Monday, March 31, 2008
Saturday, March 29, 2008
El jefe - working hard (forgive the rotten Spanish).
El vino, coming soon (accompanied by more rotten Spanish)!
Some of the materials, in the workspace. And that's the cleanest my kitchen's been in quite some time.
Seriously, I love these bitches. Truly, without girlypals, a girl has nothing.
Beautiful women that I love. And slaves to my wine-making superiority. Hah!
Friday, March 28, 2008
- The locals leave you alone to defend yourself; 'cuz they know you can handle any drunken idiot that comes along.
- A long-time patron calls you a "shithead" with great affection. And then wraps his arm around your waist. And you don't mind.
- Your cardigan is buttoned wrong, and no one mentions it to you (or maybe that's just me, and my inability to dress myself).
- The "divorced men's" bar has become the "divorced person's" bar. 'Cuz gender inclusiveness is important, damnit.
- All the boys say 'Yes, it is a sock, and no, you can't have a pair."
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
The reason I have too much yarn is that I can't decide what I want to knit next. My bus to knit night is coming in 24 minutes, and I don't know which ball of yarn to grab, you know, in case I feel like starting something new.
Monday, March 24, 2008
After many, many nights, sitting at home and feeling sorry for herself, she learned to reach out. She figured out that it was up to her to make a happy life. No one was going to do it for her.
So, she started making phone calls, meeting people, finding things to do.
And on one of those nights out, she met a man. She knew she wanted to spend time with him before he even spoke. It was one of those moments that are only in fairy tales, where the clouds move and the stars shine bright and clear. It was if it was destiny.
This man was good looking, engaging, funny. He was a good listener. Later that night, she also found out he was a very good kisser.
The girl did a very brave thing. She got his number. And she called.
They met for lunch, and had a fabulous time. They went for coffee a couple times. Finally, she asked him out for dinner. It was marvelous. A story-book date. Later in the evening, when it was time to go home, she invited him back to her place. But, he had something to tell her. He didn't live alone. He had a life-partner, but was not happy. So, the girl accepted that, and said that it was OK.
For several months, they had a glorious affair. He made the girl feel powerful and strong. He was her number one fan. They spent some weekends together, talked until all hours of the night. He encouraged her to follow her dreams. He made her believe she was capable of amazing things.
And the girl fell in love. She loved how he made her feel. She loved feeling his arm around her waist. She loved how he always opened the door for her, and gave her his undivided attention when they were together. She loved his deep voice, and his funny stories. She loved him so much that she fantasized about when he would leave his partner, and they would make a life together. She really believed that he would choose her, even though they hadn't discussed it.
After a while, though, they both became busy with other things, and they weren't able to spend much time together. She became angry, and resentful. She realized that she was worth more than a few phone calls and the occasional night out. She wanted more. And, she deserved it.
So, she ended it. With tears and the acknowledgement that what they had shared was magic. But that magic was not enough. They agreed to remain friends.
After five years, they have remained friends. Every once in a while they see each other, and they talk. They share private jokes and genuinely enjoy hearing about each others' lives. He still says all the wonderful things he used to say, but with the warmth and fondness of knowing someone really well, not the passion and fire of strong attraction.
After every single one of these chance meetings, the girl thinks that she's still a little in love with him, and wishes things had been different. But, she also realizes, that if she had to do it again, she probably wouldn't change a thing.
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Mini J's mom: "That's very nice of you, Mini J, but Auntie doesn't like cheese."
Auntie Misstea: "Well, Auntie likes cheese very much, but cheese doesn't like Auntie. If Auntie had cheese, she'd be stinkier than your dad."
Mini J frowns.
Mini J's dad lets one rip.
And you wonder why I enjoy potty humour? I have to, otherwise I'd go insane.
Even more impressive, however, was the ham. Thank you, Construction Inc. The Misstea family did enjoy it, very much. I will also be enjoying it tonight, for dinner, and tomorrow, for lunch.
The socks were not done in time (you know you are hungover when it hurts to knit), but I did finish the last one just before Mini J and her parents picked me up to drive me back to the big city. She did enjoy playing with them in the car (by the way, my nieces are just like their fathers and have big feet. I overshot the suggested length of 4 7/16", and am I ever glad I did. Size three, my ass).
