Tuesday, May 31, 2005
All Full Up
I think I might have some sort of bizarre disorder (shut up, not that one) and I get overwhelmed from time to time.
I can't stand a mix of sweet and savoury (fruit and meat? Gah! Get it away from me!) and we won't even talk about fruit in a lettuce or spinach-based salad. I can't even stand milk in coffee although I can have a glass of milk and a cup of coffee separately.
This might be why I have never (apart from once when I put a *gasp* stripe in a hat) mixed colo(u)rs in anything I have knit, and I seldom wear patterns.
If three people are talking to me at once (which is funny because I had my own transcription business for years and years, and I can pick one voice out of a group of ten and transcribe the entire conversation, more times than not), I just get mental and shut down until they stop and talk one at a time. (Yes, that's very useful when taking care of children. Sure. I should start a daycare in my home right quick.)
When I get overwhelmed by anything like that I always use the term "all full up" and I ask people to back off until I can breathe again.
When there is too much noise, too many flavours, too much emotion, I get full up, and this has been a "full up" week indeed, and we're only on Tuesday.
My kidlet had her first visit to kindergarten yesterday. I was brave, there was no screaming, and I very much liked her teacher (who several times mentioned how "sophisticated" her art was for someone her age. The sprog, not the teacher's. I don't know if the teacher can draw at all.)
And then of course there was the advent of The Holy Grail ... um, Drum Carder.
Today was Eleanor's last day at daycare, and they had a party. I was all brave, and then I looked at her empty cubby and burst into tears. Quiet tears, so that all of the little kids didn't think something catastrophic was happening because a Mommy was crying but tears nonetheless.
Her daddy then took her out to pick flowers and hang out somewhere with noise and kids and such (he fortunately doesn't share whatever this disorder may be) while I returned to my office to clear out my desk and get all of my paperwork in order (read: did half of it and shredded the rest).
Then I put the keys in the top drawer of what was my desk for five and a half years, turned out the lights and walked out, all alone, letting the door lock behind me.
And now I'm sitting here, in the middle of the night, surrounded by the trappings of this fiber addiction, listening to the blessed silence and feeling so desperately full up. And maybe a little weepy.
And pretty damned fine, too, knowing that when I get up in the morning, a) it will be about 10am (my kid is a good sleeper) and b) I will never have to go back to that office again.
Time to start the next chapter.
Monday, May 30, 2005
I Owe the Karma Man
I didn't manage to find him at work on Sunday. It didn't seem to make a lot of difference.
Today, hubby went for an interview (for a job he's already been offered). Two minutes after he left the house he popped back in, to give me this ...
And then the people for whom I will no longer work as of 2pm tomorrow took me out for dinner and presented me with this.
To say that my flabber was gasted would be a mighty understatement.
It almost made berable the phone call from the fucker of mothers (and of fathers, too) who is selling this place despite all assurances to the contrary. He seems to think he's showing the suite tomorrow. He isn't. Wednesday noon is the soonest I'll be opening the door to anyone.
I seem to think I'm breaking my lease shortly. Still need to slip the karma man a couple of bucks for a new house ...
Sunday, May 29, 2005
Good Karma, 25 Cents
Many, many good things have been happening Chéz Lapin, of late, which is good, because for quite some time the only reason that I wasn't the assbeagle up on the crane was that I knew Mr. Lapin would only feed the kid Doritos if I left him to his own devices.
And rilly. Doritos? Cheetos, not so bad but those Dorito things scare me.
I was working downtown yesterday and on one of my lurching forays into the streets in the hope that a little sunlight would make up for the 17-hour days and 5-hour sleeps (don't try this at home, kiddies, it doesn't work) I ran across a young man with a sign. The sign read "Good Karma, 25 cents". I suddenly got concerned that all of this good stuff had been happening to me and I HADN'T PAID FOR MY KARMA.
He was asleep on the sidewalk, otherwise I would have paid him for it then, but I didn't think it wise to leave cash, even if it was Karma Money, just lying beside him.
I'm gonna look for him when I'm back downtown later today. Maybe I can pay for the stuff I've received the last couple of weeks and buy up some extra for the house-hunting we need to do later this year.
Lemme know if you want me to pick some up for you, as well.
Saturday, May 28, 2005
Beer In A Box
Today's favourite quote comes to you from the hilarious people over at "Pearls Before Swine", which is just about my favourite comic strip ever (but to which I am too lazy to link because I am blogging from work and HOW many hours did I say I would work today? Gah).
"After watching enough news, I've concluded that we're all doomed ... thus, the only sane response is to sit in a box and drink beer from a hat."
I am so there, dudes.
Friday, May 27, 2005
Not a lot of blogging going on this weekend seeing I've scheduled two back-to-back double shifts (I'm poverty-stricken, not intelligent) so I will resort to quoting stuff from the newspaper in a vain attempt to make myself believe I am "writing stuff".
