Rest pillows and inside jokes

It’s nearing finals week for those of you still living in the college world, and rest breaks are few and far between.  So few and so far, in fact, that I’ve created pillows to commemorate the tiny rests we do receive:

And by tiny rests, I mean two counts of a 66 beats per minute Beethoven Sonata.  For those of you who are musically-disinclined, I just made a music joke, and it was hilarious.  What you see before you are 16 miniature half rest pillows!  I haven’t seen that many rests since reading a Philip Glass score! (Again, another hilarious music joke).  What purpose do they serve, you ask?  Well, you could use it as a rest pillow for your wrist while you’re on your computer (but I recently learned this is terrible for your joints.  Don’t do it.), or make it a husband pillow for your dolls or other incredibly small creatures you know, or… okay, I’m out.  I actually have no idea what you could do with these.

If you couldn’t tell already, these are original patterns (sadly, they don’t sell patterns for knitted musical notation symbols) that allowed me to practice my text-knitting.  I was honestly surprised at how easy it was while working on Dorothy Jane, and so I spent the next 16 items I made practicing it some more.

You may think that me knitting 16 half rests was a waste of yarn and stuffing, but I am happy to say that all of this yarn is recycled recycled yarn!  Yes, I meant to repeat myself.  The black yarn came from the left over yarn I had after making my men’s beanie, and the white yarn came from the left over yarn I had after making Dorothy Jane.  And the stuffing, well, that actually cost money, but if you ever get the chance to wrap your hands around one of these plump half rests, you’ll realize that it feels like an actual pillow.  That’s because I’ve taken the next step into the life of spinsterhood by buying industrial grade stuffing.  BUT, I got it for $4, so I’m hoping that the low price I paid redeems some of my dignity.

Now, you may be asking, what did I make these half rest pillows for?  And before I answer that, I must preface the remainder of this post.  What follows contains an incredibly high amount of inside jokes.  The most of which, you will not get.  And I hate inside jokes just as much as the next guy stuck on the outside, but in this case, I must make an exception.  For those of you who do not know, I am (or rather, was) in an a cappella group, whose current members these pillows are for.  And after a year of directing this group, what with countless mumbling mice, bumblebees, and slim shady’s, I’ve found myself rather attached to them (Whoops!  Let an inside joke slip too early.  My bad.)  So much so that I’d like to introduce you all to them.

So, for those of you who these pillows are for, or for those who know these people, this post is meant for you.  And for those of you (including my single reader from Malaysia) who may not know any of my friends, please read too!  This is your chance to get to know some of them!  Or you can just look at the pictures and skip the mushy stuff, which is what most people do anyways, I’m pretty sure.

Okay, you ready?  Here we go…

Starting from the sop, this is Mika.  If you haven’t seen her Gratitude youtube video by now, you should, because it’s going viral.  If you can’t discern the object on the back of her pillow, it happens to be a cupcake.  Mika bakes things (from scratch!) and sometimes will add metallic ingredients which are “edible.” Nevertheless, she is always down to bake for peoples’ birthdays and make a situation so much more awkward than I have already made it.  Thank you, Mika.

Next is Ashley.  Hardcore L4D gamer and pharmacist extraordinaire.  Unfortunately, she hates chemistry in all shapes and forms, so I decided to haunt her with a cyclohexane chair conformation.  She insists she can draw them better than me, so I just took it to a whole new level.  Get it, me.

Did you know Rachel has perfect pitch?  Also, did you know that she arranges in her free time?  And again, for those of you who are musically inept, A-440 is “the” A.  The exact frequency at which an “A” note should resonate.  And Rachel, here, can hear that when you sing.  More importantly though, she can hear when you’re NOT singing it when you’re supposed to.  Also, she’s very confident that she would win the Hunger Games.  Very confident.

Jackie is from Chicago.  She also sees blank spaces in grid form (thus explaining the back of her pillow).  This blessing and curse grants her the ability to draw you like one of those people you see in Japanese comic books.  If you ever meet her, DON’T bring up her accent, and DON’T try to say “Chronicles of Narnia” with a really thick Chicago accent.

This is Tiffany’s pillow.  Yes, I know, it’s humongous and looks nothing like the rest of them.  Tiffany had the great fortune of receiving my first half rest pillow, back when I didn’t bother testing its dimensions.  If it makes her feel any better, I used almost three times the amount of stuffing to fill that thing, so it should be three times as plushy.  She is also a Chinese superstar so I decided to wish her good luck in Chinese.  Tiffany 唱歌唱得真好聽!  So if you ever find yourself in China, look out for a Jin Cheng.  Jin’s her stage name.  Just kidding, Jin’s her real name.  Tiffany’s her stage name.  Actually, I have no idea what her real name is.

