Showing posts from 2011

30 Things Before I'm 30, Item #1: Learn how to spin yarn

This one wasn't originally a part of my list, but I eventually decided to add this one on to replace a different goal, because I really HAVE always wanted to learn how to do this.

Today, my sister-in-law Jen and I set out for Yarndogs in Los Gatos to take a class on how to spin wool roving into yarn using a drop spindle:

Now why would anyone want to spin their own yarn, when you could totally buy yarn ready-made? Well, you're asking someone who wants to knit her own sweaters and hats even though I could totally buy them ready-made =P It's because you can't always find yarn like that. Or maybe you can, but it's not the weight you want it to be. Or maybe you just enjoy the feeling of making something with your own two hands. Maybe you just like the feel of something soft between your fingers.

At any rate, two years ago, I bought a "Learn to spin" kit that came with the above spindle and roving and a dvd that made no sense to me. I tried Youtube videos, and …


As awesome as this photo looks, my arms right now cannot straight or lift things up without total soreness. I would shake my fist but it hurts!

Violet Delights

Using the Urban Decay's Mariposa palette...

- UDPP Original
- UD's Infamous all over the lid
- UD's Rockstar into the crease
- UD's Skimp to highlight/blend crease
- Sugarpill's Dollipop applied to the center of the lid
- UD's eye pencil in Rockstar along the upper lash line
- UD's eye pencil in Asphyxia along the lower lash line
- MAC Zoom Fast Lash mascara

Open letter

Dear Pedestrian from This Morning,

The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. Please keep this in mind. When you walk a path that resembles a quadratic equation I would've learned about in high school math class, you're wasting my time.


30 Things Before I'm 30, Item #14 - Attend Dickens Fair

It should come as no shock to you that I am a lover of 19th century British literature. The Romantics and the Victorians were absolutely my favorite periods of literature, along with the corresponding American period of literature of transcendentalism. I LOVE it.

So of course, attending the annual Dickens Christmas Fair that is held up near San Francisco has been on my to-do list for a long time. It's like a pilgrimage to the holy land of Victorian nerdiness. It's like Ren Faire in that there are TONS of people decked out in full costume, appropriate food from the period, and shows and dancing. It's like stepping straight into the pages of a Dickens novel. Putting on my most Victorian piece of clothing (my cropped red waistcoat), I got ready to step back into 19th century London.

It's a beautiful life

See how it all began! PRG celebrates its first year of existence this month, and we couldn't be prouder of how far we've come. We're currently at about 50 members (and still growing!), we have bouted for the first time, and we have WON our first victory. And 2012 has SO much more in store...

This morning...

I ate a SAUSAGE McGRIDDLE for breakfast.

WTF is wrong with me?

PS - They forgot to put the peppermint in my peppermint hot chocolate. Jerkfaces.

Simple smoky with the Naked Palette 2

It's been a while since I've done a beauty post! I haven't stopped wearing makeup, I just haven't had much time to blog what I'm wearing. But I did definitely want to post something using Naked 2, since I'm pretty excited about having it :)

So here's a really basic smoky eye:

And here's what I used:

The three colors I happen to use are not widely available - Pistol is exclusive to this palette; Verve is otherwise available only in the Rollergirl palette; and Blackout is otherwise available only in the 15th Anniversary palette. I will link you to Temptalia's review of Naked 2, as she has good swatches and is very thorough in identifying possible dupes. Otherwise, I would just recommend choosing a dark shade, a medium shade, and a light shade, in whatever color family you choose. Some people like silvers/grays, some like browns, some like crazy-colored smoky eyes in purple or green... it's up to you.

I'm going to outline the steps, since I ge…

Mine, all mine...



Just ordered mine. Happy birthday to meeeeeeee


I'm not really a shawl- or wrap-wearing person, but I've lately found myself drawn to knitting them. My Ravelry queue has been full of them lately, and over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, I started knitting Seraphine, which is a beautiful thick cabled wrap. (Indeed, I've always kind of been a sucker for cables - the charts just seem to fly by. I'm also a sucker for anything related to Brooklyn Tweed.)

Why make them if I don't necessarily plan to use them? I don't know. Sometimes I think to myself, "Well, I just don't HAVE one. If I had a shawl, I'd wear it." But I do have a couple now that I've knit, and I don't use them. In fact, I've given some away.

In fact, I've made a lot of things that I've ended up giving away. I think I mostly made them just because I COULD.

But there's something irresistible about something you can drape around your shoulders to keep yourself warm. Not a sweater, which is so dependent on si…

Because I'm allowed to be shallow and superficial occasionally...

Some eye candy.

Breaking Dawn Part 1 FTW!

I bought Breaking Dawn the day it came out, and I stayed up all night reading it. Aghast and horrified about two-thirds through the book, my first thought was HOW IN THE HELL are they going to make this into a movie? And keep it PG-13???

Well, I just got to see the movie tonight, and I am happy to say that it was VERY well done. In fact, I daresay, it's the best movie of the entire franchise. Here are some of my thoughts, in no particular order, having seen it for the first time.

