Tuesday, January 29, 2008

It Can't Hurt, Much

I wish I could blame it on the drugs...but I haven't had anything stronger than that sip of wine that made me break out in a rash this last weekend--and no, Beth, that is not the usual reaction I have to alcohol. Maybe super flushed cheeks, but being as pale as I am, that comes with the territory. The rash is obviously a sign that hi, maybe I my body is fighting too hard?

If I want to use my logical brain, I can chalk all of this up to fevered dreams...Vivid, fevered dreams....that somehow are connecting with real life far too well. Okay, let's scratch the logic...I know, I can easily blame it on my superstitious upbringing. But it's only superstitious if you aren't a part of my family or culture, cuz if you are? It's just what happens.

The ghost bull really does roam around my dad's town, and it really did once burn his horse's flank as it was chasing him home. My mom can curse me forever with just a foul thought, cuz mom's curses stick. If you give a child "el ojo" they will get sick and we'll have to dig up an egg and do that ceremony to make the bad go away...

Seriously, people, Mexican Catholicism accepts all that...and more, is it a wonder I can't just shake this all off? It's not too strange a thing for a series of my dreams to keep touching this world, is it? And really I want to very much to believe cuz the latest one...it might bring someone back that I really miss and worry about.

It's all a jumble, and I wrote it down as it came to me...and I'm just going to share, especially after a friend just called...and he was only a part of the first bit of the dream...so here's to making things come into being:

I'm on a boat that drives on land, and if that's not odd enough, my X is there but he's not called by the same name. The friend whose message I just got was helping us move the boat, my boat, to a new "parking slip." It's raining and horrible, and the air is filled with the muddy smell of the Elkhorn Slough as a tidal way of muck comes up out of nowhere to cover 32 feet of sailboat; it comes down through all the open hatches...cards and posters my students gave me as going away gifts, begin to melt in the muddy stew that douses the boat. I run out clutching the only thing that survived the deluge--a letter from a childhood friend that told me to go away until I "grew up." The smell...I didn't know I could smell in dreams.

I jump to one of too many nights arguing about subjects that have nothing to do with the real world while sitting in a restaurant in my pajamas having my hand massaged to avoid a terrible migraine...she's sitting next to me and I almost shock myself awake.

Then I jump again, back to when I was fourteen and so is she and we've just met in our English Lit. class. She and another girl are wondering what a song is called, the other girl sings a bit..."When in Rome," I answer as I'd just heard it that morning in my dad's car.

Then I'm intruding in my own dream...am I really remembering such detail or is it the answer I'm supplying coming from me as an adult...as someone who still might have that song as an mp3 cuz sometimes you need pop songs in your life. But I'm doubting the memory, it's a dream, I know it's a dream and I feel so young and stupid and sad. Before then, though, I don't think I could have told you about the moment...and did I know the answer or was it supplied by someone else...

I dwell too much on it, but don't wake, instead the scenery has changed and we are older. We're at a friend's house. Was it a birthday party at Carla's that I got to go to? Or a Saturday night at Lily's? Lily is there, french braiding her hair. Perfect part, perfect sections of hair...I interrupt myself almost crying out that it's not a wonder how creative and brilliant they both turned out to be, but instead we talk about...I'm not sure, I'm losing myself in the moment, so happy I have them around again, where did you go?

Out of time and place now, we're speaking like adults, but still seem school-aged. We might even be younger than we were when we first met. It's getting harder not to think about what's going on, and I'm so afraid to adulterate the dream. I want it to continue but can't help crying and asking why she asked me to stop contacting her. What horrible thing did I do to make her want to put space between us. What horrible "mess" did she get in that made her break contact with so many others. The things we say are awkward. I can't understand her reasons. It's obviously the first time we've spoken since that email...

And then I wake up, a jumble of emotions fighting to take hold...

