Ode to Breakfast

So far my Winter Break has been going quite well.  Last night I spent the evening with friends at the Santa Monica pier.  We rode the Ferris Wheel since one of my friends has never ridden one (gasp!).  It was a bit chilly to be on the beach, but the company was good and there were lots of adorable dogs around to pet.

Today was for the most part quite relaxing.  I woke up later than usual at 8:30, just in time to see a friend off to the airport to return to their hometown.  Then I went out on a nice 30 minute walk/run.

I started running earlier this semester and have found that I quite enjoy it.  Since I’m nowhere near able to run a full 30 minutes without stopping so I found a beginners running plan and have been following that.  I try to run early in the morning when it’s still a bit chilly outside and there aren’t too many slow-walking people to have to dodge on the sidewalk.

After taking a shower and making myself pretty (haha) I went out with two of my roommates plus one of our friends down the hall to Grinder which is a breakfast place on Figueroa.  We’d seen it but never been inside and we decided to finally try it.  Inside it looks like your average American diner.  The menu boasted all sorts of tasty breakfast foods that I wanted to try.  Those who know me know that breakfast is my favorite meal of the day and that I think that breakfast food is the best type of food.  I ordered eggs benedict and I was quite happy with my choice.  Very tasty.  I also tried one of my friend’s French Toast and it was quite possibly the best french toast I have ever eaten.  If you’re in the USC area you ought to try it.

Upon returning home I found out that my key card that allows me to do basically everything necessary at USC has somehow lost it’s magnetic-ness and will not work.  I’ve applied for a replacement and I’m hoping it comes soon.  Still, it’s such a bother.

After watching Leverage (I’m on the last season!) and knitting for a while, I had to go to work for three hours.  Today was my work in Special Collections.  I’m working with 3 other students and some supervisors on cataloguing and organizing the archives of Edward H. Fickett, a Los Angeles based architect who died in 1999.  The work is mostly boring, but it does provide me with money.  Unfortunately, I developed a headache and just about collapsed when I got home.

After eating some Ramen (we haven’t gone shopping in a while since everyone will be gone over break), I settled in again with Leverage and my knitting.  

Speaking of knitting, Razor Cami is coming along well.  I’ve started into the patterned portion and have gotten over 10 inches done.  It’s quite an easy and quick knit.  Additionally, I think as a Southern California girl I’m one of the few people who absolutely loves knitting with cotton.  I don’t find it hard on my hands and I think it’s so soft and light.  I can’t wait to finish this Cami so I can wear it when the weather gets warmer.  

Looking forward to tomorrow when I head home and help my dad pick out a Christmas tree.  Only 2 more days until the rest of my family arrives.  It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!!

Semester Down

I am officially finished with my first semester of sophomore year!  I had my last final at 8 AM this morning and I totally rocked it.  It was Northern Renaissance Art and I know I did well.  I also think I did pretty well on the other 3 finals.  I managed to stick to my final study schedule making my life much easier and enjoyable.  I was able to spend the time that I wasn’t studying (which meant most of the day) going around LA doing fun LA things with my friends.  The main reason for this is that one of our friends is transferring to a college closer to his home and wanted to do some LA things before he left.  We went to Little Tokyo and ate tasty Japanese snacks, The Last Bookstore which is an amazing bookstore that you cannot miss and where I bought a copy of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, and Koreatown for some tasty Korean food.  We also went to Hollywood one evening where 2 of my friends and I each got small tattoos together (not the same tattoo thank goodness).  I got a small outline of the boa constrictor that ate an elephant from The Little Prince on my hip.  I would take a picture but it’s still healing and doesn’t look to awesome at the moment.

I’ve wanted a tattoo for a while, but it was only recently that I decided what I would get.  I remember reading the opening of The Little Prince when I was a little girl and absolutely loving the story of the narrator drawing a boa constrictor and the elephant.  Part of this is because snakes are my favorite animal and part is because I love The Little Prince because it draws attention to how everyone sees things a different way and how it’s okay to look at things a little differently.  Anyway, I’m very happy with the experience and quite enjoy the tattoo.

