16 November, 2010

Falling Behind

I was going to have knitting pictures for you to ogle, but I forgot to take them until after it was dark. Daylight saving is, in case you didn't know, o-v-e-r, so it gets darker... earlier. Weird, right? You'd think they would want to save daylight in the winter, when it's dark all the time. But no. Yet another thing to change when I'm in charge of everything; damn that list is getting long!

Sooooo I'm nearly to the end of the center square of the Hap Shawl. When it's piled up it looks pretty much the same as it does here, with just more fabric. Once the center is off the needles, I'll stretch it out and show you that it does, in fact, make a square! It's rull exciting in my knitting life, guys!

Let's see, what else. OH! I signed the lease on my new apartment today! Wahhooooo!! No more crazy, soap-using, brother-emailing, passive-aggressive crazy (did I mention crazy?) person for a roommate. Unless you count me, which maybe you should because I use soap, email my brother, and am occasionally passive-aggressive. One of these things I am working on and the others I consider positive parts of my persona; I'll let you decide which is which. Anywhoodle, I talked my landlord into letting me paint my room, so that's going to happen on Friday and I will take pictures of Nadia and I smeared in paint and rocking out to 80's music according to the Universal Law of Painting. What kind of music did people listen to while painting before the 80s, I wonder? I have an amusing mental image of Elizabeth Bennet painting the west sitting room while Mary warbles away on the pianoforte.

And I promised spinning information, so here it is! You may have noticed a severe dearth of spinning on this blog with the minor exception of over the summer while I was in BFE Illinois. Well, since I'm shifting house, I'm going to take the opportunity to put my wheel where I will use it. And to help me remember that spinning is good for the soul, I'm taking part in the Spindlicity Stashdown 2011. This is only partly inspired by the veritable mountain of spinning fiber in my possession, and more by my desire to actually SPIN sometimes instead of just acquiring fiber. Since the original post, the author (Janel? I have no idea) has decided it's going to be a 12-month thing and will begin after the holidays are over. I, on the other hand, have A Very Little of the Be-Bop-a-Lula left to spin up and ply, so I'm going to make that my warm-up project for December.

Here's a button if you'd like to play along!
And there you have it. My contribution for today. I will leave you with a little tidbit i learned today while watching the Du Maurier/Hitchcock special feature on the Rebecca DVD: Daphne du Maurier's father was great friends with J. M. Barrie, and played the very first Captain Hook on stage. He was also the person who began the tradition of having the good Captain and Mr. Darling played by the same actor. Daphne grew up with the children who inspired Peter Pan. Now why wasn't that wrapped into Finding Neverland?!?

15 November, 2010

Blah Blah Title Here It's Late I Don't Care

I'm back from derby and my butt hurts. This kicking ass on skates is totally working because I can feel the definition starting to come back in my quads. YESSSSSS!!! And then someone mentioned a "skater butt," and I got chills. The one thing I do not need more of is junk in my trunk, thank you South American family. I guess you can't win'em all, right?

Y'anyway, Darcy is trying mightily to get me to go to bed using his tried-and-true technique of pushing everything remotely mobile off of my desk and looking at me like, "did you see that, bitch? Go to BED!"

And since I just pay the rent and am clearly not in charge around here, that's where I'm going.

Tomorrow I have stuffs for you to hear about! Including knitting and future spinning. Oh, what's that? You forgot that this is mostly a knitting blog and not a catalogue of which days I am sore*? So did I.

*Lately the ones that end in Y.

14 November, 2010

What Happened?

Um, so it's Sunday.

I'm not exactly sure how that happened, especially the SUNDAY part. I got up yesterday, left the house at noon, and didn't come back until 4am this morning. My cat was seriously annoyed with me, and I was dead tired.

But I helped to clean the Sacred Warehouse (fresh meat have the dirty job. I love it!), practiced for a couple of hours (those crossovers are getting easier), then went to a teammate's house to shower before we went out to Second Saturday to pass out flyers for tonight's Sunday Slaughter. Afterward, we did what derby girls do in their off time: we went out drinking, after which I had reason to wish fervently that I was already installed in my new apartment a short cab ride from downtown Sac.

