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22 posts from April 2005

Woot!April 29, 2005

I put the zipper in, but I'm at work, so all I've got for you is this:

From the new Vogue Knitting, Flame Cardie:

Flame

Better pics and specs on Monday(ish). I *LOVE* this sweater.

Happy weekend! Mwah!

O.K.C.

I am knitting. Did you know that? You probably didn't. It sometimes strikes me that I'm not a knitblogger, but a blogger who knits. I just don't very much like blogging the little knitted pieces.

Right now I'm making socks (new Knit Picks superwash merino in Hydrangea, SO soft) for a friend's birthday, a homespun hat for Ryan's Scam, and I just finished last night a wee little baby sweater for a preggers friend at work. I did that five-hour sweater, and while I found its instructions a little odd, I ignored the funny bits and it turned out so ooey-gooey sweet. Of course, I didn't take a picture of it. But I did make it out of this lovely angora pink stuff, I think it was old Classic Elite Lush from the stash pile, and I also just finished the new Vogue flame cardie in the same yarn, so at least you'll see the color. Yeah. Soon. When I get around to attaching a zipper (no buttons for me, thanks). Whenever that is. I have a brand new TV and I haven't watched a single program yet. This weekend also promises to be busy as heck, but that's fun stuff.

Hey! The Whoreshoes are playing Smiley's Saloon in Bolinas on Saturday night. If you've ever been to Bolinas, you know this is the perfect venue for 'em. It's a run-down honkey-tonk where the bar stools grab your ass and the pianer leans a little more at closing time. You should go. I'll be the groupie with the lighter.

SpoiledApril 27, 2005

Night out with Amy:

A wonderfully grinning Amy (I love this shot) and her best friend Christie:

Amy4

Me'n'La, just being goofy:

Amy1

Okay, so we were nothin' BUT goofy:

Amy3

Amy2

Thank goodness we weren't driving that night. Day-um, we had some fun.

And while we're on photo-sharing, lemme show you somethin' else. The other night my TV blew up. Ka-snap kachewey ka-POW! There was a white flare on the screen and then little dying panicked flickers that signaled great television distress.

I didn't panic. This was, after all, a second-hand TV. And in my bedroom, behind the cat toys and a chair was another old second-hand TV that had been destined for the thrift store, but hadn't yet made it. I asked Lala if she wouldn't mind hooking up that one and disposing of the old one, since she had mad Contender needs last night. She said sure.

I got home at 5 this morning to find this:

Newtv

A brand damn-spanking new TV. You ever seen something like that? I've never had anything like it! It's clear! The sound is great! You can actually read WORDS on it! And it matches the white and silver of the chairs, and is generally about a mill-yun times better than the old one.

I am spoiled. Really, really rottenly spoilt. Of course, I've got the TiVo and all the channels, so I'm just glad she'll be over here even MORE often. Oh, yeah.

Meantime, I've got yet another 14 hour shift at work and no time to watch or spin. Someday....

StuffApril 26, 2005

I am a remiss blogger. I don't usually post on weekends, and not usually on Mondays, either. But Tuesdays I usually hit the blog at least a little earlier. I've almost lost the whole day already. And I had things to tell you, but they've dropped out of my mind.

I was going to tell you how much fun we had with Amy and her girl Sandra and Christie and Jason and others whose names have also slipped away. I have photos to prove that we may have had a leetle too much to drink. Okay, *I* might have had a leetle too much, since I started thinking it was a good idea to snap photos down Lala's shirt. (No! I will NOT post those, thank you very much.) I only just found said camera this morning, as a matter of fact, so I have no photos to show. But trust that we had a ball, even though I was in charge of hooking up the lesbian dance club, and instead we ended up at a reggae night. Er....

Amy leaves this week for a massive trip, which'll be chronicled at How To Get Lost. Should be good reading, yo.

