Tuesday, January 31, 2006
I'd Like To Make One Thing Perfectly Clear
Sorry for the confusion about the housing situation in yesterday's post. "The District" referred to the owners of the house that we want to live in. It's owned by the municipality. They have, as do most cities and districts that I know of, quite a lot of land that at some point in the future they will possibly wish to develop. On this land are a number of older houses that they rent out, seeing there's no point in not getting some sort of revenue out of the land while they're waiting.
Although there is the risk of the house being sold out from under us, my friend has lived in the house next door for 12 years now. The District moves slowly and can't be bothered with hassles. (Also if they sell or tear down the place, they would have to give us either two or three months of notice and one month of free rent. It's not a big risk on our part.)
I spoke to the property manager yesterday, and they're doing a damage inspection (lots expected) and figuring out what they have to do to make the place rentable again, and then he'll check the list of people waiting for District housing (the list is back to 2003; I've been on it since 2004 at least) and see if any of the people ahead of us are still looking (there won't be a lot) and then he'll let me know within a week whether or not we can have it, and when.
Of course you know that with all of the finger, toe and eye crossing going on out there, as well as the noodle-boiling and strange-dance-doing, that the answer has to be "yes" and "March 15" or even "April 1".
And now, in other breaking news, here is a picture of The Boring Garter Stitch Scarf Made Just for Me:
it's not a scarf, it's a cat mat
You'll notice that Miss Tracey is right on the ball with the Quality Assurance Inspection. The colour of the scarf is much closer in the second picture here, where you can also see the Not As Small and Considerably Less Angry Sock.
it's not a sock, it's a chew toy
Unfortunately, it's only half-way down the foot and I have to return the book to the liberry tonight, as someone else has reserved it. Fortunately, I'll be able to place my order at elann either tomorrow or Thursday and get both the book and my replacement Addis. (And I'm sorry Jean, however despite your well-intentioned entreaties, I like working with metal needles. And, well, if I do decide to buy wooden needles at some point, let's just say I'd need to investigate alternate vendors.)
No knitting got done at work last night, alas, as a couple of my COWorkers decided not to do their jobs this week, so I got to do a week's worth of their jobs on my shift. Tonight I fully intend to show The Sock who's boss.
If you don't hear from me tomorrow, The Sock won.
Monday, January 30, 2006
Bang a Gong
And light a candle, cook a noodle for FSM and get down on your knees should your deity require it.
The house that we want to move into, and which we can afford, and which is in a neighbourhood we would be happy to live in, seems to be coming vacant.
I'm going to call the District tomorrow and see if we can have it.
We need a break. And rather a lot more room.
All fingers and toes are crossed, Chéz Lapin, which would explain the lack of spinning tonight.
Oh man, this would be the best thing ever. We've been waiting two years. Please dog that we don't have to wait another two.
Sunday, January 29, 2006
An Act of Public Benificence
In deference to the request of The Lady Rams (to whom we must suck up, as she apparently has access to stashweasels) I spent a goodly part of this evening spinning up some of that merino roving I bought in the colo(u)r named Mojave.
It would seem that this:
spin up right tidily into this:
And, when all is said and done (I think I spun maybe two ounces, perhaps three. Certainly not a lot) we end up with this:
This is one of the first times I've spun with anything "nice" and it was a delight. I would also like to point out that my wheel is a bitch, and my spinning sucks. Ben sat and watched me in amazement and amusement as I cussed my way through this task. At one point he politely enquired whether spinning was not, indeed, meant to be a relaxing and peaceful act of creation. I called him an assbadger and went back to the spinning. He was pathetically grateful that I hadn't thrown anything at him.
I love this stuff, but I seem to spin fairly thickly, and not at all evenly. I don't think I'll ply it. I also think that the only way anyone will get it from me is to pry it from my cold, dead fingers, but I could feel less strongly once I've recovered.
Today was also productive in the jewelry department, as I made a couple of pairs of earrings for a friend who watches my daughter a lot.
First is a simple (and sorta boring) pair of gold-coloured dolphins on gold hooks:
yes, i know this is a bad picture but she loved them and took them home with her so i can't take another. imagine dolphins. on hooks.
She also got herself some clear crystals, purple beads, and silver crescent moons with ittybitty stars on the bottom points. Again on the gold hooks, as we had a mishap with the silver shepherd hooks (don't ask).
another bad picture. it seems there is no end to the things at which i suck.
I think I feel all creative and stuff now. I'm going to go lie down until I get over it.
Saturday, January 28, 2006
It Is To Weep
I have lost two of my Addi DPNs. Two. That leaves me with three, which is hardly enough for a sock.
I have another set in my bag but a) they are 2.75mm (the lost ones are 2.5mm) and b) they're aluminum. And oh yes, c) they suck.
I looked on the Big Comfy Formerly-White Chair in my living room, on the floor, on the walk beside the house, in the carport, in the car, in the parking lot at work, on the stairs, in the hallway and in my actual work space. Nowhere. This means, of course, that not only am I unable to work on The Small But Not Quite So Angry Sock, but that there may well be two 8" metal sticks now in the hands of some lunatic.
If you hear of someone being stabbed to death in Vancouver with strange metal sticks, well, those are my DPNs. Or they WERE my DPNs. I'm coming to terms with the fact that I'll never see them again except, perhaps, to have to identify them down at the police station during the homicide investigation.
I have had four hours of sleep and there are three children in my house right now. They all think they can play piano, except for the one who thinks she's a dog.