Now my legs are sore and my homework is undone. Gah!

12 November, 2010

Only Slightly Productive

This is how my day went:

I woke up late, cuddled the still drugged-up kitty for awhile, and so got out of bed even later. I made tea, had brunch (having missed the appropriate hour for breakfast), then did a little homework and started laundry.

When I looked up, I was horrified to realize that it was almost 2:30 in the afternoon. How had my day slipped by so quickly?

That feels like a million years ago. The moment I looked at the clock, time stopped like a bunny in the headlights. It's a very strange feeling.

You know what else is a strange feeling? Getting approved for a new apartment! The landlord called this afternoon sometime after time stopped and told me that our old apartment in San Jose raved about me as a tenant. I expected a positive response, but there's always the fear that the manager secretly loathed you, or that today is the day you find out that someone's stolen your identity and racked up a bajillion dollars worth of medical bills. But none of that happened, and I got approved! Wahoo! I'm super-excited about this; I feel like it's a great new beginning. I'm stoked about pretty paint colors, possible chalkboard cabinets, and putting prints on the walls. I spent the day perusing IKEA's website looking for rugs, a couch, and other sundry things to put in my new place.

And now I'm going to go make popcorn, cuddle the drugged kitty some more, and start reading Great Expectations. It seems fitting.

11 November, 2010

Endcaps are Dangerous

Last night THB, Friday and I went to Bel-Air to buy ramen for dinner. After all, it's soup season and we were lazy! So we toodled around the store for a bit, sniffing the cinnamon pine cones and thinking about Thanksgiving and Christmas-y foods. I walked by at least three endcaps full of canned pumpkin and evaporated milk, and every time I veered closer... and closer...

Let me back up a bit. I am not a huge fan of pie in general, nor am I a fan of cake, AKA a vehicle for frosting. Cheesecake is one of two exceptions to both of these rules; I do love me some cheesecake. The other exception is pumpkin pie. Once the leaves on my favorite maple tree turn yellow, pumpkins roll into dark corners to hide from my voracious desire to stew them and bake them into custard. They are the four-and-twenty blackbirds to my pie-maker.

Now, back to Bel-Air, where Friday and I were walking by yet another endcap full of cans of pumpkin with pictures of pie on the labels. She mentioned that she loves pumpkin pie, too, and that was the end of it. One of the reasons I love this pie is that it's so easy to make. Dump in the sugar, eggs, and spices, then whisk in the evaporated milk and pumpkin, pour into two pie crusts (TWO! You can make TWO PIES at once!), and bake then cool. Then eat for breakfast with freshly whipped cream, courtesy of your handy hand blender. Bliss.

Wonder Woman likes pie, too!

10 November, 2010

Who Gets the Best Drugs?

Last night was a boatload of fun. Us girls discussed derby names (shhh don't tell that we told each other!), the Potential Hardass Girl on the team, we got our fingers going in the air a few times during stories about Boys and How to Reject Them, and over all had a great time. Randy met us out, and he was amused by my shiny new friends (who are o-m-g so 22, but not crazy [yet]). It was a fabulous mix of old friends and new, and you may have noticed that I enjoyed myself thoroughly, despite drinking minimally so I could drive 35 minutes home at 1:30AM.

I paid for it 5 hours later. Mes amis, I am no longer, to quote Jenni, "eighteen anymore." Neither am I 25, or even 30 anymore. Bless their little hearts, they thought I was 24 and also a size 4, so I will love their noggins until kingdom come. BUT. Five hours of (bad) sleep later, I hauled my (very sore) butt out of my loft bed - veeeeery sloooooowly down the ladder - stuffed the kitty into the carrier, and hauled his loudly protesting self to the vet for his 8am tooth cleaning.

At ten, the vet called to say that he did, in fact, need to have teeth pulled, that he needs antibiotics, that he's a very handsome kitty (natch), and that he could go home at three.

