Thursday, August 31, 2006

oh what a beautiful morning

    For the first time (that I recall) since I returned from Mexico, the warm sunshine has been accompanied by not hot air and wind, but cool. It actually felt a bit refreshing this morning at 7am when I left for work/school. And even during the heat of the day the breeze was cool. Tonight the temperature has dropped to the low 70s. I am so ready for the beautiful fall southern weather to arrive!     This morning I submitted my application to the School of Library & Information Science at USM for the masters program. I have one more section of the online application to submit to the Grad Studies office and I will have that finished. The requests for letters of submission were delivered today as well. As soon as the envelopes are ready for me to pick up, I'll be sending off the application to TWU. That online application is already finished but needs to be officially submitted. Then all that is left to do is take the GRE.     However, the paperwork to resolve the degree requirement issues for my RELBA is just beginning. I have about 5 or 6 weeks to determine whether I can drop classes or will be able to finish for the second major.     Needless to say, I am a little bummed. I seem to recall a post back in the spring about waiting for the other shoe to drop... at the moment, no enthusiasm for classwork, stitching or much else either. But, "this too shall pass." Cyn

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

reclaiming identity

"Cynclair" is an online identity which I had for a good many years in the '90s. It is a reference to My Captain, Jeffery Sinclair of Babylon 5. I don't remember how I lost it, but an "Old Friend" lamented the change at the time. B5 was over & I felt I had moved on, but now I am missing the nick, so the first step to reclaim it is re-establishing my blog under http://cynclair.blogspot.com . I think I will try to get my other IDs back to it as well. Cyn

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

grrrroan

Sigh.     My dear advisor doesn't come to campus on Tuesday. I must wait one more day to find out if I can even begin to resolve the issues with the RELBA. S'okay. I'm trying not to worry. The good news today is that three of the four people I have asked (haven't asked the fourth yet) to write letters of recommendation for grad school for me have said yes... and very enthusiastically so.     I do hope that a research carrel becomes available soon. I didn't realize I would have so much free time on campus this semester or I would have applied earlier. I think I am third on the wait list.     The question of the day is... do I embarass myself by writing to the program director of our Spanish in Mexico program to inquire as to how my grade was determined? That B brought down my GPA a bit, and what I really want to know is why the quiz portion of my grade in one class is 13/30! The email address I have for our teacher in Mexico bounces, so my only way to contact her is through the PD.... I just don't know if I should bother. One the one hand, I'm happy to have survived the course and gotten a B. BUT, on the other hand, if the quiz grade is only half what it should be, I probably actually have an A. AND, what if I only make B's this semester in my Philosophy (Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Freud, Marx, Tolsoy, Dostoyevsky, OH MY!) and Judaism classes? If my GPS falls below 3.5 I won't graduate with high honors and all my thesis work will be for naught. GAWD! I sound like I'm 20 years old. Why the heck does it matter so much to me??     I think I need to knit a bit tonight.... and that's something else I need/want to do: set up some knit sessions on campus for KniTibet. I should probably go to the Amnesty International meeting Thursday. I'm hoping to get one or two one campus organizations to sponsor the drive for caps & scarves & mittens. LC

Monday, August 28, 2006

disappointments loom

#1 trouble meeting requirements for the religion major.     Well, I thought I had checked and double-checked, but it turns out I am a couple courses short of the core requirements for College of Arts & Letters. Now if I'm very lucky, I can wrangle the substitutions, but there's a REAL good chance that I'll come up two courses short. #2 false advertising.     Ever since my friend, Laura (in DC), wrote that she is buying a Toyota Prius and I then saw the MPG, I've been toying with the idea of checking them out. Then yesterday, driving home from Sunday dinner, hubby says, "Maybe what I should do is buy you that car and I'll drive the truck." Well, what he was talking about is a cute little blue convertible PT Cruiser at the local Chrysler dealership. But I told him if he was really serious about buying a car, we ought to look at something with better gas mileage. Of course the PT is about $5K less than the Prius.     So, last night I got online and found the local Toyota dealers and checked for Prius in stock. Bunches came up, so today I drove over to the lot on my break and lo, and behold -- NOT ONE Prius!     First, the salesman acts like no, there aren't any listings online. Then he says they are what are coming in to dealerships all over the area. THEN he says that those are all sold. BY.NOW.I'M.GETTING.PISSED.     Which is it? Available or sold?? I do not like to be given the run-around. I do not being treated like I am stupid. And I do not being lied to. "Guess you aren't going to sell a car, then." As I was getting in the car to leave, he asked, almost as an afterthought, if I wanted him to find out when one was due in. "No, if you can't be any more honest than that on the website, I'll just buy something else."     Then, my son was admonishing me for "yelling" at the salesman -- which I wasn't-- for blaming the salesman for something that wasn't his fault -- which I wasn't... it is Toyota's fault, but at that moment he was the representative of the company and that's part of the job to take the flack for what the company does. AND beside, I was very nice.     You have to wonder if it (buying a vehicle to save on gas) is really fiscally sound anyway: car payment (AND interest), insurance, tag registration,(and in MS) ad valorum tax. There goes your savings at the gas pumps for how many weeks? Years??? So, Laura, good luck with your purchase. I think TPTB are telling me it's not the right vehicle or not the right time. LC p.s. To be fair, I went back to the website () just now. The (only four now) Prius are marked as "available," and the footnote indicates that "A status of 'Available' means the vehicle is available to the dealership from a virtual pool of vehicles, but is not on the lot. Please contact the dealership to confirm vehicle availability." So WHY didn't the salesman know that??

