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« October 2005 | Main | December 2005 »

19 posts from November 2005

CD!November 29, 2005

How flippin' exciting is THIS? I mean, really. Go see Lala for the proof of what this album will do for you, but I've lost weight. That's all I know. Makin' no promises here, people, but there've been rumors that the pesky leprosy you've been worried about? It might help. Just a rumor.

Seriously. It's great. Get it.

November 28, 2005

I'm all packed up to go to work:

Dayquil, check. (how does spellcheck recognize Nyquil and not Dayquil?)
Tissues with lotion, check.
Throat lozenges, check.
Tylenol, check.
Ginger tea and cold-care tea, check.


BUT. I'm now finally answering phones at work, having finally gotten the requisite certs from the state, and I almost had my first baby last night! Emergency medical dispatch is so different from all the cop dispatching I've done, and so crazy-scary. I haven't given unsuccessful CPR yet, but I'm sure that'll happen this week. Happens all the time. But a baby! They award "storks" for births facilitated by dispatchers, and I desperately want one. This lady last night, she was SO close, pushing hard and steady, and she kept talking to me. I think I actually did a little tiny bit of good calming her down (although a coworker passed me a note that said "breathe." So I told her to breathe. He points at me, no, you breathe!). Darn firefighters got there just in time to pull the baby out, a little girl named Christine. So I didn't get to hear her first lungful of air, but I can't wait until I do get to hear that on the phone (I heard a coworker's baby last week -- so little! I thought the caller had given birth to a mad cat!)

All right. Off to work. At least I can't give my cold to the callers.

BlehaNovember 25, 2005

Which is a word, you know. About a million years ago, I think I typo-ed it to Lala, and now we actually say it. "Bleee-hah." Bleha. Worse than bleah.

Don't feel well -- I'd been fighting a turned ankle and a sore neck and a chipped tooth followed by novocaine ache, and now I've got a terribly sore throat with cold symptoms thrown in for fun. First noticed it when I got Bounced this morning at Mom's house by two sisters eager to wake me up to go shopping. Usually I shout and bounce back at them, at least roar some rage, but this morning I just felt like weeping into my pillow while I rummaged underneath me for the earplugs I'd ripped out in sleepy terror.

But we did have a very nice turkey day -- Mom and the sisters made an amazing meal, as usual. As usual, I'd had little to no sleep and ended up napping, which was for the best, since I'm never useful in the kitchen until the dishes are ready (although I managed to slice up my thumb while doing them this year -- it's been a rough couple of days).

Mom and Cromarty:


Due to my desire to get home before I totally got sick and to my own poor planning, I ended up renting a car this afternoon to come back to the bay area, not something that's usually that much fun.

But dude, when they give you the Mustang convertible for no extra, because they're out of the economy cars, you get home QUICK. I mean, of course I'd never speed. You know that. Of course not.

Also, this was taken while standing still. Sure it was.


As was this:


And this was how it felt to drive a Mustang:


It did not, however, detract from my Mini Cooper lust, which will not be fulfilled for a while, much as I would like it to be. Wonder if you can rent one?

Now, to the couch to Be Sick for a little while. Just made some veggies and I'm also breaking out the brie, because it will help. This I know.

An ApologyNovember 23, 2005

So sleepy, got off work this morning, slept for two hours, made noises like a dying fish when the alarm clock went off at 10:15am, and got myself to the dentist for emergency re-filling. (I heart my dentist. I'm phobic, didn't go for ten years, but Bruce got me back into dental health. Plus, he always has all the latest gadgets, computerized teeth imaging, DVD-on-demand, today it was a new little camera on a toothbrush-looking thing, which took an instant image that they showed me on a screen in front of my chest -- look, we're going to fix this here and here, and OH MY GOD, no, I guess that's okay, we'll leave that alone.)

