Paste it in the head!

Spinster

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Dear All of the Stupid Teenagers at the Eaton Center

I know that the boho/hobo/whatever look is in style right now, or was in style last year, or something, but after watching you guys today at the mall, I think you're going to need some sartorial help if you want to navigate life outside of the hallowed halls of high school without looking borderline homeless. Here are some suggestions:

1. It is highly inappropriate to wear sweatpants--torn, dirty sweatpants, no less--anywhere except a) the gym and b) the couch. If you are going to a public space, you MUST wear some kind of actual pants. May I suggest jeans? Mary-Kate and Lindsay may disagree with me, but I have the entire adult community of the world on my side, ladies.

2. Uggs are played.

3. Do not, under any circumstances, leave the house looking like you haven't brushed your hair in months. If I, standing behind you in line, can see clumps of matted hair (and don't even TRY the dreadlocks excuse; we both know you're not that cool, and futhermore, white people and dreadlocks are ridiculous together), it's time to become friends with the hair brush.

4. Your Louis Vuitton bag SO does not go with holey t-shirts and sweats. If you can fucking afford LV, you can put on a pair of real pants.

Basically, ditch the sweats and brush your hair. That way, real adults with actual jobs won't completely hate you, and you might actually survive university and the working world.

Love,
Tasha

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Can't Stop Won't Stop

I've never really been into hip-hop, either the music or the culture; I have been and probably always will be a rock 'n roll kind of girl. Hip-hop never spoke to me, except for a brief moment in like ninth grade when I was trying to be cool. I can appreciate the music and the beats, and one of the best shows I've ever seen was the Word of Mouth tour with J-5, MC Supernatural, and Dilated Peoples, but I almost never listen to hip-hop. However, the history of hip-hop has always struck me as being interesting, in part because its beginnings were so grassroots, unlike this ridiculous bling-bling bullshit that we have today. Additionally, 20th-century history is fascinating, and I'm particularly interested in the 1960s and '70s, and that's when hip-hop originated.

So, I'm reading Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation, by Jeff Chang (for the website, click on the title of this post), and it's dangerously interesting. I started it yesterday and I can't put it down. And I'm not even into hip-hop! But Chang is a really good writer, and it's obvious that he loves the music and the culture.

Reading this book has made me realize why hip-hop has never really spoken to me: it was originally the music of the disenfranchised, the residents of the ghettos of the South Bronx, who were the guinea pigs of a social experiment called "benign neglect." You ever wonder what happens when you conveniently forget about an entire segment of your city's population, depriving them of adequate housing and employment and healthcare? You get escalating racial tension and teenage gangs. You get a subculture that turns within to find law enforcement and creativity. You get an entire group of people--already oppressed by the mainstream white culture--that cannot rely on anything or anyone for survival but themselves and the sheer force of their energy. It seems clear, therefore, that hip-hop wouldn't appeal to a white, suburban kid like myself, even while in high school. I went to high school with plenty of wannabes and while they somehow managed to appear tough and appeal to the ladies, it always seemed sooo false and forced. I know myself and my peers well enough to know that quiet, shy girls who get good grades are generally not considered "down." And that's fine with me.

One thing that I'm already loving about this book is that Chang is utterly unapologetic about hip-hop and its culture. He doesn't apologize for gang warfare, he doesn't apologize for graffiti, so far he hasn't apologized for the bitches-and-hos aspect of contemporary hip-hop (possibly because that's not what the music was about in the beginning). Instead, he explores the positive aspects of the original Bronx gangs--how they chased out drug pushers and junkies, for example--while accounting for their violence and anger (gang warfare is not glossed over); he reveals the artistry and skill behind graffiti, while still acknowledging that quantity over quality isn't always a good thing; he quotes influential hip-hop artists and gang leaders, from Trenchtown, Jamaica, to the South Bronx, using their dialect, which allows them their own language. I can only imagine that someone who really appreciates rap music would looove this book.

Spinny McGee

Last night, I took a break from magic loop knitting to wind some yarn and knit up some swatches from handspun yarn. I definitely have the worsted-weight spinning thing down--these swatches were knitted using 4.0mm needles and--huh, actually I have no idea what the gauge is. I know I could go find out but I'm pretty comfortable writing this from my bed.

I love the soft variegation of the purple yarn and the green yarn.




























