Sunday, December 27, 2009

Not entirely unlike The Exorcist. Also, mittens.

I started a pair of fingerless mittens using the skein of yummy soft Malabrigo chunky. It's an almost instant gratification project. I'm using this pattern. (note: you have to have a Ravelry account to see it). The left mitt is almost done, see?

I was too lazy to pull out the swift and ball winder for a single skein last night, so I wound the pull ball on the nostepinne.*

In other news, we've cleaned up cat barf five times today between two cats. Tiger is slowly recovering from a serious illness and occasionally, much like a scene from The Exorcist, has trouble keeping his food down - this was one of those days. Both of them are getting over a persistent cold, the main symptom of which has been one or the other sneezing on us at every opportunity. To make today even better, they're both working on hairballs. To top it off, Ford got into my glass of milk this evening with predictable results.

The onslaught seems to have abated for now, thank goodness. Tiger is resting comfortably out front on his chair, the poor thing. Ford has decided to take out his frustrations on a piece of scrap paper, and is shredding it into little bits as I type. And he's still eyeing my glass of milk, because "cause" and "effect" mean nothing to him when there's milk involved. And also, he's hungry. Can't imagine why.

That's pretty much it, here. Mittens and cat barf. I think I need a vacation from my vacation.

*A fancy name for a very useful stick.

Friday, December 25, 2009

It's sentimental, I know

A simple thought for the season:

I quite like the songs, too.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

*tap* *tap* Is this thing still on?

Dum, de dum, de... Oh crap! I have a blog!

Things have been a little crazy the last few months. Autumn is over. Solstice was Monday. I am tired. I'm also mostly on vacation. When I declared myself to be on vacation yesterday afternoon, I felt guilty about it for exactly 3.4 seconds. Then I remembered what I've been doing for the last four months (longer, really, since I was also teaching in the summer and last Jan-May).

From September to now, I have:
- Taught a class of 140 students, with 2 TAs. Finals still need to be graded, but I'm working through that. The first part-time job.
- Finished and submitted the written version of my Big D proposal, 70+ pages. The other part-time job.
- Defended that proposal orally, in a 1 hour presentation to the faculty and graduate students of my department. I am now *officially* ABD (All But Dissertation).
- Given two conference presentations, on different topics, within 2 weeks of each other in October.
- Done the final re-read on a joint paper so that it could finally be re-submitted.
- Tried, with medium success, to attend my weekly band rehearsals, occasional quintet rehearsals, and SCA meetings.
- Helped out with two full-day SCA events in September, and played 4 or 5 concerts, between the band and quintet.
- Helped to nurse a very sick kitty (Tiger) this past month. We almost lost him, but he's doing much better now.
- Not fallen apart, mentally or physically. Mostly mentally.

That last one is huge. I can't tell express how huge. A year ago I was in complete shut down. I still have *days*. I still don't like getting out of bed most of the time. But I can, and I do, and that's what counts. I still drop balls (see that bit about the final exams still needing to be graded!), but I usually catch them on the first bounce.

Of course, there has been knitting and otherwise playing with string. The double-knit hat from hell is has been finished since September, and even now it's almost too warm to wear. It's a hat for the coldest of the cold sub-zero plus windchill days:

My model prefers to retain his anonymity

I also just finished this scarf, probably my longest-term WIP ever, started on July 4, 2001. I hadn't bought my own set of knitting needles at that point, and started it on a pair of Gram's old 1950's metal needles (pink). I'm not fond of knitting on metal, and the combination of yarns was extra frustrating (mohair and rayon). I would do an inch or two and then put it up for a year. Long ago, I declared it would be done when I ran out of one or the other yarn. I finally, blessedly ran out of rayon Monday night! I present the lace scarf, final length just over 7 feet (before blocking):

Lace scarf from Knitting for Dummies, started July 4, 2001, finished December 24, 2009.

And then there was this little guy, made not quite in time for Remembrance Day.

Pattern available from Laura Chou, Cosmic Pluto, and please donate to the Royal Canadian Legion Poppy Fund

There has also been yarn shopping therapy, oh yes. I have plans for all of these...

Top to bottom: malabrigo chunky, some worsted-weight merino-silk blend, and DK alpaca.

There has also been spindle-shopping therapy. First, the good deals:

Inexpensive beginner pine spindle bought, along with four of its siblings, at Pennsic from Baron Tancred of Tancred's Tangled Wood (no website). Boat-anchor spindle by Roger Hawins (Peterborough, ON), bought for a holy-crap-whattadeal price at Gemini Fibres.

And then the other very good deal, but not due to the price:

A Forrester supported spindle with yellowheart whorl and birch shaft, and a paduak bowl, bought at Gemini Fibres in Mt Albert, ON.

I was torn between this bowl and a purpleheart one that had a small hole in the corner to hold the spindle, but the yellow whorl and orange bowl are beautiful together in a uniquely warm way. The fibre is this cochineal-tin dyed roving that I bought at Pennsic in 2008. Now I just need to learn to use a supported spindle properly!

In eight minutes it will be Christmas Day. Nothing special planned, we prefer no-stress holidays. We'll have the usual lunch at the in-laws, perhaps a board game or three, some knitting, and possibly our traditional trip to whichever local Starbucks has the honour of being open so that their employees don't feel like they're there for nothing. Overall, it's going to be a good day, that much I know.

Five minutes. G'night.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

A Magpie in Autumn

Aaaah! *flail*

Elisem is having a sale again. And people, the prices are getting darned good.

So much for my self-imposed moratorium on buying jewelry and other shiny things. I've already bought this pendant

And there are tektites, meteorite beads and dinosaur bone beads. Yes, that's right, meteorites and dinosaur bone beads.

Go, go, go. We'll talk when you get back.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

If it were E.T. phoning home, I'd be more OK with it

I press a button near my ear. There's a little *bleep*, and a digital female voice says, "Say command."

"Call home," I reply.

"Did you say, 'Call home?' "



The province is introducing a law at the end of the month prohibiting the use of hand-held devices while driving. Cell phones. MP3 players. As of the end of the month, you have to be able to operate them hands-free if you're behind the wheel.

If only they could prohibit pedestrians from using the same distracting hand-held devices while crossing the street, we'd be all set. I had two separate potential my-fault-accidents walk out in front of me — without looking, against their signals and into the middle of downtown traffic — while talking on their phones this Friday afternoon. But I digress.

