Thursday, December 31, 2009

Hang Your Holiday Rainbow Lights

Here's to endings.

Here's to you, the person who is always there - you often don't understand, you often don't get it, but that's beside the point.  You get that it matters to me and thus, it matters to you.  You're always there with ice cream when I need you to be.  I hope the new year is full of awesomeness, even though I know you've got a few very tough decisions to make soon.  However, you've got a few really fun decisions to make as well.  (Thank you for not making me wear purple.)

And you, the person who mostly gets it, gets me and the way I think.  While you might not have the life experience to be my sounding board, and I have to tell you when you know if scrambled eggs are done, your advice is almost always spot on.  Thanks for always listening, and for putting aside the fact that you hate hugs.

Thank you for giving a 20 year old such a huge responsibility.  I hope you're proud of me, but I can't imagine that you'd continue to give me that responsibility if you weren't.  You gave me a chance that summer, and that has opened so many doors for me.  Thank you for everything over the years. 

Each and everyone one of you makes me laugh, makes me think, makes me happy to be a knitter.  Someday, I hope to meet all of you, starting with the CHARGE! in the summer.  You are all wonderful, caring, and generous people.  I offer you cake.  (I'd offer penis if I had any, but alas.) (Well, maybe not alas.  I like being female and I don't share my toys very well.)

Thank you for watching crappy TV with me, for watching the cats, for seeing any movie with me, for always being up to do something when I needed to either be not-alone or get out of my apartment.  Let me know if you ever move back to PA.

And to the men in my life:

I miss you.  But I have to be honest and admit that while I really do want to be friends again, I am not surprised it hasn't really worked.  As a friend, you kinda suck at keeping in touch.  Thank you for four good years, though, and for being what I needed for that time.  Thank you for answering the phone when I call.  While we might not make an effort to see each other, I know that I could call you if I needed to, and that means a lot.

I think you are a bit the male version of me.  Your fiancée is a very lucky women, but I think you both know that already.  Somehow, you've always been able to understand me and typically have spot-on advice.  We don't see each other that often, but somehow, you're still there when I really need your shoulder or your advice.  Thanks to your fiancée as well, for sharing you so well.

I'm still not ok with the fact that you're gone.  No one told you that it was time, but you never did want to listen to us.  I miss you, Old Man.  Thank you for being such a stubborn jerk and making me earn everything you gave me.  You taught me way more than just how to ride.  I'm sorry I didn't charge my phone that night, and that you suffered longer than needed while I slept.  I refuse to feel silly for including you in this list, for you certainly had a huge impact on my life.  I promise to get that bracelet made soon.

I really think that you and I have a shot at being good friends.  Thanks for being honest and I'm glad you really DID mean it when we discussed friendship.  You truly are a good man.  I can't wait to see the bachelor pad in all it's de-popcorn-ceilinged glory.  Plus, you still owe me a Super Mario Brothers 3 tournament.

I owe you a lot more than you expect, I think.  You reminded me of a few truths about myself that I had forgotten.  Thank you for entertaining me at work and for the hugs.  Let me know when you end up in Philly, for I know you will at some point.

I miss you, now that you have a social life and aren't around as much.  But I actually got to meet you this year, and for the circumstances surround that, I owe you a lot of ketchup.  Thanks for always being around when I need you, for talking me through things, and for everything ever.

And here's to beginnings that show promise and hope.  Here's to February 1st.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune--without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,

It asked a crumb of me.

-Emily Dickinson

Monday, December 14, 2009

Every Rose Has Its Thorn

really cool plants in the Conservatory at Longwood Gardens

On Thursday, my father and I drove to Virgina to help my mother clear 15' of 'road' in the middle of her 12 wooded acres.

We left at 9:30pm for a five hour drive.

I did, however, discover that I have very good aim with an ax. And that it is very weird to look in your review mirror and see a severed tree trunk floating in midair ... and that it is chained to the back of your pick-up truck.

for some reason, the shadows from the other side of this window caught my eye

I also learned how to change the alternator in a 1999 F-350 Diesel truck, should anyone ever need any assistance in that way. And that if your headlights slowly dim while driving, odds are good that your alternator is going and that you won't make it very far before the vehicle will shut down all on its own. And that such an event can cause your departure time to shift from 8pm on Saturday to 2pm on Sunday.

star lights that looked a little less cool in person.

Also, they make me think of Ikea.

All in all, I would call it a successful weekend as we got a lot of work done with the trees and no one was killed. In this family, spending 48+ hours with each other and no fighting is a major accomplishment.

The Christmas knitting continues - I will need to write another FO post for the pair of fingerless mitts, and I also need to finish up the second pair of socks. I'm on the toe of the first sock, so there is hope. Something won't be finished in time, but I think that shall be my father's hat and he'll just have to deal.

Magically lit berries.  It was beautiful out that night, if cold.

A few random observations:
1. Cats always Know when you are making the bed, and appear out of no where. I swear that I had checked the room for kitties and shut the door, certain that there were none present. Somehow, they made it through the closed door to jump up on the bed and "help."

2. It doesn't feel like Christmas without finals and papers and school. Nothing to really look forward to, other than Christmas in and of itself. And while I like the holiday, it isn't my favorite.

3. Winter sucks. Somehow, I forget every year that I get the Blahs around this time, thanks to the whole day-light savings, shorter days and longer nights, wet winter weather, and the stress of the holidays. Having remembered that this is actually normal for me, I'm finally starting to shake it off, but you'd think I could figure that part out as it happens every year.

