Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Now and Next


I kept thinking there were more of them, so I went through and rounded up all of the WIPs. What do you know? There are really only five things on or almost on the needles. We've got Bella, the start of the Portland Pullover, the back of Starsky, Sahara Knitted Something, and a silk project to be named later (SPtbNL).

Bella's going well. The back's done, and I'm seven inches into the front. Sahara Knitted Something stalled because I did the waist shaping a little too soon and I don't feel like ripping it back right now. Portland Pullover is waiting for me to go downtown and buy a 12" US11 circular. I forgot all about Starsky for months, and now I wish I had it done. It looks black in the picture, but it's actually a beautiful brown, like the inside of a bordeaux candy. Now that I've shoved it back in the hatbox, I'll probably forget it for another seven months. SPtbNL should turn into something within a week. It's got places to go, people to meet.


You know that wedding I mentioned in my first resolution post? This is the dress I want to wear. I'm going to have a couple of tiers taken off of the bottom, because I'm not as tall as the usual Betsey Johnson shopper. I have friends, twin sisters, who are the perfect Betsey size 6. They're 5'9", and they each weigh less than 130 pounds. Me? Not so much. I'm better than 130, and I'm six inches shorter. Less flowing than clingy, this dress hits me low on the calf, when it should hit at or just below the knee. I want it a little more cocktail, a little less Oscar red carpet.

What's that got to do with knitting? I'm still not giving in and making a shawl or a stole for it, but I do want a little something for around my shoulders. When I bought the dress, the chipper Betsey employee tried to sell me a little bolero to go with it, soft, lacy knit thing retailing for about a hundred dollars. "It's so CUTE on YOU!!!" Never mind that she said the same thing about every other item I tried on, even the crap I pulled over my head to try to trip her up. "That's PERFECT on you!!" Really? It's a size and a half too small, and it's giving me back cleavage that rivals my front cleavage. Cabbage rose print with the flowers perfectly centered over my breasts like two frilly bullseyes? "SO flirty!!!" Look, kitten, you already know that I'm going to buy something. There's no need to push. Don't let's turn the boutique into a satiny den of lies.

I have worn this dress to a wedding, with a generic woven shawl around my shoulders. I wished I'd bought the little bolero, although it didn't fit quite right and it was a hundred dollars I didn't want to spend. It looked like Rowan's Elspeth. Hey, I have that Rowan book! And look at the luck. I have something like fifteen balls of Elann Peruvian Collection Baby Silk in this color. So that's next in the knit queue.

Resolutions: It's resolution time. I should move this over to the sidebar. Maybe next time.

Fitness: Going well. I'm doing much more cardio than I'm used to doing, and I'm almost to the point where I look forward to doing it. Sure, I still have to force myself to turn my car into the gym parking lot, but it's getting easier. I'm not expecting to see results yet, because I'm trying to be realistic about it, but I think I can already feel the difference.

Programming: Also going well. I'm in a learning groove, now that I've figured out how to read the dynamic help. My manager said, "When you get done with that program, you'll have to teach the rest of us how to do it." "Oh, haha haha! Too funny!" "Yeah, heh...but really. You're going to have to teach the rest of us. We don't know what we're doing."

Knit from Stash: I'm keeping with it...until Stitches at the end of February. Even at that, I think I'm going to be O.K. I dug through the yarn cave this weekend to find that salmon yarn, and fell in love with all of that stash yarn all over again.

Meet other knitters: Babies, I not only met other knitters, I managed to unite two separate knitting groups. More on that later in the week, once I've taken pictures. Suffice to say, I had a great time. I can't wait for tomorrow night.

Call/Write/E-mail: This is my worst performer so far, but I'm not giving up on it.


I took today off to catch up on sleep, and then to have one of my much loved "What the F&$K is THIS doing here?!" days. The "What the..." days are great. I get into this state of constant movement, roaming the house and doing things that have bugged me for weeks. I've mended a pair of pants, ironed the candle wax off of my hearth, cleaned out my car, washed my gym water bottle, did all of the laundry, stuff like that. It feels great. "blog" was one of the items on the list. Check! Ahhh...that's a good feeling.

Friday, January 26, 2007

words without a rhyme

Notes on A Haunting:

This isn't about my haunting, mind you. My story isn't this outlandish...yet.

Television: "They prepared to enter the house..."

Me: "Ding Dong!" "Who's there?" "Eeeeeevil." "Come on in..."

