Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I Won't Need That for a While

Have I mentioned I hate packing?

I don't even pack my bag before a trip until much too late the night before. See, I keep thinking, "I can't pack this, I might need it!"

It's a terrible habit.

The movers come on Saturday. The truth is I really only care about them taking the things I can't carry, like the books, shelves, couch, coffee table, more books, my desk...maybe more books...all of which (except the desk) are all ready to go, right by the door even. If push came to shove, I can carry the pots and pans and bathroom stuff and my sheets and dirty laundry all by myself. Really.

I think this attitude is not helping my situation.

If I wanted to damage my friendships, I'd have a packing party. But just don't let me see what's going in the boxes because I'll stop you and say "NO! I'll need that until the very last minute," as I have been doing to myself and really and truly people would put their hands on their hips and glare and me and walk right out.

See how much I love you? I would never put you through that at all!

Okay, so that is my update. Still alive. Andy and I are still on speaking terms (moving really strains friendships, people). Knitting until I fall asleep at night...or as I watch an old episode of TNG when I really didn't mean to... (Fall asleep that tired.)

So many boxes. And they are showing the apartment again today...No, really we do not care anymore. There are no unmentionables hanging on any doorknobs so they can come in and wade through the sea of boxes that has been my life for two weeks now.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Raging Against the New Machine

So you know when you're young and silly and rebellious and no matter how cool or hip (or not) your parents are you do the complete opposite just to prove those people can't have had anything to do with you? Well, apparently the same thing goes when you break up with someone who you've spent so many years with. Or that's my thinking this AM as I struggle to understand why I was such a dick yesterday.

See, yesterday while griping that today would be a day spent packing but not moving boxes (we signed the lease on Thursday! After Friday's last minute cleaning--on their part--today the place should be ours and ready to move it! But it's not) because somehow I totally neglected to remember that the Fremont Solstice Celebration will be invading my neighborhood. Big oops.

Instead of sympathizing with my horror of being stuck due to traffic and too many people on the street and just the insanity that today brings, one of the peeps at work says something like, "Oh, you live by Gas Works? So do I!"

Maybe she didn't notice my saying I was MOVING AWAY from our neighborhood because she then asks, "How do you get to work? Do you bike here?!?" All excited. Really, too excited. She took on this about-to-be-preachy look on her face if I gave the wrong answer, which of course I would have even if I did have the "right" answer. I simply could not stop myself, she was reminding me WAY too much of my X.

"I drive. Every single day. Everywhere." (Have I mentioned I hate driving? But at that moment I'd have extolled the wonders of all vehicles if I knew it would chide her. See, I knew what was coming. I must have used the force.)

"Oh," Her face got super serious, "You know you should be biking." Hmm, how did I know the conversation would turn to this?

"I did, every day, for a while, longer than you've been here, actually, then I got run over ON THE TRAIL, remember? That was me, limping around? That was me talking about my 7 hours in the emergency room? And the banana that is my front tire? Leaving early at least once a week to get my bones set to where they're supposed to be? In fact I have biked or walked every chance I've had for the last 13 years, from California to Mexico to Hawai'i and even downtown Seattle. But right now? I can't. Remember?"

"Oh yeah, huh."

Oh yeah. Huh.

Maybe if I "looked" my age, people would get off their high horses and/or keep their feet from entering their mouths. Because thinking back to when I was her age? (I'm thinking I'm a tad more than 10 years older than her) I would not have suggested to anyone I worked with at the time that they should get on a bike to get to work (as I did, every single day). Especially not if I knew they were in their mid 30s and didn't seem very um, Sporty Spice, if you know what I mean. (Limping? Big clue.)

Apparently I have triggers. And no patience for people who are about to tell me how I should be living my life when they know so little about me. And biking? I'd love to, really. But I'm 20 lbs heavier than I ought to be and 35 feels so much closer to 40 when you get up just every morning and wonder why you hurt so much, so please don't throw it into my face that I should be doing x instead of y.

Obviously it's a sore point. See, you get older, you learn things about yourself. Now the next step is not to react so evilly. Maybe I can work on my patronizing skills instead?

Happy Solstice!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

I'd Rather be Munching on Cheesey Poofs

This is one of those meandering posts as I have too much in my head just now:

- Do they not have crosswalks in Idaho?
I was behind a driver with Idaho plates my entire way to work the other morning and either they were in so much of a hurry that they felt stopping in the middle of each and every crosswalk at every stop light would somehow put them at their destination in a more timely manner, or they don't stop behind the crosswalks in Idaho.

