Monday, February 27, 2006

Admire the sock!

Here is my beautiful Olympic sock. Yes, during the whole Olympics I could only manage to finish one sock. But it is a fine sock, and I am very proud of it. I haven't seen medal buttons for the crochet Olympics yet, but I would give myself a bronze. I finished 1/3 of the projects I had planned, but I worked really hard on the sock and learned a lot from it. Making the sock has really increased my crochet confidence. There will be no stopping me now!

I am super pleased the sock fits! And is wearable! I could wear it about just like a sock I bought from a store! The cuff is a little wonky, and when they aren't on you can see the heel is quite pointy (I think I over-decreased) but they fit and are clearly recognizable as socks, so I am pleased.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

New most hilarious thing

This is the new funniest thing I have ever seen. It is a Fatboy Slim video, starring kittens!


We went to the butterfly house today. I bought R a yearly pass for his birthday, so we try to go as much as we can. It is very beautiful. Also it was a good chance to give the new digital camera a try. Here are some pictures, and you can see more at my Flickr account which you can get to via the badge in the sidebar. I made it just for you, Laura. :)

Friday, February 24, 2006


The camera fun continues! Here are pictures of my first two ever finished projects.

R's scarf (with cats, who refused to get out of the picture). Ignore the difference in width between the two ends. I clearly had some interesting tension changes going on.

Here is a close up on part of the scarf.

And, finally, the hat. The hat is a miracle hat. It seriously took me two days. I have not been able to crochet so quickly since.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Book Challenge

23. Faces Under Water by Tanith Lee

I used to read a lot of Tanith Lee's books, back in high school. I really like her 'dark' retellings of different fairy tales. She came into my mind recently, so when I was at the library I though I would see what they had by her, and I discovered this series. It is a four book series, with each book dealing with one of the four elements and the process of alchemy. I have since learned from Father Roderick, in the Secrets of Harry Potter that historically students of alchemy had to go through four tests, related to the four elements, from which they would emerge stronger and knowledgeable. So I wish I would have listened to that podcast before I read this book, as it really helped me make sense of it.

The book is weird. It is very dreamlike and takes pace in a parallel Italy, in a parallel Venice (called Venus). It is Carnival, and everyone wears masks for 6 weeks. Even when they are going about their daily business, they wear masks. The story is about a former upper class man who is wandering Venus and falls into a mystery involving a mask he found floating in a canal. This doesn't at all describe what goes on in the book. A lot of different things happen, and it is often confusing and murky.

The book was interesting to read because the atmosphere was so well done. When I finished I was not totally satisfied. I still feel like it, or I, was missing something. I have the other books from the library, and wasn't sure if I was going to read them, but I started the next and so far it is much better so I will see how it goes.

Basically, a weird, but interesting book. Very dark and dreamlike.

Brokeback to the Future

This is the funniest thing, ever!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Crochet Olympics, with pictures!

My new digital camera arrived today! Such excitement. I am so happy to finally have one. Since it arrived, you can all admire my Olympic sock....

That is the cuff, and the first few rows of the foot. The little triangle shape is where the heel will go.

I am not doing so great on the socks. As you can see, I have not even finished one. I am soooo slow. I am pleased with how it is going, though. I think I was too ambitious with my plan to do the socks and the stuffed elephant. I am now concentrating on the socks -- I would like to finish at least the first one.

I am happy that I am actually making socks and as I go through the pattern they appear socklike. I think I have learned a lot from trying this, and will learn more as I finish them up. So that is good. My mom always taught me to look on the bright side.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Book Challenge

22. A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula Le Guin
Thanks to Laura for getting me to read this! It is great! I can't wait to read the rest of the series. For some reason, I didn't read Le Guin for many years, although I have always known of her. I think I tried the Earthsea books when I was pretty young, and the writing was too dense for me. However, I now find the writing very lush and beautiful, and the story is amazing. I read another Le Guin book last year, and loved it as well, so I will definitely explore more of this author's works.

Also, she is the daughter of famous anthropologist Alfred Kroeber. How cool is that?

Book Meme

Stolen from a K8, a cat, a mission :

Bold the ones you've read, italicize the ones you might read, cross out the ones you won't and underline the ones on your book shelf.

The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
The Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger
The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy - Douglas Adams
The Great Gatsby - F.Scott Fitzgerald
To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee

The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - J.K. Rowling
Life of Pi - Yann Martel

Animal Farm: A Fairy Story - George Orwell
Catch-22 - Joseph Heller
The Hobbit - J. R. R. Tolkien
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
Lord of the Flies - William Golding
Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
1984 - George Orwell

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - J.K. Rowling
One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
Slaughterhouse 5 - Kurt Vonnegut
Angels and Demons - Dan Brown

Fight Club - Chuck Palahniuk
Neuromancer - William Gibson
Cryptonomicon - Neal Stephenson

The Secret History - Donna Tratt
A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess
Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
Brave New World - Aldous Huxley

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - C. S. Lewis
Middlesex - Jeffrey Eugenides

Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
The Lord of the Rings - J. R. R. Tolkien
Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
Good Omens - Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman
Atonement - Ian McEwan
The Shadow Of The Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
The Old Man and the Sea - Ernest Hemingway
The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
Dune - Frank Herbert

I left a few regular font, because it is hard for me to say I will NEVER read a certain book. I'll read pretty much anything.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

My New Boyfriend

I have been greatly enjoying the Olympics this year. The speed skating and the short track have been good for some drama. R and I have to cut back on our short track watching as the suspense is giving us ulcers. Also they fall down too much!

