Saturday, December 18, 2010


for me, if no one else.
Thanks everyone for the comments. I have been a super slacker in replying. Please forgive me, and I will attempt to do better.

And just so I remember, this.

Friday, December 10, 2010

At night, the ice weasels come

Always a useful phrase.

We had a lovely Thanksgiving with K's awesome aunt and uncle. A little trip, but not too far. Thanksgiving dinner had 7 people and 4 dogs, and these were not small dogs. And not a very big house either, but it all worked out, except my stupid cold (although I was not the only one with a cold). They have a hot tub and a tiny cute little sauna which honestly felt FANTASTIC when I was sick. Using the hot tub seems to be more effective for relaxing all those back muscles than all those hours of stretching I do. sigh.

There's much going on now and I'm exhausted. The love monkey has been lovely and cooked me dinner or taken me out. I'm on call for work twice this month, including Christmas week (oh please let it be quiet) because there's so few people left.

I don't have the energy to look for another job right now and I turned down the other one (the offer was... not good. I'm tired of getting crap for vacation time. I should work for another UK company. Also, dear corporations, you are fooling NO ONE with your combined sick leave/vacation. It's a transparent attempt to cut vacation hours EVEN MORE. bite me.) Whatever. If I got laid off tomorrow I'd probably take a month off and just stare at walls, when I wasn't busy with all the other stuff. Everything non-essential is getting shifted off to cope with later. I got a poinsettia because I think they're pretty and that's going to be about it for decorating. Maybe I will think about a wreath from Trader Joe's.

Anyway. Happy holidays to you all. I hope you and yours are doing well.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

To all my friends in the States (and everyone else too!). Ours is going to be kind of mellow because I came down with a cold yesteday. BLECH. 4 day weekend and what do I get? Sick.

These are the leaves that are no longer on the Japanese maple trees.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Unexpected gifts

I was going to entitle this "My father doesn't have lymphoma and other good news", but we got some sunshine on Sunday and I thought of this one instead.

I wandered around with a camera Sunday morning when we got a burst of sunlight between storms. It just lit up the trees. I wish I could grasp that light and just hold it.

No, he doesn't have lymphoma, just a real nasty bacterial infection that mimicked it. His immune system isn't so great right now, but he's still around.

This is the silvervein creeper that I am very fond of, but the Love Monkey won't let me grow up the side of the garage. Neighbor around the corner has a big vine growing all over her fence.

I went to donate blood on Saturday and my systolic pressure was 38 points (38!) lower than the last time I went in. It's been steadily climbing for almost a year and a half now and I don't know why.

Maybe this is an anomaly; maybe I just used the restroom at a better time than the previously. It still feel miraculous. (note to Fillyjonk: I did completely stop taking the cetirizine months ago, even occasionally. Perhaps that's a possibility)

I really am so lucky in so many ways. I really don't need to wait until Thanksgiving to be thankful.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I am too much a nice girl

And I mean that with probably all the connotations you can think of, although one is first and foremost in my mind today.

There's a lot of shit going down lately. I won't ask for an excuse for using that phrase, as it's richly descriptive. I am subjected to a manager who believes in ludicrously unreasonable deadlines. I decided to interview for another job. I just started a home business on the side. My father got very ill and he may or may not get less or more ill again, depending on what the tests say this week.

And also, honestly the media onslaught that accompanies any large election is exhausting. Even though I don't watch tv (that's why God created DVDs) and read online papers only sparingly), it's still everywhere, down to the pile of junk mail I receive everyday and the front pages of the papers in the kiosks near where I work. Just the amount of lying bullshit in the air fills me with despair.

I kind of identify as someone trying to set the world right, even if it's just doing my job well every day, throwing away trash I pick up on the street, be polite to every person I meet. I try to reduce entropy. And to see events and issues misrepresented so badly; that just makes me weep inside that any problems could ever be fixed or any wrongs could be righted.

