Thursday, January 20, 2005

My computer is back with the support people. I don't really want to talk about it.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

I couldn't get to the computer last night, and I just found out I'm getting my computer back, so there's no reason to set up the camera! Until then, here's my new favorite library book:

Monday, January 17, 2005

Mark is back in town so it is much harder for me to get on the computer. In fact, I'm making somewhat of an effort not to be home too much, in order to avoid the inevitable marital discord from having only the one. I can't imagine how this would work, but I do hear tell of mythical families that only have one computer all of the time. Or even no computer at all... Okay, I'm beginning to shake. I'd better not think about that anymore.

In the mean time, I have been knitting a bunch, and been very cold. On Friday night, Jessica, Cass and I went to Cafe Ladro for a lovely night of knitting. We eventually had to move to the 5 Spot, however, because in addition to getting hungary we were freezing. The temperature had taken a sudden dive that day, and the door to the coffee shop wouldn't stay all the way closed. Then of course the barista decided that she needed a cigarette break. Rather than smoking out front where there are huge windows to watch the store, she brilliantly went in back and left the door all the way open. Ay! I made good progress on Rogue, though.

On Saturdays I work all day at the Fiber Gallery, and this weekend was no different. In that I worked, anyway, it was different in that the furnace didn't. Due to a severe backlog in laundry, I was stuck in a store with no heat on what was possibly the coldest day yet in the thinnest shirt I own with only 3/4 length sleeves. I take back anything I have ever said about usually being cold there. Being cold in a yarn store is a unique form of psychological torture. It really feels like being surrounded by yarn should make you warm, you just can't figure out quite how. The bins are too small to actually crawl into...

The day was made bearable by Jessica's Big Sack Sweater sample which I quickly stole from the window. Mmmm, Manos... I got several comments on how nice the sweater was and how well it fit, and whenever it came out that it was a shop sample and not my sweater I got comments on what a terrible color it was on me. Hey, I may have looked deathly ill, but I was warm. A note to anyone thinking about making this sweater; it is written to be HUGE. The X-Small size was very roomy and comfortable on me. I would normally be looking in the medium size range. Consider this when choosing your size.

Just to complete the weekend on a theme, the brunch I went to yesterday was in the home of friends whose heater had broken. Yea.

We did have heat at our knitting meet-up, though, and I got about half way through a top-down cardigan that I am doing out of Blossom. The yarn is tactilely confusing. The backbone is a pretty rough, stiff thread that does not feel good running over your finger, but the finished fabric that you are holding on your palms is puffy and cozy and delicious. I will have pictures of this and rogue tonight, once I set up the camera to talk to this computer.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

So that's what you would do with a knitted womb!

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

I have been so scattered lately. For example:

The bin is full of all of the yarn I can't actually put away because I am more or less actively knitting on projects with all of that yarn. The stack of books in front are craft books I started pulling off the shelf maniacally at the library. I know I don't have time, but I couldn't stop myself. I almost bought several books on bobbin lace making. I just want to do it all. This is problematic because I have that pesky little degree I'm working on. For those of you who don't remember or have never known, I'm not getting a cool degree that can be turned into a study of the knitting phenomenon among American college students or a portfolio of fiber arts, or some other crafty thing. My program is materials engineering. It seems like that could have some knitting connection, you know... wool is a material... but no. Of course I feel that I lack direction there as well. I just can't settle down on a craft, knitting WIP, or course of research.

To make matters worse, Marti is going to teach me to tat. I'm incredibly excited about it. At the Fiber Gallery on Sunday we had been musing about what tatting exactly is, since we carry the shuttles but no one knows how to do it. Marti stood up, bought supplies, and within minutes had the first edge of a snowflake. It was amazing. I can't wait to be able to do that. Jessica, on the other hand, had a look of pure horror watching the teeny tiny knots. You could practically hear her brain screaming "how can anyone do something that fiddely and slow?!" At least I've been able to resist following her into the world of spinning. So far.

I think some of my flightiness stems from anxiety about the impending move. Where should I live? When should I move? What can I afford? What will it be like only seeing my husband a few days a month? I started combing the Wallingford and Fremont neighborhoods for "For Rent" signs today, and that helped a bit. At least I'm taking action. But what if I find something really good? I was planning on moving on the first of March, should I try to move sooner so I don't miss it?

Note: Today's entry may help explain why my posts of late may not have made complete sense. I'm afraid that my inability to focus on anything is maybe causing a few nonsequitors or missing bits.

*I apologize to all people, places, and groups I'm mentioning this week that should be linked to. Mark's computer does not seem to allow such niceties.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

I went out to Essential Baking tonight to find comfort food and take my mind off my missing my computer. Imagine my surprise and delight when I head friends calling me from a table. I had run into Jessica and Jean knitting with a group I wasn't familiar with, and they invited me to join them. Even better than knitting while reading the latest issue of Consumer Reports. The evening was revitalizing enough for me to blog a bit about the good things of the past few days.

