My brain is a little scattered from the weird work/holiday/travel schedule (last week, I worked Friday, then had the weekend off, and I’m working today, but have tomorrow off, and then work the remaining three days; January holds another holiday and the start of school, so I have two normal work weeks and then a four-day week in which classes begin, so the craziness continues), so instead of the normal posts I’d like to give you (complete with pictures, which are either yet to be taken or just trapped on the camera still), I’m giving you bullet points on assorted randomness I’ve found on the internet lately. Sorry. We’ll return to our normal blogging eventually.
- According to this article, which provides some information on Glogg, the smörgåsbord of food at Christmas is a traditional Swedish thing. So my Grandma can’t help it (though she’s not actually Swedish, but we won’t fault her for that). However, the article did say the food was supposed to be good…. I jest. Really, it is good food. Just the same meal, 25 years in a row, gets a bit old. She did a good job this year, and actually liked the lutefisk. Said it tasted like clam chowder. Who knew? I might have to try it next time we go. I originally followed the link because and gave and I a picnic basket of stuff, including Glogg mix. Now we have to figure out what to do with it, since I’ve never had Glogg before. Apparently you can mix the stuff with just about any [preferrably alcoholic] drink.
- We got the last (hopefully) of our wedding gifts this weekend. gave us The Newlywed Cookbook, which looks pretty good. We’ll know by the end of this week, since we picked out a handful of recipes to try out. gave us the silverware we picked out. It may not look like much in the picture, but it’s wonderful in person. It feels really good in the hand – all the edges are rounded. Which brings us to the crazy portion of today’s post. Everyone that I’ve told this to looks at me like I’m insane, but here’s the deal. Yes, and I both had silverware before we got married. But, well, my set was incomplete, though fabulous, due to numerous roommates. And I didn’t like ‘s set. Why? Because all the edges were sharp 90* angles. And that doesn’t feel good in one’s mouth. Really. I can tell. Mine had nice rounded edges (though not as nicely rounded as our new ones, which have no trace of “edge” at all, actually). So we went to the store, with one of my pieces and one of his, and I felt the edges of all the silverware and compared. made me coffee this morning (isn’t he sweet? he got to stay home today and sleep in, but he got up to make me coffee, freshly ground and everything!) and I stirred in some creamer with the new spoon and it was a beautiful thing. Felt awesome in my mouth. I know, I know. It’s crazy. But I can tell the difference!
- Here’s an interesting article on global warming and baking soda. Not as interesting as might like it to be (no, you can’t solve global warming by cleaning your house using baking soda, unfortunately), but still cool.
- From there, I got to 12 Ways To Stop Global Warming, and here are my comments on that:
- Get an energy audit – is doing this sometime soon. I think if we did we’d learn things we already know, and some things we just can’t change about our townhouse. I think the only thing we could probably do is replace the windows, and we know that needs to happen. But on a single-family home, this could be an important thing to do.
- Get more MPGs – I am all on board with this. I’d love to own an SUV some day, but not until I can drive one that gets some seriously better gas mileage. Honda Civic gas mileage.
- Change your lights – and I just said that to each other yesterday at Target. I hear this will be easier to do in the future with the passage of the energy bill. (For those of you who were wondering, the goal is 35 mpg fleet average by 2020. “The California plan, however, would cut emissions by nearly 30 percent by 2016, raising fuel efficiency standards in the state to 43.7 miles per gallon for passenger cars and some SUVs and trucks, while larger vehicles would need to reach 26.9 mpg by that year.” from CNN.com)
- Reuse your bags – you know, I have a reusable shopping bag that I carry with me in my big purse. I used it all the time when I did everything by bus and lived in my old house. But now when we go grocery shopping, I usually just take my little purse and forget all about my bag, which is too bad. I mean, we’d still have to use some plastic bags, but it’d reduce our garbage (since they just get thrown out immediately) by a bag or two a week. That could make a difference.
- Pay bills online – We do this. Specifically, does this, since he’s unofficially in charge of finances. Wells Fargo makes it easy.
- Efficient appliances - Um, I’m not sure about our house on this one, and quite frankly I don’t care. I think that I would care if we were in the market to buy new appliances, but we aren’t. And buying new appliances when the old ones still work just isn’t in the budget, or an item of importance to me.
- Control the temperature – Let me tell you, if I could figure out a way to better control the temperature in our house, I would. We’re just going to have to live with things the way they are. Of course, I think just about everyone I know has trouble heating or cooling their homes.
- Smart landscaping – I think the association would have a complaint or two if we just decided to do our own landscaping. Yet another solution for single-family homeowners.
