Knit-aversary 1 Wednesday, Nov 25 2009 

I have been knitting for over one year now!

Last September-October, I decided to challenge myself. I always thought of knitting with a bit of a wistful “I wish I could do that” knowledge that I COULDN’T do that. And that is just silly, so I decided I would just learn.

Similar to when I stopped biting my nails, I don’t know any turning point or even how I did it. But it got done. My aunt showed me how to cast on (a knit on cast on) and how to do a knit stitch. I wrestled with that on my dollar store yarn for a while before I taught myself everything else with the internet and library books. I’m really really proud of myself. It’s a big accomplishment. I hope, when I move, to get more knitting friends, like a usual gang at a yarn store, as it is, I have a hard time finding anyone who appreciates that what I am doing is difficult and awesome.  Dr. Boyfriend doesn’t get it 😉

My 2010 knitting goals are to learn some form of color work, I think it is high time I gave intarsia or fair isle knitting a go, and to do my first socks. I think I am ready!


For my first Knit-aversary, my rpesent to myself was some Mirasol Miski:

3 skeins in Jade, 1 in Bluebell. It is baby llama yarn, and so soft, so I want to use it on things that will be next to my skin. Probably a pair of peekaboo mittens for myself and another cowl so it will be on my hands and I can rub my face in it.


Notes and Books Tuesday, May 5 2009 

Want some bad advice? Ask U.S. News and World Report.


The best thing about Research? Your husband getting 85% off medical school tuition. Hey, that’s about it.

My office is moving slightly to the right in a few months, literally accross the street so it will be marginally shorter for me to walk here in the mornings, and if rumors be true, we will get a window. So, obviously, we are excited. I am also amazed that I have worked here for six months and it looks like I have lived in this cube FOR YEARS. Six pairs of shoes under the desk, Emergency blazer, pashmina, and blanket for when it gets freezing in here (every day). Emergency food for when the zombies attack and we barricade ourselves in. Christmas lights.

I also have all these scraps of paper, because this is a beauracracy and I get lots of random papers and I usually keep them to doodle on the back and sometimes I leave myself notes but I never remember what they mean. “Soluble Fiber FTW”. I believe that has to do with  Soluble fiber being the sort that lowers your cholestrol, which I care about. I have a post it that just says “muffin tins”. I don’t know what that’s about. I don’t own any.

I also have a list of topics I am interested in for further research. Possibly books to write if I felt like it or if Dr. Boyfriend and I move to England for a year so he can do a fellowship.  The heading (written on an Office Depot legal pad) is “THESE BOOKS NEED TO BE WRITTEN” and contains these items:

Joe Carstairs and Lord Tod

In the early 1900’s, Betty “Joe”  Carstairs was pretty effing shocking because she dressed in dude’s clothes, had lots of tattoos, was a race car and ambulance driver, and an open lesbian who dated many notable women. Oh, she also had a doll named “Lod Tod Wadley” who she carried everywhere except on boats (for fear of him drowning). She seemed awesome.

William Moulton Marston

Popular psychologist and inventor, he and his wife came up with the systolic blood pressure test leading to the polygraph. He did a lot of work with sorority initiation rites, and was a vocal feminist. He had a polyamorous relationship with his wife Elizabeth and a former student, Olive.  After his death, Elizabeth and Olive continued living together for forty more years, until Olive’s death.

And, he created Wonder Woman. Based on the idea that a superhero can use love instead of fists, can be everything that the male superheroes are but be an  attractive woman too, Marston strived to create a new female archetype. He based WW on his two lady loves, had her come from an all female utopia, and played with themes of submission and bondage that later writers had to  tone down.  In a delightful bit of TMI, Marston vocally believed in submission to women, that a matriarchy was the perfect government, and “submitting to other people cannot possibly be enjoyable without a strong erotic element”. He thought men would be chill with this, as Give them an alluring woman stronger than themselves to submit to, and they’ll be proud to become her willing slaves!”

