Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Public Intimacy

Dear Cute Guy, wearing a brown coat, denim shirt and grey jumper on the Piccidilly Line last night (beginning at Holborn),

I'd like to take this opportunity to apologise. You looked quite happy reading your book in the two inches of space in front of you. I'm sure it was a very good read.

Unfortunately the fat guy behind me was completely oblivious to the fact that, during this particular time of day, only three people are allowed on the train through each door at Holborn station. He clearly thought that the people who have to duck their heads back into the carriage every time the doors close and almost fall out every time the doors open had more than enough space to themselves.

Sadly for everyone else in the carriage, this created a situation resembling a pile of American football players all face-down on the pitch. I know that my head practically resting on your shoulder while we both desperately tried to maintain a millimeter's space was excruciatingly uncomfortable, but believe me, it could have been worse. At least the back of my head protected your face from the tall guy with the pointy elbows for four stops.

Four jolting, slam-to-a-halt-in-the-station stops.

At any rate, I hope you enjoyed the rest of your journey after the train finally cleared out significantly at Finsbury Park, and were spared the unplanned attentions of the several new people around you.

Hopefully never again,

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

First week back at work

Things would would have been exceptionally helpful for you to do in my absence:

1. Any of the things you actually said you were going to do. The definition of 'doing' them includes any of the following: accomplishing a task, setting it up for me to do when I got back, delegating it to someone else to do if you could not, or making any visible effort whatsoever to accomplish a task. It does not include: leaving several unlabeled piles of similar things on my desk and then expecting me to know exactly what's happening with all of them, hiding more work in odd and random places so that I stumble across it while looking for the pens you stole from my desk, and deciding that, for the three days after I get back, to bombard me with emails asking if I know what is happening with (insert something here). I do not. You are supposed to.

2. Not attempt to barricade my desk in with boxes of delivered magazines. I know that I archive them, and you have no idea of the system. This is why I told you you were not allowed to go into that room. This does not mean that you should place them around my desk in such a way that I can now repel the invading Mongul hordes from my computer.

3. Follow any of the instructions, in any way, I carefully walked you through before I left. Yes, I did give you those for a reason. No, the reason was not for you to write your grocery list on (which you have done). Perhaps if you'd followed the instructions, much of the screamy phone calls you received would not have occurred.

4. Along similar lines of number three, that detailed colour-coded chart? That's used so that nothing gets missed on deadline day. Yes, you probably should have followed it. No, I'm not fixing it for you.

5. Not piss anyone off, so that they complain to me for days. I know this is not your best area, but it would have been helpful not to insult them.

Next time, I'll install some sort of machine that zaps you when you're being an idiot. I know that I'd arrive back, and you'd have no hair, but this is not my problem.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Go Sens, and not those other guys

Things I have learned while visiting Canada:

1. Bring more wool. It is cold. Next time, travel with the whole stash.
2. What a 2-4 is, and that one is not enough for four people during a serious night of drinking.
3. There is no way on earth that I can match the Canadian men I know when drinking. Trying is a bad idea.
4. That the Sens (Ottawa Senators) are the best hockey team, ever, on this earth, and should I indicate otherwise by narrowing my eyes in the wrong way or other possible signals, the world will end.
5. The loo is now called 'the washroom', which means that I am even more confused.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The addiction's reaching new heights

I recently discovered the 'radar' bit on the forums on Ravelry, and it's going to take over my life. I think I've joined about 5 new groups in the last 30 minutes. Ah well, it'll give me more to do at work to distract myself now that the bastards have taken away my Pandora...

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Oh Canada...

For the last week or so (10 days, to be precise), I've been staying with M's cousins in Canada. Strangely, for someone that lived several hours south of the Canadian border for most of my early life, the entirety of my time in Canada before this consisted of jumping the border while at WWU for cheap all-you-can-eat pasta and legal drinking on Tuesday nights.

The following picture sums up most of the last 10 days:

Those are stairs. Covered by at least a foot, but probably more, of snow. It is cold. Very, very cold. M's cousin took us downtown (they apparently live in the sticks) last Friday, and it was so cold I actually had to buy long-johns to wear under my jeans because I could no longer feel the front of my legs. I could feel the back just fine, but not the front.

Canada is a peculiar mix of America and Britain, to me. Looking at the chocolate selection at cornershops, and they've got the Aeros, Cadbury, and other familiar brands. Stores carry digestive biscuits, and other really strange things are oddly British. The accent is close to America (although I can certainly hear a difference that I wouldn't have been able to five years ago), and much of the television is the same. The same ideas about driving (a must) and the space is familiar, in that no-one-walks-anywhere way.

It's enough that I think I could feel comfortable here, in a way that I don't in the States anymore and I'm not sure I do in England. I'm going to have to spend some more time in this country when it's not freezing cold and see if I think I could live here.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Expressions of love

Well, I finished my Grandmother's shawl for her 90th birthday well in time for the event. I say well in time, but actually it was a bit of a struggle. It needed to be done, blocked and dry, for packing on the 23 of December as it was also a Christmas present. I managed, but barely and with serious effort. Here it is though, and I'm pretty impressed with myself, to be honest.

This shawl took me a month and a half of knitting around 3-5 hours a night. (That's me outside my Grandma's place in Colorado, on December 27th - it was a bit chilly.) It was my first large project that succeeded, even a little bit, and is beautiful. I know there are mistakes in it, but this is the first thing that I've made that I've looked at and gone 'Wow.'

Pattern is Mountain Peaks Shawl by MimKnits, and it's a fantastic pattern that has been very well written. I used Handmaiden SeaSilk in Woodland, which was a wonderful yarn. As a side note though, the colours were much darker than they appeared on my screen when I was ordering - something I'm definitely going to keep in mind for next time. All in all though, I really enjoyed my first proper lace knitting experience, and can't wait to start something else.

My Grandma really loved it as well - she sat staring at it for a few moments and then disappeared into her room where there was much blowing of the nose.


Friday, January 04, 2008

So this is the New Year...

Hi. Wow. It's been a rather long time, hasn't it?

We're now a few days into 2008, and I feel very much like that kid who's new at the pool. You know, the one that has the water wings on her arms, and has had a few swimming lessons but isn't confident yet, and who certainly wouldn't jump in the deep end. Just dipping her toe in the water, and waving it around a bit.

2007 was pretty awful. I had the alien in my throat, I had surgery to get rid of the alien in my throat, I had weird energy and mood swings, and in general it was a pretty awful year. But, as ever at this time of year, it's been a long december and there's reason to believe that maybe this year will be better than the last.

So. What do I want to do this year?

Stand on my own two feet, and know that no one can push me over. Live well, and within my own means. Find a job that challenges me, and that pays me what I think I'm worth. Make a plan about where I think I want to be, location-wise, in five years and what I might need to do to make that happen.

I've got a good feeling about this one. I think it'll be a good year.

Labels: ,