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I'm Laura. I am female, 31, a gamer, a bookworm, a knitter, a spinner, a tatter, pierced, tattooed, musical, vehemently geeky and occasionally ineptly artistic.

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April and May


Posted at 04 May 2009 09:25:15 AM

The whirlwind continues. We left for & got back from the emergency trip to NY on April 16th through 18th, respectively. Left again on the 25th to hit up the destination birthday party of one of Dan's best friends, which was a lot of fun but also a blessedly short [day] trip.

Mom was in town this past weekend, and we really covered a lot of ground. On Friday it was drizzling rain, but we dodged between the raindrops and created a really nice new flower garden around the mailboxes. It's edged with scalloped blocks, and all mulched in - really, it looks fantastic. If some of my veggies would start to come up in the back, all would be well.

Saturday we took off on a road trip to Springfield, MO. We stopped at a yarn shop and picked out some really pretty yarn for her to knit into a scarf. (I picked up sock yarn - no need to look so surprised. Colinette Jitterbug in the colorway "Morello Mash" - dark purpleish reds, that would be.) We spent a few hours wandering the World's Largest (tm) Bass Pro Store, and had dinner in the restaurant located in the Bass Pro Store. Then I got coffee from the Starbucks also located in the Bass Pro Store, and we had a doomed expedition to see a glass blowing demonstration (turns out the hours on their website had been wrong).

Sunday we went to Mansfield. On the way to the Laura Ingalls Wilder house/museum we got distracted by signs for a Garden Show at the Baker Creek Seeds museum. Little did we know that it would mean a 2 mile long line of cars, mud up to our ankles, a really neat experience at a pioneer village (yarn! handspun!) and seemingly infinite varieties of tomatoes and peppers. It would have been neat if we'd been more prepared, but since technically my garden is already in anyway and plants don't exactly fit well in a carry-on, we escaped with minimal monetary loss.

We saw the museum, which was neat. I don't know why, exactly, but I think I may have preferred the idea that the stories and the people were made up. Well, not made up exactly, but .. more abstract and confined to the pages of a book that one can always pick back up again. It's sad, reading about the endings to things.

She's back on a plane this morning. This week is relatively back to normal - I plan to spend today with my feet up on my desk, eating cheetoes, knitting my Hedera 'til I'm blue in the face, and surfing Monster.com.

Until Friday, when we head off for Chicago. Calm weekends, where have thou gone?




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Catching up.


Posted at 11 Mar 2009 10:44:05 AM

I got the last shot of the HPV/cervical cancer vaccine yesterday. Accordingly, my left arm is now complaining verbosely at anything I ask it to do. The rest of me feels run-down and woozy; whether that's a side effect of the shot, the rapid temperature changes outside, or another job-related stress cold, I don't know.

If it is the latter, the good part about this whole job mess is I will no longer feel any guilt about taking a couple of days' sick time. (I'm trying not to post too much about said mess here in public. For what it's worth, if you want to know what's going on, just email me.)

Dan's parents were in town last week and were instrumental in getting part of a kitchen wall (not the demon green one, the other one) taken out so that we can use our refrigerator effectively. We've also got a new french door in place of the old aluminum sliding one, and it looks fantastic.

It also insulates the house so much better that we're having difficulties regulating the heat again; the mean temperature's gone up by at least 5 degrees. Combine that with the recent 70-80* weather outside, and inside is just stifling.

Speaking of weather, if this keeps up, I'm going to have to start my vegetable seedlings pretty soon. The garden is still a mess from last fall, and needs a rather severe beating cleaning as well as at least a couple more bags of soil and peat moss. I'll get around to it; this sort of thing starts slowly.

Finished my diamond socks! Forgive the right toe in the picture: it was pre-weaving in ends and blocking. It's better now, I promise ;-)




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It's all creeping up on me


Posted at 11 Dec 2008 10:51:30 AM

I realize that I've been quiet lately. Life has been normal, generally speaking; I've been playing WoW (a very little), knitting (a lot) and generally holding onto the status quo.

The cats are settling in, and are now playing with each others' tails like old friends. We got them a cat tree as an early "christmas present to the family", and I think they're enjoying it. It's another way to escape the dog, and I know they both like that.

Here's another one of Dory - bear in mind that photographing a black cat is akin to capturing the shadow that falls across your camera lens: Sleepy Kitten.

ETA: Here's one with her eyes open. She looks kinda stoned, since it was taken right after we adopted her and she was in that ugly virus-not eating-very sick phase. Nevertheless!