Ellen Craft

In an amazing feat of “being so effing awesome I want to be her fo realz”, Ellen Craft may the most badass person I have read about. Craft was the daughter of a slave and her owner, born a slave but with skin so light as to pass for white. She was often mistaken for white, which pissed off the white family, and she went away with the daughter of the family when the daughter married. There, Craft met William Craft and got married, but since slave marriage wasn’t recognized was going to be split up from her husband. Being ballsy and possibly too awesome for words, she disguised herself as a white dude and escaped to Philly with her husband. She faked some injuries to cover her body and speaking voice and just faught her way up north, like any arrogant white man.

Later, people recognized that what she did was “too cool for school” but society was so crazycakes that when  she and her husband wrote their story, he had to  take a lot of credit, and do all the talking in person. Being a lady caught up with her, wtf.

Albanian Sworn Virgins

Ok, the long and short of it is that in Albania, women used to be treated poorly. Like, TOTES poorly. Men were supposed to beat their wives. The only loophole out of this crap life was for a lady  to swear off sex, dress like a man, and live like a man as a “sworn virgin”. Seperately, it was dangerous to be a man in Albania due to blood feuds similar to Sicilian feuds. If someone’s nephew was shot, he had to kill the shooter, or the shooter’s nephew, and so it goes, escalating until the whole of both families are wiped out. It got so bad that many men could not leave the house. Enter the sworn virgins, who take the jobs, go to the marketplace, act as the male heads of households because they cannot be used in these blood feuds. Pretty spiffy loophole, huh?

So basically, I have a thesis topic on either cross dressing or the concept of “the third sex” (several Mexican and Native American groups have this idea where people born male become the third sex) that would work pretty well under some sort of bodylore, sociology, or gender studies program.

Will it ever happen? I don’t know. I don’t want to do any more school. But the idea of getting a PhD is pretty sweet, if only for spite reasons.

Oh, and the Underhanded Advertising Schemes too. Thursday, Mar 26 2009 

I am so sick of the sexism, heteronormality, and consumerism of the wedding industry!

Myself included.

Also:, you have not mailed my yarn yet. I NEED my yarn.

I wanna baby Tuesday, Mar 24 2009 

I’m totally over wedding planning. It’s stressful and money costing and I’m just not excited any more. That means a mandated week off from wedding planning.

I’ve been baby-obsessed lately, I really really want one. Well, yeah, is till get freaked out that you kind of lose your freedom when you have a kid, and for eighteen years you have no time and have to put yourself and your wishes last. Ok, that part sucks. But they’re so cute! Dr. Boyfriend hates that I am going to start doing this, but I’m going to use one of our flat under-the-bed-Tupperwares and start just buying pregnancy and baby clothes when I see them/like them/on clearance them… I also think I may begin knitting for a baby. Well, I’m sure when my age group begins to have kids (aside from all my grade school classmates that already have them) there will be a bunch in a row and I will like that I have pre-made stuff. And anyway I want to knit for a baby NOW.

I don’t think I’m creepy or odd at all!

How Do I Always Do This? Friday, Mar 13 2009 

Long story short for the teal deers out there: The 71C and the 71D go very different places; the 71D doesn’t go anywhere I wanna go.

Pittsburgh is so different from Philadelphia (excepting the neighborhood I grew up in) and I wouldn’t even know how to explain it. There’s nothing difinitively different, nothing that I could state as a cut and dry reason I feel so fish out of water here.  But it is different. It is all  so different. And I clearly only know a very tiny section of it whatsoever.

They say that the best way to get to know a city is to get lost in it. I actually love a meandering adventure, figuring out where I am as I go along. But not at 5 pm when I am sick and decide I can handle quickly running an errand for my mother. When she visited last weekend, she graciously agreed to crochet me a hat that I wanted, it’s an adorable puff stitch with a bow and I cannot yet crochet. However, my otherwise intelligent mother only bought one skein and not the two required of the yarn she chose. So I will be trotting back to the yarn  store to buy another of the same dyelot (and peemptively spend all of my March paycheck). I am exhausted from head and chest congestion, so I decide to take the 71D to the shopping complex rather than walk to my apartment and catch my usual bus, I have the bus schedule and the map looks right, the bus is due to come right after work, and I remember that before  when I was waiting for my usual bus outside the yarn store that the 71D came right there.

