How about this for a throwback thursday, huh? This is an old thing I used to do on Fridays, only now it seems appropriate to move it to Thursdays.

Reading: Pattern Recognition by William Gibson (for teaching); and The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer. I just started the latter last night so I can't say much about how I like it. I'm really enjoying the former--more so than I did the first time I read it, I think. It's particularly interesting to me, in the context of my utopian literature class.

Wearing: Currently: a jean skirt, a gray v-neck t-shirt with an owl on the front, and brown sandals. I'm a little bit worried because I forgot to bring a jacket to campus today, and it's starting to cloud up. I have to teach 3:30-5:30, so I'm hoping it doesn't cool off too much before I head home.

Watching: Uh...not much, actually. I did watch the season finale of The Blacklist yesterday, and really liked it. I'm glad that show got renewed for next year. I think it's good. I'm kind of a dope for James Spader, though, so YMMV.

Planning: I have a meeting tomorrow, so I have to be on campus in the afternoon. No real plans for after that. Saturday I'm going to the U-District Street Fair. Saturday night I'm going solo to the Seattle Pro Musica performance of Brahms' Ein deutsches Requiem. Looking forward to that! It's at St. James' Cathedral downtown.

Knitting: I've been working on a self-designed pullover in a color that is highly unusual for me. It's like a purple-y fuchsia color. Way closer to pink than I usually (like...ever) wear.

Other: My running has been going really well lately. I ran my first 5k in a long time last weekend, and I had a great run this morning.


Jun. 9th, 2009 09:50 am
arguchik: (Default)
READING: Just started The Accord by Keith Brooke. I'm only about 5 pages in, so I haven't formulated an opinion about it yet. I recently finished reading his Genetopia, during the Philly trip. I really enjoyed that, although the last 50 pages or so seemed somewhat rushed--disjointed and kind of mashed together. I continue to work on The Corrections, by Jonathan Franzen--I like it, it's just really dense, and I can't read a ton of it in one sitting.

WATCHING: Nothing new, really. We continue to plug away at TNG--we're a couple of discs into season 4 at this point. We just met Alexander. I've been watching back episodes of House here and there, mainly over breakfast. I have a very deep fondness for medical procedurals, particularly ones that are all about solving the puzzle...whether it's a pathologist or forensic specialist trying to solve a murder (like Quincy or Bones) or something more like House, with a doctor trying to figure out what the patient has. Maybe my love for this genre is related to my one-in-a-million appendix, I don't know. No. Can't be that. I've loved this kind of stuff for a long time, since I was a punk ass kid. I think I just like shows in which a puzzle needs to be worked out, because I also love police procedurals (the really good ones).

PLANNING: Between now and Monday I'll be dealing with end-of-quarter stuff. Next week is the CUSP retreat (CUSP is the program through which I teach at UW-Bothell). Sometime in July I'll be going to Michigan to do some work on my parents' house, and of course to visit my family and hopefully a couple of friends.

KNITTING: I started knitting Cassidy by Chic Knits (Bonne Marie Burns) during the Philly trip. It's a hoodie knit in pieces, which I figured (correctly, it turns out) would be nice and portable for all that airplane nonsense. I finished the first sleeve and most of the second sleeve during the trip. The 2nd sleeve is now done, and I'm about halfway done with the back. I also finished a sweater of my own devising (with a little help from Elizabeth Zimmerman for the basic plan) for [ profile] glaucon. I call it "Viridis". Here's a link to my knitting blog entry about both of these projects.

RUNNING: I had a 2-day glitch last week, due to travel and the ensuing fatigue, so I just completed week 9 of the First Steps plan this morning. (Normally I finish the running week on Saturday.) I'll start week 10 tomorrow, I think. I plan to repeat week 10 a time or two after the first time. In other words, I plan to spend 2-3 weeks running 12 miles per week before moving on to the next training plan, the one that will gradually (over 20 weeks) increase my mileage to the point where I can reasonably begin training for a marathon. The running feels really good. Sunday's run was a little bit of a slog, but today I totally shredded, man. My self-confidence and overall mood are definitely showing improvement--I still have occasional anxiety spikes, but nothing like what I was dealing with in 2006 and especially 2007. I hope I never experience that degree of anxiety again.


May. 23rd, 2009 10:06 am
arguchik: (Default)
I'm moving this feature to Saturday mornings, so it corresponds to the end of my running week. I think of Saturday as the last day of the week anyway--I guess this is residue from my Catholic upbringing. So here goes...

READING: This week I've been reading short fiction: "Birth Days" by Geoff Ryman, which was recommended to me by one of my committee members. It took me about a month and a half to procure a copy--I had to do an inter-library loan request for The Year's Best Science Fiction, volume 21, which is apparently very hard to come by. I searched new and used bookstores around town, and managed to find volumes 18, 19, 20, 22, and so on, but no volume 21. So I put in the ILL request, and it took them a month to fill it--the copy that finally arrived was from a public library somewhere. I had the book in my possession for a grand total of a half hour--just long enough for me to photocopy the story and put the book into the returns drop box. Sheesh! At least the story was worth it. In addition to that, I've also been making my way through Brain Stableford's Designer Genes (a short story collection), which is perhaps a little too "rah-rah" about biotechnology for my taste, but the stories are nicely weird, well-written and interesting.

WEARING: At the moment I'm still in my running clothes. Oh wait, I changed the W to...
WATCHING: Chris and I continue to make progress through our various Star Trek watch-a-thons. We finished season 3 of TNG, and just watched the movies VI (The Undiscovered Country, one of my favorites) and VII (Generations); plus I watched V (The Final Frontier) by myself, because Chris hatezes it. I think that's about it for the W's.

PLANNING: A rollicking good weekend! Today I'm going to finish up my laundry, which at this point merely entails folding the clean laundry and putting all the sheets back on my bed (I washed the mattress pad and pillow slip covers in addition to the "regular" sheets). Tonight at midnight I'm going to see the Nazi Zombies SIFF movie at the Egyptian, with a couple of knitting friends. Before then I'm going out for drinks with Chris and a couple of other friends. Tomorrow it's brunch followed by an afternoon at Folk Life. Monday...I don't know yet what I'm doing during the day; in the evening I'll be at Purlygirls. Next week/weekend Chris and I are flying (separately--he's leaving Tuesday, I'm leaving Thursday morning) to Philadelphia for a wedding. We both get back on Monday 6/1.

KNITTING: I'm almost done with "Viridis," a.k.a. "The Big Green Box (Stitch)," the sweater I'm making for Chris. I'm hoping to finish that this weekend--I have joined the sleeves and started the yoke. I don't know what I'm going to knit next. I definitely want to cast on for something before I leave, or at least have something ready to start so that I can do some knitting on the plane.

