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30 posts from February 2004

MagKnitsFebruary 29, 2004

Hey! MagKnits is live! And I got to actually hold Mariko's cup prototypes, and they're AWESOME. I know what people are getting for Christmas this year.....

* And Em's pre-Oscar commentary is FABulous. I hardly mind that I FORGOT to TiVo it. I can't believe I forgot. I thought about while I was drying my hair.... and then poof! Gone. So now I'm at work and will miss most of it. But she made me forget all that....

** Thanks for all the wonderful Welcome Home comments! They made me feel terrific!

Lookin' InFebruary 28, 2004

Welcome to my new home! Have a cup of tea? Or you want some wine, like me? Okay. Sit down. Lemme show ya.

This is how I moved. One carload at a time, one hand holding the shit in the car, the other on the wheel. At one point it started pouring and my cell phone rang at the same time. (I didn't answer, duh.) But I thought to myself, what the eff am I doing?

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But it was worth it:

My kitchen, with its red walls. Those are some cold tiles, but I tell you, paint comes right OFF those suckers.

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Standing in the kitchen looking into the living area. There's seating behind the low bookcases and that table is only a temporary solution. LauraJune is giving me her old table, yippeeee! That orange thing is the beanbag Greta and I found at the Wonder Longs:

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The below is also a temporary solution. Another good friend is donating his couch to the Rachael Cause, and then I'm going to slipcover them both in another shade of Venetian red (note the Ikea table):

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Now turn around, and look back toward the kitchen. These bookcases will get filled up attractively at some point. And the larger couch will run along it, too, leaving the bottom shelves as hidden storage! That was clever Christy's idea. And the log-cabin is an old quilt top I made and never sewed INTO an actual quilt. Apparently it was waiting for me to move into this place to be used as a runner.

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But I know this is what you've been waiting for. May I present the yarn center? (The yarn fills BOTH bookcases.)

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And a close up:

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That's not only Noro Kureyon from the Boys, but my first attempt at spinning below it, in the purple. Don't look too closely. I LOVE having so much yarn visible in my house.

And part of the bedroom here. A place in the open for the sweaters, and an old chair (aka cat seat) that I love.

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Back in the living room, I have to show you what's outside the side window. This thing is under the outside light, and at night it simply glows. I adore it. This is George:

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Bought myself an orchid for the kitchen. How do you keep these alive?

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All the art on my walls, with the exception of the Venice map in the bedroom, is my own (mostly prints of Italian photos). But this is one of my most prized possessions. Mom commissioned a friend of ours to paint this for me from a photo I took a few years ago. Even now I like to go back to Venice and look at the red boat (it's always parked in this same spot at night....):

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All right, that's enough. But I HAD to show you what I've been up to. Now I can focus on Cromarty again....
Thanks, darlings, for visiting me!

*oh, and I just got hit by someone in Denmark searching for "glass you silly ass glass." ???

February 27, 2004

My sister Bethany's funny today.

Photos tomorrow... I promise(ish).

But for now, just a couple of questions to answer:

Em wanted to know about organizing. Oh, girl. Lemme tell ya. You remember I didn't want to use boxes. Whatever. I got over that OCD tic and filled my car with boxes from BevMo. I managed to fit eleven (11!) boxes in, and then I got stuck on a new OCD tic (I swear, only when I'm moving am I this nutty). I didn't want any more boxes. I was determined to move with just eleven (my fave number) boxes. Why? I dunno. It just sounded cool. "Yes, once I moved with only eleven boxes." 'Cause THAT will wow my friends and neighbors....

But what it translated to is that I would pack the boxes, move them to the new place, unpack them, and put everything away, all in order to take them back and fill them up again. So I am already unpacked and organized. Can you stand it? That's the only way a nervous little cat like me can move. Last night, I really DID put my feet up on the table, sat on the sofa, watched TiVo, checked email, and knitted on Cromarty. I stayed up too late having that much fun.

And speaking of cats, La Brainy asked me how the cats were doing. They're doing just fine, so Mom tells me. I took 'em home down south last Tuesday. They ADORE being at Grandma's house, and I didn't want them anywhere near the ripping apart of their home. They're neurotic enough, and I'm usually balanced enough to calm them down. But a crazy me married with a move would have sent them right up the wallpaper, and there wouldn't be enough tuna in the world to get 'em down. (Digit's paw is healed now, no limp at all. Faker.)

From My New ApartmentFebruary 26, 2004

Okay, now this is cool.

I know Craig! THE Craig, of Craigslist. This is (obviously) an exaggeration, but hell, he saw my blog through referrers and quotes me on HIS blog. That’s too cool.

I was going to erase that second “cool” and type something better, something more clever, but look, I’m on hour thirty-two of being awake, with a 1.5 hour nap fit in last night between (old) house cleaning and work, so there’s no being smart/witty today.

Only this:
I am done moving. Hall-ay-joo-yah.
My new place looks fabulous.
I’ll show pics later, maybe Saturday. I can’t imagine getting more motivation right now.
My DSL works.
My TiVo works.
It’s pouring, off and on, great shakes of thunder and lighting, somethin’ we don’t get much of round here, so it’s good sit-on-my-couch-and-knit weather. And I’m SO excited to do that, eight days after officially starting the move. Gonna knit. Yep.
I am done moving.

I am so glad.
(But you do deserve a picture, so here’s a Before shot. That over there to the right by the chair is where the yarn center was destined to plants its fiberous roots and grow. After’s a comin’.)

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Oh, and Wendy's post yesterday (Wednesday) killed me. I swear, darlin, I WAS packing and moving and cleaning and sweating and SWEARING a hell of a lot. But I'm done. Done done done done done.....

February 25, 2004

I am ashamed (again) of the leader of my country. Doesn’t it make you sad? That he would push for such discrimination?

Too angry and saddened to write more about it.

Thanks to a neat little Typepad feature, I wrote this yesterday before the DSL shut off and I’m probably unpacking as you read it. I did so much! I’m almost done! I want a maid to clean the place!

Really, I had no idea so much dirt was in my house. I have NO idea where it came from, I’m sure it wasn’t from me or the cats, it was carried in by dirt gremlins, and I don’t want to clean it. But after checking a maid service, I now know that I HAVE to clean it. So I’ll do it next week. After I’ve unpacked in my new home.

