30 August 2006


No new knitting to post today, so here's Ruthie instead, fresh from the groomer. Yes, she's already slightly slobbery, but that's what ya get with Ruthie. Her fur is very, very soft and they put a purple ribbon on her collar. Sorry about the eerie eyes--my red eye fixer doesn't work on green-eye.

27 August 2006

My Weekend.

I haven't knitted anything all weekend. Friday night hubby hosted a fantasy football draft party, and I took refuge in my bedroom, where there's no good spot to knit. I did do some junkfood reading, though: The Devil Wears Prada.

The I woke up Saturday with a head cold or sinus infection or similar misery, and I feel just too yuck to do anything, even knit. And I'm feeling sorry for myself because I have too much going on at work to call in sick tomorrow.

So instead, here are some pix of some items my Mom just made. They're all made from 100% Saint fur, and they will be auctioned off at the next Saint National, proceeds to go to rescue. Saint fur makes lovely yarn--it reminds me a lot of angora, actually.

26 August 2006


My parents took an anniversary trip to Orcas Island, and brought me this. It's kid mohair, so it's very soft, and it's such a wonderful blue color. I haven't decided yet what it wants to be; for right now, it's sort of a pet.

25 August 2006


I'm supposed to be writing a book. Well, several chapters of a book (it's an Intro text, and I have 7 coauthors). Two of my chapters are due in October, and I promised myself I'd have them done before school begins. One of them is mostly done, but I'm struggling with the other. I'm only about 20% finished with that one, and classes start in a week and a half. I'm not sure what my problem is. My last book I managed to write all by myself in just about a semester. It probably helped that I was pregnant, and so I knew I had an inescapable deadline facing me. And also, that book was really my love child, whereas the current project is a (mostly) fun and interesting project--more like stepchild, to stretch the metaphor.

I regularly read Yarn Harlot's blog, and today she's struggling with her book, too. Still, I'm having trouble empathizing. At least when she takes a break from writing to pursue knitting-related activities, she can convince herself that it's all research for the book. Unfortunately, I can't. And any research I would do for my book would be much, much less fun. Plus, she gets to do book tours and talk about knitting. Me? Boring professor.

Okay, but I promise. Today I will write a bunch of pages on court structure and jurisdiction. Woohoo!

24 August 2006

More Procrastinating

I am really, really trying to get some work done today. Really. But my mind keeps wandering, and so do my fingers on the keyboard. And two men are currently sweeping off the roof of the building outside my window, which for some reason is incredibly distracting. Did you know tumbleweeds can end up on the top of a 1-story building?

So anyway, here's what I've been doing this morning:

23 August 2006

Not working

The fall semester is soon upon us, which is why I spent today mostly not doing work. Here's a few things I found while dawdling through various blogs:

22 August 2006


I have been busy! I have finished a mystery project:

And one sock:

And all that activity has just exhausted Ruthie:

A while back I complained that I had postcards on my wall from 4 continents, but not Australia, Africa, or Antarctica. Well, look what Nathalie in Cairns sent me! Thanks, Nathalie!! That's so cool! Only 2 continents left. Do they even have postcards in Antarctica?


I was once phobic about bees and wasps. I've overcome that phobia, and in fact I even enjoy visits to my garden by honeybees and humungobees. I'm less enthusiastic about wasps, although a couple weeks ago I happened to witness a paper wasp eating a spider egg sac only a few inches away from me (I was on the other side of a window) and that was pretty cool. But I have no place in my heart for yellowjackets. Just a couple weeks ago, one stung me on my leg for absolutely no reason. I didn't even see it until it was stinging me. So this just gives me major heebie jeebies. Check out the photo--it's like something from a horror movie.

And speaking of horrors, People For the American Way has launched a new blog that keeps us udpated on the right wing's latest shenanigans.