I'm not really sure what I'll do with this yarn...at one point, I was going to spin some white merino that I have and with the purple, green, and white, make a garment. I probably won't have enough though. Still, I'd like to make something wearable, not just hats and mittens, which seem to be my mental backup projects.


This yarn is God knows what, possibly merino, and it's Navajo-plied. I was thinking of getting some white yarn, or perhaps gray, and doing some sort of honeycomb stitch thing, where you can see the color changes, sort of like this (you have to scroll down on the linked page to see the honeycomb slip stitch that I'm talking about). Again, I don't know what I'll make with it. I still have a lot more left to spin. God I have so much spinning to do.













Anyway, here's a final image of the three swatches.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

I am the master of the Magic Loop



So, on Friday before we left for Montreal, I decided I needed a good portable knitting project. I finished my dad's socks, didn't want to bring my sweater, and didn't want to start my mom's socks on the bus. I acquired a skein of Opal sock yarn a couple of months ago and, having heard all about the Magic Loop technique for knitting small items in the round. Normally, socks and other small items are knit on double-pointed needles. I've never had any problems using them but I also don't knit many socks, and I think that the reason is that I'm a really slow knitter on dpns. For some reason, I can't knit continental-style when using dpns, and I find continental to be infinitely faster than the English style. Anyway, when I heard about the magic loop, I was intrigued. I tried knitting socks once using two circular needles (think Cat Bordhi's Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles), but I didn't get very far. One circular needle, on the other hand, seemed manageable. I found a pattern for a simple toe-up sock online and printed it, and by the time the bus had left the station in Toronto, I'd figured out the figure 8 cast on and the principle of magic loop knitting.

I am in love with not having to graft the toe of this sock:

The red bit in the center is the figure 8 cast on. I can't explain why or how this cast on means that there is no grafting. I just know that it does.

This is how much progress I've made since Friday night:

That is pretty impressive for me. I am a sloooooooow sock knitter. Have I mentioned that I LOVE MAGIC LOOP KNITTING??????

Montreal!

I spent the weekend in Montreal with Lorien. We took the midnight bus from Toronto and arrived in Montreal at 7 a.m. (Note to self: never, ever, take the midnight bus anywhere ever again. You cannot sleep on public transportation, but since everyone else can and wants the lights off, you can't indulge in any late-night knitting or reading. It's hell and you hate it.) We were staying at Auberge Alternative, a backpackers hostel in Old Montreal. I've stayed in a few hostels in the US and Europe, and as any budget traveller knows, the quality and comfort of these places varies immensely. One of my least favorite hostels was India House, a hostel in New Orleans. In theory, it was great: cheap rooms, large kitchen, soda machine that dispensed cans of Red Dog, a crazy kooky pond with alligators. In practice, though, it was awful. The main reason I hated it was because they had one common room that allowed smoking. I think I'm pretty reasonable about people smoking; I don't really mind it in bars and I think that the impending smoking legislation enactment in Ontario is ridiculous. However. For a hostel to allow smoking in its one and only common room, with its one and only TV, and the only indoor opportunity for reading past sundown (the lighting in the dorms was bad), is a very cruel practice and should be ended immediately.

Auberge Alternative, on the other hand, was wonderful. Lorien and I arrived at 7:30 in the morning, exhausted and dirty. Check-in wasn't until noon and though we could've stayed in their common room until then, the wonderfully accommodating staff allowed us to sleep on air mattresses in the bedrooms, free of charge. That in and of itself was a blessing, as I hadn't gotten any sleep the night before. The common rooom was pretty cool: very bright and colorful, with lots of plants, tables, and chairs. We hung out there at night and drank our wine.

We were put up in a four-person room which is pretty reasonable for a hostel. One of our roommates was this guy:

Richard is a totally goofy but kinda cute English guy travelling around Canada. He made an excellent dining companion and had a great sense of humor. Which was good, cause the other guys we shared the room with were major snorers.

The hostel is in Old Montreal, which contains most of the tourist attractions.
That would've been fine if I'd been with my parents but really, I feel like I've seen enough churches and museums to last a lifetime.
Case in point: this is the history museum (Montreal history). It was right across the street from the hostel but we didn't make it there. Oh well. That said, though, we did go to the Notre Dame Basilica. No pictures cause I'm not that into God, etc. So, most of the time we just walked around the city and checked out the neighborhoods. Honestly, I can't think of a nicer way to spend our time there. One area that both Lorien and I liked was the Mont Royal Plateau. The main street had lots of funky shops and boutiques and restaurants. We also wandered into the residential district, where the houses all have these cool stairs leading up to the second floor.

