Thursday, January 29, 2009

Finished! My So-Called Scarf

Three posts in 2 days? You lucky, lucky faithful readers you!

I just finished the My So Called Scarf I started back in August of 2007. Yes. It did take me a year and a half to knit one measly little scarf. I'm going to claim it's because it's so soft and luscious I didn't want to finish knitting it. Yeah, that's it.

Apparently, I have thus far failed to blog about this scarf. Oops. Ravelry link to my project here.

Yarn is Malabrigo worsted, in Autumn Forest. I used about a skein and a half, I think. Cast on 30 stitches, as per the pattern, and knit until the scarf hung to my knees when draped around my neck. I'd probably make it wider if I made it again.
Used Knit Picks Options, size 11.

It's an incredibly easy stitch pattern to memorize, what with it being the same two rows repeated ad infinitum. Perfect for the T or watching TV or reading a book, if I remember to use my book stand. But it's not particularly boring. It IS hard to fix mistakes, though.

I'm looking forward to wearing this for the first time tomorrow!

Hope Whatever Just Cracked Wasn't Important...

When I was a freshman in high school, I started taking Tae Kwon Do classes at the same school my little brother was going to. Being 14, however, put me in the adult class (which I was fine with, because I didn't want to go to class with my brother.). I was am a big fantasy geek, so getting to learn hand-to-hand fighting was a big bonus in my eyes, plus I was pretty lazy and needed the exercise. Never really liked playing sports (competitively, anyway, for fun is OK), and have always hated going to the gym or running, so having a reason for my exercise was awesome.

I never quite understood what Mr. D (I almost typed "Sir", as that was what we most often called him, and how my mom still refers to him) was talking about when he'd talk about how the winter and the cold make you stiff and how important it is to stretch more in the winter. I was a teenager, and since I was active (I went to class 2-3 times a week, on average, sometimes more, until I was 18), I was pretty flexible. And I'd get a little stiffer in the cold, but not that much. Now I am 25, and have been mostly inactive since I was 18 (except for brief spurts of activity and fitness). I'm not old yet, but I definitely feel the difference the winter air makes. Especially now that I've started taking yoga classes at the gym (OK, I've gone twice. But that's a start!) and can't do things I used to be able to do, or can't do things I think I would've been able to do. And yes, some of it is just that I've been lazy for the past 7 years. But I can also feel that my muscles and ligaments are a little more set in their ways than they used to be, a little less willing to make that movement. (Or in some cases, a lot.) At least my bum ankle was more flexible yesterday than it was on Friday.

Maybe if I keep it up, I'll feel like I once more deserve to wear the black belt that's sitting around collecting dust in my mom's house.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

C'mon, hips, not even a little fib?

Today I brought apple slices with peanut butter for a snack, rather than hitting up the vending machine for chocolatey goodness. I am trying to eat more healthily, partly because I have been slightly infected with the New Year's resolutions-vibe, and partly because, like Shakira, my hips don't lie. They will tell you exactly how many cookies I eat, and what kind. My hips are kind of bastards like that.

So, in an effort to reverse the ever-so-slight expansion of my waist, apple slices with peanut butter. There is first the dilemma of how to transport the apple, whole or already in slices. Already in slices, it naturally starts to oxidize so by 3:30 your apple is kind of brownish, though not too bad. If you bring a whole apple, you either have to bring a knife to slice it, or you have to rely on those available to you at your office. At my office, there is an enormous "cake knife" that looks like it came from the set of Psycho, or plastic butter knives. It is actually possible to cut a Granny Smith apple into slices with a butter knife, but it's not a particularly fun activity, nor one I recommend. (Especially after I nearly sliced my finger. With a plastic butter knife!) Then there is the issue of peanut butter transport. I could have just brought the whole jar of peanut butter, but that seemed like it would be heavy and bulky and just plain excessive. So I found a small tupperware and spooned some in.

