The first knitting project
Evidence of yarn industry. And Libby.

Thanks to Jessie, I’ve been learning to KNIT.  My first project is a scarf with alternating knit and purl stitches, nothing too fancy. I can’t say that I like knitting any more or less than crochet–I’ve only just begun. I can, however, say that knitting doesn’t give me the repetitive stress problems that crocheting did (different movement). Knitting, I’ve found, is just as addictive as crochet. Maybe it’s just the zone-out appeal, kind of like when I was doing latch hook as a kid. Just craft and dream.

In other news, I’ve had digestive problems for a week and a half now. Even though I’m not tracking calories anymore, I still pay pretty close attention to what I eat–and I have no idea what could be bothering me. I’m not ready to run to the doctor just yet (I’ve been there twice in as many months) but I needed to do something. So yesterday, I cut milk out of my diet. The only dairy I ate yesterday was half a tablespoon of butter on my bagel. Today I tried margarine on the bagel instead. I’ve felt much better today but it’s probably too soon to know anything conclusive. The experiment continues.

Oh and the hairs done been cut, if you haven’t already seen on Facebook or ::gasp:: in PERSON.

Right. That is all, comrades.

WrAnyMo WrApUp

I’ve developed this habit of starting drafts and forgetting about them for a week or two, possibly a carryover of blogging privately. Oops. Here’s a slightly dusty post from Dec 2nd.

I refuse to accept that WrAnyMo was a resounding failure. Sure, I only made about 22% of my goal to write 30,000 words in the month of November but I learned something pretty important about my habits: I spend way too much time reading. It’s true. I spend a lot of time reading RSS feeds– in the morning, throughout the day and at night. Am I better for it? Probably not. A handful of items out of a couple hundred a day that are useful, insightful or otherwise provide that daily ounce of “Oh, cool” simply doesn’t offset the amount of time this eats out of my day. The rewards are too small for the time I put in. I look forward to not feeling obligated to read or at least clear out every new post in Google Reader. That’s really what keeps me hitting my feeds every four hours. I see that stupid number in the red bubble on my iPod and it makes me feel like the news needs my attention NOW. No, this needs to stop wasting my time.

Spending less time pouring over largely forgettable interweb droppings will, I hope, leave me more time to read GOOD things– literature and short fiction. It’s been ages since I’ve dissected a poem or applied the ‘critical theory flavor of the day’ to fiction. Reading good literature makes me want to write about it, meaning that finding more time to read often means finding more time to write too.

But feeds only take up so much of my day. What about the rest of my time? During the middle of the month, sloth was a huge problem. Then, during the final week of WrAnyMo, I started exercising. Suddenly I had more energy. What to do? I started reading more and I jumped back on projects that I’ve put off. So working out=energy to do other things. And, since Tim and I replaced walking time (3x a week) with work out time, working out does NOT equal more time out of my schedule.

December then will be another month of adjustments:

  • Finding a fourth day a week to exercise (already tried with mixed success)
  • Blogging a minimum of once a week (I’m with ya, Jessie!)
  • Trimming the amount of the feeds I read.

She Makes with Lots of Shiny

You may have read somewhere (on Twitteror maybe I blogged about it?) that Howl, my beloved iPod, died. Tim lent me his for the time being and, knowing my birthday was coming up, suggested that I opt for a Nano or an iPod Touch. I was taken with the Touch: wifi web browsability, mail and calendar syncing? Win.

Tim picks it up and taunts me with this fact via SMS. I call my parents to see if they’d be willing to chip in for my birthday. During the course of this, Dad suggests a hard reset to restore Howl, something I should have guessed existed. A button press combo later and Howl is resurrected. Oh dear.

So now I have a 30 gig iPod that is a bit poky but working (for the moment) and a shiny new 16 gig iPod Touch named Pantalaimon (in keeping with the ‘name Apple devices after book characters’ trend). I haven’t uploaded any music or videos but I did grab some handy apps (Tweetie, Bylines, Pandora and Wikipanion, Bookmarks Delicioussafari (Free)). I’m curious to see how much wifi is available around town. In the meantime, the plan is: if I’m just going out walking and just want some tunes, I take Howl. If I’m going to be in the vicinity of wifi and feel compelled to be chained to the interwebs, I take Pan.

