Wednesday, May 28, 2008

More stuff about me

Knelly tagged me for this meme, and since I don't feel up to a whole post right now, this will have to do. Besides, reflection is good for you, right?

1. What was I doing ten years ago? It was the summer between my sophomore and junior years of college. I was working at the mall earning some money before heading off to a summer study abroad program in England. We stayed at Brasenose College in Oxford, I took a class on Chaucer, saw six Shakespeare plays (two at the Globe, four at the RSC in Stratford), and had one of the best times of my life. That was the first summer I got drunk (sorry mom) thanks to the lower drinking age in the UK. It's where I developed my love of hard cider. It was the only time I've ever really been out of the country as an adult.

2. Five (non-work) things on my to-do list today:
Buy an extension cord and a new mop (didn't get around to it)
Pay some bills
Take out the trash (did that)
Finish my netflix dvds so I can mail them tomorrow

3. Snacks I enjoy: popcorn, Pirate Booty (and Trader Joe's knockoff booty), almonds, oranges

4. Things I would do if I were a billionare: Buy a snazzy apartment in New York, hire a maid to keep it clean for me. Take care of my family. Travel. Travel some more. Buy yarn and shoes with wild abandon. (Qiviut and Jimmy Choo, here I (hypothetically) come!)

5. Places I have lived: Beaverton, Oregon; El Paso, Katy, Austin, and El Lago, Texas; Wilmington, Delaware; New Haven, Connecticut; and The Bronx.

6. Jobs I have held: Hamburger cooker at McDonald's, line server at the world's most awful BBQ restaurant (far worse than the McDonald's job. FAR WORSE), customer service rep at the mall, secretary, tour guide, substitute teacher, intern, assistant curator, exhibitions assistant, library assistant, and let's not forget -- grad student.

7. Other people to tag: if you're reading this and you'd like to participate, please go right ahead.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

While I was out

Sorry for the little blog break. I've been busy trying to enjoy myself -- knitting, shopping, cooking, watching dvds, etc. It's kind of nice to have jobs that stop at 5 p.m. and then I don't have to think about them until the next morning. It makes a pleasant change from the school semester, in which I freak out about classwork 24/7.

So what have I been up to? Well, I'm a half a sock away from finishing the pair of "monsters on a sock," and my lace scarf is currently 2 feet long. I got lots of compliments on both at the last knitting group I went to. That's right, I finally joined a knitting group here in New York. It only took me 9 months. Its a meetup group called "Sit n' Knit" and I went to one meeting at a bar (I can have one beer before the knitting gets impaired) and one meeting at The Point, which is a local knitting cafe. I had a really good time, and while it was different than the old New Haven group (and really made me miss you guys), I'm looking forward to going to another meeting.

I've also been watching the first season of the Flight of the Conchords on DVD. Hilarious! I have a soft spot for comedy/parody songs, and I love them! They're New Zealand's fourth most popular folk pop parodists. Here's a little video to show you what they're all about. "Ladies of the World."

And I haven't forgotten Wardrobe Therapy. I've been wearing the new maryjanes, which only get more comfortable with each wearing, and I bought a new pair of sandals, just in time for the warm weather.


Aren't they cute?

Also, in an effort to catch up on the weeks I missed due to finals, I sorted through my collection of makeup. I own tons of makeup for someone who doesn't really wear much. I think I keep buying things in the hope that they'll be the magic potion, but of course they aren't, and so after a few weeks or days I stop using them and toss them into the medicine cabinet and forget about them. I'll talk more about the makeup stuff later, but I wanted to show you two pictures. The first is my nailpolish collection. I used to keep my nails (finger- and toe-) painted all the time, and I had tons of colors to pick from. Back in college, I was the go-to roommate for all your nailpolish needs. The end of high school/beginning of college was when crazy colors came around again, and I took full advantage. My mom's only nailpolish rule at home was no black. I obeyed, but usually bought the darkest blues, purples, and greens I could find instead. Drove her crazy, but technically allowable. This is the collection after the purge I made prior to the move. I decided that I needed to get rid of ten more colors -- mostly colors I didn't like and stuff that had gotten gloppy. As you can see, I still have plenty of options. Rainbow

I also undertook a purge of the lipgloss/stick/liner/balm collection. I had forty-seven different containers of lip stuff, and then I found a few more hiding in the corners of my purse and back pack. This is the before picture. It's a little embarassing. This was harder to pare down, largely because I'm still hopeful that some of those products might work out. I did get rid of some unfortunate colors, and a few lipsticks. I've been leaning more towards glosses and sheers rather than traditional lipsticks. I did keep the red though. You never know when that might come in handy. Lip stuff Though I had tons of stuff, most of it was the same few colors, proving that while I may be a spendthrift, at least I'm a consistent one.

