Friday, March 14, 2008

Kelly's afghan

I finished this afghan a while ago. The pattern is called gothic square, it is made out of organic cotton - very soft and earth friendly. I was trying to make an interconnected bleeding-color look.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

jamie and eric-17 1/2- history

Keeping her place with her finger she flipped forward to the end of the article, and contemplated the thickness of the article. She sighed, and watched Dahlia making intentional scribbles on her paper.

“You have to cut Eric some slack. Jamie for that matter too. They’ve had it really hard since the accident.” Bridgett stared drowsily at the wall.

“The accident” Dahlia scoffed. I really don’t see what was so bad about the damn accident. Eric recovered all of his mobility. Jamie didn’t have any major injuries. Everyone molly-coddles them like they’re bound to wheelchairs”

“Dahlia,” Bridgett’s voice was more serious now than argumentative. “They’re bond was broken.”

Dahlia gave Bridgett a skeptical look. “What does that even mean?”

“Well…” Bridgett was looking for the right words. “All I know is that Jamie lost touch with reality..” Bridgett’s voice trailed off.

Dahlia made a continue hand gesture, “I want to hear the whole story.”

“Didn’t Jamie tell you?” Bridgett asked surprised.

“No. Master Brown told me to drop it.”

“Alright. So you know Jamie and Eric had gone to Harnet to study at Link University. And I was in Danyar. Jamie has yet to tell me what actually happened, but I came into the story when I got a desperate and basically incoherent thought-sharing spell from Jamie. I only recognized it was him from his ‘voice.’” Bridgett gave the word special intonation to indicate Jamie’s mental voice. Jamie hadn’t returned from the kitchen yet. Bridgett suspected that he had heard the conversation topic and was finding ways to stay busy until she was finished telling Dahlia. In his own way, Jamie was giving Bridgett permission to tell the story.

“I tried to contact Jamie again via thought spell, but he wouldn’t respond. The only other piece of information that I could really get from his spell was a sense of need and urgency. So, I can’t do finder spells so I ended waking up like twenty people who could and would be willing to do a finder spell for me.”

“How could someone who’s never met Jamie possibly find him.”

“Oh.” Bridgett shook her wrist to indicate the bracelet she wore, “Jamie gave this to me. It was a stretch but it worked. Realistically I couldn’t leave that night, but I mapped his location. I packed my bag. Looked up the train schedules Slept as well as I could. The next day I headed out on the first train, and it took me three days to get to where he was the night he called out to me. The exact location was in the woods on the outskirts of Harnet.

“So here I was in the middle of nowhere near Harnet, unable to do another finding spell and Jamie had a three day head start on me.”

“What did you do?” Dahlia was enthralled.

“I knew that Jamie and Eric had stationed in Harnet and were studying at Link. So I went to administration office there and talked to some people and they redirected me to some other people. Basically I spent the entire day trying to figure out where Jamie and Eric were. Finally, someone gave me the address of the house Jamie and Eric were renting a room in. Apparently, Jamie came home one night, about the time I got his thought-spell, completely mad and Eric’s whereabouts were unknown. Jamie was able to lead the family matriarch to where Eric was, severely wounded. Jamie had done his best to stop Eric’s bleeding but he was unconscious.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Wave

This was the inspiration for my latest afghan project.

Sketch made as color blocking study for afghan pattern.

And here is it after adding color.
Here is a detail of the final patteren.

Monday, March 3, 2008

jamie and eric-6 7/8-coming to that awkward point

“Or co-evolution.” Jamie added.

“huh?” Bridgett’s free-hand was frozen mid-gesture.

“What types of information co-evolve. Like in war when each side tries to produce more advanced weaponry.”

“Oh, yeah.” Bridgett’s pace slowed as she was thinking. Jamie obliged her, being physically connected to her pace by hooked arms, knowing that the coffee shop wasn’t far off. And they didn’t really seem to be in any hurry to do anything. “Well I had kind of thought of that. But I want to examine mechanisms of information transfer as a proxy of cultural acceptance and a possible method for expanding that acceptance. I mean if you could implement a large scale educational program that had- Well I mean if you could pass beneficial information from one culture to another with that tag-line of this benefit in your life came from so and so, then that could open the gate.”

“The problem isn’t in the educational system.” Jamie commented. “Educated individuals value knowledge based on its intrinsic qualities. They’ll seek out cross-cultural information if only to prove it wrong.”

“But that’s the problem! To prove it wrong. There has to be a way to erase or mitigate the negative connotation associated with outside information.”

Bridgett fell silent as they reached the coffee shop. Acknowledging the impossibleness of her self-set task. She released Jamie as he opened the door for her. The coffee shop was pleasantly busy. Several shelves of snacks and school supplies sat next to the baristas station. Beyond comfy seating and tables hosted a variety of socializing and studying students.

After ordering their drinks, Jamie didn’t drink coffee, the pair found a couch near the window, where they were mostly sheltered from the noise of the television.

