Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Green When You Turn On the Light...

...Well, mostly anyway :)

The time has come...seeing as there are only a couple more hours until May officially ends on the West coast.
See this?
I've always been a sucker for maps, especially the "there be dragons" variety. So when I ran across this fabric, on sale no less at "big-name fabric store," I got it, no questions asked. You know, especially those hard ones like, ummm what exactly are you planning on doing with it? Did you buy enough? Are you just enamored of all the ships and the "antiquey map feel" and aren't listening to me? Hello?!? Bueller? This isn't going to be like the Winnie the Pooh fabric you bought back when you were 13 is it? IS IT?

Tee hee, MAP!

But I did decide to prove the voices in my head wrong by actually making something with it, in honor of Project Spectrum's Green month too! So in your face Space Coyote! Ugh, sorry, channeling in Homer Simpson again.

What better fabric to house my most "traveled" knitting needles1:
Yes, a needle case, for my sock needles! See:
A quickie "experimental" project. I was super curious about how the fabric would react under my machine's needle. Would the weave pull? Would the print "crack?" No, no, no, no, no. :) It's a "texture" fabric, you can feel as well as see the weave, which makes it kinda feel like it's even more "olde-y/antique-y" beyond just the pattern printed on it. I lined it with your basic, or not so basic, Egyptian Cotton. I tried, really I did, but I could not bring myself to use the super el-cheap-o solid color green they had on sale. Not with this fabric. Now when it's soooo very cool to work with on my poor petering out sewing machine.

I've got enough fabric for a medium/small tote (or maybe just a "sockyarn skein" bag to match the dpn case) and maybe a zip/velcro (I don't own a zipper foot and investing in one this late in the game might not be worth it) pouch for notions. I'd thought about making a matching "roll" for my straight needles and larger/non-sock dpns but, umm, well, that's far too much like having matching luggage or something. I don't think I'm ready for that kind of lifestyle, yet. But oh wow, this fabric would make a GREAT luggage print...well, for goofie people like me. It's nowhere near sturdy enough for such an undertaking unless massive amounts of that interfacing stuff was used...and that tends to change the feel of the fabric a bit much for me.

Did you notice all the colors though? I looked super close...not a speck of purple to be seen. But all that water? Blue. Accents on the sailing ships? Blue. Compass Roses? Blue. So if I get bits and chances throughout June to play with this fabric? It's still good :). Besides, Lolly said I could! :)

Yey Green!

Oh, ummm my, sock? Yep, still working on it. But as you'all guessed from the title of my last post? I's a workin' stiff now...and hopefully for the next many weeks. I've started a temporary office position. I'm ROWS away from the toe decreases, but it's just not gonna happen today, I tired. I give myself about 10 minutes before I fall asleep in my chair. Since this is a "dress-up" kinda job, this would be bad as I have a little mending to do so i can, you know, keep up the dressing-nice-ability :).

I go now...

1 Actually, my official "most traveled" needles? Those are a pair of unspecified METAL US4s I began a sweater onback in 1987. They were given to me by my mom in Los Angeles, CA; moved up to Santa Cruz, CA; spent a year in Stanford, CA; back to Santa Cruz; down to Moss Landing, CA. Then accompanied me in my sailboat up into the Sacramento Delta; back down the entire coast of CA (from SF bay all the way to 4 miles north of the Tijuana, Mexico border when I was in San Diego. Of course they then went down and around Baja CA and then all the way South to Zihuatanejo, Guerrero, Mex. on the same sailboat. But wait, there's more, we hopped across the Pacific Ocean...well, a little segment, from Mexico to Hilo, HI. Yup, there they were. When I packed my life away and mailed it to my mom's house? Right, in the box back to LA where they'd begun their journey...only for me to pick the sticks back up again with a fevered passion and take them with me to North Lake Tahoe, CA, and now they're by my feet in their cute plastic container 800 miles further North in Seattle. Mile for mile? About 14,000 miles of traveling.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Workin' fo' a livin'

Or something...

As my shift begins much too early in the AM this will be short. I have a craft to share for May, another "sewn object." I think, however, it's gonna be something I work with in June as well, and July and possibly August...or maybe however long my little sewing machine will give me (whichever comes first, obviously...and capt'n, I can't give 'er much more. She really is starting to die now.)

I found some "killer" fabric and I want to make stuff with it, and I don't care that it's 99% green. There might be a smidge of blue...I know there's not purple, but there are browns in it...You'll see. I love it! If I finish up my little project tomorrow evening I'll post a picture and then you really will see what's caught my eye. Nothin' too fancy here, just, dunno, you'll see.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Droppin' Names Like it Was Goin' Outta Style

So, my friends James & Laura are finally mostly set up in their Kent apartment, so we all had dinner in celebration of their friend (& mine by association) Carter's (newly single, 31, straight, lives in Central Cal if anyone's interested :)) birthday. Laura declared there was nothing left to shock her anymore as she'd been hanging out with James and Carter since she was 17. James and I were housemates back in my Santa Cruz days (daze :)). We've all got history here, not to mention tendrils and connections stretching across several states now. Hmm, like rhizomes or something.

Of course we waxed on the nostalgic. They remembered nights I could only imagine and try to patch together like some twisted dream sequence...I was there, I was just, um, incapacitated? Or maybe I went to sleep early, yeah, that's it. Su-u-u-u-re. I was rarely the designated driver, people.

My friend Charles and his lovely bride Jenny are coming to visit at the end of June and I was lamenting about how I was gonna get them to my house when James says, "Oh Charles, yeah, we met him in San Francisco! I remember him, Toranados, lambic, beer festival or something." Cuz, yeah, that's right, they were there too!?!?

You know how you have circles of friends that "don't play well" so you never mix them? Oh honey, paleese, the world is too small and the incidents way too interesting to pass up those kind of moments. Yet I had completely spaced the Toronado Strong Ale Fest when not only my college friends (James, Laura, & I were never at UCSC at the same time), came out, but my Xs San Diego clan showed as well. I think Mark & Mary Anne maybe too...and you were there, and so were you...sorry, Dorothy slips in sometimes.

