Friday, July 28, 2006

Goodness Gracious

Here it is 6:17 pm on a Friday night and where am I? I'm at work!

I am selflessly waiting for the carpet installers in my building to leave so that I can lock up after them. Okay, maybe not that selflessly: I am getting time and a half and brownie (i.e., brown-nosing) points, but it's the thought that counts. Er. Of course, I'm only doing this because what with all the knitblog cruising I do all day, I figure some brownie points couldn't hurt.

So.

Boy am I bored.

Ubitquitous Tank Top

Today I:

  • had a bagel with salmon cream cheese at work for breakfast (someone threw out my Tofutti!)
  • have already drank two cups of tea
  • am having bean and rice burritos for the third consecutive day

I know, I know, this photo doesn't look like much. It's the Ubiquitous Tank Top I'm knitting. Since I threw out/gave away most of my clothes I'm now desperate for a decent black tank top I can wear to work. Hopefully, this will be it.

I'm not following any specific pattern, rather I'm constructing a hybrid tank top from all the tank top patterns I have. It's going to be ballet-necked on one side and a v-neck on the other. This is possible because I really have no bust to speak of (except for just now) which means I don't need bust shaping and can make this tank top essentially two fronts sewn together. If all goes well, this will be the tank top prototype from which I base all future tank tops for myself.

Yesterday, I:
  • had a bowl of cereal with soy milk and jasmine green tea for breakfast
  • had burritos for lunch with a banana
  • drank much tea
  • had 1/2 of a glass of merlot
  • knit a bit
  • wrote a bit
  • had tater tots with salad for dinner

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Finally!

Blogger hates me, my Secret pal loves me

I still can't upload pictures, and I'll be astonished if I can even post this. Grrr!

But - on an up-note - my Secret Pal 8 package came. My Secret Pal must have a line to a security camera in my LYS or something because she sent me 3 balls of black Regia Silk sock yarn, and I have been to my LYS no less than three times in the past two weeks to feel the stuff they have there. Coincidence?

Maybe. (Looking over shoulder.)

She also sent me a pack of notecards that are very nice and more ginger candy. (If I could post the photo you'd be able to see that the package is already open.)

All of this was enveloped in some hummingbird tissue paper. Hummingbird tissue paper! Where is this stuff found? Maybe I'm living under a rock or something, because all the tissue paper I ever see is solid, and mostly pastels.

Actually, I'm pretty certain I am living under a rock. I've never seen a podcast, I have no idea what an MP3 is, and I've spent the past couple days being very excited that I know trigonometry so that I can do sewage calculations. (This, of course, totally perplexes my boyfriend/ partner/ whatnot, who still has flashbacks to nuns beating him whenever he is asked to do math. The sewage part he finds funny. But just think: when armagedden comes, and there are only a hundred people left alive in your city, who will know where everybody should pee so that the water supply isn't contaminated, giving everyone cholera? That's right! Me. Isn't that a happy thought?)

Anyway.

Darn that Blogger.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

We now return to our regularly scheduled ramble/rant

Today I:

  • had a bowl of cereal with soy milk and a cup of jasmine tea for breakfast
  • had half a tuna sandwich (!) and a bag of Kettle Chips for lunch
  • am moody

I think The Bitter Knitter mentioned some time back that she had compiled a list of 101 things she wants to have done in the next year. Or something like that. A life checklist.

I could really use one of those. I feel constantly at sea, all my interests vying for attention simultaneously. It can get confusing and sometimes I end up washed up on strange shores, completely baffled. *

But I won't bore you with that today. Here's another picture of the Funky Sock in progress.

This sock is cruising along. I'm really digging the way it looks. However, if you're considering making something out of this yarn I should warn you that it is rough. I mean, my Fugly Socks, which are made out of Lion Brand Magic Stripes yarn, are softer than this. Not exactly merino, and not exactly itch-free, folks. More like twine. But it looks cool, and I have a high tolerance for itch.

This isn't the only knitting I have going on right now, of course. I'm making a couple things for my SP8 and I'm knitting two tank tops...

Yesterday, I:
  • had toaster waffles with an inadequate amount of syrup and tea for breakfast
  • ate the dreaded Vending Machine Lunch
  • regretted it
  • had cold miso soup for dinner
  • ate a piece of peanut butter chocolate
  • read some more from Collapse (the Norse were in Greenland for 500 years...?!?)
  • ranted about how crappy my life is that I'm getting a 2yr. degree in 4 yrs.
  • drank a lot of water
  • had a salad

*With sewage all around me. I bought an awesome book this weekend on Wastewater Treatment Systems.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Friday, July 21, 2006

Funky socks

Today I:

  • had a bowl of cereal with soy milk and a cup of genmaicha tea for breakfast
  • had an onion bagel with fake cream cheese for Second Breakfast
  • am having a bag of Fritos and a banana for lunch because I don't want to go outside
  • learned that a friend of mine's parents are stuck in Lebanon
  • am making a point of thinking a lot about my knitting

Wednesday night I couldn't drum up any enthusiasm for any of my knitting projects, so I started a new one.


