BummerImage by shoveling_ferret via FlickrI feel like I should say something about recent events in Egypt.  Really, the demonstrations, etc. were only a matter of time, but I think *this particular time* surprised a lot of people. 

I mostly stayed out of a lot of detail regarding modern Egyptian politics.  What I did know always made me wonder from time to time if I should be there at all.  Not because I feared for my own safety, but more out of a sense of concern that I was somehow tacitly supporting a fairly nasty dictatorial regime.

The flip side of that, though, was the knowledge that a revolution could wind up making things worse if crazy fundies wound up in charge. 

I really, really hope things get better.  I can't begin to imagine how to revamp Egyptian government to be better after decades of entrenched dictatorship and police-state habits, but I hope and pray that it can be done.  It's time to stop throwing people in jail just for saying unpopular things, time to stop rampant corruption and greed, time to stop brutality and torture in jails and prisons.

I didn't get to spend as much time in Egypt as I'd have liked and did not get to spend as much time with Egyptians as I'd have liked either, but the men and boys I worked with were nice, good-humored, ordinary people.  The people I met on the streets were too.   Even at a time when US foreign policy had made the US unpopular in a lot of the world, no one treated us like crap for being Americans.
I guess the point I'm trying to make none too elegantly is that Egyptians are people just like the rest of us, they just want to be able to make a living and be safe and happy.  Unfortunately, unlike most of us in America, that isn't very easy in Egypt any more.

I've seen reports that some of the protesters have been helping the police and military to protect the Cairo Museum.  I have no problem believing that to be true.  Many Egyptians are incredibly proud of their heritage.  They are also well aware that a lot of the economy is based around tourism. 

I hope very much that this situation resolves as peacefully and successfully as possible.  And my thoughts are not only with friends there now, but with everyone there now, especially the people putting themselves in harms way for what they believe in and what they hope to see in the future.


Four Years Ago Today

I was in Khartoum for the very first time.  Specifically at the museum, drooling over cool things.
Mmm, pottery

Was-sceptres and ankhs with arms so they can hold up flags

C-Group pottery

Probably a beer strainer.  Ancient beer was some funky, chunky junk.

Beautiful Kerma beaker.  We still aren't sure how they managed to achieve that silvery "ash band"

Weights for quantities of gold.  The semi-circle with the tails at either end is the hieroglyph nbw for "gold"

Bronze mirrors, probably imported from Egypt during the New Kingdom

Two colossal statues of Kushite kings

Antique graffiti

Tom's ass in a temple

Enemies of Egypt personified as bound prisoners (heads missing)
And the lesson of the day:  I should really have gone through these back in the day and captioned them more fully because I honestly can't remember for sure what some of them are or why I thought it important to take those particular shots.  Or even if I had the camera for some of them or if Tom had it. 

Anyway, the museum is awesome.  They've reconstructed several Egyptian temples that would have been flooded by the formation of Lake Nasser had they not been chopped up into manageable blocks and then moved.  Mmmm, temples.  Temples without other tourists.  Mmmmmm.
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Disassembly of The Spindle in Berwyn, ILImage via Wikipedia
It's a spindle, just not one for making yarn
I picked up my birthday spindle the other day, having abandoned it sometime around May or June because it seemed just too damn hot and humid to spin.  And then I sort of forgot about it.  Plus, I'm not very good at it.
So, I decided time to try again.  I already have Respect the Spindle: Spin Infinite Yarns with One Amazing Tool, but it wasn't quite enough for me.
Then I discovered that Interweave Press is having a sale on the companion video which is available as either a DVD or an mp4 for download.  Sweet!

I just finished watching it and am very pleased.  I especially like her point that you shouldn't regard your first few attempts as "waste" - you have to learn and there is no way you're going to be perfect immediately.

It's ridiculously cold here today, so I'm not sure I'll be spinning tonight, but hopefully I'll pick it back up in the next few days to practice at least a little bit.  

I also had the chance to look through a copy of Fearless Knitting Workbook: The Step-by-Step Guide to Knitting Confidence on Thursday after my endocrinology check-up and am definitely going to buy it, probably from KnitPicks as they're having a sale on books and I can get some inexpensive wool yarn to work with as well.

I'm also deeply tempted by the ball winder from KnitPicks as well as The Essential Guide to Color Knitting Techniques, but that particular book is available at the public library, so I'm dithering. 