So many people from so many different "walks of life" as it were. We had computer engineers, a cabbie, an assistant editor, a Hollywood Video clerk, a bookseller, a beer brewer maybe a teacher or two, all at the same table... when worlds collide they do make quite a BANG! I must have had a lambic or seven too many :) and swished it off where those memories kinda, um, drown or something.

My train of thought is completely caflooie....I don't know where I was headed. I'll blame it on my aging brain with the tremendous gaps that keep surfacing as I hang out with old friends. Or I can blame it on Andy who just called me away from my wandering thoughts as he wants to go look at yet another house today :). Yes, let's blame Andy.

As Memorial Day is all about remembering, I heard half a report about it on NPR yesterday, I guess it makes sense that I'm swimming through all these thoughts, trying to regain some snapped connections to old synapses, or something. I gotta run.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Following Directions

So I had this really "forward" thinking teacher in gradeschool. Don't ask me who she was, I have a bad time remembering if it was Ms. Estrada or Ms. Rocha...mostly cuz they all seemed short and they were all Mexican, and as anyone can tell you, WE ALL LOOK ALIKE. Besides, I was kinda being facetious about the "forward-thinking" bit :). When I think back about the way they taught me? I can remember some great yelling and arguing they had with our class. They were so young, so inexperienced. Don't you know people? Once you're in an argument with a child? You've lost! BIG TIME. I should know :).

Anyhow, one day she passed out a worksheet. Oh how I loved freshly mimeographed worksheets. It meant I could zip through it and be done and waste time or do something bad I knew I shouldn't, like talk to Carol, Vanessa, or maybe even Jennifer. Talking really is my downfall, I do talk, a whole lot. Just ask Andy, only, if he has that glazed look about him you'll have to poke him awake so he realizes it's you and not just more of me yapping away. Where was I?

Right, so this worksheet, it had really big, dark, purple letters telling the reader to FOLLOW ALL DIRECTIONS. 20/20 hindsight? I really should have majored in engineering or something, cuz me? Follow directions? Buahahahaha. I thought I'd give it a shot.

#1 said something like, read #2-10 before doing anything.

Ummm hmmmm, I thought as I sharpened my pencil and filed that one away in the place where all silly things like "instructions" ended up.

#2 write your name on the top left-hand corner.

What I should have done was um, read on to #3, right, su-u-u-u-re. So, of course I wrote my name on the top left-hand corner so I wouldn't, you know, forget to do it later or something. Yup, me and directions.

#3 circle #1

Yep, circled it

#4 Put a triangle around #6 (or something, I'm guessing)

But you're right if you're thinking I'd tossed out instruction #1 and went on down the line until #10 where it said something like: Now that you've read #1s 1-10, go back and follow the instructions in #s 1, 5, and 7. There should be no other marks on your paper.

This is what erasers are for, people! Cuz, um, that "learning my lesson" thingie? Tee hee, you're funny.

So, tell me this, I'm new to this whole "lots of dye in the wash water/add vinegar the first time the wool touches water" thing. Right, sound like directions don't they? Did I follow them? Ummmm, no. I do have an excuse though (when do I not?) I washed/blocked my Classy Slip-Up/Project Spectrum socks, finally, and they're drying in the garage. But, um, yeah, I didn't bother reading the PARAGRAPH of washing instructions that I just found on the ball band as I was getting ready to toss/file it.

It talks about some wool-wash (I use woolite, shoot me later) and two or more applications of the vinegar!! I did notice TONS of dye, mostly orange :), in the wash water. Is there an eraser for this? Can I go back and do the vinegar thing now or is it too late? I don't see them much lighter than they were pre-washing, but to be honest? I decided not to look all that closely in case that electric blue and all the other cool colors that first attracted me to that yarn had gone away, you know?

Maybe now, in 20 years later and after the fact? Yeah, maybe I'll start reading the directions all the way through. Until I forget and slip back into my usual ways of course. I am nothing if not stubborn.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Audience Participation Requested

So, I was waiting until Rebekah of Knit-Knack had everything set up before fulfilling her request of shilling on my blog :). The premise is this:

Craft something to donate to the Humane Society for the wee little animals that have nothing to do but sit in cages all day waiting to be adopted. There are prizes!

My summarizing isn't quite up to snuff this AM, so here are the relevant links in order of appearance:
The Idea
Pattern Ideas with Prizes Noted
Her own title, "This and That"

From there I'm sure anyone interested will spread the news and/or keep in touch directly with her.

I'm not sure if I'll have the time to participate, which is why I'm advertising for it instead. My 2 readers (hi mom! j/k) maybe can tell their friends and they can tell their friends and we'll be in a Breck-esque game of telephone. Also, I'm a bit far away from the proceedings. This is centering in and around Illinois, I believe. I do know some of you readers are closer to that state than I, so I hope you'll consider spreading the word.

On a total aside, cuz blogger's that way about pictures, I want to post this little guy too:
International Knit In Public Day is June 10th. I KIP EVERYWHERE, much to the chagrin of my friends, who have given up sighing dramatically and rolling their eyes. Just yesterday we were at Wendel's Licensing Service, or whatever it's called, getting Andy's motorcycle registered, yeah, I was merrily working away on the heel flap of my "Seastorm Twilight" sock. What else are you supposed to do? Staring menacingly at the ladies behind the counter is NOT gonna earn you brownie points! :) So yeah, there you go.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Random Picture Wednesday: Progress Report

The sun is a fickle fiend and playing with me. As soon as I'd set everything up, it went away. Now that I'm desperately trying to fix the too-dark picture with photoshop, it flaunts itself right outside my window. Revenge will be mine you big yellow ball of gas!!! I mean, umm, hello, dark picture, sorry.

Right, so I'm flashing my WIPs today. I felt this would be far less traumatic (for everyone involved) than my scanning in my temporary Washington State Driver's License. Quite painless, that. The short time I spent waiting I was able to knit on my sock, and the ladies who helped me were SO VERY NICE!!! I mean it, no sarcasm. I came home and gushed about them to Andy. The Department of Licensing is NOT, in any way shape or form, the Department of Motor Vehicles, about which I would NEVER describe as having EVER had a pleasant experience. My favorite part was when the nice lady asked if the weight was the same or less? LESS!?!?! HA HA HA HA! That's super funny, but she was so very sweet to ask.

