Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Good Day.

Yesterday, I had a fantastic day.

I drove to the Big City to meet an old friend that I hadn't seen in a very long time- we picked right up where we left off years ago. I think that's the way it's supposed to be with friends- no awkwardness, no phone smiles, just true feelings of happiness and appreciation. We drank coffee, window-shopped, ate lunch, talked books, and then ate cupcakes. Truly- it only would have been better if we were knitting together!

As it was, I sent her home with a piece of knitted goodness:

A Felicity Hat made of of Malabrigo. (Don't mind the iPhone pictures... I don't have Ranger Man's cameras any more to take good pictures, and my digital camera is so old that the iPhone camera actually has more megapixels- so y'all will have to bear with the cell phone pictures for a while).

I experienced a little bit of culture shock while waiting for Friend S. to arrive at the coffee shop in a rather upscale shopping center. It was quite a large coffee shop and it was pretty full, so there were many people sitting, sipping, talking... and they all looked the same. They all had the same color skin, the same types of clothes, the same hairstyles- it was very strange. It made me appreciate the Island and Georgia, where many different types of people might go to a coffee shop.

On the way home from the Big City I stopped at my Grandma's and had dinner with her.

Unfortunately, I seem to have caught a cold in the midst of all of this, so I will be spending the day curled up with a cat and some knitting by the fire (how idyllic!), blowing my nose.

Other than that, Webster and I are mostly adjusting to life in the PNW. We're trying to stay warm (somewhat successfully), and waiting patiently to move into our new apartment on the 8th.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

As promised...

When I was 18 (technically a senior in high school, although only taking classes at the local community college), for three months I dated a guy... we'll call him Mr. M. At 18, three months felt like an eternity and I was devastated when he dumped me like a sack of bricks.

He had just turned 21, and was much more interested in going out and getting drunk than he was in hanging out with me. We stayed in contact for a few months after we broke up, but after that we kind of lost contact. At the time that we dated, he was attending the same local community college as I was, working security at a major department store, and also working part time in a SCUBA shop. Little concrete direction for his life or definite plans other than going out and getting drunk each night. He was never a bad guy, and he didn't do bad things when he was drunk- we just had different priorities. Over time, I of course came to realize that Mr. M and I were simply not meant to be together- and that was perfectly fine. My world went back into orbit and the rest is history.

Until January 2007 (ish?). Out of the blue, he rang my cell phone saying, "Oh, I couldn't remember which K this was..." and we talked a while. Guess what- he's a firefighter! wtf! How on earth am I so predictable that I can find them before they know themselves that they're going to be stupid firefighters? Talking to him was kind of weird, but Ranger Man and I were good and so it was quickly pushed under the rug.

Until a few weeks ago. When he sent me a facebook friend request, on my work facebook page (i.e. the one that only has my work email? the one that he would have had to be truly searching for... ). And then, last weekend after I changed my information on facebook (oh, facebook, the drama you bring!), he started messaging me. And then text messaging me. And then calling me.

He's exactly the same as before- one of his texts from this weekend read "Nothing like ending one hangover with tailgating at 10 in the am," and yesterday's gem was that he loves his job because "it's like high school, only awesome." Right.

Can I just say how IMMENSELY gratifying it is to know that 7 YEARS later, this guy looks me up and has spent all weekend trying to reconnect with me? I have no intention of getting back together with him- but geez. I *told* him that he would regret dumping me. 7 years ago, I told him that I was an awesome girl and that he would wish that he was still with me.

Looks like I was right, Mr. M. Looks like I was right.

And by the way? I'm totally more awesome than I was 7 years ago. I have a Master's degree, and I knit.

Monday, December 21, 2009

It's a wrap.

Driving across the country was probably one of the most empowering experiences of my life. Not that I want to do it again, or that I think anyone who's feeling low should hop in a car... but in my situation, it worked wonders. I navigated myself across completely unknown territory, literally taking control of my life and moving forward.

Here's one of the only pictures I took on our trip- Webster perched in a hotel room in California.

So I drove and felt happy and accomplished and proud of myself.

Then... we got here.

Ugh. All of my belongings, me, Webster, a cot to sleep on, random other stuff and my brother's computer/computer desk all shoved into one teeny tiny little bedroom. And of course, no more cleaning has occurred.

Finding an affordable apartment here that (a) takes cats and (b) doesn't require a 12 month lease is proving to be a very difficult task. I got SO frustrated today, but then I went and fondled some yarn at TWO local yarn stores which made me feel better. (Yay! There are yarn stores here!)
I've got an apartment to view a studio tomorrow, so cross your fingers that it will work out, or really, that something will work out.

Mostly though, other than the frustration, I still feel really great. I may not have as much as I had when Ranger Man was providing every thing for me, but at least what I have is truly mine, and I have to work for it. I'm in control now, not any one else. I do what's best for me and for Webster, and I truly believe that was coming home. Plus, I am grateful (even if it doesn't sound like it) that my dad let me come here. Not everyone even has a little room to share with a cat and a computer. I am lucky.

For tomorrow... the tale of the immense gratification when your ex-boyfriend from when you were a senior in High School really does look you up 7 years later. I *told* him that he wouldn't be able to stop thinking about me! Hahaha. stay tuned.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Almost there

I'm finally on I-5, which is the "right road" to take to get home. It's still going to be Friday until we actually arrive- but we're so close! The trees are starting to look more normal, and I'm beginning to see familiar chains of restaurants, etc.

For the most part, Webster has been a prince. I have a new picture of him perched atop the highest point in this hotel room, but the shady wireless connection is preventing its upload. He's not happy about this situation, but he's (mostly) been such a great cat.

By the way- was I the only person that didn't know drivers entering California have to pass through an agricultural inspection station? As we were passing from Arizona to California, all of a sudden there were these big signs on the sides of the road "Inspection Station Ahead- all vehicles must stop." I was confused- had I accidentally taken a wrong turn and ended up in Mexico? What were they inspecting? Do I have all of Webster's papers? Ack!

In the end, the Very Nice Inspection Guard informed me that it was an agricultural inspection, and asked if I had any fruits or vegetable... "no." Then the Very Nice Inspection Guard asked if I had any plants or animals... "uh... (gesturing at the big box on the passenger seat)... I have a cat."

He then declared very matter-of-factly in a very deep voice that "Cats are OK."

Insert HUGE sigh of relief from me, until---

"Can I look in your trunk?"

Me, out loud: "sure, no problem." Me, inside my head "please, please, please don't unpack my car- I have no idea how I got this much stuff in here in the first place!"

I believe that Very Nice Inspection Guard saw the jam-packed nature of my car and trunk and decided that I didn't pose an agricultural threat. It made me glad that my stash was on the bottom of the pile in my trunk- I don't know that I would have wanted to explain all that yarn...

Friday, December 11, 2009


The best way I can think to sum up how I've been feeling lately:

I know this is the right thing to do... I just wish that it wasn't.

One of my co-workers was really sweet and got me flowers the other day:

Also on Thursday, my co-workers surprised me with a potluck lunch, and brought bagels for me- My favorite! It was such a great and sweet surprise.

I've also had the best kitty ever to keep me occupied with ultimate cuteness:

Webster has so far liked moving because there are lots of boxes, and he loves boxes. I don't think he's going to continue to like moving once we are in a car all day long for a week.

We have a route planned, and Webster-friendly stops along the way. Most everything has been shipped, probably down to one more trip to the post office.

I've got some more whining and moaning to do, but I'm going to try not to do it today.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Holey Moley.

This is hard. Much harder than I thought it would be.

Send wine and chocolate.

It's interesting how even though, cognitively, I know that I've made the right decision... It's still one of the hardest things I've ever done and hurts like the dickens.

More later perhaps, after the wine wears off. There's been lots of wine to cope with today.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

On driving across the country

Shortly, I will be embarking on a cross-country voyage in my car, with a cat. In the long run, driving is going to be the most cost-effective way to get there- but it's also probably the most stressful/longest way there.

My dad really wants to force my little brother to fly out here and then drive back with me. My friend, A has offered to do the same thing. While I feel incredibly lucky, and blessed, to have these options, I really want to make the drive alone. Which I think makes me a little crazy.

I know, logically, that it would be a good idea to have someone with me. I know that I could get more driving done during the day and it would probably be good just to have someone around.

But this drive feels like such a turning point in my life- I've been almost looking forward to the drive itself as a way to wipe the slate clean and focus my mind and my thoughts on myself and moving forward with my life. The drive itself is something that I'm looking forward to as cathartic- a time to mourn and heal. Since it's going to be such a long drive, I figure that I'll have time to go through a lot of stages.

I've planned to take my iPod to listen to podcasts, CDs for music and I'm going to get an audio book or something as well. This drive feels integral to the process of breaking up and moving on, and thus I want to do it alone.