RUNNING: I finished up Week 7 of the Runner's World "First Steps" program today--this morning, in fact. This week's formula for each run was 3[9(r) + 1(w)]. Next week, which starts tomorrow, it'll be 2[13(r) + 2(w)]. Where: r = running, w = walking, and the units = minutes. Heee! It's fun to build mathematical expressions! I'm looking forward to next week because fewer repeats and longer intervals spent running equals less time checking my watch. Today's run was really good. I enjoyed it right from the beginning. I figured out another way that running helps me spiritually, too: I find it easier to do that visualization thing--you know, "see yourself accomplishing your goals!"--when I'm actually in the act of accomplishing one. I also re-affirmed my preference for running in the morning. These two things are related: it's good to start the day with an accomplishment, especially one that makes me feel strong and capable of committing to the small steps required to reach a big goal. It is, perhaps, a little sad that I still need to be reminded of this, at my age (where is that wisdom and self-knowledge, that "my own" I'm supposed to "come into" as I get older?), but I guess it's good that reminding myself still works.
READING: Still working on The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen. It is beautifully written. A pleasure to read so far. It's long, though, so I'll be working through it for awhile.

WATCHING: BSG!!!!! TONIGHT!!!!! Thanks to [ profile] maeveh and [ profile] pigbark for hosting us tonight. I think this will be the first time I've ever watched an episode of the new BSG as it airs (i.e. not on or

PLANNING: See above. Also, [ profile] glaucon and I are going to Portland this weekend, partly to see [ profile] evernanon and her spouse, and partly to see [ profile] alice_at_night, who will be up from San Francisco. I haven't seen her for over 2 years, so I'm looking forward to it!

KNITTING: I finally broke through the cuff barrier on my Cardigan for Arwen. (Sorry, too lazy for links today.) I finished both cuffs yesterday morning, and now I have the first sleeve done and the second sleeve about halfway done. By "done" I mean to the armpit. The body is already done to the armpit, and is just waiting to be joined with the sleeves in raglan-shouldered bliss.

And here comes the new R. Wait for it....

RUNNING: Yes, I am running again. Ever since I developed tendinitis last fall, I've been super discouraged and unable to motivate myself to try, try again. This week--the result of a secret New Year's resolution--I have finally begun to break through that motivational barrier. The first hurdle--getting my feet into the shoes and my ass out the door--was high, but it's not the highest one I'll face. That'll come in 3-4 weeks, when I hit the very predictable "first plateau." Anyway, I am treating myself like a full-on "couch potato" and following the exceedingly gentle Couch to 5K Plan from Cool Running. (OK, so I set aside my laziness to bring you a link--I just have to point that out; it goes with the theme of the new R.) My hope is that the plan will be challenging enough to get me back into shape and keep me interested, but gentle enough to forestall the tendinitis. I'm working on week 1 of the plan this week--I'll finish it tomorrow. Every Friday, I'll report my progress here.


Jan. 9th, 2009 09:37 am
arguchik: (Default)
READING: I finally finished that Cloud's End by Sean Stewart. It's one of his earlier novels, and it shows. The writing is uneven, and the plot is both cluttered and anticlimactic. Where Stewart weaves in cliffhangers, they just aren't effective. It's such a contrast to his later novels, which I loved: Mockingbird and especially Perfect Circle, which are simpler yet richer tales. Still, this novel was a decent enough read. The characters are interesting and round, for the most part, and the dialog is about 70% believable. My main complaint about the book is that it just never seemed to be taking me anywhere. Anyway, I finished that yesterday morning right before I headed downtown to pick up my coat. Yay! The buttons--and the cosmic order--have been restored. Last night before I fell asleep I started reading The Corrections, by Jonathan Franzen. I've never read him before, and I have to say...the first few pages are really great, full of the kind of rich detail and interesting character development (already!) that I look for in a novel. I haven't read enough to get a sense of the plot yet. This book was recommended--and, in fact, given--to me by Amelia, a friend from my knitting group. I was talking about my dad at knitting one night--I think we may have been talking about good vs. sappy film depictions of dementia--and she said this book offers a realistic depiction of an elderly character suffering from Parkinson's-related dementia, and of how his wife responds, avoids seeing/knowing the truth, and covers for him. Only a few pages in, and already I agree with Amelia's assessment. I hope it maintains the tone and momentum it has already established.

WATCHING: Last night [ profile] glaucon, [ profile] rrspike, and I watched I Don't Know Jack, a somewhat low-fi biographical documentary that David Lynch did [ETA: [ profile] glaucon just informed me that Lynch was just one of the producers on this film.] about Jack Nance, who starred in Eraserhead and had bit parts in other Lynch movies (among other things). He's the guy who uttered that famous line in Twin Peaks, "She's wrapped in plastic." The film was really good, even though it kind of followed a predictable path for a biomentary: here's where he started; here's a bunch of people saying what a great guy he was, telling specific stories to illustrate his good qualities and to show you how quirky and loved he was; here's those same people talking about his tragic flaw (alcoholism), telling stories about how awful he could be and how tragic it all was; and here's some other people telling what they know about his last year, how he died, the mysteries and unanswered questions surrounding his death, etc. And yet...I really enjoyed it. I pretty much knew where it was going the whole time, but Nance really was a charismatic and weird and sympathetic person, and the film presents its material in a compelling way, so I found it fascinating.

PLANNING: I have dinner plans tonight, which will be followed by some kind of pinball outing. Tomorrow I'm planning to take boxes of crap that I'm getting rid of around to various destinations (Red Light, Buffalo Exchange, Value Village, etc.). I spent a few hours last weekend going through my closet, and have been tripping over my "discard" piles all week. I'm getting rid of a lot of stuff.'s just time. I haven't worn any of them for several years. Other clothing...same deal. And OMG shoes! I have cut my shoe collection drastically--by over half. Unfortunately what's left consists mainly of specialized shoes (running shoes, hiking boots, sandals, dress shoes to wear with skirts, etc.), and the basic, wear all the time shoes I held onto are pretty trashed. (If you know me IRL...those black mary janes I always wear...for example.) So after all this culling, I went out and bought 3 new pairs of basic shoes yesterday: a pair of cordovan clogs, another pair of the same damned black mary janes (because I love them, they are being discontinued, and they were thus marked down), and a pair of blue Simple sneakers (which surprisingly fit me--they are usually too wide). So anyway, this weekend is housecleaning weekend. Once I get all this crap out of my room I'm going to put everything back together while also vacuuming under and around everything. On Sunday I'll have some grading to do in addition to the omnipresent dissertation work. Things are finally moving on that front again--by which I mean officially moving, with my committee and stuff. I have a full committee meeting to prep for......sometime by the end of January, hopefully. ETA: I forgot to mention that [ profile] glaucon and I also have dinner plans for tomorrow (Saturday) evening, and are going to see that new Clint Eastwood movie, Gran Torino, afterward.

