I hate underspun yarns.

A lot. Today, Mini Mochi lost its charm. I was casting on for the second sock and the yarn stretched and broke rather than let me do a long tail cast on. I had to cut the piece off, find a better spun part, and start over. I need plied yarns not stupid underspun singles.

That is all.

soooo tired

Audiobooks: repeating some J.D.Robb. Not terribly exciting.

Knitting: A plain ribbed sock for me in mini-mochi. Soft and nice shades of blue, green, and purple. Deep rich colors, not gaudy or laud. Nice sheen to the yarn. Pictures? What pictures? Any guesses as to where I put my camera? I haven't seen it in months.

School: did a joint activity with Naval Engineering Facilities Command for the last two days. Geocaching, math problems, and hazmat relay races, oh my! Can't wait to do it again. Meanwhile, the juniors have completed their high stakes testing so now we just need to wait to see if the scores moved in the right direction.

Good news: Two school days of hiking around the field in the sunshine :-)

Bad news: My face sunburned. It really shouldn't surprise me. I've had the same skin for 31 years.

Grad school: one of my partners is a total flake. The other is really good, though.

Other: Two days without an after-school nap is too many. Also, it is a bummer to realize that I cannot catch up on homework for one class on Sat morning because I need to attend the other one. Bad planning.

Off to bed now. Good night.

Drive-by blogging

Audiobooks: I've been on a huge Ngaio Marsh kick. Revisiting the mysteries I used to steal from my mom's bookshelves as a child. My only gripe is that they are pretty formulaic. Some action happens, someone dies, Roderick Allyn comes in, figures it out in approximately two days, and sits everyone down and tells them what happens. At the end, the murderer confesses (usually feigning insanity) or commits suicide. Also, a couple who has just met in the last few days falls in love and decides to get married. I still like them though.

Knitting: Finished a Multnomah shawl for Kevin's mom for mother's day. Used two skeins of socks that rock lightweight. One was a rare gem -- brown and red and blue -- and the other is Jabberwocky, which is lots of colors but with similar browns and reds. They blend really well. I really should figure out how to post some pictures. Need to find some new mindless knitting for class tomorrow. I may start another one of those.

Good news: Kevin is in the army. Boot camp August 24.

Bad news: Kevin is in the army. Boot camp August 24.

School: Everybody loves the Van de Graff generator. I highly recommend them. Watching the kids shock each other and make people's hair stand on end is too funny.

Grad school: Some of the books are weird and insulting to both me and to my students. Political correctness gone bad. I have to be somewhat careful of stating this opinion however, since my professor picked them and obviously likes them.

Other stuff: Sleep is nice. I miss it.

I have got to get better at this whole posting thing

I'm jealous, and it's all my own fault.

I'm jealous of people publishing their own knitting patterns, but have yet to try to publish any of my own.

I'm jealous of people writing every day, but don't actually take the time to do it myself.

I'm proud of my knitting, but don't take pictures of it to show anyone else.

I want to be done with my masters, but kept putting off going back to school.

The moral of the story is: I'm a scared idiot. I think that's why I've been avoiding LJ. It adds accountability and I've been avoiding that.

There is time every day, and I have to use it. And even more so now that I'm enrolled in grad school again. Two classes, one Wed night, one Sat morning. I'll be ok if I do what I have to do, but procrastination could kill me.

So back to our regularly scheduled post:

Audiobook for commute:
Peter and Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson is WONDERFUL! It's a Peter pan prequel. Great story, emotionally relevant, well-written, and there are sequels!

Frozen by Larry Johnson gives me mixed feelings. It's a whistle-blower account of working at a cryonics firm (one of those places that freezes dead people in the hope that someday they can be thawed out, cured, and live again or forever). I did not like the style, but it was such compelling subject matter that I couldn't turn it off. And when I say compelling, I mean creepy. It made me vaugely sick to my stomach, and that doesn't happen much. If you like being creeped out, and by real life, not fiction, give this one a try. And don't freeze your body.

Daisy Dalrymple mysteries by Carola Dunn are fabulous! Classic mystery set during the 20s. A little short, but well-written and charming. And once again -- sequels! woo-hoo!

Knitting: The Firebird socks are in time-out. There was an incident with melted chocolate and running colors and they are still in time out. The fury was considerable.

I am on a shawl kick. Two Argus shawls done (one significantly bigger than the pattern says) and working on Multnomah with STR yarn. Pictures to come.

School: About to start a Rube Goldberg project. Should be fun and infuriating. Hopefully education will happen.

Good news: Friend with cancer does not have to do radiation because cancer was caught early enough. Also, grad school.

Bad news: Grad school work. But I like being busy, right?

