Saturday, 31 May 2008

Sex and the City Surprises!

Yesterday was finally THE day - the opening of the "Sex and the City Movie" in Toronto. I met my two longtime (notice I didn't say 'old') girlfriends/sorority sisters downtown for the 6:20pm showing. I had bought the tickets online so wasn't perplexed when I saw that all the showings of the movie were sold out when we got to the theatre. Nancy and I got there early enough to be about 15th in line for our showing so we got great seats - halfway up on the aisle. Lorna met us there. When Lorna arrived, she broke out the plastic cosmopolitan (margarita) glasses and I broke out the booze. Since the mixture included Cointreau it made it sickeningly sweet. I had also brought a bottle of carbonated water to 'cut' the sweetness.

When we opened the bar at our seats, the two gals beside us enviously complimented us on being so well prepared. When I turned to speak to them, I recognized one of the women as a sorority sister I hadn't seen in over 30 years. I identified myself and my two companions and she remembered us (who could have forgotten us?). I was about to ask about her sister and realized that it was her sister that was sitting with her. How freaky is that? So we had a power catch-up session on what we've been doing the last 30+ years before the movie started. What are the odds of us sitting in the same row, in the same theatre (which I've never been in before) at the same showing? (cue the theme from 'Twilight Zone'). We agreed to go for dinner or have some kind of get-together when Francey comes up from Georgia in September for our PEI trip.

Carolyn and Diane Wood












Anyway, I LOVED the movie. I realize it isn't the world's greatest cinematographic feat but I loved seeing all the characters and what they've done with themselves in the intervening years. I loved the costumes. And I loved the theme of love and HOPE and FRIENDSHIP. I wish I hadn't seen the trailer beforehand as it gave away too many of the plot details but was still surprised at some of the plot twists. And I LOVED seeing Chris Noth on the 'big' screen (thumpeta, thumpeta).

Lorna gave me the Sex and the City book (currently available at Costco) with synopses of all 6 seasons as well as trivia questions about each season and hundreds of pictures. And now I have a commemorative Sex and the City cosmopolitan (margarita) glass.

















Nancy and I got the GO train home and I took the bus home from the station. It was my first time riding a bus outside of Toronto in over 30 years. At midnight, our transit system offers a 'shuttle' rather than running all the routes with only 1 or 2 passengers. Basically, the shuttle drops all passengers from all routes off at their bus stop. As Skip commented, " It's a 65 cent taxi". It was safe and very efficient and mine was the first stop.

It was an excellent 'girls night out' and we have pledged to do it again for the 'Mamma Mia' movie coming out in July.

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

It's My Blogaversary!!!

I just realized I've been doing this blog for a whole year already. Since I started, I retired from teaching, travelled to Missouri, Cuba and the Rio Grande Valley, and knit a whole bunch of stuff. Scooter has graduated from elementary school, excelled in high school and come 4th in Canada in The Great Canadian Geography Challenge. Skip got his mother into a nursing home, sold her house and got it cleaned out. We sure did a lot of stuff!

We're looking forward to the summer. In June, the three of us are going to an LPGA event sponsored by Wegmans (a grocery chain) outside of Rochester, NY. In July, Skip and I are going to a lawn mower racing event in central Michigan. It sounds kooky but it's tremendous fun. Basically people race their riding lawnmowers around a track delineated by bales of hay. There are different classes ranging from mowers that go 8mph to mowers with super-charged engines that can go as fast as 60mph (100kph). No lawns are harmed or mowed during the process as the blade is disabled for safety reasons. We've been to several of these events. In fact, one year we missed a friend's wedding because we had already planned our trip to a USLMRA (US Lawn Mower Racing Association) event in Michigan combined with a cross-stitch festival in Toledo. We never did tell our friend specifically why we missed the wedding.

I'm still trying to decide what yarn I'll use for the GAAA (Great American Aran Afghan). I found some Lion Brand Wool Ease online last night for $2.00 per 100g skein so I'm seriously considering ordering it. I'm going making a day trip to the US in a couple of weeks and will see what I can find at Joann Fabrics and Crafts and Mary Maxim. Cost is an issue as I'll need to buy 20 - 100g balls or 40 - 50g balls. And it needs to be washable and not be 100% acrylic. I tried some Patons Decor and did not like the feel or look of it. Patons Canadiana has been recommended but it's 100% acrylic. A lot of superwash wools fluff and pill like crazy. So an inexpensive, good quality and good-feeling blend is essential.

