July 2009


Did a few small errands today (mailed paperback swap books, went to library, etc.) but nothing academic today. Instead I spent most of my day tooling around online, especially on ravelry. That place is like crack. I think I added 15 projects to my queue today, almost entirely from looking at my “neighbors” (people who have the same projects completed or in their queues).

I decided to made a Cthulhu Dice Bag (website here) for my husband who is a gamer and a fan of Lovecraft. I have the yarn and I have the needles, all that is missing is a bit of bravery to try my first fair-isle project. I taught myself to knit almost 5 years ago and have avoided colorwork ever since. Fair-isle has been on my someday list (along with socks, learning to spin, and making an entire sweater) for a long time. I guess it’s about time to face up to my colored fears and get to work.

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I would not call myself a good writer, but merely adequate. I fear writing sometimes, putting off writing papers until the last minute, when I have no choice but to write. This tendency to put off writing until the last minute is something I’m trying to get over, especially since I have to write not only my M.S. thesis this year, but also a book chapter. Plus I would like to get over that fear and be in a groove with writing before I start a Ph.D. program next year.

In order to get into a writing groove, I’ve scheduled 2 hours of writing for myself every weekday. I don’t have to write for those entire 2 hours, but at least it’s on my calendar reminding me that I need to do a little bit of work every day. Since I don’t have much (or really anything) written on my thesis, I’m also starting work on that by going through two books. One is The Classic Guide to Better Writing: Step-by-Step Techniques and Exercises to Write Simply, Clearly, and Correctly (R. Flesch and A. H. Lass, 1996). This book starts with the beginning of writing anything (making a plan) and goes through tying together paragraphs and using correct grammar. The other book is The Craft of Research (2nd edition. W. C. Booth, G. G. Colomb, and J. M. Williams, 2003). This second book goes into more depth on topics of use to someone writing a term paper, thesis, or article. For example, one of the first chapters describes how as a writer, you must think about your audience. In order to neither talk up or down to the readers, you must first decide who will be in the audience (depending on where the paper will be seen or published), their level of interest in your paper topic, and what types of information are they going to be looking for from your paper.

Between these two books, I’m considering (again) how to approach my thesis, before I really start writing. I also have a schedule for getting chapters to my advisors (posted on a page on this site) to keep me on track. Hopefully with all of these resources and some determination, I’ll become a writing machine. Or maybe, just a little less fearful of writing.


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Originally uploaded by bluesweatergirl

A friend who I’ve worked with for years on an archaeological project gave me the iPod nano she received with the purchase of her newest Mac. The iPod I’ve been using for years (6+ to be exact) is still working, although battery life is getting shorter and shorter. I love how pretty the new iPod is, with the lovely color pictures and videos and quizes. iPods have come a long way since I received my original iPod. The only downside is that the iPod nano only holds 8GB and not the 15GB of the original iPod, so there are songs missing that I would expect to be able to hear.

Many of my electronics (cell phone, older iPod, external hard drive) have knit cozies to help protect them from scratches. I found the pattern for this iPod nano cozy on ravelry. The pattern uses sock yarn (very thin) and a combination of seed and stockinette stitches. The new skill I learned in making this cozy was the added buttonloop, which I immediately also used on a reversible capelet that had been lingering without a button or shawl pin since April.

Now I just need to get back to taking public transportation so I have an excuse to listen to my new iPod nano.

My to-do list for today

My to-do list for today

An ode to the to-do list (the most marvelous of inventions)

What would I do without my to-do list

that keeps me so organized?

Would I remember that paper or chapter

that just needs to be written or finalized?

Would I forget to return emails

and never finish gifts for my friends?

For without my to-do list, I forget so much

and more often I would need to make amends.

Today is the first day I’m trying to get into the routine for this next year. The year when I must finish my thesis. I’m also going to be applying for Ph.D. programs, which entails taking the GRE again (hello new writing section!) and filling out applications. The most important thing this year is that I must write, write often, and write well. This needs to be the year I finally get over my fear of writing. This blog is one attempt I’m making to get used to writing everyday. Let’s hope it works.

Ripples SkirtI’ve been working on a few knitting projects lately, mostly small gift items. The first two are no longer on the needles, but just need seaming/buttons. First, is an iPod Nano cozy for the new iPod I received this summer. A cozy is necessary so I don’t totally scratch up the screen when I throw it in my purse. Second is a Calorimetry for my friend Mary Jane. It’s a headband to keep ears warm in winter. Cute and easy to knit.

On the needles I have a cotton lace beret I’m making for my friend Allisa out of leftover yarn from the Ripples skirt I knit for myself (shown above). It’s a fairly quick project and I should be finished with it soon. Also on the needles is the cami I restarted after I messed up and frogged it on the ferry to Kefalonia. Other projects include 2 lace scarves and a spenser that I’m probably going to restart.