Sunday, December 30, 2007

i think guero canelo saved my life tonight

...well, it was actually friday night. i heart calexico.

the show was great.

the opening song of their set (goin' to acapulco) and the closing song before the encore (guero canelo) were fabulous - as were the other songs, but these were so well placed in the set. definitely one of the best calexico shows i've seen so far.

one of the openers, a hawk and a hacksaw, was really quite interesting.

and maybe next time photos of some knitted presents that have already been gifted.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

the nytimes says...

that this is what we're saying:

ny times buzzwords

one of those buzzwords happens to be "kinnear", popularized by the yarnharlot.

funny stuff.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

to join or not to join

well, i guess that's not really a question since i can't officially join anymore. what i'm talking about is InaDWriMo (International Dissertation Writing Month) (see a post about it here and thanks to PhDknitter for mentioning it). it's part of the whole jumble of 'get-things-done-in-november' activities which have semi-clever acronyms.
regardless of the fact that i can't officially join anymore, i can hopefully use this as a way to get more done this month. it is a crucial month and i have so much to do - finish a presentation for a conference in january, finish a poster for a conference at the end of this month, work on a presentation for my dissertation committee... yikes! i also have a potential journal article that i need to develop further... not to mention the regular dissertation crap -- yowza!
to top it all off, tomorrow at this time i'll be in charlotte, waiting to catch a plane to mexico city. i guess i definitely have to bring my laptop to get some work done while i'm gone. i had this grand idea that i would be traveling around without having to lug around my stupid laptop and whip it out for the security guys at the airport and could go sight-seeing without any guilt of not getting work done. what was i thinking?

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

knitting content

just a quick post... i have been knitting on a gift for a while, so i haven't been able to show pictures of that. luckily, i've finished with that and was able to move on to something else. i wish i had been working on what she was working on, but alas, i'm just not that creative. here is what i did on monday:

jackyll and hide 1

and another crappy shot:

jackyll and hide 2

this is my interpretation of jackyll and hide from knitty. because i was in a time crunch and used what yarn i had, mine ended up being knit out of bulky weight yarn. i used lamb's pride bulky in sandy heather. the mouth and nose (which are dark brown - not black) are made of some unidentified stash yarn that i picked up from a remnant bin a few years ago. i used some of the tips from adrian.

all in all i like it. people at the party last night were amused and my head stayed warm on the walk over to the party (bonus!). a few issues with mine include the mohair content of the yarn (fuzz everywhere, including in your mouth) and i should have gone through with all of adrian's tips because the eyes initially came out wonky. i tried to repair them by adding a crochet edge... not sure if it works.

if i find the time today, i'll have to do take a few better pics of it outside, including a modeled shot. i think it looks quite amusing on.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

potential new lease on life...

i have been pretty sleep-deprived lately due to what i fondly refer to as 'the patty situation'. patty has had a couple of surgical procedures on her foot lately and consequently, we haven't been able to exercise her and she has to wear an elizabethan-collar (e-collar) on all of the time (which means at night when she decides that she wants to go to the bathroom at 4am, the cone gets jammed into anything in her way - and let me tell you, this is loud). i know that i shouldn't make any comparisons here, but i feel like i have a new appreciation for new mothers and fathers.

so let's have a little photo-montage of 'the patty situation'.

here she is, all healthy not long before 'the accident':
happy Patty

doesn't she look great?

here she is again, keeping busy on her nasty rug (note the back foot you can see is the one that has been affected by nerve damage):
Patty and her stick 3

then what happens? she decided to chew one of her toenails off on her lame leg. i don't have any pictures of that. take my word for it, you don't want to see it.

