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20 posts from September 2005

September 29, 2005

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    My baby.

MeMac

Well, heck! Thank y'all so much! I really loved making that sweater, loved every moment of the process. I fully plan on doing a little post on How I Done That, but maybe tomorrow? Today, I'm busy setting up my new computer. Lala got to me. Yep, she did. My old old old laptop, which didn't even support my iShuffle because the USB port was so old and slow, has been a pain in the ass for a while, not typing the M key unless it was punched four or five times, and now it's not liking the J or U, either. And it's been freezing and crashing for a while now, and I finally got tired of not being able to run more than two programs at a time. I used to open a program and knit a couple of rows while it went kachunk kachunk kachunk and thought about how much work it was opening a Word document for me. It begrudged every moment of it.

But as of last night, I'm running an Apple PowerBook G4, 12 inch, lots of things in it. I'd tell you, but I've already forgotten. 512mb something, and 60 gig something else. I know that the 512 part is like the stuff on top of your desk, useful and immediately to hand, and the 60 gig is like the stuff in your filing cabinets - you can still use it, but it takes longer to go reaching for it. And it's cute! Did I mention how cute it is? And little? Oh, oh, oh.

I'm actually smarter about computers than that sounds. Not like Lala, who knows everything about Macs (helloooo, built-in tech support), but I can get around. But it takes a while, doesn't it? I'm moving pics over and cleaning out my old computer, making sure I have the old important stuff carefully archived on my external hard drive, my Yahoo briefcase, AND the new computer.

Is it my imagination, or does iTunes sound better from a Mac? Can that be? They're the same files played on the same speakers, just moved over (and it was so EASY), but they sound better, I swear they do.

I was going to tell you something else. What was it? Oh, yeah. This'll kill you. (Thanks to Scamper via Lala.)

SailorSeptember 28, 2005

Lala has a bandmate who is the best thing ever. Not only has she accomplished more at twenty-six than most of us ever will, but she can play any instrument that crosses her path, she can write songs to rival Nashville's best, and she is doing a really unselfish thing. She's pregnant, and because she's a sailor with realistic dreams of sailing around the world, she knows now is not the time for her to raise a child. So she's giving the baby to two daddies who can't wait to meet their new son or daughter, which I think is totally amazing.

But she lives on a boat (a small boat), and it's going to be winter soon, which means she'll be pregnant on a boat in winter. I figured she needed something warm, and I figured she deserved it. Also, I just wanted to design an aran, so I did. Forgive all the pictures -- I'm pretty proud of it. I hated to give it away, which was a good sign.

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Specs:
Pattern: Mine. Wheee! 40 inch chest, raglan shaping until the sleeve cap ran out, then a k2p2 neck rib until I liked the look of it.
Yarn: Peruvian Highland, from Elann in Malt Heather, 14 balls used.
Needles: 4US

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Could use a blocking, I suppose, but I rarely block. Why start now? The cables are from the Vogue Bible and the ones framing the main cable are the important ones. They are the traditional horseshoe cable. Or, as I like to call them, the Whoreshoe cable. I ran them up the front, back, and sleeves, all facing up to collect the luck to her heart.

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Shown: Both front and back of sleeves. I like the underside of the sleeves -- I wasn't sure how to fill in the space as I increased the sleeve width, and I was too lazy to deal with fudging another cable pattern, so I threw in k1tbl separated by single purls as the space allowed, stopping at a total of 11 k1tbls. Makes for a cushy elbow.

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Note how I fill it out. Keep in mind that I am not pregnant.

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Digit and I both like the neck.

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And on Joni!

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See how wee she is? I figured if it fit me on a good day, it would fit her pregnant. I was right. Sigh.

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Now I'm vaguely worried about other friends being sad I haven't made them a sweater, but most of them know I have to be moved to make one. And please, if you're my friend, and you're pregnant on a boat in winter, I'll totally make you one. Promise.

Woot!

