Sunday, December 31, 2006

The Icy Cold is NOT My Friend

Do you ever get to the point in where maybe you've gotten too used to writing for an audience?

I was writing an email last night when I realized, as I was hitting send, that I used a bit of my "blogger voice" in it. You know, where you start relating a story and you just GO with it in the style of your blogging persona? This isn't such a big deal with me as I have no "blogging persona" per se, but like a good student of writing, I always keep my audience foremost in my thoughts as I write. An audience of one friend of 10 years is a little different that the invisible internet friends of a few months/a little over a year are.

I don't know if I'm going anywhere with the above, but I just thought I'd share. It's New Year's Eve after all! Like xmas I'm sure my "audience" will have dwindled significantly. And no, I don't want a "Mouseketeer Roll Call" to find out the exact numbers...I know this isn't a popularity contest or anything, but I know I'm not all that popular.

Anyhow, I have been sorely remiss in my blogging duties as I had a bit of a Carpal Tunnel scare. I awoke the other night, in the middle of the night, to pains like you wouldn't believe along the inside of my forearm. I was in the middle of pulling blankets over me in my sleep. This happened ALL NIGHT LONG, as I am quite a fidgetty sleeper, it would seem.

So I kinda slowed down on everything I do that involves my thumb and repetitive motions...blogging and emailing are pretty high up on that list. As well as all the data entry I've been doing at my recent assignment...I chose a mountain of filing instead. Everyone was happy.

After doing far too much internet reading and speaking with my Hana'i mom in Hawai'i I realized it just isn't following the usual CT agenda. So it must have a WHOLE lot to do with the fact the I fall, A LOT. I mean it. Just the other day I got to fall downhill on a rather icky sidewalk in downtown Seattle. Fun times. I smashed both my knees and my left hand, but my right one was holing a tall mocha and somehow I saved it. I think I know how, now. I think I may have "bounced" on my wrist and torn my already iffy tendon, again.

I'm used to having a little pain in my wrist since I was involved in a pretty bad bicycle accident back in Hilo, HI when I was on my way to sign my divorce papers. (Coincidence? Yes, completely.) The wrist and a bump on my hip that makes its presence known whenever I try to buy pants (urgh), are what keep the bitter high in my tactless heart.

Anyway, so the other morning the whole "old hurts + icy cold weather DO NOT MIX" mantra/jokes that I'd heard in old cartoons and stories growing up truly hit home. I did not fall as I "skated" to the bus stop, but by end of my wait for the bus...say 10 minutes, my shin (busted after river rafting 15 years ago), my knees (thank you 6 years of fencing and a lifetime of smashing them on concrete), ankle (strained to within snapping distance, but saved by a birkenstock 9 years ago), the aforementioned hip and wrist were BOTHERING me to the point of my limping to the happy warmth of the office.

The warmth and multiple applications of my hot tea mug on the joints in question made the bad pains go away...except for that buggy wrist/tendon electric shock feeling every time I try to do anything beyond the stiff-wristed norm. So I've gone out and bought the big guns:

No more simple ace bandages for me! urgh. But I can't complain, much. It really is working. I hate getting old...I've done far too much damage to myself for this to be a pleasant experience from here on out. My last tendon escapade lasted about 4 months before I could pretend to be semi-kinda-okay...Who knows how long this one will take.

Okay, I've exceeded my comfortable typing experience.

Happy New Year everyone!

Let's all be safe out there tonight. I'm planning on plopping myself down on my friends' couch and eating Pozole and sipping Champagne, cuz that's how we roll at casa de Tactless.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

We Don't Need No Stinkin' Glasses...

So if there are way too many funky errors in this post, it's because my "eyes," that wonderful combination of plastic and metal, are somewhere else, and it's too early for me to go turning on all the lights and doing a thorough search.

It is simply amazing how much I can do without my eyes. Training for later life? Let's not go there.

So Xmas...spent the eve in Kent. Had yummy tamales and champurado (think an uber-thick hot chocolate...made thick from the corn masa you mix with the milk).

I have been inundated with Hello Kitty this year! I don't think I've ever owned this much pink as an adult! I'm not complaining. Badtz Maru might be a wee bit jealous that he has to share space with the kitty, but yeah, they don't make Badtz slippers, mugs, license plate covers, note pads, magnets...I'm missing stuff but yeah, I mentioned the early thing.

I'm not linking this morning either, sorry, it's all the squinting, but maybe you remember me hoping my brother's MONSTRO hat would be big enough?

It's not.

Disappointed is an understatement.

I'm either waiting for the hat to come back, or the measurements my mom said she would take and I'll have another stab at it with the leftover yarn. I'm hoping the original comes back...I don't have enough to make a whole new one in the same color scheme, and I don't really have the gumption to travel up to the yarn store where I first found the Dalegarn as it is no longer all that close to used to be on my way to/from my receptionist assignment...that would be completely opposite of where I travel now.

Complain, complain, complain, sorry.

Here, I'll leave you with this little bit of "6 degrees of separation." Well, more like 39 or so as my Best Friend From High School (the acronym made it look like "boyfriend") has dropped off the face of the earth again...she tends to do this every once in a while...ANYHOW, her husband/his company does the sound/score for Battlestar Galactica. No lie. It gives me goosehives :).

Saturday, December 23, 2006

May I have a small container of coffee?

I'm "it." Beth tagged me:

Each player of this game starts with the 6 weird things about you. People who get tagged need to write a blog post of their own 6 weird things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don't forget to leave a comment that says "you are tagged" in their comments and tell them to read your blog...

hmmm 6 weird things!?! Hmmm well, I'm sure people who know me would agree that there are far more than 6 that I could share...but what HAVEN'T I shared already?

I joke a lot about my "OCD" behaviors...but if I were much worse, I'd be on medication, seriously. As I haven't gone into much detail about such issues, I'll start there and see what other weird things come up to the forefront:
1. I don't have to have anything super neat or anything, Andy can attest first hand about that one, but numbers are very important to me. Today's blog title is a mnemonic for pi (3.1415926).

2. 5s are my favorite. I spread my hat decreases over 5 rows, I stretch out my fingers and make sure I can "feel" all five digits, I set my alarm in 5 minute increments. 4's are okay as long as they are easily divisible by 6...just ask my mom's latest socks. Multiples of 3 I don't like so much, especially after 15. I avoid them as much as possible.

3. I can make most numbers "work" for me, as long as they live somewhere on the 1-12 pee-chee-multiplication-table-world that I've constructed in my head. I might not like certain areas of the table, but the numbers therein don't stop my daily existence or anything. Once outside off that box though...uhhh, it's hard.

Enough about the numbers...they're making me antsy now.
4. I am the great "locator of things" in the house. Ask me where anything is, AS LONG AS IT'S NOT MINE, I can tell you. I have absolutely NO CLUE where my keys are most of the time. Or my wallet, checkbook, passport, cell phone...head.

5. When frustrated or far too excited, I "lose" the language I'm speaking in and fill in the blank with my "second." Sometimes it's just a word; others, and this is bad, the ENTIRE phrase I'm aiming for. (i.e. when conversing with my mother the other night, in Spanish, I could not for the life of me remember how to say "package," in Spanish. You know, like, "has the package I sent down for your grandchildren arrived?" (Ha llegado el um, aahhh, package para tus nietos?) Or at work, um, today? Computer = blank. But computadora was right there to take it's place. As in, "The ummm computadora won't load lotus notes." ) This has always been the case, but I was much better at catching myself before inserting the odd word out---at least in English--when I was younger. Sometimes it sounded like I was getting my "latina" on as a heavily accented word might slip out. Now? Umm, no se. Either I just don't care anymore, or I just assume everyone will catch what I mean in context.

6. I have to know "why." If something is broken, the bus is late, dinner is burned, I'm bugging someone, someone is bugging me, a dog is howling, the mail didn't show up, someone who said they would call didn't, etc, and so forth, I must know WHY. There has to be a reason, even if I have to come up with something myself. Most of the time I tend to share these theories out loud, "Maybe he got stuck in traffic." Especially the ones I have absolutely no control over, "Mother nature hates me!" Or the now ubiquitous, "You don't like me!" being bantered about Casa de Tactless for every little thing. Yes, I am annoying and I don't know why people put up with me...but I'll come up with a reason if they don't tell me.

I am very bad at tagging for an infinite number of reasons. But right now, at this time of year when everyone will be busy with family and craziness? I say if you had time to read this entry, then you're "it!" (Well, only if you want to be.) Leave a comment or email me if you do post a "weirdness" post so I can go stalk you :).

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

I am the Midnight Blogger What Posts at Midnight!

With apologies to super evil villans out there, you know who you are :).

I might be on a T.S. Elliot kick...behold, my latest find to share with the world:

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

:) Do I Dare to Eat a Peach*, Baby?

Your Famous Last Words Will Be:

"I dunno, press the button and find out."