Oh, and god bless Craigslist. It’s worked for me again. I had a thought, while packing detritus into bags – I knew I wanted to donate my usable crap to a good cause, but I was getting mighty tired of lugging stuff around. I also had about seven (seven!) trash bags full of garbage. Straight up unsalvageable stuff. And that wasn’t even counting the recyclables. So I posted a note on CL saying “You can have my stuff if you take the garbage, too.” I had run out of garbage cans outside, y’see. As soon as I posted, I started getting the calls. Everyone sounded okay, but one stood out – just something about his voice. So I told him to come on over. He took ALL my crap, cheerfully, and will sort it out later. He supports his family this way, selling other people’s leftovers, and he seemed decent and kind and sweet. He reminded me somehow of my dad, excited to dive into bags of unknown junk, sure the treasure is right underneath the next layer.

And listen: My crap filled the back of his utility pick-up truck. HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE? I live(d) in a 300 sq foot apartment with NO space. I am a wonder, something to behold. Now I have to go over to the new place and pull the same kind of Hide The Shit magic.

Can I tell ya? I just want to knit. Cromarty misses me, is singing to me, even now.....

3/4 DoneFebruary 24, 2004

Having Moved is like Having Written. You can kick your feet up onto your new Ikea table while sitting on your relatively new loveseat, have a look around, and realize that there is NOTHING to do. None of those pesky, normal “shoulds.” You don’t have to clean out any closets, ‘cause you just filled them. You don’t have to clean under the bed or refrigerator, because you already know there aren’t any dust bunnies. The freezer is stocked with identifiable food. You can knit and watch crap TV with a clear conscience, none of that niggling guilt.

Of course, I Haven’t Moved yet. Deep sigh. One of my closest friends yesterday despaired of me while we were on the phone. “I don’t know how it is that I can move my husband, my kid, and entire house full of stuff on ONE DAY, and it’s already taken you a week, and you’re not done?!”

Nope. I still have the bedroom (read: huge closet full of stuff I haven’t seen in years) and the hall closet (ditto). And my motions resemble those of a slug when I move, I’ve discovered. I don’t throw anything into a box. I pick up the glass snail I bought in Murano while I was with my gorgeous gay porn-star friend Brian-Mark (I met him on a bus-boat one afternoon and we fell into immediate friendship). I look at it, turning it in the light, remembering how we had found together the Snail Staircase in the back twists of labyrinthine Venice, and stood in that postage stamp square, looking up, wishing we could climb the scrolling steps, discussing the difference between the normal Italian word for snail (lumaca) with the Venetian dialect (bovolo). Then we hopped the vaporetto and went to Murano, the island of glass, where I bought this little glass creature in memory of our day.

Then I’ll put it in the box.

Then I’ll call my mother/sister/friend and put my feet up and talk about that time I bought the snail in Venice. Or I cruise a few blogs (only furniture left in the old place is the chair I write in and small TV table for the computer – this is the last day for internet connection). Or I grab my sister Christy who’s riding her bike by my apartment on her way to school and MAKE her come inside to chat.

I hate moving. If I could get my ass in gear, I’d be done today. Wish me non-snail like motions, okay? I need to be like the wind, like the cold, sharp air you feel on your face as the boat heads into the lagoon and toward the Lido..... Stop. I need to stop writing, stop fucking around, and get to it. I’ll be happy when I’m done, and that moment is within grasp. So that’s my day today. Tomorrow I’m pretty sure I lose internet service for a few days, so I’ll be offline, not checking email at all, so forgive a delay in response, please, and for now, enjoy this view (I’m not sure how they took this; the photographer’s back must have been pressed right into the wall of the house behind him. The staircase takes up most of the square, with a tight walkway around it):

Il bovolo:

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Stitches 2February 23, 2004

Yeah, all right. So I went back to Stitches.... Sue me. You woulda, too. Right?

And I bought a BEE-YOO-TEE-FUL drop spindle and a bunch of Good Stuff. Hey! Good stuff is cheap! Compared to yarn, I mean. And I met a tremendously helpful woman at the booth (will attribute seller as soon as I remember who it was) who spent a good ten minutes with me, showing me slowly how to park and drag. Anything that involves parking is quite a thrill for me. This includes both my ass and my car (just did the best parking job ever a few minutes ago -- so good that I had to take a picture, I'll show you that the next time I dowload pics).

And this part was way cool -- I was crossing the Market floor, missing my blog buddies, wishing that I had someone with me to drool over things, to tell me I wasn't crazy for buying puffy pre-yarn wool, and a woman walked past me, then stopped and kinda doubled back. She said, "Are you Rachael? You don't know me but...." She was a reader! How thrilled was I? And even MORE thrilled when she introduced her girlfriend (who is not a blog-reader and was obviously kerflummoxed as to what was going on) and said that they had met on Planet Out. My immediate knee-blog-jerk response was to stammer rather stupidly, "Can I get a picture?"

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Meet Laine. Hi, Laine! (And Marie from comments yesterday, yep, that was me at the spindles! Hee.) Yes, I'm wearing darling Greta's Fred. She had left him in my care when she decided she wouldn't need him for a while, and I thought she deserved a piece of herself at Stitches.

And when I got to (old) home, look what I found:

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It's from JoFrog as part of a valentiney gift exchange, and the best part is she made it big enough for my huge head! I love it!

Still miles more to do in the packing/unpacking/cleaning area. Sigh. I still hate this part. But I've had so much fun this weekend that I'm well fortified for it. And Sex and the City was great last night, no? I cried. Did you?

Stitches!February 22, 2004

Oh, Stitches West, how I love thee. I had a fantastic time, and I didn’t spend all that much. Relatively. I think last year, which was my first, was just such a shocker – I had no idea so much gorgeous yarn existed in the world. I was scared I’d never see it again, so I bought it all. This year, I was able to cruise the aisles, either recognizing the names of the companies or grabbing their cards, confident that touching the fiber was enough – I could always order it later. God bless the internet.

We met for breakfast at Jack’s Bistro in Jack London. Exiting my car, I recognized Mariko walking in front of me by her polkadot bag and her lime-green shoes. And here we are:

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That’s me (I love the way that shot makes my ass take over the entire picture), Elizabeth, Marie, Hedi, Yvette, and Mariko.

And we’re off! Look at just one section of just one aisle:

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And though I knew I would shop alone, braving the yarn elements by my lonesome, the way I prefer, every time I looked at the woman next to me, it was one of these two, either Marie or Elizabeth. We were on the same browsing schedule.

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A sales person said that if I took off my shoes, I could do this too:

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What was I thinking? Why didn’t I do it? I kick myself now. (Aside – I’m nursing many bruises from the move, but the worst bruise is on my shin and it’s actually so big that it makes walking painful. I didn’t get it moving. I got it last night at work when I was crossing my legs in the chair and KICKED MYSELF. I am awed by my own klutziness.)