These are Mini J's socks. She didn't want to try them on, being fond of the socks she chose earlier in the morning. That's OK, they are only socks.
This is Mini J, looking at Mini B's computer. It makes very interesting sounds.
Friday, March 21, 2008
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Here in Winterpeg, it really does feel like spring. There are spots of grass in my yard. And we had a boatload of snow this winter. I'm thinking this is a good sign. Furthermore, I've been wearing a spring jacket for the better part of two weeks now. (Though I will admit, I am cold in the mornings. I'm being an optimist. Dammit).
And what better day to start new socks. In spring colours. For little girls.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Yes, I know I make that observation every stinking year.
I am filled with energy. Instead of coming home and plunking myself down on the sofa or in the office, I putter. I clean. I cook.
It's almost seven - I've been home about an hour and a half, and I've got the second load of laundry almost ready to go into the dryer, folded and put away yesterday's load, taken out the recycling, started going through the stack of papers left from my office cleaning, taken a whole whack of photos and updated Ravelry.
I've also sort of started tidying the bathroom and am considering sweeping and dusting. And ironing (yes, I am shocked too).
I swear, if I could bottle this energy and sell it, I would be rich. And also, it occurs to me that I am rather hungry and perhaps it is time to think about dinner.
But in the midst of all this, I'm considering something. Something silly. Something that is all too familiar.
I'm considering setting myself up with an impossible deadline. You see, this Saturday is the family Easter dinner, and my sister-in-law (Mini J's mom) is planning an egg hunt. I'm thinking it would be pretty cool for two little girls to each have a pair of socks mixed in with the loot.
No, do not remind me that there are two Christmas sweaters outstanding. Believe me, those are indeed weighing heavily on my conscience.
But, I figure I can do this. If I use my Panda Cotton and 2.75 mm needles, I'm getting 9 stitches per inch in my broken rib pattern, un-stretched. That gives me 36 stitches to 4 inches, which is about the circumference I want, without calculating negative ease.
Two pairs of little kid socks is about one-and-a-half adult socks, and I can do that in the next two days, easy - tomorrow night, I'm going to the hockey game, then to a bar, and then I've got ALL day Friday. If I don't manage that, I've got the three hour bus trip out to the farm on Saturday morning. I'm sure my mommy will let me use her washing machine to wash the bar-and-bus dirt off them.
You know, it's been a whole four days since I've been under a whole bunch of stress. Must do something about that.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
I managed to make up all the ground I lost, and finish casting off the second sock about fifteen minutes after I got home from knit night. I should have tried harder to finish, because I could have just handed them off to my bus buddy. Now she will have to wait another week.
Now, y'all may recall that I promised myself a wee treat after my exam:
Whee! Retail therapy.This is the first yarn I've purchased in two months. For me, that is a very, very long time. I am loving all these bright, fun colours. Makes me believe that spring really is here.
Monday, March 17, 2008
Tonight, I (just about) finished the nastiest of all nasty tasks: cleaning my office.
My office is where I spend most of my time. It's my knitting zone, my Ravelry zone, my communication zone, my study zone. Not coincidentally, it's also the zone where most of the wine gets spilled. Though, to be fair, I think I can blame at least 50% of the wine spillage on the cats. They have a nasty habit of jumping in front of me, where the wine sits.
I actually started this project last Monday, but then a wee event took over, and I left it until tonight. Damn, it feels good to see the surface of my desk.
Ooh, Clean Sweep would have a field day!
Still not pretty, but functional.
I even took the time to deal with all the many wires. After a year and a half.
No "before" photo. I'm not stupid.
Now, if I could only find the pegs for the two remaining shelves on the bookcase. I know it's someplace logical, I just can't remember where.
If that's my biggest problem, I'm doing OK.
I should admit, in the interest of complete honesty, that I didn't get rid of all that much stuff. My basement is just a really large storage room. Don't know what to do with it? Put it in the basement. Think I might need it one day? Put it in the basement. Afraid to throw it out? Put it in the basement. Not prepared to deal with it right now? Put it in the basement. I do realize that it's prolonging the inevitable purge, but hey, I can move around, now, without tripping over piles of junk. I'll take it.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
My morning went something like this:
5:30 AM: Wake abruptly, in a panic that I might have overslept and missed the exam
5:31 AM: Wait for my heart to remove itself from my throat.
