bedlamsbard: star wars rebels: hera peering around a corner (dreams of electric sheep (casett))
Today has been one of those extremely bizarre days. Not for any particular reason, just one of those days where everything feels a little dreamy and blurred around the edges. I went to the grocery store for popcorn and bread, and it was one of the strangest shopping trips I've ever had; it was like an out of body experience. I ended up with three kinds of Maltesers, more tea, and shrimp crackers, which I haven't eaten in at least ten years. Among other things. Bread, yes. Popcorn, no, they were out of salted popcorn. Just a really weird trip, which sets the tone for my really weird day.

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I finished my dwarf socks last night and started Nennir today, where I rapidly ascertained that the amount of distraction I can have for the pattern is audio, but not audio-visual. So my extensive collection of Richard Armitage audiobooks may finally come in handy; I've got another pair of Jaywalker socks on the needles for watching TV or movies with.

(I have several different mental levels of difficulty/multi-tasking ability for knitting: things I can do without looking in the dark in a movie theatre (stockinette, garter stitch, or ribbing; I tend to do 3x1 ribbed socks), things I can do without a pattern but not in the dark because I need to be able to glance at it occasionally (Jaywalker socks, which has a two-row repeat), things where I need to have the pattern in front of me but still have most of my attention elsewhere (most lace and cables; the dwarf socks were Vilai and fit into this category), things where I can concentrate on something audio but not visual because I need to be looking at the pattern the entire time, and things where I can have background music but not podcasts or audiobooks because I'll blank out every few minutes from concentration (I don't do this very often). I normally have something on the needles in category 1 or 2 (normally 2, because I don't go to the movies often enough for 1 to be worth it and I get bored otherwise; it's also good for train or plane knitting) and something in one of the other categories.)

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I have a bad habit of buying cookbooks, which wouldn't be a bad habit if I'd actually cooked anything from any of the dozen+ cookbooks I've bought in England. So that's a new goal: to cook at least one recipe from every cookbook I have here.

stuff.

Sep. 9th, 2012 01:38 pm
bedlamsbard: star wars rebels: hera peering around a corner (the die hard way (likefluffy))
traumatizing stuff about England and Leicester (well, traumatizing for me) )

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In happier news, I won all blue ribbons and several rosettes at the County Fair! Including Superintendent's Choice for my Alpha Socks and the Washington Association of Wheat Growers first place for my dinner rolls, which I am still not convinced is not a fluke of some sort. Pics at some point in the future, I guess.

Book recs: Abigail Adams solving crime! These are just delightful, I really recommend them. I tore through all three in about four days. I hope that there will be more. (Yes, I know that Barbara Hamilton is Barbara Hambly, so I have delightful 1830s New Orleans mysteries and some fantasy to read as well. BUT ABIGAIL ADAMS.)

Currently I am reading Connie Willis' Doomsday Book. Apparently this is the super-depressing one, so at least I am prepared for the death, disease, destitution, and despair to show in spades.

I took a week off from spindling because I injured myself, and now I am trying again and suck at it, ugh. Practice, practice, practice! I am knitting painfully slowly, or maybe that's just how Juno Regina tends to go. I'd like to get it done before I go to England (OH GOD OH GOD).

Also I baked a really good cake the other day, from The Joy the Baker Cookbook. YUM.

also, ow.

Aug. 30th, 2012 12:32 pm
bedlamsbard: star wars rebels: hera peering around a corner (life (teatree_icons))
I spun -- spindled? -- so much that I think I gave myself some kind of repetitive stress strain/injury/I dunno what it's called but ow. So I took a day off, then tried to do a little spinning yesterday (just for like ten minutes), and -- wow, now my elbow hurts like a mother. Dumbass right here, guys. And then I probably made it worse by knitting afterwards. I am, apparently, just not that bright.

I have also forgotten all my Latin in the past four months. So I should get on that. Have I mentioned that I have to start doing grad school apps again? Even though my main plan is "go back to Tulane for the PhD" because what if I don't get in! Ugh.

I've been keeping an anxious eye on Isaac and texting my friends who are still in Louisiana. I hope that everyone in Isaac's path is safe. (Related: a tree fell on my favorite NOLA bookstore. WOE.)

The county fair starts today. I entered some knitting and some baking and have an exhibitor's path, so I'll go later today to check out what ribbons I got. (And can add to my not-as-extensive-as-a-lot-of-other-people-in-town collection -- I haven't been to the fair for the past three years (and the only reason I went four years ago was because I, oh god New Orleans, got evacuated for Hurricane Gustav when I was a freshman), but I've got ribbons from doing 4-H (just dogs, not horses or cows or sheep or anything) when I was younger. Fuck yeah country girls, I guess.)
bedlamsbard: the lion king: painting of simba, made by devicons (reckonings (devicons))
My life is currently exceptionally boring, except for the intermittent bouts of uncontrollable panic. So there hasn't really been much to post about, since I'm currently not really writing much. (Well, [personal profile] aella_irene and I are working on an original (which has pseudo-Vikings in it!), but fic-wise, I mean.)

I actually have housing at Leicester (which I need to accept, whoops); it's not precisely what I wanted, but I applied fairly late, so it's good that I got something I'm okay with. (Although we'll see what it's actually like when I get there, I guess.) I'm still working on the visa application, which I meant to have done a month ago? But it takes me like two weeks to get anything done: one week to let it sink in that I have to do it, and another week to do it piece by piece every day. Which I did with the housing application, and since sadly I got that information and the visa information at the same time, I didn't do them at once. Uh. Don't come to me if you want something done fast. I keep freaking out that I shall do something wrong on the application and I shall be BANNED FROM BRITAIN FOREVER. Never mind that if I don't actually do the application I won't be able to enter the country.

