Friday, April 30, 2010


I'm not sneezing, my eyes aren't itching... I'm hiding at home with a great big pile of marking. I'm not going out until I have to. (It finally cooled off enough that I could get away with closing the windows last night.)

Don't forget that the art show opens tonight. :)

Thursday, April 29, 2010


WTF is up with my allergies?!? I'm *miserable*! It's raining today, which should be clearing the air!!! Wah!!!!!! *whine*

Whiny Halleluja

It's down to the wire with taxes, art show prep, and marking... but I just discovered that I have a wee bit of a reprieve with marking: the very last day I can get my marks in *isn't* tomorrow (also the deadline for art show and taxes), but *Tuesday*!!!!

I was up until 5 am working last night. I prepped my magnets and cards, and did the draft version of my taxes. (I *OWE* taxes! Wah! I blame the tutoring, because nothing was withheld for that.)

Allergies are miserable right now... not nearly as bad as when I was living in Chapel Hill, but I need to leave my windows open to make the apartment temperature bearable. That lets in the pollen, and the warm, dry spring has meant there's a lot of pollen floating around. Right now I'm sniffly and itchy-eyed. And whiny and tired. But happy that I won't get yelled at when my marking's not done tomorrow.

Have you seen the "Just Allergies" commercial that Reactine is running right now? I'd link to it or post it, but I can't find it online. (Reactine: you've missed an opportunity! ...even if it's a small one.) Anyway, I love that commercial. That's how I feel.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Upon leaving the department tonight, *both* feet felt swollen, and they still do. Can marking make feet swell?


The retreat was fabulous. It didn't last nearly long enough. I'll post more as I need procrastination from marking, and/or thinking of happy thoughts.

Yesterday I marked my part of the group exam for one course, so I'm basically done with that course. (I'll still need to enter grades, and meet to decide grade cut-points.)

For some reason, yesterday my right foot felt swollen.

Today I'm back to marking the depressing course. I've decided to do exams first, so that I don't need to lug them home. (I finally have them all, and so can actually mark them now. Also, they discourage us from taking them off-campus.)

Yesterday I didn't go to the art club. Today I'm not going to a prof's son's recital. (He's an award winning adult, not some kid.) Anyone want to do my marking? How about my taxes or art show prep?

It's a beautiful day for napping in the sunshine. But I'm not... I'm marking instead. (Earlier I was procrasti-marking, but now I'm actually marking. Well, not at this precise moment.)

Please Come!

Local Colour Art Group Show & Sale Invitation

I *finally* got around to posting this! (I should be marking right now... I'm sort of procrastinating.)

Here's a quick link to the biggest (more readable) version of the invitation.

Friday, April 23, 2010


*yawn*! I stayed up way too late last night packing. I'm struggling to make it through the morning. I had one student early, and was expecting more, and so didn't push chairs together to take a nap... but no other students have come. I really should have taken a nap. :( (I can't take on this afternoon, because I'm invigilating.)

Perhaps the person giving me a ride to camp won't mind if I sleep in the car...


I'm going to a spinning/weaving/knitting retreat tomorrow, and it's really starting to sink in how strange it will be. For instance, just now I realized that I won't have speakers to hook up my iPod to, so that I can listen to podcasts to lull myself to sleep! It's been... um... nearly two years(!?!?) since I didn't have a podcast to lull myself to sleep, and that trip was when I went to the lake... and so I got to listen to the breeze in the trees, and the loons on the lake. On this trip, I'll be sharing a room with a bunch of knitters.

I also have to remember how to pack. I'm paranoid that I'll pack so much for this weekend trip that the person giving me a ride will think I'm a nut-job. (Whether I am or am not a nut-job is not the issue... I freely admit to being one, I just don't like people actually thinking I'm one.)

Part of my packing will be food, so that I won't starve if I discover the shared meals are all stuff I'm allergic too. (No vehicle, and no walkable grocery stores.)

Since this is a (dry) camp, there won't be ice and ice buckets to keep my milk substitute cold.