I must be crazy. But really, I may like A and lil bro right now, but I'm sure that I wouldn't like tham any more if I had to spend that much time cooped up in a car/hotel room with them!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Interesting week

It's been an interesting week.

I finished my first draft (hooray!), so for the first time in the last two years, I had no schoolwork to do. That was a completely weird feeling.

I decided that either the college students in this college town are getting younger, or I'm getting older. They used to look so old, and now they look like babies. I think it must be that they are getting younger. Also, I had very much forgotten what men look like with longer hair than me.

Obviously, I determined that it's not a great idea to stay in this house for an extended period of time while waiting for admissions decisions. I'll be finding a new apartment here in my hometown after I arrive- one with a bathroom that's been cleaned in the last 2.5 years.

I had a very awkward lunch with my mom today, but on the other hand I seem to have gotten closer to my dad. We went for a walk/hike on Friday morning and afterwards he showed me where he's working, and the project he's been working on. He's never done that before. Of course, usually he's working inside an oil refinery, so he can't really bring his kids to show and tell, but it was still kind of interesting to see his project. I think that retaining this closeness is directly dependent on the aforementioned idea that I can't stay in this house for long...

This whole week, Ranger Man's been telling me how much he loves me and how much he misses me. Umm... what am I supposed to say to that? I know that much of his act on Sunday was, as Cookie mentioned in the comments, trying to make things easier on me. But really? Our relationship has an expiration date and it is rapidly approaching.

I missed this town. Young college students aside, I missed the eccentricities and the focus of this town. I'm glad to be returning to a place with similar values to mine.

I will spend the day tomorrow with my Grandma, and then it's back to the airport and on to Georgia. Monday will be a really long day.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend everyone!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Hard Day

Since Ranger Man is on block leave and his parents are coming into town later this week... I needed to get the heck out of dodge. I knew it was especially bad when I not only talked to my mother about it, but was actually bawling on the phone to her a couple weeks about how much I didn't want to have to deal with his mother. So she bought me a plane ticket to come home for the week, and the journey started today.

There's not a lot of time between now and Ranger Man's next deployment, and that time is going to be filled up with a lot of long training days. I think it really dawned on him in the last few days that I really am leaving. Maybe not, maybe that's just wishful thinking on my part (hey, I can still want to be missed, right?). Last night, when I was packing, he was clearly upset- although when I questioned him about it, he said it was about work. Whatever.

He dropped me off at the airport early this morning, and it was really hard. Much harder than I expected. I had tears rolling down my face before he pulled away- as much as I know that this is the right decisions, that doesn't mean that I want him to just let me go. He kept saying how much he was going to miss me, blah blah... and then he just let me walk into the airport.

Until I left Atlanta (after my connecting flight), I was in tears pretty much the whole time. I suppose it's good, because I'm finally having a chance to mourn the relationship properly- but somehow that knowledge doesn't make it hurt less. I mean, I *knew* that he wasn't going to all of a sudden have a come-to-Jesus moment and realize that he couldn't live without me. And I also knew that even if he did, I still wouldn't stay. But it still aches that he's letting me walk away like this.

And, to top off the day, once I finally got here ( a mere 20 hours after I left this morning), I discovered that one of my biggest fears about moving home is, indeed, true.

I left 2.5 years ago... I'm pretty sure that my brother hasn't cleaned our bathroom since then. It's gross.

To end on a good note, though... I get to hang out with this guy while I'm home. He's not as good as Webster, but he comes in a close, close second: This is Jack.


Monday, November 16, 2009

Would that be weird?

First of all, Thank You.

Thanks to those who wrote wonderful comments on my last post. I'm seriously considering printing out and keeping them with me in my wallet as an instant pick-me-up. Would that be weird? You are wonderful people and you said EXACTLY what I needed to hear.

In the meantime, I almost feel as though I'm in an alternate universe here sometimes. Most of the time it seems so surreal- to be leaving here and leaving everything... And then other times, mostly briefly, the reality sets in and it just feels sad.

It's strange. It's not a hard decision to make, and for the most part I feel completely confident that I'm making the right decision. So HARD isn't a good description. It just feels sad- sad to put so much energy and time and emotion into something that won't exist in a few weeks.

And then, of course, there's the guilt. How is it that I'm the one leaving to pursue my own life that's been put on hold, but yet I am the one that feels guilty? He's deploying and I'm leaving in rapid succession, and it feels terrible to be leaving him then. Logically I know that he's a big boy and he'll deal with it just fine- but I feel like a jerk for having to clean out the kitchen and cancel the cable and all that other stuff that comes with prolonged absence. That's not my responsibility anymore, I know... but it still makes me feel like a jerk.

This long, drawn out break-up process is very odd. And it doesn't help that I'm getting mildly panic-y about my applications that are due next month.

Obligatory Webster picture:


Helping to put together a dresser from IKEA. This begs for an LOLCats style caption, doesn't it?

So, in short, we're plugging away in a strange world. Prepping applications, planning a road trip across the country with a cat and all the while doing Christmas knitting.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

An Explanation

Where I've been/Why I've not been blogging/What's been going on:

I think I was almost afraid to blog about it (and really to talk to anybody blog-related) because for the last year so much of this blog has been Ranger Man-related and Georgia related. I think I was afraid that somehow the blog would implode without those things. But the fact of the matter is that, like my life, this blog started before Ranger Man and will continue beyond Ranger Man. So in order for my life, and this blog, to move forward, the events and feelings that I've been not sharing for the past 6-9 months need to be shared.

We all know that I moved literally across the Pacific Ocean and then across the ENTIRE United States to be here with Ranger Man and get married and have a family. We also all know that Ranger Man isn't a fan of that idea. What I've not outlined is that the longer I've been here, the less amenable to that outcome he has become. This isn't one of those things we can compromise on. Me being here for a year was the compromise and that has come and gone- and now it's time for me to do the same.

There's no hostility, there's no animosity- in fact, we're still ostensibly "together" until I actually leave, but leave I will, and soon.

I've been putting together application materials to apply to further grad programs back in the PNW so I can get on with my life. I thought about staying here, at my job, for a while longer to save money- but the fact of the matter is that I need to get away from here to heal. It's very hard to heal when I come home to him every night, or even just come home to the apartment that he pays for every night. I want to move on.

So, this blog in the coming days will continue to be about my knitting (of course), finishing up that darn thesis (of course), and my life (of course), but my life now is in transition and will consist of moving across the country, again, applications processes (which will probably include some rejection but hopefully some acceptance as well), saying goodbye to Georgia and saying hello to my hometown and my old job.

Plus- I get to experience real seasons again, which I'm indescribably happy about. It's going to by wool weather FOR REAL there! For the obligatory knitting picture of the day:


A pair of plain vanilla socks, knit on size 1s with Hazel Knits Artisan Sock in the Chuckanut Drive Colorway. Ironically, this was my "coming to Georgia" yarn- I got it while I was still living in Hawaii (but back home on Spring Break) because it reminds me of fall at home. Ironically, now they feel like my "going home" socks rather than my "coming to Georgia" socks. But I love the way that it striped in the end, and they are a perfect fit.

So, in summation of the above: Thanks for being patient with my not posting recently, but I needed a minute to figure out what was going on and to not feel like a jerk about it. My life is changing quite a bit coming up, and that will likely be reflected here. What is likely not to change is of course the knitting. Nothing that's happening is mean-spirited or hostile, but it is time to move upwards and onwards.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Look! A Sweater!

So... I've been knitting! Hooray! The most exciting part is that I finally finished a sweater that fits!

IMG_0222 IMG_0216

(Please don't look too closely at my hair. Or my butt because those pants, while comfortable, make my butt look goofy)

This is the Hey Teach! cardigan from Knitty, knit out of Knitpicks Comfy. Buttons from JoAnn's, because where else am I going to get buttons here? Seriously, if anyone knows, please share the knowledge. Buying buttons online to match a sweater seems like an exercise in futility to me.

I also knit some preemie hats out of leftover sock yarn:


Very cute and tiny- I should have included something for scale. Trust me- they're little.

I've been writing. And re-writing. Perhaps when I'm done with this round of writes/rewrites I'll be up to recording the process. For now, it's still a little too fresh.

That is my life these days: work, write, some knitting (although not much), snuggles with SirShedsALot. I've been prepping my applications, and perhaps one of these days that will be bloggable but alas now it is not. Hence the distracting knitting photos.

Tomorrow: finish the re-write on chapter 1, re-write chapter 2 and edit chapter 5 in light of the re-writes. Starting chapter 3 would be good too, seeing as how all the other chapters have at least a first draft done and submitted.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Mostly Pictures

Some pictures Ranger Man took while my mom was here (we specifically went somewhere we knew there would be ample photo-ops so he could occupy himself that way).


IMG_0232 IMG_0253

I determined that while I like butterflies when it's just me and them in the wild open spaces of the wild outdoors- me and hundreds of them in a small enclosed hot and humid place? do. not. like.

