Monday, July 31, 2006

this girl is on a mission

Since y'all liked my mugshot so much, here ya' go.

(photo credit: TheMIG , taken @ Juan's Place over a pitcher of margaritas...wouldn't you be smiling, too?)

I was hoping to blog the next chunk about the "getting back to work thing," but I didn't becuase I was behaving like a sloth all weekend. I am now paying for that today, scrambling to run errands and pack for the Hawaii leg of the tour. I'll pick up on that story line again when I return, which will be easy, because that will be my new primary focus for awhile.

People keep wishing me a good time exploring Hawaii (I've never been), but I will probably not have time to see very much of it. We have been given a tentative schedule for the week and it is packed with tech rehearsals, master classes, and performances. It looks like we're booked for almost the entire time we are there. There is no day off, except for Sunday, which is the day we spend relocating to the second performance venue. I'll have a couple of hours free each morning (if I'm not dead from working the night before), and a few extra hours on Saturday (that day we have a 4:30pm call time instead of noon). I wont have my own car, so everything I do will probably be pretty close to Hilo unless somebody organizes something.

I'm pretty cool with it. I figure I'm going for work, and although I'm into seeing a few sights, I actually prefer to slow down when I travel and try to catch a glimpse of local life. I'm down with just kind of relaxing and breathing in a new place.

As for tourist-y type things, it looks like there is a great cultural museum near the hostel we are staying at, and I'm also going to attempt to check out a nearby waterfall by hiking in on crutches (I'm not bringing my prosthesis because I dont use it for dancing, and hauling the leg, a wheelchair and crutches through an aiport makes me bithcy). I can go pretty much anywhere on crutches, though. I'm a rockstar on crutches. Which is good. Because it rains in Hilo almost every day, and slick is my least favorite condition for crutching. I hope to get into or down to the ocean, too...but apparently Hilo isn't the white or black sandy beach type of's more like lava rocks and jungles. So we'll have to wait and see. Where there's a will, there's a way, though.

Oh...and of course you know I've already printed a map to the local yarn store ;-)

I think the hostel has internet access, but I don't plan on spending my limited free time on the computer, so you might not see me until I get back next week.
I mean, Aloha.

Sunday, July 30, 2006


Damn, I think I'm onto something with this making my bed every day business! I came home Friday to find another package from my folks waiting for me (hmmm...I you think if I keep making my bed every day, there will be tickets for a cruise or a new car parked in the driveway? haha).

I think my parents should join one of these interenet Secret Pal exchanges, because they totally have it wired. They left a bottle of wine from a favorite local/Napa winery, a couple of scented candles, annnnnnnnnnnd....

a bag of BARLEY POPS!!!

Seems like just a lollypop, but no no no no NOT be mistaken...these little gems are one very big deal. These are a unique flavor from my childhood that can only be found on the East Coast. They are a highly coveted item in my family, as they plant a huge smile across whosever face one is shoved into. When I suck on one, I am instantaneously transported back to being five years old with dirty knees and sticky stuff on my chin and not having a care in the world. Their consumption guarantees total bliss.
Shut up about the knees.

Several years ago, my folks made a trip back East and brought a few barley pops back home, and we all went bizzerko over them. And that's when my daddy discovered that they could be special ordered on the internet by the case. I haven't seen them around our house in a few years, though....they are sort of a luxury-item, if it makes sense to you how a lollypop could be considered a luxury....and my family has had a couple of rough years full of hosptial drama and no barley pops.

I see the arrival of these pops as heralding a return of all things good and sweet and full of wonderment in this world :-)

Some things you probably never knew and maybe never cared to know about barley pops:
The Lobster shape is a critical flavor variant. Even though the pops in the shapes of Santa are made out of the same damn candy, they don't fit in your mouth the same you slurp them differently...and I swear it affects the way the sweet goodness lands on your taste buds.

And so here's the last thing about barley pops: they go bad. Just like sugar-based lollipops, they will eventually spoil, getting all soft and sticky and crystallized, but with barley it happens faster. They aren't quite as "hard crack" of a candy as a sugar product, if you know your candy making.

This creates the rationing dilemma. Now there is the problem my family now faces which is one of how to hoard the stash without letting them spoil. And they spoil fast. One day they are all perfect, and the next time you go for one, they might be mush. And you feel like a drug addict checking them daily for signs of deterioration so that you can eat them all as fast as you can. But you do it anyways. Because when they spoil, well, you just want to cry. You should have eaten them, but you were saving them because you love them so and they make you feel so happy on a bad day and so you want to have them around just in case you need a fix. But you can't.

It's a zen thing. Enjoy what you have when it's in front of you. You can't enjoy the merits of things by keeping them unused and saved for later. 'Cuz there aint no later.

How did I get all spiritual and shit over candy?? hahaha

Friday, July 28, 2006


Thanks for all the nice comments about yesterday's post, folks. I loved them all.
But I have to say, the Best Comment-of-the-Day Award must go to someone who did not make their comment in the comments section. It was made in person.

After teaching dance class last night, I had changed back into what I'd been wearing all day...the girlie scarf, pink lipstick and all...and then I went to visit TheMIG.
When he answered the door he said, "OooOOooooo, it's the girl from the internet....!"

I'm still giggling.

For the record, it's not like I've been intentionally trying to hide my face. In fact, yesterday was not even the first time I'd plastered my mugshot on this blog. I know for a fact it's featured in a couple of show-and-tell shots of a hat and another scarf. And in that bellydance spread the other day, I didn't purposely screen out pictures that had my face in it or something. That's just the way it worked out.

Not to go on and on forever about the frilly pink scarf, but I discovered yesterday that I actually can tie it on. I just need to spend a bit more time finessing the ruffles to make it work. When I wear it tied, it has a sort of Prince and The Revolution feel to it (a la Wendy & Lisa)...which is a much better look on me than Bozo The Clown.

This scarf is not only the girliest thing I have ever knit, but I also think it might just be the girliest thing I have ever owned. As I kid I was more of a tomboy. I wasn't into dolls and I didn't care for things pink, purple and ruffly. If you would have asked me if I'd grow up and consider pink to be "the new red," I would have laughed in your face.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

girls gone wild

No, not that kind of girls gone wild.
I’m talking about the kind of “wild” girls can get when their Local Yarn Store has a going out of business sale.

Now, it wasn’t all girls. I realize that boys knit. I even live with a boy that knits. I love it when boys knit. But I only saw two males at this shin-dig, and neither of them were goin’ wild. One dude was a non-knitting (I asked) teenager forced into holding his mom’s place in line. The other guy was the bouncer strategically placed at the exit. I wish like hell I would’ve thought to snap a picture of him. He was the buff muscle cuddly bear type, and he was very calmly smiling back at cranky knitters who looked like rabid dogs. I’ve never seen him working there as staff, so I assume he was brought in for the day to guard the door and check bags as you exited. Surprisingly, however, when a shopper in his vicinity was pondering how many skeins she would need to complete knee high socks, he had no problem reading the label on the skein and then suggesting that she grab another. (edited to add: I've been informed that the "bouncer" is Darius, is a knitter, and has been an employee. Thanks, Merrily!)

Okay. SO.
I think the closing was announced Friday of last week. The sale began today at 10am.
I did not go to shop. This girl has no dinero. But I wouldn't have missed this event for the world, so my excuse for being there was to take pictures for the blog. In my mind, I envisioned this fantasy photo shoot involving a stampede of crazed and grabby shoppers…kind of like a Macy’s White Sale or something.

