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26 posts from January 2005

January 31, 2005

This is how gosh-durn lazy I am right now. I'm on the couch, computer on my lap, knitting to my right, phone to my left, and I just took a picture of my knitting with the crap-qual camera-phone, instead of getting up to take a high-resolution photo. But that's the way it goes on Monday mornings (which are my version of your Sunday mornings. Only I get a Sunday morning with Lala, too, now that I'm not getting up at 6am to go train. I'm spoiled.)

So here's the pattern I'm working on:


It's the bottom band of a vee-neck sweater I'm making -- the sleeves, already done, have the same motif at the ends. The yarn is a wonderful alpaca from ArtFibers called Jadis. It's going to be a store model for them, and Kira wrote the pattern using their program, to which I added the colorwork.

It's fun.

I'm boring. Sleepy. Lazy. Oh, yeah.

Helped sister Christy move this weekend, into an apartment on Ivy Hill in Oakland that I absolutely covet. I mean, if I didn't have my own sweet little home, I would, for the first time in memory, be jealous. You walk into the foyer, and there are dark carved wooden support beams with iron-work detail. Big, dark slate floors, and inlaid ceilings. Then you walk down the hall (which is the best-smelling hall ever, spice and cocoa and a little Trader Joes-ish), and her door, get this, her door is a dark wood arch with ROPE around the outside, as are all the doors in the castle/ship building.

Inside, she has this amazing green tile in the kitchen that should be hideous, but is gorgeous instead, and a huge living room with windows that overlook all the roofs near the Parkway, and she has a tub with a window over it, and a big ole bedroom with a big ole closet, and let's not forget the gigantor closet in the living room that has two doors that used to house (and sadly doesn't anymore) a Murphy bed.

Oh. Oh, oh, oh. She deserves it. I fear, however, that when Bethany comes into town later this week, Christy will no longer be living alone.

All right. Off to give Digit the love he says he's never received, ever.


Friday FunJanuary 28, 2005

Waxing and whining.

(Work safe, and SO funny.)
Link via Scamper.

Y'all have a good weekend, okay? I've no plans beyond helping my sister Christy move (and Bethany's ON the move, coming home the long way!) so I'll be resting and hanging out and I'm HAPPY about that. No wax for me, thank you. Razors, they're just fine.


Quick!January 27, 2005

Distract yourself from the unpleasantness below, which is now happily behind us, by going to see Lala's dogs, who are, as Carrie would say, perfect schmoos. Don't forget that the wet wee dog is only a little bigger than your HAND.

Moving On

So I wrote an email  to the carpet guy. It was a good email saying "I know you were sick, I gave you two months to respond by mail, perhaps email is a better method for you. I'd love to hear why I haven't ever heard from you, by phone or by mail." I attached the old letter as a reminder, in case he had never received it, since I knew his office help was stunningly unhelpful.

I got an email back.

It said I was free to pay for the $750 polygraph to prove that his employee (who wouldn't lie) was telling the truth about not burglarizing my home.

I sat on the couch for a while and thought about how freaking MAD I was. Then I called him. A woman answered the cell phone, but I bamboozled my way around her, "Who is this?" "Oh, this is Ruth, returning his phone call." "What call?" "His call. This is Ruth." "Ruth?" "Returning his phone call. This is Ruth." But every time I said Ruth, I kind of mumbled it, until she gave up in frustration and handed him the phone.

"Hi, Michael," I said very clearly. "This is Rachael."

You could almost hear the "oh, shit," in his pause.

We proceeded to argue for the next twenty minutes. And I hate arguing. He went on and on about how he believed his employee, and how I was just trying to get a free carpet cleaning, and how every time he had talked to me before this he had told me that -- "YOU HAVE NEVER TALKED TO ME IN YOUR WHOLE LIFE BECAUSE YOU HAVE NEVER CALLED ME BACK!"

He insisted we'd had more than a few conversations in the past. He also accused me of being a scam artist, at which point, I do have to admit, I said, "You are an IDIOT." But I don't think he heard me. Even if he did....

It didn't end well. He never, ever saw my point that had he just been polite, the first time I called, I would have let it drop, months ago. But somehow, I feel better, just knowing that he's an asshole. You know? The world is full of them, and I wasn't being ignored anymore. Oh, he wasn't ignoring me, boy howdy. I did threaten that I would publish his unlisted phone number on my site and have YOU all call him, but I think that would reach right over into meanness, and I'm trying to stay on this side of nice. Trying.

