December 14, 2010

Still better than Charlie Brown's


It's not much. But it's a step in the right direction. I feel better already.

Next I'm going to go buy lights to put up in my office, and White Christmas on DVD. The Boy Creature does not like that movie much, but he will just have to deal with it. It's not Christmas without White Christmas for me.

December 2, 2010

OPI's Jade is the New Black, if you're wondering

Just now I painted my nails with something besides clear nail polish for the first time in I don't know how long, and suddenly all I want to do is things that involve using my hands a lot. Knitting. Writing in my journal. Etcetera.

Of course, these are all things that I thought about doing before I painted my nails.

I will never understand the way my brain works.

November 30, 2010

It's done


It's not exactly a novel, but it's done.

Yay me! I have time to knit again!

November 15, 2010

Cue the knitwear

It's snowing tonight in Santa Fe.

It probably won't stick, and there probably won't be enough for even a late start at work tomorrow, but I'm still happy.

I'm going to wear my Hermione hat tomorrow.

November 14, 2010

Happiness is a sleepy kitty

My NaNoWriMo word count for today: 3584 words.

I also baked brownies from scratch, and made red beans and rice (which are still stewing on the stove), and watched two and half Harry Potter movies, and The Mummy.

It's been a good day.

Also, Bagheera is sleeping on my left leg. She's all warm and cozy, and she purrs when I scratch her belly.

The Boy Creature went out and bought a vacuum cleaner today. She's going to hate it.

November 13, 2010

The busy returns

So yesterday I didn't post, which means I'm out of the running for NaBloPoMo, and I barely made any headway on NaNoWriMo. But I don't care, because instead I was out having a life.

I went to the Ski Swap at the community center with a coworker and his boyfriend. It was really cool, and I got some great stuff for really cheap. Ski boots, pants, a coat, and some mittens, all for less than a hundred bucks.

Then we went out for a drink, and dinner. Then, the moment I got home, the Boy Creature was headed out to go to a movie with some friends, so I just managed to tag along.

Today was similar, actually.

So I'll have lots of catching up to do on NaNoWriMo tomorrow. And as soon as I'm done here. I'm actually ok with being out of the running on NaBloPoMo. It's one less thing to fit in to every single day in an already busy month. So I'll go get on with it now.

November 11, 2010

A nice Thursday

It's been a really nice day.

There was minor drama at work today, and everything was a little bit nutty. There's an open house this weekend, so we're preparing for that. We all spent the last hour putting together folders for the guests that are coming, and it turned into an hour of us barely paying attention to the folders while we quoted Arrested Development and Better Off Ted and made plans for our holiday party. I really like my coworkers.

The holidays are coming. I love this time of year. It's cold out, and my cheeks are constantly pink, and my hair is all staticky and flying all around (that part I don't love as much, but there it is), and everything is peppermint chocolate flavored. My favorite flavor.

I was the only one who showed up at yoga today, so it was like I got a private lesson. The teacher is really nice, so I very much enjoyed it. Even though after such a silly day at work, my brain was a little hyper for yoga. Still a nice day, though.

November 10, 2010

One third of the way there

I have two blogs, and a novel in progress. There's only so many hours in the day I can spend with my hands duct taped to the keyboard.

I did a post on the other blog today. You can go read it, if you like.

But I think that's enough for one day. If you don't go read it, I won't be upset. Because I haven't bothered to get one of those blog stat things that tells you where people come from and where they go when they leave your page. I only have the kind that tells me how many people visit the page, and I just have to wonder how many of them are either my relatives, or my best friend's relatives. Hi friend's relatives. Hi Mama.

November 9, 2010

Actual productivity, for a change

Today has been a day of getting things done.

It was the busiest day at work for about two months. I got an impressive stack of documents at work, all of which had to be scanned, sorted, cataloged, alphabetized, uploaded and filed, on top of everything else I usually do. Not that I'm complaining. It's nice to actually have work to do at work again. For a change. I get the feeling the slow season is passing.

It got so cold today in Santa Fe. It feels like winter is really here now, unlike this weekend when it actually got warm enough during the day that I opened the living room window to let the breeze in while I wrote (what else?). There were clouds hanging low in the sky, and everyone kept mentioning snow. It only kept getting colder, and by the end of the work day, it actually felt like it might. Just figures it was a day I decided not to wear tights and boots. I'm going to have to invest in more of both of those. But at least I can bust out the serious knitwear soon. Now if only I had time to knit more of it.

Instead, I spend my time typing. But I'm catching up. It's going well. And I'm finally writing all the ideas I've been carrying around for too long instead of just writing them down. They're coming out better than expected. I hope it keeps up.

November 8, 2010

Sleepy ramblings

Oh, so very tired.

But still making progress. And not giving up.

Although I wish I had something other than NaNoWriMo to blog about.

I had trapeze class tonight. We learned a few moves that had us rolling over our hips across the bar. I don't think I'm explaining that right, but my brain just wants to go to sleep. Anyway, I'm going to have some odd bruises on my hips tomorrow. But odd bruises are all part of this trapeze thing. It comes with the territory of hanging upside down eight feet in the air, occasionally supported largely by one small section of your body. Like one ankle and one hand.

It's amazing how quickly you develop more of a tolerance for these bearable kinds of pain. It's worth it to do things so many people wouldn't even have the guts to try. I could go on and on about bravery and stuff, but I think I'll just go to bed.

November 7, 2010

I will sleep well tonight.

It's been a good weekend. I didn't do much, other than watch movies and type. And type and type.

But it's been good. Today I got caught up to where I felt comfortable. Still not quite where I'd like to be, but close enough that I can catch up to it much more easily. And close enough that I was ok with taking a break to go out for gelato and spicy cocoa. And I even allowed myself to knit for a little while.

I love that spicy cocoa so much. It played a larger part in me wanting to move back here than it probably should have. It's just so tasty.

Plus the barista guy that was working there has started to recognize me, so he gives me a medium and charges me for a small, since that's what I keep ordering. Yay barista guy!

November 6, 2010

Productivity at long last!

I'm very sleepy. But it's been a good day.

I've written over three thousand words. If I can do the same tomorrow, I'll be pretty much totally caught up. Maybe I can even allow myself a little knitting time. Perhaps.

I thought of a title, too. And we got some things for the apartment, and had some very good Chinese food, at a restaurant where we eavesdropped on a couple of very interesting conversations.

One of which made me miss my best friend. I'll tell her why later. Come visit soon, Neaves!

But as it's been a long day (if a productive one), and I'm very sleepy. So I think I'll turn off my movie, save my progress, and head for bed.

November 5, 2010

Frankie says... I hate this blog title. But I'm tired.

It has been a long week. Luckily, it was a nice enough day. It was my
day to bring breakfast to work. And even though several people were out
today, one of the ones that was there said it was the best Friday
breakfast yet. So that helped.

I made homemade pop tarts. They really are pretty awesome.

Plus, I got some actual writing done on my NaNoWriMo novel. Even after switching novel ideas on the first day, I still ended
up bored with what I was writing. So four thousand words in (still
behind on my word count), I gave up on the storyline and just started
writing anything. Basically, I just had all the characters I've ever
carried around in my head burst in on the storyline and take over.

And just as anyone but me would expect, as soon as I stopped worrying about
trying to eke out a good story, suddenly the writing got really good. I
like the last bit I wrote more than anything I've written in ages.

FINALLY!

I should relax more often.

November 4, 2010

Can today be over now, please?

I'm not having the best day. I'm having a guilty day.

First of all, there was a mixup on a file at work. I feel like it's my fault, although my boss has assured me several times it's not really anyone's fault, just one of the mixups that was bound to happen with us changing our ownership, our procedures, and our computer system all within a few months of each other. So even though she says it's not my fault, I'm not entirely convinced. So today I listened to her doing damage control while I took care of my own work.

