Cleveland Rocks


If I’m going to be crappy about writing in my real journal, I should at least throw up mini-posts from time to time to supplement my ever failing memory banks. 

This weekend was a bit of a travel whirlwind. I hit up a friend’s 50th birthday party Friday night which was fun and ridiculous. 

I don’t know why the hats came out but, with a nickname like Jingle, I was required by law to grab the Santa hat. It was great to catch up with friends that were in town from Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and even Sacramento to celebrate Eric’s birthday. 

Saturday morning I had to tear myself away to head just south of Cleveland for extravaganza #2 of the weekend. Who can resist a good pig roast?

It’s always a good day when Piggy and Gopher come to town. Or come to a town 3 hrs from home. There was pork – naturally – and all sorts of other amazing food, including bacon blue cheese cole slaw and an amazing cookie recipe that I’ll have to try soon that includes amaretto.  

Unfortunately, after two days of pretty much non-stop people, this introvert REALLY needed a break. I have yet to figure out how to balance my desire to spend time with people I don’t get the opportunity to see that often with my need to sit in a quiet room with yarn or a book. 

That being said, I sucked it up and stayed longer today than I really wanted too and we drove up to take in a Tribe game. The Indians were always my dad’s baseball team, so I rooted for them for his sake (and because they were playing a game from that state up north. Otherwise, I was just there for the hotdogs and cold beer. 


18 for 2018

I’ve been catching up on old podcasts and went on a run today, listening to “Happier with Gretchen Rubin.” Sure, it sounds a little woo-woo self-helpy, but who couldn’t stand to be a little happier?

One of the episodes I listened to today – number 147 – is all about coming up with 18 things that will make you happier in 2018. They don’t have to be massive, world-altering acts – just things that you feel will generally improve your overall happiness. 

Between phone calls and emails at work, I started to scribble mine. I got a little excited about returning to photography, can you tell? It needs to be fine-tuned a great deal and maybe go a little deeper but it’s a good start. 

My original New Year’s resolution was an adventure a month. “Adventure” is a bit of a grandiose term for what I would really be doing but essentially the idea was to do one thing a month that was new and different: attend a new Meetup group, weekend trip to Indy or Cincinnati, catch a Reds or Tribe game. I’m in a rut and need to shake things up. 

Old Friend

There’s a saying I picked up somewhere about the best camera being the one you have with you. With the omnipresence of the cellphone camera, I almost never dig out the big guy any more. Why bother with the bulk and the weight?

I need to bother. 

I love photography. I’m not very good at it. I spend too much time with the dial set to Auto or P and the only way to break that habit is to get out and shoot. I’ve looked into local photography classes but nothing really appeals. I have seen some that interest me in Columbus, but I don’t want to set myself up for having to make that drive every week, especially as we head into winter. 

Heading into the third week of November, we’re well past peak leaf season but I may head out on a photo walk this weekend nonetheless.  

Stitchin’ Saturday 

Well, technically it’s been a stitchin’ Friday AND Saturday, but alliteration rules. 

In my endless, glacial-speed attempt to make friends locally after five years, I spent yesterday evening at a pajama party with some local knitting gals. 

My contributions.

In the end, I’m really glad I went. Met a couple of new ladies, watched a couple of fun movies and swatched for a sweater (wrong gauge, natch) and worked on Furrow sock #1 (Rav link). 

Today was the weekly coffee shop Meetup. Cast on Reyna attempt #3. I just can’t find a color combination I love. 

This one has a certain autumnal / VT thing going on. I’ll give it a couple more repeats and see how it goes. Only got a couple more rows knocked out while watching Caps-Bruins. Way too tense to knit and purl. 

Since we’re getting an extra hour of sleep tonight, I’m curled up with Dr. No and Cozy Afternoon (Rav link). Decided to finally use some of the yarn I picked up in 2016 at the Wool Gathering. 

Just finished picking up the stitches for sleeve #2. Now for some decreases and endless stockinette.  The yarn is a little scratcher than I’d like; I’m hoping it softens up a bit with the first washing. 

BloPoMo? Maybe…

Everything I do anymore is online but I don’t feel like I’m really recording anything (yes, I know that makes NO sense).  While what I really need to do is start journaling again, my phone is never far away – sad but true – so I’ll try to at least drop a couple of lines a day in November and see what happens. 

In my mind, I planned for this to be a massive post on knitting. That’s not going to happen. 

I went to a fiber festival in KY in May with a couple of ladies from the knitting guild and picked up some yarn that I didn’t need, but it was so shiny. 

It was an extremely awkward trip for me. I sort of invited myself along and then felt uncomfortable for hours. You’d think at my advanced age, I’d be over this whole socially awkward thing. Not so much. 