turns out she chewed so much that the bone was exposed on her foot. they tried to save her toe by sewing up the skin around it. here she is recuperating after that procedure:
post-op patty

her sutures didn't hold and back to the vet we went. we scheduled an appointment for toe amputation. on the day of surgery, patty was a real trooper. here she is after that surgery, all groggy looking:
post-op patty

it's been over a week since her toe amputation and the vet has been hinting at what the future might bring for us... leg amputation. it's kind of a bummer, but we think it is likely patty's best option. we don't know if she was chewing on her leg due to the weird sensation that she might be experiencing there due to nerve damage or if she was bored or what. whatever the reason, it's not good for her. we were worried about being able to exercise her just a week before this all happened since she started dropping her foot completely while walking, causing it to drag on the ground.

although it sounds pretty grim, leg amputation might be her new lease on life. if this can allow her to walk without dragging her foot and could potentially eliminate the weird sensations she might have been having in her foot, than it would be good for her quality of life. we're going to talk to the vet about the specifics on friday... well, i won't be there (i have a dissertation proposal to defend!), but steve will be.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

catching up...

as i was catching up on blog reading, i saw this post by jane simpson and thought the discussion was refreshing.

she followed that post up with another interesting outlook here.

jane's first post about this seems to be in response to claire's first post about it (something i am reading now for the first time). go get 'em!

here is her continuation of the discussion.

talking about language death

it seems like the spot in the NYTimes which focused on K. David Harrison's research has really grabbed people's attention.
i belong to the Indigenous Languages and Technology list and there has been a lot of discussion there regarding language death and the attention that this issue is getting in the media. the responses have been very positive over there and i share the excitement.
there have been some other responses on this topic, including that by the lousy linguist which began here. see also the language guy's response here.
i have mixed feelings about the issue at hand - language death and what we (humans, and especially linguists) should be doing about it.
while i personally am not a member of a community that speaks an endangered language, i do conduct fieldwork on an endangered language. my friends and language consultants in the community seem to be somewhat aware of the fact that spanish is quickly taking its hold on the younger generation of speakers, but it's still at the early stages so people do not see any immediate danger of their language "dying". i want people to keep on speaking their language, but does my opinion count? who am i to say what members of this community should or shouldn't do since i don't even belong to the community? what is my role in the discussion? will informing community members about the potential of language death do anything? what can i do, if anything, so that community members themselves fight to keep children speaking the language? these are the kinds of questions i ask myself on a regular basis.
and one thought just comes back into my head which was brought up by a friend and fellow linguist - this community has survived so much over time. the mexican government tried to kill them, they survived all kinds of illness and hardship and yet, they still speak their language and have maintained many aspects of their culture. so what is the biggest enemy to potential language loss - television.

Friday, August 31, 2007

that is so buffalo

i know there aren't that many readers out there, but anyone who is reading this should give the tv show confessions of a matchmaker a try. Patti Novak is so absolutely buffalo (from the perspective of a non-buffalonian) and the people on this show are unreal. at times i cringe so much at the way people act that i have to leave the room. and for those who wonder what buffalo really looks like, there are all sorts of shots of the city in between scenes.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

pinkish stuff

during the last week or so i've had my eye on these prickly pears by my parents' house in tucson. there are a bunch of ripe fruit on them in the street median near their house and i figured the county won't mind if i go and pick some of them. so i did. i made sure to leave enough for the animals by picking only a few from each cactus. here's what the last few looked like in my trusty bucket.

prickly pear fruit

(forgive the date stamp on the photo - i'm using my parents' camera and i forgot to get rid of that thing!)

then i peeled them and cut them in half in preparation for the blender.

peeled prickly pear fruit

after that i put them in the blender, blended them and strained them.

