Monday, January 31, 2005


Blech. I was sick this morning... I'm not sure why, but my tummy told me I had better stay in bed. Except for occasionally checking my e-mail, I did so until 5:00, when a telemarketer called. I figured I should probably get up so that I can sleep tonight.

I had to wash dishes before I could eat dinner... I had started my dishes last night, but there was a big pile of them (again). I washed last night for over an hour, then stopped because I was tired, and the water was getting little "floaties" that wanted to stick to the dishes. (Yech.) I got most of it done last night, but didn't do the pots. That meant I had no pots to cook dinner tonight. :( Oh well... at least it didn't take as long today. After washing dishes, I heated up some stew from the freezer. There's nothing like stew when you're feeling under the weather. (My stew has big chunks of beef, wild rice, and portabella mushroom chunks in broth. It's like a beef version of chicken soup. Mmmm....)

So now, except for feeling tired and having a bit of the shivers, I'm happy. I'm going to veg in front of the TV for a bit, then have a bath and go to bed. (I'd skip the bath, but after getting out of the shower I realized that I had forgotten to use soap. I had washed my hair, but forgot everything else. I'm going to make a great absent-minded professor.)

Nothing much to report crochet-wise... my scarf is longer. I'll post a picture soon, but I'm too lazy today. I sewed the button on my bag, but still need to do the lining. (Photo of that later too.) I have yet to start my sockapalooza pal's socks... I want to figure out my gauge problems first, and I'm thinking of mailing her a sample of the yarn to see if it's okay... it's not as soft as I was hoping, and after getting dark blue, I'm worried that maybe she'd rather have light blue. *sigh*

Oh... and thanks, Natalie, for your comment. Before I moved here, I thought the two countries were pretty similar too... but I really noticed the difference after I moved. Its a lot of little things, rather than something you can easily put your finger on. Part of the problem is that the boarder is really only porous in only one direction... lots of American stuff goes north, but very little Canadian stuff goes south. One example: junk food. The chocolate down here tastes like wax to me, and I can't get any of my favourite Canadian stuff. I would probably also be better off in one of the nothern, "blue" states, than down here. The US is not one big homogenous country. (And neither is Canada.) But then, even in the north, there would still be things I miss. A lot of it is a problem with me... I'm the type that gets homesick.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Living in the USA

In response to Kenneth's comment:

Yeah, I know that O'Reilly isn't America. And that there's dorks in Canada too. (Not that I'm necessarily calling O'Reilly a dork... I've never actually watched his show, so I can't really comment on him.) I have met lots of nice Americans while living here. I have also met Americans who seem "normal", but then will make a comment I find totally offensive, underscoring the difference between my beliefs, and what appears to be some common American views. Likewise, many Americans would consider my views completely offensive... not all, but there are certainly a lot down here in the religious, red south.

I am an Alien here, in "legal speak". I do feel alien... I am a minority here, although not a visible one. Although I can tolerate living here, I do not enjoy it. I find it depressing. Skin colour is generally not an issue where I'm from, but it is here. I am an athiest, and I was told by a Jewish roommate not to say that too loudly.

I'm sorry, I'm going to stop here. I have much more I can say, but this topic makes me unhappy and homesick.

Update: scarf magic is at 26 inches and counting... and the precipitation is very definitely liquid. I hope you had a nice evening, Kelli!

Saturday, January 29, 2005

In the news...

I found this quote in a CBC article:

In the past, O'Reilly has called the CBC radically to the left, the Globe and Mail a "far-left newspaper," and Canadian health care "socialist."

I don't read the Globe and Mail, so I can't comment there. However, given how far right the US is, yeah, I guess anything Canadian would appear far left, but I think of it more as "normal". So Canadian health care is socialist... what's wrong with that? I do believe that the individual has a responsibility to society... and making society healthier is also going to have positive feedback on individuals.

This is just one of the reasons why I can't live in the USA. I have fundamentally different beliefs. *sigh*

...back to my scarf. (Now at 15.5" of magic...)

Scarf magic returns

I had a hot chocolate, popped in "Monsoon Wedding", and brought my scarf length up to 11 inches. Looking outside, the roads look clear although wet, and there doesn't appear to be much frozen precipitation on the ground (about the same as when I came in), and basically nothing in the sky. Scarf magic returns! :)

Magic failure

Hmmm... I'm not sure if it's that scarves are less powerful than tuques, or that I actually have to finish (and 3 inches doesn't come anywhere close to finishing), but my magic didn't work this time. "Wintry mix" is falling from the sky. Sorry Kelli, I tried!

Or maybe it's that I didn't hibernate at home, and instead went shopping wearing sandals (my normal footwear when there's no snow). However, I did get some really nifty blue-green shimmery fabric for lining my bag, and a bunch of neat buttons too! :)

I skipped SNB today though... by the time I was done at the fabric store, little ice pellets were falling from the sky. I didn't feel like walking home from Carrboro should the busses stop running. *sigh*

I borrowed two movies from the front office, and look forward to hibernating the rest of this weekend. I already have my hot chocolate in hand! :)

Sock failure

Why is it that I can crochet over a dozen pairs of perfectly good socks, and now I can't?

My gauge is off... I noticed this with Bob's sock... it was coming out too big. Fine. I frogged it, reduced the number of increases, and went on. I was curious how far the reinforcing thread would go (Lang Jawoll Cotton), so instead of stopping it at the end of the toe, I continued using it. I figured it wouldn't hurt for the whole foot to be reinforced. Well, the reinforcing thread ran out before I reached the heel section. I wasn't too concerned... I'm not convinced that reinforcing thread is actually helping things. (It seems to fuzz more, and also snapped when I was frogging the first time... I'm not impressed.) So I keep going. I'm now about where I should start the heel, but I've noticed something... my gauge has increased, and the sock is now narrower.

Fine. It must have been the reinforcing thread messing stuff up.

I didn't want to frog the sock last night... it was late by the time I made this decision. Also, I think there won't be enough yarn (the ball is looking pretty low already), so I'm thinking I should get some black and stripe it, like I had originally considered. So, instead of taking Bob's socks to school today, I grabbed some of the yarn from Josie to make a pair for myself. (I went with the two balls of red/blue/yellow/orange yarn.)

Since my gauge seemed to be back to normal, I did my normal number of increases.

Bad move. I'm halfway to the heel on this sock, and it's looking rather loose too. Aaargh!

What happened? I used to be able to do this! At first I thought it was the felting, since I had tried to crochet loose for it, but this sock I specifically tried to keep my tension tight!

So... what happens now that I can no longer make socks like I used to? My order from arrives, with the sock yarn for my sockapalooza pal.

In frustration, I got out my scarf yarn, and started working on that. (I don't need no stinking gauge for a scarf! It just has to be a rectangle! And not even all that rectangular, as long as it's warm!)

The other reason to start my scarf: the magic from my hat has worn off, and they're forecasting snow/ice/rain for tomorrow. Yes. All three. I think in that order, too. I don't mind a weekend at home, curled up with hot cocoa, but my friend Kelli is supposed to have a blind date tomorrow, and see Fiddler on the Roof, and really doesn't want to cancel. Sounds like we could use some freshly crocheted scarf magic.

However, I didn't spend tonight with two partial socks glaring at me from the coffee table. Kelli, my scarf and I went out with some other of Kelli's friends (and friends of friends) for dinner and a movie. We had dinner at Rockfish Grill (yum), and watched Phantom of the Opera. Not the movie I would have chosen to see, but better that than being alone with my TV.

While I was out, I also picked up a copy of Vogue Knitting, to see if I can make that neat flower basket bag. :) (Now I have two reasons to learn how to knit... and I'll have three, if I can get ahold of that Weasley sweater pattern...)

Oops... past my bedtime. Sleep tight, and dream of warm feet.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Cleanest towels in town...

Um, yeah, I've been fulling again. Here's my project bag for carrying around my socks-in-progress:

I *love* my project bag. :) All it needs now is the lining, and a nifty button for the front. You can't really see in the picture, but I added some neat squiggly slip stitches around where the strap attaches.

And here's a sock-in-progress, ready to take up residence:

I actually started using my bag already (I just put my small plastic bag inside), and it works great! :))

And one last thing before bed... I've been RAOKed! :) I got a $5 gift certificate for some tea. :) Now to decide what to get...

Spam spam spam spam

I got this one from Kelli:

You are Luisa Estrada.  You are the wife of the former President of the Philippines. You wish me to go to Amsterdam to help you collect $30 million which you siphoned off.  You enjoy reading, and stealing money from the poor.
Which Nigerian spammer are You?


I saw these linked from That Girl's site... if you haven't seen them yet, they're a good chuckle!