And if you've made it this far, let's keep going to the brink of absurdity: when I went into my gmail account to fish out that last email from her, to look at the date? The ad that pops up is for Madam Zola, Voodoo Worker. Because I might need her services to be a spiteful wench? Or is it to make me laugh, like the spam recipes that pop up when you're cleaning out that folder?

Okay, it's out there so it's time for the holding my breath/screaming out "I believe in fairies!"/third time is the charm bit...maybe? Please?

Sunday, January 27, 2008

On the Mend, I Hope

The reality is that I really just hate being sick. This must be why my body keeps fighting whatever it is I'm not quite catching with such vehemence. It's doing it in rounds; sometimes winning the point, sometimes, um, not so much. I was so run down on Friday night that I thought that this might be it! All the signs were there! My gut was not my friend, my head, my eyes, hell, my nose was against me...I even started to feel like my skin was on fire...there was a definite ripe red rosy rash on my legs!

Then I was up and able to do my laundry Saturday morning...then...not so much...and hello! Is it really Sunday already?

Seriously, I think I really would just like to come down fully with whatever it is that's haunting me just so I can get over it completely. I'm starting to get really tired of only being kinda ill on the weekends and just mending enough to go to work on Monday and then get progressively worse until it's Friday night again and hello comfy pillows I think we'll be spending all weekend together!

Andy says I should just go on a terrible-for-me drinking and staying out all night, exhausting spree and destroy all of my defenses so I can catch whatever is slowly killing me full bore. Right, cuz that sounds like a good plan... Trouble is, I took a sip of some wine last night and I broke out head to toe in a rash so horrid I jumped into the shower too cool off. Shortly after I had to ask if it really was only Saturday night, because I could not tell how long I'd been cat-napping/dying in the bathroom/trying to focus on a sock/reading/collapsing/checking on the laundry. Hmmm, mild fever perhaps?

So, since I was stuck in bed 20 hours a day (I am so thankful I don't have anyone/thing/pet I have to be responsible for during these times), I caught up on most of my library books. The timing of my long-awaited library book could not have been better:
What a life-saver. As fun as it is to knit things in bed, when you don't have a TV, a working ipod, laptop, or a radio at hand...it can become rather dull and/or make your brain want to ooze out your ears. Just plain fun Terry Pratchett reading? Especially when you know you have a fever and yet are in denial at the same time? Lovely.

So yeah, now I'm done with it and maybe I read it too quickly...sigh.

Ah well, I think it's time for another nap anyway.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Pictures of Pietra-Men and You-u-u

It's been a while since there was a picture, so I dug something up:
I believe it's called "Pietra di Palermo" and it's some ancient Egyptian thing they found in Italy. Or something. I took a picture of the explanation as well, if you're super curious or fell on my page because you're writing a paper on ancient Egyptian ruins in Sicily, just scroll down and you hit pay dirt without having to fly to Palermo yourself.

Thanks to the glass, you couldn't actually take a picture of it head-on unless you really just wanted a picture of you with a camera in front of your face. I was more liking the way I could get a pic. of MJ on the sly.

We were having a ball at that museum. I was learning how to use Andy's camera, it was pouring rain outside, it was our first official day in Sicily, and we were having many heart-to-hearts and just cracking each other up.

I have a video of her explaining a copy of the copy of a statue with Laocoon & his sons being killed by serpents, and I can totally see how she would have made a fantastic art history teacher...except for the bit where she sighs and then compares the artist to her son...you know, my X. She caught herself and I told her I'd erase that bit later, you know, when the compilation DVD was made, or something....

Which brings up some guilt. I told her I really would compile all of our pictures and simply haven't. Hi, it's coming up on a year since the trip...The idea of sitting in front of a computer actually working, when like I'm not getting paid? Well, yeah, not so hot on that when there are things like books to be read and stuff...

I am soooo lazy...

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

What is it about Wednesdays?

Or maybe I should say Tuesday nights? Or maybe it's just my life right now.

-How random is it that when you think/talk of things the night before, suddenly the next day the same things are presented to you... That doesn't sound too clear...how about concrete examples?