I get it, I really do, and I fully support the law. I don't use my cell phone in the car that much, but I'm certainly guilty of taking and making calls once in a while while driving, and it's a convenience that I'm not willing to give up. What that means, though, is that I'm being dragged kicking and screaming into a little more technology in my daily life than I am completely comfortable with.

I'm of that in-between generation. The internet started to become more widely used while I was an undergraduate in the early 90s, but the web didn't come about for several years after that. I was an early, if slightly reluctant, internet user, but it quickly became integral to how I communicated with friends. I could telnet into a MUSH and talk with them in real-time when I was on the other side of the ocean. Email was a necessity. When the WWW came in, I was in my early 20s, and I acclimated just fine. These days, I check my email compulsively and usually have my laptop nearby. I'm a Mac girl, through and through.

It took me longer to get a cell phone than an ISP. It seemed... too much connectivity. I finally broke down in 1998 after a car accident in Western PA, and we realized how much issue it would have been had we not had family right there with us to help out. Only a handful of people have the number, and to this day, my cell plan is the cheapest one I can get that includes voicemail. I do not have an IPhone or a Blackberry, it's just a basic cell phone. It has a camera, that's kind of cool, but whatever. I do not have data or text messaging. Honestly, I have three email addresses and I check them 50 bazillion times a day. I'm not hard to reach. I have to draw the line somewhere.

Which brings us to today, me sitting in a cafe with a bizarre-looking earpiece sticking out of my ear. I figured I'd try this hands-free cellphone thingy out when it's not critical, so we set it up and I went out to do some errands on a Sunday afternoon. I'll admit, the voice-dialing thing is neat. I knew the phone had the feature, I just never used it.

I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror as I was heading out the door, and realized that I look like one of those people that annoy the living shit out of me - earpiece sticking out of their ear, you never know when they might stop talking to you to take a phone call that you didn't hear coming. They talk loudly, and apparently to themselves, in the coffee shop or in the line instead of ordering or paying. I'm reminded of one of those stories where everyone is plugged into their technology all the time and it takes over their minds. I sighed.

"I look ridiculous."

DH stuck his head around the corner.

"Hey, just pretend you're like Uhura. 'Captain, you have a call...' "

I grinned. You know, I hadn't thought of it that way.

"Captain, Priority One message for you from Starfleet," I said in my best phone-professional voice.

"There you go!"

Sometimes, he really knows what to say to make me feel better. If Uhura can have that thing sticking out of her ear and still be awesome, I'm good, right?


"Did you say, 'Call home?' "


The line begins to ring on the other end, and my husband answers the phone.

"Starbase 5-8-0-0 here."

"Hi, honey."

"You broke the ship again, didn't you?"

I break into peals of laugher. I love that man.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

[Insert witty title here]

I am beat. Spent. Wiped.

Also, I am in Edmonton at the moment.

These two things seem to be related.

The first conference talk of the month, and I did not make an ass of myself. In my world, that is an unqualified success. (ETA *)

The last month has been a frenzy of preparing lectures, doing revisions, writing conferences papers (one to go, in two weeks), helping to run events, band concerts, wrangling sick cats, battling moths and sticking a thermometer in the mouth of a sick husband. There have been occasional moments here and there of knitting, dyeing and weaving, but they have been few and very far between. My schedule is so screwed up, I'm not sure I could immediately recognize my husband when he's awake.

We pulled out Audrey the Indigo Vat last week to get her going again for our annual early October dye day. She wasn't quite at full speed for the day last Saturday, but I've heard that she's going gangbusters now. She's still hanging out at friend Helena's house, in the shed, on her heating pad, since I was preparing for Edmonton this week and didn't have a chance to go pick up and wrangle back home a big Rubbermaid bin containing a very stinky4-gallon jar of 18-month old fermented urine. It's good to have friends who understand "BYOP", and do it without question.

Also, I finished the neverending double-knit not-a-toque. It's big and warm and comfy.

A real update, with pictures and everything, perhaps when I get home tomorrow. After I commune a bit with my bed, cats and husband, not necessarily in that order.

* Well, Would you look at that. Huh. I guess it went better than I thought.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Progress With Work begets Playing With String

Ah, September. I love September. The weather is cooler, but not too cool. I don't need a jacket yet, but I don't want to lay around all day under a fan and sweat. Summer really is my least productive time of year. I turn into a sweaty, useless lump. This is not helped by our air conditioner being dead - not a huge deal, really, expect for that one week. But still. Hot and sticky = cranky me.

My Big D proposal draft was turned in on August 15. On August 20, I received the following email from CM1. I thought it was worth posting here verbatim, because it is both hilarious (to me) and touching:
I raced through the thesis proposal these last two days because I won't be back again for a couple of weeks. It sounds good to me. It is repetitive and method-obsessed but readable and as sensible (surely) as anything else in the literature on register. All my comments in the attached pages are editorial, not substantive. I will have to study your results more closely eventually but for now the document seems to me to be clearly acceptable as the basis for a thesis proposal. No problem. (Organizing it in PowerPoint will undoubtedly make it more svelte.) I am well pleased. And happy, of course, to see you emerge from a long battle in such good shape. Nice going.

In person, he also told me that he had wanted to check before he left that it was "sane" (it was, which made him happy), and that he was pleased that I was once again "as comprehensible as you've ever been."

I thanked him, and told him it was possibly the first time I'd ever received an email using the word "svelte." To that end, I believe CM1 has now earned himself an official Blog Name. He is henceforth Sir C for his amazing ability to interweave Compliments and Constructive Criticism in the most Concise and Creative ways. Also, this is the first time I've felt complimented by someone telling me I was Comprehensible.

A little back story: Sir C is very well aware of my battle with depression over the last several years, and has been unwavering in his support for me to talk about it openly, admit and come to terms with it, and never consider it something shameful or to be hidden. This attitude is something I appreciate more than I can say, especially coming from a field like academia, where it seems every grad student goes through a bout of depression at some point, and there is still a certain amount of stigma attached to "taking some time off" for that reason. Sir C has also, in the nine years over which he's read my work, never been particularly comfortable with my writing style, something we've discussed many times. "Method-obsessed" is absolutely, 100% true, and everyone who knows me knows that I am, indeed method-obsessed. Part of my purpose in the Big D is to improve on methodology. His comment is his way of saying he recognizes that and it's fine, but I also need to work a little more substantive theory in there yet before it's done - and he is correct, as always.

