Sunday, November 30, 2008

and the Ducks win!!

yesterday was the Civil War. not one fought on a battle field but rather one fought on a football (we're talking american football here) field. the civil war is THE football game to watch every year in Oregon. both the states schools are in Oregon and are close to each other but about and hour and half from the city of Portland so whether they are playing at Autzen Stadium (home of the Ducks) or playing at Reser Stadium (home of the Beavers) you still get the same parade of cars heading south with all their banners, pom poms and streamers in the school colors


pic from KGW

well this year we won. we won 65-38. we won on the Beaver's home turf. we won and the Beavers can't go to Rose Bowl, which is a bummer for them really but now we can go to another bowl.

so in case you don't follow my blog and you always wondered where the "duck" in duck abroad came from well now you know. i'm an oregon duck, home of Nike (in case you are interested) and home of the winners of the Civil War 2008. i wish i had been there to tailgate with my friends

Friday, November 28, 2008

FO UPDATE!!!!

finally i can update you on my FO's (finished objects)



i feel like it has been forever since i have given you a knitting update and really it has been quite a while. but it is not lack of knitting that has kept me from updating all you lovely blog readers on my knitting progress but rather a birthday. my sis's birthday. she's one of my regular readers and i didn't want to spoil the surprise for her (even though a few time i could hardly contain my self) so i kept it off the blog. but now, finally (due to my inability to send things on time), she has received and opened her gifts. so i can tell you all about them : )

my first FO is my first lace project



the pattern is Leafy Reticule from Mason-Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines. My mom sent me this book for my birthday back in september and when i saw this pattern i had to make it. my sister automatically came to mind because i know she likes options when it comes to purses and i have been knitting nearly exclusively for her daughter and i thought it was high time she got something her self!

here is the bag being blocked with two cans of A&W Rootbeer (yum)


and here is an up close of the leaf pattern in the lace


i will admit to starting over three times but i was only in the first 5 or 6 rows every time.... it was due to my inability to count which i found out is crucial in lace. my solution to the problem was to put a stitch marker after every single pattern repeat. the yarn i used was Rowan Tapestry in Lakeland colorway. the handles are from Tall Poppy Crafts in Australia... so these handles went from Australia to New York to Dubai UAE then back to New York! can you believe it? anyhow my procrastination paired with optimism in how longs things take to ship round and round the world is partly why there was a delay in getting the purse done in time but i'm digressing here. the modifications i made to the pattern was to make and extra repeat in the width because my circs weren't short enough and to also add a repeat in the length because it just wasn't long enough. over all i think this pattern is great for a first lace the only thing i would reconsider is the yarn... don't get me wrong it's gorgeous and it looks great in this pattern but it likes to stick to itself and that makes it harder to get it to do the lace things it needs to do at times

the second FO is my first cables!!!




this is Fetching by Cheryl Niamath
i thought these would be perfect for my sister as it's cold where she lives and i figured this way she could keep her hands warm but not loose the use of her fingers (as sometimes happens with gloves) so they seemed practical yet cute and kinda trendy (although i may not be up to date on trendy these days). i pretty much followed this pattern as-is except that they didn't look long enough in the other gajillion pics on ravelry to me so i made the center longer and the thumbs longer as well. i also added an extra repeat of the cables at the knuckles to make sure they stay warm. but these are definitely something i'm going to make more of. i don't know if i'll ever need a pair in the desert but i think i should have a pair just in case ; )

ooooh but i feel so much better now that i have given a full update on my FO's although i haven't told you about what i have on the needles now. it's late so i think i'll save that for the next post.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

today is Thanksgiving Day and usually it's a day the family gets together and make a traditional meal consisting of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, candied carrots and pumpkin pie and then just before eating everyone goes around the table and talks about what they are thankful for. it's a great way to start the holiday season.

however i must admit that lately i have been feeling sorry for my self more than remembering what i should be thankful for. i am just plain homesick. right now, my family is all together cooking, talking and watching football (american football of course) and i miss them.

but today i got over my pity party and i remember (and reminded my self) what i'm thankful for.

i'm thankful for my new husband who has always been very patient with me.... especially when i'm homesick and one click away from buying a gajillion dhs ticket home.

i'm thankful for my family who, even though i'm so far away, all made the trek out here to dubai for my wedding.