So little-to-no sleep. This to say: I am woefully remiss in emails -- there are about twenty in my inbox of the Reply variety. You know the kind. There are emails that you can dash out and clear from your inbox in about thirty-two seconds, and then there are those lovely ones that you want to take your time with.... I've had no time. Slap-dashing this post together is all I've got today. If I owe you an email, please know it'll be coming. Soon. Ish.

Tonight I'll be seeing my girl, for the second time in almost a month, literally, and tomorrow I'll be headed south for turkey. Hope yours is nice, loving, and yarnful.

November 21, 2005

Too busy for more than this:

Look, Ma, I'm blocking!

Boy, do I hate blocking. I'm no good at it, I don't have a blocking board, nor do I have enough pins. I used the shower curtain, woefully inadequate. Then I did a little blocking on the bed, then I gave up.

Photo_111905_045 Photo_111905_045_1

I'll show you a real picture of it later this week, when I have time to eat and not drive at the same time....

Also, flowers smell nice. (That was printed on a pillowcase when I was teeny -- it was the first sentence I ever read all by myself, I think.)


God bless Trader Joe's. Five bucks for flowers that will last two weeks. Love 'em.

[quick] mwah!

Mr. ChickenNovember 20, 2005

I made chicken on Friday night. Is there anything as nice as the smell of roast chicken filling a house? When the light falls faster, and the cars on the freeway look like a string of holiday lights, and it's crisp outside, and all you can think of is knitting in front of the TV, cats on your lap, dogs on your feet?

I can't even really brag about my chicken-cooking abilities, since this is what I do: Roughly chop one lemon into big chunks, chop a head of garlic into big chunks (don't even worry about peeling the cloves), scissor up a bunch of rosemary, shove all of it into the chicken (thanking that nice free-range kosher chicken and wishing it well in the next life), then stick it in the oven, an hour and a half at 350. Forget about it. Basting, what's basting? Doesn't need it.

However. I got cocky. (Get it? Cocky? Chicken? Heh.) While chicken and some frozen veggies are fine for me for dinner, sister Bethany was coming over and I decided to show off. Surely you could cook veggies with a chicken like people do with a roast, right? (Not like I've ever done that, but still. How hard could it be?) So I cut up some potatoes, added a bunch of carrots and mushrooms, then threw some chopped shallots on top. Left it all to cook next to Mr. Chicken.

Yeah. Perfect chicken. That part come guaranteed like that. But guess what happens if you cook veggies like that? Yes. You get little potato rocks and hard small carrots that are all wrinkly and pathetic. It was to weep. Only a few of the mushrooms made it, and only those that were sitting in the chicken juice actually had a chance.

So I cooked up some zucchini with shallots, added the mushrooms and pretended that's what I meant to do. And garlic bread. That always fixes everything, doesn't it?

Still haven't seen Lala. She's back tonight from being a rockstar, but I'll be at work. We'll be ships in the Oakland night until Wednesday, and then I leave on Thursday for the holiday. Bah. But she doesn't like chicken, so it worked out well for Friday night, I suppose.

Also: Saw Good Night, Good Luck. I can certainly see why people liked it. It did take me forty-five minutes to realize that it was in black and white. I loved the aesthetic. And the hair. But dude, I fell asleep like four times, and so did another guy. I never do that. So I suppose that's a less-than-glowing review. 

Okay. Off to work. Happy week, all. Oh! I finished a shawl thingie yesterday - remind me to show you!

I Forgot to SayNovember 18, 2005

The Whoreshoes are playing tonight in Santa Barbara! I should have told you sooner. But there you go. And tomorrow in LA. Go see their website for the details!

Which means Lala is gone again. I saw her last night. One night in more than three weeks is what I get with her. Grrrr. At least I have cute little dogs to cheer me up. And what does she have to cheer her up? Beer, loose women, the rock'n'roll lifestyle. It's hard. (Actually, she has a cold, and she looked pretty miserable packing up her car....)