I'm trying lace now; it's gorgeous and fun to knit, but ye gods the progressbar* moves slowly. The gloves I could finish in a few evenings; I'll be lucky if I get this done by Christmas. That's not because I've frogged it a couple of times, naturally...

I picked up the Knitted Lace of Estonia book the last time I was at Chris' Needlecraft. I've been in love with one of the patterns - a really lovely Lily of the Valley pattern. Growing up, Lily of the Valley ran wild in our yard and it's one of my favorite flowers. So delicate and pretty, and a scent I never get tired of! Chris' is having a 30\% off sale, which is rather extraordinary, so I got some 3.5mm addi lace needles as well. I mean, $5 of a $15 pair of really superlative needles -- carpe diem!

Alternately reading Althalus, Nora Robert's Irish Trilogy and the Yarn Harlot's Free-Range Knitter.

Work is going well; gearing up for the holiday season and the new minor release. Our merger with Sprint has been approved (note the spiffy WiMAX-Voltron logo) and we're all proceeding with the confident attitude of people who know they will continue to be paid for the foreseeable future.

...Thanks to Firefox's spellcheck, I just learned that 'foreseeable' has an 'e' at the front. Feeling rather silly now.

Dan's got lasik surgery coming up soon... his parents may be coming down for it; we're not quite sure yet. He's said that they're aiming to keep him in a vicodin-induced sleep for 24 hours after the surgery, after which he's free to move around, drive and generally life live as normal. It's remarkable, really.

I'm not prepared for Christmas this year. Maybe this weekend, in between picking out cabinets, countertops, floor tiles and a new french door I'll try to work in Christmas cards. I've got a sliced ham in the fridge that's begging for a loaf of Farmgirl Susan's Farmer's White bread, the lace scarf to knit, Bronwyn's only 74 for pity's sake, and quite frankly I'm trying not to think about it all at once lest I go insane.


* As it were.




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Bodice, part 2.


Posted at 09 Sep 2008 02:18:45 PM

Hooray! I got more fusible interfacing today. Maybe I can actually finish this bodice in something like a couple of weeks instead of half a year? From the research I did (after the fact, of course) I believe that I sewed one of the pieces of rigiline in 'backwards' - that is, curving away from the body instead of toward it. However, since it's such a tight-fitting garment anyway I'm not particularly worried about it.

Am starting to think that I'm going to end up buying a fishtail skirt, just so I can take it apart and get a pattern that way. It's irritating, honestly - how hard would it be to make a real pattern for this?

Still annoyed at my hours at work, and no sign of them changing soon even just for raid nights. Over-privileged, if this is the worst thing to happen to me, blah blah yadda yadda. Still annoyed.

I picked up a 5.3cu ft. chest freezer this weekend, and cleaned out the upstairs freezer as soon as it'd been cooling for 24 hours on the dot. Hooray! Now I'm contemplating the freezer specials at John's Butcher Shoppee (I swear, that's spelled right) as they look like decent deals. One could wish they included some lamb, even just chops or stew meat, but maybe I can wrangle some sort of swap.




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The nerves are setting in


Posted at 04 Sep 2008 09:40:17 AM

With the calendar now showing September, it's starting to sink in: I'm getting married this month.


How very... bizarre.


Purely mundane matters are mostly in hand -- we've got the location, my ring is finished and I picked it up last week, Dan's has been ordered, my dress is hemmed and hanging in the closet, the food is ordered. Invites have been sent and more RSVPs are arriving every day. We'll have to pick up some of the food, plates, etc a day or so before, and with Mom's help we'll make the cakes on Friday. I'm still not convinced that we won't need a chest freezer rather soon after the shindig, because we will have quite a bit of extra food, but I'm not going to stress over it if I don't have to. Everyone'll be over for UFC this Saturday, so we can take care of the officiant's ordination then.

Honestly, I can't think of anything that we haven't taken care of. Is there anything it sounds like I'm forgetting?

--------------------------------
Had a good three-day weekend. We picked up a new desk for Dan (at long last!) and it looks fantastic. We had a shot at putting cable into the back bedroom, but were foiled by firestops in every single wall, damnit. We don't have a long enough drill to take care of it ourselves, so it looks like that projects is postponed yet again.

