was encouraged to come to a Friday night “Pick a Project” class. People come to the store and sew from 6-midnight? Really? Wow!

My first Friday night, nobody really brought snacks (a rarity, I would come to find out), and everyone chipped in $5 for pizza at “halftime” around 9 pm. I was planning to leave around 10, so I didn’t contribute for that reason and because Abe Lincoln was absent from my wallet. Everyone was friendly, but I was still very much on the outside.

Somehow, I decided to continue coming to those Friday night classes whenever I could. I kept signing up for most of Mary Ellen’s classes. Eventually, that group of people turned into my best friends in California. I managed to suck a kindred spirit into the group when Beth landed in a random Mary Ellen class with me.

Our Melrose Mondays mini-group is born from that group of Friday night quilters. Beth. Carol. Lisa. Anne. Sandy. Denise. Nonie.

People I see occasionally, but enjoy tremendously show up at Friday nights at Bearly. If I didn’t suck so badly at names, and if it hadn’t been 3+ months since I had shown up for a Friday night (work, this was not a conscious choice!), I’d rattle off a bunch of those names too.

My habit has exploded since I started down this quilty path. I have a cutting table (well, it’s covered with non-quilty crap at the moment, but that is its intended function), a sewing cabinet (same), even a pile in the garage. Four sewing machines and a serger, all from Bearly.

I have even started to knit again, encouraged by Beth, since it’s her fault I discovered her friend Irma and Beach Knitting.

Why the trip down memory lane, you ask?

Bearly is closing. They have to be out of the store by the end of May and will shut their doors for good in mid-May. The last Friday night is May 11. Sadly, I will be in Phoenix (work) and won’t be there for the official closing ceremonies.

This makes me extremely sad. Yes, I have a perfectly great quilting store walking distance from my house in Redondo Beach in Luella’s, but it isn’t my quilty “home base” the way Bearly is. [Bearly's owners are moving to Phoenix in order to be closer to their daughter and grandkid. A motivation I certainly understand and empathize with, and the sudden departure is related to their lease, not a desire to "dump and run."]

Everyone should have a place where they can be Norm from “Cheers,” and in a way, I hoped Bearly was one of mine. I hope that my friends and I can find a new Friday night hangout. I hope that Mary Ellen can keep up her teaching schedule at a new location. Any store owner should certainly be happy to have her, since she has a very loyal following. I just hope that the gang doesn’t move much farther east, or it will be too damn hard for me to get there on Fridays.

Last night, I attended my first “Friday Night” since November. It’s sad to think that Bearly will be gone very soon. I feel badly for Bearly’s employees, who range from my age to retirees. Some will need jobs immediately and won’t be able to ride it out until the store closes. Regardless, all of these great people will fall to the winds. Hopefully many will be able to find new places that make them happy.

I hope that the store's loyal customers can take a chill pill and stop asking everyone what they're doing "after" It's a tough situation for everyone, particularly people whose livelihoods have been compromised in a big way

Nature abhors a vacuum, and this void will be filled. Here’s hoping that the resolution becomes clear quickly for all.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Halfway Mark

Today is the mythical halfway point of my softball season. I say mythical simply because today is the last game before a 12-day break for winter quarter final exams. It's my very favorite time of the year.

I have this weekend totally off. I'll go to the Glendale Quilt Show on Friday and possibly Sat. or Sun. I'll go quilting on Friday night. I'll watch lots of college basketball.

I won't spend a whole lot of time in my office and the only traveling I'll be doing is for personal enjoyment. I'll knit. I'll quilt. Maybe I'll even manage to machine embroider something. Woo-Hoo! :)

Here's the Koigu I bought at Wildfiber last week. Ain't it nifty?

I think it's going to turn into the Wendy Knits generic toe-up sock pattern.

And, to prove that I really am doing some knitting ...

Roaming Tigger thought that my sock looked like a really cool hat. So he tried it on.

Just about time for first pitch. Catch you soon!

Friday, March 09, 2007

Recovery Mode

It has been a long time since I last posted. Sorry about that. Life has been kicking my ass.

Last weekend, I spent a ridiculous chunk of my life at the softball field. On Saturday morning, Roaming Tigger (RT) decided he needed a glamour shot of his own self with the field in the background.

Later in the day, we had a very special Softball Skybox appearance by the local fire department. They parked in the fire lane in left field between the scoreboard and the fair pole. Hey, if anyone can block the fire lane .... may as well be an engine!

