Sunday, August 31, 2008

fun day

MyFavoriteKid went swimming over at my mom and dad's for a bit today, so TheMostImportantGuy and I took the opportunity to do some backroads exploring. It's interesting where I live. You can be at a shopping area cruising Best Buy and Costco, and then 10 minutes down the road be out near some little reservoir on some nearly deserted road.


While out there, I got the closest look I have ever had a turkey vulture:

I know some folks find them ugly, but I find them beautiful :-)
Whenever I see one, I like to think it's a sign from The Universe to "waste not, want not."

Later in the evening we (MyFK included) drove up into Napa proper for the Friends of The River annual fundraising event.

Sorry so dark, but you get the gist. Lots of people. On a river. Food booths. Wine (hey, it's Napa). Symphony performaing. Playing music to fireworks.

It was great fun.

Kid is now in bed, and now I'm off to cuddle with the sweetheart.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

snaps on saturday

A big thanks to my dad for spotting this, because we both though it was hilarious.

Found at Whole Foods in Napa, hanging over an endcap display of canned tuna.

Friday, August 29, 2008

pooped out, sooooo.....'ll have to be snaps on Friday. In addition to Snaps On Saturday. Maybe even SnapsAllWeekend, if I can't get some rest. I feel so fatigued. The earlier morning wake up call for school is killing me. My day begins an hour earlier than it did last year. Gah.

I was dinking around yesterday with some eye makeup and snapped a whole bunch of photos of my face in the process.

Crows feet. Gray hairs. Moles. Double chins.

I has dem.

I felt lovely while looking in the mirror actually, so I'll just go on blaming the camera for the shots I don't like as much. I really do need to figure out how to use some of the advanced settings. Surely one of them is a softening of the face type of feature. And if there is a red-eye reduction, surely there must be something that takes out the gray, no? hahaha

Anyhow, I actually do like the photos, chill. And I like me. I am just noticing changes.
I find it fascinating.
And I am wondering if maybe I'm approaching the age where I need to switch from sparkly finishes to matte.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

things around my house thursday

Things Around My House Thursday

This is BunnMan (L) and George (R).

They live on my bed. And they are very important to me. And yes, I am a grown woman and still have stuffed animals.

I think I have written about BunnyMan before. He is not from my childhood. He came to be on a really sad day that also happened to included garage sale hopping with my girlfriend Pam. It was in 1994, so I was 27. Definitely not childhood. I love BunnyMan and he is definitely a necessity when I am having a weepy moment.

On the left is George. He was brought to me while I was in the rehab phase of my hospital stay after the car accident. A coworker named Jeff brought him to me. The first thing that popped into my head when he was given to me was, "I will love him and squeeze him and call him George." (heard in a Bugs Bunny voice). So he is George.

If anything ever happens to me, someone needs to look after their care and feeding. K?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

thank goodness for pioneers

I know I'm finding excuses to back out of writing "Meeting the Monk, Part II" but....

a) my back is killing me. I think I pulled something. Big time.
b) I took something for my back, and now feel like an HonorarySpaceCadet.
c) I really want to post about something else today.

Back in June, I wrote about these ladies, who were finally able to marry after 55 years of being together.

Del Martin passed away today



Community Mourns the loss of beloved Civil rights leader Del Martin, 87

(San Francisco, California, August 27, 2008) - Today, the lesbian, gay,
bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community lost an iconic leader and a
beloved friend. Del Martin, 87, passed away in San Francisco with Phyllis
Lyon, her lifelong partner and spouse, by her side. Martin was one of the
nation's first and most visible lesbian rights activists who dedicated her
life to combating homophobia, sexism, violence, and racism. Martin's many
contributions to the LGBT movement will resonate for decades to come.

"Today the LGBT movement lost a real hero," said Kate Kendell, Executive
Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights. "For all of Del's
life, she was an activist and organizer even before we knew what those
terms meant. Her last act of public activism was her most personal --
marrying the love of her life after 55 years. In the wake of losing her,
we recognize with heightened clarity the most poignant and responsible way
to honor her legacy is to preserve the right of marriage for same-sex
couples, thereby providing the dignity and respect that Del and Phyllis'
love deserved."

Martin began working as an activist after receiving her degree in
journalism from the University of California at Berkeley. While working on
a newspaper in Seattle, Martin met her partner Phyllis Lyon and the two
began working on behalf of lesbians in their community. Martin and Lyon
have devoted their lives to working towards LGBT equality, healthcare
access, advocacy on behalf of battered women, and issues facing elderly
Americans. Their many contributions over the past five decades helped
shape the modern LGBT movement.

