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« November 2005 | Main | January 2006 »

14 posts from December 2005

Happy New Year!December 31, 2005

Just a couple of things to start your year off right:

Officer Attacked by Pack of Angry Chihuahuas

That was the original title of the article, which at first I thought must be from the Onion and not the San Francisco Chronicle. I bet that the Fremont Police Department asked them to change it, though. Heh. I once knew an officer who screamed on the radio for code-3 cover when surrounded by a pack of five year-olds in a field. Later, he said, "But they were BIG five year-olds!"

Lala and I both think THIS is the best video ever. One take, yo. In the backyard. LOVE it.

And lastly, BART tracks, because they're happy things in the rain:

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Enjoy your New Year's Eve celebration, wherever it is, be safe, and if you're home, open the door at midnight and welcome in the New Year. May this be the best one ever. Thanks for being with me, folks. All love.

Things I Can't StandDecember 28, 2005

    Driving home in the dark in early morning traffic, in a torrential downpour in which even the fastest setting on my windshield wipers are ineffective, being passed by SUVs who appear to be driven by morons who don't understand that the faster they go in rain like that the more stupid they are. Seriously. I was so perturbed and freaked out. I saw a guy hydroplane out and fly off the freeway into the ice plant (didn't look like any injuries would be involved) and then passed another solo SUV spin-out where he'd hit the center divide and ended up blocking two lanes of traffic. Losing control when they have to hit the brakes because they can't drop below 80mph in absolutely incredibly heavy rain. Morons.

    Cleaning up cat vomit off the rug with toilet paper since I'm out of paper towels. (Why can't Digit EVER throw up on the damn floor? I have hardwood/tile floors. I have two rugs. Two. He always ends up on one of them.) I don't know how parents do it, yo. Cats are gross.

I had more, but the little boy who just passed the coffee shop just cheered me up. He's no more than five, wearing a Ramones shirt that's obviously his father's, proudly carrying drumsticks. All right.

Tomorrow is my weekend! Hooray!

*also, there's now a guy in the coffee shop wearing a floor-length leather duster. That's also awesome. The things that make me happy.

Home From the HolidaysDecember 27, 2005

Christmas was a blast, although it was a little too short, and a little too fast. I didn’t have a chance to see any movies, and isn’t that Xmas is all about? Movies with family? I haven’t seen Narnia, or Walk the Line, or Brokeback Mountain, or a bunch of others on my list. I’m going to make that a priority this coming weekend, although that might be tough since the Whoreshoes are playing Smiley’s in Bolinas for New Year’s Eve! Dude. Come on up for it. You won’t be disappointed. I can’t believe I actually have a New Year’s Eve party that I want to go to. I usually hate being out and about that night, preferring to work, usually. But this year, we won’t have to drive, we’re staying in Bolinas, and I’m just too excited about it.

But back to Christmas: Lala and I packed up the dogs (leaving the poor kits to celebrate Christmas all by their little selves, warming their paws around mugs of strong eggnog that they had to prepare themselves…..), got in a rental car (my car’s getting too old to reliably fly down the coast), and headed down south.

We were the first “kids” there, so Mom and Dad took us out to the Quarterdeck, which is their favorite in town. It’s probably your parents’ favorite restaurant, too, or at least it’s just like it. Big room, big early-bird specials, chipper-looking waitresses, paper menus (which, combined with candlelight, is a bad idea. Ask me how I know). I had CRAB, lovely, juicy, meaty Alaskan King crab. I hear there were vegetables on my plate, but I never saw them. I don’t think I even picked up my fork, just went at the ripping with my hands. There is little I love as much as crab. I should prolly learn to cook it – cheaper, right? Oh the butter vehicle that crab is…..

I rhapsodize.

The next day, Christmas Eve, was GERJESS. It was a warm seventy-five degrees, and we took the dogs (all of them, including Bethany’s Boonie) for a romp on the beach. We were all barefoot. Just like a warm Christmas should be. (It is physically impossible for me to type Christmas without typing Christy first.)