More WT to come this week (accessories, yay!). Also pictures of the socks as soon as they're finished.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Lolcats: Is there anything they can't fix?

When I saw this, I laughed and laughed.

more cat pictures

Happy Friday!

Break Out Your Tiny Violins

Now I know that any of you reading this who have full-year regular jobs aren't really going to sympathize with me, because complaining about summer vacation to people who don't get one is kind of not cool, but I'm going to do it anyway.

I want my vacation, darn it! One of the things that was kind of alluring about the prospect of going back to school was getting back on the academic calendar, complete with summer vacation. It is nice not to have to worry about classes and papers, although I should get to worrying about that German translation exam, but shouldn't summer vacation involve a little relaxation? I've got 2 jobs in two different departments at school, which takes up about 4 days a week right now and will take up the whole week as we gear up for a big move. Then I've got a "regular hours" internship that starts in mid June. While that's going on I'll be working at the jobs on nights and weekends. The things we do to pay our rent!! That takes me up to August, when I have to take the German exam, and, if I don't pass it, 3 weeks of refresher German, all the while working at the internship for the first half of the month and the other jobs once the internship stops. Do you see anything missing in my vacation description there? Oh yeah. Vacation.

I know I shouldn't complain. I chose this, and I have to take the good and the bad. But man, I've been dangling the promise of summer like a carrot on a stick to keep me going all semester, and now I'm just a little bummed that my summer won't involve nearly as much lying around as I'd like.

And that's more than enough whining for today.

In other news, I'm going to do the leftover portion of my wardrobe therapy this weekend, since getting my bridesmaid dresses and saris stored properly will involve a reorganization of the closet that I just can't deal with during the week. I'll try to get some pictures for you, cause the Indian outfits are really pretty.

Also, here are my new shoes. I was out in Connecticut this weekend, and didn't have to twist my friend's arm too hard to get her to make a trip to M@rshalls. They have really great shoe sections, if you have one near you. I found the mary janes of my dreams. Here they are:


But wait, there's more! They were on clearance, for super cheap, and they also came in brown. So I bought them both.

2 for 1

I got two pairs for less than half the regular price of one! I felt very clever, especially since I had budgeted for more expensive footwear. They're pretty comfortable, although after wearing, they're rubbing a bit near the buckle. I'm hoping time, some stretching (with big thick socks), and maybe some moleskin will help.

Also, I cast on another pair of socks. I needed to get back on the horse after the very frustrating experience with my mom's socks. I also wanted to try the magic loop method. And then I discovered Lime n' Violet's Snakes on a Sock pattern, which I thought would be perfect for my Cherry Tree Hill Monsters in the Closet yarn. I'm calling them Monsters on a Sock, or maybe Snakes in the Closet. I haven't decided.


They're a little loud, but I like 'em. And boy, the magic loop goes fast. This photo is from yesterday, and I'm already nearly ready to start the toe decreases now. This has been a thoroughly non-frustrating project, which is just what I needed. And since the magic loop is far more portable than the double pointed needles I usually use, I think I'll take them to work tomorrow. Maybe I can finish one sock by the weekend.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mmmm, Leftovers: WT Week 7

Okay, I still need to do weeks 5 and 6, but in the service of not falling further behind, here are this week's tasks. A link to Dr. Wende's list is here.