Sunday, August 27, 2006

sunday nights

    Ah... Sunday night before a new week of classes. For some people it is despressing, for me, at least tonight, it's a calm feeling. Weekend has been busy. I finally have the survey for my thesis study uploaded and ready for the student participant. I only await the IRB approval to release it.     Most people who know me, know that my two favorite types of food are Mexican and Italian. Unfortunately, Friday night, the meatballs and spaghetti did NOT agree with me. By 6am, I was hugging the toilet. So, I doubt I'll have a taste for Italian for a good while.     Seems I spent the weekend well, but can't make much of a tally to show for it. Most importantly, the list of To-Do's for tomorrow.
I can't believe this is the LAST episode of Deadwood.
LC

Friday, August 25, 2006

gonna love these no-class fridays

    I can hardly hold my eyes open, but I've had a very productive day and evening. I wrote a page for the MSNA newsletter, updated both my resume and my personal statement/essay for grad school applications, and... ta-dah... got my sleep study survey uploaded to the internet! It is ready to go as soon as I get the final okay from IRB.     Unfortunately no stitching or knitting of any kind, but I did get side-tracked in my Needle Arts magazines for a while this afternoon. With all the years of beading and knitting, I forget sometimes how much I love embroidery. So many things to take pleasure in, so little time. G'nite, LC

Thursday, August 24, 2006

won't do. won't do!

    Thursday is my short day; home by one o'clock. Even though I was in bed before ten last night, I was extremely drowsy driving home and went directly to the couch to nap. It is now half past five, and I am just waking up! This will NOT do at all.     Neither will spending too much time on the computer, so.... "later, tater!" LC

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

remember the magic mirror?

    Today was the first day of the new semester, and even though I did not have classes, #2Son did, and I had errands to take care of on campus so I drove him. It was a good choice, as my errands each took longer than expected, i.e., there wouldn't be enough time to do them on a day when I do have classes. But the best thing was seeing people I know. I felt a little like Miss Nancy from Romper Room:
"I see Susan, and Paula, and JohnL,
and Diana, and Jeremiah, and Dan, and Cody,
and Halima, and Cathy, and Patrick, and Walter."
    The errands were all concerning graduation and grad school. I've changed my primary major from psychology to religion, so I can "walk" for the religion degree. As for grad school, I think my heart wants to go to TWU, but I'll probably end up at USM. According to the information I received today in the mail from TWU, you have to have already been accepted at TWU before submitting for financial aid (not that it makes much sense... I'm hoping it only means they won't award it until then).     I have exactly 72 days to complete (the final draft) my thesis! I am afraid this semester is going to pass much too quickly. LC

