Monday, January 21, 2013

Market Fun

Saturday we went to the Rochester Public Market.
I love that place.
I could have taken more photos, but I was busy shopping.
So perhaps next time.
It wasn't as cold as one would think because oddly enough our temps got up to 42 degrees that day, so we were quite comfortable.
But even in the colder weather they have blowers sending hot air around to various spots throughout the market - both in the "shed" and also outdoors under the overhang.
The market is shaped like a large horseshoe, and then there are open areas on the end where some food vendors and other produce vendors are selling their wares, as well as some food carts. In the shed which has people with reserved spots such as some butchers, some farmers selling beef and poultry, the Pierogie Guy, Pappardelle's pasta, the Hanzlian sausage guys, and the list goes on.
I stopped to get some sausage from the sausage guys, and after trying a sample (who doesn't love a free sample?) the guy was trying to tell me about their different sausages.
I said to him, "You don't have to sell me on how good your sausage is. I've had it before, and I want some more now."
They do make some amazing sausage.
Right next to him was the indoor stand for Juan and Maria's Empanadas. They have a permanent stand outdoors too, but the inside one was new.
And who was working it? Why, Juan himself.

There he is on the right. I guess you could tell because his shirt reads, "Juan."
Very nice guy, and we just absolutely love their empanadas. (He's originally from Chile, in case you're wondering, but as a Rochester resident he and his wife is very involved in the community here.)
We each had a breakfast empanada, and the baby girl enjoyed hers with some Spanish mayonnaise.

You know she just loves having her picture taken while she's eating.
That's the thing about the Public Market, it's more of an experience than a shopping expedition.
There are buskers and wineries, handbags and 50 pound bags of potatoes for $10-$11 (seriously), and so much more.
Here's a guy playing his accordion outside:

And here's a bread stand (I bought some of the garlic chèvre at the end on the right - beyond delicious):

We don't go every weekend, but even in the winter there is still fresh produce, as well as some produce that you know is coming from, well, somewhere else. Honestly, we don't grow mangoes in Rochester. In the summertime I make it a point to buy only local produce and support local farmers.
It's the least I can do - but it's something we all should do.
Next time we go I'll try to take more pictures because who doesn't like to see 50 pound bags of onions, I ask you.

Friday, January 18, 2013

This Week's Joy

This week's joy comes in having a day off today.
Unfortunately that joy has been minimized because leaving at 4:00 last night was not an option since I was juggling a lot of different things, and then ended up leaving at almost 5:00 and deciding that the best thing was to just go into work this morning and clear things up.
On the plus side, Monday is a holiday, and I'm not working.
So, my four day weekend will turn into 3 1/2, and I suppose that I can live with that.
Another thing that I'm finding joy with today is music.
Well, that's everyday, but today I think while I clean up the house, and find time to knit, I'll be listening to some music from the 60s.
Namely Gerry and the Pacemakers.
What a geriatric sounding name, don't you think?
Although I suppose in the early 60's when they started becoming popular the idea of a "pacemaker" was of someone setting the pace, such as a musician, or even a race car. This, as opposed to contemporary vernacular where we only think of it in terms of someone who is old and whose heart needs to be electronically maintained so it continues to function.

In doing my search for Gerry and the Pacemakers I just discovered that they'll be playing at Fallsview Casino in Niagara Falls on June 1 and 2. Hmmm, my anniversary is on June 1. Guess where we'll be going, honey! (And I think that I might even bring my mother along.)
Today, however, having received a good inch of snow, there's no worry that we'll have any sun to bother us while we're crying.
Don't worry about me either.
I'll be inside catching up on my knitting and humming along with the boys who represent the Mersey Beat.

Now if I could just get Simone to move off of my chair.
Cheers, mates!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Whenever I Call You Friend

Do you remember that song?
I heard it on the radio the other day at a local pizza place.
We went there to sit down and eat our pizza.
It's not often that we do that - we usually get pizza and wings for takeaway, and then eat it at home.
Often the freshness of a pizza is diminished by this.
Does that make sense?
There's really nothing like sitting down to hot pizza fresh from the oven and with cheese so melted that you need a knife and fork to eat it or you'll burn your mouth.
I wish, however, that they had grape soda - instead I got orange - but there's something about sitting in a pizzeria and eating pizza and drinking grape soda that takes me back to when I was younger.
That's always nice.
This post, however, is not one about food.
Although it could be.
It's just that this Kenny Loggins song was playing in the pizzeria (along with some other great 70's songs - I'm so stuck in that era - one in which our pizzeria had grape soda).
So you don't remember it?
Here's a video (words only, sorry, no awesome Stevie Nicks singing along with Kenny):

I bring this up because last weekend I received an awesome present from my friend, Jennifer.
Now I sent her some yarn around Christmas time, and she knows that it was a RAOK, and she was in no way obligated to send me something back. I just wanted to do something nice for someone who is always helping others. They deserve special treats, don't you agree?
So I was totally surprised to find these pressents in my mail.
Love, love LOVE this project bag - aren't these sheep remarkable?

And chocolate - it's almost as if Jennifer knows that sustenance is needed if one is going to survive while knitting.

She's so thoughtful.
Then I decided to pay it forward.
My co-worker, Dave, bought pizza for five of us (it was a quiet work day), I thought that it would be nice if I provided the dessert after the pizza and wings.
(By the way, don't judge me for having pizza and wings twice within five days. Do. Not. Judge.)
Here are Dave and Andrea enjoying the dark chocolate bar.

I think they look happy with the chocolate, don't you?

