Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Mmmm. I was watching Bizarre Foods last night, and it was making me hungry. Sounds strange, I know, but the episodes I was watching, he was in Asia. I love Asian foods--Japanese, Chinese (of all varieties), Thai, Korean.... Yeah. Lesson one in food allergies: You don't get allergic to things you're never exposed to.

Ahem. So, anyway. I was jonzin' for some potstickers. I mean, seriously jonzin'. Today, my father, my wonderful, wonderful father, went to the local German butcher shop, where they very kindly (and for, I'm sure, adequate financial renumeration) took a pork shoulder and ground it up. Et voila:

Be chill. That's balsamic vinegar in the bowl. Granted, it's been a while since I last had soy sauce, but it's a very similar taste. A little sweet and not salty enough, but close.

I gorged.

Dooooo do. Dooooooo do. Doo do doo do dooo do doooo do.....

After sharing my pork bounty (and store bought wonton wrappers totally rock) with Msr. Le Sharkie there, I decided to post. Heh. What you don't see in that picture above is the glass of elderberry mead I've been drinking. Lucky you.

Tonight I had to attend church services. Be the only singer for the English speaking service (well, there's a second, but she's very pregnant, so I can't just assume anything) and you will go to church more than you've ever done in your life. Anyway, we have a very pretty church. And, having a large number of Hispanic members, we tend to decorate for the holidays like you wouldn't believe. Never let it be said that Hispanic craftsmen are unskilled:

Our creche. I don't know what that 'rock' is made of, but there's a small side altar underneath all that. The blue robed shepherd is at about the level of the altar, Mary, Joseph and Sweet Baby Jesus are on top of the tabernacle. Oh, but look!

Pig! Would there really be pigs in a pen for domesticated animals in Judea in the first centuries BCE/CE? Or any other era? I doubt it. I think it's safe to say the Middle Eastern pork industry is...not sizeable. But he's kind of cute, anyway. They've also added a cardinal (which I didn't get a close up of, owing to there's a Wise Man in the way of a clear shot) and another bird that looks much more like a wren than any Middle Eastern bird. Then again, I've never been, so I'm not sure what sort of bird they have. Maybe they even have cardinals in Bethlehem.

These are our windows (the upper rows--there's a whole 'nother set under those arches at the bottom). I feel there will be fair isle pattern modeled after those windows. Just have to decide what I'm going to make of them. And then find yarn that has the same/similar colors (which will be hard, as the glass is variegated, even within the same colors). Ah, but very pretty!

I don't celebrate the new year on this date (I know it's a calendar thing, I just don't think mid-winter is really the time to celebrate a new beginning), so I'll be off to bed soon. Happy new year to them as what celebrates tonight. Slan.

In 2009, may your milk never curdle, your hens always lay and your husband remember your anniversary. ;-)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

I shouldn't be allowed to wander unsupervised.

I would feel shame, but I have none, apparently. Today has been a very strange one--we were supposed to go out for Father's birthday, which was two weeks ago, but then he got a bit of stomach upset from the hot mustard he had with his egg roll last night, so we decided not to. Then, I realized I had to go out anyway, as Dog needed more doggie Depends (ie, house training pads), so he and I went shopping at the local pet store that allows four-legged customers to come in and do their own shopping, as it were. This created a bit of a problem; another canine customer was most impolite, huffing and cussing at Dog, calling him names. Then, Dog came over all shy at the register, and it took me forever to realize he might be embarassed. I mean, here he is, a dog, standing next to a woman buying canine incontenence pads. Geeze. Maybe we can get them shipped to the house in plain cardboard boxes or something in future.

Anyway, I took him home to recover from the ordeal, and went to Joann's (they are having really great clearance/sales at present.) I kind of want to make a Christmas stocking like this one on Lisabee Designs, and thought I'd pick up some worsted weight at a good price. The unfortunate thing is, though, that they don't have worsted weight yarn in any jolly colors. Well, no jolly colors aside from screaming, fire engine/holly berry red and hysterical Kelly greens. I'm quite disappointed. Oh, well. But at least now I have an idea of how I'm going to use the $50 gift certificate I got for KnitPicks now.

And, I have a confession. Since I brought Christmas in under budget (and with more items in bags and wrap than anticipated for the happy receivees), I decided to blow the $20 I would have spent on yarn if they'd had it on something else. Just random yarn, just because. And I brought this home:

No, your eyes do not decieve you. That is Vanna White's face on the label. I know there should be no judgement based on the label, the yarn should speak for itself, but I can't help but feel a little embarassed to say I bought yarn shilled by that chick who turns letters and claps on Wheel of Fortune. But it was so eye-catching, I really fell for it before I even saw the ball band. I realized after I took this picture that it doesn't do the yarn justice. So I retook the image:

This shows it better. When I saw the yarn, it was in the next to the bottom bin, gleaming mysteriously from the shadowy deeps. I couldn't justify buying two of them (see, there's this picture of Vanna White on the front) but I figure I can do some sort of really netty-mesh scarf/headband out of it. With tassels. I like tassels.
Then I also got two skeins of Moda Dea Bamboo Wool in Blue Velvet. Not a fan of David Lynch, but the color is gorgeous, and I do have that pattern I originally developed for the alpaca that needs a yarn. I like the bluey-purpley colors in this yarn, and it's got great hand in the skein. We'll see how it acquits itself in the finished fabric.

This is said alpaca, being knitted up in a garter stitch pattern from the huge stitchionary I have which was badly translated from the Italian. After I corrected several problems in the pattern, I started working it. It doesn't look like the image in the book--then again, the image in the book is knitted up in colors with more contrast than these--but I still quite like it. Rather clean and tailored look to it. And it's nicely squooshy, but that, I believe, is the alpaca.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Reasons why I need to move out even though it scares me to do so

1. My place, my television, my remote. Which means that if I feel like it, I can turn the (*$@)&#@$#&#@^@# thing off. Whenever I want. Not tonight--it's Dirty Jobs marathon on Discovery Channel. Mike Rowe. Yum. I will have to sell plasma so I can keep basic cable/satellite.

2. The dog and I can Without the nagging, the anxiety over what/how we're doing, if we're going for a walk, what we're eating...just. Be.

3. No more assumptions that, whatever I may be doing at the time, be it making my own dinner, feeding the dog, cleaning up vomit or neurosurgery, I should just drop it so I can pick up a piece of paper someone else doesn't want to bend down for.

4. Uninterrupted knitting time in the evenings. Or reading. Or watching Mike Rowe wade through a lot of water in a tight pair of jeans and wet t-shirt. Whatever. Reference number 3 above to see why my knitting and reading time would somehow be interrupted. Sheesh.

5. Thermostat control (or at least the option of keeping a space heater right in front of my chair.)

I don't know how I'm going to do it, but I really have no choice at this point. And if I don't grow up and take responsibility for myself now, when the hell do I think I'm going to do it? I hope there's room in the budget for satellite. It's only $20 a month, although if I bundle my phone and internet with the cable, all three can be as low as $65..... Yeah. I think I can do it.

