Saturday, December 26, 2009


In a couple of days, I'll be driving out to Colorado to do a little bit of this. I'm crazy ridiculous excited to do it, since it'll be a nice break from sitting in front of my computer typing papers or reading or researching or working. We're going to a couple of amazing places, like the Ouray Ice Park for ice climbing. We're also doing the skiing thing at SnowMass and Aspen, pretty much until our legs fall off.
Another good thing- car knitting time (in the form of Nebraska).
SO... EXCITED... :)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

This Christmas went quickly south for me as the weather up here went to crap.
We had a blizzard forecasted for the entire Christmas weekend, and I missed my window to be able to drive down to the cities. Therefore, my Christmas eve was spent with a family that took me in for the night, and instead of enjoying the pandemonium of my family's Christmas, it was low key and quieter. I did get to talk to all of them on the phone, and I had a nice long conversation with my Dad today, but overall I was pretty bummed that I missed Christmas.
The blizzard outside has turned from snowy and at least pretty to crap- snow/rain mix with 50 mph winds. The roads are worse than yesterday, covered in ice and slush, so I'm enjoying my Christmas day snuggled in my apartment, making coffee and cleaning up after a hectic semester.
I did, however, finish a pair of mittens for a friend yesterday!These are from a pattern I got at Yarn Harbor awhile ago, and besides the Bella mittens, I'm pretty sure this pattern is my favorite mitten pattern I've found thus far. There's an outer layer of Cascade 220 Worsted Weight, ready to take the toughest of abuse, but lined with 100% baby alpaca wool. I figured I'd make a pair for Molly first, and if I really liked them I'd make a pair for myself, since I don't really have a good pair of mittens like this.
I don't just like them- I absolutely love them! The double layer makes them super warm, perfect for driving to work with in the morning, and a lovely soft layer on the inside that keeps you fuzzy warm all day.Molly's Mittens are lined with Blue Sky Alpaca sport weight yarn, and I'm very glad I got a skein for myself to line my mittens with. I can't wait to start! To make hers extra-special, I used some of the leftover bright pink Alpaca to embroider some hearts by the wrist- she's a pink and hearts type of gal, and she was super excited about them, so I think they'll be put to good use. :)
I hope everyone has a fantastic Christmas, and enjoy spending time with family. :)
I'm off to get a cup of coffee... maybe find Rudolph on TV and do some fuzzy knitting.
Merry Christmas!! :-D

Monday, December 21, 2009

Tired... Content

I know it's been a good day when my ice crampons and big thick winter mittens are drying by the radiator.
The little lights on my Christmas tree are on, my room is warm, and I'm finishing studying for my last final tomorrow.
My body is sore from climbing hard today, but it's a good sore.
I'll put up ice climbing and knitting pictures later, but for now I'm going to go over my notes a few more times with a mug of warm hot cocoa and just relax a little bit.
I think I'm doing okay. :)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Gear = Happiness

Things are better since my last post. Partly because there's not much I can do about the papers I've already turned in, and partly because I have a lot of other stuff to worry about.
Luckily, a big happy package came my way that cheered me up immensely!I had a special super low price deal with a climbing distributor called Black Diamond (one of my favorite gear companies) for a short time period, and I jumped on getting a bunch of very expensive stuff for waaaaay cheaper than regular. So cheap that I almost feel bad (but then I look at my bank account and realize I'm a poor Graduate student, and then it's okay).
I'll give a full inventory later, but let's just say that I'm completely set up to do my own top rope and limited trad lead climbing once warmer weather rolls around (minus a rope)!!! I no longer will have to always borrow other people's gear, because I have my own shiny stuff now! :)
The one bad side is that this lovely, shiny gear is now going to be sitting on my hook in my room, mocking me because it's too cold to use it quite yet. That's what vacations are for... right?
Which reminds me- I'm heading to Colorado for a trip right after Christmas! Through a friend I found a bunch of good deals on free/cheap places to stay, and super super cheap lift passes for awesome ski areas, so me and a couple of friends are throwing everything in my little car and we're heading out there to do a week and a half of hard skiing and ice climbing. I'm soooo ridiculously excited to just get away and beat my body up- it's going to be great! :) Winter sports at their best!
I've got a couple of Christmas knits to finish up, but I've run into a problem in one of them. I ran out of crazy bright pink yarn for this hat, so I'm still wondering if the stuff I bought to finish it matches well enough to make it okay.
What do you think?