Ok, it doesn’t. That’s the 71C. Fine, I catch on relatively quickly that I have left anywhere I recognize and am lost. No big deal, I will just keep riding the bus and get off where I recognize something, or worst comes to worst,  get off back at work where I started. Except Pittsburgh has lots of odd one way streets (Pittsburgh truely is a whole town of my neighborhood where I grew up, all crazy hills and one way streets and streets that should be one way due to narrowness but aren’t) so the bus doesn’t return the way it comes. The bus turned onto a busway, which is basically a highway for buses, and the driver announces last stop, and I have to get off the bus somewhere I have no idea where I am. I frantically call my friends/scour the skyline for landmarks/ try to figure if I can walk to the yarn store still all while trying to look like I know what I’m doing so I don’t look like an out of place lost scared little white girl who deserves to get mugged. Finally, I wait for and get on another bus  that I have never taken before except I know it goes near my house. I get near home, say “fuck it, I’m tired”, buy Chinese food, and go home. Check the clock, IT IS 6:15. All of this craziness took about an hour! How do I do this? Not only fuck up, but fuck up efficiently.

Today I got out of work at 3:30 as a celebration of our day off tomorrow for “Great Americans Day” (another reason to  enjoy  having sold out to work  for the man), jumped on a 71C, was at the yarn store in minutes, bought yarn, got on a bus, went to Whole Foods and bought cheese, got on a bus, got home and now I enjoy an evening to myself, watching bariatric surgeries on TLC and knitting my CopyCat Yellow Hat. Delightful. Oh, I also am shooting some amazing yarn porn. I am disappointed with my camera, maybe someday I  will spring for a fancy nancy camera like my brother has, only he can justify the cost because he makes money on the side with photography. I am just a geek who wants to take pictures of leaves and yarn  and shit.

Armadillo in a Bucket Monday, Mar 9 2009 

Is there any possible way that it could be healthy that thus far in 2009, EVEN EXCLUDING KNITTING PATTERN BOOKS, I have already read 34 books? Isn’t that a book every other day? Is there something wrong with me? Could I be dying?

As for the title, armadillos be adorable. ADORABLE.

OMG You Guys Monday, Mar 2 2009 

Am I allowed to say I have skills now? I made the Felicity hat on Ravelry this weekend. Friday after work I went “I need a hat” and cast on, by Sunday at 3:30 pm I had a hat. On Friday Dr. Boyfriend and I went out to dinner (delayed valentine’s treat) and Saturday was grocery shopping morning, then in the evening Doctor Prom (the medical school Formal), so it’s not as if I spent the whole weekend sequestered in the apartment knitting. I also made a vat of chili.

So anyway, my first time with make 1 increases, my first time with DPNs. You have no idea the rush of self esteem I got from seeing a hat emerge out of my knitting. It’s like how Nikol Lohr describes knitting socks “OMG it’s a sock, look you guys! A SOCK WTF”…you’re just amazed and pretty much have no idea how it happened. I made sure that there were no flaws, unknitting two  rounds once when the splitty acrylic yarn decided to fray. Of course, after I did all the finishing, I discovered that I dropped a stitch when I was knit2together every stitch (the stitches were super bulky and hard to work with at that point) but I pulled it through to the inside and secured it with some waste yarn so it isn’t a big deal. I’m really super proud of myself.

I have been shy of patterns where there is anything I can’t do yet, like picking up stitches. I imagine it is simple, and I could do it, but I haven’t yet. That’s so silly…I just need to build up my repetoire of skills slowly I guess so I don’t freak out. My parents (barring extreme weather) will be visiting next weekend, and I plan to take my mom to my LYS. I need DPNs in some regular sizes and I want some wool in my all-acrylic-and-a-little-cotton-for-summer stash. Slouchy Copy-Cat hat is next, so I want some gorgeous Cascade 220.

151 Days… Wednesday, Feb 25 2009 

My wedding dress was delivered today.

Some of the problems with my slightly less traditional wedding involve this…I didn’t get my dress at a bridal salon, and my mother lives far away, so I shall have to struggle into the dress on my own, and pose in front of my webcamera in a video I can email my mother. All without Dr. Boyfriend seeing (I don’t mind him seeing the dress per se, but I dont want him to see me in it, and I  really want there to be dramatic suspense when he sees me walk down that aisle [in a garden wedding, it will be a feat if I can keep him from seeing me until I’m at the aisle] and I know I will be crushed if he catches me in it tonight and just goes ‘looks nice’ and goes back to studying). And then store it for 5 months.