6:00 AM: Get out of bed (this is about half an hour earlier than I get up for work, which, incidentally, explains why I am late for work. Every day.).
7:20 AM: Leave house, get on bus. This is fifteen minutes earlier than I normally leave. It's Saturday! Not happy.
7:20 - 7:40 AM: Work on bus buddy's sock to the point until I begin the cuff. Realize that I have knit the entire leg with 50 stitches instead of 52. 50 is not divisible by four. Put sock aside and cast on new one.
7:55 - 8:30 AM: On second bus, work on new sock, and slowly become aware that there are many people flipping through binders that look suspiciously like the one I purposefully left at home (because if I haven't learned it by now, I'm not going to in the hour before the exam). Squelch panic and knit with more resolve.
8:30 - 8:45 AM: Sit outside examination room, working on the sock. Try to avoid looking at people who are obviously flummoxed at the idea of someone knitting instead of last-minute cramming. Begin to consider the idea that maybe I am over-confident and under-prepared. Especially because there are many people madly flipping through binders.
8:45 AM: Find paper in examination room and wait for the starter's pistol to go off (well, not really a starter's pistol). Begin to seriously consider that maybe going back to school was a mistake, because I would much rather be at home.
9:00 AM: Turn paper over, think the questions aren't as bad as I thought, and write madly, spewing out everything I know about the subject. Hope desperately that I am interpreting the questions correctly. Because this seems a little too easy.
Some time later: One of the invigilators says something. I don't hear it, because I'm concentrating so hard, so I assume it's the one hour left message, and panic. I've got a 40 mark question left. I continue to write, holding my pen so tightly that my hand cramps. Also, pause to think I shouldn't have had that third cup of coffee. I have to pee.
I think I've got five minutes left: I return to the three mark question I skipped earlier, write down a crappy response, thinking that I may get one pity point, so it's worth a shot.
I turn in the paper, bolt for the bathroom.
My cell phone rings. I look at the time. It's noon, not 1 PM. I had a whole extra hour.
12:03 PM: Go outside and wait for the bus. I refuse to think about this again until May 8, when the marks are released.
Friday, March 14, 2008
Then I landed on my ass.
Or more accurately, half my ass. It's mighty sore, and if there's a bruise, I'm not going to show you.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
And that got me to thinking.
It's about the walk of shame. We all know the "walk of shame" is walking home wearing-the-clothes-you-wore-the-night-before.
Maybe I'm a freak. I love the "walk of shame."
I OWN the walk of shame. In fact, I repudiate the "shame" in "walk of shame."
After a night of misbehaving with someone I may not want to see again (perhaps a visitor, and we are "Friendly Manitoba" after all), I walk home (or to the office) with a certain swing in my step. I'm thinking to myself "Hey, I'm pretty smoking, and wasn't that fun? Whee! Glad that I left without leaving my phone number..."
There is absolutely NO shame in knowing your body and expressing a healthy sexual interest in a person.
I repeat. NO SHAME. It's my life, my body. To hell with those who judge me.
I am unimpressed that they (by the way, who is "they"?) think that a girl can't have some fun without regrets.
Unless you've got names, dates and statistics, I'm not interested, but thanks for calling, and please put me on your "do not call" registry"...
I'm just clever enough to find a youtube video of the song I have in my head during those "walk of shame" moments, and here are the lyrics:
Standing in line at the grocery store
Reading magazines that say i should want more
There's an old boyfriend,
he looks my way
I can't help but smile, (smirk)
I feel great today (Yes, indeed, I do feel great)
Last night's clothes, no make-up,
drinking my coffee from a paper cup (Yup, that would be the walk of shame, right there, and damn, doesn't that coffee taste good?)
If this is it for me baby,
that's just fine, I'm not looking anymore (Hurray for giving up on looking!)
For what will make me happy baby, that's just fine,
I'm not looking anymore
So many places I'll never see
But here and now is where I'd rather be (Yes, it is all about you. Finally!)
Too many people searching so hard
But they never look right in their backyard (Duh!)