Today's horoscope, after seemingly advising me to either have an affair or go cavort in the woods or something, ends with "Find ways to express yourself creatively. Don't worry about being a professional or anything. You're a verb, not a noun. It's the doing that counts."
Think I can find some way to use that to justify buying a loom from a friend who is getting rid of it?
I pick it up on the 16th. Answer fast plz, okbye.
Thursday, May 26, 2005
Well, I think my second attempt looks a little bit more like yarn.
OK, so it's nowhere near "good" yet but it's a lot more even, and it seems to be good enough to interest the newest fibre ho' in my household ...
Apple, tree. Minimal distance.
I'm just sayin'.
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
And a Great Rejoicing Was Heard Throughout the Land
Item the first:
I just knit up my first two-three lame yards of my own homespun. It is monumentally ugly ... but dudes, I WAS ABLE TO KNIT IT!
Alert the media.
The wheel has been oiled and the tension fiddled with and I think I can do a better job on my next try. Perhaps tomorrow; it's late. Oh, who am I fooling?
Item the glorious second:
The little damaged fleece isn't so damaged after all. In fact, most of it is just fine. She Who Knows All Things Spinnerly sat and helped me card a little of it (the little roll is mine):
She says there'll be tons for the necessary purpose (making a sweater) and she's even going to help me spin it, which is likely a good thing, considering Exhibit A, above.
Item the last:
Tonight at work I was knitting on one of those dishcloths. You know, those ones. The ones in the shade of green that MarQ1 helped me define as "Vole Vomit". My co-worker looked at it and said "Man, I like that colour! It's so soft."
I do believe that the little colourblind lady may well be getting a houseworming gift. Yes, I know that's supposed to be "housewarming" but dudes, you've seen the green.
I think it may be time to dance.
Tuesday, May 24, 2005
Learning To Spin: Part One
OK, so I've got the good luck bunniepants on:
I've got the roving:
And you know that Lily is standing by patiently:
Having about sixteen minutes spare in my schedule, I decided the time was nigh to learn to spin.
I, of course, didn't oil the wheel and took only the most cursory glance at an instruction page before diving right in, so eager was I to prove to myself and the world that I would, indeed, be a master spinner before the night was out.
All was going well until ...
This didn't seem quite right, but it wasn't until I got a Memo from the Desk of W.T. Fuck:
that I realized that there was a little more to this than just enthusiastically pounding on the treadle.
Projects for this week:
a) oil the wheel
b) tighten the drive belt thingie
c) get a grip
Here we have my first few yards of what may, by the very charitable, loosely be called yarn.
And I couldn't be prouder than if I'd grown the fleece myself.
Monday, May 23, 2005
Hi Honey, I'm Home!
Oh crap. I seem to have missed a day somewhere in the madness of this weekend.
Friday night out with the boys (and one of the girls) was grand. I got dressed up (but not sleazy, alas -- the PVC was at the cleaners) and we sat about and listened to a bar band that started out pretty good and somehow ended up fantastic (HOW many pitchers of beer did we have??) and a great time was had by all. Nobody danced with me but really, that was likely for the best. We didn't want to have the po-leese show up TWICE in one evening, did we?
Oh yes, and through yelling over the music and singing with every song that came on (every one after the third pitcher of beer, anyhow) I lost my voice.
The rest of the weekend was spent recovering from this utterly vile head cold, working, and hanging out with the cutest kid in the world.
Some knitting got done. Through some sort of blessed mistake, none of the huge pile of paperwork that was supposed to be waiting for me on the Sunday graveyard shift showed up, so after making a few calls to try to track it down (never said I was smart) I hunkered down with my scarf for the Dulaan project and got another 6 or 7" done. If anyone else out there is participating, it's time to put on the push to the finish line -- everything needs to be sent off within the next three or four weeks, I believe.
I also finished another dishcloth (didn't I say I wasn't going to talk about those any more?) and got maybe 3" of the Debbie Bliss Baby sweater done. I'll take a picture of that when there's more than just a boring strip of beige to show off. yes, I know you'll all be waiting in breathless anticipation for the boring SQUARE of beige.
Lily and I have not yet spent any quality time together, I'm saving that until The Job I Really Don't Want is over. This is the final countdown week -- three more days and I'm done. I'm mostly feeling anxiety at this point; I have a huge amount of stuff to get done and not a lot of time in which to do it. Desperately hoping I won't agree to go in on Friday as I've lined up The Weekend from Hell (32 hours of work in a 41 hour period -- don't ask) and I need urgently to sleep as much as possible on Friday in preparation for the blitz.
I am completely avoiding thinking about the fact that my daughter goes for her first Kindergarten visit on Monday the 30th. I'm gonna cry, aren't I?
Anyhow, blogging should be thin on the ground for the next week or so, and if anyone is waiting for anything in the mail from me it'll be at least a week until I can get to the post office, apologies.
Try to be brave until my return.