In 1955, Lyon and Martin were among the founders of the Daughters of
Bilitis, the first lesbian rights organization. In 1956, they launched
"The Ladder," the first lesbian newsletter, which became a lifeline for
hundreds of women isolated and silenced by the restrictions of the era.
Del Martin was the first openly lesbian woman elected to the board of the
National Organization of Women (NOW), and in 1971, encouraged the board to
pass a resolution stating that lesbian issues were feminist issues. In
1995, Martin and Lyon were named delegates to the White House Conference
on Aging by Senator Dianne Feinstein and Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi. In
2004, Lyon and Martin became the first same-sex couple to be married in
the state of California, and subsequently became plaintiffs in the
California marriage case, helping to ensure that the fundamental right to
marry under the California Constitution belongs to all couples, including
same-sex couples.

"Del lived her life with great compassion, wit, tenacity, generosity, and
valor," said The Honorable Donna Hitchens, Founder of the National Center
for Lesbian Rights. "She inspired thousands of us to be more courageous
and energetic than we thought possible. When faced with moments of
fatigue, laziness or weakness, one had only to ask - 'What would Del and
Phyllis do?' While she will be greatly missed, her legacy will be
cherished forever."

Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon were married in California on June 16, 2008
after 55 years together.

"Ever since I met Del 55 years ago, I could never imagine a day would come
when she wouldn't be by my side. I am so lucky to have known her, loved
her, and been her partner in all things," Lyon said. "I also never
imagined there would be day that we would actually be able to get married.
I am devastated, but I take some solace in knowing we were able to enjoy
the ultimate rite of love and commitment before she passed."

Gifts in lieu of flowers can be made to honor Del's life and commitment
and to defeat the California marriage ban through NCLR's No On 8 PAC at

Obituary attached.


Dorothy L. (Del) Martin (May 5, 1921 - August 27, 2008)

Died on Wednesday, August 27, 2008 at UCSF Hospice, San Francisco,
California. Survived by spouse Phyllis Lyon, daughter Kendra Mon,
son-in-law Eugene Lane, granddaughter Lorraine Mon, grandson Kevin Mon,
sister-in-law Patricia Lyon and a vast, loving and grateful lesbian, gay,
bisexual and transgender family.

An eloquent organizer for civil rights, civil liberties, and human
dignity, Del Martin created and helped shape the modern lesbian, gay,
bisexual, transgender (LGBT) and feminist movements. She was a woman of
extraordinary courage, persistence, intelligence, humor, and fundamental
decency, who refused to be silenced by fear and never stopped fighting for
equality. Her last public political act, on June 16, 2008, was to marry
Phyllis Lyon, her partner of 55 years. They were the first couple to wed
in San Francisco after the California Supreme Court recognized that
marriage for same-sex couples is a fundamental right in a case brought by
plaintiffs including Martin and Lyon.

Born in San Francisco on May 5, 1921, Dorothy L. Taliaferro, or Del as she
would come to be known, was salutatorian of the first graduating class of
George Washington High School and went on to study journalism at the
University of California at Berkeley. At 19, after transferring to San
Francisco State College (now San Francisco State University), she married
James Martin and two years later gave birth to their daughter Kendra. The
marriage ended in divorce.

Del Martin met the love of her life, Phyllis Lyon, in Seattle in 1950 when
they worked for the same publication company. They became lovers in 1952
and formalized their partnership on Valentine's Day in 1953 when they
moved in together in San Francisco. In 1955, they bought the small home
that has been theirs ever since.

In what would prove to be an act that would change history, Martin, Lyon,
and six other lesbians co-founded the Daughters of Bilitis (DOB) in San
Francisco in 1955. DOB, which was named after an obscure book of lesbian
love poetry, initially was organized to provide secret mutual support and
social activities. It became the first public and political lesbian rights
organization in the United States, laying a foundation for the women's and
lesbian and gay liberation movements that flowered in the early 1970s and
continue today.

Del Martin used her writing and speaking talents to challenge
misconceptions about gender and sexuality. "We were fighting the church,
the couch, and the courts," she often remembered years later, naming the
array of social and cultural forces early activists confronted when
homosexuals were treated as immoral, mentally ill, and illegal. As the
first President of DOB, she penned stirring calls to arms. "Nothing was
ever accomplished by hiding in a dark corner. Why not discard the
hermitage for the heritage that awaits any red-blooded American woman who
dares to claim it?" She was the second editor (after Phyllis Lyon) of
DOB's groundbreaking monthly magazine, The Ladder, from 1960 to 1962 and
ushered in a new decade of political engagement and media visibility for
the nascent gay rights movement. The Ladder grew from a mimeographed
newsletter in 1956 to an internationally recognized magazine with
thousands of subscribers by 1970, and thousands more readers who copied
its contents or circulated it among friends and coworkers. Martin's many
contributions to The Ladder ranged from short stories to editorials to
missives: one of the most famous is "If That's All There Is," a searing
condemnation of sexism in the gay rights movement written in 1970. Due to
Martin's influence, The Ladder provided one of the few media outlets
confronting misogyny in the decade before the rebirth of women's

In 1964, Del Martin was part of a group that founded the Council on
Religion and the Homosexual in order to lobby city lawmakers more
effectively to reduce police harassment and modify the sex laws that
criminalized homosexual behavior. In later years, Martin was also a
founding member of the Lesbian Mother's Union, the San Francisco Women's
Centers, and the Bay Area Women's Coalition, among other organizations.