KNITTING: Still working on my Cardigan for Arwen. I am currently re-knitting the first cuff for the THIRD time. My idea about grafting the cable together to make a nice cuff is proving very problematic. I'm going to try it one more time before resorting to the 3-needle bindoff. Once it's done I have to decide whether to start right in on the stockinette portion of the sleeve, or to knit the other cuff and then do both sleeves. I'm leaning toward the latter. Also, I finished one of the 2 scarves I've had on the needles for awhile: my Noro Striped Scarf. I washed it yesterday, and it's drying now. I'm leaving it unblocked because the 1x1 rib is squishiest and warmest if you let it do its accordion pleat thing. Today I'm going to steam block my mom's cardigan to "kill" the acrylic. ("Killing" acrylic permanently sets the stitches. I'm hoping this works OK with an acrylic-wool blend. I think it will. I'm concerned that the lace skirt on the sweater will bunch all up the first time my mom throws it in the wash.)

That's it for this week, kids. Hopefully next week I'll have a new "R" to add to the semi-weekly update. More on that later.


Jan. 2nd, 2009 11:02 am
arguchik: (Default)
READING: Aaaaaalmost done with Cloud's End. I swear I'm not a slow reader, I just only do "fun" reading right before I turn out the light and go to sleep at night. I don't talk about my daytime reading here because during the daytime I'm typically reading critical theory, stuff I have assigned for my students to read, or student writing. Don't wanna blog about any of that.

WATCHING: Season 4 of Doctor Who. Nothing else noteworthy this week. Oh, except for the BSG webisodes. I've been watching those. I think of them as "Clue in Space!" #8 in the Raptor with Felix's morpha.

PLANNING: Is this where I'm supposed to talk about my new year's resolutions? They're pretty simple:
  1. Knit 12 sweaters this year, primarily from stash yarn.  I joined the NaKniSweMoDo group on Ravelry--National Knit a Sweater a Month Dodecathalon.  Hence the goal/resolution.
  2. Cook (and eat) at home more.
  3. Get my ass running again.
  4. Put $100/month into savings.
KNITTING:  A sweater, what else?  I'm about done with the body section of my heavily modified A Cardigan for Arwen.  Hope to start the sleeves this weekend.  They'll be tricksy, because I'm going to knit the cables for the cuffs, then pick up stitches and knit upward for the sleeves, rather than following the pattern.  Right now I'm debating whether to do a provisional cast-on for the cable, and then try to graft it together to finish the cuff (so it looks seamless--this is very hard to do with cables or ribbing of any kind); or to do a regular cast-on and just seam that fucker.
One might even call this entry "out of order," since it's not Friday. I prefer "special," as in: just in time for Seattle's Holiday on Ice!

READING: Still with the Cloud's End by Sean Stewart, yadda yadda. It's an engaging story, just slow going for me since I only really read it right before I fall asleep at night. It materializes that whole "nightstand reading" trope.

WATCHING: Doctor Who, just barely digging into Series 3. No more Rose. :::sniff:::

WEARING: OK, this bit makes a brief reappearance. Jeans, green long-sleeved tee, black cardigan what I knitted, and green scarf what also I knitted.

PLANNING: Tomorrow is the 4th annual Crest theater extravaganza for [ profile] glaucon and me. Weird mix of movies this year (in order): The Secret Life of Bees, Body of Lies, High School Musical III (which should be interesting, since we've never seen the first two), and finally Tell No One. They actually have 6 movies playing this year, so there's no way we can see all of them unfortunately.

KNITTING: I finished the knitting on my mom's cardigan. Just need to wash it, block it, and sew on some kind of closure (either pewter clasps or snaps, since I didn't make button holes), which I also have to go select and purchase. Monday night at Purlygirls I cast on for my first NaKniSweMoDo sweater: a heavily modified rendition of A Cardigan for Arwen (scroll down--it's the second project listed). I'm calling it "A Cardigan for St. Patrick" because I'm knitting it with some Cascade 220 Wool, the colorway of which is called "Ireland." My modifications will include knitting it seamless (Elizabeth Zimmerman style), changing the arm and shoulder construction, lengthening the body, and losing the hood. I'm giving it a wide collar instead, which will still show off the awesomeness of that ingenious reversible cable.

HAIR & SKIN REPORT: I'm back on the baking soda & vinegar regimen, but I'm doing it a bit differently. Instead of mixing the baking soda into a cup of water in the shower, I'm pouring about half of it into my hand and making a paste instead, using the rest only if I feel like a certain spot needs more. This gives me more control over where it goes, so I can apply it just to my roots (it seemed to be drying out my ends, before). Also, I'm using white vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar. It leaves less of a smell in my hair, to my nose. I follow that with a small shot of conditioner--still using Bumble & Bumble thickening conditioner, but I think I might switch to this Kiehl's conditioner as soon as I can procure a bottle--and a final rinse with cold water. (Sorry for that truly ugly sentence.) I'm still using the oil cleansing method for my face, with an occasional baking soda scrub or pore cleansing mask, and I'm still loving the results. My skin doesn't miss soap or foaming cleansers at all. Oh, I also started using Strivectin as my moisturizer, twice per day. I tried this stuff once before, but I was only using it once per day and wasn't particularly impressed. This time it is really helping my skin--apparently twice per day is the charm. My skin feels much softer and smoother to the touch, and it looks a little bit more evenly toned to me too...though I doubt that it looks any different to anyone else.

That's it for today. Happy holidays!


Dec. 19th, 2008 09:43 am
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READING: Still working on Cloud's End by Sean Stewart. A knitting group friend gave me a copy of Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections last week, and I'm planning to start that once I'm done with the Stewart.

WATCHING: Still with the Doctor Who. (Did you know that Torchwood is an anagram of Doctor Who? I'm sure you did. I didn't, though; not until [ profile] glaucon told me.) I have also watched a couple of episodes of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, which is pretty good. It's also somewhat baffling, though, because all Hulu has are season 2 episodes, and I haven't seen season 1 (much less the pilot ep). Last night we watched "The Wish" and "Amends" (Buffy, season 3). I haven't seen either episode since [ profile] glaucon and I whizzed through the entire series last year. Both are really good--and crucial to the series, since they introduce characters and concepts that become linchpins. (I like that metaphor. A linchpin is what keeps wheels from falling off an axle. Some might argue that the Bringers and the First actually have the opposite effect, when they return in season 7, but I disagree. And then, of course, there is Anya. Definitely a linchpin.)

PLANNING: I'm going to see Let the Right One In (Swedish vampire movie) tonight, with a couple of friends. These are friends I don't get to hang out with all that often, and not in this configuration, so I'm really looking forward to it. Tomorrow, [ profile] leporidae will be here for a visit from Olympia. She's staying with us for a couple of nights, before she leaves on a jet plane on Monday, going to parts southerly to visit family for the holidays. I'm really looking forward to seeing her and hanging out with her, too. So it's going to be a fun weekend!

