Thursday, December 6, 2007

Etsy Lust

Rewarding myself for getting out the draft of my functional thesaurus for group review by letting myself Xmas shop on Etsy. It is intended to be Xmas shopping for OTHER people.

But. Umm. I want this soooo much. It is so adorable!

I've added it to my favorites. Maybe after the holidays, if it's still around...
(Seriously, if anyone wants to buy me anything from my Etsy favorites list, I'll give you my password so you can see. Wish Etsy had a wish list that worked more like Amazon...)

I have a feeling I may update this post with more things as I find them. I love Etsy, I really do.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Rainy Dreams

It's finally raining! I was so happy this morning to wake up to the sound of it, realize I had another half hour to sleep, and snuggle down into my covers.

I dreamed of yarn. But not in a kitten frolic / magically given a yarn store kind of way.

Bucket was giving me a ride to an important meeting. I was almost ready to go - I just needed shoes, a scarf, and a knitting project to take with me. You can imagine how it went. I didn't have any scarves that didn't clash horribly with my outfit, my shoes didn't fit, and there wasn't a single knitting task that I could take which didn't involve a brand new project, which would have to be planned and swatched before I even knew what needles to bring. I bounced back and forth between the 3 problems, it getting later and later, and Bucket more and more irritated.

Half an hour later I woke up again. Still happy to hear the rain, but feeling a lot less snuggly.

And now, I'm off to my (unfortunately real) meeting.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Loki Does Not Want Me to Leave

That's my backpack he's sitting on.

He was cuter before I started moving around and woke him up. He doesn't like anything to happen without his participation.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Digital Preservation

Other than the complete and total angst this paper is causing me, I absolutely love it. For my preservation class, I've managed to wrangle a research paper topic which focuses on exactly the problem I'm interested in.

Of course, I don't have a SOLUTION for the problem. But I'm enjoying poking holes in other people's so-called solutions.

(Disregard the bad writing, this is still my first draft.)

Some choose the goal of the physical preservation of the bits as all that can be managed, relying on future efforts for managing the “logical preservation”, or ability to render the bits into comprehensible data. “Not only is it a good bet to assume that technological innovation will continue and afford us the ability to decode the data later, but we should also assume that entirely new kinds of software may, through new types of data mining, find entirely new types of valuable information and expressiveness in preserved bits.” (Smith, p. 7) This is an understandable position, as it requires the least amount of time, effort, and budget from library institutions, which have many other tasks to focus upon. However, the assumption that is being made in this line of thought is a very big one indeed. While it is a possibility that the technology will be available to decode bits in the future, it is unlikely to be an easy task. And unless very good metadata is kept, and kept in readable format, it will be impossible for these future efforts to select which bits to rediscover.

I think I kept that politic, instead of saying what I really feel, which is "How can you be so stupid and irresponsible? 'Not my problem, kthxbye!' does not good librarianship make. Also, did no one ever tell you "assume" makes an ass out of you and me?"

Smith, A. (2007). Valuing Preservation. Library Trends, v. 56, p. 4-25.

How About A Shave?

Not surprisingly, I'm quite excited about the upcoming Sweeney Todd movie.

Here are a bunch of clips from the movie (can't decide if I should have waited before watching them so as to be surprised, but oops, too late now!). It's definitely different from the musical in some respects, but the characters and much of the music do seem to be true to the Sondheim version - and he seems to have endorsed it. I can live with that. (Especially once I saw they hadn't cut "A Little Priest".)

The history featurette was my favorite - it included this amusing quote from Sondheim about the original play: "[I thought] it would really be fun to scare an audience, and see if you could do it while people were singing."

He certainly succeeded, and I can't think of any director to better carry out his goals than Tim Burton. Can't wait!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Coffee Musings

1) I'd forgotten what a mess I'm capable of making without the cats' help.
2) It takes real talent to spill a whole mug of coffee and only hit the most obscure back corner of the carpet, where no one will really see the stain.
3) If I am dumping whole cups of coffee onto the floor, I probably didn't need that second cup anyway.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Cat Food

Deborah Duchon's Modest Proposal: The Best Cat Food

As a cat lover/owner, I'm obsessing over the cat food scandal. Luckily, I don't use any of the implicated brands or flavors - although I have tried them in the past. The source of the poison cat food is in wheat gluten from China. The amazing thing, to me is, why are pet cats eating so much wheat gluten? Have you ever seen a cat beg for a piece of bread? I have, but only stray, starving cats who will eat anything. Cats are carnivores. They don't need wheat or corn or "garden vegetables". My cat's favorite veggie is catnip, which he eats until he passes out in a happy stupor...

After ruminating about it for a few days, it finally hit me. The best meal for a cat is a mouse. After all, that's why they were first domesticated about 5,000 years ago. It wasn't because they make great lap warmers, or for their quirky personalities. It was because they were hunters - and rodents were their preferred prey. By that time, humans had made the dietary shift to a grain-based diet, and huge stores of wheat and barley were endangered by ravenous, multiplying hordes of rats and mice. The rodents attracted cats and the cats saved the day. People started leaving scraps of food out for the wild cats and eventually cats became part of the fabric of society ... One of the good things about those early domesticated cats was that they did not compete with humans for their grain...

I have to admit that I've thought about this before the cat food scare, but it was more abstract. Why, I wondered, are we feeding cats the meat from animals that they wouldn't eat in the wild - beef and chicken, especially? There is a rat problem in this country - why not trap the rats and make them into cat food?

Freedom to Choose?

I'm procrastinating online, hanging out in one of my online communities, wallowing in other people's relationship-driven unhappiness.

First of all, I have to wonder why I'm wallowing this way. I'm sure it's related to the fact that I'm still feeling very unsettled in my life right now. I've quit the big bad thing that was driving my misery, but I have to replace it with something and I don't know what with, and meanwhile the clock is ticking. It's always reassuring to hear that no one else knows what they're doing, either.

