Puppy Love

No WIP Wednesday again this week (but you should go to Tami's blog to read all the great posts from everyone else).  Instead I thought I'd bring you this video from Russia Today.

All together now: Awwwww!


Kinda Sorta One of Those Days

The past few days have been *that* kind of day.  But they haven't been bad, really, just lots and lots of this:

Which, contrary to the majority opinion in my head, I actually do enjoy.  I love writing and researching and finding how all of these crazy things I've found in the footnotes of some obscure book fit together.  There's no way I would survive in this field if I did not take some satisfaction in my work.

But you know how you are just cruising along, singing with the radio, working on the puzzle pieces in your head when all of a sudden something comes out of the blue to completely throw off your game?  Yeah, well ...

This is what I found after stopping in at the store to replace my suicidal headphones.  Gotta give those seagulls props for accurate aim.  I mean, that is exactly where I put my hand to open the door.

Fortunately this is what I got to come home to.

Sometimes I still can't believe that I live here.


It's Randomly Sunday Again

1.  It's November.  Any university student will tell you that it is one of the most stressful months of the entire year.  I think this is the most stressful November on record.

2.  Because of the fact that it's crazy stress-inducing November I've been especially bad about posting, replying to comments, and emailing people.  If I owe you some form of contact, don't worry, I haven't forgotten.

3.  Something I tend to do when I am very stressed out is shift my mental focus to obsess over something non-scholastic when I'm not working on school.  When I was in high school it was Star Wars, and lately it's been Doctor Who.  I used a birthday gift to Amazon to pre-order series 5.  It finally arrived last week.

4.  I love Matt Smith

5.  I finally cast on the other sock for my mom.  Should be done sometime next summer.

I took this photo of the first sock a few weeks ago.  It is modeled on the foot of my friends' two year old daughter.

6.  I've also been working on Christmas presents, because of course I am insane enough to decide to knit presents again this year.  And, wouldn't you know it, I'm almost out of yarn on one. Not quite sure what I'm going to do.

7.  I love Matt Smith.

8.  Chris visited this weekend.  We went shopping yesterday (or rather, I went shopping and he tagged along) and found this:

It's a set of Star Wars baking supplies!  So of course I bought the apron

And maybe one set of cookie cutters?

9.  There is no Sherlock on tonight.  Makes me very sad.  If you have yet to check it out and you live in the US, go to pbs.com and check out the Masterpiece Mystery episodes where they aired the three episodes that make up series 1.

10.  Did I mention I love Matt Smith?


So Twitter Obviously Hates Me, . . .

Today my twitter count decided to go all the way back to thirty-one.  That's it.  Thirty-one.  This probably means nothing to most of the world.  Which is good, because it means you have some level of perspective of the universe.  But for me it was pretty disconcerting.

I should preface this by saying that since 2008 my life has been lived mostly on the internet.  Wait, that sounds wrong.  Let me try that again.  Since 2008 my life has been greatly enhanced by the internet.  Ah yes, much better.  (Hey!  Stop thinking those dirty thoughts!)  2008 was when I discovered podcasts (I know, late to the party), which pretty much opened up a whole new world for me (Aladdin reference intended).  It also coincided with the premier of TSCC (the reason I got into podcasts) and my discovery of television on the internet (Hulu and Netflix).  The other major change in my life was the discovery of twitter, which I got in April or May of 2008 but did not really figure out how to utilize properly until I got back to school in the fall.

Ok, now that I've set the stage for you, maybe you'll understand when I say that the past 2+ years of my life have been lived in some fashion on twitter.  My best jokes are on twitter.  My ups and downs have (unfortunately) been chronicled there.  My best friends have been made through twitter and if they were not initiated there have become the best kind of friendships because of our interaction there.  It's the place where real world me becomes internet me, though the distinction has been hard to make as of late.  It really has been my safe place to be me.  Every day, all the time.  And I really do blame twitter for the fact that I've let myself become the crazy quirky individual in public that I've always been in my head.

If this sounds like a mash note to twitter, well, it is.  Or it could be.  But unfortunately twitter has decided that the last 2 years mean nothing to it and has deleted my tweet count up through about this morning (yes, I probably twitter 100+ times a day. Cause I'm that nuts).  The tweets are still there.  I haven't actually lost anything.  But now when someone asks me what I've done in the past three years I can' quantitatively prove that I have over 100,000 tweets that a few people have actually bothered to read.  Now I really do look like I have no life.

Thanks, twitter.  Thanks a lot.


Why I Hate My Mother but It's OK

Sorry for the lack of updates lately.  I can't believe I missed WIP Wednesday again!  Well, actually, I can.  I've been sick off and on for the past week.  Just when school starts getting beyond the point of insanity.  But you're not reading this to hear me whine about my life, you're wondering what could possibly make me publicly declare that I don't like my dear old mum.

