December 31, 2008
Or in English, Happy New Year’s Eve. It’s snowing like crazy here in Baku today. This is our second consecutive day of snow. Yesterday there was a pretty good accumulation, but today it’s really been coming down on and off all day. Right now it looks like a blizzard out there. Thankfully I have my heavy down parka all ready to go. There’s still one more Max potty break left in the day.
This is the Azerbaijani holiday called the Day of Solidarity. I think that this post by Ayten gives a pretty accurate description of what the holiday is all about. There’s also a wonderful picture of one of the government buildings in Baku. I don’t know how recent it is because there is no snow, but it sure is pretty down there at night.
December 30, 2008
Well it’s that time again. Time to move. We’ve gotten our possibilities, checked them all out, ranked them, discussed them with the powers that be, and now we wait…
This is the part that I hate, the waiting. Well I hate the game part too, especially as it involves the next 18 months of my life, but that’s a story for after the cards have been dealt.
I’m excited about the posts that we are bidding on, mostly because they are VERY different than either Belarus or Azerbaijan. I can’t list our options here but I can give you a few hints…that will at least give you an idea of what floats around in my head on a day to day basis.
I may or may not be living in Europe.
I may or may not be living in the Mediterranean.
I may or many not be living in South America.
Of course then too, there’s the always possible, I may be living in Azerbaijan…if this happens I will NOT be happy. There’s an old saying…you’ve probably heard it. You can take the girl out of PG County, but you can’t take “the County” out of the girl. If it happens I may just have to open a can of PG County up on someone (First Sgt. if you are reading this smile).
That’s why this is all a game. No matter what we say we want, no matter how much we (I)need a break, it’s all up to someone else. So we wait…patiently, hoping and praying that someone out there has our back (gratuitous suck up to the First Sgt).
Wish us luck.
December 29, 2008
Scott and I are going to Garmisch in a couple of weeks and I CANNOT WAIT! One week away from Baku…there is a God.
We are staying at Edelweiss again. We’d be crazy not to. It’s an awesome resort and everything you need is right there, or right across the street at the base.
Scott plans to do some skiing. I plan to take a few tours, do some geocaching if I’m able and of course hit the yarn store.
I’m hoping to have a new hat and mittens whipped up by then….we’ll see. The hat that I chose is the Unoriginal Hat designed by the Yarn Harlot and I’m still undecided on the mittens. Something with a cable because the hat has cables, and something quick and easy because I’ve never knit mittens. That shouldn’t be too hard to find…
Now I just need to stop all of my other little projects and focus on the hat and mittens. That shouldn’t be too hard…I hope. I really don’t want to take my bright red leather gloves to Garmisch, but hey, if I must they at least match my Maryland Terrapins hat…no, that doesn’t scream TOURIST at all.
December 28, 2008
I am really enjoying the Wii Fit that I got for Christmas. The Balance and Aerobic games are my favorite, though I have done the Yoga and Strength exercises as well.
I love the little Mii characters. Scott’s is a little pudgy which I think is hilarious. He is above normal BMI so his Mii has a little pudgy belly! My Mii thankfully doesn’t have a pudgy belly (which is probably why I think it’s hilarious on Scott’s).
The one thing that I have confirmed about myself in the past 4 Wii Workout days is that I am just and uncoordinated as I thought. I am just as horrible at the Step Aerobics on Wii Fit as I am in real life! I am not coordinated at all. In fact the Wii asked me the other day if I trip over my feet when I walk (or something like that)…I laughed, but yes, in fact I do! It also says that I am “Unbalanced” which I think is referring to my athletic ability not my mental status, but either would be accurate at this point.
Another thing that I’ve learned is that a sports bra really is a good idea, a necessity almost. I took off on a two minute run (in place) the other day and almost knocked myself out. I think I remember Monica saying something about a sports bra in one of her posts over at Transplanting Me. I finished the run but had to hold my boobs the entire time.
Tonight I did Balance, Aerobics and Strength which means tomorrow I’ll do Balance, Aerobics and Yoga. I’m going to alternate. We’ll see what happens. I’d set a goal to reach a BMI of 22 in 2 months. I think that’s 12 pounds. Reasonable.
I had planned to keep a Wii Fit diary of my progress, but it’s already been done. See this article for one woman’s 50 day attempt at fitness.
December 27, 2008
Tonight I went to the ballet. The Nutcracker was playing at the Azerbaijan National Opera and Ballet Theater. There were three in my group and we had excellent seats. We were in the first balcony section, first row. There were no heads in front of us. We had a wonderful, unobstructed view of the stage and the orchestra section so I was really pleased. Even if I wasn’t pleased the price was too good to pass up – 8 manat. That’s less than 10 US dollars – for a ballet. I didn’t get a program so I don’t know if this was a Russian company or not. I’d venture to say not. This was probably a local ballet company.