My my my, what am I working on I try to bring us back to the original topic.

That long black thing? Right, that would be my "Neverending Scarf." I'd commented on Snitty that I was fearing working on it because I think I may not have enough yarn to finish. Happy day, I found yet another little ball of Debbie Bliss Wool/Cotton. Currently at 40", I believe I'll be done with her sometime in 2012, mayhaps just before the Mayans come back to pick me up before the end of time, etc..ahem.

The picture is just shy of horrid in showing off the colors of my sock, just under the scarf to the left. Yes, that blob to the left. The tentative name is "Seastorm Twilight Socks," as I'm guessing that's the color scheme of the yarn. They don't have any numbers/dyelots/names on the ball bands themselves, which bothers a bit. Happily the internet came to my rescue. Really and truly, there is more than the one stitch of green, that you can just make out if you squint and turn your head, in real life than in that picture.

To the right of the ST Sock is the green sockie that I ripped back to the insufficient ribbing. I've worked my way up to the required 1.5" now and am on hold until I finish the other sock, at least. It will some day (maybe in 2008?) be a "Dublin Bay" sock. Honest.

Lastly, but oh not least, is what's left of the start of Andy's sweater. Gauge is everything people. Being able to divide by 3.75 is even better. I need to start carrying around my TI Scientific calculator in my knitting pouch it seems. Once I get all those silly calculations done it'll just soar! I mean, look at the size of those needles! They make my sock needles look like toothpicks!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

No-Content Post

I'm having a hard time sitting down and doing any one thing for longer than 10 minutes today and I feel guilty for not posting, so I thought I'd sit and spew for as long as I could to assuage the Catholic upbringing and maybe let you in on the insanity that is my frontal lobe.

That's a biggie with me right now. I am POOR people, I don't buy books, I check them out of the library. Some nimnod decided he would pollute a library book by sharing his icky stench, which I'll describe as "4 year old unwashed denim style smoking jacket smell." If you don't know that smell first hand, I'm sure you can imagine it.

I'm returning Wigfield by Amy (yes David's sister) Sedaris, Paul Dinello, and Stephen (of the Colbert Report) Colbert, unread and barely opened. I was rather pissed after getting all ready to spend my evening reading when gross, bleck...that smell. I'm no angel. I've known the pleasure of a cancer stick in my day (when did I become my own granma and start using phrases like "in my day???"), BUT NOT WHILE READING SOMEONE ELSE'S BOOKS! That's just wrong. Even if the "someone else" is the library, HELLO! Maybe someone else wants to enjoy being literate too???? Ugh.

And if any of my younger family members ever stumble onto this blog? Do as I say and not as I did: DO NOT START SMOKING. IT IS A BITCH TO QUIT. And yes, I just used the B-word. No you may not repeat that either.

#2 What is wrong with people and their ability to scratch up CDs so very thoroughly?
I guess this is a library materials post... I've had a run of bad luck with the audio books of late. Usually the last third of the books is LOST due to the excessive scratches and JUNK on the CDs. What are these people doing? Brillo-pad cleaning is NOT necessary! I really miss that super-spiffy CD cleaner at the Kings Beach Library.

Yeah, I'm becoming kinda nostalgic about my time in Kings Beach. Probably because well, even if you didn't want them to, everybody did know who you were. I feel kinda lost in this big city. Anonymous. I have yet to have the same checker twice at the grocery store. No one has time to shoot the breeze cuz they have to deal with the ten thousand people behind me. Sometimes I feel like I'm just a social security number on a file somewhere.

"I AM NOT A NUMBER!" -The Prisoner

With that I must leave you. I'm gonna go apply for my Washington State Driver's License, and yeah, you get to take a number right at the door. You know I haven't had to do that ANYWHERE I've lived in...well...since I got my driver's license when I was 18 or so??? That would also be the year I left LA...hmmm seems I might have some things to ponder.

If the sun ever comes out again I will post a picture of my progress with my green/blue/brown?/grey-black? sock. YES PEOPLE! I do indeed have 2 Energizer Lithium E2s sitting/lying right in front of me :). I might even accomplish the changing of the batteries as I watch this post update my blog!!! With that I leave you with the email Richard sent me this morning, dedicated to all UC graduates:

How many UC students does it take to change a light bulb?
UCLA: Two. 1 to change the bulb, and another to call their friends at USC and tell them how they changed it just as well and for much cheaper.

CAL: Three. 1 to change the bulb and two to debate about the metaphysical state of the bulb and how its invention has impacted human development.

UCSD: Five. 1 to hold the bulb and 4 to start smoking weed until the room spins.

UCI: Eleven. 1 to change the bulb and ten to sit around watching because honestly, what else is there to do at Irvine past 10pm??

UCR: Three. 1 to steal the bulb, another to drive the getaway car, and the
last to call all his friends to throw the celebration party on a Tuesday night.

UCSB: Seven. 1 to screw the bulb and 6 to screw each other.

UC Davis: Zero. There is no electricity in Davis.

UC Merced: Two. One to hold the bulb while the other calls his friend asking for help in figuring out this "new college thing."

UCSC: None. Living in the forest, they see at night by torches and moonlight - damn hippies

Saturday, May 20, 2006


So yeah, "little late."
Spectrum Orange SocksNo, I haven't changed out the batteries yet...
Did you know that there's "residual" battery power in digital cameras? Well, in mine at any rate. I was cleaning (YES, I do clean every once in a while, usually just as the guests are ringing the doorbell, but shush) off my desk when I decided to check just how dead the camera batteries were. Whadda ya know, it let me take AND download ONE picture. When I popped the little Sony on, the "battery level" started at FULL and jumped around a bit, but didn't shut down the camera until after that first picture. The "playback" feature uses less juice, so I was able to see my off-center shot perfectly. I was trying my luck by downloading but kept my fingers crossed as the level kept creeping down to zero...

I know, I know, change the batteries...I will, soon, promise.