This is Lana Grossa Fun Stripes. Notice how much brighter it is on my picture vs. the one on the website? Mine is the true color. This colorway is funky, if you know what I mean, which is why I chose it. Of course, I don't have much to wear with it, esp. since lately almost all my clothes are non-colors. Hmmm. I think they might go very well with my snow boots. Which are black.

However, Jameison approves., so it's alright.

Last night, I:

  • had miso soup with udon noodles for dinner
  • ate some salad
  • had S'nB at the coffeehouse again
  • had a small decaf soy latte and a bag of chip there


Thursday, July 20, 2006

The Appeal of Fiction

Today I:
  • had a bowl of cereal for breakfast with a cup of genmaicha tea and soy milk
  • am drinking Earl Grey

When I am bored at work, I cruise knitting/craft blogs, literary blogs, on-line yarn stores and read the news. I read about as much news as knitting blogs, from various sources. I like to compare and contrast. For instance, lately I've been reading Yahoo! News, BBC News (International Version), and Indymedia (Lebanon, Israel).

If you don't want to be upset, don't click on those links. I was so upset yesterday by what I read and saw* that I almost didn't go to S'nB. I really don't want to talk very much about politics here, so I'm going to talk about fiction.

What does fiction have to do with politics, aside from the obvious cynical answer? Well, the realities of the world drive me to fiction, for one thing. If you take a look at my SRP book list, I'm not reading heavy fiction, no siree. No The Grapes of Wrath, no The Heart is a Lonely Hunter for me. (Not just because I had to read them in high school.) Real world events are heavy enough, thank you very much. (I also like "light" movies.)

But I can't always escape into satire, chic lit or British cottage mysteries. Which brings up my vivid imagination. Often, I image other worlds where things go the way I want them to go. What would have happened if Native Americans weren't conquered by European colonists? What if it was possible to sense if someone is lying? What if wishes came true? Next thing you know, I'm figuring out a plot for the idea, fabricating domino effects and doodling outlines on Post-It notes.

Yes, human brutality will make a person write fiction.

Yesterday, I:

  • had a bowl of cereal with soy milk and jasmine green tea for breakfast
  • ate two bean burritos for lunch
  • drank a lot of tea
  • had miso soup with udon noodles for dinner
  • drank a soy White Russian
  • talked to my boyfriend/ partner/ whatnot about Japanese
  • had a bag of chips and soy decaf latte at S'nB
  • read more from Collapse (which doesn't exactly help the mood)

*images of dead Lebanese children taken by an AP photographer

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Random interests and some WIP pics

Today I:

  • had a bowl of cereal with soy milk and unknown tea for breakfast
  • am having two bean and rice burritos for lunch
  • am harassing innocent advisors at colleges about their foreign language programs
  • am taking a moment to consider the disparate nature of my interests

When I was still in school I called myself an Architecture Major with a Minor in Mandarin. I could see that some might find this an odd combo, but those were the subjects that interested me. The funny thing is that now I am not in school the subject I miss the most is Chinese. (This isn't because I work in architecture and am getting my architecture fix that way, mind you. The intellectual experience of school has very little to do with the intellectual experience of architectural practice. For example, today I am in love with a binder called United States Gypsum Company Architectural Reference Library 1999 CSI Division 9 (also Divisions 7 & 11). This binder is the most exciting thing to happen to me in months. Hardly debating the merits of Post-Modernism, is it? )

So. Chinese. Chinese is fun. I suspect Japanese is also fun. Because I am sick like that. I've been having this not-so-secret fantasy all week about moving back to California (where I can actually afford higher education) to major in Japanese with a Mandarin minor, or possibly Mandarin with a Japanese minor. Very pragmatic, yes indeed.

That or sanitation engineering. Love those septic systems.

Fiber Stuff

This is the red alpaca scarf I've been working on when I can't be bothered to count or to read charts.
And here we have two sewn together crocheted squares for... I don't know what. I was thinking "skirt" (See: Rowan #36) but then the yarn was so bulky I did a redesign that left me with two fairly useless squares. The yarn is some single-ply yellow/ecru fingering weight wool I have that is harsh as hell and pink mohair. I like the effect.

