Saturday, March 31, 2007

No I Haven't Forgotten About Project Spectrum

Let's just say I've been a little distracted with what I've far too quickly come to consider "my" company (I'm just a temp remember? But when you are in charge of paying all the bills for over 2 million square feet of buildings, YOUR might get a bit possessive.), my "oh my god it's only 25 days away" upcoming trip to Italy, and maybe one rather large and emotionally draining new reality I've had to deal with.

I do, however, have stuff to show to distract both you and me from all the aforementioned bumps in the knitting road:

I bring you: an actual Finished Object:
Project Spectrum February/March Footlets:
Yes, I know, I was finished eons ago. That was way before it was March 31st and I had so much time I thought I'd make something blue, or maybe white....ha ha ha ha ha...let's just say I have needles and freshly wound center-pull balls of blue yearn ready to go for, um, maybe next year....or something.
Here they are on what I like to call my sausage-like feet. At times, like when there is shoe-shopping involved? I feel like they are a wide as they are long.
I mean, really, check out those squishy monsters...But the footlets don't seem to mind....
They "blocked" kinda funny. I think it has a lot to do with the el-cheapo blockers I made out of wire hangers...but they seem to look sorta normal on my pudgy duck feet so they're keepers. My thought is to use them as slippers on the Italy trip.

Some details:
Yarn: So I used bits of Lorna's Laces shepherd sock yarn in "charcoal" and almost a whole skein of "pin stripe." I could have made these MUCH longer in the ankle department, as I have, urgh, leftovers...but ce la vi...I can make an ipod case or add it to my ever growing "bits" collection.

Needles: Double-pointy ones to make the bus rides I worked on them THAT much more interesting and exciting (especially when the driver slammed on the breaks and everyone when flying...). US 2s to begin, US1s for the other 99.999%.

Pattern: Well, I kinda used the Garter Stitch pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks, but obviously the ankle length and two color usage was winged.

I knit both at the same time...I kinda like doing that. You really are DONE when you get to the toes that way...oh, yeah, started from the top down. Some day I will figure out provisional casting on and increasing without thinking my stitches look like poopy. I'm so not very good on the increasing thing...I suck at it actually. One of the reasons the blue project went away.

Instead I've been working on what I've come to consider the little bit of sunshine I carry around in my bag. Here in the land of Overcast on Grey, very useful, lemme tell ya.
Too Bright for the Supermarket Socks :)
Seeing as they're mostly yellow, have lots of green, and they won't be finished until at least April...they'll be part of the next round of Project Spectrum. Yep, the picture is "upside down." But that's how I took it, seeing as that's kinda how I see them as I'm knitting them. More details when I finish them.

Friday, March 30, 2007

The Problem With Too Many Ideas...

I have two very different trains of thought rushing through my noggin' this morning...
As I wrote in my paper journal on the bus, yet another problem with the "publishing" of private thoughts is that generally people expect a "finished" product.  Whereas half-baked, half-written, cryptic notes abound in the land of pen and paper.
So I'll only write about the one thing that stuck with me all night long...
I call it "The Great Pasta Breaking of '07".
(This is what happens when I'm left alone too long, obviously.  That and the watching of too many random tv shows...)
So last night, for the first time in, gulp, 13 years (I blame it on living/sharing kitchens with too many people of Italian ancestry) I purposefully BROKE the vermicelli I was cooking up before dumping it in the water.  13 years of being "good" and either "folding" long pieces of pasta into smaller pots, or pulling out the big honkin' pasta-sized soup pot to deal with it.  I guess the times really are a changin'.
Okay, far too many apostrophe'd -ing endings, so I'll go.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

And Baby, Talk Dirty to Me....

So I've been watching Season 1 of "Scrubs" via my bestest friend's Netflix account? I actually haven't seen an episode in a while, so I found it strange that I was dreaming about it this morning. Of course there was a soundtrack...and now I have "Talk Dirty to Me" STUCK in my know, from the episode where "coma guy's" um, coma wishes are/are not being met and Carla is all about making it happen, or whatever? I know the song far too well thanks to my older brother. Poison, Cinderella, Motley Crue? All posters which decorated his bedroom walls. I think there was an Ozzie in there somewhere...The one with small children at his feet. The memories just come flooding back.

