Tuesday, February 26, 2008

$100 Just Doesn't Go Very Far Anymore

(So I started this post on Tuesday and my, is it really Thursday already? I did mention changes in my work assignments right? Here be evidence that some of that change has begun...that and if you could see just how many unread posts I have on my bloglines...don't you hate it when work cuts into your life? Anywho...)

I had nothing to write about until I went to get my monthly supply of gasoline this morning.

Don't hate, I know exactly how privileged I am to work so close to home and on the way to/from grocery stores and libraries that I only have to fill my tank once every 26 days, give or take a trip to Auburn. But then again, I kinda planned it that way because I hate driving and the thought of being able to ride my bike to work come summer (you hear that right hip! you have to be in riding condition by SUMMER) is possibly the only thing that keeps me going these chilly gray mornings.

Still, paying more than a dollar a day for gas when you work for a non-profit, hurtses us more than I can say. (Hence the bicycle idea.)

And that's when I thought of my dad and that fact that he drives 24.8 miles, one way, to work every morning in LA. Which might equal 3+ hours of commute time one way going home, cuz no matter how early you go in to work and the traffic is minimal at best? Somehow EVERYONE leaves work at the same time and hello parking on the freeway! I always thought that a bit surreal and quite unfair. I mean, yeah, people drive hundreds of miles a day and I feel for you too, but when you add the time spent burning dinosaurs because everyone is inching at .0003 mph, because there is no way on god's green earth you could ever afford to live where you work? It's just unbelievable.

I know, I am a big hippie at heart, or something. Or maybe just nostalgic for better days?

I just spent over $100 in less than 24 hours buying groceries and gas. Ouch. This is that inflation thing that people keep denying as much as that global warming thing...maybe just as vehemently! Maybe it's that whole, "If I can't see you, you don't exist" thing? Hello elephant in the living room? I can't afford to feed you cuz my wallet is empty!

On that note, I have to get to work seeing as bills are not going away on their own either.

Friday, February 22, 2008

The Persephone Syndrome

I used that phrase as a comment just now and I think it's a grand title.

I've caught it.

If you're coming in late on the game, I kinda explained it a few posts ago...every time I sat and knit at a sweater that I haven't gone back to work on since? I'd rip back all the work I'd done before bedtime. I thought it was just me and that sweater. I thought it was just an isolated incident...I was wrong.

It has spread.

Remember the mistake rib scarf I mentioned I started out of Lambs Pride Superwash in Bulky? (BTW as a total tangent, in case you are here cuz you are looking for the stitch pattern for such a scarf with such yarn: CO a number divisible by 4, plus 1, like say: 29. s1 k2,p2, every row.) I think I've reknit it so many times I should be done by now...but I'm not.

I'm about to rip out 17 inches of unblocked scarf.


Oh maybe cuz when I flatten it out, to, you know, get a sense of it's width? It is 6 inches wide, which is perfect! But when I stretch it out so you can see the pattern in all it's coolness? Yup, over 10 inches wide.

Like many things I find kinda stumpy on my person, my neck seems to be one of them...even if I stretch it, my neck will still only measure 3 inches at the most. No, I don't go in for turtle necks much, why do you ask?

This is bulky yarn. It is making a bulky material....I'm thinking a CO of 17 stitches might be more appropriate....or ditch it all and find thinner yarn...

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Resiging, Retiring, Not Aspiring or Accepting...

I love words.
Most especially the ones that make your mouth work to pronounce them, have quirky meanings, or grab your attention. I know I am a dork, whatever.

But you don't have to be a genius to note that the words in the title don't exactly mean the same thing...yet in the span of 30 minutes I heard each when referring to the news Castro gave his country today.

The power of words is amazing...and given the fact that most Americans will only get their news from one source -- usually the one that shows the most death, destruction, entertainment, or cleavage? Well, I think by the end of the day, like a nightmare game of telephone gone wrong, most of my country will go to bed with the certain knowledge that Cuba is going to be a democratic power thanks to Bush sacking Castro.