Here are some pictures of Lorien and I posing in front of a pretty painted staircase:



We were going to try to be proper tourists on Sunday by going to the Mont Royal park to see the view of the city but the weather was definitely not cooperating. It rained all day. All day. Like it rains in Portland, but worse. Of course, both of us got water in our shoes and our pants were soaked. Instead of going to the park, we went to Notre Dame, then shopping! I love shopping. I go through phases where I think, maybe I don't love shopping, but when I'm in the mood, man, there's nothing else I'd rather be doing. We went to Rue Crescent, which has a lot of bars and restaurants, and also contains this total gem of an accessories store, "something with the word bijoux in it." We both found great screenprinted shirts there that were 50% off. That's like the magic phrase, open sesame and all that--50% off. I got this lovely shirt:


At the end of the day, we were trying to figure out where to go next, and we stopped in a random doorway to look at the map. Some guy walked by and was looking at us strangely, which I couldn't figure out. That's when I realized we were standing under this sign:


All in all, the weekend was a success. The weather definitely crapped out on us, and we didn't get to experience Montreal's nightlife, but other than that we both had a great time.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Merry Christmas, Dad




I finally finished my dad's Christmas present!

Yup, in April. The end of April, no less. So basically in time for Father's Day. Good thing I'll be seeing him in a couple of weeks when we go to Turkey. Good thing, too, that neither of my parents are much into presents. Cause I haven't even started my mom's Christmas present yet.

I think I win the Daughter of the Year award.

I'm off to Montreal for the weekend. Updates when I get back. (Let's ignore the fact that I know about as much French as I do Chinese. To the point that when I so much as attempt to pronounce French words around Lorien, she bursts out laughing. Whatever. In the US, we don't learn French. It's just not our second language. [Remember the whole Freedom Fries debacle? I think that speaks for itself.] But ten bucks says I could run Spanish circles around you, sistah. I think I'm feeling sorry for myself cause I keep getting laughed at. No matter, right?)

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Plants and yarn

Here's the basil as of yesterday:














Look at these goddamn beans! Keep in mind that this picture of the beans was taken three days after the last picture.
They're growing like mad.















And here are my flowers. Not as exciting as the beans, I guess, but it's cool cause there are so many different kinds.














Finally, this is the green Corriedale yarn spun from a batt of Grafton Fibers' wool.


This fiber was easy to spin. The only problem that I had with it is that during plying, it tended to break easily if I wasn't really careful. I had to make sure I didn't pull on it too hard to unwind it from the bobbin on the lazy kate. However, that could have been a deficiency in my spinning, not in the fiber itself. What I love about Grafton Fibers' fibers is that they are colorful but they're not stripy. Because the batts are dyed and then carded, the mix of colors is more harmonious than with dyed roving. I've spun some beautiful dyed roving but I get kind of tired of stripes in my knitting. Anyway, that's pretty much all I have to show for my week of non-schoolness.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

A post in which I interview myself regarding books

Favorite book: The Brothers K, by David James Duncan.
This is currently my favorite book. I cannot describe how much I love this book. If and when I meet someone who’s read it without me recommending it first, I will profess my undying love for that person, even if they are my mortal enemy. My favorite book in high school was Girl, by Blake Nelson. At the time, I imagined myself to be kindred spirits with Andrea, the main character, cause she was a suburban teenager who got into the underground punk scene in Portland, Oregon, and I was a suburban teenager who got into the underground punk scene in Miami, Florida. I’m not saying that this book is the reason I went to college in Portland, but I’m not saying it’s not, either.

Least favorite book: American Psycho, by Bret Easton Ellis
I know, I know, American Psycho is riveting and scathing social commentary. I don’t care. I hated it. It’s one of the only books that I forced myself to finish because I didn’t want to let it get the best of me.

Most important book: It's a tie between A People’s History of the United States, by Howard Zinn, and The Weather Makers, by Tim Flannery
These are books that are sometimes difficult to read, either because the subject matter is not always what one wants to read after a day at work or school, or because the subject matter is painful and, in some cases, heartbreaking. However, they are still incredibly important to read: Zinn’s book reveals the too-often hidden grotesqueries of the founding of the United States; Flannery’s book emphasizes that our increase in carbon dioxide production has caused indelible harm to our planet and if we don’t act fast, we soon will not have the opportunity to reverse our mistakes.