- Reduce, reuse, recycle – complains that I recycle too much. After all, we only have one (albeit large) recycling bin that is picked up every two weeks, and there just isn’t room for it all. Force of habit, I guess. I can’t help it. I see a cardboard box, I want to break it down and recycle it.
- Conserve water – yeah, I could definitely do better on this. I take showers that are probably too long. My skin would probably be happier (read: less dry) if I did too. But I can’t figure out how to do that. I do turn off the water while I brush my teeth usually, and I think our dishwasher is energy-efficient. And I only do large loads of laundry. I probably use too much water while doing the dishes or rinsing off what’s going into the dishwasher though.
- Buy green energy – I’m not exactly sure how I’d do this. The article wasn’t very specific, and it doesn’t seem like something that’s easily accessible.
- Reduce your footprint – Another good idea that I’m left wondering “how, exactly?” The article doesn’t go into enough detail and I’m not sure where I’d start.
- Lastly, some things at Ikea that I’d get if I were made of money (which I’m not):
Aren't they cute? I like the red one. My one holiday guest towel is sad and pilly and... not that cute really. I like these. They don't match our bathroom at all.
When I first saw the picture of these (a much smaller picture), I thought they were little drinking glasses. Turns out, they're big candle holders or vases or something. Bummer.
I thought A would especially like these (though I've heard she has a desire to own fewer dishes, and I don't know the details of this decision). If I were in the market for things solely to clutter up my kitchen, I'd get these.
Prince Charming got some champagne from a client as a gift. We will be drinking it from... well, not from champagne flutes, because we don't have any. And really, who needs them? But this set of two is perfect, and doesn't take up that much space on the wine rack. Did I mention we got new wine glasses for Christmas?
They're for hanging jewelry on, for those who didn't know. I recently read something about someone making one for herself and it was a lot of work, but the end result was so cute. To do it myself would require the purchase of a lot of power tools we don't own, though, and this would seem to meet the need. It would, of course, go against my existing system of stacking trays that keep everything out of sight and reign in the clutter that jewelry can provide.
That’s it for me this morning! It should be a pretty slow day at work today, so I may entertain you some more (or less) later….
The Internet is a strange place. Not sometimes, but always.
I have about 40 blogs I read on a daily or weekly basis (about half are marked daily, the other half don’t update as often so I check in far less often). Lately lots of things have been going on in the lives of people whose blogs I read: several have gotten engaged, married, pregnant, or broken up. Now here’s the thing: you read someone’s blog long enough and you feel like you know them, and then when they go through an experience you feel like you share it with them, just like a normal friend. Only you don’t really know them. You know this partially-fictionalized mostly-true-but-edited-for-public version of them. They probably don’t know you at all (if you’re a lurker), or barely. At any rate, they’re not really a friend. They’re like a character of a book. With very short chapters. That are released slowly, instead of all at once.
So exactly what are the right words to express how you’re feeling about this stranger’s experiences? For instance, someone whose blog I read weekly-ish just broke up with his/her significant other. This couple happened to start dating right after and I did, and so they’ve had anniversaries that I’ve found noteworthy (their one year was our one year, for example). And they did some things totally differently than we did (for instance, they lived several states apart and moved in together after just a few months). One of the persons had a blog which I also used to read and he/she stopped blogging about a year ago. The other person blogs occasionally now. But because they met via blogging, most of their personal details have been left up to the imagination. You’re not actually going to share everything you’re thinking and feeling about a former significant other and the breakup when you know they can hop on your blog and read it at any time. So the reader is left wondering, a lot, what happened. And curious as to how to process this information.
Obviously, I feel sad about this. I felt like I knew them and they were a very cute couple, and I thought they were happy. Clearly, everything was not hunky-dory. More so, however, I am left perplexed about the nature of relationships on the internet, especially ones that aren’t really even relationships.
Anyone have thoughts on this?
Yes, I will get a post up about Christmas and our trip. But maybe not until Monday. Photos need to get tossed into iPhoto and onto Flickr first, and then I’ll tell you all about it….
- “I don’t expect you will really understand the beauty of the softly simmering cauldron with its shimmering fumes, the delicate power of liquids that creep through human veins, the aromatic spice of flesh, or the inner grace of human existence.”
- “Why is the chocolate always gone?”
- “Harold, *everyone* has the right to make an erroneous decision.”
- “Nine companions, so be it. You shall be crowded and cramped in that Kia.”
- “Nonsense, I have not yet begun to get my crazy groove on.”
- “Mama says they was magic shoes. They could dance all on their own.”
