Pixie Post

Friday, November 23, 2007

The Mom Song Sung to William Tell Overture with Lyrics

Have you seen this?

oops, I need to practice the video thing. But look at the next post. The clip's been viewed over 4 million times, hmmm, so perhaps you've seen it already. But it's fun.

The risotto of the day is asparagus and chicken. It's good! Especially with Gershwin playing loud, and a nice cold sav blanc. I've saved you some.

I'm going to pack now. Wetsuit, goggles, swimsuit, cap, towel. I'm going to Auckland in the morning to swim across the harbour on Sunday morning, from Devonport to the Viaduct Harbour. What was I thinking? Kindly send 'swim faster' vibes when you wake up on Sunday.

swim swim swim. Photo by Reuters


I've spent much of the day listening to train talk. Me oh my, the things I do! Here're some trains for the train lover (though you'd deny that, wouldn't you?) that visits here on rare occasions.
The Napa Wine Train. Sounded like fun.
The commuter train, from Menlo Park to San Francisco. I counted 18 laptops from my seat. My laptop-less seat. Get on the train, get on the net. Looked good to me.

Nice station.

This Napa bus thinks it's a cable car.

A real San Francisco cable car, with turntable. There was a friendly policeman helping to push.

We came down there....down that Wellington-like street. The cable car driver was great fun, giving all the tourists a laugh. 'Move on down', he said, 'there's coffee and donuts down the back!'. He enjoyed himself at the top of the first downward trip, taking hands off hand holds and repositioning them safely, and getting strangers to hold backpacks belonging to the standing outside passengers, so they weren't sticking out too far into the traffic. Very cheery.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

The foody post

There were some memorable meals on my US sojurn. In Menlo Park (which is close to San Francisco but is a whole other place) I had the best Indian takeaways I've tasted. Really. They probably came from Palo Alto, nearby. We went on the beautiful drive to Napa Valley, via Pete's coffee in Berkley (I was so spoilt!). We saw a beautiful olive oil shop in St Helena, up the highway from Napa. They had tiny cubes of bread and little bowls for tasting. Lovely infused oils and vinegars. It was lots of fun tasting them all. Almost every store seemed to have a 'help wanted' sign. Plenty of jobs going......
This is my very decadent chocolate kahluah cheesecake, enjoyed at the end of a long lunch with fleagirl. Couldn't eat it all. You must go visit her and read about the tour of the San Francisco seafood spots that she took me on. It was a great day, we laughed a lot. (I'll tell you more about the people later, they need a post of their own!).

I had some great diner breakfasts in New York. Dreadful coffee, as everyone warned me, but some great eggs and bacon and fried potato things. I love going out for breakfast. In New York there was also dinner in china town, in a restaurant that had a little english on the menu in it's window. Lots of fun, plenty of stories and laughter, and the best tofu I've ever had. It was perfectly silky, with chilli flakes, and just the right amount of green! We had a sweet and sour pork dish, and beautiful, beautiful eggplant and peppers stuffed with a shrimp mixture. It was fantastic.Look, I found some crab in New York! This was a sneaky picture taken at Whole Foods in Chelsea, New York (near the quilt store). They had cheap NZ Lamb in there. I thought the store was beautiful, but it wasn't organic produce like I know it. The organic fruits and veges looked very processed to me, I'm used to associating organic with produce that looks like it came off a tree in the backyard. Lumpy and bumpy and irregular, like it ought to grow. They had a beautiful bakery, but it was the crab that was hard to resist.

I had a hot-dog from a stand in Central Park. It felt kindof compulsory. It was dreadful! I had a hamburger in a cafe which was huge and delicious. I did have some good coffee in a french cafe near Washington square, and I managed not to set foot in a Starbucks. Oops, no, that's not true, I went to one in the Rockerfeller centre. Far too busy with far too much to do to spend much time sitting still in cafes or restaurants. I did rip an apple cake recipe out the New York Times in a cafe at JFK airport though. I hope no-one noticed.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

On and on

I broke the lawnmower blade.
The cricket loving boy had a massive tantrum and refused to go.
The ex has got a girlfriend.
One of my favourite colleagues has resigned.

Oh well.
It's fixable. It's over now. I must reap what I sow. He'll keep in touch.

Which second sentence goes with which first sentence? Life goes on.

The trouble with travelling is that you have to come home. I've been amazed to realise how much of me is used up by work and kids. By just doing the things I must do. I'm still okay. It's still hard work being okay. Does it get better, or do I just get used to it?