pureed prickly pear fruit

tomorrow morning i will turn this into a sauce to put on top of the mesquite flour crepes that i will make. yum.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

more of myself

i've been known, on occasion, to watch the oprah show. i hadn't watched it since some time back in april and instead of finishing up some schoolwork i decided to tune in to oprah today. while watching the show today, i finally put it together that something that drives me nuts about oprah is a particular discourse style that she has adopted (most likely within the last 10 years or so). what i'm referring to is the way she talks in this psuedo-therapeutic way. for instance, the general theme for today's repeat show was 'becoming more of yourself', featuring celebrities confessing pivotal moments in their lives that allowed them to find out who they really were. guests even used these technology-based metaphors to talk about their minds - for instance, saying that they had tracks laid when they were young of the relationships in their lives and she figured out how to lay knew tracks to change the pattern of the relationships she was having, i think there was also a comment by Diane Sawyer about reprogramming yourself. this isn't the best example of what i'm trying to say, but i think that oprah has adopted certain metaphors which she uses to describe her life-philosophy and spiritual beliefs which most likely stem from the self-help realm or from psychologists (and her guests seem to follow suit). i also read on wikipedia's entry for oprah that the wall street journal has even coined a term after her style of confessing personal matters publicly as a form of therapy - "Oprahfication".
my big wonder is, has anybody done a linguistic study on the kind of language oprah (or other talk show hosts for that matter) uses, especially the metaphors she uses when she is focusing on topics of "spirit and self"????

Thursday, August 9, 2007

back in the u.s.

well, i made it back to the u.s. last week and am slowly getting back to work. i was pretty exhausted after my ten week fieldwork trip. lots of data collection and lots of work and that's on top of the daily stress that comes with living in a remote community, of which you are not a member. my flickr family and friends can see some pics from the trip. i haven't uploaded them all, but they will be coming in time.

for now, here is a sock that i was working on before i left. i just picked it up again this last week. it's socks that rock in the downpour colorway.

STR sock

the photo is kind of crap since it's from my parents' camera and i was too lazy to figure out how to chop off the date stamp in an eloquent way...

on a side note, it's not like anyone is reading this blog, but in case you are i want to give props to a blog of some friends - between tuesdays.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

i'm away

ok, just a quick update that i'm in mexico doing fieldwork for my dissertation and will be away until august.

right now the weather is pretty nice here - much better than in tucson. at night it is even a bit chilly. but by august, things will change. july is going to be tough. i've done it before and can do it again, so i'm confident i can make it work.

no knitting for now, but i have a sock in progress back in tucson. it's socks that rock in a really pretty colorway that i can't remember, maybe it's called 'downpour'. it has greys and browns and other pretty neutral colors.

that's it for now. more in august.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

my favorite sock yarn (sort of)

finally a post about the hand-dyed sock yarn.
let me give you a recap on the vitals:
bare merino wool in fingering weight from knitpicks
procion dye from dharma trading company
i used two colors to make this: turquoise and some crazy red color (i think it was jungle red)

hand dyed yarn, in cake form (half used)

this is half of the yarn cake of this stuff. (the other half is in the sock!)

sock made with hand-dyed yarn 3

and above is the first sock.

i used ann norling's adult basic socks pattern. it's my old faithful for socks. i prefer this kind of heel than a short-row heel.

sock made with hand-dyed yarn 5

i really like the subtle striping that is happening in this yarn.

i have one more skein of this yarn and i think i should come up with a boyish colorway and knit steve another pair of socks.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

puerto libertad is not liberty cove

ok, maybe the title of this post does not make sense, but just give me a minute to explain. while writing out my budget for this summer's fieldwork trip, i wanted to find the mileage between tucson and puerto libertad. at first, i came across this site from wildsonora. this site talks about issues that are considered threatening to the attempts at keeping sonora "wild". ok, that's cool with me. i was particularly interested in the articles about development in puerto libertad and the coastal highway project. in the past, i have heard so many rumors about the coastal highway project, but wasn't sure how much of it was serious. the link from the wildsonora website to this site made me cringe. liberty cove seems to be some investor's wet dream of how to sell even more vacation property along the coast of the sea of cortez (because, let's face it, rocky point is just too full). the intro page to the liberty cove website is a joke. the liberty cove developers are sneakily hiding one little thing.
--> check out the photo on the wildsonora page or look at the similar one here. is that what you want in your backyard? the smoke trail from those smokestacks goes on forever. puerto libertad is a sleepy little fishing community with the exception of the natural gas operation they have going on there.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

who's that with an ACD?

