The Mote Maintains

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Both of my essays are outlined now! I'm working on my children's lit one right now. But I did manage to do something interesting yesterday, while taking a break from my studies. I made a new notebook!

I hacked apart a Golden Book found at Value Village and added 50 sheets of blank paper in with the story pages.

I love Ex Libris plates, so I did a sewn binding instead of endpapers to preserve the plate - I remember loving these books when I was little, because of touches like this.

And as you can see, the story is of course preserved. How could I destroy a book?

There are more photos on flickr. This was sort of an experiment to learn how to sew signatures together and how to do the stab-method binding all at once. It wasn't as finicky as I was expecting it to be, so I may make more of these in the future. The most time consuming part was cutting the paper - I used our rotary cutter and self healing mat to cut big sheets down to the right size, and I could only do about 5 sheets at a time. But I'm happy with the result, nonetheless.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Well.  The Hellenistic History essay has been put to rest; I just need to hand it in this afternoon and stop worrying about it.  Surprisingly, my obsessive focus on the paper does not seem to have put me too far behind in Greek, even though today's lecture was pretty gruelling.  Stupid pronouns. I still haven't managed to fail a quiz in that class.  I'm not sure how that works, but there it is.

I didn't get to go to the climbing comp this weekend, and that made me very sad.  That said, I will most definitely be at the wall this afternoon.  Having sat on my bum all weekend typing away, I definitely need to get back to the gym and all that, so as not to go stir-crazy. 

I didn't really get to do much that was interesting this weekend aside from kidnapping Dan on Friday for a late lunch, and a cornerstone adventure on Sunday (they have apple cider again!!) with Cat and Dan and Derek and her friend Dave from McMaster.  Do not want to read another word, but I must work on the magazine tonight and do some readings for children's lit and some writing for lit and social change.  No rest for this Mote.

Ten things I am grateful for today:
1) Sunshine in November
2) Finishing my essay
3) My uncanny ability to find excellent parking spaces
4) Dan and his awesome awesomeness
5) Books and the ability to read
6)  Music
7)  The fact that I have food to eat and a place to live
8) My family
9) My silly puppy and my huggy bunny
10) and last but not least, my amazing friends, because they rock.

Five weird and random facts about me:
1) When I was little I would say that bananas with brown spots on them were "dirty bananas."  I would also call the pits in citrus fruit "stones."
2) I've never been to another continent besides North America.  This must change.
3) I love to bake and find that nothing is better therapy than creating something good to eat for yourself or, better yet, someone else.
4) David Duchovny's voice really, really does make me want to vomit.  No joke.
5) Sometimes I hate university because it cuts into my reading time.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

There's something special about birthday weekends.  I never get tired of the silly things about them, like chocolate cake with sprinkles and candles (which I of course wasn't allowed to light, seeing as it is bad luck to light your own), and being told to sit down while other people make dinner, and even the fact that relatives have the freedom to heckle you mercilessly.

There's something special about all these friends of mine.  It was awesome to go out for brunch with so many of them on Sunday and just hang around and talk and eat and marvel at the idea of cheesecake and strawberries as breakfast food.  It's awesome to have friends who know, just know, that what I really, really needed for my birthday was a shopping bag full of Pocky in myriad flavours and varieties (Thanks to my friend Steve!). 

There's something about being the one of the only people on earth who would coo and mew over getting a leatherbound Latin-English dictionary (ca. 1910-35 as far as I can tell - must check some catalogues I know of...) for her birthday  (well, I must say that, understandably, Sarah seemed to think it was pretty cool too!  She's in Classical Studies with me.)  not to mention a book full of ephemera related to Lewis Carroll's tour of Russia.  There is nothing on earth like receiving the gift of fire on this, the first day of my twentieth year.  (*attempts a pathetic imitation of Marlon Brando's wheeze*) Dan knows me too well - he's so good to me.  He gifted me with a pretty zippo to replace the one I lost a few years ago, and it is a beautiful little creature.  I love that click that zippos make... it's such a central sound in so many films involving glorious fireballs and momentuous explosions.  Just listen:  click.  WHOOOSH.  That's the sound of pure, unadulterated mayhem.  click. FSSZZZT is the sound of a particularly nice firecracker just before it goes off.  And so on and so forth.

