We love the gals who can throw the International Rock On sign without thinking about it, like Pamie in her most recent post. Check her out HERE (scroll down for pic). She’s too cool. Me, I just look awkward when I do it. (And oh, my god, you should have seen me learn to high-five last night. Apparently limp-wristed and flappy ain’t the sporting way to do it.)
Archives for August 2003
August 2003 Archive
Hoo boy. The weekend was long and jam packed with things to do. Yesterday was stressful (in that self-imposed way), as I went slowly crazy and Bethany watched with glee. I decided to redo the apartment. This had been coming for while – I had been feeling the need build up in me, but it suddenly hit full-force. Beth and I redid the living room, making an actual entertainment center out of a bookcase. The TV, VCR, digital box, and stereo are all in one place! Using one extension cord! I moved most of the yarn out of the living room and into a Cost Plus basket in the bedroom. Moved Adah’s personal chair back into the living room next to the working yarn, shown here:
and best of all, got rid of five huge bags of books. I finally found the gumption to get rid of all the wonderful books that I’ve loved passionately yet know I’ll NEVER read again. I had to leave the dream behind. Sigh. When I was a kid, I read the same favorite thirty books over and over and over again. I thought it would always be that way, gain a new favorite, read it four times. Now I have over sixty books in my to-read pile, and more enter the house every week. I’ll never again be that summer-vacation, watermelon-eating, Gone With The Wind for-the-seventh-time-reading little girl…..
Also this weekend: Went to a surprise birthday party Saturday night where we scared the pants right off the intended victim – she just gaped at us (and I can just imagine – who the fuck are all these people in my darkened living room?). I was the only person over thirty in the room. One lovely girl was aghast when she learned I was thirty-one. Right reaction. Wrong method. No, it’s okay, I had to soothe her. I’m all right with it. I like being thirty-one, really…. Honestly, it’s not that bad….. I had been up for twenty-odd hours at that point, and everything felt like such an effort.
Drove into the City again on Sunday night to attend K and R’s knitting. The fog was banked at a distance, and we leaped from the metering lights to the height of the Bay Bridge with such abandon…. Only to slam into traffic again at the island. But it was a gorgeous night to have the top down. Knitting was actually held south of the City, in San Mateo of all places because one of the girls has a swimming pool in her complex. Right on! Bring on the swimsuits and the wine coolers, said I.
I found my way to SM (stop it!) pretty well, but when I exited the freeway, I got a little lost. Well, ahem. Made my way on accidental surface streets through Burlingame (which prior to this trip I had just thought was an alternate landing strip for stray SFO flights, but it turns out to be quite charming in a small-town softball way) all the way to Millbrae. Twenty-five minutes and innumerable eucalyptus trees later, I found I had missed the imperative turn-off long before.
Knitting was good, when I finally got there. I’ve started Bonne Marie’s LoTech Sweatshirt in a camel-colored cotton. It’s actually just kinda dirty beige, but I feel better calling it camel.
Monday was spent running around with Bethany, shopping at Chain Stores From Hell (we won’t mention names, but I got the sweetest lamp – I promise I won’t go back), shooting, and reorganizing my house. Bethany is a saint. She took me at my stressed out (but where am I going to put all the photo albums?) whiny worst and made me into a calm, cool, collected gal who only had to walk to three different stores to find a bulb that fit in said Chain Store lamp.
Then I went bowling in Albany. I’ve been to Albany perhaps twice in my life, and I think once was on accident. It was surreal. Rock’n’Bowl. More like Hip-Hop’n’Bowl, with crazy action lights that were trying SO HARD to be cool, and a big video screen (to which I was glued, since I ain’t up on my Mary J. Blige). Every once in a while, a chintzy smoke machine would send gloopy steam over the lanes. It was dark, and the neon balls glowed. The lanes were full of either people wearing too-tight clothing who missed the lanes entirely, or guys who chucked the balls in seemingly arbitrary arcs and made strikes every time. I bowled one game for a whopping 138 and WON! I was trounced soundly in the other games. I suck. But every once in a while, I’d hit something good and stick with it.
