Thursday, November 30, 2006


Don't you hate it when your file server has to be restarted, and everything you need to work on is conveniently located on said file server? Hmmmm....what to do during the restart time.

Today has been a good day, weather aside (which is a tad nasty). For lunch, I had $2 chicken matzah ball soup cooked up by the Jewish student group. This afternoon, I enjoyed a free cup of coffee (half-caf) by wearing a white ribbon (for adoption month) to our building's coffee shop.

I'm considering making this scarf for someone as a present. Unfortunately, the thought of knitting a scarf 48 stitches across on size 5 needles makes me want to cry. So....I'm thinking about using a bigger yarn, size 10 needles, and decreasing the pattern to 24 stitches across. Will this lead to disaster? I hope not. But if you think that's a stupid idea, do drop me a line.

Have a good night!

File server is back up (grumble!).

Smooth Operator

My train conductor this morning had such a nice voice, and he knew it. When most conductors approach the Forest Park stop, they say something like, "Transfer to Lambert Airport at Forest Park." Not this guy....he said something like, "Any passengers wishing to continue their travels to Laaaammmmbert Aiiirport should disembark the train at Forrrrest Paaark. Simply step onto the platform and catch the next westbound train to the Laaaammmmbert Aiiirport termmmmminal. Again, any passengers...."

And, he started this spiel before the Central West End station, so he had lots of time to repeat it.

It made me smile. Also, it reminded me of how Porkchop would probably announce things if she was a train conductor.

Last Night
We scheduled Knitting Night for Suzi's house. In our haste to squeeze in some grocery shopping beforehand, I forgot my knitting bag. Murrr!!! However, that meant I was able to enjoy watching Prairie Home Companion unencumbered.

People are grating on my nerves with their panicking over the predicted snow and ice. Everyone in the office is wringing their hands and talking about how bad it's going to be tomorrow. Unless it starts blizzarding or we get like 4 inches of frozen rain, I don't believe it.

STOP FREAKING OUT, PEOPLE! And NO, the university WILL NOT be closed tomorrow.

We will survive.

Last night, Porchop and I reminisced about how awesome the snowplow teams were in Madison. Our landlord even owned his own snowplow, so our parking lot and driveway were always nice and clean before 7:30 a.m. when it snowed. Which it did, a lot. So don't talk to me about the measly 5-8 inches predicted tonight. Because I will SCOFF in your face and tell you stories about snow in Wisconsin and Iowa.

At least we don't live in Memphis. Or maybe that would be preferable, as the university actually would shut down. Right, V?

This Weekend
I think a trip to the yarn store is in order. This makes me feel tingly.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Making Cranes


I just read this post on Yarnboy. How fun!

Who wants to knit cranes with me?

P.S. I went to bed at 8:30 last night, and I feel fabulous today!

P.P.S. For ken and ebuz: I don't think there are any Sonics in New England. Too bad for you! Cherry limeades (when made properly) are the best!

Monday, November 27, 2006


The past week has been really draining. For lots of folks.

I'm currently sitting still...for the first time in a while.

I took a half day off of work and went to Suzi's house to help clean. We accomplished A LOT, and it felt really nice. I was glad that we could assist in making the house feel like a home again.

Suzi and her mom invited us to take part in their Thanksgiving dinner. Since Suzi's brother works at an Italian restaurant and is marrying into an Italian family, he cooked us an Italian-style dinner. Everything was yummy....especially the bruschetta and the triple-chocolate cheesecake. Also, we finally met Suzi's uncles (on her mom's side), both of whom are very nice and gay (yay!).

After crashing at home in a carb- and sugar-induced nap, Porkchop and I tried to make some wintry decorations for the apartment. Everything came out horribly, and we decided we should stop. It was Craft Gone Bad. So bad.

The service for Suzi's dad was really touching; his pastor made it very personal and Suzi read a most moving eulogy that she wrote the week before. After the graveside peace, we helped transport plants, flowers, and food back to Suzi's and visited for a bit.

Unfortunately, we had to leave Suzi's early so that we could start our trip to my parents' house. Instead of taking 67 down through Poplar Bluff, we drove down I-55 for a change. Since I hadn't driven through Kennett in perhaps 5 years, I decided to take that route in order to pass by my old house.

Kennett was so freaking depressing. I can't believe I grew up there. Now, I can almost view it through a first-time vistor's eyes. It's an ugly sight. Blech.

