Sunday, January 29, 2006

And the villagers rejoice

The blanket! Is! Finished!! (insert sounds of trumpet fanfare, cue ticker tape parade)

And here's where you have to put up with loads and loads of pictures of the thing. Here to the right is a picture that gives you a good sense of the look of it. And yes, you can clearly see several errors, even here. Pay no attention!

One thing that I would change (and will for the next time I make this) would be to use a wool yarn, so that I can block it when I'm done. As it is, you can see the scalloped edges, but you can also see that they're kind of curling up, instead of lying flat and pretty. Next time. I'm not worried about when that will be - people are popping out kids all the time around here. I have two more due this year.

You can see a bit more of the detail in the pattern here. I love how this portion turned out - the whole time I was knitting it, I was sure that I was making so many mistakes that there would be no pattern left. Guess not.

I really liked making this blanket, and I like that this is "Mum's Baby Blanket". As long as I can remember, when a special baby is on the way, Mum starts knitting this blanket. I've always loved it, but never, ever thought that I would create one myself. It feels like a family tradition , even if it is just me and my mum at this point. I'm not likely to carry on many other traditions - I can't cook like my mum, and, even though I love eating her cooking, I don't see myself cooking like that in any case. Her roasts, with Yorkshire pudding, and roasted potatoes are so good that I could happily die after eating a Sunday dinner, and her Scotch broth is better every pot. But I foresee me cooking for one for quite a while, if not forever, and those just aren't one-dish meals.

But the blanket is something that I can make and something that hopefully people will love. And it feels so good making something that I think is so beautiful.

And now for something completely different:
I don't know if he thinks he's being subtle, but this happens all the time. Yes, that's a packet of cat treats. It was standing up, but was repeatedly nosed and snuggled until it fell over and the cat had to check that it was okay.

"Enough with the camera already. Give me some treats."

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Funk Over, Life Goes On

Things are looking a bit brighter this morning. Sleep, a fun movie, and good news can do that.

Darren and Angie had little Nicole May join their family yesterday. She made her appearance weighing nine pounds, nine ounces, and she's perfect and healthy. I'm so happy for them, and I can't wait to meet Nicole.

Of course, I can't do that until the blanket is finished. Argh. I'm making very good progress, and I'll probably finish it today, or maybe tomorrow, depending on how long I can stick to it today.

Other plans for today might involve the market, and maybe a visit to the "yarn event" at Michaels to join blanket squares and buy funky yarns I don't need, only because they're cheap. But it's something outside the apartment, so it's a step in the right direction - out.

But right now, I'm tacking that blanket again. Nicole is waiting.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Yes, I know things could be worse

Tonight's not turning out so good.

At the end of the workday, I hung around gabbing with different people until over an hour and a half after I should have gone home. I realised finally that I just didn't want to go home.

Sometimes the apartment feels so empty I can't face coming back here. Not to sound overly dramatic and boo-hoo self pitying, but being alone does tend to drag on one after a while. While driving home, I suddenly decided that I really wanted to check out some knitting books at Chapters, so I got off the highway spent some time aimlessly wandering the aisles, picking things up and putting them down. The one thing that did make me smile was this:

It's called Cup of Yarn, and it's a slushie cup with a skein of yarn stuffed in it and a set of bamboo needles stuck through the straw hole. Very cute, if overpriced.

After that, I went to the grocery store to pick up more bagged salad (can you overdose on lettuce? I need to know if I should be watching for any symptoms) and some popcorn, again wandering the aisles to delay the inevitable trip home. I was ridiculously pleased when the woman next to me in line spoke to me briefly. Next was the video store, where I picked up two used movies for only a couple of dollars more each than the rental price, and a couple of rentals. So now I own Hitch and Finding Neverland. Hope I like them at least a little bit. Of course, the debit was broken, so I walked to the gas station the next block over to find a cash machine and paid $1.50 for the privelege of accessing my money. By the time I returned to the video store, the debit was fixed.

So now I am at home. I've had my salad dinner and I'm to settle in for an evening with John Cusack. Things are bound to look up.



An Experiment

I'm going to work my way through my high school cds today. I'm starting with 1989 and I'm going to see if I can make it all the way through to 1993. I did it once, while I lived through those years, so I'm thinking I can take this on. I might just be beat down by Mariah Carey in the early 90's, though. Right now, it's "Another Day in Paradise" by Phil Collins, so we haven't hit the really hard core stuff yet. This first disk should be pretty manageable overall.

Power Down Songs

Every now and then, there comes along a song that just grabs you and makes you slow down and breathe a little slower, a little deeper. Think of the guy in Seinfeld with the 'Desperado' complex, with a little less comedic exaggeration.

