Tuesday, August 20, 2013


When I was a child, I believed that in Heaven, everyone would know everything. All that science had yet to uncover, all the things science couldn't uncover because the evidence wasn't preserved, what happened on the Mary Celeste - everything. I don't remember developing or constructing this idea in my head, it's just my earliest memory of what I thought Heaven would be. My vision of a reward for a good life was an afterlife spent learning everything there is to know. I feel I should say something like "which probably explains a lot," but "which makes absolute sense, all things considered," is probably more accurate.

(I also thought that every person's whole life would be recorded, like a script, so that everyone who had ever known me would be able to read every embarrassing thought that had ever crossed my mind, every mean things I had said when I thought no-one could hear, and all my heinous crimes, like cheating on that question on a test three months ago. I think children picture the afterlife as "Like this one, but better," and apparently I just assumed the shame would carry over.)

It was rather a let-down to learn that what the religion I was raised in meant by Heaven was the joy of being in God's company forever. That seemed awfully dull by comparison, and probably made the probable non-existence of Heaven less of a loss.

Today, the book I'm currently reading noted that there isn't sufficient preserved evidence for archaeologists to determine whether ancestral humans had done away with Neanderthals by violence, or if they had edged them out through superior technology and ability to exploit the land. I was struck by the pity of the fact that no-one will ever know. And then a reassuring, incomplete thought came to me: "At least we'll find out when we're dead."

I think this particular incident was pretty funny because it was a harmless, childish view, but it does highlight how deep-rooted ideas can be - even those which are baseless and ridiculous under the slightest scrutiny. It's also why when someone says that it's alright for them to use that word or make that joke because they don't really mean it, they're not like that, I don't believe them for a second, even - especially - if they believe it of themselves.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

FO: Crocheted Garnet Bolero

I finished my first crochet project more complicated than a rectangle or amigurimi! It has been a productive few days, insofar as looking for jobs, crafting, looking at pictures of cats and reading children's books in Irish can be considered productive.

The last picture isn't great, in terms of quality or my face, but it shows nicely how it bolero sits.

The pattern is Short and Sweet from Stitch 'n' Bitch: The Happy Hooker. It took me a while to get the hang of the pattern, there was a lot of ripping out, and it still doesn't make the same intuitive sense to me that knitting does - can you correct a mistake from the row above it? Who knows! - but by the time I was half-way through I had it more or less memorised, and the fact that it builds up so quickly is awfully satisfying. The pattern was a bit unclear in parts, in particular in describing the increases on the front, but largely it was very straightforward, and a good project for someone looking to move up from 'beginner'.

I used a 5mm crochet hook and Rico Essentials Cotton DK. It's mercerised cotton, so it has a nice sheen to it. I could probably have gone down a size, but I'm quite delighted with it as it is. Four years after my first attempt at learning I feel justified in saying that I can crochet, so I'm experiencing a disproportionate sense of accomplishment right now.

(I also recently made a list of twenty-five things to do before I turn twenty-five, one of which was crochet a garment, so I made something AND I get to cross something off a list. I'm on fire over here. No really, send help.)

Monday, August 5, 2013

FO: Bowtie

A friend of mine requested a knitted bow-tie a shameful length of time ago, but it is surprisingly hard to find bow-tie clips for a reasonably price. A few weeks ago I picked some up from Maple Street Market's Etsy, and they are great and she wrote a nice note on my receipt!

If I  had a tux shirt this photo would look dapper as anything, instead of clumsy and scruffy.

The bow-tie is knit with leftover Debbie Bliss Rialto DK on 3.75 needles, and I super-glued it to the clip. Simple!

In other news, I ran the Rock and Roll Half Marathon today, because I really like free t-shirts. It took me longer than it takes some people to run marathons, and I would have been faster walking at my usual pace, but I ran the whole thing!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Title Chapters for Harry Potter agus an Órcloch

For my own entertainment.

Harry Potter agus an Órchloch : Harry Potter and the the Stone of Gold*

Caibidil 1: An Gasúr a Tháinig Slán : The Young Boy Who Arrived Safe/Got Through Safe
Caibidil 2: An Ghloine a d'Imigh As : The Glass That Disappeared (From Itself)
Caibidil 3: Na Litreacha : The Letters
Caibidil 4: Coimeádaí na hEochracha : Keeper of the Keys
Caibidil 5: Go Diagon Alley : To Diagon Alley
Caibidil 6: An Turas ó Ardán a Naoi agus Trí Ceathrú : The Trip From Platform Nine and Three Quarters
Caibidil 7: An Hata Sórtala : The Hat of Sorting
Caibidil 8: Máistir na bPosóidí : Master of Potions
Caibidil 9: Comhrac ar Uair an Mheán Oíche : Action** at the Hour of Midnight
Caibidil 10: Oíche Shamhna : Hallowe'en
Caibidil 11: Quidditch : Quidditch
Caibidil 12: Scathán na Mianta : The Mirror of Wishes***
Caibidil 13: Nicolas Flamel : Nicolas Flamel
Caibidil 14: Dragan Dronnach na hIorua :  The Hump-Backed Dragon from Norway
Caibidil 15: An Fhoraois Thoirmiscthe : The Forbidden Forest
Caibidil 16: Tríd an gComhla Síos : Through the Downward Door
Caibidil 17: Fear an Dá Aghaidh : The Man of Two Faces

This isn't meant as jab of the "haw haw, look at Irish trying to be relevant, I didn't work at Irish in school because I'm incredibly cool and interesting, a fact I will prove by monologuing about how I like to not work at things" sort****. I think it's fantastic that wee small Gaeilgeoirí can read Harry Potter as Gaeilge! I just think it's interesting to wonder how much nuance I've missed by reading translations of books, and how clunky English translations sound to speakers of the original language.

Time to learn every language in the world, just in case.

* But not made of gold, pertaining to gold.
** But strategic action, like in chess.
*** Jesus, lads! Spoilers!
**** I have opinions about people who think that not making an effort is somehow an interesting personality trait. If I'm honest, it's just one opinion. You don't want to work at a thing? Cool! Don't! I am probably not interested in your spiel supporting your (in)actions.