Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween

Have some

Pumpkin pi.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Something Old & Something New

First something old... well, not that old, but old enough for this week's blog assignment.

This is the oldest picture I have of myself. According to the back I'm 7 months old there, and it was taken at my Aunt & Uncle's house. Check out the Panda Blankie. I believe that's the one I carried around until it wore out.

And now for something new:

Inspired by Susie Can Stitch, I decided to try some embroidery. I went through a cross-stitch phase in high school, but I've never really learned how to do proper embroidery. I bought a few cute iron on patterns, and this weekend I bought a little purse to embellish. You might be able to see a little extra branch of buds & leaves that I didn't stitch, I'm hoping it washes out, because I like it as is*.
What do you think? A noble endeavor? I keep eyeing the Subversive Stitch patterns at Twisted and Powells and thinking it would be fun to try some of them. But I should probably get a bit more practice before I start embroidering all over my wardrobe.
*am too lazy to finish it ;)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Fighting the good fight

My mom, as I've mentioned, is a good woman. She's still writing to my nephew at boot camp a few times a week. He asked her to send him a specific car magazine, so she went to the store and bought it for him. But when she flipped through the magazine she saw several minimally dressed women & deemed them "pornographic." So she went through with a big black sharpie and covered them up. That's my mom. He's training for combat, and will soon know 500 ways to kill a person, but dang if she's going to let him see boobies!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Answers

42! Oh wait... different question. ;)

Pop Quiz answers:

1. Where was I born?
a) New Jersey

Yup, I’m a genuine Jersey girl. My family moved to CA when I was 13, and I’ve been in the Northwest since college. And although my entire family now lives in Tennessee, I’ve never called it home, nor spent more than a week or two at a time there.

2. To get to work I:
b) Walk

Even when it’s really cold!

3. I’m fluent in the following language(s):
d) neither of the above

I know enough French to get around, but I’m far from fluent. And I’m currently learning my first 50 words in Spanish.

4. I am most afraid of
a) Slugs


5. I knit:
b) Continental

To be fair to J., she called me and asked, and did listen with interest when I told her. I’m a picker, not a thrower!

6. I quilt:
a) By machine

Props to Mags & Seidling for specifying that my machine’s name is Fraulein Peggy.

7. My favorite artist is:
a) Vincent Van Gogh
c) Claude Monet

I usually tell people that Monet is my favorite artist, but the more I started thinking about it, I felt profoundly connect to Van Gogh when I saw his paintings in person. A quick tally of the prints & postcards in my apartment adds up to: 9 Monet & 9 Van Gogh.

8. The food I don’t like is:
d) Italian

I don’t like oregano, cooked tomatoes or pasta. However, I’ll eat just about anything if it has enough cheese on it. ;)

9. My favorite band is:
c) Guster

And I did get lost in Amsterdam.

10. What is my favorite Holiday?
c) The 4th of July

BBQs, Fireworks, and patriotic songs… what’s not to love?
BTW - Michael5000, Caturday is my favorite day of the week, but I don't think it's recognized as an official holiday...... yet. ;)

11. Betty is the name of my:
c) mixer

Sally is my cat, Peggy is my sewing machine, and my car’s name is Babette. =)

12. Whose birthday is October 26th? (pick all that apply)
a) Mine
b) My sister's
d) Hillary Rodham Clinton’s

I was born on my sister B’s 6th birthday & she’s apparently never forgiven me for that. Some people think it’s really bizarre that my sister and I share a birthday; for me, it’s just annoying. Not only do I share my birthday with my sister, but also the Senator from New York, a friend from High School, and, I found out today, one of the gals in my office. My nephew just barely missed the magic birthday though - he turned 19 on 10/23rd. What can I say? I guess it gets cold in February!
The Winners
Ok, there was a three-way tie for first place, Mlle. B., J., and T., all scored 10 out of 12 correct. You may all feel smug & self satisfied about how well you know me.
But since I don't really want to do a tie-breaker, I decided to go with the ever popular random selection for prizes. (It's my blog, I can break the rules if I want to ;) ). Sooooo
The $15 Powells card goes to the lovely and talented Magatha, while the surprise gift (that I will most likely pick up at Powells while I'm there) will go to Seidling!
Thank you for playing!

Friday, October 26, 2007

A Day In the Life

If you haven't already done so, take my POP QUIZ for a chance to win a Powells gift card!

The blogstalking assignment for this week is "A Day In the Life" which narrowly beat out "My BellyButton" btw, or you'd be seeing pictures of Willamina (yes, my tummy has a name - doesn't yours?), and no one wants that.

Anyway, the assignment "A Day In the Life" was non specific as to year... so here is October 26th, 1993. The events of my 19th birthday as recorded in a letter to a friend back home, and thankfully also taped into my journal for posterity.