- And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to finishing making ice cream, tomorrow my plans include exchanging gifts with and the rest of my family and Sunday, I want to finish some projects I’ve been meaning to!
How many more gifts like this do you think we’ll get this season? Just a thought…
I’d show you a picture of my Christmas gift from , but I haven’t been carrying my camera with me, so you’ll have to live with a description. is a great boss for many reasons, one of which is that she is always appreciative of the work we do. One of the ways she shows this appreciation is with huge gift baskets at Christmas. This year, though her last working for the state, is no exception. It appears that in my basket is:
- disposable camera
- small photo frame (looks like a CD but says something about a frame)
- No less than three photo albums
- caramel chocolates
- miscellaneous chocolates and candy canes
I actually haven’t unwrapped it – it should be easier to get home that way – so there could be more lurking inside. It’s quite nice, especially since we have tons of wedding pictures to put in albums, as well as I’ve got a huge back log of pictures to put in albums that aren’t wedding-related. I promised DAD that I’d bring wedding pictures home, so this should make that easier.
Tonight we’re exchanging gifts with ‘s dad. There’s talk of going to see National Treasure 2 also. I’m too lazy to link that up for you. If only I could get that plugin to work for the movie/book/music tags. Oh well. Tomorrow, aside from cleaning and packing (and putting pictures in photo albums), hopefully we will also take a trip to the local recycling place and drop off tons of cardboard boxes. We’re working, slowly but surely, on getting the garage usable. I’ve temporarily given up on the spare bedroom. Taking all our Christmas stuff to ‘s should help though. Then there should be room to walk in and move about freely. Or somewhat freely.
Sunday we’re leaving for Chicago. It will be a short trip, because… there’s not much to do there, really. But good, nonetheless. I will try to not get overly emotional about missing my Aunt Shirley (I’d been really good for the last couple of weeks, not really thinking about it at all, and then in the last week it’s been much more in the front of my mind, perhaps because there are Christmas ornaments everywhere that remind me of her). And if I do, that isn’t actually a bad thing anyways.
I think we’re getting together with and and and next Saturday, which should be fun. We got some of the cutest clothes ever for , which I’m very excited about. The rest of the gifts, eh, whatever. and were still emailing me about gift ideas for myself and as late as Wednesday. No joke. I’ve given them about a bazillion gift ideas – and they were all good ideas. I’m not sure what their problem is this year.
emailed me and asked if grades were in, which means I forgot to mention them here. They’re not officially out yet, but my academic record states that I got A’s in both classes. Yay me! I registered for one course this Spring – Introduction to Social Science. It’s a required class, and it meets on Monday afternoons, so that should be nice. No night classes, less homework. It’s a 100 level course, so it should be no problem. Hopefully they’ll offer enough classes this summer that I can make up for the paltry courseload this spring. We’ll see.
I’ve found several new blogs and sources of entertainment this week, but I’m going to give them a little bit before sharing them, lest they turn out to be not nearly as cool as I thought they were.
I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas. I’m not sure how much posting I’ll get done in the next week, so that’s my holiday wish for you – have a good one! I’ll try to bring back lots of photos and stories of lutefisk.
- Snow day?
- I’m looking forward to a few [more] days off work.
- Ice cream is the best food ever!
- One of my favorite old tv shows is Little House on the Prairie.
- I’m done with classes (for a while, at least).
- The most enjoyable thing around the holidays is being with people I don’t see very often.
- And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to relaxing, tomorrow my plans include cleaning and packing and Sunday, I want to end up in Illinois without any major travel snafus (snow is in the forecast)!
Today I had lunch with . It was lovely to get caught up (for real, since we didn’t talk much at her birthday party last weekend). We also stood outside for a while (it’s actually nice enough to do that) and watched her bus go by. Twice. My hands got cold, but other than that it was good.
The sun was shining earlier, and I walked back from getting coffee. I was torn between taking deep breaths of fresh air and choking on the knowledge that there is an air pollution advisory right now. Yesterday through tomorrow, actually. And you can tell. Downtown the air is thick and visible. Blech. About halfway back I was starting to regret the walk, because it’s barely warm enough to be outside without a coat, but then I got out of the shadow of a tall building and enjoyed the sunlight, and all was good.
I’ve missed the outdoors and the sun. Most of my outdoor experience has been while it’s dark, and it’s been pretty cold lately. Monday, my day home “sick,” I ran a few errands and so I was outside in the middle of the day and the sun was shining. It sure helps a girl’s mood to get some sunlight. Speaking of which, Saturday is the winter solstice, so the days will finally start getting longer then.
