Saturday, March 31, 2007

Hm, what if!!

So the sock blanket *is* a mitred square blanket, just like the one in M-D knitting I admired and seriously considered last night, and just like the one Cara's (January One) kicking ass on.

One big topic is weaving in all those ends.

And I admit that's one of my big issues. And also joining together all those drasted squares. On the one hand I like the portability of little squares. On the other, they're a pain.

Which led me to think about log cabin blankets. Quick little squares (so you feel like you're making progress), but they're joined together by picking up the stitches along the edges, which makes for fewer ends and far less seaming. BUT, you get a big bulky blanket at some point which is crap to lug around on the packed train.

Which is leading me to think about a middle ground between the two -- what if, using sock yarn, I made mitred square strips using a pick-up stitch method along the end of one. I really don't know if it will work -- I've never knit a mitred square, but I feel a project coming on tonight. I'll let you know. I'm thinking it will bomb because I *think* you CO x stitches for the mitred square and each side of the square ends up being exactly half of those stitches (because of the decreases). I don't know. Again, I'll have to see. I'll report back later.

Stream of consciousness

I originally titled this post "Restless." But then, after my rambling, I retitled it to something more appropriate. This is a meandering post, so don't feel guilty if you bail before the end. I'm just bored and restless.

I'm restless as I near the completion of the Cake Walk socks. I've enjoyed these socks a lot, even with the ribbing. I can't wait to post a pic (soon, when they're finished). I promise to take the pic in natural light, too, so you can see the pretty colors and details without the glare of the flash.

But I'm restless, in search of a new project. I mentioned before that I want something other than socks. BUT, I like the portability and speed of socks. I want a sock project that's not socks, if that makes sense. I love the mitred square project, but I can't imagine knitting a huge blanket or bedspread. On the other hand, I could knit a smaller blanket.

Hm...makes me think of a baby blanket. I could knit a blanket for DD, but I'm hemming and hawing because of her reaction. She hardly notices the baby blanket I knit for her. In fact, I have to half force it on her in the winter, sneaking it over her while she sleeps. Having her use it two or three times a year makes me feel better about having knit it. It took me multiple years to finish that blanket, and it was my first ever FO besides dishcloths. So, with that much effort (and gawd-awful money at the time, using yarn from my LYS), it pains me to think of yet another discarded blanket laying around.

However, I could use more "adult" colors and make it a lap blanket. DH and I would use it. That sounds like an interesting project, and one that would both sustain me for awhile and be portable (knitting the mitres sounds light). But then I don't have the yarn. And I'm bored and restless and want to knit something different NOW!

So, I need to find a project that interests me now and meets my criteria AND that I have the yarn for. Brings me to the sock yarn blanket. I have plenty of left over sock yarn to start with a promise for more coming. I got a secret message from a secret pal, Plotzing Odd (yup, that's the name ... giggle to you who knows who you are!) who says she has leftovers she can send. I see a swap in the future, with possibly some treats for the midgets.

In any case, this is a project that is ringing a bell. Strange how in the span of a single post I went from restless and bored and searching to "Eureka! I'm found!" It's true -- I didn't start out the post with a solution in mind.

I'm going to check out the sock yarn blanket, but I may consider the mitre square project with the sock yarn. I'm miserably bad when it comes to the science of knitting, so I don't know if it will work. But my trial-by-fire methods will tell me eventually.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Can you just keep your big fucking mouth shut for once?

Cripes. What the fuck is wrong with me? Two weeks into the job and I'm making waves already.

I've always been pretty good at making waves. Not intentionally, mind you. But make them I do. If I see something wrong, I tend to bring it up. And I bring it up again. And again. And again until usually something is done about it (and I piss off the entire universe in the process).

Two weeks. Two weeks and I'm INADVERTENTLY bringing up problems.

But I see deficits! I see problems! I'm having a hard time getting my work done because of these gaps!! So, I ask questions to fill the gaps. And I get answers that I'm just not so thrilled with, or satisfied, or, most importantly, able to use to get my work done. So I continue to ask, probe, prod, and instigate.

Flashback: one of my worst experiences was with my first job out of UG. I worked in a dean's office for a demoted dean (OK, he had issues to start with) doing analysis. I was 23, fresh of out college, and working a secretarial job with increasing responsibilities (yay). However, this dean kept driving me crazy with his freaking nit-picky insanity. And overall he was just an academic crumudgeon.

Well, I got fed up with it and started to make notice of the things he was doing wrong: unwarranted poor performance reviews, snarky comments, and general peskiness (which I could document). Luckily other deans were behind me in this to validate my points, but I ended up quitting because of the jerk anyway.

Well, a week after I quit I learned that they had completely moved this pesky person OFF OF THE FLOOR and put him in some rather menial position. I guess I was the bottleneck in the way, and once I quit because of his sour disposition, they were able to make a move. But, of course, as far as he was concerned, I was the culprit (they targeted my complaints as the reason they finally got fed up, which is probably true, but mine was only a drip in the total bucket of complaint water).