Anyway, I've got a serious case of Startitis right now. I started my music theory scarf, lost interest. I started up again on the lace project that is no longer Christmas knitting but now birthday knitting, screwed up one row from the end of my second repeat and have to frog back. Damn. Now I'm thinking of starting up on my alpaca scarf again. I've decided to frog the lace I've got (although I like the pattern I came up with and will use it again) and go with a daisy stitch pattern. AND I want to start up with my Malabrigo in the Mariposa colorway.

So much to do, so much to do....

I'd better go eat something. I've been off my feed (the holidays do take it out of me), and maybe read some of my book. Tomorrow I will do my daisy scarf with the alpaca. I hope it'll be nice and drapey if I use slightly larger needles than I'd started with before.

Sigh. And then I hope I keep up with it until I get over myself, frog that darn lace scarf back to the fifth repeat (I had almost finished the seventh before I magically lost a stitch) and start back up again. You only lose when you quit, but right now I'm sulking. Hey, if you admit it, it's not all that bad!

Hope you had a merry Christmas. Aside from my Startitis, I did.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Sofa King Cold

OMG, how much do I hate winter? So very, very much. Today was the coldest day of the winter thus far (and we're only just officially in winter), and it was miserable.

It totally doesn't help that the heat was off at work. Last week, I got moved to a new desk, under the stairs, in the old house that serves as an office building for us. Prior to that, I did whine a lot about how cold my old desk was (and it was), but this new desk under the stairs was nice and toasty and warm on the toes--even though it sits right up against a huge window (currently swathed in plastic and a blanket provided by me), there is a heat vent right underneath it. Whenever the heat would kick on, there were a few seconds of icy air as the stuff already in the vents was pushed out before the lush, warm air would surface and be instantly sucked up by my exothermic legs. Ahhh.

So today, the heat being off was like...the betrayal of the promise. I was frozen. Cryogenic levels of frozen. So. Cold. And I'm miserable enough in sub-tropical conditions. Cold, cold, cold. I got a bit sniffy about the house in an email (well, about the cold in the house, but it's a fine enough distinction) so I'll probably get called out and fired. Then again, I always feel about six seconds from being fired even under the best of conditions, so it shouldn't be a surprise when I do.

My feet are still frozen, but I left work early to get to heat (the heat started working a bit before I left, like an hour and a half before, which wasn't enough time to make it comfortable all the way on the first floor, where I sit), and have decided to start work on a warm project I've been percolating for a while. It won't make any sense to anyone but me and maybe a couple of other people, but I feel a strange, perverse draw to knitting something archane. It'll make me giggle, if nothing else, and considering how insecure I am otherwise, that can't be a bad thing.

I'm off for some soup then some knitting. If I can find the pattern I totted up several months ago....

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Pretty sky

On the drive home today, I was most impressed by the light show being put on by Mother Nature. The sky was a luminous blue, highlighted with glowing tangerine clouds that drifted across the lemon moon. It was incredible. As I arrived at home, the clouds overhead were so intensely golden, it seemed the sky was on fire. I ran in, trying to get the dog out (and my camera) as quickly as possible, and managed to get some of the show

Pardon the bright, pale bushes in front. It took me forever to cope with my PHD digital (I miss my Rebel; I don't miss paying to develop film, though) and figure out that if I turned the flash on, the colors came out much closer to the reality.

This is even better, right as the sun started to drop behind the horizon, the sky got really intense. I think I have yarn this color. Again, apologies for the tree--it's very hard to find an aspect in my neighborhood that isn't crowded with flora.

Sister Moon walked along with us. She was ducking behind her veils as Dog and I took our brief perambulation (he was getting in a temper with me, since I kept saying "Stop! Stop!" and hauling out the camera, removing glove, composing picture, etc, etc, while he was trying to get his walk on.)

And then I got really-really smart, and realized I could just shoot straight up. The golds came out quite muted (the bottom edges of the clouds were more...mustard than showed up in this picture), but it's not too far off.
I had a bit of a brief health scare yesterday. I went for my bi-annual spot check at the dermo. My dark spots are looking quite well, but she's concerned over a bump I've recently developed on my forehead. We're letting it sit for the while, but as my mother has recently developed several basal cell carcinomas, and as I seem to have inherited her skin.... I'm young, though. Too young. Not that 35 is too young for cancer, but if I've developed basal cell (granted, the kind of skin cancer you want if you've got a choice) it means I'm more likely to develop other cancers later--it doubles the odds.
I was all droopy and unhappy for the day, then realized: a woman's lifetime risk of, say, breast cancer (the most common cancer in women, not linked to smoking) is 1 in 8. 12%. And most of that is post menopause, which for me is probably at least 20 years off. So, if I do have basal cell cancer on my face (which really isn't likely--as I mentioned, Mother has had several and I know what they look like, and that one on my head? Not like them), and if the research that says developing it younger doubles your risk of cancer later, that's still only 25% risk I'll develop breast cancer. I'd play those odds. Really, not bad odds if you want the truth.
And, when you get down to it, my lifetime cancer risk is what it always has been, just now I know it's higher than I'd assumed. So I'm going to start being even more vigilant about my veggies. And my exercise. And get the screenings I'm supposed to, because I am getting older and I should. Yet again, le sigh. But I shouldn't be so puny about it: prior to this, my odds looked even better that I'd end up done in by heart disease. I probably have way better odds than my coworkers who smoke like chimneys. And, if it always comes down to it, I can always take up bungee jumping, base jumping and rock climbing with no ropes. I always did want to go out in exciting fashion.
Besides, as my university health teacher told us, don't worry too much about what the researchers say, it's breathing that does you in, eventually. (Oxidation joke.)
(Probably funnier in context.)
Now, I must off to paperwork for work (benefits garbage; I hate having to do this every year, particularly now, but as needs must....) And maybe I'll let myself have a piece of my French chocolate if I'm a good girl and don't whine. Mmmm.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

What is it

about a species that produces quite a few individuals who wouldn't drive over broken pavement too quickly in their car for fear of ruining the shocks or whatever, who probably park sideways so no one can ding their paint finish, yet think nothing of turning right on red at a corner where you can't see oncoming traffic?

I wonder sometimes.

For those following along at home, Dog is doing much better, thank you. He's on flax seed oil and melatonin (don't ask), and has come all the way down to under 96 ounces of water a day. Less if we don't give him too many treats. We're working on that.

He seems happy enough on the melatonin and flax seed (and seems to be sleeping very well), so I'm pleased.

The lengths I'll go to....

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Merry Christmas to me!

I always get myself something for Christmas, being as I'm really the only person (but one, but I'm pretty sure I already know what she's getting me this year) who ever gets me what I really, really want. And this year, what I decided I really, really wanted was this:

Cherry Hill Sockittome yarn in the "Les Fleurs" colorway of the Impressionist Series. I've been nursing a serious woody for yarn in the Impressionist series since I first read about it in Interweave Knits this summer, and it's taken me this long to nail down precisely a) which yarn I wanted, and b) which colorway. Gods above, below and all around me, it's hard to make a choice like that! They're all so beautiful, so luscious, and I'm such a closet hedonist..... Well, maybe not so closeted.