Yesterday at the library I found a book on yarn dyeing and ideas for projects called "Dyeing to Knit" by Elaine Eskesen. The library also gets Creative Knitting magazine and has back issues that may be borrowed, so I grabbed a couple of them. I also stumbled upon a podcast (#41) from Knitpicks where Kelley Petkun recommends several audio books not only for their content (mostly fiction) but also for the person reading them. It's a great way to 'read' a book while knitting as well as a nice way to pass the time in the car on a long trip. I brought home Sophie Kinsella's "Can You Keep A Secret" and Janet Evanovich's "Plum Lovin". I will also listen to them on my walks around the neighbourhood.

I started this blog primarily to chronicle my activities and details of knitting projects and trips for my own reference - kinda like an online journal. It's also a good way for me to let people know what I've been up to when they ask, "What have you been doing, now that you are retired?". I just give them my blog URL and they can read for themselves. Thanks to those of you who are regular readers. I enjoy your comments and continue to welcome your feedback.

Monday, 26 May 2008

Must Have Cardigan is Done!

I finished the button band today and added a line of crochet reinforcement on the inside back neck. Click on the photo for a closeup.
It was too stretchy in that area otherwise.











I rooted through a craft bag of buttons I had bought years ago and by some miracle found exactly 7 buttons in the right size and colour. Woo Hoo!

Ta Da!

















It feels really nice on. I really like working with the Patons Classic Merino wool.

And here's the back.

















I've become intrigued with the concept of dying yarn with Kool Aid. I found a sale on Kool Aid at the local IGA so I grabbed a couple of each colour/flavour.

Now I must order some bare yarn from Knitpicks. I also plan to dye some of the tan Patons Classic Merino and see if I get a nice heather-y colour.

Saturday, 24 May 2008

Spring Has Sprung - Again - Finally!

It finally was warm enough today to not have to put on a jacket to go out. And this is what I saw.

Spurge (euphorbia polychroma) or 'cushion spurge'.








Lilacs in bloom.












A cheery little clump of violas.











And tulips in bloom.











We've had several visitors to the bird feeder - mostly a glutinous mourning dove. A few goldfinches have partaken of the nyger seed and today I finally got a shot of a house finch.

He sings the most wonderful song. I hope he's telling all his finch friends that there's lots of food to go around.





























I worked on the swatches for my 'cable without a needle' class which will be on June 4 at Kniterary from 7pm - 9pm. I also finished blocking the Must Have Cardigan and sewed up the shoulder seams. Now I'm picking up the stitches for the button band. Stay tuned...


Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Plain Black Sock

I've been busy doing nothing in particular. This evening I attended Arts Night at the school I used to teach at and finished the first black ribbed sock with the Lana Grossa Silk/Cashmere yarn.









It's my generic 3 x 1 ribbed sock pattern. I'm quite pleased with the short row heel. It's only the second one I've done. The ribbing makes it fit snugly. I probably could have done an inch of stocking stitch on the back of the sock before starting the short row heel - oh well, next time. Now to cast on the second sock.

Last night I worked on the "Baa Baa Black Sheep" sampler at Stitchin' Time at Hedgehog Stitchery. I'm not loving working with 3 strands of yarn. I probably could have gotten away with two strands but I'm committed to 3 now.

I blocked the right front of the Must Have Cardigan. I'll get the others blocked tomorrow. I practiced doing the mattress stitch and picking up the stitches, knitting a button band and using a ribbed cast-off on the practice sweater Vickie has as homework for her finishing class. I now feel confident that I can do a pretty good job finishing the cardigan. The only challenge left is finding buttons and doing the buttonholes in the right place.

Only a little over a week 'til the "Sex and the City" Movie. Woo Hoo!

Monday, 19 May 2008

Always Learning

Scooter was with us this weekend. He and his dad went to see "Ironman" on Saturday and enjoyed it. Scooter's classes are over on June 6 and his exams are over on the 16th so he will be coming with us when we go to the LPGA event in Pittsford, NY.

