Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Home Again, Home Again?

I think it's a pretty good sign that you've moved out of your mom's house mentally as well as physically when you forget where the outlets are in your former bedroom.

Every time I come home, I find a little bit more of my mom's things in my bedroom. And I've usually brought a few more with me to Boston.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Binary Hat

Tada! I made the Binary Hat for Digikami as an early Christmas present. Here's the Ravelry link for the project.

I used Cascade 220 in 7822 and some tan color that I can no longer identify. Clover Bamboo size 9 double pointed needles, with 7's for the ribbing (because 8's were not to be had!) He has a lot of hair, so I added an inch of stockinette in the brown before starting the stripe sequence. This was the larger size already, but it fits perfectly! I'm not super-happy with the seaming at the top, but oh well. I think this would be a good stash-buster project--I barely made a dent in either ball of yarn.

This was a fun and quick knit, too. It only took me four days from cast on to bind off.

Friday, November 14, 2008


So, the bane of my commute to work is taking the T every weekday morning and evening. I will say that despite all of the problems, it's still better than when I lived in NJ and drove to work every day (and I was lucky--I reverse commuted and rarely every got stuck in traffic). But the amount of grief the T causes me is ridiculous.

Between rude people who won't move further into the train, resulting in crowding at the doors when there is plenty of room in the trolley, or rude people who push onto the train without letting others off first (hint: you'll have more room on the train if you let people off at their stops), to rude people who are stuck in the stairs and don't move off the train at stops to let people getting off get on (hint: see above, and also, you'll still be able to get back on the train!), to rude people who stand in the stairs when the train is empty (WTF?), to baffling people who will stand around an empty seat in an excess of politeness, to expressed trains that pass you by, leaving you waiting for often quite a long time for another train, to tourists and people on their way to Red Sox games who don't know the etiquette of riding the train (it's common sense, people!)...(holy run-on sentence, Batman!) there are a lot of frustrations involved in riding the T.

Perhaps none are so infuriating as when there is a problem with the T itself. I understand that accidents are going to happen. Someone is too tired, or not paying quite enough attention, or whatever. We are all only human, so we make mistakes and accidents happen. The key difference is how accidents are taken care of, and the MBTA routinely fails to take care of problems quickly or efficiently. Case in point, the accident this morning at the Boylston St T stop. Two Green line trains collided, injuring 7 people aboard (out of 500). The trains weren't derailed, the tracks were fine. They set up shuttle service between the Arlington St (one stop outbound) and Government Center (two stops inbound). I take the B line of the Green line into work every day. The last above ground stop on the B line is Blandford St, before it goes to Kenmore and joins up with the C and D lines.

When we reached Blandford St this morning, we were told we'd be standing by. Moments later, we were informed that Blandford would be the last stop, and we should walk to Kenmore and catch another train. So the full train unloaded, and we all went to Kenmore and squeezed onto the first train we could. That T proceeded to crawl forward, spending a long time standing still in between stops before inching forward to repeat the process. We weren't given any more information at the next stop, Hynes, except "There was traffic up ahead," and "some delays." The train continued its underground crawl to Copley, the next stop, where we were all told to get off the train, and that there were buses waiting above ground. I was only two or three blocks from work at that point, so I walked. It wasn't until after I got to work (at 10:30) and was able to get on the internet that I was able to find out about the accident.

The MBTA should have informed the conductors of the full nature of the problem, who in turn should have informed the passengers--I could easily, and far more quickly walked to work from Blandford St, and I'm sure some people would have taken cabs. Underground service between Kenmore and Arlington should not have continued--buses should have been provided. Kenmore is one of the few underground stops where trains can be taken out of service easily, alleviating some of the underground traffic. It's just so frustrating that there was no communication about the accident. This article in the Globe doesn't mention the hour and a half delays experienced by passengers between Kenmore and Arlington, the numerous commuters who were late to work, the students who were late to class (or exams).

