Category Archives: Boston

In Which I Have Tangents

I was going to write a post last week about how on my way to work, I accidentally flashed a train station. It was going to be a hysterical addition to my series of accounts of why I am the most awkward. It was going to be cringe-worthy and deliciously self-deprecating. I thought about it all the way to work. But I didn’t write it. Because if I’m being honest, it’s just not that funny. I went to work in a black sundress with a high neckline and a low hem. It covered everything, unlike my Old Navy sundresses from three seasons ago that seem to have shrunk to the point that they are no longer work-appropriate, even with a cardigan. I thought I was doing really well on the dressing-appropriately-because-I-am-almost-a-grown-up-who-is-not-in-college-and-who-makes-over-ten-dollars-an-hour-and-who-is-married-and-who-gets-to-eat-ice-cream-wherever-she-wants-be-that-on-the-couch-or-otherwise front.

Then my L.L.Bean messenger bag made my dress ride up and a lady politely tapped on my shoulder to alert me of the problem.

That was it. The skirt was so long that I’m fairly certain no one even saw anything, I just looked silly. I certainly didn’t look like a grown-up, even with my L.L. Bean bag which is certainly very mature of me because you can replace it for free if it breaks. Buying from L.L. Bean is the same as Being Responsible. Never mind that this is the third replacement bag I’ve had because I keep busting the zippers. NEVER MIND THAT. The point is that even my mature buying habits (fine. My mother’s mature buying habits. But, to be fair, I was 14 or so when she bought the first one, and I did not even pitch a fit that L.L. Bean bags were lame. That’s pretty mature in and of itself) could not make me look like a grown-up here.

So you’re welcome that I didn’t write and post it.

On a similar note, my knitting is just as disinteresting. I’ve been on an inexplicable stockinette kick. Two pairs of stockinette socks, two Citrons, and half of a Beaded Cami. So. Much. Stockinette. I don’t know what it is. Maybe it’s because 90% of it is done on the commuter rail to and from work? Most likely it’s just that I’m gone for about 97 hours a day and just don’t have the brain power to focus on anything interesting.

I think the point of this largely irrelevant post is that I have two big writing projects to work on (oh you know, just the other half of “With Pointed Sticks.” Nbd), and am in quite the little creative funk.

In Which the Proposal is Detailed

My mother was concerned about my lack of blogging, and how I only blog about knitting anymore. My only defense was how, during the school year, the only things I do are work and go to school and knit, so when I have the chance, I blog about the most interesting of those things (shut up). And now that school is over, I mostly just work and knit and sew and watch reruns of The Office with my mom (shut up).

But then it occurred to me that that has been my excuse for not blogging for so long that it’s really not true anymore. I’m doing a lot of things now. I got a full-time job for the summer in the office I’ve been in for two years, but I’m moving out of my back office table to the front desk, so hilarity is bound to ensue. And… well… I suppose that’s it.

Except that I got engaged.

Copyright Josephine Cardin Photography

I promise this WILL NOT turn into a wedding blog. It’s always frustrating when a blog turns in to something it wasn’t supposed to be, so I will be starting a separate blog about planning a wedding on a budget. There are 7 bajillion blogs about weddings on a budget (I counted), but those budgets are usually set at $5000, or $10,000, and even then at the end it’s sometimes, “We actually spent $27,000. Oops!” But I have student loans. So my budget is about 30 cents. Hilarity will ensue.

But I also hate it when bloggers make big life announcements, then don’t follow up, because I also really love proposal stories. Shut up. I’m a girl.

So without further ado,

Copyright Josephine Cardin Photography

Dan and I met in a book publishing class. He sat across from me, and I caught him staring at me. About every five minutes. After a brief conversation after class one night, when he asked me about knitting (which in turn led me to believe he might be gay. Shut up. I got to an arts school, and Dan’s the first available straight boy I’ve met in three years), he invited me to watch a movie with him and a friend. Two weeks later we were dating, two weeks after that we were in love, and within two months we knew we were It. There was never one moment when it felt too fast. We didn’t think that other people would see it that way, though, so instead of getting officially engaged then, we waited a few months so that people would take it better, and because Dan wanted to have the time to plan an actual proposal. We just told our parents and closest friends (and sometimes people we only kind of knew. And nurses in doctors’ offices. And people we passed by. Shut up. It was exciting).