I'm heading out for dinner with a friend later and then I shall come home to drink Quite A Lot and then spin. And weep over my lost DPNs. The child is out tonight, so she will not be frightened by my antics. Expect photos of drunken spinning.
Well, the dog's ok on the piano, actually.
I can order another set of the DPNs from elann.com next week, they're not all that expensive, and I likely have at least one more needle that will work in the meantime, I just love my Addis and felt like whining.
I am beginning to consider setting the piano alight. Perhaps now would be a good time to send the children (and the dog) to the back bedroom to do something that doesn't make a noise like that.
I am also having a discussion with Herself as to whether or not one can knit for two teams at once for the Olympics. I really think that as well as knitting for Team Canada, I would like to knit for Wales. Spin the wool myself and then make an Irish Hiking Scarf. As well as the lace. In sixteen days.
Oh fuck, now the dog thinks she can sing opera.
Clearly I don't actually require the amount of liquor I intend to consume later. A little more sleep would be a good idea, though.
Friday, January 27, 2006
Miss Otis Regrets ...
... she's unable to blog today.
Life is kicking my ass. House is 70% clean (with much help from He Who Will Not Be Cussed At Today) but I had to do a lot of running back and forth to the storage locker.
4>hours of (broken) sleep yesterday. None at all so far today. Worked all night last night and will do so again tonight.
In the interests of not actually killing people at work tonight (or falling asleep at the switchboard and getting my nose stuck in between the keys and having to make a REALLY embarrassing call to Engineering at 3am) I think I'm going to go lie on my head for a while.
Exciting updates tomorrow with regard to The Not Quite So Angry Half A Sock and ooh, the boring garter stitch scarf being finished and maybe I'll even spin up some of that Mojave, seeing I have been requested to do so by ms. rams. (You know, that rams. The one who orders Steph around, and who seemingly has access to stashweasels.)
Wouldn't do to annoy someone with stashweasels now, would it?
And now, to sleep, perchance to ...
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
... I am a teenaged boy, somewhere in Ohio.
I knew the Conservatives were going to make major changes, but dude, I really didn't think I was going to be their first project.
My husband is going to be very, very startled next time he gets me likkered up and takes me out dancing. I have a feeling I may not be waking up half-dressed in his bed again.
Me? I'm gigglesnorting madly.
Oh, I love Statcounter.
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
It's The End Of The World As We Know It
And I don't feel so fine.
Canada just let the seeping evil that is the Conservatives into power over our country. Shame on all of us, and welcome to the 51st state. But only if you're a white, heterosexual Christian. It'll help if you're male, too.
In response, I believe that I personally shall have to become less conservative. Definitely a tattoo, maybe two. Perhaps another piercing? Time will tell. This is going to be a busy year what with the (hopefully) summer's boobectomy and the working and the spinning of 900 lbs of fibre and the moving to a new house (when I find one I can afford). Who knows who and where the hell I'll be by the end of the year. Lesbian commune, anyone? (No, I won't be a lesbian commune, sillypeople!)
To lighten the mood somewhat, here are progress pictures of The Angry Sock:
I'm told everyone tries on their socks half-way
everyone. i'm not ashamed. they all pose them on their spinning wheels too, don't they?
we voted for the "kicking puppies" party. and we have no idea where the abacus that used to hang on those two hooks on the wall behind tigger might be. none.
As a final note, I'm sort of confused about a comment from yesterday. Anonymous said:
Canadian MT student here, planning to work as an IC from home. I cannot imagine giving up a TX business. I wish I knew enough to start one!
I'm figuring um ... Canadian M*sic Therapy student? (I don't want to get Googled for that for reasons fairly obvious to anyone who knows me). Planning to work as a ... and that's where I get stuck. What's an IC? And transcription is utterly hellish. Causes carpal tunnel syndrome, and I had to fire everyone I hired (including the ones who were related to me). NOBODY can hear and only about 1/3 of the world can spell. I spent more time revising the transcriptions than they did doing them in the first place. Hell of a way to make a living.
Even worse than being an Extremely Incompetent Veterinary Assistant (wherein I moved all the cats to other cages but didn't move their nametags. Imagine the chaos. Imaging me getting fired right quick.)
Monday, January 23, 2006
I gotta stop being such a softie. Susan's tagged me for a meme, and y'all just know I'm going to do it, don't you?
Four jobs you have had in your life:
1. Cocktail Waitress
3. Business Owner (transcription service)
4. Astonishingly Incompetent Veterinary Office Assistant
Four movies you would watch over and over again:
1. Singin' In The Rain
2. The Silence of the Lambs
3. The Grinch Who Stole Christmas
4. Gone With The Wind
Four places you have lived:
1. Glasgow, Scotland
2. Toronto, Ontario
3. Vancouver, BC
4. Banff, Alberta
Four T.V. shows you love to watch:
1. Six Feet Under
3. Keeping Up Appearances
4. Um, you know, I don't actually watch TV. Ever. I'm just faking this one.
Four places you have been on vacation:
1. Nagoya (and Gifu and Nara and Kyoto), Japan
2. Manchester, England
3. Glasgow, Scotland
4. Leavenworth, Washington
Four web-sites I visit daily:
4. My bank
Four of my favorite foods:
4. Tuna Sashimi
Four places I’d rather be right now:
1. Nowhere. I'm happy here.
2. Maybe an alpaca farm.
3. In the bathtub.
4. In the bathtub with an alpaca.
Four victims for this meme:
Gonna skip this bit. I don't know who has or hasn't done it. If you haven't, and you like answering memes, consider yourself tagged.
