Saturday, August 6, 2011

Biking to work

A few months ago I bought a nice new bike for myself for my birthday.  The price of gas was through the roof at that point and I had been reading lots about  carless lifestyles.  I haven't been riding much, just the occasional trip around the neighborhood and rides with friends.  Well, sometimes random things happen to your plans...Thursday night, as I was driving over to a friend's house after work my car died.  Just died.  In the middle of a turn, in the middle of the street.  After three lovely ladies (no men stopped) helped me push it into the grass I made some frantic calls to get things figured out.  Fortunately, I have a great mechanic and he arranged for it to be towed to his shop.  My son came to pick me up and all was well for the evening.

The next day, however, was going to be a challenge.  Sure I could have called a friend or my mechanic to pick me up and take me to work but I decided to ride my bike.  It is only 6 miles and I had just done a 9 mile ride the week before.  And fortunately there is no one else in the office on Friday afternoons so my sweatiness would not be an issue.  What almost was an issue was not bringing the keys to the office.  They are normally with my car keys and when you hop on a bike that's not something you usually take with you.  Thank goodness, Patti was still there.  I was pretty hot when I got there but at least when you work for a chiropractor there are plenty of ice packs.  I used one to cool off so I could get to work.

Pinellas county is not the safest place to bike or walk but I had mapped out a couple routes that would keep me off the busy streets and even through a park and a rec center.  Sometimes  on a bike you can go where cars cannot.

The trip was uneventful as far as traffic was concerned until I was almost to the office.  Seems there was a little SNAFU with the railroad crossing, the arm was down but there was no train in sight.  It was backing up traffic like crazy but when you're on a bike you can avoid things like that.  I snuck under the arm and continued on my way while other motorists were honking at each other and trying to maneuver through the crossing when they realized there was no train.  I did have a minor flashback to the movie we had to watch in Driver's Ed about car/train collisions.

It took about 45 minutes to go 6 miles and I figure I burned about 265 calories.  It takes about 20 minutes in the car and very few calories when you just sit there.  It was good to find out that I can do it and I will do it again.  Maybe when it cools off a little, or do a combo bus in (to avoid getting so sweaty) and bike home, or bus/bike both ways.  Things to think about.  As I found out when I tried my bus experiment awhile back, we need some work on our infrastructure.  I wonder who I could talk to about that?

My mechanic came to pick up so I could get my car and so my bike remains at the office for now.  Hmmm, wonder how to get it home.

And another thing I learned, running your car close to empty all the time is not good for the fuel pump.  Guess I'll have to change that strategy, too.

What keeps you from finding alternatives to driving your car to work?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Three Shows

