Let’s see if the engine still works

School is almost over.

I don’t just mean for the year, I mean forever. I GRADUATE on June 12. I’ll have earned two Bachelor of Science degrees, one in Biochemistry and one in Forensic Biology. I almost don’t know what to do with myself.

Winter quarter was truly grim; I was in 6 classes with a total of 21 units. I did pretty well, and this quarter is much easier. There was a bit of a kerfuffle with financial aid, but that got worked out, and in my favor, thank goodness.

This means the next step is Getting A Job, which is both scary and exhilarating. Real work, for a real company, doing real things, and earning a real paycheck. I can’t wait.

I’ve had a professor look over my CV,  and I’ll be getting my Advisor to look at the final version, but I am planning on starting to apply immediately. If I put it off for too long, I’ll get nervous. Best to just jump right in.



So, let’s see.

Turns out, this quarter is going to be really hard. Harder than I expected. Lots harder.

My schedule on Mondays and Wednesdays runs from 8:40 am to 6pm. There’s a break from 10:30 to 1:20, in which I go to the gym and study. Tuesdays I’m in class from 9:20 to 7pm, with a break from 4 – 6, which I again fill with the gym and studying. Thursday, I have class from 9:20 to 4, and I’ll be trying to go to the gym after class. I might just come home and exercise at home.

Friday, I don’t have class.

Physical Chemistry has homework due every Friday, homework which is difficult, especially as the teacher doesn’t do any example problems in class, and it’s very much not clear which of the many extremely complicated (but often very similar) equations we’re supposed to use for the different questions. Some things I could sort of figure out, but I didn’t do well on the first homework. I have heard from at least one other person that they’re finding it hard as well, which I must admit makes me feel a bit better about not following the material immediately.

The Programming class is harder than I’d hoped – which is good, really, but it makes the class difficult. Luckily, C is a programmer, so he can help (and he does help, thank goodness), but there are so many things the previous teacher didn’t really cover and to which I wasn’t paying quite enough attention to be able to use the earlier stuff easily now. I’m not the only one struggling here either, which is a relief. Also, once I learn a thing, it pretty much sticks, so I can keep moving forward. I think I’ll be okay here, but there’s a lot of work to do – typing and careful spot-checking and stuff, and my compiler isn’t working right, so I’m having to use DOS to check my work, which is a large bit clunky.

Microbiology is going to be work, but it’s surprisingly less hard than I expected. It’ll get harder, I assume, but for now, it’s just swabbing plates and microscopes and stuff. I have to catch up on my lab notebook and keep it up because I won’t have time to catch up if I fall behind, but really it’s just the sort of work I’m used to. I wonder if I should read ahead a bit in the text, see what’s coming up.

The PCR and DNA class is exciting! We’re doing real stuff – the teacher’s having us do independent projects and has shown me a cool website where I can look for genetic connections to different diseases/issues/whatever, so I can see if there’s a connection to migraines, which is one of the things I’d like to try working on.

The seminar course looks interesting as well, but this quarter it will require more work than last.

By Tuesday evening I was already tired and I was exhausted by Thursday. This is going to be a long quarter. Ugh.

I think, if I’m careful with my time management during the breaks in classes, I can get some stuff done during the week. Keeping up with the lab notebook should be easy to do then. The teacher wants us to do them on loose-leaf paper in a binder (I find this distressing). But I can easily bring some paper and write out the work for the next week. Or maybe I should try working on the Physical Chemistry homework.

Anyway, I want to get some nice relaxing knitting done now. I spent half the day sleeping in with C (oh god, sleeping past 7am felt so luxurious) and the next half doing programming work.

Chinese food for dinner and now beer, silly movies, warm cats, and knitting.

Half a Month to Publish?

At the beginning of the year I set some goals for myself.

Get good grades – all A’s, if possible
Work on Body Stuff (exercise, good diet, general upkeep)
Gen an Internship (probably not going to happen, damn it)
Sell my art (I’ve got a Redbubble page started!)
Save/invest money (I need to work on this!)
Publish on Amazon by my birthday.


I’m working on the grades – that’s sort of easy. I study hard and, usually, get rewarded with good grades. I haven’t managed to work on exercising more yet, but I’m going to start doing daily body-weight exercises at home this week. I’ve done them before and they’re surprisingly effective.

The publishing goal is the one I’m feeling the most pressure about, as that’s the only one with a deadline – and it’s rapidly approaching. My birthday’s in mid June and, well, I’m not ready to publish anything. I’ve got a couple of stories I could work on, but really only one is close to being publishable.

So, editing the daylights out of Barnstarring, it is!

The story’s about a barnstorming sort of baseball team, but set in the future when we’ve got intra-solar system space travel (and have met a couple of alien species). The story uses baseball as the background and the reason for travelling through the solar system, but it’s not really a baseball story, in that the sport itself doesn’t take center stage. Mostly it’s about the relationships of the players and their lives.

Anyway, I’m going to see if I can get it edited and cleaned up by the middle of June. That’s only three weeks!

I’ll post here with updates.

Toby’s Sweater

It’s been a while since I updated, and since I posted pictures of Toby the Bear and his sweaters. I’ve just checked and I haven’t posted anything about his sweater last year – a short Cowichan style cardigan. I’ll take pictures and post them.

