Sunday, February 27, 2011

Spinning Woes

I miss spinning! :-(

It's been a while since I've had the chance/time to do it. This term has been ridiculous at school, so I've been focussing more on knitting, since I can multitask that better. But my babies are calling to me.

When I say "babies", I mean my spindles.

I miss making lovelies like this!
 In other news, one more project FINISHED. Yay! My legwarmers! I don't have a completed picture of them, but I finished them today while playing Dungeons and Dragons, because I'm a huge nerd and roleplay and knit at the same time. That's right. I am that cool, people.

Wooden Bird

Saturday, February 26, 2011

I Lied.

I would also like a sensitive kitchen scale that measures both grams and ounces.

For fiber.

Wooden Bird

Things I Would Like

I know I make all these claims about wanting to be more minimalistic and stuff, but there are some things that would just be really awesome to have. For instance:
  • Interchangeable circular knitting needle set. These things are awesome. They're like, eighty bucks at the cheapest, but that's still a lot cheaper than buying a circular needle in every size and length for everything you might ever knit in the round. And I knit a lot of stuff in the round. And I want one so bad, so that I can knit sweaters and hats and shawls to my heart's content! Sigh.
  • Hot water bottle. This one's a little more realistic. My back is often sore. I would love a hot water bottle. I would knit a cozy for it. It would be phenomenal and warm and made of awesome.
  • Better storage for my knitting supplies. That's a space issue more than a "something I want" issue.
You know, I really thought that this list would be longer. I'm quite impressed with myself. Yay!

Wooden Bird 

Friday, February 25, 2011

Everyone Makes Mistakes... But it Sure Sucks When it Involves Your Paycheque!

I got an e-mail this morning from my manager at the A/V office, explaining that she made a mistake regarding getting our hours to payroll, and so nobody in the department got paid today, like they were supposed to.

That's a really stupid mistake to make for the last payday of the month. It's not terrible for me, my phone bill will be paid a couple of days late (we're getting cheques cut next Monday or Tuesday), but I pay my roommates in cash for my rent, and they're cool if it's not right on the first. But for people who have rent coming out of their bank accounts on Tuesday? It's a huge hassle.

It's frustrating because I was relying on this paycheque to pay a couple things off, and now I have absolutely no money for the rest of the week. As in, the rest of my week off from school. As in, my weekend is blown. I was planning to pick a couple things up tomorrow, but that's obviously not going to happen now, because I have zero dollars in my account.

It really sucks being broke. I can't wait to start getting working at Sobey's, and actually getting a regular paycheque. I have a feeling that they aren't likely to make this kind of "mistake".

Yeesh. :-(

Wooden Bird

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Interviews and Hats

I'm taking a field methods class for my social anthropology major at the moment. We currently have an assignment due that involves interviewing people. So, that's what I did tonight! I interviewed a friend of mine about World of Warcraft. I'll be interviewing my roommate soon about why he plays other online games but NOT WoW. I figured that would be a cute theme to design some interviews around.

I am not looking forward to transcription. I'm going to get started on that soon, actually, because transcription itself can take a while. I'll get on that after my first glass of wine for the night. In the meantime, I'm working on a knitting project that I want to finish in the next couple days so I can give it to the recipient.

Also, I forgot to post a picture of my awesome hat! This is the same project that is in that picture a few posts ago about choosing between my paper or my knitting. It looks great!

And it's so WARM, which is awesome.

I have noticed it's started to stretch a little bit, but it's still cozy on my head, and I don't think it'll go any further than it is now.

You can see more pictures of it on my project page on ravelry.

Wooden Bird

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Also: Holy Traffic, Batman!

Apparently I got a rush of traffic today - 17 pageviews! Which, obviously, isn't a big number, but I just started this blog and so far I've gotten between 0-3 pageviews a day. So, that's almost an 8 times increase in traffic, if you look at it that way.

So, Hi there, people who stop by! I hope I'm not too boring!

Wooden Bird


Good News, Everyone!

I got a job!

I mentioned a couple posts ago that I applied to a local pub. They never called back.

However! A few months back I applied to my local grocery store (literally 3 minutes from my apartment - I timed it) and they called me in for an interview last Friday, and called me back this morning to offer me the job as a cashier!

It's not glamourous, but one of my best friends works there, too, so I get to work with her, and it will be a steady paycheque, which is more than I can say I've had in a long while.

