Monday, January 31, 2005

Weekend Movie Revies, Part the Second: Shaun of the Dead

Ha ha!
Ha ha!
Ha ha!
Boo hoo!
Ha ha!
Boo hoo!
Ha ha!
Double EW!
Ew and Yikes!
Boo hoo!
Double boo hoo!
Ha ha!

Weekend Movie Reviews, Part the First: Troy

Brad Pitt is a pretty, pretty man.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Voting update

Well, as you can see, my sister is seriously stacking the vote in favour of Sisterhood. But Julie is also doing a good job of diligently voting for Happiness, so it's catching up. And Jody emailed my a bunch of suggestions, all of which are good, so I may decide to go with one of them instead.

And why is Cook's Tour suddenly showing up? It's my doing, you see. I'm reading Devil and am feeling a distinct loathing towards the author - I could go on at length about why I feel such contempt towards her, but it would involve several expletives, and this is a family blog. So, as an antidote, I desperately want to read something snarky and honest, so that's why I'm voting for it.

Voting will continue until I say so. Probably until the day before the next book club, which doesn't have a date yet.

An ode to a cup o' joe

This morning I made the best cup of coffee I've had in a while. Normally, I don't have coffee in the morning, mostly because my coffee-making ritual involves a lot of song-and-dance kind of things that I just don't have time to do before work. But this morning I was tired and needed the jolt.

(Thanks to Julie* and her ex-boyfriend, I'm something of a coffee snob. I have my own "blend" - a combo of Continental Dark, Huehuetenago (pronounced "way-way-ten-an-go"), and Paradiso, all from the Second Cup - that I grind myself in a fancy schmancy coffee grinder. I must use fresh, cold water and let it sit for a few seconds after it boils because boiling water will burn the coffee and change the flavour. (Water for tea, on the other hand, must reach a rolling boil, meaning it's been boiling for a short time, to be the optimum temperature.) I also have a French press coffee pot, which I like better than pretty much all coffee makers on the market. Besides, it's easier to brew half a pot with it.)

The key is using enough coffee ground at the right coarseness for your coffee maker. For example, a coffee maker uses a medium grind, while a French press requires a coarse grind. I also like my coffee (and tea, for that matter) to be strong. Like, really strong. Strong enough to stand up and fight against a sea of weaker beverages and give them such a beating that they crawl away thinking to themselves, "Well, that wasn't fun. I don't think I'm going to be doing that again anytime soon."

(Which, to get sidetracked for a second, is why I don't like chamomile or chai or most green teas. They aren't strong enough, and there's no way to get them strong enough. Besides, they tend to get really harsh if you let them steep for too long.)

What you put in the beverage is just as important. Most people make a funny face when you tell them you like evaporated milk in your coffee, but that's how my parents drank it when I was growing up, and that's how I'll take it if I can get it. Otherwise, I like to take it with homogenized milk. No sugar, but I will occasionally use raw sugar if it's been sitting around for a while.

(Another side note, I absolutely refuse to use honey in my tea unless I'm sick, and then I'll use it with lemon. Honey is waaaay too sweet and I find that it weakens the flavour of the tea. Part of the reason I don't like chai tea is because the first time I had it, the person making it put honey in it without asking me if I wanted any. If that's the way it's supposed to be made, then I probably won't be going out of my way to try it again.)

So, the coffee I had this morning was heavenly, and it really did the trick. Too well, I'm afraid. The strong coffee, coupled with the cup of tea I had after lunch, meant that I had the attention span of a hummingbird all day long. I couldn't focus for more than 30 seconds on one task before I'd get distracted by something else.

Gee, I think I'll go make myself another cup...

*No Julie, this isn't a hint that you need to update your blog. I understand that becoming a member of the OLA and signing up to go to the conference next week took a lot out of you, so you're off the hook. For now... (I'm kidding!)


I'm experiencing something of a personal crisis right now, so you'll excuse me if posting is spottier than usual for the next little while. Things have gotten out of hand, and I need to deal with them before they get worse.

Basically, the situation is twofold.

Firstly, my laundry is taking over my bedroom. I'm down to my emergency underthings and socks with holes. Pray that I have enough quarters and loonies (one-dollar coins) to deal with what will likely be several loads of laundry; otherwise, I will be forced to wash certain unmentionables by hand.