At ten-thirty I met the landlord of the apartment I hope to have keys for by this time next week. No word on that front yet, but should my paperwork come back from the San Jose apartment in order - which it will, as we never paid late and all the damage in the apartment was wear-and-tear - I should be painting my room next a lovely French-ish blue by Monday.

At noon I was at Nadia's house. She took the burden of driving off of my hands and we went to go find IKEA frames with which to frame my lovely prints from Rebekah (no luck, grr!), and to find the aforementioned French-ish blue paint at Home Depot. Several paint chips found their way into my purse, then we called it a day.

I picked up the still loudly protesting kitty at 3:15 and was handed a release form not for the kitty himself, but for the controlled substance pain killers (morphine) I'm supposed to shoot into his mouth for the next 3 days. Apparently if I sell them, I could a) make a shitload of money and b) go to jail for a long time.  Meanwhile, Darcy has been staggering around with wide opium eyes, miscalculating jumps (much to our amusement and subsequent guilt) and being not-so-surprisingly amenable to sitting in warm laps. Poor toofless kitty!

Clearly the answer to the above question is: animals.

09 November, 2010

Potential Problem

Not roommate drama, thank goodness. But it just occurred to me that I have a seirous issue with finishing the NaBloPoMo thing: I am going to the Sticks of Chicago again for Thanksgiving, where I will be sans internet for 10 days. So much for every day of November! But I'm going to try to make every day until then. Unavoidable lack of internet isn't worth giving up on the exercise.

So for those of you who don't know, I'm a World of Warcraft nerd. I've been playing since launch 6 years ago with a group of real life friends; we thought it would be a good way to al keep in touch, and even though some of them have dropped out over the years, it has indeed proven a good way to keep our long-distance friendships alive. I've also made a bunch of friends through our guild, which we've been a part of for the last 5 years. It started as a group of people in their early-to-mid-20's and is now a guild of people from about 25-40 years old. Having grown-ups to play video games with makes everything so much better!

Anyway, that's what I've been up to today: playing video games. Tonight I'm going to a jazz night at a bar downtown with my fellow Fresh Meat and hopefully dropping off my application for the 1-bedroom apartment I looked at on Friday. Should all go well, I'll have keys on the 15th!

Also, my butt hurts today in a very "getting in shape" kind of way. Woot!

Day One, Officially

Tonight was my first practice as an official Sacred City Derby Girl, Class: Fresh Meat. It. Was. Awesome.

My butt hurts. My legs hurt. My jaw hurts from clenching it against the mouth guard while I concentrated. My lower back is sore, my abs will be by tomorrow, and it's fan-fucking-tastic.

You know what else is fantastic? All 11 of us girls are totally stoked about being friends. Suddenly for the first time since I moved here, I have out-of-the-house plans for the next six evenings. I hardly know what to do with myself!

I talked to my hopefully-future apartment manager (landlord? I dunno) today, and I'm dropping off my application with him tomorrow evening. In the meantime, I'm fantasizing about the pale blue-grey I want to paint my bedroom, the frame I want to paint onto the wall for Love is a Servant, and which color to use to make the kitchen cabinets into chalkboards. I can't wait!

07 November, 2010

Breathing Again

Whew, the last few days have been full of D-R-A-M-A. But now the biggest issues are resolved - that is, THB and I sat down and ironed out how I was feeling and how he was feeling, and now we, at least, are cool. Which is all that really matters at this point; family being family and all.

Today I went skating with some fellow Fresh Meat friends! It was fun even though we didn't skate for very long. There was a little kid birthday party at the roller rink, so there were lots of munchkins to dodge, and we quickly decided we were not yet good enough on skates to jump over any who might fall in front of us. Also the other girls were, in true Derby style, hung over, so we sat and chatted most of the time instead.

Tomorrow I am meeting with the manager of the apartment I saw on Friday and hopefully signing a lease. I haven't seen any other places, but this one is nice and I felt both safe and happy inside it. I am very fatalistic when it comes to apartments, apparently.