The big news when we reached my parents' was that my sister and her boyfriend are now engaged. Even though I'm not a big proponent of marriage, good for them.

My sister told me about a plan that she and a lawyer friend have hatched. My sister said that she and her friend (female) want to get married in Massachusetts. Then, they'll return to Georgia and each marry a man. Next, they'll publicize said marriages and entice the state of Georgia to charge them with bigamy. If that happened, Georgia would then be recognizing the validity of same-sex marriage.

Sounds like a plan.

Also, we met my sister's boyfriend's mom, who was also staying at my parents' for Thanksgiving. She was super-nice, and I really enjoyed talking to her.

The day started with a group yoga session at a studio in Jonesboro. Yes, Jonesboro has a yoga studio, and it's really nice! One of my dad's friends is a yoga instructor, and she offered to give us a private session since the studio was closed. So, my dad, sister, sister's fiance, fiance's mom, and I had a nice little session.

That afternoon, I started knitting more hand mitts from Weekend Knitting. I can't stop! They're such great stashbusters and make nice gifts.

To celebrate the engagement, we and some of my parents' friends went out to Jonesboro's nicest restaurant. Dinner exceeded my expectations...I actually enjoyed the food and the company. Of course, the wine and champagne helped some.

We had to leave my parents' earlier than I wanted so that we could make it back to the St. Louis area for dinner at Porkchop's older brother's. Since Porkchop and I were driving through Corning, we dropped off some things at my parents' Sonic and picked up a free lunch (oh! The life of Sonic owners! Fried food! Slushies!).

Dinner was much better than lunch, however. Super delicious turkey, stuffing, green beans, mashed potatoes, and pie. Yum.

We made it back home around 10:30, and Keetah wouldn't stop meowing until nearly 1:00.

So busy with the work! Busy! Tired!

Not enough knitting time!

Also, Porkchop's parents are spending the night here tonight because her dad has a doctor's appointment tomorrow. Porkchop's 1-month follow up is also tomorrow.

Who knows what tomorrow will bring. Work, of course. Knitting, hopefully. And sleep....sleep would be nice.

Have a nice week!

A Note
In my last post, I grumbled about the switch to Blogger's Beta version. It's really not that bad. A copy of your old template is retained, but moving over certain items is tedious. If you've customized things like your side bar with extra bits of code and whatnot (knit-along buttons, for example) they're not automatically incorporated into the new template. You have to fool around with Blogger's new widgets and stuff.

It's not so bad, I just don't like fiddling around with things sometimes....especially when I already have things set like I want.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


Grumble, grumble. I switched to Blogger's beta version yesterday and was displeased to find that things like my stat counter code were not copied over automatically.

I guess I will gradually reassemble my sidebar. Or, just redo everything.

Book Bit
I quite enjoyed this brief review of various transgender memoir book covers. I often forget about the existence of Bookslut, so when I rediscover it, I'm always amused., do I ever hate Blogger's WYSIWYG composer. Back to HTML for me!

Knitting Bit
I am so bored with the scarf and bag that I'm knitting. Knit, knit, knit...snoozers!

After this mess, I'm totally going to try my needles at entrelac using this tutorial and this one.

Oh yeah, and at some point, I still have to do a stinkin' Shibori scarf. Porkchop found a nice substitution for glass marbles...river rocks! No two are alike!

All for now. Have a nice Tuesday afternoon!

Monday, November 20, 2006

My heart and thoughts go out to Suzi and her family.

I can't express how much I admire Suzi for her strength and perseverance. But even more than that, I can't express how much I wish there was no reason for me to write these words.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Some Might Call Me Creepy

So, I recently finished my first recreational reading book, Sarah Vowell's Assassination Vacation, and left to my own devices as I received no recommendations from any readers, I decided to continue picking out my own books.

During lunch, I went to the very bottom level of the main library and had to move numerous bookshelves in order to get to my next selections: Mary Roach's Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers and Harold McGee's On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen.

This way, I can read about the stages of human decay (it's been awhile since my forensic pathology class, so I can use a refresher (ha! refresher!)) and then consider the changes that meat goes through as it's cooking.

Next up on my list: Elizabeth Royte's Garbage Land: On the Secret Trail of Trash.

P.S. My trip to the library was made worthwhile when the checkout girl laughed at the Roach book and said it looked fun.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Bus to Crazy Town

So, I thought this post might go a little something like this....