The Elements
The Llama Song

Bag update: I've woven five strands of yarn along the strap (through the holes left by the sc), and then pulled these strands to the right length, and tied them off. The strap is no longer stretchy, but I didn't particularly want it stretchy to begin with. I'll felt the bag one more time, to integrate the strands into the strap, and then the bag will be pretty much done, except for lining, and maybe a few fun details. (I'm adding some slip stitch swirlies.) I'll post photos when it's complete. (I don't have my camera with me.)

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Bag update

The second wash helped the strap... it only hangs down to my knees now.

Blackened Cookies

I baked cajun cookies tonight... or something. They were supposed to be chocolate chip gingerbread cookies. Although the tops look yummy, some of the bottoms are less than appetizing:

I tossed a load in the wash this morning, and added my swatches, just for fun. Then tonight, I finished my project bag. I decided to do a vinegar fulling, rather than with detergent, so added the bag, swatches, potholders, and two pairs of sneakers to a hot water wash with vinegar. The swatches are now thoroughly fulled:

(Well, except for the small one, which still doesn't look super-fulled, but is okay.)

I forgot to take a "before" photo of the project bag. (Oops. Oh well.) The bag portion did well during the fulling, but the strap got rather stretched... what once held the bag around waist level, now lets the bag dangle down by my ankles. Lesson: always put fulling projects in a pillowcase or laundry bag, even if there are no lint-producing towels in the wash. (Oops... oh well.) I stuck it back in the wash (in a laundry bag this time), and added my whites (this morning was the dark load) and detergent. I think I'll go burn some more cookies, while I wait for that wash to finish.

Jewels: That's neat! I should have guessed, given your profile says you're learning calculus. :) Are you a student? (Grad or undergrad?) U of M? I did my undergrad at U of M, in computer science. :) (And I plan on coming back as a professor, assuming I manage this whole dissertation thingy. :P ) I even TA'd a first year calculus course. We should get together next time I'm in town... I'll likely be visiting (or something) the CS department.

Oh... back to burning cookies... I'm wasting all that hot air in the oven!

Another math pattern

Check out the links from Crochet Me!

Cool Knit Patterns

Ooo.... yet another reason to learn how to knit! Check out this knit-along! Although I can probably convert this one to crochet... hmmm....

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

'Nudder Quiz

Take the quiz: "What Historic Woman Are You?"

Queen Medb
Queen Medb was an Irish queen, and what a queen! She ruled HER WAY or the HIGHWAY. When arguing with her husband over who had the greater fortune, she got so mad that she called a war on a neighboring kingdom to capture a bull so that she'd be wealthier than her husband. She was impulsive, temperamental, and passionate, just like you. But try and be a little calmer. Read more about this fascinating woman:


green aura
Your aura shines Green!

What Color Is Your Aura?
brought to you by Quizilla

You are Fluffy Mackerel Pudding!! You somehow
manage to combine seafood and dessert into your
wonderfully fluffy world. We should all be as
tolerant of New Taste Sensations. And of
big-yolked eggs.

What Weight Watchers recipe card from 1974 are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Flock of Robins

One of those strange sights I see way down here, but never see up in Winnipeg, is robins flocking. In Winnipeg, we only get robins in the summer. In the summer, they're way too busy raising offspring to flock. Apparently when winter arrives, robins don't simply wink out of existance, they actually fly down to NC (and I assume other southern locations) and engage in flocking behaviour. Anyway, I saw a huge flock of them today. The vast majority were hanging out in what I seem to recall being a pin oak, but could be wrong. (Even though I live in the balmy south, not all the trees have leaves in the winter.) I was wondering what they found so fascinating about that pin oak, when I noticed a nearby holly was also filled with robins. Given that the holly was considerably smaller, there wasn't enough room for everyone. So they'd hang out in the holly eating berries until they were stuffed, then fly back to the pin oak to let the next bunch have a go. (They seemed to make the short journey in groups of about a dozen.) After marvelling at the number of robins on my way past, I noticed that the pin oak was a very bad tree to stand under. It was "raining" under the pin oak. Thankfully I noticed before I accidentally walked under it. (Note: it wasn't "raining" anywhere else.)

I just thought I'd share this entertaining event with everyone else out there in blogland who is hogging all my snow. (I'll trade you robin rain for snow...?)

I started a pair of Lang Jawoll cotton socks for Bob on the bus over to Duke and back. I think my gague is loosening, because they seem much wider than usual. I guess I'll get to frog back about an inch, and lose a few increases. I'll save that for SNB tonight. :) And, since tonight is SNB at Fosters Market, I'm treating myself to dinner out. Someone last time had their four cheese pizza, which looked really good. Plus, it's hard to make it home, cook & eat dinner, then make it over to Fosters for 7 by bus. I was originally planning on going straight there after my Duke meeting, but then remembered I had forgotten to set Gilmore Girls to record. (Yes, I'm a WB teenage drama addict... but not all of them.) Now I have another half hour to kill before the G bus goes past my place, so I think I'll browse the blogs.


My hat works like magic... I checked, and it's too warm for my new hat. Voila, it's keeping my head warm already!

Monday, January 24, 2005


I am completely illogical. Here's why: 1. I buy lots of yarn, saying "it's on sale, and this much will last a long time... I'm saving money in the long run". 2. I get past the cash register, and it registers just how much I spent. 3. I declare a "yarn diet", to make it official that I shall not buy any more yarn until I have used up most of my stash. 4. "diet" = "burn off excess". 5. I start crocheting like mad, to reduce my stash size. Result? A shrinking stash, but it's not going to last long at this rate! Aaargh. :P

Before I'm done ranting, here are two more of my "pet peeves":

1. "The Donald" may have more money than everyone else, but I know other people with that name. You *don't* own it!

2. Clapotis. Cool knit pattern, bad name. I don't know about you, but it sounds like a vd to me... and to my mom too, when I asked her opinion. Maybe I'm pronouncing it wrong? If I ever decide to make this mistake naming something, please hit me. Hard.

Rant done. Well, at least my head will be warmer now... I call it "I know it looks silly, they all do, so this one does on purpose, but my head is really warm" tuque. (Yeah, I obviously need a better, and much shorter name.) Here's my new blue tuque:

I planned my yarn use really well... here's how much was left over from my two balls:

Is this a good day or what? :) I ♥ my new tuque! ;)

Wonderful Day

I don't know what that math guy is talking about... today is *great* day! Even though I was up until 2 am working on my pattern (still not typed up, but at least scribbled down), I woke up feeling pretty good at 8:00 (yeah, that's not exactly early, but it's better than some days recently), took a couple of advil for my headache (not ideal, but the advil worked), and really went all out on my exercise bike for 10 minutes! (Yeah, 10 minutes isn't much, but it's more than I did all last week! ;) ) I checked my morning internet sites faster than usual, and so came into school on the 10:00 bus. (Still tardy, but still earlier than all last week.) I'm wearing my new Koigu socks... the thicker yarn is more textured, but nice and soft, and soooo pretty! My red turtleneck goes really well with Vertigo (in my own fashion-deranged opinion). I got work done this morning on continuing with reading the PXR paper, and learned more useful stuff (namely that the ability of SRC-1 to stabilize PXR without SR12813 was consistent with "ligand-independent basal activity", which is helping with my understanding of PXR). I walked (exercise & light therapy... plus a fun talk) with Kelli, and then continued working on PXR. I didn't let my conflicting tasks overwhelm me, so even though I wasn't working on the hydrogen bonds for Jack, or the hydrophyllic bonds for David, I *was* making progress with *something*! (Usually if I have more than one thing to do, I panic, and can't decide which to work on, thus nothing gets done.) My meeting with Jack went well... which reminds me, I have some administrative stuff to go take care of while I remember.

Anyway... I hope your day is going as well as mine, although possibly with less PXR. ;) I feel happy enough, and accomplished enough that I can go home at 5, and type up those patterns! (Even if it's too late for the calendar, I still want them done! ...and maybe she'll still take them, since I told her about them earlier....)

Sunday, January 23, 2005


Voila! My green Kroy socks:

A close-up of the "butterfly stripes":

And my patterns? Not done. I had promised myself to finish them this weekend. Did I even touch them yet? No. But I have to start keeping my promises to myself. Thus, to my patterns I go.

Chocolate Pudding

Mmmmm.... chocolate pudding. I'd write an ode to warm chocolate pudding, but I can't write odes. (Luckily I know this, and thus won't torture you by writing one here. ;) )

I made chocolate pudding today, since my milk was stamped for two days ago. (I'm not sure if that's a sell-by or use-by date, but it still seems fine.) I used to have an allergy to milk, but apparently I don't any more. I still don't use it very fast, because I only use it in baking: pita bread (1/3 cup), and chocolate pudding (3 cups). I've tried drinking it, but it makes me want to gag. However, I don't want osteoporosis, and drinking milk is supposed to help you lose weight... hence the chocolate pudding. Yeah, chocolate pudding isn't exactly "healthy", or "low calorie", but I do use skim milk, and only half the amount of sugar it calls for. (It still tastes yummy that way.) I wish my baking used up exactly a litre, because then I wouldn't have little bits left over that spoil in my fridge. (I only bake every second week, and it takes me about a week after I buy my milk to get around to using it.) Maybe I'll do some calculations on the pudding, to see if I can get it to use the right amount of milk.

