Thursday, May 31, 2007

I'm not sure why Safari isn't cooperating.

It displays posts properly, but the edit window doesn't give me any buttons aside from the image one, and it only displays html.


Here's my crochet. From the bottom to the top, it includes single crochet, slip stitch, half double, double, and a shell stitch. I've already ripped it out, because I don't want the yarn to kink too much, but I can't wait to try again.

(All images copyright E. Boudreau)

I'm back, and have my letters.


Pictures to come soon, along with pictures of my crochet swatch. I learned single, half double, double, and shell stitches. I want to learn the circle trick, and maybe do a granny square for practice.

The poor camera battery gave up the ghost before I could download the pics, but it's charging now.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Off to graduation!

I'm nearly packed. All that remains is the stuff I'll need first thing tomorrow, like my toothbrush.

We've got everything else organized, all the papers and passports and contracts and stuff. And, yesterday I was evil, and spent more money. I'm scared to take socks in progress with me; the official websites tell me that knitting needles are permitted, but I don't have non-metal DPNS, and I guess that if the individual officers perceive them as a threat, then whoosh they're confiscated, and I'm left with an unravelling sock.

So, I bought some really nice, reasonably priced worsted yarn, and I'm going to teach myself to crochet. I have a book (which I won't advertise until I determine if it works), and a nice big, blunt bamboo hook.

Here's the yarn:

Ok, so I didn't need three, but if my experiments are successful, I want to make something out of it!

It's a llama/wool blend, and is really rich and shimmery even though you can't tell from the photo. I've packed it already, but I think it's Cascade Pastaza. The green has red and purple fibers, and it's so gorgeous.

I'm off... when we come back, we'll both officially be "Dr."!

(All images copyright E. Boudreau)

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Sorry for the delay...

First, I was sick. I spent two days being freaked out because my health coverage doesn't start until June 1st. Then I got better, but Hubby got sick. Fortunately his coverage started when he started working back in March, but it meant we spent the morning in the doctor's office, waiting to be seen.

We're all good, one of us is on some antibiotics, and we're cleared for travel for convocation.

But, on to the knitting!

Mom's Dublin Bay socks are now packed and ready to go, but I snapped a photo first.

(Kudos to everyone who's fiddled around with their timers and know how to take pictures of their own feet, necks, torsos, etc. This one took *ahem* several tries.)

Strike a pose!

Dublin Bay Socks from Mossy Cottage (link to pdf)
Yarn: Sisu, wool and nylon blend, color unknown (most of 2 skeins)
Needles: Size 1 DPNs
Features that were new for me: Lace panel, Eye of Partridge heel

The socks are waaaay to small for me. I have huge feet (blech), so I would've needed a deeper heel flap and many more extra gusset stitches (which I've done on my next pair, but I may have overdone). This yarn wasn't really that pleasant to knit, but once I washed them, it softened a little. More comfy to wear now than before, but I still wouldn't run out for the yarn again, unless there was a color I wanted (Mom loves navy, hence the choice).

*sigh* I have to pack for the trip. I don't like packing, especially when I only take carry-on.

(All images copyright E. Boudreau)

Monday, May 21, 2007

Signed, sealed, delivered.

I have a job! I have a J-O-B! I'm gainfully employed!

(Before we all go dancing in the streets and gallivanting around, I have to mention that it's a limited term appointment at the moment, but has the potential to be extended. I'll get to that in a bit.)

It's the second of my two interviews, mentioned here and here. I know I haven't blogged about it yet (bad Ellie, very bad) but it was because it seemed to go so well that I didn't want to jinx it. Even before the interview, I got to do a little background research on the prof; Hubby's boss and her husband had worked in the same department with him for over 10 years, and kept on telling me that he was really sweet, and really enthusiastic, and is the world's expert on his particular microbe/experimental system. So, that's a bonus. I've learned that being in the lab of a world expert can be both good and bad, but I thought I'd wait to see how big his lab was, and what his personality was. I had promised myself not to work for another introvert ;-)

So, I got there, and he was really enthusiastic without being hyperactive and annoying. He'd also done his research on me, and had some glowing things to say about my Ph.D supervisor's work. It was really nice, because he figured out on his own the type of unique viewpoint I can provide to a more hands-on microbiology lab. He's emeritus, which essentially means he can continue to be a research prof without having to sit on committees and supervise honours and graduate students.