The stage scenery was nice especially the second act. The costumes for the most part were ok. The Nutcracker was disappointing. I don’t have a great picture of him, but he wasn’t at all what I envisioned him being. This Nutcracker was just a guy with a beard and blue tights to me.
Here, judge for yourself
The picture quality is pretty bad, but you get the idea right? He didn’t even have a nutcracker soldier hat!
The music was beautiful however and the dance of the sugar plum fairies was my favorite. You’ll also be able to see the pretty stage that I mentioned earlier.
Overall it was a good performance and I would go again, with hopes that the Nutcracker would be a little more Nutcrackerish.
December 26, 2008
I hope all of you had a very Merry Christmas! I did. Scott and I celebrated with friends here at our place in Baku on Christmas eve with a festive taco dinner, Rock Band on the Wii and a Crazy Gift Exchange. It was a lot of fun! Things wound down somewhere around 12:30am, we cleaned up and went to bed.
Christmas morning I woke up and felt awful. I’m not sure if it was the wine flu or a bug, but whatever it was wasn’t being very nice to me. I finally felt up to opening presents around 1pm. If you know me at all you know that this is highly out of character for me so you know that I felt bad.
Of course Scott insists that Max open his presents first, and we have to watch and take pictures and make a big deal. Max could really care less. All he wants in the end product. He is such a good dog.
Here’s a picture of our tree before the destruction.
All that for two people. We really should be ashamed of ourselves. REALLY! I got everything that I asked for and then some and so did Scott. We shouldn’t need anything else til next Christmas…but of course we went to our friend Shannon’s house for dinner last night and we saw the Aerogarden….both of us commented on it which means…we’ll be purchasing that sometime in the near future I’m sure.
So, what was in all those boxes? Well, I got the Wii Fit that I’ve been wanting and all of the kits that go with it…you know, so I have the socks, the water bottle, the fitness mat, dumbells, etc. I love it! I played last night and again this morning. It really is a great idea. I like the idea that I can set goals for myself. I must admit that I was afraid to let the thing tell me my BMI…thankfully I have not shamed myself into the next category, but I am hovering just below the line so this Christmas gift came just in time. I also think it’s neat the way the Mii (your personal Wii character) takes on your body shape. Again, thankfully I’m not 1 inch shorter or 10 pounds heavier! : )
I also got a tortilla press, cookbook and warmer. I got some storage cubes that I wanted to organize my yarn/craft closet and I also got the storage unit (which I wasn’t planning on). Scott also got me a portable hard-drive for my computer. He always complains that I store too much stuff…pictures, documents, etc on my computer….now I can store them on this drive and carry it with me. At some point I suppose I’ll be organized….but my current system hasn’t failed me yet (it did take me about 20 minutes to find two of his Christmas gifts that I forgot to put under the tree…see, proof that I am morphing in to my mother).
From my family I got a lot of nice things. I got some roving for spinning in to yarn. I got a spindle to spin the yarn on, some books on spinning (see the theme there). I wanted to spin away yesterday, but my body and mind wouldn’t let me….so today I went for it….here are the results.
Not very pretty, but for a first attempt I don’t think it’s too bad. It was a lot of fun and I think I am going to perfect the drafting method before I move on to the roving that I got for Christmas. I post about that another time. I have one more practice strand and then I’m going to go for it…
Here is the finished yarn .
This is about 7.5 yards. I used the spindle that my mother gave me. It is a Golding Ring Spindle. I don’t have any comparison yet, but I liked it. It is a top whorl spindle 1.9 oz and a 3 inch whorl. Scott also gave me a spindle for Christmas. The one he gave me is a bottom whorl. It’s heavier than the top whorl one. It’s a Lacis drop spindle and it is a whopping 4 oz. I don’t know what that means, but it is twice as heavy as the one from my mom….I don’t know if that makes thicker or thinner yarn. I think thicker.
My sister gave me some of her personal handspun and I love it. I think I’m going to make an Unoriginal Hat with it, but not entirely sure… My mother knit me a shawl, which I admit I thought was a tree skirt at first! I did curl up with it along with the headband (which keeps my ears so nice and toasty that I may sleep with it on at night) my sister knit for me and took a great nap on the couch yesterday afternoon.
Scott had yet another high tech Christmas with a 22″ computer monitor, Bose speakers and the new World of Warcraft game. He also received Pittsburg Steeler socks from my mom and a Noro Stripe Scarf from my sister. Again, I’ll post those pictures another time.
I’m getting hungry so I think it’s time to try out the new waffle maker we received from Scott’s parents.