Last night, I:

  • ate an eclair in Paul Revere Mall
  • had miso soup for dinner with salad
  • drank a lot of water
  • went to bed fairly early
  • knit

Monday, July 17, 2006

Wherein I realize I do not like all Japanese food

Today I:

A brick facade on Mass. Ave. near the Central stop. They really don't make them like they used to, you know? That is, when they could afford it.

Yesterday, I:

Friday, July 14, 2006

...and still thinking...

Today I:

  • had a bowl of cereal with soy milk for breakfast with a cup of jasmine green tea
  • am having leftover pasta for lunch
  • actually have things to do at work that are interesting for a change*

This is a scene from last weekend. I had a terrible headache, so I figured a bottle of water, some aspirin, and way too much strong coffee might fix it.

It didn't. But the coffee was good.

Intellectualism

Last night my boyfriend/ partner/ whatnot and I went out to dinner with an old friend of ours who was visiting from Philly. It had been a year since I'd spoken to him, and it really took me back. The subjects we usually discuss are Foreign Policy, Silly Attitudes Toward Political Issues, Crazy People We Probably Shouldn't Have Dated, Culture Shock, Languages, Racism, Good Food, What the Hell am I Doing With My Life?, and Philly Sucks. (Not necessarily in that order.) It's always a relief to have someone to vent to about Philly who can sympathize, and a sheer joy to find someone whose loathing not only equals yours, but surpasses it because they are still living in Philly. My friend had a new complaint about Philly last night that I hadn't heard vocalized before, despite how many people are probably suffering from it in that city:

Philly is Anti-Intellectual, and It's Damn Hard to Find Anyone to Hang Out With Because of That.

My boyfriend/ partner/ whatnot and I were discussing the definition of "intellectual" as we understand it this morning over breakfast. His definition is that an "intellectual" is someone who is not afraid to actually think about things, and has nothing to do with perceived intelligence or whether someone has a bunch of initials after their name or not. We know people who fall into this category and people who don't, but generally the people we both know who are not intellectuals by that definition are nonconformists of one stripe or another - people with upwards of a hundred tattoos, people who work in an unusual field, people who make their life a kind of performance art. (We've also known obnoxious intellectuals who will argue about whether a particular word has a Latin or Greek root first thing in the morning while we're trying to have our coffee, but we wouldn't really call them friends.)

I know I'm non-conformist in some ways, and intellectual in others, but I wouldn't really call myself either. I think it's important to exercise the mind and make life interesting. (If not exactly exciting. I would never call my life that.) Alas, I think the way architecture is taught squeezes out the possibility of thinking about anything else (including new ideas in architecture) which is largely why it is not working out for me.

Back to my light bulbs.

Last night, I:

  • had fettuccini with marinara sauce
  • drank a Peroni
  • had some chips

*I'm assigning kitchen cabinet lighting and then counting how many bulbs! It's amazing how much this is lifting my spirits. (Try not to let the glamour of my job overwhelm you.)

Thursday, July 13, 2006

More restrictions! Yay!

Because I love these self-imposed rules!

Rethinking my wardrobe
I am chucking 7/8's of my clothes.

Why am I doing this? Well, I joined Wardrobe Refashion a while back because I've always been interested in DIY fashion and thrift (usually out of necessity), committed myself to a six month long abstinence from new clothing purchases, and then became really lame. I did not refashion anything - I just went on as usual. The reason I went on as usual is because the Wardrobe Refashion rules aren't very different from what I already do, so I wasn't very motivated.

However, I was watching what other people were doing. On fiftyRX3 I learned about the Little Brown Dress Project, an anti-fashion performance project wherein a woman wore the same little brown dress for 365 consecutive days. This really got me thinking, esp. since she went straight from that to wearing only things she has made herself, right down to her shoes. All this combined with Andrea Zittel's Uniforms really stirred me up out of my cubicle and got the little gray cells working. I scurried home to implement The Plan.

The Plan
My hope is to have 80% of my clothing be self-made and the remaining organic/fair trade by the New Year's Eve.

I have started by creating a foundation wardrobe. I weeded out all non-essentials, leaving about a week's worth of clothing that can be mixed and matched practically in the dark since they are all brown, gray, black or white. I am keeping a cardigan, my jogging clothes, a nightgown, a pair of PJ's, my socks and underwear, my shoes, and anything I have already made by hand.

Over the next couple months I am going to enhance and replace this foundation wardrobe with pieces that I have either knit, crocheted, or fabricated from recycled clothing or organic/fair trade materials. I am allowed to buy underwear, but only organic/fair trade.

Fun, eh? And motivational. I've already altered a long skirt to become a summer dress.

