the quarter lull (lots of words, little progress)

For whatever reason I’m not really feeling excited about much these days– We are leaving in a little over a month to head to Vancouver BC and then Alaska, and I am super excited about that but now we are getting into the point where we have to figure out all the logistical things, plus we are extending our trip for my dad and that is complicating things a bit more.

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Mom visited again! So Mike and Brent came over, and we all made lasagna and my mom drank wine out of a shot glass

My climbing class ended a few weeks ago and for whatever reason since then I haven’t been very excited about climbing. I think some of it is because I’ve mostly been trying harder things which is awesome when you complete/accomplish what you’re trying to do but not so awesome when you feel like you haven’t made any progress.

I think I need to go out to Smith and just have a fun day as well– the last time we went out to Smith we started on a hard route with a big fall potential on a traverse (even though I was cleaning the route and on top rope the whole time) so I wasn’t very excited about that. I did get to place protection for the first time, and I know I did it right because nothing blew out! So that was good to try.

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Monkey face in the spotlight between the Dihedrals/ Fourth Horsemen I think? I got this sweet view between the second and third pitch of Sky Chimney

1. Knit 6 sweaters (one for Sam) I finished a second sweater ( I just had the sleeve left) but haven’t gotten the photos back from it yet. It turned out pretty nicely, although the fit isn’t exactly how I planned it. The sleeves are awesome though and fit perfectly, so that kind of makes up for it. Here is a link to some photos!

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Started this shawl in Tosh Merino Light but it’s stalled because I’m working on other things

I finished the body of Sam’s sweater last week, and then knit the buttonband, but the bind off on the buttonband was way too tight so the fronts of the sweater bunched up, and the whole thing was about 3 or 4 inches too big. I talked with my friend Mallory who is also a knitter, and asked Sam about it, and then yesterday decided to take the plunge and rip the entire thing out up to the arms. The body didn’t take TOO long so hopefully it will take even less time since it will be a little smaller.

Originally I thought maybe I could shrink it in the dryer some, but ultimately I decided that I want Sam to wear (and like wearing!) this sweater and that will probably not happen if it doesn’t look nice. Plus it makes me look like a not so great knitter if he is wearing something I made him that doesn’t look nice. So not very much progress on that sweater.

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I did start and finish this awesome hat for my friend steven… Now I need to make one for myself!

I have one more sweater that is mostly done, so I suppose I should work on that, but I am also trying to decide what sweater I should cast on next. I am thinking this one in brown cotton yarn would be a fitting summer sweater and shouldn’t take too long.


2. Completely pay off student loans No progress, although my loans did get sold to another company which I already HATE. Hey Aspire Resources Inc, get with the times. I shouldn’t have to fax you a form to get automatic payments AND it shouldn’t take five business days to cancel automatic payments. I may also be a little bitter because when I signed into the website where I used to pay them, my balance was 00.00 so I thought I was done with my loans, but no. And I mostly liked the old site! Oh well.


3. Find another part time job also no progress. This is mostly stalled out since we are leaving in a little over a month and will be gone for more than a month. I am sort of questioning my life decisions but I have no major responsibilities right now so I might as well take advantage of that time, right?


4. Sell knitted items in a store I spent a few days unraveling some Goodwill sweaters, so now I have the yarn and just need to start making things! It seems like if I make things over the summer I will have lots of sell in the fall.


5. Be able to climb 5.10b (preferably outside) Still working on this too! I finally got on a .10b that didn’t seem ridiculously hard, which was really encouraging. (I then got on another .10b that seemed impossible, but whatever, now I know there are doable .10bs out there.

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Sam at the top of the first pitch of Zebra Zion, a 5.10b trad multi-pitch


6. Lead climb a single pitch route No progress, although I know what my first outside lead will be. People keep sort of pushing me to lead stuff and I know they all mean well and I know it’s totally doable, but it makes me even more stubborn about not doing it. I’m not really sure what I’m afraid of, because I’ve fallen before, and I know I probably won’t get hurt at all. It’s all irrational, but I guess the push I am lacking is that climbing is a hobby for me, and I want it to be fun. I don’t want to be the best climber out there, I don’t want to do anything special, I just want to have a good time and do things that impress myself.

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Smith from the top of the Gully on the Smith Rock Group. Such an awesome view– I high recommend getting on top of Smith Rock Group just to see it!

But climbing also creates a lot of anxiety for me, mostly because there is the potential for something bad to happen. It rarely does, because climbing is full of safety redundancies and double checking, and I’ve never actually seen anything bad happen or anyone get hurt. But after a weekend of climbing I have trouble sleeping because as soon as I close my eyes all I see are people falling. I know it’s completely irrational, but that doesn’t really matter because knowing I still feel this way despite logically knowing everything is fine.

So I think that is probably the biggest reason why I haven’t pushed to lead anything outside, because the thought of it scares me and I don’t want it to amp up the irrational anxiety I already have. I think about what it would be like to lead something every time I climb, and so far I’ve never felt like “oh, this would be fine to lead,” I always feel like “leading this would make me pee my pants.” Which is something I’d like to avoid!


7. Go to Alaska over the summer Going, but its getting complicated. We are extending our tickets which means Sam’s car will be in Seattle longer, we will be gone longer, and once we get back we will have about a week to move out of our apartment and into a currently unknown new apartment. Plus I just found out one of my friends is going to be gone the whole summer, which is disappointing. There are still a ton of things I’m excited about, it’s just that now we have more stuff to figure out.

Another unofficial resolution I have is to read 52 books this year. I got a nook for Christmas from my dad, and it made it a lot easier to read and knit at the same time so I am trying to take advantage of that. Right now I am reading Winter of the World by Ken Follett, and I’m not sure what I will read next! So suggestions are always very welcome.

Here’s the full list of what I’ve read this year:

  • Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion– Funny! I really liked it
  • Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett– Awesome characters
  • The Fault in our Stars by John Green– Bahhh so good but definitely sad.
  • The Passage by Justin Cronin– SO EFFING GOOD. I loved this book
  • The Twelve by Justin Cronin– also SUPER GOOD
  • World Without End by Ken Follett– read this because I missed the Pillars characters, it was also good but not quite as good I’d say?
  • Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin– Finally done and I am PISSED
  • The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins– I reread these because I wanted something quick and easy, and it was a good decision
  • What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen– I’ve loved Sarah Dessen books for about 10 years now, even though they are predictable and formulaic. I guess I really like YA books because they are easy to read. I reread this one while I was in Powell’s in Portland
  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn– I read this in a day because someone recommended it to me. I was not intrigued or interested by the first half but the second half kind of blew my mind. So keep that in mind.
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Lichen!! The colors of lichen here are amazing

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