Thursday, December 30, 2010

Coming to a Close

Alright, I know I've abandoned you all over the course of this semester (if anyone still reads this blog).  But, I have returned to say that I am alive and have managed to retain some of my sanity (if I had any sanity to begin with, that is . . .)

Anyway, I survived my 17th Century Literature class with the crazy old lady professor and got a B+ out of the deal. I made it through my other classes alright, as well.  I survived some rocky times with a few friends of mine.  However, hopefully most of it is in the past.  I'm looking forward to another set of classes in a few weeks.

I can't believe that we've come to the end of another year.  A lot has happened in twelve months.  This will probably be my last post in the old year.  Tomorrow is New Years' Eve; I get to spend time with my family and friends.

I hope everyone has a very happy and safe New Years'!  Let's make 2011 as great as 2010. :)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

What's a Life, Again?

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears.  Alright, now that I have your attention . . . I know it's been a while.  I know that I promised myself that I would write a blog post a week, and I know that I've failed miserably.  However, I've found myself incredibly busy for the last two months.  First of all, I have fifteen credits-worth of classes (almost all of which require an excessive amount of reading).  Second of all, there are several clubs that I'm trying to be involved in (one of them being English Club, of which I am the secretary).  I've also been forced to do all the homework for said classes.  In between all of this, I've been trying to find time for friends, my boyfriend, and other assorted situations that have come up. 

I have, however, found some time for knitting.  I made another hat with some blue acrylic/wool blend.  I used this pattern from Knitty.  For a few days, this hat was my therapy.  I've been at the breaking point for a few weeks now.  I'm over halfway through the semester and I think I can make it.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Midnight Inspiration

I love how, as soon as I start getting ready for bed, I start getting ideas for knitting projects.  Sadly, I haven't had that much time to knit lately . . . Well, to be honest, I haven't had that much time for anything lately (confounded homework!).  I've worked a few more rounds of my sock.  I'm still trudging my way through the first row of the lace pattern of the body of my sweater.  However, as I was thinking about the poster I'm putting together for English Club, I started thinking about the pair of fingerless gloves that I've been wanting to make.  Now, I have a pattern that I want to use (this one from Knitty).  I think I've been putting it off because I want to modify the pattern somehow, but I wasn't sure how.  However, I've been struck by inspiration, and I think I have a semblance of a plan . . . Now I just have to wait until the sock is finished so I can use the needles . . .

Thursday, September 2, 2010

10 Random Facts About Coming Back to School

Once again, I find myself sitting at a college desk in a college dorm room with a massive load of homework hanging over my head.  I've been back on campus for almost two weeks now.  Classes started on Monday, so I've officially survived almost an entire week's-worth of classes (I have one class left tomorrow).  Then, I'm off home for Labor Day weekend.  It's such a weird feeling being back on campus after being home for a few months.  Here are some things I've realized over the course of moving back onto campus and once again dwelling in the dorms:
  1. I realized how many people I actually know on campus.  
  2. I've also realized how many people I don't know.
  3. I forgot how much walking you do in a day while on campus.
  4. The first day of classes the second time around isn't nearly as scary as the first time.
  5. I love getting textbooks really cheap on Amazon.
  6. Having an elevator in the building makes moving in so much easier.
  7. English classes require a lot of reading.  So do history classes.
  8. I love my cork board.  I don't know how I survived without it last year.
  9. No matter how many times I check to make sure I brought everything, I still manage to leave something at home.
  10. Did I mention that I have a lot of reading to do?
 So, those are my thoughts on the first week of my sophomore year.  Tune in next time to hear me ramble about . . . I don't even know yet.  Have a splendiferous Labor Day weekend, everyone! 

    Tuesday, August 24, 2010

    Attention Span

    You know, it's amazing how short my attention span can be sometimes.  For the last couple of weeks, I was focused on my knitting.  Yarn, needles, and projects were constantly on my mind.  I spent hours browsing the Ravelry pattern index for that pattern.  The one I had been dreaming of for that random ball of yarn that has been lounging in my stash.