October 26, 1993,
Willamette University, Salem, Oregon

This has been the best birthday of my life! It started out with me watching Romancing the Stone with Jim-Bob* at around 1am or so. It was a cool movie, although I should have been in bed. I had been directing this play in theater class. It was just barely coming together last night and we had to perform in front of the class today. We all got up early and went out to rehearse at 7am which is unheard of in college. The rehersal went well but I was still sick to my stomach with nerves. I should mention that I was completely unable to sleep all night. I fell asleep at around 5:30am and needed to wake up at 7am - you do the math. I still needed to write a review for Spiderwomen Theater, and figure out something to say about the play I was directing. After rehearsal, I ran off a little program, and took it to be copied, then I skimmed the reviews on the back of the book our play came from and tried to come up with some good B.S. (I know this doesn't sound like a good birthday yet, but it's getting there.)

Next I called Jim-Bob, he doesn't have any Tuesday classes and said he would like to have breakfast once during the year, so we went to eat. I had been starving, but after eating I felt really sick so I went back to my room to sleep for half an hour instead of writing my review. At ten I went to Jackson Plaza where the play was to be set, dropped off props, and picked up the programs. Most of the cast stayed there to get ready while I went and braved the classroom. I got up and B.S.ed about the play, and told them what to expect.

We were doing theater of the absurd, and it was supposed to be funny and deep at the same time. It was a take off of Mac Beth. The way we had it set we used everything in the area. We used this ledge for a balcony, a grassy stretch near the mill creek was the battle field, a few steps where people usually sit and study for our main stage, and the stream itself for a walkway. We used this whole big area. I was extremely sick to my stomach, and had made Jim-Bob come and watch with me. As soon as we started, my Profs. started busting up (I was sitting right behind them). I leaned over to Jim-Bob and said that it hadn't been so funny before.

Basically the whole class laughed all throughout the play, which was good since it was a comedy and all. People who had just been wandering by actually stopped to watch us. Wow! Everyone got their lines, or ad-libbed well. I was really relieved when it was over. So the class gets up and starts to head back to the classroom when lo and behold, Robert comes out and says "No, no, wait we have a birthday to celebrate!" I was wary and of course Scott (not the one in my World Views class), and Sean came over and picked me up, and carried me to the mill creek. After being thrown into Chad's pool countless times I knew to hold on tight to the person doing the throwing, to make sure he gets wet too. So as my class is singing "Happy Birthday" Scott dumps me unceremoniously into the creek. I dragged him in too, and splashed Sean and half the class in the process. It was actually a good tension release.

I sloshed back into my room with Jim-Bob, changed clothes as quick as possible in the bathroom and ran back to class. The class was still journal writing their reaction to the play. The first think Lou siad after we were done writing was "I don't know about the rest of you, but Joe and I laughed our asses off." The next 45 min was spent saying how cool our production was. I was definitely getting my fair share of warm-fuzzies.

After Theater, we decided to go to lunch, and I convinced Jim-Bob to let me open my present. They had been teasing me all week about this really cool present they got me, they wouldn't give me any hints. All they would say is that it was something they knew I would love. They kept guaranteeing that I would love it. I was wondering what would be so great, you know, I'm not really materialistic, other than a trip home on Thanksgiving, I didn't really want anything. So I get this box, and we go to lunch, I was going to open it when we went to get our mail.

May sent me a letter and I got a package from home. Guang had sent me cookies!!!!! This is the worst part though, on his birthday card to me he said "I couldn't forget your birthday because mine is the same day." I had completely forgotten. I also thought he was in Thailand so I had been waiting for a letter with his new address. Boy am I a moron.

Anyway, there was a hand-written card attached to the front of my pressent. It had a picture of a mitten on it and my name. I'm still clueless. I open it up and there is a rolled up poster inside. It was a blown up picture of Mittens!!! I was so happy and surprised that I screamed. I thought that was the sweetest thing. Apparently Jim-Bob noticed the picture of her on my bulletin board, and got sick of me whining about how I miss her, so he had a poster made from the picture. It is so cool, I have it on the wall right near my bed. I couldn't believe how thoughtful they were. I was stoked

I came back to the dorm, and ran into Katie in the hallway. She had gone in on the gift too, so I thanked her and told her about getting mill-streamed so she wouldn't do it. I made my way to my room and found that the door had been covered with streamers, and that there was a card attached to the door. It was Katie's doing. I yelled thanks to her and went inside. I was a very happy camper, but I was still a happy camper who only had an hour and a half of sleep, so I napped while Cindy and Jim-Bob were in their Biology lab. I had a very cool day.


*names have been changed to cover my ass ;)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Pop Quiz!

It's time to give a little love to the faithful readers of Work in Progress. It's also time to see how much personal information I've been spreading throughout the internets. ;) So the topic of the pop quiz is - ME!

First place will receive a $15 gift card to the largest independent bookstore in the US; Powells Books. Another winner will be drawn at random from the entrants for a surprise I haven't thought of yet. ;) In the event of a tie, I'll come up with a tie breaking essay question.

