Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I don't think it means what he thinks it means.


And no, it's not a prison tattoo. At least, that's what my cousin said.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Snow, steak and disbelief

Much to most people's surprise, we got some snow this month. Because we're in the valley, we usually only get rain, rain and more rain. But a week or so before Christmas we got three inches of snow on two different occasions. The city was practically paralyzed in disbelief and most people stayed home.

I love the snow because it's so beautiful and because I don't have to drive anywhere in it or feed any ungrateful cows in snow and ice after dragging bales of hay half a mile up the road and wheelbarrowing water brought up from the creek in buckets. Not that I am bitter. However, there's a reason I do not live near a cow and love a good steak.

So while we had snow, we didn't drive our car because we don't have studs or chains. Instead, Aimee took the opportunity to drive her jeep (otherwise known as Roger) on errands.

One day she asked if I wanted to ride along with her to finish up some Christmas shopping. Of course I was game, I wanted to check out all the snow! As I packed up the sock I was knitting, she said, "I think the sock will be here when you get back." I was stunned as I realized the magnitude of the statement she had made. Obviously, I had failed her somehow as a knitter! I could see that she has some way to go before knitting is truly a drug of choice and she is fully addicted. Needless to say, the knitting went with me. I peacefully knit while waiting outside for her in the jeep, watching people skid by on ice and children play in snow.

The next day we went to a yarn store where Aimee bought the yarn for her Oregon Duck scarf and some nice Malabrigo for a hat. It may take some time but I'm sure Aimee will catch up with the rest of us addicts!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Looking forward to February


On Black Friday Mom and I drove straight to Sears where I was able to buy a washer and dryer. We got a great deal on a set of front loaders, with a savings of about $600. The bad part of the deal is we have to wait until February to get them. Meanwhile, off to the laundromat we go!

Above, Aimee waits patiently for her laundry to go through the wash cycle. She's working on an Oregon Duck scarf, a popular color theme in these parts.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Thimbleberries

I picked these berries while visiting Mom last summer. They're delicious but you have to watch out for bugs which like to hang out in the cupped part of the soft, lightly fuzzed berry. I can't tell you how many berries I've spit out when I felt something crunchy that didn't belong.

The other good thing about thimbleberries is their leaves, which are large, thick, soft and fuzzy. They make great toilet paper when you're stuck in the woods! Not that I would know anything about that.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Apollo showing off his assets

Apollo didn't realize I was recording him, he thought I was holding the camera up to take a picture. The "boobs" are outdoor faucet covers.

Note Zoe running by in the beginning of the video. She does this whenever someone knocks on or comes in any of the doors. This should have been Apollo's first clue that someone was there.

Mom's newbie chicken egg (with grooves)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Some Christmas goodies

I wanted to add something to the presentation of the socks and these vellum labels with a simple bow in the middle seemed to be just the touch I was looking for. Information about yarn content and care is written on the back of the label. More photos of each project can be found in my Flickr account.


Sweetheart Socks knit with Hazel Knits Artisan Sock in Gerber

River Rapids knit with Mountain Colors Bearfoot in Red Willow

Moon River knit with Hazel Knits Artisan Sock in Plum Glace

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

'Twas the night before Christmas...

...and all through the house, not a creature was stirring except for one naughty ginger cat. Before him stood a huge green tree where shiny items dangled, taunting him. His whiskers twitched and his pupils dilated. Before he knew what he was doing, he reached out a soft nubbin paw to touch a round ruby red globe. In slow motion he saw it fall and break into pieces. The sound it made was like thousands of lids peeling off canned food all at once. This was even more interesting, so the ginger cat walked through the shards of red and silver. The house maid picked him up and checked his feet for injury and then put him down while she cleaned up the sparkling bits of treasure. He then sniffed the bits in amazement and walked through them again, even as the house maid attempted to sweep them up and pushed him away. (The nerve!) After a third trek through the pieces, he lost interest.

With the shiny pieces gone, he walked over to his dent in the couch, exhausted by the last five minutes of exertion. With a few licks to his fur, his tummy exposed to the night air and all four paws up in the air, he dreamed of the worlds softest fleece bed, rooms full of furniture he could scratch and pee on whenever he felt like it and of biting his sister who was sleeping quietly in her carrier.

With a start, the ginger cat woke. He realized a stranger was in the kitchen opening a can of the stinkiest, wet, fishy food. The stranger called to him and waved the can in the air for several minutes, but he only laid there and stared. Though he wanted the food, the naughty ginger cat was still in a coma-like trance, as he had only slept 18 hours that day. With his eyes slowly closing, he heard the red and white clothed human quietly leave the house, whispering (so as to not wake any of the kitties), "Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good-night."

AIEEEEEE!

I'm back online! Well, I've had Internet Access for a couple weeks after we upgraded from dial-up but I always felt like I was bugging Aimee when I used her computer. It may have had something to do with the constant staring and heavy sighs coming from her direction (just kidding). My new computer arrived yesterday and today I've spent hours uploading photos and checking websites I haven't read in months. I feel human again! I can finally contact all my friends back home, check my bank accounts, track packages, upload photos, peruse knitting patterns...yes, life is good!

