Friday, December 9, 2011

Day 228: "Sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts instead."

I spoke with Nick on the phone yesterday. For the first time in... 6+ months.

He wants to see me in March, when he flies out to Vegas for a few days with some of his friends. We've been talking back and forth about it via email and I thought it best to call him and get everything out of the way, so that we would be finished.

I wish I could say that hearing the sound of his voice had no effect on me. But I would be lying if I said that. I wholeheartedly wanted to marry him and spend the rest of my life making us happy and successful. I have no doubt in my mind that we would have been, too.

But he did not want to undergo the temporary discomfort of a long-distance relationship that would allow me to move back to NJ in a way that didn't burn the relationship with my family. And he didn't want to think about moving out here. Not seriously, anyway.

It took a long, long time for me to accept that. To live with that. To be ok with that.

But I am now.

He is a beautiful road not taken and that's all he'll ever be to me. And that's ok.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Mostly FO: Granny Square Blanket

 I joined the last square to my granny square blanket last night and finished weaving in all the ends. I'm rather pleased with the finished project: 

And as you can see in the following pictures, so is my mother... =)

She really should have been a model-- she's so lovely!

I'm in the process of deciding which project to start working on next... I have two lovely skeins of road to china yarn (in purple and in cream) as well as 3 skeins of Lorna's Laces Honor in "cedar." I also have about 5 balls of mulberry silk yarn, plus new sock yarn and a bunch of others.

Off to a craft fair for now!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Photo recap of 2011

I know it's a bit early for the annual self-reflections to start, but here's my 2011 recapped via photos:

 Studying for the bar exam. This consumed my life from December 2010-February 22, 2011.

My boyfriend and I broke up the last night of the February bar exam. My heart was smashed. I'm still recovering from the emotional repercussions (yay for emotional unavailability!).

The biggest benefit to moving to CA after law school? Getting to spend lots of time with my adorable nieces and nephews. 

Monday afternoon champagne to celebrate my 26th birthday, with my LA best friend, Sarah. She made my birthday really special. There's an embarrassing video of me riding a mechanical bull on facebook to prove it.

 My best friend Noah came to visit me in LA this year. We spent a fun week eating delicious food, seeing several movies, and reading Team of Rivals out loud to each other. I miss him. =(

One of the benefits of living in Los Angeles? Getting to see some of your favorite actors spending a Sunday afternoon just hanging out at the bar (that's Jason Segel).

 In April, I traveled to Denver, CO for the first time, to attend the 13th annual ABA Section of Dispute Resolution's spring conference. SHU Law made it to the national competition for the second year in a row! This is a photo from an amazing used book store I found and desperately did not want to leave.

 Other favorite things about LA? Jasmine and Jacaranda season! Nothing helps heal a broken heart more than the intoxicating scent of jasmine on fresh air...

... passing the CA bar exam also helped with the broken heart tremendously.

In 2011, I also started running again-- an activity I had not regularly done since high school cross country and spring track. My mom went out on my first run with me. We did not make it very far.

I kept up the running though for a good 3-4 months, enjoying beautiful scenes like these ones above.

In 2011, I attended a few musical and culturally-southern CA activities, including a show at the El Rey Theater with Sarah, watching Butch Cassidy and the Sun Dance kid with Kareem, attending Doheny Days Summer Music Festival to see Cake, attending my first Kings hockey game (go Devils!), lots of karaoke nights and seeing Gavin Degraw, David Cook, and Carolina Liars down in Pamona!

 I took my first trip to Vegas with friends-- it was fantastic!

 I attended several mediation and healthcare law events with the LA County Bar Association and took a few courses at the Urban Craft Center in Santa Monica.

 I went to several parties and events sponsored by St. Mary's, including their annual gala and holiday party.

 And finally, officially getting sworn in as an attorney in CA!
This year has been very challenging but a lot of great stuff has come out of it. I can't wait for 2012-- I know it's going to be my greatest year!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Granny Square Progress...

I've been working rather steadily on my Granny Square blanket throughout October and November. I'm about 85% finished with it-- currently working on joining the last half of it.
Since I'm not sure how much purple yarn I have to connect the squares, I've been joining them in a way that is odd, but that will allow me to keep some semblance of symmetry. The inner squares are joined with this beautiful, deep wine colored yarn I ordered a year and a half ago, after reading about on another blog. The corners (and probably all the outside squares) are being joined with this lighter colored purple yarn I purchased at the Genesee Country Village outside Rochester, NY.