Rockin'September 27, 2005

I am sorely disappointed. You know when you get that craving for a good bagel, and I mean GOOD bagel, not a Noah's bready bagel, and you have to have one? I crawled Oakland looking for one this morning, not willing to make the ten-minute trek back to the city where I worked until Sunday, and I now have to admit, there are no good bagels in Oakland. Sigh. I'm chewing dough here, people, and that's not right.

But I must catch you up on the doings! Such doings lately, most of them to do with music.

Sister Christy had a party! No ordinary party, either, it was the preview performance of the band Deadpan Alley, which will soon be coming to a city near you. I think it will, anyway. They freakin' rocked the house.

The band is Christy and her best friend Becky, and they've been playing together for, oh, maybe fifteen years? I think I last heard them live when we were in high school, and I thought they were fun then. Now, dude. They're just plain great. And they have a Harry Potter song! Yay! (Also, Christy's been saying for a while that she's learning the bass. I believed her. If she tells you the same, don't listen. She SO KNOWS HOW to play the bass. And she looks good doing it. As does Becky. Man.)

They had the party in a friend's loft in Oakland, just off Telegraph. It was one of those beautiful last-of-summer nights, and my friend Winter took in the sights:

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There was a veritable feast set out for us, and Becky and Christy were delightful hosts.

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And then they rocked out:

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Gettin' down:

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And the crowd goes wild!

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(Yes, that sure is Celia, in one of those weird cross-over thingies. Christy has worked with her for years and told her about my site when she learned that Celia was a knitter. Celia was all blog-what? Huh? And wow! The rest is history.)

So they rocked. I was very, very proud.

And more rocking was had when The Whoreshoes played the Ivy Room in Albany. Man, that's a cool venue. Still feels like an old cowboy bar, so the girls fit right in. Not that they're old cowboys or anything. You know what I mean.

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And look who was there to hear the gals! More Celia:

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There were other knitters in the crowd:

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That's Jane and Becca seated next to the Knitting Katherine, and I met a very nice new-to-the-area knitter named Cordelia (hi, Cordelia!).

I was just happy to hang out with my rockstar.

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September 23, 2005

California readers who like me and believe in civil rights, this is for you (and it really did take less than 30 seconds):

If you support equal civil rights, please read. 
This takes less than 30 seconds of time.

CA is so close to the passage of a same-sex marriage
bill. All we need
now is the Governor's signature. Though he's
threatened to veto it, he
HASN'T yet. He's claiming he is going to veto
it because the voters voiced
their opinion on the issue already, but that
was five years ago - and this
guy just announced that he's running for
reelection, so he should care what
you think. We need to tell him that the
people of CA are for legalizing
same sex marriage.

So please call him! It only takes a few seconds.

Call his office at (916) 445-2841 and follow
these simple steps. (You
don't even have to talk to anyone!)

1. Press "2" to comment on legislation

2. Press "1" to comment on AB 849 (AB 849 is the
gender neutral bill that
will allow same-sex couples to marry)

3. Press "1" to support it

That's all there is to it!

Please forward to friends and family who might
lend their support.

Better

To all my Bay Area peeps, two chances to catch The Whoreshoes this weekend! Info on their site: Saturday night will be great at the 12 Galaxies, and I'll be at the Sunday afternoon show at the Ivy Room in Berkeley. I'll be knitting, of course, so come sit by me and watch the gals kick up their boots! It's a good show, yo.

Well, I'm much better now. I must say, going home yesterday morning from work, curling up on the couch with a glass of wine, and flipping my TiVo to The Apprentice, Martha-Stewart-style, did wonders for my mood. Oh, my god, that show is so BAD, and therefore, so GOOD. She's so trying to be the anti-Trump, and she's almost pulling it off. Her creepy sweetness prevents her from getting away with it, though. I love it. Instead of saying, "You're FIRED," she says, "You'll have to go home." She writes a handwritten note of encouragement after the releasing. She smiles a lot.

I've never really been a Martha fan, but ever since the scandal I'm way more on her side. She's interesting to me now, whereas before she was just too tasteful for garage-sale-me. So that was nice.

