Thursday, October 30, 2008

No really, it snowed!

This is what it looked like outside of my house yesterday morning. I took this picture after falling and bruising my bum (stupid dog) on the back steps. I need boots.

Its supposed to get warm next week... just in time for me to go to Nashville for the AMS annual meeting.

Hopefully I can keep my butt over my feet until then. I would hate to need special assistance boarding the plane or getting around the conference. (Or to be on meds that would prevent me from enjoying the parties ;) )

In other news, I have started my Christmas knitting. There are the obligatory socks in progress, and I will most likely knit something cute for my niece and nephew (there's a pattern for a stuffed penguin that I've been eyeing for a while), and then there is my new passion for lace knitting. Its totally addictive. So, as a present for someone I have started the mystery object. I love it.
I know, right now it looks like a mystery lump of alpaca/merino blend, but trust me, it will be lovely.

In other news, I went for a run this morning. Ice and all. My beloved husband (who is visiting) suggested that I take my cell phone and my bus pass, which I did, in case I fell. While I was running, I realized something: I've become someone I used to make fun of. In my tights, hat and gloves, running down Wharncliffe, I realized that only a few years ago, if I had driven by a lunatic running in freezing temps, I would have chuckled to myself and said "its so not worth it." Now I'm that lunatic.

I also discovered something I forgot about running. It gives me energy. Instead of feeling like I need an afternoon nap, I feel like doing something else active today. Does a brewery tour count?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Holy Crap!

Quick post from the Great White freakin' North.

It is snowing. Freakin' snowing. Now I grew up in Michigan, went to high school further north than here, but holy crap balls, its snowing before Halloween. If it had waited until Friday, I could deal. But it didn't. It isn't even Halloween, yet.

I'd take a picture, but its dark.

(It isn't sticking, but that's not the point. The point is that it's freakin' snow. Falling from the sky.)

Monday, October 27, 2008

There is Nothing More to Say About This Election...

... because John Cleese has already said it. Sarah Palin scares the crap out of everybody.

While I never intended to make this blog political, I'm amazed that people are falling for the theatre of this election. I am stunned. Joe the Plumber, Tito the Builder, What's-her-face the Caterer; people fall for this. The big secret (that isn't really a secret if I know it) is that all of these people were invited to the rallies they are now known for and the candidates in question knew ahead of time pretty much what they were going to say. Tito showed up, according to the New York Times in his hard had and orange vest. That is pure theatre. This is an attempt on the part of the McCain campaign to make Sarah Palin and her millionaire boss appear more like ordinary people. This is theatre; Tom Stoppard couldn't have written it any better. Any attempt on the part of the democrats to use Joe the Plumber to make themselves appear ordinary is just as staged, just as theatrical. Barack Obama, too, is a millionaire, although not on the order that John McCain is. Every time you see one of these politicians do something in public, it is theatre. It is calculated. It is intentional. They know if you see the candidate in question eat barbecue with his sleeves rolled up, you're going to like him more. Don't fall for it. Pretty much as soon as you begin to think becoming President of the United States is something you could achieve and other people don't cart you off to the loony bin, you are no longer ordinary. You may still enjoy beer, but Joe Six Pack is no longer your drinking buddy, and hasn't been for a while.

I know college educated adults who fall for some of this stuff. If you want to vote for one candidate or the other because you think he has a better understanding of issues of policy, then go for it, but don't vote because you empathize with Tito the Builder or whatever. That would be like a victorious write-in campaign for Martin Sheen because we liked "The West Wing." I'm voting for the guy whose policies represent my values, having read platforms and listened to speeches, I know who that is.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Knitting Report

Told ya'll I'd get to it.