Les' see the down and dirty info:
Yarn: Brown Sheep Handpaint Wildfoote Luxury Sock Yarn (I'm just reading the label here)
Made of:75% Washable Wool/25% nylon
Color: SY-500 Brown Sugar Dyelot: 009
Needle: US2 to cast on and do a couple/three rows of ribbing, then US1 for the rest
Pattern: "Classy Slip-Up" from Knit Socks!

I like this yarn, um, the stitches look pretty. (There I go gettin' all technical.) I loved the colors. The orange really does jump out at you, and when you look close the blue is almost electric. No, I haven't blocked them, and unblocked they are a little tight in the calf, which is my usual problem with socks and I was deluding myself thinking making my own would be any different...and no I'm not ripping them out and starting again, that would kill me more. I'm going to block the bejeezus out of them and see if they get softer and maybe a little more stretchy. If not I'll find someone with thinner ankles and similar shoe size and off they'll go to a good home.

I'd joked about gifting them to my mom, but they'd be super huge on her as I actually made them the right foot size this time (She wears a Women's 4.5-5 WW, we are a square-footed family 'round here--I'm an 8-8.5 C/D--did you know the itty bitty shoe sizes have a different width system than the bigger ones?) Hmm, I wonder if my brother would wear them; we're about the same foot-size...we'll see :).

Tangents to the left of me, tangents to the right! Eep. This staying "on topic" thing is hard when my mind is on ten-thousand other things. So where was I? Oh yeah, the yarn.

I'd definitely use it again. Lorna's is softer at the outset though, and Fleece artist is even more so. I know, I know, I've heard the Koigu people go on and on, but at the price per skein of that puppy, it's a little out of my budget until I, you know, start working again :). And here comes another tangent...I think I just realized why I've kept re-starting with the Fleece's too soft after the Wildfoote...kinda like going from US 0000s to US 27s. Hmm, maybe I should go work on that Never-ending-Scarf for a bit to get my fingers used to something completely different, or something.

I need to go make some curtains...(not green though). Happy Saturday.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Just When You Think You Might Start Makin' Some Cash...

...they cancel your temp. assignment. Rug. Me. Pulled out. BOOM. :(

Oh well, I didn't need to start making money next week. I need more practice getting lost on the metro system anyway. Who needs to, oh I dunno, make rent, pay bills, buy groceries, etc. without dipping into her savings...

3rd time's the charm?

I am keeping positive about the whole thing. Andy reminded me today I could always substitute teach...only, dear Andy, school's over for the summer. Remember summer? Everyone's favorite time of the year? I'm also not so desperate as to voluntarily sub for a summer session. Hello? Didn't I just comment somewhere on someone else's blog maybe? SUN + SCHOOLWORK = Get off my back (expletive of choice)! Give me a torrential rainstorm + school = what else is there to do? May as well half listen to the loony up front anyway....

Okay, little jaded on the teaching thing? Yeah. Little bitter my assignment got cancelled? OH YEAH.

Let's talk about something else instead.

GREEN. Right. Project Spectrum. Okay, so I started on a green sock using some yummy (no I DID NOT TASTE IT) Fleece Artist Merino Sock wool and I loved the fact that it MATCHED the interior color scheme of the house Tim put a bid on! (Tangent alert: Tim and Andy have caught that mid-thirties House-Buying-Bug. Apparently it's going around, protect yourselves. We drove ALL OVER CREATION Seattle while the boys looked at land and houses and shacks...I even have a story to share about a little town...later, so I had PLENTY of knitting time, what with NOT BEING EMPLOYED, of course I tagged along :). ) I'd chosen the "Dublin Sock" pattern from Mossy Cottage Knits (pattern on her sidebar) cuz you know, green sock, dublin? Yeah, okay, so she didn't mean Ireland, but poetic license, you know? Suffice to say it was my first stab at a lace-like pattern (notice, PAST tense). Besides, before I had to cancel it, I was gonna BE in Ireland this part of the month and everything....moving on.

What's that I hear? Surely not the Coqui frog here in Seattle? No, just the sound my sock made as I ripped it down to the ribbing...lacework, even simple yo's, + driving around + tactless hanging her head out the window at times and smelling LOTS of fertilizer and chicken butt, just don't mix. So I looked at the calendar and realized I'd finish those socks sometime in August of 2008 at the rate I was going. Deadlines...urgh. SO, I'm multi-spectruming now. Feelin' a little low I trekked out to Village Yarn & Tea Shop and picked up some more sock yarn. One in, yup, MULTIPLE spectrum colors.

So yesterday as I not only got sunburned (in Seattle you say? Yah sure, you betcha, BURNED) waiting for the bus, I cast on more Fleece Artist in greens/blues/other colors, and ribbed it some. Now...ahem...I need to find a stitch pattern for the leg. I'm leaning toward a rib of some sort...or maybe a moss stitch...something I can memorize and just zip through (well, as fast as a snail can zip) so I can at least have A SOCK to show off in, ha ha ha ha, 13 days :). Wasn't there some green cloth I was going to sew up or something...yeah, keeping positive here :).

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Random Picture Wednesday: Hanai Parenting

It seems almost fitting that I got all three of these kids in one picture...and Charlie's(?) arm (I can't honestly remember if that is his name or not...

A Hanai mom or dad (and I don't remember if it has an okina or not between the 'a' and the 'i' so forgive please if I'm wrong) parent is a someone that kinda adopts you and makes sure you're doing okay giving you parental advice or scoldings when necessary. Lessons are usually learned here and there. It's usually older person adopting younger...but Pam and I proved that it really doesn't have to be that way. We took turns, weekly, daily, sometimes HOURLY. When your nearest parental unit is no longer available or is 3,000 miles away, having a surrogate one is often handy.

Kiko, captain (and owner) of the double-hulled traditional Hawaiian canoe where the picture was taken (the guy in yellow, "driving" the boat?), was the one who introduced me to the concept when he introduced his "Hanai" son. So you all get what a Hanai son would be then, right? Right, the receiver of the parenting. (By the way, he makes his living taking charters out on the boat. IT'S WONDERFULLY FUN. I'll dig up his email if you're in or about the Big Island and are interested, let me know.)