* The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, by T. S. Elliot.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Reprieve! And Storm News

Okay, so my mom is happy to get her gift by the Epiphany/Noche Buena/
12th Night, or January 6th for those whose xmases end with the 25th
of December.

I am not a fast knitter. Nope, no way, no how. I planned on only
one knitted item this winter, socks for mom. Then some hats for
others, a scarf or three, and a couple of stockings kinda fell into
the lineup...Oopsie?

Well, I do have one finished sock. As soon as my grocery store
regains power (maybe you all read/heard about the massive wind/rain
storm we just had?) I'm off to find the tea part of her gift. There
must always be tea in my mom's gift. This is now a given.

So, yeah, the storm.
I hear there was much damage and much loss of electricity. During
the massive part of the wind storm, our plastic shed-where the
lawnmower lives-discombubilated, but Andy has since fixed it. No
trees fell, and we only lost power for a couple hours, maybe between
2 and 4 AM. I know, I was woken by the plastic shed at 2 AM. Then
when all was settling back down we all heard these immense popping
noises and it got really dark outside. REALLY dark outside.

By 5 AM, however, the power was back on and I didn't really think
much of anything...I was too much of a zombie girl for the first half
of the day, except for the quiet. The wind had been buffeting
Seattle for about three days prior to all hell breaking loose, so the
quiet was a little weird. Almost, but not quite like pulling into a
quiet anchorage after 10 days of rough weather and big slaloming
waves on the way to Hawai'i from Mexico (the first 19 days were a snap).

Downtown had all it's lights on, and I figured all went well. By
9:30 I was amazed my mom hadn't left 10,000 messages, what with the
death and destruction that had been reported! Mostly by car radio, I
heard, seeing as most people didn't have power for their TVs and the
paper did not get printed since they had no power there either.
People wandered in far more dazed and confused than I was as they had
to battle trees to get to their smashed vehicles and wade through
ginormous puddles to get to taxis or busses.

Andy and I made the big mistake of going out to try to get food, or
at least groceries last night. That's when we saw just how many
parts of our area were still quite dark and spooky. Not to mention
where all the nice houses with the really nice decorations are!
Let's just say there was a bit of traffic and 1.5 hour waits at every
restaurant we tried. Frozen pizza and netflix to the rescue!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Some Stuff


Hats for the hat wearers of the OB clan.
Made from Dalegarn Falk Using wild and varied combinations of "farges" 0020, 4203, 5224, 4246, 4516, 0090, and 00007
Needles: US 3 DPNs
Pattern: Clubbed together after finding out my brother's head is ginormous! (He now reads my blog every once in a while, hey Alfred, how's it?!?) So I cast on enough on the "Monstro" hat to go around his 25"s of circumference...I hope it fits, I really do. Then I did some ribbing for about 5 or 6 rounds and went plain stockingette for the boy hats with the color changes.

I really like my the way my nephew's hat came out and was wondering why I liked it so much, then I went to slip my vans on and I swear I did not plan it. Now if my bro and SIL were to get little B a pair of vans to match his hat? Well, that would be too cool for school, I think. But what do I know, I went into Hot Topic yesterday for some exploratory gift idea-gathering for my lil' bro's gift and could not get over the fact that A) The whole store is an homage to "The Nightmare Before Xmas" and "Pirates" and B) Tinkerbell is a goth!

My niece's hat was very experimental. I think I've blogged enough about the pain and suffering I went through to get the colors and slipped stitches in just the right places. Following Murphy's Knitting Laws, of course it will be too small for her and/or she will hate it. Whatever, it's out of my hands, la la la. I'll have them bribe her with candy so they take ONE picture with the thing on and I will be happy.

So this year, instead of trying to make some fabric stockings to stuff the little hats in (sorry Alfred, I don't have the time or patience to make one big enough for YOUR hat), I knitted something up:

I wish I'd thought to double up the yarn, or make them bigger...but then I'd probably still be knitting them instead of trying to figure out the hows and whens of packaging and mailing these things off before the children outgrow the hats and the stocking season is over :).

Friday, December 08, 2006

How Can I Stalk You If You Won't Cooperate!

People, people, people! Update your websites and live journals! Come ooon! (okay, maybe a bit too whiney, but I'm exhausted....rum dummy even.) How else can I fulfill my need to know all about you and your daily doings, if you don't write anything anymore!

So hard to be a stalker lately, sheesh.

To all my blogging family and friends out there who do post more than monthly, thank you. I have no life and must find a way to live vicariously through you. Yarn only goes so far, you know? What's really sad is, well, I really and truly doubt that I'll get any response from those I'm trying to stalk...I mean, well, unless they're stalking me back :).


I was supposed to be hangin' with Tim and Andy and waiting for 10 PM to go see "The Fountain," but that's not gonna happen. I was falling asleep into my Palak Paneer Masala... It's not even 8 PM and all I can think about is how much I desperately need to, um, inspect the insides of my eyelids, you know, for holes, yes, that's it. I can not believe how exhausted I feel. My goal is to stay up as long as possible so I don't go waking up at 3 AM, you know, ready for the day to begin and all. That's what comes of doing that work thing, bleh.

Speaking of work, I have so little to complain about, truly. My commute is so easy! One bus, no more than 15 minutes worth of commuting, thus far, even in traffic. The hard part is waiting for it to show's cold, damp, and dark out--both morning and evening. The assignment has lots of tedious, repetitive work, but it's MUCH better than sitting there and doing nothing/answering telemarketing calls/same difference. I'm learning loads. It's all very boring unless you're into accounting and stuff, which I kinda was, once upon a time. It's experience, that's for sure. Though it's not too stable. The company is transnational and moving all financial stuff to the head office (out of state) sometime next year. That's okay, I don't know if I want to make AP a career...

I can feel the building move though...I've invested in some ginger candy, from the Ginger People. 40 floors...and I'm only part-way up. I've been told I just have to go up to the 70th and check out the observation deck. Heh, um, no, thank you. Really. Eep. I get quite enough of a view from two of the three desks I work from...I'm the um, modular helper, or something.

Okay, must go pass out.

OH! Hey you blogger folks, before forget, anyone tried the "new" blogger? I want to know if it really is as "ready for me" as they're saying on the sign-in page. Thanks!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

The Unfriendly Side of 5 AM

Aside from traveling to far off exotic places, the only thing that gets me out of bed so early now-a-days is, yes, you guessed it, MONEY. I start a new temp. gig today. Waiting was a good thing, I guess. (I hope.)

I'll be some assistant's assistant...I actually am not sure what all my assignment entails until I get there, but it takes place in the accounting dept. of "big corporation." I'll be on the 40th floor of some huge building downtown. Yes, that's right, 40th. Have I ever mentioned I'm not all that good with heights? Fun times, oh yeah.

Anyhow, I've been super bad about embarrassing friends and family with this lately, but I actually remembered this's cuz of little xmas, and he knows it:

Happy Birthday Thane!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

St Nick's Day!

As others have adopted Wednesdays for posts of the "random/WTwhatever/and such" variety I thought I'd post about a random holiday... or at least not too well known.

HAPPY St. Nicholas Day!

Maybe better known as "Little Christmas," or celebrated on the 7th instead, this is one of my favorite days in the whole xmas cycle because boys and girls? It really is all about the gifts today/tonight/whenever. Seriously, you can't have a tree and decorations being put up all the way back in November and NOT have some reward for the kids for not whining too much and trying their Calvin & Hobbes best to be oh so good for Santie Clause (it's the way I always thought it should be spelled) without a break! So bust out the stocking, treats and/or healthy snacks for the kids and pat them on the head to tell 'em they're doing well...

For those determined to educate themselves about said random holiday, go here.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Tuesday Already?

I feel like I've misplaced a day somewhere. Maybe I dropped it on the way in with the groceries. Maybe it was the wretched night of sleep I had... When too many things are rolling around in your brain, how are we expected to turn it all off to get some sleep? I could have easily stayed up all night and been zombie girl this morning...but I had some stuff to deal with that needed my undivided attention.

Remember my brand new car?
The one I've only made ONE payment on?
The one that HAD NOT NEEDED a trip to the body shop before last night?

Tim, this is how I vent, I'm sorry. I promise I'll be the old me when next you see me...that is, if you even bother to read my blog anymore...just in case :).

So last night I think Andy's realtor-guy cursed me. If I was my dad, I'd totally go on and on about this because he is a believer, I seem to be agnostic in all things... But the guy kept going on and on about my new car and how fancy, and it's a "Matrix," did you watch the movies... Oh, on the gold team, are you having this tag laminated...etc, and so forth.

So it was bound to happen. The gods heard him, or something. So when Tim came by later to pick up some stuff from the garage... BAM! CRUNCH! (or so I'm imagining, I was upstairs dealing with dishes) His subaru's door decided to rework the lines of my passenger-side door...

Yep. I have a picture on the fischer price cam, but that's still in the back seat of the's not like it's gonna go away before I can snap some more...I got the estimate this morning and my still unnamed car is going in next monday at ohmygodit'searly AM so that it can be a one-day job. I'm actually hoping it will be Tim and Andy delivering .... (need a name) as hopefully I'll have something like, oh I dunno, a JOB to go to...more on that later.