    Now, however, it's changed.  I've been spending the last week reading and reviewing stories and poetry on a forum that I joined last weekend.  I've spent that time I was spending thinking about knitting and have applied it to thinking about, and actually doing, some writing.  I finished a short story that I started on a while ago.  I've written random pieces as I was sitting there watching my dad and my brother having a catch in the backyard.  I wrote about move-in day last year in response to a story I read on the forum I joined.

    I just need to figure out how to join the two of these things.  Rather than focusing all of my time on either writing or knitting, I should spend time with both during the day.  Maybe it would keep me more focused on each of them for a longer period of time.  But then again, I may need these spurts of obsession.  As much as I don't like big changes happening in my life, I need to keep mixing things up.  Maybe that's why I've been enjoying college so much . . . there's so much to do and so many interesting people to be around.

    Speaking of college, I'm once again sitting at a residence hall desk as I type this.  I came back on Sunday to help out with a program for incoming freshmen.  I must say that it's good to be back, but it's weird seeing the campus so quiet.  It's rarely this quiet on campus and in the dorms.

    Thursday, August 12, 2010


    For those of you who don't know, I started training to run a 5K at the beginning of the summer.  I know some people who might be surprised at this since, in high school, I was very anti-running when the running applied to me.  I've never had a problem with other people running (I have several friends who ran both cross-country and track in high school).  It was just the concept of me running that I abhorred.

    So what caused the change?  There were several factors.  Part of my motivation was simply to get into shape.  Another was to see just how far i can go.  I may have played soccer and been on the swim team and been in the colorguard in the high school marching band, but I've never been the person who goes outside just to run around.

    But I digress.  I feel like it was my cousin who got my butt in gear (or "get my butt moving" as a certain someone's parent would say . . .).  At the beginning of the summer, my cousin invited me to a facebook group.  She was trying to get a group together to do the Tough Mudder race this fall.  As I looked at the website, I couldn't help thinking about how much fun it looked.  The only problem was my lack of physical fitness.  So, I started looking up training programs for running a 5K.  And it's history.

    I still can't run for too long, but I can run for a mile without stopping.  Or I can run for a half hour, broken down into six-minute intervals.  It's not much, but it's definitely a start.

    Friday, August 6, 2010


    You know . . . I've sat down at the keyboard several times over the course of the last month thinking about what I should say here.  Whenever I sit down with the intention to write a blog entry, my mind draws a blank.  I start to type something and hope that it comes across as witty and clever, but I reread it only to find that it sounds bland and flat.  I know that it doesn't serve as an acceptable excuse, but I have been thinking about the blog.  As I go on a run or make the hundredth small Chocolate Extreme Blizzard with vanilla ice cream at the Dairy Queen, I think of the perfect things to say.  Yet, when I sit down at the computer, nothing comes.  Maybe it's just the inactivity of the summer, or maybe it's the heat (yes, we have air conditioning, but no it's not on . . . please don't ask me for the answer to that riddle).  Honestly, I can't really say.

    However, I can say that I love planning for projects, especially when they're knitting projects and especially when I'm going patternless.  It just feels like this great adventure where I've got to apply all the knowledge I have about that craft.  Or having to learn new skills for the completion of the project.  There are always the rough spots, where nothing that I do seems to be working.  But if you think about it in the grand scheme of the project, those rough patches only make the finished project mean that much more. I've been working on some knitted jewelry designs for an Etsy shop that I'm hoping to open next spring.  Stay tuned for more!

    Friday, July 16, 2010

    They Do Exist!