Sunday, January 22, 2006
High Fibre Diet
It would seem I've been "double dared" to show off The Birthday Loot. (Yeah, like I needed any encouragement?)
First up, we have two balls of Kroy sock yarn, in purples and blacks. These will be socks for my husband. Yes, I buy yarn on my birthday to make stuff for other people. Shut up.
Next, we have the beginning of my downfall. I walked into the showroom of Penelope Fibres and Audrey, the proprietress, casually plopped this bag into my hands. "It's Koala," she said. She hastened to clarify that it wasn't actually Koala wool (can you even spin Koalas?) but merino tops, in a colour named Koala. I thought I wasn't going to buy it, but I kept carrying it around and patting it. Eventually it had to come home with me.
Next up, we have some 70/30 merino/tencel. I couldn't decide ...
Being unusually wise, I solved the dilemma by getting them both. Then there was this baby. I dismissed it, several times, as being "too gaudy". Because, really, it is. Really. And then I realized that if I didn't take this half-pound of merino home, I would be insulting an entire desert. The colo(u)r is named "Mojave", you see. Not wanting to start an international incident, I lined it up with the others.
Last, but not least (never, EVER least) is this subtle but utterly delicious half-pound of 70/30 merino/tussah. Her name seems to be Rose. That's what it says on the outside of the bag, anyhow.
All of this is hand-dyed, I believe, and all was purchased for far less than I expected. Still in the double digits, dude. Very reasonable.
Thrifty, that's me.
Saturday, January 21, 2006
Call Me Madam(e)
Today is my birthday. I'm now officially middle-aged (44). I therefore demand the respect due to the elderly.
And, seemingly, I also demand fibre. Fiber. Both.
One of my blogstalkers, Marie, and I went out to Penelope Fibres this afternoon and had a lovely time fondling, ogling and smelling all of the beautiful fibre. Yes, of course I bought stuff. Lots. Words such as Merino, Tussah and Tencel were bandied about with impunity.
Pictures soon. For tonight, I'm enjoying the feast of spanikopita and tzatziki that my husband made for me. And, of course, drinking just a little.
See you tomorrow after I crawl out from under the hangover.
Friday, January 20, 2006
Sleep Is For The Weak
And, apparently, I am strong like tractor. This will stand me in good stead this evening, as I stagger into work after maybe three hours of (very) broken sleep.
All whining aside, this has been a good day. Courtesy of the talented miss Jen, Team Canada's Drunken Lacemaking Contingent now has its own button:
I shall wear it proudly. And slightly off-centre. Center. That.
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
In the spirit of true knitters and bloggers of vast insanity, I have signed up for The Olympics, sponsored by Her Evilness. I will be knitting for Team Canada, wearing nothing but boxer shorts, a "Canada Eh" t-shirt I got from Hockey Mom and a beer hat (with straws). The hat is, of course, the most important part of the official uniform, as it will enable me to continue drinking without putting down the knitting.
The great need for alcohol during this project will be made clear as events unfold. I have never made lace before, and we have only sixteen days in which to complete this project (during which time I am working full time and attending two charity events) I have, of course, decided to make lace. Kiri, to be precise.
The complete destruction of this lovely pattern will be accomplished with the baby cashmere (alpaca/merino/cashmere) sent to me for my birthday. I am hoping at the end of all of this to be able to frog the remnants of the shawl sufficiently to reclaim this yarn.
And make dishcloths.
We who are about to fuck up lace, salute you. (I wonder what the Latin for that is?)
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Some Day You Will Find Me, Caught Beneath The Landslide
First time I ever heard that song, I thought Oasis was singing "carpeting the landslide" and I was really concerned about such OCD behaviour. I mean, dude. Even my mother isn't that insane.
Anyhow, it seems that they were saying "caught beneath the landslide". Boys gotta learn to enunciate! (Insert a long blustering diatribe from Foghorn Leghorn here.)
I am, indeed, caught beneath a landslide of gifts this week. I'm almost blushing at the obscene wealth that has been pouring through my door.
First were some chocolates from MarQ1.
OK, they were Christmas chocolates but they arrived during my birthday week and like hell I'm going to share them. Well, maybe with the hubby. Certainly not with a small person who likes everything to be chemical-strawberry-flavoured.
That very same day (yesterday), a package arrived from Ann containing some wool (colour #1417, peacock) and an utterly delicious shawl pin.
There are big plans afoot for this yarn, as some of the self-same stuff has been sent to me by the beauteous Jen.
Cashmere. Lots of it. *cackle* This is a fun game.
Today, Tuesday, I received a package of beautifully hand-painted sock yarn from Patti (won for having a truly terrible gift one Christmas) and a box from Rebecca containing a handmade cardigan in a gorgeous purply shade, a skein of Merino Superwash roving (purchased at the New England Sheep and Fibre Orgy last year, I believe), and two skeins of Lorna's Laces (Black Watch).
This is all a great relief, as you know I was almost out of yarn and spinning fibre, don't you? (No, you may NOT look in the storage closet, in the hall closet, in any of the bags or boxes in my daughter's room, in any of the boxes behind my work area or in any of the storage bins out front of the house. No. Almost out, I tell you! You can't look in either of my tote bags, either. Or that suitcase. And please ignore the three bowls of fibre on top of the piano and the stuff hanging from the heat register in the bathroom.)
I'm beginning to suspect I might not be at all well.
