Saturday, March 29, 2008
Have you any idea how hard it is to take a picture with your left hand? I apologize to all left-handers for the stupidity of putting the picture-taking button so whole-heartedly on the right-hand side of a camera. We righties are obviously a big group of horrid righties-rule biggots.
I don't own a tripod, I used my right-hand shoulder for stability...but there is my swollen monstrosity of a hand in its patient and loving wrist brace. Now if I could just find something to help the forearm, bicep and shoulder, I'd be so rockin' the data-entry.
So yeah, I'm typing left-handed right now, and it sucks.
I'm becoming way adept at left-handed mousing. I know, another oh so useful skill.
I've also noted that if I place my right hand on my hip a la Rachel in Bladerunner? It hurts less. I look like a total fool walking around like that, but whatevers, I'm much more into less pain than looking cool these days. This goes a long way into explaining the "old-lady" big pants and floppy shirts of late. The L.A. Fashionistas of my youth can bite me.
Right, so, still in a bit of pain, but here. 1.5 weeks to go before the imminent change of current assignments, I so cannot wait. (And I really am not sure if that was a sarcastic line...I seem to have developed more of a "wait and see" attitude about it all.)
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
But I may have some hypochondriatic tendencies. Thanks to the internet, the trip to the nearest medical repository is a short one.
What is it today? Well, either "Thoracic Outlet Syndrome" or "Shoulder Impingement Syndrome" or maybe it's just "DIE OLD WOMAN, DIE Syndrome." Hard to tell...whatever the case is, my shoulder bicep, forearm and wrist are killing me and it HURTS TO TYPE this and I am posting because apparently I am some kind of horrific masochist to boot!
Okay, keeping this short...I will be taking a break from all non-paid use of my dexterity skillz...and really anything else that is causing me to look like my shoulder is trying to scratch my earlobe or like I'm hiding a ping-pong ball underneath the skin of the back of my hand. Yes, this includes the knitting, emailing, and possibly actually-taking-a-pen and writing thing.
Dr. internet says the same thing over and over to help whatever it is I have: cease and desist activities that are aggravating it...then moderation is key.
First and foremost? The obvious one right now is that I am a data entry monkey at work. This is what I get paid for. This is not going to help the healing, not one bit. So I will kill myself working and then reward myself with NO KNITTING in the evenings! What uber fun!
Right, so the other biggie? Hi, Zombie socks for Sock Madness? Not gonna happen.
The light at the end of the carpal tunnel?
I had my 180-day review yesterday. They love me, I am a keeper. But I am too smart for my position and in 2 weeks (after the auditors are gone) I get to start my altered position wherein I do NOT do data entry. The timing could not be better. Except it's maybe happening two weeks too late as my shoulder is inflamed RIGHT NOW and I want to cry cuz the socks are not knitting themselves.
Okay, I am done, no crying here...I'll check in with quick left-handed posts for those who have come to expect them/worry of my untimely demise.
Love you all, must hunt down some ibuprophen...
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Okay, maybe we should rewind to Friday AM when I knew, just knew, something was wrong, just not how wrong. The fact that I was picking coffee beans out of my hair should have been a major clue that all was not well in Tactlessville.
No, Andy and I did not get into a coffee bean flinging argument. He's still in Cali. The rule of your stuff getting broken when you are out of town, however, was indeed followed. Andy's coffee grinder (scroll to bottom/last one on the list): R.I.P.
The motor works FINE. Two mornings straight sweeping up coffee beans and combing chunks of ground coffee out of my hair tells me so. Operationally, the thing went psycho on me wanting to grind the coffee as soon as you poured in the beans! Too many years of coffee grounds had managed to clog the little hole where the lid's press down button activated the motor and at the slightest touch ANYWHERE, it was ON!
Being me? (Remember my sewing machine adventure?) I went for my screwdriver. Do you have ANY idea how much old gross ground coffee can collect on the inside of a grinder? Especially one that is literally being held together by electrical tape under it's fancy trappings?!?! I wish I were joking. The workmanship was reminiscent of childhood experiments with all of my dad's old batteries and motors and wires and bits and pieces from under the house.