So (my rephrased versions of) the tasks are
1. To take stock of leftover items, which in my case are computer bags and backpacks, saris and other fancy dress items, bridesmaid dresses, etc.
2. To dispose of, mend, and store said items as necessary.
3. Make a master shopping list. That one's getting easier.
Here's my working list.
  • new black mary jane type shoes
  • new sandals
  • new sneakers
  • new undergarments
  • a denim skirt
  • 2-3 new v-neck plain t-shirts (and one old shirt needs to leave for each one that comes in)
  • another pair of pants, either jeans or something khaki-esque
  • a big bag for toting around all the stuff that I seem to think is essential
  • a lightweight raincoat/trench coat

I've actually started to make some headway on the list. This weekend I bought almost exactly the mary janes I had in mind (and then some -- I got such a deal, and I'll post pictures later this week). I've identified the kind of sneaker I want, and today I think I saw the sandals I'd like. I wanted to go try them on, but my toenails need painting, and I didn't want to expose my chipped blue polish to the entire store (and the extraordinarily dapper salesman). Which is silly, I know. But I'll go back once I'm repainted.

4. The fourth task is a tricky one:

Name one positive thing you intend to do for your image/self-image/look and one negative thing you vow NOT to keep doing

I always find this kind of thing a little difficult. But here goes. Positive: I'm going to try not to leave the house without a little makeup. I tend to rush out of the house without it if I'm running behind (which I usually am), but I feel more pulled together with it, so there you go. Negative: this is actually related to something I've been working on, but not blogging about. Fat Acceptance/Health at Every Size. (You can read more about it at Kate Harding's excellent blog here). I am working very hard to become happier with my body at its current size, but I find that I have been holding very tenaciously to what Kate calls the "Fantasy of Being Thin."(excellent essay here). I'm not quite ready to let that fantasy go yet, but I'm also coming to realize that there's no reason to put my life on hold until I reach a certain pant size. So my negative thing that I am going to not keep doing is making excuses for not treating myself well because I am not thin. No "I shouldn't buy nice clothes/nice shoes/get a nice hair cut/manicure/pedicure/have any fun/feel good about myself until I lose a few pounds." I deserve to have these things or do these things now. Sometimes I get into this rut where I think "oh I'm so fat, it doesn't matter what I do to my appearance, so I won't even try." I don't expect that I'll be able to stop this 100%, but I hope that the next time I find myself using my size as an excuse for not living it up, I'll reject that negative thinking.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

The Movie Meme

I got this from Wife, Mom, Knitter. It sounded like fun.

Here are the rules:
1. Pick 10 of your favorite movies.
2. Go to IMDb and find a quote from each movie (or get them out of your capacious memory).
3. Post them on your blog for everyone to guess.
4. Bold it when someone guesses correctly, and put who guessed it and the movie.
5. Looking them up is cheating, please don’t.

Since I love me some movie trivia, here we go:

1. Death cannot stop true love. All it can do is delay it for a while. The Princess Bride (guessed by CostumeChick)

2. A: We're going to catch those crooks red-handed.
B: What color are their hands now?
The Great Muppet Caper, guessed by Mella DP

3. A: Those people are trying to kill us!
B: [shouts] I know, Dad!
A: This is a new experience for me.
B: It happens to me all the time.
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (SCB and Wife,Mom, Knitter got this one)

4. Your Honor, ladies and gentleman of the audience, I don't think it's fair to call my clients frauds. Sure, the blackout was a big problem for everybody. I was trapped in an elevator for two hours and I had to make the whole time. But I don't blame them. Because one time, I turned into a dog and they helped me. Thank you.

5. A: Now that was when people KNEW how to be in love. They knew it! Time, distance... nothing could separate them because they knew. It was right. It was real. It was...
B: A movie! That's your problem! You don't want to be in love. You want to be in love in a movie.
Sleepless in Seattle, guessed by Mella DP

6. A: Don't call me stupid.
B: Oh, right! To call you stupid would be an insult to stupid people! I've known sheep that could outwit you. I've worn dresses with higher IQs. But you think you're an intellectual, don't you, ape?
A: Apes don't read philosophy.
B: Yes they do, xxxx. They just don't understand it. Now let me correct you on a couple of things, OK? Aristotle was not Belgian. The central message of Buddhism is not "Every man for himself." And the London Underground is not a political movement. Those are all mistakes, xxxx. I looked them up.
A Fish Called Wanda, guessed by Colleen

