Monday, May 31, 2004

A day off. FINALLY. It should be delightful. Right? I should be sleeping, lounging, feeling at one with my world. GB just left for a two week business trip, so while I'll miss him dreadfully, today at least is free of having to speak to anyone or any of those "compromises" that make marriage challenging. None of that for me. Not today. It should be delightful.

Should be.

And I did sleep.

And I have lounged.

And I'm not feeling very one with my world at all.

Last night GB went out to put gas in the car before his trip today, and got lost and ended up at a bar with friends. Fine. In the process of my repeated phone calls to his cell (which were never answered) I finally checked our voicemail messages.

And someone wants Oscar.

Pause here for the sound of my heart breaking.

Well, maybe. There's still a screening process, and I do get a miniscule amount of say in it, and you can be sure I'm going to double and triple check why someone wants a pitbull (wants MY pitbull). The mention of anything about security or guarding means I'll be doing everything in my power to keep this person from taking my dog. And there is a chance, I suppose, that this person will love him even more than I do, and will have the other pets to play with, and a big yard to run in, and tons of attention. Sure, it's possible. But I don't want anything less for him ... unless it's me.

I'm not calling the person back today. Not on Memorial Day. I'll try tomorrow night, and then I'm not free again until Sunday. Is that a nasty way of buying another week? It wouldn't be any easier to say goodbye then, if I had too.

I wish GB was here. I'm going to need a shoulder to cry on if this goes through.

Thoughts for the Day:

Dixie Wilson - “He may look just the same to you, And he may be just as fine, But the next-door dog is the next-door dog, And mine - is - mine.”

Thornton Niven Wilder - “Many who have spent a lifetime in it can tell us less of love than the child that lost a dog yesterday.”

Mark Twain - “If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man.”

Friday, May 28, 2004

Okay, as if I haven't been worthless enough today! The wheel is on back order everywhere. I happened to call Woodland Woolworks to find out if there was a way to track the wheel once it came in. They said "oh, we're glad you called. We can't give you the competitors price and the half off the carry bag, so your actual total is ..." I asked them to hold, called The Woolery. They're on back order, too, but they'll give me the half price bag with the purchase of the wheel (not cuz I'm cute or anything, they just do) so now their price is about $15 less than Woodland Woolworks. I went back to Woodland, and asked them to cancel the order - explaining that their "we'll be the competition" price was costing $30 to save $15. I think I may take away some of those thumbs up there. Very friendly on the phone, responded to e-mails, but not the most logical when it comes to bargains!

BUT the order is place with The Woolery, and probably won't be here any sooner or later because of today's glitch, so everything should stay crossed that it gets in stock soon and comes home to me!
In 45 minutes I will be able to call. Woodland Woolworks opens at 8:30 Pacific, which makes it 11:30 Eastern. At that instant, I will call them, and place an order for a spinning wheel. Through some creative bill shuffling, and several discussions which involved GB's suggestion that he could just rig up SS's bicycle wheels and some duct tape for a spinning wheel (and my response that we could return the air conditioning and he could rig up the bike to make a fan for himself) we've discovered that we can order my spinning wheel today!!!!

Then the waiting begins....

The waiting is both the best and the worst part... those few moments when I pull into the drive, and can't quite see my doorstep... Is it there?

But for SOOOOOO long, it won't be... It's probably a bit much to expect it to beat me home tonight, since my sweet is sitting nicely in a warehouse in Oregon right now.

And work is frustrating and wearing me out (see yesterday's post) and all I can think about is spinning! I didn't even knit before work today, because I just wanted the time to pass as quickly as possible so I could order the wheel. She has a name, and one that's so much more fitting that I could have hoped... but I'll wait until she is here to prove its connection before I explain.

35 minutes to go!!!

Thoughts for the Day:

Unknown - “Between the wish and the thing, life lies waiting.”

Bertrand Arthur William Russel - “The world is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper”

Theodore Seuss Geisel “Doctor Seuss” - “Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So ... get on your way.”

John Brown - “I am ready at any time. Do not keep me waiting.”

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Is it possible to have a midlife crisis at 28?

I don't know what I want to do when I grow up. Sure, I understand it's presuming quite a bit to think that I will actually ever grow up. But I can't imagine what I could be happy doing for the next 30+ years of my life.

There are a lot of things I love about radio. I love the creativity. The chance to perform, and build things, and make sound into emotion. I love being on the air, I love doing commercial production. But in five years I have yet to find a station that allows me to do that without destroying me in one way or another. This station is the first where management didn't go out of their way to "put me in my place". Nope, at this one, it's the co-worker who beats me down when he's healthy, and causes me to burn myself out physically when he's not.

Is it too much to ask for a career that would allow me to work with my strengths, and wouldn't kill my soul?

I'd love to work with animals. I don't think I could be a vet - I'm intelligent enough, but the thought of not being able to help them all, or worse yet, growing immune to that fact, is one that I wouldn't want to live with. And nearly every other aspect of working with animals presumes you are already wealthy, or were essentially born into it.

I never thought I'd like to be a housewife, or anything of the sort, but more and more I just want to spend time with my animals, knitting quietly with them beside me, or playing with them, taking care of them. I wonder if I were to give up a day job would I miss it? Would I miss the creative outlet? Maybe sometimes, but then this blog is a terrific outlet for me, when I can get to it. Would I miss seeing people everyday? Hardly - I've ALWAYS preferred animals to people.

Is it my destiny to never quite find what I'm looking for?

If anyone is a career counselor, please feel free to counsel away. Otherwise, I'm quite lost.

Thoughts for the Day:

Dave Sim - “The problem is maddening. The thing you seek is so close, you feel you could reach out and touch it. You feel it is your immutable destiny to do so. You have not come this far and at such a cost merely to turn around and go back. There is a solution. Of this you are certain. Now, no longer a game of mass, a game of destiny, it has become, instead a contest of wills. You focus on That Which You Seek as if your gaze alone might bring it closer or narrow the distance between you. Just as it feels as if your mind itself will explode from the strain.”

Unknown - “Your destiny is not always the one you seek, but always the one that finds you.”

