Rachael loves it when book clubs read her work! She's happy to attend book clubs that read her books either in person or via Skype. Contact her at [email protected] to make arrangements.

subscribe

Subscribe to Rachael's mailing list

knitting projects

DSCN13632.jpg Email me

subscribe

Subscribe to Rachael's mailing list

book tour

knitting projects

DSCN13632.jpg

go here

Email me

« July 2004 | Main | September 2004 »

25 posts from August 2004

Lazy MondayAugust 30, 2004

Early Saturday morning, when I was at work, I turned the page in my calendar to the first week of September and realized something rather important. I’ve got the week off. I knew with my literal brain that I had the first week of September off. Sure. But my workaday brain had not really processed when that week was going to take place. It takes conscious effort for me sometimes to remember what season I’m in, let alone what month. The day, forget it.

So as of five am, when I got off work, I was off for the next ten days. Postings will be scarce ‘round here during that time. The ‘rents are coming in to town on Wednesday, sending Dad up to secure camping on Thursday, Mom and I are driving up Friday, and we’ll listen to bluegrass all freakin’ weekend in the sun. Oh! Must bring an easy knitting project. I would never subject Cromarty to the dirt and dust. I can’t wait.

I had the most blissfully hedonistic weekend. I didn’t do anything I didn’t want to do, except get out of bed yesterday and go for a quick run. But even that felt good. Quit laughing. I can see you.

Anyway, great weekend. I saw friends, and met new ones, and ate sushi and laughed a hell of a lot. One of those deep-happy weekends. I can barely move now, even today. Soooo lazy.

So, because I’m too lazy to write anymore, here’s a picture of Digit. I’ve got no idea how he got up there, but I had to help him down.

DSCN66811

Enjoy your week, all. Mwah!

The Fix Ain't CheapAugust 28, 2004

The car's repaired, to the tune of $600. Those of you who know me in my natural environment, please know that I'll be staying in a lot for a while. But as someone recently told me, there's nothing wrong with drinking cheap beer and thinking cheap thoughts.

I can do that.

Tow Away ZoneAugust 27, 2004

petunup

I ran Lake Merritt yesterday. I parked, ran around it in 39 minutes, average time for me, and got back in my car. I turned the key. Nothing. Zip. You know that weak growl you get when a battery is close to dying? I didn't have that. I didn't even have the click. Just absolutely nothing.

Sigh. I was one of the last hold-outs to get a cell phone, but now I love mine, and thank god for it. Within minutes I had AAA enroute, I had told the garage I'd be on my way, and I had arranged a ride from my generous sister Christy from the garage.

Then I sat. I steamed. Literally. I was all damp and soggy from the run, and it was still warm out, so I felt like a tamale in my car. I could have put the top down, but by that point I was avoiding the sun. I rummaged in the back seat and god bless my packratedness, I found Middlesex by Eugenides, still in its bookstore bag. I had forgotten I had even bought it. I put my aching legs up on the dash and had myself a little read. I watched the people go by. I hung my legs out the window, where they got more breeze, and I watched the people watch my legs. They all looked suspicious of them. What? You never saw legs sticking out? I had a couple of stare-downs with children. I lost.

Then the tow truck arrived, and I fell in love with my driver. Greg. Good old Greg. Here he is:

greg


He made me feel like a million bucks, sweaty and steamy as I was. He tried all sorts of little tricks before he gave up and hooked it up to the truck. When I told him which garage I was taking it to, he called ahead and said we were on our way.

He looked at me when we were on the freeway and said, "You know, men are dumb."
"What?"
"At least you had your hood up. You had cleaned off the battery connectors. You tried. When a woman gets a flat tire, she gets in the trunk and pulls out the tire iron and the jack and at least gives it a shot. I've rolled up on guys who've been waiting for three hours for me to get there and see if they have a jack. And me and this buddy of mine, we kept track for like a year. It's mostly the guys who lock their keys in the car, you know that? And leave their lights on so the battery flats out. It's 'cause they can't do two things at once. You know...."
"Multi-tasking?"
"Yeah. They can't do that. Women can. Men are dumb." He shook his head and then smiled.
"You're not dumb."
"Nah, I mean in general."

Well, okay then.

When we got to the garage, I was over my five mile tow limit. I asked how I would pay him. He said, "Let me think about that while I unhook." He dropped the car and then shook my hand. "You take care of yourself. How long is your ride going to be? You okay waiting here?"
"The payment?"
"Take care. I'll see you down the road." With a wink, he was gone. I lurve Greg. I've already called AAA and sent an electronic commendation, and I've written the letter to his boss which I'll mail today.

I lurve Oakland, too. That kind of thing just happens here. Now, let's think cheap-fix thoughts. I can't afford an expensive repair right now.... Oh! And it's Friday! (Isn't it? I might have lost track....) Happy weekend, all!

This Could Happen to YouAugust 26, 2004

I've mentioned my pal Marama before. I adore her. She's my coworker and running mate in Team 911. I wouldn't be running this marathon without her. She's also my shopping coach. I pretty much hate to shop, unless I know exactly what I want and can go in and get it, without passing go, without collecting $200, without dealing with screaming children and/or full-grown men, without having anything to do with a price check of any kind. If it involves a line, I get a little antsy. Like, twitchy. Like, you'd look at me in the Walmart line and worry about my trembling lower lip. You might change check-out lanes. Marama is the person I call when I need something like running shoes or a bookcase or a snowsuit.

She knows where the deals are. On Tuesday, she stopped by Ikea on her way to work. Red flag number one. Can you imagine just popping in to Ikea? Dude, I have to gear myself up for WEEKS to do that. But nope, she drops by and sure enough, she finds something. She finds something good. She's been needing a bedframe/headboard for her guest bed and finds a simple wooden one marked down to ten dollars. Ten freaking dollars. So she buys it. She takes it outside to her car.

Marama got in a minor fender-bender last week (not her fault) and is driving a rental car considerably smaller than her usual vehicle. She stands outside and tries to put the frame in the trunk. No way is it going to fit. She tries to squeeze it into the back seat. No dice. She puts all the seats down and tries it again. Nope. She takes it out of the box and wrestles with it some more. Still no. She curses and huffs and swears until it's half-past four. She has to be at work at five. And now it's too late to stand in line (it's Ikea, I remind you) to return it or to order home delivery.

Tell me. What does she do?

It was ten dollars. She leans it against a tree and drives away.

She thought about writing something on the box like, "If you can fit it in YOUR damn car, you can have it." Or just: "I give up."

We laughed about it at work that night. She made jokes about driving by to see if it was still there at three in the morning when she got off. Yeah, right. Heh, heh. In freakin' Emeryville. Bordering Oakland. SURE, it'll be there.

But she drives by. And it's there, still leaned against the tree, papers and little rig-em-up doojabber tools all still intact. So she starts to wrestle it again. Same box, same car, a more determined person.

There's a car sitting in the lot, occupied by one guy. He's backed into the space, and he doesn't look like security. He's far enough away that Marama doesn't pay him much mind. She does notice, however, when another car drives in and backs into a parking place. The second guy sits there and watches her, too.

A third guy in a Lexus pulls in, backs into a space, and stares at her. She begins to wonder if the Ikea parking lot is the new cruising area for gay men. Another car pulls in. Another man just watching her.