Even though I decided to enter the SAMPE Student Speaking Symposium contest ten days after the abstract submission deadline, I got an email today that I had been selected as a semifinalist! And even better, the next deadline (the one that requires a paper based on some actual research) was moved back from 1 Feb to 21 Feb. If my paper is selected as a finalist, they will pay to send me to Long Beach, CA to present my work, and then I could win money. The first prize is $1000! I've got lots to do...

Knitting wise, I have made good progress on the Sheep Dress the Debbie Bliss Baby Knits Book.

I've decided that I'm going to make it a little jumper with a crew neck instead of the long sleeve dress in the pattern.

The relaxing fun of this weekend (dinner at a fantastic Mexican restaurant, knitting with friends, snow, more knitting) was almost entirely nullified by today. I think I had entire hours today with nothing but one of these two thoughts blaring through my brain:

1. The mold!
2. My computer!
3. They banned a book!

Yes, I made a huge tactical error this morning; I went into the living room. I realize that to most people this is not an unusual thing to do. We are not most people. We are very, very cheap people. Our heat can be controlled individually by room, so we only heat the very small office where we spend most of our time anyway (especially since we moved the TV in there). We just duck out for food and to sleep. I haven't been in the living room for a month, and certainly haven't looked at the windowsills. You may be able to sense where this is going. I had known about the mold potential of our home, but had grown up learning that mold grows in moist warm places. We can see our breath at night in there; how could mold proliferate? Well, it did. Worse than I ever could have imagined. I spent my first hour awake cleaning up black mold and standing water. Eeeeeew. Damn aluminum sills causing condensation.

My day took a turn for the worse (like it needed to) when I turned my computer back on. Yesterday I joined the Knit Your Bit Along (an awesome project, check it out), but had trouble opening the file. Shortly afterward my computer froze. Since it was 1am I decided that was my sign to forego blogging and go to bed. This morning I opened a new version of the file that had been sent to me and the computer froze. Okay, the file had been gobbly-gook to me since it was in some Windows only format, so maybe the computer just got confused. Then when I restarted it froze again without provocation. Noooo! I rushed to the Apple Store for help. I had pretty much convinced myself that my hypochondria was being projected onto my computer and this all would be filed under Stuff Happens, but the support is free and I've learned my lesson about waiting too long and running out of warranty. The guy at the Apple Store seemed to agree with me and ran some programs that did housecleaning and fixed minor glitches. Then as long as I was there, he started some stronger tests. And the sparks flew. Or rather didn't. By the time we were done, the computer wouldn't start up. When he filled out the work request he simply wrote "Many Issues." I almost burst into tears. I was fortunately able to get it to turn on long enough to get everything onto the iMac. There were some bumps along the way, but the important thing is that all my info is safe. I'm highly tramatized, though. I need it back! I don't know that I can wait 5-7 business days! (Rock on Apple for that kind of speed by the way, I was just born way too recently to be equipped for this sort of computerless eternity) I don't want to hear any nonsense about having thousands of computers available to me. Since you are reading a blog, I am fairly sure you understand and wouldn't even try.

The third thought was provoked by something I heard on the radio. In Mississippi, the Mississippi I will be living in part time soon, they banned the book America by Jon Stewart. This is not helping any of my yankee stereotypes. I may never go off base.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Happy birthday to me! This has been a fantastic birth-2-day. Since I was working today (My new job at the Fiber Gallery is so much fun that working on my birthday was in no way a downer), I celebrated with my department over lunch yesterday. We went to the International District for Dim Sum, which is always fantastic. I spent some time in the library and wandering around downtown just enjoying myself. Then during knitting tonight, Marti, Rose, Cass, Jeanne, and Jessica surprised me with gifts:

Aren’t they perfect? The gift certificate is for where we meet to knit twice a week, the notebook goes so well with my little brocade knitting purse, the card is perfect, and I have been lusting after beaded stitch markers lately. Marti made the teeny sweater, which is adorable. I love that they know me so well they gave me sugar-free dark chocolate rather than cake. Awesome.

This morning after class I discovered a Happy Birthday banner over my desk, which was so sweet. Things were great all the way through this evening. A good friend called from Denver to wish me a happy birthday even though she sounded deathly ill, and Mark and I went for the half price cheese and chocolate fondue hour. A bowl of dark chocolate and a deal all in one; how could it be better?

So now that we're all in a happy mood wishing me well on my birthday, I would like to point out a few blog entries that are new. Say... those from December 3rd to now. I had some technical difficulties and travelling, so all of my blog entries were on plain outdated paper that actually came from trees. I didn't want them to just go to waste, so I posted them. I'm sorry. It will never happen again. Please forgive me, it's my birthday.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

I have a problem:

Do you see what is going on here? Not only have I started yet another project, but I have actually started a new project on needles that still have an unfinished project on them! There are mitigating circumstances that make this slightly less heinous, but I know that you are uninterested in excuses and I won’t try. I need help.