Submit your answers in the comments, the quiz is open until Friday night, winners announced on Caturday 10/27/07. This is an open-book quiz, but no cheating off your neighbor's answers. =P

Multiple Choice Quiz

1. Where was I born?

a) New Jersey
b) Oregon
c) Tennessee
d) California

2. To get to work I:

a) Drive
b) Walk
c) Bike
d) Take the bus

3. I’m fluent in the following language(s):

a) French
b) Spanish
c) both of the above
d) neither of the above

4. I am most afraid of

a) Slugs
b) Bats
c) Bees
e) Spiders

5. I knit:

a) English
b) Continental
c) Combined

6. I quilt:

a) By machine
b) By hand
c) Machine piece, hand quilt.

7. My favorite artist is:

a) Vincent Van Gogh
b) Mary Cassatt
c) Claude Monet
e) Auguste Renoir

8. The food I don’t like is:

a) Indian
b) Mexican
c) Japanese
d) Italian

9. My favorite band is:

a) Death Cab for Cutie
b) The Decemberists
c) Guster
d) Athlete

10. What is my favorite Holiday?

a) Thanksgiving
b) New Year’s Eve
c) The 4th of July
d) Easter

11. Betty is the name of my:

a) sewing machine
b) cat
c) mixer
d) car

12. Whose birthday is October 26th? (pick all that apply)

a) Mine
b) My sister's
c) My nephew’s
d) Hillary Rodham Clinton’s

Monday, October 22, 2007

Aligning myself with a friendly universe

My therapist used to tell me to "align" myself "with a friendly universe that has good gifts" to give me. She really stressed that you create your own happiness; if you expect good things to happen, good things will happen. Now, let me stress that she is a very compassionate and intelligent woman who helped me learn a lot of important things. But I could never get on board with her "friendly universe" theory. No matter how hard I try, the universe just does *not* work like that for me.

For example, she suggested that I join a bowling league so that I could meet people*. So I put my positive attitude in full gear and decided to have a good time. But the first night of bowling, someone broke into my car & stole my CD player. Oh, and two of the people* on my team were not so closeted racists. So much for the friendly universe.

Anyway today as I was walking home, I was absolutely over come by the beauty of where I live. The trees were gorgeous, all gold and red. The sky was pink... cerise one could say... and Mt. Hood & Mt. St. Helens were practically glowing white with fresh snow against the twilight sky. I mean, it sounds all kinds of cheesy when I try to describe it. But it was beautiful, really really really beautiful. The kind of beautiful where you can't not believe in God or *some* higher being. Anyway I was walking home from work having all these transcendent thoughts about how incredibly amazing the universe is.

Then I got home, and saw this at my front door.

Yup. A dead bird. A poor dead little Junco. A poor dead little Junco that I now have to clean up. A grizzly reminder that my sweety-pants little kitty-girl, who is curled up so adorably in the chair beside me, is just a cold-blooded murderer in a fur coat.

I guess the universe just wanted to make sure I remembered that no matter how wonderful I think things are - life is unfair, and we're all gonna die.

*single male people

Cheap SEX

(Stash Enrichment eXpedition that is)

There must be something in the air... whatever signals the squirrels to start burying their acorns is making me stock up on wool. Yeah... that's it... 'cause I didn't buy any yarn over the summer or anything. ;)

I went down to the Mill End Store on Saturday, and picked up some Pattons merino wool. I like that there's a lot of yardage in each skein - it means fewer ends to weave in. I picked up enough for a cardigan... and some buttons too. I just couldn't resist - only about $30 for a wool cardigan? That's a great price. As any knitter knows, we don't knit things because they're cheaper than buying them... but in this case it might very well be. I also picked up two skeins of Boku self striping yarn, which is fast becoming my new favorite yarn.

Then on Sunday I was at Michaels and I saw the exact same yarn for *considerably* less. I was not pleased. But I was also too lazy to go back and return the yarn I'd just bought. I hate returning things, so to somehow mitigate this cost injustice, I bought more yarn. Makes sense in my mind anyway. ;)

Oh, and a found a very practical pattern book. It's called the Next Two Steps and is basically a mix & match sweater book, there are three necklines and two sleeves, and instructions for a vest or pullover. It's all geared towards worsted weight yarn, but it has sizes from XS to 5XL. This is exactly the kind of thing I was looking for when I bought the Ann Budd sweater book. But I think the Ann Budd book tries to cover *everything* every gauge, every neckline, every sleeve style etc. When I first got it, I was eager to try it out, and I got as far as photocopying all however many pages I needed for the sweater I wanted, and even started highlighting which numbers applied to me. But at some point I started highlighting numbers for a different neckline than the one I wanted, and realized I'd have to cross out that section, and oh - I'll figure it out later. The photocopy is around here somewhere.

So that hasn't been the most useful book for me. But this cheap-o little Pattons book looks good so far. I've already cast on for a V-neck vest with the charcoal colored wool. I'm excited!
And at the moment I'm enjoying the simple pleasure of knitting stockinette stitch, I like how it looks on the needles, all the nice even stitches. I like how it looks on me - I never buy cabled sweaters. And I'm really enjoying the depth of grey color - little threads of lighter or darker yarn add just the slightest character to it. The yarn is really soft & even, no hay or knots... just good yarn. I know there are a lot 'better' yarns out there, but this is really good quality for the price!