Saturday, May 21, 2005
Not Well Enough To Die
So how fucked up is this?
There's this guy on death row, and his sister is sick. He's gonna die anyhow so on his way out, he'd like to give part of his liver to his sister, who has non-alcohol-related cirrhosis.
"During a hearing before the parole board, Johnson's lawyer said blood tests found his liver would be compatible with his sister.
Johnson contended the lethal injection of chemicals used for executions would poison the organ, making a post-execution transplant impossible. There was disagreement among medical experts on whether that would be the case.
If Johnson donates part of his liver, it could take up to two months for him to recover enough to return to death row."
Um, pardon me? Mr. Johnson, for whatever reason, is slated for death. This is not meant to be an argument for or against the death penalty. BUT ... this guy, who has done something so heinous that the state believes he should die for it, is now trying to give back to his sister before he's killed, and the state is saying no way?
I'm amazed that a) they think they can refuse a life-saving procedure and b) they think someone has to be healthy enough to die.
I find this very upsetting.
Friday, May 20, 2005
The Naming of The Wheel
I will be going out carousing Friday night with the students from where I work, so I'm posting Friday's post now, as I can't think I'll be either interested in doing so or capable of being coherent by the time we return from The Nastiest Bar In North Vancouver.
(Any of y'all who live up here know the place to which I am referring, and you're welcome to join us there any time after 8pm. Dress sleazy, mmkay? We'll be there until late.)
I received a number of good suggestions for the wheel's name. Lynne suggested Ashley, Marlene suggested Alison.
Kathy suggested Paige, someone who has been stalking me even longer than has Suzanne suggested Charakha or Jenny, Trixie had a lot of good suggestions including Kipling and Trixie, Micky suggested Bunny Bitchlet and I was leaning towards Gillespie when my husband came up with the perfect name.
Her name is Lily.
He explained that it was after the lilies of the field. You know, "consider the lilies of the field. They do not toil; neither do they spin."
After I busted a fleece in his ass (and stopped laughing) I realized that that is, indeed, the perfect name.
For his contribution, I'm going to make him a pair of felted slippers, as he longs for some so sincerely.
All of the other suggestions were great, and I think some runner-up prizes are in order. I don't have everyone's snailmail addie, but if you'd like to drop me a line, something (and I promise not a ball of green cotton) will be winging your way in a couple of weeks.
This was fun, thanks everyone!
Thursday, May 19, 2005
Wild and Wooly
We had a tragedy today. There was a thunderstorm and lightning and such and I HAD TO SWITCH OFF MY COMPUTER FOR AN HOUR!!!1!
You know what that meant, yes? No. Internet. Quite frankly I don't know how it survived without me. I know how I survived without it, though; after casting on for a Debbie Bliss baby sweater (Quick Baby Knits, page 10) I took pictures of my fleece.
First, the stash. Outside, so that the delicate sensibilities of Mr. Rabbitch are not offended. He's so dainty, you know.
All four of those containers are jam-packed. And when I say jam-packed, I mean ...
That's the lightest one. In hono(u)r of Trixie I took a picture of the one containing the least amount of sheep pee.
It pulls apart, it feels good, it's soft and not all mooshed up. I'm pleased.
I had a fabulous thing happen today, also. I have been given a little damaged fleece:
to try to do something with. It was unfortunately damaged by the farmer, who doesn't raise these sheep for wool (I'm trying not to say the "m" word in the presence of my fleece, but "not wool" pretty much implies "for eating" in my books) and was going to ask a student to spin it for him. In the hope of saving her some work and not covering her in sheepshit (he seems to have no such qualms about me. He knows I'm from Glasgow and have therefore been covered in far worse), he washed the fleece.
In warm water.
Some of it pulls apart but some is a little matted and some is clearly felted.
Obviously, this is beyond my level of expertise (seeing my expertise at the moment can be measured in no digits at all) and so I sought out someone at the college who I had been told was a "master spinner", seeing this particular fleece is of sentimental value.
Well. Dude. Like only president of her guild, or what?
I had never met this woman before and she was on the phone when I got to her office. I asked her to call me about spinning and left her my extension number.
She called back within the half hour and I don't think I've ever been made to feel more welcome or included. She understood completely. She thought it was "neat" that I was learning this online, instead of "wacked". She shared her stash collecting experiences, invited me to a fleece fair next weekend (I'm working, dammet!), and within minutes we were exchanging links so that she could look at some carders I'm thinking of buying, etc. etc.
This woman said that she had so much fleece that she went on a diet, said she couldn't buy one more ounce until she reduced her stash by 50%.
Dudes, it took her two years!
She thought that all of the yarn exchanging going on between bloggers was fantastic, and suggested I join a spinners guild because a) I could likely rent a drum carder for the summer and b) "we can help you hide fiber".
I may have found the woman I need to marry.
