Bit of Ivory

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Random Thoughts (with a few actual updates stuck in here and there)

June 22nd, 2007 · No Comments

It’s a slow day at work. I find it rather– ironic that now, where I’m working somewhere that updating my journal from work would be perfectly acceptable, I hardly ever do it. But when I was working somewhere where doing such a thing would be frowned upon, I did it all the time.

Anyway. I’m just going to post some random things that I’ve either been doing or thinking lately. ‘Cause my life has gotten rather boring lately.

I’m thoroughly sick of listening to KOSY 106.5 for 40 hours a week. They play the same dumb songs every day. And even when they play a song I like– a Carpenters song, or a few that I’ve got on my iPod– I’ve heard them all so much lately that I don’t even enjoy them any more. And why, why, do people remake stupid 60s songs? There are lots and lots of really good songs that came out of the 60s, but do people cover them? No! Instead we get “Groovy Kind of Love” and “On Broadway” and other such songs that weren’t that good to begin with, and certainly don’t improve with a modern cover. Just. . . stop, people. If you were taking these mediocre songs and making them better, I wouldn’t complain! But instead, you’re making them worse.

And if I never hear another Elton John or Rod Stewart song, it’d be too soon. Unfortunately, they play at least 3 a day. Hmph.

Vanilla Coke is back (well, it’s now “Coca-Cola Vanilla” and “Coke Zero Vanilla”, but it tastes the same). This is both wonderful and terrible news. Wonderful because I love Vanilla Coke. Terrible because I try not to drink caffeine, and I haven’t been drinking as much of it since Vanilla Coke was discontinued. Woe.

My nails and cuticles look terrible. I just bought some cuticle cream to try to whip them into shape. I don’t have much hope though– I’ve never been able to make them look anything but terrible. And my nails are so brittle. I guess I need more Vitamin E in my diet or something. Anyway, these horrible horrible cuticles have been catching on my knitting lately, so something must be done.

Speaking of knitting, I’ve been working on a silk shawl as a gift for Jen’s wedding (which was on Wednesday and which was beautiful and at which I cried and which I still haven’t recovered from, and all I did was serve cake for an hour and a half) and it’s turning out absolutely beautifully. Here’s a pic I took with my cellphone camera when I’d only done a few repeats. It’s much bigger now. I was trying to get it done for the wedding, but hurrying made me make stupid mistakes, which took more time to correct than just taking my time in the first place would have, so it didn’t get done. I am glad that I did the practice shawl (most of it, I still have to do the edging on two of the sides) beforehand, though, because if I hadn’t already had experience with the kinds of aggravating things that happen when knitting lace, I think I would have given up on it long ago. Anyway, I think I might be able to finish it by the time she gets back from her honeymoon, though. Or shortly thereafter.

Once I get that finished, I’ve got baby House sweaters for the niece and nephew to knit in time for the DH release, Lisa’s Hufflepuff scarf to finish in time for the OotP premiere, and then– I’ve got so many lovely projects on tap! For my birthday I requested gift certificates and/or money to spend on knitting things. So, in the past few weeks, I’ve bought lace blocking wires, 4 more sets of Knitpicks Options needle tips in the sizes I use most (6, 7, 8, and 9, if anyone was wondering) as well as another set of 24″ cables and a new set of 40″ ones (and it’s a good thing, too, because I certainly need the length for the shawl!), a set of wooden cable needles, and a magnetic chart keeper. And those are just my notions! I also bought the book No Sheep for You, which had good info on silk and also has a lot of cute patterns that I want to make. And yarn! I got three balls of this lovely, lovely DK-weight merino superwash wool that I can’t remember the name of to make an Irish Hiking Scarf (hence the cable needles– I haven’t done cables yet, and this is my project to learn), a ball of sock yarn to make my very first pair of socks with (haven’t decided what pattern to use on that yet), two skeins of a burgundy-colored laceweight merino wool to make Christmas-present shawls for my grandmothers (I’m planning on using the Shetland pattern from Victorian Lace Today for them), a cone of laceweight 100% silk yarn in Citron from Colourmart for a shawl for my mom (we haven’t decided on a specific pattern yet), and two cones of heavy-laceweight silver gray yarn from Colourmart for a Cap Shawl from VLT for me. And I still have two balls of Rowan Kidsilk Haze that I bought in Laguna Beach that’s wanting to become a Victorian Ruby scarf from VLT. But I don’t know when I’ll actually get to that. :P

Luckily, I still have a lot of time to knit at work. Because I’m still trying to work on my thesis at home. Which is hard. And which I haven’t done much of. Next week, I shall buckle down. Yes, I will.

