Wednesday, May 31, 2006

get ready for blitzrecipe.

presenting eggplant-polenta stacks with tomato sauce in picture-book form (plus captions for the big kids).

fig 1a: approximately 78.3% of the ingredients getting cozy, but nowhere near the über-melty-coziness of what is to come. they're so adorably naïve!

fig 1b: cutting up everything in sight, because 'slices' are in this season. cute mdk washrash looks on.

fig 2a: polenta gets a little shredded in the process. it sits quietly, knowing not to upset anyone anymore for fear of the consequences. polenta, poor polenta.

fig 2b: browning the zucchini slices in olive oil, salt, and pepper. i absolutely adore the yellow and green colourings. smells divine, too.

fig 3a: piling up everything. stacking takes patience. *flip*

fig 3b: a little amuse-bouche while the baking happens. chicken jalepeno sausage and crusty bread await their tasty and toothsome demise.

fig 4a: meltymelty! mmmm fresh mozzarella, oozy and woozy. i'll just continue making culinary-induced sounds... mmm ooo eeia...

fig 4b: adding the reduced tomatos, sweetly fire-roasted. the red is extremely welcomed to the party.

fig 5: i think this is pretty self-captioning :) buon appetito!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

they were delivered.

zappos shopping spree!

zappos shopping spree!a large ominous box from zappos sat in my room this evening. i knew that within contained six pairs of black leather flats, all vying in competition to be my cherished chaussures d'été.

my current ballet flats are a $10 purchase from payless, and although they work decently well, the fake leather ('manmade') surface has begun to peel and shard, and they don't breathe very well, which makes for ickiness when summer days get longer and warmer. so i decided to splurge and see what that could get me.

this weekend (i put in the order on saturday; how ridiculously fast was that?) i hand-picked six pairs, all selected for their genuine leather makeup (the upper, at the very least), unique style (or as much as the selection afforded), and affordability.

i'll quickly review each pair, with the three rejects first, and the three runner-ups following.

report lyric.

these were supercute and smelled deliciously leathery. the toe is coyly blunt, reminiscent of a pointe ballerina shoe. the trim, though trendy, was very much subdued and faded matte gold. however, despite its looks, the shoe itself was quite narrow and long, which ill-fitted my short and wide. if you are blessed with such shapely feet, i'd give them a try. plus, the sole is printed with a lovely gold floral pattern, which roused a gleeful coo from my roommate.

type z aubrey

i was really rooting for these out of the box, since they're eye-catchingly different and have an urban aesthetic: distressed leather, bunchy heel, japanese lines. however, they were quite uncomfortable for two reasons, including a narrow foot, and a distractingly undercupped heel. your foot doesn't feel too secure; the shoe seems a bit shallow for a slip-on flat. plus, some seam or texture on the heel ruching (still cute!) scratches slightly on the skin. not acceptable. however, i love the cork insole. i bet that keeps small-footed goddesses cool on hot days!

bronx dorothee

style-wise, these are literally identical to the steve madden ones (below). i'm not sure which is the original and which is the copycat, but no matter. i don't think this bodes well for my relationship with bronx (sister to dear diba!) because these flats are sooooo narrow. and hard. and make my feet look all misshapen and daisy duck-esque. not exactly the pinnacle of grace and charm. this is extremely sad because i lovelove the bronx shoes aesthetic. maybe it's just not meant to be. any similar lines that may accommodate a wider foot?

alright, here are the three runners-up. i need some voting action here, because i love them all!

steve madden pout

zappos shopping spree! zappos shopping spree!

these are a clear finalist. they're comfy, they're leather, they're remotely trendy. i would be singularly wild about these, except they're extremely similar to the flats i already have (same silhouette, round curves, subtle doo-dad on the toe, etc). i also have some inexplicable thing against steve madden. could be the whole fraud thing. also could be how i fell in love with a strappy black platform steve madden pair in high school that kept breaking, but i kept replacing. wear, break, wear, break. (similar story to my naturalizer auburn hi boots.) anyway, for this pair, altogether good news... but are these really worth $60? to finance the empire?

n.y.l.a. charli

zappos shopping spree! zappos shopping spree!