It should probably be noted that the two thematic elements of said birthday gifts most certainly do not go well together, (ie. paper and fire) and shall be duly kept safely separated.

All of the above excellence (except birthday cake) occurred before noon, before the owner of Jose's came over and bribed me offered to give me  a coupon for a free dessert, on the condition that we give up our table, for we apparently lingered too long over coffee and tea and such.  Strange, that.

After that, Sarah, her partner Greg, Cat, and Steve all had to run away to their intramural ultimate frisbee game (on a day where the wind was gusting at extraordinary speeds, no less) and I had to go home and edit a certain magazine for a while.  That's how responsible I am:  I did actual work - lots of it! - on my birthday.  Perhaps I'm just boring.  No, I'm just a student.  That's the problem.  Anyway, it wasn't so bad, because I had Dan to keep me company while we both worked away at stuff.  I think Dan was amused by how much my sister loves to torment me.  Heh, but I give as good as I get, and Audrey can dish it out but she can't take it.  As an older sibling himself, I don't think Dan could work up much sympathy for her, which suits me just fine, just fine.

The reason Dan had stuck around was that he was invited to my birthday dinner with the family!  Everyone in my house is really weird, so I imagine we were at best amusing and at worst embarrassing, but everyone seemed to have a decent time and a decent meal, and that's what counts.  Had cake and all that stuff, and then there were a couple more gifts from my family, including the new Robert Jordan Wheel of Time novel (They're kind of redundant/boring now, but I'm so invested that I'll keep reading until he winds the damn thing up at some interminable date...) from my aunt, and all sorts of knitting related stuff from my parents and my sister.  I am a big dork, but I wouldn't want to be anything else. 

After that there was clean up, and then everyone had to leave!  Dan had to get back to Waterloo, and my parents had to drive the Audrey back to Seneca, so I stayed home and... drumroll.... did more homework!  Such is life, though, such is life.

I love that I got LJ birthday wishes, and plenty of phone calls as well. They make me smile.  I even got not one, but TWO marquees on LJ.  That's just madness, and I adore it.

I'm sure I've forgotten some essential moment of the day, but I should probably be working on my seminar, so I'll write about the Royal later.

NaNo is sort of stalled at 5500 words.  I don't wanna talk about it.


My whole self feels like one very exhuberant exclamation point at the moment, as I am extremely happy for no apparent reason. Maybe it was the fact that I went walking to class this afternoon with no coat and it was sunny and beautiful and it smelled like autumn outside and nothing really seemed too tough to deal with or important enough to fret over.

I saw two students outside Johnston Hall who looked exactly as if they were in the middle of breaking up at that exact moment and I wanted to go over and hug them both and tell them not to be so sad because there is someone out there for everyone, and even though people are often transitory in your life, the times you have with them are not diminished by their passing out of your life.

This is your assignment for the day: The next time you have somewhere to go, pretend that you have no idea how to get there. This means you will have to stop and ask for directions, for help from some stranger. Smile at them and ask them to show you the way, because sometimes even if we know where we would like to go, we need help and mercy from other people to get there.

Be grateful for every experience.

Happy Birthday, Derek!!!

This is what Derek got for his birthday from the Mote:

Cabled Scarf

It's a six foot long scarf with tassels and a cable, made out of bright red Briggs and Little worsted wool-nylon-acrylic blend yarn, on 5.5mm needles, over the course of three weeks.  This project went everywhere with me, so that I could get it finished without missing Derek's birthday entirely!  I even took it to a friend's Settlers marathon and knit while it was my turn to sit out.  Derek seemed to like it quite well, and I'm sure it will keep him nice and cozy this winter.  On top of that it looks dashing with his new black leather jacket, and will look even better with his new motorcycle, a red Ninja.