Right now, I'm a very happy knitter!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

What a difference a YO makes

I finished the third and fourth repeats of lace on Soleil... I'm half tempted to keep going so that there's lace 2/3rds of the way up the top. Or maybe I should just look for a different lace top pattern. Anyway, I happened to notice in one of my yarn baskets that I still had the lace portion of Soleil #1. I just didn't have the heart to frog that part, I think I thought I was going to pick up the stitches and start over from there... but I never did - I used the yarn for something else.
The thing I wanted to point out, and I hope you can see here is how my Yarn Overs look. When I first did them I just put took the yarn from back to front over the top of the right needle. But somehow the way I knit it doesn't actually create a nice lacy hole. I knitted an entire Cozy, never quite understanding why mine didn't look like the one in the picture. Finally I learned that for me I had to take the yarn from back to front *under* and around the right needle. So for me, a yarn over is really a yarn under. It's just one of those things you learn as you knit - everyone does things a little bit different. Now my YOs are pretty and my lace looks lacy, and I'm a happy knitter. =)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

A Very Special Caturday

I have been remiss! Last Caturday I was so surprised and delighted by J's visit that I fogot what an important day it was. October 13th was Sally cat's 10th Birthday!!!Except that it's possible it was her 11th, and most probably not anywhere near her actual birthday. What I do know is that I got her in October of 1998, the humane society said she was about 1 year old... but when I took her to the vet, he said she was more like 2 or older. Sally has a mysterious past.

In fact, when I felt a chip in the back of her neck, I knew... she'd been abducted by the syndicate. There was more proof than that of course. She'd been rendered infertile by their 'experiments'.

Whatever secrets lie in her past, she's had a pretty good life with me.

When I first brought her home from the humane society, she cried for the entire car ride. "What's going on?" "Where are you taking me." "You'll never make me talk!" "Will there be snacks??"

When I brought her inside, I opened up her box and just lay on the floor with a book, letting her take her time getting used to her surroundings. She cautiously climbed out of the box, sniffed around a bit, and climbed onto my back. She just curled up and got comfy. I knew then we'd be just fine together.

Later that first day I went to the store. When I came back, Sally girl was asleep smack dab in the middle of my bed.

I knew then, exactly who was in charge.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

WIP update

It's well and truly autumn around here, it's been cold and rainy and windy and foggy... real knitting weather. I've actually been making some progress on a few different things.

I'd started this shawl for my niece early in the summer. It was originally a triangle shawl, but I just couldn't get into the pattern adding stitches each row. So after setting it aside for quite a while, I finally ripped it all back and restarted it again as a rectangle. And check it out - lots and lots of progress.
I kinda feel lame because I'm using Peaches & Cream cotton... not something fancier. But honestly, she's a kid and this is more for dress up than anything else. She likes to wear grandma's Cozy, so I thought I'd make her one of her own. So it might look a bit cheap, but at least I won't care if it ends up under her bed for weeks on end.

My Everyday Cardigan is in the seaming up stage. I've attached the fronts to the back at the shoulders, and the sleeves to the body. I'm not fond of seaming. I think I'm going to save this for the next knitting night I go to, so at least I'll have company.
But it's nice that it's starting to look like a real sweater, and not just oddly shaped pieces.

And since I didn't really feel like seaming, I decided to cast on for Soleil take 2. I'm using the Soy Silk I bought at the Oregon Flock & Fiber Festival. It's going well so far. I had to cast on a couple of times because I was using the long-tail method and kept running out of yarn. But I finally got it right! It takes a good long chunk of time (an hour - two?) to get through a lace repeat, so it's not a very good take-along project. It's just perfect for sitting down with my Firefly DVDs. =)
The lace pattern is really easy, but still I like to have stitch markers. Somehow though, I've lost half of my little plastic ring stitch markers, so I'm using the split ring markers too. But they're sharp & pokey. =( I need new stitch markers. I've done two rounds of lace already, but I was also thinking of doing an extra round of the lace and making the top a little longer than the pattern calls for, just for adequate tummy coverage.

On the quilting front - so far so good. I was thinking about calling an official end to the quilting season, and putting my sewing machine into hibernation. But I just can't quite bring myself to do it yet. I think I need one completed quilt for myself before I do that, and I've got some thoughts twirling around in my head but haven't settled on anything yet. It'll need to be relatively small, easy & quick so that I can actually finish it. I'm thinking flannel... I'm thinking big squares... nothing fancy.

Cell phone update:

I'm loving my new phone, and I want to share a couple of stories. As I mentioned I bought the phone with J., and she helped me figure out how to put it together before she left. I still had to activate it and charge it so I told her I'd call her when I got the new phone number. So much later that evening (there were issues with adding $$ to it) I called J, but she didn't answer. When she called back later she said she didn't recognise the number and was like "Who the hell is this calling me???" =P

The first time I called my sister however (I hadn't told her I was getting a cell phone), she answers the phone "YOU GOT A CELL PHONE!" =) As I'm the only person she knows in the 503 area code, it was pretty easy for her to figure out it was me. Later this week as I was walking home for lunch I got all excited because with a phone in my pocket I could just call someone & chat rather than just walking the same boring walk I walk four times a day. So this time she answers the phone "You just *love* that phone now don't you?" =P And it was a novel and fun to get to chat with her for 9 minutes in the middle of the day for no good reason.

