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Thursday, August 25, 2005

as much for myself to remember

Yesterday on npr, they played a bit of music from Don Juan Dracula - a band that appears from their website to not currently have distibution in the US yet....

here's a cute video with one of their songs

Evvie thinks they sound "generic" but he enjoys them too. I like 'em. It also sounds like good car riding music. There are a couple song downloads on their site tho to tide me over until the release...

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Knit together

Even though I didn't make it to the knitting meetings where the campus reporters showed up (darn work for being so time consuming!), there's still a picture of some yarn I spun (now owned by Lourdes Ventura), and a small blurb about me in this article.

"Case in point: With just her two knitting needles and some yarn, Ventura made a small stuffed animal, as well as a fluffy steering wheel cover for her new car. Lori, on staff in the Psychology Department and at the Graduate School of Business's behavioral lab, made a handbag that bears an uncanny resemblance to a plate of bacon and eggs—sunny side up."


I picked up about 20 skeins of yarn yesterday at st vincent de paul for $1 each. half the skeins were 50%mohair, 50%acrylic, and the other half of the lot are 100% wool.

I started knitting with them immediately, only to find I have a horrible allergic reaction to them! I think that they may just be quite dusty? or something? Will washing them help? I think when i get a chance I'm going to unwind a couple skeins and give them a good wash with some shampoo... Any other ideas would be much appreciated :)

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Piggies and knitting

what's that? how bout this pic?

it's PIG RACING! Sean (evvie's bro), evvie and I went to the San Mateo County fair last Saturday! The pig racing was so cute! The little piggies raced around the track to eat an oreo at the end. I kept turning to evvie and saying, "I want one!" so cute!

The fair was also interesting in that you could go see all the different county fair entries for different things. I have to say, I should totally enter the spinning category next year. I only saw four skeins there! The baked goods and candies looked delish, and the wall of jars of pickles, preserves, and vinegars were delightful to see! There were other categories from place setting design, to plant growing. Here are a couple noteworthy cacti from the event:

We also happened to go to the fair the same day as the chili cook-off. At 3pm when the contestants sent their chili samples to the judges, you could walk around and sample all the contestants' chilis for free! Yum! My favorite was this absolutely wonderful chipotle chili. It was so smokey!

I also spotted this at the table by the San Jose Lace Museum. I've never seen lace made (besides knitting), and this looks like an utter headache to me! People must have much more patience than I was born with to be able to manage to create the pieces. Here's some lace "in progress"

Like so many others, I fell under the spell of the One Skein Wonder by glampyre. I bought the pattern and decided to move it right up to the top of my list of things to knit. I wasn't quite sure what size aran weight yarn was, so I doubled the worsted merino I had left over from handpainted yarn. Even so, I didn't hit gauge. I should have moved up to a size 9 needle I think. Oh well, the fabric is a little dense, but I like it anyway. I ran out of yarn just as I was about to move on to the cuffs of the OSW, so I bought some Lamb's Pride at Uncommon Threads in Los Altos to finish it off. Overall, I like it. Next time, I'm going to knit it on size 9's and make it long sleeves.
Front (a little bunched up in this photo, but I was too lazy tired to take another shot):


One Skein Wonder by Glampyre
2 skeins of worsted merino yarn from (two strands held together)
size 8 needles and size 5 circulars

lol, btw, I think my boyf is one of the few males who doesn't wonder where "the rest of the sweater" went to...

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

interview by Ming

The Rules
1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview Me."
2. I will respond by asking you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your LJ with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the post.
5. When others asking to be interviewed comment, you will ask them 5 questions.

Interview by Ming

1) What made you decide to switch from computer science/art to psychology? Could it have been the pizza at 2am every evening (I couldn't eat pizza chicago again without bringing back THOSE memories), the back aches and bleary eyes from hunching over a computer putting my eyes too close to the screen as I tried to debug some nastiness? I think in the beginning (back in hs and early college), I really really enjoyed the challenges of writing and planning out my code and programs. Honestly tho, as I went along through my major I realized that mostly I just didn't care anymore. The fun went away, and suddenly I was faced with, "OMG, do I really want to do this for the rest of my life in some cubicle somewhere?" I plodded along for a while just feeling more and more trapped until depression completely took over my life (I remember breaking down at a gyno appt *totally wrong kind of doctor, eh* and I ended up leaving with a little bottle of paxil which I never ended up taking because I decided I'd rather change my life than take medicine). Anyhoo, I desperately tried to figure out what I could change my major to that late in the game (for those who don't know, I switched majors my senior year of college). My parents are pretty strict about what I "can be when I grow up." I always knew that I was supposed to be a doctor or an engineer (duh, I am Chinese, right?). Up until my senior year, I had only taken 1 psychology class (cognitive psychology), but I had LOVED it. I also looked around and realized that 2 of my aunts and 1 of my uncles were psychologists (most practicing clinical psych). So I figured, psychology was at least a somewhat accepted (in my family) pathway out of the whole doctor/engineer thing. So I went for broke :)

2) What's the most interesting problem/issue to you in the world of psychology at the moment?