But mostly, I'm thinking about relationships and how hard they seem to be for so many people. I'm including myself in that. It used to be, I guess, that you got married, young, because it was expected, and you stayed together because it was expected. In the last couple of decades, people stopped staying together when they were unhappy simply because they were "supposed to." Now, it seems that people hold off on getting married because it feels like there isn't any point to marriage if you're just going to split up. We're afraid, and we all go through a long, careful process of trying to be very very sure about our partners.

It isn't just in my life, and it isn't just the Glitter girls. It's my friends and acquaintances, and heck, even my exes are struggling with it. I had a conversation with one ex recently who is in the process of ending a long term relationship, and getting a lot of pressure from his family. "Are you sure? Is it so bad that if you were married, you would need a divorce?" To which he can only respond that the issues they have are the reasons he couldn't marry her in the first place. That he doesn't want to be in a situation where he has to make that choice.

And I worry that in all this carefulness, we pile too many expectations and put too much pressure on one another. That we expect our potential partners to be more than they can reasonably be. And that for fear of making the wrong decisions, we'll make no decisions at all.

I don't have an answer. But I am sometimes extremely frustrated by the dilemma. Maybe we should all just give up and let go of the search, choosing to live in little cottages with our cats and our vibrators and focus our effort on other things. But we don't - something (hi evolution!) keeps pushing us to make those connections, find that person, give him or her long test runs, try to craft our relationships into something lasting, to indulge the possibilities. What if we find that perfect person, that perfect relationship? We won't know if we don't look.

We have so much freedom to choose... that it's hard to make a choice.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Letting it go

I lost my scarf. The one I knit to keep my hands busy during our recent crisis. The one that was not on my Christmas list and that I shouldn't have been working on. The one where I bought the yarn on a depression driven impulse.

I wore it out the night that I posted the photograph, but after Bucket took me hottubbing (my Bucket is awesome), I was too warm to keep it on my neck anymore. So I put it in my lap when we got into the car.

Later that night, I realized it was gone. Through deduction and retracing our steps, we realized that it must have fallen out of my lap onto the sidewalk when I got out of the car several minutes later. However, it was no longer there.

I've decided it is okay. I feel a little bad about the cost of the yarn, but only a little. I poured too much negative energy into that scarf for it to be something healthy for me to keep and wear. We figure that it's likely one of the resident homeless folks in that area picked it up... they need the warmth far more than I do, and it won't have any negative associations for them.

Sometimes it's good to let things go.

Internet Addiction

Uh, Snowcrash anyone? This is rather unsettling.

Bootcamp Cure for Web Obsession

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Emotional Hangover

I can only describe today's headache as an emotion hangover from yesterday. It wasn't a deliberate overdose, but man, it was a rough day.

I'm still recovering, but I am functional now. Chipping away at my to-do list, for pretty much the first time this week. It's kind of a long one, but making process is good. I feel a little better now.

Also, the results of my poor impulse control are in - I made a scarf. No, this one isn't on my list of things to do. I needed to channel my anxiety into something else. I used enormous yarn on big needles, so it only took a couple of hours over 2 days to make. Actually, I was really glad to have something to do with my hands during yesterday's board meeting. I was coping pretty well until I finished the scarf entirely - the last 20 minutes I was shaking like a leaf. Next time, I'll bring a backup project.

Anyway, there it is. It's toasty warm, which is good, since my neck is all wacked out with tension headache funtime.

Man, I need a haircut.


We made the front page of the Mercury News. The whole story is here.

Later edit to add:

They're now making me register to see the article. Bleh.

Note: the "threat of condemnation" concern was mine - I asked them about it at the board meeting to see what they would say - they've been telling my father they aren't considering eminent domain at this time... but the only words they could find in the meeting to explain "threat of condemnation" were "friendly eminent domain".

Maybe it's me, but a threat doesn't sound very friendly.

Excerpts of the article follow.

Owners fight Saratoga Cemetery District effort to buy them out

Just under a month ago, Nikki Teeter answered a knock at the door to find Drew Reid, a real estate agent who told her he represented the Saratoga Cemetery District - which wanted to buy her home.

Reid said the district intended to expand the Madronia Cemetery, which surrounds the Saratoga house on three sides. Despite Teeter's protestations that her family's home of 29 years wasn't for sale, Reid persisted in trying to set up meetings - including one with an appraiser.

"I was astounded," Teeter said. "They want to take my house for a larger driveway."

Since that unsettling encounter, the Teeters and a group of neighbors have grown increasingly worried about the little-known cemetery district, whose five directors are appointed by the county board of supervisors but apparently aren't subject to county oversight. Some neighbors are convinced the district is planning to seize the Teeters' home and another nearby through eminent domain, the legal process by which a government agency can seize property from unwilling buyers for the "public good."

Phil Boyce, a well-connected local banker and investor who chairs the cemetery district, says any talk of eminent domain is wildly premature. But he refuses to rule it out.


Residents grew especially concerned after an aide to Supervisor Liz Kniss, whose district includes Saratoga, helped obtain board minutes that show district officials have been quietly making plans to buy the two homes near the cemetery for more than a year - without informing the homeowners until last month.

Neighbors also are alarmed that, according to previous minutes, the board has discussed whether the two homeowners would get a tax break if they sold to the district under "threat of condemnation." And they note that prominent attorney Norm Matteoni, the district's legal adviser on land matters, was at the center of one of San Jose's biggest eminent domain battles in recent years; he represented property owners at the Tropicana Shopping Center who successfully fought the city's efforts to seize their property.


Boyce told the Mercury News he had personally tried to visit both homeowners three times before Reid's visit, but they were never home and he didn't want to leave a business card.

