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.