30 October 2005


It's been a morning of not finding things. It started with my US10.5 double pointed needles. I'm missing 2. I know *why*, or at least *when* I last had them.. I was finishing a pair of Fuzzy Feet but didn't have a darning needles, so I had the last two double points still in the slippers. I remember even getting the darning needle - it was in June because I'd accidentally left my little knitbitskit in the dressing room at Rae's wedding and she and Brian were still on their honeymoon so she hadn't had a chance to send it back to me. And I have the darning needle. And the finished slippers. But no sign of the two missing knitting needles. It's not the end of the world - I have 3 of the 5 and a 10.5 circ, so I can make do - but it annoys me to be missing part of a set.

So, in order to let my frustration cool, I decided it was time to carve the pumpkin. Got it all cleaned out and while Jack was making it a jack-o-lantern, I thought I would start a batch of mom's pumpkin bread (I usually use canned pumpkin, and will for this batch, but might, assuming the jack-o-lantern survives tomorrow, make another batch with "real" pumpkin later this week). Except that now I can't find the recipe. And mom and dad are at the cabin this weekend and my sister's not home (pr'bly at church now that I stop to think about it), so I can't get it quickly.

*sigh* I think the world is trying to tell me to just go back to bed.

Not dead.. yet.

Yes, yes, I'm still here, alive and kicking. I've actually had quite a wonderful time since I last visited here, it's just also been rather busy.

I spent a lovely five or six days in DC with Kim, who is one of those friends that you can go for months or years without so much as an email or a text message to check in, but when you see each other in person, things just feel natural and fall exactly into place and all is right with the world. It was fabulous. Kim is also the woman who taught me to knit, so we did much knitting and stash sorting and laughing and talking, oh, and not just a little walking about as well. At a time when "girlfriends" are falling by the way side (as Jack and I gather more "couple" friends, or friends we tend to only see in certain contexts), it was also a rather poignant reminder that there are at least a few women out there that I can and do feel connected to strongly enough to trust implicitly.

So, yes, knitting. I started holiday gifts, or rather, continued them. I'm making another Shapely Tank for my sister who mentioned when I gave her the last one that she really liked wearing tanks instead of t-shirts. It's a preference we share, so I'm willing to feed it. I made the second one in a dusty rose in moss stitch, but for some reason it's turned out a bit smaller than I'd have liked. I still need to do the arms and neck, and then wash it, wherein I'm hoping it will behave like my blue one (in the same yarn and also moss stitch) and loosen up quite a lot. If not, well, there's a back up plan, so it's not too much to worry about.

My mother-in-law will be getting a prayer shawl, which .. I'll skip the internal dialogue on.. suffice it to say I'm atheist. Nonetheless, the idea that it's a shawl meant to comfort and made while thinking fondly of her will be fine. It's nothing fancy - just 57 stitches, k3, p3, repeat - and it's just LB Homespun (3 skeins, machine washable and soft), but I do like how it's turning out. I'm just over half way finished (it was my plane knitting project) and will post pictures once it gets done.

Jack is getting (finally) his black Cotton Rich sweater. I'm trying to be surreptitious about working on it when he's not around so he won't know it's coming, but he could figure it out if he tried. *shrug* I also need to figure out something else for him (we do 2 holiday gatherings, one with each of our families, so we try to make sure we have something for each of us to open at each as our families like to see what we give each other), but it will likely be something non-knitted.

My sister-in-law requested a Lucy bag, so I'm going to start working on one of those pr'bly later this week, once I finish (again) a pair of half-finger gloves in Debbie Bliss's Cotton Cash for Jack. (Have I mentioned he's allergic to wool, alpaca, and near as I can tell almost any animal fiber? The cashmere seems to either be of low enough content in the Cotton Cash or not to cause a reaction, fortunately. This is the.. third or fourth pair of half-finger gloves I've made for him, so hopefully these will last.) I have three fingers left on the second one, so that should be done today. Then I'll do another, smaller Lucy bag for my almostneice. I also have cotton yarn to use for a pair of black socks for me and some gorgeous cashmere and cotton yarn in an orangishredish shade that Kim gifted me from her stash that will also be socks for me.

