More experimentation

So first… the No Shampoo stuff. Here goes… As of last night I used real shampoo. With moving and packing I find that I’m constantly dirty and gross and nasty and I’m just not okay with it. I tried to get through it with the baking soda/citric acid combo, but my hair was just not being cooperative with this. So I broke down and used real shampoo and conditioner. This is not permanent, as the hope is that after the move is done and taken care of, the dusty, dirty boxes/stuff issue will resolve itself. I plan on going back to a No Shampoo regimen as soon as the hooplah of moving ends.

Oh another note, I think I’ve decided to take the plunge and try a Polyphasic Sleep Schedule. Particularly, the Everyman 3 (possibly 4.5 depending on the adjustment period and how well I do).

So here’s the thing. Someone linked the Uberman Sleep Schedule as a joke to just eliminate sleep altogether. When I first read it I guffawed. I mean, who eliminates sleep altogether! And how in the hell could this be healthy! But oh, it was definitely intriguing. It was so interesting. The thoughts of all of the things I could do if I had 22 hours of waking time made me want to cry with possibility. Just think about it. Do you find that you spend hours upon hours browsing the internet only to realize you forgot to cook, but now it’s almost time for sleeping and shit, what the hell am I gonna do now? 22 hours people. 22 amazing and productively blissful hours!! Then my brain processed to instant jealousy that anyone has the work schedule to allow for something like this. I had to shrug it off. I mean, work wouldn’t take to kindly to me asking for 3 chances in an 8 hour day to take naps. And what about the driving? And the week off I’d need to take for the first horribly sleep-deprived portion of adjustment??

So I kept reading. And she mentions the Everyman. The wha?! What’s this? And different type of polyphasic sleep?! What’s the schedule and how do I sign up!!

With Uberman the first couple weeks are absolutely crucial to the body’s ability to adapt. The nap schedule must be followed strictly and it’s even suggested to take time off from work/school in order to get over the hump. This is clearly out of the question as I’m saving my vacation time for Comic Con in July. I’m just sayin’, I gotta set my priorities here. While on Uberman the nap schedule becomes almost necessary to function normally. There’s very little give or take with regard to when you take them. They have to be within a few minutes or it throws the entire system out of whack.

Everyman has a lot more flexibility. It allows you to take your 3 naps within an hour of when you’ve scheduled it. You can also on the fly adjust from the Everyman 3 (which is a Core sleep of 3 hours and 3-4 twenty/thirty minute naps throughout the day) to the Everyman 4.5 (Core sleep of 4.5 hours and 1-2 twenty/thirty minute nap(s)). There’s a longer adjustment period (up to a month or more) but no need to take a week or two of off work in order to get over it.

Days 3 and 4 are still the hardest when you’ve finally hit the true Sleep Deprivation mode. Ah well, I know how that goes. I get that kind of groggy, wtf am I doing at work feeling with monophasic sleep (the traditional being awake for 16-ish hours a day of productivity and 8-ish hours of sleep). Though really, who actually gets the alloted 8 hours a night? I know I don’t! And I’m tired as hell because of it!

So my plan is to pick a week… maybe one in June, and see if I can’t make this happen. I always am struggling to find time to do things I want and like to do with free time. It always ends up being a This -or- that instead of a little of each. I want to crochet/knit more, but then I can’t play WoW. If I play WoW then I can’t crochet/knit. It’s a catch 22. Plus all the random internet reading, blogging, researching, randomness. Plus I’d like to go tot he gym. Maybe. One day.

I’ve worked up a schedule using chikuru’s sleep schedule as a guide. Because really I hate mornings and would much rather have more time during the dark parts of the day to do stuff than any other. Plus, I have to consider work and commuting into the equation. So my plan is to have my core between 4am and 7am, the first nap at noon (during my lunch), 2nd nap after I get home from work, and the 3rd nap at 11pm-midnight-ish.

Once I start this I’m gonna have to try to be better about, y’know, not snoozing alarms and actually getting up. Also, not oversleeping.

No ‘Poo continued

April 22nd, 2010 | Tags: , ,

Part 2

So it’s been 7 days since I started this No ‘Poo trek and there have been a handful of interesting developments. It seems that I am the guinea pig amongst those closest to me. Truthfully, I’m kind of enjoying the weird status I’ve achieved. So many people are happy to hear the good things so far, but today… alas, I break the bad news.

