Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Counter

The burgers at The Counter are pretty good, but sometimes -- especially when I'm super hungry -- I just don't want to deal with all the choices (too many items, too many checkboxes, too many rules). So I ended up ordering the Tuesday special, made of a quartet of beer and slider pairings:


From left to right (quoted from their menu, with a couple of corrective grammatical points added by me):

1.  Hefeweizen: Unfiltered beer with smooth wheat flavor and a light, crisp bite. | Burger: Beef mini, brie, organic mixed greens, julienned basil, tomato, apricot sauce.

2.  Brown ale: A well-balanced brown ale with roasted malt notes and a nice hop flavor.  It pairs nicely with the bold flavors of the mini-burger. | Burger: Beef mini, thinly shaved celery, bleu cheese, fried onion strings, buffalo wing sauce.

3. Pear cider: Tangy aroma with a distince pear taste and lively mouth feel.  | Beef mini, herb goat cheese, raosted apple, prosciutto, balsamic reduction.

4. IPA: This India Pale ale has a medium malt character with a crisp hop flavor.  It counterbalances the spicy flavors of this mini-burger. | Beef mini, lettuce blend, roasted corn and black bean salsa, Jalapeno Jack cheese, freid jalapenos, chipotle aioli.

I liked the last pairing the least, IPA having too much of a bite for my taste.  The very different sliders were examples of choices to make for regular-sized burgers at future visits, and the pairings were quite thoughtful.  Four diminutive glasses and mini-burgers doesn't look too filling, but add an order of 1/2-french 1/2-sweet-potato fries and it's more than enough.

Have you been to your local Counter lately?  Try it out on a Tuesday!


Monday, August 29, 2011

Artsy Summer: Hammer Museum

On a whim I decided to take public transportation to the Westside, so my visit to the Hammer Museum began well before I got there. The journey took about 90 minutes -- fine if one has that kind of time, which I did that day, but not fine for any regular type of commute. Since I would've taken the freeway had I driven, I enjoyed seeing the city as we traversed one of its arterial thoroghfares (Venice Blvd). Here's the point of view from the inside

I'd only been to the Hammer once before, for a work-related symposium which confined me largely to the auditorium. Heading there this time, I was impressed once again at the building itself: stripes are in this season. In grey and white, no less. With tons of windows.

Sing Your Favorite Book was a less formal event than expected: one guy, sing/reading from a book, in the gallery containing the Ed Ruscha exhibit. The website informs us that

The Hammer Museum’s Public Engagement program seeks to create a new kind of interactive museum: an artist-driven visitor engagement program that encourages contact among visitors, artists, and Museum staff, and activates spaces in imaginative ways.

which is great. However, there isn't sufficient information about the concept of Sing Your Favorite Book for anyone to gain any insight or connection to the exhibit. How is the visitor's engagement with or appreciation of the artists (in this case, Ruscha and Kerouac) heightened by the singing? How does the visitor engage with the singer other than to watch them sing (which detracts from the art, right)? Or is the singer engaging with the art? Or with the viewer? I didn't really get it. So I moved on to the other galleries.

Having done with that (particularly struck by a Van Gogh and a Cezanne that were unusual in style compared to both artists' oeuvres), the emergence to the outdoor corridors was met with the sound of stringed instruments, which, when followed around a corner or two, led to the Disassembled Strings Ensemble. In this Public Engagement project,

a string quartet will attempt to perform together while interspersed around the museum terraces.

"Interspersed around the museum terraces" turned out to be at the four corners of the outdoor lounge area, which is different (in a less disassembled way) than I'd imagined it would be. But I didn't mind finding a seat in the cross-section of those sounds. I might have even slipped into a micronap, I was so relaxed.

After the museum visit, the beautiful day was by no means wasted. Lunch was eaten al fresco and followed by a walk through UCLA's MEM Botanical Garden, where the lotus were never found, but some other specimens were in abundance:

camouflage   rainbow
I ended up carpooling back home with Jax, after which we went to the farmers market, after which I went to dinner with friends.  It was a long yet lovely day. *exhale*

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

FO: Knee-highs!

These are the inspiration shot (from this trip), along with the final product (started here):


I did simple M1R and M1L increases for the calf, up until I had 80 stitches all around.  There are neat and symmetric little slants on each side, which I quite like.  I finished off with 2x2 ribbing for 18 rows.  They hit just below the knee.

I'm in love! Warm and colorful legs this fall (or whenever it gets cold enough around these parts)!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Cast off and away!

Ecclesiates tells us that "for everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: ...a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to tear, and a time to sew..."

I love crafty references in the Bible (amazing detail -- God is definitely the Great Craftsman)! And for me, the time has come.  Today is the day that I cast off* a project that's been on the needles for a while now.  Here's what I did during the lunch hour:


This, gentle reader, is what casting off looks like (nice, finished edge on the right).  And yes, this is the second sock.  I'm later at it than I would be if I hadn't knit this in 1x1 ribbing for 15 rows only to realize it should've been 2x2 ribbing (which is more elastic), which is how I knit the first sock. An exciting blog post awaits as both socks are reunited when I get home, and the full rainbow effect of Noro Kureyon in color 092 is unleashed for all to see. Hold your breath, reader!

Okay, okay: it's casting "off" and not "away."  I'm totally taking the verse out of context, and even using the meanings improperly, but -- honestly -- I couldn't help myself.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Hangin' out

Back from a spontaneous night out with my dad and bro, as documented here courtesy of Instagram:



hk and yogurtland


It was my Dad's first time on Metro Rail and I daresay he enjoyed it! His round trip fate cost less than it cost my bro to park when he met us in town--score. We ate at my second choice restaurant because the place I really wanted to go is now closed--boo. It was fun nonetheless, and topped off by a crowded Yogurtland stop (coconut, mango, and plain, with graham crunch cereal, mochi, and fruit).

It's good to hang with my guys every now and then. :)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Hole in my sole

Happened to look down at my feet while walking the other day and saw a funny thing:


At first I thought I'd stepped on something sticky, but it didn't go away.  Since I was walking downhil and downstairs, I thought not to risk a tumble.

When I got home, I slipped off both shoes and flipped them over.  To my surprise, I was met with the following sight:


Worn clear through!  And after only five months!  I guess this is what happens when one wears the same pair almost every day and walks about 0.8 miles, including up and down hills and stairs.

I'll go to the cobbler downstairs to see if re-soleing these is worthwhile.  If not, I'm in the market for new work flats.  Because I'm not going to be one of those women who wears sneakers with slacks and skirts. *shiver*