Thursday, December 29, 2005

S l o w. And, an update.

I'm finally back after a long hiatus. Part of it was finals; part of it was a mad knitting frenzy leading up to Christmas; and part of it was gradually figuring out that Blogger doesn't like bitmap files and prefers JPGs. I had pictures ready to post after Christmas, but I only just figured out now that Blogger wouldn't accept them because they were BMPs!

So now I have a bit of posting to catch up on. First of all, let's start with the pre-Christmas knitting frenzy:

I don't know if you can tell, but I'm knitting on glittens for the Chairwoman while watching some DVD from the extended set of The Lord of the Rings. As soon as I finished finals on Dec. 19, I started knitting on these glittens to have them ready for the Chairwoman by Christmas. I barely finished at 2:30 a.m. on Christmas Day! Clearly, I am a very slow knitter. I didn't even get to finish GPG's Christmas socks until two days later because I spent all my free time working on those glittens.

And, unfortunately, I don't even have a picture of the finished product! I was sans digital camera at the time because I was spending the night of Christmas Eve at the Chairwoman's so I could take her to the airport on Christmas Day. So I was knitting furiously on these things all night long and have no picture to show for it. Sigh.

Anyway, I took the Chairwoman to the airport at 5 in the morning so she could head off to Japan to be with the Chairman. In a way, it was probably good to have been so tired from staying up late and knitting and then waking up in the morning, because otherwise I think it would have been a sad occasion. As it was, I was just tired and we were both in a bit of a rush to get the Chairwoman checked in on time. Anyway, now she's in Japan probably having all kinds of adventures, and that's what counts.

After dropping off the Chairwoman, I went straight back home and tumbled into bed. I didn't get to sleep for very much, but it sure felt good to sleep at least a little.

When I woke up, GPG and I had breakfast and then we opened presents:

We first opened presents that GPG's parents sent from Germany. (I opened most while GPG manned the camera.) The first gift was an "upside" down map of the world, with the Southern Hemisphere on top and the Northern Hemisphere on the bottom. It certainly provides a different perspective!

Above is a pretty small picture, so you can't really see the details, but if you look closely you can see the basic shapes of the continents. Keep in mind that I am looking at it right-side up, the way it's supposed to be viewed. So all the big continents are at the bottom of the map.

Next was a pretty awesome present:

They're Tempos! Tempos are basically little travel packets of German tissues. Yes, tissues like Kleenex. But so much better. One of the things that I love about Germany is that their paper goods are so much better than American paper goods. Paper goods meaning, primarily, tissues and toilet paper. Sounds like a weird thing to like, but it's something I've definitely noticed, especially considering that 1) everyone has to go the bathroom and use toilet paper; and 2) I got sick the past two times I was there and became very good friends with Tempos. Tempos are basically thicker and hardier than American tissues, and I'd been hoarding the two last little packets I had saved from the last time I was there. Now I have a pack of THIRTY. Yay!

I let GPG open the next present because it's definitely a "him" sort of present:

That's three bars of Toblerone milk chocolate. He loves the stuff.

GPG's parents also sent a very beautiful set of salt-and-pepper shakers covered with mother-of-pearl. They were lovely. Here I am reading a little card of information about mother-of-pearl after having opened the gift. You can see the shakers on my leg:

The next present GPG really should have opened, but he let me open it because we thought it was some more chocolate. It wasn't, which is why I'm laughing in this picture:

It was actually Haselmark, which is something GPG loves from Germany. It's basically a hard bar of honey and ground nuts. Hard to describe, especially since it's been a while since I've had it (we haven't opened this year's Haselmarks yet, and the last time I tasted a bit was, well, last Christmas). Here they are:

Then GPG gave me his present, which makes up a bit for the very little knitting content on this post (i.e., little knitting content in light of how much knitting I've been doing the past two weeks). We only got one picture of me opening a part of it:

It's probably hard to tell what it is, but it's a metal swift! And he also gave me a ball winder! Eeee! I love it! There's a big yarn sale at the LYS here in Houston tomorrow, so these babies are gonna see a lot of action. Plus I've got a ton of yarn at home that needs to be wound up. I'm so glad I'll never have to wind yarn into a ball by hand anymore!

Then I gave GPG his present:

Wusthof knives! GPG has been complaining about his bad knives for a while, so I decided to get him some really nice ones. They've already been put into use and I think he likes them a lot.

In fact, we used them to prepare part of Christmas dinner: hotpot!

Here's a picture of GPG and all the lovely things we cooked in the hotpot:

And here is a nice closeup of the hotpot itself:

We had beef, fish balls, two kinds of tofu, spinach, napa cabbage, mushrooms, and noodles. Not bad for a first attempt, and it was great. We stuffed ourselves. We're looking forward to another one.

Anyway, that was Christmas, and it was a good one. Since then I've continued knitting basically non-stop, which is actually exactly what I wanted to do after finals. (Finals were a doozie. I only realized halfway through that I was basically taking 4 tests in one week. That's, uh, a lot.) I'll post pictures of what I've done tomorrow. The tally since the end of school is one pair of glittens (for the Chairwoman), one pair of very big socks (for GPG), two umbilical cord baby hats (for babies born and to be born), and half of one My So-Called Scarf (for LawSchoolKatie). Sounds like a lot, but it's kind of not. I've discovered that I am a pretty slow knitter. During school, I attribute my slow progress to the fact that I really only knit on the bus rides to and from school. But now that I have most of the day to knit, I have to face up to the fact that I actually knit pretty darn slowly.

Oh, and as far as the running tally? I'm up to 12 miles. Last week I did 6 miles twice and 9 miles once. This week I've done 3 miles once and 12 miles once, and I hope to do at least 12 more (if not 15) on Friday or Saturday. Hopefully I'll get that mileage up somehow. At least the 12 miles (which I did yesterday) were not so bad. I managed it in 1:47, which I think is pretty respectable. We'll see how many more miles I can pull off.

More updates and pictures tomorrow!


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