Anyhow, she's bringing in her carders on Tuesday and I'm bringing in the fleece and we're gonna have a consultation. If she thinks some of it can be saved (I'm pretty sure it can) then we'll discuss what to do and how.
I'm thinking with the rest of it, I'm going to stuff it into a couple of pillow covers knit with the baby silk that I got from MarQ1, and be content with that.
Man, spinners rock just as much as knitters, it would seem.
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
I am sic (sic)
I seem to have gotten myself some sort of streaming, honking, sneezing, insanely attractive headcold.
The kind that makes me happy that I am knitting with synthetics at the moment.
The kind that makes me reluctant to toddle out and fondle my fleece, now residing out front of the house (under the overhang) in one Rubbermaid bin and three large black plastic garbage cans. (Yes, there's that much. It's packed down pretty tight, too -- I need to haul some out and start washing it within the next week, methinks. It ranges from almost pure white to quite buttery-yellow. I am avoiding the thought that the yellow likely comes from sheep pee. Let's just say I can tell which end of the -- at least four -- sheep each part of the fleece came from.)
The kind that makes me wish I wasn't reading a site as funny as this one, because really, it's not something you need to be perusing whilst trying to kill yourself with sneezing.
The wheel has been named -- results tomorrow. Unless of course I die tonight, in which case, she'll just be "the wheel that is going back to Patricia because I haven't paid for it yet and I am dead".
How Do You Hide ...
... four large garbage bags of gently-reeking fleece from your husband who does not appreciate "l'air du barn" quite as much as do you?
Any and all suggestions are greatly appreciated. Right now I'm thinking I'm going to take some big Rubbermaid storage tubs out to the van, fill them with the fleece, seal them as tightly as possible and then stack them in my storage room, closing the door firmly behind me.
And now ... the wheel.
I've had nineteen or twenty suggestions and I did up a dealie over at blogpoll.com but blogger doesn't like my HTML and it ate it.
I'm going to try it again because I'm too lazy to count. Plus, like, I can't. Clearly.
Tuesday, May 17, 2005
Two Hours ...
Two hours after the polls for the provincial election closed, and here I sit, a) waiting for the results to start coming in and b) waiting for my husband to come home from working at one of the polling stations since 7am today.
Not a lot of sympathy; how many double shifts have I worked? But still. Dude.
I always pretend that I'm not all that interested in the election results, and I always glue myself faithfully to the TV or internet until the wee hours after the polls close ...
Just call me a junkie, or something.
Tonight I'll use the time wisely, to cast on for some of the 900 babies that seem to be due amongst the ladies I know.
Yes, in ACKrylic. It's what I always use when knitting for people who vomit on themselves a lot. I think I have a shitpile of Paton's Astra somewhere ...
Monday, May 16, 2005
To The Woods, With a Bag of Bread
I'm glad that a lot of people felt free to comment about my post the other day. I certainly didn't mean for this to ever become a "bash someone else's blog" kind of forum, and I would like to note that although I disagree with many of the mentioned blogger's statements and opinions, I still think he's a talented knitter and would never wish to take that away from him. I hope he continues sharing, educating and contributing to the field. Just perhaps without being quite so much of an arrogant twat.
That being said, I think that in this art there is room for everyone, and I'm glad that a few folks may be encouraged, after that post, to knit as they please and explore their own art on their own time, in their own way and in their own choice of fibers.
I have an amazingly huge stash (although I'm likely outweighed by many). In that stash is cotton, alpaca silk, caron perfect match, bernat best buy, kid mohair waiting to be spun, Rowan magpie, some unspeakable fun fur that wishes me dead, "top of the lamb", Patons Decor (or Canadiana, both nice synthetics), some funky dutch cotton with chenille bits in it, some obscene wormy green and black chenille and on and on and on.
It's all good, dudes. Embrace it and make something with it, and try not to dis any other knitter or crocheter on the way. And well, if you do, I'll likely blog about it. I'm a bit of a tit like that.
And now to the important part of this public service announcement:
Trees are heavy. They are heavy because they are made of wood.
I'm hoping I remember that next time I offer to take someone's tree away for them.
I now have about a quarter of a Douglas Fir out front of the house, in chunks, a lot of treespit or tar or whatever it is called all over myself, my clothes and my van, several interesting bruises, and a great concern about how I'm going to get the rest here by the end of the week.
I never said I was bright.
Sunday, May 15, 2005
I was so tired at work today that I actually almost fell over on the street at lunch. Not good. Going to bed very early tonight.
I got home to find this email waiting from my hubby:
Bagels and Cream Cheese
"I'm hungry." Well, what do you want?
Pause. "Bagels and cream cheese." Okay.
"Mommy makes better bagels and cream cheese than you do." Oh, really?
What does she do differently?
Pause. "She does it the same."
Then why are hers better than mine?
Pause. "Mommy has bagel powers."
I think perhaps I'll keep going another day or two.