Boyce said he understands why homeowners wouldn't want to sell at a time not of their choosing. "But there are needs for the greater good," he said. "We wanted to sit down in person, without any threats or cajoling, and hopefully we'll come to a meeting of the minds."

If the homeowners continue to refuse? "I don't know what we'll do from that point on," Boyce said.

Kniss said she has county lawyers and the county clerk doing research to see what authority the district has to invoke eminent domain, should it come to that.

"It seems a stretch to imagine a cemetery district would need additional land, unless they have run out of burial plots," she said.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

That Sucked Donkeyballs

Getting pushed out of your house is a lot like getting laid off. Except it is your fucking HOUSE. Hi, your life is in our way, get out.

"We know change is hard."


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Oak St. Neighborhood

I said I'd get back to the depression thing... I don't really have the energy for it now, but here's some of what I've been doing today:

One of the properties that the cemetery district wants to take is where I grew up. The same place I'm living right now, in fact. They've been planning it for a year; we just found out a few weeks ago.

It's really fucking scary, but I think the worst part of it is knowing that the cemetery board meeting minutes (that I used to make up this timeline) are available to the public if you know to go and ask for them. But why would we have known we needed to?

Depressive Impluse Control

They need to develop some sort of depression-sensing door control tool that will prevent depressed people from entering places like yarn stores and ice cream shops.

Then again, that would make the depressed people MORE depressed, probably. But it would save them some money!

I had a fairly successful yarn-store run this morning, all things considered - I only bought $30 worth of yarn that was not what I went in for, and I also got the stuff I DID go in for (and I'm pretty happy with it).

As for the reason for the depression, that's a separate post that I'm still mulling over - I'm sure I'll get it written out soon.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Handcrafted Holiday

Speaking of holidays... I'm making a lot of gifts this year. At least the way I've planned it, it's the highest % of homemade gifts I've ever attempted for a single holiday. I'm not sure if I'm going to make it or not, but I still have some time.

Planned are: 3 scarves, 3 embroidery-type projects. Finished is: well, none of it. 2 of the scarves are almost complete, one is not yet started. Or less than not started because I'm scrapping a previous effort, so I have to frog the whole thing and THEN start it. For the embroidery stuff, I picked up the last of the needed materials yesterday, so I can get started soon. In theory.

In the meantime, I am also working on the big mystery project, and I have a schedule to keep there, y'all, so there are a required number of pattern repeats every week to stay on track. And the HP scarf, which still needs fringe. And that scarf I started the other day (which I am not allowed to touch again until all Xmas projects are done). And I'm teaching myself to knit hats, so I have a half-finished hat as well.

I am crazy. That is the take home message here. Aie.

Unclean Caffeine

I feel kind of... dirty. I was driving home this morning and thinking about breakfast when it occurred to me that it was now November. Which is officially the commercial "holiday" season. Which means... Starbucks has their holiday flavors out.

Now, I normally avoid Starbucks on principle. I am strictly pro-independent coffee shops. There's a place down the road that got bought out a few years back by the guy who used to cook there, and I prefer to give them my patronage when in pursuit of java goodness.

But I have this Starbucks card in my purse. The money has already been given to them, whether they provide me with product or not. So I might as well indulge in a gingerbread latte, right?


Mmmmmmmmm. Tasty gingerbread latte.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

It followed me home, I swear

Bucket caught me playing with some new yarn this morning. I clearly have start-itis. In fairness, I would have been working on one of my many in-progress projects if I had remembered to BRING any of them with me to his house. But the only thing I brought was the Slytherin scarf to finish (can't believe I started that all the way back in April), and it's currently blocking and there's not much else I can do until it dries.

(Yes, I know the books are over, but my scarf was 95% done and it seems silly not to complete it. It will be a good "I have a sore throat and am not leaving the house" scarf. What? I totally wear scarves around the house when I don't feel well.)

Friday, November 2, 2007

Good Excuse to Sit Still

I knew it must be that time of the cycle when it took 4 trips to the bedroom to return with my glasses, and I found myself completely livid at the cats for jumping around on the desk... like they do every single day.

But I was just trying to wash dishes, and I dropped 3 different items before deciding to quit before something gets broken. PMS sucks.

I probably shouldn't try knitting either, but you know I will. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

I have class tonight (online), but at least I've got company.


Second Life University?

There seems to be a big surge in educational institutions trying to get into Second Life. The San Jose State library school opened their online campus last year (search the map in SL for "SJSU SLIS"), and tomorrow, Santa Clara University is doing the same ("Santa Clara Island").

I don't really get the appeal myself yet, but if you're into that sort of thing, you can come check out the California Legacy folks doing some readings from our radio show on the new virtual campus at 11am and 12:30pm. (For more info on the SCU SL virtual campus, check out the SCU announcement.) I'll be there as "Jejunet" - my Second Life name is a mashing together of my real life moniker. (I've always been amused that "jejune" (definition) could be easily made from my name by dropping a few letters. )

They did make us some spiffy California Legacy t-shirts to wear, too. Just in SL, though. Pity.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Not for Kristin

Someone at Glitter pointed me to a spider mythbusting site, which in turn led me to this article on the myth of brown recluse spiders in California (which has a bit of useful identification info for black widows as well).

These spider johnnies are pretty defensive about the amount of misinformation that's out there. But it makes for interesting reading all the same, if you can handle that sort of thing. (Warning: the mythbusting site does have quite a few pictures.)

I figure now that I'm living with about a million spiders in my little cottage, brushing up on my spider facts would not be amiss.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Yarn Succulence

Have been in a knitting frenzy the past couple of days. The ginormous scarf for my grandfather is halfway done, and I'm already letting myself think about other Christmas things, and telling myself that I really OUGHT to finish the Scarf of Awesome that I started for my mom, oh, a year ago.

