30 January 2009

Friday 30-01-09

1. Борщ (borshch) making.
2. Knitting at Smith's.
3. Purchase: rechargeable batteries (+ charger)!
4. Beer bread making. (It's like bread, but using beer gives it flavor and takes the yeast out of the equation.) Борщ + beer bread eating = happy tummy.
5. Dance party.

Thursday 29-01-09

1. More job searching. More not much success.
2. Received a package in the mail that contained, among other things, Anne Lamott's Grace Eventually, which I started reading.
3. Went to the Oberlin Public Library with Liz. Looked at knitting books; got some movies.
4. Apollo excursion to see The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. $2 to see a great film. What's not to love?
5. Danielle made a quiche and rosemary lemon cupcakes. Nom nom nom.

29 January 2009

St. Leninsburg


Read the paragraph, and then click on the link and see the photos. Incredible.

Wednesday 28-01-09

1. Peters Hall: Chatted with Sara Stefani for a while. Then the college shut down for the day at noon and everyone went home.
2. Java Zone: The Great Job Search. Have I stepped aside recently and mentioned how thankful I am for the internet?
3. Smith's Furnishings and Yarns: Knitting with Ondrea and Holly. A color card came in for the Joseph Galler Superfine Alpaca 3-ply, and IT'S GOING TO COME IN COLORS NOW. I have new yarn to dream about.
4. the Psychomantium: Knitting with Liz, while watching South Park.
5. the Psychomantium: Knitting with Liz and Danielle, while watching The Fellowship of the Ring. (!, I know.)

It's worth mentioning that I started a new knitting project. I'm in love with it and it's challenging in new ways and I'm hoping to have it done by this weekend. It's going to be a surprise, unless you give me a call and hang out and knit with me in the next few days. Which would be totally okay.

28 January 2009

Friday Pie Blogging: The Tuesday Pirog Edition

1. Last day of class! Watched some Чебурашка (Cheburashka) and familiarized my class with the "delicious taste of Choco-Pie". Sent them an email full of links to various interesting Russian things on the internet, a list of which X Files episodes contain spoken Russian, and forgot to include my dumb little song about the Megabus (Для Мегабуса). Which goes as follows:

Где автобус?
Я хочу автобус.
Я не вижу автобус.
Автобус сейчас!

That last line doesn't make any sense, so anyone singing and not playing an instrument has to pound their fist in a demanding manner, and suddenly, the meaning becomes clear. A couple months later, I wrote a second verse. The first can be repeated indefinitely, but the second verse is meant to be sung only once:

Где автобус?
Там автобус!
Я вижу автобус!
Автобус здесь сейчас.

Maybe if you're lucky, I'll make a lo-fi recording of that someday. I have the feeling that it would be like giving the world blackmailable materials, though.

2. In order to foment the end of her Urban Aran Cardigan (she's on the last sleeve!), I made Ondrea come to my house and knit while we watched Firefly (Jaynestown). She also helped me make dough...

3. ...for my пирог! (pirog!) (it's like a pie!) (but savory, in this instance!). I finished making the pirog (which contained a little fresh cabbage, but mostly the sauerkraut that's been fermenting on my porch for the last few weeks) and it was a success. (As in most of the people who ate it don't normally like sauerkraut but liked my pirog.) Still have a small ice cream bucket full of sauerkraut, and a little pirog left for lunch on Wednesday!
4. Watched the X Files and ate pirog. (Red Museum)
5. Watched the X Files and worked on my матрёшка mittens. (Blood, Sleepless)

Monday 26-01-09

1. Went to IGA to pick up food and batteries. Came home with AAAs instead of AAs. Made of fail.
2. Stretched a jar of salsa twice as far by mixing it with a can of diced tomatoes. Two days later, it's still almost gone, but hey, tomatoes are healthy. Made of success.
3. South Park and knitting.
4. Karaoke at Lindsay's, with Schmindsay, Schmulia and Schminden.
5. Joan of Arcadia, season 2, (on YouTube) and correcting homework.