I spun yarn! It's only about 52 yards of bulky-weight (and pretty thick-and-thin, even plied), so I'm not sure what I can make with it, but I SPUN YARN ON A SPINDLE OMG. But now I need to buy more roving, so I'm pondering my options and wondering if I should just get something relatively plain and cheap from KnitPicks or somewhere on Etsy (weirdly, I've never bought anything from KnitPicks before) to keep practicing on while I try and get an even single, or if I should get something hand-dyed and nice. (Is there a spindling and/or spinning comm on DW, by the way?) For the record, I have the Schact Hi-Lo Drop Spindle with a 2-inch whorl (1.1 ounces), which I've been using as a top-whorl since I can't find a good bottom-whorl tutorial that isn't for a Turkish spindle. The only problem with it is that the notch is directly facing the hook, which doesn't quite seem right, looking at other spindles. But it's worked pretty well for me and I like it.

I made frozen yoghurt! Which I mentioned in my last post, I think. So far I've done two batches of strawberry (AMAZING AMAZEBALLS OMG) and one batch of blueberry (which is yummy, I'm just not as keen on blueberry as I am on strawberry), but should probably branch out of the fruit zone. My mother wants vanilla made with vanilla extract, not vanilla beans (since those are expensive), so I should get on that.

I made pizza! I made pizza about a month ago for the first time, but I've done it a couple more times since. I use the olive oil dough recipe from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, then oil a baking sheet, break off about a fistful of the dough and spread it out on the baking sheet as thin as I can. (I do actually have a pizza stone, but I haven't, uh, used it for pizza yet. Usually I use it for bread.) I use canned tomato sauce (yeah, I don't make my own, we have a giant package from Costco anyway), homegrown basil, and storebought mozzarella (theoretically I know how to make my own, but we're trying for simple here), then toss on whatever toppings I feel like. I like it with thin strips of ham or Canadian bacon; a couple nights ago I did my side just with Canadian bacon, then added olives and onion along with the Canadian bacon to my parents' side. Then bake it for fifteen minutes at 500 degrees and NOM. Yum.

I knit lace! Or lace-weight yarn, anyway, usually I do lace shawlettes in sock-weight yarn. I'm slowly working on Juno Regina in Malabrigo Lace; I was hoping I'd have it done in time to enter it in the county fair, but at this point it seems unlikely. I do have to go through the stuff I've knit in the last year or so and figure out what would make a good fair entry, though, since for a change I'll actually be here for the fair this year. Shocking!

I miss Tulane and New Orleans. *sadface* I think I've just about come to grips with the fact that I won't be going there in a few weeks, but I really miss it. I'm hoping to back for my PhD next year, so I was shocked the other day to realize that oh shit, I actually have to start thinking about PhD programs AGAIN. Besides Tulane, obviously. Ugh, thinking about graduate school. Trying to figure out what I'm actually interested in.

My former roommates from Tulane (New York, Alaska, Texas, and Chicago, who was never technically a roommate but is an honorary one) and I have sort of started an online cookalong? Where we copycat recipes from our favorite restaurants in New Orleans on a biweekly basis and then tweet about them. Two weeks ago was La Madeleine (which, yes, I know is a chain, but we liked it and went there a lot), and this week is the Rum House (if you ever go to New Orleans, go to the Rum House. You can thank me later). So I've been hunting up taco recipes that look vaguely similar in preparation for this Sunday's food extravaganza. For La Mad we did a tomato basil soup and another dish of our choice (I made a lemon tart, because I overachieve), and this week is at least one taco and either a side or a cocktail. I shall probably try polenta -- they do this amazing roasted poblano and manchego polenta, but I'll probably try for something easier -- and one of three kinds of tacos. I'd really like to do a fried oyster one, but I'm not sure how easy that would be to do. So probably a steak or fish taco. Yum.

Watching the Olympics? Not much to say about that, I guess? Mostly the channel we get just shows the highlights/what they think is interesting: swimming, diving, gymnastics, track, and volleyball.

Currently I am reading Fish on Friday: Feasting, Fasting, and the Discovery of the New World, which is giving me on and off thinky thoughts about water rights and fishing in Dust-era Narnia. I'm trying to marshal them into something resembling either plot or coherent worldbuilding or both. Mostly I'm trying to finish the book before it has to go back to the library. I also started reading Connie Willis, and am working my way through the library's collection -- I read Bellwether, To Say Nothing of the Dog, Miracle and Other Christmas Stories, and Fire Watch over the past two weeks, which just leaves Passage. Then I'll start buying books. (BTW, you ever notice that all an author's weirdness comes out in short stories? Yeah.)

I went back to washing my hair twice a week, instead of just once a week, which I think was a good move, since it's thicker and feels softer now. I'm still having more trouble pinning it (my hair has less "grip") than I did in New Orleans, which I think must be either the humidity or the water or some combo of the two, since NOLA is much more humid and is on city water, and Ellensburg's very dry and we're on well water. It's mildly frustrating to me, since I like doing things to my hair, but, well, what can you do? I'm still trying to figure out how to get my hair to stay up using hair sticks. (Or in my case, bamboo knitting needles.)

As you can see, life here in Casa de Bedlam is...happening. I was going to write that there's nothing much to say, but apparently that's a lie, since I can get wordy about absolutely nothing. LIFE SKILLS.
bedlamsbard: star wars rebels: hera peering around a corner (disney on acid (likefluffy))
Today I SPUN! I have no idea if it went well or not. The end result looks yarn-like -- rather thick and thin, but more than anything it reminds me of Noro Kureyon, though obviously without the crazy colors (since I'm using an undyed BFL). I have no idea what I'll do with it when the spindle shaft is full. Look up more YouTube tutorials, probably. For reference, this is the tutorial I'm following right now.