But. In the post below, I give my review of his service and company. I've researched libel and slander, and he can't sue me for the things I wrote. (Aside - I was interested to read here that I can freely call him an asshole, because name-calling cannot be proved true or false. Heh.)

And I can't wait to be the first hit when google-searched for info on carpet cleaning in this area. And I'm happy to share my review.

Worst Carpet Cleaner in Oakland

Consumer Review of Carpet Master Chem-Dry, Oakland
Rated: Worst service I've ever received.

I found this company when searching for carpet cleaners in Oakland. On November 2nd, 2004, I had them come out and clean my carpets. The job was adequately done. The employee, Courtney, left his billing folder with my signed charge slip inside my home when we left. He called me and told me he had left it inside, and asked when he could come pick it up. I told him I'd go home after work at 5am and leave it outside for him for him to pick up at his convenience.

When I returned home, my house had been burgled by an unknown suspect, the bathroom screen pried off, the sliding door standing open, the back gate broken. The only thing missing in a house full of things being packed and money left lying on the counter? The folder.

After making a police report, I called to complain. Instead of the owner, Michael Lane, returning my call, the employee Courtney called, telling me he would never break into my home, and that I was only trying to ruin him.

I called the business repeatedly over the course of several weeks. The office help, Susan, was unhelpful and rude. She said on a daily basis that Mr. Lane would call me back, but he never did.

I sent a letter to Mr. Lane, now forwarded on to his franchise board and the Better Business Bureau, and in response, Susan called, saying that Mr. Lane would write me a letter taking care of it. Instead, I got a form response letter, "How did we do? On a scale of one to ten, rank our service." I was too insulted to even bother mailing it in.

On January 27, 2005, I finally reached the owner, only by finding his personal cell phone and email in a job advertisement he posted on Craigslist. He said that I could pay for a polygraph test to prove that his employee was innocent of my charges. He was rude, uncourteous, and disrespectful. He insisted that I was a scam artist, maintaining this even when I removed my request for reimbursement, telling him all I wanted was an apology and certain level of professional courtesy.

I have given up hoping for this. But hopefully this post will help someone deciding whom to hire. Should you need help dealing with this company, please contact me at writerach406 at yahoo dot com. Carpet Master Chem-Dry is the worst, not the best, carpet cleaner in Oakland.

* This is a personal review only. This is not libel, as a statement alleged to be defamatory must also be a false statement of fact. And yo. I couldn't make this shit up.



My phone's on the fritz at home, which means I have no internet, either. I'm not really sure how the TiVo's working, since I thought the capturing of programs worked over the phone, but I'm getting shows, thank goodness.

Called PacBell -- they said they'd be out between 1pm and 5pm yesterday, which meant I got up with little sleep, not enjoying the prospect of greeting the guy at the door wearing nothing but a robe. Of course, at 5:30 I called and they said, "Oh, he came by at 4:30! He noted that you weren't home and that your phone line is fine."

I was home, I was watching the front porch, and my phone line wasn't fine. Bah. "Can he come back out?"

A chipper, "Nope!"


"Sure, with a 1pm to 5pm window."

Cool. I always enjoy that when I go to bed at 8am.

This little, minor glitch got me all worked up and thinking about the carpet guy. Not even that much about the carpet guy, but about the fact that the owner never called me back, not once. I didn't want the guy prosecuted or fired, I just wanted an apology from the owner. Dude. So then I was lying in the bath getting ALL pissed off, wanting to take a deep breath and just let it GO, already, but I couldn't.

Do you ever have those fights in your mind? They're way worse when you're fighting in your head with a loved one -- I always fight the battle from every possible angle, finding the winning stance, and then getting more irate as I try to file what they could say next to what I will say when the moment arises. So that wasn't like this.

But I lay there, thinking of how I could get an audience with the owner. I could fake a delivery of balloons. I could call, saying I was the media. I could say I was the mayor giving him a commendation. Anything to get him on the phone, since he neither takes nor receives calls. Lying, however, I usually find is a bad idea, so I let go of those.

Lala told me simply to write yet another letter. She's right. I'm going to do that. Again. An apology for extremely unprofessional behavior is all I want. Or even a fight would be acceptable! I just hate being ignored.

But it ain't enough to get all (literally) hot under the collar like I did. I'm going to write another letter to the owner and hope he has some decency in him. Somewhere. And then I'll let it go again. If I don't do something, I'll end up lying in bed, unable to sleep, fantasizing about showing up at his work, with a couple of big ole mean ugly-looking cops (and I do know a bunch of them, believe you me) and see what he has to say THEN, huh? That's the part of me I don't like. So I'll write a note and let it go for another couple of months.