Anyway, speed up to this week -- our team has doubled in one month, going from a 4-5 person team to a large team with half of the people completely new to the company. We're all senior level, so we know our functional skills. But still, each workplace needs a workflow and method.

Well, it's a little lacking in the current job. What I do is both art and science. The team was previously artists, and now half the folks are more scientific in their approaches. So we're screaming for some order, some methodology, some processes.

But the boss, in today's meeting, seemed a little aggravated. I'm super sensitive about these things, so I may be making more of it than necessary. I just feel bad for calling a meeting to discuss (and resolve) the deficits I see, and instead I heard some defensive push-back and a very faint message to toe-the-line. Maybe the toe-the-line message wasn't really there, but I *FELT* it based on some of the boss's comments.

And I feel bad for making waves.

So, Monday I'm going to go in and produce. OK, no real processes (at least that I'm used to). It's more an "every woman for herself" mentality. I can do that. It's OK. It's just a pain to recreate the wheel (but I've done it enough taht I can do it now).

Still, I'm feeling weird and uncomfortable about it. Not angry at the boss; more just feeling bad for making him angry (or stressed or whatever).


As for knitty news, I'm halfway done with sock #2 of Cake Walk. It's a simple ribbed, toe-up sock, and I'm loving it. I'm starting to think about next projects. I'm loving the socks, but I'm itching to knit something else. Maybe the mitred square blanket, maybe a garment. Not sure. Gotta think on that one.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Dear Mr. Boss Man

Dear Beloved Mr. Boss Man,

I am writing to let you know that I have a blog. As such, I need at least 1 hour per day to read my fellow bloggers' blogs. In addition, at least twice a week, if not 3-4 times a week, I need an extra hour to post on my own blog. I may not have much progress to report, but I need to connect with my blogging pals. Using the company camera to document my progress would also be quite a boon to my blog appeal.

The repercussions of not connecting with my blog pals is that I spend valuable meeting time mentally composing my blog posts and "talking" with my blog pals. This is time that the firm should value, time that I should be focusing on the issue at hand -- new hire training, important Q1 reports, NASDAQ performance, investment principles. But instead of absorbing, embodying, and owning the information, I'm blissfully daydreaming (and half snoozing) about my sock progress. I'm also obsessing about my guilt at not connecting. And even more important, I'm obsessing about my feeling of disconnect from my community who are so important to me.

And while we're on the topic, let me report on today's new hire training. The trainer had the enthusiasm of a Comedy Central host. She was pretty amazing, demonstrating an energy rivaled only by my 2-year-old on a sugar high. She helped keep me awake, particularly important given how deadly the content was. But, believe it or not, I am so appreciative of the content, which was so shallow, so boring, and so cursory that I was able to completely focus on a new task: knitting my second toe-up sock. Not only was I able to complete the provisional cast on, but I was able to completely finish the shaping. When I reached the train today and whipped out my knitting, I was able to join the two sides in the round and begin the sock patterning. So, Beloved Mr. Boss Man, thank you for providing training so innocuous and meaningless I could count stitches. I even didn't care about how silly and unprofessional I felt sitting there knitting through my new-hire corporate training. The content just couldn't match the interest of my sock.

So, tomorrow I would like to spend at least the first hour drinking coffee, reading my favorite blogs, and posting comments. Please don't schedule any work meetings before 10:30. This will greatly enhance my focus on work tasks, which will increase my productivity, and will free me from daydreaming incessantly during meeting.

With Much Love,
Your ever-devoted employee

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Thursday night

Yup, I ripped the first sock. Well, not exactly. I still have it. It's just that the second sock I started to knit ISN'T the rainy day pattern. It's a rib pattern, toe-up. Not only that, but today I ripped the heel of the new sock because I wanted the foot to be a little longer. I knitted several more rounds on the train, reknit the heel on the train, and am back in business working on the leg. Pics of it soon.

As for other news, here are some cell phone pics of DD. I admit the first one isn't so pretty -- it's intended as a joke for DH. DD was beside herself eating her chocolate cupcake and is smiling a grin from ear to ear (even though you can't really tell). She just looks like her teeth rotted out, which they'll probably do with all that sugar.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

From the NYTimes:
BAGHDAD, March 20 — Insurgents detonated a bomb in a car with two children in it after using the children as decoys to get through a military checkpoint in Baghdad, an American general said Tuesday....

“Children in the back seat lower suspicion,” he said, according to a transcript. “We let it move through. They parked the vehicle. The adults run out and detonate it with the children in back.”

Who blows up their children? Who the fuck blows up their children? What kind of sick, desperate people do that? What has happened to these people to make them think that blowing up their children is a viable, effective, and sound solution?