i'm thankful for my friends because i have been fortunate enough to keep my closest friends from portland and make many new friend here

i'm thankful for my job because in today's economy job security is definitely something to be grateful for

and finally (although really there are many more things) i'm thankful for my knitting that keeps me occupied and interested and most of all it brought a bunch of new friends into my life.

happy thanksgiving everyone! i hope you all have lists of things to be thankful for as well

Saturday, November 22, 2008

bling bling refrigerator?

seriously? are we as a society so obsessed with bling that we need to bling out our refrigerators?

my husband and i went oven shopping (woot woot!) and while we were wandering around the 800 selections of ovens they had available (that for some unknown reason couldn't be placed together forcing you to wander all around the shop) i found this:





now anyone who knows me knows that i enjoy sparkles, diamonds and Swarovski but this is taking it a bit far, even for me! i mean it's a refrigerator! it has food in it and sits in your kitchen with sticky fingers trying to pry open the doors and steal the chocolate milk. but you know as well as i do that they (refrigerator sellers) probably have a hard time keeping these fridges stocked in their warehouse due to all the blinged out families looking to further bling out their lives... it's a wonder grills haven't caught on here!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Jazz Festival

tonight my husband and i went to the Abu Dhabi Jazz Festival at Beach Rotana. it's the second annual festival lasting three days. also while i was there i ran into Charmaine and her husband. i know! another event and i see another knitting friend! we knitters are everywhere!

anyways back to the jazz festival




this is the group that kicked off tonight's festivities and they were fantastic although a tish less jazzy then i was expecting but really good non the less.

the whole thing was great and i defiantly recommend checking it out if you into jazz or even if you are just looking for something fun and different to do for the evening.

oh and don't worry i'll have a knitting update soon. i have been really busy but still knitting. i'll explain later why there has been no update.

Eight Restaurant & Lounge

i had never really considered doing a restaurant review before until i realized that people started coming to me to ask which restaurants to go to or find out which ones are good.

SO i will start (sporadically) doing restaurant reviews. when i try something new or if i have an exceptionally good (or bad) experience i will share it with you.

the first place i will mention is Eight Restaurant & Lounge located at Shangri La Souk. you may remember that i visited this lounge last weekend but it was more just to check out the venu.

A few days ago we got to go back for dinner.

we arrived at 8:30 and were asked if we wanted to sit inside where the atmosphere was dark with the colors of black, white and silver running though out and the bar with a back wall of lit up bottles in blues and red. or we could sit outside in a more relaxed atmosphere with couches and low tables over looking the water and the Zayed Mosqe. we hesitated a minute as both options were equally appealing but finally decided to sit outside remembering that it isn't often we have such lovely weather out here.


we sat down and were immediately served drinks and handed menus. i ordered the chicken salad to start and the barbecue beef skewers for the main. OMGsh it was AMAZING

the chicken salad had a warm chicken breast cut up and mixed in a bed of cabbage, bell peppers, cucumber and carrot with a ginger soy sauce dressing that added the perfect amount of tang. it tasted sensational.

the beef came in little bite size pieces along 4 or 5 skewers with barbecue sauce covering them. the beef you could tell was high quality and not over cooked as it seemed to melt in your mouth. the sauce wasn't too sweet and it wasn't too spicy, nor did it cover up the flavor of the beef.

i received similar praise on the roasted salmon and avocado salsa my husband had. he's not even a big fan of salmon but couldn't stop talking about his dinner the rest of the way home.

after dinner you can walk around outside and through the the Souk where there are conveniently placed Baskin Robbins and Starbucks for your after dinner enjoyment.

I definitely will be heading back to Eight again and again and it would be a great place to take visitors whether they are visiting from out side the country or even from dubai.

Enjoy! and if you visit Eight please let me know what you think!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

weekend... Part 2

part 2 of this weekend's post will cover today! Saturday!

today my husband took me to the Turbo Festival at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center (ADNEC). you may not all know this, but i love cars, especially customized cars... back in the day i have been known to have a few customized cars (but that's for another post) and my husband knew that the only thing i would want to get out of bed for more than a car show is a knitting show (i know i know knitting and cars... random. but it makes me happy so just go with it) but since it doesn't look like we'll get a knitting show soon we went for number two and here is a little of what i enjoyed today

first i ran into Sydney and family today at the Turbo Festival, which was great because she wasn't able to make it yesterday to the SnB at Marina Mall. so we were able to catch up and check out Team Orange together (read to the end)

as for the cars:


this was one of my favorites. the Honda Type R. i just love the versatility of the hondas. and they have a lot of room for increasing the performance with out having to re-haul the engine


this Infinity had an amazing paint job


that my friends is a Ford Mustang Saleen... that is one muscle car


the show even had a skate board park set up inside with competitions going every day. it was great to watch the kids compete and i was impressed with their pain thresholds.