4. The smell of a kitteh who has been outside for a while is wonderful when you're curled up and drifting off to sleep.

5. The kitten's paws still smell like popcorn.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Finished Object: Monkey Socks

I'm currently pissed off, frustrated, tired, and so the negative-emotions list goes. So pictures:

The Specs:
Pattern: Monkeys by Cookie A. 
Yarn: Classic Elite Yarn's Alpaca Sox.

Color: Number 1856, lot 5346 - Greens, blues, a bit of purple, and some PINK.
Needles: Knit Picks nickle-plated DPNs, US Size 1ish.
Start to Finish: Uh... Some time in the fall of 2009 to November 28th, 2009.  

For: My mother, for Christmas 

Notes:  I did these toe-up, using the star-toe from the New Pathways for Socks book.  Garter stitch heel because I didn't want to be bothered trying to hide the wraps.  Not sure about the ribbing at the top - I wanted to try to keep the flow of the money pattern, and I think it works.  Had a hard time binding off loosely, so I did a round of yarn over, knit two together, a plain knit round, and then a bind off that involves knitting two stitches, then knitting them together.  It works, and mom won't care.  Not sure I like the way the yarn stripped, but mom likes it, so who cares?  They might be a mite short in the foot, but that's the problem with this pattern.  Not all that adjustable.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Camera Obscura

Really, I need to get off my lazy butt and take pictures. And then find the 12-in-1 card reader and upload them to the computer. To upload them to the internet.

No wonder I'm so lazy. Too many steps involved!

But there is a finished pair of Monkey socks, toe-up, in yummy alpaca, that need to be photographed. The ends are already woven in and everything.

There is nearly a finished pair of fingerless gloves, but I'm gonna have to break into the second ball of yarn to finish the last inch or two of the hand and to knit the thumb. And then weave in the ends.

And then knit a second pair, and fine-tune the pattern that I made up on the fly. Or I could just buy a third ball and call it even. I think the yarn is like, $4 a ball. I can afford that. I think.

Also, pictures of the fornicating reindeer hat. And I need to cast on a second pair of socks, which are a Christmas gift for a not-family member. Which means they actually need to be done somewhat on time.

Good thing I have dad's new toy to play with, then ... a Canon EOS Rebel Ti1. Or something like that. Pictures tomorrow, I think. For tomorrow is play-with-new-toy day!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Random picture whatever hell day it is

 I am evil kitten, see me glare.

Longwood Gardens, at dusk.  I love playing with the settings on my camera.

I am currently in love with silhouettes. 

Hello, Mr. Grasshopper.  How are you?

I just bought a new-to-me camera - Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W170.  I'm still figuring it out, but so far, I really like it.  The options are pretty awesome, even if the menu is set up in such a way that I can never remember where, exactly, something was.  And the beep is very annoying, so the first order of business was to turn that off.

Maybe we'll actually get some pictures from Thanksgiving this year.  Or maybe I'll be too busy trying to finish Christmas knitting to have a chance.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Random Tuesday Night

I really have nothing to say, but feel the need/urge to write.

Of course, I'm also feeling the urge to grab a calc text book and to start relearning calc.  Evidently, I feel the need to do a task with a clearly defined goal and method.  

I signed up for LiveMocha, to teach myself Hebrew.  For a while, they didn't actually offer Hebrew 101, which isn't too surprising - the website is free, after all, and Hebrew isn't that common of a language to easily throw together lessons.

I finally logged in to find that they now have Hebrew 101 - for those with little to no experience with Hebrew.  "Great," I thought, "that's me!"

Yeah, no.  The first lesson?  On pronouns?  Has words written out in Hebrew characters.

They never teach you the Hebrew Alphabet.

In other news, I am slowly falling victim to a cold.  Tickle in the back of my throat, wanting soup, slight headache?  Yup, got 'em all.  I'm just glad that the slow addition of symptoms means that I do NOT have a version of the flu.  I have no plan to get the flu and many, many plans to avoid in.  (No, said plans do not include a flu shot.)  I don't work with the public for a reason.

Speaking of needles, I can now sedate a horse with intravenous medication.  And the horse, in theory, is the only one that ends up woozy.

I'm riding in a horse show this weekend.  I refuse to be sick for that.  I am a bit nervous, as the LAST time I rode this horse in public, he bucked me off.  Goals for the weekend: don't die of illness, don't fall off, no refusals or rails in cross-country and stadium.

There is a stink bug on the bed next time.  Kittens are being woken up, sheets are being changed.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A random thought or two.

I am convinced that almost all automatic telephone systems start with "Please listen carefully as our menu options have changed."

Which basically is about as helpful as "new traffic patterns ahead" when you've never driven on that road before.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Yeah, so I thought no longer being in school would mean that I would have free time?  THAT was a silly thought.

Rather, I have free time now and don't feel guilty for NOT doing homework, so I do fun things like riding, rock climbing, reading books, watching TV, knitting, and hanging out with friends.

However, I miss writing.  And the knitting mojo is back in full-force so I think it is time to dig the blog back out of the grave again.  (ooo, zombie blog!)

Things I am currently doing:

  • working.  I like work, I like most of the people with whom I work.  I like the 9:30am start of my day and the flexibility to up and take off for a weekend.
  • which brings me to: football.  I LOVE football season.  Sure, Penn State's not playing nearly as well as they could (or should), but I got to see them play in Illinois. 
  • which meant that I got to see the vast majority of my friends from Illinois.  They are good people.
  • I'm having a blast at the Holocaust Awareness museum.  Yes, I realize that sounds ... wrong, but I feel very strongly about the cause and enjoy the work.  It is very very reassuring to realize that I have found something I can be happy doing for a long time.  Now, to find a paying position doing such a thing.
  • there is a new boy in the picture.  Thanks to CPaAG, he is known online as Captain Awesomepants or CAP for short.  I rather like him.
  • I purchased an NES.  Ah, childhood.  I need to find a copy of Super Mario Bros. 3 and play that.  Like, soon.
  • there is an awesome Belgian beer bar in Philly.  I would like to live there, but I think the commute to work would suck.

