29 January 2007

Where I've Been

I found this on Eve's blog! Here's places I've been. A few are only airport visits, though.

create your own visited countries map
or vertaling Duits Nederlands

create your own visited states map
or check out these Google Hacks.

FO and Concert

I finished my qiviut gloves last night and am wearing them this morning. They are so soft on the hands! Excuse the picture--it was taken by Thing 1. :-)

On Saturday we took the Things to San Francisco for a Dan Zanes concert. Here's a picture I shot from the car as we crossed the Altamont:

The concert was a lot of fun. Most of the kids there were Thing 2's age or younger. Thing 1 was one of the oldest kids there, which is ironic, since only she was able to sit still for an hour and really enjoy it. Most of the audience was pretty wiggly. The impression I got was that Dan Zanes is a nice guy who's genuinely enthusiastic about making good music for small people. And he's sure good at it--he's far and away my kids' favorite, and really the only musician they request by name.

After the concert we went out to lunch at Max's Opera Cafe. Here's a picture of Hubby and the Things outside the restaurant.

25 January 2007

Good day!

Now, I have been fortunate enough to be on the receiving end of some of the world's most generous and thoughtful secret pals. But it turns out that even when I'm supposed to be the one giving, my own recipient is wonderful as well! I am Eve's spoiler for SP9. It was great being her spoiler because aside from being a really nice person and talented knitter, Eve is also Swiss. Which means it was easy for me to find her things I knew she couldn't easily get. I sent my last package to Eve a while back and outed myself. So look what came in the mail today from Switzerland:

I knew she was going to send me the calendar, and I am so thrilled with it! It's from the Barry Foundation, which means all the photos were taken at the Saint Bernard Hospice. How cool is that?!? But then Eve also surprised me with this cute cute needle case she made (complete with a set of double points). Isn't that sheep fabric adorable? Thank you so much, Eve!

And speaking of generous people, I'm so enjoying knitting with the qiviut Knatolee sent. I've finished one glove:

I adapted this pattern. The original pattern called for lighter weight yarn, plus I have really small hands. This glove is actually on backwards because I've only made the right glove and I only have a left hand. The beads will actually go across the back of the hand, and the palm is beadless. This really is a lovely yarn.

And one last thing for today. We're getting ready for a family trip to Disneyworld and I decided I needed new tennis shoes. I ordered a pair from Zappos at 8pm yesterday and they were on my feet by 6:30 tonight. And it was free shipping at that. Plus I saved $20 by cleverly ordering the shoes I wanted in a youth size instead of adult (I have small feet, too).

23 January 2007


Look what I did last night! :-)

The yarn is a special treat, too--it's the qiviut Knatolee sent me. I keep petting it while I knit.

22 January 2007

Please give me a hand

My hand was unmummified today. The doctor pulled out the stitches, too, and now I just need bandaids for a few days. There's still a bit of bruising near my wrist, and yellow sticky disinfectant that I finally get to scrub off in my next shower. As you can see, Ruthie has been very helpful.

C is for...

I stole this meme from Leanne. The idea is you get a letter, and then list 10 things that begin with that letter that have significance to your life. If any of you want to play, just email me or leave me a comment, and I'll send you your letter. Leanne gave me C, so here goes:

1. children
Well, obviously my kids are extremely important to me! I didn't have kids until well into my 30s, and I could have had a happy life without them, but I sure am glad they're here. Children help me add perspective to my life, make me see new things, and make me see old things in new ways. One of my favorite movies is Parenthood with Steve Martin, and there's a great part where the movie compares parenthood to a roller coaster. I think that's a perfect analogy, except this coaster's track always changes. Just when you figure you have the ride down, you get thrown for a loop. Having children also changes how the world relates to me. People who wouldn't otherwise speak to me, do. Lots of people know me only as Thing 1's or Thing 2's Mom. Yesterday I accidentally slammed Thing 2's finger in my car door. Without children, I would have gone my whole life without feeling that certain combination of guilt and panic that follows an incident like that.