The problem here, of course, is the one I always face when I have a limited amount of dipping/spreading foodstuff. I can't ensure that I won't run out of peanut butter before I reach the last apple slice unless I spread it evenly onto all apple slices before I begin eating, and that's pretty lame, and anyway, these slices are not at all even and some of them are actually "chunks." So instead, I find myself skimping on the first few slices, using not-quite-enough-peanut butter, until I reach the last slice. Invariably, I have skimped too much early on and am left with far too much delicious peanut butter, so that I am actually basically eating the peanut butter with the apple slice as a mere conduit for it's sticky, delicious goopiness.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


The universe does have a cruel sense of humor. Barely 24 hours after I posted my not-for-the-new-year-specifically resolutions, but they are tested. My workload is more than doubling for the next year--year and a half, which probably means permanently.

But, in the spirit of my resolutions, I am choosing to focus on the positive implications of this, rather than the scary parts: I will be working with all-new people, which will expose me to different processes. I will therefore be more well-rounded of an employee, and if I do well, will impress more people, which will lead to good things down the road. There will probably be some new responsibilities involved in this that I currently don't handle, which could at some point help me segue into a higher position. The fact that I have been added to this new-to-me book team means that my boss has confidence in me and my abilities and thinks I can handle it. (He always thinks highly of what I can handle. I hope he is right.)

Also in the spirit of my resolutions, I started journaling again last night. I'm hoping that by just writing brain-dump entries I can sort them out. Or at least get them off my mind for a while. It does feel a little silly to maintain a blog and a journal, but I don't feel there is the space here to be as honest and forthright as I need to be. And posting everything I think on the internet is a bit too much like my college/livejournal days for comfort.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Resolving, Revolving, Revolting?

I haven't made New Year's resolutions. I haven't even really thought about New Year's resolutions, except sometimes when I saw them referred to on various blogs or Ravelry-threads, and even then it only crossed my mind long enough to read the words. It's not that I don't think they can be a good idea, if properly implemented and followed-through, it's just that I'm lazy. And all the things I would make resolutions about are things that I know are problems, and am trying really hard to get better about, and think (hope, really) that I am getting better about, despite the occasional (usually huge) slip-ups.

Everyone has character flaws, and I don't think mine are really any more glaring than anyone else's are. Obviously, they are forgivable: otherwise, my brother, sisters, cousins and I would never have been born. But I don't like these things about myself. In fact, they tend to infuriate me in other people, which probably means I need to add some degree of hypocrisy to that list of flaws (unless it's mitigated by my acknowledgment that I share these problems, and am trying to work past them?).

I am attempting to let things bother me less. Particularly things/persons I perceive to be stupid, inefficient, or both. This will lessen my overall stress levels because if I don't allow them the become stress in the first place.

I am attempting to complain less. Once something has bothered me, I want to let it go faster, rather than dwell on it. There is a fine line between venting and just being spiteful. I need to learn to actively do something to fix a situation, or shut up and deal with it.

I am still looking for a way to release stress/tension/anxiety better. I need to look harder, because I have not, in all honesty, done much about this.

I am attempting to argue less, at least about the things that don't matter. This. Is. Hard. Help would be appreciated here, preferably BEFORE I've annoyed everyone around me.

That being said, I am attempting to be more perceptive of when I have crossed the line.

I am attempting to be less (negatively) sensitive to criticism. Sometimes, people are just trying to help.

Part of my goal is that by releasing these various negative things from my life, I will have more mental energy for happy things.

ETA: I'm pretty sure this post counts as complaining about myself. FAIL. :D

And all the little bloggers go "tweet"?

Blog fail! Oops.

First day back in the office of the new year, first day back after a week and a half of vacation, so clearly I must blog.

I signed up for Twitter, on the recommendation of a friend, when I expressed bewilderment at the whole idea. He said I needed to start using it, and use it for a while, before I'd get it. I'm cawthraven, since someone stole the name Stiney. The nerve. I'm not sure I get it, still, but I suspect that I often think in "tweets" (or at least non sequiturs) so maybe it's not so weird.