The backup plan for my sister is Clapotis in a vanilla/yellow mohair that I got in a trade. It's worsted weight, so not nearly as fine as the KSH, but still quite lovely. My sister is a high school drama director, so I suspect she could also find a few events to wear it to. I also have some more cotton and some lace weight merino (I think.. have to double check the fiber on that one) coming from someone's stash clearance, but I haven't decided for sure what those want to be. The cotton may become another attempt at Soleil since the first attempt is a touch too small and I'm not sure I like it well enough in microfiber to give it as a gift. We'll see.

There's more going on in general, especially at work, but it's Sunday morning and I'm not feeling particularly inclined to dwell on those things. Instead, I think I'll go make some coffee and finish Jack's gloves.

18 October 2005

Meeting the Press

So, I've not only survived my first encounter with the student newspaper, I seem to have triumphed. *smile*

I've been told (admittedly, by members of the Administration) that the editor-in-chief has something of a conspiracy theorist take on the University administration and has been known to pull things out of context and make mountains out of molehills without always checking his facts (it's unclear to me whether he intentionally ignores context or simply doesn't bother to find it out in the first place; I'm trying to give him the benefit of the doubt given that my sources are admittedly all "on the other side" of things from him). So I was a little nervous to meet with a reporter who stated that said editor had asked her to follow up on a rumor that new freshmen were dropping out of the University at a much higher rate this fall than ever before.

When I pulled the data, I found that while the trend was up slightly from last year, it was within a reasonable confidence interval (+/- 0.2%) of the trend line of the past five years. Yes, there's some fluctuation - with last year being -0.2% from the trend and this year being +0.2% of the trend - but, in my opinion, it's not enough to make a big deal about.

I was worried, though, that the reporter would simply focus on the change from last year, and was envisioning sensational headlines a la Spiderman. And there are a couple that, while technically correct, would be misleading as all get out and would constitute a rather blatant misuse of statistics.

Color me relieved, then, when the reporter sat down with me, listened to me talk for a minute about the trend and where things were this fall, looked at the nice little chart I prepared for her, and said, "So, there's not really any news here." *whew* She took my data to give proof to the editor that there wasn't a story there and was going to go ask him for another story assignment for this week.

I feel bad for the reporter because it's rather late in their news week and she's apparently already talked to several other people about the story, but today was the first time I could meet with her and no one else could give her solid data to deter her before she'd invested the time. I guess that's just part of journalism, though. And in all honesty, I'm just happy to not be the source for potentially controversial data. I'd rather never be mentioned in the press, but if I'm going to be, I'd prefer my debut to be something positive.

17 October 2005

Accomplishments abound.

Whee! I finished Birch Saturday afternoon, blocked it overnight, and wore it to the matinee of Dancing at Lughnasa yesterday. *smile* It was lovely. Much easier to wear than the rectangular wraps I have - I think because the extra weight in the back from the point keeps it from slipping to the sides. It's long enough to wrap over my forearms and just sit there even when I'm walking. I foresee a bright and warm future! On with the pictures (all are clickable thumbnails):

Last things first - this is the "wingspan" shot. It's about as wide as I'd expected, but got considerably longer during blocking than I thought it would. That's not a bad thing - just unexpected.

A close up of the pattern stitches. I followed the pattern pretty much exactly (except for inevitable mistakes) - including the K2tog TBL. When I re-started knitting after a year or more of not knitting after being taught, I mis-remembered the directions and ended up knitting eastern crossed for at least a couple years. In eastern crossed, the knit stitch is knit through the back loop, so knitting through the back loop is not at all foreign to me. It's no longer natural, but it's not odd, either. *shrug*

This was my first time blocking anything lacy like Birch, so I wanted to get a shot that included a little more detail of how I pinned it. I was worried about stretching it too much at the edges and creating ridges, but as you can see in the wingspan shot, that didn't happen.