I drove up right after dropping MyFK off at camp maybe around 9:20 or so. There was one lady waiting in her car, and a friend from my SnB group was sitting on a bench out front working on a sweater. No throngs of people. No photo shoot for me.

Wrong. Silly me. Look again…

That’s at about 9:40. And most of these folks were holding empty shopping bags.

Here we are again at about 10:02.

I already see panic on some faces.

And here’s the shot I went in for...people stuffing fistfuls Colinette into baskets like mad.

Skein Lane is open for business until (I think) early September, or I guess until all that is left is crumbs. This is the END OF AN ERA for East Bay yarn shops. Skein Lane has been around for a looooong time, long before the latest “boom.”

Now, I’ll be the first to admit, being a yarn slut, I am polyamorous when it comes to yarn shops. I go where I need to go to get my needs met. But this is the store where I spend most of my time (and $$). This is also the store that happens to be closest to home. When I took up the needles again a couple of years ago, I started attending the weekly “Knitting Workshops,” where you can bring in whatever it is you are working on and get help, learn new techniques, and meet some really fantastic people. And THAT is what I am going to miss the most. The people I knit with, the people that worked there, and especially Carolyn, the store owner. She has always been such a delight, and I have learned so much from her...not just about knitting. There were so many familiar faces there this morning, I'm guessing Carolyn felt it was just as much a party as a sale. I know I felt that way!

Yarn shopping is getting interesting here in the SF East Bay, I think. I've also heard through the rumor mill last week that Janis of Yarn! is wanting to sell her business. Kind of makes you have to wonder what is going on, eh?


So, I sort of got dressed up to go to this thing (but hey, I'm easy--I can put on lipstick and mascara and call it dress-up). I mean I wouldn’t exactly call a t-shirt that says “I Bite” on it, and Converse high tops being dressed up. No. To dress that up, one would need to accessorize.

New scarf. In my desire to have people not stare first at the place where my leg is missing (before seeing some of the other parts of me), I’ve been thinking about ways to bring the attention up towards my face. I know how to do that by highlighting “the girls”, creating a funky hair-do, or donning a hat, but I’m tinkering with new methods. My current twist is to put a little more color up top.

I finished the scarf late last night (way late--2am--and I wonder why I have a headache now). I got a bit worried when I put it on. It most definitely brings the attention up to my face…but I thought it sort of made me look like Bozo The Clown.

I've gotten lots of compliments on it today though, so I guess it's not so bad.

It was knit in Rowan Kidsilk Haze, shade “583-Blushing.” The pattern is “Swirl Scarf” by ShiBui, but I can’t seem to find a solid link to the actual pattern for you. Seriously though…this pattern isn't rocket science. It’s just one big ruffle. That's it.

It took just over 1 skein. One and a half rows over 1 skein, which completely irks me, but I'm going to use what's left over to make a pair of matching Mrs.Beetons.

If I were to knit this scarf again again, and I might, I’d start out with more stitches and omit one of the rounds of increases, creating a wee-bit less dense of a ruffle. Starting out with more stitches would also cause the scarf to be longer. This scarf turned out so short along the cast on edge that it doesn’t really stay on when I toss it over the shoulder, and I don’t like what happens with the ruffles when the scarf is tied. I used one of Jodi’s cute-ass badges to secure it, and it looked great :-)

The fancy lace socks are still on the needles and coming along slowly because complexity is stressing me out right now. I just cast on for Cleo and with any luck will finish her in time to wear in Hawaii.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

really quick...aren't you glad?

For John, or anyone else who was pondering yesterday's fiber question, here are the thrift store sweaters in question:

They are actually all in decent condition and have been washed. From L to R...100% Pure New Wool, 100% Cashmere, 100% Shetland Wool. One dollar each.

I bought them a year or so ago when I didn't understand that it's insane trying to frog/recycle wool from sweaters of this fine a gauge. So rather than make myself nuts, I'd like to dye them, felt them , cut them up, and get crafty (although the question of they day is which order to do those tasks in).

Thanks to Rabbitch for the inspiration, and to TheMIG for installing and giving me a tour.
My blog now has a handy-dandy StatCounter.

YAY! Just in time to find out some turd ended up here googling "get your bumm here."

Ummmmmmm yahhhh. Step right up! Get your fresh hot bumm here!

This is counting this is gonna get interesting, isn't it. (notice there is no question mark at the end of that)

My ticker also started "counting" just in time to find out I've been listed at something called the "Disability Blogs Roundup."
I'm not sure how I feel about this one. On the one hand, this blog seems ethical and I'm glad there are opportunities for people to reach out to others with disabilities. On the other hand, I'm a bit peeved about being added to a list like this without notification or even a tiny hello (I'd never even heard of this blog before).

Isn't the internet lovely. (?)

Speaking of who reads my blog...I forgot to mention this.
Last Friday (the meltdown day), I came home to find scented candles on my bed. My mommy had stopped by my house and placed them on my pillow. She was so tickled that after 39 years I was making my own bed all by myself, that she wanted to give me a little reward.
Cute. Thanks mom. Love You :-)

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

dang, this is a really long post

Contents of this post are, in order of presentation:
1) a fiber question
2) some dance photos
3) the second installment of the return to work saga (so stop after the dance photos if you aren't interested in more muck/emotional content)

The Fiber Question

I have some thrift store sweaters that I want to both dye and felt. My plan is to then cut them up into parts and start playing around with them.
Do I:
a) dye first, then felt?
b) felt first, then dye?
c) felt it as I'm dyeing it?

What would be most suited to my project would be to felt first, cut shapes out of the felt, then dye those in all sort of colors. More than likely, I'm using Kool-Aid, by the way. But I'm not sure how felt takes up dye. I'm a rookie. I've never felted and I've only dyed things a couple of times in my life.

Any thoughts?

The Dance Photos

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you the Sabah Ensemble...

So. There are two narratives that go along with these photos, the most important of which explains the reason for this dance.

Ten years ago, the Sabah Ensemble lost our beloved Eszike (pronounced like Jessica, without the J). It was a car accident, and it's unclear how it managed to actually take her life. There wasn't a lot of wreckage. Reports were that something inside the vehicle may have flown forward from the back seat of her car and struck her head in just the perfect spot for shutting her life down. It was quite a shock for all of us, as she was just embarking on some big life transitions and was full of excitement.

Eszike was one remarkable woman. Among her many talents, she was a dancer, musican, body worker, textile artist, creatrix extraordinaire, and all around Wild Woman (I mean that in the Goddess sense where being wild is good). Eszike touched so many people's lives so deeply that ten years after her passing people are still feeling called to create rituals in her rememberance. On June 1st (her birthday) some of her friends held a celebration and a sharing circle. The Sabah Ensemble concluded the evening with a bellydance in her honor. I just got these photos of the performance last week. you and miss you!

The second narrative for this photo series is a technical one, in response to questions I am often asked about how I manage to bellydance on one leg. There are many ways to achieve success with physically integrated dance (dance that includes both able-bodied dancers and dancers with disabilities). One tool is to make use of level changes within the choreography. I can, and do, dance standing up. But if I decide to employ the use of floorwork, it may (or may not, depending on the piece) look out of place for me to be on the floor while everyone else is standing. One option is to play with level changes. If there is a multitude of level changes happening with all members of the troupe, the difference in level changes appears to be more part of the choreographic structure, and less borne out of the need to accommodate someone choosing to be on the floor. Even though it really IS borne out of the need. But tinkering with the way that need is fulfilled creates different effects.