B met us there, and I think she was as shocked as I was that she made it over the Bay Bridge. She was, I’ll admit, super cute, bowling way better than I was (after she warmed up), and she even came home with me afterwards. Of course, this was because I had taped last week’s Boy Meets Boy, which we watched before she set out valiantly in a westward direction. (Spoiler: Dan was SO straight!) I KNEW I taped that episode for a reason. Girl trap. Didn’t work all that well, as she left afterward. Gawd, I hope she made it home. If SHE ended up in Millbrae, I’ll know I gave her the swimming-pool directions, and not the City ones. Dang. Hope she made it home, ‘cause it’d be nice if she came back over sometime (said coyly, scuffing toe on floor).
The East Bay rocks. It DOES! (well, at least it rock’n’bowls, and that’s something, ain’t it?)
and by that I mean a couple of requests, but it’s just WAY more fun to say by popular demand, I give you the cabled straps of the crazy new ChicKami:
It was exceedingly difficult to get a photo of those! The yarn doesn’t do much for cables, I have to admit. Or cables don’t do much for the yarn, whatever. Basically, I narrowed the wide straps to 10 stitches (because of my larger gauge in the Bernat Denim Style yarn), and worked them k2, p1, k4 (with a 2X2 cable every six rows), p1, k2.
The waist cable below was p2 k6 (3X3 cable every six rows) p2, with k4 on either side, all the way around. I did no side shaping, since the cable does that for you. Couldn’t be easier to adjust Bonne (I got the spelling right for once! How could I not have noticed?) Marie’s excellent pattern.
I picked the day shift slot. I’m SO happy I’ll be sleeping at night. But now I feel like crap, because I hadn’t realized that by signing that slot, I’d be totally disappointing my friend Brandy (who was one of the first two fans of this site). I feel pretty badly about it. I know it’s all about seniority, but it blows to be so far down on the list.
So here’s my CableChicKami. That’s my little sis in the background, wearing my Pamie tiara and knitting a camera cozy for the party that we’re to attend tonight. Pardon my bra strap and my new haircut, which I actually really like even though the chick styled it ala Crispin Glover. It’s cuter when I do it.
Better image of the Ck itself (although I look psychotic, this was taken at Awake Hour Number 28):
So, at work we sign our shifts in six-month watches. I have to make a decision TODAY about whether I pick:
A four-day midnight shift with Sat Sun Mon off (9pm-7am) (I have this now)
A four-day day shift with TWT off. (9am-7pm)
In four years of working at the PD, I’ve never before had the choice to get off of midnights. If I took the day-shift slot, I’d get all the holidays off, as this year they all fall mid-week. I haven’t been home for Christmas in four years. But I wouldn’t have weekends off anymore, and god knows I love a good fun-filled weekend.
What to do?
I’m stewing. Must decide tonight. I’m leaning toward the day-shift choice – biorhythmically, my body’s been fucked up for years. And I’m constantly reading how night-shift work leads to brain cell damage, causes higher risk for breast cancer…. This isn’t very fair, is it? Midnights are cool. I like the wee hours, having only made their acquaintance during this job. I had never stayed up all night until I started working, not even during college or grad school, and I remember how odd it was to see the clock click to four a.m. and think of all the people who were sleeping, missing such an strange, quiet time.
Some pictures for your fun:
My ChicKamis are getting out-of-control. What liberties I’m taking! I just have to finish the back (which I’m going to raise again) and the wide straps (which I think I’m going to cable).
**Okay. I’ll admit this much, too. You’ll understand. In the wee small quiet hours between three and, say, six am, there’s not usually much going on. At ALL. It’s great knitting time. Moving to a day shift, I’d lose most of this ability. I’d be a weekend knitter. Sob. You see why my decision is so heart-wrenchingly difficult? Can’t really admit to choosing a six-month shift for its knitting potential, though. Can you?**
And this is my little friend Winter (I’m his fairy godmother). He’s spending three months in Australia. Monica said she had hold him back – he wanted to jump right onto his wallaby friend.
I opened that huge box and bag! It was a time capsule, yes, but it was a time capsule that had only cured for two years, so instead of forgotten treasure, it was mostly just dusty crap. Alas, as was suggested, no yarn stash. I was still smoking then, so didn’t yet need the massive quantities I’ve come to believe are necessary. That came six months later. I DID find my bag of car-wash stuff. Besides that glorious time I paid those people to do it for me, that tells you how long it’s been. Uh-huh. Also found a crap laptop computer that I’m pretty certain I have no interest in turning on. I bought it as a junker about three years ago, and it never worked right in the first place. I guess I’ll make sure there’s nothing incriminating on the hard drive and then I’ll donate it to someone, somewhere.