I'm also baking chocolate chip gingerbread cookies. Mmmm.... well, I'm mixing them today, and then will put them in the fridge. They need to cool before I can slice & bake. I don't need all these calories, but I like them, and it's harder to make them in the summer. :( (The dough gets sticky and hard to handle.)

Well, I should get to my grocery shopping before the sun sets. That whole "it's going to snow this weekend" thing was a real bummer... there was a bit of ice yesterday, but no snow! :( (Any of you blizzard recipients want to ship some of your stuff down here? ;) )

Oh... and one last thing. A few years ago I got to go to Barcelona for a conference. To make sure I wasn't jet-lagged, I arrived several days before the conference started. ;) Just so I'd have something to do, I bought one of those tourist books... My guide book talked about the drinks called "chocolate" in Barcelona, and described them as a melted chocolate bar. I was *so* excited about trying this mysterious drink. Want to know the secret? It's simply warm chocolate pudding. I was rather disappointed... not at all like a melted chocolate bar, especially since they didn't cook the pudding long enough, so you could still taste the corn starch. I make much better pudding. :) (I don't claim it tastes like a melted chocolate bar, but it is very nice both warm and cold.)

Sun's getting low... time to grocery shop!

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Purple Day ♥

Okay, it's official. This Monday is purple day for me and Jewels. ;) Anyone else in? I'm going to wear my purple stripe sweater, which I've named Vertigo, and my new Koigu socks, which, although they don't have as much purple as my Winter Eclipse socks, do have some purple. Besides... wearing a brand new pair of crocheted socks, especially as ones as soft as these, has to be a special day! ;) (To be thoroughly purple, I'm considering wearing a red turtleneck under Vertigo... is that too much?)

I started answering Jewels about "hearts" in a comment, but it really deserves to be an all out post. Here's my comment:

Hmmm... *3 doesn't look like a heart in this font, although it does a bit in the "typing up the comment" font. What about <3 ?

Oooo... I looked up some stuff on unicode, and there are hearts! Here they are: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♡ ♡

Then there's also the floral heart: ❦ ❦, reversed rotated floral heart bullet: ☙ ☙

This web page has a whole fun set of symbols:

You can use "view source" to see how I got all these characters. (Although they show multiple times, that's because I was using multiple ways of showing them.) I will tell you how to get the easiest, and that one is the black heart, ♥: simply type &hearts; where you want the black heart to appear. Simple enough? Now everyone stop saying "I heart this"!!!! ;)

(I left part of the comment as a comment, rather than post. Just a "heads-up", Jewels. ;) )

Now back to my regular programming... as promised, today is picture day. :)

Introducing my Koigu socks:

Since today is laundry day, I ran my fulling swatches through a few more loads... four to be exact, to make six total:

The potholders were run through too... here's before and after pictures:

(Aren't potholders exciting! Wooo....) Well, my plan is to get a needle felting needle, and add some excitement to these. After all, I might as well have my fun with felt, right? (So the question is... how long to I make myself wait before purchasing the needle felting needles... grrrr. Oh well, these could use a few more turns through the wash first, anyway.)

And last, but not least, a small project bag I started this morning, and is still on the hook:

What? It looks like a potholder, you say? No! It's completely different. It has two sides (crocheted in the round), is sc instead of hdc, and uses a sport weight yarn instead of worsted. I'm using that thin, overspun yarn which doesn't appear to be felting well in my test swatch. I guess I'll have to line it. It's going to be for carrying around my socks in progress, so I don't want the hook to fall out through a hole.

I watched The Return of The King, extended edition, for the first time today. (It, and "The Knitter's Book of Finishing Techniques" arrived from Amazon earlier this week.)

Daphne_Blue: Political clothing labels are underrated!

Daphne_Blue: Political clothing labels are underrated!

Ha! This is great!

Friday, January 21, 2005


Warning: Monday will apparently be a bad day:

Jan. 24 is the worst day of the year, with bad weather, debt, fading
Christmas memories, failed resolutions and a lack of motivation
combining to depress people.

To combat the blues, I plan to wear purple.

Tonight's fit of hooking ended up with finished Koigu socks, and four wool pot holders ready for felting. I'm not in the mood to post photos tonight, but I'll post some tomorrow.


Wheee... faculty lunch was cancelled today, so Kelli and I got to go for our walk. :)) (Kelli sometimes has to attend faculty lunch.)

I sort of learned a new skill today. Something that's really important in my dissertation area, but up until now I haven't had a clue of how to do. What is this amazing new skill? Seeing stereo. Biologists have all these nifty diagrams, where they draw a 3D object from slightly different views, and if you cross your eyes (or something) the right way, you can actually see the thing as if it were 3D. It's a similar principle to those "magic" 3D paintings I've never been able to see anything in either. Anyway, today I actually got my eyes to focus so that the two images overlapped. However, the image was so blurry, all I could see was a big, gray blob. But it was one blob, rather than two. It was a flat blob, but maybe that's just because it was blurry. Maybe there's hope for me yet. Probably not, though.

Oh, and while I remember, I want to rant about one of my pet peeves. It's about how everyone keeps saying "heart", as in "I heart fill_in_the_blank". I think it's due to the movie, I Love Huckabees, written with a heart symbol for the word "love". We used the heart symbol all the time as a kid, but we pronounced it "love", which is what the heart was representing! All this ungrammatical "hearting" of stuff is driving me nuts... like someone scratching their fingernails down a chalkboard. *shudder* I hope this fad passes quickly. Or that people figure out how to get the actual heart character to show when typing, so that I can read it as "love", like it's supposed to be! Rant over. (For now.)

Thursday, January 20, 2005


Foul! Not fair! Completely not fair! "Knit Picks" sent me their Winter 2005 catalog. They have amazing "simple stripes" sock yarn. They have nifty yarns on clearance. They have the most amazing selection of books. (Yes! I want to learn to knit! teach me all those wonderful things shown on the covers!) They have wonderfully priced yarns for felting and dyeing. Gorgeous alpaca at excellent prices! They even have undyed, 100% merino fingerling (sock) wool at an amazing price!!!! And the dyes, and how-to books to go with it!!!!!!! Aaaaaaaa!

This catalog would have been a dream come true, were I not on a self-imposed yarn diet. :P

Amazingly, their prices are even better than Elann, although they don't have the same selection. *sigh* If I had seen this catalog before my last Elann purchase, I could have saved some money, and used 100% merino in my sockapalooza pal's socks. (Sorry sock buddy. If we swap again, I'll koolaid-dye you some nifty merino socks, in the best solid blue I can manage.)

For those bored enough to still be reading, here's what else is going on around here. ;)

Yesterday I noticed port-a-johns being delivered to my neighbourhood. That piqued my curiosity. Mystery solved this morning: there were workmen out chopping up the old, decrepit front steps on various units. (I saw them working on Audley and Maxwell.) It doesn't look like they're doing everyone, just the worst. It's about time. Given all the upgrades they've been doing lately, I wonder what the rent increases will be like this summer? (Aack!)

More snow in the forecast. Last I checked, it was drizzling. Since it's supposed to dip below freezing, that means we'll at least have ice on the roads in the morning. Schools are already announcing closings. Apparently (yes, I finally looked it up, and "apparently" has two "p"s... I was confused, because I recently taught myself that apartment only has one) they don't want to repeat Wednesday's fiasco where 3000 Wake county students ended up sleeping in the schools, because of gridlocked traffic in Raleigh. (Yes. All this for a bare centimeter of snow. That's *half* an inch, for those of you still using Imperial measurements.) I talked to some people in the department who took 7-8 hours to get home. (The person who thought he had it bad at 4 hours felt much better.) I mentioned I had a couch a nice 15 minutes from campus, should this occur again. :P

Oh... and due to the forecast for snow, SNB at my house was a flop. I attended and crocheted. A friend who I had invited (so I could finally teach her to crochet) came, but we ended up just talking (while I worked on my Koigu socks). No SNBers came. I got an e-mail from one saying she'd try. Oh well... it got me up off my butt and washing my dishes. I even tidied up a bit, but that mostly consisted of moving crap out of the living room and into my office. Movement of crap doesn't count... since now it's simply cluttering up a different room. Yet another reason why I can't buy more yarn from Knit Picks... I have too much crap. I need to be less materialistic. Especially since I'll be getting a $5K tuition bill in the mail any day now. (It can take as long as it wants... until then, I have the money in a money market account, accumulating piddling amounts of interest.)