This series of photos actually begins in the middle of the dance (no photos were taken of the first half for some reason). Our actual individual dance movements were completely improvised around the constructs of a set structure involving a plan for travelling though the space as well as our each having an opportunity to dance with Eszike's veil. The plan was that the piece would begin with us dancers sitting together on the floor as a group on one side of the sharing circle, directly across from an altar created for the evening's ritual. The structure was to travel in a straight line across the sharing circle towards the altar, stop mid-way at the center of the space to connect and create a standing circle together under the veil (the veil was brought into the center by the last dancer to ooze from the starting point). After connecting in the center, we would then travel out again from that circle in a straight line again towards the altar on the other side of the circle from where we had started. I think we practiced this maybe twice (we rock hahaha).

When the performance began, I was the first to travel out of our seated group and begin the line. I oozed (bellydance is oozy) out onto the floor using bellydance floorwork. I used floorwork also to travel towards the center circle, and then I stood up (this is where the photos begin).

I'm on the left of the group (see my nose and my belly and my left boobie?? hehe). Note the casually placed hand I have resting on the dancer to my left which was needed for stability because not only was I the first to take the veil, which is in my right hand, but we were also undulating and doing belly rolls. I went back down to the floor with the veil and had my time with it, and meanwhile the other dancers recreated the line outwards from center towards the altar. The veil was then passed down from dancer to dancer, each having their moment with it, until it reached it's resting place at the altar.

(thanks ladies for permission to post the photos)

The Muck/Emotional Content
(returning to work, part 2 of...who knows how many)

Alrighty. Before I launch into blogging and processing about my fears about returning to work, I feel like I need to give the background story about what my last job was, and more importantly, what it took for me to get there.

Right out of high school I took a job with the phone company. I held a few different positions during my 14 years there, all office jobs, beginning as a phone operator and ending as a marketing and sales specialist. Although working for the phone company was awesome for supporting the rest of my life (union pay, 5 weeks paid vacation, full benefits, reimbursement of college tuition, 401k, etc…), and although I was really good at my job. I hated it. Hated. It. The phone company is one very large, scripted and regulated place, and I felt like Robot #4852. I was unhappy with my job maybe 5 years into my 14 year stint there, but the job was so secure and I was so well compensated, I didn’t dare dream of quitting even though I was miserable. It took a long time for me to get burned out enough to quit, and it took even longer for me to then get the balls to do it.

Right before I quit the phone company, I took myself on an amazing, in depth, introspective process to explore what would truly make me happy to be doing as a career for the rest of my life. I had no belief in myself that I'd be able to do it once I figured out what it was, but I jumped in and looked inward anyhow to see if I had some sort of "calling". I read a couple of books by Barbara Sher around that time, “I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was,” and “Wishcraft.” I was also working through Julia Cameron’s book, “The Artist’s Way.”

Barbara Sher’s work was a real mind blower for me. Her suggestion is that you completely ditch your resume and list of job skills. You instead embark on these exercises where you look at what makes you really super happy to be doing just for fun. And I'm not sure if the instructions were to go all the way back to childhood and research what made you happy as a little kid, but that's what I did.

I always came up with cooking. More specifically, cooking for people. Looking at what always brought me the greatest joys of my life, it was always feeding people. I had lots of memories of being a young adult out in the world in her first apartments and having potluck parties on a more than regular basis. But my earliest fond memories of cooking were from about age 7 or 8 and playing “restaurant” with the babysitter. Menus, beautifully appointed tables, and all.

So figuring out my true joy in life was great information.
And I had no idea how to turn that into a career.
I had no skills or formal training.
Around that time I had a friend who catered weekend long workshops, so I helped her out a few times. There was also this woman in my spiritual group who was a career counselor...and in one hour she drew me a map that had me quitting my job the next day and starting a catering business. I freaked out and shoved it away in a drawer somewhere.

Not longer after, I quit the prison sentence at the phone company. But not to cook. To be a mom. It took me another 4 years or so and getting fed up in another corporate office job to get up the courage to make a move.

And I did it.

When I was in my mid-thirties I got a wild hair up my ass, quit my job, refinanced the house to pay for living expenses, and enrolled in a full-time two year culinary arts program.

School kicked my ass, and I kicked it right back. I was in school five days a week, some days starting at 6am to prep in the kitchen before classes…and some days I’d be in school as late as 10pm. I was also taking night classes about the management/business side of the house, completeing a Restaurant Management program at the same time as the Culinary Arts program. On most weekends I worked for a catering company, or working alongside an independent caterer friend of mine, and I also spent some time working the line in a Mediterranean restaurant.

While in school, I worked like a dog...but it wasn't hard because I was doing something I loved and absolutely could not believe I had allowed myself to pursue. I aced all of my classes (only got 1 “B” the whole program), and because I was so dedicated, I got sent out of the classroom for several bonus experiences. For a week I catered the AT&T Pro-Am Golf Tournament in Monterey, I got to spend a week being an assistant to star chefs up at Napa’s CIA, I got to go to France for 2-1/2 weeks on a culinary exchange program, and many more things...too many to list.

Upon graduation, I immediately got a job working at Whole Foods Market as the Catering Director. I barely got up to speed in time for the holiday rush which was intense (understatement), and was happier than a pig in shit.

I did it.
I had arrived.

During my time at Whole Foods, I got a small promotion, a couple of raises, and was working myself onto a management track. That’s important in the food industry because being a chef is sort of like being a gymnast or an athlete. It’s physically grueling work. There were some days that I’d spend 10 hours or more on my feet and working with 35-50 pound quantities of food that needed to be moved contstantly. Burn out or injury is almost a given, and I wasn't going to end up there. I was moving forwards and upwards, baby.

The accident happened about 9 months after I had started my dream job (which was also about 2 weeks or so after qualifying for health benefits there--thank god). Like I said, at least I don't have to live with the sadness about never having accomplished my goals (thank you god for that, too).

Now don't start going on and on about the fact I can return to my chosen profession...I already know I can. But the thing I need to ask myself is: what that is going to look like? Because I assure you, it is NOT going to look like standing on my feet for 10 hours a day and carrying 35-50 lb boxes. And the other questions I really want to return to that profession. I've got some ideas that maybe there is something more suited to me out there, and maybe it's linked to my pineapple-upside-down-cake turn of life events.

This is just some background for you…next post is how that all relates to needing to figure out what job to do next.

Thank you all for your guys are great...I'll address some of them as I go (like what is up with my arm and surgery and how that all factors in, too).

Sunday, July 23, 2006

i'm melting away

We are having a heat wave.
My house doesn't have air conditioning because I live in the fog belt and 362 days of the year the desire for a refridgerated room doesn't even cross my mind. Not all of California is about beaches and sunshine, kids. This is Northern California ("The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco"--which they now believe was not said by Mark Twain). I was sporting turtleneck sweaters a few weeks ago. In June. But now it's so hot I am melting.

And there's been another kind of melting down going on around here, too.
The emotional kind.