Somewhere deep inside me is this tiny little optimistic kernel that if only everyone UNDERSTOOD things, aided by my trying to communicate as clearly as possible, then everyone would work towards a better world. Then the nasty cynical part reminds me that no, that's not actually true. The actions of many make it clear that they are actively trying to twist the world for their own gain, and nothing matters besides that.

Anyway, random aside, whatever. Back to topic.

I really dislike interviewing. Talking doesn't come easy for me, harder still if it's someone I don't know. I don't describe things well, and I don't have a natural rhythm to my speech. It seems to take too long for things to travel from my brain to my mouth, and they get garbled along the way.

But back to the nice girl: I am crap at negotiating.

I consistently undervalue my work and worth. I am so accustomed to trying to make you happy at any cost, that I will make concessions I don't agree with, that weren't necessary anyway. I am so damn eager to please that I'll do something I don't want to do to make a third party happy, when he might not even care.

I always seem to have to wait for external validation that I am competent and hardworking and deserve that raise. I never ask.

I don't know why it's so hard for me to tell someone that I am skilled and competent and believe I should be compensated fairly for this. There's this feeling that I will somehow mortally offend them by suggesting something more advantageous to me. That I will loose that all-important validation if they say no. That they're so uninterested in me that they'll just dismiss me out of hand.

And this is for a job I am not even certain I want to take. I am already employed (knock on that wood), and really, it's Not That Bad working here. I like the people a lot. The work is interesting.

I keep trying to come up with a coping mechanism for this and failing. I have a whole script I wrote out for a phone conversation this morning. I pretend I'm playing a character. I act Vulcan and keep reminding myself this is all professional. Grrrr still blurt out stupid things.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Even more things

The weekend after hiking we flew to New York to visit the Love Monkey's brother & SIL and NY niece and nephew. Yay for cheap tickets. Boo for the red eye.
It was gorgeous weather, sunny and warm the whole time. Better than Portland weather, by far. I brought a long sleeve shirt but never wore it. It's like when I was living in LA and occasionally in February it would rain, washing all the crud out of the air, and then the next day it was sunny and 75 degrees. In February. It was epiphany weather: as in, "Ah, THAT'S why everyone moved to southern California".

Mostly we hung out with the relatives, because they're fun to be around and NY niece & nephew are a hoot 'n' a half. I wish we didn't live so far away from them. NY niece is in KINDERGARTEN now. aaagh! She and I and her Mom played some great Plants vs. Zombies.

Carousel ride in Central Park. I've never heard a carousel play "There's a bad moon on the rise" on calliope pipes before.

Part of the amble through Central Park.

And HOO do you love? (yes, that's a bat to the right)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

More things I did

A few weekends ago, on what we thought might be the last sunny warm weekend of the year, we went backpacking up in Indian Heaven Wilderness

What you cannot see in this picture is the west side of Mount St. Helens peaking through the trees.

Saturday was gorgeous and warm and sunny.

There were huckleberries. OK, not so many on this bush.

Sunday was not quite so warm and sunny.

But it was mysterious and interesting and not bad hiking weather. I only managed to fall over once, and really in the best possible way as I didn't break or strain anything (Except once I got home my bad knee swelled up and I couldn't really bend it much for a week. I definitely choose hiking over stairs for ways to ruin your knees, though.)

The Love Monkey contemplates the mist.
Sadly (not so sadly?) there weren't any wildlife encounters except some chipmunks and birds. I'm fine with that, as I don't really enjoy having the bear box we brought get a workout.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Not very good at being back

As you might have been able to tell.

It's really nice just to sit here and type even though my todo list is still 20 items long. Hey, I just crossed off a couple of them. Small victories, people.

In September I went to OFFF, the Oregon Flock & Fiber Festival. It was lovely, as always.
Hi Michelle, I am specifically not posting a picture of you! Even though it's a good one!