November 16, 2005

Darlings - oh, just TOO busy. New job is going great, but it leaves me with literally zero down time during the week. Plus, just because I like to make myself a little bit crazy, I've taken this lack of time as a sign that I really have to work harder to fit in the important stuff, so I've been sacrificing a little sleep to fit in regular writing and running sessions.

I'm proud of myself. Running AND writing make for a healthy, happy Rachael, since I'm never fully me when I'm not writing. The running just makes me healthier. I don't have to enjoy it (although I kind of did today -- sunny, warm run, new tunes on the iShuffle, didn't trip or anything).

I haven't even had time to read the things you wrote about Stupid Worries, and I can't wait for my weekend (which starts tomorrow) so I can catch up on those!

So just this:


Took this shot this morning, and it confirmed to me that, yes, I still have a lazy eye when I'm tired. I liked how it looked as blurry as I felt. Now, to the bath, then to coffee shop for writing, then to the job for my Friday night! Yeehaw!

Stupid WorryNovember 14, 2005

While I totally understand the need for it, I hate the verification box: those letters that you have to type to prove to a program that you're not a spammer. Even yahoo mail has recently tossed some of them in.

The problem is that I always type too fast, make a mistake, and get that terrible split-second panicked feeling -- Oh, god, I must be a spammer! Quick! Fix it! I'll be spam forever! Aaaauuugh!

It's akin to the feeling you get when your tags are current, and your tail-lights work, and you're not drunk or high, and you have no weapons in your vehicle, and you're obeying all laws of traffic, and there's a cop on your ass. It's Stupid Worry.

You know how it feels. What's your Stupid Worry?

WavingNovember 12, 2005

Updated to add:
Why didn't I know I had such an attractive audience? Damned if you ALL aren't lookers. I had NO idea it would be this much fun to see you all. I've long had this idea that the blogs we love the most are the ones with plenty of face shots -- it's part of knowing someone, the visual, the silly expressions, the posed ones. You know when you've been reading a blog a long time and then suddenly you see the writer for the first time, and it's such a happy HELLO moment? That's what I'm having over here on my end. Thanks.

I can't resist this, seen at Mason-Dixon:

Wave At Me via Frappr!

Please? Won't you post a picture of yourself? There's really something about seeing the person you've corresponded with, that you've read, that lurks. I'd love to say hi to ya. As of this moment, WAY too late on Friday night, I'm waving to myself.....

Listening to:

Imogene Heap. If you're anything like me, rather settled and happy to be home on Friday night with the clean dogs and sleepy cats, but there's still a part of you that could freak OUT in the bathtub over Kate Bush's Wuthering Heights or anything with the slightest touch of electronica romanticism, go iTunes her album Speak for Yourself. At least sample it (especially "Hide and Seek"). Formerly of Frou Frou, she's out on her own, and I heart her, hard. I think I'm crushing. Don't tell La. (Lala! Get home and put yourself on my map! Please?)


Page After Page. Oh, this is nice and real and human and a good kick in the ass for you, the writer.

Carter Beats the Devil. Just go buy it. It's awesome. Em, you would love this, I think.

Dogs is CuteNovember 11, 2005

Thanks, y'all, for the iShuffle help. Although you didn't help much, just told me what I didn't want to hear -- that's it's not my iShuffle, it's all of them. Too bad. I'd almost talked myself into a Nano....

We just had the BEST time. If you're not into dogs (?), then this post will bore you. But the rest of you, oh, I just have to tell you about the walk we just took.

Remember last year? When Lala was out of town being Buddhist-ey, and I took the dogs for part of the time while she was gone, and I found out how much FUN dogs are? There is nothing like the little tiny squeaks and squawks they make when you come home, is there? Those desperate "oh my god you were never coming home and we heard the sun was going to explode and what's the point in living anymore and no one has ever loved us before this very minute but you're home and the joy is too magnificent and I will have to bounce and squeak and cry and whimper with the delight that might make us lose our tiny little minds right NOW and oh god we love you we love you we love you."