Wonderful dinner, honeybaked ham, cheeses, trifle and lebkuchen and fudge. Twelve people in the living room, all having fun. It’s nice to grow up, I think. Few of us, if any, wanted to be off in their bedroom wearing headphones, sullenly writing in their journals.

Chirstmas morning: We were staying with the dawgs in a Motel 6 down the street, so we were spared the traditional Rachael-Bounce usually perpetuated by sisters onto my sleeping head. We drove over, opened prezzies (lovely, lovely haul this year – I have things to show you, but I’ll take pictures later), then got in the car at about 10:30 and drove back north in the rain so I could just make it work for Christmas night, where it was nice and quiet and where we ate more ham. Lots and lots of ham.

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Holidays are good. So is getting back to normal life. Hope you are enjoying both.

Wrap ThisDecember 22, 2005

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    Yes, this is Rachael wrapped. I'm not fixing it.

I hate wrapping gifts. Always have. If it's not a book or a CD, I can't wrap it. I've been known to use duct tape and newspaper. It's not pretty. Every year, I buy a couple of rolls of Christmas paper and then I throw the remainder out after the holidays (okay, I recycle it) because I hate wrapping paper that much. Gifts during the year are given in bags that I've been given gifts in. God bless the people who give me gifts in bags. Otherwise, I throw some ripped paper around the gift, stick tape on it, enough to hold (although I was running out tonight and only had strapping tape left in the kitchen, so I used little slivers of tape instead of my usual streamers, so it may be an ugly Christmas).

Also, I've lost the sharpie I was using to write: MOM! From RACHAEL! on the wrapping paper (tags and bows, phooiee). I think I may have wrapped it into something at one point.

Anyway. Now I'm watching Lala wrap gifts. She's actually good at it, and I'm NOT DOING IT, so I'm fine. Kinda fun this way. (She's says I'm not bad at it, just differently abled.)

I'll be out of town for a while, so I'll be absent from blogland, but happiest of holidays, whichever you celebrate. MWAH!

NopeDecember 21, 2005

But I typoed Hope. Interesting. They got fourteen offers (!) and took the highest bidder, and although we went over by quite a bit, we weren't that. Somehow, although it was the perfect house (minus those pesky complications like floors), I'm not broken up. I thought I would be. Maybe telling myself that big dreams wouldn't hurt actually worked. Dunno. Just means the better home is out there, right? Yep. But we might take a week off for holidays and recovery before we start looking again. Tiring, this big hopeful nervous feeling. Maybe that's why I'm feeling better today, just knowing one way or t'other. But darlings, all those crossed needles out there? I felt 'em, and love 'em and appreciate 'em, and I'm just going to apply them to the next house-gamble account, shall I? Big kisses to all y'all.

Tow TrucksDecember 20, 2005

Still haven't heard yet, and it's 5:25pm. They accepted offers this morning at 10am. I'm terrified, both that we get it and that we don't. If we get it, and we get the money, and it funds, then dude, we have some work to do. If we don't, sigh.... It's the cutest place. It's a Lala and Rachael place. But house or no house, Lala's my girl, so that's the most important thing.

Also, she's very nice when a tow truck driver decides that driving on the right is just SILLY. It's an argument for camera phones, people. He looked down at me from his window, and Lala said from over my shoulder, "You just hit us!"
He said, "You hit ME!"
Then he tried to put his truck in drive, and he did move it just a few inches. I jumped into action, flinging dogs all over the interior of my car, scrambling for my phone, throwing open the car door. He froze, in what looked like confusion, and I ran all over the street, all angles, taking photos, yelling in my loudest voice, "That's good! Great! I got it! Yeah! That's it!" (What was I, on a modeling photo shoot? Lookin' good, baby.)
The next words I heard from him were while he was talking on his cell phone to his boss, "We're going to have pay for this one, boss."

Tow

All are fine, dogs and girls, and the company (when they heard that I really did have photos) is paying for the repairs, no questions asked.

Lala's account is better than mine.

Now, here's hoping the realtor calls soon with good news!