Which brings me to the second point that was in my favour - *I* am the lab. He has collaborations set up with several labs across North America, but has at present no other people. It's not because he can't get them, but because that's how he chooses to run his research at the moment (a benefit of being emeritus). That was what clinched the decision for me - a world expert, who's enthusiastic and actually *wants* to talk to the one(s) working in his lab, but I will have no chance of getting lost in the shuffle of a 20 member research program.

Third bonus - I can have the job as a postdoc, rather than just a plain old research associate. It was advertised as an RA job, which would've paid more (lots more than Hubby, actually!), but causes problems for me on the academic track. If, as a Ph.D looking to go from Ph.D to postdoc to tenured prof, you have gaps in your CV doing work that's, say, in industry or for the government, it looks a little wonky. It's easier to take time off to have babies and get back on track. I was worried about that, but figured I might be able to explain it away. It turned out that, because I was an international scholar, I had to be appointed as a Postdoctoral Associate (red tape that I don't understand quite yet). It's a little less money (puts me back on par with Hubby) but keeps me on track to apply for research and teaching prof jobs.

The only potential drawback is that it's only for a year. That's not set in stone, though, and it may actually be within my control to get it extended, in a way. Without going into the nitty-gritties of the work, it's a multi-stage project that has several benchmarks to reach. If I do good work in the first year, I can get funding to do the second stage next year, etc. etc.

All in all, I'm really looking forward to it. It's mainly benchwork, which I missed terribly the last 18 months of my Ph.D. I'd reached a point where I was able to have a technician do my last experiments for me, which was good in terms of time management, but horrible because I had no distractions from writing. There's also the possibility of getting a book chapter out of it, in addition to any papers that get written. Plus, I get to organize the lab in whatever way suits me, and I don't have to fight anyone for the equipment!

Only two weeks of vacation left, though, and I intend to make the most of them. I finished mom's socks, and will probably be finished one of my Trekking socks shortly. I may do a little bit of shopping before flying home for graduation, too, but mostly I'm going to sleep. Sleep, and veg.

(I'll post more pictures later; mom's socks are still drying!)

Friday, May 18, 2007

Today will be a good day.

Even with all this rain and wind.

Details to follow...

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The good, the bad, and the ugly.

The good - I got to spend more money. I had this old, ratty canvas shoulder bag that Hubby has insisted I retire. I loved it dearly, though, because it zippered on the top, and had an extra pocket (that, and it was a free gift from some conference that I don't even remember). I looked everywhere for it, to take a picture, but I'm suspicious that it was conveniently forgotten in the move.

Because I get 10% off with a uni ID (which I have already by virtue of being a spouse), I am already learning to love the bookstore/gift shop. It's really more of a little mini-mall of the classiest kind. And it sure loves my Canadian credit card. I went yesterday, and spent money.

And so, I present - the pinch hitter.

Oh, no! She's been assimilated by the New Englanders!

Yes, that's pink plaid, people.

That was the good, seeing as I needed a new bag, and this one actually fits my laptop, acoutrements, wallet, cellphone, and sock in progress.

The bad - I have no impulse control (which you'd guess from the shopping habit, but it extends to yarn too). I haven't quite finished my mom's socks yet - the second toe remains - but I would up my next ball of sock yarn. It started life like this:

With a good proportion of pink, natch.

And it has metamorphosed (with the help of hubby) to this:

I can see some socks in there, if I look really close.

Sorry for the washed out pic - it can't decide if it wants to be sunny here, and it's screwing everything up. But, the bad also became the ugly. Look closer:


And that was the second one in this skein. The first was a pretty significant slub about 2/3 of the way along, in the orange patch.

It makes me so sad. I LOVE STR. Love Love Love. And I would attempt to return this one except that it was a gift, and there is no receipt, and it came from LK, which is hundreds of miles away. I don't know if I should just knit along, or contact the Blue Moon girls. Any ideas?? Anyone??

(All images copyright E. Boudreau)

Monday, May 14, 2007

Bad blogger.

It's been a full, full week, and I have a full, full brain.

The employment prospects are looking up, but I don't want to say too much.

I did a whole lot of walking, and a not insignificant amount of shopping. But, we figured out about a third of the way through our expenditures that Hubby gets 10% off all purchases at university affiliated stores with his ID (and 25% at Christmastime!).

