Are two lives better than one?

I have two lives and I find that they often interfere with each other.
Life 1: Knitting author and teacher
Life 2: Skeptic and atheist blogger and writer

There are so many things I want to do in both areas, and I often find that they overlap in time, making it really hard for me to choose what to do. This week, for example, is the Conference on World Affairs in Boulder. James Randi is speaking at several sessions, and there are a lot of other interesting sessions scheduled, but I have to stay home and work on a knitting book that is due at the end of April and clean my house because my co-author on another knitting book is coming from England on Friday so we can write our proposal for that book and plan our research trip in Lithuania this summer.

I also will be missing TAM 6 because I’m leaving for Europe on June 20, plus I’m teaching knitting workshops at a local wool market June 12 & 13.

Anyway, that has nothing to do with anything. Just sayin’. I think maybe I need to pick one direction and stick to it after the projects I’m currently committed to are finished. Somehow I think the skeptical topics are a tiny bit more important than knitting, but they don’t seem to make it to the top of my priority list when I’m scheduling. What’s a girl to do?


Donna Druchunas is a freelance technical writer and editor and a knitwear designer. When she's not working, she blogs, studies Lithuanian, reads science and sci-fi books, mouths off on atheist forums, and checks her email every three minutes. (She does that when she's working, too.) Although she loves to chat, she can't keep an IM program open or she'd never get anything else done.

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  1. Hey, as another knitting skeptic blogger, I understand your position, at least in part. While I unfortunately don’t get paid for knitting (pipe dream though it may be), it calls me all the time.

    Unfortunately, the sweater and scarf I am working on will likely have to wait for an entire year before I can wear them, since archaeology (which does pay the bills) has me working.

  2. Combine your lives and create some science and skepticism based knitting patterns.

    How about a beanie with an idea light bulb on it?

    Maybe some “Scarlet A” sweaters that come in Cosby, Neo-Cosby, and Non-Cosby designs!

    And, who says DNA on the neck has to only come from a ZZ Top song? Create a scarf with the double helix on it!

  3. I do do what makes me happy. :-) And I do some stuff to pay the bills as well.

    I want to work on some subversive knitting projects that tie my two interests together. I have one partially done and will be posting it here when it’s finished. (It’s not just subersive, it’s blasphemous.)

    I also want to convert my charity knitting blog (which I haven’t updated in a while) to something more related to skepticism and atheism. I guess that’s my 2010 project, since I’m booked until then.

    All this, by the way, is much better than being bored.

  4. If Jesus could find time to be a carpenter, surely you can find time to knit?

    Anyway, you could make a bit of money on the side selling your atheist-themed knitting wares in the Skepchick store :)

  5. “Most people knit lives of quiet desperation.”

    “To knit or not to knit. That is the question. Whether t’is nobler in the yarn …”

    And in the words of President Bush – “Knitting Accomplished.”

    You could always knit some spoof psi or other stuff.

    A sweater with space for a tail – handed down from that ape ancestor.

    Sweater or whatever with a scarlet S marking the trangressor as a skeptic.

    A multiple purpose silvery cap that prevents mind reading – restores health- and keeps your head warm.

    A gray cap that pulls over your face so you can disguise yourself as a fellow alien to prevent abduction.

    A cap with a bullseye on top to help god aim his lightning bolts. Etc.

  6. Aaaaahhhhhh!!!! That’s you?!?

    My son has seen your kitty knits stuff online and is a huge fan.

    So you’ve got two fans in this family coming at it from different angles.

  7. I’m glad you linked to your knitting site. Your Kitty Knits book will make the perfect gift for a friend of mine!

    I have deep sympathy for your two lives. I’ve got skepticism and theatre. I’m working on combining them but it’s not always easy. Theatre also happens to be one of those very time intensive hobbies which doesn’t allow a lot of free time for skeptical conferences or meetings on the side. Plus I’ve got one of those crappy day jobs so that I can pay bills. Forty hours/week is way to much time to spend on making money.

    Sometimes it seems the only thing for a girl to do is make difficult choices about what would make her happiest. If you find a way around that dilemma please let us know. ;)

  8. smudge & peaches, yep that’s me. Who knows what domestic goddessness lurks in the heart of skepchicks?

    I have a day job, too. I just get to work at home which makes it much easier to fit it into the schedule of truly important things like reading, blogging, and knitting.

    Mikhail, did Jesus keep making cabinets after he started preaching? I never could figure that one out…

  9. After doing a quick Google search, there seems to be little evidence that he was a carpenter at all, aside from a few Bible references that could mean something else. There’s certainly no indication of when he was a carpenter.

  10. Twas Joseph the “father” of Jesus who was the carpenter. Jesus was more interisted in his other fathers buisness.

    I’ve seriously contemplated starting a part time catering business on top of my M-F/8-5 to help pay for my avocations and hobbies. Contemplation may never hit the concrete though.

  11. There’s probably a few folks out there with ‘double lives’. I’m one of them too.

    For 3 days a week I’m a software engineer in Toronto.

    For 3 other days I’m a construction guy/lumberjack in northern Ontario, where my actual home is, and Mrs. GreenNeck lives.

    Both places are separated by more than 150 miles. Hard to think of two more different lives.

    So why don’t I give up the Toronto gig? First, it’s good money. Second, I get to see Miss GreenNeck 1 and 2 (my daughters) when I’m there.

    So, what has this got to do with SkepChick? A lot. You see, our place up north is very isolated, and can spook off just anyone. Fortunately, Mrs. GreenNeck is a real Skepchick in her own right. She’s not frightened to sleep there on her own for 2 or 3 nights a week, with all the strange nocturnal noises, not to mention the ‘ghost’ we have seen there a few times (no kidding). Of course, it helps she knows how to handle the 12-gauge shotgun. Ghosts beware!

  12. Music started playing in my basement the other day and my cats thought it was a ghost. I was tempted to agree with them, but when I went downstairs to see what it was, it stopped. Too bad. I would have liked to get to see a ghost.

    I didn’t carry a shotgun with me though… because there’s no entrance to my house from the basement, not much chance of corporeal intruders. :-)

  13. Writer dd:
    That’s very odd you mention music. Our ‘ghost’ seems to have something for classical music. We’ve seen her (I say ‘her’ because she looks like an old lady) on and off for the last 14 years, and many times the radio we keep near the beach would, out of the blue, come on and tune to the only classical music station we can tune in our neck of the woods (I’m not into it myself; I’m a fan of either country or Ozzie, depending on the mood). This has totally baffled me and Mrs. GreenNeck. Maybe it’s a prank, but like I said, we are quite isolated. No neighbors are close by to make fun of us.

    Before you say I’m round the bend, I’ll mention my background is into physics, astronomy and electrical engineering. I’d like to think I’m a common sense kind of guy, which is pretty necessary if you try to make a living in engineering or construction. And yet I’ve no explanation for that ‘ghost’. Now mind you, 97% of our universe is made of stuff we have no idea about (dark matter and dark energy). We still have a lot to learn.

  14. I agree we have a lot to learn about the universe, but I don’t really believe in ghosts. I’m not saying you’re nuts or anything, but there’s no-doubt a better explanation for what you’ve noticed. I have computers in every room of my house and I suspect one was doing something I’d forgotten was scheduled the other morning, or perhaps it was a weird error beep/signal my cats heard.

    At any rate, whatever exists is natural. I think the very concept of “supernatural” or “paranormal” is — I’m not sure how to say it — fallacious.

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