the usual round-up

I’m going to WorldCon … wait, not I’m not. But I bought a Supporting Membership, which means I get to pretend I’m there. I get to vote on this year’s Hugo and Campbell awards and, if this year follows the pattern of the last few, I get digital versions of the works that are up for awards. I do hope that part pans out; I hear that it makes a Supporting membership a bargain.

Meanwhile, reading-wise, I’m in the middle of Ysabeau Wilce’s Flora’s Fury, having won an ARC in an auction. You know how sometimes adolescents go overnight from soft and pudgy to whip-lean and carved after a growth spurt? I think that’s what’s happened to Flora after the second book. It may have happened physically (she makes references to going through the equivalent of Basic Training) but it’s a pretty good analogy for what’s happened to her character. A lot less childhood softness this time. I’d reference Harry Potter Book 5, but there’s a lot less ALL-CAPS YELLING and Flora is a lot less annoying than Harry at that stage. Like him, though, she’s justifiably pissed-off.

…and now that I have covered books, let’s take a run through the other usual topics.

Knitting: Sweater done, two baby hats done, so now I’m back to the socks I started to have an alternate project on the Spain trip. I’m using a new kind of heel Cat Bordhi’s Sweet Tomato;I like it because it’s simple, logical, and unlike most other sock heels, easy enough to remember that I don’t need a pattern. We’ll see how wel it actually fits. The yarn is Juno Buffy Sock Yarn, which I’m not completely thriled with; it’s so thin that I should probably have used a size 0 instead of 1 needle, and for that reason it’s going a bit slowly. It also tends to split a bit with these needles. I think it will make for nice looking and durable socks, though.

Rowing: Last April we went to Oregon and I hurt my back a bit gardening (digging holes). I quit weightlifting then, and then got into doing more distance and never picked it back up. In December was the Holiday Challenge, so that helped build an aerobic base. Just after New Year’s I started lifting again. Right now I’m in a weird but gratifying stage; I add more weights every workout (well, I did start pretty light, since it had been a while) and all of a sudden I’m rowing faster. I can pull in the 2:40s for the same effort the 2:50s were taking a month ago. (Non-rowers: those are still fairly slow times; those are “splits”, or the length of time it would take to row 500 meters at the current pace). The plans are to visit our house in Oregon in April, in time to race in the Covered Bridge Regatta. If all goes well, we’ll have a couple of rowing friends visiting too, so I need to be in training to race by then.

Travel: I’m heading to Japan on Sunday for a week. This is getting silly again; Ted and I will meet for dinner in Schiphol Airport, because he’s leaving for Taiwan just as I get back from Japan. At least they’re both one-week trips. Starting from late March, there’s a possibility I will go to Japan for a week and a half, return for 2-3 days, head to the US East Coast (CT) for a week for a department meeting, then go straight to Oregon for our two weeks there. It could all change though, so who knows. I do hope I get enough travek this year to be at least Gold in frequent flyer status next year – then again, it’s also possible that I won’t fly at all next year, once we return to the US. Other trips planned for this year involve a Baltic cruise in July and a trip back to OR in September, when we get everything arranged (the RV bought) for our move back to the US. There’s also a family reunon planned in June, and though I don’t actually know most of those people I’m considering it, mostly to see my immediate family (Dad’s been having health issues, and now with the nephew, if I don’t see him at least yearly he’s going to grow into a completely new person each time).

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