I spent this evening at my weaving and spinning guild meeting, where I got to meet the lovely Marlene, which was a treat! I would have liked to have spent more time chatting and less time discussing Guild business but um, seeing it was a business meeting ...
Yeah. Not much to be done there.
I hope to repeat the experience soon, perhaps with less of the business and more of the wool stuff. (She brought her shawl along for me to see -- it's incredibly beautiful!)
And now, to cap off an excellent day (with a few glitches) I'm going to ... um, well, I'm going to change the litterbox. I was trying to come up with something a little more glamorous-sounding but yeah, the litterbox and then some knitting (seeing Marlene helped me figure out what was wrong with my sock).
Pictures tomorrow. I'm too damned lazy today. Deal, babies.
Monday, January 16, 2006
1. Lynyrd Skynyrd - Sweet Home Alabama (4:44)
2. Patsy Cline - I Fall To Pieces (2:47)
3. Patti Smith - Because the Night (3:22)
4. Pete Seeger - Bells of Rhymney (5:20)
5. Porno for Pyros - Pets (3:37)
6. The Plimsouls - A Million Miles Away (3:31)
7. PJ Harvey - Down By The Water (3:16)
8. The Presidents of USA - Lump (2:12)
9. Prince & the Revolution - Mountains (3:57)
10. Proclaimers - I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles) (3:35)
11. Queen - Bicycle Race (3:02)
12. Ray Charles - Georgia On My Mind (3:40)
13. The Romantics - What I Like About You (2:58)
14. Roy Orbison - In Dreams (2:51)
15. Smokey Robinson & The Miracles - The Tears Of A Clown (3:00)
16. Terrance And Phillip - Uncle Fucka (1:06)
17. Stone Temple Pilots - Interstate Love Song (3:14)
18. Sugarcubes - Coldsweat (3:16)
19. Suzanne Vega - Blood Makes Noise (2:29)
20. The Cure - Close To Me (3:40)
21. Timbuk 3 - The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades (3:25)
22. Tommy Tutone - 867-5309/Jenny (3:47)
23. The Velvet Underground - Sweet Jane (4:09)
24. Vapors - Turning Japanese (3:42)
25. Verdi - Aida - Celeste Aida (3:32)
26. Warren Zevon - Accidentally Like a Martyr (3:41)
27. Warren Zevon - Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner (3:47)
28. Wilson Pickett - Land Of 1000 Dances (2:28)
29. X - Breathless (2:18)
30. Yo La Tengo - Yellow Sarong (1:44)
31. 10cc - I'm Not In Love (6:01)
32. Aerosmith - Dream On (4:25)
33. Alice Cooper - Cold Ethyl (2:54)
34. Willie Nelson - Always On My Mind (3:29)
35. Beth Orton - She Cries Your Name (4:47)
36. Barenaked Ladies - Alcohol (3:43)
37. Barenaked Ladies - Call And Answer (5:48)
38. Blue Öyster Cult - (Don't Fear) The Reaper (5:09)
39. Creedence Clearwater Revival - Proud Mary (3:09)
40. Chris Isaak - Wicked Game (4:49)
41. David Bowie - Diamond Dogs (6:03)
42. Garbage - Only Happy When it Rains (3:53)
43. nirvana - rape me (2:49)
44. Nirvana - The Man Who Sold The World (4:21)
45. nirvana - all apologies (3:50)
46. R.E.M. - Talk About The Passion (3:23)
47. R.E.M. - Driver 8 (3:24)
48. Cowboy Junkies - Murder, Tonight, In The Trailer Park (6:27)
49. Nickelback - How You Remind Me (3:28)
50. Queen - Fat Bottomed Girls (4:16)
51. Roy Orbison - Crying (Duet With K.D. Lang) (3:48)
52. Mama Cass Elliot - Dream A Little Dream Of Me (3:14)
53. Marcy Playground - Sex and Candy (2:53)
#1-30 was chosen by hubby, the rest is mine.
Missing from the list is Pavarotti singing Nessum Dorma from Puccini's Turandot, and AC/DC's Whole Lotta Rosie.
Dudes, sometimes it's fun to be us.
Sunday, January 15, 2006
Here's what I spent my late morning and early afternoon doing:
Think I'm gonna hand-card this puppy so that the colours don't get all blended. The brown is much richer (and lighter) than in this picture, and there's some sort-of-almost-mustard in there as well.
Ah do believe I may be in lurve.
Friday, January 13, 2006
Or How Not to Dye Wool.
So I put some water in the crock pot on Wednesday. After it got good and hot, I added soap and vinegar and a whack of wool (Dorset). I waited an hour or so (maybe) and then emptied one and a half containers of blue food colouring into the pot, made sure that most of the wool had some sort of colour on it, then dumped most (or perhaps all) of one of the small bulbs of red food colouring on top, didn't stir it, slapped on the lid and crashed for oh, seven hours.
I forgot that when it's on "high" for long enough, it'll boil. Oops.
After an unusually long sleep I awoke to the smell of overcooked wool pervading the entire house. I poked gingerly at the wool and it didnt look like it had felted, even though it was actually bubbling. So I turned the heat off and went to work and let it slowly cool all night.
When I got home, I checked, and almost all of the dye had exhausted. I rinsed it a bit and put it to hang in the deep-fryer basket (what, doesn't everyone? It's not like we deep-fry food.) The other purple/blue is hanging in the "space alien" basket in the bathroom. I think it's dry, so I'll transfer this up there before I go to work tonight and it should be dry by Sunday.
