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.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

More Conversations with TheUrmily

You know, it's a good thing that it [iPod shuffle] is rectangluar.. otherwise, it would look like a tampon. And then you'd have a musical crotch... It would be kinda weird if you had music coming from your crotch... But then your vagina would have something to say. It could sing "Let's Talk about Sex!"
- a conversation involving tampons, iPod shuffles, and references to The Vagina Monologues.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Silent Poetry Reading Day

Today, along with Groundhog's Day, is Silent Poetry Reading Day.  (Details available here.)

Drummer Hodge


They throw in Drummer Hodge, to rest
  Uncoffined - just as found:
His landmark is a kopje-crest
  That breaks the veldt around;
And foreign constellations west
  Each night above his mound.


Young Hodge the Drummer never knew --
  Fresh from his Wessex home --
The meaning of the broad Karoo,
  The Bush, the dusty loam,
And why uprose to nightly view
  Strange stars amid the gloam.


Yet portion of that unknown plain
  Will Hodge forever be;
His homely Northern breast and brain
  Grow to some Southern tree,
And strange-eyed constellations reign
  His stars eternally.

-Thomas Hardy, published in his Poems of the Past and Present in 1901.  

Seen in the movie The History Boys.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Time to play catch up. Again.

Evidently, I am blogging again.  I think it has to do with the serious lack of free time.  What better way to actually fix everything in time other than to blog?

Wet kitty. Sad kitty. Cute kitty.

So, quick catch up:

  • I moved to Illinois and started grad school.
  • School is awesome, I love my classes, library studies was totally the right choice for me.
  • My landlord everything that my classes are not.  In short, had serious electrical problems for the first month+ that I was here.  Despite calls every couple of days, they dragged their feet in solving my problems and attempted to make me feel like a jerk for being upset about the fact that out of an entire one bedroom apartment, three electrical outlets worked, along with four lamps.  Those four lamps were only located in two of four rooms, and same with the outlets.  Their solution was to run an extension cord from an outside outlet.  For a month.  And I'm going to stop writing about this cause my blood pressure will soon skyrocket. 
His favorite place to sleep, still.  I'm gonna laugh when he doesn't fit anymore.
  • TheBoy and I broke up.  Maybe one day we'll figure out how to be friends, but not right now.  Long distance is tough and it amplified all of our problems and eventually, we got tired of fighting the same fights, dealing with the same problems and never seeming to get anywhere.  So, that's sad and stuff, but it is what it is and then you move on.
  • Because I can't do anything the "easy" or "simple" way, my expected graduation date has moved up.  To August 2009.  Which means I will graduate with a masters degree at the age of 23.  Which also means that I'm taking 18 credits this semester.
  • Classes include:  Adult Popular Literature; Higher Education and Learning Professionals; Libraries, Information, and Society; Museum Informatics; Medevial and Modern Manuscripts; and Rare Books and Manuscripts.  So far, I love all of them

Second favorite place.  Mostly so he can mess up the computer with those cute little feet.
  • I got a kitten.  He's currently about 5-6 months old and very cute.  He also also very much trouble.  His (full) name is Indiana Schrodinger III, or Schrodie for short.  Or Little Man.  Or The Little Shit.  Or Trouble.  He responds quite well to "HEY!" by this point in time.
  • Kit hates the kitten.  He doesn't get the whole personal space concept, but they're doing quite well.  They even occasionally curl up near each other.
  • Over all?  I am happy.
  • I hate winter in Illinois.  Hence the graduation date change.