Some of the songs that kind of prompt that for me are:
Everybody Hurts - REM
Poses - Rufus Wainwright
Hallelujah - just about everybody, but especially Jeff Buckley and KD Lang
Vincent - Don McLean

Yes, I do realise that I deserve to be mocked for this, but it's true and I love when these songs come on and I'm paying enough attention to get the effect.

But that moment of peace and calm reflection can come from many sources, not just from music. I get it sometimes when I'm driving along a long, windy road and see the sun shine just so across the fields, cutting through the mist, or sitting with friends in a moment of quiet. They're good moments to have.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Tumours and Blankets

Today was another slow, knitty Saturday, with just a bit of alarm and boredom thrown in.

First, the alarm. I was in the bathroom, brushing my teeth when I thought I saw a tiny bug fly in front of my face, then another, and then a whole bunch. I was a bit confused, considering I have no fruit in the house, so where on earth were all the fruit flies coming from? Then, suddenly I realised that they weren't bugs, they were little sparkles of light, ringing everything I was seeing. They lasted a few minutes, during which time I thought that I might
a) pass out (though I didn't feel faint at all)
b) develop a sudden migraine.

Neither happened, so I'm left with the only logical explanation - I have a brain tumour. Shoot. Hope I can finish this blanket before I keel over or start having my psychic visions and get all distracted trying to inform the public of the impending disaster. Or whatever.

So I got on with my knitting. I decided to try out the Denise needles today. First, to give them a test run and kick the tires, as it were, and second, I wanted to try to get a decent look at how the blanket's coming. So I made the longest cord I could and stretched it out to take a look.

It's not too bad, but I can see places where I've made mistakes, and I have no idea what's up with these odd little bumpies.

They kind of make me wish that I'd made this from wool, so I could use the fabled magic of blocking to make this look all normal and flat and pretty. Think I can block acrylic? I might try.

As for the Denise needles - so far, I'm not in love, as are so many others. I think, though, that it's because I'm using the smallest sized needle. The problem comes when I have the cables full of needles and I try to move them along toward (or away from) the needle itself. When I'm on a row that has tighter stitches, it's terribly difficult to move them past the joins. So I've moved the whole shebang back onto the old Boye circulars for now, and Denise will have to wait until I start a different project altogether. Makes me a bit sad.

In other news - the weather is messed up. It was nice and warm yesterday, and then this morning, I woke to darkness and then snow and wind.

And then later the sun came out and it was beautiful again.

January? What?

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Coffee and Cold Mornings

Have you ever had a moment that grabs you just so, and transports you instantly back to another time, another place? Some combination of sensations comes together and for just a few seconds, you are not standing there above your feet, but instead are somewhere, somewhen else. It can be a lovely little crack in the "real world", letting you see a happiness, a pleasure, a sorrow, a taste, an emotion, that you experienced a long time ago.

This morning, as I left for work, I had one of those moments. I was no longer walking across the frozen parking lot, my knitting bag slung over one shoulder, with a travel mug of coffee in my hand and a bottle of water in my pocket. I was in Paris. That's a good moment.

When I went to Paris for my whirlwind three days with John, we would start each day with the baguette and jam breakfast at the hostel. The coffee there, however, was not good. Very not good. So we'd generally either bypass it, or choke down a bit, then pack up and head out the the Columbus Cafe just around the corner. We were there in February, and, while it wasn't unbearably cold, it was still chilly, and there was a bite to the still air, just like this morning.

I can't remember John's specific coffee order, but I had a medium cafe latte each morning, and it was the same guy behind the counter. For most of the trip, I was stubborn about not trying out my pathetic French speaking skills, and asked John to do all the talking. But with the coffee, even I could manage "Un cafe latte, s'il vous plait" Actually, I think that that was why I initially chose that particular order - because I knew I could say it all. In any case, one of my favourite moments from the entire trip was when we walked in that third and last morning in Paris, and the server looked up at us and smiled and asked, "D'habitude?" He'll never know how much happiness he caused me to feel, even now, looking back and taking a silly, childlike pride in being able to say that I was a regular in a Paris cafe, to the point where the staff asked me if I was going to have 'the usual' when I walked in.

This morning, the cafe latte in my hand, wearing the coat that I wore when I was there, feeling the crisp, cold air, hearing the sounds of traffic just a little ways off, made a wonderful, reminiscent morning. I suddenly had a longing to be back there, in that time and place, with John, ready to explore and learn and stumble over high school French, and eat baguettes and hang out in cafes and spend hours and hours on the Eiffel tower, just to see the sun set while we were at the top, hugging ourselves for warmth and reading the graffiti to pass the time. To be back, even, in that horrid little teeny tiny elevator that didn't work, standing there in the dark, almost nose to nose, and not actually going up or down, but waiting for the power to come back on, feeling giddy and a bit frightened in the dark (until we realised that we could force the doors open, and, after all, hadn't moved an inch, so were still on the ground floor). To make meals of brie and bread and eat in an eentsy little hostel kitchen while Germans are at the next table with their tourist maps. To run through train stations in an effort to catch our train, to walk and walk and walk and never run out of things to see and do and talk about. To sprint through the Louvre, stopping only at our 'must sees' to take copious amounts of pictures, hoping not to hit another tour group.