I've never owned a Christmas Cactus before because they make me think old ladies (shut up Faythe, you're next!). But I couldn't resist the delicate yet brightly colored petals and picked this one up at a local hardware store. In contrast to the snow we got last week, they provided a nice punch of color to the view of our backyard.


The small glass bottles on the sill contain seeds from a squash and various peppers. Mom gave us dried peppers with instructions to separate the seeds for our garden. I'm not sure if we need this many peppers but I dutifully separated the seeds and consequently got welts on my face from oil contamination. I even made a concerted effort not to touch my face but within five minutes I had burning pink welts in various areas - some too close to my eyes to make me comfortable. Needless to say, I am not a fan of the peppers.

Anyway, I need to get off this computer. I can't stop sneezing and I SWEAR I'm not going to get sneeze juice on this monitor like I did my work computer. Ha!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

I forgot about the cold

I don't mind the rain, that's not a problem at all. But nobody warned me about the cold! (Or maybe they did and I was oblivious to it all.) And fog - there's a log of fog around here too. It will just take a little while to adjust to. And by little while, I mean the fall and winter of '08 - '09 and maybe 2010. The cats have stopped shedding and are busy growing their winter coats for the first time in their lives.

Yesterday Apollo and I drove to Joël's in Waterloo. It's a cute community not far from basic amenities. Rather than taking The Five (known as I-5 around here) we drove through several small towns like Sodaville and Brownsville via a shortcut recommended by our Garmin. Apollo was nervous while we drove the 25mph speed limit through those small towns. The kind of nervous that is accompanied with the sound of dueling banjo's in the background. Obviously we will not be taking that route again.

Well, I think I'll head on back to my place where we have a wood stove burning. Aimee's home is cold because she's a regular Oregonian now and is numb to it all. I, on the other hand, will probably take a while to acclimate and am freezing cold. You'll know when I'm acclimated because I'll stop complaining about it. Now, off to knit some wool socks that I suddenly have use for!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Settling in

Phew! We made it in to Oregon where it's cold and raining, just like everyone promised! The tree's welcomed us with a display a of beautiful yellow, orange and red leaves. I was stunned at their magnificence and kept talking about them to everyone. They've started to fall now and we're joining the neighbors in endless raking of leaves off our lawn and onto the street into large piles, since the city is going to start picking them up. This has yet to happen but nobody has given up hope and continue to add to the piles.

I'll be honest, both Apollo and I are homesick. Apollo more so since he can't just walk down the hall or street an hang with someone he knows. I didn't think I would miss apartment but sometimes I do a little. Just when I miss the camaraderie of people near by I remind myself of all the noise and lack of privacy. That usually does it. Just the same, I admit that I am a bit scared at night. It's strange being surrounded by darkness. Our streets don't have any lights which makes for a very dark night.

We also don't have any furniture other than a dining room table, a couple chairs and matching dresser and bed. I splurged and got a Sealy bed with a pillow top. It's a lot more comfortable than the air mattresses we spent our first two nights on but then again, anything would be more comfortable than rolling off cold air in the morning. I also bought a bed frame which we expect to be delivered Thursday or Friday.

That's it for now. I need to get back to the Main House and make sure the wood stove isn't out of control. Photos and more regular blogging to follow when we have broadband!

Friday, October 31, 2008

I guess this is it.

It seems this is the last time I'll be blogging until we get into Oregon and are somewhat settled in. Of course I'm addicted to the Internet so I'll probably be online before I even have my dishes unpacked. Except Aimee has a dial-up connection right now and that freaks me out like you wouldn't believe. Dial-up!! Which means I'll have a box unpacked for every page that loads.

I just tried to use my phone and it's already disconnected. I called the cable company and they said that rather than disconnect me at the end of the day I have paid for, my bundled services will be disconnected randomly throughout the day. Apollo is freaked out by losing his TV and I'm upset about losing access to the 'net.

Meanwhile, I'm going to visit with Chad and Shawn today. Good friends are hard to find. I'll miss them. :( Shawn is going to give me another piece of his original art. It's nice to have some paintings that will remind me of him every time I look at them.

We're planning on leaving early Saturday morning. I think we may have a problem with Big Mac who I expect will continue to try to talk us out of leaving up until I pull out of the driveway. Poor Big Mac!

So that's it. I'll be talking to you from the rainy beaver (lol) state next time. Bye!


ps - Since I'll be Internet deprived, I'll be Twittering as much as possible!
<-----

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Visiting Jen and her kidlet

We visited Jen and Peanut in Mission Viejo yesterday. After lunch, Peanut grabbed Apollo's hand and they walked around the fountain in front of the restaurant for about ten minutes. As Jen and I were walking to the car, she raised her hand to waved at us and we saw all the dirt she had accumulated from rubbing the fountain as she walked around. Apollo and Peanut made a cute pair!

It was great catching up with Jen, she also gave me some delicious Chinese tea and a bag of hair clips she made that I'll give my baby girl cousins. Thanks Jen, I'll miss you!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Saying goodbye

Lately I have had to say goodbye to friends and coworkers that I probably won't see ever again. I hadn't thought of it that way before. I didn't know it would be so hard or uncomfortable! I am heart broken.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A penny saved is a penny in my gas tank!