Yesterday they went golfing although it was threatening rain. They were just finishing the last hole when the rain started so it worked out well for them. I shopped and got ready for our dinner last night for friends, Lorna and John. Skip barbequed chicken and I steamed green beans, made whipped potatoes and a salad. I had also made two-bite brownies which were served with frozen yogurt and cookies that Lorna brought. It was so cold we put on the fireplace.

This morning Skip and Scooter went golfing again in the bitter cold and wind. They were almost frozen when they got home. We went over to visit Grandma and Scooter played his recital pieces for her. After that, we had an early dinner at The Black Dog Pub and put Scooter on the GO train.

I've been working away on the Celtic Cable Socks and finally took a photo.

















I also started a pair of black 3x1 ribbed socks with the yummy Lana Grossa Silk and Cashmere yarn. I had been borrowing Skip's black socks that I had knit him and thought I'd knit myself a pair - and they'd fit better.













I started blocking my Must Have Cardigan. I've been practicing with the finishing assignment Vickie gave me on Saturday. I now feel fairly confident that I'll be able to knit the button band without much problem. I'm only concerned about where I'll put the buttonholes. My goal is to get it all put together by the end of this week.

Friday, 16 May 2008

He Came 4th!!! Woo Hoo!!! (We're so proud)

Yesterday was Scooter's National Finals in the Great Canadian Geography Challenge. It was SO exciting - I was able to figure out how to monitor the scores. My sister and I were msn messaging back and forth. Some contestants worked more quickly (perhaps started a bit sooner?) so it was exciting seeing Scooter's name rise higher and higher on the scoreboard as he completed more rounds (there were 11) and accumulated more points. When it was all done, he had the 4th highest score tying with 3 other people - an amazing achievement, if I do say so myself. As only three people will be sent to the international competition next year, they didn't bother with a tie breaker for 4th place. The first place contestant also won the national competition last year. I'm wondering if Scooter can compete again next year. He'll still be under the maximum age allowed. We'll see.

When his dad spoke to him tonight Scooter said he had a Math test and a Geography test (which I think he missed and will have to make up) today. He also had a Phys. Ed. fitness test right before the geography competition. He came first in his class on the Phys. Ed. test. After school he had his tennis lesson. Scooter was pretty pooped this evening. We're really looking forward to seeing him tomorrow for the weekend.

This weekend is Victoria Day weekend - often referred to as 'May 2-4' weekend (a 2-4 is how some Canadians refer to a case of 24 bottles of beer). It's also called the '24th of May weekend' even though the holiday Monday only falls on May 24 every few years. Confused? It is also the biggest weekend in this part of the world for shopping at gardening centres.

We are entertaining friends for dinner on Sunday. Scooter and Skip will also golf that day as it will be the only non-rainy day according to the forecast. I think we'll take in a movie on Saturday. Long weekends aren't that big of a deal when one is retired. It just means that there are a lot more people around.

I started a new pair of socks today with some Regia yarn I found in my stash. It's a Celtic Cable pattern one of my knitting buddies gave me. I also bought some yummy Lana Grossa sock yarn with silk and cashmere in it to make myself a pair of black socks (colour 8) so I don't have to borrow the ones I knit Skip anymore. I also bought yarn for a pair of Christmas-y red socks (colour 5) with perhaps a snowflake design. It's nice and squishy yarn.

Thursday, 15 May 2008

Containing Myself

I am SO excited! Today is the day Scooter will compete in the National Finals of The Great Canadian Geography Challenge. He became a provincial champion back in April hence qualifying for the National Finals. He will compete online today at noon (Eastern time) from a computer in the main office of his school under the supervision of his geography teacher. We will be able to monitor the proceedings from our computers at home as the results will be posted at the end of each round. We'll just need to refresh our screens every once and a while.
I called the Geography Challenge people this morning to find out exactly how to log on to the contest website and spoke to a very helpful organizer of the event. When I told her my step-son was one of the Ontario finalists, she said that the Ontario competition is even more challenging because there are so many who successfully complete the qualifying test. In some provinces, all the kids who pass the qualifying test make the provincial championships. In Ontario, over 200 passed the qualifying test so they had to narrow it down to about 50 of the top qualifiers who then competed for the top 10 spots in the province. Simply, only 1 in 4 who passed the qualifying test in Ontario made the top 10 in the province whereas in some lesser populated provinces just passing the qualifying test won them the provincial spot.