Seriously, MBTA. You are one of the most important transportation arteries in the city of Boston, if not THE most important. You need to be able to clear up traffic in a timely fashion and get passengers where they need to be, not stick them underground for hours with no idea of what the problem is. Thousands of people depend on you for transportation.

Grouchily yours,


Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Don't forget to vote today! It's really important make your voice heard, and elections are our best way of doing that.

I voted before work--I waited in line 45 minutes, to vote in the kitchen of a school about a five minute walk from my apartment. (A lunch lady was even hard at work in the corner.) I also got to participate in an exit poll, which was exciting.

So, whether like me, you voted for Obama, or like my dear old G-pa, you are voting for "McClain" (We have a whole different issue that he doesn't know the name of the man he's voting for) or a third party candidate, go and vote, vote, vote!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Stiney's "Famous" Wings

Friday night was a friend's recital, and I was drafted to help make food for the reception which followed. I went the lazy route, and made chicken wings, which are easy, popular, delicious, and easy.

I have two variants, one of which I've only been making since the Super Bowl this year (it has supplanted the version I learned from my mother), and the other I've been making since I first started cooking, in 2003 or so.

Buffalo Wings
1 package fresh or defrosted chicken wingettes (these are the separated kind. It is a huge, huge pain in the ass to cut the whole wing into bits, and then you wind up wasting the very tip, unless you save it for stock.)
2/3 cup butter
1/2 cup Sriracha sauce
Salt (to taste)
Pepper (to taste)
Garlic powder (to taste, optional)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place wings into roasting dish (I usually use my Pyrex dish, though I have been known to use aluminum as well). Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
2. Cook wings for 1 hour, until golden brown. Remove from oven.
3. Meanwhile, melt butter, then stir in sriracha sauce.
4. Pour sauce over wings, and mix so that all wings are coated.

Serve with bleu cheese and celery sticks. Eat and enjoy! The sauce for this was modified from the Frank's Red Hot Sauce recipe. I was going to make buffalo wings and asked if Digital Paper Revolution had "hot sauce" without specifying what kind I meant. The answer was yes, but there was no Frank's Red Hot sauce to be found. He had sriracha sauce, so I decided to made do rather than run to Shaw's. Sriracha sauce is significantly hotter, so I doubled the butter. The sauce is more flavorful (and more buttery!), and sticks to the wings better.

The other variation my mother made up, and is delicious and even easier. This would be easy to modify, as well, but I find it so simple and easy that I haven't experimented with it at all.

Soy Sauce Chicken Wings
1 package fresh or defrosted chicken wingettes (these are the separated kind. It is a huge, huge pain in the ass to cut the whole wing into bits, and then you wind up wasting the very tip, unless you save it for stock.)
Soy sauce (to taste)
Salt (to taste)
Pepper (to taste)
Garlic powder (to taste, optional)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place wings into roasting dish (I usually use my Pyrex dish, though I have been known to use aluminum as well). Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
2. Cook wings for 1 hour, until golden brown. Remove from oven.
3. Pour sauce over wings, and mix so that all wings are coated.

Eat and enjoy!

Feel free to do with these what you will. A link back to this blog would be awesome, though.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Election Weirdness

I was in 7-11 last night, picking up NyQuil for my ailing roommate, when I saw the weirdest election thing ever.

They have blue Obama cups. They have red McCain cups. And they have cream-colored Undecided/Independent cups.

I kid you not.

I hope you all registered to vote!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Don't Forget to Register to Vote!

US Citizens! If you aren't registered to vote at your current address, make sure you are! Deadlines for some states have already passed, and others are rapidly approaching. (I need to mail mine in before 10/15. It's been in my bag for over a month, for want of a stamp. Yes, very delinquent of me.)

The most important thing is that everyone votes. I know not everyone reading this will agree with my political opinions, or vote for the same people as me, but you should vote!

Also, make sure to research the candidates running for Senate, House, and lower levels, and to consider any issues that will be on the ballot. I know MA has three questions this year, and I already know how I'm voting on them.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Oops, I almost forgot a title

Two whole months? Geez, I've been negligent.

