Friday, August 31, 2007

Good Morning

A bit early, a puppy woke me up this morning with his barking, but with a face like his, how can I be angry? He's falling asleep as he's chewing on a toy. It's adorable.

Now, as for the week. The assistantship is going well. I'm still working on the same projects previously mentioned, and am trying to do some reading in the process. I have met a few new people, and they have all been kind. Two of the new friends I have made are international students, one now permanently living in the U.S., and one hoping to stay permanently.

My classes and professors all seem nice, but each with a different approach. The Phillip Roth wants a very intimiate setting, and a lot of conversation and questions (there are only six of us in the class). The Shakespeare teacher seemed a bit intimidating, but I don't think the class will be bad. We are required to attend at least three live performances. I've talked with my new friends, and I think we are all going to go to the Shakespeare theater in D.C. and watch it together. Going would only bother me if I had to go alone (although my super cool roommate would probably go with me).

Applied Grammar does not sound like an exciting class, but the professor is witty and uses fun examples to keep the class from becoming nap time. A lot of the information has been redundant from my last Syntax class, so huzzah.

I am currently sitting on the couch in the living room, with my feet propped up on the coffee table. Captain (the dog) in all of his adorable cunning, has lain down in the space underneath my legs. It melts the heart, and makes it extremely difficult to stand up. Oh, he's a sneaky little Border Collie, but again, how can you not love a face like his? I'd post a picture, but technically he's not my dog, Sara is his mom, and I'm the auntie. Auntie Em. Yea.

Grandma is South Carolina had her surgery, and she seems to be doing okay. My other grandma recently broke bones in both her hands and now they are both in hard casts. My Pop is going nuts taking care of her, answering the million phone calls, because she can't really hold a phone right now, and doing everything for her. I expect her to make him take up where she left in her knitting.

Not really...

Not sure what else to say, I'm not writing very well today, so I might postpone any commentary until tomorrow. I'm also going to try some knitting this weekend, and I might post the results if they are not too horrendous.

I would also like everyone (being the one or two people that acutally read this) to check out The Pyrates Royale, who play, you can guess, Pirate music. It leans towards folk music though. I really enjoy their version of The Old Dun Cow. You can sample their newest cd here.

Chris Brown is on tv, so I leave you now to change the channel. I don't hold it against him because he is from Tappahannock, it's just if I watch him any longer, my brain will melt out of my ears.

What a world, what a world.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Old Dun Cow

Short post tonight, I am super tired after all the driving and long days. But I believe I will get the 30-credit thesis option I was hoping for!

I also just wanted to say Happy Birthday to Scott, and thanks to all those who have been sending Threadless points my way.

For all of you, I dedicate this old Irish Drinking Song (it's a lot of fun to hear it sung; found here):

Some friends and I in a public house
Was playing a game of chance one night
When into the pub a fireman ran His face all a chalky white.
"What's up", says Brown, "Have you seen a ghost,
Or have you seen your Aunt Mariah?"
"Me Aunt Mariah be buggered!", says he,
"The bleedin' pub's on fire!"

And there was Brown upside down
Lappin'' up the whiskey on the floor.
"Booze, booze!" The firemen cried
As they came knockin' on the door (clap clap)
Oh don't let 'em in till it's all drunk up
And somebody shouted MacIntyre! MACINTYRE!
And we all got blue-blind paralytic drunk
When the Old Dun Cow caught fire.

"Oh well," says Brown, "What a bit of luck.
Everybody follow me. And it's down to the cellar
If the fire's not there
Then we'll have a grand old spree."
So we went on down after good old Brown
The booze we could not miss
And we hadn't been there ten minutes or more
Till we were quite pissed.

Then, Smith walked over to the port wine tub
And gave it just a few hard knocks (clap clap)
Started takin' off his pantaloons
Likewise his shoes and socks.
"Hold on, " says Brown, "that ain't allowed
Ya cannot do that thing here.
Don't go washin' trousers in the port wine tub
When we got Guinness beer."

Then there came from the old back door
The Vicar of the local church.
And when he saw our drunken ways,
He began to scream and curse."
Ah, you drunken sods! You heathen clods!
You've taken to a drunken spree!
You drank up all the Benedictine wine
And you didn't save a drop for me!"

And then there came a mighty crash
Half the bloody roof caved in.
We were almost drowned in the firemen's hose
But still we were gonna stay.
So we got some tacks and some old wet sacks
And we nailed ourselves inside
And we sat drinking the finest Rum
Till we were bleary-eyed.

Later that night, when the fire was out
We came up from the cellar below.
Our pub was burned. Our booze was drunk.
Our heads was hanging low.
"Oh look", says Brown with a look quite queer.
Seems something raised his ire.
"Now we gotta get down to Murphy's Pub,
It closes on the hour!"


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Penny Arcade

I'm not sure how many of you read Penny Arcade, but Wired Magazine just did an article on the creators, and it's good reading. Very funny:

I'm going to leave for class and office hours soon (haven't gotten much homework done-bad me), but I'm a little worried about the kind of degree I'm getting.

The one I want, 30-credits, requires me to be proficient in one foreign language. So does Latin count? Am I actually proficient? I hope they just take that I have completed the minor, and not make me take a test, because I will FAIL.

Anyway, need to do some reading before class. Got about 800 pages of reading due for next week.

The sky is falling.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

When you can't sleep, Blog.

Today was the first day I had class and assistantship hours. I am a little overwhelmed, but I think that is to be expected. Mainly, I am exhausted, but so much so that I apparently cannot sleep.