One gets out of his car and approaches her. He's smoking a cigarette and looks tough. "It's never going to go in there." She decides that he's kind of preoccupied with the cigarette in one hand and that she might get a good sucker-punch in if needed. She starts planning her way out. She feels for her cell phone. He takes the box and levers it into the trunk and manages to find things to tie it in place. "That'll do," he says. Another car pulls in. "Oh," he says. "There's my boss." And with that, the Ikea work crew goes into the building.

I woulda had a heart attack. I would have. I swear. She was a braver woman than I would have been. She said it did cross her mind that she was risking rape, carjacking, or even just a plain ole mugging for a ten dollar headboard, but damn, that bed is going to have a story.

This is why I don't shop. (Yarn doesn't count.)

(Neither do books.)

(They don't, really.)

Couch PartyAugust 25, 2004

It’s Finished Object Day here at Casa Rachael. FO! FO! (And a fee and a fi in there somewhere, too. Fum.)

First, let’s look at the group shot, shall we?

DSCN70391

The FOs had a party on my couch. It’s a good place to have one, I suppose, but it’s hard to tell who’s who, no? Let’s pull ‘em apart. My friend Monica (mother of the adorable Winter) is having a baby girl who is probably going to be named Luna Amelia (unless she pops out and has other wild suggestions, as sometimes happens). Monica’s probably having this wild baby at this very moment, or at least we hope she is, as she’s been in labor for over a week, poor thang. This is a wee jacket (pattern HERE) and unfortunately you can’t see the button (and I didn’t think to take a close-up)—it’s a blue house with a blue moon sailing over the top.

DSCN70451

And then, we got socks. Boy, do we got some socks. I have a VERY bad habit of making socks for myself and immediately giving them away. I haven’t kept socks for myself in years. But darling Leslie gave me this yarn, a wonderful merino Interlacements Toasty Toes, and I’ve been making this pair last on the needles. Even so, when I finished them last night, I thought. Hmmm. I know someone who would LOVE these. Mental slap. No! That person is me! So I put them on today (and god knows with the feet I have right now, no one else would want them after that) and showed them to Adah. She was not impressed.

DSCN70521

She had slipped a little on that beanbag. She’s usually perched a little higher, like this:

DSCN69951

That was the beanbag which used to frighten her. When I used to want to keep her out of my bedroom, I would drag the beanbag to the doorway, and she wouldn’t go over it. Now, it’s her best friend in the whole world. Digit looks on in jealousy, too scared to walk on it (even though with his extra toes he could snowshoe right over it).

And then, we have the Good Ole Cabled Scarf (my free pattern HERE).

DSCN70701

My camera, while I love it, has decided it hates red in the last few months. I probably took forty pictures and this was the best one, the least distorted. It’s really kind of a pain in the ass, since I only seem to be using red and orange lately. Maybe the camera is just tired. I would be, I suppose.

Speaking of reds, I cast on a little shrug-thingie last night, using that Kyoto from Artfibers, that glowing yarn that makes people stop in their tracks and wonder if the silk has been unnaturally irradiated at some small local power plant.

DSCN70711

I got this far before realizing that I only have two balls of it, and the last time I went to the store, Kira said they were out of that colorway. As the store is so closely tied to the fashion industry, when a color is out, there’s no guarantee it’s coming back. And even if it did, I wouldn’t be able to afford to buy enough to make a whole shrug (gah, I dislike that word). So I’m going to rip it and make a delicate scarf. Me ‘n’ scarves! Who knew?

I dreamed about knitting last night for the first time in a long time. I was on the run from the law (hmmm), but I found myself in a park, wearing an incredible white sweater (much like Becky’s new jaw-dropping one, actually). I was also, oddly enough, wearing a ball gown under it, and I was GORGEOUS. Old pin-up gorgeous. I’m usually just kinda cute, I suppose, and better when I grin, but in my dream I was stop-the-traffic-dead gorgeous. There was another outlaw running through the park with me, and I asked him to take some pictures of me in the sweater under a tree. I thought they would be good for the blog. See? Thinking of you, dear readers, even while fleeing the country. Later in the dream, while searching my bag for the camera, I found the sweetest little disassembled semi-auto pistol, which made me even happier than the ballgown had. (Confession: I heart guns. I also approve of keeping them out of the hands of crminals and children, but I love their mechanics and power and sound and smell. You can send me hate mail now.)

Anyhoo. Lotsa knitting going on, that’s what I meant to say. It’s a beeyootiful windy, sunny day out there, and I might go for a walk or something just as crazy. I'm gonna wear my new socks.

WhirAugust 24, 2004

Thank you, THANK you for all the comments yesterday! Really. Sometimes I feel like I have access to this small private wishing well, that I have the ability to reach down into the water and draw up just what I need. I swear, that’s what you all are like. You do my heart (and legs) so much good.

Let me catch my breath. Whew.

I just got back from Orinda, from a meeting with my realtor/broker/whatever-the-hell-she-is.

She’s the type who knocks the breath out of you with her industry. She’s on two phone lines, yelling things at her two assistants, crunching your numbers, and still having a full conversation with you. As I am MultiTaskerExtraordinaire, I appreciate this, and it doesn’t freak me out. But her manner does, somehow. She makes me very, very nervous, and few people do that. She’s about five foot one, maybe a hundred and ten, no more than thirty-one years old, and smart as a whip. (Why are whips smart? Or is it that they DO smart? Hunh.)

Again, for the second time, I felt like running out of the room or diving out the nearest window when she was reviewing my personal finances. She’s not rude, she’s just honest. But by the end of the meeting, she had warmed up to me, I think. (I also think she was still pissed off at me for something that happened last month. I had seen her on a Thursday, at 4pm. At that meeting, we said we’d get together again in a month. The very next Thursday, I got a message from her at 4pm, wondering where I was. I got another more annoyed-sounding message an hour later. When I called and reminded her that I had met her the previous week, and that her assistant must have made a mistake on her calendar, she was nice enough, but I could tell she didn’t believe me. I hate it when I feel like someone wants an apology for something that I didn’t do wrong. I’ll apologize up and down for something I screwed up, or even MIGHT have screwed up, but that one was so not about me. I think I ended up apologizing anyway, blast it.) We parted today with her giving me an almost-real smile, and I’m happy to work with her. I know I could easily find someone with a better bedside manner, but this woman is legendary in her ability to create fiscal miracles with her thin, bejeweled hands. I need a goshdurn miracle.

And people, I think I’m looking for a place to buy. Really. Okay, I don’t actually believe that all the way myself, but she actually printed out listings for me, and there’s one that sings to me. I might take a wee drive to see it in a few minutes. Lord’a’mercy. I am SO scared, but SO happy that I even have any kind of ability to dream about this.

Dang. My mind is whirring too fast. Little sleep, but for a really good reason. And I have fresh, red tomatoes in my back yard. Adah is sleeping in the middle of the bean bag. Digit is drowsing in the sun on the kitchen table. My laundry is almost done. I have a red colander in the kitchen, and birthday fruitcake on top of the fridge for a snack later. Life is good. Mwah!

Didn't Make ItAugust 23, 2004

I am lazy today. Lay-zee. I think some of my motivation was stolen by a small person with big pockets while I slept, because I can’t seem to find any extra lying around the house today. And there are a LOT of things lying around the house, things that need to be cleaned and tidied and straightened up, but without that motivation, they’re just going to continue lying there. Taunting me.