After confirming with Andy that this was not a cherished possession, cuz you know if it had been I'd probably be putting the finishing touches by now, I headed out to find a replacement.
I'm very much a "you broke it, you bought it" kind of person in these living situations, so I guess Andy's getting a coffee grinder for his birthday.
What I thought would be a quick trip to the world renowned European adventure that is Tar-jey, turned into an all day trek from cheap-y department to specialty to not-so-cheap department stores in the Northgate/Uni-district area. Have you any idea just how many kinds of grinders are out there now?
Mostly though it was an exercise in not getting something as horrifically made as what had just died, without spending a mint. I know, don't laugh, I did it, though.
In between fits of anger and utter disbelief at the crap out there, I sat and knit some at the Zombie socks. It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining, it was in the 60s! Had I a camera with me, you too could see the sock sitting with me on the bronze cow statue in University Village, draped oh so sexily in a bed display in Crate & Barrel, playing hide and seek behind the overpriced, but REALLY COOL measuring spoons in Williams Sonoma (mini pots!), and of course, seeing as I was coffee-less and there are at least 2 of them in the University Village Shopping mall-thing, there would be one of one of the sock legs playing hot coffee sleeve at Starbucks.
I cannot complain, I got to do a whole bunch of kitchen window shopping--there is something about pink kitchen appliances that both repel and attract me...I had no idea. Do you think this is the same feeling our (my) parents got when seeing the powder blue and avocado green of their era?
Oh, and something that freaked me out:
So I'm waiting for my elixir of life at the aforementioned coffee store, perusing their grinders (EXACT SAME model as the broken one on the kitchen counter) when I look up and there is a chalkboard where, under some statement of quality of service, yadda yadda, all the baristas have signed their names. Staring at me near dead center is my X's first name...written the way he does almost exactly.
"Tall Mocha with whip for Tactless*"HUGE sigh of relief.
"Thank you. By the way, do you happen to know if Jack** is left-handed?" I said pointing to the board behind her.
She turns, repeating the question to herself. "Yes, actually, he is." Look of confusion on her face. "Do you know Jack?"
I smile, "I hope not, it's just, he signs his first name the way my Xhusband does, especially the 'J.' He's left handed, but in Florida, I hope."
"Jack is just out of high school."
*Name changed to protect the um, ha ha ha, innocent.
**Nope, not his name either, but close.
Friday, March 21, 2008
Why I really should just buckle down and buy a real camera:
Only one of the 10 shots I took sorta came out. And my question is simple and has nothing to do with pictures...when first purchased, all of my African Violates had different colored blooms: white, burgundy, deep purple, and I've forgotten cuz it only bloomed once and we're still waiting it's been so long...
Now, though you have no photo evidence so is it really happening or is it memmorex, they are ALL this same shade of purple. What gives? I mean, it's still very pretty, but um, wha'happen'd?
Thursday, March 20, 2008
1. The near miss between bicycle, pedestrian, and (I cannot make this up) random unleashed roaming dog in Lake Forest Park as I made my way to my dentist's office.
2. A bigger and bigger pet peeve the older I get -- the guy who dashed out across the street (at a good pace, mind) only to end in that "slow down before you get to the other side" jog that ended in front of my oncoming car! Evil me totally wanted to floor the gas pedal to prove to him that slowing down does not help you cross the street faster in busy 40 mph traffic! But Good me won and pressed the break instead.
3. The inside of Sephora in University Village...Though we'd need smell-o-vision for the full effect. It was like stepping back in time to the make-up artists school/class (?) that an old friend took to make faces in Hollyweird...only with nice smells. Movie make-up smells are none too pretty when mixed with the smell of fear and sweat. Anyhow, I was completely and totally out of my element until I found the Philosophy line and Bezzie's "concealer" comment came back to me as I held up their "Make-up Optional" pack. We'll see.
4. The look on the dental hygienist's face when I explained to her how I'd gotten out an errant piece of tooth floss from between two of my most dental-student altered teeth. It involved thread, that thicker kind you use for buttons...
5. My Zombie socks, but 2 shots, before and after:
Before: 4 repeats, ready to start the heel ON BOTH SOCKS! Yey, me!
After: If I add both sock's worth of repeats I can say 3...sort of.