first thing: i would need to exchange these for a smaller size. so keep that in mind; these are european 40, so i'd probably want to investigate 39 or 38. that's why my toes are floundering in two inches of shoe territory. this style is oh-so-retro, doe-eyed sweetness meets biker babe. the twist accent reminds me of a sandal pair my sisters used to wear, in white leather and stained pink from huckleberry picking. i like how it's kind of 80's, but not screaming it from the top of the lungs. they're soft and comfy, and the heels are really hard! they scratched a tiny bit on the hardwood floor, which may be good or bad, depending. these aren't shoes that are scared of hitting the streets. plus, the box comes with a little baggy of extra heel pads. just the little part that surfaces the small heel, a pair of about 1" squares of black whateverheelsaremadeofcomposite. how thoughtful!

easy spirit tigereye

zappos shopping spree! zappos shopping spree!

i would need to exchange these for a smaller size. these are the only ones that came in a wide size, so i would probably exchange these 8.5W for 8W (believe me, my hidden toes are swimming). the style is classic; these are very ballet sneakery and although trendy, the trend was so last (or last last) year. (i can say the same for the awful metallics that are resurging again, but i digress.) anyway, they're more sporty, but perhaps that's not a bad thing. the strap is surprisingly not digging into my skin, and the soles are natural gum rubber. i've never tried easy spirit, and the brand itself makes me think of older women who forego style for sole cushioning. however, that's what i first thought of naturalizer, and those boots carried me through!

anyway, i'm eager to hear what you think. votes, nay + yay? here are some considerations:

all of the finalists are roughly the same price, between $60-70 (yes, i'm reeling too). though i think my days of shopping at payless are dwindling.

i would like these to be mostly matching with both casual and dressy skirts + jeans.

you can vote for more than one!

has it really been that long since my last post? [i missed you, too.]

eight more weeks -- my days are delightfully numbered at mit! ergo, lots of self-acceleration and gearing up for the blissful end. i am much inspired by john maeda's thesis tips. i'll keep it close to my pillow if ever sleep is fitful.

some small bits for now:

i am ready for the real world. here's my portfolio to prove it. feel free to pass the link on to interested folks. :)

my radio show sans serif is now on monday nights, at least for the summer programming season at wmbr 88.1fm. please listen to last night's show, and fearlessly proceed to move your bits to discoglitch.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


something to get through the day: the sheep market.

the sheep market is a collection of 10,000 sheep created by workers on amazon's mechanical turk. each worker was paid $0.02 USD to 'draw a sheep facing left.'

i ponder the fate of 662 rejected sheep.


Sunday, May 21, 2006

probably preaching to the choir, but why not?

some amusing and depressing comments at badtransit, bringing together all citizens concerned with making the central public transportation system in boston not suck so much:someone's going to get their nose lopped off by the new machines sometime soon, and it's not going to be pretty.

Friday, May 19, 2006


SweaterLodge is a multi-media exhibition that provides a portrait of Vancouver, where the veneration of nature and the density of urban culture often overlap in surprising and meaningful ways. The major element of SweaterLodge is a giant polar fleece sweater.

The polar fleece fabric is made from recycled plastic drink containers. Suspended within the Canadian pavilion, an inhabited garment becomes a lodge, a voluminous soft orange interior space.

As visitors enter the pavilion they encounter a series of stationary bicycles. When pedalled, the bikes will operate digital film projections which show vignettes of a city which intertwines wilderness with modern urban life.

SweaterLodge envisions a future where daily objects become multi-functional. A sweater becomes a lodge, shipping containers become sofas and bicycles become projectors.

After the exhibition, the 350 m2 sweater will be recycled into hats, scarves and mitts for the community.

via make via archinect via treehugger

(did that via sequence correctly this time, right?)

i think there's some sort of cosmic wavelength between me and my mother. incredible.

anyway, she just sent me this picture. i have no other context. observe and wonder.

this is for my mom, and other costco-loving suburbanites.

there is much truth in pinku's writeup about her trip to the costco in tamasakai.

cute, precise japanese vs. inexpensive, bloated american. to me, it's just so culturally dissonant.

i mean, really. that bundle of ham could probably feed sixteen--nay, twenty-nine--amigurumi. easily. ;)

yes, i do say, it's about time for another mbta rant. seems like i cant go for a month or so without feeling so incredibly compelled to externalise the upset in a written posting.

i have beef.