*spoilers ahoy*


Last night was PRG's second official bout, but it was MY first one. And as we stood for a large team photo after it was all over, my eyes were shining with tears.

THIS. This was what I've been waiting for. This is was the ultimate goal, what I've been working towards for two long years - the chance to make roster, to be one of the top 14 skaters in our league and skate in a bout. I remember the early days, volunteering at SVRG bouts and watching them skate, wondering if that would ever be me someday.

We'd won, a sweeping victory over the High Country Mountain Derby Girls Gold Diggers team of Sonora. My eyes were shining with tears, I tell you.

For me this wasn't just a victory over the other team. This was a victory over all my past obstacles. This was a victory over my not be able to pass WFTDA twice due to completely psyching myself out when I was in SVRG's bootcamps. This was a victory over the despair I felt when I had to quit the two other leagues I used …

Dear students: Which teacher will you get today?

Keep acting up, and find out.

Viva Glam - official photos


30 Things Before I'm 30 - Item 11: Go on a wine tasting trip

So, I'm not a drinker. Never was. My college drinking experiences were limited to Pabst Blue Ribbon and Jack-and-cokes, and because I'm a total lightweight and I also don't like drinking things that don't taste good, I generally opt for a non-alcoholic option.

But seeing as how I'm encroaching upon my 30's, I at least feel like I should learn about wine, and find one that I like. When people ask me if I like white or red, I shrug because I don't know. I don't know anything about wine - how to drink it, how to appreciate it, etc. So this one was a must-have on my 30 before 30 list, and when I learned of a 2-for-1 wine tasting voucher on Facebook, I jumped on it.

So my friend Lisa and I set out today for St. Helena (about two hours away) to have lunch and visit a couple different wineries, amidst unusually beautiful late-October weather.

SVRG Halloween Tournament

Sunday was SVRG's first ever Halloween Tournament! When I first caught wind of this, I signed up almost immediately, because it sounded like the most fun ever - skaters from all over the area being divided up into Halloween-themed teams and then facing off? Hell yeah!

We ended up having four teams - Team Skeletons (black), Team Pumpkins (orange), Team Zombies (purple), and Team Ghosts (white - my team). Black and Orange faced off first, then Purple and White, and the winner from each one would face each other in a "championship" bout.

I arrived at Roosevelt Park on Sunday already burning up - for October, it sure was hot out. The outdoor rink had no cover whatsoever, and spectators were crammed into what little shade there was in the stands. The track surface was slick and at times covered in water spots seeping up from beneath the sport court tiles - the combination of the heat and having to work so hard just to stabilize myself meant that I was already sweaty after wa…

I made roster!!!!!!!!

Two long years, I've dealt with personal setbacks, league drama, and just old-fashioned "my body won't do what I want it to"... only to find myself now with a fantastic group of skaters and coaches.

It's funny how something that is the culmination of my efforts from one phase can also be the beginning of even bigger and better things.

I am so happy and so proud to announce that I've made the final roster for our bout coming up in Sonora on November 5th!!! Of course, it's not set in stone - between now and then, I've got to REALLY work hard to prove that I belong there - but this is a great, great thing!

There's the serious part of derby that is all training and conditioning and strategy, and I thoroughly enjoy that.

And then there's the fun part.

And I thoroughly enjoy this part as well :)

NWM 2011

This was supposed to be the grand year that I completed a full marathon, but alas, it wasn't to be. I WILL do it next year.

However, I made a pretty good go of it for the half yesterday. I haven't been training, but I've been skating a ton, and I think that helped, because I felt better throughout the race than I ever have in previous years. Becca and I kept up our running interval through the first half (minus the hills, which were torturous), and I think I could've kept it up longer, but Becca was struggling a little with running, so we walked the second half.

(I could tell I was stronger and could've run more because we ran towards the finish line, and I totally felt FINE. I've done the last-straightaway-sprint-to-the-finish before, and I'm usually limping and really slow and just plain in PAIN, but yesterday, I was like, Dude! I'm just bouncing in!!!)

So, all things considered, I feel really good about yesterday's race, and I think I've reg…

30 Things Before I'm 30 - Item 29: Knit a sweater for my dad

Actually, he asked for a vest, so I made him a sweater VEST, and it turned out very well, if I do say so myself.

The pattern is Delius (from Twist Collective), and it's knit with Lion Brand Fisherman's Wool - VERY soft!

I know it looks long and skinny, but the vest ended up being a perfect fit. I don't have an action photo for you, so you'll have to take my word for it :)


I like to knit. A lot. I think I like knitting things even more than I like wearing the knitted things. I'm kind of a process knitter, I suppose.

So, I have a lot of knit things that are sitting around, and I think they're too beautiful to just sit around anymore. So I'm giving them away.

All I ask in return is that you care for them properly (and not accidentally felt them in the washing machine LIKE MY MOTHER) and if I have to mail it to you, please cover postage.

First come, first served. Please email me directly (thuvngo at gmail) - don't comment this post. I have more pictures of most of these items, if you need to see them. I will note which ones have already been taken.

