Saturday, May 24, 2008

Some for the road

I am of course generally worried about getting everything done before we leave for India on Monday. Specifically, though, I was worried that I'd manage to complete all the thankless tasks but I wouldn't quite make it to Knitty City in time to get yarn for my summer knitting projects. Chalk one up for Professor Slacker - my grades are still not submitted, but my knitting needles will be very well-dressed for summer.

Gender-neutral jewel tone superwash goodness from Dream In Color, purchased to make Elizabeth Zimmerman's ever-popular Baby Surprise Jacket - also meant to be surprise for an occasional reader of this blog, so no more on this project for now:

For me, two skeins of Shi Bui's superwash merino in the romantically named Color 1675 - it's slightly variegated and manages to be cheery and earthy at the same time (it's a bit brighter in the photos than in real life). This will become Cookie A's Pomatomus, inshallah, unless pattern sends me off the deep end, in which case it will become the slightly less challenging Monkey, also by Cookie A.

And finally, because billions of hip young knitters can't be wrong, I'll be knitting my first pair of Jaywalkers with this pretty self-striping yarn - superwash merino, of course.

Now that I have yarn for said projects, I can get back to worrying about whether or not I'll get everything graded in time. Just so long as there's something to give me insomnia.

Also coming to India: the wedding shawls. They're not done yet. The new unrealistic goal is finishing both of them before our first anniversary. And then I will never knit lace again.

Attention TSA: not letting me take knitting needles on the plane will actually be much more dangerous for passengers than just letting me get started on my new socks. (Alert readers will note that I have used the words "TSA" "dangerous" "knitting needles" and "inshallah" in the same post. Let's see what happens next.)

Friday, May 23, 2008

Simone de Beauvoir, look out

An emergent cultural critic from one of my classes this semester writes:

And women are the only ones performing these rituals for several reasons, some of which being that they are more emotional and sensitive, thus more qualified to received [sic] faster mercy and response from God.

What does he mean??? Women are NOT emotional and sensitive!!!! I'm SO pissed right now. In fact, I am so pissed I'm going to hunt this student down and shoot him in cold blood. And then God will forgive me because I'm a girl.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Is "f*ck off, you idiots" clear enough?

Earlier this academic year I applied for a small summer research grant from my illustrious institution. I got the news that I didn't get the grant several months ago, but I did not get around to actually reading my rejection letter until today. The first paragraph reassures me that many worthy proposals could not be funded, and it then presents the comments of the reviewers, which I reproduce verbatim:

The committee observed that because the text of your proposal was not sufficiently clear. The proposal did not communicate your ideas and plans effectively enough.

Perhaps the committee. Would have had an easier time, understanding my proposal if, it had contained many grammatical errors. I thank the committee for it's 'helpful feedback' and, I look forward to discussing there helpful comments with the, Office Of Sponsored Programs, as suggested in the closing paragraph of the rejection letter.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Putting off grading final papers takes many forms

Extreme disillusionment with the drop stitch lace tank (and subsequent frogging of the same) greatly contributed to getting the Koko Kimono from Minnies done prior to my impending India trip. Cute, no?

The burning question - and possibly the only active thought I've given this gratifyingly simple and drama-free pattern - is what to do with the i-cord closures.

The pattern calls for garter stitch i-cord, but having knit one, while I understand that it's supposed to match the garter stitch border of the kimono,

when compared to a straight-up stockinette stitch i-cord, to me the garter stitch i-cord resembles nothing so much as a evil worm-like parasite not unlike those that will almost certainly take up residence in my intestines this summer. Less rainbow-colored, perhaps, but still...lumpy. Ugly and therefore malevolent. You know.

So I'm torn: ugly thing that makes better design sense, or pretty thing that breaks garter stitch continuity of border? Because of course if I make the wrong decision, no self-respecting 6-month-old girl is going to wear the thing.

Thursday, May 8, 2008


The summer trip to India grows ever nearer, and I have to say I'm looking forward to it despite the obvious drawbacks including but not limited to the scorching reality of summer in India and the fact that gold prices have gone so through the roof that there is pretty much no way I can justify (or possibly even just afford) finally buying the Golden Necklace That Got Away - the one that I fondled in the Connaught Place Mehrason's back in the summer of 2005 but did not purchase, concluding that it was "unnecessary." Idiot. All gold jewelry is unnecessary, which more or less makes all gold jewelry necessary, if you follow (and if you don't your brain simply hasn't been subject to enough heatstroke yet).

A few days ago I was shocked to see that my favorite little katie roll joint had been painted a lurid shade of orange and re-christened "the kebab factory." The sweet little chalkboard menu - sweet because an employee unfazed by his or her lack of actual talent had drawn a bird at the base of the menu - was gone, replaced by a menu of great, ominous breadth. After waiting for 5 or so minutes for an employee to appear at the take-out counter, I ventured into the bowels of the restaurant (dining area in basement = bad sign) looking for someone to take my order. Kebab Factory 101, should future potential customers wonder, is as follows:

1. Banarasi Chaat is only served at dinner. The other kind of chat (the name eludes me) is served at lunch and consists of chunks of boiled potato covered in a lumpy, brown, and (perhaps mercifully) tasteless sauce.
2. When you order paneer tikka, what you will get is a katie roll filled with some kind of saag and shredded (canned amul?) paneer.
3. It will require three employees to complete your order: one to cook, one to ring up the order downstairs, and one to stand around staring at you.
4. For all of your trouble, you will be given five plastic spoons at no extra charge.
5. They deliver!

Being there reminded me of everything I love about India: the extreme awkwardness and extreme graciousness, the good intentions, the grand ambitions, the lack of resources, and the complete and utter incompetence. All that kept it from being authentically Indian, actually, was the terrible food.