I think a lot of people got shots of this guy.

Sheep owners seem to like Papyrus a lot.

I am posting a picture of THIS Michelle. Fickleknitter was there!

I bought some pretty yarn, to add to the mountain of pretty yarn I already have.


Hi Cookie!

Are for



Monday, September 13, 2010

I'm back

After a week camping in the desert. That was the week before last but then I got a head cold and spent a week coughing up small kittens. Not to mention acclimating again to society and the continuing-to-worsen circus that is my place of employment.

This week it's only baby mice, so things are getting better.

We were going to go camping this weekend (no desert, just somewhere nearby) but the rainstorms have moved in and we deemed it too soggy. I don't mind hiking in the rain, but when you stop and end up sitting in your tent, reading... not so much fun.

Sometimes it's a dryish fall here, but maybe not this year. But it's warm rain, so I don't mind so much. I rode my bike home wednesday and it was wonderful. It wasn't pouring, but it was steady. Everyone was out in raincoats and pants and I was riding home in shorts & a t-shirt and I didn't care. Riding in the rain in the dusk like that, with it so warm and wet you can smell everything, it felt like actively being alive. That's something I have not been feeling often for the last year. Maybe longer. The week in the desert helped wake me up a little. It rained there too.

Out the front of the windshield. Yes, I was completely stopped.
And part of the gorgeous sunset afterwards.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Pretty pictures of flowers

I'm up "early" (for me, ok?) on a Sunday because I kept having crap dreams, one right after another. They all had to do with me screwing something up, or not getting something done, and everyone was disappointed and angry with me. Hi Subconscious, miss me much?

I'm preparing for a weeklong camping trip to the middle of nowhere and I have a billion lists and no, am not even close to being ready. The Love Monkey's been up and down to California on weekly business trips so he's got other fish to fry.

My favorite rosebush in the front yard. I thought it had died but this year it grew a new branch and flowered anyway. Roses are weird.

I'm also trying to get ready for a costume party, the more lurid the outfit the better. Love Monkey is going to go in a Sarong Suit (his own invention: suit coat, brightly colored tie, sarong) so I've got some pinstriped suiting that I'm making him a wrap skirt out of (shhh, it's going to be a fakey sarong because the fabric is a little too heavy to use in full sarong style.) I'm just going to do once & a half around and put in some buttons to secure it at the waist instead of ties. I'm trying to figure out how to get the pinstripes to go mostly up and down. He also doesn't have much of a waist so maybe I'll put in belt loops.

This year we finally caught the iris bloom at the Japanese garden.

Me, I'm going as tragic 80s; I've got some day-glow pink small-mesh nylon and lime-green big-mesh nylon that I'm somehow going to turn into a skirt. There'll probably be lots of draping. I've got some aluminum chain for the waist (oh yes!) and I'm going to pick up a pair of these gloves. Or maybe these; I haven't yet decided. And some fishnets, since a mesh skirt isn't quite enough, right?

I am stymied on the top, though. Any ideas? It might be kind of cold so more substantial is better. Maybe this shirt? but it is kind of expensive to be a one-off costume, and it only comes in purple and grey. Maybe I'll just strategically rip up a t-shirt.

And the hydrangeas, who are just fine with the cooler summer this year, thank you.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Baby Blankets of DOOM

So this story starts off with me admitting that sometimes I have a remnants problem. Remnants being little bits of fabric or trim or whatever is left over when you've almost used up almost all the bolt or the spool or the skein.

Part of it is the thrill of the hunt, that I have discovered Something Valuable! that would otherwise have been thrown away. And! It's! On! Sale!

I really do get a little jolt of happiness when this happens. I think this might be partly genetic. You laugh, but one of my grandfather's hobbies was competitive shopping; I kid you not.