“I don’t think you’re being fair Jamie.” Bridgett rekindled their previous conversation. “I mean your focusing on Academia. The world you live in. But I mean just basic everyday customs. Cooking and land practices. And basic education. You know that having required basic education is rather unique. I mean in my homeland everyone, well I can’t say everyone—almost everyone, undertakes a rather high level of education, but that’s because of the shame associated with being uneducated. The assumption is that even the basest farmer could discuss philosophy. But in some countries, education means you learn how to do a job.”

“There’s nothing wrong with that.” Jamie reminded her. “But you’re right. I was assuming academia. It seems like you would want to avoid academia altogether then.”

“Maybe.” Bridgett took a sip of her sweetened coffee. “I think I might need to narrow my thesis more.”

“You have a good place to start from.” Jamie reassured her. “I still feel like I’m doing exploratory surgery.”

Bridgett grimaced at the comparison. “It can’t be that bad, can it?”

“Before the accident it was just going to be a simple review paper on what we know about bonds, but… well I guess I’m still focusing on that. I have nothing else to focus on. So much of the research on bonded pairs has been done in Alsonkarpa where they don’t focus nearly as congruently on general magic principles. So I spend most of my time teaching myself Alsonkarpian theory and trying to match it up to the well developed general magic base developed here.”

“Why don’t you go to Alsonkarpa? I’m sure it would be easier to study there.” Bridgett suggested and quickly amended, “not that I’m trying to get rid of you.”

“I guess I should. Really.” Jamie admitted. “I just don’t want to.” Jamie dipped his finger into the hot chocolate to scoop up the foam and lick it off his finger.

“Weren’t you running experiments before?”

“Yeah,” Jamie said softly, “I still have all the data. Doesn’t really help.”

“Why not?” Bridgett was confused.

“I haven’t been able to find strongly enough bonded test pairs to find significant trends in the data. I’ve been trying to recreate key experiments done in Alsonkarpa holding variables they didn’t account for constant. So far it’s been a wash.”

“Did it seem like it was working before?” Bridgett was starting to feel like she was pulling teeth. Jamie had this habit of becoming quiet when he didn’t want to say something. Instead of outright admitting he didn’t want to talk about it.

“Before I was using myself and Eric as a case study and surveying other bonded pairs to see if the results I got on us were mirrored by the general trend… Eric hasn’t been able to help me.”

Jamie’s words almost faltered, but came out steady. Still Bridgett understood and changed the subject.

* * *

jamie and eric-6 3/4-more conversation

Jamie smiled good-humoredly. “So what was Danyar like?”

“Oh you know,” She began playing with Jamie’s keys, “it’s nice to be home. See my family. Eat Danyarian food again. You know, though,” Bridgett fell into step with Jamie as he finished tying his shoes and headed down the hallway. “as much as Danyarian customs are second nature to me, I kept feeling restricted.”

“Oh?” Jamie prompted her. He held his hand out and she handed him his keys.

“On one hand it’s nice that everyone is so focused during work time. And there’s just an ethic of helping people with their studies. But then scholars don’t go drinking. Don’t have fun.”

Jamie smiled slightly, knowing that he was not someone ‘who had fun.’

“I guess that means you’re glad to be back.” Jamie commented.

“Of course I am! I missed my best friend of all time plus one.” She hopped-spun around to face Jamie. Bridgett had such an careless happiness. Jamie instinctively grabbed her, afraid about her proximity to the stairs. Then smiled.

“I missed you too, Bridgett.” He let her go and she raced down the stairs. Jamie quickened his pace to follow.

Jamie was breathless as they spilled out into lobby. Bridgett spun around, musing, “it’s so nice to not have constant restrictions on your behavior.”

“I’m sure. When did you get back in?”

“Just today. I only stopped to put my luggage in my room before I came to see you.”

Bridgett let a heavy sigh, and took a more subdued position next to Jamie, hooking her arm into his.

“So did people really help you with your research?” Jamie inquired.

“Oh yeah. Like parts I have trouble with. Like statistics. I, of course, lend my vast knowledge of human behavior. Although the need for social studies seems a little less widespread.”

“But I thought that your people were xenophobic. Or tended to be xenophobic. Aren’t your studies exactly what they try to avoid?” Jamie queried.

“ Yeah,” Bridgett admitted making a ‘it’s complicated’ noise, “I get the sense that most of my colleagues are fascinated by my studies, but they wouldn’t want to actually interact with the people I interview. Also they all want to believe that anything different people do differently is inferior to the way we do things back home.” Bridgett was about to continue on the same line of thought, but burst into a new conversation, “Oh, I almost forgot to tell you. I’ve restructured my thesis.”

“Well it has been almost six months. I thought you would.”

“Shut up. Anyway, instead of focusing on the big wide world of cultural differences and mechanisms for acceptance, I’ve narrowed it down to how cultures share technical knowledge. I was thinking about actual applications, and while it’s true that a broad study could serve as the foundation for future research, I really want to feel my legacy. I’m thinking how cultural boundaries affect the spread of information, which I think is a selective process. So it could be really fascinating to see what types of knowledge are more readily passed around-“