I’m okay with it.

I need to tell you about the run yesterday. It was a fourteen-miler, and I wore my orthotics for the first time (I had been wearing them constantly to walk around in, and had worn then on one short run). I don’t know why I thought they wouldn’t be a problem. I’m a smart gal, but I am very good at overlooking the obvious when it doesn’t suit my purposes.

I had a blister on the instep of each foot by the end of mile one. By the end of mile two (a run from the beach straight up the Great Highway past the Cliffhouse and into Sutro Heights—nothing like running uphill in the City), I was in serious pain. By mile three, I just wanted to make it to mile four.

At mile four, the shin splints were flaring, and I felt like I had never run before. The blisters under both my insteps were huge and almost unbearable. And you know what? I kept running. It’s not even something to be proud of—it just was. I decided to see how much pain I could put myself through, how much I could stand on a sunny Sunday. Written like that, it sounds horrible. But it was more a mind-test than anything. I knew my shin splints weren’t TOO bad; it was the blisters that were killing me more than anything. And I knew people don’t die of blisters caused by orthotics. So I kept running.

It was interesting. For a large part of the time, I could talk myself out of the pain. Rather, I could feel it, but I convinced myself it didn’t matter. It was painful, but it didn’t hurt. I didn’t let it hurt.

And then, suddenly, I let it hurt. At mile eight I lost it, and told my group to go on without me. I decided to walk to the next water stop, only about half a mile away, and from there the organizers would come pick me up. The blisters by this point were more than an inch and half across, and had blisters on TOP of them. (I was using the Band-Aid blister thingies, and Body-Glide, and double running socks.)

I cried and cried and cried. I leaned on a bike rack and let myself have a really good big sob before pulling it together and starting my walk. Of course, right before the water stop, my training partner and favorite gal Marama ran up behind me and got all concerned, making me bawl again.

I was just so frustrated and angry with my body, and angry with myself. I wanted to do the fourteen. The twelve had been no problem! And now I can hardly make it to eight? I’ve decided I hate the orthotics, and that I need a referral from my doctor to a real podiatrist. I need the help of a specialist. Doy. You would think I would have figured that out by now, but no. Sheesh.

It is a testament to how painful the run was that getting home and sitting in an ice-cold bath of water and Epsom salts felt great.

Bah. Yesterday was one of those days that I realized the sheer hugeness of what I’ve taken on. I might, actually, be crazy. Bah, bah, BAH. I still believe in myself, and in Marama (who did the whole 14! Go, Marama!), but I know it’s going to be fucking HARD. (Again, doy.) God, it’ll feel good to actually do this. And yes, I’m proud of myself for getting to mile eight. I know it was an accomplishment. It’s just not the accomplishment I was going for. Sigh.

Next time.

More Knitting and Less InkAugust 20, 2004

Atomic Fireballs at four in the morning are really fun, I'll have you know. Just for the record.

Many things to cover today, but most importantly, I have to point out that August 20th turns out some pretty great women. What an auspicious day to be born.

First, there's Lisa, one of my very first blog-friends. Her pups keep me entertained and her incredibly detailed, intricate knitting keeps me amazed. She's sweet, and smart, and she LOVES her sister, something I totally understand. I haven't met her yet, but I fully expect to do so someday. Blog, dog, blog. Snaps to you.

Then, there's Cari. Sigh. How much do I love Cari? Incalculable. We met for the first time in a coffee shop in Brooklyn. I remember catching sight of her sitting on a hassock in the rear of the huge room, looking as gorgeous as a woman can look. She saw me, and we raced at each other, hugging and holding on and laughing. People looking on would have assumed we were the oldest friends, parted by years of circumstance and distance. Perhaps we were. As we sat at dinner that night, she looked at me, touched my arm again and said, "You're here. Hi. Oh, hi!" It was so right, so natural and perfect for me to be sitting there with her and the Divine Ms. Em and Bethany. She is real, and honest, and lovely in all ways. I miss her when I'm not in Brooklyn (which is, strangely enough, like, ALL the time).

And Greta. Oh, wonderful, darling Greta. This is how we met for the first time: She and Daughter Bird were coming to stay at my house. Sight unseen, I was going to pick her up from the Amtrak station in Oakland at 9pm. Of course, they were on the Coast Starlight, which is always delayed if animals like cows or seagulls or stray snails wander too near the tracks, so the train eventually pulled in about three in the morning. I was waiting on the platform, wearing Orange Alert (wanted to make sure she recognized me). I saw them coming, DB grinning her trademark ear-to-ear grin. She waved. Greta dropped her luggage (in Oakland!) and we raced at each other, hugging and holding on and laughing. I hadn't quite planned for the amount of luggage the two of them had managed by that point to accumulate, and we had to put the top down on ole Petunia to cram it all in. Poor Daughter Bird was relegated to the back seat, and then covered with suitcases. From the front seat, we literally could not see her. We drove the deserted highway home, the wind in our hair, laughing about how ridiculous the world might think we were, strangers meeting for the first time at an Amtrak station in a town not known for its relative security. I yelled, "Are you okay back there, doll?" Daughter Bird said, "Yes!" Greta and I stayed up almost until dawn talking. We couldn't settle down. And know what? We haven't yet settled down. Nor will we.

(While I'm talking about people I love, let me just point y'all to the Divine Ms. Em's new homepage, if you haven't already tracked your way there.)

Okay, those were the most important things to remember. What else? Oh, yes. I got the best email from Lizzi yesterday, with an attached photo of her scarf that she made based on my pattern. Remember how I said if you could rope a steer with it it was too long, and if it wouldn't go around your throat it was too short? Well, she proved me wrong, because her new wallhanging is JUST the right length.

hanging

This is what she says about it:

I was going out to dinner with my parents a few days ago, when I realized that all of my WIPs were too large and complicated to take with me; so I hopped on your blog, copied your pattern from the screen straight into chart form in my little graph paper book, and grabbed a leftover ball of wool that I assumed had enough left in it for a short scarf. Oh, I was wrong. But it was so pretty, I couldn't bear to frog it when, later that night, I came to the end of the ball at only 15.5" of scarf. Which, by the way, is my exact collar size--I know this because I went through a phase in high school where I wore men's dress shirts, unbuttoned, over tees and tanks. It was sort of a post-grunge flannel equivalent. Anyway, point being, not a scarf. So look what I did with it instead! It's like a Chinese scroll painting, except with more knitting and less ink.

I adore that.

And I adore my wireless. Look, here's a phone-snap of my foot (one of two which are going to run fourteen miles on Sunday) up on the couch (see? I'm elevating!), computer on my lap. Look Ma! No wires!

footup

And one of Adah, who thinks I'm ridiculous. No, she KNOWS I'm ridiculous. But so's she, so we're even.

adahsilly

Happy weekend, all. And happy, happy, happy birthday to my girls.

ConfessingAugust 19, 2004

I know there are those of you who don't watch much TV. Or any at all. Good on you, and I mean that. But this post is not for you. (I used to be you. I am now,however, an unashamed Big Ole TV watcher.) (Okay, untrue. I am a little ashamed. But it's nothing I can't handle.)