Friday, August 18, 2006

learn-a-bit, knit-a-bit

    School is about to begin, and along with all the other things running willy-nilly in my feeble little brain is KniTibet. I need to review everything I wrote last year about the project, confirm it all and get the website updated. I am hoping to get some sponsorship from one or two of the student organizations, and to start a "lessons for contribution" program on or just-off campus.     So, along that vein, last night I cast-on for a prototype hooded scarf. During lunch Tuesday, a friend mentioned a very simple style hooded scarf that she crochets. I got to thinking that perhaps this would be a good idea for the children. Only one item to keep up with, but which serves multiple purposes, not the least of which would be as a teaching tool.     I'm not a big fan of seamed up hats (just a personal preference... silly me; I'd rather wrangle with double-points). My idea is to start off with the simplest of cast-ons and garter stitch (on straight needles), then add some patterning with purl stitches. That would teach not just the purl stitch, but practice at "reading" one's knitting and perhaps using markers. If the hood needs to be (and I think it will) a bit wider that the scarf, viola, increasing. Then they can either learn decreasing and continue in the pattern and then the garter border to the end, or perhaps set that piece aside, make a second just like it and learn to kitchner. I have been making tapes of the Knitty Gritty shows, so I could cue up some of those demonstrations if we met in the media library.     I have some Debbie Bliss Merino Aran that I bought on sale at San Antonio several years ago. But, with our limited access to (reasonably priced) wool around here, they may end up with Lion Brand's Fisherman wool. The white will be pretty bland, but it could always be dyed later for another learning experience.     Well, just some ponderings when, of course, I should have my mind on other matters.     Oh! And to anyone who has written to me through the KniTibet address, my sincerest apologies. I just today stumbled across the password and regained access to the account. Between Hurricane Katrina and the cancellation of our planned 2006 trip to Tibet, I certainly dropped the needles and the stitches on this one. But I am confident it will be successful in the end. LC

Thursday, August 17, 2006

baby's got 'em

    What's the best thing about losing weight? My doctor, of course, would say my improved (current and future) health, but we all KNOW that it's
B U Y I N G     N E W     C L O T H E S ! ! !
    Except.... when the your new skirts (purchased just two weeks ago and not even worn because you didn't shaved your legs) are now too big? Don't throw out those 12s, Rissa -- I may fit into them yet!     So, what's a girl to do??
Buy new shoes, of course! ¿Estamos bailando todavĂ­a?
    I need a fancy pair of shoes for the EGA banquets, and I think these will do nicely. When I was trying them on for the second time, this sweet young girl told me they looked very pretty on my feet... bless her little heart! I just *had* to buy them after that. I do already have a red dress, but I'd really like to find something a bit fancier. Or maybe just fancy-up the one I have. Still a good many weeks to figure out that one. It's a good-news-bad-news kind of situation as far as wanting to keep losing weight and wanting to fit the clothes I have recently bought!     Good news from the doctor today. Glucose was 81, BP was 127/81. He wants to do a fasting blood test for cholesterol to see if treating the diabetes has lowered it. At the same time he will check the AC1 for the past three months. I'll do that one day next week -- he said there was no reason to "stick" me twice.     So much for my day. Now I want to knit just a bit and then go to bed. Gotta start getting some more sleep. Those 8am workdays are going to be starting much too soon. LC

