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12 posts from March 2007

YAY! March 31, 2007

I did it!

On this lovely, warm afternoon, I made it to 100 miles! I did it this afternoon, and you can read a bit about it HERE, but I did it.

I'm glad. And proud. A really great feeling, isn't it? To accomplish something, anything, is a great feeling.

And then to follow it with a knit-out is even better! A good little whack of knitters showed up -- and the cafe we always knit at was CLOSING at 3pm, so we moved it down the street (but some moron stole the first notice I pinned up, so I hope everyone found us that wanted to).

See?

3

And Celia brought her AMAZING sock-leftover baby blanket that is almost done -- isn't it gorgeous?

Celiablanket

And Writeagogo starts fer REELZ tomorrow, but for those of you writing with me, I'll start when I get back from my trip up the coast. We're going up to Mendocino tomorrow for one night, to celebrate our one-year anniversary. One year! I mean, really. I know time flies, but it really DOES feel like just yesterday we were getting hitched. Twice in three days. Man.

Marriage is really good stuff.

Lamelsk

Yarn Sale! March 28, 2007

If you come on Saturday to the Knit-Out (see below), Christina at Article Pract has said that anyone who says they're "a friend of Rachael" that afternoon will get 15% off everything but books. Kind of like a friend of Dorothy, only yarn-ier (and less gay).

Also, they're having a Dulaan knit-in on Sunday, if you're looking for more knittin' in public goodness.

That is all. As you were.

KnitterlyMarch 27, 2007

I've had a lovely, knitterly weekend. Aren't those the best? A bunch of people came over on Sunday to celebrate Janine being in town and to knit for Dulaan. Becca brought me a gift:

Dulknit2

A martini glass full of mini-Cadbury Creme Eggs. How's that for a charming hostess gift?

Let's see, also in attendance were Cindy and No-Blog Rachel and Jeni and Breanna and Maia and Celia. I think that's all, but I could EASILY be forgetting someone, because you know how I am. And I have to say, isn't it fun to dish knit-gossip? There was a time in all of our lives when we didn't even know such a thing existed, wasn't there?

Dulknit1

Img_6139

Me and my feral-friend Janine. I swear, I've appropriated her for my spinning/knitting/life mentor, and never really asked her if it was okay. Hey, Janine? Is that okay?

Oh my god, I'm sitting on my chair in my yarn room, looking out into the front yard, and I just realized my in-laws are coming in to town today and I HAVE TO MOW THE LAWN. I bought a lawn mower on Craigslist that took about 200 pulls (not exaggerating) to start it the only time I used it (but it was worth the $20), so I'm not really excited about that chore.

Either that or I could tell them we're experimenting with a low-water form of urban veldt. Veldt pioneers. I like that better than figuring out that lawn mower again. Lala says she knows how to mess with the choke (which is broken) to get it to turn over, but she's not here, is she? No, she's selfishly gone off to work, leaving me to sit with little dogs, looking out the windows.

I got off topic. Knitterly. Okay, then, yesterday, I stole Janine again (because I do that) and we traipsed off to the city, blithely crossing the Bay Bridge (which she was impressed with, which validated ME, because I am FINALLY pretty comfortable with driving in the City, ten long nervous years later), picking up Lala, and going for burritos at the best place in town, Tacqueria Cancun.

And if we accidentally went looking for (and found) yarn to buy, well, that happens on accident sometimes. You know?

And last night was my last sock knitting class! I came to really adore my students, and I'll miss them. That's not something I thought would happen. I was flattered into doing it, but I wasn't sure I would enjoy it. It was just something to push me, to expand my knitting horizons. (Honestly, I was worried they'd think I was a fraud. It wasn't until I realized that yes, I do have thirty years knitting experience, and I guess I kinda DO know what I'm doing and how to fix mistakes, even though I'm more casual about mistakes than many (and a teacher shouldn't be casual about mistakes OH FOR THE LOVE OF GOD THEY'LL SEE RIGHT THROUGH ME), that I finally relaxed enough to really enjoy being there.) And the students were AWESOME.

