Wednesday, June 30, 2004

There are people in my house.

Oh, sure, they're people I love, and often enjoy spending time with. But they are there all the time, stealing my precious alone time, my moments of solitude that allow me to sing when the mood hits, and dance when the mood strikes, and tell my deepest, darkest secrets to Aslan, and giggle over jokes with Trevor, and roll around on the floor in glee with Oscar.

GB and DSS are there. It was decided that DSS needed some father-son bonding time. With this I absolutely agree. And it was suggested that they go camping and do "guy stuff". And in honor of that, GB has taken a week of vacation time. While I miss him when he's gone, we dated for six years before we got married, so not having him around every waking moment is still the norm for me - I did that 12 times longer than having him around all the time. And I'm quite introverted by nature. Not that I dislike people (although there's certainly more than my fair share of that) but they drain my energy. I need time away to feel okay about life in general. I need a little time to reload, relax, reflect, release...

And DSS and GB are not allowing that to happen. Apparantly I'm the only one who's noticed a slight procrastination tendency in GB. They're going camping as soon as he checks to see when the weather will permit it. Now, it's been gorgeous all week long. And yet, they're still in my house, there when I wake up, there when I get home, and there while I'm asleep (even often when I'm at work).

This said, I beat them back last night from their trip to the amusement park.

It was delicious.

I had nearly an hour and a half where no one burped, farted, or laughed at someone on tv burping or farting. I set up Fiona, put in a Patsy Z video, borrowed from Bess, and spun to my little heart's content. They came home somewhere towards the end, and (to be fair) were attempting to be polite. While I wasn't particularly interested in filling them in on "what they missed" of the "movie", they did sit and watch with minimal whining about what else was on.

I just hope they go camping soon so I can miss them again.

Thoughts for the Day:

Stewart Udall - “If you want inner peace find it in solitude, not speed, and if you would find yourself, look to the land from which you came and to which you go.”

Paul Tillich - “Language has created the word loneliness to express the pain of being alone, and the word solitude to express the glory of being alone.”

Henry David Thoreau - “You think that I am impoverishing myself by withdrawing from men, but in my solitude I have woven for myself a silken web or chrysalis, and, nymph-like, shall ere long burst forth a more perfect creature, fitted for a higher society.”

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Thought I needed a little freshening up! Still playing around to get it to look the way I like, but I think I like this a little better than the old format...

Thoughts for the Day:
You tell me!
S the troll came back to work today. In honor of that, today's horoscope: Be generous. You can afford to be. Perhaps not from a financial point of view but certainly from an emotional one. You can spare some compassion, some tolerance, some patience and some support. Even if you feel as if you are nearing the end of your tether, you will find that it has more elasticity than you think. It will not break if you stretch it. Nor will it suddenly pull you back sharply. The more freedom you reach for, the more you will get. And, to some extent, the same is true of your material situation. You face a big challenge. But you are in line for a big reward.


And also, am I the only one who laughed aloud at Bush's speech talking about human dignity and we had to guarantee equal rights for all. It's weird, because the editing implied that was the end of the sentence, but certainly he ended that with "except homosexuals and poor people." I'm certain no one really thinks Bush cares about equal rights for anyone unlike himself, right?

Thoughts for the Day:

Unknown - “Challenges make you discover things about yourself that you never really knew.”

Booker T. Washington - “No race can prosper till it learns that there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem.”

Adlai Ewing Stevenson - “The idea that you can merchandise candidates for high office like breakfast cereal is the ultimate indignity to the democratic process.”

Monday, June 28, 2004

I knew it would happen. Lovely soft alpaca. GB was a saint to get it for me, and quite proud of himself. And when DSS asked to spin, I sat there, and with strength I didn't know I possessed, I did NOT rip his head off when he jammed up the wheel with overspun, wasted blobs of alpaca. I may have to go to the store myself for some cheap fiber.

I had no plans for it, and wouldn't have made plans for it if it had been cheap stuff, but that scrumptious alpaca is a nice grey that would just look stunning with some mohair locks I have lying around - blues and greens... A lovely soft, alpaca hat, with the mohair spun into the brim....

Yes, I must buy some cheap wool that I don't care for so DSS can play in safety, without my popping veins to avoid killing him. It's really best for all involved.

Shan't write much today. A very stiff neck, which I suspect is caused by the awkward angle of the computer here at work (I'll see if I can move it, but it doesn't look as though I can). And since I'd rather be sore and spinning, than sore here and too sore to spin later, I think you understand I must say adieu for now...

Had a lovely lovely lovely weekend (Saturday was blissful, and then a pleasant Sunday with my boys - Dodgeball is much funnier than it looks!) and I'll be daydreaming about it for the rest of the week at least...

Thoughts for the Day:

John Raudonis - “No one can be completely relaxed. Like a wind-up clock, a person can't tick without some tension.”

John Masefield - “I must down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life, To the gull's way and the whale's way where the wind's like a whetted knife; And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow rover, And a quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's o”

Friday, June 25, 2004

A friend on Knitters Review has asked about moving and how to pack her yarn. As a career in radio has caused me to move more than anyone should legally be allowed, I shared with her my expertise, and felt I should share with you as well.

1. Fill a LARGE box with yarn.
2. Place that box in a room with smaller boxes filled with books, lead weights, and elephants.
3. Ask your large, muscular helpers to carry one of the "little" boxes while you take "this one"
4. Be sure to stumble at least once, and maybe break a nail, if you can manage.

This way you're guaranteed to get to sit out a good portion of the moving process.

You're welcome.

And while we're basking in my brilliance, let me just point out that GB is legally married to me (I think - I never actually signed anything) and therefore you can't have him (I think - because of that whole signing thing).

I feel the need to say that because while I didn't actually like him very much last week, he's a pretty good guy all around, and has allowed me to turn him into a monster.

I offer this as proof. I sent a short e-mail to my darling (and might I add sexy) husband last night, entitled "On your way home, could you please stop by the store?" Now, I do realize that in some households that may be followed by a request for eggs, or milk, or kitty litter.

No, I was asking GB to swing by Cloverhill Yarn Shop to get some "cheap" fiber so that when DSS came up for the weekend, I could teach him how to spin, without worrying about my precious fiber that all has projects assigned already. I had called, they had plenty of the stuff that's less than a buck an ounce, and GB had been told color was no issue.

We already love GB enough for having sired a young man who is learning how to knit at his own request, and who also wants to play on his wicked stepmother's spinning wheel (we refer to ourselves as wicked stepmother exclusively OUT of DSS's range of hearing. In said range, we are to be known only as "world's greatest stepmother" He's cool, but let's not give him any ideas.)

Now we can love GB even more for coming home from the LYS (ahem, that's Local Yarn Shop for the yarn pagans who read this) with a sheepish look on his face.

The cheap stuff "didn't feel good."

My husband, the man of my dreams, my knight is shining armor, couldn't bring anything less than ten ounces of alpaca fiber for me.

That's right. I managed to go off my diet without breaking it. I have had my cake, and eaten it too, and gained 10 oz.

Do I need to state again that he's spoken for?

Thoughts for the Day:

John Heywood - “Would yee both eat your cake and have your cake?”

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

Thursday, June 24, 2004

I have done SO well with my fiber diet. Except for a brief lapse during which I bought some silk roving, I haven't bought any fiber since I started. Needles, sure, but who doesn't need more of them? And the lapse really shouldn't even count, since we'd gone to Springwater to play on their wheels, and we did for quite some time for free. It was sort of like I played on the wheels for some money, and got the silk for free, right? Oh yeah, and I just remembered I bought two pounds of a wool/mohair blend off e-bay. But I got it for a really good deal, I was low on spinning fiber (ignore the below quantities, honest, I was low...) and that'll make a lot, so really it was a matter of fiber efficiency. Smart shopping. Not weakness, strength.