Life is good.  I'm finally coming off the high of moving home and having all sorts of good things happen.  Which means I'm also finally back to being grumpy and having bad days, but over all?  Life is DAMN good and I am happy.  Plus, I'm finally sleeping well for the first time in a few years again.  That ALONE is worth it.

I love fall in Pennsylvania.  

Now, to watch Eddie Izzard on DVD while knitting in bed and snuggling with cats.

*The Apples in Stereo

Thursday, August 13, 2009

People Have A Way*

A random mishmash of thoughts:

  • I am back in Pennsylvania.  There's even a rumor that all of my stuff is back in PA as well, and that I need to go pick it all up tomorrow.  I am not so much looking forward to that.
  • I need to go running.  Which means it needs to stop raining.
  • I need to do laundry.  I am out of shorts, and soon will be out of skirts and pants as well.
  • Kit is very happy to be able to go outside, not so happy about the rain aspect.
  • I will be cataloging reference resources for a museum.  This boggles my mind, but is seven kinds of awesome as well.
  • Orbitz can suck it.  And then pay me for the privilege of doing so.
  • There are a lot of people I need to see, and soon.
  • There are a lot of people I want to see, and won't - not for a while.
  • I've been here less than 48 hours and I'm already trying to figure out how soon I can move out on my own again.  Even roommates will be acceptable.
  • Dinner tonight shall be sushi with awesome people, one of whom is leaving in a week for college.  How'd that happen? 
  • One thing I've figured out about life: there's never enough time.  Never.
  • I need a good, solid bear-hug.

*matt pond PA

Saturday, August 1, 2009

We Are Nowhere and It's Now*

Huh.  Imagine that.  Dead silence for a few months.  Like that's never happened around here before.

The universe has a cruel sense of humor and timing.  But hey, new friends are always a good thing ... and new friends who give excellent hugs are even better.

At the Getty, in LA. Drinking wine and enjoying awesome weather and better company.

I finally got new sneakers.

I've been running 3-4 days a week.  Up to about 2.5 miles.  I really love it.  I'm hoping to continue this in PA, and have scouted out a few running groups, races, and trails.

While Mom was out here, we went to a local cemetery.  There were some beautiful old stones.

I move back to PA on August 11th.  That is very soon.

I don't want to leave IL, but I also do not want to not be in PA.  Why hasn't a personal tele-porter been invented  yet?

 The Getty has some beautiful grounds; I enjoyed them more than the art inside.

I am getting really excited for the coming football season.  I might even drive back out to IL for the PSU/UIUC game.

Yes, I am insane.

 CPaAG has some of the nicest, most caring, and thoughtful people around. RAWR!

The idea of being done with school at least for a few years is finally starting to sink in.  What is life like without homework?  Or papers?  And with free time to read for pleasure?

However, with two part time jobs and a volunteer position at the Holocaust Museum in Philly, I might not have that much free time.

 I don't think I spent nearly enough time in Chicago.  Guess I'll have to come back.

Summer went by very, very fast.  Almost too fast?  At least, these last few weeks have been too fast.

I went to Chicago, I went to LA.  Lei came to visit, Phil came to visit.  Mom came to visit.  I spent very few weekends at home.

Rusty colicked and had to be put down on Thursday, May 28th, 2009.  He was 33.

I did get to say goodbye to the old man.

*Bright Eyes

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

On Accountability

Evidently, the weather has decided to look at a calendar and behave accordingly. Which is awesome, til I look out the window at work and pout cause I'm stuck inside when it is beautiful out.

Today, however, I went for a run after work. All that walking to class has paid off, as I managed to jog a respectable .4 miles before needing a break. And I haven't actually been running in a couple of years. All told, I managed a good 1.5 miles, and probably ran about 40% of that. Sadly, my leg muscles gave out before my lungs really did.

Really, I'm only posting this here cause a) I want to be able to go back and look at this info later and b) I don't want to fall off the wagon in a few weeks, like I normally do.

However, I really need to go get me some solid running sneakers.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Sometimes, I forget how much I love poetry.

Of things vnseene how canst thou deeme aright,
Then answered the righteous Artegall,
Sith thou misdeem'st so much of things in sight?
What though the sea with waues continuall
Doe eate the earth, it is no more at all:
Ne is the earth the lesse, or loseth ought,
For whatsoeuer from one place doth fall,
Is with the tide vnto an other brought:
For there is nothing lost, that may be found, if sought.

Edmund Spencer, The Faerie Queen, Canto II, xxxix

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Meijer vs Wegmans

I like creme brulee. There's nothing better than an excuse to play with fire in the kitchen, and it tastes awesome.

So it is no surprise that I decided to try some of Meijer's creme brulee ice cream. At the very least, it would be ice cream, even if it did taste nothing like creme brulee.


I was distracted by the realization that "WEGMANS" was written on the container. WTF, mate! Wegmans is an East coast brand which I miss way too much out here in the midwest. They have the best sushi for a grocery store, and great bruschetta and bread and mac'n'cheese. NOM.

Weird. They also both use the same picture of creme brulee with the tiny spoon and violet on the saucer. My google-fu has let me down, as I haven't been able to find anything about a merger, or being owned by the same company. There were a few mentions of supermarkets teaming up to deal with supply train problems, so I suppose that could be it.

