Friday, August 26, 2011


Just. Ow. I feel like I've been smacked around pretty good, but at least my bleeding's stopped. Considering it was making me sick yesterday, that's not anything small.

Despite the fact that I was not a good girl and had a massive crying jag after the procedure (I blame the sedatives and bleeding, two of my least favorite things), I decided to go ahead and use my birthday money on yarn. Hey, my face is stretched out of shape and bloaty, I feel like I've gone a round or two with Tyson and I wanted new yarn. I think that's a good enough set of reasons!

By the way, this is going to be a huge, long, photo-intense post, so I'm going to put a jump break in here:

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I came online to post this....

and got started watching Supernatural convention videos. I've really got to get hold of myself, you know?

Anyway, I've gotten involved with the charity knitting, as I mentioned the other day. Here's proof of square:

I've been working on it all day to keep my nerves in check. It helps, when I'm knitting. I put it down and the freak outs begin again.

I just want to say I do not understand it. I've had surgery before -- major surgery -- and wasn't as wangsty as I'm getting over this stupid wisdom tooth thing. I just took a klonopin, people. Actual sedatives. I knew if I didn't I wasn't going to get any sleep tonight, that's for sure and certain. I. Do. Not. Understand.

And I never understood the generalized anxiety people have about dentistry, either, until today. I mean, I know part of my anxiety is the helpful "information" video they force you to watch which lists all the possible complications of wisdom tooth extraction, up to and including death. Yeah, 'cause I needed you to make me more paranoid than I already am! Sheesh. But still, this is extreme.

Ah, well. By this time tomorrow, I'll be home with ice packs on my cheeks, a bit sheepish that I got so wound up over something so easy. I'm not doing the work, after all. That's my dentist's job. I'm just lying back, relaxing under the force of IV sedation, getting a nap in edgewise.

In other news, my mother took me to my nephew's first football game as a middle schooler tonight. He didn't play for much of the game, but he started. He's such a nice boy, though. I worry his killing instinct isn't strong enough for school football. The minors, yeah, but playing with the big boys.... Sigh. Ah, well. He'll shake out properly in a few games.

It was nice to get out, though, get to the game. Took my mind off things for a while. The evening was muggy but the wind was high and we sat in the shade so it wasn't too terribly unpleasant. I got some knitting in, on the square. I enjoyed it. Well, until the metal bleachers made my butt go numb, but overall, a pleasant way to spend the evening.

Now I must go fit my dental appliance -- I'm a night time tooth grinder, and I want to have a chewer molded to my teeth before I get the work done tomorrow. I kept putting it off and putting it off, but I think the time has come to fit my appliance.

I hate working with boiling water!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I did something I rarely do today....

I cleaned my desk.

I got a new file box and new pencil holder and just went ballistic on the dust and (shaming to admit, but it's true) cobwebs and cleaned it all up. Now I've got more space again. Well, it helps that I actually did my filing today instead of just piling it up and waiting for the filing fairy to visit. Little tramp, she never comes to my house.

So now I have a tidy workspace and all kinds of room to work. Let's see if I actually use it, shall we?

In other news, I'm doing another something I rarely do: Charity Knitting. I don't like to knit for others, I always feel I'm imposing on them to accept my work. Leftover emotional baggage from childhood. Whatever. But this month one of my Ravelry groups is doing a charity knit along. Since I'm a mod, I felt beholden to join in the festivities. Sheesh.

Here's the yarn I bought:
 Royal blue and

soft blue in my favorite acrylic.

Now I just have to get down to, you know, knitting my blanket squares. I've decided to knit squares for the Afghans for Pine Ridge Reservation project. It seemed a good fit: I'm crap at hats, baby blankets are just too long and dull for me to get into at present, but 6" or 1' squares...I can do those all day. That's basically a glorified swatch, and the product gets used to keep people who really got the short end of many, many sticks (which were generally stuck into their eyes, but that's an argument for another day) warm in winter.

Which, as a chill-prone person myself, is an excellent goal. People should be kept warm. I can help do that!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Just too exciting for words

Look, a pretty picture of fishies and a Chihuly glass ball. Deep breath in, let it go slowly.

Let me tell you about my day.

I got up and went walking, thinking, oh, yes, this is going to be a boring day. I have to get some work done and renew my license plates, but hey, overall dull, dull, dull.