A.B. "...I made some sweet tea. Let me just put away this laundry..."

Television: "Lorraine Warren is a clairvoyant..."

Me: "Oh, Ernie. How lovely. I knew you were going to call..."

Television: (Lorraine) "...I knew you were going to call."

Me: "Dude! Maybe I'M a clairvoyant!"

Me: "Wait, so he's going to leave his girlfriend alone in the house while he roams around outside with the bottle of holy water that looks like he got it from Archie McPhee? Asshole!"

A.B.: "You'd think they'd be smart enough to split it up into a couple of Tupperware containers so they'd both have some."

Television: (Ernie) "I saw the dark figure in the woods, and all I could do was stare. I didn't know what to do."

A.B.: "Oh! I know this one. When you see a demon in the woods, you're supposed to curl up in the fetal position and play dead. No, wait! Shit, that's not right. Are you supposed to climb a tree and wait for it to lose interest?"

In all fairness to this episode, these people didn't do anything stupid. Our usual cries of, "Just leave the house, you dumbass!" didn't apply. The malevolent spirit allegedly attached itself to them the minute they walked through the door, and they couldn't shake it without the help of three priests, those paranormal hacks the Warrens, and a whole lot of quick-cut shaky-camera action.

We do have our fun, Accountant Boy and I. All in all, a good start to a Friday evening.

Post title? Rainbow in the Dark by Ronnie James Dio. I saw him in concert a couple of years ago. He was wearing a purple velvet tunic, and although he musthave been about 195 years old, his hair was still coal black. He looked like a little Italian grandmother, but that diminutive troll still rocked like it was 1984.

awaken burnout bluebonnet

Gratitude for today: I'm grateful that I'm healthy.

When someone coughs near me at work, I can say, "Hey! What the f*$k? Go HOME!", and that's the end of it. I don't have to worry that I'm going to die by catching whatever they're spewing out into the air. Well, unless it's that avian flu or the Hanta virus. I remember reading something about the Hanta virus liquifying your organs or drowning you by filling your lungs with green ooze, something horrid like that, and whether it's true or not, I'm scared shitless of the Hanta virus. But by and large, not worried about anything common.

My beautiful, young cousin is going through chemotherapy, and her little boy has a cold. Last night, she couldn't resist hugging him, even though she was supposed to stay clear of him until he was well. Now she has a cough and she's having trouble breathing. She tries to comfort her seven-year-old son because he's just told her that he's scared that she'll die, and that's what happens.

You know a few posts ago when I said that I'm usually laughing about what I'm typing, and you'd know it if I wasn't laughing anymore? Here's an example. Not laughing.

I know that the thing to do is love someone and support them, but keep living your own life. That's what my cousin wants. That's what DaddyBanana wants. Well, really what DaddyBanana wants is for all of our family to live in a gigantic house, 'Dallas'-style, but without all of the drinking and whoring and clubbing each other over the head with expensive Chinese urns. O.K., maybe the drinking wouldn't bug him. Anyway, I know I should be able to empathize, but keep on going with my seemingly charmed life. I'm usually pretty good at it, but not at the moment.

I've got all kinds of neat things to talk about today. I've had a fantastic week. I met my fitness goals, I met my work goal, I met Ceallach. A.B. and I caught up on some fantastic television while I knit 'Bella'. HBO brought back 'Rome' in all its bloody glory. Buddy got over his most recent bout of stress-induced bulemia, the apparent cause of which is so ridiculous that people think I'm making it up when I tell them. I was not haunted by the Ghost Okies. It was a great week, but I feel shallow talking about any of it this morning. I'll feel better by tonight, and I'll have loads to say, especially about the hauntings. Accountant Boy's having an unexpected reaction to the mere mention of them. Note to self: stop telling A.B. that our house is haunted by Dustbowl-era migrants.

See? Already pulling out of the blue. By the way, "awaken burnout bluebonnet" was the subject line of some spam I received this morning. It struck me funny.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Noble in Reason

I am, in a word, magnificent. See my steady gaze as I survey my domain. Note my regal bearing. To quote the Bard, "What piece of work is a Buddy, how noble in reason, how infinite in faculties, in form and moving how express and admirable, in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god."

Seriously? You're praising yourself by quoting Shakespeare? Inaccurately? Tell me, King Buddy, do you try to fit your literary pursuits in before or after vomiting by the front door?

