Book Frenzy

I am way behind in my Goodreads reading quota for the year. So, to make up for it, I’ve been reading at least two books a day since yesterday to catch up. Any faster and I wouldn’t derive enjoyment from the books. Any slower and I’d get bored with the material, open something else and basically do for books what I do for knitting and crocheting.

 

Thus far, I’m doing pretty well. I’ve read Sonia Sotomayor’s My Beloved World…finally. I started her book in January. I must say, it was an interesting read. I learned a lot about a few things, mainly those elusive Soft Skills I wasn’t taught, just in reading her book. It was heartening to see that, at my age (thirty-six years), it isn’t unique to struggle in this area. Reading through her life story encouraged me to redouble my efforts at all the things I’m currently working on to better acclimate to the changing strata I’m finding myself in as I navigate these new business and volunteer opportunities before me.

 

Then, for a bit of light reading, I picked up Twilight from the Maryland Digital eLibrary Consortium. Don’t hate or judge. I mainly got it because I wanted something that was cotton candy reading after the meatier offering I’d just finished. So, I’m going to finish all five original books, which shouldn’t take long. If I recall my ancient reading correctly, I didn’t mind the Short Second Life of Bree Tanner so much but it has been a while.

 

Once I finish those, I’m going to read Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J. K. Rowling, Science Matters: Achieving Scientific Literacy by Robert M. Hazen. I also have a host of other books waiting in the wings to be read. Most of them, I’ve read before and I’m just going over them again because I’m playing reading catch up with myself and they’re an easier read. Once I get back to where I should be in my reading list, I have quite a few good ones lined up. L’engle, Atwood, etc., that I just have sitting here, collecting dust for want of a good reading.

 

Onto the WIPs Clearout Extravaganza. I am presently on round eight of the doily for my neighbor. Sustained injuries have not only kept me from this blog for an extended period but have also kept me from doing any meaningful crafting owing to the pain. Nevertheless, I’m going to keep trying. My left arm’s elbow and my right shoulder hurt something fierce right now but, long term, I can’t let that get in the way of all I want to do. I am loathe to make a deadline but I am shooting for finishing this Pineapple Doily by tonight. To be honest, it has been long enough lounging on my desk. The other intended doilies may have to take a back seat depending on factors influencing my getting them to their intended recipients.

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Once the doily is completed, I am going to make a genuine effort at stitching together the In Love With Color throw. At the very least, I can get the sewing aspect out of the way, even if I have trouble lifting the actual throw for long periods or stitching the edging.

 

Getting clear of these will enable me to focus on the volunteer work I’ve picked up with regard to knitting and crocheting. I’m also doing other things but this will be eating up the bulk of my volunteer time. I’m going to do my level best to aim for making as much as my yarn supply will allow. I’m hoping to deplete my worsted/Aran yarn supply completely actually without having to buy new yarn. Though, if I run out of a particular color, I may have to buy one more skein of it but I don’t see it happening anytime soon.

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The plant babies are growing fantastically. Everything is so verdant, the mood in my room is definitely a cheery one. The Mega Cherry Tomato and Sweet Pickle Organic Pepper are competing for which can out fruit the other. As far as I can tell, it is a statistical dead heat. I’m looking forward to the first true harvests from both though, I have been sneaking peppers.

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I am, somewhat, in shock at what I’m about to type. After years of avoiding makeup of any kind at all cost, I purchased three tubes (Do they call them “tubes”?) of lipstick. I also purchased some nail polish, base coat, top coat, and remover. I loathe the stuff but it is a necessary function to get by on in business settings. So, I found the least offensive colors to me that were still acceptable to the masses. I hope this works. It seems such a tedious waste of my time.

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I guess the next step would be styling my hair. *cringe*

 

Regardless of my feelings on the matter, I have already mixed the hair stuff from available oils and such that I had around the house. It is only a matter that I use it. When I’m earning expensive tastes money, I’ll consider the Carol’s Daughter/Shea Moisture options. For now, it has to be homemade hair cream and Suave shampoo.