Last night I rolled up all the pennies in my piggy bank and came up with $18.50 worth! I also have a pile of foreign coins and another $13 of miscellaneous US coins that I don't have enough of to roll up. This collection (aside from the foreign money that I've been holding on to since my trip to Europe) has taken years to build up. It just goes to prove that saving your pennies is worth it! This is going to go towards our gas money for the trip to Oregon. At the going rate, the pennies alone should get me through LA.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Simba's carrier


We packed up Simba's basket and switched it out for his cat carrier with his old furry mattress I made inside. He sleeps in it all the time now. I just want him to have some good memories associated with the carrier so he isn't really freaked out when we start our trip. I've yet to convince Zoe that hanging out in her carrier is a good thing but I think that as long as it's quiet and dark, she'll be happy. This combined with the kitty-downers we got from the vet should help make it all less stressful for both of them.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

One box left

Looking around the room, I think I have one box left to pack up. OK, well not just one, we have to pack the grill up. Oh, and then there's all the books I decided to ship rather than pack into the trunk. That's three boxes. Anyway, it seems empty in here with all our most valued possessions packed up in eight huge boxes sitting in the dining room.

Our neighbors have turned into little scavengers. We leave items we can't bear to throw away in a box outside our door. Within minutes to hours, they're gone. One guy, Rob, is going to have a yard sale after we leave. I hope he makes a few bucks off our stuff.

After packing up the last box, we'll clean and get rid of the furniture courtesy of Craigslist. Our move date is so close but yet so far! I'm aiming for October 27th but only if I get to properly visit all my friends before then.

Meanwhile, did you hear that Mervyn's is going out of business? We went shopping today to look for some good deals (just the same sales so far) and the cashier told us they'll be open until December 31st. Get your goodies before they close! We already packed our new clothes into one of our boxes, using them as padding to protect a radio.

Well, I should go. Zoe is meowing at me because she supposedly has no place to sleep since I packed up her bed. Night!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

An update on packing

My goal of shipping everything to Oregon for $400 or less is almost a reality. I'll get a confirmation on rates when I take my first box in to FedEx tomorrow. Then plan is to have them come pick everything else up on Monday. Let's hope the FedEx guy is wearing a back brace since each box weighs just under 70lbs!

If there's one thing I've learned from all this packing, it's that I've purchased a lot of crap that I didn't need and forgot about. Hopefully I'll be a better spender in the future!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A trip to the vet

The cat's went to the veterinarian today for check ups, vaccination and a prescription for a kitty downer for the trip. They both meowed quite a bit at first, Zoe stopping after a couple blocks. Once at the vet, Simba kept meowing and started to get hoarse.

Zoe, on the other hand, buried herself into the cat bed in her carrier and looked at me with eyes that said, "I trusted you!"

Other than a semi-truck honking its horn as we were leaving the vet office, freaking out both cats, everything went great. I thought they would be mad when we got home but they're acting normal, Zoe isn't even trying to hide and Simba hasn't peed on anything. Success!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Nothing in the alley today

We are a few steps closer to moving. Today we opened a FedEx account, bought and packed four extra-large UHaul boxes. I managed to pack all our dishes into our comforter, blankets and yarn.

We also threw away a lot of crap. Some of it was still good but we're at the point now where we just don't care. I foresee a lot more not caring in the near future. I just want to get this stuff shipped off so I can spend time with my friends before I go.

Oh, and the bedroom set we left in the alley the other day? Gone by the next morning.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Getting rid of stuff

We put our bedroom set (dresser, two bedside tables and mirror) in the alley tonight. I expect it to be gone by this time tomorrow night. At least someone who really wants it will get it free of charge!

Our place is starting to get real tore up with stuff everywhere in boxes and bags (things we're throwing away). It doesn't look like we're moving, it just looks messy. I'll feel better when all the furniture is gone.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

A Meme About Firsts

Faythe tagged me. I let a poop story sit on my blog for a bit before I posted - it's a must read, do scroll down! Also, don't forget to check out the Red Circle of Death for stories about other crazy people I may or may not be related to.

Who was your FIRST prom date? Um, Faythe? *ashamed*

Do you still talk to your FIRST love? No. Bastard!

What was your FIRST alcoholic drink? I don't really remember. After my first drink there was a lot more drinking, everything is kind of fuzzy around that time. Maybe tequila? Or Boone's?

What was your FIRST job? I worked at the Forest Service as a receptionist via Looking Glass, a program designed to help poor kids realize there is more out there.

What was your FIRST car? My Uncle Scotty dropped off a Pontiac in our parking lot at school one day, saying it was mine. I was a bit freaked out, I didn't know how to drive and Mom refused to teach me. That may have had something to do with her fear of us finding our freedom. Anyway, we ended up selling the car after my uncle's so-called friend took some of its parts to use for himself. I didn't learn to drive until much, much later though I did drive Mom's truck around later. There may or may not have been at least one incident involving a tree, the truck and a scared shitless dog.

Who was your FIRST grade teacher? I don't know, I think it was someone at Brattain Elementary though. We moved a lot.

Where did you go on your FIRST ride on an airplane? San Francisco.

Who was your FIRST best friend and are you still friends with them? Faythe - we chat almost daily online. I already rue the day I am employed again and am not allowed to go on line. I just know that will happen to me since I am addicted to the Internet.