Most overrated book: The Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown
I. Did. Not. Like. This. Book. And I don’t get the hype. ‘Nuff said.

Movie that made me want to read the book: I Capture the Castle
The movie, directed by Tim Fywell, wasn’t bad or anything. It’s just that seeing it made me want to read the book. Dodie Smith (think 101 Dalmations) is the author of this coming of age story that is so far removed from today’s sex-drugs-bitchy-girls stories for teenagers (Gossip Girls, The Clique) that it is the ultimate breath of fresh air. Though at seventeen the main character, Cassandra, is obviously interested in boys and does have more than one potential love interest, she is far more interested in her burgeoning skills as a writer and the fate of her eccentric family. I cannot tell you how relieved I was that this story did not end with the fairy tale “happily ever after;” had it done so, it would have been a disservice to the book, Cassandra, and teenagers who need to believe that life does not begin and end with high school.

Movie that made me glad I’d read the book first: High Fidelity
John Cusack is adorable, Jack Black is hilarious—I think that I need to acknowledge this first, and also say that whoever cast this (and About a Boy) is a genius. However, I read this book, by Nick Hornby (see About a Boy and How to Be Good), several years before the movie came out, and it was one of my favorites in high school. The top-five lists? Love them. The ridiculously dead-on caricatures of record store clerks? So fabulous. The way that Hornby takes a narrator who is actually quite despicable and turns him into the guy we’re all rooting for? Brilliant. The movie just didn't compare. If you liked the movie you’ll love the book.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Around the World in 80 Dates

This book is awesome. Normally, I shy away from chick lit, cause aside from Bridget Jones and the Shopaholic books, most of it isn't worth my time. However, this book is different. I guess that, strictly speaking, it can't really be considered "chick lit," as it's well-written and isn't too narcissistic, but since it's about girls looking for boys I'm putting it in that category. The premise is this: after getting out of a really shitty relationship, and realizing that she was tired of dating people who were all wrong for her, Jennifer Cox decided to ditch London boys and give the rest of the world a chance. She contacted all of her friends and her friends' friends (called "Date Wranglers" in the parlance of the book) and arranged dates in various countries around the world, primarily in Europe and the United States. It might seem a little desperate, and in fact she referred to by several of her dates as "the chick who's going around the world banging all the guys," but here's the thing. Because she knew exactly what she was looking for--a Soul Mate (her capitals, not mine; and while we're at it, she doesn't believe that each person has only one soul mate, but instead that there are a number of people with whom you are extremely compatible)--and wasn't willing to settle for anything less, and wasn't going to take anyone's shit in the process, it was approximately the least desperate thing ever.

The book is well-written and interesting, with insights from various of Cox's dates and friends on love and relationships.

Hotmail isn't working

I think that Hotmail is broken. I've only checked my email 5 times today and it looks like there are no new messages, from either my contacts or from others. There must be something wrong--I'm pretty sure that I'm a fabulous person and people are dying to get in touch with me. So I'm guessing that Hotmail is just experiencing some kind of problem with delivery. Just a guess. Cause it certainly couldn't be that no one wants to talk to me.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

My mom is hilarious

I'm going to Turkey for a couple weeks in May with my parents. Apparently my dad brought home a Turkish phrasebook the other night and proudly presented it to my mom. She promptly informed him that she already knew the two words she needed to know for the trip--bira and "cigaro." That last one she might have just made up. That's kind of her approach to Spanish as well--just stick an "a" or an "o" on the end of an English word, and it's Instant Spanish, or Instant Turkish, or whatever. It's not that my mother doesn't respect other cultures, it's just that she figures that there are only two things she needs in order to have a good time wherever she is--beer and cigarettes. You have to admire her for her simplicity.

