Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Knitting Away

Before it's too late!

I'm a lap knitter, so it's only a matter of time before the lap becomes a hindrance to my knitting. Much crocheting has been ferreted away for such an emergency.

Yesterday, I:

  • had to make myself breakfast, because the boyfriend was up and down all night with stomach pain (we have no idea why, but it's mysteriously gone now);
  • as a result, I ate half of a piece of cold vegetarian lasagna with about 1/4 cup of milk;
  • but I did manage to pack lunch, which I ate all of: a piece of lasagna, a Muenster cheese/mayo/ sprouts sandwich, and two carrots;
  • brought a box of instant organic maple oatmeal to work for emergencies;
  • ate a serving of it right before going home;
  • had more lasagna upon arriving home;
  • cast on a baby sweater;
  • told the boyfriend the fetus is named Bubba.

Today, I:

  • rousted the boyfriend out of bed to feed me at 6am (He is supposed to make sure I eat right! No shirking!);
  • ate a two egg omelet with spinach, mushrooms, Parmesan cheese, two slices of wheat toast, and a cup of cafe au lait (you see why I get him up? :P);
  • supervised the Packing of My Lunch while I did dishes;
  • implemented the Grocery List on the Fridge Plan;
  • had two carrots and two pieces of celery, basically all morning;
  • drank a cup of doctored Earl Grey;
  • drank a glass of water;
  • had 1/4 of an avocado/sprouts/Muenster cheese/mayo sandwich (I think those carrots and celery may have done me in!);
  • am contemplating having a boiled egg before leaving work;
  • was pleased to hear at lunch that the Grocery List on the Fridge Plan is working.

In a way, I am training a stay-at-home-dad, because that is the sort of guy my boyfriend is. He cleans much better than me, and he's good at (and seems to enjoy) doing all the grocery shopping, with some direction (which I am hoping to slowly remove so that he will act independently), and he's not as equipped to deal with structure imposed from external sources as I am. He agreed that part of his participating in this pregnancy is looking after my nutrition, because I am terrible about remembering to eat, etc., but I am finding that I am having to gently impose this half of the time, or else he tries to sleep. I think that after a couple of months of this, he will have a pattern worked out and will be on automatic. That'll be handy if I am practically useless myself from nausea, fatigue, etc.


The baby knits are under way. In fact, I must confess that they were begun before I was actually pregnant. The following items were knit the month before:

KnitPicks Crayon beanie in what I thought was a newborn size, but turned out 3 month old size. Oh, well. Good thing I knit this:
KnitPicks Comfy beanie in Blackberry colorway.
I still have half a ball of yarn from either beanies, which I will probably make socks or mittens from.
This is a baby jacket knit with Reynold's Odyssey. I am in love with it. It needs blocking and buttons. I figure I have... 8 months to get that done?

I also started a maternity sweater.

All I have left on the front is the right neckline. It's the Mommy Shrug from Interweave Knits. I bought this yarn about a week before I started the project with the intention of making a maternity sweater, but I had totally misjudged how much yarn I would need. Imagine my horror when I cast on and saw I was about two skeins of Cascade 220 Heathers short! However, I am one lucky knitter, because I went back to the store A MONTH LATER and got three more skeins in the SAME DYE LOT. Whew!

I also bought a shitload of yarn for baby stuff, including my first baby cashmerino:
Seamless baby booties! Size 6 months, though.

Well. This is hit-or-miss, I'm finding. Fortunately, babies grow, so all is not lost! This should just be a lesson to me on the unpredictability of gauge when you think it's not worth swatching for a project that would take as long as the swatch to complete.

Nevertheless, I made a matching hat, which is definitely not newborn size, may be closer to 3 months than 6 months, but oh well again. (I should not make matching sets, but mix-and-match things.)

I'm pretty pleased with it.

Next up - a wrap cardi! In blue! Because I'm not going to find out the sex, and dammit, I will put the baby in whatever color I like!

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Dilemma

Yesterday, I:

  • had to get up early to go to some course for work at some hard to get to location;
  • only had a sandwich made of two scrambled eggs with mozzarella on top, between two pieces of buttered wheat toast with a cup of coffee;
  • thought I’d only get to eat the two boiled eggs that were hastily packed for my lunch (because of aforementioned course required me leaving for work early);
  • got lost on the way and had to be rescued by my boss;
  • spent about nine hours in a lecture on Cathodic Protection that was occasionally interrupted by 15 minute intervals of eating and peeing (I know, I make it sound soooo exciting!);
  • nearly went into a fit when I saw the food spread had little packets of peanut butter;
  • had a decaf coffee;
  • ate a croissant with peanut butter and honey, some melon slices and berries;
  • ate a sandwich made of wheat bread with mayo, lots of Monterey Jack, lettuce, and tomato;
  • ate a BIG sugar cookie;
  • had most of a large dill pickle;
  • ate some egg salad and some more fruit;
  • and then ate some more fruit and more decaf and an orange juice;
  • was hungry enough when I got home to make myself three pieces of French Toast;
  • went to bed.

I am just a tad hungry.

Okay, this is kind of perpetual problem for me – small stomach, fast metabolism. A couple hours without eating and I don’t exactly feel faint, but I do feel like I’m far from being a happy camper. For instance, right now.

Today, I:

  • had about a cup and a half of oatmeal with milk and honey and half a cup of coffee with milk;
  • went to test for yesterday’s course;
  • had two cups of decaf, a slice of banana bread (no croissants! :O), and some melon and berries again;
  • ate two hard boiled eggs with nutritional yeast and salt about an hour later.

And now it’s a couple hours after that and I am dying. Dying, I tell you! I ate one of those peanut butter packets I scored from the course smorgasbord (who’d notice?) but that only staved off the hunger for a very, very short while. I have set the boyfriend via instant messaging to making split pea soup, but I won’t be having any of that for at least three more hours.

I’m not sure whether this has anything to do with being about 5 weeks pregnant or not. But the boyfriend has been placed on Feeding Duty. It is now more his responsibility than mine to be sure I eat when I need to eat, with a special emphasis on packing my lunch. (I am notorious for not eating all day because I didn’t bring a lunch, and then being a wreck at the end of it.) There are plans for me carrying a freezer bag of chopped raw veggies to work every day, as well as a couple hard boiled eggs, and discussions have begun about making oat cakes from scratch on a regular basis for snacks as well. And I am taking vitamins. All. Day. Long. (Or so it seems – my multivitamin is not a one-a-day, but a five-a-day.)