Hey! I was recognized! And in a very cool way: Joan of White Lies Designs not only knew who I was but knew that the shot I posted of her completed Shapely Tank is quite shapely, indeed (I was leaning forward in a rather, ahem, busty way). So I bought this fabulous tee from her (you know you want one) and promised I’d give her another shot (not so alarming, this):

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Go buy one and tell her I sentcha.

Then it was to the Lanaknits booth for the lunchtime meetup. I was hugged by this fabulous lady:

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Sharlene! Unfortunately, she wasn’t able to go to lunch, but we got a good group to Le Cheval:

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Me, Silvia, Hedi, Mariko, Joanna, Elizabeth, and Marie. Yet another ass picture. Whatever.

And one of Silvia and me.

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The food was great, but the comradeship was even better, just sittin’ there, talking yarn and life and just general stuff. I had a nice moment of realization that were it not for the internet, I wouldn’t have been sitting there, I wouldn’t know these wonderful people who are my friends. It’s odd, but true.

And now for my confession. I bought no yarn. I only bought roving. I KNOW. I’m going to the dark side of fibercraft, the spinning side. I refuse to take it seriously. (That’s what I’m telling you, but after work last night I sat on the couch and swore very seriously indeed at different piles of wool that REFUSED to spin into anything recognizable as yarn. Large twisty cotton balls, yes. Yarn, not so much.) I donated a ten-spot to the local spinning guild and received for my charity a drop spindle made from a dowel and CD. Now, of course, I’m wondering if my efforts are so lame because I don’t have a good drop spindle. I will NOT go back to Stitches today. Even though I have the day off. I’m moving. I’m not spinning.

I’m moving. I’m not spinning......

Oh, screw it. It’s 12:30. If I do two hours of good hard packing and sorting, I’ll go get a drop spindle. I already know I’m sunk. Might as well embrace it.....

February 21, 2004

Alas, no Stitches photos. No time. Not really blogging today, either. Tomorrow I'll try to have them up.

I just had to say that it blows when you THINK you know your schedule and therefore don't bother to check your calendar and show up two hours EARLY on the day you're supposed to work two hours LATE. So I got to work at seven, didn't need to be there till nine, and now have to work until nine p.m. Not much moving goin' on today, I suppose.

During my unexpected two hours of Nothing To Do (I guess I could have gone home and packed more, but eh), I drove to the Bayfarm Island shore and sat in the rain in my car, facing the City and the Bay Bridge, knitting, listening to the new Indigo Girls album, and reading the New Yorker. This may have taken multitasking a leetle too far. But I haven't had much time to do any of those things, so that was just a two hour bonus.

Enjoy your weekend, all.

Have I MentionedFebruary 20, 2004

that I hate moving?

Only a few minutes to grab, but I’ll tell you this. I started moving yesterday in earnest. I’d moved all the big things (all four of them) the day before with sister Christy and my friend Tara. Yesterday I got up at 6:30 (after sleeping for the first time in the new, blessedly quiet house), went to the old place and started working on the bathroom. By 7:30, I was so overwhelmed by the very thought of having nowhere to put anything in the new place (only one large closet in the whole place – where to keep toilet paper? The vacuum? The luggage (I’m seriously, horribly addicted to luggage)?) that I went to Wal-Mart instead. I know it’s the antichrist and all, but they’re open early. Spent an hour there, got overwhelmed, bought nothing. Went to Home Depot, where I stood for another hour, then loaded a huge dolly up with incredibly heavy boxes containing bookcases, got to the front counter, and decided not only would they not fit in my car, even with the top down, but that the guys in line in front of me were probably right – Ikea would be cheaper, and have more selection. So I left Home Depot with nothing.

Got into the car and cried. All by 10:30 in the morning of the first official moving day.

Sensibly, I called the little mama, who said “go get boxes.” So in order to get boxes, I went to a liquor store near where Christy works so I could get a hug. I slowly figured out that there were no Extra Special Moving Brownie Points for moving in grocery bags. I had a vision in mind that I would put the things I own into Safeway plastic, drive them to the new house and put them away. One: No way in hell. Two: Why did I think that was somehow cool?

Boxes rock. I AM trying to put away everything as I go, as much as I can. But boxes help with the brain process, no? And wonderful friend Marama spent SIX hours (or maybe more, we lost track) buying Ikea bookcases and various other contraptions and then helping me put them together! How's that for friendship? I mean, it's awful enough to go shopping (although she says she likes that part). But to put that screwy Scandinavian furniture together? She gets all the Extra Special Moving Brownie Points for the day.

Oh, and I love my new place. Pictures soon, as soon as I get it more together.... You NEED to see my red walls.

February 18, 2004

No time. Moving sucks, but it will be soooo worth it. Someday.
Right?

All I leave you with today are a few lines from the FABULOUS new Indigo Girls album, All That We Let In. From the title song,

One day those toughies will be withered up and bent, The father, son, the holy warriors, and the President, With glory days of put-up dukes for all world to see, Beaten into submission in the name of the free.

(all right, that's a little rough on paper. But it sounds GOOD with them singin' it. But this is what I was going for:)

We're in evolution, I have heard it said. Everyone's so busy now, but do we move ahead? Planets hurling, atoms splitting, And a sweater for your love you sit there knitting.

Good god. Isn't that great? An anti-Bush message shortly followed by a knitting-as-meditation reference? I hold myself squarely responsible for this song. Don't you? (Course words and music are by Emily. And the song was written a year before I met them. And said meeting was fleeting. AND I only talked knitting with Amy. But hell. On the freeway, singing it loudly, I go with the dream.)

(And I wonder what the planets are hurling. And what's a toughie? The IGals have never been grammar avengers. But sexy and smart, yeah. Okay. That was more than I meant to write. Cheers to you, and if I owe you an email, please be patient with me for a while....)

PaintFebruary 17, 2004

Digit got out of his box at the vet, and the limp went away. Completely. I was relieved and irritated at the same time. The vet said it always happens like that. Adrenaline makes the weak strong. (For such a terror, he’s sure a sweet thing at the animal hospital, pushing his head into my stomach, tolerating the nail clipping....) Vet didn’t think anything was broken, just a strain, and thought I had done the right thing, waiting and seeing.

Right as rain, now he is. Right as all the rain that’s been pounding us in the last few days.....

Painting this morning. I found the red/orange that I want on the book jacket of my beloved Milton. (I know he was a misogynistic old guy, but I love the fella. Adore him. He’s my boyfriend. My blind, bitter boyfriend....) I’m a gonna carry that book in and say, “I want THIS.” Wait. Can I do that? Thank god my painterly friend is helping me.

