I’m back.

Remember me?

Probably not. That’s okay.

I haven’t written to you for a long time. I’m a little scared to go back and read what I wrote before.

So. What’s going on in my life right now that was not happening the last time I posted here:


1. I got into nursing school. University of Washington School of Nursing. My dream of dropping out of school and seeing the world via freight train will have to go unrealized for now. For now.

2. My mother has cancer. She’d never been sick a day in her life. Now she’s lost her hair and feels dizzy and nauseous all the time. Wup-de-doo.

3. I got a car. I got it for free from my awesome friend, Wes. On Facebook. You want to know the secret of getting free stuff? Complain about not having it on Facebook. That’s what I did. I complained of my car-less state on Facebook. Then Wes gave me one. Because he’s cool like that.

Have I ever mentioned how much I really like Wes?


4. I’m knitting musical socks with a graduated spiral going up the ankle, no pattern. It’s super awesome and makes me want to weep and gnash my teeth. With joy, of course.

It’s not actually that bad.

5. I’m working a lot at the hospital. It’s pretty fun. There’s lots of blood and strange, sleep-deprived night shift people. Phone calls get interesting. Vtach happens. Asystole too, but we try to avoid that.

6. I’m middle-school counseling at church. It’s over for the summer; I don’t know what to do with myself on Saturday nights anymore. It’s okay, though. Tomorrow I’m hanging out with Ryan the 6th Grader. Ryan the 6th Grader, who is now Ryan the 9th Grader.

Ryan the 9th Grader.

I’m going to cry now.




Tips for Being a Better Know-it-all

I’m a know-it-all.

Did you know that?

You probably did. But I thought I’d tell you again anyway, because

I’m a know-it-all.

Know-it-alls like to inform people of things. I am informing you of this as we speak.

(I always feel a little odd typing “as we speak.” We’re not speaking. I’m typing and you’re reading. Could I say “as we type”? But only I am typing. You’re not typing. You’re reading. If you have a good solution for me, you’ll let the know-it-all know, won’t you?)

As long as I’m in a worldly-wise, know-it-all-y mood, let me tell you worldly-wise, know-it-all-y things about what know-it-alls should know about being know-it-alls.

I’m getting really tired of typing that word.

Sofia’s Know-It-All-y Tips for Being a Better Know-It-All

1. This is the most important one, and pretty much forms the basis for the rest of them: let people save face. If there’s one thing everybody hates, it’s being embarrassed. Shame hurts. If you’re going to say something know-it-all-y, make sure that it won’t embarrass the person you’re speaking to. That’s what’s bad about being a know-it-all. There’s nothing wrong with being knowledgeable; it’s when you make others feel stupid that it becomes a problem.

2. To that end, don’t tell somebody that they’re wrong, just because they’re wrong. Do you want to make them feel foolish? Only tell somebody that they are wrong if it will help in some way.

Wrong time to tell someone that they’re wrong:

Person 1: My grandfather is a Civil War veteran.

Know-it-all: That is incorrect. The Civil War was fought in the 1860s, well over 100 years ago, and all Civil War veterans are now deceased. Your grandfather is more likely a Korean or Vietnam War veteran.

Outcome: Person 1 now feels stupid and it’s the Know-it-all’s fault. Nothing has been achieved by this.

Right time to tell someone that they’re wrong:

Person 1: I am glad that they have oatmeal cookies here, which are made of oats, because I’ll die if I consume wheat flour, but I can eat these.

Know-it-all: Are you sure they have no wheat flour? Let’s look at the ingredients list, just to make sure.

Outcome: Person 1’s life has been saved.

3. When at all possible, let people discover things for themselves. It makes them feel smarter than if you just told them. As in the example above, Know-it-all could have said, “No, that is incorrect. Oatmeal cookies contain wheat flour.” He would have just invalidated the statement of Person 1, making Person 1 feel stupid. However, by appearing unsure himself, Know-it-all allows Person 1 to figure it out for himself.

4. When issuing blame, try to use “we” instead of “you.” When we’re to blame, it doesn’t feel quite so bad as when you’re to blame. The blameable person can probably figure out for himself that he’s to blame, and if so, he might even admit it. It’s easier to admit blame if nobody is accusing you specifically. When someone accuses you specifically, it’s second-nature to defend yourself, even if you know, in your heart of hearts, that it might really be your fault.


Randy: You forgot the mayonnaise. Our picnic is ruined forever. How could you?

Mandy: I did not! You should have been in charge of that. I was busy with other condiments.

Outcome: Randy and Mandy are upset and the picnic is ruined forever.


Sandy: Oh dear; it looks like we forgot the mayonnaise. What should we do?

Brandy: Oh, sorry; I should have checked. I will set out in search of mayonnaise.

Outcome: Sandy gets to lie on a blanket in the sun while Brandy sojourns in quest of mayonnaise. The picnic is delayed but by no means cancelled. Nobody is upset.