I knew going into this that it couldn’t possibly be all these great and wonderful things only. I had an additional challenge with my long tresses as well. But before I share in the troubles of going No ‘Poo, lemme tell you about all of the good things!

So the lack of flaking head from dry scalp… well, it has gotten better. As the day(s) wore on there flaking started a little bit here and there, but it was noticeably less. When I looked at my hairline on that first day I could still see some skin even though it wasn’t flaking while brushing or blow drying. On the second washing it was even less and today, I don’t have any dry skin along my hairline. This is great news! Here I was thinking I was in dandruff denial, when it really was dry scalp all along (outside of the flaking I had none of the other typical dandruff symptoms).

Today was no ‘pooing 3… no 4 in the last 7 days. I’ve had to make the baking soda mixture once more (after the initial mixture) and the citric acid mix is still the first bottle. I have no itchy head problems like I usually do, even when I have my hair pinned up and pulled back in a pony tail. I still have no tangles when my hair is wet after washing it. Not one. So I’m going to guess that the dry scalp, itchy head and tangles are all problems that have come to existence because of the shampoo/conditioner combo.

Now for the bad news. The detox. I read that there was a detox period. I knew it was coming. The stage where the scalp is still producing the same quantity of oil as though you were stripping it of all of it’s natural oils, blah blah blah. But what no one bothered to mention was HOW MUCH oil the head was producing.

Holy effing crap Batman, I mean really now?! I feel like I’m showing in baby oil. Or better yet, vegetable oil! My hair has been pinned up AND pulled back because he greasy mess that it’s turned into is nearly impossible for me to stomach. I know and understand that it will go away. I mean, logically, I get it. But there’s got to be something in the meantime, right? Some way to lessen the gross-factor of my hair being plastered to my head and wanting to stick straight out in any direction I brush it, right? RIGHT?!

The answer is simply no. Short of going back to my old shampooing ways, there’s no other solution. I looked. I googled. I found other people who couldn’t make it through the detox phase because their bucket of goo head was driving them mad. Believe me, it’s tough.

So today I was talking to K at work and she was thinking of being her home’s guinea pig. Trying to ween herself off of the shampoo by doing every other day with the traditional shampoo and the baking soda exchange for a week and then every 2 days, etc. Thus making the detox phase less traumatizing but postponing the “All clear” for longer as well. Today I used a bit of shampoo. I get it, I’m setting myself back a few days. I know. Trust me, I know.

I’m just a weak soul. Especially when it comes to my hair. I don’t have a tiny body. I don’t have long legs, or an actress’ face. But I have always had really awesome and beautifully healthy hair. And this greezy mess is making me want to shave my head. No really, it is. So I broke down and used some shampoo first thing in the shower. Then proceeded to do the baking soda/citric acid combo. It didn’t fix the problem. Hell it didn’t really remove all the oil from my hair either. But it’s slightly more tolerable than it had been.

Noah asked me in a comment on my first post about what I was doing for the citric acid ratio. The first bottle I used was 1/2 tablespoon of citric acid crystals to 1 cup of water. This is roughly half what I saw posted regarding how much lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to use with water. Maybe this is just much more than needed. Next bottle I’m going to try 1 teaspoon of citric acid crystals to 1 cup of water. Maybe this will also help with the greasy factor. Maybe skip this phase once a week. In the meantime, I’m going to use a tiny bit of shampoo once a week until this entire greasy head thing has ceased.

Other than that I have no complaints. It’s super easy. I’ve adjusted to the method of rubbing my scalp instead of trying to get a lather. I’ve also read some more on SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) and what it does exactly. It’s basically an irritant and the foaming agent. Yay foam! I love the foam. But I’m working on getting over my foam love in favor of the other benefits.

Here’s to getting through this detox phase… cause I’m over that part.

No ‘Poo has gone viral… almost

April 15th, 2010 | Tags: , ,

Part One

The other day, while on Facebook, a friend of mine linked an article about how to clean your hair without shampoo. I read through the article, and then decided to read through a handful of other articles (there are 5 different links in there, if you’re curious about what I’ve been reading) before making a decision about this process. When I turned around and shared the link with my own friends… I won’t lie, I was surprised by the amount of interest from so many others. At least 3 other people relinked the same article and there were TONS of comments on everyone else’s posts as well as my own (and by ton I meant more than 4).