I can't wait to complete and start using this lovely blanket.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

2011 Goals - Revisited

Towards the end of December, I came up with a list of goals I wanted to accomplish by the end of 2011. I reflected upon said list back in June. I'm looking at it again now. To recap, I wanted to:

Finish writing in my first fluke book. 
Meet people, generally.
Develop a group of friends in LA.
Live in the same city as the person I am dating (engaged to?).
Incorporate exercise into my lifestyle, in whatever form(s).
Read two books a month (for fun!).
Get a grown-up job.
Read my "12 Books in 12 Months."
Pass the CA Bar Exam.
Volunteer in the legal field.
Volunteer in a non-legal field.
Design something of my own.
Take one craft course each 2-3 months.
Get pedicures every 2-3 months.
Learn to cook more vegetarian meals.
Finish Level 1 of Rosetta Stone French.
Learn Spanish!!!
Strengthen my Farsi reading and writing skills.
Learn to can and preserve food.
Do at least 1 "cultural" activity per month (i.e. museums).
Take a roadtrip to Portland.
Go to Yosemite National Park.
Visit San Diego.
Check out different movie theaters in LA - preferably historic/cook ones.
Continue to blog.
Go to 3 craft fairs/shows, i.e. Renegade.
Open an Etsy shop?
Finish/make a quilt.
Crotchet a granny square blanket.
See a great band, live.

My progress this year...

1. Finish writing in my first fluke book.
  • Done! I finished it on February 16, 2011. I started my second one on February 26th. I finished that and started on my third in September!
2. Meet people, generally.
  • I've been working on this once since Nick and I broke up in late February. I've gone to karaoke, house parties, bars, bbqs, movie nights, breakfast clubs, and book club meetups. I'm doing new things all the time! Spending so much time with Gwen has certainly helped... I've met a bunch of new people through her since the summer time. I'm actually pretty happy where things are at in that regard.
3. Develop a group of friends in LA.
  • I definitely have a bunch of really good individual friends. Still trying to find a 'group' to join, though. I definitely feel as if I belong to Gwendolyn's group of friends, plus the group of friends with Travis and Sherwin. What can I say? I've always been a bit of a loner with the ability to walk in and out of groups.
4. Live in the same city as the person I am dating (engaged to?).
  • This goal became significantly easier to reach at the end of February. Hmm, wonder why... I must say that I'm enjoying being single very much right now. While I'm not opposed to meeting "Mr. Right," I am still very much not emotionally vulnerable for that to happen right now. And that's ok. Dating and meeting new people is fun.
5. Incorporate exercise into my lifestyle, in whatever form(s).
  • I had been pretty good about this for about 2 months but then I started working and had difficulty finding time to exercise and take care of myself. I seriously need to change this because I miss running very much.
6. Read two books a month (for fun!).
--> I'm a tiny bit behind but thus far I've read:
  • Freedom 
  • High Fidelity
  • Hunger Game Trilogy
  • Something Borrowed
  • World War Z
  • The Paris Wife
  • Breakfast at Tiffany's
  • The Girl in Hyacinth Blue
  • Ender's Game
  • One Day
  • The Bell Jar
  • The Beauty of the Husband 
--> I'm just about done reading:
  • Interpreter of Maladies (short stories)
  • Secret Lives of People in Love (short stories)
--> I'm currently reading:
  • The Engines of God
  • Team of Rivals
7. Get a grown-up job.
  • I started working for my brother's Surgical Center back in mid-September. It's challenging, but I'm learning a lot about healthcare, healthcare law, employment law, administration, and my ability to handle a shitload of stress.
8. Read my "12 Books in 12 Months."
  • I... don't think I've read a single one. I'm awful, I know.
9. Pass the CA Bar Exam.

  • Took the exam again in February 2011.
  • Find out that I passed the exam on May 13, 2011!
10. Volunteer in the legal field.
11. Volunteer in a non-legal field.
12. Design something of my own.
13. Take one craft course each 2-3 months.
  • I've certainly failed at this goal, but I did take spinning back in August. I absolutely loved it! I can't wait to buy my own spinning wheel!
14. Get pedicures every 2-3 months.