I'm trying that whole hum "The Girl from Iponema" thing again, you know, the theory is that if you hum the tune to "The Girl from Iponema" you can get ANY song out of your head, but "At the drive-in, in the old man's ford..." keeps intruding the lovely strains of whoever those people with the lovely voices were...cuz you know I have the song WITH THE WORDS in my head as I'm humming it...which can put me in a bind. What do you hum/do if you get that song stuck in your brain? Best not to think about it.

doo do do doot doot do do da da....

Battlestar Galactica, anyone?
I got to see the season finale the other night as well. And then had super-vivid dreams about the show that night, maybe I'm a cylon too? I mean, really, with so many popping out of the woodwork, maybe we all are...

The dreams though were rather intense. It's almost like my subconscious has run out of material so it's making do however it can. Yes, dreamt about Apollo. No, not those kinds of dreams...he kept killing Starbuck, actually. Like taking pieces of broken viper and smashing her with them; I said they were intense, not happy.

On that note, and these, "down the basement, lock the cellar door, and baby, talk dirty to me..."

Happy Thursday...

Monday, March 26, 2007


Just a quick post I obviously need to start making more money.
That amount up above?
Roughly, that's how much money I've netted this year.


I looked at my paycheck stub taking the gross amount YTD #, I did some fast math:
Subtracted: rent, groceries, fun shopping (i.e. yarn & b-day prezzzies), car payments...
...and the above is what was left over.

Yep, I'm also floored.
At least it's not a negative number, I suppose.

Happy Monday.

Friday, March 23, 2007

If You Give a Tactless a Journal*...

Back at xmas-time some coworkers and I were discussing the worst gifts our parents ever gave us.  You  know, like socks when we really really wanted a Tonka truck, that kind of thing.
Recently one mom had gone beyond the pale and had somehow, armed with a list and everything, she'd still gotten her daughter (34 years old, mind) absolutely nothing that she wanted.  My first thought was, man, that is really awful!  How can the mom not follow a list, on one side, and how can a daughter, at the age she is and all, be so childish!  Well, after I dismounted from my high horse, I thought, hey, at least mom is trying.  She knows what kind of stuff her daughter likes and is trying to get her something in that style...failing really only because daughter wanted the exact thing, not something similar.  At least she's trying!  As for the childish daughter...there but for the grace of god go I, baby-doll.
My mom gave up on giving me ANYTHING about the time I was a freshman in may have dragged on to sophomore year.  Whenever a box came from home it was always kinda iffy when opening it up.  My mom only had a vague idea of what I liked.  We didn't do much sharing and frankly tried to stay as much away from one another as we could to keep the house from exploding.  I was not the best of teenagers, shall we say?  So my mom tired and went for the easy.  If she saw me in a white t-shirt and jean shorts, a ha!  That year I'd get 6 white t-shirts for xmas...and a gift receipt (oh thank you whoever invented those) to amend size and style.  (Or just returned the whole thing and buy something I wanted.)
After a while though...yep, why waste time on the middle-man. It devolved to cold hard cash on the barrel.  A card, maybe, but it was only the wrapping paper for the check.  Then when I got an account at the same bank as my parents?  (Yep, a rebel with the bank accounts too, why would I bank at that old bank...what a dork I was...) not even a card, she just deposits the money straight into my account, still.
People will look at me kinda funny, but really, with my mom and I?  When we shop for one another?  We're not really shopping for the person we know, we're shopping for the person we think we know.  Maybe even the ideal mom/daughter we've developed in our heads.  I don't guess, I ask my mom specifically what kind of tea I can get her, which size and style she wears, what color is her favorite right now, etc.  And she, well, she lets me know there's some cash in the bank to get myself something I like.
So, for my birthday this year, I just finished shopping this weekend, and mom hit pay dirt this year :).  She "got" me a nice pair of Mary Janes from the Keen family, a cool pair of slacks from the Ann Taylor Loft, my favorite scent of cream from Bath & Body Works, and 2 travel-sized journals decorated with characters from a treasured book from childhood, Alice In Wonderland. (It was one of the books the librarian's assistant at my Alma mater/mom's old work used to read from, to my older brother and I when we were stuck with nothing to do and nowhere to go.  The other was Jane Eyre.The red room chapter?  Still gives me chills.)
So, with that long-winded intro...when you "give" me a journal, one that I like, and is the right size, and I can whip out and jot down my thoughts as I wait for the bus or sit at my for whom grammar and spelling I don't have to worry about because it really is just me who is reading it?  One that is "secret and safe" because I know that even my family won't find it and read it until I am long long gone? changes my blogging habits, it would seem.
I don't have to sit and think up a catchy title!
I don't have to worry about writing something too long, or more likely too short as I just jot down the thought that zoomed in and then back out my head.
I don't have to wait until I'm in front of a computer to get the thoughts on paper.
Then there's the "catharsis" bit.  I used to only write for myself, or for one other person, in letters.  Blogging has really changed that about me.  Writing for yourself is a very different experience than writing for people passing by.  I don't have to worry about keeping emotions, stereotypes, feelings, etc in check when it's just me.  I try very hard to keep it all neutral when it's out there in the world.  I think I need to balance that out some more.  There are posts where the "angry" comes out...and posts where I know I'm sounding rather silly.  Others where the cynical got away from me.  Is that the public persona I want the "world" to see?  I know I have an audience of about 3, which is fine, I'm not the "hollywood girl" that friends have become, nor am I a very good commenter or blog-ringer, "coffee shop" post-er, or knitter along.  So I don't see myself grabbing friends and fans by the truckload.  Maybe someday, you know, after the novel is published :). 
For now, if I want to continue sharing with the world, I'm gonna have to see if I can "cross-post" from paper to pixel, and balance that time out as well.
*Of course if you give me a cookie I won't exactly say no either :).