The thing is, I panicked that I didn't have enough yarn, and I couldn't decide what to put WITH it, so... it's been languishing, about a quarter complete. It really is going to be beautiful. If I ever decide to finish it.

When I moved into the cottage, I put Succulent Wild Woman back on the bathroom shelf - it lived there 2 apartments ago, but I just hadn't been feeling whimsical the last couple of years. But here we are, big life change, yadda yadda, so back it went.

And this morning, after a bit of reading, I really wanted to CREATE. Which is what led to the thoughts about Mom's scarf-to-be. And I was all ready to walk out the door, down the street to the yarn store (where I am proud to say I have not been since I moved here, even though it is only about 4 blocks away). (Proud only for budgetary reasons, you understand.)

And then I looked down at the outfit I was wearing and realized I probably shouldn't leave the house like this. Maybe I'll finish up Grandpa's big blue scarf instead.

Sunday, September 30, 2007


There's this thing that I do, where I get behind on something and then I have this inability to get back to it, because I'm BEHIND and there's so much making up to do! And I feel guilty and it's easier to keep not doing it.

So I haven't been blogging. Will try to start that up again. I'm working on being more crafty, but it's harder than I expected.

I do have 2 knitting projects going though (scarf for Grandpa, and the Big Mystery Project), and I just nipped over to Sublime Stitching to get some patterns with an eye to embroidering some dishcloths for Xmas.

Still no functional camera, so still no pictures. That's something else that needs to get addressed.

Sunday, September 16, 2007


Finally finally made some progress on the large mystery project. I've had a real block on it lately, and am far behind schedule already... I was so ready to love the organic color-grown cotton, but in fact I have seriously wanted to give up and go back to wool. It broke twice during the cast-on process - I've finally given up on having a lovely "perfect" line and on the third attempt focused in mitigating damage through careful trimming around a very tiny knot. I've heard that Mexican blanket weavers would sometimes deliberately leave mistakes in their work:

"When one watches these weavings being brought to life by use of this very ancient method, you fully understand and appreciate all the little "imperfections" that you find, because they are very much a part of it. They are not flaws--they are simply an integral part of the hand-made process. In fact, some cultures believe that only God is perfect, and in an expression of humility, leave flaws in the work."

I am taking some comfort from this.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Making the Most of It

I am still working, but I find myself taking perverse pleasure in exploiting the circumstances. Like taking meeting calls in my pajamas well after 10am. Then wandering out the back door and nibbling tomatoes off the vine between comments. Just because I can. Bwahaha.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Unleashing my Inner Luddite

Loki was just making window-friends with the stray kitten who lives in the shed, but she ran away when I came to the window. I have to say, the view from my desk is gorgeous -- full of lemon trees, if not kittens. Hello green! Hello sky!

Everything on the non-technical front is going great. However, there have definitely been problems on the technical side - have to work out the whole phone/internet thing ASAP.

But if I'm looking to get away from it all? This is paradise.

Monday, August 27, 2007

We Have Achieved Catness

Wow. So it's been a crazy week. Trying to get the floor, wall, and door to the cottage entryway complete so I could move in... was a bit of an ordeal. Things finally got finished up on Saturday, so we spent all day Sunday schlepping stuff out of the old place into the new.

Shockingly, things have fit better than I expected. I'm not saying it isn't cozy, but it will do quite nicely.

I spent the night here with my Bucket for the first time ever, and I was glad to have him with me for the first night. Though in the end, we were both so tired, maybe it wouldn't have felt as weird as I feared. This morning, I walked downtown for coffee to celebrate.

Then I double checked things for cat-safety, got Mom's help to hang the bedroom door, and then fetched over the cats. They've been exploring for about an hour and a half now. They don't light in any one place for long, but Loki did condescend to eat a bite of food, so I think things are going well. It's been highly entertaining watching them.

Now, if only I could find my cell phone, things would be great.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Moving Progress...

... is being made, slow though it may be.

The place I'm moving to required a lot more prep and catching up on past-due maintenance than I expected. We're still getting that finished up, which makes it hard to really pack up at my old place, since I don't know exactly when I'll be able to really move.

However, I have to be out here by the 31st, and all my large furniture went to the storage unit yesterday in Dad's truck. So I'm sitting on the floor, using a small plastic storage bin as a table for my laptop. It's now a bit extra far away from me, since Freya made it known that I had to provide her with a lap as well. Of course, I'm supposed to sit this far away from the machine anyway, so perhaps that's a good thing. (Actually, this position is pretty comfortable.)

The cats were pretty freaked when they came out to a living room pretty much devoid of furniture. Loki curled up in the corner where his favorite spot on the couch used to be, and looked at me meaningfully.

Soon, guys. Soon.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Tank Cozy

Also... tank cozy. I love this as a statement.


I haven't been posting, because there's too much moving going on.

But someone sent me this, and I have to post it here, so I can read it again.

Acts of Gratuitous Beauty.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

First Day of Freedom

People have been asking me how it feels to be unemployed now. To be honest, I don't know yet.

At the moment, it feels kind of like the weekend arrived early. I think next week it will sink in more, when I don't have to go back on Monday. (woo!)

However, I've been having a lovely morning - I took today as a holiday, so no packing or anything. I've played with the cats, done some laundry, walked downtown for coffee and a bagel, browsed the used bookstore... it's been very very nice.

After today, it will be all about the packing and cleaning. And you know... I'm kind of looking forward to it!

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Good Reads

Really, I did not need to be sent to the GoodReads site. It wasn't necessary.

But, um, I've got a profile on there now. Not much in it, because ALL MY BOOKS ARE IN BOXES, yo. Because I'm moving. And I don't have time to list and review all my books at the moment.

But I want to.

(I'm jessajune - if you're in there, we can be friends! BFF. Have a great summer! KIT.)

Live. Sleepy. But live.