OrangeDecember 19, 2005

Think really good thoughts for us, okay? We're putting a bid in on a house this afternoon before I go to work. We have no pre-approved financing because god bless me if we ever do anything in the right order. This smacks of shades of the Little Red Wagon Wheel House: Bidding! Suddenly! Want a house! Yes, crazy!

But this house, oh. It has cosmetic blemishes (for the love of alpaca, the earnest young realtor had placed a red BOW on the side of the house), like needing flooring in pretty much every room in the place (linoleum in the bedroom), and it smells like smoke (and again, the young male realtor who probably called his mother for advice on this was burning candles, as many as possibly ALL the scented candles in Oakland, ALL the scents, so evergreen was mixed with vanilla mixed with lemon mixed with old smoke, and he was just grinning away on the couch -- he seemed very sweet, though). But it has three small bedrooms, one for us, and one for an office for each of us, which will add to sanity, and it has a yard, and it's in the BEST neighborhood, one that we know and love, and we met some neighbors who were the cutest things, and the best was when La told me later just what I was thinking, "It's the kind of place I always thought I'd live when I grew up." Me, too.

And hey, if it's not to be, it won't be. I worry about disappointing Lala, and I worry about disappointing myself. I worry that my big sudden dreams will be smashed on the ground, but I  know that the actual truth is that if that happens, I'll just be disappointed. I'll have a good cry, and Lala will be sad, but she'll tell me it's okay, and then we'll rent out my place and rent a bigger place for us to be together, and that's what this is all about anyway, right?

It sure could be cute, though. We'd paint it orange. Dreams don't hurt.

December 17, 2005

How did typepad manage to break EVERYTHING this weekend, huh? Someone was stressed out at that job, and I hope it's getting easier for them. I'm still missing some images, however, so I'll throw a couple more at you, how 'bout?

Photo_121505_005
    Yes, manic. But happy on a caffeine high.

Photo_121505_009

I can't remember what she was explaining, but I can tell she was really into it. If I remember correctly, it was something complicated about the internet and connectivity and allsuchthings. She's better at that stuff than I am. In fact, at this moment, she's over at her apartment, doing something mightily complicated computer-wise that she couldn't wait to get to. Me, I'm going to sit by the heater and spin (when did it get so cold? I thought it was going to snow earlier, since it was raining AND much colder than normal. Doesn't that mean snow?).

Then I'm going to make dinner (ribeye and soup, good food for cold rain) and try not to think too much about the wonderful open house we went to today. Just think good thoughts for us, won't you? Don't even know if we can put in an offer on it, and it's rich for our blood, but we loved it. It will be a very happy house for someone, no matter what. Dreaming.....

Also, for the record, if Lala sings "My Humps" to me one more time, I will not be responsible for my actions. All I'm sayin'.

OversleepingDecember 15, 2005

(which is not as much fun as sleeping over, by the way)

Knit-Out!
Isn't it time for one? I'm planning now, 'cause I need to plan out my movements THIS far in advance right now. Mark your calendars, Bay Area Knitters:

January 14th, Saturday, 1pm, Temescal Cafe, 4920 Telegraph, Oakland (just down from Article Pract)

Don't worry, I'll remind you again.

I'm at a coffee-shop in Oakland with Lala, the Hudson Bay Cafe, and they just started playing Johnny Cash. Lala sighed and said, "I'm never leaving." Her internets are down at her house and while she works to fix them, she still needs a fix. So we came down here together, when I woke up from the longest nap ever.

See, I got off work this morning, came home, and meant to take a nap and then have my first day off. (If Thursday is a "day off" for you, but you don't get home from work until 7am, you've already lost 7 hours of that day off, so you can't waste much time sleeping if you want to maximize your weekend. You know?) I'd had a bit of MSG at work, and the roof of my mouth was swollen (in bad cases my whole face and then my tongue swells and I land on my back in the ER). So I took some Benadryl and went out for my nap. I thought nine to noon would be good. The alarm went off at noon, I groaned and hit the snooze, apparently turning it off for good, and woke again at 3pm. Fully rested, yes, but CRANKY. I'd lost a day! Grrrr! Stupid Benadryl.