To just live again for a time with no worries beyond deciding what to see and do, and be moving, moving, moving, and have someone there to be with and share jokes and stories and observations.

I think there's a travel bug going around.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Self Diagnosis

I've become somewhat alarmed by the amount of time I spend thinking about knitting, and planning, and reviewing past errors. And I'm still a beginner, so I can't even imagine what this would be like if I actually, you know, developed some skills and tried harder stitches and projects like - heavens forefend - actual clothing, like a sweater, that is supposed to fit in more than one dimension. I can't even fit one, like a head. Scarves, though - hey, no problem.

So, anyway, I decided I should look up the signs of addiction, and here they are:

1. Do you lose time from work due to knitting?

Um, no! Of course not! Who would do that? (You're not counting knitting blogstalking or looking up patterns or SnBs or yarn online, right?)

2. Is knitting making your home life unhappy?
Unhappy? Definitely not. Now, untidy....

3. Is knitting affecting your reputation?
I think some people at work call me 'Knit girl' now. I have to admit I might just have a reputation as a knitter.

4. Have you gotten into financial difficulties as a result of knitting?
Let's see. Denise needles, knitting basket, silk yarn, novelty yarn, wool yarn, new bamboo needles, and goodies, goodies, goodies. Moving on.

5. Does your knitting make you careless of your family's welfare?
I think I did let the cat see the bottom of his food dish a couple of times. And when was the last time I really cleaned the litter? Count this as a 'maybe'.

6. Has your ambition decreased since knitting?
No way. I aspire to bigger and better projects all the time! I even joined in the Knitting Olympics, as proposed and hosted by the Yarn Harlot. Check out the link over on the left (um, once I get around to getting that in. Maybe not today.)
Oh - does this not mean knitting ambitions?

7. Do you crave knitting at a definite time daily?
One time every day? Nope. Now, several times - yes. In the morning, in the afternoon, after dinner. Almost all the time. The only time I don't crave it lately is when I have a deadline. (Funny that)

8. Do you want to knit the next morning?
Of course - I might not have finished it the night before!

9. Does knitting cause you to have difficulty in sleeping?
At least once that I remember. It was the night when I realised that I'd done something wrong in the baby blanket AGAIN and figured it out as I was falling asleep.

10. Has your efficiency decreased since knitting?
See above re: blogstalking etc.

11. Do you knit to escape from worries or trouble?
I live in a wonderful land of yarn and needles and patterns and blogs. What's to escape? La, la, la!

12. Do you knit alone?
Almost exclusively. I also knit at work, at my discussion group, in waiting rooms, on planes, and once, on the highway (stop and go on the QueenE drove me to it) The past three days, I've abandoned my purse, and carry my wallet in my knitting tote with me everywhere instead.

13. Have you ever had a complete loss of memory as a result of knitting?
I'm sorry - what?

14. Has your physician ever treated you for knitting?
So far... No. Will keep you posted.

15. Do you knit to build up your self-confidence?
You bet. Look! Look what I can do! I didn't think I could do this, but it worked out and it's magic and don't I look self-confidant now!

16. Have you ever been to a hospital or institution on account of knitting?
Does the LYS count as an institution? Is Michaels rehab?
So there you have it. I'm fine. Really.
Now, where are those needles?...

Monday, January 16, 2006

My Voice

I am brimming with self congratulation. I have done my civic duty as a Canadian citizen and cast my vote in this election. And in an advance poll, no less. And to top it all off, at the last minute, I decided to abandon any notion of 'strategic voting', and I voted for the party with whom I most agree in terms of the issues, and even left aside my personal views of the party leader. How civicky, no?

Today was a day to get things done. I accomplished more at work than I have been lately, too. I heard on CBC this morning that you don't need a reason to vote at an advance poll - I always thought you did, like you would be out of the country or some such. Turns out not so much. They just file you behind the little stand-up cardboard thingy and hand you your ballot and mini pencil without a question asked. So now it's done, and I know that I don't have to worry about not having the time to go, or being out of town on a sudden work thing, or even listen to the worsening negative campaigning. I am done and happy to be so.

Behold the Canadian!

Sunday, January 15, 2006

What is it about a sleepy, quiet Sunday afternoon that brings out the maudlin?