When David Sedaris came to Books & Books, one of the things he requested (and by "requested," I mean "demanded") was that he be allowed to smoke in the store. He's one of my favorite writers and I have made both of my parents read his books. I got them tickets to his talk, and my mom was in full form that night. She has real long dark hair and she's very thin (she pretty much lives on coffee, cigarettes, and beer--I figure that even though beer has tons of calories, they all cancel each other out in the end), and she was wearing this trippy black and white swirly dress, heels, and big clunky plastic bracelets. She rolls her own cigarettes and carries a supply around with her in case she gets a free moment. So after Sedaris read (and he was hilarious, by the way), everyone lined up to get their books signed, and my parents somehow made it to the front of the line. I'd brought all of my books for him to sign and gave them to my parents, since I was on crowd control. My mom struck up a conversation with him about cigarettes and the many joys of smoking. They got so friendly that she gave him one of her hand-rolled cigarettes and a kiss on the cheek, and he wrote in her book, "Don't ever quit."

I love my mom but we are so different. When my coworkers and bosses met her that night at the bookstore, they couldn't understand how she and I were related. However, she's totally the light of my family. And when I called her today to make her tell me that I'm pretty, she told me that I'm a 15 on a scale of 1 to 10. So basically, my mom is a fuckin' rock star.

Beans, beans, they're good for your heart...


How is it possible that these things are sprouts? I planted 4 beans in this little pot, and when the soil started to get pushed up by the sprouts, I got a little worried. How big are they gonna get? They're going all Jack and the Giant Beanstalk on me.



From time to time, I check out Craftster's forum to see what people are making. It's a really cool site, for anyone who's interested in any kind of crafts, from knitting and spinning to scrapbooking and jewelery making. Anyway, I was browsing through the posts about finished articles of clothing, and found this really cool dress. The girl who made it got the fabric from Goodwill and the pattern from the dump. How cool is that? I love it when people re-use things that would otherwise be thrown away. I am the daughter of the original dumpster diver--I love hearing stories about how my mom used to drag tons of crap home on garbage day. Although, honestly, it's pretty embarrassing when you can't take a walk around the block without your mom going through your neighbors' recycling. And I have to admit that when I was in elementary school, I used to give my teachers flowers that I got with my mom and my brother when we would climb into the dumpsters at the flower shop down the street. I absolutely cringe to think about it now, those teachers at stupid rich Pinecrest Elementary School receiving flowers from the dumpster. But whatever man, there was nothing wrong with them.

PS--My roommate totally just changed her underwear in front of me. That was an interesting moment.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

You've got to be kidding

Ok. This story illustrates what I've always suspected--men are total idiots.

When I got up this morning, I went downstairs to get the paper. Susie (a.k.a. Floozy), my landlady's dog, was all excited and worked up and as Lorien and I are taking care of her for a few days, I felt really bad and decided to take her for a walk. I just threw on a fleece and a pair of shoes and pulled my hair back, but otherwise I was totally in my pajamas and I hadn't brushed my hair or washed my face or anything. There are a bunch of parks in my neighborhood so I just planned on taking her for a quick walk to one of them, and definitely not on running into anyone on the way.

Now, Susie is little and white and fluffy and cute, and I'm used to people striking up conversations with me when I walk her, and duh, dogs are total people magnets, but normally men don't see girls IN THEIR PAJAMAS walking princess dogs and think, "Now, that's a chick I need to talk to." I'm pretty sure that princess dogs are NOT guy magnets. Correct me if I'm wrong. Anyway, so apparently most normal men don't approach scrubby girls in pajamas with princess dogs, except for completely bald, 40-something, very strangely accented men on bikes. (An aside--this guy's accent was like Glaswegian-Canadian or something. Glaswegian is probably one of the most unintelligible accents in the English-speaking world. So when you're talking to a Glaswegian in Glasgow and you're clearly not Scottish so you're the odd one out, and your complete inability to understand what the other person is saying is made all the more pathetic by the fact that intellectually you know that they're speaking English, but you cannot for the life of you decipher the strange cadence and unfamiliar slang of the accent, essentially, you're looking at each other across the saddest language barrier in the world. Basically, you find yourself thinking, "Fuck, I can understand Cuban Spanish better than I can understand this guy," and the other person is looking at you like, "I fucking hate Americans." Yeah, that pretty much sucks.) Um, so anyway. So this guy on a bike stops and strikes up a conversation with me that went something like this:

Guy on bike: Mumble, mumble...little dog.
Me: What?
Guy on bike: [Something unintelligible] cute little dog.
Me: Oh, yeah, well, she's not mine.
Guy on bike: But you already know that.
Me [thinking]: What? Fuck.
Guy on bike: You know what those little dogs are called?
Me [relieved that this is a question I can understand and answer]: What?
Guy on bike: Babe beggars. [At least, I think that's what he said. Keep in mind that this is the first conversation of the day and that 20 minutes earlier I was still asleep, and I haven't had my tea and that pretty much means that I'm not human yet.]
Me: Oh. Yeah, I guess.
Guy on bike: But you already knew that, didn't you?
Me: Sure did.