So if I'm offline for a while longer, please forgive me. I'm probably fighting with the phone company.

**Added later - While it would be nice to use police resources to track the owner down, it would also be illegal and I would never jeopardize my job like that. Really. But the internet? Now there's a tool I can use. I just found a two-week old craigslist want-ad with his personal email listed, along with his cell phone. Letter has been sent. Phone call to follow. Oh, that was a satisfying find.

Long-Assed, Lots of StuffJanuary 25, 2005

Oh, so much to tell you! I have not been blogging, but not because I am a Lazy Blogger (which is usually the case when I'm absent without leave), but because I have been a Very Busy Blogger. Too busy, in fact, to even check email, let alone blog. If I owe you email, please forgive me. It'll be a'comin'....

And a Responsible Blogger would parcel out the fun stuff, would make three posts of this, but I am not responsible. I am a Frivolous Blogger, and plan to frivol all over this post.

First. The March on Saturday.

It was really kind of amazing. First of all, Lala and I got there at right about the right time, had it been a peace march, which it wasn't. The rally was at 10, the march started at 11, so we got there about 11:20, expecting the people to be just starting to move. There was no one there! The streets were full of bored-looking tourists and street vendors. We asked a cop (Lala told me to boss him around, but I restrained myself), and he pointed, "They went that way, right at 11. I hear they're at 3rd now -- you can still catch 'em."

We realized that this march had been planned by mothers, not peace activists, thus it had left on time and in an orderly manner. We marvelled.

We caught up with them, and marched to Embarcadero, happy to see so many. Then they did something that we didn't quite get (yet) -- they stopped us marching and spread us out on the sidewalk, from Pier One down to Thirty-Nine. The pro-life march was coming, and instead of them yelling at us from the sidelines, as usually happens, it was our turn to line THEIR route.

Here, you can see them coming:


And then they're here:


You can see the same guy with the rosary here:


The cops were SUPER vigilant about keeping them within their lines, but you can see how incredibly close we all are to each other.

It was really something unimaginable, to be standing on the sidewalk, chanting "Back alleys, no more, abortion rights for rich and poor" or "Our bodies, our lives, our right to decide," right INTO the faces of people who believe so differently. Looking right at them. Into their eyes. There were moments of anger, moments of humor (like the little girl who marched with her tongue stuck out at us the whole time -- oh, she was so MAD that everyone was laughing), and moments of compassion. One woman in a wheelchair looked at me and then raised her fingers in the peace sign. Lala and I raised our hands in peace back to her. There were a lot of peace signs, actually. But that was the one that connected, that hit my heart.

Oh, there were so many MEN in that march.

They didn't chant, or sing, or yell, and most surprisingly of all, there were none of those horrific maddening pictures of aborted fetuses. Apparently they'd been given a last minute directive to tone it down, and I think it had a lot to do with how peacefully it went. Two people ended up getting arrested, which wasn't bad, considering that the cops had two city buses standing by as paddy wagons (which got covered in NARAL stickers as they moved slowly along):


This was taken after their march had gone by -- our march followed them, which created a bottleneck at Fisherman's Wharf, and they had to take another route to their rally site -- this was, I believe, the goal. Lala and I, however, left at this point, fearing both violence (which didn't happen) and that ArtFibers would run out of yarn (also, didn't happen, but it's better to be safe than sorry).

I'm making a little store model for them. I'll show you as I go. It's got a little bit of fairisle in it, which I started at a dark bar the next night. I am officially crazy. Lala's band The Whoreshoes was playing, and a bunch of my friends came to see her. Two of them passed me right by while I was sitting at the bar, probably because I had my head ducked all the way down until my forehead was practically IN the alpaca. The muttering kept the other crazies away, too. Never attempt charted fairisle in the dark. Believe me.

And did you know that all the Rach(a)els in the whole wide world live in the Bay Area? At one point during the show, there were FOUR of them sitting in a row, while another sang onstage. Last night, at the knit-out, a gal came by to say hi and introduce herself as a reader of this blog, and when she left, Rachel said, "Who was that?" I said, "Dur. That was Rachel!" (Hi, Rachel T.!)