    Ok, so . . . while exploring the wonders of the internets, I've stumbled upon a blog with an extremely interesting, unique, and entertaining topic.  Introducing Hot Guys Reading Books.  Yep.  It's a blog that features a different picture of a guy reading a book every day.  Because literature-loving guys always seem to be in short supply.  That's all I really had to say right now.  Honestly, I've had a few blog posts in my head over the course of the last month, but . . . whenever I went to write it, I was called to do something supposedly more "important."  By the time I got back to the computer, all of my brilliant thoughts were gone.  At the moment, I'm waiting to pack the car up with my family for a week-long trip to Myrtle Beach, so this post won't be very long or informative, unfortunately.  But stay tuned!

    Wednesday, June 16, 2010

    Of Following Dreams and Friendship

    It's interesting how things can change.  I just finished reading The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs.  I borrowed it from my sister, who got it from a garage sale for $0.50.  She started reading it, but stopped because she didn't like it.  I started reading it yesterday because I was bored and wanted to read something.  And, as I finished the book a little while ago, I realized that my sister and I are in two different stages.  Before, and during, high school, I was obsessed with fantasy stories.  I was able to slip into that Renaissance Fair-type persona.  I mean, I was never as obsessed with fairy tales as my sister is, but I did enjoy them.  Now, I feel like I appreciate stories taking place in real-life places more.  Like Friday Night Knitting Club.  It's the story of a single mom who successfully starts her own business and gains a motley band of friends in the process.  The way the women stuck together in the novel makes me think of the friends that I have.  Everyone comes from a different background, but we've all come together to support each other in rough times.  I've encountered so many different personalities, attitudes, beliefs.  Stuff's happened.  Friends have been gained and lost, and that's alright.  I've had the opportunity to reconnect with high school friends after being separated for a school year.

    There are plenty of things I didn't like about The Friday Night Knitting Club, but I feel like it clearly speaks about how life is what you make of it.  The choice is yours.  Either you can sit at home or in that job you hate wishing you followed that dream, or you can go out and make it happen.  It won't be easy, but I've heard that it's worth it.

    Monday, June 14, 2010

    A Reflection on Friendship

    Friends are such an important part of life.  I think a lot of hardships would be almost impossible to get through without the help of a good friend.  It doesn't matter where you are or when the last time you saw that person was.  A true friend is always there.  While watching Lord of the Rings recently, it struck me how Gandalf and Aragorn were really true friends.  In the story, I always think of Sam and Frodo, Merry and Pippin, and Legolas and Gimli.  But, really,  the books allude to how Gandalf and Aragorn have worked together for many dangerous missions.  Aragorn expressed concern for Gandalf during a discussion on whether they should go through the mines of Moria or not.  At another point, Tolkien implies that Gandalf encouraged Aragorn to return to Gondor and claim his right as king.  Both voice their trust in each other on several occasions.  And that's what friendship is all about, isn't it?  They were frequently separated for long periods of time, but they trust each other implicitly.  I think this is an aspect of friendship that isn't thought of today.  Shouldn't we work towards helping our friends rather than looking at what they can do for us?

    Wednesday, June 9, 2010

    Secret Admirer

    So, for those of you who don't know, I have an account on this website called  It's a website where people can ask anonymous questions to other people to answer.  Now, this can create some interesting situations.  I've been lucky so far in that I haven't had anyone asking me completely inappropriate questions.  However, I signed in for the first time in a couple days, and I got a rather . . . unique and random question.  An anonymous person asked if I am currently dating anyone.  My response was, of course, a completely honest "no."  Well, I said more than just "no," but if you want to see exactly what I said, you can do so here

    Now, I'm not sure the purpose of this question.  Whether it's completely serious and interested in something specific, or  just a curiosity about whether college-age girls who knit can actually acquire a boyfriend, I don't know.  However, as you all probably guessed, I pondered this over a little bit of knitting (my grey cardigan, to be exact).  My brain has been set on overload by a whole host of questions ranging from the topic of the story I'm currently writing to what I'm going to pack for the youth conference I'm going to in a few weeks to what I really want to do with my life.  I've discovered once again how soothing knitting is.  It relieves stress and allows you to contemplate the problems more calmly.