As an early member of the National Organization for Women (NOW), Del
Martin worked to counter homophobia within the women's movement - fear of
the so-called "lavender menace." She and Lyon were the first lesbians to
insist on joining with a "couples' membership rate" and Martin was the
first out lesbian on NOW's Board of Directors. Their efforts helped to
insure the inclusion of lesbian rights on NOW's agenda in the early

Lesbian/Woman, the book they co-authored in 1972, is one of Martin and
Lyon's landmark accomplishments. The book described lesbian lives in a
positive, knowledgeable way almost unknown at the time. In 1992,
Publishers Weekly chose it as one of the 20 most influential women's books
of the last 20 years.

For many years, Del Martin was a leader in the campaign to persuade the
American Psychiatric Association to declare that homosexuality was not a
mental illness. This goal was finally achieved in 1973.

Del Martin's publication of Battered Wives in 1976 was a major catalyst
for the movement against domestic violence. Martin became a nationally
known advocate for battered women, and was a co-founder of the Coalition
for Justice for Battered Women (1975), La Casa de las Madres (a shelter
for battered women) founded in 1976, and the California Coalition against
Domestic Violence (1977). She lectured at colleges and universities around
the country. Martin received her doctorate from the Institute for Advanced
Study of Human Sexuality in 1987.

Martin's keen political instincts and interests extended her influence
into the mainstream Democratic Party. She and Lyon were co-founders, in
1972, of the Alice B. Toklas Democratic Club, the first gay political club
in the United States. Martin was appointed Chair of the San Francisco
Commission on the Status of Women in 1976 and served on the committee
until 1979. She worked as a member of many other councils and boards
including the San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women. Throughout
the years, many politicians recognized their stature as community leaders
and sought advice and endorsement from Martin and Lyon.

It is difficult to separate Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon and write about
only one of them. Their lives and their work have intertwined and their
enduring dedication to social justice has been recognized many times. In
1979, local health care providers established a clinic to give lesbians in
the San Francisco Bay area access to nonjudgmental, affordable health care
and named it Lyon-Martin Health Services in their honor. In 1990, the
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Northern California awarded the
couple with its highest honor, the Earl Warren Civil Liberties Award. In
1995, Senator Dianne Feinstein named Martin, and Congresswoman Nancy
Pelosi named Lyon, as delegates to the White House Conference on Aging,
where they made headlines by using their moment at the podium to remind
the 125,000 attendees that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people
grow old, too, and must be included explicitly in aging policies. The
Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality gave Martin and Lyon their
Outstanding Public Service Award in 1996. They are among the most beloved
figures in the LGBT community and have served as Grand Marshals at Pride
marches across the nation and been honored by every major LGBT
organization in the country.

Del Martin identified her own legacy in 1984 when she said that her most
important contribution was "being able to help make changes in the way
lesbians and gay men view themselves and how the larger society views
lesbians and gay men." She had the courage to be true to herself when the
world offered only condemnation for lesbians. Martin showed all of us how
to have what she called "self-acceptance and a good sense of my own
self-worth." Del Martin never backed down from her insistence on full
equality for all people and, even at 87 years old, she kept moving all of
us closer to her ideal.

Gifts in lieu of flowers can be made to honor Del's life and commitment
and to defeat the California marriage ban through NCLR's No On 8 PAC at

A public memorial and tribute celebrating the life of Del Martin will be
planned in the next several weeks.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

the asking

A looooong while back, I wrote a few posts about some difficulty I was having processing my emotions around some big psychological and philosophical questions. During that time, the wonderful Mr.Ayres (hi, Kim! How goes it!? edited to add: sorry for the typo on your name, too!!) and I tossed a few emails back and forth to each other. The question (in a nutshell) was raised as to whether or not I held the belief that I "deserved good".

I have been thinking about this for months. Like, I'd say, daily.

I know for a fact that I have had issues throughout my life that have caused me to create a belief system within myself that makes it difficult to accept good things when they come my way. There is an undercurrent about whether or not I believe that I deserve goodness, but the truth of the matter is that I have been working on that faulty belief system for decades now, and it just is not sitting well with me that I haven't made a dent in it somehow.

I have made it to a place in my life where I do believe I deserve I good. And I have come to a place where I can create, open myself up to, and receive, goodness. In fact, I have even come to a place where I believe that all of us deserve good (that's right, even you over there, that I have at times deemed undeserving). I have come to understand that we are all the same, and we all deserve good. And that is where my newfound issues lie.

It was around the end of June that I realized there is a whole different angle to my issues about feeling deserving:
I know I deserve good, but I now feel guilty that I have good, because while I have goodness there are others that do not....and they are equally deserving.