But also productive! I moved to a beautiful new apartment the weekend of September 1st, so I'm going to give myself a pass on the lack of blog updates. I also have a freshly completed knitting project to show off (because I'm a ham like that).

On the basis that my boss has no idea I have a blog, I present to you:

Saartje's Bootees (as knit by me):

My boss is having his first baby, and the due date is November 1st. So I decided to make these, which I've thought were adorable for ages. They are a quick knit, though I found the strap instructions really confusing.

Yarn: Rowan RYC Cashsoft 4-Ply in Mosaic (main color) and Dive.
Needles: US 1 Clover Bamboo DPNs (It's knit flat, but I don't have straight or circular 1's, so I made do.

Yarn and buttons both came from A Good Yarn in Brookline. (I'm going to miss living 500 yards away...)

I hope they like the booties, and that they fit. And they don't unravel. I always fear so much when gifting knits.

Sunday, August 3, 2008


I received a package from my mother on Thursday. She had sent it FedEx overnight.

The box was fairly large, though most of the volume was taken up by green peanuts. (I didn't know they made green peanuts.)

Inside was the vegetable of her summer's labor:

Eight pounds of zucchini. Delicious, garden-fresh zucchini.

The largest one was the size of my calf.


And it was delicious--it made enough stuffed zucchini for 4 people, with leftovers.

Have I mentioned I love summer?

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Universe Has A Cruel Sense Of Humor, OR, Crying Over Spilled Milk

So, a couple of months ago I broke my long-standing aversion to capris and wound up with four pairs. I had tried some on faithfully every spring in high school, and they all looked funny on me, so I gave up for a long time. Anyway, I finally found some that I was happy with and have been wearing them like someone who has never worn capris before and needs to make up lost time (that is, all the time.) I even, based on the success of my one white skirt, been brave and bought a white pair of capris.

Shocking, I know! The sheer existence in my wardrobe of white capris was clearly thumbing my nose at Murphy and his laws. So first, he made me spill salad dressing on the khaki pair that I have that are identical to the white pair.

Today, I spilled milk. All over my white pants.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Summertime and the living is easy

I love summer. I love the smell of grass growing, and freshly cut grass (but not too long after it's been cut, then it starts to smell bad), the way skin smells after it's been slowly heating in the sun. I love the smell of grills, and chlorine, and salt air, and suntan lotion. I love that asphalt is too hot to walk on with bare feet, and the feel of that first jump into a cold pool or lake on a really hot day. I love summer ales, and ice cream trucks, and tomato salad. I love that I don't have to bundle up against the cold (except in my office) and the way the sun doesn't set until 8:30.

But I've had a few too many hot, sleepless nights, lately. Boston, can we dump the humidity out to sea and have a few pleasant days in the low 80's with no humidity? I think I might melt otherwise. Or buy an air conditioner.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Dancing Robots and Signs of Aging

Greetings from the currently-not-at-all-sunny Jersey Shore! I'm on vacation with my mom and brother for her birthday/the 4th of July and stealing internet.

I was peering into the mirror today, examining my roots, when I realized that I've started going gray. I suppose it's not too surprising, seeing as how I'm fast approaching 25, and most of my friends have found at least one gray hair by now. I've also always thought I was going to gray early, because my grandmother did. It's hard to assess the extent of the gray, between the dim light of our motel room, the fact that I've only got about an inch or two of growth since the last dye job, and I've been out in the sun a fair bit over the last week, but there is at least one pure white hair, several others which are suspect, and two patches that may have gone completely white. (These two patches are just above my temples on other side. The hair there has always been lighter than the rest of my hair, blond even after the rest of my hair rounded the bend from "dirty blond" to "light brown" and solidly into "brown," so I'm not surprised on that count, either. I'm not particularly fussed about going gray, but still.

Also, Dancing robots!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

In Which The Knitter Actually Talks About Knitting

iPod Sock
Originally uploaded by cawthraven
So I just got a new 80 gig iPod, because my Video iPod died. I always had a lot of trouble with the Video--Apple replaced it at least twice, maybe three times. I was really tempted by the iTouch, but I really should not have access to the Internet all the time.