Of course, being the type of blogger who is fully aware that life can get messy and who has gotten over her concerns about sharing it, read on. For those who don't care for other people's problems, the whining, or just prefer the nicey-nice-nice of less personal blog entries and would rather sip their morning coffee with a positive note, that is totally cool with me.
Here's the official warning: there is muck at the end of the post. It's right after the photo of the lovely blooming flower, a true and positive affirmation of life being all rosey. You can just stop right there.

SOooooo Wheeeee! Let's do the fun stuff first :-)

Lookie what Jodi sent me!!

A bunch of very cool badges. I'd been coveting the "KNIT" ones, and she got all generous on me and sent them to me gratis and threw in a couple to give away and a couple more to add to my collection (I'm already the proud owner of a few sets of her stuff...seen here).

Jodi has an etsy shop. Do check it out, because she's now selling t-shirts and some of her prints, too.

She also sent me this totally awesome blank book...and it looks like eventually she will sell these in her shop, too.

People, check this out...she printed the cover herself and the pages are recycled/found materials from around her campus. Hand bound. Some of the pages are maps and old charts...and I'm totally in love with it.

Jodi, I don't know if you are psychic or if I've mentioned it somewhere on the blog before...but I am a blank book addict. Seriously. Addicted. Addicted as in I used to have little blank books of possibility stashed away all over my house because I couldn't keep from buying them. I don't buy them that often any more. I had to kick the habit a couple of years ago. But I still can't get near the blank book sections in stores without getting suckered in. I always stop and flip and fondle and create some story about why I need another blank book. Big ones, small ones, plain and fancy. I love them all. I almost always end up with one in my shopping basket, but since then I've gone to Little Blank Books Anonymous, and I make myself put it back on the shelf. The only blank books I've bought this year are a half dozen 2-for-a-dollar spiral bound school-style notebooks.

So this little notebook is a treat!!! And I have plans for it *mwah hahaha*

Thank you thank you thank you (did I say thank you?), and your timing is fantastic because it arrived yesterday while I was still quite poopy from the emotional meltdown I'll be writing about below. It was a total ray of sunshine. You rock.

Just a little photo phluff before getting into the muck.
I'm finally learning how to really use my digital camera properly. I'm currently messing around with using the zoom and the macro features together.

I snapped these on Thursday at the Berkeley Rose Garden.

Muck Alert. Ok, so here's the emotional content, in case you aren't into this stuff (you were supposed to stop at the flower LOL)....
bye and see ya' next entry ;-)

I had a major meltdown on Friday.

I had been served one hearty portion of parental stress (my child requiring a booster tetanus shot—I’ll let you ponder the “why”). The accompanying side dish with my entrĂ©e was one good-sized dollop of bureaucratic healthcare (lost) paperwork bullshit. And that was schmeared with an unrelated and (somewhat) unexpected fiscal circumstance to remind me of my always lurking financial stress and incompetency.

Something in me snapped.
And I completely flipped out.
Luckily I was home alone when it happened. For a good chunk of time I fell into the pathetic self-loathing pit of wanting my life back. My pre-accident life. And wanting it to reappear. “Magic Wand” style. Like, “someone please pinch me so I can wake up now because this dream sucks.” That kind of stuff.

I can’t pretend that this hasn’t happened before in the past couple of years since the accident. But it doesn’t happen that often. For the most part, I’ve pretty much adjusted to my circumstances. Given the complete pineapple-upside-down-cake flip my life took, I think you’d find me the type of person that has made peace with The Fates and is doing just fine. Nice and well adjusted, I am. So much so that some of you even think I’m super duper inspirational and amazing (my least favorite thing for you to think about me).

If I described to you what I had going for me in my life back then and you compared it to what I have in my life currently, I think you’d understand my occasional trip to the pity-pot. At the time of the accident, I had just completed a set of huge life changes and was basking in the glow of peace and accomplishment earned by much effort on my part. I was happy. Really really happy.

Most of the time I thank Spirit for allowing me at least a few months of sitting with all I had just acheived. I might not have been in that state for very long, but at least I can say I got there, and I have no regrets or sadness about not completing my goals.

But on Friday I was a mess. If I were to be talking to you on Friday whilst flipping out, and comparing for you my old life and my current life from the state I was in…which was me viewing my life while teetering on the precipice of a major depression…well, you’d probably call in the men with the cozy white coats and book me into the rubber room.

I was sobbing about how I used to have a job that fit the description of "right livelihood". I had health benefits, money in the bank, a savings account for MyFK to go to college. My house was relatively in order and not in need of repairs. I was cute, I was healthy, I had a ton of energy and was exuberent about life. I was having fun with parenting and feeling effective. I was feeling very accomplished as a dancer and at teacher. I had pretty much just gotten it all together. Oh! let's not forget that I had this totally amazing and hot Boy (TheMIG) by my side...and He's still here :-)

On Friday I felt exactly the opposite of every single one of those things. Even if it isn't all true (I'm still cute, dammit). And I had a really good cry about it.

Once I got to calming down and really looking at it, I could see that the crux of the poop in the pity-pot is related to my not having returned to work since my accident. And I could also see that the reason why it was hitting me in the face at that exact moment was because one of the major barriers keeping me from returning to work up until now has just been lifted. I've been waiting for one more surgery on my arm, and I have just decided to forego that surgery. It is no longer a hurdle I need to pass before returning to work.

Returning to work. It’s suddenly my next big project.
And as exciting and full of opportunity it seems on a good day, it’s also fairly terrifying on a bad one.

I have lots of f-f-f-feeeeeeeeelings about re-entering the workplace. And I'll try to spend the next couple of posts sharing a few of them, primarily my fear about trying to assess my "calling in life" and how that may or may not tie into physical job restirctions, and also my fears about being descriminated against for having a disability.

As for your comments on this topic as it unfolds? Empathy is fine. Advice may or may not be taken. Support is always good. Sympathy sucks (and I'm not lookin' for it).

I'm just writing what I'm feeling in an effort to work this through and to keep things real.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

the bed and the dead

So, I have learned several things about myself recently. Touring and performing has been an interesting growth catalyst.

One of the really interesting (and somewhat silly) lessons has been The Power of The Made Bed.

I am not a bed maker.
I have never been a bed maker.

I do change the sheets. Regularly. But that's an entirely different task.

I've just never been one to commit to the daily ritual of making the bed. Quite frankly, I really just don't care. With my busy life, making the bed is the absolute last thing on my To-Do list. I don't spend that much time in my bedroom, aside from sleeping there, and what's the point because I'm only going to mess the bed up again anyhow.

You can see my bedroom on the way to the bathroom, so I have always (okay, almost always) made up the bed when company was coming. And I have always treated TheMIG as if He is company (ancient chinese secret to long happy life, Joe), so it's always been made when I knew he was on his way over.

But if it's just me?? Pffffffft. Nah.

Except the last two weeks. I'm not sure how or why it started, but I made the bed. Nobody was expected over, and I really didn't have extra time on my hands. I was on my way to rehearsals. I just did it. It took me a whopping 2 minutes.

I had a hellacious day at rehearsals. And when I came home, I plopped myself on my lovely made up bed. And practically purred.

I made the bed the next day, and the next and the next. I made it every day for two weeks. I made it even when I was running late. I had decided to let other chores go because of the hectic schedule...but not the bed.

And every day....after a grueling and not-so-perfect day, and coming home to my not-so-perfect life, I was always greeted by my totally perfect bed.