but the stars of the Turbo Festival were Team Orange
they are drifters who are AMAZING behind the wheel... you may have even seen them in a little film called Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift

here's a few pics from their show





but i really reccomend that you youtube them because no picture (especially mine) can do their skills any justice.

oh and now i want to get a Subaru WRX STI. just so you know

so now you know all about my fantabulous weekend that was full of excitement!!! now i need to sleep.. way too much excitement for me

and PS: happy birthday sis!

weekend... Part 1

ok this weekend is a two part series blog post because... well... there were too many great things that happened this weekend that i want to tell you about but i don't want one eternally long post. so the solution is two posts!

part 1 (thursday and friday)

the weekend started off to a great start with my husband taking me out for steak! i know! yuuummmy! i met him and one of his friends at The Meat Co. which JUST opened up at the Souk in Shangri La, Abu Dhabi. The Shangri La has done something to the Madinat Jumierah in Dubai in that they have an old looking (but very new) souk that you can walk around and go shopping and it offers a few restaurant selections and I must say the Souk at Shangri La is offering some fabulous restaurants and clubs.... including Noodle House. Left Bank. Sho Chos, and Eight restaurant and bar (same as the one in Beirut, Lebanon). After our fantastic steak at the Meat Co. we wandered upstairs to get a sneak peak at Eight and i must say that that is definitely a place to check out.

as we wondered outside i found these



Dragon Boats!!!!

i thought i was having flash backs to Portland Oregon!!


photo courtesy of city data

i had heard that Abu Dhabi was going to start a Dragon Boat race every year and it was great to be able to check out the boats! i knot that the tradition is a lot of fun back in Portland with a lot of businesses competing in the friendly competition. it would be great if the same happens out here

on Friday we had our SnB!!!! it was in the usual place: Caribou Coffee at Marina Mall in Abu Dhabi

it was so much fun!! we were there for hours talking and knitting, knitting and talking. it was fantastic. we had 2 new joiners who were curious to learn how to knit... fortunately (or unfortunately) for them we were all willing to put our two cents in and probably completely overwhelmed them with information and fiber obsession... but hope to see you both on ravelry soon!!! hehehe

Lulu taught me the trick to cables (woot woot!) and another important lessing: READ THE ENTIRE PATTERN BEFORE YOU START!! i had gotten a little ahead of my self on the cable thing and decided i didn't need to read the whole pattern.... my cables looked wrong. ALL WRONG. but i ripped it and got back to work and now my cables look beautiful! i'm so surprised with my self when i'm able to pull such complicated things off... (the trick is they look harder than they are but ssshhhh. don't tell)

we also had to compete with a band while we were there! but i'll let Charmaine tell you all about that... and don't worry even a navy couldn't get between us and our knitting and gabbing!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

project bag

i have been searching high and low looking for a project bag... i have looked at endless sites, blogs, and google pages for months looking for a bag that had a few specific qualities that i need in order to carry and bag around and to, perhaps but probably not, consider putting my much loved Coach bag away.

my what-a-projects-bag-has-to-have list is:
1. functional - i need it to carry things and organize things in a functional way
2. stylish - it needs to look good and trendy. not like it's from 1997 or like it's ready to go hiking with (you know that look!)
3. quality - it can't look cheap. it needs to look like i wont want to replace it in 2 months cause it's falling apaprt
4. size - not too small but rather big. but not SO big that you could carry your entire stash in it

today i think i found it.


(photo from www.offhanddesigns.com)

it goes back to having lunch today with Charmaine. i had some yarn for her and she had a magazine with some techniques in it that i have been itching to work out. so we met up, had lunch, and swapped goods. i got home and opened the magazine and there it was! the Zhivago bag from Offhand Designs. i quickly went to their website to see what they had to offer and it's WONDERFUL!!! out of all the bags they have the Zhivago is definitely my favorite. it meets all my requirements! it's gorgeous, it has tons of pockets inside, the quality looks great and the size is huge (but not too big). the bonus is it will stay open like a basket when you want it to! so you can work right out of it!!!

but you should know they also have bags for needles! they have the most stylish yet functional clutch for circular needles that i have ever seen! not to mention they have some other really cute clutches as well.

now the real dilemma - how to get the bags!

