Or, you know, the university union outreach fair.

I got to hang out with Andy, who's just the cutest.

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Elaine and I figured out that we each have a snake that likes us better. Andy wouldn't hold still for her, Sheldon wouldn't hold still for me, but they were perfectly content when we switched.

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Free range snake! (Eastern Fox Snake, to be exact.)

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Eventually, Andy needed a break.

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But it got cold, so, warm hands to the rescue, and I acquired a snake bracelet.

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Which very quickly turned into "wait, your torso is warmer. Let me just get up there..."

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Silly snake.
We had some interesting guests in the office last week, to help us raise interest at a student activities thing. Obviously, nothing else got done that day...

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Penny is an Eastern Fox Snake, and tends to come to most outreach events, because she's actually quite chill and relaxed. Despite the fact that she spent some time trying to find a way to escape her terrarium at first.

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She and Andy, our resident milk snake and lover of hoodie pockets and sleeve openings, eventually settled down though.

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It may have had something to do with how cold it was in the office that day. They ended up cuddling for warmth (not particularly effective when you're a reptile).

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At least until we got them a heater. That, they approved of.

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Nesting

Jan. 21st, 2015 01:37 pm
I think it's winter that does it to me, but this year, it's been serious. So much organizing, clearing things out, getting things set up better. In a word, so much nesting.

I found a way to deal with all the pins I've collected over the years. Just a half-yard of fabric, folded in half and hung with some sawed-off dowel rods. There's already more pins on it, after my volunteer gig for the craft show.

Pin Banner 1a

I acquired some additional storage containers to put things in appropriate places. So many blankets, so many scarves.

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I framed and hung photos and pictures. One set of pony photos that I got as a birthday present (although that photo of Dante has been replaced by a better one that came for Christmas), and one card from my last trip to a National Park (I think that one is from Carlsbad Caverns).

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A friend traded a pair of socks for a beautiful handlettered first page of Good Omens. Which obviously needs to hang out with the other Crowley. (Don't mind the spacing. I'll fix it next time these get hung, in whatever new home that'll be.)

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And I improvised an advent wreath (without the wreath part, admittedly), though those candles are already burned down again. I like the idea though - maybe next year I'll be able to find non-white candles that still aren't scented.

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The awesome thing about a zoo membership is that you can go to the zoo for like an hour, and then run away as soon as people become overwhelming without having "wasted money" on the admission ticket. I like it :-)

It's WildLights season, which is great for holiday spirit, not that great for animal watching. I did get to see some macaws though, and the wolves were rather active (I think it was close to feeding time.)

Columbus Zoo

Though I could have lived without the bison getting feisty. That was a little freaky. Even if it was funny to watch them scare the crap out of the pronghorns in the enclosure.

But really, it was all about the lights. Which were pretty as usual. I like how they sort of color-coded each area with appropriate light colors - North America in blue and white, Asia in reds and oranges. Plus, lakeside light show to Disney tunes (and a hip hop version of "My Favorite Things" - no really).

Wildlights 2014 (2) Wildlights 2014 (4) Wildlights 2014 (3) Wildlights 2014 Wildlights 2014 (10) Wildlights 2014 (7) Wildlights 2014 (12) Wildlights 2014 (15)
Some people go to fancy hotels for work. Or they end up in crappy conference rooms for a few days, barely staying awake.

Me? I get to hang out on a Lake Erie island.

Retreat on the Rock 2014

When this is the view that comes with coffee, you don't care what time it is. Promise.

Retreat on the Rock 2014

Retreat on the Rock 2014

Also, my office owns a castle. Yeah.

Retreat on the Rock 2014

And we do the best teambuilding stuff. Yes, that's a snake.

Retreat on the Rock 2014

Of course, occasionally your co-workers get attacked by crickets.

Retreat on the Rock 2014

But mostly, it's all fun and games. And food. So much food.
In addition to Wool Gathering, my annual tour also includes Yellow Springs, where I wander around Dark Star Books for way too long, spend money on vintage paperbacks (Agatha Christie this year), and pet the cat. That cat has been around for just about forever... or possibly it's a succession of cats, all named the same. Either way, bookstore cat. In a box.

Dark Star Cat

And of course a trip to Witt. I'm kind of homesick now. But at least I get to see people in a few weeks :-)

At the Wall (2)

That top right corner area? Totally all mine. I lived in that alcove.

Science Bulding (5)

I also lived here. I miss it.

Woodlawn Hall
Yes, I know I owe you France posts. Give it some time. There's a lot of photos to deal with.

Yesterday was my annual pilgrimage to Young's Dairy in Yellow Springs for the Wool Gathering fiber festival. As always, it was lovely. I try to get there when it opens, so the crowds aren't too bad, and the weather was absolutely perfect to spend the day mostly outside.

There were grumbly ducks being herded, as usual.