  • I went with my mom last weekend to get one. My feet were awfully blistered and calloused from my flats and wedges!
15. Learn to cook more vegetarian meals.
16. Finish Level 1 of Rosetta Stone French.
17. Learn Spanish!!!
18. Strengthen my Farsi reading and writing skills.
19. Learn to can and preserve food.
20. Do at least 1 "cultural" activity per month (i.e. museums).
  • I'm super behind on this one, though I did go to the Hammer Museum a few weeks ago.
  • I plan to go to the Huntington Museum and Gardens next week!
21. Take a road trip to Portland.
22. Go to Yosemite National Park.
23. Visit San Diego.
  • Went to PB for Memorial Day weekend with Sarah!
24. Check out different movie theaters in LA - preferably historic/cook ones.
25. Continue to blog.
  • Not as frequently as I like, but I'm still at it!
26. Go to 3 craft fairs/shows, i.e. Renegade.
27. Open an Etsy shop?
  • Not going to happen. I have little time and little interest. 
28. Finish/make a quilt.
29. Crotchet a granny square blanket.
  • I'm working on this goal right now! While I haven't finished yet, I'm about 85% of the way done and will definitely be complete by the end of 2011!
30. See a great band, live.
  • I saw Cake perform at Doheny Days Summer Festival and Carolina Liars play at the Fox Theater in Pomona!
Although I haven't had this list in front of me, I'm glad to say that 6 months into this new year (when the hell did that happen?!) I've actually done a number of these. I'm going to spend the rest of the year trying to do more. I doubt I'll do all of it, but I think I could do quite a number more.

I'm pretty happy with my progress thus far! I'll see how many more of these goals I can bang out in this last month and change of 2011.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Granny Square Progress...

Knitting and crocheting is truly remarkable to me. I love possessing the ability to turn these long pieces of string (essentially):

into these little squares of joy:

I think the granny square blanket is progressing nicely... I'm aiming to make 4 squares each of 8 designs before I start attaching them to each other.

I can't wait to curl up under this thing to sip tea and read a book or knit any one of a dozen patterns I've been eyeing on ravelry.

While I do generally enjoy the process of knitting and crocheting, I'm definitely a product knitter and crocheter!

Monday, November 7, 2011

A Short & Incomplete List of Things I Love In (My) Life

1. Holding (and drinking from) a large mug of hot tea.
2. Yarn, knitting needles, crochet hooks and the ability/(im)patience to create beautiful things using them.

3. The sound of the grandfather clock in the hallway sounding away the hours and half hours.
4. Sweet potatoes with a bit of brown sugar sprinkled on top.
 (Seen here fried up with some egg for a hearty breakfast!)
5. Adventures- even failed ones.

 (Spent yesterday afternoon in a mostly closed downtown Pamona, CA...)
6. Used bookstores.
7. Trees during autumn- vibrant reds, golds, and oranges.

8. Soft, warm autumn jackets that help keep away the cold.
9. Baking pies and other goodies for people I love.

10. Curly and wavy hair.

I'm certainly not where I expected to be a year ago but I must admit that while my life is not perfect, and is more often than not stressful and exhausting, I'm a pretty lucky woman.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Lazy Sunday

I stayed up until 2 am crocheting and knitting last night. 

I then spent this gloomy Sunday morning drinking tea, crocheting Granny Squares and finishing some guilty pleasure television.

I'm now headed off to a cute little town for used book and antique shopping. 

Apple pie baking is in the cards for later on this evening. 

I can't remember the last time I had such a relaxing weekend!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Autumn Gloom, FOs, and Explanations

The past few months have been full of constant change around these parts.

First, I got a job up by my parents' house. Second, I had to move away from LA and up to their neck of the woods. Third, I've ended up living back at home so I can save up some money (and start paying back some stupid student loans) so that I can get a place of my own once I decide whether I'm sticking around here after my one-year contract is up.

I must admit that I'm still trying to get used to this new schedule-- I wake up before dawn and typically get home around 7 or 8 each night. I'm awful at going to bed before 11pm, which is bad for me since I need 8 hours of sleep to function like a normal human being.

I haven't gone running in about 2 weeks. =(

I have been enjoying quite a bit of gardening, however:

And I can't wait until these babies are ready for plucking and pie-making:

I've also been busy, knitting away on some projects:

I absolutely love this yarn that I bought back in Montclair, NJ, intending to learn entrelac with it-- I tried figuring it out on my own, but I got frustrated and turned it into this simple twisted drop stitch scarf and super loose hat (perfect for when I've got a bunch of clips in my hair... which is 90% of the time).

I also finished up a couple of shawls: Summer Flies in a beautiful Malabrigo sock yarn (colorway Agua) <-- this is probably my favorite Malabrigo colorway to date!

And a modified Multnomah -- I hate garter stitch, so I alternated between sections of garter stitch and sections of stockinette. I still have to block this shawl out.

With the cooler weather starting already, I have a feeling I'm going to need all of these knitted beauties. 

My mom has already nabbed my favorite pair of fingerless gloves. My sister  asked me to knit hats for my niece and nephew-- so weird to knit things for my family this year.

I miss summer already...