I really need to start seeing a theatre production closer to the beginning of its run just in case someone actually takes my recommendations to heart.  I also, in a weird way, want to see a bad production to make sure I can still tell the difference.  We are lucky to have such amazing talent in the area:  I am rarely disappointed.
So...a few weeks ago I saw a twitter message about a free ticket giveaway for the May 25th matinee performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream at the freeFall Theatre.  What the heck! After I was notified that I won a pair I had to find someone willing to go with me in the middle of the day, in the middle of the week.  Luckily, my friend Loren was available.
I hadn't been to the freeFall before but I must say I was quite impressed.  The production was wonderful.  It had only been about a year since I saw Dream last (at FSU) so it made for a good comparison.  The set was sparse, the costumes were a mix of modern, vintage and fantastic.  The "choreography" was delicious.  The confrontation between Hermia (Jackie Rivera) and Helena (Jennifer Christa Palmer) in Act 3 was nearly like ballet.  But it was Giles Davies' Puck who stole the show.  He leapt about the stage, naked to the waist, clad in a gorgeous pair of bottoms made up of numerous pieces of elegant fabrics.  The physicality of his performance could tire out the fittest of the fit.
And of course, the play within the play was ridiculously inept as it is supposed to be.
One side note, 3/4 of the cast of reasons to be pretty were in the audience.
Next up was The Studio 620 production of American Duet written by theatre critic Mark Leib.  I  had the pleasure of having Mark for a professor last year at Eckerd College for a class called Film and Literature.  I had to attend this show solo, and nearly solo in the audience.  It was a Sunday evening performance, the only one I had time for in my busy schedule.
The 2 character play follows a 30 year relationship between liberal Jessica and conservative Charlie.  They connect with each other over key political moments in American history and it is like a history lesson wrapped up in a play.  The acting was superb and the only problem I had was with Jessica's character.  Her period of victimization and subsequent rescuing by Charlie did not feel authentic with her otherwise unrelenting liberal/feminist viewpoints.  The final scene where the couple live through the uncertainty of 9/11 was deeply moving and brought back the feelings of that fateful day.
Last night I saw Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune at American Stage.  This show runs through July 3, (Pay what you can on June 21) so if you have a chance I recommend you go see it.  This story takes place in one night immediately following Frankie and Johnny having sex for the first time.  Johnny (Tom Nowicki) tries to convince Frankie (Tonia M Jackson) that their little rendez-vous could actually turn into something long-lasting and wonderful.  We follow them through their ups and downs (pun intended) as they reveal their secrets and faults to each other.  The dialogue is frank and authentic and not suitable for kids.  Once you get past Nowicki's accent (reminded me of Christopher Lloyd) it is an irresistible look at the determination of love.
Even though this is the slow season for theatre there are still lots of shows on the horizon and I intend to see as many as I can.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Trying Top Down

No, I'm not getting a convertible, it's a method of knitting garments where you start at the top and work your way down.  Traditionally it is done the other way.  So far so good, but I haven't come to any changes yet.  I chose a fairly simple top on Ravelry, also got a book Modern Top-Down Knitting: Sweaters, Dresses, Skirts & Accessories Inspired by the Techniques of Barbara G. Walker.  If it turns out, it will be a gift, so shhhh.

On another knitting note I have set up a Facebook page for a LYS, The Flying Needles.  Check them out if you get a chance.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Summer of Theatre

It has been another whirlwind couple weeks of theatre for me.  Why do these things come in such spurts?
First up was Rent, this year's American Stage in the Park production.  I originally had tickets for April 24th but it decided to rain that night.  My son was in town on the reschedule date of May 7th but opted not to go because "Rent is so dated."  Evidently, according to most 20 somethings AIDS doesn't matter anymore.  I guess that's a good thing, the stigma is gone, we know how to treat and prevent it, there may even have been someone cured.  I still enjoyed the show.  The talent in the cast was incredible. Light My Candle is a bit stilted but La Vie Boheme, Tango: Maureen and Take Me or Leave Me make me want to get up and dance. Seasons of Love still gives me shivers.
It may have been Friday the 13th, but it was Twelfth Night for me.  Groupon had an excellent deal a few weeks back to get $9 tickets for the show, it was a deal I couldn't pass up.  I did a quick google search to refresh my memory about the story (it has been a long time since my high school Shakespeare class).  At the start of the show we found out that the part of Feste would be played script in hand by a last minute substitution due to illness.  I'm sorry to say that I did not get this actor's name, but he did an awesome job! Brian Shea (Malvolio) stole the show.  It was great to see a nearly full house.  Can't wait to see more productions from this group.
The following night was 8 o'clock Theatre's The Drowsy Chaperone.  Before I left for the show my son asked me if I was familiar with the story.  "Someone gets drunk so kids can make out?" was my guess.  Boy, was I wrong!  It is an absolutely delightful story of a man in a chair (John Forgione) sharing his love of musical theatre with the audience.  Forgione was perfect in the role.
The final show in this week's adventure, was reasons to be prettyJobsite's latest production. I will take free tickets whenever I can get them (Twitter) but I was prepared to shell out my hard earned $10 for student rush tickets.  After their last production, Yellowman, I knew I would not be disappointed. The acting was superb and the fight scenes beautifully choreographed but I think I may be a little understand Steph's (Kari Goetz) reaction to Greg's (Dayton Sinkia) guy talk comment that she had a "regular" face.  I wanted to shake her and tell her to get over it, couldn't she see what a great guy Greg was???  I guess I've known too many Kents (Chris Jackson) in my day.  Grace Santos Feeney was achingly clueless as Carly.
I feel so blessed to live in an area of such great theatre.  Next on the radar Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune at American Stage,  I Hate Hamlet from 8 o'clock Theatre, Jobsite's The Taming of the Shrew and American Duet by Mark Leib, theatre critic for Creative Loafing and my professor for "Film and Literature" last semester at Eckerd College (I got an A).  I'm more than willing to scrounge around for deals and new venues in my pursuit of the "Summer of Theatre."  If you hear of a good deal or show please let me know!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Construction woes