Wool Gathering 2014

Wool Gathering 2014

There were sheep, one of which I actually got to pet this year. Usually they're a bit more skittish.

Wool Gathering 2014

And llamas being uninterested in everything.

Wool Gathering 2014

And I got ice cream for lunch. Way too much ice cream, in fact. Do not get two scoops of ice cream at Young's. It's impossible to finish.

Wool Gathering 2014

Yes, I did also buy yarn. Less than I expected though, without feeling like I missed out on anything. I like it. The whole "shopping from stash" thing seems to be really good training.
Oh hi. It's been... ages, hasn't it. Sorry. I kept thinking about fun blog posts, but was always foiled by "ugh, I don't want to pull pictures off the external hard drive" or by "well, I'm not taking pictures in this weather, so whatever," and ended up knitting and watching TV instead. Maybe I'll finally pull those photos this weekend, or something.

Things that happened: a wedding (fun), Great Lakes Medieval Faire (wet and muddy, but fun), shoe shopping (brightly colored and on sale), and Dublin Irish Festival (wet and muddy, but loads of fun). I'm sort of hoping "wet and muddy" doesn't become our theme for outdoor festivals this year. You hear me, Ohio RenFest? Don't do that.

Currently, I'm knitting socks (surprise), slowly packing for France (just how many pieces of clothing can I take and then get rid of?), and fretting over immigration stuff (nothing major, just generic "I kind of hate this"). But hey, France! I haven't been to France in ages, and never to this particular part of it. I'm excited.

Also, you all have to go see Guardians of the Galaxy, like, right now. So. Much. Fun. And I'm never getting "Hooked on a Feeling" out of my head ever again.

So... yeah. Here, have some beaded lace.

Maia 2b

Maia 2c

Maia, designed by Romi Hill, the beaded version, in Apple Tree Knits Plush Fingering (the colorway is "Frost" or "Glacier" or something like that).
One of the organizations I give to via the university charity drive is the Columbus chapter of Stonewall. Apparently, this year I gave them enough money to get a free dog tag to get into the Columbus Pride festival, so it seemed like as good a year as any to check it out :-)

Pride Weekend ended up being crazy for me (thanks, GM), so I only went to the parade, and only for about an hour or so. But I still quite enjoyed it - it was lovely to see that many people all wanting to get along with each other. I'm sure there were protesters around somewhere, but quite obviously, they were not out in force.

Pride Parade 2014 Pride Parade 2014 Pride Parade 2014

If you're in Columbus, Out of the Closet is an excellent thrift store. You should go.

Pride Parade 2014

This is where a lot of people got choked up early on...

Pride Parade 2014

... and this was one of my favorite parts.

Pride Parade 2014

All of the sports teams showed up.

Pride Parade 2014 Pride Parade 2014

And of course: George Takei.

Pride Parade 2014 Pride Parade 2014

Because everything is better with George Takei. Happy Pride!
Apparently I either blog about events, or I throw random things at you and run away. May as well embrace the pattern, right? :-)

Breaking Bad
I finished the series this past weekend. I... don't get the hype. I mean, it was a good show, and the first two seasons were great, but... well. Apparently I can't get over the idea that someone with lung cancer would have to resort to meth cooking to pay medical bills. Welcome to America.

Luther
Season 3 is on Netflix. I know how I'm spending my evenings this week.

Knitting
My biggest recently completed project is a wedding gift, so we'll have to hold off on showing that to you until after the party. But here, have some obnoxiously bright socks I made for Afghans for Afghans.

IMG_2108

And here's yet more proof that, if a dye can break, I will break it. No matter what.

IMG_2114

Kool-Aid Ghoul-Aid in Scary Blackberry. Which comes out of the packet black-purple and turns into brown and teal on yarn. I no longer have any respect for people who let their kids drink kool-aid, by the way. Nobody should be ingesting that stuff. It's great for yarn though :-)

Car
After a month and a half of waiting for parts, I'm finally getting my ignition switch fixed this weekend. Thanks, GM. You've pretty much guaranteed I will avoid you for the rest of my car-buying days. Speaking of, I should start saving for a new car. This one's hit 118,000 miles recently, and I have a feeling (knocks on wood) that it won't make it to 200,000.
I may have finally lost it.

December 2013

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January 2, 2014

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January 13, 2014

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February 27, 2014

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March 29, 2014









Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go knit something with complicated charts. And possibly beads.
I hope you like your present :-)

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Firebird 1d

Firebird 1e

Firebird, by Lilia Komosa, nupps replaced with beads (in case anyone's wondering)

Me, I'm off to the pub.
Before it goes away again for what seems like forever. Did I mention it's cold again?

This weekend though, it was glorious. A bit chilly, but sunny, and generally lovely. So I went to the zoo (I love my zoo membership). It's great when it's not summer yet, because so few people are there, and the ones that are tend to be photographers, not screaming children :-)

The reptiles seemed to like the weather - lots of activity going on in those displays.