You wound me, the Woman. Perhaps if you troglodytes vacuumed more than twice a year, I wouldn't develop these vexing hairballs. To answer what I assume was your question, yes. I enjoy a good book. At least I read something more challenging than Shape Magazine and the television listings.

O.K., now you've done it. Newer readers, you want to see more of the 'noble' and 'admirable' Buddy? Here you go.

The Woman! NO!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

weary unbright cinder

I'm sitting like this because...

A. I had a white-knuckle drive home in the near-dark
B. I didn't make it to the knitting group
C. I inadvertantly corrupted my little wine database after less than an hour alone with it.
D. All of the above

Should have left well enough alone at 4:45, when it was all working. I could have driven to Pleasant Hill while it was still light out, I could have relaxed for a couple of hours with some new friends, and I'd be able to pick up at work where I left off tomorrow instead of having to explain to the consultant that I poked around and broke everything as soon as he left my desk. But NOOOOOOO. I wanted to keep picking at it until it did something cool, and now my main form won't load, and the program's throwing exceptions at me like a monkey throws crap at a kid at the zoo.

Learn by doing. That's my motto. Well, alright, it's Cal Poly San Luis Obispo's motto, but I like it so I'm taking it as my own. You know, I learned a lot in my two years there. I learned how to do my own laundry. I learned that an Epilady wand will embed itself solidly in a man's chest hair, and that once entangled, it has to be cut out with scissors. I learned that you can outrun tear gas if you head uphill. Most importantly, I learned that by doing things wrong, I learn how to fix them.

Oh, Boddingtons Ale. Is there anything you can't make better?

"Hey, Suzanne? You still knit?"

Shut your pie hole, inner commentator.

Sleeves pre-block and post-block.

I've got about six inches of the front done, but it's slowing down a little bit. I picked up the other active project, the Sahara Knitted Something that I'm creating from the two patterns and this vague idea about a cowl that I can cinch to make the top work appropriate, and leave loose when I want it to be more fashionable. It's a faster knit, because I'm working on the body right now. 'Round and 'round with all of that stockinette. It's a foot race between the two. First one done gets to be the January sweater for the Sweater-a-Month KAL. Which I haven't checked on since asking Stephani if I could join.

I'll get right on that after I finish this delicious beer. You know what would make this interlude better? That's right. Some Mama Mellace's Cinnamon Roasted Almonds. Mmmm...sweet and crunchy, with that toasted almond flavor. I swear they aren't paying me for this. They're really that good.

Wondering about the title? I decided that, like an e-mail worm, I'm going to add snippets of words in my subject line when I can't think of anything clever to say. This one is from the opening of 'Look Homeward, Angel'.

My eyes! My eyes!

I've been in a meeting for five hours, and I just can't take it anymore. I have what I can only assume is a legitimate medical disorder, where the flickering of a projector screen makes my eyes roll back into my head and eventually knocks me out. It's like some kind of mesmerization. It doesn't matter if I'm interested in the subject. It doesn't matter if the speaker is speaking directly to me. I just conk right out. So after two hours of biting my finger and attempting to not look at the huge white screen with the tiny, unfocused black text all over it, I switched seats.

Trouble is, now the projector itself is ever so slightly shining in my right eye. It's as though someone is poking the inside of my eye with a small, blunt instrument. If you've ever had laser surgery on your retina, you might know the feeling. If you haven't had that unique experience, I would recommend against it. "Try to look straight ahead, now..." You're shining a friggin' laser in my eye in order to burn my retina, guy. The only thing keeping me from bolting out of here now is the tongue depressor you've got pushed against my orbital bone. Seriously, who performs eye surgery with a tongue depressor as a retractor? Apparently he did a great job, because my optometrist is still raving about it nine years later. Laser pointer and a popsicle stick. I mean, really. But I digress.

Point is, my eye hurts, and my head's following close behind. "We're starting back up in a couple of minutes."

Ah, nuts.

Oh, ummm...Gratitude #4 -- I have the use of both of my eyes.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The Wild, Wild Sea

Pretty #2 - More Fiesta Insignia La Boheme. I bought it because the colors looked like San Francisco Bay on a choppy afternoon. They're actually a little lighter in real life, but still lovely. I'm going to make the Portland Pullover from the Fall 2006 Interweave Knits with it. The blue bleeds like crazy, so I'm knitting it on aluminum needles. The only aluminum needles I have in the correct size are these super-long Susan Bates straight needles. It's a good thing this is a fast knit, because those heavy needles are not fun to sling around. The yarn makes a lovely teal stripe around my left index finger. I've put this one aside for the time being, as I've got two sweaters and a scarf ahead of it on the priority list.