Full blocking shot - it's on a queen sized futon, which gives a bit of a sense of scale. I misted it with regular water and then sort of pressed it with my hands to get the water to soak in (the Kidsilk Haze is so fuzzy that the water just misted on the fuzz and didn't soak in). I left it to dry overnight and by morning it was fine.

I started working on another project in worsted weight yarn yesterday afternoon in the car on the way to the play and wow did it feel strange! I got used to the lace weight stuff pretty quickly and now worsted weight feels huge in my fingers. The fabric is so.. dense! I should soon be getting some worsted weight mohair in a swap and I'm going to try another (smaller) lace and/or scarf/shawl project with it, if I can find one I like that uses what I'm getting. Suggestions are welcome.

We also got some stuff at Home Depot (using the last of the gift cards *sob*) yesterday, which I'm excited about in a sort of geeky way. We bought compact florescent lightbulbs for all the lights in the house. *blush* Our house is 90 years old and while the previous owners have done things like have insulation blown into the walls, it's not the most energy efficient home. Replacing the windows (which is scheduled for next Wednesday) will help enormously - the original windows are still in the house in all their pully-and-weight-dead-air-space and single-pane-and-storm-window glory - but we're still going to have considerably more hefty energy bills this winter than we're used to having. So at this point, any little thing will help, and Home Depot had the compact florescent's on sale - you could get the mini-60-watts 6 for $10, or 100-watts 4 for $10, or the daylight bulbs 3 for $10. We got two packages of the 60 watt bulbs and one of the daylight bulbs - which will go one each in the living room, dining room, and kitchen since the upstairs gets plenty of natural light and we typically spend more time downstairs anyway.

Huh. There's also a rather interesting new report available on concentrated poverty available from Brookings. Nothing earth-shatteringly new, but sort of nice to see some attention at the national level, even if it did take catastrophe to bring it to light.

14 October 2005

And.. I think.. it's a pattern..

So.. a few days ago I thought it would be neat to start doing double-face/double-turn tablet weaving again and I thought it would be really neat to start doing it on a practice piece that was relatively small. So no words, maybe an initial.. and then I remembered someone asking after a double-face/double-turn pattern for a compass rose. And, well, I've also been trying to figure out something neat but relatively small (as in not bulky) to give Katriona and Ingileif for helping me at the list table last weekend, so there we have a plan.

Except that the only pattern I could actually track down is a very old and very difficult to read scan of a Northwatch cover, which wasn't really clear enough to make out, much less follow. So I emailed Herveus and he didn't have a pattern, but he was willing to write one up. But I didn't want him to do that just for me - he's a busy many, after all - so I offered to do it myself if he'd provide some basic instruction for how to get started. Which he did. And which I followed.

So now, I have a pattern for a double-face/double-turn compass rose. And I have to admit it turned out better than I thought it would.

Now I just need to warp one of the looms and try it out. Right.

Did I mention that the pattern is 95 cards wide..? Not counting the border..? Guess I'm using the silk.


So, after at least six weeks and pr'bly more like eight weeks of next to no real exercise, I finally got off my butt and started running again yesterday. I took it easy, but didn't step back too much from where I was in the running plan* - run 3 minutes, walk 4 minutes, four repetitions. And I have to admit to less muscle soreness than when I started from scratch in June, but it's still somewhat of a shock to be stiff and sore after just 1 workout. *sigh* But, at least I started again. Next week I should be up to 3.5 minutes running, 3.5 minutes walking, five repetitions. I may stay there two weeks, though, depending on how quickly my endurance comes back and whether I actually also start adding in twice-weekly swim workouts.

*I run using a plan designed around a 7 minute block. In the first weeks, you run 1 minute, walk 6 minutes, repeat 4, 5, 6 or 7 times depending on your available time and stamina. Each week you add 30 seconds to the run portion and subtract 30 seconds from the walk portion. When I stopped, I was at 4 minutes running, 3 minutes walking, and five repetitions.