There are flower pictures too, but I'll save them for later as it is past my bedtime.

I will, however, close with this thought: Wool weather is the best thing ever. It's been chilly enough to FINALLY wear all the socks I've been knitting this year and that has been simply a delight. Wool Weather- I like it.

Enjoy the rest of the week, everyone. There may be knitting content soon. It's not like I haven't been knitting- I just haven't been posting!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Bug Zilla

Ranger Man left today for another TDY, after being home for (I think) almost two months. He was home for a really long time and it was really nice once I finally got used to it, which was about three days ago. It was great having him around for cooking (mmm, pie!) and helping to clean in preparation for my mom coming out, and all that other little stuff that it's just nice to have someon else around for.

So he left today- and as I'm sitting in bed reading to Webster, I notice that Webster is really interested in something. Now, Webster being Really Interested in something usually means it's a bug- Webster is a Mighty Hunter After all. Because we have regular pest control in our apartment, normally the bugs aren't that bad. However, this time he found, I kid you not, a flying cockroach (waterbug? I dont know the proper Georgia bug terms. I just just know "big bug") was hopping around the wall, right behind my headboard.

Proud of me Moment: I did not scream. I calmly, albeit quickly, exited my bed and the room. I went straight for the vacuum, because I wasn't sure I possessed the strength necessary to crush the force-field type of shield that this thing had for its shell.

I got the attachments all set up and tried to do it quietly as my bug tracker is definitely afraid of vacuums and runs quickly to get away from them. I cornered the horrendous bug in my closet (on my end of the closet, mind you- not Ranger Man's side)- so I blasted my weapon of necessity at the bug, with one eye open because I was sure that it was going to fly at and attack my head in retaliation, or that all of my clothes were going to get sucked into the vacuum.

Instead, in some amazing feat of clumsy that only I can accomplish, I managed to run over a bag of batting with the upright end of the vacuum. Did you know that the upright end still sucks even when you're brandishing the long bugsucker attachment of death? Also, did you know that sucking up a bag of batting makes vacuum cleaners unhappy? So at that point, my bedroom smelled like unhappy vacuum cleaner and bag of batting.

And I missed the bastard.

Webster found him again (he's a great tracker) and was chasing him through the bedroom. For a while they were under the bed, and then all of a sudden Webster came out, sniffed around and laid down.

I have no idea what this means. Did he lose the bug? Did he eat the bug? Is he simply bored with the whole scenario? You really never can quite tell with cats. He's currently in the bathroom, but he looks pretty alert. I don't know if that means he's still got some sort of kitty-adrenaline high going on, or if he really thinks the bug-zilla is in there, but doesn't know where.

I'm sleeping on the couch tonight. I just hope BugZilla isn't after wool...

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Whirlwind and some knitting

Hm... Briefly, what's been going on that's kept me from blogging:

1. Writing. I have three chapters finished, two more to write. Neither of the two that are left are straightforward. I've received ZERO feedback from my advisers, so I feel like I"m flying blind as to whether I'm even going in the right direction.

2. I'm applying to PhD programs for next fall. It's a huge step, it means moving again and I'm trying to figure out when the best time to move is (get the heck out of Georgia now and enjoy an actual winter and attempt to establish residency, or keep my job and save some money and wait to move?). This also stresses me out because of that lingering self-confidence problem... "what if I don't get in?" I should be covered, I have a back up program that I'm applying to that I should be overqualified for, but in this economy, who knows who will be going back to school next fall!

4. Last but most stressful: My mom is going to be here today. Yes, in all her infinite wisdom, my crazy mother is going to be in Georgia to visit her daughter who moved across the country for LESS THAN 24 HOURS. and then she'll go back to her "real" reason for the trip- visiting her late father's last wife in Florida. (who, bitter, me? no...). I've been ill the past two days and I know that there's nothing wrong with me- it's just my nervous system completely overloaded and wanting to explode. Plus, she just called to say that her flight is delayed. So who knows when she's going to get here? Her return flight is early tomorrow morning, so if she doesn't get here until this evening... ugh.

Oh, and I've been knitting: I took advantage of laundry day and a completely white unmade bed to take some pictures:


Angee Socks by Cookie A. Knit out of Koigu KPPPM (I think it's the one with 3 Ps? It's fantastic yarn)


Plain Vanilla Socks out of Hazel Knits Artisan Sock Chuckanut Drive Colorway. I get a kick out of the way these striped!

Oh yes- one more thing- Ranger Man's "Don't shave" orders came through, so we're officially preparing for his deployment, which means even crazier than usual training schedules. He copes by baking though, so we have a chocolate cream pie and a pecan pie to eat this weekend, which is not too bad! I like pie!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I'm not rude!

I've been -not ignoring- but putting off answering some emails and responding to comments lately. Please don't think I'm trying to be rude! There are some things going on and all will be explained shortly when I am ready to indulge in some good old fashioned cathartic blogging. But for now, just don't think that I am intentionally blowing anyone off.

I think I'll be back soon. Give me a couple days.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Overheard in the library today:

Apparently, according to the students in the library today, the use of nuclear weapons would signal a cold war. Nuclear = Cold is what this particular student said.

So... that whole nuclear fusion thing is apparently a frigid process...

Good thing they're not MY history students!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Bad hole.

First of all, I want to thank everyone for their righteous indignation on my part regarding the FRG. There's a bit more to the story, but I don't have the energy to regale it all here, nor do I feel like drawing more attention to the train wreck. So, for the time being I want to say thank you- I'm okay and not livid or sobbing- and let's leave it at that.

But, how about some (almost) pretties for distraction? The knitting is my coping mechanism, and it will be depicted thusly on my blog. Ready for the distraction?

One of these holes is not like the others...


Do you see the problem? This shetland triangle shawl is going to have to be frogged because of the gigantic hole. The gigantic hole that I didn't notice until after I'd woven in the ends, soaked and pinned the shawl out. Bad hole. This shawl is in time out.

Off to the frog pond.

Here's a closer look, without the bad hole:


Sigh. It was so pretty!

Those of you on Ravelry probably noticed that I updated my knitting projects today: Theoretically that means that I will have something to blog about for a little while!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Not Good Enough, redux

I thought that my FRG battles were done- I was laying low and not creating any waves, not making problems for anyone... until Friday.

I was in the archives, so I didn't have my phone with me, and when I finally surfaced I had about 8 missed calls from the same, Georgia, number. That's strange, because no one here calls me.

It's the FRG person (a different one than I'd talked to before) saying that she needs clarification on what my relation is to Ranger Man, because if I'm his girlfriend, they'll have to remove me from the FRG list.

So- impending deployment aside (his orders to not shave are coming any day)- I'm not good enough again. Humiliation, much? She'd also emailed- so I had 8 missed calls, one voicemail and one email from this woman. Apparently it was urgent that she humiliate me right then. I sent an email back this morning that was remarkably un-snarky for the way that I feel. There was a tad bit of snark- but really, considering how strongly I felt and what I really *wanted* to say to her, I was restrained.

I understand OPSEC, I do. I don't want it to sound like I'm trying to get around OPSEC and ferret out information.All I need is for someone to tell me when he's coming home so I can pick him up! But to tell me it's okay, and then to take it away? I was on the 'list' for the end of his last deployment, and for the last 6 months! Have I really been that much of a security risk?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Invite to Strip?

The actual work part of the day today was a tad boring (read- we all wanted to run away screaming), so my cohorts and I skipped the large group dinner and went to a local pub/bar and had burgers and beer instead. Much better alternative.

As I was there, I was realizing the last time I was even IN a bar was over a year ago before I left the Island and the last time I DRANK in a bar was before I even left for the Island. Wow, a long time ago. So that was interesting. I learned more about my colleagues than I had known before- it was not a negative experience.

Then, once I got back to the hotel, I was riding the elevator up to my room with two (old) men from another campus, (one of whom knew my name, which freaked me out- I'm kind of low man on the totem pole) who invited me to a party in one of their campus hotel rooms. Okay- not too bad. Then, the other old man looked at me and says, "We've even got a pole around here somewhere."

WTF? okay- I admit, I'd had a beer at this point and this may have added to my confusion. Then he tried to make some joke about the "Pole" as in, a guy from Poland, but at that point- it was a bit much. And, what are you supposed to say to that? I said "No, but thank you anyways" and left it at that- but seriously? Making jokes about poles to some random girl who happens to work for the same employer? Can you say harassment? geez.

What a day. And tomorrow is going to be even longer.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Car Paranoia

I'm off to a three day workshop thingy for work. This happens twice a year, but this is the first time since I've been here that Ranger Man has been here for one- which I was really excited about because I thought it meant that I wouldn't have to leave my car at work the entire time and worry about something happen to it. I am paranoid about someone breaking into/stealing my car. It's only happened once (the breaking into part, not the stealing part), and ever since I have been completely paranoid about it happening again.