But this is nice, just surfing the webs looking at this cute thing (and by that I mean the stud in the foreground, although the other two are cute, too):

Photo_121505_010

I hope to entice her over to my place later, where I've promised her that I have wireless and silly TV, which will occupy her while I spin.

Tomorrow I go to the realtor to drop papers off -- going to look at how much we can qualify for. We'll look at how realistic buying another house and keeping the condo for income property is. Might be totally fucking nuts, in which we'll rent something and rent out my condo. But might as well dream, right?

Busy ThoughtsDecember 13, 2005

We finally secured the spot for the wedding. Whew. It took us long enough. There just never seemed to be the right time to go down to the City Center and fill out the forms, never seemed to be the right amount of money in the bank, you know how it goes. But we got it. It’s paid for. Even if we have no money on the day of the wedding, we can have people show up with potluck goods and wine-in-a-box. We’ll have a party.

The place we’ve rented is amazing – an old lodge in the sequoias (in Oakland!), surrounded by a huge deck, an inlaid hardwood floor inside, a fireplace…. I dream of white lights and candles and romantic lighting. And a dress that’s pretty and fits and is just what I want.

I got the dress out the other day and started work on it again. It seemed that I had to have the hall rented and a solid date before I got serious about planning. So I’m knitting again (I might show you a bit at some point, but not much. You do understand. You’ll see it all afterward….). And I’m completely okay (I keep saying this) with this idea: If I get to that moment of truth and try it on and dislike it, I’ll go buy a cocktail dress, just like THAT. I want to look great on the big day, knitted dress or no knitted dress. We’ll just have to see.

Of course, now that my training period at work is drawing to a close (with any luck, just two and a half more weeks left), I can occupy my mind with other Big Things. Like moving. Oy. I want to live with my girl. She wants to live with me. But neither of us want to move. Boxes! Packing! Dust and disorder! Ack! I can’t sell the condo yet. Do we rent it out and rent another place? (Oh, going back to being a renter….) Do we rent it out and buy another place, calling the condo income property? (Oh, California real estate terror.)

Moving. Planning a wedding. Things to keep me awake at night. Good problems, though.

GgheeftshDecember 12, 2005

I’m at the coffee-shop, and I just had to put in my earbuds and pop open the iTunes folder. Sometimes I don’t even have to – sometimes they’re playing good music and no one’s annoying, but that day is not today. Now, if you’re going to sit in a coffee-shop and talk on a cell-phone, don’t you think you could at least amuse me and use this?

Isn’t that wonderful? I’d heard of it, but hadn’t seen it. I really just want to use it while driving. Hee.

I’m sleepy this afternoon, a hold-over from earlier today. This morning I drove home, which is always difficult after the first night of work. I was so tired that I started “reading” my audible book back to myself, a second delayed, just behind the reader herself. It was pretty fun, actually. I added inflections and every once in a while threw in a funny accent. It kept me awake and made me think about the way I move my mouth when I talk in a new way. It’s odd to think about your tongue. Go ahead. Think about it. (Was it Calvin who used to run around suddenly realizing that his tongue didn’t fit in his mouth?)

When I hit the bed this morning, I couldn’t even roll over to turn off the ringer as usually always do. Didn’t figure anyone would call, and if they did, I’d just ignore it. Instead, the phone rang at about 10:30am. In my addled state, I thought it was the alarm going off, so I hit the snooze button. Then it rang again, and I thought, Oh! Might as well answer it! It was my sister Christy, and I think I totally confused her.

“Allo? Shneff?”
“Rachael? Are you asleep?”
“No! Shnerffgh.”
“You sound asleep.”
“No, I have to get up anyway. It’s time to get up. Bhecksl.”
“Why do you have to get up?”
“I don’t know.”
“Go back to sleep.”
“The alarm-snerrfh just went off. It’s time to get up. Wait. It’s not time to get up. Hgegh. Wait. Wait a minute. Wait, wait. It’s NOT time to get up? Hey! It’s not time to get up! I don’t have to get up! That wasn’t the alarm! I get to go back to sleep!”
“Okay, I’ll call you later.”
“Shhhhhhhhhhnerfffffffffffffgggggghhh.”

