Tuesday, December 23, 2008

It's been snowing for days. There's a thick, white blanket of snow covering the whole city. It dramatically changes the landscape, which is novel and entertaining, but it has also caused quite a few problems. Roads have been closed, traveling has been difficult, and people are unable to get to work. The first 2 things don't affect us at all, since Paul's work is within walking distance and public transit is doing just fine. And my work has been closed due to weather since last Wednesday!

Wednesday was not bad at all, but they thought it would snow bad so they closed work; Michal and I had a fun brunch and then went to the deserted mall for the last of her Christmas shopping. I did finally manage to find some cotton thermals (not fake ones made with nylon and polyester, but real clingy cotton ones with tight cuffs).

Thursday it wasn't supposed to snow at all and work was declared open, so I went to the bus stop, waited for 20 minutes for the very late, but properly-chained, bus to arrive. To my surprise Dr. Robertson was also on the bus; I've been catching many of the same afternoon buses with him lately. As we rode, the rain changed to snow and we watched out the window in horror as it stuck to the ground. That wasn't supposed to happen. Dr. R was concerned for his wife, who was driving around without chains (which were, until then, unnecessary). By the time we got to the school and jumped off the bus, there was over an inch of snow on the ground, traffic had slowed on the icy streets, and it was beginning to blizzard.

We just got into the Seminary building, took off our snowy coats and hats, got warm, and I was about to make myself some tea when someone announced, "They're closing the school and sending us home!" Not surprising, but I was concerned for those who had driven in and who might not be able to make it home again. What a hassle! Luckily, Farrah was in her office and some quick consultation with our respective husbands led to the ultimate plan for the day: knitting and hot apple cider at her place, snuggle with her little dogs, lunch, then downtown for some shopping. Perfect!

Since then, the online closure announcements have had my work closed. Which is nice for me, since our benefits cover "inclement weather closures" as paid days off. All of the professors had to have their grading done by last Friday, which must have been a hassle to finish if they couldn't get to work (let's hope they all took it home with them or finished early!), and of course I had things I wanted to finish up. But oh well! let it snow!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

modern social networking

I love Jane Austen's work. I love the escape into her stories and imagine myself the daughter of a gentleman, obsessed with balls and finding a husband. The beautiful thing is that her themes and plots are timeless. I can relate to all of the characters at some level (yes, even Mr. Collins and Mr. Willoughby) and thoroughly enjoy Austen's unique sense of humor.

For those of you not quite convinced, who perhaps prefer more modern means of social networking, I give you Pride and Prejudice, Facebook style.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

RAOK! really random!!

There was a green slip in our mailbox last night when we came home from work, indicating that we had a package in Package Purgatory (i.e. the management office). Luckily I have today off, so I was able to get it today.

When I looked at the return address I was very surprised at the name: Eugene sent me an RAOK all the way from the Netherlands!!

I opened it up and there was yarny goodness inside!

Look at this cute little mini-stocking! Thanks for not putting coal inside it, like I deserve. And needle keepers! what a great tool!

Yay, teal! just the color I need for a certain project right now! How did you know, Eugene? And of course some sparkly silver, sure to add some bling to my projects!

This just made my day! Thank you, Eugene!

Saturday, December 6, 2008


I've decided to join the Hufflepuffs in the Holiday Sock-Along, and I'm super excited to knit socks again. I haven't knit socks in....who knows how long. Here's the yarn I got from Crazy 4 Dyeing, a lovely golden honey colorway:

Unfortunately, I'm very indecisive so I'd like some help picking out my socks. Here's what I've narrowed it down to:

Magic Mirror


Diamond Rib

Singing in the Rain

Please vote using the poll on the sidebar. Thanks!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Amazing swap package from Penelope!

Well, I survived yet another stressful week of work. In the middle of the week I received a visit from Orpheus, Penelope Caerphilly's owl, but didn't have time to post about the wonderful package he brought.

Penelope is in Slytherin, and I'm in Ravenclaw, so she drew the directions very carefully for Orpheus.

A sweet little owl holding a scroll of parchment with a personal note from Penelope was right on top.

Oh my goodness I LOVE HIM! I play with him all the time and he makes me smile. He always wins staring contests. His name is Orlando (Lt. Commander Orlando Hoo, actually, according to my husband).

Look at all the pretty blue presents inside my box! It's like birthday (1000)!

It's so amazing, I've been repeatedly unpacking and repacking the box, just so I can experience the joy of it all over and over again! Look at what was stashed inside!

First of all, look at this handmade tote bag (a girl can never have too many bags!).

She even sewed on soaring ravens!

What amazing details!