The iPod came last night, and I wanted to preserve it's smooth, unscratched silver exterior. And I had a lot of Malabrigo leftover from making Foliage. What's a gal to do but knit her iPod a sock?

I cast on 20 stitches onto size 7 double pointed needles. Not enough. I cast on 25, thought it was enough. Decided after a couple of rounds that it was too small, so I increased to 30. Decided after a couple of more rounds that I was wrong, and decreased back down to 25, and then knit in stockinette until it looked long enough to cover the iPod. Then I bound-off 11 stitches and knit the flap flat until it looked long enough to reach the button. The "button" is actually a bead from the fringe on a suede jacket I have--the beads are always coming off, so I figured this would be a good use for it. The "buttonhole" I made up, too, because I don't actually know how to knit them. So I bound off 5 stitches, did a two stitch i-cord until it looked long enough to make a loop that the button-bead would go through, and reconnected it to the rest of the live stitches to bind them off. Then I had some ends to weave in and the bottom to sew-up.

I've already got ideas for more, since it's such a quick knit. I have one of the Nicki Epstein books, so I think one of her fun loops would make a good button-hole, and then maybe a cable. And I might try different things to avoid needing to seam up the bottom. (Not that I did a good job.)

iPod Sock II
Originally uploaded by cawthraven

Sunday, April 27, 2008

"You come swimming into view."

Tonight my friend hosted a Passover seder. It was my first, and I enjoyed it a lot. (This has nothing to do with the four glasses of wine. Or, you know, everything.) But it's amazing how holidays, even when they aren't from a familiar tradition, make me introspective. But for once, I feel like my introspection is resulting in progress, rather than wallowing.

Some of the progress is stuff I've known, but now I feel it. And so here are the things that tonight, I would raise my four glasses of wine to:

~I'm not going to care about that anymore. I shouldn't have anyway, and now I don't. (Thank you for reminding me of that.)

~There is so much beautiful out there, and so many interesting things to see and learn and observe. And I don't mean to be disrespectful when those things are religious beliefs, but I find them fascinating and I hope to have lots of opportunities to move past my white-bread background.

~I only watched about 2/3 of Ratatouille tonight, but I called most of the plot. And you can't do that in real life--there isn't going to be a high point, then a low point, then a come back in real relationships. And that's a good thing. Ratatouille is cute, but I don't want my life to follow a formulaic plot. I'm OK with things being messy. And I don't believe in second chances.

~Good food, good wine, and better friends.

This may not entirely make sense to anyone else (See: four glasses of wine) and I'm OK with that.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Operation: Rescue Herman, Day 28

I have been remiss in blogging, and in updating you on Herman's status. I'm sure you have been on tenterhooks. You needn't have worried; there has been no change.

I forgot to introduce you to Fred.

Fred is a Plant Gnome, hailing from Canadia. He crossed the continent and braved the border to keep Herman company.

Part of my lack of updating is because spring has arrived in Boston.

Yesterday was spent playing Frisbee and learning to play Backgammon in the park. Today is the Boston Marathon, which would have wreaked havoc on my commute and work-day. So I'm relaxing at home today, instead.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Operation: Rescue Herman, Day 14

Day 14.

Not looking so hot. He's browner by the day. I've read you should trim the brown away...I may try cutting down so that all the brown is gone, but that would leave about an inch of green. We'll see how Herman is looking on day 21...drastic measures may be needed. Or fertilizer.

To prove I'm not a terrible plant-mommy, here's a picture of Ethel.

She and Hermie could teach Herman a thing or two about thriving. (Hermie is 7 years old, and has been almost exclusively in my care that entire time.)

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

I am 1 year old today

Today is my one year Blogger anniversary. By odd coincidence, it is also my 5 year LiveJournal anniversary.

I wanted to do something more in this entry, but I've still got a lot of work to do and tonight is the last regular games night, so I most likely won't have time to do it.