Also nice was waking up and meeting La for a little yarn therapy. There's a baby being born soon who will need a cushy warm sweater, and isn't that a fine excuse to go to the yarn store? After all, I have NO yarn. Nope. None at all. In the tub. Right now. That's the truth.

So I'm pretty much over the loss of the house that wasn't ours. It certainly is the right way to go, though, this whole fall-in-love, make offer next day, counter the next, lose it the next. None of those weeks of wondering and hoping. Now we can do it right, the way we'd planned, take our time, sell the condo if possible, and then buy a house with a little teeny cushion underneath us.

Tonight is my last night of work at this job! Hooray! It's been great, but the climate is changing, and I'm getting out while the getting's good. I've been stationary for a while now, and I'm looking forward to motion and learning. I need a new challenge. Yup.

So sayonara.

Klsjhgs
    Goodbye!

Nope September 21, 2005

Oh, well. All the DPNs in the world didn't quite get it done.... But you all are amazing. And we were told that had it been a question of $20,000 to $30,000 difference, they would have taken the loss and chosen us, because they loved the letters we wrote. We wanted to keep the little wagon-wheel cottage as it was. We didn't mind that the water wasn't connected to the bathroom sink or that the electrical needed a complete overhaul or that the disclosures ran to 108 pages.

But the difference in offers was way WAY more than that (I'm guessing that it was at least $75,000 more than ours), so who can compete with that? We do wish the sellers the best, and hope that someone ends up living in the little cottage rather than tearing it down and building condos.

We know that our perfect house is out there. We just haven't met it yet. Can you imagine how rad that'll be? Now I'll show you a picture taken with my camera phone from the car, because I just want to look at it sometimes....

Picture285_19sep05

That's it, just peeking out back there. It was on 10,000 square feet of land, with apple trees and blackberries. There was an old broken wagon in the front yard, and a wishing well to the side. We would have had room for an alpaca or two. Of course, the counter-offer we made was so high that we'd have been so broke that we would have had to steal the alpacas. And then we wouldn't have been able to afford much food, so we would have had to eat them, and that would have been terrible and sad. What a narrow escape!

I was purdy sad and had a little cry. Lala was very nice to me. But I like to fall in love, even with houses (okay, especially with houses, I'm a Cancer), even if it means heartbreak. It's worth it.

Just as well, too, since I took a new job, and only have two more nights here at this one. Then I have a week off, and then I move to a fire/medical 911 dispatch job. It's a slight paycut, but will eventually be quite a bit more money, and it will be 3 12-hour shifts a week with an extra shift every other week. What that translates to is I'll have a four-day weekend every other week, and a three-day weekend on the other weeks. Benefits are much better and it'll be less stressful than dispatching cops, which I can use right about now. It'll be a commute of about 25 miles, and it's a bad stretch of 580, but I'll get used to it. I'm excited about the change. (Even though it's completely self-indulgent and egotistical to point you to this link, my coworker and sweet friend Kelly wrote a love letter nonpareil, which is here. Thank you, honey. I'll miss the crap out of y'all.)

So I suppose that would have been a lot of stress all at once, new job, new house, not knowing exactly how much I'll be taking home in pay. It's all for the best. I'm disappointed, but it'll be okay.

And I need to get back to writing. I've been busy and preoccupied, and I'm looking forward to getting back into it.

I love you all. Have I mentioned that? I swear I'll show you something knitting related soon. I still knit, I promise. Going to knit right now, as a matter of fact. We all know that works wonders.

The Dream

There's this house that Lala and I pass when we're out in my neighborhood walking little dogs. Every time we've walked by it, we've looked and lusted. It's a little piece of the country, set right there in Oakland. It's perfect for us. Trust me on this. I won't say more, lest I jinx it, but it's perfect in its dilapidation.

Last week I saw online that it was up for sale. On Sunday we went to the open house on a wild fling. On Monday we started to write the offer. On Tuesday we presented the offer. Tuesday night, they countered (turns out that even when we thought we were recklessly overbidding, we had bid WAY lower than anyone else, but they liked our heartfelt cover letter). Today, Wednesday, we'll accept the counter (they received fifteen offers and countered three of us) and then we'll bite our nails and jump in very small circles and be unable to sleep.