Henry David Thoreau - “What sort of philosophers are we, who know absolutely nothing about the origin and destiny of cats?”

Monday, May 24, 2004

Thanks for everyone's positive energy. What a nutty few days - that aren't over yet, by any means.

S will live, but will be out for a loooong time - he's already had one emergency surgery and has another tomorrow night to repair lung damage done. Apparantly someone abandoned a car at twilight in the middle lane of a busy highway, and S rammed into it going maybe 70 mph. I worked 41 hours from Wednesday to Friday, and was barely capable of thought by the time I left work Friday night. They did hire a part-timer to help, but for the time being, that means I'm doing my job, S's job, and training someone, too. On my way home Friday night, the boy driving the pizza delivery car in front of me fell asleep at a light. Seriously. I watched his head slowly drift down to his shoulder, doing that jerky "I'm awake" bobble we do when we're fighting to stay awake, had to honk to wake him up, and then drove past yelling "yeah, live my life!" at his car.

I was a reader in a wedding Saturday on the Eastern Shore, where I used to live in DE - about 2 hours from here. Thank goodness GB drove - though I can't sleep in the car, I wouldn't have been up for any life-saving decisions if anything went wrong. I so wanted to curl up and just sleep, but A was so beautiful, and T just adorable, and I truly adore them both so much. I was thrilled to be asked to read, and honored to be a part of it.... and slept like a rock Saturday night.

Managed to get a cat toy done and felted. The cats don't seem to care, but Oscar picked it up from where it was lying in the hall, carried it over to me, put it on the ground, and threw up on it. I suppose that means he doesn't like it either. Well, I've got half a ball of this yarn left, so they're just going to have to suck it up, right? Not everyone's mommy handknits and felts their toys. Think of all the fiber-starved pets in third world countries!

I also got a little bit more done on my cabled tank, and may have had a brief brainstorm about it's finishing, but we'll have to see how that goes.

And because I've only been able to sneak out of work for 10 minutes, I've not really had anything to eat that wasn't VERY salty - lots of deli sandwiches, hoping they'd be better than fast food. So while I don't think I gained actual weight, I couldn't put my wedding ring on this morning. Rather, I put it on, and by the time I'd reached for my engagement ring to go with it, my finger was red and puffy. So off it came (the ring, not the finger) and I'll drink up on the water today. oy.

Okay, way too much break has been taken now - back to work! (I love the quote below... There's a dancing star somewhere inside me!)

Thoughts for the Day:
Friedrich Nietzsche - “I tell you: one must have chaos in one to give birth to a dancing star. I tell you: you still have chaos in you.”

Unknown - “ENTROPY: The degradation of the matter and energy in the universe to an ultimate state of inert uniformity. • Order is created and controlled by intelligence. Entropy occurs in the physical world without control by intelligence. Synonyms: Chaos, Confusion, Entropy, Disarray, Disharmony, Disintegration, Disorder, Disorganization, Disruption, Incoherence, Incohesive, Jumble, Noncohesive, Nonintegration, Mess, Morass, Muddle, Slackness, Sloppiness.”

J. Rissanen - “Complexity is in the eye of the beholder.”

Thursday, May 20, 2004

...and that's all I have to say about that.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

This day has become completely surreal.

I got here this morning, feeling a tad preoccupied from the joys of step-motherhood, and got a phone call that S, the troll I work with had been in a pretty severe car accident last evening. They don't know yet if he's going to make it. I don't feel bad for the things I've said about him - they were honest to the best of my ability, and last night doesn't change those situations. But I certainly didn't wish him any ill.

Then, a scatterbrained client who's supposed to do a report once an hour and has yet to have it timed out properly or not make horrendous mistakes called me up and said, quite calmly, "Hey, Amie, I don't think I can do the report because my building is on fire and I have to evacuate." Um. Sorry?

The GM just called to see if I was okay, and said that when the owner of the company found out about S, his first statement was "well, things should be a lot easier for Amie, now, huh?" When I told him about the client's fire, he agreed with me that maybe a padded, locked room would be best for me, since clearly this is not a good day to be near me. They've managed to hire a part-timer to take over some of my morning hours, but that means I have to drop my Pilates classes.

I'm now trying to figure out what needs to be done that is my job, what needs to be done that was S's job, and how I can alter other things in my personal life to fit my new schedule.


I'd love a drink right about now. Or maybe a six-pack.
Thanks, Nancy, for the thoughts below.

My precious little family is going through a private rough patch (completely unrelated to the thought of the day, I just liked what Nancy sent me), and I need to process it a bit, but prayers, chants and other positive thoughts would be much appreciated.

In the meantime, how 'bout some quick fiber updates. I'm sure you're just panting for them, right? I've finally decided what to do with the tank top that I'm working on. I've stopped and started on that puppy so many times I was afraid the yarn was going to run screaming from the room. But I'm doing a lovely aran cable up the front, have gotten about six or seven inches up, and I'm really quite pleased with it. I know what I want to do with the straps, but I'm not quite sure of the mechanics of doing it, which technique I want to use. I've got a mini-sock on some dpns here in the office, and I'm really liking how the yarn is turning out - it's Regia "confetti" I think, and just darling. In the car (yup - knitting everywhere you turn!) there's a mouse. Well, the rear end of a mouse, started on way too small needles on the ball of yarn I bought at the car-accident-yarn-shop (those two events will be forever joined in my mind!) It's just going to be a cat toy, and what do they care if it doesn't felt right? I was running out the door and just grabbed the first needles I lay eyes on. Did an I-cord tail, then increased away, and now his little tushy is nice and round. When he's done, I'll sew up most of him, leaving a spot in his belly to insert catnip, and sew on velcro to hold that closed. My two sweaters have been put on hold - uninspired to work on them in the heat we're having.

My mother has caught the fever as well, which is a blast - always fun to be an enabler!!! I gave her some lovely cotton for Mother's Day, and she's started a scarf with a wrapped-stitch technique Bess taught me, and I taught her - the scarf looks amazing! She's also bought some Lion Brand Homespun that would look - well, I was going to say "like it was made for" but I suppose it would be made for - great with her couch, and she's going to do a garter stitch afghan with that. Once school lets out for her (she's a teacher) I'll take her to play in some LYSs. What fun!