Anyway, I finally decided on the Sockittome as it had the most yardage in the finest yarn for the buck, and then of the Sockittome colors, "Les Fleurs" was prettiest on my monitor. It turns out (in real life) to be a lot more...antique roses and champagne. I rather like it. I felt all French just looking at it, which is odd, considering I'm much more an Anglophile than Francophile. Whatever--the yarn is magical, I guess.

Maybe I'll tweak the Froggies and knit a pattern I found in an ancient doily pattern book at my local lending called "Tudor Rose". Ooh, the thought makes me want to snigger.

I'm a bad, bad girl. But Santa came for me, anyway, and he didn't leave coal. Just 900 yards of superwash merino and nylon, dyed in the beautiful, beautiful colors of a dusty, steampunk city sunset.....

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Knittin' fool

I confess, I am, at best, a sporadic knitter. I did the mile 'o yarn Who scarf, yes, but in the past year, that was just about the only project I've actually completed. Well, let's see, there were the rose colored mitts, I think those were in the past year, and.... Um. Yeah.

So imagine my shock to realize today that, not only did I finish my jabot, but I finished three, THREE!, Connor Caps. Yowza. One of them I even made up on the fly, as I was just trying for a nice, round number of hats to send (since even numbers are, per my OCD, teh ebil). Here they are, in reverse order.

Cap 3: I Just Want To Burn Through This Yarn Cap

That's an inch and a half of 2x2 rib (doubled up worsted weight yarns on size 13s, if anyone is curious), switch color, a row of knit, a row of eyelets, a row of knit, a row of double stitches (wrap twice around the needle and drop), a row of knit, a row of eyelet, two rows of knit, switch colors, knit a row (to make 5 inches of body) and reduce. Top with a cute tassel, which actually makes it look vaguely Oriental in person. Number of stitches doesn't matter, since I chose some that work on any number of stitches (except the rib; I did have two sets of knit at the join end, but I don't think it matters. Choose your own ribbing, whatever.) The picture stinks, because it doesn't show to advantage without a head in it. Took less than two hours to knit. Unfortunately, adult sized (I have wicked loose tension), but I'm sure there are children with adult sized heads in Wisconsin. I mean, my nephew is vaguely the size of a small horse, and he's only 10, so surely they've got some full sized kids up there.

Hat 2: Slouchy Square Hat

This was the easiest, but conversely the longest to knit, hat. It's just a tube with a weird cast off (to make it slightly wider so the tassels will droop off the sides) and two tassels. Fin.

Hat 1: Helix Hat

Simple, but not really quick. The worsted weight yarn made for a heavy slog in terms of knitting time. But once I got through the roll brim and started switching colors, it wasn't so bad. Most of the body of the hat was knitted during a viewing of Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring on TBS, so it's possible there's some wonky tension in there. No matter, it will get stretched out properly once it's on a head.

I also started on the scarf I'm making for a friend for Christmas. I would take a picture, except a. I'm pretty sure she doesn't read my blog, but you never know, b. I've already put it away and if I take it out I might start knitting on it again, and c. I want to resurprise myself with how far I've knitted. I've got three repeats of the lace pattern (and a lifeline; heh, fool me once and all that garbage) done already (no errors!) At that pace, I'll be done with it in ten days (30 repeats for the whole scarf). If I manage that, I'll probably faint.

It's actually in a very nice yarn; Panda Silk. Well, I'm not very hot on the knitting with it, but once it's knitted, the fabric is very nice. Soft, sweet and drapey. Splitty and aggravating as all hell to work with, but the nicest yarns do seem to be!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Pink Eye

Oh, we don't spoil the Nieceling at all. Witness what she got for Halloween:

No, she hasn't really got pink eye. She got red contacts. So she could go all crazy fangurl over Twilight and go Halloween'ing with her friends as Bella. I'd worry about her taste in literature if she weren't so self aware about the whole thing. I complained to her that it was written like bad fanfic by a 12 year old girl and she (quite reasonably) pointed out that she's a 13 year old girl, so it's just right. Le sigh. If she weren't so reasonable, I'd have more ease giving her direction. Then again, at 13 I, too, was most intractable when it came to reading materials. I suppose all we can do is give her her head and trust in her intelligence.

I'm sure she'll move on to the classics (ie, Tolkein, Scott Card, I'd say L'Engle, but she's already gone through that phase) soon.

In the meanwhile, I've finished my first self-written pattern.

A jabot! Don't ask me why, but I was having a miserable time a week ago, and thought to myself, Self, I want ruffles. Not girly ruffles, but the kind of ruffles worn by men in frock coat and knee hose (a crime, it is, that the fashion went out for men to wear knee hose and heels--they have such lovely calves, by and large, and to hide them in long trousers is most heinous). So I made a jabot. The brooch is a thrift store find from a friend, originally intended to hold my ruana closed. The ruana is a pain in the keister to wear (it's too big and drapey and tends to get shut in doors, so I typically use it at home, now), so I'm glad I found a use for the brooch. It hides the spot where the band is grafted together and the ruffles start. It's going to have matching gloves and hat, when I can get around to it.

I made it in two different parts--a band (2 1/2" wide) that goes around the neck and will have two buttons so I can wear it alone as a neck scarf, and then the jabot that loops over the band and hangs down in three ruffles (two in the knitting, but the bottom one was so wide, I folded it over and knitted the edges down to make the middle ruffle).

This is it, on. Pre-brooch, but you can't see the join from this angle.

I think it will work really well with my pea coat, covering up the open neck without being a big, bulky scarf around my neck. I hate wads of cloth around my neck. I'm a bit strange that way.

And for your random dose of cute:

He seems to be doing better, knock wood. Not peeing as much, not drinking as much and dragging me all around creation when we go Walkabout. He loves the cold, being as his people evolved in the Arctic. I hates the cold, I does, His tail gets to tight and curly, his step so high and proud, I can't drag him home too soon!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Ghost wee

Ok, I know my dog is talented, but seriously, this is preposterous.

Since he's been "taken ill" (hah! Still don't know what's wrong, although we know it's not Cushing's, even though his adrenals are slightly enlarged--if the symptom weren't such a pain in the arse, I wouldn't be bothered any further about it), Dog's been peeing like it's his job. Since he's peeing to rid himself of the excess potassium that might cause heart problems if it's not controlled, I suppose in a way it is his job, but anyway. He's got two favorite potty spots inside--in front of the television on the patio and behind the patio couch. Since both are on a tile floor, I'm pretty pleased he's using these spots instead of the carpeted ones. I've been putting down housetraining pads for him, which he uses pretty religiously, to minimize the clean up and mess and all is wonderful.

I'm kind of amazed he can use the ones behind the couch, frankly. There seems to be less gap between back of couch and wall than there is width of Dog, and to contemplate him getting back there, squatting, peeing and then getting back out without pushing the couch out from the wall is mindboggling. But he's done it, so I suppose he's thinner than I think.