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

1st Day of Spring?

So I was going to post this yesterday, but my sinuses won.

I'm all confused. Why do I have the gut feeling that the 21st is really the "first" day of the season? Yet I heard and read that the "20th" at about 5PM was when the season started. Is it more of that "Earth's rotation/revolution-losing seconds a day/year" thing?

I really should pay more attention to these things. It'd bother me less on days like this.

TODAY (yesterday) we're expecting a HUGE storm cell to wallup us. I know the "HVAC" unit (I'm all down with the acronyms 3 weeks shy of leaving...) is working like a maniac. I not only can hear it, but my head is trying very hard not to explode all over this monitor. I don't think anyone would be very happy about such a thing, especially me. Well, really, especially the janitorial staff, they have to clean up so much already and all.

My sinuses have not been my friends of late, can you tell? Okay, must finish that whole work thing, we're off for a fare-thee-well drink. Can you believe? One of the temps was hired on by a third-party management company! We're all very proud. So if I want to join in the clinking with something other than water? Right, staying clear of the meds (sniffle).

Did I mention March was full of birthdays?


Sunday, March 18, 2007

March Birthday Roundup...Sort Of

See, there's another round to go...I mean, we're really only halfway through the month and all, and who knows what shenanigans will follow...but as I've been remiss on the blogging thing again I thought I'd catch everyone up with lots of pictures...but ummm I don't think there's a smidgen of yarn in any of them...cuz I suck that way.

To begin:
The fever was quick and not too horrible. I was in an Advil/airborne daze most of the day. It was bound to happen, EVERYONE IS SICK AGAIN. I'm surprised I took so long to fall.

I'm a typing fool again. The owies from the blasted apple-slicing-incident are just about gone. I had no idea how many bruises I'd actually gotten until about Wednesday night when they all reared their ugliness and made my emailing at home a pain.

I'm still having tendon issues with my right hand at the wrist, but something scary happened about Wednesday/Thursday/Friday (can you tell the week was kinda packed? I was reaching for something at work and I felt more than heard, but it was audible, a "SNAP" and then felt all this HOT LIQUID "running" down/up my arm starting at my thumb.

