Wednesday, December 26, 2012

woven memories

My yarn-y thingz!!! I feel so organized!

After getting this Plano box for a, well, rock/crystal collection (hmm, why do I feel so ashamed about that) I realized that it could fit my knitting needles and other knitting/crochet-ing knickknacks! Well, anything 13" or shorter anyway. In order to find all of my things though...I had to go through my milk crate-o-yarn. ('s a thing.)

I don't know where I am on the knitter spectrum as far as unfinished projects go, but I know I'm not unique in having a bunch of unfinished things, holding some of my needles hostage. Took me forever to invest in some stitch holders. Since I don't know if they'll ever get worked on again and gifted or otherwise used, I decided to bring this blog out of retirement and tell the stories of these unfinished furballs.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

middle aged toys

It doesn't necessarily have anything to do with growing up, but I definitely have genuine desire for boring things these days.

My Shark Navigator vacuum.

I love this thing. I had a theory once. If I liked my vacuum more, I'd...vacuum more. It sounds dumb, but I hated using the upright bag vacuum I had. Not only are bags gross, but it wasn't exactly the best vacuum and um, the circumstances under which I bought it were unpleasant. Bad memories. But anyway, after fostering cats for a year or two I really needed to get a quality machine. I was tracking refurbed Dysons until I came across a review that mentioned Shark vacuums being just as good or better and much cheaper. They got great reviews, so I got one at Costco. (I was days before I was going to pull the trigger on Amazon but I happened to see it for cheaper at Costco during my one visit last year.) It came with a ton of attachments, including a hose extender and this pet roller thing that's magical and I dunno man. It's pretty great. I really should rinse out the (washable!) filters in the thing though. It says to do it every X number of months (there are a few different ones with different frequencies)...and though I'd say I probably use it way less than the average chore-performing american, I also fill up the canister 3 times whenever I do use it.


I want a document scanner. Like the Fujitsu ScanSnap.

I feel like no matter how many times I read things about how long you really need to keep bank statements, receipts, all mail ever etc. I have trouble believing any of it. These Neatdesk double sided document scanner things are so damn expensive but they seem to get good reviews. I don't see myself splurging on it anytime soon, but that doesn't mean I don't want it for some bizarre reason.


A CableCARD TV tuner. HDHomerun PRIME.

It's on sale RIGHT NOW. I might actually buy it tomorrow. Okay, I guess this is something I would've wanted 10 years ago too. But I finally have TV service since I thought it cost the same as just getting internet. However, I didn't realize that DVRs had such steep leasing fees. Silly me. Anyway, I already have a HDHomerun tuner and I liked it a lot. And if I get this I can save $12/mo on monthly fees! Which doesn't exactly make fiscal sense unless I get more than a year's use out of the tuner but it'd take up less room and there are fun things to be done to programs saved on a computer. =P


My cast iron skillet is my new favorite thing. I got a Lodge skillet.

I still don't really cook but having a quality piece of cookware is helping. Sure, all I do now is eat massive amounts of bacon, eggs, and fried potatoes with the occasional steak...but I'll start using it for other things one day. I used to make fun of people who had things like dutch ovens on their wishlists (why are they so expensive anyway?) but I guess...I guess I am closer to understanding. Having to clean it shortly after use also forces me to do the rest of the dishes since I need the whole sink to scrub at it. I'm a believer of cast iron now. I made some potstickers. I want to make more just to achieve that nice crust on them. I don't even have to eat them. It's just so much better than they've ever turned out before.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

unconcerned ignorance

This is a shirt I wore yesterday to a baseball game.

The name of this Woot shirt was "Be What You Want". I've been of this attitude lately, or trying to. For the most part, no life-changing revelations. I've just been caring significantly less about what people think about me. I'm more open about pole fitness, I don't try nearly as hard to try and fit in with say, my kickball and soccer teams, and I'm giving serious consideration to getting a prescription for colored contact lenses. I've always liked the idea of having them as an accessory, and it's hard to place exactly why I never truly considered it.

I do what I want! Nothing too life's not like I'm off to pursue my rock star dreams or going back to school for something I might actually be interested in.

So I like the message of this shirt. :-)

Then again...should I even be wearing shirts like this anymore? As I'm turning 27 soon I feel like when my sisters were this age, the older one was telling the younger one to stop wearing and buying t-shirts, and have a more grown-up wardrobe. At the time I was in college, and probably didn't agree or disagree one way or another. But here I am, wearing unicorns and rainbows in public, with my painted nails (currently, left hand is bright red-orange and my right hand is a shiny purple), passing it off as just part of my personality. But I've been thinking recently, is it that? Or have I failed to grow up?