Friday, December 18, 2009

It can only go up... right?

Hullo, everyone.
Well, since I wrote things have just gone to crap. Getting my papers in and done was a lot of work that I shouldn't have left for so long, and it resulted in too many sleepless nights and stress.
One of them, I found out right before turning in, was a page below the minimum page requirement.
I don't even want to get that paper back, I'm so worried about the grade.
I wrote the date down wrong for the last day of my special "employee discount days" at B&N, and therefore instead of getting a bunch of books and christmas presents for 40%, I only got my regular 30%.
Then, as the topping on the cake, my beautiful red Schwinn mountain bike was stolen from my apartment building. The bike that's been all over the US and Canada with me, gotten through numerous scraps and rough times (we have a love-hate relationship with how many times it has pitched me over the handlebars), and been my rock for transportation for my entire college career without a car.
And with a quick smash of a cheap lock, it's gone.

I don't mean to be down. I don't like to be down. But it's like karma decided to steam and drop a ten pound load of poo on top of my head.

I've got VE for a ten hour shift tomorrow, but the last thing I have to do before relaxing for a bit is studying for my last final on Tuesday. So knitting and studying tomorrow. I'll do a knitting update soon, because I've been doing quite a bit, and yarny goodness always makes things better.
But for now, tonight, just sleeping a full 8 hours is going to be a fantastic upper and hopefully the start of going back up towards a peak... right?

Friday, December 11, 2009


I've made a couple of stops at Yarn Harbor over the last week for yarn therapy, and it's probably helped in ways I can't explain. I got two skeins of Malabrigo- one in a beautiful variegated blue and one in a variegated white/light pink/purple (picture sucks for showing the colors- I need one in the sunlight). I'm going to finish up the crazy pink hat with the light pink/white part (which shouldn't take up much at all) and make a hat for christmas gifts with the rest. The blue one will hopefully eek out at least two hats, if I play my cards right. Oh, and check out the way the pink one wound- really awkward. That's a good sign... right?I also got yarn for myself to make a doubled layer pair of mittens. I have two pairs of my own circulating at the moment- my "twilight" pair I made which practically go up to my elbows, and my hardcore outdoor OR mittens, good in -50 degree weather. Since the temp has taken a turn for the worse lately (it was -10 this morning when I went to work with a -20 windchill) I want a nice pair of knit mittens that aren't huge and aren't winter camping mittens- something I can wear to, say, an evening event. And something that are normal-sized mittens that are still fuzzy and can take the Minnesota temps (or at least keep my hands warm on the steering wheel). I'm knitting a trial pair right now as a Christmas gift, then will forage on to my own as soon as possible. The best part is that the inside purple layer for my mittens is 100% baby alpaca wool- can someone say amazing??
Paper tonight and tomorrow before work, but I get to have fun and go to see the Minnesota Ballet's performance of The Nutcracker tomorrow night- so excited! :) It'll be a nice break from homework, and hopefully an inspiration to really step my dancing up a notch.
Time to study :) Stay warm, folks.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Vibrating from either coffee or lack of sleep...

This week has been horrible. So much homework coupled with work and lack of sleep has worn me almost completely down, and I'm ready for the semester to be over so I can sleep for three days straight.
This was my view when I wasn't at work or in class:The only time it changed was when I moved my computer to my lap when I was in bed to edit... I won't mention the time (either really late or really early), but it wasn't pretty. I got one of my big papers turned in on Monday, then I had my rough draft for my big Grad thesis due this afternoon. It's due on Tuesday, which means after Tuesday I'll be able to breathe and nap before my last final a week later.
Luckily, I've had an amazing pick-me-up from a friend:a beautiful pair of reading mitts to keep my hands warm when I'm typing late at night! They have a gorgeous lace pattern with garter, ending in a scalloped top (and at the bottom) that leave plenty of room for typing and making notes and post-its. I adore them, and they came right when I needed a little lovin'. A big thanks out to Red for those :)I've picked up on the knitting a bit lately, and as I pour one more cup of coffee to do more reading before dragging my research with me to work, I'll leave you with the picture of an almost-finished mitten to go with a happy hat I was working on earlier.
I hope everyone has a chance to sit down with a hot chocolate and relax a little these last few weeks if it gets stressful, and remember to take a little time for yourself! :)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Uh Oh