Anyway, about a month ago, I was cleaning up a spill behind the couch and replacing the old brand of housepads with the new, actually effective, brand, and didn't have time to let the floor dry before I put them down. So I put one layer of pads down (three across the back of the couch) absorbent side down, to dry up the floor, and then put three more pads on top, absorbent side up, for the inevitable next use. Dog has managed to keep using the ones out in the open (since we've destigmatized the whole 'I have to pee and the hairless apes are all sleeping, I'm going to have to use the floor' thing), so I've just been occasionally checking the pads, monitoring the situation, and they've been dry. Until today.

Today, I'm sitting on my chaise and notice that the corner of the pad nearest to me is wet. The corner that's under the couch, not the one next to the wall. Okay, whatever. I check the floor underneath (since the patio wasn't built on a level floor, and water runs downhill whether or not it's got...impurities, it's possible it came from in front of the couch and ran down the grooves between the tiles) and all the mortar is dry. Not just dry, but dusty. Even more confusion. But maybe he's a gymnast when it comes to the pee, I'm not sure, I don't even know how he got behind the couch in the first place.

So I move the couch out and flip the pad up to carry it off, thinking I'll just have to replace that one and maybe the one underneath (in case it was run off from a couple of weeks ago that's dried up.) The top layer, the one facing up, is dry, except for the corner under the couch. The one underneath, facing down, is soaked. All the grout lines leading out to the front of the couch are dusty dry, too, so I know he hasn't peed in front of the couch recently enough to get enough pee down there, recently enough for the pad to still be wet--those things suck up fluid pretty effectively, and then dry out really fast, which makes them wonderful for cleaning urine out of carpet; flip 'em over, step on them to remove the obvious pee, put a fresh one down on the spot, leave it overnight and Bob's your uncle, Fannie's your aunt.

So, there's only two options for how this happened. One, Dog moved the couch, lifted the pads and peed directly on the tile under the pads, replaced them, moved the couch back and went on his merry way, or two.... Aw, hell. I can't think of a two. It's like the pee just...teleported into place under the pad. The underneath pad next to it was wet, as well, but that top pad was dry as a bone. So we might have a ghost peeing on the floor behind the couch. It's just as reasonable an explanation for how it got there as the dog moving the couch.

On to the knitting.

I can hear you now, what is that, SK? It's pink and blobby--does it have a purpose?

It's high fashion!

Actually, it's a doorknob chill-chaser. The back door knob at work was so loose in the door that you could actually see daylight around the edges. I put lacing through it and tied it to the door to keep the wind out. It worked, too. And irritated the facilities people enough that they tightened the damn doorknob. Heh.
This isn't knitting, but he looks so intense, so focused on the yogurt. He takes his dairy very seriously. Dog reminds us all that proper calcium intake is important for health.

This is a highlight of a new project I've started. My first realized design. I'm still not sure it's working, but I'm willing to let it progress and see where it all shakes out. Might turn out better than I'm thinking, if I can manage not to get into my own way.
Well, that's the highlights of today. The holiday upcoming is getting in the way of my happy knitting, but I've got three days after Thanksgiving to actually knit. I hope. I may get roped into some sort of cleaning bollywoggle. I'm hoping not; I've got lots of plans and things I want to get working on, and I'll need the time. Sigh. So much to do, so little time to do it!

Friday, November 14, 2008

One down....

One to go. Let's hope the next is as happy as the first. Dog's first blood test came back today, it was normal. The high end of normal, but normal. I am breathing and allowing myself to be cautiously optimistic.

The sonogram on Monday is just a precaution, which I heartily agree is a good idea. I'm (as noted) cautiously optimistic that it will be a complete and total waste of money.

Let's all hope.

I'm also looking at properties, checking them out, getting a feel for the market. I've got a number to call back in middle of December if I move out in January, and there's another location that I'm going to check out that is available now (which I can't afford now--not if I've got a deposit and all), and I'm--right now--just checking out the scene. So to speak. The hard part is Dog. Well, and Cats, but I'm not talking about them right now with too many property managers.

I'm also applying to jobs at present. Even a raise of $1.50/hour would make this whole venture a lot more...relaxing. I can do it with my present salary, don't get me wrong, but it would allow me some breathing room. A yarn allowance (which I don't really need; I have got a huge stash box that's full to the brim). Or something.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Dog's first batch of testings came back, inconclusive, of course. He does so love being a medical mystery. Keeps our relationship from getting stale, I suppose. As you can see, however, he seems terribly worried:

This is how he sleeps--butt on the squishion, head on the floor. I'm not sure if he's trying to provoke a stroke, or if it does something good for his spinal alignment, but he's been this way since he was a pup in arms. Fluffy goofball. Awww, but it's so cuuuute!

Anyway, the tests (as previously mentioned) were inconclusive. The way this past test works is this: he goes in, they draw blood. They give him a drug that will stimulate his adrenal glands, they draw more blood. They note the ranges and differences, and have a diagnosis. His results came back mixed. His original test showed his adrenal levels were normal (which is good), but his second batch was elevated (which is bad--did we have the talk about Addison's versus Cushing's and how we wanted it to be Addison's because of tumors with Cushing's? Yeah, high adrenal activity = Cushing's.)

Now, the vet noted, this by no means proves he's got Cushing's, it just makes us wonder a little more. I am encouraged by the initial normal reading--this means that when he's just being Dog, laying around the house, mack pimpin', his adrenals aren't hyperactive. This is good. And she even noted that it could mean that he was just really stressed (which, she said, was possible--he was in and out of cages all day, and he's got issues with the whole cage thing; my bad). It could also mean he's heading into Cushing's, which is always better caught early rather than late (which makes no sense; he's had the symptom all summer, he's not going into anything at this point, he's done been in).

After I had myself a good blubber, I caught myself looking in the mirror and realizing--Dog's problem is ME. It might be Cushing's, yes, but honestly? I'd think his initial reading would be high if he had an organic problem. His problem, the cause or the exacerbation thereof, is ME. I think, in my gut, that he's picking up on the increasing stress levels around the house and around me, I've pulled back lately to deal with my own stress, and the whole thing has left him feeling even worse. Holy carp, y'all, if I'm not careful, I'm going to kill my dog. And not on purpose, oh, God, no, he's the only completely honest critter in my life (seriously, think about it: I can understand dogs and cats because they're completely honest, both with me and themselves. Humans are the only animals I know that can lie not only to me, but to themselves, and not even realize they're lying, which just leaves me a whole lot of confused, because it's really pretty obvious if you study human behavior when they're lying--no wonder I doubt my ability with people!) I would do anything for him, anything within my power.

And so, I believe, I must do in this case. He's signed up for more blood work on Thursday and a sonogram on Monday, and I will let these tests run their course even if I don't seriously believe they'll find anything because, hey, I've been wrong before and it's in everyone's best interest to know the truth. And then I will throw myself headlong into the breach for both our sakes, because I have to. Because he is my mirror self--what I see in him is the thing I am most avoiding seeing in myself (see bit about humans lying to themselves and not knowing)--and I know however tense he is, I am ten times so, and I must change my life to make us both better. We can't go on like this any longer. Even if he does have Cushing's, the situation must be improved so that his condition is not made worse. I have been negligent, and the worst part of it is that I make the change, not because of my misery, but for his. I'm not sure what that says about me, but it's not anything I'm proud of, I will tell you.