Today I am working from home!  Thank you, Maria.  As a morning-get-me-going activity I decided to take my bike out for a spin.  It has been sitting patiently, waiting for me to stop making excuses and get riding.  So today I pumped up the tires, latched on my helmet and took off.  And that is where my woes begin.  I am currently surrounded by road construction projects.  To the east the FDOT is frantically working on US 19, long the bane of Pinellas drivers.  They are creating flyovers in order to reduce the number of stoplights on this congested highway in order to speed up traffic and make it less stressful and hopefully safer for drivers to get from Point A (somewhere up in Tarpon Springs) to Point B (Eckerd College or thereabouts).  Actually US 19 heads all the way up to Lake Erie, road trip anyone?  In the long run this will be great for most drivers in the county but right now, for me, it is a PITA.

Conversely to the west the City of Clearwater is working on a neighborhood traffic calming project to slow the cars down.  Evidently this was at the request of my neighbors.  Again, I'm not opposed to this project as it will beautify my normal ride, especially when I'm on my bike.  It is not currently possible to get through the intersection at Harn and Summerlin in a car, but with a little maneuvering it is possible on a bike.  Why was I leery about riding through the grass in someone's yard?  We did it all the time when we were kids.

So while various governmental agencies speed the cars up and then slow them down, bikers can go their own speed and their own way, ahhh freedom!

Friday, March 25, 2011

A good month for theatre

A month ago I headed to Tallahassee to see the play Art by Yasmina Reza.  Why would I drive 4 hours to see that play you ask, because it starred my son, a theatre major at Florida State University.  I was unfamiliar with the play but found out that it won the Tony in 1998 for best play.    Of course I'm a little prejudiced but I did enjoy the production.  The story centers around three friends and the tension that erupts when one buys a piece of art consisting of a white canvas.
A few weeks later it was time for the 8 o'clock theatre production of Bye, Bye Birdie.  I've had season tickets with three of my friends for about 7 or 8 years now and the productions are usually quite good.  The shows are staged at the Largo Cultural Center and the audience tends to the "silver" side.  The musicals are generally more popular with this crowd.  I had seen the 1995 TV version of Bye Bye Birdie and the wonderful Mad Men episode where Sal tries to recreate Ann-Margret's performance for "Patio Cola."  Back to 8 o'clock....the production was up to the usual standard with the exception of the decision to cast Trey Ryan as Conrad Birdie...WRONG!!  Now I realize that community theatre is limited by the talent that auditions, but there had to be someone, anyone, who would have made a better choice for Conrad.  Ryan has been in many 8 o'clock productions and has been perfect when he is playing characters such as Gaston, from Beauty and the Beast or Jack Manningham in Gaslight.  But to cast him as a teen idol?  Not so much.
The culmination of the month was definitely the Jobsite Theatre's production of Yellowman.  This, for me, is what theatre is all about.  Jim Wicker and Fanni Green gave spectacular performances as they deal with the prejudices of skin color within their black, South Carolina community.  Wicker and Green portrayed not only their characters at several ages but their own parents and grandparents.  The intimate setting reinforced the tension and both actors give brutally honest and powerful performances.  The final scenes are gripping in both intensity and desperation as we see the unraveling of promise.  Go! Experience it while you still can.

