I'm shoving off to a new corner of the web; care to follow me? Here's the new link.
I promise that not every entry that I write will be a list! I promise! Today, however, starts a new weekly tradition: weekly resolutions!
+ I resolve to write weekly resolutions! Some lesser humans might call these resolutions "goals", but I must be grand in all my gestures, even this one.
+ I resolve to write in this blog at least once a week! My plan is to use this blog as a writing portfolio, filled with crazy rants, witty essays, and myriad experiments with form. At the very least, it will be an honest, clear record of my days and dreams. A footless footprint, so to speak.
+ I resolve to pack lunch every day for the next two weeks! While I was at my parents' house this weekend, I did a whole mess of assembly-line-cooking, which I then separated into meal-sized portions and then froze. I want to get into the habit of cooking more, and eating out less. Besides, bringing lunch every day means that I save money and eat healthier.
+ I resolve to finish at least one knitting project a week! This should be no sweat, since a pair of socks takes me about three or four days from start to finish.
+ I resolve to go out at least one night per week! It's so easy to get into the rhythm of coming home from work and then spending the rest of my night in front of my computer. It's very relaxing, but I spend my days in front of a computer. I must be more social!
+ I resolve read more and nap less! Self-explanatory.
What are YOUR latest resolutions?
I've been reading Gala Darling's blog, iCiNG, almost religiously for the past few weeks, and while I'm boiling over with envy because of her fabulous life/job/fashion sense (have you seen these shoes? I don't wear heels, but I'm drooling), I have to admire her positivity! She's been a huge inspiration to me lately.
I particularly love her "Things I Love Thursday" and her weekly resolutions. As it is Thursday as I type this, I think I'll kick off my new goal of actually writing a real blog by talking about what I love!
♥Applesauce! I've been packing my breakfasts and lunches for work every day, and tiny applesauce cups have become a staple. I'll tuck one into my office fridge, and it's a cold, delicious treat without any guilt!
♥Hellboy II: The Golden Army! I haven't seen this yet, but you can rest assured that I will be the first in line to see it next Friday! I've been a huge fan of the comics for years, and del Toro made a masterful cinematic version. Supernatural antiheroes with a passion for kitties? Check. Pyrokinetic girlfriends? Check. Doug Jones? Check. Epic battles? Check. Happy Bee? Check check check!
♥Battlestar Galactica! Fans of this show are as passionate and obsessed as fans of LOST -- and with good reason! I watched the first two seasons in three days (mainly because I have a healthy attraction to Lee Adama) and I love the intrigue, the religious overtones, and the wonderful, wonderful casting.
♥Sock Knitting! Every summer, I go back to my prolific sock knitting. When it's slow at work, I can knit at my desk -- and I have at least an hour on the bus each day, which means that I can crank out at least a pair a week. It's the perfect project -- portable, lightweight, affordable, and with endless design possibilities. My goal is to knit 25 pairs of socks by the time classes start again in September, and I have five done so far. I need to pick up the pace!
♥Weekends at Home! I tend to spend every free weekend at my family's house, especially now that my younger sister is moving to Chicago at the end of the month. I can make all the jokes about free food and free laundry, but there's nothing more relaxing than watching British sitcoms with my mom and dad, knitting, and cooking dinner for them. I'm so blessed to have such a great family!
I'm smiling so hugely after writing that! It's time for a snack, for more sock knitting, and for some more Vicar of Dibley with my mom. I'll be posting a bunch of finished knitting projects this weekend, since I can take advantage of my dad's amazing camera.
Now, let me get this straight. It's March 28th, and it's snowing. It's also somewhere in the 30s. I had turned off my heat two days ago to conserve energy, and when I woke up this morning, there was ice on the INSIDE of my windows. Oh, New England.
At least the chill meant that I was given the opportunity to bust out my finished Bird In Hand mittens! I got so many compliments on them at the bus stop. Kate Gilbert is a genius!
Pattern: Bird In Hand Mittens by Kate Gilbert.
Yarn: Cascade 220 in Red and White, one skein each.