Just last night Andy and I and a bottle of South African wine were conversing about the motivation/lack there of that we have when it comes to things we want/can/don't have the energy to do in the span of our days. I waxed poetically about my brain-dead job. Don't get me wrong, I love my job, more than I can say! But really, when it comes down to it? Trained monkeys could do 90% of it, really. In 10 years when technology makes smart scanners that can fill in simple forms accurately, I'll be saying hello to the unemployment line at the federal building, or wherever one goes for that...

Anyhow, the lack of firing synapses during the day means I come home and I am starving for such things as reading the news (we have 3 channels of tee vee...most gnus is read gnus on the internets), do math for a sweater, come up with presents for small fries, read something other than easy escapist fiction. (Yes Ms, LizBeth, I even picked up a Brit.Lit.Theory book in my last foray into the used bookstore in Fremont; kisses to the wee one.)

So how do you think I felt this AM when I found out that my boss-guys have been talking behind my back? They want to shift my brain-dead work to someone else, and, sniff, give me things that involve such things as, eep, THINKING. It's like they have plans for me or something, I dunno.

It's all talk for now, but you know how talk turns into action eventually. Le sigh, my days of mindless work are numbered...

So if that were the only thing? Then I too would be spouting the coincidence tack. And yet, there is more.

In my travels on the internet, I received word of knitted mouse creatures...Like I need another project...but that led me to think about people with cats, and that one went to thinking out one particular cat that I think quite handsome, and his owner who works in my building but I've only shared about 3 words with her since her house-warming party back before turkey day. You'd think we worked in a 100-story building, with me in the basement and her in the top floors or something (They usually hide accounting somewhere obscure...though I suppose I was on the 39th floor of the Columbia Tower that one gig...where was I?) Right, so I wondered how she was doing. Then, BAM, this morning? An email from her. Granted it was a group email, but still, weirdness prevails.

Am I calling these things into being? Ah the power...Maybe I should start talking to people about how the levels in the Accounting department need to be reevaluated (so that salaries too can be updated, you see...).

And totally off topic...is it me, or are the chocolate chips they're putting into trail mix these days just totally too big to be real? (These are the moments I wonder if a cell phone with camera isn't that silly a thing), cuz these "chips" are bigger than brazil nuts! Crazy...Did one of you do that???


Monday, January 21, 2008

K.A.Y.E. Advertising

As Bezzie said, back by popular demand, another year of Kootchie Awareness Yarn Extravaganza, or K.A.Y.E. if you don't like the word kootchie. Obviously I don't have a problem with it. Kootchie!

Anyhow, all last year Bezzie held this contest to promote the health of knitters out in the world and now it's back for year 2.

As my head is threatening to explode on me again, rather than bore you with the fact that I still feel like poo, I thought I'd share something good for women, knitters, and well, women knitters. If you read the rules, you'll see everyone can play, even if you don't have a, tee hee, kootchie. (Okay, I know, I am twelve.)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Title? We Don't Need No Stinkin' Title...

Norma mentioned the trials and tribulations of "pre-blogging"--that is, writing something up to post maybe later in the day, if not later in the week.

How quickly our weeks can veer off course and that post you had planned on say, the memories that bombard you when you taste something, turns into: "How I Kept from Killing Anyone Last Night," and even that turned just as quickly into: "A million Cats in my Nose this Morning."

I don't know if I can write it all down anymore...Not without mushing it all together...especially after my brain started oozing out of my ears about an hour ago...

Oh, let's begin with that one, shall we?

I am allergic to very little, or rather, I used to be. My older brother was/is the one with the uber lung problems. I'm not saying I ever did, or anything, but as a kid, I probably could have snorted the layer of dust on my dresser and still skipped rope and run a mile without missing a beat. Yes, that's right, I grew up in LA too. It is amazing what your body can get used to.