I bought a birthday gift for my Goddaughter, and a hat for myself, and the perfect earrings for the bridesmaid's dress I get to wear in September (and, if the whole store was buy one, get one half off, how could I resist getting another three pair?)

No yarn purchases this week, but I'm nearly finished my mother's socks, which I believe entitles me to fill that gap once they're off the needles. OH!!! Hubby and I went for a *$$ at the uni. bookstore, and there were three women, all about my age, sitting and knitting at a nearby table. I was too shy to approach them and ask about the local knitting scene, but I will be bring a sock-in-progress everywhere I go from now on.

More posting later, for now I have to go make friends with the people in the business office related to job prospect #2.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Some of you may think me a touch pathetic...

... but we don't have things like this where I come from. They stopped making them in the late 80's for some reason.

Xtreme close-up!

Can you guess what it is? I haven't figured out how to put things after jumps, so here it is.

Pink crapper paper!!! YAY!

(All images copyright E. Boudreau)

An interesting day, in which I crash like a semi on a snow covered highway.

But it's good. I think.

I had my first interview this morning, which in the end turned out to be the first part of a two-parter. It was really positive, and I really felt comfortable talking with him. The lab looks vibrant, and supportive, and there are about a zillion different directions I could take the research. The reason it was "part one of two" was because he's waiting for confirmation on funding from the uni. I know, it sounds like a familiar story, but I really got a good vibe. Plus, he practically begged me to nag him for an answer within two weeks if he gets off track (he has a grant due in three weeks). If the money comes through, then I get to go back and meet the rest of the lab, and give the standard hour-long seminar, etc etc.

The work is within my field, but a bit of a departure in terms of experimental systems. I explained it to Hubby by saying that it would be do-able, but definitely not a cakewalk. If I compare it to the description of the second job that I'm applying for (did I mention I have another interview on Thursday?! It's the 'second job' I mentioned before, and it looks like the title/position is flexible), they're yin and yang - The first one is more up my alley in its theory but a departure in benchwork, while the second one is a different area in its theory, but the benchwork is really similar to what I'm used to.

Boy howdy, it would be nice to have to choose. Stressful, but nice.

So, this morning's meeting was over, and I came home and promptly fell asleep on the couch. I haven't done anything except the dishes all day. It's day 8 here in the new apartment, and there has been something to do every morning, keeping me from sleeping in. On Saturday, Hubby's aunt and uncle came to take us to the local big box general store and grocery store (I have no job, therefore I have no shame). It involved getting up really early, and I'm so glad we went, and I got to take them out to lunch to thank them for taking such good care of Hubby while I was away, but daaaamn I was tired. Then Sunday was church - the local one has service at 10:30AM, but they dress decently there (i.e. not like students) so I had to get up early again.

Meanwhile, I talk to Little Bro, who is on vacation at home with our parents, and he's sleeping for 14 hour stretches to recharge his own batteries. Grrr. But, our weather is about 25ºF warmer than that at home... heh. heh. heh.

I'm trying to appreciate the weather, rather than just sleeping and sleeping and sleeping, because everyone keeps telling me it's just going to get hotter and muggier, and now's the most comfortable time. But I just want to sleep. Even this afternoon, I was going to veg in front of the TV, but one of the channels carrying my favourite talk show doesn't seem to be receiving.

I can't even relax properly anymore ;-) But I'm going to try, dammit.

So, how about some random pretty-pretties - Hubby grabbed these on his way home from work a few days ago. I was missing them, since my Grammie has six trees in her backyard, and I won't be home for the season; here, they're blooming about 5 weeks early, and they smell divine.

These are close to pink, right?

I got this green glass vase from Mom years ago - it looks really pretty in the sun, next to the purply pink.

I had one more pink acquisition on Saturday, but I haven't photographed it yet. When you see it, you'll know why.

(All images copyright E. Boudreau)

Monday, May 7, 2007

7 things I've learned in 7 days...

  1. Milk costs half what it does back at home, even after you take into account currency conversion.
  2. Ditto for chicken.
  3. Gas stoves ROCK!
  4. It's nice to have an actual Spring.
  5. It's not nice that the only antihistamine that works is prescription here, but OTC at home.
  6. Unlimited long distance is only useful when the satellite cooperates.
  7. Staying at home all day, with no babies to look after, quickly becomes boring.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Mojo, on order.

I have a meeting/interview on Tuesday morning! Yay!

That's really all; oh, that, and it's sunny, and the maple outside my window has about three times as many leaves as it did yesterday.