Friday, March 18, 2011

My Irish Underwear

Ok, so I’m not Irish and neither are my underwear but they are "green." Yesterday while everyone was wearing green on the outside I was wearing my new “green” undies. Now when I say green I’m not referring to the color: they are eco-friendly and sustainable
I had made a decision this year to only buy what I really needed and then with a certain set of criteria...used, local, handmade, or sustainable, in roughly that order. Now a girl needs new underwear once in awhile so I decided to do my research into sustainable undies because that was one thing I was not going to buy secondhand...and I couldn’t really knit them either.A quick internet search got me some possible options, American Apparel was one of my initial choices but let’s face it I am NOT and I NEVER was a skinny 20 something. While I admire their mission, the undies were not for me. I need a little more coverage. Another choice was Rambler’s Way:

Soft, Superfine Wool Comfortwear from the founders of Tom’s of Maine
Fabulous idea! Love the ethical and sustainable aspects, however, a little pricey for my budget. I understand that my shopping choices have an impact on the world and I am willing to pay more for things I feel will have a better impact, but I do still have a budget. My choice finally came down to CottonfieldUSA. Their garments are made in the US from organically grown cotton. Their mission fit my shopping criteria but better yet they fit ME. So I ordered a couple pair. They arrived in 3 days, no unnecessary packaging, and fit perfectly. They were more expensive than you what you get at Wal-Mart, but that’s the point. For some further reading on these subjects check out a recent post by a like-minded blogger I follow, a story on the clothing industry and the book that inspired me, "In the Presence of Fear"
 by Wendell Berry

Make everyday “green” not just St Patty’s!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Sharing with the Tax Man

This time of year is especially busy for me because I work part time preparing taxes or should I say bartering my expertise in exchange for a Visa gift card. After all currency is only worth what we agree it’s worth. So taxes have got me thinking about how the new sharing economy could affect our infrastructure and the services that are paid for with our tax dollars. Now nobody WANTS to pay taxes but we all want to benefit from what our taxes pay for, such as roads, parks, libraries, police and fire protection, etc.

Legally speaking all income received is subject to federal income tax and most states have some sort of sales tax. Here in Florida we have no state income tax, most of the revenue needed is generated from property and sales taxes and tourism. So what happens when tourists come to Florida and instead of staying at a hotel they decide to try Airbnb or Couchsurfing? Is the owner of that spare room going to pay the 5% bed tax to the county and federal income tax on the money received? On a small scale it will probably not make much of a difference but as sharing becomes more and more popular it could have a huge impact.

My year end bonus last year was a barter gift card. The doctor I work for does a lot of barter business through a barter agency and we always have a surplus of “dollars.” Cash flow was down a bit last year and so we got barter gift cards instead of a cash bonus. I finally had a need this past month to use one of the other members of the barter community. I needed graduation announcements for my son and there was a printer in the network who I contacted to help me. When it came time to settle up the bill I gave her the gift card but I also had to pay the sales tax (7%) in cash. I understood why it was necessary, and realized that the printer could not pay the state of Florida in printing services, (or could they?) it had to be remitted in cash. Then a few days ago I “helped” my friend do her taxes in exchange for dinner. This got me to thinking about all the other barter and sharing transactions that happen without the state getting their cut and the financial shortfalls in the federal, state and local budgets. After all if I had done her taxes at my job she would have had to pay in cash and the income I received would have been taxed. In our transaction very little tax revenue was generated. has an excellent soup illustration about how things change when we start sharing. Maybe as we move to this new economy we need to start thinking about the tax consequences. What kind of options could there be? Why couldn’t some people elect to pay their tax obligation in service to the respective tax collector? Do we really NEED a tax system to get things done? Look at the Detroit Robo-cop initiative. Maybe we should pay tax in proportion to the size our personal carbon footprint? These are just tiny examples. We have to start asking the big “What ifs?” So I’m asking...

