Monthly Archives: February 2006


Ambitious List of Things to do Tonight:

* wash dishes.
* roast eggplant under broiler, pan fry tofu, and cook in Moroccan tagine sauce from trader joe’s. enjoy with whole wheat couscous.
* do laundry.
* sort blankets/bedding for upcoming girl trip to baltimore, wash if necessary.
* finish framing posters for home.
* hang lamp over dining room table area.
* sort and put away crafty stuff. Make this more fun by separating out planned projects and photographing before restashing.
* tackle piles of crafty things over dining room table. See also pile of crafty things next to my sweet recliner.
* listen to audiobook of “pride and prejudice” while homemaking.
* drink lots of tea so as to stave off horrible cold that project manager passed along. Try not to feel sad that gym is a Very Bad Idea when you’re fighting horrible post-nasal drip.
* go to sleep early.

February 2006 Books

9. Leaving Normal by Stef Ann Holm
10. You’ve got Male by Elizabeth Bevarly
11. The Inheritance by Louisa May Alcott (her first novel, written when she was 17 and probably the basis of Jo’s novel in Little Women)
12. The Capitve by Victoria Holt

A couple of free and traditional romance novels, classic.
I also read a lot of back issues of smithsonian magazine (like, at least 5 issues), but I don’t usually include that stuff on my book list. I ought to, smithsonian magazine is a hearty volume full of information.

things I’ve learned lately

1. I am a terrible procrastinator. I think the reason why is b/c I am bored. it’s true. I’d much rather be at home reading the pile of books that I need to get through, or sewing a skirt, or knitting the things that I have promised to people. Instead I am at work for 8+ hours a day and I find myself thinking about books, or looking at skirts online, or drooling over yarns and patterns on the internet.

the key to why I procrastinate is this: I am bored, therefore, I am way more interested in what I’m doing if I have to do it in a crunch/last minute situation.

the catch-22 is that when I’m at work screwing around at the internets, the day takes at least 5x as long to get through as it does when I’m at work actually being productive and getting things done. go figure.

2. I found out I have a very old version of WP installed here. I need to update it, but am a tiny bit nervous about the procedure. It’s an autoinstall from my host, so it shouldn’t be HARD, but these things are never guaranteed to be easy.

3. I cable all wrong. When I am making cables there’s a bar across the bottom of the knit stitch, like I’m holding the yarn in the wrong place before I twist the stitches. I need to consult elizabeth zimmerman about this for sure. of course, my only other experience with cables was this owl dishcloth knit several years ago for my mom, but I DID think it would come back a little better. and I’m even using a brilliant cable needle that my grandmonther gave me that used to belong to my greatgrandmother. I thought it would guide me, in a way, but that’s not really happening. sigh.


Johnson is also running an “economic impact” study of the experiment, comparing the average American’s $91-per-week food budget to the price of local eating. “I’ve paid $66 per week,” she says. “We’re trying to break down the fallacy that local eating is more expensive.”

from the 100-mile diet article featuring 100-mile diet groups around north america.

That’s pretty interesting. I don’t know how much I spend a week, but I estimate it’s less than $91. In the summer my CSA runs me about $28 dollars a week, and on top of that I might regularly buy $20 of milk, eggs, and cheese. During the winter I’m spending closer to $40 at the grocery store weekly. Then I’ll spend maybe $20 or $30 eating out every week or two (or even less). Amazing. If I were really into it I guess I could break it down to a finer level, but, well, go me!


blogs I’ve been discovering:

The 100-mile diet is a series written by a pair in vancouver who are trying to eat for 1 year on local foods only. it’s really neat. But then, I’m a nut about homesteading/local foods/skills that may be useful after an apocalypse. I get to it from the author’s page here.

Mighty Foods is pretty, interesting, and has got me interested in a new cookbook about healthy slowcooking.

I can’t handle how wonderful and twee and awesome vegan lunch box is. I went out and got a bento box of my own, though my meals are not as lovely as little schmoo’s.