I get up from knitting and watching Firefly (shut up, I know I'm an eightyhundred year old geek) to get a glass of juice, and end up staring morosely out at the building opposite mine, idly peering into their living rooms and seeing no one around - because they all have people in their lives, and they're out doing things and being important and getting things done.

And I knit and watch a cancelled television show and think about nothing to put off thinking about things that will depress me.

Just tell me to shut up already and get back to knitting.

Friday, January 13, 2006


Finally home and knitting.

I found out today that that baby who will be the blanket owner is due in exactly one week. So I left work today intending to spend the weekend knitting like the wind. I've started the next part of the blanket pattern and found that it looks like that first part was the quickest and easiest and I really, really am worried about not getting this done in time. I'm hoping to head out to Second Cup for a goodly chunk of tomorrow and settle into one of those nice comfy armchairs, block out the world with my mp3 player, and overdose on coffee.

So much for my health kick. Maybe I can periodically run around the block.

I did stop briefly for some groceries on the way home. As I was leaving with my food, I realised that my groceries are so healthy relative to my usual purchases that it's sickening. Veggies and soup and fish and oh, my ick. So I guess I'm doing alright on that front. Now I just have to get back to an energy level that will let me even contemplate exercising. I think my trip to Lexington sucked all the life out of me. I've got to wonder if it was the brainwashing, the airports, or the country itself. Now I'm not making sense.

Okay, back to the grindstone - I may end up tying the needles to my hands so I can just keep going.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Longing for the net

Ah, poor me. I hear the windows start up sound, and my heart jumps a little bit in anticipation of email and messenger and the forums, but then – alas! I remember that I do not have my vital link to the outside world. I suppose I can likely survive one more evening. By this time tomorrow, barring any major flight disasters (now I’m going to die) I’ll be crouched at my computer desk, sucking up the internet like a thirsty plant getting watered for the first time in weeks.

Oh, yeah. I meant to water the plants before I left.

In any case, today was a typical day of training. Numb butt from sitting too long, everyone getting a little bit high off marker fumes, powerpoint out the wazoo.

Dinner was a bit of a low, I have to say. We’re definitely not in Kansas, Toto. Well, I guess we could be, but it sure as heck ain’t Canada. I knew as soon as I sat down at the dinner table of 22 people that I’d chosen my seat poorly. I was surrounded by discussions of
(1) College basketball
(2) Movies I haven’t seen yet, and
(3) Guns that people own and carry.
Now, you’d be hard pressed to find a sport I care less and know less about than college basketball. Maybe cricket. As for movies I haven’t seen, if only there were spoiler tags in real life. And guns? What the heck? Is this just Kentucky, or do all Americans regularly discuss whether it’s better to have an automatic or whatever isn’t an automatic? It was all foreign to me, in any case, if a bit disturbing. (Concealed carry? What?) My seat mate almost guffawed when I explained the major election issue of the guns and violence problems in Toronto that resulted in over 50 gun deaths last year. Yeah, I was the only Canuck here.

But the food was great, and we went for ice cream afterward, which was also great. Eating healthy? Maybe tomorrow, but not likely, considering the travelling once again.

At this point, I’m just looking with longing toward my enormous king size bed with the lovely deep and high pillows.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Travels and Twangs

Today I am in Lexington, Kentucky. I’ve finally got that straight, after thinking it was Lexington, Virginia, for the longest time, for some reason. But yes. I am in Kentucky, home of the horses treated like kings.

I actually packed most of the stuff I needed to bring last night, unlike my usual packing methods – I always say that I pack like a felon on the run. I was under a bit more control than that, for once. So far, there’s nothing that I think I’ve forgotten. Of course, I haven’t’ opened up my suitcase to check quite yet. I’m putting that off, because I hate the ironing that I’m sure will result from my seeing the clothes. I tried yet another packing method this time - I laid everything out flat, then folded them around all the bulky stuff in the middle. I’ve been told that this should work in keeping the clothes wrinkle free. We’ll see.

I left work before lunch, and headed to the Park and Fly, then got the shuttle over to Terminal 3. I always find it odd that you ‘technically’ enter US territory while still in the Toronto airport. I’m never sure what kind of money I need after the security gates. It’s odd – you can feel the change as soon as you’re into the US areas. I don’t know that I can define it, but you know that things are a bit different. You’re more likely to run into people speaking Spanish, for one, but there’s a lot more to the vibe than that. I’ll have to examine it more closely another time.