All garments are women's size L/XL (14-16) unless otherwise noted. My bust measurement (around the fullest part) is around 46 inches, if that helps to give you a reference. And I generally make things a little loose.

*UPDATE* All that remains below is the Calorimetry headband. Unless anyone ch…

The Undead Bettys ate my braaaains

Thanks, Undead Bettys, for hosting the scrimmage last night! We had a great time and learned a lot!

Demanda Riot

Is my derby hero.

When I grow up...


I needed to be bright today.

- Sugarpill Dollipop on outer 2/3 of lid
- Sugarpill Tako on inner 1/3
- Sugarpill Bulletproof in the crease
- UD matte shadow in Naked to blend the crease
- UD eye pencil in Zero along upper lash line
- UD eye pencil in Asphyxia along lower lash line
- UD Supercurl mascara

Ain't no rest for the wicked

This weekend:
Saturday: Seeing my friend Lillian star in August Osage County.
Sunday: Official team photoshoot and then scrimmaging the Undead Bettys in Antioch.

Next weekend:
Friday: My friend Kathleen's open house for her baking business, A Spoonful of Sugar
Saturday: John & Mary's family wedding party thingy
Sunday: Wine tasting with my friend Lisa

(Tuesday: Circuit Jerks mixed B&W scrimmage)

The weekend after that:
Saturday: (While PRG is bouting in Redding) Lisa's baby's birthday party
Sunday: NIKE WOMEN'S MARATHON with Becca wooooo

The following weekend after that:
Sunday: SVRG Halloween tournament

The weekend after that:
Friday: PRG and RRR present MONSTER SKATE!! A fundraiser to benefit PRG

The weekend after that (which is the first weekend of November):
Saturday: PRG bouting against Mountain Derby Girls in Sonora

And then...
The weekend after that is WFTDA nationals. (Okay, all this means is that I will be camped out in front of my laptop, but stil…

Pablo Neruda, "Night on the Island"

I've never been a gushy romantic, but I will make exceptions for poetry because I love the beautiful use of language. I just read this poem for the first time, and I think I'm in love.

All night I have slept with you
next to the sea, on the island
Wild and sweet you were between pleasure and sleep,
between fire and water.

Perhaps very late
our dreams joined
at the top or at the bottom,
up above like branches moved by a common wind,
down below like red roots that touch.

Perhaps your dream
drifted from mine
and through the dark sea
was seeking me
as before,
when you did not exist,
when without sighting you
I sailed by your side,
and your eyes sought
what now---
bread, wine,love and anger--
I heap upon you
because you are the cup
that was waiting for the gifts of my life.

I have slept with you
all night long while
the dark earth spins
with the living and the dead,



30 Things Before I'm 30: Knit a toy for Jolie

This one is on my list as an expanding-my-knitting-repertoire item. I've knitted lots of things, but I've never really done a toy before. I found this pattern on Ravelry and thought it would be perfect, as Jolie loves dogs, and it more or less looks like our own little black dog. (He's not a Scottish terrier, but he's smallish. In hindsight, I should've knit floppy ears.) I've named it Bo because that's what Jolie calls our dog (even though that's not his name). Bo was knit using Patons Classic Wool in black and size 6 needles. (And I used all the rest of the yarn from the skein to stuff it, since I couldn't find any stuffing.) The sewing and seaming was tedious and long, but it came together nicely. Bo wears a purple velour ribbon.

Jolie's snuggling with Bo in her crib right now as we speak!

Derby homecoming

I'm tired and sore. I have a pretty mauve bruise on the heel of my right palm that showed up pretty much instantly, so it was definitely a hard fall. I think I even twisted my knee a little, because it doesn't quite feel right today.

But all in all, I feel pretty great :)

We scrimmaged SVRG's Hard Drivers last night (although, truth be told, it wasn't JUST the Hard Drivers, but also a few of their A-level and B-level skaters as well) in our first team-on-team scrimmage. And though we did not emerge victorious, there were lots of tiny triumphs to be had.

A team-on-team scrimmage is just about as close to a simulated game as you can get. As you can tell by the name, it's one team against another, as opposed to a mixed scrimmage (which a lot of us have been skating in) where teams come together and mix up all their skaters and divide them into random teams. It also means that we played a full-length game - two 30-minute periods - which I don't think any of us hav…

My latest Painted Ladies post is up!

30 Things Before I'm 30: #19 - Bake a cake from scratch

So, I'm a little bit dessert-caked-out after having attended three weddings in the last four weeks, so when I saw this recipe for Applesauce-Sour Cream Coffee Cake, I thought, Bingo! That's something I want to make! I can only handle so much super-sweet cake and frosting, so coffee cake is something I love because I like having it for breakfast :)

So, all the ingredients that you see in the above photo went into the cake, and nothing more - flour, brown sugar, applesauce, sour cream, baking soda, baking powder, and a little salt. It's REALLY easy, and tastes really good. (Oh, and cinnamon, which I forgot to grab from the cabinet until after I took the photo. *shrug*)