 

I’ve somewhat paid attention to the Natural Hair vloggers and bloggers in passing but, given my utilitarian manner, I normally didn’t go for the styles I saw and opted, instead, for a drawn back puff or two puffs. Quite frankly, it is far easier to deal with and enables me to put on my hat in Winter without worrying about possibly messing up my hairstyle. Crap, I guess the Cornrow obsession is going to start again. At least I have a book, It’s All Good Hair by Michelle N-K Collison, to sustain me, as well as countless YouTube videos.

 

I think that’s about it. See ya next month or whenever I can get to writing here! Yay!

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Live and Learn

I made two boo boos with this cardigan.

 

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Brace yourselves.

 

I didn’t check my gauge. I have two Knit Checks and I didn’t bother because I usually always make gauge. As far as I can tell, I did this time as well but, when making garments, especially when so much effort is invested, it’s a good idea to take the time to make sure everything matches up.

 

The second thing I think must have happened was the omission of some pattern repeats in the pattern itself. This cardigan is tiny. It would barely fit on a six year old child. I’m thinking of dressing it up as a “play coat” and giving it to the neighbor’s granddaughter. Prior to this epic fail in fashion, I’d never made a cardigan before. However, I have made shawls. Something about the rhythm of the pattern screams out for a multi-row pattern repeat or two.

 

My suspicions about this are even further validated by the sheer length of the other cardigans made by fellow members on Ravelry. One couldn’t possibly block something out to those dimensions without there being more than was written on the paper.

 

So, lessons learned. I am, instead, focusing on making myself (what I hope will be) a quick shawl before NaNoWriMo begins. I need a crocheting accomplishment prior to writing. It’s going to be one of my NaNo traditions. Since the cardigan didn’t do it for me and I am sick to tears of sweaters right now, I am focused on making the Sidewalk Shawl. Yet, I’m also wacky and complex. So, I’m making the shawl in Knit Pick’s Diadem Solid fingering weight yarn. Weeks from now, the avalanche of “I told you so” messages will be unwieldy.

 

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I’m going to get back to crocheting now. Getting this shawl done will free my mind up to be creative in writing. At least, that’s the hope.

 

Thank you for reading. Have a fantastic day.

My Personal Marathons

As noted in my previous post, I’ve been quite busy recently. Really, it’s all just my subterfuge to get away from doing the leg work I should be doing for NaNoWriMo. I’m intensely nervous about making a flaming Olympus Mons of crap writing, so I’ve been avoiding getting ready by diving into projects.

 

Well, I’ve messed up my “go to” crocheting project enough that I have to frog it and start over and I have an unfinished knitting project sitting on my soon to be decommissioned desk. As of this afternoon, I’ve successfully finished a project (Amigurumi Adipose) I’ve been putting off since 2012 and I feel it’s now time to buckle down and get my mental state prepared for NaNoWriMo.

 

 

Hello, World. What think you of my Adipose Baby? It took me only a few hours to do despite all the procrastination I put forth in making it. I remember a time when I was putting forth an effort at fighting this tendency in myself. I really must reignite the war against my bad habits.

 

At least I didn’t procrastinate on this any further than this. I still have enough time to come up with something passable to write by November.

 

After eleven years, this rickety desk is going out of my life. It is a secondhand hand-me-down from a neighbor who moved out of our previous residence who sold the Maternal Parental a love seat when we had no furniture to speak of. I’ve bad mouthed this table a lot over the years and cursed its existence but it really has been there for me as a constant presence. I’m going to miss the splinters, the near constant threat of my computer and other items crashing to the floor, the sticky drawers and all the other little things that will probably come to mind as I’m putting together this desk’s replacement.