Yes, I was scared. No, no actual liquid. Yes, I kinda did the panicky "yank up the sleeve to look" thing. No, I didn't go to the doctor. Why? Cuz I am poor and I wait until things REALLY freak me out first. Besides, after my heart rate went back to normal and I was sure nothing was broken--no pain you see, just the snapping and the flowing of invisible lava-hot liquid, I had almost 100% mobility in my thumb again.


I just had to share since I've been complaining about the thumb and it's less than stellar number entry performance for so long! I am healing! YEY! What a treat to know it's not ALL downhill from 33 :).

Okay, moving on to some pictures:

I'm a temp, 'member? So on Monday, when I walked into work, I was kinda expecting this:
Every one's birthday is acknowledged, which is really sweet. What I wasn't expecting was this:
Cubicle, sweet cubicle.
It's an accounting department tradition to make it really really hard for you to motivate on your birthday. Being a Monday, however, I didn't have much of a choice, I unwrapped as I went to keep the area pretty. I know you can't tell via my crappy picture (my fisher-price camera again) but being the accounting department, the same paper, bows, and ribbon have been recycled from birthday to birthday for YEARS. I find that the best part of the tradition. Only in an accounting department, sheesh. I'm REALLY gonna miss these people.

Andy's birthday was on Sunday, right? But he didn't want cake. Well, I did. And candles. Yes, I plan to melt a cake some day. So here's what we got at our local gourmet grocery store:

A "Ganache Mocha Cake." Or something similar.
Did you know you can't put candles into ganache when it's too cold?
Right. Neither did we. That's what the toothpick is doing in the picture (in red). Yes, I also picked the gaudiest of candles because they came in a pack of 36--the extras are circled in green.

Using TWO lighters to give the poor candles a chance NOT to melt all over the ganache (note the arrows):
We left the three abandoned candles to look on at their siblings' fate. That would be me, headless, getting ready to blow out the mess.

And here's an artsy shot of Andy with his slice of cake. No, he doesn't look very happy, I agree. We found out that this is FAR TOO MUCH SUGAR for either of us, at least in one sitting. So we've (read as me, me, me, me) been nibbling much smaller pieces since then.
As of today, Sunday morning? There is still half a cake in the fridge...isn't that just horrible?!?

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Just a Quick One

Cuz time is of the essence and all...and I can't tell if I have a fever or not...but this just can't wait:

Happy Birthday Richard!!!
Edited on Sunday March 18th:

Now that Richard and Steve have the package, the fever is gone, and I can type again, I'll post what was inside :).

The first time I met Richard...has it really been 11 years now? It was to drop off my X at his house. They were off to an SCA event and I was off to my last ever Ren Faire Memorial Day weekend. Not only did I get to watch the first ever South Park--Jesus VS Santa--but as I excused myself to use the bathroom, I caught sight of an, well, an altar. A Wonder Woman altar. I was later to learn just how important an icon Wonder Woman was to Richard.

The altar is long gone, or rather, I didn't see it in the new house...but I know (I mean he wrote about her in his book) that Wonder Woman is still a part of his life somehow, somewhere.
So how could I pass up this gem:
I should have snapped a picture of the back cover, the quote is awesome:
"The first time I saw the Wonder Woman, she was laughing.
True, she was fighting lions, but she was laughing.
The audience loved it."

Need I say more about this one?
Maybe we should all have some of this tucked away for a rainy day.

The gum Richard mentions in the comments: Sorry for the picture, the "macro" setting on my fisher price camera is a joke, to say the least.
"Next to the Last Supper" Gum
Yes, I grew up Catholic, as did Richard. Yes, yes, I know, I know, going to hell.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

I prefer pi

Happy Pi Day! (3.14)
It's amazing how much we can heal in a night...I'm still down a fingertip, and my thumb has been how long in the healing process? La, la, la, there is tea and a poppy seed banana nut muffin to be had, so getting on with our day: 
Here is a site filled with all kinds of cool (to me) trivial information about Pi.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

One-Handed Blogging Bites

So I have tons to recount...but will have to give you all a rain check.

