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May 31, 2006

Wednesday Randoms

1. While I was at work today, my landlord's brother bought and installed a shiny new garbage disposal. (And he does some sort of repairy thing for a living, so it wasn't as sketchy as it sounds.) Now, even before it was leaking, the disposal didn't work - we just used it as a regular drain. The repair means both no more leaking AND we can use the disposal as a disposal. I am BEYOND thrilled about this. No, really.

2. Newest TiVo discovery: Bringing Home Baby. Awww. But why do they constantly put bows in this one-day-old's hair?

3. I got my first Rachael Ray cookbook over the weekend, because friends assured me that her books were not as annoying as her TV personality. I made my first dish from it last night - yum! But, of course, it took an hour, not her promised 30 minutes. And - chop raw bacon? How could ANYONE chop raw bacon and finish a recipe that quickly?

4. Believe it or not, I've been crocheting more than knitting recently. I KNOW. I'm sorry. But I was convinced that my (newly cleaned!) living room would not be complete without a ripple afghan, and once I figured out what the heck to do with the stupid edges, it became strangely addictive. (I am convinced that basically all crochet patterns are wrong, though, because I looked at a bunch of ripple patterns and none of them worked as written.)

5. Hee. I just talked to an online friend on the phone for the first time. I never expect southern accents, even when I know perfectly well where the person lives. I can't tell you how many times this has happened.

Posted by Kat at 08:31 PM | Comments (4)

May 29, 2006

I'm, um, planning ahead.

All winter I was saying "Huh, it's cold. I should have, I don't know, something to put on my head or something." I know it sounds odd, but I did not seem to own a hat. I tend to not be crazy about wearing hats... but still. I live in New Hampshire. I knit. I should have a hat.

Now I do. Just in time for, you know, Memorial Day, but let's not get nitpicky. It's the Asymmetrical Cable Hat from One Skein, in Lamb's Pride Bulky. I really prefer to knit on smaller needles, but I have to admit that it was sort of fun to do something that knit up so quickly.

I'm particularly proud of the pom-pom, the first I've made with my new pom-pom maker:

Posted by Kat at 01:09 PM | Comments (3)

May 28, 2006

Hard work

So we're having kitchen sink issues. Basically, the faucet works fine, but anything (including water) that we try to put down the drain ends up in the cabinet under the sink. (Yes, the landlord has been notified; he's in the Ukraine at the moment so it's taking him a bit longer than normal to get it fixed.) This means that dishes have to be washed in the dishpan, and then the dishpan full of icky water has to be dumped into the bathroom sink whenever it gets full. Which is about every three minutes, it seems. And I cooked a few times this weekend, and had social obligations that meant leaving soon after eating both times, so when I got home this evening there were a heck of a lot of dishes to do.

Now, I read a fair amount of history, especially social history. I know that, until all of the huge advances in household technology in the past fifty to one hundred years or so, routine, everyday housework was a much bigger deal. The phrase "backbreaking labor" is thrown around, and I never doubted it. But now, having this one common task be so much more time consuming and physically difficult than usual is giving me a glimpse of what all that actually means. And wow. I really am impressed by the strength of those generations of women (and some men, of course) who did all of that work every single day, and very grateful that I have all of these conveniences that mean that I have time to knit and read for fun and write a blog and everything else.

And I'm also trying to remember the feeling of accomplishment I had when all of those dishes were done and the last basin of water was dumped out and the kitchen was all clean. Maybe it will help convince me to clean more often.

Posted by Kat at 11:11 PM | Comments (4)

May 27, 2006

It's settled.

Me. Lotus Blossom Shawl. Country Silk in Marrakesh. The Amazing Lace.

Posted by Kat at 07:40 AM | Comments (2)

May 26, 2006

Friday Lunch Watch

As you may remember, last Friday my Lean Cuisine pizza was rudely stolen from the freezer here at work. Never one to learn from my mistakes, I have another in there this Friday. I did label it with my initials this time, so let's hope that helps. Stay tuned for updates!

8:10 am: Got to work and checked the freezer while I was putting my Diet Dr. Pepper in the fridge. The pizza is still there, undisturbed.

10:30 am: Checked on the way back from my morning walk, and it's still there.

1 pm: Victory is mine! The pizza has been consumed! (By me!)

Posted by Kat at 08:19 AM | Comments (4)

May 24, 2006

Wednesday Random Bullet Points

First I have to announce that it's my baby (hah!) brother's sixteenth birthday. Happy Birthday, Dave!