Penelope must know how much I love learning new things (being a Ravenclaw and all), so she gave me instructions on how to knit socks 2-at-a-time, 2 sets of circular needles, and a sweet pattern to use with my new sock yarn! It's Knitted to a T yarn, in "Not a Cloud in the Sky." These socks will definitely brighten up my day! She also gave me a CD of more patterns, because once I start knitting socks 2 at a time, I probably won't want to stop. She also made me stitch markers and sent wool soak and a beautiful cable needle, just what I need!

Who doesn't love being pampered? Penelope must have known I needed some extra love, because she sent a variety of potions, lotions, a beautiful handmade necklace, and sunglasses to keep my cool outside.

Penelope sent me 2 new friends, the little owl and a green pygmy puff. Luckily, I won't have to share my chocolate with either!

And she didn't forget my kitty! Gifts for everyone!

And here's the aftermath! The smarmy kitty loves paper, so she had a blast jumping in it and tearing it to shreds!

Thank you thank you thank you, Penelope!!!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Quidditch Round 3!

Oh no it's the final round of quidditch!!!

1. Who was Tom Riddle Sr.'s girlfriend before Merope gave him the love potion?
a. Eleanor
b. Cecilia
c. Sally
d. Mandy

2. What does Luna say floated into Harry's ear when he was in the train car that supposedly caused him to lose focus?
a. Demiguise
b. Jobberknoll
c. Wrackspurt
d. Runespoor

3. How much do the primary Apparition lessons cost?
a. 10 galleons
b. 8 galleons
c. 15 galleons
d. 12 galleons

4. What is Professor Merrythought's first name?
a. Eileen
b. Galatea
c. Carol
d. Jocelyn

5. What Hogwarts club was Eileen Prince captain of?
a. Charms Club
b. Gobstones Club
c. The Slug Club
d. Occlumency Club

6. Who is head of the Goblin Liaison office?
a. Ambrosius Flume
b. Dirk Cresswell
c. Ciceron Harkiss
d. Barnabas Cuffe

7. Mrs. Weasley offers Fleur a goblin-made tiara for the wedding with Bill. What family member is currently in possession of the tiara?
a. Aunt Muriel
b. Aunt Ethel
c. Aunt Edna
d. Aunt Thelma

8. How many points does Snape take from Gryffindor for Harry's late arrival and muggle attire?
a. 30
b. 70
c. 50
d. 90

9. When Profressory Slughorn first meets Hermione, he asks her whether she is related to Hector Dagworth-Granger. What society did Dagworth-Granger found?
a. The Most Extraordinary Society of Charms
b. The Most Extraordinary Society of Herbology
c. The Most Extraordinary Society of the Defense Against the Dark Arts
d. The Most Extraordinary Society of Potioneers

10. Which of these describes Golpalott's Third Law?
a. The antidote for a blended poison will be equal to less than the sum of the antidotes for each of the separate components
b. The antidote for a blended poison will be equal to less than the product of the antidotes for each of the separate compenents
c. The antidote for a blended poison will be equal to more than the product of the antidotes for each of the separate compenents
d. The antidote for a blended poison will be equal to more than the sum of the antidotes for each of the separte components

Friday, November 7, 2008


Well, I survived! I. Am. Exhausted.

I finished the Young Helena Muff for House Cup quidditch the other weekend, but in the craziness of event planning, I hadn't gotten a chance to mail it off. We live right next to the post office, but alas! I leave for work before they're open and get home after they're closed. So I finally sent it off today!

And here you can see the soft bronze yarn feathering out in a spiral.

I just love handspun yarn! Also, Farrah has kindly agree to wind the coral and navy blue Cascade 220 Caela picked out for her hat. I can't wait to get started! There should be plenty of yarn leftover, so I'm thinking making a little extra something with the leftovers.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I've been really stressed out the last couple of weeks. Lots of pressure. Our 4th Annual Benefit Dinner is tomorrow night and a lot is riding on it! I still have lots of little details to wrap up, but the interns have graciously volunteered their time here and there when they aren't in class. The dinner is at this fantastic place. While we can't serve alcohol at official Multnomah functions, what guests choose to do at the pub or pool hall before the dinner is their own business (wink wink). I can't think of a better place to be tomorrow!

In other news, TriMet has frustrated me 2 trips in a row. Yesterday evening I was trying to wrap up my work in time to catch the bus (it's now too dark to safely take the MAX at 82nd Ave., which is very sketchy), but missed it by 1 minute. Boo. The next one was supposed to come 20 minutes later, so I went back to my office for about 10 minutes, then went outside to wait. I waited. And waited. Aaaaaaand waited. I saw not 1, not 2, but 3 (!!!) buses go in the other direction. Maybe they fell off the edge of the Earth? It was cold and raining, and I was hungry and tired and achy and just wanted to be at home knitting and following the election! Grrr. Anyway, it ended up taking an hour and a half to get home. Ridiculous.