That answer will obviously be different depending on who you ask (and you're asking little ol' me). Every psychologist probably thinks there is something in THEIR area, THEIR research that is the most important, or at least very important, otherwise they wouldn't be pursuing that line of research. Of course, I'm not really at the point where I can dictate explicitly what projects I should be working on... I obviously find racial interactions and biases fascinating, otherwise I probably wouldn't be heading in the social psych direction. I do think some of what I'm working on right now is important as it relates to biases that everyone has, (and how it affects our actions/vigilance) especially with respect to police officer training and awareness, but I don't know that that's the most important thing in psych right now for me... honestly, I'm not quite sure EXACTLY what is most important to me because there seems like there are so many "important" issues out there. sorry for that fluff answer.

3) Do you think of yourself as a queer ally? What does that mean to you?
"ally." To me, the term suggests more of a war like situation in which political/human rights are fought for (in this case). I don't know that I'm politically active enough for the community to be called "a queer ally." Back in high school, I was part of the group that started the Gay Straight Alliance. I was in the meetings with the principal of the school as we fought to have the right to have the group on campus after our initial meeting signs were torn down and members threatened. Back then, I might have thought of myself as a queer ally. Now, I suppose I would be considered a queer 'friend' since I sympathize with and agree with much of what the community might want, but I am not involved enough to help or even know the intricacies of what the community is pushing for.

4) What dish (or dishes) would you want to learn to cook perfectly every time?
that yummy salty bean curd skin and chicken dish my grandma makes. and maybe that yummy savory nian gao recipe that emi made for chinese new year. oh and that chocolate cake with yummy molten center that you get at restaurants dripping with chocolate sauce. Oh yeah and lots of tasty souffles.

5) If you could go back in time and give the 12 year old Lori some advice, what would it be?
Do not date anyone named Dan. Ever.

i wanna go home...

bleh work.

I want to thank all the people who've left me bday wishes on my bloggy blog!

Thanks also to Kae who sent me the cutest belated bday card... makes me want to be late in remembering someone's bday so i can sent it out as well! just adorable!

taken from sanmiguelmalo
what happens to people after they leave you? (although I've always been the one to leave in the relationship...)

1) Go to U Penn to double major in European History and Biology, minors in Hispanic studies and Film studies. Then goes on to a PhD program at Carnegie Mellon in Social and Cultural History - Modern Spain

2) Goes on to Law School at Pacific McGeorge where he becomes the ATLA (I'm not sure what this stands for) chapter president

3) Went to Stanford University and majored in English and minored in computer science. He was in a rock band called Relapse. He graduated and went to work at Google as a temp for a while. Now I have no idea where he is.

4) Changed his major to Art History, graduated and got into every selective Art History PhD program. He chose to go to Harvard.

still to come... ming's interview questions....

Monday, August 08, 2005

Friends and special occasions...

Friday afternoon, I took off work early and headed to La Belle in the Stanford shopping center to get a manicure with my friend Hilary and her bridesmaid before her wedding on Saturday. Admittedly, it was fun to be pampered a bit, although if I didn't have a gift card from my boss for the place, I probably wouldn't have spent the money on such an indulgence.

Saturday, ervy and I went to our twin couple's Hilary and Steven's wedding in Portolla Valley. It was a rather small affair, but I really enjoyed being a part of their special occasion. Hilary looked absolutely wonderful, and I almost cried as they both cried in joy at the altar.

birthday celebration
I received wonderful birthday ecard from Jennie... although that darned monkey wouldn't let me pin its tail on!! :) or maybe it was my laptop touch pad... hmmm... thanks Jennie for the thoughtful card!

I also received the wonderful resource and cookbook Local Flavors from Fuson. This book documents all the best produce you can find around the country (how to pick the best ones, and how to cook them in tasty tasty ways!). I think I'll head to my farmer's market next weekend and pick up some yummy freshness to put on a pizza.... why a pizza? Because I can now make the best pizza crust EVAH since Adam and Emi bought me an awesome new pizza stone! It was the best rated one from America's test kitchen, so you KNOW it's good! hey now, Chris Kimball wouldn't lead us astray now would he? As an extra fun bit, emi and adam also bought me In Sheep's Clothing which I'm ecstatic about! I've been such a naughty handspinner by not having it at my side! Evvie also surprised me with a fibery/crafty related gifty! He bought me a beautiful wood swift so he doesn't have to play human swift so I can wind my skeins faster!! Thank you guys! Y'all rock!

Sunday was the designated "birthday" day :). We went to go see Murderball which I highly reccommend even with the shaky camera filming. I even learned the different variations of quadriplegia. I had previously thought that quadriplegia meant you couldn't move any of your limbs, but there is a HUGE range of motion capabilities depending on where in your spine your fracture/stress occurred.

After the movie, ervy and I headed over to Passage to India's bakery shop and picked up a pretty green pistachio cake!