So much return for such a small investment.

It's a silly little thing, but I think at the same time is it enormous. I feel like I've been searching forever trying to find one little consistent loving thing I can do for myself every day that isn't unreasonable to commit to. Historically, I have always come up with things that are easily dropped, are too difficult a commitment, or are easy to maintain but have little impact.

I have a hunch we all have a bed to be made. Okay, maybe it's not a bed. But something. Some little something. A candle to light. An affirmation. A glass of water to drink. Whatever. I'm just glad I finally found mine, and I'm glad it comes with the fringe benefit of making me look like I sort of tend to my house.

(maybe it will ooze over to the dishes?)

Totally forgot about doing this...

Mr.NapkinPlease made me do it.
I cut & pasted it into a blog draft and forgot all about it.
Then Mrs.Inky reminded me.

'What will your obituary say?' at

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

mail call

Ooooooooo Secret Pal!!

A skein of Magic Stripes sock yarn, a skein of Classic Elite "Imagine", two skeins of Noro "Sakura", two skeins of Debbie Bliss "Alpaca Silk", a Chibi needle case and needles, and a really cool card.

And let us not forget the truffles (which, as you can see by the photo, barely even made it to the photo shoot--this girl has priorities.)

I love everything...but I am particularly enthralled wiht the Alpaca Silk. It's so soft and lucious, I can barely stop fondling it.

Thank You Secret Pal!!!!

Monday, July 17, 2006

two weeks off

The SF run of the shows is now complete. Yay! And phew!!! What a rush.
Loads of work, lots of fun, lots of issues, and tons of growth for me on many many levels. My aim is to document a bit about that here before the Hawaii run.

The next two weeks will hopefully be filled with my catching up on rest, housework, email, reading blogs, writing a few posts, and hopefully some knitting (over the weekend with all the shows I managed a whopping three rounds on my sock...hahaha).

I thought I'd share a few photos today because, I can!
(Mouse...thanx verrry muchly for all the tips and on-line support desk help with photobucket!)

Carol, these are for you, in response to your post:

That is sock #1 and I am just past the fancy schmancy cuff of sock #2. And as usual, lucky me can wear sock #1 while sock #2 is the other is in the works, because, well...I'm "special" . (*giggle*)

I have to say....this sock is, to date, the most beautiful thing I have ever knit. Ever.
Thanks so much again for the gift of the yarn! Next photo of it the socks will be me wearing the finished pair with the prosthesis and the hi-tops!

On the way to rehearsal Thursday, I met with TheBride. She brought a picture of the dress with her...and she was absolutely correct. The Boa Thingy matches her dress perfectly. She is a much better fasion designer than I gave her credit for.

She also brought along the original prototype that finally made its way back to her from her friend's granny. It actually was a Lion brand fun fur capelet, basically. It was two strands held together, one a tan fun fur, the other a variegated eyelash. It was done up in garter stitch, and basically it was knit oversized (read as: not to gauge) and the ribbon ties in front were omitted because being oversized made it so that the ends could be tossed over the shoulder.

Since TheMIG was the sound guy at her wedding, I worked it out with them to have him snap a picture:

I've only been paid for knitting twice. The last time I got paid the equivalent of child labor in a third world country. This time, I didn't even negotiate a fee. I told her how many hours I estimated it might take to do her wrap, and I explained how some commission knitting is paid by the yard, some by the project, some by the hour. I told her that I am very open to the universe supporting my creative talents with financial prosperity, but that at the same time, would anyone really pay $10 an hour to have handknit socks?? I think not.

I explained that for this reason, I rarely knit on commission. I suggested that she should just pay what she felt was fair, just put it in an envelope, end of discussion, and whatever she came up with would be just fine...because I figured I was probably knitting for the karma anyhow. She ended up giving me a nice bottle of red wine and handsome check. I actually made a fair wage for the time invested. Just in time to pay the electric bill hahaha.

She was really fun to knit for actually. The most mellow bride I have ever met, and being a caterer, I've met several. Best thing about her? With all the trips to the yarn store TheBride made, and after all of the browsing through pattern books, etc etc...she now wants to learn how to knit! I gave her a few resources, offered a lesson or directed her to the local S-n-B, so Knitterati...keep an eye out for her in the fall!

Diana, this one's for you:

SF and the Emeryville Marina as seen from the wee little waterfront park park at the end of Ashby Av in Berkeley. Well, okay...maybe it's more a shot of the bushes rather than SF, but you get the drift.

I cannot believe we are missing each other in Hawaii by, what is it, two freakin' days?? Grrr.
But guess what...some people came in to our show this weekend and there is now discussion of their producing the show in Florida. Cross your fingers!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

photo phrustrations

Blogger is completely pissing me off.

I can't get the photos to upload onto an edit of last night's post. In fact, I can barely even get them to upload here on this new post. All last night and this morning, Blogger would go through the tediously slow uploading process, then say "Done!".... like it's all proud of itself or something. I get very excited. But then there is no photo on the page! GRRRR!!! Then I get very disappointed. It's making me cranky.

Now, it seems like it is only accepting my addition of "small" photos "aligned on the right". It's boycotting any other arrangements. Grrr!!! What completely irks me is that I really have no right to be cranky over a free service.

So here's your little tour of the tiny right-aligned photos. Read last night's post if you want to have it make any sense at all.

1+2) San Francisco Skyline and Fog Bank, which was the canopy I danced under.
3) TheBride's Boa Thingy, and me in the green room studio right before opening.

I was going to upload a photo of Cinderella, and another of a bathmat for you, but you are just going to have to imagine that one on your own.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

opening night

I'm very tired, so please forgive if this post rambles or makes no sense. I'm not going to do much proofing.
(note: I'm actually falling asleep here trying to upload the photos for this post. Blogger is being poopy and wont do it, and I stubbornly keep trying. I'll try to add them in the morning over coffee or something. If I don't post this now as is, it will never get posted)

All of my concerns about how Anicca was going to play out here at the San Francisco venue went away during this week's rehearsals, and Opening Night was really fantastic and beautiful!! Woohoo!!One down, six to go.

Hey. I even survived the cold, damp, San Francisco fog:

(insert two SF Fog photos)

That's me snapping photos of SF while driving over the Bay Bridge. Probably not the smartest thing to do, and I'm actually surprised the photos even turned out. Good thing I wasn't trying to put my sock knitting into the frame, too....hahaha (Oooo, speaking of which, my sock made a guest appearance at The Traveling Sock this week.)

We had a full house tonight, which kind of blows me away, because the box office was having problems handling ticket requests earlier in the week. I think the solid turn out may have been linked to one really fine write up in the Bay Area's largest local free weekly, The Bay Guardian.

The audience really seemed to enjoy the show. They laughed hard at the funny bits, and a few people even cried in places, too. If you just popped in here on this little ol' blog o'mine, let me expalin to you that a favorite past time of mine is not only watching people being reactionary, but also contributing to it.

Of course, by the end of show, Eric had concluded that the sequence of certain segments was all out of whack, so tomorrow we have to reblock parts of the show, set some lighting, figure out some crucial cues, and work out transitions...all before the house opens at 5:45pm. Wheeee!!!

Actually, I'm quite used to this procedure by now. This happened in Los Angeles, too. It was almost a different show every night. The skill I am developing through this experience is how to be more spontaneous and flexible while remaining grounded. And how to trust myself. Amongst many other things.

