29 October 2007

I want these...


I screamed when I saw this amazing creation on Instructables this weekend. Wow. Just... wow. Seeing these really makes me wish I had a boy relative who wasn't over the age of 15. I would be the coolest cousin/sister/whatever ever if I made these as a gift for said imaginary relative.

I mean, I would totally make it for myself despite the fact that I am a 20 year old woman who is well past the days of having video game paraphernalia in my room, because I totally am a geeky techie girl at heart... but quite frankly, there's not enough space in my room at home, and I don't need another bookshelf at school.

Maybe I can convince my mother that we need a set of these in the basement. We could use them for fabric storage and arrange it according to color! That way if you look at them, each shelf is full of the same color that shape has in the game! WOOOOO!

Oh man, I'm such a nerd. But I love it.

And when I have my own sewing room, I'm so totally doing that.

So if you're a nerd like me, and love tetris and bookshelves, then go over to Build a Tetris DVD (or book) Shelf on Instructables, and check it out.

In other news, I'm going home for a few days at the end of this week, so I'll be returning with black yarn so I can resume work on the afghan, along with the bits and pieces I have of Christmas Prezzies (although you won't see those until after they've been given). I'll also have some puppy update photos, and undoubtedly a better outlook on life when I get back. So I've got a lot to do, and a lot to look forward to.

But for now, I'm going to knit a little before dinner and enjoy my cheater's cappachino that I made with my left over coffee from this morning.

-l.c.

27 October 2007

Photo Friday (a day late)

I've been blog hopping a lot in the past 24 hours since blogger wouldn't let me post all of yesterday, and I've seen a lot of "theme day" posts, and decided to try one out for myself. I've seen Flashback Friday around a lot, but since I don't really have much to flashback to, I've decided to substitute Flashback with Photo. Not that I don't usually post photos with my entries anyway, but there will be more actual photography showing up on these I think. We'll see.


Only the sloppiest, most overcooked omlette ever. Lesson learned from this: Don't use microwave omlette makers. Just do it the old fashioned way, even if it means you have more to wash afterwards. They just come out better.


That new scarf in the same yarn as the green one. It will be thinner, and much longer (hopefully).


Start of the second try of the very wide scarf I had to frog. It's not quite aw wide, but will be longer than the original was intended to be. Double strands of Caron Simply Soft on appropriate size needles.


Pittsburgh at night from Mt. Washington.

24 October 2007

Dreary Day, Dreary Mood

Well, today is finally a cooler day, as opposed to the ridiculous heat for October that we've been suffering through. And it's actually kind of nice, because my mood has been like this for about a week due to school, and other things (mostly being slightly homesick and missing my puppy!). There's something peaceful about when you're feeling dreary and sluggish and the weather reflects that. On the other hand, when you're dreary and sluggish, but the weather is bright, shiny, and mockingly pleasant, that's just torture.

I don't have any photos for today's entry, because as I said before, I've been sluggish. It might actually have something to do with the fact that I ran out of vitamins a week or so ago... Because my eating habits have been, well, less than nutritious as of late. Rice, Ramen, and an egg here or there for breakfast, mainly because frankly, I've had too much schoolwork to really want to wash any pots or pans.

Next entry will be loaded with photos, because this weekend I actually got off campus to somewhere other than a show (although another show would have been very nice). My roommate had friends in from home again, and these two were girls I knew and hung out with a little bit in high school as well, so I tagged along on their adventures through Pittsburgh on Saturday to Southside and Mt. Washington. So I have some photos from that. And I will get around to updating on my knitting projects, complete with photos. Really, I will.

Later today, I've gotta set up my RSS feed reader. I've been meaning to do this for probably about three years now, but I've got a presentation on RSS due on Monday, and I need screenshots, so I really do have to get around to that tonight. I don't know what's taken me so long to do this, because I know that it's going to make my daily Internet checks go much faster, and frankly, much easier, since as it is I click through a list of about 20 craft blogs, and lordy knows how many other blogs, comics, and other things. And every time, only about 4 or 5 out of all of those end up having been updated, so I go through all the rest for nothing, when I really should be spending time on other things... like my RSS presentation.

Well, for now, I must go and finish my coffee before my headache kicks in, so instead of a closing photo, I leave you with a sonnet I had to write about the election for poetry class. My class and teacher seemed to like it. I, on the other hand, think it's far too cutesy. You be the judge.

That fateful date has not yet arrived
When citizens begin to gain their voice
And candidates scramble, opinions contrived
Each desperate to be the person of choice.
Twelve months of debates and slander and lies
Stretch out ahead, damage already done,
Parties turn on each other, polls are in ties,
Though they have the same goal: to throw out the Son.
In only a year, the voters will flock
Shut up in their booths with levers to pull
When they emerge their choices are locked
Behind them wait more, the booths staying full.

I'll wait that year 'til my vote can be cast
And hope that our choice will improve on the past.


-l.c.