It's fun, so far. I suspect my hand is going to be really stiff tomorrow because I think I'm gripping the wool too tightly. Not sure I'm doing it right, but whatever. It can't be that complicated, women have been doing it for millennia. And -- gods, I don't know why this is the reference I think of -- I always think of that bit from Bernard Cornwell's The Last Kingdom: Thyra, who had her mother's pale gold hair, would watch and spin, ever spinning, the distaff in her left hand while her right teased the thread out of the sheared fleece.

My mother: "Are you going to take a spinning class?"
Me: "No, I'm going to learn from YouTube tutorials like the gods intended."
bedlamsbard: star wars rebels: hera peering around a corner (cup of calm (teatree_icons))
I am intrigued by magic loop and am interested in trying it, because I have sock patterns that are deliberately designed to be near impossible to knit on DPNs, but (1) it looks like such a hassle and (2) I'd have to buy new needles, since I don't have any needles with a 32" to 40" cord, let alone US1s (my preferred sock needle). (Actually, I think I might have a US8 with a 40" cord, but the only yarn I have is sock yarn.)

/random knitting thought

Not that I have knitted anything in a few days, mind. I am bored by my current project and am probably going to rip and find something more interesting for my mother's Christmas present. (In case you were wondering how far behind I was on the Christmas knitting: just a little.)
bedlamsbard: star wars rebels: hera peering around a corner (canning (girlyb_icons))
Grandma and her boyfriend came over today, and I was the only one home when they arrived, so I did the social thing, then made rolls (from scratch! with yeast!) for dinner, which took up most of the day. (The social thing, not the rolls.) Only I'd been sick this morning, so I was still feeling fragile for most of the day, so, eh.

*

Started a toe-up sock with the intent of using up leftover skeins of sock yarn, which, (a) at least I have conquered the toe-up sock (or at least that specific cast-on) but (b) the reason I don't knit plain socks is because I get really bored really fast. I've never knit a non-lace sock, you know? I need at least a minimum of some kind of pattern. Also, I don't have a scale, so I have no idea how much yarn I actually have leftover when I finish a pair of socks or a shawl. It seems like a decent amount, but hey, who knows? So, guessing.

I may just rip out the scrap sock, wind the skein of yarn I have earmarked for Dionysus, and cast on for that. At some point I guess I should figure out what the hell I want to do with all the balls of leftover sock yarn. (It really is almost exclusively sock yarn, too, since socks and shawls are all I knit, except for cotton washcloths.)

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I have now finally seen The Terminator for the first time ever. With the commentary of my grandmother, her boyfriend, and my father...and, sadly, the fact I know the canon better than them, since I saw the entire run of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and also a lot of vids. (OH FANDOM.)

I totally want to rewatch T:SCC now. God, I loved that show. DAMN YOU FOX. *shakes fist* I can't believe you scrapped that for Dollhouse, of all the damned things. (Gods, that was a bad year, I think three of my favorite shows got cancelled all in the same year. I was convinced Fringe was going to follow. What was the other one, I can't remember. The Unit, T:SCC, and something else I was seriously in love with? Oh, Life. OH LIFE.)

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I am kind of tired. And also at that point where I am (a) between knitting projects and (b) between books. And feeling aggrieved because I didn't get to go to the library this weekend.

*

(You know, I'm kind of ready to go back to Tulane (I miss having classes, okay), but I'm terrified of going to England. HI. RIGHT NOW I AM FEELING COMPLETELY READY TO SKIP OVER THE MONTH OF JULY AND GO STRAIGHT ON TO AUGUST. Only I haven't done any of the stuff I meant to do this summer. I haven't even made pasta dough, and that wasn't even on my list of scholarly things to do.)
bedlamsbard: star wars rebels: hera peering around a corner (last day (wibbelkind))
So I finally frogged the stupid sock for the sixth time and am now assuaging my feelings by knitting a nice garter stitch dishcloth. Maybe after that I'll approach my feelings for socks again. (The yarn, though, looks great.)

*

Meanwhile I am rewriting Make and Break Harbor into the Fic That Shall Not Be Named (which is probably going to end up being called Make and Break Harbor + 17K or 18K, let's be honest), which is frustrating me, because M&BH was sort of just me doing ~Presence all over the place and also in present tense, while the FTSNBN is in past tense and has more ass-kicking. Not that there needs to be ass-kicking in this particular scene, just, you know, my point.

The WIP last night passed 16K; the M&BH scene should add another 2K, and then we'll see where we're going from there. Usually at this point my head would be screaming, "Aaaaaaaand we're endgaaaaaaame!" and the story goes downhill from there, but it's not, which kind of worries me, as I'm not entirely certain where the story's going to end. So I'm staring at it and wondering where it's going. The last thing I want to do is bore myself, especially since it's one of those super-self-indulgent stories. Maybe only one or two more scenes after M&BH (so maybe 1K or 2K, which should put it at 20K, which, seriously, nothing this self-indulgent should go over 20K).

*

Tomorrow I am getting my hair cut. Right now my hair's almost down to my waist, which is ridiculous; I'll probably get at least six inches off and maybe more, but I'm mostly caught going, "But my HAIR!" So we'll see how much actually comes off.

*

Possibly I ordered the four-disc extended edition of LWW from Amazon. *sneaky eyes* (No, I still don't own VotDT; right now I still hate it so much that even a two-second clip of it makes me unaccountably angry.)
bedlamsbard: star wars rebels: hera peering around a corner (the die hard way (likefluffy))
I am so frustrated with this one knitting pattern, you have no idea. There's a pretty good chance I'm about to rip it out for the fifth (and possibly final) time. I finished my Nemesis socks (Rav link) on Friday night, all except the Kitchener toe, and I left that to do on Saturday morning when I could look at the instructions while I did it. (I have nothing against Kitchener. I love Kitchener! Just, for some reason, I always have to have the instructions up while I do it, despite the fact I've done it more than a dozen times by now.) So I went to fetch another skein of yarn to wind up while we finished watching the first two episodes of Pillars of the Earth (a.k.a., why can't David Oakes play a nice morally upright medieval guy?) and printed out two patterns.