I love this totally haphazard woolery. I have to say that this is just about the nicest batch I've dyed, and it was done with the least care. I'm sick right now (stupid cold) but tomorrow is my weekend. This occurs, for the first time in years, at the same time as everyone else's weekend. Bizarre. Anyhow, I'm home with The Girl all weekend and I think I'm going to see if I can repeat this experiment, with her enthusiastic assistance.
Um, shouldn't it have felted? Or does that only happen when there's also agitation? Someone with some kind of experience want to fill me in on this?
I have all sorts of exciting projects coming up, time willing, and will of course post about them all in annoyingly tedious detail.
For now, I'm going to take my snotty beak off to bed for another hour (hopefully) of rest before work.
Thursday, January 12, 2006
I Would Dye 4 U
I'm nearing the end of my first full week on straight graveyard shifts, and although I'm enjoying having the time to work uninterrupted, and also enjoying spending considerably less time in the company of others, I must say that this new schedule is sort of kicking my ass. This is not to say that there hasn't been anything fibrely going on; I've just been too thrashed to make it to the computer to do more than send a couple of emails a day.
Which is, of course, my feeble excuse for having neglected my blogging duties for the last day or two.
And now, without further ado, into today's mostly-photographic update.
By popular demand, the new shoes:
aren't they lovely? don't they look like i stole them from your grandmother?
Without any demand whatsoever, my leg, on "Christmas" day:
see? i don't always look as old as i am
The wool that MissyMoo and I dyed a couple of days ago.
it's not quite as bright as it appears in this photo, but it's cheerful; i'm hooked
This is the wool that I had thought I might send off to Lee Ann:
Until I had an Industrial Accident and came up with this, with which I am far more impressed:
Lee Ann, if you prefer one over the other, please let me know. No rush -- I'll have to finish drying and carding it and we all know how long it takes me to get to the post office (2-3 months, it would seem. At least. Maybe six.)
I'll describe the Industrial Accident whereby this wool came to be in tomorrow's post. I'm going to head to bed right after I hit "publish" on this baby.
And then of course there's the wool that I haven't dyed at all, and also did not purchase today in a fit of fibre gluttony and then hid away in the storage room. The big basket of loose wool is my Cheviot, however the two bags on top of it are four ounces of brown Merino sliver and a pound of white Merino sliver. Which I didn't buy. Because I have enough wool. Yes.
Moving on quickly, there have also been adventures in knitting. The Boring Garter Stitch Scarf is likely to be finished by the end of the weekend. It's at about 40" now. I figure that a plain garter stitch scarf can really only stand to be photographed once, so I'll save it until its completion. I do, however, have another project of which I'm quite proud. Behold:
the first 2-1/2" of my first sock
It's made in Regia sock wool sent to me for Xmoose by the lovely Rachel H. The wool, unfortunately, has some sort of strange issues and in this first small amount of knitting there have been four breaks. I mean actual separate pieces of wool. The ball seems to be a number of several-yards-long pieces (of the same dye lot, thank dog) but it's a little disconcerting. Despite the issues, it's a happy little sock and I love it.
I seem, in a fit of madness, to have agreed to guest blog for Rebecca while she's off on vacation for a week. Clearly, if I don't have time to post on one blog, it will be no trouble at all to not post on two.
I have, therefore, come up with a brilliant idea. I'm going to send the little sock over to Bec's blog to write the first post for me. I think he's got something brewing -- go have a look tomorrow and see what he's got up his sleeve!
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Counting My Blessings
It occurs to me that I whine. A lot. Therefore today's post is going to be all bright and perky.
I am Counting my Blessings.
1. I do not have to clean Porta-Potties for a living (litter box doesn't count)
2. Nobody has ever addressed me as "sir" to my face
3. My husband has never asked me to dress up as Sailor Moon (well except for that once and I'm pretty sure he was joking)
OK, that's it.
No, wait, there's two more:
4. I will probably never run out of wool
5. I have sufficient clean bedsheets that I was able to change the bed today, so that all of the sick children (two) who are now coming over to my house to sleep in the bed in which I was planning on sleeping, having worked all night, will have a clean bed in which to be sick.
K, that's really it.
Perhaps one might think that having sick children come over to be sick in your clean bed while their mother goes to work sort of negates some of the other blessings, but a) I have the clean sheets (and I don't think they're vomity-sick -- oh FSM, I should have checked), b) she watches my kid on Monday nights when I go to work, so I owe her c) these not being my children, she will come by and take them home on the way back from work and d) the Porta-Potty thing is a pretty big one.
Pictures of the dyed wool later, after I hook up the cord thingie to my computer again. I promise there will be no pictures of sick children.
Monday, January 09, 2006
Update The First
It's 6:15 and I now have a huge pot of lime green wool, a small pot of orange (Missy's first choice!) and a crockpot full of a deep purple (I hope) all stewing away merrily.
Steph, I've got a better idea. Let's hire someone to kill both our husbands* and then you can come over and help me dye the 90+ lbs I still have to do.
And then we can spin.
*this is said completely in jest and is in no way encouraging or soliciting an illegal act. unless you really want to.
At Four In The Morning, I'd Like to Remind You
That normal people are asleep.
We are, alas, anything but "normal" these days Chéz Lapin as, due to some fairly extensive spousal idiocy and negligence, Missy Moo's sleep patterns are completely screwed up.
Therefore, here we are, at half-past early (it's actually 5:10 now but I started this post close to an hour ago, methinks), wondering what to do.
