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emmy [AT] curious-notions {dot} net
January 2023
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He’s no Professor X, but he’ll do

This has to be quick. While I’ve finished the worst of my TA responsibilities, I still have about 100 homeworks to grade. Oh boy, I just got dizzy there realizing how much I still have to do. But still! Story time.

The other night Bear and I were heading out to take our old TV to the house of a friend of his. The friend is purchasing the TV from us. Since otherwise, it would have just collected dust in our house or ended up in our bedroom, I’m happy about it. Bear gets to use the money for a new XBox 360 (the optical drive on his died) or a new toy, so he’s happy as well. We get home from work, Bear suggests a plan for dinner, we get the address for his friend, we call his friend to make sure that said friend is going to be home when we get there.

Then we load up the car with the tv and I went and got the remote. The first thing I did when I picked up the remote was check that it didn’t have the rechargeable batteries in it. I have a little stockpile of rechargeable batteries that I use for almost everything in the house. When something’s batteries run down, I either charge them and the appliance waits, or I swap them out with freshly charged ones. The remote though had the free batteries from its purchase still in it. I walked out to the car and gave the remote to Bear to hold. The first thing he did? Was flip it over and open it up and check the batteries.

I started laughing. “I JUST did that inside when I grabbed it.”

Bear laughs back at me. “I knew we were married for a reason.”

“Well yeah, we wouldn’t want to give away our rechargeable batteries!”

“Exactly. We have similar priorities. We might give a friend a nice TV, but we make sure we keep our batteries.”

Two working arms and legs

I’m sucking at the blogging again. But I had family in town and then I went out of town and then I had Linda in town. Seriously, the last three weekends have been very busy and! at work I’ve been trying to do my research and I picked up 10 hours of TA work.

So I have all kinds of rambles in my head. I was going to say lately, but really? That would have been a big fat lie considering I ramble all the time in my head about all kinds of things. Lately it’s about what makes us happy. Not like that TED talk where the dude was talking about synthesizing happiness. Although maybe. I meant, like, in the moments where you aren’t working towards your big goals in life, where you aren’t worrying about money or family, what makes it possible for us to be happy? Definitely part of it is the way we process our lives. If your mind constantly sticks on the amount of calories in the food you ate or the money you spent or that thing so and so said to you, it’s going to be very hard to be happy. If you treat others badly, that takes its toll on you too. There’s a million tiny things that can clearly be signs of people just not being happy or content with their lives.

I’ve met happy people who aren’t depressed, but are in a bad relationship or are struggling with family or money problems. They are still happy people, despite whatever struggles they’ve invited into their lives or they’ve taken upon themselves.

I’ve met unhappy people who aren’t depressed, but have the best luck and refuse to see it. They manage to be accomplished at work and have good days just like the happy people, but you’d never know it from how they talk.

I’ve met happy and unhappy depressed people. It took me a while to realize that depression doesn’t account for everything. Because it doesn’t. Because if it did, then how on earth could you have two people who clearly have clinical depression problems, but one manages to still see how wow, today was a good day, I’m just having trouble feeling that goodness and people who had the same types of things happen to them, but only feel the fact that they missed their bus.

So lately I’ve been trying to see, what do the happy people, depressed or not, have in common. What do the unhappy people have in common. I think it’s about respect and love. If you love yourself and life and you have respect for your life and other’s lives, this leads to happiness. It makes it easier to be happy.

Lately (this time it is true) I’ve become increasingly aware just how important respect is. Respect for yourself, for the people around you, for the things we have and the things we kill in order to make space for ourselves. Love for yourself and people in general and especially your loved ones.

I think most of us forget to love and respect ourselves. I don’t mean the stupid modern don’t let your kids become your life and take time for yourself and be selfish shit that people tend to abuse lately. I mean, loving the way you process the world around you. Appreciating how it’s different from other people. Deciding that your hair, despite all the ways you hate it, is interesting to you. I don’t know, there’s a million ways, none of them overt or time consuming, to love yourself.

If you aren’t happy that your skin is warm just behind your knees and the fact that your ankles hurt when you sleep on your stomach, how can you find amazement in how your husband’s back is warmer than behind his knees and that one of his feet is more crooked than the other? If you don’t appreciate that you get sad at old movies because black and white makes things too stark and be amazed at that quirk of your personality, how can you find the fact that your husband pretends to like horror movies but never watches them adorable or that your mom cries at movie weddings but not real ones hilarious? It’s not just that we should know these things about ourselves, but that we should like them. We should realize that we will never be anyone else in this world and that makes our quirks some of the most precious things in our lives. Underneath every interaction and ever touch you give, beats the fact that you love. That you know how valuable your touch is to you and thus to the people you touch. That everything you give, even to those who don’t appreciate it, comes from love and respect.