Now, if you don't have/like/know dogs, it sounds annoying, but it's not. (The whimpering in the middle of the night for no reason, now THAT'S annoying.) Even on the bad days, their sheer elation can make you grin goofily, even if you're foot-stompey and annoyed with yourself for smiling.

So today I came home from an all-day training, and I opened the door to dancing dogs. I grabbed the leash, and we took off for Mills College. (Note to the single girls/non-creepy guys - Mills is a great place to take a dog if you want to meet chicks. Not like I do. But the rest of you might like knowin' it.)

This is right before the cop pulled us over and told Harriet to slow the hell down, that she was in a school zone.

Crisp autumn and the smell of pencils. We're back to school! (Seriously, every time I walk/run at Mills, I'm reminded of my two years I spent there in grad school, the expensive ivory tower that I've never regretted. Oh, I loved going to school there. I'm a bent twig, as they say, as I followed my sister Christy there. It's a family thing.)

Almost there now.

A wee dog, and a big hall.

The cafeteria has LOTS of nice chicken bones that Harriet would LOVE to get her teeth into. Not on my watch, baby.

Benches are good for short dogs.

My GOD, she's happy.


The little dog is running around now, being Much More Brave than we usually are:
Yes, she looks like a squirrel. She's heard it before. (Mills squirrels are bigger than she is, actually...)

I believe it's something about the fertilizer they use on the grass, but both of them went all Yarn-Harlot-in-a-bath-of-kidsilk-haze, rolling around. I shudder to think about them getting in bed with me tonight, but tomorrow is laundry day, and they're getting a Let's-Surprise-Lala-Grooming tomorrow, also. Dirty dogs tonight will be beautiful, soft, shiny dogs tomorrow.

Then we had the MOST fun of all. We met ole Bixby here, who made insta-best friends with Harriet. Miss Idaho, as usual, was less interested in the small dog who would of course be competition in the Cutest Wee Dog competition, and ignored ole Bixby. But Harriet and Bixby met, sniffed, and RAN.

And ran and ran and ran. It's what we always want Harriet to do when we go to the dog park or the beach -- get out there and play! Run! But most of the time she prefers our company. Today, she ran, and I almost fell over laughing.

There's not much better on an overcast day than a walk with two cute dogs on a beautiful college campus in fall. And it's even better if your girl phones you right after the running part, and you get to talk to her for a brief moment while the dogs romp. Excellent.


iShuffle backwardsNovember 10, 2005

Anyone have any idea about why, when I pause and then turn off my iShuffle in the middle of an audiobook, and a few days later turn it back on (non-shuffle mode, natch) and hit play, that it has backed up about forty-five minutes of listening time? There's no way to jump ahead except by slow-forwarding -- jumping to the next thing on the iShuffle takes me out of the book altogether, as it isn't stored in chapters, but in one big lump. Why does it go backwards? When it's off?

Anyone? Ta very much.

WednesdayNovember 9, 2005

California did good, didn't it? No on EVERYTHING! Take THAT, Arnold. I was immensely cheered this morning, driving home, thinking about my home state and how well it did, although by the skin of its teeth.

It does make me wonder, though, how a state's population can reject gay marriage initiatives, but still be liberal enough to understand that some girls WILL have abortions, whether they're safe or not. Oh, well.

On the gay civil rights front: Go Maine! Texas, you make me ashamed and sad (although I know my loving liberal Texan readers got out there and voted!).

There. The political section of this blog is now over, and we can talk about sensitive things like feelings. And how I miss Lala and I think she's been well enough Buddhist for a while, am'nt I right? How much levitating can someone do in a week? (Don't freak out - I don't think she levitates. Rides a skateboard pretty well, though.) The dogs and I are ready for her to come home now.


I just started my weekend, and I didn't do it well. I got off at six, home by seven, in bed by eight, and I meant to just nap a little. I got up at three! That's a Real Sleep, which means that tonight's sleep will be rough, and I have to get up at five in the morning to make it to work for an all-day mandatory training class, which eats into valuable weekend time. But god bless overtime.