Well, Kelli and I had fun. :) And that even makes twice today, since we went out for our light therapy & exercise at lunch. :))

More Humour

A friend of mine did a mad-lib on her blog. Using the words I supplied, here's my messed up fairy tale:

One day in a land far far away, further than Winnipeg, there lived a girl named Ellen. Ellen was very beautiful and ugly and every man in the kingdom wanted her. Even John thought of getting into her jeans. One day, after drinking rather heavily for 21 hours straight, John walked over to Ellen's house and said to her Oi! Ellen you are so silly! I'd love to take you to Washington and kiss you on the toenail and then you would be mine Forever. Well Ellen thought that this was crooked. He was pretty slippery and had nice yarn, so she agreed. Little did he know Ellen had a secret. So off they went to Washington and he did kiss her on the toenail and she was his forever. Well that kiss led one thing to another and soon they took off their t-shirt and their sock. "Ouch!" John shouted! Ellen had a ear where her nose should be. But it was too late -- she was his forever.

The End

The moral of the story is don't count your ironing boards before they ski.

Hmmm... the first time I read this, I cracked up. Not so funny on the second reading. Of course, mad-libs are like that. I hope you got a quick chuckle. For more, go here.

Amusing news

We could all use more humourous news these days... here's two articles I found funny:

As geneticists increasingly use fruit flies for their research, some are
running into legal trouble trying to find the insects.

A 229-year-old letter by George Washington that describes Halifax as a
dreadful place that soldiers would rather die than stay in will be sold
at auction this weekend.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Dirty Laundry

My, I'm feeling chatty tonight! This is the last post before bed. (*Must* go to bed! I'm *tired*!)

Anyway, I accumulated enough dirty laundry that I could justify doing two loads tonight, and thus got to felt my test swatches. :) I also tossed my laptop sleeve back in... it's shrunk some more. :)) It's still a wee bit long, but much better than it was. I'll test it out after it's dry, and maybe toss it in for another go or two this weekend. (I'm now out of dirty laundry... this didn't used to be a bad thing!)

Here's my laptop sleeve:

I've got the same number of VHS cases in it... you can see they're sticking out much more now. (I was too lazy to go get the measuring tape for reference purposes.)

Here's my test swatches before going through the laundry:

and here they are after two washings:

It's a bit annoying how many washings it takes to shrink down a fulled crocheted piece... but then it's also great, since then it's easier to control the final size. :))

I learned something new about bloglines tonight: I can click on the text that says how many subscribers I have, and find out who they are. Nifty! (Of course, I just see their bloglines name... just the public ones at that... and not what blog they actually have. I was able to guess most of them.)

Marching in the other direction

In contrast to my last post (wishlist), I'll let you know I've now documented my "stash" in my sidebar. This is in an effort to prevent it from growing irresponsibly. (If it's there nagging me, I'm less likely to add to it... or that's my hypothesis.)

Oh... if anyone is interested in some of the leftover stuff, let me know. I have vague ideas for some of it, but if you're interested, we can arrange a trade. I think I'd mostly be interested in yarns I haven't tried, so I could try new yarns out.

Crochetville Wishlist

Um, I'm back on this bandwagon. ;) For those of you who don't know, Crochetville has a fun "random acts of kindness" (ROAK) wishlist. Guidelines are here. I sent out a few small things at Christmas, and received a really nifty book thong. :)) It took me a while to join the non-Christmas ROAK, because I wasn't sure if I'd rather stick to the twice a year thing, or participate in the ongoing one. I've decided I can send out a few small things in the ongoing one, so I decided to sign up, rather than wait for "Christmas in July". Since I'm only sending out small gifts, I'm trying to keep my wishes small. ;)

Here's my list:

1. needle felting needles
2. little scraps of wool (or other animal hair) fiber for needle felting... either fiber, or yarn (can be very short, since I'll be using them for felting)
3. leftover lengths of eyelash or furry yarn (long enough to crochet little bits)
4. ez supporter (or whatever that's called... I've been visiting Crochetville a bunch!)
5. an afghan square by you :)) To get ones that go together, how about approximately 7"x7", made out of superwash wool (I have to wash stuff often because of allergies, and would *love* a wool blanket), preferrably including some blue in the pattern. I'll put them together, and keep a record at my blog:
6. a postcard from you saying hello :) (a neat stamp would be a bonus!)
7. one of those cute sheep measuring tapes
8. Susan Bates quicksilver hooks (I have E, F, J, and K, although a second E would be nice.)
9. a little surprise... surprises are always fun!


Oh... if you're curious what I'm planning on doing with the bits of eyelash yarn, I'd like to make one of these Brownies.


Tee-hee... from the news tonight, you'd think there was a national emergency in the area. I think we only got about a centimeter... although apparently some places got up to two inches. ;)

Re: Fried Rice

Pfirsch asked for the background to my cryptic comment... Condoleezza Rice is the next secretary of state. Aparently she's been confirmed now. More Info.

Oh... and the dandruff progressed to a full out snow. It's actually sticking to the ground now. :) I wonder if the busses will be running when it's time for me to head home...? (No photos... I left my camera at home.)


Wheee... the clouds have a mild case of dandruff! Have you stocked up on bread and milk? ;)

Aparently there's enough in Greensboro that it's sticking on the ground.

I think I may be coming down with a cold or something. I coughed up a small unmentionable this morning, but blamed it on catching a ride home in a smoker's car. (She wasn't smoking, but there was some residual stuff coming out of the vents... leaving my lungs feeling dirty.) Now I have an upset tummy. :P (Lovely, given I'm going to a lunch meeting, and can't just sit and feel sorry for myself in my office.)

Bleh. But the itsy bitsy bit of snow is fun. Maybe we'll get more. :) Maybe enough that I don't have to feel bad about staying home tomorrow? (But only if I don't feel well... otherwise I should come in and make progress... and I woudn't want tomorrow's SNB cancelled on my account.)

Fried Rice

Not my favourite NPR listening, but go at it! Keep at her until she's capable of independent, rational thought. (Where "rational", of course, means thinking like me. ;) )

Harsh? Yeah, but this is someone who's making potentially life & death decisions.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Stitch 'N Bitch

I had a great time at SNB tonight. There was quite a mix of ages. All women, although there were a few SO's hanging around at other tables. Sounds like the group was smaller than usual, but I enjoyed meeting everyone there! Most knit, although there was one crocheter in the group. Of course, when everyone saw what I was doing & had done, many were considering learning or resuming crocheting. ;)

I'm tired, so just this short post tonight. G'night.


I learned something new today, and it's only 1:00. :) I finally looked up "thrummed mittens", and discovered that I really should make myself a pair. Here's Yarn Harlot's FAQ. And whadda-ya-know, they're even Canadian!

Just to show I'm doing real work too, I also learned that "apo" means "without ligand", and "heterodimer" is a complex of two different proteins. (I had guessed what the second one was, but I looked it up to make sure.) This morning I'm reading about PXR... a really nifty protein that explains why taking St. John's wort messes up any other medications you may be taking. (Taking St. John's wort effectively causes the other medications to be removed from your system, because it activates PXR, which turns on a gene, which then produces... um, I don't think I'll go into it all, unless someone is interested?)

Oh... and I think I should start answering questions as a new post, rather than comments, so people don't have to keep checking back to see if I've answered them. Yesterday, Daphne asked: "Is it difficult to add a zipper to crocheted items? Do you hand sew it on or use a machine?" My answer: I've never added a zipper before. I think I'd sew it by hand, because I think I'd have trouble controlling the crocheted fabric in the sewing machine.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Another Quiz

you are mediumauqamarine

Your dominant hues are cyan and green. Although you definately strive to be logical you care about people and know there's a time and place for thinking emotionally. Your head rules most things but your heart rules others, and getting them to meet in the middle takes a lot of your energy some days.

Your saturation level is medium - You're not the most decisive go-getter, but you can get a job done when it's required of you. You probably don't think the world can change for you and don't want to spend too much effort trying to force it.

Your outlook on life is brighter than most people's. You like the idea of influencing things for the better and find hope in situations where others might give up. You're not exactly a bouncy sunshine but things in your world generally look up.
the html color quiz

Laptop Sleeve

Here's the promised pics of my snazzy new laptop sleeve! It ended up a bit long, but I think it's otherwise okay. (I haven't stuck my laptop in it yet, because it's still damp. I currently having it blocking, stuffed with three plastic VHS tape cases... about the right width and thickness, but too long... but then they can stick out the opening. ;) )

Before felting:

I added some loops at the bottom for extra padding, here's pics of the inside and outside:

I get a kick out of how felted things look when they come out of the wash:

Here's the sleeve blocking:

I'll probably add some hooks for a strap, and a zipper or other closure later, but I'm calling it "done" for now. I skipped the embroidery, but I'd love to add some needle-felted designs at some later point.


