Lauryn Hill at Radio City: NY 2.25.17

So I went to Lauryn Hill’s show over the past weekend at Radio City, as part of the MLH Caravan tour. Despite hearing about her horrible reputation for showing up excessively late to shows, I’d never seen her live and was curious to see her in concert. 

I meet my friend at the venue in time for the show, which was scheduled to start at 7:30. I tried to be optimistic & hope her show would start right after the multiple opening acts scheduled. There were 3 acts unknown to me that each had a 30 minute set. 

I totally forgot that the rapper Common was also on the bill as a guest. It’s my second time seeing him as an opening act, the first time, he was opening up for Jill Scott at the same venue. He did his thing with high energy, and saved what would’ve been an unbearable wait. 

To make a long story short, Lauryn didn’t disappoint in keeping folks waiting. She didn’t appear onstage until just before 11PM. And that was after her band came onstage & began playing 15 minutes earlier. 

Lauryn performed most of her hits from her Miseducation album, some Fugees tunes and a couple of Sade tracks. Even Common made a brief appearance back onstage to do a duet. Lauryn put on a good show once she finally got there, did a full 1.5 hours onstage. I would’ve enjoyed the show more had she started about 2 hours earlier than she did. 

My friend and I were amazed at how so many people in the audience seemed to just take the hours long wait in stride. The lesbian couple next to us who had obviously been to Lauryn’s previous shows brushed it off commenting she’s always late. I suspect the open bar had a lot to do with keeping folks happy during all that time. Glad I had the chance to finally see her live but unless she produces an album of new music, or magically score some free tickets, I won’t be back anytime soon. 

Muti Poncho

I started this in August, just before I left on vacation to Cancun. Worked on it during both legs of the flight back & forth, while on the couch watching TV, during breaks at work. It seemed like this project was never gonna be finished. 

But last night I made it to the light at the end of the tunnel. And while watching mindless reality TV shows, I finally finished my rendition of the Muti poncho by Taiga Hilliard. It still needs blocking & stray ends weaved in, but happy with the way it came out. And that I can finally move on to focus on my next work in progress. 

Kings County Fiber Fest 2016

Despite the rain and the dreary weather, I made the trek all the way to Brooklyn for this year’s fiber festival. This year featured several new vendors, most notably Signature Fiber Arts. I picked up a small stash of goodies, mostly non yarn items since the plan is to save most of my cash for Rhinebeck next week. 

Pictured here is a T-shirt I bought from Red Bridge Studios in Brooklyn. Two really small crochet needles I plan to use in the future for bead knitting projects. A rubber grip and stitch marker gifted by the Signature Fiber Arts booth, who were offering 10% discounts on their products. Some goat milk soap from River Valley Farm in Massachusetts. 

Also of note is a new yarn vendor I came across that also manufactures and sells their own yarn spinners. The machine above is spinning 2 ply yarn from the yellow cone. Then another spool spins blue thread around the yellow yarn and winds it onto the bobbin. 

I almost left the festival without buying any yarn. After being so undecided about the color choices I settled on this pair of skeins of merino/cashmere/nylon yarn from Lambstrings. 

I told myself I wasn’t going to buy anymore sock yarn, but the colors were just too tempting. 

Vogue Knitting Live 2016

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Due to my work schedule, I’ll be missing Vogue Knitting Live this weekend. Luckily I have a couple of projects on deck and enough yarn in my stash to last until Rhinebeck later in the year, but I’ll still be jealous of those of you who get to go, LOL. If you get to make it there this weekend, enjoy, and don’t forget to post pics of your stash.

Block ticket

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I haven’t seen one of these in years. But if you ride the subways in NY, you’ve probably seen them many times. So of course you’re dying to know how I acquired one of these block tickets.

I had the commute from hell going to my loctician for a hair appt. The drive usually takes about 45 min but my mom had another errand to take care of, I had to go by public transit.

If you’re familiar with the NYC subway, then you may or may not know about the “A” train to Queens. If you’ve ever rode it to Far Rockaway, then you know how long, though somewhat scenic, that ride is. The initial plan was to take one bus to the subway station, then ride the train the rest of the way there. That bus was taking too long to come so I found another bus that would take me closer but not all the way to the destination. I rode that bus to it’s last stop, then headed for the subway across the street.

I only made it as far as Arverne, but I’m thinking at least I madr it to the Rockaway peninsula. I’m on the platform for about 10 minutes when someone suddenly comes upstairs on the opposite platform and announces there’s a power outage and folks have to take the bus.

A large crowd is waiting on the platform for the train headed in the opposite direction. Of course folks are grumpy as we all file our way down to the station clerk. He’s behind the booth giving out block tickets for people to take the bus. So   preoccupied with telling folks how to get to Rockaway Blvd where they could catch the train again & continue their travel, leaving the rest of us wondering how to get to Mott Ave. Clerk blindly without thinking tells us to take the 52 bus. The same one I rode over to the Rockaways that terminated at the subway.

I take a block ticket. Haven’t seen one of them in years, not at least since riding the subways regularly in high school. MTA workers still don’t know how to give proper alternative route information, that hasn’t changed. I eventually made it to my appt, 1/2 hour late. Happy that I didn’t stick with my initial plan to take the subway & probably end up stuck on a train over the water.

What I’m doing….

It’s been a good two months and it’s time I update what’s been happening around these parts……

One, on the knitting/crochet end of things, I’m disappointed to hear that Stitches East has been cancelled this year, and may never return. From what I read attendance has been going down over the past couple of years and competition with other fiber festivals that happen around the same time like Rhinebeck may have done it in. Last year was my first time attending Stitches East and looks like will be my only. 

