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An Irish Odyssey

So, it’s been a while…  I’m aware of this.  You’re aware of this.  Let us move on…

I wanted to let you know that I’m leaving very soon for Ireland and I plan on sharing my travel experiences along the way through posts over on my tumblr: notes from the margin.  The reason for this is that tumblr is easy to post to from my iPhone and, because I’m not a fan of how tumblr handles long posts, it will force me to make smaller posts more frequently, which I think will help motivate more regular sharing of photos and other fun travel tidbits.  That is the theory.

I will be traveling mostly around the coast of Ireland for the next two weeks.  I’m super excited!  I want to see and share all the things.  I’ll again be accompanied by Euan, the intrepid traveling bear.  You remember Euan, right?  To jog your memory, here is a photo I snapped as he was creeping up on my donuts during my travels in Japan back in 2009:

Euan will eat some

And another of him visiting the Kamakura Daibutsu:

I'm big, too!

Besides his fascination with seeing the sights and sneaking my food, he’s green; so, he’ll really fit in on this trip.  I hope he doesn’t get lost in some tall grass…

I will also, of course, be accompanied by some knitting!  More specifically, a vacation project that has yet to be named but will be following the Camptown Races pattern in some lovely quince & co. finch:

An Irish Odyssey

The colorways I’ll be using are (in order form left to right in the photo): frank’s plum, chanterelle and apricot.  I purchased this yarn at the lovely Hidden River Yarns this past weekend, during the shop’s quince & co. party.  HRY is one of the few LYSs that are able to stock this precious yarn.  I, for one, am very happy about this, although my budget won’t be.  This will be my first time using any quince & co. yarns and I can’t wait!

And, because there’s going to be quite a bit of car time on this trip, I’ll be supplementing that knitting with an Hourglass Cowl that I started back in January but have neglected ever since and a set of needles to cast on some simple socks if I happen to pick up a beautiful skein of sock yarn in my travels…  I was thinking of perhaps trying out the Hermione’s Everyday Socks pattern if the yarn is appropriate and, well, I feel that the pattern would lend itself well to many different yarns.  Perhaps, however, I’ll have to purchase multiple options, just in case…

I’ll also be documenting my travels in a journal, as I did when going to Japan.  I’ve purchased another Moleskine but this time in a wonderful mustardy golden yellow.  I haven’t yet made the cover page, but I’ll be sure to post some photos after I do.

I guess that’s all the travel talk for now.  I did also want to let you know that I’m planning some more blogging here on marginalia once I’ve return from the trip and things have settled down (I’m coming back to finals week and graduation hysteria at work after the trip).  As I mentioned earlier, I don’t like the way that tumblr handles long posts; so, I’m planning on putting more of those types of posts back here on marginalia again and saving notes from the margin for smaller, quicker posts and reposting of content from elsewhere that I find interesting.

oops! there went the summer…

some fall color

Yep. Just like that. Summer is outta here… and autumn has arrived!

I may be beating myself up a bit over my utter lack of blogging (or, let's be honest here, really any internet presence whatsoever) over the summer months but I am not complaining. Not one bit. I'm just moving on!

Why?! I absolutely love the fall. I abso-freakin'-lutely love it!!

While the fall foliage is currently no where near as brilliant as it is in that photo at the top of the post of last year's display, and sadly may never be this year as I hear it, the cooler days and colder nights nevertheless put me right into my normal autumn mood. A happy, dare I say elated, mood that also somehow manages to simultaneously encompasses a feeling of oppressive stress due to a gazillion commitments and an overwhelming desire to do ALL THE THINGS.

What does ALL THE THINGS consist of, you may be asking yourself. Well, I can safely say that, at this point, it includes at the very least:

  • knitting (and other fiber-y things): Yes; I do still knit. In fact, I'm currently working on my House Colors Project for this year's venture to the land of sheep and dreams that is the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival. The project involves a snake. And planes, crocheted hyperbolic planes to be more exact. And perhaps also a mouse named Elle…
  • cooking and baking: The colder months have always been a time of soup for me. I actually just made my first soup of the season. I tried out a slightly modified version of a new-to-me recipe, Sweet Potato and Chipotle Soup. I have to say the results were delicious… Also, I've been pondering cookies. Try as I might, I cannot resist a delicious cookie!
  • the crunch factor: I'm currently going through a personal exploration of topics such as herbal medicine, wild foods, homemade hygiene and cleaning products, holistic health philosophies and practices and conscious decision making and how these ideas and practices already shape and may continue to shape my life and my worldview.
  • reading: So, so many books to read.
  • video games: I still love them, even when I don't have the time I'd like to have to devote to them.
  • spirituality: A part of my life that has been sadly absent as an active participation sort of thing. I'd like to change that.
  • photography: I just got a new iPhone 5. It has a better camera than the previous iPhones that I've owned. You know what that means…

So it is that I plan to do ALL THE THINGS and share some of them with you, through blogging; because, well, I like blogging. I feel unconnected without it.