the new and 'improved' turnstile machines are an example of one of the worst designs, both in form and function, ever.

i've been exposed to them intermittently, usually whenever i have to travel, at the shiny ones installed at the south station stop and the airport station (back before i learned the ways of the silver line). but now that the machines have recently replaced the normal turnstiles on the inbound platform of kendall square, i have to share space with these beasts on a daily basis.

a primer of old vs. new:

(images from flickr, click to view streams)

the sins:
  • visually, the plastic swoopy things creep me out so badly. i would hate for a malfunction, because you'd literally be sliced in half by fast-moving reinforced plexiglass. the classic turnstile format (à la amusement park ride) is manual, forgiving, unobstructing, and accommodating. it openly permits without feeling like an inpenetratable and autonomously moving wall.
  • on another note, the swoopy doors use electricity to move the barriers in and out. the old turnstiles used a mechanical lock and then human power to proceed. how much energy is this new system wasting?
  • the new machines BEEEEEP every time a person goes through. it's loud, a bit too long, and completely disruptive. why not a small visual indicator for feedback? the new york metro has an LCD readout that says "GO", and the d.c. metro just spits out your processed ticket. the generated beep noise is completely unnecessary and abhorently annoying.
  • i've noticed lots of mbta staff scheduled to stand by the new machines and advise riders on how to use them. that's the first hint: if you need a human to tell you how to walk through a turnstile, it's badly designed. i've been riding the T for five years, as well as experience with subways all over the world, of course i can use a turnstile. today i waltzed in and slid in my card like usual. the thing balked. the helpful mbta guy (at beck and call) said to flip the card over and have the 'white side up'. dah. this design of card insertion ticks me off to no end, because bostonians have always inserted our cards to the turnstiles with the coloured side facing toward us. coloured side, the magnetic strip. there's no question, it's routine, it's how it works. having the white side (which is bland aside from a halfhearted arrow) toward us is a complete disruption, and indicative of how little research went into how riders actually use the T. it might seem silly, but every time i encounter a machine i insert my card 'wrongly'. it's the machines that are wrong!
  • just on a form issue, the old turnstiles were clunky and a bit unforgiving if you had a lot of bags or something, but there was always a push-gate if necessary and it's robustly built and intuitive to use. plus, they're kinda fun to hear click when you shimmy your hips through. the new machines are frighteningly autonomous, antiseptically plastic, and beepy and cold and ill-designed for the boston commuter.

thanks for humouring my cantankerousness. perhaps i'm just cranky because the system i'm used to is undergoing change, but i dont think i'm *that* curmudgeonly (okay, well, sometimes), and i don't think the mbta is addressing the real issues that need solving. i do agree that having a debit-like permanent and refillable charlie card is a good idea, but what about having trains on schedule? a system to let you know when the next car is coming? how to get from here-to-there right in the station? actual escalators that work? being reliable? and not shafting residents who don't have cars or live in underserved communities? your stupid new machines and annoying announcements on 'reporting suspicious activity' are not first priority!


in other news, my verizon wireless service plan expires on july 9 of this year. it's been a good four years with them, though the phones are pretty dorky (my samsung a670 still can only play midi and wav ringtones) and the pricing plan isn't terribly competitive. however, the service is dynamite, i can always talk to a human in customer service within a couple minutes of dialing, and i've never had issues with billing or unreliable reception. this is probably how they can stay afloat in a competitive market, and i applaud them for it. however, i am toying with the idea of switching providers, not only just for the thrill (the four-year itch?), but also because of the GSM / SIM card issue. anyone have suggestions for what to try? i know MIT has a discount with some service providers, but i wonder if i can still reap the benefits after i graduate this summer...

Thursday, May 18, 2006

in case anyone out there has the jones for some sultry glitch and snails on a theremin, last night's sans serif is now online.

new awesome artist i want to investigate more: flying lotus on plug research.

[what can i scramble up?]

looks like the song i played last night (remix of my room is white by mia doi todd) was at one point kcrw's top tune.

this radio playlist mentions mister cyborg show on cdr. i cant find this track anywhere else... google, you've failed me! perhaps this is a bootleg track?

a smattering of tracks on the sound of L.A. volume 2, and an upcoming 12" orbit brazil.

and then a drip-drop of tracks on

i want to hear more. flying lotus, break out. put me down for the upcoming releases. i want to find you in my search results rather than chinese acrobats! *collapses into remixed fluster* so encapsulated in mystery... so underground i want it now...

