Wednesday, February 01, 2006


i've been tagged by michelle for the "four" meme. coincidentally, i've been sick for four days so i haven't been posting much. meanwhile, i have been posting on metroblogging dc -- if you want to see my posts you can click on "jen m." on the list of authors and you'll get a list of my recent posts.

last weekend i had a great trip to the thrift store. among other things, i bought two sweaters to rip apart to recycle the yarn. i've never done this before. yesterday i ripped apart one of the sweaters, a shapeless plum-colored cardigan. i'm going to make a new cardigan out of it, my first attempt at knitting a sweater. i will post "before and after" pics soon. i'm feeling very adventurous lately, trying new things. although it is kind of weird to rip up a plum-colored cardigan just to knit a new plum-colored cardigan.

the other sweater i want to make into a pillow for a friend. i was thinking of just cutting up and sewing the sweater into a pillow, but i think i'm going to rip it apart and knit a new pillow in a funky pattern. i haven't quite decided. any advice from someone who has cut up and sewn a sweater before? will it gum up my sewing machine?

anyway, here's that meme:

Four Jobs You've Had In Your Life:
i just picked some random ones that seemed interesting...

1. in high school i had a summer job at TCBY. it was great: i could eat whatever i wanted (this was before i was vegan) and we were rarely busy during my shift. most of the time i was the only person in the store and my friends would come in and chat with me during my downtime. my friend lori worked at dip top that same summer and her job was so much harder than mine. she had to deal with hordes of screaming children, plus dipping the ice cream in that hardening shell is difficult. i just had to press the lever to dispense the soft yogurt. the one thing i didn't like was making flurries, because i thought they were too much work. when the manager wasn't around i'd just tell people the flurry machine was broken so i didn't have to make flurries. that was probably the best job i've ever had.

2. also during high school, i volunteered as a candy striper at the hospital where my dad works.

3. during college, i was an assistant to a woman who owns her own public relations company and helped her both with administrative tasks and with p.r. work. i got that job after applying to be a part-time nanny for her 6 month old son. she decided she needed a full-time nanny but liked me so much she hired me to work for her p.r. business. during my christmas break in 1993 she was organizing an official party for clinton's inauguration and i volunteered to come down to dc and help her. that was pretty exciting, even though the clintons never made it to our party. i also worked for her briefly the year after i graduated college, before i moved to texas for law school. the 6 month old son is now in high school and i'm still friends with the family.

4. the summer after my first year of law school, i won a fellowship to work for an austin nonprofit that provides legal services to people with HIV. i pretty much spent the entire summer visiting dying clients in their homes or in hospices and helping them complete wills and medical directives. i think that was the best experience i had during law school.

Four Movies You Could Watch Over and Over:
ok, when you start asking me questions like this i have to give my standard "gemini disclaimer" -- my tastes are constantly changing and anything i put down today might not make the list tomorrow. that said, these four movies are pretty much all time classics...

1. Office Space
2. Sixteen Candles
3. Legally Blond
4. Star Wars

Four TV Shows You Love to Watch:

1. battlestar galactica
2. 24
3. general hospital
4. the simpsons

Four Favorite Books:
i'm really not much of a reader.

1. to kill a mockingbird
2. stitch n' bitch (i taught myself how to knit with it and i use it all the time.)
3. the tipping point (even though i'm not done with it yet) and blink
4. diet for a new america (because it is largely responsible for me deciding to go vegan)

like michelle, i also love the dictionary, but i use rather than a paper dictionary.

Four Albums You Can't Hear Too Often:
really, there is no album i can't hear too often, i get sick of music pretty fast. but some of my most frequently played albums are... (don't forget about the gemini disclaimer)

1. ozomatli -- street signs
2. strike anywhere -- exit english
3. the new transit direction -- unreleased demo
4. linda ronstadt, dolly parton, emmylou harris -- trio II

Four Places You Have Lived:

1. grew up in orange, connecticut
2. currently live in takoma park, maryland ->
3. went to law school in austin, texas (and still one of my favorite places on earth)
4. i was born on Griffiss Airforce Base in upstate new york. the base is out of commission and in fact is now a park which was the site for the 1999 Woodstock festival.