Then tonight I’m making a quick (4 hour) drive down the coast to leave the babies (who aren’t limping, neither of them) at the little mama’s for the week while I move. Back tomorrow morning to really start it. Last night, I pretended to myself I was staying in my little place forever, sat on the couch, got a little more done on the second Cromarty sleeve (now at the saddle shaping), drank a little wine, watched HBO (Iron Jawed Angels? Anyone else think it insipid? I’m a little disappointed in myself – maybe I just didn’t Feel the Emotion I should have. But I was WAY more into the re-run of Sex and the City that followed. Carrie should choose New York. Okay?). Soon, I tell myself, I’ll be home again. In my home, of my making. A couple of weeks of chaos will be worth it.

Mwah, darlings.
(psst: It's Bethany's birthday tomorrow.)

Stitches West!February 16, 2004

Hey, if you want to join us for breakfast and/or lunch on Friday, drop me an email (writerach406 at yahoo dot com) and I'll fill you in on the plan!

I think little Digit’s paw is broken. Not badly, because I can touch it and move it a little. There aren’t any abrasions, it’s not hot, no cuts. He just holds it up when he’s sitting and limps when he’s walking and every once in a while, when he forgets about it, he puts weight on it and falls THUMP over. Of course, this happened Friday night, so I’ve been waiting to see if he’d heal over the weekend. Don’t think I’m a bad mama, please. This boy has been known to heal in twenty-four hours after gonzilla fights, after he drags himself in, barely able to stand, grumbling things about card-parties and fast kittens and bad catnip. He pops up after a day’s sleep, good as gold. But it’s Monday, and while he doesn’t seem in pain, he’s still not using the limb. I’ve asked my friend Nichole to cover my shift this afternoon so we can go see The Man Cats Hate. Poor baby.

And Digit’s mama has a leftover headache. Yep, I’ve figured out the damn trigger for these migraines. I thought it was a combo of PMS and the weather. No, it’s just the weather, damn it. Following in my mother's migrained footsteps. A prolonged low pressure before a storm starts the sinus headache, which then moves into migraine territory. Yesterday at work I had all the accompanying symptoms, too, nausea and vertigo and dizziness. Bleach. Feeling better now (and the Imitrex did really help), but I still can’t touch the right side of my face – too sensitive. (Oh, and Imitrex is FUN to take. Doesn’t make me sleepy or unable to focus at work (although I wouldn’t take it if I had to be on the police radio). But it makes me sharply giddy. A focused, intense grin kind of feeling. Odd.) Daisy-Winifred, you predicted this, didn’t you?

Been up for the last two hours, two hours way too early. Heavy rain pouring down, lying in bed thinking about moving. Okay, now I’m getting a little stressed. And it’s mostly about the cats. I need to ship them out (hopefully to the little mama’s house – who is feeling MUCH better for those of you keeping score) and do the move without indulging in this “got a month to do it” crap. Then I can bring them back and hopefully, with a six-hundred mile drive between their old home and their new home half a mile away, they’ll lose their way and won’t think to go looking for the auld sod. And I’d like the apartment to be mostly ready by the time I get them back. Less stress on them AND me.

The problem is this (and it ain’t really a problem in my book, more of something I have to work with): I’m going to ask a friend for his truck and his help to move the four heavy things I own. Another friend is helping me paint. The rest of it I want to do by myself. I’m not being a martyr here. I’m being a helpless control freak, that’s all. I want to know where everything is in my new home. I want things to pass through my hands only. I don’t want anyone else to see the dust behind my bookshelves at my present home. You know? So I have to work quickly, accurately, and with some semblance of balance or humor, or it’ll be a head against the boxes sobbing moment. But I mean it. ALONE. That’s how I want to do it. Wish me luck and godspeed – I may not be posting a lot the next week or so.....

How to Shop with GretaFebruary 14, 2004

Lemme tell you how a day with Greta goes. You get up. You think about doing something, but you talk instead. You go to breakfast and talk until the coffee's cold. You look at the clock, and it's two, not eleven like you thought. A very little while later, it's suddenly six pm, and you don't know how that happened. I have experienced the Time Flies syndome many times in my happy leetle life. But yesterday was ridiculous. I wanted to dig my heels in and drag. It was going TOO quickly.

And Greta? Everything you would think, everything you would guess. She makes me want to talk more slowly, to feel the words in my mouth more fully. She makes me appreciate color. She smiles as much as I do. And she is the BEST storyteller, giving me goosebumps no less than six times yesterday. She brought me the most thoughtful handmade gift that I won't even ATTEMPT to describe right now, but I'll show it to you later, after we do our next photo shoot.

Oh, we had a good time. Here we are on the way to the City. We had been going to take the ferry, but it was a little cool yesterday and threatening rain, so we hopped BART after a FABULOUS breakfast, eggs brady with smoked salmon for Greta, eggs benedict for me, and wonderful looking pancakes for daughter-bird.

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Once we trundled under the Bay, we arose into the lovely light rain and grabbed a cable car up and over the hills. It kinda broke down at the top (we didn't ask) and they let us off right at Lombard.

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This is for Em:

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Daughter-bird wanted to eat lunch at Hard Rock Cafe. G and I were still full from breakfast, so we decided to do dessert and drinks instead. Yes, we had drinks:

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Oh, my merciful lord, their dessert nachos are insane. Seriously. Like to have killed me.

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And darling Greta got a shortcake sundae.

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When we left the restaurant, this is what we saw (I'm convinced the City put on its Special Sparkles for the return of one of its favorite daughters):

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We went to Longs, to the BIG one, the 24 hour one, the one that when asked to swear an oath, I swear by. (That doesn't happen too often, actually....) In the process of looking for a pencil, we found a bean bag that will be PERFECT in my new place (this Longs sells clothes and furniture and plants and even has a yarn section!). This is NOT an attractive photo, but it cracks me up, so hard.

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Oh, and she spotted a rug, too. The problem arises, with my small car: How do we fit us and all the stuff in? (We had to put the top down to get all their luggage in when I met them at the train on Thursday night, driving the highway at two in the morning, wind in our hair.) But hey. Shopping with Greta goes like this:

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Daughter-bird is IN that car, I'll have you know. She's a trooper, just like her mama.

Now, they're off again, and I'm back at work. I feel horribly let down, after such an eventful (and extended) weekend, to be back at work. Deep sigh. But Stitches next weekend will help with that feeling, I'm sure. And I'm going to paint my new place! Orange! Or rust! But I'll leave the living room yellow, 'cause I love that. Happy weekend to you.

(Oh, that Guestmap is fun, but it's eating people. If you've been gobbled off the map, I apologize. But I know where you are, and I love ya. Mwah!)

February 13, 2004

Photoblog today, since Greta and daughter-bird and I are probably out cruising the Pacific Coast in the 'vertible, top down, sun on our foreheads (which are covered in SPF 40, I swear).