The chances are so very, very, very slim that they'll accept us, and IF they do, that we'll secure the funding (we weren't even in the market yet! We have no money! I haven't sold the condo!), but we're trying. If we don't get it, we're no worse off than we are now, which is nice, indeed. If we do, it's our dream ramshackle-shack. I just thought it wouldn't hurt to get all my knitter-peeps crossing their DPNs in our general direction.

September 19, 2005

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CHRISTY! My sister is the coolest, and she got her diploma, Master of City Planning, TODAY, which was nice timing. From Berkeley, might I add? She's that fucking smart (and beautiful, to boot.) I'm very proud.

And THANK YOU for the response on the last post. It means the world that you're standing by us, next to us, with us. Thank you doesn't begin to cover it, but that's where I'll start. Thank you.

Oh, so very, very, very busy. Life is SUPER crazy right now, but in a good way. But I just came home from running desperately important errands (a quick coffee visit with my girl thrown in, and I learned that prosciuotto and pesto on a bagette eaten in the sun is very nice).

We had a fantastic weekend, what with going to Becca's Knit Out picnic at Lake Chabot (I've lived here almost ten years and have never been there? What's wrong with me?), followed by going up to Bolinas where The Whoreshoes (the original typo was The Whorehoes, which is hysterical) gave another outstanding performance. They're so the favorite Bolinas band. People young and old showed up already wearing their tank tops, and it was standing-room only from the very first song. And they rocked out, honky-tonk style. It was a fantastic show, and we ended the night throwing our air mattress on the balcony (where Swearingen stands in Deadwood) and slept outside. Okay, it was a little beachy-damp. But awesome under the moon.

Picture279_18sep05
    Emily, Lala and Camilla discuss how cute they are

And now that most of my errands are done, and I only have a few more phone calls to complete, I'm glad to be home. On my doorstep this afternoon I found TWO good things:

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Steph's book, and Duff's tape. I know how I'm spending the rest of my day off. I've worked hard enough. Oh, yeah.

The Gift of LoveSeptember 16, 2005

So here's my idea.

The signers of the anti-gay marriage petition in Massachusetts (the so-called Constitutional Amendment to Define Marriage) are listed here and are a matter of public record. It's a hateful, unloving thing to put your name to, although I support their right to do so.

It's just that I'd like them to make a positive difference, if only in spite of themselves.

The Human Rights Campaign is the nation's largest non-profit organization working for the rights of all lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgendered individuals. They do a bang-up job, and they have a HUGE fight to fight on a state and a federal level. I throw money at them when I can, but it's not often, and it's not as much as I'd like.

But I'd like to donate a gift subscription in the name of the first signer of the petition. For $35, she'll receive in the mail a cuddly equality bear, and for $50 she'll get not only the bear, but a nice equality baseball cap, too! I get to include my own (very nice and loving) note to her, as well. I will refrain from asking her what the eff she was thinking, promoting the deliberate stripping away of her fellow American citizens' civil rights, and instead thank her for opening my eyes to the fact that the divide between people like her and people like me is so wide that I need to take positive action. I will thank her for prompting me to donate to HRC, and wish her love in her life, which is what we all want, right? I just want to marry my girlfriend.  It's just about love, compassion, and respect. That's all.

<>

There are thirty original signers. I'll donate $50 in a gift membership for Lois C (although if you can't afford that, $35 gets the bear). Would you like to buy a gift membership for someone else on the list? Grab a name, in order please, and let us know in the comments section who you're donating for. (And yes, husband and wife couples who are happily and legally married to each other deserve two separate memberships and their own equality teddy bears.)