So this is my short, commemorative post. Perhaps I'll expand on it later.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Operation: Rescue Herman, Day 7

Herman has seen decidedly better days. My theory is that he is a type of dracaena, which are supposed to be very hardy plants, and hard to kill.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Unproductivity Software

If you know me at all, you probably know that I am something of a Google whore. I mean, this blog is hosted on Blogger, if I'm in front of a computer, Gmail is open, I use Google Docs & Spreadsheets (and have you seen their presentations? That's what the internet is supposed to be doing for us. Collaborative work over a distance. It's not there yet, but oh man.) I use Reader and have converted many friends to it. Etc.

But this was not always the case. When I got my Gmail account, way back in 2004, I was distressed by the inability to make folders. How would I possibly organize my emails? I wasn't familiar with tagging, or "labels" as Google calls them. Once I'd figured out what tagging was, and that I could tag emails in Gmail, I still resisted. As a result, I have severely under-utilized tagging my email for ease of finding things. But that's OK, because I can always search my email and find what I'm looking for. That recipe for fried peach pies from the Times? (OK, this is actually under my "recipes" tag, but bear with me) Searched and found.

It is stuff like this that makes me so frustrated when I come into work and have to use Microsoft products, particularly Outlook. There are things about Outlook that I like--it's easy to change the sorting of email, and once I've sorted by Sender, I can collapse all the emails from my boss so that I can find the one from that guy whose last name I can't remember.

But I really, really wish that Outlook had a good search engine. It has one, and it plods along and sometimes you can find what you want. If you are lucky. And my desire for a good search engine is dwarfed by my desire for tagging. I have a lot of emails that could be sorted into different folders--it is associated with a particular book, it is about a particular media supplement, and it discusses specific guidelines. I wish, rather than trying to figure out if this should go in a folder for the book, or the supplement, or an "Important" catch-all folder for guidelines, that I could tag it with the information I needed. I don't need hundreds of nesting folders--I need precise tags and good search capabilities.

Microsoft, you're supposed to be the leader in productivity software. Stop making me fight with your software to do simple stuff, and start making changes that actually, you know, enhance my productivity.

CAVEAT: I have no seen Office 2007. It is entirely possible that the changes they have made to Outlook for Office 2007 will render some or all of my complaints moot. But I doubt it.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Operation: Rescue Herman. Day 1

So, Herman belonged to friend L. She nearly killed him. I thought he was prematurely declared dead and given up on. J & T took Herman in an attempt to revive him in their sunny apartment. I suspect a combination of overwatering and underwatering nearly did him in. When J & T declared Herman a lost cause, I stepped up to the plate. Here he is, shorn of dead-weight. Hopefully, he can make a come back!

To the right is a cutting made from my plant Hermie. I've yet to name the plant, but have been considering "Hermie, Jr." and "Ethel." Suggestion welcome.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


I was just posting in Essjay's blog that I hadn't been tagged, and here was my smart-ass contribution, when I head over to iKate's blog, and lo and behold, I was tagged. Oops.

The Rules:
1. Pick up the nearest book of 123 (or more) pages.

Robert Blitzer's Introductory & Intermediate Algebra, Third Edition.

2. Open the book to page 123 and find the 5th sentence.

"In Exercises 59-66, use the given information to write an equation."

3. Post the next 3 sentences.

"Let x represent the number described in each exercise. Then solve the equation and find the number. 59. If a number is multiplied by 6, the result is 10."

4. Tag 5 people.

Um. Five people who haven't been tagged, read this blog, and want to do the meme. (Neener, neener.)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Sumer is a-cumen

I smelled spring yesterday, while walking near the Brookline/Brighton border. It was fleeting, that scent of green and growing and life. But it made the cold weather a bit easier to bear this morning.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Yellow Sun Is Shining In the Afternoon

OK, I always moan about Daylight Savings Time ending and starting. I don't like the disruption to my sleep schedule, or how I went to bed at 5 am but my body thought it was 4.

But I love that it's nearly 6 and my room is still filled with sunlight.