Welcome Daphne!

I've started adding blogs back to my bloglines... they're not taking up as much time as I thought. I guess there was just a burst of posts after the start of the new year that had me worried. (If I had you listed before, and don't now, give me a poke... I have to find everyone again. :P )


I am nerdier than 62% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

I am 84% loser. What about you? Click here to find out!

Sunday, January 16, 2005


Apparently I've been using Bloglines long enough now that it feels it can give me recommendations. It recommended 50 blogs... and number 47 on the list was my blog. The blogs weren't listed alphabetically. I guess that means although my blog is relevant to me, I'm not terribly exciting (at least to me). Maybe I'm just sleep deprived, but I find that rather amusing. ;)

Nothing much exciting around here today. I talked with my mom (exciting for me, not for you), walked with a friend (ditto... although she did have an interesting description of a sex-toy party she had been invited to last week... but I won't go into that), returned the movies I had borrowed from the apartment complex (okay, but nothing exciting), and borrowed two more. (Can you tell I'm making lots of progress this weekend? *sigh*) However, the two movies I borrowed today were quite nice. Van Helsing was much better than I expected... I thought it would be just another cheesy SF flick, but it was actually very enjoyable. The other movie is Before Sunset, and is amazingly well done. It's just two people having a conversation, but it actually told its story much better than I feel many recent movies have. I won't spoil it for you, but I definitely recommend watching it. Before Sunset is rated R, but the worst that happens is some very frank conversation, and "the F word" was used once. (As opposed to the PG13 Van Helsing, which has a fair amount of CG violence.) Nevertheless, I don't think kids would enjoy it... not a lot of action.

Hmmm... my prozac must be at the right level if I can watch chick-flicks... :)

I've pretty much finished my laptop sleeve... just a few more rows to go on the lid/cover, and maybe some embroidery before fulling/felting. I'll post photos tomorrow... I could finish up the crochet tonight, but I don't want to felt it tonight... I need to get to bed. I've been doing pretty bad about getting to bed on time this past week.

Good night.

Saturday, January 15, 2005


Sorry about the lack of line breaks in that last post... it's been that kind of day.

Ups and downs

Today's had it's ups and downs. I think after I post, I'll resort to chocolate.

Let's see... it started with a nice, leasurely morning (up). I forgot to turn on NPR for Car Talk (down), but caught the last 15 minutes during my very late shower (up). I managed to get my butt in gear enough to catch the 12:15 bus (up... they only run once an hour on weekends, and I wanted to get stuff done before the 2:00 SNB), but only by rushing out the door (down). I did indeed make it to the bus stop on time (up), but remembered as the bus pulled into sight that I had forgotten my frequent buyer's card for the LYS (down). I found better priced grapefruit at Wellspring (up), stocked up on the shampoo and conditioner that doesn't make my hair itch (up), and found some alcohol & fragrance free astringent (up... Kelli suggested using that for my zits). I checked at the fabric store, and the pillow class in the flyer wasn't the one with the dragonfly that I've been wanting to take (down). I had a look at the crabby lady's LYS, and the lady wasn't crabby today (up), but she also didn't have the yarn I need for sockapalooza either (down). I finished up with the right amount of time to catch my next bus (up). As I was crossing the road, someone honked and waved at me... I don't know if they thought I was someone else, or were just being dorky undergrads. (Is being honked at an up or down?) I worked on my Koigu sock while I waited for the bus (up), and a cute guy came to wait for the bus too (up), however he didn't sit in the shelter with me (down... not that anything would have been different even if he had). The bus transfer downtown didn't work out (down), but it was a nice crisp day, so the walk was enjoyable (up). The friendly LYS lady loved my hat (purchased), bag (gift) and socks (made by me) (up), and thought my socks in progress were cool too (up). However, she said my laptop sleeve was crocheted too tightly for it to felt well (down). (I think it'll be just fine... after all, my test swatch, which admittedly was different yarn, came out fine, and I based my shrinkage calculations on it.) The friendly LYS is fun to visit (up), but they also didn't have the plain sock yarn I needed (down). I didn't stay long at the friendly LYS (down) so that I wouldn't be too late for the SNB (up). When I got to Tyler's (up: I was brave enough to go in), there were no knitters there (down). I didn't hang around because Tyler's is a bar (I don't really drink), and I wasn't sure if anyone was going to come anyway. The Carrboro bus wasn't due any time soon (down), but it was still a nice day for a walk (up). I made it to the DM bus stop shortly before it arrived, so didn't have to wait long (up), but it had to circle at the end of the loop, where it likes to sit for a while (down). I caught the DM to the mall (up), since there wasn't a convenient transfer time to the FG downtown (down). The mall was having it's sidewalk sale. I ended up buying a few fun things (up), and spending more than I had intended (down). I did get replacement dishclothes (up) for my current ones which are all full of holes (down). After traipsing through the mall, it was once again the right time to catch the bus (up), and I made it home around 4:00 (up), but was rather hungry and subsequently grouchy because I hadn't eaten lunch yet (down). Instead of taking my shoes off and eating something, I decided to stop by the front office to see if they had any decent videos to borrow, and they did (up). I had one of their cookies (up), but it wasn't enough to satisfy my grouchy hunger (down). When I got back to my apartment, I unpacked my stuff, only to discover that, once again, I managed to get conditioner all over the inside of my backpack (down), but luckily not on any of my books or crochet (up). Since I was hungry and not thinking straight, I tossed my backpack and fanny pack in with the next load of laundry... I haven't yet opened up that load to see if I made a big mistake with a nice, handwoven bag from Mexico. (It's stopped, but I have to work up my guts to do so.) Since then, I've had dinner (up) and watched one of the movies (up), and had enough energy to post (up). Elann had some nice solid coloured sock yarn, so I ordered that for sockapalooza (up), but also ordered some of the alpaca yarn for a sweater (up... and down... I shouldn't have spent the money with my current finances and huge stash size).

Even though it's only 7:30, I feel like it's been a long, exhausting day. I think it's mostly because of my emotional rollercoaster. I wonder if my prozac is at the right level... or maybe it's the fact I've cut back on my B vitamins...

I'd take it easy the rest of tonight, but I need to finish my laundry, and should either do my grocery shopping, or bake my bread today. (Or maybe not... Monday is a holiday, after all... thank goodness for three day weekends!)


Hmmm... I took this quiz, but I'm not sure I agree with their assessment of me.

You like fruity sock yarn. You love pink and being childish is inspiring you.
What color of sock yarn do you prefer?

brought to you by Quizilla

I tried changing one answer, and this was the result:

You like autumn sock yarn. You are a child of nature. You love being outside.
What color of sock yarn do you prefer?

brought to you by Quizilla

I think I prefer the colours from the first... but loving pink... I don't think so.

Friday, January 14, 2005


Oh... I forgot. I got a nifty e-mail from my mom this afternoon... Grandma S loves her socks! Here's a snippet:

Sophie loves her toe socks. She wears them everyday as it is so cold here. Today it is -29 with a wind-chill of -44. The furnace is working overtime and the radiators are hot but it still seems cold in here.

Thanks for the socks.

Lovely warm and fuzzy thoughts to keep me glowing tomorrow as the temperature drops back to normal for January...

Frustrations & weird weather

'Twas indeed very blustery last night... just think, the other day we had record highs, and aparently early this morning we had record rainfall. At some point last night the wind huffed and puffed and blew a house and shed down... there was a minor tornado somewhere in Orange County, but I have no idea how close it was to where I live. Hopefully my house of brick will keep me (relatively) safe.

I'm not going to claim any direct cause and effect, but I'll second Yarn Harlot's call for greater environmental responsibility.

Well, to vent my lack-of-dissertation-progress frustrations, as well as frustrations over my overly-large-current-laptop-sleeve not fitting in my wonderful new backpack, I furiously hooked my way through 100g of Peruvian Collection Highland Wool tonight. I am making a felted laptop sleeve, which will hopefully work much better. Together with last night's efforts, I'm about 50% done. At least I hope I am, since I've now used nearly 50% of the yarn I purchased for this project. Here's how it's looking so far:

Note how I cleverly included my laptop for scale. ;) The medium colour of blue yarn shown there is the third colour of blue I'll be working into the sleeve. (After a wide band of pale blue, I'll be doing the same transition to the medium blue.) I also plan a nifty cap to the sleeve, attached on one side, hanging over on the other three. (And probably fastened with a quiet zipper, but I may consider other closures.) Hopefully the darn thing will shrink to the correct size when washed... not shrinking enough is okay, but knowing my luck, it'll probably shrink too much.