KNITTING: I'm almost done with my mom's cardigan. I attached the sleeves and started knitting the yoke yesterday. I got about 3-4" into the yoke--another 4" or so to go, but the knitting gets faster and faster since I'm decreasing by 8 stitches every right-side row. I'm also still working on my Noro Striped Scarf and my Branching Out, both of which should be finished pretty soon (but they're on hold for now while I work on the cardigan--I want to finish that today or tomorrow so I can send it off to Michigan on Monday).

That's it for me right now. Have a great weekend, everyone.


Dec. 12th, 2008 08:24 am
arguchik: (Default)
READING: Still working on Cloud's End by Sean Stewart. That's the only extra-curricular reading I'm doing right now.

WATCHING: Watched the end of Doctor Who, season 1 last night. I really liked the chemistry between Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper, so I'm somewhat sad about David Tennant taking over. And of course I already know that he's leaving the series shortly, so I'll probably get used to him and come to like him and then he'll leave too. And so it goes. I like that about the Doctor, though; it's a cool conceit, to have a character that doesn't die but instead becomes someone else.

PLANNING: I guess I'm going to the CI this evening. I'm going to Bothell this afternoon to pick up the last batch of student portfolios. Other than that, it will be a weekend of grading.

KNITTING: Still working on the red cardigan for my mom. The first sleeve is done now. Yesterday I spent some time going through and cataloging my yarn stash, photographing it, and uploading pics to my Flickr site and to my Ravelry stash pages. I still have a little bit more to do, but my I can't seem to find my camera battery charger anywhere. I can't for the life of me remember where I put it. Oh, and I joined a group on Ravelry called NaKniSweMoDo--National Knit a Sweater a Month Dodecathon--which means that I am setting a goal of knitting one adult-sized sweater per month this year. That's a lot of knitting. It will help me with my New Year's resolution, though, which is to knit down my yarn stash! Yeah. I have enough yarn to knit 10 sweaters, plus several pairs of socks. (Actually, I technically have yarn for another couple of sweaters but it's yarn that I hate knitting with and plan to get rid of--mercerized cotton, which knits up pretty but is hell on my hands; and cotton chenille which is also hell on my hands but knits up for crap, thus has no redeeming value.) So that's what I'm going to be knitting this year: sweaters and socks. I'll be working on the sweaters primarily at home and at Purlygirls, and the socks will be my new bus knitting projects as soon as I finish up the two scarves I'm working on. (One is almost done. The other is only about 2 feet long right now.)


Dec. 5th, 2008 10:04 am
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READING: Sean Stewart, Cloud's End. I finished Galveston (also Sean Stewart), which I really liked, a few days ago. So far Cloud's End is interesting. It's one of Stewart's earlier novels--his fourth published, to be precise. I haven't read his first two novels (Passion Play and Nobody's Son), but I've read Resurrection Man, which came out a year before Cloud's End. I've also read a couple of his later novels, Perfect Circle and Mockingbird, both of which are really good. Cloud's End shows several of Stewart's key strengths: character development, interesting conversation and interior monologue, and nicely realized sensory descriptions, particularly in scenes involving characters experiencing the natural environment. This novel also has some clunky bits, though, IMO. The founding premise of the plot involves a character being "twinned" by a human-turned-haunt, and then seems quickly to outgrow the conceit. I'm on about page 100 at this point, though, so I might be proved wrong about that. The book is definitely good enough that I want to find out.

WATCHING: (Formerly WEARING, which I am abandoning as of today. Who really cares what I'm wearing?) [ profile] glaucon has gotten me hooked on the Doctor Who / Torchwood universe, so I've been watching episodes with him here and there. We are all caught up on How I Met Your Mother, which we both love, and we also watched the entire series of Freaks and Geeks. I do not understand how that show got canceled. It was so GOOD! Interestingly, while I was sick I decided to start watching Bones after poking around on Hulu a little bit. (It stars David Boreanaz, so it's another of those shows with a connection to the Buffy-verse.) It's kind of a dumb show, but John Francis Daley (who played Sam Weir, Lindsay's little brother, on F&G) shows up as psychologist Dr. Lance Sweets sometime during...I think it's season 4. So it's cool to see him working, and all grown up but still playing a really geeky character. Oh, and speaking of Buffy, we've also re-watched a few episodes from Season 3 of Buffy. (It's so nice to own the boxed set of both Buffy and Angel...) Lest you think I am a complete couch potato, this wasn't all in one week mind you, I'm just summarizing a bunch of stuff from the last couple of months because this is the first time I'm doing the "watching" bit of the blog feature. Oh, I also watched In Her Shoes on Hulu last night, because [ profile] glaucon went to bed somewhat early. I was in my room...wasn't tired yet...didn't feel like reading...didn't feel like I decided to browse the movies on Hulu. I thought this was going to be a fluffy chick flick, but it was surprisingly good. It stars Cameron Diaz and Toni Collette, who really shines here. I just love her work.

PLANNING: I'm going to the CI this evening. Not sure what after that. Otherwise, the only thing I have planned for today and tomorrow is grading. Sunday I'll probably be going to a cookie party.

KNITTING: I'm still working on the red cardigan for my mom. I finished the body last week (I think I overshot the length, actually, so I may rip back a few rows), and have a couple of inches done on the first sleeve. I am almost done with my Branching Out scarf, which has been my latest bus knitting project. I bought some Noro Silk Garden and cast on for a new bus knitting project, a Noro Striped Scarf. It's a super easy, somewhat boring pattern. It's also a "bandwagon" pattern right now, apparently, because the Yarn Harlot blogged about it. That's not why I picked it, though; I've been admiring Brooklyn Tweed's rendition for quite awhile, and I hardly ever read the Yarn Harlot's blog. I picked it for two reasons: 1. I think it makes a beautiful scarf; and 2. I want to practice my continental knitting so that I can get better at doing stranded colorwork. So. My plan is to knit the entire thing continental style. Mostly while riding the bus, though with the holiday break coming up I will probably knit on it some at home. Next up after I finish my mom's cardigan is a heavily modified adaptation of A Cardigan for Arwen, which is a pattern from Interweave Knits Winter 2006 issue. (Here is a pic from the designer's website.) I'm completely smitten with that reversible cable. I don't like how the sleeves work, I don't want mine to have a hood, and I don't want to knit the thing in pieces, so I'm going to modify the pattern substantially. About the only thing that will be the same is the cables--and their placement. I'm planning to knit this with some denim-y blue Ultra Alpaca (Berrocco) yarn that I bought in Grand Rapids last August. Here's their color card. Scroll down. It's color #6295, Tanzanite Mix. I have knit with this yarn before--a deep eggplant color (pretty sure it's #6244, Fig)--and I really like it.

That's all for now. Gotta get cracking in this e-folder of student papers. Have a great weekend, y'all.