Saturday, May 14, 2005
Just About the Saddest Thing Ever
Today I bring you a quote from someone else's blog. A blog I've read on and off for a couple of years because although I find him an utter snob and a reprehensible bigot, sometimes his knitting is good.
But really, dude.
"Ponchos, Shrugs and Shawls, Oh My!
If it takes these kinds of garments to create new knitters, do we really want new knitters?"
Who are the "we" and where is the committee to whom we, as knitters, have to send our applications for permission to knit a particular garment and in a particular fiber?
A further quote:
"In the world of knitting, I fear that the new knitters who are working on frou frou scarves and trendy ponchos, are only doing so to be trendy. And when knitting is no longer au courant, they will follow the next trend. For the ones that recognize the amazing fulfillment that is available through fiber pursuits, I can only hope they are able to see past the gaudy to experience the success of making a challenging knitted garment."
Yes. Only challenging garments knitted with fine fibers are valid, and only if they are crafted by people who are making a lifelong commitment to this art. Oh yes, and they can only be made if the maker is personally fulfilled by the experience. To hell with what the recipient wants or needs.
If your Auntie Mabel who is 98 years old expresses a wish to have a fun-fur scarf before she dies, just kick the bitch to the curb, she's of no value and is wasting your time. Tell the old bat to fuck off. You'll make her something YOU want to make and it will be in cashmere or she can just bite your large white ass.
Good dog, there are people who are homeless, women and men being beaten and sometimes killed by their partners, gaybashing, rape, children going to bed hungry in this land of plenty, fathers who kill their 8-year-old daughters for going out while grounded. There are many bigger things to worry about than whether someone wants to knit a poncho in acrylic.
Get over it and go knit a blanket for the homeless or something, dude.
Friday, May 13, 2005
Big Wheel Keep On Turnin'
Little wheel, actually. An Ashford Traveler.
Isn't she lovely? Please ignore the duct tape and the stains on the carpet. We've had some ... incidents.
And now for a name. Dolores is far too formal for this little cutie.
Being bereft of inspiration, I feel a competition coming on. Email suggestions (no wretched alliteration please!) to firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll think up something suitably festive as a prize.
The first hank of decent homespun I get out of this baby? Or maybe some green cotton dishcloths? *g*
My first fleece has also arrived but I strongly suspect it's too matted and also too coarse to be worth spinning. I'll check with someone who knows what they're doing and see if my suspicions are correct. It's washed, it's a lovely col(u)r and it smells divine, but the texture? Feh. Not so much love there.
Thursday, May 12, 2005
why of course
I'm utterly whelmed. Pretty sure I'm not overwhelmed but one more thing and I will be.
One of the most fantastic men on campus came into my office today. He's the one I mentioned before who might have a fleece for me. He is one of the finest men I know. Alas, he is 20+ years older than me, and I don't believe his wife lets him date.
So anyhow, he says "what would you charge to spin a fleece for me?" Please note at this point that a) I do not have a wheel and b) I do not know how to spin. Naturally I do not mention this, and say to him "Oh, not much. You could pay me in fleece -- the old barter system."
I do not seem to place a high value on my work. Perhaps because a) I do not have a wheel and b) I do not know how to spin.
Then he says "Well I've got three fleeces for you in the truck, I'll give them to you tomorrow. I'm going to give those to you anyhow, but I'll pay you as well for the spinning."
Please note at this point that a) I still do not have a wheel and b) I most certainly do not know how to spin. I know I said that earlier (twice), however I do believe at this juncture that it bears saying more than once.
The wheel problem is being solved tomorrow. I have an older wheel, in working condition but about which I have little information (apart from the fact that the Xian youth group that is selling it wants $150cdn -- $120usd -- for it) to be picked up tomorrow night after work. I also seem to have an Ashford Traveler coming to stay with me for a while until I find out if I like her. I believe her name may be Dolores.
The first fleece that he's giving me is to be spun for one of the faculty members. She seems to have somehow adopted either a sheep or a lamb (please dog, make it a lamb) and that fleece, recently shorn, is to be made into yarn for her. (I just read that the average weight of a fleece is between 8 and 12 lbs. Please let it be a little tiny lamb! Perhaps an anorexic lamb or something. And the runt of the litter. And maybe with some bald patches.)
The rest are just for me, for free and gratis and such, and are fleeces from adult sheep. I think at least one is last year's crop so I don't know how good they'll be any more. Do they go bad? All the lanolin is still there; they shouldn't be dried out, should they? (I do not know if the "three fleeces" include the one to be spun or are in addition to same. All I know is that there will be an awful lot of sheep poo and twigs and hay in my house by tomorrow night. None of these are cleaned.)
He said these are "border sheep". What is a border sheep? I've found both "Border Leicester" and "scottish border sheep" in my searches. None of the search results have been all that enlightening.
So now, while I a) still don't have a wheel and b) really, honestly don't know how to spin, I seem to have scooped myself two wheels and ninety bazillion tons of wool, as well as my first paid commission.