2. creativity
I don't claim to be the most creative person in the world. In fact, I know for a fact that some of you are more creatve than me. But I value creativity very highly. To me, it means not only the ability to make new things, but also the ability to tackle problems in fresh ways. To think outside the box, to use an overused phrase.

3. classes
I have spent virtually my entire life in classes, either as a student or as a teacher. I can't imagine life not revolving around school. Even now, when I dream about what I'd like to do when I retire, taking classes figures high on my list.

4. chapters
I am obsessed with books. I have a lot of them--far more than I have time to read--and yet I can't stop myself from buying more. And I do love to read them. Once, when I was maybe 12, I was sitting on my front patio with my feet up, reading a book. I must have been sitting still a long time, because when I finished the book I saw that a spider had spun an entire web using the book, my chair, and various parts of me as anchor points.

I like to write books, too. I've written 1 whole book, and parts of several more. These are all academic books, but I also like to write fiction (although my fiction has never been published). One of my dream jobs is Successful Author.

5. crafting
I've always enjoyed crafting of just about any kind. I have a mini-Michaels worth of crafting materials in my house. I have a crafty family. My Mom crafts, my sister has a craft business, my brother does woodwork, my kids craft. My enforced craft sabbatical for the past 10 days has been very, very hard to take. But it's over now. :-)

6. collecting
I collect things. I may be slightly compulsive (hey--that's another C word!), although I haven't yet turned into one of those people whose house is filled with piles of newspaper and old mail. Besides my yarn and book collections, I also have collections of Saint Bernard stuff, blue glass, gargoyles, postcards, and floaty pens. Nobody ever, ever has a hard time finding a present for me.

7. career
My career is very important to me, very central to my idea of who I am. There are times when it's frustrating, boring, or upsetting, but mostly I like it a lot. Which is good, consdering the years of graduate training it took to get here.

8. canines
Wouldn't life be a much more boring place without dogs? I like animals in general, but dogs have a special place in my heart.

9. constitution
It's not just that I have a law degree and teach criminal justice (another C phrase!). I'm passionate about the Constitution and protecting the rights it contains. I'm currently the co-chair of my local ACLU chapter.

10. carpal tunnel
It is to be hoped that this recent and tedious theme will cease to be of importance in my life.

20 January 2007


This is the view from the room I shared with my friends at the Inn Above Tide in Sausalito. The hotel is, literally, above the tide. Sea lions swam right below us, pelicans dived, kayakers paddled. The rooms are quite pricey, but it's a very nice place. Only 29 rooms, pleasant service, nice wine and cheese in the evening, very nice breakfast in the morning. And the view, which you get from every room.

The ferries dock next door, so Friday we took a ferry to the Ferry Building in SF, had lunch, and shopped a bit. Some fleur de sel caramels from Recchiuti may have made their way into my hands, but I won't confirm that.

Today we went to Heath Ceramics, which is located in Sausalito. I've admired their wares for some time. We got a tour of the factory, during which I learned how much labor goes into producing their pieces. This little vase came home with me for Hubby:

If I'm ever wealthy all my dishes will be Heath.

Finally, we walked around downtown Sausalito. There are, alas, no yarn stores, but I did make one major score:

I bought 10 of these, which was nearly their entire inventory. I may share with Hubby.

18 January 2007

Ski Bum

Thing 1 and Hubby went skiing today. I did not. My one attempt at skiing resulted in several days on crutches, and my limbs are only partially functional now as it is.
They had a great time, though. Next year, Thing 2 can learn how. I have fantasies of curling by a fire with a book and hot cocoa while they pay good money to hurl themselves down mountains.
PS--I knitted that sweater she's wearing, many years ago, actually before she was even born. Ten billion ends to weave in, but it is cute on her! I don't know how she managed to avoid hitting anything with all that hair in her face.