I'll be expected to get up at a reasonable hour. (More like 7 or 8 am, rather than 2 pm, my recent week-end wake-up time.)

Do I bring my laptop, in case there's time to do marking? (I still have a crap-load of marking.)

Also to pack: sleeping bag and pillow, both of which are *bulky*, but necessary. Add in the spinning wheel, spindles, a knitting project or two... and probably the looms my relative gave me... will I *fit* in my rides?

What am I forgetting? I *know* I'll forget something... especially with how long it's been since I've packed for a trip.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


I *finally* have my glasses back (for good, this time). They upgraded me to a thinner lens, because all the other ones at the lab were from the same defective shipment. So now I'm back to feeling like I'm in a bit of a fun-house as I try, once again, to adapt to new glasses. My eyes are always slow to adapt. Whee.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Poppies in Progress

Poppies in Progress

I worked on my poppies at the art club last night. I added shadows to the house, and worked on the greenery. I have a *lot* of greenery left to do, and even the greenery I did do could use more work. Looks like it won't be done in time for the art show in a week and a half.

Monday, April 19, 2010


Third time is *not* the charm, apparently. I went to pick up my glasses today, and they, once again, have the same flaw in the right lens. They're going to try switching to a different material. I've asked them to *look* at the glasses when they come back. :P (You'd think the lab would be looking at the glasses too, especially given that they've had to remake the lens multiple times now.)


Spring is Springing

As I suspected, the daffodils at mom's have started to open up. The tulips are almost there, but not quite. The forecast is for 23C today, so today might be the day.
Spring! Spring!
Walking home from dinner last night, though, I was surprised to see the daffodils at another house on the street in full bloom... our house is normally the first! Oh well.

Crochet Socks

Crochet Socks

It's been an awfully long time since I've bored you with socks, so I figured I should post these. I've gotten quite slack about posting socks... and my production rate has dropped significantly now that I'm usually sleeping on the bus. (Looks like I haven't learned to crochet in my sleep yet.) These are a gift for B. (Well, he paid for the yarn, but I gave him my time.)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

More Rug Hooking Photos

I keep meaning to show you how cool the backside looks. While I was taking photos with natural light anyways, I took another of the front. Here they are, side-by-side:
Back Front (natural light)

Fun With Scary Chemicals

Frosted Glass

I grew up with a milk allergy, and so use a milk substitute on my cereal. It comes as a concentrate, which I dilute with water. I had been using plastic pitchers, but have been wanting to switch to glass. However, the marks I put on the glass with a "permanent" marker to indicate how much water to add, and how much to use for one bowl of cereal so I don't get too much or too little for the last bowl, kept washing off.

So I bought some "Armour Etch" at the craft store, opened windows and donned gloves... and now I have pretty stripes to mark everything! :)

I marked my juice pitcher too, so that I don't have to worry about what's dirty or clean, and can just use what's available.

I hope those rinsed-off chemicals don't cause any environmental problems downstream. :(


Finished Sheep Tile

I filled the juvenile-giggle-inducing hole, and gave the sheep something to look at. :) I thought of dying that last partial cream-coloured strip yellow, but then it occurred to me that yellow yarn would work as well, and I happened to have some yellow yarn. :) I put a few blades of grass (or something) on the other side too, for balance.

I suppose it's not "done" done... I still need to do the finishing... but the rug hooking part is done.

Friday, April 16, 2010


My cousin won the jury prize for her video!!! She's got a fantastic happy dance too! (Bottom row, second column.)


Mr Party-of-One is having a relapse.

Earlier tonight he was playing loud music in the building. It wasn't quite loud enough for me to call him to turn it down, but it was definitely coming through.

Just now, I heard loud music outside, so I looked to see if the partiers from next door were doing drugs outside again. Turns out Mr Party-of-One is once again Mr Party-in-the-Car. He's drinking (with the car running), and smoking. I don't know what he's smoking. He's probably disturbing the neighbours, but I don't want to call the cops on him in case he decides to take his smoking indoors.

