Monday, January 29, 2007

Project Spectrum

So I'm doing Project Spectrum again this year. As there are now three colors for every month, I'm going to try and really craft something in those colors, instead of just taking pictures like I did last year. My mom gave me this white yarn for Christmas, so my plan is to make a hat out of it for February. I hear eyelash yarn will be a pain to work with, but I will soldier on. I want a feathery white hat! Maybe I should buy some regular yarn and double strand it?

I haven't planned further than February, but I need to get back into my crocheting, so hopefully this will help.

Now I need to get back to work. I am making myself work 40 hours a week and recording how many hours I work each day. So far I am at 10 minutes for today, and that was all reading at line in the post office. I was on the phone with my school for a long time, as they are screwing me over with my loans. Should I count that as work?

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Books! 2007

OK, I'm getting myself organized. I think I really need to get a schedule in order to get all my dissertation writing, crocheting, reading and blog posting done. My getting back in the saddle with Book Challenge posting with totally make me post more. I know you all love my book reviews.

For 2006 I read at least 90 books. I was not quite as meticulous. This large amount of books can be attributed to being in the jungle where there is no TV or restaurants, or too many cool people to talk to, combined with the fact that my research involved long stretched of sitting around. So don't feel bad. I am not going to post a list of all the books I read because it would be way too much typing -- they are mostly all written in my journal though.

This will be the inaugural post of the book challenge for 2007! This is the third year for me, and I think that for me, the point is not to read 50 books, but to post about every book I read. I am a super fast reader, but that can sometimes translate into inattentive reading. I find that even posting a few sentences about each book helps me remember them more, and I think I get more out of them that way.

That said, I am starting out slow! It is already January 28 and I've only finished two books this year! I do have a third I am almost finished and a 4th I took a break from and will get back into. I have high hopes for the subway reading though.

1. Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
I loved this book, as I love all Murakami. His books are often weird, and there is something about his voice, even in translation, that is really unique. So this is the story of a runaway teenager, some talking cats, and some other stuff. It is hard to describe. The weirdness in this book was a little more disturbing than in his other books, so it was not my favorite because of that, but still an excellent read.

2. Dark Tort by Diane Mott Davidson
I discovered this mystery series the first time I was in Suriname, in 2000. They are all about a caterer in Colorado who solves mysteries, and they include recipes! I really enjoy the combo of mysteries and food, so they are a good fluffy read for me.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

sniffy sniffy

R and I have both had colds. It is sad around here, and we are going through Kleenex like crazy. I took a sick day yesterday which means I just sent resumes to 3 places and did nothing else. It also means I am not allowed to feel guilty for not doing anything else. I really couldn't leave the couch though.

Today I had to trek all the way downtown to see my advisor who is visiting on unrelated to me matters. We finished up earlier than I expected so then I trekked all the way back here so I could grab a nap, and then I am heading out again later for a talk. whew. OK, I am off to nap now.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Sapphire Bullets of Pure Random

As you can probably see, I am having a hard time getting back into the blogging habit. I am going to try to find at least one day I week where I always post. So here are some bullet points for you:
  • I had a meeting today at a local college and I'm going to teach there in the fall!! I get to totally make my own class up. It is going to be cool. Well, I get to teach there as long as the course gets approval and we can get at least 10 students to sign up. I am excited, though! I have to think of a catchy title for it and write a blurb.
  • We made minestrone soup last night and it was taaasty.
  • I also made wheat bread in the new breadmaker, but it is not that good. The wheat bread is giving me problems. It was too wet the first time, and this loaf is too dry, although edible.
  • I feel like I got nothing done today and I am tired so I don't want to work more. But I guess getting a class for the fall was something so I should be proud.
  • R made white chocolate dessert souffles last weekend. They were tasty and beautiful. I will post pics soon I hope.
  • It has finally become winter. I enjoy it greatly.
  • One of the best things about NYC, especially for a fast-metabolism girl like me, is that you are almost always near somewhere that sells food!
  • I hate health care in the US for many many reasons, some of which I plan to write about some day.
  • I want to make Parker House Rolls tonight, but it is looking doubtful that I will want to leave the house to get more flour. Hmmmm....