Then I came home and sat on Bagheera. We have a black cat and black chairs. She was curled up in a tiny, cute ball, and I didn't see her. She seems to be fine, as she was almost immediately jumping in my lap and purring while I scratched her belly. But I still feel guilty.

I don't like guilty days.

November 3, 2010

Day three, and the obsession is setting in

Ok. I can do this.

I got up over 2500 words today, which is about halfway to where I should be for today. If I just focus and make some effort (and turn off the wi-fi and go in the other room), I can probably get up over 4000.

I can do this.

Current word count: 2507

November 2, 2010

Second day setbacks

I had every intention of posting my word count so far. I'm not at the normal goal (1667 words a day, which means I should be up to 3334 words today). I'm am most definitely not there yet. I think I'm actually somewhere around 1600.

Notice I said, "I think."

Because I left my flash drive at work, so I have no idea what it is exactly. Or exactly where I left off in the story.

So I'm improvising. I'm picking up at the end of the scene I was writing. I'll connect the dots tomorrow. And hopefully get caught up.

It's a busy week. Luckily, I have not one plan for this weekend. Maybe I'll make cinnamon rolls, but that's it.

November 1, 2010

And so it begins

It's November! NaNoWriMo has begun!


Expect much ridiculousness from me this month. From what I remember from the last time I did this, it's a pretty silly ride. I plan to enjoy it.

Current word count: 0. That won't last long.

October 10, 2010

Adventures with livestock

I am a bad blogger. It has been an entire month since I last posted here. Shame on me. Shame!

Plus, I've been busy doing awesome things, so you'd think I'd want to post about all the awesomeness.

My life is getting ridiculous again. I'm loving it.

Par example: Last weekend we went to the Taos Sheep and Wool Festival. I got a big bag of yarn and stuff, and a tiny sunburn on just one shoulder. I'm not sure how I managed that. I think I must have been somehow facing the same way all day.

The festival was so much fun though. I met other another knitter from Santa Fe, and her daughter and granddaughter from Phoenix.

And we saw a whole passel of knitting-friendly livestock. First there were the traditional sheep:


That one in the middle refused to come out of the middle. He was trying so hard to hide the indignity of being the only one that was shorn. It certainly wasn't because he was cold. It was at least seventy-five that day. Maybe eighty. Unseasonably warm for Taos.

Next we saw the alpacas.

They were very shy and stayed huddled in the middle so you couldn't really pet them much. The Boy Creature managed it, and said they were very soft. I'll have to console myself with petting the hand-dyed alpaca yarn I bought instead.

I did love the sound they made, though. It's sort of somewhere between a cat's meow and a sheep's bleat. And they did it over and over. I loved it!

This next little guy is a baby yak.


And when I say little, I mean about the size of a labrador. He was adorable, though. It was too hot for him, so he mostly just laid around and panted, poor little thing.


Last but certainly not least, were the angora bunnies. I'm crazy about these things, to the point that I considered getting one before we got Bagheera.


These are some of the most ridiculous-looking animals I've ever seen. They look like a normal bunny got put in the dryer and they puffed up into these giant dandelion type things. And they're huge. I'd seen pictures of them on the internet, and I thought they were the size of normal bunnies. But they're two to three times that size! And now I'm glad I didn't get one, because you pretty much have to be endlessly combing that fur. And there's a lot of fur.

It was a super fun day. I almost wish they had one every month. But not really, because I'd go so very broke buying yarn, and I'd never knit it all up. I already have too much as it is. But that's the way I like it.

And the other thing that's making my life more ridiculous: I signed up for trapeze classes again. I'm so excited! I will soon have super cool bruises again! That'll make wearing skirts to work interesting, once we get to doing ankle hangs.

September 10, 2010

It's starting to feel more home-y...

Happy cat:


Happy Kat:


It's been an eventful week.

On Wednesday we got the kitten. She's about five months old, and we can't figure out what to name her. Her foster mother was calling her Maya, but we don't like that. The names that have come up so far are Eleanor Roosevelt, Queen Elizabeth the First, and Bagheera. I suggested that last one, although I've since learned that I'm remembering my Kipling wrong. I thought Bagheera was female for some reason. So I guess that one will get pulled off the table. Our kitten is very sleek and velvety and panther-like, though. Just on a much smaller, more timid scale. She's very, very timid. I'm hoping she grows out of that, although not out of the part where she's too timid to use her claws.

The kitten is currently curled up in the Boy Creature's lap, and the Boy Creature is asleep. It's rather adorable.

Today I got the bookshelf. It was free. One of my office mates was standing in the empty office across the hall with the facilities manager talking about what furniture to keep and what to get rid of for the person who's moving into said office. So I called out, "Are you giving furniture away?" Ten minutes later, they delivered the bookshelf to my office door. Apparently it used to be in the registrar's office, because people kept coming by to drop off files or ask a question, and they'd go, "Hey, that looks awfully familiar. What's it doing here?"

Sadly, said bookshelf did not fit into my wee little Honda Civic at the end of the day. It got about halfway in and wouldn't go any further. If we'd had some rope, we could have tied it down and it would have been fine, but we had no rope. Luckily, we had a friend with an SUV who was kind enough to come help us out. So even though I still have four boxes of books yet to unpack, I'm happy.

Even though it won't help the fact that I was already reading two books at once, and I just put a third on hold at the library.

August 28, 2010

Soon there will be belly scratches and loves

The Boy Creature and I just dropped off a form to adopt a little black kitten named Maya.

When we get her, we will change her name to Eleanor Roosevelt. There's a long story behind that name.

But I can't wait to get her.

August 8, 2010

Like a steel trap. For trapping useless things

I don't understand the way my brain works.

We're watching "When Harry Met Sally." For no particular reason. It's on, and it was better than "Rush Hour 3."

We just got past the part where they're shopping and singing "Surrey with the Fringe on Top" on the karaoke machine in the store, and his ex-wife shows up.

And I was doing the dance in my head. The dance from when I played Dream Laurey in Oklahoma in tenth grade. Eight years ago.

Why are those steps still in my brain? And why can't I remember the passwords I set minutes before I need them again?

August 6, 2010

More cowbell!

So it's the end of week one in Santa Fe. Not that this weekend won't be just as busy. I need to look at apartments, and the Boy Creature seems to think he's taking my car to Albuquerque to go to a barbershop. He's weird like that. Also, I desperately want to go for a hike. It's been too long.

But so far, I like my new job. It's sort of weird timing for me to be starting, because the school is going through all sorts of changes (including changing its name), so there's sort of a weird limbo feeling around the office. But I like it.

My favorite part so far is that when we get a confirmed student, I get to ring a cowbell and change the number on the board.

Today I rang the bell, and one of the enrollment advisors said "More cowbell!" and carried on with a pretty decent Walken impression.

Definitely my favorite part of the job so far.

July 16, 2010

Eventful

Tonight I am sitting at my kitchen counter with a couple of lamps on, reading blogs and listening to the bugs outside hurling themselves against the glass of our back door. They seem extra desperate to get in. Maybe it's because there's not much of a moon, so they want the light that much more. Or maybe I'm just not used to being up this later, or it being this quiet.

Things are happening in my little world. Big, exciting, slightly scary (mostly because of how quickly they're happening) things.

Things that soon I might even be able to get my head around enough to write about. But there is much to look forward to.

July 7, 2010

Strange and new experiences

Wanna hear something funny? Something so quintessentially ridiculous it could only go on in my brain?

You know how I've been going on about how crazy and busy the last two months have been? It's nearing three months now. Every single weekend I've had some sort of plans where I've been out and about, and I don't just mean a quick jaunt to Target. And the one weekend where I didn't have plans, and was going to rest for the weekend, I got sick, and felt crappier on Monday morning than I did the Friday night before. And there's been plenty to do on the weeknights as well.