25 January 2009

Sunday 25-01-09

1. A peaceful, contemplative morning.
2. Peanut soup, act II, scene II.
3. An intense afternoon: lower body workout and many long sighs about Russia.
4. Peanut soup, act II, scene III.
5. An evening of knitting, Firefly, X Files (Chimera), hot chocolate and Bananagrams with Ondrea.

Russia Needs a Dark Knight

So, Gotham's got issues, and among the worst are the intense levels of corruption in the criminal justice system, which prevents people from acting independent of the controlling forces (in Gotham's case, organized crime). And due to his mysterious identity, Batman is able to fight the corruptive forces, and be a figure that is either trusted or blamed, depending on what people need at the time.

Can Gotham lend him to Russia for a while? They've got intense levels of corruption, and it appears that their criminal justice system isn't on the best road, now that controversial lawyers appear to be riding in the same boat as the journalists.

CPJ confirms that of 41 journalists killed for their work in 2008, two were killed in Russia (they also acknowledge two unconfirmed cases). 49 journalists have been killed in Russia since 1992.

Well, we're not even out of January, and one Новая Газета (Novaya Gazeta) journalist, Anastasia Baburova, has been killed already, in conjunction with the murder of Stanislav Markelov, a defense attorney known for representing anti-Kremlin parties (like journalists, Chechen civilians and suspected terrorists - the sort of people who otherwise would not have a fair trial), who was "shot dead in broad daylight in downtown Moscow on January 19" (RFE/RL "Are Russia's Lawyers in the Crosshairs?, 25/01/09). Way to kick off the new year.

I think part of the reason that I love Russia so much is that I love the spirit of their people. It is incredibly inspiring that even while Russia keeps killing it's journalists because of their work, Russian reporters keep on reporting.

Saturday 24-01-09

No list today.

24 January 2009

Friday 23-01-09

1. Learned about my eyes. Turns out I'm so near-sided that my vision with contact lenses will be slightly over- or under-corrected. When the St. Paul Eye Clinic people have said 'you have slight astigmatism but not enough that you should be able to notice a difference', what they really meant was 'dude, you are so near-sided, it's probably not the astigmatism that bothers you'. Turns out they were wrong, and that's why I don't like my left lens so much. So we'll be trying an astigmatism lens in that eye. Also, every time I type 'astigmatism' I keep forgetting the 'g'.
2. Last minute decision to go the yarn store with Mary, Linden and Julia. For the sake of my budget and my sock yarn stash, I probably should have just stayed home. Two skeins of Panda Soy and a skein of Sockotta later, I have an announcement:


Hold me to this, guys. Even you, Cory, even when I tell you I really want to buy it and need enabling.

3. Happy hour at the Feve and dinner at the Mandarin with Linden, Julia, Becca, Connor, and a couple of other folks who I can't remember at the moment. (Sorry, people I'm forgetting.)
4. Contra dance in Fairkid basement. Embellished with one figure of an Irish set dance. Fun times.
5. Fun times with piano, guitar, fiddle and mandolin with some awesome contra people.

ALSO ON FRIDAY: The most amazing email from a professor ever.

ALSO: Not a concise list at all. Here's the concise version.
1. Eye doctor.
2. More yarn.
3. Drinks and dinner.
4. Dancing.
5. Music.
Isn't it more interesting with the details?

Thursday 22-01-09

1. Lunch of pretzels and homemade sauerkraut.
2. Knocked a significantly large ice chunk off the overhang near our door.
3. Collaged a cover for my journal.
4. Watched 'Kitsunegari' with Linden and Liz.
5. Fell asleep before blogging.

ETA: Kitsunegari is an X Files episode from season 5. Robert Patrick Modell, part two.

22 January 2009

Wednesday 21-01-09

1. 20 minutes of cardio before class.
2. Showed friends the Petersburg photos.
3. Cleaned my room. Reorganized a bit. Moved my keyboard.
4. Began the transition from iTunes to Songbird.
5. Cross stitched the Obama logo. Freehand (counted cross stitch, but I made up the chart). On a whim. Not really sure what I'll do with it.