So, of course, even though Ranger Man is "home" he isn't going to be able to drop me off tomorrow at work (nor would he probably be able to pick me up on Saturday)- so I'm still the lame-o who has to leave her car in the parking lot because she has no one to drop her off. And I'm going to be worried the whole time that something is going to happen to my car. Ugh. Lame and Paranoid are not my best looks.

Monday, August 17, 2009

A little bid of this and a little bit of that

Weirdness. This feels very surreal and strange.

The TDY that was pushed back has now been cancelled altogether. For those keeping track, that leaves Ranger Man without any major movements of any long lengths of time for about four months.

Four Months? What on Earth am I going to do with him for four months straight? This weekend we had to have a talk about how if he wants to get a workout on his bicycle, he needs to go ahead and go for a ride without me. That he can do that because we don't just have the weekend together before he leaves again, so he needs to workout and he's going to need to leave me at home, and not feel guilty about that. Of course, it is hard to take my own advice and I still feel guilty when I try to write and he goes into another room to leave me alone to my random out-loud outbursts and attacking the keyboard (writing is kind of a loud process for me).

But really, that's a long time. I don't know how to have him home for that long...

Luckily, I have knitting. I finished Chapter 1 last weekend. OKay- I finished the draft and I figure that the yarn reward was partly to reward/motivate the draft completion and partly to make me feel better because first drafts are always crap and hopefully the edits will be brutal. So...

I am planning on making Liesl, and I ordered some Rowan Summer Tweed in a powder blue color to make it. I think a cotton/silk blend will be a nice garment for mid-Summer Georgia. I may have also ordered another skein of sock yarn- with the WEBS discount, the sock yarn ended up being about $1, so I really couldn't resist!

I leave you today with pictures of another completed pair of neverending socks of doom. Ranger Man's Dad is one of the best knit-wear receivers I know (ranks high up there with my Grandma, who is another knitter)- so it is ONLY for him that I would go through this again:
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(Yes, the ends have been woven in since I took the pictures). Sorry about the cat butt- If I try to get cat Head in the picture, he attacks the socks and heaven forbid I try to take a picture without the King of The House in it at all!

These pictures doesn't fully capture the hugeness that are size 14 socks on size 1 needles.
Plain Vanilla Socks, The grey is Knitpicks Essential/Stroll/Whatever they're calling it these days and its tweedy. The Brown is Elann Sockittome in some sort of brown colorway. Nutmeg or something like that.

For being GIGANTIC socks, they only took about 3 weeks. By contrast, the last pair of plain vanilla socks I did for my womens' size 6.5 socks took 1 week.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Call me Ms. LovesToRant

The Way To Annoy the Library Worker/SGA Advisor/Community Service Coordinator #897:

2.5 hours before a big meeting to plan for a brand-new and very exciting event, when I am frantically typing with my eyes glued to my computer and have an even greater amount than usual of random books and papers strewn across my desk-

Be sure to ask me what my ideas are. This will not only disrupt my train of thought, but it will take time away from preparing for said big meeting. Thus- doubly annoying me.

Especially if you had volunteered to contribute ideas but didn't follow through, leaving me to do it all.

OMG. seriously? The world does not revolve around you, Mr. Snowflake student. Since you obviously did not care to help out before hand, you will have to wait like everyone else for me to explain the process. Seriously, I think it's like some sort of a drinking game for them or something- how much can we annoy Ms. Library Worker today?


Monday, August 10, 2009

Chapter 1, almost done!

Loquita asked about the writing, so I thought I'd share publicly.

I'm *ALMOST* done with Chapter 1. Well, with the draft of Chapter 1. I have to go back to the archives on friday and then will spend saturday and sunday writing and re-writing, but by goodness the draft of the first chapter will be emailed to my advisors next Sunday night.

Then, there will be yarn purchasing. A while ago, I told myself I woudn't buy any yarn until I finished the first chapter. It's worked, I haven't bought any new yarn (not that I really need any right now)- I've done a ton of knitting from stash, and I've gotten the writing done.

More importantly, once I finish (i.e. completely done) the entire thesis, I am going to learn to spin. I'm aiming for that being right around SAFF time.

So- that's my timeline and my rewards. And now, to go to work to pay the bills.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Turkey Knitting

So.... flying to Istanbul from Georgia takes about 15 hours. Then there are layovers: We flew from Atlanta to Philadelphia, where our flight was delayed and from Philly to Paris, where we had missed our connecting flight and had to wait another 6 hours, and then finally Paris to Istanbul. All in all, over 24 hours.

I brought sock knitting, of course (and an extra set of DPNs in my checked luggage in case anything went awry with security on the way there), and cast on a pair of socks after we had boarded the plane in Atlanta. I knit almost the entire time we were sitting down (we spent some time wandering around airports because we were tired of sitting)- but it was still a good chunk of knitting at one time, and it helped ME to not be annoyed with all the delays. Ranger Man did not have such a soothing mechanism and was not pleased. I finished all but the toe of the first sock before we landed in Istanbul:

I finished the first sock in the evenings while we were in Istanbul and cast on the second sock. Then, I got sick and rather than having super-knitting-productive plane rides home (without flight delays, literally only took 15 hours, thank goodness!), I spent the entire time blowing my nose and being miserable. The thought of looking down at my knitting and encouraging the snot flow was not appealing, not to mention that my eyes were watering so much that I couldn't keep them open that long (how's the for graphic, sorry guys). Ugh, it was terrible. Plus- the first flight I literally thought my ears were going to explode due to congestion and air pressure. Not fun. So the second sock took longer than 48 hours. But as you can see, they're completed nonetheless. I made them an inch longer than my feet, so they will be a Christmas Present for someone. I just need to figure out who!

Pattern: Sunshine, by Cookie A from Sock Innovation.
Yarn: Elann Sockittome in the Rose Wine Colorway

Monday, August 3, 2009

I am in so much trouble

So, anyone who has spent much time around me knows that I like to knit. Perhaps "like" isn't a strong enough word- since it occupies all of my non-working/non-writing time- but the point is that it doesn't take long to figure out that knitting is a major component of my life. This includes knitting, looking at yarn online (no LYS in these parts), spending time on ravelry, and listening to knitting podcasts.

Ranger Man isn't dumb- he understands this. He fully supports and indulges my yarn habit, knowing that (a) it makes me happy (b) it keeps me busy (and happier) when he's gone and (c) aren't there worse things that I could be doing?

So, back to the yarn activities- did I mention listening to knitting podcasts? Sometimes, I'll listen to them before bed. It's a good way to clear my head from whatever icky things might be in there that give me bad dreams and focus on one thing rather than racing thoughts that also keep me up. Thus I'm usually on the look out for new knitting podcasts to listen to that are relaxing (read: few verbal tics) enough to listen to before bedtime. Right before we left for Turkey, I heard about a new one: Electric Sheep. I was listening in bed while Ranger Man was reading a book, and it was so witty and funny that I kept laughing out loud. Note: This is seriously unusual for me, I almost never laugh out loud at movies, so to laugh *repeatedly* at podcast must have been strange. He wanted to know what I was listening, so I shoved an earbud in his ear mid-giggle.

This podcast is funny, witty, intelligent and not so knit-centric as to be completely exclusive. Ranger Man has spent enough time around me that he knows a bit of knitting terms and could pick right up and follow along, and soon he was also laughing (not so unusual- he's a much better laugher than I. In fact, he watched "Madagascar 2" on the plane ride home from Turkey and he was laughing so hard and loud that I just about died of embarrassment).

He enjoyed it so much that it's become a bit of a ritual. Now, when there's a new Electric Sheep podcast, we'll listen together before bed. This podcast talks a lot about guerilla knitting, and Ranger Man has decided to make this cause his own. We'll be around town somewhere and he will, out of the blue, say "you know those boat trailers in the parking lot at the Marina? They'd be great targets for guerilla knitting" or "that statue needs a scarf."

I emailed the podcaster and told her about this strange knitting phenomenon. This Big Bad Scary Ranger Man who is enjoying listening to her knitting podcast with his girlfriend and who is championing the cause of guerilla knitting. She got such a kick out of this that she talked about us on her next podcast. (I believe it starts at about the 32 minue mark, if you're not interested in the knitting content).

Here's the part where I get in trouble. Ranger Man's mom sent me an email with some pictures of a motorcycle covered in knitting, as a sort of joke. I chuckled slightly to myself, thinking "she has no idea what Pandora's box she's just opened," and replied with some other pictures of guerilla knitting, including the tank cozy and the phone box. Not only that, I told her, but your son (and my Ranger Man) has been quite the advocate of this type of knitting, and sent her the link to the podcast.

Now, I did this with good intentions- I think that the more involved she feels in his life (and of course, the more I am instrumental in that feeling), the less snarky she will be when I see her. What I didn't count on was her sharing this podcast with Ranger Man's mentor- i.e. the ORIGINAL big bad scary Ranger Man. oops. I totally emasculated Ranger Man this weekend and it was completely on accident. He is ssooo not happy.