What does your list of ALL THE THINGS look like?


my brain on pixels: Summer Backlog Challenge 2012

In case you couldn’t tell from some of my recent hump day posts, I have been watching quite a bit of material over on YouTube lately.  I have been pleasantly surprised to find that there is a fairly sizable and thriving video game community there.  The community’s videos have kept me company at work while I perform mundane tasks, brining a bit of video game fun into what would otherwise be monotonous tasks.

Anywho, while watching videos, I came across this unofficial event that many video game focused YouTubers are taking part in called the Summer Backlog Challenge.  From what I can tell, this tradition was started by YouTuber StephsTooDef and this year’s kick off was this video:

So, I’ve decided to give the challenge a go this year!

The concept behind the challenge is to choose at least five video games that you already own but have not completed and try to complete them over the summer.  Officially, the challenge runs from today, June 1, 2012 through September 30, 2012.

Now, presumably, this challenge originated with people who have extra time on their hands over the summer, most likely due to a lack of school obligations during that time; however, I’m kind of past the point in my life where I have extra free time over the summer.  Nevertheless, I’ve chosen a list of games that I would like to complete during the official challenge time frame.  In order to try to make completing this challenge feasible, I have kept my list close to the challenge minimum, tried to avoid including a large number of time-heavy RPGs and filled the list with mostly portable titles to make the most of the free time I do have.

Now, on to the list!

LEGO Harry Potter Years 5-7 3DS

LEGO Harry Potter Years 5-7 [3DS]

I have been playing this game for a week or so now and I’m loving it!  I have finished out the story line and am working on collecting all the things, which is really what this game is all about.  I won’t count the game as completed until I have a 100% completion rating, meaning I have in fact collected all the things.

LEGO Harry Potter Years 1-4 PS3

LEGO Harry Potter Years 1-4 [PS3]

My love of LEGO Harry Potter Years 5-7 on the 3DS led me to exploring what the LEGO Harry Potter games are like on other systems.  The home console versions of the games seemed to be more in depth and polished, so I obtained LEGO Harry Potter Years 1-4 for the PS3!  I’ve played it a bit and can’t wait to sink my teeth in…

SMT Devil Survivor Overclocked 3DS

Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked [3DS]

I absolutely love the Shin Megami Tensei series!  The original Devil Survivor game came out on the Nintendo DS and, although I played it a bit, I never finished it.  So, when I got my 3DS, I had to have the remake of this game with the expanded content, hence my purchase of Devil Survivor Overclocked.  I have already finished a good portion of this game and am enjoying it so far.

Kingdom Hearts PS2

Kingdom Hearts [PS2]

Speaking of games that I love but have never beaten…  I love Kingdom Hearts.  What’s not to love about the combination of Square Enix (most specifically Final Fantasy) and Disney?!  Sadly, I haven’t even completed the first game of many in the series.  Well, that all ends this summer…

Professor Layton and the Curious Village DS

Professor Layton and the Curious Village [DS]

The Professor Layton series receives fairly high praise from most sources that I trust.  I love puzzle games and I’m intrigued by the setting and story.  Why haven’t I played this before now?!  I have no idea.

Superbrothers - Sword and Sworcery EP iOS

Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP [iOS]

I thought that, to round out the list, I would make a slight departure from the more traditional gaming consoles and work in an iOS title.  Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP comes highly praised and with, what I hear, is a beautiful sound track.  I’m looking forward to clicking my way through this action adventure title on my iPad.

Well, that’s the end of my official challenge list.  Narrowing down the list was really hard.  Here are some of the games that didn’t make the final cut, but that I may get to if I have extra time on my hands:

  • Persona 3 Portable [PSP]
  • Shining in the Darkness [Genesis]
  • Journey [PS3]
  • Lone Survivor [Mac]
  • Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door [GameCube]

Also, I was thinking that since this challenge did start over on YouTube, perhaps I should start making videos (at least challenge related ones) over on YouTube…  Thoughts?