Early to work today…. Happy Halloween!
Archives for October 2003
October 2003 Archive
A lot of writing today to make up for the fact I won’t have time tomorrow:
Having a hard time getting my ass in gear to write this weekend. Not this blog, not the morning pages, those I don’t struggle with. But the other writing (I hate to call it the “real” writing – let’s use “other” instead), that’s what I’m fighting with. Not even fighting. It’s more like a cold war.
If I write all my pages during my four-day work week, then I give myself the weekend off. It’s the only method that consistently works for me. I like it. But when I DON’T write all my pages I promise myself I’ll write on my weekend. Have I? No. Is this my Sunday? Yep. Back to work tomorrow.
Which means I HAVE to write today. (Well, there’s no have to about it. But I want to. I wouldbe happier if I got my work done.) Which means I have to trick some goblins.
It’s all about tricking or treating them, innit? I can trick them – can tell myself I’m going to write something, anything, and it’s going to be a shitty first draft (a la Lamott), and then I write fast and loose before they know what’s happening. Before they round up the censoring troops, I’m done with the work for the day.
Or I can treat them, but I find this less effective. I’ll tell myself, If you write, you get to go to the matinee. Then I don’t write, feel crappy about it, and cheer myself up by going to the matinee.
So really, for me, it’s all about tricking them and sending them out for smokes (and NO, I’m not bumming them when they get back). I send them out the long way and tell them to go to the store seventeen miles away ‘cause it’s the only store where they won’t get funny looks with their forehead tattoos that read CENSOR and THAT’S NO GOOD and NO ONE CARES. I tell them when they get back they can chip away at me to their hearts’ content. By the time their jalopy rolls up, thumping that goblin bass, I’m done writing and I thumb my nose. And I don’t have a light for them either.
Speaking of olallieberry jam, I bought the BEST jam after I left Duarte’s the other day at a little country produce stand call Phipps Country Store and Farm. Get this: they mail order their jam. They’re only $4 a jar (and don’t wimp out and get the Strawberry-Olallieberry mix, that’s boring – You’ll LOVE the olallieberry, I swear. It’s like raspberry but sweeter and finer tasting). I swear I’m not getting a cut of this – I just think it’s fantastic.
Went out last night with a couple of friends who actually left the City and came to see ME! Rachel and Kira are a great couple who used to live with Bethany before she went on walk-about. Beth and Rachel met while they were freshmen in college. Rachel came out in maybe her sophomore year? Junior? Can’t remember. We actually threw her a Coming Out party with rainbow streamers and Tinky Winky on top of her rainbow cake (it was during that whole Falwell nonsense). Rachel and Kira have been together now for years, and they’re an awesome couple to hang out with. For some unknown, inexplicable reason, they’ve decided to adopt me. I’ve said it before, I know that I’m their token over-30-and-still-got-it lesbian friend. That’s the only thing I can chalk it up to.
Kira’s a mad knitter. She’s the store manager of Artfibers and get this: Every two weeks she gets fifty bucks worth of yarn since she’s encouraged to make everything she wears to work. Uh huh. Life’s rough. Last night she was actually complaining that she can’t ever leave the job or she’d have too high a yarn bill. Welcome to our lives, huh?
We went to dinner at Soi 4, one of those trendy minimalist Thai places where the lighting hung from strings and the host station held burning votives and bamboo plants. We sat and ate and drank beer and talked about how insufferable anything south of Santa Maria is – how Santa Barbara is just a horrible little LA suburb, how we can’t stand the plastic-ness, the cell-phone and collagen-ness of it all. Then my cell phone vibrated in my pocket and I looked around at the people draped gracefully in their hip recycled-wood chairs. A meta-trend minute. We tried to get over ourselves. Then we finished our beer.
We were going to see Thirteen, the new Holly Hunter movie. But Kira had the brilliant idea of renting a movie so we could buy a six-pack and knit. Gotta love that. We picked up Whale Rider which neither of them had seen. I think maybe it’s been a while since I had official company. It was nice to have more than one knitter in my living room (although I think we freaked Rach out a little – Kira and I spent a lot of time discussing the use of fiber in the movie sweaters).