So I've been whining about how crazy things were, and I how I wish things would slow down, and it finally hit me. It's been so long since I was living the kind of life where I was busy on a regular basis. It's ok that I don't have hours to sit and read or watch DVDs for entire weekends. This isn't abnormal. It's not a bad thing.

This is what actually having a life feels like.

July 2, 2010

A blisteringly hot social life

It's Friday night and I'm fiddling around on the interwebs again.

I should be reading one of the four books I'm reading right now.

There are four again. I can't seem to help myself.

June 16, 2010

Yarn indecision

Have I mentioned that things are nuts lately?

Things are still nuts.

In actual news, here's one of the few things I managed to get accomplished recently:


Those are my strangler fig socks, finished on Sunday morning. I finished them, wove in the ends, put them on to take this picture, and then didn't take them off again. Yay!

I mean, I've taken them off since then, but I wore them all day Sunday. They're pretty darn comfy.

And then it took me forever to figure out what to cast on next. I can't decide if it helps or hinders that process, know that of the forty-seven items in my queue on Ravelry, I already have the yarn needed for twenty-six of them. I could walk into the room where my yarn lives and cast on twenty-six things, given enough needles, and I wouldn't need to buy yarn until they were all done. Crazy.

This knitting thing. It really seems to have caught on with me, huh?

I finally just started a thread on Ravelry and said, "Go people! Vote!" And they voted, and I cast on a grumpasaurus!

However, he'll only take me a few days to knit, so in a few days or so, I'll have to do the whole song and dance all over again.

June 8, 2010

A brief compendium of half delirious thoughts

Whoa. It's turning into another one of those weeks. But I won't let it get me! I'm still blogging! The busy/crazy/exhausted won't stop me now!

Not that I have much to blog about.

I'm nearing the end of another pair of socks. Finally. I started these at the end of March. That's way too long for fairly simple socks. But they're almost done.

I ordered a very nice and hard to get skein of yarn last night, and I've since been trying to figure out what I'll do with it when it arrives.

I made madeleines this weekend, but only managed one pan of them before I had to succumb to what felt like a miserable and very sudden stomach flu. I'm still feeling a little woozy because of it, even though I'm still going to work and fumbling through the days. I'm wondering at this point if I'm actually sick, or if I'm just that tired and I've finally hit a wall. Delirium. Yay.

I read Frankenstein. It was wonderful, and not exactly what I expected. And my brain kept jumping to compare it with "Young Frankenstein", which is also good, but not entirely comparable. Did I say it was wonderful, though? It was absolutely wonderful.

Today when I got home from work (similar to a lot of other days when I get home from work, actually), the Boy Creature got up and started doing dishes. Sometimes I get the feeling that he does the dishes at that time of day because he's just realized that I'm coming home from eight solid hours of contributing to society by furthering the education of lots of potential undergrads, and he realizes that he hasn't done quite so much with his day.

Some days I miss temping. The sporadic money (not to mention most of the assignments. Did I ever mention that week I answered phones and tried to help the only-Spanish-speaking workers at a slaughterhouse?) pretty much sucked, but I liked having lots of days off. I got a lot of reading and knitting done in that six months between real regular work.

And I'm not eligible for vacation time until October.

June 3, 2010

I can cook again!

Man, what a week. And there's still one day left. Oy. I'm tired.

But it hasn't been all bad. Actually, it hasn't been bad at all, just busy, and I'm tired, and it came at the end of a crazy busy month.

This is why my plans for the weekend are as such: Buffy the Vampire Slayer on DVD (thank you, public library!), Chinese food, which I plan to make the Boy Creature go fetch for me, and knitting in my pjs. All weekend. I don't want to leave the house unless it's on fire.

I need a break.

But I made amazing cookies tonight. Remember how I said the oven was broken, and it was slowly killing me, because I just wanted to bake things?

I have a new oven. Mom and Stepmom came, and they got me a replacement oven. And they got themselves (read: Mom got herself) a dishwasher drawer. But I have a brand new, nice, gas range, and I love it. So Stepmom has cooked dinner in it the last two nights, and I made these incredible cookies. Seriously, you need to go make these cookies, right now. Go. I'll wait.

Next up? Madeleines. The pan I ordered came today. I'm excited.

May 29, 2010

Blargh

Holy lobster thermidor, Batman. This month has tried to eat my soul.

It's been so crazy busy, which is why I haven't posted in a freaking month. I kept thinking, "You know, I should really go post something," and then I'd do another load of laundry or clean something, or go to work, and forget. It's been nuts.

But luckily, not all bad. It was my best friend's birthday, and then mine (two days ago! Yay me!), and now Mom's in town for two weeks. I saw dance people, including people I missed a lot. A LOT, a lot. So I'm hanging in there. But I can say that for next weekend, after Mom leaves and I have nothing to do, I plan to spend that whole weekend lying around knitting and watching movies and shows and doing as little real stuff as possible.

And then maybe life will get more or less back to normal, and I'll actually have something interesting to post about, because I doubt anyone wants to hear about the tree limbs I cut up and bundled for the last two weekends.

April 29, 2010

Bicycle adventures

I almost titled this post "Bicycles Races" solely because I love Queen and it came into my head at the right time, but then it occurred to me that I would probably never ever enter a bicycle race, and certainly not on the cheap, single-speed cruiser I'm currently riding.

Anyway.

It's been interesting so far, riding my bike. I'm now way more familiar with the degree of incline that I never ever noticed in nine years of living in this house and driving on that street in that direction probably at least twice a week since moving here (did any of that make sense? 'K, good). What's really unfair is that it's downhill on the way to work, when it's still cool in the mornings, and uphill on the way home, and the Texas heat is already starting to suck. I'm going to have to start shopping for lighter clothes soon, and stop wearing jeans every freaking day.

On Tuesday I got my first "You ride a bike here? That's awesome!" from a co-worker who saw me with my helmet in hand. And today I got my first "Nice bike!" from a girl on a porch on my way home.

April 26, 2010

Monday blarg

It's been a tremendously, stupidly long day, and I'm having a really hard time shaking the mood it's left me in. But I still feel like blogging. So here I am.

Allow me to share with you, the high points of my day.

I'm reading The Well of Lost Plots, the third in Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next series. They're wonderful. Especially for a reader like me, who simply loves books. Jasper Fforde loves books, and he does it in a marvelously creative, funny, and exciting way. So I'm flying through this book. It's also partly because it's due back at the library tomorrow, and as of this morning, I was only half done. But they're fairly quick reads, even if I am wishing I didn't have to rush. Oh well. Either way, I'm loving it, and reading it for most of my lunch hour today was a big part of what got me through to the end of the day, whereupon I came home, curled up in a chair, and read some more.

Also? I have cookie dough. Chocolate-chunk-loaded cookie dough. Freshly baked, all warm and gooey, with cold milk. So there's that.

Hopefully tomorrow will go a little better.

April 20, 2010

Think of all that brain space wasted on math and lyrics to 80s songs

Boy Creature sometimes asks me what words mean. This is becoming somewhat of a point of contention in our relationship.

He asks me a word, I give him a fair, if rough definition (usually. Sometimes I just get it wrong, mostly when I'm mixing it up with a similar-sounding but entirely different word) of what said word means. Then he decides that's not good enough, and looks it up, and admonishes me because my definition wasn't verbatim from the dictionary. To which I reply that I was more or less right about the word- maybe I didn't cover every nuance of meaning and every evolutionary step in its particular colloquial usage and pinpoint the etymology, but I more or less told him what that word meant, enough that the next time he came across that word, he would probably get it. And then I p0int out that if he's just going to look it up anyway, he shouldn't have asked me in the first place. And then he says, he's glad he looked it up because clearly I don't know what I'm talking about, and what good is a creative writer if they don't know ALL the words. To which I reply that I'm not a walking dictionary.

