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Ok, I don't know anything about felting. Do you think I could diy an ugly version of this felted cat cave using only very limited sewing skills and wool sweaters from Frenchys?

Cat cave

I honestly don't think my cats would use it, but maybe one would. I'd love to have a warm cozy place for them that I could also throw in the washer. But I'm not sure it would maintain any structural integrity at all unless I used sizing/glue which obviously would limit the washability. Comments?

Or maybe I finally need to learn to crochet:

Choral Christmas

It's my favorite musical time of year!

I grew up going to United Church until old enough to rebel. The only part I liked was the music. Even after that, some of my favorite times were evening hymn sings in the little old church my grandmother and mother had a hand in preserving.

I also grew up in choir and honor choir, imprinted on hymns and church music. Christmas is the one time of year everyone else gets into real old-timey church music, especially the choir stuff.

Someday I'm going to get a caroling group together. And someday later when I learn to sight sing, I'm definitely going out for a classical choir.

Until then, Choral Christmas playlists 4f4.

Here are some of my favorite a bit-less-known carols (few are originally Christmas carols but they're all trotted out at this time):

Fum Fum Fum (Catalan)

The happy version of Holly and the Ivy (Paganish English)

Bring a Torch, Jeannette, Isabella (French dance tune)

Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming (German)

The Coventry Carol (English - about the Massacre of the Innocents)

And my ALL TIME FAVORITE - Pat-a-pan

The 411

+ Saw Simon and David three whole times this weekend! It was so nice to catch up.

+ Went dancing to Simon's DJing on Saturday night. Saw some old friends like my pal J-Vo. Love that guy. Simon plays a good mix of house and fun oldies which works out well for yrs truly. I went by myself and felt fairly keenly alone for much of the evening, but I often dance alone anyway, definitely not part of the in crowd at these events. One charming young lady did tell me I was a great dancer! Definitely not cool enough to be in the official photos but here I am in the background

+ Went to see Symphony NS musicians do a little Baroque with Beth and Dad on Sunday afternoon. Although some of the performance struck me as not all that great -- a little muddy and imprecise for Baroque music -- I absolutely loved their rendition of Brandenburg Number 2. My favorite Brandenburg, it's infinitely whistleable and was a real treat to see live. It's hard on the trumpet player as they have to play really, really high without blasting the other much quieter instruments out of the water. I love the part about 1:30 into the third movement when the bass kicks in. Breakdown!

The church they performed in was a really great live room with very bright sound. Much more pleasant on the ears than the Rebecca Cohn.

They also played a Bach orchestral suite which was a bit of a snooze except this last piece, well known and also super whistleable! The flautist was a bit of a ham, adding a lot of flourishes, which I totally loved.

+ First food party meeting! The theme was Irish food. I made some Irish cream after dancing the night before and it was, if I do say so myself, almost too delicious.

Other notable dishes included lamb and guinness pie, apple parsnip soup, colcannon, soda bread, and so forth. It was a really great evening and I think people were super comfortable and had a lot of fun. There were about 12 of us altogether. Our dining room is a little small for 12 so we will consider other options.

- Leeks in colcannon = long lasting sore belly. Still worth it though.

+ Hung some curtain rods and finished hanging shit up in the bathroom. Aww, house is like house!

- Got another PFO from another contractor declining to quote the kitchen. I asked Ryan, do we look like we don't have $$? We must seem like trouble. We have drawings and everything! And $$!

- Overactive weekend = sore knees and feet.

- Lazy professor still hasn't forwarded me the assignment I need while I'm away. Also hasn't marked anything (assignment or midterm) since the class began.

+ Am booking vacation in Florida with Angelina!!!! This is super exciting to me!!!! Preparing for lots of birdwatching and pool swimming. Because I cancelled Florida trip over December, I have a few little flight credits I can use and the house is free, so the only expense will be if we rent a car. Which I might do just to save fears of damaging Frizzell van.
Come to Sarah:

+/- Taking class 2 of wine appreciation course from Atima tonight. Like the info but the crowd is quite Atima therefore pretty snobby. That said, lots of wine and food make Sarah a happy lady and I do enjoy the hangouts with Atima herself.

- Got all my online shopping packages in the mail. Despite checking their sizes against my for-reals measurements, everything is too big! Grrr. I don't mind vanity sizing but at least make your clothes match the measurements you post for your sizes! Now I have to make a huge decision on sizing. I'm now an Old Navy 12 (vanity sizing to the max) and a 14 everywhere else. According to Lands End website vs my measurements, I'm a 16, but the 16s were quite a bit too big. So do I re-order my Lands End stuff in 12 or 14? It seems Lands End and Old Navy run similar on sizing but me squeezing into size 12 pants is somewhat of a rarity so it makes me wary.