I HAVE A NEW KEY!

That unlocks my new apartment. The only problem with being this damn spontaneous is that I'm basically going to be paying two rents from the 13th to the end of this month. Erg. That's money right out of my Stitches Fund. And my Going East tour! Oy.

But it'll be worth it, baybee. Lookit.

Looking from my new door out toward the street.

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Check. It's yel-LOW! Good thing I adore yellow. Picture some red and blue thrown in there?

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My landlord in the kitchen, taking my hefty deposit check. Goodbye, cashmere. Hello, room for a Real Table!

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View from the bedroom window:

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Those are sweater shelves, you know.

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Part of Digit's new playland (the garage belongs to the house next door).

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And my new playland, the backyard! All mine (rubbing my hands together.....):

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Now, enjoy your day! And we'll tell you about ours later.....

Movin'February 12, 2004

Oh. My. God.

Sometimes I am impetuous. When I buy something big or decide on a life change, it tends to happen RIGHT NOW.

For the last week or so, I have been feeling like moving.

Understand that I never feel like moving. I hate moving. I abhor moving. Moving stresses me out until I break down sobbing, my forehead resting on the cardboard box, and that’s just when I pack my books. So this feeling that I’ve been having, lying in bed thinking about new, unfilled cupboards, has been unnerving.

Then yesterday I received an email from my landlord. Seems that the guys who live upstairs have found a new complaint. They think they are paying too much for heating, and that we should share the bill. I think not. I pay my gas/electric bill separately, and have my own meter/breaker. And this is the straw that’s flipping said breaker. Four girls live downstairs in this big old house, in three apartments. Four guys live upstairs, in a big communal four bedroom, one kitchen set-up. We girls are awesome. We’re kind and helpful and respectful. The boys are awful. One is a DJ-mixer and mixes thumping rap until all hours. They stomp above me and crank the bass until my windows rattle. The block the driveway on a daily basis. And now they’re asking for money for THEIR utilities? When I got home yesterday at 5pm and found the email, I decided to start looking. I’d just see what was out there before I responded back to my landlord.

I went to Craigslist and found several listings that seemed all right. I called one. He seemed nice, and said he could meet me there in half an hour.

Now, get this: It’s less than a mile from my present apartment. It’s still in the wondeful walkable area of Rockridge/Temescal that I love. It’s really close to BART. Cats are welcome. It’s easily two and a half times the size of my present place. Hardwood flooring in the long (yellow!) living room area. A private fenced back yard. A sliding glass door. Green yards and trees on all sides of the place. Only one shared wall, next to a single man who is reputedly never home. It’s only a three unit single-level building, with a new washer/dryer. The owner is a contractor and architect who said I could paint the walls any color I wanted. There’s a walk-in closet in the bedroom. There will never be anyone thumping and clunking above me. He said I could have the place. We’re meeting today to sign the lease. I’m freaking OUT. But in a good way.

Hey. There’s room for a kitchen table. In all my grown-up life, I’ve never had room for a table (no, Mom, the card table didn’t count). I’ve never lived in a place in which I could have more than two people visiting comfortably at the same time. Two is pushing it right now in my present apartment. You can’t all stand up at once or claustrophobia sets in.

And it’s only $150 more than I’m paying now. Tony never raised my rent (what with the ants and the awful boys, how could he?) so that’s right where inflation would normally have placed me, anyway. I can handle it.

And because this isn’t a forced move, it’s more exciting than terrifying. I want a yarn area. I want to paint words on the walls. (But how do I choose which words?) I want to paint one wall red. I want a writing area. I need bookcases. I worry about how to keep Digit safe in his new yard (big scary German Shepard next door). I wonder how to make a bigger place as cozy as my present place is.

I want to have a dinner party. A real dinner party at a real table.

I find my sentences in this entry are short. Choppy. I have so much to think about. Me? Moving? By choice? I am astonished at what has happened in so short a time.

Stay tuned for further. Yow.

And Greta arrives tonight. I took tomorrow off to PLAY! I absolutely canNOT wait.

(Oh, sign my new guestmap, wouldja? I love to see where all y'all are....) ---->

Excessive Cat SentimentalityFebruary 11, 2004

For Wendy's contest, I was going to dredge up an old post with a cat in it (not hard to do), but in the spirit of Valentine's Day, I'm going to share the cat love, revisiting some of my favorite pictures. Those of you who love cats, enjoy. Those of you who don't, run away now.

My favorite Digit-sleeping photo:

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One that I just took, through my bedroom window -- he's sitting outside in the planter box. (Note to self, put flowers in planter box):

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You know how I sleep with Koigu? Adah sleeps with Horstia Tweed:

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There's a lot going on here. Kureyon raglan to the left, surfing blogs to the right, Digit wanting a scritch in the middle. You can just see that I'm wearing my yellow Lo-Tech and devil duck PJs. A good day:

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Adah sleeps with a LOT of fiber:

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Life is hard:

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A special guest appearance, Sebastian. My sister Christy rescued him at age EIGHTEEN. He had been abandoned at the vet's office, destined to live and die in his cage. A year later, he just had an operation to remove a huge (benign) tumor, and is doing well, considering the circumstances. Keep him in your kitty thoughts:

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You made it this far, so here's the first Cromarty sleeve!

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And this captures the color of the Kersti best. Kinda matches my big guy, huh?

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Scratches on the head for everyone!

Date TwoFebruary 10, 2004

So. Good god, if it ever gets to the point where it’s remotely serious and I have to tell her about the blog, this’ll have to be erased, so eat this note after you read it, ‘kay?

A Very Nice Time. She’s funny, and she smiles a lot: I think that’s what I like best. She seems quietly content in herself. I tend usually to be attracted the cynical, the depressed, the pessimistic. The occasional psychotic (no, you don’t know her). The opposite of me. She’s rather more like me than those I usually date, and that makes me wonder. Opposites are a pain in the ass, but you gotta admit, they attract. Boy howdy.

It was a very casual night, since she had only had a short nap after her 30 hour shift (and I complain?) and I got off work at seven. Late dinner at the taqueria down the street from my house, and then Pieces of April, which I thought was darling. Patricia Clarkson rocks the house. And Oliver Platt was very good. Katie What’sHerFace was very good, too, but I kept wanting to wipe off some of her eye makeup. She didn’t entirely convince me that she had a tattoo on her neck and black rubber bracelets. She’s so good looking.

Then a night walk back to my house, through my neighborhood, which never fails to make me happy. I actually kick up my heels sometimes. I try to do this surreptitiously, but people occasionally notice. I don’t think she did, though. It was a suave little hop. Yeah.