What the fuck? Seriously.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Random Things About Me

1. If I had any sort of scientific leaning, I would get the hell out of library school and study epidemiology. I discovered last year that I LOVE reading about epidemics and diseases, and I feel that epidemiology is actually this really fascinating mixture of science, anthropology, and history. Last night, Heather came over and she, Lorien, and I were talking about Things We Do Other Than Go To School and we discovered that Heather and I share a love of books about epidemics. Weird, huh?

2. I love Death Cab for Cutie. I know, with all of the OC exposure that they've gotten, they're no longer quite as cool as they used to be, but seriously, you guys, they're fucking awesome. Ben Gibbard has such a nice voice and I think that the songs' lyrics are pretty good. (P.S.--I love The Postal Service, too.)

WARNING (FOR AUNDRA): OC SPOILER AHEAD
3. I think I care too much about the characters on The OC. We watched the new episode last night, and I found myself getting upset with Seth for being a stupid bastard about Summer (Seth, baby, even though I'm upset with the things you do sometimes, that doesn't mean that I no longer love you. But really, man, stop being a douche bag.), and I have never been prouder of Marissa than when she a) stopped that girl from getting gang raped and b) finally went home to her mom. Ryan needs to learn that sometimes it doesn't matter what other people think, and if attending your high school graduation in a trashy dress will make your mom happy, then you need to fucking suck it up.

Dad, you might not want to read this next one.
4. I am the (not so) proud owner of some really weird porn, through no fault of my own. I was trying to get last week's episode of The OC that I missed (do you see what I go through for you, Lorien?) and ended up getting this very strange movie featuring people having sex in some kind of graveyard, or maybe it features dead people having sex. I'm not really sure, as I haven't watched it, but the scenery seemed very gothic and dark, and I thought I saw a coffin. Note: Even though I didn't mean to acquire this porn, I'm pretty sure I'll end up watching it before I delete it.

5. I got a blender yesterday and I'm a bit too excited about it. I am just ecstatic about being able to make smoothies, margaritas, and hummus (not to be consumed together, I suppose). It's part of my Summer Plan, which consists of: fixing up the deck so that we have some shade on one side and pretty flowers and veggie plants on the other side, getting a CD player for the kitchen/deck and rigging it up so that we can attach our iPods to it, and drinking copious amounts of blended alcoholic beverages including, but not limited to, margaritas and pina coladas. I'm such a sucker for artificial pineapple flavor. Now all I need to do is find a way for Lorien to stay here this summer and I'll be set. Party's at my house!

I'm, like, the best plant mom ever

This one's the basil

















Flowers:














Look at those bitches grow! I also planted African daisies, California poppies, bush beans, chives, and lobelias. They've started to sprout but alas, no pictures.

I'm back, bitches!

I'm pretty sure that being done with school is the best thing ever. This week was hell: I had a 20-page paper due on Monday, a take-home final that included a 10-page paper due on Wednesday, and another 20-page paper due yesterday. Of course, due to my own procrastinatory nature, work, and other assignments due for school, I had to play catch up in a major way. I stayed up until 5 on Wednesday night (Thursday morning?) to finish my most heinous assignment, a research proposal. Keep in mind that I have never wanted, nor do I now want, to conduct research. The only kind of experiments I enjoy are the ones where I try to see how much I can drink before passing out, or how much knitting I can do before my fingers hurt. So basically, writing a research proposal was an exercise in two things: one, torture and two, futility. Not to mention that the subject, satisfaction of graduates with their education in archives, does not interest me in the least.

When I finally finished and returned home from work yesterday, the sun was shining, the air was cool, and all was well in the world, and I decided to put my plants on the deck and commune with them. (Whatever. I think that watching plants grow is one of the coolest things ever and if that brands me as some kind of dork, so be it.) This is what Tasha communing with plants in the sun looks like:















Yeah, it's pretty much as enjoyable as it looks.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Your Kissing Purity Score: 29% Pure

You're not one to kiss and tell...