who knew that owen wilson had an australian cattle dog named garcia.
check out this link from people for proof.

finally another post

steve is away and he took the digital camera with him. before he left i forgot to take photos of stuff i wanted to share. for instance, we dyed more sock yarn last week. i ended up using a total of two colors to get a beautiful, sorta striping sock yarn. steve has a great stash of procion dyes from dharma that he has used for dying clothes. although it's not the best thing for dying wool, it does the job. i picked out two colors: jungle red (i think) and turquoise. we used the two jar method (instead of three) and the middle lump got a watered down version of the turquoise-red mix. i also had a much smaller skein than what is desired for "true" self-striping yarn, but it is nevertheless turning into something really beautiful. pictures of that next time.

i also wanted to mention something that i discovered after arguing with steve about dye safety. i was under the impression that non-food-worthy dyes were really unsafe and that whatever comes in contact with the dye should not be eaten off of, etc. i was being obsessively careful about this when steve got annoyed with me and decided to look up the material data safety sheet. we were using fiber-reactive dyes NOT acid dyes. fiber-reactive dyes in their powder form are not exactly safe (ie, you shouldn't inhale them or eat them and they shouldn't come into contact with your skin). BUT, they are so much safer than acid dyes. even though we have a separate dye pot and all that, i think it's important to mention that fiber-reactive dyes might be a safer alternative to acid dyes and offer better color choices than kool-aid or food dyes.

on another note, i finished some socks for steve out of wildfoote sock yarn in the "zane grey" colorway. pictures to come.

Friday, March 16, 2007

hodgepodge of potpourri

still no finished pictures of the sienna cardigan. i found an old tweed vest at a thrift store and stole the fake leather buttons off of it, but sewing those suckers on is another story. in the meantime, i made a sock for steve. i will reveal them when they are both done.

i also picked this guy up at the thrift store:

thirfted platter

it's a drip glaze platter from an old company in ohio.

my chile seedlings are doing well:

chile seedlings

the photo is, as usual, crappy, but check out those little guys!

also, no need to put away the cross-country gear yet. looks like we'll have a snowy weekend.

my XC ski gear

Sunday, March 4, 2007


it's the end of the weekend and i have a few things to say, but no real pics to post. that will happen later in the week.
i finished the sienna cardigan, sans buttons and i still have to wash it. i need to go on a thrift store search for an old sweater with good buttons or a jar full of them.
i went cross country skiing twice this weekend, but only one time really counts. i went to delaware park the first time with patty by myself. patty threw a fit and just wanted to go back to the car after only a little bit. but this was a good test of my new skis/poles/shoes because the baskets on my poles hadn't been attached very well. that was my own fault.
today we went to hunters creek (see some info here about it). this was our second time there and patty had a blast. it was fun for us too, but next time we have to plan for a longer trip to make it worth it. we're still figuring out the trails.
even after two miles of running through the snow patty isn't tired.

patty on the rug

next time we'll have to bring one of the cameras and snap some skiing shots.

Friday, February 23, 2007

getting some seeds started

unfortunately the sienna cardigan does not have sleeves yet. i am working on the sleeve caps, but this hasn't been a good week for knitting.

in other news, i joined the native seeds/SEARCH gardener's network. essentially this means steve and i or perhaps our landlords will test out some of the native seeds/SEARCH seeds to see how they do in the climate here. the gardener's network doesn't offer as many seeds as the regular seed listing, but they still offer quite a few. i am going to try patagonia chiles (capsicum annuum), navajo hubbard squash (cucurbita maxima), tepehuan tomatillos (physalis phildelphica), and blue speckled tepary beans (phaseolus acutifolius). some of these guys, especially the tepary beans might not have a good chance here, but we'll see. that's part of the fun. i started to test germinate the chile seeds last night. since i won't be around this summer (summer fieldwork), i am kind of bummed out about not being able to see what happens, but i'm eager to get the plants started and planted before i leave.