My parents tend to fly off the handle. I'm ashamed to admit that certain people in my family have made the following statements to me:

After 9-11, "Nuke 'em till they glow." (verbatim; this was while I was living in the heart of DC when the attacks happened and I watched the pentagon burn from the top of my work building)

After a rental car "encounter," "Well, the fucking 'spics are after our jobs anyway. And you know you can't trust an indian person at all. They're all out to get you." (not quite verbatim, but I can't remember the EXACT words. They were something that absurd.)

I don't want to be like my family. I don't want to be so callous, so white trash, so stupid. I know there is a complex history with the middle east that I will never understand precisely because I have grown up in the west. I know that each group has their concerns, their pains, there travesties, their anger, and their heart felt sense of injustice. I know that people around the world are desperate.

But really, World, what's going on when we sacrifice our children so heartlessly? Why didn't the adults stay in the car and sacrifice themselves? Either with the children or without the children? Did the children choose this? And if they did, did they do so consciously?

I'm just at such a loss for what could drive people to such drastic measures. Is there anything in this world that would make me blow up my children? You know, I have never had to face such difficulties, so I can't say, "Unequivocably, no." I'm sure that the mother who gave birth to those children never thought her children would die like that. Would be used. But I can't imagine the events that would lead me to agree to blowing up my child. I simply can't even fathom it.

Will this work?

So I've not had many complaints with Blogger, despite the experiences some have had with it. Even the upgrade to Beta didn't go badly at all.

Last night, however, I was playing around with the site in the customization and setting section. There's one part that says (quote)
Show transliteration button for your posts?
Adds a button to the Post Editor toolbar for converting words from English to Hindi script.
Your changes will be saved to help Google improve this tool. See Privacy Policy for details.

I turned this setting to On. What was the hook that got me? It was "to help Google improve this tool."

As an educational technologist and interaction designer (now in the private world; last week in the nonprofit world), I'm all for helping my fellow techies. So, I checked the box. That's when all hell broke loose and I got nothing but ??? for words.

My exact words to the second post were for Julie: Blogger, you Fucker! ;)

On the knitty front, I am THRILLED to say that I completely scrapped the rainy day socks (even though I completely finished one of them) and did my first-ever toe-up sock in a simple rib of my own making. I just turned the heel today and am starting on the leg. With Cake, this is the best pattern. There's nothing to obscure the prettiness of the yarn. With the Rainy Day pattern, I felt like the yarn and the pattern were competing, and my eye just didn't know where to look. With the simple rib, the colors really shine beautifully. I love it.

Pics to come.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

My Rainy aren't so Rainy

My rainy socks look pretty different from the pattern. I wonder if I should go up a needle size, even though the socks are loose on me. Mine stretch out and skew the pattern, even though it helps them stay up. The ones in the pattern look very pretty and lush, and they look like they stay up.

I'm just starting on the second sock now, so I'll try the larger needles again. Oh, and this morning I discovered I did NOT do a provisional cast on for the first pair. Come to find out I actually simply knitted on a scrap of waste yarn and then knitted the Cake yarn to it. No wonder i had such a hard time removing that darned yarn. Hopefully this time will be much better. Thanks to the online video tutorial (added in my side bar). It really helped clear things up.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Socks, socks, and more socks

Now that our beloved camera is back and safely at home, I can finally populate this boring blog with some pictures.

DH left for Las Vegas tonight. He was snowed out yesterday morning, and poor guy missed seeing his brother for a man's weekend before DH's conference. I'm sure the pity I have is palpable through the blogosphere. If it's not, let me tell you I'm just torn apart for DH missing a bachelor weekend in LV. Complete with a brother with an Am Ex card who knows how to use it.

DH steals a few minutes before leaving tonight to read to DD in the fort that she and I built. BTW, we're not witches; DD is wearing the "base" to her bumblebee Halloween costume.

Anyway, with DH gone (actually, he's still local, as his plane is delayed by 3 hours) and DD asleep, I have some valuable bonding time with the camera and my socks. These are in reverse chronological order, starting with DD, of course.

(Sorry for the sideways pic.) First up in the sock category is the first of the pair of CAKE socks. This yarn was kindly wound and mailed to me by an NJ knitting neighbor, Netter. It is squishy like cotton candy (I literally stop knitting sometimes to squeeze the ball of yarn just to feel its softness and yumminess). It also has the color of sprinkles, ice cream, or cake (take your pick). In all honesty, when I first started knitting with this yarn, all I could think of was sweets. I kid you not. Really. It's dangerous stuff (but knitting does keep my hands busy and away from hand-to-mouth disease).

I digress.

This pattern is my first try at a provisional cast on. It only took about 7 tries, but I finally got it right. I first decided to skip it and do a simply picot cast on, but it rolled and looked awful. Since I'm now committed to knitting the right way and not allowing mistakes (the ones I catch, at least), I ripped and learned how to do the CO. The results make it worth the pain of learning. I'm sure you'll say something like, "It's not that bad of a CO method," but I didn't like it. Hopefully the second time around will be better.

