Friday, October 31, 2014

Bats!

I made something else for Halloween, and that is THIS.


It is a bat headband. I made it after seeing this on Martha Stewart's website. The tutorial is dreadful, because it doesn't give wire gauge OR lengths OR tell you how to position the bats OR how to attach the bats...because apparently Martha doesn't create tutorials for mere mortals. You must be a confident crafter to use HER tutorials.


I altered it by using adhesive felt instead of paper, because who wants to make a headband they can only use once? The adhesive felt still folded nicely. If it hadn't, I would have used an iron to press the crease.

Whatever. Bat headband. This is Halloween for the next 30 years.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Garlic Pizza and Benedict Cumberbatch

I spent last night watching Young Frankenstein on the big screen, so I have nothing funny to tell you except that the pizzas Rachael and I got for dinner before the movie contained 45 whole cloves of garlic. That is like a head of garlic per pizza.

Also, in case you didn't know, soup du jour translates to "soup of the day" so if you order the soup d'jour, you will not get the same soup du jour you ordered the last time. There was some confusion from an elderly woman at the next table. She got free food because she was ignorant.

That is what is wrong with America, we reward ignorance (and shun intellectuals as elitists). Can you tell I've been watching the news. I've been watching the news. It always makes me more cynical and mysanthropic.

In order to fix America, we all need to watch Benedict Cumberbatch recite Shakespeare repeatedly. This will raise our national intellect and prevent a loud argument in a restaurant over prime rib garlic soup.


Monday, October 27, 2014

How to Get Ready for a Party

As of last night, I have finished all but the afterthought heel of the second Halloween sock. That means I am just a few minutes away from a completed pair of socks, days ahead of schedule! I don't know how the second sock knitted up so quickly, but I made sure to check that sock #2 was the same size as sock #1 before I grafted the toe.

Now that the socks are very nearly done, I have plenty of time to complete my party-preparation ritual. This is a finely honed system for getting myself ready to cope with group activities and social situations. The only times I can avoid using this system is when I plan the party, because then I control the party, I know what is expected of me, and I feel safe. I'm also okay if the party is with my close friends, people I know actually like me and really want me to come to their party.


Yes, you get to know the system. Of course. I mean, one of you might relate! Probably not, but still.
Step One (several weeks before party): Set a highly ambitious goal for party or event. Plan to purchase a new outfit made up of hard-to-find pieces, decide to knit a new sweater or learn to sew in order to make a dress, look for a dress or skirt which is long enough, decide on a piece of clothing that is unflattering and become devastated when this is discovered.

Step Two (approximately one week prior to party): Burst into tears. Crying can be caused by a variety of factors, but the primary reason is that parties are, for the most part, unstructured and lack of structure means lack of control. Ugly cry. Blame childhood for lack of social skills. 
Step Three (week of the party): Change entire outfit (or costume) idea. Do so while crying and feeling wholly unattractive. 
Step Four (several days before party): Go back to original idea because knitting was somehow finished on time, crafting was completed ahead of schedule, or missing article of clothing was discovered by some miracle at T.J. Maxx or Target. 
Step Five (day before party): Realize that no matter what is worn to the party, it will be worn by you, and you cannot do parties because you are a neurotic basket-case. (For proof of neurosis, see steps one through four.)  
Step Six (day before party): Ugly cry some more. 
Step Seven (night before party): Resignation. You must go to the party. You are going to the party. You will bring a book and hope no one notices you. 
Step Eight (night before party): Lie in bed all night, awake, waiting for party. Insert panic attack or crying spell here. 
Step Nine (hour before the party): Cry a lot or have a panic attack before walking out the door of the house. 
Step Ten (approximately 30 minutes before party): Arrive at party location 30 minutes early due to fear of tardiness. Due to fear of earliness, remain in car with book and waves of terror. Hope no one notices you in the car and discovers how early you have arrived, come up with various explanations for earliness that do not include evidence of mental illness. Realize that there is no way that you can deny that you have serious problems with social interaction. Decide that covering up problem with humor is the way to go.


