Thursday, August 30, 2007

ISFJ, or "If you need to be nurtured and protected, I'm your gal"

Click to view my Personality Profile page
Following the lead of a friend, I recently took a personality test (the Myers-Briggs test), where at the end of a number of questions you are given four letters that combine to reflect your dominant traits. If you examine my chart, you can see with the possibilities are.

I had taken this test early in college, but wondered if anything had changed in the resulting years.

I can tend to over-analyze my answers to such questions, so I deliberately answered the questions when already tired and held myself to my first instinct. Otherwise, I end up with, " I typically answer the phone when it rings? Are they referring to my cell phone, or my land line? 'Cuz if it's my phone, I have call-waiting and I know who's calling so I pick up, but if it's our house line, I don't know if it's a telemarketer or a wrong number so then I might let the machine pick up while I'm at the ready to intercept. Of course, if Eric's home, then he'll usually grab the phone since he doesn't mind answering it without knowing who's on the other end and doesn't want to make the other person wait, whereas if they're just some business trying to drum up a new clientele, I'd rather they talk to a machine instead of talking me into a corner..."

So have the past years changed my core instincts? Nope -- still the same ol' ISFJ. Read about me below, courtesy of these people:


follows the rules, polite, fears drawing attention to self, dislikes competition, somewhat easily frightened, easily offended, timid, dutiful, private, lower energy, finisher, organized, socially uncomfortable, modest, not confrontational, easily hurt, observer, prone to crying, not spontaneous, does not appreciate strangeness - intolerant to differences, apprehensive, clean, planner, prone to confusion, afraid of many things, responsible, guarded, avoidant, anxious, cautious, suspicious, more interested in relationships and family than intellectual pursuits, not adventurous, fears doing the wrong thing, dislikes change

favored careers:

homemaker, stay at home parent, office worker, health care worker, personal assistant, school teacher, administrative assistant, child care worker, clerical employee, receptionist, library assistant, dietician, health educator, librarian

disfavored careers:

rock star, philosophy professor, filmmaker, performer, writer, bar owner, comedian, dj, entertainer, ceo, psychotherapist, bartender, entrepreneur, lecturer, astronomer

It should be noted that it would not be wise for me to pursue my rock career, or attempt to follow in Eric's shoes, who gets to be classified as not only a philosopher, but also a philosophy professor. Oh, the difference two letters make! I should take comfort in the fact that word has it Queen Elizabeth II, Mother Teresa, Johnny Carson, Jimmy Stewart, Louisa May Alcott, and the likes of me have personalities in common.

You're welcome to give it a try and see how well their analysis fits you. I've always said that I've enjoyed every job I've ever had, and it's amusing to see that nearly all have neatly fit into my 'favored careers.' I do find that while I don't find all the adjectives flattering, many help classify my behavior and tendencies -- I avoid confrontation as much as possible and prefer to mediate when it does rear its ugly head. If someone has needs I can meet, my bleeding heart is the first to latch on and stand by them until it passes. While I don't know how confused or fearful I can be (I prefer paranoid), I don't have to accept all the adjectives as befitting.

I also enjoy learning the make-up of friends, so that I can better understand them. When I took this test the first time, I pored over Eric's results as closely as mine. So should you share your camp with me, I can promise that I will read up on you, trying to see if your results seem to properly fit in with my exchanges with you.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

... and After

Our Minneapolis trip is over and done with, and I have finally recovered -- when you take a Monday off, you can just assume the rest of the week will find you in confusion. (Tuesday afternoon found me trying to arrange a lunch for the following day, which I ignorantly called Tuesday.)

A new Sheldon was made for the occasion (this makes three), to be bestowed to the second child of a couple of missionary friends home on furlough. I think orange Sheldon is my favorite yet, and I added button eyes, although I recognize this is a no-no for babies. Fortunately, Missionary Child #2 commandeered my earlier knit blanket for Child #1, so Child #1 will gladly babysit the turtle until the proper time.

Less than one week before our departure, I was overtaken with the sudden impulse of making a pair of socks, start to finish, for the mother of the Sheldon recipient. She had shown great interest in my first-ever sock, so it seemed appropriate. Not everyone appreciates the time that goes into a pair of hand-knit socks, so I choose owners carefully.

I did manage to accomplish my feat, but it was only possible with the driving and airport time. There was some hurried grafting taking place at our host's home on Day 7, but it was finished. I don't plan on giving myself such stringent deadlines in the future, but my comfort with this pattern eased matters (and I'm just tickled that I was able to make the socks match perfectly, given the fact that the repeats are random for half of the sock).

I really treasured the time we were able to share with friends. This was our second trip there in the year we have been gone, but it will be highly unlikely that we will be able to continue with this regularity. Our small group went from one child to five children in one year, so it was great to spend a rainy weekend with some of our former friends, getting to see them as parents as well. Now we just need to convince all of them of the merits (*cough*) of South Bend.

And for those curious among you, I can complete about seven inches of ribbing on the return journey, somewhat half-hearted efforts because of my earlier marathon.

To further continue with this yarn-themed post, yesterday I ventured to the Elkhart Farmer's Market with Carly, where we reviewed our yarn options -- we make no claims to the quality of the market, but it is thorough in its scope. As an aside, though, it does seem strange to have the opportunity to charge your purchases.

I empowered Carly to purchase the red yarn seen in the photo, and she approved of my Indigo selection, my first purchase of hand-dyed yarn. It is also the first hank I have purchased (think of all the images of girls holding the looped yarn around their hands as the mother gathers it) and the first yarn with a vivid sheep smell. Carly had the dubious honor of holding the hank while it was spun with my yarn ball winder, so she has fond memories of the stench.