21 January 2009

Tuesday 20-01-09

1. Walked to Mt. Zion Baptist and watched OUR NEW PRESIDENT speak. Cheered at appropriate moments and waved goodbye when Senor Bush left in the copter.
2. Checked at the book store to see if the three remaining Russian textbooks had come in. Guess what came in just recently? NACHALO BOOK 2. THE BOOK THEY NEED FOR SPRING SEMESTER. Guess who's slightly frustrated with the bookstore, and is also a master of the Peters copy machine, when she shouldn't need to be?
3. Led my Russian class in an innovative experiment in the Pictionary World of Science, when Натан suggested that we try to draw sentences. So we picked sentences from the dialogue. (Like 'Is the heat working?' 'I play rock music and jazz.' 'She's an unpleasant woman.') Made Pictionarical scientific leaps of progress.
4. Guac prep. The avos that Danielle bought a week ago went bad. Which we realized at about 4:45. So I walked to IGA and got three. And made avocadically-intense guac. And then it didn't taste right, and I though 'Oh. I'll just add more cumin.' (shake shake shake the cumin canister) and a couple hours later Danielle pointed out that it wasn't that spicy and maybe I could add more cayenne and FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE I FAILED TO ADD ENOUGH CAYENNE PEPPER TO A FOOD ITEM. But it was still tasty.
5. INAUGURAL BALL. Photographic evidence to come. Wonderful. Absolutely wonderful.

Part of me thinks I should correct tests right now.
Part of me wants to clean my room.
Part of me wants to sleep.

Guess which of those is going to happen right now?

19 January 2009

Monday 19-01-09

1. Copious amts of sleep.
2. Copious amts of dumplings!
3. Copious amts of Joan of Arcadia.
4. MLK service at Rust UMC.
5. Beautification of one High School Musical poster in our hallway in anticipation of tomorrow evening's festivities.

Sunday 18-01-09

1. Slept in. Realized that as much as waking up Sunday morning is great, if there was something like the Well in Oberlin, that'd be kinda convenient for my schedule.
2. Hung out with Nicole and Jenny (listened to Stash & Burn). Worked on the Knotty/Knice socks. Made a silly mistake, but I'm not fixing it. Added 2 rows in between cable repeats (for a total of 8), for future reference.
3. Started making a macrame-y kind of yet-to-be-determined jewelry. Could be a bracelet, could be an anklet. Might just get attached to a piece of luggage.
4. Sat around with Danielle and Liz compiling playlists for Tuesday evening.
5. Tank party to celebrate the end of the Bush regime.

Bonus: Fact of the Day: Part of the scientific name for the cacao plant is theobroma, which means 'food of the gods'.

Extra bonus: Fact of the Day (reprise): If you switch the Os and As in cacao, you get cocoa. Isn't that awesome (Y/N)?

Thanks again Wikipedia for the fact of the day! Also, thanks to Bethany's brain and that one young adult book she read from the library that one time that prominently featured anagrams and influenced her paying attention to the arrangement of letters in words, which she actually probably already payed attention to anyway, but we'll give you some the credit anyway just to be nice, unnamed Y/A novel.

17 January 2009

Saturday 17-01-09

1. IGA trip numero tres to acquire ingredients for Tuesday night's menu
2. Made eggplant caviar with no sliced open fingertips or really weird coincidences. Doesn't taste like the eggplant caviar I've had in the past. Tastes kinda like guacamole made with eggplant instead of avocados. Looking at the ingredients, I shouldn't be surprised by this.
3. Clean(er) room! Hooray!
4. Managed to stay warm despite heating issues in the house. I'm not sure if I have this entirely correctly, but I think a pipe froze and broke, and was leaking on lower levels of the house. They fixed it, but as the house has a radiator system, they had to bleed the heating system and restart it. I think it's only going to get warmer at this point... I should probably go turn off the burners that are going on the stove. Hey, at least our water is running, unlike the water at my parents' house.
5. Made a cover for my journal, which has gone coverless for the 5.5 months it has existed. Still undecorated, but maybe I'll take care of that at the next crafty Mod Podge session.