Now you understand why people shouldn't invite me to parties (also you understand why I am still single and likely to remain so). I mean, I want to go. I have fun when I get there. But I'd rather not know that a party is going to happen until someone picks me up in their car and tells me that the party is where we're going.

Sometimes a nunnery sounds like a super-cool place to live. Except that other people would live there, so that would be awkward. Let's face it, I'm probably going to become a recluse like Howard Hughes, only without the hygiene issues, because I can't stand to go more than one day without washing my hair.

This blog is cheaper than therapy.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Sock Update!

I owe you a blog post, but I've been so busy knitting the Halloween socks, I have barely had time for anything else. So instead you get a Halloween (and Halloween sock) update. Jennifer and I went shopping yesterday for craft supplies so I can make my bat headband and other bits my costume needs before Halloween. I needed an over-sized sweater (I went with this one from Target in the color Copper Bangle), tights (which are sparkly black), and I also ended up with a posable spider (mine is actually smaller than this one, and not available online) and gold nail polish.

I tried to make a backdrop out of two pieces of black felt. But it failed.

Yes, I am dressing up for Halloween. The ensemble also includes a striped dress I have in my closet. Because tights are not pants.

I'm helping out a friend at her art studio. There are going to be kids crafts, a s'mores bar, photography, and then me, in a black-lit room, with Halloween story hour. And all the volunteers are dressing like witches, but not just witches: KOOKY witches.

What does that mean? It means that instead of being all in dark clothes with witch hats, we'll be in bright colors and layers and polka dots and stripes. I am slightly frightened that I don't know how to be kooky. At least, I don't know how to DRESS kooky.

If I'd had my way, I would have chopped my hair off, dyed it pink, and gone as Tonks from the Harry Potter books. I could totally pull off pink hair. Right?

We'll see how this costume thing goes for me. This is the first time I've actually planned out a costume for Halloween. We didn't do Halloween when I was a kid. I know, I was deprived. Basically, any reason why you tell your kid they can't dress up like Laura Ingalls from the Little House on the Prairie book is a bad reason.

The first Halloween sock is done, though. I have one week to knit the second one. I already finished the cuff. Progress is being made.

Wish me luck.


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Halloween Socks!

I decided to make Halloween socks on a whim during a trip with Rachael. After finishing two other projects, I actually had time to start them on Sunday night.

Weirdly-lit iPhone photograph

The pattern is Jaywalker by Grumperina. The yarn is Poste Stripe from Simply Socks Yarn Company in Camp Crystal Lake. I already love them. Even though I've had to frog them twice already. The first time because I randomly started increasing in the wrong spot, and the second time was because the smallest size wasn't small enough for my skinny freakish feet. 

At this rate, I might have them ready for next Halloween! 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Canning and Super Glue Stitches

Yesterday I was making an omelette. I discovered this year that I actually like omelettes, but only if they have some kind of acidic component to balance them out. So I looked for tomatoes.

(Let's just ignore the fact that I'm tomato intolerant, and they cause me lots of problems if I eat them. I like tomatoes. They don't like me, but I like them.)

We were out of tomatoes. Then I thought, huevos rancheros have salsa! Eggs and salsa! So I reached for a jar of salsa. I had made salsa, you see. I made it, I put it in jars, and I canned it in the jars using a hot-water bath. So the jar was a canning jar. It had a flat metal disc for the seal, and a threaded ring you put on over the seal to protect it.

Exhibit A.

The thing about a jar like that is that unscrewing the lid does not break the seal. No. You need a fancy tool to pop open the top, but we do not have that fancy tool. No. Instead, I did what I always do in such circumstances, I pulled out a butter knife.

You probably think you know what's going to happen. But you don't.

I put the edge of the butter knife against the seal and used the edge to break the seal. It was a stubborn seal (which is good, because no salmonella), so I had to work at it. When the seal finally popped open, the jar lid sprang loose with great intensity.

And then it scissored me open like a filet knife. You thought it would be the knife that got me. Nope.