Now, one of them was Poseidon (Rav link) and one of them was Dionysus (no non-Ravelry link, sorry). And I'd bought the yarn I was using (Black Trillium merilon in "Breeze") specifically to do Poseidon. But by the time I was ready to cast on Saturday evening (while watching Breach, if anyone's keeping track), I'd realized that Poseidon was toe-up, and that was something else I'd have to be looking at instructions for. So I cast on for Dionysus instead, which had some problems when I realized that the designer had forgotten to put in the instructions for C6F and C6B in the pattern and I had to run and look them up, as well as the fact that for about fifteen minutes I couldn't figure out why there were red lines on the charts. (For the different sizes, as it happens, but that wasn't written anywhere on the pattern.) But I eventually got most of the cuff done by the time the movie finished and took it upstairs. Where I stared at it. I mean, on some level I felt weird about using a blue yarn for a pattern called "Dionysus", although I told myself it was fine because there's that one story about Dionysus and the dolphins and so on, but mostly I felt weird about using a yarn that had been specifically intended for one pattern for another pattern. When the only thing that was wrong with the other one was that it was toe-up. So I left it overnight, and in the morning I decided that, you know, I was fine with ripping it out and casting on for Poseidon the next day.

So on Sunday, yesterday, while watching LWW, I began to cast on for Poseidon. I have had some spectacular toe-up failures in the past, which is why I always do cuff-down socks. But, you know, the pattern had the short-row toe instructions written in, so I'd just follow that, right? WELL. The short-row toe in the pattern is not that well-written, so it, in fact, results in fairly obvious holes when in practice. (Why yarnovers? Seriously, why yarnovers? More important question: why didn't I just follow the nice tutorial on Knitty?) So I finished the toe, eyeing the holes worriedly and telling myself that I could sew them up later and started in on the pattern. Which is written, not charted. About five rows in I couldn't stand the holes anymore and frogged the entire thing.

At this point you would think I would have learned my lesson about this pattern and given it a rest, but instead I carried it downstairs to watch Vanity Fair after dinner and cast on for the same pattern cuff-down. It's a nice little lacy cable-y pattern that I gambled would look the same upside down as right-side up, so I would do the ribbing, then just work the lace pattern and figure out the heel when I got there; I've done enough socks by now that it wouldn't be that hard to work out a heel flap without the pattern sitting there telling me the numbers. Well, I didn't read the pattern closely enough, just closely enough to see that the stitch count stayed the same between the foot and the leg -- 58 stitches in the round. So I cast on 58 stitches, joined to work in the round, and began to calmly do my K2 P2 ribbing. Only when I got to the 58th stitch, I was on a knit stitch, not a purl stitch, and then I'd have four knit stitches next to each other. So I ripped again, figuring I'd just counted wrong, and did it all over again. Same result. At that point I looked at the pattern more closely, and realized that the cuff doesn't have the same stitch count as the leg; instead, it increases to 60 stitches during the last row of the leg. So I cast on 60 stitches, and this time my ribbing worked out. So today (listening to the Joy the Baker podcast) I started working on the lace pattern. Which is mostly fine, whatever, I can mostly get it to work divided across four DPNs, although I've got a yarnover in a place I don't like to have yarnovers (the first stitch of a new needle). Only there's the fact that you actually have to repeat the odd rounds twice across the leg, which is not something that's ever mentioned in the actual pattern. You don't repeat the lace pattern, you repeat the whole ROUND -- which is made more confusing by the fact that the lace repat is repeated itself within the round, but okay, whatever, I can figure that out, I just had to tink back about twenty stitches, but that's not so bad. Only at some point I decided to look at the project gallery for Poseidon on Ravelry. Which is when I discovered that other people had modified the pattern so that the lace pattern went all the way around the leg -- see, as written, because of the way that the round repeats rather than the lace pattern repeats, you end up with these two long stockinette strips of six stitches down the leg. Which is unnecessary, and also rather unflattering. (This probably would have been obvious if the pattern was charted as well as written, I'm just saying.) I've knit about an inch of the leg, or one and a half repeats of the lace pattern, and that stockinette strip is driving me crazy.

So I think I'm going to frog again, and possibly put the nice ball of yarn away while I knit something else. Dionysus, maybe. I don't know if I feel like tackling Poseidon ever again. Although I bet this yarn would look good in Dionysus. There's a really nice blue Dionysus on Ravelry, and there is that dolphin story, so it's not completely out of left field. (And the yarn still looks really good after being knit and frogged four times, too. I really like Black Trillium; her shop is here and she's got a sale on right now!) If not, well, I've got lots of other yarn in stash. Including a nice skein named Gaia (which...okay, would just feel really weird to use for a pattern called Dionysus) and two skeins of Malabrigo lace earmarked for Juno Regina (Rav link). Wait, am I the one with the problem or are there just a lot of knitters and designers familiar with mythology?

Speaking of...if I was any good at colorwork, I would totally have to make these socks ([personal profile] highlyeccentric, you'll like these!) and these socks.