Thought for the Day:

A man and his dog were walking along a road. The man was enjoying the scenery, when it suddenly occurred to him that he was dead. He remembered dying, and the dog walking beside him had been dead for years.

He wondered where the road was leading them.

After a while, they came to a high, white stone wall along one side of the road. It looked like marble. At the top of a long hill, it was broken by a tall arch that glowed in the sunlight. When he was standing before it he saw a magnificent gate in the arch that looked like Mother of Pearl, and the street that led to the gate looked like pure gold.

He and the dog walked toward the gate, and as he got closer, he saw a man at a desk to one side. When he was close enough, he called out, "Excuse me, where are we?"

"This is heaven, sir" the man answered.

"Wow! Would you happen to have some water?" the man asked.

"Of course, sir. Come right in, and I'll have some ice water brought right up" The man gestured, and the gate began to open.

"Can my friend", gesturing toward his dog, "come in too?" the traveler asked.

"I'm sorry sir, but we don't accept pets."

The man thought a moment and then turned back towards the road and continued the way he had been going with his dog. After another long walk, and at the top of another long hill, he came to a dirt road which led through a farm gate that looked as if it had never been closed. There was no fence. As he approached the gate, he saw a man inside, leaning against a tree and reading a book.

"Excuse me!" he called to the reader. "Do you have any water?"

"Yeah, sure, there's a pump over there" The man pointed to a place that couldn't be seen from outside the gate. "Come on in."

"How about my friend here?" the traveller gestured to the dog.

"There should be a bowl by the pump."

They went through the gate and sure enough, there was an old fashioned hand pump with a bowl beside it.

The traveller filled the bowl and took a long drink himself, then gave some to the dog. When they were full, he and the dog walked back toward the man who was standing by the tree waiting for them.

"What do you call this place?" the traveller asked.

"This is Heaven," was the answer.

"Well that's confusing." the traveller said. "The man down the road said the same thing."

"Oh you mean the place with the gold street and pearly gates? Nope. That's Hell."

"Doesn't it make you mad for them to use your name like that?"

"No. I can see how you might think so, but we're just happy that they screen out the folks who'll leave their best friends behind."

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

It is GB's birthday today. He will deny it to the end, but he's feeling it. We went to dinner and a movie last night (which reminds me, if anyone asks to take you to "Van Helsing" do not think twice. Slap them. I left the theatre wanting to give Hugh Jackman money so he would never have to do a movie like that again.) Tonight we'll have dinner with my parents.

But GB's thing when he's feeling out of control in his life is to walk around, huffing at the messes in the house (which are half his, mind you) and doing little tasks that no person on the planet ever really does without a visit from the Queen. Polishing the television screen. Cleaning the ceiling fan blades. Mind you, the thought of cleaning out the bits of clothing from his military days (three years ago) or putting clothes inside the chests in the bedroom, and not on top of them, or the bed, or the couch in the living room... these things never enter his mind. But that television was in desparate need of a bath, right?

Mind you, I am not Mary Homemaker. I have never yet claimed to be. And he does a much better job of keeping up on chores than I do. I simply find it amusing that he has no idea his mood is so easily displayed on the end of a dust rag.

My neck is slightly stiff, and I'm trying to decide if that's from my very minor car accident last week. Friday afternoon I was taking a lunch break in the general vicinity of a yarn shop, and on my way to find a new one that had been recommended to me, I was rear ended. I knew it wasn't serious when my first thought was "MY CAR!!!" thinking how horrible it would be to have just gotten him back from and then have him out of commission from an accident. But no, there were only very minor scratches, and a dent GB discovered later but was able to pop right back into place. The impact was jarring, and hurt a bit, but I wasn't really injured, although I've had several people tell me it took them two or three weeks to feel the damage of an impact. So I can't decide if the stiffness in my neck and back are related to that, or just too much time at the computer, too much falling asleep on the couch in the afternoon... It makes me worry, if only because I don't want them to feel I'm trying to cheet them - I'm not. But I can't afford to pay for someone else's mistake, and while I don't intend to push non-issues, I also don't intend to let real issues slide by.

I have GB's gifts here at work with me, to wrap when he's not around, and I'm going to try my hardest to get a nap in this afternoon - I never seem to do it when I want to! Crab cakes at my parents (I love having my favorite on someone else's special day!) and lots of hugs for my old-er husband.

Thoughts for the Day:

Ogden Nash - “Marriage is the alliance of two people, one of whom never remembers birthdays and the other never forgets them.”

Susan Brownell Anthony - “Sooner or later we all discover that the important moments in life are not the advertised ones, not the birthdays, the graduations, the weddings, not the great goals achieved. The real milestones are less prepossessing. They come to the door of memory.”

Monday, May 17, 2004

What an emotional weekend! Saturday was spent in play - took my darling stepson to go with Lissa and Jen to watch a new alpaca farm do their first shearings. Beautiful, sweet animals, and getting the fleece still warm from the animal I've just met is a treat - some may wear Harry Winston or Vera Wang. I will wear Apache and Carousel! It just reinforced my desire to do that instead of deal with office politics, and was just a heavenly morning spent with dear friends. I will think of those giant sweet eyes, and those cute purrs and whispers, each time I play with the fiber or wear the final products! SS was a trooper too - interested in the animals, playing quite well with Jen's little ones, and the sweet boy he always is. One of my favorite moments was when Dylan brought his knitting out at lunch. We were at the table, and in another bunch I might have told him it shouldn't be a mealtime activity, but not this group! Jen was knitting a hat, and SS had taken what started as a scarf, gotten tangled at home, and couldn't remember how to cast on. So he started over, knitting one stitch onto the needle, knitting into that, and into that, and into that, so that he had about thirty one-stitch rows. A rope. Jen's little man said "what are you knitting?" but SS didn't hear the "what" part, and responded "yeah" with that "what are you going to make of it" tone that boys seem to be born with. Jen's son, raised by a knitting momma and a good-man poppa, sighed and said "I said 'what are you knitting?'" making it very clear that the knitting wasn't an issue, he was just curious. Very good for him to see another young boy who didn't think knitting was sissy!