I started work on my bodice, and aside from a hiccup that made it necessary to lengthen the pattern by 2" all 'round, did quite well on it. The mockup fits well, the lining is done, the boning is in and the top layer is cut. I probably could have finished it yesterday, but the 3/8 yard of heavy fusible interfacing specified by the pattern didn't come CLOSE to being enough (aaargh). It's pricey but a good heavy weight, so it looks like another trip to Jackman's fabric will be happening on my lunch break.

Joann's had a spectacular sale on Vogue patterns for Labor Day - everything, even the $20 and $25 patterns, was on sale for $3.99. I raided their bin while waiting for chinese takeout on Friday, and got what -may- be a good lead on a fishtail skirt. Patterns for that sort of skirt are few and far between, and it's driving me up the wall! I want one rather badly to wear with my green corset, and apparently I'm the only one!

Having rather a home-decorating love affair with CB2. I want one of each of these rather badly, and this is amazing. I have Dan's blessing to get one for the bathroom, so now that gives me a rather good head start on the theme it'll be. I'm not quarreling with the dark green paint*, but the square silver towel bars are a) cheap and b) falling off. I'm thinking now of replacing them with fixtures like this - something square and wrought-iron.

*Ok, maybe I quarrel a bit with the sloppy edging at the ceiling. Not enough that I'm willing to fix it just yet, though - if and when are redo the whole room, I'll get up on a ladder.




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Hardware update


Posted at 11 Dec 2008 10:58:27 AM

STOVE:
First and foremost, I'm getting a new stove this weekend!

Hooraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!

We have it picked out at Lowe's (and it fits neatly inside the amount of my stimulus check, which is excellent). Chances are they're delivery/pick up service won't be operating on the 4th of July weekend, so we'll just have to take it home ourselves and figure out something to do with the old one. Dan's parents suggested donating it to someone or other, which (as it still works just fine, aside from running a bit hot) isn't a bad idea at all.

His parents are visiting this weekend; technically for a wedding (which we're going to as well. Mental note to pick up a card). I've been frantically trying to get the guest bedroom looking like something other than a collection of odds 'n' ends of furniture, with a coherent color scheme and bed-side table. Since I smile when I walk into it now, I think I've succeeded. The wallpaper border needs to be stripped and the bottom half of the room wants repainting, but that will come.

The only unfortunate parts are the dresser and headboard, as they're unstained pine and wrought iron and don't have a prayer of matching the navy-espresso-cream color scheme. Consequently, they have a starring placement on the list of things to replace one of these days, and I'll be keeping an eye out when we start to poke around furniture stores.

(Also, I want side tables for the living room, and very shortly we'll need a really good (big) DVD cabinet. And a wine rack/stemware cabinet. Aack.)

COMPUTER:
If you've noticed my disappearance from IM lately, it's because my computer has officially crapped out. It had been down for almost a month before I conquered my apathy and started to debug it last night. Unfortunately, I got only as far as hitting the power button and discovering that I had no video output.

If you'll recall, the original cause of it being powered off for a month was that I got I/O errors, rebooted and got "INSERT BOOT DISK AND PRESS ANY KEY", not because I had no video. That seems to have been a spontaneous development and already my eyebrows were raised. The kicker came when I tried to reset the video card - the act of unseating the card shorted the computer on. Not off. MOTHERF*CKING ON.

Conclusion: the motherboard is shot beyond my ability to give a crap.

Rebuilding it doesn't sound like any fun either, to be honest. I've said before that it's a major departure for me, the homebrew zealot, to contemplate buying a prebuilt, but I really don't care to head back into the merry-go-round of Which Numbering Scheme is Nvidia Using Now, and Is A Dual-Core Better Than A Core-Two Duo? I'm no longer interested in which chipset is the current source of Awesome and whether we're up to DDR4 or 72. I just don't have the time to spend my evenings fucking with hardware and downloading obscure drivers.

If it works, is fast, and runs Ubuntu without complaint: sign me up.

That said, the companies I won't buy from: eMachines or any other walmart-recommended brand, HP, Compaq, Sony, anything with an ATI graphics card. I'd buy another Mac, but Parallels doesn't have me convinced yet.

And that pretty much leaves Dell. The head techie guy here at work just bought himself a shiny new XPS, so that's a recommendation from a rather trusted source... I'll be looking into it.



Oh! One last note. Go see WALL-E! It was an absolutely adorable dark comedy, and I loved every eye-widening minute of it. I think it's summed up by a phrase I encountered on LJ: "It made a theater-full of New Yorkers shriek in horror when a cockroach got run over."