Also, I was going to tell about what I have seen on my way to work recently on High Street. They include:

  • A man with a shopping cart with nothing in it but an empty forty and a teddy bear.
  • A naked lady.
  • Her peeing boyfriend.
  • A taco truck on a trailer.
  • A kid on a bike that had a big ole spinner for handlebar (that was COOL).

And then last night, I saw the neatest thing while I was driving to Lala's, although I fully know I shouldn't have thought it was neat. But it was. I was getting on Highway 13, and I was behind two hot little cars on the onramp. They irritated the heck out of me by slowing down almost to a stop on the ramp. I figured it was some kind of road rage deal, and wanted to steer clear, literally. When we got on the freeway, they both stayed in the slow lane, never speeding up past forty miles per hour. I considered shooting past them, but I was too a'sceered. I'm a timid driver as it is. So I hung back and followed them some more. There were no other cars around.

We came around a curve, and the back car pulled forward and then flush with the other car, both of them still driving super-slowly, now neck and neck. I thought I'd see the flare of a pistol shot any moment, but instead, they both took off at such a high rate speed that I felt like my car was suddenly going backwards.

It was RAD. They were gone in an instant. That must have been fun. Totally unsafe, yep. No one should do it. Nope. But it was still awesome.

UnexpectedApril 22, 2005

This is crazy. When I woke up fifteen minutes ago, I thought about going running. It looked like a nice day. Instead, I made coffee and toast with honey and sat down to look at email.

Suddenly, it's POURING outside. The sky just broke. I looked up from the computer to see Adah sitting at the window. She swiveled her head around to look at me, and I've never seen a more expressive, wide-eyed WTF look on a cat, ever. I went out the sliding glass door in the bedroom that overlooks the freeway and watched the cars slow in confusion. That smell! It's totally a spring rain smell, very different from the winter kind. Winter rain smells cold and bittersweet. Spring rain smells electric and unexpected.

I've left the front and back doors open with the screens on, and that cool wet pavement smell is blowing through the tiny space. I love it.

Not much time off today, just enough to bathe and maybe fifteen minutes for spinning. But know what? I've been writing lately, and it's amazing how much better I handle a busy schedule when I'm doing what I love, what I want to do.

ETApril 21, 2005

I absolutely love having a camera in my cell phone. I don't carry a purse unless I know I'm going to have knitting time, in which case my little black bag can hold a pair of in-progress socks, but I usually just have a wallet in my back pocket, keys in my front right, and my cell phone in the front left. And I have a camera! Right there, when I need it.

Sure, it's not great quality, but it'll do when you need to document George. Remember George? Sweet old George that I loved looking at through my old window, George who's now outside Lala's window (handy, that), George who is apparently and very suddenly signaling the Mother Ship.

Ra3
        Mom! Here I am!

I mean, really. What the HELL is going on with this plant? It happened overnight, I swear.

For scale:

Ra4

Asparagus gone wild. Anyone know what it's doing? Will it flower? Will it stretch out and grab the BART train off its tracks? Any ideas?

So the cell phone camera thingie is good for that. But we still have the inside camera for catching the important fiber photos.

Ra1

Look! I Navajo-plied! Sylvia had shown me how, but I hadn't really GOT it. I did it once and screwed up. This last time (the brown alpaca (from Ann in MN) on the left), I messed about with the wheel and got the hang of it, figured out the motion and how to pedal. Oh, the satisfaction of getting something physically like that. The middle stuff is also an alpaca single from Ann, and the stuff on the right is good ole Blue Faced Leicester, which is turning into my main love.

Have I mentioned I aDORE spinning? Hmmm?

Texas House Endorses Ban On Gay Foster PArents

Texas sucks.* Or at least, their House does. 135 to SIX!  Unbelievable.

You know who hurt children? Bad people hurt children. Mean people hurt children.  Sexual orientation has nothing to do with it. A fucked-up person hurts a child, and the vast majority of child molesters are straight white men. Perhaps they shouldn't be allowed to foster children.

Ooooh. The anger. There are no words.