Anywho, the show was fabulous, even though the vocal mikes sucked. I was pretty durn happy, though, that m'girl got one of the good ones, so her "Drinkin' in my Sunday Dress," in which she sings lead AND plays the banjo, sounded great. I didn't get too many good shots, as the curtain was a deep red, but you can see her playing her lap steel in the back:


And after the show:


I look drunk, yes, but I'm not. I was the sober driver (and roadie -- I totally got into being a roadie). Lala, well, you know. She didn't have to drive. Although I do believe she's sober in this photo. This was early.

Damn, she sounded good. And I'm not being (that) prejudiced, really. She's really good. I was struck proud.

And our knit-out! I apologized last night to Laine about all the hearts and flowers on my blog, all the romance mushy stuff that I really do try to keep at a minimum (if you can believe that) and she said, "WHY? That's why I read! You're like my own little romance novel!" So I guess y'all will read over the romantic gushing looking for the knitting content (I had some! Up there! I did!) or you'll close the link with a snap (silly old knitter-in-love), but I can't help it. She's just so durn cyoo-t. And I'm sure she would like you to know that she is Very Tough. Yes, she is. (And cozy.)

So. The knit-out was fabulous (it is at this point I should start another post, but hell, I'm on a roll). The beautiful and fabulous Monica was in town:


and in honor of that, we met up at the New Zealander in Alameda. I think by the end of the night there were about ten of us -- Elizabeth and Stella were the other bloggers there. Also in attendence were Rachel, Kira, Anna, Laine, Martha, Laura in Alameda, Won-Ju, and this guy:


He's also seen here:


We have no clue who he is. He's sitting in Rachel's spot while she takes pictures, and he's pretending to knit. He was very friendly. Hi, guy!

I committed a major foh-pah in the scheduling of the knit-out, though. There's a new knit-bunch in town, and they were meeting at the very same time, just three blocks down the street. What are the odds? So when the New Zealander closed, some of us marched (lot of marching going on) down and joined 'em. The Coffee For Thought Stitch and Bitch, y'all, meets in Alameda (1545 Webster)  at 7pm on Monday nights. They're the ones in the back. The group in the front is a sea-shanty singing group, and I gotta tell you, sea-shanties and knitting go very well together. In a weird SCA kind of way, sure, but they do go well.

Here we are in our new knitting place:


Is it possible this is long enough? Sheesh. I am off to Hoover Floormate my house. It works GREAT, by the way. I've been putting off using it all week, so I can get that gratification of sweeping up LOTS of dust'n'stuff. You know what I mean.



Knit Out Monday!January 21, 2005

Whoo! Just like that! Last minute, I know, but we're freewheeling things, ain't we? Monica of Hollyweird Knits is in town, and let's show her how we play, shall we?

When: This Monday, the 24th, 7pm
Where: The New Zealander, corner of Central and Webster in Alameda (straight through Webster Tube to end of street, it's on your left). I believe they close at 9, so it'll be a short night, but we can always go somewhere else iffen we wanna. (Heh, I just called to make sure they don't mind a bunch of knitters, and the kiwi gal who answered said, "That'd be fine, I should think, as long as they're not too rough." We'll see.)

Email me (link in left sidebar) with questions, or we'll just see you there.


So you want to make it even more political? C'mon. Let's do it.

March for Choice tomorrow!

Tomorrow, Saturday, is the 32nd anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision. There's a big ole march planned by the anti-choice contingent, and the march for choice is a response to that. Monica's coming up from LA, and we'll be wearing our Knitters Against Bush shirts.

Hey! It just hit me! I'm thirty-two. (You would have thought that would have hit me a little sooner, huh?) That's how long women have been able to make choices regarding reproduction, and honey, that ain't long. I'm sure glad Mom chose to carry me to full term (although doing the math, I realize that she HAD to), but I support her right to have made a different decision. Safely. There would have been quite a bit fewer sweaters in the world, however, and that would have been a sad thing....

Honestly? I'm a wee bit worried about the march. I've never worried about my safety during peace marches -- while some people stayed home, worried about terrorists, I always knew the Scary People With Scary Weapons didn't care too much about peaceniks carrying signs on their shoulders and kids on their hips.

But anti-choicers? Dude. Now there are some terrorists. And they (some of them, by no means all) hate people like me. Pro-choicers don't shoot or bomb. Pro-lifers do. And we're going head to head in SF streets, in two separate marches. That's a lot of vitriol in one space.

I'll have my knitting. And my yelling voice. Women's rights -- they WILL be the next thing to go if we don't take action. Pray for peace and act for justice.

Whew. Back to your regularly scheduled pabulum next week, but the serious shit'll hang around a couple of days, kay? Still, MWAH!