Anyway, I’m glad that I left plenty of time, because (as usual) I had to trek all the way across the airport, then get on a shuttle bus to another concourse area before I found my gate. I got myself all set up – blanket ready to be frogged, mp3 player (no, no iPod for cheapKirstie) all untangled and at the ready. Turned it on – battery’s just about dead. So we’ll frog and people watch. Which was a very good choice, as a quite delectable fellow in very nice jeans settled in front of me. I enjoyed the eye candy as a sweet change from the worn carpet and stale baked goods that were the only other things to look at. He appeared to be somewhat confused by my reverse-knitting, but didn’t ask – probably scared of the crazy. I understand. A girl sitting near me asked me to watch her stuff while she ran to the bathroom. After about half an hour, I started to worry about her. Then I started to worry that she had left something scary in her bags and hightailed it out of there, and wondered if I should tell someone, all the time remembering the Lost flashback where Shannon gets Sayid grabbed for the same thing (what? You all know I watch too much tv). Anyway, she eventually did come back. I finished my yarn winding/unwinding, and then asked her to watch my stuff while I ran off (my flight was boarding soon by this time – thanks bathroom girl) to find someone willing to sell me two batteries for only seven dollars.

I re-started the blanket on the flight. I looked so awkward with my shiny, metal needles and the connecting cable that as soon as he could, the guy next to me moved off to another seat. Heh.

Then it was the flight to Cincinnati, where I thought I was cutting it close for my connection, but it turns out that I just can’t read a watch. So I had almost another hour of quality time with my circulars. When I got on the flight to Lexington, I was a bit taken aback by the sight of the person sitting one row ahead of me – the uber boss of my division, going to the same place I was. It turned out to be a good thing – we all caught the hotel shuttle (there was one other person on the flight who’s at the meeting, too) together and then we walked down to the restaurant where the rest of the group was already eating. Oh, and stupid hotel people told us it was about a two block walk to the restaurant – turned out to be about nine.

Speaking of hotel people. So, we check in, and agree to just drop our bags in our room and head back out. I walk into my room, and find this:

Okay... I make a quick bathroom break, then head out. I run into a maid cleaning the next room over. Here’s our conversation.

Me: Um. Hi. The furniture in my room is all stacked up on top of one another.
Her: Oh? Were they cleaning the rugs?
Me: Uh. Yeah, maybe. I don’t really know. But the furniture is all piled up right now.
Her: Oh – do you want help taking it all down?
Me: Well, actually, I have to head out right now. I guess I can take it down when I get back…
Her: Okay then.

Yeah. But the furniture was all laid out when I got back, so I guess she took care of it after all.

But one thing that really ticked me off? The internet’s not included with the room! Argh! That’s the only reason that I brought the laptop – not for my health (and it can be a bit of a workout lugging that through several terminals and hoisting it up into overhead bins) and not to do work (please). I checked the website before I left, and it mentioned wireless internet as a room amenity. Silly me. I thought you didn’t have to pay for things when they are considered ‘room amenities’. What next? You going to charge me to use the blow dryer?

I could pay for the 24 hours of access, but I don’t think I can justify it even to myself - $10 for essentially one hour? Because I’d use it tonight, but wouldn’t really have time tomorrow night, because we’re not even heading out to dinner until 7 or so, and things started up the next morning again at 7:30.

So this entry will sit lonely and isolated, in a word document until I return to civilisation.

Death Knell

So that blanket. That blanket that I was moaning about how long it was taking to get past the first part, and how I'd made tonnes and tonnes of progress on it after gluing myself to my couch and working on it all weekend. That blanket that has some kind of mystical powers ensuring that it'll never get done. Yeah - that one.

As I was falling asleep I was thinking about it (it's that bad!) and doing some math (yes - that bad) and I realised that I screwed it up. And not recently, like 10 rows back or anything. Nope. Right at the beginning. My fifteen sections should never have been - or at least seven or them shouldn't have. There are only supposed to be eight sections, and my fifteen will look stupid, and the blanket that's supposed to be a nice little circle is going to wrap around itself probably twice, and possibly three times, because it's magic and evil.

So this morning, I was telling someone at work the story, and before I could stop myself, or convince myself that I didn't need to do it, as I talked, I pulled the evil blanket off the needles. Again. It's a ball of panic-inducing knitted yarn now, sitting in my knitting tote, waiting for me to start frogging and winding. Again.

Now I'm starting to have second thoughts about giving this Blanket of Evil to an infant. Will this cause detrimental effects, being in the little one's bed? Will it maybe somehow steal stealthily out between the bars of the crib and somehow ruin the household? Of course, this is assuming that I even get it finished, and, due to its evil powers of eternitude, that is by no means certain.

I have two flights today, and a brief layover in Cincinnati. I'm not even sure I'll get it all wound in that time, but goshdarn it, I'm gonna try.

Here's to hoping that the evil powers don't expand their boundaries and set new goals and somehow kill me before I can get back from Lexington. I still have to use that Noro.