One down, one to go

Today I:

  • went jogging (...okay, it was more like moseying)
  • had some toaster waffles with maple syrup and a cup of jasmine green tea for breakfast
  • ate a banana for Second Breakfast
  • am having a salad for lunch because I cannot bear to eat sushi again this week

Angel Sock

The first one was done this weekend, I just didn't have a photo to post. I've already cat on for the second sock but haven't done more than couple rows past the ribbing. My knitting enthusiasm is a bit low lately.

I am very happy with how these socks are turning out, however. It was a surprisingly fast knit. I'm really looking forward to seeing how they turn out after I wash them; right now the stitches look really rough.

Last night, I:

  • forgot to eat dinner
  • had two bags of chips and a decaf soy latte at S'nB
  • make a skirt into a dress
  • drank some mineral water

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The secret is out

Today I:

  • am using my E's with abandon
  • had a bowl of cereal with soy milk and a cup of jasmine green tea
  • am having veggie sushi (again!) and chips for lunch with a cup of Earl Grey
  • am having some brainwaves about clothing and fashion
  • will reveal Top Secret Secret Pal 8 Project 2 to you all

I have decided I can show you this project since my Secret Pal a) doesn't know about it and b) won't be receiving it until the very end anyway. Also, it's just such a nice project.

The Cherry Tree Hill yarn my Secret Pal sent me was so nice that I ran out and got a skein for my spoilee. This is the yarn that was hanging very tidily from the knob on one of my chairs until the cat decided it was a plaything. Through an astonishing feat of perseverance, involving much wine, DVD watching, as well as substantial knot untangling and whining, I produced this ball. (I think in this photo it's appearing true to the actual colorway, Old Rose.)

I am making a pair of Pomatomus socks. The pattern is easy to memorize, yet tricky. I've frogged this sock back so many times already that I am amazed I still want to knit it. Fortunately, I have been taking it easy on myself and not twisting the knit stitches.

Although I have yet to finish the first sock, I am noticing something dangerous going on while I knit. That is, I keep thinking about how close my spoilee's shoe size is to mine, and how she won't miss what she doesn't know she should be getting. (Does this sound at all familiar?)

Last night, I:

  • had some leftover stir-fried seitan on a baguette with soy mayo
  • drank a lot of water
  • watched The Producers


Tuesday, July 11, 2006

A, B, C, D.....F?

Today I:

  • took in a small quantity of tan food with much syrup along with a cup of hot liquid containing a ball of organic trimmings first thing in the morning
  • am avoiding a particular sign found in words (for "fun")
  • will probably bring about mild insanity in all humans who scan this blog

So. This is what occurs if my work spawns poor stimulation: an adamant pursuit by my anxious brain to supply an apt substitution, possibly concluding in absurdity.

I admit this task is awkward. Writing anything which occurs in a past hour or day is difficult, obviously.

Buildings

Today I wish to acquaint you with the notion of Ghost Buildings. This photo is of a Ghost Building I hark daily during my walk to work.



What was this building? I think as I pass it. I am highly caught up in social history in how it can touch things such as utilitarian family and individual apparatus and urban fabric. I find I think upon such conundrums now and again.

This is all for today. My brain is starting to hurt.

Last night, I:

  • took in a faux cow product sandwich with tofu garnish and found it good.
  • drank two glass units of alcohol with pop-off caps
  • was fabricating afghan units with a hook

Modification: It is crazy-making that I cannot allow posts to go up right now owing to the company which supports this blog's rampant faults!

Monday, July 10, 2006

World Cup(cakes)

Not that I care at all about the World Cup, but I thought it was funny. Like these cute, huggable, lovable-Colonial Plush Lobsters!

After all, who doesn't think lobster = fuzzy, squishy stuffed toy ?

Certainly not me. I will forever think of these whenever lobsters are mentioned.

Summer Reading Program - Book Eight

(SRP8) Fast Women by Jennifer Crusie (2001) 417 pgs.
Control freak recent divorcee gets job at noir detective agency run by a control freak and his cousin. Mystery ensues, but the real question is, who will get to be on top? Maybe I'm getting soft but I liked this one even better than the other Jennifer Crusie books I've read so far.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Practical or Pleasurable?

Today I:
  • had two organic toaster waffles (vegan) with maple syrup for breakfast
  • also had a bowl of cereal for breakfast immediately thereafter
  • drank a cup of jasmine green tea
  • had a seitan hoagie
  • made vegan oatmeal chocolate chip cookies
  • ate the last of a leftover veggie burger wrap
  • ate several cookies
  • am still thinking

I think I am going return to school to secure my A.A. degree.

What, Christine, you work in architecture and you don't have a degree at all? you say.

That's right, you caught me. It's called being an intern. I have no degree. I've done two years of school and all I have to show for it is debt, a tendency to dream in bad Chinese, and a good paying job with domestic partner benefits.