1. Lois C.
2. Ronald L.
3. Nancy A.
4. Robert H.
5. Tom E.
6. John
7. C. Joseph
8. Raymond L.
9. Anita W.
10. Patricia M.
11. Richard F.
12. Bronwyn E.
13. Kristian M.
14. Lura L.
15. Roberto S.
16. Carole A.
17. Philip D.
18. Joseph R.
19. Jossie E.
20. Leonard L.
21. Richard W.
22. Thomas A.
23. Madelyn M.
24. Alana L.
25. David G.
26. Gilbert A.
27. Philip
28. Hope-Constance
29. Walter H.
30. Kathleen W.

Go HERE to give a gift subscription. Addresses of signers are here.

Work from love, and have fun.

[Added later - I just pledged, and here's what I wrote (they don't give you much room). "Thank you for helping me realize that for our laws to reflect equality for all American citizens, I must begin to take concrete actions, donate money, and raise awareness. I do know we both believe in love and respect, and I wish you both in your life."]

Know Thy Neighbor

Yes, Massachusetts rocks. Dude. They so do. However, there's a group calling for a "Constitutional Amendment to Define Marriage," which will define marriage as the union of one man and one woman, and will deny same-sex families marriage and civil unions.

The group has to get it on the ballot, of course. They need a petition to do so. And yo, the signers of petitions are a matter of public record.

I love this site. It's extreme, yes, but we have to stand by our convictions, or why waste the breath? How long before they manage to close it down, do you think? Thanks to Brooke for the link.

[Would I feel differently if the tables were turned and I was worried about being gay-bashed for signing a pro-gay marriage petition? I might, yes. It's just that the gays, they're not so much for the bashing. I don't think the anti-gay marriage people have quite as much to worry about. Interesting question, though.]

From Human Rights Campaign, "Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger indicated through a spokesperson that he will veto the California marriage equality bill that passed the legislature in an historic vote on September 1."

Lovely. I couldn't believe it when he was elected. What kind of fools were we? Not only was I embarrassed to be an American, I was now embarrassed to be a Californian. I heard people actually saying that they were going to vote for him as a JOKE, never thinking that he would win, and that made me so angry. I wonder how many did? Fabulous. The continued deprivation of civil rights in California, brought to you by the right-wingers and jokesters.

Gah. But this makes me feel somewhat better. You've all seen it, right? For those of you who haven't, here's Bush writing Condoleeza Rice a note, asking if he can take a bathroom break during a Security Council meeting at the 2005 World Summit on Wednesday. Another here.

Heh.

September 15, 2005

I'm spinning bunny fluff! But you can't see it! I'm at work, nowhere near my wheel. Sorry. I'm just thinking about my afternoon of sitting on the couch watching TV before work.

It was nice, just me and the cats and some coffee. I was watching Music From Another Room with Jude Law.  Boy, do I hate that movie. And it took me about forty-five minutes to realize I'd seen it before, and I'd hated it then. Nothing in it makes any damn sense, and the main chick character that he falls for has no soul, I'm convinced. Even in real life, she probably casts no shadow. She's that boring. Although she was kind of fascinating in her boringness. Give me the blind Meg Tilly character any day. Only, you know, that's okay.

Anyway. Bunfuzz and wool. Oooh, it's soft and just the lightest pink and I have NO idea what I'm going to make out of it, except it might become some sort of lacey scarf. I only have eight ounces of it, so my options are somewhat limited.

Unrelated really, but here are some sleeves I've been working on -- my own design, for a friend who lives on a boat and needs a little warmth this winter. 

Ksdjg

Man, I'm so ready to go home this morning. And going-home time is a-comin' soon. Happy day to you.

Total Time WasterSeptember 14, 2005

I am Google hit number two for that phrase. My work is done.

September 13, 2005

Bad sleep-brain today. I either like to sleep in on Tuesday mornings until about noon, or go back to bed if I get up in the morning and take a good nap, since it's my Monday and I'm going to work all night.