21 August 2006

Sock Wars

Yarn Monkey has initiated the Sock Wars. I won't be playing because I am a slow knitter and I'd be killed off really fast. But for those with with quick fingers, time on their hands, and a competitive streak, this sounds like fun! And unlike real wars, in this one the dead get a pair of socks out of the deal.

20 August 2006


We visited the Bay Area Discovery Museum in Sausalito today. As you can see, Thing 2 was able to explore her potential as an artist. She's quite good at painting...her face, her clothes, her arms, her hair, etc. I love how for kids this age, it's all about the process, rather than the result.

And if you get to run around like a maniac, climb onto boats, and make a lot of noise? So much the better!

17 August 2006

100 Things About Me

1. I was born in Illinois, but only lived there until I was 8.
2. I am an Aries, born in the Chinese Year of the Ram.
3. I have a JD and a PhD and have finally paid off my student loans.
4. If I could pick any job in the world, I'd pick Successful Writer.
5. I like to look myself up on Amazon.
6. My combined Amazon and Powells wish lists are over 200 items long.
7. I am addicted to buying books and yarn.
8. My mother taught me to knit when I was 17.
9. I never learned to tie shoelaces properly; I can only use bunny ears.
10. For almost a decade, I have not eaten mammals, reptiles, or ducks.
11. I still eat fish, chicken, and turkey.
12. My favorite cuisines are Indian and Thai.
13. I like making lists.
14. I love to travel.
15. My first trip outside the US (unless you count Tijuana when I was 3) was when I was 33.
16. I have studied 6 languages other than English, but I'm only fluent in English.
17. I hate being an obvious tourist when I travel.
18. I tend to plan things well in advance.
19. I'm good at meeting deadlines.
20. I used to procrastinate, but now I do less often.
21. I can't stand to eat scallops.
22. I wish I could sing well.
23. I wish I could draw or paint well.
24. I hate how my ears stick out.
25. I have naturally curly hair.
26. I always wanted 2 children.
27. Most of my pets have been named after Supreme Court justices.
28. When I was little, my favorite tv program was Emergency!
29. I've read almost all of Stephen King's books.
30. Isabel Allende is one of my favorite contemporary authors.
31. Mark Twain is one of my favorite dead authors.
32. I would get a tattoo if I could decide on something good enough to permanently imprint on myself.
33. I hate going to the dentist.
34. I am pretty far to the left, politically.
35. I am just a shade over five feet tall.
36. I don't wish I was taller, but do wish I was thinner.
37. I have an abnormally narrow spinal column, according to my MRI.
38. I cannot roll my r's.
39. My favorite flavors are caramel, lemon, sour cream, and pomegranate--but not all at once.
40. Sometimes I like to cook.
41. I have never been athletic.
42. I hardly ever watch network tv.
43. I do like to watch tv or movies while I knit.
44. I get annoyed when people mispunctuate or are grammatically incorrect in their writing.
45. My dream travel destinations are Bhutan, Botswana, and the Galapagos Islands.
46. I think I would have enjoyed being an anthropologist.
47. I have spent almost my whole life in school as either a student or a professor.
48. My first job was at McDonalds.
49. I was once robbed at gunpoint while working at a deli.
50. I remain very calm in emergencies.
51. I am mildly claustrophobic.
52. I am also mildly phobic of heights, but only over water.
53. I am a poor swimmer.
54. I owned a boa constrictor named Carlos for several years.
55. I lived in Nebraska for 5 years when I was in graduate school.
56. My earliest memory was making a cake with my grandmother.
57. I love the smell of coffee, but rarely drink it.
58. I love to shop at office supply stores.
59. I owned a '55 Ford pickup for several years.
60. My first car was a '71 Dodge Dart.
61. Now I drive an Acura SUV.
62. I rarely wear makeup.
63. I buy a lot of soaps.
64. My favorite dessert is cheesecake.
65. My childhood wasn't even remotely dysfunctional.
66. I tend to have eclectic tastes in almost everything.
67. I listen to a lot of NPR.
68. I never learned to type properly.
69. I am a night person.
70. I like to stay in hotels.
71. I tend to be quiet in social situtaions, until I know the people well.
72. I like to sleep in a cold room.
73. I like to spend time with my parents.
74. I wish I were more patient.
75. I'm not very good at doing nothing.
76. I think I have a strange sense of humor.
77. I have way more yarn than I need.
78. I've had a web page since 1994.
79. I like to try new things.
80. I met my husband when I was 15.
81. I like to garden, but don't have much time to do it.
82. I own a lot of cobalt blue glass.
83. I am especially pleased that Daughter #1 loves to read.
84. I am an extremely easy person to shop for.
85. When I was in high school, I wished I was more popular.
86. I broke my little toe at summer camp when I was 9.
87. I almost always wear flat shoes.
88. I have blue eyes.
89. I love to do craft projects with my kids.
90. I almost named my older daughter Etana.
91. When I got married, I kept my last name, and took my husband's last name as my middle name. This confuses people.
92. I love to visit the ocean.
93. I don't understand really religious people.
94. I have never had a speeding ticket, although I drive fairly fast.
95. I am exceedingly trustworthy.
96. Sometimes I get tired of having too many responsibilities.
97. I don't want to not have pets.
98. I have to make myself only read one book at a time, and only work on one knitting project at a time.
99. Sometimes I don't feel like a grownup.
100. I am currently putting off doing actual work.


