"I hate waiting."

As you might guess, I'm a bit impatient. I had hoped that picking up a pair of knitting needles would help me learn about the virtue of patience... but it seems I just want my projects to go along as quickly as possible.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

A year plus in review

It's almost 2013 and I feel the need to catch up on this here blog for the last six years of my life. Let me sum up: 2006 - move to Boston to attend doctoral program in psychology. my apartment gets broken into, i become dysthymic (aka slightly depressed), and i drown in reading and writing. 2007 - still in Boston, but move to a nicer/safer neighborhood. Still dysthymic. Still in the program (by the hair of my chinny chin chin). Cosmo kitty gets very very sick but gets better with lots of TLC. 2008 - ditto above. except this year I have to take my doctoral comprehensive examinations. Where if you don't pass, you can't move on... and if you fail again, they kick you out of the program. I pass (with distinction). yay me. I can still bullshit with the best. Cosmo gets his eye removed and becomes dashing pirate kitteh. 2009 - i teach an undergraduate class to get used to public speaking and to see whether I enjoy teaching. I become much more comfortable with public speaking, but decide teaching undergrads is not probably something I should do. 2010 - I finally dig into the dissertation. I apply to get the hell out of Boston. Cosmo dies. (sniff) 2011 - Move to Chicago for internship. Eat all of Chicago... except the pizza, steak, italian. What does that leave? Rick Bayless's tortas, Takashi's noodles, TAPAS TAPAS TAPAS (Girl and the Goat, Purple Pig, Davanti Enoteca, Publican,... and more). Danger dies. (sniff sniff)... I still have yet to write his goodbye letter. 2012 - FINALLY move back to Denver. Defend the dissertation. Begin post doc. Adopt two more kitties who are siblings. Little grey kitty named Katie and another black boy named Oliver (Ollie). They're very naughty. For those of you wondering, my father still calls me an unrelenting number of times if I do not pick up. Even if I DO pick up, I"m not safe. He might call again and again and again. He's semi-retired and BORED. I shudder to think how much he'd call had my brother not had some children. ps. These years are all in "academic time." Someone recently told me I am no longer allowed to measure time in semesters, but I agreed to teach a course this spring, so I think I still get to use semesters as a marker of time. pps. pics to come. they're all on my iphone. Wait! I have pics of the new kitties downloaded.
they're awful cute when they're asleep and not climbing up my shower curtain or my screen door or jumping onto my counter tops or or climbing up all my clothes in the closet or stepping all over my alarm clock buttons.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

It's so hard to say goodbye

I know this blog is all but defunct. I'm still here, just leading a very boring life: school, school, and more school. Well, I'm lying a little bit. I teach; I test; I research; I study. I'm practically an apple product (ha ha. iTest, iStudy, iResearch.. get it?) I wish I could say iDissertate, but it's more like iAvoidDissertating.

At this point, this post is really more for me. To remember. I've been re-reading my blog for just that reason. And I'm so glad that i blogged my life. I think a lot of blogs have slowed down for some reason, and I admit I have a hard time keeping up with reading blogs. But these last 10 days, I've been SO SO SO VERY glad that I blogged some of my life.

I'm just putting off the reason why I came to post. You would think that blogging/writing would be easier than verbally telling people, but as I sit here and compose this post, I have tears streaming down my face. On July 16, 2010, I had to say goodbye to my Cosmo kitty.

Many of you know that I didn't think we were meant for each other. He and his brother, Danger, came to me as fosters. I agreed to take care of them for three months (summer before junior year of college); those three months stretched out to over 15 years together. I got them in early May 1995- things didn't start well. I had an obsession with vacuuming. They did not really enjoy that about me so much. I was used to dogs, where I could give affection whenever I wanted (picture Elmira here). They got used to it. I didn't really know how to pet them, how to predict their jumping behavior, or how to interpret their body language. But we survived.

Can I tell you a secret? After two-three months together, I decided that though I loved them both, i got along better with Danger. He was a bit less excitable, he was more snuggly when i wanted him to be snuggly, and he didn't gouge my inner thighs out when someone knocked on the door. (Cosmo, if sitting on my lap, would dig in for traction as he ran off like a scared bunny rabbit).

He was named after Cosmo Kramer from Seinfeld. While I didn't name him, and he didn't learn his name for years afterwards, he EARNED his name quickly. I remember one night, junior year of college, laying (lying?) in bed reading myself to sleep. Cosmo was stretched out on top of my tall bookshelf. He decided he needed to stretch and did so by pushing off against the wall.

Tall bookcase + carpet floor + new kitty owner + big cat pushing against wall = win for gravity.

The bookcase (filled with books) came crashing down, scaring the living ever daylights out of me. Mostly, i was worried that Cosmo got smooshed underneath all those books and the bookcase. But he was fine. *I* was mad though.