Creme brulee AND a taste of Wegmans. NOM.

Monday, April 27, 2009

I would walk 500 miles

Another shot from last weekend up at Greene Valley. I love water.

Another glorious weekend over. Lei came to visit and we were our typical boring selves. Xtension Chords concert on Friday night (and I was rather disappointed, as the group used wireless body mics rather than corded standing mics, and as a result, you could almost NEVER hear the soloist(s). GAH). Then, doughnuts and shopping and ice cream and good TV and a puzzle for the rest of the day.

And then we made cakewaffles this morning. Any day that involves cakewaffles can't be that bad at all. Plus, it is suddenly and gloriously spring. (Well, late spring, what with the 80-degree temps, but that is ok.)

I'm itching to be outside, in the sun and the breeze. I want to go running, but I need new running shoes or I won't be able to walk in a few weeks. I've promised myself that once the really crazy part of this semester is over, I'm allowed to start working out seriously again. I miss riding like crazy all the sudden. Here's a picture of the best horse EVER.

He's currently 32? 33? years old and still going. He is happily retired and still hates to have his face cleaned. He recognizes me and never knows if I'm good news or not. So I just feed him treats every time I see him and give him a great big hug.

And since my mind is now back at the barn, here's an awesome picture from last summer. I heart the macro function of my camera.

In other news, Schrodie has taken to sleeping on top of the cabinets above the fridge. This is bad news, as I had moved my stash on top of the fridge so I could stop coming home to discover that SOMEONE had unwound balls of yarn all across the living room and really really really wants to help rewind it again. Oddly, his help always makes the job take longer.

Just two more weeks, and then almost everything will be over. One class is over already, another one will be done by Friday. The reading levels have really tapered off, which is good as I have to write a 10 page paper this week and put together a presentation on said paper to be given on Thursday. At the very least, two pages of that paper will be taken up by a transcription of this:

And in still other news: It was the Blue/White weekend, and I didn't get to go. BUT, it looks like a few PSU football players did well in the draft, so I'll have a few more teams I need to watch from now on, to follow my PSU favorites. Like the Hawks.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

And The World Is Made of Engery*

I had the best weekend in quite a while. Drove up to Chicago-land, to spend the weekend with Farmer John. We watched lots of How I Met Your Mother, made yummy food, and went hiking in the Greene Vally Forest Preserve. Sadly, it was not quite spring yet, so there was a lack of pretty flowering stuff and the day was kinda cloudy and overcast, but at the very least it was warm.

We saw a baby snake! He wouldn't stick his tongue out for the camera though. Maybe he was actually a teenage snake?

I got kinda frustrated as many of my shots didn't turn out as I had them in my head. However, I think a lot of things could be quickly solved with some cropping and other simple editing. One of these days, I'll get around to doing that sort of thing in iPhoto. Til then, will be lazy and just post pictures anyway.

PLUS, I got to meet up with a few Chicago-land CPaAGers from Ravelry, and I got to spend the morning (while Farmer John was, of course, playing frisbee) knitting and sewing the zipper into my Urban Aran. I need to pretty up the zipper, but other than that, the cardigan is mostly done. You know, just in time for spring. I'll need to ask those who took pictures if it is ok if I steal them and put them up here. So more on that topic later. At the very least, I promise FO pictures of the Urban Aran.

Now, to face/deal with the homework, etc. that I ignored in favor of actually relaxing. I made the mistake of making a list of EVERYTHING that needs to be done between now and the end of the semester. It didn't fit on one page. However, three things have since been finished and crossed off the list.

Why I never manage to get anything done: There is always a cat that wants to sit on me. But she was purring. (And as I type this, the kitten is curled up and using my left arm as a pillow. [snickers: I have Zombie Nation playing, as I am missing PSU football lately, and he's looking around for the source of teh noize. I don't think he likes Zombie Nation.])

Also: I knit Sheldon for a coworker's baby. Another coworker is pregnant with twins. Two girls. I want to knit her something similar in cute- and -easyiness levels. Sugguestions? I found a cute goldfish (ravelry link) which I think would be cute in a slightly varigated yarn. Any one known of another cute, easy, and free fishy pattern?

*The Apples in Stereo

Monday, April 13, 2009

Is It Spring Yet?

I've decided to just start dressing as if it is already spring.

Ok, fine. I need to do laundry.

Score: weather: 1, self: .5 (I get a point for having clean clothing to wear, but lose half a point for being cold all day.)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Maybe It's Time*

As it is the weekend, I put clean sheets on the bed today. (Ok, fine. I also am avoiding a paper. Whatever.) I'm not sure how it works, but no matter how dead to the world both cats are when I go get the clean sheets out of the closet....they are both awake and want to help make the bed seconds later.

Kit, per usual, ended up under the sheet and blanket, and was willing to play. Schrodie sat and watched the lump under the blanket move around, but never thought to play with it. When he finally would have been able to actually play with Kit.. he didn't even think to do so.

Kit is currently curled up right in front of me, using my left arm as a pillow. Schrodie, feeling left out, has moved from the floor by my feet, to the top of the printer, to the stand for my iMac. He doesn't quite fit as well as he used to, so he keeps stretch and shifting to get comfy. And then the tail twitches. Silly kitty.

and people wonder why I wanted three comfy seats just for me? there always seems to be
a kitty occupying at least one of them, meaning I would have to sit on the floor if I didn't have three.

