Friday, December 15, 2017

Friday 5: Thanks A Lot

What would you sarcastically like to thank your local government for?

I think Stockholms län does a pretty good job of running things, so I don't really have much to complain about.

What would you sarcastically like to thank your body for?

Menstruation. :C

What would you sarcastically like to thank your neighbors for?

The awesome parties they have, even though they don't invite us.

What would you sarcastically like to thank the internet for?

Where to start? YouTube comments, /b/, radicalizing propaganda, a rumor mill cranked up to 11...

What would you sarcastically like to thank November for?

Dark, moody weather.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Talky Tuesday: Port Authority Bus Terminal

Image courtesy Hudconja on Wikimedia
This is probably the first incidence of violence on US soil that has me actually #shook (or whatever). I remember where I was when I heard about the World Trade Center attacks in 2001, and I understood what the fallout would be (and dreaded it) (and 15-year-old me was pretty much spot-on in her vision of future America, sad to say). But I didn't feel connected to what happened at all, despite living fairly close to New York and despite having visited the World Trade Center for a school trip around five years before.

But when I was chatting with Best Chemist Friend (BCF) yesterday, in the middle of parsing out our constant background low-level dread, she texted, "ugh, great, and I just got a push notification on my phone that someone tried to blow up the port authority terminal."

"WHAT THE FUCK" was my response.

And now it's very real. I love bus trips. I think they're the perfect way to get around; taking the charter bus service into New York instead of driving myself is so much more enjoyable, and they're the only practical way to get one from my home to friends in upstate New York on a one-way trip. I've spent a lot of time in the Port Authority Bus Terminal. It's real and (dare I say it?) homey in a way that the World Trade Center never could have been for me. I always felt safe and even a bit cozy there, waiting for my bus among the badly outdated color scheme (the lower levels are...something) and fellow exhausted-looking passengers. I have the same warm, fuzzy feelings about the PABT that I have about Philadelphia's 30th Street Station and the Reading Terminal Market (and the adjoining Greyhound bus station). It's a little weird to talk about loving a bus station but there you have it. Also, can we all take a moment to admire how freaking gorgeous 30th Street Station is?

Image courtesy Mtruch on Wikimedia

I'm glad no one was gravely injured, including the perp. My reasons for this are as practical (being able to talk to him after the fact will give us important insights and data for preventing future attacks) as they are genuinely altruistic. I hope that this won't change how comfortable and relaxed it is to travel via the PABT (compared to, say, an airport). I hope this won't see a spike in hate and violence directed at minorities. I hope instead it makes people a little nicer, a little braver, a little more patient with each other.

And the next time I'm in the US (probably for another wedding, let's be real), I know I'll still be busing into New York via the PABT to visit some of my favorite people and make some new memories to cherish for a lifetime.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Newly Listed: Red Creek Jasper Pi Necklace

This is straight-up one of my favorites in the shop right now, and I don't understand why it hasn't sold yet—or at least why it doesn't have more hearts/views/etc.

Sciart mathart gold pi necklace math teacher nerd gift
Pi Red Creek Jasper and Gold Necklace by Kokoba
Red Creek jasper is one of my favorite stones these days. I love the warm, earthy colors and the marble-like striping and variegation in almost every piece. It's the kind of stone where you don't need to do much with it; you can just Mother Nature do all the talking.

Sciart mathart gold pi necklace math teacher nerd gift

The spacer beads in this piece are carnelian and gold-filled beads. The clasp is also gold-filled. I usually prefer base metal, but once in a while you want to make something a little nicer. And I think this humble little jasper is nonetheless gorgeous enough to deserve a treat.

Sciart mathart gold pi necklace math teacher nerd gift

 I think now's a good time to remind blog readers that the code BLOGGETTE will get you a 15% discount on any purchase in the store, including this beauty.

Sciart mathart gold pi necklace math teacher nerd gift

I just love this necklace so much! I might make another version for my own personal consumption. Such cozy fall colors!

Friday, December 8, 2017

Friday 5: Makin' It

What skill seems like it would be really fun to learn?

I really would love to sit down and learn how to crochet. Lawyer Mom crochets, and she tried her best to teach me (I asked!) but for some reason nothing beyond a chain stitch ever really stuck with me.