In any event, I am on a self-imposed (self, since, in a momentary lapse of insanity, I had the good sense to marry a man who has actually not yet questioned why it is, with the literally 10 pounds of alpaca fiber, 4 pounds of other fibers, and well more than 37 pounds of yarn, I would possibly need to buy yarn) fiber diet. It was actually my own personal judgment that made me decide that perhaps I should focus more on the joy of playing with the fiber, and less on the expensive joy of buying it.

But then yesterday was a slow day at work (okay, it was mostly slow because I didn't feel like doing any of the stuff I should have been doing to catch up, and I am now, today, paying the price...) and so I set about reading the archives of The Yarn Harlot, who is quickly becoming a favorite daily read of mine.

And it is here that I discovered something that requires me to break my fiber diet. Yes, I said requires. Possibly upon penalty of death, certainly upon penalty of further eye drooling. It's this:

For the uninformed, that's Lorna's Laces sock yarn... and the color name?  Posted by Hello

Wait for it....


Oh, yes, it will be mine.

I'm thinking that the socks will be done is a bastardized version of this pattern, modeled by the Harlot's husband, Joe:
Posted by Hello

Bastardized not because there is anything at all wrong with these socks - I really think they're fantastic - but because I don't believe in patterns. That's silly. Of course I believe in patterns. I mean, it's not like you who follow patterns have to go around clapping your hands like you're trying to keep Tinkerbell alive or anything. I just don't like them. Nothing personal.

(By the way, those two photographs were on the Harlot's blog first, and I take no credit for them at all. In fact, Stephanie, if you take offense at my humble pilfering, please feel free to ask me to remove them, and I will. Before you do so, I'd just like to point out that not only do I know where Maryland is, I live just around the corner from the fairgrounds that host the Sheep and Wool Festival, and you are welcome to come visit me the first weekend of May next year.)

Thoughts for the Day:

Dave Barry - I have always dressed according to certain Basic Guy Fashion Rules, including: * Both of your socks should always be the same color, * Or they should at least both be fairly dark.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Oscar and I had the opportunity to be prophets yesterday. We found a park not too far from us with lots of trails and paths and had just gotten out of the car (we live right off a large road/portion of a major highway, so the best walks require a small drive first). We started down a path and came across a woman walking who watched us curiously as we approached each other. As we said "hello" she said "What kind of dog is that?" Now, this is a question that I have trouble with. Part of me wants him to not be judged, so I've debated using "staffordshire terrier" or "mutt" or various breed mixes. But now that I know he's got a safe home with me, the fight for justice side of me wants the truth to be known. "A pitbull, and he's just the friendliest thing in the world." She gasped and said "He's just so beautiful! Really, he's friendly? May I pet him?" for Oscar had already gone to meet her and was putting his deep coffee browns to work on her... of course I said she could. She then asked where pitbulls get the reputation of being so mean...

I think you know what happened next.

We talked to this woman for 15 minutes. She was so friendly, and Oscar was so calm and sweet - settled down and just leaned on her for a while, with her gasping at how lovely and friendly he was. I described his behavior, showed her the scar tissue on his tail that came from him wagging his tail so much it bled, put my hands in his mouth to show her how he wouldn't bite me, and talked about how fantastic he is with children, and how I'd discovered that my neighbors 4 and 6 year old were coming over and playing with Oscar in the middle of the day when no one was around. You know how much kids yank and tug and smack without meaning... an ill-tempered dog won't tolerate that for long. I told her about the tests that have been done that show that as far as consistancy with temperment, pitbulls generally rank up there with Golden Retreivers. How they used to be recommended for families with children (see comment about kids tugging and smacking!), how they're not recommended as watch dogs because they're too people friendly.

After talking to her for quite a while, with her just amazed, and misting up when I told her that Oscar might have been killed just for being a pitbull, she thanked me for taking the time to talk to her about him. I said "you're very welcome - just do me the favor of remembering Oscar next time you hear someone talk about pitbulls."

On the fiber front it's been spinning spinning spinning! I spun two bobbins yesterday of some stuff I just can't wait to knit with - I'd gotten some grey roving off Ebay that was a mix of lambswool, 12% angora, and then a smidge of alpaca and llama (I think 6% each)... heavenly, heavenly stuff... like spinning air, just so soft and smooth... I blended in some cornflower blue wool that Meg sent me with about half of that, and got this neat tweedy soft yarn... I got so involved in that, I accidentally used up all the blue... so then I spun about that much again of just the grey blend, and I'll ply those together tonight... That will become a hat for GB, the first thing I've knit for him. I still have some left of the grey blend, and still have a bunch of stuff from Meg - some pink wool, and an alpaca blend, so I think I might try to mix all those together and make myself a hat out of those...

Knit just a few stitches on a sock I'm making, but I did it leg down, and I'm at the gusset... my least favorite part... once I get to the foot, it'll go pretty quickly...

Thoughts for the Day:

Unknown - “'A preacher is a messenger,' once said a very wise man, 'and being a messenger, he has no right to change the message he carries, any more than a Western Union messenger boy has a right to change the message in the telegram that he is employed to deliver.'”

Saint Francis of Sales' - “The test of a preacher is that his congregation goes away saying, not what a lovely sermon, but 'I will do something!'”

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Oscar doesn't have a middle name! This only just now occurred to me, and is something that must be immediately remedied. How else will he know when he's in trouble?!

Trevor's full name is Trevor Miguel. He was named after a small boy getting in trouble in the movie theatre the day we met him, and my mother gave him the middle name Miguel. Aslan is (as you've been told) Aslan Bernard, named after the lion in the books, and the dog that drools a lot. Misha was Misha Louise. And Oscar is....

Now taking your write in votes. Please take into consideration the character of the dog, the rhythm of the name, and the yellability.
I am SpiderWoman.

Okay, it's not as impressive as a deep, husky voice stating emphatically "I am Batman." But hey, I'm working with what I got here...

All I want to do is spin. Being here at work is killing me.

Okay, I did have some brief excitement when a host said "who gives a shit" and I got to bleep it out. But for the most part, I'm bored silly, and just want to be home with Fiona. I'm borrowing some Patsy Z videos from Bess, and I don't think I want to spin anymore of my superwash until I see them. That fiber is for something very special, and so while part of it can be my bumbling "I don't really understand the finer points of this process" newbieness (word-creation, just one more sign of fiber inspiration) I do want some of it to be nicely spun.

Tonight I think I'll spin some of the fiber Meg sent to me, and blend it with some wool I bought off EBay to make a hat for GB. I've never knit him anything, because of the Love Sweater Curse, but we've been married for nearly six months, and frankly if I didn't ask for a divorce last week, I think it's safe to knit him something now. So I've got this lovely charcoal grey wool/angora/llama blend, and some nice slate blue wool that I think I'll blend in just a touch, and I'll spin that up tonight. I don't think he'll actually wear what I make him, but I'm so desparate for something to spin, I'll go for anything right now. My ultimate plan is to knit him a hat out of the grey and blue, and then make myself a hat with that same blue, some pink, and maybe some white... sharing the blue makes it sort of coupley without being too nauseatingly "dressed alike"...

I realized (too late, of course) that I'd forgotten to get anything for my dad for Father's Day, which is always awkward because he tries to be stoic, but is just slightly less sensitive than I am. It's been sort of a tricky relationship over the years, but it's certainly better now that I don't live with him, so it wasn't an intentional slight. Maybe I'll buy some fiber and spin him something for a hat and scarf? Dad's have to forgive you for being late if it's handmade, right?

Thoughts for the Day:

Alexander Pope - “The spider's touch, how exquisitely fine! Feels at each thread, and lives along the line.”

Tryon Edwards - “Any act often repeated soon forms a habit; and habit allowed, steadily gains in strength. At first it may be but as the spider's web, easily broken through, but if not resisted it soon binds us with chains of steel.”