I know the first step I need to take, and I am terrified. But a part of me is willing to put up with the fear, because I made a promise. I made a promise to a little five pound puppy, sitting in a puddle of his own pee on a newspaper in a cheap pen (oh, how prophetic!) that I would do whatever I had to to keep him happy and healthy for however long I was lucky enough to have him, and that if he would give me his best, I would give him mine. And I know I can't put it off any longer. Regardless of what the tests show this week, I must move out on my own. The situation is rapidly becoming untenable, I'm more and more aware of the strain I'm under and not just because I can feel it--I look at my dog, and I see it. It's slowly killing us both, and I can't let that happen.

I put it off and I put it off and I put it off, and there are a million reasons why I should put it off again, but I think that allowing myself to do so until the time is, somehow, magically perfect is not the way to go. We need peace, we need calm, we need space and quiet and time to ourselves, and those are things we just don't get in our present living quarters. Neither of us is happy, both of us are stressed, and frankly--I'm tired of playing this game.

Christ Almighty, get me through this and I will know miracles happen!

Anyway. Speaking of miracles.

Here's my yarn balls for the Connor Caps:
These are beautiful school colors! I got totally gypped; maroon, pink and gold my ass. I've got tons of easy hat patterns, too, which is necessary, since I really do need idiot-proof patterns in the hat department--I seem constitutionally incapable of making a coherent hat. Which makes my decision to get involved with this project a little baffling, but I consider it a step toward personal redemption, and a learning experience. Blech. I tend to dislike learning experiences, but what are you going to do? Stop learning and you generally get old and die. That's not really a good option, either.

Anyway, for your moment of Zen:
He looks so sweet when he's sleeping! Like a little furry angel!
A little, furry, $6,000+ knee replacement surgery angel who's bitten (in his defense, stupid) people, destroyed a couch and several yards of carpet in situ, loves cats and keeps bringing them home and now wants a possum for a pet (not kidding), but still. He's my little angel.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Drunken posting

But you know, I deserve to be drunk. Sorta.

This past week, I went to my LYS to get yarn for the hats I'm making for Chocolate Sheep, and luck was with me when I found the perfect three colorways (Cascade 220 in 9484-blue, 9463B-gold, and 8401-grey). So I snagged one of each (surely I can come up with three hats with 660 yards of yarn!) along with a nice little hank of Alpaca With A Twist Fino in yellow ribbon, just because (ok, ok, so I got lucky--she'd mismarked the box of yarn and I got a bit of money off because of it). In all, a good shopping day.

I pulled out the Cascade to start up a swatch when I realized they're in hanks. And my ball winder isn't that big. Oy. So tonight at church, I wound the blue one into a passable ball--my very first! When I get the other two into balls, I will take a picture. I'm so very proud of them (and isn't that sort of sad?)

I stopped at Dad's bar (I rarely mention it, but he tends bar on weekends for pin money--and to get out of the house. I guess retirement isn't all it's cracked up to be) on the way home and bought my beer--the one I kept saying I was going to drink after finishing the Who scarf. I keep forgetting to buy beer (I don't tend to keep it at home; I'm not that big a drinker) until Sunday afternoon, and that's a bad time to be remembering I wanted to buy alcohol! Anyway, I got a bottle, kept the cap on and took it home (we have 'open container' laws in my state, but it was closed, so it didn't count). I had another promise to keep, you see.

Look at the mess I made when I got home:

Sticky pots--this isn't the worst of it, either, I had a mixing bowl, a cutting board and various utensils in there before I got to this point. So what do you think I was doing?

Marshmallows and pizza! I won't bore you with the long story that involved my getting all my ingredients in a pile then realizing I didn't have my instant pizza crust in a box (and having to trot the dog out for a ride to the store to get some--oh, I could have gotten my beer then--and a pint of Honey Bee Haagen Dasz), but suffice it to say, it took me until around 6:30 to settle into making a serious mess in the kitchen.

But I'm quite OCD, you know, so even before I sat to dinner (which was timed really well--the pizza came out to cool just as the marshmallows were done whipping up and ready to pour into the pans) I had to scrape sticky sugar syrup out of the pan and clean the proto-marshmallow goo out of the mixing bowl. And off the counters, and off my chin. Hey, Quality Control is very important in candy making! I actually had some huge crystals in the hot goo when I made the marshmallows (you aren't supposed to mix the sugar as it boils, which would seem to me to be rather short-sighted, since it's not like you can't mix the water and corn syrup in before you heat the mess up), so I'm hoping there aren't tons of crystals in the finished product. Oh, well. It's sugar. People like sugar.

So, anyway. Kitchen cleaned (mostly), beer opened, marshmallows on the cooling down

It's a good day.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I feel like such a wanker.

It's amazing how much of an idiot I can be if I don't watch myself. Today, Dog went for a Very Expensive blood test to test for an adrenal disorder (high potassium=maybe Addison's Disease, of course it could also be kidney disease, but he has no other markers for kidney disease), and I've been very worried about him. I mean, he's my baby, my big, fat, fuzzy boy! So all morning, I was fretting and fussing over his (possible) illness.

Then, to ease my mind (since I have to wait until Monday for the results of his tests) I started surfing for patterns, and one blog leads to another when you're on break and I found a blog called Chocolate Sheep. And read Connor's story, and the call for 200 hats. And felt like a huge, wankery wanker.

I mean, yes, my dog is important to me. But, to paraphrase the brilliant Terry Pratchett, personal isn't necessarily important. It's just personal. In all likelihood, there's nothing wrong with my dog that a daily med won't fix, and he'll just keep on...keepin' on. For a while, because it is the nature of all things to one day die, but I do my best to keep that day as far off as possible for him, because he's really a good pet and, really, once you've put as much money into an animal as I have into Dog, you tend to protect your investment.

But. As horrible as it sounds to my animal-lovin' heart (and my OCD mind, which is screaming about cursing my luck--which is silly, yes, I know), he's just a dog--and I know, I knew the day I bought him, that he most likely would die well before my lifespan is spun and that I would then find another dog that needs a human and start the process over again. He's not an actual child, one I birthed and nursed of my body and taught to walk and talk and tie his shoes and kissed boo-boos on and hugged when the monsters under the bed came growling (because you know they always do) and fully expected to outlive me and bring me comfort in my own age. It brings all my Nervous-Nelly-ing into sharp perspective, which is always a horrifying thing to have happen at 2:30 in the afternoon on a Wednesday.

So I'm going to be contributing hats. As many as I can manage between here and November 24th (to allow for shipping time). And if anyone out there reads this blog at all, I'm asking you go, check out the requirements (she's not asking for anything complex, and you can find a blue million beanie and beret patterns here and just adjust for striping), and make a hat or two. While, yes, it is personal to the family involved, it is also important that people who are seriously ill know they aren't alone, know that the rest of the human family feels for them, is pulling for them and is there with them.