I hope you have enjoyed Sofia’s Know-It-All-y Tips for Being a Better Know-It-All. I have to go and study for finals now. Goodbye until next time.


Today I did not knit at all. Not one single stitch.

Instead, I did math and a bunch of embroidery. I also listened to a book on tape and cut out pieces for my non-frumpy denim jumper. This is going to be a really legit jumper, let me tell you. It’s going to have piping.

In case you weren’t sure, yeah. Piping is that stuff on the edge of couch cushions. But it’s going to be nice in a non-frumpy denim jumper as well! Just wait; you’ll see.

For my pattern, I’m using the Lutterloh system, which I’ve known about for a long time, but never used until now. The Lutterloh system was devised in Germany in the 1930s and has been around and family-owned ever since. It’s actually pretty neat, and I’m surprised it’s not used more. Usually, in the art of home-sewing, you purchases a paper pattern according to your size. The pattern contains large sheets of paper patterns that have been drafted according to the size on the front. If it turns out that the size you thought you were and the size the pattern thinks you are do not concur, too bad for you. Good luck trying to make it work.

The Lutterloh system is completely different. It relies on what it calls “The Golden Rule,” which states that the human body is in perfect mathematical proportion within itself. For instance,

  • Body height is 8 times the length of the head
  • The length of outstretched arms is the same as body height
  • 1/6th of body height is the length of the foot

Keeping this in mind, you take only two measurements: the bust and the waist. Instead of having a to-scale pattern piece that you simply cut out, you draw your own, personalized pattern from the baby pattern in the book:

Small pattern.

Using the measurements of the bust and waist, you measure out the dots on the pattern, connect them, and there you have your own, personal pattern piece.

Like so!

Cool stuff, huh?

Yeah, yeah, I know, you don’t care. But I’ll still let you know how it turns out. If it turns out at all. The only complaints I have so far are that I’m not sure what the heck I’m supposed to do with the darts. Do I give them seam allowance, too? But wouldn’t that make the dart smaller?

I don’t know; I’m bad at math. Which is unfortunate, since both sewing and knitting involve more math than you’d think.


Little Blue Man

If anyone happens to have old blue jeans waiting to be thrown away, let me know. I’m planning on making some kind of denim jumper. With it, I plan to single-handedly destroy the notion that denim jumpers are frumpy homeschooling-mom-wear. More likely I’ll just confirm this pervasive belief, but hey; I can try.

In other news, today I discovered that I can knit and walk at the same time if I tie my purse to my backpack. It’s a beautiful arrangement; walking home from the library after a good study session, watching the setting sun make everything pink and golden, watching people mow their parking strips and making friends with needy cats. Now I can have all this — and be knitting at the same time. What a wonderful life. People look at me funny. It doesn’t bother me, though. I know that they’re just wishing that they too, could have a coffee-colored cabled cardigan on the needles.

I was also herded by an extremely gregarious dog named Indie. I’ve never met Indie in my life. Until today when she proceeded to orbit me whilst her would-be owners discussed her reprehensible behaviour in raised voices.

Mr. Indie-owner: “We just can’t keep her, Sharol, we can’t!”

Sharol: “She’s almost trained! Just give me time!”

[Indie becomes a Sofia Satellite]

Mr. Indie-owner: “You see? You see what she’s doing? That dog is a menace to society!”

[Sofia looks back, wondering if she needs to return Indie to her proper place before Indie follows her, Sofia, home]

Sharol: “You, Girl! Go! Just go! Indie!!!”

Poor Indie. I left.

Finally, in my quest for strange old songs, I’ve found the ultimate stalker song.

What on earth could have inspired this?

Looking for Sharps

Sofia is making poor choices in her life. I feel like it’s been a long, downward spiral. I’m behind on my math homework. Last night I stayed up late watching Taiwanese soap operas. I’m being unproductive as we speak, writing frivolous stuff like this when I ought to be researching the statistics of homelessness and studying for organic chemistry. Not good. Not good at all.

Yesterday was the same way. Instead of doing work, I decided to sew. The bodice of my creamy yellow sundress I made out of that fabric I purchased at the Japanese Cultural Center’s rummage sale was too long, so I shortened it. I could have been doing my study guide for International Relations with that time, but no. Afterwards, I needed a needle to hand-sew the finishing touches. On 3 pincushions, I found 3 darning needles, a couple of tapestries, and a crewel. Not okay. I wanted a sharp. Where are all my precious sharps? Why do I have 3 pincushions? You know, I’ve had this tomato one for a long time and I never liked it. It’s so cliche. Come on; a tomato? Everyone has a tomato pincushion. I like my Miss Meow pincushion better. I need to downsize.

Plus, there are probably needles in there.

So, I snipped it apart. I lost a pincushion, but I found 34 needles inside. Who would have ever known? It had such a cheerful outside, that red tomato pincushion. Who would have ever known there were so many dangerous and hurtful things inside, hiding behind it’s brave front? Or is that a bad analogy, since I actually like needles? Should I ruminate instead on the release of potential nobody could see from the outside? All I knew that red velveteen tomato to be was a worn out, superfluous pincushion. If I had not delved deeper, I might have tossed it without ever discovering the treasures inside.