I really and truly love the family concept of Hawai'i'. It's what I miss the most. Small children calling me auntie is a lovely feeling. Way different that my students mistakenly calling me "mo-o-o-m!" in that desperate exasperated voice than only 7th graders could have. (See, I don't have to be a mom to know that preteen/teenaged hell you all have experienced. Now say it with me, as a teacher I had 160 of these "experiences" EVERY YEAR I taught 7th grade. I didn't get to see them "grow out of it." This is one of the reasons secretary work and filing sound so very appealing right now :).)

And Andy, up front in the goofy hat? We've been taking turns taking care of one another lately. Down to having to deal when SOMEBODY had a bit of a "terrible two tantrum" about going back to work after a nap...but I don't name names, that wouldn't be right.

I'm off to explore the wonders of the Seattle Mass Transit!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Shopping + Paint Fumes = Headache

How many Tactless Wonders does it take to put new batteries in a camera?

Couldn't tell ya, still hasn't been done.

The socks are kitchnered and I need to do the blocking bit, but would it kill me to take their picture as is? NOPE. Blame it on the rain, headache, yes.

Last night I finished Neil Gaiman's American Gods. Fun. It's Science Fiction but in that "could be happening out there right now" kinda feel to it. I like those alternate present kind of plots. It makes the world seem more magical if you can see how the extraordinary can easily slip into the ordinary.

This was my first all-Gaiman novel. Before American Gods I had read Good Omens which he and Terry Pratchett co-authored. That was some good clean end-of-world fun, that one. I need to put more Gaiman on my library holds list, that's for certain.

I'm going to go hit my head against the wall for a bit, maybe the pain will go away :), or at least change. Really, I'm headed for the medicine cabinet, but you knew that.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Moms' Day

See my two "little ladies?" Mami and Mom. When Mary Jane first met my mom she was so thrilled...I really need to see if I can find that picture, but it might either be in San Diego or was at my wedding, Mary Jane had FINALLY found someone who was shorter than she was! I love you, Mary Jane.

Here they stand in front of a Zihuatanejo "tourist attraction." (Some Einstein left his boat during the stormy season and it broke loose and landed there, on the beach. No one knew what to do with it, but SOMEONE was going to pay...or so the Port Captain told me when I asked.) To their left, and only a few feet away from them really, is a Mexican Soldier with rifle, but maybe not bullets. The only reason they were allowed to get near the boat at all is because they looked harmless. When my X tried to look at the boat the soldier came up and stood, rifle diagonally across his body with an obvious for even the gringos who don't know the lingo, "YOU SHALL NOT PASS" attitude. Two little old ladies? No problemo.

This was my mom's first ever vacation. EVER, really. She and Mary Jane decided to come visit their children before we embarked on crossing the Pacific to land us in Hawai'i on our 32' sailboat (the "Irish Rose" of prior posts). It was only February but we decided to celebrate moms' day early that year.

This year my mom is taking it easy at home, and Mary Jane is somewhere in Europe... the last post card I received was from "Bacion da Bologna."

Happy Mother's Day to all my moms, and, well, everyone else who's a mom to someone :).

Friday, May 12, 2006

Random Picture Wednesday, On Friday

From the "picture archives." This was taken in Cottonwood. They're little stuffed "Osh Kosh Bigosh" (or whatever) outfits with hats on 'em. Cute eh?

I saw them and thought, "My god, they're selling small children for $10 a pop!"
My second, "Are they tied to those boxes?"
Then yeah, reality struck home and I saw THEY HAVE NO HEADS! And that moved on to, ooooohhhhh, dolls! HOW CUTE.

Weird how the mind works :).

Job hunting + house hunting = no blogging time.
We will return to our regular scheduled time-wasting later this weekend, or something :).

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

It's So Late It's Almost Tomorrow...

See, that's how tired I am, that's what I just finished saying to my mom not 5 minutes ago.

Today was a roller coaster ride. Does that explain it all? Not really, but I tired. Maybe I'll fill this in with such things as details later. Now it's bedtime.

For those early risers though: I may be employed as soon as next Monday, not this, but NEXT Monday...someone remind me to call up the employment agency on Friday to find out. Well, technically I am now employed, just, well, not getting paid until I do an "assignment." Employment agencies are bizarre creations, but rather useful, to say the least.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

My Kingdom for a Bart Simpson Doll

I posted about this before, needing a plushy Bart doll for a 3-yr old? Well, outside of the LA County Faire, or wherever my lil bro got his, THEY DON'T EXIST IN REAL STORES. So I did as suggested and found one on-line...let's just hope it's what she wants. 3 yr olds can be so very fickle.

I was going to link up the picture of what I chose...but I can't seem to find him on the site anymore. I hope this means he was their only one and it's mine mine mine. Fingers crossed. I'm a newbie to this "online" shopping thing. I can probably count on one hand the purchases I've made over the last, ummm 10 years. Most of which have been airplane tickets to Mexico.

There I go with the Mexico connection again. Maybe I need to go there? If I follow CAPs horror-scopes :), it does say I should go away and take a vacation or something this month. Which is kinda freaky, I was supposed to be in Ireland right now with my xMIL. I cancelled the trip when I decided to move up here as worrying about moving and then a trip would have given me rashes that no amount of fun traveling could alleviate. Auuummmm, best not to think on it.

This time tomorrow I'll be downtown Seattle looking all professional-like and probably filling out tons of paperwork. Fun times! Best not to think on this either :).

Happy Tuesday!

ps: I have one sock done, minus the kitchnering...will post pics when #2 is done as well. Maybe even both kitchnereded...Grammar Police where are you?

Monday, May 08, 2006

Mom Story

This is why I'm grateful my mom doesn't do the computer thing...

So my mom and I were talking about welfare, citizenship, and temp. agencies the other day. Yes, all in one conversation.

Believe it or not, my mom came LEGALLY from Mexico back in 1950-something...Maybe 52, maybe 53...I forgot to ask. She won't tell me who helped her either, at least not yet. Soon I will track all this information down. For the book. The movie will be fantastic, can't you see it now?

Anyhow, my mom was indeed festooned with all the right paperwork to be in this country. At 70+ years old she's never been on welfare. Not once. What a statistic breaker that little lady is. She remembers there was only one time that she was tempted and got as far as the interview.

