Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Take 2

I'm whining again. I hate that. Is there such a thing as post-menstrual syndrome? It's like being achy in spirit. It's wanting to go home because your socks won't stay up. What, that's not a good reason? My energy level's circling the drain thanks to the burger I had for lunch. I should be able to go home. Don't they realize I have knitting projects to work on?!

As this is my first try at double knitting, I'm thinking of scaling it down but making it more complex. Clear as mud, right? What I mean is I'm thinking of making it in the style of a Lion Brand pattern I have (still felted, but handbag instead of shoulder—could've sworn it was the Around Town bag but now that I'm hunting for the link, it's eluding me...will revisit if I find it), but I keep coming back to complex design ideas. Instead of Jolly Rogers, I'm thinking of a labyrinth or some Celtic knotwork. Maybe just a nice fat band of Celtic knotwork all the way around...if I chart it properly, it shouldn't be too difficult. I'll do some sketching tonight.

A little grumpy

My god, I hate pissing my life away editing websites!

Yeah, ok, maybe more than a little grumpy.

Taking back the fuchsia, going with midnight blue highlights if my work says it's ok.

Frogged Petunia last night; will try my hand at double knitting tonight.

Not much else.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Old me, new hair

Going through phases. Took quite a bit of will to keep the scissors away from the hair this weekend. Instead brought it back to a burgundy that's not nearly burgundy enough for my liking, so I'm also adding some fuchsia highlights.

Hormones and planning a move just don't mix. I mean, it's completely normal for me to go into a weekend with all these hopes and dreams of things I'm going to accomplish, and then not doing them, but when you've got the hormones helping thwart your plans...funny thing is, I'm less frustrated than I should be. I mean, technically, we need to be telling people we've made decisions on living arrangements by like, Wednesday. Never mind that I want to box stuff up...but we need more boxes and tape. I want to clean out the catch-all end tables and convince Husby to toss them. I want to toss the corkboard and my couch, and transfer all the material from the old CPU to the new one, so that we can toss all our old computer equipment. (That'll help things a lot; we're talking 2 monitors, 3 CPUs, a dot matrix printer, and gosh-knows-what-all accessories taking up space in various areas of the dining room) The kitchen didn't even get cleaned this weekend. Instead I took most of the old VHS tapes and culled them, fast-forwarding through them to make sure there wasn't anything decent on them, and then tossing them. This also meant indulging in some old West Wings and a Chicago Hope or two, which made the time fly, but almost everything got thrown out because the quality wasn't worth keeping them to tape over. My gosh, what pack rats we are! The funniest was forwarding through stuff and seeing Bob Hite and Gayle Sierens doing news updates, which means I taped them in Tampa (at least 12 years ago, probably more). Since I consider this life to have started when I met Les in Fort Myers, maybe that's why I'm less frustrated with the lack of things accomplished this weekend...because tossing those tapes had a cathartic effect. This whole move's going to have shades of that, I can tell.

mr. sock got the attention this weekend, turned his heel on Saturday and am in the home stretch of what I consider my first true sock. I did make that pair of Thuja a while back, but I used the most awful yarn you could possibly use to make socks (wool ease)...they won't even stay on, let alone stay up; it's like exponential cankles. So this pair I'm excited about, which is as it should be since it's with the yarn ruthee gave me to make my first socks in the first place. :)

As I predicted, I'm losing interest in the Petunia bag, but that's also because a couple of us are trying our hands at double knitting with the Pirate Queen's Booty Bag. I am not a Jolly Roger gal, so I was trying to think of something else to chart, but now I think I will go with my original idea of just leaves or something, orange on brown, because I can't afford to buy new yarn right now, that's for sure. So I'll probably rip out the Petunia tonight and give the pattern a good look-see. Or plow through the home stretch on mr. sock part I. Kitchener stitch, here I come!