Four Places You Have Been On Vacation:
this was too hard to narrow down, so i picked the last four places i've been on vacation...

1. hawaii
2. san francisco
3. alaska ->
4. british virgin islands

Four Websites You Visit Daily:
(excluding my own blogs and my email providers...)

2. (to read the stats on my blogs)
3. michelle knits and other friends' blogs

Four Of Your Favorite Foods:

1. watermelon
2. vegan Mexican food -- if i had to pick just one dish, i'd say a breakfast taco made with homemade soft corn tortilla and fresh guacamole
3. chips and salsa and beer, ideally from mother's cafe in austin, texas. (yes, i love chips and salsa so much that i will not just lump it in with "vegan Mexican food"!)
4. brussel sprouts

Places You Would Rather be Right Now:

1. after that last question, austin so that i could get some good breakfast tacos and mother's chips and salsa.
2. hawaii ->
3. home in bed (i still don't feel well)
4. visiting my dad in connecticut

i'm very excited to be going to san francisco later this month.

Four People You'll Tag:

1. trav
2. krissy
3. liza
4. sarah


Anonymous travis said...

crap. i don't even know what "tagged" means, at least to a blogger. please explain.

Thu Feb 02, 12:04:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger jen said...

it just means that you are invited to keep the meme going by posting about your own "fours" on your blog. you don't have to do it, it's not like a chain letter or anything!

Thu Feb 02, 12:08:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger michelleknits said...

Cool to read your answers (and thanks for doing it). I'm sorry to hear that you've been sick. The blog thing is weird. Like sometimes blog silence means that you're really busy and up to good stuff and sometimes it means you're sick or something else bad. I hope you've been doing the herbal tea and rest and not much food and minimizing stress thing to get you well soon.

Aaron (he's still teaching) was thinking about doing something in his classes with blogs and how they create specialized communities (like how you and I and Vania and Robyn etc. are friends through our common interests discovered on the internet) and so I told him about your metroblog, which I think is also a really interesting way for people to interact within their physical community by creating a virtual one. Yada yada yada. But then I remembered about the helicopter story! And then I also realized I only really read friends' blogs, knitting blogs, vegan blogs, crafty blogs, and nothing else. What blogs are "out there" so to speak that would be examples of what I just talked about?

Thu Feb 02, 01:36:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger krissy said...

hey thanks for the tag! your answers were really fun to read. it's a good way to learn more about the people whose blogs i read everyday. i'm going to put some thought into it and get mine up in the next day or two. (ps. to answer your question: yes, lobster clasps...i think that's what you were talking about...are the best & most secure option, as far as i know. those are the only kind i use. hope that helps!)

Thu Feb 02, 05:38:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger jen said...

yeah, lobster clasps, that's what i need to use. the screw ones come undone too easily.

michelle, interesting theory. i think the community of crafty grrls, and especially the subset of vegan crafty grrls, is a good example of that. also, it seems like there is a specialized community of baby blogging, with various subsets like couples having difficulty conceiving/adopting. liza could probably speak to that, she definitely seems to be part of a specialized baby blogging community.

Thu Feb 02, 11:03:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger michelleknits said...

Hmmm, I've read her blog sometimes (linked through you), and I am very interested in it, in an observer type of way (I'm not having a baby, she doesn't talk about crafting or being vegan), so that's always as interesting as reading a blog that DOES speak directly to what's going on with you. But I'm wondering what kinds of blogs other people read? Like, what kinds of blogs does the average joe shmo read? Maybe there are only community (and subset community -- I liked that) blogs. Do you know of a good place to direct juniors/seniors in high school to have them learn about blog communities. It's pretty much agreed (at least between the both of us) that the teacher's girlfriend's blog community is not the best place to start!!