Another gratuitous picture of DD from last weekend on our walk.

Second up are the socks I knit for MYSELF. My FIRST pair for myself; my third pair ever. I used Lorna's Laces after the rave review by Grumperina and the yarn didn't disappoint...well, ultimately it didn't disappoint. This is the pair of socks that I had to reknit -- after finishing the second sock (after re-knitting it because I knit it too loosely the first time), I tried them on to admire. Instead, I finally learned first-hand what "pooling" is. The second sock was lovely -- the striping was terrific. But the first sock pooled horribly. I tried to live with it, but I couldn't. I couldn't do it. I started knitting another project and thought nothing except of the ugly ink-stain sock. Luckily, the pooling started after the heel, so I ripped back to the heel, used the second skein of yarn (that I used for the second sock), and reknit in about 2 days. These aren't the greatest pics, but hopefully you can see that the striping is good on both socks. The color is a little off (it's actually more muted and brown-ish than in the pic), but the striping is great. Ultimately, I can't say I am as in love with the yarn as Grumperina, but the yarn does look pretty amazing in this pattern. I also like that the yarn has a vintage feel to me (colors, feel, etc) and the pattern is from Knitting Vintage Socks. I love this pattern and didn't tire of it even after the second sock. I didn't modify much except the toes (I like flatter toes) and followed my favorite heel (sl1, k1*). I wish they were a little more sturdy (more on that in another post), but I love these socks. They even wash (and dry) really well in a garment bag.

Finally are the socks I knit for DH. These were the second pair I knit, and I grumbled along the way. I liked the pattern but it got boring after awhile. The yarn also wasn't that soft. It was more scratchy (I can't remember what I used).

HOWEVER, I now absolutely love these socks, and I am wearing them now since DH is gone. They are sturdy -- they hold up well (is it the yarn? is it the pattern? is it both?), meaning they don't get loose and flaccid after a few minutes of wear. At the same time, they're not too tight -- they stretch nicely (evident by the fact that DH and I both can wear them, even though his feet are much larger than mine).

This is a long post. Can you tell I'm alone tonight??

Friday, March 16, 2007

A DDism

This is a DD (Dear Daughter, for new readers)-ism for Amy.

Last night DD said, Mommy, my ear hurts.

Me: It does, sweetheart. That's too bad. Did it just start hurting now?

DD: No, it hurt at school. It has poop in it.

All I can think is that she somehow picked that up from school. Maybe the caretakers. Maybe the kids. Heck, maybe she came up with it. But I about died on the floor laughing at that one.

Sure enough, Doc confirmed she has another full-blown ear infection. A mere 3 weeks since the last one. Let's call Ripley's -- we made it a full three weeks without some illness! Whoo Hoo.


Thursday, March 15, 2007

A Shout-Out Hello

Today, while redoing my blogger site and generally killing time while my replacement does work for me to check, I decided to try out the "Next Blog" button at the top of my blogger window. I came across some really interesting sites and actually added a couple of links in my list even though they aren't knitty blogs. Of course I came across some that just didn't interest me, like one devoted to cars, one devoted to gaming secrets, and several written in other languages.

But then I hit a KNITTING BLOG! It was about the 10th click, and up pops this blog: Wishing I Was Knitting. I don't know this person at all, but she's a fellow knitter (and has pics on her site, unlike mine). Lovely pics of a very pretty border on a scarf (I'll have to try that). So I said a "howdy and hello" to her and added her to my list of knitting blogs to read. I simply couldn't resist adding it -- I'm just so amazed that of all the thousands of blogs out there, the 10th or so random blog that came up was a knitting one.

Knitters rock!

How do you leave a job?

Let's do I leave my job?

Well, in pretty good darn shape, if you ask me. So good, in fact, that I'm sort-of twiddling my thumbs. There are plenty of things to be done, but those are "moving forward" kinds of things that my replacement will do. Working on new content, setting up new structures, learning the job and customizing it to fit his style. Those things that he should do.

We're wrapping up the few remaining tasks that *I* have to do (and teach him), but we're in great shape.

So, I redid Blogger! No, it's not for St. Patty's Day. I just happen to like green. I'd knit instead of redoing blogger, but working on your computer, even if blogging, looks far more legitimate than knitting at your desk. (Except if you're Amy.)

BTW, if you HATE the new look, TELL ME! This blog shouldn't be visually gross or ugly or whatever. Sure, it's my blog, but I also want you to read it, right. Just don't ask me to do pink.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Let me count the ways

... that this day has SUCKED!

1. DH and I celebrated our anniversary last night. We're lushes, even on a week night. I had two cocktails, two glasses of wine, and then we split an entire bottle of wine at dinner. All of this in the span of, oh, about 4 hours. Today is miserable.