Doing this work is really changing me.

Anyhow, the big change in the sequencing is that the duet that I am in is being moved from the second half up to the first half. That means I am no longer dancing about emotional content, naked, in the cold, with dappled sunlight instead of stage lighting (body flaws pop out--joy), in the round, on carpet (I got about 4 really good rug burns tonight), and on an uneven surface. Now I only need to deal with the naked and the emotional part. Which is still big stuff. But comparitively speaking, it should be a piece of cake.

Knock on wood.

I somehow managed to finish TheBride's Boa Thingy today, too...which is good, because the wedding is like, ummmmm......the day after tomorrow!!!!

Here's a shot of me in it tonight just before the run of the show tonight.

(insert Boa Thingy photo)

Two skeins of Paton's Diving in Halo own design, inspired by TieOneOn and Skein Lane's "Our Best Shawl" pattern).
I'm still not a big fan of the garment, the yarn, the style,'s just not my thing. I still think it looks like Cinderella in a bathmat.

But I think the finished item matches up with TheBride's expectations. At least I sure hope so. No time to fix it if it doesn't. It's blocking right now, and I'm meeting up with her tomorrow to give it to her. Since TheMIG is the sound engineer at her wedding, I'm going to ask them both if he can take a picture of her wearing it with the wedding dress for me.

I must go hit the hay. I need to be focused tomorrow for all the changes on the horizon, otherwise I will be missing cues.
Nighty night.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

calling dr freud

A 10-hour tech rehearsal yesterday, and another one just like it (only more intense) today.
And in between yesterday and today?? hours of completely fitful sleep.
Why? Very busy dreams.

I dreamt that my backyard was larger, large enough to park my car inside of the fence. In my dream, I was asleep in bed, and woke to see about twenty people sneakily taking turns scaling my wooden fence to steal parts off of (or things out of) my car. The people ranged in age from about eight to early thirties. I called the police and they did not come. Meanwhile, I kept watching item after item slowly being taken from my car. Like, there goes the spare tire and the bumper...but some of the items being things that would never even be in my car, like a full sized mattress and a statue of a mermaid. I guess I wasn't really just watching them steal stuff. I was panicking and trying to figure out how little ol' me could single handlely stop this large group. I went to my neighbor's house for help (except my neighbor was not my real neighhbor, but instead my real life auto mechanic, George). George was dressed something like the late Elvis. He had weapons and secret agent gear, and he vowed to protect me. After much scheming and effort, somehow George and I caught two of these thieves and tied them up in my house while waiting for the authorities to arrive. I asked these two fraternity looking jocks why they were stealing my car parts and contents, and they told me that they belonged to a secret society that did this exercise once a year as a rite of passage. As a group, they would randomly pick a victim and then strip the vehicle all the way down to the frame. If someone in their group got busted, the rest would come back the next night (and the next night, and the next night) until the job was finished. I asked them, "Why me?"...and I can't remember the details, but I think it had something to do with some alphabetical listing or a phone book or something. Kind of like Navin Johnson in The Jerk.

Back in the real world, my son woke up at about 4:30am. I went to check on him, and was glad to be done with the dream and ready to go back to sleep.

Except the dream picked up almost where it had left off. In my dream, it was now the next day, and now I was worried about the sneaky people coming back to finish the job. My wheelchair had already been stolen out of the car, which I complained about endlessly to anyone nearby (which is interesting, because in Part 1 of the dream I had two legs, and in Part 2, I did not). I was very busily trying to get everything out of my car and into the house before dark, and I was also trying to get all these people in my life to please come help me.

Care to analyze??

I woke up exhausted.
My entire night's sleep was spent freaking out.
And now off I go into the world of dance!

Friday, July 07, 2006

there's no place like home

I've been back from the LA tour for over a week now, but last night was the first time that I have actually felt "home".
I was back at bellydance class.

On another note, I was reading Napkin Please this morning, and ended over here (and John, I have no idea why I do these things, either) where I pulled my Tarot Card:

I Am Death.
Lovely :-)
Considerring I am performing in a dance piece that is about death and the impermanence of the body, I guess I'm in character.

You Are Death

You symbolize the end, which can be frightening.
But you also symbolize the immortality of the soul.
You represent transformation, rebirth of a new life.
Sweeping away the past is part of this card, as painful as it may be.

Your fortune:

Don't worry, this card does not predict death itself.
Instead it foreshadows the ending of an era of your life, one that is hard to let go of.
But with the future great new things will come, and it's time to embrace them.
Mourn for a while, but then face the future with humility and courage.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

snippets & boas

Blogging has proven to be a very strange thing for me.

If I have plenty of time to write, it's because nothing interesting is going on in my life, which in turn means I don't have much to write about.
Converserly, if I have no time to write, it's because far too much is going on, and that usually means I have too many things to write about.

Right now I'm in the busy life mode. Having little wrenches thrown into my day like having my car break down or having my dog figure out how to clear the 6-foot fences around my yard are just an added bonus. I'm also working on TheBride's BoaThingy, and I'm taking care of everything that needs to be taken care of now, because next week's rehearsals and performances will be keeping me away from home.

Here is a brief list of the things that have been on my mind lately, some of them overly preoccupying. They are all probably topics I may never have time to write about here.


I started talking early as a child...I think I was even speaking full sentences before my 1st birthday. I'm now almost 40 years old, and I might be able to talk, but I still don't know how to communicate.
What is up with that.
When do we master it? Do we ever?


I am about to dance/perform an emotional duet outdoors, with very little production/lighting, and "no clothes" as my costume. How much more naked can I get. (I'm feeling extremely vulnerable *wince*)

I am learning that I make a much better girlfriend to my Boyfriend when I am a busy girlfriend. I'm not quite sure what that means yet (either I need to keep busy or I need to figure out how not to be a nuisance when I'm not busy).

I spent several days last week feeling extremely "disabled". I've been trying to figure out what is causing this, and all I've figured out so far is that I have not been feeling disabled when I'm home or when I'm alone. It only happens when I'm out or with other people.

I think this might have started when I was feeling sick and run down. I was so wiped out, it was hard to get tasks done (not because I have a disability, but because I was sick). I think my feelings of gimpness were further fueled by several people around me helping me to complete some of these tasks, and then telling me, "Now what would you have done without me here to help you?"

Well, what I would have done is I would have completed the task myself. Or maybe not. Thank you very much. Whatever. But I only accepted your offer to help because I was sick, not because I'm incapable...and I really dont need your help at all, thank you...especially if you are going to remind me of how incapable I am as part of your "help" to me. Sheeeit.

It's funny to me, but often times these are the very same people that complain that I'm too independent, that I dont accept help, and that I'm stubborn. Which are all true facts about me. But maybe your comments is part of why this is true of me, people.

The cost of my asking for help can be pretty high.
Feelings of self-value are kinda worth their weight in gold.

TheBride BoaThingy Update & Comments on Comments

BeanMama said...
You are ONE BRAVE knitter - that scenario would scare the short rows out of me!

HA! It is so funny you say that. The first day I spoke with TheBride I told here that if I didn't think I could pull it off, I knew a few other knitters that could. You were one of them.

Sara said...
Is this a bad time to remind you that you asked all of us to remind you not to try to knit to deadlines?