Andy told me of how he felt when an ex of his crashed his then 3-yr old car...god, if (insert name here) was 3 years old I would not have felt as angry. DID I MENTION I HAVEN'T EVEN MAILED IN THE SECOND PAYMENT! It was a total Homer Simpson, DON'T KILL THE BOY moment! ARGH! Okay, calming really don't want to see me angry. I segregated myself into my little office until everyone left last night... I had hats to work on.

Speaking of which, let me distract everyone with some knitting:
Niece's hat. All done. Blocked. BILLIONS of ends all woven in. Yes, that would be my head. Yes, I hope it fits her too. I finished, but only have a progress picture of my OB's hat:
My SIL and I have the same comment on this one, "boy, this better fit your head, sheesh!"
It still needs blocking, where I will make it come down to my chin, if necessary...we're going for a 9" length, minimum. I'm calling it the "Monstro" know, from Pinochio?

Okay, the job thing...
They offered me a 90 day gig for not enough money manning the switchboard and "breaking" the receptionist...yes, for less money than I got for the last "90 day" gig as a receptionist that lasted 6 months...This time downtown Seattle, no parking/40 minute bus ride/more than an hour's salary if i pay to park. Can we way urgh again? Am I that desperate for cash? Well, not really, but kinda yes. She said she'd call me back if she couldn't find someone in the next few hours...urgh. What gets me most is that I need to move UP in the experience levels, not down. This is definitely a DOWN...but it's a paycheck...urgh.

I have another hat to deal with, 'scuse me.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Keeping Strangers Warm

So I have this habit of knitting on things while waiting for the computer. I've mentioned this before. Well, I have two FOs to show for my patience:

In one of the many visits to my parents' house (in Southern Cali/East LA) since the knitting bug infected me, I came home with "A Jo-Ann Exclusive!" Sensations Angel Hair. I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it. Images of Dr. Zhivago did dance in my head for the longest time. Then I read, on Beth's blog, about this:

I hope I linked the button above correctly, if not, go here.
In one of those treks through LA I got lost, and ended up on skid row. My friend Richard has this entry about his experience down there. I've got to say I was kinda scared myself.

Well, see, I think I was more afraid of being lost in my mom's car in the city I grew up in than of being in skid row proper. I get lost a whole lot, but for some reason if I'm driving someone else's car? I flip out...really. Otherwise, pre cell phone days, I'd gotten some helpful advice from people of all sorts in the worst of locations in LA when first exploring my confines at the ripe ol' age of 17. That was when I was a kid, usually with a carload of friends, and puttering around in a 66 Mustang that had seen better days. Not only did friends make you brave, and youth invulnerable, but the situation down in skid row really had deteriorated from any of memories, good and bad, of my (ahem) colorful youth.

With that in mind I knit up a scarf (pattern) and hat (pattern) to add to the project above. It might be "muppet" fur, but I was so surprised as to how warm and comfy both the hat and scarf are. I find it fitting that I took their picture in the snow. I can still see Laura wearing that hat through the Russian Tundra...or something. (Dr. Z is one we gave my mom eons ago, back when vhs tapes were the rage, and I think she and I watched it maybe 5 or 10 times too many?)

So then I heard about this...almost a little too late if you look at the time frame and all:
Again, here if I've messed up.
So I signed up...if you've been knitting for others and didn't know about them, go there, now! The end date is this Sunday when we will let them know what we've been up to. Obviously, this is the entry I'll be sending them to.

Now, back to working on those hats...

ETA at seems bloglines isn't my friend either. I join the masses that have not been picked up by the rss/atomfeed/etc/et al feeder. le sigh.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Taking My Mind Off it all With a Challenge

I'm so cutting and pasting this one cuz well, I felt like it:

Can you measure the speed of a meme?

Somebody out there is trying.

Scott Eric Kauffman is a grad student working on a project for presentation at an MLA panel, and he needs YOUR help. I've read about this on at least a dozen knitblogs today, and find it fascinating. I am intrigued by the fact that we knitbloggers stymie those who study blogging...let's all participate and blow them away! Plus, you know you wanna help a poor, downtrodden grad student.

All you have to do is:

1. Create a post with a link to the project.

2. Ask your blog readers to participate, please everyone, participate.

3. Ping Technocrati

Stolen from Not Scarlett. As I am such a guilt trip sufferer, I'm about to go let her know I stole her post.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Going About this Whole Life Thing...


I think I've spoken about the whole "changing careers" thing already, right? I'm too agitated to look. Let's just pretend I've linked to something and nod in agreement.

I had a short conversation with the head of HR for the library job I applied to. You know, the one where I bombed the interview far worse than even I feared? Right, that one. There was a mistake in the FORM letter they sent. I get to apply again after November 8th of 2007. How nice. After today's telephone call, however, I'm sure I've been tagged as a "DO NOT HIRE, EVER" or something.

See, I asked what I did wrong. I had to. How does someone like me, with 12 or so years of library experience NOT get into a Library Assistant pool. What more do I have to do? Her response was that it was felt (by the first interviewer, I think) that I get "frustrated" in multi-tasking and fast-paced work environments.

I laughed so hard into the receiver that I think she thought I was a bit insane. (Yes, I am going to say what I think she was thinking, why not, I mean they obviously they feel free to state what I must be feeling (frustrated), so touche', bastards.) I went on to say that I must be some kind of masochist then as certain jobs I've held (Hi, MIDDLE SCHOOL TEACHER jumps to the forefront) were filled with multi-tasking and making fast-paced decisions that are 10xs as difficult as what I experienced working at any library on my list! In fact that as one of the reasons I felt I could do the job of a library assistant so well!

But no, they didn't think so, thank you very much, enjoy your snow day!
(insert plural expletive of choice here)

I've been on the verge of a migraine all day. This kind of news is not helpful. I spent a few hours sitting in the dark (yey winter with your 2.374 hours of sunlight a day) reflecting on what it is I'm trying to do with my life. And why I am so not wanted in the job market right now.

Then I laughed some more.

You know I'm one of the few number of people I know who became a teacher right out of college? Most of the teachers I know and love and have adopted (or adopted me) were once high level accountants, Longs Managers, SAHMs, Computer Techs/geeks, Novelists, fish packers, factory workers, you name it...they went from a lifetime's career of that to teaching and no one raised an eyebrow! In fact they received accolades and laurel leaves...or something.

All I get are sideways looks and questions up the wazoo. Why don't you want to continue teaching? Why the big career move? What is wrong with you???

Cuz you know, it's okay to do "something else" for lifetime and then become a teacher, but woe and sorrow unto you, teacher, if you decide otherwise. And that just bites, people.

So I'm living my life backwards...why all the flak? So what if I did spend all that time and energy on a degree and credential I no longer wish to use, why do I get persecuted for it?

Please, do not tell me to go look into teaching night school, or adults, or becoming a teaching assistant, or a tutor...what part of the "I don't think I want to be a teacher anymore" do people not understand? Please oh please stop giving me the names and numbers of the private schools in the area as you ignore me when I say, "I'm thinking of looking into something else."

I blew it the other day when I said it was too stressful to teach. I was told that being an executive assistant was VERY stressful, in one of those defensive tones. Not when compared to teaching. The telling pause (I was on the phone), I was about to get it. I had to justify what I had just said. "Dealing with the lives of 160 12 and 13 year olds on a daily basis with the drama and the hormones always on the edge, and then trying to teach them grammar? You've got to be kidding me. How will assisting one executive be worse than 160 drama queens AND their parents?" Laugh, laugh a lot. Laugh it off. Did it break the tension? A little. What it tells people is that I'm a failure. I couldn't make it in the classroom so now I'm looking into trying something else that I will probably fail at as well. Again, my thoughts.

But really, why else would I not be teaching? Not be pursuing my career? Not be wading through the mounds of paperwork in order to get that Washington State teaching credential and going back into that classroom! Come on! WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU!

If I can't even land a job as a receptionist, what makes anyone think I will land a teaching gig when HI, I don't think I can do it right now? I have said this before, countless times I think, I don't have it in me. If that makes me a loser, so be it. If I've disappointed you, find someone else to live your life through. This has not been an easy "throw away" decision. I'm not sure why I'm being made to feel like it is. Like I'm wrong, wrong, so terribly wrong.

I never promised anyone I would be anything other than myself. Label me what you will, just don't expect me to live up to who you think I should be.

Monday, November 27, 2006

So Many Finished Items...

...but not for me. See this hat? This is what I've been working on for the last...forever.

Like the background? No, that is not a pin for scale, that would be one strong blade of grass that is fighting the good fight against the SNOW. We got dumped on. Did I mention I live in Seattle now? Did the snow gods get lost? Tahoe is 800 miles SE or so, people....