(Confession that I probably shouldn’t blog, so it’s that much more interesting: Awkward kiss at the car. No, really. So awkward I just started it over. I believe I said something inane like, “All righty.” Then a sweet kiss, but a little.... well, no word works but awkward. In the past, luckily, I’ve been more often confronted with the Oh-Lord-Wow-NOW kind of kiss, and this wasn’t it. I don’t tend to revisit awkward kisses. Call me non-old-fashioned. But this one I’d like to revisit. Maybe inside, with a bottle of wine (pity I don’t cook), instead of next to her car, standing in the road, in the cold. But I did want to kiss her more, so that’s a good sign.)

Men are easier,* I tell you that much.

Recently a friend asked me, upon hearing I had a website, “You have one of those online journals? [Snicker.] I could never do that, I’m too private.”

I responded, like I always do, with how I’m very private too, I just fool people into thinking they know more about me than they do, and that I just let them read only what I choose to reveal. I’m so private you think I’m NOT private!

I realize here and now, it ain’t true. I don’t have a private bone in my body. The only thing that censors me at ALL is the fact that my mom reads this blog. Hiya, little mama. Otherwise, we’d be discussing the fact that my darling friend Tara, who works for Toys in Babeland, thanked me yesterday for taping Keen Eddie episodes for her with this gift. Mom, don’t click. DON’T! Not work safe, either. (But everyone else, you know you want one. “Writer’s block will never be the same.” Heh.)

No knitting content today. But I’m almost done with the first sleeve. Yippee!

* Gross exaggeration, I realize, and could be construed as offensive. I don't mean it like that at all. But they can sometimes be easier. Think about it. TWO women processing, all the time? Yow.

** Addendum, after several GREAT comments. Men do process. In fact, some men I have known process more than me. Maybe it comes down to what George Sand said, that the differences between the sexes are so tiny that we blow them up out of all proportion. Well, she said it better than that. Obviously. But you know what I mean. Mwah, keeses to all, men AND women. (Now the rumors start....)

February 9, 2004

New, real name. No lie:
Precious Cannister.

Yeah, that's what I said.

I have a date tonight with Doc. (That's what my friends at work have decided is her Sex and the City name--you know, along the lines of Mr. Big and The Russian.) Just a movie and maybe a bite. I'll fill you in tomorrow.... Now, back to Cromarty.

Oh! And here's my gal Kira's leg with legwarmer sock (from Debbie Stoller's Stitch 'n Bitch) with Cascade Fixation from the Wonder Boys.

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Ain't it cute? The colors are awesome in person.
Mwah.


I did it.February 8, 2004

So, I just mailed the letter off to JM. Two and a half years of needing to, and it was easy when I finally got around to it. And I love the little stories I got from y'all in response yesterday, some good, some not-so-good. I don't really care, one way or the other. I hope he forgives me. But if he doesn't, it'll be enough for me to have sincerely apologized. If he doesn't care one way or the other, that's okay, too.

I've confused a couple of people along the way, though. Talking to a friend about it this morning (I made her read the letter), she said, "So, are you a confused lesbian?"

Simple answer? Probably. I don't want to be with a man right now, haven't for years. Not in a year that begins with 2, anyway. But I have deeply, madly loved particular men, and I don't completely rule it out for my twilight years. Might be nice to have someone to open the pickle jars (tongue-in-cheek here). But for now, women are where it's at. Yep. Simple answer that doesn't quite make sense. But it doesn't have to. That's my answer and I'm sticking to it.

Cromarty? Coming along. About ten inches up the first sleeve. Terrified I'm not going to have enough yarn - I'm thinking four balls per sleeve, and I've always considered the sleeves to be 1/3 of the whole enchilada. So that means approximately 24 skeins, and I have 18. And I believe the 18 I have are the complete dye lot. (A terrified hush falls over the crowd.) Stay tuned.

TypoFebruary 7, 2004

Funny - if you see below, I'm actually Sheltand Wool, not Shetland Wool. Heh.

Sleep Interruptions

Oh, I had a rough night last night. Started with a headache. I was very responsible, and after my 14 hour shift, I went to the pharmacy and picked up the Imitrex. Ain'tcha proud of me? Took it home, took a bath, took the medicine. Dude. How do people snort drugs? It was miserable, snorting that thing. There was an immediate rush, then a disgusting drip that lasted an hour. No immediate relief, but I fell asleep, so that was good.

Then I woke at 5am to a cat that wins the Most Irritating Feline award for 2004. And it's only February. Adah's found that clawing my new couch wakes me up. Oh, yes. It does. Then I feed her -- yes, she thinks it's a reward, but what am I supposed to do at five in the morning when she claws the couch every few minutes, just as I'm dropping back off to sleep? Digit, because of medical conditions, can't eat her food, so I lock her in the bathroom. Approximately eleven seconds after she finishes inhaling her food, she hurls her solid little body at the door, over and over. And over. And over. So I get up to let her out. She then has the energy to tear around the house, up and over the kitchen countertops, knocking over anything I've left out, up and over my body, up and over Digit's body. Digit is now PISSED off, so he starts squalling at the door. I get up to let him out. Twenty minutes later, there's a screaming cat fight outside. He's tangling with the neighbor cat, like he does everyday. Those neighbors HATE me and my cat (although their cat is always fighting with mine in MY yard), so I get up to break it up. When he comes in, HE wants to eat. In order to feed him, I have to separate them again, so Adah goes back into the bathroom. And starts hurling herself against the door again.

By now it's six-thirty and I have to get up in an hour. The headache is back, with a vengeance. I finally fall into a nappish state and have a dream about the only ex-boyfriend I feel guilty about. JM was an angel, a beautiful man whom I truly, deeply loved, and then just let go, without much explanation. Two and half years ago, he left me a voice mail (since I was being an asshole and not answering my phone) saying he had a dream of me in which he let me go. Since then, I dream of him a couple of times a year. I see him walking away from me, and my heart breaks. It's an awful dream, and it means that I have to contact him to apologize. I last had the dream in Venice, last March. I wrote him a letter while seated at a cafe table on the Grand Canal. I didn't mail it.

I am not ashamed of any of my dealings with anyone. Except for him. Now I have to find the damn letter, open it, and decide whether to mail it or re-write it. But I have to exorcise this regret. I don't regret not being with him. But I regret my behavior. I don't care if he ever speaks to me; I just need him to know that I was scared and that I'm sorry.

And it's all Adah's damn fault, leaving me lying there, awake, thinking, watching the clock tick towards the alarm....

Back at work, only a 12 hour shift today. The headache is abating now -- I think it's more of a sinus thing today. Cromarty is coming along. Damn, this sweater is going to take forever, but it's such a pleasant forever. Oh! I have to go test which fiber I am.