Is it wrong that I think it's hilarious?

Friday, July 31, 2009


So Ranger Man's upcoming TDY (#4 this summer? can't keep track) got pushed WAY back. As in, he should be home for longer than he's ever been home before (which, at 5 weeks, isn't much of a record to break).

So why, then, is this happening at the same time that my job is taking me away and OUT OF TOWN every other weekend? I'm a freaking library associate, what is with the odd hours and the travel all of a sudden?

No, I'm not bitter.

And why do I think it is incredibly adorable (in a hot and handsome sort of way, of course) that Ranger Man is playing on a soccer team? I'm not a fan of team sports, as a rule, but I think this is great. The soccer team should only last a couple weeks or two, but it amuses me, and I've not even seen him play! I had the same reaction when he played football in Super Secret Army land once. and I am SO not a football fan.

Also, I want to know why I love knitting brightly colored socks, but I will never wear them anywhere. Especially not in Georgia- they're wool! It's hot! I'm getting way ahead on Christmas knitting this summer, but I can't resist casting on socks for me as well (my feet are small- socks are almost instant gratification sometimes). I'll never wear them, but I love making them. why?

This weekend will be full of writing, knitting and enjoying home-ness.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Boring Life

Apparently, I gave myself too much credit when I said that I outsmarted Webster. As much as he loved his bed with the towel covering it, as soon as I removed the towel, he was back to not wanting anything to do with it. Why is the cat bed the only surface in the house NOT covered in cat hair!?

Ranger Man has returned from his most recent TDY for a couple weeks and then he'll leave for TDY #3 since we've been back from Turkey. It should be #4, but the first one (and the reason that we came home early from Turkey) was cancelled. This last TDY was a complete and utter disaster, so he's very stressed out about going back to work and dealing with the fallout. Me- I'm just glad to have him home for a while.

I've not been blogging, but I've been relatively productive in other areas. Thesis-izing has been consuming my spare active thoughts and knitting has been the calming-down thought work. Makes for boring times from the outside looking in.

I spent last Friday back at the archives, and came up with new evidence and ideas that should prove helpful. If I could get out of the writing slump that would be even more fantastic.

Perhaps now that Ranger Man is home for a (fleeting) little while, I'll have a more exciting and blog-worthy life. We'll see.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Outsmarting Webster

I've outsmarted the cat!

Before Webster flew out to GA last summer, I bought him a new cat-bed. It was very cute and I thought for sure it would be cozy and cat-friendly. His old cat bed is pretty raggedy, and it was before it made the cross-country trip. His old bed is ratty and covered in cat hair (despite regular vacuuming) and made out of foam that I'm frankly surprised still holds its shape. The new bed is lovely and has gold embroidery and is just the right size for him.

Of course, Webster has been here for almost a year now and he hadn't touched the new bed, until tonight when I finally figured out how to trick him into using this lovely new bed. Gosh, it is a sad commentary on the state of my weekend that tricking the cat is the highlight and breaks a slight blogging hiatus...

Webster loves slightly used towels, and if I throw a towel that I've used in the hallway floor instead of in the laundry basket, he will be happy for days (or until I actually clean and move the towel).

So- my brilliance led me to combine the two tonight- the towel that I know he does love and the bed that I want him to love. I put the bed in front of the television, where he likes to hang out anyways, and covered it with my favorite green towel, and waited.

Sure enough- it worked! He's sleeping on it as I type! I am brilliant! Muahahaha, I have outsmarted Webster the Wonder Cat!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Things I don't want to hear...

"Uh, babe, can you make dinner tonight? There's tons of leftovers, they just need to be nuked, my (fill in the body parts here) hurts and I can't really walk..."

Mind you- Ranger Man is a master complainer and whiner. But not usually about things HURTING, and not wanting to make dinner? That's completely unlike him. And of course he wouldn't tell me what actually happened until I got work, when I was greeted with:

"See, what happened was... " (never a good sign) "I had a jump today" (Ok- not terribly unusual, but also jumping doesn't usually break him) "And we were using these new parachutes. See, the Army hasn't actually approved them yet- they were testing them on the Rangers. I told them they were great in the air, but not so good once you're out of the air..."

great. parachute testing. No wonder he's all scraped up and is having problems walking...

Never a dull day!

eta: I'm pretty sure (or perhaps hoping) that by "the Army hasn't appproved them yet" he actually meant a word like "implemented" or something like that. There was some vetting process first, before they strapped the chutes on the Rangers, right?

Monday, June 29, 2009

Turkey, Part 1- the kitties

I've not been blogging because I haven't uploaded any pictures from Turkey. And it seems backwards to blog about anything else before I write about the trip.

I finally got some of the pictures uploaded this weekend. It's not all of them, but it's a start. I started with some of the smaller collections, and to solidify my "Crazy Cat Lady" status: I present some of the stray cat pictures from Turkey. We couldn't take Webster, so we took pictures of the strays to show him when we got home...





The strays were EVERYWHERE. It was surprising. You can see that they would find soft places to hang out and take naps during the day, and they would come out at night and roam around.

I am going to keep plugging away at the pictures. But I have to say that I don't think it's fair that Ranger Man has all the fun taking the pictures and I get the not-fun job of sorting, sifting and uploading. blech.

Stay tuned for actual pictures of interesting places in Istanbul.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Safe Landing, Achoo!

Phew, we made it home.

Turkey is an amazing place- I highly recommend it as a vacation place!

What I don't recommend: long plane delays, getting a bad head cold just before 13 hours (ish? I lost track...) of flying time in the midst of a flu pandemic scare, and having to return to hot, sticky Georgia heat.

We had a fantastic time and took tons and tons of pictures which have not been uploaded to my computer/flickr due to the aforementioned bad head cold. Imagine each of these sentences punctuated with a sneeze- because that's how the last few days have been for me, yuck!

More to come, I promise! Now- back to bed.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Best. Day. Ever.

Ranger Man learned how much fun it is to chase Webster around the apartment.

The big bad Ranger Man is chasing the big fluffy cat around the apartment and giggling. It is truly the best day ever.

We leave soon- that means I need to start packing (what, the knitting I'm taking is all ready to go, I'm set!).

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


I will never forget the night that I graduated the eighth grade. Not because of the ceremony in the gym, not because of the dance after the ceremony, not because of the pretty new dress and not because my friends gathered at my house before the festivities started for a Mary Kay make-up party to prepare.

The night of my eighth grade graduation there was an explosion in my town. A natural gas (I think?) pipeline ruptured and ignited. I remember standing on the outside deck of my house in my new pretty dress with the makeup on and my mom taking pictures, when we noticed that there was ash falling from the sky. I remember the carefully guarded fear in my mom's eyes as she rushed to the television to turn on the news because my dad was working (still does) in an oil refinery, and explosions in oil refineries were certain to be bad.

I don't remember too much about the ceremony (except that it was announced to the entire graduating class that I wanted to be a professional rock-climber, which is a career goal I had made up in a bout of silliness and knew that while I loved climbing, I could never live that life), and I don't remember much about the dance. I remember the ash falling from the sky and the feeling of uncertainty and fear.

We later learned that while no one that we knew personally was killed, three other boys were. One of the boys that was killed was the younger brother of a boy that was just a few years older than my friends and I, and the next year we were at the same High School as this older boy who had carried his badly burned younger brother out of the explosion site, only for the smaller boy to die the next day. It was whispered to me in the hall when the older brother passed that it was "his brother" that had died.

I remember later- much later- passing the explosion site and seeing the devastation and feeling chills. And to this day, whenever I hear the word "pipeline," a little shudder passes through me and I struggle to follow the conversation and not be transported back to that day and those times when fear and anger ruled my small, normally happy little town.

I will always remember the day of my Middle School graduation, June 10th. And perhaps someday I will be able to have a conversation about pipelines that doesn't result in the little shudder and temporary loss of focus. Keep your loved ones close, y'all. Time is precious.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Kai Mei, take 2

In my last post, I mentioned that the Kai-Mei sock pattern was so awesome that I knit (most of) one pair in a week, and then the following week cast on a second pair?

I got a call from the FRG that night, asking me what Ranger Man's name was (no joke). We're not married, so- my name isn't the same as his, and because he's not actually married, he doesn't show up on any FRG lists of anything. So- a group of soldiers was coming home that night and someone at the FRG just happened to think of me and that perhaps Ranger Man was one of the mystery soldiers. So I got one phone call asking who the heck he was- and then a second phone call saying "yep, he'll be home late tonight/early tomorrow."

But, but... I was just about to start the toe of my sock! I didn't have any mindless knitting suitable for (what was sure to be) hours and hours of waiting! So I spent about an hour combing through pattern books, but I knew that I didn't want something that I had to look at the pattern (because hello, it was the middle of the night and dark!), so I just cast on another pair of Kai Meis. It was a good choice.