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

biggie thank you to my one skein pal! i just saw a gift certificate to kpixie plop into my inbox. they rock my stash to a ridiculous extent, and thanks to my pal for noticing this. (maybe it's not that hard to notice.) but still. :) merci beaucoup!

wow. is tuesday the designated day for updates, releases, and big news?

first, flickr beta has officially become flickr gamma. adorable.

[read more on the flickr blog here and here]

then, apple announced its new sleek macbook, dubbed as the 'superfast, blogging, podcasting, do-everything-out-of-the-box' machine. ever think that the super- prefix will become as ubiquitous and throwaway as the word like or cool? it's shooting out everywhere from the mouths of diesel-wearing indies and like-minded marketers.

also, in übergeek news, nokia issued a release that announced new support for internet calls (i.e. VOIP) and IM, in stockholm today. w00t. (i am currently playing with a pair of these units for my thesis)

and finally, it's my sister jeannette's 32nd bday today! jokes aside, she actually is a brain surgeon and will be moving to california very soon after her stint in galveston.

i still remember her as a furiously busy little kid (and strange big sister), who carried earthworms in the house after the rain to poke inside them, who constructed a complete dollhouse with lit rooms fully wired with a robust electrical system, and who in highschool simultaneously was student council president, a manager at mcdonald's, and varsity cheerleading captain. she fearlessly did softball and track and gymnastics (until she messed up her leg for a while on the vault), and approached a toothpick bridge building competition for physics class with such furvor that a certain area of our carpet in the basement will forever be ROCKHARD from the gallons of glue dripped onto and through. since she's 8 years older, we tended to clump big milestones together; my middle school graduation with her college graduation, my high school graduation with her medical school graduation. she taught me how to be a woman with opinions. she taught me the insanely complicated wardrobe system she devised so she could algorithmically ensure that she wouldn't repeat an outfit ensemble for three weeks. she rivals me in black boot wearing. she is the most independent person i know.

Thursday, May 11, 2006


my work has been slashdotted.

however, the article in pc mag (and especially the slashdot story intro) completely misses the point. it's not changing your appearance for the sake of changeability (i.e. a fickle change from dots to stripes); it's about increasing the temporally dynamic granularity of material-based fashion. plus, there are some design decisions that are made in the project that frame it as so.

if you're curious on what it's really about, read my paper (published in CHI2006).

(btw, the model is none other than orkan, smg-mate and amazing bag-toter.)

i haven't read the comments yet, but i'm prepared. really.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

ugliest. shoes.

not only does it have a 'macrame upper with stylish fruit ornamentation on vamp' but also a sole that's metallic! i can't imagine what this shoe designer was thinking, except to make people like five-star estee from california quiver with delight.

hi, pal!

here's my questionnaire, greatly abridged.

however, for depth and breadth, feel free to reference my questionnaire responses from previous swaps, including sp7.part1 and sp7.part2 and sp6.

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

i love soft wool, merino, cashmere, silk, alpaca, and soy silk. in the second tier, i'm getting more acquainted with cotton and linen and bamboo, slowly but surely, and learning what feels good to me. i generally veer away from yarns with pronounced inherent texture, including intense mohair, angora, bouclé, and the novelty stuff. i try to minimize (or avoid) synthetics as much as possible.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?

a mod green floral print needle case from a lovely seamstress on ebay i acquired about two years ago.

3. How long have you been knitting? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?

though i learned the basics when i was quite young (and made a chic pink wrap skirt for my barbie, as i can recall), i've been knitting more actively since college, so i suppose about three years. i don't know what qualifies as advanced skills, but i believe i can knit just about anything. :)

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?

probably, though it's probably quite out-of-date and suffering in neglect, so i wouldnt bother referring to it. it's better just to ask me point-blank what i'm wishing for...

5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)

something warm, intriguing, and experiential. i can go either organic aromatherapeutic (pure and simple), or lab-worthy complex (pomegranate + fennel, anyone?)

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?

intense dark chocolate, either minimal or infused with interesting extracts. i'm currently obsessed with dolfin chocolate.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?

gastronomic delights (cooking, baking), the art of letter writing, a pretty good knack for interior design. no spinning...