I am so dorky, check out the kinds of comics that I stay current with. I’m pleased to tell you that after giving cathy another shot, I am off her for ever. Seriously, I thought to myself: she’s married now, I’m SURE she’s happy! I’m SURE she’s content! I’m SURE that now that she has a man to fulfill her, she’s fulfilled! but no, this strip continues to wear out every hackneyed cliche of married life, men, and women. YIKES. if anything it’s worse than it was before. seriously. you can build your own comic page here

FINALLY the new year can begin!

all of us

Originally uploaded by karinajean.

went to lovely brunch at buddha bodhai with the girls. About 4 or 5 years ago we started meeting for new year’s brunch on NYday so we could ring in the new year with our beautiful, smart, strong lady friends. we’ve slipped the last couple of years from the actual day (it’s hard when people live all over the country!), but sunday we were able to get together for vegan dim sum and of course, I made everyone get together for a dorky myself-and-another photo after the yummy yummy food. It was so great!

and FINALLY I can start the new year. I have really wonderful feelings about it from here on out. YAY.

(more photos here, including the FAMOUS VEGAN JELLYFISH DISH. Mmm, slippery and gelatinous and noodly, all at the same time.)


we got about 2 feet of snow this weekend. it was pretty great, I stayed in for most of it, was snowed in with the beau and that was pretty darn wonderful. It did mean that almost all of my weekend plans were canceled, but it also meant I got to watch some olympics.

sunday night the beau drove me home and helped me to shovel out my car. by helped, I mean, he shoveled out my car. the knee doctor on friday morning told me that if there was a blizzard I shouldn’t go outside and I took him at his word. I am so glad that the mister could dig me out.

here’s my little car, an exercise in natural windtunneling. The car was nearly covered by drifts and it looks like the wind was blowing from front to back because there was some definite wind-related drift scour that looks like it could mimic air flow over the insight. I sketched on the snow line and the approximate car body line on this camera-phone photo:


knee update

I’m at 2 months and 9 days post surgery. I had a check up at the surgeons today, and it went very well. I’ve been getting along like gangbusters, I’ll have you know: I’m very strong, my left leg is only mildly atrophied, and they’ve got me doing standing-on-one-leg exercises. it’s wild how much I’ve progressed. Actually, I love physical therapy: it’s the one for sure thing in my life right now that I’m GOOD at. really – even though I wouldn’t have called myself an athlete, maybe that podiatrist that made me cry* was on to something. I’ve seen these high school kids who really don’t want to be there kind of floating through the exercises. I get all red-faced and sweaty doing lunges and kicking things and the stairs and weights. And I am so glad I’ve got my families weird ability to quickly gain new muscles.

Unfortunately, my insurance only covers 20 visits per calender year for PT. so even though my surgeon would prefer I was in PT for 5 months, I’ve been skimping out the visits since the beginning of the year. Luckily I was able to squeeze in 3 weeks of visits before the end of last year! Now I’m going 2x a week instead of the preferred 3 and have sworn solemnly on the dead man’s ligament that I will go to the gym at least 1x for extra exercises. My dr is suggesting now that I only go 1x a week or less so I can stretch out the visits as long as possible. He doesn’t want me to start running or jumping until March, and would like my therapist to be with me as I take those momentous steps. Dumb health insurance. I mean, I really appreciate them paying the 10s of thousands of dollars for my knee surgery, but wouldn’t it be nice if I could run?

* when I was in college, my first real (expensive) shoes gave me tendinitis on the tops of my feet. ok, maybe it was the fluevogs, maybe it was a combination of my falling arches and mild hammer toes. I went to a podiatrist and he told me I could never wear flip flops again and I burst into tears. He responded with anger, telling me it could be worse! I could have a clubfoot! He also said I should lay off the tae kwon do for a while, but then he said “but you’re not going to, are you? you athletes are all the same.” It was the first time I’d ever been referred to as an athlete, and it was really weird. Note: I retaught myself to walk along the edge of my foot and not across the falling arches, and now I wear flip flops with great derring-do.

Modern Library’s Top 100 Books

The 100 best novels as determined by The Modern Library. I can’t believe I’ve read so few of them. Guess this will be one of my never-ending lists of books to read – I wish I had my notebook with me last night, becasue I really could have used those book lists at the library.