I know I barely wrote a little bit ago, but remember when I mentioned that I was excited for a salad tonight and no junk food?
That was before my roommate went crazy and invited over a bunch of people to watch the Vikings game, made a crap ton of chili cheese sauce, and between that and mug after mug of milk my stomach feels ready to explode.
Soooo good... but so bad... blurgh...
Epic food fail tonight...


I can't believe the climbing comp is over. So much time was spent on it this last week. I'll safely be able to blame the climbing comp for a rotten grade on my American Renaissance paper.
We did a lot of this:And a lot of this:I did much more of the later. I have admit, I really enjoyed trying out all of the routes this year. We had a big variety that were challenging in different ways, which is half the battle. You don't want all the routes to have the same types of moves over and over again, or make the hard routes harder just by making the reaches longer and holds tinier. We had a good variety of setters and forerunners, and it made this year's comp very successful.
The comp yesterday was fantastic. We were at the gym late on both Thursday and Friday night, with some finishing setting and the rest of us climbing hard and climbing a lot. My fingers and joints have been feeling it like crazy the last couple of days. Saturday morning we had 90 competitors show up at the door to go at it, and it was a long day of belaying, cheering, handing out prizes, and then a big party for the volunteers later at night (after I stayed to close up the gym). My boss treated a few of us to breakfast this morning at the local favorite place, Uncle Loui's, then after a run to get some greenery in my fridge (the thought of another Subway sandwich after eating them for like 5 days makes me want to puke a little) I'm now hunkered down tonight surrounded by books, coffee, my laptop, notes, and hopefully within an hour a tasty salad to finish my big American Renaissance semester paper that's due tomorrow. I'll be up late tonight finishing it, then up early tomorrow morning to tweak, revise, add, and make it look like a legitimate "I know what I'm talking about" sort of paper.
Wish me luck on that. One more big paper after this one, plus finishing three books and my last final before I'm done with my first semester of Grad School.
I see.... lots of sleepless nights in my future... bleh...
Oh, and that Christmas knitting?
Proooobably not.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Late Night

My first late night at the climbing gym just finished as we prepare tirelessly for the climbing competition on Saturday. It was a quiet night in general, which was nice because I had a lot going on.
I finished gluing the pieces on the trophy prize for the crate stacking competition:and I think it looks pretty ridiculous, which was exactly what I was going for. I showed it to Ross, the guy running the whole thing, and he laughed and said, "Well, I guess I asked for it to be bedazzled, and you took me seriously! You bedazzled the hell out of it!" I took it as the highest compliment he could bestow. He mentioned perhaps making a small version, but I told him that the second one would require regular coffee payments- the first one was free, after all.I got to do some forerunning of the routes too, which means I climbed a whole bunch of the routes and gave my opinion on their difficulty level. This is important for a competition, because in order to fairly grade the new routes and give them point values, there has to be a general consensus on the level. It's also important to get several people with different styles of climbing to try them- for instance, a lot of the boys setting are tall and lanky. I'm shorter, but I'm a very technical and flixible climber. I can curl and shove myself into corners with no problem, where as the leggy and lanky boys pop right off the wall. They, however, can reach something no problem sometimes whereas I'll have to perform some maneuvering to be able to reach that high.
The diversity is one reason why I love climbing, and what can make it so difficult.I also had a work station set up after hours at work for doing research for my American Renaissance paper- my big focus tonight. I was able to shape my thesis a bit more, and in turn moved my arguments around a little and sharpen them in relation to my thesis, which was really nice.I started making another Amanda hat- this one is a little more of a reach, since I don't have a ton of friends that are wild over a pink this ridiculous. Luckily I have a taker, but I'm getting very nervous for the ratio of yarn left versus the ratio of hat left to knit. Notice how small the ball of thick, chunky yarn is? Yeah, I do too. Gulp. I'm just in denial right now, and hope that it's a magical regenerating ball of yarn. I don't think I'll have enough. But I want to. So it should work out... right? I'll just keep knitting and it'll be fine...
I actually started the hat last night, but had to frog it today when I realized that my gauge was off and would run out of yarn much quicker. This is my second time to be as far as I am on the hat, and I hope that I don't have to start again.
Finally off to bed, another crazy full day tomorrow...