In the meantime, the fall term starts tomorrow, and I start teaching again on Thursday. It's the same class I taught in January, so at least my prep time is minimal. I expect to hear from Lady S (that's S for Supervisor, since we're revisiting the blog-name thing) and CM2 (Committee Member 2, as yet blog-nameless) soon, and then maybe this thing can move forward. I've taken the last couple weeks off, except for a few rounds of The Administrative Paperwork Dance, which is a neverending production in academia.

But! The important things! There has been progress on things which involve Playing With String!

One blanket, star and moon charted by me, the overall design and layout cribbed from another pattern.

And a picture of the back, because I'm weird that way:

It will not be backed at the recipient's request.

Hopefully I'll be able to catch up with and hand it off to its intended this week. With that finished, I returned to the Double-Knit Not-A-Toque of Doom:

DH thinks it should be high enough now, so I'll start decreasing in a couple more rows.

No major screw-ups for the last couple inches. Crap, I just jinxed it, didn't I?

Finally, I have a warped loom, and I'm not afraid to use it:

A full-width dummy warp for the colour samples for the Coppergate textile (wabengewebe pattern) yardage, which I'll be weaving possibly eternity.

I've been wandering around in a daze today, convinced that there's something I'm supposed to be doing that I'm forgetting. I've come to the realization that, in fact, I'm extremely well aware of everything that I have to get done this week - including several things for tomorrow - and the fact that I don't feel like doing them is what's causing me to be such a space cadet.

And on that note, I'm going to soak in the tub.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

What summer?

It's nearly the middle of August, and I'm not even sure I remember July. I just finished teaching a summer-term course - an entire 12-week semester course crammed into 6 weeks. This means I write and delivered two two-hour lectures per week for six weeks, as well as preparing two hours of tutorial material per week. It's as crazy for the instructors as for the students. As one of my friends said, "If teaching summer courses were easy, the profs would be doing it, not the grad students."

A friend and I did manage to sneak down to Pennsic for the August long weekend, though, spend three days there and coming home in time for me to teach class on Tuesday evening. It was exhausting, but worth every minute of the drive. Glad we went, and glad we didn't stay longer (although, I would have loved to have been there Wednesday night, but it was not an option). We were ready to leave Tuesday morning, though.

My friend got in a couple days' worth of glass bead classes (i.e. "playing with fire"), and I got in a couple days' worth of warping my loom (i.e. "playing with string") at my favourite Pennsic hangout, Seelie's picnic table in the back of her shop, with other weavers. Aside from that, all I did was some shopping, a lot of walking, and a little visiting with the parents. Picked up a nice umbrella (which I can't find at the moment, how does that happen?), a solid cloak clasp, another good hair pin (which I'm wearing), some warp yarn (pale yellow Cottolin, for a specific project), and year's supply of honey. I did not buy fabric I don't need, or an alpaca or llama fleece which I need even less. I did get my niece addicted to weaving. All in all, I have to call it a good weekend's work.

Knitting on the Wiglet Blanket for my friend's newborn continues. ("Wiglet" was the baby's nickname while he was in utero, and it has stuck). Should be done soon, only one more easy block row to go. Here is Tiger demonstrating how it is both comfy and cool at the same time:

Guess I'll be washing that before it goes out...

The sky has just opened on us in what can only be described as a deluge, cooling down one of the stickiest warm days in what has so far been a cool, wet summer. There's a helluva light & sound show out there. Time to go watch.

It's good to be home.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The luck just outside our door

My mother has this strange, magical and occasionally infuriating ability to find four-leaf clovers. I suspect it's her superpower. She can be walking through a parking lot or down a city street, glance at a patch of grass and Bam! Four-leaf clover. She's been doing it all my life.

Over the years, she has taken to picking and pressing them, keeping them as reminders of places she's been. Sometimes she finds so many that she gets distracted, and sometimes it drives Dad a little crazy,* even though he generally finds it endearing, her looking for napkins to press them in, writing on it when and where she found it and bringing them home. There are napkins with pressed four-leaf clovers around the house, in books, in drawers and around her office desk.

Mom was visiting a few weeks ago and went out back in the morning to sit at the picnic table with her coffee and read, as she likes to do. Our backyard is now filled with flowering clover, which we have neglected to mow, partly out of laziness and partly because we like it, and its bee-friendliness. Some days it's positively buzzing.

Mom sat down and started to read. Within seconds, she was distracted. One. Two four-leaf clovers.

"I have to stop this," she said, "it's insane. Oh, for heaven's sake, there's another one!" She hadn't even gone into the clover patch yet - she was still standing next to it.

I went and got her a paper towel to press them.

"Can you see them?" she asked. I looked carefully, and no. Not for the life of me. It's definitely her superpower, not mine.

"It's like the pattern just jumps out at me. See? Here's another one. That's four. Dammit. I'm going to have to go inside, or I'll never stop."

It's a little comforting that I seem to come by my OCD-ish tendencies honestly.

As for me... I've been busy. Very busy. Working. Writing. Teaching. Playing. Going a little crazy with the Busy, trying not to drop any balls that are too fragile to hit the ground, catching others after the first bounce.

But you know what? I have house full of love and a backyard full of luck. It'll all bee fine.

* This might also be partly because he can't find them; this is a man who can spot a deer in a far-away field while driving on the interstate at 70mph.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Snippets from Crazyland, Academia

I met with my full thesis committee last week for the first time in over two years. The players:

Me: Eternal student, trying to get back on track.
Lady S: My long-suffering supervisor.
CM1: Committee member 1, another long-suffering mentor who I adore, even if we don't always agree.
CM2: New committee member, a recent hire.

What follows are some of my favourite excepts:


Lady S to CM1 and CM2: I've been getting regular updates on her draft. My last email to Bridget was last Monday, titled, "Where is it?"

Me: Was that the one that I responded to you with song lyrics?

Lady S: Yep.

Me (thoughtfully): It was a good song.


Lady S (digging through her file cabinet): Why can't I find your folder?

Me: I don't know, they should be easy to spot, you have, like, 7 years of them now.

CM2: She has seven years of folders on you?

Me: Or is it eight?


CM1 (looking over my CV): You spelled "assisstant" (sic.) with one too many S's on the top of page 6.

CM2: And two lines below that, I guess that's a copy-paste?

Me: Actually, I was going to say that was me being as "ass," but yes. And oh look, here's the same typo again! And again! Joy.