I realize that I originally meant to make a rather concise list, and I'm straying into several-sentence paragraph territory. I hope you don't mind.

Friday 16-01-09

1. Introduced genitive singular.
2. Knit at Smith's for a few hours. Turns out Holly just started Laminaria, on size 8s!
3. Wrote short messages to some of my host family on vkontakte.
4. Baked cookies with Liz.
5. General hanging out in Linden's room. Linden and Emily did crafty things. I did crafty things and corrected some homework. Liz studied for the MCAT.

16 January 2009

Thursday 15-01-09

1. Actually ate lunch (cous cous & peanut sauce) during the lunch break between classes.
2. Discussed Inaugural Ball menu, music and decorations with Danielle.
3. 5.25 miles on the elliptical.
4. Dinner and coquitos with Colette and Marty Buck and their neighbor Marisol, who surprised us with the news that she is moving to Buenos Aires in May/June.
5. Watched Beach Party with Linden and Lindsay. Was amazed.

15 January 2009

Wednesday 14-01-09

1. Purchased decoration for the upcoming Inaugural Ball.
2. Jumped around in a bus shelter waiting for the bus to come to take Linden and me back to Oberlin from Elyria, where we spent 1.5 hours at a craft store. Did not buy the owl pendant.
3. Ate a delicious dinner of варенные пельмени. Вкусно!
4. Compiled Russia prints and postcards and other prints into my new photo album, purchased at the aforementioned craft for on sale for $7. I could have gotten one for $1, but this one is pretty classy.
5. Corrected Russian tests/observed craft time/conversed with 5 other people in Linden's room.

14 January 2009

Tuesday 13-01-09

1. Cooked (and ate) a potato.
2. Potluck dinner at Peace Community Church, followed by a Mormon film, 'Baptists at Our Barbeque'. I never knew such a self-depricating side of the Mormon community.
3. Started Knotty or Knice socks (from Fall 2008 IK) with Knit Picks Palette in the colorway Calypso Heather. Pretty. Fortunately, they're toe up, so I can make sure they fit...
4. Went to 50 cent beers at the 'Sco to support Franny's first night as a DJ. It was pretty great. Danced a bunch, saw some folks, heard 'All the Single Ladies'.
5. Decided to write a euro pop song with Linden, which will be entitled, 'Tonight (Move it to the Rhythm (of Love))'.

Bonus: Fact of the Day: Aqua is the best-selling Danish band ever.

Bonus: Follow-up Fact of the Day: The judge in the Mattel vs. Aqua lawsuit (Mattel had issues with the song 'Barbie Girl') dismissed the case in 2002, saying 'The parties are advised to chill.'

Fact du jour credit goes to that reliable source of all wisdom and truth in the universe. Thanks, Wikipedia.

13 January 2009

Monday 12-01-09

1. All vegetable lunch = leek + red cabbage + mustard greens + wok
2. Made appointment for future eye enhancement! Also, Liz has (new) specs.
3. Contributed chocolate chips to the household cookie fund.
4. Was underwhelmed by the non-music-related questions at Pop Music Trivia Night at the 'Sco. Had the trivia not involved the biggest jump a pig has ever made (in inches) without dying, and instead focused on 90s pop, the Jive Records Executive Council (Linden, Tyler and myself) would have owned. Turns out Menudo has had a total of 50 members.
5. Fell in love with all of the characters of Firefly (for the nth time) while watching Bushwhacked.

11 January 2009

Sunday 11-01-09

1. Shared a pot of cheddar fondue with Danielle (the fondue chef), Liz, Linden and Anna.
2. Saw Anna off at the LCT stop, and went for a walk around the South Main St. general area.
3. Finished the first repeat of the blossom chart on Laminaria.
4. Corrected Russian tests.
5. Story time with Danielle: The Fountain of Fair Fortune.