The whole process of making a sweater by hand is so simple - relatively unchanged for centuries. Electric shearers now, sometimes, and needles of varied materials, but there's something so peacefull and ancient in the process. I feel honored to have been there for the very start.

After lunch we stopped off at a yarn shop near Jen, and he met the owner, Rowena, who was so very helpful and kind and encouraging. He got some lovely yarn to make gloves - a far too advanced project for him just now, but I don't dare discourage him. We'll find a way to make it work.

Then Sunday was spent at a pet fair with Oscar. We drove an hour and sat and had people come buy. Oscar sure knows how to sell himself, and he got tons of compliments. It was SO hard!!! I don't want him to leave me, and yet I want for him to find the perfect home. I don't care for the system they have with pet fairs - if someone wants him, they can take him home right then. I want background checks galore - I did them without a single gripe when I adopted Aslan - and especially for a misunderstood breed like a pit, I want to know they've got the space for him, and a vet lined up. It feels like they did more research to see that I was okay to foster him, than they do to make sure he's got a good permanent home! There was one couple that I would have (begrudgingly) felt alright with taking him - they had large dogs, understood his puppy behavior, played well with him, and then took the time to calm him back down before handing him back... they loved him, but live in Michigan and were here visiting, so couldn't take him. That's fine, I really wasn't ready to say goodbye, anyway. GB said he knew how hard it was for me to go through with it (and didn't say "oh, lets just keep him" what's wrong with that man!?!?!?!) and was very patient with my cranky mood before we left in the morning, and even after we came home. The best part of the day was easily when I went inside to get a quick drink. Oscar had been flirting and kissing everyone and everything (even Belle, the tiny girl who wants to be an only dog at the house that adopts her. Oscar went to play with her and came away with a bloody nose when she bit him. He was startled, and barked back in shock, but wasn't hard to pull away, and kept a friendly distance for the rest of the day). Each person he cuddled with obviously felt he loved them only - not an easy thing for me to watch! But someone held him while I went in for a drink (Oscar would have shared, but I wasn't interested in his water bowl outside) When I came back out, the woman holding him was nearly pulled off her feet, and he started yipping and jumping, leaving the person he'd been kissing before, obviously so happy to see me again. It was nice to see that I am someone special to him, and not just another face to kiss. And so sweet to see him, completely pooped. Like those hyper active children who's parents watch them when they sleep and say "what a little angel" - this is how life is with Oscar! He's so full of energy, and keeps going and going full force, no matter what you ask of him. But then he was fast asleep in the car on the way home, and conked out on the living room floor the second we got inside, so devoid of energy the cats didn't even care that he was there.

I feel much the same. I do believe this afternoon will be a nap day!

Thoughts for the Day:

The Dalai Lama - “One of the expressions of Western over-reliance on technology can be seen in the lack of patience in industrial society. When you deal with technology, everything happens at the touch of a button. This conditions you to become so impatient that when you have an emotional or personal crisis, you don't allow time for the solution to take effect. This leads to all sorts of rash responses, like quarrels, fights and so on.”

Rebecca Hall - “We cannot talk with [animals] as we can with human beings, yet we can communicate with them on mental and emotional levels. They should, however, be accorded equality in that they should receive both compassion and respect; it is unworthy of us to exploit them in any way.”

Friday, May 14, 2004

I revel slightly in my own personal extreme brilliance for being able to post pictures to my blog... ahhhhhh....

Okay, now. My job is an adventure. I suppose I could look at it that way, and as it's Friday and I'm going to attempt to remain positive, this is how I'm going to phrase it. My job is an adventure.

Sure, most of it is moderately boring computer work, making sure the right commercials run on the radio station at the right time. A lot of it is spent waiting for files to download (which gives me plenty of time to read Knitters Review and write my blog) but mostly it's an adventure because I never know what I'm going to walk into.... into what I'm going to walk? Sometimes grammer is icky, and you know what I mean.

With each passing day I become more convinced my co-worker has some sort of mental personality disorder. Not multiple personalities - he'd have to have at least one for that to be a consideration - but maybe manic depression or just plain imajerkiness.

I never know what I'm going to walk into when I get to work in the morning. I do my job fairly consistantly - note I didn't say perfectly! I make a few mistakes, here and there, as I think most non-inherantly-computer-savy folks do when working with lots of tiny lines of computer language (especially when they're supposed to be wearing the reading glasses that are right now on the kitchen table) but for the most part I do my job well, and consistantly.

And at least three days a week, I come in, check my work e-mail, and find pleasant e-mails from my boss B, and a special surprise from my co-worker S. I've spoken of them both before. S is the wild card of this job. There are many days when my notes and e-mails from him will read "Great job yesterday - really fantastic effort, so glad you were there doing such great work." A bit over the top, but friendly and complimentary. But there are just as many days where the e-mails from him will contain such rude condescention, you'd think I'd kicked his mother. Having never met his mother, I can assure you that isn't the case. To hear him talk, he is the creator of all things wonderful in radio, talented beyond compare, and I'm a mindless button pusher who can't even spell my own name without his blessed assistance. Neither of these is anywhere close to the truth. Fortunately, B understands that I'm dealing with a maniac, and is patient with both of us (which is only fair).

Today was a good day. The notes left for jobs to do today were clear and friendly, the comments about last night were complimentary and kind. Generally nice enough that it makes me feel so sad that this man must be so miserable to behave the way he does. He must be so sad, and I am sad for him...

Until I get one of those nasty e-mails again, and then he can go rot.

Thoughts for the Day:

Søren Aabye Kierkegaard - “The case with most men is that they go out into life with one or another accidental characteristic of personality of which they say: Well, this is the way I am. I cannot do otherwise. Then the world gets to work on them and thus the majority of men are ground into conformity. In each generation a small part cling to their 'I cannot do otherwise' and lose their minds. Finally there are a very few in each generation who in spite of all life's terrors cling with more and more inwardness to this 'I cannot do otherwise'. They are the geniuses. Their 'I cannot do otherwise' is an infinite thought, for if one were to cling firmly to a finite thought, he would lose his mind.”

