Friday, March 30, 2012

Umbilical Cord Hat

Pattern: Umbilical Cord Hat by Jennifer L. Jones (in Stitch n' Bitch)
Yarn: Knit Picks Comfy Worsted
Needles: US 7 and 8 circs, US 8 dpns
Made for: Baby Juliana
Time to completion: 3 days
Cast on 72 stitches for a bigger baby!

I needed a simply, quick hat to make for a 2-month old. I ordered some yarn from Knit Picks...only to be a bit disappointed in the color. Oh, well. It feels good, at least! And I learned something new: how to do an i-cord. It seemed strange but was super easy and came out great! I love - successfully - learning new things!

As Mr. Higgins and I plug our way through season six of West Wing, I've been knitting every evening this week. It's amazing how much more productive I feel at the end of the day! I've even been making progress on this project from long, long ago.

It was a good knitting week!

Thursday, March 29, 2012


It looks like the decision of my future boss has been made. Of course, I had no input in that decision. However, I think the right person is getting the job.... Unfortunately, I don't think that person is going to be the easiest person to work for.

This entire selection process has been a nightmare from the very beginning. Then, after the candidates were decided, we found out the hard way that some were never really prepared to move and fill the position. Why then, pray tell, did you apply for the job to begin with?! They wasted our time and their own by pretending to take this job search seriously.

In a time with so many people out of work, this makes me sick. It also undermines a tedious search. Here's how it works.... An academic department posts a job. Applicants apply. A committee narrows it down to about 20-25 candidates who are interviewed for half an hour at the annual national meeting. After those interviews, they narrow it down to 10-12 candidates. The entire faculty decide to bring 3-4 candidates to campus for a 3-day long interview process. This interview is not fun for anyone; it's grueling, especially for the candidate. After this, the faculty vote on who gets the job.

This entire process takes a year. So, you can imagine everyone's frustration when one - or a few - of the final candidates never really wanted to move to assume the position. Arg!

And now I have to move one boss out and another in. Fun times.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


We had a Game of Thrones, Season 1 marathon over the course of the last two Sundays and now I'm really looking forward to season 2, which starts this Sunday.

Few shows have been done as well as GOT. HBO, though obsessed with showing as much skin and sex as possible, does a great job with their shows, especially the period pieces. GOT is fantasy, which causes even more obstacles with the effects needed to create another world. If any network can handle fantasy, it's HBO.

Mr. Higgins and I blazed though all of Martin's Song of Fire and Ice last summer. Whenever I read something that quickly, I forget a lot of the details. So, the second season will be full of suprises and "oh, yeahs."

I can't wait!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Childhood Classics

Mr. Higgins and I have been watching some of our favorite movies from our childhoods. It's been a lot of fun!

I think the most interesting of them all was BEDKNOBS AND BROOMSTICKS. I vaguely remembered bits and pieces of this movie so it was a delight to fill in the gaps. For instance, I had completely forgotten the Nazi plot line!

ANNIE was something I thought I remembered pretty well. However, I did not remember the bad language...and how the ladies' dresses were very revealing when they were dancing around! Geez! I must have watched this on TV back in the day, where the language was cleaned up a bit.

Of course, I'd seen THE SOUND OF MUSIC several times but it was fun to watch it all the way through on Blu-Ray. And it's always a joy to watch Julie Andrews.

They really don't make movies like they used to, do they? I was going to say that a lot of children's movies of today have political overtones....but so did all the movies I mentioned above. The Nazis play a part in two and doesn't Annie meet with FDR and talk about the New Deal? And look at the significance of Daddy Warbucks' name!

After watching these, one thing is for sure: the music will stay with you for days and weeks after. Ha!

Thursday, March 22, 2012


Is there anything worse than the dentist? I've gotten to where I try to forget my dentist appointments just so I don't worry about them for two weeks in advance.

So, I was slightly alarmed to remember that I had to have a filling this week. Ugh! Ever since my first cavity (at the age of 20) turned into a root canal, I've been a little nervous about any and every filling. Yesterday, the dentist got out that needle to stick in my gums to numb them and I quickly closed my eyes, determined to not even see the dreaded contraption. The shot took too long and hurt too much. Then, he got another vial and that needle came towards my mouth again! I closed my eyes and kept them shut so tight that tears threatened at the corners of my eyes. This one took too long, as well. How long does it take to inject that stuff?

And why is the shot to numb the area worse than the actual drilling? Geez!

I wouldn't agree with my dentist that the cavity was done "in no time" but it was relatively easy. My mouth stayed numb way too long, however, probably because of the double dose. Actually, my jaw still hurts from the shots.

I hate the dentist!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Having Kids

I guess it's that time. Many of my friends are having babies. When friends of friends find out that I don't want kids, the response is a vehement gasp, "why?!"

Let me just say that not wanting kids does not mean that you're strange. It means that you're responsible enough to make a decision that goes against what many in society view as the norm. From an early age we're told, "you'll be a mother some day," and "one day, when you have kids, you'll understand..." It's drilled into us that we're supposed to have kids. Our lives are supposed to follow a typical road - get married, have 2.5 kids, have even more grand-children.

I never thought I'd have kids, I never wanted kids, and I always argued when someone said, "you'll change your mind." I've never changed my mind. Kids are not something I need for my life to be complete. I want other things out of life.

This is not wrong. As I said before, it's responsible. There are enough people on this planet. There are enough people chipping away at our natural resources. I'm tired of people. Therefore, why in the world would I attempt to make more?!