I'm not here to judge their driving, I know that Southern Californians (I was one, I'm a little better now) are infamous for their "rolling" stops and utter disregard of crosswalks when they're about to make a right turn.

But making the pedestrians walk around your car at each stoplight? You're just asking for trouble Ms. Idaho Red Station Wagon.

- This was a sleepy thought I had that was meandering it itself...As I was cutting up my banana for my cheerie-O's this AM, I realized that this would not be a banana my niece would eat, as she doesn't care for the ones with the overly dark seeds in the middle. This is a challenge for my mom as you just don't know what you're going to get until you start slicing up a banana, so I convinced her to just cut out the middle when we were prepping my niece's plate of Mexican Rice.

That's right. Cool, sweet, banana on just made, warm-not-hot Mexican Rice is the bomb. But I don't know where this um, combination came from. I mean, my older brother and I used to eat our rice using Fritos as utensils and then there was the eating fresh-out-of-the-pot beans with toothpicks. I do know that is not normal, trust me, we don't eat in public like that.

But at my mom's house? Rice and bananas is the norm. Do other Mexican households eat their rice that way? I've googled it, and found nothing, in English at any rate, I didn't try it in Spanish as I didn't want my work machine to change languages on me. It tends to do this all on its own. Maybe someone out there knows? Or has found me because you google/bing-ed the same thing?

- That period of time between putting in your notice of non-renewal of lease, and signing your new lease? It's kinda scary. I feel homeless. And scared. What if something happens and the apartment isn't really ours? What if they change the rent rate between our putting in our application and signing the papers? Our current place has already started showing our apartment (oh more on that...) and the last thing I want to do is walk hat-in-my-hands to ask for more time.

- We do not live in the most, shall we say, popular of the units. I have described the 24-hr lab whose windows face ours all across our BIG PICTURE WINDOW? Yeah, quite a view. Add to that the box hell that we are living with right now? Not what I'd consider for the Better Homes layout.

Yet, they want to show the place to prospective tenants! Why would you show the place at its worst? How are you going to get the overpriced rent that way? Moronic. Yes, we did say we didn't mind people looking, but we also said we'll be packing and in the middle of moving. It's not like we told them we'd have it all perfect to show. It's not like we're breaking our lease and it's in our best interest to get it rented before we move out. Maybe they've confused us with someone else, I dunno. I do know I am one tired and sore old lady. And my knees still hurt.

- Because I fell down the stairs at work. I think I forgot to mention this bit.

It's been a couple weeks now. The swelling is almost all gone, but the bruises are still appearing. It's a little disconcerting when the sickly teal-ish color is superseded/overlapped by an even more disturbing purple splotch.

No, I was not running, nor was I rushing. I was even holding the handrail. This tweaked my thumb more than anything. I don't know how it happened either, one second I'm walking down the stairs and the next my knees are being crunched on the steps, and then elbow, and my hip, and my backside, and my ankles are bruised too so they joined the fun...but I didn't hit my it wasn't a full on somersault, but close enough.

Yes, this makes packing even more fun. But I'm not lifting anything.

- If you can afford a moving company? Do it.

I've saved my pennies (okay all my change and any extra dollar or seven that I'd budgeted for the week) all last year for this (the last time Andy spoke about giving up our fabulous view/finding some place better). This was pre-the last bike accident even. I just pictured myself trying to get Andy's couch out of the door and right then and there decided that I would be willing to pay someone for my NOT having to do it. Just how much depended on how long I had to save.

I almost gave up my dream before finding the moving company a co-worker recommended. I'll let you know who they are after the move. You know, just in case.

Okay, back to work with me...

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Real Fast, Cuz I'm Supposed to be Packing

It's official.

We found a new place to hang our hats.

We've given notice.

When the moving company confirms, I can say exactly how much time I have until I move, but it's only a couple weeks, I hope.

So...instead of sorting through pictures and preparing another post (this one about how I broke the plane on my way back from LA), I interrupt my life with sorting, organizing, and packing. (Oh and getting rid of stuff.)

I usually don't mind the sorting and organizing. It makes things look neater when you are cleaning. But sorting to pack? That just blows. I have piles of stuff everywhere as things start coming out of the closet (pack what you're not using first, of course) and then the boxes are RIGHT THERE, in your way...just asking for another accident.

Oh yeah, more on that later, but really? I gotta go. One more box to finish before I break for lunch.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Really, There are a Couple Hats to Show, Promise

I decided to start writing as the pictures are loading into Photoshop. Yes, the snail-like pace is almost painful.

