to me, thessaloniki is inifinitely more beautiful than athens, and the people have always been so much nicer. if you ever plan on going to greece, it's a really great place to stop. there are some great beach resorts about a couple of hours from there (with white sand beaches, not rocks like on the islands), so you have all the trappings of a fun and relaxing vacation.
i haven't been in about 12 years for various reasons and reading this makes me ache to go back again.
i took a breadmaking class last tuesday: french bread two ways. it was half demo and half hands on. i decided to actually try an make my own bread today.
i didn't used the recipes i got from my class (one for hand-kneaded french baguettes and one for food processor-kneaded bread). the hand-kneaded bread makes 8 baguettes! i tried the "easiest and best french bread" from how to cook everything by mark bittman, but i added the sugar in the baguettes recipe i got from class. they came out ok. they taste really good, but didn't rise too much. i think they spread too much in the pans i used (a 8x8 pan and a pie pan). i'm pretty proud of myself. i wasn't sure they would come out at all.
i love podcasts. podcasts are free mp3 broadcasts and come in almost any topic you can think of. some are professional, like the new york times front page podcast (which contains ads), and some are personal, like the le podcast de boygirlparty from boygirlparty.com. anyone can make a podcast! did i mention that they are free? i'm a little evangelical about podcasts. :-)
i download mine from itunes, but you don't need itunes or an ipod to get and listen to them. they are just mp3s and you can just download them to your computer and listen through whatever audio program you have.
here are a couple of places you can find listings of podcasts:
or you can go to a particular website and see if they have a podcast and download it directly.
here are the podcasts i listen to:
*60-second science from scientific american magazine (just enough info and very interesting
*indiefeed: alternative/modern rock music (one song about every day)
*indiefeed: indie pop music (ditto)
*kcrw's morning becomes eclectic (a whole in-studio performance)
*le podcast de boygirlparty (music mixes from susie ghahremani
*mpr: 89.3 the current: musicheads (music and discussion)
*mpr: the current song of the day (one full song)
*new york times front page
*npr: all songs considered
*npr: radio expeditions
*npr: story of the day
*npr: world cafe words and music from wxpn (interviews and performances hosted by david dye)
*npr: world cafe: next from wxpn (two songs from up and coming bands every monday)
*npr: world story of the day
*pri's studio 360 (interviews and performances with a wide range of artists--writers, musicians, visual, film, etc.--this is my favorite, always interesting and always inspiring and captivating)
*project runway: tim gunn (i heart tim gunn! recaps of episodes from his point of view, obviously only when the show is on)
*TEDTalks (audio) (speakers from the TED forum--really excellent)
*the economist (highlights from issues and extra interviews and subjects)
*usa today's pop candy (from the awesome pop candy blog)
*wfmu's the speakeasy with dorian (interviews with various people from the arts, sciences, and media)
*wfuv's cityscape (nyc-specific topics from history to current events)
*wfuv's take five (five-minute interview and performance excerpts from musical artists about every day)
they don't all have "episodes" every day, and they are great listening while commuting. i feel a lot smarter because i hear about a diverse range of topics intelligently, and i've finally been able to find new music that doesn't make me want to shoot myself (ny metro area music is basically a wasteland, except for wfuv and wfmu).
so, here is some more evidence of breaking through my creative block.
1. just a simple decoupage project, but one that was long overdue. i finally got around to buying the paper. looks pretty spiffy if i do say so myself. :-)
2. this is a handknit baby sweater for my friend's baby girl. i've been having problems finishing knitting projects in general, but especially gift projects. they would either have lots of ridiculous little complications or just take forever to finish or both. i finally finished something, and it even came out nice!
i mentioned my friend, the feng shui consultant, in my previous post. i realized i wanted to shill for her a little bit. she has been using me as her guinea pig, and i have to say that i do feel things in my life improving. i asked her to help me with bringing more creativity in my life and home, and as mentioned earlier, i'm busting through my block. she came and looked at my cubicle at work, and things are moving (slowly, but moving) there, too.
if you live in the new york metro area, she gives feng shui consultations, organization consultations, and does space clearing (clearing out bad energy).
pendulums can be used in feng shui for clearing energy for yourself personally and for a room or house. i'm not very knowledgeable about it. my friend is studying to be a feng shui practitioner. she has made and sold pendulums and asked me if i wanted to, also. so, here are my efforts.
i hadn't realized that i didn't have to sign up for a blog that i automatically have one. neato! although, i do have my own blog already: http://grey-eyes.org. i just finished my first sweater, and i have pics up of it.