What was your FIRST sport played? We weren't allowed to play in sports because we 1) lived too far away, 2) it cost money and 3) grew up as Jehovah's Witnesses and were not allowed to do anything that may take our attention away from that religion.

Where was your FIRST sleep over? I'm not sure. Does sleeping at Grandparents count? Because we moved a lot, I don't remember any sleep overs until we settled in at Indian Creek. We stayed at Emily's and Faythe's quite a few times.

Whose wedding were you in the FIRST time? Jamie and Virgil from college. Jamie and I were fellow flutists. I think her Mom hates me. This may have something to do with the dress they made me wear last minute, after I purchased a different dress, and my refusing to pay for it. Look, I cannot be held accountable for people changing their minds last minute, especially when I am on a budget.

What was the FIRST thing you did this morning? Weighed myself and sneezed. A lot. Damn allergies. I got some of the special type of Sudafed today that can be used to make meth, it took about ten minutes just to get my name in the system for one box!

What was the FIRST concert you ever went to? I can't remember his name, but it was someone who was in daytime soaps. The concert was free at the county fair.

FIRST tattoo or piercing? Tattoo - a heart with a music note in it. I know, it's so blah. But it was a symbol of freedom from my childhood. Plus I got it at a discount because the tattoo guy had the hots for Faythe. She got a spider. Mom had our ears pierced young. I think I was four or five. I still remember the earrings too. She had a friend pierce my ears with a needle and a potato (used to sandwich the lobe, I think).

FIRST foreign country you went to for vacation? Amsterdam. After college graduation, I took a three week trip to backpack through Europe. I had no idea where I was going or what I was going to do. I had a Euro pass, a ticket to Amsterdam and a copy of "Go Europe." I chose countries on a whim, to get away from mosquito's and dropped in on unsuspecting relatives, one family of which did not speak English.

What was your FIRST run in with the law? I was pulled over twice in one night because my tail lights were out. The first time, the sheriff told me to drive home with my emergency lights on and get the tail lights fixed as soon as possible. He was pleasant to talk to. The second cop, the one cop in Monmouth, saw me coming and waited for me on the border of the small town. He had a real attitude and looked for anything he could give me a ticket on and even called in to see if my story about the sheriff was true. He said it was illegal to drive with your emergency lights on. Eventually he let me go but not until I gave him some attitude and played my Prince music loudly while he talked to me. Oh, I was such a rebel. LOL.

When was your FIRST detention? Let's see. Was it because our entire senior class skipped school, using permission slips from our parents and having the balls to ride in to school on a school bus before walking off campus past the principal who warned us? Or the time I got in trouble because I was head camp counselor and I knew several people snuck on camp grounds, had a party and ate some food in the kitchen without permission? Oh, I didn't get detention for either of those, I chose suspension instead.

What was the FIRST state you lived in? Oregon.

Who was the FIRST person to break your heart? Sigh. Let us not speak of it.

Who was your FIRST roommate? Carrie, a classmate from high school. What a horrible mistake that was! We weren't even friends in high school, I don't know why we thought it would work in college. She said I caused her to have high blood pressure. Whatever! At least I didn't spend all my time sucking up to all the popular kids. Plus, I tested out of math (so much for all those extra math classes she took from community college during high school) and I graduated with a real degree.

Where did you go on your FIRST limo ride? I vaguely remember a limo ride in high school but beyond that, nothing. Maybe I was with Faythe and Matt? I must have drank those brain cells away.

Who will be the FIRST to repost this? Jen or one of the other Rayleen's? Hey, you other Rayleen's....leave your blog URL! :)

The Crazy

A few days ago at Ghetto Albertson's, Apollo helped rescue a baby in a parked car. It was strapped into its car seat, screaming its head off. It has been pretty warm lately and I'm sure it was VERY hot in the car. He used a brick to break a window and got the baby out.

Apollo just got in from Von's, another local grocery store. He said a homeless guy was picking his butt in the store and walking around aimlessly. Apollo and another shopper were talking about how nasty it was when suddenly, the guy pulled down his pants and took a poop! Right there next to the cat food!

Why do I always miss The Crazy? All I have to say is the hippies up in Eugene better make up for all the entertainment we're leaving behind.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Moving!

I can finally officially announce that we're moving! Apollo was having a hard time telling his friends so I gave him some extra time to do so before I blogged about it. There are a few people who have read my blog that know him and I wanted to give him the chance to say something first.

We gave notice on the first and are aiming at the third week in October. The plan is to get there before Halloween and before the roads get bad in Northern Cal/Southern Or because we're driving up. Yes, with two angry cats! It should be an adventure. Plus, since we'll be moving into a house in a real neighborhood, we're looking forward to seeing all the kiddies on Halloween night.

I'm excited about this new chapter in my life but it will be sad to leave my friends behind. Hopefully we will all continue to keep in touch through the magic of the Internets.


Apollo is looking forward to Oregon too. While the obvious change in seasons helped to win him over (we have two seasons here in San Diego: warm and fire season ), in the end it was my loving hyperactive genetically crazy prone family that clinched the deal.

I'm sure the next couple weeks will be stressful. Especially since I haven't gotten over my job yet. This morning I had a dream I was helping our new customer support people troubleshoot an end-users issue. I guess the reality of it all hasn't hit me yet.