How did I manage this? Well, my boyfriend/ partner/ whatnot got into his school and we had to take it because the maximum class size for his vocation is twelve, and that's all the graduating years put together. We couldn't exactly take a rain check, because that day might not come. We had to go.

Which kind of caught me with my pants down, so to speak, because I was planning a three-year two-year degree. That may on the surface seem silly, especially since I was going full-time, but a girl has needs. My particular need just happened to be a Chinese course every semester, regardless of whether I needed the Humanities credits or not.

So now the debate is whether to secure all those credits with an A.A. in English or Foreign Language. I looked at the requirements and I would need about ten courses for either degree. I could get an A.A. in Design with even less courses if that kind of thing was offered around here, but it's not, which sets me back a bit. All those architecture courses have to go into Electives.

There are pros and cons to either degree, of course. I should get an A.A. in English because I've essentially decided that I want to be a writer. However, the English degree doesn't require me to take foreign languages, a fact that frustrates me to no end. If I got the A.A. in Foreign Languages I would be required to take two languages, one of which I would have to reach Intermediate level in. (Academically, I'm already Intermediate level in Mandarin, although at the moment I can't remember a damn thing off the top of my head except survival phrases like, "Where's the toilet?" and "I'd like one cup of coffee, black, please.") The second language could rather conveniently be Japanese. "Convenient" because I have a written advantage because of all the Chinese I took. Some of those borrowed Chinese characters have the same or similar meaning in both languages.

Of course, lusting after spending hours upon hours learning Japanese while refreshing my written Chinese is totally irrational and, yeah, pure pleasure-seeking, because I have no idea what I would do with it except read menus and watch Samurai films without the subtitles on. Yet, it may - just maybe - be better than sex.

Perverse, I know.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Some Thoughts On Very Modified Food June

Very Modified Food June is now simply, July. Some of you are wondering what my thoughts on it are and how it all turned out. Hence, this post.

The Rules of Very Modified Food June

  1. If I put in x amount of energy toward feeding myself, feeding myself in June cannot take up more than x+(1/2x), if you know what I mean.
  2. No animal products if I can help it. (Is that veggie burger vegan? I'm not going to worry about it.)
  3. No living on tater tots. Living on tater tots is fun, but bad form. And the tater tots must be baked, not fried. *sigh*
  4. No coffee. Tea is okay.
  5. No alcohol.
  6. Eat a green "salad" of some sort every day. If I can shove it in a bun, fine.
  7. 50% of what I eat must be raw, hopefully organic.
  8. I am not allowed to eat an entire can/box of olives in one sitting. Bad girl.
  9. Same goes for nuts.
  10. Drink at least 2 glasses of water a day (not from the tap)
  11. Avoid processed sugar
  12. Do not flip out at the boyfriend/ partner/ whatnot

Tough, eh?

The Application of the Rules

Well, everything went well at first. I was being consistently vegan with a high ratio of raw to cooked foods, but I was not eating organic. I had a terrible caffeine withdrawal headache, but I persevered.

Encouraged by this I tried to add another rule:

13. No potato chips

I lasted less than a day. I ate an entire jumbo bag of kettle-style chips.

The very next day (June 6th) I succumbed to some cornbread that contained dairy (Rule #2), but it was only one piece. Nevertheless, it got worse.

On June 7th I shamelessly drank a glass of merlot (Rule #5). However, I made up for it the next night by sitting through an entire Knit 'n Sip at an Irish pub without drinking anything alcoholic. Also on June 7th I had a croissant for breakfast (Rule #2).

The good behavior regarding Rule #5 did not last long, though. June 16th I had a tenative half glass of merlot, and on June 27th I got really cocky and had a beer. this was immediately followed by something about running out of merlot. (I am having trouble remembering much about that bottle, so we can just assume that my boyfriend/ partner/ whatnot was responsible for drinking it up, ok?) And then on the 30th I was so brazenly comfortable with violating Rule #5 that I even bought a lime for my Corona. (Premeditated, that.)

The Analysis

There were strengths, and there were weaknesses. I never applied Rule #10, the two glasses of water a day. Nor did I really make an effort to eat organic (Rule #7, Part 2), although I suspect that because I was shopping for vegan food at Whole Foods my microwave meals were organic. (I was looking at the "vegan' label more than the "organic".)

Avoiding coffee (Rule #4) has turned out to be relatively easy. (I'm drinking decaf now, and only when I go to the coffeehouse on the weekends or for S'nB.) Unexpectedly, I did not try to overdo the tater tots (Rule #3) or olives (Rule #8), although there was a close call last week with a bag of raw pine nuts (Rule #9). Avoiding processed sugar (Rule #11) was rather easy since most of the desserts I had used fruit sweeteners or were made my me. Happily, I did not flip out at my significant other (Rule #12). Rule #1 also seemed to go off without a hitch.