Okay, here's where I'm going. Reality TV can suck, big time. You know the kind I mean: Let's put three people in a house and take bets on who sleeps with whom first. That's just wrong, and I wouldn't watch it. Or at least I would NEVER admit that I did. I can't handle Nick and Jessica (although I've tried). And those Road Rules shows don't seem like reality TV, they just seem like an MTV game show with flashing lights and bitchy women in thongs, something I can live comfortably without.

But how in the name of all that's holy did I end up watching any reality TV at all? Dude, don't erase Amazing Race off my TiVo, or I'll sic my drool-cat on you. (Schmirna's fake accent that would pop up whenever she spoke to someone in a taxicab was driving me CRAZY. "Okee, I geev you dohlars for to use your telephone, okaaaie, Habibbi?" WTF?)

What's bothering me the most, however, is that I'm watching what I would have guessed would be the nadir of all television programming: Amish in the City. And I don't hate it. I'm a bit emotionally invested, if the truth is told (I'm really trying here). When Mose almost drowned because he didn't understand the strength of the ocean, I was all a'flutter. When Miriam's best friend came for a visit, I thought, a-HA. I was right! She IS a lesbian. (Don't tell me you didn't think it. Those were some damn emotional hugs.)

I just can't quite believe they put five Amish kids and six LA kids in a house in Beverly Hills, but they did, by golly. Now that's the way to get your rumspringa on (a word I've always loved. I'm 32 and still in my non-Amish based personal rumspringa.)

I felt a little better when I read this article -- it makes the series sound deeply thoughtful, a "new generation of constructive, literate reality TV shows." Well. I don't know about all that. I think it's not the ultimate trash that it should have been.

But I'm still embarrassed. What about you? 'Fess up.

Treading WaterAugust 18, 2004

Bethany just woke me up by calling me while I was sleeping. Christy’s been starting to do that lately, too. Mom always has, and for some reason the fact that she does never tripped me out, it just was. Thing is, y’see, is that I sleep with the ringer off. I have voice mail, too, so the phone makes no click, no sound whatsoever when it rings or takes a message. There’s a small light that blinks, but I sleep with earplugs and an eye mask, so that ain’t it. And other people never wake me by calling. I can have four messages on my machine, but the last timestamp will show that Mom was the last one to call me, silently, at the exact minute my eyes opened. Can’t explain it. Won’t try. Just is.

I’m using my WIRELESS on my COUCH with Digit draped across like a heavy, slightly stinky blanket. And oh, he just drooled on my stomach. Ew. (This is how I knew Adah was meant to come home with me from the shelter: I had gone there to get a kitten to keep Digit company. She was all grown up, and I thought I would just pet her for a minute and then walk on. She drooled all over my lap, and I was sunk. We’re a happy drooly family. The worst, however, is when she sneezes because she’s so drooly. Spit sprays in a fine, fast mist. Deesgusting, at any time, but especially so when you’re sleeping. Thank god for that eye mask.)

I went swimming yesterday. Can we please continue to call it swimming? I HATE the phrase aqua-jogging, and I hate the action even more. Hate. I hate relatively few things in this life (war, unkindness, famine, chicken liver, and ants), but aqua-jogging is right up there on that list. I think this is my biggest sacrifice to running. The pain I can tolerate. The impending lost toenails aren’t really bothering me. The sweat and time, eh. Bring it. But this STUPID treading water thing? You can have it. I’ve never done an activity that I hated so much, so actively. My shin splints are still pretty bad, so I made myself a solemn vow that I would not run this week, even though I really need the maintenance training. And I vowed that I would make up that training, in some other related way.

The only other thing that would come close to substituting for running is the elliptical machine, and I tried that at work the other night before shift. It didn’t hurt to use the machine, but when I got off the shin splints had flared so badly I had to hobble up the stairs to the Communications Center. Someone later told me, when I was complaining about how the elliptical machine was supposed to be low-impact, that “oh, YOU shouldn’t use that! It simulates running!” Well, duh. Thanks for that.

So I’m left with treading water. Really fast. Wearing a foam belt. Listening to the Italian foreign exchange students try to pick up the mothers teaching their tots to swim in the shallow end (actually, that’s pretty amusing. I don’t mind that).

And actually, if I’m to avoid the gaggle of kids who arrive for free swim at about four o’clock, I should wiggle into my suit right now and get to treading. Bleah. And then? I’ll knit, while blog-surfing from my COUCH! Have I mentioned how much I love wireless? Hoo yeah.

Just for fun, here's a kid that can swim near me anytime: Winter with dad Jason up in the hills above their house on Monday.

jaywin1

Golden, Rolling HillsAugust 17, 2004

I’m hot. I’m having major temperature control issues. As in, my own. I think it’s a testament to my high metabolism (the reason that I can eat so MUCH ice cream) that I’m not two hundred pounds overweight, but if I have hot flashes like this, I can’t imagine what I’ll be like in twenty years. Whew. I think it’s warm outside, but it’s like seventy-three degrees. If that.

I had the best, best day yesterday. First, I drove up into the depths of Marin Country, out to Nicasio, near San Geronimo (both really good names). My darlin’ friend Monica lives far, far out this rural road that goes pretty much straight up (the coffee cup actually fell backwards out of the cup holder, such was the angle of the car) and then straight down into a silent wooded valley. Her husband Jason came home for lunch, and we rode the ATV up an old fire trail to the top of a great hill. From there, we had a clear view, all the way around—we could see just the tip-tops of the tallest buildings in San Francisco poking up over a far-off hill, and we could see the bay, and the Richmond/Bay/Golden Gate bridges. To the other side was Lake Nicasio and then nothing but the golden, rolling hills of California (the best Kate Wolf line ever). We were on top of the very world. And what a world!

Then, back down to Oakland where I met dear reader Jude. She’s one of those people with whom I made an instant connection, even though she doesn’t blog. We bonded in email over Tom Russell and John Hiatt and Slaid Cleaves, and she showed up at my door yesterday for a late lunch. This blogging thing is remarkable. That I can make friends with such a warm, loving, funny woman just because of the internet? Amazing.

I’m all superlatives and no specifics today. Well, I’m sleepy. The last part of my day was spent with the gal I’ve got a crush on (sorry, but “on whom I have a crush” just doesn’t sound right). I won’t even go into superlatives here, because I’ll embarrass her (and probably myself), but I’ll leave it this: The Triplets of Belleville is a gorgeous movie. And Eritrean food is really good.

Today, I’ve got knitting to finish. I’m on deadline for the Secret Project—I can’t wait to be able to tell you what I did! And Monica is going to have a baby girl probably right NOW, so the sweater has to be finished, and quick. And the Guy Scarf has to be done in the next two weeks, too. Cromarty, which is a commission piece, should get wrapped up soon, too. I don’t think I’ve ever had such a crunch of deadlined knitted items, but it’s kinda fun and challenging. And what’ll be even better is having NO items to have to do. Christmas this year will be storebought, I can feel it already. I wanna knit for me. Me, me, me. And then for me after that.

All right, I’m off to try to install a wireless router. Have no clue how to do it, so I thought I’d post BEFORE I attempt more computer futzing. Wish me virtual wireless luck.

And one more thing: John and Alan of Portland are going to Rome—anyone know any yarn stores in or about Rome? Any help is appreciated....

***Added an hour later -- I'm on my swing in my backyard, connected to the internet. I don't know why I never did this before. Oh my god. I'm in love with the internet, all over again.....