I've made mistakes, that's for sure, ain't that what your life is for? (Yup!)
If this is it for me baby, that's just fine, I'm not looking anymore (Looking for fun is good. Looking becuz ur desperate.. not so good.)
For what will make me happy baby, that's just fine,
I'm not looking anymore
(More clothes, more cash, more things, more rings) (I will buy my own clothes, earn my own cash and who wants rings?)
These lines upon my face, I'd be a fool to erase cause they show my place in this world (hell, yeah!)
If this is it for me baby, that's just fine, I'm not looking anymore
For what will make me happy baby, that's just fine,
I'm not looking anymore (say it again, sistah!)
If this is it for me baby, that's just fine,
I'm not looking anymore
For what will make me happy baby, that's just fine,
I'm not looking anymore (umn, do I need to say it? who's looking?)
Rawk on, ladiez...Own your life. No one is going to live it for you.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
For the past two evenings, I've actually done some chores, instead of hoping that the house-cleaning fairies will come when I am sleeping.
Oddly enough, things continue to look pretty good around here, if you discount the gold and yellow linoleum in the dining room and partially stripped wallpaper in the office.
And, I'm rather amused at myself, and how utterly dim I am. You see, I was muttering to myself this morning about the cat hair pooling in the corners, disgusted at how it was accumulating so quickly, and I had just swept, how could it be back AGAIN? Then I realized, at work, between 8 and 4:30 (well, 8:10 and 4:36, to be honest), I adore doing the same thing over and over, the soothing routine of knowing what task needs to be performed and when.
I need to have that sort of routine in my home.
I need to find a way to apply the things that make me happy at work to my home life. I need to compartmentalize my entire life, not just the files at the office.
Let me develop that thought, a little. At work, I like to look at the calendar and do everything I can to make deadlines with plenty of time to spare. I like having things done so people don't have to wait on me. I like having everything in order so I can put my hands on something with a moment's notice.
I can't do that at home, because I haven't actually used the space I've got. Instead, every surface gets covered in stuff, and moved from pile to pile as I plough through junk, looking for that water bill. If the water bill got put into a specific place as soon as it came in the door, the piles wouldn't exist. If I actually looked at things once in a while, instead of shoving new items into the cupboard without getting rid of the old, I would actually know what's in the cupboard.
Jeez, this organizing job might be bigger than I thought.
Monday, March 10, 2008
Now I have the insane desire to remove everything from my kitchen cupboards and drawers, giving everything a thorough scrubbing. That would seriously cut into my knitting and study time, so it's going to have to wait a bit.
I also loathe, with every fibre of my being, those stupid horizontal mini-blinds. I am so breaking out my sewing machine and making some curtains. Someday.
With the clean-up-and-get-organized project moving along, and the results are beginning to be noticeable, I'm anxious to deal with that dining room. It would be really nice to be able to use that room, instead of having a very large, square hallway.
And, I think I've found someone to do the work...
The day after the flood, I was sitting on the couch in the living room. The blinds were open. A fellow was walking by, saw me in the window, and started coming up the walk. Turns out, he is a small-scale reno guy and a handyman. In fact, he has been the handyman for my next-door neighbour since 1982 (or something. A good long while). He was the person who called the city when water was spouting out of the side of my house. He tells me, in quite a thick accent, that I have good windows in my house. When I mentioned that I am clueless and need someone to do some jobs for me, out came the business card.
So, I think I'm going to call and get an estimate for painting and flooring. If that goes well, maybe insulate the basement. And fix the exterior lights. And install a doorbell. And add an exterior outlet. And fix that damn tap!
I'm starting to feel that some of this stuff is possible.
Sunday, March 9, 2008
I don't. I realize it's an illusion, but moving the clock an hour forward means that spring must be coming. Some time, anyway. It's been a very, very brutal winter, weather-wise.
True to form, I leaped out of bed this morning.
Drank a pot of coffee and spent four hours dicking around on Ravelry.
Then I had a 45 minute nap.
But after that, by golly, I was on fire.
I was going to watch Elizabeth: The Golden Age and work on some toe-up socks that I am completely in love with. But I paused for a moment... wouldn't the movie watching be far more pleasant if I cleaned the living room, first?