I really am enjoying my phone. I still jump when my purse starts ringing, or my coat pocket starts vibrating. And I was completely at a loss at work yesterday morning when my cell phone rang at the exact same time as my office phone. But I sorted it out, and now my phone is on silent while I'm at work. All in all I'm glad I got the phone, and I think this might actually make me a slightly more social person, which is good.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

An Interesting Statue

I'm using perhaps the loosest interpretation of the term 'statue'.

This is the venerable Saint Selina, patron saint of parties.

You might know her from Mad TV, the two Latina teenagers often pray to her. "Dear Saint Selina, if you get me tickets to the Ricki Martin concert I will never say nothing bad about that bitch Theresa again." or "Dear Saint Selina thank you for the chance of holding Ricki Martin's panties".

She was miraculously discoverd at an office silent auction, and daringly rescued by J. Saint Selina has watched over and guided my friends and I through many a Birthday Party, New Year's Eve Bash, Happy Hour and even a Bachelorette Party. We have occasionally offered her sacrifices of rum and tequila (which in the tradition of the Levites we consumed ourselves ;) ) and she's been lavishly adorned over many festive occasions. Her resplendent fiber-optic wings radiated many colors of the rainbow (that is, until the light burned out =P).

Please note her gold glitter baby, who represents the future generations of partiers to come.

So if you are ever desirous of tickets to see Ricki Martin, or just need a little help getting into a festive spirit. Just ask yourself - what would Saint Selina do?

Monday, October 15, 2007

Brave new world

Well, I'm continuing my bold march into the late 20th century.
Yup, I relented and finally bought a cell phone. It's only a matter of time before I'm pissing people off in stores and causing traffic accidents.
Ahhh the marvels of technology. One day I might even get cable.

And three more...

(Read the first half of this assignment: Three things I love)

It was kind of tough to come up with a list of three things I really hate. I mean, I could have gone with the superficial... you know 'I hate how fat my ass looks in these jeans.' ;) But then I read Bezzie's post about how hate and love are two ends of a continuum, and that without hate, love loses it's meaning. So I wrote up my list of three things I hate so that when I say I love something - you know it really means something.

1. I hate the lack of respect for human life I see in the world today. War, murder, torture, slavery, abuse, capital punishment, abortion, all of it comes down to a failure to acknowledge that human life is precious. I know life is full of grey areas and 'necessary evils' but still... I hate it.

2. I hate George W. Bush and his entire administration. I'm fairly middle of the road politically, I have some conservative views as well as some liberal views depending on the issue. I can't stand party politics in general - the idea of taking sides on issues as though they were black & white (red & blue) when really there's a lot of grey (purple) area on any issue if you really look it. But back to the point... I hate with a blinding fury what Bush/ Cheny/ Rumsfeld/ Gonzoles/ Libby/ Rove(am I forgetting anyone?) have done over the past 7 years.From the debacle that was the 2000 election to the firing of judges for political reasons, approving the use of torture, holding 'enemy combatants' without trial, Haliburton, the war in Iraq, wire-tapping citizens, it goes on and on and on and on and on. But I can focus all my rage on Bush's actions on 9/11.

On the morning of September 11th, 2001, I woke up to chaos on my clock radio. I didn't have a job at the time, so I didn't really need to get up, but I heard words of death and destruction in New York. I heard something about a fire in the Twin Towers, smoke covering the city. I bolted out of bed and ran to wake up my roommate, not even knowing what was going on - but understanding that it was BAD. "I think they just bombed New York" I told her as we wandered into the living room and turned on the TV to see what was happening. It took a while for me to make sense of it - one of the towers was already smoking. They kept showing a clip of something exploding half way down the second tower... and it wasn't until my roommate pointed it out that I noticed the plane flying into it. I don't know how long we stood there just saying "Oh my God!"

But when Bush heard about the first attack, he just went on with his day. I'll allow that he didn't fully appreciate what was happening. But when he found out about the second attack, when Andrew Card whispered into his ear "We're under attack" he just sat there.

I will never be able to get out of my mind the idea of all those firefighters rushing into the Twin Towers to try to save people, the chaplain who went with them to say last rights to victims. The poor people who had to decide between burning to death, or jumping out the window. I'll never ever get out of my mind one witness describing a pregnant woman who jumped to her death "exploding like a watermelon" on impact. Those people on flight 93 calling 911 to report the hijacking of their own plane... slowly understanding the scale of what was going on, and deciding that even if they died in the attempt they were not going to let the hijackers carry out their plans. All over the country, people who heard about the attacks lined up for blocks to give blood - a symbolic act if not ultimately a useful one. The rest of us sat transfixed, staring at our TVs trying to get more information, trying to figure out what was going on. Calling friends & family to ask is everyone safe? Do we know anyone who could have been hurt? Who could have done this to us? And Bush, our commander in chief, on hearing that the country he presides over is under attack - JUST SAT THERE!