I decided to go to the license branch right after a quick brunch of my favorite food (Frosted Flakes). I sing along with my new Supernatural music mix (I am starting to really love Led Zepplin again; thought I'd broken the habit) and am enjoying the sunny summer day, when I pull into the license branch.

And my car starts to smoke.

Not "oooh, some wispy smoke tendrils!" smoke, but "OMGWTFBBQ, my car's on fire!!!" smoke. As in, I seriously thought my car was on. Fire. Now, I've busted a radiator hose or two in my time, so I know what it looks like. This was California In Springtime smoke curling up out of my hood.

I bolt out of my car into the license branch, only to discover (to my horror) that the one time I actually need the stupid thing, I've left my cell phone at home. A place I can no longer get to, as my car is smoking out in the parking lot like a juvenile delinquent with some serious lung cancer to develop. Crap.

This is when things get real interesting: I rush in to the desk to ask the ladies if they've got change for their (really rare and, it turns out, defective) public phone or a fire extinguisher or some advice for a damsel in distress, and I hear a woman in the back shout, "Oh, my God, there's a car on fire in the lot! Call 911!"

Before I can do anything, almost before I can speak, the lady at the counter comes out and asks if she can help. I'm freaking out (naturally), some guy in line comes over and asks if that's my car and the disembodied voice from the back takes physical shape in the person of Counter Lady 2 and comes out front to let me know she's already called the fire department. Ok, fine.

The guy in line turns out to be some sort of engine whisperer (or at least more conversant with cars than I am) and goes out with me. The smoke, by this time, is no longer pouring out in great, gusty waves so he pops my hood to discover that one of my coolant lines has, indeed, sprung a leak. The line in question is a hard plastic pipe that looks a bit like a crevice tool for a vacuum and the leak it has sprung runs the length of the pipe, right across the front of my engine, creating a long high-pressure leak that is spraying coolant over the entirety of my engine. Not just the flat metal heat exhaust pan right in front of it, no, from side to side across the width of my engine, like some sort of hellish engine sprinkler, watering the daisies of my oil pan with green water. Which is why there's so much smoke -- the coolant was everywhere at once, not just in a single spot. He grabs a jug of water out of his car and wets the engine down, probably stopping something melting worse than it already was before.

Meanwhile, the fire dudes arrive, sirens blaring, and check it out, too. They declare my engine fire (which never really was) out, lecture me about raising the hood when I see smoke, throw down kitty litter and saw dust under the car on my coolant leak and call a tow truck for me. Fine, excellent, get me out of there, whatever.

I finally manage to reach my mother (through the kindness of Counter Lady Number 3, who loaned me her cell phone), who calls Dad, who yells at me for calling a tow truck. I didn't call the tow truck, the firemen did. Well, why call the fire department? It was obviously a coolant leak. I didn't call the firemen, the BMV ladies did. Silence on the phone. I guess it's hard to blame me when I didn't really call anyone, on account of I didn't have my frakkin' cell phone in the first place.

So, anyway, the upshot is for all that excitement and bollywoggle (and the three hours I spent towing my car hither and yon, visiting my insurance agent to get my tow fees reimbursed and then getting the lunch for my mom I'd promised her before my car started making like Vesuvius), I ended up needing a $25 part, no real damage was done to my car and I only just now managed to finish the base work load for this week. I'll have to put in some time tomorrow, because base pay isn't going to cut it anymore, but really...stick a fork in me, I'm done. From about...1:30 onward it's been nothing but hustle and bustle and heat and smoke and noise. I need some dinner and a stiff drink, stat.

To add to the auto hubbub in these parts, I was supposed to go to a movie with my friend tonight, Fright Night. I only want to see it for David Tennant. Anyway, she calls me around 5:30 as I'm frantically working my arse off to make my goals before we meet up, and tells me she can't go to the movies tonight, she's been in an accident and totaled her car. She's fine, but her Not so much.

I should note, I'm not sentimental about things. The minute she herself called me to cancel and not the hospital or her family, I was fine, perhaps to the point of sounding callous about her car. But seriously -- two cars gone A.W.O.L. in one day? In such spectacular fashion? What phase is the moon tonight?

