Friday, August 18, 2006

Why didn't I think of this before?

I had a realization today that was shocking. The Strongsville Borders Bookstore, a good 45 minute drive from house, is a mere 10-15 minute drive from my office. (And my house is only 15-20 minutes from the office in the other direction. Traffic lights near the mall create a warp in the space-time continuum.) It's a grey day here, and I could not stand the thought of eating lunch yet again at one of the many restaurants near my office. I work near Great Northern mall and there are many, but after 5+ years on the job, I'm bored with the options.

What I really wanted to do for my lunch hour was curl up with a few knitting magazines or books and drink a hot chai. Despite the mall right around the corner, there is no "real" bookstore around here. There's Waldenbooks in the mall, and a Border's Outlet nearby, but I wanted a mega-store with attached cafe (for my chai), and comfy chairs to sit in. So I headed down to Strongsville. The fact that there are only a couple of traffic lights between my office and the Strongsville Borders (one to get on the highway, one to get off, and one near the Borders) meant that I can drive there, eat an overpriced yet fairly tasty chicken tortilla wrap, read two magazines, flip through one book and buy another, and be back at my desk in under 75 minutes. Which isn't long enough to raise any eyebrows around here.

Of course, who am I kidding - nothing short of yodeling in my office is going to raise any eyebrows around here. The building is half empty and the remaining zombies (I count myself in this group) are too busy looking for new jobs to notice how long my lunch hour is.

I read the new SpinOff from Interweave (drool. drool. Anyone want to buy me a wheel? A spindle? A box of fluff?). I quickly flipped through a knitting magazine with ugly patterns. Then I took my paper cup of chai and headed over to the knitting books section. I picked up Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's first book "Yarn Harlot - the secret life of a knitter" and Norah Gaughan's "Knitting Nature". The first was to purchase - I had previously read "At Knit's End" in one sitting, laughing until tea came out my nose. I knew I would like this one too without previewing it first. The second book won't be coming home with me.

Don't get me wrong, Norah's designs are creative and inspiring, but I really can't see wearing almost anything in that book. I love symmetry and mathematics. As a grad student, I majored in Inorganic Chem and minored in Physical Chem. This means I spent most of my first year deriving molecular symmetry point group tables. My wedding ring, which I helped design, has D5 symmetry. But I like my clothes to have more symmetry, not less. No odd cutouts in the hems and arms. Both arms should be the same length. You know, that kind of symmetry. A fascinating tour of applying nature-inspired symmetry to the fiber arts, but for me it will remain a theoretical treatment, not a hand's-on lab experiment.

Only 1.5 hours left until the weekend! Back to work for me - must understand the generalities of the Shockley-Queisser limit derivation before next week.

Later all!


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