* To my Dear Readers from Texas (Lisa! Susan! for example), this obviously doesn't mean you. I love y'all. And the music is good out there. But you can take your House and shove their ignorant, bigoted selves right out a very high, very pink, very feathery boa'd window. That's what I think.

A WalkApril 20, 2005

I just slept for ten and a half hours. 

That does not happen. Not that I try not to, but I just can't usually manage to sleep more than between five and seven hours (if I'm lucky) during my work week. If my eyes pop open in the early afternoon, and if one teeny-eeny little wiggly thought about writing or fiber or bills or god forbid ice cream sneaks into my brain, I'm up. No help for it. But today I gave myself permission, nothing to think or worry about, no place I had to be, no errands that were absolutely necessary, so I slept and slept. I did dream about ice cream, though, that's the truth.

I'm just gonna show some pictures today. How's that? I'm still quite sleepy and lazy, and hang on, my toes are cold. I need my slippers (Ann, you know the ones). Okay. I'm back. And dude, I found my extra emergency box of Girl Scout Tagalongs, so I'm all good.

Going back to that whole plane thing, here's the driver, Lala's dad:

Ladad

He runs marathons, you know. Bunches of 'em. At least a dozen, I think. He said when I ran mine, "That's so NEAT!" I think he's neat. He and La's mom were in town for the weekend, on business, so we got to eat lots of nice things, and I showed off by getting a big jerkfaced jerk ticketed for parking in a handicapped spot when there were lots of other open spaces around. And Big Jerk tried to cut RUDELY in front of me in line. And he elbowed his way in front of a guy with a cane who had parked in a normal spot. I tell you, it's nice to know the cops every once in a while. La's family thought I was hero. It was neat.)

Also neat (it's fun to say, I like how it pulls the corners of my mouth back) is standing next to the plane, imagining that I'm off for a quick jaunt to New York for lunch with the Drafty Ladies, or that I'm jetting to Venice for the weekend before starting my whirlwind imaginary book tour. (Damn, note to self, Stephanie's bookbookbook is IN at Diesel Bookstore, must pick it up -- how proud are we of her, really?)

Meplane

I must say, I have few brain cells left after that sleep. I've been puttering around on the computer, dashing between this blog entry and email and phone calls, and it's taken me an hour to even get this down. Sigh. But it's a lovely sunny afternoon, and the traffic is rushing well outside, and I love the way the light is falling across the floor. Wait, I'll show you.

Floorlight

I love the instant gratification that is a camera-cell-phone sitting next to me on the couch.

What else did I do this weekend? Well, I worked a hell of a lot, but hopefully the working-on-the-weekend thing is played out for a little while. But I did have all of Monday off, and Lala and I took the dogs for a long, long ramble around the Albany Bulb. Have you ever been there? It's this reclaimed spit of land out past the racetrack, hanging off into the Bay, and Monday was a gorgeous sunny day for it.

We sat on the beach and watched a golden dog run-run-run-run-run-run and run some more, chasing balls into the water that his baseball-capped owner tossed out for him. We drank our coffee and ate our morning buns (at the respectable four o'clock time, of course, the only time for a morning bun). We walked around the side of the Bulb, surrounded by water, viewing not only San Francisco and the Bay Bridge, but the Golden Gate and Marin, all the way around to Richmond. We are so LUCKY to live here. Day-um.

We headed around to the far side, picking our way over wet rocks to the dry land on the other edge, where we saw a huge hawk lumber from the ground into the air, a snake dangling from its beak. It hovered there, EATING in the air (I don't know why that surprised me, but it did), and we watched until it got bashful and took refuge in a tree. Then we watched a smaller hawk take its place in the air, hanging on to wind currents so that it didn't move at all, just stayed up as if by magic, as if hung by a string. (Lala carried wee Miss Idaho at this point. You don't want to play around with hawks and chi-hooa-hooas. Even the trained ones can let you down.)

