Thursday, January 31, 2013


Cyclocross World Championships are being held this weekend in Louisville, Kentucky. I hadn't planned on going until yesterday, when I thought, "Why aren't I going?" Luckily a few people from work are headed down, so I was able to catch a ride.

So! I'm headed there, I've got the Thomson dress and a fresh batch of smuttons, and you should find me and say HI if you're going to be there, too.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Weekend in New York

Well, things are quieter these days, but I snuck out of boring ol' Danbury to go down to New York City to visit my friend Ben this past weekend.


We went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and it was great.




I feel like I consistently forget how much I love being in museums and basking in paintings. I particularly love paintings.

While I was looking at this painting, a (presumably) Chinese woman leaned over and rapped on it. As in 'knock knock knock'. My mouth fell open in shock. When I told Ben, his mouth fell open in shock. I exclaimed "Right?! That's what I said!" I told the museum guard what had happened and she started tailing her. I would have said something when I saw it happen, but I was frozen in place.


This painting had the brightest paint for miles. Apparently the guy who commissioned the piece insisted on the finest materials.


You've got to love the facial expressions going on here.


Speaking of, check out the creepy smile on Salome here. This painting was really amazing, though. It drew me from across the room to see if the surface was metallic or if the gold objects were just painted so well it made you second guess things. As far as I could tell, it wasn't metallic. It really was stunning.


Joan of Arc beautifully rendered. These guys were pumped to get their photo taken with her.


I'm not much into sculpture, but I liked this one. It's dramatic and downright badass if you ask me.


There were also some Degas sculptures in a room of works cast after his death. They weren't half bad either, I suppose.



Gotta love a Chuck Close.


Gustav Klimt never really did it for me in school, but there were a few of his paintings here and there and each one stopped me and pulled me over for a closer look. There's a difference between seeing a painting reproduced in a book and seeing it in person - who knew?!


I love the colors in her face, and her eyes were 'captivating'. Sorry for that word, I couldn't think of anything else, and they were in fact captivating.


This painting was wonderful too.


This piece was a marvel in the true sense of the word. Very simple, but so fascinating. It also threw sound, so that people standing five feet away to the left of you sounded like they were talking in your right ear. Or something like that. That was interesting in itself, because people have different tones of voice for talking to someone in close proximity as opposed to projecting their voice for someone a few feet away. This was like a stranger (because you'd pick up whoever was standing nearby) talking in a regular 'projecting across the room' voice in your ear. I'm doing a terrible job explaining this... In any case just watching yourself in the mirrors was entertainment enough.



Then we went shopping for a while. I'm a big tourist and I take pictures on the street.


The main reason for the trip down was Galapagos Art Space's Floating Kabarette. We took the subway to the nearest stop and then froze for a few blocks.


 I apologize in advance, but I've got to have a gripe here: If you go, buy tickets weeks, if not a month+ early and call/email to request a decent table. From what I could see of the show, it was great, but we had what had to be the worst table in the place. We sat at a regular dining-height table that was behind a high top table. So we both sat on one side of our table and leaned back so we could see down the aisle to the stage. Waitresses and patrons alike were walking down the aisle the entire show, obscuring the stage. The table was worthless. Most of the way through some people left the table in front of us, so we snagged it. It was nice to just watch, without trying to see around people every two minutes.

Rant over. The show really was amazing, and this guy was particularly thrilling.



On the way back after the show was all wrapped up, we barely missed the train we wanted and were stuck waiting for fifteen minutes or so, so we took some pictures as entertainment as we waited.




And that was our day. That's all I've got for you guys. You should have reached your daily allotment for photos, yeah?

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Mr. (Citizen) Snips

When I got home to my fat old cat, I had this drawing waiting for me, too. My roommate's daughter loves to draw, paint, and do just about any other crafts.


Quite the drawing, right? It's got a lot of personality, for sure.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Cramming It In

Disclaimer: It's late and there's going to be some rambling.

I got to do a lot of great things on this trip, even though it was a work trip. Lest you-all think I wasn't working, let me describe the work. In China we worked at one place where we had to wear winter coats all day because the office was so cold. I had toe warmers in my boots, thank goodness - thanks again for the suggestion, Kate! We had tons of bikes to go through, too, and whenever I found myself not doing anything because I had finished something else or just spaced out, the question I had to ask myself was, "What should I be panicking about right now?" There were two+ days at that factory.

The past two or three days in Taiwan have been a whirlwind of visits to approve saddles, wheel artwork, frames and forks, and of course to work on solutions and revisions. In a few instances, we were at one factory and people from another one would stop in to show us revised product. Up until the past few days, we were able to dedicate a day or more to each factory due to how much product we had coming from it.