Oh yes, and I might be in need of carding combs, but I think the lady with the Ashford wheel may have some to sell.
And did I mention she has "a lot" of clean fleece she's bringing tomorrow, too? I think we all know how much "a lot" is to a fiber junkie ... to wit, "an assload".
Two weeks from deciding I have to open an online store and that one of the things that I'm going to sell will be hand-spun and dyed or painted wool, to getting my first commission. Two or three days from deciding I need to get a wheel, and fast, and I have two arriving tomorrow.
I've seldom had so many things start to fall into place all at once. Think I maybe should have mentioned my plans to the universe a little sooner? Could it actually be my turn for things to go right?
Dear dog, I hope so. (And I apologize about the "funnier than you" bit in the other post, but really, the platypus thing? You were just trying too hard with that one. And nobody but me got the joke anyhow.)
Could it also be true that I will have somewhere between 24 and 50 lbs of fleece to process?
That would be like between 96 and 200 skeins
Fortunately he doesn't need the first fleece to be completed before about November.
I'm not sure if you should envy me, or just put me in a darkened room somewhere.
Fleece-lined, of course.
Once upon a time I had a best friend. She was killed by a drunk driver. She was 15.
There were three of us in elementary school who hung together. Me and Wendy and Angela. Angela was skinny as fuck and never said a word. Wendy was louder, but she was fat and too smart and she sucked her fingers, so her teeth stuck out straight. I was sort of normal-sized but shy and too smart. None of us were athletic, all of us were shy. We fit nowhere but with each other. And it was enough. Two is good; three is a posse. There is strength in numbers, and that posse lasted many years.
We made a movie in grade four. I directed and filmed it, Angela and Wendy starred in it. I would give a fortune to have that movie back.
I don't know where Angela is today, but after I moved to another province, Wendy got older, lost the puppyfat, got her teeth straightened. She was starting to hang with other kids, maybe even dating. The world was opening up.
Some of the cooler kids hung with her sometimes.
And then my other friend Kathy got drunk and ran a stop sign while Wendy was in the car. Kathy never saw the truck. I'm hoping Wendy also never saw it before it killed her.
This is one of the reasons that I have always thought that drunk drivers deserve to be shot.
Tonight I had a sobering experience.
I worked my day job from 8:30 to four and then my night job from 4:30 to 10:00. Long day, and both gigs were tiring. Lost files, code blues (codes blue?), the whole shebang.
Some of the students from where I work my day job were having a CD release party and I had promised them I would stop in and listen to a few tunes on the way home.
It's pretty important to the students when I show up at their gigs, so although I was tired I stopped by, as promised. It took me 40 minutes to find the place, but I keep all of the promises that I'm able to, and this one was a possible. There were several other students there and they were all excited I was there and got me my very own little red stool and sat me down and we babbled and listened to some truly excellent music.
I was there for about an hour and a half, and I had two beers.
Two. And I'm not a small woman (168 lbs, and on a 5'6" frame that's well-upholstered if not exactly waddling).
I had eaten today. Maybe coffee and a bag of peanuts for breakfast, as I'm breakfastfully-challenged and never manage to do anything reasonable for that particular meal. I had a small hamburger and a salad for lunch, and two croissants (one stuffed with ham and cheese and one stuffed with spinach and feta) for dinner.
An apple and a bag of cheetos at some point, too.
A perfectly reasonable amount of food for one woman for one day.
And then two beers.
I have never EVER had two beers and driven before. In fact I usually won't even drive after one, but I was far from home, it was late, and I needed to get to my bed.
So I drove.
And I ran into a roadblock. They asked me if I'd had any alcohol and I told them yes. I'm a middle-aged woman in a minivan. I look like Mother Teresa's chaperone. If I'd said no they would have let me go. But I told them.
So they pulled me over and made me blow in a machine. Perhaps if I'd blown them it would have been easier, but you know, out in the middle of the highway with no kneepads, I chose the logical test. Dude, this is my last pair of clean pants and I don't get the laundry again until Friday.
I blew an .048 (pronounced ohfoureight). I felt completely sober, but an .048. Dude. If I'd blown an .05 they would have towed my car. If I'd blown a .08 I believe they would have charged me with DUI and possibly locked me up. They would have at least charged me. More than likely I would have had some sort of licence suspension.
I was embarrassed as hell, but it was a good educational experience. If someone as large as I am can blow close to the danger zone (oh I like that phrase) afer two beers in 90 minutes, then the skinny chicks don't have a chance.
a) I will never have two beers and drive again, no matter how much I've eaten. The likelihood of me even having one ever again and driving is close to nil.
b) If you think you're "ok" to drive, maybe you're not so ok. Leave the car. Walk or cab, or sleep in the fucking car.
Don't smoosh another Wendy, mmkay?