Hello, readers.

This evening, I putzed around enough in the office to miss the 5:08 train, meaning I had to wait for the 5:18 train. This should have put me at the Grand bus stop a little bit before the 5:30 bus arrived. However, the bus driver on the 5:30 bus apparently decided to not wait for us poor suckers.

I might have caught the bus if my run up the stairs hadn't been impeded by two guys drinking 40s. I lost valuable seconds pushing my way past them.

In any case, I wanted to be like the people who, stepping off the elevator to see the bus just gone, swore up a blue streak. Instead, I did it in my head.

So, I waited and waited for the next bus. Here is where my post takes an unexpected turn (as I had already composed a post about hating bus drivers who don't wait for train riders).

Boarding the bus took FOREVER. Luckily, there were a few seats left at the front of the bus. I hesitated to sit down because the two guys who I would be sandwiched between looked a bit sketchy. But when the bus driver yelled, PLEASE MOVE TO THE BACK OF THE BUS. I HAVE OTHER RIDERS BOARDING, PEOPLE, I decided to avoid the uncharted back of the bus territory because you can never really tell if there's an available seat.

So I sat down.

And, of course, one guy (who, in his defense, wasn't as sketchy looking as the other, this guy was almost grandfatherly) says, "My, you have really pretty eyes. Are you a student." No. "Oh....where do you work." I have a hard time being mean, so I say, in administration at Wash U. "Oh, you don't look old enough to be an administrator." I'm not a top-level administrator. "Oh."

Then the super-awkward part starts.

"That girl over there is selling candy for $1.00. You should buy something."

I hate buying candy from strangers, even if it's probably for a good cause. So I say, Oh, maybe, if I have a $1.00. The guy could sense my reluctance, so he said, "If you have 50 cents, I'll match it."

So I get out my wallet - I only had $5s. But luckily, the guy "owns a restaurant, so I have a lot of $1s."

The guy changes my money for me, and when the bus pauses, I get up to give the girl a $1 for some peanut M&Ms.

While completing the transaction, the bus lurched. Now, this might seem impossible to some, but I can actually mantain my balance on a lurching bus in my 3-inch heeled boots. At least, it seemed impossible to the 2 sketch-os because they both REACHED OUT AND GRABBED MY JACKET AND POSSIBLY MY ASS.



But what are you going to do. Both sketchies were like, wow, that was really close. The dirtier one saying, "See, I had you near your center of gravity. I'm not fresh or anything."

Grandfather guy deboarded shortly thereafter, but not before he asked my name (I gave my middle name as my last name because I'm not that stupid).

Meanwhile, dirty started talking to himself. Or maybe to me. Hard to tell. Something about going to pick up his clean clothes and identification.

Anyway, dirty somehow started talking to a woman across the aisle. He told her his plan....something about HUNTING PIRATE TREASURE.

The woman made fun of him for the rest of the time.

But here's the great I was leaving the bus, dirty said, THAT'S A GREAT SWEATER WITH YOUR THUMBS STICKING OUT.

He was talking about my Fetching mitts.

So, there you go folks, Fetching mitts have universal appeal. Fellow knitters, co-workers, crazies on the bus.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Bus Buddies

I now have two bus/train commuter pals: one is a counselor at the campus counseling center and the other is a staff member in an academic program across campus.

With the first one, I talk about the Women's Center at Mizzou, house-hunting, and other such topics.

With the second, I talk about technical writing, our campus's growing relationship with Chinese universities, the church on our street, the St. Louis sewer system, and, of course, reliquaries.

This morning, my second buddy and I sat across from each other on the bus. I was talking about traveling to Jonesboro for Thanksgiving when another bus rider piped up and started on a rant about the water quality of Jonesboro and surrounding towns. According to this bus rider, the water in Marion once gave him the runs (his words). After departing the bus at the metrolink stop, my buddy and I started talking about the history of the St. Louis sewer system. This, naturally, took a turn towards discussing European reliquaries. Of course, the conversation then drifted over towards This American Life.

I like the random nature of such conversations, but I don't know if I could sustain it much longer than the duration of our commute. In fact, I plan on catching the later train this evening so that I don't have to come up with a brilliant chaser to this morning's conversation.

If I am to keep up on such discussions, I'm going to have start doing more random reading.