I admire those who start families these days. It's not easy in this world, with this economy. I wish them luck. I'll be happy to knit them baby clothes. After all, baby clothes are less time consuming than adult clothes! And I'm perfectly content being an aunt only. That's the way it's supposed to be.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Neglected Knitting

My knitting has sat, sadly neglected, for over two weeks. I picked it up for Knit Night on Wednesday and was happy to get to knitting again.

The fingerless gloves are coming along, though they probably won't be done until fall or winter. The pattern was much more complicated than we - my knitting buddy and I - thought. But I made the thumb hole and am happily knitting the hand. This happiness will end, I'm sure, when I have to knit the thumb. Ha!

There are so many things I want to knit for newborns and my friends who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant. There are, literally, not enough hours in the day for me knit and craft all I want. It's very frustrating!

But I love it!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Black Bottom Banana Bars

Last night, I had three overripe bananas and wanted to bake something. I thought about banana bread but something held me back....possibly the two cups of sugar required for my family recipe.

I started looking around the internet and found Becky Higgins' recipe for Black Bottom Banana Bars. It sounded interesting. I haven't had much chocolate banana stuff and was curious to see if I'd like the taste. So, I whipped it up.

Yum! I would in no way describe this recipe as bars, though. Mine came out as cake....moist, yummy cake! I don't know if I did something wrong (I can't see anything I screwed up) but the result is definitely to my liking. And that's all that matters, right?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Wedding

My best friend's wedding ended up going off without a hitch. I've known Stephanie for twelve years now (!!) and I've never seen her so happy.

The rain held off until the reception, thank goodness! I still got soaked when we left, though. Let me tell you.... Running around in the rain when it's 45 degrees in sandals with no hose and a chiffon dress on is not my idea of a good time. I thought I would surely get sick....but, thank goodness, that hasn't happened.

The wedding was gorgeous. Stephanie was stunning in her dress, her skin glowed with happiness. The minister messed up a few times but we laughed it off. I always like it when someone makes a causes everyone to take a deep breath and laugh, ending any stiffness in both the audience and the wedding couple. Everyone seemed to have a good time at the reception - so it was all good!

I now Stephanie is glad it's over and so am I. The stress was getting to all of us, I think. Now the bride and groom can enjoy each other.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Stupid Rain!

I've not been sleeping well this week. It probably has to do with my best friend's wedding on Saturday. I'm not worried or stressed....but obviously some part of my brain is.

Perhaps it's the rain... The forecast for Saturday keeps getting worse. We're now up to an 80% chance of rain. It's every bride's nightmare and one that, as a bridesmaid, I'll have to help her get through with her sanity intact. When I got married we had a saying that kept me calm: "no matter what, you'll be married by the end of the day and that's all that matters." It definitely helps put things in perspective!

This cute video made me laugh yesterday and I hope it will do the same for you! See you next week!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


I'm helping out a professor by meeting with his students to discuss their writing. They've been assigned a book review of The Kite Runner and I'm supposed to help them with the topics they've been told to discuss.

After reading about seven papers, I've made a few observations.... I really like copy-editing! I'm actually not supposed to worry about grammar (the Writing Center will help the students with that) but I can't not correct something that's obviously wrong. I'm too OCD! But I actually like it! I'd considered copy-editing before and actually interviewed for and was offered a job that would have led to a career including copy-editing....but the pay was way too low. Even then, I thought I'd be bored to tears doing what I'm currently really enjoying! Wow!

That being said, I'm saddened to report that there will probably be very few coherent books published from this current generation of college students. Literature is dead. The writing is just too awful. Granted, these are freshman, but I came across a girl who had no idea what a pronoun was....or how to use it! It was very tedious inserting "him" and "her" throughout her paper.

This is proof that the American public education system has failed. There is very little hope, from what I see on a day-to-day basis.

Isn't that a cheery thought?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Religious Digression

In case you haven't figured it out, I work in a religion department. My colleagues are extremely intelligent people who have broad religious interests and understandings. They teach tolerance to college kids who probably have ever known one religion.

So imagine my surprise when I heard not one, not two, but FOUR digressions on their part on the absurdity of the Catholic Church yesterday. Really?

Most of you know that I'm Catholic. While I have some issues with my Church, and while I'm not the most faithful of Mass attendees of late, I will never be anything other than Catholic. Why? Because it's the oldest form of Christianity; it's the root of all Christianity; and I believe the purest form of anything is the oldest form.

Most of my colleagues know that I'm Catholic...and I'm amazed that I'm the only Catholic in my department (we are in the deep, Protestant South, however). I couldn't believe what I was hearing yesterday! I know that none of them meant to insult me personally. I know that none of them gave it a second thought....and that's the problem. Everyone is so self-absorbed that they forget that what they do affects others.

And I expect this from most people....but not the intelligent among us. Especially those who open so many young minds to the religious variety of our world.

P.S. Just because Rick Santorum is crazy and Catholic, doesn't mean the rest of us are. That's like assuming all Protestants are members of the Ku Klux Klan.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

A Picnic

It has been an incredibly mild winter here in Texas. Given how harsh it was last year, I don't mind the change. High temperatures are now hovering around 70-75 degrees. Nice!

To celebrate the lovely weather, Mr. Higgins and I went on a picnic yesterday. We picked up sandwiches for dinner and sat out to enjoy the glorious weather. It's funny how we forget to do enjoy something so simple as great weather. In Texas there is very rarely a transition period between too hot and too cold to be outside. This year, however, seems to be the exception.

Last year, the harsh winter transitioned to the hottest summer on record. I'm really hoping our mild weather will continue through summer.

In the meantime, Mr. Higgins and I have vowed to continue to get out and enjoy the weather as long as it continues to be nice. It was nice having a date night in the middle of the week; it really breaks up a long work-week!