Anyway. I'm a bit annoyed.
bedlamsbard: star wars rebels: hera peering around a corner (the hidden door (23carat))
I'm having a fit of hatred for everything. There's mold in the furnace, my front yard and driveway are flooded (although let's be honest, we got off easier than some other parts of the county -- seven households are cut off from town because the bridge washed out. No, I'm not in Louisiana right now), I had a spectacular cooking fail yesterday, and I'm trying not to sulk over the response to Our Impudent Crimes, which has translated into me hating all my WIPs. Also I have one ear that's going in and out of being vaguely stopped up, and I'm ripping up my lips again. And I'm trying to get myself to look at the stuff I should do this summer: GRE prep, Latin, honors thesis stuff. And I haven't paid the rest of my tuition to ACE yet or booked my plane tickets because I'm not sure when I should come back. I can't find the $25 iTunes gift card that I'm ninety percent certain I threw into one of my boxes, either.

*breathes into paper bag* This happens every summer. Hate. Everything.

*

Good things: I had a savory baking success yesterday -- chicken pocket pies from Mad Hungry (recipe here, though I used thyme instead of dill), which took a while because I did everything at once but turned out really well. I think I can roll the dough out thinner next time; the all-butter galette dough I've been using for my mixed berry mini-galettes is a bit more prone to leaking, but the only leaks I got on the cream cheese dough was on the seal.

Yesterday I went around and tossed pine cones over the bank! This may not sound like a very exciting thing, but it got me outside and it got me doing something, and now my arms are sore (you lever them up with a shovel and then flip them), but definitely in a good way.

I really like the sock I am knitting right now, which is Nemesis from Knitty, in Malabrigo Sock colorway "Turner." It's supposed to be on US1.5s, but I only have US1s, and I think it shouldn't be a problem.

*

A couple of extras for Our Impudent Crimes: This is the White Witch I was thinking of in the mural (concept art from Ben Wootten; there are a couple other sketches in The Crafting of Narnia that also fit, but I can't find them online) and this is the recipe for goose with orange and ouzo that the Lady of the Green Kirtle serves Rilian. Although I haven't tried it. Oooh, maybe when I go back to New Orleans I can get goose from that specialty meats shop on Magazine.

*

And now I'm going to go bake cookies.
bedlamsbard: star wars rebels: hera peering around a corner (off we go (girlyb_icons))
Okay, new goal for the week: every time I post something that's a complaint, or unhappy, or something of the sort, it has to be accompanied (or paired, or countered) by something happy. So.

Today I made curry and rice, which I eat all the time at home and which I always ate growing up; it's totally my comfort food, but I've never actually made it on my own. So I made rice, then I carefully followed the instructions on the curry roux package and sauteed onions with beef, potatoes, garlic, and carrots, then added water, brought it to a boil, then lowered the temperature and let it simmer until the potatoes were fork-soft. I didn't factor in the extra cooking time needed for the roux; by the time I'd stirred in the roux and let that simmer more some more, the potatoes were way, way too soft. There wasn't as much curry punch as I'm used to -- I think because I bought mild and we usually eat medium at home. (Same brand, though, it's a Japanese company.) I also didn't add all the roux, even though the package said to, because, well, we don't do that at home! I think. I'll call home tomorrow and ask my mother. Anyway, lots of leftovers; I think I'll probably have to make rice one more time this week, but I should be good through the week.

My goal for the weekend, knitting-wise, was to finish the leg of my first Winnow sock, which I did today, and then I knit the heel flap and turned the heel and and am now working on the gusset. The written instructions sort of fall down here because the construction's a little unusual, but I'm mostly working off the chart right now. I had juggle the needles and the stitches; I usually like to have sock on four needles, but right now it's just on three and might go that way through the end, so I don't have to break up the lace pattern onto two needles. (Right now, the sole is on two needles and the instep (the lace pattern) is on one.) But it's looking good, and with any luck I'll have it finished within a couple of days! Of course, then I have to knit sock number two.

*

I am fascinated, fascinated I say, by the different interpretations of the dreams in Second Sight. Like I said to a couple people, I had something specific in mind so (obviously, ha) I thought no one else would see it another way, but obviously not! Very cool. I forget what an adrenaline rush posting fic is sometimes -- it's different with a chaptered work, like Dust -- but short one-offs get a much bigger and broader response. What a great feeling. Definitely something I need during the school year, when I spend a lot of time feeling like my emotional health is suffering. So a (slightly belated) resolution for the new year: post at least one fic a month.
bedlamsbard: star wars rebels: hera peering around a corner (check the stove (hermit_icons))
I am still madly in love with my Winnow sock -- it's so clever! I really love the side panels and this little twisting vine bit that's worked with alternating yarnovers, SSKs, and K2togs; it makes me so happy everytime I see it. It's harder to see the wheat heads as they're worked over more stitches and tend to bunch up, but I'll think they'll look pretty cool when I've got a bit more of the leg worked and can stretch it out and see.

I'm making friends in Latin, which is nice -- I don't make friends easily; my current roommates I made friends with freshman year and basically haven't gone outside that group since then. Last semester I had two semester with another girl I'd lived with freshman year, which was great; she's a classics major too and so she got the sheer awesome that is classics, which mostly tends to net me blank looks from other people. No classes with her this semester, though, and I've never quite worked out the etiquette for hanging out with people you don't already live with or see every day. (I didn't hang out with people in high school. I was a weird kid. I had friends and all, but I saw them every day, you know? In school. Not outside of school, unless it was for a school-related purpose, except for one friend, who is also the only one I keep up with on a semi-regular basis when I'm home.) Like, can you really just call or text people and say, "Let's hang out!" Don't you need an occasion? And what if they wonder why you want to go, I don't know, rock-climbing with them or something? I am really bad at the socialization thing. I never had that kind of training.