The touchy area seems to be alcohol (wine, beer). Apparently I like red wine much, much more than I like eel sushi, pizza, or a nice brie, and I am perfectly willing to eat vegan Mexican food if I can have a Corona with it.

I did not lose any weight.

What Now

I have already eaten fish a couple times since the 1st of July, but I find myself oddly reluctant to have anything other than a vegan lunch, and most dinners are still vegan. I think it grew on me. I'll most likely keep everything I eat at home vegan and deviate when I am out about half the time, which is quite a change from my lacto-ovo-fish-veggie lifestyle previously.

I am also finding a decaf soy latte twice or three times a week an adequate substitute. My coffee edge is gone and I like it that way. (It hasn't altered my sleep patterns in any way, however.)

I am drinking less, but the fact that it is summertime makes it more difficult. A cold brewski after a 25 minute walk home in the heat and humidity always sounds awfully good.

Very Apropos

Thinking again, it seems

Today I:
  • had an onion bagel with fake cream cheese for breakfast
  • am drinking Earl Grey
  • am thinking a lot about architecture
  • think that is a bad trend, not to be encouraged

There are three magazines I buy on a regular basis: Metropolis, dwell, and Period House.

I once asked an instructor of mine what magazine I should subscribe to if I had to pick only one, and he said Metropolis because not only is it cheap, it delves into interior design and culture as well. So that is why I read that.

I read dwell because it's essentially another version of Metropolis, offering almost exactly the same thing.

Period House (which does not seem to have a website I could easily Google) is a light antidote to the first two magazines, which like most architecture magazines these days are heavy inclined to what I term the Neo-Modernist aesthetic. Period House is a UK publication that costs me almost as much as dwell and Metropolis combined. I don't consider it a "serious" architectural magazine - it's audience isn't explicitly designers - I think of it as rather more of an interior design magazine for homeowners. So why am I doling out the cash?

Because it showcases reader's period houses - Tudors and 13th century French townhouses - with excellent photographs and descriptions of the remodeling. There is an Ask the Expert section in the back where readers write in about their thatching, etc. It covers the things, basically, that I can't get enough of, and that mainstream architecture magazines often fail to address: The Old.

And everything gets old.

Yesterday, I:
  • may have had breakfast... I can't remember
  • had a bag of chips for lunch (%#&#!)
  • ate an eggplant parmesan sub for dinner (not vegan) with a Peroni

Thursday, July 06, 2006

A long list that will probably annoy you

I don't have much original to say today, so I'm going to do one of these:

100 Things About Me

  1. I don't watch TV
  2. When I did watch TV, I was completely obsessed with PBS.
  3. I choose not to drive for environmental and pragmatic reasons.
  4. I only miss owning a car when I need to move.
  5. I've been pseudo-vegetarian since high school.
  6. I've squatted.
  7. When I was squatting, I called myself an opportunivore, because I would eat what opportunity presented.
  8. I only miss squatting during rent week.
  9. I was in Seattle for the WTO protest in '99.
  10. It was the best and worst time in my life.
  11. I don't like Seattle.
  12. I don't like Philly.
  13. I am allergic to smog, and a kind of mold found only around Philly.
  14. I coughed for the 5 years I lived in Philly until I moved to Boston and got some antibiotics.
  15. I have no other allergies, except for perfume and cigarettes.
  16. I came the East Coast for the first time without any money or a place to live.
  17. I was also on antibiotics that I got in South Carolina for a bad case of bronchitis from second hand smoke exposure during the trip.
  18. I hate East Coast weather.
  19. I don't hate snow, but I do think it should just be visited.
  20. I've been attacked by dingos.
  21. I survived, obviously, but the incident pissed me off.
  22. I lived in the South Pacific for four summers and a semester of high school.
  23. Come to think of it, I'm allergic to mosquitos, particularly those found in the South Pacific.
  24. I am completely disillusioned about tropical paradises.
  25. I went to a Catholic school (complete with Irish nuns) in the South Pacific for a semester of my Junior year of high school.
  26. I had never read the New Testament before then.
  27. I was completely shocked to discover that it's the same story told over and over again.
  28. I was raised secular Christian. (Christmas = Santa Claus, Easter= Easter Bunny, etc.)
  29. My first exposure to religion was a New Age form of Hinduism.
  30. I am not religious, or even spiritual.
  31. I greatly enjoy speculative fiction, nonetheless.
  32. I've been trying to write a fantasy novel for about ten years.
  33. I suspect I lack focus.
  34. I hate okra and spicy food.
  35. Wasabi is the exception.
  36. I have a weakness for anything Asian, esp. Japanese.
  37. I studied Mandarin for a year and a half.
  38. I probably should have taken Japanese.
  39. I really enjoyed it - it helped me deal with the stress of studying architecture.
  40. I am not an architect, I am an architectural intern, which means I have no degree or license.
  41. I probably won't become an architect.
  42. My financial aid is hopelessly screwed, and my family can't afford to pay my tuition.
  43. Neither can I.
  44. I have nine half siblings.
  45. Both of my parents are currently interracially married.
  46. I am paranoid of Filipino food.
  47. I almost ate a beef and pig's blood dish at my mom's in-laws once.
  48. I accidentally ate dog at a Filippino party in the South Pacific when I was twelve.
  49. My dad told me afterwards.
  50. It really did taste like chicken.
  51. I generally get along with my dad.
  52. I've been to the Southwestermost point of any US territory/state.
  53. It gave me vertigo.
  54. I've been coconut crab hunting.
  55. I don't like Samoan food.
  56. I'm mostly immune to Poison Oak.
  57. I had to learn to swim when I was five with the rest of my kindergarten class because we lived by the ocean.
  58. I couldn't master the breaststroke at five because I was not strong enough.
  59. I never bothered to ever really learn it since.
  60. I've been snorkeling a lot in the South Pacific.
  61. I thought it was pretty boring for the most part, except for that time I stepped on a sea cucumber, and the occasional shark.
  62. There was only one trip to and from the South Pacific that I actually had somebody with me.
  63. The last time I went I was seventeen.
  64. I have no desire to return.
  65. I wasn't allowed to answer the phone or go anywhere by myself between the ages of seven and ten because of kidnapping threats.
  66. The guy making the threats was my dad's girlfriend's ex-husband.
  67. One of my most memorable childhood experiences was being shown how to use a shotgun because I was going to be left home for an hour by myself.
  68. I've always thought my dad had lousy taste in women.
  69. I developed my theories on relationships from watching my parents - mostly I was looking for what not to do.
  70. The same could be said of one of my older brothers in a more general sense.
  71. I've been living with and dating the same guy for almost six years.
  72. I would never marry anyone for sentimental reasons.
  73. I can't play any instrument.
  74. I also can't sing.
  75. I am self-taught in art.
  76. Art runs in my family, coming up about as often as left-handedness.
  77. I have never been on a diet that restricts how much I can eat in my life.
  78. I am not athletic.
  79. I think sports are a waste of time and energy.
  80. I don't own a cell phone.
  81. I don't own an iPod.
  82. I don't own a laptop, but wish I did.
  83. I have radical views on politics.
  84. I think a person's political beliefs are tied deeply into their worldview, etc., almost like religion.
  85. I generally don't talk politics because of this.
  86. I rarely discuss my views on religion for the same reason.
  87. I like to get along with people whatever their stance on things.
  88. I think dichotomies can be very harmful.
  89. Which doesn't mean I won't think somebody's ideas aren't full of short-sighted shit.
  90. I have a hard streak.
  91. But I am generally pretty tolerant.
  92. I think I'm like this because my family memebers tend to behave like they're batshit sometimes, and I have to reason out their behavior while trying not to hate them for it.
  93. People frequently tell me I should write a book of my life because of so many bizarre occurances.
  94. I think life is inherently weird, not just mine.
  95. I have no idea why I am so into knitting socks.
  96. I learned to knit from books.
  97. I read often.
  98. I went to a Montessori school between the ages of two and five.
  99. I could read by the time I was four because of that.
  100. I think I may want to be a writer.

Summer Reading Project - Book Seven

(SRP7) Stone Shelters by Edward Allen (1969) 192 pgs.
An overview of the vernacular stone buildings in the Apulia region of Southern Italy. Excellent photos, floor plans, and perspective sections, however I felt the accounting of the socio-political history of the area was confused and altogether too brief. This book would have been improved had the author shown the same zeal for Apulian history and architecture as he apparently felt for the cuisine, something which he waxed surprisingly poetic about for more than a paragraph. B-

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Knitty Summer 2006

Oh my goodness. There was hardly a thing from the last Knitty that I wanted to knit, but this time it's going to take some self-control. For instance, this, this and this.

What, they're all socks, you say?

Are you even surprised?