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

150 things, done and undone

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink -- there were only two of us though. 02. Swam with wild dolphins -- before it was "In" and not in an artificial environment. 03. Climbed a mountain 04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive 05. Been inside the Great Pyramid 06. Held a tarantula 07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone 08. Said 'I love you' and meant it 09. Hugged a tree 10. Bungee jumped 11. Visited Paris 12. Watched a lightning storm at sea 13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise -- many times! 14. Seen the Northern Lights << this one's on my do before I die list 15. Gone to a huge sports game -- Superbowl II - Green Bay Packers and Oakland Raiders with my dad. 16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa 17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables -- hubby grew; I ate. 18. Touched an iceberg 19. Slept under the stars 20. Changed a baby's diaper 21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon 22. Watched a meteor shower 23. Gotten drunk on champagne 24. Given more than you can afford to charity 25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope. 26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment 27. Had a food fight 28. Bet on a winning horse 29. Asked out a stranger 30. Had a snowball fight 31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly could 32. Held a lamb 33. Seen a total eclipse 34. Ridden a roller coaster 35. Hit a home run 36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking 37. Adopted an accent for an entire day 38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment -- many times! 39. Had two hard drives for your computer 40. Visited all 50 states << only 39, so far 41. Taken care of someone who was shit faced 42. Had amazing friends 43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country 44. Watched wild whales 45. Stolen a sign 46. Backpacked in Europe 47. Taken a road-trip 48. Gone rock climbing 49. Midnight walk on the beach 50. Gone sky diving 51. Visited Ireland 52. Been heartbroken longer then you were actually in love 53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger's table and had a meal with them 54. Visited Japan 55. Milked a cow 56. Alphabetized your cds 57. Pretended to be a superhero 58. Sung karaoke 59. Lounged around in bed all day 60. Posed nude in front of strangers 61. Gone scuba diving 62. Kissed in the rain 63. Played in the mud 64. Played in the rain 65. Gone to a drive-in theater 66. Visited the Great Wall of China 67. Started a business 68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken 69. Toured ancient sites. 70. Taken a martial arts class 71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight 72. Gotten married 73. Been in a movie 74. Crashed a party 75. Gotten divorced 76. Gone without food for 5 days 77. Made cookies from scratch 78. Won first prize in a costume contest 79. Ridden a gondola in Venice 80. Gotten a tattoo 81. Gone white water rafting 82. Been on television news programs as an "expert" 83. Got flowers for no reason 84. Performed on stage 85. Been to Las Vegas 86. Recorded music 87. Eaten shark 88. Had a one-night stand 89. Gone to Thailand 90. Bought a house 91. Been in a combat zone 92. Buried one/both of your parents 93. Been on a cruise ship 94. Spoken more than one language fluently 95. Performed in Rocky Horror 96. Raised children. -- should be "raising children" cause it never ends. 97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour 98. Created and named your own constellation of stars 99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country 100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over 101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge 102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn't stop when you knew someone was looking 103. Had plastic surgery 104. Survived an accident that you shouldn't have survived. 105. Wrote articles for a large publication 106. Lost over 100 pounds 107. Held someone while they were having a flashback 108. Piloted an airplane 109. Petted a stingray 110. Broken someone's heart 111. Helped an animal give birth 112. Won money on a T.V. game show 113. Broken a bone 114. Gone on an African photo safari 115. Had a body part of yours below the neck pierced 116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol 117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild 118. Ridden a horse 119. Had major surgery 120. Had a snake as a pet 121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon 122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours 123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states 124. Visited all 7 continents 125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days 126. Eaten kangaroo meat 127. Eaten sushi 128. Had your picture in the newspaper 129. Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about 130. Gone back to school 131. Parasailed 132. Petted a cockroach 133. Eaten fried green tomatoes 134. Read The Iliad - and the Odyssey 135. Selected one "important" author who you missed in school, and read 136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating 137. Skipped all your school reunions 138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language 139. Been elected to public office 140. Written your own computer language 141. Thought to yourself that you're living your dream 142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care 143. Built your own PC from parts 144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you 145. Had a booth at a street fair 146: Dyed your hair 147: Been a DJ 148: Shaved your head 149: Caused a car accident 150: Saved someone's life

Monday, August 14, 2006

katrina on my mind

    As the one-year anniversary of Katrina approaches, I find myself thinking about it a lot. Perhaps most people around here are doing the same, I don't know. Although I have not yet been able to bring myself to return to the Coast, I spent two days last week at the APA convention in downtown New Orleans.     There is an eerie (not scarey, eerie) atmosphere there, which is really difficult to explain. Very few people are on the streets, even fewer working and hardly any vehicles. We left downtown at 6pm on Friday night and did not hit a bit of traffice until we were east of Chalmette! Many places downtown are still closed -- as is nearly everything east of New Orleans. Some businesses are gone entirely (like Nawlin's Cookery), but we drove out Dauphine on our way out of town Friday and it was good to see some familar places open, and in the same places (like Mulates, The Central Grocery and Cafe du Monde -- although we personally don't care for the beignets at the latter). There are also new and unfamiliar shops and restaurants. There are also lots of dumpsters for the debris as clean-up and remodeling continues.     On Thursday evening we drove out toward the lake (Pontchartrain) to see how badly Joe's Crab Shack had been hit. Nothing appears to have been done yet towards reopening the restaurant. The road along the shore is damaged in several places. The high water marks are still quite visible on most of the houses along the boulevard. FEMA trailers and dumpsters sit on many properties. It is sad to see, but at least they have something to rebuild from... the MS Gulf Coast is not so fortunate. I have heard more than one person say that it doesn't look as if anything has been done at all on the Coast, as if Katrina hit just recently and not almost 12 months ago.     Wednesday night I saw a "coffee-table" book of Katrina pictures that I really want to buy. One of the reason is that there are many more photos of the MS coast in this one and not just NOLA like most of the ones I have seen previously.     And for those who might have missed the news, the Beau Rivage resort has chosen the anniversary as their reopening. Whenever the Coast is rebuilt it will have an even more different face than the new New Orleans seems to be getting... I imagine only hotels and casinos in their future, not houses. LC