Saturday 10-01-09

1. Snowball fight and sledding down Mount Oberlin with Danielle, Joe and Anna.
2. Finished the transition chart on Laminaria (that Estonian lace shawl that has beek kicking my ass). Turns out I'd missed a yarn over (not surprising) two rows back, and managed to unknit almost half a row without getting into FUBAR territory (very surprising). I love it! Seriously! Why have I been ignoring this project for two months?
3. Guacamole with Anna and Liz and LINDEN who is back earlier than any of her housemates expected.
4. Drinks and tots at the Feve with Heather and Anna (the recent birthday women), Glenn, Linden, Shaquille, Jeffrey, Danielle and Liz. (Thanks again, Shaq.)
5. Chillaxed at Keep, with Linden and Tyler, and some other folks in the lounge that were subjected to a bunch of 90s pop music (the guitar's been drinking, not me, not me). I also realized that I can handle as much Hanson or BSB as you can throw at me, but I max out at one Jewel song. Sorry, Linden.

10 January 2009

Friday 09-01-09

1. Had a lovely oatmealy breakfast at Emily's with Anna, Emily and Allison.
2. Spent the afternoon knitting at Smith's, as Friday afternoons should be spent. True to form, I brought the lace shawl, but didn't touch it, and worked on the socks instead. Resisted the strong temptation to buy more sock yarn.
3. Played Bananagrams! with Anna & Danielle.
4. Finished the Flying Trapeze Socks at the cookie bake at the Hammonds'.
5. Worked on my flagship application.

08 January 2009

Thursday 08-01-09

1. Met with Emily to pick a book to read with ECO. Considered Anne Lammott's newest.
2. Learned to play the Guacamole Blues on the mandolin, and didn't forget the solo on Girls Just Want to Have Fun.
3. Got a burrito and Dos Equis at Agave with Anna, and then played two songs (If I Had a Million & Guacamole) at their open mic.
4. Played 4.5 games of Connect 4 with Anna (also at Agave). The pieces all fell out the bottom in the middle of game 5, and we gave up.
5. Made a berry coffee cake for breakfast tomorrow at Emily's.

Wednesday 07-01-09

1. Met Krokodil Krokodilovich Alligatorov, a creature designed by Russian Winter Term students to showcase clothing words.
2. My day got 10x better when I streamed some Russian radio and recognized a song I learned this summer. It got 8000x better when I found the YouTube video of it, and saw the dancing sailors.
3. Learned a bit more about Russian Icons at Wednesday night supper at First Church.
4. Purchased guacamole ingredients and mustard greens at IGA with ANNA!
5. Watched Wall-E. Awww-ed a lot.

06 January 2009

Tuesday 06-01-09

1. Mailed Raelene (who's off to Ireland on Saturday) a 10-song compilation CD.
2. Ran 2 miles in 19 minutes and 49 seconds.
3. Watched a few minutes of the final scenes of Serenity from across the kitchen.
4. Learned to play 'Deadbeat Club' on the guitar.
5. Started making sauerkraut, which involved picking through jellied cranberry to sort out the whole cranberries floating inside.

Monday 05-01-09

1. First day of teaching - I lived!
2. Talked to Linden.
3. Made delicious peanut soup.
4. Watched 'Guess Who's Coming To Dinner?' with Liz.
5. Almost 1 full repeat of Flying Trapeze Socks. (1 repeat = 1/3 sock)

ps. I never said this would be interesting. But you know how much I like lists.

04 January 2009

Sunday 04-01-09

I need to blog more. So for Winter Term, I am going to sit down at the end of the day, and summarize my day in a short five-itemed list.

Beginning with Sunday.

1. Mucho sleep.
2. IGA trip numero uno
3. Met with Will.
4. Reorganized my knitting life/stash.
5. Freaked out about teaching.

The Adventures of Bethany and Sam on the Megabus

The Original Plan: Bethany and Liz take the last LCT out of Oberlin on Friday, take the RTA to Tower City, wait around for a while, and take the Megabus at 11:59 to Chicago. Bethany kills 8 hours in the Windy City, and takes the Megabus to Minneapolis at 3.