Dan told me he had a big night planned for April 26, and I should get a fancy dress. I assumed the proposal would happen then, which is why I didn’t see it coming when, on April 8, we went for a walk towards downtown Boston, and on the corner of Avery and Washington Streets, he stopped in the middle of the sidewalk. He started talking about God, and how He brought us to each other, and about other things that I just can’t remember because in the middle of his speech I noticed his best friend with a video camera, and I knew this was it.

Then he asked, and I said yes, and passerbys stared and congratulated us. A guy with a guitar came out with a girl, and they sang Samson, by Regina Spektor, which was the song Dan was listening to when he realized he was in love with me, which I listened to with him when we first started dating. And because I knew we were getting engaged, and assumed it was at the end of April, I ordered an engagement ring for him as well. It came in the day before he proposed, and I planned to carry it with me wherever we went in case it happened before I thought it would. The fact that I had it that day was just lucky!

The video, for anyone interested, is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s0OrIfQxxZs

My boss’s wife did our engagement photos, and she’s an absolute genius. Please keep in mind that neither Dan nor I like having our pictures taken, but she made both of us feel so comfortable that it was just a fun Sunday morning outside. Her name is Josephine Cardin, and if you’re in the Boston area, you should really check her out for all of your picture needs! More of her stuff is at http://www.cardinphotography.com.

Copyright Josephine Cardin Photography

Copyright Josephine Cardin Photography

I have never, ever, been this happy about anything. I love him with all my heart, and marrying him next year is the most natural thing in the world.
Now back to your regularly scheduled crafting.

P.S. I encourage everyone to Google “Corner of Avery and Washington.” That Flickr photo is where we got engaged, over 50 years after that picture was taken. ūüôā

In Which the World Looks Little

Well hey!¬† What’s crack-a-lackin’?¬† Remember when I used to blog?¬† No?¬† That’s fine.¬† Me neither.

But no worries because I’m back in the blogging saddle.¬† At least for today.¬† Since I have my mojo for the next few minutes, I will use this time to show you my Christmas knitting.

(In full disclosure, much of it is still not done.  Shut up.  I have a lot of things going on.  Like school.  And ice cream eating.  And Twitter.)

First up:

Pattern: Maggie Beans and Friends
Yarn: Caron Simply Soft

This was for my boss’s one-year-old daughter, who is easily the cutest baby in existence.¬† The pattern was easy.¬† The part that took the longest was her hair, which I believe I documented in several previous posts.¬† Here is a picture of when it was finally finished, and I gave her a stylish hair cut:

My boyfriend decided her name was Natawasha, for reasons that I just don’t grasp, and yet in my head that is, without a doubt, her name.¬† Oh, and I didn’t intend for her to be naked.¬† I just ran out of time, and it turns out I suck at hand sewing.

Next!

Pattern: Cruiser Mittens (Rav link)
Yarn: Brown Sheep Lanaloft Worsted

For my boss.¬† They turned out smaller that I anticipated, but he said they stretched out to fit his hands pretty exactly, so that’s nice.¬† Also, I really liked this yarn but was sneezy when I was making them.¬† Wool is one of the few things I’m not allergic to, so that’s something to look out for in the event that you are allergic.

I also made a pair of silver Mrs. Buchanan Gloves for his wife, but forgot to photograph them.  Par for the course.

And these:

Big G Janice!

Big G Rita!

Pattern: Knitted Neck Scarf
Yarn: KnitPicks Comfy Sport

My grandmothers get all kinds of excited when I knit for them, so I really enjoy doing their Christmas knitting.¬† One of them told me earlier in the year about having a scarf similar to this one when she was growing up, so I went searching for the pattern.¬† While the end result is lovely, allow me to be unkind for a moment: as much as I love me some Martha Stewart, this pattern from her site is shit.¬† It was so unclear, and I had to make a lot of it up as I went along.¬† Also, on one of the scarves, one end is much longer than the other because the instructions were wrong, and I didn’t realize it in time.

COOKIE BREAK!!!!

My mom would like me to share these with you:

Heeeelp!!! I'm melllllting!