For a good 5 minutes, he just sat there. He didn't even say anything! Not "Who is attacking us?" not "Where are we being attacked?" Not even "Oh my God!" I don't understand how any American can hear the words "We're under attack" and just sit there. For that, if nothing else, I hate him, and probably always will.

3. I hate faking it... and I do it all the time. Not just, you know 'faking it', but social faking it. At work I have to pretend I'm interested in research I don't even begin to understand. The other day I had to fake excitement over someone's engagement. I have to fake how strongly I feel about some things just to keep the peace. I fake getting along with my family when I visit. I fake it all the time. The thing that I really hate is how easily I do it. I would just love to have the guts to tell some people off...but I just can't do it. I'm working on it.

So those are the things I hate. It's possible that I took this assignment just a *tad* more seriously than what was intended. ;) But that's me. I'm super cereal.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Caturday visitor

On Thursday night I finished up the hat I was making for J. Which was convenient since she decided to make a spontaneous trip up here to visit. Here she is in her new hat.Isn't it pretty? I used Plymouth Yarn Boku 95% wool 5% silk blend. I actually ran out right when I started the decreases, and I finished it up with Noro Silk Garden. It blends pretty well. Honestly, I preferred the Boku. I don't like the thick & thin (and really really thin) variation of the Silk Garden.

As you can see, Sally girl is glad to see her Auntie J. again. BTW, when I asked J. if I could post this picture, she said it was fine as long as I credited her boob properly. I think that one's Poncho (the other one is Villa), and isn't it lovely?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The first three

This week's blog-stalking assignment is to list three things I love and three things I hate. It's going to be hard to trim down the list, as there are many things I love and more than a few things I like to say I hate.

Three things I love:

1. My mother's handwriting. Back in the day they actually taught penmanship in school, Mom learned the Palmer Method of handwriting. So her handwriting is nice and even, properly slanted, just loopy enough. But above and beyond the fact that she has nice handwriting - something about it just says "mom" to me than almost anything else about her.
I remember in college one time I was cleaning up my dorm room and I found a piece of paper with her writing on it and it almost made me cry. I don't even know why, I guess I was homesick or something. But seriously, it was just a list of things I should pack or something generic like that. She's good about writing me letters, and I really appreciate that. Actually, she hasn't written to me in a while, but I think she's still writing to my nephew (in boot camp) several times a week and that's fine.

2. I love this picture of me. My nephew took it when he was all of 3 years old (I believe he was sitting on his tricycle), and it's seriously one of the best pictures I have of myself. How cute was I? Even with the big dorky glasses. =) It was actually winter when this picture was taken. I can tell because I'm wearing jeans. Were it summer, I'd be in a swimsuit & towel.
But man... what I wouldn't give to go back in time and have a nice long chat with my 17 year old self. We'd start with a good long hour lecture on the topic of "You're not fat!" starting with "No, your calves are not 'too big', your thighs are no where near 'flabby', and that bit of your stomach that rolls over the top of your jeans when you sit down is called 'skin' and it's supposed to be there." and ending with a trip to the mall to get a smokin' hot bikini to wear the next time someone wants to go to the beach!

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but I could say soooo much more about what was going on when this picture was taken. That smile hides a lot of teen angst, high school drama, and emotional turmoil. It was taken just after I broke up with HS boyfriend, but just before I got back together with him. So if I could continue that conversation with my 17 year old self, I would admonish her to run screaming in the opposite direction if anyone should even suggest that the ex-boyfriend 'wasn't that bad'.

I don't know.... I love the picture, I love that my little nephew took it because he was playing with my mom's camera, and I love my 17 year old self for being able to smile through the traumas of adolescence.

3. I love my country.
I am a very patriotic person. I tear up when I hear the National Anthem, I love singing all of our other folk songs like America the Beautiful. I love my country because of it's diversity of people, ideas, climate, geography... there's really something for everyone. And I love my country despite the truly horrible things we've done, like slavery, or sending American citizens of Japanese ancestry to internment camps during WW2. Because eventually we do sort it out and try to make things right. I believe in a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. I feel very honored to get to participate in that government, and I take my civic responsibilities seriously (most of the time... I'll admit not voting in some of the local elections when I haven't had time to figure out what the issues were). I consider jury duty a privilege.

Of course, one of the things I love best about my country is Portland. It's so beautiful here. We have all the benefits of being a city, a good local music scene, lots of art galleries & a museum that's small but gets some terrific visiting exhibits, the public transportation is great (even if Tri-met cannot always be exactly on time) and it's just got a cool vibe here. The other great thing is that you don't have to go very far to get away from city life. The mountains and the coast are each just a couple hours away, not to mention all the parks and hiking trails in the city itself.

So those are my three loves. As for the three things I hate - stay tuned, I've got quite a bit to say on that subject as well.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Right Brain vs. Left Brain

I saw this article, and have been absolutely transfixed by it. I can get the woman to spin in a different direction by blurring my eyes or blinking a lot, very very trippy.

Dancing Lady

Just thought those of you who haven't already seen it might find it really interesting.