As I'm sure you can guess, that's not how it happened.

8:15PM Bethany and Liz take the last LCT out of Oberlin, where they find Sam, the illustrious Quidditch player who also happens to be taking the Megabus to Chicago, and is going to Minneapolis, but with a shorter layover. Good so far.

9:20PM Bethany, Liz and Sam take the RTA to Tower City. We had a hard time reading the map of the stops from far away, but our mad squinting skillz came through.

9:45PM Bethany, Liz and Sam poke around Tower City, looking for an unlocked public restroom. No dice. They then decide to patronize the Hard Rock Cafe, where the waitress drops Liz's salad, there's a wide variety of 'rock' music played, they have one of Prince's suits on the wall (yes, he really is that short), and they have restrooms.

10:15PM Into the HRC walk Robin and Holly Jenkins! Hello, friends!

10:17PM Holly steals one of my croutons.

11:20PM Bethany, Liz and Sam decide to leave the restaurant and sit around by the door with the gathering Megabus patrons.

11:50PM The bus is nowhere to be seen. Expecting it soon, Bethany, Liz, Sam, Robin and Holly head out to the bus stop to wait.

12:15AM Some guy comes out and says there's service advisories on the Megabus website and that our bus was canceled. Everyone heads back inside.

12:20AM Much using of Tower City's free wireless and calling of parents ensues. The website mentions weather problems but doesn't specify which buses have been canceled. Do our heroes wait to see if it comes (remember, Bethany and Anna took one out of Cleveland that was 40 minutes late that one time)? Take a taxi back to Oberlin and try to catch a (probably full capacity) bus the next day? No email has been sent so far. Someone is here to pick up their kid, and they're on their way. Is the same bus going to turn around? No! The same driver can't go more than eight hours. But can't they just switch drivers? Amtrak and Greyhound prices are looked into. Sam is going to miss her connecting bus. Cwap.

1:00AM The security guard shows up and he really needs to close Tower City. Parents are called. Bethany has this little moment where she feels like a real adult. She calls her dad, explains the situation, and asks "What do I do?" and he says "I have no idea". They are on the same page. Unfortuately, not a good page. Robin and Holly (trying to get to St. Louis, so it doesn't make a lot of sense to try to get to Chicago) decide to go back to Oberlin for the night. Bethany, Liz and Sam go the Ritz Carlton where the nice woman working at the desk calls for a taxi. They head to the Amtrak station, to try their luck.

1:30AM There's a 2:57 train to Chicago, but too bad that that's full. (Pay no attention to those other out-of-luck Megabusers who bought their tickets online.) There's a 3:45 to Chicago, and that's running late and should be here at 5. Three tickets are purchased and the are happy to be in a place that is warm, has restrooms and vending machines. Liz shows some cute kids how to knit.

2:15AM Liz reminds Bethany and Sam that those kids were so cute.

2:30AM They were so cute.

2:40AM So cute, Liz, we know.

3:45AM The bus is running even later. ETA is 5:45.

5:45AM An announcement is made. It's our train! It's here! Hooray! Bethany thinks about waking up Sam, who is sleeping on the floor. WAIT. NO. IT'S THE 6:20 TRAIN HALF AN HOUR EARLY. Bethany and Liz: heartbreak and agony. Sam: sleeps on, not knowing the pain she has spared herself.

7:00AM The train shows. Bethany, Liz and Sam board. The woman Sam is sitting next to is confused, but it all works out. Liz makes hecka progress on her scarf.

12:30PM Arrival in Chicago, at Union Station. Bethany and Liz accidentally lose track of Sam as they exit the train.

1:00PM Lunch at Potbelly's. The waiter is kinda flirty with Liz. Liz guesses the artist of the music playing (Credence Clearwater Revival) and wins a cookie.

2:30PM The Minneapolis Megabus is waiting outside! Already! Bethany says goodbye to Liz and boards. Sam waits to see if she can get on, since she missed her earlier bus. She succeeds, and the two Quidditch teammates feel so victorious as the bus departs on time.