Birch was not, in fact, royally messed up. At least not when I last left you. I did manage to reverse the pattern for three repeats at the beginning of a row and then knit the rest of that row and the entire purl row after and start the next knit row before realizing it. Fortunately, the rows are shorter now, so tink back stitch-by-stitch was not nearly so painful as it could have been had I been so absentminded near the beginning. I'll try to get some good pics this weekend; my camera has been annoying me lately (can't set the card to take lower resolution pictures without it automatically turning off the flash regardless of the light level and nothing (except resetting it to take higher resolution pictures) lets me turn the flash back on).

There is a single fly that has been alternatively absent and annoying in my office all week. He will die today. As soon as he gets off my number pad.. wouldn't do to kill the keyboard at the same time.

12 October 2005

Yarn for Sale or Swap!

Whee! I need to destash a bit, or at least get some things that I'm more likely to use in the nearish future. On my monitor most of the colors are pretty true; where they're not, I've so noted. All pictures are clickable thumbnails; clicking them will bring you to a larger picture.

This is Lion Brand Woolspun in Slate Grey, which is a wool blend that is made to be thick-and-thin. It's constructed a bit like Homespun in that there's a thread running along with the spun wool to give it a little stability. This yarn has been discontinued. One full skein plus one partial. ($5)

This is Elann Endless Summer Collection Sonata in Black. 100% cotton, two full skeins. ($5)

I think this is something that used to be called Paton's Classic Chunky or Country or something. It's a single ply, chunky wool in light blue. There are two full skeins which have been hand balled. I no longer have the wrapper and can't find any information on line about yardage - Sorry! ($8)

Yarn from a recycled sweater. I like this, but can't verify the yardage or the yarn content, though I'm pretty sure it's probably cotton. The yarn is no longer tightly plied. ($5)

Schachenmayr nomotto Micro in purple. The color in this picture is a little darker than actual. A better picture of the color is here. Two full skeins plus a partial (pr'bly half a skein or more). ($6)

Various partial skeins of Lion Brand Jiffy in multiple colorways. I've made several Haiku's with LB Jiffy and a couple Sonnet's as well. It's a good yarn for kid clothes because it's machine washable. ($6)

Four skeins plus a mostly full partial of Lily Elite Cotton in peach. 100% cotton. I made a Shapely Tee from this yarn for my sister. ($10)

Wool of the Andes in Chestnut from KnitPicks. I ordered this when I was worried about running out of yarn for my raglan cardigan in hopes that it would be a close enough match to the peruvian wool from an Elann bag sale. It wasn't, so I ended up using Cranberry in a fibonacci striping pattern instead. ($7)

Numei acrylic chenille in deep garnet (this color appears to be discontinued). This is a very dark black-red, though not as black as the picture makes it appear. I started a cardigan in this yarn and decided I didn't like it as much as I expected. One panel of the cardi is still knit, but could be frogged if someone wanted more. There are 8 full skeins, plus a partial, unknit. I believe there were 12 full skeins originally. ($12)

Briggs & Little Atlantic in green heather. I made a Rollover Pullover from this for me and while I like it, I can't wear it next to my skin. I have to wear a long sleeved shirt underneath it or it's *way* too scratchy. It would likely make great felted bags or the like, though. Seven full skeins, one has been hand balled. I also have at least one partial skein of this around somewhere. ($20)

If any of this strikes your fancy, make me an offer! I'm particularly interested in natural fibers and sock yarns at the moment, though my moods change so if you have something you'd like to offer, throw it out there and we'll see. I'm also willing to sell any of this outright, so if you'd rather forego the swap bit, let me know.

And while I'm posting pictures, here are a couple of recently finished projects:

Simple ribbed socks in KnitPicks Simply Stripes in Vineyard. I don't think I like self-patterning sock yarn... I couldn't figure out what pattern to use to make these for the longest time and ended up just doing them in single rib. I've decided I prefer to do some sort of simple lace in the legs of my socks, so I don't think I'll be getting any more self-patterning stuff.

MJ's winter ears. These were her birthday present so she could continue to wear her ears through the winter without catching cold.

Knew it'd happen sometime..