Monday, June 21, 2004

Lessons I've learned since Friday:
1. Annie Modesitt was right - passion for one thing, does ignite passion for another. I spun and spun and spun all weekend, and when my petite derriere got sore from sitting in that one position for too long, I jumped right into knitting my cabled tank that I'd grown bored with. Got a good deal done on the straps, and a good deal more figured out. Looking forward to playing with it (and Fiona) more tonight.

2. Messy eaters should only get sushi when they are wearing soy-sauce-stain-colored skirts. 'nuff said about that.

3. GB isn't all bad after all. He tried to surprise me at work Friday with a dozen roses to apologize for being a schmuck, actually called AS I was hitting the post button from Friday's post to tell me he was lost. Of course, he was calling from view of the Yarn Garden, less than five miles from here, and not only did he never manage to find me, he didn't buy me anything at the Yarn Garden, but I did come home to a nice hug, an adorable stepson, and a dozen roses, so I guess we'll forgive him for now.

4. Where there is one mouse, there will be more. The score currently stands at Trevor: 4 (three yesterday) Oscar: Hey, a little, tiny friend!! and Aslan: yawn. What I can't get is where they're coming from. If this was fall, and the temps were getting colder, sure, I'd want to be inside too. I wouldn't even blame them for coming inside under those circumstances. But for goodness sake, it's lovely outside, and there are CATS in here. Particularly TREVOR, who wants me to knit him a little cape that says "Super Mouser" on it! Looks like time for a serious check of all the grains and food items, to make sure everything's sealed properly. It's not my fault if it isn't - I'm the worst wife ever and NEVER cook. I actually cooked GB breakfast yesterday for Father's Day and DSS thought we'd hired help because he could see his father, yet heard cooking noises. Nope, mouse bait is not my responsibility...

Work is still blah, so here's my latest thought: if everyone who listens to books on tape could please look at those cases, find out what company it is that records them, and let me know through comments on my blog here, I'll start contacting them about doing recordings. I have a few places already, but none that have led to any work. So I figure the more I contact, the better my chances of coming across something that would pay pretty well for not a lot of work, and be enjoyable, and right up my alley. That way I could do that when I needed to, put the money into my savings to buy that alpaca farm, and keep doing that as long as I like.

Thoughts for the Day:

Unknown - If you can't get enthusiastic about your work, it's time to get alarmed—something is wrong. Compete with yourself; set your teeth and dive into the job of breaking your own record. No one keeps up his or her enthusiasm automatically. Enthusiasm must be nourished with new actions, new aspirations, new efforts, new vision. It is your own fault if your enthusiasm is gone; you have failed to feed it. If you want to turn hours into minutes, renew your enthusiasm.

Stanley Baldwin - Fires can't be made with dead embers, nor can enthusiasm be stirred by spiritless men. Enthusiasm in our daily work lightens effort and turns even labor into pleasant tasks.

Samuel Ullman - Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.

Friday, June 18, 2004

Hello, my name is Amie, and I am a giant Yo-Yo.

My knitting has been fairly uninspired this week. I'm sure partly because I want to play with my new wheel, and partly because I'm uninspired by just about everything, it seems like I get just a few rows done and them I'm bored with the project. The worst is the bamboo, which I'm sure will eventually become a summer sweater, if I could ever decide what pattern I want enough from the poor swatch that I've knit at least 17 times. I'm enjoying spinning on Fiona a great deal... until I do something wrong, and the strand breaks off and wraps all the way around the bobbin for the third time in a row. Then I'm frustrated. However, it's a level of frustration that is so low compared to all other levels of frustration in my life that it hardly bears mentioning. So why have I?

Well, because mentioning the other sources of frustration (I'm fat, I don't like a lot of the people I live with this week, my house is too small, I'm too poor, I don't like my job or my career, I'm tired...) would be too much demonstration of beating-a-dead-horseism for any one blog to take.

Oh, what the hell, how 'bout one more go.

If I'd know what work was going to be like today, I would have called in unconscious. The storms knocked out all kinds of exciting network features for us. Our engineer can't make it back up until Monday, which means that in order to schedule the commercials for the next three days, I have to connect to the internet on the computer in my office (the only one that has internet) and retreive the logs from the transmitting source, disconnect the internet, write down what commercials have to run and when, go into another room, open up the program and insert them all manually. Seems the internet connection is affecting the network connection, and the printer's just not working. That should only take three times as long as it normally does. I figure I should be done the logs by tomorrow morning, provided I don't eat, sleep, or go to the bathroom. While this is going on, the program we have on right now is playing Chinese music, which normally I respect but don't much care for. Today, it's making my ears bleed. And did I mention that I decided not to stop for coffee on the way in because I thought I could take a fairly short day and then just head around 6 pm and have a relaxing weekend?

Radio has really been an amazing experience for me. I love the idea that people can feel like they're friends with someone they've never met, never seen, often never even had a conversation with. I love the idea of theatre of the mind, where ideas can be implanted for entertainment (or otherwise) just with the suggestion of them. I love the creativity of sound, the layering of sound, so that by using sounds and sound effects subtly, an environment can be created, without the listener being aware of it. All of those things are what radio is supposed to be.

But for some reason the people that seem to gain "control" in radio don't care about any of that. They've figured out that enough of us have seen that side of radio that we want to be in it. They've figured out that with computer technology, there are many times more people who want to do it than there are jobs. And that means they can destroy people, work them until their hearts, souls, and bodies give up on them, because as soon as that one person gives up, there's another just dying to take that space. I begrudge no one "the bottom line" - I understand that money has to be made. I do NOT understand putting money above humanity, and sense of dignity.

I'm a "Type A" personality. I like things done right, I like them done quickly, and I like to multi-task. I do a better job when I'm working on three things at once than I do one-at-a-time. I have a strong sense of "do your best because it's the right thing to do" work ethic. Or I did, before I saw that doing your best seems to mean having your soul destroyed, when altogether too many people who don't give a damn are moving into high-paying management positions.

I never thought I would EVER think being a housewife would be enough for me. And I don't know that it would be. But I can't think of a single out-of-home job that I would love to go to every day. I'm done with beaurocrisy. I'm done with office politics. Unfortunately, I'm not done paying bills.

But I am done whining about work, for now.

I'm going to switch to whining about my eye.

(goodness, whatever could have happened to your eye? you ask)

I'm so pleased you asked.

I am allergic to cats.

I'm actually mildly allergic to anything blooming, budding, or with fur, but out of a greater love for those things, I usually choose to ignore the itchiness, and this story has to do with my cat allergies.

I am allergic to cats, and I am very loved by a few of them.

Some of them, the handsome blondes named Aslan, love me so much that just the action of my crawling into bed to snuggle at night causes relaxation, with a side of purring.

When Aslan relaxes, he drools a bit.

Yeah, okay, he drools a lot. A LOT. This cat's middle name is Bernard, as in Saint, as in that big, wet-gummed dog that sprays walls.

So there I was, eyes closed, drifting off to sleep as my sweet, loving Aslan purred, inching closer and closer to the mommy he loved.

And then, there it was. A large drip of oozing warm wetness on my eyelid.

If you were unaware, most people who are allergic to cats and dogs are allergic not to their furr or hair, but to their saliva (and dander, which is dried saliva that gathers on their skin and fur when they lick to clean themselves). That is the case for me, and when I have a reaction, it generally is similar to mild hives; swollen, puffy, red, and itchy skin.

Including when the saliva goes directly into my eye, apparantly.

I thought I was safe for a bit, that my eyelid had done its job... and then the itching got worse.

So I went and got eyedrops, and rinsed my eye out a few times.

Still pretty bad. More rinsing...

I ended up falling asleep on the couch, where I sat in the hopes that frequent Scarlett O'Hara-like blinking would work up enough water to wash my eyes clean. Scarlett was obviously never loved by Aslan to the extent that I am loved by Aslan. I feel sort of like I should be crying out "ADRIANNN!", since I look fairly similar to the final scene of Rocky for how swollen my eye is. To look at me, you'd see one sparkly green eye, and one softball.