Another part is that my tastes could kindly be called eclectic. For example, sometimes when I go out to dinner I can't decide on any particular food and just order multiple appetizers (tapas places are fantastic at enabling this behavior). I like scrap quilts and collage and especially the idea that lots of disparate parts can be brought together to make a whole more fabulous than its parts.

Any other parts probably require therapy and therefore I refuse to admit them.

ANYWAY. Fabric Depot can be a dangerous place for me. One time I spotted about a yard & a half cut of white plush Minky. If you aren't familiar with the Better-Living-Through-Chemistry wonder of Minky, it's that polyester microfiber fleece, the really soft stuff. It's woven or some magic construction, so it doesn't unravel or fray (although it does roll a bit). This was a piece of the shag carpet kind.

Somehow I thought it would be a good idea to own this piece of Minky and bought it at its fabulous price (win!) It then proceeded to sit in my closet for oh, 5 years or so. I didn't want to throw it out but I didn't know what to use it for.

Recently I had 2 new nephews come along, and one of my ideas was that I could make them blankets! Out of the Minky! Yay, something useful and soft! I googled around and found a couple of tutorials on making Minky blankets. This didn't sound so bad. The latter warns about the Minky slipperyness, so I resolved to pin assiduously.

I, ahem, went out and bought more fabric for the backing, some baby satin in this big polka dot print. Nephew #1 got brown + blue dots, and nephew #2 got brown + green dots. Hey, I got it during a sale, so not so bad. Also I owned no baby satin so of course I had to buy some (I probably could have saved myself pain and grief and money just using some of that pile of cotton I own).

I have no pictures of blanket #1. This is blanket #2, and from a camera distance, it doesn't look half bad. That's because the puckered edge is folded under, and you can't see the stitches I ripped out from one side, and the slightly lopsided mitered corners.

See, I thought this would be easy because I've sewn a lot of cotton and thought how hard could it be? HAHAHAHAHAHA
Not only did I have slippery minky to cope with, I'd backed it with polyester satin. POLYESTER SATIN. Could there be any more slippery than that?

Blanket #1 I pinned out on a bed. That was a mistake. I did pin it every inch. Yes, every inch. It took me all day to make that blanket and I have no pictures of the puckery ugliness of those seams. The corners are embarassing. I really ought not to have sent it, but I am ashamed to admit I did and hopefully my sister-in-law will forgive me. It's soft and machine washable and not likely to fall apart any time soon, so it's got that going for it.

Blanket #2 I got wise and pinned out on a HARD SURFACE, straightening out the backing as much as possible. It still took over an hour to get the sides pinned over (I went with tutorial #1 with the big ol' satin border, since I had more satin than minky.) There was another hour or so getting those mitered corners so they didn't suck (so much. I didn't get them perfect, ever).

Again, I pinned it every inch, oh yes I did. Tutorial #2 was using cotton as a backing which probably stabilized things a bit, so even though she says you don't need it, I hauled out the walking foot. I haven't had much practice with it, since I'm still trying to get around to teaching myself machine quilting. I hoped the learning curve was small. Fortunately it was really easy to use and did just what I needed.

There were many pins.

Really, many many pins.

This one did go a lot smoother, especially along the long sides, which didn't stretch or shift as much. I didn't pay enough attention to underneath on one of the short sides and ended up with puckered on top and double layers on the bottom. That's the side I ripped out completely (and I will second Tutorial #2's observation that picking stitches out of minky (or baby satin) is Not Fun.)

So that my "if you can't be a good example, at least be a horrible warning" experience might be helpful to someone:

1. Do yourself a favor and use a walking foot.

2. That said it still puckered a bit on the short edges.

3. When they suggest pinning every inch, they mean it.

4. When you set out the layers to pin, do it on a hard, flat surface, and be sure you're not pinning up extra folds of fabric from the back.

5. Tutorial #1 is nice but I decided to go with a double stitch line. I didn't like how the edge popped up so much with a single line near the edge, and it's harder to do. Much easier to fold over a BIG seam allowance underneath (probably 5/8"? I eyeballed it), stitch a first inner line about 1/2" in from the edge, and then stitch another line an 1/8" or so in from the edge.

