Monday, August 27, 2007

100 Things About Me

  1. I knew I would marry my DH within weeks of meeting him.
  2. It took him a little longer, but not too much.
  3. My mom knew it was for real when I went fishing with him on January first.
  4. Even with neoprene waders, I was cold. But I was also in love.
  5. We dated for almost seven months before we got engaged.
  6. He proposed to me on a fishing trip in NYC harbor.
  7. Fish & fishing are constant themes in our lives.
  8. At least, I thought it was a fishing trip--for stripers. I was dressed in pretty crappy clothing. But instead of tackle in the box, there was a ring. And instead of bait in the cooler, champagne.
  9. Both sets of parents knew and helped him plan the proposal.
  10. I was totally floored—he’d convinced me he wasn’t going to ask for another couple of weeks.
  11. The engagement also lasted about seven months.
  12. We got married twice—once on Friday and once on Saturday—in two churches (his parents and mine) to make both sets of the family happy.
  13. In between weddings we had a rehearsal and a rehearsal dinner for almost 80 people. And we went to Wendy's before the rehearsal, dressed in our wedding regalia.
  14. I had two dresses. And two bouquets. Only the one groom, though. J
  15. I like to tease that he’s my second husband.
  16. We got married during the school year.
  17. I did cancel my Friday classes that week.
  18. Our honeymoon was postponed until Thanksgiving because we both had to go back to school on Monday.
  19. We went to Longwood Gardens for our honeymoon. It’s one of my favorite places to go, and their Christmas display is fantastic.
  20. My DH’s first language is Russian, although he was born in NJ.
  21. I have learned enough Russian to have conversations with four-year-olds.
  22. My accent is good enough to make grown-ups think I’m being modest when I say (in Russian) that I can’t speak much Russian. I’m not, but they keep speaking at me anyway.
  23. I speak French reasonably well, and lived there for eight months after I graduated from college.
  24. I speak no Spanish, but managed to pass a language test in it anyway.
  25. I feel this proves that I know how to use a dictionary really, really well. And really, really quickly.
  26. I grew up in rural NJ. (And no, that’s not an oxymoron!)
  27. I have one sibling, a brother. He’s four years younger than me, but six inches taller. I still refer to him as my little brother.
  28. I also call him “Brat.” To which he actually answers.
  29. The Russian word for brother is “brat,” which cracks me up.
  30. He’s one of my best friends.
  31. My nephew was born prematurely, at 29 weeks. That was seriously scary.
  32. It was also when I started knitting more—he was in the NICU and needed hats made by his aunt.
  33. That was more than three years ago, in 2004. He’s doing great now. I totally adore him and the way he calls me “Duzan” ‘cause he can’t get the “s” sound quite right.
  34. I love chocolate. Dark chocolate, in particular.
  35. Once, when we had a layover in Switzerland, I made my husband go to a cafĂ© for what the guide books called “the best hot chocolate in the world.” It was good.
  36. I think the hot chocolate from L.A. Burdicks is better.
  37. I think the hot chocolate from Jacque Torres is better still.
  38. I’ve always been an avid reader. When I was little, my mom would tell me to put the book down and go outside. I’d take the book with me and climb up into a tree to read.
  39. I read very quickly—the last Harry Potter novel took about seven hours, start to finish.
  40. When I was in junior high, my favorite book was Gone with the Wind. I’ve read it at least a dozen times.
  41. My favorite poet is Alfred, Lord Tennyson. I fell for him when I was 14 and haven’t looked back since.
  42. That’s probably why I’m working on a dissertation on Victorian poetry.
  43. My dissertation is on women poets, though, and the way they use dramatic monologues. Tennyson only makes a brief cameo.
  44. I love reading bad novels. I can’t stand bad writing, but I love cheesy romances and crazy mystery / thrillers.
  45. I'm a bit of a grammar freak. I think sentences are fun. And that you can do cool things with hyphens. And semicolons. I'm very fond of semicolons.
  46. I reread all of Jane Austen most years, just ‘cause. I reading about that period. Some of the more modern authors I like in that same vein are Georgette Heyer and Lauren Willig.
  47. I also like audiobooks. They’re good for knitting, and I don’t feel guilty about “reading” popular fiction that’s unrelated to my job or dissertation. I've listened to all of Jasper Fforde's novels on audiobook.
  48. I teach writing at a local university.
  49. This is the start of my tenth year teaching at a college. I still get comments about looking too young, though.
  50. I helped develop a new version of our business writing course last year. It’s been pretty successful.
  51. I swam in high school and in college. Breast stroke, mainly.