 

Speaking of the replacement. I am getting a South Shore Annexe Home Office Computer Desk in Pure Black to match my bookcases, which are also South Shore. It’ll be nice having a stable desk with some space. I’m still trying to figure out how the internal stuff is going to be rearranged, as it only has one drawer, but I’m sure I’ll make it work somehow.

 

You see, this is the beginning of a redecorating plan for my room and, to a lesser extent, my home. If this decommissioned desk is wanted by the Maternal Parental, she’ll have a desk to sit and write at in her room. All I’ll need to do is get her a chair and floor mat. Update: She doesn’t want it. Saves me some money.

 

From there, I’m doing the shocking and unbelievable for me. After nearly ten years, I’m getting a bed to sleep in. I know! Shocking! I’m so used to the floor, it’s going to be so weird sleeping above that level. I’m reconciled to it though. I have everything for this endeavor picked out too, from the mattresses (Daybed with trundle) to the bedding to the pillows.

 

I am also getting rid of the Brown Battle Beast and its table in some manner. Even if it’s just putting it in the closet. In all honesty, I don’t use it. It’s just taking up space, collecting dust, and being a stand for various plants and my lamp (which is also going out of here). I don’t have all the parts to it, so selling it is not a likely scenario but if someone did make me a good offer on my circa 1950s 301a Singer Sewing Machine with table, I wouldn’t refuse.

 

After that is taken care of, I am going to save up and buy the Maternal Parental an Ikea sofa and two lamps she likes as a gift.

 

About the only other things I’m getting myself are a floor lamp and a second printer stand for my room. The floor lamp will be to replace the lamp currently sitting on the Brown Battle Beast’s table and the printer stand will be a matching one to the one currently holding the Aerogarden of Hope, only it will be for my actual printer.

 

Without going into too much detail… (looks up at the preceding and laughs) …there are going to be a few changes in my life over the next few years which require I rearrange things in my room and life drastically. How’s that for cryptic vagaries?

 

About the only other thing happening right now is Jalapeno pepper population explosion. I shook the pepper plant a few times, not really expecting much, and was pleasantly surprised today to find several peppers already developing. I know one isn’t supposed to compare children but I really wish the tomatoes would perform like this. One can only eat so many jalapenos before one gets tired of them.

 

That is all. Enjoy your day. Be well.

Found My Old Autobiography

Several years ago, I wrote out a brief outline of my life. It’s around twenty pages and growing. I did it mainly as a form of catharsis due to all the negative stuff I’ve had happen in my life. It worked too, so I’d highly recommend this as a supplement to therapy. In its current form, it goes from ages 0 – 27 years or, roughly, the years 1981 – 2008. I have plans to expand upon it up to the present day (I’m now 34) over the next few days as a means of getting my creative juices flowing for NaNoWriMo.

 

In other less boring news, I’ve harvested all the rest of the Jalapeno peppers.

I was watching YouTube’s Praxxus55712 and he explained how taking the first flush of peppers off would yield another two or three harvests down the road. So, up the stairs I went and cut the little fiends off of the plant. Already, there are new flowers coming in and signs of more growth. I’m really hoping that the tomatoes catch up with the pepper plant soon. From the looks of things, I might have to raise the hood light again.

 

Now, I just have to figure out what to do with all the jalapeno peppers I have. If you, my dear readers, have any suggestions, please leave them in the comments? I was thinking Nachos or homemade salsa or something. So far, I’ve been putting them in my eggs but that gets old quickly. Plus, everyone around me is a lightweight. So, giving them away isn’t an option.

 

Onto Project Central. Nothing is happening there. I’ve been so busy chasing down the Maternal Parental for some quality time that I haven’t been doing much with my projects. We’ve been trying to look at the last Hobbit movie but she gets sleepy, then I do, then she wants cigarettes. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. I should just focus on my own stuff for now given I’ve signed up for something so big as NaNoWriMo but I like spending quality time with her.

 

The Caregiver’s Cardigan is only a few more rows completed. Somehow, I don’t think I’ll make the deadline for NaKniSweMo for this thing. Still, as long as I get it done before the Holidays, I’ll be happy.

