Friday, June 04, 2010


Whilst trying not to eavesdrop...

She: Do you see a difference between the relationship you have with me and your friends?
He: I tend not to have too much sex with my friends.
She: That's reckless.
He: Not just recklessness, it's a take on risk. One of the things I'm pretty precious about. It's excitement. It's enjoyment.
She: It changes my relationship with you. When you say recklessness is exciting, it's damaging.
He: It's not like I take risks completely without sense. There's a level of risk I'm willing to accept for myself that I don't extend to other people.
She: I don't want to have to change...
He (interrupting): If I wanted total security and boredom, I'd be with you.
She: [silence]
He: Sorry, I interrupted you. Finish what you were saying.
She: Why should I finish what I was saying? You've just said everything I say is worthless. I'm not saying security is boredom.
He: That was your point? That was going to be your point?
She: [silence]
He: I'm trying to be mature and good natured. I'm not doing too bad.

Is this not the best couple fight ever? So much to analyze. I loooove psychology.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


I've just come back from Denver. Most of my time was spent at a conference, networking and learning about public policy. I like this conference because I get to interact with academics and grad students. Nuturing the next generation of scholars; very important.

I ended up at the airport about two hours before my flight was set to depart. Denver is home to New Belgium Brewing (now owned by Molson/Coors). They have a pretty good Belgian ale, but I was just too worn out to start drinking at 2pm. Instead, I ensconced myself in a chair with a view at my gate and pulled out the fiber.

Picked this up at a thrift store. Can you tell? Is the 50 cent sticker a huge giveaway?

Starting the round for the hat. Start time: 2:20pm. So cute! This is a little misleading because my hands are very large.

It grows. Increases are accomplished by alternating whether there is one sc or two sc in each stitch. I don't have a set pattern. If the circle is curling too early, you need two sc in the stitch.

Starting to curve the crown. The circle will grow until the outside edge can no longer hold itself flat. At that point, I decrease one sc every 5 stitches (sc 2 together).

Adding color for interest.

Starting the curlicue for the top. Crochet 10 or 12, then sc 3 in each stitch on the way back down. It curls itself into macaroni fringe.

And...finished! End time: 3:55pm.

Just in time.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

To the mothers that have influenced my life:

Thank you. Happy Mother's Day!

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Hats again

I'm working on a couple of hats for twin boys to be born in May. Seeing as it is already May, I'd better get going.

Babies. So cute and squishy and always needing a hat.

Hats for twins are fun because I can make two using the opposite pattern. I was working happily along on the first one when I noticed something awry. I had put too many rows of beige between the single blue stripes.

This is what happens when I crochet and watch soccer.

So, rip rip rip.

And fixed. First one done, time to start on the second one.

Have to make sure the crown sizes are approximately the same. Do I count rows? Of course not. I made this pattern up. The shaping is all in my head. I just keep going until it looks right.

Are those shorts I see? Why, yes they are! Summer has suddenly arrived in Maryland. 90 and sunny. Wheee! Brewgal is happy.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Vacation, part 2

We were in London for ten days. It seemed a shame not to dash over to Paris for at least a day. The last time I traveled from London to Paris we went by ferry. This time I booked seats on the Eurostar.

Except for the sardine can that was the tube from Victoria to St. Pancras, the trip was incredibly easy.

Departure from St. Pancras, London.

A little over two hours later, Paris!

View from one end of the Tuileries looking toward the Obelisk.

Little Brewer #1 wanted to visit the Eiffel Tower. This was a total act of maternal love on my part because Brewgal does not like heights.

Of course, the lines were insane.
This is the queue to get tickets to go through security so you can get in the queue for the elevator to go up.

The view was worth it, however. I had never been up the Tower at night and even though I couldn't make it all the way to the edge, the panorama was stunning.

Every so often (once an hour?) the flashbulbs on the outside of the Tower go off in display.


We stayed at the Park Hyatt Vendome (Hello, Hyatt? Love the Next Big Thing Promotion!) so I ordered room service breakfast.

I SO want to live in this hotel.

A quick dash to Notre Dame,

at which point LB1 started to wear out.

It's the "Do we HAVE to?" look.

Finally, Gare du Nord back to London.

Monday, April 19, 2010

I feel like I'm forgetting something

What could it be, what could it be...

It's right on the tip of my tongue...

Oh yeah. Little Brewer #1 and I went to LONDON!

We saw the usual sights,

Pardon me, is this the queue for the toilet?

played hide and seek with the locals,

Eight, nine, ten! Ready or not, here I come!

sampled local haute cuisine,

Tea and scones. Oh my gosh, that made me sooo happy. My HDL, not so much.

saw the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace...

with 10,000 of our closest friends

and made it out before Iceland's volcano exploded in Viking fury.

Also we visited Paris. But that's a blogpost for a future date!

Friday, April 16, 2010

I remember when this used to be a blog about knitting and crocheting.

Not to worry! Observe Bertha:

She is modeling a scarf I made in December. This was a yarn experiment. I have been trying to find a replacement for JoAnn's Dolcetta. Like most TV shows, the minute I start to really like a particular yarn it is discontinued. So, dear readers, if you have a favorite yarn, hide it from me lest I take a liking to it and cause it to vanish.