Not One Damn DimeJanuary 20, 2005

Fallen soldiers:


All the faces here. I remain ashamed.

Woot!January 18, 2005

Know what I scored over the weekend? This:


The Hoover FloorMate, wet AND dry pickup features. Dude. I've been wanting this forever.

$162.39 at Target.

Know what I got it for?


Yup. Sitting on a sidewalk in Oakland. We were walking back to La's house after coffee, and went to investigate (it had already been spotted on our way out). We had no way of knowing whether or not it worked, but decided we might as well try it, and then a nice lil lady popped out and said, "Hey! It works! My girlfriend and I bought something better, that's the only reason we're throwing it out. Do you need hardwood floor cleaner? Hang on!"

It was rad. Now I have to figger out how to work the sucker. Can you believe I haven't yet? That's only because I started on the Mamluke Socks from Folk Socks, and I've been working on the stranding (and sizing issues -- I've restarted it three times -- I think it's going to be happy on size 0s).

I have a HOOVER! The one I wanted! I need to go buy a lottery ticket. (Also, I have to say I adore a girl who investigates sidewalk goodies with me -- we found her an antique upholstered (gold brocade) chair the other day....)

DixterJanuary 17, 2005

I made a sweater for Lala!


She's doing the Rachael! (Well, yeah. Heh.)


Pattern: Dixter, Jaeger JB20
Yarn: Filatura Di Crosa Primo, Gravel Grey, 15 balls
Gauge: To pattern, 5spi, I think. Maybe 4. Pattern's in the car and I'm lazy.
Needles: 8US. Dude! 8!! I haven't used 8s in forEVER.

She's a cold little thing, so she loves the wool. And I should get a closeup of the buttons -- they're old-west-type stars. We went on a walk around Lake Temescal today with the dogs, and she said she was warm enough. She rarely says that when we're outside on an overcast day.

It's pretty there, look:


And in the heart of Oakland! Who knew?

And one more. I think she likes it:


STEELERS!January 15, 2005

20-17, in overtime.
Yeah, baby.

AndJanuary 14, 2005

I want a iPod shuffle so bad I can't stand it. I don't even have a reg'lar iPod, don't really see the need, but this is small and cheap, and I could run with it, and it would be PSYCHIC. At least I hope it would be. (It doesn't hit Apple stores until the end of the month. Don't ask me how I know.)

In Which I Eat

I ordered yarn. A mess of it. I'm too ashamed to talk about it. More when I'm strong again.

So this is what I remember of what Kira made for me and her wife Rachel the other night. Bhindi masala, which is lovely stir-fried crunchy okra with onions and maybe garlic, mustard seeds, and other spices which I shall not try to remember, for I shall fail. She also (I do have a point here) made us potatoes with peas and lots of Indian spices, and this incredible rice with almonds, cranberries and raisins. Everything worked together. Every flavor supported the next.

I tried to duplicate that two nights ago. Yes, I did. And all shall be impressed when I say that I made a three course meal, just for me. I made: Tater tots, followed by some lovely chicken nuggets. I had ketchup, too. And salt, I believe. And a V8 for health. And then, to top it off? I made peach jello. It is, you know, the very pinnacle of class (say: closs)  to realize that you own a tin of fruit that has made perhaps three moves with you, and that it will go perfectly in that peach jello.

Someone told me that it was the kind of meal with which I should have bought my pint of milk and gone to my hiding place on the playground where the bullies wouldn't find me. I, however, prefer to think of it as truck-stop food, diesels rumbling outside, the waitress calling me "kiddo" and offering me apple pie while she scratches her left ear with her pen.

Before you worry, I do have a salad at least once a week to stave off the scurvy. And I take vitamins. Yep. Health. It's hard work.

Happy weekend, all. Knit! Don't do anything I wouldn't do (which means you can holler at the sliver of the moon, but for god's sake don't think about the [silk] yarn you just ordered).

January 13, 2005

This is an example of how my brain [doesn't] work: Yesterday I decided to test the water pressure in my shower (I never use it -- it's never had enough pressure to warrant use -- I just bathe instead), to see if the plumber, when fixing the leak, had also helped me out in that arena. I turned the water on. Yes, it's a little better. I turned it off.

I turned around, did several things in the bathroom, just tidying up, and then looked at the wall next to the shower. There was WATER running down it, just like the water that's been running down my windows on the inside lately from condensation. This was TERRIBLE. I'd get mold! The walls would crumble! The floors would dissolve! The paint would run!

It seriously took me two minutes of panicked wiping down of the walls to remember I'd turned the shower on. Stunning, really.