Knitting Night has been called off so that Soozi can spend more time with her Da. To say the least, these are tough times. Please keep our little knitting pal Soozi and her family in your thoughts.

Next Week
Porkchop and I are going to Jonesboro to visit and cook for my family (mom, dad, brother, sister, sister's boyfriend, and sister's boyfriend's mom). Dinner should be delicious: roasted turkey with sage dressing, honey baked ham, buttermilk mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, maple glazed squash, my mom's favorite fruit salad, some sort of cranberry dish, and my mom's pumpkin and chocolate-meringue pies. The day after Thanksgiving, I think we're all going to the Bill Clinton Library in Little Rock.

Porkchop and I are a bit concerned about being around my sister's boyfriend. What are appropriate questions and conversations after someone has gone a little bit crazy but is now making their way back to normalcy (however one defines "normal")?

Anyway....have a wonderful Wednesday.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Are You a Feminist?

Hey, no need to hurt your pretty little head thinking about complex subjects, because now there's a quiz for you!

Are you a feminist?
Your Result: You are a full blooded feminist!

You believe in women's rights all the way and continue to be unhappy with the way things are right now and wish for more change. You are willing to take part in marches, boycotts and meetings that involve the amelioration of women's issues. You realize that society views feminists negatively but still are proud to call yourself one. You are appalled to see women who don't have a clue that "gender" is simply a term which the definition is 100% man made. If you feel a comment is sexist or makes you uncomfortable you speak up on it! You are always aiming to help others become aware of how much further women need to go and how society restricts them and predetermines their roles. You hate that feminists are so devided in themselves and believe that only if they are unified can they make a difference. We need more of you!

There is a strong feminist inside you! Let it out!
You are being held back by society's constrictions
Are you a misogynist!?
Are you a feminist?

I am disturbed by a few things here:
  • The heteronormativity implicit in the quiz, complete with the occasional lesbian-baiting.

  • The misspellings and typos. Are we to believe feminists don't know how to use spell check?

  • My test result spit this out: "You hate that feminists are so devided [sic] in themselves [sic] and believe that only if they are unified can they make a difference." Because unification is so easy! Gosh, y'all...colonization, imperialism, globalization...why can't we just be unified!

  • My test result also says: "There is a strong feminist inside you! Let it out!" Screw you, quiz writer. My feminist is out!

Grumble, grumble!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Going With It

I spent a lot of time today just going with it. Doing things that I woudn't normally do if I was by myself. Yep, I was totally removed from my Saturday routine, and glad to be so, as this was the first weekend that I spent with Porkchop in St. Louis.

Crazy, eh?

Stupid Six Flags.

When Porkchop and I woke up at 6:40, I didn't put up any protest when Porkchop suggested that we get up, grab breakfast on the road, and truck out to the antiques mall that I've been fantasizing about for so long.

But before broaching the subject of the antiques mall, the picture below shows you what I was greeted with in our backyard this morning. Yesterday, when Porkchop told me that all of the leaves from the backyard tree had fallen off, she wasn't kidding. Here it is....autumnal sadness:

Autumnal Sadness

So, anyway, we had a greasy breakfast on the way to the antiques mall. On previous trips to Chicago, I had spied the mall on the roadside, but I could never remember exactly where it was. We were just driving, hoping that it wasn't too far away. And it wasn't.

Here is why this particular antiques mall is so great:

Tall Man in Shorts

And this:

Pink Elephant

There are other elephants and giant men.

The contents of the antiques mall were just so-so. Nothing astounding. But I found a postcard that made it all worthwhile. It's a fancy postcard from 1908 with a raised bouquet of flowers and "Best Wishes" on it. The inscription is so reads something like, "Received your letter Saturday. Hope all are well. We are usually well. This is really hard to write on. Will write a letter soon."

Love it! This is really hard to write on. Because it would be, what with the raised bouquet of flowers. Porkchop and I couldn't stop laughing in the mall.

We are easily amused.

I might give it to my dad to add to his amusing postcard collection. He has one from a daughter to a mother....a mere 3 lines, one of which reads, "I have not played the gramophone." My dad loves to speculate about what that line means exactly. Why hadn't she played the gramophone? And he now includes it in his cards to me. I received one just 3 days ago with the line "We have not played the gramophone."

After antiquing, we drove through Collinsville, home of this giant bottle of catsup:


Go here for the official catsup bottle website and fan club.