Erich Fromm - “Man's main task in life is to give birth to himself, to become what he potentially is. The most important product of his effort is his own personality.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson - “Talent alone cannot make a writer. There must be a man behind the book; a personality which, by birth and quality, is pledged to the doctrines there set forth, and which exists to see and state things so, and not otherwise.”

Thursday, May 13, 2004

This is my new smoke ring scarf. No? Okay, it's 8 oz of Merino/Silk fiber I bought at MD S&W from The Drafting Zone (of Bowie MD) that will become my new smoke ring scarf. Better? Posted by Hello

This is the back of my modified Berroco Angell St sweater. I'm using a very yummy Classic Elite yarn called "Follies" - alpaca and modal... mmmm.... Posted by Hello

The recommended yarn, and a picture of the pattern as it's meant to be are here at - I'm adding sleeves to the sweater, hopefully long, possibly elbow length, depending on how much yarn I have left!

This is Aslan. Weighing in at a fluffy 8-pounds, he generally has the manners of a saint, and is a big mamma's boy - who chases Oscar all over the house with bloodcurdling yells and ferocious punches. Posted by Hello

This is my Blizzard sweater - Blizzard for the yarn I'm using, and for how warm it's going to be! Super-bulky, and super soft, there will also be a cable up the front, using the green and white you see there in the cuffs... Posted by Hello

Here's our love puppy! This is our foster dog, Oscar. You can't see the gigantic stick - about 8 feet long - that he's gotten his leash wrapped around and dragged all over the yard. He's easily one of the happiest dogs on the planet... until Aslan comes around. Posted by Hello

This wants to be a cardigan - it's over 1,000 yards of super soft, super silky, superwash Merino from Tess, my splurge purchase at MD S&W Posted by Hello

Sure, he looks innocent, but this is Trevor, famous for picking the most sensitive body parts to step on in the middle of the night, playing fetch with milk jug tops, and getting trapped in dryers. Posted by Hello
It took just three short... ish... okay, long days, and here I am still trying to figure out how to get these pictures up here. I'm sure once I get it, it will be simple, right? Ha.

Okay, so some fine tuning needs to be done, but at least you can see I'm not making up this whole fiber obsession!

Thoughts for the Day:

Proverb - “All things good to know are difficult to learn.”

Proverb - “A king learns by his ears; a saint by his intellect; a beast by his nose; and a fool by his experience.”

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Most days I can get through without thinking too much about it, go on in my happy little haze, play with my yarn, and forget that the world is the way it is.

Today is not one of those days. The world makes me sad. The way people treat each other, and think of differences, and deal with disagreements, it all makes me very, truly sad.

It reminds me of how helpless we are. Helpless because I don't know the answer to fix the problems. I don't know what the right thing to do is. I know in my heart it's not war - it does not end evil to create more evil. So I know what it isn't. What it is eludes me... and many others.

It disgusts me to see our "leaders" (and I use that term very loosely) taking advantage of photo ops, standing beside wounded soldiers, presenting themselves as great people who support "the little man". They don't - they have no idea what "the little man" means, and are doing the worst thing a manager or leader can do - expecting a great sacrifice from the followers, and not being willing to give that same sacrifice of themselves. They don't gain my respect by making a phone call to a wounded soldier, because the fact that I know about it proves to me that they are doing it not out of respect for that soldier, but out of a chance to show what "great leaders" they are.

It angers me to hear of more and more cases of our forces treating the "enemy" as less than human, and still being pompous enough to complain about the way the "enemy" treats its own. I support each individual who loves our country in a way that leads them to risk their lives for it. I do not respect the military in general, and less so at this point in time.

It scares me that there are people - on both "sides" of this battle who find such entertainment in disgusting behavior that this treatment of others is being video taped. There isn't even any shame from either side, it's a matter of pride that they are so inhuman and dispicable, something they tape to replay over and over.

And it makes me so sad that it isn't going to end soon, and it's probably going to be worse, and I have an 11-year-old stepson who might get drawn into it, because people today are not taught that the most important thing in every relationship is respect - even when there is dislike or hatred, there must be respect. It seems that people say "I understand the difference between real life and television (or video games)" and yet they still think they can rewind and try things again. Or that another life will pop up if they're killed.

The state of the world makes me very, very sad. I don't know what to do about that.

Thoughts for the Day:
Jonathon Larson - The opposite of war isn't peace, it's creation.

Agatha Christie - One is left with the horrible feeling now that war settles nothing; that to win a war is as disastrous as to lose one.

Albert Einstein - You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war.

Jeannette Rankin - You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Isn't it exciting when so much inspiration comes across your path that you can barely contain it all? Several knitting books have inspired me lately: Annie Modesitt's Confessions of a Knitting Heretic (see link in the side bar) and Anna Zilboorg's book Knitting for Anarchists Both of those have been by-the-bed-side reading, which inspired me so much I had to run find yarn and needles (granted, it's not as though the yarn and needles was far out of reach!) and try what they were describing.

Because of them, and because I'll be taking a Reversable Cables class with Lily Chin, I've been rotating through three projects, and I just can't decide what to work on. One is my Blizzard sweater - I've got the sleeves done up to the elbow on that, and the waistline, but decided to wait on knitting the body, since there will be a cable up the front and I wanted to see what cables I learned in that class. Then there's the modified Angell Street - I'm adding sleeves to the Berrocco pattern - which I did the back in my usual continental, but started on the front in Combination as per Annie's book - I'm a convert! So quick and even! Even still thinking about the motions it's as fast as continental to me, and I'm sure it'll speed up greatly when it becomes more second nature. And in reading Knitting for Anarchists, I went through about 5 attempts of frogging a tank top, because I couldn't decide which of the great stitch patterns to use! Zilboorg breaks them down so logically, I almost started a one-color fairisle, but decided since I'd be doing that cable class to design a cabelled tank, and used just a touch of pattern at the hem to keep it from curling.