I am currently typing with my less-than-useful-thumb hand (the right one) and...I'm counting 2 fingers from my left. It's a long story to type out involving a Cameo Apple whose shape was anything but, and a cheap-y red ikea apple slicer. All I have to say is I'm so glad the bleeding finally stopped, but my middle fingertip, where the OWIE is, is still prone to throbbing if I have it below "heart level."


What a typical Damage Girl way to start my 34th year...just call me Grace!

I'll be back when I have better use of at least 7 fingers and a thumb. All mine. And all attached, so please no offers of any in jars and such. :)

Monday, March 12, 2007

Remembering Goofy

In about 5 or so hours "mas o menos" (as Andy pointed out, it's not ever exact) I'll officially begin my 34th year on this planet.
Me and my numbers problem...I much rather prefer it being my 34th year than being 33.  It's too odd a number...doesn't fall into my OCD categories with ease.  It's an awful lot of candles to light and unless you can do three rings of 11 on that cake,'s gonna drive me batty.
Where was I?
Oh yeah...goofy.  Not the Disney character, but the adjective. 
I'd forgotten all about what goofy could be until they hired a new scientist at my last temp. assignment.  I'd been expected to be serious and mean and perfect and IN CONTROL for so long (that's being a teacher in the "old school" (ha) rules, boys and girls) that I'd seriously put aside anything but the serious/professional/no nonsense persona at work.  I was not the librarian to mess with in Kings Beach, no siree, bob.
Then, one afternoon as she came out from the lab that same scientist raised her fists and did a pretend "the crowd goes wild" roar as she stomped through the entry way by my desk.  She was elated.  She'd accomplished who knows what (I confess to only vaguely understanding what all they studied in those labs), and it was such a cute goofball maneuver that I was floored.  You're a scientist!  Not the Nutty Professor!
Yes, Virginia, you can be both.
No, I'm not going for the goofball of the year award at work.  But this morning?  On the anniversary of my birth and all?  As I hung up with Seattle City Lights after convincing them to NOT charge us a late fee for a bill we weren't responsible for?  I raised my own fists and did a little "chair dance" as I shared the news with my supervisor.  It made him laugh, and frankly, in the dreariness of the Accounting Department, we need all the laughs we can get.
Before I forget:
*Since I failed to post yesterday.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

The "Manly" Art of Laser-Tagging

I didn't post yesterday to save my baby brother the embarrassment of finding my blog someday and seeing his name all over it.

So instead today I'll embarrass him by writing about him :). Ah the joys of 18 years of seniority. Of course if I ever do live too long and it's my little brother who ends up taking care of me...right karma and payback, oh my.

Keeping that in mind I'll just share one thing that I can't get out of my head.

My "manly" baby brother (who stands at like 6" tall now) was telling me in his very "manly" deep voice that his friends and he would be going to a laser-tag place a neighborhood and a half away to do such "manly" things as shoot one another with invisible beams of light. But mom drove, as my manly little guy is still too young for such pursuits.

Okay, two things...
So I mailed him off some music for his birthday present. Stuff I was listening to around my middle teen aged years (The Cure), as well as stuff Andy said a teen aged boy might light (Rage Against the Machine), and maybe a band I have a super soft-spot for (Nine Inch Nails--I do not explain my absurdities, they just are). Well, I wrote warnings on the gifts to make sure that the more, um, offensive ones did not get played at school or around parents or small children. But having had too much experience with people in general, and teenagers more specifically, I know THEY DON'T I thought I'd share the warnings verbally.

I am such an old lady...I was floored when my manly little brother said,
"It's okay, I know they cuss."
All I kept picturing was my 9 year old baby brother saying this...with a really sore throat...

As it's Andy's birthday eve, and my birthday eve's eve, there's tons to do in Tactless Land...have a happy weekend...

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Jumping the Gun/A Small Reprieve

So how many of you thought Monday was Tuesday? Or that the 5th was really the 6th?