2. DD woke up last night at 2:30 AM and STAYED AWAKE ALL NIGHT LONG. (Monday night she woke up from 3:30-5 AM.) She didn't drift off at all. I had involuntary alcohol-induced body shudders at every move, but I signed up for this parent thing and so responded to DD. Finally DH took his turn with her around 4 while I fell into a dizzying quasi-sleep.

3. I've spent the whole day so far doing our taxes. We owe. We owe big time. Thanks, NY state, for taxing our joint income even though 1) we don't live in NY and 2) DH doesn't even work in NY. But, NY bases its taxes on our joint federal return, which includes DH's salary (and mine, which is derived from NYC). Thanks. Love you, too.

4. Because we owed so much this year in state taxes, we're required to pay estimated taxes for 2007. Our first payment is due in June and is a double payment. This, of course, coming close on the heels of the multi-thousands of dollars paid to the states in April.

It's 2:30 and I'm still in my PJs, haven't showered, and haven't even brushed my teeth. My headache is mostly gone, and I'll feel a lot better after cleaning myself up. Tomorrow the housecleaner comes, so I have to clean for her to clean. I'll feel better after that.

Netter - have you tried Amy's lunches? I love that brand of food, though it's not cheap for frozen meals.

Amy - your books will NOT disappoint. ;) I just ordered Vulnerable and Wounded from Powell's. They're not amazon, but I like them so much better.

Julie - I have fond memories of camping out at the Daytona 500 with my dad when I was a kid. Those were really crazy parties. I think my dad still goes to bike week (he lives in Fl).

KnitTech - I LOVE that blanket! I can't wait to try it. Thanks for posting.

Coach Susan - apologies for being so snarky in your blog comments (actually, I meant it very playfully, but it probably came off as snarky). Taxes are done. I just have to write the darn check now. ;( But you're right -- it is inevitable.

OK. Off to shower.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Spring Cleaning

I'm a posting hog today. It's kind of fun.

It's starting to feel like spring. I have the windows open; it's nice!

I pulled out my knitting basket (it was a mess) and actually took pictures*. (Long overdue pictures for Julie of where I sit and knit, and what my knitting mess stash is like.)

My stash was everywhere, including both of the drawers and the oversized bin I have under the side table.

I realize that I have bits and pieces of old yarn (including a bunch of yarn that I have skeins and skeins of but haven't knit yet). The bits of yarn are especially true of sock yarn, and I don't know what to do with it. I don't know if I have enough to make short socks, or if there's something else I can make. It's driving me crazy because I can't bring myself to throw away half a skein of beautiful, delicate, luscious sock yarn.

I also have one skein here of this yarn and that yarn (such as Zara merino; Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino, which I love; and several yarns I can't remember -- one that's a mohair-like yarn). I can't throw these yarns away, but I don't know what to do with them. I have One Skein Wonders, but it's not really much help. You have to find 1. the right yarn, 2. the right pattern for the yarn, 3. enough yarn for the pattern, and 4. an interest in knitting the pattern.

What do you do with your leftover yarn?

I also found two UFOs and decided to finish them. One is the skirt for DD I mentioned. All I have to do is seam it, put some elastic in, and voila, it's done. Another I decided to finish then abandoned. It's a baby sweater from One Skein (took 3+ skeins), and the yarn is too scratchy. It's not a pretty, delicate sweater, it's really ugly. So, I have 3 skeins of superwash wool to do something with.

Anyway, all of the yarn (pieces, full skeins, and multiple skeins) are all bagged and organized. It's nice to feel organized, and now I am mentally scanning for a new project. I think I want something non-sock to knit. I've done a lot of socks lately, and I still think sock yarn is my favorite yarn. But, I want a project using bigger needles and different yarn. Just for some variety.

OK, I'm done posting now. I really need to find an anniversary present for DH (for tonight's anniversary date).

*I took pictures but DH uninstalled iPhoto when he "fixed" our machines at home. So, I'll have to wait until we load iPhoto on before downloading the photos from the camera. Two steps forward, one step back....

**PPS -- two steps forward, one step back, one step forward again.... So, a picture of me and DD for toddler-eye-candy. We were sitting on a stump thinking and resting (like in the book "The Giving Tree"). You can also see my new butch cut. You'll just have to deal with it being sideways.

Your Knitting Library

This isn't meant to ask for an exhaustive list, but here's a meme for the knitters out there. Tag, you're it.

1. What is your favorite pattern book?

2. What is your favorite technique book?

3. What classic technique book should every knitter own?

4. How many knitting books do you typically buy in a year?

I have to admit I have a limited library, mostly of popular "not your grandmother's knitting" books, which I have come to hate. I'm collecting this list to build my library, so, if you want to post on your blog OR leave in the comments, I'm going to copy down the books and buy (or check out from the library).

One track gal

I've been a one-track gal for quite awhile now. "One track" meaning I love black suits and little else. Meaning I follow the same routine every day. Meaning I eat the same breakfast every day. Meaning I've had one project on the needles and that's it. I have a couple of UFOs that in all likelihood won't be finished at this point (a knit skirt for DD that I'm sure will be too small next winter, for example).