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m internally a hippy, even if on the outside I refuse to wear patchouli or burn incense ALL the time. I don’t smell like sage, and I don’t own a single skirt that goes to my ankles. But I am interested in decreasing my own personal carbon footprint (to be PC about it) as well as decreasing the quantity of junk I put in my body as well as what I put on my body. There are a hundred different reasons for a thousand different people, but mostly it’s because I’m tired of having weird unexplainable crap happen to my body. It’s time to make my body a place of zen… again… like when I was a little kid. It’s my own little personal biosphere, really, when you think about it. Why not make it a happy place instead of an always conspiring against you place. And yes, my body is constantly conspiring against me.

Going No 'Poo!!In almost all of the pictures I’ve seen about what people’s hair looks like, the styles all seem to be of a short nature. I have absolutely nothing against short hairstyles, but I do not have one of those. My hair, at the longest point, goes to the middle of my back. I believe this poses an entirely different set of rules and processes while going No ‘Poo. Like my hair did not feel “de-greased” when I used the baking soda mixture. I used it, rinsed, used it, rinsed, then finally broke down and used a teeny bit of shampoo to actually degrease my hair, used the baking soda again.

Now here’s where my crazed yarn love and small stint in dying comes into play. When you dye natural fibers (like wool and silk), you need to make sure the dye is acidic. It is also suggested that you use similar ingredients as the ones mentioned for the “conditioner” portion of all of this. To balance the pH of your hair and bring it back to normal. So instead of using apple cider vinegar or lemon juice (which is hard to find sans sugar and other junk in it), I have citric acid crystals (or powder). You need a lot less of this in your conditioner mixture, but it accomplishes the same thing as the vinegar and lemon juice. It also has no scent or color what-so-ever.

I noticed a definite difference in the texture of my hair when I put the “conditioner” in my hair and let it sit for about 15 seconds or so. After rinsing it out I finished my shower like any other. The real interesting stuff seemed to be things I noticed after I was dressed and dealing with my hair outside of the shower setting.

Even with shampoo and conditioner, when brushing my hair (yes while wet… yeah yeah, I know the warnings and I don’t care) I often had tangles. With the baking soda/citric acid combo, I had not even one tangle. This may have been a fluke since it really is only the first day and I have nothing else to compare it to, but if this is a trend that will continue, my hair and head will be happy for the change.

On a typical shampoo day, it takes somewhere between a half hour and an hour to deal with my tresses. That includes putting some sort of shiny-fier if I’m going out and want extra shiny hair, blow drying and flat ironing for lack of fly-aways and style. Half hour is pretty generous for short timing, as it’s usually much longer. My hair always seemed to hold gallons of water even after I had towel-dried and even somewhat air-dried my hair. However, with the No ‘Poo process I had none of this. My hair started to have the dry-flippy bits within minutes of towel-drying. Also, blow drying AND flat ironing took half the amount of time it normally does. Half. This is mind blowing. I decided on a hair style that requires me to actually DO something with it all the time. It was a poor choice, but a cute hairstyle. What’s a girl to do?! Apparently, ditch the shampoo and you are blessed with you time being yours again.

Another thing to note is that I have dry scalp. It flakes like dandruff, but isn’t dandruff. But I have super oily hair. It’s really quite the conundrum. It doesn’t even make sense!! Until I read through so many things regarding the detergents in shampoo. I understand the biosciences of the body and know that my scalp is working overtime to adjust, but I’m stripping everything with shampoo. Got it. While my scalp is still noticeably dry along the hairline, there was no flaking. No flaking while blow drying my hair. No flaking when brushing AFTER it was dry. No flaking the next morning (aka this morning).

Again I point out that this is all stuff that stuck out for me. Things I definitely noticed without realizing that there might be a difference. I know there’s a detox period of about 2 weeks in which my scalp still produces the same quantity of oil as it was when using shampoo. So I might find that I’m “shampooing” every other day for the first couple of weeks while I try to keep my hair from turning into a fire hazard.

I will keep you posted on the progress and changes. I figure there will be complaints at some point about the process, and I will gladly document those too.