    End contemplation of the value of knitting.

    Once again, I would love to find out who it was that posed that question on formspring, regardless of the reasons.  It's not every day that I get asked that kind of question.

    Friday, June 4, 2010

    Oh, For the Love of Socks!

    So, in my last post, I dreamed of owning this kit: Sock Cocktails (except in the Violet Martini flavor . . . they're now out of it).  And now, a couple of weeks later, guess what is now in my possession?
    Yep.  The Violet Martini Sock Cocktail kit from Knit Picks is mine.  Now, for the first time in my life, I have ten skeins of quality sock yarn in my possession.  I know that, as Peter Parker so aptly declared, "with great fiber comes great responsibility."  All right . . . so it wasn't exactly like that, but you get the point.  It's good fiber, and I'm going to enjoy it.

    Ahem . . . cough, cough.  Anyway.  At the beginning of the week, I cast on my first pair of toe-up socks!  It was exciting.  I'm really enjoying this method of sock-making.  It probably won't prevent the dreaded second-sock syndrome, but it definitely makes me happy.  I mean . . . the tricky part (the toe) is already done. 

    Wednesday, May 26, 2010

    The Call to be Frugal

    In the May 2010 edition of The Reader's Digest, they feature an article highlighting some of the most frugal people in the United States and the difference between being frugal and being a cheapskate.  This made me think about myself and where I would fit on this scale of frugality.  I've been raised by parents who shop the sales and the thrift shops and my mother's prowess with the art of sale shopping is unparalleled.

    Now, as you all probably know, I'm a college student.  I need every spare penny I can get.  I save change and look for the highest possible re-selling price on my used textbooks.  When it comes to knitting, is it wrong of me to go for the free patterns?  I save the links of patterns too pretty to be lost, but too expensive to be bought in addition to the already expensive yarn.  In the end, I always go for the free pattern that may not be exactly what I wanted, but close enough.  It's not for a lack of desire to support designers.  If I won a million dollars, I'd probably run to the yarn store after I finished paying for college, a car, and some savings.  (and for the record, the car would still be cheap.  I still need money for yarn!)

    On a somewhat-related note, I'm almost done the lace part of my second sweater sleeve.  Hopefully, I'll have pictures soon.  We're moving into the warm-weather season where no one wants to be anywhere near worsted-weight wool.  I'm also planning to embark on several smaller projects.  I've realized that I really don't have any fun accessories for those rare days when I want to dress up.  More on that later, though.

    Thursday, May 20, 2010

    And It's Come to an End

    Classes are done as of two weeks ago.  After being in a dorm room for an entire school year, I'm still trying to adjust to being home.  I'm still trying to figure out how to fit everything in the room I share with my sister.  I managed to make the pile slightly smaller, but there are still two massive piles of stuff: one in front of the closet, and one in front of my desk.  The one in front of the closet involves my luggage and the crates I used for books, decorations, and dishes and cleaning products.  The other pile is a bunch of random stuff and my knitting supplies.  Speaking of knitting, I understand that this was meant to be a knitting blog, but I honestly haven't been doing that much knitting lately.  Most of my time in the last two weeks have been spent cleaning, sleeping, doing laundry, watching little siblings, and reworking a story I've been writing on and off since 6th or 7th grade.

    However, while thinking about knitting, I stumbled upon a knitting kit on KnitPicks.  And it looks kind of amazing.  No, it looks really amazing.  KnitPick's Sock Cocktails.  Lately, I've been in the mood to knit a pair of socks.  There's just one problem:  I don't have sock yarn. This must be remedied.

    Peace out, people.  Have a nice summer.