I mean, when your students do THIS , how can you not have a great time? (Sorry, Stephen darling, I had to.)

So. I'll be teaching again. I guess I'm hooked.

Today, I'm just hanging out. Must go for a run, maybe a four or five miler. Then I'm only left with one short run before my Saturday 100-miles-done run! And I should cut the grass, but yawn. I should really watch The Amazing Race and 24. Oh, yeah. And I should eat more mini-Cadbury eggs. For sure.

And for fun, my dashboard bobble-head:

Iddash

Knit-Out! March 26, 2007

Hi hi hi! I have bunches of things to tell you, and as it goes, NO time to do so, so here's a placeholder post for you. And something to put on your calendar.

This Saturday, March 31st

Runagogo and a Knit-Out (you don't have to do one to do the other)

1pm: Meet at Lake Merritt in Oakland -  (a change in location here:) at the water fountain that's IN the lake, across the street from the Merritt Bakery. There's a little raised area there -- let's meet there.

Then run/walk with me (in front of me, behind me) around the lake as I finally get my 100th mile.

Please RSVP in comments for this, so if you're coming we'll know to look for you.

2:30pm - KNIT OUT at Temescal Cafe, on Telegraph, same block as Article Pract. All are welcome, no RSVPs needed. Just show up. I'm sure we'll be there a couple of hours at least. I can give people rides from the Lake to the knit-out if needed.

And quickly, yesterday's Dulaan knit-in was a hit! Lala made a hat! As she said, it wasn't perhaps the best hat in the world, perhaps they could give it to a bad child. It's small though, so it'll have to be for a very, very bad Mongolian baby:

Laladulhat_2
It is, no matter what she says, a very cute hat. Great fun was had by all. More to follow.

Dulaan Knit-In! March 22, 2007

Ain't nothing like short notice, right?

Dulaan Knit-In in Honor of FeralKnitter Janine Being In Town

This Sunday, 3-7, Chez Hehu (our house)

Please email me or drop a comment to get directions. Bring your Dulaan knitting and leave it behind -- I promise I'll get it mailed, although I'm notoriously bad at getting to the Post Office.

Runagogo ReduxMarch 21, 2007

We're gonna do it again, over at Runagogo.com. We're going to move 100 miles in three months, starting April 1st. It's a reasonable amount, not hard to do, just a little more than a mile a day, but if I don't push myself, I won't get there at all, so I need the push. How 'bout you?

And now, to celebrate, we have SWAG!

Thistote

Yes, it's the new Runagogo Store. And I'm happy to say that Cafepress has added plus-sized tee-shirts to their line, because, please, NO ONE I KNOW can wear their Jr. Medium size, not even my little pocket vegan friends.

Also, I'm gonna be running around Lake Merritt in Oakland on Saturday, March 31st. It will hopefully be my 100th mile, because I'm gonna JUST cross that finish line (shin splints bothering me again). Wanna run with me? With a little knit-out after that? You can finish the 1st quarter challenge or start the new one! Come on..... 

CarsMarch 19, 2007

Sometimes, when I have a day off, I think the part I like best is waking up early and thinking about all the things I'm going to get done. I think about the long, leisurely run I'll take with the dog, and the writing I'll do at some nice cafe, sitting out in the sun, and the housecleaning that I'll do while singing the standards, and the food I'll cook for the coming week. I lie in bed, and I hear Lala in the shower, and I think all these delicious thoughts. Then I read a chapter or two of whatever I'm reading and I GO BACK TO SLEEP for three hours. I got up at 10:30am today (as opposed to 4:30am on days I work) and now it's 11:30 and I haven't done anything except have tea and cereal and answer emails.

But really, that's okay. I would enjoy getting all those things done, and I enjoyed THINKING about getting them done. We find pleasure where it lives, right?

I was going to tell you about my car day the other day!