I still want to learn because sometime last year, I watched an interesting TED talk about how to prepare for aging and dementia. One of the things the speaker recommended was to develop some kind of hobby to keep your hands busy, even if your brain and body give out. Reading and writing don't cut it; making jewelry can ask a lot on the eyes (and requires lots of little bits and bobs, some of which can be expensive). But crocheting just takes a hook and some yarn and you're good to go.  I know my future old lady self would appreciate it if I could just figure it out, once and for all, but it's hard to find the time!

Which of the winter Olympic sports would you love to compete in?

Is drinking hot cocoa in the ski lodge an Olympic sport? No? Too bad.

What fun craft did you make when you were a kid, in school or at camp or somewhere else?

There are two that come to mind. The first is from elementary school, when we had a year-long (or semester-long? quarter-long?) weaving project. In all of the moving overseas (and back again) that I've done, and all of the purging and downsizing (I did the Mari Kondo thing before it was a thing), I've held onto that bizarre hodge-podge of a tapestry. I just loved working on it and learning the different kinds of weaves so much. (Another skill I'd love to learn: how to weave on a proper, actual loom!)

The second one is from middle or early high school, when I was at camp: basket weaving. (Weaving: noticing a pattern yet?) Mine turned out really well, I thought, and it's one of the few school/camp crafts that I've kept around; not only did it turn out nicely, but it was the perfect size and shape to hold pencils and pencil-shaped knick-knacks.

If everyone in the world is the best in the world at some very specific thing, what are you most likely the best at?

For a long time, I was unusually good at remembering people's birthdays. Sad to say, I've since offloaded that mental task to Facebook and I can tell that I'm not as good at it as I used to be.

What’s something you own that was handmade by someone you know?

Circling back to the first question, I have a wide array of scarves, hats, wraps, and blankets that Lawyer Mom has crocheted for me. Here's one, though technically for my sambo and not for me:

I also have an adorable owl magnet that was a gift from a friend I visited in the US in August.

This is in addition to the jewelry that I make and then hoard like a freakin' dragon or something, of course!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

#TBT Pi Chain Necklace

Sometimes you just want to look punk. Or metal? Or bling-y? I don't know. My point is, sometimes you don't want beads. And that's where chain comes in!

Most of the bulk chain in here is aluminum, meaning despite the look it's actually incredibly lightweight.

Each section of chain is a different style, and has a number of strands corresponding to a digit of pi.

This would be a great piece to add a simple pendant to. if that's more your style.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

What I Read: The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet

I was really, really angry about this book.

Given the state of science fiction these days, I should clarify what I wasn't angry about:

I wasn't angry about a huge variety of characters and alien species with different ideas about gender (as well as biological sex) or cultures generally. On the contrary: I was angry that all of those cool ideas about different languages and culture and gender were hampered by a writing style that I would describe as "aggressively twee."

I was angry at Kizzy. Just. Everything about her seemed to be the worst kind of pander-y fanservice (but what a time to be alive, that fanservice can be more than just "wank material for straight dudes"...!). Other characters ranged from kind of cool and interesting to inoffensively bland, but Kizzy was The Worst.

I was angry at a romance that developed out of nowhere.

I was angry at how much was "showing and telling" rather than "showing not telling." Around a third of this book could have been taken out and the story would not suffer at all for it.

As one GoodReads review puts it, putting out a negative review of this book feels like "publicly kicking a kitten," but there you have it. Consider this kitten publicly kicked.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Friday 5: Space

Of all the spaces in your residence, which is most powerfully your space?

We don't have a lot of space in our tiny Stockholm apartment, but I've made around a third of our unnecessarily large kitchen my office, including my Art Wall corner.

I also have an entire bookshelf to myself, which is obviously very much me.

What’s the most spacious space in your everyday life?

The outside, I guess?

What’s a good song about space?

What’s under your bed?

The floor.

What are your thoughts on typing one or two spaces after sentences?

Two spaces are no longer necessary as we live in an age of digital typing and typesetting! One of the first things I do with every document I copy edit is find and replace two spaces with one. STOP DOING THIS.