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)

look to my radio show, sans serif on wmbr for a good survey. you can peruse through the playlists and even listen to my on-air archives if you so dare. i'm always looking for new experimental electronic musicians, and i definitely dip into other independent music types as well...

9. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?

colours in general: my favourite is chartreuse. spring green, kiwi, green tea, everything of that sort. fresh, bright, quirky. all other colours hold my fancy pretty much evenly, and the brighter and happier the better. saturateds and neutrals are great. my favourite 'finish' is a matte sheen...

colours to wear: i tend to gravitate toward berry shades (raspberry, deep pink, deep violet) and greens (forest, leaf, midnight), and neutrals (black, beige, natural), though i also wear sock-me-in-the-eye colours like highlighter yellow and coral and red. i believe the key is saturation... none of this pastel or subdued stuff. i have no idea what 'season' i am or anything, but it'd be really neat if you took my picture to a colour artist and had them pick out something that would be flattering. asian complexion, you know the story. :) i rarely wear brown, grey, light blue, lavender -- but of course there are always exceptions!

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?

three fun roommates, no pets.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?

yes to all except the poncho. *especially* no to the poncho.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?

that's a hard question. i have to say i love scarves, just because you can get really creative with such a flexible but constrained surface. and by extension, i like home objects like pillows, blankets, and knit toys because it's functional and decorative with an intimate sense of handmade warmth. close runner-up: anything (esp. sweaters, surfaces, socks) that can be knit in-the-round with miiiiinimal seaming. i am the surliest and sloppiest finisher ever! plus it's faster... the momentum can make you dizzy. :)

in the list of things that i will never ever knit (or have done so and will never again):
headband, skirt, dress, poncho, shawl, button-up vest, cover-up, wrap, laceweight lace, doll clothing, bookmark, belt, doily, wedding dress.

i may make exceptions if it's truly inventive, modern, and cute, but i'm sticking to my resolutions for now.

13. What are you knitting right now?

seaberry roseberry shell from IK summer 06, in misti cotton + pima silk terracotta.

no-pressure winter-weather WIP:
forecast from knitty, in peace fleece worsted ancient fern (75%).

long-term WIPs:
regulus socks from socks for sandals and clogs, in koigu kersti (5%).
exchequered from knitty, in jaeger matchmaker dk geranium + mocha (1%).

i just finished the yarn-over steek vest from loop-d-loop, in swtc phoenix (soysilk) rose.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?

sure, as long as it's useful (though cuteness is often a function) and doesnt break your back.

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

most often, circular. depending on the project, bamboo or susan bates silverado.

for small projects, i like small bamboo straights. i do have inox dpns for narrow projects, but i hate dpns for in-the-round use.

i do use my denise set quite often, just for its flexibility.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?

nope, and i am pretty happy to handwind without them.

17. How did you learn to knit?

my mom! and then, fifteen years later, debbie stoller in SnB. :)

18. How old is your oldest UFO?

oh goodness. um. let me get back to you on that... why is this even a question? heh.

19. What is your favorite holiday?

something that's not yet ridiculously commercialised. arbor day, earth day, or thanksgiving.

20. Is there anything that you collect?

not particularly, though i do weaken at really lovely books, anything from art to fashion to food, and hello kitty items.

21. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?

i currently subscribe to interweave. i sometimes peek into vogue knitting, though they're been kind of fugly lately.

unfortunately i already ordered two of the books that have been on my wishlist for a while, 'knitting nature' by norah gaughan and the 'maxon-dixon knitting' book by ann + kay, so i think that's taken care of by now.

however, i dont have much books on basic techniques. i would love to own one of ann budd's books, a stitch dictionary, or classic elizabeth zimmermann.

22. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?

perhaps just learning good technique for finishing so i'm not so terrified. also, one of these days i would love to be comfortable at learning continental style (i currently throw à la english).

23. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?

yes, off and on. i'm not sure what i measure, since i adore toe-up-try-on-as-you-go-ness, but i wear about an 8.5 wide.

24. When is your birthday? (mm/dd)

august 29! my half-birthday's on leapyear day!

hope this is helpful. any more questions -- feel free to send them my way. thanks so much in advance!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

a box containing 18 lbs of leather goods appeared on my doorstep the other day.

