Monday, July 26, 2010

Amazing Day... minus the Red

Today had two extremes of amazing and super not cool. In the super not cool category of today, I think I'm doomed, my whole life, to eternally burn no matter how much sunscreen I apply. Either that or I'm doing something wrong.
I drove up to Palisade today to meet Tyler and our mutual friend Scott for climbing. Minus the construction (which has grown to ridiculous proportions in MN this summer), it started off gorgeous. The climbs were dry, we were the only climbers out there (there were a lot of tourists, but there's always lots of tourists with lots of questions), and I felt pretty loose and good today. I slapped a bunch of sunscreen on right away and warmed up on a couple routes before tackling Mr. Lean again.It didn't go as well as I wanted- I messed up my sequence, and fell at the crux. Stupid mistake, stupid fall, but luckily I'm at that magical point where it is GOING to happen. Just not today. After Mr. Lean we began to slow down, finally noticing that we all felt like we were slowly being cooked alive. To fix this, we ran down to one of the rivers that feeds into Lake Superior to dive in and enjoy cooler waters to rejuvenate. After ice cream for motivation, we jumped right bcak on the rock on Oz- my first 5.12 on the shore.
Oz- originally an aid climb called "The Road to Emerald City"- is a 175-ft behemoth of powerful, pumpy moves at the bottom before jumping into 65 feet of slightly overhanging finger crack before moving to a slightly bleak corner to the top. I decided to rap down and at least start working the finger crack, since Scott and Tyler both said I should be able to pull the moves. The crack was actually good- better finger locks than Mr. Lean, just super pumpy for the overhang and close to no feet. I fell a couple of times, but at least the crack part is completely within my ability. Maybe clean that (pitches 2 and 3) by fall, then link the whole climb next summer? Lofty project. :)
I unfortunately ended the day with a very red back, despite 3 applications of sun screen. I'm sick of burning every time I climb on a sunny day, even with tons of sunscreen. Damn Scandinavian skin.
Good thing from this weekend is being able to finish the first sleeve of the Vivian, and I'm already halfway through the second sleeve. It helps that sleeves are portable- I have a feeling once I connect this whole thing together it's going to become a stay-at-home project, or one that I save for knitting nights or movie nights. Once I link it I'm going to be starting a bunch of hats for my portable projects, since the list of requests has gotten very long recently.
All right, off to bed. Time to dream of the sequence on Mr. Lean, for the send... left hand fingerlock undercling... next week... right hand high reach to a lock... SUNDAY or MONDAY... ;)

Friday, July 23, 2010

And then it was sunny...

I was really good this week about making my list of things I had to get done on certain days, including research goals for my papers, looking at places for teaching next year and PhD land (possibly), writing and reworking the syllabus for Play Analysis, reading plays and writing lesson plans. Yet, as soon as I would get home, inevitably the wind would blow through my window just right and before I knew it...I was outside, slacklining or knitting and laying back to enjoy the sunshine. Reading pleasure books (still working on The Passage). Taking a moment to relax.
A small part of me felt guilty, but I also told myself that this year is going to be long and hectic, and it's better to sit back now and enjoy it. :)Besides, good things happen when I'm relaxing- for instance, I'm ridiculously close to being finished with the left sleeve of my cardigan:and I had time to go up the shore for camping and climbing last weekend, enjoying brats and corn grilled right over the fire. Tyler and I definitely got weird looks when we soaked our corn and chilled our wine in the stream that was by our campground:but it worked perfectly, and we had a tasty dinner before a night under the stars.Our main project on Monday was Laceration Jam- all 3 pitches of biting crack and nasty off-width. It was fun, but it beat the crap out of both of us, and despite taping my hands I'm covered all over my arms and legs with scratches and bruises. Damn offwidth climbing.
This weekend is hopefully more climbing, finishing my sleeve and starting the second, and perhaps some time with Cheryl early next week to look at my sewing machine- it's on the fritz and I'm not sure how to fix it. It's probably better that I don't... oops... :)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Morning to Relax