After college, the kitties moved with me to Denver. They rode in the car with me and my parents (who didn't think I could manage to move on my own. I was 22 yo.) I was secretly delighted when they kept running across my dad's head in the middle of the night in the hotel rooms.

In Denver, we enjoyed life. We worked (er, I worked), we went back to school and got a master's degree, and we re-learned to knit! He really enjoyed that last one. He's chewed through almost every single project I've started so far (he always managed to find the working yarn and worked hard at separating the knitted object and the ball of yarn it was connected to...). He liked to sit out on the balcony with me to bird-watch. He loved when the miller moth season would come around; crunch crunch crunch!! He also loved to play a game where he sat between the shower curtain and liner on the edge of the tub while I was, uh, busy, and try to kill my hand as I traced patterns.

Then, someone got the not-so-bright idea to get her PhD. And we moved to Boston. The first year, I was welcomed to the city by some burglars, who stole my laptop, my ipod, and all my jewelry of value. What was I worried about though? The fact that they left the door open and whether my cats had run away, scared shitless. But no. Cosmo had hid himself in the teeniest tiniest corner of the bedroom closet. I felt so bad.

In March of 2008, Cosmo decided he didn't like it so much when I went away on trips. Well, actually, he was sick before I left, I just wasn't aware of it. When I got home, he was lethargic and UNINTERESTED in food. We're talking about the cat who's stolen more food off my plate than either of my dogs. I've caught him with his head IN my bag of popcorn in the past. So, we rushed off to the ER vet.

He was very very sick. Hepatic lipidosis, pancreatitis, and diabetic ketoacidosis. The ER vet told me it would be best to put him down while I sobbed my eyes out. I told her I wanted to give my baby a chance. Every day, he seemed better; every day, I went to visit him 2x per day. A week later, they let me take him home. He had a lot of meds. He needed a lot of care. He spent a lot of time on my lap. He was really weak though. And fragile. He needed help eating- they inserted a tube in his throat and i syringed food into his belly). The tube looked like an antenna, see?

And here's one with him, his antenna, and his brother Danger. Snuggling like usual.

I knew he was going to recover when I saw his little antenna bopping up and down out of the corner of my eye when I was reading in bed. I had been making his 'bed' under my nightstand. Close to me, but not up on the bed (I was worried he was too weak to jump up and down off the bed to use the potty). I couldn't not let him sleep with me, so I picked him up, and put a box next to the bed for him to use as a stepping stone. He used that box almost every night from then on.

After that ordeal (learning how to give him insulin, checking his blood sugar levels, changing his diet, and tube feeding him and lots of other stuff), we became closer than ever. He always did like to be near me, but now he was practically inseparable from me!

I have tons of pics where he's doing just that... touching the mommy. He loved to sit on me. ALL. THE. TIME. So I tried to train him to sit NEXT to me. And it worked most of the time. But he had to be touching me. I think he figured if he had a paw on me, he'd be alerted to when and if I moved.

For two plus years after he first got so, so sick, we've had a lot of fun together. He gave me some haircuts (he liked to nibble on my hair... trying to give me bangs, I think); he learned he liked to sleep under the covers, curled up in my armpit so he could rest his chin on my shoulder; he started enjoying all the car rides. He recovered beautifully from getting his eye removed and became a most dashing pirate kitty.

He and his brother were very close. I didn't know that cats could be in a 'bonded pair' (I learned this term recently) but if any two cats were bonded, it was these two.

So, we're both grieving. Danger walks around the house calling for his brother sometimes. I cry whenever I have to tell people that he's gone. I cry at night when I would give almost anything to have both of my babies tucked into bed with me.

After all this time (almost 16 years together!), he's left a huge hole in my heart and in my life. Some of you might think I'm crazy for how much medical attention I gave him; but I don't regret one minute of it. I miss taking care of him. I miss petting his shaved belly. I miss our snuggles in the morning as I gave him his meds. I miss coming home to him. I miss how he used to duck his head and shove it up against my face (as if to present his royal pate) when I asked him for a kiss. How do you not miss a pet with whom you've shared your entire adult life?

Making the decision to let him go peacefully instead of watching him struggle was an easy decision, yet one of the most difficult things I've ever done. Knowing I was going to be saying goodbye for the last time was heart-wrenching. I'm not sure I've ever cried so much. Through the last few days together, he sat next to me. (Maybe some of you are wondering why I put him to sleep. He wasn't eating, he had had several respiratory attacks of unidentifiable cause, and I didn't want him to have a painful slow death). I think he knew I needed those last few days, even though I had told him he could go when he was having a respiratory attack on Tuesday (7/13). I don't regret the decision to put him to sleep. I just regret we didn't have more time together. And I'll never regret any of the time, money, or love that I poured into that four legged furry fuzzball of love.

