Roadhouse Blues

October 21, 2010 § 2 Comments

This week isn’t particularly better than the last one. Some things have improved from last week; however, other things have emerged that make me want to bang my head against the nearest available surface.

At least Andi has the early shift at Starbucks this week, so there’s a friendly face and a free extra espresso shot in the morning. I love Andi. He is my coffee god.

Also, after last week and my embarrassing whiny outburst, I’ve decided to channel my whininess into creative processes. I bet you all have a fairly good idea of what that might be. A hint: It’s not cleaning my desk, although that is long overdue, but that would mean untangling at least three skeins of sock yarn from each other. Do not want.

Instead, because today was a crappy day, I made focaccia. I always try to make some kind of yeast dough when I’m impatient and easily irritated, because it doesn’t work without letting it rest. It’s a valuable lesson. Also, I love that warm, yeasty, herb-y smell that reminds me of summer and the beach.

And then I knit a hat. A whole hat. In a day. I’m three quarters done with my Brambles scarf, so I figured I’d make the hat before finishing it. It’s not that I have project ADD,  (alright, I do have project ADD. In fact I’m two seconds away from starting an experimental Norwegian-inspired, merino-lined Alpaca hat for my father. Or… something.) – point being, I wanted to see how much yarn I’d have left over from the hat, so I could see whether or not I could make tassels for the scarf. The yarn I have is from two different lots, since I bought them almost a year apart, but the lots are reasonably close.

Which, it turns out, was a blessing, because my tassel plan kind of backfired: I actually had to use some of the scarf yarn for the last five rows or so of the hat. Oops.

Still, a cute, warm, orange hat in a day. And no tassels for the scarf.

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It’s funny, the color is incredibly hard to photograph. I played around with the settings and the lighting just now, and out of ten different photos, there’s not two that capture the shade of the yarn alike. The closest I’ve come to reality is this photo of the scarf from last week or so:

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I have no idea why I never got around to posting this before. Incidentally, it was taken the same day I took the new header photo. (Opinions on that, by the way? Good? Bad? Meh?)

Speaking of things I haven’t gotten around to showing off – the new hair! (Recognize the cardi? I knit that!)

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So, yeah. Seeing as there isn’t a demo this week to unhinge the entire public transportation system, there’s a pretty good chance I’m gonna pay the Strickcafé an overdue visit. Then Supernatural and cooking with Christian. Even if this week sucked, there’s still the weekend to look forward to. Nice job I did there on putting together my week.

A díos le pido

October 14, 2010 § Leave a comment

Dude.

I don’t know what’s up with the last week being majorly sucktastic, but it looks like the entire semester might follow in its footsteps and that does not make me happy.

My Spanish module is full of people who have spent an extended period of time in Hispanic countries, which is great for them and intimidating for me and the other four or so people (out of 25) who haven’t actually taught Chilean homeless kids proper Spanish or something. Also I seem to have forgotten everything I ever learned over break, so there’s the teensy bit of grammar to deal with until, well, yesterday.

When I got back home from my first Spanish lesson I just poured myself a stiff drink and went to take a hot bath, that’s how bad it was. The only silver lining is that there’s a really cute girl in my class, which is great except that I was so much looking forward to learning Spanish without distraction, and there she is, and my concentration goes to hell. At least this time it’s not a highly inappropriate crush. That’s something, I guess.

Hispanistics is comparatively okay, except the times kind of blow ass; and the module for my major is a) full of my least favorite teachers and b) full of my least favorite people. And the times aren’t that great either.

And usually I’d try and go easy on this semester this early on. Give it a chance, y’know. Try to see the positive sides and knit my troubles away.

Except that Christmas is 70 days from now, I haven’t cast on my sister’s cardigan yet, and the Watson sweater is one catastrophe after the other. I frogged for the third time today – at first it was too small, then way too big, and now I randomly cast on 22 stitches less than I should have. No idea how, since I cast on with markers every 20 stitches, but lo and behold, when I was done with the ribbing and trying to set up the body pattern, everything went to crap. (It’s not that I’m bad at math, either. Saskia’s sweater, for some reason, is working out perfectly.)

What’s more, my wrist is starting to hurt. 70 days before Christmas.

Really, I just want something, anything to go right this week. Square dance is a relatively safe bet – everything we could possibly do on Friday I learned last weekend, so I can pretty much sit back and enjoy. Or, y’know, the dancing-my-ass-off equivalent.

I’m also planning on baking Maple-Walnut bread (what could possibly go wrong, huh) and curling up under a blanket for the weekend.

Seriously. Dear God, please have this week not be an omen for the rest of the semester.

Pick a star on the dark horizon

July 13, 2010 § 5 Comments

Today is one of these days where I realize how much I need knitting. Cause sometimes, when things derail, it’s the only thing that I have control over, and that’s something that’s kept me from completely freaking out more than once.

I’ve been knitting due to Spanish a lot this semester.

Part of it has been due to the exhausting pace of this semester, which I didn’t feel as devastatingly as some of my classmates. And, I mean, I love Spanish, but even I had a lot of days where I felt like I was drowning in an acid lake of Spanish grammar and vocab work, and all I wanted to do was curl up and die. I knit instead. At my own pace. Without pressure, without deadlines, without the icy breath of upcoming exams in my neck.