And, Hubby? I know you found me, and it's OK ;-) You can pretend you're not reading, though, if you think it's more fun that way.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Spending someone else's money

Well, the weather was lovely again today, so I went to the LYS this afternoon, to spend my gift certificate. Not a huge haul, but I'm still very happy.

First, the last three balls of Ella rae in the store. I had bought some of this the last time we visited here on job interviews. It's so soft and fluffery.

Total stash of this: 5.5 balls. I have no idea what I'm going to use it for, but I love it.

I also got some Panda Wool for socks, but I forgot to take a picture, and a bamboo hook (size H) which will help me fringe the pink and purple scarf, and teach myself how to crochet with the leftovers.

Here're my socks in progress, too, just for fun.

Thuja, from Knitty, modified to work over 60 stitches.

And, my trekking sock:

Note the lovely stitch marker, courtesy of zerØ.

And, finally, the second of my mother's Dublin Bay socks, from Mossy Cottage. I'm hoping to have them done for when I fly back for graduation at the end of the month.

Another tiny stitch marker from zerØ; the photo doesn't do it justice.

ETA: Here's the Panda wool - it's a nice sunny orange; as a matter of fact, even though the picture is a bit washed out, the yarn is the exact color of the bridesmaid's dress I have to wear in September, at my brother's wedding!

ETA #2: It seems that when I load up in one web browser vs another, I get a big grey square. I know nothing about computers, once you push me beyond blogging, surfing, and facebook, so I apologize, and I'll try to fix it. It works fine in Safari, as far as I can tell.

(All images copyright E. Boudreau)

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

The happiest house in the city

I couldn't resist. This house is up the street from our building, and it is so cute.

Cute, and pink.

(All images copyright E. Boudreau)

No exploring yet.

I didn't end up going out yesterday; by the time Hubby got home, I had started un poquito of unpacking, and the weather was starting to get a little cloudy. He's left me his keys today, though; we're meeting for a lunchtime organ recital at one of the local concert halls, and then I'm going to go back and explore some more.

I realized something yesterday, and it shocked me that it took me 7 years to figure it out:

I like working.

The caveat is that I like working when I like what I'm working on, but I've taken the past 2 days to unwind after the whole 'finishing all requirements for the Ph.D', and I'm already going shack-wacky. Which isn't to say that I relish the thought of getting up at 6:00 every morning again (especially since our mattress needs replacing, and I've got joint pain now), but it would be nice to have plans from day to day.

(I do have a lead on a second job - it's not a post-doc, but it looks like it could be interesting. I have to hear from my other guy first before I make a decision on whether to move on the second one.)

Ok. More coffee, then some museum trotting before the lunchtime concert.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Finally, some pics

Pink pics, as a matter of fact ;-) I've unpacked the important stuff so far - laptop, camera, and cords. We have to buy some more clothing storage, so I'll be living out of a suitcase for a bit, still. Fortunately (yay Continental) I have all of my suitcases, safe and sound, to live out of.

First, I'll show you the yarn Hubby bought me. I'd never heard of this brand, but it's merino, it's really soft, and it's got lots of pink.

They look perfect, but don't be fooled - one had two knotted joins inside. Probably explains the sale price.

Then, because I was Grammie-sitting for the whole week after my defense, it turned into this:

And, it's even longer now - I'm halfway through the third ball!

A close-up of the stitch pattern, as mentioned before. I was always afraid of cabling without a cable needle, but this is a perfect project to learn - only half crosses, and they're all the same on each row.

Back and forth. Back and forth.

And, now, my latest acquisitions. Although you might not be able to see it in the picture, the suitcase is a bit scuzzy now, since I was forced to check it under the plane. The backpack was bought to truck thesis copies back and forth to work, and the little ladybug is my pride and joy.

Have pink, will travel.

So, this is the bug. Because A. decided that she should have a name, she is now a bug named Maria. (Don't ask. A. is very strange.)

Pleased to meet you.

And, when you open up Maria, you get...

And you expect me to carry this in public? I have a Ph.D for heaven's sake!

Actually, I love it. It's soft and velvety, and it's pink and it's a ladybug, so it fits in with all of my different collections.

So, I've got to go and get some lunch. Hubby is coming home to lend me his keys (the new spare set didn't actually work, so we need to replace them) and I'm going to explore for the rest of the afternoon.

(All images copyright E. Boudreau)