All this is why now, when he asks me what a word means, I've gotten into the habit of telling him it's complicated and he should look it up.

Just now, he asked what "halcyon" meant. I say look it up, he makes fun of me for not knowing, not a walking dictionary, blahblahblah. But I looked it up anyway, and read him ALL of the definitions in a dramatic voice. Whereupon I found this jewel:

Noun- a mythical bird said by ancient writers to breed in a nest floating at sea at the winter solstice, charming the wind and waves into calm.

Isn't that nice? I love words. Even if I can't remember them all.

April 18, 2010

The proud new owner...

I bought a purty bike today.


This one. It's a Schwinn Legacy, and I really like it. It was cheap, and more or less exactly the sort of thing I was looking for. Unfortunately, it's been raining all weekend, and I don't have a helmet yet, so I haven't really ridden it. So tomorrow I'll drive to work one last time, and then go buy the few accessories I'll need. And then I'll be a biker! Yay.

I feel like there's actually more than a few accessories I'll need, though. I got a U-lock, but then I started reading bicycle blogs for tips on keeping your bike safe, and they all seem to advocate for having more than one lock. So I'll probably get another lock. And I need a pump, because the one we have has a bad hose. And I want a rear-view mirror, just in case. And reflective tape, for visibility. And I want a basket, because I'm not a huge fan of backpacks. Especially since I know that the hotter it gets here, the less I'll want a big heavy thing on my back. So the list of things to buy keeps growing in my mind.

But I'm still excited about my new bike. She needs a name now.

April 17, 2010

Cuppa tea, anyone?

Look look look!


It's my very first completed embroidery project. I'd have finished it sooner if I hadn't been attacked by the lazy. But it's done! It's a handkerchief. I like it. I'm looking forward to trying more things soon.

A low key Saturday

Last night I went to sleep to the sound of a nice steady, heavy rain, and this morning I've woken up to a gentle downfall. Are you all aware of how much I love rain? I love it thiiiiiiiiiiiiiis much. (Now is when you picture me with my arms waaaaaay out, as far as I can stretch them.) Add in a pot of caramel crème brûlée tea, and it's a lovely morning in my book.

I don't have a ton planned for today, but I still suspect it'll be a nice one. Tonight the Boy Creature and I are going out for crawfish with Dad and Stepmom, and Dad's bringing me his old bike, so I can stop feeling guilty for driving the half a mile to work. Yay! Although I suspect I will have to go out tomorrow to buy a helmet and a lock for it. But that's ok. I'm looking forward to being a bicycle girl. I've been reading lots of bike blogs like this one this week.

Other than that, it's just the usual fun around here. Reading, knitting, watching movies. We got La Dolce Vita from the library. I've never seen it, and I've been wanting to for years now. So that will probably happen tonight, maybe after dinner. Speaking of, if you've never tried crawfish, now is the time! They're in season right now. Go out and find yourself a seafood bar or a Razoo's and chow down. They're spicy and delicious and one of my favorite foods in the entire world. Having grown up with a mom from New Orleans means I look forward to them every year. So you should go try them.

Have a good weekend, guys.

April 14, 2010

On-the-job self-entertainment

In this new job that I have at the local university (which is going very well, thanks so much for asking!), part of what I'm doing is entering the classes that prospective students have taken into our system. Sometimes (most of the time) it abbreviates the actual class name, and I'm pretty often amused by how it shortens them. My favorite so far is "Foundations of accounting," which became "Found accounting."

It sounds like found art, and I love that. I love the idea of ledgers scribbled on the subway walls, or discarded budgets, tucked in the back of library books. Little bits of accounting floating around the world, just for the love of it.

I like silly things.

April 8, 2010

Is it too obvious to quote Bowie here?

The last few days, I've been thinking hard about whether I want to keep doing the regular booklove and knitlove posts. I do love them (as, one would hope, the names imply), but I'm wondering if they still fit in my life, as much as it's changing these days. I did say I do better with structure, and I've got it now, but having new things usually means some old things will have to adapt, or be left behind.

When I started those weekly update posts, it was when I wasn't working full time (or at all, really), and I had more time for it. Now I'm starting to think I might like my free time to be just a bit more free. So I'm thinking it'll be back to random blog posts. Oddly enough, though, I feel like this means I'll post more. I've noticed over the last few months that I find myself thinking, "I could go write a blog entry, but tomorrow's knitlove day, so I'll just wait." And what kind of sense does that make? The set posts were scaring off the little random ones. Silly of me, I know, but there it is. So I think it's time to set free the set posts.

I'll still check in with knitting and reading, because how could I not? They're two of the things I love most, and who better to share them with than you? Plus, there has been plenty of both going on lately.

So that's where I stand now, readers. I'll see you when I see you.

April 5, 2010

Whoa, it's today!

So I didn't get around to thinking about blogging until late in the day yesterday. And then I was toddling around the house getting myself ready for my first day of work today! Yay! I hope it goes well. So you'll get more of an update later. Everybody have a good day, ok?

March 30, 2010

Lots and lots to celebrate

I've been very, very aware of the fast that I haven't posted in a week. I'm bummed that I let a whole week go by without putting anything up. But I did. Sorry, guys. I've said before that I feel like I do a lot better with structure, and I've had very little of that lately. But there is good news on that front.

I got a job! And I'm thrilled about it. There's a million things about it that are just what I was hoping for in a job, and I couldn't be happier. So starting Monday, assuming things go as planned, there will be structure again! And not the temp company kind where there's structure one week, and then for three days another week, and then nothing for a few weeks. This is reliable structure, just like I like it. I can't wait to get started.

So that's the best news, and it was already a good week. Yesterday was the Boy-Creature's birthday!


We got fondue for his birthday dinner, and I baked him a strawberry cake with strawberry icing. The kitchen smelled amazing, and I didn't even bake it here, since the oven is still on the fritz. Just the cake itself smelled delicious. And yes, there are only ten candles on that cake, but he turned twenty four, not ten. It's just that by the time I got the first eight on, he decided that was enough and wanted me to light them already. I made him let me put two more on so they'd be in the shape of a star. Please also ignore the fact that there are two mismatched candles right in front, along with ignoring all the junk on the counter. He really wanted some of that cake, so there wasn't a ton of time for a photo shoot. Not long after that picture was taken, the cake looked more like this.


It's a really tasty cake. There's even less of it now, and we only cut into it at lunchtime today. We wanted to cut it last night, but we forgot how freaking long a fondue dinner takes, and we didn't get home until ten thirty, and we were both stuffed. Upon coming home, I fell into an immediate food coma and had more super crazy weird dreams. So we had strawberry birthday cake for lunch today. I wish I could say that wasn't all we had for lunch, but alas, it was. Yet another reason I'm looking forward to going back to work. I eat better when I'm planning out lunches to take to the office.

March 21, 2010

Unseasonable snow + books = booklove


It's March. I have no words.


Luckily, I have books, as I don't plan on going outside anytime soon.

It's been an eventful week, book-wise. Especially what with the boring temp job I had. I both started and finished this book called The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor. It was a retelling of the Alice in Wonderland books that was really interesting. It went really fast, though I kind of expected that as it was a young adult book. I haven't read any of those lately, so it made for a nice change to get through a book that fast. I liked the book, though. It did some very interesting things with the story, and I very much liked the characters. The book series has a website, if you're interested.

I also started reading Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings. I know it's shocking, but I've never read them. And since I had to entertain myself all week long while stuck at a desk, I wanted something engaging that would last me until Friday, in between bouts of knitting. So I'm maybe two thirds of the way through now. I believe when I left off, they were at the Council of Elrond. I have to admit, though, it's going a little slower than I expected, or at least the first half did. There was an awful lot of describing every bit of land surrounding the hobbits, and specifically what direction they were walking, and how the road curved. I'm hoping that things will start picking up now. Still enjoying it, though.