Secondly, I got a call from my ISP this afternoon. They noted that there was a high level of virus activity coming from my computer. So I'll not be on much for the next little while (that, and I'll be in Toronto most of next week without access to a computer.) I'm writing this with my computer disconnected from the box, and will post it when I briefly reconnect.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

WIPs: mid-January

The Dandy scarf is finished, except that now it's too cold to wear. I knit it using large needles and a semi-lacey pattern that does nothing to block the cold. The ribbon scarf is still on the needles, somewhere at the bottom of my knitting basket.

The major project that I'm working on now is a hat/scarf/mitten combo using some Alafoss Lopi which was procured during various visits to Len's Mills in Guelph, and the Manos I got in Fergus at Thanksgiving. Originally, I had purchased three or four different greens of Alafoss to match the Manos, but I ended up not liking the combo.

There was an olive green Alafoss that I really liked and sort of matches my eye colour, and it went very well with the Manos (which is a verigated green). I didn't have enough at the time, but subsequent trips home provided me with opportunities to get more. In retrospect, this was not a good idea as I've ended up with yarn from three different dye lots - but, it works because I've used one dye lot for the hat, another for the scarf, and the third is for the mittens.

The hat is ribbed, and the pattern comes from the first Stitch n' Bitch. The hat is made from the Alafoss and is edged with some Manos. The scarf is a pattern I made up, knit lengthwise on circular needles - two rows Alafoss, two rows Manos repeated several times. It needs to be blocked because it doesn't look very wide.

I started working on the mittens last night while watching Firefly on DVD. They're a basic pattern from The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns (which is sometimes not clear, but it's good for basic patterns.

I'd like to have everything done for next week for when I go to the OLA Super Conference (am I the only one who wants to do a Molly Shannon/Mary Katherine Gallagher whenever I hear "Super Conference"?)

Whining about my computer (Part #538,986)

I've decided to take the mature approach to solving my computer's ills - I'm going to format the bitch and start from scratch.

(To my computer: You heard me. I've had it with not being able to figure out what's wrong, let alone fix it. As soon as M. sends me my Windows 2K cd (which, as it turns out, is where it turned up - sorry Mom!), you and your little viri are toast!

But, because I do love you in spite of it all, I will be getting you more RAM.)

I think I lost something...

...besides my mind.

I had a tres amusing post, and it seems to have disappeared. Rats.

And you know that as soon as I rewrite it and post it - voila! - there it will be!

Friday, January 21, 2005

"Are you sure you didn't hear anything?" "Yeah, I'm sure!"

A few things:

Firstly, any report about my untimely demise (not that I've seen any or that there are any circulating at the moment) are exaggerated. I haven't had time at lunch over the past few days to post anything. Not that I haven't had Ideas - just not Time.

Secondly, I finally got off my lazy ass and linked the TSF button to the FAQ. Only took me - what, almost two weeks?

Thirdly, the purple of the survey box was getting on my nerves because it clashed so badly with the green of my background. So I changed it to a shade of pale orange that pleases me. It reminds me of pinapple and orange ice cream - mmmm!

(Third-and-a-halfly, way to go Julie! I think you're single-handedly giving Happiness (TM) a fighting chance against Sisterhood. You guys know that you can vote more than once, right? Only once a day, though.)

Fourthly, it was -32 C this morning when I went out to my car. Right now, it's a positively balmy -25 C. I'm cold right now - any guesses why?

Fifthly, I like numbered lists.

Sixthly, I still haven't fixed my computer yet. I didn't want the aggrevation of not being able to fix it immediately most nights this week, and I'm in a bonspiel most of this weekend (a James Bond-spiel - there's a little curling humour for you. Seriously, that's what it's called.)

Seventhly, it's almost time for a WIP update, isn't it? Right - will work on that later.

(The title is a reference to this post, which was the other time I couldn't come up with a clever title.)

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

I didn't do it!

I apologize for the hiccup Sunday night - I don't know why it double posted, but it did. Wait, I think I have an idea - my computer has gone all wonky on me. And yes, that's the technical term for what it's done.