I did find some of my old jackets in the box, including this beaut that I would have missed sorely had I realized I didn’t know where it was:
In the bag were some of my old clothes and SOME THAT I HAD NEVER SEEN BEFORE. I mean it. Did Alyson add her “to the thrift shop” belongings to it? ‘Cause I’ve never seen these Grinch boxers:
But this is kinda cute:
And there were a couple of Eddie Bauer sweaters that are plain but still functional that I’m totally keeping. One man’s trash.
Here’s Adah checking out the haul:
Isn’t that weird? It’s given me the worst itch – I think I’ll gird my loins (what an image!) and clean out my house this weekend. I’m gonna pretend I’m moving. Get myself to that hardhearted place where I can throw out my hanging lanyard tag ID from the Breast Cancer Three Day Walk and a cool looking green candle that I’ll never burn because I miss the person I was with when I bought it. Junk like that. The stuff that I’m totally attached to but would NEVER miss were I never to see it again. I want to have space, blank spots where I could put something, but where I don’t. Where I leave the bookcase/cabinet/countertop empty, just because I can. Yeah. I know it’s a dream, but I want it to come true……
I have so much CRAP!
Two years ago, I was trying to buy a house. I had been evicted from my little moldy apartment in the Oakland hills and instead of renting, I decided I wanted to buy. No, this wasn’t financially responsible on my part. And I couldn’t find a house I could afford that didn’t have iron bars on the windows and gunshot holes in the garage doors. But I lied to myself for a while, and told myself I’d be happy living in an area where I couldn’t step outside after five p.m. While I was looking, I crashed at various friends’ houses. One friend provided me a mobile-home, another the driveway in which to park. I was working midnights then, too, and sleeping in a metal box during the day in mid-summer in Contra-Costa County was miserable. If Alyson used the washing machine while I was sleeping, we’d trip the breaker, and my meager air-conditioning would crap out. I’d wake in a little ball of sweat, too enervated to even walk to house to reset it. There was no working toilet. I crept into Alyson’s house to pee or just tried to hold it (don’t ask about my tupperware experiment).
It was awful not having a place to live. I’m a Cancer, and I don’t really believe all that shite (don’t we all say that?) but home is everything to me. I finally rented an apartment, my sweet little apartment where I’m still happy, gave up the home hunt and started working on paying down the bills instead.
BUT. All this to say that I still had a box and a bag of belongings over in Alyson’s garage. Whenever I visited her, I wouldn’t feel like piling it in my car. She offered to bring it over in her truck, but we never got around to setting it up. While I was sleeping today, J dropped it all off. What’s alarming to me is this: I didn’t hear her unlock and crank open the door. I didn’t hear her dump the stuff in my living room, which must have taken several trips. I didn’t hear her swearing at the Door That Won’t Close, as everyone does. I’m always complaining about not being able to sleep – how was I able to sleep through that? I use earplugs, but I can hear through them – they just muffle the sound a little. I sure as hell heard every note of the Chopin that the ex-Juliard guy upstairs was practicing for an hour (he’s good, but rough on this particular piece). What about a fire? Would I hear the fire alarm? I’m half-tempted to look like a crazy single cat-lady and put up five or six alarms, just in my bedroom. That’d wake me up, right?
It’s a paranoid day, apparently.
This is how Adah sleeps on my feet all day:
And now I’m off to open the box and the bag and figure out what I’ve been happy living without for the last two years. Reason says I should just trash them unopened. But curiosity gets the better of me…..
I’m so pleased that I have so many grammarians as friends! Of course, grammar and knitting are similar – tricky little bits to be manipulated, pushed and pulled; not everyone looks to see how something is made, but if one does, each stitch/word is important in strengthening the whole.
Okay. I may be pushing the analogy.
But I love it how y’all pulled out the books and looked it up for me! This could push my laziness to new extremes. Don’t spoil me. After reading the excellent comments, I’ll keep writing Ds and 1990s, but I’ll try not to be so annoyed when I see it written the other way. Humph.
