Tuesday, October 05, 2004

I don't think I mentioned that I am currently in Portland for a workshop on multivariate analysis. I am going out of my mind! Class from 8:30-5 is just so very, very long. The material is interesting, and will hopefully be useful, but this may actually be making it worse. If it weren't, I could take an hour or so off and go decompress my brain somewhere. Ugh. I still have two more days, and it's only going to get worse because I finished my knitting today. I've been working on the San Juan Islander scarf, which the instructors find hilarious, and it has really been helping me focus. My mind wanders so much more, and I tend to get distracted doodling or writing to do lists, when I'm not knitting. The difference is really quite extreme. I finished the ribbing for the neck today, however, (I'll post a picture when I get back) and I can't work on the complex cable pattern in class and still really be listening. Either my knitting or learning will get screwed up.

The non-workshop aspects of the trip have been good so far, though. I took the train down so I could knit rather than drive. It's only $50 round trip! It actually takes longer than driving, but it's a trade-off I'm willing to make. When I sat down, I saw the 9-year-old across the table from me was also knitting. Part way through the trip, the woman across the isle joined in. It was very fun.

I'm also staying at an awesome hotel. I was supposed to stay at the La Quinta, but they had raised the price everytime I talked to them, were very rude, and the place looked really dirty, so I left. I walked all around the area and checked probably ten hotels (I need luggage with wheels!), which all had the exact same rates. The Residence Inn Mariot was a clear winner, though. My room is bigger and better than my first apartment! I have a full kitchen, a living area with a fireplace, and a very large vanity. Breakfast and an "evening reception" with plenty of food for dinner are included. They'll even grocery shop for me for no extra charge! It doesn't have a lot of character, but it's very nice and clean (no bedbugs here!) with lots of extras. This is all very exciting for a grad student, especially on the departments budget rather than mine.

I'm really bummed I'm missing all of my knitting groups this week, too, though. I can't wait to get back.


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