On the other side of the Bulb is art, the pirate-installed kind, the driftwood kind that used to line the Emeryville mudflats when I was a kid (the hippy 'rents even took us out once to build one, one of my favorite memories).

Bulb2

Bulb1

That second is one of a series that I wish I could attribute, painted on warping plywood, set up in the sun and wind and salt, with a lovely who-cares-about-the-elements attitude.

Okay. That's enough for now, I think. I'm chilly from not moving, and I want a bath and another cup of coffee. Then I'll have time to spin a bit before work (only a 12 tonight). I wish you a lovely walk and a little sun and a great big hot cup of strong coffee (or tea, for Cari).

MaryB is NiceApril 19, 2005

Okay, we didn't fly away. We WERE on a private jet, flown by Lala's really super cool dad (who also wears super cool sunglasses, like she does), but we were on the tarmac, and the door was open. But it was fun.

I still have no time to blog. Have to be in for a 14 hour shift for my Monday (had one full day off this week -- it was nice) in about two hours, so I'm hurrying. I must go for a run or I might never run again.

But I'll let MaryB in Richmond (not to be confused with MaryB in Seattle -- for a while I thought she had two houses, far apart) blog for me today.

With her permission:

Hey, girl!

I wasn't actually expecting to talk to a police dispatcher during police dispatcher appreciation week, but then nobody *ever* expects to talk to a police dispatcher. A NON-EMERGENCY call.

My David was heading off to the Prom, wearing the most gorgeous tux on earth and driving Richard's 1949 Mercury....and smiling such that bugs got in his teeth.  I'm following him to the date's house, for the traditional picture-taking session, then they will go off to dinner and I will come home.

Except that the 1949 Mercury decided it wasn't all that excited about the Prom after all, and cut off.  On the busiest road in the area.  And, did I mention the tux? But the good news was that I was behind him.  I handed him *my* keys, said "Go.  I'll figure it out," and sent him on his way.  Not quite as smiley, but then...stuff happens.

I found me a ride home, and at the suggestion of the friend who drove me I called the non-emergency number to report the car and to beg them not to tow it.  (You don't just hook up and tow a 1949 Mercury...that would just be wrong.) 

The guy I was talking to was really nice, and assured me that nobody would ticket or tow it tonight.  And then I said "And I hear that this is National Police Dispatcher Appreciation Week, and for all you do let me just say 'Thank you!'"  He loved it!  I told him I have a friend who's a dispatcher and she had asked all her friends to remember to say something, if the opportunity arose.  Then he said "Well, I'm sorry that the opportunity arose, but it was nice of you to remember!"

So David is off to the prom in a Ford Focus wagon (with a stick shift, though, so it's not all bad).

100_4009

Hard to know which is more gorgeous:  the handsome 17 year old in the tux, or the handsome 56 year old in the seafoam green paintjob!

I couldn't wait to get home and let you know of my NPDAW festivity! {{{}}} Mary

Thanks, MaryB!

And quickly, here's what my WONDERFUL family got me for our week of appreciation:

Dscn83671

MWAH!

April 18, 2005

So busy! So busy! If I owe you an email, please forgive me. Meanwhile, we're on the private jet:

Plane

MapQueenApril 15, 2005

Oh, my god, do you know about the new satellite function on Google Maps? Go look at your house. And then go somewhere else, from your house, and watch that blue line take you there (click and drag the map around). Amazing. Play here: http://maps.google.com (click the satellite button to the right).

This is my kind of fun.

And this, from Jon, is too funny. Not acceptable dispatch protocol, no. But funny.

April 14, 2005

I forgot one of the funniest moments of my spinning day: We were driving back home and an SUV climbed up behind Janine, trying to edge her out as the two lanes merged into one.

She said, "I may have an environmental bumper sticker, but I'm no pushover!"
So I said, "Yeah, and we have spinning wheels, dammit!"
Janine said, "Ever hear of Sleeping Beauty, buddy?"