The colors of the yarn and the bean pot are accurate, but the counter is way off. Weird.

Gratitude #3 - Can I say Mama Mellace's Cinnamon Roasted Almonds again?

They're that good. No, I don't work for them or have any financial stake in their success. O.K., fine. I'll pick something new.

Gratitude #3(a) - I'm grateful that I have a warm place to call home.

We walked through Union Square on Sunday and got stopped by a guy taking donations for a soup kitchen. Accountant Boy gave him twenty bucks. "He said you looked like a movie star, so I though, 'What the hell? He had a good sales pitch.'" I know what he was really thinking, because I was thinking it, too. We were having a great day, happy in every respect, walking around San Francisco in the cold. We were happy because we knew we'd be able to get back in our car and turn on the heater, and go home and turn on the heater there, and be relaxed and warm. Why not give the guy twenty dollars so someone else can be warm for a couple of hours? We have it too good not to share.


Fitness -- I've been to the gym four times since Friday. I'm working up to the running goal, hoping to soon reach the point where my toenails don't hurt after the workout. I usually hit that point about three weeks into the program, when I stop running on my toes. The Starbucks weekday ban went wrong today, because I though I had a morning-long meeting that would require a gigantic espresso drink. When I got here, I discovered that the meeting is tomorrow, but I already had the gigantic espresso drink. What was I supposed to do, throw it out?

Knitting -- Still knitting things that never actually made it into the stash, but at least I haven't purchased any new yarn. That's gotta count for something.

Be a Better Programmer -- I'm designing the screens for A.B.'s wine database. In our spare time, the .Net consultant is going to help me with the data binding and process flow. I'd feel guilty about doing this at work, but my manager says that any programming I do is valuable, even if it has nothing at all to do with the mortgage industry. I feel much better about this than I did a couple of weeks ago, much less like vomiting from stress when I think about coming to work tomorrow.

Contact -- I sent a long overdue e-mail to my dearest cousin this morning. Next week's e-mail goal? Our friends from college. They've sent Christmas cards to us for the past four years, and we've been meaning to get back to them for the past three years, eleven months and five days. We pick the card up off the desk in the office and say, "We HAVE to get back to them." The card sits on our desk, not lost in clutter and not covered by anything, no good reason other than procrastination, until the next year's card shows up to replace it. "We REALLY have to get back to them!" They have no way of knowing this. As far as they know, we either hate them or we're dead. I'm going to remedy that situation next week, if not sooner.

Meet knitters -- Tomorrow! (I hope...)

I finished one sleeve of Bella. I'm going to knit both body pieces, then see if I have enough yarn to make the sleeves longer.

Finally for this afternoon, I leave you with this. I have the distinct feeling that I'm being haunted. Yes, by a otherworldly spirit. No, I don't believe in that kind of thing, either, what with my Dana Scully-like belief in the primacy of science. Maybe I'm sleeping strangely because of the cold, or maybe Accountant Boy is gaslighting me. Nevertheless, I...but more on that later.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Gratitudipus Rex

I was just over yonder at Ceallach's blog, pokin' around for a few minutes between my Afternoon of Intensive Learning Merriment (Ailment, for short), and she's doing a very awesome thing. No it's not all of the knitting and dyeing and spinning, although that's pretty awesome. It's not the fact that she's apparently climbed Mount St. Helens, which...dude.

No, it's the gratitude. She's taking time each day to name something for which she is grateful. I think this is a grand idea, and I'm going try it, too. Maybe it'll be a blog post, maybe I'll figure out how to add it to the header. I'm not sure yet. Maybe I should have some lunch before deciding. Which leads me to my first gratitude.

1. I'm grateful for Mama Mellace's Cinnamon Roasted Almonds. So tasty!

What? You were expecting something more expansive? Maybe I'll get there. It's a big list, and if I start thinking about all of things for which I'm grateful, it's overwhelming. So nuts. I'm grateful for nuts.