Every once in a great while, I actually hurt myself. See, mostly, my injuries are wimpy bruises, tiny cuts, scrapes, bumps, and so forth. The only thing that makes them of any importance is that they usually occur in ways that are amusing or humiliating (or both). But once and a while, I'll be working in the kitchen, or I'll fall down stairs and instead of blushing or laughing until I cry, I get that weird adrenaline chill that comes when your body tells you, "Hey. This is bad."

It took twenty minutes to get the bleeding to stop. During that time, I pitched my omelette, because no one wants a bloody spinach omelette. Well, maybe vampires, but not me.

I went to a baby shower, I went for a run. I kept my band-aid dry, and I thought I'd be okay. But then I opened a drawer and started bleeding again. Stupid finger.

This led to me yanking open the kitchen junk drawer and giving myself hospital-style liquid stitches using a tube of super glue. Didn't know you could do that? You can. Here's how it works. CLEAN your injured area. Open the super glue tube. Squirt the glue on your cut. Let the glue dry. Have a nice time.

The only problem with this was that I turned on a light this morning and split my finger back open and had to repeat the super glue application. But the glue is waterproof, at least, so I got to wash my hair this morning. There's that.

Friday, October 17, 2014

A Medical Rant with "Doctor" Laura

Note that for the purposes of this lecture, I am addressing people who probably aren't you. Most of you know me and have heard this lecture before, so don't feel bad. You know this already. You're a good person. I like you. That's why we're friends. 

For the purposes of this post, "flu" means influenza, which is the flu's real name. Flu is a nickname, and sometimes it is used for other illnesses that aren't ACTUALLY influenza, because people tend to think they have the flu when they throw up. People are mostly wrong about that.

Also I used the quotation marks in the title of this post because I'm not really a doctor. I don't have any of the certificates or special letters next to my name. I just spend time in a library reading medical textbooks for fun. Also that one time hundreds of copies of the Journal of the American Medical Association fell off a shelf and onto my face, one after the other, until the shelf was empty. I'm pretty sure that experience knocked some medical training into my head. (It also gave me paper cuts on my face.) 

Are you a medical professional? If you are, you'll notice I'm dumbing this way down for the purposes of humor. This is because giving you a ten page essay on how the flu virus spreads and how the vaccine is really made would be super boring to people who don't care about those sorts of things. If you want to chat about influenza, we can have coffee later and enjoy ourselves.

Let's talk flu shots, people.



It is not physically or psychically possible to catch the flu from a flu shot. 

Stop saying that you do. It makes me crazy, and I am one more flu-shot rant away from throwing something heavy at you and walking away while you're still talking because I can't handle pretending you aren't driving me mad anymore.

Let me quote Sherlock by telling you to shut up because, "you lower the IQ of the whole street." 


One more and I'll stop insulting you. I found too many of these, and they're all funny.

Via The Happy Hospitalist Blog, in this hilarious post.

Here's the thing. The flu shot is a dead vaccine. What does that even mean? It means that they took a blob of flu viruses and they killed them stone dead. This is the microscopic equivalent of me walking into my yard and massacring millions of that hideous invasive species of ladybug that swarm everywhere in the state during this time of year.

The ladybugs would be dead. Their little legs would curl up. They would stink (those ladybugs ALWAYS stink). They would not be able to fly around. Because dead. All kinds of dead. Dead like Jack at the end of Titanic. Nothing can bring them back. They are in ladybug heaven, where they can land on everything and everyone they see, stinking forever and being generally useless.

Someone who is actually a medical professional, at some fancy lab, takes the corpses of  the flu viruses and makes them into dead flu virus soup. Mmmm mmm good, just like Campbell's makes, except with less salt. WAY less salt.

The dead flu virus soup is now a vaccine. It gets shoved into tiny vials and shipped all over the country and maybe the WORLD.

Now, because viruses are't a copy machine, when they replicate, the next virus generations are sometimes different. This is called a "mutation," which is what happens when a thing is one way and then suddenly another way in the next generation. Kind of like when humans have kids. Your kids aren't you. They aren't your partner, either. They are both of you PLUS mutation, because DNA sucks at being perfect. Sometimes it screws up. DNA is people too (unless its mouse. Or horse. Or plant. Or virus.). We call these new varieties of virus STRAINS. Like, you are STRAINING my patience.