Then this morning I boarded the MAX red line, which goes toward my work on its way to the airport. Except it was actually a yellow line disguised as a red line. How sneaky! How funny it was when I looked up out the window to discover myself in North Portland. And how funny it was to have to run to catch the yellow line going to other direction (in the rain, of course). When I finally got back to Rose Quarter, where the yellow line splits off in its own direction, I had to pee so bad! So I went only 1 stop, got off, and went to Starbucks. The nice guy behind the counter asked, "What can I get for you today?" and I almost started crying. "A gingerbread latte and a bathroom!!!" Amazing how a warm drink and warm smile can make things better.

Oh, and Paul & I are super excited about the election outcome! Obama's speech was inspiring and emphasized what we both feel to be urgent and important to us both: we have a lot of work ahead of us as a nation. It's a challenge we're ready to face.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Ravenclaw House Quiz

What security question does Mr. Weasley ask Mrs. Weasley before he enters the Burrow? What is the answer?
Q: What do you like me to call you when we’re alone together?
A: Mollywobbles

What two names does Mrs. Cole call Dumbledore when she takes him to see Tom Riddle at the orphanage?
Dumberton and Dunderbore

What is the name of Ginny's Pygmy Puff?

What three D's are needed for apparating?
Destination, Determination, Deliberation

What spell did Harry perform when he was attacked by Dementors?
Expecto Patronum

Who did an arrow salute at Dumbledore's funeral?
The centaurs

What did Dumbledore set on fire to prove to Tom Riddle that he was a wizard?
The wardrobe

What Christmas present did Kreacher give Harry?

What is on top of the Weasleys' Christmas tree?
A garden gnome

What was the most popular item at Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes?
Nosebleed Nougat

Why did Harry threaten to kick Ron off the Griffindor Quidditch team?
For being aggressive and mean to his teammates

What happens if you break an Unbreakable Vow?
You die :(

Who did Hermoine go to Slughorn's party with?
Cormac McLaggen

Who is Mrs. Weasley's favorite singer?
Celestina Warbeck

Who are the only two people who know the full contents of the prophecy made about Harry and Lord Voldemort?
Dumbledore and Harry

Friday, October 24, 2008

working hard

What a week! The first half was hectic and the second half was dragging...so slowly.

I've developed this little tactic with my boss: when he has something big going on, that needs to be my big thing too. For example, he left town early Wednesday morning for a conference. That means that Tuesday was filled with emergencies and urgent To-Do's. And computer failures, of course.

So what do I do when dates like this arrive? I plan on not doing anything except helping my boss get out the door. That is my one and only must-do task for the day. If he has to be somewhere, like a meeting or a speaking engagement, my job is to get him there with everything he needs in order. That means thinking about all the little details for him ("Do you have a ride to the airport at 4am?" "Do you need copies of your workshop materials I think I've mastered the "travel packet" for him. The hard thing is, it takes months of working with someone before you can anticipate their needs.

Aaaand I found out just a couple of days ago that the handmade portion of the Hogwarts Kit Swap is due TODAY. My hands hurt. If I run out of yarn I'm going to be so. very. angry! I think I remade this very hat 4 or 5 times now. I have all these great ideas for my spoilee's package, but I can't blather about it here. She'll see. I want it to be a big surprise!

Friday, October 17, 2008

yarn goodies

Today when I got home I had so many goodies waiting for me!

Blue yarn from Hermoninny:

And then a neighbor knocked on the door--they got a package for me--bronze metallic yarn from Bobbilicious:

And goodies!!

How fun! Now I can start knitting the muff for my team...

my life right now

My focus is very limited this week. As the days go by, the focus becomes narrower and narrower. My mind hones in one one target: event.

Here's what I'm running tomorrow: Gospel, Church and Culture Workshop. It's going to be super-challenging, as usual for my boss and his partner in crime colleague.

My brain is a hurricane of details, but it's only an F1. Maybe just a tropical storm. It's not as complex as a full-blown conference: no registration, no food and coffee, no breakout sessions, no guest speakers. Very simple really, and I'll have my lovely crew of interns to help with setup and logistics all morning! All I need to do now is to triple-check my materials list and remember to set the alarm!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Quidditch Round 2


1. What animal does the portrait in the Muggle Prime Minister's office resemble?
a. Rat
b. Frog
c. Cat
d. Lion

2. What drink does Romilda Vane try to give Harry?
a. Gillywater
b. Butterbeer
c. Pumpkin Juice
d. Elf-Made Wine

3. What is the name of the person who heads the Holyhead Harpies?
a. Gwenog Smith
b. Gwenog Jones
c. Glen Jones
d. Glen Smith

4. How many 'Exceeds Expectation' grades does Harry receive in his O.W.L's?
a. 6
b. 3
c. 5
d. 4

5. What is Professor Slughorn's favorite candy?
a. Cockroach Clusters
b. Sherbet Lemon
c. Acid Pops
d. Crystallized Pineapple