I have it good, I tell you. I'm not sure that always comes through in my posts, the good humor underlying it all. Any of you who've said, "I know I shouldn't laugh, but..." in response to anything I've written, here's the thing. You can go ahead and laugh. I'm usually laughing as I write it. If the worst thing in my life at that moment was that my hotel room was a little smoky, or that I cut my finger while making soup, and I manage to kvetch about it for three thousand words, then I've really got nothing to complain about.

2. I'm grateful that I have nothing to complain about.

I've actually started saying that to people when they ask, "Hey, how are you?" in the elevator. "Oh, I can't complain." It actually makes me measurably happier for at least a couple of minutes after I say it. Give it a try next time someone throws a rhetorical how's-it-going at you. "Can't complain!" Say it and believe it, at least a little bit.

* * * * *
I've mentioned the ridiculous stash before, but I've never documented it. I'm not about to start now, because sweet fancy Moses! That's a lot of yarn. I am occasionally going to let a few of the pretties out for air and photo shoots.

Here's Pretty #1. This is Fiesta La Boheme Insignia in one of the test dye colors that went to Webs' clearance area. I don't know what it's going to become yet. I have 650 yards of it. I've got something Spring/Summer style in mind, and I think I'm going to design it myself. Maybe this could be April's sweater of the month.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


Kind of pretty, huh? This is the start of 'Bella' from White Lies Designs. I started it on Saturday, and haven't had time to do anything with it since then. I'm hopeful, however. I've joined up with Stephani and a couple of other knittyboarders on a new KAL. We're going for a sweater per month in 2007. I'd say it's part of my resolution to knit from my extensive yarn stash, but that'd be a boldfaced lie. I bought this yarn a couple of weeks ago. But look how pretty it is, all blue-black and silky. I'm proud of myself for starting something with it instead of shoving it in the special yarns box in the yarn cave. February's sweater will be from the stash, I promise.

So how's 'bout the rest of the resolutions?

--I went to the gym this week, and I'm going again on Friday. It's not the hard-core training I used to do, but it's a start. I even ran for a few minutes. On the food side, I've made a short-term goal of not buying Starbucks during the week. Three days down, two to go, but it's hard...

--It didn't work out tonight, but next week I'm going to the Pleasant Hill Borders to meet other knitters. If I don't happen to find them, I'm going to find random people around the store and make them watch me knit.

--It's been three days since I've called any part of the Microsoft .Net framework "thingy". I still don't really know what I'm doing, but the consultant working with us is patient. The more I listen, the more I pick up. The only problem is that I think my fledgling skills are making him think I know more than I do, so he'll break into a long explanation of exception handling and test harnesses, then he'll say, "You got that?" The hard but necessary response is, "No, not a bit." I think he's surprised when I don't feign knowledge.

--Call/write/e-mail -- I'm going to work on that next week. Don't want to overdo it, you know.

It's cold here, colder than it's been in years. Yes! Finally a reason to wear my wool hat!

I must ask for quiet my dear Mr. Turtle. I'm watching 'The Colbert Report'. It would be a shame if I had to silence you...permanently.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

I Never Learn

Cooking with Stupid II: Out of the Frying Pan

Originally, ‘Cooking with Stupid” was going to be followed by the further tales of that night, namely the midnight plumbing that took place.

“Honey, really, it’ll wait. I just won’t put anything down the drain. It’s 12:15. Let’s just go to sleep.” Alas, this is not the nature of my Accountant Boy. Drain is clogged. Find clog. Fix drain. Problem à Problem solving à Problem Solved. We’re alike in this, except that I’m willing to admit temporary defeat.

“That’s just stupid. We’re not going to wait until the weekend to use the sink. Have you tried the disposer?”


“With HOT water running?”

“No, DON’T!!!...May I get you several towels for your face and the kitchen ceiling, sir?”

Modern kitchen plumbing is so neat. Who knew you could unscrew all of the parts of your sink and look that the densely packed mush inside each pipe? The clog, the disputed onion clog? It was actually sweet potato scented with especially garlicky water. Did you know that sweet potatoes will turn into a heavy paste and clog up the pipes just beyond the disposer, and that the disposer only makes this worse by mashing the paste finer? Now you do. You’re welcome.

So I was going to finish there, but then an even stupider Cooking with Stupid episode happened.

First, some tiny amount of background. My friend Daisy lives next door. She’s married to our longtime friend, Falstaff. They rent their house, and as a consequence they are stuck with the worst freestanding gas oven/range I’ve ever used. I’ve only used it once, during the remodel of my own kitchen, and afterward I decided that microwaving everything for two months was a viable option. They’re good cooks in a bad kitchen. We offer them the use of our award-winning kitchen, and they very occasionally accept.
“Did you know that your oven mitt has a hole in the thumb?”