I am nearly done the Urban Aran. HURRAH! (that's what Kit is sleeping on, above.) I need to finish seaming the sleeves, sew them in, and find and sew in a zipper. I might also need to make the sleeve cap a bit longer, as I am certain that my row gague is off and things don't look like they will work out well. I am certain that truely Spring Weather will arrive the second the thing is complete, so I am trying very hard to finish NOW.

I knelt on the sidewalk in front of a random house to get this shot.. had to use the macro
function, meaning I was only a few inches from the flower. I got a number of funny looks. I giggled.

In other news, I have finished all homework for this week, minus a 40 minute play-with-online-games-and-such-for-museums assignment and above paper. I have also made brownies and baked yummy bread. (Note to self: hide bread AND brownies from kitten.) And cleaned. And wasted time online. What fun!

I also read God Bless you, Dr. Kevorkian by Kurt Vonnegut. I had forgotten how much I love Vonnegut's humor and outlook on life. And I uploaded a few pictures from an old zip drive:

I think what I love most about the above is the fact that
a) this was taken the summer before most of the above's senior year (my junior year)
b) all but ONE of us went to Penn State. (Will, second from right, went elsewhere)
Atkinson, Wark, Jimmy, Cederberg, Weaver, Scott, myself, Will, Stratton

Oh, high school. I've been finding a bunch of pictures from high school lately, and have realized that I was one of those weird people who actually LIKED high school. That said, I wouldn't do high school again. College, yes. In a heart beat.

3 out of 9 in this shot attended schools other than Penn State
Again, Will, and the other girls.
Will, Devin, Atkinson, Cederberg, myself, Megan, Weaver, Scott, Jimmy

Also? Have just realized that the first year of both high school and college kinda sucked the most and then it just kept getting better from there. Wonder what that means for grad school? For life?

*window twins

Monday, April 6, 2009

I'm Not Dead Yet!

Um.  Hi.

I am (finally) back from the dead.  Well, mostly.  I ended up rather sick over spring break, and ended up spending 3-4 days in bed.  Sleeping.  Eventually, I got bored enough of the view of my room to start sleeping with my head at the foot of the bed. 

As a result, spring break was kinda a wash.  I  basically got nothing done, other than a few fun things that I refused to give up, such as a trip into Philly with a certain person, nommy sushi with barn people, and my half/un birthday party.  Totally worth it, I think.  I shall continue to celebrate my half-birthday, as that one evening - still kinda sick, very very tired, and not drinking - was more fun than my last four birthdays combined.  And I didn't even get any presents! (although, Sister made me a PB&J sandwich the next day, which was awesome.)

I knew I was sick when I didn't want to go to the barn.  Or knit.  And fell asleep after every two or three paragraphs, no matter what I was reading.

I am back to knitting, now, though.  I have a completed back, two completed (and matching) fronts, one completed sleeve, and one almost-completed sleeve (only 18 rows to go, and decreases on most of those rows).  Soon, I will have to start sewing things together and then knit the collar.  I think I shall totally not follow the directions for that and just start somewhere.  Oh, and I suppose I ought to get a zipper or something.  Since I really kinda don't wanna do button bands and stuff.  We shall see, I suppose.

My sister ripped a hole in her Bayerische Socks.  Too big to simply repair, too central a spot to just mend and not care how it looks.  Thankfully, it is rather near the toe of cuff-down socks, so I was able to just unravel from the toe and re-knit.  I didn't bother to wash the yarn or anything, and it looks rather funky.  I am a little afraid, as I am ready to kitchner the toe shut again .... and I never ran out of yarn.  HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?   I will need to check it against it's mate and make sure that I (mostly) did the same things as before.

Schroedie, playing fetch:

(it is hard to hold a camera steady and throw a fuzzy pink mouse.)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Things recently learned (or relearned)

If you ever have to choose between having a cat hair in your eye or an eyelash, go for the eyelash.  Even if you are not allergic to cats.  Considering the size difference between the two, you might think the eyelash would be more painful, but that is a dirty filthy lie.

While Kit is a person in cat clothing, Schroedie is a puppy in kitten clothing.  Evidence:
  • he plays fetch
  • he has destroyed a flip flop (which, sadly, is no longer available.) and regularly attacks shoes
  • he sits up and does other tricks to get treats
  • he walks on a leash
  • he greets me at the door when I come home, all excited to see me and, presumably, tell me about his day
The internets are full of weird and crazy and mean people.  Thankfully, there are also amazingly kind, sweet, and thoughtful people that will knit you socks just because you asked.  Often, those groups of people exist in the same places on the internet.  They just tend to gravitate towards sides of the room, if you will.

The biggest problem with life is a lack of time.  There isn't enough time to work 8 hours, work out for 1, cook and eat a yummy dinner, do homework, knit, take pictures, practice the clarinet, learn piano, ride horses, etc. etc. etc.  And there never will be, so when you have a chance: take it.

Pictures of babies can make everything better, even if just for a few minutes.

Friends will often pop up out of unexpected places.

A coworker's life goal is to purchase a trailer and then die in a tornado in said trailer.  S/he thinks that will be a fast way to go, and relatively painless.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Eye Candy Sunday

Or: Something To Do Other Than Write A Paper:

all straight out of the camera, I think these were with the cybershot.

I really really am ready to be DONE with school.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Coloured Plastics*

I am sick, and while still able to breathe, am regularly attempting to cough up a lung or two.  And cold meds?  They tend to make me kinda loopy.  Honestly, I'd rather be drunk - then I'd at least have had the chance to enjoy a few good beers or whiskeys or what-have-yous.  (Is there a drink called "what have you"?  If not, I should create it and lo, it shall be awesome.)

So, I'm home, sick from work, losing my voice just in time for a presentation that I have to give in class on Monday morning.  Should be fun.