Picture it, Los Angeles 1972, my mom is 5 months pregnant, which makes it 34 years ago, almost exactly. My father had been in the midst of fixing all of his papers. He did NOT get to the US, um, "above board." I've already covered this before. So he and my mom were going to make it happen before their first child came into the world.

Step 1: Quit your job.

Yikes, this is the 70s and my father can't be employed? No way, Arnulfo. (That was his fake name.) So unemployed, with a pregnant wife to boot, onward with the paperwork.

Step 2: Get yourself a Mexican Visa

Ummm, that involved being IN Mexico to accomplish. So off to TJ with you. Yes, leave your 5 month pregnant wife whose sole income is from her waitressing job. Whose job is making her nauseous as the baby gets bigger and bigger.

Step 3: Lounge around at your uncle's house drunk off your ass...

Wha-wha-what??? So my mom is trying to keep her meals in her tummy, struggling to keep her job, filling out paperwork that she doesn't understand--schooling? A luxury she never got to sample. She goes down to TJ on her weekend to find out that nothing has been accomplished because a)drinking is more fun and b)drinking is more fun and besides c)drinking is more fun.

With no choice (no choice? I got some words about choices, but this isn't my story) but to go back to LA and work, my mom leaves my dad more money, as the first batch was spent, YES, on booze. This time, really, it's for the visa, promise.

Back in LA she can't stand the cafeteria anymore. She's by herself, preggos, and decides to quit, cuz she just can't stand having to go out back to toss her cookies. (This here is pregnant logic. The baby does not like the cafeteria, so quit it cuz well, that's more important than, oh food or rent. See, this is why I don't have children.)

Her friends tell her to go to the welfare office and she does. She qualified instantly as she was pregnant and there was only one income happening, but she didn't know that. They didn't even realize she was "expecting." They just thought she was fat so she only qualified because her man "done gone." So they said they would have to go and check to make sure there was no man or evidence there of.

My parents were still pretty much newlyweds and had little to their names, but that was enough to scare the bejeezubs out of my mom. NO inspection. She walked out of the office smiling and thanking the nice man, who then noticed the roundness of my mom's tummy and tried to call her back but she was too worried to hear him. Instead she ran to the nearest employment agency.

There they wanted to put her in yet another restaurant, she just could not do it. The food, the smell! Egads! So they asked her how she felt about potatoes. Raw potatoes? They placed her in a cafeteria that needed someone to peel them. Raw potatoes don't smell like much, that'd be fine, thank you.

That weekend she once again hoofed it down to ole' Mexico to find the last weeks' scene repeated. Oh the words I'd have had...but it'd be years before I was born. Anyhow, turns out no visas are issued in TJ, anyone coulda' told them that. You have to go all the way to Mexicali for them. So, um, did he? Nope. Right. Again, no choice in the matter, she poured my father into a taxi and off they went to Mexicali (here I must take a few deep breaths because my great uncle? A TAXI DRIVER. Did he bother to do any of the pouring (only of spirits my child) or the driving? NO, let the 4' 10" (with heels) preggos woman do it all by herself!).

Visa application was turned in and all the right papers signed, now you can go back to TJ and wait for it to be issued...hoo boy.

Back to the potatoes for my mom, back to the debauchery for my dad, but with even less money than the week before, maybe that'll slow him down? HA ha ha ha ha ha...sorry, couldn' help meself.

Potatoes like mountains all around her, but at least she wasn't puking.

Finally, the paperwork is done and visa is issued and my dad can get his "act" back to LA and get a job you lazy wino...I could use stronger language, but he is my dad, afterall. So my dad gets a job and that's when the Welfare folk get back to my mom. Turns out they'd tried and tried to get in touch with her but to no avail. The fellow who'd noticed her tummy had tried to tell her that she qualified as long as there was no income at all...Nothin' doin' thank you very much. My mom saw that if my dad had nothing to do, bad things happened, and she was happy peeling potatoes, again, thank you very much.

So my brother did not have to have Arnulfo as his name, as they were planning on naming him after his father and all. Though my brother LOVES LOVES LOVES french fries. Hmmm, I wonder why...

ETA: I have an appointment with an "employment service" on Wednesday...eep.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

MEME Sunday

Content? No content. It's Sunday, there are memes to be done:
Book Meme
from Knits & Grits
1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open it to page 161.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence along with these instructions.
5. Don't search around and look for the coolest book you can find. Do what's actually next to you.

The nearest books next too me actually don't go up to 161; they're my tattered and trudged-around copies of various Calvin & Hobbes comic collections, um 7, none of which go past pg. 127.

#8 however, The Days Are Just Packed, is one of the "anniversary" collections. It revealed this gem:
"I've never really thought about butt muscles before." (Calvin)

7X7 Meme:
(I had to do a search on my blog to see if I'd done this one already, sheesh!)
from: Felt Like Knitting
I won't do the footwork for you, but if you do some "link following" there's a contest somewhere :)

Seven things to do before I die:
1 Be a part of something special.
2 Go to New Zealand.
3 See ALL the I
slands of Hawai'i (3 down).
4 Go to Europe. Not picky here, at this point any place across the pond will do.
5 Write out my mother's story
6 Figure out what I want to do when I grow up.
7 Teach again, long enough to maybe possibly earn tenure somewhere?!?

Seven things I cannot do:
1 Keep "my room" clean (office, classroom, playroom, etc., if it's "mine" it's messy).
2 Do that rolled/tube tongue thing my mom and everyone else in the world can do.
3 A cartwheel.
4 Deny a craving (like the ice cream, even on a cold blistery day, or strawberries, even if they have to be frozen, go to a yarn store, like even through a blizzard).
5 Make a deadline by anything but the skin of my teeth. If I need something done "early" I convince myself the due date is earlier than it actually is.
6 Say no to Tiramisu
7 Along the same lines, but there actually has to be room for it, say no to chocolate cake.

Seven things that attract me to my husband: Sooooo, I need to change this one...How 'bout 7 things that attract me to a fella? Or something, you get the idea?
1 A good sense of humor.
2 Patience (with me esp.).
3 His smell.
4 Adaptability.
5 Honesty.
6 How he treats others.
7 Willingness to hold my hand.