Except no.

Because the flu changes, we can't just make one vaccine, give it to kids, and end up with everyone immune to the flu, although that would be awesome. No, the flu virus wants us to suffer, so every time there is a new strain, we have to make a new vaccine. But heck, that creates jobs for hungry scientists who need a place to live and food to eat, so good for the flu, doing what no politician has been able to manage since FDR.

That is why you need a new vaccine every year. And now you know how the flu works. You're already smarter.

Let's go back to those ladybug corpses. Now, if I shot those ladybugs into my veins, would they come back to life?

NO.

I would probably also die, but the ladybugs would stay dead. Very dead. Augustus Waters dead.*

The flu virus is the same. If you shoot dead flu virus into your body, it stays dead. It floats around, dead, until your body gets rid of it for you.

"But LAURA," you whinge. "This one time, I TOTALLY GOT SICK from my flu shot!!! WHYY???"

There are several reasons this might have happened.

  1. You did not have the flu. Wimp. You had a cold, or you had a weird other thing that doctors classify as a "flu-like illness" that is what scientists call things that look like the flu but aren't the flu and don't actually have a name of their own, or you think that throwing up means you have the flu, when really that isn't usually the flu, that's a gastrointestinal illness that humans usually get when they (or someone else) fails to wash their hands after pooping. WASH YOUR HANDS.
  2. You already had the flu. Sometimes you go to the pharmacy or the doctor's office or a health fair and they give you a flu shot, but you already have live virus in your body from that one dude in line at the grocery store who coughed all over you like a plague victim. Blame him, not the shot. The vaccine can't get rid of live flu viruses, so you're stuck with the flu if you already have it when you get vaccinated. Next time check your temperature before you get the flu shot before checking that little box on the questionnaire. 
  3. You caught a strain of flu that the vaccine wasn't designed to cover. Remember those mutated flu viruses? You got one, but the scientist didn't have it in his lab to kill, so the dead virus soup doesn't protect you from it. Sorry. This happens sometimes. Although hardly ever, and not since 2007 and before 2007 it was 15 years since it had happened. This almost never happens.
  4. You had a reaction to the vaccine. Everyone has a reaction to the vaccine. You are SUPPOSED to have a reaction to the vaccine. This happens because your immune system sees dead virus and is like, "WTF?!!! WE HAVE TO STOP THIS!!!" And it tries to kill something that's already dead, because your immune system is dumb, so dumb, dumb like a rock or a stick. Dumber than the stick, actually. So much dumb.
  5. You are allergic to the vaccine. This is super rare, and you'd know it if you were because you'd have been hospitalized or you'd have died already. I'm not writing this blog post for corpses. Corpses can go somewhere else for their entertainment.
And now for the summary of today's lesson:

This awesome infographic is via Refutations to Anti-Vaccine Memes.
I got all the information from this post from high school human biology class. I remember things. If you want to learn more about influenza, talk to your doctor, Google it (Wikipedia, when I checked it last, was pretty accurate on this topic), or ask a question in the comments and I will use my mad librarian skills to answer it. 

Think I should rant like this more often? Want to suggest a topic? Let me know that in the comment, too.

* Too soon?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A Great Sigh of Relief

Folks, tooth number two is filled. This means the two teeth I was told would have to come out BOTH did not have to go anywhere. They are fixed, and while I may someday (the dentist said in ten years or so) have to put crowns on top of the fillings, the dentist thinks they're fixed forever.


Let's all breathe a great sigh of relief. I mean, seriously. Instead of having a fake mouth, not to mention thousands of dollars in dental repairs to pay for, I have only a PARTIALLY fake mouth and I was able to afford the repair. (This is a big deal, since there is no dental insurance at the library.)

And so, with the cryptic instruction to "chew hesitantly," I am off to fix other parts of me, starting with getting a flu shot tomorrow morning.

I get my flu shot so I don't say this out loud at work.