But word is, you kiss pretty well.


You're an Expert Kisser

You're a kissing pro, but it's all about quality and not quantity
You've perfected your kissing technique and can knock anyone's socks off
And you're adaptable, giving each partner what they crave
When it comes down to it, your kisses are truly unforgettable

We interrupt the regularly scheduled programming...

...To bring you a guest blog, written and performed by Lorien, The Best Roommate Ever. (Your regular commentator is in the process of finishing a bazillion papers. Please do not interrupt her until Thursday, at which time feel free to buy her many, many drinks.)

While Tasha is writing her many papers (I think she will have written between 37 and 47 pages total by Thursday) I will tell you about my latest knitting projects.
I am pleased to announce that I have finished my VERY FIRST knit garment and I am extremely proud of myself.






































The pattern is called Ubernatural and despite a few pattern errors that caused much frustration and Googling, it was lots of fun and knit up really fast (large needles and double stranded yarn).

I love the buttons so here is a picture of them.

I made a few changes such as reducing the crazy number of buttons and lengthening the arms but otherwise it's pretty similar. I know this sounds corny, but I learn new things with every new project and it's always so exciting. I'm starting to understand the knitting process better and so I can make small modifications to my projects/patterns without ruining them. I would also like to thank my living knitting reference in the room next door without whom everything would be so much harder (although if I hadn't met her, it is very unlikely that I would be knitting at all). I shall now wear my sweater everywhere!


Riding the wave of my knitting high, I am starting another project with beautiful, expensive Malabrigo yarn (they have the most beautiful colours!) and I am now broke. But I love this yarn...love love love it. Ah, lime and blue. Like limes composting in the ocean. I am knitting a pair of slippers for my boyfriend Dave and so am trying my hand at felting...to much success.

These two swatches were the same size before felting! It is so much fun to watch the wool felt so quickly...like magic...I have been carrying the felted swatch around with me all morning so I can look at it all the time and feel pleased with myself. So, now I am off to buy needles for the project.
And so, here ends my guest blog. It was fun, exciting, and frustrating but I think I may be addicted. Hmmm...

Saturday, April 08, 2006

These are a few of my favorite things

I don't have much to show for myself today, as I've been really busy trying to finish my schoolwork. At this time next week, though, I hope to have some crafty projects to show off. I am done with my first year of grad school on April 13th. That is insane AND awesome. Last night was the FIS end of term party at the Bedford Academy and I had a pretty good time. I only had a couple of drinks, so I was lively without being belligerent or hitting on anyone. Thank God. It's one thing to hit on some random stranger in a bar and quite another to hit on someone who you have to see at school.

To distract myself from homework, or when I have a mental block, I like to peruse certain websites and I'd like to share them. Beware: if you're not into knitting, celebrity gossip, or gardening, do not continue!

You Grow Girl
Knitty
Unknown Toronto
Toronto Craft Alert
You Knit What??
as always, The Superficial

Enjoy!

Friday, April 07, 2006

What I've been doing instead of homework:

Growing things:



That, my friends, is a sprout. The first of many, I presume (and by "presume" I mean "hope").


Attending the Ryerson fashion show, Mass Exodus, because my roommate was a model in it:






My "date" for the evening, Lorien's boyfriend, being charming as usual.


Note: Just because Lorien was in it doesn't mean that I have pictures of her. Part of the reason is that Dave and I were in the balcony and it was difficult to get good shots (obviously), and the other part of the reason is that most of the time I couldn't tell if it was her or not. At one point, I exlaimed, "Oh, there she is," and then Dave pointed out that it was only her if she had gained a lot of weight, cause I was looking at a collection for plus-size women. Lorien is thin like a bird, or a gazelle, or maybe a spider (really long legs and arms; you should see her doing those bicycle kick sit-up things, it's hilarious), and couldn't be plus-sized if she tried. So my powers of picking her out of a crowd are clearly not very strong.