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Alaska Hat

The Amanda hat for my friend in Alaska flew off the needles this afternoon, ready to be shipped tomorrow!I can't believe how fast this hat knits up. It's going so fast, in fact, that I'm stopping at Yarn Harbor tomorrow to pick up a couple of skeins more of Malabrigo to make it for friends as Christmas gifts this year. If one hat took me only a few days, it shouldn't be too tough to pump out about four more hats... will it?
(Famous last words as the knitting Gods smile mockingly down upon me, lightning bolts and exploding needles ready...)I have a couple of friends in mind that I haven't knit anything for yet, and one especially that would enjoy having a hat that someone knit for her instead of her knitting herself one. I'm kind of sad that all my green skein is gone, because it's a really pretty variegated yarn that fades from light green to dark green very dramatically. I'm excited to see the color choices for the next couple of hats- I haven't been to Yarn Harbor in awhile, and every skein of malabrigo is different! The pattern for the Amanda Hat is nice too- different, interesting and easily adaptable. My Ravelry page will be full of them, but I'm not worried about that.
More working on papers tonight, with breaks in between to glue jewels to the milk carton for the comp. I want to get a running copy of my outline done tonight so I can type up a rough draft tomorrow night at work to send to peer editors Friday. That way I can not worry too much till after the comp about them, giving me all day Sunday for revisions (note to self- do not consume large amounts of alcohol at the volunteer's after-comp party Saturday night... must do paper and function following day). Sweet. :)
Time for more coffee and hot glue-ing plastic jewels before reading again...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Life is starting to become hectic. The countdown to the end of the semester has begun, with Monday next week being my first paper due date for American Renaissance (a look at why the American Renaissance cannon does not include Drama in its short list of celebrated works, and why it should) and a week and a day later being the due date for my Critical Theory paper (how different narration affects the tragical look on characters in a certain classic book). I'm getting that slow feeling of dread creeping more and more in my stomach as these due dates approach, and I have to say it's not feeling great.
Knitting isn't even helping that much- even with yummy Mmmmmalabrigo. I've only been doing it in class, and I'm just knitting a super simple Amanda Hat (tried and true pattern- boring, I know, but again the mindless knitting is important) for a friend who took off to teach in Alaska. I'll probably need something else to start on since the hat is almost done, but you'd think between the two papers and the always endless reading I wouldn't have time.
Not to mention a special side project that needs to be finished for the Climbing Competition on Saturday...
As per tradition, while the scores are being tallied after the climbing is done, we have a "milk crate stacking" competition to keep everyone entertained. It's exactly what it sounds like- you put a milk crate open part down on the ground, then stack another on top while you're standing on the lower crate and maneuvering to get up. Crates will be thrown the higher the stacker gets, and the stacker is tied in to a belayer so when the stack comes tumbling down, the person will not. Lots of balancing and stakes and heights, which are essential to a good time at a climbing competition.
The winner this year will receive a much better prize than last year- a glass milk carton decorated by yours truly in the gaudiest jewels I could find at a craft store. We're talking full on glitz and grossness. Only problem is, while working on it between chapters of Moby Dick tonight I ran out of jewels, so I'll have to get more tomorrow. Who knew a milk jug would need so many jewels?
Off for a tad more reading then off to bed. I had a late night last night and I need to make sure to keep up on sleep this week.
If only Melville had just condensed a little when writing this whale of a book... (pun intended! Aaaahaha late night humor... )
Or maybe it's just time for bed.