In other news, I had a lot of fun at Twisted last night. There was a minor emergency when I ran out of yarn for a new project I'm working on... but seeing as I was *in* a yarn shop, the crisis was averted pretty quickly. I'll put up pictures as soon as I give it away. Yeah, I know... I'm supposed to be doing stuff for me now, but I've been wanting to make something for this person for a while now. I should be able to finish it up tonight. Which means I'll need to bring something else with me to Abundant on Thursday (two knitting nights in one week - what a wild life I lead ;) ).

Monday, October 8, 2007

Button, button, who's got the button?

I do! I was having lunch with actual T on Sunday and she mentioned that I could get cool buttons at a high end fabric and 'dry goods' store downtown. Then I remembered that there was an actual button store downtown (next to the quilt shop & a few blocks from the yarn shop - is this a great city or what?). But when I got to the button store, I learned that it was closed on Sunday. =( Not to fret, I went on to the fabric store.

Now, I really support the idea of buying local, so that all those cute little shops will stay open. But I don't really believe in supporting local businesses at any cost. I mean, there are a lot of fabric/yarn/craft stores, both big and small in the greater Portland metro area. I could just as easily go to one of the warehouse type stores, but the advantage of the small shops is supposed to be customer service & better quality products. Well, I was in the very small shop for about fifteen minutes, and the sales girl never even acknowledged my existence. Admittedly she was helping a mom and some kids pick out fabric for a costume, but they were also discussing their plans for the holidays so it wasn't like they needed her undivided attention. At one point she walked by me - like not more than 18 inches away, and didn't even look at me. I'm sorry, but that's just rude. I don't need a lot of hand holding when I shop, but I think they should at say "Hi" or "I'll be with you in a moment." So I left, and went to one of the warehouse stores, where I might add, I got excellent customer service.

They had lots and lots of buttons, a few of which would have worked. I couldn't quite decide, between these two sets. So I got them both.
Which buttons should I use for my cardigan?

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Oh baby!

I went to a baby shower on Saturday, and then on Sunday I found an out of town friend just gave birth to bambino #3. This is the baby for whom I've been working on the I-Spy quilt. I'd been thinking of that mom earlier in the week and meant to ask when she was due (you know... so I could find out how long I had to finish up the quilt), but never got around to it because I was busy finishing up the other quilt.

Fortunately, all I had left to do on the I-Spy quilt was the binding. I'm a total cheater when it comes to binding - I never hand sew them. I just do my best to make a machine sewn seam look good.
And check out my free-motion star. =) I'm not thrilled with how I quilted all the squares, but I think I got really good at the stars.
So here's the whole quilt, in what is fast becoming the traditional over the couch shot.

And now I decree that none of my friends are allowed to get knocked up until I finish at least one quilt for myself! I mean, I do like making little kid quilts, they're quick, they're fun, and I can use patterns & fabrics that I like, but wouldn't necessarily want for myself. Plus, I think an event as significant as the creation of a whole new human being warrants a hand-made gift. (Hmmm... can I call it hand-made if I use a sewing machine? Let's call it 'home-made'.) But in the past year I've made four quilts for other people, and have only finished 1/2 a quilt for myself. So I'm really going to focus on making stuff for myself for a while.

Saturday, October 6, 2007



At least that's what these fabrics reminded me of. When I bought them I knew they'd be just perfect for a little kid blanket. And just my luck, fellow knittyhead announced she had a baby on board. =) So I started working on a fun little brightly colored quilt. Because the colors and patterns were so vibrant, I decided to go for a simple four patch / solid block pattern. The larger blocks are 6" square, the smaller are 3".

As I started placing the the squares, working out the balance of colors - Sally decided to show her approval for the overall design.

I had the idea of doing a free motion swirly quilting pattern, and actually did a few lines of it. But I really didn't like how it looked on the reverse. So I set it aside to think about for a while. Finally I ripped it all out and decided to go with a zig-zag stitch.
I did kinda get distracted though... and didn't actually finish it up until last night.... the day before the shower. But, I was able to finish it, and that's the important part.

I used the bright yellow fabric for the backing.

So there it is... bright and fun and a little funky. Hopefully the little tike will enjoy it!

Any day now

I'll be finishing up my Everyday Cardigan. I've finished knitting up all the parts, and now I just need to block, seem & do the finishing. I still haven't found buttons that I really like, so it might actually be a while before it's wearable.

In other news... I've *just* finished a quilting project. I put the final stitches on it last night, and it's in the wash right now. Since I'll be giving it away today, I'll post the finished pictures a little later.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


Noted boy quilter & self described aging indie rocker Michael5000 has tagged me to describe myself using the letters of my name.

R Realistic - I'm pretty down to earth, and unfortunately sometimes a little too down to earth. Working in an office, at a job that requires absolute adherence to rules & regulations doesn't give me much time to nurture my creativity. That's probably why crafts are so important to me.

E Expensive Education - I finally paid off my very expensive university education, and I'm planning to take another course that will essentially wipe out my savings. I'm hoping the second course will end up being a better investment than the first!

