Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Well, whaddaya know...

You Belong in San Francisco

You crave an eclectic, urban environment. You're half California, half NYC.

You're open minded, tolerant, and secretly think you're the best.

People may dismiss you as a hippie, but you're also progressive, interesting, and rich!

Don't think I'm the best, definitely not rich, but guess I'm where I should be - well, almost. I'm in the Bay Area, so that counts, right?

Damn, these quiz things are so freakin' addictive...especially when you could be doing a million other things besides parking your ass on the couch and surfing the web...

Oooh, look, I can find out what my French name is....

Let's get the party started...

You Are Blitzen

Always in good spirits, you're the reindeer who loves to party down with Santa.

Why You're Naughty: You're always blitzed on Christmas Eve, while flying!

Why You're Nice: You mix up a mean eggnog martini.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Meet Chomper

I've adopted a blog 'pet'. Chomper will help me cut threw the chaos. Right.

Dude, Where's the blogger?

Just realized I haven't posted since a while....

Short and quick update:

  1. knitting and lots of it. beads, wire, yarn - it's been a regular knitting frenzy - Xmas gift knitting time, you know.
  2. Thanksgiving - well, I tried to cook something decent for us. Came really close.
  3. we got a new hamster. Little 'Peanut' died Saturday morning. It's been a really rough few days for Spencer.
  4. cleaning of rooms (mainly Spencer's), more thoughts about decorating rooms, lots of cool ideas
  5. other stuff too, which I can't remember, but know I did 'cause I've been busy.

That's it for now. my left hand is covered in first aid gel. clumsy me poured scalding hot water on it while making tea. good thing we've got a well stocked first aid cabinet here. it feels 100% better all ready, but i've got to keep this goopy stuff on it for another 30 min.

more pix later too.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

I don't want my pity

OK, so I guess it's safe to say I'm over the pity party crap and it's time for me to start kicking my own ass into shape. What am I gonna do? Good question. I could get a personal trainer, a personal chef, a personal physical therapist ('cause yeah, you know I would hurt myself)...but you know where this is going... I'm not Madonna, or Oprah, or rich. So I'm stuck with just me - my friends and family for support, and the occasional episode of Biggest Loser to inspire me. Watched it last night. That was the biggest contributor to pooping the pity party.

So it's off to somewhere that has shoes on sale, 'cause a girl's gotta have new trainers you know. And maybe some yoga pants. 'Cause ain't no way in hell I'm wearing those spandex bike short things I used to exercise in...oooh, that was scary - very scary. Even scarier? Still have the damn things in my dresser. Guess I should get rid of them since I'm never gonna wear them again, huh? Yeah, I've got pack rat issues. I'm working on that too. Oh, and there are no jogging suits allowed in my closet either. Hate those things.

Knitting content? Yeah, I've got some of that too....

The scarf is almost done. I should be able to finish it up on the way home. Then it's back to Phoenix and Cigar Round 2. I really should get started on the wine cozy too. I'm thinking I need to make several. I've been getting some Holiday party invites already and nothing says Holidays like wine in a handknit cozy. Booyah! - Instant Host/Hostess gift. I sure hope I don't have any issues with this pattern like I am with Cigar. That would totally suck!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Totally uncreative title

Last night was more pity party nonsense, so I needed more comforting. I managed to stay away from the Halloween candy, but ate a Big Mac meal before I continued on with my Vegan scarf. D'oh, like that's any better. Right. I think I've got the whole 'comfort food' thing out of my system now and can get serious about what the doc and I talked about on Monday. Maybe.

It's about half way done. Size 15 Lantern Moon needles, 1 skein of Kathmandu Vegan, 12 stitches, garter stitch. Knit across, turn, knit across, turn, knit across ad nauseum. So exciting. When you don't want to think though, a garter stitch scarf is just what the doctor ordered...in addition to weight loss, umpteen blood tests, and more tests which will go unnamed 'cause I really don't want to talk about it.

Sigh, I see more pity party crap in my future. I'll let you know how 'bad' I was tomorrow - or not. If I'm really bad, I just might conveniently forget what I did...

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Knitting Humor

...'cause yes, knitting is fun.

Was going down the list of my fav blogs and came across a link to this toon...

Love it, just love it.

Still plugging away on the "Something" which I think I will change the name to "Phoenix". That poor yarn has been ripped out and started up again so many times, it seems only fitting.