(why? read previous post detailing my boot bounty.)

happy, oh so happy feet.

the winner: diba alexandria.

why? well, for one, they were the only pair that i could ably zip up my calves (important, yes). but also, the wedge heel and the leather straps on the top are most definitely up my urban euro futuristalley. they're quite comfortable, and have a reasonably sturdy footbed underneath the wedge. i got the 9M, yet the width ably accomodates my wide feet. folks, it's a winnah! :)

some notes on the other pairs:

nine west pardon had the strangest zipper design i've seen. it runs from the base to halfway up the leg, and then it's all leather. so you have to pull on the boot entirely, and then zip that little inner part up. very equestrian looking, and a bit rustic for my wish for a boot that can fit both the casual and dressy bill. it was quite tight around my calves.

sudini scout felt as if it had the narrowest calf, actually. a bit of a surprise because i ordered these in a wide width size. it was a little problematic to pull on the boots whole; there is no side zipper. the detailing's pretty cute, though it's veering toward dressed-up cowboy country.

lumiani a 8119 looked good at a distance, but are pretty horrid on. they didn't fit me at all, but my roommate danced around in them. the heel, despite its wedge, is quite narrow at the heel (a stiletto in disguise), and the leather looks a bit cheap and plasticky when it bunches at the ankle. it's very go-go.

the dibas are unique and versatile, and they're also a bit shorter in the length up the calf (12.25" shaft height vs. typical 14"), so they're more suited to my shorter proportions.

one bummer... i see the pair for half the price on the diba website, except not in my size. but if you fit them, no reason to not get them!

thank you, zappos, for giving me the opportunity to try on shoes in the privacy of my own living room, dancing and squeezing and anxious zipping and roommate-bonding. there's some untapped value right there.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

something awesome.

velle magazine.
Velle is a freethinking online culture magazine featuring creative-minded individuals and projects from around the world. Photo and design driven, Velle sets out to honestly present both established and emerging talent in fashion, design, art, music and literature. Blended with insightful journalism and compelling layout, Velle showcases contemporary culture through a unique perspective.

i am very excited that the editors are based in boston, and am looking very forward to the 'velle in 3d' exhibition opening in a week. here's another excuse for me to profess how much i love the dig.

my fav is the plug for firefox in the midst of the mag. mommy, that's meant for you!

nachrichtenagentur für avant-garde mode. in kürze online.
news service for avant-garde fashion. online soon.

video footage of european fashion shows and designer interviews. my alternafix for my lack of stylenetwork. good way to learn hip designy german, too!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

two tiny knitterly iotas:

finished... louisa harding scarf!

my waiting-for-the-subway project, after four months, is finally done! a couple rows here, and couple rows there...

yarn: louisa harding kimono angora and kimono ribbon in beautifully matching grey/blue colourways. the skeins were surprise christmas gifts from niknak's aunt :)

pattern: railroad knitting stitch pattern

needles: size 7 inox dpn (only because they're short)

notes: dropping stitches in anything fuzzy is a task in itself. be prepared to manually drop through each row with the tip of a needle. halo clingies galore. note to self: avoid snaggy yarn if ever i submit to clapotis fever!

verdict: soft, fuzzy, and versatile! the ribbon's a tad delicate (easy to snag), but the angora can march on til kingdom come... strong, purple rabbits!

in other words...

cute colourway, no?

secret pal seven revealed!

yesterday i received my final package from my sp, who unearthed herself as niquie from tennessee! (that rhymes so well, doesnt it?)

i greedily opened the package and revealed a trove of goodies, including plenty of chocolate (ghirardelli mint + ethically traded endangered species dark), a hand-knitted (!) washcloth from the awesome mason-dixon knitting book, a cute card, and knitting rules autographed by the harlot herself! as you know, even though i did see the yarn harlot in cambridge (and commemorated within the mit team), i am such a cheapalicious grad student that i actually did not purchase the book at that event. i'm lucky everything worked out!

and the washcloth has this cool slip-stitch pattern; the first thing that came to mind was the brick patterned motif in super mario bros. 8-bit all the way.

thank you so much, niquie! i really appreciate all the work you put into being my secret pal. :)

i got my peepers dialated for the first time tonight.

