There's More to Life Than Knitting!

Join Suna as she stops knitting long enough to ponder her life, share her joys and concerns, and comment on the goings on in the world.
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Sunday, April 5, 2009

Fun Times!

There's been a lot of fun going on lately, and the stress levels have plummeted for at least the moment.

First, I did accept a contract job on a project-by-project basis at a place that does IT Consulting. I will call it "IT Place." I am not sure how it will work out, or how getting paid works, but the rate is great and I will be doing stuff I really like to do, so it all sounds good to me. I'll also be able to keep doing training, if there's time. I am happy to have finally managed to transition between gigs with no gap. Maybe I am getting better at contracting.

Besides that, our income taxes are done and Lee is happy with how they came out, which makes me happy. I understood my own taxes, but have no clue about his, so the merged thing is a mystery to me. I do think this system of income taxes is rather overly complicated for the average person!

But the fun part is that we have been concert-going, traveling fools this week. On Thursday, we went to a restaurant I've never been to, called Sam's Boat. I'd seen it many times. Turns out it's another place where young professionals go to get blitzed more than a restaurant. We went there to see friends of Jeff's, one of whom I had met when Jeff and I visited San Diego (actually a fun trip). They have a Jimmy Buffet cover band and came to Austin for an annual Buffet event here. We brought along Parker and Beccano, so they could hear how they did harmonies and watch the really talented lead guitar player. All the band were really good, though, and they made even songs I don't like enjoyable! One interesting note: those nasty boat-tailed grackles were all over the place, doing their irritating noises and flying all over the diners. You could even hear their shrieks above the sound of the band. And the band was loud. These make pigeons seem sweet. The photo is of the band, plus Parker. I will spare you the other photos I took, where everyone is making faces. We missed Jeff playing with the band--kids had to get home to their homework. But I am sure he had fun!

Then on Friday night, Lee and I went to our friend Janet's house to see our friend Eddie Collins and his band. They were Billy Bright on mandolin, Mike Montgomery on fiddle, and Tom Ellis on bass, and all were great musicians. Tom Ellis even built all the mandolins played on stage, which impressed me, even if he says it's easy! It was a lot of bluegrass, but I enjoy listening to that, as long as it's not a solid diet. There was some fine jamming and good humor, plus we got to see a lot of our friends as a bonus. House concerts are a good thing. I need to go to some of my friend Austin's Mountain House concerts!(Warning, MySpace link with music in it). I didn't get any pictures of this, because the lights were really dim, but I did get a nice photo of one of Janet's goats, who live in her back yard. They are former FFA project goats her daughter refused to send to slaughter.

Yesterday there was no music involved, but Lee and I took the day off from our usual stuff (yes, I did not go to the yarn shop) and drove all over the place looking at scenery and flowers. We made a stop at the Old Oaks Ranch, a fiber arts haven near Wimberly, where they have alpacas, a yarn shop, weaving stuff and spinning stuff. Oh, and a sculpture garden that I really didn't get a chance to look at, but maybe I can if I ever get to go back. It was their open house day, and we just missed the alpaca shearing that I'd wanted to see, but we did get to see the results: animals with very thin necks! I bought some lovely yarn with three plies, each from a different animal. And because I am me, I asked one of the owners to show me which animals the yarn came from. She was really sweet and showed us all of them, and talked to us a lot about the ranch, the animals, etc. She admitted (as did the other owner we talked to) that they picked alpaca ranching because they are cuter and sweeter than sheep. They really are lovely animals.

I'll probably go on about the yarn more on the knitting blog, so go there for more. The other thing we did at Old Oaks Ranch was watch a demo of making a felted hat out of raw alpaca fiber. They do workshops on that, too (amazing workshops at that place). It sure looked like fun, and was a lot more hands-on than knitting a giant hat and throwing it in the washing machine, which is all I have done. I think it would be fun to play so directly with the fiber like that, but wow, it could be an expensive hobby! If I ever grow up to be a rich person, alpacas will be in my future. Otherwise, they are nice animals to visit, and incredibly nice animals to get fiber from.

Today we are decadently skipping church and doing home stuff as we await what should be a highlight of the year for me: Bruce Springsteen! I have never been to a big concert in Austin (combination of having small kids then not having bucks), so this will be fun. We are going with Dan and Lisa, so we get to ride in the Danny Ray's Mobile. I have my only remaining Bruce t-shirt ready to wear, but I think it's going to be so cold that I will have to wear a jacket. At this time I wish I hadn't let Corey have my Asbury Jukes jacket. That would have been a fine piece of memorabilia from the old Southside Johnny days!

Next week I may be rather busy, so expect fewer posts as I transition from one job to the other. I am very much looking forward to working from home again, though.

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