Design Feature or Design Flaw?
On the way to and back from the antiques mall, I was working on a scarf for Porkchop's younger brother's girlfriend. I had decided on a diagonal drop stitch scarf, and things were going quite well. After the mall, however, I distractedly starting increasing and decreasing in the opposite direction.

I showed my goof-up to Porkchop, who said to just go with it. So I'm now making a diagonal drop stitch zigzag scarf. I'm quite pleased with it...much more interesting this way. Here's a little snapshot of can't really see the zigzagginess of it in this pic, but I will post another when completed:

Design Flaw or Feature?

Speaking of knitted items, we stopped by Knitorious last night, and no less than 3 people commented on my Fetching mitts (calling them by name!). I was a bit embarrassed because I didn't weave in one of the ends very well, so it was kind of hanging out of the fingerless part. I think the reaction to the Fetching mitts has been quite crazy. Yet understandable because the pattern is so great. Here are mine (loose end hidden from the camera):

Fetching Mitts

Also, here is my finished felted bag. The colors are darker in person, there's a bit of glare from the hazy sunlight:

Another Felted Bag

I'm working on another one...same yarn, same pattern (from Hello Yarn), but it also has pink stripes in it. Picture to be posted later.

New Clothes
Porkchop and I visited 2 TJ Maxx stores tonight. Yes, we are crazy, but I found some really great clothes. I can't tell you how happy I am about this....because my work wardrobe really needs a boost. My finds included new trousers (a great dark brown/light blue windowpane pattern), 2 brown knit shirts (one boatneck, one a zip cardigan), and a totally awesome black/gray zipped jacket. I LOVE this jacket!! The lines are so nice and clean with simple, well made detailing. And it was $100 less than original price. I tried on a matching skirt, but wasn't so excited about. But the jacket....I nearly got sick in the store just thinking about it. Because I wanted it so much, but I really hate spending money on clothing....especially if it's over $30.

Luckily, Porkchop convinced me that I should buy it.

I can't wait to wear it. It's sharp.

We're going to Indian buffet with Soozi, checking out an anniversary sale at Knitorious, and going grocery shopping. Should be a good day.

I will not be getting up at 6:40.

Good night!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Looks like I've escaped being an election scapegoat.

Hurrah! Missouri is Talent-less!

Now if we could only turn back time and somehow prevent the births of Ashcroft and Limbaugh.

And Now, a Word on Knitting
Last night, I started a new bag to felt. Perhaps after payday I can purchase some lace-weight yarn for a Shibori scarf.

This message brought to you by Cascade 220 yarn.

My name is Carrie, and I approve this message.

Favorite thing about the elections...the ads will stop.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Election Day Blues

Today reminds me of this installment of Making Fiends.

"Vote vote vote. Vote vote vote. Unless you are a doughnut, cause doughnuts don't vote."

Only, the lyrics should instead read, "...Unless you are Carrie, cause Carrie didn't make the voter registration deadline."

Seriously! I totally didn't realize that Missouri had a voter registration deadline until it was too late. You see, in Wisconsin, you could register at the polling place the day of the election. And when I moved to Iowa, I registered right after moving because I had time to do things like that.

So, if Jim Talent remains a senator, you can blame me! The minimum wage remains a meager $5 something an hour, blame me! Amendment 2 voted down, blame me!

I'm the premade scapegoat.

On a more somber note, I am very disappointed about this. This election has so much stuff in it, I really wanted to vote.


P.S. I also really enjoyed today's Get Fuzzy. I love Satchel and his Green Party ways.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Hand Mitt Blowout

Hi y'all.

This weekend I finished my pair of Fetching hand mitts (see Knitty) and the pair of hand mitts in Weekend Knitting. [BTW, why do I call these hand mitts? I think maybe our friend CJ in Madison gave them that moniker?]

I should be happy, right?

Unfortunately, I am cursed with a touch of mediocrity and mistakes. Murrrr!

For the Fetching mitts, I had to dip into my second skein of cashmerino aran, meaning that I didn't make gauge. Maybe the hand mitts are a bit not-so-snug, or maybe it's mind games! Aaaaa! In one of my dreams last night, a horribly rude person (who bore a striking resemblance to an Iowa professor with the initials E.L.) kept on insulting my hand mitts as being too loose and a disgrace.