1. ULYSSES by James Joyce
2. THE GREAT GATSBY by F. Scott Fitzgerald
4. LOLITA by Vladimir Nabokov
5. BRAVE NEW WORLD by Aldous Huxley
6. THE SOUND AND THE FURY by William Faulkner
7. CATCH-22 by Joseph Heller
8. DARKNESS AT NOON by Arthur Koestler
9. SONS AND LOVERS by D.H. Lawrence
10. THE GRAPES OF WRATH by John Steinbeck
11. UNDER THE VOLCANO by Malcolm Lowry
12. THE WAY OF ALL FLESH by Samuel Butler
13. 1984 by George Orwell
14. I, CLAUDIUS by Robert Graves
15. TO THE LIGHTHOUSE by Virginia Woolf
16. AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY by Theodore Dreiser
17. THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER by Carson McCullers
18. SLAUGHTERHOUSE-FIVE by Kurt Vonnegut
19. INVISIBLE MAN by Ralph Ellison
20. NATIVE SON by Richard Wright
23. U.S.A. (trilogy) by John Dos Passos
24. WINESBURG, OHIO by Sherwood Anderson
25. A PASSAGE TO INDIA by E.M. Forster
26. THE WINGS OF THE DOVE by Henry James
27. THE AMBASSADORS by Henry James
28. TENDER IS THE NIGHT by F. Scott Fitzgerald
30. THE GOOD SOLDIER by Ford Madox Ford
31. ANIMAL FARM by George Orwell
32. THE GOLDEN BOWL by Henry James
33. SISTER CARRIE by Theodore Dreiser
34. A HANDFUL OF DUST by Evelyn Waugh
35. AS I LAY DYING by William Faulkner
36. ALL THE KING’S MEN by Robert Penn Warren
37. THE BRIDGE OF SAN LUIS REY by Thornton Wilder
38. HOWARDS END by E.M. Forster
39. GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN by James Baldwin
40. THE HEART OF THE MATTER by Graham Greene
41. LORD OF THE FLIES by William Golding (high school)
42. DELIVERANCE by James Dickey
43. A DANCE TO THE MUSIC OF TIME (series) by Anthony Powell
44. POINT COUNTER POINT by Aldous Huxley
45. THE SUN ALSO RISES by Ernest Hemingway
46. THE SECRET AGENT by Joseph Conrad
47. NOSTROMO by Joseph Conrad
48. THE RAINBOW by D.H. Lawrence
49. WOMEN IN LOVE by D.H. Lawrence
50. TROPIC OF CANCER by Henry Miller
51. THE NAKED AND THE DEAD by Norman Mailer
52. PORTNOY’S COMPLAINT by Philip Roth
53. PALE FIRE by Vladimir Nabokov
54. LIGHT IN AUGUST by William Faulkner
55. ON THE ROAD by Jack Kerouac
56. THE MALTESE FALCON by Dashiell Hammett
57. PARADE’S END by Ford Madox Ford
58. THE AGE OF INNOCENCE by Edith Wharton
59. ZULEIKA DOBSON by Max Beerbohm
60. THE MOVIEGOER by Walker Percy
62. FROM HERE TO ETERNITY by James Jones
64. THE CATCHER IN THE RYE by J.D. Salinger
65. A CLOCKWORK ORANGE by Anthony Burgess
66. OF HUMAN BONDAGE by W. Somerset Maugham
67. HEART OF DARKNESS by Joseph Conrad
68. MAIN STREET by Sinclair Lewis
69. THE HOUSE OF MIRTH by Edith Wharton
70. THE ALEXANDRIA QUARTET by Lawrence Durell
71. A HIGH WIND IN JAMAICA by Richard Hughes
72. A HOUSE FOR MR BISWAS by V.S. Naipaul
73. THE DAY OF THE LOCUST by Nathanael West
74. A FAREWELL TO ARMS by Ernest Hemingway
75. SCOOP by Evelyn Waugh
77. FINNEGANS WAKE by James Joyce
78. KIM by Rudyard Kipling
79. A ROOM WITH A VIEW by E.M. Forster
82. ANGLE OF REPOSE by Wallace Stegner
83. A BEND IN THE RIVER by V.S. Naipaul
84. THE DEATH OF THE HEART by Elizabeth Bowen
85. LORD JIM by Joseph Conrad
86. RAGTIME by E.L. Doctorow
87. THE OLD WIVES’ TALE by Arnold Bennett
88. THE CALL OF THE WILD by Jack London
89. LOVING by Henry Green
90. MIDNIGHT’S CHILDREN by Salman Rushdie
91. TOBACCO ROAD by Erskine Caldwell
92. IRONWEED by William Kennedy
93. THE MAGUS by John Fowles
94. WIDE SARGASSO SEA by Jean Rhys
95. UNDER THE NET by Iris Murdoch
96. SOPHIE’S CHOICE by William Styron
97. THE SHELTERING SKY by Paul Bowles
99. THE GINGER MAN by J.P. Donleavy
100. THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS by Booth Tarkington