Okay, randoms in quick bullet-point form:

1. The Amazing Lace. Joining?

2. Must Love Dogs. Cute! (Thanks for the rec, Cate.)

3. Beef Porcupine Balls. Yum!

4. WEBS. Big. Bought yarn. Pretty.

5. Tristan + Isolde. Worst movie ever. She was reading John Donne. wtf?

6. Me: tired.

Posted by Kat at 08:47 PM | Comments (4)

May 19, 2006

Reason #45237 Why I Hate Corporate America

All morning, I'd been looking forward to my lovely Lean Cuisine pizza for lunch. But when I went to take it out of the freezer, it had vanished. Someone ate it. And there are hundreds of people in my building, so I really have no way of tracking down who it was. Bah.

Posted by Kat at 12:57 PM | Comments (8)

May 18, 2006

Knitting! Pictures!

I told you I was still knitting! I even finished Birch!

Not blocked yet, obviously. And, um, apparently all the ends didn't get woven in, either. Oops. Detail:

I've also started a chevron sock in lovely, very bright Trekking:

But my current obsession is the French Fleurette Scarf in coral Zephyr:

I started this a few months ago, but I must have been tired or something, because I just couldn't wrap my head around the pattern. It is written a bit unclearly, but once I went back with a clear head, I managed to get it. Mostly. I'm still getting confused by it more often than I'd like, but I'm getting there.

Posted by Kat at 07:03 PM | Comments (8)

May 17, 2006

Randoms! On Wednesday!

1. My newest TiVo find: Passport to Europe with Samantha Brown. Favorite quote so far: "Well, hello! You must be an Alp!"

2. I know Rachel warned us, but I was still disappointed by the ending of My Sister's Keeper. Actually, the whole book was sort of annoying, but compelling at the same time. Hmm. I'll try to sort out my thoughts on it in time for the May Reads post.

3. Oh. I was going to say the weather was finally better, but now I hear it raining again.

4. Speaking of which, yes, I was in the flooding area, but yes, I'm fine. My usual route to work was closed for several days, and my kitchen ceiling is precariously close to dripping, but I'm fine. And check out Feminknit for some pictures.

5. I am going through soy milk withdrawal. (I usually put it on my cereal, but we got a free gallon of regular milk, so we're trying to use that before it goes bad, and so there's no soy milk in the house.) It's REALLY not fun.

6. Talking about soy milk suggests that I don't actually have much to say. Or at least don't have the energy necessary to say it.

7. Up next: NH S&W report and photographic evidence that I do still, in fact, knit.

Posted by Kat at 08:39 PM | Comments (3)

May 16, 2006

April Reads

(Explanation of the ratings)

12. Bad Kitty by Michelle Jaffe
Genre: Young adult
Rating: 3.9
Comments: Cute! I've been reading Jaffe's blog since it started, so I was eager to read her first YA book. It was a bit far-fetched, and at times seemed a bit affected, but overall, I loved it. Silly and clever and fun.

13. The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax by Dorothy Gilman
Genre: Mystery
Rating: 4
Comments: This series comes highly recommended by my mom (as well as various bloggers), but I'd somehow never read one before. So good! Mrs. Pollifax is absolutely hilarious, and there was all sorts of fun stuff about Cold War-era espionage, as well. It's a classic series and I'd recommend it to any mystery reader.

14. A Grave Talent by Laurie R. King
Genre: Mystery
Rating: 4.8
Comments: I've been reading King's Mary Russell series for years, but this was the first time I'd read her Kate Martinelli series. This was her first novel, and it was great. King writes the contemporary setting as well as she does the historical, and I can't wait for her next book, which is going to combine the two series. (Except I have three more Kate Martinelli books to read first, so I'd better get going on that.)

15. Suspense and Sensibilityby Carrie Bebris
Genre: Mystery
Rating: 4.3
Comments: I gave the first in this series, Pride and Prescience, a good review, so I had high hopes for this one, and Bebris didn't disappoint. I loved the way she managed to combine characters from Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility. As with the first, it did contain a supernatural element, but it was believable within the context of the story. The actual mystery wasn't terribly shocking, but oh, what a fun book.

16. My Cup Runneth Over by Cherry Whytock
Genre: Young Adult
Rating: 3.5
Comments: Another cute YA chick lit novel, this one British. Tone is similar to Louise Rennison, or maybe a younger Bridget Jones. The main character, Angel, is realistic and likeable, if rather wealthy and a bit twee.

17. Hardscrabble Road by Jane Haddam
Genre: Mystery
Rating: 4.5
Comments: This is the newest entry in one of my favorite mystery series, featuring retired FBI agent Gregor Demarkian. Haddam has written over twenty of them, but the quality hasn't dropped off. My main complaint about this one was that my favorite supporting character was absent. Other than that, it was up to Haddam's usual standard. Fans of Elizabeth George or P.D. James should give this series a try. Start with Not a Creature Was Stirring if you're a whole-series-in-order person, or Somebody Else's Music if you want to start with something more recent and easier to find.