I'm hoping that I can manage to cover my main expenses with the hours there, and use my 3.5 hours a week in the A/V to start paying my credit card down. Debt repayment! Awesome!

You can really tell I'm a grown up by how hot that gets me.

So, my day is going well! I'm hungover, but I don't care! My love made me an awesome french-toast-with-mint-chocolate-almonds-and-bananas-topped-with-syrup breakfast, I'm showered and my teeth are brushed. I'm going to go to the bank and get direct deposit information for the grocery store, and then I'm going to do some homework this evening.

And! I get to cross off one of the goals on my list of 30 things! Not too shabby!

It's a good day. :-)

Wooden Bird

Monday, February 21, 2011

Minimilize and Feel Good

I have a lot of crap.

Well, I wouldn't call it crap necessarily, but you know. Stuff. Lots of stuff.

A lot of it is clothes. That I don't wear. Like sweaters and boleros and shirts that don't fit me quite right, and they look a little weird on me, but they're perfectly good! I can't throw out perfectly good clothing! Right?

Well, sort of.

I've started going through my clothes every month or so and reassessing what I'm wearing and what I haven't touched in months. I do this every so often because some months, I'll think, 'Well, I might wear that for such-and-such coming up' or something similar, and of course, I don't.

So I've started filling garbage bags with shit I don't wear. This is a big step for me - I still have clothes from when I was an early teen. I can be a bit nostalgic.

The thing is, near where I live is a donation box for Big Brothers/Big Sisters. It's right on the way to school, actually. So every couple months, when I have a full or mostly full bag, I go and throw it in there. I do this as soon as I can, to stop myself from going back into the bag and saying 'welllll, maybe I will wear this after all.'

So far, I haven't regret any of it. So far, I don't actually remember what I've gotten rid of. How's that for a sign that I have too many clothes? I haven't missed anything I've donated, and I get to feel good about providing perfectly good clothes to people who need them. Because most of them are in nearly-new condition. I take really good care of my clothes, so aside from a little unavoidable pilling and things like that, I don't tend to wear through my clothes quickly. Also, the fact that I have so many.

I've also stopped buying clothes new, mostly. I bought myself a pretty red dress for my birthday last November, but that's my only new-clothes purchase since August.

I've knit a lot of hats in the meantime... but really, you can always use more hats. :-P

Anyway. Think about it! Maybe go through your clothes and find that stuff that you just don't wear and probably never will because it looks a little off on you, or you just don't have anything to wear it with. Someone will appreciate it. Don't justify it by saying "it's too dressy to just give away", either. People in need also have things like school dances or job interviews that they should have the opportunity to look good for.

Wooden Bird

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Tragic Men Say Tragic Things

"The concept of progress should be founded in the idea of catastrophe... the fact that 'everything just goes on' is the catastrophe..." - Walter Benjamin

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Faith, Community, New Experiences

My beliefs can pretty easily be lumped into the 'Pagan' category. I consider myself to be something of an eclectic kitchen witch, with interests in Trad Wicca, and no real structure to how I practice my beliefs. (If you want to know more details, feel free to ask).

I've been thinking about my lack of structure, though. I'm a social person, and I like community. I used to help run my school's pagan society, and that was great. I made some very close friends and we would celebrate our shared holidays together, and I loved that.

My solo practice is not well defined. I have little space to set up a working altar or shrine, so I keep a little statuette of Quan Yin with a candle on my desk. But, for me, I find the lack of community and structure means I let the formal aspects of recognizing my faith and taking the time to consider it often falls to the wayside.

So, in the spirit of enhancing my commune with others, I've been thinking about attending the local Unitarian Universalist church. They have a diverse congregation and I've talked to a number of pagans who enjoy UU services, as they're generally quite generalistic.

It's a thought. I don't know if I will, and if I do, it probably wouldn't be a weekly thing.

Ponder, ponder, ponder...

Wooden Bird

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

Do I listen to the panicking angel on my one shoulder, telling me to write that freaking paper already, it's due at 4pm tomorrow! or do I listen to the devil on the other shoulder, telling me to pick up those needles, and knit that gorgeous icelandic wool into one of the nicest hats you'll own...

Gotta love temptation in woolly forms...

Walter Benjamin has no idea that he's up against a knitter's will

Wooden Bird

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

It's Official... I have a problem...

They say the first step is acceptance...

Today, I took my knitting with me to the bathroom. My logic? Well, I was gonna be there a while anyway, so I may as well do something productive. Some people read... some people... um... knit?