During these study days I also managed to get some personal reading in.  I read University Park Los Angeles: A Brief History by Charles Epting.  It’s a book from History Press which puts out some really lovely books on the history of different areas.  There are quite a few on various parts of Los Angeles County and they pair written history with historical photographs.  A lot of what I read I already knew — knowledge that comes with attending USC and paying attention to one’s surroundings — but there was even more that I was delighted to learn.  An added bonus is that I actually know Charles Epting.  He’s a junior at USC (and already written a book — I have some catching up to do) and I work with him on one of the archives.  Just talking to him, it’s clear how interested he is in the history of USC and the surrounding area.  I highly recommend it.

I also got quite a bit of knitting done.  The longer size 5 cable needles arrived making the knitting a lot easier on my wrist and hands.  I managed to finish All the Shades of Truth last night and am quite pleased with how it turned out.  It hasn’t been blocked so the edges are still a little wavy but I love it.

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 I love the way the rectangles go in different directions and how the borders are different sizes.  It really does remind me of Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture.  It was also incredibly easy to knit although the rows were quite long for the final borders — over 400 stitches.  I’m glad it’s done though because I’m in need of a smaller project to knit.  

And that new project is Razor Cami!  i’ve had this project in my queue for ages — like since I joined Ravelry.  I finally bought the yarn to make it — Rowan Cashsoft 4 Ply in Kiwi — and have knit about 5 cm of the 6 cm ribbing.  I love how small and light it is compared to the behemoth that All the Shades of Truth became at the end.  Should be a quick, fun knit.  

That’s about all.  I think I’m going to go enjoy more of my break.  We’re probably going to be headed to Venice Beach and the Santa Monica pier for one last hurrah before everyone leaves for their respective hometowns.  

Done

Well, almost.  I still have finals, but I’ve managed to develop a schedule that, if stuck to, only requires an hour or two of studying each day.  So far I’m doing well although I’ve never had much luck in the past sticking to study schedules so we’ll see.  

Last week was a ridiculously busy week for me.  Although I kept up with my work all semester, this past week was when all the big projects and papers were due in every class and it was just so much stress and work.  On Monday I had to do a presentation for my Extensive Reading in Japanese class.  This meant that I had to pick out a picture book, write an original story IN JAPANESE, rehearse it, and then present it in front of a class which is made up mainly of people who speak much better Japanese than I do.  Nonetheless, I think I did a pretty good job and was particularly glad that that’s over.  

Then, on Tuesday, I performed a skit with my group for my Japanese III class.  This required a 4 scene script to be written utilizing as many grammar points as possible, lines to be memorized, props to be found, and finally a presentation to be made where I did not just crack up laughing.  It went pretty well.  I remembered all my lines and managed to make it through the whole presentation without laughing too much (pretty difficult for me).  

Those three projects caused so much stress because not only they had to be done in a short amount of time but also because all the work that I did on them was in a language that I only sort of know.  Nonetheless, they are over and I think that my Japanese is the better for it.

The final project that had to be done was a short (5 page) literature review for my Northern Renaissance Art History class.  I had already read the 5 articles that we were to be writing about and had decided on the points that I wanted to make by the time Thanksgiving Break had begun so you’d think this would be easy.  Not so.  Trying to fit my argument into only 5 pages was a problem that was difficult to overcome since this is probably the first time I’ve ever been in danger of going over the page limit.  And by in danger I mean that when I was done writing I had close to 10 pages and then had to cut it all down as much as possible.  Very stressful.  Especially when the paper was on Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights which is one of my favourite paintings by one of my favourite artists.  Too much to say in too little space.  Anyhow, that was turned in on Thursday and I am now pretty much free of obligation until finals start.

 

On the knitting front, I am working diligently on the shawl.  It is currently on circulars that are too short for it so it just looks like a funny scrunchie of colours.  I have ordered a longer needle that will hopefully arrive soon.  Until then, pictures will not be provided because it really doesn’t look like much.  I also ordered enough knitting related stuff for the next 3 or so projects.  I got one blanket kit from knitpicks, some yarn to knit two pillows, and some yarn to knit a razor cami.  I am very excited.  

 

Finally, our apartment has been Christmas-ified.  My room mate Jonathan got a fake tree and various Christmas ornaments and decorations from his parents and our apartment is now happily seasonal and wintery.

And now I’m going to bask in my done-ness with this semester.