6:00PM In one purchase at a rest stop, Bethany doubles the number of times she has eaten at Taco Bell in her life.

9:00PM Weather conditions have slowed down the bus. It's seriously snowing outside. It's behind schedule by a couple of hours, but everyone is safe and warm.

Sunday Morning
1:30AM Arrival in downtown Minneapolis.

2:00AM Home. Phew.

- - - - - - - - - - - -
Bethany and Sam's Megabus Adventure: the Summary

31 hours total
11 hours in Cleveland
6 hours in the Amtrak station, specifically
17 hours in motion

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my.

- - - - - - - - - - - -
The trip back to Ohio was much better. The bus left Minneapolis on time, and was ahead of schedule going through Wisconsin. I sat next to an Oberlin alum (an Econ major), who married another Oberlin alum (a History major), and it was really neat talking to her. We stopped in Madison and dropped some people off, but there was no one there to pick up. The driver calls HQ and asks if there's anyone there we need to wait for, and they give him the okay to keep driving.

52 miles outside of Chicago. There are people in Madison. We need to go back. An hour and a half there and back, we're three hours behind schedule coming into Chicago. Fortunately for me, it was just less time I spent waiting around Union Station. But it was kind of ridiculous.

Knitting in Oh Nine

So! The last few weeks have been wonderful in terms of knitting. This holiday season was relaxingly devoid of knit gifts, though I did help my dad block the alpaca scarf he got for his birthday last year. It's now keeping him warmer than ever, I hear.

For Christmas, my grandmother gave me a gift certificate to Crafty Planet, a neat little yarn and fabric shop in northern Minneapolis. I got a soft, enticing, colorful skein of Misti Alpaca sock yarn. Behold!

I also received a skein of Patons Shetland Chunky as a gift. It's variegated, so it's trickier to figure out what would work well. I think there's three colors, I might be able to do something like that hat from the last issue of Knitty, where I switch from knitting to purling every time it changes colors, or something.

As far as what actually clicked around on the needles, I finished a lovely little red cowl during break. Cory made up the pattern a while ago, and it produces this adorable little cowl that's soft and stretchy enough, but is also stiff enough to be really warm in place of a scarf. Since it isn't bulky, it was great for traveling (it looks like the neck part of a turtleneck sweater), and since it was a 2x2 rib, soft yarn and my favorite needles, it was the marvelous project for finals week. In fact, it was a productive thing to have around. I mostly worked on it while trying to formulate thoughts and sentences in Russian.

On the Megabu... AMTRAK trip to Chicago, Liz made significant progress on a scarf, and showed some really adorable kids at the Amtrak station how to knit. I worked a little on my orange and green socks, which were finished by the end of my Minnesota stay.

These socks have been just great. They're the first toe up socks I've made, and the beginning was a little fidgety, but it worked out nicely. Since I couldn't find size 1.5 needles, I made a larger size on size 1s, and added some ribbing on the sole. They fit perfectly.

The most interesting part is that there were two really great moments with these socks where I found out about some technique from someone else, thought it was really neat, thought about trying it on these socks, and decided against it, choosing to stick with the pattern as written, only to realize that the pattern included the technique I'd just found! This happened with the eye of partridge heel flap stitch (thanks to Stash & Burn) and the twisted rib (thanks to Liz). I think I've been solidly converted to sock knitting, if I haven't mentioned this already.

I also finished one of the Flying Trapeze Socks (from the newest IK), AND IT FITS! (I wasn't sure it would) and am working on the gusset of the second one.

I have decided that I'm not happy with the not-fitting-ness of the orange lace socks I started for the ExCo. I ripped out the beginning of the second sock, which had only been an inch or so, and I think I'm going to make it a little bigger, and then rip the first one out. I like the yarn (Araucania Ranco) too much to make socks that don't fit. I like the way my high arches make my feet look, but not the way they make socks and shoes not fit normally.

Alas, no progress has been made on the Laminaria shawl. I need some motivation for that; I don't know what it will take to get that off the ground again.