So.. I somehow managed to mess up Birch while knitting in the car this morning on the way to work. I think I fixed whatever the problem was, but I was so frustrated with how long and putzy it was to fix that I put it down and didn't want to go back to it for the Stitch'n'Bitch over lunch. *sigh* I'll take a look again tonight and hopefully it will already all be fixed and not require anymore intervention on my part. It was going so *well*, too... I've decreased down to half the number of cast on stitches, which, given that it's a triangle shawl that started on and edge and not a point, means (at least if my geometry is right) that I'm about 3/4th of the way finished. So. Close.

And since it's got me in a cranky mood, can someone explain to me why people try to sell "hand beaded stitch markers" for $12-$15 for a set of 4? I mean.. well.. maybe it's just me, but a stitch marker is a tool. Tools don't have to be pretty - it' s not going to be incorporated into my final garment like a button or something, it's just something I'm using as a place holder. So paying $15 for *four*, when I tend to use them in higher quantity as a general rule (Aran sweaters, to mark every few pattern repeats in lace patterns, etc.) seems.. a waste. I mean.. am I missing something?

(Yes, yes, I understand that hand crafted items are often more expensive.. I'm questioning why anyone would bother to make hand crafted stitch markers, I guess. Seems unnecessary and possible annoying. I mean, if I'd used beaded stitch markers to mark every 50 stitches in Birch, I'd have spent way too much time untangling the little dangly bead bits from the fabric to make them any kind of asset.)

On a completely different topic.. does anyone have any suggestions for commonly used (and therefore generally "acceptable") outcome measures for transfer students? We seem to be incapable of defining outcome measures that are suitably comparable to outcome measures used for new freshmen (graduation rate, first year GPA, time-to-degree, etc.). I'm guessing that the lack of inclusion of outcome measures for transfer students on the larger national surveys points to their general absence, but it just seems like that can't be the case. *SO* many students transfer at some point in their undergrad careers that it seems patently irresponsible to not measure outcomes for them. *sigh* But then.. well.. a lot of higher education common practice lately has struck me as patently irresponsible (like the similar lack of learning outcomes measures for higher ed - we know they jumped through the hoops, but not if they learned anything in the process).


At least we seem to have identified what's been causing Jali to be so itchy lately. We're about 95% sure it's a food allergy. We recently switched her to Beneful, which seems to have something in it that she's allergic to. So back to Pedigree we go. (The switch wasn't really for any defined purpose other than a latent feeling of guilt that she must get bored eating the same food day after day, month after month, year after year. Pedigree is all just little brown nuggets. Beneful is fun shapes and multiple colors and ostensibly different flavors. Sort of like the difference between Lucky Charms and Cheerios. I mean, wouldn't you get bored if all you ate, for every meal of your life, was Cheerios?)

10 October 2005

This weekend was rather pleasant. I drove out to Pierre with Baroness Josceline, Iohanna, and Alissende, none of whom I knew particularly well. I was a little concerned that it would be a strained car trip - 9 hours each way is an awfully long trip with near strangers - but it was perfectly comfortable and pleasant and we chatted and learned from each other and generally got along quite well. I would happily travel again with them!

The event itself also went well. My understanding of what His Majesty wanted for the tourney changed a couple times between Friday afternoon and Saturday morning, but in the end he was able to set me straight and things went off without a hitch. Yes, I did track the tourney tree on my tablet, with a paper "back-up" that was given to the victor. Yes, the PDF of the tree is already posted to the impending MOT website (which should be officially published sometime in the next few days) and to the Kingdom Chronicler for publication in the November Northwatch.

The tourney was clean and fun. The combatants were at times noticeably intense, but also remembered to play and keep the crowd appraised of when and why blows were called or not called. There were moments of laughter (Hroder yelled out something like "Avocado!" to startle his opponent at one point), amusement (Vlad limboed under a marshall stick just before one of his bouts.. in full armor.. and it was held rather low!), and chivalry (in the finals, Hroder chose as his preferred weapons style sword and shield saying something to the effect of "if I can't beat you at this, I don't deserve to sit the thrones"; sword and shield is Lars' preferred weapons style and he acknowledged Hroder's courage by forfeiting his "extra" victory (Lars came through the "victor's" bracket and had not lost a bout; Hroder has lost one bout - to Lars in the second to last round - and therefore by strict double-elim rules would have needed to defeat Lars twice in a row to claim the throne)).