Another $10 spent

March 26th, 2010 | Tags: , , ,

I decided that I would make 2 amigurumi dolls. I want to enter each of them into a different county fair. Last year I entered a doll and the wonderful thing won first place. The hope is for something similar this year… but I also want people to see what I can do.

The thing is, I’m not following a pattern per se. I’m improvising. I’m no artist, by any means, but I have a love of color. And so this entire process has been months in the making, months in the planning and a few days ago I started working. Two arms. Two ears. And a head, and I found myself stuck at the eyes. I had only one style of acrylic eyes in the correct size. Well, I guess this little bunny is getting amber colored eyes. I found myself back on CR’s Crafts looking up doll eyes again. The last time I found myself on that site, I had just purchased Elizabeth Doherty‘s book Amigurumi!: Super Happy Crochet Cute and really wanted to make one of the dolls. Not just the cute other stuff that is in the beginning of the book. I wanted to bypass all of the smaller projects and jump right into the big elaborate dolls.

I found my eyes, and this time I found more eyes in the size for the dolls I want to make (and a few extra, just in case).

I find myself buying a lot of little things here and there. I stopped at Michael’s the other day ready to find exactly what I needed because I had a plan!! Except my plan backfired on me and I wasted the money from a Xmas gift card. Ah well, it was a lesson learned.

Does it mean I’m stealing? Using bits that I like from each ami designer? Deciding on the clothes I want to make… having nothing to do with any of the other designers and authors? I have a hard time understanding at what point it becomes “mine” instead of a copy of theirs. I guess when the time comes I’ll figure it all out.

Back to the doll… I’m at a point where I need to make decisions about colors. What color to make the undies. What color to make the sweater. What color to make the shirt, the underskirt, the shoes, etc. And while I can imagine all of these colors in my head, so far nothing is going quite how I expected it to. I had other plans for the sweater… AND the shirt. If there’s a way for a person who can’t draw to be at a drawing board, I’m that person. I now need to try to figure out how to get this all worked out. Design clothing, too. I don’t design clothes! Not only am I going to have to figure out how to design clothing, but I need to do it on a much smaller scale!

So here I am. Wondering what to do next. *heavy sigh*

Completed Socks!

March 22nd, 2010 | Tags: , ,

In an effort to share more of the stuff I’m actually working on, I’m going to try to be better about posting the things I’m making and working on… sometimes I’ll do it as I make it, but most of the time I’ll share after it’s over. And even still, when it’s a surprise gift I’ll work on sharing photos after the giftee has received the item.

My knitting is finally getting better and I’m getting faster. I’m still pretty terrible at actually doing purl stitches in continental, but I love knitting socks because it’s all knit stitches!

I fell in love with this pattern the first time I saw it in Wendy Johnson‘s Socks from the Toe Up. I had tried to work Riding on the Metro with a different yarn that was self-striping and it just didn’t look quite right. I ended up making a different sock from the purple, black and gray yarn (also from Wendy’s book, go figure!). I decided to work these socks two-at-a-time, though I don’t like working top-down, like the book has you work. So I worked each toe on double points and then transferred the stitches onto the circular.

Both Socks - Done!

Here are both of my pasty white legs wearing my new pair of socks. These were knit up in Cascade Heritage Sock Solid in the Colorway Anis.

Detail of the Foot

I ran into some issues when it came to the heel. Probably because of the way that Wendy has you work on the heels from the toe up. I’m not entirely sure how the heels are worked when they’re worked cuff down. The book shows photos of what looks like making a flap for the heel, but I prefer the way Wendy does it.

I love the way these socks feel and I love this pattern even more. I’m super excited to have a pair of socks that are already done and made, since I made both of them at the same time, but man oh man did it seem to take an awful long time!

Next project?? I think I’m going to work on a shawlette (also by Wendy), and some fair entries… Amigurumi dolls. I’m still working on the details of exactly what I’m going to make.

The Epic Search for a Digital Camera

March 16th, 2010 | Tags: , , ,

Over the last however many years digital cameras have existed, I’ve owned my fair share. My first was a really old, super bulky, Sony CyberShot. I love the hell out of that thing and while it didn’t exactly die, it just became a nuisance to carry. Digital cameras have been shrinking in size and portability, but expanding on their capabilities. Removing DSLRs from the mix, the Point-and-Shoot cameras have gotten so good that it’s nearly impossible to figure out which ones will be the best choice for my application.