Needles: Size 2 DPNS. I attempted to use Magic Loop but found that it was more comfortable to work this yarn on DPNS.
Mods: Absolutely none!
I didn't post any in-progress pictures, not because I was camera-less for about two months (even though that is true), but because I was a very lazy blogger. Oh well! The mittens look so lovely at all stages of construction.
I should start to catalogue all my FOs by year. That'll be my project for the weekend, since I have nothing else to do and the weather is going to be piss-poor.
More for my own amusement than for anything else, I've made a deal with myself to not buy any more yarn (swaps and sock yarn don't count, obviously) until I've finished all of my WIPS. I think that's a fair deal, since I have so many!
1. Laminaria Shawl
2. Embossed Leaves Socks (second pair)
3. Pasadena Cardigan
4. Odessa (sixth version!)
5. Hat and Fingerless Gloves set
6. Gryffindor colors hat
I know, I know, it's not that long a list, but it feels insurmontable to me. Laminaria is almost finished, so I'm planning on finishing and blocking that this weekend, and then banging out the rest of Pasadena. I've let Pasadena languish for almost a month because I've run into a rough spot in the pattern which may or may not be a mistake, and I'm still waiting on a reply from Berroco. After waiting this long, I don't think I'll get one, so I may as well make up my own solution and finish it up. I need more cuddly cardigans!
I also found this little cross-stitch piece, hiding away in an old craft box. I think the last time I worked on it was when I was living in Ohio, which means this hasn't been touched in at least 12 years! I'm going to head to Joann's this weekend to see if I can find a matching blue floss to finish the border.
I guess that's all for now! Back to account management and Laminaria. Stay warm!
I do not have the brainpower.
I'm sure some of you are shaking your heads: "But Bee! You're an intelligent, witty young woman!"
I thank you for your faith in me, but it is not deserved.
To date, I have frogged the various sections of this shawl a record 17 times. I'm not counting all the times in which I tinked back twenty stitches here and there -- I'm just counting all the times I had to go back one or more rows. I frogged the last repeat of the Blossom Chart six times. SIX TIMES. There was the fun moment during the third or fourth frogging session (I can't remember exactly, I've repressed many of these memories) when I realized that my lifeline had somehow slipped out of the first thirty stitches of my row. Of course, I realised this as I am frogging back down to the lifeline. Frogging an extra four rows was a delight. I had to lay facedown on the floor, trying to remember how to breathe, for several minutes, before I was steady enough to sit up again.
I finally made it through the Blossom Chart, and started the edging yesterday. All went well till I reached the first of the double yarn-over rows. I was off by a few stitches, but I counted back, found my mistake, wrote a note on my pattern, and decided to leave it till this morning to fix. I figured I would just unravel back to my lifeline and start that part of the chart over.
I got to work this morning, sat down at my desk, and pulled out my Lam to frog. I happily grabbed my lifeline -- and pulled it out.
I sat there for about ten seconds, blinking at the lifeline, with the slow realisation dawning upon me. I now had to tink back three rows. In lace. In alpaca. In tears.
It's only 9:30am, but I'm going to go get a milkshake. It's the least I can do for my broken heart. Hopefully, I haven't become stupid enough that I have to be reminded to swallow.
I provide tech support for my college. My college, as
many of you know, is well-known for being the seventh biggest party
school in the country, and the most violent. I've worked in this
department for four years, and I love most of my job.
Except the clients. Well, most of them. I've discovered that all clients can be categorized into four separate and definitely not equal groups.
Group 1: The client who knows everything already, knows it, but still calls the Help Desk because they want to show off their technical knowledge. Insufferable but tolerable. The Help Desk, to date, has hired five people from Group 1. There is only one left; I promise that I didn't kill the other four...but I did think about it. Often. In great detail.
Group 2: The client who doesn't know anything, knows it, and is an asshole because of their inferiority. These are the types who will argue with you for 25 minutes about how THEY KNOW that "the internet" and "the ethernet" are two separate things and they want "the internet", not "the ethernet". Most, but not all of the time, a Group 2 client is a retired professor from the History or Physics departments.