Sunday, November 29, 2009


You know, as nice as it is to be home at my parent's for a little bit, enjoying the family at the holidays...It's nice to be back home again. Duluth home. Surrounded by my books, my own coffee machine (and an abundant amount of hot chocoate), my craft stuff, and my Christmas tree... I've got a warm mug of hot chocolate in hand with Gilmore Girls on in the background as I finish up a pair of warm, crazy looking socks for a friend before bed, and I feel at home.
It's nice to have that.


It's been a fairly relaxing break for me compared to my normal schedule. I've been able to get a lot of my reading done, as well as work on both of my papers for my classes. It makes me a little nervous how slow the progress is on them compared to how much time I have left to work on them, but as always I have high hopes.
I got to spend some quality time with the family, especially helping to decorate our Christmas tree- a big deal for my folks. When we went on family vacations, we always picked up an ornament or two of where we were and (if possible) what we did there. We have a lot of skiing Santas from our trips out west, sea kayaks from Hudson Bay and the Pacific, and sailboats- as well as a good collection of hockey ornaments, Nutcracker ballet, and one of my personal favorites-A climber rappelling down a line! I got this from my parents last year, and I have to admit I'm pretty impressed that they managed to find one like this.(I'm overlooking the fact that he's not tied in at both strongpoints, is using a double fisherman as his main knot, and is using a bell to rappel instead of a regular belay device, but you take what you can get, right?)
My other project this weekend occured when my Mom dumped a giant tupperware in front of me when I was reading and told me to start sorting. She had me in a place to finally go through all of my books, sorting those that I could give away, those to keep, and those I was to bring to Duluth.It didn't seem like a problem until she brought out another one box... then another one... then yet another one... and they kept coming from places around the house that I've been hiding books for years... without my brother and I there, she had time to go around and find all of them, and I have to admit even I was a little surprised at how many I owned, especially considering how many I already have in Duluth.
I found some of my favorite classics that I haven't seen for year, like my original battered copy of Matilda by Roald Dahl, a copy of English Romatic poems from an old professor with her notes, and my entire collection of plays and play anthologies that I've been looking all over the place for. I finally got them all sorted into five giant plastic tubs, with another tub to bring up to Duluth with me.
Heading back to Duluth at lunchtime today, then funnelling my vision down to reading, papers, and preparing for the North Shore Style Climbing Competition on Saturday- I'm excited for that! I'll post pictures of my recent finished knits when I get back to Duluth, as I didn't get pictures of them before I left.
I hope everyone had a fantastic holiday weekend. :)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Turkeys and Gobbles

I'm down in the cities for the weekend, hanging out with the family and getting as much homework done as I can before I start class again for the week. Turkey day was at my aunt's house, and it was fabulous (as usual!).The best part was that one of my uncles made a plate of green jello on top of a bed of carrot shavings, topped with... actually, I don't even know what it was topped with. Something white in the shape of a flower. I had a tiny sliver of the green jello (minus the white) just out of tradition, and the addition of the carrot shavings was pretty bad.
We played a few games of Bingo, and I won a box of Gobstoppers, some coffee, and a blaze orange soup ladle. Unfortunately, the soup ladle succumbed to my cousin Ben's flailings, breaking in half. He tried to tape it back together- with scotch tape. Gotta love the family. My uncle Brent and I did our annual tequila shot- which he started when I was 18, and which taught me that I don't like tequila. Which is why I only do one tequila shot per year.
I got up early this morning to go help my Dad pick a printer for my Mom at Office Depot. I couldn't believe that there was actually a line- post-its couldn't be that popular! I forgot that they had laptops to give out for cheap. We got the printer and pretty much got out of there.
Off now to get some coffee and do some homework.
I hope everyone had a good Turkey Day!
Gobble gobble...