I think the other reason I wanted to make progress on this project is because I need to buy a bit more sock yarn. Yes, I have sock yarn coming out my ears, but tomorrow I'll be going out to buy more. Aaaaack! Why? Because my sockapalooza pal wants *plain* socks. Some of the yarn Josie gave me is probably close to okay (the blue stuff), but my pal's already going out on a limb letting a *gasp* crocheter in on the knitting sock exchange. I want to make sure she's not sorry she's letting me play with the "cool kids". But anyway, I needed to "destash" a bit before I "stash" some more. (I've now used nearly three balls on the laptop sleeve, so that should counteract the 2-3 balls I'll need to buy tomorrow.)

That reminds me... Josie, I meant to ask you when you were over if you wanted me to make you a pair of socks. If you're interested, e-mail me the length and circumference of your foot. When I'm done, I'll ask you for a good address to mail the package. ;)

Hmmm... I now have two patterns, two socks, and a sleeve in progress, and an afghan in limbo. Time to convert some of those to finished objects... but not tonight: it's past my bedtime, and I need to get out early and buy my yarn so I can check out a stitch-n-bitch at 2. (And then come home and work on my $^&*#^%#&!*&%!$#@*&#% dissertation.)

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Mysteries continue

It's a blustery evening here in the hundred acre wood.

Tonight I came home to a surprise: new yellowpages. Why is this surprising? Because I already have three different yellowpages, and aparently there's yet another company out there that thinks I need more. Not only that, but that I'm so lazy, I need two copies for my 700 square foot, single phone aparment.

I live in Chapel Hill. Even adding on Durham (as many of the phone books do), it's still not the size of my hometown Winnipeg. Winnipeg survives very nicely with *one* yellowpages. Frankly, I prefer trees over yellowpages, thankyouverymuch!

Rant complete.

Tonight I'm not going to make my bedtime again: there's a new ER on. I let myself get sucked into this show. I could tape it... but I don't. Well, I'll brush my teeth and everything, so that I can hop into bed right when it's over. I did eat a decent dinner tonight, although it still didn't involve any vegetables. (Thanks again for giving me extra incentive to wash my dishes, Josie. ;) )

Oddities & visitors

Odd... Blogger didn't want to let me post most of today.

Speaking of oddities, why is it that the skin on the bump on my ankle likes to dry out so much? Why the outside bumps more than the inside bumps? And why one ankle over the other? Do these bumps have a name? For some reason, the skin on the outer bump on my right ankle would make an aligator proud right now. I've tried hand cream, pumice, and more hand cream. I think it's starting to get a *bit* better, but not much. Add ankle bumps to the mysteries of life.

I went for my lunchtime walk today, but didn't do my morning exercise bike. Why? I had fun late night visitors last night! :) Josie and her sister stopped by. I had lots of fun visiting with Josie and her sister (I'm bad with names Josie... you'll have to remind me what her name was), but unfortunately we didn't get to visit for very long. They arrived after 11 pm, and stayed until a bit after midnight. (We'll have to manage a longer visit, Josie, next time you're in town!)

Here's the wonderful sock yarn Josie brought me from Germany:

In honour of Josie's visit, I also did my dishes:

(Nothing like company to get me up off my butt!)

I was going to give Josie some wool yarn from a sweater I planned on frogging (the sweater was from an ex, and was haunting my closet), but I think Josie's sister ended up with the sweater. ;)

Wednesday, January 12, 2005


Enter Date: January 12
Enter Temperature: 75 F
Error! Does not compute! Wear default clothing: jeans, sweatshirt, jacket, hat... pack mittens and umbrella just in case.

(Note: I'm not in Winnipeg any more... it's snowing there!)

Yay for me.

Not only did I ride my exercise bike this morning (well, only for 10 minutes, but it's better than nothing... I had trouble getting up), but I walked for a half hour at lunch. :) And as Kelli pointed out, not only was it "socializing time", but we also got "light therapy" too. ;)

Tuesday, January 11, 2005


I don't tend to make new year's resolutions, but I usually start a new term off with plans on how I'm going to improve. This term, those resolutions included:

1. Not leaving my dishes until they pile up.
2. Going to bed at 10.
3. Getting up early enough to ride my exercise bike before school.
4. Walk at lunchtime.
5. Eat grapefruit.
6. Cook better dinners.
7. Nap less at school.

I like grapefruit, but I'm usually too lazy to cut it up. Today I had half a grapefruit for lunch. :) I timed myself, and between the grapefruit, and toasting some bread and cheese for lunch, lunch only took me around half an hour. :) I timed myself so I couldn't use the excuse "I'm too busy, and grapefruit takes too long."

I intended to get to dishes tonight... they're piling up. And since the pot I wanted to use for dinner was dirty, I had a bowl of cereal instead. Dishes didn't get done either. (I'll do them tomorrow night... yeah.... :P )

I did cook a good dinner last night: sweet and sour pork. Unfortunately, since it has a 3 hour prep time (must remember to *read* the recipe before deciding what night to cook something!), I didn't end up eating until after 9, and got to bed late.

Since it's 10:30, I haven't quite improved my bedtime yet, but I think I'll still make it before 11... I'm working on it!

I haven't managed to ride my bike before school yet, but that's because I haven't fixed my bedtimes yet, and this morning I had to get in early for the dermatologist appointment. However, I'm *going* to ride my bike tomorrow morning, and I'm *going* to walk at lunchtime. (I've found a friend to go walking with on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, but we didn't go this Monday because she hadn't brought her tennis shoes in.)

Hopefully when I get the rest of my life in order, I'll start napping less too. I had *two* naps today... one before lunch, and one after lunch. :P *sigh* (And that's not counting the almost nap while waiting for the dermatologist.)

Good news: I've been accepted to Stitch and Bitch, so now I have something social to do on a few free evenings.

Crochet news: I did a few rows on the green Kroy socks while waiting for the dermatologist. Oh... and I couldn't wait any longer... I had to see what all the fluff was about with this Koigu KPPPM yarn. I had bought some on sale at Ram Wools. Tonight I balled it up, and did the toe of one sock. It's *very* soft and shiny... *very* yummy! The socks seem somewhat thicker than usual, and I'm wondering if they might slouch more, because the yarn doesn't have as much body. I'll keep you posted. There's some spots that didn't get dyed... I didn't notice in the store, but maybe that's why there was only this one skein of my favourite colourway left. (I got a complementary skein to have enough to do a pair of socks. I'm going to do the toes, heels, and top up the top in the complementary skein.)

Okie... time for bed. I hope your resolutions are going better than mine so far. ;)


So, I had a kind of funny appointment at the dermatologist this morning. I had to get up early to make it in for my 8:00 appointment, and then they didn't end up seeing me until around 8:30. :P

The doc looked at my frozen-skin-tags-turned-moles, and said "you had them *frozen* off?!? Never let someone freeze off a skin tag again." Sheesh... how was I supposed to know the first doctor didn't know what he was talking about? (Hmmm... this is the same guy who's treating my depression... not good...) Anyway, she said that I didn't do anything wrong, just not to let someone do it again now that I know better. Aparently the "proper" method is to use an anesthetic, and then shave it off flush. (Which sounds just as enjoyable, but I guess the results are better.)

The dermatologist said that they *could* cut them out, but she also said they'd almost certainly come back ...I think the word was "aplastic"... since they're recovering from the trauma caused by the freezing. She said to keep an eye on them (which is easy, given they're on my back!), and come back in six months. I said "so that means they're fine", and she said "I don't know". So now I get to think about the stupid things for another six months. (And I'm not sure I'll even be here that long from now...)

However, she also asked me what I was doing for my acne. When I said "nothing", she prescribed me an oral antibiotic, and told me to come back in three months. I know I'll be here for that, and by then I'll also have a better idea of how much longer I'll be here.

I'll be nice to get rid of my zits. (However, she also said I had to stop scratching at them... another thing I'll find challenging!)

Monday, January 10, 2005


The stranges thing happened last night... I dusted, and enjoyed it! It was so fast and easy...

No, I haven't gone insane. (Well, no more than usual.)

When I was shopping yesterday, I bought one of those swiffer dusters with the extendable handle. You know that commercial where there's a nutty lady enjoying dusting... so much so that she dusts her neighbour's house? Well, that was me last night. (And if you know me, you know how much I hate cleaning.)

My mom has one of these, so I thought I'd give it a whirl. I've used the swiffer sweepers before, and prefer them over brooms which fling the dust up into the air, but figured the dusters were just another way to get more of our money. I find with the swiffer sweeper, most of the dust gets stuck on the leading edge, and I have to replace the cloths really often. (Likely this wouldn't happen if I swept more often than once every six months or so...)

