Monday, August 30, 2010


This weekend proved to be productive in my down time at VE.I was able to complete two of the three cable bits for the top part of the Seneca sweater, and it's very close to finishing. It was nice for having at work, because the simplicity of the pattern meant I could put it down to give orientations and belay tests and pick it right back up for another ten minutes in between customers. I'm hoping to have it finished and taking a bath by the end of the week!
After all, this is my last week to finish my two big sweater projects before school starts! Since I only have the shoulders and hood left on the Vivian, I have high hopes that it'll be my weekend project, taking a bath by Labor Day.
I have time today to work on them, in between lesson planning and website creating and a quick climbing session. Tyler and I were planning on heading to Palisade, but the 80 degree day plus wicked humidity canceled those plans. Good thing I have every other weekend off this fall... time to send my projects... :)
Okay, knitting projects first, then climbing projects.
I wouldn't have it any other way. :)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Beautiful Thoughts

Yesterday was a normal Saturday for me- get up at 5:30 am, be at the bookstore by 7, work till noon, run from there straight to work at VE until close, grab a quick drink at Sir Ben's with some friends, then off to the boy's for nachos and falling asleep to a movie.
Except that it was my last Saturday at B&N for awhile.
I'm officially down from 20-30 hours a week at the bookstore to four hours on Friday mornings!
This is due to my school schedule, with my class on Mondays and Wednesdays at 9 am and teaching Tuesday and Thursday at 10 am- it made morning shelving shifts impossible except for Fridays. I'll be teaching tap on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, and still be clocking 30 hours or so at VE, but for my last year of my Masters I'll actually be at school, probably studying or researching or correcting papers in my office now.
This is going to be such a big change from last year, where I was barely able to concentrate on class with 50-60 hours of work between my two jobs. I'm excited to have time to study, research, maybe even breath a little bit. ;)
Next week is the week before school, and even though I'm spending a lot of time on campus to prepare for classes, I'm hoping also to get my apartment under control- cleaning out the craft area, getting some decorating, plus helping one person move out and another in. We have a very very large amount of crap floating around the apartment, and I'm excited to get rid of it.
Especially after looking at beautiful blogs like this one, with ideas that make me excited to have a little bit of time to create, hopefully both with decorating my apartment to feel like home as well as knitting and sewing (I have some pajama pants that are being very patient right now!).
I'll have to buckle my straps down since I'm making a lot less, but the sanity of mind will be worth it.

PS- Knitting and climbing update soon, promise. ;)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Mental Retreat

After the craziness that has been August so far, it was almost a relief to have to come down to the Twin Cities to help my Mom after knee reconstruction surgery. She can't move at all, which means that in between her naps I make meals, grab magazines, water, ice packs, and movies as needed for her. It's giving me a chance to make study schedules for GRE tests, finish my class website and get some reading and revising done for one of my big research papers.
Yesterday I was able to attend the bridal shower for this lovely lady:I don't get down to the cities nearly enough to hang out with old friends, so seeing Larissa and Mark again was amazing and too short. I even got to visit their new apartment in Uptown- a small but cozy and beautifully done apartment that they've really made a home.
While I'm down here, I've been able to work on both of the sweaters I'm trying to finish before school begins. I started the shoulder cable work during Mamma Mia last night on the Seneca sweater, and today worked on the Vivian during my Mom's morning physical therapy sessions at the clinic. Cheryl apparently is a zipper away from being finished with her Vivian, so to finish the KAL before school is me getting my butt in gear. Depending on how much I get done while down here, it might be a race to the finish between the two sweaters...
I'm off to escape the heat in the basement for some studying. Maybe a quick dip in the lake later this afternoon after paddling to get my blood flowing (no climbing down here- booo!), then more studying and knitting this evening.
Not back in Duluth till late Tuesday night... ::sigh::