It's a bonus if he's cute too : ).

Seven books that I love: (SEVEN! ONLY 7! Egads!)
1 Calvin & Hobbes Collection books (and I'm cheating by "bundling.")
2 The Phantom Tollbooth
3 Alice in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass (it's pre-bundled)
4 Harry Potter et. al.
5 The Princess Bride
6 The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy "Trilogy"
7 The Hobbit & The Lord of the Rings (Come on, they may as well be one!)

Seven things I say:
1 Yeah, no.
2 Shut u-u-p.
3 Yes, dear.
4 Shhhhh!
5 You're stu-u-uck
6 Keen!
7 Cabron! (Which spell check really wants to be "carbon" tee hee.)

Seven movies I've loved
1 The Princess Bride
Can we say child of the 80s? YES Cheating again, can't help it, sorry.
2a The Breakfast Club
2b Ferris Beuller's Day Off
2c Pretty In Pink
2d Sixteen Candles
3 Bladerunner
4 2001
5 The Iron Giant
6 Princess Mononoke
7 Serenity

Seven people I'm gonna tag:
You know I do have that no-tag rule, so if you want, do. But let me know so I can stalk you, I mean read your answers.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Vicodine infused Dream

Sometimes the bear gets you... those times call for 1/2 a Vicodine so that your hip, wrist, thumb, and knee (yes, my knee decided to put its two cents in as well) will shut up long enough for you to get some sleep. But the resulting dream:

So my best friend from/in high school is with me; at first I thought we were in the old Literary Magazine office at my HS. She's using my old Panasonic word processor (wow, remember those things? Mine came with a "carrying handle" and everything--like you could LIFT them!?). She's flipped it upside-down and she's trying to get the disc drive to read old floppies and keep it up in batteries (it had a plug, I know, but this is dreamland.) We both, or maybe it was just me, are trying to apply to grad school. Paper is everywhere and we're definitely at my mom's house when the telephone rings (but not before then, oh my...).

It's my older brother, and I answer as my parents have already gone to bed. But as it's for my mom I go out to the hallway, which is the hallway if I were 7 again, it was wide and the lightswitch was almost too high for me to reach. My parents are up and call me to the kitchen where the card table used to be under the gold-sprayed macaroni plate/frames from kindergarten, but the table's piled with even more paper.

My brother is asking about long underwear and my mom says he can borrow mine, but I need my pair cuz I'm going to Mexico. (Happy 5 de mayo???)
Apparently I'd just been there but my aunt had told me that my grandfather was too sick to see me. (He passed away 14 years ago.)

I turn to object about the underwear but now I'm in the back of a VW Bug (not beetle) on an old 80s cell phone talking to my godmother about the visit with my grandfather (where did the house go? Quien sabe!) The car is parked, my dad's in the driver's seat waiting for my mom to get off the pay phone (with my brother???) When I tell my godmother about my abuelito she says I just CAN NOT go to "X" then (I dunno, place), cuz I didn't get my grandfather's blessing so I had to go back.
I hang up and tell my dad. My dad found that ridiculous cuz he is my dad and it's the dad's blessing you need but somehow I was going to Mexico anyway.

So then I'm back in the kitchen and telling my mom again that my brother simply can not borrow my long johns as San Simon (see-moan) is ripe for a dusting of snow (ummm, r-i-i-i-ght). I got the feeling we were gonna camp it out in the fields cuz someone had to watch the corn as they'd just been harvesting. She asks me for the date of the flight (not the number or the time, but the date).

I'm looking on the card table but there's just too much paper.
And Karin runs out of my little brother's room telling me to put on a "little house on the prairie" skirt and must know what I was doing when I wasn't hanging out at school or going to Rocky and wasn't grounded...babysitting of course. And she has me switch sweaters with her and go talk to my brother... So in the ruffly skirt and sweater I wade through the paper that's piling up in the hallway. When I take the phone from my mom I notice she has one of those rubber pad dealies from a pair of glasses (just one though, and just the pad) on the left-side of her nose. She sees me looking at it and says it's to remind her I have an eye doctor's appointment in the morning. I just nod and take the phone and turn to wade through the paper back to the room. So much paper to wade through...

Before I speak with my brother I wake up...
Okay, could it be that I have another job application that I have to finish? Yes. Procrastination has kept me from finishing. Maybe the disappointment at not getting the last job added to this. I guess this dream was a kick in the pants to get over it and get a move on, or something. Well, that explains the paper, maybe. The rest? I dunno, waxing on the nostalgic??? Karin, are you out there? Do you know?

So be it. Must go push some paper around.

Friday, May 05, 2006

A "DA" Moment

ETA: Don't you hate it when you forget to say one particular sentence that well, makes the whole point??? ugh.

I might have to start this as a regular thing too...

Randy Quaid, DA1 of the week:

Have you read about Randy Quaid's brilliant maneuver to gain some popularity2??? Go ahead, it's right here. For those of you (like me most times) who just want a summary:

Randy Quaid was suing Focus Films for $10 MILLION because he felt he'd been underpaid for his role in Brokeback Mountain. He was convinced by the filmmakers that this would be a low-budget artsy film that would make no money, so he got paid an itty bitty amount, or something. The film was made for $14 mil. It's brought in $160 mil. Who knew? I mean really, isn't the fact that he was IN THE FILM and now has something better than Not Another Teen Movie on his resume worth more than money3???

He completely deserves the "DA" award of the week for being a money-grubbing actor.
1 "Dumb Ass" A little acronym a teacher friend of mine, who shall remain nameless, used in order to keep her sanity in the wonderful world of middle school teaching :).
2 If by popularity we mean the kind you get when you whine and cry and shout, hey, look at me! ME! ME!!!
3 Maybe he's just jealous of Heath and Jake???

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Random Picture Wednesday: Me

Remember when...
Yup, I grew up in East Los Angeles and the guy with the ponies and cowherding outfits CAME TO YOUR DOOR to make you look about as authentic as Marty McFly when he traveled back to save Doc in the Wild wild west...

30-some-odd years later (I'm not actually sure how old I was when this was taken, but my brother looks to be about 3 in his, so that makes me 1.5-ish) I look back at my youth and really really really wish I could have the healing powers I had back then.