7. Think big, think positive, never show any sign of weakness. Always go for the throat. Buy low, sell high. Fear? That's the other guy's problem. Nothing you have ever experienced will prepare you for the absolute carnage you are about to witness. Super Bowl, World Series - they don't know what pressure is. In this building, it's either kill or be killed. You make no friends in the pits and you take no prisoners. One minute you're up half a million in soybeans and the next, boom, your kids don't go to college and they've repossessed your Bentley. Are you with me?
Trading Places, guessed by Colleen (I figure that's what you meant by Trading Spaces, since that's what I call this half the time, too)

8. My colors are "blush" and "bashful." Steel Magnolias (Wife, Mom, Knitter strikes again!)

9. A: Are you married?
B: I'm divorced.
A: Would you like to talk about that?
B: There are two types of people in this world: Those who like Neil Diamond, and those who don't. My ex-wife loves him.
A: So what you're saying is that even though you are an almost-paralyzed, multiphobic personality who is in a constant state of panic, your wife did not leave you, you left her because she loves Neil Diamond?

10. I find I'm so excited, I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it's the excitement only a free man can feel, a free man at the start of a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain. I hope I can make it across the border. I hope to see my friend, and shake his hand. I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in my dreams. I hope. The Shawshank Redemption (guessed by Wife, Mom, Knitter and Knelly) (As an aside, I have never seen this movie in its entirety in one sitting. But I will stop and watch it and cry like a baby whenever it comes on tv. Which is like every other week.)

Happy guessing!

First the knitting

Okay, I've slept, showered, gone to work and banged the heck out of my shins on a library shelving cart. I've been shopping, knitting, and I even watched a little television.
Now for the blogging. So on Tuesday evening I (finally) finished up my mom's socks.
Aren't they pretty? They're actually a pretty appropriate present for my mom -- I labored pretty hard on them, and didn't give up, and while I may have sworn under my breath a little, I kept on going. I think she'd be proud. I just hope she likes them. The pattern and I did not get along. I'm not sure why things went wrong, but almost everything that could go wrong did. Still, they're finished, and I think they're going to fit. So all's well that ends well.

Now I've cast on with my seasilk to make a Storm Water Scarf. Here's the yarn I'm using. In keeping with Wardrobe Therapy principles, its in one of my joyous colors. :)

I also wound up this yarn, from Cherry Tree Hill, its called Monsters in the Closet (what a great name! that's why I bought it!) and I have a very special pattern in mind for it. I'm hoping to cast on this weekend.

Okay, that's part one of the post-school update. Up next, wardrobe therapy catch-up. Since I'm now 2 weeks behind, I'm going to skip week 5 for the moment, do week 6 (or at least part of it) tomorrow, and then try to catch up with weeks 5 and 7 next week. I've been working on making a list of things I need to buy to fill in a few holes. I'm also still struggling with letting go of a few shoes that I had intended to purge in shoe week. I delayed in tossing them, and then I had second thoughts. Because I love those green sneakers so much. I think I need to buy replacements for them, and then I won't feel so bad about tossing them. I'm thinking about something like this. Aren't they cute and summery? Or what about these? Adorable! I might see what I can find this weekend.
Hmmm... this turned into kind of a WT post after all. :)

Monday, May 05, 2008

I'm back!

And I'm done!
The paper was turned in at 10:30 this morning. Barring any horrendous grading tragedies, I am now finished with the coursework for my Ph.D. (yay!)
While I thought that my term papers would never end, it just doesn't seem possible that this is it, class-wise. I've got one more language exam to pass this summer, and then it's on to the qualifying exams. (eek!)
But for today, I'm just going to relax. After I turned in the paper, I ran some errands, had some lunch, and then bought some celebratory yarn. I had been thinking about buying some Socks that Rock, because I'd never tried any, but then I decided I had too much unused sock yarn. So I went with the Handmaiden Sea Silk instead. I'll do pictures tomorrow. But it's gorgeous (and in a really great colorway for me, too!). I'm going to make a lacy scarf with it. It will be my reward for finishing the semester and my mom's socks, which, by the way, I am scheduled to bind off tomorrow and mail Wednesday.
Now I'm going to knit, listen to some podcasts, and relax (and then sleep!). I'm so happy summer is here. I'm going to try my best to catch up on blogreading/commenting/wardrobe therapy-ing. I feel bad that I dropped everything for the last few weeks, but such, unfortunately, is life. But thank you all for your comments and encouragement. It was so nice to know that you were rooting me on!