Thursday, March 29, 2007

So far, this move has required 14 trips to Goodwill, 5 trips to the post office, 1 oil change, 2 trips to the attitude-laced used book store, 1 argument with a lady at the bank, and 2 edge-of-a-nervous-breakdown phone calls to my mom. Because I can't get anything more done until I can get to Target for more trash bags, and because I live near a major intersection that's always hell at rush hour, I'm taking some time out to do a meme, seen at Gee You Knit. If you're reading, consider yourself tagged.

Directions: If your life was a movie, what would the soundtrack be?
1. Open your mp3 library
2. Put it on shuffle.
3. Press Play.
4. For every question, type the song that’s playing.
5. When you go to a new question, press the Next button.
6. Don’t lie and try to pretend you’re cool. (no worries here, as I'm extremely uncool.)
7. Don’t skip songs.
My Movie:
1. Opening credits: Serenade #13 in G/Mozart
2. Waking up: Gerbil/Filter
3. First day of school: The Movement of a Hand/Bright Eyes
4. Fight song: My England/Lady Sovereign
5. Breaking up: Ten Minutes/The Get-up Kids
6. Happiness: Mine's Not a High Horse/The Shins (who will be in town April 10th, and I won't be here! Dammit!!)
7. Life’s okay: Bridge Over Troubled Water/Johnny Cash with Fiona Apple
8. Mental breakdown: Candy/Morphine
9. Driving: Voices Carry/Til Tuesday
10. Flashback: Don't Make Me Ill/A.F.I.
11. Getting back together: Silver and Gold/Dolly Parton (yes, really. LOVE her, been to Dollywood.)
12. Wedding song: Once Again/Slick Shoes
13. Birth of first child: Jesus Walking on the Water/Violent Femmes
14. Final battle scene: Go!/Long Shot Hero (my sister's band! what what!)
15. Death scene: The Company Dime/The Get-up Kids
16. Funeral song: Two Crooks/American Steel
17. End credits: The Difference in the Shades/Bright Eyes

It's almost 5:30 now, so I suppose by the time I'm ready to walk out the door, traffic will be bearable. I better stop killing time and actually get things done.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Tuesday randomness

1. One of the hardest things about packing for a big move is deciding which of your short-sleeve v-neck black t-shirts is the definitive short-sleeve v-neck black t-shirt, and which of your many pairs of pajama pants are the only pair you really need.

2. I can't stand when people take your clothes out of the washing machine because they just can't wait the additional minute and a half for you to get there and they're just too lazy to walk down to the other laundry room.

3. I really, really hate the word "gal." To me it's the verbal equivalent of not taking off your hat indoors. I don't suppose that makes sense to anyone else, but whenever I hear that word I see that guy in the cowboy hat from the old Smuckers All-fruit commercial bellowing, "couldya please pass the JELLY?"

Sunday, March 25, 2007

tent ROCKS!

As part of my farewell tour of New Mexico, I went hiking at Tent Rocks today with my friend Wendy. Too tired to say anything interesting about it, but I took a lot of photos.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

A Very Merry I Quit My Job Day to You!

Japan here I come! Well, my departure date is May 8th, so not yet, actually. But at least I don't ever have to go back there! Well, except for Monday when I go in to sign and fax my last time sheet. But I'm done! I'm finished! I'm unemployed and loving it!

I think I'm going to treat myself to Coldstone and then sit outside and work on my dad's cycling aran--new and improved on smaller needles!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

I can't think of a clever title

So I didn't get tagged, but I'm doing this meme anyway, seen at Ramona's: Describe your life in five-year intervals counting backward from 2007. So that means every year ending in 2 or 7.

1982: I was three. We lived in Reisterstown, Maryland; we had a long-haired cat named Fuzzy; my mom was pregnant with my sister Katie. My older sister and the boy down the street cut off my pigtails. I think we were co-flower girls in a wedding. I went to pre-school and learned to swim this year. The parents in my playgroup nicknamed me Bubbling White Sugar, which if you ask me is not much of a nickname since it's longer than my actual name.

1987: I was eight. Fuzzy died when I was seven and we got a new cat, Heather, who was a one-person cat. And I was her person. She slept on my bed every night and came when I called her and even met me at the bus-stop after school. Heather died when I was sixteen and I still get all choked up about her. My teacher this year was Mrs. Gede, who is my favorite teacher ever. She had to teach us a health unit and said that she could choose between teaching us about nutrition or about drugs. She chose drugs, because her teenaged son had been an addict and killed himself. It was pretty heavy stuff to tell third-graders, but I liked that she did it. As a teenager, whenever I misbehaved, I felt like I was letting down Mrs. Gede as well as my parents. So I didn't misbehave much.

1992: I was thirteen. Yuck. I played field hockey and read a lot.

1997: Like Ramona, I had a car with a name. Mine was Frankie the Ford Festiva, named after Frankie Avalon. I took a notoriously bad curve a little too wide one day, hit gravel, overcorrected, and shot across the road and off the other side and into a garage owned by, as luck would have it, my fifth grade math teacher. Frankie was totaled. Because I hit a building.