Final thought: See beginning of entry. Onward to the gym . . .
god dice

Knitting olympics and a new format

Audiobook for commute: Naked Sun by Isaac Asimov. I've probably read this before, but that was a long time ago and I've forgotten the plot. So far, so good (approx 2 hours in). I don't think this will ever be a favorite, but interesting and engaging enough to keep the road rage at bay.

Knitting: I am primarily working on my Knitting Olympics project. I am making the Firebird socks by Tsarina. They are beautiful beyond belief, and very hard. Tsarina doesn't pull punches on her patterns. So far I have the first foot done including the heel. I am stalled at an instruction I REALLY don't understand, so I will take a deep breath and tackle that one tomorrow. Maybe even a picture . . .

School: The copiers are broken again. The computers still don't work, and the IT dept has started blocking many educationally useful sites. I'll argue with them tomorrow. The kids were everything I expected after a 4 day weekend. Still, it's a better job than anything else I can think of.

Good news: I love the Olympics. Watching K get into the figure skating while pretending not to care is really cute. I wish I could snowboard.

Bad news: My best friend was diagnosed with cancer. The socks were going to be for me. Now they're for her. Major surgery for her the beginning of March. Crap.

Final thought: Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday. I haven't celebrated church holidays for a long time, but I still define my year by them in many ways. Watching my friends post what they're giving up has made me think if it is still a meaningful holiday. I am still undecided, but will be pondering that all day tomorrow.

Hey! An entry! I'm not dead.

I haven't written for a long time, and I've had a lot of changes in my life. I've moved twice, now live with my boyfriend, and am planning for a serious future with him. (There isn't a ring yet, but it's probably just a matter of time.) I've been knitting (big surprise) and trying to keep my footing with all the change.

I don't do very well with change, but I'm trying.

I've started jogging, not terribly successfully, but I figure some is better than none. I'm going to keep working on that. I'd like to run a 5K by the summer, which seems a realistic goal.

I'm going back to grad school in March to finish my Master's degree, and I think that's a good thing. There's 4 classes left. It needs to happen. I should be done with that by the end of the summer.

I'm trying to do yoga 3X a week or more. When I do that, I don't get tension headaches, and the chronic pain in my hip goes away. At 30, I'm too young for chronic pain.

I got whooping cough at Thanksgiving, and spent a month sick. For the record, make sure the next tetanus shot you get also has the whooping cough vaccine built in (pertussis). There are two kinds of tetanus shots, and I got the wrong one. You don't want this disease. It made the move a lot more complicated since any exertion, like say walking up the stairs, started me coughing unless I laid down for 2 hours. And that was after TWO different prescription cough meds.

I got a wii for Christmas, and it's a wonderful gadget. Lots of fun, although I'm crap at Boom Blox.

I'm the GM for a Trinity campaign. It's an old White Wolf RPG, which has a lot of problems (probably why they sold it off) but has a fabulous concept. Every time we do a session, we all end up laughing, so that's a good thing. Yesterday, a doctor character got a 4 die botch in combat and stabbed himself in the neck with a syringe of sedative that he was allergic to. And then another character with minimal medicine skill wanted to try to give him a tracheotomy and was surprised to learn that she would probably have killed the doctor if another character had not stopped this plan. It was a good time. The party also stopped the bad guy. The fact that they were supposed to take him alive was just details, and will in no way complicate their lives down the road. I swear.

I'm still teaching high school science. There was some stupid politics at the beginning of the year, but I'm hanging in. The kids remain both wonderful and frustrating, sometimes at the same time, as teenagers are wont to do.

Other than that, same old, same old. I'm going to try to write more often again. I've missed it, so it's time to do that too.

Wish me luck.

Time flies when you're running around

Good news! I can now access LJ during the day again. That's the time when I'm awake, alert, and actually want to share stuff about my life.

Other good news -- the last day of school with kids is June 8, not June 9 like I thought. One less day of work. Yeah! Snow days are brutal in June.

Yet more good news -- no swine flu at my school. There is some in the surrounding suburbs, but none here yet. That's good, because I'm pretty stressed and worried I'd catch it. All of the times I've had the flu, I've been very stressed. That's 3 times, way more than most people.

Why am I stressed? Well -- many reasons. Each individually is not too bad, but together they are making me nervy.

1. K is still job-hunting and has reached the insanity point in this process. Numbers of resumes sent in the 100s, no interviews. It sucks, and I'm worried about him. Now that we're living together, it's hard to let that worry go even though I can't do anything about it.

2. I have not yet received official notice that I am rehired for next school year. The principal said I was going to be rehired, but until I get that piece of paper, I will remain nervous. Teaching jobs are brutal this year too. Lots of schools are cutting lots of staff. Mine included.