I know that. So much so, that when I wrote the post, I originally titled that section "Hey, I Thought One Of You Was Supposed To Slap Me Upside the Head If I Set Up A Knitting Deadline!"
But it was too long.
And I'd already accepted the project before blogging about it, so I couldn't actually get away with blaming it on all of you.
So, in answer to your quesiont: Yes. This is a bad time to remind me.

On another note, the BoaThingy is coming out pretty good, actually. I still don't like the yarn or the way I think it's going to end up looking...but my make it up as I go pattern plan is behaving and the shaping looks really right on. It's basically looking like a big crescent moon shaped wrap. Not a boa. But I'm hooked on calling in a BoaThingy, so there you have it.

I brought it to my knitting group today and everyone else seemed to think it's soft and romantic looking, perfect for a wedding (I just typo'd "weeding"...hahahahaha).

I met with the bride for a few minutes today after the knitting group, and had her check to see if I'm even close to being on track...being that I'm knitting a "feeling" or a "mood" she is describing, not an actual pattern. Luckily she genuinely loves it (thank goodness). She seemed truly excited and happy. The only hitch (and I just knew there would be at least one) is that where she originally told me she wanted it to land off the shoulder, now she wants it to hug the neckline more closely. So I need to rip back a wee bit. But it's cool. I'll have it done in no time flat, with plenty of time for her to check it out once more and still be able to make adjustments if need be.

Photos soon.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Just Knitting Knews

So many topics to write about, but being that I've already lost this post twice now, I'm going to make this rewrite as pleasurable as possible for me. And that means I am only going to post about knitting :-)

What I Knit While In LA
I barely had any time for knitting at all. Dancing and performing kicked my butt. But when I did knit, I mostly worked on the blue lace sock.
THE Sock.
Notice that would be singular, not plural.
And I didn't even finish the first one.

I worked on the blue lace sock whenever I could until one day I broke the needle stuffing it back into my little knitting tote. Of course the needle that snapped was the one holding the lace panel on the instep, causing a few dropped yarn overs and the need for a little minor sock surgery.

Here is the sock post-op.

Being that I had a few hours to kill before the LocalYarnStore was to open for the day, I started up sock #2 of the plain stockinette pair that I'd begun for myself way back when before I got sidetracked knitting socks for Karen, MyFK and TheMIG.

Remember this? There was a fourth pair, too (not pictured) and three of those four pairs are complete and with their owners. Except the sock on the left, which is mine, which still does not have it's companion. No biggey as I only have one leg, but still...

Anyhow, the broken needle called for a second trip into A Mano Yarn Center (oh poor me...just having to stop by a LYS)...and while I was there this second time, I was able to sit and knit for awhile with the Ladies Of The Shop. It's a really great store full of really good people. Do pop in and visit if you are ever in the area, gang. Check it out...they even have a rapper sporting handknits in the window.

Rewinding back to my first trip into A Mano earlier in the week, I bought two skeins of Trekking XXL sock yarn, one skein in my new favorite theme of blue-greys and the second in olives. Trekking is a yarn I've never tried before, and so that doesn't count as money spent to increase an ever growing stash pile, does it? We all know that socks are just one measly skein anyhow. I mean, it doesn't even really count as a yarn purchase, right? Neither does spending money to replace the broken needle of a work in progress either, I think.

Applying this logic, this would mean that for all intensive purposes, I didn't spend a dime on any knitting stuff while I was on this trip now, did I.
* giggle *.

What I Packed to Knit in LA
A question for you all about knitting on the go. Can anybody out there (because I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who does this) explain to me please how it is that I can pack this much knitting:

even though, while I am away from home, I'm only going to have the time available for this much knitting:

I do this every time, no matter how near or how far I'm going. It doesn't matter if I'm just stepping out for a couple of hours or if I'm going on a 2-week trip. I always overpack the knitting bag. The above photos are the 2-week bag version (it's the bag coming back from LA, the new Trekking tucked in). I would not pack a bag that large to go to a doctor's appointment, for example...but even with a smaller bag, I do still bring along more than one could ever knit while in the waiting room.

I am serious. I want to know. What is this phenomenon??

In the rest of my life I am very skilled at negotiating time. I am skilled at assessing the amount of time it actually takes to complete a task, and I am very realistic about how much time I have to actually complete said task. This talent made me an excellent chef and caterer. Why I cannot apply this gift towards my knitting, I will never understand. I always bring more kinitting than I can accomplish, and I always end up looking like a Bag Lady. Or HoboKnitter.

Knitting Presents Waiting at Home
I got home to find a package in the mail from my Secret Pal! She dyed me some lovely roving (wheeee!).

I've been just kind of winging it with that drop spindle I won a couple of months ago, but I think I'm actually ready to jump in and take a class. I found out there someone teaching at my local center for the arts. I'm hoping to register for the next session and do this gorgeous fluff some justice! Can't wait.

My Secret Pal also sent me a bracelet with moveable beads for counting rows, repeats, whatever....I love this!! I saw something like it in a magazine awhile back and thought it was totally cool. I'm not sure how my Secret Pal guessed I'd want one, because I don't recall mentioning it on any wish list. I certainly could have used this while trying to knit those lace socks backstage in Venice. I would often try to squeeze in a row or two on the lace sock when I had down time between running segments I was dancing in. The knitting would ground me. But it would always take me a minute or so to figure out where I had left off in the lace pattern when I set the sock down (and "wait 'til I finish this row" was not going to fly, so sometimes I was mid yarn-over, even!). I can't wait to use the bracelet with the second sock which I will work on during the SF and Hawaii runs.

Thank you Secret Pal!! And thanks too for the emails and cards, too! It's been a huge treat and a very happy thing :-)

Knitting Since I've Been Home From LA
Well, I didn't knit for the first three days back home, as the bulk of that time was spent sick in bed. That's how crappy I felt. I didn't even have it in me to pick up the needles.
I got to work on the lace sock again on Saturday while hanging out in the park at MyFK's birthday party. I completed the foot and started into the toe right before bed time that night. I almost forced myself to stay awake to get it done, just for the sheer excitement of finishing something, but I was getting sloppy the more I tried to keep my eyes pried open. I decided I was still sick and needed more rest, so I forced myself to go to let it go and finish it Sunday morning.

But then Sunday morning I got derailed.

What I Am Knitting Right Now and That I'd Rather Not Be Knitting
This will take some explaining, so bear with me.

TheMIG is a drummer in a band. The guitar player in his band will soon be attending the wedding of a co-worker (and as it turns out, TheMIG has been hired to run the sound system for that very same wedding). TheBride is in a bit of a tizzy (what bride isn't?). It would seem that she needs some knitting done. Fast. The wedding is the 14th.

Apparently TheBride has a stole/wrap/BoaThingy that was made by her friend's Granny. TheBride would like a second BoaThingy in an icy-blue as a topper for her wedding gown. She had made arrangements to have Granny knit up another one for her. TheBride bought the yarn, and mailed it and the original BoaThingy to granny's house. But poor old senile Granny didn't recognize who the package was from when it arrived on her doorstep. I guess she deemed the package an unsolicitied purchas or a terrorist effort or something, so she refused to accept the package and sent it back without even opening it. TheBride tried to straighten things out through her friend, but I guess Granny got so flustered by the whole package ordeal that she now has no desire to knit another BoaThingy at this point. And apparently this wedding is not going to be complete without this BoaThingy.