Programs won't stay open. Links weren't being opened. I couldn't update Norton AV, so I tried reinstalling it, which resulted in an error message telling me to contact the sysadmin to grant me access to the program. Excuse me? I AM the frickin' sysadmin! Give me acess NOW! I seem to recall hearing of someone with similar problems recently, but I can't remember if it was something major (like immenent system failure) or minor (a virus). It's entered "Do Not Attempt To Fix" territory, and I may have to take it to an actual professional on the weekend. Because I'm in over my head, yo.

In retrospect, I probably shouldn't have tried anything less than an hour before I had to be at curling (which we lost due to a spectacular second end for the other team), and shouldn't have tried to fix things when I was dead tired afterwards.

So I'm just letting you know where I'll be for the next few days - posting at work on my lunch break.

(Slighly off-topic: I watched part of Iron Chef America on Sunday night. Yay for finally finding out who Bobby Flay is! Anyways, FoolBlog has a hilarious "what if..." list of scenarios featuring Sunday night's theme ingredient - buffalo. (I know - WTF?!))

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Some last-minute Sunday night thoughts

1. Spike TV is having a Star Trek movie marathon tomorrow, starting at 9am. I want to play hooky and watch this.

2. I've had Food TV on almost all day today. Not because there's anything interesting on, but to keep me company. I'm not sure how I'm going to cope at work tomorrow not hearing that stupid commercial about Emril giving up a music scholarship to persue his dreams and going to France blah blah blah every ten minutes. But I guess I'll manage somehow.

3. Tomorrow night we curl against the two guys who were rounding out our team at the end of the first session. Karen and I want to kick their asses so bad we can taste it. (They were good guys and we got along great as a team. It's just that we never won a game with them, and we want to prove that we are capable of winning.)

4. I should make my lunch tonight so I have more time in the morning. That's a good idea - I think I'll go do that now.

Company and fears

Friday night a fellow librarian and I went to see "In Good Company" at the theater. It was a good movie, and I liked the ending a lot. There was a lot of growth-as-a-person stuff that was well handled, and I can't say enough about how much I love Topher Grace as an actor. But I completely fail to see what all the fuss about Scarlet Johansson is - she's an adequate actress, but nothing special. I also don't find her particularly attractive, but that may be a chick thing.

And you know what's coming. (Maybe you don't though - the previews!)
  • Cinderella Man - I can't stand Russell Crowe. (That said, I did like Mystery, Alaska.) Like Johansson, he's an adequate actor but nothing special to look at. And it's about boxing. Someone made a comment during this preview about it being a "Rocky" prequel, which made me snicker.
  • The Interpreter - I'm sensing a theme, because Nicole Kidman joins Crowe and Johansson in the "Meh" category. She's the better actor of the three, but I am still ambivalent of the whole Kidman ouvre (however, I loved Practical Magic). Plus, it's about the UN - you'd think that someone who spent half of her high school career as a member of the model UN club, I'd be more interested in this. Nope. Not even slightly. (Special note about the IMDb entry for Practical Magic - I submitted the two goofs dealing with the dead boyfriend's body. Yes, I have an ego and am not ashamed to occasionally flaunt it.)
  • Ice Princess - ugh. More dreck from Disney. This time about figure skating, featuring Michelle Trachtenberg and Kim Catrall. I don't expect this will become the definitive figure skating movie, a title which is held by The Cutting Edge. But it is written by Meg Cabot, who wrote the Princess Diaries series, and a couple of not-half-bad romances for adults.
  • Bride & Prejudice - This one looks good. It's a Bollywood-meets-the-west-meets-Jane Austin deal.
  • Hitch - I think I've seen this preview before. Wil Smith being handsome and charming - sound familiar? Oh, that's right - like every other film he's done.
We also went to see "Forces of Nature" at the IMAX at Science North on Saturday night, about volcanoes, earthquakes, and tornados. Which is pretty frickin' hilarious if you knew me as a ten-year-old - those were my top three fears throughout most of my childhood. My grandfather delights in telling everyone who will listen about how scared I was that there would be a volcanic eruption in our area after Mount St. Helena's erupted. I know - highly unlikely.

My fear of earthquakes was slightly more realistic. There is a minor fault line running under Lake Ontario, and we've had a couple of very minor tremors. As in, less than 4 on the Richter Scale.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

How to read a pretty good book in an hour and a half

Prep time: 7.5 hrs

Start by flexing the afternoon off (yes, I take my half days on Wednesdays or other days in the middle of the week sometime. It's a guilty pleasure, so there.) Think about how you'd like to make chocolate chip cookies to eat while reading the book that has surely arrived by now.

