Monday, October 23, 2006

Halloween 2006

Portland's Stephen and Nicolle hold the world's best Halloween party every year. It was last weekend... all weekend...! The theme was "Heroes and Villans." Everyone complied beautifully, except for us (dorks!). We wanted to do something medical, so we chose organs. I was a gravid uterus. It's hard to see in this pic but my shirt bears a near-term fetus. Matt was supposed to be a prostate. We put a huge effort into his costume, complete with ureter. At the last minute we realized it wasn't going to fit so he wound up using his standard pirate duds. I took the fire pic, but the other two are Stephen's work. We took over the Dalles Ranch for the weekend. Let me just say that if you ever need to hold a large party, this is where you want to do it. Highlights: Mongo bonfire, pettable "wild" deer, copper tub perfect for two, movie theater, museum-quality fossils on the walls. All in all, it made for a fantastically relaxing weekend.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

When will it stop?

Our dictator has signed new legislation today. The Supreme Court ruled in June that military tribunals at Guantanamo Bay violated US and international law. No problem! Let's have the Ministry of Justice update the law to suit our current needs, shall we?

The BBC reports that the new law "gives the president the authority to decide which other techniques interrogators can use. The law does not require that detainees be granted legal representation. It also bars non-US citizens from filing habeas corpus petitions challenging their detentions in federal court. [...] There are about 450 detainees at Guantanamo, according to the Bush administration."

Hmmm... I wonder if that number is accurate?

Reuters says "The Military Commissions Act of 2006 sets standards for interrogating suspects, but through a complex set of rules that human rights groups say could allow harsh techniques bordering on torture, such as sleep deprivation and induced hypothermia [...] The new law means Bush can continue a secret CIA program for interrogating terrorism suspects whom he believes have vital information that could thwart a plot against America [...] It establishes military tribunals that would allow some use of evidence obtained by coercion."

Um... HE believes???

This pales in comparison to the rights violations of American citizens here at home. Hey, girl, time to open those eyes!

Monday, October 16, 2006

More socks made just for me!

I'm so excited... not only did I just submit my application after rehashing the essay all day, but FiberQat just gave me a sneak peak at the purple toe-warmers she's knitting up for me. I'm so lucky!

Our shrink-inating plan for Thoth is working. He's getting slimmer and more active. Note the lack of toothy weapons on Peachy. He just gums you fiercely, and roars his battle cry, which sounds like a small squeaky toy.

PLUS... a friend told me a secret that makes me very happy. It's about time! (You know who you are!)

Sunday, October 15, 2006

USS Turner Joy, explored

The girls came to visit this weekend. We took them out to see the USS Turner Joy, a naval destroyer docked at Bremerton. You can get a tour, or just climb around and touch stuff, which of course is what we opted for. We also did pumpkins. Gillian (10) did the traditional scary face. Maddie (13) did the fluffy cat. The rabbit is mine - my first pumpkin carving ever!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

MCAT scores are in!

Finally! I've been going nuts... but they were released electronically today and I did just fine. In fact, my total score was a 35, well above the UW average of 31.5 (93.1 - 95.1 percentile).

I can't even find an image that expresses my happiness and relief, so just use your imagination. *SIGH*

Friday, October 13, 2006

Fairy Tale Fibers

My good friend Holly in Portland is an eclectic artist. She does everything from iron welding to spinning, and her creative efforts are as gorgeous as she is. Take a look at her fun and funky hats. I have one - sage green with furry white trim - and love it. Her long-term goal is to have a self-sustaining farm, so act now while she's still a part of civilized society!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Angry Red Lobster of Death

Matt bought this adorable giant lobster for Blackberry and me. She loves to play with ballons: She grabs the string in her mouth and runs through the apartment with them. Here's the funny bit... I don't know if it's the big eyes or what, but the cats are terrified! The two stripey boys are still hiding in the bedroom 24 hrs later. At least it's an improvement from their previous hideout behind the toilet. Thoth is simply too lazy to get that excited, so he's here on the couch with me.