 

The Mystery Stuffed Toy hasn’t been touched since I mentioned it in the vlog days ago. If I focus on any project, it’ll probably be that one. I can bust it out in a day or so of crocheting compared with days and days of knitting for the Caregiver’s Cardigan.

 

Doily and various other projects…*hangs head in shame*

 

I’ll get to them all eventually. I should probably focus on them once NaNoWriMo is over with so I can have winter accoutrement. I’ve still not finished my winter gear.

 

The next vlog should come this weekend, if I can squeeze in the time and manage the quiet. I’m up in the air about what to read though. It’ll either be something I’ve written (fanfiction or original story) or another Fastback Horror series book.

 

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to take a moment of “me time” and read the rest of Julius Caesar’s Commentaries on the Gallic War before binging on Paul Bettany and Karl Urban movies.

 

Later!

Keeping Up With It

It is currently three days into this writing project and I’m doing very well. I’ve managed to put something up on my blog for each day of the project. I haven’t missed a day yet and I hope not to miss a day.

 

Today’s prompt included a secondary goal. I am supposed to commit to a writing practice to free write for a minimum of fifteen minutes a day. I think I’m up to doing that. I am familiar with the format of Free Writing, as it is the means I use to write most of my stories. I am hoping to get something coherent out of what I put out. There was also a secondary prompt in that I’m supposed to find a new article to include in a blog post. Oy…

 

In case you were wondering, this is the Free Write for today.

 

I haven’t knitted or crocheted since Sunday. I’m hoping to get something done tonight on the October Rust Birthday Shawl. Picking my brains for words has proved exhausting to say the least. I am thankful that something is coming out. However, it seems to be sapping my creativity in other areas. I’m hoping that tonight will be different.

 

A joyous thing for me, I’ve gotten three series of Knitting Daily (500, 600 and 700) in the mail today with four more (800 through 1100) coming in tomorrow. Thanks to those sales, I got it all for really cheap. I only wanted the first eleven series as I don’t really have a fondness for the format of the show after series 1100. Even with my favorite designers, I couldn’t warm to series 1200 and afterward. So, I’ll be watching my DVD collection for information and inspiration as far as Fiberarts are concerned.

 

Aside from that, I’ve got a tripod and such coming. The tripod is for me so I can do vlogs and upload them to YouTube. Goodness knows why I want to do this, but, for some reason, I want to make video blogs about what it’s like having agoraphobia, bipolar disorder, PTSD, anxiety etc as well as other things in my day to day life. It’ll all be on my YouTube channel for *gulp* everyone to see.

 

Why am I doing this again? Oh yeah, I’m supposed to be stretching my boundaries to further aid my recovery. Crying face

 

Most likely, it’ll be me reading from one or more of my books to start off with. Then, I’ll field questions. Hopefully, I won’t fall flat on my face.

 

Tonight’s agenda is to do the next writing assignment and prompt, do some crocheting, watch some Knitting Daily and get ready for tomorrow.

 

Take care, Peoples of the Sun! Rolling on the floor laughingRed heartRainbow

Upcoming Stuff

It’s my birthday!!! It’s my birthday!!! It’s my birthday… *dancing*

 

My birthday is coming up, within the next two weeks. I’ll be 34 years old. Yes, ancient. Kidding. Birthday cake

 

I’m hoping to drop a few “Shocking!!!” things this year. I’m not going to say what they are until they come to fruition. There’s a nice vague mystery for you all to ponder. Rolling on the floor laughing

 

Nothing much else is happening in my life right now. I am working on a few crafting projects, Billy the Bear, the Rainstorm II socks and Bruce’s gloves (sporadically).

 

I am almost completed Billy The Bear. He’s for the Paternal Parental. I should have him completed by tonight but here’s a picture of him from earlier today.