6. What tattoo is Harry reported to have on his chest?
a. Mermaid
b. Blast-Ended Skrewt
c. Hippogriff
d. Unicorn

7. What color robes do the staff at the Weasley's shop wear?
a. Buttercup
b. Magenta
c. Royal Blue
d. Aqua

8. What is the man outside Flourish and Blotts selling?
a. Amulets
b. Cloaks
c. Wands
d. Hats

9. How much is the skull, which Hermoine enquires about at Borgin and Burkes, worth?
a. 9 Galleons
b. 18 Galleons
c. 16 Galleons
d. 12 Galleons

10. What are Professor Slughorn's initials?
a. H.F.G.
b. H.E.F.
c. H.A.I.
d. H.K.D.


Favorite Character

Favorite Magical Creature

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Ravenclaw Treasure Hunt Results!

Overall Winner with 200 points
The Clever Corvus Dorm Room
Bevin Rae Mooney
Waverly Trimble
Amethyst Aurag
For completeness and team spirit! Congratulations!

Second Place with 175 points
Quills, Cauldrons & Feathers
Cassandra ZeHorrid
Chrysta the Cursed
Minerva Kwikspell
Wisteria Lovegood
This team showed perseverance!

Third Place with 160 points
Knit 1, Percolate 2
Andromache Tonks
Fiera Firenze
Minverva Wood
This team showed exceptional creativity like true Ravenclaws!

Fourth Place with 150 points
Bella Shacklebolt
Kitty Diricrawl
Olive Bumblebirch

Fifth Place
Gene & Stu
Eugene Nigeno
Stuart Cauldwell

Sixth Place
Charming Chums
Cassandra Crimsonchin
Emma Wigworthy
Molly Crookshanks

Highest Individual Points
Amethyst Aurag (170)
Bella Shacklebolt (160)
Bevin Rae Mooney & Waverly Trimble (155)

Honorable Mentions
Most Creative: Minerva Wood
Most Ravenclaw Pride: Emma Wigworthy
Most Lyrical: Eugene Nigeno

Everyone gets a badge for awesome participation and team spirit!

A quick word about scoring: Teams earned points only for the items which all team members found, plus the bonus points earned by individual team members. If a roommate had technical difficulties or was simply missing in action this whole past week, I did not hold it against the other teammates, but there was consequently fewer possibilities to earn bonus points. Extra points were awarded for things like:
* all treasures found
* unique originality markers
* best taste in US football team
* creative ministers & magical creatures
* silliest puns
* sock monkey love story
* Ravenclaw fashionwear

Great job everyone! I'm so proud of the creative effort you all put into hunting for treasure, and I hope you had fun!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Ravenclaw Treasure Hunt

I hope you all had as much fun as I did! Everyone's still got 3 more hours...

broom (5)

This broom was not used in the quidditch world cup...but it's still very useful.

diadem (10)

"Wit beyond measure is a man's greatest treasure!"

engagement ring (5)

Not traditional, but perfect for me! Garnets in rose gold, circa 1900. My husband Paul picked it out for me from a vintage jewelery shop. Also a great way to save money for the honeymoon!

fanged frisbee (10)

Here is Paul about to deploy his fanged frisbee around the room...

...it escaped and chased some girls outside. They thought it was fun until it started biting them.

glass of butterbeer (10)

From my trip to Hogsmeade this past weekend. The lighting in the Three Broomsticks is very dim, perhaps so you can't see the food?

government employee (10)

horcrux (15)

This poor muggle repairman collected items like this cup, and didn't even realize he had a horcrux in his office all these years...

house socks (being worn) (5)

Knitsy obligingly let me take a picture of her wearing discarded socks she found around the castle. I think one used to belong to a Slytherin and the other to a Ravenclaw.

lucky potion (10)

My potion, Felix Felicis on the right. I need it to get through this week! Paul's Pepperup potion on the left.

magical creature (15)

This food is magical! (Not made of pegasus.)

muggle artifact (5)

I think muggles use these instead of owls? Looks complicated.

public art (5)

A smaller representation of a larger nearby bridge.

raven's feather (15)

I wonder where the rest of the feathers are now?

shady shop (10)

I wouldn't go in here even during daytime hours. Sketchy.

tree changing seasons (5)

Fall is here! At least for the northern hemisphere...

used textbook (5)

A used textbook in use by a student in the library. Muggle libraries are remarkably similar to normal libraries, except they need a lot of staff to move the books around. I'm so glad my books put themselves away!

That's almost all of them for Team Tailfeathers! Sorry I couldn't find a government employee. I thought for sure I'd see a police officer or a fireman or the postman. I even live next to a post office and I never got home form work before they closed. Well, it was fun!