I do have a story though:

Yesterday I decided to watch a movie and knit after dinner, then go to bed early. I made a steak and got ready to settle down and watch Derby (1971), which had come in from Netflix a day or so earlier. I distinctly remember THB handing it to me along with some other mail, opening the envelope, noting the movie inside, and putting it down somewhere. I was all stoked to watch it, and started looking around. It was nowhere to be found, and I was slightly miffed with myself for not putting it directly on the TV stand like I usually do when I get a Netflix disc. I looked high and low, carrying my steak around with me so Darcy wouldn't drag it onto the floor (it's happened before), and found precisely nothing.

Miffed, I started House instead, then went to bed still wondering where that disc could be.

Now, this would be a not-story except that I went to the mailbox today to check the mail, and what was inside but a Netflix envelope. Since I already had my three discs, I figured it was put into the wrong box and flipped it over to see the name and address. They were mine. My eyebrows went up, I stopped walking toward the car, juggled my skates and knee pads into a comfortable position and opened the envelope. There inside was... Derby (1971). Apparently I have been dreaming about real things lately, and one of those real things was getting my next Netflix disc.

I'm not sure whether that means I'm clairvoyant or just boring. I mean, who dreams about Netflix coming in the mail? Obviously I do.

06 November, 2010

That Didn't Last Long

Four days, or 13% of the month, to be exact. Ahh, well. Pick up and begin again, yea?

Yesterday was one hell of a day! My Nadia came over, we went to look at a charming apartment, then we got ready with Friday and the three of us went to a beautiful dinner at Ella's in Sacramento, followed by In the Heights, followed by drinks and dancing with my friend Randy, who has been the lead electrician on the show since it started touring about a year ago. It's nice to hang out with friends who've known you for 1/3 of your life, y'know? There's something so easy about it; when they say, "Derby? Really? That's so you and.. not you. At the same time," I know exactly what they mean. Or he meant, in this case.

When the 3 of us girls got home at 2:30 am, the elephantine subject of what's been brewing in this house came up again. We all three have different loyalties, and all 3 of those loyalties are exactly where they should be: Friday's are with THB, mine are with me and my family, and Nadia's are with me as well. Under that premise, we talked about a lot of the issues that have been coming to the surface; it was one of those conversations that can only happen at 3AM no matter how old we get, apparently. I haven't seen that side of 6:30 in the morning for longer than I can remember.

This whole thing will pass, but nothing is going to be the same, and I'm a little bit afraid. It's not over yet, but I'm filling out an application for the apartment I saw yesterday and hopefully seeing another one today.

04 November, 2010

Roommate Trouble

It is time to shift house. For a long time, I've been struggling with living in this little 3-bedroom house with (usually) four other people. THB's Girl Friday is here most nights, and so is his best friend, and with our other Official Roommate, that makes five people in a 1200 square-foot house. With no closets (the closet thing really chafes me. Argh). It doesn't help my frustration that the other people living/staying here are younger than myself and therefore have different expectations than I do in roommates and living conditions.

That is not to say that I'm always cleaning the house. Just so we're clear; I like to operate in what is known as organized chaos, and it's sometimes difficult to explain why a pile of papers is in that particular spot on the floor (and has been for... awhile). And sometimes it's because I'm just lazy about going through papers, to be honest. Just because *I* know where something is in relation to the rest of my stuff doesn't mean that it looks tidy - often quite the opposite. But I try to keep my mess in my own room for the most part; other people live here after all. And my roommates do the same, for the most part.

But there is something rotten brewing in Denmark, my dears, and it hit the fan on Tuesday, spattering festered anger and passive-aggressive behavior all. up. in. heah.