Anyway, friends in Latin. I like having friends in language classes, as it's helpful for making groups. (My lecturer brought in stuffed animals yesterday and distributed them to groups, in order to give them personalities so we could work in out adjectives. We named the tiger Scipio, because I'm a nerd and the other three girls thought it was cute.) Interesting to see who takes Latin: since it's a 1020 class, it's mostly underclassmen, and I'm the only one I know for sure is a classics major. (Which meant when she was writing the animals' Latin names up on the board, I was the one who went, "Man, I wouldn't make the wolf a girl, as then she'd be a prostitute (lupa)," and my teacher started snickering.)

Love Roman history, love, love, love. I'm heavier on MEMS this semester than I am on Classics, and it looks like my honors thesis is going to be on -- well, what I want to write it on is the use of classical literature by Renaissance authors in their own work, specifically Edmund Spenser or William Shakespeare; I'm leaning towards Spenser and the Faerie Queene right now over Shakespeare, just because Shakespeare wrote so much stuff, how would I ever pick and choose? (Not that the Faerie Queene is exactly light reading.) Partially because I swear to god, every historian I've ever taken a class with at Tulane is either currently on sabbatical or is going to be on sabbatical next semester. (Not technically true, but damn, it feels that way.) Mostly because I really am sincerely interested in it; I can pick up the references on a brief read through, but there clearly has to be something going on there. Er, I was getting into this to talk about how my medieval and Renaissance religion classes are working out for me. Interestingly. I made the mistake on Monday of doing the reading for my Medieval Religious Culture class, then for my Age of Reformation class, then got totally confused on what happened when. I really did want to take Ancient Christianity this semester, but the scheduling didn't work out. The other two girls in my tutorial are both pretty Catholic, so I feel like I stick out a little -- but I also have a completely different viewpoint on the subject. (Also, it's probably about time I studied Christianity, as it bewilders me in ways that Greco-Roman and Scandinavian paganism really doesn't.)

*

In conclusion, a recipe, since I made Dutch babies today:

Dutch Babies for one or two )
bedlamsbard: star wars rebels: hera peering around a corner (life (teatree_icons))
Today was one of my less productive days, at least academically. In my defense, I cast on for a new knitting project (Winnow, from Knitty, in Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock "Harvest"; yes, I've basically had the pattern printed and the yarn bought since First Fall came out, but I was on my shawl high until a couple weeks ago when I switched abruptly to socks) and yesterday I wrote a paper, and, well, even if I didn't read that book about medieval Christianity or that other book about medieval Christianity or do back-Latin, I did read Measure for Measure and turn in my add/drop form for Shakespeare II and do my Latin homework for tomorrow, even if I have no idea what "sustulisti" means. (That wasn't even part of the assignment! I just thought, well, I did the first ten sentences, maybe I should do the other three, and then I hit a word I couldn't figure out and decided that I should actually eat dinner. But I'm really frustrated by the word. It's probably something stupidly obvious.)

Maybe I'll write before I go to bed. Or maybe just knit more. Well, I should finish the pattern repeat, yeah? Just so I'm not confused tomorrow?
bedlamsbard: star wars rebels: hera peering around a corner (bring it starbuck (scifi-tv-addict))
Y'all, I have finished my sock. My first FO of 2011! (Totally begun in 2010 for Socktober, but whatever.) My goal was to have it finished before the end of the weekend, and I finished all the toe shaping at the stroke of midnight last night, then kitchenered it and wove in all the ends just now, and now I have TWO FINISHED SOCKS.

The pattern is the Through the Loops Mystery Sock 2010 (Rav link) from Kirsten Kapur, in Malabrigo Sock "Persia" on US2 (2.75 mm) needles, and holy crap, this yarn bled like a mother. I'll take pictures later, but the five needles I used for knitting are now GREEN -- Brittany needles (don't recommend them, they're too dull) come in sets of six, and the sixth one is a completely different color than the other five. Which is weird, because the last Malabrigo I knit with didn't bleed at all: weirdness.

Anyway, this makes a kind of depressing morning pretty happy.
bedlamsbard: star wars rebels: hera peering around a corner (winter wonderland (wibbelkind))
My attention span decided to leave me for the day. Hopefully it will return tomorrow. (Naturally, it deserts me on the weekend I have a paper due. You know. Of course. Convenient timing, what?) I made the mistake of not taking an hour or two yesterday to go to the library and work on Latin (despite the fact that I have a Latin class in the morning), although I did get about an hour and a half in today: but see again, attention span effectively gone, which means I don't do the usual "search for the verb and rearrange the words in your head until they make sense" bit and instead went straight left to right, the way I do when I'm tired and it's hard for me to concentrate. (Apparently, some professors teach it this way, though, so at least it's not totally incorrect.)

I haven't been doing much studying in my dorm this semester, at least so far. I've been carrying my Latin textbook, notebook, and sheaf of looseleaf paper (so many trees die for me to study Latin: on the bright side, at least it's the latest in a long two thousand year tradition) around with me nearly everywhere, so I have the habit of, after my late afternoon classes, going to the library to work through another chapter or so of Latin. Or, when my roommates start acting up, collecting my things and going to the LBC or the library to work through some more Latin. (This is helped by the fact that after last semester's fiasco, I'm no longer particularly comfortable phoning home while anyone else is in the apartment, so I now tend to make my phone calls from the LBC or while I'm walking to Whole Foods. Also by the fact that sometimes I'm really, really uncomfortable in my apartment, for various reasons. I think I can say with some certainty, however, that PMS makes me paranoid (especially re: my roommates). I miss the days when it just resulted in chocolate cravings.) Only yesterday that never happened, because I don't have a late afternoon class on Fridays. *sighs* And nothing happened to make me leave my apartment in the evening. Seriously, I've spent more time out on campus after dark in the past two weeks than I have in the previous two and a half years put together, mostly just walking to or from the library and/or LBC. Also one of my classes that ends at 5:45. (I hate late afternoon classes.)

