24 April 2020

Answer Time

Happy Friday, and I'm glad to have a fun thing to do on such a gloomy weather day.  It's time for me to answer the questions asked as a result of this post, so let's get going!

Araignee wanted to know:

I have always wanted to visit Philadelphia.  If I were to make the trip what would be on the "must do" list?

I get asked this a lot, just in general.  The short answer is that to some degree, it depends on your interests, and the time of year you visit.  But I think for most people, it is worth visiting Independence Hall and the surrounding buildings, because the tour is truly interesting, as is the building.  I would also suggest Eastern State Penitentiary, the first one in the nation, and built on the idea of rehabilitation rather than punishment - though that caused it's own problems!  The ruins are so interesting, and the stories even more so.  Plus it is an architectural accomplishment on its own.  I would suggest a walk or hike along the Wissahickon Creek, which is beautiful at all times of year.  The Japanese House in Fairmount Park is lovely, peaceful, and quiet.  I would always suggest visiting one the neighborhoods and finding the things local people love.  I could go on forever, but at least today, those would be my suggestions.

andrea had a few questions:

-if you could be an expert in one thing, what would you want it to be?

I wish I could be a veterinarian.  But given that even the most basic science classes always took my overall grade average way down, and that I am way too emotional where animals are involved, it was clear very early that would not ever happen.   So I wish I were a great writer or that I could play a musical instrument, particularly cello or piano.

- 3 desert island books!  What would you bring with you if you could only bring 3?

This answer changes a lot every day, but I would always bring To Kill a Mockingbird, because it has always been a book that spoke to me, and continues to do so.  For me it's a touchstone in my life - the first time I read it, I feel like it changed me for the better.  Another always book is The Sparrow, by Mary Doria Russell, because it's truly one of the most amazing books I've ever read.  After that, I'd want any book by Barbara Pym,  because I've never met one of her books that I didn't love.

- what is your earliest memory as a child?

The first place I remember living was 162 Park Avenue, Teaneck, New Jersey (an excellent street address, because it rhymed!), and the crooked window in the stairwell of the house.  The layout of the first floor is still in my brain as if I just left the room.  My friends Jane Hoffman and Debbie Pasqua lived across the street.  Debbie's grandparents lived with them, and only spoke Italian, which I saw as very mysterious.  We would often cross the George Washington Bridge to go to New York City for the day and then meet my father at work and come home.  We went to Bear Mountain or Palisades Park on weekends a lot.  We lived there when I was 3 or 4 years old.

- one place in the world that you've never been that you've always wanted to go, no matter how unrealistic it could possibly be to get there?

I have always wanted to go to Scandinavia - any of the countries.  And I would dearly love to go to New Zealand!

Kym had two questions:

- How do you keep your needles organized? (always looking for hints)

I bought one of those hanging pocket things with the sizes listed on the pockets for my circulars; the few straight needles I have are in an old metal pasta container; and, my dpns are in a small plastic art case with compartments.  It works for me, but I too would like something that made more sense.  I wish I could afford different interchangeable sets, since they come with their own storage, but for now, this is what I do.

- Do you let Hamlet get up on your furniture?

This one made me laugh, because when we adopted him from the person whom he guided, one of the things he told us was that Hamlet "never gets on the furniture."  Which was fine, we were not wedded to the whole thing one way or the other.  Fast forward a few months when The Tim was home from work one day, and he walked into the guest room for something to find Hamlet snoozed out on the bed!  So we don't know if a) he decided on his own to do it, or b) since his previous owner(s) was/were blind, they just didn't know because they never actually saw it!  But he is welcome to be on the furniture - it's not fair for him to not be allowed when the cats are all over everything.  He's also good about listening to "no!" - if he's all wet, or in other situations.  😊

Dee also had two questions:

- How did you choose that awesome house you live in?  [thanks, Dee!]

When we decided to buy a house, we had a real estate agent who wanted to show us things that were not just in our price range, but slightly above and slightly below.  Our house is the first she showed us - it was in the slightly above category.  BUT no matter what else we saw, we kept thinking about "those floors!" (random-width pine floors), "that garden!" (we have an outside walled garden area that someone created at some point from the lots next door), and the fact that it was built in 1850, and the first person who lived there was John O'Connor (a brewmaster) and his family (family on my mother's side were O'Connors).  Eventually, the real estate agent told us that the house had been on the market for over a year, and the sellers were getting antsy about selling it.  So we made an offer, they countered, we made another offer, and got the house!  At the time, the neighborhood was nice enough, but not great - nowadays, there is absolutely no way we could afford to live here ...

- If money were no object, what would you treat yourself to (i.e., what would you buy)?

I would rescue as many animals as I could, and take care of them!

Shirley wanted to know:

What does your job involve?  I think you work in the library of a college but not sure.

Shirley, I will give you the basic answer, because I could talk about it for ages in great detail that would make you wish you had never met me!

I am the cataloger and serials librarian in the library of a museum.  For those who don't know what that means, I am the person who determines the call numbers and subject headings for library materials.  And I am in charge of everything to do with serials (magazines, journals, newspapers, etc.).  Our library has materials published beginning in 1546 up until today.  It's a behind-the-scenes job.  During graduate school I focused on cataloging of rare materials and serials management, but for the bulk of my career was a cataloger in academic medical libraries!  I've worked in a lot of cool places, with other interesting jobs, but that's it right now.

wisps of words had a comment rather than a question:

I'm not a knitter, but I adore your icon ... Nora and Asta from "The Thin Man" I believe.