Yep, more travelogue to come.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The New York Quilty Post

I flew into New York on the night of Halloween. The train rides from JFK airport to my Jersey City hotel were particularly memorable. I was just about the only one on the subway not in costume, and not headed for the parade in Greenwich Village. I had a great time on that little journey. People were friendly, chatty, fun, and sober....or they had me fooled. "Where you from, you not from round here" "Nooooo Zealand, howabout that".

The next day I walked the length of Broadway, and took myself to the American Folk Art Museum to an exhibition of antique quilts titled A Legacy in Quilts: Cyril Irwin Nelson's Final Gifts to the American Folk Art Museum. They were extraordinary. Worth my trip. Really. Many were familiar, I'm sure they've been much photographed, and I've probably seen them before. To get so close, to such works of art, of such great history. Well, I enjoyed them enormously. This was one of my favourites. You can see more on the museum website.
Then I went to meet Mary. I was late, I got the subway in the wrong direction. Didn't make that mistake again. Anyway, Mary kindly loitered and eventually spotted my lime green bag, so we had coffee and talked and talked and walked off to a lecture she'd heard about. We went to the Fashion Institute of Technology, to see Kaffe Fasset.
Kaffe was promoting his new book, which is about knitting. He's a great speaker, the slides he showed were extraordinary. I confess I've seen him speak before, here in Wellington, but I enjoyed seeing him again. His messages remain the same....colour, glorious colour.....and just do it, focus, and get on with it. Yes sir, doing my best. Mary wrote about it here (scroll to Nov 6). And Kay wrote about it here (scroll to Nov 2). The next day we three went shopping. I met them here:
(after I spent the first part of the morning taking myself up the Empire State Building. Well, me and 100 other tourists).

I bought this book. This wonderful, beautiful, heavy book. It's here on Amazon of course. I can't recommend it highly enough. It has quilts from 10 years of the Quilt National exhibition. It's just beautiful. And it has lots of the quilts I saw in San Jose, so that makes it even more special to me.Then we went to Soho, to Purl. Ahhh, Purl. First, the yarn store, where Mary and Kay bought beautiful things and I took photos. Kay interpreted for French tourists also buying yarn. She should've got a commission I reckon.
And Purl the fabric store, just up the road.....both very small stores, but perfectly formed. You haven't heard of them? You're not reading enough crafty blogs then. Here's the link to their blog. You can find their online store via that link. Yes, I bought fabric this time, pinks, chocolates, and teal/duck egg blues. Beautiful. Soho is where I'm going to stay next time I'm in New York.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The San Francisco quilty post

I had Saturday 27 October twice. Once in NZ flying out of Auckland on an 8pm flight. It was fun to meet some old friends in the departure lounge, on their way to NYC to run the marathon. In San Francisco I had another Saturday. J picked me up at the airport at about midday. J is one of my email buddies, we recognised each other instantly. It was like seeing an old friend you hadn't seen for a year or so. Easy, relaxing, heartwarming, lots of non stop conversation. It's a real joy to have friends who welcome you into their home.

J whisked me off to the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles. (Driving on the wrong side of the road. Oh my!) It wasn't a big gallery, but it had an important exhibition titled Saturn Returns: Back to the Future of Fiber Art, to celebrate its 30th Anniversary. I saw this!

Constructions 77 Nancy Crow

There were also memorable quilts by Susan Shie, and Ruth B. McDowell, Katie Pasquini-Masopust, Yvonne Porcella....lots of famous names. Side by side! I tried hard to behave, but it's quite possible I grabbed J's elbow and said "oh my stars" in a very gushy voice. Quite possible.

The next day we went to do all the touristy things in San Francisco. (Another post!). But she also took me to Britex fabrics. 4 floors of beautiful, perfect, fabulous fabric. The website is beautiful, you must go look.

The shop guy made me take a picture with him in it!

Can you believe I didn't buy anything there? No, nor can I. I was completely overwhelmed, I couldn't make a decision. A couple of fabrics linger in my memory. I should've bought them. Perhaps it was jet lag. But now I know Britex exists, and they have that wonderful website.....well, I'm making no promises.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Yes, I am home

No, I don't know that guy, but he wasn't moving!

I know, I need to tell you all my stories....I think there'll be a whole series of posts. See, I'm full of promises.
I spent 4 nights in San Francisco, and 4 nights in New York, and I met up with lots of friends and saw all the famous sites. I loved it. I had the best time. The best.
The Love sculpture is in New York on the corner of 6th and 55th. I was there. I can hardly believe it. Travelling does nothing to ease the wander-lust does it?