Get home, retrieve the parcel notice from your mail box, go upstairs and get changed. Sew the pom-pom back onto your favourite hat. Put the calendar you bought for your mother into your knapsack so you can mail it when you're at the post office.

Remember that you have a library book on reserve, and decide to swing by there on your outing.

Go into grocery store A to see if they have jumbo chocolate chips or even mint chocolate chips. Realize they don't and continue on to library. Pick up book.

Go to post office. Find envelope big enough to hold calendar. When you finally get to front of line, cheerful clerk tells me that she can ring in the whole thing at the same time if I'm going to send it today. Go over to counter and fill in addresses and seal envelope. Stand in line, which has grown over the last few minutes. Finally get to front of line, pay for envelope and mailing, and start to leave. Come to senses, remember why you're here in the first place (parcel), and get back into much longer line. Collect parcel and try not to dance when you open it and see book you ordered seven months ago.

Go to grocery store B, discover they don't have jumbo and/or mint chips either. Decide to increase baking difficulty levels by buying massive chocolate bar that can be cut into chunks for chocolate chunk cookies. Buy butter as well, because you can't remember how much you have.

Stop at fast food place for lunch. The upshot of this is after a chicken burger and medium fries, you won't need to eat until breakfast tomorrow morning. Even though it's only just after 2.

Get home, put everything away and put on track pants. Pick up laundry on dining room table, do general tidy-ing things. Clean kitchen.

Decide that you are fed up with the way things are arranged in the cupboards because you can't find the Skor chips you bought a few weeks ago. Take everything out of all the cupboards, and group it according to function (dry goods, canned goods, storage device, and plates and cups.) Put everything back into cupboards in such a way that things are grouped in a more pleasing manner.

Start cookies. Turn on oven and put chocolate bar in freezer because it's kind of warm in the kitchen. Take chocolate bar out of freezer and realize it's now really hard to chop up. Dig out hammer and do the best you can. Make huge mess on newly cleaned floor. Eventually get a cup of chocolate. Finish cookies.

While cookies are baking, fetch book and unleash happy dance when you discover that the book is an autographed copy. With real ink.

Take cookies out of oven and let cool. Start chapter 1, thinking you'll have cookie at end of chapter.

90 minutes later, finish book and realize you haven't moved at all in that time. (What can I say? I read fast, and I remember almost everything I read.) Check cookies. Mmmm! Chocolatey goodness!

Start blogging about the whole thing and realize you've missed Lost for the second week in a row. Feel a pang of regret, but another cookie makes it all better.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Am I really having this conversation?

I was going through the checkout at the grocery store earlier tonight, when the clerk picked up my two packages of... feminine products, and asked, "Did it come early?"
"Are you early? Or," she leans in, "are you late?"
"What? No! I'm a little early, I think..."
"Oh, that's good. At least you're not late."

And I had to think about it. "It" had come as a surprise to me yesterday, and I wasn't really prepared because I wasn't expecting it. I mean, I'd had some cramps over the weekend, but I get those anywhere up to two weeks before the main event. I hadn't been tired a lot, I hadn't been a cranky bitch, and I hadn't been craving Snickers Bars like a fiend. But then I though about it...

I'd been really mellow last week, but I chalked it up to a really good vacation. I was actually cheerful and pleasant at curling last night. The Snickers Bar craving is usually my strongest indicator to start getting ready, but I hadn't experienced any pangs yet. But I know who's responsible for the suppression of those pangs.

Damn you, chocolate truffles brought to the office by one of our deliverypersons! Damn your rich dark chocolate and light dusting of cocoa! Damn the fact that you were so sweet and melty that any thoughts of the sub-par chocolate bar chocolate was pushed aside like the skinny kid in front of the dessert buffet trying to ward off a hoard of dieters! Damn you for making me - nay, forcing me! - to eat so many one day that my tummy hurt! (It was like, five in one afternoon. Damn, those things are powerful!)

All of a sudden, I feel like being cranky. Excuse me while I go ride the elevator looking for someone to snap at in order to get it out of my system.

Monday, January 10, 2005


I love serendipity. Witness...