Bonus Bonus Weekend Post!August 15, 2004

I'm so not blogging tomorrow. Two on the weekend? About knitting? Back the heck up. I got a couple of requests for the pattern I'm using for the scarf, so I wrote it up. I haven't actually finished the scarf yet, and my eyes are crossing trying to write the pattern, so excuse the errata, please (and let me know about any problem spots). And if you DO make one, send me a pic, huh?


The Clever Name Here Scarf:

Yarn: I’m using worsted weight, Rowan Cork, probably about 400 yds, more or less.
Needles: 7US, but remember I’m LOOSE (cough, cough). You might go 8 or 9US.
Gauge: Eh, whatever. It’s a scarf.

Cast on 33 stitches.
R1 (right side) : k1 p1, across.
R2-4: k1 p1, across.
R5: (k1 p1) 3 times, k4, p2, k9, p2, k4, (p1 k1) 3 times.
R6: (k1 p1) 3 times, k1, p3, k2, p9, k2, p3, k1, (p1 k1), 3 times.
R7: Repeat R5

R8 and all following wrong side rows: (k1 p1) 3 times, k1, p3, k2, p9, k2, p3, k1, (p1 k1), 3 times.
R9: (k1 p1) 3 times, k4, p2, put the first 3 sts on cable needle, hold at front, k the next 3 sts, then k the 3 sts from cable needle, k3, p2, k4, (p1 k1) 3 times.
R11: (k1 p1) 3 times, k4, p2, k9, p2, k4, (p1 k1) 3 times.
R13: (k1 p1) 3 times, k4, p2, k3, put the first 3 sts on cable needle and hold at back, k the next 3 sts, then k the 3 sts from cable needle, p2, k4, (p1 k1) 3 times.
R15: Repeat R11.

Repeat rows 8-15 until you’re happy with the length. If it won’t go around your neck once, it might be too short. If you could ride a horse and rope a steer with it, it might be too long. Otherwise, you’re good to go. End with 4 rows of k1 p1 across, bind off. Add fringe if you’re that fancy.

Suggestion number one: This would be a good way to learn how to cable. It's easy. Swear.
Suggestion number two: Try cabling without a needle (the fastest way to go). Wendy, of course, has the best instructions HERE.

Enjoy!

Bonus Weekend Post!August 14, 2004

Well, let’s just call this the Monday post, eh? I’ve overbooked myself for Monday anyway.... Why do I DO that? It’s not like I think the day will get any longer. I just like to say yes to things. Yes! Sure! That would be fun! Oh, whoops. Did it again. Two lunches scheduled. But one friend might have a baby on Monday. Yep. I might yet get away with my flagrant overbooking. Just call me Southwest.

What I checked in to say was this:

GINNY’S BACK! She was my first online friend, way back, probably about two years ago. She was the first person to link to me, and I felt like such a superstar because of it. Go tell her hello and welcome her back to the fold.

And this. Wait, better get a helmet or something. There is actually knitting content ahead. (Have you noticed how I seem to have given up blogging about knitting on any regular basis? Thank god the only knit-ring I’m part of is QueerKnit and Amy won’t chuck me out. I don't think.)

I’ve been deep into a Secret Project that involves a lot of mohair. Hey. Maybe THAT’S why my throat hurts. Little tiny bits o’fluff. But I can show you this non-secret project.

DSCN70061

It’s a Guy Scarf. I can’t stand knitting scarves on a normal basis. I don’t wear them much, and I have all I need for when I do. And they’re BORING to make. But this one is keeping me happy. Simple little pattern that I made up as I went along – don’t have to think about it, but it’s interesting knitting, the kind where you glance down to see what you’re doing and your fingers flip from k1p1 to k9 without thinking (typo: tinking. Without that either). It’s going to be a gift for the lovely man who sold Mom and me our Strawberry tickets. He wanted a scarf in burgundy. I think I now know that I’m not really sure I know what burgundy is. This might be maroon. Is there a difference? But I like it. Actually, I kinda want to keep it. That’s always a good sign. (Using Rowan Cork from Article Pract. Ooooh. Love this stuff. Light and smooshy, but soft.)

Digit is perched on one wrist. My wrist, I mean. That’s fifteen pounds that must be lifted to type. Good thing my wrists are strong. He likes the scarf, too:

DSCN70081

We have a six-mile run tomorrow, but I think the splints are just too bad. Going to skip the run, and I’m not going to feel badly about it (she said determinedly). I need to heal a bit this week.

I have NO plans for this evening. I’m going to sit and knit. Maybe have a beer or two. A friend said he’d call to go play, but I might blow him off. (That preposition is a really important one, innit?) I think a night of lying low might be good for me. I’m fighting a sore throat, and I’m just tired. A good, foggy night to stay in with kitties and books and yarn.

Speaking of kitties, check out this belly:

DSCN70021

That, right there, is my ultimate sleep goal.

The Friday Thankin' My Peeps ShowAugust 13, 2004

And MORE thanks go to:

Ann -- you are so cute.
Sonja -- hooray!
Stephannie R -- yay!
Carolyn -- yippee!
Juliette -- Wow! You rock!

'Course I ain't running today. I swear. I promise. (Somebody tie me to the couch....)

Happy, happy weekend, all.

OuchAugust 12, 2004

If anyone knows where I can buy some damn patience, would you please let me know? Like, right now?

So the PT who made my orthotics (I keep almost saying prosthetics) warned me not to run on them right away. So I didn't. I waited a whole day. I wore them to work Tuesday night to break them in. I figure it's always a wise idea to break in new shoe products by sitting in them. Yep.

Then yesterday I slapped them in my new running shoes and went to the lake. I ran. I hurt. A lot. So I ran some more, like a dumb-ass. I ran until I got blisters on both insteps and until my shins were burning like my toast did this morning. I don't know what I was thinking, really I don't. I think I may have been hoping for a miracle, for the moment that I shifted into Orthotic Cure Land, where the inserts suddenly aligned my body and I ran like the wind. (Typo: ran like the wine. That's good, too.) Welp, I never got to that promised land, I only got seriously out of sorts.

The problem with the lake is that it's round(ish). Funny thing, that. Usually I enjoy that geometrical aspect. I like that I can run three miles without running 1.5, turning around, and re-doing the same 1.5. You know how I feel about frogging. I hate to re-do. So the lake is perfect for me. Usually. Yesterday, I got to the far side, and I hurt too much to keep running. So I had to walk. My car was sooo far away and I felt like I was six years old and I had fallen on the blacktop with no adults around. I was so discouraged I felt like crying. And I was so MAD at myself.

I hate being angry. Especially at myself. I had had very little sleep after waking early in the afternoon and lying there, that list of Things That Must Be Done spinning in my head. Do you ever get up in order to shut that noise off and then once you're up you realize that nothing was really that pressing? You could have stayed in bed that extra necessary hour or two?

So when I got home from the (non)run I iced my legs, drank some water, and got into bed again. I stayed there for the next two hours. I didn't sleep, because I'm very bad at sleeping, as has been established, but I felt better when I got up. I ate a tuna sandwich and had some coffee, and all was right with the world again. They're just shin splints. They're just blisters. Ain't no thang. Have you SEEN the Olympian runners? Their spinning legs make me ashamed to complain.

Little Mama, I know you'll call me because of this post, but I swear I'll take it easy. Pool running for me for a little while. Sigh. I hate pool running.