I also got to make a trip to the big Half Price Books in Dallas yesterday. I got a They Might Be Giants CD, and a couple of other little fun things, but the book I was really excited to find was Prince of Stories: The Many Worlds of Neil Gaiman. I actually managed to find a hardcover edition for only eight bucks! Score! I win.

Also? I'd just like to point out that the high for tomorrow is seventy one degrees. This place is nuts.

March 17, 2010

Knitting as fast as my sleepy fingers will go

May I just say what an exciting week it's been, knitting-wise.

And may I also say, I just read that sentence to myself, and realized how insane we knitters must sound to the muggles.

Whatever.

I finished the knitting part of my sweater!


Don't be fooled: those buttons only look like they've been sewn on. I haven't touched it since I bound off the last stitch. I will. Because I really like this sweater, and I really want to wear it. But I haven't got the energy for weaving in ends right now.

And yet, there is lace.


I've started my first lace shawl. I realize, again, that it doesn't look like much yet, but it's coming along nicely, and I'm excited for it to be finished. Which I suspect won't take long. I started that on Monday, and did most of that work in a few hours each day after. This temp job I'm working right now is another one of those that's paying me to sit by the phone, and it's spring break, so it's been incredibly slow. Slower than the day when we had record-breaking snowfall, according to the guy in the cubicle next to me.

So the lace is coming along surprisingly quickly. Incidentally, I'm also two hundred pages into the book I started yesterday morning. I halfway expect to have it finished by the time I do the booklove post this weekend. It's been an interesting week. At least the lace is keeping me awake. Daylight savings sucks.

March 14, 2010

The hidden joys of temping

While you wouldn't necessarily think a roller coaster of a week would be a good thing for reading, it actually turned out that way. That job I was suddenly called to on Wednesday turned out to be a sit-by-the-phone job, so I not only did the crosswords and sudoku from the newspaper in the breakroom on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, but I also got a lot of reading done. Including the comics from said newspaper, and a few restaurant reviews.

For example, I read Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass this week. All of it. They're pretty quick, even when you are being interrupted every paragraph or so to answer the phone. I'd wanted to re-read them before I saw the movie, which I accomplished. We saw it on Saturday. I have mixed feelings about it, but I'm glad I finished the book first, and I'm still glad I saw the movie.

I also read a lot more of Reading Like a Writer. I realized, reading it, that I haven't done much reading on fiction theory since I got out of school. It feels good to be reading it again. I borrowed the copy machine at the office and xeroxed the suggested reading list out of the back (marvelously titled "Books to be read immediately"), and added a few more to it as well. So there will most likely be much to report in the coming months.

Right before I graduated from college, I'd asked my favorite teacher to make me a reading list, which he said he'd be happy to do. I remember telling him that it was my plan for continuing my education, once I left. Unfortunately, in the rush that was our graduation ceremony, I forgot to get it from him, and he had to leave early to take the guest speaker to the airport. I emailed him once or twice afterward, but never did get that list. So I'm sort of hoping that whatever suggested readings I can cobble together from books like Reading Like a Writer will stand in for the things he might have come up with.

Since the work week ended, though, I haven't read any more of it. I've mostly been reading Sherlock Holmes this weekend, which is getting very close to the end. Less than a hundred pages to go. I also started yet another book I got from the library (total count of books I've now borrowed: four, and four DVDs, which will go back tomorrow and be replaced by four more DVDs). It's a retelling of Alice in Wonderland (are you sensing a theme in my life of late? That's not even all of it, either) called The Looking Glass Wars. So far it's very good, if a little violent. The Boy-Creature was kind enough to point out that it has "war" right in the title. I stopped talking and went back to reading at that point. Anyway, I'm looking forward to getting farther into it. Maybe the next office job I have lined up for this week will let me get some reading done as well.

March 10, 2010

I like inverted roller coasters best, FYI

Holy cow, what a week. And what a day. This week is seriously turning into a roller coaster. Monday and Tuesday crawled by so slowly I couldn't believe it, like that part at the beginning when you're going up the first big hill, which always feels so much longer than it actually is. Then this morning I get a call literally minutes after my alarm went off asking if I could make it to an office as soon as possible. And then all sorts of other things happened today, and they're not all definite yet, I think, so I don't wanna jinx it. So more details on that later.

But this means that no knitting happened today. And actually, not a whole lot of knitting has happened the rest of the week. What little I did do was good, though. I tried a new technique to fix the neck of my sweater, which is so close to being done I can taste it! All I have left to actually knit is the buttonhole band. Then I'll just have to weave in all the ends and sew on buttons and it's officially a sweater! I'm so excited!

Too bad I won't have much time for knitting for the rest of this week. Holy pancakes, Batman.

March 7, 2010

Rainy weekend reading

I'm completely choosing to blame the Boy-Creature for the late hour of today's post. I had no intention of watching the Oscars tonight, but he came in and turned them on, and that was it for the night. Suddenly it's closing in on eleven. Oh well.

Never mind that I spent most of the day doing not much at all. It rained all day, and I acted like it. It was a very lazy day. Not a bad day, just lazy. At least we finally went to the grocery. We'd put it off all week, and we were to the point that there was nothing real left to eat. I scrambled the last of the eggs today, and that was it. So at least we got that done.

Yesterday was a similar day. For some reason, I woke up in a bad mood for no particular reason, so I spent the day as if it rained all day. I made a pot of tea, and got some cookies and Nutella and crawled into bed with Sherlock Holmes and read and read and read. So I'm that much closer to finishing the first volume. I was thinking of reading something else before I moved on to the second, but I've been enjoying it so much, it'll probably come down to whatever I feel like after I finish that last page. So we'll see what mood I'm in that day.

March 3, 2010

Reporting from the depths of stockinette hell

I am still being a monogamous knitter! It's astounding. I can't remember the last time I had only one project on the needles for this long. Thank god I'm nearing the end of this one project.

My sweater is nearly done! I finished one sleeve a couple of days ago, and the second sleeve just has a couple of inches to go. And I already have the buttons picked out (I think. I'm mostly sure), so it'll just need a button band, and all the ends woven in, and then it's a sweater! I'm so close!

And my next project will be a fancy lace shawl, because after all this stockinette stitch, I'm just about ready to kill myself with the boredom.

March 1, 2010

Too much ennui for clever titles

Yes, I do realize I let another weekend go by without doing a booklove post. I seem to be in another reading slump. I am still reading (all the same things- Sherlock Holmes and the library books I got), but not so enthusiastically.

I think it's because I'm not working regularly. I'm still temping, and getting by ok, but I do better with some semblance of a regular, reliable structure in my life. Hopefully I'll get back to one soon.

February 25, 2010

So what is it I'm waiting for?

This article, "No Sense in Waiting," has been spinning around in my brain since I first saw it earlier today.

This boy has done more with sixty square feet than I've done with anything lately.

There is no sense in waiting, and if you don't, then there are no limitations. You just have to figure out what it is you want, and make it happen, no matter how big or small.

So now all I have to do is figure out what it is I actually want.

February 24, 2010

Knitting with the Doctor

It has been a long, long day, filled with a little bit of actually getting things done, some tasty cooking, recipe courtesy of the Pioneer Woman, and lots and lots of knitting while watching Doctor Who.

It was finally back in at the library yesterday. Which is why I didn't get nearly as much done today as I should have. One day later, I'm down three discs.

But I did get a lot of my sweater done. I'm through all the raglan decreases, so I've just got the ribbing at the neck, the sleeves and the button bands. Which means I could actually have a finished sweater in a few days' time. How sweet is that? Finally.

