Friday, October 27, 2006

Maybe I don't totally suck at this

I've learned two very important things in the last couple of days.

1. In certain instances, I can study and knit at the same time. This is very, very good news. No, really. You just can't imagine.

2. I just might be fairly decent at knitting. I have yet to meet a crochet pattern that I can't whip into shape, but my knitting skills have always been rudimentary at best. But it seems that I'm on the improvement track and I'm able to do more impressive-looking things which makes the whole process more exciting. This is also good news. I'm growing as a crafter! I'm expanding my winter wardrobe with no monetary output! This is very good news. Sus loves being self-sufficient.

I love my cute little Quaker Rib Cap, but you know. Hat hair. Yup. As much as we all know that keeping warm is much more important than how we look, hat hair is distressing and depressing. It's stupid, but it's true.

I remember once having a plain blue winter headband, but I have no idea what has happened to it or where it might be now. So I decided to knit one. I also wanted to try cables and thought this would be a nice small project that would be perfect for trying them out. I had already decided that I wanted to make an Irish Hiking Scarf at one point, so I wanted a headband to match it. I tried the Chicknits Cable Headband, but decided it wasn't as wide as I wanted, so I frogged it and just modified the scarf pattern into a headband. Now when I make the scarf it will really, truly match.

It didn't take very long and I got quite a bit of studying done while I was making it. So, wanna see?

Yes, so it looks positively radiant sitting on my couch. Okay, okay, you can see it on me wee noggin:

Yeah, yeah, so it's not so wee. Man. And, really, perhaps I should start wearing makeup again...

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


Yesterday was a light day as far as school, so I got to do a whole bunch of knitting and website design without guilt! How fun!

Ever since I started this blog, I've been meaning to redesign my old website as a repository for finished objects and other pictures so that they weren't just buried in blog entries where no one could ever find them. I also wanted to come up with a new, simple, spartan design that would be really easy to maintain. I finally had some time and got the majority of the new site finished. Now, if you're ever just itchin' to see a picture of the Prettiest! toilet seat cover ever, you don't have to figure out where it is in the blog, just browse through the finished object page!

Oh, and my free patterns are now PDFs! Woot! This, for some reason, makes me so happy.

Yeah, I know, none of you are remotely as excited as I am.

Well, maybe you would prefer to titter at how ridiculous I look trying to seriously pose (with no makeup of any kind) in a gigantic hat:

Yes, that's right, the Fatigue Cap is finally finished! I hope it keeps Gator's little ears warm and toasty this winter. I also hope it's what he wanted, because I'm not doing it again. :)

Seriously, it took months to finish that cap, but I started one for myself on Sunday and it's already finished. It's cute, too.

I wore it home from the library last night and it's fairly toasty. I may have to make a wool one sometime, though, to fend off the real winter winds that are on their way.

So now things will pick back up at school (exams next week - ick) so I may be quiet for a few days. But you never know. I'm unpredictable that way.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Most of the light will have to come from diyas

So far this morning it is rainy and hazy and drab.

Nominally, this has been Fall Break at Marquette, but graduate students don't really benefit from such things. Life pretty much goes on as usual. My load the last couple of days have been slightly lessened because my lab adviser has been out of town, so I've been knitting a little more and am just about done with the Fatigue Cap which I will be sending to my sweet hubby this week. This means I can soon start a hat for myself, as I don't have one at all and it's about to get really cold up here. (Finishing one WIP means I get to start a new project or three, right? Right??)

I hope it will clear off and stop raining, as tonight is the celebration of Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, and I have been honored with an invitation to a local party given by one of my classmates. I'm pretty excited. I'm fairly sure local ordinances prohibit fireworks in the city, but I'm going to play dumb and just enjoy the festivities. Now, let's see. Do I have any nice clothes that aren't black?? Hmmm. I'm thinking, I'm thinking...

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Sus becoming a dull girl (and a picture!)

It's been pure work around here. And, mostly, it's been going well. I got my presentation done and, although my brain sort of switched off about three quarters of the way through, it went fairly well. It's over, anyway. I've accomplished a lot of work in the lab and am about ready to get my final results, which is always a little nerve-wracking, but it's only a rotation so if it doesn't work out I get to just go to the next one and not worry about it. That's the best deal I'll get for the rest of my life, I'm sure.

So, yeah. Not much to really blog about. But I did open my mailbox today and find a copy of the departmental grad student photo we posed for a month or so ago. These are the biology grad students, looking all happy because the stress of the year hadn't started yet and it was warm and still summer. Ah, memories.

We're a pretty good bunch. Don't we look like we could take over the world? ;)

PS -- check out that progress bar on the Fatigue Cap -- it's coming right along, I tell you!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Autumn Sky

It's chilly but it's sunny and beautiful out there. The sky is a clear, deep blue. This only sucks because I have to put a presentation together this weekend and can't go out and enjoy the football/sweater weather.

Although, I am going to take an hour this morning, listen to Car Talk, and knit on the fatigue hat. And I refuse to feel guilty, dammit.

Friday, October 13, 2006

My thesaurus says hard drive is synonymous with difficult drive

Here I sit, in Cudahy Hall, happily typing away on my new laptop. Well, now I'm happy. Argh. I shall explain:

Yesterday, in a fit of desperation from being unconnected and isolated in my apartment and having to walk upwards of two blocks to the library should I want the wonders of computer operation not to mention the internet, I went shopping. 'Cause, I'm tellin' ya, I had nothing I needed to do more than shop. Nope, nothing. ANYway, I went shopping. Computer shopping. And I was successful! I felt like the epitome of the 21st century hunter-gatherer, coming home with the kill. And a basket of tasty berries. So, happiness! Excitement! Re-connectivity! Right? Wrong. If there's one thing we've learned, kids, it's that nothing is ever easy in Sus' world.