Yes, I purchased a yarn ball winder -- do you like how I just slipped that in? -- just in time for the unplanned hank acquisition. This winder forms the lovely stackable creations seen here (I'm glad that only one of those yarn structures is mine, but only because this photo is from Carly's place). And once wound, you have center-pull balls that are preferable to the contrary option, the knitter's stilted dance: a sudden jerking move consisting of thrusting your needles and project aloof when you've run out of loose yarn until you can force the skein to flop around and release another few inches. This transpires at seemingly untimed intervals to the untrained observers, and often causes them to distance themselves from the unstable lady with pointy sticks.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


I had five minutes at home between work and physical therapy, just enough time to change. While talking with Eric on the phone before I arrived, he asked what I had recently ordered from I started racking my brain; there was that gift for Eric's birthday...but that was last month. And I had been stingy since. Nothing. I hadn't ordered a thing. Perhaps Eric was trying to tell me that he had an early birthday gift waiting for me? Nope.

Pleading ignorance, but not being able to deny the fact that my name was indeed prominently typed as the recipient, the box was promptly opened. And a book was found inside --
Charmed Knits: Projects for Fans of Harry Potter. I hadn't ordered it, but Rebecca and Dennis had. They saw it in the store and thought instantly of me, so that was that.

For those of you doubting the worth of a book based primarily on the visuals in the movies, I wish you could flip through it. I want to make all of the socks, tackle a couple of the sweaters, maybe try one of the bags, experiment with lace on the invisibility shawl, and the scarves would always be fun to whip out.

It was delightful flipping through it, taking in the eye candy. Thanks so much, you two. It was such a pleasure finding an unexpected gift at our door. You made my evening, and I'm filled with the special thought that I know you went out of your way to spend money and track down our address, all because the idea crossed your mind that this would be something I would enjoy. You were right.

On the home front, Eric has completed his written comprehensives and must now begin the waiting game before he hears results. We'll leave our home and feline in the care of a house-sitter while we celebrate with a long weekend in the Twin Cities. I'm so glad we'll have the opportunity to reunite with good friends and savor the time together.

Since I'll have traveling time, I have discriminately chosen yarn projects to accompany me. While I'd love to break in the Charmed Knits sock patterns, I figure security will only let me take so many sets of double-pointed needles on the plane with me. And then of course there's the tiny pair of scissors, and naturally I'll need a crochet hook to fix any possible problems. So I'm restraining myself and staying with yarn selections that require the same size needles. Fortunately, the security screeners haven't yet batted an eye at me or my tagalongs, so there must be enough of us out there hauling our knitting through the airports of the world. Periodically, an older woman will approach me at the gate, wondering how I got the needle through security, as though it was some slight of hand on my part. Not everyone knows that knitting needles are indeed allowed on planes again (although it always falls to the discretion of the screener).

I have (mostly) finished one sock and have vowed to complete the pair before we leave Minneapolis. And you can see what I have ahead of me for my return travels -- that skein of yarn will become another pair of socks to be gifted at a later time. There won't be a complete pair, but we'll learn how much I can accomplish in a plane.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Worlds Colliding

Philosopher-Eric and Relationship-Eric collided this past week. First, background.

When the weather is pleasant, I spend my lunch outside knitting. Kindred spirits approach and ask questions, as it can be nearly impossible to resist the siren song of yarn. One such woman stopped on multiple occasions, checking my sock progress. I encouraged her to attempt a sock, she tried to win me over to sweaters.

Further conversation revealed that Walking-Craftswoman was a serious quilter and that Wednesdays found several women with their quilting projects gathered together. While I have dabbled in quilting for my youngest sister, I used the machine. Walking-Craftswoman encouraged me to drop by for introductions; one woman's reputation preceded her as I had previously found her in the wild (read: parking lot) with her quilt-in-progress, gathering her supplies before the workday. I would surreptitiously attempt to gawk at her work as I followed a step behind on the sidewalk. These people quilt by hand. I knitted in their presence. And I have an invitation to return, even with my yarn.

Ultimate-Quilting-Woman happens to be linked to the philosophy department, which explains Eric's connection to this affair. Suddenly his wife is interacting with individuals in his world, encroaching on his turf. Truly an invasion on my part.

Since Eric's distinct and separate worlds suffered damage, consolation may be necessary. Now that I have entered Philosopher-Eric's world and have established relationships with those Eric has reason to know, one can only imagine what can now be wrought.

Somehow I think he'll make it through. Especially since he'll be distracted by his written comprehensives this week. Send happy thoughts to him Monday and Wednesday.

And one final update: my digital camera groaned its last, and since rumors have it that it will cost me more to repair than it is worth, an acquaintance with a knack for taking things apart and magically repairing them is tinkering with it (we know what the issue is but don't have the resolve to do it ourselves). For a time, I had been able to gimp out a shot, which required much turning on and off and thinking happy focusing thoughts. Then she snapped her last shot.

I hesitantly entered the market for cameras, but couldn't bear to replace mine with just another camera: I didn't want to upgrade financially, but those in my price range had me settling and offered fewer features than my current paperweight (she was truly a steal with her 'beginner to amateur professional' offerings). My solution: buy a refurbished model online for half the original cost. I'm glad to have my camera's twin now in my possession, and she has settled in nicely. Augustine has made her feel right at home, which is half the battle.