Baseball!

i want to start off by letting you know that you are in for a special treat because Princess is helping me out with this post today...



cat's have a special way of finding the most convenient place to sleep (note voice laced with heavy sarcasm). but when she's purring and sleeping i just find it too mean to push her off of me. usually ; )

so today i was driving through my new neighborhood on my way home, and i saw two young, local boys (like 10) in their sandy front yard playing catch. what made this especially cute was that instead of catcher's mitts the each had a gardening glove on one hand and instead of a baseball they had a tennis ball. it was so great! i so so badly wanted to take a picture of them but they were already looking at me probably wondering why that crazy blond girl was staring at them with a big goofy grin! this is the first time is had seen kids playing catch out here in the UAE. usually you see the kids playing either soccer late at night in the middle of the road (definitely drive slow at night in the neighborhoods) or on their ATV's driving back and forth up and down the streets. it was really nice to see them improvising and playing their very own game of what i think of as a very american sport.

also on my way home i saw this tree in my neighbor's yard. it had these beautiful white flowers that i could smell from the car (they smelled very similar to gardenias)! I really enjoyed the moment and even had to take a picture because as you will remember from my Beirut post this isn't something we, in Abu Dhabi, get to enjoy often.



i hope everyone had a good weekend and enjoyed watching the coverage of Obama on, well, every channel and website ever!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Obama it is!

can you believe it?!?! we know who the next president of the United States is already! you can read it here first (hahaha)


(photo courtesy of www.mensvogue.com)

lets just heave a collective sigh of relief that the campaign is over and life can go back to normal... and lets hope this change in president will result in a change in our economy and a change in the global perception of America. either way i see change in our future and i'm proud of my country for showing up to vote this year in numbers we have never seen before.

Election Day

it's election day in the sates today. people are out and voting in force! the turnout this year is beyond what my country has ever seen and i have to say it makes me proud.

i am of the strong belief that you can't complain about the US government if you don't vote (obviously non americans are not held to this standard. they are free to complain with out voting ; )) and too many people do just that. they complain year after year but never step up to the booth and put their voice where it counts, on a ballot. in my book once you have voted you have all the rights in the world to express your opinions whether they be negative or positive, whether they be in alignment with what you voted for at the last election or if you changed your mind (that's definitely allowed). for a majority of americans the only voice they are given is on election day and i say scream it out by filling in the bubble next to the name you think should be the next president/senator/governor or fill it in next to the "yes" or "no" in each of the measures that have been submitted to the people. that's how you count. that's how you are heard.

i'm really looking forward to the next 4 years because no matter who wins it will mean change, and america is ready for change. we are in unchartered territory right now and the economy runs on perception. changing the perception of the country will help change the economy. now i'm not saying the economy will be all better the day after the Presidential Inauguration in January but i am hoping that that is when we start to see the turn around (fingers crossed) the country desperately needs.

on the flip side i am SO SO happy not to be in the states right now.... i know it's crazy over there with campaign commercials every 5 seconds and boy do i get tired of that and those little signs everyone puts in their front yard. i always mail my ballot in the day after i receive it because i figure once i have voted i no longer have to pay attention because i can't change my vote! hehehe. but try explaining that to the students at my extremely liberal college : D i use to tell them i voted against what ever cause they were fighting for just to make them go away and let me walk to class in peace.

over here the propaganda comes in controlled doses. people ask me if i know what the latest update is or if i had heard what so-and-so said on david letterman last night but then it kinda goes away again for a few days. the only thing that bugs me is that people ask me which way i voted ALL THE TIME! it really doesn't bug me for the most part, especially if it's friends cause i don't mind sharing my views with them. but when it's at the office and it's the guy from downstairs whose name i can hardly remember then i get a little perturbed. it's none of their business who i voted for! especially when they make a comment after i do tell them like "oh good cause that's what america needs" or "why would you do that? does that mean you think this way about such-and-such view?" :::eye roll::: or i find my self giving a lot of lessons on our voting process (primary elections, elections, Electoral votes) over and over. if i'm still in Dubai for the next presidential elections then i'm going to make a PowerPoint that i can send to people explaining all this stuff. hehehe. oh well, one more day. i think i can handle it! honestly i'm glad that people show an interest in how america does things.