My weight loss has stagnated and I am sad. I am also still not getting enough sleep and have been dead on my feet all day today.

No crochet thread delivery yet.

I think I am finished my summery alumna scarf. I was testing where on my body I wanted it to hit and realized I didn’t want it below my waist.

You May Be Right. Monday, Feb 23 2009 

I may be crazy.

I have made what may be a very bad decision, and have purchased some crochet thread so that I can hand knit bookmarks as wedding favors. That means 130 or so bookmarks in 153 days.  Now, hear me out. Doing the math, the price of crochet thread with shipping evens out to 11 cents per person, much better than any other wedding favor we could get. What we already have for favors doesn’t look all that impressive (even though it is AWESOME) so I really felt the need to have something else with it. And of course, I think everyone getting something handknit from the bride is awesome.

So….if I majorly eff up and can’t do it, we still have our backup favors. But I plan on doing several  different patterns, basically learning and practicing a bunch of lace patterns (something I want to be better at anyway) so that I don’t go mind-numb from the boredom. And if I am running out of time and begin freaking, the fact that they all already will be different will make it easy for a bunch of quick garter stitch ones to blend in.

In other wedding news, package tracking tells me that my dress is currently in California, desperately trying to come home to me. Yay! Now I must actually pay attention to my insane weight gain.

And starting next week, Dr. Boyfriend has really complicated rotations, and I WON’T SEE HIM AT ALL AND WILL BE VERY SAD WAHHHHH. If DB and I don’t spend at least five hours a day together, we get sad and whine.

Poor Dr. Boyfriend Wednesday, Feb 18 2009 

There is something seriously wrong with Dr. Boyfriend.

He gets to talk to people all day, rounding with patients, seeing his friends in lecture, being quizzed by attendings. I spend my workday in a cubicle on a computer “researching” (and playing Scrabble with a coworker). I don’t talk to  ANYONE all day. When  I get home, I am desperate for some human contact. He is just tired (and lame.) Of course, the only time he wants to talk is when I’m reading. or knitting something complicated I have to pay attention to. Or watching Ugly Betty. Do I bother you during 24? Huh? Or Lost? Well Ugly Betty is MY Lost! So leave me alone or else I will pause the DVR and stare at you in annoyance and later google Lost spoilers and work them into casual  conversation. This also goes for Doctor Who and Primeval and even the disgusting plastic surgery shows I watch on Discovery Health.

“I cut into a brain today” “mmm hmmm” “It was cool” “That’s nice dear.” “I want to be a neurologist” “Adorable” “Lars, aren’t you listening???”

No. No I am not. I am reading/knitting/watching Ugly Betty/fighting a boss monster/planning Halloween costumes/singing in my head/doing whatever it is I  decided to do when you became to tired or busy to talk to me. Damn straight.

In fact, what I am probably doing is planning our wedding that is 158 days away. The wedding you have done nothing to help with. The wedding that  is  driving me crazy because I suggested eloping, which you vetoed. The wedding that should have been small but thus far has gotten big, the wedding I am working on without any input from you, even though you are the liaison to your side of the family.

I might even be fine with this except the little issue of changing my name. His choices for me are option A: take his last name or option B: keep my last name but he and the kids will have his last name and I get to be odd man out.

No thanks. See, I have an AWESOME last name. It’s short but no one can pronounce it and it begins with Z so I’m always last which can be good or can be bad, and it’s super ethnic so I get to bring up that I’m 100 percent Polish, but the point is it is remarkable and therefore is a huge part of me.

His, however, begins with an A. LAME. It is unremarkable and boring and my first and his last together are the name of a celebrity. Who I kind of look like. Why on earth would I want to change my name?

My options for him are option A: we both hyphenate our last names. B: Only I hyphenate my name, but so do our kids. C: Our names stay, kids hyphenate. D: We both change to a new last name altogether. I suggested “Wu” or maybe “Jenklebriggs”. Option E: We make no compromises or progress and fight about it.

Thus far we have chosen E.

Ok, we do not seriously fight, we’re in love or whatever and are getting married so none of this is a big deal. I like to rant though, and this was a perfect opportunity.

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