IMG_0377 IMG_0374

Here's a better picture of the pattern:

For now, in hopes that I won't completely burn out on this pattern, I've started a pair of garter rib socks in a special colorway for my dad's birthday/Father's Day.

I'll be casting on a different pair of socks for the upcoming plane rides though (just in case something goes awry with security...)

Where am I going on this epic plane ride, you ask? I think it will have to be a surprise, lest the poster boy for OPSEC (aka Ranger Man) deem the security threat too great. Yes- he takes it to the extreme sometimes.

But I'll have some beautiful pictures to post, hopefully!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Ranger Man Meets...

the knitting group!

Apparently, it's A-OK to leave me alone in Georgia for 4 months at a time, but try to leave the Big Bad Ranger Man alone for 12 hours and he gets lonely. Normally on Monday nights I go to the knitting group and eat dinner there (we meet at a Panera).

Ranger Man didn't have to work yesterday so he was left to his own devices and after 12 hours by himself and an almost-50 mile bike ride, he was hungry and lonely, so he called and said he would meet me for dinner "with the knitters." ha!

I think he was impressed. He's always been very supportive and indulgent of my yarn habit, but I think having a bunch of people with yarn habits all in one place was a bit unexpected. He left soon after he finished eating and left me to be with my people.

Remember the awful marathon day at work with Teddy Ruxbin? Here are the socks that I started (and almost finished one of) that day:

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Kai Mei socks, out of Yarn Love Juliet yarn in the Precious Jade colorway. This pattern is so awesome that I cast on another pair the following week (more about that to come). The yarn has a distinctive smell though- I think it might be the dye? The first picture has the colors right, the second picture is shady, but you can see the detail on the foot a bit better. At any rate, this was another pair that Webster immediately attacked. Maybe he just doesn't like me wearing socks?

Ranger Man and I are busy planning our upcoming vacation (thank you to the Army for cutting that in half, by the way!), enjoying the sunny weather and having miscellaneous other adventures.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Blah. I'm feeling very blah.

Ranger Man's home, but my work schedule has been weird and of course his has been weird so we don't have any sort of schedule or routine. Webster's starting to get used to having him home, but I'm not used to it yet.

Work's been driving me nuts for various reasons, although I think the upheaval that prevails through the rest of my life is just affecting work, which feels like the only thing I can control. So I'm hoping that I just feel like work is worse than it actually is.

I finally heard back from one of my thesis advisors, so I'm back on track for that- but without the aforementioned routine/schedule, I'm still not getting anything done.

I am accomplishing knitting though. Lots of knitting. I'm sure I'll have pictures soon.

If I could just figure out how to bring up my energy level a bit- I don't know where it has gone, but my energy has been next to nothing lately. Oh energy, come back! In the meantime, I have nothing exciting going on besides a raging tension headache that won't go away.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Attention Students:

This just in:

I can hear you. When you're griping and whining and complaining about your professors... I can hear you.

And I talk to those professors. I don't think you want me knowing exactly how you feel about them!

Please, save the "I hate Prof. X" talk until I leave for the day.

Also- just for your edification- if Prof. X says that you need to turn in a paper with 1000 words, and your paper doesn't have 1000 words... no. You have not met the requirements of the assignment, and Prof. X has every right to point that out and penalize you for it.

One more day in this quarter, just one more day...

Edited to add a note to the Nighttime Security Guard, who just asked me if I was "sure" that the students in the library weren't taking a test. Um, dude, seriously? I'm pretty sure I would know if I were administering an assessment of some sort.

Death Monkeys

I'm a sock making machine lately. I've got three pairs about to be off the needles, but here's the latest completely finished project:


Monkeys, using Wollmeise. Saami colorway. The entire pair took about a week- Monkeys are the quickest socks ever. Webster, however, apparently doesn't like them. You can see his face, but you can't see the death in his eyes...

I put these sock on and immediately, he decided that those brightly colored things He was not happy. Of course, I wasn't happy because my feet were inside the socks that he was attacking, and he has sharp little teeth! It's so weird how he reacts to some yarn with absolute hatred and vehemence and he absolutely loves other yarns.

Monday, May 18, 2009

My Weekend...

This weekend I got to:

start a new pair of socks and have ample knitting time as I waited and waited and waited...

go running with my running partner...

go grocery shopping with my grocery shopping partner at the commissary...

watch my bike finally get put together (it's been sitting in a box in our living room for months now!...

feel hugged and kissed and loved over and over again...

not worry about where my cell phone was and whether I could hear it ring at every moment...

not refresh my inbox every 5 seconds...

watch someone else do the dishes... (I helped a bit. Sometimes)...

and watch Webster play with his Daddy.

It was a good weekend. Welcome Home Darling.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Happy Graduation Day to Me...

Theoretically, today is my graduation day.

Of course, I still have my thesis to finish- but today is the day that I could have walked.

I found out today that the requirements for my thesis have changed AGAIN. So while I originally thought I had a year from now to complete this, and then found out I only have six months- now I find out that until I finish it, I will have an "F" on my transcript. Or an "NC" which means No Credit (polite F)- which can be changed to a grade after I finish the thesis. All of this extra work has to be done by the professor who has made it clear that he doesn't think I will be able to complete this project at all.

When I emailed him in February, asking for an "Incomplete" until I'm done writing- per his current syllabus (!)- he didn't bother to tell me that it couldn't be done. He didn't bother to respond at all. Which doesn't make me hopeful that he's going to be bothered to change the automatic "F" that I'm going to get since there's no way I can write my thesis in the 2 days or whatever it is until grades are due. (or, I could pay another $700 to enroll in a one credit class to keep my student status active. Thanks for NOT putting that in the syllabus or informing us of the changes!)

[sigh]. Did I mention that neither of my thesis advisors has responded to my (albeit rather disjointed) requests for input thus far? And that I really want to change my topic, but need approval from them to do it? Of course, approval would require that the RESPOND TO MY EMAILS!

Did I mention that the person in charge of my future is convinced that I'm going to fail at this whole process? This is not an encouraging feeling... Can they do that? Can they change course requirements for a current course (thereby making the syllabus invalid/inaccurate)?

Happy Graduation Day...

Friday, May 8, 2009


Things I discovered yesterday (including unexpected things that came out of my own mouth, and others...)

When in doubt, Knit it out. (this is now my theme song)

I will make a good grandmother.

When discussing trivia about children's toys from the eighties, and "My Little Pony" in particular, my brain will come up with Teddy Ruxsben (sp?). wtf? I don't even know what that is, it's some kind of bear, right?

Old-school Marvel X-men are way better then Spiderman.

If the crazy library person launches an impromptu lecture about the Iran and Afghanistan during the Cold War in Afghanistan- some students actually will listen. Some students will then launch into a neo-con tirade, the remedial math instructor will launch into a liberal tirade and some students will nod and think contemplatively and move on.

The day that I"m not in the library is the day that someone will leave their car keys and wallet with credit cards out and they will get stolen. I will then get to play crime fighter and review surveillance footage to try to determine who it is. Moral of the story: Do not mess with the knitting crazy library person.

... I know you're wondering what happened yesterday ...

The student government elections (ostensibly run by students, in reality run by me)- were yesterday. I spent 14 straight hours sitting in the same chair with a total of 67 votes. 4 votes per hour. gr. At least I had my knitting. What a long day. Towards the end, coupled with the above-mentioned math teacher who was keeping me company, there was some punchy-silliness (how else would "My Little Pony" have come up?)

I did get a lot of knitting done. I'll see if I can't take some sort of picture soon. Of course, I have to go back to work today. And announce the results of the election. I may need a strong drink after dealing with a certain disapointed individual...

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


I turned it in! My last paper of my last class of my school on The Island. Now to finish that darn thesis...

On a more serious note:

Depression is hard to talk about. Here's a good article- please read it. It's not necessary to fully understand what depression feels like to be able to empathize, and sometimes a little empathy can help. Depression is hard to describe by those who feel it, and this author does an admirable job.

Even just reading a simple article like this can help to eliminate the stigma of mental illness.

Monday, May 4, 2009


I did not finish that paper yesterday. I got five more pages done, and so I have five left. I failed on my mission yesterday. This paper has been HARD to write.

Is it bad that I'm really glad Ranger Man isn't coming home this week because I don't want to deal with any more stress? They can keep him this week. I'll start lobbying for his return after this week is over.

I did run yesterday though- so I ran, I wrote 5 pages, and I ate enough... I think that's a somewhat productive day. If I'd had a full weekend of days like that I would be done with this paper now. Instead I had to work- yuck. And now I'm back to work today, for hell week.

I must be stressed, I've been doing some yarn shopping lately online... way too much, but yarn is so soft and makes me feel better!

Here's a picture, for example. I actually got this for Christmas: Mountain Colors Bearfoot. (Barefoot? I should go find the ball band... )


See? Don't you feel less stressed now? I may take yarn to work with me this week, to put on my desk.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

I will...