I've deemed today my do-nothing day. I've already slept most of it away, and you know what I'm going to do with the rest? Nothing. (Nothing being knitting/spinning and watching Tivo, the best kind of nothing.) If I sleep tonight, great. If I don't, at least tomorrow is only training and I can't kill anyone while on the job.

I have this new Hotel Theory, which I'll explain in the next post. But right now I have big nothing plans to put into place....

SnippetsNovember 8, 2005

1. Heard while walking into the coffee-shop: "The best thing to do is get all your rain-gear on, go out into the woods, and THEN eat the shrooms."

2. I know you've donated to everything this year, but there are still three million homeless people in Pakistan from the recent earthquake (17,000 children killed alone), and the winter is coming, fast. The fabulous Jessica has set up a donations website here. Knitters rock, I tell you. But you knew that.

3. I'm almost caught up on email and I found the local burrito shop, so I'm taking a HUGE burrito in to work with me tonight. Mmmm, carnitas.

4. Almost time for work, which I really like. Last night I realized I was working six different radio channels at one time, speaking on all of them, following the traffic on all of them as best I could (I missed things - the fast pace is difficult, but I'll get used to it). I love that I like a challenge. I hate that I need to be perfect, even when I'm new at something. Working on that.

5. Coffee is GOOD!

6. Eventually, I am sure I will get a google hit for the first item on this list, and I'll get some dumb email from someone asking me where to get shrooms. Dude, read the whole list. Don't send that email.

GrumpNovember 6, 2005

For scale:

    Miss Idaho, next to  handspun

I've been grumping around all day today, and for most of the day I didn't really know why. It was kind of overcast outside, not the kind of day that inspires much movement. Usually it would have been a good day just to sit and knit, but my new work week starts on Sunday, and that means that Sundays are for sleeping in and making sure laundry is done and that I have food in the house to take with me. Not a brainlessly lazy kind of day. But that wasn't enough to explain my dark mood.

I finally figured it out at about 2pm. I'm surprised it took me that long, but it did. It was obvious, that's why I missed it.

Lala's gone for a week and a half, and with my work schedule, I won't see her for almost two weeks. She left yesterday.

Duh. It took me a whole day to figure out why I was stomping around the house, displeased with chocolate and yarn alike. I'm an idiot.

I knew I would miss her, but I thought it would be easier. I thought I would be decadent and lie on the couch, eating Snack Food (crackers and cheese and salami), drinking red wine until three in the morning, knitting and watching crap TV. I did that last night. But I got sleepy and went to bed at 10:30. Dude. Way to party while the girlfriend's gone.

I have the dogs, though, and that's fun. They're mopey, too. They laugh and jump and love on me, but their eyes stare blankly out the windows as soon as we stop playing. Is that her? Is that her? Is that her?

Isn't this the most love-lorn, pathetic thing ever? It's not like I even see La much -- our schedules have been pretty out of whack. But at least I COULD steal an hour or two last week. This week, she's being all Buddhist-ey up north, and I totally support her in her enlightenment endeavors. But excuse me as I pout.

These help, though:


And this does, too -- a pic of Lala buying flowers for sister-in-law Won-Ju (check out her amazing artwork!) before an art opening, in which she had a piece!


November 4, 2005

I don't know other people STAND to be around us. But this was really funny.

November 3, 2005

How is it possible that I have nothing deeply and velvetly chocolate in my house? I just searched, and there's nothing. Some old chocolate covered raisins. A box of brownie mix (don't think I didn't consider it). Not even any good cheese, which, you know, can stand in for a chocolate craving if you eat enough of it at one time. And if you chase it with chocolate.

The biggest question is why I keep looking. Like it's going to change. I keep wondering if there's a cupboard I haven't checked, or a bag somewhere in my closet with that last hazelnutty bit of creamy chocolate heaven.