Here’s Kira with Adah (yes, she made her sweater).
And Rachel, after I told them both to smile.
A nice night.
Oh, since I’m TOTALLY rambling – I just have to mention one thing about the ocular migraines – I got the first one last Thursday morning while curling my eyelashes. One minute I could see what I was doing, the next I was almost blind. For a while I TOTALLY thought I had curled my lashes wrong. Really wrong.
Sister Bethy got the job at the hostel! I tell everyone and myself that I’m not really worried about her, but it sure was with an odd sense of unexpected relief that I realize she’s inside, away from the cold. Dang. Happy. Go read. She rocks.
Turns out my vision is still great! 20/20 in one eye, 20/25 in the other. I don’t need glasses. A part of me was very happy. But I have to admit another part was totally disappointed. There were some CUTE frames out there in the store. Thank god I hadn’t let myself try any on while I was waiting for the doctor or I totally would have pulled an Alison.
And that weird loss-of-vision thing? Ocular migraines. I had thought of that, but had rejected it in my mind since I didn’t have headaches along with the vision loss (everyone loves a self-diagnoser). The doc said I was a textbook case, from the length of time the spells lasted, to what I saw (or didn’t). She also agreed with me that they’re TERRIFYING when you don’t know what they are. You only know you can’t see. Turns out my sister Christy and my mother get them, too, also without the pain.
So it was a good doctor’s visit. Even if I’m still spectacle-less. Sigh….
After the eye exam, I saw American Splendor with my friend Nichole. You know how you have friends who don’t really go to see art movies? This was NOT a good movie to take a friend who isn’t into counter-culture. She hated it, poor dear. I didn’t like it that much, either, but I can’t figure out if that’s because I was sitting there KNOWING she hated it and feeling badly for dragging her along, or if it just wasn’t my cup of tea. But we had burgers at Barney’s after and that rocked. Big ole medium rare burger with blue cheese and bacon. Yum. I might not have to eat again for a year.
I’m officially the most boring person on the planet today. I’m signing off to read other, more interesting blogs. Peace out. (I think it’s actually Peace. Out. Two separate thoughts. But I like Peace out better.)
Got a great email from Jane of the Venice-Adventure who said to my “This…. Was going to be this…..” entry from yesterday, “Why is Rachael trying to knit a baby?” And then she said various charming things about me and this blog, none true, and attached this picture which made my morning. They don’t have a dog.
As to the pattern for the baby sweater, I don’t really have one. I have the beginnings of it written down as follows (from unknown source):
Bring on the SpitUp Baby Sweater
With sport-weight yarn and size 5(US) needles, cast on 22 st. Row1: P3, place marker (PM), P2, PM, P12, PM, P2, PM, P3. Row3: Knit across, increasing on both sides of marker by knitting into front and back of st before and after each marker (8 increased stitches). Row3: Purl.
Now the Rachael part: Repeat rows 2 and 3 until you think it’s big enough (that’s the hard part for non-mom me). Separate for sleeves by knitting to them, placing them on scrap yarn holders, and connecting the body portions. Knit the cardigan body until it’s long enough. Change colors and rib the bottom about four or five rows. Bind off. Go back, pick up sleeve stitches, knit down about three or four inches, change colors and rib 3 or 4 rows. Bind off, sew sleeve seams. Using the contrast yarn, pick up stitches all around sides and neck, rib four or five rows, putting in button holes at appropriate spacings, bind off. Add buttons (always my LEAST favorite part). Voila.
Sorry it’s not more scientific. I knit loosely, so I actually use size 4(US). Sometimes I use worsted weight and start at casting on about 18 stitches and modifying.
It’s my weekend! I have Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays off – I love having midweek days off ‘cause I can run around and do things while it’s less crowded. Hate crowds. Today I’m getting checked for glasses. After a scary weird episode last week where I saw jagged lines across my vision and then couldn’t focus on anything for about thirty minutes, and after reading darling Greta’s trials and tribs with her eyes, I’m not putting it off anymore. Can I just say to the salesperson, in a very little voice, I want super-cute glasses, please?