1) On Saturday night, between the end of Battlestar Galactica and SNL, I flipped to Food TV. Last Monday, I'd happened to catch the original Iron Chef, and have been hooked into watching Nigella Bites at other times during the week. That night, I happened into an episode of A Cook's Tour, which was funny and clever and candid (although, not as candid as you'd expect - this is television, a medium not known to be friendly to colourful language, after all).

2) Apparently, I'm not the only one who was sucked into the MI-5 marathon on Saturday afternoon. Wanting to know more about the handsome Mr. Macfayden, I cruised over to the IMDb where I discovered - brace yourselves Mom, Denise, Rachelle, Squishy, LibPrincess, etc. - there is a remake of Pride and Prejudice in the works. The Bad News is that Matthew Macfayden is no Colin Firth. The Good News is that Matthew Macfayden is no Colin Firth. (And while I question the casting of Donald Sutherland as Mr. Bennett, I think that Dame Judi Dench will make a deliciously nasty Lady Catherine De Bourgh.)

Serendipty is a wonderful concept. I honestly believe that we need to look for moments of it in our everday lives.

A completed order

YES!!!!! sent me an email tonight letting me know that they've finally shipped the book I ordered last May! I'm so happy, I could dance!

I couldn't find the original post where I talked about wanting to read this book. Still can't. I may have imagined it or posted it on the old blog or something. Eh.

The book that's taken over seven months to get here is The Value of X by Poppy Z. Brite. It's the book that comes before Liquor, which was her most recent book that I picked up in April. I was in Toronto on a training trip, and went into Indigo books to get something to read on the plane home, and found it in a book display. Then I fell into one of those Wayne-and-Garth-flashback-type moments....

.... A couple of summers ago (I think three - I'm pretty sure I was at the law library at the time), I was wandering through the stacks at one of the larger local libraries (St. Catharines). Her first novel she wrote, Lost Souls, caught my eye, having heard much about it from somewhere at some point - heaven only knows where. I'd heard she was a very "Goth" writer (more on this in a sec). So I grabbed it, and another she had written called Plastic Jesus.

(Ms. Brite is not one who appreciates being labeled as a writer of a particular genre, and is rather candid on this point. She's an excellent writer on whatever she chooses to write - she did write some horror-themed books, but she's also written things that have nothing to do with the subject, and it's just as good.)

Lost Souls squicked me out. I don't remember much about it, mostly because I was hurrying through the somewhat gory bits. It involves vampires and graphic descriptions and such. Reluctantly, I started reading Plastic Jesus - and ended up loving it. It was a sublime love story, and balanced out my reaction to Lost Souls.

(Another note: I wasn't squicked out by Drawing Blood. Actually, I quite liked it. And I haven't been able to get a hold of Exquisite Corpse because I keep getting sent the wrong book when I order it through interlibrary loan.)

So when I picked up Liquor, I was understandably reluctant to commit to it. Maybe I could wait and see if the library got it, or wait until I read a review or two or something. But I opened the book to a random page and got sucked in by a description of a dish being prepared, and decided I needed it. I read the whole book when I got home and loved it, not knowing it was a sequel to another book. Alas, The Value of X wasn't available at the library, and there is only one library in our interlibrary loan system that has it, so I decided to order it from (it wasn't - and isn't - available through Chapters).

Unfortunately, there were a number of delays, and then more delays, and finally there was an email saying that the book wasn't really in stock, just on order, and that I'd have to wait. And wait. And wait some more. And finally get word that it was in.

Thus ends the saga of the open-ended order that has finally been filled.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Half a weekend

Sorry the posting here was light over the weekend. It wasn't for lack of things to write about because heaven knows my life outside work provides me with such rich fodder to write about. No, it was one of those paradoxical weekends where I have both nothing and a million things to do, and I only got half of anything completed.

I'm not really sure who or what to blame, but I'm certainly casting a dirty look at the MI-5 marathon on A&E this weekend. (Note: in the UK, it was called Spooks.) I'm not sure what time it started, but I got sucked in around 2ish, and it ran until 8, and then there was a new episode at 10. Of course, by that time, Battlestar Galactica was being shown elsewhere, and since the show starts next weekend sometime, I started watching that too. It was 3 hours long, so at 10, I flipped back a forth for a while until I knew that Tom was innocent (looooooooooong story) and kept watching BG.