I'm using Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece for the tank. I got a great deal on it on E-bay, as it was seconds. The dye is VERY runny, and my hands are dark green by the time I've knit for a while, but it washes right off, and I can easily rinse the tank in vinegar a few times when it's done. The yarn itself is nice to knit with, and I'm curious to see which of its cotton and which of its wool properties it will maintain.

But as usual, it's just about all I can think of - that and the spinning wheel-to-be. (by the way, has twice answered e-mails about the spinning wheel within one day of my sending them, and has been very friendly and helpful. They'll almost definitely get the sale for my wheel, and I so far highly recommend them!) I'm sitting here at work, wishing I was at home knitting. For some reason, I can't seem to get into a reasonable sleep schedule lately. When I've managed to take a nap, it's kept me from falling asleep at night. Waking up is still easy for me (darn lark that I am!) but then almost as soon as I'm in the station - sometimes even in the car on the way - I feel like I'm fighting the urge to crawl under my desk for a quick nap. The only time I'm not dying to go to sleep is when I'm knitting.

If I didn't have two clients coming in today, I'd have brought the Cotton Fleece tank in today, in the hopes that a little play time would keep me awake. But I don't think shaking hands with Green-Handed Girl would be a good professional first impression, so I restrained myself... in just six short hours I can play again...

Thoughts for the Day:

Igor Stravinsky - “Just as appetite comes by eating, so work brings inspiration, if inspiration is not discernible at the beginning.”

Ella Fitzgerald - “Just don't give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there's love and inspiration, I don't think you can go wrong.”

Monday, May 10, 2004

Oh dear. The whole blogging format just changed. Sure, it looks even easier, but still... today's post will likely have to occur from home, as I need some time to sort out what's going on here.

But quickly, no Oscar under the tree...

I did get two lovely wooden statues that look like Trevor and Aslan, as well as a fur covered one (not rabbit, thank goodness, but sheep and goat shavings, according to the tag) that looks like my ever precious Misha. I (of course) cried. GB told me later that he'd warned my stepson that the gifts would make me cry, but it would be a good thing. I was glad he did that, as it takes remarkably little for the waterworks to go with me. No drought when I'm around, I tell ya!

But more thoughts will come later, as I decide if I want to change the whole look of this, or if I can add photos...

Thoughts for the Day:

Proverb - “Change your thoughts and you change your world.”

Proverb - “When the music changes, so does the dance.”

Proverb - “We are changed as we change our environment.”

Friday, May 07, 2004

We have now entered into a strange arena which I call "anticipation". It's not always a good thing, being caught up in anticipation.

You see, Mother's Day is Sunday. And it will be my first as a step-mother. The cats frequently get me a card, when "they" remember, but I've never had a human child of any kind, step or other, before. And I don't know what to expect.

Will it be blown off, as he already has a mother? In theory, this would be fine with me, I think. I've no desire to be his mother, although I greatly enjoy being a role model in his life.

But deep in my heart, and rising up so that it tingles in the back of my mind, I'd like Oscar. I'd love to discover that GB has paid the adoption fee, and spoken with my step-son and explained why we're going to keep this precious dog even though we told him from the start it was just temporary. As I said, it hit me earlier this week just how hard it's going to be to give him up, I suppose because he's showing his potential a lot more. And the very day that started to hit me, we went to his last class where our classmates and workers at the Harford County Humane Society watched Oscar and I together and said repeatedly "He loves you! He obviously just loves you so much!" and I had to say that, yes, he does, and I do him as well, but we're still looking for another family for him.

I don't want to be having these thoughts. I don't want to dare to even hope that GB will do that. I don't expect him to, nor do I think he should do it. But it would be so lovely to not have to think about what kind of bad dog owner Oscar could conceivably end up with. Someone who won't keep his training going, who won't coddle him when he's groggy in the morning (as I am reminded each morning when I leave for work and have to put him back outside, Oscar is not a morning dog). He could end up with someone determined to make him a guard dog... I have to keep telling myself that he could end up with a family with other young dogs and kids who have limitless energy and want to love and play.... but the uncertainty is there. As is my love for him.

So I should just stop thinking about it. I do this come gift time. Some nasty little elf whispers selfish thoughts into my ear (no offense to the fae folk - I generally enjoy feelings of their company, but I try not to give into selfishness... try, and most often fail.) I decide what would be the most wonderful gift I could get, and then my heart latches onto that, and nothing else is good enough. I hate that attitude about myself. And yet it happens so often, you'd think I'd be better at controlling it.

I'm not.

For the next two days, I'll fight it. But Sunday morning will come, and unless I have Oscar under the proverbial tree, I'll be disappointed and moody, most likely.

Sometimes I think GB is an unfortunate saint for putting up with me.

Thoughts for the Day:

Proverb - “Don't look a gift horse in the mouth.”

Unknown - “The manner in which it is given is often worth more than the gift.”

Carlos Castanedas - “Our normal expectations about reality are created by a social consensus. We are taught how to see and understand the world. the trick of socialization is to convince us that the descriptions we agree upon define the limits of the real world. What we call reality is only one way of seeing the world, a way that is supported by social consensus.”

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Today was my half day at work. I had signed up for my Pilates classes before they extended my hours because the troll wasn't doing what he was supposed to do, but my boss was kind enough to tell me I could work however late I wanted to the rest of the week to balence out my leaving early on Thursdays. And things have been pretty crazy the past few weeks, with an especially whirlwind weekend, so I really needed that half day!

The Pilates was a great venting, push-all-the-bad-energy-out kind of thing. My body hurts all over right now... but better my body than my soul. GB is out of town tonight, which (as I told him) is a good thing because it means he won't be here laughing at me as I cry at the Friends finale. I barely watched it this season, and I'm certainly not a junkie, but I do fondly remember seeing the first episode ever, and laughing with it over the years, and I cry at all series finales anyway, so I'm sure many tears will be shed (seriously - I saw all of 3 Ally McBeal episodes in it's entire run, and bawlled like a baby at the finale. It's a twisted sickness).