 

Yes, that is my messy cluttered desk the bear is sitting on. This pattern is from Lion Brand Yarns and is one I’ve done previously. I made a bear for the Maternal Parental, only for hers, I used a G hook. This time, I used an H hook and got a bigger bear for my bargain. The name of the pattern is Buddy Bear and the pattern number on Lion Brand is 80359.

 

Once I get the above pattern completed, I’ll probably go back to the Rainstorm II socks.

 

This pattern is a dream to work. It’s called the Misti Sock Family and it’s the largest Men’s size I’m using because I happen to be a Hobbit. Kidding. My feet are large though. I wear a 9.5US Men’s shoe. This is the fifth time I’ve used this pattern to make socks to completion. I did make an attempt to do four at a time but got sidetracked by other projects and frogged them. I am currently 45% completed with this project. Yay!

 

The only other thing I have on my plate at this time is this mystery blogging project from WordPress. Starting tomorrow, I will perform the tasks as I receive them in my e-mail. I have no clue what it’s going to be about. I just know that I am going to complete it all. I’m determined to do it. I spend quite a bit of time either excoriating myself or outright running away from potential writing projects as they come up due to fear. Fear of judgment and fear of success. I have a big issue with self-esteem when it comes to writing. 2015 is the year this changes for the better. Sun

 

Who knows? Maybe this new attitude will lead to my finally doing NaNoWriMo.

 

Tonight’s agenda is: watching The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers with the Maternal Parental. Filmstrip

 

Have a fantastic day, Peoples of the Sun. Rolling on the floor laughingRed heartRainbow

Taking Classes

Sort of…

 

Thank you, MIT for starting OpenCourseWare as a thing. Due to your generosity, I am able to take classes I wouldn’t normally be able to take due to the Agoraphobia. Specifically, I am taking:

 

Fundamentals of Biology
Introduction to Biology
Introductory Biology
Introduction to Psychology
Atomic and Optical Physics
Quantum Physics I and II
The Early Universe
Exploring Black Holes: General Relativity and Astrophysics
Engineering Mathematics: Linear Algebra and ODEs
Geometric Folding Algorithms
STEM Concept Videos
Engineering Dynamics
Chemistry Behind the Magic
Introduction to Algorithms
Probabilistic Systems Analysis and Applied Probability
Linear Algebra Recitations
Discrete Stochastic Processes
Differential Equations
Introduction to Computer Science and Programming
Introductory Quantum Mechanics II

 

I’m going to be very contentedly busy over the next few weeks. My computer choked several times getting the videos for the classes, but I managed it in the end. Open-mouthed smile

 

In addition to this, I’ve started a pair of socks. Called Rainstorm II, these are the first non-Lion Brand wool socks I’ve made. I got the yarn from Knit Picks. It’s Stroll Hand-painted in the colorway Crystal Hand-painted.

 

 

I am doing them two at a time, so that I can have a pair of socks by the end of the labor. I’m working primarily at night, though, I may make this my carrying project for when I leave the house to go on appointments. They are so soft… Smile

 

I’m also working on Kathleen’s Other Doily. Her Coffee Table Topper is coming along quite well.

 

 

In addition to all of that, I’m still working on Bruce’s Gloves. The good news is, I’m out of the ribbing and into the body. The bad news is, I cannot really see the black yarn at night. I mean, I can see its physical form on my table but I cannot determine definition of the yarn thread. I think it might be time to see the eye doctor.

 

 

Glaucoma and Cataracts both run in my family. So, it’s only a matter of time, I suppose, until I’m diagnosed. I’m really hoping for it to be much later in my life. Annoyed

 

So far, so good on the sleeping front. I have been sleeping a normal amount of hours. I’ve been getting restful sleep and no nightmares of a PTSD nature. Wow, that medication really works!

 

About the only things I really need to do are get back in contact with people I haven’t contacted since this whole thing began and clean my room.

 

The communication is coming people. Prepare yourselves. Later! Rolling on the floor laughingRed heartRainbow