Friday, January 30, 2009

Brain Crack

Before I found the vlogbrothers, fiveawesomegirls, and Doctor Who episodes on Youtube, I found Ze Frank. He was amazing--funny, insightful. I spent several days catching up on 9 months of daily vlogging that I wasn't cool enough to be an early adopter of. But he stopped vlogging in March of 2007, and it made me sad, even though I admire his commitment to stick to his guns and not like the show dissolve into suckiness. But the fact remains: he stopped producing, I stopped watching.

Until now Warning: he does used the "f word". High school cousins should not click through and professional church workers should think twice before clicking through at work. :-)

Anyone who has been applying to grad schools for as long as I have has to wonder if she's been addicting to brain crack. I don't idealize Ph.D. programs anymore. I've watched friends get final dissertations returned delaying graduation, my husband struggle to keep up with the course load, and Ph.D. comics wonder time and again if their hilarious satrical strip actually drives people to apply to grad school. Heck this past semester I've had my share of returned papers, horrible translating days, and general feelings of "what did I get myself into." But it's still my best option. I don't have any clear idea of where my life might go if I don't get a Ph.D., if I'm not teaching in a university. I have plenty of ideas of what I might do (computer programing, craft maven, public speaking), but that's all brain crack, allowing me to think those ideas might be feasible when in reality they all require a considerable departure from what I have been doing for the past 5-9 years. So I'm still going to get up from my couch and go hand in my application packets today. I'm aware of my brain crack. I just need to decide what ideas need to be put into action so they don't get idealized.

H/T 43 Folders

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Snow storm 09

I haven't left my apartment since Monday 4pm. No cabin fever. Just pure bliss. Sunday and Monday were horrible since I developed a nasty cold (which I now think I got from my brother in the hour I saw him over the weekend--Thanks Tim!). So Tuesday and Wednesday I could sleep in and relax and watch way too much Grey's Anatomy*. Oh and work on Mike's stole (which currently does look like a stole albeit an unfinished one). I lived in my pjs and enjoyed the fact that our apartment never gets below 75 degrees. (Our heat is controlled by the apartment complex. I know we pay for it through our rent, but we can't "save" money by trying to make our apartment cooler so it's just very nice and toasty.) Absolutely perfect for being comfortable inside when the outside is covered in a half inch of ice and much much more snow.

But such an idyllic life cannot last forever. One must return to the real world. And such I did this morning. I have to go to work tonight for the only time this week. Score! (Sick day, snow day, snow day.) And Mike had been leaving ominous hints about my car being hard to get out. (Yes, Mike left the apartment over the past three days while I did not.) So I figured before I got distracted by my day and tried to leave for work at the last possible moment, I'd clear off my car. The picture above is what greeted me. Unfortunately, I hadn't thought to bring in my scraper or anything. Fortunately, the ice kind of popped off the car pretty easily so I was able to get to my scraper in a couple minutes. So by the second picture you can see just how much snow and ice was piled on my car. It was kind of cool. There was a layer of snow on top, then a pretty thick layer of ice, then more snow below that, and the little icey melty things you get before snow accumulates. So I could dig out the second layer of snow and then push the ice off like an ice floe. Pretty stinking cool if you ask me.

However, Mike's biggest concern was the snow piled behind the car because of the snow plows. So I saw a couple of guys shoveling out their car and asked if I could borrow their shovel, which happened to be one of the office's shovels, after they were done. So the guy brought it over and started shoveling out my car. I told him it wasn't necessary, but he said his roommate was helping another person so he might as well. But I didn't get a chance to make sure he had shoveled out enough before he left (though he did leave the shovel). And so when I realized I would need to shovel out some more, one of our friendly maintenance guys happened to be nearby, offered to move the shovel and then shoveled a wider path for my car. Pretty stinking nice of him. And I simply had to return the shovel to our apartment office and hurry inside to defrost my fingers. :-) Beautiful. So now on to a day of more Grey's Anatomy and stole making plus some application packet assembly.

*I really really hate the ferry boat crash arc and all the dumbness that comes out of that story line. Meredith almost dying and she and her mom trading places and Alex and Jane Doe. Just hate it. And that's really very sad because up until that point I thought Season 3 of Grey's Anatomy was really good--better than I remembered--except now it has the stupid stupid ferry boat crash.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Weekend Update Jan 23-25

The weekend that was: Friday--Drove to St. Louis for BW3 trivia and Legally Blonde: the Musical at the Fox! with Mom and Dad for an early birthday present. (PS Legally Blonde: the Musical is great, just great. Even with the various understudies, it was so fun.) Saturday--had lunch with the little brother and drove home. Sunday--church, submitted to a violent cold, and still went a church meeting in the evening. Oh and I planned a bible study that went, eh, okay on Monday, but by then I really was sick.

Where I am at the moment: On my couch--my favorite laptop spot.

On my to-do list this week: Oh more applying. Everything should be turn in by Friday. Finishing Mike's Christmas/Easter/Epiphany stole.