CM1 (looking at a journal citation on my CV): Shouldn't this title be italicized and not in quotes? Since it's a special volume?

Me: You know, I specifically checked the Chicago Manual of Style on that one and apparently, this is how they do it.

CM1 (once an editor always an editor): I don't know about that...

Me (once a typesetter always a typesetter): I'd be happy to send you the reference to the page in Chicago or bring it in...

CM1: That won't be necessary. *pause* Besides, we don't use Chicago style...

We continue to nag each other for a couple more minutes about editorial minutae.

CM2: I would be very surprised if anyone else ever noticed the difference.

Me: True. And we can continue to argue about italics and quotes later.

Lady S (ever patiently): Yes, thank you.


Lady S: So, what day shall we set for you to turn in the draft?

Me (firmly): This coming Monday.

CM1: Are you sure? Will you be able to finish it by then, do you think?

Me (grinning): Well, since you're giving me the option, how about the following Monday?

Lady S: If we give her another week now we'll have to pry it out of her hands in two weeks.

Me: Without a doubt. This coming Monday, then?


Miraculously, I'm not only still a graduate student, but apparently things are going okay.

PS: Note to self, do not open and look at your previous semester's teaching evaluations from your students while working in the department four hours prior to your long-dreaded committee meeting, for which you are not yet ready. Save it for when there's wine, and possibly fire.

PPS: Monday approaches, and the draft is not yet ready.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Ask not what we do to history; ask what history does to us*

Some days, I think, should simply be re-written. Forgotten. Pages removed from The Book and dropped into the fire.

I tried to explain this to a Librarian once, and was threatened with excommunication and confiscation of all of my library cards for being a heretic. Librarians can be scary.

Mind you, some days, I want to be a Librarian too. "Fear me," I would say, and others would tremble as they handed their books back. Naturally, I would only use my Super Seekrit Reference-Finding Powers and my Mighty Data Mining Decoder Ring for good. Also, my cape would look suspiciously like a lace shawl.

Obviously, I digress.

I think what The Librarian didn't understand is that I wasn't implying that it was only the bad days that should be forgotten.

History is tomorrow's spoilers. "Doomed to repeat itself if forgotten" and all that.

On those days when it seems like there is nothing new in the world, nothing exciting that can make me want to do, to create, I curse my inconveniently good memory and beg to forget something that made me insanely happy so that I can rediscover it and be insanely happy about it again.

It's a slippery slope, I know. Remember that episode of Fantasy Island, where the couple wanted to fall in love again, so they were made to forget each other and they almost hooked up with the wrong people? I know I'm the sum of my experiences, of my history, and I like who I am, and I wouldn't erase a part of that. To quote a truth from an otherwise unfortunate movie, "I need my pain!"** Eventually, something else comes along that brings me joy again. I hold out for those moments, because if I lost hope in them, I would surely go crazy.

But still, there are some days...

...some days when I wonder if in order to experience true joy again, we first need to forget what it was like.

*A musing on the pendant What We Do To History, made by elisem.

**And just what does God need with a Starship, anyhow?

Thursday, June 04, 2009

In which I re-read the last post and cringe. And also, shoes.

Wow, when I resort to blogging song lyrics, you know it's been a rough week. Let's move on to hopefully better things, shall we?

This, I think, should be the lunch of hardworking graduate students everywhere:

Iced tea (Jasmine), cherries (Mmmmm), and a generic version of my second-favourite Girl Scout cookie, Samoas, (which are not sold by the Girl Guides in Canada.)

I recently stocked up on these cookies in the event of a Zombie Apocalypse. For the record, Thin Mints are my favourite GS cookie. They don't sell those in Canada, either; they have a different chocolate mint cookie that I don't like nearly as much. It's OK, I maintain a US supplier for Thin Mints.

On the weekend, I believe I submitted what is officially the Crappiest Abstract Ever. We shall see. I had another abstract accepted yesterday to a different conference (which I'm even looking forward to), so even if CrappyAbstract is rejected - and well it should be - I can relax and be OK with its complete suckiness.

My stress has been finding new and interesting ways to manifest itself. I've never been much of a stress-relief shopper. Today, though, in a rare and bizarre fit of vanity (and definitely stress relief), I bought three pairs of Very Nice Shoes, from a great store that is normally outside my price range, but does indeed have exceptionally nice and somewhat unique things, and was having a great sale.

I can naturally rationalize this by pointing out that my current "dress" shoes are several years old and no longer qualify as nice in any sense of the word. Further, I had intended, very soon, to buy both some decent new SCA garb-appropriate footwear (which I got today X 2), as well as something tastefully dressy for black concert wear - preferably with heels for a change, as I haven't owned a pair of heels in years. This is all true, and rational, and perfectly explainable.

Or, I can just let out a crazy-lady whoop and say, "Yeehaw! I bought Shoes!! I did it just because I wanted to, and They Are Awesome!!" It seems like such a wonderfully typical female thing to do, and I'm of a mood to embrace that bit of myself that I usually don't allow out of the bottle.

Go ahead, tell me these don't kick ass. Really, go for it, I dare you. You're wrong! HAHAHAHA!!

So, yeah, I don't shop for shoes much. Or clothes, for that matter. I tend to view clothes shopping as a form of torture. So when the mood strikes, the finances are acceptable and I find something I like, I take that as a sign and go with it.

Ahem. So, to sum up: Abstract fail and success, writing semi-fail, shoe success. It all balances out, and even allows for some happiness. And on the theme of balance and happiness, two happy cats, my opposite-boys:

Tiger, who prefers to sleep in the poofiest, cuddliest spot available, and right up against a human who will pet him indefinitely if possible, but does not, under any circumstance, like to be picked up or held.

Ford, who is usually up for several furious, in-your-face snuggles per day, but who likes to sleep at least partially on a cool, flat surface, away from potential human (or other) contact.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

"Even when it's approaching torture, I've got my routine"

A year ago today, I had a Very Bad Day. It wasn't that kind of bad, if you understand my meaning. No one was in physical danger. But it was still bad.

Friends helped. Family helped. Talking helped. Medicine helped.

Things are better today.

And yet there is something I still struggle with, a lingering leftover from That Day. I have still not written the thing I was working on when I had my Very Bad Day. I fight with it, I poke around at it, I write a little and then I stop. And the next day, it starts again. Some days I give up completely and walk away. Sometimes it's for weeks at a time.