Perhaps I need help.

Knitting: 1; Paper: 0

Wooden Bird

p.s. If anybody is curious, I'm currently knitting Shroom in Alafoss Lett-Lopi yarn in Golden Heather. It's going to be awesome. What I'm not doing, is writing my paper that is due in 39.5 hours. Oops.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Where There's a Goal... There's a Goalie?

I signed up with 43things and made a list of goals for the year. I couldn't come up with 43, but I came up with 30, which is a nice round number. I like round numbers. They make me happy.

(I may be a bit compulsive about some things.)

Ideally, I would like to cross each and every thing off the list by the end of the year. Realistically, I would like to have at least 23 things crossed off; that's 75%. 15 of the 30 would be acceptable, but 50% is only a marginal pass, so hopefully more than that!

The first thing on my list is spending more time alone, which I'm already working on. I used to get so mad at my love if he didn't walk to school with me or didn't spend whatever time we had available to be together, together. But I'm getting better at being happy in my own head. So I'm already on the road to that one!

If you look to the right-hand gadget bar thing, and scroll down a bit, you'll see the list.

I also added my knitting progress bars from ravelry, because I am a knitting fiend and I like to share that. You'll see more and more posts related to knitting as time goes by, probably, heh.

It's a chilly day today! The wind is making a not-that-cold day into something barely bearable. Yuck. Keep warm!

Wooden Bird

Monday, February 14, 2011

Rainy Day Valentine

It's raining. Which means the snow will turn to slush, and then tomorrow or the next day, it will probably freeze. Walking to school is always more fun when it's a death-defying act. You should try it sometime.

I am skipping my only class today to work on a paper that is due on Thursday. I got that abstract written I was talking about, I e-mailed that off to the appropriate people on Friday - way ahead of schedule! Like, a week! I'm so proud of myself for that one. This one, though... it's a 4-page paper on Western Marxism and the Frankfurt School (my chosen topic from the list... it was better than psychoanalytical theory or british cultural studies). I had forgotten to write it in my dayplanner at the beginning of term, and so I totally forgot about it until the prof mentioned it last week. So I'm just getting the readings for it done now, so that's fun. Basically, I have today and Wednesday to work on it, because I have class and work all day tomorrow (8-4), and I'm going to be exhausted in the evening.

Plus, I have to buy groceries tomorrow, because it's Tuesday. That may not make much sense, if you don't know about Student Tuesdays. One of the big chains of grocery stores in the area, Sobeys, has teamed up with Air Miles to offer a 10% discount to students on Tuesdays. Which is great, because when you're a student, every little penny helps. In retaliation, the Superstore location that's most frequented by students also began to offer 10% off on Tuesdays. Lucky for me, the Superstore is on the walk home from school, and the Sobeys is a block form my apartment. So I can hit up Superstore for their choice sales on the way home - they usually only have a few things I want, but they don't have a minimum to the 10% off like Sobeys does ($25) - drop off my stuff at home, and then head over to Sobeys to do the large shop. It's a pretty good system.

I saw one of my best friends last night. I've known her since I was 11, and then I moved to the East Coast when I was 14, but then she came here to go to the same university I go to! So we were reunited after 5 or 6 years. She lives ridiculously close to me, but we rarely see each other. Our class schedules don't match up very well, and we both tend to study at home. But yes, I went to see her yesterday, to give her her birthday present. Her birthday was a month ago, but I haven't had a chance to see her since mid-January, because life's funny that way. I think she really liked it! It was this clock, from etsy seller MakingTimeTC. We have a history of ladybugs together, so I figured she'd like it. Also, she said she needed a clock.

So, it's Valentine's Day, too. That's nice. My boyfriend and I don't have a problem with Valentine's Day the way some people do (it really is just a day, people, and it doesn't hurt anybody if someone enjoys it). But we also don't hype it up the way some people do (it's just a day, people). Neither of us really have the time to do something today - I have this paper to write, and have to be up around 6.30am to get to work tomorrow morning, and he has to work on his area exams for his masters.