Well, I need to get back to packing and throwing things away!


Photo taken at Mom's, January 2008.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Ooooooooh, "Glass" Cleaner!!

Seriously, this shelf arrangment made me do a double take.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Monday, September 29, 2008

The End and advice for the ignorant

Well, tomorrow's my last day at work! It's been a long couple months while I waited for this day to come. I'll be one of those people that walks out of the building with a few tears in my eyes and a big grin on my face. The tears are for my coworkers that I'm leaving behind (or who are also laid off) and the grin is knowing I'll never have to talk to rude people via online chat again!

Just think, I'll never have to talk to an ignorant asshole on the Internet who thinks the customer is always right and that it's OK to treat me like a piece of shit just because I'm an anonymous person he will never meet. Especially when he's the F'ing idiot who somehow has figured out how to enter his credit card number, name and address but can't figure out how to click the Play button located just under the Buy Button.

I won't have to be polite to someone who insults me and demands a refund in the same sentence - I never did understand this. Wouldn't you be nice to the person who controls whether or not you receive a refund?

I won't have to listen to customers tell me how I am a stupid lying thieving cunt (all in CAPS) who doesn't know how to create a product that works well for them when in actuality I am merely a third party who does not make policies or design sites and they're stupid for not seeing the big bold words "Our content is not compatible with Macs." Nope, no more wasting my time while reading a elitist chat from someone who insists I should give him store credit to make up for this inconvenience. I don't care that 10% of the worlds computer users are Mac owners or that you think you're better than everyone else, you're not! I'm sorry, but if your friends and family aren't going to tell you, I will. Nothing about owning a Mac makes you superior! Now shut up, put down your non-fat mocha frap and just drive your little Prius away from me!

And just a thought, threatening me with the Attorney General does nothing to help your case! Seriously! The Attorney General DOES NOT CARE. Read the Terms and Conditions you agreed to when making your purchase! In fact, threatening me with any sort of legal action is just dumb and takes the wind out of your argument.

Oh yeah - read the damn FAQ before you buy something! You only have yourself to blame if you don't read the FAQ before entering your precious credit card details and making a purchase! You should be ashamed to contact us four months later and demand a refund for a purchase that our system supposedly billed you for without your permission. Like we magically acquired your credit card information and billed you! PULEASE!

Oh and while I'm bitching, here's a tip for you: if you want something from any sort of customer service person, don't lie! We know when you're lying but are just too polite to point it out. If you tell the truth we'll give you what you want. It's sooooo simple!

So. I expect tomorrow to be a good day, even if a bit sad. I'll be the one burning rubber while driving out of the parking lot.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Frogging a cable

This is what it looks like when a knitter is overly confident and decides to rip out six rows of a cable.

Update: It got worse before it got better. But it looks great and I finished the hat. Yay!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Hole in the Wall

I stumbled upon this show last week and almost didn't watch it because I thought it was some sci-fi program. It turned out to be the American version of a popular Japanese game show, Hole in the Wall. I watched, stunned to see people dressed in shiny silver spandex. And let's face it, it may be even a bit more intriguing than the original considering there are a lot of us Americans who shouldn't be anywhere near spandex.


My intention isn't to be cruel but let's face it. Most of us know our limits. Others will push them for 30 minutes on prime time and a few thousand dollars.

The goal is to fit through a hole in the wall that is moving towards you. These holes are not shaped for normal people, let alone those who should not wear spandex.

The shapes may range from workable to ridiculous. And when they don't fit (not if, when), the wall breaks apart and they fall into a pool of water.

Another reason to not be caught dead wearing silver spandex. It's not flattering from any angle. You can ask Faythe about the camel toe she saw. On a man.

I expect to find much more crap like this to watch in the near future, considering I'm getting layed off on Tuesday. OH MY GOD I'M SO HAPPY.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Happy times at Mom's

Mom gave Apollo the keys to her four wheeler and he turned into a little kid. He drove that thing around as much as he could every day. It was fun watching him enjoy himself as he drove through the fields and back and forth on the road. Aimee caught up with him in the driveway and gave him a bad time about his do-rag flapping in the wind behind him. If you look closely, you can see Aimee demonstrating the flapping.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Station wagons

I don't like station wagons. I saw one today and it reminded me of the one we rode in with our dog, family and all our possessions across the US in a desperate attempt at a new life. Only, this one had shiny spinners and a bright blue paint job. A mohawked 20-something with tattoo sleeves sat in it, carelessly flipping his cigarette ashes out the window. Somehow, he was cooler than me.

It reminded me of the night we slept at a rest stop on our way to Texas. Mom slept outside of the car, Aimee, Sandy and I inside. We didn't get much sleep since Sandy stood guard over us, barking all night at the cement mixer parked near by. Once we got to Texas, we moved around a bit before living with my aunt and uncle who weren't allowed to have a dog, let alone three adults, two children and a newborn baby in a one bedroom apartment. So, poor Sandy lived in the car. We walked him several times a day and visited him as much as possible. Still, I think of how it must have been hell for him. He barked constantly at strangers and lived only for those moments my sister and I, only 7 and 8, visited him.