I had crab cakes for lunch - of which I can never get enough, but good little WW girl that I am, I stopped myself at 2 (8 points total) and went off to knit, which I can't do while eating. And for the rest of the day, I'm going to be a bum.

Scheduled bumminess.

It's lovely, isn't it?

Just sitting in front of the tv, knitting. I might take a bubble bath later. I might take a nap. The point here is doing whatever I want, no rules. I'm well past due for a bit of soul rejuvenation.

Thoughts for the Day:

Theresa Watkins - “Finding what brings peace and joy to your heart is important after a hard day at work, or just living in our intense world. Walking through your garden at the end of the day can rejuvenate you. I wonder if God, Allah, Jehovah, Shiva, Gaia or whatever Supreme Being you have come to know, looks down on the Garden that He or She created with all the different varieties of life and 'oohs and aahs '? It is a curious thought, but I think so.”

Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe - “Human beings, by change, renew, rejuvenate ourselves; otherwise we harden.”

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

I just realized! This blog is exactly one month old today!
I am - for lack of a better word - pooped.

It was such a fantastic weekend I think I managed to get by on just fumes of it for the past few days. And I felt great, and forgiving, and didn't even mind the idiot troll I work with being his usual condescending to me.


I'm not quite so lucky today. Oh, I should be able to overcome it. But I suppose on some level I'm chosing not to do that. I'm choosing to wallow a bit, and drag, and mutter under my breath, and be cranky.

I shouldn't be. I have a wonderful husband, who is buying me a tremendous spinning wheel. I have some phenomenal (and enabling) friends. I have two adoring cats and a doting dog. I have lots of luscious yarn to work with. Meg sent me some breathtaking fiber samples of various alpaca and silk blends, that just make me drool (and are sitting in the drawer next to me for when I need a fondling fix) ... I have a career in radio, which is more than I can say for an awful lot of people who work in this industry...

But I'm not sure I want it anymore.

I love being on the air - I'm not right now. And I love doing production - thanks to the aforementioned troll, I'm hardly allowed to do that at all. And I really hate office politics. (this is for you, Gail) I am, in fact, morally superior because I choose not to play the office game. Okay, maybe I'm not. But I do find it so draining, and I don't think that those silly games and power plays are things that we should just accept because they're in every workplace. The spirit in me says to fight it, to not sit down and take it, to stand up for what's right. The pragmatist in me says to shut-the-hell-up-and-just-take-it-or-you'll-lose-your-job.

But I feel like I'm too old to play the game. And I'm young. I know that. I just can't stomach office politics.

It's a major reason I'd like to leave all offices behind, and have a farm. An alpaca farm. On the very first day of this blog I mentioned a dream, and this is it. Spending all day with animals, setting my own schedule, not dealing with finger pointers and office junk, just doing what has to be done because another living being depends on you, and counts on you. Working with nature to make something practical and beautiful. That's what I want.

I want it now.

I just have to get through a few more years of office politics to get the money to do it. That's the thought that drains my energy the most.

Thoughts for the Day:

John Muir - “Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.”

Shakti Gawain - “Every time you don't follow your inner guidance, you feel a loss of energy, loss of power, a sense of spiritual deadness.”

Proverb - “Sleep is better than medicine.”

Velvet Underground - “I am tired I am weary I could sleep for thousand years A thousand dreams that would awake me Different colours made of tears”

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

I will not go to Cloverhill.

I will not cyber-shop.

I will control myself, and work on any one of the many projects I have going right now.

I do not need more yarn.

I do not need more fiber - I don't even have a wheel yet!

I will behave myself.

*deep breath*

Okay, I feel better. But I tend to do this after fiber festivals, or time with my beloved knitting friends. The passion and energy is contageous, and over-whelming, and inspiring. It makes me want to create, and do more than I ever possibly could. It's like someone is pumping oxygen into my blood, and I suddenly don't have enough hands to knit everything I want to knit. I'm trying to decide if I should pay the electric bill or get the spinning wheel two weeks earlier. It's insanity.

It'll settle back down shortly, into a more balenced fiber-philia. Right now it's at a frothing-at-the-mouth, biting-my-own-ear kind of madness.

I'll think of something else. Oscar has class again tonight. I came home from work completely exausted, and had to run inside to get a camera, because he'd managed to wrap his lead around one of the branches from the woodpile, and came running up to greet me with this huge, 8-foot branch standing up on it's end, dragging along behind him. It suddently hit me today just how hard it's going to be to give him up. I suppose because he's starting to become the kind of dog that someone else would want. Before, he was too much for anyone - uncontrolled, and unmanageable. But he's worked so hard to be good... he almost really is right now. He's going to find a new mommy and daddy, and hopefully have other dogs and kids to play with, and cats that don't beat him up, and he's just going to love them to the ends of the earth and beyond, and he's not going to be mine anymore. He's not going to love me more than anything else on the planet because he'll have a whole new family full of loves. And I sincerely do want that for him. I want a family that will love him and pamper him and keep training him - maybe agility courses - and adore him and give him room to run and play and lots of friends. I can't give it to him, not as much as he deserves, and I want him to find someone who can.

But that means he's going to have to leave me. And I probably won't see him again after that. And saying goodbye to that gigantic ball of muscles and love is going to break my heart for some time.

I think I need to go give Oscar a hug ... and do some comfort knitting.

Thoughts for the Day:

William Shakespeare - “Passion, I see, is catching.”

Blaise Pascal - “When the passions become masters, they are vices.”

Monday, May 03, 2004

What a beautiful, glorious weekend!