But I love running. Really. On a good day, I totally adore the feeling. At least I haven't forgotten that. And apparently I haven't forgotten how to make a kick-ass tuna sandwich (garnished with cherry tomatoes from the garden). That'll get a girl through.

Ouch

If anyone knows where I can buy some damn patience, would you please let me know? Like, right now?

So the PT who made my orthotics (I keep almost saying prosthetics) warned me not to run on them right away. So I didn't. I waited a whole day. I wore them to work Tuesday night to break them in. I figure it's always a wise idea to break in new shoe products by sitting in them. Yep.

Then yesterday I slapped them in my new running shoes and went to the lake. I ran. I hurt. A lot. So I ran some more, like a dumb-ass. I ran until I got blisters on both insteps and until my shins were burning like my toast did this morning. I don't know what I was thinking, really I don't. I think I may have been hoping for a miracle, for the moment that I shifted into Orthotic Cure Land, where the inserts suddenly aligned my body and I ran like the wind. (Typo: run like the wine. That's good, too.) Welp, I never got to that promised land, I only got seriously out of sorts.

The problem with the lake is that it's round(ish). Funny thing, that. Usually I enjoy that geometrical aspect. I like that I can run three miles without running 1.5, turning around, and re-doing the same 1.5. You know how I feel about frogging. I hate to re-do. So the lake is perfect for me. Usually. Yesterday, I got to the far side, and I hurt too much to keep running. So I had to walk. My car was sooo far away and I felt like I was six years old and I had fallen on the blacktop with no adults around. I was so discouraged I felt like crying. And I was so MAD at myself.

I hate being angry. Especially at myself. I had had very little sleep after waking early in the afternoon and lying there, that list of Things That Must Be Done spinning in my head. Do you ever get up in order to shut that noise off and then once you're up you realize that nothing was really that pressing? You could have stayed in bed that extra necessary hour or two?

So when I got home from the (non)run I iced my legs, drank some water, and got into bed again. I stayed there for the next two hours. I didn't sleep, because I'm very bad at sleeping, as has been established, but I felt better when I got up. I ate a tuna sandwich and had some coffee, and all was right with the world again. They're just shin splints. They're just blisters. Ain't no thang. Have you SEEN the Olympian runners? Their spinning legs make me ashamed to complain.

Little Mama, I know you'll call me because of this post, but I swear I'll take it easy. Pool running for me for a little while. Sigh. I hate pool running.

But I love running. Really. On a good day, I totally adore the feeling. At least I haven't forgotten that. And apparently I haven't forgotten how to make a kick-ass tuna sandwich (garnished with cherry tomatoes from the garden). That'll get a girl through.

August 11, 2004

And my sister Bethany posted! She's back on line! I'm off to read....

Brief post today, just a few thoughts:

1) Thanks for the great response to the post yesterday! It wasn't an expected epiphany. Well, which are? I suppose that would negate the whole epiphanic premise (I really like the word epiphanic).
2) Go see my friend MJ at her new spot HERE. She's so worth knowing.
3) Anyone in the Bay Area want a job at Art Fibers? (You'd be crazy not to. Heck, I'm thinking about it.) There's a full-time spot opening up (no, Kira's not leaving, they're just busy as hell). You should be quick, flexible, and know yarn and knitting. For more, just call 'em. Or see the CL post HERE.
4) Go see Mare's incredible hotty cover. Mine ain't got nothin' on hers.
5) Love somebody up today, 'kay?

Surprised Navel-GazingAugust 10, 2004

Do you know about this? Do you?! Folk Alley. Go there if you’ve got high-speed internet and listen all day. I haven’t heard any commercials (but some interesting commentary), and so far this morning I’ve heard Stan Rogers, learned about Judith Edelman (oooh), and heard Ani DiFranco do Guthrie’s “Do Re Mi” backed up by David Rawlings and Gillian Welch. I’m still not sure whether I liked that one or not (I think I would have preferred the front singer to be the backup and vice versa), but it was REALLY interesting. This is enough to make me buy good speakers for this computer. Finally. Oooh, Capercaillie now. It’s more folk than bluegrass/old time, but it’s good.

I’m gearing up and into this day slowly. Really slowly. I’m meeting a friend for breakfast (at noon, my favorite kind of breakfast), and then I’m going to pick up my orthotics and practice walking. And damn, I just realized that I have to be out of here in twenty minutes. Haven’t showered yet, nor have I put in my laundry, so I’ll finish this later.

*** Didn’t even notice I was gone, did you? Lord, I have had WAY too much coffee now. You know that speedy feeling? Like you need to wash the dishes do the laundry wash the car right this very moment, except your brain cells don’t cooperate and you end up standing in the living room, doing the floppy fish thing with your hands? What was I doing? What was I doing? What was I doing?

Breathe. In. Out. Look at the two cats snoozing in the sun on the dining table. (Aside: Way to know a gal is all right: Your cat drinks from her water glass, and when you remove it to get her a new one, she says she doesn’t mind. Way to know you’ve lived alone for a long time: You actually start to give the glass back.)

Okay, I’ll just sit here a minute and decaffeinate. I had breakfast (I suppose we should call it brunch) with one of my good pals, the Dude. He’s a good sounding board, and I hope I provide the same for him. We like to go to this place that serves a screaming crab benedict, and the waitresses are all of Scandinavian descent, so I let them fill my coffee cup as often as they like. Problem is, I drink it.

The restaurant is out in San Ramon. To get there, for those of you not familiar with the Bay Area, I leave Oakland and go through the Caldecott Tunnel. On the other side of the tunnel, the air is usually twenty degrees hotter than in Oakland, the people seventy percent whiter, and eighty percent wealthier. There are a lot of malls. The Dude lives in a beautiful house, but it’s in a cookie-cutter development (and he’s really not a cookie-cutter guy). I believe most things on that side of the tunnel are little boxes made of ticky-tacky. I feel badly about my feelings for that side of the hill—it’s a kind of reverse snobbery. The rich live out there. They have lots of Starbucks and Pottery Barns. They have very good schools. And I only breathe half as deeply when I’m out there.

I used to date this computer engineer guy, a lifetime ago. If I had stayed with him, I would have been taken care of, fed, and housed in one of those homes. I probably would have had my nails done once a week. I would have worked for charity when not shuttling my children to their sports activities. Would I have driven an SUV? Not sure; I certainly hope not, but it’s not outside the realm of possibility.

Oh, lord, I think for the very first time (you watched it happen), I just realized why I am made so uncomfortable by that type of living. I always wondered vaguely if I were jealous of it, knowing that if it’s what everyone else wants, shouldn’t I want it too? Shouldn’t I want the nice, new home, and the nice, new car, in the nice, safe neighborhood? What’s wrong with me that I so unequivocally don’t want those things?

I have just this moment realized that it was my very narrow miss that makes me react like this, like there’s MSG in the very air. I suffocated every time I stayed at that boyfriend’s condo, every time I let myself in with the key that might have fit a thousand other properties, every time we ate dinner at the chain restaurant down the road and browsed in the chain bookstore right next to it. It was a sweet life, but I never fit into it. I was always almost breaking the rules, wanting to, dying to (but I never did, to my eternal regret).

That's why I get scared out there. That's why I feel like I can’t breathe on that side of the tunnel. I adore my friend and his house, and I’m glad he has them for himself. Some of my very best friends have gorgeous homes that I know they enjoy and deserve. (And god knows I don’t mean any insult to those of you to whom this lifestyle brings happiness. More power to you.) But in rejecting that life, I found the life I wanted, and it’s scary to see how close I came to losing myself.