OMG I think we're done. The redesign is live.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Male Librarians

Today's Penny Arcade is about librarians!

j3ssajune: IMO it sounds a lot like vibrator
Bucket: um
Bucket: yes
j3ssajune: like a librarian, a handy thing to have around

Final Friday

So, today is my last Friday as a full time employee of VMware. I have only 4 more days (including today) of immersion in all the frenzy that goes on there. Only four more days of having people tell me I'm crazy for making different choices than they would.

At the moment, that may be one of the best parts. It is really hard to make a difficult decision and then have 2-3 different people EVERY DAY not only question it, but try to persuade you that you are wrong. And they're doing that because they kind of like you... but can't fathom that your priorities can be so different than their own.

It's been pretty interesting, really. Because wow. It turns out my priorities ARE really different. Fortunately, I have the support of my boyfriend, my family, and my close friends. They understand where I am and why I am making these choices. Some of them have even made similar ones.

I have fun the full gamut of emotions on this event - I've been elated, petrified, sad, relieved, nostalgic. But it's really happening. Finally.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Lazin' on a Sunday Afternoon...

Oh wait, no I'm not.

Family: brunch, check. New driveway appreciation, check. Bridesmaid dress planning/trying on, check. Pushing of non-functional vehicles, check.
Errands: acquire storage unit, check. Purchase plastic storage tubs (on sale at Home Deopt), check.

Next up: take a friggin' shower. It's hot here, and I'm all sweaty. Then, figure out how to get to Concord. Also, how long it will take. My guess is that I have to be on the road in 2 hours. That's not very much time to unload the car, shower, pack for tomorrow, and put my feet up. Must get moving.

Friday, July 27, 2007

HP Finished at Last

Not the scarf, unfortunately (I'm 2 stripes away), but the series. I finished reading it last night, several days behind most of my acquaintance.

I found this review to be a good one, and only somewhat spoilerish: Harry Potter's Last Adventure

It is most amusing for the following commentary on the Potterverse at large (not a spoiler at all, so read away):
"Must Rowling insist on making evil people short, fat or ugly, or all three? ... I know there are exceptions — Tom Riddle was once slitheringly handsome, before he lost his nose — but it's not an appealing trend. Short, fat, ugly people have enough problems without being evil, too."

I would make that last sentence a sig file if I thought I could get away with it.

I do have one spoiler-ish thing I want to say, so here it is (highlight to read):

Am I the only one who was somewhat disappointed with this book? It was... kinda clunky. And the pacing was uneven. I don't *think* this is the influence of the Potter Backlash talking... I just read some of it and was like, "huh? That makes no sense." I wasn't tearing through it at breakneck speed like many people, so maybe others just didn't notice. Or maybe I was being more critical about the last effort, as it was the end. But I don't think so.

Also, the epilogue was lame.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Cue Twilight Zone Music

Yesterday, in California, in July, it rained.

I'll give you a minute to let this sink in.

I'm not talking about the mountains or anything like that. Right here, in the mid-to-southern part of the bay area, in the Valley, water fell from the sky for several hours. I've lived here most of my life, and I can't recall rain at this time of year... ever.

Monday, July 16, 2007


It's true that I enjoy Booboolina's company, but my Twitter seems to be stuck. Every time I try to update, it just repeats.

What I WANTED to say was T minus 2 hours to Margaritaville.

Happy Cat

Loki has a box AND paper to sit on, AND a sunbeam. He has achieved cat nirvana.

If only that silly human wouldn't insist on taking pictures.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

I Just Realized...

When I move, I will have no cat-free space for blocking, unless the item in question is small enough to fit in the bathroom. (And really, that will only be... socks and hats. Assuming I advance to these shapes in my new school-only life. Scarves will be too big!)

The shawl (it needs a name, I think) is 2 towels long. That's some seriously large cat-free space. As you may have noticed, I barely had room for it in my current apartment.

Maybe if I'm nice to my Bucket, he'll let me block things at his house. Hmm...

Web Cam Contortion

So I still don't have a working camera, but let's see if we can get around this somehow. Note that using a built-in webcam makes it REALLY hard to control angles. Apparently, it wants to capture my face and that's it. There's all kinds of laptop contortion going on over here.

This is my HP Slytherin scarf:

What you can't see from the picture is that it's only about 6" shorter than I am. And I still have 3 and 1/2 stripes to go! Yes, I missed the movie deadline. And with everything that's going on, I'm liable to miss the last book too... but I'll see what I can do. However, I feel pretty good about things when I look back to when I first started it. There's a lot of scarf here!

The purple & brown shawl, on the other hand, is currently all laid out on my bedroom floor, where it will dry for the next 2 days and then be completely wearable for the Saturday wedding. (Please ignore the mess.)

I decided pushing for the wedding was more important than the movie. I think most folks would agree with me there. I have no idea how long it is at this point - I'll have to measure once it's dry.

But there. I feel better having SOME evidence of my progress.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Nakedness Averted

My shawl is almost done. Once again, under the wire - note that last time I tried to finish this shawl on a deadline... well, obviously I missed it, since I'm finishing it up now. But this time, all is knitted, ends are woven in, and I have only the blocking to do before I can wear it on Saturday.

Okay, I wouldn't really have been naked without it, but at an outdoor wedding in SF, I would have been cold. Even, or maybe especially, in July.

It's about, oh 20" wide and 4' long? Just at a guess? It could be longer, and I do in fact have one more skein of this lovely purple-and-brown boucle yarn... but I'm out of time. I've been telling myself that I can always un-knot the end and add more later. Meanwhile, it's long enough to be wearable, so I'm going with that.