My eyes were SO bad while I was growing up that by the time I was six I was wearing bifocals. And I HATED my glasses. Despised them. At one point, when I was perhaps eight or nine, I I lost my glasses. I remember seriously not knowing where they had gone. I was standing on the stairs that led to my attic bedroom and my mother confronted me, thrusting my muddy glasses at me. “I. Found. THESE. Buried. In. The. GARDEN.”
I didn’t remember burying them. Truly and honestly. Maybe Christy buried them for me, but I don’t think so. I think I must have hated them so much that I subconsciously took ‘em out there and stuck them in the ground, hoping that either I’d never see them again, or…. or what? We’d grow a glasses-tree and all the kids would want some and I’d finally be cool? Dunno. Don’t remember.
As I grew, though, the farsightedness got better and better and finally I had almost-perfect vision. I was warned at age nineteen that someday my eyes would get bad again. That day has come. Dammit. I want really cute glasses, okay?
I’ll keep you posted.
Was going to be this:
But I totally effed up, twice, and spent two days ripping. I finally figured out that I had started the garment twice using the wrong row for the right side, and those cables would never pop out. Damn it all to hell and back.
I know many people are accomplished froggers. They don’t mind pulling and rewinding and starting over. I MIND! I ain’t doing this again. It’s Mission Falls 1824 cotton, and I never knew how fab that stuff is. I’m making a ChicKami someday out of it, not that damn baby sweater.
This is more like it:
Easy, quick, cute enough, just needs some buttons and I’ll be done. I know it’s not half as impressive, but the baby’s gonna throw up all over it, so it’ll be fine. Yow!
almost my weekend almost my weekend almost my weekend almost my weekend almost my weekend almost my weekend almost my weekend almost my weekend almost my weekend……
Only ten hours off last night, and that makes it hard to get enough time to sleep, let alone write…. I hate it when I slip into using ellipses…. all the time…..
Enough. Enjoy your day!
First of all, let me answer a couple of people before they come a-knocking – the Noro raglan took about eight skeins. Maybe a little less, but let’s call it eight and the small size is pretty darn safe. Or call it ten and make a little Booga J bag out of the leftovers…..
And oo-la-la. This one makes me want to sing. It’s Sunday morning. Shawl we? I know we’ve seen it before, but let’s see it again: It’s Marcy’s and it’s fabulous.
I think the “draped over a chair” theme has to stick. Go check out her hair, too. Cute as a bug. That’s what I want MY hair to look like.
So I’ve done a little housekeeping. A little Italian upkeep – to the left are my Italy emails from the last three trips. The first was when I went alone to Venice for a week and then met a couple of friends for the grand tour. The second was Mama and me, two months after September 11th. The third is the latest one (prolly the most fun to read, since I was alone for the whole trip). They’re not for the faint of heart. Read only if you’re 1) deeply in love with Italy or 2) want to be. They’re saccharine love notes, I know. The only way to go.
What’s cool about them, though, is that they’re also posted on my old site. Every once in a while I get random notes from strangers asking where to stay and what to do, especially in Venice. Recently I got this question from a woman in Britain looking for cheap digs for her family. I gave her some pointers and info on my favorite hotel, Hotel Bernardi-Semenzato. I just got this fantastic note and picture from her (reprinted with her permission, of course):
…. I just wanted to say a HUMUNGOUS thank you. We have just returned
from an utterly fantastic two days in wonderful Venice and your
recommendation came up trumps. They gave us a whole suite
(two bedrooms, bathroom, hallway) in the annex with views
over the canal – must be the room they’ve
taken their picture from for the front of the brochure/website.
We took advantage of the ridiculously cheap ‘city break’ flights that
operate from our local airport. We departed Monday evening and had all
day Tuesday and all day Wednesday in Venice, leaving late Wed. evening
for flight home. We managed to see alot and do alot (Basilica,
Campanile, Acadamia, Guggenheim, water taxi, gondola, ice cream, cake,
bread, pizza, several other churches, human sculpture man and amazing
guy from Russia playing ‘glasses’) and actually felt like we’d been
away for at least a week. I think we broke some sort of record when all
7 of us piled into a gondola!