My laundry is mostly done (didn't get to the sheets and towels) and mostly picked up (except for the stuff on the drying rack). I finished the Dandy scarf but not the ribbon scarf. The sink and the tub are clean, but I still need to vacuum in there. All the boxes I had sitting around are now in my storage locker, but not the Christmas decorations. All the yarn that was on my dining room table has been bagged and picked up, except for the mystery yarn from Yarn Factory Outlet, which I'm still trying find out what it is. I walked a little, I started working on a new project, and was, in general, semi-productive today.

TSF (or, that new button)

Tricoteuses Sans Frontières/Knitters Without Borders

You're probably wondering what that button to the right is all about (or maybe you haven't noticed and I'm drawing it to your attention now). It all started after the tragedy in Southeast Asia when the Yarn Harlot asked her loyal readers to make donations to Doctors Without Borders, where her brother-in-law volunteers. Once we had made our donation, we emailed her the amount and she's been keeping a tally of it on her web site.

Go look and see how much has been raised by everyone who reads her blog. Seriously, go check it out.

As of Sunday night, it stands at over $35,000. That's just in the last week.

Stephanie, you have awesome readers. And you rock.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Book Club Verdict: Life of Pi

The overall verdict was that it was better than both Wicked and Englishman, although it was a bit slow. There were parts we liked, and parts that weren't believable, and parts we didn't understand how they fit into the overall story. Basically, there were three areas that got the most attention:

The beginning, pre-lifeboat. The first part of the book describes how Pi goes to different religious institutions to find and worship God, and feels comfortable worshiping Jesus, Allah, and the Hindu gods equally. The confrontation between Pi's parents and the priest, Imam, and the ascetic was pretty amusing. However, it wasn't clear to us how it fit in with the whole being-stranded-on-a-lifeboat, except in a grand-scheme-of-things-metaphor way. I enjoyed it, though.

The floating island. Karen and Steph thought it was weird and strange, while I though it was cool in a surreal way. How did those meerkats get on there in the first place, and how had they survived long enough to thrive? Should Pi have stayed there or was he right to have moved on before the island killed him?

The *SPOILER ALERT* two versions of his account. We all found it sad, and somewhat disturbing. How did he survive, and which version was true? We spent much time discussing which version of events was the true one, and why he would have made it up.

In the end, we decided that it had been a hard book to get into, and was generally likeable. It wasn't beloved, and it wasn't anything I would have finished if I was reading it on my own. But a good read if you put in the effort.

Wow! A Poll!

Hi! Wait... I just remembered something.... I'll get to it in a minute...

So we had book club last night (I'll write about the results in a sec - that's what I remembered), and we finally got around to firming up our cycle. Or who gets to pick the next book, because we had a near-controversy yesterday at work when Karen said our new co-worker could pick the next book, when CLEARLY it was my turn again. So, it's been straightened out - I go next, then new co-worker. I am not a control freak. Shut up!

There was also some discussion about whether or not we'd actually go with Devil. Ultimately, we're going to go ahead with it because we're not adverse to reading stuff and tearing into it at the meeting (see Wicked and Englishman.)

Anyways, I have a couple of books I could choose from, so I posted them in a poll on the left. If you don't see anything you like, but think we might like something else, go nuts and email me your suggestion.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

WIPs: December and early January

Yeah, I didn't post a WIP last month either because I was mostly working on Christmas presents. Denise and I made little sweaters for a garland, and only she had them done on time. Mine were finished by New Year's Day. There were also thrummed mittens that ended up being too short once I finished them. I can unravel the one I finished and do a few more rows, but I've put them aside for now.

Leftovers from October:
Only two scarves on the needles right now, the ribbon one and the Dandy one. The QaF socks are no more - I used the yarn to make the mini-sweaters, and what's left will be put to use elsewhere. The fingerless gloves are finished - have I mentioned that? I wear them at curling.

New stuff:
When I got home Sunday night, I decided to haul out all my yarn to see exactly what I have. And it is an impressive amount, let me tell you. My dining room table is buried under all the balls of yarn. I've tried to separate it by potential projects, and now I just need to bag them in giant freezer bags (thanks to my sisters for that idea). The trick is figuring out where to start and what to start with. Hopefully, by mid-month, I'll have new knitting stuff to tell you about.