Wednesday, May 11, 2005
The Wheel of Life
I think I've bought a spinning wheel. I'll know for sure on Friday.
It's old but it works, and I think that's what counts. I don't know anything else about it, but expect updates shortly
Don't know if I'm scared or not. I think not -- just anxious to get it going!
Tuesday, May 10, 2005
You Can Stop Any Time
Guess what rabbit has almost talked her husband into figuring out how the knitting machine works?
I have a knitting machine (insert gasps of horror from purists here). It is a White 1602 and I love it. It, in return, seems to feel fairly neutral toward me.
Part of the plan for the mysterious impending business venture is to turn some of this obscene stash (previously displayed but I'm too lazy to take a different photo tonight):
into cash. Machine-knitted baby blankets. Maybe easy sweaters.
He can do the machine knitting, I can do the finishing. Because there is nothing more exciting than finishing machine-knitted stuff.
Motherfucker won't get a job (don't ask) maybe I can turn him into my stitchin' bitch.
Cheaper than divorce.
Monday, May 09, 2005
What a day of ups and downs. First I hand over and get paid for the damned dishcloths, then there's the incredibly sad news on ItGirl's blog, and then I win the "figure out how ItGirl's spare room is decorated" competition over at Trixie's place.
When I had time to think, I remembered that I seem to have been tagged and then I forgot about it. Sorry Justy!
OK, here goes:
1) Total number of books in your house:
Number? I thought this was about reading, and I'm pretty sure that number thingie has to do with math. Truth be told, I don't think I can count that high. Hundreds, at least. I've given away a couple of thousand over the past few years but yeah. Hundreds.
2) The last book you bought was:
Hrm. The Final Precinct by Patricia Cornwell. I got books from my husband for Christmas and had read three of the four, so I returned them and got books that I thought I hadn't read.
3) What was the last book you read before reading this?
I hate the wording of this question. Before reading "this" as in the book noted in #2 above or "this" as in the meme?
The last one I read before reading this meme was The Final Precinct by Patricia Cornwell. It's really slow going. And yes, this is the second time through. It wasn't good enough to remember reading the first time. Disappointing, she's usually excellent.
The last book I read before "this" as in the one above, was A Monstrous Regiment by Terry Pratchett. I believe I spent quite a lot of time spitting on things while reading that book (but never in the garden!). I learned to look away from the book, drink, swallow, and then look back. Much more hygienic and less wasteful of beer.
4) Write down 5 (or 6) books you often read or that mean a lot to you.
I don't have a lot of books that I read "often". I have several I have re-read, but not like obsessively or anything. Well, you know, apart from the Kama Sutra. And the phone book.
That being said, here is my list:
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman; Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte; Cat by Kliban; How Late It Was, How Late by James Kelman; The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien.
(To anyone who seeks out the Kelman book, please be warned, it's full of dark, violent drunkenness and every third word is the dreaded C word and I don't mean Cashmere. It's one of the darkest and most difficult reads of my life, however I find the underlying joy to be uplifting. Most of you will just think I'm wacked. I believe you can only really understand this book if you're from Glasgow, which I am.)
5) Who are you going to pass the stick to (three people) and why?
Trixie because she is mean and deserves it, Gaile because she kept me up late tonight and Ann because I haven't tagged her for anything yet and she's indulgent. Usually.
Sunday, May 08, 2005
Caught in a Trap
Or should that be "Cotton: A Trap"?
I, of course, accepted the generous offer of cotton from my co-worker. Imagine my surprise when she showed up in my office the next day with this:
About seven pounds of cotton, including 19 or 20 balls of Paton's cotton in a gorgeous (for those who are not allergic to pinque) fuschia. Those are earmarked for some kind of top for my daughter (and something for me). The rest is Bernat Handicrafter in ecru and a blue variegated which will end up as ... you guessed it ... dishcloths.
But not for a while. I need a break from that sort of shit.
I'm starting to develop a theory about cotton. Nobody but me likes it. People see it, get all excited about the col(u)rs, buy it, take it home, start knitting with it and realize it's a bitch. They then put it in a bag and bide their time, until a sucker like me comes along, and then they unload it.
I'm assuming by 2010 I will be the only person in North America who actually owns any cotton yarn at all.
And THEN, babies, you're gonna be paying big bucks for those dishcloths you're all laughing about.
Revenge will be sweet, and made of cotton.
Saturday, May 07, 2005
Yet Another Note To Self
Washing lipstick is bad.
That is all.
Friday, May 06, 2005
Hi, how are you (or do you prefer "ye")? I hope you're well. I am well. How are the little fishes? I hope they're well also.
I thought I'd just write you a note and tell you that I received your latest message loud and clear. Thanks so much for making sure that there's no doubt whatsoever about the fact that you hate my fucking guts.