I finally got a call back from local midwives. Interviews are being scheduled.

But the real thing on my mind is:

What to knit?!?!?

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

I take that back

Yesterday, I:

  • had oat bran and a cup of coffee for breakfast;
  • was too tired/lazy to pack lunch;
  • really, really regretted it;
  • took a pregnancy test as soon as I got home;
  • reheated some eggplant Parmesan and scarfed it down;
  • sent this photo to practically everyone's cell phone:
That's two lines which are (believe me!) not nearly so fuzzy in person. So last month I wasn't pregnant, but this month... I am.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Not Incubating

As far as I know, that is... I'm back at that limbo zone where I am not late or feeling funny (or perhaps, funnier than usual) where it's impossible to tell either way.

Yesterday, I:
  • had two eggs scrambled with mushrooms with buttered toast and coffee for breakfast - almost! (I had the boyfriend eat half of it after he finished his. He is garbage disposal.);
  • drank coffee with it;
  • had coffee at work, and an apple for lunch, along with some chips and some oatmeal cookies I made Sunday as a mood enhancer for the boyfriend;
  • had a scrambled egg sandwich with avocado and sprouts on toasted bread for dinner;
  • and a chocolate Pocky;
  • cleaned my guest room.

Today, I:

  • had one scrambled egg with toast for breakfast (boyfriend prepared this time), along with coffee;
  • missed my subway stop! (And I wasn't even asleep!);
  • had an apple and some pre-Halloween candy for lunch, along with my second in-office coffee;
  • just discovered an oatmeal cookie I overlooked yesterday, which I am about to decimate!

(Note to self: Pack lunch, damn you!)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Yesterday, I:
  • had a bowl of veggie/rice/kidney bean soup with two pieces of buttered toast for dinner;
  • had a hot cocoa w/ it;
  • took a hot bath for my... soreness;
  • tried to go to sleep at 8pm;
  • finally went to sleep around 9:30;
  • was kept awake by my boyfriend, who hadn't seen me since 6am (my novelty hasn't worn off).

Today, I:

  • had a bowl of oatmeal cooked with a banana for breakfast;
  • drank a cafe au lait;
  • had a cup of herbal tea at work;
  • ate two cheese sandwiches for lunch;
  • snacked on a couple sugared, sour, peeled dried plums? I think? (Our admin. people put out the damnest food... and I always eat it!)
  • drank a Diet Coke;
  • am starving.

The countdown is really on now! Couple days 'til testing...


When I lived in Boston, I had a long commute (45 mins., each way) but I passed the Post Office, which was on my block. This meant I could reasonably participate in swaps, etc.

The Post Office closest to me in Oakland is, I suspect, in Emeryville. I have not been to this Post Office, but a friend of mine has (on my behalf, picking up a package) and I recently missed getting a package there because, frankly, I SIMPLY COULD NOT MAKE IT. There is a Post Office near the BART station I take in the morning - I think it's in Berkeley - but I am on the train in the morning before it opens and off it in the evening way after it closes.

This Post Office situation, combined with my now 1hr 30 min commute (each way), now means that seeing a Post Office is something I can only dream of. This has created problems.

I have an hour lunch, but I have no idea where there is a Post Office in San Leandro, and I have no car and work in an industrial area. If I forget lunch I can't even get that. I am out of luck. (If, however, I want to become a connoisseur of big rig truck types, this is the place!)

Seriously. For three months my rent has been a couple days late because I could not get a stamp. (I know what you're thinking - when I finally got a stamp for the first one, why didn't I get more? In answer to that question, ask yourself: How many three cent stamps scavenged from my junk drawer fit on a standard business envelope? And how many months can I desperately scavenge 3 cent stamps in my apartment? Answer: one. The landlord picked up the others.) I am so behind in a swap I'm in, I should fear a lynch mob. (Seriously, again.) And those clothes I was going to send to my nephew? He's outgrown them.

This is quite a dilemma. It may be solved by the presence of the boyfriend, who has evening classes. But one thing I have decided: no more swaps, no more book exchanges. I'm not even sure I can order yarn online. Or magazines. (The mailperson is oddly reluctant to fit them in my box, and instead is insisting I come get them in Emeryville. What's with that?)

So. I will have a discussion with the boyfriend. He's proven himself proficient in grocery shopping by proxy so far... maybe he is good at parcels, too.

But I am finding it incredibly ironic that having a steady job means I can't get anything, even very basic things, done without great difficulty. Spraining the foot would have been the end of me, probably, if the boyfriend hadn't been here, because I spent the first couple days crawling, and it's hard to grocery shop like that. (As it was, I missed two days of work because I simply could not get there. When I was well enough I was hauled to a bike shop by a friend, fortunately.)

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Feed me!

Yesterday, I:

  • had two eggs with two pieces of buttered toast, made by my boyfriend;
  • didn’t bring lunch, so I had two granola bars and some Filipino candy from the receptionists instead;
  • drank some hot cocoa;
  • had some herbal tea;
  • was starving by the time I got home, so I ended up eating a big bowl of soup with four pieces of toast;
  • nearly fell asleep right afterwards;
  • ate a soy ice cream sandwich;
  • chugged some milk;
  • fell asleep at 8:30;
  • got a call from my boyfriend, who had been passed by by the bus he was supposed to take;
  • went back to sleep when he got on the next one;
  • dreamt of Patrick Dempsey.

Today, I:

  • made myself two eggs (scrambled with cheese) and buttered toast for breakfast, and coffee;
  • didn't pack a lunch;
  • felt hungry by 9:04 am;
  • feel like an idiot about it.

Plan B

Seems to be working so far. The boyfriend is now enrolled in school and taking classes, vacuuming my couch, making my bed... as those manly duties, hehe. Thank goodness he is a neat freak who cooks! (Now if I can only get him to pack me a lunch every day...)


I sprained the sucker, which is totally unfair. I didn't see a curb, and the rest is history. On the positive side, I now have a bike again, because without one I wouldn't be able to make it to work.