Posted by Kat at 10:13 PM | Comments (5)

May 12, 2006

Dinner and a movie

Nifty! Chunky's is going to build a theater in Nashua.

Posted by Kat at 10:10 PM | Comments (3)

May 11, 2006

NH Sheep and Wool Festival plans

Okay! I finally know what I'm doing. Not that you've all been waiting with bated breath or anything, but just in case anyone's curious...

Saturday: I'm not going to the festival itself, but I will be at Margarita's for dinner. And I expect a full report from you all on what I should look for at the festival.

Sunday: Heading to festabal-land in the morning with Erica and Defulct. We'll probably be there more or less all day. Let me know if you want to meet up, or you'll be around and we should look for you, or whatever.
EDITED to add: Lunch! I hear rumors of covered picnic tables near alpacas. Anyone who wants to meet up, let's say around 12:30-1 o'clock (after the end of the Fleece to Shawl, basically).

Bonus! Tonight (Thursday): 251 Bar & Grill in Billerica. My boss is in the band that's playing, so a few of us are heading over. If anyone feels like stopping by, I'll be the one knitting a sock. (Umm, no, really? I'm sure you're shocked.)

And - breaking news! My completed Birch will be coming with me both Saturday night and Sunday, as long as none of you yell at me for bringing it along to show off before it's blocked.

Posted by Kat at 10:04 AM | Comments (3)

May 09, 2006

News, and memes

First, the exciting news: my paper is done done done! That means I just have to go to class tonight and turn it in and the semester will be over! Wheee! There will be celebrating this weekend. Who will be at NH S&W on Sunday (or in the area for dinner and/or drinks Saturday evening) to help me celebrate?

Second, because my brain is too mushy for anything else at this point, memes! I stole these from Rachel, which is quite appropriate as she is one of the few Internet friends I've known for ten years. Or at least almost ten years. I joined the listserv on which we met in the fall of 1996.

Ten years ago, it was 1996. Take this survey, post the results, and see how many things have changed since then.

1) How old were you?
THEN: 13
NOW: 23

2) Where did you go to school?
THEN: Memorial Middle School
NOW: Simmons Graduate School of Library & Information Science

3) Where did you work?
THEN: Just baby-sitting.
NOW: PC Connection. Borders.

4) Where did you live?
THEN: Middlebury, CT
NOW: Milford, NH

5) How was your hair style?
THEN: Long-ish, I think. I'm trying to picture my eighth grade graduation pictures and failing miserably.
NOW: About shoulder-length, layered.

6) Did you wear braces?
NOW: No.

7) Did you wear contacts?
NOW: No.

8) Did you wear glasses?
THEN: Yes.
NOW: Yes.

9) Who was your best friend?
THEN: Heather
NOW: I'm not sure I really have one best friend at the moment. Which is probably good. I have several close friends, though. (And others without much Web presence, of course.)

10) Which of your pets were still alive?
THEN: Emmy
NOW: Tessie

11) Who was your boyfriend/girlfriend?
THEN: Nope.
NOW: Again with the nope.

12) Who was your celebrity crush?
THEN: Don't remember one standing out.
NOW: Oh, there are so many...

13) Who was your regular-person crush?
NOW: Don't have one, exactly.

14) How many piercings did you have?
THEN: One in each ear.
NOW: One in each ear.

15) How many tattoos did you have?
NOW: 0

16) What was your favorite band/singer?
THEN: Bach.
NOW: If I had to choose just one, I'd still say Bach. Although my musical tastes are more varied now.

17) Had you smoked a cigarette?
NOW: No.

18) Had you gotten drunk?
NOW: Never quite drunk, no.

19) Had you driven yet?
NOW: Yes.

20) If so which car?
NOW: 1998 Honda Civic.

21) Looking back, are you where you thought you would be in 2006?
No, not at all.

And another meme:

I AM: drinking TaB and taking stupid HTML out of stupid lists of stupid things. Um, yeah, welcome to my job.
I WANT: to catch up on sleep.
I WISH: I had no obligations tonight and could go home and drink tea and finish Birch while watching guilty pleasure TV.
I HATE: how my house is always messy.
I MISS: my family, and decent bagels. And Texas Dr. Pepper. From a fountain. With vanilla.
I FEAR: never figuring out what I really "want to do." Also the dark, and moths.
I HEAR: background cube farm white noise.
I WONDER: why phone keypads and keyboard number pads are set up differently. Come one, people, how hard is it to make the numbers go the same way? I mean, they're numbers. They should be the easiest thing to put in order ever.
I REGRET: not having the guts to ask about it when none of my professors mentioned that I might want to consider going to grad school.
I AM NOT: concentrating very well today.
I DANCE: less frequently than I'd like, but I get self-conscious.
I SING: often. decently.
I CRY: less often now. Which is good.
I AM NOT ALWAYS: coherent. (I'll stay with Rachel's answer on this one.)
I MAKE WITH MY HANDS: food, and knitted things.
I WRITE: too many product descriptions and not enough blog posts. (Although my employer might believe the opposite. Funny, that.)
I CONFUSE: directions - left and right. East and west, because they are tied to left and right in my head.
I NEED: some new summer shirts. (Rachel said this, but I do too.)
I SHOULD: clean my house. And just buy a filing cabinet, already.
I START: too many books. And knitting projects.
I FINISH: too few books. And knitting projects.
I TAG: my roommate, because he has finally started blogging!