--Okay, so this pattern has stitches being dropped left and right...and in my "Wonderfalls" (disc 2) enthusiasm, I dropped the wrong stitch, in the middle of the first part of the second repeat...on BOTH socks in two very dissimilar places. I salvaged what I could but um, yeah, there was ripping involved and the need to stay up until midnight, and boy howdy do was I reminded why the whole dropping stitches thing gave me the creeps to begin with. Good thing I'm not all that competitive (shut up!) cuz I am for sure out of the race now.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
So, aside from sunscreen, it was never a necessity for me to use cream on my face, before now that is. I place the blame entirely on a combination of genetics and where I was living. It's simple really:
and make your face feel like crackly old too-many-hot-days-in-the
sun leather and what do you need skin cream for?
Lately it looks like my face is peeling, constantly. And it really does feel all old fabric scratchy and flaky. I'm all for old skin going away to bring out the new stuff, but, um not so much when it involves actual flakes of skin itching and then falling on my black slacks to the point of me wondering if "skin dander" is conducive to a healthy social well-being at work...that would be a BIG no, btw.
So instead of running to the bathroom every five minutes to dampen down the face dander (ewww!) out came the loyal Neutrogena face stuff I always used...only, it failed. All it did was give me a big fat pimple and left the flakes alone! So I dipped further into the memory banks and cheap stand-bys: Ponds & Nivea...they all have one thing in common, aside from being the old familiars, they make me break out, badly.
I am vain, I went to B & B Works and hunted out a wee little $20 bottle of C & O Bigelow face cream, cuz I'm worth it and hello xmas money, and it's not a surprise that it's no longer a product of theirs apparently, cuz yep, works like a charm! Flakes are controlled! Except by the end of the day, HELLO BIG, FAT, pimples! This would be on their extra-sensitive non-clogging stuff. Hmph.
So I'm stuck between a sandy and a pus-filled place (eww some more, sorry), and I don't like it much here. I know I'll never be the beauty queen, but being 34 with zits? That just sucks far too much for me to contemplate, especially as I was lucky enough to avoid the pizza face the first time around. And we can all agree that dander-face is not a nickname I want to pick up at work, now can't we?
I'm about to spend my birthday money over at Sephora, as one co-worker has steered me in that direction, but this is getting into the rather rich and unknown worlds for me. Can anyone chime in or point me to somewhere different? I am a very big novice in this area and all help will be greatly appreciated.
Okay, must go knit a wee bit before bed.
Monday, March 17, 2008
Or maybe not.
I am not a speed knitter, never was. I am known to knit and rip the same poor yarn so many times it needs shaving/trimming/sacrificing to the sheep gods before I'm happy with my end result. So why did I sign up for a speed contest? It was the wine.
It is too dark (for my sorry little sony) to take a picture, but I've finally made it passed the ribbing and into the first repeat of the socks (both at once on 2 sets of DPNs if anyone is counting). Right, all these other hundreds of people are done and sitting pretty waiting for their divisions to fill up so they can go on to round 2 and I've just got started.
That's nice. I've no chance in the universe to catch up unless people start dropping like flies REALLY FAST. Cuz I'm not giving up, yet.
Okay, that's the update from incredulouslandia.
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Friday, March 14, 2008
Speaking of sweets...The sugar train is nowhere near leaving:
It is pi (3.14) day, and I promised I'd participate at work by bringing in some Old Fashioned Fudge Pie. I have never made this recipe and frankly the last time I made pie that didn't involve a can of something and pre-made crust I believe I was just barely in the double-digit age group.
It looks butt-hibble, do not lie. I'm hoping that by stressing the "Old Fashioned" part people might be more forgiving. It's made from scratch, even the pie crust, which is why it looks like a 5-year old was shaping play-doh.
I made it "better" by adding the whipped cream to hide the big cracks and places the sugar decided to crystallize. Betty crocker need not worry about losing her day job with this piece de resistance. (Yes, I meant what I said and I said what I meant.)
Ah well, if it tastes any good it's a super easy recipe that only involves 1 stick of butter, 1 cup of sugar, 2 oz. of semi-sweet chocolate, and 2 eggs. Healthy, I know, but easy, so given enough practice I'm bound to figure out what I did wrong. (My guess is the oven was too hot--but let me knot deter any bakers out there from chiming in.)