Today I WILL:

Finish the D#$! rough draft of my paper- there will be 20 pages total written by the end of the day today. I'll fix it after that.

Okay... I guess other than that one, I don't really have anything I HAVE to do today.

But I would like to get some exercise of some sort, and I'm seriously thinking about making cookies. But I have so many more pages to write!

10 pages down, 10 to go.
Edit: 13 pages down, 17 to go!

Oh, and so this isn't just for me... Remember the camel yarn? I promised a picture...


Friday, May 1, 2009

bleck weekend

I had to leave these:
(the cat and the socks, not the legs) to head to the main campus of my work-school for a two day workshop this weekend.

The socks:

Glynis, from Cookie A's Book.
Yarn: Alpaca with a Twist Socrates from The Loopy Ewe
Verdict: I love the yarn, super soft and cuddly, but the bamboo content made it a touch too splitty to do any sort of a complicated pattern that may or my not have required un-knitting of one form or another. But I would definitely recommend the yarn for non-complicated patterns.

Other than that, my head is all 'splodey from everything that's going on. 'splodey heads and leaving the cat behind make me cranky. I do not like having to work all weekend and leave the cat behind.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Test

** Warning, I'm posting via email, as a test, so I apologize if this comes out wonky on the other end, I'll go right over and try to fix it if it does though**

So, not much Army news. Not because there isn't stuff going on, but because there's nothing that makes me remotely comfortable to talk about.

Instead, I've really felt the need to communicate the wonderfulness that are top-down socks.

I recently purchased Cookie A's Book, Sock Innovation, and it is AMAZING. I am truly, truly loving the book. I'm currently working on the first pattern (which is not at the beginning of the book- the beginning has a ton of fantastic sock knitting, technique and design information), called glynis (Rav link). I've also got a Monkey sock on the needles (but that needs to be frogged and re-knit with smaller needles, my sock-lace gauge has been out of control lately!). The other top down sock on the needles here at the Ranger Man/Webster house is a pair of Jaywalkers. All top down.

I've knitted a few toe up socks before, and I think it is pretty exciting to watch the toe form and I appreciate the benefits of being easier to try it on as you go, and knowing exactly how much yarn you're using- I would still much rather knit cuff down.

Firstly, it seems harmonic. The cuff is sort of the ancher (as it's that which holds the entire sock up), and therefore the strong part foundation must be completed before the 'frills' or whatever pattern can be added. The toe, for me, feels like the icing on the cake- while it's a very important feature of the sock, I just dont feel it's that important to set off the mood of the entire sock.

Practically, for me the ribbing on the cuff of a sock is the most tedious and most time consuming, while the extensive decreases in the toe make it the quickest part of the project. I would rather knit the slow part first and the quick part last. Similarly, on the leg of the sock, after you've completed the anchoring tedium of ribbing or picot edging or whathaveyou, the leg pattern is knit on both sides, typically, of the sock. All the way around. This is much more time consuming that what happens on the foot- which may have the same pattern, but it is spread out overy half the stitches and the rest of the stitches are stockinette.

In sum, top down socks to me, have a more harmonic, organic feel as they go from heavy anchoring and tedious cuffs to light, "icing on the cake" toes. I feel more of a sense of completion after I've kitchenered than when I've done a sewn bind off.

Waxing poetic about socks.

Why, what's that you ask? Is an important due date for an important paper looming? Why yes.... yes there is such a due date. Enter Completely Stressed Out Mode Now!

Edited to say: wow, that email posting thing is pretty awesome.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Not good enough.

After some sort(s) of epic misunderstanding(s), I finally managed to get on the FRG list. I've been here since July, and just now, mid April I'm finally hearing from them. I'm not too mad about that, like I said, misunderstanding characterized me and Ranger Man's understanding of whether I even wanted anything to do with the FRG, so I can't very well expect the Army to have things better under control than us, right?

So I get a call today. From someone who was much more upset than I about me not having heard from anyone. None of this is bothersome to me- it's nice to finally have someone I can call if something goes wrong, or potentially someone to talk to if I need to.

At the end of our conversation, she asked if I had any questions. The main reason I needed to have FRG contact is that I need to know when Ranger Man is coming home, and he's not really able to tell me that over an unsecure means of communication. So I asked what the process was for that. Note, this person was very nice, and it's not her fault she had to ask the question but, she had to ask...

"so, are you engaged, or are you just dating...?" to which, what am I supposed to respond? I don't even know what we are, I just say it's "rather complicated" to which she replies that I should be able to go to the meeting when they talk about when the guys come home. Probably.

I feel ill. Because we're not married, I may not get to find out when he's coming home. And I feel... ashamed... at not having a good answer for the "what's your status" question. The woman I talked to on the phone admitted that I'd been here longer than she had- but I'm not legitimate enough for someone to tell me when he might be home again because I don't have a flipping ring.

I know, logically, that she said that I probably would be able to go to the meeting. So it's probably a moot point. But it's not- because the potential was there, and because I am so embarrassed. I understand exactly why it's a potentiality, and for security reasons, I'm glad those rules are in place. Still, it hurts. Like the other wives are automatically good enough, but I have to somehow prove myself, and I don't even have anything to do so with- I couldn't even authoritatively say I am "engaged," because really I'm not.

Again- it wasn't the person I talked to's fault, if anything, she made it sound a heckuva lot less bad than it actually is. It's the situation I'm upset with, not the person...
I am so sick of this right now.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

2 things

First of all, I ate today. Yay. I had ice cream for dinner after my dance class, but I figure it's a start. And there were nuts in the ice cream, so that's protein and protein is healthy, right? **

Secondly, on my way home from class, I couldn't figure out why there were a hundred cars lined up at the post office. I didn't realize what was going on until I got home and was inundated with CNN stories about Tea Parties. I always finish my taxes right away, because of FAFSAs and things like that, but I would like to say that waiting until 9pm on the day they're due is some intense procrastination. WAY too much stress for me, but obviously it's working for a lot of people. It just struck me as being very, very interesting.

That's all. Nothing deep or even exciting. Just a couple thoughts that I've had this afternoon. Move along. Wait... I feel guilty for such a vapid post. I'm going to distract you with a picture of a cat in a bag.


Please disregard the stacks of shoe boxes (I swear- those are Ranger Man's- it's a stack of shoe boxes, with shoes, that comes up past my waist. The man has shoes) and the piles of paper. They're no longer in the middle of my living room, I promise. They're tucked away neatly in our closet.

** Editing this to clarify that I ate more than ice cream today. I had a real lunch, and a granola bar too. And coffee and orange juice. Darn, that still doesn't look like enough. I'll try to eat more tomorrow.

Monday, April 13, 2009

A new Language

I'm learning a new language... Ranger Man has block leave coming up after he gets back and we're going on a trip.

Mr. Culturally not-so-sensitive (um, Rangers aren't known for their finesse- that's what SF is for!**) is convinced that we can get by with his little bit of German, my little bit of French and relying on people in this other country to speak English. I think that we should at least make an effort to learn some of the official (and primary) language!

We picked a place that will look good on my CV, but that I won't actually feel compelled to do any real research at, and a place that is known for its amazingly diverse history and even its textiles! So there will be history, beauty (it's mostly a pretty place, I think), fiber, and even dancing! Any guesses where we're going?

We've still got a while before we leave. Heck, Ranger Man has to come back first! But it's been a great break from reading archival government documents to do some light travel reading (I got the travel book with the most pictures. Because it had the most pictures.). It's also been relaxing and non-pressure-y. Regular research is full of pressure to finish this paper, to write that thesis and make some amazing discovery to get published (yeah, still waiting for that one to happen), but this kind of research is so relaxing- I am learning just for the pure joy of learning, and it is nice. For a little while longer, anyway, until I start missing the pressure (yes, I'm masochistic...).

I'm off to do some more fun reading (i.e. looking at pictures) before bed. Have a great week.

Oh, and before I forget- I was informed tonight that tomorrow is the National Library Workers Day. So go hug a librarian!

** Just so we're clear- I think that SF guys are amazing, and the work they do is invaluable. Don't tell Ranger Man this, but I actually think that long-term, SF guys do a lot more good than Rangers do. This is not the time to discuss the merits/demerits of either (although if anyone wants it, I'd be more than happy to share my thoughts). But this is, ultimately, a Ranger household, so if Ranger Man asks, Rangers totally kick butt, no matter what. Yay, Rangers!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

A bit of a question

Seriously, y'all, the Italian guy was attractive.

I have a question for you fitness types: I have a small problem, which is one of the major reasons I didn't do much "working out" for the last few years: the more I exercise, the less I want to eat. When I was climbing seriously, I had my parents around to force me to eat, but when I left for college, I had to pretty much stop working out because I wasn't eating anything and that was kind of bad (no freshman 15 for me!). But that was years ago- and I thought that I was over that particular eating issue.