Today we toured a saddle factory, (among about four other stops) which was really, really cool. So many ancient machines, and so many processes you wouldn't think about going into your saddle. Lauren and I both thought it would be kind of neat to do a day of working for a little while at each station, to see how this one thing gets put together.

So anyway, the three of us have been varying degrees of really pretty sick. A coworker back home was diagnosed with strep throat, which we're all suspicious of now. After about a week and a half of my own unique problem with my ears, I finally had a good day today with no pain, very little ringing and improved hearing. Ron was at his worst today, and Lauren seems to be about to see the dawn after a wicked storm. Throw in these 10-11 hour days, and we're about ready to come home.

Now I'm going to have to convince you guys that it wasn't all torturous work again. Why, just today I got to swing in some gorgeous weather while waiting for our lunch date.


Then I sneaked out from lunch a little early and walked down the street by myself to a market.


On the way back from that, I saw a cat chilling in a car.


It wanted to plaaay!


Ron, who's allergic, could safely pet it.


On the same street I saw designated car, scooter and dog parking. We saw a lot of long haired dachunds in Taiwan.


Just before leaving for dinner from the CSG Taiwan office, Lauren and I picked up the paddles and played ping pong for a little bit.



Toward the end of one set, the ball was getting away from us. As I was barely reeling one in, I glanced over quickly at the guys watching. The ball barely found its way to Lauren, but she snagged it, sending it back over to me. Since we were spooling out of control anyway, I took the opportunity to whip it at Ben, who was one of the guys on the sidelines. It was pretty childish, which is why I'm so happy in this next picture.


We are pleased with ourselves.



And that's just from today, friends. On our day off, we got bitchin' manicures, as one of the vendors insisted that our ailing group needed some down-time.


Even at work, I got to have more fun. I tried my hand at water-transfer decals. If quality control let it through, there will be an Evo bike with a decal I applied on it.


I haven't even posted about Piano Island yet, though I keep threatening to. It deserves its own post, but here's a taste.


An early morning run, back when jet lag made it possible to easily do early mornings.


Trying out a driver at the world's largest golf course. No biggie.





Hey look at this big spider I saw.


There was bowling, and indoor batting cages for those who liked to 'make sport'.


Well, I think those are most of the highlights. And now for the highlight of my day so far: going to bed! You can show yourself out, thanks.

Food Pt. 2

Alright, so I'm in my last hotel room for the trip, trying to stay up late tonight so I can sleep through much of the flight tomorrow and hopefully get a handle on jet lag quickly and efficiently this coming weekend. Hah. We'll see. So I'm blogging a bit to have something to do, lucky you. I thought I'd do another food wrap-up, since I think a few of my foodie friends might be reading.

Fruit snack and some tea with honey at the spa, dahling.


Cheese sticks? Yyyyep! There were a few Italian restaurants in Taiwan. You'd be hard pressed to find anything like that in the areas in China that we visited, though. Taiwan was definitely easier on me.


This was supposed to be eaten in a certain order, which I'm afraid I just ignored, because the instructions started with 'Eat those tomatoes over there' and I was all 'Ew, no.' (It's a texture thing. Sorry, tomatoes.)

I did eat the snail, even though it wasn't covered in puff pastry and drenched in butter, the way I prefer them. I tried a tiny bit of the vinegar drink but didn't much care for it.


Shrimp: Don't let him eat meeee!
Me: Sorry shramp.


The only person worse about taking photos at dinner, Ben.


The aforementioned octopus tentacle. Ate it.


Dried squid hanging out on the ground in a market place. Do not want.



The hotel breakfasts at the hotels were out of control. Different sections for American, Chinese and Japanese, as well as a few others sprinkled in, I'm sure. It was like a huge buffet, first thing in the morning. I really liked the pumpkin cakes and green tea cakes, which were at most places.


A piece of sharkcake, like a crabcake but with shark. Sharkcake. It wasn't too bad.


My friend Kate will be happy to know that I ate no dog (that I know of), though there was evidence of such things.


Overall I totally survived the food. I did get tired of eating dinners toward the end of the trip here, though. My family's never been big on food. None of us cook much, and we'd rather be out fishing or hunting or hiking, or else in painting or quilting or working on some other project. After a week and a half of sitting down, making myself try new things and frequently drinking more than I really wanted to, I longed to eat a peanut butter sandwich, down a soda (yes, they are bad for me) and then get on with life instead of making every meal a production. Don't worry about me, folks. Soon I'll be back living the bachelorette lifestyle of eating hurriedly and without joy. What a relief it will be.