TheBride complained to her co-worker, the guitar player in TheMIG's band, and was then was referred to me.
Enter TheAmpuT.
(if by some bizarre act of god TheBride is reading this, read on at your own risk)

I got wind of all this via TheMIG on Wednesday. TheBride didn't call me until Friday. She still did not have the returned package with the original BoaThingy. So now TheBride has no yarn, no pattern, and no protype. The wedding is less than two weeks away, and she is asking me if I can please be commissioned to knit it for her.

I proceed to ask her all kinds of questions about what the wrap looks like in an effort to determine if this is something I am skilled enough to get done in the small time frame I have. Let's keep in mind that I am dancing/performing and I'm in a heavy production run from the 10th through the 16th. I will probably have no knitting time at all that week. And if I do, it will be one row on my blue lace sock.

But getting TheBride to answer knitting questions is tough. I mean, she tries. She really does. But she's not a knitter.
Here's the information I got over the phone:

She thinks the original was black. Or maybe brown. Blackish-Brown. And that it is sort of a triangle, but sort of curved, but kind of like a scarf. It joins together in the front, but the ends are long enough toss over the shoulder. It's sort of lacy but it's not a lace pattern, and it's sort of thickish, but not really. It's not furry, but it's fuzzy, and...

Are you getting the picture of the non-knitter I am dealing with yet??
Asking her questions about gauge or yarn weight or stitch patterns is pointless.

She's not a ditzy lady by any means. She's very intelligent and quite the nice person. She's just a non-knitter (the poor dear). But she is also a non-knitter who can't describe what she wants and is trying to commission a hand knit garment that is to be a part of her wedding ensemble with only two weeks left before the wedding. Lordy.

And I'm not about to accept the job without more details.

Again, that phone call was Friday. TheBride said that the returned package with the original wrap and the yarn should be back in her hands that very afternoon or hopefully the next morning. I told her that when she got it to send me a photo of the finished item along with a close up of the stitch pattern and a ruler next to it. I also wanted a shot of the yarn and the yarn label.

TheBride gets no package Friday or Saturday. Sunday she calls me. She's given up on waiting for the package, and she's figuring the package is lost (maybe Granny sent it the FBI to be sniffed out by dogs).

But TheBride has just walked out of a yarn store (yarn store...that's promising!) and she has found a pattern in a book ("Weekend Knitting by Melanie Falick" ...ok, that's promising too!) and she's bought new yarn (a yarn store employee seeing the pattern and helping the non-knitter with her yarn selection...even more promising! I'm feeling good about this!). So I invite TheBride over so I can have a little looksie.

She shows up and shows me a pattern for a shawl that is a lacy semi-circle that is accomplished by knitting several pie-shaped sections together via the use of shortrows. Except she doesn't really want a shawl. No, nothing that deep in the back. Nor does she want a semi-cirlce. She really wants something that is more like a big long scarf that is sort of rounded on the edges, and is rounded, but not rounded, and the original kind of had this way of curving in the middle, and it should show off some shoulder, but not be...(aye aye aye).

It is at this moment that a giant plastic bag from OneVeryLargeBoxCraftStore makes an appearance. Promise and hope flies right out the window.

Now I'm not a yarn snob. I'll knit with any fiber if it feels good in my hands, fuzzy novelty yarns included. But what I am handed is 6 skeins of the most barfy yarn I have ever handled in my life (I hope TheMIG's guitar player hasn't given TheBride my blog address to show her my work, but if you have read this far, forgive me...I like you, I just dont like your taste in yarn..even if it is "just the perfect color!").

Oh. And did I mention that the yarn is in two different dye lots?

Okay. Back to our trying to figure out exactly what it is that I'm making. So I pull out my pattern books and magazines and we try to find a pattern that more accurately fits the description of what she is truly looking for. In my opinion, this is making matters worse for me. She's finding things that "feel like" the idea she's trying to capture, but the messages for me are getting more mixed. I feel like a hairdresser dealing with someone looking at those horrible books full of hairstyles, and there we are flipping through them together, and then this next moment happens and this is when hopeful promises leave me entirely.

She starts oooing and ahhhing over all the FunFur capelets in the Lion Brand ads.
"Ooooh it's kind of like that!! Only... not really!!!!"

I was about to reject her outright at this point, because well...I don't have time to pull something out of my arse in 3 days, and that's all the time I've got because guess's crunch time on my SF shows. And I think any attmept to make her happy and look lovely on the biggest day of her life is doomed for failure.

But I can tell if I say no that she might just cry when she gets to her car, and it's a friend of a friend of TheMIG, and I totally remember the chaos surrounding the two weeks before my own wedding years ago, and I am really feeling sorry for this gal.

I'm conflicted. I'm also seriously stressed about making something wedding dress worthy out of yarn that maybe I would only use to make something like a bathmat.

Seriously. This crap is Grade 5/Bulky polyester at 1.75 st to the inch, and it is supposed to be the crowning glory on TheBrideToBe of a July wedding. I can't imagine this working out. I shudder to think that this horror will be immortalized in photo albums everywhere for generations to come.

I get TheBride over to my computer and we end up looking at a pattern in Knitty for Tie One On. So we agree that I'm sort of making something like that. Sort of. But not really. It should look just like Tie One On, but should not...Tie.

I'm winging it. I'm working with annoyingly fluffy and nubby yarn. I'm using US 15's to get any kind of drape or lacy feel to it at all (and there's my salvation--the big needles should make it go fast). I just pary that it's even close to what she is hoping for and that she doesn't end up looking like Cinderalla at midnight as her ballgown is transitioning back into a floor mop.

Believe it or not, I'm venting here on the blog so that when her knitting is actually in my hands I am only thinking positive and loving thoughts while working on it (I have strong beliefs in that kind of ju-ju, and I am either focused enough or bipolar enough to pull it off). Luck for me that my day off with TheMIG and playing Mouse In The House was just the ticket for a smooth casting on yesterday*grin*. At least TheBride will be swathed in hot monkey love and goo-goo eyes.

And maybe that's good enough.

But if it were me, I'd have bought a white wrap from Bridal-Gowns-R-Us and had it professionally dyed.

For those of you here in the US, you all have a Happy 4th.
I'll be the one over here in the corner knittin'.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Okay. That was some head cold.

I hardly get sick anymore, since the accident. I was unconcious for the first 2-1/2 weeks, but I've been told that they pumped me so full of three different antibiotics during that time that at one point I broke out into a full body hive. I have now been deemed allergic to penicillin. Point is, I hardly get sick anymore. I think I have some super-hero immunity built in now or something. Okay, well that, and the Airborne.

So I was pretty heavy duty ill from Wendesday through Friday, and I had just enough energy to take care of MyFK's needs and keep up with washing the soup bowls that were stacking up. Saturday I was at about 60%, but it was the day of MyFK's belated birthday party, so that's where all my energy went. And yesterday, Sunday, I felt pretty much like my old self, but had some serious catching up to do. I still had not upacked or done laundry, and there was what seemed to be a fine layer of dust and dog hair coating the entire interior of my house.

So I think I'm pretty much back to and house-wise.

And I have so much I want to post...knitting stuff, gimp stuff, trip stuff...but TheMIG is here visiting this morning and so well...I'm a gonna go for now...because MyFK is in camp today and TheMIG has the day off work, and when the cats away the mice will play *giggle*.