This has been going on far too long.

It's not that the thing I'm writing is hard - well, OK, actually it is hard, and it's supposed to be hard - but I've done things that are much harder in the past. This one, though, is linked to the Very Bad Day, and until I get through it, That Day will always be there, hanging over me. And more to the point, if I don't finish it in the very near future, I will be willfully, intentionally shooting myself in the foot, sacrificing years of work and time on my part and many others' because I had a Very Bad Day that I'm afraid to face again.

All the flowers have fallen from the magnolia tree out back, and it is fully, lushly green. Nature waits for no one, not even for me to find a way to write the thing I was supposed to have written before that last flower fell. So, I will pick up again from yet another missed deadline, and keep plugging.

The innernets, though, has a wicked sense of humour. As I was sitting here wasting time this evening, surfing the endless seas of YouTube, thinking about what I should be doing while I was doing anything but, thinking about one year ago today, and promises, and magnolia trees, this song came up unexpectedly, randomly, and I knew it was right (repeated lyrics edited):

Oh, for the sake of momentum
I've allowed my fears to get larger than life
And it's brought me to my current agendum
Whereupon I deny fulfillment has yet to arrive

And I know life is getting shorter
I can't bring myself to set the scene
Even when it's approaching torture
I've got my routine

Oh, for the sake of momentum
Even though I agree with that stuff about seizing the day
But I hate to think of effort expended
All those minutes and days and hours
I have frittered away.

But I can't confront the doubts I have
I can't admit that maybe the past was bad
And so, for the sake of momentum
I'm condemning the future to death
So it can match the past.

- Aimee Mann, "Momentum" (from the Magnolia soundtrack)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

So many palettes, so little time

This week we finally had a warm enough day, one where I could leave the back door open and let the fresh air in. There are still flowers on the magnolia tree, though they are dropping fast. The wind is helping them along. The forsythia is greening. The lilacs are about to bloom. On weekdays, I can hear the bell of the elementary school on the street behind us, calling in the kids from lunch and recess. Someone is mowing their lawn. Hrm, perhaps we should think about that.

That clover is far too high to be real.

Notice that there are still flowers on the magnolia tree, although they are falling fast. As such, my draft is not yet turned in to Lady S, but it must be soon. I have not yet resorted to glueing flowers back on to the tree. She made a point to remind me on Friday to "not mess with nature." We seem to have developed a strange dialect of floral metaphor for the writing process.

It's still too cool to move Audrey the Indigo Vat outside and open her up for the season. Maybe next week.

Last weekend, DH and I made it to the Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF), and spent a little more than we planned - but only on good things. For instance, two prints and a small, obsessively handmade copy of The Innumerable Obsessions of Purl McGee from artist Willow Dawson, a couple collections from Wondermark, and this poster from Dinosaur Comics, to hang in the TARDIS, er house.

And then in the "Oooh, check it out, they signed it and sketched something for me!" category:

Matt Kindt's Super Spy, in which he drew the top half of the panel of original art that I also bought.

And perhaps our favourite score (for now), one of the last four copies in the building on Sunday of Kate Beeton's Never Learn Anything From History, bought from the lady herself and signed, along with a copy of this print, which makes this Trek-girl very happy. Kate personalized the book with this:

General Brock, from this strip, being all majestic and heroic and shiny before, you know, getting himself heroically killed.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

A Magpie in Spring

Attention, Magpies and those who love Magpies:

Elisem is having a sale, right here.

I have been drooling over tektite pendants for weeks now.

And then there are quite a few other amazing pendants.

And some necklaces that I like quite a bit. And perhaps one day I'll have one of these for my very own.

If her jewelry is amazing, her sales kick serious butt. I don't get everything that I buy from her on sale, but I won't deny that I've gotten some of my favourite things at a healthy markdown over the last couple years.

Here are a couple of her pieces, doing what they do best:

Hairstick: "To Serve The Great Engine"; Necklace: "Of the Battle in the Woods and What Happened Thereafter", both by Elise Matthesen

In other news, I'm supposed to be writing the Big D proposal. Which I am. Slowly, and despite other necessary things. For instance, today was rather spent in the company of six of my eight marvelous henchmenTAs, grading the final exam for my Jan - April course, which just finished. That will be done tomorrow, and then I can go back to work.

If anyone sees Lady S, tell her I'm coming. The magnolia tree is in full bloom. That is not a euphemism. Before the flowers on it fall and it goes green with leaves, this draft will be in her hands.

And also, did I mention these shockingly adorable little guys? I'm just sayin'.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sometimes Lazy Days. Sometimes Not So Much.

I keep meaning to post, and then I realize I haven't taken the pictures, and then I put it off, and then suddenly it's a week later and I haven't posted. This has happened more than once. Bah.

See, I have this new camera. I mostly like it, except that the only documented way to get pictures off of it and on to the Mac appears to be through iPhoto, a program which I dislike, intensely and almost unreasonably, since it 1) forces me to upload everything currently on the camera, whether I want to at that moment or not (for instance: I only want to deal with two small pictures right now, not spend 30 minutes waiting for iPhoto to chug and churn to upload 7 GB of video), and 2) decides all on its own where to put files on my hard drive. Putting the pictures where I want them involves extra steps of digging through the hard drive to find the right directory and moving things around manually.

The whole process is unnecessarily complicated and drives me batty. I wish I could just plug the dratted thing in and have it show up as an external hard drive, like my old camera (ca. 2000, only takes 15 second videos, needs a new battery, but which I know like the back of my hand and love). All of this means I can no longer deal with pictures quite as efficiently as I'm used to, so it's become yet another thing to avoid. I suspect I have a solution though, which I will try out this week.

Bloody technology, thinking it knows what's best for me.


It's been a mostly lazy couple of weeks. The sun is shining and it has been getting warmer each day. Dare I guess that it might be... spring? The magnolia tree seems to think so. It's now full of pink buds.

Some progress on no-longer-secret-project #3. The recipient knows about it, and has happily approved the yarn, colour scheme and pattern, so I think it's safe to say that this blanket will be for M. & C.'s Wiglet (i.e. baby), who, in fact, decided to make his grand arrival in Canada just over a week ago, after keeping parents and midwife on their toes for several days. But all are well, and he is as adorable as expected.

A big welcome to the week-old young Mr. R., aka Wiglet, who I met Friday.