In other news, Tim and I will be taking walk 2009.004 at Bloomington Rail Trail (map). Later, we will be getting our Irish on for movie night with two loosely Irish films: Boondock Saints and Intermission. Irish-related flicks shall be accompanied by Shamrock Shakes (made with Creme De Menthe and Peppermint Schnapps).


More Walks

The most recent walk was win but first, Walks 2009.002.

On Wednesday, we circuited Wal-Mart, which was a less than stellar experience but I had good company, we kept a good pace, and I picked up a few things we were low on afterward. I wouldn’t rule out Wal-Mart for future walks though. There’s always great people watching at Wally World, after all. In fact, I saw a guy who used to (and, as a recent report suggests, still does) manage at Domino’s on the south side. I *think* his name was James? Maybe. Good guy.

Saturday was cold in the morning, so we opted to go to College Mall for Walks 2009.003. We were probably the youngest walkers there at 8 am but this rather suited me. I enjoyed being at the mall during off-hours. I rarely go to the mall but when I do, it’s always with a purpose. Get in, get what I need, and get out. This time however, I found myself window browsing, which is, admittedly, hard to do at the brisk pace we set. I marveled in the freedom to window shop, something I just don’t do in malls it seems. All totaled, we walked at least two, maybe three miles.

The only qualm I had with the mall walk: giggling. High pitched, electronic, creepy-ass children giggling. It would seem the mall gods leave on the kiddie rides that occupy one of the main intersections, the ones with the sound of giggling children. Without the usual piped music and human-flesh present, the sound isn’t diffused or absorbed, it’s amplified. It echoes. Suddenly, Jenny is hissing in an alcove, claws bared. There is a reason why I refused to be in the same room as Russell when he watched The Omen. Can’t. Stand. Creepy. Children.

I eventually got over the feeling of unease and Tim and I chatted on many a good topic, including whether or not the Facebook/Twitter/txting culture has cheapened true human interaction, or if this type of communication serves a different purpose altogether. Do you remember not having cell phones? Internet?

Happy Ides everyone!

Walks 2009.001

I went for a walk yesterday, in mid-50 temperatures and an overcast sky. Tim and I parked and hiked along the water’s edge at Griffy Lake.

Griffy Lake, Monroe County, IndianaOn the way, we saw a woman kayaking with an adorable beagle. Both human and canine looked rather pleased with the arrangement (biped laboring, beagle relaxing). This was moment #1 I wished I had brought my camera. I convinced myself to leave the camera at home because this trip was about getting some exercise, not sightseeing. Ah, well. Onward. Continue reading Walks 2009.001

Photos Up

I finally put up a few photos from vacation. See them here. It occurs to me that they are all of buildings and scenery. Russ and I don’t appear in any of them. If pressed, I suppose we have no real photo evidence that we were there at all. Too bad, I got a cute hair cut before leaving, which feels fabulous now that I’m back to a 30 degree climate.

I should put in a good word for Bob and Bonnie of Noble Manor. We had such a relaxing time and lovely breakfasts while we were there. I highly recommend this B&B!

In other news, a few of you have probably heard me complaining of exhaustion and low appetite over the last fews days. The appetite is back- although I’m beginning to wonder if my stomach shrank or something- and I didn’t feel as tired this morning as I did the previous two mornings. The sinus pressure and headaches, however, have not gone away but this, at least, resembles life for me (I’m a chronic sufferer). I’ve been eating decently and drinking a lot of water today and I plan on getting to bed at a respectable hour tonight. Hopefully, I’ll be alert and sharp tomorrow. I still fear that there’s a plague of mini-zombies inside of my skull, gnawing away at my cerbral cortex. Maybe that’s just aging.

Laugh More

According to a recent study, psychological distress and severe life events may increase one’s risk of breast cancer.

Young women who were exposed to a number of life events, should be considered as a risk group for [breast cancer] and treated accordingly.

The good news?

On the other hand, general feelings of happiness and optimism can play a protective role against the disease.

All the more reason to come out to Bloomington’s Breast Cancer Awareness Walk on September 20th. The walk is free, although donations are gratefully accepted. Give a few bucks, make new friends, share loads of smiles.

I’ll see you there.