And then I can cast on something else! Yay!

February 21, 2010

Distractions and diversions

I've been thinking about why I skipped doing a booklove post for the last two weeks, and I think I figured it out. I'm blaming sports.

I've never liked sports. Any of them. Even the ones like gymnastics and figure skating that are similar in some elements to dancing, the one thing I love most in the world. I can't even explain why ice dancing is weird to me. It just is.

But first the Saints are in the super bowl the weekend my mom (born and raised in New Orleans) is in town. So we went to a party and watched. Well. They watched, I sat in a corner and knit. And now it's the winter Olympics. I've never really watched the Olympics. Yes, they're big and exciting, but they're still sports, so I still don't really care.

But now I live with this boy, who not only really likes television, but loves the Olympics. I feel like the television has been on constantly for the last week and a half. And this is a very small house. It's hard to avoid. So not much reading has been getting done. But I'm trying.

I started reading The Complete Sherlock Holmes a couple of weeks ago, and as slow as it's going, I'm really enjoying it. I never doubted that I would, but there's still been some surprises. I don't know how I never knew that all the stories are from Watson's point of view. Especially since I know I read one of the stories in school, years and years ago, and I completely forgot that. The really nice surprise is that I love Watson as a character. He's not what I expected, from what I had seen from all the pop culture references that have come down through the years. I always had this vague feeling that he would always kinda bug me, but I'm finding him delightful. So even if it takes me much longer than I expected, I'm looking forward to making my way through the rest.

I made it to the library again yesterday, too. It was one of those days when I couldn't find what I was actually looking for, but in hunting for it, I came across other books I wanted to read even more. One is Francine Prose's Reading Like a Writer. One of my best friends in college had a copy of this book, and I kept meaning to get a copy and read it myself. And for those reasons that always come up with that kind of thing, I never got around to it. So when I stumbled on it, I figured it's time, and grabbed it without any hesitation.

The other book I grabbed is called Novel Destinations: Literary Landmarks from Jane Austen's Bath to Ernest Hemingway's Key West. I found this book awhile back at Anthropologie (my favorite store, which once again I can't afford), and I always like the idea of it. It's another one of those books that's been on my Amazon wish list for months. I started reading it yesterday, and so far it's just ok. The whole first section is short little blurbs on historical sites, and it kind of reads like a tourist guidebook. Which I guess it is, but it wasn't what I was hoping for. So I'm thinking I'll probably end up sort of skimming this first section, and I'll read the rest more in depth. But I'll still make a note of any new places I desperately want to visit someday. I'll add them to the already sizable list.

February 17, 2010

Slacker. That's me.

I am aware of the fact that I've let two weekends go by now without doing a booklove post. I'm trying not to feel too guilty about that. They just didn't happen. Sorry. I'm a work in progress.

I am still reading. I'm still knitting, too.

Still knitting on my sweater.

And getting distracted and knitting other stuff instead.

And not finishing those things, or taking pictures of them.

It's been almost a week now since I finished knitting the Pop tart ipod cozy, but I haven't sewn it together, or even thought about beads, or whatever. I'll get there.

I did do this, though:


It's my very first washcloth. It's got a skull on it. Yay.

I never had any interest in knitting a washcloth, or a dishcloth, or anything like it, but I did a journal swap last summer, and my swap partner sent me that yarn. I didn't know what else to do with it, so I made that. I've used it twice. And I kinda like it. I've got about half the ball left, though.

I'm gonna knit this baby right here next. In honor of my burgeoning David Tennant obsession. Yay.

February 12, 2010

Snomygawd

Here's a picture of my backyard yesterday morning:


And the front:


Now here's the backyard this morning. Notice any differences?


And the front:


I did not go to work, today or yesterday. I have gotten lots of knitting done, and unpacked four boxes of books.

February 10, 2010

One more thing

I almost forgot! Blog it forward started today. It's really cool. Lots and lots of bloggers (300, I believe) are all blogging together about what inspires them, and the first round is up. It'll go on for the next ten days, skipping over the weekend. Go check it out, and read some amazing blogs. And if you like it, put a badge on your own blog or website. Enjoy!

Crawling ever onwards

And that title works on many levels, let me tell you.

Firstly, knitting.

'Member that sweater from last week? That I said was actually not that far from being done? 'Member? I tried that sweater on. That sweater was never, ever going to close over my boobs. I even momentarily considered knitting the button band extra wide, in the way that knitters consider these ridiculous notions in order to try to avoid frogging things. I considered it for about half a second.

I have frogged that sweater.

And cast on in the next size up. *Sigh.* Such is a knitter's lot in life. Often an uphill battle. But at least our uniforms come with hand-knit socks.

In happier news, Mom was here this weekend, and I asked about buttons, and she immediately dug out four big containers of buttons, and we manically sorted through a slew of pearl buttons, and I found buttons that I think I like enough to use. I found others that I like even better, but one set is, I think, too small, and the other set doesn't have enough. But still, progress has been made on the button front.

I also cast on for one of these babies right here. Mine will look awfully similar to the one on her blog, except I think Mom stole all my beads after I moved out, plus, sewing on teensy bugle beads sounds exhausting right now. So mine might be sans sprinkles. At least for the time being. We'll see how I feel once it's all knit up. It's not so far along right now, because I only cast on, and it's been a long couple of days.

Because I have a job (temporarily. I'm told that's what happens when you work for a temp agency). Which normally would not be so bad, but the job that was supposedly in north Fort Worth, is actually so far north of Fort Worth that it's no longer in Tarrant county. So the commute sucks pretty badly. But it's only two weeks, and otherwise, it's been good. So I'm trying not to complain. Plus, there's a 70% chance of snow tonight, so I might not even have to go tomorrow. Which would be nice, except for that whole getting paid thing. Which is the other reason I'm not complaining about the job. I like that part. I'd hate to miss a whole day of it. So, all pros and cons taken into consideration,

In other areas of making myself crawl towards something resembling progress, my brain has been bubbling again, and I've been taking those bubblings more and more seriously. There are exciting things beginning to take shape. And they'll do so even more once I start getting a paycheck or two. Yay for start-up capital. That's a hint, right there. But things are still pretty loose right now, so I'm not giving any more away. I'll just say that I'm feeling more and more excited about these things I'm working on.

Ok, I'm going to go knit now.

February 3, 2010

A momentous occasion

Image source: this fantastic bakery, makers of some crazy-gorgeous baked goods. I especially love the Chanel-inspired cupcakes.

Happy 100th post, everybody! I'm celebrating with a new header photo. Like it?

It's a really good day for it, too. There's quite a convergence of knitting-related awesomeness today. Not only is it Knitlove Wednesday, but today just happens to be the day I hit 1000 posts on the Ravelry message boards and my two-year Ravelry anniversary! I joined back when there was still an invite list and a 2-3 week wait, so I was really excited when I finally got in. So when I posted about hitting 1000 posts, we were joking that it'll be no time at all until I get to 10,000. I mentioned it only took two years, and then checked how long it'd been, just out of curiosity. And there it was. "Raveler since February 3, 2008" Yay me!

In actual knitting news (read: things people other than me might actually care about), my Kaleidoscope sweater is coming along.


I did my very first provisional cast-on for the sleeves the other day (or at least my first successful provisional cast-on. There have been several failed attempts), and I'm nearing the end of the yoke. I think I'll do one more round of decreases, since I don't want it to be quite as off-the-shoulder as the original design, and then I'll move on to the sleeves and the button band! I oughta start looking for buttons soon, too. Mom will be in town this weekend. I bet she'd be happy to help me look. Maybe she'll even give me some of hers. Maybe. She's got a button obsession that has yielded buckets and buckets (literally) of buttons.