AlsoApril 13, 2005

And hey, it's National Dispatcher Appreciation Week! It's got a longer name than that, but that's what I think of it as.

We're having a meeting tomorrow at work, and I think they're going to give us gifts and tell us they appreciate us! We never get to hear it; only hear what we do wrong. It's hard not to get discouraged when you try to be courteous and professional and kind and try to make a difference, only to hear criticism ALL the time, and it's going to feel great to hear it from them.

So why don'tcha call a dispatcher (but don't call 911 for the love of god, unless you want the nice officer to see your unmopped floor) and tell her/him that you appreciate 'em. Even if she sounds rushed, and you can hear the phones ringing off the hook in the background, that dispatcher will feel happy for a moment. You'll make her night, and she probably needs it made. Thanks, y'all.

Spinning Day Recap!

Okay, but now it's two days later, and I'm exHOSSted from being at work my whole life, minus the seven minutes I wasted in sleep at home, and I can't be expected to recap thoroughly. But I'll try.

Met Janine at her house in Berkeley. There are not enough superlatives to describe Janine. She's just one of those people that you love immediately, upon the first meeting, and you want to grab her and hold onto her and make her teach you how to spin. Or that might be just me with that last part. But she's awesome, truly. Ryan and I are tugging war with her. (Happy birthday, TMK!)

Then we picked up fancy la-di-dah lunch fixings (I had to make it up to them for doing the big bail last week on them) at Andronico's, and crossed the Richmond Bridge over to Marin.

Sylvia lives in the most amazing spot in Marin, people, and this is her view.

Spin3

Oh, and this:

Spin2

Isn't that amazing? It reminds me at once of the Wellington Bay in New Zealand, and the hills of the Cinque Terre. Lucky lady.

Sylvia IS a spin-goddess. She's also known as Beadlizard, for her insane beading abilities (those little animals could almost talk, I swear), but we went to see her spin. Nowadays she uses an electric spinning wheel that her ole-buddy-ole-pal Alden Amos made her, and you've never seen anything like it. I was using some good old green merino, and getting a nice semi-slubby DK-weight single. She got something that looked like a green hair, using the same stuff. I could hardly spin -- I was just staring at her.

Oh! Here's a shot of Sylvia and Janine in action.

Spin1

Isn't Sylvia's spinning gorgeous? Oh, what? You can't see it? Hmmmm. Perhaps the emperor had no clothes, you wonder?

No, here's proof. This is my three-ply next to her three-ply. Keep in mind this is from the same wool. The same dang wool:

Spin5

That fine thread? Is THREE-PLY! We bow, don't we?

And she taught me how to Navajo ply! I kinda suck at it, but I'll practice.

Woot! Spinning! And I did figger out my problem with the Vogue pattern (#9 in new one); I just had to use my brain instead of following the pattern word-for-word. Go figure.

All right. Brain-fried. No more for now....
(spinning) mwah!

Sleepy

Really, no time to post. I swear. I have ten hours off today. With driving and bathing and eating and peeling a banana, that leaves, like, no time at all. Pics will be coming of my fabulous day of spinning (NOT my bathing, but thanks for pointing out my vague phraseology).

Tune in tomorrow? Bad blogger, me. Tired blogger, also. Mwah.

(Hey, do you know that even TMK reminded me via email about yesterday's spin-up? That was COOL.)

I am Remembering!April 12, 2005

They forgave me, and today I'm meeting with Sylvia and Janine to spin! I remembered! I'm getting in the bath now!

Just thought you should know. Pics later or tomorrow. And by tonight I'll be able to spin moonlight, right? (I like a steep learning curve.)

IrkApril 8, 2005

Oh, man. THIS what my stitch pattern should look like in the Vogue cardie, and it so doesn't. That first motif does, the second, not so much. And I was all like, "There MUST be a problem. Sure! I know what I'm doing! Vogue must be wrong!" But Bogie got it, so I'm just screwing it up all on my own. Shoot. Maybe I'll try it again tonight. Don't think for a moment that I'm going to fix the sleeve that I've messed up, though. Oh, no. I know for a fact that if I get the rest of the motifs right, no one will ever notice. Or care. I like that.