I have no idea if this is making any sense at all, but anyhow....I realized this about myself a day or two before I got a chance to meet this wonderful individual:

His name is Namkha Rinpoche (he's the Tibetan Monk seated on the right. I'm guessing y'all probably recognize the other guy....Namkha Rinpoche is seated with the Dali Lama). Back in June, Rinpoche did a very impromptu and somewhat casual teaching at a local yoga studio. MyFavoriteKid came with me, and the topic of the talk that night was "Transforming Negative Emotion". It was a great lecture, and I should probably summarize what I got out of it at some point, but what I really want to write about tonight was the question and answer segment at the end of his time with us.

Before I do that, let me just say that it was an honor for me to meet a Rinpoche ("beloved teacher"--it's a title, like the way Lama is). I was struck by the fact that he and I are the same age. We are both 41. I'm not sure why that was such a big deal to me, other than maybe in some way to compare my years with someone who had grown up saturated with buddhist teachings. I dunno. I was struck by his sense of humor, and how he spoke in a way that showed how relevant buddhism is in today's world. Sometimes when people talk about buddhism it feels not just ancient, but "old". Like stale, old. Or foreign, maybe. Rinpoche really brought his teachings alive and placed them in context of a daily western life I could relate to.

Anyhow, I got to ask a question. He did not need it translated for him.

a prayer shawl he blessed, and a prayer wheel I picked up that day

"At this moment, I have a lot of goodness in my life. A lot. My life right now is very abundant. I do my best to give of myself to others, and I hope for others to experience goodness, as well. The trouble I am having, is that I look around me and see so much need, and pain, and suffering. It pains me. I mean, it actually physically hurts."
(I actually grabbed at my chest near my heart and made a squeezing motion, and he nodded)
"It hurts so much, that sometimes my own pain from seeing it prevents me from being useful in any way. I want to know what I can do about that."

He said to me (partially in english, and partially via translator), "I think this pain is good. I think it would be of greater concern if you saw the suffering of others and felt nothing. The discomfort you feel indicates you have compassion. The problem with these feelings is when you allow them to become lip service."

Dudes, I have thought about "lip service" and what that means, every single day since he spoke. And in the past few days, I have come to have a few new insights into myself, and I'll write about those tomorrow (hopefully. we all know how that goes).

I'm also excited to say that Namkha Rinpoche is returning for another lecture next week. I'm not sure what the topic is, but I look forward to going. Partially to hear what he has to say, and partially to say thanks.

Monday, August 25, 2008

big heart, lacks ambition

What's Your Best Quality?
Your Result: Personality

Your best quality is your personality! People like you because you are an all around good person. You have good manners and values. You also like to express your personal style and interests.




Sense of Humor


What's Your Best Quality?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Dumb little quiz, but ya' know....I never did finish telling you the story about meeting that buddhist monk a couple of months ago. Oddly enough, this little quiz relates. I had started to write about it while I was on tour in LA, and well, that whole thing was a mess and things got side tracked. I will sit and type it up for you and post it tomorrow.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

so, who am i going to blame once the olympics are over?

This morning I started to knit a little footie sport-sock with the leftover yarn from the Over The Knee Yoga/Pilates Sock.

I was still half asleep when I cast-on. Why? Because I was up until the wee hours watching the men's Olympic basketball finals.

While I knit, I watched the men's water polo finals. I knit the cuff, I made the heel-flap, and i picked up the gusset stitches. I did a fabulous job on the gusset, I might add. I did that fancy thing where you pick up a couple extra stitches in the corner to close the gap, and I also knit into the back of the loop on the picked up stitches to make them a little tighter. It's all in the details, right? Nice sock.

I watched the women's WhateverYouCallIt (some sort of dance-ish gymnastics with props that I never knew existed). That was cool. I took a break to go up to the swimming pool and have some lunch. Then I picked up the sock to knit again, and kept chugging my way down the gusset doing my decreases. I kept looking at the sock because something just didn't quite look right. No matter how many times I looked at it, I couldn't place it, so I just I assumed that the sock looked different to me because it had no calf to it (this is my first shorty sport sock).

It took me until the beginning of the Olympic evening program and the men's volleyball to figure it out.

I forgot to turn the heel *sigh*.

I'm going to blame it all the Olympics, not my skill. For two weeks now, the Olympics have both distracted and exhausted me. And while I have totally enjoyed watching as many of the events as I was able to, I am sooooo glad that tonight is the last night, and I am sooooo glad that I will now be able to go to sleep earlier, and I am sooooo glad this doesn't happen again for another 4 years.

Okay, 2 years. Because you know I'll do this again for the winter Olympics, too.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

snaps on saturday & things around my house (all at the same time--woohoo)

New lamp.

Gorgeous lamp by a local artisan, Sue Johnson. Actual birch leaves pressed into the lamp shade. Love how it looks in the room, lit or not.