Well, the swiffer duster worked way better, and with the extendable handle, I was able to get the baseboards without bending over. (That's what prompted me to clean last night... I had *exceedingly* dusty baseboards.) The duster has extremely slender plastic components, so I was able to get behind most of the furnature without moving anything. I could even get that dustbunny heaven between the washer/dryer and the wall! I like the adjustable positions for the head too... I could adjust it to whatever angle was best for whatever I was dusting, and by taking advantage of gravity, I didn't even have to touch the dusty head. :) (After doing all the baseboards with a single "cloth", I got out another, and dusted all my hanging art, and most of my flat surfaces. After doing that, the swiffer still had "room" for more dust, so I bent the head at 90 degrees and swept the kitchen floor.)

Looking at my filthy desk here at the office, I think I'll get one of the regular handled dusters to clean off here too.

Joy in dusting... who'd have thunk.

Next thing you know, I'll be buying one of those magic erasers that both my mom and Paulina have been raving about... I wonder if they'd work on the mystery spots on my wall? (Probably not... I'm thinking these mystery spots are coming in from the outside.)

Sunday, January 09, 2005


My Sockapalooza sock pal has given me a really tough challenge. Incredibly challenging! I don't know if I can do it!!! She wants, get this, *plain* socks. No stripes, or fancy patterns. Nothing. She did say that she can tolerate truly multicolored (non pooling) or self-striping yarn if I'm not up to the challenge. She says she'll really be thankful for plain socks, but I'm having a hard time convincing myself! Hmmm... maybe she'll forgive me if I send one plain pair, and one subtly striped pair? (I don't know if I can send her just plain old socks!)


I'm pathetic. ;)

Oh... and I'm obviously not going to be able to use any of the sock yarn I currently have... so already I have to break my promise about not buying more yarn before finishing my most recent splurge. Bad me! Maybe my LYS will have a sale on now too...

Mmmm! Turtles!

I was reading this article about nut challenges:

Some families may be living with unnecessary worry over potentially
fatal peanut allergy reactions because of misdiagnosis. And some
children simply outgrow an allergy to peanuts, medical experts say.

and decided that if people who do peanut challenges should make sure to continue eating peanuts, the same must be true for pecans. I celebrated my clean nut challenge by buying myself a 3-pack of turtles. :)) I haven't had turtles in *ages*.

Hmmm... I don't think the pecans in this package are as fresh as those I ate during the challenge.

Oh well... it was still nice to eat one again, after all these years. :)

I'll probably stick to regular pecans for the most part... they're cheaper, and have fewer calories. (I haven't dared step on the scale since I got home... I suppose I should.)

Today: laundry, grocery shopping, unpacking... and painting with my friend S! (We get together to paint on Sundays, or sometimes we go for walks.) Today I added a disembodied pair of jeans to a painting I had previously done the background on, and to keep the jeans company, I added a headless dog. Here they are:

As you can probably guess, I'm not done the painting yet. ;) (The jeans and dog will eventually be dad and his dog Nicky.)

Here's the gorgeous book thong Donna sent me:

The beads are a really pretty garnet colour, with copper sparkles and stripes. My thong is now gracing the book "Daggerspell" by Katharine Kerr. (The book is quite enjoyable too, although the person who wrote the blurb on the back apparently didn't read the book.) That reminds me... "The Ropemaker" was also excellent, so I think I'm going to have to hunt down the rest of Peter Dickinson's novels. :) I think anyone who enjoys Robin McKinley will also enjoy Peter Dickinson. (No wonder they're married!)

I also put up the "stained glass" my mom gave me to cut down the glare from my counter light:

Thanks mom!

Crochet update: I finished the heel on one green Kroy sock, and the other is ready to start the heel. I'm too lazy to update my progress bar tonight, though.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Hello from NC

I'm back in the south again. It's strangely warm and humid... I had to strip off lots of clothing in the RDU airport. (No, I stopped before I got in trouble.)

Hmmm... and I've been greeted with bills, overdue bills, and a book thong! Thanks Donna! (I'll post a picture tomorrow... I should go to bed... I need to stay on a decent schedule.)

But before bed, a silly internet quiz:

I, my friend, have class. I am so not white trash. . I am more than likely Democrat, and my place is neat, and there is a good chance I may never drink wine from a box.

Changing Socks

Here's the green Kroy socks in progress, old and new:

Friday, January 07, 2005

Crochet Tip

Tàri Nienna describes a problem on her blog... where some yarns are really hard to see where to put the stitches, especially on the first row (after the chain). I've had the same problem, and here's my solution:

Tip: get some scraps of yarn (either one long piece, or many shorter pieces, in a different colour than you're using for the project), and place the scrap yarn between the loop on the hook, and the yarn going to the ball. When doing the first row after the chain, the hook goes through where the scrap yarn is. When you're done this row, pull out the scrap yarn.

I'll add a photo or two later, but not tonight.

I made it to the heel on the first green Kroy sock, and discovered I didn't have enough rainbow yarn to add stripes after the heel. So I'm starting the second sock, but using wider green stripes to see how it looks. So far so good... the stripes even stand out better. :) I'm nearly to the heel on the second sock. However, since I have to frog nearly the entire first sock, I'm not updating my progress bar... what I did today will be cancelled out by what I frog tomorrow.

Tomorrow I head back to Chapel Hill. *sigh* I don't really want to go back. Oh well... at least I have some neat surprises in the mail to look forward to! :))

Another fun thing today: I've been accepted into the Sockapalooza sock exchange! (Even though I crochet.) I'm looking forward to this... I'm thinking of it as a sort of cultural exchange... I'll show knitters how nice my crocheted socks are, and I'll get to see how nice knitted socks are. :)) You know, I've been reading on Crochetville how crocheters sometimes get snubbed by knitters... maybe if this works out, we can try a bigger cultural sock exchange. :)

Merry Christmas!

No, you didn't read the subject wrong... today is Ukranian Christmas. Bob's family used to celebrate it, but they've pretty much stopped now that grandma S can't do all the cooking for it. (There's twelve meatless dishes, so there's quite a bit of cooking involved.) Instead, S brings a dish or two to the December Christmas.

I was scrolling through some back posts (still deciding who to prune from my bloglines so I can finish my dissertation), and found this neat Brownie God's Eye Doll. Cute!!!

Oh, and in case people missed it in the comments, my "pattern" for the toe socks is really easy: I used the South Bay Crochet Toes Up Socks, but stopped after 4". Then I just sewed the elastic on, the right length to go around the heel.

Sophie loves her toe socks! Yay! Her homecare worker also thought they were really neat.


Hmmm.... this looks like a good way to use up some of my leftover acrylic yarn. :)

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Ram Wools

Um, yeah, I think I now have a "stash". Here's what I bought at Ram Wools today:

I got a real sampler, trying out lots of different types of sock yarns. (Three are ones I've used already, but two of those were requests by my parents, and one was to make myself similar socks to V's green Kroy socks I'm working on now.) Besides yarn for nine pairs of socks, I bought two balls each of three types of yarn that I think would make nice sweaters (two are baby alpaca & silk, and one is wool & silk), but can't afford to have failed experiments with. I figure I can make a hat or pair of mittens, to learn what the yarn is like. The last two skeins, the large bluey-purple ones, are Canadian wools that are quite affordable, but also very scratchy. Supposedly they get softer with washing, but I want to see just how soft before I try to make a sweater from them.

Bottom line: I spent way more than I should have.

Justification: (a) I got it all on sale, and won't buy any more yarn until I've run out. (b) I'll say I'm using my GST rebate cheques, keeping the money in Canada, and supporting a small business owner.

Yeah. I know I'm bad.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005


Hmmm... I have a lot to write about, but I'm not sure how much I feel like writing tonight.

Yesterday was a long day. (Hence, no posts.) I had to get up early (again) to go to the allergist. (This time it actually happened.) My dad drove me since my mom and Bob needed the car to go grocery shopping. I saw some really amazing sundogs on the way there.

Aside: For those of you in warmer climates, sundogs are related to rainbows. They're formed when sun is refracted through ice crystals in the air. They generally appear as two bright streaks on each side of the sun, but rarely can even form a complete circle. I'd give you the link to wikipedia, but I disagree with some of the information there. (I don't think the writer comes from a cold climate.)