Friday, February 25, 2011

The "Un"Consumer

I've been trying really really hard not to shop in big box stores this year. I think I've done a pretty good job mostly because I don't NEEEED anything (except yarn). Until this week....there was an unfortunate accident with the faucet and my french besides the more pressing need of not having any coffee...Yikes! I knew I was going to have to break down and find a new one. So I went down my preferred list of ways to get stuff. First I posted a request on Freecycle! No response. Then I checked most of the nearby thrift stores. No luck. I tried outbid. I was kinda glad about that one though, it wasn't quite what I wanted and I hated that the shipping cost more than the item.

I started to think I was going to have to go to Target or Bed Bath and Beyond or some such place until I remembered this cute little kitchen shop, Beans About Cooking! Aha! It's a local business, and that is included in my list of meaningful places to shop. And so I picked up the glass replacement, and a pound of delicious gourmet coffee and felt good about my purchase.

Contrast this with last Sunday and the first birthday party of my friends' daughter. She received gift bag after gift bag of clothes and a couple toys all with the same characteristic big box look. She will probably only have a chance to wear each item a couple times before she outgrows them. It seems like such a waste of resources. Granted I was tickled pink with those kinds of gifts 20+ years ago when my kids were little but today I'm thinking less about "stuff." It's a shame that most people's first reaction when they get an invitation like that is "Let's go to Toys R Us!" I gave her a handknit dress wrapped simply in some tissue paper. It was the only gift that got passed around for all to admire.

And my last feel good purchase of the week was my toothbrush. Yes, I's just a toothbrush but all our purchases have consequences. There is a green way to get your teeth clean....Preserve toothbrushes. They are made from recycled yogurt cups and for $13/year, a uniquely designed toothbrush will appear in your mailbox along with a postage paid envelope to send back the old one so they can recycle it again. Plus you don't have to drive to the store.

Maybe if we all did a little research and thinking before our purchases we could make them more meaningful to us, the sellers and the environment.

How do you make shopping more meaningful?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Borders Closing

I was saddened when I heard earlier this week that Borders was closing 30% of its stores, including the one that I can walk to,(#593) in Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Then I realized, based on my behavior, that it was inevitable. After all, I hadn't purchased anything at Borders (or Barnes and Noble) in quite some time. And it's not that I'm not a reader. I often go to Borders to browse new titles and skim through the new knitting books and magazines, but when I'm ready to read my first thought is always the library. I even try to get the books that I need for my classes from the library instead of the campus bookstore. My next stop is, my rationale being that purchasing a used copy from an actual person and not the big box will have a greater impact on that person, my bank account and the environment. I guess it's also having an impact on the big box.
Irony or coincidence? I finished reading Rachel Botsman's What's Mine is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption (CC) which I, of course, borrowed from the library. After watching her Tedtalk, following her on Twitter and expanding my knowledge of the concept of (CC) I still gleaned some useful bits. First, underlying all the economic and environmental reasons for sharing, is that human need to belong. Our use of social media reflects this need and Rachel connects it to CC by saying, "We can now show status, group affiliation, and belonging without necessarily having to buy physical objects" and "Now we express who we are by what we join."
The second big AHA! is that we are in the middle of a paradigm shift. She says, "We hope this period will be regarded as the transition away from consumption for consumption's sake, and away from the fear of what will happen to the economy when this ethos is abandoned." I can personally illustrate this point in two recent instances. Last week, my dad, who is staying with me for the winter, called me at work to say that he had broken the french press coffee maker. He felt bad and wanted to go buy a new one. I said not to worry I would get one. My first thought, unlike my dad's urge to go to the store, was to check out the local thrift stores or even better--Freecycle! And speaking of Freecycle, a few weeks ago Deron Beal, Freecycle's founder, came to speak at our Rotary meeting. During the Q&A, one of the more senior members of our club wanted to know if all this sharing wouldn't put drill makers and car manufacturers out of work. He and my dad, are still stuck in the old paradigm and experiencing the fear that Rachel was talking about. But that is the way of paradigm shifts...those who can see it coming, embrace it and those who can't, fear the change.
So I really shouldn't be so sad that Borders is closing. There are so many new ways to find books to read. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Spending and lending