However, this year I made him a cute little Lopi sweater with sock yarn at about 6st/in. It’s adorable, if I do say so myself. Toby tried it on just after I started the yoke, so I could make sure it would fit well. I’d hate for him to have the sleeves ride up.

Toby trying on the sweater.

Toby trying on the sweater.

Once I was sure it would fit, I kept knitting.

I love the little chevrons.

I love the little chevrons.

In the end, it fit beautifully. Now I want to make something like this for myself! I love the chevrons and the way it makes such a happy upturned smile. (Plus, C loves it as well and really, that’s the important part.)

Snappy Dresser

Snappy Dresser

I’ve got a lot of the yarn left over – I used new balls of sock-weight wool – so I’m thinking of warping up my little loom with the grey yarn and making stripes with the other two colors. Sort of a plain scarf, but there’s no reason not to make it and I’m sure someone will want it. Maybe I could give it to C’s brother. I’d better make it pretty long, then.

I still have to sew in the ends and sew on buttons, but Toby’s happily wearing his new togs on the back of the couch. He sits next to the elephant my mom sewed for me a million years ago, and I’ve been thinking of knitting something for him as well. Right now he’s wearing a too-loose little vest my mom knit – it’s very sentimental, but maybe he’d like something fresh and new to wear.

Anyway, time for me to go back to studying.


Shawl knitting

I’ve been working on some shawl knitting – I’m playing along in a Mystery Knit a Long – but the shawl doesn’t look particularly exciting because I’m knitting it in a solid brown. It’s a very pretty brown, with flashes of yellowy gold and a rich red undertone, but exactly what makes it pretty in real life makes it impossible to accurately photograph.

Here’s a shot of what I’ve got so far.

Mystery shawl

Mystery shawl

I’ve also been keeping up pretty well in school. I’ve got an A in Biochem so far and a good solid B in Physics. I might be able to pull A grades in all three of my classes this quarter. I’m already looking at what I need to take next quarter – I want to have more than three courses; I’m hoping to have at least four if not five. It’ll be hard, but I want to get this over with.

Mostly, I’ve been studying and taking random pictures of things, so here are some pretty random pictures.

Gloves in many colors

Flat Leafed Succulent

Coast Guard ship floating in the fog

Pretty succulent

Boat Lifting Mechanism in SF

Thursdays Off?

So, my school schedule this quarter gives me all of Thursday off. I almost don’t know what I’ll do with all the time. This week, the first week of school, I went shopping with my daughter to get more henna for my hair from Lush. We also stopped into a game store for her to try her luck at getting toys she likes from Minecraft Blind Bags. I wanted a squid and she wanted an Enderman (who wouldn’t?!) We got lucky!


Look at my super cute squid. Only, it's got 8 legs, so it's really an octopus.


But her Enderman had three arms and only one leg!


We had Thai for lunch.


Isn't this a pretty candy apple?

Back to School

Well, the holiday break wasn’t particularly restful or relaxing, but it was Not School. I spent the first week moving furniture, the second on a glorious road-trip in British Columbia, and the last with a house guest. Lots of fun and interesting things, but not relaxing.

Today’s the first day back in class and I’m glad to be here.


The new building's going up fast.


Lots of glassware for biochem lab.


My coffee plants are doing so well!

Tiling Map Art

I’ve been working on this for a little while.  I enjoyed the way the textures come together when I shuffle the tiles.


The original before cutting the tiles apart.


First shuffle of the tiles


It's different every time.

I’m going to make more. I’m thinking of doing ones with color as well as texture.

Quickie Socks

In my work on stash reduction, I’m finding random balls of yarn and just making up projects for them. The brown shawlette I posted last time is one of those – it’s the Pyttipanna Shawl. I’m halfway through a second of those, in a soft white mohair/wool laceweight. I’m hoping to make a bunch of narrow crescent shawls with my many random-ass balls of yarn.

Anyway, I have this ball of mustard colored Cascade 220. It makes lovely socks on US4s!




The lace pattern is distantly related to Feather and Fan. I’m interested in seeing how it looks when worked in a less compressed gauge – in the sock, it’s pretty squished. Like shadow lace, sort of.

I’ll finish the socks today and wear them around the house. I can’t wait.

Next, I’ll use the ball of pretty Cascade 220 in red/pink/carmine quattro yarn for … another pair of house socks!

Finished Knitting

In the move, I looked at all the yarn I own. It was a distressing experience; I have so much more than I thought I did. Well, that’s not entirely true, I knew I had tons, but it had been a long time since I’d really seen a lot of it. (Also, I didn’t get a chance to look at the stuff still in the storage space. Yikes.)

So, I’m trying not to buy any more yarn, and to make the things I planned on making when I bought the yarn I have. It’s interesting how clearly I remembered the projects I had in mind for each batch of yarn when I saw them all in the (oh so many) boxes I have.

Basically, it’s time to finish a bunch of projects and use stash yarn for new stuff.

I have finished some things, and I’m happily reminded of how nice it feels to finish things.





They’re all smallish, except for the cream lace shawl, but still. I’m hoping to finish a sweater this week as well as another of the thin crescent shawlettes.