For several months, or since I moved here, I've been pushing for us to suck it up and hire a housekeeping service. We're all busy and dislike cleaning, but THB and I have a higher dirt threshold than Other Roommate, so she ends up cleaning more than we do. She has, however, not brought up any frustration with this, and I've asked her several times if she feels frustrated by it. Without fail, she says no, that she likes cleaning and she's doing it to relax. Now, I am lazy and also dislike having to ferret truth out of people, so I've taken her at face value. So, the maid service idea has been pooh-poohed and nothing has changed. I brought this up again last week sometime, and they laughed me out of the room again. Then on Tuesday, the house was inundated by ants - they were fucking everywhere, and it was disgusting. We all pitched in to clean up, but there was a little sing-song in the back of my mind saying that if we'd hired a maid service, this wouldn't have happened (this may or may not have been true. Ants come inside when it rains, and it's been raining). I kept my mouth shut and started looking for 1-bedroom places on CraigsList that night instead of turning into a shrieking harpy.

Tonight, THB told me that he's been having a 2-day long email conversation with our Other Roommate, who told him he needs to step in as a landlord and not as a brother and fix this situation. She hasn't contacted me at all, not to ask to have a conversation, not to tell me I'm a crazy bitch, nothing. She also hasn't been home in 2 days. We are apparently in 4th grade and Not Speaking to one another, and I don't even know why. It's absurd.

I have an appointment to look at an apartment tomorrow. I really hope it's not shady so I can sign a lease on the spot. And I am beyond furious that this person has managed to make me uncomfortable in the house that I share with my brother.

03 November, 2010

Just Under the Wire

It's 11:30! Woot. I just got back from my second on-skates practice, which was also an evaluation to figure out whether us newbies go in the Fresh Meat or the Fast Track group. I, predictably, am in Fresh Meat. This doesn't disappoint or surprise me at all, since I didn't know how to skate when I went to the Sac City Rollers Boot Camp three weeks ago. Was it really 3 weeks ago that I decided to do this? Damn. It feels like the pre-Derby me was forever ago. That's what happens when you're a diver, folks.

Also, I want you to remember that thing I said on Monday about settling into the couch before showering after a hard workout, and then picture me coming home and writing a blog post instead of jumping into the shower - JUST so I could get it in under the wire. THAT is how dedicated the New Me is, mis petite chiens. Which is totally, in case you didn't pick up on that.

 Let's see, what else? I've been knitting a little but have nothing to show you, as the Sekrit Thing #1-million had to be ripped and re-knitted so it looks exactly the same as before only ever-so-slightly bigger. Swatching is for wusses!

And speaking of wusses, this song had me in tears on the freeway; I almost missed my exit. But it's been running through my head, and I'll probably dream about a "relationship" that's been dead for over 10 years tonight.

Damn those scars run deep, don't they?

02 November, 2010

This totally counts!

It's 12:24 am as I start this blog post, and since this is my blog I get to make the Posting Every Day rules and I say it counts. So there. (Are you as amused as I am at how I think you're going to all come bearing down on me at full speed? I think it's the endorphins. I've missed them; let me tell you why!)

So at 11:15 tonight (last night? On Monday) I finished my first on-skates practice for the Sacred City Derby Girls. I am, to put it mildly, chuffed with myself. I didn't fall down when getting my gear checked like at try-outs (1 point), I didn't wuss out on anything (1 point), I accomplished some of the "lowerings" (they're actually falls, especially when you're out of shape) to the coach's Fresh Meat standards (1 point), I didn't quit (1 point) and I didn't die (5 points).

Also there was hot water in the tank when I got home so I didn't have to wait to crawl into the shower. I learned very young that getting in the shower quickly after a hard workout is key because your muscles are still warm and (mostly) will hold you up during the process. But if you settle into the couch for any amount of time, you're doomed. Your muscles get cold, then you start to have to do things like lifting your legs into and out of the shower, which is a precursor to falling in the shower, which any child of the 80's knows is tantamount to DEATH. You could split your head open and bleed out and also freeze when the hot water runs out! That may have just been my parents...

Y'anyways, I did it! And I even started to work on crossovers all by my little self once I was steadier on my skates and not so afraid of falling down - 2 hours of "drop to your knee and get up in 3 seconds" drills will do that to you!