At least the itching is mostly gone. And Aslan hasn't tried to apologize, which I fear would probably lead to even more drool.

But I suppose maybe (just maybe) some of my itchy-swollen-eye-lack-of-sleep syndrome might be affecting my general mood today as well....
Thoughts for the Day:

John Updike - “Life is a roller coaster, you have your ups and downs unless you fall off.”

John Updike - “Life is like an overlong drama through which we sit being nagged by the vague memories of having read the reviews.”

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Tee Hee - here it is for today:
You have excellent judgement and wisdom. That's what I keep telling people!
You are, though, still human. You can make the occasional mistake. shhhhhh....
When you do, it has an impact that only rarity value can create. Dogs, for example, often make ungainly moves. Cats hardly ever lose their poise. We are all a little taken aback when they do. this guy doesn't live with my cats, but I get the point
You are reeling now, from a recent apparent misjudgement. You fear you are in danger of making another. Actually though, the fact that you have just been wrong makes it all the more unlikely that you will be so again. okay, not exactly sure what I'm reeling from, but I'm showing GB this part about me not making mistakes anymore!
drumroll, please...

Welcome to my world....


Not the name I'd originally thought for her, but a gal can change her mind, right?

I was inspired by a movie (three guesses here) about a woman who is a princess... but doesn't always look like one. And I thought, my wheel may not have those fairy tale princess looks, but she sure spins like it...

Then I did a little research on the name (gotta make sure it doesn't mean "tangles yarn into big knots" or anything!) and discovered that it is a very contemporary scottish name - I'm scottish myself - that was made up in the 1800s for a story, and they suspect it's based on the gaelic word fionn for "pale, light-colored". The Lendrum is a very pale maple... couldn't fit better!

We had her up and running last night, and I was making LOVELY yarn with some superwash merino I have, just oohing and aahing over the fantastic colors I was getting, and played around with different positions for about 2 hours until I started getting worse instead of better, then went to bed, after tucking Fiona safely in her carry bag... Now I have to come to stupid work and I just want to spin spin spin spin spin!!!!

She's HOME!

I find I spin finer yarn when I spin right handed, and slightly thicker when I spin left handed. But when I was spinning right handed, I was getting quite a little clip going, and then the yarn broke off (my fault - over drafted) and wrapped around the bobbin, and then I couldn't find the end! So I spent several minutes trying to find it before giving up, breaking off part of what was already wound and pulling that through and getting going again. (BTW, lesson number 1 of spinning, as I discovered last night, is this: if you must spin in shorts, shave your legs. I was looking quite sheepish by the evening's end...)

It was brilliant, too, because I was in a foul mood yesterday, really disliking GB and all men a great deal (I'm sure I was so subtle with my feelings that no one noticed, right?), came home and took Oscar out for a walk near a school by us. There's a small marsh where we went, and he suddenly became pitbull/pointer, as he POINTED to the Baltimore Orioles that were flocking by the marsh - little leg cocked and everything. We walked around for a while, he was obviously enjoying himself so much it was contagious, and then "raced" around the parking lot for a bit (he won) since he so rarely gets to just run. Then when I came home, already in a better mood, I found that our neighbor had taken two large boxes off our step because it looked like it was going to rain (sure, he's literally got a psychopathic stepson, but this is a really thoughtful neighbor) and so MY WHEEL was home!!! We immediately got things up and running, and it was SO exciting...

Tough to come into work today when I just want to spin. But we're having a girl's night today, since Heather and Eilene and I are going to dinner, so that's something to look forward to. And when I got here, my boss (the one who I generally like but has taken to asking me to stroke altogether too many egos lately) told me he was taking me out to lunch to thank me for all my hard work, and to let me know that just because S is coming back, doesn't mean he's in charge, that we are now on equal footing (frankly, I think I rank higher than equal by now, but I suppose beggers can't be choosers).

And I just have to get through tomorrow here, and then I'm going to spin ALL WEEKEND LONG! (Isn't that an AC/DC song?)

Thoughts for the Day:

Proverb - “God gives no linen, but flax to spin.”

Lord Alfred Tennyson - “Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change.”

Mevlana Jelalu'ddin Rumi - “We come spinning out of nothingness, scattering stars like dust.”

George L. Griggs - “Exasperation is the mind's way of spinning its wheels until patience restores traction.”

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

I may just have to change this blog to exclusive comments on my horoscope. Case in point: The Moon is new in your opposite sign. That is your first clear clue about whose in charge. Not you! You are either being pushed or pulled. You are clearly having to comply with various insistent requests and demands. You don't feel especially pleased about this. You like to write your own script and run your own show. But don't grow too resentful, the astrological influences are benign. The pressures that you face are designed to help you do as well as you possibly can in a tricky situation. A lack of autonomy is a small price to pay for a big breakthrough.

Okay, so I'm dying to know what this huge breakthrough will be, as I've already been told to stroke yet another impotent male's ego (seriously, you'd think this was a whorehouse, not a radio station) to cover for his own incompetance. Whew... "write your own script and run your own show" THAT sure doesn't sound like he's talking to a radio personality with a theater background, does it?

Actually, I'm really disliking most men today. Quite a few women, too, now that I think about it. But men especially.

Must be something in the water. The air. Some pollution some MAN put into the atmosphere.

I'll work my little twelve hour day here, and take my dog for a nice long walk tonight.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

More SuperSag to the rescue: Faster than a bullet. More powerful than a locomotive. Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Apparently, it's neither, merely a Sagittarian, under the intoxicating influence of the current tense alignment between Mars and Jupiter. This is causing you to feel as if you can solve any problem, conquer any opponent or push past any obstacle. Well, I say 'any'. Sadly, it is still not giving you quite the confidence you need to tackle one crucial issue. Because in this area you do not need to be heroic, you just need to be patient. That takes faith, not fury. Hmm... Gotta love that Jonathon Cainer...

Patience may be a virtue, but it's not one of mine. I want a career that I love, that is fulfilling spiritually and financially, and I want it now. (Actually, I want it six years ago, but I'm working on that "patience" thing) Ideally, I'd like to do something that allows me to speak for animals. I'd like to be the Lorax, as it were. I'd like for it to happen quickly and easily, without any proverbial "dues to be paid" as I was apparantly over-charged in the "dues" department for radio.

I took a career aptitude test online - one of those things that says "oh, you're good at this, this and this, you should be a multimillionaire!" except mine didn't say the multimillionaire part. It said my natural talents lead me to something that would blend communication with music and technology.

And in other news, the sky is blue (except in upstate New York, where it's mortuary grey).

Seriously, though I'm wondering if I could get a small business loan that would make it possible for me to get some land and alpacas, and spend all day with the animals? Anyone know anything about small business loans? Is it too much to ask that this be the one thing (aside from actually bearing children) that being female lends benefit too - being a "minority" business owner, and all... Maybe I should leave a hat out somewhere. All I'd need is $100k or so.... Think I could raise that in a yard sale? I've got LOADS of crap I could sell.

Oh, and I meant to comment on this yesterday, but got myself all riled up and forgot: someone on Bess's blog said that they liked Buckbeak in the new HP movie because he reminded her of her dog. This probably sounds funny to most... except that I watched the movie with tears in my eyes thinking of Oscar. I love the books, and mean to reread them for the millionth time before I take DSS to see the movie, but haven't done so since Oscar entered my life. So I hadn't made the connection with the books. And there I was, watching this story of this gigantic beast who entered Hagrid's life and was sentenced to death just because of a misunderstanding - because Draco behaved badly, and disrespectfully, and of course the animal must be the one who suffers in that scenario, right? This creature that wanted respect and love, and got disrespect and was treated as a viscious killer... well, I think anyone might draw some parallels between a hippogriff and my sweet pitbull... It saddens me how often animals are misunderstood, and punished simply because we choose to trust the human over them.