Since this here is supposedly a knitting blog, here's a pic of some yarn. With cat. Who appreciated him some nice yarn.

And his little paw. I love this picture.

Goodbye baby. I miss you. I love you.

I have to give a shout out to the terrific vet that saw us through these last 2.5 years of diabetes, chronic pancreatitis, hepatic lipidosis, heart murmur, chronic kidney disease, and lymphoma... and ascites (another nickname for Cosmo was lemon kitty. I think you can see why. Perhaps you are also wondering why it was a shock to me that he's gone. Yes, he wasn't the healthiest. But he was happy. And he lived through a lot of crap that most cats don't recover from).

Anyway, Dr. Doug Brum at Angell Memorial in Boston has been terrific. He saw us through to the very end. He loved Cosmo too. He guided us through every illness and kept his promise not to let me overtreat Cosmo. He and his team emailed me back on weekends and I trusted him to help my baby. I don't say that lightly. If there's a reason I'll be sad to leave Boston, it's b/c I'll be leaving this terrific vet. If you live in Boston and have a pet who has medical issues, try to see if Dr Brum is taking on new cases. You won't regret it.


Saturday, August 29, 2009

*looks around to see if anyone is here*

What did I really want to do after finishing and passing comps?
I wanted a month of vacation, where I could sit and chill with my friends and DO NOTHING. (outside of basic necessities and whatever I wanted to do).

well, as we know, we can't have everything we want.
After the last post, I did go off to Camp Wanna Knit Knit (our 5th camp!!), which was awesome. I seem to remember CWKK lasting longer though. We were at a great house in Breckenridge, and Stacey outdid herself organizing everything. ESPECIALLY when you think of all that is going on with her family. So, belated THANK YOU to her.

Anyway. We got tons of goodies in our goody bag this year. Everyone was 'assigned' to get a gift bag party favor for everyone else. I'd show you pics of things, but I'm pretty sure that the ppl who are reading this? have a goodie bag of their own, or have read about them on another blog.

I got to spend time with my Little Red Headed Monster. Who I need to re-nick name b/c he is NOT LITTLE anymore. WAAAAAAHHH!!! He is gigantic. He is TALL. He is 6 years old. When he sits on my lap, his feet touch my feet. I can't really pick him up anymore (not without injuring myself). And I came to the shocking realization that his younger brother (who was born right before I moved to Boston) is now the same age as Liam WHEN I MOVED. That makes me sad.

A good friend of mine who now lives in DC also happened to be out in Denver at the same time, so it was great to spend time with him and other old co-workers as well. (that part is more for my diary - b/c I know it's not all that interesting to you).

Then, I came back to Boston and hustled to get stuff ready for my annual geek fest (aka the American Psychological Association annual conference/convention) which was in Toronto Canada this year. I was pretty relaxed this time, with no set schedule EXCEPT for my own presentation. I was nervous b/c I HATE public speaking. I got some good tips (speak slowly. when you are speaking so slowly that you think you sound like you're speaking TOO slowly, you're speaking at JUST THE RIGHT pace). I was comforted in the fact that it was scheduled for Saturday at 8am, so I figured there wouldn't be anyone there except my classmates. Well, it had pretty good attendance for a session at 8am! And I got good feedback from the symposium chair.

When I got back to Boston (it's only a 2.5 hr flight to Toronto!), I had to wrap up some loose ends for research. Then, I went to MI to see the family. I was excited to see my niece, b/c I hadn't seen her since she was 5 weeks old! She's 10 months old now, and much more interactive. I finally finished up the Debbie Bliss cabled hoodie, and just in time! it fits her perfectly.

lookit the buttons!

aren't I cute?

You wanna piece of me?

in da' hoodie!

I got to spend lots of time with her!

I'm back in Boston and thankfully it has cooled off. I gotta crack down and prep for the class I'm teaching this year to undergrads, and establish some sort of schedule to work on my dissertation. UGH!!

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Friday, July 10, 2009


I feel huge relief, finding out a couple weeks ago that I had passed my doctoral comprehensive examinations with distinction (whatever that means...). My pursuit of a PhD continues.

No new episodes of left wrist pain in the last 2 months. Perhaps b/c there has been very little knitting.

My lemon kitty is doing great. Click on pic below for before, right after, and now pics of my baby. You can see how pink/red his third eyelid is in the first pic, how swollen and frankenkitty he is in the second (2 days after the surgery) and I took the last pic yesterday)

Cosmo's eye journey

For awhile, I was calling him Frankenkitty. But now the fur has grown back, and can't see the stitches.