And if you know of anyone in your own lives who can use support, give them a call, send them a note. Heck, go lo-tek and physicially visit them in person. Humans (like dogs, which is why we like them) are social animals. The pack, and the wellness of all members within it, is important. Maybe that is all that can truly be considered important and not just personal.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Fringed and folded up

Tonight, I had nothing to do but sit on my hands, so to speak, and wait for the Dirty Jobs Dirty Presidents Super-Special Episode, so I decided to go ahead and fringe the scarf. I got a smaller crochet hook and went to town. It's amazing how much faster the job went with the proper size hook.

Here we have the artistic shot--all scrunched and crumpled and bed-head-ish.

And then I folded it up all nice like. I didn't trim the fringes, I left them a bit ragged, because I liked the look. It has a pleasantly rustic and rumpled appearance with the fringes left 'natural'. Either that, or I'm lazier than I knew.

A friend asked what it weighed, being over a mile of yarn as it is. Less than (just) one pound. It's actually quite wearable as wide as it is, too. Not that I'd tolerate it for long, but you know. It's not bad. I believe I will get around to my own scarf one of these days.
Now to cast on for some lace. But which project, oh, which one!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Beer Thirty

I was sitting on my chaise on Saturday morning, and thought you might appreciate the view:

This is me, under a red blanket (fleece; very nice), with a river of lovely yarn. I was toasty-oasty warm, since if you look carefully at the photo, you can see the heater glowing cheerfully in the top center of the picture. As the sun came up, I got a bit too toasty-oasty, and had to turn the heater off, but I soldiered on. I was a total trouper (yes, trouper--it's from the concept of the acting troupe, not a military trooper) and kept going all day long until suddenly:

My needle came free!

Can it be? Is it possible? Has my Clover Bamboo size 5, 24" circular come free for the first time in six months!?!?!?
Indeed it has. I've completed the heavy knitting on the Doctor Who scarf, and all I have left is the tassles (which I've started. I need a smaller barrel crochet hook to finish-you can't get a size 10 crochet hook through the bottom loops of a fingering weight on size 5 knitting needles scarf easily, as I've discovered.) I felt such a sense of palpable relief, I almost passed out. Of course, the fact that it was 11:30 at night probably contributed (although, mark one off on my list of goals. I did, in fact, complete the main knitting on the Who scarf on November 1. Barely, but there it is. Huzzah for me!)

I was curious, though. Is it as long as advertised in the pattern?

I had to fold it into quarters to get the measurement. 26" times 4=104", or 8' 8". 5" of fringe on both ends adds a further 10 inches, making the final scarf 9' 6". If I managed to cut the fringes so that 5" will hang off. I believe I did. The test fringes (I've only tied on 4 tassles) are coming in between 5-6", and I'll trim it even.
I'm just so vastly relieved to have that bad boy off the needles. Good gravy. When I do my version of this scarf, I'm only casting on half as many stitches as this one--I don't like really wide scarves (I don't like them bunching up at the back of my neck), and this sucker is wide, like the Mississippi Delta. Because the yarn is so thin, though, it's not too onerous. I'm glad I'm not going to have to carry this sucker, though. It's not a light weight item!
I'm getting ready to start a new scarf, Rivolo from Knit Spot, which has the redeeming feature of not being anything at all like garter stitch, nor 9' long and 10" wide. It should be way easier on the hands, elbows and rib cage. I may even take this project on with straight needles. Maybe. Who knows?

Friday, October 31, 2008

Ye Gods.

It is Friday. I spent five days knitting on the Who scarf; knitting like I was getting paid (which, sort of, I am--but not really) and I'm. Still. Not. Done.

Granted, I'm a whole heck of a lot closer to the end than I was last Friday, but sheesh. It's not like I've been sitting on my hands or anything. I've darn near got Knitter's Elbow from all the knitting, but I've still got around 150-200 rows to go. In fingering weight yarn. Well, once I finish dinner here and take my shoes off, I'm going to just sit here, Ghost Hunters LIVE! on telly, and knit (again) like it's my job.

I will finish this sumbich. I will. And then I'll have a beer or two or four and relax for a day before casting on for something that pre-Who scarf would have terrified me, but at which I will now laugh at with disdain, Ha-hah! You cannot intimidate me, you paltry lace project! I have mastered the million miles of yarn Doctor Who Scarf and now nothing knitterly can me affright!

In other news, Dog again has caused concerns over his health. Without going into details, I will note that A) if I didn't already know he has no prostate, I would be concerned about its health, B) I was worried about his kidneys and C) it's actually probably related to his salt intake.

Anyway, I took him to see Dr. Vet on Monday (along with Chat Noir, sibling to Chat Stripey, who is my avatar there). She agrees, he's the healthiest looking dog with health problems. Excellent coat, lovely teeth (no tartar), perky, healthy and then some appetite.... We did the geriatric blood screenings and found that, aside from an elevated potassium level (moderately elevated; not "ohmygod, get him in here for fluids stat!" kind of elevated), he's actually in pretty good trim for a dog of his age and experience. Which means his thyroid is a bit low (which we will address once we figure out the potassium thing), and some of his other measures are a tick or two wonky, but nothing worth getting our knickers in a twist over. He has an infection somewhere (which we've got him on antibiotics for), although it doesn't seem to be causing him discomfort or unhappiness. In other words, he's a medical mystery, but a pretty darn healthy and perky mystery, so we'll just have to wait and see what presents next. In the immortal words of Inigo Montoya, I hate waiting.

He has been getting in touch with his inner wild dog by going outside and laying on the patio. Either it's too warm in the house for him (which is possible; Mater Gloriosa and I both tend to take chill so we keep it...toastier than someone with a double coat might enjoy) or he really is having some sort of midlife crisis and, barring a Porshe which can be steered without opposable thumbs, playing Wild Dog is the only way he can feel better about himself.

I should be glad it doesn't involve a young girlfriend, I suppose.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


Ok, so I'm not going anywhere at present, but I have taken time off work. It's apparently wildfire season both in California and on my desk, and I was about ten minutes from filing down a ballpoint and shanking someone, so it's for the best that I take some time off. They don't need to be hiring right now.

So I'm home right now, getting ready to organize my files. I'm shuddering in a bit of anxiety at present--I have a lot of files--but it's something I've been thinking of doing for a long time. I've got a ton of duplicates, and even I am not sure what all is on this machine (and my thumb drives), so just for the sake of getting a grip on what I've got, I need to buckle down and do it.

Maybe I'll organize my knitting patterns first. There are a lot fewer of those. I am totally dreading organizing my recipes. Oy.

I spent four days down with the cold. Got lots of reading in, not so much on the knitting, mostly as I couldn't hardly sit upright. Which is a shame, as it means I'll be knitting like it's my job for the next five or six days. Oh, joy. Well, this is what I get, I suppose! I'll be glad to have the Who scarf off my lap, actually. I've got other stuff I want to be knitting on. Designs to be test knitted, funfur to get rid of in some fashion.

