You know those dorky superfanboy/girl that show up to readings, shows, or appearances hours before it’s supposed to begin?  Umm, that was me this past weekend.

Neil Gaiman gave a reading at the Cleveland library as part of their Writers and Readers series.   I’ve been a huge fan of his work for a long time –  no way I was going to miss this, my hatred of driving notwithstanding.  I got to the venue rather early because I had expected to get lost on the way there – my sense of direction is unerring!  A lot of other people may have had the same problem –

are other people lost too?

are other people lost too?

The reading was fabulous!  Neil Gaiman read from the Graveyard Book, and Odd and the Frost Giants.  He is a really good interpreter of his work – you could definitely discern the nuances of the different characters.  Also, I want to marry his accent.

There was a signing afterwards.  I don’t think the event organizers expected quite a turn-out.  I heard later that about a thousand people turned out (the auditorium seats about 600), and people had to be turned away.  The signing was a bit chaotic – it was essentially a free for all in the beginning, with the requisite line-jumpers, loud super-stalkerfans, and people trying to get their entire Neil Gaiman library signed.  Still, it was a mostly laid-back, patient crowd.

fangirl dorkdom

fangirl dorkdom

When it was my turn, he had to replace the inkwell on his fountain pen ( I love that he still uses fountain pens!) – and that’s when ny new friend Bonnie snapped this picture.   The signing was supposed to end an hour after the reading, but Mr. Neil was really generous and kept signing for a couple more hours, signing for everyone in line.

What did I get signed?


Wow, where does the time go? I wish I could say time flies when you’re having fun, but really, this little matter of being employed is a huge time suck. So while time is flying, the fun? Not so much.

At any rate, September’s almost over. Here’s a mishmash of the months highs and lows:

I finally made it to Niagara Falls! I live a few hours drive away from the Falls and have been meaning to go check it out for the longest time. My friends Meg and Jenny (we’ve known each other since grade school!) were visiting from Manila and Niagara Falls was on their must-see list.  I met up with them there, where we joined a large throng of tourists on the Maid of the Mist, got thoroughly drenched and had a great time. The Falls are pretty spectacular, although there was a lot more construction near the shores of the Falls, both on the American and Canadian sides, than I expected. (more…)

It’s a bit weird to see that baseball season is only 45 days away when it’s eleventy million degrees below zero right now and there’s tons of snow as far as the eye can see.

In the meantime, I’m off to El Salvador for work, where it’s eleventy million degrees above zero! Catch you later!

I suppose it was inevitable. The first snowfall.

snow!  No!

I have it in my head that the first snow of the season should be pretty. Beautiful white flakes quietly falling from the sky and lightly settling on the grass and trees.

Instead this morning it snowed. And sleeted. And hailed. All at the same time. With a vigorous serving of lightning and thunder on the side. Complete with power outage.

Bah! I’m not ready to be c-c-cold yet!

Might be time to whip up some hat and mittens.

And alpacas and llamas too! The awesome folks at my LYS organized a trip to the Finger Lakes Fiber Arts and Crafts Festival. So much fun! I had a grand ‘ol time carpooling with Chris, Shirani, and Maria. The festival was held at the Hemlock fairgrounds, a short two hour drive from here. Being a fiber festival virgin, I didn’t quite know what to expect.

But lo! There was plenty of adorable sheep, llamas, and alpacas to pet. Though this one looked a bit disgruntled 🙂


There was knitting on the World’s Largest Sock. The sock is traveling the world and was started in the UK. It’s about 7 meters in circumference, has 1500 cast-on stitches, and there’s 10 long circular needles around it. I wonder what will happen when it’s time to turn the heel.


There was fiber galore in all shapes and forms to ooh and ahh over. I loved how there were all these smallish independent farmers, weavers, spinners, and dyers showing off their wares. I had no idea there was such beautiful work out there! There were spoils from the festival too, of course. My resolve to keep an iron fist on my wallet wasn’t that strong! The bright blue yarn is Spinning Bunny Yarn in Tropical Sea, meant to be a hat. The variegated autumn-y pile on the right is Steam Valley Mohair/Merino wool yarn, earmarked for a wrap of some kind. The red yarn is Persimmon Tree Farm Potluck yarn, maybe for a pair of fingerless gloves? The wooden dowel sticking out of the Potluck yarn is supposed to be a spare part for a loom. I found it sitting forlornly in a bin for a buck fiddy and thought that it might make a good ball winder. It works great, and the price can’t be beat.


There were plenty of laughs, stories, and frozen margaritas. Everyone had such a good time at this fiber fest that there are rumblings about taking a road trip to Maryland next year. I can only hope.

More pictures here.

1. Sound made by head as it hits pillow from sheer exhaustion.

The past weekend was spent here –

Every year, my department participates in a few community projects. This semester’s first foray happened to be to a Habitat to Humanity work site. So a bunch of my students and co-workers hied off to be pseudo-tradespeople for a day. There was lots of hammering, clambering on top of rickety ladders, and hauling stuff. Power tools were used! Various appendages were banged up! Curse words were uttered! It was fun, but hard work. At the beginning of the work day, the house didn’t have any windows or doors cut out yet, nor did it have outside insulation put up. It was nice to see the house actually look like one at the end of the day. I think I’m gonna hang on to my day job for now though. At least until I can climb up a ladder without feeling butterflies in my stomach.

2. Sound idiot vandal’s foot makes as it comes into contact with my car roof.

Or at least that’s what the nice police officer told me happened today. I usually park on the street in front of my apartment building, along with many other tenants. Even though there’s fairly heavy car and pedestrian traffic, we’ve never had any problems with vandals before. At least until today. Apparently sometime this afternoon, some idiot decided to jump on the hood of my car, climb up on the roof, and then jump onto the next car on the street. I got a phone call from the police (which about gave me a heart attack) telling me I had a nice dent on my car. (more…)

It finally broke 50 degrees here!  The hint of sunshine and warmth made me downright giddy.   So yesterday I wandered down to the beach*, just in time to catch this –



Ain’t it purty?  Sitting on the sand, knitting away on my current project (more on that later) while people watching.  Ahhh…….


* no bathing suits were worn while at said beach.  Fleece was the costume of choice.  Because while the weather was nice, the water was cold, even the sand was cold.  Also, as soon as the sun set, it became probably 20 degrees colder.   

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