Hungry, Tired, Sore Breasts

And, oh yeah. My breasts have been crazy sore for about a week now. The fatigue I was feeling from sleeping in a bed with someone after months of having a nice peaceful bed to myself hasn't gone away. I was discounting it until last night, when I practically went to bed a 7pm, got some sound sleep - and still, even now, feel tired, even though I woke up before the alarm as if I'd had enough. I'm constantly getting up in the wee hours to... wee. And I'm starving all the time now. Just starving. I was dying for some buttered toast last night. Read into all of this what you will. I am. But I may be wrong. I could just be weird.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Plan B

Today, I:
  • had a couple sips of coffee before leaving for work;
  • ate melted cheese on toast for breakfast;
  • am drinking yet more coffee at work;
  • am trying to strategize Plan B.

Plan B is not a new plan, it is simply a plan that didn't get as much air time as Plan A. A very interesting weekend passed, ending (in a way) with my boyfriend calling me yesterday after work. Plan A (trucking school) was scrapped in favor of Plan B, him leaving trucking. He is probably as I type this packing his stuff to come to California.

Sudden? Well, I made the offer about four months ago. And three months ago. And the other week. So, yes, as far as a turnabout is concerned, it's sudden, but the offer has been longstanding, so this is not something totally out of left field.

This should be interesting. I need to clean everything. I have seriously been letting things go around the apartment, and now I have to seriously pick it all up. Time to finally plug in that new vacuum, scrub the bathtub, and clean the freezer. Time to make space in the medicine cabinet and thank goodness he can't carry furniture on a bus.

So. What is going to happen?

I will most likely be at my current job for a while longer, despite the tendinitis. I will save up for those doula classes I was thinking about (instead of saving for trucking classes) and concentrate once again on writing and art as a means out of the office, as well. I am also formulating plans to exploit the aforementioned boyfriend as a model for painting. Hehe.

Wish us luck!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Brace Yourself

I'm having ideas lately. (More on that after the food.)

Yesterday, I:
  • skipped breakfast yet again;
  • did not enjoy it;
  • had a bagel with cream cheese and nutritional yeast for lunch;
  • had a scrambled egg sandwich for dinner, just like I did the day before;
  • did a lot of Internet research.

Today, I:

  • had a fried egg on a whole wheat English muffin for breakfast for breakfast;
  • drank a cup of warm milk with instant coffee in it;
  • made myself late for work as a consequence.

I got a wrist brace for my left wrist, and I'm sleeping in it, and I am doing virtually no knitting or crocheting. Which is annoying. (I'm biting my nails instead. Good? Bad? See why I knit. I am fidgety.)

I am considering a major career change. This one is giving me tendinitis, for goodness sake! (Okay, well, maybe I wouldn't have tendinitis if I didn't knit and spend nine hours a day on a computer, but if something has to go to reduce strain... we know it isn't the knitting, is all I'm going to say.) And I have a very interesting option which most people I know will consider insane. Not because it is dangerous, or involves something indecent or actually crazy, but because it's kind of unconventional and out of left field.

My boyfriend (not partner or whatnot, merely boyfriend) is a trucker. I am on the phone (we both have headsets) over six hours a day. (Seriously - if a bug hits his windshield in an interesting splatter pattern, I know about it.) He is planning to truck for at least another year, but not more than two. He knows it's not a long-term lifestyle option for him: he has hobbies he can't do in a truck, and he wants to have kids that actually recognize him. And I am sick of offices. Do you see where this is going?

I'm researching trucking schools. If I team with him, his pay would go up several thousand dollars, and even though I'd technically be making half of what I make now, my overhead costs would be so much lower that I'd actually be able to save more money than I do now. (Which is presently zilch.) And while it's hard work, I'd get to see the country. Plus, if we can't live in truck together, it's probably not meant to be, but I doubt that. He seems to doubt that, too, because he was one the one who said Yes Please.

Unfortunately, I have a lease that doesn't expire until June (or July?), and two cats. I'm strategizing how to deal with the lease, and I think I could get family or friends to surrogate the cats. My main concern, actually, aside from the fact that I need to get in shape to pass some of the physical requirements of the job, is telling my friends. Esp. the California ones, who have been helping me settle in and nest. When (if?) I end up packing it all up and putting it in storage, they will probably be a) hurt and/or b) pissed. But I really can't do this lifestyle much longer, and the only problem I had with a transitory lifestyle before was the insecurity about money and where to sleep. That is not really a problem with trucking, since it is a job and one lives in the truck.

Plus, knitting is portable.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Sports Injuries

Yesterday, I:
  • had leftover clam chowder with a whole wheat English muffin for lunch with a Diet Coke;
  • caved in and got a medium curly fries and a bottle of water from Jack n the Box on the way home;
  • had cheese melted on toast for dinner;
  • drank a couple shots of sake (I'm really doubting whether this stuff has alcohol in it or not!);
  • called my little sister;
  • rummaged through my knitting mags for baby patterns.

Today, I:

  • skipped breakfast again. My bad.
  • am drinking coffee in its most doctored manifestation;
  • am wondering what to do about my hands.

I'm going to say something very obvious now, such as: "Hands are important." Especially my hands, thank you very much. I use them a lot. (And that is another understatement.) I spend about nine hours on a computer at work every day, and when I am not on the computer, I am knitting or crocheting or something else... handy. I'm 34 so I guess it's only expected that I might start to notice my body turning mutinous on me by doing things like having my hands swell up and display symptoms of CTS.

So, a bit of swelling today, even though my knitting and crocheting the past couple days has been minimum. (Four or five rows of 116s! That's all!) I have even been dragging my ass at work on the computer to give my hands a rest. But all to no real avail. My left wrist is killing me, and both hands are sore. It is really annoying. I already take breaks when knitting, but that doesn't seem to matter. Strangely enough, these left wrist flare ups have little to do with how much I am knitting. They come seemingly out of nowhere. Seriously. I have mainly been crocheting lately, and I have had plenty of times when I've whipped out a sweater in eight or nine days without so much as a whine from my hands. It's really inexplicable.

Salt could be a bit of a culprit still. Note those curly fries yesterday? Note the slight swelling I am feeling in both hands and forearms right now? True, the swelling feeling didn't start directly after the curly fries, but it was only last night, and I haven't really been doing anything different than usual. There is still some room for doubt. I need to get a bit more scientific about this.

