I have recently become hooked on the designs of Doris Chan. I love her crochet philosophy: no seam, join-as-you-go, and yarn-efficient. After making a few designs from her book Convertible Crochet, I was inspired to design a motif-based shirt for my little sister Emma. In a few days, I designed and completed the Blaze Peplum Shirt. The project was yarn efficient, quick to make, and very rewarding, so I decided to share it.
I thought I was going in for a routine dental cleaning. The nurse took my x-ray, then rushed off to show the dentist. The dentist came in with a rueful smile. “The good news is that there are no cavities.”
I was instantly on the alert. There was bad news?
She showed me the weirdest x-ray I have ever seen. My teeth all looked fine, but one was smaller than the others. Underneath my bottom four front teeth, there was a horizontal pointy object. “Did you know that one of your baby teeth never came out?” the dentist asked. I shook my head. She pointed to the long horizontal object on the x-ray. “The adult tooth went sideways,” she said. “I’ve never seen anything like it before. You’d better talk to an orthodontist.” She mentioned something about dragging it out with chains. It sounded very painful.
I was indignant. My family has a history of crowded, crooked teeth. I’m the only one with relatively straight teeth and no cavities. So to make up for it, one of my teeth went in the completely wrong direction, perpendicular to my other teeth? Seriously?
A few days later, I went to see an orthodontist, who referred me to an oral surgeon. He said that the tooth should probably come out, but if it was too close to my other teeth, it might be too much of a risk.
I was nervous. How on earth were they going to get it out without taking out my other teeth and destroying my gums?
We went to an oral surgeon. When the nurse came in and put up my x-ray, Mom asked if she’d ever seen a teeth formation like mine before. Glancing at it, she quickly replied, “Yeah, mine.” Hers had been extracted when she was 16, and she had healed quickly. Mom and I were relieved. She’d survived, and her teeth and gums looked fine. My surgery was not going to be an experiment.
Then the surgeon came in. “The tooth has to be extracted so it does not cause problems later,” he said. He said he’d cut through my gums, then just “pop it out.” “You’re going to be just fine, young lady,” he assured me. “I’ve done such operations several times before.”
I’m going to have the operation tomorrow. I’m still somewhat nervous, but I’m glad to know that I will not be the first to have such an operation. It’s going to be tough to eat for the next few days. Fortunately, everyone in my family has suggestions:
Mom: Yogurt and smoothies.
Dad: You get to live on vanilla ice cream for three days!
Kealoha: Mayonnaise! And baby food. Or nuts, chopped fine as sawdust.
Baby Karissa: Oenge. (Orange)
What would you eat if you couldn’t have solids for three days?
I would love to meet the stars,
visit nebulae, or walk on Mars.
To blast from Earth to outer space,
meet a creature from an alien race,
or play a stellar game of chase.
Oh, I’d just adore
to wander and explore
To go over yonder
to that galaxy,
at the marvelous universe.
Knowing my God created all this,
that is heavenly bliss.
Above is a poem I wrote in 2010. I found it in my poem notebook, made a few quick edits, and decided to share it.
I used to be quite prolific at poetry, but a lot of my poems felt forced. I realize now that I had dragged them out of my head. “To Meet the Stars” is one of a few that came from my heart. I’ll never stop loving the sky.
As mentioned in my about page, I have many quirks. I decided to share some of mine today.
1. Binary finger-tapping
When I’m bored or thoughtful, I count on my right hand in binary, as quickly as I can, by tapping. My thumb represents the 1s place, my index finger represents the 2s place, the middle finger is the 4s place, and so on. I can count to 31 in about 10 seconds. When I’m really bored, I cross over my left hand, which is slightly slower, to represent the 32s place and up. I got the idea from Vi Hart’s binary finger dance video, which can be viewed here. I know I’m a total nerd, but I think this video is hilarious. And her Gauss Christmath Special is even better.
2. Varying silliness
It may come as a shock to some that I am generally considered an overly serious person, but others would wonder that I am ever silly. I have a theory that I unconsciously adjust my mood to contrast the general atmosphere. I tend to become more talkative and silly around my serious friends, and become more reserved around my energetic ones. It’s like I’m trying to balance the total energy. Could this be related to conservation of energy?
3. My career aspiration
I want to be an Astronomy professor when I grow up. Someone once asked me what I wanted to be when I grow up. After I answered her, she said, “That’s no fair. Astronomy professors can make everything up and no one would ever notice.” That just might be true ;).
4. Excitement about weird things
Strangely, my degree of visible excitement over something is not proportional to how important it is to me. I did not show any visible eagerness when my parents asked me if I wanted to go to Greece, but I can show considerable excitement about random trifles.
I have a good memory for quotes, and I have semi-relevant ones for every topic. When a friend or family uses a certain tone or phrase, I repeat the relevant quote and smile as they stare confusedly. My sister “Amelia” is the only one who gets it. There’s this scene in The Adventure of the Second Stain where Sherlock Holmes drops to the ground, flings aside the rug, finds a secret compartment, feels inside it, then shuts it with a “bitter snarl of anger and disappointment.” Amelia and I each mimicked this scene at home in front of our parents. When they asked what on earth we were doing, we rolled on the floor with belly-shaking laughter, and were unable to stop for a few minutes.
It was a week before my co-op’s presentation and I still hadn’t memorized a poem to recite.
Thumbing through my notebook, I realized that none of my poems would work. They were too silly, too amateur, too… weird. “An Ode to Toilet Paper”, really?
A poem suggestion floated through my mind and stuck there. “The Raven.” Of course. I had always loved that poem. The cadence, the mysterious Lenore, and the poetry of “the night’s Plutonian shore” had always held my admiration.
For the next week I studied the lines and practiced my elocution. The night of the presentation, the co-op met at a pizza restaurant. As the parents chatted animatedly about – who knows what, my friends asked me what I was going to recite. I answered with a smile, and gripped the poem in my pocket as they announced their own acts.
We drove to the school and seated ourselves somewhat nervously in front of the district council members. My sister went first. She shakily recited “Bingen on the Rhine”, fighting nervous tears the whole time. She hurried to her chair with relief as one lady praised the way she “projected her emotions.”
Next it was my turn. I paced through eight stanzas without missing a beat, and enjoyed myself thoroughly. I paused for effect, and took a deep breath, readying myself for the next ten exciting stanzas, which were my favorite. I caught the encouraging eye of my public speaking teacher, and opened my mouth for the next verse – a moment too late.
My voice was cut off by the clapping of the crowd. Their smiles looked mocking, and their applause pushed me with an invisible firm hand to my seat. I sat through the rest of the performance, unsure of whether to laugh or to cry, debated with myself as to whether or not they had actually thought I was done. Had I been tactfully ushered off the stage?
As our group shuffled out of the building, I was showered with praise. “Great job on memorizing such a long poem!” one said, and I bitterly reflected that I hadn’t even gotten halfway through. “You made me so excited to hear what happened next!” exclaimed another. I wondered if she knew that the story hadn’t even reached the climax.
My parents bought Kealoha and me ice cream on the way home. They said it was a congratulatory present, but I wondered if it was actually consolatory on my account.
That night I dreamt of a huge black raven, with Poe himself behind him, clapping.
My name is Keilah. I am a quiet absentminded person with strange quirks and a love of the obscure. I created this blog to share my interests with the world. Here I will post my thoughts, ideas, and pictures of projects. I might also post persuasive essays and stories about myself and my two sisters, Kealoha and Karissa.
Be prepared for funky.