January 2006 Books

1. Damia by Anne McCaffery
2. Damia’s Children by Anne McCaffery
3. Madam, will you talk? by Mary Stewart
4. The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
5. Good Catholic Girls: How Women are Leading the Fight to Change the Church by Angela Bonavoglia
6. Sister Light, Sister Dark by Jane Yolen
7. White Jenna by Jane Yolen
8. The Captive by Victoria Holt

The Westing Game is, turns out, one of my all time favorite books when I was a kid. I just hadn’t remembered. it’s brilliant.

Most of these books were books to read before tossing them in the donate bag.


I presented my thesis to the nywea today. it went very well, except for the part where there were no comments and I don’t know if I 1. talked too fast, 2. did a terrible job, 3. bored the heck out of them, or 4. presented a topic that people don’t know much about, and therefore, will take my word as gospel.

because I’ve gained so much weight in the last 3 years, I don’t have a suit jacket that fits over my, well, boobs. let’s just be frank here. I gained about 10,000 lbs in my breasts. I didn’t want to buy a new one because I am, potentially, slimming, so instead I wore a skirt that I’d made but never finished, a tight sweater, and a sparkly broach. it was great. I don’t think I looked bad!

tomorrow I’m doing the “no suit!” thing again. I’m going to wear a tweedy skirt, shirt, and cardigan. I’m going to a client meeting. it’ll be fine. here’s a secret: while there are a lot more women engineers now than there used to be, people still have no idea how a lady should dress. so I get away with a lot. (case in point: a lady is not supposed to wear diamonds before 5, or a watch after 5. diamond studded watches? are not for the faint of heart.)

FINALLY friday

this has been one of those weeks where monday afternoon I found myself saying “you mean I have to do FOUR more of these?” I am so glad it’s friday.

I got to bed at a reasonable time on tuesday, not early on wednesday, but was early on thursday. So nice to hit the hay. I did my laundry and it’s so nice to know that for one night, all your clothes are totally clean. Couple that with a made bed (I KNOW! when did I start making my bed! oh – right – when I cohabitated with 500 spiders in pittsburgh…) and I felt like a domestic marvel.

I’m really making a push to get my apartment all clean so I can start having dinner parties. That’s one of my goals for the year, you know. three, actually: one is paint, two is hang art, and three is have at least 2 dinner parties. This weekend is part of my “push to clean and finish fixing up my apartment.” I want to paint my bedroom and get rid of a box of martha stewart livings that stretch back for at least 3 years. I think I’ll make a date with michelle to help me hang up my art and my photos, she’s got a scary-brilliant ability to get things straight and well situated. And then I’ll have a dinner party! it will be wonderful.

I’m wearing my glasses today. I wore them last night and the mister told me I looked sophisticated. I came into work and the ladies here all told me I look cute. I am such a bundle of contradictions. My eyes have really been tired this week, and because I don’t get much of a chance to look away from the computer I’m going to be more careful about bringing my glasses to slap on at the first sign of bloodshotedness. of course, also, I am going to go home and stick in my contact lenses and hit the gym, but you know. whatever I can do to keep my peepers happy and bright, I should do.

To tell you the truth, I do like my glasses, a lot. I like how I look in them, too. what I DON’T like is having to clean rain drops or fog off of them. I don’t like not being able to wear my sunglasses when I drive. I don’t like how they slip off of my face. When I was in school, I didn’t like having to raise or lower my whole head when I looked up to the board from my notes. Other than that, of course, my glasses are super.

Um. Not much else to say except GO STEELERS!