The criteria for what I was looking for:

Point-and-Shoot (P&S): It had to be portable. Maybe not necessarily pocketable, but I didn’t want something bulky. As portable as possible, that’s for sure. I understand that DSLRs take the best true macro shots, it’s simply not in the cards for this gal.

Price: The price of the camera needed to be in the $350 and below range. I wasn’t looking to spend my rent money on a camera. The cheaper the better sure, but there’s an understanding that inexpensive cameras aren’t always very good cameras. Thus why I set the price range a tad higher than what I would truly rather spend (about $200). The name brand models fall in the more expensive range, but the technology that these cameras offer also tend to be better. It’s a cost/benefit analysis in the end.

Macro: This is a must. I needs to do macro/close-up shots. It doesn’t have to do them fantastically or like I said to a friend “I don’t need National Geographic quality pics.” And the statement can’t be more true. I’m less likely going to use the camera for things like bugs, flower, dew drops and the like and more for other macro type shots. Because of this, I don’t need perfection. I just need good. Damn good is ideal, but I’ll settle for good and able.

In searching for a digital camera that had these three qualities I ran into many opinions and articles. David Pogue’s over at the NY Times was the first article I read, many weeks ago. It was an interesting insight into the various feature sets of each individual camera and I looked closely at all of the three he mentioned as the top 3. However, no where could I find that any of them had the macro/close-up setting. I was terribly disappointed.

Next came the google searches on various word combinations in hopes that I night score with finding a nice comparison piece on macro enabled P&S cameras. Yeah, as you can imagine, I found an awful lot of junk and very little of anything that was fruitful. After much frustration, I gave up the search.

Until today.

And then I went on yet another search for macro-abled P&S cameras. A kind friend pointed me towards Steve’s DigiCams. Rather than hoping I find something I went straight for the Best Cameras link. For anyone curious about digital cameras, this site gives you an excellent quick look and separates all the cameras into nice little categories. However, no “does it do macro?” category. /doublesigh

After much searching and some additional frustration I stumbled across Engadget Labs article on the best point-and-shoot cameras under $400. So, first of all, thank you guys at Engadget for giving me the exact kind of comparisons (in shots, quality, gripes and goodies of each, etc) I needed to see and read. After looking at the photos and reading what was said about their first choice camera (of the small number they looked at, mind you), I think I’m going to go with their choice for the Samsung SL820. Now when I have a couple hundred dollars, I’ll be picking this up (and keeping my fingers crossed that it doesn’t disappoint).

Moral of the story from this entire many month long experience?? Read a lot of tech magazines. Look at the related links. And wait until the expensive camera comes down in price.

My nook… and ebooks in general

February 22nd, 2010 | Tags: , , ,

I am, without a doubt, a book lover. While I was in school I found myself buying books upon books where they sat, collecting dust on my bookshelves as the pile grew more and more. My large bookshelves (note: more than one) are already brimming with books that I have read and those I have not had the pleasure of reading including paperbacks being two deep that the new books are literally piled on top of each other, for lack of space. Books that I bought and loads of books that other people bought for me. My lack of free time kept me from being able to make a dent in the fantastic world of psychology as well as fiction stories.

I am also one that has many hobbies. I have tried to find a balance between my love of knitting and crocheting, video games and reading. After 2 years of intense schooling (my last semester yielding me 18 units and no free time) I needed a break from reading. I won’t lie, I had spent so much time reading that the last thing I wanted to do was read for pleasure. Period.

Since getting my nook, I find myself reading much more often. Initially there was the “Oh! Shiny!” factor, but it has now become something more significant than just a new gadget for me. The almost instant on to the last thing I was reading makes it so much easier to read a few pages, or a chapter, and set it down again. No need to prop the book open. No need to find a comfortable position to rest my elbow. I hold my nook in my hand or rest it in my lap. While laying in bed it weighs exactly the same if it’s 200 pages or 800 pages. I prop up my book light as I would with a paperback, but no need to shift from side to side, or change the way I lay down to read. The inconvenience of reading an actual book in bed is no longer there.