Nov. 28th, 2008 12:43 pm
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READING: Sean Stewart's Galveston. So far I like this one as much as I've liked anything else I've ever read by Stewart. I guess that doesn't really tell you anything so I'll add...I keep reading him because his books are interesting and beautifully written. This one included. It's set in Galveston, oddly enough; it's magical realist conceit: ever since the "flood" (of magic, not water) that happened during Mardi Gras 2004, there have been two Galvestons separated by a magical border. In one, ruled over by the god Momus, it is always Mardi Gras 2004. In the other, magic is not allowed, and a post-apocalyptic state exists. The main character, Sloane, travels between the two Galveston's with the aid of a personality-altering mask.

WEARING: At the moment, green cords that are too short for me and a light blue polar fleece top with a white t-shirt underneath.

PLANNING: Nothing on the agenda for today except putting the house back in order after yesterday's big Thanksgiving day feast, and some grading. I'm still fighting off the last dregs of the ick I posted about a week and a half ago. Still with the rattly cough and the snotty nose, but it's almost almost almost gone. Physically I feel fine--energy levels back up to 100%.

KNITTING: Working on a cardigan for my mother, of my own design. It has a lace pattern at the bottom, and will be plain stockinette at the top. I'm making pretty good progress--I'm almost done with the body (worked seamlessly in one piece) to the armholes. Next I'll knit the sleeves and then join them to the body and knit the yoke. I'm still debating whether to make them plain or to echo the lace pattern somehow. I'm leaning toward plain, with picot trim at the cuffs.

HAIR AND SKIN REPORT: All is well. Back to the baking soda and apple cider vinegar routine, followed by some conditioner. So far so good. I've been using Cetaphil (the original formula, not the one made for normal to oily skin because it has a very unpleasant fragrance in it for some bizarre reason) instead of doing the oil cleansing method. I don't know why, I just got a wild hair to give it a try, and I actually really like it. It seems to work very well on my skin. I'm planning to give it another week, and then decide whether or not I like it better than the OCM.
READING: Mostly I've been reading student papers lately. I'm still working my way through Stegner's The Spectator Bird. Strange that I'm not done with it yet--it's a short book, but I have been reading it in bits and pieces, here and there. I've kind of stalled out on Elizabeth Marshall Thomas' The Hidden Life of Dogs, mainly because it started to annoy me. I think she's an incredibly irresponsible dog owner. She lets her dogs run around loose--and while I might wish that domestic dogs could have a free-roaming life, the fact is that it's not safe. Sure, isn't safe. I get all that, but the kind of "not safe" I'm talking about here is the truly bad kind. At one point in the book, she describes watching the dog cross a major highway, and "somehow, miraculously" he avoids being hit by a car. OK, great, so this dog has learned how to cross busy streets without getting hit. This is fine, as far as it goes, except that Marshall Thomas completely ignores the danger that the dog's presence on a highway presents to everyone else: drivers who don't know the dog is fine crossing the road may swerve to avoid him, thereby putting themselves and other drivers in danger. Then there are those drivers out there--and don't tell me they don't exist, because I have personally observed this behavior on various highways across the country--anyway, there are those drivers who will actively try to hit an animal they see on the side of a road (i.e. instead of swerving to miss a dog, they would actually swerve to hit it). How would this dog's keen road-crossing sense deal with such an eventuality? And that's just concerning this one dog. But in the same section, Marshall Thomas also describes letting her other dogs roam, and contrasts those other dogs to the main dog she's trying to observe: the other dogs aren't good at crossing roads. Then there are the encounters she observes, between her dogs and other dogs, between her dogs and people...and I'm sorry, but she just loses me here. I can't romanticize this situation with a flip "Dogs should be free!" It is scary to encounter a stray dog when you're out walking; as a former dog owner, I can also say that it's even scarier to have such an encounter when you're out walking your own, because you have no way of knowing if that stray dog is friendly, if he will attack your dog, or if he carries diseases that your dog might catch, etc. The dog she's writing about--the main dog she's observing in the book--is a large, alpha male (not neutered, as far as I can tell) malamute. How would you like to come face to face with that dog in the middle of the night (when most of his wanderings take place)? How would you like to have to break up a fight between your leashed dog and such a stray dog? Nope. Sorry. Bad stuff.

WEARING: At the moment, I'm wearing jeans, a t-shirt, and my ancient green-teal-gold-purple paisley Patagonia fleece. I bought this right after I moved to Vermont, in 1994. Remember in the early 90's, when green was all the rage? Yeah. It's like that.

PLANNING: Going to Tacoma tomorrow for a friend's jewelry show. No plans yet for Sunday. I'm excited to have a whole week off, thanks to Veteran's Day.

KNITTING: I am almost done with my second Lace Ribbon Scarf. I have also started knitting the cardigan I've been planning to make for my mom. It's my own design--so exciting! Nothing earth-shattering (and really...are there that many ways to shatter the earth with a sweater, and still have the thing be wearable?). It'll have a fishtail lace "skirt" and a smooth stockinette body and sleeves, with picot at the sleeve edge. I'm aiming for it to be about hip-length, with a wide-ish crew neck and buttons down to just below the sternum, where the lace starts.

HAIR AND SKIN REPORT: So far my experiments are going really well. I haven't touched a bottle of shampoo in 3 weeks. The baking soda wash + vinegar rinse is working really well. My hair is clean, and it looks a lot smoother and shinier than it used to, plus it has body and actually behaves itself most of the time. It feels a lot nicer too. The only thing I don't like is that, like happened yesterday, when I get caught in the rain I can detect a faint odor of vinegar from my hair. When it's dry it just smells clean hair; it's just when it gets damp. I have been using my Bumble & Bumble conditioner after the vinegar rinse, too--the ends were starting to feel like they needed a little extra moisture. Oddly, they feel a little bit drier since I re-introduced the conditioner. I think I'm going to cut it back out again. My face is also doing much better. Using the Oil Cleansing Method is still a little weird to me, but I'm having really good results with it. My pores are actually shrinking, and my skin feels smooth-smooth-smooth. The best part is that it never feels greasy like it did at the end of the day while I was using cleanser. I should say that I have continued to use a face mask once or twice per week, along with a glycolic acid cream once or twice per week (I was using both of these things before, too, and they seem to be more effective now for some reason).


Oct. 24th, 2008 11:03 am
arguchik: (knitting)
READING: I finished reading Farthing, the book by Jo Walton I posted about in a previous RWPK. About a third of the way through the book, I was completely hooked and had to know what happened. After I finished it, I immediately wanted to buy the sequel, Ha'Penny. Last weekend I was in Portland, and found it at Powell's, along with a third book that I didn't even realize existed (though in retrospect, I think I must have seen it at Third Place Books up in Lake Forest Park, which is where I got Farthing on my friend Sarah's recommendation). That one is called Half a Crown. So of course, since last weekend I have now completed both Ha'Penny and Half a Crown. I am also still working on the Stegner (Spectator Bird) and a book my brother encouraged me to take from our parents' house: Elizabeth Marshall Thomas' The Hidden Life of Dogs. It's a fascinating account of Thomas' observations of dogs, in her quest to answer the question of what dogs "want." She's shamelessly anthropomorphic in her observations and in her analysis, but I find it interesting all the same. It sheds new light on dog behavior.