Fri Feb 03, 02:37:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger jen said...

i think the typical blog (that joe schmoe would be most likely to read) is basically an aggregator of information, with some commentary thrown in. like "wonkette" or my favorite celebrity gossip blog "what would tyler durden do?" if you look at the blogs nominated for "bloggies" it seems like most of them are this type.

i generally don't like blogs like that, i prefer "diary" style personal blogs like ours.

if you mean that you want to look at how people form online communities that are comprised of a network of blogs, i'm not sure where to point you. you might want to look at the bloggie nominees for "best teen weblog" - i imagine that you'll find a network of teen blogs similar to the network of vegan craft blogs. also, green la girl and treehugger are good blogs that are part of a network of "green" or "sustainable living" blogs. that would be a good place for high schoolers to go. but really, any topic that you can think of, i bet you can find a "ring" (like the veggie knitters ring) dedicated to that subject. i'm sure there is a "star wars ring" and a "mitsubishi enthusiasts ring" and a "ny yankees ring." i would think that the students would get more out of the exercise if they were to investigate blog communities that revolve around their own interests.

also, myspace and friendster are essentially nothing but communities formed by a network of blogs.

if you want to look at how blogs impact "community" in a more general way, i would start with a local new york group blog, like gothamist.

Fri Feb 03, 04:07:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger michelleknits said...

Hey Jen,
That was really super helpful (and especially for the perspective you gave about kids investigating the blog world to find their own personal communities that involved their own interests. I had no interests in blogs AT ALL until I started knitting last April and wondered if there were other people, vegan like me, who knit and what were they knitting and what were their experiences like so what you said made perfect sense. I'm surprised I wasn't thinking about it more that way -- at least consciously.) Also, thanks for the links -- they were great, too. I forgot about the gothamist. I don't read it often, but some nyc people that I read link to it all the time. It's a project (teens writing and learning about blogs) I'm interested in, especially just as a helper and blog community participant rather than as a teacher, because I think one's blog and relationship to it is really so personal. Like for example, why have I been able to write all these comments all day and not make a post on my blog? And the process of commenting is where a lot of the community building gets formed. I mean, I know that some people read my blog (in fact, people that know me well) but don't comment, and therefore, are not participating with me in the same way that you are by engaging me in conversation through the comments.

So, AA is home now and we're going to go out. Talk to you later and double triple thanks! Take care of yourself, ok?

Fri Feb 03, 06:02:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Liza said...

Wow, that was cool. I hadn't been over here in a couple of days, and I find that people were talking about me! :)

I read a mix of blogs that are badly reflected in my "blogroll" because I haven't gotten around to updating it in ages. I have this plan to sort them into categories on my blog.

Probably the most mainstream blogs I read are Dooce and Waiter Rant.

Early on in getting pregnant, I was completely obsessed with reading about other people's experiences and gathering information about what to expect, so I found a ton of "TTC" (trying to concieve), pregnant, and mommy blogs -- mostly lesbian, but not completely.

But now I'm less obsessed with gathering information, so I only still read the ones where I feel some kind of connection with the person, or I like the way they write.

I have found some interesting blogs that have nothing to do with my day to day life, but that I still read on a fairly regular basis, mostly through people I know, like Jen (craft & vegan) and Leta (theater) and Susan Crawford & Derivative Work (legal issues in areas I once had some sort of practice).

It's fun to visit other people's lives and interests, especially since if you don't find them particularly interesting or compelling, they never have to know that you were there, much less that you never came back. :)

Sat Feb 04, 10:09:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger vania said...

I don't know where to begin, but i love Michelle's info about this project of our world of blog and our connections through it. it's so validating for me to find such a group, but it's strange that other non-vegan crafty grrls don't seem to read us as much (or at least me, as i don't see comments from them). Is there some sort of blog hierarchy?
And, Jen, thanks for your answers - i love how we know even more about each other now!
Good luck recycling those old sweaters - it was hard for me to unravel some i had. but i felted them and turned then into that scarf i posted!

Sun Feb 05, 11:25:00 AM GMT-5  

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