I must say though, I will not stop buying physical books. There is nothing I love more than walking into the infinite possibility that is a bookstore. Small or large, new or used. I have been known to judge a book by its cover or by its title. I found gems and duds, but rarely do I regret a purchase because I learn something from the experience of reading a new author, an unknown author, or a well-known author I’ve never had the pleasure of reading previously. My purchase of physical books will just slow down, tremendously. Especially with the only new bookstore within 50+ miles of me closing down.

Continue reading »

A little bit of an introvert

February 17th, 2010 | Tags: , ,

I have these moments, when I really really can use some company. It’s few and far between. I used to believe that there was something terribly wrong with me because I didn’t want to leave my house. There’s a part of me that is truly strange and obsessive. I can watch the same TV show over and over again (see Doctor Who and Torchwood). I can listen to the same album over and over again. I can also do the same things over and over again. It’s a vicious cycle.

When I was younger, living in Los Angeles, I found it so much easier to fill my life with all of these random outings. I planned events and invited people. I made day trips and weekend trips. I flew up north and drove to Mexico on a whim. I went to strip clubs and dive bars on the weekends. I went to Reggae dance clubs on Thursday nights and hung out on rooftops on the weekends. It is only because of these experiences that I have so many stories to tell. I have so many experiences that seem out of this world, and I would never trade a single moment of it for anything.

During this period of my life I found myself up in arms with drama. It never left me. I felt great anxiety and tension. I started smoking at 22 because of the stresses of my life. It never once occurred to me that I might be programmed differently, that maybe my social calendar was to blame. At least, not until fairly recently. I was reading Laurie’s blog on Valentine’s day, and her entry really touched home with me in many ways.

I don’t venture out for long stretches at a time. I don’t socialize in the same ways that I used to. Even as recently as a year ago I was found outside of my home more than I was home. Something changed though. School truly became one of the most important things for me. I set a goal. I wanted all A’s. The only way to achieve this goal was to make sacrifices and dedicate the time and energy needed to get this. I didn’t get all A+’s, but I did get all A’s. This feat is one that I have not been able to cherish in a very long time (3rd grade).

When I cut out cable, I also found that I had a lot more time available to get my homework done, preemptively get my reading done before the quiz/exam/final/paper was due. And now that I’m no longer in school, having recently graduated, I have all of this free time to do as I please.

The choices I made growing up has given me the perfect, and often selfish, opportunity to do whatever I want with my time. I can spend 6 hours playing Bioshock if I so desire. I can go to the gym. I can knit. I can play WoW. I find that as long as I’m willing to give myself the chance to do the things I like (and trust me, I have a billion and one hobbies to divide my time with) and love, and not feel guilty.

I still go out, occasionally. I still find time to socialize and be a part of the rest of the world (outside of the work environment). My tendency now is to limit this to a small number of people rather than large gatherings. I’d much rather have a good 1 on 1, instead of yelling over bar noise. This doesn’t mean that the bar is a bad place to hang out, it just means it’s not my place to hang out.

And so, I quote Laurie, because really, I couldn’t have said it any better myself. It truly is exactly how I feel.

“Listen: I’m thrilled for those who meet someone that sets their heart on fire and makes their life colorful and full. And I’m relieved to see not everyone has to follow my path to be happy. There are so many roads to personal fulfillment, even ones I never expected. I’m happy for all of us, those who fit the bill and those of us who wandered a bit. We create a new happy each day, each in our own way. The woman who chooses to be a single parent. The woman who chooses to divorce and live with her partner without a contract. The woman who marries another woman. The man who proposes to his boyfriend. The woman who falls in love at 63 and meets THE ONE and he’s only 57. Or the woman in Los Angeles who has three cats and a room of yarn and is astonished to discover she is happy all alone, for once in her life she has the say on everything and it makes her heart sing. She feels generous because she now has just enough.”

There was a long pause…

February 13th, 2010 | Tags: , , , ,

It was more like an abated breath. At least that’s what I’m going for.

Life has decided to dish out the dirties to me this year. New Year’s weekend I got stuck with that cold/flu thing that basically sucks. Anyone notice that all of the cold/flu things going around lately pretty much suck? That it seems there’s no end in sight and your friends and family members decide that sharing is caring? Yeah, well, I’ve about had it with getting that gunk.