But where was I? Ah yes, the hat. Or the Barbie dream debutante skirt...or the Hello Kitty Hell Bonnet...which name is actually growing on me. (Whose name is actually growing on me?) I am too OCD for this hat. Really. I have ripped it apart almost as many times as my failed attempts on my older brother's (OB) hat. Not for size issues, either. I thought matching hand-painted/striped socks was bad enough for me...but no, not only do I rip back when I make the stripes too narrow (to my eyes, anyway), I must have the colors in a certain order and the placement of the slipped stitch "dots" has got me drinking chamomile tea and thinking calming thoughts.

I'm not using a pattern, I think this might be my main problem, it's totally on the fly "grab a ball o'yarn" and go for it....well, hi, this is me we're talking about...I don't "fly" that way AT ALL, it seems.

I was about 10 rounds shy of finishing the (insert unseemly word here) thing when I thought that there were too many decreases in the wrong places and really, NO REALLY! that third row of (what used to be) burgandy slipped stitches between the white and the pink should be purple (as you can see, three rings of purple, yes, much much better, make the voices stop!)...that's what I ripped back to this morning.

As for the size? It fits my noggin a little on the tight side, so it should fit my niece's 3 yr old head, I hope.


A finished object.
I finished it a WHILE ago now, but today was the first time I saw my camera in a while...must clean my desk off, soon. The details:
Noro Silk Garden 217 A, X 2 minus 18". I only had to do minor surgery to make sure the colors did what I wanted them to do...I'm not sure if that's OCD or anal retentiveness...either way, it's done.
US size 10 needles.
Pattern: The same one as my dad's scarf...One Row (not) Handspun Scarf

After washing it a second time, this stuff is SOFT. Happy Dance for me...It's been a really really really long time since I had/used a new scarf...we're talking 6th grade here. It's such an easy pattern I might have to make more...but first...Must finish those hats....Urgh.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Kiwi Animated Video

I was shown this a while ago and would like to share it.

But I'm not all that good at embedding YouTube videos so it's here in case all you see is a blank spot up above :).

And it's snowing. It's 80-cajillion degrees in Los Angeles, according to my father, but it's snowing in Seattle. Well, people from the Great White North would laugh at what I'm calling "snowing" and "snow." Heck, had I lived longer in Tahoe, I too would be scoffing. But I'm cold and there's crunchy white stuff on the ground that looks kinda like the fake snow on the xmas tree at the mall, and more is falling...well in fits and starts.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Fancy Cooking, Tactless Style...

So you know we're cooking fancy when one of the directions call for "deglazing." I think I pretty much scared Andy out of the kitchen with that one. It also convinced me that any meal that involves such an act should be part of a PBS cooking show. I could host it! I have the perfect chicken apron and matching timer! It could be my trademark, you know like that Sally Jessie lady with the red glasses?

Though before I go planning shows I should make sure I can do other fancy things the, um, right way. So carmelized? That doesn't mean carbonized, right? Didn't think so.
Next year I'll have to cut the onions thicker.

Aside from that, I think things went well.

So it's officially Fat Man season. As Nordstrom has put up their decorations, I guess I should start thinking about what I'm going to do this year. I'm very low key, if last year is any example of it.

Bezzie from Random Meanderings reminded me of xmas music I thought I might not have anymore. A few years ago I put together a CD or two for a friend of mine who was pretty much sick of all the xmas music she owned. She owned a fair amount. But she absolutely could not stand Handel's Messiah/Hallelujah/etc. et. al., so I went and spent far too much time wading through the internet until I'd collected as many alternative xmas hits to fill her days. You know, things like: David Bowie and Bing Crosby singing The Little Drummer Boy, or Frank Sinatra and Cindy Lauper singing Santa Claus is Coming to Town as well as things like Dave Matthews' Christmas Song (love the Spanish guitar) or Sound Garden singing Ave Maria (oh that one makes me cry).

So I went "hard drive diving" and I think I may have found them all. Well, at least a hour's worth. Maybe I'll burn that collection up and spread it around this year? It's a thought.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

1 Year + 1 Day, and a Turkey


So it seems yesterday was my 1 year bloggiversary. See how bad I am
with the dates? Even I didn't remember. Good one, me.

Anywho, today is Turkey day. I'm supposed to whip up dinner so I
best get at it. I'm making green beans for the first time in my
life. Yes, I do this, I experiment with cooking on big occasions.
No biggie, if I flop there's always a plan B. Just what that would
be tonight, I'm not at all sure. I got desert covered...there was
some punk-in pie bakery happening last night. You know, to celebrate
the bloggiversary, yes, that's it. See, I didn't forget, nope, not
me :).

Thanks for reading! Happy T-Day to everyone.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

25.5 Inches Around...

Mutant hats.

Yep, that's what I'm gonna have to make.

Does anyone know how often one can rip Dalegan Falk yarn before it just hates you and won't play anymore? I think I might be at that point.

Remember back when I said I had an almost completed hat for my older brother? Ah yes, ancient history that I'm too saddened to link back to. Best forget. Yes.

Did I ever mention that my older brother and I are about the same height? But he takes after my mom's side of the family with the delicate looking ears and high cheekbones I could have killed for as a teenager. The skinny cutely crooked nose I could least until I got my first pair of glasses that outlined the honker on my face enough to be yet more proof that I was not the favorite in the house of the almighty.

Anyway, when I went about trying to make my older brother a hat, given his height, delicate-looking features, etc., et. al., what-have-you, I felt rather secure in the knowledge that a hat a smidge bigger than mine would be fine. In the end the Camo-hat I made him last year was a smidge too big for Andy, so yeah, no problem-o! Right?

I've already posted my thoughts about those hats, we shall not speak of them again, we're working on the idea of MOVING ON after all so THIS time, when the call came for some bonnets for the family I decided to make something that would at least LOOK warmer so that they might actually be used. Okay, I'm hard at the "letting go" bit, I think we all realized this a LONG time ago.

So I got the Dalegan Falk and started trying to figure out the best way to fulfill the, "long enough to cover the ears and the back of the neck" request. After some test knitting and lots of ripping I came up with a 4 X 2 rib that I thought would be great! Only it really was looking kinda skinny. Upon closer inspection it turned out that I'd be able to get my head, 22" around, in and it fit me great, but we were looking for a little bigger. Yes, I ripped back. No, I'm not one of those people who believe "it'll fit someone" and just keep knitting on. I don't have the funds to play that game. Especially right now so close to the holidays and being "between assignments" (read as "between paychecks"). So rip back with impunity I say.

I dug around some more (the internet is my best friend) and found a pattern that might work super-well. I cast on to aim for a 23" head...That seemed like a good number... That's when I remembered the Rules. Wasn't there something in there about measuring hands for head sizes? So I emailed my brother and asked for the "palm to tip of middle finger" measurement so I could get an idea how "deep" to make the hat. 7.5 inches. Wow, that'd make it about 9" deep, give or take. That seemed rather deep. So I asked for the "width across" measurement...8.5". Which gives us the 25.5" around. Which makes his head almost 65 cm around...which gives him a US size 8+ head. If I poof up my hair I can fit a 7 1/4 hat. Did I mention we're almost the same height? (My mom insists he's taller, my little brother confirms I am--he should know, he's taller than both of us and can easily eyeball it...)

Where did that head come from??? That was my first thought. My second was: I'll start on my niece's hat. She is only about 4, yet I'm told she's outgrown all the "little kid" hats...I guess she's taking after her dad.

Mutant hats, I tell you.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

You'd Think I'd Blog More...

With all this time off, I mean.

It was actually SUNNY today, but I'm starting to feel under the weather, so I hid until almost nightfall.

So what comes first?  Feeling down cuz you're sick, or feeling sick cuz you're down?  I think I might need to dwell on this a little more.

I have two Finished Objects to show...but that would require taking pictures and the like.  I can't get motivated to take pictures with a camera that is well, actually, buried somewhere under all the junk I picked up off the floor and TEMPORARILY placed on my desk (that's cleaning for you).  I feel terribly disorganized right now.  I think it's the upcoming holiday trauma.  Even if it isn't, I feel like blaming it rather than no one, or worse, me.  I tend NOT take it out on my friends that way.  Combine that noise with feeling pathetic and underemployed and we have such a recipe for disaster.  Good thing there's knitting to keep me away from all the ingredients to make high explosives.

Yes, I've been watching MacGyver DVDs again.  I swear, that man loves blowing things up!  All you need is a little solvent and talcum powder, or something.  Which is truly funny, who keeps that stuff around anymore?  I'm getting feelings of inadequacy in the carcinogenic household items department.  If that show happened today all he'd have to work with would be biodegradable cleaners and water.  Oh, and maybe Desitin.  I wonder how flammable baby butt cream is, really?

I need to go lie down now.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


No, not in the good drunk way either.