    Wednesday, April 21, 2010

    The Conundrums of Life

    It's reached that time of the year when it feels like everything should be winding down.  There are two and a half weeks left of the school year, three more classes and the final exam for my twice-a-week classes, and (relatively) sunny, spring-timey weather.  Yet . . . everything just seems to be speeding up.  Classes are coming to a close, which means final exams and final assignments.  English Club is having its final meetings, which means that elections are coming up (Am I running for an office?  Yes!!!)  The leaders for next fall's Getaway Weekend have been chosen, which means that we're meeting to get things organized for that.  Some jobs on campus are getting ready to hire people for next year, which means that I have an interview with the admissions department to become a tour guide.  Stress is high, energy is low . . . and the smells of summer vacation and a summer job are calling me home.  There's so much to do, yet all I really want to do is curl up with a novel and spend the afternoon being swept away by stories of knights and dragons and damsels in distress.  I mean, who wants to read about DNA and phonics in this kind of weather?

    Wednesday, April 14, 2010

    Random Tolkein Quote of the Day

    "I have chosen Mr. Baggins and that ought to be enough for all of you.  If I say he is a Burglar, a Burglar he is, or will be when the time comes.  There is a lot more in him than you guess, and a deal more than he has any idea of himself." -Gandalf, The Hobbit
    Last week, I found out that I get to be involved in an awesome weekend for freshmen again next year as a leader.  As a result, I've been thinking a lot about  the qualities of a leader and how I can become a good leader lately.  Then, I was on a bus to New York City on Saturday, and I was reading The Hobbit again.  It occurred to me that Gandalf, Thorin, and even Bilbo are leaders in one way or another.  I think Gandalf and Thorin are kind of obvious, but Bilbo grows a lot over the course of The Hobbit, and takes the lead when other characters start to lose faith in themselves.

    But, Gandalf is one of the more obvious characters who shows leadership qualities in Tolkien's novels.  I love the faith that Gandalf puts in the characters he interacts with.  Throughout both The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy, he sees the potential for growth in other characters; and, he's not afraid to tell them when they fail to meet up with his expectations.   He frequently mocks or ridicules for errors they make.  Though his comments may come off as harsh or mean-hearted, I think it can really be interpreted as tough love.  In the quotation above, Gandalf stands up for Bilbo when the dwarves question his abilities.  Although he implies that Bilbo may not quite be the "burglar" they need at the moment, Gandalf expresses confidence in Bilbo's ability to grow into that role.  According to Gandalf, Bilbo has "a lot more in him than you guess, and a deal more than he has any idea of himself" (19).  The truth is, we all need someone to see the potential.  Everyone has some aspect of their life that is in need of improvement.  To have the ability to see the potential in others, no matter how obscure or undeveloped, is an admirable quality and one that will lead to success in whatever endeavor the group is working to achieve.

    That's all I have to say on the topic for the time being, folks.  I'm thinking about making another blog where I can discuss Lord of the Rings and Tolkien exclusively.  What do you all think?

    Thursday, March 25, 2010

    Reasons Why I Like School (Because I Really Need to Be Reminded Right Now...)

    1. I enjoy learning; I really do.  Reading a book for a class is fun to me because it means that we're going to take it apart and discuss it.  The problem lies when I don't get anything out of the discussion as a result of a variety of reasons.
    2. I like being with a group of people who also want to learn.  When you actually have a good group (like I have with my Early American Literature class at the moment), I feel useful and we actually get something done.  In the end, I think we all come out of it understanding the topic more thoroughly.
    3. The professor has a certain amount of expertise in the subject you're learning.  As a result, being in a class taught by that person means that you get to hear an expert talk about their field of study.  The issues only begin when that person cannot effectively communicate that expertise in an understandable manner, which is disappointing because, and I said in #1, I enjoy learning.
    4. I've had the opportunity to meet a variety of different people from all different backgrounds.  When we all come together to work in a group, that means everyone has something to contribute, even if it's simply a different perspective on the assignment.
    5. I have some awesome people to call friends.  Between the groups that are or were in my classes--such as my Art Ed peeps--or the people who live in my building or from Getaway Weekend, I have some fun people to talk to and hang out with outside of class.
    6. I have fun stuff to do outside of class.  No more hanging around at home for me.  If I tried, somebody would probably drag me out to do something fun.
    Unfortunately, I must cut this short as I need to finish some things for the aforementioned Early American Literature class.   Don't stay up too late tonight, peeps.  There's places to go and people to see tomorrow.