There is a child in Thing 1's gymnastics class (a blond-haired, blue-eyed child) named Cherokee. As far as I know, she's no relation to Thing 1's classmate, Cheyanne (yes, spelled like that). And Thing 2 has classmates named Rocco and Kairo (yes, spelled like that). Hubby has a distant relative who named his daughter Tiger Lily. What are these parents thinking?!? Anyway, here's a whole website devoted to horrible baby names: Baby's Named a Bad, Bad Thing. My advice for those who absolutely MUST name someone Sharmonica or Bayne or Miykayleigh: get a pet.

15 August 2006

Top Secret & Superheroes

I have nearly finished the Top Secret knitting project. It's my own creation, you see, and I plan to submit it to Knitty. I think it's a really cool idea and I can't believe nobody's thought of it before. Which means either A) I've experienced a stroke of brilliance, or B) I'm eccentric and slightly delusional. I know hubby's voting for B, but what does he know? Anyway, if it doesn't make it into Knitty, I will eventually at least post it here.

Meanwhile, yesterday Thing 2 was pretending to be a superhero with "superstrong muscles." When I asked her her name, she flourished an invisible cape and replied, "I'm SUPERMARKET!!" And then she dashed off to save the world from...uh...high grocery prices??

Which reminds me, the other day I caught 2 seconds of a tv program in which contestants apparently are trying to be superheroes of their own design. So this made me start thinking about what my family's super identities would be and our personal kryptonite. Thing 2 has already named herself (her kryptonite is bedtime), and I think Thing 1 would have to be Obstinate Girl (kryptonite = getting sent to her room) . Hubby is clearly Projectman, who can be stopped in his home improvement tracks only by...sports on tv. And me? I fear I'm probably Responsibility Woman, otherwise known as She Who Is in Charge of It All. And my weakness? Hah! Superheroes never reveal their own weaknesses!

What's your super identity?

12 August 2006


My inlaws are in town for the weekend, which means hubby and I got to go out and see a movie yesterday. Unfortunately, he chose Miami Vice, which is the most boring action movie I have ever seen. Unless you are entertained by people trying to looking stylish while endlessly discussing the details of drug deals, skip this one. Colin Farrell just looks skanky, Jamie Foxx doesn't get to do much of anything, and nothing much happens for over 2 hours.

The people sitting next to us at the theater apparently thought this was a good choice for a movie to bring their 4-year-old to see. Nevermind that most of the rest of the screens were showing things like Ant Bully and Monster House; I guess this kid needed to see (boring) sex scenes, (boring) drug deals, and people getting blown to bits. And actually, the kid sat patiently and quietly for the movie, which is better than his parents did. They spent the whole time either talking on their cell phones or text messaging, so I constanly had little lit phone screens waving around in my peripheral vision.