überblack. kinda creepy, no?

just a routine eye exam, making sure everything's squeaky clean (squish.squish) in there. i'm happy to report that my myopia isn't getting worse, quelling my fear of a near-sighted demise. so they put in the funny drops to dialate my pupils, and i know that it chemically makes your eyes go like 0_0 so the doctor can reeeeeally have a good look, but i had no idea how it would feel or what i would experience. i got the drops, and went back into the waiting room to kill time while the chemicals did their action. i picked up a tattered copy of cosmo girl (it was either that or guitar world! have pity!), and things were fine for a bit. slowly i was having more and more trouble reading. my left eye was ok, if i just held that one open, but my right one was totally rolling around in my head, unable to focus. pretty soon i had to put down the magazine because reading was nigh impossible. is this what being far-sighted is like?

anyway, on the way home i stopped by whole foods to check out their cleanser selection (see post below). everything seemed normal, until i tried to read the type smaller than 12pt on the labels. i was reeling, and doing weird optical acrobatics like holding it at arm's length, blinking, squinting, holding one eye open, etc. it was a disaster.

got home, fetched the mail, and realised i could hardly make out the names on the envelopes. eep!

no reading for me, so i heated some leftovers and watched are you being served? and keeping up appearances. thank goodness my eyes have recovered a bit; though i can touch-type, blogging would have been a challenge in my state two hours ago... hee.

p.s. i finally received my invitation code for google analytics, a g-afied version of sitemeter. we'll see how the tools measure up...

Monday, May 01, 2006

whatever you do, do not use this product.

say no to Clean & Clear Blackhead Clearing Scrub.

i picked this cleanser up from the drugstore several weeks ago, my first time trying this particular product (but i'm not a stranger to scrubs), and have been washing my face with it daily. i can find no real fault with its cleaning abilities, but the microdermabrasion beads are overkill in number and are obstinately non-dissolving. i have, for the second time, gone to the eye services at the university medical services to scourge a 'foreign object' from my eye. the first time, a couple weeks ago, i felt a teeny yet annoying discomfort in my eye, and the doctor found two clear glass beads under my left eyelid with a bit of scratching on my cornea (which soon healed after the things were removed). this morning i felt a similar sensation in my right eye, and although the doctor didn't find anything to remove, i imagine it might have just fallen out after she flipped my lid (literally). still really really annoying.

when i get home i'm going to trash this thing and never use it again. am i an atypical user, or are there legions of people out there with foreign objects in their eyes? *blink*

i left my boots in montréal.

(unfortunately, not quite as romantic as leaving one's heart in san francisco.)

my trusty, krusty, boston-winter-surviving boots finally croaked last week. naturalizer auburn hi black leather beauties, with a hole in the leather on the left toe, and a wonky fastener that threatens to eat your face with each zip. these were actually my second pair of auburns, a replacement gleaned last fall when i loved my first pair to death. cause of death? the left zipper, both times. i admit i'm pretty rough with them, and my sturdy calves don't help the situation, and so nature follows its path.

and so now it's time to get a new pair!

i went shopping this weekend and realised that it is nigh impossible to find any sort of decent boot selection in the midst of spring-a-ling. (and no, i didn't resort to hootenanny.) so online is the way to go.

alas, zappos has the auburn hi in stock, but not in my size! this calls for actual hard work in the shopping decision process.

my criteria, in descending order of importance:
- fits around my short, muscular calves. this is 99% culprit of the boo-hoo factor in these boots are awesome except...
- accomodates my wiiiide flippers. my excuse is that i didnt wear shoes as a baby for a good part of my developmental phase. i'll stick with that excuse.
- looks hawt
- ably navigates along the often-times rustic quality of the streets of cambridge
- doesn't cost more than rent

here are my four options that i ordered for in-house try-ons:

from top to bottom, left to right:
Nine West, Pardon; Diba, 748 Alexandra; Sudini, Scout; Lumiani, A 8119

imagine the job of whoever names the different shoe design models. everything sounds so sleek and vaguely italian...

because at zappos there's free shipping both ways (!) it's essentially a risk-free purchase. however, although there's a teensy bit of hassle, it's counterbalanced by the tantalizing prospect of shoes that just magically show up at your door. mmm, magic.

let me know what you think! and hopefully i'll have a not-entirely-humiliating report to follow when the fateful moment arrives to choose my next pair of strap-me-on-forevers.