In my year of sharing I have been participating in group buying with both Living Social and Groupon. I tend to opt for deals that involve either services/adventures or food. I'm trying to buy less "stuff" but am keen on new places to eat or skills to learn. So this last weekend I went to redeem a few of my deals. I got a great assortment of gourmet food from Land and Sea Market, some frozen yogurt from Berryism and picked up my pottery from Pikasso Kiln and Kork. I also purchased a couple more, a massage and a brunch at Feather Sound Country Club. I shared those deals on my facebook page and I got a couple of referrals which made my deals even better and is the concept behind those services. Tell your friends, and they tell their friends and before you know it there are millions of members and local (and some national) companies get much needed exposure.

A few months ago there was also a Groupon for Kiva, which is a site to encourage microfinancing of entrepreneurs around the world. I had been interested in this since I first heard about it at one of my Rotary Club meetings. I made a loan (with about 100 other lenders) to a knitter from Peru to purchase yarn to make hand knit items to sell. She has already started to pay back her loan and I like to think that I'm making her life better.

One of my fellow Etsians has started a Kiva team on Etsy for others, like me, who are interested in connecting their handmade shops with lending to Kiva. It's a community within a community.

My next plan is to use some of my income tax refund to start a small account on and lend some money peer-to-peer. I do have one problem with Prosper: on the riskier loans they charge the borrower upwards of 30% interest. I find this figure usurious and will not lend to those borrowers. My priorities will be people looking to do energy efficient improvements or pay back school loans or pay off debt.

I feel better with my sharing this week, after last week's unsuccessful mass transit experiment. Coming soon, my random knitting connections and other sharing adventures.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Not quite ready

I attempted an experiment last week. Something most of my friends, and Americans in general, would think is crazy: I was going to ride the bus. I figured it would be no big deal. After all I live a few blocks off one of the busiest roads in Pinellas County, I work at 2 places that are also on major roads, the price of gas was going up, and I had just seen Rachel Botsman's Tedtalk on collaborative consumption. Even my school was on the bus route. My schedule is flexible enough that I could adjust it to the transit system's schedule and it would be a piece of cake. Or so I thought. After looking at all the PSTA route maps, I bought myself a one week unlimited bus pass for $20. I calculated that if I rode it for 144 miles in the week I would be saving money. I did not add all the other costs of owning a car, just the gas. 2 trips to school would be 50 miles and back and forth to work would get me close, but it wasn't just about the money.

I hopped on last Saturday morning, off to meet my friend for a trip to the St Pete Farmer's Market, then I would head to a writing workshop at school which would give me an idea of where the bus stopped in that part of town. It was a beautiful day and I enjoyed the walking that was involved with going to and from the bus stops. The ride to school after the market was also pleasant. I even had a backup plan with a fellow student in case our class ran late on Monday night. That is where I made my mistake. I checked and rechecked the schedule to make sure the bus ran 'til 10:30 pm, in the school neighborhood. I neglected to check if it ran back up to my did not. I would have been stranded about a mile from home on a busy street after 10 pm. Fortunately for me, I noticed this on Monday morning and not Monday night and so scrapped the idea. Now I could have gone back and forth to work on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday but I decided instead to give my bus pass to someone who takes the bus because they have to and hope that the little financial boost would help them out.

So while I love the idea of not having a car and all the expense that goes along with it, I'm just not ready for it yet. I will definitely consider taking it again when I go to the St Pete Farmer's Market or other excursions and will be dreaming of the day when Zipcar comes to town.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Let's share!