There are some with concerns about the outcome of the tourney, but I have to admit that every interaction I've had personally with the new Heirs has been pleasant and polite and not in the least striking of arrogance. Young and new-ish to the Kingdom they may be, but I don't have any sense of dread or foreboding like it seems so many others do. Sometimes I think people just need to have something to get their panties in a twist over. *shrug*

I was productive enough in the car on the trip out to balance the utter lack of production on the trip back. I got another couple repeats of Birch finished and am far enough on the grant proposal to feel comfortable. I also finally got to watch the DVD of Declining by Degrees in the hotel Friday night after dinner. I'm only about a quarter of the way through the companion book, but at least now I can pass the DVD on to others to watch.

This week I intend to work more on Birch and do some research into some tablet weaving things I've been kicking around. I want to re-learn double-turn/double-face, so I'm looking for a suitable practice pattern to work on. I have Plans(tm), or at least Ideas(tm), for what I want to do eventually, but this is just to get restarted again.

Which reminds me I need to go add the link to the tablet weaving loom I want to my WishList...

06 October 2005

Checklist for the weekend

Okay.. I think I'm just about ready for this weekend.

My clothing is largely packed. I need to drop the linen underdress that was in the dryer into the bag, but that should be everything. I even remembered my slippers for when I just want to wandering about the hotel.

I need to pack up toiletries when I get home tonight. I also will want to shower.

The list stuff box is ready to go, with the exception of the extra trees I printed today. They'll get added, but will likely be largely unnecessary as I plan to bring the tablet (I have a grant proposal draft to work on in the car on the way to Pierre, and if I feel like being really antisocial I can watch the DVD for Declining by Degrees as well) which has the tree in Excel and Adobe Acrobat Standard for easy conversion and distribution of the final tree.

The list of things for the cooler has been compiled and everything that needs to be is in the fridge. This includes: something around 4 dozen non-alcoholic chocolate truffles (slightly more than half of which are cherry flavored and slightly less than half of which are creme de menthe flavored); something aroung a dozen and a half alcoholic chocolate truffles (made with Phillips Union Cherry Whiskey); a bag of baby carrots; a jar of bacon-ranch dressing for dipping said carrots in; two bags of ham slices; two bags of cheese curds; 4 bottles of honey porter; 1 bag dark chocolate peanut M&Ms. I should pr'bly grab a plate for the ham and a little bowl for the dressing. My flask is on the liquor cabinet and will need to get added to the outside pocket of the cooler. I may also throw in a couple cans of soda. My water bottle will just get carried along in the car.

I'll need to throw my book(s pr'bly - I'm reading Declining by Degrees and The Reckoning at the moment, and depending on whether I'm up for work-related or not I'll pr'bly want to have both available) and my knitting into the tablet bag when I get home. I also need to identify what all I'm going to need for the grant proposal draft and either save it to my tablet or bring it with me.

So that will mean I'll have my overnight bag, my briefcase/tablet bag, the list stuff box, a smallish cooler, and my camp chair. Hopefully that's not too much to fit into Josceline's car.. *fret*

05 October 2005

And on that note..

So.. I think I mentioned that I discovered Houston County Women's Resources yesterday while perusing the annual United Way giving campaign materials. And I think I also mentioned that I emailed them asking about volunteer ops. I didn't mention, because I didn't know for sure I could go until just before I left, that they got back to me and invited me to attend a training/orientation session last night for new and potential board members. So from about five until about eight last night I learned all about HCWR. They're rather amazing in what they manage to do with the budget they have and just *5* full time-staff.