Also, just finished a mix for a friend and I'm really digging it. Hope she likes it, too.

Can I Stay Here With You Till the Morning?

Yesterday I was chagrined to realize that I only updated this blog three times in February. I thought I'd been doing better than that, but work took up so much of my time and energy that I didn't have the mental wherewithal to collect my thoughts into coherent mumblings. So I'm trying to do better this month, though work is still pretty all-consuming. (Hey, this is post number 2 for March, so I'm already 2/3 of the way to matching February, and we're only a week in!)

It feels bitterly cold outside, though it's not actually all that cold. It is incredibly windy, though, so the cold feels like it's cutting through to your bones. I went out to meet up with my friend at Trident for brunch, and had a good time hanging out with him. I'm a bad friend and don't hang out with him often enough. I also picked up the Collected Poems of Jane Kenyon, so I'm excited about that. I don't know what my problem is with trying to get back into writing, but I can't seem to kick start my brain or get myself to any of the poetic events or workshops in the Boston area.

I can't wait for spring. It's a bright, sunny day despite the cold and the wind, and I want to be outside and not cooped up in a scarf and fingerless gloves. I'm ready to put the sweaters away!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Something's gotta give

I'm running late. I never used to be late, but then all my late friends made me late. I'm going to blog anyway.

Work has been utterly, crazily, insanely busy. For months now. My coworker and I stay late day after day, week after week. As a result, I've been exhausted and stressed out pretty constantly since at least Christmas. There's too much to do, and not enough time or people, so you are always super late with SOMETHING. It's extremely frustrating.

But I hit the wall on Tuesday night. Or possibly Wednesday morning. I left work only half an hour late Tuesday, but with a splitting stress headache that was shooting down the right side of my neck into my back. I came home, scrounged up some sort of dinner, and just sort of vegetated in front of my computer. I eventually felt mentally capable of playing WoW, though I died. A lot. And then I was wide awake at 10, even though I wanted nothing more than to go sleep. I had a venting session with a phone, where I unloaded some of my work complaints, and went to bed at 11. When I woke up at 8 to go into work, there was just no way it was happening. I took half a personal day, and slept the entire morning. I'm still tired. Work is still busy. But that extra morning of sleep just left me feeling so refreshed and relaxed. I've felt like I was in a really good mood ever since. It made me realize just how unhappy I had been for the last few weeks--as a base state, I've had a lot of good times lately. It's almost like post-finals relaxed, or when you have that awesome night of hanging out with a friend, and spend the entire time laughing.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Anything for iKate

I had a request from iKate to post this picture.

Kelly's to the right, not paying attention, and Anree is way in the background, buying the same yarn I am holding.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Oh right, I'm supposed to talk about knitting here, too it too soon to say "it's been a long year"? Because it has. January and February have been crazy busy at work, plus I was sick for two weeks, went to NJ for a wedding, and have just generally been hanging out with people (and playing lots of Rock Band).

We had Weather yesterday. Lots of it. Sun. Snow. Sleet. Sun. Sun and sleet. Sun and snow and thunder. Sun. Clouds. Wind. More snow. Etc. So I spent all afternoon cleaning my room, which was desperately overdue (see: previous paragraph). I even unpacked the last box, which was full of yarn. It lives in an under-the-bed tupperware, now.

There's a lot I want to knit. The subway mittens (of the beast) from the Winter Interweave. Bloody Stupid Johnson from the Winter Knitty. But I was going to cast on for Hanami yesterday if I got a chance to knit. Yes, I'm pretty sure this means I've lost my mind. I think I'm OK with that. I'm just concerned because I REALLY want to use this yarn:

but I don't think it's going to work. (It's 100% Bombyx silk from Spirit Trail Fiberworks, purchased at Fiber Fest this summer.)

Thursday, February 7, 2008

She smells sea shores by the C line

I tend to forget that Boston is a coastal city. I hardly ever get down to the Harbor, and let's face it, these days, no one throws tea parties like they used to.

