Archive for February, 2009

I define “Industrious” a little more broadly than others

I make random things at work.  A lot. 

 

You see, my particular job tends to revolve around the school year, which means that right before each semester, I have a ton of stuff to do, but I’m rewarded with a few weeks of empty time at the end of February and September.  It would be easy to squander this mostly unsupervised time by reading a book, chatting on the phone with friends who are in graduate school (and are therefore almost always available for chatting), or catching up on filing, but why would I do those things when I could make stuff?  Also, one can only do said time-wasters for 4 hours, 6 tops, so how do I fill up the rest of my time??

bookmark

A bookmark with a heart on it

box

 

A rubber band box

fish

 

Fish on my bulletin board

calendar

 

A handy dodecahedron calendar

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I have iss-shoes, and other puns.

I am not a shoe lover.  When bonding with female friends in the past, I have pretended that I care about shoes and love shoe shopping and am aware of shoe sales, but I am coming out today as one who is mostly apathetic toward footwear. 

 

That being said, there are certain occasions that get me really excited about shoes.  The first is a yearly event that happens right around the beginning of October.  I will call it the Autumn Moccasin Fever.  This frenzy is an effort to recreate the love I had for my first pair of brown suede moccasins, purchased in the fall of 2004. Every year, I buy a few pairs that I will then wear until they fall apart (which doesn’t take me very long, for some reason.  I am a Shoe Destroyer. Maybe it’s because I’m pigeon-toed?).  Five years and about 10 moccasin attempts later, I still haven’t quite gotten it right. 

 

moccasin

 

The second event that inspires my sporadic shoe obsession is The Wedding. Did you know that the average marrying age in the United States is 26.1 years old?  As it turns out, I am 26.1 years old RIGHT NOW AS I AM TYPING THIS! Naturally, a lot of our friends, both new and old, fall right into this matrimonial age sweet spot. I’m sure you are following my logic here: David and I go to A LOT of weddings.  Luckily, we can’t get enough of them.  Free alcohol, free food, dancing, celebration of love and commitment, a bunch of old friends, opportunities to purchase a new dress and shoes—really, what’s not to like?

 

Getting back to the shoes, this summer, we are invited to no less than 3 weddings. I have already got a new dress that I’ll be able to wear to all three, since the circles of friends will not overlap (can you believe my luck?), so now I just have to buy new shoes.  This makes me very excited, and I’ve begun browsing online for the Perfect Pair. Unfortunately, when you don’t buy a lot of new shoes, the search can be somewhat intimidating.  So I’m asking for help—have you seen a pair of shoes that would go with a navy and white silk vintagy-looking wrap dress?  I’m partial to t-straps.

 

Also: just so you know I’m not lying about starting the front of that sweater—here is proof!

sweater11

“You don’t know me, but…”

I realized that I do have something to blog about (are you supposed to end a sentence with “about”?).

So, I noticed  the other day that I often start conversations with people by saying, “You don’t know me, but….”. I then proceed to share something about myself that most people wouldn’t share with mere acquaintances. I don’t know why I do this, but I do it over and over and over again.

I am trying to have more normal, socially acceptable interactions with people, but IT IS SO HARD.

Case in point:

On Tuesday evening, Jillian, David, Donnie, and I decided to go to Starbucks. I really could not afford Starbucks, so when we arrived I asked the Starbucks Man if I could have my drink for free (Picture Donnie shaking his head in embarrassment).  The  Starbucks Man obliged. He was a very nice Starbucks Man – at first. So, I picked up my drink and began drinking it (Backstory – I had ordered an Apple Chai).  After drinking about a fourth of the drink, the Starbucks Man came to my table to inform me that I was drinking a Peppermint Mocha and not an Apple Chai. I didn’t notice because there was so much whipped cream. I hadn’t even gotten to the mocha part yet. The Starbucks Man then proceeded to make fun of my TASTEBUDS (so did Jillian, David, and Donnie). Naturally, I still wanted my Apple Chai. I asked for my free Apple Chai and the Starbucks Man called me (I am not making this up) – A DRINK-THIEVING HUSSIE!!

Can you believe that? This kind of stuff happens to me all the time.

The End.

Raven

Why I Don’t Blog More Often

I don’t blog as often as I would like because:

1. Uploading pictures stresses me out. I am a firm believer in having pictures with blog posts.
2. I have been working on a 1000 piece puzzle called “Crazy Quilting Bee”. The quilting bee is not crazy – they are working on a crazy quilt in the puzzle.
3. I have been working on a pair of fingerless gloves for the last month and I can’t get the sizing right. Some silly people suggest that making a gauge swatch would solve all my problems – to those people I say, “YOU ARE NOT THE BOSS OF ME.”
4. Oh, yeah, I’m in a doctoral program.
5. Oh, yeah, I have a house and a sometimes messy husband.
6. Oh, yeah, I’m a slob myself and therefore spend hundreds of hours cleaning up after myself.
7. There are too many people to stalk on Facebook.
8. I’m trying to finish Vegetable, Animal, Miracle (Barbara Kingsolver). People told me this was a great book (and it is), but for some reason I just can’t get too excited about it.
9. There are too many good blogs that I spend time reading, so I can never post on my own blog.
10. My little sister is having a baby so all my thoughts revolve around a very small tadpolish person right now.