Well, I think most people would lie down in the cupboard with a damp cloth on their foreheads and whimper quietly until it was time to take the child to school, however most people don't have closets full of wool. (And I'm pretty sure I couldn't find a damp cloth anywhere either -- we're a little chaotic and I may have used almost every cloth in the house cleaning the bathroom on Saturday night.) Taking into account the closets full of wool and the total lack of damp cloths, I think it's quite obvious what the only possible course of action would be.
So the large pasta pot (I think it's got to be 20 litres or more) has a large whack of stinking Dorset floating about in a soapy vinegary bath. I then thought "we have a crock pot, and it is not crocking in the least at the moment." I've heard lots of people talk about dyeing stuff in their crock pots, although I think it's usually rovings, isn't it? Anyhow, there's another, smaller whack of Dorset floating about in there, also in soap and vinegar. (Thank dog vinegar and soap are cheap).
La Principessa wants to choose the colours, however she always chooses yellow, as that is my favourite colour, or pink, for fairly obvious reasons (she's five). I looked at my KoolAid stash but I've never yet used that for dye (I can't stand the smell on wool!) and there's only one package of Strawberry Badger or some such vileness, so I think it's gonna be easter egg dye for the big pot and food colouring for the crock pot.
Despite the advice of my designer, I'm going to try for purple or berry or something in the crock pot. As for the big pasta pot ... I'm hoping I can talk her into thinking either lime green or orange is a good idea. Maybe we'll have a horrible industrial accident or something.
Time to tackle the big pasta pot now, it's been an hour since it went on. Look for photos later today (or tomorrow, depending on if and when I manage to get ANY sort of sleep).
Maybe I'll dye something really wacked out and see if Jacey will trade. Go look at her yarns, they rock, and if you're looking for something that isn't just "same old, same old", then she's your gal! She's got a way cool new thing going on in her yarn store, whereby she's offering some of her funky stuff up for barter.
Go look! Then go spin something neat.
Then come over and kill my husband and take my kid to the park so I can get some sleep, mmkay?
Sunday, January 08, 2006
Telus Sucks Monkey Nads
So, like most people in BC, I get my phone service from Telus.
I transferred my long distance service to another company a couple of years ago and endured a fairly unpleasant harangue from a Telus employee for quite some time when he called to see if I "really wanted to give my business to a big American company." I have an unlisted number. He shouldn't have been allowed to call me at all. I pay a fee every month so that people won't call me about shit like that and I had made my preference clear.
And so I paid the big American Company and was very happy. And then Telus seems to have decided to take my business back, despite my explicit refusal to buy long distance services from them.
I looked at my bill in December and phoned them saying hey, what is this 4.95 charge?
The chick I talked to, Jennifer, said that it was a long distance administrative charge. I told her I didn't have long distance service with Telus and had to have it removed. I asked her how long the charge had been on there and she said since April. I said well remove it from April until now. She said she couldn't and it was my responsibility to check my bill every month. I asked why it would be my responsibility to check that her company had not illegally placed charges on my bill. She repeated, rudely, that it was my responsibility to let them know that I had long distance service with another company. I told her that I had done so when I switched, a couple of years ago, and it wasn't my job to check if they were adding illegeal charges to my account. And then she went sort of rank and put me on hold. When she came back I asked to speak to her supervisor and she refused to transfer me, saying "I can help you." I told her that unless she could undo all of the illegal charges since April then she wasn't able to help me at all. Then she got mad again.
So I told her that I thought she was rude and would like to make a complaint.
She gave me a number, and some guy named Patrick told me that he didn't know who she was and couldn't take a complaint call because it was a billing issue.
And so I sort of gave up.
And the charge is on my bill again this month. For a service I don't have, or at least I didn't request. I guess if the charge is there I can use the service, can't I?
I'm going to call everyone I know, long distance, for the next month, and then get a cellphone from another company and never EVER use the snatches at Telus again. And not pay the bill.
I'm not interested in paying a company that puts illegal charges on people's bills and then won't even let them fix it, or complain.
Telus, you suck donkeyballs, and I hope the donkeys didn't have a shower ahead of time.
The Best Laid Mice
The best-laid schemes o' mice an 'men gang aft agley.
-Robert Burns, Ode to a Mouse On Turning Her Up In Her Nest With The Plough
I've always loved that poem.
"gang aft agley" means, "often get fucked up".
This month, January, is when all of Scotland celebrates Mr. Burns' birthday. It is also the month of MY birthday, and having parents who do the "Folk Singing and Performing for people" thingie, it is also the month in which my birthday celebrations gang oft agley. And have done so for 43 years.
I have decided therefore to stop expecting the celebrations of the birthday from the parental units. (Remember last year? The dinner that got cancelled half an hour before they were to pick us up because of possible snow? Yeah, that isn't happening again.) I am going to divorce my parents this year, and stop allowing them to have any power over my birthday celebrations.
I have also decided to cancel the "Birthday Fibre Glut" thingie I was going to do. I would rather use the money to pay back some people I have owed for a while.
Peace of mind is more important than a Piece of Wool.
I am therefore giving myself, for my 44th birthday, The Boring Garter Stitch Cotton Scarf (which is now at 35") as a present, and I'm going to get like maybe a pound of merino. That's it. None of which I shall spin for He Who Deserves Nothing Much at All.
And it's enough.
And I might start spinning Juno's batt.
Friday, January 06, 2006
When Life Hands You Lemons, Make ...
... a fuss.
I mean, lemons? WTF?