I’m sorry. I’ll stop now.

I started this meaning to tell my latest “Strange-People-Who-Invade-My-Personal-Space-At-Bus-Stops” story. I would have thought by now that everybody would be tired of these, but since my no. 1 fan requested it yesterday, I guess not. If I can think of a moral to the story, or something else to tie it up with, I’ll tell you another time.


Moving on.

Make Someone’s Day

Today I knocked on somebody’s door and ran away as fast as I could. It was fun.

I think I get less and less mature as I age. I used to be such a good little girl. In kindergarten, I sat quietly with my hands in my lap, listening respectfully to my pedagogue, sternly shushing any fellow student imprudent enough to disturb my intense concentration.

How things change.

I didn’t completely ding-dong ditch the good people whose doorstep I disturbed today, though. I left them a book I thought their children would enjoy, along with an anonymous note. It’s hard to be anonymous when you are known for such hare-brained schemes and have distinctively illegible handwriting, but I figure that they’re popular enough to have other suspects besides myself.

I hardly ever think these things up on my own. The inspiration came from my dear friend Margot. She’s 82 and by far the youngest, most vibrant, and joyful person I know. When you are Margot, good things always seem to find their way to you. As for the bad things, they’re just so ridiculous, you can’t help but laugh at them (like the Russian vacuum salesman; that was hilarious). But that’s the way Margot looks at life. From a materialistic viewpoint, she really doesn’t have much going for her; she’s a low-income senior widow, living all alone with a medical condition that makes her hands tremor so that she can’t write very well, or hold a full glass of water without it spilling. Yet for all that, she never lets anything get her down. She looks for the good in life, and she finds it.

Every Christmas and Easter, sometimes Thanksgiving and other holidays, a teddy bear appears on Margot’s porch bearing a $100 gift card to the local grocery store and a mysterious letter. We have no idea who it’s from, but she’s always euphoric when it comes, almost more for the goofy bear than for the gift card.

It doesn’t take $100 to make somebody’s day. Popping a letter in the mail for a birthday, leaving mysterious presents, writing notes and leaving them in sneaky places where you know they’ll find them; it really doesn’t take much effort. Yet it makes people so happy. It makes people happy to know that someone is thinking about them; to know that somebody took 5 minutes out of their busy day to buy them a cookie or remember a promise.

It’s the thought that counts, not the pecuniary value. The thing is, making somebody else’s day is hardly the first thing on a body’s mind. But think about it sometimes. You have your own problems and issues to deal with, I know, but making somebody else’s day will make yours brighter as well.

The other day, I found out that a friend was struggling with her faith. She’s had difficulties in her life and she was getting a bit fed up with God. “What’s the point in being Christian if He doesn’t even care?” she wondered. So, today I sent her an anonymous encouragement note (yeah, I like being anonymous; I’m being noble and selfless by not taking credit for these things . . . or maybe I’m just a creeper). I hope she will realize that God does care for her. He cares for her through the people who care for her. If I didn’t believe that, I wouldn’t be wasting my time and effort and 29 cents on post card stamps.

Go make somebody’s day. It’s not hard. You’ll be glad you did it.

Hebrews 10:24-25 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Lucky Me

I’m so lucky. Do you know what a sickeningly lucky person I am? No, no you do not. So I will tell you.

I lost my flashdrive. My first homework packet for math is due tomorrow. This is two weeks’ worth of math we’re talking about. Usually, I save homework in both my flashdrive and my email, just in case I lose my flashdrive. This was the one time I didn’t. I was about to look over all my answers and email it in, when I realized I didn’t have it.
Womp womp womp.
I called the public library where I go to study almost every day.
“Describe it to me,” said the helpful man on the other end.
“Well,” said I, “it used to be red, but my brother didn’t like it red, so he spray-painted it white, but then it just looked like a red flashdrive covered in yogurt, so he scraped off the spray-paint, so now it’s white with red spots and looks like it’s covered in yogurt. That’s why he gave it to me.”
“. . . . . Hmm, I see. Well, I’m afraid we don’t have anything that, uh, matches that description.”
So then I took everything out of my backpack and looked again. Nothing there. Then I checked my coat pockets. Candy wrappers, marbles, a couple of seashells, and a Canadian quarter, but no flashdrive. I checked my denim bag. Nothing.
I asked the school library lady.
“Excuse me, I think I left a flashdrive here,”
“What does it look like?”
“Well, it’s very beat up and red and white and looks like it’s covered in yogurt–“
“You can’t mean this old thing, can you? We just emptied out our lost and found, but this thing’s been sitting here all night and I don’t know what to do with it.”
She held up my flashdrive. I could have kissed her.
But I didn’t, ’cause that would have been weird.
The end.