Thoughts for the Day:

Brian Tracy - “If you wish to achieve worthwhile things in your personal and career life, you must become a worthwhile person in your own self-development.”

Mark Sullivan - “To find a career to which you are adapted by nature, and then to work hard at it, is about as near to a formula for success and happiness as the world provides. One of the fortunate aspects of this formula is that, granted the right career has been found, the hard work takes care of itself. Then hard work is not hard work at all.”

Gary Sinise - “Careers, like rockets, don’t always take off on schedule. The key is to keep working on the engines.”

Cary Grant - “I pretended to be somebody I wanted to be until finally I became that person. Or he became me.”

Monday, June 14, 2004

This is my horoscope for today:
Super-heroes have many more responsibilities than mere mortals. They can't just shrug their shoulders whenever they encounter a situation that seems dauntingly difficult. They are morally obliged to find the nearest phone box and change into a lycra stretch-suit in a tasteless colour combination. Then, no matter how evil their arch enemy may be, it is encumbent upon them to put up a fight. What a good job that you are not superhuman! Mars, this week, will enable you to achieve some impressive victories. But you should still remember to quit while you are ahead.

I got a little sidetracked last week by mouse carcasses and others, so let me tell you about Thursday at work. Maybe you'll see why this is such a frustrating job!

There was a program that was supposed to run Thursday morning at 10:30. It's only 4 minutes long, but it meant I had to trim another pre-recorded show to make room for it. So I did that. But I was told that the check to pay for their time hadn't arrived yet, and not to put the show into the system until we had that check in hand, so we wouldn't give them any free runs. So I did what I could to make it easy to get the program in if I needed, but left Wednesday night with it NOT set to run.

I arrived at work Thursday morning at 10 am to two members of management in a fit. They'd thought the show was scheduled to run at 9:30, and spent the morning shuffling things around, doing all sorts of unneccessary work to make it fit at 9:30, complaining that I hadn't done what I was supposed to do, and freaking out the poor part-timer, who didn't have a clue what was going on, and was set in too much of a tizzy with their hysterics that he was unable to gather himself to figure out what was going on. If they'd come in calmly, he could have looked at the log, which lists everything where and when it's supposed to be played, and said "nope, it runs at 10:30, and Amie will be here at 10" but they freaked him out, and no one thought to check that log.

So they were pretty near heart failure when I came in and said very calmly that what was left to be done would take all of 15 seconds, and as I was here half an hour before it needed to happen, that would be plenty of time.

Would have been, I should say.

Because they'd shuffled things around so many different ways to put the program in the wrong spot, that I had to scramble for the next 30 minutes to get things back to where they needed to be, that client DID get a free run of their show anyway, and now we also have to make up a running of another show that they pulled out of place to put the program in the wrong spot, and it took me over two hours to fix all the things they'd altered falsely.

They then raved about me to the part-timer, sort of. "Oh, she does everything, we call her 'Atlas' at the other stations because she just carries this whole world on her shoulders and takes care of it all."

The second he left the room, however, it was "You need to pay attention to details, or this never would have happened" (mind you, none of the panic was my mistake at all, but I need to pay attention to details) "If you'd ask questions when you have them," (um, the show was set to run at 10:30, why didn't YOU ask, and save us all the hysteria?) "then things would run much more smoothly. And," (oh, this is my favorite part, right here) "also, S will really appreciate it if you ask lots of questions when he gets back. It'll really stroke his ego."

This is when I smile, nod, walk back into my office and wait until the building is empty, and then scream.


I have been busting my ass working twelve hour days, fixing the DOZENS of mistakes that they discovered S was making, illegal ones mind you, as he was changing things that conflicted with official affidavits, running this station single handedly, working myself into the ground, and I've been doing it all for the benefit of stroking S's ego?????

I think not.

I have proven myself here time and again. I have EARNED a higher position than "assistant to asshole" and they know it. And I am not going back to being treated the way S treats me. So if they think I am, they've got a little lesson about what exactly a Scottish-Irish-Italian-Redheaded temper will do for a gal. Stroke his ego, my foot.

Hmmm... what was that horoscope again? Quit while I'm ahead....?

Thoughts for the Day:
Whiting Williams - “Much of the present difficulty in industrial relations arises from the fact that too many employers as well as too many legislators take the Labor Leader more seriously than he deserves to be taken, while taking the ordinary, everyday, middle-of-the-road wage-earner less seriously than he deserves to be taken.”

Ayn Rand - “The adversary she found herself forced to fight was not worth matching or beating; it was not a superior ability which she would have found honour in challenging; it was ineptitude — a grey spread of cotton that seemed soft and shapeless, that could offer no resistance to anything or anybody, yet managed to be a barrier in her way. She stood, disarmed, before the riddle of what made this possible, she could find no answer.”

Friday, June 11, 2004

If you know anything about me, you probably know that I am an animal lover.

So you might wonder why much of my morning was spent baby-talking "would you eat the mousie for mommy? C'mon, eat the mousie!"

Well, you see, I was sick last night. You don't want or need to hear the details, so lets just leave it with the knowledge that I didn't sleep all that well last night, and was a little shaky on my feet this morning.

Made all the shakier by walking into my kitchen and stepping on a mouse. Or rather, the carcas of a mouse who had been, for lack of a better word, flayed. And I was barefoot.

Oscar had been closed in his bedroom last night, because frankly he's getting too good at getting into cabinets and taking things out that are there because we don't want Oscar to have them.

So he's innocent. This time.

That leaves two little furry gentlemen, who both claim ignorance of the situation. To hear them talk, aliens invaded, Trevor and Aslan fought them off bravely, but in the battle a soldier was lost. Sgt Mickey.

I'm not used to having mice. For one thing, I've always had cats, and it's a rare stupid mouse who will come into a house like that. It's like a plate of Fettucini Alfredo walking into a room filled with people who've been on Adkins for a week. I did briefly go through a rodant carnage when I lived in New York. The people who lived in the apartment below me (and I suspect were somewhat less pristine than I in their cleanliness - which is really saying something) got a jack russell terrier puppy. Suddenly I had six mice in a week. Also known as "The Week The Cats Became Leopards." They thought I was the coolest mom EVER for bringing them these great toys. Every once in a while, I see their eyes mist over in that "remember the waiter at that Parisian cafe" kind of way, and I know they're thinking of that week.

Did you know that mice can scream? Did you know that you can fit an entire mouse, excluding the tail, into a calico cat's mouth? Did you know that when you tell that calico to drop the mouse, and she does, that mouse would rather run up sweatpant legs even if there's already a human being inside them, then stay on the ground near the aforementioned calico? I didn't either, until that bloody week. I'll have to find the "Ode" I wrote, since it was when I was reading a poem weekly in my radio show...

I am really not a squeamish person. Blood doesn't bother me. What bothers me is lack of soul. Before my brother makes a smartass comment, I don't mean I'm bothered by white people singing gospel or anything like that (although, really, you gotta know it's not the same...) but I mean an empty body. That shell that happens when the soul goes away. There's something not right about it, and it scares me. I used to be afraid of how I'd feel when Misha died. She was the aforementioned calico, who really did drop the mouse in her mouth when I asked, because she would have gone against any instinct I asked, just for me. She was my daughter in a past life... and in this one too. And I was with her when her soul left her body. It's been six months and even just thinking about it makes me cry all over again. I miss her every moment of every day.

But that wasn't the path I was taking with this, so let me gather my emotions and look back to this morning's blood bath.

Because of that fear I have of a body without a soul, I can't handle dead things. I will pick up any animal - my mother often said it was the worst part of having me for a child, the lack of fear I had, and the things I'd bring home. Snakes, bugs... I had "pet" pill bugs one summer...