But, I think they will be okay. I wore them out today and they did not fall off of my hands.

I might try the pattern again in a different color and smaller needles (meaning 4s or 5s, ick!) because I am perhaps obsessive.

Last night, I decided to whip up a pair of the WK hand mitts for an individual who has frequently admired my pair (knitted by CJ, thanks! they still work!). I began maybe around 11:30 last night. [Because when Porkchop is gone and it's just me and Keetah in the apartment, I have to stay up as late as possible so that I can fall asleep right away. Otherwise, I freak myself out with imagining noises. Because we live in St. Louis, the most dangerous city in all of our great United States.]

Anyway, I nearly finished the first mitt last night, but I had to turn in around 1:30. I finished it this morning, and when I tried it out, I found it quite snug. Much snugger than the pair I made for K last year.

"Uh," I thought. Perhaps I had overcompensated on my apparent loose knitting in the Fetching mitts?

I started on the mitt's mate this afternoon, after sending off my deadline-extended grad school papers (yippee!). After knitting the first set of 10 rows and the first short row, I felt a sinking sensation in my stomach.

I suddenly realized why the first mitt was so snug.

In my sleepiness, I had skipped the second set of 10 rows + short row!! Damn! Why didn't I count the garter ridges like Melanie suggested??!!

Because I am cursed by mediocrity and mistakes. Gah!

I went ahead and finished the mitt in the manner set forth by the first mitt. If they don't fit the intended recipient, I will keep them. And enjoy their snugness.

I will post pictures of the Fetching mitts when Porkchop returns with the camera.

More Disturbing Dreams
In the same dream with the hand mitt insults, I also dreamt that there was a huge pig on our back deck. Huge as in the size of our deck...roughly 10x16. I think this image appeared because Porkchop called yesterday, asking for one of our porkchop recipes. She said that she and her mom were going to triple the recipe and make 15 porckhops (they ended up making 24! yikes!) for their family. I think, in my mixed up dream state, this translated into a really huge pig.

P.S. I might also be disturbed that, having transitioned out of vegetarianism after 9 years, I found that I really enjoy porkchops. And I call Amanda "Porkchop." Even though that started when I was a veggie-head, I still find it disturbing.

Non-Meat Things (sort of)
To complement the porkchops left over from Friday's dinner (yeah, it's just a regular porkchop parade around here!), I made the cranberry-almond pilaf that I've written about before.

I really love this pilaf. It's buttery bulgur goodness. So here's the recipe (thanks again, Martha!):

1/3 cup sliced almonds
2 T butter
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup medium-grain bulgur
14.5 ounces broth (veggie or chicken)
salt and pepper
1/4 cup dried cranberries.

Toast the almonds (in a skillet or the oven).

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until beginning to brown. Add bulgur and stir to coat.

Add broth, season. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, covering saucepan and simmering until liquid has evaporated and bulgur is tender (15-20 minutes, be sure to test the bulgur for tenderness!).

Remove from heat. Sprinkle bulgur with cranberries. Cover and let steam for 5 minutes. Before serving, add almonds and fluff with a fork.

More Knitting Things
I might start another felted bag this week because I have enough yarn left from my sister's bag (will also post a picture of that).

And I really want to start on the shibori scarf.

To address one question about the shibori tutorial, I had also wondered about glass marbles getting knocked around in the washing machine. The author of the tutorial doesn't caution against broken glass, but I thought about perhaps trying to find some little plastic spheres instead of glass marbles. Because that seems a bit dangerous.

In Conclusion
Have a good week!

Also, I am now free to start recreational reading. So, if you have suggestions, let me know. Because I am totally out of the lit loop.

Nearly forgot this anecdote! At work on Friday, I was compiling a list of certain board members for a grant proposal. The list had to include the board members' titles at their respective companies. Well, one member is head of a certain stuffed-bear-building store chain headquartered here in St. Louis. This particular company likes to include the word bear in all titles.

So, for this very official grant proposal list, I had to include the phrase "Corporate Executive Bear."

This amused me endlessly, and I found myself snickering throughout the day.

It still makes me laugh.

Saturday, November 04, 2006


I know that I will be happy in a city when I find a good Indian buffet.

Today, Soozi and I returned to Tandoori Hut to check out the buffet. Good stuff. Very good stuff, indeed. All the necessities, and you can choose from TWO kinds of rice pudding.