This would be the Yarn Aboard box I mailed off last Thursday. Seeing as it's heading out of country I thought I'd get right on it. Proof of mail date:
And yes, that's what it cost to mail the sucker out.
Yet behold, it was returned for one very important reason:
I know, it's fuzzy, I'll reprint it:
We regret that your mail is being returned to you because of heightened security measures. All domestic mail weighing 16 oz or over, that bears stamps and all international military APO/FPO mail weighing 16 oz or over MUST be presented to a retail clerk at a post office. Postage that is affixed to the returned mail may be used for remailing the items.
Urg. Heightened security? I mailed it off through work and filled out all the required paperwork, but nope, no dice. The lovely lady behind the counter said it wouldn't have mattered what paperwork I filled out (I had to fill 2 different customs forms for her), it still required her taking it. Her magic hands were the special security needed to fulfill the box's trip, or something. I got to spend some fun time at the ole P.O. In line. JOY! Great use of my time since it's not like I'm updating my resume or applying for jobs or anything. Urg.

Monday, November 13, 2006

So THAT's Why They Fit Wrong

Ahem, yes, I am a dumb ass. I am a big enough person to admit it, this time :).

So, um yeah, remember those footies I was working on for forever that became my CWP (Computer Waiting Project)??? Well, I'd been wondering why, if I just lost 7 lbs, they seemed to be awfully tight little socks. (Well, one awfully tight sock, another 3/4ths tight.) I thought maybe they'd loosen up with the blocking magic or something...

Tonight, as I finished my Noro scarf as well as the muppet experiment (okay, there's still some weaving/blocking/trimming of muppet fur to go, but the needles are put away so I consider it almost picture-ready) I took out my Trekking XXL and decided to try starting a pair of socks for me again. Believe it or not, I swatched this time! I know, shocking! In perusing which needles to try next, I noticed that my US 00s were not in their pocket. I looked ALL OVER. How could I misplace a whole set? It was bad enough when I couldn't find one missing needle, but 5? That's just wrong.

I found them, they were hiding in plain my 3/4's done footies. My best guess is that at some point I must have needed my US 0s and used the smaller needles as "place-holders." I think I can almost make out where the finished footie starts looking a bit thinner than normal. What really stands out is how the second footie is just that much smaller than its brother, as I apparently used the 00s from the start. Urgh. Why didn't I notice this earlier???

I guess it's a good thing I'm more interested in winter socks right now. I have months to go before I will want footies. Yet, the idea of ripping out what I have done makes me sad, but it's not like I'm the first to have to deal with such trauma. It was bound to happen. A sign really. Time, maybe, to change the CWP, or something. Sigh.

Saturday, November 11, 2006


When did I become such a multi-project knitter???

I think this coming week of under-employment should, maybe, possibly, force me to work on started and semi-abandoned projects:
My brother's hat. Yes, it looks REALLY long, but it's ribbing (4X2), so it's not. I'm working in colors from his kid's hats. It was rather hard to figure out how to NOT use pink or purple to represent my niece's hat, so I threw in some cream and dark/Burgundy-esque red instead. I just have to remember to work in the same red in the kiddie hats.

Then there's this guy:
Mom's stripy socks. As she really liked the cotton/wool socks gifted to her earlier, I went with more cotton. I have come to the realization that I can't stand cotton. But forge ahead I will if my mom likes them. Hmm, more ribbing...3X1 I think, maybe I'm into ribbing right now. I just LOVE the way the socks are striping though. Easily amused? OH YEAH.

I wanted to include a few more "on the needles" pics, but it is dark and dreary...just know that my scarf is a little longer now. I'm on the second skein of the Noro silk's not going to be a long scarf, I see that now. There are also bits and pieces of other projects that I should buckle down and the basketweave black scarf I started FAR TOO LONG ago...or a muppet-fur scarf I was fiddling with. You really can't rip that stuff back very I should finish or burn it...ick, the thought of burning muppet doesn't appeal. Then there's that sweater I started last winter, for Andy. I stopped as it just got too hot...well, hello 45 degrees...I guess I can start it up again, eh?


So I did blow that first interview enough to not get selected for the Library Pool. I don't know how much of a form letter I got, but they did say I could re-apply for the next pool. I just have to start ALL OVER again. Fun times. Good thing I kept a copy of the original application. Now I just have to suck it up and do it again.

Changing careers is not for the meek, okay people? My xMIL and I were talking about this last night; really, most people don't know what they want to be "when they grow up." You fall into something when you're young enough and BAM, 30 years later you're retired and was it really what you wanted?

My mom cleaned toilets, emptied trash cans, and vacuumed millions of miles of carpet for 27 years. I honestly don't think she did it cuz she wanted to, you know? I highly doubt her little girl dreams were to become a janitor at a ritzy high school...I don't think my mom thought of her job as anything else but a way to earn enough money to buy a house (or two) and see that her kids got everything they could get. We weren't exactly rolling in the dough on maintenance and janitor salaries, people, but I was fed, housed, and educated.

I think I've been pretty lucky. I went to school and then went on to use my education for what it was originally intended. I went to school to become a teacher. I was a teacher.

But I don't want to be a teacher anymore. At least not right now. I don't have it in me. I have no patience for departments of education and their little dramas and inner politics.

I think I've said this before, several dozen times maybe, but you really DO NOT want to be teaching if you DO NOT WANT TO BE TEACHING. You will suck. The kids will know. Hell, the kids could easily tell when I was teaching something I felt so-so about or just didn't like. "A Raisin In The Sun" comes to mind. Or the dumb ass "Peer Pressure" Life Skills lessons that had NO basis on reality. Or anything to do with Social Studies. I love history, I really do, but past students will tell you that I have ABSOLUTELY NO BUSINESS trying to teach it. Facts, dates, and important figures get jumbled in my head. And that jumbled mass of chaos gets passed on to the's a bad scene, man, really bad.

Moving on?

I'll probably go back to teaching when I can have an ESL classroom or three where I teach both Language Arts and Literature, and the goal is, GASP, for the kids to LEARN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE! Not take a stupid federal test where they fail and fail and fail because, HELLO? They don't know the language??? I think Special Ed teachers would back me up on this one. They are running into the same brick wall. How do you expect a "Special Needs" kid to compete with Joe-average student? Or to be judged by the same ratings category? You don't! Yet they have to take the same federal required tests and "pass"/improve buy the same number of points, learning disabilities be damned!

Cleaning toilets sounds like a less frustrating and more satisfying job at that point.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

FO: Dad's Scarf

My father's birthday is coming up. I think I may have mentioned that a few-many posts ago. As he is still a "workin' man" (my mami has been retired for a about, wow, going on 4 years now I think...) I decided he should have something for the nippy LA mornings on his way to work. Go ahead, laugh. Their blood is thin, living in the global warming cesspool that is LA, I know, I know, 90 degrees in November, but still, it's chilly in the early AM, what, about 65? 70? So I present you:

Dad's Scarf
I shamelessly stole it from the Yarn Harlot. One Row (NOT HANDSPUN) Scarf in Cascade 220. I used US 10 straights. Here's a close-up:
I liked the pattern so much, I'm making one for myself:
It's being made from my very last purchase at Jimmy Bean's Wool in Truckee, CA before I moved from that neck of the woods to this one... It's true what they say, you know, yarn bought as a souvenir does hold that memory, much more than I thought it would. Noro Silk Garden.

I'm a little further along as I took these pictures, and others for future posts, on the last sunny day before the flooding started. Yes, yes, I'm fine. I live in the city. That I know of there are no creeks, streams, or rivers nearby. As I'm posting I'm obviously still alive.

And for those who have been on the edge of their seats?
No word from the library, but word from the place where I'm temping...they found their Receptionist, and it's not me. My last day? Friday. So much for the two weeks notice the one HR person she's on extended leave it's a bit hard to hold her to her word. All of my virtues were "recognized" at a meeting I had this afternoon. Thanks. Really. No, really. I'm just finally glad to finish the assignment at this point. Maybe, gasp! I'll take a week off??? What a trip and a half that'll be.

To celebrate? Sushi!

Monday, November 06, 2006


Great time to move here, eh?
Yet, yesterday the sun actually shown for a little bit:

Now we just need a name...

But first I must see how well I can drive through the "urban flood plains!" Ah weather is such a fantastic phenomena.

Sunday, November 05, 2006


Guess who showed up at my doorstep late Friday night?

All the way from Portland, Oregon! Wow Deb! I'm, I'm, wow...WOW! Interjections! Thank you!
I wish I had been more patient when I opened the box...I started looking immediately and then when I remembered, OH YEAH, TAKE was all out of the box and um, yeah, how did she fit it all in??? Magic! Elves! Yarn gnomes!

So in the box:
Wildfoote in Tom Cat! Which I love working with...NEW yarn: Dicentra Designs in Mazarbul as well as Crown Mountain Yarns in Opal. So cool.

YUMMY chocolate from Vivani...never had, can't wait to rip into them. A matching Lady and the Chocolate cute!

Here Be Dragons Sock pattern!!! So fun! Yes!

And tea for both the brain and the body! Foxfire Tea and "A Warming Bath" Tea Bag.