Well, I haven't gotten around to watching the movie yet, but yes, it is very pleasant to have a clean living room (I washed away a big-little brother footprint that had been there since November).
It is also very pleasant to have washed the kitchen floor (also very overdue), shovel the snow (for the second time this week), give the bedroom and bathroom a quick wipe (deep-cleaning occurred last weekend) and walk to the shops for a few groceries and a wine stock-up.
Also, does anybody want a TV stand? It appears I don't need mine any more. I also have a pretty nice coffee table that I haven't used in months, because it doesn't fit.
And there's some random stuff I want to talk about:
If you like bluegrass, or hearing crazy-ass country covers of well-known songs, listen to "Crossroads Country" on Hank FM. I stop everything at six pm on Sunday night to listen to this program. It's amazing. Surprisingly, the station as a whole is pretty good. Lots of Steve Earle and Fred J. Eaglesmith, which is never, ever a bad thing.
Hooch-making is coming soon! Look, I washed out some wine bottles, to prepare for new wine!
I swear, I am going to wreck this bookcase before I even get to assemble it.
Skool boyfriend freaked the hell out of me on Friday night. He basically invited himself to Winnipeg for Folk Festival. A weekend where I traditionally camp, laugh, talk, drink and generally misbehave with all my girly pals. I was, er, for a moment or two, speechless.
I'm pretty sure, now, that he is straight, and that he likes me in that way. Oh, dear. I don't like him back, that way. I mean, I'm all about making new friends, and it's great to laugh and talk with someone of the opposite sex (all right, y'all know I flirted - that's what I do!), but now he has taken it too far. If he wanted to do something about it, he would come right out and ask. Like invite me to Regina for the folk festival there. Dumbass. Scary dumbass.
And speaking of skool, the website says I have not submitted anything (i.e. 0/325) and therefore have not qualified for the exam. I feel a nasty phone call coming on. Again.
Saturday, March 8, 2008
Friday, March 7, 2008
A tall, blond woman, wearing glasses, is sitting at the bar, reading a very large book and manipulating what appears to be five skewers and some fine string. She's drinking a beer, minding her own business. Nobody's really paying much attention to her. The staff are busy, other patrons are playing the trivia, visiting, or just drowning their sorrows in drink.
Two men enter, both regulars:
The electrician: Hey Misstea, is my peter heater ready?
The tall blond: Only if you're OK with having an orange and pink one. I suspect it's probably a bit big for you (she whips out an even smaller set of skewers and string. It appears to be a hand-knitted sock, but small. Perhaps small enough to fit a two-year-old).
The electrician: Come on Misstea, that is way too small. Can I get a private fitting?
The tall blond: Get in line. All the boys want private fittings.
Later, when she's left her knitting on the bar to pay her tab...
The electrician's friend (picks up the sock): Hey, this is actually really nice.
The tall blond: Of course it's nice. Do you think I spend all this time making crappy stuff?
The electrician's friend (to impress another woman standing at the bar): Well, maybe I could learn to knit socks.
The tall blond: I'm teaching tomorrow from one 'til five.
The electrician's friend: Oh, um, well...
The tall blond thinks to herself: Yup, I'll believe that one, when I see it.
Thursday, March 6, 2008
I left work early today to take him to the vet. Because of the unreliability of Winnipeg Transit, I was late. No time to fight with getting him into his carrier. I grabbed a towel, wrapped him up and stuffed him inside my coat for the two block walk to the clinic.
He, the absolute darling that he is, was good as gold for the whole trip. If somewhat interested in his surroundings. There and back.
My little guy's blood sugar is raging out of control. It was 20 this afternoon, after giving him 1.5 units this morning and then no food for seven hours.
Good blood sugar for a cat is around 6. Needless to say, I am appalled. The vet wasn't impressed either, but was charmed by his personality and friendliness. Dr. Very Formal and Serious also very nearly laughed when I told him that I like Scout more than I like most people.
Effective immediately, he will be getting 3 units twice a day.
Honestly, I knew it was high, but not this bad. In the past month, he has gained weight, urinated less and is generally feeling better. I know my cat. He is far, far better off than he was a month ago. Makes me cringe to think about how bad it was before.
I gave him 3 units two hours ago. He's chasing Parker around right now. Usually Parker chases Scout.