I was asleep four seconds after that. But I LOVED that phone call. It’s like a  present. Hey! Wake up! You don’t have to be awake! Isn’t that great? You get to sleep! Yay! (What’s bad is when you can’t go back to sleep, but I didn’t have that problem, so it was just fun.)

Lace Shawl ThingieDecember 8, 2005

Howdy. How's your day? Mine's good, one of those Must Do Errands All Day In Order to Maintain Life's Order kind of day, not the kind of day that's good for spinning or knitting or dreaming, but one that's satisfying nonetheless. I'm trying to have less of these days, so on the days I must have them, I try to pack every single thing I can into them. When I got home yesterday morning from work, I did clean the house at least, something that makes me so happy for the rest of my weekend. The little things, like pulling dust bunnies out from under the bed and the couch (there was a LOT of dust, hellfire-have-mercy, it was a lot), and doing the coffee-cup dishes that have piled up over the work week, THAT makes me feel like I can go drink beer and eat sushi with a clear conscience.

So, because I'm off to do erranding, I'll just show you a couple of pics. Finally getting around to showing you the shawl thingie I made... I had a great date the other night, Skates by the Bay in Berkeley, steak AND crab, creme brulee for dessert, and I wore my new creation:

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    Digit says he's never been fed, ever.

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Specs:
Yarn: Mine! Woot! It's a blend of merino and silk, about 80/20, I think, hunted and gathered at Deep Color in Kensington, spun into very thin singles and plied into a sockweight yarn. I loved the pinks mixed with the greens.
Pattern: Mine! Well, with a liberal dose of Barbara Walker, volume 2. I just pulled out two lacey things I liked and put 'em together, garter at edge and borders. I didn't write it down, I apologize, but you could totally do the same kind of thing with similar results.

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    Why, hello!

A longer shot:

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    What you can't see is the lace skirt with cowboy boots.

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    Yes, this is after dinner. Thus the blurredness.

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    My new favorite!

Cashmere?December 6, 2005

Howdy there, my friends. It's late, and I'm bleary-eyed, so this'll be quick, but I have a favor to ask. Where does one buy nice cashmere roving? Copper Moose? I only need a little bit for socks for a friend who's paying for the roving if I spin it up for her, and I'm DYING to get my little paws on cashmere in the raw, but I just don't know where to look first.

Me? All I'm knitting recently is socks. Lots of socks. They're good work projects -- small enough to work on when I'm in training (I can still look at the study papers, and never down at my hands), so no one tells me not to (thank GOD), and I'm just doing miles of stocking stitch. Miles of it. Maybe someday I'll make a patterned sock, but it hasn't happened yet. The other day a coworker turned around and said, "You, you, you're such a SOCK-KNITTER!" Said as an epithet, it's mighty funny.

Still behind in email. Forgive me.

(sleepy) MWAH!

BootedDecember 1, 2005

I'm not sure if I can get behind the knitted boot recently featured on Knitty Gritty. I completely applaud the designer for her daring, and I think it's totally clever. Cute, even. But I could never wear them. And neither could you, probably. If you're NOT a knitter, you might get away with it. You know? Fashion-forward, cutting edge. But a Knitter wearing them? Every friend and family member would know that you'd finally gone right around the bend, and you'd never live it down. It's only a small step from that to making knitted chaps, and that's just not okay.

Went for a walk in the rain today on my way to getting my hair done (the hairdresser confirmed my suspicion that I am almost sixty percent gray-haired at the age of thirty-three), and saw this little person:

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Doesn't she make you want to play in the rain? Or at least get a yellow slicker? Do they make grownup yellow slickers? 'Cause that's the cutest thing ever.

Well, since I've shown you the cutest thing ever, I'll show you the toughest thing ever, too:

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Five and a half pounds of pirate terror, man. Be afraid, be very afraid.