Group 3: The client who doesn't know anything and is too stupid to know that they don't know. The most notable example of a Group 3 individual was the woman who called me two years ago because she couldn't get on the internet. We troubleshooted for an hour before we discovered that she didn't know that she had to plug her ethernet cord into the jack. She called back twenty minutes later to tell me that she thought she had a virus, because something grey and liquid was leaking out of the back of her computer. "It's computer snot, right?" she asked.
Group 4: The client who doesn't know anything, knows that they don't know anything, and turn to us to help. I love these clients. They are, for the most part, patient, eager to listen, and glad to do what we tell them. Most of these calls or walk-ins take about five minutes to resolve, because these people actually listen to us. If they're mad and frustrated, it's usually for a good reason, and they don't lash out at the techs. You can always identify a Group 4 client because they ask how we're doing before launching into their issues, and because they actually sound like they care when they're asking.
I had a winner of a Group 3 ask me for help just now. She's an incoming freshman, someone who's grown up with the internet as a fact of her (waste-of-breath-food-and
Student: I need a password.
Me: Okay, for SPIRE or your OIT account?
Me: For both? Okay, I need your --
Student: No, for that account (gesturing vaguely at my laptop, my knitting, and my water bottle in turn).
Me: Uh, okay, well, let's get started. Can I have your ID number?
Me: No, I need your ID number. It's eight digits long.
Student: That is my ID number.
Me: Uh, unfortunately, no, it's not, but if you give me your first and last name, I can look it up for you.
Student: I don't know you. I don't want you knowing my name.
Me: I need some kind of identifying information so I can process your account, and since you don't have your ID number, your name is the easiest thing to get.
Student: Let me give you my Social Security number.
At this point, I could not keep my incredulity from showing. She won't give me her name, but she'll spout off with her Social Security number? I thought she was fucking with me, I hoped she was fucking with me, but sadly, she was not. She was just dumb, as the rest of the exchange demonstrates.
Me: It's actually safer for you and your information if you just give me your name.
Student: Fine. But you're fucked if you steal my identity, I already have $5000 in credit card debt.
Me: Oh no, that's awful! I hope it gets worked out soon.
Student: Like you care that someone stole my Social Security number.
Me: (blank, uncomprehending stare)
Student: Did you reset my password yet?
Me: Um, no, I'm sorry, I still need your name.
Me: (trying not to think about how many Smiths there are in the UMass databases) Thanks -- what's your first name?
Student: It starts with an "h".
Me: May I have your full first name?
(By this point, I was ready to stab her. With a building.)
Me: I need your full name to look up your account to give you a new password, since you don't have your ID number, so may I have your --
Student: I have my ID number. (She proceeds to recite it)
Me: Uh, well, uh, thank you. I've reset your passwords to ___, so you're all set.
Student: Oh, good, that's what you set it to when I called a few minutes ago.
Me: I whaa?
I HAD RESET HER PASSWORDS ON THE PHONE NO MORE THAN TWENTY MINUTES BEFORE SHE CAME TO MY OFFICE. SHE HAD GIVEN ME NO TROUBLE THEN. WHAT HAPPENED?
She had thrown away the piece of paper on which she had written all her information. "I didn't think I'd need to use it," she told me and shrugged. "I thought you guys would already have me signed up for classes, that's what we pay you guys for, right?"
(Where is that building. Stabby stab stab.)
Then, she asked me what operating system she should load on to her computer.
I looked at her with a completely straight face, and said:
I've always been more of a pattern-knitter than a pattern-designer. Exclusively so. I guess, in this case, that it stands to reason that my first original pattern wouldn't be an Orenburg-esque shawl.
My dear friend Nick is almost as obsessed with Harry Potter as I am (I love you, panda, but you're still only second fiddle :)), but as he lives in Texas, there isn't much time in which he can use any major handknits I'd create for him. However, a pair of fingerless gloves in Gryffindor colors fit the bill nicely. I thought about swatching, decided not to, cast on a seemingly arbitrary number of stitches with some Merino Style in Hollyberry, and worked out the rest of the math accordingly. These are FAST gloves to knit, and the only fiddly bit was the interminable weaving-in of ends.