Some of it was the usual things – getting up too early after too little sleep, too much caffeine, and in the last month and a half or so, the ridiculous heat that’s been sweeping over Germany. I don’t deal well with heat at the best of times, and my brain eventually turns to much when I’ve been sweating since 8 am. Surprisingly enough, 20 minutes or half an hour of knitting before Spanish helped more often than not, even in the summer heat. I knit on three pairs of socks in between my Pre-Socatic Philosophers class and Spanish, on Haruni, the TARDIS cowl, and on most of the smaller pieces of the Girl Friday cardigan.

Then there’s the not inconsiderable factor that I fancy the pants off my teacher. Most of the time, my pathetic little crush is useful, it’s a great motivator and it keeps things interesting even if people ask the same mundane question for the fifth time. But I’ll admit that yes, I’ve knit quite a bit to distract me from all the naughty things I’d like to do to her.

Today, I knit because I was close to snapping. My written Spanish exam went surprisingly well, even the hearing comprehension. And then came the free text, which is my forte. Usually. Except I took too long, because somehow even after two years of uni, I’m still used to 4-hour-exams where I can take my time, except today I couldn’t, and I didn’t make the minimal word count. And consequently freaked out.

I wrote a hysteric email to my teacher as soon as I set foot in the apartment, and she calmed me down – apparently the worst that can happen is that I lose a single point, not more. But all the way back home, and the wait for her reply – oh god, I was so freaked out. But in the tram, I pulled out my Teal Hat, which worked its calming magic a little (because that’s what hand-knits do, especially for me), and then I pulled out my sock, and I mechanically knit while staring a wide-eyed thousand-yard stare. It kept me from screaming. From crying. From completely losing it, right in the middle of the tram, from the sheer terror.

I know it’s kind of an exaggerated reaction. It’s not the end of the world, and even if I botched it, it’s still just Spanish. But I’ve put so much work into it the last two semesters, there’s the pressure of following up last semester’s good grade, and… there’s the control issue.

I ran out of time. Time allotted by someone else. I had no control over it. If I’d had just five more minutes, I could’ve gotten the 200 words easily. But it was out of my hands.

Sometimes I just need that extra bit of control.

So I knit.

What’s my age again?

May 5, 2010 § 3 Comments

I haven’t been blogging a lot recently, and truth to be told, it’s not necessarily because I don’t knit as much as I could. Hell, I’ve written a lot more about a lot less. No, the real problem is that for some reason, I seem to be going through an extremely puerile phase of general dissatisfaction and cantankerousness.

I don’t know what it is, either. The weather has been gorgeous for the most part, I’ve been eating healthy except for the enormous amounts of coffee I ingest Tuesdays and Wednesdays, uni is interesting, we finally got our queer uni group rolling, I have a super-hot teacher, I’m making progress on the Stole, I just updated my blog layout… it should be all good.

Except for the part where I’m cranky and bitchy and generally kind of a major pain to be around. I’m mostly chalking it up to being in a perpetual state of terror from Spanish while at the same time being bored out of my skull, but in this case identifying the problem hasn’t helped the solution. I don’t feel like studying, period, and when I do manage to motivate myself, I can’t even come up with anything resembling focus – the words just slide off my brain like water off glass.

Honestly, the color of those damn vocab cards alone has such rage welling up inside of me. Just… rage. Terrible. Especially for someone who’s usually a happy, well-adjusted person.

I know, bitch-bitch-bitch. I sound like such a brat. Which is, you know, exactly my point.

Have some delicious breakfast instead.

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The Good Book Says

December 16, 2009 § 8 Comments

Got hit by karma overnight – cause as soon as I got too cocky, somebody apparently decided to knock me down a few rungs, and ta-dah, let me introduce the head cold from hell. Of doom. The musical.

Actually, no musical, but it’s one of those phrases that make everything sound awesome.

Good news of the day: my package to the US was small enough to count as a letter, so it might actually be there for Christmas. And it only cost me €6 for shipping. Which is a whopping €19 less than the big parcel I sent last year. (And I sent two of those.) I was totally anticipating to pay with my firstborn son or something, but no, what a pleasant surprise.

Also, it’s still snowing. Or snowing again. I’m not entirely sure.

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So anyway, I’m huddled up in bed, wrapped in a down blanket and two stadium blankets, I smell like a koala farm from the eucalyptus bath I just had, and I think I’m gonna sleep a bit. Maybe when I wake up I’ll be able to breathe.

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(look at them lips! I swear, they’re my favorite feature. also, I’m impressed at myself, usually around this time they’re already cracked and bitten to hell.)

It’s therapeutic somehow

November 5, 2009 § 3 Comments

I’ve got a headache from hell and I didn’t get anything done today…

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… but when I look at those pictures, it feels like it’s still kind of a good day.

Charlie you look quite down

June 5, 2009 § 3 Comments

Ugh. I hate, hate, hate Christian’s neighbors. All I wanted was to sleep and there was some person with a megaphone at the kindergarten around the corner, and now that that’s finally stopped – somebody started mowing the lawn. Which feels like a sledgehammer to my hung-over head.

Anyways. I’ve barely been knitting, which is weird. Lots of meta-knitting though, I have more or less decided to do Muir next, in the green merino lace yarn, which I still have to wind into a ball sometime soonish. But in the past 24 hours? I forgot my knitting bag at home, so all I could do was knit a bit on the bikini team project that’s been lugging around (Christian for the straps, me for the cups, Saskia for the neckband) but it’s kinda see-throughy. What else did I expect with 2.5mm though. Doop.

So, yeah. The real reason I’m posting here? Because I needed to note somewhere that Christian just gave himself a wedgie. That takes some very special talent.

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