Archive for January, 2007

taking a class

I am in the vicinity of a community of interesting and really smart people, that I think I’ll take advantage of.  So I’ve added to my plans of learning how to knit folk mittens (this woman has a really good tutorial here),  I am also going to sit in on a class with this man. 
I haven’t done a class for almost five years, I feel kind of excited!


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I was on my way out to sort somethings out with the library (I am the library’s best customer you might say, as in I bring in a lot of revenue, although our little conversation went quite well) and I noticed a parcel with my name on it in the hallway. So yesterday I became the owner of these 1960s home journals;


Thanks Ruth!  I need a new knitting project and there is a smart rabbit in there I might tackle before I progress to the mittens.  Crafty group starts again today. These magazines are full of patterns for knitting and sewing, and cooking.  The furniture pages are real nice, I mean they’d look pretty flash today.  The advertisements are hilarity too – human made stuff that replicates real stuff is A. Number One.  “Bri-nylon will do something for her Christmas!”. Or this little add in the corner of a page near the end;

“DRINK HABIT DESTROYED: in these troublesome times, you cannot afford to see your money being used for excessive DRINKING.  Eucrasy has been the means of bringing happiness into many homes that were scenes of misery.  It can be given SECRETLY in any food, guaranteed harmless.  Destroys all desire for drink.  Restore peace and harmony to YOUR home.”

That is kind of funny, in a not really funny, sad, horrible way.  Some Spaghetti tuna casserole Robert*?

*Robert was the most popular boys name for ten years straight in the 1930s, and did pretty well in the 1940s too…

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New York was a pretty amazing place, I loved it, and we had the best time. So much going on, and so big, we only really had time to do the touristy stuff, though we got to wander down the whole island. I think it would be an exciting to place to live for a little while, to go out to all the shows, and exhibitions, to have money to spend in the boutique restaurants and shops, and friends to get tickets with and meet in Soho. You’d definitely need money though. There were some amazing shops, and I got some ideas of things I’d like to make, especially these little displays in small glass bottles, sealed up with wax. Hard to describe but real pretty. I saw three Chagall paintings including this one. I was excited wandering through, wondering when I’d come across it. I love this painting as well;


We ate our breakfast each morning in this diner where the woman serving had the greatest hairstyle. Her fringe was gelled and combed flat against her forehead and the rest of her hair was plaited and wound around her head. She was really nice and the food was good too. Bush did his state of the union speech while we were there, and the New York Times printed this poem; The ferry terminal across to Staten Island displayed all these orange signs stating the national level of alert to ‘terror’, though they didn’t mean anything to me, I mean I didn’t feel anything seeing them, maybe sort of perplexed about what that meant. I haven’t met or over-heard one person who supports Bush. I guess it is the area we live in. The people we talked to in New York were real nice, helpful, I guess I didn’t expect that because I had heard how people are impatient and got attitude.  Yeah, we had a lot of fun.

It was nice to come back to my own bed though, with our nice cosy sheets and quilt, there is nothing nicer than that. I’ve been to the library this afternoon, it was sort of warm so I ventured outside and picked up a book of knitting patterns, a comic book, and a Palestinian Fairy Tale. I lost a mitten on the bus, one of my favourite ones from Lithuania. I’m going to try to knit another pair, which will no doubt be insanely hard, but won’t it be great if I can? When I leave Boston I’ll be able to say that I learnt to knit folk mittens (amongst other things) and I think that will be a good achievement. I have a lot of time to think and be alone here, which is both good and bad. I think about New Zealand often, but I’m always trying to figure out whether I’m making the most of living here, about what I should do next; so this week I am going to try to relax more and enjoy not having mountains of work to do, do some work reading and writing, knit my mittens, read my books, and take each day as it comes.

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Yesterday afternoon I did this personality test to see what sort of job I should try to get (probably only slightly better than looking to the stars for your future, but I don’t mind, who doesn’t like doing a quiz?) I was most like an INFJ . I made Mark do the test too, to make sure that, you know we made the right decision going out and that (that being getting married…) and luckily it was all okay, he wasn’t a QPNY or anything, he was most like an INTJ which is good for an INFJ. So whew.