    Monday, March 22, 2010


    Alright, I'm not going to lie... I've become a little bit obsessed with hats over the course of this school year... Not only have a made a few of them, but my cousin gave me one she made for me for Christmas, and I rediscovered one that another friend of mine made for me for Christmas last year.  Let's recap my year in hats, shall we? 
     Hat #1: Imagination Beret

    I started this back in August, about two weeks before coming to college for the first time.  This hat was one of my safety-net projects.  For at least the first month of my first semester, I had a knitting project in my backpack.  I made it with KnitPicks Imagination yarn in "Unicorn."  It took one skein and US 6 circulars.  This is the first hat I've ever made and opened up the doors for the other hats that I made over the course of this school year, as well as the hats that I want to make.

     Hat #2: Winter Hat

    This hat was inspired by the cold weather that we had this year.  It suddenly dawned on me that it was cold . . . and I need to walk from one building to another in order to get anywhere on campus.  As a result, I need something to keep my head warm during the commute from one building to the next.  It's not a difficult hat to make . . . it's really just a whole bunch of ribbing . . . and fuzzy stuff along the hem.  I made it during the time before Christmas Break.  When it was done, it was just missing something, so when I got home, I found this fuzzy eyelash-type yarn that was perfect.

    Hat #3: Slouchy Hat

    This is my most recent hat.  I felt the need to make another hat towards the end of Christmas Break.  The only challenge about this hat was what colors to make it in.  It called for worsted-weight yarn, but I only had one wool yarn that I wanted to use, everything else was the wrong weight or wrong material or something to that effect.  However, I realized that, when I hold two lace-weight yarns together, it forms a thickness that was pretty similar to the worsted weight.  The colors were kind of a shot in the dark; I wasn't sure whether the blue-purple combination would work.  Fortunately, it did and it's one of my favorite things to wear.

    So those are the hats that I've made.  I also want to make a few other hats . . . at the moment, though, I'm embarking on another sweater.  It's going to be really nice.  I'm using Paton's Classic Wool Merino in the colorway "Dark Grey Mix."  The sleeve-length of my sweaters seem to be gradually getting longer.  My first sweater (the blue "Diamond Mesh" sweater) was short-sleeved.  This one is three-quarters length.  I'll upload pictures soon, hopefully.  I'm almost done with the first sleeve.

    Tuesday, March 2, 2010

    10 Things I've Learned at College

    College isn't just about what you learn in class . . .
    1. The world does not revolve around you.  Period. Some people just haven't learned this yet.
    2. Life would be miserable without good friends there to pull you up when you're down.
    3. Courage and perseverance are necessary if you want to get anywhere in this world.
    4. Being drunk is overrated.  Being able to go up the stairs without stumbling is such a good feeling.
    5. Overthinking only makes things worse.
    6. Crying doesn't solve any problems, but it definitely makes you feel better.
    7. If you want something to happen, you need to make it happen.
    8. Life's tough; get over it.
    9. There are some people you can be friends with, and there are some people you can life with.  These two groups don't always overlap.
    10. Enjoy where you are in life; you never know what may happen tomorrow.

    Sunday, February 7, 2010

    Word of the Day

    Banshee (noun) [BAN-shee]

    1. (as in Irish folklore) a female spirit whose mournful wailing warns of an impending death in the family: "What sounds like the shrieking of a banshee is just Gloria singing in the shower."
    (courtesy of The Quotations Page)

    On another, completely different note, I got bored of the old colors and banner so I thought "hey, a new year deserves a new color scheme."  I stayed up much later than I should have and took time away from the homework I should've been doing to put together the current banner.  I'm happy with it, though.  The paintings on the ends are things I did for my 2D Design class last semester and, of course, I have yarn in the middle . . .