Meanwhile, I found out for the first time about a local fiber festival that occurred this weekend from a friend on instagram. The Long Island Fleece and Fiber Fair which from the website, looks and sounds like a mini Rhinebeck. I’m making plans to get to next year’s festival, since I also missed Vogue Knitting Live this year due to work. 

By now, most of you reading this have provbably heard about the tragic Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia last week that killed 8 people. I’m also sad to find out that one of those eight folks who perished, Dr. Derrick Grifith, was a former high school classmate. I lost contact with Derrick since graduation but I’m happy to have read that he had made and was making such a positive impact in the communtiy. R.I.P.

Medgar Evers College dean killed in Amtrak train derailment.

Otherwise, I’m getting ready for the warm weather.  Summer means also homemade ice cream season for me and I just bought a new ice cream maker, watch for new posts. I’m also going to be experimenting with coconut and other nut milks so I can break my addiction to dairy. And I’m still knitting, slowly but surely working on those holiday gifts. 

What y’all doing? 

When crocheting goes wrong….

This morning I heard on the news reports of folks complaining of subway commutes becoming more miserable. I used to knit on the subway from time to time, and yes, its annoying to try and do any knit or crochet work on a crowded train. But I never got to the levels of this woman. Nothing comes between her and her crocheting, not even someone wanting a seat. She might wanna crochet herself a set of handcuffs, or a prison jumpsuit to have on hand just in case.

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=f64_1425848230

 

The guinea pig

I randomly got a postcard in the mail one day from a company seeking to recruit subjects for a research study about weight loss. I’m constantly on the path to lose weight, get in shape, etc., so the ad piqued my interest. What further interested me was the fact that there were no drugs nor fad diets involved.

So I logged onto the website and completed their initial survey. I get a call 2 days later from a woman who is one of the study coordinators and schedule an appointment to visit their offices.

I arrive on the top floor of an old building in downtown Manhattan. About 10 minutes later a study coordinator arrives and escorts me to one of their tables. They hand me 2 consent forms, one to participate in the study and another to draw blood for lab work. I have some background working in research so I spend a bit of extra time reading the consent forms & asking the study coordinator for some background info about the research.

The study is being conducted to measure which methods for assisting in weight loss are most effective. I’m then led into another room where I was to be randomized to one of two groups. The first was to utilize a health app that tracks meals, exercise, calories, steps taken, etc. The second group would use an established diet program. I step on the scale and of course don’t like the results of it, LOL. Then they proceed to take my blood pressure; and here’s where the shenanigans begin.

The study coordinator brings out one of those electronic blood pressure machines. I know from working in health care that those machines are notorious for inaccurate readings. But at the same time, I understand why the study coordinators are using them, they are not medically trained to take blood pressures the traditional way. As I expected, the first blood pressure reading gives a ridiculously high number that had it been real I’d be in an intensive care unit. I ask the woman if she is using an extra large cuff. Health professionals know to use larger cuffs in obese patients to get a more accurate blood pressure reading. Then the machines kept malfunctioning. Several more readings still were abnormally high but trending downwards.

I noted to the study coordinator that aside from being overweight, I don’t suffer from any chronic medical illnesses. A lot of folks would’ve been alarmed thinking they had severe hypertension, but I had just had my annual physical within the last couple months and a similar instance occurred. The medical assistant checked my blood pressure with an electronic machine and got a ridiculous reading. I’m left in the room waiting for the doctor anxious thinking I have hypertension. I mention to the doctor the abnormal reading and he dismisses it, but takes my blood pressure the traditional way to reassure me, and it’s normal.

In my head I’m thinking here’s a flaw in your study. A second study coordinator comes in to assist. A high blood pressure reading would disqualify me from the study but their machines aren’t working properly so they’re not sure how to proceed. One is texting the principal investigator for guidance. After several minutes wait, a final reading is made and it’s just above the limit for study entry. The investigator OK’s me for entry to the study but they note the machine malfunction.

I was assigned to the phone app group so the study coordinators proceed to download their app onto my phone. I use the app to record meals, exercise, steps taken, etc. I’m also given a scale to record my weight every 2 weeks. A second study coordinator escorts me from the building to a local lab facility several blocks away. During the cab ride, the driver complains about the snow being dumped onto the streets making it more difficult for drivers. I replied to the driver the streets in this area were clean compared to the Bronx where I traveled from to get to my appointment. Sidewalks there were still covered with snow and deep slush at the corners.

At the lab, my carnelian bead bracelet snapped, spreading beads all over the room. Then after flinching a little at the blood draw, the phlebotomist says that she felt scar tissue at the site where she poked my arm. Girl are you kidding me?! That might be plausible if I were a heroin addict, or someone constantly getting lab work done. Scar tissue from at most once a year blood sticks, and not always done in the same area? How about you’re not the smoothest phlebotomist.

My day was so done and I got home from work later than usual so I stopped for some Chinese food. So my weight loss journey didn’t get off to a good start, LOL. In my effort to keep it as “healthy” as possible I got chicken with broccoli, so I’d feel a little less guilty by incorporating some vegetables in the meal.

Tomorrow is my first weigh in. I don’t have to report to the study folks until next week so I still have a chance to get it together.

Watch “Langston Hughes’ 113th Birthday Google Doodle” on YouTube

Langston Hughes’ 113th Birthday Google Doodle: http://youtu.be/W-OU-mY11nE

Happy New Year!!

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Wishing you a happy and prosperous 2014!!!

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