6. If you do do a double line, beware, as the satin likes to edge up through the opening in the presser foot and then it puckers and doubles and you cry a lot. I used a seam ripper and my fingers to keep it flat, stopping and straightening it when necessary. Sew slowly.

7. I should mention that anyway. SEW SLOWLY. It's too easy for the layers to shift, even with all the pins.

8. I guided with my right hand, SLOWLY, and kept my left hand under the blanket, making sure that the back was kept smooth. This helps to avoid having to rip out a whole side when you accidentally trap a couple of folds on the back into the seam and can't live with yourself until it's fixed.

9. And last but not least: Don't prewash the minky with anything else, except maybe the satin. It pilled like crazy on the back, and you could feel it through the satin. Another hour I spent was shaving the minky. Ha, that sounds like some horrible euphemism.

The funny thing was that once I'd spent another few hours ripping out that side and restitching, I actually feel like I'm a much more skilled minky blanket sewer now. #3 would probably turn out great and take half the time. That would require me to actually do a #3 and I don't think that's going to happen. I am sticking to cotton for now.

Hey, those stitch lines don't quite meet!

Sunday, August 01, 2010

One of the reasons I dislike airlines

Guess what I'm doing today!!??

That would be trawling online underwear stores looking for a non-wired bra. See, the last couple times I flew I set off the metal detector. The ONLY metal I was wearing on my body happened to be in the breastal area and the button & zip on my pants.

"Oh no," the wanding person assured me, "it's not sensitive enough to pick up that." She didn't say any more after she wanded me all over (including the turning over of the waistband, blah blah blah) and yet failed to pick up any evil terrorist bombs anywhere on my body, including hiding between my boobs.

The next time I flew I wore my sports bra, which is fine for small periods of time but it's kind of BIG and gets a bit scratchy after several hours. Didn't set of the detector, though.

Genetics has gifted me with a largish bosom and it's not that easy finding unwired support. Thank goodness for teh Interwebs, because no one local seems to have them. For my size, there is very little intersection between comfortable, cute, and supportive, although usually I can get 2 out of 3. I'm reminded of the fluff NY Times article about some woman who decided to get breast augmentation surgery and then afterwards discovered that most clothes aren't really designed for busty ladies (the mental image I get when I use that phrase is like a crowd of rhinoceros with enormous breasts pushing forward) and she could no longer wear those "cute t-shirts". Ha ha. When I find a sleeveless top that fits there's a faint sound of trumpets and angelic choirs. It's as if society's beauty standards prize busty women, but only with all their clothes off.

Those puppies aren't going anywhere.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Thank you

Thank you all so very much for your kind compliments. I'm very pleased The Haircut turned out so well, after years of apprehension. It's so light! I can swish my hair around! It looks cute!

It is true I can no longer do a true Princess Leia

but I never have gotten around to that by now; it's ridiculous to think I will in the next 5 years. Not to mention that my stature more closely resembles Darth Vader than it does Carrie Fisher's petite Leia (there is no jiggling in the Empire!)
But I can wash it and it dries in under an hour!

Small miracles, my friends.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Who is this woman and why is she posting on my blog?


I had no idea I had curly hair.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Hair Anxiety

I'm finally going to do it. I made an appointment for a haircut, on Saturday.

It's a place that'll do the donation to Locks of Love; if I'm going to cut off a foot & a half, someone might as well get some use out of it.

I really shouldn't be so apprehensive about such a transitory thing. It's just... I've had long hair forever, and that really isn't an exaggeration, as I have never cut it. Oh, I trim it now and then so it's not so straggly, but the only major cut I ever got was for bangs when I was 11 or so. And that wasn't really all that major.