We've talked about it before, and we both kind of look at it the same way. It's a nice excuse to spend time with people you care about, especially if it's generally difficult to get time off work or something, but we both feel like it's a little silly to expect so much out of Valentine's Day. We both agree that consistency and little things throughout the year are far more romantic than one blowout "date" because the calendar tells you you're supposed to be 'romantic' today. But then, we tend towards the pragmatic side in our relationship. He bought me a raincoat for my birthday. It's a fantastic coat, and honestly, was one of the sweetest things he could have done, because I hate getting wet and rained on when I don't want to. So, if I have no choice but to go somewhere - like class or something - and it's raining out, I can now skedaddle on my way without feeling soggy and miserable all day. How is that not romantic? To me, that's the epitome of romance - knowing your partner and providing them with the things that they'll really appreciate.

Our roommate makes beer. The apartment smells like warm mash and yeast and stuff. The beer is good, the smell is not.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Bills, Bills, Bills

I moved in with my boyfriend last August. I quit my job and moved into the city, assuming it wouldn't be that hard to find another lousy retail job to work part time while I went to school. I'd never had trouble in the past. I've worked pretty much steadily since my second year of university.

Unfortunately, the economy is a toilet at the moment, and so I wasn't able to find a job right away. I got a low-income bursary mid-term, I did a three day temp job sorting garbage for a waste audit in October... and over Christmas I worked some retail shifts at two of my old jobs, but no steady work.

So, I've been pretty much living off my savings. My love has helped with some of my rent (we have roommates, so it's not too bad) and I've been able to keep on top of my other bills, but it's getting down to the last of what's in my bank account, now...

Thankfully, I managed to slip into a job at my university in mid-January. It's only 3.5 hours a week though, which at $10/hr, isn't great. It definitely doesn't cover my expenses, but it does mean less money that I have to scramble for.

I'm working an inventory shift tonight at one of my old retail jobs, so that will be a nice chunk; it'll pretty much cover my cell phone bill with a little left over. to go towards rent.

So, I'm still job hunting. I sent a resume off yesterday to a local pub (only a few blocks away from me, too, which is convenient) that is hiring a busboy/busgirl. The job posting is just enough hours for me - I can't take too many because of my school schedule. Hopefully I'll at least get an interview! I might stop in tomorrow evening to talk to them in person.

So, living is hard, and not cheap. I've applied for this term's bursary at my school, so hopefully that comes in and I can use it to pay down my credit card a bit. I've been trying to avoid using it, but the interest builds, which isn't cool. I'm also listing some furniture on classified ads, hoping to get a little cash-in-hand (Want to buy a bed or a chair? Make me an offer!). I also recently cut down my cell phone plan to be pretty much as basic as I can live with - unlimited text messaging is the only extra I paid for, and I cut off $15/mo from my phone bill by doing so.

So, here's some advice. If you're moving out on your own for the first time, and are expecting to get a job after you move, have some money saved up, first. I had just over $2,000 saved when I moved out. It's lasted me five and a half months, with augmentation from a few small income boosts, like temp work and school bursaries. I also have 5 roommates, so rent and bills are kind of low because of that. So, keep a little saved and expect to spend as little as possible on things like food or heat. Stock up on sweaters. Use the food bank (if you're a university student, your student union might have one... mine does, and I've used it.)

Good luck, and wish me the same.

Wooden Bird

Friday, February 11, 2011

Things I do...

Sometimes I procrastinate.

For instance, at this moment, I should be writing an abstract for a class. It's not due until next Thursday, but I have a 4 page paper due that day, too, and I still have to actually do the readings for that, so I figure I should get on the abstract now, so I have time to work on the paper.

However, I am not writing an abstract. I am online, doodling around facebook and Armor Games, reading asofterworld comics, and listening to the Canadian Songwriters station on - which, I might add, is a fantastic station. You should listen to it sometime. Right now, for instance, before you forget to.

I'm not only doing wasteful things with my time, though. I made a banana and orange plate for my love, with melted baker's chocolate drizzled over top. For myself, I added a bit of caramel syrup, as well. ;-)

I'll get the abstract done before I go to bed. Sometimes I just wish I was a little more disciplined. I would probably get more sleep and be a little less stressed out if I did!

Wooden Bird

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Hello, World

I think I will introduce myself to the Internet by linking a video which has impacted me greatly.

I am not comfortable being alone - or at least, I definitely prefer not to be; however I feel like this spoken-word poem by Tanya Davis, a local Haligonian artist, is beautiful, touching, and inspiring. I would like to love being alone as much as I love being with others, and I think this comes with loving myself, which is something I am striving to do more fully.

I wish I could thank Tanya for sharing this. It's provided one more stepping-stone on my path.

Wooden Bird