  52. I still hold the record at my high school in the 100 yard breast stroke.
  53. I didn’t study abroad in college because I didn’t want to miss a semester of swimming.
  54. I was co-captain my senior year, when I also blew my shoulder out and had to have surgery.
  55. All-in-all, it’s not a great way to spend your last college spring break.
  56. I loved college, though.
  57. I went to a very small liberal arts school, in a lovely setting.
  58. My best friend was also my roommate for three years in college.
  59. She’s my favorite person to knit for. Even though she doesn’t knit herself, she appreciates handknits and actually wears them.
  60. One of my favorite projects to date is a hat with fish on it. I made it for my husband’s best friend, because he asked (after seeing a “We call them pirates” hat) if I could.
  61. He wears it a lot, but I still don’t have a picture.
  62. My mother taught me how to knit. She knits mainly baby blankets and buntings, even when she doesn’t know anyone who’s pregnant. She figures that they’ll come in use, eventually.
  63. My friends started having kids, and that’s why I bugged my mom to teach me to knit.
  64. My SIL felted the blanket I made for my nephew. I still love her.
  65. I even still knit for her. Machine wash and dryable only, though. (That was the problem with the blanket: machine wash, lay flat to dry.) Although for Christmas I'm making her a shawl. In Malabrigo laceweight. But she shouldn't need to wash it (and I may insist she give it back to me to wash!)
  66. After college, I spend a year living in France. I taught English in a local high school.
  67. “Taught” is a bit on an exaggeration. Really what I did was run conversation classes. And teach them how to play baseball.
  68. I’ve traveled to France, Holland, Italy, and England by myself.
  69. I’ve traveled to England, Ireland, Poland, Belarus, Russia (twice), Mongolia, China, Canada, Bermuda, and Barbados with my husband.
  70. I’d recommend all of them except for Belarus. Pretty country, nice people, archaic rules about who can go where and when.
  71. We had to drive 200 miles north to cross the border of Belarus in order to drive 200 miles south to visit the place we wanted to go, which was less the 6 miles from where we’d started.
  72. We had to reverse the process on the way home.
  73. We also had to pay a tax on the picnic lunch we brought in with us.
  74. We've been married for almost 8 years (since November 1999). We’ve moved our stuff seven times and lived in five different apartments. We also had everything in storage for two summers while we were in Russia.
  75. I hate moving.
  76. Especially in August, which is mainly when we move, since we’re both academics.
  77. My husband has three masters’ degrees. I only have one.
  78. He’s working on a dissertation, too. His is in Eastern Europoean politics. We’re trying to cover an entire wall with framed degrees.
  79. We met when he was working as the director of graduate admissions at my graduate school. He didn’t admit me, though.
  80. He’s taught me how to fish.
  81. I will even take the fish off the hook. Not all fish (some have scarier teeth than others), but I’m working on it.
  82. I’ll put worms on, too, but only for my nephew.
  83. I’d like to go tuna fishing one day. And salmon fishing in Alaska.
  84. I don’t drink coffee. I never have. I don’t like the taste of it.
  85. I don’t even like the taste of coffee ice cream.
  86. I do like tea, though, and drink several cups a day.
  87. Even when it’s hot outside.
  88. Although then I generally switch to iced tea after my first cup.
  89. My favorite type of alcohol is champagne.
  90. My favorite champagne (technically, sparkling wine) is Domaine Carnaros, which is Taittinger’s American venture.
  91. We went to San Francesco, Napa Valley, and Sonoma Valley on a trip shortly after we got engaged, and visited the vineyard. I think that’s partly why I like it so much.
  92. All of our wineglasses are from vineyards we’ve visited. And all of our drinking glasses are pints from brew pubs.
  93. We’ve gone bobsledding in Lake Placid.
  94. We like to drive up to Maine for lobster.
  95. Our traditional New Year’s Eve involves bad movies, Trader Joe’s hors d’oeuvres, and Domaine Carnaros.
  96. I love B-movies involving oversized animals, particularly those involving water. (A totally different invocation of Lake Placid!)
  97. I love flowers and plants, but have not had much success with growing things. I’ve managed to kill both mint and bamboo.
  98. I’ve also had an orchid that’s been flowering continuously for the last year. I’ve put it down to Divine intervention.
  99. My father is a wonderful gardener. He rescued my Christmas cactus last year after I thought I’d killed it.
  100. I like both of my parents a great deal, and wish we lived closer and could hang out more. I wish my brother and his family were closer, too, but that's all about the nephew.

