Wednesday, January 28, 2009

What was Lost...

A few years ago, I knit a fabulous scarf, well, it was more of a cowl (as it was pretty short and buttoned around my neck). I wore that scarf all over the place:

In Chicago:

In Tokyo:
In D.C.
You get the idea....Then, about 2 weeks ago while shopping, I lost it. Yep. So sad. I didn't even realize it right away. I went back to look for it but my favorite scarf was gone. I am currently in the process of knitting another one--an identical one (I just have to find the same coconut buttons I used). As I gathered my fat bamboo needles (size 17) to re-make an old favorite, I realized I hadn't knit in a really long time (with yarn anyway--I've been knitting non-traditional fibers like tape from cassette tapes and shredded plastic bags).

Now, having lost that scarf, I have re-found my love of knitting. What was lost is now found. I have been yarn shopping. I'm hurrying to finish this cowl so I can knit a bunch more stuff with the sparkly yarns I got from my local yarn store. It's fun; I had forgotten how relaxing it and meditative it is. Had I not lost the original I would not be feeling this resurgence of yarn and needle and knit love. I was at first a bit sad; now I am excited about the possibilities of what to knit next. I may not be glad that it's gone, but I am OK with it. So, off I go, needles in hand to see what I find....

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Wreck This....

I just joined the "cult" that is Keri Smith's book "Wreck this Journal." This is what my journal looked like the day that I got it (yesterday). More updates to come...(to learn more about this creative destruction, look here).

Sunday, January 25, 2009

I am Not a Crazy Cat Person...

Ten years ago today I met an awesome little buddy...I adopted him when he was 1 or 2 years old (the people at the shelter weren't sure of his exact age). He has since traveled with me from Columbia, Missouri to Chicago, Germany, Hawaii, and now the East Coast. He has had medical issues (from getting hit by a car to falling out a 3rd story window--he's quite the curious cat) and still manages to be friendly, cute, healthy and awesome. Happy "Birthday!"

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

happy inauguration day!

Signs like this have been up all over our area for (at least) a week, though I am very temped to hop on the Metro to check out this historic presidential inauguration, instead I will be inside, were it is warm and crowd-free. Create a hope-filled day!

Monday, January 19, 2009

When I Say: "O," You Say: "BAMA!"

Yesterday we braved the cold (I think I was wearing everything layer-able in my closet) and the crowds to attend Barack Obama's "We Are One" Inaugural kick-off concert. One of the most interesting aspects of the whole day was the awesome amount of Obama bootleg merch...and some of the things people were selling (using Barack's image of course) were crazy, we saw Obama belts, ties, hats, and scarves, magnets, earrings, bags, and miles of posters and buttons Someone was also peddling Barack disposable cameras--for $20! (and don't you just recycle it when you're done anyway, so what's the point of that?). We even saw someone with Obama water. One of the best things I saw was a man selling small bottles of Obama cologne (what does change smell like?). But, my absolute favorite kitschy souvenir (that actually made me wish I'd thought of it) was man selling a plastic wallet with Barack Obama's picture on it, below it it said, "Change." Genius. This must be part of a new economic stimulus plan...plaster the new President's face on anything and it will sell.

Here are some pictures of the festivities:

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Music to My Ears: (New Items)

I just added a few new pairs of earrings to the PinkBird Creations Shop. I think they will be music to your ears. ;)
(Click here to see them).

Friday, January 09, 2009

PinkBird's Picture: St. Louis, Missouri

Since we moved back to "the Mainland" we have spent our winter holidays in the Midwest. This means, that we drive from seeing my family in Chicago to seeing the guy's family in Missouri. For some reason, each time I take a photo of the St. Louis arch from the highway as we pass--even though I've been to St. Louis a million times and have lots of friends there, St. Louis and its arch are nothing new. I took this shot on our most recent drive through the city a few weeks ago, I guess it's like the old cliche says, "the more things change, the more they stay the same...."

(For more of my travel photos and "PinkBird's Pictures," click here).

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

PinkBird's Pointers: Travel Tips, Volume 7

After returning from our Holiday trip (visiting our families in the Midwest) I had a few insights about traveling...or really, I guess I thought of a few tips after witnessing a few travel snafus (because flying into O'Hare on Christmas Eve during an ice storm can be a bit of an adventure).