(For all of my non-knitting readers, just look at the pretty pictures. They're really pretty, if I do say so myself)

For starters, I finally finished my Faina's Scarf! I then considered throwing a party. Instead, I went out and bought some baby shampoo (I'm too cheap to buy the nice wool wash), soaked it and pinned it to a guest bed at my parent's house. This has been said so many times it might be a little trite, but holy crap! blocking is magic. What was a skinny, twisty lump of alpaca now actually looks like lace. I love this scarf so much that I actually wore it today, despite the fact that it is almost 70 degrees Fahrenheit outside.
I am thrilled with it. The only 2 things I did differently from the pattern (on purpose, anyway) were to knit 5 repeats of the centre pattern instead of 4 as the pattern calls for and I have decided to omit the fringe.

Beyond that, I have been focusing largely on the knitting of socks. They are the perfect knitting for taking outside of the house. Small, fit in a bag I can attach to my belt or to my bag, and not terribly mentally taxing.
This is just a basic top down sock out of some yarn from my stash. It is pretty and simple. I have yet to cast on for the second sock, but will before Christmas, as it very likely to wind up as a gift for someone, if for no other reason than I made it a bit small for my own foot due to a bit of wishful thinking when deciding it was time to do the toe decreases. It actually got boring. Boring I say.

My new pair of socks is nearing completion, and are really lovely. Since the last one got boring, I decided to try something a little more challenging. I came up with a top down ribbed sock with some little psuedo-cables (no cable needles required).
I'm really proud of this, and it is keeping me pretty well entertained. I'll put how I did it into the notes about this project in Ravelry, eventually. I have the second sock almost to dividing for the heel flap. Also, I love this yarn. It is Dream in Color Smooshy. It is aptly named. It is stretchy and it is smooshy. It seems like it will be super resilliant and durable. I love it.

For those of you not so into the knitting:

Calvin and Riley. Completely exhausted after a day of wrestling and playing and patroling the yard. They're doing pretty much the same thing right now.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Greetings from Socialist Hell

I've been crazy busy for the past 2 weeks and sick, so I haven't been able to post. I have plans for another post tomorrow, however, I read something in the Yarn Harlot's recent post about a series of mishaps at an airport that rang really true. (Well a couple of things. I HATE airports. Everything that happened to her could happen to me, except without ending as a funny blog entry. It would end with me curled up in my wee seat weeping.)

As she was in the US and has a Canadian flag somewhere on her luggage (as I think is required of all Canadian citizens outside the country), she was confronted by someone who thinks that this country is a "socialist hell." Here's what someone, I assume in the U.S., had to say about that in the comments:

"Your socialist hell sounds pretty nice to me, living in a pseudo-republic just this side of a theocracy."

As a U.S. citizen in this "socialist hell," I think Melody might have summed it up.

(I swear I'll get to the knitting report by Monday. Unless I drown in papers before then I swear it.)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

In Which I am Not Entirely Alone

After overcoming my loneliness through sheer force of will on Monday, I should never have fretted. Sally came to visit and saved me from boredom. We've been wildly roaming the streets of London. Canadians fear where ever we go.

Okay, so we're not that scary. But one girl did give Sally money as compensation for screaming in her ear. It was ostensibly to buy a shot, but we left the bar and got hot chocolate instead. As we got it a block away from the apartment, we did take them home and... er... amend them with ingredients from my larder, well stocked at the L.C.B.O. store.

Today we toured the Labatt's brewery, which was super fun, and we just did our crazy thing. Like we do everywhere. Sally always has the best ideas. Mostly. Well, maybe some of the time. Sally always has ideas. That sentence is 100% true. The idea to go to the brewery was outstanding. The tour ended with beer, and we had the tour guide who has gotten in trouble for giving out too much. Wow.

It has been outstanding having a real friend here. Someone who values me for more than my extensive knowledge of Charles Ives. She's not quite my dear husband, but she does snore a lot less. Or at least more quietly. Also, it is quite the change to be the interpreter of Canadian culture. Its not like I'm an expert, but I understand (at least a little) the goofy things these weirdos do.

Although, its homecoming at Western, and I have no idea why the drunk guys on the bus tonight were singing like German soccer hooligans. Seriously. Weird drunk freakin' Canucks.

Watch for the upcoming knitting report. Its getting to be perfect weather for handknits.