Last week, the station wagon started feeling funny. I pulled over a couple of times, sure that the tire was flat. Okay, no, I found that it wasn't flat, but OHMYGOD, I think TWO lug nuts have come off one of the tires. I dragged a really unwilling guy away from pumping his gas to the dark alley where the gas station hid its inflation station to see if he could confirm that my tire was about to fall off because it was missing two lug nuts. I really, honestly think he thought I was going to mug him back there. I've never seen anyone so jumpy.

But no, he showed me that I was only missing the lug nut covers, not the bolts themselves, so that wasn't it. The air pressure was fine in the tires, but at 30 miles an hour, the car wobbled and went whomp-whomp-whomp. At speeds higher and lower, it seemed okay.

The next day, unable to get to the auto-shop, it started making that sound and juddering between 20 and 40 mph. The next day, it did it quite a bit more, and then suddenly, on my way to teach my sock class, it did it at all speeds. I white-knuckled my way home on the freeway, going 30 as the the car went WHOMPWHOMPWHOMPWHOMP.

I didn't even feel safe enough to limp it to Big O Tires in Alameda the next day, so I called AAA for a tow. No worries, I could drive the old convertible Nissan for a day or two. But when I walked back to that car, I found THREE flat tires on that bad boy.

Photo_031307_002

With some fast talking and a very nice tow-truck driver, I got him to tow out both my cars on the same flatbed. I even got to hitch a ride with him to Alameda (I love riding in tow trucks -- it's like the engine of a train or the cockpit of a plane -- somewhere rather mysterious that you know you don't belong so you get the best view you can, while you can).

Tell me I wasn't embarrassed though. I felt like shouting to the neighbors who were probably peeping out their windows, "THEY ARE NOT REPO-ING MY CARS!"

Turns out I had a bubble in my front tire that hadn't been visible to me, but was obvious when they pointed it out. That was what was making the noise -- the tire was beginning to separate. Also turns out that the car is ten years old, and the tires were eleven. Factory-issue, obviously, and high time for new ones. The car rides like a dream, and the Nissan drives again, and we're broke and that was a lot to tell you just to justify this picture:

Photo_031307_006

    Both my cars, heading out

Now. What am I going to do with my day and my cars that drive? Dogs needs walking, and I'm thinking about Pt. Isabel. Maybe today's the day I'm going to multitask and take the computer with me -- grab a picnic bench and let the dogs go crazy with the other dogs while I write. I always mean to do that and then forget completely until I'm up at the picnic bench, looking over the entire bay, thinking, what a great place to write!

And you, you enjoy your day, okay?

LightMarch 16, 2007

It's kind of a present to myself, really, these last two blogs I've added to my life. Run-a-go-go and Write-a-go-go, they're the carrots I've dangled in front of my nose, and in order to move forward with my goals, I click, and LO AND BEHOLD someone else has blogged, and they tell me what they're doing, and in doing so, they encourage me to keep going. Little miracles, every time I turn the computer on. I love, love, love it.

It's kind of always like that, though, ain't it? The computer is a miracle.

So is this weather! And the light! The time change! How much do we heart the time change, people? Did you know it was a congressional decision driven by money? It means $100,000,000 more in golf clubs and greens fees alone. $300,000,000 more in barbeques and charcoal. We can't even fathom how much money the candy industry poured into changing the dates, since they've been lobbying for it for decades now -- Halloween will have an extra hour of light this year!

I have to say, I approve of these tax dollars at work. Day before yesterday I left work at 6pm, drove home, changed, got the dog and met my sister at the lake, where we ran our almost-three miles and then I went home and it was STILL LIGHT. Yesterday I went home and sat on the porch swing and read and it was STILL LIGHT. It was a perfect 72 degrees out there, with a breeze, and the sound of the kids on the football field across the creek, and the dogs lying on their sides on the porch..... The best.

Remind me to tell you about the cars! I keep forgetting, and it requires pictures, and I keep blogging from work, where the pictures aren't.

*My happiness with the time change is helped that I get up for work at 4:30am, so it is ALWAYS dark, so my mornings haven't changed a bit.