Monday, January 15, 2007

The Champion

Yes! My strange ability to predict winners in TV categories has made me the winner of the beautiful Goose. I am so happy to not have to send her away.


Tonight is the Golden Globes, one of the best nights of the year. Melinda and I have had a long running competition over who can pick the most winners. This year, Laura will be joining us. Here is the coveted Golden Globes Goose, for whom we compete. I love the goose so much that I am sure I will overcome my handicap of spending the last 6 months in the jungle with no TV or movies and emerge the victor!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Organized paradise

Our Ikea trip was so successful! It was a convoluted journey, as we took a bus to the Ikea which is in New Jersey. Then we shopped shopped shopped and got the bookcase, a full length mirror, a stool for the kitchen, and various little kitchen things. Then we rented a cargo van from Enterprise, drove to Bed Bath and Beyond and bought my bread machine! woo! Then we drove back to Manhattan and to Target where we got various other things and finally drove back home where we unloaded everything then got back in the van, drove back to Ikea, and took the bus back home. whew. Once we were home I ran out for bread making ingredients while R started furniture assembly. The furniture assembly went smoothly and the bread came out good. So all is going swimmingly in the monkeygirl world. Yay.

Now that we have the second big bookshelf I will be transforming a corner of the bedroom into an organized dissertation writing paradise. I also got a little document holder, a pink desk lamp, a white board and a stability ball to help me to this goal. The stability ball is to sit on instead of a chair. I find it way more comfortable, and it builds my core strength.

Also today I am finally getting a hair cut and doing laundry. The hair is just way too long.

Monday, January 08, 2007


I told some friends a few days ago that I had no New Year's resolutions, but then I realized I had lied. I did make one -- to call my brothers more (or at all).

I have two younger brothers who are 2 and 4 years younger than me. As small kids we were really close, playing together all the time. We made villages with our stuffed animals and arranged them all over the house in little family groups. We also loved playing store and hauled out all the canned goods, wrote prices on them, and arranged them around the house. My mom loved having 3 kids so close in age and talks about how she would take us all on errands when we were 6 and under, and how all the cashiers would be amazed we were all hers. As we got older, my brothers came to annoy me more and more, and I am sure they would say the same about me. I got to like them more when they hit high school, then I went to college as did they and we drifted apart more. Now my brothers both live kinda near each other, and kinda near my parents in the Midwest while I am over here on the east coast. I talk to my parents often and they fill me in on my brothers' lives, but I rarely talk to them myself, unless we all happen to be in the same place for Christmas or Thanksgiving. Anyway, I realized it is important to me to have relationships with my brothers as adults, so I'm going to try and call them each 2x a month. I think that should be good and hopefully we'll have stuff to talk about.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Random updates

We have returned to NYC from our tour of the Midwest. Much fun was had and many friends and family were seen. Highlights were my parents at the airport with Santa hats, Vietnamese food with a bunch of friends, driving to Iowa, Dairy Queen in Minnesota, New Year's Eve trivial pursuit, a pug dog and a baby in a Surinamese costume. Awesome.

R got money for an Ikea bookshelf for Christmas, so we have a journey to New Jersey planned for Wednesday. Billy bookcase here we come! When we moved to New York we went from a 1200 square foot apartment to a 600 square foot one. We are having some serious organizational problems to say the least and this bookshelf will save our lives. We're also going to look for some cheap housewares. Love the Ikea kitchen section!

The other good Christmas gift was money for a bread machine from R's entire family. I am so excited! We are going to eat tasty fresh bread ALL THE TIME. So I am now searching for the perfect machine. What bread machines do you guys have, and how do you like them? Any recommendations?

This upcoming week is going to be some recovery from the trip, plus shopping. I also need to write a new proposal for my dissertation as my methods changed, but that is mostly done so it shouldn't be a problem. I also might work a few days for the temp agency, get a hair cut and organize the rest of my life. I have been on the go so much since I got back, and have not had much time to explore New York, so that will be good to do this week.