I'm taking a break from "Cigar".

I've found the RYSII, but don't feel like working on it right now. I get that way with big-ish projects. I tend to lose interest for a while, then pick it up again and knit on it 'til it's done. Not sure yet if that will be the case with RYSII as I still wish to frog the hell out of it. Only time will tell. It has been banished to the knitting dresser again. Out of sight, out of mind. Yeah, I am, but that's beside the point.

Instead of Chaotic knitting, I think I should call my 'knitting style' Psychotic knitting. Whatever.

Just had my yearly physical yesterday. Now start the endless (ok, maybe just 2 or 3) yearly tests I must submit to...grudgingly. Nothing like this stuff to make a young at heart, vibrant woman (me, people, me) feel like an old lady. Yeah, yeah, it's all necessary given my family health history, but that doesn't mean I have to like it. At least I got rid of the gray hair before I went. Nyah!

Got the weight loss lecture again from my Doc. I hate sitting through it every year even though she's oh so nice about it. I just so hate to hear the truth that the older (gasp) I get, the harder it will be to get rid of that extra baggage. Sigh. If I only had a personal trainer and a personal chef - I'd have no problem. Since I don't, I'm on my own so to speak and that's just not cutting it. Time to give myself the ol' peptalk about how I can make the right eating choices, and it's only 30 minutes out of my day to exercise - surely I can find the time to do the healthy thing for myself, yada yada yada. Now, if only I'd pay attention to myself. Now I know why Spencer ignores me sometimes - it's just way too easy to do...

In the meantime, to help myself feel better, I cast on a scarf for myself out of this. And yes, dammit! I ate more of Spencer's Halloween candy. Dammit!

Saturday, November 11, 2006


Still no sign of the RYSII.

I've done a few more rows on "Something Beaded This Way Comes", and have tried to get further on Cigar Round 2. Making progress on the Something, not making progress on Cigar. Those gloves are just giving me the worst trouble. But I am not giving up.

I've been watching HGTV Design Show Afternoon. Lots of cool ideas running about in my head right now. I just love those types of shows.

As Spencer is off at a WarMachine Tournament, I get a few moments to myself. A little cleaning, a little TV, and no more gray hair.

Tonight we go through some stuff (we're still purging/organizing), chillax (chill + relax) after dinner, and tomorrow we meet friends for lunch and then chillax some more.

It's cold out, cloudy, and rainy. I'll think we'll add some tea to the whole chillaxing thing.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

A Black Thumb of Doom Lives Here

If you are green and have roots, beware! It's not like I don't like you or anything...but I'm a plant killer...I can't help it. Enter our humble abode at your own risk. You have been warned.

I present the evidence...I'm sure you'll come to the same conclusion...

The horde of plants - brand new and still in nursery pots. Excited to be in a new place, waiting anxiously for their new pots. Ahhh, innocence. (We actually got this collection up to about 20 or so plants - it was a jungle in here for a while.)

See the second largest plant with the variagated leaves to the left of the rubber tree in the back there? This is what it looked like last week...

Now the pot is empty and the stump has joined the rest of the dead plants in the graveyard - I toss what's left over the balcony - instant compost - I'm all about the recycling. The ivy under my balcony looks great, so guess it's working.

See this one? Part of Spencer's obsession with Bonsai. This is supposed to have leaves and tiny pink flowers. There used to be three of them. We are hoping it has gone dormant for the winter. It still has a good root system, so there is a bit of hope. The other two were spared from the 'graveyard' and ended up as scenery for Spencer's miniatures.

This used to be a very full False Araelea. Last weekend it was this stick. Now it's feeding the ivy below the balcony. Sigh. Taps anyone?

This is the one remaining Jade Plant trunk. We started out with 16 of them in a pot - had to split them up into different pots when they grew. Then they started dying off one by one...am I living in a horror movie for plants or what?!?!?! Is that Psycho music I hear?!?

The lucky bamboos...alive and thriving...they seem to be resisting my death vibes quite well. Guess they are lucky after all.

See the 4 or so pots of ivy in the picture? Compost. And ivy's are supposed to be hard to kill. Right. Insert Halloween soundtrack here.

The only one left is this one - and it's a bit strange as far as ivy goes. But, it's still alive and doing quite well.