Look, knitting (and a kitten...)

Urban Aran, with kitten for scale.  Fronts, back, and most of the sleeves are complete.  I still need to order more yarn to finish the sleeves and collar... Something tells me that I won't be wearing this til the fall.  Which is really no surprise.

Print O the Wave:

Basically, it is a large lump on the floor, as I am sloooooooowly working my way around, attaching the boarder.  Had a few complete brain meltdowns in my attempts to figure out what, exactly, I was supposed to be doing.  Not sure that I'm completely correct, but so far, I like what I see.  (well, minus the endless repeats of this over and over and over again, for the rest of all time.)


I have started this like, seven times. Not even kidding.  And ... first, I am NOT going to be knitting garter stitch in the round on a blanket that has at least 700+ stitches on the last couple of rows.  Nope, not happening.  Secondly, it puckers and no matter what I did, I could never find a way to join the new color that I liked.  And when I went back and wove the ends in, no matter what I did, it looked bad and felt worse.  I love the concept though, and I think I've figured out a way to translate it into crochet.  

Oh, yes.  I've gone over to the dark side.  I have become a hooker.  But only for this one baby blanket.

I came home one day to find a skein of Lorna's Laces forming a yarn puddle on the carpet.  The kitten had gotten bored and basically, gutted the skein.  I'm still finding bits and pieces of the label here and there, but managed to untangle the whole thing and wind it into a ball.

The yarn basket now lives on top of the fridge.  I'm hoping he doesn't figure out how to climb up there. 

And of course, continuing my habit of coming home and checking under the bed to see what, exactly, is not supposed to be under there.  Current list includes the following:

-one tomato
-one plum
-one tupperware container that had held lunch and had been sitting in the sink, waiting for me to empty the dishwasher so I could reload it.  He managed to pry the lid off and eat all the left-over rice from that particular lunch.
-four or five different skeins or balls of yarn, stolen from my stash.
-various articles of clothing, dug out of the dirty laundry pile
-my glasses - luckily for him, they never seem to land lens-side down

Of course, he is currently curled up on the desk in front of me, using my left arm as a pillow.  Good thing he's so cute.

*Doug Randle

Sunday, March 8, 2009

An Open Letter (or several)

Dear Wind:

Please stop.  The power flickering on and off keeps resetting the modem and wireless router, which means I keep getting kicked off line.  In case you didn't know, about 90% of my homework has to be done online.  YOU ARE NOT HELPING.

No love,

Dear Schrodie:

When I try to play with you, it is because I know you get bored and need something to do.  Do not sit there and stare blindly at the lazer dot on the floor - chase the damn thing.  You are more than willing to run around like an idiot when I'm trying to sleep, so when I'm playing with you would be a great time to run around as well.  Also?  GET OFF and STAY OFF the kitchen counters.  And I will be happy to keep throwing the toy so long as you bring it back.  If you want to play fetch, then follow the rules.

Frustrated, but also somewhat amused,
the person who feeds you

Dear laundry:

If you could some how find your own way to the washer and dryer and return clean and at least mostly dry, I will be more than happy to fold you and put you away safely.

the person who is considering going shopping rather than doing laundry

Dear professors:

Yes, we all love stories.  But if you are going to require us to travel to campus (some of my classmates traveled from places such as South Carolina or Rhode Island), then maybe you could try TEACHING  us something at 8am on a Saturday morning?  If I wanted story time, I could go to the local library.

Also?  We are library students.  I really hope that we do not need to be shown how to search a database.  And if we do?  That should not take up 45 minutes of class time.  If you really feel that we will need those sorts of skills for this class - and I admit that we do - require students to complete 504 - Intro to Reference before taking your class.

with no thanks for wasting an entire Saturday,
a student

Dear vacuum cleaner:

I am very happy that you are feeling better again, in time for our weekly session.  But, do you think you can manage to make it through the entire session?  If not, please let me know so I can make sure to prioritize.

thanks in advance,
the clean freak

Dear Spring Break:

Please hurry up and get here.  Not only will I then be about half way through the semester, I will have completed a number of assignments and, in theory, my work load will be reduced but for three final projects.  I can handle three final projects.  (oh, and a few papers, but whatever.  3-5 page papers on romance novels and mystery novels will be easy.)

Also, I am greatly looking forward to you, Spring Break, and mentally need the time off.  There are also certain plans that I am REALLY excited about, and they all seem to involve Philly.  And a certain person.

waiting not-so-very-politely,

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Reasons Why It Needs To Be Spring Already:

It is 12:13am and I just stood outside, in my pjs, for 5 minutes.  Because I could not breathe inside.  BECAUSE OF THE [insert really long and descriptive string of curse-words here, and know that I have said EVERY one of them] DOWNSTAIRS NEIGHBOR.  Who smokes.  In her apartment.  That shares heat registers with mine.  Of course, I'm fairly sure I'd get stuck with the smoke smell even if we DIDN'T share registers, but still.  Be warm and keep all your fingers or toes or regularly wake up, unable to breathe?  Take your pick!

I suppose one could argue that it is not HER fault, but the landlords.  For allowing her to smoke.  (When, by the way, my lease forbids me from smoking, as does the next-door-neighbor's.)  They have acknowledged that it is a problem but ... well, they don't know how to SOLVE the problem.  Here's a thought: just give up and make it a smoking building.  Then you'll have smokers.  Who won't care.  And won't want to call you at 3am when they wake up, unable to breathe cause of the smoke smell.  The thing that really confuses me however, is the fact that my landlord took over the building from someone else.  At which point.. I don't think they were required to honor the previous lease.  And even if they WERE, that was three years ago.  Does this woman have a five year lease or something?  