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2017 Travels, Part Two

The past couple of years have found me in Pittsburgh in early June, doing their 5K on marathon weekend.  With one of my best friends living in Buffalo – a city I visited once in high school on a field trip and barely remembered – I decided to continue to change things up and go on a road trip to western New York.  Since my good friend is a teacher and had to work on the Friday of Memorial Day weekend, I headed up early and went on a side trip to Niagara Falls, because you know how I delight in playing tourist.


For the end of May, it was a chilly, windy day but that didn’t keep me from going full on Maid of the Mist. I could almost feel my toes at the end and everything. Even with the clouds and the bluster, the views were lovely.


The rest of the trip was a whirlwind of food, beer, an architecture tour with Explore Buffalo and, of course, the Buffalo Marathon 5K.  I even managed to squeeze in a hash, even if it was more of the “auto” variety. I’ll definitely have to make another trip back to Bison City but hopefully it’ll be a bit warmer.

A trip to Buffalo wouldn’t be complete without wings and beef on weck.


2017, Part One

One of my New Year’s resolutions for 2017 was to try to do more new things, a little bit less of the same ol’, same ol’. In the 5 years since I’ve moved back to Ohio, my “social” life – such as it is – has been remarkably predictable. Being an introvert makes it incredibly difficult to make new friends, so the vast majority of my social interactions have involved hopping in my car and driving to Pittsburgh (for weekends with friends, campouts, the occasional 5K).

To change things up this year, I decided to do a r*ce I’ve been contemplating for the last couple of years: The Cooper River Bridge Run in Charleston, SC.  I’d never been to Charleston, so I figured doing a 10K with friends was an ideal way to combine exercise, travel and my comfort zone.

A Krispy Kreme doughnut at the finish line, fantastic food at the beach and great friends in a huge beach house to pass the time. I’d definitely like to do it again, but I’m going to skip 2018 in the hopes of finding a new adventure. The tentative plan is a jaunt across the border, but I have to renew my pesky passport in order for that to happen. Stay tuned.

Exercise in Futility

So, there’s a solar eclipse rolling through these here parts in just over 48 hours. As usual, I put off looking for glasses til the last minute and – like the rest of the universe – am finding them impossible to find. 

I’m a last ditch effort, I went to the Centerville-Washington library where they were giving away pairs of glasses. 

Needless to say, I didn’t make the cut. The excitement came when a woman who had been in line since sunrise let her husband and children in line with her just 5 minutes before the giveaway, so the people who had been there for hours were suddenly cheated out of tickets.  To say there was anger is an understatement. There were several older people who missed out because of this family’s entitled sense of self-importance. Fortunately, it didn’t descend into a physical altercation but it very easily could have. 

As for me, HRG is disappointed that she didn’t get any eclipse glasses but she got consolation donuts so she’s good. 

That Can’t Be Right

Twenty months? It’s seriously been twenty months?  I mean, nothing has happened in a year and a half but that’s no excuse for not posting even the most basic “W’hoo! The Cubbies won the World Series!!” post.

No, really, they did. It was awesome.

Same job, same exciting non-social life, same knitting works-in-progress.

I did go to Charleston to do a 10K and later to Buffalo to visit a friend and do a 5K.

Will try to do better and bore on a more regular basis. The Happiness Project suggests one-sentence daily journaling as a project. If I manage a paragraph, in call it a win.


You Win, Universe

I thought once the page on the calendar turned and the horrid month of December was put behind me, I’d finally be able to exhale and start to relax again.


Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck!  My tire pressure light had been on for a few days and I did the responsible thing – I took it to the dealership at the crack of dawn and asked them to check my tires. Once again, they patted me on the head and told me, “Oh, little lady, it’s just because the temperature dropped recently.” Yeah, well, I wish I had that dude’s phone number as I was sitting on the side of the interstate at midnight on my drive back from C-bus. Then again, I can’t be held responsible for what I would’ve done with a tire iron. Roadside assistance swept in to the rescue after about 45 minutes but I was still mad a hell. Looks like I’m driving the Buick for the rest of the week!

That’s the other thing – I was on my way home from a whirlwind trip to Columbus for the Capitals-Blue Jackets game (a little belated birthday present to myself). Apparently, the boys didn’t get the memo because they ended up losing in a shootout. Ah well, we got a point out of the hot mess and frankly I knew they were going to lose. Apparently I’m quite the bad luck charm for the Caps at Nationwide.

Had fantastic seats adjacent to the Caps Road Crew, so I wasn’t alone in sporting my Backstrom jersey. However, between the seats, the snacks, and the %#@(!#* new tire, it turned out to be quite the expensive little venture.