Anyway, I've been spending a lot of time in the LBC working through Latin, either back chapters or the chapters we're currently on (and, unfortunately, there's a gap of about five chapters in between those two), even after the food court closes -- the LBC is one of the few student centers in the U.S. that's open 24/7, so that's nice. Interesting to see who comes in after the main food court closes, though Der Rathskeller's open till about four in the morning. (The Rat's the World of Wings in the basement. Don't ask me why we have a basement when we're in a city that's below sea-level.) Today I think something was going on with Rush, since there was a herd of girls in short skirts and fancy heels migrating through the LBC. (I assume they were in nice dresses, but they were bundled up against the cold. The short skirts and fancy heels seemed mandatory, though. One reason why I shall never be in a sorority.)

Where was I? Oh. Attention span totally gone. May go back to knitting, since one of my goals for this weekend is to finish this sock, and I finished the gusset today and am partway through the foot. Which is pretty quick going, and I don't mind kitchener stitch. (Sad news: I started this pair of socks in October, and have only just once more picked up the second sock, which only had the cuff done. Am on a sock kick, though. No pun intended. Now I have a shawl with about eight rows remaining on my WIP/stash shelf.)

I made a great apple crisp earlier this week. Must pick up more apples and pecans at Whole Foods so I can do it again. I'm debating getting shortening, too: I can't get Crisco anywhere within walking distance, so I'd have to get the tub of organic whatever from Whole Foods, and I'm not sure I'll go through that much. (I use it for crostata dough and one particular biscuit recipe. I do have a cookie recipe that calls for it, though I usually use a variant that calls for canola oil instead.)

I have a teetiny bit of non-Dust Narnia fic in the works -- a continuation of this. Among other things, I'm trying to work through my problems with Jill POV. (Which is, uh, actually completely counter to what that fic's about, gah. I need to Jill On Her Own sometime, because most of what I have is Jill going, "Dude, the Pevensies are weird." Only she sounds more English. I mostly managed to conquer that with Eustace, now to do so with Jill.) Not sure what's going on with Dust 24: there are a couple different ways I could go, and I'm not sure which one to choose. (Could do both, might want to do the other one later, should probably have this scene, but don't really want to, this scene would be helpful, but I'm not even sure I want that character to exist, but the passage of time! and goddamn my choice of shoving a freaking festival into the middle of my fic too.)

In conclusion, a Narnia vid rec that is absolutely brilliant and gorgeous: Never the Same, by anonymous, for [community profile] festivids. It is very smart, and very pretty, and has a great music choice. I generally don't watch Narnia vids or look at Narnia fanart or read Narnia fic or, well, uh, do anything relating to the fandom outside my own journal, actually, so I approached this vid with great trepidation. But it is brilliant.
bedlamsbard: animals: a cougar standing on a tall rock (girlyb_icons) (a high place (girlyb_icons))
Aaaaaand I have succeeded in waking up depressed, confused, and crying on the morning of my 21st birthday. Gee, I hope this isn't a harbinger for the rest of the year.

unhappy things )

And if you made it through that, here is something happy: Knitters knit a GIANT CARDIGAN for the 900th anniversary of the town of Cardigan in the UK.
bedlamsbard: animals: a cougar standing on a tall rock (girlyb_icons) (a high place (girlyb_icons))
I have (finally) gone through and added (almost) all of my textbooks for this semester to the proper Amazon wishlist. I didn't add my Shakespeare II textbook, because it's the same one as Shakespeare I, and the Latin textbook isn't up yet but I think it's Wheelock, which I also already have. I didn't add the textbooks for Children's Lit, mostly because I think I'm going to drop it -- the booklist is up on the uni bookstore website, and I'm not thrilled by it, and I have enough textbooks already that I don't feel particularly compelled to add more. Plus, that would put me at 20 credits, over the max (if I get into Shakespeare II; I'm waitlisted currently), and it's only useful if I do the English minor. I mean, yeah, there are a number of books on the Children's Lit booklist that I already own, but I'd have to haul them out to New Orleans, and nothing thrills me enough that I want to take an entire class on the subject, and sometimes I'm not entirely certain I believe in the concept of children's literature anyway. (Also I hate the term "literature." Sorry.) Sure, I read books that are probably considered "children's literature" growing up -- a number of them are on that booklist, including Little Women and The Golden Compass and Treasure Island -- but the pigeon-holing has my hackles up. So probably going to drop that, I don't need the extra stress on top of six other classes.

I also have one book that overlaps two classes! This excites me, I wasn't expecting Medieval Religious Culture and Age of Reformation to overlap UNTIL THEY DID. I still kind of wish I was in a different section of Honors Thesis Boot Camp so that I could take Ancient Christianity and make this The Semester I Found Religion.

My schedule this semester is a little weird, and uneven to the extent that I dislike -- last semester it was perfectly regular, gah. All my classes except The Etruscans and Early Rome are in the academic quad! Three of them in buildings I've never had class in before! Also obviously at the other end of campus from where I live, which makes it a good fifteen minute walk from my apartment to class, and I think almost twenty for two of them. (So a mile away, basically, or slightly less.) Including my Thursday 8:30 Latin class, blech. This is also the first semester I don't have a 9:00 am, which is shocking, I like having 9 o'clocks. If I drop Children's Lit, I won't have a 9:30 TR, either. (The 8:30 is only once a week, all my other Latin classes are 10 o'clocks.) Oh, gah, I just realized that obviously the only classes I have back to back are going to involve me going from the academic quad to the Newcomb quad (my only class on that end of campus) back to the academic quad. Oh, well, at least those are the fifteen minute passing periods, not the ten. I really wish I could take the other section of Shakespeare II, but that's at the same time as my Medieval Religious Culture tutorial.