I wonder - is this the type of information they were required to disclose before I signed the lease?  Or, can I argue with them, if they choose to continue to be their wonderful, asshole selves and not refund my security deposit in full, that they owe ME money for the damage done to my furniture, etc?  But it needs to be spring so that a) the heat is turned off, as that just makes the problem worse and b) I can open windows.

It also needs to be spring so that I can start running, outside.  It was almost warm enough today, but gloves were still required.  

I am tired of being cold and unable to breathe cause it is cold OR being warm and unable to breathe cause of the smoke smell.  Plus, I would like to ENJOY being in the place I will call home for the next six months.

Is it can be spring time?

Friday, February 27, 2009

I'm a Cuckoo*

I am well on my way towards becoming what is considered a Crazy Cat Lady.  And I am ok with this.

I figure as long as I can avoid becoming this scene from Death Becomes Her:

I'll be ok.

That said, I don't get it.  If a friend mentions that they are apartment or house hunting and they are trying to find a place with a yard, or close to the park, it seems to be a logical reaction.  They are just being a good pet owner!

However, if you mention that you think your next apartment ought to have stairs - you know, so the cats can run up and down like crazy - people look at you sideways and back away slowly.  Kitties seem to love stairs.  Kit likes to take half of a plastic Easter egg, sit at the top of the stairs and then drop it down the stairs.  Ideally, it bounces once on each step and she beats it to the bottom.  Since we do not live in an ideal world, she ends up trying again and again to perfect her self-assigned task.  Steps nearly blew Schroedie's mind when he first encountered them and it was quite entertaining to watch him figure out how they worked and then to bound up or down with his little kitten stride.

He's not quite so little anymore, though - still much smaller than Kit and probably about 6, maybe 7 pounds now.  He is rather long and lean though, and still seems to have big ears and a long tail.  And his energy levels are STILL through the roof.

He needs a bigger place and/or a buddy to play with all day.  Since I'm not moving any time soon (well, not for at least six months) and can't get another kitten... I try to play with him when I'm at home but he tends to just sit and stare at the laser pointer and chirp.  Not so much with the wild chasing on a regular basis.

So I've decided to try to leash train him.  While I should have started much sooner - about 8-9 weeks, actually - I'm hoping he's still young enough to adapt pretty quickly.  And then I can take him for walks and to the park.

He's taken to the harness surprisingly well.  He attempted to chew and groom it off, realized that wasn't going to work, and allowed himself to be distracted by a toy and a treat.  As I type, he's asleep across BOTH of my arms, his head bouncing a little as I type, still wearing his harness.  I figure a week or so of the harness when I'm at home to make sure he doesn't get stuck on something, then we'll try the leash.

And hey, if the leash training fails, the harness seems to have a slightly calming effect on him.

*Belle & Sebastian

Monday, February 23, 2009

In part, why I love Mondays:

While discussing readers' advisory and how to find books for patrons, I decided that there needs to be a book-version of  Lo and behold, a Google search for "Pandora for books" turned up a site called Booklamp, available at  They aren't completely up and running yet - which is sad, but I can also see the enormous amount of work that will require - but they do give visitors an idea of how the site might work.

A search for similar books to Orwell's classic novel 1984 turned up a number of results.  Most interesting, however, was the top result: the US Patriot Act, written by the US Congress, is a 98% match.

During a class lecture on modern missions of the Library, discussing the self-improvement model of libraries, with mention of Benjamin Franklin's social libraries of the 18th century, a gchat conversation between myself and a classmate:

me: I think Franklin's idea of self-improvement was to get laid, ladies man that he was
classmate who does not yet have a niffty nickname : isn't that the point of all self-improvement?

Ok, a sad point to make: done with class, I took the time to read the FAQs for and 1984 matching the Patriot Act was simply an Easter Egg.  ( - scroll to bottom of page; it is the second to last question.)

However, I still reserve the right to giggle.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

More Homework Humor

Found in tonight's readings on Books of Hours, as I attempt to put together a thoughtful, pretty, and interesting presentation on ... Books of Hours.

"The preference, for instance, for particular psalms or lessons for Matins mattered little to laymen, but personal devotion to individual saints was an essential part of medieval religious life--such devotion affected daily routine. Medieval society seems to have suffered from inadequate dental and medical care' it compensated for this by a deeply rooted devotion to St. Appolonia (or St. Appoline) because, we may suppose, her dental problems ceased after her teeth were drawn by her tormentors." (DeLaisse, 205)

Well, he IS right - the medieval times were not known for their hygiene or their health care.  Say what you will about the American health care system - and there's a lot to say - it is a huge improvement from the medieval times.

Quote from The Important of Books of Hours for the History of the Medieval Book by L.M.J. DeLaisse, pgs 203-225.  I think it is from a journal or a book, but as I was handed a photocopy by my professor, I can't quite say.  I will correct my citation when/if I find out more.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Hello, My Name is Grumpy

I feel like I spend all weekend trying to Get Stuff Done for the coming week, only to then spend the week Trying To Catch Up.  No wonder I never want to do anything on a Friday night - my one and only chance to sit back and relax for a few hours, without feeling  guilty.

This is what I get for taking a crazy course load and refusing to sacrifice (all of) my sanity.  (Just most of it.)

In other news, the weather has been crazy up-and-down lately, going from beautiful blue skies one day to cold, damp, and rainy but still with hints of blue another.

notice the rubber ducky? He? She? lives on the dash of my car and I have not been able to figure out if it is a
 male or a female.  Shirt is cut rather ... risque for a female, but those eyelashes are just not male.