At the end of every semester, the students in my classes get a chance to fill out evaluations of me. The front of the eval form has a bunch of fairly useless things the students can rate me on, and the back has a big blank spot where they can write comments. The comments are anonymous and I don't get them back until after grades are in. Here are a few of my favorites from Fall 2006:
  • I would like to see more videos of you doing psychological experiments on your kids; those were very entertaining
  • Class is interesting. Although I am doing very crappy in the class, you are doing a good job of teaching the class and applying the reasoning of the courts to fit our understanding.
  • Stop putting in your political opinions and basis [sic]
  • Students would appreciate having their opinions on the hiring of new faculty listened to
  • This was a CJ class not a poli sci class, thus you lost a lot of students when you stated your political point of view

Apparently, only poli sci professors can discuss political views, because politics has nothing whatsoever to do with criminal justice.

Several students said I am "though but fair." I might like to have this tattooed on me somewhere, if I could think of an appropriate illustration to accompany it.

17 January 2007


My hand is healing, little bit better every day. Luckily, there's been very little pain, just the annoyance of trying to do everything left-handed. And it is *so* freaking obnoxious to watch tv or movies without knitting needles in my hands! I keep wandering up to visit my stash and fondle it wistfully. With my left hand.

Meantime, there is preparation for travel! I'm heading to Sausalito this weekend with some girlfriends, and in 2 weeks we're bravely taking the Things to Florida for a week at Disneyworld. I hope I'll be knitting again by then, so I can pass the time on the long flight--or use the needles to poke naughty children.

13 January 2007

this is me today. at least they made sure to cut the right hand. that "yes" may never wash off. and when i got home from the hospital, there were packages!

all this goodness is from sing yee in malaysia. durian dodol! and lots of good things, including some of her handmade art. thank you so much! can't wait to be able to use the stationery.

and this is my 3rd swap with alvina in singapore. as always, she's chosen wonderful things. she included more of her earrings and her handmade tissue cover and flower brooch. thank you!

it sucks typing left-handed.

11 January 2007

Thank you!

Thanks for all the good thoughts for my hand! I'm going to look on the bright side: I may not be able to knit or type for a bit, but I do have a great excuse to lay around doing nothing but watching tv, reading, eating chocolate, and ordering people around. :-)

10 January 2007

My carpal tunnel surgery is scheduled for Friday. After, I'll have a big old bandage on my wrist for 10 days. Ick. So today I made myself a wrist cozy from some leftover Noro.
It should come in particularly handy (Hah! Pun not intended!) because it's supposed to get down near 20F for several nights. I know, that's no big deal to most of you, but to those of us in California that sounds Arctic. I've lived here for 14 winters and it's never been that cold. So my poor hand will be warm and stylish.
And yes, I fully realize the irony of knitting something to cover my carpal tunnel bandages.

08 January 2007

Ahoy there!

I generally work well with deadlines. The proof?

Aye, me hearties! One completed pirate sweater in a size large enough to last Thing 2 for a couple of years. I seriously love the way this turned out, and the yarn is so plush and soft. Can't wait to see it on her, but she's fast asleep right now.

In fact, everyone is fast asleep except for me and Furgie.

04 January 2007

Pirate project in progress

This is the project I'm trying hard to finish before I get my hand sliced open next Friday. It will be a raglan-sleeve pullover for Thing 2, who badly wants a pirate sweater. You're looking at the back and the front. I'm about halfway finished with the first sleeve, so I might just finish in time. The skull pattern is from the current issue of Knit.1, and the sweater pattern is from Junior Knits. I'm using KnitPicks Swish Superwash in black and the natural color is Bare Superwash Worsted. It's nice, soft yarn to work with, not scratchy at all, and of course machine washable.

And the orthopedist says I should be able to do a bit of knitting within a week or so of the surgery, but will have to ease back into lengthier sessions.