And now I am going to bed with some ibuprofen, a book, and some popcorn. I feel I deserve all three.

01 November, 2010

National Something Something Month

Holy tiny pill bugs, y'all, it's November of 2010. How did that happen? My mind is appropriately boggled. Today I am listening to In the Heights in preparation for going to see it on Friday. Can I tell you how much I love this musical? So much.

My last post kicked me into high(er) knitting gear and I have progress to show you! I finished Baby Evelyn's tiny dress.

Baby Bliss Dress, Pagewood Farms Alyeska yarn, "River Rock," 365 yds.

That's my hand for scale, and while I have long fingers and it's one of those rare weeks when my nails are all the same-ish length (one will break today because I said that...) which would be reason enough for a blog post, the real point of a hand-for-scale is OMGTINYDRESS!! I'm sending this today because I'm pretty sure babies grow quickly and if I wait till tomorrow it'll be too small. Thankfully Ev's momma plans to make more babies for me to swathe in knitting.

I finished sock #1 of the Primaveras while I was watching derby practice, and then because I couldn't find my Pistachio Mitts, I started some new ones. Also, I don't like the Primavera pattern very much; it feels like it takes forever, which might be a result of making ahem longer socks or maybe the M1R/M1L increases that are not my favorite. Anyway, I made myself start the second sock before I started the second mitt because I've never yet fallen prey to Second Sock Syndrome and don't intend to start now!

One sock and one mitt does not a pair make!
Creatively Dyed Calypso yarn, "Gris"
I also started another sekrit thing - what can I say, it's that time of year! - but here's a fairly innocuous picture of the beginning:

SEKRIT! THING! Number 1 million. I like sekrits; they make me sunshiny inside. 

THB has been expressing his desire for more knitted stuff by asking if everything on my needles is for him. I keep saying no, and he keeps pouting; it's a little game we play, and I think it's adorable that my little brother wants more knitting from me even if he can't manage to keep the knitting I DO make for him (hence the title of the most recent socks I finished for him).

So that's the happs at the moment. Except that it's November, which in the knitting community - or at least, the online knitting community - means it's National Sweater Knitting Month, or the impossible to remember "NaSweKniMo." This is an offshoot of National Novel Writing Month, which might be more than national and is also mostly and online thing, just sayin'. Anyway, the point of November in the online world seems to be to challenge yourself to do something you usually wouldn't be able to do and to hold yourself accountable.* This is an excellent exercise and for the last 2 years, I have tried and failed to complete a Salina sweater - I may have mentioned this the other day - so this year I am going to try to knit a whole different sweater. THAT will show tricksy Salina in its Time Out Box on the closet shelf! (I may anthropomorphize my knitting occasionally. It's part of my charm.) Considering that I've only ever completed one grown-up sized sweater, I feel that this is a reasonably challenging challenge, yea? Now I just have to pick the yarn and the sweater. But, like always, mis cucarachas, there is a thing.

You may have noticed that I like buying yarn. I love colors and shiny and soft stuff, and it piles up around me like so much possibility. But once a yarn is knitted, it is a completed thing and no longer a possibility. Something in me rebels at this, and my mantra at such times is, "there will always be more yarn," but it doesn't make the changing from possibility to thing any less stressful. It's easier with socks because they don't take long and I've been making them for long enough that I know how to make them fit me. But sweaters can go wrong in so many ways, and I'm my own worst critic. Ai-yai-yai.

Thus, today's knitting is about choosing a pattern and yarn from my stash that I will spend the next month turning into a sweater.  I've got a few patterns and yarns in mind, so now it's a matter of matching them up and remembering that even if the sweater doesn't fit me right off the bat, it will fit someone - and even if it doesn't, I can always rip it out and try again. Paciencia y fe.

It's a beautiful fall day in California!

*My RSS feed has just informed me that it is also National Blog Posting Month which is totes an internet thing. I think I shall try this little exercise because I am Raych and Bekah's Biggest Fan Girl in a Non-Creepy Way and also a Follower. Also, bananafish.