But once again I digress... Because there is this soul-less little corpse on my kitchen floor, and I'm terrified to go near it. If it were alive, I'd find a way to catch it, and then gently set it free in the woods (and probably sing "Born Free" to it) But it isn't. It's dead, and it's on my kitchen floor.

And so my morning was spent coaxing them to "finish the job" if that doesn't sound too forties gangster. Heck, even if it does sound too forties gangster, if Mugsy and Slim are gonna take the Squealer out, I tink dey should finish da job and clean up de tracks.

See this is why I'm not gay. This is what husband's are for. I decide when the bathroom needs cleaning (and it's well before the blackened crust that clues my husband in to the thought of cleaning) and he disposes of the things my little hunters have killed. It's a delicate balence, and it's one that GB's work schedule has really screwed up this week. He's out of town. Which means Trevor and Aslan better "finish the job" before I get home, or I may have to move out.

Thoughts for the Day:

Proverb - “After dark all cats are leopards.”

Jeff Valdez - “Cats are smarter than dogs. You can't get eight cats to pull a sled through snow.”

Robert Anson Heinlein - “Women and cats will do as they please and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.”

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Hmmm... I'd written this long post about how I felt in high school compared to how I felt now, and self esteem and twisted self image... and it was getting more than a tad maudlin.

Since I don't generally recommend maudlin without an olde English taverne (complete with extra "e"s) and a high dosage of cheap scotch, I decided to skip it for today, and just leave the quotes. Maybe I'll write about it later, but for now I think it reaches too far into the "things I don't want to admit about myself" category, or worse yet "things that people will feel obligated to respond with flattery and cheap praise". I'd rather drop it back into the "things to be later explored" drawer, and bring it out again when it's less personal. Or I'm more mature. Or something.

The arrogant and irritating talk show host on the air at my station right now (to distinguish him from the arrogant and irritating talk show hosts who are not on the air at the moment) is telling us that if we just concentrate on what it is that bothers us, it will disappear. This stemmed from him thinking that he needed to sneeze, but not actually sneezing. He then worked it into the urge to go to the bathroom, and surgical pain. Apparently, just "focusing in on" these things will cause them to evaporate, which is maybe a poor choice of words considering the need to go to the bathroom, but hey, he said it, not me. Do you think if I really concentrated on my fat, it would vanish? Of course, the show is supposed to be about the stock market, so what does he know about anything? He loses other people's money for a living.

Thoughts for the Day:

Unknown - The truth of the Self cannot come through one who has not realized that he is the Self. The intellect cannot reveal the Self, beyond its duality of subject and object. They who see themselves in all and all in them help others through spiritual osmosis to realize the Self themselves. This awakening you have known comes not through logic and scholarship, but from close association with a realized teacher.

Unknown - There are two trees, each yielding its own fruit. One of them is negative ... it grows from lack of self-worth and its fruits are fear, anger, envy, bitterness, sorrow - and any other negative emotion. Then there is the tree of positive emotions. Its nutrients include self-forgiveness and a correct self concept. Its fruits are love, joy, acceptance, self-esteem, faith, peace ... and other uplifting emotions.

David Herbert Lawrence - Beauty is a mystery. You can neither eat it nor make flannel out of it.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

So many people are talking about their blogging processes today! Slow down that bandwagon, I'm jumping on! (it wasn't my plan, but it did get me to thinkin...)

I've only been blogging for just barely over two months now, and I must say I completely empathize with Em as far as checking those comments. What can I say, I'm a theatre gal... I need that feedback!

I started it because I saw it as an outlet... A chance to vent and keep myself producing verbal creativity when I wasn't on the radio. It's not "morning pages" for me (although ironically I was just this morning thinking that I should try to do them again. Last time I did them I was doing the morning show on a radio station and working a part-time job as well, and that half hour earlier just about killed me...) but it is a chance to put thoughts down (for example, why, on the label of the wastebasket in the ladies room at the station, does it say "This can does not come with a lid. Will not scratch or dent. Noiseless." Noiseless? Do people often complain about the noise of their wastebaskets that this is a huge selling point?), and a reason to force myself to write even when I'm not feeling creative. It also allows me to vent without ending my new marriage over mindless complaining!

Someone on Knitters Review was interviewed for a paper where she lives (forgive me, I think it was Australia?) and asked to talk about knitting and websites. She asked us for imput on what she should say, and I responded that I thought it was such an amazing quality that we were able to tie the old to new so perfectly. Knitting has been around for centuries - millenia, maybe - and is something nearly every culture has in common as a method for forming fabric. The motions of the hands may be different, patterns may show a cultural flair, but in the end it comes down to knit and purl. And using the web, we can learn about knitters all over the world, of all different class systems, backgrounds and cultures, all tied together... well, by yarn.

Some of the blogs I regularly visit are friends - Bess, Jen, Heather, Christina, Eileen... I have faces and voices to go with their words. Catherine, Em, Gail... Never met 'em. But I'd like to think I can put them in the "friends" column too. Because we have an amazing connection by way of knitting...

It's a process that amazes me.
Thoughts for the Day:

Mary Caroline Richards - It is part of our pedagogy to teach the operations of thinking, feeling, and willing so that they may be made conscious. For if we do not know the difference between an emotion and a thought, we will know very little ... We need to understand the components (of emotions) at work ... in order to free their hold.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

There's a lot of talk about the big Venus transit today. Both on the science aspect and the spiritual, I find it quite interesting, although I think I missed my chance at seeing it because I was stuck in this stuffy radio station.

Scientifically, the big deal is that no one alive now has seen it before, since it's been 120 years since the Venus transit last occurred. If you look at our measured statistics, it happened twice a century in the 1600s, 1700s, and 1800s, but not at all in the 1900s. That's six times in the past four hundred years. It's predicted to happen again in 2012, and then not until 2117.

Astrologers are pretty excited about it, too. Supposedly, this is a sign that the world is on an "upswing" where the selfishness and really deplorable behavior we've seen for the past... decades, I suppose... will be fading out, and right behavior will be on an uprise. The next 8 years - until the next Venus Transit - are supposed to be lucky, positive, and good for humanity.

Hmmm... I guess that means Venus is voting for Kerry.

Depending on how strong the pull of Venus is, it might even be able to take the demons out of radio...

I'm knitting with bamboo now. There's a new yarn made out of bamboo fibers, that feels amazing. It has the stiffness of linen, and is as slippery as milkweed, soft as can be, and is so lightweight, I can't feel it on my needles. It's quite an experience, and I can't decide what stitch pattern I want to use...

Was just reminded of something: "You know you're a knitter when you can't sleep because you get excited counting sheep... and thinking of all that wool"

Thoughts for the Day:

Robinson Jeffers - “I believe that the universe is one being, all its parts are different expressions of the same energy, and they are all in communication with each other, therefore parts of one organic whole. (This is physics, I believe, as well as religion.) The parts change and pass, or die, people and races and rocks and stars; none of them seems to me important it itself, but only the whole. The whole is in all its parts so beautiful, and is felt by me to be so intensely in earnest, that I am compelled to love it, and to think of it as divine. It seems to me that this whole alone is worthy of the deeper sort of love; and that there is peace, freedom, I might say a kind of salvation, in turning one's affections outward toward this one God, rather than inwards on one's self, or on humanity, or on human imaginations and abstractions - the world of the spirits.”

Scott Raymond Adams - “Methods for predicting the future: 1) read horoscopes, tea leaves, tarot cards, or crystal balls ... collectively known as 'nutty methods;' 2) put well-researched facts into sophisticated computer ... commonly referred to as 'a complete waste of time.'”

Monday, June 07, 2004

Oh, what a weekend!

No, I did NOT catch up on my sleep.

I did, however, catch up on my spirit, in many ways, and that's just as important.