I don't exactly love the light it casts within the room, though (there used to be a super-cheap torche in that same spot---an uplight). I wasn't sure if I was going to keep this lamp in this spot though, once I saw how dark the room became with the lighting being cast downwards instead of upwards.

After a bit of and experimenting I have decided to keep it where it is. I just need some uplights on the other side of the room now instead. I'm thinking I'm going for uplights on top of the bookcases.

Friday, August 22, 2008


I am a combination of too tired, too busy knitting, and too distracted with men's Olympic platform diving. Instead of an actual post, here's some useless trivial information for ya'.

These are the avatars I use most frequently when I chat online with Instant Messenger programs:

when I use the Daffy Duck image, it is usually accompanied by a status line that reads:
"Shoot Me Now!"

this last one is one of my personal favorites ;-)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

please make it stop

I love the Olympics and they are killing me. It seems all the fun happens at around 11pm, it seems, doesn't it? I tuck myself into bed every night, turn on the Olympics and set the tv's sleep timer so that I can doze off to some boring sports event, but that just aint been the case now has it! NOoooooo. Every night it's some nailbiter to the hundredth of a second, or some crazy tie breaking rule, or a really great match up of teams, or or or or....

It just doesn't stop. And then I get all excited and can't get to sleep, and then the next day I do it all over again.

I love the Olympics. But I need them to be over!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

custom knitting

I had 1 skein of sock yarn. I have 1 leg. I am a professional dancer (on the one leg). What I have been needing in my sock wardrobe is a single yoga/pilates sock (a sock w/no heel & no toe)…but I also needed it to be an over-the-knee sock to keep my knee warm during rehearsals.

What I like about this concept is that I can throw on a little footie sock over this to cover my heel and toes, and then I can wear this OverTheKneeSock out of the studip with boots and a mini-skirt or something, too. I think I might even have enough yarn left over to complete that footie as a matching set. If I do not have enough, I am sure I have a remnant from another sock project to make a nice contrasting heel and toe. It won't matter much, because it will be inside the boot!

Over The Knee Yoga/Pilates Sock
(ravelry link)
started: 6/25/08
finished: 8/19/08
yarn: "Silky", from Knit It Up!, colorway "The Hills Are Alive" (from the SockYarnCinema yarn club--this yarn was dyed to represent "The Sound Of Music"

Here are my pattern notes (these are just my NOTES, kids. I am not writing a pattern, offering a pattern, selling a pattern, pretending to be a designer, writing a tutorial, etc). If you want to make your own pair of these, and what I type here helps you out---yay! But I am only typing this up here on my blog as a record for myself, because I would like to make a few more of these babies! My notes are not necessarily going to make sense to you, and I am sorry about that. I'm glad to respond to questions if you have them, but don't go harping on me about errata and my crappy note keeping. If you do, the next FinishedObject I knit will be a voodoo doll that looks just like you ;-)

(If you are new here, please know that I am kidding. And if you are not knew here, you know that I am only half-kidding about kidding. hahahaha)

I definitely have modifications that I will use on V.2, and those are listed in italics both within the body of my notes, and at the end of my notes.

* US 1-1/2...2.5mm dpns, set of 4 (used knitpicks nickel plated)
* CO 60 sts, distributed as: N1=30 (sole/back), N2+3=15 ea (top of foot/front)
* joined to work in the round
* K2 P2 rib for 5 rows
* K every round for 30 rows (3" from the CO edge)

To create heel opening:
* N1: P2,K2 across, ending with P2; N2+3: K all sts (repeat rib for a total of 5 rnds)
* BO 30 sts k-wise, K across N2+N3, turn.
* P 1 row, turn; K 1 row.
* CO 30 sts (using backward loop method), rejoin into the round, k across N2+3.
* rib across N1, K across N2+3 for 5 rnds, same as above.

lower calf:
* do a M1 at the back of the sock in the center to create an odd number of sts, so that the decorative sts will be K14, KFB, K15 (31 sts on N1 now), then complete the round (61 sts total).
* K 4 rnds even.
* K 80 rounds for the leg, but for fun, add in the "flutter-by" st running up the back seam (taken from this pattern); I did 10 plain rounds between each "flutter-by". 80 rnds = 4 butterflies = approx 7" from "heel"

calf-shaping detail

calf shaping:
* when dpns become difficult, switch to 2 circs (next time, must learn how to do magic loop!)
* when beginning the 5th butterfly, begin Calf increases as follows (continue flutter-by seam detail throughout):
* set up: k10 sts, pm, m1 back....k across to last 10 sts, m1 front, pm, k10 sts
* work an increase at the markers every 3rd row (ie r1, r4, r7, r10, etc) until completing an increase of 40 sts over 58 rows (total of 101 sts); this makes for an approx 4-1/2" long increase section, for a total length of 11-1/2" from "heel".
* knit 20 rows straight (still flutter-by-ing)
* next, begin Calf decreases as follows (continue flutter-by seam detail throughout):
* dec 1 st at each marker (using ssk's and k2togs), and then K 2 rnds this a total of 7 times until 14 sts have been decreased (87 sts total)

worn folded over as a knee-high

* K 1 round plain, but K2tog at the center back to eliminate 1 st and get back to an even number (86 sts total)
* 80 rounds of K2 P2 rib
* BO using sewn cast-off (fantastic instructions found here...thanks Bon for the tip!)