No really!

It's all about marketing and Hollywood here people! You can't make an exciting news cast about how one man has decided he will not seek the presidency of his parliament...(in your best Homer Simpson voice:) BOOOOORRRING!!!

Forget about the fact that Raul or the VP might get the spot and things will go on the way they have for the last 49 years...somehow we've got to work in the whole "democracy" dream. Hi people? Have you noticed that we don't even know what that word means anymore?

No, for the Lifetime movie we'll instead focus on Castro's woes and health issues and how he was ousted out of his office cuz, um, oh I dunno, an illicit affair? CIA poisoning and brainwashing? A little bit of torture from his younger underlings?

See how easy all this is? And it really just starts with a few simple words. Small steps get you there far more securely than the one big jump. Find/Replace all references to "not looking for re-election" with "retire." Then just subtly put in a word that starts the same but means something completely different--RESIGN.

Hmmm, when I think of my mom retiring from her job of 27 years, a very different picture pops into my head than that of her resigning...

But maybe it's just me and my pedantic use of words that mean what I intend them to mean. Silly me. I mean it could just as easily have been a type-o, like the one about the cop having time off without pay in the written article about him beating up small children/young skaters, but the video feed informs us that he has been given time off WITH pay. One silly little word can mean the world of difference...

Monday, February 18, 2008

Unfair Advantage

So when your boss-guy busts out with a completely tangential remark about the visiting colleague from a field office, do you just go with the flow? Or do you stop and do what I like to call the "Mikey-big-eyes" and and WTF it? I like to think I'm part of the former group.

See, I feel like I'm at far too much of an advantage, maybe doubly so, having be raised by people from another country with similar inquiry needs and taking such comments and questions and observations at face value and moving on (and of course hoping they kept their musings to themselves when in public, please god, I will be so good...).

Then there was my stint as a 7th grade teacher...which really and truly, if you want to find out how curious kids are and just how bizarre their brains can be and what connections they come up with? Just ask a 7th grade teacher what her kids asked her during the day.

Anyhow, as I was explaining the confection this visitor had given our department to share he busted out with, "They're the ones who don't eat beef, right?"

"Right, so rest assured there will be no beef product in this dessert....but there is cardamom."

The look on his face was priceless, but even I'm not that mean and explained it was a seed/spice, not an animal. Like the good teacher that still haunts me, I was hoping to reign in the conversation and take it back to the original topic else we ended up talking cows and religion and all manner of topics best left out of a workplace.

It is comforting to know I haven't lost that hard-won ability, at least.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Post #401

(hm, I missed a perfect round-number opportunity for something silly like a contest or something...oh well, maybe in 98 posts I can come up with something...)

I've been so distracted lately and I can't even tell you why.

Well, I could try, but aside from the continuing feeling of unease, the only other outcome will probably be the disappearing of the already sparse comments and emails to my "tactless" account. As much as I enjoy reading and deleting the spam folder? Really, I kinda like real messages too. (hint, hint, stop lurking already! Say HI :).)

Though I've said this before, I'm not here for the comments. My irregular postings and regular rantings and perverse subject matter tends to prevent a large following. Those of you who have stuck with me, I wanted to say thanks. I'm not too good at responding to comments. In fact I'm terrible at it...probably yet another reason there has been no fan club or book deal.

This blog started out as a way for me to make sure my friends and family had a place to check up on me seeing as I'm not as stable as everyone keeps hoping I'll become. In the last 10 years I have lived in 8 (loosely defined) cities, 2 countries, 3 states, and too many dwellings to count. I have been a bookseller, AR coordinator, teacher, sailor, librarian, receptionist, AP coordinator, HR assistant, and AP Assistant. Yes, still talking about the same decade... I grow old...but man am I racking up experience.