The whipped cream started off as 1 cup of extra heavy cream, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract and a couple tablespoons of powdered sugar, you know, in case that one cup of sugar for the pie wasn't enough, but I used so little of the whipped cream that I may have to make a cake or something to use up the rest...and maybe frost it with the left-over cupcake frosting...yup, plenty there as well....
I knew having loose pants recently would only be a temporary phenomenon (sigh). I'm sabotaging myself here. Ah well.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
It is very hard to write the correct date on your birthday. Like a telephone number or your social security number, the digits that make up your date of birth just go together, even if it's just to you. So to make sure people don't think I've been hanging out too close to the island, I've really had to take care to make sure I've written '08' and not '74' today, and now you all think I'm nuts too.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Monday, March 10, 2008
Okay, I give you a random list of joys and annoyances in the +/- style I used in a lesson plan about critique: (for all you Lit./Eng. teachers out there: Positives can be short and sweet, negatives need a valid/strong explanation. If it sucked, tell me why and "because I said so" only works if you are my mom.)
+ My back is back! Hurray!
- My sinus-thing/allergies turned into a cold! But that was already last week. So I'm really only annoyed about the fact that that uber sexy "cold voice" won't go away. You know, the one that makes
+ I have collected more than enough Amex points to get a free digi camera! Dance of joy!
- I have been hemming and hawing about just how I'll be using those points and on which wonderful camera for soooooo long that I brought this upon myself...Andy is on a trip to Cali and took his camera with him...booooo; so bring on the fun times with the 1.3 meg camera if I can find batteries and the cord and...urgh... Love you little camera, really! Please work for me!
+ It was still light when I got home! Yey!
- I hate the first days of any spring time changes. I am zombie girl in the mornings and just cannot go to sleep at a decent hour come darkness.
+ My little brother turned 16 yesterday, hurray!
- Not only does his age mark the years I've been away from home, but ummmm, yeah, SIXTEEN YEARS is an awful long time...like more than a decade...and if you add all those years to the age I was when he was born...it is so freaking me the hell out!
+ It's my birthday on Wednesday! And if I'm not too much of a zombie that evening I'll get to hang out with L&L for a bit and yey, birthday!
- It's my 34th birthday on Wednesday...I think that's kinda self explanatory after the last "-"
Friday, March 07, 2008
All I know is that I had not been a passenger for so many hours of driving in... well actually... since I was 17 and my parents and I did a whirlwind tour of UCSC to see if I really was going to go to the hippie capital of their minds. (I'm sorry, Santa Cruz is a little right-winged-conservo-republican town compared to the likes of Berkeley and Seattle on sunny days when "festivals" are abounding. But it really is a matter of perspective. I loved it anyway.)
Where was I? Right, my sore bum and the end of the road. We were so prepared for this trek, what with our "Western States of the USA" map (cuz why would you need a singular state map when you can have 4 in one???) from 2001! or was it 4? I dunno, suffice to say there had been changes in highway names/numbers since this oh so accurate and updated map was printed.
Whatever, if I could sail 3,000 miles in a sailboat with 20 year old charts and a sextant (GPS for backup only as it required batteries that were few and far between), we could navigate the cool roads of almost Eastern Washington.
This spot was pretty much worth my busted back and subsequent aches from 10 hours in a car:
When Andy says I have "teacher bladder" it's usually not meant in compliment. More jealousy that while he had to navigate the scary and secluded visitor's center bathroom, I got to wander around and take lots of pictures of the same frozen mini-grand canyon. Nothing like seeing a grown man beg and plead for my anti-bacterial-sanatizing-whatchucallit stuff before he can touch the car again.
This is what adventuring is all about, right?
When I was on the open water I'd contemplate what my friend Thane used to tell me about the start and duration of sunsets. In the open water where the only horizon is well, VERY VERY VERY far away (and you feel like a weeeee little speck in the universe)? The sunsets last forever and go on for miles.
If the end of the day did not coincide with temperatures plummeting? I could have watched this one from start to finish, but we had miles to cover before we slept...and did I mention it was cold? And snow was on the ground? And we were going to have to go up and over a mountain to get back home?