Procrastinating about: Applications. Man I hate applying to graduate schools.

Book I’m in the midst of: I'm actually not in the middle of a book sadly. I have Absalom! Absalom! on deck and I'm listening to Brian McLaren's The Secret Message of Jesus on my ipod. (I really really want to write an essay about Jesus' Secret Message vs. His Secret Ambition--cue classic Michael W. Smith.)

Music that seemed to catch my attention this past week: Keep it Positive from Legally Blonde: the Musical

Next trip: Hmm, it might be a trip getting to work tomorrow... Hopefully NKU will be cancelled again???

How I’m feeling about this week: Oh resigned, but better now that this cold is wrapping itself up. I'm really looking forward to next week when deadlines have passed and I can just worry my little heart out.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Better: Stoles Take 2

It's better... I think it's just going to be a bit more "handmade" (i.e. pucker-y) than I'd prefer it. But my vertical is straight and my horizontal while not perfectly perpendicular is not off enough to notice with a causal glance. I'm hoping whatever embroidery I do on it will take care of most of the problems.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Vintage Finds

You all remember the John Deere hats from Grandpa Hanel. Evidently, Grandma Hanel was quite the craft enthusiast. I pick up quite a bit of fabric. I thought it was just fabric, but I knew I had a bit of lace in there. So I dug through the stack and found this beautiful linen table runner.It goes great with the table my brother made. (Thanks Tim!) I like the vintage/modern combination. I thought that maybe the pile of white fabric might have more like it. It didn't so I was a bit bummed, but then I looked a bit closer and found TWO sets of these: There kits to make embroidered/cross stitched table clothes and napkins!! Pretty old-school flowers and vines.
I don't get too homemaker-y about most things, but these things make me giddy. :-) These are unfortunately far down on the crafting list (see that whole stole fiasco a couple days ago). But hopefully this is the step before making embroidered pillowcases.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Second Stole

Sometimes the church year is not so cool. Mike's beautiful ordination stole will only normally get used 2 or 3 times a year. Currently it's Epiphany, and the church (our church anyway) uses white vestments, and Mike needs a stole by February 1st. I had a great idea for using a Christmas star as a cross with a tomb for Easter and then Epiphany is all about light, so this stole can be used for Christmas, Epiphany and Easter. I'm trying out a new method of piecing fabric together like quilting without batting, but evidently the execution is lacking:
  1. So I was going to do a round tomb stone thing, but circles are hard to do (see wonky thing in the middle of the picture).
  2. I fixed tomb (straight lines) and still ended up with a wonky cross. I'm going to try again doing the short lines first and the major horizontal and vertical lines of the cross arms last.
  3. This is a very messy process, but I need, need, NEED to cut seam allowances.
I also learned that I am not child friendly. Let's count the sharp objects. One black scissor left open down in the left corner, one orange fabric scissor buried under fabric scraps, one rotary cutter with the blade left exposed on the grey fabric. I'm not totally sure I'm adult friendly either. And my poor husband has had to step over it all weekend since it's on the floor of the living room.

It's not all bad though. I think the design is really cool. Also it was my first attempt at making a pattern and I did remember things like cutting for seam allowances. Anyway I'm going to try again and hopefully my second attempt will be more successful.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Weekend Update Jan 16-19

In the true nature of educators everywhere, here's the most recent "beg, borrow, and steal": The Weekend Update. It's taken from Hannahlysis who tells me she took in from "the guy who writes the Youth Specialities blog. Without further ado:

The weekend that was: Friday was spent totally in my pjs trying to finish this paper. Saturday was doing laundry and generally being lazy. Sunday I chaperoned my first high school lock-in. And Monday I slept, finished editing the paper, and worked of my most recent craft project. (More about that later.)

Where I am at the moment: On my couch watching Season 5 of Friends.

On my to-do list this week: Applications to UC and Hebrew Union.

Procrastinating about: Applications to UC and Hebrew Union.

Book I’m in the midst of: Buyology by Martin Lindstrom.

Music that seemed to catch my attention this past week: Keep it Positive from Legally Blonde: The Musical

Next trip: To the Fox in St. Louis to see Legally Blonde: the Musical! Thanks Mom! (This Friday)

How I’m feeling about this week: Ugh, I just want to finish these applications so I can start worrying about whether I'll get into grad school. But the St. Louis trip should be very fun.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Christmas Crafting

I did manage a bit of crafting for Christmas gifts this year mostly because there were things too good to pass up. For instance, back in September I found this instructables tutorial for a beard hat (via CRAFT magazine). There is one person in my life who would love a beard hat so I saved the project in google reader.
Then I remembered it four days before we were leaving to meet said brother in St. Louis. (Train of thought: Rats! Paper, paper, packing, lunch, work... crocheting? When do you crochet?) But this is a really quick project AND it allowed me to ask my brother how big his head was. Gotta love siblings! Fortunately my head is smaller.
So this was the result on Christmas morning. We added two vintage John Deere hats from Mike's grandpa's hat collection. (Those are awesome too. Green fake fur!) Present deemed success.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The New Year

Normally I'm not a big fan of New Year's Eve. A new year means write the wrong year on papers, checks, and blogs. New Year's Eve means staying up late which I don't do very well and only under the right circumstances. And most of my life revolves around an academic calendar where fall is really full of "New Year" anticipation. And religiously all the excitement of Christmas and Epiphany really leave little holiday emotion for New Year's celebrations in between.