Aside from the fact that Scooter is a very bright young man, things that have contributed to his excellence in geography include: natural curiosity about the world and his place in it; the fact that at a young age his favourite book was the "Readers Digest Children's Atlas of the World" which he poured over from cover to cover and carried everywhere quoting factoids to all who would listen; extensive travelling with Skip and me as well as his mother and that side of the family; being intensely curious about maps and where we are when we're on the road; playing the Traveller IQ Challenge on Facebook; watching science and nature shows on TV, etc., etc. I guess all these experiences add up. His dad and I LOVE to travel and have taken Scooter on holidays to Costa Rica, Phoenix, a Caribbean cruise and car trips to New York State and Ohio. He is fun to travel with and a very good navigator. He hasn't had a chance to use our new GPS yet but I'm sure he'll be as enthralled with it as I am.

So don't try to contact me from about 11:30 this morning until about 3. I'll be doing the 'proud parent' thing. I can hardly contain myself, I'm so excited.

Identical Twins

Tonight was Scooter's last music night. He had to drop music after this year because of the French Immersion courses he's taking and he only had the choice of music or phys. ed. He already studies piano privately so dropping music was not that big of a hardship. While at the concert, I finished the Good 'n Plenty Ribbed socks.

They're identical twins!













What was VERY cool (aside from Scooter's performances on the cello in the Grade 9 String Class and the Intermediate Orchestra) was the send off for Mary Kulyk, the department head of music at Humberside Collegiate, who is retiring at the end of June. Mary and I attended the Faculty of Music at 'the centre of all learning in the universe' - the University of Western Ontario. We both majored in Music Education and spent our entire teaching careers teaching high school music. It was so nice to be there to see her honoured by her music colleagues and retired music consultant and Mary's former music teacher from Humberside, Gino Falconi. I'm so glad I was there for that.

This is what 59 years of teaching (combined, that is) looks like.






Last night I joined Vickie at "It's Stitchin' Time" at Hedgehog Stitchery. I worked on my 'Baa Baa Black Sheep' sampler from X's and Oh's. Although I bought the pattern at the CreativFestival, all the X's and Oh's designs are available for sale at Hedgehog Stitchery.

Monday, 12 May 2008

Saturday was the Grand Opening of Hedgehog Stitchery, upstairs in Kniterary. It was also the 2nd anniversary of the opening of Kniterary and Martina's first anniversary as owner. I'm sure she is amazed at how fast this past year has gone. Several knitters were present throughout the day. When I arrived at about 1pm, the parking lot was packed and it was really busy inside.

Yesterday, Skip and I had our (now annual) Mother's Day golf game at Lyndebrook Golf Course. It's a great time to golf because most moms are being feted at home and their golfing family members are at home with them. We had one couple ahead of us and no one behind us for a couple of holes. We sped through the course in 1.5 hours and enjoyed the sunshine and just being outside.

I spent some time last night planning the 'cable without a cable needle' lesson at Kniterary on June 4 from 7 - 9. I made up a chart and the instructions. I just have to knit some swatches and get some bulky yarn for the demo and I'll be all set.

This morning Skip and I got up at 5am (!) to go birding. This is about the last week for good birding. Once the leaves come out, it is really difficult to see the birds. We first went to Thickson's Woods. We heard the oriole and several warblers but didn't see them. I did see an American redstart (setophaga ruticilla)for the first time:













I also spotted a Rose-breasted Grosbeak (pheuticus ludovicianus) in the middle of 'the meadow'.

The only other time I have seen one was with Skip a few years back at Lynde Shores before I was really a birder.




Another migrating bird we spotted was the White-crowned Sparrow (zonotrichia leucophrys)











Again we saw a goldfinch















and a very industrious downy woodpecker.













One of my favourite sights at this time of year are the emerging trilliums. They are the provincial flower of Ontario.

Friday, 9 May 2008

More Birding (Hey, It's a Short Season)

Skip and I got up at the crack of 7am this morning to go birding at Thickson's Woods. It was a first time for both of us. There was certainly a lot of bird life present but it's getting harder and harder to see them as the leaves are starting to come out. There are only a few days of good birding left.

Here are some things we saw.


A Baltimore oriole (icterus galbula),








a downy woodpecker (picoides pubescens)










a tree swallow (tachycineta bicolor) guarding the nest.








an American goldfinch (carduelis tristis),










and some lovely red trilliums.