This is pretty typical of my life: I have a hard time with chaos. I like order. I short-circuit when I have too many options and end up making no progress because I can't decide what to tackle. I can't see beyond clutter; my house is pretty tidy (read: not clean per se, but picked up. Don't try to eat off my floors, or even the table sometimes, as it tends to gather dust, dirt, and other various unsavory items like cat paw prints).

This has manifest in other areas, too. I limit my free-time activities because I have so little free time and if I have too many options I won't accomplish anything. For example, I haven't read in god knows how long. In fact, I joke that I don't even know how to read anymore because I just don't read anything (except blogs). It's also the case that I don't garden or workout or really do much of the things that I used to do and love so much.

What happens to our free time as we get older? I work, sure, that takes up time. I commute ... more time. And I guess it's family. DD -- a living, breathing, growing, demanding, thinking, creative, and blossoming person who I chose to bring into this world -- deserves all of the things in life that contribute to her development. And I'm responsible for providing that (within reason). So, she takes up a lot of time.

And I have to come clean on that note -- I don't spend my time providing DD with enrichment activities. It's more like,

"Sweetheart, pick up the toys before going to bed."

"C'mon lovely girl. Let's take a bath."

"No, no, cutie. Let's not pull out all of our books right now. You can pick out one for mommy to read while you sit on the potty."

"Abs [her nickname], don't pull out all the containers from th.... OK. I see. Well, let's pick them up now. Can you put... WAIT ABBY. Stop! Turn around. Come back. Bend down and pick up that lid. NO, THAT ONE RIGHT *THERE*. Yes. Ok. Good. Now put it back in the cabinet. Good. And now that one..."

In other words, chores. Preparation. Dinner. Cleaning hands. Brushing teeth. Bathing. Eating. Drinking. Playing, sure, but ... Life.

So I spend my time doing this (like so many others of us). And there's precious little for much else.

And because of my one-track nature, I knit. And I don't do much else. And now I'm feeling kind of empty. But torn at the same time because I LOVE TO KNIT!

The other day DH got really angry at me for signing up for the STR club without telling him. He said, "I'm so happy for you that you have a hobby, but really, that's a lot of money at one time."

A hobby.

A hobby??

Um, somehow I just never thought of this as a hobby. It's not a religion, but it is what I spend my free time doing. But I'm thinking I need to branch out and do other things. Like reading. Maybe even for my new job (hm, you think?).

Today I'm going to peruse new projects to add to Cake. Cake is going really well on the needles -- I'm almost completely done with sock #1 and can't wait to post a pic. But I think I want to start something new.

Oh, and I'm going to buy some books: a knitting book, Vulnerable, and some work books.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Why am I posting on a Friday night?

Because I'm a lame-ass parent who can't afford a babysitter every Friday night.

Seriously, this is the best cocktail ever:

Mickey's Fin
1oz dark rum
1oz Malibu rum
1/2 oz creme de bananaes (we left this out because who the hell has creme de bananaes?)
1oz pineapple juice
1oz OJ
1oz grapefruit juice
1tsp grenadine

I swear this was the drink that made me fucking sloshed drunk at my wedding. There are parts of my wedding I don't remember, all because I needed water (was so thirsty) but was handed this nectar-of-the-devil instead. My wedding dress has asphalt stains as a result. And I cussed out the photographer for not staying past 1 AM (who stays past 1 AM?).

REALLY, try it.


I think I won't knit tonight. Sorry ladies.

On happy news, CAMERA ARRIVED!!! Pics await.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

the camera is shipped!

It's in Chicago, fighting its way back home. I know it has missed us; we've missed it. The blog has missed it. "We need you, camera! We need you!!!"

I made tremendous progress on the Cake sock while at jury duty, but I ripped it all because it was flaccid. I'm knitting this project: click here to see the pattern.

It's a very pretty pattern, as it turns out. I went down an entire needle size (from 4.0mm to 3.0mm), and it's knitting up much more nicely. I also learned the provisional cast-on and have a very pretty hem on it now! I have to admit that I couldn't figure it out the first time I CO, so I simply did a normal picot edge. It rolled horribly, and it didn't look anything like the picture. I'm glad I ripped -- it's much much nicer now.

When beloved Camera arrives, I'll show you.

I'm returning to normal. Life goes on. DD is persnickety as ever. This morning was quite a difficult one -- she doesn't like transition at all. If she's reading and it's bath time, she screams and fights getting in the tub. Then when it's time to get out of the tub, she pitches a fit getting out. Putting on PJs is the same way. Taking PJs off the next morning is the same way. Putting a coat on, the same. Taking the coat off, the same. She's just averse to anything different from what she's doing at that moment. It's annoying, and really really time consuming.