Yep!  One of my favorite movies ever and I could only wish to live like Nick and Nora and Asta.  😉

KSD wanted to know:

Are you sure no calamities have befallen you in Octobers? (The opal thing, you know.)

[What she is referring to is my comment to her that though my birthday is in March, I have an opal ring I wear every October.  The story is that if opal is not your birthstone and you wear it, you will have bad luck.]

Octobers have generally been a good month for me.  For instance, I got married in October, and no one in either of our families have died during that month.  So there you go.

Minerva wondered:

What is the most difficult knitting project that you have done?  And have you ever steeked a knitting project?

In general, any project with skills new to me seems difficult, but I would say the one that seemed most difficult was also the only project I've ever steeked!

Years ago, when Rosie's Yarn Cellar still existed (RIP, sigh), I took a class on colorwork.  I decided to knit Dotty, by Kaffe Fassett.  Lisa  - the LYS owner who was teaching the class - decided that it would be better to knit in the round, so she adapted it for me, and that meant that the v-neck and arm openings would need to be steeked, which she helped me do, thank God!

It is still fills me with a sense of accomplishment to think I knit it, and the photo of The Tim wearing it from my project page is also used as one of the photos on the Ravelry pattern page! 

P.S. There is a funny story about a photo of this that andrea knows.  But that's for another post ...

Anonymous (aka Cheryl) asked:

Who taught you to knit?  How old were you?

My first encounter with knitting is described here.  I actually learned for real shortly after we moved to Philadelphia, and walked past the previously mentioned Rosie's Yarn Cellar.  The offered learn to knit classes, so I took one, also taught by Lisa, the owner, and that was the start!  I was 40 years old.

Meredith MC wanted to know:

What's your favorite project that you've knitted?

I don't know that I have a favorite as far as the finished item, but the thing that I enjoyed knitting the most, and that I love the result, is my Crazytown Cowl.  I enjoyed every minute of making it and hope to make another someday.

kathy b had the last question for this round:

What is the most uplifting podcast you've listened to?

I fear that my extremely cynical nature keeps me from seeing "uplifting" in the same way as most people.  Things that others find uplifting, I often find ridiculous or sappy at best, and manipulating at worst.  So I don't watch/listen to any podcasts to be uplifted.  I tend to feel that something has been uplifting at random times by random things that others would likely ignore or find weird.  So though I find many podcasts to be enjoyable to watch/listen to, I am afraid that I've never had one make me feel uplifted at all.  Sorry!


Thank you for all of these great questions!  I hope you found my answers at least a bit interesting, I tried to actually give the truest answers I could.   I enjoy this exercise so much, because it gives me a chance to not just hear from all of you, but to really think about what I'm being asked.  So save up your questions, I will definitely do another "Ask Me Anything" post down the road.

In the meantime, have a good weekend, and stay as healthy as possible.


Araignee said...

Fabulous answers! I learned so much. I love your Dotty vest and even have the yarn for it in the vintage section of my stash. His books were some of the first I added to my knitting book collection before Ravelry was a thing. Everything I know about colorwork I owe to Kaffe Fassett.

Dee said...

I know WE could never have bought into your neighborhood when we moved here. Our original idea was to live in the city. It was way beyond our price range, and then there are those TAXES. You really lucked out with the timing.

While I'm not enamored with out neighborhood, I adore our house. The wood floors and the stone walls .............I was sold. Good thing too 'cuz this house has been a money pit! LOL

Wanderingcatstudio said...

Love you answers. I always say if I won the lottery, I'd start an animal rescue!

Shirley said...

What a wonderful post! I loved reading all the answers and learned so much. Your job as a cataloger and serials librarian sounds like it would have some interesting moments. The Dotty vest is just beautiful and what an accomplishment. Happy Friday!

Nance said...

Your "expert" and "desert island books" questions make us kindred spirits. It's eerie.

I loved reading about your job. It's really important! It sounds smart and interesting and like something I'd love to do, too.

I feel like your job would make a great Twitter account for the museum, highlighting some of the old books and documents that belong to or are from the museum.

Bonny said...

I really enjoyed your thoughtful answers, and I am sorry I missed the post where you asked for questions. My favorite answer is your one about uplifting podcasts. I'm not much for uplifting (because the same crappy situation often still exists even if you've been momentarily uplifted). My sister thinks I'm an old curmudgeon because I don't look on the bright side, but I prefer to look at the realistic side. So thank you for putting your answers into truthful, interesting, and well-thought-out words.

AsKatKnits said...

That Hamlet! I think I love him more, if that is at all possible! Sherman thinks he is brilliant because sleeping in "his bed" is the best thing of all and he even lets us get in sometimes! LOL

Mereknits said...

I love learning so much about you Bridget. I would love your house I just know it. Stay safe.

Minerva said...

That's a nice vest! And steeking---You are braver than I!

Meredith MC said...

Wow you’re an academic librarian. That is so cool. I’m a Teacher Librarian at a middle school, which means I get (or used to, pre-COVID) an hour a day to manage the library and our many awesome volunteers. It’s amazing to me that we are both librarians, but our actual work is completely different. Thanks for answering my question. If someone asked me, I have no idea what I would say.

karen said...

what a fun blog post to read, and now I want to go see the more of philadelphia.