Five hours later -- yes, five -- I still couldn't get my wireless network to work. Windows will tell me what the problem is, but it won't let me fix it. I tell you what, Bill Gates had better cure AIDS, because otherwise his whole freakin' existence is forfeit.

So, I went for a beer. It was a great idea.

My wireless connection at home still doesn't work, but thanks to the super-friendly (okay, at least dutifully willing to help me) folks at the Marquette ITS helpdesk, I'm sitting on a couch, just me and me wee laptop -- no cords or nothin'! -- blogging for your enjoyment and mine.

Luckily, I still have all kinds of cords and cables at home which allow me to partake of the richness of the World Wide Web, but it does keep me tied to my desk and unable to flit about my abode and surf, say, in bed. Which has always been one of my fondest goals.

Although you may not think so the first time I blog before coffee...

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Life by numbers

1) It sold for $48,000.

2) Yes, you read that right.

3) Though it was temporarily resurrected, the computer has finally done died. Although I keep hoping that if I say that enough, it will spontaneously resurrect again. I shan't hold my breath.

4) Broncos won last night!!

5) Gator was in the hospital but is out now and feels much better. Yay!

6) Of the two exams I took last week, and was as woefully unprepared for one as I was the other -- on one I got one of the highest grades, on the other I got the low score. See how life balances everything out? Don't they tout that as a good thing? Aren't they smokin' crack?

7) I think it's finally really autumn here. My favorite. :) But it's very hard to describe to my Indian and Chinese classmates the merits of "football weather". Oh well.

Thursday, October 05, 2006


They're selling the flute.

They're selling the flute and I can't buy it.

I can watch someone else buy it, though.

It doesn't even play notes.

It's pretty, though.

I'm such a nerd.

It's not even my fandom.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Parisian peeves by the hundreds

I may have just heard it all.

I just heard a commentator on NPR use the phrase "Paris Hiltonian". WTF?? It was used to describe the media coverage of another event. Granted, the event involved Terrell Owens, so it couldn't be considered an earth-shattering news story, but still. I have an idea! Let's express our contempt for certain media coverage not by invoking one pathetic name to describe another, but by completely ignoring the pathetic altogether. Murrow is spinning, kids.

This is just the latest in a small series of things about broadcast journalism that have rankled me lately. Since I don't have a TV, I listen to the radio a lot. That means a lot of NPR, but I also listen to the local news because one of the network affiliates in town broadcasts their entire day on the radio as well as TV. My most hated thing right now is the use of the word "hunnerd".

Now, it's one thing for Joe Shmoe on the corner to use the word "hunnerd" during an on-the-spot interview, most especially when something traumatic has just happened. It also has comedy use out the yin yang. But it's an entirely different issue when Carl Kasell says something like, "Today in Iraq, a roadside bomb killed two hunnerd Iraqi civilians." It makes me want. To. Scream.


I'm not a broadcast journalist. But I sing (which requires diction) and I was a student orator back in the day. Enunciation is important, especially if it's a big part of your job -- say, if you're a broadcast journalist. If I can do it, you can do it, Renee Montagne.

The thing of it is, once you hear it, you hear it everywhere. It's like libary and picher (those things that you hang on the wall). And it slowly drives you mad. You know, in that Paris Hiltonian kind of way.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Gettin' it

You know that old adage, "Be careful what you wish for, you just may get it"? Yeah, that one. Well, I wished for grad school. I wished to strike out on my own after 15 years of living with my husband (and roommates before that and parents before that except for one summer) and become a scientific superstar. Well, I got part of it. I'm in grad school and I'm out on my own. Rather, I'm all alone. Alone when I find out that my husband is not doing so well -- he's having some health problems (and though he's not alone - his mother is there - he's not with me and I'm being a horrible wife, etc. etc. -- this is my own guilt, he's being a sweetheart) -- alone when my computer dies -- which is my main source of information, entertainment and acedemic research -- alone when it storms and is dark and beautiful and scary and did I mention dark? Not that I'm afraid of the dark, but there's something about all of that that can make it obvious just how alone you really are.

I'm not really complaining, I'm just going through some time of wondering. Since I first decided to apply to PhD programs, people have been asking me, "What are you going to do when you're done?" and I've been evasive, hoping that in five years this answer will become clear to me. But, really, what am I going to do when I'm done? Some people think that a PhD in biological sciences/molecular biology means that the gravy train will be rolling in. And that's simply not true. Money certainly isn't the sole reason to do anything, but it is a consideration when you're basically doing a five-year stint to increase your education so you can get a job at the other end. Which, let's face it, is what I'm doing.

I don't know what I'm trying to say, and I don't think there's anything I really need to hear. I'm just spilling my guts because some say that's what these here blogs is for. I'm not content right now. I can't focus on anything. For awhile I just thought it was an ADD phase I'm prone to. But yesterday I cried about 18 times and that's not usually part of it. The hard thing to admit is, I'm not loving grad school and I really, really thought I would. I'm not going to do anthing rash about it. I'm going to ride this out and see what happens. It's all I can do. Right now, I'm woefully unprepared for an exam that will take place in about an hour and a half and I should go cram whatever I can.

And yes, I did say my computer died. So updates are going to be sparse until I figure out what do to about that.