Right, so we scrapped going back to Leavenworth and opted for the pass via interstate 90. Good thing to:
Yup, it went from beautiful sun to chilly afternoon, to outright snowstorm with sliding cars all in the span of 12 hours. Adventure!
Tahoe was a very good snow teacher for me. I did not freak. Even when we just about plowed into the side of the road to get the chains on. And we were such a snow-chaining team! After figuring out how to straighten out the car without getting ourselves in the middle of the scary road and digging out all the snow from under the tires and around us. (Hmmm, might I have helped wrench my back with that particular task....it is amazing what pains adrenaline will hide, after all.)
We almost missed the po po...almost:
Shortly after this, I crashed, hard. Not in the vehicular sense, I mean I fell asleep. The next sight before me was an ominously lit Seattle downtown skyline that would have made an awesome final picture...but the battery had run out of the camera by then.
I was also planning on showing you my "foot island" dilemma...but yeah, me and my battery issues...but if you can use your imaginations? I knit 10 inches of foot on the trip (5 for each sock) and last night finally made it to the magical 9.5 inches on one so after I do the same to its brother I can start the toe. Yep, still need the toe...
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
Anyway, I've lived in Washington state for going on 2 years, and yet the closest I'd been to crossing the Cascades was another spur of the moment trip to Skyhomish over a year before...so, checking out the towns on the other side of the hill sounded like fun. Besides, with the weather having been so nice lately, what could go wrong?
(A, yup, that there would be some foreshadowing...)
We got a super late start, having decided food before the trip would be best (we're really really good at starving ourselves unnecessarily...I blame my penniless college years, I'm not sure where Andy gets it from).
Right, so I actually was much more interested in the bathroom than the scenery...we were supposed to pass through again on our way home, so I thought nothing of not taking any better shots than this cropped photo of me that Andy took--okay, I cropped it. My head started somewhere below that building. But isn't that architecture great? It's all over the town. My trivial fact for you: There is no reason other than steady tourist dollars for turning sleepy little Leavenworth into Bavarian Leavenworth. The city council just up and did it and it is awesome!
They have Starbucks and McD's and rhymes with Bells Cargo, but absolutely NONE of the architecture varies from what you see here. You really want a grande latte you better practice your literacy skills cuz the signage is not very recognizable. And I love it!
Sadly, this was pretty much the last bastion of civilization for the duration of the trip. No, really:
Some dam in the Columbia River next to ALT route---um, something...97 comes to mind, they kinda all looked the same.
The apple orchards were just sad to take pictures of, as were the cherry trees...they just looked so dead and barren. Instead:
I just can't make this stuff up. We grabbed a flier and it's still in Andy's car as we were just amazed--no flabbergasted. We were so dumbfounded actually that we almost got lost here. We surmised the entire thing must be lined with gold or something. Or maybe the lake is filled with champagne? I dunno, it is right on the lake and, right next to you? That's right folks, public beach area! Just what I want, people peeing in my back yard after I've just gone in debt for the rest of my life...or something.
Next: Sunsets in the middle of nowhere, pee breaks in amazing places, and the weather becomes a fickle mistress...
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
That would definitely explain why I'm tasting asphalt and feel like there are rocks in my back...
Either that or I slipped a disc and am dealing with my sinus' freak- out due to the HVAC system at work going wack-o from a power shut-down on Sunday...long story, and except for the work stuff, I even have pictures of my weekend, sort of.
I's is a bag blogger and takeses pictures of all the wrong thingseses.
But as soon as I can sit at my desk long enough without wincing, you too will share the adventure...for now I leave you with two thoughts that my mucus filled head had this morning:
- There is such a thing as "foot" island for socks. (Especially ones meant for a size 13 foot!)
- I am a tight knitter. Tighter than I could have ever imagined...Just for the heck of it, and to see if I could use any of my already owned sock yarn for Sock Madness (yes, in a wine daze, I signed up) I measured my guage...10 stitches to the inch using Lorna's Laces with US 1 metal needles. I think I will have no problem getting their silly 8 stitches to the inch with the yarn I already own.