Write-a-Go-GoMarch 11, 2007

I guess I found time.
HERE YOU GO-GO.

Writeagogo?March 10, 2007

I have been running! I should post this at Runagogo, but I find it rather daunting to write on two sites, so I'm just hanging out here, with you. (Or maybe I'll cross-post this entry there later. Don't tell). Yep, I'm running. I ran five miles earlier this week, three yesterday, and will run three again today. I've run 69 miles so far, and will be up to 72 by tonight.

I'm completely thrilled about the new daylight saving change -- I never used to care, but working 6am-6pm means in these months I never, ever see daylight during my work week. Now, starting tomorrow, I'll have some daylight after work and can run, or walk the dog, or just sit on the porch and listen to the creek while darkness falls.

I've been running with my NEW WATCH, the Forerunner 305. Well, okay, I ran with it yesterday for the first time, but it was so damn cool. I gadget myself out now to run. First, I plug my Nike+ sensor into my iPod Nano, and set up my run on that. Then I put in my earplugs and tuck away the iPod in the only place it doesn't constantly say "Activity stopped, press the Menu key to resume" (which is SOOOO annoying when you're running hard) which happens to be under my bra strap. And I've already strapped on the heart monitor under my clothes, and then I put on the watch and fire that up, and then, only when my iPod is talking to the chip in my shoe, and the watch is talking to not only the heart monitor but the satellites that track my progress, I'm off for my run.

It's good stuff. It's kind of weird, how enjoyable I find the tech side of running.

It's making me wish, though, that I was better at channeling my motivation into what I really do, what I really WANT to do, which is, of course, writing. (I bought the watch with writing monies -- that felt great.)

It's just all that little living stuff that gets in the way, you know? Working and cleaning the house and walking dogs and mowing the lawn and knitting and seeing friends and cooking -- where does writing fit? It sure as hell fit in November, when I wrote 2000 words a day. A day!

So I'm thinking about starting up another little challenge. The reason Runagogo has worked so well for me (and more than 500 other people, woot!) is that it was reasonable and do-able. And at the same time, that level of activity was very easy NOT to do, and therefore, I needed the push.

Wouldn't that apply to writing?

What about a little Writeagogo action? Hmmmm? I haven't had time to set up the site, won't till next week, but what do you think? Anyone want to write reasonably and do-ably with me for three months? What is reasonable? I know I can do 1000 words a day without pushing TOO hard, but that would still be quite a push to do day in, day out. I've gone for that number before every day, and gave it up quickly, needing days off and weekend lie-ins. I'm loving the running three-ish times a week -- that number's working for me.

So I'm kinda thinking 3 times a week, writing 1000 words a day might work pretty well, too. No, it's not very much. But dude, it's more than I'm writing right now with all the nice little distractions that I create for myself.

Would anyone else be into something like that? Hmmm?

Hooray! March 5, 2007

I just had the BEST class at Knit-One-One. Now, now that it's over (the first of four, but the only one I was scared about), I can admit that I've been SO FREAKED OUT. I haven't taught anyone anything knitted-related in so long that I'd begun to doubt myself, and when I was driving to the class, I felt like I was on a blind-date with six knitters. Six knitters who might stab me with sharp little pointy needles, who might know everything there is to know about socks and I should just go sit outside in the dirt while they knit.

It's always nerve-wracking to meet new people, but knitters? The people, the subgroup, that I love most? Ask Lala -- I'd been wound-up about it for two days. Serious nerves, no lie.

But it was awesome. Good food, laughs, great atmosphere, good people. And Stephen, who came just to knit, because he's in the process of designing an awesome sock and needs NO help from me, was a DOLL, just as I knew he'd be. And Jennifer was great, as were the other Blogless Ones, and I made it out alive, and I'm so glad I'm doing it, because these people are tres cool. I had a wonderful time. And even though Ms. Janie Sparkles made a break for it when the front door was opened, she was found, safe and sound. Thank god. If losing your dog at a knitting class isn't enough to put you off knitting for life, I don't know what is. I am glad the class was not responsible for that.