This yarn has a similar fiber content to Dolcetta- wool blend (did I write down the name of the yarn? did I save the ball band? of course not!).

It has a nice soft hand, works up well and is comfortable to wear (no itching). This is a variation of the pattern I used for the Sunset Scarf. However, even with a K1 edge, it rolls. I am not sure if it is a function of the K5*, P2 pattern or the yarn itself. So I wouldn't count this scarf a complete success.
*edited because I apparently cannot tell the difference between 3 and 5 on the keyboard. Sheesh.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Stuff kids say

Little Brewer #1 (to her brother): Do you know what a hyperbole is?
Little Brewer #2: Yes, it's a flower.
LB#1: A flower? What kind?
LB#2: A purple flower.
LB#1: Purple?
LB #2: Yeah. Hy-purple-y.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Work Rants

In which Brewgal rants about recent events at work in a totally non-specific way that will not get her fired.

1. When you send me proposed legislation for comment, please try to give me enough time to think about it. I am much more likely to produce coherent, thoughtful comments if I have more than 2 hours to respond.

1a. Related: Do not sit on said request for comment for three weeks and then send it to me at 3pm with a 5pm turnaround. I can see how long you’ve had it from the date stamp on the email trail. Believe it or not, I have other projects to work on and am not sitting around waiting for your sudden emergency.

2. Please do not hit the “reply to all” button if the email is addressed to the entire Center distribution list. More importantly, do not “reply to all” asking the sender not to reply to all. We’ve all been using email for more than a decade. You should know this rule by now.

3. Sending an email message saying “Outlook is down” is uninformative if my Outlook is down.

And a kudo:
Thank you for putting in hand sanitizer dispensers. I am now much less tempted to push the elevator button with my foot.

Friday, April 09, 2010

It is truly amazing how quicky they go from this...

to this.

Happy 7th Birthday to my big boy!

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Oliver Coldren Aikin, born March 17, 2010. My first and only nephew.

Eight pounds, 10 ounces, 22 inches long. We grow 'em long in our family.

Hey, what's that? And what's that over there? Can I get a sweater here?

It makes me remember when my own children were babies. This is me and Little Brewer #2. He's only a few days old here.

There are few things better than a new baby sleeping on you.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

The end of the renovation is finally within sight.

The granite guy came back, installed the soap dispenser and bolted down the dishwasher. I still need to decide on a pendant light above the sink.

The big furniture pieces are back from the shed.

That is a carved figure my grandfather bought in Gatlinburg, Tennesee. I inherited it when he passed away. I've always liked the faraway meloncholy look it has. And of course, martini shakers. I've never actually had a martini. I just like the mid-century ambiance they convey.

Brewguy has repainted the foyer. This is a slightly more red color than the previous one and I have to admit it is a little better with the color of the floor and light. Now that he has figured out he likes painting, he is painting everything. I'm not complaining, mind you.

And of course, the wine rack is stocked so I am happy.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Stuff kids say...

Little Brewer #2: What's "after dark?"

Brewgal: It's after the sun goes down.

Little Brewer #2: Oh. You mean, after light.

Sunday, February 28, 2010


I've been emptying out old conference bags lately. I usually end up with one for each conference. With two-three per year, stuff accumulates. To wit, this is what I pulled out of one bag today:

Photos of Little Brewer #1 hugging other kids in preschool = 2. Hugging is big in our house. Start 'em young.

Backup harddrive CDs from 2007-2008 = 4.

Copies of packing list from office move TWO YEARS AGO= 2.

Small bottles of Tabasco = 1. For spicy emergencies.

Rocks = 1. From Ireland.

Printout of Amtrak reservation from BWI-Newark Airport (EWR) with notes from last Ireland trip on back= 1. Some fun stuff in there, including a Haiku that starts, "So full of tea, me." Must scan for posterity.

Spare change = .03. So I can give more than my .02 cents worth.

Spoons = 1.

Pens = 5. Two of which promote branded prescription drugs.

Research study questionnaires = 1.

Printouts of slides = 1. Not my slides.

Handsfree headsets = 1. So that's where it went! I must have hidden it after it developed the tendency to call people on its own.

USB cables = 1. Possibly belonged to PDA#1.

Crochet hooks = 1. Of course. No bag is complete without at least one.

Tiny purple plastic play jewels = 1. Because I am a Mom.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Fibery goodness

Believe it or not, crafting is still taking place at Chez Casa de Brewgal. Observe!

A baby surprise jacket for Kendra.

One for El Jefe Jr. I'm going to be an aunt in about a week! So exciting.

Closeup of the buttons. Little Scottie dogs. The cuteness!

I've attended four baby showers (three at work, one for El Jefe Jr.) in the last two months.

I am really enjoying the crochet block pattern. It's a great way to use up stray skeins. In addition to the one seen here, I've got another almost finished. In advance. I know! Crazy! Acela. Awesome for crocheting.

I'm also starting a scarf for a dear friend who has somehow managed to live in New York without a handknit scarf. The knitting will find you. Oh yes, it will.

At the rate I knit, it should be ready by next winter. Hopefully he'll still want it by then.

Action shot of Brewgal in the Sunset scarf.