Also: I should go running. And I should do some writing. Instead, I am very, very lazy. I have a 14 hour shift coming up tonight, and an additional 10 tomorrow night on my day off, so I'm throwing a little tantrum, right here on my living room floor. I will be LAZY right now! Yes! (And I had a training all day on Monday, which is prime weekend real estate, so I've had a very long week. It was a customer service class. For the third time. Three times they've sent me to the same class. I have to get a certain number of hours of training a year for work, but they don't check to see which classes would be good for a person, they just check to see what'll fit with scheduling. Same teachers, same words, same stories. Yawnly. I knit a whole sock.)

I should write. Gosh dang, why don't I want to write lately? It's irksome. Irk. Irk.
And irk.

To cheer myself up, I present Still Life with Two Cats, A Wheel and a Shitload of Sock Yarn:

Dscn83112

See, that worked, huh? Enjoy your weekend, and I'll enjoy mine when it decides to show up, and love someone up, okay?

Misc.

Just finished another hat! And this one is for Dulaan, I swear. And damn, is it soft and warm. I would move to Mongolia for this hat. Okay. Maybe not. But I would move to the couch for this hat, that's for sure.

Hat2

The orange/tan is plied merino/tencel, the orange is corriedale, and the grey stuff is lovely merino/silk, all from Deep Color.

I'm loving knitting the handspun -- I don't know why it's so much softer than commercially prepared stuff, but it is. It's probably because I'm not doing it right or something. But I'm digging it. I want to make socks. Oh, yes.

I'm sleepy, and my sentence structure breaks right down into very simple short sentences when I'm like this. Uh-huh. Yawn.

Hey! In the new Vogue Knitting, I started the 9th pattern, the Flame Stitch Cardigan, but that stitch pattern breaks down for me somewhere in rows 13-24 of the pattern. The first 12 are fine and make a good-lookin' flame, while the second set make an offset crooked leaf, rather than an offset copy of the first 12 rows. I haven't had the time or the spare brain cells to figger out the problem, though. Anyone else? It hasn't hit their errata page yet. I really don't think it's me, but it could be. Somebody, start a sleeve or something and let me know.....

Okey doke. It's your morning, but it's my goodnight. And please for the love of all that's holy, don't honk your horn in someone's driveway, even if it's the daytime. You never know who needs her sleep. And when exactly did knocking go out of style? No one knocks in my hood, I tell you that. Anywho. 'Night.

My New AddictionApril 6, 2005

Well, let's talk fiber, shall we?

I forgot to mention that on Saturday, my sisters, Lala, and I drove out to Meridian Jacobs in Vacaville for their open house. On the Central Coast, where I'm from, that would mean a winery. Up here, it means sheep. Lovely sheepy-sheep, and little lambs. And a llama!

Dscn83361

The llama had the softest nose of anything I've ever felt. Really. All day I kept thinking about soft things, and trying to remember if they were as soft as that, and no, they weren't. Cashmere? No. The inside of a baby's elbow? No. His muzzle was downy and snuzzly and did-I-mention-soft and amazing. And then I ran like hell because I was scared he was going to spit on me.

And there was wool for sale. You remember how many bags Baa-baa Black Sheep had? Yep. Like that. The stash is already getting embarrassing. While I shopped, Lala made friends.

Dscn83371

That middle boy was SO cute and so very into showing Lala how everything worked.

So here's some stuff I've spun:

Dscn83531

And here's some stuff I've yet to spin:

Dscn83551

That fluffly stuff on the left is wonderful ALPACA that Ann in Minnesota sent me -- samples from her very own babies. I'll let you know if she ever starts selling it, 'cause it's gorgeous, and I'm a very lucky lady.