Monday, November 23, 2009

Christmas Stuff

As Thanksgiving looms a few days away, I'm already starting to feel two very large balls of panic in my stomach. The first is school related- I have a lot of reading, researching, and writing to do before the semester is up, and I'm not entirely sure how I'm going to fit it all in. The second has to do with the holiday season. Christmas always looks a lot closer after Thanksgiving, and my lack of homemade gifts is making me nervous. This time last year I was knitting like crazy, working on a list that included hats, mittens, and one very big Dale of Norway sweater (that hasn't been finished yet... oops).
This year, I only have two handmade items so far figured out. For my Mom, instead of giving her a hand knit, I'm going to spend a couple days after finals to make her a mother-daughter scrapbook with pictures going all the way back to when I was teeny. My Mom's big into crafts and knows the time and effort that will go into something like that, so I know she'll appreciate it. My last final is on December 17th, so after that I'll have a couple of days to go crazy working on that.
My Dad was hard to figure out- he isn't even close to catching up on the books that I've given him in the past for Christmas, and knitting is out of the question since I'm still doing his knit from last year. It wasn't until I was doing an odd shift in the kid's department at B&N that I got an idea.
My Dad is a collector of children books from all over the world. He doesn't necessarily collect first editions or even well-known titles; he collects ones that have meaning to him and our family. For instance, my first copy of Madeline is in the collection- beaten, torn, and worn apart from the number of times he read it to me. Right along side is the french copy that he bought while in France, and which he would read after the english version for story time. The entire Babar series is also up there- english and french. My copy of Anne of Green Gables that I got at Prince Edward Island is up there, complete with pictures in the pages of me at Green Gables when we visited, dressed in period costume and proud as could be at 12 years old. He would often bring books home from his business trips to Japan with the Japanese characters in there, and my brother and I had to tell him the story as he turned the pages based on the pictures.
Long story short, kid books have a very close place in his heart as well as mine, so I'm going to surprise him with an addition to his library this year. I chose the book Toot and Puddle. This particular book is about two very different best friends- Toot loves to Travel, and Puddle loves to enjoy home. Toot goes on adventures all over the world, and sends postcards to Puddle of the places that he's been.
It's exactly the kind of book my Dad will love, and I'm going to personalize the book by making my own postcards based on the places Toot went and putting them in between the pages. The postcards will have drawings, pictures, and any memorabilia I can find on them, with notes to my Dad about each place and a memory from it or how special it was to me.
I think he'll like it, as it's personal and has to do with our family vacations, which are very important to him and us.
Now I just have to get started on those... after papers... and reading... ;)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


After the first few days of not writing, I thought, no biggy, I'll put something up eventually.
Then, after over a week, the guilt set in.
I kept thinking, "I can't write now, I'll have to go on and feel like a dork for not being able to keep up with the writing-everyday thing." Which, of course, is silly, but there it is.
As it were, I've been kept busy with surprises- big and little. Plus the constant barrage of homework keeps my life interesting.
School: I've got two huge paper deadlines looming over my head, and I'm getting very nervous about both of them. I've done a lot of research on my topics, but some of the research isn't going the way I thought it would, which is making things... difficult. I feel as though I could work on just one of them nonstop, no work or sleeping until it's due and I still wouldn't be happy with it. Perhaps that's the world of academia I've entered into...
Work: B&N has been fine, but I'm getting very burned out at the climbing gym. Don't get me wrong, I love working there, but my boss has been scheduling me so much lately that I don't have time to finish my homework... or get enough sleep to function well elsewhere. Today I was over 200 pages behind in my American Renaissance reading for class in Moby Dick, which isn't okay. This situation needs to be fixed immediately.
Play: Not much, let me tell you. My knitting has slowed to a crawl- though I'm finally almost done with the ridiculous socks for my friend Sam- I have the silly pink toe left on the last one and that'll be it. I also quickly knit up a hat during a long car ride for a buddy who bought the yarn for me. Short story behind it- he's one of those guys that always wears a hat, and only recently did he stretch his one trusty beanie out enough that it doesn't fit anymore (plus gross climber boy = unwashed hat). We have our local climbing competition coming up, and he's very superstitious about needing a hat. Which is where I came in. I just need to close the top and it'll be ready to wear. It's been a nice brainless knit, perfect when my head is stuffed with so much other stuff.
I have a couple of projects in the works that I'm excited about, but those shall be revealed at a later date... ;)
Off to do some reading now, and not feel as silly for taking such a hiatus on my blog. It won't happen again... at least for awhile... :)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Fresh Bread!

