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.