Then I moved to Santa Cruz, CA and the fresh air just about killed me. What doesn't kill us though, takes us to the brink of death and makes us weak as kittens...(Ah thank you Simpson's quotes I misremember...) Just as I thought I could possibly continue my college education without falling over dead from such things as non-polluted air, SPRING hit me full in the face. Lord almighty, you have created a number of things I am in awe of...but pollen? I have to say I'm not a fan of that at all, not one microscopic bit. In fact I might hate you a little bit for that gift upon humanity, just what were you thinking?

I went from hardy kid to seasonally miserable faster than you can say Jack Robinson, or maybe just A-CHOOO. My allergies bloomed (HA!) and became the gift that kept on giving. I was suddenly really bothered by burning ashy things, diesel fumes, VOG (volcanic fog, highly sulfuric), and my old comrade DUST! The travesty!

With such a long preface, I'm afraid I might let you all down with regards to the million cats in my nose...I'm actually only *nasally allergic to a handful of cats...those with the flying dander, but it's the closest analogy without bringing up the VOG and the pollen and the stuff that makes your eyes feel all scrapey and scratchy...yeah, fun times, people...

See, today? (or whenever it was planned) Someone had the BRIGHT idea of having all of the heating/ac filters changed during business hours--without telling anyone...like, say, ME! So we could have come in all happily Sudafeded up, or maybe brought in some of that cool saline nose stuff to keep the dust from hibernating in my nose...

It is so nasty in here right now...four floors of floating flotsam. I mean, you know when you change the filter at home how, as careful as you are, there is always spillage? Well, I checked out the guy doing the job...and let's just say I'd love to see what his house looks like after he changes those filters... I've been sneezing all day...my head hurts.

You know what I feel like? I feel like that pathetic-looking fellow from those NyQuil commercials of old before they hand him the happy bottle of love...It actually hurts to close my eyes...

*Then there are the ones whose saliva make me break out in hives. Or how about the ones whose oil give me that nasty rash stuff. Or the ones whose hair make my eye-balls bleed...

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Knitting Much?

So, you'd think I would have used today's rare showing of sunlight to take pictures of those finished items I mentioned, oh I dunno, a few weeks ago?

No, no, no. Of course not. A nap was far more important. Besides, I gave away a few things before the sunlight showed up...so all I have is a last minute, just before wrapping picture that I made Andy take (doesn't he just look so very happy to be alive? What a trooper.):
Right, from top to bottom...or shoulder to hands?
A pair "Mitts of the Dystopian Future," on each shoulder, and "Gwen's Scarf" around his neck made from Lambs Pride Superwash in Lichen for "L." Made on US 7s & 8s. For matchiness I put the same mistake rib that's on the wrist bit of the mitts at the ends of the scarf.

Then we have Lev's socks. Finally. It took me months to break down and deal with the kitchnering...and then there were all the ends...urgh...see, I used the bits and pieces and leftovers to make the black and grey one. Unmatched as he likes 'em in Lorna's Laces Pinstripe, Safari, and Charcoal; for contrasting on toes, heels, and tops. I used garter rib on the leg, plane knitting for days and days and days on the foot. US 1 needles, yipes, took FOR-EV-ER.

Don't they look so itty bitty in Andy's hands? Right, well, they are miles long in the foot area. Which is great practice as Andy would like his own pair to model...urgh. I need to figure out how to bend space and time and knit it into a pair of socks so that the foot length can be a mere 10 rows in my universe, but as long or as wide as they need to be in their universes...or something. Maybe I've been reading too much science fiction lately?

I loved knitting the scarf...it was so very therapeutic. J & L had to endure me pulling it out at xmas, but I couldn't help it. It was that and this one below that kept me from popping a blood vessel:
Yes, yet another "One Row (not) Handspun Scarf." This time in Noro Kureyon, in numbers I could not tell you as well, hee hee, yeah, no clue where the ball bands are...and that is frustrating cuz I just had them... The two ends are the same number, which accounts for the lovely purples. The middle actually used to be a panta that I never wore, so I reappropriated the yarn. It is super long and super warm and super comforting. When simply draped over my neck it's very much a Dr. Who scarf, coming down to my knees...love it! US 8s.