Am currently working on manuscripts for journal article submissions like a mad fool, finishing up overdue assignments, and prepping an undergraduate class I'm teaching in the Fall.

Last: am SO excited for my trip to Denver next week!! Camp, here I come! An old work friend is also visiting Denver at the same time, so hopefully the old gang can do a huge meet up.

Next post... I swear I'll take a pic of something knitterly to share.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Psst! is anyone out there?

Ok Ok. I was the one who was missing. Well, most of you know where I am/was, and believe me, I'd rather be blogging and knitting. Er, knitting and blogging about the knitting.

Surprise (not), that I have no actual knitting content to discuss. I am casting on like a mad fool, with almost no actual intention of finishing any project anytime soon. Recent cast on projects include another sweater for my adorable niece, who has just begun to crawl, the ubiquitous Noro Striped Scarf, and the Modern Log Cabin.

Reasons that I barely knit
1) a belief that I have carpal tunnel or tendonitis in my left wrist. very uncomfortable, which is made worse when I knit for prolonged periods or on larger than usual needles (anything bigger than a US 7)

2)my doctoral comprehensive exams. basically, the faculty assess whether we have learned what we were supposed to have learned in the last three years, by way of torturing us slowly and surely over a period of almost a month. First up, is two days of writing in class, where we are not allowed to use our notes or books, but expected an answer a series of essay questions thoroughly and citing relevant literature. A stupid futile exercise in memorization. THEN, they send us home with a take home portion, a 20 page paper where we address another three questions. THEN, we wait while they read our written portions, and then schedule our oral defense. Three faculty and one student. Where faculty can ask us any question they want. I am waiting for my orals defense, which takes place on Tuesday. Knitting girls beware: if I fail, I'm packing up and coming home, b/c I am NOT doing this again.

3) Cosmo: sigh. My lemon kitty has earned a new nickname. Lemon kitty is still appropos, but his recent surgery has left him looking a little... frankenkitty-ish. He looked like he had an eye infection, but several vet appts discovered that he had a tumor wrapped around his eye, and that he has lymphoma. So, we removed the eye, and now he looks like a rakish pirate.

"Arrrrrggggghhhh. I'm a pirate kitteh!"

so. to sum up. I am alive. and sorta knitting.

Friday, December 26, 2008


b/c I'm too lazy RIGHT NOW. I'm hoping this weekend, I can show a few pics. of what?

1) birthday presents!! I turned a year older in early-mid December.

A Mat & Nat wallet from my brother/sister in law. I love their stuff that feels like leather, but isn't.

yarn gifties from Michelle, Stacey, Tiffany, Jeni (aka, what I bought at Colorful with their gift certificate)

a holiday mug and sock yarn from Wanda

and a project bag (Stacey) and hand sewn ginormous knitting bag (michelle). Michelle made me my very own birdie swing bag! Not sure if the birdy swing was an Xmas or b-day gift... but gifts are good!

a pretty pad of paper for making lists from my friend Ann.

my gift to myself: a new Offhand Design bag (Weekender in a lovely aqua and brown fabric). Tiffany is a bit evil and a bit of an enabler, and gave me a wee discount to make it impossible for me to say no.

hmm. pic of the "old" weekender (left) and "new" weekender (right)

*both pics from the offhand designs site

No one can tell what my favorite color combos are, can they?

2) Christmas pressies:
tons and tons of foodstuffs. One of my friends made me a huge batch of ground turkey and basil tomato sauce (I normally don't like red pasta sauce, but she doesn't add sugar. it's sooo good!) plus one big thing of her "christmas pasta sauce" which contains beef, pork, veal, and PANCETTA. Yum. She also gifted me with homemade biscotti, and spiced walnuts.

Oiyi surprised me with a box of Christmas goodies! Check her blog to see pics (b/c I already ate most of it) of homemade vanilla marshmallows, some yummy choc. chip pecan cookies, and some toffee! The marshmallows are SO decadent in a big mug of hot cocoa.

and a funny water bottle my friends in NYC got me from the onion. Captioned: "I will never take this camping." ha ha ha.

*pic from the Onion online store.

I also have some FO pics to post. My Hanami made with Woolen Rabbit lace weight, the peapod sweater I made for my niece, and a DB hooded cardi I made for my niece too.

hope everyone enjoyed their holidays!!!

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Monday, November 10, 2008

A rare artifact has been dug up...

An FO!! My friend just sent me this pic of her daughter wearing it around her first birthday. Forgive me for not remembering RIGHT NOW the name of this pattern, except it's designed by Libby, and I used Cotton Ease. Used a crocheted scalloped edging at the bottom instead of whatever the pattern calls for. I now wish I had made the straps wider (maybe some thicker knitted I-cord, or some flat-I cord).