14 posts from November 2007
I put up my first Christmas tree! All by myself!
I put it in the sunporch, where Digit eats, because he's the only animal who ever goes out there. But you can see it beautifully from both the street and the living room. It's perfect. I love, love, love it. The only decorations are the lights and those snowflakes that my sister Christy helped me make. Happy. Always wanted one, now I have one. Happy, happy, happy.
Now I'm going to have a glass of wine and watch A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila. None of y'all are admitting to watching it, but I will confess: I've seen every awful, trashy episode. A bisexual reality TV show? Come on! How can you NOT watch? Opinions: Dani should win, and Tila is boring but cute. There. I said it. Confess something to me now, please?
(Also, Sile of knit-one-one would like to remind the Bay Area folk that The Magical Mystery Knitting Party is happening this Friday, November 30th. This is how it works. Knitters arrive with their supplies, are served the libation of their choice--usually wine---then Kate corrals everyone and starts issuing forth directions---Cast on 10 stitches----for example. Because you see the fun in all this is that no-one knows what they will be knitting! Wild guesses abound--of course----and the winner gets a prize. It is an hilarious evening filled with laughter, fun, knitting and knitters---and you walk away at the end of the evening with a cute little knitted something in your hot little hands. A perfect event. (There is a pic of the last Magical Mystery Knitting project on the blog.))
is complete! I love it.
Pattern: Ariann, by Bonne-Marie
Yarn: Rowan Kid Classic, gray, 8.3 skeins used, 1270 yards
Needles: US 6
I lengthened the body a bit, about an inch. And OHMYGOD I made the classic mistake. I missed an "at the same time." Oh, holy cow, my math wasn't working out right, and I'd done most of the raglan decreasing. Oh, yeah. I forgot to make the neckline. But you know me! It'll never be noticed from a trotting horse! So I improvised the collar, and I have to say, I like it like this. I like the V-neck written in the pattern, but I like this better.
The reclining pose.
The disco pose!
One of favorite parts of the sweater: I finally found a use for some Edwardian (yes, from the 1880s) buttons I got at Stitches last year. They were a hefty splurge, and I got eight, and only used four on this, so I get to look forward to using them again! I think they are the most gorgeous things ever. I lurve them.
All cleavage aside, check out Willie's expression. It looks like he's watching a spider drop from the ceiling. God, I hope he wasn't.
Adah says stop screwing around! Feed me!
Spent time this weekend chilling out in San Francisco, which was good. Went in with Lala on BART on Sunday. We looked at bicycles (did you hear she's doing the AIDS ride? I'm so proud of her) and ate at ChaChaCha because tapas are fun and because ginger drops are delectable.
And yesterday, on a whim, my sister Bethany and I headed in on the ferry for a little walk-around.
It was gorgeous, clear and sunny, flat water, no wind. The best way to approach the City.
We had lunch with Lala and then just walked around. We wrote a little at the Ferry building (both sisters are also Nano-ing) and searched hotels for an elusive secret button we'd heard about (at ____ hotel, if you push floor 30 three times, the button will light up and you'll be granted access). We just couldn't really remember which hotel it was. I can tell you it is not the Embarcadero Hyatt. I do love how we got so hopefully on the elevator, only to find that it went to floor 19. How did we not NOTICE that it was a short building and could not possibly have had anywhere near thirty floors?
AND I SAW MY BOYFRIEND.
Anthony Bourdain had just given a reading which I missed, sad sad sad, but he was still signing books. And he pointed at ME! Sure, he was pointing at me because he thought I was taking the picture of that guy standing next to him (as if), but he saw me for a second. And why he didn't stand up right then and profess his undyling lust and devotion to me, I'll never understand. It's okay, Tony. We can be secret lovairs. Call me.
Now I am at work. I started my 74-hour work week a little early, and will be at work FOREVER. Or so it feels.
But I won't whine. It's good money, and it's a good place to work. I had a field-save the other day, where I gave CPR instructions and a guy went from being dead to not-dead, thanks to the good compressions his caller performed. So that was good.
And I get to knit here. I'm almost done with Ariann. Also good. I wish I had some chocolate, though.
Did you know they have Cadbury Christmas Creme Eggs now??? I think they're supposed to be tree ornaments, so they took out the yellow part of the creamy yolk, because everyone knows that tree ornaments don't have yolks, and Easter eggs do (?) but they taste just the same. Only they're smaller. Again. They are shrinking them every chance they get. But I will keep buying them. Yep.
That is all. As you were.
But doesn't really like Willie much.
(Just look at that butt! All furry! He's healthy! And alive!)