Well I'll tell you.  Two weekends ago, while I was slaving away over school and trying to not be so sick, my mother went to a fiber festival.  My mum.  The one who has only been knitting for a year?  Yeah, that one.  She went to a fiber festival.  While her dear daughter who takes her phone calls about "how to tell when you've accidentally purled instead of knitted" and "can I send you a picture? I don't think this is right", I've never been to one!  I ask you, where is the justice in this world?  How come she gets to go? It's just not fair!

But it's ok.  You know why?

That's why.  Wednesday night a gorgeous teal and green skein of Brook's Farm Four Play showed up in my mailbox.  Along with some gum and a clipping from the funny papers.  But it's Brook's Farm Four Play!  The woman has gone from "what's a purl stitch?" to picking out gorgeous, well crafted yarn in just a year!  I'm so proud.  And that's why it's ok.  A) Because she gave me yarn which automatically placates hostility, but B) also because she used good taste.  She claims it was on sale, but that just wows me more.  My mother sniffed out a wool/silk blend with enough yardage to make a scarf and IT WAS ON SALE!  That's how amazing that is.  I can't wait to knit it.

And yes, that's a Doctor Who novel on the table there.  It's my latest fun book.  You'll hear about it soon, I'm already halfway through and it only arrived last night.  I've already ordered more (thank you Amazon Prime!)


Bring on the Heat

Warning: The following has nothing to do with the election or politics. It is also blissfully ignorant of a world that seems to be taking itself way too seriously and that this blogger can't control anyway. It is about the one finer things in life -- fun. Oh. And murder.

Every night before I go to bed I try to read a chapter of something. Even if it's past one in the morning and I've been reading and studying all day and night. I think it's important that I take time at the end of my day to unwind my brain so that I'm not dreaming about Russian economics or Western Civ exams. Sometimes I only read a few pages, but it is something non-academic and that is the important part.

Two weeks ago I finished a book. That's something of my accomplishment in my world where I read around 3 to 4 books a week and book reviews about another 10 or so. But none of those books are what I'd call "fun." This was a fun book, Naked Heat by Richard Castle.

This is the second in what I hope will be a long run of Nikki Heat books published by Hyperion Press. The first book Heat Wave is now out in paperback and you really should check it out. You might be thinking, the name Richard Castle sounds familiar but I don't know it because of a book. You're probably right. See, Richard Castle is the main character of the hit tv show Castle (Monday nights, 10pm EST, ABC). The show is about a crime novelist who follows NYPD detective Kate Beckett to research for his new character, Nikkie Heat. It is in its third season and it is absolutely amazing (I mean, it's Nathan Fillion, how can it not be amazing). Chris and I actually have a standing "date" every Monday night. We watch the episode together over skype (yes, adorable and/or sickening, I know).

The show has done something really cool by releasing the books that Castle is writing. It's a really fun way to interact with the show, but the books are awesome in their own right. The first book was published after the very short first season (the whole season is 3 dvds) and was cool, but I like the second book better. While it has not been discussed on the show as much, it definitely interacts more with the previous season. It has its own unique and compelling story, but on the other hand avid fans can see where Castle got the inspiration for different incidents. I'm not going to spoil anything for first time readers or viewers, that's not my style, but let's just say that there are very direct references to key plot points in the second season. It's pretty cool.

Outside of being an integral part of one of my favorite tv shows, Naked Heat is a very good book. I'm not a huge crime novel fan (though I read the latest Kathy Reichs paperback every summer), but these are excellent stories. They do have some procedural feel to them, that's just the nature of the genre, but the character development is very well done. The interaction between Nikkie and the reporter Jameson Rook is just as fun as that between Beckett and Castle and more interesting in this book because the characters have already been established.

Overall, as a tv fan and a fiction lover I highly recommend this book. It is funny, quirky, and I actually did not figure out the ending (if you know me that will mean something). It also kept me up way past one chapter a night, and if that's not a glowing recommendation I don't know what is. The hardback retails for $24.99 but I've seen it discounted at Barnes and Noble. And I've found the paperback for the first book in Walmart and several drug stores. This in itself should tell you something because when Heat Wave came out last year it was only available on Amazon and they sold out several times.

The rest of the nation may be concerned with election results tonight, but I'm just wishing I could get another Heat fix.


FO: Commie Cowl

I promised myself I would stop talking about the weather so much in my blog, but I can't help it.  It is the first day of November and when I left to go to PT this morning it was a pleasing mid-50s something.  I was quite pleased.  And then I realized something.  My hair is short.  Yes, it's been short for a while, but in the upper 90s that really is not a problem.  But now it is a mite chilly around the neck.

So how fortunate is it that I finally put the buttons on my Shawl Collard Cowl?

When I first finished I was concerned that it was too big.  But after putting it on and going outside I've decided that it is the perfect size.  Made out of Knit Picks Decadence, a discontinued 100% pure alpaca, it is so squishy and warm.  And also itchy, as alpaca is wont to be, so the extra length is really nice.

The buttons are from a pack of Soviet uniform buttons that were a gift from a fellow grad student.  They're so shiny you can't really see the hammer and sickle on the button's surface, but they are there.  Very appropriate for someone who's basing her hoped-for career on the study of Soviet history, don't you think?