I'd forgotten how much larger needles and easy patterns can be so very healing, calming, and yet so very hard to take anywhere...not that my life has been at all conducive to travel knitting--as noted by no mention of any of the other socks (2 pairs, if you're keeping track) that have been marinating on my needles for MONTHS now.

Even so, I've started something else:
This will be heretofore known as ATTEMPT #2 at garment knitting. Or maybe it's 3? Or does the first one even count if it's been more than 4 years since attempted??? Attempt #1/2 was the sleeves to a sweater in the same yarn...but I ripped them as I could not do increases back then...so do I count that as part of this one? Oh the dilemmas.

Whatever, this is the back to a sweater. Not for me though. A sweater for me kinda requires such things as shaping and darts and do I really have to cast on THAT many stitches for it to actually fit over my hips? Um, no thank you, I'll pass.

Not only is this my first garment, but instead of following such things as, oh I dunno, an established pattern, I'm kinda whinging it off of the closest pattern that kinda works but is still too wide and possibly too short for the intended recipient.

You know how we all complain about not being able to find clothes that fit due to thigh, waist and/or bust issues? Cuz we're too short and too short-wasted and possibly too well proportioned for the fashionistas? Lemme tell ya that the other end of the spectrum doesn't have it any easier. Multiple trips shopping with this individual and dude, I really have to wonder just who exactly they make "off the rack" clothes for...cuz even the mannequins are cinched and tucked to make things look like they could fit.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Not a Crisis, More a Change of Venue

First---thank you so much for the King Cake/Rosca de Reyes compliments. It did come out much yummier than I thought it would...see, it's not a recipe from mom, or Mexico, but from one of those 1960s Americana "Mexican Food" cookbooks that insist such things as "cumin" making any food instantly Mexican.

Also, as I decided I really was done after the 6th; there was no marble, baby, lima bean or porcelain anything either baked in or added in later. First because I did not have any of the above on hand, and second...cuz I am lazy like that, and third? Well, as J had to work, T was in the process of moving, L&L still in the bay area....it was just Andy and I. No real need to make one or the other plan a party for Candlemass/2/2.

On with the title!

I may have spoken about this before, especially in my more freaked out extra long posts at the beginning of this blog/therapy. But I bring it up again as my conversation with an older generation brought it up to the forefront again...the idea of the ye olde' mid-life crisis.

I told him that for the generation I'm a part of, especially those with no kids and tenuous connections with familia? We've already had mini-ones and will probably have lots of mini-crises/changes of venue over the ONE, BIG, MID-LIFE shenanigan.

Hi, I took off to Mexico on a 32' sailboat when I was 26. People (mostly those outside of the sailing community and/or around my age) either thought I was insane or the coolest thing since jello-shots. A friend from college up and moved clear across the country to become a security guard in New York City about the same time. More recently, well, my X did a 180 as to who he thought he should be, and friends of mine have been dropping off the face of the planet cuz they're off doing their own thing and no longer want to be burdened with such things as memories of what their old selves used to be. The latest--my roomie from college is taking off later this month to move to Istanbul for a year or so!

I was feeling very sorry for myself late last year when I realized I don't know where the hell anyone is anymore and what they are up to...one of the reasons I gave up on the xmas cards. I had to stop and reevaluate. I really reevaluated after hearing about Istanbul and then having my defensive crisis conversation. (The gist being that his generation did it the right way, waiting until a decent age to go buy their Ferrari's or whatever.)

My mom calls it "going a little crazy." She reserves that right of mini-insanity only for the men-folk, though. It doesn't happen to women, or something. I think she's dead wrong there. It happens to all of us at varying times. If we do the math and chronology of her generation, of how old you were supposed to be when stuff is/was usually happening, women were pretty much married and having babies in their 20s and 30s and didn't have TIME to freak out...or maybe they did...hi, remember the Valium craze? But couldn't do anything about it. Or if they did it was rare...