I'm thinking I need to get a wrist brace. Or two. Continue to lay off the handicrafts as much as I can stand, do hand exercises, drink lots of water, and maybe even do something radical like try one of those allergy discovery diets where you're eating gruel or something 24/7 and then add things to see what you react to.

Any suggestions?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


In my dream the other night, I was angry because I was being co-opted in motherhood; all my efforts where appropriated by others who felt they had that right before I even had a chance. (In the dream, I didn't even get to see the baby before my family took it.) I had gone through nine months of pregnancy, labor, etc., only to have others treat me like I was just making something for them.

It's an interesting issue, to be sure. You may have noticed in my previous post that I mentioned that my little sister is kind of complicit in the co-opting of her own motherhood: while she protests verbally, her actions are the opposite. She needs help, but she is getting the help from people who don't trust her to manage things on her own in any way. As a result, getting someone to babysit so that she can work becomes a battle to have custody of the child at all. And as a teen mother who is very insecure in herself to begin with, she's losing.

I imagine she is very conflicted. It is hard to go from not having your own independence and concrete identity to motherhood in our culture. (Young women are not prepared for it. Not that they should or shouldn't be, but that's just the facts as I see it.) Which is why this new baby worries me so much. My sister could get even more lost in all of it. Or she could get it together somehow. I don't know.

While I know that what is happening to my sister won't happen to me, and wouldn't have happened to me at her age (not just because I wasn't sexually active, but because I am an altogether different person) there is still the danger of some co-opting, no matter what. Family and government, for better or worse, tend to think they have a right. This is a real stress for me when I think about having children someday, because I wildly disagree with my family on many issues, and with the government on some key points. For instance, I know my family will want me to bring the kid(s) around for key holidays, etc., but... I am not Christian. They aren't really, either - as long as I can remember, my family has practiced a kind of secular Christianity. Mainly, I think, to conform with society. Rebelling against that will be an uphill battle.

Hell, just telling them I think midwifery is a better option than an OB/GYN would be huge drama.

Fortunately, I don't get any pressure from my parents to "give" them grandchildren; if they spoke like that to me, I'd move to Alaska. Or New Zealand. And then have kids, and send them photos every now and then. I won't be having children because it fits into their plans. Or even the father of the children's plans. I'm firmly behind equal co-parenting, but I'm not having kids as a present for someone else. No sirree! It happens to be my body, my life.

So, many dreams. Nightmares. Nights awake, analyzing. Wishing family wasn't just a collection of people with similar genes who can be loved, but not necessarily liked, or even lived around harmoniously.

Frickin' Babies

Yesterday, I:

  • had a sprouted bagel with cream cheese and a coffee for breakfast;

  • had another sprouted bagel with cream cheese with a Diet Coke for lunch;

  • ate a piece of chocolate and two packages of crackers (the kind you get with soup in a restaurant) on the walk home to avoid fainting from hunger;

  • ate a bowl of clam chowder with toast for dinner;

  • chugged some Crystal Light.

This morning, I:

  • had a piece of chocolate on the BART platform on the way to work;

  • have skipped breakfast because I was late to work and didn't want to dawdle in the office kitchen;

  • am drinking coffee;

  • checked my email through my phone while walking to work and found out my eighteen year old sister is pregnant AGAIN;

  • nearly started to cry.

Not out of envy, mind you. More like the sort of reaction one has when they see a bus heading straight toward someone they love. And I'm not saying this because she's eighteen and unmarried and lives with our dad. There are a lot of ways where, under those conditions, her pregnancy would be a cause for joy. She could be one of those teen mothers one sometimes encounters that put so-called adult parents to shame with their dedication and joy in parenting. It could be a profound, life-changing experience that brings everything into perspective and enriches life-


That is not what is happening. What is happening is my dad unofficially adopting the child she already has because she is busy partying. The child recognizes our younger sister more than he recognizes her, because our younger sister spends more time with him. Perhaps it won't always be this way, but that's how it is now, and I must say our dad is partly to blame. It is right that he should try to help where he can, but there is a difference between helping out with a baby and co-opting it that he hasn't distinguished yet. It's all a big mess, frankly, and it's only going to get messier.

So, stay tuned! More baby knitting to follow. I only hope the other stuff I made wasn't thrown out or given away. Now, to go gnash my teeth and rend my hair...

P.S. - the bridge in the previous post? That's the Golden Gate. Love California summers!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Weekend, and baby lust

Friday, I:

  • had a sprouted bagel with cream cheese for lunch, along with the emergency food (have I already mentioned this?);

  • went home and... (hmm. What did I eat? I know it wasn't fast food...)

  • Oh! Had a Rainbow Dragon sushi roll from the Berkeley Bowl, and a small can of anchovies on whole wheat crackers with sharp cheddar cheese;
  • drank much foggy sake, to little effect;
  • watched Only You, which I seem to recall watching in the theater when it came out, alone, because my partner-boyfriend-whatnot did not do romantic comedies (or Harry Potter);

  • fell asleep with the phone on. (But it's okay - it didn't count towards our minutes!)

Saturday, I:

  • woke at 8:30 am, thinking it was at least noon;

  • had a whole wheat English muffin with sweet organic butter;

  • wondered why my butter had no flavor;
  • drank instant coffee with some Mexican hot chocolate;

  • reminded myself to someday get a coffee press again;

  • went to the city (in this case, SF), and walked forever along the Presidio while drinking hot cocoa;

  • ate a banana;
  • had half a veggie burger with guacamole, lettuce, ketchup, and bacon (I know, contradictory) and some mac and cheese and a hot chai in the Castro;
  • bought way too much yarn;
  • had cheese raviolis for dinner, with marinara sauce, as well as more sake;
  • ate the rest of that burger;
  • fell asleep with the phone on, but he noticed and hung up.

Sunday, I:

  • had a whole wheat English muffin toasted with butter and cheese;
  • drank coffee?
  • polished off the raviolis;
  • polished off all my potatoes, too;
  • had an English muffin with tofu dogs glued to them with cheese;
  • dug some pecans out the back of the cabinet to eat;
  • ate them;
  • wondered where all the food went;
  • knit booties for a co-worker;
  • thought about babies to the extent that I dreamt about them last night.