Apparently not. I've been running lately, and dancing, and eating has become a problem. Does anyone else have this problem? Am I completely crazy? It's not that I don't get hungry (although, I don't get hungry as much as I should have), it's that eating is the most unappealing activity. It doesn't have anything to do with body-image or weight issues, I just don't want to eat.

Ranger Man is really supportive and his emails keep asking if I've eaten and being very encouraging, which is amazing. He's very good at supportive, but I'm wondering if anyone else has this problem- he never had eating issues, and after Ranger School he eats anything and everything.

Knitting-wise, I seem to have a casting-on problem. I haven't gotten very far on anything, although I've got several socks on the needles and a mitten. Apparently- also- I am incapable of reading charts. Which has stalled the shawl (it was supposed to be garter stitch. I knit it in stockinette, but I managed to follow the border chart in garter stitch, so I'm trying to decide if the contrast is a wonderfully quirky design element, or an irreparable mistake).

For now, I'm watching "The Sound of Music" until bedtime. Have a fantastic Easter weekend!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

For my Single Sistahs...

Apparently the archives are the place to go to meet hot young Italian men.

I am not joking. My fellow researcher this week is (apparently) a very intense scholar, very Italian and very attractive. The scholar part is the only part I cannot personally attest to- although he's absorbed in his research. The other two parts... yum. That was so not what I was expecting at the archives.

The archivists (for the most part) are definitely not as intimidating as I was expecting, and are actually a bit helpful as long as you play by the rules.

I am, however, exhausted as I've spent the last two days driving, reading documents and then driving some more. Last night Webster and I crashed at 8pm, and it's now 8:30 tonight, so it's past our bedtime!

Seriously. The archives are the place to be, yo. There are cute boys there!

(I think it's time for Ranger Man to come home. I'm checking out boys at the archives...)

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Spring Break!

Spring break from school is all right- I mean it's nice and all, but I always had to work through them, so they were never anything special.

Spring Break from work, on the other hand, is the best invention ever! I wasn't supposed to have the week off, I was supposed to be the only one on campus for the break. Then early last week, my boss told me that I got to have the week off too- yay!

So, I have the entire week off. What's a girl to do in a not-home state without man or family?

Why, I'm going to be a real historian, of course! I am going to spend next week sifting through the archives at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library, and I am so excited! I have a research paper to write for my current class (my last one for this program!), and hopefully I'll find some amazing documents for my thesis too.

I'll admit, I am more than a little afraid of archivists, and of course you can't go to the archives to get good informtion without the help of archivists. Hopefully they'll be nicer than what people say they are.

And in other news, my mother is once again going to be in the Southern region next weekend, but will NOT be visiting me. Of course not- silly me, why would my own mother want to spend time with me? geesh.

For now, I've got a movie, a glass of wine and a snuggly kitty. Life is not too bad.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

This is how I know...

... that I think in symbols:

The corner of University Ave. and College Dr. confuses the heck out of me.

Seriously. I can't figure out where to turn and I try to make "College" into "Coolidge" to make sense of the world. I actually missed the turn the first two times, because I did. not. realize. that they were two different streets (that run perpendicular to each other).

And about my last post, I'm really glad that I'm not the only one appalled by those reactions. I was beginning to think that I was the only one who was still on the "hitting your partner is bad" bandwagon, but y'all revived my convictions a little. Thank you.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Overheard at the library. Ranty Edition.


re: Chris Brown (A conversation between two women. MOTHERS, no less)

"It takes two" "She ain't so innocent herself" "I heard she swung first" "they need to leave him alone."

I will admit to not paying a whole lot of attention to the situation. But even so, he sent her to the HOSPITAL. No wonder domestic violence is so prevalent with attitudes like this. No matter who "swung first," the fact that she needed to go to the hospital signals that something VERY, VERY WRONG happened.

And for these women to sit here in the library, discussing how what he did wasn't really that bad? He HIT her. HIT her. How can that not be that bad? And how can you, as mothers, be willing to accept the idea that hitting your partner is okay, no matter who started it?

Wow. Sorry. Apparently I needed to vent. With capital letters.

Let me reiterate: Hitting your partner is not okay. Sending your partner to the hospital is not okay. Legitimizing and Justifying the actions of a role model/celebrity who did so is not okay.

vent over. phew.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The fight that was not a fight.

First of all- the feared "fight" never materialized. Concerns were discussed (as much as they can be via email) and addressed satisfactorily.

Second of all- to clarify, I feel that it is somewhat of a luxury (if not always a welcome luxury) that I can worry about whether to address my concerns with Ranger Man or not. He's essentially a desk jockey over there and doesn't go outside the wire. If he was, I would not be even considering talking to him about my little worries while he's gone. Sometimes it's worse that we have relatively normal email conversation, without any real normality.

Third of all, here's a pretty picture from FDR's Little White House in Warm Springs, GA that my grandma and I visited when she was here. She's old enough to remember FDR, so it was something she really wanted to see. This is one of the pillars from the Little White House, I loved the vine.


And another picture of the house:


And the wishing well on the grounds:


Very pretty. It was a hazy, dreary day- which are my favorite kinds of days. They have character, sunny days don't have much character. This weekend has been extraordinarily dreary also- rain, rain and more rain. I figured out how to knit the border onto my shawl, so I'm trucking along with that quite nicely while the thunder rolls. I have also found out that it is nearly impossible to nap through a thunderstorm (although cats seem to be immune to this problem- Webster has super napping ability).

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Lost my groove.

I know I posted that I wasn't being reflective or venty about two hours ago, but two hours can be a long time!

So I find myself with a question, one that I'm sure many others deal with too. Obviously, Ranger Man and I have a long-distance relationship. He's a.l.w.a.y.s. gone. So, when things come up, "waiting until he comes home" really isn't an option. Because he'll only be home for 2 weeks, and then he'll be gone again.

How, then, do I deal with conflict? When something happens that bothers me, what do I address, what do I 'let go'?

I'm not good at bottling things inside. Which, in the long run, is probably good- but in the short term it means I have a big mouth, and if things bother me, I have to address them.

So my quandry (my eternal quandry), is what do I do when something is bothering me, but I know that addressing it will cause 'a fight', or an argument? Do I get into a long distance argument? Do I dismiss it? Do I let it keep bothering me but keep it to myself?

Something happened today, and I immediately reacted to it in a non-accusatory but still "please stop that" way, knowing full well that it's going to result in a 'fight.' BUT- it's something that's been bothering me, in a twingy sort of way for a long time that just became not a twinge anymore. It's also something that I don't feel I'm being unreasonable about (although Ranger Man is sure to feel differently). So I sent a message, saying, "Darling, I love you dearly, but I need you to stop doing xxx, it kind of hurts my feelings." (I'm leaving the xxx out for now). Ranger Man is sure to respond with "You're overreacting, I'm not doing anything wrong, you're trying to be too controlling and jealous." (can you tell we've had this argument before?)

My answer for today was that I had to address it. It's been a little bit of a bother for a while, but it exploded into full-fledged concern and serious discomfort today. I had to do something about it, but I'm dreading the thought of the fight as much as I dread the thought of it happening again.

My second question for the day is this: Are non-long distance relationships easier? Because I really think I would like to try that now.

Darn, I lost my groove.

here there and everywhere

I feel no blog-motivation. I have tons of motivation for other stuff, just not blogging. I just don't feel reflective or venty or ranty or anything like that. It's actually quite nice, I've slipped into a nice little groove and for the first time since I moved here, I feel like I have my emotions and my body under control. Accordingly, less need for blogging I guess.

Ohh, look- yarn to distract you!


I ordered myself a valentine's day kit from Woolgirl. This was obviously before I knew about the camel yarn. This was the yarn in the kit- It's Madelinetosh Sock in the "Valentine" colorway. It's very pink and cheery.

Also, be distracted by Sir Shedsalot here:


That's a stack of (copies of) documents from the National Security archive about US Public Diplomacy in Iran in the 1950s that he's practically sitting on, in case anyone is wondering. There is much archive-sifting in my future.

As far as actual knitting goes- I think I'm going to frog the sweater (can you all tell I'm a process knitter?). It's too big, and while I could still wear it around the house and stuff, I don't think I would ever wear it out in public, and I'm not sure it's worth packing around for all that. Because you know I will treasure my first sweater forever and it's not like we don't move very often. So if I'm going to pack something over and over again, I want to be able to at least wear it. I haven't frogged it yet, I'm stockpiling bravery, and I may need a glass of wine or two.

And as far as Ranger Man goes... He got to call this weekend! It's nice to talk to him on the phone once every few weeks. Also- whatever black hole had been sucking up his mail finally got unstuck and he got a whole bunch of letters all at once, so hopefully his mail is getting through now. That means I can start writing letters again.

I guess I had more to say than I thought. Although it's not exactly a cohesive subject, but luckily for me it's my blog and I can do that if I want.