worn scrunched up more like a traditional leg-warmer

Mods for V.2:
* I would make all of the ribbed areas around the toes and heel wider, perhaps 10 or 15 rows instead of 5. It's working fine with only 5 rows (the stockinette is not curling) but I'd prefer the fabric to grip the foot a bit more in those areas.
* I used a regular, plain old BO at the foot bed in order to create the "heel", and while it functions, it would have been better if it was stretchier. Next time I will use the sewn bind off there, too...but I hadn't learned how to do it yet! Luckily, it's easy peasy ;-)
* The calf shaping. Well, it does fit me perfectly. Perfectly. I did the necessary math. But I placed the increases up the leg in such a manner that they make an angle:

It's not bad, but it is a bit unflattering on me (read as: makes my leg look huge). Next time, I might try running the increases straight up the back seam instead, straight up as a line, in an attempt to make the leg look loooong....not wiiiide.


On to the next project!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

why i'm not allowed on campus

Remember that homework assignment I posted about yesterday?
Well, here is my "essay".
I did it bullet style, because I was too tired to form complete sentences, and I was also too embarrassed about how many ellipsis were going to end up in there if I tried to write in paragraph form that late at night (sure didn't keep me from using too many parentheses, though).

This is exactly what I wrote. I kid you not. I mean, I even actually referred to his as "My Favorite Kid" on the paper. Lordy. The only changes are in italics, where I have take out our names and phone number.

Once you read this you'll probably understand why MyFK wont let me even slip him a high-five.

Things About My Favorite Kid, In No Particular Order
(as written by an exhausted parent who is not tickled about being given homework on the first day of school--while her child gets none!)

(insert here: MyFK's top secret real name)

* Intelligent. Qualified as a GATE student, gets high marks, tests well.
* Silly sense of humor.
* When he is processing new information (and how it may apply to something he already knows), he gets a look on his face that makes him appear to be daydreaming. He is not. He is thinking.
* That being said, he is prone to spacing out if he is bored.
* Nice.
* Curious.
* Nonviolent.
* Problem solver.
* Often needs space when upset or angry before is able to communicate effectively.
* Sometimes takes criticism too personally.
* Responds well to praise (who doesn't?!).
* Operates best with routines and consistent expectations.
* Is an only child, lives with mom, but sees his dad frequently. His dad is very supportive.
* His maternal grandparents live nearby and are, amongts other things, academically supportive.
* Plays some guitar, and took up the clarinet last year. Loves music, particularly rock and roll. Has been going to concerts since he was very young. Both parents are artistic.
* He just got a dog. He has tended to his own gecko for a couple of years (which he purchased himself after saving up the money on his own).
* Just moved to the area 1 year ago. Seems to be adjusting well and is making plenty of new friends.
* Is interested in becoming more athletic in some way (has mentioned track).
* Will probably hate me for telling you all of this, but whatever. It's my assignment, now isn't it.
(hi, MyFk...if you bothered to read this far)

written by: MsAmpuTeeHee, mom of MyFavoriteKid, insert: home phone number.
And yes, it is okay to share this with other grade level teachers if it proves helpful.

The teacher will probably think I am nuts.

Monday, August 18, 2008

first day of middle school and mommy has homework (?!)

MyFavoriteKid had his first day of Middle School today. I was allowed to take a few steps onto the campus with him (under the guise of needing to swing by the office for the bus schedule), but I wasn't permitted to go as far as even teh quad or the homerooms. I already knew that I wasn't going to get a hug or a kiss goodbye in front of anybody, so I was ready for that....but I was even refused a high five.

I had prepared myself for seeing him looking "all grown up" this morning in that environment, but that is not what happened at all. Instead, I saw the 8th graders looking "all grown up" and suddenly he looked so much younger. And impressionable (hahahaha). It was just about then when it hit me smack in the face that MyFK is going to make a huge leap into coolness this year. Which means I will sink into uncoolness).
*sigh again*

Other points of interest today:

MyFK called me after school to ask if he could ride the school bus home instead of riding home with me, as we had previously planned. I thought that was a great, to be honest with you. Ride the bus every day! But it sure would have been nice if he had been excited about taking the bus YESTERDAY. Like, before I had already driven across town and spent 20 minutes trying to negotiate the friggin' parking lot.

Anyhow, even though I was already there, I let him ride the bus.

So guess what he does, though.
He gets on the bus with his best buddy.

~~ding, dong.....helloooooooooooo~~
He gets off the bus and has a 25 minute walk to the house.
(*more sighing now??*

Oh, yes....and one last point.
MyFK had no homework today.
(wtf is up with that!!??!?!?!?)