As I sat here pondering the immortality of a crab, I realized the over-burdening of my processor speed is all my fault. I know, I know, I'm a girl, how could it have been me? That's what boys are for.

Well, just before my LA trip I decided to turn my camera up to 11. Well, 10.1, actually. Mega pixels. I mean, if I want to play around with the pictures I take, I should have the most mega pixels to manipulate...or something. I had a theory at one point. (It's what comes of having been the yearbook teacher, ha, "back in the day.")

Anyhow, when photoshop is opening one (or seven) of these new HUGE pictures, as I'm listening to something on iTunes as well as starting a post using the memory hog that Firefox can be, why am I surprised that everything slows down so badly?

How all this slows down my internets as well, though, is beyond me. This is why I don't get paid the big money. But just as my bruised and battered (ha, yes, another story) knees are connected to my overburdened twisted back, I'm sure there's some similar path that can be followed to connect the WWW to my pooping out processor.

Ah, they've opened.

So the really big problem I have about visiting my parents is that it doesn't feel like I'm "on vacation" in the sense the I need to have my camera out and ready to capture a cybershot moment at every and any opportunity. I've whined about this before. I'm kinda busy being there and just sitting around doing nothing or making puzzles with the kids or refereeing their sordid complaints and arguments (kids that age are soooo funny). So um, the big reveal? Is a bit bittersweet as it occurred during my final moments around my family...well, my mom & dad & niece & nephew.

My flight was ssssuuuuuuuuuupppper early, so my not so little baby brother didn't even poke his head out as we all got ready to go (we'd said goodbye the night before) and my older brother and SIL were equally still sleeping in their house.
I asked everyone to pretend they liked one another. It's such a rare occurrence to get both my mom and dad in one shot, I could not pass up the opportunity. Oh, and the hat my dad is wearing? Yep, the one we got him in Zihuatenejo, so I guess I had something to do with all three head coverings in the photo.

Quick knitting stats: Vanna's Choice in pink and blue respectively, US 10.5 kids sized needles. Cast on 24 stitches and knit like a deamon until you can get it around the kid in question's noggin', sew up the side and gather the top or sew the top flat, your choice; poms not optional.

I knit furiously (that seems sorta oxymoronic...) and sewed on the last pom-pom only hours earlier.

Yes, my niece will indeed be taller than my mom by the time she is 8, maybe 9, it is not an optical illusion. I made her hat into a square and put a pom pom at either corner to match her dimples.

My nephew's is a single pom, a la a favored and similarly blue hat his dad used to have when he was a wee bit older, and though I thought I'd made it bigger, it just fits him. I think he grew between the time I cast on and tied everything off.

Here's the parting shot:
I love the fact that I saw them and was setting up the shot when I was "discovered" by my nephew. Can't get anything past that kid (yes, maybe I am a little proud).

And I didn't cry until after I made it past security.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Teach Me to Knit

As a reward for getting my work done tonight, I am posting!

And, as the blog as my witness! I am starting a new piggy bank fund for a new 'puter with more processing power and like a zillion gigs of RAM. There is nothing more tiring than sitting and waiting minutes at a time for pictures to load and be copied and for that damned swirly thing to stop spinning and turn back into an arrow so I can keep living my life...

Ahem, where was I?

Right, pictures, of knitting! Sort of.

So my niece was really super excited about learning to knit. She wanted to make socks or a sweater or, um, a hat maybe? Please? Cuz I know I can make a rectangle into a hat and I'm so not teaching people under 10 how to use double-pointed anything.
I enlisted the help of my mom for this one. Not only did she find the PERFECT shade of "Vanna's Choice" for my niece, while she supervised her (note the grandma hand in the picture), I tackled one-handed photography and my nephew's, um, lesson.

See, my niece is 6 years old. She is way into learning stuff and if it's pink? Bonus.

My nephew is 4 years old. He's really into doing things big sister is into. I got him blue yarn but um, there doesn't seem to be any picture of him practicing/playing with it...strange. I blame the gnomes.
We are multi-learning here. I cast on 24 stitches and it was her duty to keep 24 stitches on her needles no matter what loop-de-loops, yarn overs, or um, knit three back and forth for a while and maybe backwards as well stitches she experimented with.
I wish this had come out is my mom doing some catching of slipped stitches and saving the day.
I guess a fuzzy picture is better than nothing...I almost missed it altogether, see, cuz my nephew and I had started lowering the special clothespin exploring device on the make-shift line that the sheriff (or person in blue) was in charge of.

