Thursday, June 26, 2008

I've been gone a while, haven't I? (Day 83, or thereabouts)

I really need to bring my calendar home so I can keep track, you know? Actually, I think I'm right, today is Day 83. I have less than three months to go! Yay!

This week has been nuts, absolutely nuts. I have too many things to do and not enough time in which to do them, and everything is marked in big, red letters "URGENT! OH MY GOD! THIS IS SO URGENT I'VE GOT HEMORRHOIDS FROM THE URGENCY! DANGER, WILL ROBINSON!" It's a bit tiring, because I usually do my time management thing based on what is burning the fastest, but everything on my desk is burning like California on a nice spring afternoon. I can't prioritize, because everything had to be done six weeks ago, and it seems that no matter which project I pick up to work on, it's the wrong one. I feel better now that my boss is back, because I do rely on her to do that sort of goal setting for me (since I have no clue anymore what my company is about). Maybe I can get some focus now that she's back from vacation.

I'm ripping a lot of my music (the stuff I like, now,) to iTunes. I will probably still carry my cds for a while to work, simply because, well, the battery life sucks on my Shuffle, but also because I have no screen and can't choose what songs to listen to. I get what I get, which I'm not too happy about. Hateful. Maybe after I get paid off, that's what I'll do to blow off shopping steam: upgrade. Or, since I've got a birthday between hither and yon, I'll just ask for money towards a new iPod and upgrade sooner. Mmph. Maybe not.

I went to visit friends in Columbus this weekend. I really like the neighborhood where my friend lives (quite expensive, which is probably why), and caught myself thinking all weekend long, I could live here. It's nice, and olde tyme, and there's bratwurst. The streets are an exercise in automotive shock and suspension failure, but other than that.... I could cope. I keep thinking to myself, Where will I end up?, because I know eventually I will leave the city I live in now. Not because I don't like it here, I do, or because I'm running from my past, although I have lots of truly excellent and compelling reasons to do so, but because I'm looking for something. And you know, Auntie Em isn't always right; what you're looking for isn't always right in your own backyard. Sometimes, it's way far and away. In someone else's backyard.

But I don't know. That's a quandry for another day. And another place, if I can find it. I'm tired, I just finished my dinner (fish sticks with ketchup, if you want to know) and I want to finish up loading my music before bedtime. Maybe. My iTunes downloader thingie is slowing way the hell down, and I'm not sure why. Quite irksome.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Dishclothie Goodness (Day 91)

I made a dishcloth:

In case you can't see it, the pattern is a rose. There's a better picture on the page with the pattern. It's very pretty, and the drape on the cotton was a lot nicer than I expected, so I might use the rest of the cotton yarn I got for something clothing-ish. Or maybe a purse. So many ideas, so little yarn.

But you may notice it's pink. It's very pink. So pink, I'd suffer after-images when I did my rows for the day. I probably will not use the pink when next I go a-knitting.

But, in consolation, I got a dishcloth:

This one's much nicer than the one I made, but it's crochet, so I won't say that around my sister (who crochets.) It was made from a Japanese pattern book (which boggles me; I can barely manage to knit something that ends up looking like it's supposed to when I'm reading the instructions in English, much less in a foreign language), and looks rather like a pale sea anemone. Which is perfect, as I do believe it's intended for the bath--it's a pocket of crochet (the back is pink) and you slip the soap inside. Meh. It's pretty and ruffly and almost too nice to allow to get wet. Which is a silly mindset, when you think about it. It's a dishcloth; it's supposed to get wet. Sigh. I can be such a goose at times.

I'm a bit fangurl squeeish right now--Sarah of Parallax Knitting actually responded to my last post. *faints in coils* Ok, ok, so I'm not so missish, but honestly. She even answered the sideways, not-really-asked-but-sorta question in my post, how much yarn will those gloves take, anyway? and I couldn't be more thrilled. I'm thinking of yanking the yellow out of shawl, and while the green doesn't co-ordinate with the dusty blues, it does go with the yellow. I could blend the two, make the gauntlet length gloves, or just use the green and make the shorter version. Actually, as I don't live in an arctic environment, I think I'll skip the gauntlets. That would definitely be overkill.

But I'm still ripping the yellow. I think. Meh. I might put that particular project back in the Big Yarn Box and concentrate on something else for a while. Come back to it later. Maybe then I'll be more clear in my thinking on the colors.

And just to prove I'm still working (slowly but surely) toward some knitting goal:

Who Scarf. A bit past the quarter way mark. I actually just whipped my measuring tape out, and it's two feet long. Quarter way (2 feet)=1/4 x the whole, so...eight feet long when done, according to my primative calculations. Actually, once it starts stretching out, that's conservative. And I do knit tight. But it will grow. Oh, my, yes. It will grow. Bwahahahaha.