I'm cranky beyond belief today. I'm not going to make this into "Rabbitch's blog in which she constantly complains about her spouse and occasionally knits a dishcloth" but let me tell you, today is not the day upon which I am beaming on him with pleasure.
They say the path of true love never runs smoothly and I'm sorry for those folks, but I'm here to tell you that the path of relative indifference is a little lumpy also, and I'd sort of like to get off.
No, not that sort of "get off", you perverts (although come to think of it that might help).
My 900 closest friends with whom I shared this information (well, ok, three) are well aware of the nature of the latest transgressions and of why I'm not posting about it. Suffice it to say that I've decided I need quite a lot of wool to make up for this.
4 lbs of white merino, to spin. An equal amount of brown. And then a niddy-noddy and the pattern for Eris and the wool for same.
Oh yes, and then a divorce.
Let's hope for something at least marginally knitterly tomorrow, shall we?
Thursday, January 05, 2006
Today I ...
Let myself lie in the bath for half an hour with a trashy novel instead of cleaning up someone else's mess in the kitchen. (It's still there. I don't care.)
Then I told my lazy-assed husband that if he didn't even apply for funding for school in the fall, that I wouldn't pay a penny of it. (If he applies and gets turned down, that's a different matter, but if he doesn't even try, he doesn't want it enough.)
Now I'm going to buy myself dinner at my favourite Greek restaurant instead of having crackers and cheese for dinner. Then I'm gonna work.
The Boring Scarf is at 32" now. 2.25" got accomplished at work last night after I finished fixing The Great Database Fuckup of ought six.
The year's off to a good start.
Until I start on Eris.
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
Takin' It Back
When I was a smallperson, my parents were folk singers.
They still are, actually, and have performed in public close to 300 times. The last time that the Vancouver Folk Festival was held indoors, they were the opening act at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.
They were good. They're still pretty good but you know, they're over 70 and even my idol, Johnny Cash, got a little wobbly towards the end. (And it's likely small of me to even mention it but in my stunted and bitter soul it felt good to type that so I'll let it stand.)
I was a very shy child. I am still very shy, despite the repeated outbursts of "motherfucker" and such. Anyone who knows me well knows that doing anything in public fills me with dread. I have no idea how I used to be able to act, and to do standup comedy. Clearly the drugs were more effective back then or something, or I spent a little more time than usual floating down De Nial.
Anyhow, back to the smallperson. She was shy, but she had a lovely clear singing voice. And this was discovered by the performing parents.
And the parents, who thrived on performing in public decided that the smallperson should do so also, as this gift clearly came from them and was theirs to use as they pleased.
And so she did. Despite feeling sick, and hating it, and sweating and wondering if she would vomit and feeling completely violated, the smallperson sang the songs chosen by her parents on the occasions dictated by them.
And then the smallperson got stubborn, and refused to do it any more. And she went silent for about ten years, even though singing was one of the biggest joys in her life. She didn't even sing for herself or her cat most of the time, just in case someone heard her.
She sang, voluntarily, at her grandmother's wake, and at her Auntie Christine's funeral, and on a few other occasions. She then went silent again for another ten or more years.
And for ten years after that, she sang occasionally for her husband, who adores her voice, and for her daughter, who half the time loves her and half the time asks her to shut up. *g* She sang in the car and for the cats and she loved how it made her whole body feel alive to do so.
And then she thought about Mr. Lincoln. You know, that guy who thought it was wrong to own another human being. That guy who set all of those folks free.
And she thought, "You know, I think he meant me, too."
Yes. Me too.
And then she thought that her parents should fuck off, and that her voice belonged to her, and if it made her feel so joyous and whole to sing, that perhaps she should do it a little. Just now and again. Maybe only to the cats. Or in the shower or in the car and stuff.
And she decided to give herself permission to do so.
And so this will be The Year of the Singing Rabbitch.
Brace yourselves, babies, I'm not that good, but it's going to take a lot to shut me up.
One For The Gipper
Today I bought shoes. Tra-la! They're boring, they're black, they lace up, and likely someone's grandmother would be very happy with them. They also don't have holes or flappy soles, so I'm pretty happy, too, although it certainly deprives me of something to post about.
I almost went and spent the rest of the gift card money on some Lysol or some shoes for my kid, but um, this was ~my~ xmoose gift card. So I splurged and bought a paperback as well. The guilt! The joy. Man, I'm lame, aren't I?
One of my few new years decisions (we won't call them resolutions or I'll break them tomorrow just 'cause I can) is to do something for myself every single day. Always.
I likely won't post about all of them (because even I have secrets, believe it or not) but I'm going to be relying on some of you folks to keep me honest.
Now please excuse me while I go look for something to give away in penance.
Monday, January 02, 2006
At The Tone, The Time Will Be ...
Him: The Bunkie isn't home.
Her: No, she isn't. She's at C's because I worked last night and didn't get to sleep until 9am. (thinking: We share a bed. I would have noticed. I always take care of childcare, and I also always need to sleep after a graveyard shift, which I have done every other weekend for eight months. But thanks. Now could I go back to sleep?)
Him: There are four things on my desk. They're all overdue at the library. Can you take them back?
Her: Mrph. Which library? (thinking: I'm so sorry both your arms and your legs fell off and you forgot how to drive so you can't take them back yourself. I'll get right on that, all righty. Now could I go back to sleep?)
Him: Say thank you to your parents! I didn't make a lunch so I'm taking some of these (insert name of fast food place) gift certificates to work with me!