I just want spring - to be able to go outside and enjoy nice weather on my lunch breaks, to walk to and from Thursday nights without risking slipping on ice, breaking a leg, and freezing to death.  

That is the weather I want - picture is from something in the Philadelphia Museum of Art's collection, but hell if I can remember anything about it.  (Hrm, possible final project for Museum Informatics?  Upload your pictures from the museum, and the site will (hopefully) give you information about the art?)

In happier news, I have solved the problem in Print O The Wave, turned the heel in the second sock, and gotten around to ordering more yarn for Urban Aran.  And started OpArt, for the same classmate/coworker as Sheldon.  (The baby was born last night, 11:05pm, 7lbs, 7oz, 21".  How big does the blanket need to be then?)

Hrm.  I seem to be all over the place tonight, writing is uber-sloppy, AND I'm grumpy.  Hello, February, how are you?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

why I need to buy more yarn:

I need a new project, and soon.

I ought to finish Sizzle, so I can wear it this spring/summer.  But eh.  I don't wanna knit 1.5" of seed stitch on the neckline and sleeves.  Plus, I feel like I messed up when sewing up the sides, so I'll have to re-do that as well.

I messed up somewhere on attaching the border to Print O the Wave, and have a devil of a time when I attempt to tink back, let alone rip back, the edging.  This, of course, is a fairly easy fix - I just need to sit down for a few minutes and take care of 16 stitches.  

I don't want to start another Sheldon, because that's TV knitting - I need to be able to look at the pattern, count stitches and rows.  

I ran out of yarn for Urban Aran, sadly - fronts and back are complete and I'm halfway done the sleeves.  I might be able to finish ONE sleeve with the yarn I have left, but that leaves me with half a sleeve and the collar to finish and Knitpicks isn't shipping more of that particular color until the 16th.  I should consider checking Ravelry, but I think I need three more balls and that might be hard to find there.

The gloves are frustrating me - I don't know the magical formula for knitting fingers and messed up.  But ripping back and starting all over is SO ANNOYING.   That one can just go sit in time out for a while as I try to figure out the trick.

The socks I'm currently knitting in class, at the movies, while reading, are coming along very well.  However, that means that I will soon be done and ... well.  Then I need to find another boring project to work on.  But I'll also have another pair of socks.  Hrm.

I swatched for a baby blanket with shiny new metal DPNs from Knitpicks... and I'm going to blame a certain young kitten for the fact that one of those needles is missing.  No idea where it is.  I even crawled along the floor for a while, checking to see if it fell into any of the cracks in the floor.

I came home the other day to find that he had pulled 13 of my bamboo DPNs out of my knitting basket.  THIRTEEN. Luckily, I managed to find all of them - most had been batted under the rug.  Of course, I'm missing three - but I think they are back in PA - and have no idea which ones are what size, between US 1, 2, and 2.5.  Now would be a good time to buy a gauge, I suppose.

Pictures to come later, of all my projects.  You know, when I'm bored and avoiding homework this weekend.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

rambling, rather than reading for class

Today's high was something around 60F, and it was sunny.  I'd be completely ok with spring starting in early February.  Well, until I realized what, exactly, that might mean for the environment....

In other news, I finished Sheldon today - at work (baby shower at work today, for pregnant coworker/classmate).  I remembered to take crochet hook, needle, legs, black yarn to embroider his eyes, etc.  And COMPLETELY forgot to take anything with which to stuff his legs.  Quick thinking had me taking care of his eyes first and then using the left-over yarn from the leg tails and his eyes to stuff the legs.  However, he turned out uber cute.  As soon as I can figure out how to get pictures from the cell phone to the computer withOUT using up a picture message, I shall post pictures.  Or just knit another one, cause I require a Sheldon in order to live.

I will say this for the midwest:  it has some amazing sunsets.  UofI's Hartley Gardens is right near the office, and during nice weather, it is a great place to sit and eat lunch.  Far enough away from campus, the gardens tend to be fairly quiet.  And, they provide a nice open space over which to watch the sun set.  Lately, I've been getting out of work just as the sun is setting so I hang out for a few minutes and watch the sun set.  It is almost enough to make me forget about the cold for a few minutes.  You know, until I can't feel my fingers anymore.

I got a sony Cybershot DSC-S750 for Christmas.  I wanted a little pocket camera to take everywhere with me.  With 7.2 mega pixels, this one takes somewhat sharper shots than the Canon, but I love the manual ability of the Canon.  It is kinda hard to "trick" the sony into the aperture/shutter speed that I want AND have my subject still be in focus.  The start up speed is also kinda slow, but it is nice to always have a camera on me without carting around the big one.

This one, however, was taken by my cell phone.  I had forgotten the little camera at home and made due with what I had.  I'm actually fairly impressed and forced to think back to the first digital camera my dad bought, which only had 2 mega pixels.. same as my cell phone.  Weird. 

In other news, I have a kitten curled up between my arms on the computer desk.  I'm gonna need a bigger desk if this keeps up, as I am eventually going to run out of room for the random assorted crap I keep on the desk, the mouse, the keyboard, the pretty pretty iMac and a kitten.  Plus, he keeps sitting on the keyboard while staring at the mouse cursor.   I really ought to download one of those pet games and get a kitten and watch as his mind is blown by the noise as well as the sight.

And just because I can, one of my favorite shots from this summer:  A fairly cool early morning, right before bring the horses in, alone on the farm.  I miss those early mornings, just me and the horses, before it is hot and ugly out.  I didn't even notice the bird til I had uploaded the shots to my computer.