Dude. I'm so headed for the emergency chocolate chip bag right now. You know the one. I don't normally fiend like this, but I'm dying here. I'm too tired to drive to the store. Those last seventeen chocolate chips are going to have to work for me right now. A lick and a promise, and the good stuff will have to come later. What I wouldn't do for a box of Cadbury Creme Eggs right NOW. April can't come quick enough.

PSANovember 2, 2005

So California's having this special election on November 8th. I hadn't been paying attention, I was just waiting for my absentee ballot to show up in the mail (in California you can register permanent-absentee, and there is NO excuse not to. Laziness at its finest. Your ballot shows up a few weeks prior to the election, you read it in bed, you vote using the pen you find by rummaging in the nightstand drawer, and pop it in the mailbox. No driving to the ballot-box, no dealing with traffic and lines, just you and your mailbox).

It wasn't until this week that I realized how close the election was to being here, and that I hadn't seen my ballot yet. Then I realized the awful truth - I had moved at this time last year, having already mailed my ballot right before the move. So when I did move, it didn't register (heh) that I should update my mailing address. Mail forwarding has, of course, been halted a year later, and I realized that I wouldn't be getting my absentee form, and because I'm permanent absentee, I have no polling place.

Here's my admission:

I had decided I wouldn't vote.

For the first time in my adult voting life, fifteen or so years, I wouldn't vote. It was only a little state election, no one would notice. I felt twangs of guilt that I tamped down by walking into another room and forgetting what I'd been thinking about. That's not hard for me to do. Wait. What were we talking about?

But it was niggling, and then I was made aware (thanks, MC!) of what exactly Prop 73 was about - it proposes to force teen girls to tell parents/guardians before gaining the permission to get an abortion. Guess what? It sounds like a fine idea - it would be right and good if a scared girl felt comfortable talking to her mother, telling Mom that not only was she sexually active, but she was also pregnant. But it won't happen. Girls WON'T talk to their parents, they'll go online and find ways out, and California will be facing a coat-hanger epidemic. Young girls get pregnant. They have abortions. No matter how you feel about the rightness or wrongness of that, those two facts won't change. What will change is their level of safety in California if this passes.

According to polls, it's a close one, and it's GOING to pass, tragically, with only six percent separation. You know it's not the liberals who get out there to vote on things like this, it's the conservatives that get off their butts and get out there to the polling place.

And I was almost one of the liberals who couldn't be bothered. THIS close. I called the registrar of voters in my county this afternoon (phone number easily found online) and screamed at the startled office worker, "HELP ME! Can I still vote? Please please please?" They said sure, come on down to the office and you can vote here.

If you don't know where to go, call your registrar. Unless your state/city isn't having a November election, in which case, just make sure you're registered for next time and then get yourself some ice cream and pat yourself on the back. Me, I'm going down to the office on Friday afternoon, and I'm voting.

It was so close! I was almost a non-voting loser! Whew.

Look Who's Home! November 1, 2005


CROMARTY! (More pics here.) The wonderful Threadbear Boys gave me the yarn (Koigu Kersti, some of it hand-dyed to order because I ran OUT of the dyelot) in return for displaying it for some months in their shop. I've worn it two or three times, max, I think. I wore it last year when I first entered my new home for the first time, remember?

Now she's back and in my arms, and I have to say, she's what I've been waiting for. Soemtimes I just stand in front of my many sweaters and wonder how it is that I have so many, and I don't have one I want to wear, nothing's perfect. Well, Cromarty's perfect. She fits, and she looks good, and she feels good. (Lala's gonna be jealous.)

It's weird that I forgot that I made her, that the gap wasn't obvious when I looked at the shelf. But she's back! I might wear her for a week.

(I'm sorry - it's really like a second blog post on the same sweater, isn't it? But come on, it's Starmore. It's okay, right?)

Boy, I'm sleepy. Yawn. Enjoy sleeping today/tonight, all right? It's a nice thing.