Not much of an update, I know, but I have to get back to work…. If you’re bored, go browse around my Flickr account. There’s over 2,000 photos there to keep you busy.
Last weekend (or the one before), I finished knitting/crocheting my Grandma’s Christmas present, and I’m really pleased with how it turned out. You can see the rest of the pictures here. I hope to get a picture of someone (me, probably) wearing it over the weekend – I was taking pictures last night while slept, and taking pictures of oneself doesn’t often work out well….
This is such a heavily modified version of the original pattern that I’m posting it as my own. I’ll explain as I go through. There’s a link at the end to the short version of the pattern without all the prose (or at least there will be after I get a picture of someone wearing it for the official pattern write-up).
The original pattern for this came from one of the basic knitting magazines you can purchase at JoAnn or Michaels. The yarn I bought was not exactly what it called for, but was close. It started with casting on 3 stitches, and then increasing one at each edge via a yarn-over every-other row. Well, I just didn’t like the way it looked, between the yarn-over and the Patons Brilliant and the larger needle size. So, I decided to do it my own way: reversed.
So I cast on 165 stitches in the Nuance (which is a pretty nice yarn to work with – beautiful in its color changes; you just have to be careful about the gold thread that runs through it, because I had some problems with the first skein where it was shorter than the rest of the yarn and there was bunching; not much fun, but I finally figured out how to work around it). I knit the first row, then purled the second row, then repeated that (so there is a nice sturdy base of stockinette at the widest part of the shawl in the thicker, warmer yarn).
The original pattern also wanted four rows of each color before switching, but I couldn’t get the edge to look right when I did that. Carrying over and weaving in just wasn’t working for me. So in my version, I did two rows of each.
The Nuance rows (the blue-brown-beige colorway) are in Stockinette – knit on the right side, purl on the wrong side. The Brilliant rows (the solid brown colorway) are in Garter stitch – knit both rows.
So, switch to the Brilliant for row 5 (right side), and: k1, k2together, knit to last 3 stitches, ssk, k. (You’ve just decreased by 2 stitches.) Row 6: knit.
Switch back to Nuance and repeat rows 5 and 6, purling row 6 instead. (This is much clearer in the PDF version.)
Continue switching colors/yarns every 2 rows, decreasing by 2 stitches every 2 rows, until you have 3 stitches left. The first few inches take a long time, but then it goes pretty quickly after that; the math actually works out that you’re halfway done (stitch-wise) when you’re down to 121 stitches on your needles. Bind off.
The border was done with the Brilliant and a crochet hook. SC all the way around the shawl (you have to do 3 SC in the corner stitches to make it look right). Do this two or three times, or until you feel like the border is sufficiently wide. Tie off. Weave in loose ends. Voila!
This took me about two or three weeks, while studying for finals and taking an out of town trip for a weekend.
Here are some further options:
You could do wider stripes, assuming that you can make the edges look good. Your call.
If you look closely in my pictures, you can see that every 6th row of Brilliant (brown) is in Stockinette instead of Garter. This was an oops that I didn’t want to frog, so I made it work. It’s really not noticeable, and I like the look of the Garter stitch with the Brilliant, the way it’s raised so it stands out, so I don’t advise making my mistake.
You could make this shawl as big or as small as you want to, by changing the number of stitches you cast on. Just make it an odd number. The original pattern suggested an odd number, and while that was probably logical for it, I don’t suppose it’s necessary for this version.
Likewise, the border could be done in any sort of fancy crocheting edge you can come up with. I tried picot and it didn’t look right, and decided that simpler was better for my intended recipient, but everyone is different, and if you (or the intended wearer) are a little bit fancier, there are tons of options. You could even do fringe instead of a crocheted border. That’s what the original pattern called for (in Brilliant).
PDF of the pattern, all official-like and stuff.
This is what I worked on last night. Also, I'm trying to figure out how posting to this blog from Flickr works.....
If you needed another great way to use Flickr, here’s my idea of the day: searching for computer wallpaper. Bored with what you’ve got? Quick and easy fix – you might end up with too many options!
No, they don’t pay me for this, I’m just currently addicted to Flickr.
In other news, the semester is over! I did alright on my final last night – I can’t imagine I did worse than a C, which means I got an A in the class. Yay! I’d post a photo of my happiness, but I wasn’t creative enough to think of something to photograph. Unfortunately, grades aren’t due until next Wednesday, so there’s still some waiting about. And of course I can’t register for next semester until Tuesday.
After class, I consumed Chipotle, did some knitting, let my stomach settle, and then went to the gym. The gym trip was bookended by a stop at Target and Cub. Fairly uneventful.