I heard somewhere that dreaming of babies was a sign of impending doom. (That interpretation could be interpreted many ways in itself.) In my dream, I had a baby, but my family was so proprietorial about my baby that they had it for a couple days, and then the hospital had it for a couple days, and when I finally got to fetch it, I was supremely pissed. Everybody else had been so involved I hadn't even had a chance to see what my baby looked like. I started yelling at the hospital staff about it, how my breastfeeding plan was all f*ck*d up and I was without milk because something like four days had passed sans baby, etc., and I wouldn't be able to nurse now. (And when I say I was pissed, I mean pissed. I even woke up affronted and angry.) On top of it all, the baby was ugly.

I don't think this is a sign of impending doom. I think this is just my subconscious mulling over what I've been thinking about lately. You may notice that my mention of my partner-boyfriend-whatnot is now in the past tense; he did not die or anything, rest assured, nor did some thing similarly disastrous happen. It's just that after seven years together he finally realized he really won't ever be ready to have kids and I basically had to choose.

I am 34.

Baby won.

So, baby on the brains. I even have a victim - I mean, volunteer for this business. But in a romantic way. Notice all that falling asleep on the phone in the text above? That kind of behavior has been going on for some time now. About seven months. It's someone I used to know from my home town who is now a trucker and always... elsewhere. Ohio. Wyoming. Or, like at present, New Mexico, soon to be Arizona. Through happy coincidence, we both remembered each other very, very well, and through another happy coincidence, he practically had an apoplectic fit of joy when I mentioned why my former partner-boyfriend-whatnot got left behind in the foul East Coast weather. So, no baby right now, but maybe in a year or two, eh? It looks like it's going that way.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Kitten Breakthough

When I woke up this morning, Simon was asleep at the foot of my bed. Very, very slowly, I reached down and pet him, then I slinked out of bed - I didn't want to scare him off of it. (Meanwhile, Jamieson is looking at me from the other side of the bed like, "Hey? What about me?") I go to the bathroom and when I come out, Simon is in the hallway actually preening for attention. So I picked him up, took him to the kitchen, poured him some food, and...

The little fella is afraid of the cat food bag. I did eventually catch him and show him the food wouldn't hurt him.

But the main thing is, he's a little less skittish.

Yesterday evening, I:
  • caved and ate the piece of British milk chocolate;
  • had baby red potatoes sauteed in canola oil with diced red onion and chopped up tofu dogs for dinner;
  • had a cup of the fruit smoothie;
  • drank a glass of mixed wine;
  • decided that if I am indeed serious about getting that 1923 crochet dress done by Halloween, I should get back to working on it;
  • continued to work on a tan/beige/white afghan I've been doing lately anyway.

This morning, I:

  • am drinking hot cocoa with a teaspoon of instant coffee. (It's Friday! I need it!)
  • have decided to have my breakfast bagel for lunch;
  • because I forgot lunch and am going to have to eat the emergency food at some point, and I'd rather it not be during lunch.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Feed me!

Last night, I:

  • ate a lot of sauteed veggies with quinoa and salmon cooked in butter and lemon juice;
  • drank a glass or two of wine;
  • had about half a cup of green tea ginger ice cream;
  • drank a "qualude" and a "snowflake";
  • took a taxi home;
  • oh, and it was knit night.

See? It's getting a bit better!

Today, I:

  • had leftover salmon, veggies and quinoa for lunch (lots of it);
  • ate a sprouted bagel with cream cheese and nutritional yeast for breakfast;
  • have drunk two Lipton teas, straight, and a Diet Coke;
  • am dying of hunger, and it's only 4:30 pm.

See what I mean by metabolism? I've been sitting at a desk for almost nine hours, have eaten quite a bit (I portion of salmon (1/8 lb?), a cup of quinoa, two cups of veggies... I'd call that a fair portion. Wouldn't you? And when I say "cup," I mean coffee cup size.) and I am starving. Seriously, I don't know how I am going to make it. I have a piece of that British chocolate in my purse, and I have some emergency food given to me by a friend that I'm supposed to hide in my filing cabinet for emergencies (7 oz. unsweetened dried fruit bar, and a 1 oz. package of seiten teriyaki "meatless jerky" - she swears they stand in for a meal, and she is someone who would know) and it is taking amazing willpower to not devour it all. And it's only been one day. I've been considering adopting an exercise regimen, and I can only imagine what state I'd be in right now if I was also burning calories from something other than typing.

Boy, would I love to be ripped like Linda Hamilton. But alas, I do not have a personal trainer, and what's more, I am not sporty or inclined to do much other than sit and knit or sit and read or walk to somewhere where I can do the aforementioned activities.

Now, to do something about this stomach...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

And so it goes

Yesterday evening, I:

  • ate a piece of milk chocolate from the British Isles;

  • had a gulp of banana/apricot/Russian yogurt/orange juice smoothie;

  • ate leftover bread sticks with sharp cheddar cheese melted on top (new toaster oven!);

  • had about a cup and a half of sauteed chopped spinach with garlic, red onion, and butter;

  • drank some warm Sprite.

I know, I make it sound so glamorous.

Today, I:

  • had half a cup of the fruit smoothie for breakfast before running out the door;

  • ate a plain bagel with cream cheese from a dreaded coffee chain near my work;
  • am drinking Lipton with no sugar or cream;
  • forgot lunch!

Cat Update

So that little tabby I just got? He is very shy, unless you catch him and make him like it. However, he has interesting nocturnal tendencies. For instance, I was lying in bed this weekend - about to pass out- I mean, fall asleep - after getting back from a show in the city - and I felt something at the foot of the bed. Then I felt something on my foot. Then my other foot. I tried to move, but that only encouraged this mysterious entity, this... toe biter. (After a half hour, it stopped.)