I have a feeling I'm not going to sleep much tonight.
Pretty. Very, very pretty.
It's either a large change purse or small cosmetic bag. I'm not sure. But, it's felted, lined and, if you haven't guessed, my favourite colour. It was a birthday gift, last fall, from one of my many friends whose first inital is D.
I had a brainwave. I do not need the ugly, over-sized plastic pouch with the cardboard insert sitting on my end table. I decided to put the options into the little pink case, and get rid of the plastic crap. So I did. Looks lovely. Fits perfectly. Small enough to slip inside my knitting bag, should I have the desire to take the majority of my needles with me, somewhere. And, now I most likely will, just because I can.
So what did I do with the plastic? I put it in the bottom of the china cabinet. Where I put all the other knitting crap that I might need someday. Right beside that ball of Phentex I bought when Woolco closed in 1992 (what exactly I was thinking, I will never know).
Once I realized what I had done, three days later, I marched that plastic pouch straight to the kitchen garbage and made sure it got covered with coffee grounds. To ensure that I wouldn't change my mind.
The Phentex is still there. Baby steps.
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Every once in a while, I try to break out of my groove and learn something new.
I'm making some socks right now, for a dear friend. She has tiny, tiny feet, and I have only two skeins of dk weight yarn. Yet another of those situations where I'm afraid I might run out, and the yarn is so gorgeous that I want to use every precious inch. Plus, she actually bought this yarn, so I should, in good consciousness, use as much of it as I can.
Enter in Judy's Magic Cast On. I am in love. It is elegant, instinctual and far, far, far less fiddly than a provisional cast on and then using short rows to shape the toe (not that there is anything wrong with Wendy's method, which I used last summer, to great satisfaction).
I mean, just look at this:
And here we are, ready to shape the heel.
How well-timed is that? Seriously, my luck is scary, sometimes.
I'm torn between an afterthought or a short-row heel. I think my short row heel needs practice, and that way, I don't need to fiddle with breaking the yarn.
I'll let you know how it goes (naturally).
Monday, March 3, 2008
Not for me. I really enjoy doing my taxes. I like gathering all the papers, sorting the stuff into different piles, using my fantastic selection of pink sticky-notes. I like plugging the numbers into the program and maximizing my deductions (you had fair warning - I've made it clear that I'm an accountant).
I don't expect a refund. I'm just happy if I break even.
This is a major project because I'm really bad at opening my mail. I only do so about twice a year. All my bills are sucked out of my bank account automatically, and I can access all my banking information online. Ergo, the only mail I open are magazines and cards. Mail comes into the house and gets dumped on the china cabinet, or a basket by the back door, or into a pile in my office.
So, for the past couple weekends, I've been puttering around, gathering the mail into one central pile and opening it. I couldn't believe how much went into the recycle bin (that's a rant all its own).
As an added bonus, I've been gathering other things and putting those away as well. Like magazines. Yarn. Patterns. Clean clothes. CDs. Books. And, I've been cleaning the clear spaces left behind.
This job is nowhere near finished, but I'm almost to the point where I could have a contractor come in and give me an estimate for the work I want done without being completely ashamed of my home.
And in the process, I've remembered something I used to tell myself all the time: if it will only take five minutes, just do it, all ready.
Apparently, I'm a really slow learner.
Sunday, March 2, 2008
Saturday, March 1, 2008
Birthday socks for M.
I was able to complete a pair of socks, and the recipient had no idea they were coming (though I'm pretty sure she knew that socks were coming, eventually).
This is my first pair of socks made from non-wool yarn. It was an interesting experience.
I made my standard 64 stitch broken rib sock on 2.75 mm needles. The yarn is very loosely spun, compared to what I am used to, and the fabric is very, very stretchy. Future non-wool socks will have more than 10% negative ease.
It was further complicated by the fact that I neglected to check the yardage before clicking "proceed to checkout" and I thought I would run short. Turns out, I needn't have worried - I have a whopping 11 grams left over from the original 100 g.
The yarn is Panda Cotton from Crystal Palace, purchased online at The Loopy Ewe. I have two more colourways, and am looking forward to making more non-wool socks. Eventually. There's so much sock yarn, so little time.