Monday, February 19, 2007

a new book

steve gave me a book for valentine's day and boy am i happy. here is the book hanging out with my jade plant.

Jade plant with EZ book (no flash)

i'm super excited. i want to make so many things out of here, especially a yoke sweater.

on top of the book is my jade plant. this was started from a cutting (actually it was some bit of a jade plant that had fallen off of the main plant). the cutting was so small, just two small leaves and they fell off once i got roots going on it and planted it. now it seems to be doing better and scheduled for a pot transplant. the pot it is currently in is from a nearby thriftstore. i normally hate glazed pots, but this dragonfly pot has worked out well.

i went cross country skiing on saturday and sunday (two separate trips). we took patty along and she loved it. i had a blast too. i need to find a cheap used set or perhaps a good end-of-the-season deal.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

snowy day

we went out to our valentine's day dinner, just as the storm started. the wind was blowing pretty hard and the flakes were flying. but these weren't your average flakes, they were really frozen tiny little pieces of snow. when we got home, we were glad to be in our warm apartment. we were chilling out on the sofa. i had prepared the hot water bottle and was snuggled up against steve and we were watching law and order and ka-chunk - the power went out. this is actually a pretty common occurrence in our house since it's old and there are three apartments in it. during the winter when the upstairs tenant uses the heater, it can cause part of the power in the house to go out. interestingly enough, during the october storm we had power the whole time. last night, it seems that the transformer blew. right now they're replacing the transformer behind our house and it's still storming away. here are some pics:

power guys at our house 2/07

power guys at our house 2/07

power guys at our house 2/07

those power guys (and gals) are crazy. the guy who has been at the top of the pool taking the transformer off and is now putting the transformer on is quite amazing. he was waving at us at one point.

as for knitting, the sienna cardigan is coming along nicely. i have the back, the two front panels, one sleeve minus the sleeve cap and one sleeve minus a few inches and the sleeve cap. i'm in the home stretch there.

after knitting up part of the second austermann step socks and getting different gauge on the second one, i'm going to rip that one back and try again after sienna is done. i'm also thinking of some other gift projects to keep myself busy.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

just a quickie

the knitty winter surprises are up and i really like this pattern. it's called "thermal" and it's based on longjohn top. laura made it. i had no idea she was studying linguistics.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

progress report

even though school has started, i have managed to make some progress on stuff. the australian open has been facilitating my knitting.
here is the progress on the sienna cardigan, using knitpicks swish:

Sienna Cardigan back and right front panel, in progress

so far i have the back panel done and am working on the right front panel. here is a better look at the front panel (with no flash):

Sienna Cardigan close up, in progress

i had to make some adjustments to the way i was knitting this since swish shrinks and my gauge was a little off.

here is an update on the swallowtail shawl (do i have to reference it?!):

Swallowtail Shawl, sideways, in progress

as for my austermann step socks, i am having gauge issues on the second sock. the gauge is smaller even though it's being knit with size 0 bamboo needles, just like the first one. the only difference, sock #2 is being knit with shorter DPNs. i think i need to just rip out sock #2 and start over.

that's about it for now. back to work.

Friday, January 26, 2007

what a day

it was pretty cold yesterday. here is what the national weather service has to say about yesterday's weather:


MAXIMUM: 18 at 1236 AM
MINIMUM: 5 at 1159 PM

BUT, that doesn't include the wind chill values. with wind chill, we had single digit temps and potentially negative (fahrenheit!) temps as well.
with "the coldest air of the season" here yesterday (as the NWS likes to say), i decided to drive to school. of course, my car decided to break down, but as i found out, it was under weird circumstances. at the end of the day, i came home with a new radiator, a fully serviced transmission and an oil change. cha-ching.