Bobbles

Today I:

  • had a whole wheat bagel with fake cream cheese for breakfast
  • am having non-vegan sushi for lunch with a bag of chips
  • am drinking Earl Grey

I'm making a pattern I found on the Knitlist called Irish Knit Tea Cosy for my kitty teapot. I think the pattern has some minor errata, since I couldn't get the pattern block stitches to match the number of cast on stitches, so I adjusted in my own way by casting on two less stitches. I'm otherwise very happy with this pattern. I've never used a pattern from the Knitlist before, but it's turning out much better than I could have hoped. I think this has something to do with the yarn. It's nothing extraordinary - just some Lion Cotton - but the color is awesome. They call it "Morning Glory Blue", but I'd call it "Cornflower" or "Indigo". It's bright without looking cheap. (The picture doesn't do it justice.)


Believe it or not, these were my first bobbles, and I'm digging it. It was also my first diamond pattern. (I really hope it all evens out after a good washing.)

Having completed one side of the tea cosy, it was obviously time to forget all other ongoing projects and cast on some lace socks for a friend's little girl. This pattern is from Socks Socks Socks and is called My Little Angel. It is working up (as they say here in Boston) wicked fast.

Can you see the angels? Their heads are bobbles and the wings are... Hmm. I don't know what to call that particular maneuver, but it was amusing. On the heel flap is a moss stitch heart. My friend says her daughter is princess-obsessed ("Princesses only wear dresses.") so I think she'll like these socks. I'm using a cream color Jawoll superwash on 3mm bamboo dpns, and I'm repeating the angel pattern on the leg only once so that the socks are more summer appropriate.

Yesterday I:

  • ate a lot of pasta with mushed up veggie burgers and marinara sauce
  • drank a decaf soy latte
  • went jogging
  • had a lot of tea
  • ate a cookie
  • drank a glass of merlot
  • stayed home most of the day to avoid the mob

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Summer Reading Program - Book Six

(SRP6) The Ice Harvest by Scott Phillips (2000) 217 pgs.
One night in the life of an alcoholic mob lawyer who is about to bunk out of Wichita, Kansas permanently with a lot of money. He stops at every strip club, pick-up joint and massage parlor in town, it seems. I find it hard to believe there are that many in Wichita, and I can't say the book improved my view on sexual dynamics any. It was kind of funny at points and technically well written. If you don't mind reading about people with asinine reasoning skills and dubious (at best) ethics, you'll most likely give this book a higher rating than my C+

Monday, July 03, 2006

Dumped

Alas! I had my first unsubscriber today. This event marks a momentous occasion for Crisis of Praxis, a kind of coming of age that parallels having a beau in kindergarten for two days before he jilts you for the girl with the fruit roll-ups in her lunch box instead of apple granola bars.

Live and learn, live and learn.

For those of you who are still soldiering through my compulsive re-publishing and my meandering posts, here are some swirly chocolate chip cookies. (Don't worry; they're vegan.)

Why am I at work?

Today I:

  • skipped breakfast. Urg.
  • am drinking Earl Grey tea
  • am considering drawing the teacup because there is nothing else to do here

Obviously, I am a foolish masochist, because I am sitting in a very quiet studio with about five other people with about as much hope as me in finding anything worthwhile to fill the time. The printers are down, being recalibrated; the copy service is absent, and I suspect that if I did get something copied and couriered out that there would be no one to receive it on the other end.

So let's talk about my dreams instead. Last night I dreamt I was explaining to some dude in detail about D-traps. I was sketching it on a napkin for him. I believe it was on a pan water closet, and I am pretty certain I got everything right about how it works except perhaps that I had a D-trap attached to an S-trap. (Hey, it was dream. I am allowed that slack.)

Yep. There were no mermen in this dream. Just plumbing lessons.

Sometimes I dream crazy architecture, or interior design. Occasionally I dream in remedial Chinese, always remembering more of it in the dream than I do when I am awake. (Although in my dreams, the characters are usually wrong.) The conversations in my dreams aren't very interesting because I know only about 500 Chinese words. That may sound like a lot but really it's just enough to introduce yourself, say how many siblings you have, and ask for the bathroom. Sometimes I dream of the coffeehouse in my home town as if it were a beatnik Nirvana.

Presently, I am dreaming of a laser printer that is on line.

Last night, I:

  • forgot to have dinner. The end of the June diet is already corrupting me.
  • drank a beer
  • knit

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Yellow Teacup

Today I:

  • had leftover fish 'n chips for breakfast
  • am trying to be motivated
  • am drinking tea. In a yellow teacup.


It's not as good as the teapot, unfortunately. I was bit heavy-handed, but that was difficult to avoid since I now have a blister on my thumb from sharpening pencils. Win some, lose some, I guess.
In context. I dug this sketchbook out from some boxes I usually don't think about. I barely used it, but now I am thinking I'm going to fill it with colored pencil drawings. Probably drawings of kitchenware. *sigh* I am a wildwoman.
Last night, I:
  • broke my vegan diet with fish and chips
  • knit
  • watched movies