I still have stupid camera problems, so I haven't been able to take a photograph. And the name of the yarn is escaping me at the moment, so I can't even show you that. It's something I got 6 months or so ago on clearance at Knitting Arts (which is about to become my VERY local yarn store, since it will be all of 4-5 blocks away from my new abode). Yay for yarn sales! One of my biggest budget concerns for my year of unemployment is that I'm going to live walking distance from a yarn store. Danger! Danger!

Monday, July 9, 2007

More Knitting Linkage

The Glittorati have been rockin' my world with the good knitting linkage in the past few days.

Random Stripe Generator - words do not describe the awesome. I am feeling compelled to start knitting stripey things.

Knitted Cup Holder Pattern - so cute! And even I could manage it. What a glorious end for yarn stash scraps this could be.

Feeling Strongly About Office Supplies

The new building over here is quite nice. High ceilings, spiffy new ergonomic chairs, lots of natural light. Not enough to make me feel sorry to be leaving, of course, but it's certainly a nice place to spend my last few weeks. The windows are especially nice for making me feel like I'm not entirely losing the long summer days.

I sit near a bank of supply cabinets - always good to be close to a source of Post Its, I have to admit. I was walking by on my way to get some water from the kitchen, and was noticing how they'd all been labeled with their contents. Binders, notepads, pens, etc.

The second cabinet from the end is marked:
Compressed Air

Which of course I read as "compressed air rules!".

And hey, as someone with 2 cats and plenty of computer equipment, I'm not going to argue with that sentiment.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Inspiration... Knitting Style

I've spent most of the day reading SpinDyeKnit on and off.

Not only do I now want to buy her book (and for someone who doesn't knit anything even remotely as complicated as lace, that doesn't make much sense), but I feel better about the world at large.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Giggles Galore

I just introduced my office mate to I Can Has Cheezburger. See her productivity plummet! Lolcats take over the wooooorld!

Finally official

The news is finally public, so I can talk about it: I've given notice at my job, and am going back to school full time in the fall.

Now that I can tell people... it might feel like it's actually happening.

I just have to figure out how to get through July while walking the balance between complete and utter stress and phoning it in. I've never been good at that.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

We Return You to Your Regularly Scheduled Programming...

Whoops, quick lapse there on the blog front. I'm not dead. I haven't finished any knitting projects. I did go south to visit with the Bucket's family (which was nice), and otherwise I've been working and trying to plan out my next year (with variable success). Since I can't talk about any of it yet... it's not very interesting.

The cats are still cute, though.

Also, cleaning out one's email inbox can be dangerous - yesterday I came up on an email from 2002 talking about some game I was playing with the guy I was dating at the time (I started it, not him). During the afternoon, I kicked around the internet and found the site I used to go to for advice was still twitching. And last night I dug the thing out and installed it, and once I finished work at 11pm (don't ask), I started in. At 1am, I realized that I had a 9am meeting this morning and had to get my butt to bed. Oops. So today is going to be sleepy.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Slow Down

Interesting article: Why working less is better for the globe

When people work longer hours, they rely increasingly on convenience items such as fast food, disposable diapers, or bottled water. Built-in obsolescence has become standard business practice -- just throw it away and make more -- leaving mountainous landfills in its wake. "Earning more often means spending money in ways that are environmentally detrimental. We're finding that to compensate for lack of time, you actually need more money to work those extra hours," says Monique Tilford, acting executive director of the Centre for a New American Dream, a Maryland group promoting environmentally and socially responsible consumption. "When people are time-starved they don't have enough time to be conscious consumers. The overarching theme of our organization is to remind Americans that every single dollar they spend has a carbon impact, to make the connection."

This is something I've felt but not quite been able to articulate. The need to completely give up my time to earn money... and how much of it do I then spend on things to save me time? One of the things I want to try to do is embrace more of the "slow" movement - slow food, making things by hand, taking more time to smell the roses.

I don't know how far down the road I'll go, but I'm at least starting to take one step at a time.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Excavating Email

I've been spending some time lately cleaning out old emails. I've got several accounts that I've had since 2001, and my goodness, there's a lot of ancient history buried there.

It has been a completely worthwhile exercise - on the one hand, I've got too much baggage these days and it's time to clean things up and let them go. On the other, I'm finding that it's a very powerful reminder of the fact that I used to be a very different person than I am today.

Best of all, reading all these old messages is giving me some ideas about how I move back towards being that sort of person. She was a lot more interesting and had a lot more fun.

I feel lighter already, just reading them.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Sudden Change of Plans

Okay, it's one thing to invite someone to a dinner party and forget to tell them what time it starts.

It's another thing to invite someone to a dinner party, forget to tell them when it starts, and expect them to be there at 3PM. OMGWTFBBQ.

So much for all the stuff I was going to get done this afternoon...

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Knitting Update

Because I KNOW you are dying to know. C'mon.

Hot water bottle cover - finished.
HP scarf - halfway finished.
Stash scarf - 2/3 finished.

In addition, I recently bought a dress to wear to an upcoming wedding, and I realized that some yarn I bought AGES ago to make a wrap out of was in fact the PERFECT COLOR for the dress. So I spent a day swatching, and then a few days knitting, and then a day rethinking and trying larger needles, and now I'm about 4" into it, in what I believe/hope to be the final incarnation. And I have 2 weeks to finish it. Can it be done? Unclear. But I'm taking a stab at it.

I'm sorry about the lack of pictures. My camera is doing it's very best to imitate a rock at the moment, and I could try to use my webcam, but really, I don't want you to see how messy the table is. Seriously. And trying to hold up knitting but not get in the picture myself... well, we all saw what happened when I tried to get a picture of Loki that way.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


The worst thing about taking vacation time is the inevitable mess you find when you get back.

And I mean inevitable in a very literal sort of way. It ALWAYS happens. Sigh.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Exam Thoughts

Are you allowed to ask about the differences between JSP and ASP on the final exam if there was only one fleeting mention of ASP in the entire class, which went something like, "JSP was developed in response to ASP"? 'Cause that seems kind of bastardy to me.