And who knew that when I decided to learn how to knit so I could make myself a Ravenclaw scarf, that it would turn into this? I certainly didn’t. :P

I still haven’t written up my trip to Laguna, or to New York. But I have uploaded my pictures to my Flickr account. Laguna is here and New York is here. Haven’t finished writing up descriptions for all of them, though. I think some of my “artsy-fartsy”-type landscape and scenery shots turned out rather well, even with my point-and-shoot digital. One of these days I’ll bring my SLR on a trip. I hardly ever have room for it. Not that I really know how to use it, anyway.

I really need to reserve my copy of Deathly Hallows. I’ve been putting it off because plans were still hazy, but there’s not much time left! Less than a month! EEK!!

I need to see Pirates 3 again. I’ve only seen it thrice! Not nearly enough.

The owner of my place of employment comes in rarely, but he never fails to make me feel like he thinks my IQ is significantly lower than it actually is, and that I’m doing everything wrong (when I’m not). One of the drawbacks of doing a job that’s below my skill level, I suppose.

Speaking of work, they’ve been asking me to create more and more specially-formatted documents lately. And all I have to work with is Word, which SUCKS when what you’re really doing is desktop publishing, not word processing (actually, it sucks for word processing, too, but that’s another rant). When my boss gets back (she and half the rest of the company are on vacation/at conferences this weekend), I might ask if they’d be willing to spring for something rather better– especially if they’re going to do that newsletter that they’ve been talking about since I was hired. I don’t suppose InDesign would be a viable option, but I might be able to talk them into Publisher. Which would be better than nothing.

The other day in a fit of boredom I read The Mysteries of Udolpho on Project Gutenberg. Now, I knew from past experience (and several classes discussing the Gothic Novel) that Ann Radcliffe’s brand of Gothic is more of the Scooby-do type (where everything that seems supernatural has a rational explanation), but her style of giving these explanations is maddening. At one point, the heroine, Emily (and as a nitpick– if the heroine were really in 16th-century France, as the novel purports, her name would have been spelled Emilie. Just sayin’), lifts a black veil covering what is supposedly a picture, and faints dead away. She then spends the rest of the book nearly fainting with horror over what she saw. But the reader doesn’t even get to know what it was that she thought she saw until almost the last page of the book, and then it’s explained in the same breath as what it was she actually saw. Which felt a lot like being conned rather than tricked. I didn’t get that feeling with The Romance of the Forest, though. So maybe it’s unique to Udolpho. Anyway, I’m glad I read it, as I now understand the references to it in Northanger Abbey that much better, but it’s a horrid book– and not in the sense Catherine uses it, either. :P

And “horrid” is a word that we Yanks don’t use much. Which is a shame, because it’s much more compact than “horrible.” I always think about this fact when listening to the Keane B-side “The Way You Want It,” because they use “horrid,” and it’s just another sign of their Britishness coming out. Which I love.

I’ve been helping my mom find and plant (we both do the finding, but I’ve been doing most of the planting– mom’s back has been bothering her. The doctors think she has a herniated disc, which stinks) perennials in our yard lately. It’s quite fun. Right now we’ve gotten mostly shrubs and ornamental grasses, but we’re hoping to plant some flower seeds in the fall. In the meantime, our strawberries ripened, and they were (and are, since we made jam and froze them) delicious. They were kinda dinky, but so much sweeter than the big ones you get in stores. Mmm. Now to plant some raspberry bushes. . .

My other BFF Nicole is in town for a family reunion and for Jen’s wedding, and tomorrow we’re going to go to Kneaders for lunch. I’m really, really looking forward to it. MMM, fresh roasted turkey on foccacia with Kneader’s sauce. And I’m saving my WW points so I can indulge in a mini Key Lime tart, too. Or maybe a mini strawberry tart. We shall have to see when we get there.

Speaking of points, I’ve re-lost about half of the weight I regained between all my vacations and starting work full-time (which at first meant eating out every day, although I’m getting better at that). Slowly but surely, the weight will come off! Although it’s leaning more towards slowly these days. I bought an incentive dress the other night, though. It’ll look great about 10 pounds from now. :P The new Kashi frozen entrees are absolutely delicious, are very filling, and a nice change of pace from Lean Cuisines (which I rather overdosed on, hence the eating-out-too-much phenomenon). Snacking on sugar snap peas is also a good thing. The new Hostess 100 Calorie chocolate cupcake packs are only 1 point per package (if you only eat one. If you eat two, then it’s 4 points for both :P), while the yellow cake ones are 2. Packs of mini Pringles are 3. I’ve been enjoying all of them in moderation lately.

It occurs to me that this post would be more effective when broken up over several days. I bet I’d get more comments that way.

Maybe that’ll give me the incentive I need to post more. ;)

Tags: Books · Fandom · Harry Potter · Jane Austen · Knitting · Life · Movies · Music · School · Weight Loss · Work

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