I have to write an essay about my kid. Yay me.
So much for turning the heel of that sock tonight.

One of the other things that came home today was the school's event calendar.

So, you guys.....
Do you think I should I be scared about January 8th???
Maybe plan on being out of town or something???

Sunday, August 17, 2008

dear diary,

I'm sitting here staring at the blank blog entry screen, and I can't even figure out what topic to put my focus towards.

I kinda want to say something about school starting tomorrow, and the fact that summers seem so much shorter than I remember as a kid.

I kinda want to something about how I'm actually looking forward to getting back to the routine again. Big time. I have hunch it might even feel comforting, even though I know that after awhile it will probably feel like a grind.

I kinda want to say something about the last few weeks and how quickly it whizzed past me...with the touring, and the visitors coming to stay. How much I learned about myself, and how much fun I had spending time with friends.

And I kinda want to say something about not being able to understand this danged knitting that I am working on right now....and then maybe something else about food and cooking and eating and maybe something else about the Olympics and and and....

See?! Scattered mess. Oh, well.

Let me at least shout out a huge thanks to my mom, my dad, TheMostImportantGuy, and MyFavoriteKid. All joined in this morning for the GreatWhackingBackOfTheOvergrownGardenGoneJungle. Lordy, what a mess. There is no way I could ever have fixed it on my own. Thanks guys!! *mwah*

Saturday, August 16, 2008

snaps on saturday

I have been so tired, and so busy, and so "still feeling on the verge" of being sick...that I forgot to take a photo today. Lucky for me I have some old material. Here's some knittin' for ya':

Pattern: Nine to Five Socks by Nicole Hindes (ravelry link)

Yarn: Dream in Color "Smooshy", 1 skein
Colorway: In Vino Veritas (the color in the middle photo is most true)

Started: June 7th, 2008
Completed: Aug 5th, 2008 (first sock completed 6/23)

Knit For: me!, as part of the San Francisco One Sock A Month KnitAlong (ravelry link) sock in June, one sock in July...clearly I was a little late, but hey--if you look at the start and end dates, I still did two socks in two months time basically, so shut up ;-)

* I used the modification noted on the designer’s blog for a cast-on of 60 sts.
* It was driving me nuts that there was an odd number of sts after completing the heel flap, and that you were to eliminate that extra st by doing an extra decrease on one of the gussets. Instead of following that instruction, I got rid of the extra st on the last WS row of the heel flap by p2tog in the center, then I turned the heel.

Notes: Great pattern, very well written. I love the finished look, and I love wearing them. I absolutely detested the knitting of them, though. Just my own personal issues, people...but that mock cable stitch? I am sick to death of knitting it, and it was killing my (already bad) right wrist. Wouldn't mind having more pairs of these in my wardrobe, but would probably never knit them again, so I am so glad these fit like a dream.

More notes on the ravelry project page.

I've already started the Aug-Sep pair of socks, and I'm probably a bit behind of where I should be. The last couple of weeks have been too busy for knitting. But MyFavoriteKid returns to school on Monday, and hopefully for me that means a return to my knitting!

Friday, August 15, 2008

if there is one thing i have learned this week...'s that parenting is parenting is parenting.

Except that parenting one child is an entirely different beast than parenting two children.
And except that boy children are entirely different beasts than girl children.

It's the same. But different. (yes, I know that makes me sound like an idiot)

Comparatively speaking, I think I have it pretty danged easy.
Please remind me the next time I forget ;-)

TheMostImportantGuy is sitting next to me and just read this and says I need to elaborate. Something about dangling a carrot. But I'm too tired to write more because the combination of boy children and multiple girl children has kicked my butt this week. So you get a carrot. And for those of you with many many children, even more than two, I'll pitch you some kudos. I don't know how y'all do it.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Sorry it's only been pictures lately. I still have a full house with visitors, and we've been busy! Additionally, I am on the verge of being sick. You know the feeling, like when you are on the verge...and you know that if you just lay flat, you might kick it's ass and win? Kinda like that. Except I haven't been able to be flat, so I keep leaning farther and farther over the verge each day (this started Tuesday--ugh).

Anyhow, today was less tourism. Today was MyFavoriteKid's Middle School Orientation. School here starts MONDAY---can you believe it?!?!!

There's some middle schooler legs. Lame photo, I know. But I always feel bad about posting pics of kids I don't know (even kids I do know). So legs it is.

The orientation was interesting. It was 4-1/2 hours long, and it was for kids only. No parents allowed. There were 8th graders on site to serve as guides, and when the newbie 6th graders arrived, the upper classmen were hooting and hollering and cheering them on as they entered. Yay. Much better than hazing, eh?

At the end of the orientation there was a barbeque, and the parents were to show up at that point to complete paperwork, pick up schedules, purchase uniforms for phys ed, etc.