He was, um, taking a break from the knitting, cuz you know, you knit for too long and you get those repetitive stress thingies going. Can't have that!

And did you know, given enough Angel and Bones DVDs you CAN make a hat (or 2) in a weeks' time? I have lost the last of my patience with Photoshop + not enough computer power for the evening, so the grand reveal with have to wait.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Let's Do This Thing!

Yep, still here.
Nope, not a soul has befallen the unfriendly edge of my letter opener.

I should be asleep right now, seeing as I need to be at work in fewer hours than I care to think about, but seeing as I pretty much collapsed Friday after work (some sinus/allergy/swine flu thing) and have been sleeping for hours at a time every few hours since...I think I might be both slept-out, yet feeling all right enough to head back to the salt mines tomorrow. I have such awesome Calvinist Work Ethic timing, I tell ya.

But instead of describing the awesomeness that was my headache-sore-body-nausea-filled weekend, I bring you one thing that I did on my "vacation" that worked out pretty well in the godawful heat-wave that Seattle had upon my return from LA:
Just look at those curls! Not three weeks ago they were brushing against my elbows!

I have to say that in the quart-sized plastic bag I stored these tresses to get them ready for donating, they look like what they are, not very much hair. Laid out like that, my goodness, that looks like an awful lot...But really it is 15 inches of not very much hair. I did mention I easily fit them into a QUART sized bag. And that's only because my mom had run out of sandwich sized...where they would have been just as happy with plenty of room.

So was I left with super short hair? That's where it's just a little frightening as to just how long my hair had gotten:
Hello world. Yep, my hair is still long enough to touch my shoulders.

This is me doing a mirror shot on my very shoddy GZ'One cell phone camera as I was getting ready to head out to Richard & Steve's house. The redness and splotchy features are thanks to the 90+ degree weather that I am so not used to anymore...but ended up being awesome training for the 90+ degree weather visited upon the not-so-rainy right now city wherein I do live.

Three weeks, really? Well, I am being proved correct in one of my mom's old wives tales.

She used to always cut my hair because she has "hot hands" or maybe my hair just likes her hands? I can't quite remember (I did mention the abundance of nasty in my head that is keeping me from thinking straight?). Anyhow, my hair grows fastest when she's cut it. Which is one of the reasons I wanted her, and not some random child at a hair-cutting place to snip off my locks.

I knew the ends would not be even, and given my hair's tendency to be all wavy/curl at the ends? Not an issue. Not at "nape of neck" length. However, three weeks and it has grown and gotten used to its new length. (Why yes, my hair does indeed have a mind of its own and individual strands grow at all their own paces, why do you ask?) And I need a trim. You have no idea how hard it is to get the very back of your hair to match the sides when you are using your sewing scissors instead of the hair shears I almost, ahem, borrowed from my mom. My tricks are many, including bending at the waist to trim up the very longest bits that I can see/reach/guess at. Ah yes, quite the fashion diva over here.

Yes, I am cheap. But more so, I haven't had anyone cut my hair, really cut it, since about 2002...That seams like a way bigger step than having your mom snip away at a couple/four pony tales...

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Taking Things too Seriously

Must remember to breathe.

Just because I am trying to fit in an 8 hour day in 6, no one else is.

Breathe some more...think calming thoughts...fluffy bunnies or whatever...

DO NOT REPLY to the inane email that made you want to stomp over to your coworker and shove his job description in his face...

Instead, breathe lots more. DEEP, cleansing, TV birthing-class-breaths...Let. It. Go.


It's been rough, this re-entry from being away. Work-wise at any rate. The balance is skewed in a very bad way right now. In the shower I think about uploading my pictures and sharing with you my bits and pieces of share-able vacation news...and then instead I rush-rush-rush to get out the door so I can take rein of the various wild horses that have become the best metaphor for my work/workload.

And right now? Hi, howzit? The camera? NO IDEA where it might be...but we're breathing about that one as well.

Did I mention there might be moving involved?

The lease is up and as much as I like this neighborhood, I can't do another summer of smelling the sulfur-propane-exhaust mix that comes in through my living-room window. Not if the temperatures we've been seeing the past couple days are what summer will be this year. I pay too much money for toxic fumes...I'd rather pay too much money somewhere else. (That and the small thing about the break-ins earlier this year? Yeah, not liking the living here all that much.)

More later, promise.