Time consuming -- case in point: I arrive to the train station this morning AT the very MINUTE that the train arrives. Of course, it's there, the doors close as I walk up the steps, and it leaves as my foot hits the platform. That's at 7:33. The next train isn't until 8:25. Fucking holy shit. Fucking pisses me off to no end.

"DD, just one extra minute. Just one minute less of whine! Just one minute less of spilling the staples all over the floor, when I told you to put the box down and not shake it because it would spill. Just one minute less of resisting breakfast, and then screaming for breakfast when we say it's time to get up. Please, Dear, just one minute less."

Of course I say to myself that if I would drag my ass out of bed a mere 5 min earlier, we might avoid this problem. But I didn't sleep late! I didn't dawdle. I was on time! And on time enough to typically handle DD's little stalling games.

Ack ack ack.

I did get good knitting time in, but really, I wanted to get to work. One side of me says, "You're leaving your job! What do you care? They don't care!" The other side says, "You have a boatload of stuff to do. And you're already taking a 2 hour lunch to visit with old friends. Get to work!"


We're getting a second car (a freebie from DH's brother). I can't wait. A car! DH will have morning drop off duty; I'll have evening pick up duty. Which means I may be able to go to the gym in the morning, drive myself to the train station, all UNencumbered by DD. I can handle the evening. I can't wait for the mornings.

That is, of course, if I get my fat ass up in time to go to the gym.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

our normally scheduled program is now in progress ....

OK, crises averted. Let's get back to some real topics --

From Amy

1. What are your top 3 Good Movies: (OMG so many)
Unbelievable Truth (Hal Hartley)
Broken Flowers (Jim Jarmausch)
Henry Fool or Trust (Hal Hartley; can't decide which)
Most Mike Leigh films
John Sayles fimls are also really good
Almodovar films are pretty good

2. What are your top 3 'Bad Movies':
Mulholland Drive (David Lynch; I actually dislike most of David Lynch's films, though I know people love him)
Anything "cute" or "crappy sappy" I have to watch with my parents or ILs -- Titanic, most hollywood blockbuster films or anything with Julia Roberts

3. #1 Quoted Movie
(What else?) Princess Bride (stolen from Amy; she's right!)

4. Favorite Action Movie
Most old Jackie Chan movies (not the most recent Hollywood ones)
Also any Takashi Kitano films (asian). They are some of the most violent films I've seen. Of course action does not equal violence, but there's plenty of action in them.

5. Favorite Romance
Unbelievable Truth (I'm repeating myself, but I really do like these movies -- interestingly they're several years old; nothing recent)
Lost in Translation

5a. Favorite Passion Film (not porn, but, um, adult romance films)
Peter Greenaway's the Pillow Book

6. Favorite Weeper(s)
The Virgin Suicides
Royal Tennenbaums

7. Favorite director
Jim Jarmausch or Hal Hartley; I can't pick
Maybe Mike Leigh -- his flicks are amazing

8. Top "Good Movie" moment:
(having a hard time with this one)

9. Top 3 "Bad Movie" moments:
(having a hard time with this one)

10. Top 3 Movie Quotes:
(I know this is controversial, but here goes) "Nigga's is some practical people. They ain't got no teeth, they ain't got no cavities." (Black Belt Jones)
I need more quotes ....

11. Top favorite movie in the last 2 years:
Broken Flowers by Jim Jarmausch

The men with the straight-jacket can go home

Postal situation diffused. I was dismissed.

On knitting news, I completely ripped the sock I knit with cake. It was flaccid. I'm swatching with size 3.0 mm (the pattern called for 4.0 mm) to see if it might work. It was INCREDIBLY loose when I put it on, so a full mm less seems a lot to go down, but I think it needs it.

And we sent in our camera to get it fixed, so I should have pics soon!!!! I'm so excited.

Finally I welcome the cold snap we have (it's about 15 degrees with a -10 wind chill). I'm wearing my perfect socks and a matching sweater (I didn't knit the sweater). Tucked in my new UGG slippers from DH, slippers that are lined with sheep's wool, my tootsies are snug and warm. ;)

Happy days, here we come.

Monday, March 05, 2007


I'm really about to go postal.

I'm really about to go postal.

You know, I'm actually a pretty sensitive person. I'm not always so stable. I've had my share of therapy and freak out periods in life.

But really, now I'm about to go postal.

I got called for jury duty a month ago or so, and I had to show up today. I showed up at 8 AM. At 11 I was assigned to a judge, but then I was told to go on recess for 2h15m. At 1:30 the Jury Manager finally returns from lunch and takes us to the court room.

And I was called in the first round of juror interviews. I'm in the jury box for a four week trial.

I quit my job in two weeks.

I start my new job two Mondays from today.

The recruiter said the job would rescind the offer if I couldn't start on the date they need me. I already gave notice at my old job, and they hired my replacement. I'm supposed to train my replacement on work that ONLY I KNOW HOW TO DO. Really. The judge didn't buy it. He said a 250+ person company has people who can replace me, but I work for a non-profit. They don't know the work I do. I'm the only one on my team. The new hire started today. He did HR training, but tomorrow is a different story.