I'm not quite sure why you're so angry. Is it because I always refer to you as "dog"? Is it because I refuse to believe in the conventional religion thingie, or tithe, or that I referred to you as a "motherfucker" in a recent epistle to someone whose name I won't mention just in case you're in a smiting kind of mood today? Have I transgressed in some other manner, the true enormity of which has yet to be revealed to me?
Is it because I'm funnier than you are?
No matter the reason, don't you think that your actions of this evening were, to put it mildly, a little bit of overkill?
Was it really necessary to have me answer my phone this evening, to hear the dulcet tones of my friend, aka "stupid", asking me for the address of my home? (I had asked her over about 9pm, so this wasn't exactly classified information, however she was ringing at 7.) Was it further necessary for her to ask me to open my front door, and upon doing so for me to find her and her children standing on my front walk, preparatory to viewing the upstairs (and next door) apartment that is currently for rent?
I'm not sure what I did to deserve my landlord agreeing to rent to them. I'm very disappointed that her annoying French Canadian boyfriend didn't spontaneously combust, no matter how fiercely I focused my Death Ray Glare on his unsuspecting and unimaginative white t-shirt.
I understand that it must have been something horrible that I did, and that likely if I don't know that you're not going to tell me anyhow. I know how sensitive you get this time of the month.
I really don't think it was necessary for them to move in tomorrow morning, though.
Thursday, May 05, 2005
Skritch My Belly!
Wednesday, May 04, 2005
In The End ...
Today's best quote: "In the end, you know you'll have to get out the toxic spray, rubber gloves and knee pads." posted by my friend Smee over at Words In A Row. I'm pretty sure that quote describes how this job's going to end. Go read her. She likes ranting.
Today's worst quote? "Oh, then I can send you all of my Bernat Handicrafter Cotton for your dishcloths!" said in an email from a coworker who just found out I'm leaving my job and will be spending a lot more time knitting.
Who would like to bet that I accepted?
Tuesday, May 03, 2005
It's not broken but it feels like a sprain, and I'm milking it for all I can get.
Tired, covered in ants (I found one CRAWLING ON ME but killed it before I could take a picture). Heading to bed.
With the dishcloths done, I shall now focus on Sophie. Pix tomorrow.
(See, Rebecca? I'm nice, saving the one post I actually had in me today for you. I'm a saint. Worship me.)
Monday, May 02, 2005
No, I'm not getting divorced, at least not this week. Those who have a) read this blog or b) listened to my ranting may find this startling, however He Who Is Now Allowed To Live Indoors cleaned the kitchen today. Pretty much all of it (apart from the floor). Even the part with The Mysterious and Stomach-Turning Smeel. (not a typo).
No, I am reporting that The Great Dishcloth Debacle is now over. I've only got half of them done, but she's picking them up tomorrow. So tomorrow I shall be $30 richer and dishcloth-less, and no, she isn't pissed that I only did ten.
I would have made the deadline if I hadn't given away 8 of them and kept one for myself. If I had only had one left to go, I would have stayed up and done it but rilly, ten in one night? Not happening, even if I didn't have to work tomorrow.
(oh yes i quit my job today)
Nothing much else to report apart from the fact that some guy sort of tried to pick me up in the hardware store today because I "seemed like I knew what I was doing" ... I guess being able to ask for three inches of 5/16 threaded rod is sexy or something. Well, maybe to a guy with only three inches of ...
Oh. Well that explains it. I'm not usually hit on by relatively attractive (but short) men in expensive suits. I'm really not an expensive suit kinda gal and usually attract the attention of the guys in jeans and flannel shirts, if anyone notices my extreme hotness at all, that is.
Although I hasten to add that I do in fact OWN a Jones of New York suit for which I paid $800.
(which I may wear on my last day of work which is may 20).
Seeing I've been on the all-stress, no-sleep diet of late and have lost 14 lbs since September, I think I can get my ass into it again.
I haven't said ass for far too long.
(although I'll likely say it a lot after i leave my job and have time to start up an on-line store which will likely be launched some time in september watch this spot for details)
That's all for today, folks. Sorry it was such a boring post. I'll hopefully have some actual knitting content soon, seeing I can kiss these blasted dishcloths goodbye.
(there will be dishcloths for sale on the on-line store, naturally, as I still have like 200 balls of cotton).
Sunday, May 01, 2005
I Believe I Can Fly
However, I've come to the conclusion that I'm going to have to actually quit my job. Either that or cough up something between $2k and $5k to maintain my benefits during the year's leave of absence for which I was going to ask. Benefits I hardly use now, and won't need at all because of better benefits at the other job.
It's either that or keep doing the same job for another five years while feeling myself slowly die inside and while also whining constantly and watching the people who read this blog slowly fade away until I'm sitting here whining to myself.
And that just didn't seem like a really good idea. Because I am an attention whore.
So even though I don't actually believe I can fly, I guess I'm gonna try.
I'll give them two weeks' notice on Friday.
And I'm even going to pretend I'm not scared. If you love me you'll pretend to believe it.