And now I will play the ukulele. I am learning this song, from the Jerk. Oh, how I love this song.

Why I Didn't RunMarch 2, 2007

Oh, my gosh, Lala will kill me if I don't share this story with you. She keeps saying "You haven't blogged that yet! Blog it!"

The other day, I went out for a run with my dog, Clara. We drove to Alameda, and my plan was to run from the dog park down to the beach and along the shore, then come back and let the dog run off-leash to get rid of the rest of her energy. But while I was driving in that direction, the sky got dark. And then darker.

Then it started to rain. I thought, I'm hardcore. I can handle this. I pulled into the parking lot and stared into the almost-empty dog park. It started to POUR.

Then, as I was about to get out of the car, it started to hail. Hard. I got out my phone and started texting a complaint to Lala. "It's hailing. I don't want to go. Wahhh."

But before I hit send, something happened. I heard a noise that wasn't even noise -- it was louder than anything I'd ever heard, but it didn't feel like my definition of Loud. It just was. There was light, but it wasn't like light. I felt weird and completely stuck. While it was happening, I couldn't move, and it wasn't fear, I just couldn't make my muscles work.

The parking lot I was sitting in was HIT BY LIGHTNING! The same parking lot I would have been running through if I hadn't been sending my whiny text to Lala.

I thought my car had been hit, at first. Or that I had. I knew exactly what it was, even though it didn't sound or look like any lighting I'd ever heard or seen. I didn't know if I'd been hit. Was I burned and just didn't know it yet? I hadn't breathed yet, and I remember making the conscious decision to take a breath and see if it hurt. I did, and it didn't.

Whew.

I turned around to look at Clara, and we reacted to each other in the same way. We looked at each other blankly, calmly, and then both of us started to shake uncontrollably. I scrambled through the station wagon into the back seat. I have a dog-fence blocking the back of the station-wagon from the back seat. I stuck my arms through the fence and clutched her and she leaned back into my arms and we both stared out the back window, petrified.

In a few seconds, I heard shouts. The three men in the dog park had grabbed their dogs that had originally bolted in fear and were running for their cars. They must have been even more scared than I was -- they were out in the open. All the lights in the park and its outbuilding were suddenly on and strangest of all, all the park sprinklers started shooting water straight up into the air, into the pouring rain. Maybe they were on an electric timer?

I started to grab the umbrella -- the UMBRELLA -- in the car to get out and then I realized that was probably pretty stupid, so I just jittered myself out the back passenger-side door and babbled in their direction.

I knew one of the men in the park, even though he doesn't know me. He's a local crazy* that I spoke to on a regular basis when I worked police dispatch, and he started yelling at me and the other two guys: "Who has a cell phone? Don't use your cell! Don't touch it! The lightning affects the transformers, and they'll hear us! It's just the government! Don't run, and don't use any phones!"

The other two guys babbled with me as we all just stood there, trying to figure out what the hell we should do, which was, basically, nothing. We just got back in our cars and drove away. What else SHOULD we have done? No one was hurt, we were just FREAKED OUT.

And dude, I SO didn't run. Nope. That was god's way of saying go home and make pumpkin muffins, yams with chipotle dip, spinach/kale turnovers, and tomato soup. Wow. I just realized I did that the same day. I was nesting a bit, wasn't I? Interesting. I was kind of manic about the cooking, actually. Ask Lala. I was throwing ingredients into the air and catching them wildly (and badly -- don't EVER substitute steel-cut oatmeal for Quaker oatmeal -- dude, it's like throwing uncooked rice into finished muffins. I had to throw out the whole batch).

There. That is my lightning story. I would like it to be the closest I ever get to lightning in my life.

*The same local guy, we'll call him Steve, was once behind me in the 7-Eleven line. I gave the checker a twenty, he put it in the till, and then gave me change on a ten. We started to argue about it, but then Steve stepped forward and boomed, "The lady GAVE you a TWENTY, give her CHANGE!" The checker did indeed give me the correct change. So I have fond feelings toward Steve.