And another soothing picture, just to help us all relax again:

There now. Doesn't Chihuly make it all better?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Surly Knitter: Birthday Edition

Well, well, well. Here we are again -- although I hope to make many happy returns. :-)

They say it's my birthday, and I have no reason to doubt anyone involved, so I will celebrate it. I love my birthday, it's a reminder to me that I am alive and there are infinite possibilities ahead. I never feel "old" when I have a birthday (although the occasional work day will give me cause to work my Methuselah mojo), unlike some people I know who weep and wail and mourn. Hey, I get free cake and stuff on my birthday, that's gotta be a good day in just about any book.


So, anyway, I always check my horoscope on my birthday (for fun, I don't believe it, but sometimes it gives me ideas that are worthwhile) and this is what I found:

Today's birthday (Aug. 17): You will invent and reinvent. One of your past creations will be
used in a new way, and you'll make more money.
Leo (July 23-Aug. 22): Reconsider the way your workspace is organized. 
There is a noise or lighting issue to be addressed.

Interesting notes, considering I have immediate plans to re-do my desk (it's a pit; not quite The Pit, more like the outer edges of Purgatory, but close) and a new project for the year that will make my next year The Year Of Writing Dangerously. I plan on taking a few new risks with my writing and hope they'll pay off, but really...the risk itself is adequate why. I don't need money to provoke me.

What can I say, I do love chaos and nothing makes for good chaos quite like wild, uninhibited risk-taking. Bwahahaha.

Also I am thinking of knitting challenges to take up. Cables, for one. I'm not scared of cables, really, I understand the technical side of it too well, it's just...finding a smallish project with cables on that I won't get sick of too quickly. Cables and, I think, color work again. Or maybe...maybe knitting with my Kidsilk Haze (which is only about sixty trillion years old, being one of the first sets of yarn that I stashed) which doesn't tink or even frog.

Now, that's scary.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Early pressies.

The birthday gifting has already started.

 A friend -- to be honest, the pervert who got me hooked in the first place -- sent me the second season of my new favorite (and only favorite among broadcast television) show, Supernatural. It's my favorite season. Well, it's one of the favorites. I like the first three seasons most, although I've yet to see an episode that makes me think, What the hell were they thinking!?!?! 


I bought myself a book for my birthday, the newest from Robin D. Owens, who is one of my favorite authors. Fortune smiles at me that she's considered romance and Borders was clearancing out their romance category at 50%. I don't like short-changing authors, but when you're a freelance writer any discount is a happy discount.

Then I went ahead and manufactured a present for myself:
I digitized my music collection -- all sixty trillion hours worth -- in anticipation of getting a new car stereo that would allow me to run the show through my iPod. Which didn't happen. So once upon a time, I had an actual copy of Bauhaus' Mask that I purchased from a legitimate record store, but after I digitized it, I got rid of it. Hey, it saved a ton of closet space for me -- storing all those jewel cases is a bear. But that means I can't listen to it in my car anymore, and I do so love screaming along the highway with Hair of the Dog screaming along with me. So I put it on plastic again, just until I get that new stereo.

Additionally, this week got off to a weird start, so I decided to reward myself with a little iTunes surfing once I finished work, which I did -- I pulled down a list of tracks used in Supernatural episodes and went on a shopping spree. I made myself a CD for use in my car (which does not, as noted, have a thoroughly modern, iPod accessible stereo in it) while driving. Granted, I haven't got a '67 Chevy Impala (as if I'd drive a Chevy!), but I can pretend I'm on my way to kill some demons or something with my uber-cool soundtrack playing.

Hey, we all have our fantasies.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Words, Words, Words

I tried an experiment today. Since it was so lovely -- warm without the muggy, soft breezes that felt cool on the skin, blue sky and bright green greens -- I took my laptop and went to the local art museum to write. In the hour before my battery died (well, didn't die, per se, but the computer kept warning me it would fall asleep if I didn't shut down) I managed to write 10 pages. I haven't done that in...years. Days were, back before I started taking my writing too seriously, I could occasionally rip out a story in an hour or two, making my pace about 10 pages per hour. It felt good to be able to lose myself in the writing so well that it just flowed like water. Seriously good. I've been blocked for so long on my fiction that just sitting down on a bench, listening to a lovely fountain, feeling the breeze on my face and just clacking out 10 pages of story felt a bit birth after a very long, very painful pregnancy.

