Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Summer Reading

One of the blogs I follow featured this video of President Obama reading Where the Wild Things Are. So now, Cutie Pie can tell everyone that the President read him one of his favorite stories.

Monday, July 13, 2009

A Weekend of Unprecedented Knitting.

After handing in what ended up being an emotionally exhaustive paper for me (the first academic paper I've done in 17 years), I decided to take a couple of days off and knit myself into a soothing coma. What follows is the results of my weekend.

First, I finally bought buttons for the Celtic Cable Neckwarmer from Storm Moon Knits - I was giving it to a friend for her birthday, and handing her a half-completed project would probably look a tad gauche. I found some beautiful Celtic buttons at Joanne's Fabric on a jaunt with Stacey a few weeks ago, so on they went. The buttons may be a bit heavy for the baby alpaca, but I'm hoping it stands up well. I was so happy with how this neckwarmer came out that I want to make more for myself and my mom.

My stepsister is due with her third baby (and first son!) next month, and since I've been trying to be a little more receptive to that side of the fam, I decided to make a couple of gifts for the baby. I figured what would be cooler that a pair of Baby Chuck Taylors? I haven't made a pair since the pair I did for Lauren's baby shower last year, so I was worried - but I needn't have; the pattern still knits up as easily as ever and they just looked so darn cute.

I also had some cotton yarn, so I worked up a quick washcloth.

And there's no baby gift from me without an Umbilical Cord Hat, a baby shower mainstay since Stitch & Bitch taught me to knit in the round a few years ago. It's just an adorable hat, and I can practically knit it in my sleep these days. I used yarn left over from a project I did for Heartbreaker's teacher, who I made a baby blanket (yes, and an Umbilical Cord Hat) for earlier this year; I think it's a fun take on the 'baby boys get blue' theme.

I also worked up a Doctor Who Jelly Baby after watching The Next Doctor episode, which got me all geeked up. I won't post a picture of that until I finish it, though.
Speaking of the good Doctor, who else is counting down until Planet of the Dead airs on July 26th? As it stands, my DVR lets me set up to record shows 6 days ahead, so tomorrow is the first day I'll be able to set up to get Torchwood's Children of Earth. Whoo hoo! I'm also looking forward to checking out Being Human. Telly for all!

Back on the American side of sci fi (NOT 'ScyFy'), anyone watch Warehouse 13? Thoughts? I enjoyed it; granted, it's very "X-Files" meets the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark, but I think it's going to ramp up if it's done right. I'm also happily awaiting the return of Sanctuary in October. It's a great time to be a sci fi fan.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Now Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Blogging.

Okay, so after my little brush with idiocy on the 'Net...

I finally finished my first 'big' paper of the semester. The first two were smaller, really reviews; first of a library periodical and then of a library association. This time up, I had to write a paper on Valuing the Information Professional. I had to research salaries, take a good look at what the profession does and means to people, and put a price tag on what I'm worth. Never having to look at what I've made, but feeling free to bitch about it all the time, this was a challenge to me and I do feel, having spent the last two weeks of my life devoted to this, that I've learned quite a bit and come away with even more respect for this profession.

Naturally, I hope I did well enough in my professor's eyes, but I do feel like I've learned something from this assignment. I also had a crash course in learning a new writing style, which took years off my life as I formatted my paper last night. Lord, the reference list always destroys me. I've already started getting the research together for my next paper, due in a few weeks; something tells me I'll be creating the reference list first - I can always delete sources if I decide not to go with them.

Other than that, there's been reading and knitting like mad. I think I'll refer to this summer as my Summer of Socks since they seem to be my pet project this summer. I finally finished the Circque socks from Spring Knitty, which were so much fun! I loved the heel, I love the twisting cables, and the only complaint I had was that the yarn, while gorgeous, was VERY splitty. Thankfully, it doesn't show up in the socks themselves. LOVE. This yarn is Crystal Palace Soy Silk, and I have to say, I'm loving these new, sustainable fibers. I tried bamboo a few months ago, and fell in love immediately. I may try another soy or silk blend and see if they get splitty again - I'm hoping not.