so now it's the waiting game to see who is elected.... but don't worry everyone!!! i'll update you as soon as i know who the next President will be! just in case you have decided my blog will be the "go to" place for your election updates hahahaha ok i'm going to bed now if i can ever stop laughing!!!

the BURJ Al Arab baby!

last saturday my friends and i went to the Burj Al Arab for tea. (pinky finger up!)



oh yeah, that Burj Al Arab!

we went to enjoy my friend meredith's last weekend in Dubai because on Friday morning she will be flying back to the States (just as our future president is announced but that's for the next post) and continuing her work from New York. so it was a bitter sweet afternoon. the sweet part was being in fantastic company, having an incredible view, drinking all you can drink coffee/lattes/juice/tea and eating as many mini sandwiches as one can fit in their mouth. but the bitter side was knowing that soon my friend will be so dang far apart from the rest of us from now on. yeah yeah yeah i know a phone call or email away but still you get use to having your coffee every morning at work with the same people. :::sigh:::

so this is a pic of all of us enjoying our brunch



from left to right we have melissa, ashley, ME!, & meredith. we all work together and actually like each other too! isn't that great!

here's the finger foods we got to enjoy



notice the tray looks like the Burj Al Arab (hehehe) i was trying to figure out a way to sneak it in my purse but it just wouldn't fit... but with my luck they would have noticed it was missing anyways ; )

here are some of the views we got to enjoy from the Skyview Bar at the top where we had our tea!



you can see the Burj Dubai and Sheikh Zayed Road from the Burj Al Arab



here's a view of the new Atlantis Hotel & Resort



and here is one of my favorite hang outs (at the very tip of the pier) called 360 at Jumeirah Beach Hotel. i recommend this place to anyone passing through Dubai. it offers a great view of Jumeirah Beach hotel, the Burj Al Arab and Madinat Jumeirah and it has a fabulous laid back atmosphere.



this is the fantastic view of the Palm Jumeirah we were privy to as we were driving off of the Burj Al Arab property. and yes our brunch/tea lasted a long time. we were there to enjoy every minute!!

it's days like saturday that remind me just how beautiful Dubai is and just how lucky i am to live here. but i sure am going to miss my friend

Monday, November 3, 2008

Emirates ID Cards are heeeerrreeee!!!!

in case you haven't heard yet (UAE people) we now need to get an Emirates ID in order to be a legal living/working person in any of the seven Emirates in UAE. :::sigh:::

this sigh doesn't come from that fact that they are asking for everyone to get and Emirates ID (because there are Pros) but because they have given the people of this country until December 31st, 2008 to complete this process. there are two ways of doing the registration for the card

1. use UAE Government's handy dandy website and register online! then they send the card to you.
Pro: it's handy dandy.
Con: the website/server isn't capable of handling all the traffic of, you know, the entire UAE trying to register at once

2. you can go down to your local Emirates ID office (i think there's one in Al Barsha) and pay an extra fee (because of course said card costs money already) in order to do it in person.
Pro: you don't have to figure out how to get the english application on the website (look upper right corner) and you can talk to people who can answer questions that a website can't.
Con: instead of a congested site you will have a congested office and that's if you can find parking (where ever these offices are).

neither of these options are what i would call convenient. i mean you can either rip your hair out trying to load and re-load the web pages only to get nearly done and have it lock you out or you can sit in a crowded room between the convenient hours of 8 am and 2 pm with people from all over the world (some of whom do not have the same standards of personal hygiene as the rest of us) while waiting for your number to be called. lets see spend day at mall with friends knitting or at ID office desperately trying to get yet another card with your photo on it. wow that's a close one (insert sarcasm here)

like i said before there could be some pros to having an ID card. it's suppose to help prevent identity theft which has recently become an incresing problem in the country (see previous aggravation here) perhaps it would also mean that we wouldn't have to bring our passports with us every time we wanted to do something official like get a drivers license. although the whole process could end up being a bit Big Brother but then again i don't think this will be the only country to implement such a process.

good luck in your registration all my UAE friends!!!

one more thing... one of my cat's (jerry) has kinda gone crazy, well crazier than usual. she's just walking around the house meowing at walls. do you think she's eating the cat litter???