She made them based on cookies from a site that I can’t find right now.¬† Eek.¬† Maybe later?¬† They were delightful, even though their heads were just big ol’ balls of fondant.

Somewhere in the past three years of my writing school education, I learned about transitions.¬† Thus, I know that this is a good transition.¬† Because I brought these cookies when I went to meet my boyfriend’s parents for the first time over break.¬† The transition goes like this: cookies –> boyfriend’s parents –> boyfriend’s Christmas knitting.

It’s like could I hit you over the head with that transition ANY harder?

Anyway, the point is that I have a boyfriend who I like a whole lot, and who I knit these for:

Pattern: Men’s Convertible Gloves
Yarn: Erm… possibly Cascade 220?¬† So much yarn, who can remember it all?

And he wears them.¬† I have a boyfriend who wears things I knit.¬† He wore them so much I had to fix them because strings were popping out (either that or it was just poor craftsmanship.¬† Let’s not think about it too hard).

This is another picture of them.¬† It’s an awful picture, but we were at the top of the Prudential Center, and I want to show you how little Boston is.¬† And the world.

I’ve been waiting a very long time for a boy to knit for.¬† And it was so very worth the wait, because this boy is quite the boy, and makes me happier than I’ve ever been with another person.¬† He is kind, and inspiring, doesn’t mind that sometimes I look like this:

Anyone remember Marshmallow from my old blog? Anyone remember my old blog? No? Fine.

Which is really all you can ask for.¬† In the event that anyone who is here to read my knitting blog is also into “Electro, Thrash, Industrial, Dubstep, Screamo” music (in accordance to their Facebook page), it would probably not be a mistake for you to listen to his band.¬† He’s the screamer.¬† Hawt.

In Which I Realize Too Late that My Picture for Documentation Purposes is a Failure

This week is Read-House-of-Seven-Gables-Until-My-Eyeballs-Fall-Out Week.¬† Yay!!!¬† I wish I had thought to make celebratory t-shirts.¬† I was all set to start reading, by which I mean get in bed with the book and hope I didn’t get distracted by anything (read: everything), when I decided to make tea.¬† And I don’t even really like tea, which is how hard I was looking for things to do that weren’t reading.¬† Then I realized that my clearance jaguar coffee mug from Urban Outfitters TOTALLY matched my clearance tank top from Old Navy (which does not have a jaguar, but you know, same colors.¬† Shut up.¬† I’m bad at being a girl).

At which point the evening went downhill.  Because I was so excited by not only my reduced price shopping skills, but also my matching abilities, that I had to take a crack-ass web cam picture to document said skills.

Are you as excited as I am?!?! No? Then you must not have to read Hawthorne.

I just realized how little of my shirt is actually in this picture.  Whatever.  Read previous post to learn about my poor photography skills.

I bought the shirt because it matches a cardigan I already have, so you can just imagine my excitement when I found it also matched my mug.

Then I started playing with the effects on Photobooth, which I should have recognized as a poor use of time because it doesn’t even document the colors.¬† Which is, you know, the entire point.

Then I realized that if I didn’t start reading soon, I would fail college.¬† So I had to quit taking pictures of my mug.¬† Which made me feel like this:

**Disclaimer: I promise I’m actually smart.

**Disclaimer for my parents: There was no tea in the cup at the time I took this picture.  Therefore, no spilling for which there is no warranty could have occurred.  Also, both shirt and mug were inexpensive and will in no way impede my ability to pay for college next year.

In Which I Look Bat Shit Crazy

Spring semester at school ended a few weeks ago, and summer session started at the beginning of this week. ¬†I’m taking one class this summer in an effort to graduate a semester or more early to save as much money as possible (which is all relative [read: a joke] as my loans are catastrophic). ¬†I also keep my job in the career services department over the summer, which means that three days a week I get on the commuter rail at the ass crack of dawn (or 8:00. ¬†Again, all relative), then make the ten minute walk through Boston to get to my school. ¬†And as I’m sitting here on a Saturday afternoon, blogging and drinking coffee out of a giant yellow mug I got on clearance at Crate and Barrel, like any sane person, and a week of summer classes and work under my belt, I would like to describe for you all of the reasons why the people of Boston must think I am absolutely off of my rocker.