Meanwhile, I have a new job starting in two weeks. TWO weeks.

I'm really about to go postal.

ER visit having driven myself.
Job interviews.
DD gets sick; a fever for 6 full days.
I miss the team retreat.
And now this.

And DD woke up this morning in a pool of partially crusty, partially soft VOMIT. It must have been a few hours old -- there were dry chunks, like dry stove top stuffing pieces.

I really feel like it never ends. I know other people have it worse, but really, we're into March and things are supposed to get better.

At the moment, there's not enough valium to make me feel better. I'm ... I'm just ... I'm just numb.

(I did knit the entire leg and heel with the Cake yarn while waiting for the fucking goddamned jury thing. I think I'm going to rip and reknit on smaller needles. It's too loose.)

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Roller coaster

I love roller coasters. The scarier the better. It wasn't always so. I remember times when I would scream on rides and ask to get off in the middle of it. The upside down ones just really freaked me out to no end. I couldn't handle it. But now, I love them.

Except for this roller coaster. I'm not necessarily on an emotional roller coaster right now but on some weird energy roller coaster. I feel as if I were hit by a Mack truck, but I can't really think of any reason why.

Last night I was so happy. Bouncing off the walls happy! Not only did I not have to cook (we went out for pizza), DD entertained us with her sugar-induced glee. We splurged on ice cream at the "ice cream pahlo" (parlor) before coming home, and DD had sprinkles on her peppermint bark ice cream. So cute. Just so cute seeing her. She LOVES sprinkles, especially the purple ones.

Well, to add to the fun, Netter's yarn arrived!! She aptly calls it Cake. But when I pulled it out of the envelope, I immediately thought, "Sprinkles!" The colors are EXACTLY the same depth and hue as DD's sprinkles. Just stunning.

Netter so kindly wound it for me, too. This perfect, hefty wheel of gorgeously wound yarn, delightful and dazzling before my eyes. I couldn't resist taking it out of the bag to squish it. A clear bag -- no reason to take it out, but it's yarngasm, right? You gotta touch. And touch I did. After knitting a swatch with it this morning, a new name came to mind -- Cotton Candy. It's truly an incredibly soft yarn.

A funny side note -- while knitting the swatch DD saw the yarn. She picked it up and said, "This is your yarn, Mommy? It has purple. That's purple? That's purple for me?" "No sweety, this is Mommy's yarn. Isn't it pretty?" "That purple? That purple for me, Mommy? I want that purple, Mommy." LOL.

OK, do I sound overboard? Well, I'm not. It's not hyperbole as some unstated thank you to Netter. It's really true. Netter, I don't know where you get the yarn, but it's really lovely to knit with. I can't wait to knit with it.

That's one roller coaster high. But when you're high, you must also crash.

I finished my second sock this morning! I LOVED this pattern and would knit it again (rare for my ADD knitting nature). I promptly put both socks on my feet to marvel at my first pair of socks for ME, and my heart sank.

Sank to the pit of my stomach.

The second sock is lovely. Just lovely striping. But the first sock pools. If you recall, this first pair of socks for me is also the first perfect pair of socks I knit. No mistakes allowed. Rip and reknit. Back up and fix that one tiny St st that should be purl. Fix it. Perfect. Perfect-o.

But I can't live with the pooling. I tried. I wore both socks while knitting the swatch with Cake. Or Sprinkles. Or Cotton Candy. Take your pick. But I kept fighting this nagging voice in my head. It kept saying, "Peek at the errant sock. It's like the bearded lady. Or the man with half a face. Or the dwarf. Or the kid in a wheel chair. Or the dog with three legs." I'm NOT picking on people with disabilities (I used to work on projects for PWD and campaigned for their rights vehemently). But I am saying that this pooling sock sticks out. It calls for attention. For that curious glance to really figure out what's wrong, and then once you see what's wrong, you sort of can't take your eyes off it.

So I undid the sock and ripped. Not all of it, just the pooled part, which starts around the heel. So about half of the sock. I have a ton of the yarn left over from the second (good) sock, so I will just use that in the pattern instead of the stuff that pools.

I don't know why it pooled. It's from the same dye lot. Same batch, presumably. I know all of the stuff is unique. But it kills me that it pools. I like this pattern, but I'm ready to start the next project. For ME, no less.

Unfortunately, I'm also really really tired. I can't work on it right now at all. I think I'll nap.

I'll have to eat my cake, with sprinkles and adorned with cotton candy, another day. ;(

Thursday, March 01, 2007

I'm an Asshole

I'm an asshole.

Not a c&nt, not a bitch, not a whore. Not any other misogynist insult.

An asshole. And a fucking asshole at that.

Thanks, train guy, for making my day in truly the weirdest of ways.