This and that

A roundup:

Hating: I can't take much more of winter. Feigning artistry by practicing with my DSLR and snapping details of the snowy desolation is the sole perk. It's not that big of a perk. I'm tired of the binding layers and the miniature mountains of ice and mud. I'm tired of brine on everything. There's a reason people get on antidepressants in winter. I had to be the one idiot to call it quits during the saddest season.

Also hating: my hair. I'm so bored with it. I'm thinking of big chopping sooner than I'd intended (for the non-transitioning, that means cutting off the remaining chemically straightened ends and allowing my natural curls to spring free) but my new growth still seems so short. I've never had short hair before.

Knitting: My first cable project is coming along. I'm making a scarf using a gorgeous blue yarn that stains my fingers and needles every time I work with it. This is the pattern that I'm using. I can't believe I never cabled sooner. It seems intimidating but is pretty simple, and makes me feel like a more impressive knitter than I am.

Reading: The Program by Suzanne Young. I'm 247 pages in, and it is gripping! Up until 4 a.m. not even feeling sleepy gripping. It's YA fiction about how a suicide epidemic — a similar theme to a book I started for NaNoWriMo, but mental illness suicide epidemics are a real thing — gives birth to a creepy, compulsory system that wipes teens' depression away, at the cost of also taking their memories. Even those who they love most are erased from their consciousness, being blamed for the "infection." The sequel, which will wrap up the story, comes out in April, and I'm glad it won't be a longer series. Even though I'm enjoying it, it's so hard to make the time commitment to serial fiction when there's so many wonderful books to read in the world. And the other thing about YA dystopia is that anything in the teens-taking-down-the-government category or its ilk makes my cold, adult heart condescendingly question, "Could they really, though?"

Thinking: I want to be more mindful of the clothes I buy. We rarely realize, except when tragedies happen, how much we consume that is the fruit of unfair labor practices. I'm pretty uneducated about the topic to give any advice, but I want to feel good about what I wear. That's easier said than done, because there's so many steps in the process between textile and store hanger where lack of oversight — or just greed — can promote exploitation. Even if workers who sew our garments get fair wages, that doesn't mean that the cotton farmers were paid fairly, for example. So it's unlikely that any retailer will pass with flying colors. I'm not going to sit here and say that from now on, I'm never going to set foot in a store again without reading a full report on its foreign labor practices, because that would be disingenuous and would come back to bite me in the ass later. But it's something that I want to learn about so that I can make better, if not perfect, choices.

Listening: To Bastille's Bad Blood. What a fantastic album. "Pompeii" might be the banger, but there's not a single dud.


  1. LOVE that cable knit! I can't believe you can MAKE that! So awesome!!!!!

  2. Pretty cool, huh? Knitting is a godsend for holding cray at bay. It's not as hard as it looks. Some of the stuff people who aren't me can make, though? WOW!

  3. i love that cable knit! way more fancier than what i do. and i am TIRED of this winter. we just got yet another extreme cold weather alert. ugh.

  4. Holy delayed response! My brother-in-law lives in Edmonton. You Canadians give me perspective.