I had my first afternoon/evening off for a long time yesterday, so I got to go home, relax... do a bunch of reading homework... and then get some projects done I've been needing to for awhile.
For instance, I packed all my yarn in an old suitcase around the apartment, and now if it doesn't fit in the suitcase I must have too much of it (I know, I know... but honestly, the stash was getting ridiculous and I have to go on a heavy yarn diet anyway).I also started on a long-overdue project- one that I wanted to wait on until I had all the proper tools, but realized that it was silly to wait and I wanted to get it done soon anyway. So I started on it, enjoying the feeling or creating again.I also endeavored on a brand-new adventure- MAKING BREAD! A lot of coworkers have been raving about something called Artisan Bread- super simple bread recipe that takes four ingredients and makes up in practically no time at all! Since I'm the type that burns toast, it was a pretty crazy endeavor for me to embark on, but it was really challenging and really fun.
It went from doughto rising dough in just a couple of hours, with me only mixing things and leaving the bread mixture on the counter for effort.Then this morning I stuck a test loaf in the oven, and it came out beautifully!!! So beautifully, in fact..That I had to prepare another one right away!
My bread for a wonderful sandwich for dinner is cooling out on the rack right now, and if it work out I will ecstatically post the recipe that I used for all to try.
Tonight- work and a lot of reading.
Along with tasty homemade bread sandwich.
Mmmm... :)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Because of daylight savings time, I got to see something this morning at home that I normally see much later, while shelving at work:The sunrise!
It was pretty enough for me to stop getting my things together for a very long day, warm my hands on my mug of coffee and watch for a little bit.
Sometimes, no matter how busy or crazy life can be, it's nice to just take a minute to breathe and watch the sun come up... if only for a minute.
In regards to the busy/crazy life mentioned earlier... let's just say I'll be very happy when Friday rolls around this week. I've been swamped with extra homework and research, a group presentation tomorrow that turned into me doing most of the work so it's acceptable, and extra shifts at work. Tomorrow is one of my first evenings off (starting at 6... is that sad?) and I may try my hand at making Artisan Bread. It should prove interesting and exciting! If I have too much homework to do that, I'll probably attempt it on Friday instead. We'll see how it goes- it would be nice to have homemade bread. Much tastier, too.
Off to get some sleep before another long and hectic day.
Hopefully I can enjoy the sunrise a little tomorrow, too.

Monday, November 2, 2009


My knitting project right now is something that I'm very ready to be done with. Awhile ago I started a pair of socks as my traveling project, and I'm making them out of leftover bits of yarn from other random projects. I didn't realize until I was well into the cuff of the first sock that they were going to be pretty close to ugly. Pretty close only because they were pretty colors individually (variegated sock yarn for both colors) but together, the striping and the colors are... well, let's say they're not to my taste.
Because of how they looked, I've been putting them off for the longest time, and only this week did I really take them out to finish them. I'm just finishing the short row heel on the second sock, and a couple more nights at VE and class periods will hopefully finish them off for good.
I need to get them off the needles not because I need the needles, but they've been my only project I've had time for since I started school, and I hate that I've been working this long and hard on a stupid pair of easy to knit socks that I don't even want to do because they're ugly... but they're for a friend. And I'm willing to suck it up because of that.
Plus on this side of Halloween, Christmas is starting to look awful close...
Less than two months close...
Scary close...