*

As a university student, too much of my yearly schedule revolves around the school year to consider New Year's Day any kind of new beginning. I don't know if this is true for other people involved in academia, but for me, it's easier to make resolutions at the start of the semester. The geography of the campus is different than the geography of home, the options more open, and the setting utterly different. The begining of the term is in itself a new beginning, an empty tablet the way the calendar year isn't for me.

New Term's Resolutions for Spring 2011

Read more... )

Some non-term related New Year's resolutions/goals/wishes:

1. I'd like to make pasta from scratch, by hand.

2. I'd like to knit 11 Shawls in 2011 -- the first one is already on the needles! Little Valentine (Rav link), in Dream in Color's Dream Club Rose Smash. I'd like to get it done before I leave, so today, but that seems...unlikely. And do a pair of socks a month! (And document everything on Ravelry, so I feel more accomplished.)

3. I'd like to knit my first sweater. And colorwork. (And on that note, I'd like to get my Narnia bag (I reversed the colors so that it was a golden lion on red) finished, blocked, and lined. The actual bag has been done for two years now. It needs to be done!)

4. I'd like to make pizza from scratch.

5. I'd like to finish Dust II. (This one is a long stretch, I know...)

6. I want to go hiking this summer. I love Washington, I want to see parts of it that I haven't seen since I was ten and we used to go hiking and camping and canoeing all the time.
bedlamsbard: star wars rebels: hera peering around a corner (winter wonderland (wibbelkind))
Oh my God, my life is a freakshow. I am slowly freezing to death. In New Orleans. In August. I AM FREEZING IN NEW ORLEANS IN AUGUST THIS IS WRONG IN SO MANY WAYS. Also outside it is 84 F and feels like 95 F AND OMG THERE IS A HEAT ADVISORY IN EFFECT WTF.

To put this slightly more coherently and in context: my apartment is freezing, oh my gods, and I don't know where the thermostat is and nor am I comfortable fooling around with it even if I did know where it is. My comforter, blanket, and pillows are still in storage, but I figured, you know, NEW ORLEANS IN AUGUST, and thought I'd be okay with just sheets for one night. APPARENTLY NOT. I am in shorts, sweatpants, socks, cami, long-sleeved shirt, and a sweatshirt, and I am still freezing, and I am rapidly running out of clothes to put on, especially on the lower half, since most of my clothes are jeans or skirts or shorts: not helpful. I cannot even make tea in an attempt to warm up, as my electric kettle is still in storage and there appears to be no actual stovetop kettle. (Buying one. I <3 regular kettles. Also if it stays this OMG FREEZING I may have to buy a different comforter as well, as my comforter is kind of crap and not much with the comfort.)

*sighs* It is seven to six in the morning, and nothing is open around campus yet, so there's nowhere to go. Bruff doesn't open till eight and the library doesn't open till ten twelve (they're still on intersession hours), and the bookstore not till ten (SO I CANNOT BUY BLANKETS AND GO BACK TO BED), and the LBC might be open, but nothing in the LBC will be open yet. Have I mentioned that I did not actually go to sleep until, like, two in the morning despite getting only about two hours of sleep last night? This I blame on the time change. Also that my new roommates were in the living room talking -- I still haven't actually met them yet, they came in after I'd already retired to my (not yet fucking cold) room -- which isn't really helpful to me, as my room is right next to the living room and I could hear them. TALKING ABOUT COCKROACHES. IN OUR APARTMENT.

Also my bed creaks every time I look at it cross-eyed and my cell phone battery died while it was plugged in. It is now recharging, but still -- I am suspicious of it. I do not trust it. It used to drop a charge if I looked at it funny, but only in Washington and not Louisiana, which is why I kept it off almost all summer.

*stares at leaping cat and drinks tepid tap water*

Oh yeah. Did I mention I also have to frog my entire Haruni shawl? (1) ran out of yarn and (2) somehow stitches got dropped and something got terribly messed up while I was in transit, and I have no idea how to fix it. My entire shawl. That I've been working on for the better part of a month. I could rip back to my lifeline, but then I'm still left with the too little yarn problem. (I didn't have needles in the right size, so I cast on with needles two sizes larger. Which clearly also wasn't a particularly bright moment.)

These are clearly not my warm sweatpants. Damn, when I was thinking, "Hmm, should I bring another pair of pajama pants? Nah, never needed them before," I clearly should have trusted my better instincts.
bedlamsbard: star wars rebels: hera peering around a corner (yggdrasil (girlyb_icons))
Oh, gods, I suddenly want to drop the classics stuff and embrace Norse mythology. I could switch one class out, but I already bought the books! But Norse mythology! Which is apparently all over the Chronicles (as well as the Greek mythology!)! And I am really intrigued by some things! Like the Norse influence on British mythology and folklore! OH DEAR.*

Also I now really want to knit this blanket (Ravelry link).

*On the bright side, maybe that could be my senior thesis? Only I wanted more classics in my senior thesis!
bedlamsbard: star wars rebels: hera peering around a corner (when I was queen (feikje))
Knitting baby booties (Ravelry link) for my pregnant cousin. Well, her baby, obviously; it is (second?) cousin to a knitter; it shall be a warm baby! OMG, are babies' feet really that tiny?

Oh, heeeeeey, the Dizzy Sheep's Dizzy Deal for today (tomorrow) is on Plymouth Baby Bunny. Maybe I'll order some! OMG, look at this rabbit, so cute, omg. If the baby cousin does not want a knitted bunny rabbit, I want a knitted bunny rabbit.

And speaking of rabbits, tonight was Alice in Wonderland night! And now I want Alice/Hatter fic, yes? Or possibly Alice/White Queen, but mostly Alice/Hatter.

...the power just blinked off! Then on again! ...and then I had no internet, which is why this is being posted an hour after I originally wrote this.

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