Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Starbucks, Lost Time, Oh, and Some Knitting

Not much knitting content today - I did a few repeats of the Pumpkin Scarf last night, but most of my evening was taken up by (I confess) reading and video games. Andrew was working in the library for a few hours last night, so I had the house to myself. Did I run wild? Play loud annoying music? Cook and eat oodles of mushrooms? No, I laid on the couch and finished a book. After I finished the book, I played Paper Mario. (Can I just add at this point that I love the Game Cube and all of Nintendo's characters? Especially Yoshi. Any game involving Yoshi is an instant hit with me. Provided that he's a playable character, and not just Mario's pony.)

Hm... where was I? Oh, right - knitting. Didn't do much of it. Having multiple hobbies really sucks sometimes.

Speaking of knitting (well, writing), I was thinking the other day, as I sat frogging the heel on my mum's sock, about the number of knitting hours I would have back if I never had to frog a project. Let's face it - frogging is a huge part of knitting. Sometimes you read the pattern wrong, sometimes the pattern is wrong on its own, and sometimes the Yarn Goddess just chooses to mess up your gauge. (For more on appeasing the Yarn Goddess, read the Yarn Harlot's blog. She's an even bigger believer than I am. Then again, she can knit an Aran sweater in 14 days, so maybe belief pays off somehow.)

Where was I... right, lost time. I tried knitting a lace shawl about a year ago. I was 30 hours into it when I finally realized that it was turning into a bit of a disaster, and that I would either have to consign myself to finishing and never wearing it in public, or just sucking up the lost time as a learning experience, and ripping the whole thing out. Well, I ripped, and have yet to start that one again. Sure, I learned from my 30 lost hours, but couldn't there have been a slightly faster way to figure out the lesson (sure - not attempting a pattern that was apparently over my head)? After all, 30 hours is at least 1 pair of socks. There's really no point to this, I just started thinking about it one night, and began to speculate about all the knitting projects I could have done if I didn't have to undo half my knitting projects. But hey, if I was perfect on the first try, where would the fun (and the blog material) be in that?

For those of you who don't know me (if you don't know me, who are you? How did you get here? Leave a comment!), I will unashamedly make it known that I am a Starbucks addict. The only thing stopping me from becoming a once-a-day Starbucks-er is my student loan debt. If I could spare $3 a day to go to Starbucks, I would, and quite happily.

I'm not completely sure when my Starbucks addiction started, some point in college certainly, but I know it hit its highest (lowest? most addicted?) proportions while I was in graduate school. At Vandy, there was a Starbucks just across the street from the Div school. (There was also a Ben & Jerry's, but for some reason I didn't patronize them as much). I resisted the alluring pull of Starbucks until one day in my second year my friend Courtney dragged me in (okay, so she didn't really drag me, it was more like she gave me the excuse I had been waiting for, but cut me a little slack here, okay?). That was the beginning of the end for me. I soon became a mutiple-times-a-week-if-not-every-weekday Starbucks visitor, especially during those January mornings before Aramaic. As the weather got warmer, I switched from Carmel Apple Cider or Carmel Macchiato to the Carmel Frappuccino (are you spotting the pattern here?). Those frappuccino's got me through Megillot with Jack Sasson, and were my weekly companion during my summer job at the Vandy Police Department.

I have even sunk so low as to get the Starbucks Visa card. Somehow that seems so much worse than the Amazon.com card, or a frequent flyer miles card, or any of the other cards that give you free (or cheaper) stuff. I have a credit card that allows me to get free coffee. Coffee that is incredibly overpriced. Let's be honest - with a blender, I could probably make many of these drinks at home for a fraction (and a small one at that) of the cost. But there's something about Starbucks that makes it all worth it. Something about that coffee siren haning over the door says it's okay to spend $4 on a drink that will be gone in 2 hours. I wonder if she's related to the Yarn Goddess.

However, ocassionally good things do come of my Starbucks addition. Last summer I got to know Jeff, the Starbucks Guy, who works at the 2525 West End Starbucks in Nashville. Jeff the Starbucks Guy introduced me to Susan Howatch, who has written an excellent fiction series about the Church of England during the years surrounding WWII. Howatch is an outstanding writer who has a great grasp of theology (and not just the big names) as well as psychology. Her dialogue is sharp and witty, and her explanations of dogma and history are suprisingly lucid - she's better than most textbooks I've read.

Right, back to my Starbucks addiction. Oh, so today I decided to give the White Chocolate Mocha a whirl. My mum sent me some money for Halloween (thanks Mummee!), so I decided to treat myself to a $4 coffee drink (I know she'd be okay with that. And if not, well, it's too late - the drink is mostly in my stomach by now). The first half was less than stellar, and I was a bit disappointed, but then I swirled the cup a bit to re-mix the particles that sink to the bottom. Ah... then the happiness ocurred. Apparently my mocha was not well stirred, since all the tasty syrup seems to have been at the bottom. My swirl got all that syrup mixed in properly, so now I'm enjoying half of a really tasty mocha. It could only be better if it had caramel in it. :)


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