For someone who doesn't give much of a care about how she looks, I seem to be startlingly vain about my hair. I was trying to explain why to the Love Monkey. For one, it's the only source of random complements I really ever get. Damn, it's pretty shallow that I care about that but it's nice, okay? -- almost especially because it's various strangers on the street. I don't get many compliments. I'm not ever winning any beauty contests and never have.

Another part of it is more personal, in that it immediately identifies me as FEMALE to anyone (from behind. From in front, there's no doubt at all, which I guess an be a mixed blessing). I've had a lot of trouble finding my own space for feeling female, as I don't really fit into any of the archetype woman categories. I don't always get along with other women very well, and I don't know why; maybe I don't think in quite the same way. It bleeds into all those feelings of inadequacy and poor self-image and all that crap. So frequently at the base of my fear is a declaration that dammit, at least I HAVE GOOD HAIR.

Aaaand yet another Terry Pratchett reference enters my life, via Agnes Nitt, who was: 'Tired of being seen as just another overweight girl with "a nice personality and good hair" '.

And so, it's really past time for some kind of change. I'm just steeling myself so I don't do something ridiculous like burst into tears. I have no idea even what kind of haircut to ask for. I will throw myself upon their mercy and hope for the best and not too much hairspray, as it gives me a headache. Meanwhile I am rocking the Little House On the Prairie look for as long as I'm able.

Die, mosquitos, DIE

An extremely wet June followed by really hot weather (someone flicked the summer switch here. It's been 95 degrees for the last 3 days. I'm not complaining, I'm so happy to see solid sunshine for more than a day) seems to have bred a pack of monster killer mosquitos this year. I think I have about 20 bites now but I've stopped counting.

Just going outside to water the plants for 5 minutes I got 6 more tonight. And 3 more just sitting here inside; they must've snuck in when I had the door open.

Yeah, I'm a wimp, I don't know how to handle my mosquitos like seasoned midwesterners. But please can I STOP ITCHING ALREADY?

Monday, July 05, 2010

Did I mention...

that I also took a wirework class a couple months ago? Because you know, I just have NOTHING to fill my spare time.

The first is quartz chips; the second various stuff. Guess I wanted to do the wire equivalent of a scrappy quilt.

I'm making earrings and I DON'T EVEN HAVE PIERCED EARS. I am in trouble now.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Another random picture

I got a new peony at the farmer's market. Yeah, I know, retail therapy, blah blah.

But isn't she pretty?

More changes at work. I am doubtful, but I'll try them, and maybe it will help some of the problems. My intentions are to take this opportunity to learn the current programming methodologies and go in the developer direction. I have become cynical and disenchanted with testing jobs, as it appears (based on my own experience and observation), that the vast majority of companies don't value it much at all, and it's the first thing to go. I certainly don't get paid as well and the only upward direction is management. So screw it, at least this will give me more options. I was long partially hostile towards XP since the first project I worked with an XP team didn't feel the need for non-developer QA at ALL, and it was one of the biggest messes I've ever seen. And unfortunately had to take part in. But the Agile work we've been doing is a vast improvement over waterfall and some of the best work I've ever done.

Sorry, technical crap jargon probably most people don't care about. And you shouldn't feel too bad for me, since I am still employed and it's truly still a nice situation. Let's say that when the apocalypso comes my only useful skills will be in knitting. It's lovely to feel something tangible under your fingers after all you do is poke at electricity all day. Wire is even more solid. And shinier.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

My weird sunburn

it's like someone put their thumb in the middle of my upper arm and pushed, except that it's a sunburn. I have no idea why it looks like that. I wasn't holding or wearing anything weird.

The importance of getting guage

(click for big)

Monday, June 28, 2010

This post is dedicated to the letter P for procrastination and my ever-leaking sinuses

This post is an uncomfortably accurate (at least some of the time) and hilarious summary of my life: This is Why I'll never be an Adult, from Hyperbole and a Half. Especially lately.