Sunday, January 08, 2006


I slept with my contacts in, and didn't realise it until I put my glasses on and everything was fuzzy.

I am becoming one with my couch.

Knitting projects update:

- I am making some serious progress on the baby blanket. I'm only about 10 rows away from starting the border section. I have a feeling the border may well take just as long as this part did, but at least it's a change. This blanket is like some kind of torture. it's not hard, but every row makes more stitches, meaning that every time you finish a row, the next one will take longer to complete. At this point, I have 15 sections, and I add one stitch to each section every second row. So every row is 15 stitches longer than the one before it, making the end seem further and further away, rather than closer, like that freakish math problem where to try to reach zero by dividing a number in half over and over again. Or nothing like that at all. *sob* I just want to finish this section!
- Socks. The less said the better. I put down that sock sometime in November and haven't picked it up since. I think I may just restart the thing so that I really know how to do this when I've finished, which is kind of the point of the whole thing.
- I started the Noro scarf, but may rip it back already, because I'm not clear on one part of the pattern, and I'm pretty sure that I've done different things to solve the confusion and I need to be consistent to make it look nice.
- For Dad's blanket, I pulled out the pattern, bought the needles yesterday (going to use the Denise) and I have the yarn. Yep. That's the progress. I was about to start it today when I noticed that the pattern includes cabling. Cabling is not something that I've done, or that I'm prepared to do. I have no cable stitch holder things, and I'm not sure that I want to get into that anyway. Maybe I'll look for another pattern, or maybe I'll stop being such a wimp and stop making excuses and just do it for pity's sake. We'll see.

For now, I'm going to try to figure out what I can make for dinner that uses up most of my perishables, since I'm heading out to Lexington tomorrow for three days.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Fun Things

You know what's a good thing to do when you're struggling with financial decisions, and trying to make good choices for your future, and trying to recover from an over-generous Christmas? Going out 7 days into the new year, and spending too much money AGAIN. Yep. I did. But I can't feel bad. Look at the beautiful things I got.

I finally went to Village Yarns, in Etobicoke, and it was as I'd feared - there were so many gorgeous and fun things and I wanted it all. But there was so much there that I couldn't even begin to decide, which was good - it kept at least some money in the wallet.

First off, a set of Denise interchangeable needles, which I've had my eye on for weeks now, and have heard so many people praise up the yinyang. And they look so fun, I'm really looking forward to starting the project I have in mind that'll need them. And there is some justification to the purchase, of course. I right now need one more size of circular needle, and that'll continue forever, and so this just gives me them all at once. Right? That's a good reason. Right?

Now, the other thing requires a bit of a story. I know I mentioned a funky, beaded red purse that I got for Christmas. It is beautiful, and gaudy, and I almost don't feel like I'm funky enough to wear it, despite my love for it. It's decadent and bohemian and I'm more of a casual/preppy frump gal. (In my head that makes sense.)

I decided to bring it with me today, but as I put on my sheepskin-look coat and the long, orange/rust/brown scarf that I love to bits, I realised that the styles - they do not match. Didn't stop me, but made me think that I maybe should look at wearing a different scarf with it. The red drop stitch scarf I made was just completely the wrong red, so it was out. While shopping, I decided to look for a yarn appropriate for this bag. And I found this. It's wonderful, and so colourful, and it was a lot more expensive than most of the cheap yarns I buy, but it's Noro, and it's silk (partly) and now I have to find a wonderful pattern I can use it in.

And, before I forget, here's that red drop stitch scarf, which was so fast to make and so gratifying because of that. All praise the drop stitch!

And pay no attention to the cat hair on the rug - I'll vacuum tomorrow. Really.

Steal and steal alike

Because I feel like an update, but I have zero inspiration, I'm stealing this from Rachel's blog (as invited)

(1) Lab tech in a pickle plant
(2) Kitchen crew in a McDonald's
(3) Restaurant hostess
(4) Industrial temp grunt worker in a seatbelt factory

(1) As Good As It Gets
(2) The Princess Bride
(3) Amelie
(4) Monsters Inc.