I can't wait to go back.

In Columbia, I frequented India Palace (or IP, as my friends and I called it). When it closed, I switched to Rasoi, which was also pretty good (but missing the IP ambience and friendly host). In Madison, there was Maharaja (on the West and the East side for your convenience). I have many fond memories of dining at Maharaja with all sorts of different friends and co-workers (including the Night of the Masala Dosa, remember that, K?).

In Iowa City, there were two Indian restuarants, but they both sucked. You might be asking, "But, Carrie, how can an Indian restaurant suck?" I don't know! All I know is that they sucked! So much! Porkchop and I tried the one voted "Best Ethnic Restaurant" (or something like that), and we were sorely displeased. The food was tasteless and overly greasy. Ick.

That really sums up Iowa City. Tasteless and greasy. Don't get me started on how the "Best Sushi" place burned my spider roll! And served their edamame cold (not just cold, nearly frozen)!

Anyway, if a city doesn't have a good Indian buffet, I'm out of there.


Friday, November 03, 2006

Shibori Excitement

My student office helper walked in this morning wearing a scarf made by this artist. Before I knew that the scarf probably cost around $600, I couldn't stop touching it and examining how it was made.

Shibori! I had never heard of this technique. I must be behind the times because it seems lots of folks are talking about.

I can't wait to make a scarf using this tutorial. So exciting!!!

I wish I could leave right now and start!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


Back on the coffee train.

Sort of, anyway.

Since last week, I've been having half-caf coffee. But, today, the student-run coffee kiosk in my building wasn't brewing decaf, so I had full caf (with plenty of soy creamer).

I've already crashed. And my urine reeks of coffee (too much information? too bad!).


I need for it to be 4:30, but it's only 3:30. Stupid standard time.

On to more important things...

bell hooks
bell hooks spoke on campus today as part of the assembly speakers series. I went, even though most people in my office wouldn't think of taking an hour and a half out of the work day to hear an amazing feminist scholar. People here work so much, they forget to connect to the outside world....which always seems a bit strange to me. Of course, they probably don't blog while at work, either. Hmmmm.

Anyway, bell hooks was great, as expected. Here are some things that I enjoyed, and one thing that I didn't:
  • hooks's point that Women's Studies and Black Studies departments have drifted away from their radical roots. Point being that it's nearly impossible to remain radical and dissident when you rely upon funding from imperialist, patriarchalist, white supremacist sources (e.g., the academy). Not a new point by any means, but always good to hear. Unfortunately, I felt a bit shortchanged when, responding to a question on this point, hooks said that, in order to remain radical and dissident and stay in the academy, we have to work extra hard AND work within mainstream and radical channels. Yeah, that's probably realistic...but I don't like that answer.

  • hooks's point that phrases like "double" or "triple jeopardy" don't adequately describe the oppression and degradation that Black women experience everyday from all sides. Totally. You can't quantify experiences in phrases that suggest mathematic simplicity and certainty.

  • "Black capitalism does not mean Black self-determination." While money can certainly aid things, it does not necessarily equal freedom. We shouldn't confuse consumerism with self-determination.

  • Cultural minstrel shows. hooks brought up books like On the Down Low and some of Nelly's videos as examples of cultural images that use certain social constructs of Black men and women for capitalistic, self-serving purposes. Her point being that such displays do nothing to uplift the general masses of Black people (hooks also focused on DuBois's ideas of uplift during her lecture).

  • Decolonizing ourselves by being mindful of what we consume. One of my favorite parts of the lecture! hooks was talking about seeing some Black sitcoms while at a hotel and being appalled at the content of the shows. This can be applied to anyone...we are what we watch! Be aware of uncritical consumption!

  • Urban poor people don't have access to good grocery stores. I felt like standing up and cheering when hooks made this point...because y'all know I've complained about this so many times. This relates to hooks's current work connecting ecofeminism to consumption patterns in urban Blacks. Her major point is that the diseases that most urban poor people (hooks's mainly focused on Blacks, but I think this point can be extended to the urban poor in general) suffer from have roots in the food choices available in an urban setting. You know, when your grocery store is the corner 7-11, nothing good can come of that.

The End
That's the conclusion of my report.

Oh, also, hooks addressed how some scholars have downplayed or criticized her work on love as unscholarly. To those naysayers, hooks says that practicing love is the most radical and dissident action of all.

So there.