You have no idea how spoiled I feel.

Okay, now I have to figure out the magic used to fill the box beyond capacity for Chris's next stop!

Friday, November 03, 2006

My Mother? I'll Tell Ya About My Mother...

-Leon, Blade Runner
The interview yesterday went about as well as that one...well, the first one anyway. 
Well, okay, I didn't blow her away from under the desk with my hand laser revolver or anything, nor am I a replicant, that I know of, but I might as well have been as aware of what was going on with the interviewer as ol' Leon.
She "broke the ice" by talking about sailing.  However, it wasn't until she was pointedly ready to move on to the real questions that I realized she was not on the same side as I on the whole sailing/motoring fence.  Oops.
Then there were the questions, where the goal was to only speak about my current position.  That was distressing.  I mean, really when I'm trying to answer something about the "most fulfilling thing" I've done here?  Ummmm, I'm a temporary receptionist. (Sigh.)
Interviewer #2 just jumped into the questions and I was happy to oblige with answers.  After realizing I had more library experience than the two listed in front, he was happy to hear about all of them.  Our connection/ice breaker happened sometime during the questions when he realized I went to high school across the street from his university.  Small town feeling even in the megalopolis I grew up in.
It's about as rainy and dreary as the setting for Blade Runner so I've opted to wait on pictures until it's not so wet that my camera will drown.  And it really is such a lovely feeling to turn the key in the ignition and not have the "will it start today" feeling.  Or rev the engine on the freeway and not wonder if the timing chain will decide now is the time to kill all the humans...
Ah the little things.
Happy Friday!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Have Car, Will Travel

So, super-fast no picture post cuz not only do I have to get ready
for work...I'm prepping for an interview...

But no worries about driving out to Outer-Mongolia for that interview
today, as I picked up my BRAND NEW CAR on Halloween night!

No kids, none. Our street must be full of evil old men like in
"Monster House" or something (fun movie by the way.)

Okay, gotta run, more later, promise.

Monday, October 30, 2006

1 for Socktober

I thought I might have time to post today, no such thing.

And now I'm being whisked off to Mexican food, ole!

But look! Socks!

Dublin Bay
Made from Fleece Artist sock yarn. Green.

I'm rushing, can you tell?

They took forever, they feel so comfy. Happy me.

Friday, October 27, 2006

What a Difference the Color of a Room Can Make

Not the best at keeping up with the blog these days, mea culpa.  So a super-long post to appease the masses!
I do have a rather valid excuse for the absence hurt too much to blog.
So I am on cipro for the next...8.5 days now.  Urgh.  They'll know exactly how bad it is on Monday or Tuesday, but the immediate results were that I have some kind of kidney/bladder/tract infection.  FUN TIMES!
Yes, I did indeed venture forth to find a new doctor in these here Pacific North West lands, and find one I did! 
So now I guess I can tell my nightmare doctor story:
I would like to preface this with:  I DID NOT just open the telephone book and blindly choose a random doc with a female name.  I asked my pharmacist, whom I THOUGHT I was developing good rapport with, for a local doc who she'd heard good things about.  This was how I got the name.  AND I called the office WEEKS before the actual need for the appointment (for a yearly), and spoke at length with the receptionist and tried to get a feel for the doc.  I got good vibes from her though there were a few weird things I really should have considered before proceeding.
20/20 hindsight is a beautiful thing, isn't it?
First: I couldn't just make a "meet and greet" appointment where she would get to know me and treat me for something minor, say checking on my skin condition and refilling my migraine medicine, etc., you know, an easy appointment, low stress, etc.  I was told the doctor made all new patients do a full "whole nine yards" physical as the first appointment.
Second:  I had to have $200 cash to pay/as the down payment (?!?) for the appointment, as physicals are uber expensive, and would have to be prepared to pay the balance due before I left the office.
So that would be the week we found out the car was DYING, yes?  Let's say it was not a stress free, well-rested night.  I woke up late, felt miserable, was not allowed to drink my morning tea, and, thanks to misunderstood directions, "No food or drink after 8PM, brushing your teeth is okay though,") I was really thirsty.  (Really though, when they say "brushing your teeth is okay though" doesn't that make it sound like NOTHING TO DRINK means water too, right?  Whatever, if I'm naive I'm naive.
So I get stuck in traffic and am going to arrive later than the "show up 10 minutes early to do paperwork" so I call them.  I'm told that if I don't show up in the next 5 minutes they will cancel the appointment and bill me. ?!?  I was about 2 minutes away and the appointment wasn't for another 8 that was weird...besides that, how exactly were they going to bill me if they hadn't taken anything more than my name and home telephone number? 
Right, so I was obviously in the best state of mind for the appointment. 
I run in and...wait.  There is a LINE of people in front of me.  They are all either 20+ years older, or 30+ years younger than I am. 
Then I get the paperwork -- all I am asked to fill out are two sections: who I am stuff, and who is going to pay for the appointment stuff.  NO MEDICAL HISTORY stuff.
Again, that 20/20 hindsight...
As soon as I sit down I'm whisked into the area and follow the nurse down this long skinny CROWDED hallway to the room where I drop my stuff and then follow her almost all the way back to get weighed and measured, then we go all the way back for my blood pressure reading.  Sure, have a patient RUN back and forth and find out how much she WEIGHS, then take her blood pressure.
I think their machine is broken...but the first reading was astronomical, something in the HIGH 140s over 100-something.  Shouldn't I be dead?  So she writes it down and I say I usually read high the first time, and added to that I'm super nervous, can she take it again later?  All she answers is that she'll have to ask the doctor, but such a high reading was a bad thing.

Really, do you tell someone with high blood pressure that it's a bad thing in such a situation?  I'm a bad first appointment patient, but this is ridiculous!  So she leaves me to get undressed and wait for the doc in THE ROOM.
It was a dark it needed a new paint job about 5 years ago.  Shiny near the ceiling.  But the walls were covered in paintings/pictures/clocks, etc.  It depressed me.  It did not calm me.  It reminded me of the puke colors my elementary school was covered in.  I hated my elementary school.
So in storms the doctor telling me (actually, pontificating at me would be a better description) about how my high blood pressure was extremely dangerous and who was treating me before her and etc., but not actually letting me answer any of the questions.  When I did try to say that no one was treating me as I did not have high blood pressure she gave me a "look" and said, that's obviously not true, and then continued to say things that did not apply to me because I DON'T HAVE HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE!!!
Whenever I tried to give her my 2 cents she would act affronted and tell me to stop interrupting her because she was trying to give me information that could save my life!  And then someone knocked on the door.  
The doctor finished whatever she was saying, I'd stopped listening and was planning my escape by she gets up and walks out, LEAVING THE DOOR WIDE OPEN.   I'm sitting there in that "gown" thing and she leaves the door open?  That was it.  I reached over and slammed it shut, jumped off the table and started to get dressed.  She came back in as I was pulling my pants on and was all, "What are you doing!"  So I told her this was not going to work, I wanted a doctor I could communicate with and not be treated like a child by.  Or words to that effect.  She responded with a fine(!) and tossed the file aside as she reached in and grabbed her instruments in such a way that I actually thought, 'she thinks I'm going to steal them...or vandalize the place, where the hell am I!?!?!?'
I was so proud of myself though, I didn't break down and start crying until she closed the door and I could sob and wipe my nose on the gown.  As I was leaving the nurse said I could pick up my "co-payment" and I was all, NO F-ING DUH!  (And that's another  Did she mis-speak?  Or was I going to have to plop down $200 in cash for every visit?  Not that I'll be finding this out or anything.)
Which brings me to:
The new doctor's office is very bright, and there's carpet in every room.  Oh, and the rooms?  They're pink.  I don't do pink, but it is amazing how much nicer it is than greasy turquoise.  Oh, and my blood pressure?  120/80 thankyouverymuch.  That would be WITH my kidney trying to kill me. 
I didn't get my yearly, the kidney bit would have probably thrown all the blood tests, so we'll do a "take three" later, instead I had a "get to know you"/make the kidney stop hurting appointment.  It was very calm and I was encouraged to knit on my scarf while I waited for doctors and nurses and/or my UA to be looked at, and etc.  I could put the whole appointment on my credit card and no one looked at me as if I was going to steal the instruments or said I was interrupting if I answered a question. 
It really is the little things that count.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Mental Note To Self

Especially when you are training people to do your job. You tend to
talk, a lot. It takes way more energy than sitting there doing
nothing. The super air-conditioned spot where you sit has the "added
advantage" of wicking all tell-tale moisture off you before you
sweat. DRINK WATER. The goal is 1/2 a liter here, you failed,

If you go without enough water for a couple days your kidney will
wake you up around 12:30 AM to let you know YOU HAVE BEEN BAD ABOUT
Your insides will remind you what you felt like 11 years ago when you

Jill would have called you a "dumb ass" by now. AND SHE'D BE RIGHT.