Today, however, I got home from going out to coffee with Lala nice and early, and then I did things. You know those mornings, where you make all the unpleasant calls you have to make, and then you think of more you could make, and call those people too because it hasn't killed you yet. It's not like I'm calling debtors or debtees, nothing unhappy like that, but I was taking care of things like the HOA insurance of which I seem to be in charge (and NO ONE wants to renew our insurance -- companies aren't happy to take new HOA clients, and we have to leave our old insurance because of an ex-owner's screw-up). Calls for that. Been struggling with that for two months. Calls about housing -- should we rent out my place and rent another place when we move in together, or should we sell my little condo and buy something bigger?

All right, that's the thing that kept me from napping, right there. Erg. I can't even think about it. It's exciting (I typoed sexciting, so it must be), but the stress we're in for! It was hard enough to buy. It must be so much harder to sell and buy at the same time. And if we rent, we'll still have to MOVE, my third move in two years, and Lala's twenty-seventh or something like that. We just kind of groan when we start thinking about it. But I wanna live with her. Isn't that the weirdest? It is. I do. It's awesome. And such a problem to have. Diamonds on the soles of my shoes and all that. But still puts the brain into spin-cycle.

So not much nap today, which means that by about 4:30am I'll be uncomfortably stupid. Not sleepy, because the job and adrenaline keep me awake, but I'll be able to feel my brain turning into a plate of spaghetti. The phone will ring, it'll be a crisis, my head will clear, I'll ask the questions and send the right help and do the right research, and be quick and smart and fast, and then I'll go back to doing my own writing and forget how to spell "floor." I'll just sit there and stare at it, willing myself to remember, which is a stunningly good time-waster.

Enough babbling. I'm so upset about Alison's loss. It's so awful to lose an animal, but to lose one to something as crude and ugly as an automobile adds egregious insult to what's already unbearable. Remember when we met Bea? In Taiwan? Oh, I'm just so sad. And my heart hurts for Al.

This is for our Bea, may she be climbing palms and walls and piles o'yarn just around the corner, where we can't quite see her:

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Now We're TalkingSeptember 9, 2005

I just went for a run. Doesn't that sound good? Doesn't that make me sound all healthy and crap? No, it was the first run in more than a week (which had been the first run in more than a week, also), and strangely, I ran the first ten or fifteen minutes amazingly well. I felt like I could run to Seattle. Yeah! Got this licked!

Then my side cramped and I forgot how to breathe, and I ended up half-stomping, half-jogging home, looking like an idiot.

That's the thing about this running thing -- I love love love it as a form of exercise that I can get done in the MINIMUM amount of time. I woke up at 3:55pm, rolled into my shoes and bra-with-only-one-wire, and I was out the door by 4pm, before my brain could formulate the necessary discouraging sentences. Back by 4:32, and watering the garden by 4:33. That's the good part.

The bad part is that if you have a week in which you travel, have PMS, and then a migraine, you won't run for a week and your body says, "HA! I have now successfully forgotten that you ran a marathon in December and a half-marathon six weeks ago. You suck! Go back and eat twinkies and cry!" It's good that my body doesn't actually speak, because that would just be mean, but that's what it feels like.

That's not what I started to say, though. What I started to say was, Now we're talking. During the run, I noticed it was fall. Oh, hallelujah, and I know I can get a knitter's amen. That silly heat thing that summer offers is for the birds. The leaves are turning, and the sky is heavy with cold cloudy fog, and there's a slight chill wind. I'm in heaven. Time to knit! Time to be cozy!

I wish I had more time to be cozy. You know? Must work on that.

Also: I just got a funny-as-hell email from a reader named Anne, and I hope she won't mind if I quote her:

On a dorky note, I just had to mention that although I've been reading your blog for ages, I've always been reluctant to comment since I have no blog of my own.  Though I've thought about it... but can the blogosphere really support one more obsessively-knitting, cat-owning, liberal-leaning, self-doubting grad student?  Maybe someday I'll find out.

Well, if she writes like you, the blogosphere will support her. Cracked me UP.

Off for a bath, and then to work, and then THE WEEKEND. Enjoy. Be cozy.

New Knitty! September 8, 2005

Loving Josephine. I'm thinking handspun.