1. Bag Lady

The types of bags I carry vary depending on if I have class, or just work (2 days work and class, 1 day just work all day). ¬†If it’s just work, I carry my purse (which is admittedly large and features many pockets and compartments [read: awesome]), and on class days I carry my Vera Bradley messenger bag. ¬†Either way, I also have a plastic bag with work shoes, the empty travel mug of coffee I finished on the train, and a rain coat. ¬†The rain coat has to be a staple because, as I learned last year when I took the train to work, someone thinks it’s funny to make it rain when I have to run through Boston to catch the train, even if there was no forecast of inclement weather. ¬†Bringing a rain coat, I find, makes it less funny for that someone. ¬†If I am prepared to remain dry, it is just not fun for them. ¬†At any rate, I have more than one large and unwieldy bag that I lug with me.

2. Coffee Spillage

First off, when I put the “empty” travel mug into the plastic bag with my shoes and rain coat, it inevitably has the tiniest amount of coffee left in it. ¬†Not enough to bother drinking, or even see and recognize as problematic. ¬†Just enough to leak into the bag, and through the bottom. ¬†So as I’m walking to work, the people around me on the street see a girl carrying what would appear to be every single thing she owns, and a brown mystery liquid is leaking from her bag. ¬†Not to mention, the train ride is always bumpy, so usually I manage to spill coffee on myself. ¬†Generally when I’m wearing white. ¬†Always when I’m wearing white.

3. Speed

I walk very fast, my reasons for which are threefold. ¬†First of all, I am always worried about being late for work or missing the train. ¬†I never am, but I attribute this to speed walking. ¬†Secondly, I drink a lot of coffee on the train, and I always have to pee. ¬†And third, I have a lot of long-legged friends. ¬†I am only 5’4″, and my legs contribute to a small percentage of that height (to give you an idea, my little brother is about 5’8″ or taller and has long legs. ¬†But when we sit down, I’m taller). ¬†And most of my friends are on the high end of 5 feet, and one or two are flirting with 6 feet. ¬†Naturally, they walk faster than me just because their legs get more distance than mine. ¬†As a result, I have to walk extra fast to keep up with them, so I got in the habit of walking fast, even when I’m not with them. ¬†But no matter what the reason, a person booking it down the street at 9:00 in the morning always looks a little unbalanced. ¬†And can I just mention that most people walk far too slow, like they have no where to be? ¬†I don’t believe they have no where to be. ¬†This is especially true of tourists, who stop in the middle of the sidewalk to take pictures in front of the 7-11, which is really not historical Boston. ¬†I always want to point them in the direction of the Public Gardens, which are exceedingly nicer than the convenience store, not to mention out of my direct walking path.

4. Crocs

This is the big one, and I want no judgement. ¬†Because I certainly don’t wear Crocs to work, I just wear them to walk there, then I change, because no one can comfortably walk in fancy shoes, and I have quite a ways to go. ¬†And I don’t have the clog kind of Crocs, I have the Mary Jane kind that are not AS clunky. ¬†And they’re not a bright obnoxious color, they’re a pale shade of pearlescent pink. ¬†The thing about Crocs is that people make fun of them, but they are the people who have never owned a pair. ¬†Because once you put them on and walk for awhile, they are exceedingly comfortable. ¬†(My fashionable roommate tells me this is not an excuse, and they are acceptable under no conditions. ¬†But she wears leggings as pants, so you decide who’s crazy. ¬†I still love you though, Amy ūüėÄ ).

The thing is, I wear my Crocs with dresses, which I accept makes me look bat shit crazy. ¬†I just can’t justify walking to work in dress shoes or flip flops. ¬†But I know I look crazy. ¬†It’s cool.

(As a side note: a man who looked like a fatter version of Newman from Seinfeld drove past me in a mini-van one day last summer, and slowed down when he saw me. ¬†He leaned as much of his gigantic torso out of the window as possible, and yelled at me, “Well hello there sweetheart!” ¬†Then he did a weird thing with his eyebrows and drove away cackling. ¬†This is certainly not an everyday occurrence, but gross middle-aged men say things on occasion. ¬†It comes with being in a city. ¬†But I will say that when I wear my dress-Crocs combination, no one says anything to me. ¬†No one. ¬†You tell me who the crazy one is.)