Thursday, February 22, 2007


They're profiling a rather amazing lady this week on Anderson Cooper 360. 26-year old Amanda is intelligent and extremely well-written, as she demonstrated because her autism doesn't allow her to speak. She communicates entirely by computer and voice software. What struck me especially was an analogy she made during the interview. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, a senior medical correspondent for CNN, noted that when she was in public, rather than greet someone she recognized in the "normal" way, she instead rocked more and exhibited more autistic tendencies. Her condition makes her long-winded, but she explained that to greet someone in a "normal fashion" would cause her to experience a significant overload. She doesn't even walk much, because the act of keeping her balance and putting one foot in front of the other is too overstimulating. We regular folks take such automatic behavior for granted, but for her, it's like doing calculus in your head just to say "hi."

This naturally got me thinking about Hunter, my autistic nephew. Only 6 years old, he spends his days in a special needs kindergarten, doped to the gills so he won't do harm to himself or others. I don't see him nearly often enough, but I do see him more, now that Cyril lives at home with my folks. Watching Amanda was a good education on autism; I learned several things. She calls herself bilingual, and I really understood what she meant. These first years are incredibly important for Hunter. He needs to learn English, normal English, and even more importantly, the people around him need to learn Hunter's English. Then, and only then, will he be able to communicate with us. At present, he's pretty quiet, and he's quite ritualistic; when he plays, there's a specific plan in mind and good luck diverting him from it. But so much of that quietude is the drugs, and it pains me that that could be squelching his intelligence and creativity, keeping them hidden inside his head. I understand the need for his meds; his mother is tiny and hasn't been able to handle him physically for a while now. But I also ache when I think of the potential neglect he's facing when his little brother or sister arrives on the scene. But his mother's an irrational, unstable individual, and his father's role is limited by work and divorce. So I stay in the shadows and pray for better things for him.

Amanda wore sunglasses to combat the overstimulation. It made me wonder if the same, or some very thin earmuffs or thin gloves, would help more autistics. Or even a set of those extra fingerprints, like they had on Gone in 60 Seconds. Also got me thinking about my past and the heredity factor. I wonder about what part of the brain controls those levels of behavior, autistic vs. normal. Because I was watching Amanda last night and recognizing some old behavior in myself. When I was at my very worst, in Tampa and Fort Myers, my depressive condition caused panic attacks, agoraphobia, rocking, head banging, and short bouts of catatonia. Thankfully my medication allows me to lead a "normal life," and from the way I've always lived before and after, it's certainly apparent that my brain has the proper tools to remain on the "normal" side of society. But what in the brain makes that distinction? As far back as 5th grade, I've been fascinated with autism, even wrote a paper on it for school. When I noticed the symptoms in Hunter at age 18 months, and he was diagnosed a year or so later, all fascination went out the window naturally. Amanda's story got me thinking again. Maybe it somehow ties into how good I am at medical informational recall; maybe there's where I could do some good. Maybe...

That 1 in 150 statistic bugs me though, saying that 1 in 150 kids has some form of autism, for several reasons: a) it's a statistic, so the margin for error is far from negligible, b) it doesn't mean that 1 in 150 kids has autism now; it means 1 in 150 kids is diagnosed today with some form of autism. The actual number of people afflicted with autism spectrum disorders may not have increased much at all in the past 30 years; the difference is that back in the day, they didn't call it autism or asperger's syndrome or some other spectrum disorder. Now that these conditions have names, they can be counted, but as a result, the numbers are dangerously misleading, causing panic and words like "epidemic."

Amanda's blog is extraordinary, totally blows away the concept that autistics are somehow less intelligent. Be patient with it loading, as her popularity is causing serious traffic.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Midweek blahs

We need a new post here, if for no other reason than to push down the one below it.

Money's a pain. Found out we can't access 401K until I actually become a remote worker for my firm. Makes sense, saves us from ourselves, does us no good for the move. At least our stock went up a little. And we're getting an ok tax return. Baby steps.

Knitting is focused this week on the SSS (a row at a time) and the Petunia bag. I'm sure I'll get bored with ole Petunia soon and she'll be relegated to UFO status, but hopefully if that happens it'll be so that I can put some real time in on mr. sock or finish the feather and fan scarf. I can dream...

Ignoring my library books in favor of some renewed craft interest...skipped Imbolc completely and am feeling the need to get my hands in the dirt. Working on my resume this week for the park ranger position in Columbia, but that's such a shot in the dark. After I finish it and send it in, I'll focus on a couple of other positions with potential for bennies. February's going by a bit fast for my liking; we'll set aside a security deposit for the SC apartment complex and talk to them and our complex late this week/top of next...little things coming together.