The cute pink pants I got from JCrew were also quite a bit too big, but nonreturnable so I'm going to look into having them taken in. The color is truly adorable. And the equally adorable yellow dress is the right size but somehow quite unflattering in cut so I'll wait 'til a little later in the summer to decide on tailoring for that one.

+ I feel like schoolwork is more or less under control.

Jan. 4th, 2013

So I got married, went on a big trip (awesome), came back and went to grad school (kicked butt), fucked up my knee in a relatively minor yet seemingly undiagnosable way (the worst), got sick a few times, and spent my Christmas vacation watching over my poor granddad who was departing this veil in a fairly sad way (also the worst). Also got our bathroom renovated and started a very rewarding hobby of gardening. End of roundup.

I don't really have any big resolutions for this year. I feel like I kind of forgot how to have fun last year, so I'm going to work on that. I would love for my knee to be fixed so I can do the things I love like hike and garden. I really want to get my body in better shape, and I bought an exercise bike and put it together this weekend as one of two methods of exercise left to me (the other being swimming). So last night I had my first cardio in two months -- a 10 minute bike ride. At the end I felt great and my knee felt like shit. Don't think I'll be going more than 10 mins for awhile.

Centennial Pool is just up the hill from my work. I've been considering getting up my courage to go to a lunchtime aquacise class. Even a one block walk is a little intimidating for me right now but I could do it.

I'm also going to try to get shit done better and more efficiently, at work and at home. Less sitting around and dreading tasks, more getting them done and moving on. I've never been a schedule person but that has to change. If I schedule in 30 minutes of housework and 30 of meal prep, that means a guilt free two hours on myself after supper. As opposed to just sitting like a lump and avoiding what needs to be done.

Some of my favorite moments from this year:

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Amazing! Flickr pools can be so fun. Check out the different pools this photo belongs to:

The Secret Life of Toys (Pool)
Toys. Intimately. (Pool)
Constructed Narratives Using Toys (Pool)
Shadow Barbie: my kind of girl (Pool)
Nightmares and Dreamscapes (Pool)
Decapitated Dolls (Pool)
Diorama Drama (Pool)

Jan. 15th, 2010

Canadian Governor General Michaëlle Jean's statement on the earthquake in Haiti:

I now need never go to another show in my life. My showgoing days have reached their apex. My life is complete.

Take one part excellent surf band and Christmas tune veteran, Los Straitjackets*:

Add two parts burlesque dancers/backup singers, The Lovely Elvettes:

Shake with one crazy-ass (and funny) Mexican-American Elvis impersonator, El Vez:

Add Christmas and insane pop-culture references (jogaerobics around stage while shouting lines from "White Lines (Don't Do It)" during "Jingle Bell Rock" -- ROCK, get it?) and you have the show of a lifetime.

I was trying to decide what the most surreal moment of the show was and couldn't. But if you have the chance to catch any components of this post in future, do not hesitate. GO!

*PS: Not my first Mexican-wrestling-mask surf band.

Amateur epidemiology update

This is where we talk about what I enjoy as a hobby and did NOT enjoy as a career: epi!

Specifically, I've got three interesting graphics about H1N1 to talk about. Let's go!

Here's a picture of the flu viruses circulating in the world right now. The aqua is proportion of H1N1, the purple is seasonal (other) flu. You can see H1N1 dominating, this is because seasonal flu doesn't kick into high gear until January-February. Although in the Southern hemisphere you see not many cases, and a mix. It's not flu season there.

Here's a good picture from an article on eurosurveillance.org. (Reading from the article here:) the authors used a simple model based on the H1N1 data from the spring to predict a seasonal forcing of the flu peaking right about now. They predict about two-thirds of the population in the US will get the flu, but only a quarter will fall ill and the rest will be asymptomatic. How does this compare to the seasonal flu? I guess about 5-20% of people get the seasonal flu?

Their article predicts that vaccination won't come in time to do much good, which is interesting considering they were extremely optimistic in assuming the vaccination program would be in high gear right now, which it simply isn't.

Here's a great picture from the CDC of cumulative weekly hospitalization rates due to lab-confirmed flu cases. Click for bigger.

The red line is this year, the other colors are other years. The charts start in October at the left and move to April at the right. Going down are different age groups, which are affected in different ways by the flu. Note the rates are cumulative, so the lines go up and then level off when there are no new cases.

So what do you think? Are we in the peak of H1N1 now? Will mortality continue to be significantly lower than seasonal flu? Much ado about not very much in the grand scheme of things?

McNabs 2

Some pictures from our trip:

We saw a fox! Many times. S/he was not shy.

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Re: Yo Rodeo Poster Sale going on today from 12-5 at 6557 Cunard (corner of Creighton)
SUPER SCORE! I got a 3D poster!