WEARING: At the moment I'm decked out in sweatpants and a sweatshirt. I'm working at home today and just wanted to be comfy when I got up this morning. The sweatshirt was given to me by my sister, Jan. I think I may have posted about it before. It bears words in Latin: "Si hoc legere scis nimium eruditionis habes," which apparently means (with confirmation from [ profile] glaucon) "If you can read this, you have too much education."

PLANNING: This weekend will be nowhere near as exciting as last weekend was. How do you top a trip to Portland, a fun housewarming party, and a Fleet Foxes show at the Moore? Tonight I'm going to the College Inn for beer and nachos with friends. I don't know what will happen after that. Tomorrow I'm going to be home doing some work, though I might decide to take an epic walk. Tomorrow evening I want to stop in at my friend Edward's birthday party, which is happening at the Rendezvous. Sunday I have no plans as yet.

KNITTING: I'm almost afraid to blog about my knitting anymore, after this story about that Carnation woman who was starving her stepdaughter to death. Apparently she was "preoccupied with knitting" and kept an "obscure blog about her obsession with knitting." Creepy. And I feel compelled to say that yes, I am a somewhat obsessive knitter. I knit almost every day, usually to pass time on the bus or to keep my hands occupied while hanging out with my roommates. I also blog about my knitting, and post pictures of my knitting on that--one might say "obscure"--blog and on my Ravelry project pages. I participate in knitting discussion forums on Ravelry, and I read a bunch of other knitting blogs (you can see a list of the blogs I keep track of on my blogspot blog). I daydream about future projects, and I have a large yarn stash (though not so large that I couldn't list everything in it, without peeking, if I had to). But I'm a nice person who wouldn't hurt a fly, and I believe the same to be true about the other knitters and knit bloggers I know.

Yeah, I know, it's silly to feel like I have to defend myself and this craft that I love just because some other knitter did this horrific thing. The knitting community, like any other community, has its share of bad apples, and in fact I expect that the percentage of bad apples in the knitting community is substantially similar to the percentage in the population at large. It's a weird impulse, and I can't fully explain where it comes from except to say that there's something about belonging to a smaller community that makes one feel protective of it. Sort of like how, when I was a teenager, I was "allowed" to complain about my mom to my friends, or to talk about how weird my family was; but if anyone else dared to breathe a critical syllable, I turned into an overprotective pitbull. In this case, of course, it is not Rebecca Long that I want to protect, it is knitting, knitters, and the knitting community, especially that group of knitters who knew her IRL or on Ravelry, or read her blog, yet never guessed that she was capable of anything like this.


Oct. 10th, 2008 11:01 am
arguchik: (Default)
I find a bittersweet irony in the fact that Wall Street is tanking, and The Washington Post is even heralding the end of American-style capitalsim, while my father disappears further into the fog of Alzheimer's disease. Both of my parents are children of the Great Depression, but my father was particularly self-aware and vocal about that. He was actually making predictions about what we're experiencing now, back in the 1980's when Reagan came to power and started deregulating industries left and right. In some ways I'm glad that he (Dad) isn't aware of what's happening now, but at the same time I'm sad that he doesn't get to feel satisfied or vindicated, or explain to me (and my siblings) in excruciating detail how the current crisis is "exactly like" the one that shaped his childhood world. I really miss the stories he used to tell to embellish his scathing indictments of U.S. economic policy. It is weird to me that his life has been bookended by financial panic and economic crisis. Dad was born in 1925, and he grew up very poor. Mom was born in 1932 and grew up less poor--what I'd call "lace curtain Irish," except that only her mom was Irish...and she didn't hail from a lace curtain background herself, she only rose into that status by marrying a guy with recession-proof skills (my maternal grandpa was an auto mechanic).

So here we go...

READING: Farthing by Jo Walton. I picked this up at Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park, upon my friend Sarah's recommendation. So far I'm really enjoying the book--I'm only about 50 pages in, but it's fascinating. It is both a murder mystery, and an alternate-future SF story, set in a post-WWII England in which Germany did not lose WWII, and Hitler remains in power, ruling over (from what I can tell so far) much/all of Western Europe. I'm also still working on Wallace Stegner's Spectator Bird. I love that book, too, but I picked up the Jo Walton book because...Stegner is great, but he's really serious, and I wanted something more lively to read.

WEARING: Still in the sweatpants and sweatshirt I put on when I got up this morning. I'm working at home today, so I don't really need to put on "outside" clothes.

PLANNING: Not sure what I'm going to be doing this weekend. It's still amorphous. No big plans coming up in the next few weeks, either.

KNITTING: I've been a little bit stalled out on my knitting this week. I haven't started anything new. I worked on my Endpaper Mitts (Ravelry link--you won't be able to see this unless you're a Raveler), and got through the first two increases for the thumb gusset. I'm also still working on my second rendition of the Lace Ribbon Scarf, and my first pair of socks (the first sock is finished, and I'm about halfway down the cuff of the second). I have been carrying the scarf project and the socks project with me on the bus, but I have mainly been using the scarf as my bus knitting project--because I am afraid of using DPN's on the bus. Well, the other day on the bus I was like..."fuck it, I want to work on the socks!" So I did, and disaster did not ensue. Nary a DPN mishap: no chasing a stray needle under a seat or down the aisle, no inadvertent jabbing of an innocent bystander. It was fine, enjoyable, a perfectly acceptable bus activity. I'll keep doing it...we'll see how long my luck holds out. Oh, and I have also knit a couple more inches onto my rendition of Jess's Gansey. I need to start on the sweater I want to make for my mom, and then I'll be knitting a cardigan for [ profile] glaucon. I'm sort of dragging my feet on these projects, I think because I really want to fool around with some sweater design ideas I have for 6 skeins of emerald green Cascade 220 that's in my stash. That's enough to make a me-sized sweater (and that's what I bought it for), but not a [ profile] glaucon-sized sweater. I have other yarn in my stash for him, though--actually I have yarn for two different sweaters that I'm planning to make for him. The Sweater Curse be damned! (I've already made him one sweater--he was wearing it yesterday, actually--and that didn't activate the Curse, so I'm probably safe.)


Oct. 4th, 2008 04:36 pm
arguchik: (Default)
On a Saturday...better late than never, I guess. I was sick yesterday so I slept right through my Friday feature which is only semi-regular at best anyway. Hope nobody was on the verge of mental collapse yesterday, waiting for me to post this.