Unfortunately, as a pure bred Cocker Spaniel, Sandy developed constant ear infections and some sort of nail issue with every foot. He needed surgery and considering we couldn't even afford our own place, Mom gave him away. Well, that's what we thought anyway. A few years ago, we found out she had him euthanized.

So yeah. I don't really like station wagons.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

16 days

In a couple weeks I can tell you what's going on in my life. Meanwhile, my boss is traveling internationally on business and I'm left to monitor the crew. Of course I can't really do anything if they behave badly, other than call them out on it, so their bad behavior continues. (If it were me, at least three of them would have been fired already.) I really can't stand it when people lie about the hours they work or under perform and then act shocked and angry when I bring it to their attention. I'd prefer people just be honest about it rather than play mind games. I've passed on information about their issues but meanwhile, I'm doing what I can do to hold it together. I have all these other things going on at the same time. I keep telling myself, two more weeks.

Two.More.Weeks.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

I'm such a good daughter!

In response to my two readers confirming an interest in Mom having her own blog, Mom has asked us to wait until Christmas and she will just send out her Christmas newsletter instead. I'm sure it will be include the usual photos including rifle poses next to dead animals. You know, Christmasy stuff.

Like all good daughters, I ignored her and created a blog where I will write (not for her or in her stead) all about the craziness that comes when my extended family is involved. Aimee (my sis) and Faythe will also contribute. Be sure to check out the Red Circle of Death for upcoming stories.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Faythe wants Mom to have her own blog, what do you think?

This is the sort of thing I see when I open documents attached to Mom's emails.

Mom sent me a photo of bear poop. Yes. I come from a family that finds it important to be educated about all the different poops of the world. Sure, this came in handy for our ancestors who, for safety and food, needed to know what animal had been in the area and when. I live in San Diego, half a block from Starbucks and Walgreens.

There are four different bears hanging out at Mom's. Some of them are brave enough to visit during the day and ignore barking dogs or the banging of pots and pans. Mom's response is to salivate.

Which means I'll probably have a good "Bear in the Freezer" story for you soon. Run bear, run!!

Changes

I remember when we had to use real mail to communicate with friends and family, we said "Hello" in our letters and everyone used a payphone to reach their friends when they weren't at home.

I feel old.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

I lost a cat!

Did I mention that I lost 16.5 pounds? I know, right?? All just from eating healthy too! I'm so happy, I can't believe I've done it over just two and a half months. Even better, today I realized that with Simba weighing in at 14 pounds, I've lost the equivalent of one large cat! I picked him up and held him on my belly just to get an idea of what I lost - amazing! I never realized fat was so furry.

Hopefully I'll get to the point where I won't feel like I have to hide out of embarrassment of my weight. It's already cost me one traveling opportunity. Or at least my fear of being fat in a foreign country has.


Speaking of Simba, this is what he looks like when he's acting suspicious or thinking of doing something he shouldn't be doing. He's still not allowed in the bedroom without supervision and usually has this look on his face if we catch him there. He doesn't even try to hide anymore, he runs out of the bedroom as soon as we snap our fingers and say "out" while pointing to the door.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Summer of Love Lace

There's a lot going on in my personal life and at work that I can't talk about right now. Give me about a month and I'll spill everything. Meanwhile, I leave you with a pair of socks I completed on Monday for my Aunt.

They're Summer of Love Lace in Artisan Sock Yarn Denim Blues. The cuff is knit flat then joined with some ribbing underneath to keep the sock up. The last photo shows what it looks like with the cuff flipped up. They're much easier to knit than you would think and don't require any picking up of stitches.



Monday, August 25, 2008

Calling in sick; you might want to check your cell phone

So today a coworker called in sick several hours before his shift was to begin (my coworkers usually report to me on the weekend). He sounded sick but due to his track record, I had doubts. Funny thing is, he accidentally called me right after making his first phone call, only he didn't know it. His several minute long voice mail was complete with the sounds of his laughing and talking. He sounded happy and hyper, not like the incredibly ill sounding person who had just left a message. I could hear a lot of noise in the background, similar to what you'd hear in a restaurant, bar or other public setting

Not bright.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

My plan to dominate the world

A couple months ago I went to the doctor for a routine checkup. After an interesting conversation, which I will not go into other than to say it involved the words "possible cancer," I was informed I should consider gastric surgery. I was stunned - it was as if she had given up on me!

Yes, of course I want to lose weight and quickly. I've never been a normal sized person, well except for maybe when I was eight, so yes, I would enjoy dropping some pounds quickly. But in my heart I knew it wasn't the right answer for me. There are health issues that go along with gastric surgeries, not to mention the reason I ended up this way to begin with. I don't think gastric surgery would address them.

So after an encouraging talk with a friend, I joined Weight Watchers (WW). When I think of WW, I think of old ladies, Richard Simons, the '70s and spandex. But I decided it's worth a try.

I joined June 19 and since then have lost 13 pounds just by adding a lot of fruit, vegetables and low fat foods to my meals, limiting the quantity of fatty foods and drinking mostly water. The great thing about WW is I can still eat everything I ate before, I just have to limit them.

This week I kicked in some exercise. Nothing dramatic, jut some walking. Actually, today Apollo and I walked for 3 hours down one side of Mission Bay. I had no idea it was so long! Though I'm a little sore, I feel great and now have a nice tan and subtle sunburn which should hopefully give me a nice glow. (Always trying to think positive here!)

