Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Wandering, on lamed foot.

I was thinking, maybe I don't write here much anymore because I write those e-mails home to myself most days from work, but I did that before and was also posting much more. I don't know what it is. I haven't been motivated to write much at all, other than self-indulgent journal entries, which you'd think would be a natural fit here, but apparently not. I'm trying to decide what's going on with me regarding writing, what I truly want to do and what I truly can do. Part of it is scheduling: me rearranging my life around Eric's. I can't help it; he's got more demands on his time than me, and I want to spend time with him. Maybe I can work whenever he's at school or doing homework or something. Maybe I should forget it. Only Shoelace still wants to be written and I read what I've got and it's honestly not that bad, and I have a couple of article ideas I'd like to get down, and there was that neat story I planned out but haven't finished, and Finity's Edge could be great fun if I developed the backstory a little more, and--James said his new girlfriend (who is a vegetarian, and was most polite at Thanksgiving; I hope she sticks around a while) is also a writer, and she's great at ideas but not so good at the execution. At the time I thought of offering to help her, but now I'm not so sure I could be any use. (He also described an idea they'd talked about and he said, "Don't steal this idea or I'll get in trouble," and then later, "I told her that I'd do one of two things: if she wants to write it I'd help her, and if she decides she doesn't I'll give it to my sister." It's not my kind of idea, but I appreciated that.)

Meanwhile, I'm sitting here with one sock on, wondering where the time goes (Dun Morogh, I'm afraid, at least partly) and whether my sanity would be better served by throwing out my extra yarn. Marie's baby shower is this weekend, you see. And I have the most wonderful soft yarn left over from the stupid gift I gave Gabe last year and I wanted to make her something. Only I already made her a quilt, and she crochets so a hat seemed pointless. So I thought, socks. It's probably hard to crochet socks, and last I spoke with her she wasn't a very advanced crocheter so she probably hasn't turned her hand to it--though she might during her maternity leave. Now I'm wondering if I shouldn't have just bought her some of the yarn.

Anyway, the pattern I'm using is a free pattern that I modified the first time for Gabe's almost-two-but-still-catching-up-to-babies-his-age-born-on-time feet, and now I'm trying to modify it again for a newborn-to-three-months and I have no idea whatsoever how big their feet are. I don't know whether the socks for Gabe fit or not. Probably Bev just tossed them in the garbage when I left. (This year's present for Gabe is sitting in the craft room. I ordered it and it came too late, so I asked Dad to get me something to leave at Thanksgiving and I'll send this for his birthday and pretend like I'm really worth something as an aunt.) And I'm not a creative knitter anyhow; the best thing I've ever done was the mouse cozy for M. (I need to write up that pattern and send it to Knitty.)

So I'm going to work on that. But it's already practically Wednesday. Granted, I don't have plans for the rest of the week, other than covering the faucets before it starts to snow again and take my antibiotics--the reason I am wearing one sock is that I have an infected ingrown toenail and I was soaking it, per Dad's instructions. I sat in the urgent care clinic tonight (because I don't have insurance yet) and started a hat, using this yarn, because I only had my circulars with me and there was no way I was going to submit to the frustration of knitting a sock on a circular, but then I came home and realized I really wanted to do the socks, plus the hat was huge. Now I realize that this yarn is not that rugged--it's a sort of chenille--and I should cut the part I already knit, but will that leave me enough yarn for both socks?

Thanksgiving, by the way, was nice. Dinner itself was mediocre but the company was good, and I enjoyed seeing Mom and Dad's new house and getting advice from them on finances. They're currently snowed up; the Seattle area, after the wettest November ever, got a huge snow/ice storm last night and it took them six hours to go the twenty miles from Mom's work home, so this morning they stayed home and drank coffee and watched movies. I approved. We ended up taking the early flight out, which shorted us on sleep but was otherwise good; and we ended up delayed an hour by ice on the flight back (a precursor of that storm, apparently), requiring us to run through O'Hare to catch our flight. But we made it back and so, eventually, did our luggage, so all is well.

All right: time to knit a few rows on the sock, and see where I am; time to open up Shoelace, and consider switching POV since I think I've stayed too long in Risse's and that's why I've stalled out; time to go shower and then put Neosporin and a fresh Bandaid on my foot. Time to take action. I see it but I don't always do it. I suppose that's the way with most of us.

Thursday, November 23, 2006


Flight delayed two hours. Now we're taking the earlier flight. Do we go to sleep tonight or not? It's such a conundrum.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm off for Thanksgiving in Seattle in a few hours, attended by disgruntlement that the perfect present I ordered for Gabe didn't come in time (I should have had it sent to my parents' address; I dind't think of it at the time) and the visit is so short; happiness that I'll see my family and my parents' new house; and errant thoughts of airline security people confiscating my bag of trail mix because the raisins look like gel to them.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Setting my sights on 2009

Eric and I talked tonight (now that he's recovered from a bout with gastroenteritis) about his school and our future. The way things are now, he's going to get his certification in 2009. We'll be moving to the West Coast--the current shining star of my ambition--that summer. He'll finish his degree that fall. I wrote this down, along with "Wedding: spring 2007" and "First child: summer 2008 (may vary)."