Following up on my last post about new blogs, I found a new one called “Culinarily Obsessed” and it has all sorts of good recipes to get fat with. Here are some that sound especially good (that I think would particularly like):
Here’s the recipe index… have fun!
Also useful, from that blog I was led to KitchenGifts.com, which has instructions on decorating cookies (check out the link at the bottom to find more decorating ideas). I’ve been wanting to know how cookies ended up looking like this, and now I can try it for myself!
I have found new uses for Flickr. Want to find a new blog to read? Type in something you’re interested in, and some of the photographers have links to their blogs. Need to know what to make for diner? Try a food-related search. I tried “cookies” and was inspired to bake. (Unfortunately, it’s 10am and I’m at work, so I won’t be making cookies, but it’s a nice idea.)
Is it wrong to love Cheetos Puffs so much? So very yummy.
I thought I might be getting sick on Thursday/Friday, so I bought some Emergen-C and Halls Vitamin C supplements. I rode home on the bus on Friday in front of someone who spent the whole time hacking and shared a seat with someone who sat down and immediately blew her hose, and then proceeded to prove throughout the rest of the trip that she was sick. When I got home, I made promise to remind me if I got sick that I was supposed to be thoughtful of others and STAY HOME, especially considering how much sick leave I have built up.
And I haven’t gotten sick (yet). I still feel congested, but that’s it. Today there’s a slightly “off” taste in my mouth, but I’m just going to drink extra water and some more Emergen-C (can’t hurt, right?).
So instead, got sick. Yesterday. He’s still working, mainly because someone flew in to meet with him through Wednesday. Bummer.
I went to work out last night and they were giving away free massages. Unfortunately, I had to stay on task and finish my circuit in good time, because I was picking up dinner on the way home and didn’t want it to get cold (we tried the new pizza/gourmet Italian/takeout place near our house; verdict: alright, if you choose wisely). Maybe next week. The gym is celebrating it’s one year anniversary, so they’re offering all sorts of fun stuff. Tonight there’s a chiropractic assessment.
My plans for the night include studying one last time for my Geography final, which is tomorrow night. Then all will rejoice. Nice to know that I can’t actually fail the class at this point, unless he hands out negative grades (that was a joke). If I totally bombed the final and got a 0, I’d still get 70%, which is a less-than-reputable-but-still-acceptable C.
I’ve been taking advantage of our Flickr account and uploading all the pictures I can find. After finals are over, I’m going to go look for the CDs I have of pictures, back in the day of film cameras when they’d burn discs for you so you could have digital copies. We paid for the unlimited upload “Pro” account, mainly so that we could get all our wedding photos in one place, but it’s proving to be useful for generally organizing photos. I’ll be working on some more blog integration over the next few months, since I would like to edit my image tags and link tags anyways (the former so that things are more organized and I can clean up my server usage, and the latter so that this page is more accessible). Y’all are good at letting me know when I’ve really messed up my template or something doesn’t work, so keep it up!
Have a great Tuesday! Pictures from our Alabama trip are up on Flickr, if you can figure out how to get there. Or, just try this:
Can someone explain to me what this article actually says in plain English? I don’t get it.
Voyager 2 Proves the Solar System is Squashed
- Are you named after anyone? Would you name a child of yours after you? I am not named after anyone, nor would I name a child of mine after me. I would, however, use family names as middle names (still not my name though – Kelly doesn’t seem like a very good middle name).
- If you were born a member of the opposite sex what would your name be? If you could switch names with a friend who would it be? My parents were going to name me Eric. I don’t know who I’d switch names with.
- Are there any mispronunciations/typos that people do with your name constantly? Would you drop your last name if you became famous? I occasionally get Kelley, but not that often. Usually the problem is people forget my name and think I’m Jill (apparently I look like a Jill) or they have problems with my last name (pick one, new or old, people are just difficult). I wouldn’t be able to drop my last name if I were famous – do you know how many Kellys there are in this world? How ever would people Google me?
- Name two celebrities that have really great names. Name two celebrities that in your opinion have strange names. I’m skipping this one.
- Do you like your name? Does your name have a special meaning? I like that the combination of Kelly Laura means “warrior woman with a crown of laurel leaves.” I think it means I’m secretly Xena, Warrior Princess. Don’t you? It’s an OK name. My parents could have done better, but they really could have done a lot worse too.
- Master :: of the house
- Tour :: Bus
- Input :: field
- Downtown :: Uptown
- Pricey :: Car
- Acceptable :: Use
- Terrace :: Patio
- Sunday :: Night
- Payoff :: Deal
- Jack and Jill :: Hill