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Halloween is hands down my favorite holiday of the year. This includes planning for costumes, making cookies, decorating all around the apartment, and most of all, making my costume.This year I had big plans. My costume idea was one I've wanted to do for a long time, and the parts slowly came together- but I was foiled again this year. Carmen Sandiego will have to wait until next year, since I have this thing about wanting to have my costumes be good and accurate. When a decent hat for my Carmen Sandiego costume didn't materialize, I had to switch to something else- something that fell right into my lap when I walked into Ragstock and saw the dress hanging on the shelf, with minimal tweaking and heming to get exactly the effect I wanted.Alice in Wonderland is up there on my list of awesome Disney movies, and it never occured to me to be her until I saw a dress that fit the part perfectly. I did have to buy a skirt to convert into an apron, but that was piddlesticks compared to trying to make a Carmen Sandiego hat.
I'm really happy with how it turned out, and my costume was recognized all night long! Lucky for me, I had a prop to make it easier to recognize me.Tyler bit the bullet and went as the Mad Hatter to complete the look, and we got a lot of compliments on the costumes.
Oh, and yes- we made the hat. It took a lot of foam and cursing, but it got done.
Halloween was fantastic as usual, with the rain holding off till today, and only a chilly breeze off the lake deterring us from wandering around town too much. It was a great Halloween, and now that it's over I'm a little sad- especially since that initiates one of my busier months as far as homework and knitting go. After all, Christmas seems a lot closer this side of Halloween.
Today I'll be ignoring the Packers/Vikings game (which I've heard every other Minnesotan is watching, but it's not hockey so I'm not terribly interested) to work on my two papers and getting a bunch of reading done, and if time lets me I might go check out Where the Wild Things Are at the local theater.
One last note- November has typically been the month that I attempt to do a post a day, and I'm going to try my hardest to keep that up, but don't be surprised if it turns into a post every other day. I'd feel bad if every post becomes, "Homework today, not much else", but hopefully I can keep it more interesting than that. We'll see how that goes. With the amount of knitting I have to do, it shouldn't be too hard... :)
Off to read!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Book Reviews and Projects

I've been doing a lot of reading for class lately, so I haven't had a ton of time to get in pleasure reading. The stuff that I have been able to squeeze in, however, has been fully it.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Girl Who Played with Fire, both by Stieg Larsson, were surprise enjoyments for me. I have to admit, the titles threw me off a little bit, and it took awhile to get into the books, but once I did I couldn't stop. They're intriguing and catch you up in a world that you can't get out of, and the second book ended with such a cliffhanger that now the wait for the third and final book is going to be long. I generally don't like to give out a ton of information about plots or anything, I'll just say that these are worth starting and giving a chance because they're different and thoroughly enjoyable.
I re-read Twilight and New Moon since I'll be going to the movie when that comes out in late November, and as per usual they were fast and fun. I'm not a full-out Twilight-crazed fan (Harry Potter was mine) but they keep me entertained, and I'm always up for a girl's movie out. Plus I almost always have to read the book before I see the movie... just because. :)
My American Renaissance class has been requiring a lot of transcendental reading, including Thoreau's Walden and Emerson's Nature essays. Once you get past the different style of writing and language, it's incredible to read and even more incredible when you consider the time and age that these guys were writing in. Thoreau goes into a long rant in one of his essays about clothing and how ridiculous it is to follow trends, because "Every generation laughs at the old fashions, but follows religiously the new". No wonder it's still read today- it's universal, and very funny. You can see why they've been quoted time and again in yearbooks.I got some great mail yesterday- my new ballet slippers have arrived! I love dancing in brand new slippers- the canvas is still pretty and unmarked, fitting perfectly to my foot when I push out into tendu or up into arabasque for an extension. I fitted them yesterday and did some stretches and basic warmups around my apartment, and I'm excited to use them for class when I (finally!) am well enough to go back. I also started a project to make a scrapbook of all the mail I receive, just to keep things tidy and display some of the beautiful postcards and letters that people send me. I don't like the idea of throwing any of that away, and by putting it in a book I can go back and read through it when I want.
Today- more rest, watching the rain come down outside and being glad I'm inside. I have a lot (a lot) of reading to do for class and paper research, so I think I'm going to make a pot of coffee, grab my highlighter and pencil and snuggle under a blanket to work hard on that. I have a pair of socks that require my attention when I want a break, and hopefully I'll be showing off those soon.
Au revoir, mes amies. Stay dry and warm today- it's gross out!