Dentist, Again

As you read this, I am paying someone to attack my teeth with a drill. I know. It's hard to wrap my head around paying for this, too. I think this is something dentists should pay me for. I mean, I'm letting them hurt me and paying them. That's something out of that creepy 50-something book.

Instead of getting money in exchange for allowing someone to torture me, I will instead be paying extra because the dentist thinks (and I agree) I am too highly strung to endure any dental procedure involving me spending any money at all without copious amounts of nitrous oxide.

So while you are sitting at work, starting your computer up, putting your lunch in the fridge, know that somewhere, I will have one half of my face frozen while someone uses a freaky light to bond some kind of space-age plastic to my tooth. Fortunately, this is the last tooth I need fixed. When this is done, I'll have perfect teeth,

I will be so happy, I will smile this smile.

I smile the smile of Novocaine.

And everything will be beautiful and perfect until the next time I go see the dentist, when I will discover that some other nightmare has occurred. I'm a realist. I know my teeth are doomed.

Why is it that when you grow up, the dentist stops giving out treats when you leave his office? I don't think that's fair. Also, I have decided that just because the dentist doesn't give me a present doesn't mean I don't get one. I am so buying yarn to reward myself for being a responsible adult. I could use a present after all this. I'm thinking I'll make myself some pretty mittens.

I loved THESE, which are made with THIS pattern. But I also love THESE made of THIS pattern. And I want them lined, which means I might choose THIS instead. Or I will have to do some pattern rewriting.

Secretly; though, I would like to wear these around all winter.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Painting in the Rain

I would like to entertain you with funny stories about the variety of fun I had this weekend, but really I had a cold so I spent the whole weekend at home feeling gross.

I know this feeling well.

Also I spent a lot of time scraping paint off of the house so that we could place more paint on top of it, which is a metaphor for the futility of life.

We finished scraping and priming the bits of the house that needed touched up (thankfully, we aren't painting the WHOLE house, just a few spots that needed some help). Painting will happen this week, provided there isn't rain. Apparently rain and paint don't mix well, or maybe they mix TOO well. I don't know, I am not a paint expert. I know about books, though. I have something.

Also I know about colds. I have a patented cold cure. Are you ready for it?

Okay.

  • First, you turn your electric blanket on. Not TOO high, but get it nice and warm. 
  • Fill a giant bottle with lots of water. 
  • Get inside the bed. 
  • Drink the water.
  • Sleep as much as possible.
  • Wake up only to drink more water and to use the restroom (which you will need to do because of all the water you'll be drinking).
  • If you can't manage any more sleep, binge-watch a series with MANY seasons, like The Gilmore Girls. The Cosby Show worked well for me during one bout of bronchitis. I also recommend Doctor Who, Criminal Minds, America's Test Kitchen, and Say Yes to the Dress (laughing at spoiled girls throwing tantrums is fun). Really, you can't go wrong unless Netflix is missing multiple seasons. Always check before you start watching.
  • Repeat for additional days as needed until cold is gone.
You thought it was medicine, didn't you? Nope. I do take medicine, but I can't add cold medicine to the variety of asthma and allergy medicines I'm already supposed to take. Usually I just add in a glass of wine or some ibuprofen to my preexisting cocktail of prescriptions.

Feel free to try out the Death To Colds solution during your next bout of disease. You'll find that, with some small modifications, it works with almost any common illness! 
  • For flu, add in a hearty dose of guilt because it's actually your fault that you're sick, since you skipped the flu vaccine. Enjoy some tea, the only substance known to cure guilt and self-loathing.
  • For stomach bugs, add in even more water, and possibly Vitamin I* or Pepto Bismol! Shun all food, you don't need food. Food is for the healthy. You'll just throw it up anyway, so why try? 
  • When struggling with bronchitis, laryngitis, a sinus infection, or other respiratory malady, give up. You're drowning in your own lungs, and no one can help you. Make sure you watch your favorite shows one more time before the end.
Do you have a favorite cold treatment? Did you do anything fun this weekend? Do you know why you shouldn't paint a house before it's going to rain? Let me know in the comments!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Sometimes Work Is Fake-Playing a Cardboard Ukulele

Yes, I strummed a cardboard ukulele. It is all because I applied for a mini grant that could win the library a ukulele for children's programming. Not only did I rock out with a cardboard uke, I did it on camera and then put the video on the internet, summing up in one 30 second video both 1. why I am fun to hang out with (I think) and 2. why I am still single.