(1) Outlander
(2) Memoirs of a Geisha
(3) Black Beauty
(4) A Prayer for Owen Meany

(1) Windsor
(2) Glasgow
(3) Guelph
(4) Calgary

(1) Grey's Anatomy
(2) Corner Gas
(3) House
(3) Veronica Mars

(1) Edmonton
(2) Ireland
(3) Florida
(4) Montreal

(2) Crazy Aunt Purl
(3) Google news

(1) Cheesecake
(2) Broccoli with cheese sauce
(3) My mum's roast dinner
(4) Orange Cashew Chicken from Bali Thai

(1) Windsor
(2) Calgary
(3) Ottawa
(4) Anywhere sunny and warm

10 Favorites
Favorite Color: Blue
Favorite Food: Turtle Cheesecake
Favorite month: October
Favorite Song: Extraordinary Machine (today)
Favorite Sport: badminton
Favorite Season: Autumn
Favorite Day Of the Week: Saturday
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: Cookie dough
Favorite Time of Day: Morning

9 Currents
Current Mood: Kinda sad
Current Taste: What? Uh - just ate some toast with ginger marmalade
Current Clothes: jeans, t-shirt
Current Desktop: winter scene through windshield from the photoblog A Walk Through Durham County
Current Toenail Color: Normal
Current Time: 11:25 pm
Current Surroundings: love seat, Living room, Port Credit, Mississauga, Ontario
Current Thoughts: Should be going to bed, should have got more done today

8 Firsts
First Best Friend: Moe
First Kiss: Ed
First Screen Name: Vaedri (a name that my fiction/fantasy writing roommate came up with and let me use)
First Pet: Lancer (a collie)
First Piercing: ears (first and only)
First Crush: Bradley
First Car: burgundy 1978 Ford Fairmont

7 Lasts
Last Kiss: really - don't ask
Last Drink: alcoholic? Wild Vines strawberry at New Years. non-alcoholic? crystal light strawberry-orange banana
Last Car Ride: me driving - trip out to Village Yarns. Someone else driving - sometime before Christmas
Movie Seen: Watched Million Dollar Baby on dvd, Sleepless in Seattle is on right now. Last seen in theatre was probably Harry Potter, in November
Last Phone Call: Something at work yesterday
Last CD Played: one of the high school years cds
Last TV show watched: Veronica Mars

6 Have You Evers
Have You Ever Dated One Of Your Best Guy/Girl Friends: no
Have You Ever Broken the Law: yes
Have You Ever Been Arrested: no
Have You Ever Skinny Dipped: no
Have You Ever Been on TV: yes
Have You Ever Kissed Someone You Didn't Know: no

5 Things
Thing You're Wearing: iron ring
Thing You've Done Today: knitted
Thing You Can Hear Right Now: music from movie on tv. (I think I like most of the music from this movie)
Thing You Can't Live Without: internet
Thing You Do When You're Bored: watch tv, play on net

4 Places You've Been Today:
(1) LYS (Local Yarn Store)
(2), (3), and (4) different rooms in my apartment

3 People You Can Tell Anything To:
- i don't think I have anyone I can tell anything to. I have different people I could tell different things, though.
(1) Brother
(2) John
(3) Deena

2 Choices
1. Black or white: White (in the game? okay)
2. Hot or Cold: Cold (can put on a sweater)

1 Thing You Want to Do Before You Die: see Venice

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Thursday, Take Two - Action!

Ever have one of those days when you just wish you could crawl back into bed and try again?

Some stagehands reset the clock, and wind the sun back down and arrange for the rest of the world to get back to starting positions for 5:45 am. You undress and put back on the PJs and curl up with your pillow over your head, another in your arms, and the kitty snoozing beside you (he never woke up, so someone just moved him). Then another person does the countdown, "3...2...1" and snaps the clapper, reading "Jan 5/06 - Take 2", just as the alarm buzzes again.

If that could happen, then today might have a chance. As it is, I don't know if I'll make it out in one piece. Nothing major has gone wrong - it's just been lots of small errors and challenges, and if this day were a database I'm working on, or something I'm knitting, I would have erased it or frogged it by now and started all over.

That's what I do, really. If something isn't going well, I like to dump it and begin again, fresh. It works for some things, but I guess in real life, in the 3-D, non-yarn world, I need to learn better how to fix things and move forward from that point. As for this morning, the mis-steps so far include a second snooze hit, forgetting to put on half my makeup, leaving my watch and rings at home, telling my boss that I had forgotten a meeting later today (which I had kind of, but I totally could have bluffed through, as I would have realised as soon as I opened my day book), and choosing to go with the green tea rather than the coffee. As soon as I realised that I wasn't looking my best today, I should have realised that it was a day that I'd have to go to head office for a meeting. It's just the way my world works. I am also realising that not having coffee severely depletes my vocabulary. This paragraph has been brought to you by the word 'realise', and its various permutations.

So I'm going to go and try to fix the things that I can from this point. I'm going to get a cup of coffee, and find what I can in my bag in terms of makeup and toiletries, and prepare for this meeting. Rest of the world - take 5. I'm indulgent that way.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Ew, ew, EW!!!