And, as I mentioned, it's ridiculously cold here.  I haven't been able to feel my toes properly all day.  Brrrrrrr.  Even with a blanket, my heating pad, and Oreo I'm cold.  I only did dishes earlier because the hot water feels good through the gloves and I managed to keep my fingerless gloves on under the rubber ones. 

I'm going up in Synthroid dose, starting today.  Would be nice if that helps with fatigue but, to be honest, I'm not expecting much.  I have been warned to avoid soy products as they can apparently mess with thyroid function.  Shouldn't be too much trouble as I can do dairy so I won't have to find an alternate.  If grumpy thyroid is causing my arthritis flare, though, this should help.

My glasses are awesome.  I've had waaaaaay less neck pain and as a result fewer migraines.  I sort of wish I hadn't spent so much getting them from the optometrist, but whatever.  They are awesome.  I'm contemplating ordering some non-Rx sunglasses and maybe an extra pair of reading glasses from here

Less neck pain has highlighted how much my right shoulder hurts all the damn time though, so I need to nag my rheumy about that in February.  And I've started getting more honest with myself about other pain too - like pokes in the ribs (including poking myself in the ribs) or even hugs sometimes *hurt!*  even wearing a bra a lot of the time.  This is not ideal.
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SeesawImage via WikipediaI feel as though I've been on one lately. 
My depression has reared it's ugly and unwelcome head again, which has left me weepy and distraught alternating with okay and fairly cheery the past few days.  Bleh.
And the past month has been a weird span of increased fatigue and apathy and migraines interspersed with some okay and even good moments.  Bleh, again.  And all that has meant I've been less consistent with exercise, which has all of me creakier and more painful which doesn't help matters.

The freezing cold also doesn't help.  It's a major act of willpower to take my socks and slippers off to do yoga with the Wii Fit.  Brrrrrrrr.  Add in trying to do anything too motion-intensive or that involves inverting my head when I have a migraine and blech.  Although I guess my feet would be warmer if I barfed on them.

I'm also having a bit of trouble communicating with my therapist, which is something I hope to resolve at our next appointment, first via discussion or, if necessary, requesting to see someone else.  I'm nervous about asserting myself in this context, but resolved to do it anyway.  Failing to address the issue isn't going to do anyone any favors. 
Wish me luck. 

In better news, my new reading glasses seem to be helping immensely with some of my neck pain now that I'm no longer straining forward to read.  There's still some soreness, I think from my neck and shoulders readjusting to a better position, but it's not nearly as awful and I haven't had as much neck pain with my migraines. 

I also got a new chair today to use for crafting.  I'm hoping a comfortable, supportive chair will make it easier and therefore more likely for me to go play with polymer clay and my sewing machine. 

And I bought a book holder so it's easier for me to read when my arthritis flares up in my hands.

I am sincerely hoping a recent med change will kick in soon regarding the depression and the migraines.  I hate this crap, especially feeling worthless and awful and like some sissy drama queen and then feeling awful for feeling like that, and... 
I'm still not entirely convinced drilling a hole in my head wouldn't help.   Or a knitting needle up the nose?

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I've been working on a proper logo for the blog and for branding when and if I ever get a shop up and running.
It's intended as a sort of leader image for the blog banner, business cards, blah, blah, etc.
Here's the current draft. 

Thoughts?  It needs a bit more clean-up where the shovel handle lines are in the way. 

Also, Inkscape makes me stabby, but I doubt I'd feel less stabby using Adobe.
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I have some.  For reading and other close-in stuff.  With light rose tint in the hope it will help reduce some of my over-lighting migraines.  Hopefully will also keep me from tilting my head forward to read, which strains my neck and contributes to migraines. 
I also seem to have sprouted mantlers.
My forehead feels all weird and tingly and so does my right eyeball, but I'm hoping that will pass soon.

Anyway, as I often do, I decided to look at stuff about eyeglasses on Wikipedia.  (You already knew I was a huge nerd.)
This led to me finding the following picture in the entry on pince-nez:

Does everyone think it looks like someone decided to deface this portrait of Francisco de Quevedo?  Or like he's wearing Groucho glasses?
BALTIMORE - OCTOBER 05:  Professor Carol Greid...Image by Getty Images via @daylife

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