Since I'm nearing the end of the sweater (sort of), and I've never been a monogamous knitter, I've been thinking about other things to cast on. I was planning to cast on a washcloth or two, until I remembered that my one ball of kitchen cotton was used for packing material in one of the boxes that hasn't made it to Texas yet. Luckily, those are coming with Mom this weekend, so I won't have to wait much longer. I'm thinking I'll do EXFOLIATE!, in honor of my recently developed crush on David Tennant, thanks to the posting of many, many Hamlet and Doctor Who videos, not to mention the scads of photos. He's on my desktop now, too. I'm also planning to knit a Skully dishcloth, too, since I have a whole ball of the stuff, and I don't know what else to do with it. I haven't been bitten by the dishcloth bug yet, and I'm not yet convinced I will, so we'll see how it goes.

Those won't take long, though, so I'm thinking I'll cast on a lace shawl after that. It'll be my first! I haven't decided which yet, but it'll probably be the Haruni shawl, in some Pagewood Farms sock yarn I got in Las Cruces this summer.

So that's all the knitting news from me on this, the second anniversary of my Raveling adventures. I think I'll go knit on my sweater now.

February 1, 2010

A growing addiction

Yesterday was a weird day. Just kind of off, from beginning to end. Which is why I forgot to do a booklove post. I'm not sure why I forgot last week. I think unemployment is getting to me. But no more.

I said I wanted to work more on this blog, and I meant it, so I'm here today. Not exactly with a booklove post, but a little-bit-of-everything post.

There has been booklove, though. I finished Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. This morning. It was the special edition hardcover edition, with 30% more zombie action, and full color illustrations, which Best Friend gave me for Christmas. And it was interesting. Best Friend's mom is an English teacher, and she mentioned she wanted to hear what I thought of it, as someone who not only reads a lot of books, but spent four years in college doing almost nothing but talking about books.

I'm going to have a lot to say when we have that conversation. I get the impression she is in the camp of wondering why the heck someone would want to ruin one of the greatest works in English literature with zombie nonsense. But I don't think it ruins it at all. Pride and Prejudice is a book about young women trying to get married because they have no other choice. A woman's role in that time was to get married, keep house, and have children. That's about it. Everything they do and say is dictated by what is considered polite and proper. But if you give these women actual skills, even if they're nonsensical ninja skills, it changes the entire social and economic dynamic. Suddenly they're worth more than their wombs and embroidery talents, and that gives them license to do and say things they couldn't have said in real life. Elizabeth Bennet becomes even more outspoken and opiniated, and I like her for it.

I've also started reading The Complete Sherlock Holmes. I'm already through A Study in Scarlet and loving it. I've been meaning to read these books for awhile (not just because the movie came out- and the movie was great). So I'm really liking them so far, and I can't wait to read more.

In other areas of reading, I've been gobbling up blogs like crazy the past couple of weeks. It started with finding A Beautiful Mess. Then she announced that she got nominated for the Bloggies, and I started checking out some of the other nominees- . And now I find myself completely obsessed with the blogosphere. I've started following several, in addition to the decent-sized list I already checked on a daily basis. I downloaded an RSS feed reader, to make it a wee bit easier on myself. And I've started coming up with all sorts of ideas for things I want to change about my own.

My next post will be my 100th post. While I was thinking about doing a redesign and launching it for the 100th post, I don't think that will happen. There's something weird going on in my code (which is why my blog title has been so boring-looking for so long. It's stuck that way), and I don't know enough about coding to fix it. So I'm looking into it. But there will be some changes soon. Because I have definitely been bit by the blog bug. Again.

January 27, 2010

Stockinette and swatches

It seems like ever since we got back to Texas, I've constantly felt like saying, "It's already ____day already?!" Time goes so much faster when you've actually got things to do, even if they're mostly things around the house. And my mind has been going in so many directions that it's almost always a struggle to keep focused on one thing for long.

So I haven't gotten a ton of knitting done this week. The sweater is coming along, but it's just plain, mindless stockinette so far, which makes it even harder to focus for long. So I'll be glad when it's time for sleeves. I should start looking for buttons soon, too.

The other thing I started last night is that I was swatching for something I'm designing myself. I've had this idea in my head for months, and never got around to trying it. So last night I felt like starting something new. Maybe it's all the stockinette, or maybe I've looked at my queue on Ravelry so often that I've gotten bored with it, but I didn't feel like starting anything I'd had planned. So I started something new! Truly new! Very exciting. Maybe by next week I'll have more that just a swatch done. Maybe I'll have pictures of an actual original design!

January 22, 2010

Dance-y brain

Today I'm feeling inspired.

I ate leftover potato-leek soup that I made on Wednesday. I've been cooking more lately, because I like cooking, and I've had the time, being unemployed, and it's cheaper than eating out too much. So I've been trying to cook more and more. The soup came out wonderfully. It's good with toast. I'll have to make it again sometime.

I'm trying to drink more water. I never drink enough, and I've tried and tried to drink more. Maybe one day I'll get myself in the habit. I am a work in progress.

I've been reading lots of blogs. Especially this one called A Beautiful Mess. I love her stuff, and it's hard not to get inspired by her blog posts. One of them, in fact, is the reason I started on a wee little painting yesterday (remember when I talked about those? I'm still at it), and I'm letting my brain dance around and bubble up with more ideas for those. I'm letting my brain dance around with all sorts of things. This is the reason I think I'll go to the art store soon. I want some paint markers. Being a writer, a lot of my art ideas encompass words and type and wordplay, and I don't yet trust my hand at doing lettering with a paintbrush. I'll keep experimenting and practicing with a brush, but in the meantime, paint markers sound like a good investment.

Which is why it's a good thing that I have a temp position lined up for Monday. Yay for income! It won't be much, since it's only a one day thing, but I'll take it! And in the meantime, I'm still putting myself out there and trying to find a good job. Fingers still crossed.

Especially if it'll allow me to do more of these inspired types of things I want to do. It's been good for me, trying to do as much as I can with as little as possible, but eventually a girl's gotta get her some paint markers.

January 21, 2010

Today


Today I saw two foxes in my back yard. They just trotted through, and this one hung out for a little bit, until the cats saw him and got all nervous. Then they both moved on. I don't think I've ever seen foxes outside of the zoo, actually.

Today I went to dance class, too. Tap and jazz. At the studio I went to from first grade until I graduated high school. I'm going to be all kinds of sore tomorrow. That's ok. It's worth it. Just about anything would be worth it, to get back into dancing all the time again.

January 20, 2010

Productiveness! Finally!

Like I said before, it's been a good week for finishing things. I finished the Clandestine socks, but didn't bother to take more pictures of them. I will, but they're done, and I weaved in the ends and everything. I was weaving in ends on all sorts of things. First were the socks. Second was this:


I made a tea mitten! The pattern is from Elisabeth Kleven of Knits Vehemently, and I love how it turned out. It is a little silly that I made a tea cozy for the pot that I can't currently use, as I don't have a tea strainer that fits through the top. But I'll get one soon, since I need to order more loose tea anyway. I'm totally out of my favorite tea, from Tealuxe! Their caramel creme brulee is delicious. So I'll get a new strainer then. I had one, but I accidentally put it through the garbage disposal. Whoops.

I do have another tea cozy in mind for the pot I actually use these days, but I already had that yarn in my stash, so that's what got knit first. So eventually, I'll get around to knitting useful things again.

In other news of finishing things, I did get this done:


Yay! It's a functioning mug cozy! And I like how it came out. I still have some of that yarn leftover, though, so I'll have to find even more small projects like this. And finally, my most exciting bit of knitting news:


I've started another sweater! It's Sarah Sutherland's Kaleidoscope, done in Three Irish Girls sock yarn. The colorway is called Roisin, and I've been drooling over this yarn for months on end. It took me hours just to pick this yarn out in the first place, and even then I had to call my mom and ask what she thought. It probably won't be the last yarn I buy from them, either. All their colorways are gor-freaking-geous. Gorgeous. So. My little six inches of sweater may not look like much yet, but it will. This is one of those projects where I wish it was done already, because I can't wait to wear it! Yay sweater!