Damn. See what coffee does to a girl? All I wanted to do was laundry today, not cross-examine my motivations for my life choices. Gah.

I want to knit now, in my little apartment with its backyard garden, and the sun coming in the windows, the sliding glass door letting in the dust motes to dance.

It’s hardcore folk, but Joni Mitchell is playing now, singing “Both Sides Now.” Hmmmm.

12!August 9, 2004

Twelve miles! That’s just ridiculous, I’m convinced of that. We met up in the City, out by the windmill at Ocean Beach, and broke into our small groups for the run. The organization always has the run marked out, so we took off and didn’t think much. My little group of three was very chatty yesterday, catching up on each others’ doings, and must have missed a sign, because suddenly we were very, very lost in Golden Gate park. We went up and through, and found our way out to 19th Avenue, knowing we should have been at 37th instead. That was whoops number one. Whoops number two was passing mile marker 2 after we’d been running for an hour and a half. We’re slow, but I could push my car faster than that. We ended up being very creative with our run, still managing to get our 12 miles in, and I think the scenery was better, too. We went right by the soccer fields, where about two hundred young Irish lads had their shirts off. See, we would have missed that, going the Right Way.

What I love about running in the City is that it’s always so dark and drippy in the mornings in summer. Perfect running weather. I get very grumpy running in the sun. And today I feel all right. The legs hurt, but I finally broke down and ordered custom-made orthotics, which should be in tomorrow. Those should help. I think my new shoes helped, too. I also think I’m WAY over shelling out all this money for my feet. Hopefully that was the last blow for a while.

Oh, here’s me, right after. Giddy. Proud. Sticky. Tired. I should have got Marama in the shot, but she was talking to one of her teammates at the moment I took my phone out.

photlkhs41

And now, darlings, I’m back to bed. Yesterday I didn’t get much sleep before the run. Then I ran, and hung out with Marama, and then had a date with the cute banjo knitter, so I actually didn’t have that much sleep last night, either. (Wink. But I did have excellent dal and got to watch Breakfast at Tiffany’s—it had been so long since I’d seen it that it was all new again. Gawd, I love that movie.) So right now, I think I’ll take a wee siesta. It’s foggy and overcast, my favorite sleeping weather. Digit really wants a cuddle, and who am I to deny him that?

Bad MemoryAugust 6, 2004

I’ve been knitting furiously on something that I can’t show you. I kind of hate that. But it’s rather liberating, too. I can just knit away. Because it’s a project I’m doing for someone else (but it’s not a gift), I’m using a mostly mohair blend, something I don’t use very often. I usually hate the way it flies up my nose and sticks there, a fuzzy snuffly feeling. But this stuff—oooh, it’s light and soft and not sheddy in the slightest.

Isn’t your interest piqued now? Hmmm? You’ll see it someday, promise.

Thanks for the sweet comments, sweets. They did help. Sometimes it’s nice to have a grump, isn’t it? That’s what I love most about living alone—the ability to scowl and thump and bump and humph, annoying no one but myself. My cats just turn around three times and go sleep with their backs to me.

I keep remembering things that I mean to blog about and then promptly forget them again. I’ll be filling a water bottle and think, “Must mention that movie…. Oh, look at that funny bug… Hmm. Wonder what I’ll have for dinner.” Poof. Gone again, for about six hours. I used to have more brain cells. That was before the dentist’s laughing gas.

So:

First, rent Before Sunrise. A babyfaced Ethan Hawke walks the streets of Vienna for a night with a beautiful French girl, played by Julie Delpy. You remember? It was the quintessential movie for 20-somethings backpacking through Europe in the early 90s. (Wait, didn’t I meet you at that hostel in Berlin? Or was it in Dublin? Remember that drunk Aussie with the machete?)

Then, go see Before Sunset. It’s the sequel, nine years later, now in theatres. This time, they walk the streets of Paris for 80 minutes of real time, just talking. Now, I usually have a great big problem with Ethan Hawke in that I think he’s normally too smarmy to bear, but he’s just right in both movies. And Delpy, I don’t care if she just sits there and says nothing. Don’t. Care.

Okay, check that off the list. I remembered that one.

Oh, yeah, tons more thanks are due to the supporters of Team 911:

Lisa S.
Silvia L.
Carrie C.
Janine B. (Wow!)

Watch us RUN, baybees. Honestly, you should see the grins Marama and I throw at each other when we read the names…. Oh, thank you thank you THANK you. (If one of those is you, and you have a website, hit me up, and I’ll link it. I have my suspicions who some of you are, but I don’t want to link willy-nilly. What if I linked someone with a similar name to someone who didn’t donate—embarrassing for all parties. You know? I’m thinking too much, I know.)

Twelve miles this Sunday! Good lord. I’m going to deserve a LOT of ice cream.

Happy weekend, all. Mwah!

HarumphAugust 5, 2004

It’s hot today. I would check the internet and find out just how hot it is in Oakland, but I’m at present running two more deep scans on my computer and I’m writing this off-line. Yesterday I screwed up and tried to download Yahoo Messenger. I think something rode in piggyback when I did that because all the horrible spyware attacked again.

I’m so eternally sick of not being able to control my computer. Even running the cleaners in Safe mode at boot-up hasn’t worked today. I’ve been scowling at the screen for almost an hour. I’m willing to give it about one more half-hour and then I want to be on the couch, icing my legs before work.

Too hot. Grumpy. (I know, relatively speaking, that many of you live in the humid hot areas, and I’ve got nothing to complain about—and yet I keep complaining. What’s up with that?)

This is how we all slept today:

DSCN69971

Is that tail perfection, or what?

I’ve got nothing interesting to say. I mean it.

An hour of computer fighting later: Grump. I keep erasing paragraphs, because they're too grumpy. They make me feel worse. I need to get over my grumpy-ass shin-splint self and suck it up. I hate feeling like this. It so rarely happens, and I’m so bad at it. I wish I could just have a big tantrum and get it over with, but instead I’ll just probably be vaguely dissatisfied all night.

I can’t even type one freaking sentence without the gremlins grabbing control of my cursor. I HAVE to get in the shower now and go to work. I think I took care of most of the problems, but it took a couple of hours. Sigh. I'm going to just stare at that picture of Adah instead of doing anything else. Yeah.

Squeaky CleanAugust 4, 2004

Honestly. When I called the dentist’s office yesterday to request a cleaning and check-up with Carol, I assumed there would be a four month wait to see her, as there usually is. For me, that’s just about enough time to get myself psyched up for the visit. So I was rather jolted when she said “We’ve had a cancellation. Can you be here in an hour?”

“TODAY?”

“Isn’t that great?”

Oh, just peachy. My first thought was that I hadn’t been afforded that Week of Panic before the dentist where you actually dig the floss from the bottom of the medicine cabinet and realize the last time you used it was to hang the windchime that MJ sent you, and you attempt to clean your teeth many times a day, every day, during that last fatal week, so when you go in the dentist will love you and want to be your friend. Or something like that. Wait, you don’t do that? Ahem.