"My Second Story" by me

Here is Thing 1's second tale, verbatim:

My Second Story by me
Once upon a time, again, this is after 6 years with Ajeta and Kina. Well, one day, an evil samurai master wanted to rule the world. But Ajeta already knew he was evil and wanted to rule the world. So the next day Ajeta bowed to the king in the king's palace. The king's name was Oberon. Oberon asked Ajeta if he would help Oberon by saving the kingdom from the evil samurai master from becoming king. And Ajeta said, "Yes, I will." and so the deal was made. If Ajeta won the battle, then Ajeta would give Oberon lots of his treasures. (if he had any.) Well, king Oberon asked Ajeta if he had any. Ajeta said "yes" to that question, too. And so one day 6 days after the day that Ajeta made a deal with the king, Ajeta went to the evil samurai master's pretend palace. Ajeta said to the samurai master, "Are you the samurai master who is evil and wants to be king?" "Yes." said the evil samurai master. "Do you have any slaves?" asked Ajeta. "Why, slaves? What kind of slaves?" asked the evil sumurai master. Ajeta answered, "the kind that feed you and serve you." And the samurai master, who's name is Emika, said, "Why, no one has ever asked me that before and your answer is no. DO you have a wife?" he asked. (the master asked.) "Yes." Ajeta said. "She is beutiful and her name is Kina." "What a beutiful name." said Emika. Emika started to cry. "I know I'm evil! I promise I'll be good! Please! don't tell the king I said no to your question about being bad! I'll say yes every time you ask that question!" he started to cry more, then started to wail. "ther, there. It's all right. I like you." said Ajeta. "You, you, you do?" asked Emika. "Uh huh." said Ajeta. "Please, bring me to the real palasce." said Emika. "I want to tell King Oberon something." SO they went to King oberon's castle. "King Oberon." said Emika. "Can I be king after Ajeta If I be the good the rest of the way while your king than Ajeta's king?" asked Emika, shy to ask. "Well, as long as your good," said Oberon. So Emika asked Ajeta if Emika could be Ajeta's servent. Ajeta said "yes" so they all lived happily ever After.
This ode to the power of careful diplomacy is illustrated with a drawing of Ajeta, Kina, and Emika all looking happy.

03 January 2007

Mail wonderful mail

Today had such exciting mail I don't even know where to begin! To think, all this was sitting there as federal employees memorialized Gerald Ford....

First I opened a large box from my Secret Pal. And look what was inside! I get to learn the magic loop method! And as if that isn't exciting enough, I get to learn it with the absolutely most perfect sock yarn in the world. Why so perfect? Because my talented Pal dyed it just for me in my favorite colors! The colors didn't turn out well in this picture, so you'll have to trust me that they're gorgeous blues, purples, and teals. Let me tell you, if I had seen this skein of yarn on a yarn store shelf, I would have snatched that thing up so fast you might hear a sonic boom. But of course I wouldn't find this perfect yarn on any store shelf. My Pal also sent candy cane tea (Mmm! Wouldn't this be perfect to accompany peppermint bark?) and breath cookies for Ruthie (which will be appreciated by both of us). Thank you, Pal!!

Next up was a packet addressed to Thing 1. A couple months ago I did a swap with Liz, who sent all sorts of wonderful things from Thailand. Liz teaches second grade there, so Thing 1, who is also in second grade, had included a letter to Liz's class in the package we sent. The packet that arrived today contained cards to Thing 1, all made by the kids in Liz's class. Isn't that fantastic? Thing 1 was just thrilled.

The last two things I knew were coming because I'd ordered them myself. First, a book for Thing 1. The other day, completely out of the blue, she asked me,"How do babies get in mommies' tummies?" So, here ya go:

And finally, because I had a fierce craving the other day, and who knows when I'll make it to the Ferry Building, and because I'm 3/4 of the way done surviving the Things' winter vacation:

01 January 2007

Happy New Year!

I'm beginning the new year thankful for such good friends and family. I wish all of you a 2007 filled with joy and peace!!