This time tomorrow we’ll be on our way to New York, NEW YORK! We’ve written a list of all the things we want to do so we probably wont sleep much. I’m excited about going in a draw to get seats to WICKED, you give them your name two hours before the show and they pull out 30 names and if one of them is yours you’ll get a frontish row seat for $20. I am pretty looking forward to going to MOMA, and the MET where I will hopefully see my first painting by Chagall.

When I get back I’ll have to do something about this site because I am running out of room. I can buy more room, or shift it to something, or something. Mark mentioned it so I’ll see about that later. It is snowing really lightly outside right now with little bits wafting around, like we are in a snow globe. By the time we get back I think these will be hatched…


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I like that. 5ive. Does it work for 3hree? Not so well. 2wo? Yes. I like that.

1. The english class I tutor was really big today, which made me a bit anxious for a little bit, but then it was fun, and I really enjoyed talking to everyone and getting to know people more. All the people in the class seem so nice, and really interesting. I got a bit stumped explaining why you say ‘a uniform’ and ‘an umbrella’. In fact I should find that out.


2. I found this teapot in the goodwill store on the way home. It is made in Japan and is so pretty. I keep going into the kitchen to look at how great it is.


3. This note about Communists and Smokers was taped on the door out of our apartment building yesterday. Were his kids the smokers? It made me feel like I was living in a dysfunctional flat, and a little freaked, but also made me giggle and wonder about all the people piled into this building. Last night, in that weird thinking before dreaming, I imagined us all in our beds going to sleep, probably stacked up because I think the design is the same for all the flats. That could sound a little strange but I quite liked the idea. Once we had a fire alarm at about nine thirty at night, not a real fire, but it ‘smoked’ everyone out, some in their pajamas and it was so exciting to see everyone, especially for a newbie in an enthusiastic friend making stage.

4. I have three tulips in a pot that have buds on and really might flower. I was worried they’d die being inside with the heater and things, but the flower heads are starting to peak out from the leaves and I think they might be okay! Fingers crossed. I try to move them around so they get maximum light. If they flower I will be so happy. They are supposed to be yellow.

5. I cooked a casserole. This morning I suddenly felt like casserole, which I never cook. I got a recipe from the New Zealand Woman’s Weekly. For some reason I trust the Woman’s Weekly when it comes to casseroles. It could be the association with my Nana who cooks very good ones, who always had a subscription. I modified it a bit and replaced meat with big black eye beans, sherry with ginger wine and maple syrup which maybe sounds terrible but was GOOD mmmm, and put in extra garlic and fresh thyme and it was soooo good, on top of mashed potato. Seriously rivaled the teapot for number one thing about today. Although, the casserole is all gone, and I still have my pretty tea jug.

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Face shattering cold

Minus 12C feels as though it could freeze your face and make it smash into pieces. I actually had that fear as I got about two minutes from our house this morning and my ears were hurting my head and my eyes were freezing into a squint. It really was very cold, and the deceptive sunshine meant I was unprepared, despite my usual obsessive visitation of a weather website. I was going to run to the phone box and call Mark to come and bring me my new hat because I really felt like I might come across an unfortunate end. But I made to my destination and warmed up okay, and thankfully lived.

I had a little of the Post-Huge Piece of Work Blues but I am feeling quite better now. I even read a paper about public health that really interested me, a historical perspective on the difference between Canada and the US, about how greater economic wellbeing and spending on health care wasn’t as effective as public provision of health, and income redistribution. I am thinking about what sort of work I would like to do when we move to Toronto.

There is a church in our neighbourhood that is a landmark that is familiar to me, and makes me feel something to look at. It is tall and stone and I’ve been there a few times, it is the most liberal church I’ve encountered, and the stained glass windows are of blocks of coloured glass embedded really deep into stone. So beautiful. I would really like to go up into that top part and look out the window.


I’ve decided to get a bit creative on my quilt seen as the fabric hasn’t been conducive to neat stitching. Hearts and * type flowers are working well though…


I hope you’re warm where you are! xx sarah

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I got some of our photos developed over the weekend and strung a piece of wool across a wall and pegged them up, along with favourites of friends and family, and some pictures from my 1800s old kids book.  It looks nice, especially this one of Walden pond and a silver birch, and one of my Nana holding up a G&T like she is saying “cheers”. Not much to say today.  I am working out what I am going to do with my days now that I don’t have a thesis to work on for a month or so.  I should write a paper on something to do with it, so I need to find a topic, and some motivation to do it!


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