I almost overslept Saturday morning - well, I did oversleep, but managed to run around in a mad panic enough to still meet Julie on time. And in that mad panic, I asked GB for money (I had some already, but I didn't want to spend that on frivolous things like food - my money is for yarn!) and in his waking, dazed state, he gave me more than I expected. That meant I got to splurge on some lovely yarn, enough to make a sweater, and still feel like I was getting most of what I wanted, and didn't leave at all unfulfilled. The splurge yarn was some stunning Tess superwash merino, in the Lime Splash colorway. Mostly a bright blue, there's just enough lime tossed in that when rolled into a ball (which was such a lovely sinfully silky experience I'm not sure it should be legal) it seems to sparkle. I think that yarn wants to be a cardigan, if I can find the right buttons. I also tried out several wheels, and am at a true dilemma as to which to get - two have my heart, for different reasons, and I have resigned myself that I must have both, it's just a matter of which to get first, and which will be my second wheel some years down the road. Since I'm determined to buy a wheel, I had to buy some starter fiber (ha! I've already got 5 pounds of gorgeous stuff at home, some silk, some wool... but that whole "starter" thing sounded like a good excuse, didn't it?) and I got a great deal on enough merino/silk blend to mess up a few times and still come out with a nice head wrap - maybe a mobius scarf? Then I ran across Anna Zilboorg's book Knitting for Anarchists and had to have that as well, since Annie Modesitt has spoken so highly of it. (It's not too obvious that I've just learned how to add links inside my posts, is it?) So there my money was gone before lunch, but I didn't feel bad about it - my purchases were well worth it, and it meant I could drop things off at the car and not get loaded down while I set off to play a little more. We had a wonderful lunch with the Knitters Review ladies and spending time with Bess and Jenn and Martha and Clara and Lissa... heavenly anytime. Spending time with them on a grassy spread of grass half covered with yarn and fiber and the faint smell of sheep and other wee beasties is just beyond it all.

I was so lucky to be able to be back both days! The threat of rain meant the crowds were significantly less on Sunday, and GB and the worlds greatest stepson Dylan came with. My excitement must have been contageous, for in the car on the way there (in addition to a sing-along of "(The Sun'll Come Out) Tomorrow" in attempts to sway the weather) Dylan started asking if he could try a spinning wheel. When we got there, we wandered towards the Woolie Winder booth, where they had a Lendrum set up, and I asked if we could try it. I spun for a moment, and was reminded of how very much I love to spin on the Lendrum, and Dylan sat down a moment later and did VERY well! (Of course, we weren't 5 feet from the booth when the poor man working there had to set about breaking off the yarn and starting a new thread because of the useless over-spun yarn Dylan had made, but for a first time he did heroically! It's a lot to put together, and I'm sure made even harder by being in a body that's growing faster than you can keep up!) He was obviously enjoying himself a great deal, and at lunch, Bess taught him how to drop spindle - he immediately started asking for one, so I've given him the one I've had for a few years, along with some scrap fiber I already had. He's also asked me to teach him how to knit, and we've decided we're going to knit him a hat. How exciting! I hope it's something he can love, even though it's not a typical activity for a young boy in this culture. To hear him say "I made yarn!" ... well, knitters and spinners know that feeling. When he left for home he was spinning on his way to the car, and GB said he started up again as soon as he got to his mother's.

I settled down to snuggle with my new yarn (that Tess really is breathtaking!) and it started to hail. Which means in comes Oscar, who normally spends most of his nights outside, if the weather's nice. Aslan didn't feel that hail meant the weather was bad enough that that ... that ... dog should have to invade on his domain, but I got them settled down enough to take a shower (um, me shower, not the cats or dog). I heard a few odd noises while I was in the shower, but didn't think too much of it, figuring it was the storm.

But then when I got out of the shower, no one was there. Not to imply that me looking like a naked drowned rat is something that most would enjoy, but Aslan tends to glue himself to my side when I'm in the house, so having him not sitting on the sink while I shower is a bit unusual. And Oscar hadn't come in either, so it wasn't C.A.S. (Canine Avoidance Syndrome) which is occasionally the excuse.

The rest of the house was silent.

I called Aslan.

Still silent.

Now getting a little worried that Oscar had figured out that he is a 50 pound pitbull who didn't need to allow himself to be bullied by an 8 pound declawed cat, I called for Oscar, and still got silence.

I walked timidly into the living room, almost afraid of what I might find.

Before I tell you what it was that I did find, let me explain the set up briefly. There is a bookshelf just to your left when you enter the house. Next to that bookshelf is a large recliner. The space between these is approximately... hmmm... I'd say the exact width of a pitbull's shoulders.

I would make this guess because what I found upon entering my living room was Trevor and Aslan sitting on the recliner, calmly keeping Oscar wedged between the chair and bookshelf, terrified. The poor baby *ahem* pitbull-for-goodness-sake had been chased into that small space, and was now there, obviously not permitted movement by the cats. Even with me right behind him, when I said his name, he didn't even turn his head, just twitched an ear... which prompted a growl from Aslan, immediately stopping all movement entirely. Fortunately, GB came home at just that moment, providing enough distraction that I could sweep up the cats and he could grab Oscar and put him to bed (the only furniture Oscar is allowed on is a couch, covered with a sleeping bag in a spare bedroom, and he leaps onto it with reckless abandon) saying to him "I feel it will greatly improve your quality of life if we put a door between you and the cats." Poor sweet baby.

For those who have been asking, Oscar is doing very well. Aside from his life as a feline torture device, his jumping up is now a rarity (so the bruises on my legs and hips should be able to heal!) and he knows exactly what to do when someone says "sit" - granted, it's often more of a "brush your butt on the ground for the briefest of moments" because it's so difficult to sit when you're that excited, but he tries. "Down" means lie down, and he wants so much to do the right thing that I'm surprised he hasn't broken his own ribs slamming himself to the ground the way he does. We've taken a few steps back in command response, since we've been spending afternoons with some other dogs who's parents are out of town, but I think in the long run the socialization will balence out his slide in training. It's important that he learn that it's not neccessary to jump all over every new dog and person he meets! I think he's doing marvelously, and he's going to be a fantastic dog when he gets a little maturity... wish we could keep him...

Well, since I got nothing done Thursday or Friday, I suppose I should get some work done today... I imagine I'll still spend most of it daydreaming about my glorious Sheep & Wool weekend!

Thoughts for the Day:
William Wordsworth - “One of those heavenly days that cannot die.”

Georgia Witkin - “Cultivate more joy by arranging your life so that more joy will be likely.”

Marriage is love.