21 February 2008


today the temperature is 41 F and sunny in north pole and stockholm. there's some great cosmic meaning in that, but other than i wish i was there, i'm not sure what.

i can picture the long row of people on the farsta strand pendelt├ąg station (just outside stockholm), their backs to the forest, eyes closed, and faces raised to the sun, soaking in the impossible warmth after the dark of winter. that image from my first winter's ending in sweden always comes to mind when the sun reappears.

if i close my eyes, maybe click my beat up sneakers together, and dream really hard, i'll hear the electric lines twanging and open my eyes just as the train comes in.

06 February 2008

helpful hint

don't measure your gauge in dim-lit air force hotels. you might measure 9 stitches per inch and not realize till after you've knit the heel on your toe up sock and tried it on, that hmmm, the sock is a bit large, and after re-measuring in your well-lit living room discover you're actually knitting 8 stitches per inch. which means you didn't have to muck about with the pattern either.


of course the genius of toe-up socks is supposed to be that you can try them on as you go, but i can't really tell if the foot fits proper until after the heel myself. unfortunately.

ribbit ribbit.

04 February 2008

in which we learn another disadvantage to having a fake christmas tree

it doesn't die. (i know you thought that was one of the advantages, but hang with me) since it doesn't die, there's no needles piling up on your floor and it doesn't ever turn into a fire hazard. which means there isn't any real urgency to take it down, if say, one were to travel an inordinate amount in december and january, so that one might not actually get the tree down until the day before superbowl sunday.


i haven't been on such a traveling rollercoaster since i was a project-hopping archaeologist. you get home, unpack, wash your clothes, catch up on a few bills, maybe talk to a couple people, squeeze in an email (hej lasse!), pack and repeat. ojojoj.

two weeks after getting back from MA we went to anchorage for a long MLK weekend. chuck had bank training mon and tues, so we went down fri and stretched it out. i came to the conclusion that if you're not shopping for something, there's not much to do in anchorage in the winter.

especially when the hotels don't have internet. between traveling for work, and chuck's random training meetings, i'm getting good at sizing up hotels. i've noticed something odd: the expensive hotels have gold framed mirrors and fancier looking sheets but they actually offer the same amenities as cheaper hotels - for a fee. so you're paying more . . . . for less. the midrange hotels tend to have free breakfasts, free internet, microwaves and fridges. and, well, i like those better. i'm paying less for a room, and getting more services with it. the marriot spring hill has my votes.

so, without internet to catch up on blog posts and emails, what's a girl to do?

go to yarn stores and title wave of course.

title wave is a gem among book stores. it beats out barnes and noble any day. they sell new books and used ones in really good shape, plus out of prints and hard to find books. chuck gave me 50 bucks to spend (cuz if i decided the amount who knows what it'd be) and i walked away with 13 books and a dollar to spare. whoo-hoo.

i found some forgotten realms books (used to read them pre-high school and lately have been having urges to revisit some of those stories), a couple of l'engle's austin family series that i missed reading somehow, a cookbook on herb vinegars (so i could use those herbs i dried out this summer), sword singer by jennifer roberson, zel by donna napoli (awesome retelling of rapunzel), dawn by elie wiesel and a wild card never-been-read winter queen by devin cary. i was quite satisfied.

even though chuck promised to go with me to the yarn store (far north yarns, web site out of service), i went ahead by myself to set him up for the kill scope it out. sweater yarn was on the list, but somehow the fiber and the colors refused to match up for me. except for this one yarn, ooooo, it was tempting. sulka from mirasol, merino, alpalca and silk. felt wonderful, and they even had colors i liked. but.....the price was a bit much for our checkbook. and i sure couldn't figure out a 2-3 skein project for myself. darn.

since sock yarn doesn't count, and they had louet gems, one of the few sources for solid colored sock yarn, we grabbed a couple skeins of that. (before my resolution by the way - i think)
louet gems linen greylouet gems neptune
blah color for chuck, blue for me. merino wool, machine wash, and solid colors. i've been wanting to try some, and it does seem a crime to walk out of a yarn store empty handed. i sat and knit with the staff for a bit. it was so nice to be in a yarn store and feel comfortable. the one i normally frequent in fairbanks has an odd atmosphere that i haven't ever felt comfortable in, no matter how much i've spent on yarn there.

we squeeked back into fairbanks in time for knit night, where i discovered i had my first ravelry convert. whoo-hoo! she signed up after the last knit night, and got in that very day. her eyes widened and shined with that ravelry-struck gleam, as she said, "i only looked up felted patterns and there were so many. . . . .ooooooo that place is bad"

things are starting to quiet down as we get settled back into life. between work and catching up, knitting time has been at a premium. as in practically non-existant. i guess those cushy subbing jobs spoiled me with extra knitting time, not to mention slightly shorter work days. still i'm plugging away at everything, without any miraculous advances. and trying to ignore the itch to cast on something new.

my book stack has been neglected lately too. i'm trying to borrow less books from the library at a time, so i can actually read them before i have to return them. elie wiesel's memoirs are going slowly, cuz it's january's choice for a dying book club, and i didn't want to finish it way before we met and forget my thoughts on it. but we still haven't met, so i'm going ahead and finishing it. i made it through trickster's choice and trickster's queen though, both excellent books more on the sneaky spy side of fantasy then the other tamora pierce books. i've got the first book in the protector of the small series, first test, and beka cooper in the stack too now. sometimes i find an author and i want to read everything they've written. i did that with elie wiesel about (ouch) ten years ago, and now i'm in the mood to go back and re-read some of his works and digest them some more.

this weekend we finally bought a proper snow shovel (archaeologists can be picky about things like shovels) so i can start chipping away at the melted hump on the deck. it appeared during a thanksgiving warm spell when the snow slid off the roof onto the deck, where it froze up again before we got back. mildly dangerous, and starting to get on my nerves. now i can do something about it! yay! (i'm one of those rare and odd people that like to shovel, so i actually am glad)

oh, and if you need to do your weekly shopping, and it just happens to be payday weekend and superbowl saturday, um, don't. cuz there might be some lines. across the whole front of the store, down the frozen aisle,
and past the milk cases.and we weren't even the last people in line.

03 February 2008

go patriots

yeah, i know. they lost. which was not that surprising. disappointing, but not surprising. any good patriots fan knows their mercurial character, how they flame up and burn out at the most inconvenient moment. if there was any good time for them to lose a game, it would be at the end of an awesome season 18-0, at the superbowl.


at least i don't have any cocky statements to live down. a win sure would have been nice.

but you know?

they're still my team.

so go patriots.

ETA: check here for an awesome description of the red sox/patriot fan mentality. she nails it right on the head.