I’m a wee cloudy this morning/afternoon. Last night I pushed my tiredness and cold-remnants right out of my head and went out. First, I went to the local hang-out, which is scary mix of old and, um, old. I read a novel recently that was set in Oakland in the late sixties, and the author described the White Horse in one of the scenes. The furnishings are still the same. So are the people. I counted, no lie, three mullets. We had been looking forward to the karaoke. But when it started with a rousing rendition of “Climb Ev’ry Mountain,” we moved into the pool room. We didn’t dare come out for a long time.
I then heeded my best judgment even less and drove over to the City to meet this girl. She sometimes reads this site, so I hope it won’t come as a shock to her to learn that I’m totally using her for her bar. Well, she’s cute, too. But damn, it’s a good bar. You could sit, by yourself, for hours at the White Horse, and only the crazy Hawaiian shirt guy would talk to you. I’ve been to the Wild Side West perhaps four or five times, and people hug me when I walk in. It’s technically a women’s bar, but it’s also the neighborhood bar. I met Paul last night, who lives around the corner and edits the Bernal Journal. Nope, you can’t make that up. While I try to limit my alcohol intake to a reasonable level (I swear I do, yep yep), there’s just something about bar culture that I fit into. Gawd, I miss smoking, though. Eighteen months.
I’m trying to slyly (all right, I’m not that slick) make myself a part of this crowd. I had a bar once, that I loved. I lost it in a break-up (even though we had drawn up the pre-nup-bar papers), and I’ve been looking for one ever since. I wrote about going back there, not too many months ago, with a girl I was seeing. We were chased out at the end, great huge ugly slurring men screaming “Lezzbi-yans!” after us. (I really think they thought it was an insult.) Guess it was a good thing I lost that bar.
So now I’m waking up slowly. No hangover – I didn’t drink more than a few beers – but I’m sleepy and slow. Back to work tonight. I was given the heads-up by a friend on today’s Fresh Air: Terry Gross interviewed Niki Caro, who wrote the screenplay for and directed Whale Rider. I rarely listen to talk radio, but I turned it on and pulled out my knitting. It was a wonderful interview (catch it if you can) and I remembered how soothing it is to sit and actually watch my hands move with the yarn. Usually I’m watching the computer or the TV while knitting, multitasking my little heart out. This was calming and so nice. Terry Gross, though. Humph. Why does she bug me, just that littlest bit? She thinks she knows everything, doesn’t she? Okay. She does. But still.
I need confirmation from my beloved Grammar Avengers. Now that I’m done with grad work, I’m more of a Grammar Aficionado. I know the rules, and I’m annoyed when others break them. But I also know that in my own haphazard writing I break the rules or simply don’t notice that in haste I’ve used the wrong form of a word. Ugh. What was once unbearable is now almost acceptable. Laziness? Age? (At thirty-one, I can now say I’m in my mid-thirties. You think?)
But help me, please. I may be wrong.
In referring to grades received, it would be incorrect to say “I received all A’s.” Right? Shouldn’t it be “As,” without the apostrophe? Like “CDs for sale,” or “I’m in my mid 30s.”
In the new Harry Potter (god bless, I finished, what a ride), there are multiple references to Harry receiving D’s.
Am I mad? Am I flat-out wrong? Someone back me up. Every time I hit another sentence that had “D’s” in it, I had wild one-sided conversations with myself – no, her editors wouldn’t have let that happen, there must some kind of exception when it comes to letter grades, no, I know I’m right, it’s three in the morning, I could be wrong.
Grammar aside, I’ve started a new little sumpin-sumpin. Apparently addicted now to tanking, I’ve decided to cable another tank up. I’m going to make the bottom third in this simple cable pattern, with the top half remaining firmly ChicKami-esque, since I lurve that pattern. We’ll see.
And I leave you with a snap of Digit. He’s outside the window, in the barren window box (I planted a lettuce-seed sampler there, and got nothing but ugly looking spouts), crying for me to notice him. How could I not notice that face?
It’s done! Made with Baby Bernat in cotton, using Bonnie Marie’s awesome pattern. It has a few mocha coffee spots on the front, and I’m a little alarmed at how the stripes in the bust kind of striped out into wide swathes of solid color, but it’s cozy and soft. I used the fabulous wide strap version, but I raised the neck in the back.
Okay, weird pose. I was in a hurry to go to work.
See the mocha stain?