Seriously! We bounced far better as children. Our bones weren't as solid and/or easy to break/shatter as they are now. No, I did not break my hip, thank all of the deities who are listening.

I'm reminded of the last time I hurt my hip, it was in my last bike accident. I got run off the road when this huge (well, to a bicyclist) behemoth of a vehicle decided to turn into their driveway. It's called mirrors and looking over your shoulder, people. Can't stress that enough! It was one of those split second I throw my weight toward the sidewalk or do I fly over the hood of her car... I was SLAMMED into the sidewalk. Same hip as the stair accident, by the way. Happily the adrenaline was flowing fast and hard. I'd been on my way to SIGN THE DIVORCE PAPERS... So after quickly borrowing tools to fix my tire and realign my breaks, I took off. I didn't feel ANYTHING until at the lawyer's office.

I declined to get a ride home from the secretary as it was almost all downhill and made it back home. I barely made it out of bed the next day. An Xnurse friend filled me in on the skinny of hurting yourself over the age of 30. You think it hurts bad now? Wait until day 3. She left me her car.

Day 3...that's today. I'm alternately standing and sitting and stretching as I type this. Can a person feel any more stiff and sore?

Though, this is NOTHING compared to that bike accident. I nearly twisted my wrist off with that one...well, umm, my bike you see, it was still in the way of the front tires, so I grabbed it and jerked it with all my might...yeah, way to go! This is the same bike that's sitting in the garage today, 2K+ miles from that stretch of Kino'ole Street. This time I must have used my right hand to slap out of the fall...but failed...and kinda reactivated that old hurt.


So where was I? Oh yeah, back in the day I think my cuts healed faster too. But maybe I'm just romanticizing that time? Yeah, well as I told Beth at Felt Like Knitting, I've developed a "no-thumb" knitting style for now. My cut seems to be healing nicely thanks to some immediate first aid, thanks Andy, and my keeping the wound clean and dry, thanks finger condoms! I mean cots, finger cots, yes, that's it.

And I just now hung up with HR from that library position I tried out for...back to the drawing board for me. They went with someone else. Even more fun on a stick. See, back when we were little, when did we ever have to worry about such silly things as jobs... did I call it or not? Bad week... What's next?

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


Did I mention I fell down the stairs?

Okay, this is turning into a very bad week.

I was on the phone (landline, in my right hand) with my mom at the time, and my left arm was occupied with raincoat, scarf, sweater, and cell phone that needed charging. Soooo as my socked foot caught on the invisible gremlin and then was released so I could pound down the stairs feet first (at least) everything went flying. Then my right hip smashed against a very solid step, and my cell phone came down and hit me.

I swore like all get-out...of course my mom heard. She sympathized and compared my grace to that of my little brother's. I could tell she was a little upset though, not about the swearing, just the falling in general, cuz she called me by my niece's name several times. Sigh, I know we look alike, but really, I'd hoped she'd gotten my brother's agility, not mine :).

It's sunny and beautiful out, and I'd take a walk, but limping around the house is as much as I can take right now. Time for some anti-inflammatories and maybe a little knitting, if my thumb lets me...


Monday, May 01, 2006

"Wait, I have spaghetti and meatballs on me"

This was Andy's comment about 3 minutes ago...Lemme let you in on the reality:
He was holding a raw celery, um rib(?) in one hand and a peanut-butter schmereing knife in the other. Spaghetti? Meatballs? Ri-i-i-ight.

Andy is trying an "alternative sleep pattern" to increase productivity, or something. Today was day one. Let's just say his world is a little tweeked right now. Maybe drinking the Lambic wasn't the brightest thing we coulda done? But it was the Peche...yummy peach...second only to my favorite, Frambois (raspberry). Le sigh...

My thumb hurts. I cut it while chopping carrots. It's on the road to being infected, or healing, or something. If we add this to the fact that I BURNED my, um, "pointing"/index (?) finger's first knuckle ummm day before yesterday? Yeah, the kitchen HATES me. Sleep deprivation Andy cooked.

So I'm facing another "bad" day. I usually post about them the day of or even the day know, the anniversary of the day we beat the crap outta one another, the anniversary of the official divorce decree date...this one is hard. It shares a holiday. As Ahnee would say, "mudda-fadda."

My 2nd official "unanniversary" is the same day as mexican mom's day, the 10th of May. Try as I might, the date doesn't seem to be getting any further away. I'm crabby and depressed and short-fused and it's great I'm actually like acknowledging all these horrid feelings and actions, knowing is half the battle (GI JOE!!!) after all, but damn damn damn, I can't do anything about it!

In my head I'm having rehashings of fights and conversations and I'm still grasping at straws trying to track down where it all went wrong and was it all me? Of course there is the anger and hello! Why? This didn't happen yesterday! I did say 2nd quote Wayne's World, "WE BROKE UP!" And hey, well, yeah, this is not exactly my first breakup. Just maybe the nastiest, overinvolved, spite-filled, know the deal.

I guess it's the time invested? The fact that we did the marriage thing even though it was really for my family's sake? The family he never gave a shit about? Hey, he said it. Family shfamily. I think I still have a bit of anger about the whole reason behind getting hitched. One of the many reasons I opted NOT to go back to LA when all was said and done. Time + Distance = Healing. It still pisses me off that to do the "right" thing, the "good daughter" thing, "that which my family expected of me" thing, the "list" thing, was to marry someone when neither of us really wanted to. Can we say bitter? Can we say ammunition for when it all hit the fan? Can we say 1,156 miles from the people who "insisted" lest I be "excommunicated" from the clan? I knew you could.

Last year I celebrated with Richard, having a wonderful lunch and toasting to putting it all behind me and etc. I'm not sure what to do this year. Richard is about 1,150 miles too far south. Maybe some Lambic + Andy & Tim. Unless I get a positive call from the HR folk at the library, it might just be spent filling out another job application. Oh, and knitting of course. Cuz I'm obsessed, and that's okay, it takes my mind away from things such as Bender's, "Kill all the humans. (Snore) Hey good looking, you wanna help me kill all the humans?" feelings.

Oh and Happy May Day! :)