19 October 2007

Un bel di vedremo...

Oh, what a week it's been... It was that awful time, two weeks after mid-terms, when all the tests are over, and all the large projects and papers start to be due. Actually, scratch the was. It still is. So that's what has facilitated my absence. Not that I'm sure anyone really minds, because I doubt photos of Literature Review Proposals on Parkinson's Disease and rants about how it's unfair to change sylabi on a moments notice unless it's moving back a due date would have interested anyone all that much.


Before all academic hell broke loose (I seem to be in a perpetual state of academic hell from what I write about here, don't I?), my friends and I got comp tickets to the Pittsburgh Opera's production of Madama Butterfly at the Benedum last Saturday. Which was awesome. I love tickets to things. Especially when they're free. And even more especially when they are free but still have the original price of $55 on them.


The set was one of the most amazing sets I've seen. They actually had a pool of water running underneath the platforms. The costumes and staging was beautiful, and intentionally reminiscent of Japanese Noh Theatre. And Kabuki. The whole production was visually inspiring, and just plain frickin' gorgeous. The singers were rather impressive as well. Madama Butterfly herself (Cio-Cio-San) was brilliant, but her voice was a little heavy for the role in my personal opinion. I loved Suzuki to pieces. One of the men sounded like he was sick (I don't remember which one after a week), but other than that, and the stage assistant who kept sloshing through the water instead of stepping carefully through it like the rest of them, I have not a single complaint about the production.

Not much going on here craftily. Actually, I take that back. I finished the scarf I was working on, and knitted up a matching headband/ear warmer thing to go with it. I started a new scarf in the same yarn only a different (and frankly far prettier) color. I also frogged 3 feet of a very wide scarf that I had worked up a while ago. I had dug it out of my closet with the intentions of finishing it, but then I noticed that it was suffering from the same problem my green scarf had: the magical appearing and disappearing stitches! So I had to frog it all. Bleh. But whatever. I'll work it back up eventually.

So maybe I'll have pictures later tonight, maybe it'll wait until tomorrow. We'll see.

But oh! That chandelier!

11 October 2007

Cleveland, Sushi, and Midterms


Well, I meant to make this post upwards of three days ago now, but it's midterm time, and life exploded into a bazillion pieces on me. It is not unusual this time of the year. I should have expected it.

So I sit back now, with my cup of coffee and look back on this weekend, which was spent in Cleveland. Not much to tell, as we only spent about 20 hours total there, but we did go to this wonderful little restaurant called Sushi Rock, where we got the fastest service I have ever experienced in a restaurant. The sushi was excellent, and the miso soup was different, but very good.

There were a few things I wish I had gotten photos of, but we drove, so things simply went by the window too fast. Not that I would have taken my camera out if we were walking anyway though. I don't know why, but that city scares me a little. I find this bizarre, because I have never been scared walking around in NYC, which is technically a much bigger city and far more stereotypically "scary." I think it might be the gloom that rolls out from over the lake (Erie). It's somehow more foreboding than our silly little river gloom here in Pittsburgh. The boy assures me that it's not gloomy like that all the time, but I've never been out there when it's not. Maybe next time.


Speaking of gloom, the clouds are hanging particularly low today. I feel like if I went up a few floors and stuck my hand out a window, I'd return with a handful of cloud (which I imagine to be the consistency of Cotton Candy, because life is more fun when the clouds are made of fluffy sugar).

I'm finally mostly done with midterms, and only have one largish project hanging over my head now. Wait, make that two, but I don't really count the HTML web page as a largish project, since it's the basic stuff I've known how to do for years. Although if you look at my assorted sites here, you wouldn't notice it. Mainly because I'm too lazy to sit and work through the coding to change the site's template to my liking.

Besides, someone worked really hard on those templates. Why put them to waste?

I've finally finished and put away Herodotus' Histories. I must admit, through my two separate readings of it (I read it once, and totally managed to miss the answers to the questions I had to answer for class, so I had to go back and start all over again) I did thoroughly enjoy it. I suspect I would have enjoyed it far more if I had decided to read it on my own, and did not have the pressures of school hanging over my head. So now, I'm moving on to Mark Twain, Plutarch (again... I've forgotten it all already), and The Old Patagonian Express who's author is escaping me at the moment.

Gloom and school hell aside, driving back into the city this Sunday after just seeing Cleveland's skyline did remind me how awesome our skyline is. One of the best I've seen in person, I admit.

Although Shanghai's got it beat, hands down.

06 October 2007

Progress... Finally...

The scarf is finally making progress, despite the frogging. It's probably about 4 feet long now.


Stage Two of the afghan flowers was moving along at a nice little clip for a while, but alas, that's come to a halt due to the fact that I am now out of black yarn. Boooooooo.