Monday, February 19, 2007

And another thing...

Not sure where this is coming from...

I'm usually one to either put Britney Spears down for not being the brightest bulb in the box, or pitying her for the pushy adults in her life who created her image, and then as she got older, for not knowing any better and perpetuating it. But the uproar that's been created by her shaving her head is just baffling. I can only guess that the news outlets are getting tired of the only celeb scandal news being Anna Nicole, and needed someone else to dish on, and since TomKat seem to still be in hiding...

It's a haircut, people. Drastic, certainly. Maybe it's a cry for help, maybe not. Shaving your head bald doesn't mean you're going to wake up in an alley the next day with a needle hanging from your arm. There's an excellent chance all it means is that she woke up one day, with 2 small kids, a career on hold, and a failed marriage, and realized she badly needed to feel something about herself that wasn't "Britney Spears," the label. When I saw the story, I just wanted to give her a hug and a "you go, girl," and then tell every paparazzi in the immediate vicinity to f*ck off. Until she pulls a Kate Moss and starts doing lines in public, people need to get the hell over it and let her figure herself out.

Happy Friggin' Presidents Day

As I was begrudgingly leaving for work this morning, I called out to Husby, that if I had to work when they're showing a 24-hour Law & Order marathon on TNT for the holiday today, then work damn well better be interesting.......

So far, no dice.

Today's UFO Monday, where we try and work on Unfinished knitting Objects, but I think I'll dig into updating my resume first for the Park Ranger app. Definitely feeling the motivation. I'm having one of those "can't-stand-to-be-part-of-the-capitalist-machine-that-insists-we-advertise-for-things-that-people-don't-need-to-buy" days.

Friday, February 16, 2007


Admitting to grazing a bit yesterday and delved into some food that would be considered "bad," but after you've traversed your stick shift, been goosed by your emergency brake, and discovered that there are definite differences in the shaping between Japanese and American car interiors, who's in the mood for a frickin' peanut butter sandwich when there's McDonald's right down the street? It was textbook emotional eating, so I recognized it, enjoyed it, and didn't get down on myself for it. It led to some additional grazing later in the day, but I improved by evening when I cut myself a slab of chocolate cake and only ate a couple of bites. Granted it had gone stale, but that's NEVER stopped me before. So I feel good about how I'm doing, because my cognizance of what and why I'm eating is still quite clear. I keep meaning to start a journal about what and why, because I find myself having fairly signifant JD-on-Scrubs conversations with myself about the subject, so I really ought to be writing stuff down. I hope to be able to start that this weekend. Today was the first time since I bought them, that I was able to put my jeans on without lying down. I think I floated to work. I will not step near a scale for at least another week; no point in it - my success's will not be measured in numbers, not yet anyway.

Busy weekend ahead...I have to work a good portion of Saturday, make cookies for Lil Bro and take them over there, fill out my city application for Columbia, update my resume, draft a cover letter that kicks ass, get Husby working on organizing/cleaning out the end tables, get some walking and knitting in, try out some recipes, and probably half a dozen other items that I'd love to hit and will be lucky to even remember...thank goodness I've got some energy back. My organizational capabilities are up, as well as my spirits; keeps life from being so overwhelming.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Unwitting Contortionist

To the flaming assh-...ah, I mean, colleague who felt it necessary to park their white Plymouth Grand Voyager minivan so close to the driver's side of my car today:

Thank you. So very much. When you put on a large amount of weight, as I have in recent years, you become unaccustomed to what your body may be capable of. Also, we've only had our pretty little sedan for oh, about 8 months now, so I hadn't yet had the need to enter the car from the passenger side to access the driver's side. By exploring this opportunity at lunchtime today, thanks to you, I developed a new appreciation for the stick shift, the emergency brake (which was clearly heading into "Exit Only" territory), and for the various ways my legs can bend. So really, my deepest thanks. May your next fart take on solid form.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Another good day...