I think that’s it for now.

Raven

Yes, that picture was taken in my office. Yes, I am shameless.

There hasn’t been much action around here lately and that is because the sweater vest project has stalled and I’ve been too ashamed to admit it to the Internet. I finished the back panel last week and haven’t yet begun the front because in order to do that, I will have to cast on 126 stitches.  Have I ever mentioned how much I hate casting on?  When you rely on inertia to complete projects like I do, it’s not easy to get started.  Well, here’s the finished back, for whatever it’s worth…

 

sweater1

 

Also, can I say something about knitting in public?  It is not a performance and your staring is making me uncomfortable.  I gave you the opportunity to not be creepy when I made eye contact with you and smiled.  That was your cue to either talk or stop looking at me.  The silent watching is weird.

 

There are a lot of things that I want to knit right now and if I weren’t in the middle of a marathon project, I would have already begun.  I really want to make the Jane Austen Dress from the Mason Dixon book for Ellie. 

 jane-austen-dress

 

That will be a super fast project because you just knit the little bodice and then sew on the skirt, so I think I’ll do that after the sweater vest, since I’ll probably be craving a fast and satisfying project by then. 

 

I also am planning to knit a little something for Auntie Rae’s new little niece/nephew who will be here before we know it.  I have learned my lesson from knitting stuff for Ellie, though—Cotton or Acrylic all the way and no sweaters in newborn sizes—they grow entirely too fast (the babies, not the sweaters).  So I’m thinking a cotton cardigan in a 6-9 month size like this one.

 eyelet-yoke-cardigan

All this means is that, in order to start these fun projects, I have to finish this beast of a sweater vest.  I promise to start the front today! 

Way to go February!

I think February got my letter and is now making a good faith effort to win my affection.  And it’s working.  Since Saturday, the weather has been crazy good.  Today, for example, it will reach 64 degrees and I’m planning to drive home with the windows down.  Perhaps I will even break out my summery music (which is basically the same as the wintery music except with more steel drums and harmonicas.)  Yes, February 2009 is definitely making an impression. 

 

I had a lovely weekend.  Here’s what I did:

 

  1. Took a historic walk at the Henry Clay estate.  Raven would be very disappointed in our lack of enthusiasm for Historical Figures of the American South.  In other words, I had to wiki Henry Clay in order to figure out who he was. Now that I know, I think we need him to come back from the dead and do some Great Compromisin’ for our congress. At any rate, Ashland Estate is a beautiful old house with a big backyard where young whippersnappers play lacrosse and ultimate Frisbee.  The Historic Walk is basically a trail that runs along the perimeter of the yard, through dormant kitchen gardens and around a real live walled garden.  I was looking for a robin to show me the door, but, as is always the case in stories like these, the gate to the walled garden was locked.  I scraped my wrist trying to climb over the wall and would have made it in if David had not shamed me out of it.  Boo.  Anyway, my scrape started to bleed and made me paranoid about Vampires, since I have filled my mind with the mush of no less than 9 and a half vampire books in the past two months, so we had to go to Old Navy and buy something.  
  2. Went to see Coraline in 3d with Raven and dragged David and Donnie along with us.  NPR told me that it would be pointless to see it in any dimension less than 3, and I do whatever NPR says to do, so there you have it.  Possibly the best part of this movie were the awesome 3d glasses, which we all saved and have great plans for future dress-up fun.  I loved Coraline like I love all Tim Burton films.  He’s so weird.
  3. Purchased and watched Rent.  No, not the cheesy movie, but the actual show.  Back when David and I were cool and lived in Philly, we would go to NYC for weekends to see a show and to wander around.  We entered the Rent lottery twice won twice and have watched it from the exact same seats in the front row twice.  We both really love it and were sad to see it close on Broadway.  The last two shows they performed were filmed live and edited together to make one great movie of the whole show, start to finish.  Lovely.rent

 

So, I forgave February and did all these fun things last weekend.  Very satisfying.  Hope you had a great weekend as well! 

No more vampires until June 2009

I did it! I read all the addictive vampire books in The Morganville Vampires series. I was feeling such a great sense of accomplishment  – until the last page of the book! Book Six is coming out in June. At least I can prepare in advance for the vampire mania that will overtake me at that time (I’ll also be done with classes for the summer, which is a plus).

Book # 5

Feast of Fools: The Morganville Vampires – Rachel Caine

More bloodsucking, but man it is fun.

Book # 6

Lord of Misrule: The Morganville Vampires – Rachel Caine

This book is very scary and apocalyptic. It also ends with a cliffhanger…YIKES.

Now, I will move on to reading books that were written for grown-ups, not teenagers – at least for a little while.