By the time it got to us, um, how many kids did you know where mommy and daddy weren't together anymore? The times they were a-changing.

It's still shocking to hear the plans and plottings of people after the decision has been made, especially when I'm no longer a part of their everyday happenings (you'd think you'd have a clue that way, especially if you're I dunno, living with them, or, say married to them...trust me on this one, if they are planning on you NOT being a part of their "new" life, you won't know).

At the same time, should I find it shocking? Hi, I did it to them. Though I did have the sailboat for a while...I guess the idea of pulling up anchor and leaving the country wasn't entirely IMpossible, just maybe not what everyone was expecting.

Some people (my mom) think maybe I'm still in my "crisis" (or as I like to call it, "change of venue--it would explain the constant moving. ") Or maybe I started another one on top of the first one? I mean, in a sense I kinda gave the impression of settling down by buying a house and teaching on the Big Island of Hawai'i and that's all normal and non-crazy, even with the boat in the front yard; yes the 32' boat in the front yard, yes, that was me, on Kinoole ST.

When the divorce and the move and all that noise came up, she was not prepared (well, hi, neither was I, I was still in "save up to get the hell out of Hawai'i and on to New Zealand change of venue mode.") And now, flitting around the west coast of the US, am I done? Am I finally ready to stop and settle down again? Maybe just for a little while/i.e. until my retirement fund vests? Who knows. Nothing is set in concrete. Besides, even if I am, there's always a next time later...

Anyhow, if you're reading?




Sunday, January 06, 2008

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Irony of Ironies...

Happy 12th Night!

My "Rosca de Reyes" is doing it's last rise before baking and I was going to try the picture taking thing, but I think I'll wait until it's done...but I don't promise anything as it is rather past my bedtime.

I would have started earlier but was distracted by a big shiny thing in the form of going down to the Pacific Science Center and watching "I Am Legend" in their iMax theater.

Note to self: You are not, nor have you ever been a suspense OR "zombie" movie fan. They creep you the hell out and now you are anxiously waiting the return of Andy and Tim cuz the apartment is too eerie and quiet and man is it dark outside and how the hell are you supposed to fend off attacks if there are so many windows...urgh.

To distract myself I put in the one "holiday-eque" movie I rented this season...and I actually didn't plan for it to show up around this time either, really! "The Nativity Story" was put on the queue shortly after returning from Italy in May as that and "The Last Temptation of Christ" were both filmed in a part of Italy where we stayed, the Sassi in Matera and I really wanted to watch at least one of them. You really gotta see it to believe it. It really is more "ancient Jerusalemeque" than Jerusalem, that's why they keep using the area to shoot those kinds of films.

So yeah, on 12th night/the night the 3 kings are supposedly to have come to visit the baby Jesus as he lay in the manger, asleep on the hay (12 years of Catholic school, I know all the lyrics); as I'm baking my King's cake...I watched it happen on TV...this from the girl who was told by Sr. Holy Water (she must be dead by now, let us not speak ill...and all that) in the third grade that I was going to hell if I did not immediately begin believing in the Holy Spirit.

Thank God for blogging, that kind of shit could haunt me for decades and make a therapist a rich man.

Where was I?

Right, the movie, the second one that is. I was rather disappointed in "I am Legend." They went for remaking the 70s action-blood-and-gore movie version instead of basing it on the book...from the 50s I think. I'm putting that on my Library queue right after this.

"The Nativity Story" though, well, same story, new interpretation. I repeat, 12 years of Catholic School. Every xmas and passion play I honestly wondered why did they all go through with it? Why not change it?!? It's like that scene in "Our Town" when the girl is trying to "relive" a scene in her life and it's just that, a replay, nothing changes and everything goes too fast.