And look! Product! I made a hat last night, one that actually looks good on me.

Dscn83491

Hats NEVER look good on me, and I do mean never. The next hat I make from my own yarn will go right to Dulaan, but I've got my greedy little fingers in this one, and I can't let it go.

I'm just going to jot down the pattern I used for the hat, since it worked well, and I don't want to forget it:

At 5st/inch, on size 6 US, cast on 100, join, work k2p2 for six inches, then k7k2tog around, then one row in pattern, then k6k2tog around, then one row in pattern, continue like this until just about done, k2 around, yarn through remaining stitches twice, pull, weave in ends. Bam. Hat is done. Now your head is warm, right?

ApologyApril 5, 2005

Even before I check email and comments from the weekend (I've been very offline), I need to make a very large, very loud public apology to Sylvia and Janine. We were supposed to meet today to spin. Sylvia, by all accounts (and I've heard from the East Coast on this one) is a master spinner, and I was thrilled to get a chance to learn at her knee. I was going to pick up sandwiches, then pick up Janine, then cruise out to Marin to spend a lovely day.

Instead, this is what I did. At Lala's, I woke up early. I had a little sore throat and some major allergies going on. I thought, stretching, oh, what a lovely day to have a lie-in, since I have to go back to work tonight. I'll sleep late. So I slept a few more hours, and woke up, came home, made coffee, turned on my email, ANSWERED AN EMAIL FROM JANINE, wondered idly what day it was and how soon Tuesday was going to roll around so we could spin together, and then I started saying, "FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK."

No excuse. None. Just forgot and went back to sleep. When I called, Sylvia was grace personified, just glad I wasn't dead on the highway. I called Janine's house, and her daughter answered hopefully, "Rachael?" Gah! She was out shopping (thank god she had reclaimed some part of her day), and will call me back and will hopefully still want to be the friend of a sleep-deprived wanna-be spinner.

What I hate the most is that I made them wait, made them give up their day for NOTHING. I know nothing irks me more than someone being late without excuse, but I can only think of one time someone just didn't show up, and I didn't take it well.

I'm sorry, ladies. I'll try to make it up to you. Please forgive me for being a forgetful, sleepy jerk.

(Aside: I did have a dream in all that catch-up sleep that I was housesitting for my friend Monica who lives in Marin, watching her three-year old and her newborn, and that I was arriving at her house after work, realizing that I hadn't been at the house all weekend, and that baby Luna had been lying in the crib with no food and water for days. I had forgotten to take care of them. I guess my brain knew I had forgotten something in  Marin, just wasn't sure what. Aargh.)

**later: Janine called and was wonderful. I feel better. Still chagrined, but better.

Yow! April 3, 2005

As of this writing (Sunday), I'm on the cover of the LA Times! Right under the Pope! I'm right under him on the website, too. Permalink to article here.

David Streitfeld was a fabulous interviewer, and I had a great time "sitting" for the piece. Mom, Christy, I'm not going to lose my house -- I hope for equity and cost-of-living raises. But David does raise some good questions about the newness of these interest-only loans. I live in hope, however. You know me. And I have a door and a key to it that I call my own.

Woot!

**added later: I will admit that I was not going to blog this, because I did NOT want my family to read it and get scared. They're already tripped out that I have so much debt. But I got a call this morning from my mother saying to go out and buy the paper, "you sneaky kid," and she had seen it because her neighbor called her and told her about it. She then called the sisters, who called me. I think they were just stoked that there was a picture of me in there. And that's good.

It comes down to this: I make enough money now to make the mortgage. In a few years, hopefully I'll have made enough equity to refinance and change terms. If not, it'll raise by 2% plus principle payment, and I'll have to get rid of TiVo, cell phone, all extraneous yarn purchases (gulp), but I'd still be able to make it. And honestly, before David interviewed me, I'd had my head so far in the sand that there were grains in my bellybutton. I didn't want to know what the rate could raise to, I didn't want to know how high my highest payment could be -- and it's true, I would have signed anything. But now I know. It's scary, but it's do-able. Facing fears feels good. (Although turning away from them feels just fine mostly, too....)