But every now and then, the wind shifts and I catch a scent of the sea. Usually a gray, overcast, wet kind of day like today

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Ave Genevieve

"Ave Maria," as performed by Aaron Rosand is just finishing playing in iTunes. When it started, I was just overwhelmed by missing my Grandma so much. Mr. Lenahan sang a version of Ave Maria at her funeral, which we're just shy of the 4 year anniversary of.

For someone who claims to be a writer, I have a hard time articulating that which I feel the most. My family is all bat-shit crazy, but I know Grandpa's always there for me--and I knew Grandma was, too, right up until the end.

I miss the way she used to ask me if I was sure I didn't want any more cookies/cake/junk food, and then tell me I was getting a fat fanny. I miss the 70 cents she used to put in our allowance, in case we needed to use the pay phone (enough for two calls a week!). I miss the rips in the kitchen table where I did all my homework from 3rd to 8th grade, while watching the Disney Afternoon and re-runs of Saved By the Bell or 90210. I miss the way she'd call Bush "your president." I miss the dismissive hand-wave she gave, head turned away, when you teased her. I miss the marble notebooks she used to calculate their taxes that were under the TV in the spare bedroom. I miss all the little things you forget because of the hospital smell and proliferating drug regime and the albuterol (that she always said was too salty) and because she was shrinking away until she was gone. And all the things you forget because she's gone, and we don't talk about her because you don't talk about the things that matter most.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church plan to picket Heath Ledger's funeral. (Pick an the time you click the link, I'm sure more will have been added.)

Disgusting. Sick. These people have no shame, and they give humanity a bad name.

Way to follow the teachings of Christ, there, Westboro Baptist Church. It makes me wish I believed in Hell, so that I could take comfort in the fact that you would be burning there for eternity after death.

Oh say say say Oh say say say Oh say say say

I am so sick of being sick. The most frustrating thing is that the symptoms are fairly mild in and of themselves, but they combine to leave me weak, tired, and dizzy. Huzzah. I think I'm over the hump of the illness, but it would be nice to be 100% again. Maybe my Rock Band performance will improve once I'm healthy! (I don't have a problem. I can stop any time I want.)

I'm at work after 5 again, because I have a physical therapy appointment for my ankle (which, the perceptive among you will remember I sprained back around Halloween. And it's still bothering me--today it hurt to walk on it). But rather than cross anything off my massive to-do list, I'm posting here. I'm also sick of my massive to-do list that never gets shorter, only longer.

But yesterday, I left work at 5, and it was still light out. I, the tone-deaf wonder, sang two songs on hard in Rock Band last night. My friend sent me the January 7th page from the New Yorker daily calendar because it has penguins. It's the little things.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

You can't go home again

Nothing like a cold to make you feel like you've been run over by a truck. Repeatedly. I've put in a day and a half at the office this week, and tomorrow I'm off to drive down to NJ. Tomorrow, G-pa turns 86, and Saturday, a good friend from high school is getting married.

She's not the first friend my age to get married, but for some reason, this feels more like the beginning of a new chapter in my life than previous marriages. There've been a lot of articles written about my generation and how we're taking our sweet time growing up (combination of bad job market and too much pressure in high school and college are the usual reasons given) and creating a new life-stage, between adolescence and adult-hood. I'm entirely too lazy to look up any of these articles, but I've read several over the last 3 years--had to do something while I was looking for jobs and living in my mom's basement (wait a minute…that's what all those articles were about...)--and I'm also too lazy to look up and see what they were proposing to call this new life stage. The first time I read one, it said "tweens," meaning between teenager and adult, but that’s since been co-opted by the pre-teen set.

So anyway. I don't really feel like an adult yet. I have a steady, 9-5 job (in my desired career path, no less). I pay rent and bills. But I still feel like I'm playing at being a grown-up. My friends have jobs, or they’re grad students, or off in Japan teaching English. Yet a lot of them feel similarly—that we’re just play-acting, like pre-schoolers playing “house” or “school.”