A load off my mind, literally.

Now, I'd also like to note two things: One: I type like the wind. I've been earning money for over fifteen years in one capacity or another from typing some nonsense or other. I test out at around 90 wpm, but that's testing out. You almost always test slightly slower than you can actually type because you're being cautious when you test. Two: Because I type like the wind, I can almost type as fast as I think, edit, revise a little and come up with a good sentence. It can get stream of consciousness after a while, once I get into my flow.

Now, this doesn't mean I'm writing anything good, necessarily, it just means I'm writing a lot of stuff very fast.  Still and all, I wrote! I've been blocked for ages and yet today I just wrote!

Little Loki seems to be spreading to other aspects of my life, as well. The win oozes out of my knitting bag and onto my laptop.

Plus, I came home tonight and managed to get my work writing quota in. More than, actually. I'm pretty darn proud of myself and my words today. Of course, I've probably used up all my words for the week in one day. God knows I've used enough of them.

In other news, I did not get to much knitting this week. I'm still thinking about putting a shrug on the needles, but now I'm not sure if I want to use the Knit Picks Shamrock or if I want to use some Bernat Chunky Alpaca I've got stashed away:

I just can't decide. Smooshy alpaca or warm wool. Hmmm. I'm spoiled for choice in this.

After I finished working on my last article of the week, I decided I wanted mashed potatoes. I love mashed potatoes and I feel I am severely deficient of mashed potatoes. So I got out the five organic potatoes I had left (of a 3-pound bag), boiled them, mashed them and then buttered and sour creamed them to diet hell.

Mmmmm. Potatoes.

I'm going to go finish my bowl of dairy with a little potato in and then go to bed. It's been a long day.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Am I insane?

Rhetorical question, don't answer that.

But seriously, since the big, muggy heat-wave broke this morning, I've been getting chilled both at my desk and when indoors where there is air conditioning. It's strange. I'm sure I'm not coming down with something; I turn down my fan and I'm ok. Still...chilled in August? I shouldn't be surprised -- I hate air conditioning; it supercools the air when mere cool would do -- but it seems odd. Then again, maybe I'm the odd one.

Anyway, the chill has given me an urge to make a shrug. I just need something I can sling around myself when at my desk, working, so I don't catch an ague.

I like that word, ague. Makes me think of the ocean, somehow.

Anyway, I was thinking I need to make a shrug for myself. Maybe it's time to realize the design I had in mind for these yarns:

I've only had them for-freakin'-ever. Knit Picks Shamrock in two colors that I don't even think they make anymore. Heck, I just went to the Knit Picks website and they don't even make Shamrock anymore. Yikes. I've had them a long, long time.

I bought them ages ago, intending a shrug. A shrug with a tree theme. I'm considering digging them out -- once I've gotten the gift off the needles, natch, -- to use as a second project for when Loki finally burns me out on knitted left-leaning mesh. Which it hasn't, not yet, but I anticipate a day when it will.

I have found that now the Big Heat is, for the time being, moving south again to where it properly belongs, my thoughts are turning to sweaters and shrugs and arm warmers, oh, my. I hate winter -- the cold literally makes my skin crawl -- but I find I don't mind a cooler season that requires a sweater, a hat and maybe some gloves on a bad day. As a knitter, you know I find the thought of cool weather wear just...knitter-nip. I love thinking about shrugs and scarves and sweaters and hats. I love bundling up and snuggling up with a cup of hot chocolate on a frosty night.

I'm not much of a high-summer girl, and I detest low-winter with all my heart, but I do love the in-between seasons. The liminal seasons, when heat and cold are on the way but not quite here yet.

It's a pity I live in a place that doesn't do reasonable weather for long!

Saturday, August 6, 2011


So I've got half my white roses painted red, yeah, taking all that time off my beloved scarf, yeah, and I get word yesterday that the recipient isn't coming over this weekend. She's not even coming to town as I was told -- apparently, her schedule doesn't permit. While I'm indeed glad I don't have to finish the scarflette by tomorrow (possible but unpleasant and liable to inflame the repetitive knit injuries to my elbow), it would have been nice if the person who knew this fact would have told me last week when they themselves first heard the news so I wouldn't have been knitting like a Spartan to get that thing shuffled off the needles.