In other news, I have found myself in the possession of a nook. I only received it today, but already I’ve plowed through half of a book. Alright, it doesn’t really count as a book since it’s a tiny little thing. I imagine the physical copy is a quick read and that I could have just sat down in a bookstore and read through it, but I’m sure I’ll find the information invaluable as time goes on. I have yet to put any of my own content on there (PDFs or otherwise) so we’ll see how that turns out after I get to that point. I need to find my other microSD card… one is in the camera and the other is… well, I’ll find it eventually.

The nook was quite sluggish at first, which I expected from all of the reviews. I also knew that there was an update that helped with this little problem. It has and it did. I’ve never played with a Kindle, so I have no point of comparison, but I love it already. I’m enjoying how easy it is to read on. I like that I was able to take it to the gym, prop it up on the little shelf in front of me, set the font to the biggest it goes and read while running/walking on the treadmill. This in and of itself satisfies my multi-tasking ADD self. Okay, I don’t really have ADD, but it really does help. Makes me feel like I’m getting to do something WHILE at the gym. And reading books are on the agenda of “Things to do More Often”.

I’m happy with the purchase, even if my car decided to take a digger and cost me $700 to repair. I don’t regret the nook. I do, however, need to set myself a budget so I don’t over spend on books. Like $20/pay period or something. Or only buy a book after I’ve read one. Who knows what I’m going to do. I do have a ton of them on my computer to upload, so we’ll see how that goes.

In other news, I’ve decided to take my ever growing ass to the gym. I keep gaining weight, which makes me more depressed about being overweight, which causes me to stop at Chipotle, In & Out, and McDonald’s far too often. I need to limit this to once a week or less. I need to make hitting the grocery store a bigger deal.

Spring is starting to make it’s way here, and losing my car yesterday and being stranded meant that I walked to the gym and walked back. I also walked the mile or two to pick up my car. It was good for me and I needed it. I didn’t, however, need the honks and catcalls. I mean really people, grow the hell up already.

In other crafty news, I’ve started working on a pair of socks from Wendy‘s older book, Socks from the Toe-up. I have been wanting to make socks from this book for a very long time, but I’m such a self-striping/hand-painted yarn whore that I never picked up any skeins of sock yarn that were less… variegated. I have picked up some wool yarn from KnitPicks as well, so that I may start on some new amigurumi projects.

I’ve had bad luck with patterns, and I think I’m going to start working on my own patterns before I invest the time in another ami doll. There’s just too many variables that don’t seem to fit. Numbers that are off, stitch counts that don’t match when having to put pieces together. Ah well. Photos of the new doll are after the cut. They’re kind of fuzzy. 🙁

Continue reading »

When Disaster Strikes

January 22nd, 2010 | Tags: , , ,

Whenever something catastrophic happens in the world I obsess about the details and worry myself over how many are hurt, how many are dead, how many are missing, etc. My problem is that because of my lack of much disposable income the ability to donate much time or money is non-existent.

Today I have a little bit of disposable income. So today I will be buying patterns on Ravelry**. Specifically I’ll be buying patterns in which either a portion or all of the proceeds will be going to help with Haiti fund raising organizations.

This ends up being a 3- (or even 4-) fold benefit to all.

First, there’s the obviously selfish one in which I get a pattern out of it. Sure.
Second, I’m supporting indie designers by buying their patterns.
Third, The obvious one is that whatever amount of money I spend, there’s a portion of it going to help with the relief efforts.
Fourth, It gives me more patterns to make for others! (this one is a stretch, I know).

I could easily just donate some money, sure. And I’d feel good about being able to do that, without a doubt. But it’s really the support of the designers that I’m interested in as well. These people are giving up a portion of their livelihood. There’s always a bigger picture, I swear.

As I browse there are 77 pages worth of projects. That’s a lot of stuff and a lot of patterns to choose from. So I encourage the handful of crafty folks who might be reading to go take a look. Even if you get only one pattern, it’ll still be helping.

** When you’re logged into Ravelry, click on Pattern. In the upper right hand corner there’s a link for Haiti donation patterns.

EDIT: For those curious, I’ll link the patterns that I went ahead and purchased today, not in any particular order. These are all Ravelry links (which means it requires an account to be able to access them).
A Little Something by Samantha Roshak
Argus Shawlette by Wendy Johnson
Lasa Set by Jenna H.
Varese Hoodie by Connie Chang Chinchio
Heirloom Treasure Baby Blanket by PurpleSage