READING: Just to clarify--I am no longer going to discuss stuff I'm reading for "work" purposes here, i.e. for class or for my dissertation. From now on, this space is reserved for nightstand reading only. So. Right now the only book I have going is Wallace Stegner's The Spectator Bird. I enjoyed Angle of Repose so much when I read it several years ago, that I have always been meaning to pick up more of his stuff. Now I have. This is a short little book about an old guy and his wife reliving a time in their lives that...I'm not sure yet. The guy has been reading aloud to his wife from his journals of that time period, journals she didn't know he had kept. So they are "sharing" the experiences anew. The journals are from when they traveled together to Denmark, from where the man's ancestors come; they ended up letting half an apartment from a noblewoman who has fallen from grace because of her husband's apparent collaboration with the Nazis during the War. Clearly, something life- and marriage-altering happened with this woman, Astrid, but I haven't figured out what yet. I'm guessing it was an affair...and that the husband thinks the wife doesn't know about it, but she does. I'll let you know whether or not I was right about that.

WEARING: jeans, black t-shirt, black socks, shoes, and the burgundy sweater I knit for myself somewhat recently. (It's the Strawberry Lace Cardigan from Veronik Avery's Knitting Classic Style, and I finished it like 3 weeks ago.)

PLANNING: tonight, going to a wine party at my friend L's house. Tomorrow I'm going to finish cleaning my room and moving my office to the basement, plus I have some work that I'm going to try to actually do in my new office-y space. My bedroom was getting way too crowded and driving me insane, hence the move.

KNITTING: I'm knitting on several projects somewhat half-assedly. I'm not on an especial mission to finish any of them. On one set of needles, I have my first pair of socks. The first sock is done, and I'm about 3" into the cuff of the second sock (they are top-down). For bus knitting, I'm working on my second rendition of the Lace Ribbon Scarf (from last Spring's Knitty), which I'm knitting with the yarn specified in the pattern this time. And last but not least, I have a rendition of Jess's Gansey (from Interweave Knits) going. It's at a small gauge, so it's going very slowly. It's the project that is destined to go on and off the back burner for the next several months, because I have a couple of projects to knit for other people during that time. I'm hoping to start the first of those, a cardigan for my mother, sometime next week, and possibly tomorrow.


Sep. 12th, 2008 10:21 am
arguchik: (Default)
READING: I just finished Ursula LeGuin's Very Far Away from Anywhere Else. It's a lovely little book, only ~130 pages of w i d e l y spaced type. I really liked it. I'm almost done with Jane Ganahl's book, Naked on the Page. It's so-so. I'm getting tired of it, which is why I haven't finished it yet.

WEARING: Sweats and a zippy hoody sweatshirt at the moment. Bare feet with bandaids on the blisters I gave myself yesterday. Harumph.

PLANNING: C-I tonight, followed by (perhaps) a viewing of Burn After Reading, a new offering from the brothers Coen. It looks, in previews, to be a good 'un. Tomorrow I'm going to yoga at 11:00, and I have some other shit to do during the day, then it's out with a friend of [ profile] glaucon's who's visiting from out of town. Sunday there is talk of going to the Ballard farmer's market, for the getting of beets and the making of borscht.

KNITTING: I'm almost done with my Strawberry Lace Cardigan. I knit a few rows on the second sleeve (the last piece I have to knit, aside from the belt) last night, and had to put it away when I realized that I had left out 2 rows, like 2 lace repeats back. There is no way to fix it without ripping, and I can't leave it like it is. The mistake is too obvious, and it would also make the sleeve a different length than the other one. Fuuuuuuck! It's not the end of the world or anything--it only took me like 30-45 minutes to knit the rows I have to rip out. It's just a tedious process, because there will be all these live stitches that I have to get back on a needle before they ladder down to the depths of hell, by which I mean far down the sleeve, thus necessitating the wielding of a crochet hook. (This is superwash wool, which means the yarn is slipperier than regular wool, and more likely to ladder down--i.e. to "run.")

Manga! + RWPK

Sep. 5th, 2008 09:25 am
arguchik: (Default)
Hey, I got a new userpic via

What do you think?

My one annoyance is that, while they have eyebrow, cheek, and lip piercings in their library of stuff you can put in your avatar, they have no nose rings. WTF? What is the most common facial piercing again? Oh, right. The nose ring! I tried adding an eyebrow piercing and using the little up/down arrows to move it, but it won't move all the way down to the nose. Nor will it move up to the nose from the lip. :::le sigh:::

Also, they don't have my hairstyle. This was about as close as I could get.

OK, back to more pressing matters...

READING: Not really anything. On my bedstand I have Naked on the Page by Jane Ganahl, which is a silly book by a woman who does an "older, single woman navigating the dating scene" for the SF Chronicle. Or did. I have no idea whether or not her column still runs. So I guess I'm reading that, but only as I fall asleep at night.

WEARING: At the moment, gray sweats, a green tank top and a black zip-up hoodie.

PLANNING: Going to the CI tonight. Possibly to a thing in Cap Hill later on tonight (I'm up for it, not sure about the rest of the gang). Tomorrow I'm hoping to stop by [ profile] maeveh and [ profile] pigbark's housewarming shindig. I might spend some time during the day going through my shit--it's time to purge some dead weight. Sunday is blissfully open. Also, there will be yoga this weekend. I bought the super duper 2-month unlimited pass, only $99 for new students at the Yoga Tree in Fremont. Woo-hoo! I love yoga.

KNITTING: Still working on my Strawberry Lace Cardigan, from Veronik Avery's Knitting Classic Style. Did I blog about that before? I'm going to knit another one as soon as I'm done with this one. This one's for me. The second one will be for my mom.


Aug. 23rd, 2008 02:14 pm
arguchik: (pretty girl)
Forgot to do this yesterday so here it is today (Saturday):

READING: Adrienne Rich's On Lies, Secrets, and Silence. A wonderful collection of essays by one of my favorite second-wave feminists.

WEARING: Black capri pants. White tee with black big floral design on it. My usual silver necklace (the one with a little dog on the pendant) and ring. My usual white gold piercing jewelry. Brown Simple sandals. Blue toenail polish.

PLANNING: Going to a pre-wedding party in Tacoma this evening--we're leaving shortly. Later on, after the party, we'll be going to Olympia to hang with [ profile] drjohn and his chica (whose LJ name I still need to learn). We're staying down there overnight and training it back up to Seattle on Sunday, not sure what time.