Sometimes, to get the kids at your library cool stuff, you have to be an idiot.

I hope you enjoy my fake-ukulele-playing face. It says, "please laugh at me" and also "please don't laugh at me." The rest of the application was much less embarrassing.. I might not be able to fake-play a ukulele (or REALLY play a ukulele), but I can write out an application for a ukulele, so there's that at least.

I wonder if Jennifer realizes that she's going to be drafted into learning the ukulele so she can teach me the ukulele...

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Surprisingly Good News

Well, despite the multiple warnings from my dentist about how the hideous tooth needed removed OR ELSE, he was able to SAVE IT.

My tooth is now FILLED. It is filled with magic, and all my hopes for the future. Or maybe with acrylic or something. Who knows? Probably my dentist.

Next Wednesday, I have the horrible tooth's slightly-less-horrible neighbor worked on, and then my mouth will be okay until the next nightmarish occurrence.

I am still in shock that I don't have to pay for oral surgery and a bridge. SHOCK. I mean, I might actually still be able to afford to get the knob in my car that controls where the fan blows heat or air conditioning fixed too! And buy asthma medication! I'm as surprised as you are.

I celebrated by getting a caramel apple cider, as one does. Thanks to everyone for all the good vibes, happy thoughts, and prayers you sent my way.

Day of Wrath

Tomorrow morning I will find out just how expensive this tooth problem is going to be. Of course, that means that the actual cost of the tooth repair will be much higher. Prayers and happy thoughts would be greatly appreciated. I don't want to have to sell a kidney and part of my liver to pay for this dental work, so I am freaking out a bit. Okay, a lot.

via Thumbpress 

That will be me tomorrow. I have a tooth that either needs removed or it needs removed. If I'm very lucky, it will need removed. Oh, wait. Yeah. There is no lucky.


Could not resist using Dies Irae here. Can you blame me?

Actually, lucky will mean I just need ONE tooth removed and not this tooth plus its friend that never listened to its tooth mom when she said, "And if all your friends decides to get pulled by the dentist, would you too?" Instead, this friend tooth decided it would be awesome to try cavities and now it's a junkie and chasing the dragon and it will take way more than some fluoride rinse to bring it back from the crack den where it lives now.


In this case, the pain won't be from the dental work, but from the price tag. No dental insurance plus tiny library wages (that keep me solvent enough that I don't have to wait in line for government cheese but not solvent enough for recreational dental medical procedures) mean Laura is stressed. Stressed enough that I'm thinking of what I would like more, teeth that can chew food or food to eat.

It's times like these that I'm incredibly grateful for a family that WANTS me to live with them instead of a family that insists I have an apartment of my own when I can't afford it. Thanks to my family, I can pay for a sizable chunk of this work before I start sobbing uncontrollably into the last soggy Kleenex in the box because I can't afford to refresh my tissue supply.

I'll let you know what the plan is when I know. And I'll try to convince my family to take video of me coming out of anesthesia when the tooth-pulling actually takes place, so you'll get a laugh out of this situation. One of us should get a laugh out of this.

Monday, October 6, 2014

How to Get a Knitter to Make You Stuff: a List

This week at the library, I realized how easy it is to get me to knit stuff for you. I thought about it, and there really are five simple things you can do that make me dive for my needles and a spare skein of yarn. I'm betting it's the same for all of the knitters I know. I am counting on my fellow-knitters to add to the list or to edit what doesn't seem right.