Anyway, these sundogs were incredible... instead of being bright yellowy-white, I could actually distinguish some rainbow colours! I wish I had my camera with me. I had considered bringing it, but then decided I was unlikely to be taking pictures that day, and didn't. *sigh*

So the nut challenge went well... it just took a *really* long time. I was there from 9:15 (I was a bit early) until 2:20. They said it would be 3 hours... ha! If I had known it was going to take that long, I'd have brought some lunch in addition to the ten nuts. :P Oh well... I have permission to eat pecans now. :)) I had forgotten how good pecans taste. :) I don't think I can go hog-wild and eat tons, but a few now and then should be okay. Mmmm.... I'm looking forward to some turtles in the near future! Or maybe try a small slice of this thing called pecan pie... Oh, the possibilities!

After the allergist, I walked over to Bishop Grandin Boulevard, which took longer than I expected. I *just* missed the bus. I saw it on the other side of the highway, and I had two traffic lights to wait for to get to where the bus stop was. :( I checked my watch, and it was a minute early according to the schedule. The next bus was a few minutes late... so I was waiting in the -25C weather for a half hour! (With the windchill, it was below -40... F or C, take your pick.) The bus took me to the university, and from there it was about a 15 minute walk to H's house. (She didn't realize I didn't have the car that day... she would have offered to pick me up if she had known.) I had a good visit with H (who was kind enough to feed me, even though I had to call and cancel our lunch date) and loaned her some books. I gave her the tuque I had crocheted for myself last year, and she really liked it. :) (She had asked me to crochet her one just like it last year, but I hadn't gotten around to it. Since I plan to crochet myself a wool tuque, and had barely worn this tuque living down south, I asked her if she'd like it.)

After the visit she offered to drive me to the university to catch my bus. When we arrived, it was 1 minute before the scheduled departure, but there was no bus waiting at the loop. I figured it was just late, but she thought it might have left already. So we drove along, trying to see if we could catch up to it. We never did... it must have been running a bit late. She ended up driving me all the way downtown, where I was meeting my dad. H is so nice! I felt bad, because the traffic coming out of downtown was horrendous. (I had asked dad to pick me up... I didn't feel like freezing again that day... but he refused because of traffic.)

I ended up being downtown early, since cars move faster than busses, so I browsed some of the stores. I bought myself a Christmas music CD for 50% off, so I won't be deprived next year. ;) I met up with Dad and Odie. We ate at a food court downtown (after crossing off all the ones that likely used sesame seeds or peanuts, that left me with a choice of two places... pizza or Subway), and then watched a hockey game. Why on earth was I watching hockey? Well, a cousin I don't think I have ever met was playing that night... He plays for the Cleaveland Barons, who were in Winnipeg playing the Manitoba Moose. Here's my cousin:

I learned some things about hockey... like "icing", "offside", and that players don't actually play for more than about 30 seconds at a time. They were constantly changing who was on the ice. (Sorry guys, I'm a lot less impressed with someone who only has to exercise for 30 seconds at a time.) It was a bit funny... they kept broadcasting the Canada-Russia world junior final on the big screen. (Yay Canada! We won gold, beating Russia 6-1! I hear USA didn't make it to the medals.)

After the game we hung around for a bit, and I got to meet my cousin when he *finally* came out of the changing room. (I was grumpy by then... I was up past my bedtime, and I hadn't been home or fed properly all day! Whine, whine, whine...)

Well, that was yesterday. Today? After breakfast, I went back to bed and slept until noon. Then I spent *way* too long catching up on other people's blogs. I'm going to have to prune my bloglines. I was fine over Christmas, but now people are posting more, and I don't have the time. I'm slowly going to prune down to all but people I know, and my absolute favourite blogs. I don't really want to (since they're all interesting), but I'm not going to have the time when term starts up again. I *need* to finish my dissertation! (So please don't feel offended if I drop your blog.)

I also did some crochet today. I made a pair of "toe socks" for my grandma S:

What? They look odd? Yeah. S has to wear pressure socks, and those socks don't cover her toes. Thus, her toes get cold. But she can't wear real socks, because then the rest of her feet boil. So I made little covers for her toes, and added elastic to hold them on. I'm going to take them to her tomorrow, to see how they work out. After the toe socks, I started the pair of socks for V out in BC:

I'm *jealous*! I love these socks already, and they aren't going to be mine! Waaaa! I'm making them with green Kroy 4 ply sock yarn, and leftovers from my rainbow socks. My mom loves my rainbow socks, so I think I'll have to make her a pair, so I'll have enough leftover to make myself a pair of these socks! (My mom commented that the rainbow stripes make little spots that look like butterflies.)

Well, that's today, and it's time for bed. I guess I got it all in, it just took me an hour to write. :P

Oh... I also cooked tonight... I did my shrimp pasta for mom and Bob, and Bob's son. They *loved* it. :)) I'm happy.

Monday, January 03, 2005


Don't forget to donate to your usual charities, as well as tsunami victims:

Some Canadian charities fear they will lose money as regular donors
divert their dollars to tsunami relief efforts in Asia.


Nuts, no nuts today. My allergist called in sick (I'm thinking maybe called in extended holidays), so no nut test for me today. Instead, I've been rescheduled for tomorrow. That's going to mess up my meeting with Helen a bit, and I'll miss grocery shopping with my parents. And that also means I got up early this morning for no reason, and I'll have to get up early again tomorrow morning. *pout*

On the yarn front, I made a quick stop at Ram Wools, and didn't buy any yarn. Why? In such a fabulous, amazing yarn shop? In a yarn shop with shelves and shelves, and more shelves of yarn? Amazing yarn, at decent prices? Because they're having a sale! (Wait, you say, that makes no sense. Keep reading.) The yarn sale starts *Thursday*! All yarns are 25-50% off! Why? "We are computerizing all our inventory so we are clearing out a lot of items and offering great prices across the board." :)) So guess what I'll be doing Thursday morning. And this time without my parents in tow, so they don't get bored out of their skulls. (Mmmmm.... they have *lots* of yummy yarns! I think I'm in danger of aquiring a "stash"!)

Sunday, January 02, 2005


Woo hoo! I did it! A gingerbread treehouse! Check it out:

Gingerbread Treehouse

My friend Moni came over to help me... I always need extra hands come assembly time, and Moni enjoys crafty stuff too. Here she is adding lederhosen to the little gingerbread people:

Friend Helping

Aren't they cute in their lederhosen?!:

Chocolate Lederhosen

I'm looking forward to more crafty time with Moni when I've quit NC for good... thanks for helping Moni! :))

Snow update... although the last dump of snow was soft and fluffy, there was a lot. It took the three of us another 45 minutes to shovel out this morning, and we weren't sure whether Moni would be able to make it over. We've run out of space to put the snow from the driveway, so after clearing the back walk, I shovelled snow from the yard above the driveway to farther back. Now, instead of having to hoist the snow about five feet, we only have to hoist it about half that. At least, until we've shovelled more snow there. :P

I made more progress on the raglan pattern. I have it all jotted down in scribbles, and now just need to type it up. Oh... and give it a nifty name... raglan sweater sounds so boring. I've decided to call the purple stripe sweater "Vertigo" (because of the vertical stripes). Any ideas on cool names for the raglan? For those who've forgotten, this is what it looks like:

Crochet Sweater

I'm thinking maybe "Evelyn", but that's just a random name, and doesn't mean much.

Oh... and thanks for recommending Blackmore's Night, Marvie! I finally listened to clips on iTunes, and I'm definitely going to buy the CD on my next Amazon order! Wow... it's exactly the type of music I like! (Of course, I like lots of types... but certainly not all types.)

Saturday, January 01, 2005


The world is all sparkly out tonight.

I think we've had about 5cm of new snow already (at least), and they're now forecasting 10-25cm tonight. I love sparkly fresh snow like this... the big flat flakes that really reflect the street lights.

"Lifetime" Warranty

Have you ever wondered whose "lifetime" those lifetime warranties are for? It turns out it's the lifetime of the receipt.

My parents have a couch from Sears (a store with normally good customer service) that has a "lifetime" warranty on the mechanism. Recently they started having problems with the mechanism that lifts the footrest up. Bob called to get it fixed. Unfortunately, he doesn't have the receipt any more. He bought it seven years ago, and after my mom retired, they went through and purged all the old files. (Which included such items as the receipt for the car my mom bought around the time my brother was born, 25 years ago. That car left us quite a while ago.) One of the files that got shredded included the receipt for the now seven-year-old couch. We thought it should be okay, because the store would have a record of our purchase... especially since it was bought on a Sears card.


Sears purges it's files after a year.

Lesson: never throw out those receipts. :P

Weather update: it's snowing again... big surprise there. We're supposed to get another 5-10 cm overnight. I hope my friend can make it over tomorrow... she's going to help me with my gingerbread house (which is still sitting in the fridge in raw cookie dough form), and they still haven't done a proper street cleaning. The main roads are fine, but the side roads just have a single quick plow down the center so that people can move their cars off the street for the real plowing.

Back to working on my sweater patterns. (Yes, I've been procrastinating!)