But I am really posting today to tell you about my new boyfriend, Joey Cheek. I first realized he was my boyfriend when he won gold in the 500 meters. If you missed this, you missed a great Olympic moment. He did his little skating, and then took off his skating sunglasses (I don't really understand why they wear these, but R said, "If you look fast, you ARE fast." I will believe him on that.) and pushed back his skating hood, looked up at his time and had the BEST happy/surprised look on his face. He totally didn't know how well he did, and then was so excited to see it. He just seems like such a nice, happy, friendly guy. And to top it all off, he donated both his bonuses from winning medals to an organization that helps disadvantaged youth through sports. Yep, he is my new boyfriend.

You can see the moment I speak of at this slideshow -- it is the seventh picture.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Be it hereby resolved...

For years, I was opposed to New Year's resolutions. I thought they were stupid and basically a way to set oneself up for failure by setting goals that would never be met. In college I made New Year's resolutions a few times, but at Samhain, not January 1, as I hung with the pagans at that time. Somehow doing it at a different time of year than most people made it more real to me. Also, Samhain was in the fall semester, the start of a new school year and a good time to set new goals.

This year, I made some real New Year's resolutions again. I felt that after the fall semester and before the spring, after good times seeing friends and family for the holidays, and after all the Christmas/end of semester craziness, it was a good time to take stock and fix things I had let slide during the crazy times.

I ended up with two main resolutions:
1. To exercise more.
-- For awhile I was really good at going to the gym a couple of times during the week and taking the free exercises classes my university offers from time to time. However as I got busier, this really fell off. So for 2006 I am making it a priority. So far I have made it to the gym at least once most weeks. Right now I am being thwarted by the fact that my bad knees mean I can only use the elliptical machine or treadmill for cardio, and lately these are full every time I try to go.

I've also paid for 8 yoga classes at a local yoga studio. I used to go once a week, and really loved it, but got busy and let that go as well. I have only missed one week so far, and I am totally loving it. Yoga is just my kind of exercise. It is interesting, so I don't get bored, and basically everything in it can be done at so many levels. I always leave class feeling good and like I was challenged.

2. To become more interesting.
-- I know this may seem like a shocking resolution, as I am a totally fascinating person, but I find grad school is slowing sucking away my social skills. I spend so much time thinking about anthropology and talking to other anthropologists, that I think I am forgetting how to relate to anyone else. I am really trying to get better at conversation, especially the kind of small talk party conversation that is so necessary when chatting with acquaintances. My concrete steps towards being more interesting were to do stuff not related to anthro. So yoga counted for this, as did seeing experimental films at the art museum, reading books that I maybe wouldn't normally read, and going to talks in other disciplines.

I was doing pretty well with this for awhile (I even went to a sociology talk!), but I have slowed up some lately. The last grant I wrote was a big problem for a few weeks. I am getting back into it, though. I am counting the Olympics as adding to my interestingness, and I have been crocheting more. I need to step up the getting out of the house, so will be alert for more outside the apartment activities in order to increase my interestingness.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Book challenge

21. Carolyn 101 by Carolyn Kepcher
There is really no reason to read this book, unless you are obsessed with Carolyn from "The Apprentice", as I am. This book is basically a "how-to" for people to deal with various issues in business. It is a good book, and the tips are good, but don't go much beyond common sense and are not too useful to me, as I am not a business person. That said, this is a fun book to read to get insights into Carolyn's personality. She seems like a really authentic person, who is in actuality a lot like she seems on TV. I liked seeing more of her personality and enjoyed the book. Carolyn is totally my hero.

Michelle Kwan-gate

Melinda asked what I thought of Michelle Kwan-gate. And here is my answer for all my loyal readers.

I agree that if she didn't feel well yesterday, she probably didn't feel well when she got on the plane. I bet she suspected she wouldn't be able to compete, but wanted to try for that gold so much she couldn't admit it to herself. She probably shouldn't have gone at all, but at least in the end she quit early so Emily Hughes has time to get there and all. I can't feel THAT bad for her, I mean she won like a million things and has a silver and a bronze. I won some spelling bees when I was 13 and have NO Olympic medals (although if my plans for a South American curling team go as planned, that will all change!)