Her: Sure. Will do. Bye. (thinking: Isn't this the third time you've woken me? Didn't I say I only got to bed at 9am? Didn't you already thank them at xmass? Isn't it a statutory holiday so that establishment won't be open in the downtown business district? You're over 300 lbs. -- did you really think I was worried that you were going to pass away from starvation on your shift? Did you think that I haven't already planned what I'd do with your room if you left/died? I need the room for wool; it's just fine. Now could I go back to sleep?)
And if only I had been able to say any of those things out loud, I would be far less likely to be getting me an ulcer. But we'd also likely still be yelling about it now, five hours later, and on top of the constant stream of words coming out of my kid (who has been home since about three and oh FSM I could have had another hour and a half of sleep and please kill me now) I really don't think I could have taken it. (I'm very sensitive to noise. Have I mentioned that?)
Needless to say by this time I was so pissed that I couldn't go back to sleep. Got up and read some emails and blogs, only to discover that I won yarn! Yes, Patti pulled my name out of a hat (or a cat), and a buncha beautiful handpainted yarn is mine all mine! She hasn't told me which colour yet, but go ogle the yarn on her sidebar ... I'd be privileged to have any of it.
This made the day considerably better, although there is still a certain gentleman who may well be feeling The Wrath of The Rabbitch as soon as I have one more cup of coffee.
Think today would be a good day to cast on a pair of socks? I don't believe I'm in the mood to finish his hat, after all.
Sunday, January 01, 2006
In Which I Discover That I Am Stupid
I pride myself on my accuracy at work, and we all know what pride cometh before, don't we?
Yes. Yes, we do. Pride cometh before having to check 1800 client records because we got dainty and used the term "expiry" rather than "death" and put data in the wrong place and now have to check all of those records even though only about 40 are likely wrong.
Next time I go on about having so much knitting time at work, just slap me upside the head, all right, dog? Oh, you did. Thanks.
Needless to say minimal knittage got done last night. The Boring Garter Stitch Scarf (tm) was 22-3/4" when I got to work and 26" when I left. And yes, I did knitting, I didn't just stretch it out a bit and remeasure to make myself feel better (although really, that sort of thing isn't beyond me).
I'll finish repairing my stupid stupid data entry stuff tonight and add a couple more inches to the scarf and we shall never speak of this again, mmkay?
Of course the night wasn't entirely knit-free. One of my few resolutions for the coming year is to actually knit something that's a little more adventurous than a scarf, hat, or baby sweater. To that end I spent some time exchanging emails with Ann, trying to figure out some stuff beyond just garter stitch (yes, and moss stitch and cabling and all of that good stuff that I can actually do). She was trying to explain to me about increasing stitches, and the difference between kfb (knit front and back) and m1 (make one).
If you're an experienced knitter, please look away, this will be very boring for you. If, however, you're a fairly new knitter, like myself, and you don't know what the hell you're doing, here's what I finally figured out after swatching it in my head in the car. No, I couldn't wait to get home. I'm all about the theory (and the math, but don't tell anyone) and I had to just chew on it until it all made sense.
I first had to figure out why the way I make a new stitch was called "knit front and back", because you don't knit INTO the back of the stitch. (Please note that after I do the only cast-on that I know, the knitted cast-on, that I do the second row by knitting into the back of the stitch all the way across because that gives it a nice firm edge. This doesn't work for everything and I shall learn at least one new casting-on technique this month.)
Then I got it. You knit the first stitch, and then instead of slipping the stitch off the left needle, you leave it there. The ACTIVE stitch is on the right needle and you put the left needle into the BACK of it and then knit.
That was a relief.
Then I thought about the m1 thingie and swatched it in my head. m1 is done by picking up the bar between the two stitches rather than knitting twice into the stitch on the left needle, therefore effectively making a stitch out of the top of a loop on the row below.
If you have, say, 18 stitches and you need 19 and are going to increase in the middle, if you k9, m1, you have nine on the left needle still. If you k9 then kfb, you have EIGHT on the left needle and 11 on the right. You've therefore used up one of the stitches on the other side already, so if the instructions say k3, and then you do a cable or something else, you actually have to k2 because one is used up by the kfb.
And I can see how that would drive a new knitter, or someone allergic to The Math, right batty.
Don't know if that's helped anyone else, but it makes it all clear to me, and that's what counts (IMNSHO) because I'm going to take Rachel H. up on her sweater challenge. I'm going to make a cardigan (possibly Eris) for myself this year. And I'm going to finish it and WEAR it, dammet. Marie, want to join us?
(That being said, I will also take Rebecca up on her generous offer to send me a cardigan, because she knits beautifully and I'm not a fool. Bec, I hate zippers in knitwear: toggles, buttons, frogs, tie closures, anything else is lovely.)
And as a side note to Erika, who I think just commented for the first time (thank you!) I work in a Canadian hospital so we use a different system from the one you supported, but I suspect that the pixies are international. They are likely the same pixies that cause people to report that their pagers aren't working when in fact they're just not switched on, or the batteries have run down. I think some of them come and put beer in my computer mouse at home when I'm not looking, also.
I'm going to make some coffee and sandwiches and then take The Walk of Shame back to work where I shall cuss and fix my own damned mess that I'm so glad someone else didn't find before me 'cause then I don't have to explain why I'm so stupid.
Except, of course, that I would have only had to explain to one or perhaps two people, and I've just blogged about the whole damned thing.
As I said before, blogging's easier if you have no shame.
(And speaking of having no shame, do take a peek at JenLa's Second Annual Blog Awards, in which I have yet again been named Cusser of the Year. I'm inordinately proud of this.)