Thank God for Google.

Saturday, May 12, 2007


I am so clearly meant to be a word person rather than a numbers/code person. Seriously. I keep thinking, "No, I should get farther into coding!" and then I run into a situation like this... I have a written exam for a coding class. And ye gods, it is SO MUCH EASIER to talk about programming than it is to program. Seriously.

This explains why I freakin' rock at business analysis - I am really good at translating between development and business units. Because I understand both business: "we want X" and dev: "X is not possible" enough to know that sometimes you can get to X if you wiggle things around a little bit and approach from a different angle. And I almost have enough technical savvy to understand where that angle might be, and enough politic-ness to suggest it to both sides, though please, please don't ask me to do the actual coding.

I can't tell you how nice it is to be reminded what I am good at.

Now I just need to find a better way to harness that.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Something Must Be Wrong

I walked by the kitchen this morning, and someone was cutting up a banana... and it smelled GOOD.

I usually loathe bananas, so now I'm wondering what's wrong. A potassium deficiency, or something? (I don't know, what else is in bananas besides fructose?)

In other news - praise all the heavens, they've fixed that slamming door. God bless Facilities.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Abby: Purveyor of Fibery Goodness

Just wanted to mention how much I enjoy Abby's yarn site. Not only does she have tons of yarn pr0n on there, but all kinds of mini-tutorials on spinning.
(Because THAT'S a hobby I need to pick up. *ducks*)

But I have been finding myself surfing the 'net for pictures of yarn lately, which is a little strange. I've been in high productivity mode on the knitting front (there has been a lack of pictures, but I'm about halfway done with the HP scarf, and almost that far with my use-up-stash scarf, though the finishing work on my hot water bottle cover has languished, in part due to the warm weather), but I'm also trying to watch my budget. And given the size of my existing yarn stash... can't really justify a bunch of yarn purchases. It is unfortunate that my taste has changed since I started acquiring yarn, but I just have to deal. So new yarn purchases are not really in the cards. But oh, how I covet.

That said, I got some lovely lovely purple yarn in the mail from Abby today - I had made the purchase because she was having a sale, and I finished my taxes early, but there was a wee bit of trouble with an incorrect shipping address, so I'm getting delayed reaction gratification. She threw in a little something extra in the form of a skein of pale green sock yarn, which was awesome (and soft!). It's nice when your sig. other has close personal ties to your supplier.

It's also nice when your supplier is a creative person who you admire because she is doing something she really cares about, and doing it well. The only danger is to my wallet.


The stairwell door, it is broken. SLAM! Every time someone walks through it... SLAM!

I had no idea how much traffic went through that door. Until today. SLAM!

It is driving me batshit crazy.


Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Dreaming of Cake

Apparently May has moved to mid-summer. I had no idea. Everyone keeps saying the heatwave is due to be over any day, yet it keeps on roastin'.

Not that I'm really complaining. I'm rather enjoying it, really. Nice change of pace. And as long as I'm remembering to water, my plants don't seem to mind overmuch.

Soon I will go home, and tonight (along with the work) there will be Indian food and cake! Can't go wrong with cake.

Especially chocolate.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

I Can Has Grammar

Anil Dash has written an article on what he calls lolcat pidgin. I am highly amused to see intellectual analysis applied to pictures of cats with funny captions... but then on the other hand, why not?

It's an interesting read, particularly for procrastinators. Lots of nice linkage to pull you out into the vast reaches of the internet.

Friday, May 4, 2007

How many cats?

I really enjoyed Crazy Aunt Purl's story about cats and dating, because... I have experienced this. Not so much with the dating, because, you know, I has a Bucket. But when people find out you have cats, they always ask, with that slightly weird tone to their voice, "Oh. How many?"

And I say two, and usually there is a slight relaxation there, like, "Well, I guess that's alright."

And I can't even entirely blame them, because anytime I am exposed to cute kittenhood, part of the reason I think to myself "No, must not acquire any more cats," contains a little bit of "any more than 2 and people will call me a crazy cat lady."

And let's face it. I'm crazy. And I'm a cat lady. But I'm not a "worrying about the neighbors calling animal control because there are 30 cats breeding in the basement and the stench is becoming unbearable" sort of crazy cat lady. And neither is Crazy Aunt Purl. It's funny how people assume there's a super short spectrum:

No cats = good ---- 2 cats = borderline ---- 3 cats = crazy cat lady

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Dear Loser

Ummm. You really have to hear this to believe it. But, uh, I don't recommend listening to it at work.

You make me touch your hands for stupid reasons!


Sun is streaming in the window, but the trees across the way are silhouetted in front of dark clouds.

An omen? Or just pretty weather?

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

May Day

Oh, and belated happy May day! It kind of got missed at Chez Jessa this year, with my not having planned ahead and therefore having no strawberries in the house. A May Day with no strawberries! Unheard of in my family.

But I picked some up last night, and if y'all will excuse me, I'm going to have some for breakfast right now.

Quietness next to... cleanliness?

The problem I have with blogging these days is... I'm trying to exercise the "if you don't have anything nice to say, say nothing at all" restraint. And that plus "things I don't want on the internet right now" -- well, they are really limiting my capacity for monologue.

I mean, I could talk about my cats some more, but really, no one wants that.

So I will just say... having spent the weekend helping my grandparents make their already-clean house even cleaner, I am looking around my apartment and noticing afresh what a sty it is. And trying to rally up the energy to do something about it. The problem is, once you let it get bad, it takes so much energy to restore it to presentable state. It's one of the problems of living alone, I guess. No one to clean up for but myself.

But given that I'll be downgrading the size of my living space very soon, I'd better take a stab at more preventative maintenance.

