The Hanging Gardens

home to boggles and beasties and all things that go bump in the night

Incoherent glee!

I just got accepted to my first choice medical school, one of the top ten in the country. And I kind of thought the voice on the other end of the phone was a recording and swore in sheer joy, but the nice doctor on the line took it and the following babbled apology-and-squee in stride. Hopefully he got a chuckle out of it, at the least, and didn't hang up wondering what sort of foul-mouthed maniacs they're letting into the school these days.

Now I'm leaping up every few minutes to dance and the cats are looking at me like I'm crazy and holy stars and garters, this is actually happening.

Basking in the pretty
The print o' the wave stole for my mother has actually been done for a month now - I blocked it over Thanksgiving - but I'm only now getting around to photographing it. It turns out that taking flattering photos of large objects? Is surprisingly difficult. I have a new sympathy for photographers.

Ravelry link
The color isn't quite accurate in any of these. The actual stole is turquoise rather than this green-blue-y teal.

Edging and pattern detailsCollapse )

On me for scaleCollapse )

Blocking picturesCollapse )
Gratuitous pretty and commentsCollapse )

(no subject)
My dreams for the past few nights have been quasi-nightmares where disaster threatens but never actually arrives. What makes tonight different was that I brought my coping mechanism in to save the day. Well, night. I was trying to defend my friends from a malevolent entity haunting a mazelike mansion or hotel. The problem was, I couldn't see it, so I ended up creeping through the rooms playing a metaphysical game of "hot or cold" with the overwhelming sense of dread that accompanied its presence. At some point I noticed the hotel's cat - a long-haired calico I've never encountered awake - hissing at something I couldn't see, so I picked it up and used it as my ghost-detector. This all came to a head with me cornered in a dark bedroom with a snarling, terrified cat in my arms and an angry spirit ready to tear me to shreds. And then I knit myself up a shield of light. Don't ask me what the yarn was made of, or where I got the needles, but I surrounded myself with a shimmery gold-rose-peach veil that the entity couldn't touch. It took concentration to maintain its existence, and I knew that my protection would disappear as soon as I faltered, so the dream turned into a struggle to keep the shield in existence while the entity attacked its boundaries. The whole mess was terrifying and deadly serious while I was in the dream, but kind of hilarious once I woke up and realized that I actually used knitting to protect myself. Considering that nowadays whenever I get too stressed about the multitude of obligations I have to fulfill and the uncertainty surrounding my future I start absently thinking about what's on the needles and planning future projects, it was interesting to see it show up to serve as a more literal shield in my dreams.

Of course then I switched to become a crewmember on a tiny spaceship running from the Big Bad Government. And they had boarded us and were going to take what they needed and then shut off our life support, leaving the crew to die horribly in the vacuum of space. I think that we had managed to contact a new race - they might have been AI, or possibly plants, but all I get when I try to remember them is an image of a fractal - and/or information on a new type of weapon, but either way the BBG wanted it and didn't want anybody else to know that they had it. Hence our planned horrible death. Only this being a dream, they just let the crew run around on the ship while they took what they needed and programed our ship to kill us, so we were all trying to find a way to stop them. Which was still pretty nightmarish, what with the looming threat of death, but at least I could see the people who wanted to kill me and be proactive about preventing it.

Lucky penny
I picked up my laptop this morning and heard the ominous clattering of a loose part within. Thoughts of expensive repairs and lost data dancing in my head, I held it up and tilted it back and forth very carefully.

A penny fell out of the CD drive.

I do this for fun, I really do
Am knitting 560 stitches in laceweight yarn onto the edge of a stole. In silk. (Silk, at least thin silk, tangles all by itself into impossible Gordian knots if you turn your back on it for a second. I didn't know this before I plunged into a project with it. Learning is fun and painful!)

Only halfway done and it took me two hours dear god in heaven make it stop please.

It's like something from Kafka crossed with Madame Defarge.

That said, I really wish I had a camera, because I am 75% done with this stole and it is gorgeous, if I do say so myself. It's the Print o' the Wave stole in topaz Handmaiden silk lace, which is a bright, saturated turquoise with subtle color variations. And it is soft and shiny and if my mother doesn't like it I will steal it for myself, I will.

Next project will be something nice and soothing that doesn't involve knitting onto a border.

And then this happened
I lost the notebook that basically acts as my external memory.

That pretty much sums up my mental state of the past week.

So this happened
The Conservatory orchestra gave a concert at a prison, which I really need to write about because it was amazing, and on the way out I got ambushed by LB, the college's president and the orchestra's conductor. Even after four, nearly five years of playing for him, his intelligence and accomplishments are still intimidating; he's a bit of a modern Renaissance man and almost every project he touches succeeds. He's not a conventionally charismatic person, but he has a perverse sort of people skills born out of his unselfconscious eccentricity, and he's a compelling orator. In any case, as we were passing through the multiple checkpoints on the way out of the prison, he mentioned in his very serious, slightly odd way that my oboe teacher had told him I was applying to medical school. I expected him to move on to another student after I'd replied in the affirmative, or to ask me how I'd found the process so far, but instead he wanted a list of the schools I was applying to. Because he's friends with the deans at most top-tier universities and wants to contact them on my behalf so he can extol my many virtues.

Well color me gobsmacked. I had no idea how to react, so I tried to be appropriately polite and grateful for the (very, very generous) offer without, you know, flailing or staring open-mouthed or anything.

Sometimes life hands you lemons. Sometimes it hands you lemonade in a diamond-encrusted carafe.

Ambiguous feelings
maladici, fell
I am starting to get interview offers. On the one hand, yay! On the other hand, I'm left with a lingering desire to hide under my covers until the scary things go away.

This being life, where hiding under the covers is a distinct non-option, I'm trying to focus on the yay part.

Forward into the breach!

Not enough headdesk in the world
I was relaxing with a fluffy vampire novel* and I came across this:

The blue of my eyes had become gleaming silver, the pupils dilated to pinpricks.

I had to read it at least twice to really comprehend that yes, the author had actually written that and their proofreading pool and/or editor hadn't caught it. And then I looked up "dilate" again, just to be absolutely sure that my definition was in fact correct. Way to yank me out of the narrative with egregious biological impossibilities, book.

* I am a simple girl with simple needs, and one of them is reading about superpowered people who get to solve most of life's problems by ripping its head off.

My will compels the universe
I have been craving cake since the moment I woke up.

Then I ran into K as she was leaving the RKC and by random happenstance she had made cake for her class.

Life is awesome!

(It is home-made chocolate cake with maple syrup on it. Om nom nom.)


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