Friday night was late at the station, then a last minute swing into Staples for the graph paper and markers I needed for "my little class", and since it was right next to Petsmart, some inexpensive toys for Oscar. He's started digging in the yard, I suspect because the cicadas are just driving him wild, but maybe some chew toys will occupy him and at least slow down his progress a little.

With cats, you never know what will strike them as a good toy. Generally the more time or money you spend on it, the less interesting it is. My Misha had a stuffed skunk that she adored (and even tried to litter train when she was a baby!) and a tiny blue pillow. Almost all other toys were meaningless to her. Trevor likes twist ties and the plastic hoops from milk jugs. Aslan steals hair elastics like they're going out of style (and yells at them while he's playing with them). And it's been a long time since I've shopped for a dog, so it was a bit of a challenge. I ended up buying some "two flavors in one" (wooHoo!) rawhide toys, since he's a big chewer, and they were inexpensive enough that if he goes through them too quickly I won't feel bad. I also got GB a toy - okay, yeah, it's a dog toy, but I think he wants to play tug with Oscar, and Oscar does't quite get it. So I bought something a little more conducive to a tugging environment - a small rubber tire with a rope loop on the other end so the tugger and the tuggee can both get good grips. We'll have to make sure Oscar's "OFF" command is really up to par, since I don't want to encourage him to try to take things away without knowing he'll let them go if we need him to, but I think GB will be pleased with the game. And the rawhide was a big hit - Oscar sat and chewed on one for almost an hour straight, is nowhere near done with it, and is quite pleased - he even took it with him when he put himself to bed.

Saturday he got put out in the rain all day - "Grampa" was coming to check on him, but I couldn't leave him in the house, his house training is so close to set, I didn't want to force him to backtrack on it, and I was to be gone all day and night for my little class. So out he went. Then the long drive to Richmond (singing that Travis Tritt song most of the way). I'd been a bit nervous about the class, since I don't often venture into things on my own with much confidence. Add to that the owner of the hosting shop was very disorganized, and I was just certain her directions were wrong, but couldn't know for sure until I drove them.

I was right. I suspect the exits differ between the north and the south... in any event, I got lost and had to call. But she didn't put the area code on her phone number, so I had to find Bess's number, and hope that the area code was the same (it was). The most frustrating part was the owners attitude. "You did the wrong thing." I promise you, had it been me, even if I was 350% sure my directions were the most perfect directions ever to be written, I would have apologized. Then I didn't get a handout, and she insisted it had been on the table when I sat down... and then went through the entire class sitting right next to me, taking notes on her handout, and leaving me to fend for myself. Then when she did get me the copies at the end, she didn't give me them all, and when I asked for the missing ones, challenged me and told me I told her I had them. *SIGH* I've worked retail too long to think that's any kind of professionalism. If the class hadn't been so great without her disorganization, I would have been upset. As it is, I chalk it up to "eh, so I don't need to give her my business anymore" and move on...

Because the class was fantastic... Lily Chin is just this bundle of energy and crude humor and fun, an AMAZING knitter who's work is astounding and inspiring. The proceedure for reversable cables is such a "why didn't I think of that" concept that by the end of it all, I had dozens of cables scribbled on my notes - there are too many to choose from! I feel like every bit of yarn I knit will have a cable in it now! You want to know what it is? Grab some yarn and a needle. Knit a swatch in ribbing. K1P1, K2P2, whatever you want, just so it's an equal number of K to P. When you get a few rows up, pop a full rib over onto a cable needle (a K&P, or however many you need before you go back to K) Complete a rib, then pop them back off the needle, and "continue in pattern" (K1P1, K2P2, whatever your rib was.) Continue in pattern for a few more rows, then do it again... You'll see a rope cable, and you'll see it exactly the same on both sides... AMAZINGLY simple. I left the class breathless.

Where Bess was waiting for me! Yay! I love Bess, and spending time with her... we went to lunch at Ruby Tuesday's (not Applebees) and then wandered around for a bit, at the LYS and the mall. Then off to her parents house - and what a beaut! 15 acres, horses out back, and three cheery dogs, in a size for every taste. Great big Cody, the Great Dane/lap dog - a stunning almost dalmation spotted boy, fellow redhead Jeremiah, the very red golden retriever, and the emergency back up dog - Bess's favorite - Lady, the dachshund, and leader of the pack. People always apologize to me when their dogs seem to keep - for lack of a better word - hounding me. If I come to your house, please don't apologize - I love it. I love being near animals! It was a blast to meet these three! And of course Bess's parents, who don't deserve to take a backseat to the dogs, but what can I say? They are an adorable pair, and very generous hosts! We were up late talking and playing with yarn, and then up early the next morning for breakfast, and for an attempted rescue at the ball of yarn that Cody or Jerry killed... small scraps were saved, but the rest had to move on to that big knitting shop in the sky...

Then the long drive home (after a fill up at a gas station, since gas in Richmond is TWENTY CENTS cheaper than gas in Baltimore!

I was quite tired, but really interested in seeing the new Harry Potter movie... I decided to see how I felt when I got close to the exit for Arundel Mills Mall... and then went for it. Not as true to the books as the first two movies were, but still very good... and now I want to reread the book before I go back with GB and DSS this weekend to see it! Book 3 is my favorite, and my favorite character is introduced. While I like Gary Oldman a great deal, the physical qualities they chose for him makeup wise were very different than how I picture Sirius Black... The changes didn't bother me, though, as I felt they were very true to the essence of the books, and I later read that JK Rowling approved of all the changes, which made me feel better still about them.

Then home for a long nap, and a snuggly evening with my furry boys. This morning Oscar and I went for about a mile walk with Mary, and we're going to try to keep doing that every day, since it'll be good for all of us - Oscar will settle down with the regular exercise, and I'll pep up a bit, hopefully. And someone on KR asked about the Winsor Pilates tapes, which I have, and love, but haven't used much since I was taking classes... but since those got shoved aside for the job, I guess I could pull the tapes out and get back into them...

Plus a very sweet card from my brother - the tip of an iceburg, sticking out of the ocean and the caption "PROBLEMS No matter how great and destructive your problems may seem now, remember, you've probably only seen the tip of them." Then on the inside he wrote "on the other hand, think of all the different flavors of slushies you can make with all that ice! Hang in there." Ahh... the slushy solution... yup. Can't lose with that one. Thanks, David.

Thoughts for the Day:
Richard David Bach - “Learning is finding out what you already know. Doing is demonstrating that you know it. Teaching is reminding others that they know it just as well as you. You are all learners, doers, teachers.”

Henri Frédéric Amiel - “To know how to suggest is the art of teaching.”

Solomon Ibn Gabirol - “In seeking Wisdom, the first stage is silence, the second listening, the third remembrance, the fourth practicing, the fifth teaching.”

Friday, June 04, 2004

And who woulda thunk it? Bess reminded me to check out my horoscope for today, as per the link to the right. I'm a Sag...

Are you feeling better yet? Oh well. Just wait and see what the weekend brings. There's a reason why you're currently amid so much drama, tension, strife and struggle. By this, I don't mean some abstract reason, or some vague need to learn a philosophical lesson. This is a positive, practical reason. The forthcoming Transit of Venus is a strong suggestion that soon, you can clean up your act, sort out a mess, fix a problem properly and then get on with something immensely productive. You've done the hard part. Next comes the good bit.
I married an angel.

I got this e-mail yesterday afternoon:

If you really think its in Oscar's best interest (small yard - small house - both of us working) then you can keep him. But........

He's your dog.

He goes to the bathroom in the house - you clean it up.

He makes a mess of things in the house - you clean it up.

He eats/chews up something - you fix or replace it.

He needs food/medicine/chew toys/tags - your dime.

I love you

We had a little chat to be clear that the tone that I read it that was not anything that would lead to resentment, and that he was really okay with everything. He is.

Which means I have a dog!