    Wednesday, January 20, 2010

    Books, books, books...

    So, I was reading my friend Krysti's blog ( and she posted this list of books that, according to the BBC, most people have only read six of the one hundred books on this list.  I'm putting the books I've read in red. I'll put the ones that I started but didn't finish in blue and the ones that I want to read in green.

    1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen

    2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien

    3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte

    4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling

    5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee

    6 The Bible

    7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte

    8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell

    9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman

    10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens

    11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott

    12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy

    13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller

    14 Complete Works of Shakespeare

    15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier

    16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien

    17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk

    18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger

    19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger

    20 Middlemarch - George Eliot

    21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell

    22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald

    23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens

    24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy

    25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams

    26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh

    27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky

    28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck

    29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll

    30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame

    31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy

    32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens

    33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis

    34 Emma - Jane Austen

    35 Persuasion - Jane Austen

    36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis

    37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini

    38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres

    39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden

    40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne

    41 Animal Farm - George Orwell

    42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown

    43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

    44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving

    45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins

    46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery

    47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy

    48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood

    49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding

    50 Atonement - Ian McEwan

    51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel

    52 Dune - Frank Herbert

    53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons

    54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen

    55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth

    56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

    57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens

    58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley

    59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon

    60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

    61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck

    62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov

    63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt

    64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold

    65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas

    66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac

    67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy

    68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding

    69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie

    70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville

    71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens

    72 Dracula - Bram Stoker

    73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett

    74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson

    75 Ulysses - James Joyce

    76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath

    77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome

    78 Germinal - Emile Zola

    79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray

    80 Possession - AS Byatt

    81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens

    82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell

    83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker

    84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro

    85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaube

    86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry

    87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White

    88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom

    89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

    90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton

    91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad

    92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery

    93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks

    94 Watership Down - Richard Adams

    95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole

    96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute

    97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas

    98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare

    99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl

    100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

    So...that's 20 books that I've read, 8 that I've started but never finished for whatever reason, and 8 books that I want to read.  I think I need to get cracking... I really need to find a public library in this area... the reading selection at the school library stinks... it's all reference. I think we may be making a city excursion over the weekend, so we'll see how my reading goes from there.  At the moment, I'm working through The Hobbit again.  I've been wanting to re-read all of Tolkien's books... at least Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.  I would like to read the Histories of Middle-Earth, too, if I ever have time.  Yay reading!

    Tuesday, January 12, 2010

    Fiber for the Soul

    I've heard it said that there are two types of knitters--the ones who knit for the act of knitting and the ones who knit for the end result.  Now, when I think about myself in this light, I think I tend to be a little bit of both.  To be honest, the majority of the things I knit are for myself, and they're (obviously) things that I would like to have.  I knit them for the final product.  But, I truly enjoy the proces if I like what it is that I'm knitting and the material itself that I'm knitting.  Even when I have to tear out rows upon rows of knitting--hours of my life being undone, hours that I can never get back.  I think I've found this ability to, when I'm on the verge of a very immature temper tantrum, I just put it down and walk away or I turn the video game off (I very rarely play video games, and when I do, I don't last very long.  As soon as I reach a level that is hard, I get annoyed and turn it off).  It's how I've maintained my relative outer equilibrium.

    Another thing is my knitting.  You can tell that I'm stressed in some way because I've spent large amounts of time knitting, and it's usually something relatively simplistic, that I can knit fast and I have room to think.  And, to be honest, it's something that I won't mind tearing out later.  I knit the things that I don't necessarily want or need, but the simplest thing that I could possibly have any sort of interest in knitting.  Something that's enough to keep me interested, but something that I don't need to pay complete attention to.