My 8th grade year I got to play Mary (both plays) and my friend Jesus got to play, you guessed it, Jesus (just the passion play), we added a scene at the end. AFTER the Crucifixion they wrapped up Jesus in the white linen and laid him in my arms, no dialog, no narrative, just the thought that we should end the play the way it began back in December; we made people cry that day.

Well, seeing Mary holding the baby as all the shepherds and magi appeared? It hit me more like that DeVotchKa lyric, "You already know how this will end" but we're not going to show you that bit, just how it all started...kinda like the opposite of JC Superstar where you only see him as an adult and know so very little about his mom and dad...so maybe it's more like Weird AL's "Little Annikan Guy" song, (to the tune of American Pie) "Maybe Vader someday later --now he's still a young fry." Cuz you need something to make you smile, otherwise it's just too easy to sink into the dark and sad place that would take hours of typing and/or hundreds of therapist dollars to conquer. And I really did appreciate the humor. It made everyone seem more human. Sure, they all became saints and stuff later, but they too were just small fries too, in a sense.

Okay, I smell bread...So don't forget to leave your shoe out! You never know if the Three Kings will come a calling...better them than the rabid zombies.

Friday, January 04, 2008

The Wonders of the USPS

This time I have nothing but love for the USPS.
(With all these mood swings, should I worry about my state of sanity? Maybe we're all a little bi-polar? Quien sabe.)

Anyhow, I really was in the most foul and grumpy mood during XMAS. You can look back if you want to, I know I don't (la la la, not going there). I was most especially mad that my family's gift box had not arrived. Next year I am so mailing off small light things throughout the month of NOVEMBER....ri-i-i-i-ight. I am just not that on-the-ball. Hello? I use a palm pilot to remind me of such things as MY birthday...le sigh.

Well, come xmas eve afternoon, they did indeed get the package and all was well, at least in regards to the USPS, in my book. Hazzah and hurray! Xmas was saved! I dunno, I promptly went and got started on some heavy fizzy drink drinking and happily put it aside in my brain.

And remember how I said I'd decided not to send out xmas cards this year? Well, for a while there I thought that maybe all of my friends and family had decided the same...cuz, um, yeah, my mantel was rather bare this year.

Again I must pipe up for the USPS! I feel like a PSA today maybe a little...but MAIL FORWARDING ROCKS!

I moved SIX months ago and went online and paid the USPS a dollar (and was maybe kinda grumpy about it at the time...A DOLLAR!?!?!) to have them forward all first class mail.

I don't know how much of my mail is still at my old residence...I should write them and thank them for not tossing stuff in the trash, but what they set out with "NO LONGER LIVING HERE" marked in big fat marker was sent to my NEW address which it seems...as I did some investigative reporting...I actually did send off to like 3 or 4 people, but um, in the rush of xmas maybe? They didn't use either...

AND YET! Here I sit happily surrounded by envelopes with yellow stickers admonishing me to get on the ball and tell everyone (including my doctor...which is weird cuz I both called that one in AND refilled the patient contact card when I was last there...) that hello! I've moved!

So instead of silly holiday cards...COMING SOON...maybe you'll find an address update postcard or something in your mailbox, sorry everyone! But I am getting your cards!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Recipe Box Contest Entry

It is such a rare thing for me to enter a contest that requires such things as "pictures" and being on time with the entry and really, just even trying. But with that whole "more pictures on the blog" push for '08 it was one of those, "may as well start now" kinda things.

So over at Mason-Dixon there is a call out for showing off the recipe box/binder/etc. of olde that you store your cherished favorites in. You know, the one passed down from mom to kid to kid to kid, or somethin'.

Welp, I don't actually have that. My mom does not write down ANYTHING. And neither did her mom, and before then we're actually not sure, but that's a long story best told over warming alcoholic drinks and knitting.

Being the "first" then to have a box? And given my past as both a library nerd and boat person and teacher? These are my recipes (I mean the containers at the front, the cookbooks do actually live behind them):
A Trader Joe's tin that once contained yummi-rific mini cookies just a little over 2 years ago, my not-so-blank book where I keep trying to compile recipes since 1999, and a plastic 3X5 card holder that I've had since I was um, maybe 12.