...And it's not even unsettling yet. I don't consider myself a cynic (sarcastic bitch maybe), but when you live with depression, good moods are spent with one eye cocked over your shoulder, waiting for the other shoe to drop. Not so at present. I'm still eating differently, if not healthy, at least with better attempts at moderation. I'm trying to steer clear of the simple carbs, and since my idea of snacking is to inhale a bowl of popcorn and then start on the chocolate, and we have neither of those in the house, I haven't been snacking at all. I've been grabbing a glass of juice or milk with dinner, and for reasons beyond explanation, it's enough and leaves me feeling good. What I need to do though, is get some chocolate syrup, so I can do hot chocolate or chocolate milk if I start jonesing late at night. Infinitely better than hoovering a bunch of chips and then grabbing a piece of cake...so long as I don't go apeshit.

Going through another purse moment....I have them quite frequently. I have 2 good purses (Vera Bradley and Aigner) and a bunch of other lesser-knowns. But for some reason, I've drifted toward my Vera Bradley Messenger bag, using it as a purse and...I'm sure I'll get over it quick; it's awfully big so when you're faced with quick stops, like to grab smokes for Husby, you're also faced with the mundane decision of "do I bring the whole thing in or just my wallet...," which usually proves to be the wrong choice, whatever it was. Went to the library yesterday to pick up an Interlibrary Loan book, not realizing that I was over the magic number on my library fines, which resulted in me trudging all the way back to the car to get........wait for it...........a nickel, so I could check out the book I wanted. I tellya, it's tough being a chick.

Random entry: the only cool thing about constantly moving my desk at work: inheriting other people's cast-offs. I got my keyboard wrist pad when Margaret was canned (felt like grave robbing at the time, but I haven't had problems with carpal tunnel yet!). And this most recent move wrought two gems: a small, Tiffany-style (read: style...it's a cheap piece of crap, but still...) desk lamp with dragonflies on the shade and base, and a Lucite cube with a laser-cut design of a lighthouse. The paint's peeling off the lampshade, but I don't care; it's perfect for my needs, shining down on the desk instead of outward like so many desk lamps do, no matter how you contort their reflexible necks. Which is good for me, especially since the eye migraines have been sneaking up a little more often....And I think the cube's pretty; as my blog may attest, I kind of like lighthouses...::sheepish grin::

FINALLY picked up the needles last night! Man, it was nice; it's been like, 3 weeks, I think. I ripped out the pie wedge stuff I'd started, and instead started a basic stockinette for the bottom of the Petunia bag in the most recent issue of Interweave. I want to prove to myself I can follow a chart on something other than the SSS, and since I'm knitting 2 sizes bigger than called for and the pattern comes out pretty big looking besides, I'm also thinking I'll give it my first shot at felting when it's done. We'll see...

One very neat thing about carrying the Messenger bag as a purse.....carrying around the sock in progress, so I always have it on hand :)

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


Ok, we're sneaking in a bit of PCOS talk in today's blog, because about the only things that've been happening in my life of late are directly connected to that, so...

Got knocked on my arse hard this past weekend by chronic fatigue/depression that I can only assume was caused by diet and hormones. Had a weekend that was punctuated by zero self-esteem, 4-hour naps, and lousy eating habits. Didn't begin to get a clear head until about 11 a.m. Monday. Thank goodness I played hookey. Cleaned the kitchen with Husby, sorted laundry and did some fresh stashing of all our displaced clothes, cleared off my coffee table and wing chair, and walked to the store to get paper towels and trash bags. That walk really helped too, just getting outside and breathing a little fresh air. We're talking probably less than a mile round-trip, but it felt so good. What's sad but motivating is how achy I am today, even after stretching a bit last night.

For some reason, this time, something's clicked. It helped that I just got done reading the ridiculously over-the-top (I hope!) propaganda on the PETA website, thereby turning me off to most meat products for a while. But it was something else too; I mean you can tell yourself til you're blue in the face that you really shouldn't eat that piece of cake right before going to sleep, but your behavior's not going to change until you're absolutely ready for it to do so. Somewhere between Sunday night and Monday morning, I think it did. Yesterday was a good food day. I can tell by the way my body's rallying. There's no way I can cold turkey red meat, but I'm much more cognizant of what I'm eating all of a sudden.