Since Jamieson hasn't perpetuated this kind of bedroom behavior in at least five years, I have reason to believe it was the kitten, Simon. This has since been confirmed, because he gets very excited when I am about to lay down for the night. He even goes to far as to walk up my chest and look at me to see if I am moving my hands under the covers. Then I say something, and poof! he is away, because he then remembers I am in the room. And I am so scary! So scary, it takes him about a half hour to come back and do it all over again.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Diagnosis: Too Salty

My hands are swelling like crazy today, and the reason why is not obvious. CTS has been suggested, but I have no tingling or numbness. I cruised the Internet for possible causes (I am a generally healthy person, albeit I have the kind of blood pressure that worries nurses – 98/60) and I think it may be my sodium intake. I am about 124 lbs., and in the past two days I have eaten a large pizza and Jack n the Box, and basically nothing else. Just a tad salty.


Solutions that may prevent me from having to use my medical insurance for something that is probably nothing…

Diet. Exercise. Research. I need to take better care of myself.

Keep in mind, to me, the word “diet” doesn’t not mean “starvation.” It means “nutrition.” So, I am embarking on something kind of like that Month of Vegan I did a while back.

The most obvious thing here is the elimination of fast food from my system. No more Taco Bell at 2am after the bar, no more breakfast sandwiches while walking to work. No more. Bad girl! Bad! *deletes pizzeria phone number from cell phone*

Fortunately, I have already begun a meat reduction in my diet. Or I think I have? Well, practically speaking, that may not be happening, but the desire is there, which is half the battle.

Beyond that, I dunno. Drink more water? It’s so hard to pinpoint what the right thing to do would be. Everybody’s body is different, reacts differently to different diets, etc., so what may be logical for someone else may not work for me. I am not overweight, which is usually in this slim-figure oriented society the first thing addressed when it comes to feeling good and being healthy. I have never been overweight, although my metabolism is slowing a bit now that I’ve past the three-decade mark, but I’ve got one of those metabolisms where I get hungry ever forty minutes or so. (Munchie, munchie, that’s me. I need fuel to generate all this nervous energy.) I walk a lot, but I don't "exercise." ...maybe I should get a jump rope?
So, the short of it is I'm going to be posting what I eat once again. Here we go!
Today I:
  • had an egg with bacon and cheese on a croissant and hash brown sticks for breakfast;
  • had a burger slathered in "cheese" for lunch, but rejected the bacon;
  • drank two cups of Lipton with vanilla flavor creamer;
  • am drinking a Diet Coke;
  • and am forcing down a glass of water.
You can see how bad it is.

Monday, August 04, 2008

New Addition

This is Simon. I got him from the Berkeley pound Saturday. He looks a little cowed in this picture, and so far, that is his normal expression. He's about five months old, and is a bit skittish. But there are signs of him becoming as much of a attention nuisance as Jamieson.

He has been with Jamieson 24 hours so far. They are already chasing (bounce, bounce, bounce!) each other up and down the hall, then hissing when the other gets too close, then doing it again. Considering I got Simon so that Jamieson would have someone to play with, I think this is a success.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I need to finish something

Anything, really, that I didn't start this month.

Over at Ravelry I joined the Procraftinators group, and we get points based on completing WIPs/UFOs, starting projects, etc. The objective is to clear out old projects for new. And I am seriously falling behind. Really. Every time I report my doings, it's guilty as hell.

I think this is because most of my on-going projects are by their nature very on-going. There is the Neapolitan Ice Cream Flower Afghan (see sidebar - this project was started, at latest, spring 2006); the hex afghan; a Norah Gaughan sweater and many, many socks. These things are not quickies. At least, not for me. But I need to start showing some spine.

I did manage (through some kind of miracle) to finish the above self-striping socks at the end of June this year. However, they were started last year. I think they only got done because I was entering a sock crisis, which was mildly assuaged by these socks, but not entirely remedied. Being the so-called hardcore knitter that I am, I do not buy socks. That is consider moral weakness in my home. Why buy them when I can make them? Right? Except my use outstrips my production rate. Darn, darn, darn!

Which is what I am doing. I've darned my fugly socks, and I need to darn about three more pairs that have been retired from circulation for their own sake. None of the socks I have on the needles are for me, though. This is quite a dilemma. One that I would normally address by casting on. It's not like I don't have sock yarn...

But. Back to that spine bit. I need to work out some kind of negotiation with myself. Maybe if I finish the Norah Gaughan sweater (which already has a front, and half of the back) and my Grandma's socks (I am on the second!) I can then in good conscience cast on a pair of socks for myself. Whatdaya think?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

California looks a lot different than the East Coast

This is a bit of an understatement, I know. But I was on the East Coast (Pennsylvania, Massachusetts) for so long that I managed to forget. The U.S. is a big country, and because we have such an expansive freeway system and a common (for the most part) language, it's easy to forget. But really, the Atlantic and the Pacific are a long, long way away from each other. I had a roommate in Philadelphia treat me like I was stupid because I could not figure out that the tree in the back yard was an oak tree. I know what an oak tree looks like - I was raised in the country, I was a logger's daughter, for krissakes. But in Philadelphia, an oak tree looks like this, and to me, an oak tree was like this or this. There is not just one tree, and you stick me in the woods in California, and I could readily play Name That Tree. (Of course, even the concept of "woods" is different on the East Coast, at least below Maine. This is what I consider "woods," whereas this was the Mid-Atlantic notion of "woods." Notice the difference?)

But, flora aside, the weather and even the quality of the light and air is different. (Thank goodness - I am allergic to Philadelphia! Can you say, five year cough?) My former partner-boyfriend-whatnot was amazed at San Francisco's ability to be simultaneously overcast and summery without also being muggy and filthy. Right now, it is July, and the high expected today is 67 degrees F. It was breezy, too. I wore a cardigan. In Philadelphia today? High of 90 degrees F. Boston? 88.

Then there's architecture, and the way people garden. People generally like to garden in California - it's obvious just walking down the street. This may be because people actually have some yard, but I lived in places on the East Coast with yards, and it just wasn't the same. It's hard to put my finger on it exactly, but in my opinion, Californians are more relaxed about their gardening. The yards may not be tidy, but they are gardened. Sometimes with abandon.

(This is a birdhouse post in the driveway at Sibling #3's wedding last month.)

I have been away from California long enough to think that the East Coast way was normal, so when I came back, I saw the difference. It was like running into an old friend with whom you have almost always gotten along swimmingly, so much so that you wonder why you ever lost touch, and why you now hang out with such tight-asses.