Sunday, October 22, 2006

All Quiet on the Non-Rhinebeck Front

No, my absence does not mean I'm frolicking with fiber lovers wherever Rhinebeck is being held. But now that I've caught up with all my blog-reading again, it seems a grand chorus of the knitters I stalk will be gone for longer than the weekend. Isn't that nice? For them? Right.

So I am on the ultimate yarn diet. Not that I have a roomful of stash--this is where a picture would be handy, but I'm lazy too--or have been spending my life-savings in the yarn store. See, what with A BRAND NEW CAR winging it's way to Seattle, I'm gonna be strapped for cash until I get myself a real job.

I did it. I signed my life away and will be the very nervous new owner of:

A 2007 Toyota Matrix
But mine is in some color called "Phantom Grey Perl" or whatever. Lightish Gray people. Whatever, it means I get to give Toyota money weeks before I see the car...scary scary, and call me silly/lame/or stupid, but according to the poll I took at work the next day, it's how it's done now. Even in the big ol' city of Seattle, dealerships ONLY have small quantities of cars in stock/on display in the most usual colors and models, I could have walked--driven away with a black one...but know? I'm pretty much over my black phase I guess. You won't see me in bright orange or anything (well, until I finish those socks...) but I can start with grey.

My brother and Andy convinced me I'd be happier with a new car. I've never ever ever owned a new car before. I decided that if I could get the dealer people to give me a reasonable monthly payment plan (i.e. less than one weekly paycheck's worth) I'd do it. I almost got them to go down to 1/2... 60-some percent actually if I did the math right. No I'm not gonna double check, cuz if I'm wrong my blood pressure will shoot through the roof, we really don't need that at Casa de Tactless. But this gives me the chance to afford insurance...and nothing else...sniff...

So yep, my days of champagne and caviar (yes I'm laughing) are over. Okay, Sushi maybe once a month, and eating in 99% of the time...that's more my style anyway. If it hadn't been I'd have never saved up for the down payment to begin with!

Sadly, however, I'll have to delay adding to my sock yarn collection for a few months, until I'm used to the new "money-flow" schedule (ALL OUT, nothing to the savings account...eep, I need a real job). Not a biggie, I've got hats to knit, and more socks than I can count...and, maybe later this week I'll take a picture of my dad's scarf. I think I'm almost done, a few inches to go...It will need blocking though, which is why I'm not showing it now.

How long should men's scarves be? Is it the same rule as women's scarves? I.e. their height? Must look that up.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

What Makes You Delete It?

It's not just me is it?

I write out a long email, or even a post, explaining, describing, going on and on...and then I select big chunks, and press the delete key, ON PURPOSE.

I just did it now, well, not now-now. I wrote to a webmaster to report broken streaming links in the archives of This American Life, I won't say I was devastated, but "upset" would be a good descriptor...I'm a bit on the edge...long story, maybe later when it hurts less. Anyhow, I'm a HUGE fan of that show. My first year teaching advisor turned me on to it back in 1998 and I listened almost religiously until 2001, when I sold my car and 90% of my possessions, and took off to Mexico, and parts elsewhere.

The other day I was listening to the NPR station in the car (yes, the dying one) when a commercial for This American Life came on!!!! I was so excited and told Andy I was going to go out and buy a radio just to get that show! (Addict, I know.) I also bemoaned about all the years I missed out on Ira Glass's very distinctive and eerily soothing voice.

Andy gave me this weird look, hopped on the internet, and found me ALL THE SHOWS. Right there, all mine for the free streaming...aaaahhhhh, heaven. Except now, like the 90% of things surrounding me, this too has gone all wrong.

So I wrote and mentioned the links and could they please be fixed...and then kept writing, about my love of the show and the happiness I felt finding it and the utter sadness of it being broken, and how my life right now...well, kinda what I just wrote above to the world...except this was being addressed toward Elizabeth, the webmaster. I knew she didn't care; she just wanted to know the errors so they could be fixed; my life is not anywhere near her radar. Yet, I could not stop myself! I wrote and wrote until I got it all out...and then I reread it, fixed a few lines, saw it was good, then selected all but the first bit about the broken links, and deleted it. Again, on purpose.

Elizabeth could care less that the 'rolla is on it's last breaths; that it was far too rainy and icky to go out and find a new car tonight; that the doctor I went to yesterday was a NIGHTMARE and so bad that I walked out in the middle of the appointment; that everyone on the interview committee for the position I'm temping for is avoiding me because they are interviewing someone this week...and it's not me; that listening to the archives bring me a sense of what and who I was back when I was younger and so much less jaded; that I will be so utterly inconsolable if I can't get my dose of a This American Life archive stream on a regular basis until I've caught up again.

It's been a trying week, can you tell?

I guess I really really really needed to get that out, somehow, at least once. You know, have it "said" and acknowledged (at least by me) and then there is no need to actually send the information on to anyone else. Didn't we all do similar things like this as kids? Say, write out letters and them BURN them? (Please say you did stuff like that last bit too, sometime in your youth. I feel crappy enough as it is.

That's probably why the woman who was covering the desk for me yesterday morning let me rant about my awful awful doctor's visit. It was the first step in dealing with it. Or something...

Bedtime calls, but I'm not selecting and deleting, at least this time.

Monday, October 16, 2006

I Need to Buy a Car

Like yesterday.

I'm about to lose my wheels, which I've been expecting for eons really. What kind of car should I get? Anyone have any favorites? Me? I've only ever owned two cars, ever. My first, a 66 Mustang, is still sitting in my mom's car port.

My second, an 89 Camry, tooling around the Santa Cruz/Moss Landing area with a good friend.

I've been beg-borrow-or stealing since...but it's time.

Any suggestions?

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Too Much Going On!

Let the randomness begin:

I feel like my Saturday has officially been sucked out of existence. Especially as it's almost 7PM and I just don't feel like I've done all that much "weekending" yet. I hate that feeling, it really blows.


Andy and I went out for Indian food yesterday. Usually, almost religiously, I order the Palak Masala Paneer. Ummm, Spinach Curry with Cheese for those translation-seekers :). Usually Tim is with us and he gets this yummy orange colored curry with peas and cheese. I know, sounds yummy, but it really is. I usually am able to sneak a taste or swipe some with the naan and I am good for another couple three weeks and happy with my spinach.

Well, I was really craving it last night so I ordered my own serving. I really was in heaven it is yummy! But the restaurant was SO CROWDED it got to the point of being hard to enjoy. Then the Spinach found out I was cheating on it, I swear, cuz my dish met my pea coat and favorite pair of not happy.

We did have left-overs though and I had 'em for lunch today, and yes sir, that fork FLEW out of that bowl and spilled on the table! The Spinach has farther-reaching powers that we give it credit for, really!

My father's birthday is coming up faster than I anticipated. (i.e. I forgot about it until this morning...) I don't know what to get him. Andy joked that I should buy him beer. Ha ha...that triggered a memory: my older brother and I wrapped up his 12-packs for xmas one year. "Do No Open Til' Xmas" or something right on the package. We had Christmas early that year.

So yeah, ha. Ha.

I'm thinking he needs a scarf. I just don't think I'll be able to pull it off in time. I literally fell asleep while knitting it just a few hours ago. I've got weeks to go, it's not until sometime in the second? week of November...must check the dates, several are floating around in my head.

Did I ever mention my family is REALLY BAD at remembering dates? I think it extends to the furthest reaches of all cousin-dome, really. The only reason I've ingrained my mom's birthday and mom's day into my head is so the rest of the people sharing her house-space might GET A CLUE when the package arrives and go out and get her flowers, or something.

Last one:
I've found that I try to limit my commenting to like one comment per week per blog...Which is super weird...I only just noticed this about myself today as I finally caught up with everyone's posts. I totally limited my comments. Even if I agreed...Mostly, I think, as I'm commenting on things that they wrote about DAYS ago.

I mean, I don't mind, especially if I've actually posted more than once a week, to have people comment on things that happened days ago. But I did get an email not too long ago about my second or third post, like ever? And that threw me into a time warp of sorts. I had to go reread it to see where they were coming from. As this is my main journal now, it's funky to see where my head was back then. It's even more funky to think that if someone reads my blog from start to today they'd get some sort of big picture of who I am right now. I do tend to leave out big swaths of my life, but there is definitely me staring back at me when I go through my old posts.

Okay, if I want any sort of Saturday that does NOT include the sound of the dryer in the background, I should go now.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Just Call Me Sucker...

I should not be thinking this way, I really shouldn't. I want to believe that I can create a reality where I'm not jaded, bitter, and use sarcasm to hide my true feelings. Auuuuummmmm.....

But try as I might, I keep hearing my "bad me" no matter how much I try to "let it go" and "move on" and only listen to "good me"--or at least as much "good me" as I can stomach.

I will paraphrase so that I can not be too incriminating...
SIL's email: It would be so nice if your brother and my children had beanies made by you! Cuz nothing could be nicer than having something made by their auntie and his sister protecting them from the arctic LA morning weather (I did mention sarcasm, yes?)