I'm almost halfway done and speeding up a little, especially now that I've finalized the moon and star charts, weaving in ends as I go. In a strange way, I'm enjoying all the balls of yarn hanging from the back, which slowly but surely become tangled as I change colours. I carefully untangle them, knit a few more rows, and do it again. It's like a little dance between me and the yarn. A very pleasant, slow dance.

A couple Saturdays ago was spent in the back corner of my dusty basement with several SCA friends, sorting through a pile of canton common property, counting, consolidating, re-packing, tossing junk, and creating a photo-database of everything. There was wine and Dooley's and laughter along with the friends, which I think is the best way to spend an afternoon and evening. The inventory was well overdue. It was a big job, and in the end we completed what we set out to do, and felt like we accomplished a lot, which is the best outcome one can ask for, don't you think? Especially with wine.

Now taking up only 1/3 less space, and we know what's in every box.

Last weekend was spent making mini-heddle weaving kits using tongue depressors, sticks, glue and a Dremel. I've been wanting to try this out since seeing something similar last summer. Basically, it's the heddle portion of a rigid heddle loom. No frame. C-clamp each end of a not-too-long warp to something and weave away. Great for making narrow warp-faced bands, as you can see, and I think a little less troublesome (and less expensive) than an inkle loom or card weaving. A lot of patterns can be created using pickups. I demonstrated the technique to one of my local SCA cantons Monday evening.

A small strip of warp-faced weaving on the mini-heddle loom, and the current movie to feed the ongoing fixation.

Finally, with the impending spring, I will soon venture out into the gradually-greening backyard. The yellow tulips are long since open, and the magnolia tree is probably less than a week away from being in full bloom. I haven't raked all the dead leaves from last year, so much of the back yard remains a mushy mess. Stay tuned for an upcoming new installment of...

Weird Things We Find In Our Yard

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Crazy Lady Alert: Rockin' the Procrastination

As if I don't have far, far better things to be doing, like the next round of revisions on the Big D proposal that I promised to Lady S last week, it appears that I've recently developed a unexpected fixation on one Alan Rickman. I just thought I'd share that with the world - I have been ordering and devouring his back catalogue of movies at an astonishing rate.

We already had Dogma and Galaxy Quest, and of course the HP catalogue - but not much else. I'm still trying to figure out how in Hades we didn't have Die Hard, but that was quickly remedied. I've been scouring YouTube for the movies I can't find. I'm a little shocked to find that I haven't yet seen a performance that doesn't inspire awe, be it eeeevil mister nasty, comedic straight guy, leading man of moral ambiguity, romantic lead, ordinary guy in extraordinary circumstances, or even when it's attached to a somewhat bizarre video for a pop-fodder song that would never be found on my IPod.

I have no rational explanation for this, but then, sometimes rationality is overrated. I blame the onset of late-30s craziness and some firmly honed, mad procrastination skillz. Also, I think I finally understand my gradeschool best friend's thing about The Hof and later Simon LeBon, and I can say, unequivocally (and a solid 20 - 25 years too late for this type of thing), that I have better taste. I'm also very glad to know that I'm not alone.

This picture shamelessly stolen courtesy of Teh Innernets. Please, no one sue me.

And besides, I ask you, is an explanation really necessary? Before you answer that, listen to this.

I rest my case. That is all.

Friday, March 27, 2009

The sign on the apartment door (Nine Things About Oracles)

A contribution to an ongoing thread, in response to this pendant:


The Oracle is in 6-8 Tuesdays, Thursdays and the first and third Saturdays of the month. First come, first serve. No appointments.

Do not let the cat out when you open the door. No smoking.

One person at a time, one question at a time. Trust me on this.

Payment required before services rendered. Pay what you think an answer to your question is worth. Barter accepted.

If there is a line, a three-question limit is in effect.

You must be old enough to ask the Oracle. Age is relative; she will know if you are.

Do not poke the Oracle. She is not asleep. She is not dead. She is working.

The answer is the answer. If you want clarification, see a therapist. (Due to possible conflicts of interest, the Oracle can not recommend a therapist.)

The Oracle can not communicate with your lost loved ones. See Odette down the hall for that. Follow the smell of incense, you can't miss it.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Avoidance strategies for the well-entrenched

Another of my peers successfully passed their Big D proposal through the department recently, making, I think, four in as many weeks, and more if you count the last several months. Every time someone who has been here a couple years less than I have completes this ritual (a 40-minute presentation to all faculty and graduate students in the department followed by an open question period), I simultaneously feel joy for them, and a sense of impending doom at my own lack of progress.

To that end, I made a pact with Lady S recently. Two weeks from the date of our last meeting, on a Wednesday, I am honour-bound to give her what revisions I have completed on the Big D proposal so far. We'll call this date "D-Day," for lack of a better euphamism.

I can't help but think this was an insane thing to agree to, and yet Lady S and I both know that this is the only way anything will possibly happen.

It doesn't have to be done, or even done right, which is a good thing, because I don't think I can do that. It just has to be something turned in, something which has addressed a significant number of her comments from a year ago. Not all of them. Some of them. Just... progress of some kind. And that I can do.

Since agreeing to this about 10 days ago, I have, of course, done nothing on it. I've fiddled around with the course I'm teaching, wasting a lot of time on things that don't require half as much effort.

I once again ripped out several rows on the double-knit hat from hell. Somehow the last time I picked it up, I knitting around the circle in the wrong direction, and chaos ensued a couple rounds later. Given that we're over halfway through March, I think it's safe to say that DH won't be getting the dratted thing this winter.

I have, however, finished knitting for secret projects #1 and #2, and begun to dive into #3 in earnest:

Finished bits of Secret Project #1 and #2

I've been combing wool and making rovings from seemingly bottomles supply of Dorset Cross fleece. These are for a beginner drop spinning class I'll be giving on April 4 (after D-Day).

I plan to make 10 spindle kits and roughly 200 combed roving nests for the classes, so that each kit contains about 60 grams of roving. 9 nests down, 191 to go. Hrm. Might have to break out the weapons-grade 5-pitch English combs next weekend and speed things up a little there. Here is one of the experimental drop spindles, made from recycled CDs, rubber washers, a dowl, an eye hook and superglue. It spins surprisingly well, so at least that's all good.

I even managed to finish a long-term editing job (4+ years) in its entirety. The final book is uploaded and available to order. Tell me THAT'S not some serious avoidance going on right there.