Not sure what I'll do with the funfur, actually. My neice is over the age of 9, so it's not like she thinks it's cool anymore. Heck, I just paid for her to get an eye exam so she could get red contacts for Halloween (so she can go as a really creepy vampire--'vampire' being a theme for her, somehow.) Yes, I'm spoiling her, but she's bartering service for eye exam with me. She's going to help me get my Sheila Houses on eBay in return for me getting her examined. Her mother's buying the actual contacts, so it's not like I'm going behind their back or anything.

I've also got stuff I want to get working on other than knitting, which I need to somehow figure out where I'm going to find space to work on. Oh, if I only had my own space! I'd shove my television into a closet and put up a table in my living room!

Goal 1: Make more money so I can get my own place without freaking out whenever rent is due (I can afford it now, but I've gotten lots more paranoid about being able to have a big savings cushion).

Goal 2: Get a big folding table, so I have work room for non-knitting projects that require vises, wood glue, etc.

Sigh. So much to do, so much to do!

Friday, October 17, 2008

I am the most wretched of critters

For several reasons. One, I've got a cold. Not the worst thing that can happen, of course, but irritating. Two, I forgot all about locking down my credit reports and--naturally--my brokerage account requires them to pull my credit scores (not sure why, I'm not trading on margin; again, crazy, not stupid) and I'm too tired to write to each credit reporting bureau and ask to have them unfrozen for a while, so that's down. And third...well.

I realized this week that I'm really not a nice person. I can be horribly catty, which makes me very sad. I mean, I don't like it when people are catty about me, so it's more than a bit of cheek when I go getting catty about them.

After feeling more than a wee bit chastened by this thought, I had the thought that when I'm catty about other people, I'm really being catty about the aspects of them that I see in myself--in other words, I'm just putting myself down by proxy--because the things I'm sniping about aren't fair, aren't really true and aren't how I really feel about the people who get my claws. Putting yourself down by proxy isn't nice (least of all to the poor proxies), and I'm starting to wonder what people think of my sanity, as I seem to rarely have anything nice to say about anyone else.

So, I thought, maybe if I can find a way to be more kind to myself, perhaps I'll stop feeling the need to poke and prod and snipe about others. At this I began pondering ways to be nicer to me so I will stop using other people in such nasty fashion, and one thought led to an online article to an advice column to another thought to a conversation with a co-worker and so on, round and round until I came to the thought: I should start taking myself out on dates.

Let me 'splain. I mean, it does make sense, if you follow the train of thoughts I did, but I don't remember all the steps and it would take too long, so here's the gist: I'm told that to know someone is to love them, so the only reason I'm not so nice to me (and therefore rude to others) is because I don't really know myself. Which I don't. So how do you get to know someone? Right. By spending time with them, and going into the experience willing to look at said person with favorable eyes. Which sounds an awful lot like a date to me.

This weekend, I'm taking myself out to the movies. I'm going to see The Duchess, and I'm going to take myself to the art theater with the nice seats and I'm going to sneak in some chocolate for me and I'm going to spend the evening making my acquaintence. And then I'm going to journal about the experience (which I didn't think of, but it made excellent sense when I was advised to do so) so I can really reflect on what I've learned about myself, even if it's only "I hate driving at midnight on the highway", because that will be the time I'm coming home.

Oddly enough, I'm kind of excited about the prospect. I'm excited about getting to know myself--even if it is a bit posed. Then again, name for me a kind of getting to know someone that isn't.

And I was thinking the main difference between my 'dates' and just 'doing something nice for myself' would be...the circumstances. If that makes sense. I mean, when you love someone, you forgive them for doing little asshatted things and try to inspire them to be better, right? When I used to think of 'doing nice things for me', the doing tended to be predicated on whether or not I blew my budget or was 'good' that week (for whatever value good held that week) and all too often I fell short of whatever mark I set, and doing nice things for me began to feel like slipping a treat to the dog under the table. I'm going to start dating myself and actually get in the habit of doing so just because I want to spend time with myself, not because I've "earned" it. Maybe such generosity to myself will inspire me to be more generous to others. I certainly hope so. I want to be a nice person. Maybe it should be important to then be nice to myself, as well?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I feel so grown up.

I've done something I keep telling myself I'm going to do--set up an investment account. I hear the panic (well, quiet thought it may be; I'm pretty sure there's not a ton of people who keep tabs on what I'm doing on any given day) coming from the peanut gallery, "OHMYGOD, the market's tanking! What an idiot thing to do!"

Actually. No. Until this point, investment was a rich man's game. Think of it like poker--it was a $10,000 buy in, and I didn't have it. Now, with a crappy I can afford buy in at a $200 table (that's just my initial investment; I'm only putting in $100 a month to follow--crazy, not stupid). I'm not going to make millions off my chump change investments, but I can at least buy a whole share of several stocks as opposed to a part of a share of one.

And, technically, I'm not risking any more cash per month than I wouldn't have voluntarily pissed away in books or yarn or...well. Not much else, really. I'm a simple girl. So, I can either have more stuff to dust and pack up for when I move into my own digs, or I can take a gamble at a (fairly good risk, actually--I'm letting smarter people than me pick my stock options) future. Building wealth; what a concept. And maybe something my working class ancestors would cringe at, but what has such radical financial conservativism bought them? A continuing ticket into the working class.

Hark at me, I'm getting uppity!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Well, George it ain't.

Guess what I found today, hanging around the house?

Silk! After seeing this picture, I kinda wish I'd gotten some grape juice at the store on my way home today....

This is Faulty Dyer in Silk Thread by Blue Moon Fiber Arts. It's beauty, isn't it? The colors look lovely, framed by the green of the prickle berry tree (I don't know what it is, I just know it tosses down those spikey balls and they hurt Dog's feet when he goes out to pee.)

And another angle, because it's worth it:

This fellow is Silk Thread in Rook-Y. The pictures don't do it justice.

Since these are arguably the most expensive yarns I've bought to date (always leaving room for some sort of buffalo/possum hybrid yarn fetish to come; it can happen), I'm taking all precautions:
It's what, one day in, three out, one more in? Or three in, one out, three in? I'll have to go look it up again.

Actually, the picture is a lie. I bagged them individually (because I dropped Rook-Y while mid-photo shoot, and while I dusted it off carefully and got all the leaves off, I'm paranoid like all get out) then put them in a plastic bag from my favorite retail money pit, wrapped it shut but did not tie it, then put that bag into another bag, wrapped then tied and stuffed it in my upright freezer in the garage. There's bird seed in the chest freezer, see, and I know there's moths (grain moths, yes, but why tempt fate?) in it, so I thought I'd be double cautious.

Anyway, it's in there now. Now, off to Google.... 1, 3, 1? 3, 1, 3?