Thursday, June 03, 2004

I'm taking a knitting class on reversable cables this Saturday with Lily Chin. Those in the non-knitting world (like there is one!) may not know that name, but to knitters, she's a celebrity, and I'm quite excited about the class. It's a bit of a drive - down to Richmond for a day, but I'll get to see my dear Bess, which is always delightful, and a day away from this place will be nice.

And realizing that I hadn't heard from the owner of the shop in which the class will take place, I sent her an e-mail to ask if there was homework. There is, and of course it should be done on three needle sizes which are currently loaned out to knitting converts (my mother, and my DSS are both being taught to knit) So off to The Yarn Garden (aka car-accident-yarn-shop). I thought "it's been a rough week, I'm gonna get me some needles" (except when I'm tired and cranky the southern accent comes out, so it was more like "Ah'm go'na git me sahm needlez" but you get the drift)

After doing a search for some "light colored worsted weight" yarn that they recommend, and discovering that I don't much care for light colors, I also ended up treating myself to a skein of bright green Cash Iroha because 40% silk and 20% cashmere needed to spend time with me after the past few weeks. Look, there's no way on earth I'd be able to afford enough of that stuff for any actual project, so I figure it's worth knitting with something that snobby for a class with a celeb, right? When I went to pick out the needles, I found they've got these funky Addi Turbos that are single points, but have the cord with a stopper. Those are all they have out. Their real needles are behind the counter (like cigarettes, which judging by my obsession is maybe a good place for them). So I wandered over to look at the needles, confused, the woman came over and showed me where the real ones were, and when I expressed extreme indifference as to the length (my homework said 8,9,and 10 - it's flat knitting, I just wanted circs) she started speaking slower to me and explaining just how long it was when it said 24". Okay, even a non-knitter can figure out how long a 24" needle is, right? "Yes," said I, "I'm taking a class with Lily Chin on Saturday and I just needed these for the homework." I don't think she knew who Lily was (again, not a problem for a non-knitter, but she works in a yarn shop for crying out loud!), because after I got the needles I needed (with much insistance that I really didn't care what length they were) she said "well, those should be nice for your little class."

Um. Yeah. Thanks for that.

Thoughts for the Day:

Henry Winkler - “Assumptions are the termites of relationships. I wrote that.”

Harvey Ullman - “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether this happens at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps on learning not only remains young, but becomes constantly more valuable regardless of physical capacity.”

Lillian Smith - “When you stop learning, stop listening, stop looking and asking questions, always new questions, then it is time to die.”

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

You guys kill me.

Here I go, grumbling off into this dark radio station, and sign onto my blog to check my daily visits, and you guys have me crying with your sweetness.

Thank you for your cyber-hugs and prayers and positive thoughts, and just understanding.

I think I can suck up some of my grumbliness enough to tell you about other things in my life, so here goes:

I haven't worked up the courage to call the man back about Oscar. I'm having bad vibes as to why someone would do a search to find a pitbull, which is weird, because I happen to love a pitbull very much. But bad vibes are bad vibes, and it's gonna take some effort for me to call this guy. I did respond to the e-mail from the woman who was interested. She has a dog, two cats, and children. She works at home. I'm honestly not sure he'd be right for her, because it sounded like the kids were very young, and while he'd love to play with them, he'd hurt them pretty easily just trying to climb into their tiny laps. But I sent her an e-mail singing his praises, and also telling her that he is so exuberant that I'd be concerned about little ones (she said toddlers) and letting her know he's still being housetrained. She hasn't responded, but it could be a great thing for him... we'll see. She couldn't love him more than I, but maybe it's the right place for him. If I keep telling myself I have an open mind, do you think I will?

In knitting news, I was trying to decide which color of my Canada Buffalo (or whatever the heck that yarn is called) I would use as a swatch to see if cables show up felted, and Oscar solved the problem for me. He's so smart.

He figured out how to open the bedroom door of the spare room that is his bedroom (he puts himself to bed when he's tired, it's pretty cute) and rather than coming into my bedroom in the middle of the night (where the evil attack declawed cat lays in wait) he opened a bag of yarn. He now thinks he battled a navy Sheep. I don't think he ate much, as there's plenty left, in a shredded tangled mess, and there are enough scraps of that for swatching, so really it was quite kind of him. It's my own fault - I know better than to leave yarn out where furry ones can get into it. It's quite dangerous and I'm lucky nothing worse happened. Plus, he didn't pee in the house, but waited until about 5:30 to come into the bedroom (braving the evil attack declawed cat) and asked to go potty, so bonus point.

Shelly, the wonderful foster care coordinator at HCHS wrote me an e-mail telling me that when she sends people to me about Oscar, it's my choice as to suggest they go through with the adoption process, that they aren't filling out applications at that point. That made me feel a lot better, as I have a fear that someone will just show up and say "by the way, I'm taking your dog now" and drape big ugly gold chains around his neck, pop a cigar in his mouth and enlist him in the drug cartell. Yeah, I know, over-active imagination, but I do think finding a home for a breed like this needs to be even more careful than most other breeds, and I think you should be pretty damn careful for all of them.

Yesterday ended up being a very stressful day for others in the company, but because of that, a not-so-stressful day for me. The "flagship" station lost power several times. Because of that, they couldn't produce the commercial logs that normally keep me here for long hours trying to schedule (as my GM puts it) "ten pounds of shit into a five pound bag". Today's log is just running, identical to last week, because the files were completely lost. They know it, too, so I'm not in any trouble for not doing a major part of my job. I got to leave at 5:45 last night, after a short 10 hour day with no lunch. Boy, if this keeps up, I'm gonna get spoiled.

Thought for the Day:

Hope Young - “AS GOD HAS PLANNED God did not make me in a single hour: He fashioned me for laughter, love, and tears, And as a tree that slowly comes to flower, He gave me time, the blessed gift of years. God did not make me with a single breath: He gave me will to strive and hope and trust, And days for growth, so that the hour of death Might total well, not blow the sun to dust. May I grow graciously, through sun and rain, In tolerance and kindness for all men, And if life’s storms should bow my head with pain, Let not my soul be a stunted tree; Let me not fall, but reach toward the stars; And let me grow as God has planned for me.”

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

So many people have a much more challenging life than I do. I really don't want for much. Sure, I'd be happy to have more, but I have a home, a wonderful relationship. I know who I am, and have the right to be that person. I have the basic needs and then some. Life isn't bad.

So I feel guilty for being so grumpy. Work has been long and hard... but "hard" at this job is typing and listening to the radio, not miserable work, just tedious. It's wearing me down, but maybe that's because I expect too much.

And the mess in my house is at least 30% my own fault (a significant portion was there when I moved in, but I haven't done much to cure that in the past months) so I shouldn't really gripe about that.

My spinning wheel will probably be about two weeks - it's due into the warehouse next week, and then will take a few days to ship to me. So that's not bad - still coming in a week earlier than I thought I'd be getting it! I'm spending the weekend with a lovely friend and taking a class I'm lucky to be taking. I have more fiber and yarn than any one person could possibly need. I have a wonderful stepson who still likes me even though he's moving into his teen years. I have two amazing cats that are intuitive and loving. An exuberant and loving foster dog who's grown so much in his time with me.

And I want Oscar to have a wonderful life, so getting TWO calls about him in one weekend should be a good thing, right? Yes, someone else called.

I can't just beg GB to let me keep him. It's not what we agreed on to begin with, and I can't put him in the position of resenting me for making him keep the dog, or for feeling as though he's disappointed me for having to say no. That's not fair. I want the dog. I want him to stay with me, and I want GB to say "why don't we keep him?" but I can't ask that.

I'm feeling very tired and grumpy, and maybe I shouldn't post here for a few days, since I can't imagine anyone else wants to read my childish grumblings. They are childish, and I should know better.

Thoughts for the Day:
Wernher von Braun - “We can lick gravity, but sometimes the paperwork is overwhelming.”

Bertrand Russell - “Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind.”

Marriage is love.