KNITTING: I started a sleeve for my rendition of the Strawberry Lace Cardigan from Veronik Avery's Knitting Classic Style on Tuesday, while waiting for my flight to board at Midway Airport in Chicago. I'm using some deep brownish red--one might even call it "raisin"--Cascade 220 Superwash that is truly lovely to knit. Like I like it really a lot. I finished the first sleeve on Thursday and started the back yesterday. I have about 6 inches of that done so far. I'm basically following the pattern, except I knitted the hem closed rather than waiting to whip stitch it closed after finishing the rest of the sweater. I just like hems better that way. I'm also knitting at a tighter gauge, though I expect the fabric to relax some after washing just because it's superwash wool. (The superwash treatment renders yarn unfeltable and more pill resistant than regular wool, but that also means it's more slippery and doesn't have the "memory" of untreated wool.) Oh, I plan to do the belt differently, and also to add waist shaping. It's weird that the pattern doesn't give instructions for waist shaping, actually, because the sweater modeled in the photographs clearly was made with waist shaping. You can see the lace pattern slowly get "eaten up" between the hip and the waist. It's a belted, wrap cardigan that falls about to the hip, so it doesn't technically need waist shaping, but I'd prefer to have less bulk under the belt, personally. The problem with adding it is that...this sweater is knit in pieces and then seamed together, so it's harder to make sure the waist shaping falls in the right place. Harder...but not impossible.

So that's my day. How's yours?
I didn't do my RWPK thing on Friday, so I'm going to do it today instead. This coming Friday I will be traveling--[ profile] glaucon and I are going East for the better part of 12 days (including the travel days on each end--we leave on 8/1 and return on 8/12). Other things in my life are making me feel really need of cheering up. I don't feel inclined to talk about it here. So here goes:

READING: Still savoring Adrienne Rich's On Lies, Secrets, and Silence. The essays are excellent--interesting and thoughtful. There's really nothing like reading cultural criticism and feminist theory written by a poet. Wordage: she haz it. I also just just just started Sheri Teppper's The Gate to Women's Country. I've been meaning to read this for awhile, and people keep telling me it's awesome. I've been on kind of a second-wave feminism and feminist SF kick lately. I've been reading everything from that ilk and era that I can get my hands on. Hmmm. Maybe I should teach a class on feminist SF...? That would be super cool, actually. I think I'll write it up, even if I have noone to whom I can really pitch it.

WEARING: Today I'm wearing jeans, a black tank top with a tan "tattoo" swallow (the bird) design on the front (it's made by Sailor Jerry, if that means anything to you). My usual silver doggie necklace, leafy ring, and black strappy slip on shoes, inside of which my feet are bare.

PLANNING: Mad phat grading, yo. I'm going to the Seattle Purlygirls knit night this evening, and will be grading furiously all damned day tomorrow. Just made plans for tomorrow with [ profile] wondrousbeauty, to have lunch followed by a work date. I'm very much looking forward to that. Additionally, I'll be dog sitting for [ profile] superannuated1l for a couple of days...then leaving for points East on Friday.

KNITTING: Last night I finished the body of my February Lady Sweater--it's turning out really nicely. Today I started a sleeve--took the held stitches off their scrap yarn and knit a couple of lace repeats. It's a little tight on a 16" circ needle, but I really don't want to use DPN's. (For the non-knitters, "DPN" stands for double-pointed needles. If you've ever seen someone knit socks and it looked like they were juggling a bunch of stabby sticks in an impossible configuration, you were witnessing someone using DPN's. My DPN's are especially stabby looking because they are super shiny nickel-plated brass with extra-sharp tips. Most people use bamboo or wood DPN's. I would, but I find them too sticky, and they mess up my gauge.) I'm hoping to finish this sweater before I leave on Friday, which should be do-able. Sleeves are pretty quick to knit. I want to knit the cardigan I'm planning for my mother during the upcoming trip. It should keep me plenty busy. When I finish that, I might start in on the knockoff of the Dude's sweater that I'm planning to make--by request--for [ profile] glaucon. Or...I might do something else quicker and smaller first. I have so many projects on the drawing board!


Jul. 18th, 2008 09:36 am
arguchik: (Default)
READING: I just finished Grey by Jon Armstrong, which has been my nightstand reading for the last few weeks. It took me a long time to finish it because, until this morning, I pretty much only read it right before falling asleep at night--I can sustain reading in bed for only about 30 minutes before the eyes enforce bedtime, so...yeah, it took awhile to finish it. As is typical, the blurb on the cover of the novel promises "a legendary book waiting to happen" (Michael Chabon); well, I'm still waiting. This book was too much style, not enough substance, and the style was neither good nor believable. Surprisingly, I hated this book. It has been a long time since I've hated a book that I nonetheless continued to read to its conclusion (I think the last one was Marge Piercy's The Third Child, which is just wretched).

Anyway, I'm not sure what I'll read next. There are a bunch of books on my shelves that I want to read. I picked up I am Legend by Richard Matheson a few weeks ago (same day I bought Grey, actually). I first read it for a popular literature class I took at Grand Rapids Junior College (now GR Community College) back or 1987. I loved it then. Haven't looked at it since. I also have a copy of William Gibson and Bruce Sterling's joint effort, The Difference Engine, aka the seed of steam punk. I'm not a Sterling fan, but I thought I should (finally) get around to checking this one out. It's a hole in my SF have-read list. There are some others on my shelves that I haven't read yet, but I can't remember what right now. I'll go through, take stock, assess, and pick something in a little while. Tune in next week, and all that. (I'm not mentioning work-related readings at the moment. I'll start posting about work again soon, I just haven't felt like it lately.)

WEARING: At the moment, I'm wearing black sweatpants and a navy blue U of Delaware sweatshirt. No, I did not get this sweatshirt from [ profile] glaucon. It's far older than my acquaintance with him. My ex-husband gave me this when we were first dating, in 1989. He got it from someone he met on a trip he took to Taiwan the previous summer. It was a summer program for Chinese-American kids to go over to Taiwan and learn some Mandarin and some Chinese culture.

PLANNING: Actually, I'm planning some changes. In addition to my new yoga habit (which has, admittedly, been developing in fits and starts, but will hopefully smooth out into something more regular), I am feeling 2 separate needs: the need for more physical activity, in the form of walking, running, and (hopefully) hiking; and the need for less screen time. Lately, I have been spending far too much time watching movies and surfing the internetz. I need to spend more time on other things: my work, and being in the world. Screens are addictive substances to me. I get sucked in and hours, days, weeks, months, just disappear. I have kicked this dependence before. I can do it again. (I will still blog, and read blogs--I consider that intellectually stimulating and interactive activity, thus not soul-sucking like other kinds of surfing can be.) The basic gist is this: when my entertainment activities start using me, instead of the other way 'round, it's time to worry. I can always tell when it gets to that point, because I start feeling numb in the brain and heart, stagnant and earthbound in the body, and developmentally stuck in time and space. As if everything else is moving, changing, growing, but I'm standing still at best, and at worst decaying where I sit. It makes me feel antsy and impatient, like I'm waiting for something to happen....waiting...........waiting.........................waiting. It's interminable, this waiting. It's also an illusion. Nothing is going to happen. I'm waiting for a void.

KNITTING: Still working on my February Lady Sweater. If you want to see pics of the WIP (modeled by the gorgeous and talented Iphi), you can look at my knitting blog.


arguchik: (Default)

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