Sigh. Not their fault, actually, as they didn't know I had decided to knit something for said person -- and, frankly, knitting for others without asking if they want me to knit for them is mental anyway so why would they assume I'd take it up spontaneously -- , but still. Grrr. And I'm not even sure if I'm grrr'ing at myself for being a twit or life in general, because it's just Said in a pejorative tone of voice. The upcoming tooth pulling, my work (which is going better of late, it's just being work for once), my everything. And, maybe, my incipient migraine. That always makes me cranky. Crankier, anyway. I'm usually pretty cranky in the general course of matters, but when I'm migraining it takes it to a whole 'nother level.

Oh, well. That just means I get to go back to my Loki for a little while and put the scarflette on the back burner, which is all to the good because I need some of my therapeutic knitting. And that daisy pattern--P.I.T.A. Purl 3 together, wrap and purl the same 3 before dropping. Seriously? Do you know how hard that is to do when your US 8s with the good, sharp tips are already tucked up in another project and all you have left is a set of blunt Clovers?

Even with being able to slow my pace, my elbows may never be the same again.

Grrrrrr. Maybe I've been possessed by the spirit of Elvis, because that's a sound I feel very inspired to make today. Grrrrrrrrr.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Painting the white roses red

My default euphemism for working like a galley slave to make up for either forgetting or screwing up on the work once before. This time, it's a forgetting.

I have a gift on the needles. I don't know if the recipient will want it, but it's one of my nicer yarns so if she doesn't, I'm sure I can find a use for it.

It's just going to be one of those short, buttoned scarves in a daisy stitch, but that's Jo Sharp Silkroad DK Tweed there -- wool, silk and cashmere. Yes, you read that right, I'm making something of one of my higher end yarns and I'm giving it away.

God, I hate forgetting things like birthdays. I had planned to pay this person back some money that I owe her, but I just found out it's going to be $700 and change to have my wisdom teeth out (in one go, wish me luck) so she's not getting that right now. Maybe later, after I'm sure I don't end up having to pay extra for antibiotics.

Yes, I'm freaking out about the extraction. Yes, I know the procedure is, in all likelihood, going to go well and I'll be fine. Doesn't help. Still freaking out.

Anyway, I have to get this thing done pronto Tonto and then I can get back to my beloved Little Loki. Every time I work on the neck scarf, I get misty and sentimental. It's green.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I've never been so consumed by one project before.

I have no problem knitting on my Little Loki scarf -- none. I will state right now for the record: That is hella weird. I've always, always made a habit of having three or four projects on the needles (and in my knitting bag -- I'll be honest and admit I've probably got about six project bags in the Stashtainer of Yarny Goodness with needles in them, but they're not in my knitting bag, big distinction) due to the occasional onset of knitting boredom. Suddenly, it's nothing but Little Loki all day long. When I'm working, I want to be knitting on LL. When I'm reading, I want to be knitting LL. When I'm watching t.v., I want to be knitting on LL. And when I give in and knit on the Loki scarf, I keep knitting past my bedtime. I never do that. Or, at least, I never did before.

Part of it is the sheer giddy joy of designing something, using a technique I've never even tried before, and having it turn out just like what I saw in my slightly overheated imagination. I'll probably never do that again, you know, hit it right out of the gate. I'm making hay while the sun shines on this feeling of Awesome Win because it's not likely to repeat itself frequently.

Part if it is...I've dreamed of this scarf for so long, seeing it unfold before my eyes is just unbelievable. It's been percolating in my head since the first time I went to see Thor, maybe it popped up between the first and second showings, who knows (and yes, I think I'm getting the DVD for my birthday -- well the pre-order, it doesn't come out until several weeks after -- so I'll have hours and hours and hours of personal enjoyment of my favorite anti-hero of all time -- I grok his story so well, it's creepy), and now it's flowing off my needles with a quickness.

In a life where so little goes to plan, this one thing, this silly little scarf, provides a beacon of hope. So, yeah, I get a bit weird about it. I suppose I shouldn't be confused as to why I'm so up on the Loki right now. I need a smidgen of win to counter the great masses of fail I'm going through right now.

Is that so bad of me?

And just because:

Look at that pooling. The colors are even schmexier than I'd hoped they'd be when I ordered the yarn. When I finish this thing, I'm emailing the nice lady who dyed the yarn for me, just so she can see what I did with it.