So, while I still have some wonder, I will be posting pics every now and then of California stuff. Things like stuccoed bungalows, manicured trees and camellia bushes; beaches, and birdhouses and, of course, people flopping around in rivers.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Not Knitting Much

Today, I:
  • had a cup of instant cocoa with a teaspoon of instant coffee for breakfast;
  • had the same, sans coffee, for lunch;
  • am being very bad, but hey! It's not Spam.

Discussion of the aforementioned Spam lately has caused a friend of mine to threaten to draw a comic chronicling the hunt and capture of the elusive animal that is Spam. I will let you know if anything comes of it.


Yep, I am. Well, sort of. I am slacking in the knitting department. I have two socks hanging around, pining for my attention.

First, we have the Child's First Sock in Shell Pattern from Knitting Vintage Socks that I have been making for forever:

(This is the second sock, thank goodness!)

And second, the Gentleman's Fancy Socks from the same book:

This, would you believe, is a boyfriend sock. It's all a kind of odd circumstance kind of thing, but suffice to say, I am making this with a resolable foot because I am feeling optimistic that I'll be around to see the holes start to form. There are those that say you can't revisit your past, but I'm starting to figure out that that isn't quite true.

And I finished a sock before all this knitting inertia began!

However, the picture will not load.

What, you may wonder, have I been doing if I am not knitting much?

Well, crocheting, of course.

Friday, July 25, 2008

My indiscrimate palate

Today, I:

  • had #20 to go from Jack-in-the-Box for breakfast;
  • had what I believe was #6 for lunch;
  • am drinking a soda, and a lot of tea with creamer;
  • am reconsidering my eating habits of late, including my utter and obvious failure to go vegan.

The only explanation that I can really find for my inability to avoid animal products at this juncture is that I am up to my neck in a kind of therapeutic, culinary hedonism. Therapeutic, I say, because it couldn’t just be plain caving in to cravings and whims. No, indeedy. I have, to my horror, bought and eaten beef within the past month. Twice! And then I spent a half hour searching the Berkeley Bowl near my apartment for the right kind of dry Italian salami. Which I ate most of in one sitting.

So, stomachaches are abounding. Ten plus years of pseudo-vegetarianism does not prepare one for binging on some top-notch imported salami, nor fast food, even if it is chicken for the most part. I am not kidding. Despite the occasional bacon binge, and the fairly steady stream of fish and chips and grilled salmon I ate over the years, my tummy is spoiled. It expects a certain amount of non-processed foods, not too much salt or sugar, and a fair amount of raw carrots. (The latter of which, it is still getting, for the most part.) It can not handle Spam. I know this for a fact.

Spam? you say. Well, yes. Spam. I am revisiting my past, I am sorry to say, through my taste buds. My mother was married to a Filipino when I was a teenager (See: Sibling #5 & #7. ) and as a consequence I was exposed to a whole range of food choices I would have otherwise have missed out on*, like purple cake, pig’s blood sauce, crunchy embryonic ducks and Spam. (Spam was the only thing I missed other than the cake.) So I fried me up some Spam just like in the good old days, and after two pieces (thank goodness I bought the small can!) I was ready to lie down on the floor. I’m not really sure what’s in Spam. I should look at the label, but right now, I’m suspecting it preserved with lye or saltpeter or something like that.

I think I am just about out of this phase. I’d forgotten how much speculating I had to do when I ate meat on a regular basis, way back when – how much discrete (or not so discrete) spitting out and examining of strange, inconsistent textures I had done. I’m having to do that again, and I am having far too many moments where I am simultaneously thinking “yummy/gross.” It reminds me of one of the things I read in a cookbook when I was eighteen and teaching myself to cook atop my dad’s Franklin stove about how it’s important to chop and trim things up in a uniform manner so that your guests eating the dish are not put off by any inconsistencies. It’s easy to forget when it’s carrots or something you’re chopping up, but quite another matter if the odd bit might be… gristle.

*If it hadn't been for this marriage, I would have only been exposed to Samoan food, American food, and Philippine food in an incidental way... such as that time when I was twelve and I accidentally ate dog in the South Pacific. (It wasn't bad.)

Friday, July 18, 2008

Mug Cozy

In a bought of impulse buying, I ordered the KnitPicks Renaissance Sampler. I'm pretty happy with it so far. It was a real toss-up which sampler to get - since they come with patterns to test out the yarn, it was a choice not only between a color scheme but what to make with them - and the Renaissance Sampler won out mainly because of this cozy. (Sorry if this picture induces vertigo. I was trying to take an interesting angle, and I may have succeeded too well.) I liked this pattern and the yarn, Main Line, although cabling with it hurt my hands a little.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Some greenery

I went back to my home town for the Fourth of July weekend for some nostalgia, dropping in on family, and of course, skinny dipping. It's hard to believe that it had been almost eight years since I had last been swimming, and over ten years since I had owned a bathing suit. But I managed. Somehow.

My camera is having issues with it's memory card, so I was unable to take as many pictures as i would have liked. I had to therefore focus: quality, not quantity. I'm not very practiced at photographing things, so the quality has has to be in the area of the subject, rather than the photo itself.

I took a lot of photos of my dad's jungle - I mean, back yard:This is the fence he built to annoy his neighbor. We both agreed it had a pleasing, artistic, rustic effect. (Keep in mind, this is Northern California, not L.A. We do pleasing rustic.)
My dad's pond, which I believe is an old tank he welded in half and implanted in the ground. He used to have goldfish in it but the skunks kept eating them. You know how it is.
If you look closely in the center of this photo, under one of the leaves of grass that comes across the photo from the right, you can just barely see my dad's toad eying me suspiciously from beneath a leaf on the other side of the pond. My dad says he came to the pond as polliwog and stuck around. This toad is about the size of my fist, and he was determined to wait me out.
Birdhouse and rambling roses. Mendocino County has a lot of rambling roses, and so does my dad's yard.

The well. With a redwood burl on top of it for some reason. This was the least of the mysteries of the labyrinth that is my dad's yard. Mine is not to reason why, but merely ask where he got these things and what it's called.