We then all (emi, adam, fu, minger, ervy and I) headed out to Mudai, an Ethiopian restaurant in San Jose. YUM! I can't believe it's been two years since I last had Ethiopian food... Dang it's so good... too good to space out my visits that much! If you visit Mudai, I highly reccommend the chickpea and fava bean dishes, although really everything was pretty tasty! I just wish the cuisine would become more popular so we don't have to drive to San Jose or the city to get it.

despite a packed weekend, I did manage to spin up a skein of the yummy fiber my SP5 sent me! I spun up a bit of the Rhapsodies in Candy something... from Paradise Fibers. Honestly, this might have been the most excitingly dyed fiber I've ever spun! There were SO many colors that the bobbin constantly looked different as I spun the single! there were purples ranging from light to dark to burgandy which changed to yellow and green and blue! In the end I had this beautiful skein:

although the colors are a bit closer to this (on the right):

thanks again SP5! This is some AMAZING fiber you sent over!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

birthday thank yous!

Yes, today, I've officially become a year older. Honestly, I have been blessed to have good friends and family, a somewhat steady job, good health, and I only hope that the next year is just as good!

I want to especially thank Angela
for the cutest birthday ecard! I'm such a sucker for cute little animals!

And thank you also Katie
for the beautiful butterfly stitch markers and lovely birthday card! I
was super excited to get that in the mail! This is how your card arrived (it's the one on the right). I'm so very very glad you taped the ribbon to the card on the inside so that the stitch markers didn't slip out! Although I have to admit, it was pretty fun having those dangling out to tease me when I got my mail!

The card on the left is from my good friend hilary who actually thought to give me something before she took off from work early this week (she's getting married this Saturday!). I'm very impressed that with all the work going on, plus this close to her wedding, she managed to think of me!

I have to mention that I was also ecstatic to get a happy birthday email from my friend Marlow in China! I haven't seen her in ages, but not only did she remember my birthday (and get the timing down right from across the globe), but she had to actively search out my current email address to send me the message! I'm not sure if you follow my bloggy shmarlow, but if so, I just wanted to let you know I was really touched to hear from you today!

One more thank you, then I promise I'll get on to something fibery! Thanks Minger for the new Fruits book! Man, you hit me right on the money this time! I love me some Fruitsy outfits. I just need to grab some ideas from the book before I go to Target this afternoon, so I can make people think I'm crazy again! :)

me being all birthday girl with my family last weekend

spinning and carding

these are the brand new full sized wool Ashford Handcarders I picked up at Lambtown last weekend. Ervy picked me up some Tung oil to finish them in (and I nearly killed us with the toxic fumes as I sat there finishing them in front of the tv... *sorry honey!*).

Anyhoosit, I pulled out the border cheviot fleece I bought and washed months ago (it had a lot of vm, so it was insane to try to pick it all out by hand) and carded it up with a bit of corriendale I had dyed. The cards got ALOT of the vm out. I ended up with lots of bits of grass all over my pants and carpet by the end of things! *I guess that's more incentive to vacuum*!

I made a bunch of these little "nests" of fiber:

You'll notice that the fibers are not completely parallel to each other (like they are when I buy some of my more expensive processed fiber). The fiber is organized, but not parallel, which should lead to a more woollen yarn (said the nice lady who taught me how to card). The yarn itself will then be lighter and warmer!

here's a poor picture of what it's coming out like on Wally. It's a very light peachy sherbety yarn. I haven't quite decided what to do with it yet... I might make a bunch of it and make a shrug like the one skein wonder....

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

BookCrossing and an artist

I've known about Book Crossing for a while, but it took some organization on the part of the FiberRAOK group before I signed up.

Basically it's a site where people register books they have and would like to either 'release' into the wild for someone else to find (and then you can track a book's journey as it passes through different people's hands) or for other people to borrow.

I've started registering my books (although I must admit, I've very attached to many of my books so I wouldn't be entirely ready to give them away completely). I've even registered the ones I haven't read yet, but I'm willing to lend them out to RAOK people or my blog readers :) go take a look, I've only added a few of the ones I've got, but feel free to peruse. My book crossing ID is Lwu81.

I'm currently reading Blink by Malcolm Gladwell, afterwards I would LOVE to read The Tipping Point, also by Gladwell. If anyone has this book and would be willing to lend it to me or trade or whatever, send me an email :)

Arooj Aftab
My new favorite song is a cover of Hallelujah by Arooj Aftab. You can visit her site and download some of her music from her links in her sidebar.

I heard her when NPR's The World interviewed her on Friday.
The NPR Clip can be found here.

She's a Pakastani artist who is trying to buck the trend of having the
musical profession be mainly male in Pakistan. Also, it's not a very
admired profession (wage earning, etc) due to country development.
She's started taking classes from US music school online, and was
recently given a scholarship to attend the school in the US

Just thought I'd share in case y'all happen to like that song. My friend Hilary absolutely adored the version by Rufus Wainright and was ecstatic that I sent her a new one to listen to. :)