And now here we are. Saturday. It's warm and sunny in my kitchen. All day is mine, and all day tomorrow. DH is happily getting in some long-overdue game time (actually, he's snoring while the game plays on without him. Shhh!), I'm dressed, awake, have coffee and a full stomach, and it's time to start getting this thing together.

Ready now? One, two...

Say cheese. Prewrapped processed slices preferred, thanks.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

On the moment of silence between the *squelch* and the *splat*

I woke to the sound of a hairball being horfed up yesterday morning. If you have cats, you know the sound. It is unmistakable. It's a sound that can wake me out of a dead sleep from half a house away.

I particularly like when there is a short delay between the "squelch" sound of it coming out and the "splat" sound of it hitting the floor. That means it was horfed from a great height, and had trajectory and speed in its favour upon landing.

I knew all of this before I even opened my eyes yesterday morning.

When I did open my eyes, it was to see Ford staring at me from the foot of the bed going, "Not me, dude. I've been right here. But since you're awake, food would be great, thanks."

A few seconds later, a plaintive "Huh-rooow?" from Tiger in the front room. Honestly, it sounds like he's saying "Hullo."

Translation yesterday morning: "There's an icky here, someone come and make it go away?"

Cats are amazing communicators. Some more than others. There's nothing quite like the sound and smell of fresh hairball in the morning to make you want to crawl under the covers and not come out, like, ever.

In other news, I am officially too tired tonight from the last several days to even run a warm LUSH-filled bubble bath. It has been that kind of week. I love teaching, but it can be a serious challenge sometimes. I'm going to fall down and go boom now. Maybe a post with pictures over the weekend.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Ceci n'est pas une toque

There's something to be said for instant gratification, but I'm certainly not getting any of it. My bit of secret knitting project #1 is done, but project #2 is still hanging around, and unlikely to go away soon. Same with project #3. That one's going to be a while.

And then there's the double-knit hat. The energizer double-knit hat. The hat that's still going.

For nearly 15 years, as long as I've lived in Toronto (and by extension, Canada), I thought I knew what a toque was. I understood that a toque was a kind of knitted winter cap that wasn't a tight-fitting beanie or skullcap. But according to DH, this and even this are not toques. Neither is this standard Seaman's cap, which I consider to be quite respectable and toque-like. DH was very specific: In a toque, there should be a gap between the top of the head and the crown of the hat. He says this pocket of air is warmed by the heat coming off your head, and this then helps keep your head warm, like insulation. Above all, it is not snug. Apparently, this is his idea of a perfect-fitting toque. The tassle on the top, says DH, is optional, though it's the only time that he will be willing to wear a tassle.

I was a little confused when he told me this, but then I started really watching guys old and young on the subway (all in the name of research, of course), and I realized that yes, for the classic "toque look," there is a gap between the top of the head and the crown of the hat.

I would call this a "badly fitting winter hat," but it just goes to show what I know.

So, the never-ending double-knit hat will be a DH-defined toque. Which means I have quite a few more inches to go.


Wednesday, February 04, 2009

The Threads That Bind Us All Together

The new Baronial Pillow was presented to the Baron and Baroness of Septentria this past Saturday at Ealdormere Kingdom 12th Night. I finished weaving the back a couple hours before leaving for the event, having had to replace not one or two, but four broken warp threads the night before.

Four Vest Yorvik ladies, (myself, Eleanor, Aislinne and Violetta), formed an instant sewing circle upon Eleanor's and my arrival at the event at 2pm, and spent most of the afternoon putting the finishing touches on it. We were like a well-oiled, multi-tasking sewing machine. Aislinne, who had created, applied and embroidered the baronial arms on the front with hand-made felt and some of my indigo blue and green hand-dyed drop-spun wool embroidery thread, added two more badges to the front, recently delivered from their respective Cantons. In the meantime, I cut the back off the loom, hem-stitched the edges and pulled out the packing thread. Violetta, who had made the inner stuffed pillow from red linen, added the last of the stuffing to that and sewed it up, then helped me weave in the loose bits on the back. Eleanor held us all together with the passing of pins, scissors and wrangling ends of long fabric.

After Violetta whip-stitched one long side of the top to the bottom, Eleanor and I sewed up the sides and attempted to make the fringe more respectable. With 10 minutes to go before court - we were first on the agenda - Violetta stuffed the inner pillow into it and began to whip stitch the long bottom closed. In a moment of inspiration, Aislinne took the remaining warp thread off my shuttle and skeined it, stuffing it inside along the bottom just before Violetta finished closing it up, so that when it's opened up later for eventual re-stuffing or repair, there is a small repair kit inside. It was finished as court processed into the room.

Unsurprisingly, I don't have pictures of us working, because I was, well, working. I saw some pictures being taken, so if someone else posts them, I'll link.

The new Baronial Kneeling Pillow for the Barony of Septentria, Kingdom of Ealdormere, made by the Canton of Vest Yorvik, bearing the arms of each Canton in the Barony (Skeldergate is still coming!). Finished woven size (before stuffing): 3ft. x 18". It comes with a lifetime guarantee that we will make any necessary repairs.

Just under two years in the making, from shearing to wool prep to dyeing, carding, spinning, weaving, embroidery and finishing. A group project, from start to the very moment of finish, with the participation of not just the four of us who finished it on Saturday, but many others in the canton who helped us procure the fleece, clean it, dye it, and even help me weave a few inches. I personally learned a great deal about dealing with raw fleece, dyeing and weaving during this project.

A little better view of the weaving and Baronial Arms. The canton arms displayed here are: Vest Yorvik (top left), Monadh (bottom left), Eoforwic (top right) and Swan's Keep (bottom right)

And now, I can put something new on my loom. Thank Jeebus.

Also: A closeup of the arms of the Canton of Vest Yorvik, our official part of last year's baronial taxes, where each canton was to create their embroidered arms. Vest Yorvik then had the added privilege of making the pillow to display them all.

Designed and stitched by Aislinne with help from all members of the canton (a few stitches each), using my hand-dyed hand-spun blue, yellow, green, black and natural wool. The red is the same red as the pillow wool.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Small luxuries

As I begin to climb out of my long-term depression (for that is indeed what it was, likely going on years now, coming to a head early last summer), I'm finding ways to spoil myself again. It's been so long since I spoiled myself in meaningful ways, not just by buying something I don't need - a new toy or DVD more yarn, another spindle... these things had stopped making me happy. When the things you love stop making you happy, it's time to find other things to help with the happy, so that you can return to the things you love.