I talked and talked about my resolutions for what would be done for the new year, and it didn't really come true. But if the Malabrigo Fetchings and Ranco socks are in frogging stages, here's what's left in progress.
1. Laminaria
2. Flying Trapeze Socks
3. Tatiana (nesting doll gloves)

And just barely...
4. Mosey (still need to finish adding cords and pompoms)
5. that penguin

I'm basically down to three, and those socks are going to be done before knitting circle next Friday. Mosey will be done, too.

Basically, I'm down to three WIPs. Which feels SO good.

03 January 2009

Конец 2008, Начало 2009


It's been a while, eh? Finals have that effect. Well, I last semester ended well with an 8 page paper for Russian (I've been studying this language for two years) and an A on my Stalinism paper. The OB-52s shared a suprisingly delicious flaming volcano, served in an electric wok. Cory and I consumed an entire jar of garlic salsa, and a decent amount of knitting was accomplished.

Then, the Megabus. It's an adventure that's earned it's own special post.

Home was lovely. The last two weeks comprise the longest I've yet to stay in the new house, and I absolutely (still) love it. The living room is actually furnished, and for the first time in my life, we had a real Christmas tree!

Due to my cousins' work schedules (at UPS and a hospital), we had to shift around the usual schedule of family holiday gatherings. Christmas Eve would usually be spent with my dad's family, but this year involved the 5:00 church service (I played a song with my dad), and a relaxed family dinner of little meatballs, cheese and crackers and shrimp. (There's a lot about my break that is very delicious and very not vegetarian. I'm kind of okay with that.) We opened gifts the next morning, had dinner with my godparents (roast beef and yorkshire-pudding-popovers), and went to see my other cousins (part of Mom's family) for dessert. The morning of the 26th, my dad's family came over for a brunch-type thing. It involved two supremely wonderful coffeecakes and 4 dozen little mini crustless muffintin quiches.

I have been noticed that it sometimes takes a little bit of convincing to get certain individuals (a cousin and a housemate) to believe that coffeecake not only does not taste like, but does not contain coffee (it just compliments it well). Such people are missing out on some seriously delicious desserts that totally pass as breakfast food. Muffins in loaf form! Get on board!

Saturday, I was very social. (I hung out with TWO friends.) I met Kathryn (who was in town with her family to visit her brother) for lunch at Cosetta (possibly my family's favorite restaurant - I still have yet to get anything other than pizza, and just remembered right now that I should have gotten some cannoli. Dang.) After, we walked around the city for a while, and got to catch up a little. That evening, I went to see my trusty Minnesota friend Angie. We watched the Dark Knight, and chatted for a while. It was good; seeing her always is. She's going to do the whole cruise ship thing again. Also, I got to shower attention on one of her cats. I honestly forget if it was Duckie or Mongo. Am I a terrible person? I think it was Mongo.

Sometime that week, we went to the Walker Art Center and saw a screening of this year's winning British TV adverts. I'll try to find some links later.

New Years Eve Eve was spent at this funky jazz club (the club is funky (good funky), not 'funky jazz'), the Dakota, where my family made good on our New Years tradition of seeing the New Standards. Piano, stand-up bass, and vibraphone. Covers of dang near every type of pop song imaginable. Britney Spears' "Toxic", Outkast's "Hey Ya", the Clash's "London Calling", and... Richard Harris' "MacArthur Park". (Oh, Jesus, the CAKE!) Good times.

On New Years Eve, we ate lobster for dinner. My plate was an ocean. My taste buds were in heaven.

New Years Day, I went out for a buffet lunch with my mother to Nalapak, a vegetarian Indian restaurant near our house. It was quite good. Hey Linden, next time you & I are in MN...

Exciting things I have acquired include: some nerdy Russian books, Firefly, maracas, a bunch of makeup, exciting OB-52s worthy garments, a teal vest, and more Choco-Pies. That last bit is starting to be a running joke.

The Megabus trip back to OH was better than the way there, but still contained a fun surprise. But I came home to a comfy bed, tea, and dumplings, which sums up all I really need in life.