In other news, some links for y'all.

Make a womb! Send it to Washington! Support Roe v. Wade! (How many exclamation points can I fit into this post? Watch and see!) Seriously. How great and timely is this? Anyone in?

Dating guidelines from the Rabbit.

And every new baby needs one of these. Really!

Got Sleep?January 12, 2005

I wrote last night at work, yes. But you know when I said I was going to write yesterday afternoon? I didn't. Know why? Because I had another cup of coffee, and leaned over, and fell asleep on the couch. Only woke two hours later when the phone rang. I didn't make it to the phone on time, but I made it to the bed, which is near the phone, so I fell asleep again. I slept for three and a half hours yesterday afternoon.

Then today, after working last night, I slept nine hours. I only woke up because I was dreaming of Maggi's cats, and one was climbing the balcony, and I woke myself by laughing too hard.

This is unlike me. I keep checking my forehead. Am I running a fever? Nope. Do I feel fine? Yep, feel great.

I do not nap. I'm horrible at it. I'm also pretty durn bad at sleeping, period. So this is odd. Lala thinks that her mind-control is starting to work, which might be true, since the girl's the biggest sleeper I've ever known. You could pretty much set up a ten-piece band in her room and she'd sleep through the music. Unless there was a saxophone. That might piss her off enough to wake up.

It's sunny! The first real sun in a week. I'm going running, and then I'm going to write to make up for yesterday's lost words. Unless I conk out again. (I do sometimes write in my dreams, and I write incredible words, sentences that sing with beauty and intelligence and compassion. Then I do the Is-This-A-Dream test by re-reading what I wrote, and it's NEVER the same, and I think, crap. Another writing dream. They beat waitressing dreams, though, hands down. I HATE waitressing dreams. Never enough milk, and you haven't even greeted six tables of expectant faces..... See why I have problems sleeping?)

You deserve a coupla photos, don'tcha? I have no new ones, so here're two from Hawaii.

A sunset (that thing floating out in the water is a surfer):


And these people, who were watching the same sunset:


I love that.

1-11!January 11, 2005

So it's Tuesday, right. Tuesdays are for writing. That's my new thing. I like to get a big ole four-hour chunk done, which propels me into writing for the rest of the week. And if I start by noon, that's fine. But if I start by eleven, then I get a nap before work, so I'm really going to try to prop my eyes open and move my fingers.

Although I might write from bed. Right now I'm on the couch. But the bed is warm. Where IS the heater guy? I called to try to get service through the home warranty and requested a different heater guy, since the last one never showed or called back after he missed the appointment. A different guy called yesterday and said, "So, can we come by at 7am?" I called back and left a message, "No, seven is bad. Noon is good." He called again this morning at six forty-five and asked if he could come by. "No, it's still not a good time. I'm, um, leaving." "Right now?" He could tell by the way that I was barely forming syllables that I probably wasn't going anywhere, but come on, that's just silly. "Right now. I'll be back at noon." He said, "We'll see what we can do," and hung up, so I don't think I really even have an appointment.

All this stuff confuses me.

Kira astounded me again last night. They have this thing about picking the very few things I don't like in life (eggplant, squash) and making it taste great. Last night was okra -- usually slimy, snotty goo, in my book. But they made it into bhindi masala, and it was sublime. Truly. Tangy and spicy and sweet and NO slime at all. I eat better at the vegans' house than I normally ever do. (Also, go out right now and buy some Vegan Chocolate Chip cookies from Trader Joe's. Unreal.)

January 10, 2005

Hey, my mailman's back from vacation! God bless a good mailperson. He knows the days I'm up and the days I sleep (and leaves packages without knocking at the back door if I have the blinds drawn).

And he just brought me a present, from Dear Reader Sparkle, FOLK SOCKS! What a gorgeous, gorgeous book, one that I'm going to read like a novel, from cover to cover, preferably under covers. Perfect. Thanks, darlin'.

Today is my day off. I have errands to run, but nothing immediately pressing. I'm not writing today, either, as I need a day to myself with no Work or work. The space heater is running, and the cats are just now coming down off the refrigerator (dogs just left), and while Adah looks comfortable, Digit has that look on his face like I've hidden a couple of extra dogs under the bed to scare him with later. He's not buying my innocent routine.