Speaking of smoking, I asked a student who knows about drugs from a misspent youth. He says the round flask shaped thing I saw the next door partiers with is a bong. (Whee.) Then I asked him if he thought the menthol-like smell last night was cough drops or menthol cigarettes, and he said that cocaine gets cut with stuff that, when smoked, can smell like menthol. (That was *not* what I wanted to hear.)

Perhaps I should just pass this information on to the landlord, to let him decide what he thinks might be going on.

Rug Hooking WIP

Rug Hooking WIP

Whoopsie, I mis-calculated how much more blue I would need, by a tiny amount. I thought about using one of the other colours that I had enough of... but, given what other colours I have, and where the main gap is located... it, well, brought out juvenile thoughts. I'm sure twelve-year-old boys would find it hilarious, though.

I do have more black, this is just how far I got last night.

Option #1: Ask DiFranza if they'd be willing to send me one more blue strip. (They didn't charge me for the ones they already sent... I feel bad asking for more time and postage for one more strip.)

Option #2: Pull out some of the blue on the "ground" areas, and use the wool skirts I've been collecting to make grass or flowers. (The green I have is a bit of an odd grass colour, but it would work.) I wish I had some bright yellow, to make a dandelion. Perhaps I'll dye the partial white strip I have left.

I suspect I'll go with option #2.


Ew. It smells like... menthol(?) in my apartment. WTF are they doing downstairs to make my apartment smell like menthol? (I *hate* menthol with a passion. I think it's giving me a headache, too...)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


I was supposed to go out with a good friend tonight who I haven't been able to spend time with in *ages*. We were going to walk down to a local cafe, eat dinner, and *visit* (either there or back at my place).

She has a killer migraine, and had to cancel.

Instead of having a nice walk, fancy dinner (with no prep & dishes), and a visit with a friend, I'll be eating leftovers, no walk, marking, and watching TV. (And she's having a migraine, which I don't think she wants either.)


Saturday, April 10, 2010


I want to wash dishes, but the water from the tap is only lukewarm. (This is an apartment building!!!) I'm doing laundry downstairs (on warm), and the neighbour is giving her son a bath... but if that's enough to empty the tank, then perhaps the block needs a bigger tank.

I'm heating up water in the kettle, but I have a "single person sized" kettle, so it's taking a bit. I'd get out one of my big stock pots, but I'm already on my third kettle, so I'll probably get enough hot water before the stock pot came to a boil anyway. (I didn't think it would take this many kettles worth when I started.)

Make that fourth kettle, and note to self: pay more attention to the "max fill line"... it's apparently there for a reason. :P

In other cleaning news, my friend called this morning at 10 am and asked if she could bring my exercise bike over between 1 and 2. (I had been "storing" it at her place, but then she got married and sold her house.) My place is disgusting right now, and so, instead of going back to bed, I made an attempt to make my place look a little less disgusting. It's still a mess, but the improvement sure is nice. Once I'm done all my marking (finished the last of the exercises last night, now it's just several assignments, and later two exams) I plan to get back to cleaning.

Friday, April 09, 2010


I went to pick up the replacement lens today, and it has the same marking. I've left the frames with them so that things can (hopefully) get sorted out properly.

I'm wondering if there's a defect in the batch of lenses from the manufacturer?

They're wondering if it's their machine that checks the prescription.

They think the third time's the charm. I'm feeling somewhat less optimistic. (But, since I'm not paying for all these lenses, I'm not that worried about it, as long as it *eventually* gets sorted out.)

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Is it a Conspiracy?

"I will mark one exercise before going home."

I log in to Angel (the software for the online course), and then click on the course I'm teaching.

It's running slow, so I check Ravelry while I wait. Click, click, click... I suppose I should go back and check on Angel.

Still waiting.

I click on logout, to see if maybe my session has timed out without saying so...

Blank screen, and more waiting.

