Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Wednesday morning things

* Final exam reviews are all written. In most of the classes where I give finals, I can "recycle" the old ones (after checking them over to be sure there are no topics I skipped this semester) so that makes my life easier. (I don't hand back finals, and classes are small enough I can be sure no one has photographed the final "for posterity")  (Exam week is in 2 weeks). I can see the end of this semester. Next semester should be easier because I only have three lecture classes. I have three labs, which means more in-classroom time, but labs are a bit more relaxed in some ways. (And I don't have Policy and Law, which is a tense-making class for me, especially given the current US Administration's tendency to propose or implement abrupt changes to things)

* I'm almost done with the current "simple socks," using a yarn I bought on my summer trip to visit Laura in Shreveport. I think after these my at-home project will be finishing my pair of "Soccer Mitts," and then I don't know whether to start something new (maybe something more portable) or to try to finish one of the other ongoing things.

* I'm already thinking about over-break projects. I think I want to FINALLY do the Kelvin-Helmholtz Waves Cowl that I've had yarn and pattern for for over a year - it's small, so easily portable, and will make a nice project. And I dug out a skein of self-striping yarn I wound off some months back but never started - it's one of those String Theory colorways, based on a nudibranch (if I remember correctly: most of her colorways are somehow influenced by science, mostly astronomy, chemistry, biochemistry, or biology, which is just another reason I like her yarns). I have a couple of toy patterns, because making toys at Christmastime just feels right to me - and a couple of them I can maybe get yarn for on a trip to Michael's up there. (If we could get ONE big-box store in my town or reasonably near me, I'd want a Michael's. Well, I'd also want a Barnes and Noble's, but I really miss having a Michael's nearby). Other than that, I don't know. Bring along the Celestarium and try to finish it? Or bring one of the sweaters I'm working on? Or start a new one? (I have a bunch of fingering-weight bought for sweaters, on the grounds that those look better on me and are more usable in our warmer climate than superbulky sweaters). Maybe some other sockweight yarn and some hat/mitt patterns. Or, I printed off another copy of the Krummholz hat pattern and I know I have some tweedy brown yarn I got for it.

* This weekend (Saturday) is a recruitment even I volunteered for (which I slightly regret now, but it's good to demonstrate that service). I'm waiting to see the schedule; we get that at faculty meeting tomorrow. I am HOPING it's an only-till-noon thing, in which case if I wanted to go antiquing (if the weather was favorable), I still could. I want to do that; I have a little tradition of an end-of-semester antiquing trip and while next Saturday would also work for that, it would be really nice to go *this* Saturday.

* Festive things coming up with I will for certain do:

Next Thursday: the AAUW party. This is a big thing, it's fun, I like most of the women in the group and consider them friends, the gift exchange is fun, there are usually good things to eat. This is the thing I make the raspberry turkey meatballs for because everyone likes them and the meal serves as many of our dinners, so it's good to know there's at least one "real" and solid food to be had. (Sometimes at these things most people bring sweets, which is not so great. I can deal with a meal with no sweets; it's not so good to have one with no "real" food.)

Sunday the 9th: The "Family Christmas" (aka "Jesus' Birthday Party") at church. Bell Choir is going to perform, at least Jingle Bells, and maybe "Four Carols" if we can whip that into shape. Again, there will be good food. I plan to make the meatballs I always do, and I might do a small batch of some kind of cookies. (No gifts for adults, but that's OK). I will admit I think of this with a tiny hint of melancholy; it was at the party last year when Steve was "Santa" and he sidled up to me and asked me if I'd been a "naughty girl" and I was caught unawares and blushed furiously. People laughed, I was annoyed in the moment* but I forgave him quickly for it - it was just how he was, he had a wicked sense of humor - and now it's a mostly-happy-but-slightly-melancholy memory.

I wonder who we'll get to be Santa this year.

(*"What if they thought I was blushing because I'd genuinely been naughty and they didn't know I had been" was what I think was going through my mind, but then at a later CWF meeting, someone complimented me on something and I blushed similarly, and I think it's just discomfort with being the center of attention in that way and people know that)

Monday the 10th: CWF Christmas dinner. Again, no gifts, but hopefully good food (I am still debating what to make; I might do cheesy grits, on the grounds that those work as a main dish or a side dish).

There's also an open house at the university president's; I don't know whether I am going or not; it will depend on how grading is going that day. (I don't know what the food, if any, will be: we are also in the middle of a pre-Christmas "wellness initiative" where we're getting harangued by e-mails to exercise and eat right, so I'm not sure if I can look forward to cocktail weenies and mini quiches at that thing, or if the only things on offer will be crudites - which I mostly can't eat because of allergies (carrots and celery) or digestive issues (broccoli and cauliflower raw - I cannot eat them raw and do not care for broccoli, even cooked).

And there's the annual publishers' lunch at Roma's, and that will depend on if my exam schedule allows me. If I can't go, no biggie: I feel slightly guilty taking the food he offers anyway because I don't have any lab manuals published through him so he makes no money off me.

I also have Elders' Meeting and Board Meeting coming up on the 12th (and I guess Pastor-Parish committee before that, sigh). But it's nice to have the festive things - so, so many of my "meetings," or so much of my going places, revolves around duty of one kind or another, and that wears on me: in Ordinary Time, I don't have enough fun or festive things in my life, I think. Bell Choir is fun but it is also a little bit of work because it requires concentration.

* I also need to get my "bigger" Toys for Tots gift. We do a small one at AAUW and I found a cute stuffed toy cat at Five Below to give to that, but I want to peruse the toy aisles somewhere and get a bigger thing to donate. This is a tradition I started shortly after having a (larger, non-TA) regular paycheck because it makes me feel good.

Not sure if I just see what Wal-Mart here has, or if I hope I can get to the Target in Sherman at a time when it's not absolutely mobbed. (The one drawback with going Saturday would be it's the day after many people's payday, and yes, the stores here do seem more packed on that day).

I also am still contemplating a "bigger" personal gift for myself - not sure whether to go "frivolous" (like the Calico Critters dollhouse I referred to) or more-expensive-but-useful (and get a new CD player/clock radio with alarm for my bedroom - the old CD player which was 20 years old pooped out, and while the radio and cassette deck still work on the thing....I miss not being able to play CDs in my room, or have one set as the "alarm music" if I don't wake up before my alarm.

Another alternative is a bunch of little stuff: some Barbie clothes, a few toys, other little frivolous stuff  - up to the price of a bigger item (I usually spend about $100 on myself, but a GOOD CD player clock radio would be more. I'd really like one of the Bose ones but I know those are more like $300 and I will have to consider, after I write the checks to the painter guy and the tree guys, if I have enough of a cash cushion for that kind of an expense).

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