We also saw some yellow-rumped warblers, Nashville warblers, barn swallows and a house wren.

I'm working on the plans for a couple of knitting classes I'm going to be teaching at Kniterary. One will be on knitting cables without a cable needle. Another will be a beginning knitting class and a third one will be a 'Christmas in July' class knitting miniature sweaters. It uses remnant sock yarn and the sweaters can be used as Christmas tree ornaments or as part of a gift tag. Here are a couple I have knit over the last couple of days. The second one, I started and finished during our Sit 'n Knit on Thursday evening. These sweaters are actual size on a 17" monitor.

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Lots O' Photos

We got home from our birding trip to Point Pelee and Hillman Marsh yesterday and I've finally gone through my photos and selected the best ones.

This house finch (carpodacus mexicanus) was high in the tree in front of our house as we were getting ready to leave home.




This Canada goose family (branta canadensis) was getting ready to take a swim. We estimate that the babies were only a couple of days old.



Black-and-white warbler (mniotilta varia)






















Black-throated green warbler (dendroica virens)








Common yellowthroat (geothlypis thichas)







Baltimore oriole (icterus galbula)










We stopped in at the Donkey Sanctuary of Canada on the way home. Most of the donkeys were out in the pasture but we visited the half dozen or so that were by the barn. It is a very peaceful place. The donkeys who are brought here are usually rescued from neglect or harm. They get to live the rest of their days being well-fed, well taken care-of, with lots of donkey companionship and peace.


Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Birding @ Point Pelee

Today we got up early and headed to Hillman Marsh to see shore birds with our new spotting scope. We saw three types of plovers: semipalmated, American golden and black-bellied as well as the odd kildeer. There were barn swallows, tree swallows; Caspian, Forster's and common terns; lesser yellowlegs, sanderlings, dunlins, blue- and green-winged teal and Northern shovelers.
We then headed to Point Pelee National Park to have lunch and get ready for our escorted walking tour with Peter Read. There were about 16 in our group. Peter was very skilled at identifying bird calls and then spotting the bird after. We saw a Mississippi kite who is WAY off his usual flight path, a blue-headed vireo, warbling vireo, house wren, blue-gray gnatcatcher, Baltimore oriole, yellow warbler, black-throated, green warbler, Blackburnian warbler, black-and-white warbler, common yellowthroat, blue jay, red-bellied and downy woodpeckers. I think I missed a couple in there but that covers most of them. The park at Point Pelee was packed. I can't even imagine what it will be like there on the weekend.

We then headed back to Hillman Marsh to use the scope again with the light coming from the west. We saw many of the same birds from the morning and another blue-gray gnatcatcher but this time prompted by a group of enthusiastic birders, spotted a sora. According to them, it was the bird of the day.

After that we drove into Leamington and had dinner at another Mennonite Mexican food restaurant, 'Family Kitchen'. I had perogies filled with dry cottage cheese and covered with cream sauce. They were served with sausage, corn and a side of canned peaches. Skip had ham and noodles covered with a cream sauce and a side of corn and a dry bun. Unusual, starchy, rich but tasty.

Tomorrow we're headed to the Donkey Sanctuary of Canada outside of Guelph. I became enthralled with the place last year so we thought we'd make a return visit. The website now has a bio and photographic portrait for each donkey. Too cute!

Monday, 5 May 2008

¡Felíz Cinco de Mayo a Todos!

Today is a regional holiday in the state of Puebla in Mexico. It isn't really celebrated beyond that in Mexico. However it is recognized outside of Mexico as a day to celebrate Mexico and Mexican heritage. To this end, Skip and I had Mexican food for dinner at a little Mexican food restaurant in Leamington, ON run by Portuguese people who have some connection with the fairly large Mexican Mennonite community in that area. Confused? We were, too.

Tomorrow we are birding at Point Pelee. But now, I'm tired and heading to bed.

Sunday, 4 May 2008

Packing Again...

I'm making lists and getting ready to pack for a wee birding trip to Point Pelee for a couple of days. It's a mecca for birders as Point Pelee is the first landfall for many types of migrating birds at this time of the year - particularly warblers. We've booked an escorted birding tour and plan to do some on our own as well.