It might have been the terror which is driving to Marymount. From I95 to I395 is bad enough, but Glebe Road and trying to find a parking spot is an absolute nightmare. And the parking spots are big enough to hold cars, but not to open the car doors. Thank God I have a sun roof I can climb out of.

The assistantship seems okay. I don't mind helping professors with professorly duties (it actually seems fun, and it is good experience); however, I am helping the director of the Literature program, and with nonprofessorly duties. She gave me a list of four things to work on including helping to redesign the English Department website (even writing parts of it), keeping up the department bulletin boards, creating an alumni database, and updating contact information for the English department faculty.

I don't really have a problem with the tasks themselves, but I've worked with professors before, and that is familiar. Web design, creating databases? That's a whole new puzzle. Well, at least I only have to dedicate ten hours a week to this work. Also, if anyone has suggestions for the sort of thing you would like to see on an English Department website (besides the standard information), let me know.

Class itself was good. It is all on Phillip Roth. I enjoyed the discussion in class, but I think that three-hour long classes should include mandatory nap and snack time. Most of the professors actually do provide a rest period to snack during, but what I'm really lobbying for is that nap time. We can get mats like in kindergarten, lay them out in the floor, turn out the lights, and dream of Phillip Roth.

It's just a suggestion.

I did get bored while I was holding office hours for FOUR hours today and did a little crochet. It's just a single crochet. I guess it is going to be a scarf, because it was the only thing I knew how to start off the top of my head. The yarn is just a Lion Brand Worsted weight:

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I think I'll try this whole sleep thing again. More office hours and a Shakespeare class tomorrow. Can't wait till Friday comes...

Monday, August 27, 2007

DHL deliver packages from Hell.

Today, after a few phone calls, I finally received my laptop via DHL delivery. I wish the great UPS knight would come and slay the DHL beast, because the guy who delivered to me today was a bastard. He faked out the delivery at 4:25, saying that an attempt was made, although, I sitting eagerly beside the door, never heard so much as a rapping at my door.

I decided to call the DHL hotline, and in a firm and slightly angry voice, I demanded to know where my package was and why it was not delivered. The representative said she would contact the local DHL office so I could pick up my package and that they could explain things to me. About twenty minutes later I got a phone call. The woman said that the driver would not return until 7:45, and they close at 8pm, but I was welcome to come pick up my package. When I asked about the failed delivery, and wanting to speak to a supervisor, she said I would need to do that in person.

Another twenty minutes pass, and a yellow van pulls into my parking lot. Someone tipped off the DHL man. Needless to say, despite his rudeness and mistreatment of my box, I got my package.

Please, save yourself the hassle, and never never use DHL.

On to happier topics. I start classes tomorrow along with my hours for my graduate assistantship (including a meeting with the Dean of my college). I'm scared as hell about driving there, and finding a parking spot. I think they intentionally made 300 less parking spots than they needed.

Also, I finished the ugly pink scarf I was working on. I used the whole skein to avoid having to see it again:

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I was itching to start on something else, so I began a small scarf for one of my nieces in a purple homespun. It's coming out pretty well so far (although I can't take a nonblurry photo to save my life):

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I think that is all for today. I will post again soon and give some updates about the first day of graduate school. (Eek!)

ALSO: Threadless is having a sale for $10 a shirt, help me out by clicking the link on the side if you decide to buy a shirt, or by clicking the ad links at the bottom. Support my graduate studentness!

Sunday, August 26, 2007


This is my second post for the day, but don't get accustomed to it.

I started working on a scarf today (the weird pink one) and I'm not sure how I'm liking the results. The Homespun is hard to work with because I keep splitting the yarn, but I'm using the largest gauge hook I have and am counting stitches.

I think the color is sabotaging me. Not only is pink a vile and revolting color (even the hints of orange can't redeem it), but it also shows every single flipping mistake I've made. This is why I have decided to give the scarf as a gift for my sister-in-law. I don't really know her that well, but also don't like her that much. She's also one of those girly girls who would actually wear a pink scarf.

Anyway, here is the scarf I've worked up so far. It's about two feet long right now. If I have any leftover from the sis-in-law's scarf, I'm going to drag out the dusty knitting needles and make nice small ones for my nieces. They look adorable in scarves.

Now, picture!

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I'm getting to be a pro at this Photobucket thing. Next thing you know I will be composing entirely in html or binary. I'd prefer Latin, but it doesn't translate as well to the computers. Something about the Romance languages leaves my PC all snarky.

This is mostly just for me

I completed my first hat. I also made my first attempt at using photobucket.
The hat is a combo of double and single crochet, and it is a pattern (sorta) from Stitch n' Bitch: The Happy Hooker by Debbie Stoller. I used a worsted weight wool/acrylic blend by Pattons. The pattern is close, but I made a few mistakes, which I've tried to hide because I didn't want to frog it (again).
Anyway, pictures!

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

My next project will probably be a gift for my sister-in-law eventually. I have some Homespun pinkish yarn, and I really don't know what I was thinking when I bought it. I blame poor lighting. I'm just working it up in a double crochet. I wanted to try a few easy scarves before I moved on to my Harry Potter scarves. I plan on doing a Ravenclaw (movie colors) and Gryffindor scarf.

I went to a real yarn store for the first time yesterday, and I was a bit overwhelmed and underfunded. Eventually I will have the money to be a complete yarn snob. And eventually I will be able to complete projects so well that I will not need to pull them out two or three times in the creation process.

On a heavier note, I start my graduate classes Tuesday, and I'm so nervous that if I think about it too hard, I set my asthma off.

Well, off to work on my weird pink scarf.