And oh, was it fiddly!
I'm going to wait on writing up a pattern for them, pending approval from Master Nick. If all goes well, then I'll write up a pattern in a few different sizes. It'll be a nice experiment -- a complete departure from my norm.
One Christmas present down! ...a bunch more to go. Here's my official list:
Christmas 2007 Knitting To-Do List
1. Pomatomus Socks for Mom (not started)
2. Icarus Shawl for Mom (not started)
3. Glittens for Dad (one done, one to go)
4. Beanie with brim for Kyle (not started)
5. Foliage for Jesse (not started)
6. Socks and hat for Steve (not started)
7. Nautie for Jesse, Kyle, Hannah, and Mike (not started)
8. Cthulhu for Dad (not started)
9. Baby Sweaters 1-3 for Nick's nephews and niece (all started, probably about half done altogether)
Yeah, that's a lot. However, I won't see Steve, Hannah, or Mike until after Christmas, so I have the days following to finish up their projects. I can knit at work so I'm not exactly pressed for time...but I still have a lot to do. The shawl in particular is creating some stress -- I can't seem to wrap my head around it. Ah well! I have backups in mind.
Off I go! There will be a tech support story in the near future!
(Please excuse the double chin making a sneak guest appearance in the picture!)
My dear friend Nick, who is a veritable font of good ideas, has suggested that I start a blog. I'm not the kind of person who will turn down an opportunity to find fresh ways in which to terrorize the internet, so after some token resistance, I gave in.
There. Introduction over. Let's begin.
I plan on going to see 30 Days Of Night this weekend with my new roommates. As an obsessive graphic novel/comic book fan, I consider this a necessary act. The graphic novel has a great set-up: vampires, after discovering that the sun doesn't rise for 30 days above the Arctic Circle, invade the town of Barrow, Alaska. Decimation ensues.
Okay. I'm used to putting all my logical facilities on hold (I pray every night for a zombie apocalypse, and yes, I can say that with a straight face/while making eye contact), but I must take issue here. Vampires are not idiots, so why did it take them untold hundreds of years to figure out that the sun does not rise for 30 days in one part of the world?
Seriously, vampires. You homeboys (and girls) need to get with the program. I mean, I often forget to put on pants but even I can recognize how lucrative an idea this is!
Then again, vampires aren't really all that bright to begin with. They live in graveyards, for fuck's sake! Can they be any more obvious? Vampires either chill out in coffins (nice touch, Vlad. Want to go back to my place and listen to German industrial while we're at it?) or in spooky, spider-web-shrouded castles. I understand that it's hard to break out of your comfort zone, but when anyone who's read Bunnicula knows how to find and kill you, it's in your best interest to choose a nice apartment in Williamsburg instead. Actually! That's a great idea. Just think about the benefits of being a vampire living in a hipster neighborhood:
1. You'll never have to worry that your nocturnal habits raising suspicions.
2. You won't have to worry about your accent getting you in trouble, for two reasons: the first, because the hipsters will automatically give you an extra ten points for being "exotic", and the second, because hipsters never talk to each other. They only use text messages or IMs.
3. Your all-black wardrobe will be considered so un-ironic that it's ironic.
4. Vampires are now considered uncool, having been passed over in favor of zombies, dinosaurs, ninjas, and robots.
5. If you happen to devour any of your new friends, you'll be able to steal the sweet record collections on which they've spent thousands but to which they've never listened.
Why did it take vampires so longer to figure out that their equivalent of an ice cream buffet rests quietly in the frozen north? At the very least, why haven't they set up a hotel and tour groups? I just may do it -- I need the money.
Just like the worst kind of boyfriend, I'm really bad at finishing at the right time. I tend to do it really abruptly, and before anyone wants me to do so. Today is no different.