But I got enough done that it still makes me feel accomplished and fuzzy inside when I look at them. I can't seem to keep myself from playing with them. They're not even finished yet, as there's a contrast round and one more black round to be added yet, but I still can't stop picking them up and turning them over, admiring my handiwork. I keep arranging them as if I was going to put the afghan together, and then rearranging, even though I only have 4 and a half colors done (I've got 2 more bright blue flowers that need to be done yet). Here's an example of what happens when I play with them:


Give it a week and looking at them will no longer be satisfying enough, and I'll instead begin twitching when I look at them, yet can't do more. I only have to wait until Halloween though, because I'm going home and will be able to pick up more black yarn. Damn my lack of car at school...

OR...

Maybe when my boy picks me up to bring me to visit out there, we'll pass a mall on the road that has a big JoAnn's or Michaels, and he'll let me stop really quick!

I could only be so lucky!

We haven't had a puppy picture in a while, so...


-l.c.

04 October 2007

I Am a Magician...

... and my talent is...

Making extra stitches appear out of thin air!

Behold my genius:


I am, apparently, just not cut out for knitting. I have NO IDEA how that managed to happen, nor do I know how I possibly could have missed the fact that it was happening. I am also unaware of how I managed to get it back down to the correct number of stitches after adding so many.

This was all done unwittingly. Well, except for the frogging about 50 rows to get rid of it. I was very aware that I was doing that.

This strange knitting experience was just the icing on the cake after a hellish couple of days academically. In the past twenty four hours alone, I have written 2 papers, one being a 7 page literary criticism on Melville's Benito Cereno. That was the main problem, considering I was convinced it was due on Tuesday of next week.

Nope, I am not that lucky. It was due at 9:25 this morning, and that fact was only brought to my attention through pure chance at 9:30 last night. Good thing I'm a fast writer... The paper is complete crap, but it was only a first draft, so it's not being given a number grade. However I'm sure my teacher's opinion of me is going to drop significantly lower.

So now that both papers are handed in, I'm going to go veg on the the couch and try and work this scarf up to it's pre-frogging status, only this time without the magical appearing and disappearing stitches.

-l.c.

02 October 2007

Midday Coffee Break

I try very hard to get up early in the mornings, so I have time to eat something, and at the very least either make or stop and get coffee on my way. This effort has paid off for the majority of the past month and a half since I've been at school (has it really been that long already?). Excluding Migrane Day, and Caffiene Headache Day, I would even dare say that I've adapted to a new way of life that differs oh-so-much from the way I have begun my days since I was about ten.

Long gone were the days of rushing around, not eating, and walking out the door with my hair wet and my slippers still on. Instead I have been waking up, showering in the morning instead of at night, puttering around with a cup of coffee and doing some studying and homework as CNN murmured quietly in the background. I have been fairly energetic, and in a much better mood than I have ever consistantly been able to claim. The days have been long, but fairly plesent, and despite my 21 credit workload, things have not once become overwhelming.

Then Monday rolled along.

And I apologize to all who suffered through my outrage in my previous post (however justified it may be). However, yesterday of all days was not a day to have the things I enjoy attacked like that, and have people who enjoy the same things as I do blamed for imposing impossible standards on the rest of my gender with their blossoming "domestic abilities" and seemingly "perfect lives." But honestly? My life is far from perfect, nor does the simple act of being able to cook and knit make it so, and yesterday and today prove that so vividly, that I really couldn't help getting my feathers all ruffled.

So before I begin extolling the horrors of the past two days (and yes, I'm being melodramatic, but I'm just in that kind of mood), let's focus on the brilliance that was Sunday, shall we?

Well, my boy drove in for the day to keep me company and make me dinner. And although dinner was wonderful, and he didn't light anything on fire, it became clear to me that I am very possesive of my kitchen. The number of times he had to kick me out and take spoons and pots out of my hands was rediculous. I even got nosey in the dish cleaning process, because I didn't think he was scrubbing the pots hard enough. Very strange, especially since I HATE doing dishes. With a passion. Lucky for me, he has the patience of a saint, and just sort of laughed at me.


So after a lovely dinner of Cheese stuffed ravioli in Vodka Sauce (bottled of course) with Sauteed mushrooms, I made chocolate chip muffins. To save time, I used one of those "Just add milk" packets and I was quite dissappointed with the number they yeilded. Only five per packet! Dissappointment reigned supreme. But overall, it was a wonderful day.


I used the leftover mushrooms from the pasta Sunday to make myself sticky rice with mushrooms for lunch this afternoon.



So the horrors of the past two days... You know what? I'm not even sure I want to go there. I think I'm just going to sit here with my cheater's cappachino (1/2 coffee, 1/2 sweetened milk) and try and enjoy myself for half an hour before I must start making notecards for my Greek History Midterm... and my Criminal Justice Midterm... and writing my essays for my 3 different writing classes... and conducting research for my critical review of Benito Cereno... and hoping my campus email starts working in time to email my poems to my professor and get credit...

This is madness....

....

... This is... SPARTAAAA!!
(sorry... couldn't resist, you know, with the Greek History midterm and all)

-l.c.