So while this isn't really about a plan to dominate the world, it's a plan to conquer my own issues with being fat and ultimately unhealthy. I know I can do it, it's just a matter of time.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Traveling Socks

I finally finished the socks I took with me on my trip to Oregon. I knit on them while Apollo drive and when we took stops in the Redwood Forest and at the beaches in North Cal and Southern Oregon. I chose this yarn because I was looking for something that had more than one color but would also have a neutral look. I also like that it looks totally different from a distance.

I used Knitpicks Essential Shoreline Twist. The colors look great and the yarn is soft. I don't have any experience with this yarn so I don't know well it will wear. I hear it is good stuff but we shall see.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

I know...

...I've been a bit quiet lately. It's just that there's a lot going on right now I can't tell you about. I think it'll all come to a head (where does that saying come from anyway, pimples??) in a month or two. I'll definitely let you know then. Let's just say there's a bit of good and bad mixed in and maybe even some exciting news.

Until then, I've been working on losing weight. Yep, I've lost 13 lbs in less than 2 months! Needless to say, I've been eating a lot better and I feel great. My back doesn't hurt when I'm standing up for long periods of time so I know my body is thanking me.

Oh, one other thing, if you're into yarn you may want to check out the new colorways introduced over at Hazel Knits. More than fingering weight, she's also offering DK weight, soy merino blend and kits later. I of course placed an order (I'm embarrassed to say how much I spent) right away. I can't help it, I'm a junkie.

Alright, back to the Chargers game. They're currently at 31 - 17 against Dallas. Yay!

Friday, August 08, 2008

8-08-08

I have an uncle who, well, let's just say he tends to believe in government conspiracies, UFO's, aliens, Nostradamus prophecies etc. When I last visited him, he ranted on about bible prophecies I've never heard of. And then he looked at me with a sparkle in his eye (or maybe it was a glimmer of insanity) and told me how something was going to happen on August 8, 2008 that would change the world and life as we know it. "Just you wait and see," he said.

So far, the Olympics have started, Russia and Georgia are at war and Jewel is rumored to have married longtime beau Ty Murray.

Breaking news! Clay Aikens is a father! Maybe this is what Unc was talking about?

Let's just hope nothing major happens...it would send my uncle into a frenzy of prophesizing. *sigh*

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I have hives

My lower arms look blistered and rashy, some large puffy red spots are on my upper arm and I can't stop the scratching. I'm not sure if it's stress, allergens or sun overexposure. All I know is I itch. The Benadryl and hydrocortisone hasn't kicked in yet.

I'm cranky.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Puttin' down paw

It's the night before we leave for drive to Oregon and I'm nervous about the little things like, what time should we leave to avoid morning traffic (hell) in L.A.? Where will we stay the night? How far will we get? Will we get in the way of all the traffic going to put out the fires in Northern Cal? Will the cats be OK? I feel bad for them, I can already see their unknowing little faces staring and yawning as we walk out of the apartment. Thankfully we have a babysitter, Big Mac, lined up to feed, water and clean out their litter boxes.

<-- I'm planning on using Twitter to post updates, you should see them in the upper left corner of my blog over there. Meanwhile, Zoe the Siren has just let me know it's massage time. Since she won't be getting any massages for a while, I'm going to lay it on thick tonight.


PS: Those are freckles, not dirt. And his toes look bumpy from the texture of the Wii Fit board.

Monday, July 14, 2008

We got it!

That's right, one of Apollo's connections called him today with the message that he had put a Wii Fit off to one side for us. Within 30 minutes, we had it set up and were hula hooping. I really enjoy it and am so glad we got it.

Simba, of course, thinks it's something for him to lay on. Whenever we'd step off, even for a minute, he'd lay his body across it.

At one point we were getting ready for another set of aerobics when we saw this message:
(click to read screen better)
"Confirmation complete! Your weight seems to be really different from last time. Do you want to continue anyway?" Too bad I can't create a Mii Cat. Then again, I don't really think Simba's too motivated to do much other than slap his sister, poop and lay around.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

I want!

Today I visited Shawn and he forced me to use his Wii Fit! It was pretty horrible having your BMI flash up on a screen along with your weight in front of friends but, hey, that's life. I have to admit, though it was embarassing I had a lot of fun. Now Apollo and I are on the hunt for our own Fit! We have a lead on where to get one tomorrow, hopefully it'll work out! Oh, and I lost 3 lbs this week. Yay!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Roving and holes

Today on my lunch break I went to Black Sheep in Encinitas to buy some roving. I basically had a choice between two different types, New Zealand and Merino. Though half the price, the New Zealand was rough and didn't feel good. I didn't really want to learn to spin with something that felt scratchy so I bit the bullet, paid a little more and bought the Merino. I got 4 ounces of pink, 4 ounces of purple (I swear, it looked more merlot in the store) and 8 ounces of blue. There weren't many color choices and I felt this is the best I could do. Besides, I'm a newbie so this is fine.