I am reminded very much of my age today as it's a friend's b-day which yearly reminds me I have 3.5 weeks until I tick off another line, grow another ring, mark off another year, grow longer teeth...or whatever. For the next 3.5 weeks though, she'll be older than me...and if it's bad, I hope she'll let me know.


Thursday, February 14, 2008

Cuz Sweater Backs Are Boring...

Right, so I do still knit:
Only, well, can we say gray, and dark, and plain stockingette gave me a Bart-Simpson-passes-the-4th Grade moment when I realized I was very much like Odysseus' wife Penelope as I knit, knit, knit through a whole Saturday, only to rip, rip rip, that night before bed... Okay, so she was weaving and also maybe post-poning declaring her husband dead and taking on another husband, or something...but yeah, there used to be more to this sweater...like maybe a whole sleeve. And if I hadn't kept ripping back, I might have been done with the front by now as well.

What this told me was I needed something new and maybe not so mindless that doesn't care about gauge and increases and counting. Yup, sounds like a scarf to me.

So I went digging in my paltry non-sock yarn stash and found:
But wait...can you sing it with me? One of these things is not like the others, one of these things doesn't belong....

Did you guess real hard? With all your might? (I heart Grover.)
One of these things was bought back in Truckee, just before I moved out of the Lake Tahoe area. The other I bought when I gathered supplies for the scarf and mitts I made a bit back...

An obvious sign that I should stop starting something new (and green! and simple! and what I wanted!) and soldier on with one of the many many many "already started" projects (more on that later) like oh I dunno, what about these:Sorry, over-exposed, but it only makes them BRIGHTER than they actually are...but yeah, I'm at the second gusset decrease and no, no, no, 100 miles of plain stockingette follows and I thought I would cry if I had nothing but that or reach to the other end of the spectrum and pull out the stuff that still has me staring at a pattern.

Action was required:
Maybe I cave in much too easily...I dunno, it works for me. I liked the look of the mistake-rib on the cuffs and ends of the aforementioned scarf and mitts that I am making this scarf entirely out of that stitch, for now...cuz um, yeah, you all know what happens when boredom strikes:
That would be everything I could find this morning...I think there might be some experimental stuff hiding under paperwork on my desk...but I didn't feel like digging.

And I know most people hate it, and it has bad/sad memories for me as well, but if I have to "get over it," anyway? I'll start with this:
Happy Valentine's Day

Monday, February 11, 2008

Not Geekie Enough...

I kept thinking of a super-cool appropriate title for today's post...but I can't...

My brain died last night.

That wonder of wonders that keeps track of long-term calendar events, lets me know SEVEN DAYS ahead of time when someone's birthday is afoot, reminds me of making such things as doctor and dentist appointments...and most importantly, WAKES ME UP EVERY MORNING.


I had no time to sit up and try to fix it, so I went for plan B...my ol'school gramma cell phone. I vaguely remember there was an alarm somewhere in there...I'm silly, I kinda only use my cell phone to like, call people...they way I only use my palm pilot for it's calendar/alarm function. And my camera? Yup, just use it to take pictures...rarely.

And people still wonder why I haven't jumped on the "all-in-one" bandwagon? I don't even own a dvd/vcr combo player here, people!

If my electronics were any older people would wonder what the big glass tubes connected to everything were for.

Man, I am cranky. Did you know that your cell phone alarm may not be the same pleasing little sound you chose as your ring? Instead it is a blaring evil sound that gets louder and louder? I missed my brain's little nudging.

But not for long! This morning, instead of like, you know, getting ready for work and stuff? I geeked out and found several solutions to my dead device. I didn't even have to use my torque screwdrivers on it!

Memory-wise though...I think I might have lost some data.

If you updated your info. with me in the last um, 5 years...you might be getting an email from me...or maybe you should just email me cuz I just checked a couple entries and I could have sworn Andy's birthday was a day before mine, but my brain is telling me it's now in April.

Gotta love technology...

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


When does something as innocuous as a piece of jewelry go from being an accessory to a necessity?