On the plus side, it appears that Summer! Is! Finally! Here! HOORAY! Thursday-Sunday all sunny, all warm, all the time. OK, today is kind of cloudy. But enh, Mondays, what do you expect? The weekend was fabulous, there was beer, and I got the weirdest shaped sunburn ever. Oooh, I should post a picture!

I finally broke down and am trying the nasal sprays. They make me nervous; I like my sense of smell and I'd really like it to stick around. Step right up and spin the Allergy Med Wheel! I'll take possibly efficacious? for $200, Bob. Current survey says not very, but I'm supposed to go for more than a day. What fun side effects will be involved with THIS one?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Pea vines

6 foot tall fence for scale (and support)

Friday, June 18, 2010

Sunshine day everybody's laughing

Mmmm those Brady Bunch flashbacks

I was eating lunch today and looking at blogs and getting a little annoyed at some people who don't ever seem to update their blogs. Then I felt embarassed when I realized there's some kind of pot here and he's harassing a certain kettle. Good intentions, road to hell, blah blah blah. Since I use excuses not to get around to posting, I suppose I can use an excuse to post. It's a sunny afternoon, the first one in a week. Good enough.

It has been a craptastic week. There was an office politics explosion and my awesome boss, her awesome boss, and some other people got laid off. There is other stuff but I can't talk about it. We had the best, most kickass team that I've ever worked with and it's all falling apart. Sometimes I kind of wish it'd been me too.

Last weekend I was at a wedding of a old friend who I spent a lot of good (and not so good) times with. It was a lovely party, but there is some psychological stuff going on in my head (no, not what you're thinking. We're sincerely, really just friends. Neither of us is each other's type at all) and I really want to talk about it but I can't do that in a public space. I'm reticent even speaking with K. It just keeps bothering me. I'll probably sit down and write a huge rambling text file and file it away in the locked journal directory of my computer. Maybe I just need to get it out.

I've finished up 2 pairs of socks, started another, been dyeing like crazy, swearing a lot over trying to reproduce some previous colorings, and started a beaded scarf that I really like but it's SO SLOW it's driving me nuts. It's pre-string-the-beads kind of project and every time I have to pull over a bead it interrupts the whole flow. But it looks so pretty I keep bulling on. Oh, and I swatched for a sweater, like, 2 months ago. What, I'm supposed to start it now? (stop laughing)

What else? Oh, the peas. They love this weather. They're 7 feet tall and STILL GROWING. We're at 4.24" rain for June. Average is 0.24", with a historic minimum 0 and a max of 1.48". But the best thing is they are just getting ripe and it's like my little green sugary heaven out there. They're sugar snap, and mostly they don't even make it inside the house before being devoured. I'll take a picture for you this weekend.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Grey days

Hmm, it's been more than a month. I've been flaky, and going through another one of those times where everything I say sounds wrong and pretentious and boring. I think boring may be the worst of those.

Portland had an odd, sunny, warm early Spring, and in a reversal of fortune, it's been a cold, wet, rainy late Spring. The past few weeks have been cold, incessantly rainy, or just oppressively overcast. All. the. time. At least this last week has warmed up to past 50 degrees again. The weather for June? More of the same. The local term for this is Junuary. It's going to be a Junuary kind of year, I guess. I take my vitamin D faithfully, and I don't even mind the rain much, but I could really use a little more sunshine. The grey just washes all the color out of everything.

K the love monkey picked up a Spring cold last weekend but I fought it off with luck and zinc (and perhaps that multivitamin I was taking because I intend to donate blood. I seem to be naturally borderline anemic and I have to take a multi for at least a week ahead of time or I fail the hematocrit levels. It always used to bother me when the blood donation nurses would recommend that I take pre-natal vitamins, though. I'm not pregnant, nor do I intend to be. I always wanted to ask them if they recommend them to the men, too?)