After a long, hectic, work-filled week, I was able to sit back this morning and do some things that were just for me.After cleaning the kitchen and tidying my room, I sat down with a coffee, my knitting and some Gilmore Girls to have my first morning off in a long time. When life is moving at a thousand miles an hour around you, taking a minute to yourself to do little things that you enjoy is important. Even just slowing down for a minute is nice.
Last night and this morning I delved into Justin Cronin's The Passage, a futuristic novel where a virus takes hold of the human population, killing most and turning others into vampire-like creatures. After reading so many reviews about how good it was, and even though I'm not a big fan of the whole vampire craze, I decided to give it a try, taking a break from theater theory texts I've been working through in planning my syllabus.
About halfway through now, it's intriguing enough to continue. If nothing else it's a good break, and it continues my post-apocalyptic type of novel streak I've been in since February. The first sleeve of the Vivian sweater is coming along nicely. After how many rows and stitches and patterns full of cabling for the body, doing just one pattern and a bunch of seed stitches feels like a breeze. I'm already almost up to the elbow, and with a bunch of long shifts at VE next week hopefully I can finish the first sleeve and move quickly into the second. The light at the end of the tunnel is approaching, and boy does it look good.
On another note, having Tyler back from Europe has been great. Between our work schedules we've only been able to grab an hour or two here or there, but we're going to go up the shore tomorrow (weather permitting) for climbing, camping next to Lake Superior, and then more climbing on Monday for a "just us" type of weekend. He brought me a few presents from overseas too- a carved wooden music box with a violin inlaid on the top, which plays "Edelweiss" when opened, probably four pounds of chocolate, 4 bottles of wine (mostly from Italy), and something very cool:a bottle of Italian perfume from a tiny town on the Italian coast. I've never actually owned perfume in my entire life, so having really nice stuff is a luxurious treat.
For now, back to coffee, knitting, and a little guilty pleasure. Good start to another full day. :)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Vivian Body

After a big push, I finally finished the body of my Vivian sweater!I LOVE LOVE LOVE the look of all of the cables, and you'd think that after so many I would be done with them and ready to move on to something easy like stockinette or lace. But they're so pretty, and they look so elegant across the back that I can't wait to do more. I'm going to give my fingers a chance to shake out before starting on the sleeve tonight.
I feel like the picture above doesn't do justice to how big the body actually is, so here's a little comparison:The bottom is supposed to shape over the hips and go down low, so it's pretty big. After doing all this I feel like the sleeves are gonna be a snap.
Tyler's getting back later tonight, so a little more time to work on sleeves. Tomorrow, if it's as hot and humid as today, probably a little more of this:slacklining out to the icehouse.
If you fall, a nice dip in Lake Superior feels good. :)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


I hope everyone had a fantastic fourth of July weekend!
Mine was relaxing and fun- got to go out kayaking on my lake with friends, jet-skiing (and dropping people off the back end of the jet ski), and a fantastic night in Excelsior Bay Park listening to the Minnesota Orchestra play some classics- including my favorite, the 1812 Overture- before watching fireworks close out the night.
I'm going to need a few days to recover from a massive sunburn all over my back, but all in all a great time. :)
I was lucky enough to come home to a package from the amazing Larissa and Mark with a birthday surprise hidden inside!Beautiful yellow bamboo yarn!! It's super soft and sun-bright, and I can't wait to cast on something that's so bright and cheerful! A big shout out Thank you to the two of them! :)
Today I'm planning on making curtains for Tyler's room since he's coming back on Saturday night, which will be a good avoid-the-sun activity for me so my back can heal (we're talking lobster-red... fire-engine red... Fred and George Weasley's hair red). The end of the tunnel is in sight for the body of the Vivian cardigan, and I plan on finishing that and starting an arm within the next couple of days if the curtains are doing ok.
Biggest thing- try to survive the humidity.
I'm a northern Minnesotan girl, after all. 80 degrees and humid shut me down.
More ice cream, then? :)

Friday, July 2, 2010

Out and About

It's getting downright dangerous for Cheryl and I to hang out. For instance, we went to a beautiful little fabric store in Lakeside of Duluth, where I fell promptly in love with everything she was selling. I may have picked up some fabric to make light cotton pajama pants with, and obviously was influenced because when we later stopped at Hancock Fabrics, not only did I grab a pattern for the pants, but also a few other patterns for cute things from prints I saw in the store...
Oops. Guess I'll be eating cereal for awhile, which of course I'm very okay with.
Today was fantastic- after working all morning, I got to head up the shore to Palisade to enjoy the beautiful weather and get a bunch of climbing in. Today was a day for crack climbing- warmed up as always on Phantom Crack, headed from there to Bluebells before battling the finger crack of Mr. Lean again. Accidentally sliced open the pad of my right index finger near the bottom- luckily I left my chalk bag on my harness and at one of the rests shoved chalk inside this deep cut that wouldn't stop bleeding. It threw my rhythm and I didn't get the route clean, but once I bandaged my finger enough that it sort of stopped, my climbing buddy and I ran up Urge to Mate before one last lap on Phantom (he had a rough time the first time and wanted to go back- I wasn't going to argue). Got to meet up with an old high school friend to climb during the last part of the day, too. It was a little weird for both of us- back then I was part of the academic and drama group, he was part of the skateboarding pot smokers, and here we both were- mutual outdoor enthusiasts. Really weird how the world works. :)
This weekend- finishing the body of the Vivian cardigan (really) during hang out time, fourth of July with friends, heal my finger so I can send Mr. Lean when I run up to Palisade Monday, then this week I'm finishing the curtains for Tyler before he gets back from Europe a week from tomorrow, and finishing a comfy pair of pretty little pants to sleep in for me.
Uff-da. I have a lot to do.
Good thing I like every single thing on that list. ;)
Not a bad couple of days, if you ask me.