Weekend: Great. I went out drinking on Saturday night with m'girl, to a birthday party at Tango Tango, a karaoke bar in the City, and I drank a lot. Only three martinis, but apparently I am O.L.D., because they knocked me on my ass (that and the pain meds I was on for girl stuff. I am smart that way). But I sang a lot, and Lala said she was impressed. That was my main goal, anyway, so I wasn't TOO drunk. (And she was driving, so she was sober when she said it.) But oh, the hangover yesterday. It wasn't the sick-feeling kind, it was the vertigo kind. Way worse.

I just wrote a whole paragraph on what I ate for dinner last night (it was great, the new New Zealander in Alameda -- two words: meat pies), but realized that when I start talking about food, I am truly boring. (That's a real person, you know. Truly Boring made a report of a lost driver's license last year. F'real.)

Also, I got a call from Kira while I was at the New Zealander, reminding me that we had planned to have dinner at THEIR house that night. I'm an asshole. Really. This is my public, embarrassed apology. Waaah. I have NO memory.  They're coming over tonight, and I plan to.... Well, I don't know, since I don't cook. But I'll think of something nice for an apology.

I'm going to knit now. Hooray!

RainRunJanuary 7, 2005

This morning, when I got off work, I went running for the first time after being up all night.  There was supposed to be a huge storm coming in, winds to 50mph, and I wanted to get at least one more run in this week. So without really thinking about it (because if you think about it, then you don't do it, you just get in bed and go to sleep), I put on my 'fit and went out.

And it started raining.

And it was wonderful.

Really. I run inside Mills College, and it's such a gorgeous campus that my heart is happy every time I enter the stone gates. Set in the heart of Oakland (and it's closer to the rougher side than the gentrified), there are four trees per student, and it's old, old, old. This is the president's house, seen in the rainy dawn this morning:


Okay, it's not a good shot. But it shows how many eucalyptus and redwoods are behind it, and I had to run through a little wooded area just to get the shot. Oh, the smells this morning! All rain on the trees, and the eucalyptus buds on the ground (run carefully over those, though). Em's mom, an alumna, always talks lovingly about Mills and the smell of the trees. I rarely notice it, but this morning, I understood why she doesn't forget it.

And y'know what else? Running in the rain is cool. Literally. I wasn't as hot as I usually get, and the air was actually a little warmer than it's been lately, so my lungs weren't struggling against the cold. It was exhilarating.

I did pass a kid outside the gates waiting for the bus, huddled under a huge down hooded jacket, and his horrified face so clearly said, "You're crazy," that I nodded and said, "I know!"

And here's me, home from the rain. I took it to shock Lala, who has a running aversion stronger even than mine to bikes, but she was less traumatized than I thought she would be. Oh, well.


Yes, my eyes cross a little when I'm tired. Always have. I only notice it in photos, but sometimes I realize that other people must notice it all the time.

Now I'm babbling. Soon to be bubbling. Bath time, followed by last work shift this week. Happy weekend, everyone. MWAH!

This Makes Me Happy, Too.January 6, 2005

My girl's new hair:


Dude. Hot.

And I like the bleach part of the process, too.

Yoi. Because That's What I Say Right Now.

Heh. I actually like to see the levels of crazy I went through yesterday. Today. Whatever. All I know is I just got up, and the building sinus headache (big storm coming) is not as bad as the mood swings I was having earlier.

Maybe if I push my fingers right INTO my eyeballs, it'll make it feel better. Nope, that didn't work. Of course, it's always good to pet the cat you're most allergic to (Adah, although I'm allergic to both of them) and then rub your eyes in a brisk manner. I don't call it puffy, I call it sexy.

Barrels of fun (I typoed rum! Much better!) at Chez Yarnagogo. I'm actually not really that bad. Just enjoying a little sulk. Not enough time off -- I hate getting up and then getting ready for work an hour and a half later (I go to bed as soon as I get home) -- that's barely time enough to read email and respond, let alone do any of the writing that's really calling me. Let ALONE watch that Amazing Race episode sitting in my TiVo, singing my name.

Not. Enough. Time. In. The. Day.

And officially, I say, as I always do, I DO NOT KNOW HOW MOTHERS DO IT. Mimi Smartypants (see the introspective) says it well today. Y'all are saints, and just the fact that I can perch a cup of hot coffee on my couch while I type and worry only about the cats paws and not someone's little hands getting burned right off is something I think about.

And THIS made me really happy today.


