Thursday, September 18, 2008

Probably just graph-obsessed.

While I'm not sure that I like being on food stamps better than I would like a higher living stipend, it certainly is enlightening to see that system from the inside.

I got a letter yesterday from the Marion County Department of Family Services, and I was almost afraid to open it. I'm in the process of switching banks and I thought that maybe I had to notify my caseworker and it was going to be a huge headache convincing them that I'm not trying to cheat the government. Turns out monthly benefits are being bumped. Mine are going up by $13. My income is completely disregarded for food stamps, so I get the amount that an adult who makes no money gets. I don't know what the increase is a different income levels.

Federal minimum gas mileage reimbursement (not a social service) went up by about 8 cents in July. Maybe I'm graph-obsessed, but I think it would be interesting to see a layered line graph of how these have increased over time. Is this a typical lag? Throw in a line for inflation and highlight different administrations over time, and I'm in graph heaven.

I finally got an invite to beta test Daytum, if it's not obvious. Click here to see me satisfy my quantitative urges.

Monday, September 15, 2008

I'm back. Promise.

I know I broke my promise to post more pretty much as soon as I made it.

Whatevs. I'm pondering the plural of VISTA. It stands for Volunteer in Service to America, so the full plural is Volunteers in Service to America, right? But the way I generally abbreviate it is VISTAs, which logically is Volunteer in Service to Americas, which always bugs me. I suppose it's less annoying than VsISTA, though. Oh well. I'll be damned before I start using an ugly apostrophe.

Oi. I think I've been spoiled too much these past few weeks to post about anything interesting. Got loaded down with just about my weight in swag and free food at Speaking of Women's Health on Friday. Today our CEO, who I adore for her affinity for (always good) surprise meetings, took the VISTAs for a picnic and hike at Eagle Creek Park. So, it's been a charming few days.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Getting to yarn, finally and with all due insanity

Visiting a new local yarn store is always like the first time you work out at a new gym. There's no way to know the rules, who is cool with eye contact, and it is always either way too hot or way too cold. Also there is that unshakable feeling that when you leave everyone there will bust out laughing because you have absolutely no chops and oh my gosh how did that loser even find the place.

This irrational fear has only been confirmed in one non-Indiana LYS and zero gyms, but that hasn't stopped me from completely over analyzing the following question, posed to me during a recent first visit:

"What do you knit?"

And this was the first thing the shop manager asked me. Not how long I've been knitting, not what my current projects might be, not even what I was looking for. Is it a nice way of asking all of those sensitive questions? Like, if I said "scarves," she could assume I was a beginner in need of lots of attention and if I said "lace sweaters that I design myself," she would ask me to teach a class? Or is she just addicted to socks like all those cool kids I hear about and assumes that everyone kind of finds their niche? Was she trying to determine how much money I would probably spend? Does a sock-knitter spend less overall than a sweater-knitter?

Of course I was a nervous wreck to begin with, so I just spat out, "Uhhhhh texture... different things with texture," and didn't explain it very well. So that's my next post. A manifesto of all the reasons why texture work is better than color work. Because maybe some LYS employees in Greater Indianapolis will eventually find this blog and not think I am so stupid I should be euthanized.