Martita Rampage

Seven years of college down the drain

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So, I have massive bumblebees. I think they might be carpenter bees, but it’s sort of beside the point. They’re like flying puppies. The Carolina Silverbell is so covered with them that the tree literally hums. The bees are the size of the top joint of your thumb, and about as threatening as a golden retriever. They are fascinating to watch, if for no other reason than the complete aerodynamic mystery of how something so large flies around on those little wings.

So, I have massive bumblebees. I think they might be carpenter bees, but it’s sort of beside the point. They’re like flying puppies. The Carolina Silverbell is so covered with them that the tree literally hums. The bees are the size of the top joint of your thumb, and about as threatening as a golden retriever. They are fascinating to watch, if for no other reason than the complete aerodynamic mystery of how something so large flies around on those little wings.

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I always mistakenly think of this plant as “epithalamion,” but that’s  an Edmund Spenser poem (a favorite of mine). Anyway, it’s pretty-as pretty as the poem.

I always mistakenly think of this plant as “epithalamion,” but that’s an Edmund Spenser poem (a favorite of mine). Anyway, it’s pretty-as pretty as the poem.

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Overheard in my office today

Setting:
about two hours into a 3 hour speaker phone call to Verizon on my boss's iPhone, after having been on hold for 20 minutes.
Boss:
Well, at least they have good hold music.
Me:
Yeah, it's pretty rocking.
(New song)
Me:
Hm, gangsta rap is a bold choice for Verizon hold music.
Boss:
I think it just said "fuck you" three times in a row.
Me:
You know, good for them for having different hold music, but I'm not sure I would have gone in this direction.
Boss:
This is unbelievable! At least Muzak doesn't swear at you.
(I hear small tinny female voice in the background)
Me:
Do you hear a woman's voice? Is there a woman in the background in the music, or on the phone?
Boss:
Hello? Hello? Hello?
Me:
Is your iTunes playing? Is that the gangsta rap?
Boss:
Oh my God, my iTunes is playing!
(Turns it off but by that point the Verizon customer service rep has given up and hung up. Besides, she probably had gangsta rap yelling obscenities in her ear for several minutes. We called back).

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Couch to 5K, Slowly

In my annual spring attempt to learn to jog, I began a couch to 5K program the weekend before last.  I didn’t start THE couch to 5K program; I’ve started that before any number of times and have never gotten past week two.  Week 3 doubles your jogging increments from 90 seconds to 3 minutes.  I cannot jog 3 minutes yet.  I’m not saying I can’t, ever; I’m just not there yet

So I created my own couch to 5K, a less intimidating one that increases in smaller, more manageable increments.  Needless to say, it takes twice as long to get you to the same place, but that’s okay.  I’ve just finished week 2 and I already know I can do week 3 (jog 2 minutes then walk 2, six times).  The confidence of already knowing I can do it is a real comfort to me that will keep me going. 

If I stick with it, after about 4 months I should be jogging 5K.  I’m literally talking about 15-16 weeks.  Maybe if it gets easier, I’ll step it up a bit.  But why rush it and risk injuries?  I’m not in any hurry.

And, interesting proof of the accuracy of intuition:  I always felt in the past when I was jogging that oxygen wasn’t getting to my muscles.  Turns out, not only am I asthmatic (I knew that), I’m also anemic, so actually oxygen might not have been getting to my muscles.  Hopefully the bajillion milligrams of iron I’ve been taking for the past four months will improve that situation and make jogging easier for me! 

Filed under Misc

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Debbie Bliss Cabled Vest

Sorry, my photo editing software is not working so I can’t crop the extra details of my messy breezeway out!  The vest is done.  The fit is vastly improved over the previous two iterations.  It is shockingly warm and I think it will be a great transitional garment, for those days when it’s 40-50 degrees out, not quite warm enough to go out in your shirtsleeves but too warm for a heavy sweater.  And I love my slate blue handspun.  Working with it on this sweater helped me figure out how to use it to its best advantage when it stands alone.  The bamboo in the yarn does give it a distinct sheen.  While the sheen helps make the cable here pop, it might be overwhelming if knit flat in a stockinette stitch.  So in my opinion, the yarn would be better used in a textured sweater, like a Rhinebeck—something with peaks and valleys and depths and shadows.  

Filed under Knitting

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Things Cats Do Not Say

"I don’t think I can last two more weeks with this hair."

"Oh no, you first."

"Did I wake you? I’m so sorry."

"Please, let me get out of your way."

"I really feel a need to be useful, to contribute something to the household."

"I wouldn’t DREAM of eating off your plate!"

"Anything I can ever do for you, just let me know. I mean it."

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This Week in Reading

Brave New Knits, by Julie Turjoman.  (Here’s the Ravelry link, for those who are members: (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/sources/brave-new-knits) There are at least three patterns in this book that I desperately want to knit.  If you are a fan of structured sweaters, this is the book for you.  There are a lot of lingerie and jacket shaping details in the garments, and the sweaters and accessories are quite stylish.   Literally every pattern is cleverly constructed and has interesting detail.  It’s not really a book for beginners—but really, aren’t there plenty of those out there already?  It’s harder at this point to find a book that offers challenging patterns for experienced knitters.  Out of 26 patterns, only one is rated “beginner.”  Three are rated “easy,” but two of those three feature substantial lace panels and I personally don’t consider lace to be that easy. 

And, bonus, all the patterns were written by knit-bloggers!  Their blog information is included at the back, so you get additional daily reading out of this book as well.  My Google Reader subscriptions are teetering perilously to out of control now.

Filed under Books