Oh, bother.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


I've pinched a nerve in my ribcage something fierce. It's nothing new (I have a regular spasm in the muscle near this particular pinch; it might even be the muscle itself and not a nerve at all), but for some reason, today it's being particularly hateful. I can't sit for long, because it's being very pinchy-pinchy whenever I sit or stand (it goes away, however, when I lie down, which is how I know it's the muscles and not something worse--take all tension out of that spot and the pinchy-pinch, and even the tenderness, goes away). Maybe an ice pack would help.

I've also, since the pinchy-pinchy is tied into my craptacular posture, decided *sigh* that it's really time (I mean reallyreally time) to get into shape. I need to drop some tonnage and build up some core muscles and maybe then the pinchy-pinch won't be quite so hateful. And the worst part is...I have to give up sugar.

Plegh! Yuck! Ugh! *throws herself on the floor and thrashes around like a toddler on SweeTarts* I DON'T WANNA! I love my sugar! It just, it just *hiccup* doesn't love me. Don't wanna!

But. If I want to a) feel better, b) look better (ok, yeah, it's shallow, but bite me) and c) live longer, I have to do it. Frankly, I measured how much sugar I'm taking in on a daily basis in my work tea, and nearly had a coronary. Holy moley, I'm taking in over half a cup per day in tea alone. Something tells me that's just not right. I mean, yeah, I've got a sweet tooth, but sheesh. And, maybe, if I can lose some weight, I can allow myself some sweeties. Not as much as I'm getting now, but some. I've been thinking about doing a modified Sonoma Diet, which does allow you three squares of chocolate (and wine! Daily!) each week, which makes me happy and probably far more likely to actually, you know, stick to the diet. But I'm not wild about how much cooking I'd have to do (particularly in the lunch field), so I've modified it. I mean, all diets are about portion control, once you get right down to it. So I'll do Sonoma for breakfast and dinner, and use Amy's Kitchen foods for lunches. It's not really cheating; I can pronounce all the ingredients (and know where they come from) in the Amy's stuff, and it's transfat free (which is part of the whoohoo about the Sonoma Diet style) and it's organic, so it can't be all bad, even though it tastes good, which usually is a sign it's bad for you. Amy's tends to have some hefty fat totals, but again, I don't really think my problem is the fat in my diet. I'd probably drop at least ten pounds if I'd just ditch the sugar, frankly, so I'll have to see how much I need to restrain myself when it comes to calories that are attached to actual nutrients. The hardest part is going to be eating the fruit--I'm a bit paranoid about eating fruit that comes from the produce department of the grocery. You just don't know who's been touching it, yuck. Yes, I understand about soap. It doesn't help the mental ick that goes on when I think about it. For the same odd reason that Dog is exempt from my OCD fear of floor dirt (he sleeps on the floor, he lays there and relaxes there and lives there for the love of Ganesh, but I never feel he's "contaminated" and still kiss him on the lips, which, yes, is gross, but he's cute and fluffy and it's a bonding/submission gesture indicating he respects my authoritay, so stuff it), the vegetables are perfectly fine. *shrug* OCD doesn't make sense, that's why it's considered dysfunctional.

Anyway. In addition to the musing about diets and maybe even working out to break a sweat (ick again), I do have some knitting news. I got an email today that my Blue Moon Fiber Arts order shipped yesterday, huzzah! I can't wait to get it and ooh and ahh and stroke it and love it and hug it and name it George.

Sorry. It's been a week.

Anyway, I'm hoping it will arrive tomorrow or Friday, as it should unless they've lost it (in which case, I will drop a brick sideways and no mistake). I will photograph it quickly and share the image, because some things are too good not to share, even if only in spirit. I've got Plans for it, actually. Bwahahahaha. I will share them when it arrives, so you've got a better visual aid.

I'm going to finish my dastardly plans for punishing myself for all the sugar I've taken in in the past year. And take out my contacts, because they're dry like a wadi in July.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Booyah, beetches

Look at the wanton pile of textile products here. One level of the pile is my nest, where I perch like a cheerful monkey and knit. The other level....

is a half-completed Doctor Who scarf! *happy dance around the room* It's impossible to measure, as it's currently longer than the wimpy 50 inch measuring tape I have at hand. Oooh, hold on....Nope. It's also beyond my five foot (60 inches, for the math impaired) measuring tape as well. Huzzah! It might well be the advertised 14 feet when completed!

I tried to get a shot of the whole scarf, which is really very difficult when one is still practically holding it. In this shot, I hung it from the light fixture (yeah, my brother is probably going to be thrilled with that, but at least I figured out why the one light always seems to go out first--not the bulb, it's the socket that's loose) and still couldn't get far enough away to get it all in frame--not without leaving the room completely, which seems a bit like cheating.

Here it is, on. Still can't see the ends, can you? It's what I'd consider a friendly, workable, wearable scarf length (without the loop in the middle). I imagine it's going to be a bit of a hazard when it's full length, but I'm not the one wearing it. At least, not this one.

But I'm so incredibly glad to be on the downhill half of the scarf. It's not that I can't get these completed in short order, but sheesh. I've never been a regular knitter--more a whenever-I've-not-got-a-good-book sort of knitter. If nothing else, I like to think this might have gotten me into a regular habit, the basis of good mental hygeine.

Sort of like flossing, just with less spit.

Monday, September 29, 2008

I wasn't going to post again until

I got to the halfway point on my Who scarf, and I'm thisclose to that point, but not there yet. I have other things I have to do this evening, otherwise I'd have gone to knit Coven (just in case someone out there hasn't gotten the point that I call my knitting group Coven--it's a joke one of my friends make and the reference just stuck for me; not that there's anything wrong with Wicca, I just don't want people thinking I'm Wiccan and then giving me crap because I'm not living up to the Rede).

I had to re-up my passport. Ostensibly, I'm going on vacation next year in Ireland, but that depends on if I can get my friend to understand I'm not made of money and am unwilling to spend $3000 on one week's vacation. Hell, I did a complete semester (three months and change) for under $4000. I can travel way more cheaply, but she's got it into her head that she'll never ever ever get back to Europe again (I believe she thinks she's too old--I'd slap her if I thought her sad little comments were directed at anyone but her; I am, after all, two years older than she is) so she wants to do London, Edinburgh, Bath, Stonehenge and Ireland. I'm perfectly willing to give up Ireland on this trip if she wants to spend her time in England--I love England just fine, and one can spend centuries in London alone without ever seeing everything there is to be seen--but she insists she will be too doddery to even contemplate a return trip to catch Ireland later. Which means that currently we're looking at $2500 in lodgings alone. Goddess help me. And she wonders why I haven't gone on vacation with her before!

I also had to wash Dog. It makes him even surlier than me, which is saying something! He hates bathtimes, he does. Puir laddy. It's actually kind of cute, if you want the truth. Not the surly; he does that all the time, no, he fluffs up like a little lamb!

See, here he is on a regular day, all sleek and plump.

And here he is on bath day, fluffed up and looking all cuddly-scruffy-cute!

And, just 'cause he's adorable, a close up:

Get that camera out of my face, woman, or I will feed it to you. With extreme prejudice.

Awwww. Ain't he just adorable?