Wow

I know you've seen it here by now, but DAMN, knitters rock.
At the time of this post, they've donated to the Red Cross:

$65,516

That's dollars! Holy crap! That's straight out of our yarn-purse, isn't it? That's more than sixty-five thousand dollars that would have been spent on fiber, I'm sure of it.

I'm so proud of us.

Strawberry 2005September 7, 2005

We're back. And oh, did we have a good time. I've finally figured out which instrument I play best at music festivals -- it's the spinning wheel. But more on that later. I know you like pictures. Who doesn't?

Strawberry0023

Bethany, Lala and I drove up on Thursday morning. My absolute least favorite thing about a music festival is picking the camping spot, and it's something I usually get stuck with. I tried to be philosophical about it -- there would be enough space, and we'd find it. And so we did, after driving around and kicking up dust and getting stuck once (we thought the sign that read "Grateful Dead End" was a camp name, not an actual indication that there was no way out and very little room in which to turn around).

Because of course you need a camp name. Ours is technically Camp Vegemite, although we go by Camp PACE, because we always mark our campsite with a very large, very gay-looking Italian peace flag. (It's not a gay flag, although when I went to Italy right after this war started and saw them flying from almost every window, I felt very welcomed, I can tell you.)

We found our site. It was on a pretty good slant, but big enough for all six of us and all four of our cars. I know, we should be ashamed. But we all came up at different times..... So the first order of the day was hanging the flag so the trailing camp members would be able to find us.

Luckily we brought along a monkey to take care of this:

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It's always smart to use a bike for a ladder, I think. And yo, the hammock ROCKED the camp.

The music was pretty good. Not as good as other years, and Bela freakin' Flek played TWO NIGHTS in a row, when just one was just a bit too much (technically, yes, he's a genius. But he leaves me cold).

We loved in particular Devil Makes Three, a band I've adored for years now. And we loved our new find Nathan from Winnipeg (winner of the worst band name ever, they sound like the Ditty Bops but are actually even better, and have richer songs, and are just cute as heck).

There was knitting done in, even in the heat.

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Lala knitted, too. Check out the guy pointing at her.

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There was goofing with the sisters.

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And some more.

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Lala was a cowboy.

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As was my dad.

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And there was spinning! Hoo boy, was there spinning. I'm used to hanging out with Lala and her little dogs. When you're with a five-pound long-haired crazy-tongued chihuahua, you're used to being a celebrity. Everyone wants to talk to you. That's one thing. Another thing altogether is the attention you get when you spin in public, especially in an environment as friendly as a music festival. Everyone stops to ask questions or tell stories or stare and point. The menfolk, in particular, are the most fascinated. Women smiled more and ventured things like, "What is that? I knit, are you making yarn? My mother had a spinning wheel." Men, however, say things like, "Dude! That's amazing! How does it work? Does it come apart? How does it fold? What's the gear ratio? Can I push this thing? What do you call that over there? How does the tension work? How much did it cost? What's it made of?"

And the kids like it, too.

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My favorite moment was when I was spinning in camp and two boys came through, one about ten, the other about seventeen. The ten-year old said, "Whoa. That's TIGHT!" The seventeen-year old said, "Damn, that's HELLA tight." I seriously thought this was so great that I got all tongue-tied and said something like, "Heh. Yeah. Cool." They wandered off, still saying "tight!"

Major coup, that.

(I take this moment to yet again realize that I am living in such a good time -- knitting and bluegrass are in vogue, and spinning is becoming known, thank goodness. I will be out of vogue again, and probably sooner rather than later, but I'm used to being a big nerd, and I'm SO enjoying this time.)

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I was spinning from some brownish/green/orange merino I'd bought from Carolina Homespun, making a double-ply sport-weight. I didn't bring enough bobbins, so after I'd plied a couple, I wound them right off the wheel into center-pull balls, no setting the twist or anything (ooh, the cheek!). Then I cast on for a sock for my La, which I worked on at night in the dark, listening to main stage. It was really fun, being able to show curious people not only the fiber and the yarn on the wheel, but also the knitted object.