Ahem. Yes. Sorry. Must...walk the dog now. Yes, walk the dog. Absolutely not planning to take over the world with a swathe of wool. Nooooo.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

No heavy thoughts today, I swear (Day 97)

Just lots and lots of yarn pictures. And rain. And a flower. No thinking, I promise. I don't know that I can, to tell the truth.

I have to say, before we begin, that while I am...past the honeymoon stage with the actual work that I do (can you say repetitive, children? Yes, I knew you could. Can you say repetitive, children? Yes, I knew you could....), the people I work with are second to none. We had a party this afternoon, just because it was sunny and warm and beer-thirty. They even--*sniff*--made a burger, special, just for me, so I could eat with them. I know that sounds vaguely stupid, nothing to make a big deal over, but it's amazing how isolating it can be to be the one who can't eat when the group hangs out. It's a huge thing in human behavior, eating together, and for them to go out of their way to include me.... *sniff* Anyway, I contributed some macaroni salad (which got thrown out by the end of the afternoon; sunny and warm, remember?) and Nanaimo Bars, which, as far as I can tell, have Jesus in the middle, because I certainly had a religious experience licking the beaters when making them! Jesus and the Buddha. They tasted sooooooo gooooood. Here's a picture:

Mmmmm. See? Jesus and Buddha are in the creme filling. I ate this one. *urp* Probably not a good idea, but I don't regret it.

Anyway, we had a traumatic weekend this past weekend, lots of rain and bother. For a while, we had lake- and river-front property:

Pardon the blur; it was pissing down (and when I say "pissing down", I am not exaggerating--it was like someone up-ended a huge bucket over the ground and it kept pouring down. For an hour and a half) and I couldn't exactly take my camera outside all naked. The lakeside photo is from the other side of glass, the riverside photo is from inside a ziploc baggie. Gives a rather dream-like quality to the images, though.

So. Yarn. I bought a ton of yarn last month, stocking up like a squirrel hoardes nuts for winter. Although squirrels tend to hoarde because they lose their nuts (heh), and I'm hoarding because I'm in a self-imposed shopping dry spell. But I got some pretty pretties to tide me over, and then some.

For firstly, I am making a Nereides Shawl, only in yarn I can afford, instead of spun silk. Witness:

The colors are there because the thick and thin yarn I found (Moda Dea Cartwheel) has a rather depressing, winter beach theme--dusty denim blues and sandy browns. I wanted some color as well, although I'm sure I'll probably regret that decision. The other yarns are Palette from Knitpicks in purple, red, yellow, salsa heather and...clematis heather. The clematis heather makes it look like water in a summer storm, I'm not sure about the yellow yet, but I think it might work. The I'll take it as I knit it. I can tell you right now that it's going to be a warm sumbitch. Thank Jango it's on circulars; I'd break my elbows if I had to work it on straights!

At the same time as I bought all those, I got another ball:

Knitpicks Palette in green. It totally doesn't go with the Moda Dea (way too bright, and not at all complimentary), and I'm not sure what I'll do with a single ball of fingering weight yarn, but I'm sure I'll find something. It's too pretty to regret, really. The incredibly talented Sarah of Parallax Knitting is making a pair of gloves in a cable pattern I deeply, deeply love and admire; maybe her yarn consumption will come in low enough I can use it. Elsewise, I'll just make it into a scarf or something.

Yeah. So, since Palette is uber-cheap (need umlauts!), I sprang for four balls of Verdant Heather at the same time as I was buying for the shawl.

It's very pretty, and I imagine it will be beautiful made up as the Dragon Scales Shawl. I've got more than enough, according to the designer's notes. Or, if not, I'll fake it.

I also got a single ball of Rainforest Heather for the shawl and was actually planning to use it for that purpose, but then I took it outside and actually looked at it:
Isn't that just the single most gorgeous thing you've ever seen? I had to own more. So--literally two days before I had the Big Idea--I ordered four more, so I will have enough to make a large shawl. Can you spot the different dye lots?

I'm not sure I can, but then again, I'm told it won't be obvious until you knit with it and there's a huge stripe across your work. On the third hand, it's already a heather; would it make all that big of a difference?

I won't worry about it overmuch, I guess, until I get to the stage where I knit with it. I wanted it, I bought it, I love it. Full Stop.

As to the flower promised above, Nephew got a digital camera for...well, no reason at all, as far as I can tell. But he's having a ball with it. He's not got quite as good an eye as his sister, but then again, she's older and she got her first camera when she was younger than he is now (and burned through five rolls of film in short order.) He has time to catch up, if he practices hard. So, anyway, he brought it over the other day to show me, and downloaded all his pictures to my computer. Most of them I deleted (primarily because I have no interest in photos of his friends, cars--he went to an auto show--or his father's classic car), but I found this one while going through:

Huh. He's got a sensitive side, after all. Under the little boy smell, the rock-em-sock-em robot imitation and rowdy little baseballer facade, he's really just a ball of mush.


Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Real horrorshow (Day 104)

Well, not horrorshow that it's day 104; the countdown is just there to orient myself, the descriptor.... Well.

I've come to realize, after my post about the burgeoning power of the Pallid Bosom that there is a certain...lack of perspective in my mind. See, I never really thought the Pallid Bosom was particularly of note (in fact, it doesn't even rate in the Top 10 of my personal favorite body parts, getting edged out by my feet, and I'm one of those people who thinks feet are pretty ugly as a rule), so I assumed that no one else would find PB to be of any note, either. Apparently, this particular blind arrogance and assumption of what others would think has led to my inadvertently, uh, flashing (for lack of a better term) several people. Apparently, my friends have always found this behavior amusing--perhaps in a 'she's so naive and isn't it cute!' sort of way--and seem to think I might have been doing it on purpose. Mmmm, no. I just think very little of my bosom, therefore I assume no one else thinks much of it, either. It's not like I go out of my way to point it out, and I do rather take it for granted, so it's nose. I don't assume people are going to be vaguely transfixed by my nose, so I don't go out of my way to either enhance or detract from it. The Bosom, like my nose, is just there. I really pay it very little attention. Actually, since I sort of go along assuming people are going to be repelled by me anyway, I try not to think too hard about myself and the impression I'm making on others. Being low on the self-esteem has an unintended side effect: I'm not as invisible as I'd assumed. I'm going to have to work on that, and hope it doesn't make me painfully self-conscious.

In other news, I've not gone hysterical three days into what has already been referred to as my Debtor's Prison Period, although I'm having a time trying to find patience. I'm historically very short on patience. Too much of a perfectionist, too hard on myself. Well, I've got four months (almost) of nothing but time to learn patience and a bunch of other crap that, I'm sure, will be spiritually edifying. I'm really not going to like it, am I. Oh, well. What's done is done and I have no choice but to let my Wyrd unfold as it may. Let's just hope I made the right choice!

I'm sure I'll be able to keep myself occupied with my stash, planning what to do with my stash, looking at my stash, taking yarn out, fondling it and putting it back in the stash, and (if the mood strikes) knitting stuff with my stash. I think I'm more a pervy yarn fancier than knitter, actually, since I could take skeins and balls and hanks and just...keep them as they are, and be perfectly happy and feel the money well spent. It might be part of why my stash has grown to such epic proportions; I don't want to be stash-less. I would be metaphorically naked without my stash. I feel vulnerable when my stash drops. Yet, oddly enough, I'm not a hysterically fast knitter, and I read more evenings than I knit, so it's not like I could actually work through my entire stash in four months (104 days--well, practically 103, since I've already done my knitting for the night and am ready to turn in.) I'll be lucky to even finish up two of the four projects I've got on needles at moment, not counting the two or three in the stashbin that I've had needles in forever. I'm getting weirder by the day! Or not; it's entirely possible that this is perfectly normal behavior, and I just don't realize it because I don't know anyone else who possesses a stash that they are reluctant to use. I may be a member of the silent majority--who knows who else carries the shame of stash love!

We have storms at the moment, and are getting more later tonight. I really should get off this computer, unplug it and go to bed. I'm not keen on this thought, as the sooner I go to bed, the sooner it is tomorrow, since tomorrow is really just more of what I had today (except with the addition of Ghost Hunters on Sci-Fi Channel, which does make Hump Day a little more pleasurable in the long run), and I'm in no great hurry to repeat today. I really need to figure out what the hell I could possibly be suited for--although I begin to suspect it's nothing--so I can get my career sorted for a while. Or at least figure out what I can do for a living that I might suceed at, since I truly suck at what I do at present. And I'm not saying that because today was our main Monthly Spanking at work (I actually have improved my performance in the past month; I'm still clocking a negative balance in the overall, but I'm clocking smaller and smaller deficits by the month. At this rate, I should be back in the positive by next month, and that's all to the good.) I'm saying that because I'm tired of feeling...ungrounded. I would desperately like to know that I'm of use to someone, somewhere, if only myself, in some fashion, and maybe feel like I know vaguely what I'm doing, instead of just flapping around, all at sixes and sevens.

And why sixes and sevens? Why not eights and nines? Why do I get distracted by things like that, instead of finding joy in something sensible?*

Oy. I need an aspirin and a shower. And then bed.

*And, just because I'm a nerd: There's an actual reason why it's at sixes and sevens. Now I can sleep easy!