    Earlier today, I frogged a scarf I starte in the beginning of December.  I started it with the intention of making it a Christmas present.  It became my stress-reliever.  The thing I picked up when I needed a break from studying.  It was the thing I picked up when the drama of dorm life got to me.  It was the thing I picked up in the week before Christmas as I still struggled to handle the stress left over from my first semester of college.  It was the thing I picked up when my new pendant (a pretty Miraculous Medal) fell off its chain and got lost Christmas afternoon.  It kept me going for most of December as I tried to work out issues that I'd been dealing with.  And then today, I tore it all out.  I let it all go.  I got through exams; I made it through the drama of a first semester in a freshman dorm.  I made it through Christmas, and I found my Miraculous medal.  I think the knitting and the frogging of that scarf represented a psychological therapy of letting it build up and then letting it all go that's hard to replace.  Now, I'm not saying that these issues are resolved, because most if them are still very real, but I have the peace of mind that, great or small, they're just part of the fabric of life.  A perfect life is no life at all, is it?  How can you say that you've truly lived until you experience the stresses of everyday life?

    Monday, January 11, 2010

    Something to try

    This is something that I absolutely must try sometime.  It looks like a lot of fun, to be honest . . . I just need to find access to the materials and I'll have an almost infinite supply of needles.  At least, the opportunity to have them . . .

    Wednesday, January 6, 2010

    Another Year Come and Gone

    Wow, so it's 2010 already.  I can't believe it.  Another year of my life come and gone.  I must say, though, it was good while it lasted.  There were a lot of big changes in my life, but it was all for the better, I think.  Here are just some major things that happened during 2009 . . .
    1. AP Comparative Government came to an end, which can be considered a good and a bad thing.  Good for our relative sanity (wait . . . were we ever sane to begin with . . .?) Unfortunately, this also brought about the end of the amazing Russia group.  We had so many inside jokes from the back of that classroom . . .
    2. AP English Class--the best class ever. Period.  We had some crazy fun times in that class . . .
    3. I got my first job- Dairy Queen for the win! Yep, that's right people, be jealous.
    4. Prom- yeah, yeah, you can say that prom is overrated, but it was really fun.
    5. Graduation- it rained the whole week before, but it was sunny and perfect graduation day.  Of course, I missed the cap-throwing because I couldn't get the thing off my head (darn bobby pins) and the tassel off fast enough, but whatever.  I made it through high school with honors and a green cord that I got to wear with my cap and gown.
    6. The constant stream of grad parties- yep, I saw everyone at least once every weekend for the next couple of weeks.  Good times, good times . . .
    7. Senior Week- since my friends and I were way too disorganized too cool to go to the beach or something of that nature for our senior week, we had a "staycation" of sorts where we camped out at a different person's house every night and did awesome things like a murder mystery party, mall scavenger hunt, and bowling.  Best senior week ever, I must say.
    8. College!- it's been good and bad; there's been drama, tears, way too much stress to even think about . . . but it was good.  This fall, I learned that I can make it on my own.  It's such a different eperience compared to high school.  I've met a lot of awesome people, and . . . a few really weird ones.
    So, those were the highlights of my 2009.  And, yes, I'm aware that I'm posting this way after new year's day, but I had to think about the things I should put in the list.  Moving on, just a few new year's resolutions that I want to push myself with this year.
    1. I want to be healthier-as in eating right, exercising, etc.
    2. I want to focus on my art and writing more.  I feel like the only art that I've done recently has been for a class assignment in one form or another.  I want to do it for me this year.
    I don't think they're huge in the whole realm of things, but they're things that I need to work on.  I let myself waste a lot of time (mostly on facebook, unfortunately) and hopefully working on those two resolutions will cut down on that. 

    I wish everyone a belated happy new year's!