After watching 12 softball games over a three-day stretch, I started a marathon cross-country trip. The athletic department at Thomas Jefferson's University wanted to interview me for a job opening. That particular university is a place I've always wanted to work. And it's the most beautiful college I have ever visited, although I didn't really see any of the academic areas on this particular trip. Added bonus? 4.5 hour drive to see my family instead of a 4.5 hour flight.

So I was on a 6:30 am flight through Atlanta on Monday morning. That means I was up at 3:30 am PT and at LAX a little before 5. Got to my destination around 5 pm ET. Got a brief driving real estate tour, then dinner with the person making the hire.

RT decided to boycott said university and did not get his photo taken with any local landmarks. In hindsight, probably a good decision.

Of course, with the time change, I couldn't get to sleep until probably about 10:30 pm ET. Up at 6:30 am ET on Tuesday since my first meeting was a 7:30 am pick-up. What followed was a series of meetings and other interview-type stuff that finished when I was dropped off at the airport at about 3 for a 5 pm flight.

I totally couldn't sleep on the flights home. Killed my 3+ hour layover in Atlanta by talking to friends and family and reading mindless stuff. Still, when I got home and passed out, it was about 12:30 am PT, so I had been awake for 22 consecutive hours.

I had a road game on Wednesday at 6 pm PT. At 5:15, my phone rang and it was the person making the hire. They hired a graduate assistant over someone who has been full-time in this business for more than 10 years. Stupid bastards.

I'm hanging my hat on the fact that somewhere over middle America on the flight from Atlanta to LAX, I had several moments of Panic. It had nothing to do with flying, and everything to do with "something wasn't right on this trip." I still don't know what caused that, but I worked pretty hard to ignore that feeling and I know I would have ignored it entirely had I been offered the job. That probably means that this outcome is for the best.

Craft-wise, I've been doing more un-knitting than knitting. I have my second KnitPicks Slipper Sock past the heel and ready for some serious brainless work. My toe-up sock is in a similar state, rapidly approaching the heel turn.

I had my (brown) cable sweater almost through the first 33-row repeat when I realized that I had seriously screwed up the center cable multiple times. It has been frogged and this morning I cast it on again and I'm through the set-up row and first row of cabling.

I'll take some knitting photos in the next few days, and i'm seriously hoping I can get inspired to embroider two quilt labels in the next few days. Photos and apology letter to follow if I can actually get that pulled off.

Thanks for listening to me whine. To all of my local quilty friends, I hope to see you at the Glendale Quilt Show next weekend (anybody know what's up with those goofy hours on Friday?). I need some fiber therapy in a big way, and the Koigu I bought yesterday at Wildfiber ain't gonna cut it all by itself!

Thursday, March 01, 2007


Well, sort of. I'm doing some knitting. I have the back of the brown cable sweater knitted through two skeins of yarn and it's sitting on a holder waiting to make sure that the armpit decreases are correct on both the front and back. No photos, 'cause it basically looks exactly the same as it did the last time I showed you.

I've also started the front. I've only had time to do about four rows a night, so it's going slowly. I had "homework" for a field trip early next week. Hopefully I'll have a little time for RT to get his picture taken a time or two on the grounds of Monday/Tuesday's destination, but I doubt it.

Don't want to jinx the field trip by talking about it too much, so I'll shut up now.

On Tuesday, the hubster went up to school with me for my home game and the aforementioned Tuesday evening field trip. It was a really clear day in Los Angeles. The kind that makes me really wonder what the hell we're breathing the rest of the time. Anyhow, I whipped out my camera and instructed the hubster to take a photo or two. The shot below was taken on the northbound 405 freeway about two miles south of the 105. And the HOLLYWOOD sign, which is circled in red, is probably about 20 miles away. It's a little fuzzy in the picture, but clear as day when you're looking at it live.

This scares me, because on a regular day in LA, I can't even see the mountains when I get to the 10 freeway, which is awfully close. The air is probably about as good for us as the tap water, which tastes like dirt. I love this town (not).

And, a final gratuitous shot of the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. We got a far-away shot in this earlier post, but on the day of the skills competition (Sat.), our bus drive managed to drive right up to the front of the building on our way to the field. So I took advantage and took a kick-ass picture from the bus.

RT will probably make an appearance this weekend at softball. That's where I'll be for all of the upcoming three days. Enjoy your weekend. I'll be working.