Is there a conspiracy against me getting the marking done? I'm going home. :P

Cool News

Cool news from my cousin:
hi friends!

sorry to bother all of you again, but i wanted to thank you for voting in the first round, and ask you to vote again for my video in the finals. voting takes place right now until the 15th at:

the three videos in the last row are the ones to vote for, mine is the last one. roger sinha's is also very good.

you may have noticed a formatting error in the video, which i hadn't seen yet when i sent out the last email. the top and bottom of the frames are cut off, so some heads are missing. frustrating because i am such a stickler for perfect cropping, but so it goes.

*another very exciting piece of news is that cbc called this morning and is contemplating sending 'life stories' to further film festivals in canada or latin america. i just need to subtitle it in spanish. anyone know spanish?

take care and thanks so much for your time and feedback that you've sent me. it is much appreciated:) if you voted before, please vote again!

Monday, April 05, 2010


Awesomely funny article about knitting and quilting truckers! I wonder if they know about Ravelry?

In other news, I got my new glasses today... and one of the lenses has a big flaw right in the middle. They're ordering in a new lens for me. The prescription change is pretty small, but I'm still all cross-eyed trying to get used to the new glasses. Even switching between two pairs at the same prescription give me trouble. Maybe I won't try prescription sunglasses... (I had thought of trying a pair from a discount place... not the pricey place I got my regular glasses.)

Friday, April 02, 2010


Migraine type headache. Ow.


Wow, a thunderstorm. With the temperature hovering just a few degrees above zero today, my mind is having trouble reconciling thunder with the cold temperatures. Thunderstorms are a summer event. In spring, rain tends to be soft.

There's some small hail too, and the forecast says the rain will switch to snow overnight.

My back is mostly better today. Mom said that instead of resting, I should be using gentle movement to keep it from seizing up. So, yesterday, I walked over to the thrift shop just on the other side of the river.

The river is quite high:
Red River in Flood
That turbulent bit where the logs are caught is where the giant concrete icebreaker block is. The river looks deceptively slow where the water is deep... but you can really see it's power where it churns around the block. it's rather hypnotic, watching it.

At the thrift store, I bought two pretty 25 cent glasses, two 25 cent sewing patterns, and a 50 cent card of snaps. Here are the glasses:
Thrift Store Glasses Thrift Store Glasses
I was hoping the little one would be small enough to hold an easter egg for display, but it's a bit on the big size. I tried to polish it using the baking soda, aluminum foil, and boiling water method... but although it is less tarnished now, it still isn't shiny, and some of the silver flaked off. Whoops. I wish I had left it the way it was. Most of the design is still there, but it definitely looked better before. (The photo is a before shot.) Since I don't drink shots, I'm thinking of making it into a candle. (When I get time to melt some wax.) Do you think I should use parafin wax, or beeswax? (I have both.)

DiFranza Designs has *awesome* customer service! I sent them an e-mail to find out how much it would cost (including shipping) to order the strips I needed to finish my design, and they offered to send them for free! Yay! I like to spread the word when I receive awesome customer service. :)
Rug Hooking WIP

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Please Vote For My Cousin

My cousin has entered a video contest. Would you mind watching her video, and if you like it, vote for it? Click Here. Hers is the first one in the third row... "Life Stories" by Caroline Barrientos. Thanks!

PS: You will need to create an account, but it's for Canada's public radio station, so it's nothing spammy-virusy-nasty.

PPS: If you do vote, come back and leave a comment here. If there's at least ten of you, I'll have a little contest and send the winner something. :) (Probably after it has marinated in my "to mail" pile for a while... but you're free to pester me until you do get your prize.)


My back just went out!!! I have no idea how... it's not like I was doing anything when it happened. I was having my shower (I cancelled the optional things this morning so I could catch up on sleep), and my back felt odd. So I leaned forward to stretch it, and it felt like there was a problem with one of the nerves. After I stood back up, it got worse. Now I can't lift my right arm up, breathe deeply, or do several other things without severe pain. I've cancelled my afternoon, taken a couple advil, and now I'll try lying flat on my back for a while. Ow.

What do you find works best when you throw your back out?