I have never been super in to Michelle Kwan for some reason. I don't know why, she just doesn't grab me. I did feel bad for her last night when Bob Costas said, "When did Michelle Kwan get old?" Dude! She's 25! That's messed up.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

More crochet and Olympics

I spent a very satisfying day yesterday watching the Olympics with R. The weather was gloomy and rainy so we planted ourselves on the couch and cheered on the pairs figure skaters, the speed skaters and the freestyle skiers. Fun fun. I was so happy the American figure skaters landed their fancy schmancy throw, and that the Italian swooped up for the the bronze in the speed skating. I do think "The Exception" is the stupidest nickname ever for an athlete though. Oooh... I am quaking in my skates because I have to race "The Exception". The Flying Tomato and The White Sausage are both much cooler nicknames.

As all these sports were being viewed, I managed 3 rows on my first sock. I had to rip out four because I was turning too early, but I am in a good rhythm now. I am not sure about how the crocheted socks are going to turn out -- the stitches seem to be too loose, so the resulting fabric may be sort of holey. I will persevere though, and see how it all ends up.

Back to the Olympics coverage, I loooved the little scene between Marlena and John from Days of Our Lives about the figure skating scandal in Salt Lake City. Marlena says, "John, it wasn't me, it was the French judge!". Hee hee! Someday I will post a true confessions type post about my love of Days of Our Lives, and the embarrassing amount I watch it.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Crochet Olympics... going for the gold

I am going to actually be social tonight and go to a friend's for movies and games, so I won't start the crocheting. However I did buy the yarn for my socks this weekend. It is Crazy Cotton and you can see it here. It is self striping! I am excited to crochet stripes.

Hopefully I will get some good crocheting done Saturday, as we will probably watch the DVR-ed opening ceremonies then, and there is figure skating that day!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


18. The Close: A Young Woman's First Year at Seminary by Chloe Breyer
As it says in the title, this is a book about the author's first year at an Episcopal Seminary in New York. I looooved this book. I thought it was so honest, and interesting to read about this woman's struggles with her beliefs and what the church taught, along with how to be the best minister she could. The book also made me interested in the Episcopalian religion, which seems to have many of the things I like about Catholicism, plus woman priests! And gay people! yay! Anyway, this is a great book.

19. Girl in Hyacinth Blue by Susan Vreeland
The story of a fictional long lost Vermeer painting. It was ok, but didn't really grab me. My favorite parts were at the very end, when the actual creation of the painting was described.

20. The Rector's Wife by Joanna Trollope
Seeing this book around the house, R became concerned about all the reading about religion I have been doing. I didn't really mean to read two religiously themed books so close together, it just happened. I found this book for cheap at a used bookstore, and it looked interesting so I picked it up.

This book is the story of an English vicar's wife who kind of comes to a crossroads in her life, regarding her purpose and independence or lack thereof. I thought it was a very interesting look at how women can be made to be simply appendages of their husbands, and are often assumed to have the same interests and goals as their husbands, whether or not this is actually the case. I really enjoyed this book as well, especially because the main character was so engaging and sympathetic.


1. I love looking at crochet pattern sites, eventhough I crochet less than I talk about it. Here's a list of things I want to crochet (after the crochet olympics, of course!): yoga mat bag, plastic bag bag, flapper hat, chunky yarn hat kind of like one Mimi wore on Days of Our Lives once, slippers made from squares

2. Right now, I am working on a granny square bag, using these granny squares. I am going to make eight squares, connect them and line it all. So far I am three rows into the first square. I hope to prgress more on it after the Olympics and some more grants are in.

3. I thought the grant proposal was done, but it turned out I needed to do a few more revisions. I also had to wake up early on Sunday to work all day on a project that was scrapped later that day. It has all been quite frustrating and I have just been exhausted and stressed, as demonstrated by the blog neglect. To add to the frustration, during times like these I question my ability to succeed in academia. So many professors tell me these are the best years of my life and things will just get harder once I am out of school. I really hope this isn't true. I have a lot of issues with the workaholic culture of academia, and wonder sometimes if I should be in it if I don't want to participate in the unhealthy parts of the culture. However, I am convinced that when I am out of school and more autonomous, I will have a much better time. Usually when I am depressed about it all my depression lifts after some time working on my PhD project, which I am interested in and excited about. I need to remember that when I am doing my own work, I am happy about things.

4. Also I need more ideas about discrete subject to post about on the blog. I keep getting great ideas, but always when it is inconvenient to post or write the ideas down. Maybe, like the things to crochet list, I need a list of things to write about.

Saturday, February 04, 2006


My poor blog was just born and then neglected by me. Poor little blog. I have been really busy the last week finishing up a grant proposal, but it was turned in yesterday so now I am free! As a reward for all my hard work, today I am going to the Little Yarn Store (LYS) in town to purchase sock yarn.

You may have noticed the Crochet Olympics button on the sidebar. The goal is to crochet something challenging starting during the opening ceremonies and finish by the closing ceremonies. As I am a slow crocheter, and have so far only finished a scarf and a hat, I am going to try some socks and an amigurumi animal. I am thinking of trying the elephant, as that is one of R's favorite animals.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Kelly Clarkson!

Your 2005 Song Is

Since You've Been Gone by Kelly Clarkson

"But since you've been gone
I can breathe for the first time
I'm so moving on"

In 2005, you moved on.