I also finished sock #2 on Roza's socks from Spring '07 Interweave. I FINALLY used the yarn I bought during our Savannah-versary last year, and this pattern ROCKED. It's so simple, but so pretty when knit up, and the variegated yarn took nothing away from the pattern. The brioche stitch was a perfect variation on the K3, P3 rib; it kept me interested but was easy enough to remember that I didn't need to cart the magazine around to refer to constantly. LOVE.

Roza's Socks

Circque socks

What's next? I started my 'Pay it Forward' projects from Facebook, but the yarn I bought recently apparently does NOT want to be what I had in mind. Back to the drawing board, I guess. The Pay it Forward project was a sweet idea that started when a friend of mine tagged me. You agree to handmake projects for the first five people that respond to your post, with the guarantee that they will do the same. I'm looking forward to my goodies, so I'm going to make these good!
Books, books, books - I've been sneaking some downtime reading in while working on schoolwork so that I don't burn out. I finished off two Jen Lancaster books, Bitter is the New Black and Bright Lights, Big Ass. God, I could read her constantly; she is outright hilarious. From spoiled dot-com princess to newly minted author, she never fails to find the insane side of life.
I finally finished Warriors: Into the Air, and Heartbreaker and I had a great book discussion! He's trying to get me to read The Secrets of Dripping Fang: The Onts, which I'd love to read, but I'm pushing The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, since it's on his summer reading list. Stay tuned to see how this Mexican standoff goes.
Since I'm working on a paper discussing the image of the librarian and the transition from a bun-headed spinster to a tech-savvy cyberpunk, I decided to tap my cyberpunk side and picked up Neuromancer by the Big Daddy of Cyberpunk, William Gibson. It's been a while since I first read it, so it really is all new to me and I find myself enjoying it like I did the first time I stumbled on it. More on it as I go, since I haven't been able to read much the past couple of weeks.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Asshats I Have Encountered.

Okay, I left a cliffhanger the last time I posted; I mentioned encountering an asshat on YouTube. Here's the story in brief. Normally, I am fairly private about my kids' information online. However, since I have a fair amount of family and friends who enjoy them, I have loaded videos on YouTube that I've left public. I do this because the process to friend someone and then get separate access to their videos is a bit cumbersome and it caps at 25. Being in an Italian-Irish-Greek household, 25 people doesn't get me past immediate family. And since I don't tag my videos, my kids aren't likely to come up on a generic search by weirdos.

Or so I thought.

I recently got a message that said someone commented on one of my YouTube videos. Cool, I thought, figuring a family member or friend checked a few out. Instead, I see, "wow lame".

wow lame? Did e.e. cummings just review one of my kids' videos? No such luck. Apparently, some asshat who shall remain nameless so that I don't give him (or her, but most likely a him) any more attention, found Heartbreaker's video from the Nickelodeon slime bus and decided it was lame. I'm so sorry, sir, that you were so offended BY MY KID'S NICKELODEON video that you were compelled to leave such effusive feedback.

Then, I decided to check this genius out and was completely disgusted. At first, I saw a jerk who favorited videos denying 'roid rage (and said that Chris Benoit, the wrestler who killed his wife, son and then hung himself, was having emotional problems, not 'roid rage), wrestling excerpts, and video game cheats. Generic, jackass geek stuff. But then I noticed some weirder stuff. Lots of videos from Nickelodeon family shows like Double Dare, where people got stuff dumped all over them - but it was all women. He had cheerleaders getting pizza dumped on them, girls getting slimed, and just recently, he appears to have subscribed to a fetish site where this kind of video prevails. The fact that he saw my kid? CREEPS ME THE HELL OUT.

So let's just say I've gotten a little education in the Web, and I may not sleep so soundly tonight. In the meantime, access to my kids online is going to get a lot more difficult.