It wasn't a bad cold, just a couple days of congestion, but it was one of those that settles in your sinuses and you keep leaking and coughing for days. He's had a grumpy week. And his grumpy combined with my sense of feeling boring all the time has made for a lot of quiet around the house. Add that to the fact that I've been on call for work this week and worked all yesterday, and, well, it's not much of a holiday. I can't be more than 20 minutes away from a computer, so maybe we will just cycle down to the Lucky Lab and drink beer all afternoon. There are many worse ways to spend a Sunday.

The love monkey's been bicycling quite a bit lately, up a fairly steep hill nearby. I think it's great that he's getting out regularly, exercising. It makes him generally less grumpy, he sleeps better, and he gets out of the house. He's gotten so that he can get all the way up the hill without having to stop. Also awesome. But at the same time I am secretly resentful. Bleh. I can't make it to the top of that hill without stopping, twice. In fact, I'm pretty crappy all around, physically, these days.I haven't been biking to work much, it's a combination of laziness, lots of rain, the cold, ongoing lower back grumpiness, my not getting up early enough, blah blah blah. I haven't been interested in making time for exercise lately. It takes me so much effort to get any better at it, while K can just go up the hill a handful of times and suddenly he's Mr. Bike Dude. I don't want to go on any rides with him any more because I already know what will be nearly effortless for him will have me wheezing and falling over, and I really dislike feeling like I'm slowing anyone down. The solution to this is, of course, to stop being such an annoying whiner and start getting up early enough to do the hill myself everyday, and maybe I'd catch up a little. But right now I just don't have the damn energy for it. And I LIKE riding my bike. It's FUN, except when I have to go up HUGE HILLS, which are decidedly NOT FUN and make me feel like I'm going to die, right there on the side of the road.

Well, there, Big Alice's Mental State. Not really a fun place to visit, the taxes are killer.

In other news I now have 2 new nephews, from different sides of the family:
Nephew #1, rocking the Winston Churchill look

Nephew #2, likely forcefully asking to be returned to that warm place he was lately removed from.

That's all I got for adorable, except the cat, who I caught singing to the birds yesterday (does anyone else's cat do that? Start making weird mewly sounds when watching the birds? She doesn't do it often) and no, I don't have it on camera.

Friday, April 23, 2010


These are my new pomatomus socks. I'm hoping these will actually fit me this time and that carpet beetles won't nibble little holes in them.

The background is, um, the Pacific Ocean, but the Pacific a lot farther away from where I live. Here's another view:

Yeah, we went to Hawaii again. I found cheap tickets to Maui back in February and we had such a good time last time we figured what the hay. Plus we both could use the break. We stayed home for Christmas and didn't take any time off. K's been stressed out of his mind for, oh, a year or so now, and I can tell you personally that bright, direct Hawaiian sun is an effective way to beat seasonal affective disorder.

I wasn't online much so I am catching up with the last week.

It was gorgeous and beautiful and relaxing and I saw 4 sea turtles and managed to escape with only a tiny sunburn. It's good to be home again, but it was a lovely vacation. As usual most of my pictures are of flowers and sunsets and crap like that, not a single iconic beach picture. Oh well.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Not really that angry all the time

I want to delete that last post, but I feel disingenuous doing so, as if all my life is happy rainbow butterflies and non-felting fiber. It feels like there are so many better things to get angry about, like people dying of preventable diseases, or snow leopards going extinct, or the stupidity of politicians. I've never really learned how to cope with anger very well. I don't know why, maybe because my parents rarely got outright angry and never argued.

Anyway, pretty roving, by oven cooking (thank you Michelle, I was thinking about trying that method and thanks for the report of the results)

I'm in trouble now, I've started naming them. This one is "Moral Ambiguity"

And this, Coaxing the Flame

(which both got a thumbs up color-wise from Michelle, so yay!)
Also, the pansies are so pretty. Here you go, gratuitous pansy.