Tonight we're skipping the movie and just eating out.

09 August 2006


Knatolee posted a wonderful picture of herself at age 5 with her dog, Gina. I don't have any knitting pictures to post (I'm working on something top secret), so I'm going to shamelessly copy her idea.

This is me at about 3 or 4 with Otis.

But if you don't want to look at this, instead you can click here to read about a group of nursing home residents in Australia who knitted the contents of a 1950's house.

06 August 2006

Phone cozy

Here's the phone cozy. I probably could've felted it a bit more, but it fits my phone just right as is. I sewed a snap onto the i-cord so I can attach it to the purse.

I used it today, and I'm very pleased with it. Of course, the purse hasn't yet had the chance to accumulate all the crap that purses seem to accumulate, plus nobody called me today, so I don't know for sure how well my diving-phone solution will work.

Oh, and in case any of you want to attempt your own cozy: CO 30. Knit 26 rows in stockinette stitch. BO 27 stitches. Put last 3 stitches onto dbl point needle and work i-cord for about 3 inches. BO. Fold rectangle in half and seam botton and side. Weave in ends. Felt. Sew snap onto end of i-cord and top edge of cozy, right near i-cord base.

05 August 2006

More crawlies

This little lady was on the side of the house this afternoon. She's about 3 inches long.

04 August 2006

Got a Brand New Bag

This is my purse.

It's been my purse for over 2 years now. I got the pattern here. I like it a lot because it's exactly the right size to hold my stuff, and it's been very sturdy as well. Thing 2 used to put rocks in it and I wouldn't notice right away until I realized my purse was extra heavy.

But there are problems.

First, it's getting a little ratty-looking after 2 years of schlepping. Second, I'm getting bored with the colors. Third, the strap has always been too long, and I never managed to do anything more elegant about that problem than just tying a knot. And fourth, my cell phone always makes its way down to the bag's depths and hides, and then when it rings, I can never fish it out in time.

So I knitted a new one, using the same pattern but with a few changes. I used Reynold's Lite Lopi instead of Lamb's Pride. And I'm really liking my new colorway. I also replaced the strap the pattern calls for (just a long stockinette strip) with a 5 stitch i-cord. Here it is, inside out and pre-felting:

The little matching bag on the left is to hold my phone. I also attached a little i-cord loop to the inside of the big bag:

The plan is to loop the i-cord tail on the little bag through the i-cord loop, so the little bag will hang inside the big one. That way my phone will have a harder time hiding from me. Here are the bags after a couple trips through the washing machine:

I decided to add a tiny bit of bling, too. So I knitted in some little beads:

Now I just have to decide whether to shave off the fuzz, or leave it au naturale. What do you think?


You know how I claim to like crawly things? I really do. But I think that this would exceed the boundaries of my tolerance.

03 August 2006

Leapin' Lizard

That lizard was back yesterday and today. I guess it must be living on our patio. The Things have named her (?) Lindsey. She's just plain adorable--about 3 inches long, tail and all. I've seen her eating miniscule bugs.
This is obnoxious--suddenly Blogger is showing my posts waaaaaay down at the end of the page, where you have to scroll forever. I dunno why. Anyone know how to fix this???


Academic Geekiness: Highest

Fashion Geekiness: Moderate

Internet Geekiness: Moderate

Music Geekiness: Moderate

Geekiness in Love: Low

Movie Geekiness: Low

Gamer Geekiness: None

General Geekiness: None

SciFi Geekiness: None

I'd have to say this is pretty accurate (except I think my General Geekiness is higher). Seriously. I have a collection of Sigmund Freud toys (including the one I knitted myself). I have--more than once--used the word pedagogy in a sentence. I have emailed my friends articles from The Chronicle of Higher Education. And I have spent every single semester since I was two as either a student or a professor.