My favorite two words (meaning-wise) are Create and Truth. I especially like them together. Even though it sounds like a pretty way of saying lying, creating truth, to me, means writing fiction.
Which, apparently, I love to do.
I started Nanowrimo this year as a cheat. Kind of. I'm writing non-fiction. Creative non-fiction. According to Cybele, one of the Nanowrimo ringleaders, this is considered kind-of-okay, as long as it isn't journalistic fact-checking newspaper kind of stuff. They're putting together another challenge for those folks. Gotta be creative, that's all.
My writing is certainly not the fact-checking kind. Oh, it is so very far from it.
In fact, I've found that I'm bored. Or I was bored. Apparently, when I'm bored I spice things up a bit.
I'm writing non-fiction. Therefore, I'm writing about things that Have Happened. I know that truth is subjective in many ways -- no one remembers the same thing the same way. Everyone who writes about the past is fabricating somehow. Everyone.
But oh, lord, I am making stuff up, not realizing I am doing so, and then BELIEVING IT! I was writing a scene where I broke up with someone over something, and I was all upset, pulling the faces I make when I write dialogue. While I was trying to figure out what was going to happen next, I realized that I shouldn't have to figure it out -- I should know. Since it had already happened and all. But I had made myself into a character, and my girlfriend was another one, and none of this had ever gone down. But I was writing it as if it had, and more, I was believing myself. And I was mad at the ex!
SO much more enjoyable. So much easier to write! More fun!
So I have abandoned myself to writing what I am calling a fictional memoir. That makes me happy for three reasons:
1. I am fully qualified to be in the Nanowrimo challenge. Although I wasn't too stressed about it. It's Nano. (Half-way party tonight at Juans! Woot! I'm over 30,000 words!)
2. Dude. I had a great reason here and I just forgot it. Oh, well.
3. I don't have to worry about sticking to the boring facts. I can throw in what I want, where I want! I just made three people up! People with whom I had a fake, never-happened conversation. I can tell you, the fictional me has sparkling conversational skills. Yup.
HOWEVER: I will forestall worries you might have about me James Frey-ing it -- I don't predict this being published anytime soon if ever, and by then I will have figured out what to do with it, what to call it, but I promise I won't call anything non-fiction that isn't. That I promise. (But why would you believe me? When I can't even believe myself! Oh, it's so much fun.)
Digit update: OHMYGOD he's so good. And you know what else? HE'S ALIVE. That's my very favorite part of him, even more favorite than his soft, wet nose. Here's a shot of me, two weeks ago when I had that flu. There are five animals on the bed with me - two kittens, Miss Idaho at my feet, and a dark Harriet to the left. AND DIGIT! My Digit. (Your Digit, too.) More pictures and maybe a video next week? When I get them out of the camera?
Why yes, I was in the VERY TOP row of the top deck.
I went to the Oakland Raiders versus the Chicago Bears game with some work friends yesterday. I've been wanting to go to a Raiders game FOREVER but people always say the same thing, "Oh, scary! You better be careful.... You should go with a guy...."
I freaking loved every minute of it (except I drank beer during the day, starting during our tailgate at 11am, and had a hangover by 7pm -- that sucked. I forgot if you do that, you have to KEEP drinking. Silly me, switching to water).
I have never seen a sea of humanity more chilled out, more accepting, having more fun. You'd actually see Bears fan walking in with Raider fans, tailgating together. Granted, there was some ribbing but it seemed good natured on both sides. I'd thought the people who I first saw wearing blue and orange were brave -- that they were gonna get beat up for SURE. But nah. No big deal. Raider Nation. That is a brotherhood if I ever saw one. The guys LOVED the other guys. We girls were fine to be there, but it was all about men bonding with other men that they didn't know. It was cool.
And it was November 11! My favorite date on the calendar! And my favorite Raider is Janikowski, number 11. Kinda sad when the kicker is one of the best players -- we lost, 17-6, not a big surprise. But even after losing, Raider Nation was mellow. Maybe they're crazy at away games or something. But not at home. So fun. And from the top row, you can see San Francisco. Gorgeous.
And while I was there, Lala took the dogs for a walk (to say that she doesn't care about football is a gross understatement) and then made this super-great movie:
Music, too! That is my cute dog, Clara, with short (get it?) appearances by Harriet and Miss Idaho. We now HAVE to take them to the hills to walk -- no more beaches for them, for a long time. No one knows when all this oil will be cleaned up from the spill. It's awful in so many huge ways, and some small ones, too, like Clara not being able to play in the waves and roll on the sand -- her two favorite things. But the hills are nice. This is in Leona Canyon.