You miss it terribly when it's not there, even just for the day. You keep touching that area, unconsciously adjusting something that is not there, shocking yourself when, nope, nothing but air...

I used to think it was my ear cuff. Yes, I am a child of the 80s, I have an ear cuff firmly sitting around my earlobe which my students used to think made me super cool cuz they thought it was a piercing and wow, what teacher had they ever run across that had something like that... Um, no, I am not that cool. Frankly, I am so very far from the cool that I would be considered warm. I would go through the pains of showing how uncool my non-piercing actually was so they could see how, yes, it is merely an ear cuff, I am sorry. Please do not tell your parents you want to be like Mizz Tactless and get a cool piercing cuz you would be lying. The saving grace in Hawai'i was that at least it was a plumeria. (Picture me wiping the sweat off my brow in relief, or something.)

But there are mornings where my ear cuff was maybe wedged improperly during the night and screw it, I can leave it at home and no one is the worse for wear.

Then there was the bracelet.

Which really became "a" bracelet. I have always worn something on one of my wrists. Habit more than anything...from the cool (ha, we've been over this) gold name-bracelets that my family made me wear, you know, in case I forgot who I was, to the plastic black and then neon (hello 80s) o-rings that were the fad, to pieces of broken chain clipped together with more broken pieces of chain and baby-pins...cuz I was so punk-rockin'-gothy...or something...to the bracelet my mom gave me so I could please, god, please, take off that "porqueria" that both of my parents hated...and therefore I must wear and make many copies and maybe get my friends to wear...what a rotten kid I was, I swear...

Then I learned how to drive and take directions and lord if my bracelet/watch/thing on my wrist du joir (sp?) did not save me from turning right when I should have turned "my other right." I officially cannot tell my left from my other left. Part of my mild dyslexia. Whatever I wear, be it silver, gold, or rubber, it's on what I've come to know as my left wrist, cuz when you make the "loser" "Ls" with your thumbs and forefingers, it's the one I can "read." (Yep, can read the letters just as easily backwards...so it's taken some training.)

You'd think I'd be lost without the bracelet...but um, I can deal, it's not something I keep reaching and touching and making sure it's there...

My necklace however...the one I've had and worn since I was a little braider at the "Braids for Maids" booth at the Southern Renn Faire? The one that is constantly confused for the "hellraiser" box? The one on a getting-to-be-ratty piece of leather that I should replace again...I totally forgot it at home and I can not stop thinking about it and reaching to adjust where that little box should be touching that groove that your two collar bones create.

It's driving me batty!

I once almost lost that little pendant. My mom, SIL, niece, and I were at Babies R Them or something and of course I was goofing around with my neice and in one of those times where I was lifting her into or out of one of the demo sets of furniture...I looked down to do my necklace readjust and the little pendent was GONE. The ring that attached it to the leather was twisted open...I was not a happy camper...

Yes, we scoured the store. Yep, got on my hands and knees and went back and forth and back again to all the places my niece and I had been goofing at...yes, it was indeed underneath one of the big pieces of furniture I'd lifted her into/out of...the amount of relief...I can't even describe.

It's unnatural really, my attachment.

But it's one of the few things from the last days of my childhood that I still have. I've gotten rid of so many things over the years...so many things...and they really are just things...except for this little talisman of mine.

Monday, February 04, 2008

And I Would Walk 500 Miles...

Or maybe just 5...or errr actually 4.86 according to my pedometer...

So Andy is at the age where he and his similarly-aged friends of old get together to have fun by signing up for such things as "hike-and-climb" adventures in the middle of deserts, or something.

As he's older than I am, I kinda wonder how I've skipped that aspect of life, cuz, um, when my friends and I get together we tend to sit around and drink and BS about the times when we were younger and did silly things like drive to 80 miles to Ghirardelli Square for ice cream and frolicking in the ocean when we should have been studying for our finals. I'm sure there was minimal walking and climbing involved even then...okay, there was that time we crawled into the skeleton of College 9, or 10? Sure, but we were WAAAAAYYYYY younger. I won't say we could still bounce when we fell or anything, but we definitely healed faster.