Here's the Rubber Tree Plant - still going strong in spite of it's leaves being covered in dust. This one totally shocks me. This is the first time ever that I have been able to keep a Rubber Tree alive. Ever. Really.

Another Bonsai-esque plant. It's a Ginko or Ginseng tree. Something like that. Still alive, but losing leaves. Maybe these bonsai trees all go dormant during winter? Right? Right?!?!?!?

Here's our Money Tree. It used to have 3 intertwining trunks. Now it has one. You already know what happened to the other 2. Heavy sigh. And, no, having it around has not brought us any more money. You have to keep it alive and healthy in order for it to do that...

Here's our Avocado "Tree". Started from an avocado pit. The leaves have actually perked up a bit, so it doesn't look quite so sad anymore...

One final picture and then I'll stop with the green carnage...3 Ponytail Palms. Started out all cute and such in a small bonsai planter. They got too big, so we split them up into 3 pots. (The shark attack music from Jaws would be appropriate right now.) They do quite well despite the fact that our Kitty likes to use the leaves as floss (the bitch!)...this photo is pre-latest-flossing-incident. They are quite stumpy right now. I prefer to remember them like they are in this photo.

I'd show you all the empty pots stacked up out on the balcony, but it's depressing. I'd show you a picture of my thumb, but it's too damn scary.

I don't get it. When I lived in Texas, my house was full of luscious greenery. I would take in half-dead plants from family, friends, and co-workers and nurse them back to health. I had 35+ healthy, thriving plants. No matter where I live here in CA, I can't keep anything green, well, green.

Good thing I'm not Mother Nature, the Earth would be covered in deserts.

And, oh yeah, there wouldn't be any cacti in those deserts, 'cause I kill those too.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Good Bye Little One

The hamster part of the family passed on to the big HabiTrail in the sky this past weekend. As much as I complained about having to care for the little bugger, I sure do miss him. He was just the cutest little fuzz ball after all. Happy Trails "Dash". We'll never forget your full cheeks and your 'bed head' fur.

Drive-by Knitting Content

Yeah, I know, I haven't been keeping this blog up to date with any knitting content. I've picked up my needles again ladies and gentlemen, so you should be seeing more knitterly content as the days go by.

So here we go...

On the needles (still):
  1. RYSII - I think I've actually lost it. Not my sanity, but the project. It is somewhere in the apartment. I hid it so that I wouldn't frog it - now I can't remember what I did with it. It will eventually show up again, so I'm not worried.
  2. Cigar - round 2. Yeah, this has been going slow. Really slow. I finished off the wrist part and was starting in on the thumb gusset when I got the brilliant idea that maybe I should have Gary try it on. Good thing I did. I frogged it and started a larger size this morning. Time to have him try it on again. If this doesn't work, I'll have to switch to bigger needles.
  3. Something Beaded this way comes - I haven't touched this wondrous 'Something' since the SnB a few weeks ago. I need to get going on it. I want to get to the other end so I can bead some more. I have discovered I love knitting with beads.
  4. A ski cap/ski mask for Spencer. This one I'm just winging. I'm sure it will be frogged and restarted several times before it's done.

Still not on the needles yet:

  1. The wine cosy for Gerson.
  2. A shitload of other stuff I want to make for Holiday gifts.

I'd better get my ass in gear.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Belated Halloween Stuff

Yeah, I know, I'm a week late with this one. Hey! I've been busy....

One cool mask + a cape...

equals Spencer's costume. The kid hauled in quite the collection of sugar. Yum!

One silly knitted hat + some black grease paint + all black ensemble...

equals Mom's costume. Sure am glad I knit that hat! MEOW!!

And now for something completely different and Oh So Fabulous! My latest find to feed the purse obsession...purchased at the Goodwill while thrifting for costume parts. Brass, copper and simply DIVINE!

The Joys of Buying a Used Book

How many times does the word Bitch appear in the Stitch N' Bitch book?

Who knows?

Who cares?

Well, the previous owner of my Stitch N' Bitch book cared a lot. She went through the entire book and taped a piece of paper - carefully cut to size mind you - over every single occurance. I kid you not. Don't believe me? Do you think the chaos has finally taken over and I should be committed? Well I do, but that's beside the point. The book seller - the owner of a fine local used book store (Berkshire Books) - went through it one day (he must have been bored) and removed just about all the paper. I think he should have left it all for me. He did miss a few spots and I got a really good laugh out of it. Hell, I didn't even believe him when he told me. I was just thrilled that I found the book and would have bought it in just about any condition. He showed me a few pages where you could still see some of the tape. I just about died. We are still puzzled as to why someone would get or keep the book in the first place if they were so offended by the word Bitch. And the page with the naked knitter and companion? Damn straight that sucker was papered over. Bwahahaha! I think that's the best picture in the book!