You don't have to steal it, Dave, I told you I'd share!
We all thank you, Jennifer!!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Brought someone special to work

I came, and they tagged along.

Good morning, socks.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Free Me From the Free Books

Dear Amazon,

I love my Kindle.
I love my Kindle Books app, and I love that I can read books on my Kindle, my iPad, and on my phone.
Oh, and on my computer too.
It's great that you can feed my obsession for books anywhere I go.
But please, could you stop marketing free Kindle books?
Already my Kindle is maxed out with books, and I fear that my seemingly unlimited Kindle Cloud space is soon going to be overflowing.
Which means no more room.
Which means no new books.
I love that I can find some truly wonderful gems amidst the truly awful free books that you provide, but enough is enough.
Last week I downloaded 40 free books.
In one day!
It took me about 10 minutes!!
Help me!
I can't stop!
If those were actual books my house would be packed with books collecting dust (instead of virtual dust).
If those were library books I'd have them stacked up all over!
What you are doing is feeding my hoarding obsession for books, and you are allowing me to continue downloading free books - You know that I don't know when to stop!
Please don't say it's my responsibility to discipline my downloading.
You and I have been acquainted for over 10 years - yes, since your internet inception - and I know that you have my complete purchase history thus making you intimately familiar with my over spending.
So stop with the free books.
Put a block on my account.
Do something - but please save me from myself!
I beg of you.

The woman who wishes that she were retired so she could actually read all 325 books downloaded onto her Kindle (and that doesn't include the Kindle Cloud Reader count)

P.S. Could you also stop sneaking in books that cost money in the middle of my downloading free books spree? Already this week you've cost me an unintentionally spent $3.99. You owe me dudes.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Weekend Movie Watching

This weekend I felt much better with regards to my health.
A sock that I had screwed up, and couldn't figure out how to fix, and one in which I just couldn't bear to contemplate while I was feeling sick, was finished.
Not necessarily matching with the other sock, but hey, done is done.
It's not like I'll be submitting them to the County Fair for judging.
It was nice, finally, to start feeling better.
I think I still have a ways to go, but like I said, feeling half-way human is a good thing.
So while my knitting progressed (ever so slightly), so did my movie watching, and man, did I watch some seriously varied movies this weekend.
First up:

Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries. Still good stuff. The scenery is great, the outfits are even better, and Miss Fisher (Phryne, because I'm nasty) is pretty forward-thinking for her time in history (late 1920's).
If you can get this on Acorn TV (remember, free trial!), I suggest you watch it before its gone next month. Even though the show vaguely resembles the books, it is still very good entertainment.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. I've had this movie out for about a week. I've been meaning to watch it, but since I knew it was a cerebral film, and since I couldn't really concentrate, I knew that it would be just too hard for me to watch (hence the aforementioned murder mysteries). I'm glad I waited until I was compos mentis because I really, really enjoyed this film. Gary Oldman was fabulous, and Colin Firth (oh yeah, baby) was every bit as hot as he always is, but he was given a run for his good-looking money by Mark Strong. Yum. Oh, wait, the film, oh yeah. It almost made you miss the days of the Cold War when we knew who our enemies were, but still had to ferret them out. It was definitely more cloak and dagger over large-scale killings like we have today. Kind of sad that I miss the old days, but I think you know what I mean. And if you don't, then send me an email. Anyway, Gary Oldman was fabulous - oh wait, I said that - but he was so nebbishy, and he gave such a restrained performance that you can believe that most of the spying taking place during the Cold War really was accomplished by mid-level bureaucrats. I highly recommend this movie, but due to the sometimes hard to understand accents spoken in hushed tones, use the subtitles. This way you'll be sure not to miss anything. I think I want to see it again.

Madea's Witness Protection. It's Madea. We watch these movies to see how Madea is going to react. And she rarely disappoints - whether it's in threatening kids to get in line, or butchering the English language, she's very entertaining. It's kind of a shame that Tyler Perry keeps trying to insert some kind of storyline into his films. All-in-all, however, this really wasn't as bad as some of his other movies that I've seen, and Denise Richards gave a very restrained performance and professional performance (made me forget about her stinky reality show, and remember why we all liked her so much in Starship Troopers).

Texas Chainsaw Massacre. No. Really. I went to see this. Sure, it was at our small, local theatre, and there were only eight of us in the theatre (that includes the four of us from my family), so you know that we didn't pay a fortune for a gross comedy. That's what it was. Kind of funny, lots of stupid, and even more gross. I'm shocked that I went too. Don't judge me. At least I didn't pay $11 per ticket. And we left with a couple of good quotes. ("Do your thing, cuz!")

Arthur Christmas. After Leatherface, I needed something to clean my brain. This was about as clean as you could get - almost Care Bear clean. It was such a cute movie - it almost made me tear up at the end. Well, truthfully, it did make me tear up. Very cute, nice story, and you've gotta love a movie about an underdog (that would be Arthur, son of Santa).

Did you watch any movies this weekend?

Friday, January 11, 2013

Strange and Irrelevant

And now for something completely strange and irrelevant.
Can you tell what it is?

It's the lights on my washing machine.
I think there are more lights on that then there were on the spaceship in Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

Okay, well, almost.
I guess my washer isn't going to take us on any intergalactic travel, but it is kind of strange to see all these lights at night.
Almost looks like the lights on a car's control panel too, or perhaps a new constellation of stars.
Modern technology.
We've come a long way since this:

Although for the record, if things do go badly for the world, come on over because I do have an old washboard and some tubs.
Anyone else?