And here we have the most indulgent small luxury of working (mostly) from home: A noon-time bath in the middle of last week. Take one of each of these:

One-half of a Sunny Side Bubble Bar and one Avobath Bath Bomb both from Lush

Add the bubble bar first, while the water is running.

Once the bath has been run, add the bath bomb.

The fizziness! The colour! The smell!

Here is the main reason I love this combination. The Sunny Side bubble bar turns the water golden yellow, with gold sparkles swirling through it. (They don't stick to you in the water, and they rinse down the drain easily.) Avobath turns the water green. So together, not only do they smell orange-tangerine-lemongrass yummy, they are sparkly and pretty and the water is avocado-oil soft and full of bubbles.

See the shimmery gold in the green water? This makes me insanely happy.

And just in case you think it's all boring to lie in a tub for 45 minutes doing nothing else, have no fear. There is coffee, and music, or in this case, Stephen Fry's latest podgram. Only once the bubbles and the podcast are done do I get down to the work of actually, you know, bathing.

Would you care for some soap? For possibly the most perfect soap ever made, try some lightly exfoliating Figs and Leaves, or for more scrub, the scrumptious Porridge.

Here, have some soap. No really, have a couple.

Today, I'm going for less scrubby and more sweet-smelling, so I have some Sultana of Soap and The Godmother. Both smell wonderful. Also, this is a great time to do the face cleaner thing.

I'm trying an experiment - the strong Ocean Salt on the left side of the face and the lighter Herbalism on the right. We'll see which one wins out on the oilies.

Finally, a quick shower to wash the hair and rinse out the tub.

That's a NEW! solid shampoo bar, and a Squeaky Green, as well as a small chunk of Jungle solid conditioner, which btw, works equally well for shaving.


Why, yes, I have been shopping at LUSH a lot lately. So why the inventory? Call it... a journey of discovery.

Here's the thing. I love baths. Love them. I always have. From my pre-teens, I would spend hours in the tub, soaking, thinking, getting wrinkly. I've always liked that more than evening TV. When the water got cool, I would drain part out and warm it up again. From late 1990 - late 2007, I had only intermittent access to bathtubs, perhaps when staying in a hotel or visiting friends. I loathe stand-up showers, but they are a staple of dorm and apartment living. A bathtub was one of the top five things I was looking forward to when we bought a house.

I love bath products that smell good, but I'm also very sensitive to smells. If I use something more than twice in a row, the smell, particularly if it's a stronger one, begins to bother me. It's not an allergy, it's... oh, hell, I don't know what it is. It's a sensitivity to scents that affects my mental state. This is the reason I have so many different kinds of soaps. I'm not a germophobe, rather the only way I can continue to enjoy many wonderful scents and soaps is to rotate through them every few days. The alternative is to not bathe as often. During depression, that is sadly the more common option. No need, really, when you rarely leave the house or even get out of bed.*

I knew I was beginning to feel better - more like myself than I had felt in years, in fact - when I began looking forward to long, relaxing baths again. I've missed them terribly.

* I even try to keep two bottles of dishsoap on the go, or else I'll avoid washing dishes because the smell of the same soap day after day drives me apeshit. It took me a long time to figure out that little personality tick, if you can believe it. When I wash a fleece with dishsoap, it has to be the most lightly-scented, inoffensive smell ever, or I will go nuts when I'm still spinning fleece six months later that smells like lemon Sunlight. I ruin more dishsoaps for myself that way...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

We've lived here over a year? No way.

I'm not exactly sure what happened to this last year. It definitely doesn't feel like we've lived in our house for over a year. It really didn't feel like it last week when I was down in the basement digging through boxes looking for something that I hadn't seen in, well, a year, unearthing a whole lot of other things I hadn't seen in... um... a year, and thinking, "Holy crap! We have to start unpacking some of this stuff!" And then I started sneezing profusely, and I realized that all the boxes and bags were covered in a not-insignificant amount of dust, and I had to come back upstairs and sit down with a glass of iced tea, a cookie and contemplate The Year That Was.

Unsurprisingly, I found it upstairs in the living room, in full view in a bag on a bookshelf that I've walked past every day for a year. The Cube is never far away in my house.

Ten minutes later, after I'd messed it up and solved it three times to prove to myself I could, I was being poked by a cat, the phone was ringing, my email was beeping and I had forgotten all about the hole in time that was last year. This was home for me as soon as my husband, cats, knitting, bed and the computers were moved in. In that order. I might as well have always been here. I don't know if it's home for DH yet, but he takes a little longer to warm up to these things than I do. He keeps saying, "It's getting there." I suspect it won't really be home to him until we do something major, like renovate the kitchen, which will come in time.

This past week, I naturally should have been preparing for my second-ever lecture today - this is the first time I've been the course instructor (i.e. head honcho) for a course, and I have 200+ students and no fewer than eight minions teaching assistants to organize. They're all great and experienced, though, I'm very lucky. I, however, have been knitting and weaving instead. I'm mostly finished with my part for one super-seekrit joint project:

Brighter is better!

I'm working up a swatch for another:

Reversible cables without a cable needle, a slight revision of this pattern. Because I am a masochist, apparently.

And I've gotten well underway on a third project, which is also super-seekrit, but not joint.

Why, yes, that is the yellow yarn that was taking the form of yarn barf in the last post. Thanks for noticing!

Emails have been piling up from students who have conflicts with this and questions about that (some of which are answered on the syllabus, but let's not tell them that, OK?), my course website is barely adequate, and I only just got access to the enrollment lists because someone higher up fixed it for me today. One of my TAs is on the other side of the world and wasn't able to get a flight back in time for the first tutorial today (though she certainly did try - and there was someone to cover it, but it makes a good course instructor story, no?). Another TA flew into town late last night and had a solid case of jetlag for the first tutorial, poor thing. It would be nice if I started the next lecture before the day I have to give it - that hasn't happened yet for the first two lectures, which, apparently, I pulled out of my ass with a great deal of support and shared course materials. I owe Lady S an email, and I have a goal of doing some work on the Big D Proposal before the end of the week.

But those are all tomorrow's issues.

Tonight, I can relax in the knowledge that my second lecture, by some miracle, did not suck, my inbox is temporarily empty, and I'm mostly on top of the things I can control. I will weave a little, and attack cables a little, and enjoy being... home.

Weaving post soon.