3. I'm still adjusting to the rythyms of this new living arrangement. I'm doing pretty well with the commute at this point, but living with K, upstairs from my mother, is still a bit odd. My mom does not believe there's a man alive good enough for me (taken to a greater extreme than with most parents simply because of the horror that was my father), and so has doubts about K. He's growing on her, but it's a slow process.

and finally . . .

4. Students are dumb. Sometimes this bothers me more than others. The seniors are making poor choices, and some of them won't graduate because of it, and it just makes me mad. They need to work for 2 more weeks only, and they can't seem to manage it. I hate saying that kids can't graduate, but 34% does not cut it. I won't be party to creating the unrealistic expectation that there are no consequences for skipping class and not doing work.

Overall, life is still good. The new space is gorgeous. I still like teaching (if only they would come to be taught). I'm about 95% sure I have a job next year. All good things. And hey, there's always knitting for when things get bad. I have my current sock in the classroom today, and the kids are doing book work. I'm going to grade and knit today, and enjoy the winding down of the school year. It will all work out somehow.

Sometimes I go home

The software at school now blocks LJ access so I can only write at home when I am awake enough to be coherent.

That's pretty funny.

I'm getting better about the new schedule (for the record 4:45 am is early). I'll write more this weekend. I have knitting pictures and home pictures. Good stuff.

So, for the record, I'm alive and well. I hope everyone else is good too.

Not my worries

I am not worried. My life is good. I am taking deep breaths and remaining calm and happy.

The move is done. We are far from unpacked and organized, but we are moved. So far, so good. My cats are settling in and finding new and exciting places to sleep. We even had company yesterday, so there were new people to sit on (my big orange boy) or flirt with (my tortie). I'll take pictures soon, I swear. The new space is everything I hoped it would be. It's a home in a way that the old apartment never was.

However, I feel a little guilty about being so happy. K is starting to get antsy with worry, having still not found a job. It really doesn't help that his experience is in construction. That is not a good field right now. It hurts him that he can't take care of me more right now. He is giving me all that I need from him, but he would like to do more and that is not possible without a job. Oh -- and he had to get a root canal this week. It's not been his week.

Another friend was diagnosed with leukemia this week. I care, but it's not messing with my equilibrium. It's for now, at least, a watch and wait kind of deal. I'm more worried about his wife, who I think of as fragile. I don't know if that's accurate or not, but it's my perception. Even so, it's not really denting my internal happiness.

I care about K finding a job, I care about my friend having cancer, but I am still happy. I can't control those things, and my letting myself become a wreck won't help them.

I am happy, but I don't know what it says that I feel vaguely guilty about it.

I've lost it.

The stress of moving is officially eating my brain. Well, and other things too. I am catching myself slipping back into bad patterns of both thought and behavior. The patterns I recognize from my bouts of depression. I am not depressed. I am stressed. Moving is stressful. Stress is a normal reaction, and my stress level will decrease again by this time next week. I can cope until and through the weekend.

Another thing that's bugging me is that student at my school got shot over the weekend. He was in the park and flashed some gang signs at 3 other people (children, maybe even from my school) with guns. They haven't caught the shooters yet. The student was declared brain dead on Monday. His family hasn't decided what to do yet. This is not a kid I teach. I haven't even met him, but the senselessness of it bothers me a lot. And since the family hasn't decided to turn off the machines yet, we can't have a full school discussion about it.

Also, a student has been telling me about a situation with her sister. Her sister attempted suicide last week and is in the psych hospital. Contributing factors included students pressuring her to have sex and do drugs. However, the friends of this poor child will not back up her story because it would be "snitching" and they don't snitch. This means that the kids doing the illegal, inappropriate, and bullying behavior will have no consequences, because the administration can't act against them without collaboration of the girl's story. This makes me REALLY mad. I don't understand a culture where it's more important to lie about seeing things than it is to actually help someone who is your friend escape a bad situation. It's breaking my heart.

Also, there's a homeland security drill here on Friday (the last day before spring break). This should be gobs of fun. Information is being sent home to the families, but based on what I've heard from the students, no one knows about it. This means that there will be chaos and screaming and all kinds of I don't know what. I have told my classes and had to explain to them why it's a bad idea if we were ever in a real terrorist situation to leave the classroom, go out on the roof, or attack the terrorist themselves. I am not looking forward to this.

And so, I am stressed and losing my mind. All I want to do is whimper. Tonight, I am taking in another load of donations and moving the cats. This involves catching my semi-feral nutjob kitty. K and I will get it done, and at least I won't have to worry about her on Saturday when we're moving the big stuff. It will all work out in the end. I'm sure.