By way of background, Houston County is predominantly rural - we live in the county seat (pop. around 3,000), which is one of only five incorporated cities in the county. Houston County neighbors both Wisconsin and Iowa, and is just across the river from La Crosse - the largest, closest city - and about an hour to an hour and a half from Rochester, MN. There's not much down here to begin with, so to find such a thriving and active and successful women's rights advocacy agency was a little surprising in all honesty.

HCWR operates a 24-hour crisis line, they provide services (counseling, groups, emergency financial support, etc.) for victims of sexual assault, they provide services for children who are sexually assaulted and/or from violent homes, they provide services for battered women and victims and survivors of domestic violence. They run a transitional housing program with 7 apartments available for up to 24 months to homeless women and their children. They provide trained supervisors for child visitation and exchanges that are court-mandated to be supervised. They run a Safe House program that provides temporary housing to women and children fleeing violent homes. Did I mention there are only *FIVE* full-time staff?

So, to make an already long story less likely to be longer, I submitted an application via email last night to serve on their board of directors. This is.. perfect for where I am. A few years ago.. okay, several years ago... while living in Seattle, I was active with domestic violence crisis intervention and advocacy. One of the studies I worked on in my master's program was to pilot a computerized social services screening questionnaire for use in hospital emergency rooms as a tool for initiating conversations between medical staff (and hospital social services staff) and patients about psychosocial issues that may be impacting the patient's life. Domestic violence was high on the list of screening topics. I had a fellowship during the summer between my first and second years of graduate school to research low-income access to medical and social services - I focused on the emergency department as, in many cases, the only contact some people have with "the system". The provision of social services - either directly or by referral - to emergency department patients would, in my opinion, go a long way toward easing some of the burden on crowded emergency rooms, and also likely increase the social capital of the patients, not to mention hopefully get them some concrete assistance to help get them out of poverty.

Hrm.. tangented there a bit. Oh well. The upshot, though, is that since I left grad school three years ago, I haven't been plugged into any advocacy. And.. it's been a little disturbing to me. So now, now at a time when I can and am motivated, I'm presented with an opportunity to really serve and help guide an agency that's doing amazing things. And that's both exciting and a little scary. *smile*

And then this morning, in reviewing and catching up on a few days of blogs, I find this compliments of Julia. And.. after a night of finally getting hooked back into women's rights and advocacy for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.. it's.. truly frightening. And a little bit daunting. And a smidge deflating. *sigh*

04 October 2005


So, there are still about half a million bits flying around in my skull, but some of the older ones are getting handled. Like the CDS forms - they got distributed today with a due date of 10/25 so I have time to get them back before the first of the big annual surveys is due. Of course, there's still a chunk of them that I need to complete, but about half of my part is prepared and just needs to be entered, which is such a far cry ahead of where anything was last year that it's sort of a relief.

I've had more knitting time, too. I'm something like six repeats into Birch and I *love* it. It's beautiful and soft and snuggly and I love the color and I have two 8-hour car trips this weekend so I will pr'bly get lots more of it finished. Well, assuming that it doesn't take all of that time to work up the outline of the grant proposal. So we'll see. Birch is so terribly portable, too, that I've found myself bringing it to things like lectures and other large group meetings that I just have to be an audience member for, which has been very nice. I got a full repeat finished last night while listening to Jane Elliott speak on campus. She was, by the by, very funny and made some great points about the racism built into much of modern education. She does a very revealing exercise with the Mercator map that really points out how an underlying and seemingly innocuous classroom aid perpetuates ideals of cultural dominance.

In other news, it's United Way annual giving campaign time, which is sort of neat for me, given my background in social services. I've been feeling more and more lately like I need to get re-connected to the domestic violence prevention initiatives in the area and through the materials distributed through the United Way campaign, I've discovered Houston County Women's Resources. So, in addition to my annual giving contribution, I've also emailed them to inquire about potential volunteer opportunities. I'd love to be able to get involved again with something like the Seattle Police Department DV Victim Support Team, but I'm not sure if there are programs like that out here. It's more likely that they'll need folks to staff their 24-hour crisis line, which I am qualified to do, but tend to prefer face-to-face crisis intervention. *shrug*

Ack! 2 p.m. meeting starting.. now!