Had another motivator just this morning on the Harlot's website. This past weekend, she and Joe piled the kids into a rental van and went north for some serious skating. I mean, serious skating - there's this canal somewhere in Ontario that markets itself as the world's largest skating rink in the wintertime. 15 km top to bottom. That's about 9.3 miles for those of us in the lower 48. I can't imagine skating that far, makes my quads hurt just thinking about it. But all I could really think about, with her beautiful pictures, is how exhilarating that must've been and how terrific it is to have kids who're in shape to do that type of activity with only minimal whining. I want that for my family. I want to take them for outdoor activities 10, 15 years from now and have all of us actually in the proper shape to enjoy it. I want healthy in my life.

In other news, I still haven't picked up needles in about 3 weeks now...that worries me a bit, but I'm enjoying some library books at present too. I'm thinking of ripping out the pie-wedge and starting the Petunia bag instead from the latest issue of Interweave.

And send positive energy the way of my Lil Bro please...poor bastard blew out his Achilles tendon last Thursday playing basketball, so he's got a long road of recovery ahead of him. He goes under the knife this Friday to repair it, which is followed by about 10 days of watching for blood clots and infection (yuck!). This has to have hit him hard, but he's handling it like the new Cyril would. I suppose it's insulting to him to be surprised, but we're talking about an injury with significant pain attached. It happened Thursday night, and when I inquired about his condition to Mom on Friday, she tells me he's got his doctor's appointment that afternoon, so he went to work in the morning. On Mom's old crutches! Then that night, I call to check on him, and he's not home because he's at practice - he coaches a church youth basketball league. I think he's trying for an outlook that's half Wayne Dyer, half Army: Everything happens for a reason, so drink water, drive on, private! I'm so damn proud I swear it emanates from me like neon when I think about him. I'm baking him cookies later this week.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Codependence...it's a beautiful thing

When I was 27, I realized I'd given up on love. No man would ever want me, crazy as I was, so I'd better plan for a different sort of life, not that I'd ever put much stock in the idea of marriage in the first place after watching my folks make each other miserable for 30-some-odd years. I visited the folks that year, and warned Mom that if I actually hadn't found someone by the time I was oh-say 38, that I'd be looking into ways to have a child on my own. That's the type of thing that would gibe against Dad's self-righteousness, so I wanted to give her fair warning.

That same year, I met Les.

Fast forward to present...I'm sitting here surfing the Prairie Home website for a cake recipe to make tonight. I picked him up at Amtrak early this morning, we've just woken up from delicious naps, and he's indulging in Nap Part 2 on the couch, snoring comfortably. He can't understand why he's still so tired, even though he a) traveled 5 hours by train last night, b) is still getting over viral bronchitis, and c) his body and mind are getting used to the relaxed atmosphere of here vs. the rather strained atmosphere of SC now that his sis, addict/alcoholic significant other, and beautiful, innocent small person have moved in with his folks. Thank goodness we are moving up there, because I can't imagine sleeping over there while visiting without a) giving her a sound piece of my mind about her behavior, b) smacking the crap out of her man, and c) sneaking off in the dead of night with my beautiful niece so they won't ruin her upbringing with their instability and habits. But I digress...

I find the recipe, pondering in my head whether I can switch out the chocolate because it might make his headaches worse. I hiss at the cat for sneaking behind the vertical blinds like she always does. I'm glancing at our overloaded bookshelves while I wait for the computer to upload...I'm getting the weird urge to read classics again, like Last of the Mohicans or Wuthering Heights. He snores lightly in the background. And I realize that the thing that was missing for the last week and a half (him, duh, but something more...) has returned, like a missing puzzle piece fit into place to make my soul a golden sphere again instead of the weird shape it took on last week when it had a chunk missing from it. It's an aha moment, a "hey cool, I'm better." Of course I'm not completely better; I'm still pretty hormonal of late and I really should shave my legs. Random, huh? But codependence ain't a bad thing; there is such a thing as the cheesy line from Jerry Maguire: "you complete me." And I really don't like that movie so that should tell you something about my ability to relate to one of its lines. I can still tolerate Tom Cruise in A Few Good Men, and Rain Man on a good day, but that's about it. The mother ship needs to come for that SOB.