I wanted to end this post there, but I think I have a more concise way of saying what I’m trying to say. We only have one point of view in life. If we can’t like that point of view, how can we ever like what we see with it?

finish the thought

My advisor got on my case today about finishing my sentences. Granted, today I’m tired, which makes the problem worse than usual, but this isn’t something that is only happening today. When I was a kid, I was well socialized. I had school and a big family. I was shy, but I could usually express myself. Recently (as in the last 2 to 3 years) I’ve noticed that most of my time is spent either inside my head or talking to Bear, Lin or my brother.

Bear and Linda know me well enough that it’s like living in my head. I can speak half a sentence and not even notice I didn’t finish. Carl at least makes me stretch a bit because he thinks and behaves and acts so differently from me. I’ve known him for so very long, but familiarity in his case did not lead to a mind meld like I have going with Lin and Bear. That’s besides the point. God, I’m really not finishing my thoughts am I?

My point is that I need socialization. It’s gotten way too bad if my advisor is calling me on it.

Little presents

I came home on Friday to see this when I opened my screen door:

Yay for Surprises

The box on the left might not be of much interest to people. It’s a tea shipment from Seven Cups. I usually order my tea from Adagio, but I thought I’d try somewhere else for a change. I love talking about loose leaf tea and can spend hours wasting time online looking at different teas and teaware, so if you are interested, let me know.

The envelope on the right should be of interest. See the AIRMAIL sticker? How about the Royal Mail one? Or even the Customs sticker? It’s a little order from Heirloom Knitting. I made it, then completely pretended I didn’t. When we walked to the door and I opened the screen the conversation went like this:

Bear reached to grab the packages so I could open the door. “What’s this?”
I hunched my shoulders and reached for the packages. “A pattern and my tea.”
He laughed. “You bought it and then went into denial or something huh?”
I shot a glance at him. “How did you know?”
He hung up his coat and headed up the stairs. “Because you didn’t show me a million pictures and talk incessantly about it while you were waiting for it to get here.”

Heh. He’s so funny. Wanna see what was inside?


That’s the front of the Yarn Guide and a piece of the front of the Gossamer Sample pack.


Sorry for sticking my big hand in the middle of the photo, but for some reason I could not get the envelopes to stay on the bush when I flipped them around. But I find the back of the envelopes much more interesting than the fronts.

I waffled a lot when I was thinking about buying the yarn guide. A lot of the information I’m sure a person could find out on their own or wouldn’t even need, but it does have quite a bit of information and I found it terribly interesting. I also love her card with the yarn samples attached. It ended up being (in my opinion) very worth the 16 bucks or so that I spent on it. The gossamer sample pack is what convinced me to make the purchase, but strangely, I never would have considered buying it if I hadn’t already been looking at the yarn guide. The sample pack has 10g of the gossamer mohair and 10g of the gossamer silk. The little pattern that is supposedly takes 5 to make, so you have enough to swatch with both yarns and still make the mini Orenburg sample shawl. I’m extremely pleased with this purchase I have to say.

I spent a good portion of my weekend taking both the yarn guide and the little pamphlet that has the mini Orenburg sample pattern on it out and skimming and reading and rereading and reskimming both. The rest of the weekend was spent cleaning or knitting. I made great progress on the Branching Out doll scarf.

march 26 Branching Out progress

The ruler is there to show an approximation of how long the scarf is unblocked. Around 24 inches. Not terribly long. It’ll grow a bit when it’s blocked, but I don’t imagine by much. I actually expect to have pictures of it bound off at least by Friday and next week to have blocking shots and finished product shots. I actually think the greatest indication of how little is left to do is the flattened little ball of yarn. Can’t be long now huh?

Oh, and sample pack and yarn guide aren’t the only presents (those are just my presents to me). I don’t expect to keep the doll scarf once I’m done with it. I know a little girl who will die, just die, if she doesn’t get it. The horrible thing is, she has 3 other little cousins who must also get cutesy little handmade things so as to not feel left out. I have no ideas. The good thing is that they live in different states and so I can probably get away with giving the other 3 (who are all sisters) stuff for Christmas, so I’ve got months to work something out.

And honestly, that makes it sound like I don’t like making things for them. I love making things for other people. Making stuff for other people is my excuse (to myself, it doesn’t make a difference to Bear) for knitting lace instead of sweaters (sweaters are at least practical right?) and for having all this yarn lying around, especially since I’ve learned to spin. I’ve lost almost all interest in buying yarn, but it’s when I start to think about making things for other people some of the grand ambitions (spinning gossamer weight yarn to make a wedding ring shawl anyone?) fall away finally and I go shopping.

Speaking of shopping. I have more stuff arriving soon. Easy content for Friday huh?