You are Shetland Wool.
You are Shetland Wool.
You are a traditional sort who can sometimes be a
little on the harsh side. Though you look
delicate you are tough as nails and prone to
intricacies. Despite your acerbic ways you are
widely respected and even revered.


What kind of yarn are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Good god. Acerbic? But shetland wool, whoopee!

SleeveFebruary 6, 2004

I'm working a sleeve! Yowzer! Lookee:

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And darling Rob, who supplied this Kersti goodness, pointed out that it's not size that matters. Ahem. The number of stitches are going to be the same, no matter what size needles you've got. This sweater is going to take a while, I tell ya. It has a LOT of stitches. It's so satisfying, but it is NOT mindless. And the scary thing is that it only has two (out of four) difficulty stars in the book. Good lord. A four-star might kill me.

I'm at work, my Monday, starting a 14 hour shift. On my way in this morning, I talked to Bethany; she was on the ferry, her head hanging over the rail, watching the school of dolphins below. I'm jealous. But in a good you'd-better-take-pictures kind of way. Hope she knits on the beach.

*Blush*February 5, 2004

Michelle points out, sweetly, that I didn’t really mean “hoi polloi,” yesterday, and suggests “hoity-toity.” She’s right, and I’m a little chagrined, my Grammar Avengin’ buddies. As a child I internalized the wrong meaning to this word, and even though I KNOW it means the opposite of what I think it does, I routinely forget it. (Just like if I’m not very careful, I say con-fis-ti-cate instead on confiscate. Now, that’s TRULY embarrassing.)

Shakin’ it off, shakin’ it off.

Shakin’ it off to the tune of US needles, size ONE!

Yes. I got gauge with ones.
The hell?

I am the loosest knitter in the universe, I do believe. (This makes me particularly popular in certain bars.) This is an aran-weight yarn, and suggested needle size would be four or five (US) to get Ms. Starmore’s 25stitches/4 inches. Me? Ones. Oy. Lord, the only way I could get 25st/4in on (US)5 would be to use sock-weight yarn. Now that would make an interesting Celtic sweater, no? Mini-ringel cables?

But I swatched! (Minimally, seen here. But it’s more than I usually do.)

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And I’m about an inch up one sleeve (after doing a facing which I’ve determined it needs – I don’t like that raw cabled edge curl thing). It looks fabulous. I could SO easily eff this all up, so I’m proceeding slowly and thoughtfully. This will not be a read-while-knitting piece, and I’d like to finish it up quickly (as quickly as allowed by size ONES), so I’ll be getting a lot of TV watching done, I prognosticate. (A more appropriate word-choice would be “predict,” but “prognosticate” is at the outside of allowed, so I’m throwing a four-dollar word atcha. And I like how it echoes my incorrect pronunciation of confisticate.)

I adore Koigu, both the Painter’s Palette and this Kersti. Carrie asks, what gives? Why is Koigu so good? Listen: It’s smooshy. It makes a great, very soft fabric (I swear this stuff can’t be 100% wool, but it says it is), that when knitted, makes you want to be a Very Little Creature and bounce on it. It’s squoozable. If Carson from Queer Eye touched it, he’d zjooojzh it. It’s like wool angel food cake – lotsa air in the batter. That about right, fellow Koigu fans?

And yes, Em, I slept with Kersti on our first date. I don’t regret it, not for a minute. In the morning, she was still there for me.

But size ones.
Zjeeejzh.

Koigu!February 4, 2004

I had such a good day yesterday. Wanna know what I did?

Nothing.

Well, I managed to do my laundry in between Doing Nothing times, but that’s it. Woke up late, and messed around on the computer all day. I even, get this, pretended to take a nap. And it was nice, it really was. During the day my brain is always too busy to take a nap – it never buys what I’m trying to do. The second I lie down it starts to make long lists of all the cool, fun, evironmentally sensible things I COULD and SHOULD be doing with my time. Yesterday I took Marcel with me, good ole Prousty, and we had a nice little afternoon chat (I can call him that. We’re pals, me ‘n’ Proust). And I really think I would have slept, had I not heard the mail lady coming! (I know, I should say mail deliverer, but mail lady, with its close ties to male lady, is what I say in my head, so there you have it.)

And you know what? I think she’s been carrying my Koigu around with her for days! I ran out to the sidewalk, and she was walking away, empty-handed, from my house. When I called out to her, she turned around and asked if I was Rachael and said that she had had something for me. I guess she hadn’t wanted to leave it on my doorstep in the heavy rain we’ve had (I have no porch), and I suppose I’m grateful. I guess. I was getting worried. And now, drum roll, please:

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I have Koigu Kersti from the WonderBoys for Alice Starmore’s Cromarty. Oh, yes. (And that’s yummy Noro 95 underneath, just for fun.)

I absolutely HAVE to finish a project today, so I can start swatching. Yes, you read it here first. For Koigu and Alice, I will swatch. Swatch, Rachael, swatch. Watch Rachael swatch!

(I even took a skein to bed with me last night. I’m not kidding. Look.)

And after a day of doing nothing but anticipating my mail lady, I got to do something REALLY fun – a friend and I went to see the Lion King! We first went to Bernal Heights and had a drink at The Best Bar in the World and dinner at the Liberty Cafe, and then paid for parking right on Market (how cosmopolitan of us – I usually circle FOREVER looking for a spot) and sauntered into the Orpheum.

Where we were promptly stopped. When he handed over his tickets for them to scan (how high-tech it all is nowadays), there arose a flurry of activity. The man at the door started waving for someone, who started waving for someone else. The line behind us started grumbling. I started to think we had stolen tickets and was regretting not bringing my police ID, which might come in handy while getting booked at the local precinct.

But no, turns out that we had bought so early that our original seats turned out to be obstructed when the final stage was built. So they had to give us different tickets, thus all the waving. We sat 7th row, center.

Hee. Just call me hoi-polloi and get it over with. I saw people up in the third balcony shaking their (tiny little) fists at me. I know they were. When I sit up there, I always do the same thing.

The musical was incredible! I didn’t really know what to expect, and I have to be honest, a straight translation from the cartoon to the stage surprised me. It’s an odd concept, that. But the costumes and the ensemble music made it work. Most of the cast were incredible, obviously. Except for the King. I couldn’t wait for him to die. (And the stampede scene was AWESOME.) I even got a little choked up at a couple of parts. Just for a minute, and then I remembered that people in the seventh row don’t weep, they mist.

A good day. Today, I’m off to San Rafael to perform a yarn miracle for La Brainy. Then, to finish up that project I mentioned. Then, to swatch. I’ve never been so excited to swatch in all my thirty-one years.

