Archive for May, 2006


So, one of my readers suggested that I post some pictures of the area. Unfortunately, the weather this weekend was terrible and there has been little free time between work, running and finishing knitting projects. So, to give just a taste of what spring in the bay area looks like, here is a photo of the tree in my front yard. It is oh so green and oh so spring.


Good luck tomorrow, the soon to be Dr. YiKeS.


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On Tuesday night, I finished both the baby blanket and my first pair of socks. I’m pretty happy with how they all turned out.
Here is the blanket. The last knitting post showed the color better, but these show the detail more clearly.

Baby B BlanketBlanket Detail

The socks are a tad loose, as we didn’t do any gauge checking in the class, so I might pass them on to my mom, but they are pretty.

Socks!Socks on Feet

Next up, Green Gable for the lovely Miss C.

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Evan and I went to see David Rakoff and Ira Glass last Sunday night at the San Francisco Jewish Community Center. It was the culmination of a lecture series they had been running on the topic of Freud. They thought it would be perfect to bring the host of NPR’s This American Life, an often confessional radio programme, and the man who played Freud in a Barney’s window for Christmas.

They started the program with a live version of Rakoff’s Freud piece (if you haven’t heard this episode of TAL, it is great…Rakoff’s piece is melancholy, but Sedaris’ is wet-your-pants funny). This was followed by a round table discussion with Rakoff, Glass and a rabbi. The discussion was not on Freud exactly, but on life (their own as well as TAL’s), therapy, friendship, etc.

The particular setting of the event made me really think about how much a sense of community can really impact all these other aspects of your life. Growing up, I never really had any association with either organized religion or communities associated with a particular cultural background. Before moving to the Olympia area in seventh grade, my family (my mom, brother, sister and me) lived in a low-income housing complex while my mom struggled to make ends meet while putting herself through college. Despite being poor, my family really liked living there because there was a real sense of community. There were other single moms, going through what my mom was going through. I had a “second mom” two doors down, and my sister and her daughter have been friends since they were three.

We moved from Bellingham when my mom got a job with the state, which moved us up a bit socio-economically, but we gave up that sense of community. In Olympia, most families were middle class, with two parents at home, and being a single parent family we didn’t exactly fit the mold. My mom still struggles to find her social identity in that community, despite the fact that she has lived there for over 15 years. When we gave up some of the struggling, we also gave up some of the community that it builds.

I feel that same way now. In graduate school, everyone was going through the same struggles and that really built a community. Now that we’re in a normal job setting, our co-workers are settled and happy, busy with their families and their established social networks. I miss my old community, despite the fact that it was built on the stress and challenges of getting through graduate school. Now that I have developed the tools I need to be a successful scientist, I need to figure out how to find my new community. With all the people that live in this part of the world, I’m sure it’s here somewhere.r

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Sock Knitting

I’ve been really wanting to learn to knit socks pretty much from when I first started knitting. In April, I took a socks on two circulars class at what is turning out to be the most awesome local yarn store, Nine Rubies. While I finished the first sock in the class, I hadn’t started the second until last Sunday because I was feeling guilty about not finishing the baby blanket. On Sunday, after spending most of the weekend on the baby blanket, I let myself cast on for the second sock. I got as far as the heel turn. Hopefully by the end of this weekend, I’ll have the second sock or the blanket done, maybe even both.

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Last night as we were getting ready for bed, Evan picked up Quincy (our cat named after one of Evan’s favorite childhood television shows) and set him on the bed. He immediately bounced off. It was like magnets were stuck to the bottom of his feet and the bed had the same polarity. Ever the scientist, Evan grabbed Quincy and tried it again. Quincy repeated the “repulsed from the bed” behavior twice more, before taking shelter under the guest room bed down the hall. I have to admit that I waved my hand around over the bed to feel for ghosts.

Thinking that perhaps there was something on the bed that cats could sense better than me, I got Muffin (I know that it is a lame cat name, but it was the only thing she would respond to when we got her). When we tried the experiment out on her, she seemed quite content to hang out on the bed.

An hour later, Quincy wandered into the room. Evan picked him up and, speaking soothingly to him, tried to set him gently on the bed while petting him. The moment his paws came near the bed, he was scrambling to get away. At this point, I made Evan tear the bed apart to look for some hidden creature.* We couldn’t ever find anything.

Today, while he seems more comfortable being near the bed, he still refuses to be on it. It completely freaks him out. Normally, both cats spend all day lounging on the bed and Quincy is generally not a terribly fearful cat. I just can’t figure this out. All we can think is that something must have really startled him when he was on the bed yesterday. There is some construction next door, so maybe a noise from that? Until he gets over it, however, I’m going to feel a little unsettled in my room. Too many nights of reading “Stories to Be Read with the Door Locked” as a child, I guess.

* At one point in college, I was lying on my bed and reached my arms up behind me to stretch. All of the sudden, I was sure I was being bitten by a rattlesnake hiding behind my head. It turns out that my hand had touched some exposed wires on the alarm clock, and I had been mildly electrocuted. Despite the fact that it was wires and not a snake, I tend to be a bit cautious when there is the potential for creatures to be in my bed.

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Running (nose)

I spent most of the weekend super tired and ended up taking naps both days. On Sunday night, we had all the windows open in the house and I started to get a nasty sore throat. Thinking it was due to allergies, I continued to pop the Claritin, but by Monday afternoon I was hit with the achy, stuffy head, headache crap that always comes along with a cold. Despite the cold, I managed to do my run both Sunday (in 88 degree heat) and tonight (start of week 3 in the couch to 5K). I have to give myself a high five, as Evan was totally willing to give me a pass on running, since my nose was doing enough for both of us.

While I can't say that at this stage I get excited about going running, I am always glad that I went. Also, it is a great opportunity to get to know my neighborhood.

I'd also like to thank Jeff for his encouragement with the running/blogging.  If you've never seen his cooking blog, check it out.  It's a great read. 

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