Sunday, January 30, 2011


Must... make... amazing things:

Best peeples evar!

Holy carp! I've been Yarn Stormed!

whoever you are, thank you thank you thank you thank you!

so many luscious fibers, and so many beautiful colors!

And it was completely unexpected.

Sunshine heartily approves:

Want the detailed analysis? Visit my new blog, YarnPorn

Monday, January 17, 2011

Martin Luther King, Jr. and Compassion

I realize belatedly that no mail today means holiday, and yes, it turns out it's Monday and it's already MLK day.

"Compassion and nonviolence help us to see the enemy's point of view, to hear their questions, to know their assessment of ourselves. For from their point of view we may indeed see the basic weaknesses of our own condition, and if we are mature, we may learn and grow and profit from the wisdom of the brothers and sisters who are called the opposition."

One of the things that I find most fascinating about MLK is his commitment to peace. Not just in terms of the idea of non-violent mass protests. That type of protest was a vital part of the endurance of the civil rights movement, allowing them to stake out the moral high ground on which their goals were based. But his opposition to the Vietnam war, to war and to violence in general, and his support of the ideas of compassion and human interconnection--those are what really impress me. Like Gandhi, like the Dalai Llama, to advocate the moral high ground not just for the civil rights movement, but as a way of life--this, I think, is what really made him unique, and part of what makes his legend endure. I hope I can pursue and advance that ideal as well.

"True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth with righteous indignation. It will look across the seas and see individual capitalists of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa, and South America, only to take the profits out with no concern for the social betterment of the countries, and say, "This is not just." It will look at our alliance with the landed gentry of Latin America and say, "This is not just." The Western arrogance of feeling that it has everything to teach others and nothing to learn from them is not just. A true revolution of values will lay hands on the world order and say of war, "This way of settling differences is not just."

"This business of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation's homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into the veins of peoples normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice, and love. A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death."

Thanks. Be at peace.


Lots of studying in the past 3 days, and plenty more to do.

Tonight I'll finish going through the topics for Astro Techniques and start reviewing the homeworks
Tomorrow I'll finish reviewing the homeworks for Astro Techniques and for Galactic Astro as well
Wednesday I'll go over the homeworks from Astrophysics and from Stellar, and have the evening review of the Astrophysics stuff with anyone interested
Thursday I'll review radio, pick out and memorize the truly relevant equations, and talk to Mark about any extragalactic questions I have remaining.
Friday I'll go through and review all the notes I've taken, study the details of things for Extragalactic, and work on memorizing the radio equations again
Saturday is the first part of the exam
Saturday night I'll briefly review the notes from the other 5 classes and try not to freak out
Sunday is the second part of the exam.

I should get done with enough time to watch the Packer game and get really smashed.

holy crap I have WAY too much material left to cover.

Saturday, January 15, 2011


Owning a cat has taught me that I would be a terrible mother. I am apparently quite controlling, always saying no and shooing or chasing her away from stuff. I am not able to let her explore in an open fashion, to learn about, interact with, and come to understand her environment. Perhaps it's because, in her desire to learn, she keeps chewing on my speakers, and laptop, and my good furniture (as well as the bad furniture and any bit of paper or plastic on the ground). But at the same time I can see this control issue manifesting in her behavior. She still eats the other cat's food. She still tries to eat my speakers every morning. and she is now very skittish.

Of course she's also energetic, and a kitten yet, and she was a stray for however many months (I adopted her when she was 7 months). So maybe the blame isn't entirely on me. Nevertheless, I'm sure having a kid would be 1000x worse.

Or maybe this is just practice, so if I ever do pop out a munchkin, I know not to be a complete doyt about it?

Studying continues at a limping pace. Hard to cram more info in my head without the old stuff leaking, but I feel like I'm going somewhere. Slowly and surely, but going.

Knitting is on hiatus until my needles return from WI, but I am making plarn out of all my plastic bags and I hope to crochet at least a couple of grocery totes.

Writing... is never on hold. It always simmers on the back burner. But I still don't know how to get Indara and Kaina from leaving their tiny home city to the big city where Kaina is ill and eventually gets stolen. Or how to get Dudrect and Bali from their hotel to Dudrect's fortress. Or what Ilviras and Siraya's real quest is, and why. Or why the necromancer would enslave a human man who steals his book. And I can't figure out what it is the two witches are summoning in the urban city, or how Tasiha reunites with Ialio and what happens to her at the mage-school in Kiral.

Nor how to make Crocodile Boy more whole, nor how to tell the tales of Newton in poems.

*sigh* and I've got data to reduce and research to do for no less than 3 separate projects, all about equally important, I would say.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Outside, the gray and clotted sky gathers itself like the folds of a cloth. The wind moves through the dessicated bushes and the long yellow grasses. The ancient pines before the Astronomy building move gracefully with it, shedding sweet incense.

My mint tea grows golden in its glass, warm and sweet and intense, the color of honey. Before me, the pages of lecture notes to cover fall away, while Ingrid Michaelson tells me that maybe, just maybe, I won't die alone.

Healing, like living, is not a goal. It is a process, a journey. I am living my healing. Some days are better than others. It helps to have people who care around me, to have the work I love before, to have deadlines (Denmark application, due in 2 days!) and scheduled events (Qualifying Exam in 10 days!) giving me focus and guidance. I still lose one day a week at least to grief. But cats and the strange winter wind of the south and hot mint tea are all part of it now.

Sunday, January 2, 2011


I can't understand why for the life of me I decided it was a good idea to leave every last one of my knitting needles in the car in WI while I returned to the south.

I have plenty of yarn and lots of ideas for new projects
But... nothing to knit with.

Plans: a hat, using that lovely worsted wool in shades of brown
Another hat, using the many-shades-of-blue

I suppose I could give in and turn them both into scarves.

Something lacy with that Lagoon yarn I ordered online.
Another lacy something with the three skeins of discounted hand-dyed Chilean-inspired green and brown wool.
3 pairs of socks (purple and gray, blue and green, and tones of red... o, curse you, sock addiction).

Some day I should do something with that Lamb's Wool Cotton-and-Wool in deep purple.

So much to knit! so little time...