“Which mitt?”

“The green one that I just used to pull my dinner out of your oven. It’s right at the point where your thumb would touch hot metal.” She paused to inspect her burnt thumb. “It’s interesting, the difference between Falstaff and I. Maybe I’ve learned to not make startling movements or noises because I’ve spent so much time around horses. If Falstaff had burned his thumb, you’d hear him screaming about it from three blocks away.”

“I’m the same way. When I cut my finger…” I went on to explain the first Cooking with Stupid, leaving out the bloodier parts because Daisy does not handle blood well. “…anyway, I bandaged everything up and kept right on cooking. You’d never know I was injured. I’m cat-like in that regard.”

Ten minutes later, I was standing at the cooktop with a tortilla in one hand and a couple of forks in the other. I’ve got taco shell folding down to an art form. I was staring into the hot cooking oil, thinking it looked a little too hot, kind of wavy at the bottom of the pan. But I was hungry, and I knew A.B. was hungry, and I’ve never been good at guessing how long it will take to cool the oil down to a safer tortilla frying temperature. It probably would have been about five minutes, once I turned down the gas. “I can’t wait half an hour to eat! I’ll just work faster.”

I slid the tortilla into the pan and it immediately inflated to the size of a small throw pillow. “Holy SHIT! I’d better poke a hole in it to flatten it out.” That’s when things started to go bad. Oil flew out of the pan onto the inside of my arm. I wanted to run some cold water over it, but the tortilla was still in the pan. I only had five tortillas, and I knew we’d want all five tacos. No time for triage. In the ten seconds I spent contemplating my options, the tortilla had almost become unfoldable. I did manage to fold it into a reasonable taco shell.
Then, rather than taking the oil off of the heat and finding some burn cream or asking for help, I figured the best plan of action would be to continue cooking. I’d already burned my arm; it’s not like I was going to be able to un-burn it. (I think I get this attitude from my older brother, Big Guy, who once crashed on his dirt bike and injured himself, but kept working at his landscape maintenance job for a month. When he finally went to the doctor, he learned that he had fractured his wrist and torn ligaments in his knee. “How are you even WALKING? Why didn’t you come in sooner?” said the doctor. “Grass doesn’t stop growing,” replied Big Guy.)
After two more minutes of high-intensity frying action, a new speed record, I had the remaining for taco shells done. We sat down to dinner.

“You know your burnt thumb? I got that beat.” I pulled back the sleeve of my sweater.

“When did you do that?!” said Accountant Boy.

“A few minutes ago.”

“Why didn’t you say anything? Shouldn’t you run that under cold water, or maybe put something on it?”

“Tacos don’t fry themselves.”

We had burritos for dinner last night, and A.B.’s making dinner tonight. But trust me, as soon as the splotches fade, I’m back in the game. You won’t get the best of me, kitchen!

Coming Soon!

Coming soon! An update on my resolutions after the first week of the year, the second terrifying installment of Cooking with Stupid, and, unbelievable as it sounds, actual knitting content. I'm even going to try to respond to comments from previous posts.

I wish I had a picture of myself taken this afternoon. I'm a mess of mismatched craftwork. I've got on the Pismo Pebbles scarf, a beaded necklace that my friend Daisy made for me last year, a sparkly multicolored lace sweater from Benetton, and a handmade bag over my shoulder that my mom gave me. No one piece is even close to complementing any other, although this morning I apparently thought the necklace and sweater were alright together. The bag isn't even in the same color family. I look like a hobo who just crawled out of a dumpster behind a craft faire.

I hate blogging without pictures.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Jour de l'An

January 1, 2007 -- about forty minutes past midnight -- CasaBanana, outside upstairs bathroom

"Honey? Are you in there?"


"Is that 'yes'?"


"You want me to leave you alone?"

"Yes, pleeeeease..."

January 1, 2007 -- 4:05 a.m. -- same location

"Sweetie? You still in there?"

(inarticulate groan)

"You're lying against the door, so I can't get it open more than three inches. Are you still alright? Do you want a glass of water?"


I peek in as far as possible through the slit in the door. "Baby, where are your pants?"

I would later learn several key pieces of information.