Sunday, August 15, 2010


I won't have to worry about balancing so much.
For instance...
- Creating a course which I found out I'll be teaching come fall semester. September 7th is go time not only in taking a class, but trying out teaching my class on new students. I finished my syllabus and my tentative calender, now onto creating my class website and finalizing the handouts for the writing assignments. Then lesson plans. Uff-da...
- Researching where I'm going next year. Right now I'm trying to decide between using my Masters degree to teach at a smaller community college somewhere out west, enjoying probably more outdoor time and more time to breath and relax with friends and family; or applying to some of the amazing English PhD programs farther east (and in the north, of course), which would keep me poorer longer and researching more than teaching (probably), but I would have my advanced degree sooner.
- Finishing time-sensitive projects- such as adapting this pattern (which is in Finnish) into English and making it into a legwarmer pattern for my friend Larissa's wedding on October 3rd. She's a magnificent dancer, and requested legwarmers to wear under her wedding dress on the big day. I also want to have my Vivian cardigan done by the time school starts (and maybe the Seneca, since it's so ruddy close to being done).
- Create a rough idea of my lesson plans for teaching tap this coming year at the local studio, as well as finding music for and choreographing three separate dances for Competition by late November, early December.
- Researching and completing my first Plan B project- my research paper- before the first week in October when it's due. Then writing a prospectus to turn in to the Society related to my topic for a conference next summer.
- Studying for the GRE- again. Yes, I know that I hee-hawed all last year about taking that stupid test, but if I'm serious about going to the bigger colleges, I have to have a competitive score. Mine was not competitive (well, the writing portion was, but I can't go on one score). A lot of colleges require the literature specific GRE as well, so more studying. All within the next couple of months here (lovely).
- Studying French for my language test, probably right around Christmas break.
There's (scarily) more, but those are the big things on my plate right now. Which is why I haven't been on here lately. Plus when I do a row or two on the Vivian, it takes a lot longer than I care to admit, and there's not a ton of discernible difference then the last picture I posted.
Off to suck down some more coffee (BEEEEEST FRIEND RIGHT NOW!!!) and hope that we're not too busy at the gym today so I can get some progress made on above list.

More relaxing and fun post next time, I promise... :)

Friday, August 6, 2010

Busy Bee

I can't believe how fast this week has flown by. I was working a lot on school stuff to get ready for the start of classes in a month, and working extensively at both jobs. I also dusted off the ol' tap shoes to teach a summer dance camp at a local studio:where I'll be teaching competitive tap lines a few hours a week this fall. It was a ton of fun, great leg workout, and will be a big stress relief when school gets crazy. I haven't had much time to knit, but was able to get some reading in! I finished Margaret Atwood's The Year of the Flood, which was really good but made me wish I had read Oryx and Crake right before this one. Next on my list are two mountaineering books (surprise, surprise)- Alexander Huber's The Mountain Within (the Huber brothers are two famous free ascent climbers) and one recommended to me by a reader- Arlene Blum's Breaking Trail. I'm excited to get through these as my last bit of reading before things get really hectic, though it might be too late for that.
Other happy things right now:
- Starting a mindless hat for the head of a younger girl cousin in sparkly purple yarn, which based on her current wardrobe I'm sure she'll enjoy.
- The new Arcade Fire CD- probably not as good as their last one, but still plenty enjoyable to listen to.
- Having a quick hoagie lunch with my brother.
- Extra garlic in my dinner yesterday.
- Sending out mail that I hope will brighten someone's day.
- Knowing that Sunday night, after such a long work week, I'll be able to take a nice walk around the lake, have a barbecue with some wine and good company, and then climb hard all day Monday.

Have a great weekend, everyone. :)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Connecting and the Brewhouse Triathlon

It's been a very busy tail end of the week for me.First, Cheryl and I had a great hang-out day where we both picked up our summer knitalong- our Vivian cardigan- and chatted while we worked on it. I was to the point of connecting the arms to the body, which I did only semi-awkwardly and with great excitement!
Connecting the sleeves is always one of my favorite parts of a sweater, because it's finally at a point where it looks like the finished project. It's no longer a blob of color- it has shape, parts, and it makes me feel like I will actually finish it in a reasonable amount of time (aka soon!).Besides knitting achievements, this morning was a physical achievement for me as well- the annual Brewhouse Triathlon came around again, and my same team from last year- the beautiful Sam and Christine- came together to form Team Awesome to compete in the relay! This morning opened up mid-70's and super humid, so it was a little harder for me than last year when the temperature and humidity were both down. I was the bike portion of my relay team, biking 22 miles in an hour and 13 minutes flat- one minute less than last year! (Weird, since I didn't train at all for this, and the weather was gross)The above picture you can see me in the bright blue shirt, raising my arm to our swimmer, Christine, for her to come tag me so I could start my bike (she's in the bright blue swimming suit). We had a lot more teams in the all-female Relay teams to go against this year- 12 total- and we came in a respectable 6th. It seems like a lot more of the higher-placing teams this year were hardcore athletes that did this as their one hobby. We still had a lot of fun, and I was really excited to be able to do it with these inspiration ladies once again! I can't wait till next year- though they're trying to talk me into doing the short course, which would be my full triathlon- all 3 events.
Me, running?
We'll have to see about that one.