Digressing again...I'll make him dinner tonight. We'll enjoy each other's company rather than go into our separate rooms because we prefer different TV shows. We'll remember how good this feels, so we only do the separate rooms thing when it's necessary, like Tuesdays when I'm ensconced in an evening of NCIS, House, and SVU. He's talking more about how we need to get organized for the move, how he wants to start looking for work up there soon, and if it means him moving early somehow, so be it. Something's waking up in him, a reactionary urge to do right by me and us rather than have us mirror his sister's sitch. I'll take it; I need that energy. Much as I try to take over and do everything at times in this relationship, I know I need help and that to nurture the partnership, I need to release my hold on total control. It allows another opinion, other ideas, and provides a necessary 2nd brain so that the project can grow and flourish under both our tutelages. (There's a sentence...) ::wry grin::

Gotta go hunt and gather. So nice to be feeling better.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


What Kind of Knitter Are You?

You appear to be a Knitting Guru. You love knitting and do it all the time. While finishing a piece is the plan, you still love the process, and can't imagine a day going by without giving some time to your yarn. Packing for vacation involves leaving ample space for the stash and supplies. It can be hard to tell where the yarn ends and you begin.http://marniemaclean.com
Take this quiz!


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T-minus 22 hours

But who's counting...

Les comes home by train tomorrow morning. I'm surprising him by taking the day off. Even though he'll probably need sleep half the day, I just need to be near him. He's still healing from the bronchitis; I expect at least another week of him operating below par. That's ok; I just want him back.

Coffee's not working yet. I've got a lot of tidying to do tonight in preparation for his arrival. Would rather be there than work. How sad is that? I'm still at loose ends, feeling the need to curl up somewhere. It's frustrating.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Wonky week

Man, having Husby out of town made me out of sorts. I performed strange tasks, like playing Mah Jong on the PS2 incessantly instead of knitting. And I dipped into cleaning house a bit, which isn't like me. I talk a good game about wanting to get organized, but for someone who was born right smack in the middle of Virgo, I've certainly shed most of my anal-retentive desires for perfection, at least where my environment is concerned. I'm even giving thought to cleaning the litter box before he gets home! Someone stop me before I make our place habitable for guests!

Work was out of sorts this week too, which didn't help. It's impossible to make incentive on a strange computer. I got moved early this past week, and am just now settling in at a new desk (Saturday). For once I don't mind the weekend work, because it's certainly better than knocking around that house getting down on myself for not doing enough. I got maintenance into the apartment yesterday, and came home to a new kitchen faucet (thank god! I shudder to think what next month's water bill will be like); and Les made a suggestion last night that had been rattling unconsciously around in my own brain—not even bothering to get the closet fixed. So after I do a couple of things in the main room to organize, I'll probably tuck into that closet and do some purging, so that we can use it as storage for packed boxes as we get closer.

Health's holding its own, not too headachy, which I'm thankful for, because with Les gone, I haven't been trying with any diligence to eat right. Les on the other hand, is sweating out viral bronchitis up in SC. If they don't need him to help move his sis, he'll hopefully be heading home early Wednesday :)

Oh, here's a funny...made oatmeal butterscotch bars last night, or attempted to. But Nestle's recipes call for a jellyroll pan and I use a 13x9x2, so it requires some check-and-cook-and-check time as you get to the end. I took them out, let them cool a bit, and used a white plastic spatula (hand-sized, no handle) to cut a piece and see if they were done. They weren't, so I popped them back in for a bit. 5 to 10 minutes later, I check them, and what the hell is that big splotch of white on top? Did someone drip down from the oven roof? Nope, it's clean. It looks like marshmallow fluff, but there's no way......oh f*ck, where's the spatula? ::sigh:: Slid most of it off the top while it was still warm enough to move. Gotta remember to call my mom today and thank her again for the blondeness I inherited from her :)

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Dark place

Site keeps giving me error messages...don't even know if this'll post.

Husby sick with bronchial symptoms and 103 fever, and I can't take care of him because he's in SC. The frustration is rather palpable.