My impression of the fashion show, cause you asked for it: as with most things student-produced, it was hit and miss (or is it hit or miss? I'm never sure.). Some of the collections were beautiful and creative and inspired, and some of them were so ready-to-wear that I would have bought them then and there if I could have. Others were a bit too creative--think those crazy couture collections you see on the Style channel that you would never, ever, wear. There were quite a few S&M, dominatrix, plastic-and-pleather-and-super-tall-black-boots collections, which were fun but I can't really take seriously. (Dave, on the other hand, LOVED them.) The menswear collections were kind of lame. I don't understand why street clothes designed for guys have to be so ill-fitting and pseudo-gangsta. Designer menswear should be limited to either metrosexual street styles or formal attire, cause guys really don't look very good in sloppy, baggy clothes. There was one collection of very frilly dresses designed for and modeled by little girls. Very cute; the audience loved it. There were a surprising number of bridal collections (I wasn't expecting it for some reason), which were ok. I guess since I'm not even remotely thinking about weddings it's kind of hard to get into wedding gowns. Overall, it was a cool show and I'm really glad I went. I'm very proud of Lorien for looking awesome and for not tripping in those goddamn shoes!

PS--There were so many cool fashionista girls at the show last night. Although honestly, most of them were wearing too much makeup and practically identical outfits. That said, if I were a guy I would totally attend Ryerson cause some of those girls were smokin'. And there was one beautiful guy but clearly, he was gay.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Rockin out

Songs that have played on my iPod today (it’s set on shuffle) that I’ve enjoyed:

David Bowie—Ziggy Stardust
Death Cab for Cutie—Tiny Vessels, I Will Follow You Into the Dark
Beach Boys—Fun Fun Fun
Talking Heads—Sugar on My Tongue
The Cars—My Best Friend’s Girlfriend
Tears for Fears—Shout

How is it that my iPod knows when I’m feeling glam/New Wave? I love you, iPod.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Housework is the new yoga

No really, it is. I read it in Housekeeping Monthly and it said, "Housework is the new yoga." I'm pretty sure that they meant that it's spiritually enlightening AND good for your back. So instead of going to yoga today I cleaned the kitchen and bathroom floors (swept and mopped) and did a load of laundry. And let me tell you, I definitely felt enlightened. Or maybe I was high from a combination of Vim, Mr. Clean, and whatever the blue liquid is that I used to clean the mirror. Hey man, as long as I attain spiritual enlightenment...

Call me crazy, but I think this is awesome.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Look at what I'm doing!

I'm growing things on my windowsill! The two silver pots are a mixture of annuals, the three little milk/juice cartons have sweet basil, and the last one is more annuals. This may or may not be a successful experiment. I don't exactly have the best track record with plants (I've been known to kill cacti). My philosophy is that I can take care of plants that can take care of themselves, but I'm hoping that raising plants from seeds will be the impetus I need to care for them properly. I'm playing classical music for them now so that they will grow up happy and healthy.

This is what I did this afternoon:

This cardigan had similar buttons before but they were smaller and one of them fell off, plus I hadn't attached them correctly, so I finally got around to it.

That's all I got.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

I <3 the internet

I mean, I really, really love the internet. I love how it is the most colossal waste of time and how you can find anything on it. If it doesn't exist in cyberspace, it doesn't exist. I love how I check my email and my blog and my friends' blogs like 10 times a day. I love that I can find bitchy editorials about celebrity news (see The Superficial and Go Fug Yourself; they're a couple of my favorites). I love that there are knitting patterns galore--everything from the fug of fun fur to the beauty of Fair Isle and Bohus stickning. When something goes wrong with my wireless connection and I am temporarily cut off from the life source, I feel bereft. I know that's ridiculous and so Privileged Child, but whatever man, I LOVE THE INTERNET.

The reason for my renewed enthusiasm is this website. I am not a huge music freak but I definitely like finding out about new music. I listen to my iPod mini a lot (another device for which I feel great love), particularly when walking around the city. Alli told me about Pandora and it's seriously so cool. You just type in the name of a band that you like and they stream a "station" of songs by artists that have similar qualities to the band you requested. You can tell them if you like their selections or not. Check it out!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Distractions...

I should totally be thinking about school right now (and by "thinking about," I mean "working on"), but I find myself distracted by the thought of making cool shit. I have a dilemma though.

Should I make this dress: out of this fabric?

Or, should I make a mock-up of the Simplicity top that is another view of the above dress and if you click on the link it's the sleeveless red top in the right-hand corner
(I had a picture but Blogger's not cooperating. Why do I feel as if I've been writing that a lot lately?)

in this fabric: (plain old blue linen)

as a trial run for this fabric? (fabulous blue/pink silk)