Sunday, August 13, 2006

more feline weirdness

from my cats... Nero likes to chew on the little flip-flops they put on your feet after you get a pedicure. Last week I bought a pair of regular flip-flops at Walgreens, but they were make of the same kind of foam as the pedicure flippies. I accidentally left them in the living room on Thursday night. Then I didn't notice when I put them on Friday morning, but he had chewed the heels of one and the toes of the other overnight. Looked really charming at the APA convention that day! Sasha is a true female: she loves sweets and especially chocolate. Now,I know that you aren't supposed to give cats and dogs chocolate, but every time someone has any kind of sugary treat she comes running. She knows the sound of a Hershey kiss being unwrapped, or any other candy wrapper. And, as I mentioned before, she loves to play with the ball of foil. She will drag candy wrappers out of the trash basket in the living room to play with, and she especially likes the shiny mylar kind. We love to watch her 'dance' with her toy. Their water bowl used to be in the kitchen, beside the food bowls -- of which there has to be two so they don't fight. However, it was moved to the laundry room because they kept spilling it onto the kitchen. Before we moved it though, we had gotten in the habit of putting ice cubes in it whenever we got ice out of the fridge (that's not what started the playing/spilling of the water though). As funny as it was to see them play with the ice cube, it is even funnuier now when they come running to the kitchen whenever someone gets ice out of the fridge. Poor babies. LC

toys: how cats and kids are alike

    We have three (indoor) cats -- only one of which we would consider psychologically normal -- and each one has a favorite toy. Not a store-bought toy, however, or even a lovely handmade one like the felted ball someone sweet made for them. No, they like best a few things that most anyone would have around the house.     Sasha likes balls of paper, in particular, balls of foil candy wrappers. Brickle like string, especially shoe strings. For Nero is has been straws, but now we have discovered something that he just goes nuts over: red laser light.     We discovered this a few months ago, but recently #1Son bought some kind of flashlight with a laser. Shine it on the floor, furniture or wall, and Nero is chasing it with the energy of a manic kitten. #1Son lets him play with the laser every night when he gets home from work, and now Nero also turns with anticipation whenever #1Son comes into the living room from anywhere else in the house at practically any time of the day or night. Tonight we even caught him sitting looking at the flashlight on the end table. I've got to try to get at least a few seconds of video of these antics.     So just like with children, we have often spent money on toys, but they (our cats at least) alway seem to have more fun playing with the packaging! LC, asleep at the keyboard

Monday, August 07, 2006

prodigal one returns

    Today I returned to work in the library. Unfortunately not as a full-time employee, but in my former position as a student assistant. It was a long day (longer than I used to work at one stretch), but it was nice to be back. There are fewer patrons over intersission/break, of course, so I can ease back into the routine. There have been a lot of changes in the last 5 months with regard to what is in our area, so I have things to learn -- most everything is the same though. My supervisor(s) are such wonderful ladies. I really missed them.     I want to knit, but I have so many things to do... It is already 9:00pm, though, and I am very tired. So, perhaps just a few rows while I wind down and ponder what items on my never-ending to-do list have the highest priority for tomorrow. And Deadwood has just begun, so I'll be up at least an hour. LC

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

more matters of size

ooo! ooo! ooo!     Now tonight I am really excited.
    We went down the road to Home Depot tonight (did I ever mention how much I despise HD??) to get carpet padding. They didn't have any carpet padding and the carpet wasn't where the greeter at the door even said it was and the woman sitting in the 'design' area ignored us while, as per usual, all the HD employees deftly disappeared. I hate HD like most people hate WM.     Needless to say we left, intending to go all 25 miles back up the interstate to home, plus the 50 more north to the Lowe's (did I ever mention that I live one-half to one-full hour from any decent shopping??). However, I suggested that we could go to Lowe's tomorrow night and hit Hudson's tonight while we were close. No one EVER has to twist hubby's arm to go to Hudson's! Boy, am I glad we chose the latter!     There were very few women's clothes, but what was there worked out wonderfully for me. Most people seem to leave the silks and wools, and I love to snatch them up off the 75-80% racks. Tonight I scored a pair of beautiful red silk "grasscloth" (with silk lining) slacks... size 12s... no elastic waistband... no stretch fabric... that fit perfectly!! Two 3/4-length sleeve cardigans and two silk tops completed my clothing purchases.     As for hubby's cache, well, Rissa... neither Ben or Rodger can "go to Hudson's any more."     Now, to go try on those slacks for hubby's approval. >>wink-wink<< LC