New Year's Resolutions

Well, it's that time of year to make promises that we have every good intention of keeping, but almost never do. I view NYR's as I do promises made to God in moments of crisis - "God, if you get me through this, I promise I'll quit smoking". If I have to make resolutions, I try and make them as reasonable and modest as possible. A few years back, my resolution was to practice better dental hygiene and I was able to keep this resolution for several months. I was pleased. (I've also now been outted as the dullest person on earth, but that's beside the point...)

So this year I've tried to come up with some more reasonable resolutions that I feel I can stick to. They're broken down into the three categories that most resolutions fall into: Interpersonal Relationships (dealing with others), Recreational (dealing with our free time), and Self-Improvement (dealing with ourselves).

Interpersonal Relationships:
1. Be less catty. I'm not all that catty to begin with, so when I do have a truly catty moment, I like to savour it. However, it's not nice, so I will endeavor to cut out cattiness altogether.
2. Be more patient. That's going to be tough, especially when dealing with people who, by their very presence, rub me the wrong way. I will no longer view dealing with difficult people or situations as direct challenges from God(s); instead, I will try and view it as an opportunity to stop and smell the roses.
3. Make a better effort to remember names. I'm pretty good at remembering names - most of the time. I could still try harder.
4. Stop feeling obliged to do things because I'd feel guilty if I didn't do them.

1. Finish one knitting project before moving onto the next one. Or at least start fewer projects at one time.
2. Be more social. Try and get out at least once a month with friends, even if it's just to the movies.
3. Try and find a yoga class that interests me.
4. Read more non-fiction. I'm aiming for at least one a month, as opposed to one a year.
5. Watch more documentaries and independent films. Just because I don't like Michael Moore doesn't mean I shouldn't watch F9/11 - we all need to have our points-of-view challenged once in a while.

I'm going to try and keep track of the books I read in 2005. I know I wanted to do that last year, but never actually did.

1. Be on time, if not early. I'm usually on time or two or three minutes late. Let's not do that anymore.
2. Stop procrastinating/finish things. I have a fear of finishing things - I don't know why. I'm good at starting things, but sort of fizzle out towards the end. 2005 will be the year of finishing stuff.
3. Eat healthier. I won't stop eating junk, but just not as often. One chocolate bar every few weeks, as opposed to every few days.
4. Be more active. Yes, it's cold and walking is difficult. But there are other indoor activities I can partake in, like aerobics. Not that I'll take aerobics, but just for example....
5. Stop stressing out about things that are beyond my control.
6. Manage money more wisely. Make a budget and stick to it.
7. Donate more to charity. (MSF and the Red Cross are the most recent beneficiaries of this new policy.)
8. Practice better dental hygiene. Including finding a dentist.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Lasts and firsts

I'm still working on my resolutions. Seriously - one of them needs to be "stop procrastinating."

Last thing I ate in 2004: icebox cookie.
First thing I ate in 2005: shortbread cookie (it was just a wee one!)

Last thing I drank in 2004: tea with milk.
First thing I drank in 2005: it was either mineral water or coffee with milk.

Last thing I watched in 2004: The 11:30 news on CH-CH, the local station out of Hamilton. The guy who was reading the news must have been the only person in the building, which explains some of his hilarious commentary.
First thing I watched in 2005: Well, does the countdown count? If so, the countdown in Niagara Falls on CH-CH (I think everyone from the station was there, which didn't stop Matt Hayes, the weather guy, from sucking badly.) The whole thing was saved by having The Trews play.

Last movie I watched in 2004: Shrek 2.
First move I watched in 2005: Van Wilder. (I wish I could say it was Saved!, which was the second movie I watched, but I wanted Mom to watch it with me and she was busy doing other things, so I watched Van Wilder while I waited.)

Last book I read in 2004: No Quarter, Tanya Huff.
First book I read in 2005: I'm still waiting. The publisher's web site indicates that the tentative shipping date for The Value of X was the 27th, so I'm waiting to see if I get it in the next week. The email from indicated that the status of the item changed, but didn't specify whether or not I needed to reorder. It's been 7 months since I first ordered it, and I'm getting kind of anxious. Should I not hear anything before next Monday, I'll have to read the book I had chosen as the second book I wanted to read in 2005 first.

(And can I just say how happy I was to have finished all five books I brought home with me? And the secret Christmas present project for my mother - also finished!)