UPDATE: After 36 hrs they were still under the bed. We got worried about dehydration and litter box issues, so we brought the lobster into the bedroom, hoping to chase them out. Unfortunately it just entrenched them deeper. We had to lock the ARLoD in the bathroom for a few more hours before they would come out from under, and it still took a forcible extraction to make them leave the bedroom. Compare that reaction to the bunny's: She took one look, went over to it, and immediately turned her back and began grooming. That's rabbitspeak for "I am so cool and unafraid of you that I can ignore you and clean my feet." She's completely fearless. :) I think it was the eyes that made a difference. Previous ballons were towed by Blackberry and ignored by the boys.

Other amusing livestock stories: Fig learned how to work the lever-type latch for the bedroom. It wasn't long before Blackberry started herding him over there to make him open the door for her. We had to replace it with a round knob, and we have our fingers crossed that he doesn't realize the outside door works the same way.

Oh - that last picture? Sometimes the news actually reports the truth!

Friday, October 06, 2006

I've gone to the big yarn stash in the sky.

Sock Wars is still booming along, but I had a fast, experienced English knitter as an assassin. This means a) I got a GREAT pair of heathery purple toe-warmers, and b) I got knocked out in the first round. I was able to commit a little mayhem myself before death, as evidenced by the rainbowish pair. Sock-cess! They were my first ever, but came out pretty darn well if I may say so myself. Karen, my NY victim, was appreciative and enthusiastic, although her response may have been influenced by the local chocolate I enclosed, as well as pain meds for her dental surgery (owiee!). The third pair, crafted by another sock warrior, is an example of what too much time, creativity, and talent can achieve.

Preparations for SWII are underway!

Monday, October 02, 2006

An abundance of creative riches!

My trusty Kodak finally died last month. It served me well for years, but I just wore it out. I really liked Grandpa's micro last weekend and it got me wanting a replacement. I've been struggling along with Matt's camera, but it just doesn't suit me physically and the shutter lag is far too long for me. Today I made a new friend at the local camera shop and came away with the coolest toy ever. It does more tricks than Cirque de Soleil, yet its CASE is smaller than my old camera. I had intended to pick one out at the store, then go home and buy it online, but I got 18 free classes this way. Plus instant gratification! Kirsten, the manager, was brilliant and incredibly helpful. I'm looking forward to making some big prints at her store and putting them on the walls.

I'll most likely be quiet for a while as I:
1) finish off my med school essays
2) knit like a demon
3) learn my new toy!

I'm so excited I need rubber pants!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

This internet-tradey-swappy-make-new-friends thing is addicting!

I just discovered the Spin to Knit Handspun Secret Pals Swap. This is going to be SO... MUCH.... FUN!!!!!

Last weekend I flew back to the Right Coast to visit my family. We had a huge party: Grandparents, aunts and uncles, the whole schmear. Mom is a Naturopath and Nurse Practioner. Dad is a semi-retired telecommunications engineer. That's them to the left. Grandpa is big into Spinoza. Grandma broke her hip a month ago. We've been very worried about her but I was gratified to see her moving better than expected. It was great to see everyone looking so happy and healthy. My aunt Joan surprised me with a lovely fiberholic's care package, including some incredible firey mohair yarn which has inspired me to attempt my first lace project.

Yesterday I ventured out to Village Yarn & Tea for a Sock Warrior meetup. I met some great girls (some of their blogs to the right) and had a great time while deciding on a project for the mohair. Unfortunately, I will have to avoid the shop in the future because they carry roving (Must... use... stash...), but they do make a mean cup of Bamboo Maiden.

I came to a little decision that's made me very happy. I really want a big homemade cozy sweater for the winter, but I've been putting off making another sweater for myself because I'm trying hard to lose weight and I don't want to invest all that effort on something I (hopefully) will not be able to wear next year. Lying in bed last night it struck me that I should use my Manos. I bought it 2 years ago, before I learned that fat single-ply yarn wouldn't hold up to much use. I've been unable to sell or trade it because I LOVE the colors (varigated reds). So here's the plan, quite obvious in retrospect. I'll make my luscious, amazing sweater and wear the heck out of it. By Spring it'll be a pilly mess so I'll pack it away until Fall, when I'll FELT it to fit my new & improved body! If it felts funkily, I'll just make a purse out of it and cherish my memories. And that makes me feel warm and cozy already.