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Didn't it turn out nice?

Last thing: The gal that camped next to us also arrived on Thursday, and we laughed about her big blow-up monkey (Camp Jug-o-Monkeys). Later, Lala heard herself introduce herself as Christy to someone. Lala said to me, "I wonder if that's my best friend Christy from sixth grade, from Illinois. I haven't seen her in twenty-five years, but I bet she would look something like that."

I, of course, thought she was stark raving nuts, and intimated as much, but she wouldn't let it go. Christy's a pretty common name, I thought. New Baden, Illinois, is pretty damn far away and TINY, and she hadn't seen her since she was eleven or twelve.

Turns out it was her. Camping RIGHT next to us. I'm to be chided for not believing. See Lala for the full run-down, but it was truly the neatest thing. Not only was it the same person, but Christy had turned into someone really great, someone with good taste in music and blow-up toys. She could have turned into anyone, you know? What a good surprise it must have been to find out that your childhood friend wasn't just your friend because you lived on the same block, but because they really were inherently nice.

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Oh, and I'm so done with portapotties for another year. Four and a half days are just too much, and I have a pretty high tolerance.

And air mattresses are insanely great.

Oh, yeah, and I'm learning the fiddle.

I think that's it.

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BlearghSeptember 1, 2005

I knew I said I wasn't going to write, but hey! Here I am! A brand new hormonal thing this year, along with the migraines, is a monthly bout of serious insomnia. It only lasts one or two days, but while I am not the best sleeper any time of the month, this new insomnia is rough. I got about two hours last night and three tonight.

It's not that kind of insomnia you can soothe, either. I've become pretty good with the reg'lar kind -- read for a while, or have a cup of tea, and not stress out, just drift back to sleep eventually. But this kind, the brain is ON! Hello! I'm your brain! I have approximately four thousand seventy-two new ideas to throw at you, and I know you can't remember a damn thing, so I'm going to yell them at you over and over until you turn on the light to write them down, and then a-HA! You're up! Let's play! The brain likes coffee! Coffee, please?

So it's 0530, and I'm all packed and ready to go camping and Lala and Bethany won't be here until 8am. Honestly, I don't really mind. I mind more when I have to DO things, like work. I'm not too concerned with being drowsy around the campsite. Lovely.

Have I mentioned I love Oakland? I hella heart Oakland. When I woke up at this time yesterday, I got up and went shopping at the best store in town, which is open 24 hours: Longs Drugs on 51st. You wouldn't think so, huh? But I've blogged about it before: You can get EVERYTHING there. It's HUGE. Yesterday I needed nice heavyweight paper and a new print cartridge -- they had the right stuff, down to the cartridge number. I found a cute orange tank top over in the clothing section. They sell alcohol, furniture, plants, fabric, and YARN, people. They carry Indian spices and huge water fountains. Over by the indoor plant area, birds flap about under the roof -- they get in during the day, and they nest up there. No one seems to mind, which is nice, I think. I got Mom an inflatable bed for her tent in the camping aisle. I think I spent an hour and a happy half there.

Two women passed me at about 6:30am over by the shoe aisle. One said, very concerned-like, "You didn't know? You really didn't know? Oh, honey. I'm sorry. Once you know about this store, you're doomed." Her friend's eyes were huge. lt's kind of an addiction. I call it my midnight Disneyland.

Yawn. Now that I've both given and got up, and now that I've had my coffee, I'm a little sleepy. Figgers.

One more thing: I usually wash my one running bra by hand (that new one from Title 9 just shipped, thank god). I've done this for quite a long time. I would seriously love to know just how long I've been missing a wire. Dude. One boob has wire, the other doesn't. Where did it go? Why the hell haven't I noticed? Did I run the half-marathon that way? I must have. Will I be able to get over this and still run in it, or will I run in small circles, now that I know? This is something I lie in bed wondering about.

Happy long weekend! Woot! (Also, watch me enable Jeni. Heh. Ignore the incredible double-chin shot, though.)