Yow! (And I know she’s my sister, so I’m prejudiced, but Bethany is funny as hell today.)

February 3, 2004

For dear Cari, who believes in chickens, another City Hall hen:

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So the doctor emailed me. Finally. I do realize that it had only been a day and a half since I emailed her, but I am somewhat internet obsessed. Had you noticed? I like it when the emails fly back and forth, two people on line at the same time (but funnily enough I hate IMing), zap, zing, splat. I have a zjoosh sound that plays on my computer when I get a new email, and it’s such a pretty, happy sound. I like to hear it often. I DON’T like to wait a day and a half to hear back from a date. And it was a good email – she had fun, would like to do it again. Yeah, yeah....

I am so impatient that I bore myself.

Plotted with darling Greta on Sunday. Won’t reveal our plans to take over the world, but I just have to let you know that she is as remarkable on the phone as she is on her blog. Damn. And her plans for me to name my Rogue “Anne of Green Cables” just flipped my brain OUT.

Pop Culture update:

Sex and the City rocks with fibery goodness, no? A cabled pink hoodie AND an Icelandic lopi, on one screen. Damn. And Mischa’s still hot-hot-hot.

To the straight people watching The L Word: Be advised, a woman who is engaged to her boyfriend whom she loves, when attracted to a stunning Italian woman, will NOT cry copiously and demand to be left alone, and then pull her sweatshirt over her head. In the middle of the day. While the Italian looks mostly uninterested. Won’t happen. The rest of the show is humorously on-key, though.

Now. It's my weekend. I'm putting my feet up for a while. I've been online WAY too long. You know when you just can't pry your little fingers off the keyboard, and you realize you're giving up quality knitting/reading/walking/writing time so you can read other people's thoughts about their own knitting/reading/walking/writing time? Das me. I'm out.

Canal ChaseFebruary 2, 2004

It’s Maggi’s birthday! Just another day closer to perfection, that’s all.

I am totally happy and a little freaked out that there are so many L.M. Montgomery fans out there. It’s eerie, innit? How many threads connect us? We love to write. We love to knit. We love grammar. We love librarians and bookmobiles. We love Anne.

Anne was HUGE in my life. I used to, and probably still should, credit her with the way I turned out. I think as a kid I had a tendency to be a little morbid. I worried about the worst, sure it would happen. I couldn’t ride in a car without thinking of how easy it would be to crash. Feeding the chickens meant certain histoplasmosis. Then I started reading the Anne of Green Gables books, and over the course of years of reading all of them (and then re-reading, and re-reading again), I kind of became her. Or at least, I desperately wanted to have her imagination and ability to shift things around until they were Good. And I kinda learned it. A little.

(Huge confession, something not even my little mama knows (but she will now): When I was eighteen, my mother gave me my great-great aunt Lucy’s wedding ring. It’s small and delicate and I rarely take it off. It's my most precious object. I had “Because of Anne” inscribed inside the band. I know. Incredibly silly. But I loved her that much, and still do. She’s probably the most alive fictional character that I carry in my mind, and the most influential.)

And now, thanks to Grace (OMG, see her comment yesterday, it’s wonderful), I have the first two volumes of the journals arriving from alibris. They’re out of print, so they’re PRICEY, but I don’t care. I know they’ll be much darker than the Anne or Emily books, but I don’t care. It’s just more language from Ms. Montgomery. I gotta go get my spoon, ‘cause I’m gonna eat it up.

(My favorite Montgomery, outside the Anne books, was The Blue Castle.)

Sharon in England sent me this, which I loved. It's from the UK Telegraph. Someone stole a BUS in my favorite city. It’s police AND Venice related, so she gets two points.

Canal Chase in Venice Fuelled by Vodka and Nostalgia By Bruce Johnston in Rome

(Filed: 02/02/2004)

A police chase broke out on the canals of Venice early yesterday after a Russian seaman, apparently fuelled by vodka and nostalgia, stole a water bus and roared off into the night.

After a 90-minute hunt officers caught up with and stormed the vaporetto as it moved at full throttle and arrested the man.

The man was named as Viktor Sobolev, 36, who officers said had illegally entered Italy and was evidently drunk after consuming "a copious amount of alcohol".

He later explained his action by saying that he had missed being at sea.

At first the authorities took him for an al-Qa'eda terrorist intent on launching an attack on the huge petrochemical complex at Porto Marghera, just across from Venice on the lagoon.

As a result, the vaporetto's disappearance from its berth near St Mark's basin triggered a special anti-terrorist alert which was introduced to protect sensitive targets in Italy after the September 11 atrocities in America.

Venice's transport corporation ACTV raised the alarm shortly before midnight.

Realising that one of its boats used on route 51 connecting the Lido with St Marks and Piazzale Roma, was missing, it used Global Positioning System technology on board to pinpoint its position. The system is usually used by Venetian authorities to check that water buses are keeping to the city's strict speed limits.

As police and coastguards set off in hot pursuit the Russian turned his wheel hard, directing the large water bus at a lighter police boat in an unsuccessful attempt at ramming it.

Detective inspector Luigi Petrillo said: "Eventually we managed to force the vaporetto to do a U-turn back in the direction of Venice, and board it as it was moving."

Sobolev faces charges of aggravated theft, resisting police officers, being without immigration papers, and breaking various navigation laws.

Hee!

**The doctor/date hasn't emailed me back. Not that I mind so much, 'cause I was ambivalent anyway about the whole Dating thing. Even "You're not my type" would be cool and understandable. But I think my feelings might get a little hurt if she NEVER emails back. Huh.**

On more important subjects, check this out. It’s beautiful. For my migraines, Sonja very sweetly sent me a flax eye pillow that she made herself. It’s silky and soft, and here it is with two of my favorite things, Proust and Digit.

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Isn't that awesome?

This is Grace.February 1, 2004

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She said she's not usually so cross-looking, that she must have stabbed herself with a cable needle, but I think she looks fabulous. In this picture she's knitting her third BAWK hotty cozy. THIRD! She's sent two away to daughters at college in Ontario, and this one was to stay home with the last girl, still living with her. (Three girls, just like us.) And the best part? A copy of the pattern went off to a friend in Prince Edward Island where the snow was piling high. PEI! Lucy Maud Montgomery will always be one of my most beloved authors. She's comfort for the soul. (And Grace recommends her journals, which I haven't read, and must.)

That's all. It's Sunday. I'm sleepy. Here's hoping for a Quiet Super Bowl Sunday (I'm off work at 7pm, when the real post-drinking madness begins.....) Enjoy the commercials, and if you partake, the game itself. Or go shopping for books. Super Bowl Sunday is a wonderful book-buying day.....