Janice (youtube account: janicexchoi. search her) is an Adele fanatic and will sing anything Adele does.  Just kidding, she just sings Someone Like You over and over again.  The height of a white male, face of a Korean, but a buckeye at heart.  Also, if she were in the Hunger Games, she would run to the huge pile of food sitting in the middle of an open field.

This is Attrace.  What?  Never heard of her?  Well, don’t worry, she’s heard of you.  In fact, she knows what you look like, where you live, and the last person of the opposite gender you’ve had a conversation with.  Some call it creepy, others call it a skill.  Actually, we all call it creepy.  Even Attrace calls it creepy.  Oh yeah, and she likes purple

Dana has the calm demeanor of a Hopi and graceful wisdom of a Cree.  Actually, I know nothing about Native Americans, but I feel like I do just by looking at her.  She just gives off that Native American vibe (that might be racist).  Also, she gives off a “I’m a Psychology major” vibe, but she swears she’s MCB.  So, I gave her a traditional Navajo greeting so she could really get in touch with her roots.  Oh yeah, and in the past 2.5 years I’ve known her, she has picked up 0 of my calls.  I’m pretty sure she just carries her phone around her as an accessory.  Or maybe she just screens my calls.  Either way, I am very fortunate to know her and have her in my class to take notes for me when I’m not there.

Derek is 150% EECs.  He practically swoons when someone mentions that they “partitioned their hard drive.”  Also, he brims with pride whenever I mention anything with physics.  So, to tickle his fancy, I put the definition of voltage on the back of his pillow.  And to you physics fanatics, I know that technically it’s the negative of the integral of E dot dr, but my pillow didn’t have enough space.  That’s right, my knitted pillow literally just broke one of the laws of physics.  And not to toot my own horn, but this was one of my best knitted pillows.  Actually, that sentence served solely to my own horn tooting.

Josh probably has one of the largest Korean girl fan bases.  Perhaps second to only one other Korean I know.  However, since I don’t know how to knit a whole bunch of screaming Korean girls, I knit him a hat… on a pillow.  Yes, that’s a hat.  Not an igloo, a mountain, a mountain and a lake, or a duck.  It’s a hat.  And no, the hat’s not random.  I had to practically rip it off his head at the last gig we sang at.

Every a cappella group has to have their token Brazilian.  And we found ours as a graduate student mathematician.  He is currently earning his PhD from UC Berkeley studying vector fields.  What about vector fields?  I have no idea.  He tried explaining it to me once, but after dumbing it down, “vector fields” was as far as he could get.  So I gave him a function on his pillow.  Whatever he’s working on, I’m pretty sure “f(x) = ” appears somewhere in there.

This is Jeremy.  I put 5:3 on his pillow because-

Yeah, I’m not going to get into that.

This is Jae.  He has the ability to send 50% of his entire blood supply to his face.  A side effect of this amazing ability, however, is that his face turns bright red, making him look like a tomato.  So, thanks to my Korean roommate (and then subsequently GoogleTranslate to double check my roommate), I learned how to write “tomato” in Korean.  Also, he is able to maintain an entire conversation using only “xd”, “xD”, and “kekekekekekekekekekekeke”

From one look at Johnny you can tell he’s a Costa Rican native, what with his nice even tan and prominent South American features.  The ultimate troll, Johnny always has an impression ready for all occasions:  Norah Jones, Janice, Janice singing Norah Jones…

Last but not least there’s Joseph.  If you think he doesn’t talk a lot, it’s just because he’s speaking at frequencies below the human aural threshold.  He is our “true bass” and has the voice of an incredibly masculine angel.  In tribute of his low vocal range, I knit a bass clef for him.  I was going to do two colors, but I forgot, so now it’s more of a magic eye kind of illusion.  But don’t let his stolid front fool you.  He is a musical theater (pronounced: thee-ay-ter) actor to the bone.  Don’t believe me?  Just ask him to act like an incredibly flamboyant agent to Korea’s top selling music artist.

So there you go.  The 15 funniest, most quirky, awkward, random, yet exceptionally talented singers I’ve had the opportunity to spend the majority of my senior year of college with.  Don’t regret a minute of it.

***First launched in 2011, KakaoTalk has become the top mobile messaging application in South Korea.  An estimated 16-17 million people use this application every day.  It is free to iOS and Android.

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