Yes, this needs multiple exclamation points. I'm cooking fish for dinner. I bought fish. And it's fish that looks like fish. It isn't processed into near-oblivion with breading and spices - I could see the kind of scaly bits. And I had to touch it because it fell in the sink! Ew! Ew, ew, ew! And ick! Why did I buy this? Am I actually going to eat this? What possessed me to think I would eat this?!?

I'm keeping a pizza menu handy.

ETA: I survived the ordeal, and it actually tasted kind of good. Hm.

Christmas Flotsam

I know this isn't a new lament, but it's a true one: What is to be done with all of the Christmas cards received every year?

I just threw out the cards I received at work into my little trash bin beside my desk. I only had three here, and you would think that I wouldn't be terribly concerned about cards from suppliers and uppity-ups, but it kind of made me sad just now when I threw a dirty tissue into the bin and it landed on top of the cards. It also kind of makes me feel heartless. These people went to all the trouble of sending me a card, picking out a tasteful card that can in no way be construed as offensive by anyone, and writing my name in it. Oh, and writing their names at the bottom. Mind you, one supplier did also give me a great gift basket full of chocolate goodies (that now must be gotten rid of in post-holiday recovery efforts), and their card is hand-signed, and they came to my office and personally wished me happy holidays. (You might think that I should feel badly about accepting gifts from a supplier, but I have no purchasing power, and they know that, so it's all good.)

So what do you do with old cards? I could just keep them all, but then what? Where? What for? I could throw them all out, but that feels a bit heartless. I could make a scrapbook page out of them, but really, I won't ever get to it, and they'll sit in a drawer forever until I throw them out five years from now or so.

That did just give me an idea, though. I could make a digital scrapbook page out of them, I suppose. I could scan both the inside and the outside, so I get to keep and see the sentiments and the cards. Hm. I think I like this idea. We'll see, though. I might just push through the guilt and scrap the cards in an entirely different way.

As for putting Christmas away, I started last night, and less than half the ornaments have been taken off the tree, including the angel. So now I have a tree of Depressitude sitting in my living room. It's just sad, with its branches half bare and its garlands draping off onto the floor. I really have to finish all that tonight. If I can resist sitting down with my reborn baby shawl and another few episodes of season one Veronica Mars.

Oh, that's right. That blanket that I went on about how beautiful it was, and how much I enjoyed knitting it? Yeah. I frogged it the other night, right back into a big, snowy, tangly pile of soft, white yarn. I'd made a mistake way back, that I thought I could live with, but then when I found that I'd made another mistake last week when I was trying to knit while playing Scene It, it was too much and it had to go. Ribbit. The good news is that so far so good - no new mistakes yet, and I'm about 30 rows in. A long way to go, yet.

For now, I'm just going to sit here, trying to stay awake and active and not smack my forehead on the keyboard before the coffee kicks in.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Gift Addendum

I can't believe I forgot to list one of the gifts I received.

John (bless his Ottawa heart) compiled a CD containing the top whatever-number-of-songs-that-would-fit for each of the years that our group was in high school together. They were presented to us at our Christmas get-together at Cathy's house - one set for each of us. They're amazing. I'm listening to them right now as I clean and tidy and try to fit Christmas back into its boxes.

Listening to Boys2Men and Mariah Carey transports me back to the heady days of car freedom (81 Fairmont) and hanging out in the 'caf at lunch, surreptitiously playing euchre and eating gummy pasta with plasticky cheese (but man, it was good). Of evenings spent playing Canasta (we were card geeks, yes) and euchre, and movie nights and car rides out to Point Pelee and arguments and jokes and just having a group. I liked having a group. I miss having a group. High school wasn't ideal - far, far from it. But the group was good. I've had groups a couple of other times, in different ways - my time in Calgary maybe comes closest, and even that time was very, very, very different.

And listening to these CDs, I make another realisation.

There was a lot of bad music during high school.


Sunday, January 01, 2006

A New Year - Meh

Sitting at my desk and looking out the balcony doors, all I can see is a little patch of sky and other apartment buildings. Not the kind of place I ever wanted to live in. If I'd been thinking more about the view when choosing an apartment, I don't think I would have ended up here.

But today it's kind of nice - everything with a little sprinkling of snow dust, hazy with the fog and snow still hanging in the air, cool air coming off the glass and flowing like water into the living room and pooling at my feet. Seeing all the windows outside my own, and wondering what kind of living is happening inside. Is everyone being lazy like me today? Sitting in a half-daze, thinking thoughts and sometimes thinking of nothing at all? Or are other people moving around, getting things done, gearing up for a New Year of possibilities and action?

Maybe tomorrow. Definitely not today. I'll be lucky if I manage to get out of my PJs today. I might take the time to contemplate another year past, and to think about what I want from the year just beginning.

Or maybe I'll watch another movie. Happy New Year!