It just seems an awfully long time from now. It's the tail end of 2006, so I suppose it's really only two and a half years--and I've been here a year already--but I want to be there. If it weren't for Eric, I would be there now. I'm going to have spent the majority of my twenties in the Midwest. There's no good reason this should bother me, but it does. I never wanted to live in the Midwest anyway, except as someplace new, and now it's no longer new. (Though the shouting I heard from my neighbors every time either UM or OSU--I don't know which--did something notable in the game today was something I haven't experienced before. Also, I think someone stole my doormat from my front door. That's never happened to me before either. Now I'm concerned for the spindle I ordered that was supposed to come this week and hasn't.)

The other thing that bothered me about this plan I wrote out was that I didn't figure in it, except for the wedding and baby parts. I need a goal. I think. Most of my emotional trouble lately has been from the lack of a goal--or at least my perception that I need one and don't have one. And moving to the West Coast isn't a good one. It's pretty short-term, for one thing, when you get down to it. It's only two and a half years away.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Mobius ring update

So. Debby Hoffmaster wasn't able to make us Mobius rings in white gold. I asked our friend Carol, and she recommended two places, http://www.handwovenbands.com/ and Abracadabra. I wrote to both. The first wrote back: "Sorry, but I don't even know what Mobius rings are." The second wrote back, "Sure!...They start at $660." So a big no on both.

I turned back to my trusty friend, Google (during work today, because there wasn't a lot to do, even with a potluck in the middle of the day--I'm quite happy with my new coworkers culinarily) and tried "mobius ring gold" instead of "mobius strip ring" or "mobius wedding ring" and came upon a few sites I hadn't seen before. One is J. H. Breakell & Co.. They have a ring that's just about perfect; but it's in yellow gold. Another is Gideon Weisz. I'm particularly in favor of this one because of the other rings he's made--benzene? Protein? Only DNA could make it better. I've written to them both and I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

The Tussah silk came yesterday (extremely fast turnaround time, nice people) and I'm now again contemplating spinning and knitting a shawl of it for my mom for the wedding. This would theoretically give me six and a half months (Christ, is that all I've got?) to do it, which shouldn't be impossible at all. I'm hesitating, but I'll probably do it--but I'd have to spin first and dye later, since we still haven't picked final colors yet.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Being bad

I have discovered the spindle Eric's hat must be spun on: the Quantum Butterfly. (He would also appreciate the Foo, but it's a laceweight spindle and I do not love him enough to knit him a hat at nine stitches per inch.) This is merely because I am a geek and he is a geek, but that's fine. I ordered the spindle but have no idea when it will come. I also ordered four ounces of Tussah silk, but I know that will come this week. I have very much got to get started on the dyeing of all this white, white fiber I have.

(Okay, I do love him enough. But only if it were, for some inexplicable reason, absolutely necessary. And it's not.)

My cousin Jaime wrote to say that her unborn baby will probably not live past birth. Is it terrible of me to wonder whether they'll use the same name for their next try? I'm sure it is, but I can't help it.

We did some Christmas/birthday shopping over the weekend, and also went to see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. It was fantastic, just like last time, and made me think I really ought to get out my guitar (and change the strings already; it's been a couple of years at this point). I want to create music. I want to create a lot of things. I also want to be very lazy and idle, and that's the essential struggle.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Food and fiber and forgetting and finances

We went to the Beirut last night for my first-paycheck celebratory dinner. (Incidentally, when I received my check stub I looked at my bank statement and found it hadn't been deposited yet. I checked again yesterday and it still hadn't, so I wrote a worried letter to the finances person and she wrote back saying kindly that the first check was supposed to be live, had I gotten it? I'll be depositing it in a couple of hours. And no more questions to the finances person.) Eric won't eat Mexican or Thai or Indian with me, so I'm glad he likes Middle Eastern. (Lebanon counts, right? There was a time at my old job we discussed that, but I think the consensus was that it was really only disputed because it's mainly Christian.) It was good, except for me spilling my extra tin of tea by putting a pat of butter under it to soften and then not thinking to remove the butter before it melted. But we decided that Aladdin's, a new place in a more convenient location (though it feels more like a cafe than a restaurant), has better tabbouleh and falaffel and, Eric says, shish kafta, so I guess we've got a new favorite Middle Eastern food place.

While we were there we both noticed a nearby mother taking her tiny, weeks-old baby out of her carrier and holding her close. She was small and frail and dark-haired and had a tiny active curious face. We looked at each other, stricken, and Eric said, "The courthouse is open on Monday." We seriously fail the baby test.

In the summer, when I made that thick brown hat of my own homespun, Eric had tried it on, said he looked very J. Crew, and mentioned he wouldn't mind having such a hat if it were less scratchy. So when I went to the Michigan Fiber Festival in August, I bought some merino/tencel and made swatches of that and some merino/silk I already had for this purpose, and he chose the merino/silk. Last night I mentioned something about the hat, and he said, "What hat?" I explained, and he still didn't remember. I persevered and repeated the project idea and he's still in favor of it, so I'll be dyeing some fiber dark blue ("Gray," he said yesterday when I asked what color he wanted, just to be sure. "Or green." I said, "Last time you said blue." He said, "I did?" and then told me to surprise him, that either one was fine) and spinning it soon. Only I don't like the spindle I have to do it on. Heavier yarn requires a heavier spindle, and my heavy spindle is a bottom-whorl (and very simply made and decorated by someone who sells them on eBay, and the decoration is already coming off) and I think I'm coming out in favor of top-whorl. So I want to buy a new one. I was concerned about the expense of it, but then I got a hefty raise with the new job and it's been a while since I bought something just for myself. And as for Eric objecting, forget it. He won't even remember in a few days.