Hope you can see the leftover tape in these photos...

Edit: Thanks AmpuT for reminding me I had some good blog fodder with this book. The SnB group apparently still gets a good laugh out of this one...

Monday, November 06, 2006

Why I (used to) Knit Alone

AmpuT asked me why I've never been to a group knitting thing when I met up with her at her SnB a few weeks ago. I think I said something stupid like "I just never have the time."

Well duh! Of course I have time to knit. Otherwise, I wouldn't have finished objects and I would have nothing to write about in this blog.

I've been thinking about it a lot lately and I think I've finally found an answer. While yes, my life is full of chaos and sometimes I can barely get through the day as it is without adding more things to it, I do manage to find time for the things I love. My son, my family, my friends, my favorite activities (of which one is knitting) and lots of other stuff.

Why don't I do the whole group knitting thing? Why have I never gone? Most of the time, the SnB's fall on nights when I'm not able to go (like AmpuT's SnB night). The rest of the time, I just don't want to do it. Just as with my belly dancing (I've been a student off and on for 10 years, yet I have performed in public only once), knitting is a very personal thing for me. Knitting has helped me get through some extremely rough, stressful, and emotionally draining times. For a while there when the world got too overwhelming, I pulled out the needles and yarn and just started 'something'. I didn't care what it was, or how it looked. I would just knit and knit and knit until I felt better.

As a young knitter, I made all kinds of things and I knit to make cool stuff for my baby dolls and my Barbies and the occasional animal (either real or stuffed) that wandered into my space and looked 'cold' (my poor dog ended up with rainbow ombre 'snow' booties - hahaha - he hated me for a while after that). As I went through high school and college, I started getting away from shaped things and moved into my stress knitting phase. I cranked out many an afghan during that phase and 2 failed sweater projects (definitely not a good time to try that!). During all that time, I knit alone, at home, in my favorite knitting spot. I knit to relieve stress, to think about what was going on, to just be me - no one else around - no noise but the clicking of my aluminum needles and the purring of my cuddly kitties. And all was right in my private knitting world.

Then, about 6 years ago, something snapped (in a good way) and I realized how much I enjoyed knitting. Not just knitting to relieve stress (although I still do it), or to think, but to create, the actual act of creating was the high I wanted. At that time I started to commute. Perfect, I thought! I knit in the line waiting for the train, I knit on the train. I knit on benches, on steps, anywhere I could sit outside and enjoy the weather. I knit at school meetings, the lunchroom at work, in doctor's waiting rooms, at the DMV, getting an oil change - etc etc etc. I broke away from the big afghans I was making and started making hats, scarves, and leg warmers - yes, leg warmers - Mom wanted them, I couldn't refuse a request for a hand knit object - especially from my Mom! I ventured back into more challenging things, more shaping, different techniques - and it was wonderful. But I was still knitting alone - and that was OK.

I've broken out of my loner knitter status by attending a SnB. It was a wonderful experience to share with all the rest of the group. Everyone doing something they love, sharing ideas, thoughts, opinions. Now if I could just learn how to talk and knit at the same time, I'm sure I would certainly enjoy the occassional SnB night even more. After knitting alone for 37 years, that might take some time. :-) And as for the Wool sensitivities, AmpuT suggested a hazmat suit. hahahaha I will most definitely still be a lone knitter as I do enjoy the brief 'escape' from reality it gives me. I really do like my little corner of the knitting world. But - If you see me out there knitting alone somewhere, stop and say HI! I don't mind the interruption and I really could use some more practice on the whole knitting and talking at the same time thing... :-)

Chaos Reigns

I'm still here. Filling my time with work, commuting, mothering, sleeping and this weekend, lots o' cleaning. Some long overdue scrubbing of toilets, shower, and floors. My life is just so exciting... There has been no knitting, no sewing, no dancing. There has only been Pokemon Pinball and reading. The chaos has taken over - for now.

I will post more later this week. I still have a few posts in the works, I just haven't had time to type it all out.