as for knitting, i am working on the swallowtail shawl with 2-ply shelridge farm laceweight that i got from the destash blog. it's taking a while, but i might post something if i can pin it down properly for it to even be remotely interesting.
i'm almost finished with the back of the sienna cardigan... just a bit more to go on the arm section and then i have to start shaping for the neck. i hope to be around and have enough light to photograph them both tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

baby stuff

i wanted to take a quick photo to document these guys before they go out to their recipient on saturday.

baby socks and bonnet

these are the better than booties baby socks. you can find the pattern on the website for interweave knits here. the bonnet is sort of my own creation, but it's heavily inspired by a pattern in a Bernat pattern book from 1957. the book number is 57. the book is quite cute, especially the cover where it says "the big book of hand knit fashions for small fry infants and toddlers". i love the use of 'small fry'.

the color on the yarn is hard to see since i used a flash. the sun has been in and out all day today. this is the hand-dyed yarn that steve and i made. here is a photo of the bonnet in action on a nalgene bottle.

baby bonnet

i have to admit that i was inspired by hello yarn's bonnet for this pattern. you can see her bonnet here.

Monday, January 8, 2007

jazz at the bookstore

steve graciously accompanied me to the free in-store performance by ron sexsmith tonight. i'm not a big fan of the single from his new album, but "jazz at the bookstore" was really good (also on his new album). while at the live performance i spotted a woman knitting. i think she was part of ron's entourage because otherwise i thought it to be out of place to be knitting at a record store live performance thing (right?). she was knitting something blue with big needles. it sort of looked like part of a sweater. i wanted to ask her what she was knitting, but after the singing was over and ron was blowing out the candles on his birthday cake, steve wanted to leave the place.

no knitting photos today, but i finished some baby socks (using this lovely pattern, better than booties baby socks, by Ann Budd) and am working on a baby bonnet from a vintage bernat pattern book. i'm using the yarn that steve and i dyed (the green stuff).

Thursday, January 4, 2007


have you ever started doing something and then at some point during process realized that you were going nowhere. or perhaps you started something, say, you started knitting a sweater and you were all gung-ho about it and then months, maybe years later you thought, that was a bad idea, what was i thinking? that's what i thought last fall with the previous sweater i started knitting with the encore yarn. during my first year of grad school here, i started knitting this sweater. i had done at least the front and the back, but i was so fast and loose about it that i didn't count rows or any of that fancy stuff. i just kind of knit it and took some measurements. then it sat in my plastic storage tub for years until this fall when i thought - salsipuedes, get out if you can. so i ripped it out and here you go, a finished top-down raglan using this pattern by Pamela Costello.

top-down raglan finished

the whole salsipuedes idea came from this book that i'm reading right now by Thomas Bowen called "Unknown Island: Seri Indians, Europeans, and San Esteban Island in the Gulf of California". the salsipuedes islands are some islands that spanish explorers/missionaries encountered while trying to explore the sea of cortez and they coined them as the salsipuedes islands. these islands are part of the midriff islands that have caused lots of problems for seafarers trying to navigate through that area. i've been reading all about it in this book.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

yeah but no but yeah but...

although i am not terribly interested in discussions about what a certain social group's (say, for instance, british teenagers) vocabulary size is, i couldn't help but crack up about this post on languagelog. the post talks about vicky pollard, one of the character's from the tv show "little britain". my interpretation of the vicky pollard character was that matt lucas (the guy behind vicky) really was making fun of british youth for similar reasons that the BBC News made their claims and gripes about the small vocabulary size of british kids. liberman's post on languagelog puts this in perspective and his use of type/token plots of vicky's "vocabulary" and data from the 2003 Fisher corpus illustrate that vicky's problem is not her vocabulary.

Monday, January 1, 2007


i'm making some progress on my first toe-up socks. here is a picture:

i'm using austermann step and size US 0 knitting needles and am using Wendy's generic toe-up pattern. i really like working with this yarn and am very excited to wear these socks when they're finished.

i finished the top-down raglan yesterday and wore it out to a party. it's not really what i would call party clothes, but i wanted to wear my first real sweater. maybe a picture of that some other time.

happy new year!