I thought about saying that I was having surgery or a baby in about an hour and would have to miss out of the dentistly fun, but then I thought of the list I had JUST made, and decided to be a big girl and suck it up. Plus, I promised myself a trip to the South Pacific store afterwards, and two boxes of TimTams. I ain’t stoopid.

Big girl that I am, I am calm now when I get my teeth cleaned. This is because I know how ridiculous is to be scared. This is because I know that it likely won’t hurt and that I should just relax and enjoy the privilege I am afforded by even having the option to get my teeth cleaned.

Okay, that’s a bunch of crap. Really, I’m calm when I go because Carol gets me LOADED on nitrous. I mean spinning-high. It’s awesome. I love love love the feeling. I still freak out when they hit a sensitive spot, but it’s such a short freak out. Oooooh, ow! Ahhhh, back into listening to “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” and getting deep sleepy meaning from it. I like it when I can’t feel my knees.

Even before the option to partake was taken away from me by the line of work I chose, I never really dabbled much in mind-altering methods. I preferred a good gin buzz to anything else. But hell, if it’s legal, short-acting, AND you get your teeth clean in the process? Bring it. But I might bring a walkman or something next time. Muzak on nitrous is noxious.

DustAugust 3, 2004

All right, so the truth is I could barely walk yesterday. Shin splints are weird things. Yesterday they kinda wrapped up around my knee and said, “Hey, Stupid! You’re a damn knitter! Get a clue!” So I said take this! And walked briskly around the block. After trying all day to ease the muscle pain with various remedies, the walk was the only thing that did it. Motion for motion. Always a good thing, y’think?

But the rest of the day yesterday? I had such a good time. I spent most of it on my couch, either with my legs up on the wall, or nested up on pillows. I knitted a LOT. I watched plenty of TV. I read half a book. I got in my bed at four and pulled up the blanket at the foot of the bed (because it’s not a nap if you get IN the bed, or at least it’s not to people who work midnights. Sleeping in the bed during the day is just sleep). I’m a horrible napper, though, and my cats are horrible nap-enablers. Adah decided at 4:15 that it was time for dinner and walked over me, again and again. Crying. Howling. Whining. Stopping long enough for me to believe that she might be giving up, and then starting again. I actually yelled at her at one point and felt terrible about it. One, I just don’t yell, and I know I wasn’t convincing. Two, yelling at a cat? That’s low.

So the nap was unsuccessful. But the resting wasn’t. Damn, I’ve wanted a day like that for a long time. The only thing wrong with a day like that is that it doesn’t make you want a similar day any less. Confusing sentence. You know what I mean. Then yesterday evening was spent with a banjo girl, so that was nice, too. Cain’t beat a big-ass burrito, ice cream, happy dogs, and “Cluck Old Hen,” played clawhammer, and fast. Nope.

And now, today. Tuesdays are my days to get everything done. Today is laundry-doing and grocery-shopping and phone-call-making and house-cleaning, and that’s all before I go in to work tonight. But I’d still like to be on the couch. I am, at heart, extremely lazy. Really, I am. You know what I’ve put off recently? This is only a partial list of the things I need to do or schedule TODAY:

Take cats to the vet.
Go to the dentist.
Call realtor with awkward questions.
Get the car a tune-up, an oil change, a smog check, fix the front headlight, and pay the registration that’s four months late (oh, and a wash wouldn’t hurt, either).
Buy toilet paper (I’m two squares from a kleenex moment).
Put a zipper in that last sweater.

I know there are more things that need to be done today, but I’m too lazy to find the list. This is true. Dude, I am able to put off procrastination. I may knit a lot, but there are dust tumbleweeds under my couch. Good thing I rested up yesterday.

Ten!August 2, 2004

It’s late Sunday night. Dunno, might be Monday morning. Oh, yeah, it is. I’ve got fiddle music playing low in the corner, and half a glass of red wine to my left hand. Adah and Digit are both sleeping, sensible creatures that they are. I’ve been catching up on my TV watching (doesn’t that make it sound onerous? It wasn’t). I had three Six Feet Unders stacked up, and Oh. My. God. That’s the only show during which I weep, and it’s not usually anything major that elicits the tears—it’s usually a glance between the siblings, or the mother sitting on a sofa, staring ahead. I’ve only had a total of one glass of wine—I can’t blame it on that. It’s just such a good show.

Dang.

My friend Marama and I ran ten miles today. I know! I’m terribly impressed myself. It was actually ten miles plus a little—we didn’t have an exact mileage, but it was a bit over. I like to think it was four(ish) miles over, but it was probably more like a quarter-mile or so more than ten. We ran around Bayfarm Island and then out to the ferry terminal and back again. The best view in the world, I tell you. Long paths along grassy areas, nothing ahead of you but the bay and the San Francisco skyline, the Bay Bridge, and Alameda. Sailboats. Pelicans. One lone, tall heron. A million squirrels. A few bunnies. One jackrabbit. We saw more wildlife than I’ve seen in months. (It was a little unnerving, actually.)

Ten miles is a long way, yo. But it only took us two and a half hours, and that’s including stretching and bathroom breaks. That doesn’t sound too bad to me. Actually, sounds pretty damn good. Then, of course, I’m struck with the thought that while we were running, looking at the City, Mariko was running IN the city, in the Chronicle Marathon. I believe she finished the 26.2 miles in three hours and forty-three minutes, according to Joanna. Holy crap. I can guarantee you that had I run another hour and thirteen minutes, I would have completed maybe half that much. Can you imagine? She rocks!

She and Joanna and I went into the City (yes, it DOES have to be capitalized) yesterday afternoon.

DSCN69911

Joanna was signed up for the 5K and Mariko for the full monty, and they both needed to pick up their packets. I just wanted to watch how registration went for a Great Big Marathon.

DSCN69921

It was pretty cool, actually. Did you know there’s a computerized chip that you pick up, that tracks when you start and when you finish? And I’ve heard that you can actually track on line where a runner is in our marathon. I don’t know if I want to tell you all how to watch me run in December. You’ll see every pitstop I make..... Every time I sit on the sidewalk and cry..... Eh. Shaking it off. Okay.

Then of course, since we were downtown and Mariko had never been to Mecca (as Ann calls it), we had to make a journey. I bought nothing. Neither did Joanna. Mariko took care of that for us. Hee. (That’s the sound of the enabler’s guilty giggle.) Then we headed back to Oakland, where we hit Article Pract. I think I was the only one to buy anything there. I need to make a scarf for the lovely, lovely man who is selling me two tickets to Strawberry Music Festival, and I’m making a Secret Thingie, too. All to be revealed in good time. Cromarty works apace, although she seems to go NOWHERE. I’m about half-way done with the front, the last piece. And I made a pair of socks last week for my dear friend Trish’s birthday. They had been on the needles a while, but they flew off when I put my mind to it (that, strangely enough, was right about the same time I realized I had missed said birthday. Damn it). I have to tell you: Bernat Denim Style is fabulous for thick QUICK socks. Machine washable and dryable. Who knew? I just pulled one ball out of my stash, and I’m so happy I did. And no wrong can be found with Wendy’s pattern.

Ack! I forgot to list and thank the Skinny Rabbit for sponsoring me, too! How could I have missed that? She bowls me over on a continual basis with her knitting and her beautiful boy and her dancing, so thanks, Becky! Mwah!

Enough typing. I think I’m tired. Oh, yeah. Ten MILES! And the shins aren’t bad at all. Swear. Ya-hooo!