1. If you are going to make demands from the airline, at least have some idea of what they are able to give you. As we waited in line to voluntarily give up our seats (we love getting bumped) a girl behind us was very upset with the possibility she would not get on the flight. She kept telling the gate agents, "this is ridiculous. Why is the flight overbooked?" (Well, flights are always overbooked). Later, she asked to be put in first class...the problem was that she was demanding something they couldn't even give her. This was a regional American Eagle flight, they don't have first class on planes that small. Had she known what type of plane she'd be in, she could have at least requested a free snack or something.

2. In that same vein, if you are volunteering to give up your seat on a flight as we did, be polite. And, don't be embarrassed to ask for other perks--but don't act entitled either. The airport was a mess the day we were flying out of BWI, and the "most" American Eagle could offer was $250 vouchers for each of us. The attendant called her supervisor who would not make an exception. So, after making sure we had confirmed seats on a later flight, the attendant gave us our vouchers along with a meal voucher.

3. If you have a rental car reservation waiting and your flight is delayed call the rental car agency to let them know. (They may even want your flight number to track it themselves). I was very glad we called the rental car company to tell them we were delayed, because when we got there at 9pm the line was long and people were frustrated because their flights were late the rental place was out of cars (or at least out of the cars they wanted). Since we called ahead, our transaction was quick and our car was ready.

4. In my backpack (luggage) I carry a tag that says "fragile," that way, if while traveling I acquire things that are breakable and that I must put in my bag, at least I have the tag to remind baggage handlers to take it easy with my bag (or at least I have some "peace of mind" even if they aren't even looking at the tag!)

5. Airports can be crazy, trains can get delayed, people may be rude....Relax. Slow Down. Smile. At least try to enjoy the journey.

(For more PinkBird's Pointers, click here).
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Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Hotel Review: Hyatt Regency (Capital Hill), Washington DC

Last weekend we decided to get a room after seeing Gogol Bordello at the 9:30 Club, this is where we stayed:

Hyatt Regency Washington DC

Apparently the construction is complete in the lobby of this hotel, and compared to some older Hyatts (or even DC's Grand Hyatt) it seems modern and clean. I did not find it cold at all (as some other reviewers had stated).

The valet's were nice, calling us cabs and opening prepared to park at the hotel for $41 a night (plus a $4.92 DC Parking Tax, which we didn't discover until we got our bill). There is no self-park, though Union Station is only about 2 blocks away but parking there may not be any cheaper. We had no issues checking in with their automated self-check in computers.

Our room was OK (and as Hyatt Gold Passport members, we have stayed at quite a few Hyatts). The carpets in the hallway leading to our room seemed a bit worn--or needed a good vacuuming. The room itself was average, no mini-bar (though you could have a mini-fridge brought to your room), the non-flat screen TV was small but you could get a free yoga video On Demand if you wanted to work-out. We also had a smoking room--which surprised us.

The bathroom was small, and the shower/tub had a curtain rather than a door, which I dislike (because I always wonder how often they clean the curtain) but at least the shower rod was curved. Also, when my husband went to take a shower, he stood in the bathroom and turned on the water, to his surprise, someone had left the shower head completely pointing out and soaked him and our bathroom. We had to use most of our towels to clean that up. Luckily, we are easy going and thought it was a but funny, but that's not typically a nice way to begin your hotel stay. As usual, the Hyatt toiletries (including toothpaste) are lovely.

Skip the hotel's restaurant and bar (domestic beers at the bar were $6.75!) while it seems nice, it's really just overpriced. I also liked that the hotel had an indoor pool, but it was full of children and families (which is great if you have kids).

The hotel is in an excellent location on Capital Hill--the capital is a few blocks away and fully viewable from the hotel. Walking to the National Mall or Union Station also seems easy from here.

I would recommend trying to stay above the 2nd or 3rd floors or requesting a room that overlooks the outside of the hotel. Our view was probably the worst I have ever had in any hotel. As you can see from my pictures, we had an interior room that overlooked the skylights in the lobby (we could see down into the lobby from our room.

There were also quite a few room-service trays and glasses left in the hall from the time we checked in until early the morning we checked out--which is just gross.

I suppose we would stay here again, as we only spent one night at the hotel but if I were planning to stay longer I would have requested a room on a higher floor and may have contacted housekeeping about the shower head incident.

Date of Stay: January 2009
Traveled with: Spouse / significant other
Visit was for: Quality time with friends
Age group: 25-34

*I should add: These are my opinions, I am not a paid journalist nor do I receive any compensation from the company named above. This blog is merely a record of my opinions as I wander and create in this world. This review was also published at

Friday, January 02, 2009

As Seen In:

My Travel Journal Tutorial was recently featured on this blog. There are quite a few other excellent crafty tutorials on this site as well! Happy crafting!