ETA: I was talking to Kristin this week, and she's been going through something remarkably similar. That makes me feel a little better.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Vegetable Matter

Nice family time this weekend. We went out to Davis, and as usual, I am amazed by the way things grow out there. It's really quite astonishing. I took a walk this morning out to the community garden on 5th, and snooped around everyone's beds, to see what they were growing this spring.

Someone had posted a sign:
"Please do not steal our vegetables. We have called the police and they have confirmed that they will prosecute theft of our vegetables."

I'm sure there are lots of funny things that could be said about that, but it made me sad. Not only that someone would steal another person's vegetables, but that a person would be so possessive of their community dirt that they called the police about it.

I really need to get my camera working again. This would have been better with a picture in it.

Thursday, April 26, 2007


Loki is really much happier about life now that his course of antibiotics is over... He really thought I was waging a jihad on him or something (a la Eddie Izzard).

Now he lays on my lap all snuggly and purr like. Until I start doing things like trying to catch him on the webcam:

And then he just gets that really miserable expression, "why do you hate me so?"

He's quite a handsome cat, really, it's just that he hates having his picture taken. Or being restrained in any way. So I don't actually have any pictures of him when he's not looking cross.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Always Welcome

Watching Rome with Bucket, and I swear, this is a vital piece of advice I just heard from Atia:

"A large penis is always welcome."

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Sick, sick, sick

I had my first ever cold-induced asthma attack the night before last! Happy fun time. Not being able to breathe is pretty freaky. Hasn't happened again since, which is good. I still have only one nostril at a time, but I have discovered that's way better than nothing.

Meanwhile, I feel like I haven't finished any knitting projects in ages, so I put the HP scarf on hold and have been using my sick-on-couch time to finish the grey wool scarf on my smallest ever size 4 needles. It took forever. However, I have finished! Now we need to see if it will block properly or not. I'm kind of afraid to try it out.

I did block my hot water bottle cover made out of spiffy Noro Big Kureyon, though... I now understand what the fuss is about Noro yarns. It is even more gorgeous as a finished project than it was in the store when I couldn't resist buying it. Incredible. Once it finishes drying I shall whip the sides together and fill it full of warm coziness. And you shall all be jealous.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Advanced Basic Knitting

So I am sitting here, cat in lap, laptop balanced semi-on top of cat (there isn't really room for both of them in one lap), rather precariously knitting and reading Crazy Aunt Perl, with my new found "it's almost sort of possible to read web pages and knit at the same time, if you're willing to stop knitting and scroll every few stitches" method of entertaining myself.

This is a site that I stumbled upon one day during one of those periods of internet serendipity, which I promptly sent to Eddie saying "this is awesome" and which he now has an RSS feed for and reads obsessively every day while I have been back, maybe, twice. But Aunt Perl is awesome! And my lack of blog reading does not reflect on her quality or interestingness as a blogger.

And I think I have spent too long on her site this morning, because I am starting to sound like her.

Anyway, I ran across this post, about being an Advanced Basic Knitter which I have definitely seen before, but it is just striking me again how much this applies to me. I tell everyone - I pretty much only knit rectangles. I love knitting, I love the texture and feel of it, I love digging through my stash, I love the colors, I love making something useful out of something pretty. But this is not a hobby about "how can I stretch and challenge myself more" because let's face it, between the freaky stressful job, and the grad school, and everything else I am SO FREAKING CHALLENGED ALREADY. I want something nice and calm and non-stressful to do in the times that belong to me, so I can say, "when I do have downtime I do this fabulous relaxing and yet worthwhile thing with it. "

And you know what? That's okay. It's okay that I have an endless supply of scarves. They make me happy. They give me a productive reason to sit on the couch with my cats and play with fiber. And scarves are AWESOME. And my downtime is awesome. And that is a very good thing.

The Real Purpose of the Internet

I wonder if Kristin was trying to tell me something when she sent me this: funny because it's true

Friday, April 20, 2007

Poor Monster

Every time Loki starts to forgive me for yesterday's Vet Adventure... I have to give him his meds. Poor baby.

Freya is kind of liking this whole "every time Loki has drugs we BOTH get a treat" thing. Pretty sweet deal she has going there.

Thursday, April 19, 2007


Never in a million years would I have expected to be playing with a web cam.

It came built in to my new Macbook Pro. I can't seem to help it. Everything on this computer is just so damned shiny!

And I'm using it to take pictures of KNITTING. My god.

Confession Time

I am even more of a nerd than you realize.

Can you guess what this is?

(but check out my nifty stitch marker! I've had them for ages but this is the maiden voyage for knitting in the round (not just using round needles) for me. I am also working from a pattern, another first.)

Oh wait. It's not a confession unless I actually tell you. I'm making a *mumble Harry Potter scarf mumble*. Well, I always said I was going to make one, and with the final book coming out in a few months... I'm running out of time.

Yes, those are Slytherin House colors, but only because they have the best ones. I'd have made a Hufflepuff scarf, but OMG I'd look like a bumble bee.

(See, I told you I was a nerd!)

Cue OK Go

Here it goes again... I haven't blogged for years. And Blogger was the first tool I ever used, after the hardcoding days were over. Why am I blogspotting it now... why, laziness, of course.

Okay, to be fair... it's less laziness than sheer exhaustion. I'm working full time in a crazy job, doing the grad school thing (part time), trying to maintain a relationship and friendships, and fussing over my cats. Oh, and knitting, and occasionally logging in some time playing The Sims 2.

My inner computer geek isn't bursting to get out, since I work on websites all day. But on the other hand, I work on websites all day, so it seems dumb not to be working on one for myself. Ahhh, contradiction.

So I don't know where this is going, I've just been kicking around the desire to post again. Mostly because I've been using Twitter as my personal mini-blog for the last month. And that's just silly. Everyone KNOWS I can't be that brief.