Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Hello, I Must be Going


School is finally finished for the semester. I handed in my last papers on Friday evening, and couldn't be happier to see the end of them. All told, I wrote 4 papers, for a total of 77 pages, plus illustrations. Starting on Thursday, I worked pretty much nonstop, and had been up for almost 36 hours by the time I finished. So of course, I went out to a party afterwards.

My friend Vicki was in town for the birthday party of a friend of hers, and dragged me along with. It was at a bar down in the Village, and there was Wii bowling. It was so much fun. Turns out I'm much better at virtual bowling than the real thing. I even won a trophy in the bowling contest, which is something that would never happen in real life. I had a great time, but by the time I made it home it was after 1 a.m. and I was dead on my feet. I fell into bed and didn't wake up until noon on Saturday. Usually I'm a really light sleeper, and wake up several times in the night, but not that night. I think I'm still making up a sleep deficit from finals week, because I'm still sleeping like a log.

Saturday, Sunday, and Monday I hung around the apartment, cleaning (boy, did I let that go while I was studying), watching movies on t.v., and knitting (finally!). Sunday was not much fun with the storm and everything, but it was nice to be snug at home with a cat, some hot cocoa, and my yarn.

Today I dropped Minnie off at the vets, which was interesting because I had the smart idea to take her on the subway. It was only a short ride, but she hated it. I feel bad for subjecting her to it, but I didn't know what else to do. There really aren't tons of cabs in the Bronx, and I didn't see any of the unmarked cabs (which I hate to take but would have), so we hopped on the 2. Poor baby, she hated the noise of the trains. She was very quiet, but kept nudging my hands with her nose through the bars of her carrier.

AFter I dropped her off, feeling like the worst pet owner ever, I did a little shopping. It was really the first Christmas shopping I've done, and I really enjoyed it. I got some great gifts for my friends, but I'm leaving my family for when I get home, so I don't have to pack their presents. I did buy some bagels to take home, though.

This time tomorrow I'll be home in Texas, full of Mexican food. We're stopping on the way home from the airport. It will be weird to be home without Wilma there.

Before I go, I wanted to show a few of the pictures from the sugar sculpting workshop I took recently. In conjunction with an exhibit at school, there was a lecture by a noted food historian who recreates period dinners. The day after, he taught a workshop where we learned how to make basic sugar paste flowers like one might have seen at an eighteenth-century table. It was really fun, although I don't think I'll be taking this up as a hobby.

The paste was made of powdered sugar, gum tragacanth, and a bit of water. It was like clay, but dried out very quickly. It was also sticky, and we had to moisten our hands with butter to keep from sticking to our flowers. We took a small ball of paste, rolled it into a cone, pused a pointed tool into the cone to sort of hollow it out, and then cut and formed the sides of the cone into petals. At the end, you stuck a wire with a few thread "stamens" into the center of the flower.


Here are the flowers I made. Some are much nicer than others. I still have to decide what to do with them. They're supposed to last for quite a while if you keep them dry.


I'll do my best to blog over vacation, though I don't know if I'll get any pictures up since my parents are still on dial-up. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

In which there is actual knitting

Hi again. I have four papers to write. Two are due on Monday, two more on next Friday. Two are half-done, but unfortunately those are the two that are due last. I estimate I have around 40 pages to go total, plus time to edit. So what am I doing? Working busily at my computer, thinking brilliant thoughts and committing them to the screen? Reading ancient tomes, picking out facts to support my brilliant arguments? Noooo! I'm blogging.

That's right, with the deadlines looming ever closer, it's procrastination time chez Erin. No half-assed attempts at avoiding work. We use our whole ass 'round these parts! I may feel too guilty about not working on my papers to knit, but at least I can show you pictures of what I was knitting back when I had the time to knit. Also, a cat photo.

My half-done purple Tomato! I decided to put the colorwork under the bust for an empire waist effect. One more row and I'm ready for the pattern.

Why yes, that is half a Monkey! Out of Lorna's Laces, no less. The color is Tuscany, so I call them my Tuscan Monkeys. Love the little blue stripe!

I can has nap? Not right now, but at least the cat's getting some sleep.

Random. But while I had the camera out, I thought I'd take the picture. These are my favorite non-hand knitted socks. My friend Holly got them for me in London back in college. I think Johnny Rotten would be proud.

Hmmm. I seem to be a little punchy. Maybe I should lay off the caffeine. I do have to get up tomorrow, after all. Speaking of which, I bet I am doing something tomorrow morning that none of you are (unless my classmates are still reading. Hi guys!). I'm going to a workshop on sugar sculpting. We're going to make little sugar flowers. Best of all, it's school-related, as we are learning about eighteenth-century European court dining practices. I'll try to get photos to show, though who knows when I'll get them posted.

Well, the papers are calling again, so I'm signing off. Until next time, whenever that is.....