Why are my biggest concerns still social perceptions and things like the color of my eyes? Shouldn't I be more concerned with where my life is going? Or at least dressing, acting, and feeling like an adult? For all I know, maybe the key to getting into a grown-up routine of work and exercise and chores and cooking can start just from dressing and feeling more adult and capable? I've let time pass so fast, that just yesterday it seemed like "oh you're young enough to pull of this look" and now I'm feeling oddly close to that mom you see in the store wearing pink sweatpants, fitted at the top with writing across her ass, bearing her midriff since her girlish tank top is just too short.

Then again, either way this mini-debate goes, I'm only talking about clothes.

I guess I'll never escape the thinking that links what the superficial might say about things that are not.

And next time the clothing donation drive comes to work ( waiting for "Fall Sweep") I might have to seriously reconsider my wardrobe, and how it reflects on my lifestyle. Maybe it's not what I want.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

melaleuca mania!

Tea tree oil! It works! Kind of!

I'm kind of hurting right now since I haven't gotten a chance to apply some tea tree+lavender+jojoba oil mixture to my scalp post-shower in almost a week, but it was going pretty darn well. I'd say similar improvement in the psoriasis as the steroids, but a lot less of the paranoia of the chemicals and stinging. Then again, I don't know what the long term effects of tea tree oil are. Even so many days removed from my last oil massaging treatment it could definitely be much worse. TMI coming? My scalp hasn't bled from cracking in a whole week it seems. Definitely yay from me. I'm not cured, and you can't really be cured from psoriasis anyway, but it was a clear improvement from doing nothing but some medicated shampoos. The topical steroids do work better, but like I mentioned in a previous post, I wasn't comfortable using it daily given the warnings. I hope tea tree oil doesn't turn out to be carcinogenic or something.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

just need that crunchy goodness

I've had this annoying and embarassing, yet trivial, condition for a while. I have scalp psoriasis. To average observer, it just seems like I have crazy disgusting dandruff. I've had it for 12 years now (with many diagnoses, but this one is most recent and consistent) and it's just become a way of life. The psychological effects and impact on quality of life are a whole different post about self-image and health problems in general. Anyway, after using prescribed and OTC creams, shampoos, topical liquids, and oils...still looking for something I can use and not feel paranoid about. My last dermatologist's philosophy was that if it works, keep using it. Even if it says on the label that you shouldn't use it continuously for more than a month. I dunno. I was not okay with it. Also one of the causes of a psoriasis flare-up is cessation of steroidal treatment. It's a lose-lose situation.

Anyway. Going on a natural product spree! Based on suggestions from friends and the internet:

SLS free shampoo - I'm trying out J.R. Liggetts shampoo bars. I got the Jojoba and Peppermint one. All natural and only contains oils and lye (sodium hydroxide).

Tea tree oil - for my skin maladies. Apparently tea tree oil is a wonder remedy for everything. Mostly trying it for my psoriasis, but I've got other skin stuff I mostly ignore treating to try it on.

Jojoba oil - as a moisturizer and a diluent for the tea tree oil when I rub it on my scalp. I've been using olive oil or petroleum jelly if anything for a long while now, so switching to another oil isn't too hard.

Other non-lotion moisturizer - Badger Balm! Adorable name, adorable tin, and works better on my cracked skin than anything else I've tried!

Friday, January 20, 2012

To the left, to the left

Though my friends assure me that I am nowhere near hoarders-level in terms of clutter (and I can find my foster cat fine, so I'd be willing to believe it), I cannot deny that I am not a particularly neat or clean person. My office might be considered about average amongst the rest, but I try hard to at least keep it not-disgusting since people actually see the place.

On the other hand, I am ashamed of my apartment and don't really let people come over except for my closest of friends (or people I'll never see again).

My apartment complex is re-opening their self-storage facility. The first 20 people who rent get a 5'x10' unit for $100/month. I don't know why, but I was considering it. An extra $100 monthly rent just for 50 more sq feet...but it'd get my stuff out of sight and out of mind.

After checking the big places like Public Storage, which btw, has a really fun animated interactive size guide that shows you how big the units are, I've determined that for a self-storage facility next door, that it's a good deal.