It's a cold, windy day here, and we just went on a walk through Mills College with the dogs, who romped all over the old grounds. It's lovely. Later, The L Word with friends and knitting, in my little house. Happy.

911, Do You Have An Emergency? April 1, 2005

Two quick things:

LOVE the new Vogue Knitting. I adore three or four things in it, and that's three or four more than the last one. Also, fab article by our Leslie, and my Kira (of wedding lore) is quoted!

Also: Have you heard the tape yet? The 911 call from the woman having a problem with her cheeseburger? I've been sent it from several sources, and while it's very funny, it's also kinda bittersweet. People make calls like this all the time. The dispatcher let her talk way too long, I thought. But she probably had her mute-button clicked on in the beginning, and she was probably telling her stunned coworkers what the caller was saying while she figured out what she would say back. (We do that all the time. We say, "uh-huh," click to mute and laugh our heads off (uh-huh) or swear or give our coffee order to the officer making the run for us (okay), while still listening to the caller in our headset (uh-huh). Multitask it, baby.)

And working in a small, mostly white, affluent city brings this call home to me. I've taken calls from people on 911 who want me to call them a cab. Or they want me to tell their neighbor to move their car from in front of their house because the car's ugly. Or they want a cop to tell their husband to stop sleeping around. It's always funny when people call us to have us make their kids behave, change clothes, go to school.
"Can't you just send an officer to scare him?"
"No,  we try very hard not to scare children, ma'am."

Or I get this one at least once a week,
"There's a man walking around outside who doesn't belong in my neighborhood. You need to move him along."
"How do you know he doesn't belong, sir?"
"He's black."
Yep, just like that, in the freaking Bay Area. My jaw drops every single time, and it's all I can do to not blow my stack (but I get that insta-burn of rage in the top of my head, which I rarely feel any other time).

People just call for dumb things. All the time. I once got a complaint about a man coughing too loudly (turns out he had bronchitis. How dare he?). Once a woman called five or six times in a row, absolutely FURIOUS that we would do nothing about the frogs who were croaking too loudly in her neighbor's back yard. I could not make this shit up.

Anywho. A brief lesson: 911 is not a room in the sky filled with people who answer your phone call. We don't all work together. If you dial 911, you'll talk to a person sitting in a room in your own city (or if unincorporated, your county).

When to dial 911: Call 911 for life or death emergencies, for medical problems, or when property is being threatened or attacked at that very moment. For example, if your house has been burglarized during the day while you were away, that's not an emergency (look up the seven digit number for your local police department), but if you see someone actively breaking into a home, dial 911.

Check with your state, as things are changing rapidly, but try not to dial 911 on your cell phone (unless you see an emergency on the freeway): You'll most likely get a highway patrol dispatcher, who will have to figure out where you are and then transfer you to the right city's dispatch center. In Northern California, you can easily be on hold with highway patrol for more than five minutes, and then they still have to send you to the right agency, where you might be put on hold again. Program into your cellphone the seven digit phone numbers for every single city you're routinely in, both police and fire dispatch, if they're not combined (most are separate where I live). Best thing to do in any emergency: use a landline if it's safe to do so -- it's answered immediately, and you don't have to know where you are -- the address will show up automatically on the dispatcher's screen, which is good, because you'll be too freaked out to remember the address of the house you've lived in since you were five.

Shoot. I meant to just quickly share that link, and then I got all preachy, huh? Comes down to this: Be safe, know where you are, have a great time, and knit a lot. (And for my sake, if you get a nice dispatcher, write her chief a note -- in five years, I've only seen this happen once here. For the cops it happens all the time, but people forget the helpful voice who figured out what to do with your problem pretty durn quickly. It would be a really big deal for her/him, this I know.)

And this: Happy weekend, all!