Columbus Zoo

Of course, this guy was not impressed. He was hanging out, and not moving at all.

Columbus Zoo

The flamingos, on the other hand, were really excited. Must have been feeding time or something.

Columbus Zoo

"Tell me I'm not impressive. Come on, I dare you."

Baby flamingo!

Columbus Zoo

And baby manatee!

Columbus Zoo

And grumpy turtle. I love grumpy turtle. He's so funny.

Columbus Zoo
Because geeks are amazingly creative people.

Brigadier!

Cosplay Awesomeness

This Novice Hame outfit won All The Prizes at the Masquerade. For good reason.

Cosplay Awesomeness

BAMF gun!

Cosplay Awesomeness

Points for tracking down that bright orange suit, and for making it work.

Cosplay Awesomeness

So many Osgoods.

Cosplay Awesomeness

Cute! And creepy! And cute! But creepy! Welcome to Gally...

Cosplay Awesomeness

Ice-skating River, worn by an actual archaeologist. Her ribbon? "Archaeologist. Love a tomb."

Cosplay Awesomeness

On Saturdays, UNIT takes over convention security.

Cosplay Awesomeness

Yes, those are Gallifreyan robes. With embroidery.

Cosplay Awesomeness

More beads. I mean, seriously. How can you not love this.

Cosplay Awesomeness

Moisturise me! (Yes, that's what their ribbon said.)

Cosplay Awesomeness

However, my favorite? These guys. So. Cute.

Cosplay Awesomeness
In case you missed it, the Winter Olympics just ended. I... did not watch them. First, because the whole Sochi/Russia thing is completely fucked up on so many levels. Second, because NBC's coverage is horrible. Third, because NBC wouldn't even let me pay for their coverage if I wanted to - online coverage was only available to people who also have a cable subscription (which is all kinds of stupidly moronic). So: I got my Olympics updates from Twitter and the Daily Show, and instead focused on the Ravelympics Ravellenics (whole other kettle of geese, that).

I decided I was making socks (shocking, I know). One pair, knit mostly at home, features kool-aid dyed yarn, because it was on top of the pile of sock yarn.

I Dreamed of Africa Socks 1

One pair was started at Gallifrey One, because panels in the main room are great for knitting.

IMG_1999
I may complain about OSU a lot, and frankly, there's still lots of things to complain about when your home city seems to revolve around one sports team. But one thing that place does right: Taste of OSU. International students from all over the world cook food from their native countries, and everyone else gets to buy tickets for tasting it.

I've only been twice, but OMG. So. Good.

We started with French and Sri Lankan.

Owly Images

Moved on to Ukrainian and Polish.

Owly Images

Then got a big plate of Pilipino, Singaporean, Arabian, Turkish and Iranian.

Owly Images

And ended the night with Saudi and Armenian.

Owly Images

And that's not even all the food - Jess had plates too. But that does cover all the countries we tried. Impressively, we only skipped one booth we wanted to try (Somali) because we had run out of food tickets. Next year.

Also, I want these lamps.

Owly Images

You can't really tell, but the dark swirls are rainbow stones, and the whole thing is just too cool for words.
Wilton's food coloring is interesting for yarn dyeing. Not only is it cheap, food-safe, and easily available, but it's also sort of magic. Case in point: all three skeins below came out of the same dye bath.

Dyeing 19c

The pink was the first skein. I thought I could do something fun and dab black dye onto the wet skein, maybe get a bit of a speckled thing going.

IMG_1929

Instead, I used way too much dye, and it distributed relatively evenly throughout the water.

IMG_1936

But that's ok. I like the green/purple thing you get when Wilton's black breaks. Except when I rinsed the skein, all the blue tones that weren't left in the crockpot went down the drain.

Dyeing 17c

Ok then. Good thing I had more yarn to dye.

IMG_1937

This one sucked up all the greens and purples, turning into what I now expect black Wilton's to do on a good day (on a bad day, there's loads of pink to muddle everything up).

Dyeing 18b

And then I looked in the crockpot, and the water still wasn't clear of dye. Alright. Last skein.

Dyeing 19a

I love the blues in here. There's also some specks of purple that give it a really nice depth, but overall, it's definitely a light blue skein of yarn.

Dyeing 19b

And there you have it. Three skeins, one dye bath, three different colors. Magic :-) Ok, also SCIENCE!
I'm officially ready to dress for the rest of the week.

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I hope you have a lovely holiday. I'll be around, eating cookies and drinking tea.
The last of the fruitcake, Seattle's Best coffee, Olympus Has Fallen (yes, I have terrible taste in movies).

IMG_1918
It's in front of the art museum, and it's... weird. Even more so than most statues in historical cities.

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Honestly, it felt slightly pornographic to even be taking photos of it. (Not that that stopped me. This thing is too odd not to document.)

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