2002: I was 23 and had lived in New Mexico for one year. I was in grad school and hating it. That summer I spent on an archaeological survey at Fort Irwin in the Mojave Desert, hottest place in the U.S. I got paid the best hourly rate I've ever gotten to hike and look for artifacts in temperatures upwards of 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Needless to say, I was in the best shape of my life. And dammit, I have no pictures!

2007: I'll be 28 next month and I'm leaving for Japan May 8th. I'm sorting through all my belongings trying to figure out what I like enough to ship home to store at my parents, what I love enough to ship to Japan, and what I just don't care about and can give to Goodwill. I have a a 20 x 20 x 12 inch box of yarn and WIPs to be sent to Japan. And I'm still buying stuff--I found my 2006 birthday present from my friends Amy and Shamsi, a gift certificate to Village Wools, and I had to run up there and spend it. I spent wisely though--I got yarn for a Hello Yarn Cycling Aran for my dad and for Grumperina's Shifting Sands scarf for my brother-in-law-to-be. Because the more Christmas gifts I can finish before I go, the less I ultimately have to pay in shipping.

Friday, March 16, 2007

doesn't anybody stay in one place anymore?

Well, I don't. In two weeks I'm leaving Albuquerque. It's been five and a half years. I hated it when I first moved here. I wasn't used to such a wide-open, treeless space, it was way too hot, and the eternal sunshine was frustrating. (I know that's weird, but I'd been living in the Great Lakes region, and each rare sunny day is like a holiday to the point that college girls will lay out in bikinis if the temperature rises above 50. So for me the sunshine was less "what a beautiful day!" and more "I can't believe I have to sit inside ALL DAY. What a waste.") Anyway, now I like it. (Well, most of it.) But I've been treading water the last two years or so, knowing that what I moved here (grad school/archaeology) is not the thing for me, and it feels good to have made the decision to move on to something else.

You may be asking yourself, what is that something else? Well, even if you aren't, I'll tell you. I'm moving to Japan for a year. I'm going to teach English and experience a new culture and eat a lot of vegetarian sushi. Before I go, I'll be spending about a month at my parents' house in PA, since I won't be coming home for the holidays. I'm very excited and a little scared. I've never lived in another country (or even been to one, besides Canada and Mexico), I don't speak any Japanese (well, I can count to five), and I'm allergic to fish. Plus, I hate moving. But still, I'm looking forward to it.

Anyway, in the spirit of closure, I give you Six Things I'll miss about New Mexico (in no particular order) (I tried to make it five or ten but six just felt right)
1. Green chile and cheese on everything, fantastic salsa, breakfast burritos... well, all the food really
2. the mountains--besides the hiking and the snowboarding and the amazing views while you're up there, it's so great to look up from a traffic jam and be reminded of the sublime.
3. the dry air. I hate humidity.
4. Albuquerque Stitch n Bitch, although it's not like I ever get a chance to go anymore
5. the relaxed dress code--I swear, dressing professionally is going to be harder than not speaking the native language, I've gotten so used to jeans being acceptable pretty much everywhere.
6. my friends. Good peeps. I hope I have visitors in Japan. (Although I'd rather they finish their dissertations first. Priorities, you know.)

Friday, March 02, 2007

feeling scottish

That's what my dad called it, and we can say that because we are Scottish. Well, part. I'm queasy because I just spent a ridiculous (for me) amount of money. I just ordered a new laptop, or notebook, as the kids are apparently callin' 'em these days, and because I'm going to use it to replace my desktop entirely I dropped a pretty solid chunk of change. I know it's (probably) worth what I'm paying, but I don't have it in my hands yet and can't play with it and haven't even tested the keyboard. So I feel like I basically just threw my money away. Ugh, I hate spending money. My dad's more-sympathetic-than-its-sounds response? "Wait 'til you buy a house."

I'm going to try to stop thinking about it now. The whole time I was clicking around the internet checking out notebooks (look, I can be taught!), I was working on a new project: an entrelac (look, I can be taught!) scarf. I'm really frustrated with the Phoenix (nee Central Park Hoodie) because I apparently stretched it out while measuring and it is at least two inches too short, hem-to-armpit, for me. It's also too tight, and since it's Wool-ease I don't know if I can block it big enough to be comfortable. I'm not a fan of short or tight, and definitely not short AND tight. So while I decide whether I want to try to undo the cast-on edge and knit down, or just give it to my slimmer, shorter little sister, I've started Knitty's Danica for my older sister's birthday. I'm fairly sure she doesn't read this, so I'm safe posting it here. Besides which, this may not be its final incarnation yet. I hate skinny scarves, I prefer fat, wide, almost-a-shawl scarves, so this just isn't enough scarf; I don't like scarves that have a wrong side, so I'm either going to have to line it (ugh) or rip it and knit it as a tube; I may have to buy more yarn, I may turn it into a Clapotis out of sheer laziness, etc.
I really am enjoying the entrelac though, and the Patons SWS I'm using is surprisingly lush and soft for yarn that came from Michaels. And when my laptop gets here, I can fashion it some fun plug-in devices like these. I saw someone on craftster make one out of a $1 bathtub toy from Target and some carefully-applied superglue.