But this year, a New Year's quirk has gotten my attention. I've blogged about the Bible blog I follow. It's a one-year plan, and I jumped in around April. Things were in full swing so I was doing a big of extra reading to regain ground in fun books like Leviticus and I Thessalonians. My unstated goal was to finish the Bible by the end of the year. And I got really close I only had to read Genesis, Exodus and Job on my own over break, but I didn't even read the plan over break so that didn't happen. But I did catch up on January 1st, and I noted the moment when each of the four readings came to a close at the same time. Now the Bible isn't exactly chronological, but these last four readings did come to absolute ending places: Revelation which looks forward to the second coming of Christ, the last psalm which is really just bunches of praise, II Chronicles which looks forwards to the release of Israelites from the Babylonian captivity and Malachi which looks forward to the second coming of Elijah. It's like everyone just stopped to take a big breath and wait...

...And then we start back into Genesis and creation, Matthew and the beginning of the story of Jesus, Acts and the beginning of the church, and Ezra and the return from Babylon. So very rarely do these new beginnings line up so lovely in the midst of various starts to new things in my life. And therefore when they do, it is reason to take a big breath, pause and wait... What will begin next?

Versailles, IN

I have a fondness for small towns named after big places. One spring break, my family went down to my grandma's cabin in the middle of nowhere. Despite the fact that we only travelled three hours, I visited California, Florida AND Florence--all very popular Spring Break destinations. And I hold a special place for those towns which "improve" on the pronounciation of those exotic places Nevada (Ne-vay-da) for example and of course Versailles (Ver-sales). There's one in Missouri (right near that little cabin--it has the nearest McDonalds and Walmart) and in Indiana (which I drive through about 4-6 times a year to get to Seymour).

This morning however I'm going there to pick up a friend. So imagine my surprise last night when I'm reading my first "purely mindless happy" read of the year, Princess Dairies 6: Princess in Training, and Mia's mom and stepfather are going to Versailles, IN this weekend too! Oh Meg Cabot I love your central states roots even if you make fun of them all the time...

Friday, January 2, 2009

Oh CBD How You Amuse Me

Most internet sellers are worried about account hackers or "unintentional" purchases, not Christian Book Distributors. They're worried about spoiling your gift giving...

PLEASE NOTE: The following email may contain information about gifts to be delivered from Christian Book Distributors (CBD). If someone else shares this email address with you -- and if you have not recently placed an order at CBD--please...DO NOT READ ON... We don't want to spoil any surprises! If you HAVE placed an order and are expecting a confirmation please scroll down for that information.

It warms the cynical cockles of my heart. I just want to pat the whole company on the head and pinch their cheeks.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


Hi blog reader! It's been quite a while. Too long really. But it was very necessary. I learned that jobs and full-time graduate school do not mix, at least not for me. I enjoy being a student too much and really hate it when I have to do less than my best simply because of time constraints.

So what has been going on? Well I've finished two out of my three classes. I still have a paper to work on for one of my Lit classes which is not cool, but it will be really good because of the extra time. The Hebrew class ended well I think. My reading improved dramatically from my perspective. My New Year's resolution is keep reading Hebrew 15 minutes a day.

Next up is applications to Hebrew Union, UC, and the Lilly Fellowship program. Application time is always stressful as I try to figure out how best to present myself. But the apps are due February 1st, 2nd, and 3rd so a bit of stress is worth it.

I had a great holiday. Lots of time with my parents and my brother. We met up with my brother at his camp in Wartburg, IL and drove in his new car "Blue Steel" to my parents'. The very next day we started on my mom's Christmas present, painting the living room, dining room, and hallway a light blue-grey which she absolutely LOVES! (We know; she told us several times each day.) We finished in time to get the Christmas tree up on Dec. 23rd. We did a tree all in gold ornaments--v. beautiful. Mom and I did some fabulous after Christmas shopping. Then on Sunday we went to St. Louis for big family Christmas on my mom's side. 26 people in one house--that's amazing. Monday, we attended a retirement party for one of mentors from High School. The Tuesday we drove home. So it was busy, but very relaxing. And I'm glad to be home, but we're also gearing up for busy-ness here too. Mike will be installed as assistant pastor at our church on Sunday and then we go back to work and school. :-)

So more blogging will happen here again. Hopefully some crafting will happen soon. I still have some gifts to craft. :-)