Come in an have a peek at my logic:
So the recipe comes into my hand via the internet, friends, my mom's head. I scribble it down/print it/cut it out and stick it in the tin.

I try it once or twice straight from the paper and get it super greasy/dirty/wet and if I like it, I write it out on a 3x5 card to file and use on a regular basis. (These too get pretty messy.)

If it's something I really want/need to keep around, I pull out my permanent ink pens and add it to the book.

Anal much?

From the looks of the tin, I've obviously fallen behind on the "move from tin to 3x5 card" and beyond...

And now, for all the world to see, my mom's simple yet effective recipe for Frijoles de La Hoya (Fresh Pinto Beans) that I snagged from her just before leaving for college:
Yes, very narrative, that's just how I roll. The bit in Spanish:
"Si hacen macita, ya estan. Si brincan para el cielo, handan buscando a Dios" translates to:
"If they (the beans) make a masa, they're done. If they jump to the sky, they are looking for God (um, not done)."

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Explosions In the Sky

I should have made Andy bet me that there'd be no fireworks, I'd have made at least a nickel in this new year already!

If you are fond of fireworks, living by Gasworks Park is key. People of all sorts ignoring the wee bitty fact that the park closes at 11:30 PM is most excellent. We got a clear view of the needle in all it's red, gold, and green glory. (Yes, yes, I do happen to have "Karma Chameleon" stuck in my head, why do you ask?) Doped up on Sudafed and Advil for the last two days, I was finally able to stand the size of my head long enough to wander out into the dark and follow the buzzing and excited voices to the park. Sparklers and those zippy semi-illegal fireworks filled the void of the needle. There must have been technical difficulties, but as no one actually brought a radio to fill in the commentary, the world may never know.

Let me add this tangent, have any of you ever been stuck in a QFC (Quality Food Center)/Market doped up on Sudafed and Advil? My god, the horror. We had a moment of panic in the dairy section as I desperately tried to remember in which of the eleventy-million pockets of my jacket I'd stuck the sacred shopping list. Why I was allowed control of the cart I don't know. However, if I hadn't of had the cart to support me, I might have taken a nap in the produce section. Then, just as checkout time appeared, oh curses on you over-the-counter ibuprofen, running out on me that way, leaving me to suffer a pounding headache as I heard the incessant "BEEPING" of the checking out procedure....It's no wonder I spent the rest of the evening glued to the couch wondering why my head was three times too large, and very very tender.

Right, so who all spent the night before new year's eve watching "The Sound of Music" on TV? It was all scrunched and grainy and so nostalgic I couldn't resist. But maybe it was the Sudafed. I couldn't tell if I felt like an old lady as I sat knitting on the couch humming along to "My Favorite Things" or if I felt like a little kid as I remembered all the sexist lyrics to "I am Sixteen Going on 20" (or whatever it's called.) I'll tell you where you can stick that haughty, "I-I'll take ca-are of yoooou," Rolf. I never liked him, what a, a, well, a Nazi, actually.

If that wasn't exciting enough, how many of you took your blood pressure this morning to make sure all the decongestant wasn't causing you to have blood pressure problems? I know, I am so hip and cool that I own my own BP reader. Shall I just have DORK tattooed across my forehead now, or later? (110/75 BTW, so I'm doing okay, for now.)

Right, so it's much closer to 2 AM than I've seen in a rather long time, and I'm using words like "rather" as maybe I had a couple glasses of sparkly stuff.

Happy New Year!
I hope you got to see/hear fireworks where you are and that they weren't gunshots (I so do not miss LA with regards to that "feature" of my neighborhood).

I resolve to take some pictures of my knitting, possibly as soon as tomorrow. But that's as far as my list has gotten...Though I have been thinking of like writing letters to people, but haven't resolved to do so yet. You know how it goes.