I know I'm not alone in this, a number of people here at the office were dazed and confused yesterday when we all realized yesterday was indeed WEDNESDAY March 7th! Not the 8th! Not Thursday! Nor Tuesday! Don't go trying to input invoices using the incorrect date now! Bad things will happen...I should know.

To quote the song running through my head, "Yesterday was plain awful, yesterday was no good..." Or something like that.

But today is a new day, glass half full and all that...AND MY LITTLE BROTHER'S BIRTHDAY IS ON FRIDAY, not today :).

So his present might actually arrive on time.

(Had I the energy, this is where the happy dance would be inserted...whatever happened to the dancing baby .gif everyone had around about a decade ago???) Maybe I'll hunt down my dancing spider man...

Anyhow, this is me on NO sleep. We're having some kind of storm system moving in off and was mostly ON with wind and slamming shed doors and flying trash can lids last night. FUN TIMES...good thing there is a Starbucks on my floor...

Happy non-birthday Thursday, tee hee.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

The Rain Brings Out the Best in Folk

Dear men in the white unmarked, commercial-looking truck,
Thank you.
I really did need someone to help me test out just how water/MUD-proof my shoes, socks, coat, and bag are.  Really.
Is this a service you provide on every rainy day after we've had snow and sand and dirt and stuff accumulating in the gutters?  It's always nice to be informed.
To report: 
   My shoes are fine, thank you.  Grime, mud and water haven't dampened (ha!) their spirits.
   My socks were pretty much protected by my pants, so they're only a little moist.  You'll have to try to put more speed so the wind picks up peoples' pant legs and then a good sock soaking will ensue.
   My pants?  Well, I can only say I'm thankful I was wearing black, not like the gentlemen to my right who were BOTH wearing WHITE slacks.  Later today I'll touch-up/scratch off the brown spots.  I must light a candle to the god of polyester for inspiring the makers of dress slacks to put in as much of that plastic material as possible, I'll be fine, once the muck dries. Better luck next time.
   My coat is as the pants, it'll live.
   My bag?  Well, it was my lunch bag that was hit hardest.  Plain canvas, totally sopped and mucky.  But HA!  My lunch was in a plastic bag inside the canvas, so there!
We were obviously too juicy a target for you.  All these people huddled around a bus stop, in the rain, the flash of white trousers, you just couldn't resist?  Bastards.  I hope you run out of gas.  I hope you park in a huge puddle and don't realize it and sink down to your knees when you get out of that truck.  I hope some other PNW-erner decides you look ripe for splashing yourselves!  Most of all, I think it was Robin Williams that coined the phrase, I hope this might befall you, "May the fleas of a thousand camels infest your armpits."
Slightly damp, cold, and muddy on the outside, but on FIRE on the inside, ME.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Still Less Than 1/2 My Age

Oh, hello!  You still come here and visit even though I am a laaaaaaaaaame blogger?  Some day I will work less than or equal to 40 hours a week and maybe I'll visit here more often myself.  For now, here is what struck me as I was knitting the heel flaps on a pair of socks I've been working away on since my footlets, which I haven't blogged about either...
I was similarly shocked last year at the realization he was 14 AND starting high school and well, not my baby brother anymore.  It's still a shock to hear his DEEP voice on the telephone.  It's all helping me prepare for his 18th birthday, I think.  Not only will I feel ancient, but he will be exactly 1/2 my age.  Let us not dwell on how old that will make me in 3 years, la, la, la, not listening.
We have a music-swap/introduction-thing going.  I dig deep...sometimes so deep I did not know I owned the CD, sometimes delving into Andy's collection (hi, Andy!) to find music his teenage-self would like.  And when he requests his noise--I mean music of choice? Yey Public Libraries and their vast music collections, is all I can say.  He is far too into all kinds of icky...I mean, um, popular skater/heavy metal/whatever music.  You know, that "noise" that kids listen to.  Yes, I recognize that I have become my mother.  SIGH...
When did that happen?
Happy Monday!