--While I was dealing blackjack in the kitchen, there was a champagne drinking
competition going on out in the garage. There are no real winners in a champagne drinking battle. There are only those who lose less.

--Plastic tipped darts meant for an electronic dartboard will sink readily into a traditional bristle board. They will also stick cleanly into drywall.

--The bath mat in the upstairs bathroom does not make a good pillow.

--My friends kick ass. All of them. Those who didn't participate in the champagne-dart tournament helped me clean everything, down to the last glass and dish. The champagne warriors? Really damn funny to watch, which was just as important.

--Sometimes the only way to take off your shoes is to pull your pants over them and hope the shoes slide off your feet during the struggle.

There is a point, and if you've had more than a sip of alcohol in your life you probably know of this point, where you realize that you're about to round a corner. You were having a good time, but it's soon to end and there's nothing you can do to stop it. That last gulp was one gulp too many, and you can't undrink it. It's a sad moment in an evening, when the nausea washes over you along with that sickening regret. Poor Accountant Boy. He was having a rollicking good time right up until that point. I found his unfailing politeness during the situation to be endearing. "A.B.? Are you going to sleep on the floor?" "Yes, thank you for asking..."

Monday sucked because I was in a funk. I'm nervous about work, and my stomach's all burny with the stress. Staying awake until 5:00 a.m. on New Year's Eve by myself, playing "Knights of the Old Republic" while I waited for A.B. to emerge from the bathroom so I could get to my toothbrush was kind of depressing. I wouldn't have traded places with him, mind you. Poor bastard. It's just that two New Year's Days ago, he and I went to the gym and ran a sprint triathlon. I look back on that and remember feeling young and strong, totally confident, like we could take on the whole world. I didn't feel that way on New Year's Day. My job felt overwhelming, and I felt really out of shape, and all I wanted to do was watch 'COPS', and A.B. couldn't help me break out of my funk because he was fighting the worst hangover he's had in a decade.

Today is January 3rd, and things are looking up. I'm going to consider this the first day of the new year. Happy New Year!

Here are my resolutions, because as long as everyone else is making 'em, I might as well join in.

1. Get back in shape/lose weight -- I'd like to drop about ten pounds and/or five percentage points of body fat. I'm going to a wedding in June, and I'm going to be able to choose my outfit based on my whim, not based on which of my dresses best camouflages my back fat. It's a wedding in Central California in late June, and it's probably going to be about 100 degrees outside by then. I do not want to have to wear a shawl to cover any unsightly rolls or bulges.

2. Run in a 5K benefitting breast cancer research. I'll never meet the vague goal of "Run a 5K", but if there's an actual event, a target to aim for, I'll hit it. I want to do this one.

3. Be a better programmer, and finally learn how to express myself as one. I have an art history degree. I ended up being a programmer by doing the work and making up my own vocabulary for it. As a result, I can often see what I want to happen in my head, but I don't know how to say it in the right way. "That thing sends a message to this program over here, and then it does its little thing, and then bippetyboppityboo over in this, umm, section, and...you know..." That works great if, like me for the last eight years, you program in Progress, a language that isn't used much, and isn't too terribly complicated. Windows development with C# and .Net and all of those abbreviations and acronyms? Holy crap! Part of the reason I've been here for eight and a half years is that I'm secretly afraid that I don't know what I'm doing, and nobody's noticed yet, but I'll be exposed as a complete fraud if I have to leave. This year, I'm going to step up and take responsibility for my career and education. This year, I'm going to be a more confident, competent programmer. This year, I will not refer to anything on a database diagram as "thingy".

4. Knit from stash. Yeah, yeah. Everybody says that. I mean it. I made a pact with my friend Daisy. We're going to Stitches in February, but neither of us are going to let the other buy yarn. We're going for notions and patterns ONLY. No Interlacements booth, no Knitting Studio super-clearance grab bags, no complete kits from White Lies. I still have too much of that stuff from last year. And the year before. And some from 2004.

5. Call/Write/E-mail more often. We're both really bad at that. Here's an all-too-typical conversation between Accountant Boy and our old friends. "Hey, how's it going? Really? When did THAT happen? She's WALKING? And the other one is due in a month???" That's what happens when you let three years slip by without calling. Your friends suddenly have entire families that you didn't know about.

6. Meet other knitters. I've been informed that there is a knitting group that meets at my local Borders. Must get more information...

That should do it. There's nothing too outlandish on the list.

It's going to be a great year.