As if there weren't already enough WIPs around here . . .

I just got this in the mail! Yummy silk/cashmere from Mama Llama (a name that makes me smile every time I say it out loud. Try it: I bet you can't say "mama llama mama llama mama llama" with a straight face!

I'm test knitting a lace scarf pattern; Catherine says it's bloggable (blogable?) and, since it's about to become my primary project, that's a good thing!

Proof that there has been knitting

Even though there hasn't been any blogging:

Exhibit 1:

One finished Snicket Sock. I ran out of yarn on the toe, so I used some leftover blue. I've started the second one, but I've only got about 10 rows done, so it's not very interesting to look at.

Exhibit 2:

Progress has been made on the Stripes & Torchon lace shawl. The border is a 34 row, 20-30 stitch repeat, filled with double yo's and slip one, knit 2tog, psso's, which is making it hard to memorize. Also making it hard to memorize is the fact that I work a repeat and then put it down for four days, 'cause I'd rather be working on something else. I'm not lovin' the lace at the moment--I want nice, easy knitting. I'm done with 8 border repeats so far. I'm a little afraid to count how many are left!

The change in color is strange, since it's from the same skein of Malabrigo laceweight. There was a knot in the skein, so when I was making balls out of the yarn, I started a new ball when I found the knot. I couldn't believe how different the colors are! But I've decided that such is the way of handknits, and that I'm not going to worry about it.

Exibit 3:

Not actual knitting, but proof of another trip to Webs. Last weekend my DH told me to pick a destination, so I picked Quabbin Reservoir. Which was absolutely gorgeous; I think another trip out when the leaves are turning is in order.

And since we were so close to Northampton, we made a short stop at Webs, where I got some sock yarn in appropriately manly colors for husband socks, yarn for a sweater for him (pictured below), and the 25th Anniversary edition of Vogue Knitting. I don't normally get VK--I like the patterns in IK better--but I bought it for the articles, I swear. :)

Exhibit 4:

Cascade 220 in a loverly heathery green, called lichen, and approved of by DH before purchase. When we started talking about a sweater for him, he said he wanted green--a lichen or moss green. We picked this out, and when I looked it up online later, I realized that even the name was perfect! He liked Webs--they have a nice lounge area with magazines and comfy chairs, suitable for knitting or for waiting for spouses.

I've started an EPS sweater with it--I haven't decided on a style yet, although I'm leaning toward a seamless hybrid. As I've only turned the hem and knit about 4 inches of the body, I've got some time to decide, though.

There is no Exhibit 5, because I'm too lazy to get the camera, but my parents came up for a visit, and bought me a ball winder for my birthday. We went to Fabric Place--my mom wanted to get some Patons Canadiana for a baby blanket, and I had a 25% off total purchase coupon. They also had ball winders (and I had a 40% off a single item coupon, too!)--I've never seen them there before--and so it came home with me. And my birthday's not for another month!

I also had a chance to visit with a cousin I rarely see--he grew up in Colorado to my NJ, and lives in the midwest, but was out for a professional conference. So he, DH and I went to Jasper White's Summer Shack for dinner on Monday night (must take out-of-towners for seafood! and we love Summer Shack), and then picked him up for dinner chez nous Thursday with my parents, whom he also rarely sees.

On top of everything else, my summer class ended on August 16, and grades were due on August 23. Right now I'm trying to get a few of my own things done before the fall semester starts after Labor Day, including coming up with course calendars! Fortunately, both classes I'm teaching I've done before, so I'll probably go with readings that I've used in the past, which makes it a little quicker to put together.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

One Sock, Two Sock (Three Sock!)

One Sock:

Sockapalooza socks--Jaywalkers in Cherry Tree Hill Superwash, from the sadly blogless Lisa in Tennessee!

Thanks, Lisa--they're terrific! I've already worn them once--the weather was a little chilly on Thursday, and I was spending some serious time in an overly-airconditioned library, making hand-knit socks an excellent choice.

Two sock:

Snicket Sock in Gjestal Silja Sock Yarn. A lovely limey chartreuse color.

and my first short-row heel. It's a little wonky--moving the stitches to a spare needle seemed pretty awkward--but it's interesting. And now I know how to do it.

Three sock:

the third sock isn't here, it's in Michigan, at my sock pal's blog: Bethtoons, of Life, Knitting, and the Pursuit of Rollercoasters . I'm so glad that they got to her safely (and that they fit! I was worried they would be too . . . something. Long? Short? Narrow? Wide? But evidently Monkeys are not only brilliant at making pooling disappear, they're brilliant for having an excellent fit. :)

Monday, August 6, 2007


Just a quick post to say that I got my sockapalooza socks, and they TOTALLY ROCK. :) Beautiful jaywalkers in gorgeous Cherry Tree Hill superwash. AND a skein of Fearless Fibers superwash sock yarn. Yum.

But my husband has the camera, so pictures later.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Off to the post office

To mail my pal's socks (with a couple of other goodies) out!