And now I'm off to write some more for Nanowrimo -- keeping up but only just....
I realized the other day that this was going to happen with the time rolling back an hour: On Tuesday afternoon, the sun set. I was not going to see the sun again until Sunday morning.
Think about that.
Damn. I'm kind of bummed just thinking about it, and I'm not one of those that really feels like they need sun -- I love rain -- winter doesn't get me down, but oh, boy. That's something. Tuesday afternoon to Sunday morning. I get to work at 6am, before dawn, and leave at 6pm, after dark. We have one small round porthole in our concrete bunker, but because of issues with glare on computer screens, we have the blinds closed all the time.
We don't take breaks, don't have the staffing (but that means I get to screw around on the computer and knit and write and all sorts of good stuff when it's slow), but I might start trying to go outside at least once a day for a couple of minutes. I'm kind of weirded out by this. I've never worked this kind of shift at this time of year -- usually I've worked midnight shifts where you get plenty of daylight in the afternoon/early evening hours before you go to work.
Also: Nanowrimo is kicking my ass. I managed only 875 words today, and I'm quitting while I'm ahead. I assume I'll bounce back, and my word count is solid, so I'm okay, but yipes.
I would like a nap.
This, however, cheers me up:
Miss Idaho is happy dog
and this is happy, too:
She's so small she looks like one of those bobbleheaded things.
We will not talk about Lala's cowboy hat that Clara ate all but the brim of this morning. That is not happy talk. No, it is not. Very bad dog. If Lala felt anything like I felt after finding the cashmere massacre, I feel very badly for her indeed. (Yes, Clara's getting daily hikes, and training, and kongs. Just damn naughty. Grrr.)
Besides not setting my clocks back on the Fall-Back day, which leads to gaining like SEVEN HOURS over the course of the day --
7am - time to get up, NO WAIT, it's only 6am! Whee!
Noon - maybe I'll take a nap, NO WAIT, it's only eleven! Plenty of naptime!
6pm - Dinnertime, NO WAIT, it's only five! Time for drinks!
I even got in a fight with TiVo, thinking it wasn't recording the Amazing Race, but it was going to, at the appropriate time, which I had forgotten about again. That is seriously how easily I forget things. I love the daylight savings change in Fall. LOVE IT. Hate it getting dark earlier, but that's the price we pay for such a fun day.
But that is an old passion, not a new passion. My new passion is looking at kitties (and dogs) with cerebellar hypoplasia on YouTube. If you like cats at all, I swear to all that's holy you have to watch this video about Charley right now. Like, NOW. You can't not be moved by that. And moved in a funny, spastic, lovely way.
A. Lala is funny about our aminals.
B. I wrote another 1750 words, for a total of 3500 for the first two days of Nanowrimo. I hope. I'm writing at work, and I have no way to ship my writing out of here and no way to officially count words. Because of where I work, I can't bring in any memory devices, no disks or memory sticks, and the computers that we work on are not connected to the outside world in any way, including to the internets. We have a separate internet computer to share, but I would never hog it in order to Nano at work. That's just wrong. And it's so NICE to have a job where I'm paid to know what to do and when to do it -- but when there's nothing going on, it's not like I have to polish the silver or anything.
So I am left with two choices:
1. Write longhand. Response: No way in hell am I going to retype all that. Plus, I write so SLOWLY by hand compared to how I type.
2. Type it out on the computer in front of me. Response: This is what I'm doing, but I tell you, it's WEIRD to write, print it out to hardcopy and then erase all trace of what I've spent hours on. I'm so used to saving and re-saving and saving to disk and saving online... I've ordered scanner OCR software (ReadIris 11 for Mac - any users? Advice?), and even if I only get 85% accuracy (Apple says it's more like 99% accuracy), I'll be saving time. But to have those words, uncounted, only on paper.... it's just weird, man.
C. Whooops. I don't have a C. That's it. Mwah.
Started Nanowrimo today. Did you? Hey, I'm going to use the Treadmill idea that was introduced to me by PoMoGolightly. It works wonders for motivation -- there's just something about accountability and thinking about WHEN you're going to work the next day.
Basically, you track these things:
1. The date and the time. 2. How long I plan to work. 3. What I plan to work on for this day. 4. Time when I stop writing and total amount of time writing. 5. What did I actually end up doing? How well did it go? 6. What I plan to work on tomorrow. 7. When I plan to work tomorrow and for how long.
My treadmill journal is HERE; you can use it as a jumping-off point. It's not interesting enough to read regularly, although feel free to keep me to task if you see me falling off.