January 17, 2010

Of finishings and startings

It's been a decent week, as far as getting things done go. I finished and sent off the first of my grad school applications, finished three knitting projects- weaving in ends and sewing on buttons and everything, sent out plenty of resumes and job applications (though it won't feel like enough until I've gotten a job), and cooked a lot.

But I only finished one book.

I got through the last of Reading the OED yesterday, and it seemed like it got more and more fun, the closer it got to the end. The writer's anecdotes and comments and reflections on reading that monstrous tome got a little bit more mad, and even more interesting, so that by the time I got to the end, I must admit, part of me really did want to go read (at least some of) the OED myself. Not the way he did, straight through A to Z, but in a more relaxed (less insane) way.

In other news, I'm almost done with Four Letter Word, which means it'll be going back to the library soon. I had been idly thinking I'd browse around and get more books when I go, but maybe not. I cleared out space to make a desk for myself this week, and I put all the books I've been meaning to read there, and now they're all looking at me, silently waiting for me to read them. I have been craving some fiction, and there are several greats there. Maybe it'll be Italo Calvino's If On a Winter's Night a Traveler. Or maybe Sense and Sensibility. But there's also Price and Prejudice and Zombies, my Christmas present from my best friend.

I wonder which it'll be, when the time comes to start.

January 13, 2010

Catching up on the knitloviness

Knitlove! And sadly, even in all this time I've had to knit, there's only three things to update. Because I got lazy and didn't get a picture of the fourth one.

That fourth one was Mom's Christmas scarf. The super secret Christmas knitting was Yarn Zombie's Isobel Scarf, done in gorgeous Koigu yarn. It was my first Koigu, and far from my last, I can already tell. But anyway, the scarf was finished in time, and blocked and presented, and Mom loved it! She took off the scarf she was wearing (because my mom loves scarves) and replaced it with this one. So I think it was a hit. Eventually I'll get a picture.

Onto the things I do have pictures of.

The first is this mug cozy:


It's Jenny Raymond's Patty Cozy, or at least it will be one day when I get around to putting on the final touches. I thought it was a cute pattern, and I happened to have leftover Malabrigo and a button, so I made it. Or part of it, anyway. It still needs a loop and the button sewn on. These things would take me about fifteen or twenty minutes, if I would just sit down and do it. But I haven't yet. Meh. I will.


Now! The things I've been spending most of my knitting time on. My very first Cookie A. socks! They're the Clandestine socks, from the fall 2009 Knitty, and I'm loving them. I finished the first one in eleven days. The second one isn't going quite as fast, but I'm ok with that. I'll be glad when they're done, though, and I'm getting close. Two more lace repeats and the toe, a little finishing work, and they're done! They are super pretty, too. And they've been sort of a learning process, in regards to my lace tolerance. I've learned that knitting while listening to a podcast or audiobook seems to work fine, but for whatever reason, I can't knit while watching a movie. Even a movie I've seen a billion times. I tried knitting through "The Princess Bride" the other night, and I screwed up more in that one lace repeat than throughout the rest of these socks. Go figure.

And finally... my Hermione hat. It's actually called Hermione's Cable and Eyelet Hat, from JL Yarnworks' blog. I had this yarn that I had been knitting into mitts, but even though I'd loved the pattern, I wasn't crazy about how mine were coming out. I don't know why, but they just weren't working for me. So after literally a year of waffling and carrying around this UFO (Un-Finished Object, for you non-knitting muggles), I finally made a decision and frogged it, and turned the yarn into this hat. Yay! I love it. It's a little, tiny bit too long, but I love it anyway. I just have to either wear it pushed back on my head, or fold up the brim in front, and the good news is that it looks cute either way!

It just figures that we've already had our cold snap for the year, and it's back up into the sixties, and I probably won't be able to wear it until next year. Whatever. I'll be so cute in my hat next year.

Now I get to figure out what to knit next! It's very exciting.

January 12, 2010

Where has my brain gone? I must have left it in my knitting bag.

I had every intention of doing a knitting update today, but then we went to Best Friend's house, and ended up spending the rest of the day there, and didn't leave until after midnight.

So I was feeling all guilty that I said I was going to get back into blogging more regularly again.

And then I realized today was Tuesday. I am aware it's after midnight, so it's technically Wednesday already, but I haven't been to bed yet, so it still feels like Tuesday. And Wednesdays are when I was doing the knitting posts. So I'm not late at all. There will be a knitting update tomorrow (aka, later today).

Good night.

January 10, 2010

The triumphant return of...

Booklove! Finally. And there is much to report.

So. Since my last post (before Christmas, seriously? It felt like it was just a couple of days ago), there has been a flurry of reading.

I finished Lost in a Good Book, which was great. Jasper Fforde has an incredible imagination, and what seems like a pretty deep working knowledge of great literature. I can't help but wonder if he is truly that knowledgeable on these things, or if he has to look them up as he goes along. To be honest, it results in fun, funny books, so I'm happy either way. Even if you haven't read any of his books, you should go check out his website, Fforde Grand Central. Most of it does tie into the Thursday Next series, so if you think you might be interested, take a look.

After I finished that, I re-read a book from my youth (she said, as if she were in fact much older and wiser than her actual age of twenty-three), Patricia Wrede's Talking to Dragons. It's the fourth and last of her Enchanted Forest series, and for reasons I couldn't explain even if I tried, it's my favorite of the four. I've always loved the way she plays with the fairy tale conceits and cliches in these books. Every time Boy-Creature tries to call me a princess, I get this urge to make him sit down and read them immediately, so he can see just what kind of princess I am. Cimorene is a fantastic female role-model, as are Morwen and Kazul, for that matter. One of these days I will make him read those.

The reason I read that, though, instead of finishing The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, is because it was usurped by my mother. She stole my book and started reading it, and then wouldn't give it back the whole time I was visiting her. Sadly, though, she didn't have time to finish it before we came back to Texas, and I wasn't about to leave it with her when I hadn't finished it either. And I was reading it first! So there!

So I've finished it since coming back. And it was incredible. Boy-Creature just kept asking me if it deserved the Pulitzer, and I think I can safely say it did. I mentioned before how the history and pop-culture were so skillfully twined together. It only got better and better. It's an absolutely stunning story. This is one of those books I'll still be telling people to read years from now, I can tell. Go read it, even if you're not particularly interested in comic books, or WWII history. I'm not, and I loved it. Go read it.

And now that that's done, I went back to the library. I got Four Letter Word: Invented Correspondence from the Edge of Modern Romance, which is a book I heard about awhile ago on Neil Gaiman's blog, and I had been meaning to track it down ever since. When I just happened upon it at the library, I grabbed it without a second's thought. I'm only a little ways into it, but I'm enjoying it so far. It's amazing how many things "love letter" can mean. So much more than just "How do I love thee?"

The other thing I got was a collection of short stories by Julie Orringer called How to Breathe Underwater. Boy-Creature immediately approved of my choice, because the cover photo shows three young girls swimming in a river in their underwear, and he says one of them looks like me. She kinda does (which I did not admit to him), but that's not really the point. The stories are the point, and the stories were very, very good. From the very first, very gripping story, I was enrapt. I finished them all within two days. My favorite was the story from which the book takes it's name, "The Isabel Fish."

So that's where I stand now, reading Four Letter Word while Happy Alchemy and Reading the OED are still trailing behind as well. Maybe by next week I'll be onto something entirely new. What a lovely thought. I wonder what I'll read next?