For instance, I have no idea what the object in the background is. A stump? A disintegrating dishwasher? I have no idea.
This, however, I can identify. Nature's Toilet Paper, a.k.a. a thimbleberry bush, which is not under any circumstances (or at least, it is to be fervently hoped) to be confused with the stinging nettle, a plant which has the unfortunate tendency to grow with thimbleberries. Thimbleberry leaves are large and have a pleasing peach-fuzz texture. Stinging nettles do not.

Last, but not least, we have rocks and old bottles.

This is just the tip of the iceberg as far as collecting goes in my dad's house, and evidence once again of the importance of a convenient LYS. If my dad knit, this could have been yarn.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Hex Scrap Afghan

This is an afghan I have been working on using vintage yarn oddballs I got from my grandmother and grand aunt. I noticed there was a bit of interest in it over at Ravelry, so I've decided to post my recipe here. I apologize beforehand on my garbled instructions!

Hex Scrap Afghan

Yarn and equipment
I used worsted and aran weight yarn for this project on an H/5 mm hook, and sometimes doubled sports weight yarns. It’s all a matter of preference – whatever works for you!

A NOTE ON COLOR: I had a loose color strategy with this afghan that you might find useful. It was based on two points: #1 was to use no white or cream. #2 was to use one color that really popped in each hex, and mixing it with colors similar but not as obnoxious as it to make it blend. For example, neon pink went between orange or red sometimes, or brown, etc. This meant that I could use all the CalTrans Orange and chartreuse 1970's yarn I had without being blinded by the end result. :)

Ch = chain
Sl = slip stitch
Dc = double crochet
St = stitch

Basic Hex:

Set-up: Chain 6, join with sl to make circle, careful not to twist.

Row 1: Chain 4 (3 ch = 1 dc, + ch1), *dc in next st, ch 1, repeat from* 11 times, sl into the 3rd ch st of the chain 4 made to begin the row. This should look like a wagon wheel. Cut yarn and change color.

Row 2: Join new yarn at a “ch 1” in preferred method. (I like to do a sl where I pull the yarn end through the stitch so that I can secure it by crocheting over it with the next couple stitches.) After joining yarn, ch 3, dc into same space (makes 2 dc), 2 dc into following st, chain 2, *2 dc into next st, 2 dc into next stitch, ch 2, repeat from * until you have six ch 2 spaces, sl into the top of the ch 3 you began the row with. Cut yarn and change color.

Row 3: Join yarn at a “ch 2” space, ch 3, then work 3 dc’s between it and the next “ch 2” space, 1 dc into “ch 2” space, ch 2, *1 dc into “ch 2” space, work 3 dc’s between it and the next “ch 2” space, 1 dc into “ch 2” space, ch 2, repeat from * until you have six “ch 2” spaces. Cut yarn and change color again.

And from there its basically Row 3 over and over again with 2 dc’s added between the “ch 2” spaces for each following row. For instance, Row 4 has 5 dc’s, Row 5 has 7 dc’s, etc. I stop alternating colors at Row 4 and make Row 5 my background color (black). Then I mattress stitch it all together.

I hope this isn’t too confusing - I've just tossed these instructions together. Let me know if you need clarification.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Still not dead

Despite the evidence to the contrary. Really. I am still on this earth.

I have been busy, busy, busy! But no photos for you just yet. I am packing to move again - this time only a couple of blocks - into my first apartment.

Technically, I've had apartments before, but this one I will be flying solo with in areas not just in the financial strata. This is my own. I can decorate in extremely bad taste if I want; I can leave the dishes in the sink overnight without fearing repercussions of the chiding kind the next day; I can, glory be! walk around naked and hog the fridge and bathroom. (Although, possibly not at the same time...?)

To celebrate, I am going vegan again!

Yes! I am a wildwoman.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Life is very peculiar

That is today's understatement.

Yesterday, I:
  • got dressed only for the sake of not freaking out people at the grocery store;
  • realized I've caught something like the flu;
  • slept;
  • slept;
  • slept;
  • ate a bowl of rice in veggie bouillon;
  • drank a cup of green tea and a cup of orange juice, as well as a lot of mineral water;
  • ate a little sushi;
  • laid in the dark on the phone a lot.
Well, the recipient of the beanie liked it, but he did not tell me. He told everyone we knew. I don't know how to take that, and I don't really care, actually.  It was only a couple hours of work, which is nothing compared to what I am about to experience with my grandpa's sweater. 

It is already too small. And the gauge is too tight. Which means that although I have knit the back down to the bottom of the armholes and started the front, I need to start over. 

OK. Deep breath. I can do it, yesindeedy. Just as soon as I have enough energy to bother to brush my hair.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

My decadent holiday

New Year's Eve, I:
  • ate half a bean and rice burrito with a tamarind soda in the Castro;
  • ate a lot of vegan finger food involving toast and garbanzo beans at a party;
  • consumed a considerable quantity of baby carrots at aforementioned party;
  • and some excellent "rum balls", whatever they were;
  • drank about two vodka tonics, and some rum/ fruit juice Puerto Rican cocktail;
  • wore a feather in my hair.
New Year's Day, I:
  • ate curly fries in a 24 hour diner in SF at around 4 AM;
  • spent an hour and a half in the Mission waiting for the BART to open;
  • froze my ass off;
  • found out it would be two more hours before BART would open;
  • took a cab home;
  • slept;
  • had massive amounts of Thai hangover food. Yum.
Yesterday, I:
  • had a bowl of oatmeal and black coffee for breakfast;
  • ate some vegetarian pot stickers, steamed buns, and green onion pancakes at a Japanese tea house in Berkeley;
  • shared a bread pudding at a chi chi restaurant;
  • ate half a pomegranate that I got from my grandpa's tree;
  • had fried rice and, umm, canned roasted eel with green olives;
  • drank two vodka tonics and two cranberry tonics;
  • ate a piece of bread and went to bed.
Come to think of it, not much about my habits has really changed...

I did a quick swatch of my grandpa's yarn. He doesn't know the breed of the sheep, just that it's some kind of Scottish animal known for fine soft wool. He says if I show him pictures of Scottish sheep he could pinpoint it. I don't know if it will come down to that.
It really is soft wool. I washed but didn't block the swatch. The cables I worked were nothing fancy or final - just half of a Saxon Braid and a lame left twist cable. I'm just trying to determine a general gauge. US #4 needles feel just about right so far.

Soon, I will have photos of some fingerless gloves.