Last night was James' piano recital. He performed his pieces very well - Für Elise by Beethoven and a Bourée by Telemann.
I continue to work on the second Good 'n Plenty sock. I'm doing the eye of partridge heel flap right now.

The French Market Bag is also still being worked on. The stocking stitch is fairly mind-numbing but will be perfect for the 4.5 hour drive. I just found this cute washcloth pattern as well. I'll take the pattern and materials with me. When we get back, I'm going to block the Must Have Cardigan pieces and get the shoulders stitched together so I can get the button band done.

Now to find binoculars, the GPS, the camera battery charger, the iPod charger, my birding book, etc., etc. Oh yeah, and my clothes and stuff, too!

Friday, 2 May 2008

"Tra-la, It's May!" (just catching up)

I'm back in the world of the living. Pharmaceuticals and nasal spray have helped ameliorate many of my cold symptoms and I'm feeling much better, thank goodness. I actually left the house to do some shopping today.

Our new LCD TV was on the fritz again yesterday - no audio - so I called the nice people at LG and once again made an appointment with the local LG TV repairer to come over and replace the DSL motherboard. We bought the TV in December and in January had the motherboard replaced. I turned another TV on in the house and there was no audio, then another, then another. I quickly realized this was not a TV issue but a satellite issue. I called the nice people at Bell ExpressVu and got the technical support I needed to reset each of the 4 satellite boxes. I then called the TV repairer back and said the problem was solved. He had already ordered the motherboard and I was still getting a warning message every time I turned on the LG TV which was easily removed by pressing the volume button. He decided to keep the appointment.

The repairer showed up today and instantly made the annoying warning message go away forever. I told him the audio problem had been a satellite problem and had been fixed yesterday. He called his boss and the boss said to replace the motherboard anyway. He then re-hooked up the TV and went on his merry way. The way he hooked up the TV, I don't get any audio for the DVD/VCR and the audio for the TV is going through the home theatre system and can no longer be controlled with the TV remote or the satellite box remote. Argh!!!! So I'm going to have to spend some time figuring out how to hook the VCR back up to the TV because Skip wants to tape the Kentucky Derby tomorrow. Scooter's piano recital is inconveniently at 6pm and we'll miss the race.

After my shopping trip I finished the second 'embossed leaves' sock. I haven't taken pictures of them but here's a shot of the first one.

(click on the photo for a closeup of the detail of the sock and some pesky cat hair on the rug)






I'm still puttering away on the French Market Bag but have spent most of this evening preparing for our upcoming birding trip to Point Pelee.

And now - I'm going to try and get the DVD/VCR hooked up properly.

Being a Shut-In

I've been leveled by this cold which has now made its way into my respiratory system. I felt well enough to go to the Sit 'n Knit but decided against so as not to infect my knitting colleagues. I refuse to put the furnace on again so have been wearing a lot of woolly clothes. It was 60F in our bedroom last night so we did put the electric blanket back on the bed.

I haven't left the house in three days and haven't even felt like shopping. That's how I know I'm really sick - LOL. I have continued to work on the French Market Bag and also am finishing the second 'embossed leaves' sock in the lovely Arequipa yarn. I feel compelled to finish some UFOs before I get started on my new knitting projects.

I have also bought two cross-stitching patterns recently. One is "Baa Baa Black Sheep" from X's and Oh's. The other is a wee Lizzie Kate Boxer 'Summer' kit I ordered to complete the 4 seasons. I'll hang it in my front hall and rotate them all as each season dictates. I bought the Spring one while on vacation in San Antonio during March Break of 2006. Don't worry, I haven't really gone over to the (cross-stitching) dark side. Before I was a fanatical knitter, I was a fanatical cross-stitcher but will always be a loyal knitter (cross my ♥). I am looking forward to the Grand Opening of Hedgehog Stitchery on May 10 and the 2nd anniversary of Kniterary and the 1st anniversary of Martina's ownership of the business.

I am also all 'geeked up' for "The Sex and the City Movie" which will be coming out in North America on May 30. I read it's being released in London, England before that - what's up with that? I saw the cast on 'Oprah' today and it got me all excited. I even watched 'Oprah' twice (on the satellite from the Atlantic provinces and again from Toronto). Chris Noth (rhymes with 'both) really turns my crank. Lorna and I plan to go. I may even have a Cosmopolitan after (or during - tee hee)!