Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Dog Snuggie

Before you judge, look at this picture:

Walter loves it, and even though people look ridiculous in them, I think he pulls off the Snuggie with a quiet dignity. He is currently snuggled in it on the couch, loving the warmth it provides when combined with another blanket. (The slightly crazed eyes are just because I pulled the blanket off of him and took his picture...)

Dad, Jodi, Jake, and Cosmo, consider this your thank-you note from the dog!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

A real break

Now that the holiday crafting, baking, and driving are finished, the real break begins.  Apart from some AMSA work that needs to be finished this week, and some crafting goals that will let me start fresh for the new year, I have nothing on my calendar!  The dog even recognized this and slept until 8:30 this morning.  It was amazing.

I hope everyone had a happy holiday, and is gearing up for an exciting new year!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

So close…

I am almost done with my gift crafting. I’ve let go the idea that I will send out holiday cards before the Solstice, since that was yesterday, but am still hoping to finish them up tomorrow. Today was my first real day off – I finished grading yesterday – and it was truly wonderful to knit, sew, and snuggle the dog all day. Alicia has accused me of spending my day documenting where the dog is sleeping and taking pictures of my knitting. She is closer to correct that I would like to admit…

Today he found some sheets waiting to be laundered and decided they did not yet contain enough dog hair:

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Santa’s Sweatshop*

Now that classes are over and almost all of the grading is complete, I’ve turned myself almost entirely to the crafting of Christmas/Solstice gifts for friends and family.  Though I have been diligently knitting many of my gifts since July or August, there remain a number to be sewn/knitted/crafted.  I am pleased to report that there are only a few remaining items, and that I will be completely done before the holiday.  I may even send out holiday cards before the New Year!

*I would like to note that I actually take labor practices very seriously.  My crafting is only like a sweatshop in that I have set somewhat unrealistic expectations for the amount that I will get done in the amount of time that I have, and in that the lighting is not the best in my study.  Otherwise, I am taking plenty of bathroom breaks and have relatively little fear of being fired.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Weird stuff found on the bus…

I am hoping that this won’t become a series, but when I got onto the bus a few days ago and saw this:

I was puzzled. I mean, you aren’t supposed to have any food or drink on the bus, and I’m assuming that includes beer. Add to this the fact that it was not quite 2pm and it becomes even more bizarre. Add to this the fact that it was finals time, and perhaps all is explained, but I'm not sure. I’m glad I wasn’t on the bus to see the person drinking it (as I tend to become irrationally angry when I observe others blatantly breaking the bus rules). I'm also glad I wasn't on the bus when some weird girl was taking a picture of beer cans on the bus, as that would have also seemed strange but blog-worthy...

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Winter Wonderland?

I don’t know how much longer I can take these wild fluctuations in temperature. While it’s nice that it gets warmer periodically, it makes for truly messy dog-walking, and an unattractive landscape. Everything is browner than it should be at this time of year. I think it freezing rained last night, so now there is a layer of crunchy slush on the ground. It is quite unsavory…

Here is a picture of Walt, attempting to navigate last week after a little melty snow/rain/wintery mix.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A chilling twist of fate…

I enjoyed November.  It was cool and even a little bit sunny, and I even went so far as to call it the fall I didn’t get in September and October, when it was downright hot.  I even got excited about the snow earlier this week.  I prefer winter over summer, and would rather wear layers of clothing than sunscreen.  As a direct result, I’m sure, it is currently 12 degrees Fahrenheit outside.  It is slightly sunny (which I appreciate a great deal), but it is windy, and it is cold.  This leaves only one appropriate description: “the skin-burning cold.”

Every year I forget about the skin-burning cold as anything other than an entertaining story with which to terrify new students from warmer climates.  Every year I forget that there really is no fabric on earth that can stop this kind of wind.  Every year, I get cocky and do things like not putting the liner in my coat even though I have been informed that the high for the day is the same as the low for the previous night, which was approximately 18 degrees.  And then, every year like clockwork, I’m shocked to feel the biting wind on my face, the bizarre feeling of the condensation on my eyebrows (blown up from my scarf) freezing, and the irrepressible urge to close my eyes to keep the delicate fluid inside them from freezing too. 

But take heart, dear readers, as not all is lost.  I have great plans for new knitted goods for just this sort of day, and within days, I’ll have enough free time to actually start/finish them.  That should make the winter just bearable enough that over the spring, summer, and fall, I forget how awful it really is.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009


It snowed a little yesterday, but nothing that really stuck. It’s coming down tonight though, and I got a picture that makes it look sparkly and nice.

Also, a cute picture of Walt chewing his ropes…

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Solstice Decorating

I haven’t wanted to celebrate Christmas, per se, for quite some time. I love giving (and wrapping) gifts, enjoy spending time with family, and although I could do without the stress the holiday season seems to bring with it, overall I like celebrating, I just don't like the Christian part of the holiday. Don't get me wrong, Jesus was an amazing person, but that's about as far as I go. Over the last few years, I've been more decided about celebrating the solstice, and welcoming the (too slowly) lengthening days and shortening nights.

Since I've had a place to decorate, I’ve only been variably good about doing so. This was due in part to ambivalence, in part to being really really busy around this time of year, and in part to being overall less than thrilled with the Christmas-iness of the decorations. This year, I've hardly had second thoughts. After deciding that the tree is a lovely symbol for the coming solstice, and the decorations decidedly wintery, secular, and crafted by generations of family crafters, I put them all up.

By the door, there is the jingly Rudolph with a surprising sprig of holly coming out of his forehead. To the best of my recollection, this was crafted by my paternal grandmother, and I like the bells just inside the door.

On the wall is the amazing advent calendar created by my maternal grandmother during her Sequin Period. Some of the ornaments have been lost over time, and this year the 21 remaining are perfect for a countdown to the solstice.
The star ornament has long been lost so I use my favorite one, fondly termed the-many-eyed-bunny as the top of the tree. His lovely sequined face makes him look a little bit like he was exposed to a lot of radiation in utero, but he's so sparkly and cute anyway.

Finally, I set up the little tree I got from dad and Jodi when I started college. I managed to wrap the beautiful tree skirt mom (somewhat preemptively) made for me a few years ago when I started medical school, and it makes the whole area look more festive. It's sitting with some little snowmen, two made my Grandma Rita, and one from Alicia's mom several years ago. They look so wintery and happy that I almost (but only almost) want it to snow.

Happy December!

Friday, December 04, 2009

I passed!

Things I have learned this week:

1. Do not send e-mails under acute stress.  Something will be wrong with them.

2. Do not compile important pdfs under acute stress.  Something will be wrong with them.

3. Even if every little thing that could possibly go wrong does, it is still possible to pass and feel like a good person. 


Thursday, December 03, 2009

A moment of panic, not a moment too soon…

My prospectus defense is tomorrow, and I realized, incredibly fortuitously as I was answering another e-mail a moment ago, that I had not, in fact, sent my entire committee the lovely revised draft (with my name on it, and the pages numbered, all of those little things) of my prospectus.  I am now mortified, but at least it’s out now and they have more than 24 hours to look at it.  Thankfully not much has changed since the draft went out a few weeks ago. 

My heart rate is starting to slow…