  1. Appreciate our work. When I spend hours and hours working on a sweater or heck, a hat, it makes me feel awesome when you notice. Awesome enough for me to think, "Hey, maybe Allison would wear handknitted things instead of thinking they are too precious to wear..."
  2. Wear lots of knitted things. If I never see you in a sweater, or wearing gloves or a hat, and then you ask me to make you something, I think it will sit in your drawer. I think it will not be of any use to you, and so I do not feel moved to knit you things.
  3. Look cold. If you complain a lot about being cold, or if you shiver meaningfully from time to time, I feel like I should help you. So you get knitted stuff.
  4. Start small. Making a sweater takes AGES. I only make sweaters as gifts for babies. This is because babies can't tell you they don't like a color or a style, so there's no way babies won't like something I put a month into knitting. Ask me for a hat or mittens or a scarf. Heck, ask me for a wedding shawl. If you really want a sweater, come prepared with meals and several seasons of good TV on DVD for me to watch (then promise to love and wear it no matter what).
  5. Bribe us with yarn (Red Heart does not count). Decent yarn is expensive. Good yarn is very expensive. I can't afford to make knitted things for everyone. This does not mean that I don't love you. It just means I need to eat this month.

There's also a bonus thing you SHOULDN'T do if you want knitted things...Don't lose knitted stuff.

This one time, I made this crazy-complicated cabled scarf with lovely red wool. It was gorgeous, and I loved every inch of it. I wrapped it carefully in tissue, put it under the Christmas tree, and waited for the recipient (who shall remain nameless to protect him or her from the wrath of my fellow-knitters) to open it. He or she was properly enthusiastic about it, and I was thrilled. A month passed, and I noticed that the scarf wasn't as visible. When I casually brought it up, I discovered that the scarf had been LOST. Either lost, or stolen by a roaming knitwear thief.

Knitters want you to protect their craft with your life, if necessary. The only acceptable reason for letting knitwear vanish is if you give it to someone you know or see who is in greater need of warmth or love than you are. (In fact, that might even get you another knitted thing.)

Friday, October 3, 2014

We Interrupt This Program...

...to bring you a week entirely consumed by Howl's Moving Castle.

I am not going to admit how many times I've watched the movie this week. I've listened to the audiobook twice now, once last week, once this week. I am rereading the book. It's also possible that I spent an hour Wednesday night going through fanart on Pinterest. That's normal, right? 

Don't answer that. It's normal for Howl's Moving Castle. For some other book, it wouldn't be.

Source: Ozneo

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

October Goals

September was a crazy month. I had lots to do at work, Banned Book Week included, many things happening at home, Dad flying back and forth from Colorado, Window Guy coming and measuring and remeasuring, my grandmother's memorial service, and lots of travel. All of that meant that much of my normal schedule went out the window.

This is totally unrelated to the post, but it sums up my life accurately. I like it. So there.

Keeping that in mind, I have come up with a few achievable goals to help me make it through October in a more healthy way, both mentally and physically.

  1. Keep to an exercise schedule. With shorter days comes less time for me to fit in an outdoor workout. This means I have to make time right when I get home for running, or find another activity that I can do indoors to keep myself moving. Anyone have any favorite indoor exercises I can give a try? 
  2. Declutter. Everything in my world has piled up, from knitting patterns to notes to junk mail to books I don't have time to read. This month I plan to sort, file, pitch, or donate all the things I have no space for in my house or in my life.
  3. Read. I haven't had much time just to sit down and read. I miss reading. I've only been enjoying books in audio or at lunchtime, and I miss coming home and sitting down with a book. Books are awesome. Books are our friends.
  4. Start Christmas and baby knitting. People keep having kids. This is awesome, but my baby knitting stash has dwindled. It's time to whip up a few adorable little sweaters to keep on hand for baby showers or little surprises. Also, I need to start work on Christmas knits. Which means I need to PLAN Christmas knits. Or I could just work on a hat with this and some Halloween socks.*
  5. Get that little knob in my car that directs where the air conditioning/heat comes out FIXED. This stupid thing has kept me from being cool all summer. I waited patiently for everyone else in my family to fix THEIR cars, but I don't want it to make me shiver and freeze all winter. It's my own stupid fault it's broken, too. It was stuck, and instead of waiting patiently for someone to look at it, I forced it. Because I am an idiot.
Those are reasonable goals, right? What are your October plans?

* This sock yarn is sold out, but I have it on good authority that more is coming, so check back if you like it!
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