Good me: (to myself) Oh! She wants me to make hats for my uber cute (to me) niece and nephew (cuz everyone's baby nieces and nephews are uber cute to them.) Awww can you see it now? 3 matching hats, complementary color schemes...(Good me thinks in pastels with lollipop trees and chocolate streams sometimes...eep)

Bad me: (who ALWAYS sees the negative side of the picture, always.) Ya, okay, so what about the ones you knit for these people LAST year? Remember what happened at the birthday party? We saw HANDFULS of beanies and not a bloody one was one you knit for them. NEVER AGAIN, remember???

Good me: But she ASKED this time. Remember that bit too??? Only if they ask!!! She's asking!!! Let's go to the yarn store! No harm in looking. Maybe we won't find the perfect shades of pinks for little A, and maybe some grays for baby B, and a big daddy hat with both colors combined!!! (I sometimes make myself sick, yes.)

Bad me: This will all end in tears, I just know it.

And a big WELCOME BACK to the Fischer Price Camera Pictures. I know you missed seeing fuzzy images on this blog, I try to oblige all my readers. I'm starting with Daddy's Hat. That would be the blob in the center, in black. The pinks (and maybe a little red) will be Little A's Hat. The grays (and maybe a little black) will be Baby B's Hat. It's Falk Dalegan SUPERWASH yarn. They are indeed size US 3 needles. I'm playing with a 4x2 ribbing pattern.

Yes, I know, I sign up for Socktoberfest and then cast on for a hat. I'm good that way.

I have cast on for socks...Lemme think now...about 7 times in as many days. It's just not happening. Either the needles are wrong, or the SELF PATTERNING (urg I thought it was self-striping) is wrong or the pattern I want to try (Pomatomas anyone?) is all wrong for me.

I'm trying yet again tonight...Some cotton/wool socks for mom. In Sockotta with "mostly" blue (but lots of primary green, yellow, and egads, even know, to match her granddaughter's hat, yes, that's it.) Maybe 8th time's the charm, or something. you think I can get away with a little bit of pink in Daddy's hat??? Hmmm, didn't think so...

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Remember When I Used to Have Pictures?

The wireless mouse upstairs needed AAs STAT! So I stuck my camera batteries in there until such a time as more appropriate juice providers can be procured. Besides, it's not like I took a picture of the green socks all finished or anything...cuz they're not. They have some toe-grafting-goodness that I really must get to so I can start wearing them. It's chilly in the evenings, to say the least.

I was going to answer the "sock history" dealie from Lolly's Socktoberfest idea-fest...but I'm not in the right mind-frame to go digging up and dusting off both memories and pictures. It's not like I've got much of a my first socks were finished this year and all.

Speaking of socks, and some of the first that I knit up...I think I need to find someone with more narrow ankles who wears an 8.5 ladies. My "Classy Slip Ups" really are a bit tight under the Dock Martens. This blows, but meh, yet another excuse to knit up the pattern, which I did like. But now the quandary, how do you go about giving away a pair of socks you've worn twice? Kinda sticky situation there. I'll have to mull it over more. I KNOW they are too big for my mom. I suppose I could GAK, take the toe apart and shorten them...but I'd rather not.

Any suggestions? I'll take any suggestions on stretching them out that have worked for others as well. They were knit on 68 stitches and I've come to realize 72 is my magic to be me, I know. Such is life.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Workin' It Nun-Style

It was recently brought to my my "inner Sybil" more than anyone, that I have hit the nail right on the head if I wanna be chillin' it Nun-Style with the threads, if you know what I'm sayin'.

I dress like a nun.

I really do. By choice, this time, it would seem.

Sad, really, but so very glaringly true as I sit here and watch the fashion show that goes on every morning in this place. If they don't hire me? It'll be cuz of my wardrobe, I swear. I mean, what kind of hip biotech company is gonna want a nun at the front desk?

Before? When I had hair long enough to wear in a bun? Yup, school marm. I just needed the really itty-bitty metal framed glasses like the teacher on Little House on the prairie and I'd so bust out with the gingham. With the shorter 'do I tend to clasp half of it back in a it's still pulled back, only now it almost looks like I'm, yes, wearing a habit.

Yep, that's what greeted me in the bathroom just now; so I have literally just let down my hair. The conservative black sweater and scarf? The drab dark pants and plain white blouse? The Venetian glass that looks like a crucifix? "Hi Sr. Mary, how's it kickin'?"

I just don't think I can pull off the bright orange scarves I see cruising by, or the OH MY GOD THEY ARE POINTING AND HURTY LOOKING high-heeled shoes the other admins are clunking around in. Or even the cute little crochet-looking/open-lacework knitted-looking little cardigans some of the scientists sport. It's just all so "fashionable" and "in." As it's women's fashion in particular, it's probably just "in" for the season as well. Momma didn't raise a fashion-conscious daughter, uh uh. We live in "durable" land here. How many years will this work? Not how many weeks.

How did I make it through 18 years of LA-livin'? Very simple really. My mom, being the "po' messican cleaning lady" at the ritzy high school was yearly given BAGS AND BAGS of cast-offs by the secretaries, teachers, nuns, and even students. Really. 99% of my wardrobe came out of those bags. I sometimes wish I had been a more out-going popular kid, I could have started the "retro" movement decades before it happened. DECADES. There were complete outfits that could have brought back the 60s, 70s and sometimes, even touching on only a few YEARS behind the current style. My mom would pin and hem and down-size the most hideous and fabulous things out of those bags. If it fit, she didn't care WHAT shade of avocado green it was, it fit!

I cared. Maybe just a little. Maybe just enough to always dive deep in those bags and only choose the really dark and plain colors. That must have stuck with me more deeply than I cared to admit. Now that there's no "bag" to dig things out of I try to find the "timeless" outfits I can get away with wearing for years and not the fashion queen.

I really should have known I did the nun thing for forever though. As I sat here and began this entry I remembered a story. It's not a happy story. I'm trying to make sure I remember and tell it just the way it happened. This would classify as a "horror of horrors" moment:

I was in high school by then, the same one where my mom cleaned the toilets for a living. Had I a tatoo that read, "Yes, I am the janitor's daughter," I would never have had to open my mouth or nod that first year. Ah that first I was in the school choir. On the day in question we were singing at a mass/tea. We had to appear in black skirts and white blouses for the horrific event of my recalling. I had plenty of white blouses. A mountain of them, I had about 5 or 6 of the same style even, but various sizes. (Some of you know where this is going already, don't you?)

Right. So after the performance we were asked to go into the dining room and mingle with the guests (we were trying to get some donations or something, I've blocked that part out). One of the nuns comes up to a group of us, a group I'd just really started relaxing around, maybe even considering myself, oh I dunno, LIKE them. Sr. Celine finishes telling us how wonderful we were when it happened...One of the girls raised her hand and whispered behind it to one of the other girls, there was a deft but unmistakable pointing to the Sr., and then to me...and giggling. Oh how I hated the giggling. I looked over to Sr. Celine and wished I could disappear. She was oblivious and had started to turn away, but (and of course it was me) she had been patting my arm, near the wrist, and it was there that I saw the matching edging. I looked up the arm at the blouse itself, we were wearing THE SAME BLOUSE. In fact, ha ha, ha ha, we can all laugh about it now, yes? 18 years on? Because not only was I wearing the cast-off of one particular nun, OH, NO, no no no no. My eyes had jumped to all of the nuns scattered around the room in a very "Carrie" moment, Under blazers, or staring right back at me from each and every one of those nice little nuns...the same blouse. I was wearing part of their old "dress" uniform (they didn't wear the penguin suits, but they still wore a kind of uniform).

The rest is kinda fuzzy.

I did not burst into tears. I did not break into a run. This much my mother can attest to...I do know I did turn very very very red and maybe had a hard time breathing. I know that the the first chance I got I snuck into the big school kitchen and sank down on my favorite chair and imagined all the different ways I could get out of returning to the school, ever.

Right. That was not going to happen. What did happen? Hmmm, obviously not traumatic enough for me to remember. Or maybe so bad I don't want to remember? 18 years is an awfully long time. I know one girl stopped speaking to me. She had this knack of pretending I didn't exist, you know, if someone was standing behind me she'd talk to them "through" me? What fun.

I also know my mom and I went shopping for a white shirt of my own.


Hmmm, I'm wondering if I go for the dark unassuming outfits now cuz I don't ever want to be pointed-out like that again? Doubtful. I didn't stop dipping into those bags until I pretty much left LA. And boy did I go hog wild and pull out some bright red blazers and OH-HOW-VIVID "hawaiian-esque" blouses. I found it much easier to go "goofy" with the clothes than to hide under a rock. These were free, afterall.

Ah, there it is. I can't afford to be goofy with the fashion. So I guess I'll keep dressing like a nun until my pocket-book runneth over, or something. I'll try to refrain from quoting too much scripture in anyone's direction.

Peace out!