Have you ever been over to the glass factories on Murano? Seeing glass
being blown was something we thought would be good to do with the kids
but hadn’t appreciated that it all happened on a different island and
we weren’t sure whether we’d have enough time. In retrospect, had we
known exactly where we were heading and what times they were open to
the public, we could have fitted it in. Spotted at least a couple of
gorgeous yarn shops and all those beautiful beads!!!!!!!
I was going to attach a picture of us all enjoying ourselves but there
isn’t one with us all on in the ones I’ve downloaded, so I’ll have to
wait until I get film developed. Meanwhile here is an interesting shot
looking up the Campanile with some of the children’s feet in the
Lots of love and many thanks again –
Isn’t that the coolest? Makes me SOOO happy to help people with Italy questions or dreams, ‘specially the city of my heart.
Another Wave done!
This one is by Debbie in Germany and the colors are amazing. (And I love the shot of it over the chair – isn’t it romantic looking?)
It’s hot here. It’s six-thirty in the morning and it’s blessed hot. Gonna be a scorcher today, that horrible easterly wind that we get up here. Down south on the Central Coast where I grew up, we call these the Santa Anas. Here they’re just called crappy weather. They make you feel sick and sneezy and grumpy and generally cause people to punch each other unexpectedly. They aren’t pleasant. It’ll make for a busy Saturday at work.
God, I’m so slow-witted today. I got up and did my morning pages, and while the point is to “keep the hand moving,” my hand kept resting on the page while my mind traispsed off without me. That’s not uncommon, and it’s happening now, too, but I like to at least keep it somewhere in the same room…..
One cool thing though: Yesterday I lost my calendar. Before the job I have now, I had never been a calendar person, but with this job and the amount of overtime and rep work we do, we all have to LIVE by our calendars. If I want to get something done on a workday (like this writing right now), it has to be scheduled in. My calendar holds my official overtime balance and the running balances of how much time I owe people and how much is owed me. And it wasn’t in my purse.
It’s ALWAYS in my purse. I’m anal. I never lose anything. That’s an exaggeration. I assume that I’ve lost something in the last ten years, but if I did, I can’t remember what it was. I’m one of those people that walks in the door and hangs my keys on the peg without thinking. Everything has a place. And I couldn’t find the goddamned calendar. I tried not to panic and looked in every bag I carry to work, around the places where the purse had been, under the balls of yarn next to the bookcase (because doesn’t EVERYTHING fall into the yarn basket?). Nothing. I tried to put it out of my mind, but I wrote myself a note before bed. “Where is my calendar?” Then I put a little “Thanks” after it.
I went to sleep comfortable in the knowledge that my mind would figure it out while I slept. I woke up, ready to remember. And the calendar is…. I waited. Nothing.
Terribly disappointed. My subconscious had let me down.
I did my morning pages, thinking about it (maybe that’s why I kept wandering away from them).
Then I sat down to write this, looked down at the carry bag that I had torn apart four times yesterday and thought, oh, yeah. There’s one more pocket I never checked and I know it’s in there. It was.
Don’t know if that’s a result of asking the question or just recovering from a brain fart but it just goes to prove that it’s okay to be anal. It’s okay for everything to have a place. I can’t take the stress. Lord, how do people live with other people? I understand a little more now why my mother got so upset when we would borrow her hammer and leave it in the backyard. Or the treehouse. Or at Jenny’s under the boat. “Use your father’s hammer!” Yeah, well, Dad couldn’t find any of his six hammers (because they were in the back yard, or under the car, or at Paul’s on the roof), and we knew hers was always in the kitchen cabinet, hanging to the left of her gloves, above the rags, next to the box of matches and her pliers.
I swear there will be knitting pictures in the next few days. I’ve just been doing too much else and haven’t made much progress on the sweater I started. The unnamed sweater. I’m using a minty green yarn that looks kinda irritating and cloying while in the ball but has surprising flecks of yellow and blue when knit up. I already know I’ll NEVER be able to catch the color on a digital camera, so I’ve been slow to document its progress.
All day training yesterday and today out in Antioch, a suburb just west of Hell, so no post today. Just – THANKS, y’all, for coming with me on the road trip. I loved loved loved getting your comments. Man. No wonder I used a lot of gas. There was a lot of cumulative weight in that little car.
Oh, it makes me happy……