Way back in kindergarten we started learning about sharing. I think it was one of the things we were graded on. This week has been all about sharing and how social media is making it not only easy but popular.
I've become addicted to facebook and have been posting pics of my knitting projects. I was delighted to see a message from a former co-worker asking if she could commission me to knit her a hat to wear under her bike helmet. While Florida winters are mild compared to the rest of the country it can still get a little chilly. So I whipped one up and brought it to her at work. We used that time to catch up on all the goings on. We hadn't seen each other in awhile so it was nice to reconnect. It's not just about the digital connections.
Wednesday was the day for my first attempt at a clothing swap. My boss was kind enough to let me use my office as the site for the swap. While it was not a huge success in terms of participants, those who did come had a fabulous time and everyone got some great new outfits. It was amazing how well some of the items from different donors came together for a fresh new look. We had some refreshments, I picked up cupcakes from Peace, Love and Cake with a coupon I got from Livingsocial and my friend Patty brought some of her wonderful pepperoni bread and a bottle of wine from her restaurant, Sage's. We were going to donate the clothes at the end of the night but decided to hold on to them as seed for the next swap which will be sometime in May.
I bartered some old wine corks for a pair of earrings after seeing an Alchemy request on Etsy.
Thursday was market day in downtown Largo. I love that I can walk there from my office and pick up lunch and other goodies, all while supporting my local community.
Today, my friend Sue and I are going to Pikasso’s Kiln and Kork to use another Livingsocial deal to paint some pottery and possibly have a glass of wine.
I'm working on another Etsy Alchemy request and have been exploring new possibilities with Twitter. It's amazing how one link leads to another and then another, I guess that's why they call them links.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Who needs Uggs?

I am working on an upcycling project today. I bought a pair of closed toe pumps at Hospice Thrift Store for $1.99, actually bought 2 pair but the other ones I'm wearing as is, and I am proceeding to turn them into cute boots by knitting the uppers. Saw this tutorial awhile back and am having a go at it. The pair I bought had fabric uppers so I did not have to drill through the leather. They are turning out pretty good so far. The first few rows were tough, knitting around the hard surface of the shoe but it is pretty smooth sailing now. Going to end it with a ribbed top.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

List Update

I realized a couple days ago that I hadn't paid much attention to my 101 list in awhile and saw that it needed some updating, I had accomplished a few things.
77. Share a bottle of wine with someone...this was actually done quite awhile ago and twice
84. See a foreign film at a theatre....did this 6 times when I took International Cinema at Eckerd College last term (got a A-).
93. See a live show at a new venue. The Santaland Diaries (based on Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris) at The American Stage in St Pete. Hoping to go to this venue more times in the future as I have a flexpass. Also, saw Forbidden Broadway at TBPAC but I've been there before.
79. Buy no soap or shampoo 'til all the hotel samples are used. FINALLY!! Now I need to get to some hotels....trying to purchase more environmentally friendly products away from Big Box stores so I purchased a "Rosemary Mint Essential Oil Shampoo Bar 4oz packaged in a Plantable Seed Box" on Etsy. Love love love it.
59 Volunteer at Clearwater Jazz Holiday...poured wine for 3 days and then enjoyed Nate Najar and Eric Darius on Sunday night.

Sunday, January 2, 2011


Exciting things are happening in the online world. Sharing is the new wave and I intend on experimenting with this new paradigm. I actually envisioned this several years ago while thinking about trying to make enough money to pay the monthly bills. If only the house were paid for there would be no need to slave away 40 hours a week for someone else. Of course, things took a 180 ° turn and now I just don't worry. Back to part of my plan borrowed from Neal Gorenflo for The Year of Living Shareably, I am going to also comment on my adventures in that arena. My first idea was to take the bus to see The King's Speech, however, the bus doesn't run that late on Sunday so I will save that one for later this week when I attempt to get to work by sharing mass transportation. Fortunately I don't really have too many timetables at work so if I miss the first one there will be another in 15 minutes. Now I did handknit a headband for my friend Loren who was also going to the movie so she paid me for it and that got me a ticket. Not really counting that since it was just coincidence that it was done in time for the show.
I did, however, barter some Tastefully Simple products and lunch for a massage last Friday....
and by the way the movie was great...two thumbs up!