B Brunette - I'm not a blonde bombshell, nor am I a fiery redhead. Nope, I'm a brunette, and I fit that stereotype fairly well. I'm bookish, a little shy, pretty plain Jane. A few summers ago I bleached my hair blonde. It was a surreal experience, one I don't intend to repeat. Being a brunette suits me.... of course, in a few years I'll be completely grey, but I'm trying not to think about that.

E English Speaking - At the moment I'm monolingual, but I'd like to change that. I'm going to try to brush up on my French and learn a little more Spanish. And my current 5 year plan involves becoming a teacher of English to speakers of other languages, so that I will, ironically, finally have an opportunity learn a foreign language by immersion.

L Lonely - Over the past couple of years I've made some changes in my life, sloughing off some relationships that just didn't fit, and while I've started building up a few new & promising relationships... I'm still a little lonely. Despite the close friendships I formed in college, I haven't had a 'Best Friend' since high school, and I really miss that.

So that, dear reader is probably a much more detailed response to the meme than was strictly necessary. I'm tagging Bezzie (just to see the Z adjectives she comes up with), Mistress J, and fellow Portland girl Indigo Mouse. Consider this a 'free will' tag - anyone else who might want to do this can consider themselves tagged as well.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Flying my freak flag

It's possible, actually highly probably that you missed this exchange in comments regarding the key chain I showed off when I spilled the contents of my purse:

jenn said...
oh, and who is that teeny, tiny man i see dangling from your key chain?
September 27, 2007 10:10 AM

Rebel said...
Why that would be Special Agent Fox Mulder making his way up Skyland Mountain to rescue Agent Skully from Duane Barry before aliens/ members of a covert para-governmental consortium kidnap her, insert a tracking device in the back of her neck, steal her eggs and give her cancer, thus rendering her infertile until season 8. Next Question?
September 27, 2007 12:50 PM

Michael5000 said...
Oh dear.... You know, I've never had a TV, but back in the day I always managed to have a standing Sunday night X-Files date with someone who did. Some friends made me VCR tapes of every episode up to #110 or something, and they've been sitting in boxes for the last 7 or 8 years. I'm going to toss them... but first, I'm watching them through, in order, while I do my handwork. So, it's not that I'm NOT going to call you a dork for what you said just then, but....
September 27, 2007 1:08 PM

Well, if I'm not a dork for that, what about this:

There's Mulder, Scully, a mysterious dead body, an 'alien incubator', the most awesome lunch box ever, and of course, the pride and joy of my collection: 109 video taped episodes of the show, programmed, categorized, and easily referenced (note the yellow pages on the left). Some of the tapes are even lovingly decoupaged.

There was a time when I would have been embarrassed to widely acknowledge all my quirks and obsessions. Prior to going on a date several years ago a coworker gave me the sage advice "Whatever you do - don't talk about your cat!" Well, I didn't talk about the cat, but I still didn't end up with the guy. So now I'm more inclined to just let it all (or mostly) hang out. Especially after hearing about a guy Mistress J. dated prior to DWE. Not only did he have to arrange care for his aged & infirm cat before he could go out with her, when said cat finally died, he wrote a eulogy that was several pages long. As long as there are guys like that out there, I don't see anything wrong with talking about my Sally.

So now I'm outed as a complete and total X-Phile. I was obsessed for quite a while, suffered through unbelievable anxiety for the six months between seasons 7 and 8, and I was absolutely heartbroken in the final seasons when the show I loved for it's sharp writing and beautiful character development, jumped the shark so completely. Agony I tell you. Sheer agony. After eventually getting some closure with the series finale, I vowed never to love another show the way I loved The X Files. I actually made myself stop watching Lost sometime in the first season because it was just too good and I was scared to go 'to the bad place' again. Once the series is all out on DVD, I'll put it in my Netflix queue. Where, at least, if it breaks my heart, it'll be quick.

Monday, October 1, 2007


So how do I get from here to there everyday? Well here's a trip from home to work starting at my doorstep.
PS - I'm not that tall... my feet really are that tiny.

First, out the door, around the corner and up the steps. Please note the uh... lush vegetation.

At the end of my street, I turn and start going down the hill. Check out the amazing view of Mt. Hood. Well... it's there, I promise.
Two blocks down, take a peek down the side street at Mt. St. Helens. Again... I promise it's there.

At this point I've been walking for about 5 minutes, and I'm ready for a bit of a pit stop.

Fortunately there's a Plaid Panties right there.
It's time for a healthy breakfast! (It says "Dr."- it has to be healthy!)

Another block, and work comes into view. It's still about another 3 minute walk.

And that's how I get to work, on my own two feet. The way there is fine, all downhill. But you know what they say - what goes down, must come up.

But it's not all bad, I get to walk past this beautiful mountain stream. You can almost see the salmon swimming up stream.
But when I'm not walking to & from work, or waiting for the #8 to take me downtown (which deserves a post of it's own), I drive this beautiful 1996 Plymouth Neon. Her name is Babette, I named her on my first test drive. I've gone well over 100,000 miles with her, to Vancouver BC & Passadena CA and countless trips between Lacey WA and Portland.

And that's how I get from here to there and back again.