And now I've got this good friend from my past who is getting married. Sure, she's still a grad student, so if not for the impending ceremonies, she'd still be in this quasi-state with the rest of us. But she's going off into this new stage of life and that's absolutely crazy to me. Even if I walked out of my apartment tomorrow and bumped into the person who I want to spend the rest of my life with...I'm not there yet.

The other, really jarring thing about this is that it made me realize something that actually happened months, if not a couple of years ago. I'm still good friends with several of my friends from high school, and there are more who I don't talk to as often, but I am still friendly with. And they are "my friends from home." But one by one, we've moved on. The friend who is getting married is still based where we grew up, but that's not going to last long. I'm not saying that we're suddenly going to stop talking to one another, or going to visit one another, or fall completely out of touch. But it did make me realize that not only is that "chapter of my life" over, but the one after that is over, too. (I'm going to blame the cliché on being fever-addled most of the week.)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I'm sick, so this'll be a quick one.

If you want to vote in the MA primary, today is the last day to register to vote!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Elections and Voting and Primaries, Oh My!

So, on Thursday I went down to Ye Olde Town Hall and I registered to vote in Massachusetts. If you want to vote in the primary on February 5th, the deadline here is January 16th! Make sure you are registered, have any necessary absentee ballots, etc!

There are still a lot of problems with the way elections work in America. Certain states get more say in the nomination process than others, just because of when they hold their primaries. The electoral college is ridiculous. We desperately need campaign finance reform. Etc. But this election season (which admittedly already feels like it's been going on forever--buckle down, kiddies, we've still got 11 months to go!) is one of the most exciting I can remember. Iowa and New Hampshire both had record voter turn-outs. Both parties had surprising results in both states. People want change, and they are actually going out and doing something about it.

Check out Rock the Vote for more information on registering to vote in your state.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Shameless Plug!

So, my first job right out of college was as a bookseller at Barnes & Noble. I worked there for just over a year. It sucked. A lot.

But I met a lot of really awesome people, including my friend Chris. Chris, like me, was an idiot. We decided to graduate a semester early. We bonded over this a lot.

He wound up abandoning me for a cushy job, and a few months later, I finally got my break into publishing. But now he's done something that I think is pretty amazing, and takes a lot of balls.

He quit his cushy job with the intention of getting a short story published by his 25th birthday, giving him roughly 6 months to do so. He's posting his stories, and blogging, over at Becoming Somebody.

And make sure you read "The Often Unheralded Affect of Burnt Bagels and Weak Coffee." It's his best story yet.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Foliage, because all of it is gone

So, I'm a pretty slow knitter. The tendonitis doesn't help. And I have a couple of ambitious things on the needles (the Central Park Hoodie, for instance. Though that's for the frog-pile. And I started the Tilted Duster back in oh...October. And I have maybe 6 inches done on it.) So it's been a while since I finished anything.

But at long last, I can present to you my Foliage.

(Please to be ignoring the poor lighting--the color is off--and the ugly purple sleeping bag.)

I started this back at the beginning of December. "Self," I says, "you like knitting hats. They are quick, and this one is cute! And you need some Princess Bride and knitting!" Sometimes, I am not so smrt. This pattern took pretty much all of my concentration. I couldn't do ANYTHING else while knitting it, or else I made stupid, stupid mistakes. And they were stupid, the pattern isn't hard. Just attention-consuming. All those yarn-overs and slip 1 knit 2 together and pass the slipped stitch overs! Very confusing.

The details (which can also be found on Ravelry, for those with accounts):

Yarn: Malabrigo Merino, less than one skein in Burgundy. The yarn was a gift from Essjay and her husband, and I love it.
Needles: Clover Bamboo Double Pointed Needles, sizes 7 and 4.
Start to Finish: December 2007 to January 2007
Modifications: Used size 4's for the ribbing instead of 5's, left off the last two rounds of ribbing due to impatience. Initially, I'd done a knit-off but it was too tight, so I picked it out and did a knit 1, purl 1 bind off. I don't love the edge it gives, but it's much stretchier.