Evidence of PMS? Every single damn word about that last post written just a few hours ago bugs the bajayzuz out of me. Except for the two plugs at the end. Romantic? Please. I don't know from romance. I just want my pillow and my hot water bottle and QUIET.  I'm  waiting for a co-worker to bring me hot chocolate from Peet's which might be the only thing that prevents me from chewing off the end of my headset and blaming it on wee tiny invisible mousies, thereby getting my ass taken posthaste up to John George, the local psych ward. Growl. Pillow. Chocolate. Rain. (Well, see, we're back at romance and I'm ready to kick the mousies myself. If I could only see them.)

RomanceJanuary 5, 2005

I feel romantic. Do you ever feel that way? I don't mean all mushy-in-love, although that surely plays into it these days, but romantic like rain on the windows and candles lit and soft music and all that sappy stuff.

*Okay, now I'm at work. I started this earlier, when I was curled on the sofa, all tucked into the cushions, computer propped on my knees, the blinds open just enough so I could watch the lights of cars of the freeway driving through the almost-rain, nothing but white twinkle lights on in the living room.....

I tell you what, I'm not in that mood anymore. I'm still happy, but not all romantic about it.

But the reason I started telling you about it, is that I think my house has a good spirit. Not like a ghost er nothin', 'cause that would freak the hell out of me, but there's a certain vibe about the place that's interesting. I've always listened to a lot of bluegrass, you know that. But in this place, especially when I'm in the clawfoot tub, I am drawn to listen to mostly swing and standards, old thirties and forties stuff, something I pretty much stopped listening to when I stopped singing it. It's not like the house wants to hear it (again, free-eeky), but it's what sounds best in the house.

And the creaks in the floor are friendly. I like the way the wind sounds at the door. It's COLD, though, and heater guy still isn't calling me back.

But it's romantic.

(Hard to remember while I'm sitting here keeping myself awake in the wee sma's.)

In other news, go say hello to Anj, who's finally moved her LJ over to typepad (yay!), and be sure to welcome the fabulous Janine (who designs fairisle patterns like you would NOT believe) to the blogging fold. (She's a Feral Knitter, you might know her from Ryan comment fame....)

WhoopsJanuary 4, 2005

I forgot to blog today. And I forgot to install the burglar alarm my folks and sister Christy got me for Christmas, totally forgot that we bought it last night, but I did remember to write, and I wrote for four hours, around the plumber coming and going. Now I have pipes that don't leak and a whole lotta pages. And a purring cat next to me. (The plumber, by the way? Slow as molasses, but the biggest hit with the cats since the catnip mouse. They LOVED him. Very sweet.)

And now I have to go to work. Yawn.

StashJanuary 3, 2005

Oh, it's a sleepy day, isn't it? It's not helped by the fact that my new listening choices happen to be me-lll-oooow. I've got two new favorites playing: The Kings of Convenience and Keren Ann. Hoo boy. Run right out and buy 'em if you want to just hang out and dream, looking out at the rain. I'm just kinda sittin' on the couch, pushing Digit's head repeatedly away from my wireless card (oh, annoying), and staring out the window. I think there's a plumber crawling around under the house working on my neighbor's pipes, but I don't want to know too much. I have my own plumber coming tomorrow (again) to work on the bathroom leak.

I was thinking this morning about how house-poor I am, and how happy I am to be that way. I was going to go buy paint for the living room, and then I totted up my finances in my head and realized I couldn't justify the expense. I might need food in these next two weeks, and paint ain't a good snack, I hear. But I was just glad I could come home where my DSL is paid for, where I have movies stacked on the TV, and I have enough yarn to get me through the poorest days. Really. I'm making Clapotis in yellow Horstia silk, and that's from stash yarn. What I don't need to do is buy more yarn. Especially yarn like this:


Okay. Well. That just kind of showed up. Fifteen minutes ago. I had honestly forgotten I'd ordered it, but isn't it GORGEOUS? (All Ryan's fault, and I'm sticking to that.)  That's Lorna's Laces Sport, two each of Child's Play and Rainbow. I will have to guard them from Lala, now that she's mastered the short-row heel.

We were brilliant last night and actually did something we talked about doing (I'm the master of saying, "What a GREAT idea!" when hit with great ideas, and then saying that repeatedly for years.) We cooked two dinners and separated them into plastic containers for the week to come. She was creative and made a potato/cauliflower curry with rice. I was more prosaic and layered jalapeno beans, fritos, cheese, sour cream, and enchilada sauce in a casserole dish. That's so wrong that's you can't even call it Tex-Mex, but it tastes fab, I swear. We have food for DAYS, and that's good because I'm hungry right now. Food will come in handy. She forgot to take her lunch today, which struck me as both tragic and funny. Poor little starved thing....

To eat. And to knit. You should, too.