I brought the roving home and prepared to get everything ready to take a picture for you. But first, since I met my goal of 96 ounces of water a day, a trip to the bathroom. It was here that I discovered I have about four or five holes in my pants. In the ass. *sigh* I'm soooo embarrassed. I mean, I went out in public today AND worked in the office with a couple of the guys. Not to mention all the bending over I did while looking through the roving. This is what I get for using the washing machine here in the building, it always chews holes in our clothes. Just when I get desperate enough and forget how bad the machine is, I give it a try and it eats my clothes.

While I was lamenting over my situation, I heard the crackling sound of paper and I realized one of the cats were probably getting into the paper bag that held the roving. I had a good idea who the culprit was since he's always getting into things. However, I had no idea what he was really up to.

As I walked out of the bathroom, I caught him in the act of stalking and bum-rushing the roving. Here he is eyeing his prey, waiting for it to move so he can kill it. I had no idea this beautiful combed roving could turn into fluffy clouds of puffs. So sad!

It must smell good because he wants to chew it. I'm sure he would make a bed out of it if he could.

So here it is. Hopefully the next time you see it, you'll see something that somewhat resembles yarn. I'm sure it'll look horrible but I'm fine with that.

I think I'll buy my next roving online where I'll have a larger variety of colors to choose from (look at me, I'm already planning to buy more and I haven't even spun anything yet) . I'll buy some new pants too. My god, one of the holes is huge. Huge!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Exciting friday night

I finally finished the first of the Summer Socks for Mom. I'm hoping to have both of them done by the time I leave for her place next week. I also don't really like the colors and thus knitting them annoys me. Just one more to go though. I just have to make sure I recreate all the significant mistakes I made in the first sock.

Meanwhile, I've wanted to learn how to spin for a while now. The fact that it's such an old technique that our "foremothers" used for thousands of years speaks to me. I can't quite explain why I feel the need to give it a try but after doing some research, I finally decided to buy a spindle. I saw a blog posting about Tour de Fleece and thought, what the hell, maybe this will get me started. Well, I'm sad to report that due to my work schedule and a frustrating lack of spindles and roving in my area, I gave up and ordered one online. (I actually received it only 3 days after I ordered it from Greensleeves Spindles.) While I won't be able to join the many people who are spinning yards and yards of yarn, I can at least say I have acquired a spindle, will get wool tomorrow on my lunch break and will start spinning before I leave for my trip on the 17th. Hopefully I'll be able to spin while Apollo drives.

Sock knitting continues, of course, but spinning may become a new obsession. We will see. Anyway, guess I should go to bed so I am somewhat rested for work tomorrow.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Team Squirrel!

You may or may not know about the plight of squirrels everywhere. Poor, harmless squirrels that are forced to share the earth with us humans. Squirrels that can't go grocery shopping or pop a Lean Cuisine in the microwave when they just want something to eat. Squirrels that must fend for themselves and eat things like stale bird seed and whatever fruit or nuts they find lying around. Yes, I'm talking about those cute little guys with the long tail that only survive by whatever cleverness they can muster up in those tiny little brains.

If a squirrel manages to get some seed from a bird feeder or even climb up a tree and take advantage of free organic fruit, I say way to go squirrel! Unfortunately, some squirrels have to deal with mean, grouchy humans who flip out over a single cherry! One cherry! Humans who make death threats followed by stories of barbecuing and grilling squirrels! There's just no explaining that sort of insanity.

Therefore Team Squirrel has been formed. Join Team Squirrel today if you want to show your solidarity against squirrel haters! Add this badge to your website/blog to show everyone which team you're rooting for!



Squirrel haters need not apply.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Movie: Wanted

We bought our tickets to Wanted knowing it would would be as unbelievable as The Matrix but we had no idea it would go even further! The ridiculousness of the stunts and other space bending activities caused most people around me to snort and snicker, but not in a "I'm being entertained" way. It was more of a, "I can't believe they're trying to sell this shit to me, I mean, yes I know it's fake but c'mon!"

And then there was James MacAvoy's frequently screaming of "Oooh sshiiiiiiiiiit!" in a nasal American accent. I can still hear it ringing in my head. It's awful.

It took a while for me to realize the level of gore in the movie. Then again, it probably falls under the "This is disgusting, please pass the popcorn" heading. So if you're the average movie goer, it won't bother you. But if you plan on bringing your kids, you may want to give that another thought. Speaking of kids, someone did bring their baby to the movie. A BABY! And yes, it did cry. *sigh*

The plot was fine and had a great twist. Oh, and the last few seconds of the movie? Dumb. You'll know what I mean when you see it. Don't worry, this won't ruin your movie experience. I hope. hehehe

On another note, the camera did zoom in on Angelina's face as much as possible and long enough for me to take notes on how the artists applied her makeup. She looked gorgeous and sexy, even if a bit skinny.

My rating: Not theatre worthy, wait for the DVD.*



*(I have strict movie standards because by California standards, I am po.)

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Aimee's Beach Socks

Knitpicks Felici Self Striping Sock Yarn is perfect for brainless knitting. It was easy to match up the stripes, which stay pretty consistant, and the stitches are nicely defined.

There is one major flaw in the gusset, but I decided to leave it. I even made the second sock match the flaw in the first sock! For those that know my frogging tendencies, you know this is a big deal. If you like this color, Schooner, get it while you can. Once they're sold out, that's it.