Posted by Kat at 02:13 PM | Comments (6)

May 08, 2006

Quick Monday Positives

Yay for...

* The new Interweave Knits!

* Being almost done with my semester!

* TiVo!

* The goofy Formula 1 announcers!

* Dr. Who!

* Gorgeous spring weather!

Posted by Kat at 03:58 PM | Comments (1)

May 07, 2006

Still alive, really.

So I was going to finish my paper, and post after that, but I didn't, quite. And I was going to finish Birch, and post after that, but I didn't, quite. So I was going to write up the April Reads post and post that, but I didn't finish, quite. So. Yes, I'm still here but no, I can't seem to manage to post anything substantive. The paper is due Tuesday and is at least 80% done, so it's fine, but still stressful. There's been some family stress too, and a bit of work stress to top things off.

I am planning on much relaxation at NH S&W on Sunday. I have to work Saturday, but would be up for joining people for dinner if anyone's going to be around. Let me know.

Oh, also: I am convinced that there's something going on Friday evening. If I told you I would do something with you then, please remind me, because it's driving me crazy. (And please don't take it personally that I've forgotten. Whoever you are. If you're out there.)

(I do realize that odds are pretty good that it's all in my head.)

Posted by Kat at 10:19 PM | Comments (1)

May 04, 2006

I could never get the hang of Thursdays.

Randoms. Late. Again. Sorry. Or just randomer, depending on your point of view.

1. I have become thoroughly addicted to My Super Sweet 16. Oh my goodness. I'm not even sure what to say. It's train-wreckily compelling and horrifying. And addictive. And... I don't know. They are such brats. I can hardly even imagine how they get that way. I'm watching the episode about P.Diddy's godson right now. I'll probably work up a post for it for Reality TV Sociology. But if you have MTV, watch it. It's on practically twelve hours a day, so really, it's not hard to find. (When it's not on, Tiara Girls generally is. I haven't watched a whole episode of that yet, but I have a feeling that it will be my next addiction.)

2. qw21 is wrong with Helen? Lynley is great. She totally doesn't deserve him. Heck, I'll take him, if he's such an annoyance to her. Um, sorry, just had to get that off my chest. (And I'm only in the middle of the second book in the series, so no spoilers as to their future relationship, please.)

3. Birch has entered black hole phase. It's almost done, I think, but I've been thinking that for days. So we'll see.

4. Next time I say something like "Oh, I don't have to write down how I did that heel. I'll remember," remind me that it may be several months before I get to the second sock, and my memory might not be quite that good.

I know there were more, but I should go to sleep. Maybe we'll have part two of the randoms tomorrow.

Posted by Kat at 10:28 PM | Comments (2)

May 03, 2006

Things I Meant to Tell You

I've been thrilled with the great response to Yarn Life so far. Keep the ideas coming! Here are a few things that I either left out of the original post or have realized or decided since:

1. Yarn Life will do its best to be for all knitters, regardless of gender, race, geographic location, sexual orientation, family status, age, knitting style, DPN vs. Magic Loop preference, or anything else.
1b. Along those lines, the Life with a Knitter column does not have to be written by a man about living with a female knitter. Female partner of male knitter, female partner of female knitter, male partner of male knitter, whatever. Just wanted to make sure that was clear.

2. Yes, I have hosting in the works. Yes, it will have a separate site from this one. Yes, this blog will keep going as well. Of course.

3. If you have e-mailed me with an idea, I promise I will get back to you. Soon. But maybe after my final paper for the semester is handed in on Tuesday. (Unless I'm procrastinating, in which case the Yarn Life e-mails will be returned sooner. We'll see.)

4. I may hold off on making some column decisions for a bit, to make sure I know of everyone interested and there's not too much overlap.

5. Yes, you may certainly submit more than one idea or article.

6. I didn't mention poetry, but that will be considered as well.

7. I need judges for the photography contest. Let me know if you're interested. (If you're a judge, of course, you can't enter. But it can be fluid - you could judge for the first issue, but not the second if you wanted to enter, but again for the third, or whatever.)

I feel like there was something else, but that's all that's coming to mind at the moment. I'll keep you updated.

Posted by Kat at 10:06 PM | Comments (1)

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