I was really starting to think this was smart. That some people use self storage as that, general storage for your stuff. I thought it was mostly people in-between moves, but maybe, maybe renting a giant closet would be the solution to all my problems.

But of course I finally analyzed it. I will be in this apartment at least another 8 months according to my lease. So that's $800. A great majority of the clutter I feel like I can't deal with are just boxes. Boxes I like moving with, boxes fragile things came in, boxes that I claim hold sentimental value. There are other things --snowboarding equipment I haven't been able to get to use, a cat litter box that is too small for my current cat, random junk in tubs and under my bed, etc -- that would benefit from just...being somewhere else. But for the most part, I think boxes are my problem. Everything else I could probably find room for if I just threw out or sold other stuff. (Or I might be in denial about that as much as everything else -- I have lived in a heap of dusty clutter for years now.)

Even if I get the most ridiculous moving package from U-Haul made for a 4+ bedroom house, I'd be under the $800. And I'd get bubble wrap. BUBBLE WRAP. With the difference I could easily also get two maid cleanings. (Or one of the many Groupon-like deals for one.)

I might be ready to let go soon. Maybe not that soon. I do still have a Rock Band set of drums that are still in the box because I don't know where I could keep them. Also the box my broken printer came in that I keep thinking maybe I'll one day actually pack up and go get fixed. And not really sure where that cat litter lid will go. I mean, my next foster cat can be coming any time and it might be smaller. (Actually, any cat would be smaller than my current.) But at any rate, I've had bouts of "sell all my old stuff for $5" inspiration and I could always go that route.

Baby steps.

Anyway, this has been another installment of too-well-researched-for-my-pocket-journal but too-long-and-boring-for-my-tumblr. I'm not sure what anyone else can get out of this except...even someone with a cheap miser past can lose track of the big financial picture.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

'sall relative (in time!)

Today someone randomly asked me if in other languages, there were more efficient ways to say "day after tomorrow" and things like that. I was happy to report that I knew...yes!

Well, efficiency is subjective, but I at least knew that Mandarin and Japanese had terms that were special to terms like "day before yesterday" and "day after tomorrow", even if just prefixes.

But because I had already forgotten what most of the terms were, I had to confirm at work (and my new work computer can display east asian characters. so happy!).

So here are the Mandarin terms (copy and pasted from
today - 今天 - jīn tiān
yesterday - 昨天 - zuó tiān
the day before yesterday - 前天 - qián tiān
tomorrow - 明天 - míng tiān
the day after tomorrow - 後天 - hòu tiān

See, no matter what, two character words!

Japanese is a slightly more complicated issue, and I don't know if I'm just biased because it seemed so hard to learn in general, especially at 8:30am, but I feel that Japanese has many many alternatives to saying every little thing.
But here's what I think is common (copy and pasted from random dictionaries I could find online):

today - きょう - kyou (and fun fact: the kanji in Japanese is 今日, which is similar to the Chinese one above, but not quite...annoying, huh)
yesterday - きのう (昨日) - kinou
day before yesterday - おととい (一昨日)- ototoi
tomorrow - あした (明日) - asita
day after tomorrow - あさって (明後日) - asatte
two days after tomorrow ("in three days time") - しあさって (明明後日) - siasatte

As you can tell by the characters, the terms for things beyond yesterday and tomorrow are more or less derivative from the main terms. But they are more like prefixes, and I think still more effective than saying "day after tomorrow". I do realize that saying "in two days" is the same as "the day after tomorrow", and that it's not exactly a cumbersome phrase. But it's still seems less cool. :-)

Since I never studied Chinese formally, I don't know if the terms are related in the same way. They all end in the word for "day" (天), if you were wondering. Also the word used in the kanji in Japanese, 日, does actually also mean "day" in Chinese, but in different contexts. I can't give great examples, but 日 can also mean "sun" (it looks like a sun, eh? =P) and 天 is more related to the heavens and sky. But both are used in Chinese in terms that mean things relating to days, daily, routines, etc.

When I was thinking of the Japanese terms though, in my head I thought I had remembered that the prefixes were more blatant. But I realized I was thinking of the German terms! (I realize that mixup doesn't make much sense, but I learned those languages within a year of each other so...that explains a little.)
today - heute
yesterday - gestern
day before yesterday - vorgestern
tomorrow - morgen
day after tomorrow - übermorgen
two days after tomorrow überübermorgen

Anyway, I got so excited about knowing something that I felt I wanted to write a blog post on it, even on this old one that no one reads anymore. :-)