Anyhow, so yeah, Andy's trip requires a 4 mile hike the first day, rock climbing, and then a 1 mile hike, climb some more, then hike 5 miles out...WHAT FUN! (Yes, that thar would be some ripe sarcasm from the sidelines...)

As Andy wanted to see if he could actually do the hiking (remember that "healing" bit? Yeah, he messed up his knee pretty bad the last time he did one of those meet and hikes...) we packed a bag with 40+ lbs. for him (I carried nothing, I am not stupid) and set off on a wee walkie that took us through and beyond the silent hilly streets of Seattle. (And no, no clue it was superbowl sunday until I saw other blogs posting about it. The joys of no tee vee :).)

I. Am. So. Out. Of. Shape.

The 6 lbs. I gained while in Italy did not help...they were once muscle folks...walking 6 miles a day builds great calves and thighs...but abruptly stopping those marathon-like treks...wow...those calves and thighs...

My legs were wooden and useless last night and I honestly feared my ability to get up and walk around today...but I have a reprieve; ahem, at my age it's, usually the third day that really sucks, right? FUN TIMES!

I think it's time to "ped" myself and see just how little exercise I do get throughout a normal day of work...this has got to change...

Happy Monday!

(PS: Anyone else having trouble with the spell-check on blogger?)

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Blogger's (Silent) Poetry Reading, Year 3

Here for details.
In honor of St. Brigid/Groundhog's Day/Cuz you like the Poetry stuff:

by William Carlos Williams

This Is Just To Say

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

Friday, February 01, 2008

Someone is Creating Realities for Me

So...still no word...and I'm not surprised, really, not after a long telephone call from the friend in Hawai'i who was in that first snippet of scary boat/muck-filled dream.

Apparently I have lived too long away from the Islands...because I was reminded that it was furthest from silly to feel odd about speaking/writing about the supernatural with a Hawaiian. Of anyone in the world, they are in league with my culture, the line is blurry at it's darkest between the two realities, or so he said. Living in the world of numbers and logic, I tend to forget.

Back to the ethereal world? Yep, boats have trumped lost contacts... I'm still wondering about the mish-mash of the dreams though...is it because both friend's names begin with "K"? Both have spent time on my boat? Both are very far away?

The reality? My boat is about to go on the market in a very unofficial way, and he wanted me to have first dibs...and as he said, my X never need know.

I'm posting the picture of her at her worst...for a reason...

I need to alter the way I'm thinking of the Irish Rose. She is not my boat anymore. Neither legally nor in her present physical form. This is what keeps my rational brain from saying, "screw you hippies, she's mine!" And plopping down every single penny I've saved since the big "D." I've mourned her passing as I did many people and things during that break-up.

She was my baby...but she stayed with him, and he, he changed her; altering her to fit his new lifestyle with GF and kids. Goodbye engine! Goodbye marconi rig! Goodbye and good riddance to anything that he and I had done to her because it was a new life, and god-damnit it would be a new boat...or something.

Suffice to say, she's no longer the boat I fell in love with. And even if I could get her back in the water...with no engine and no windlass (I believe he sold it) and Chinese lug sails...I'd literally be dead in the water until I figured out how to sail her all over again...or row a 15K lb. boat...7 tons. She was a big baby.

At the same time, it doesn't mean I don't still love her...but it's more of a "my baby has grown into someone I don't know anymore." I wish her well, and like a mom am making quiet inquiries to those in the boat community I know to see if anyone would be interested in giving her a good home...it is shattering, but I just can't/won't do it.

Unless, of course I throw all reason out the window and hop a flight to Hawai'i this weekend...

I am not well, obviously.

Anyone in or near the Big Island interested in a Chinese Junk Rigged double-ended engine-less sailboat with it's own cradle, send me an email, yeah? I'll get you in touch with the right peoples.