It was right around that time I turned to MyFK and said, "So. Do you know which classroom you go to first thing on Monday morning?"
"You spent 4-1/2 HOURS being ORIENTED, and you don't even know where to go on your first day of school??!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Gah. (I am certain that was a listening problem, not an administrative one).

At least MyFK is paying attention to something in school. Waiting in the mailbox when we got home were the results from last year's state testing:

Advanced in English Language Arts, Mathematics, and Sciences. Perfect score in the Mathematics, I might add (*toots a party horn!*).

Later in the day, I taught one of the visiting little girls how to knit. She only did a few rows, but hey...she made an apron for her bunny.

I'd call that an FO. ;-)

So now I'm flat in bed, trying to keep from feeling sicker. My girlfriend went off to take the dance class that I normally teach (being led tonight by one of my co-teachers). MyFK and her two kids are hanging out with TheEX who is babysitting the whole lot of them. And I'm getting ready for bed. At 8:30pm, which might just be a personal record.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

tourist in my own neck o' the woods

Fisherman's Wharf

Pitstop first at Boudin Bakery (yummmm)....

Alcatraz as seen from the Hyde Street turn-around (that's a fun link, you should click it...really)...

A view of the Golden Gate Bridge (compliments of MyFavoriteKid)...

San Francisco as seen from the bridge (also MyFK's)...

And then just 'cuz I'm strange, these last two are from the Ripley's Believe It Or Not! Museum...

A portrait of Van Gogh.
Made of Toast.

And Valentino (as Son of The Sheik).
From dryer lint.


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

muir woods

Monday, August 11, 2008

i should have more tomorrow...

...but not so much today.

Today was about waking up early and taking care of a few things around the house, then heading out to San Francisco to pick up my friend and her two daughters who are going to stay with us for rest of the week. They flew in from Boston early this afternoon. We stopped at the store and picked up food for the kids to eat while they are here (we are both blessed with picky eaters), we took the kids to the pool, did some unpacking and settling in, and had a nice dinner. Now everyone is all tucked in except me ('cuz I am up late again glued to the tube watching the Olympics). I do really need to go though. We have a whoooole bunch of sight seeing type stuff to do over the next couple of days. At least then I'll have pictures at least ;-)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

now i just need to knit me some lace

I've been quite the stitch marker ho lately. I have bought many (all on etsy, at least--yay)....but these are my newest acquisition, and I thought you knitterly folk would get a kick out of them:

They make me giggle.

I think I might need to convert a few of them to row markers (by adding a lobster clasp). That way I can clip them onto those runaway dropped stitches I find from time to time, and then pick them up again on the next pass.

The markers came from Paper And Yarn, who also tossed in a little carrying case and a few freebies:

How. Cool. Is that!

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Friday, August 08, 2008

blowin' off the blog tonight

I had a whole different post in mind. I want to show you guys some pics of what my last house looked like inside, just so you could compare. I still plan to do that, but today has been a whole lot busier than anticipated. I had guests over all day long, and I was in hostess mode, in and out of the kitchen most of the day. I assembled a small dresser that had a thousand small parts (for the den/guest room). After all that there was a quick run to the dog park, and that went straight into watching the Olympics Opening Cermony (whilst washing and folding laundry), which I am still watching now. Very moving, I found it. My eyes got all teary a few times, even.

We were sitting here doing the math....adding up the fact that there were 15,000 performers, 90,000 people in the audience, and a whole stadium floor full of athletes.....and the question of the day based on that algebra has been:

where do they all poop?!?!

Dudes, I have no friggin' idea.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

things around my house thursday

Well, here we are.
Things Around My House Thursday (Number ?? of 52)
(actually, I have no idea what number I am on, but whatever it is, it's behind wherever it should be *sigh*)

I've been holding onto these photos for weeks. I have been afraid to show you. I'm afraid you will all think I'm insane (I know. As if you don't already).

Okay. Here we go.

I have one of those very fancy closet systems in my bedroom. It cost me a pretty penny, I adore it, and when most people see it they get closet envy (which is not why I bought it....I actually got a fancy closet system so that I wouldn't need dressers. Dressers take up floor space, and wheelchair users like lots of floorspace. Trust me).

As fancy as my closet system is, I hang my clothes on cheap plastic hangers.

Not just any old cheap plastic hangers. I'm talking 'bout the ones you get for free when you buy clothes from that store (the one that rhymes with Fargut). You know the hangers. The ones that are color coded at the top. S-M-L-XL. You know those?
I've been collecting them for years.

Okay. Well, when I kick back in my bed at night, I am basically staring directly into my closet. I mean, my closet is so big that there is even a television in there. The danged thing is also my entertainment center. I even store my yarn in a portion of it, if you recall.

Anyhow, I'd been laying in bed every night staring into the closet, and I was really getting sick of looking at the cheap-y hangers in the fancy closet, so I finally splurged for the fancy set of matching hangers.

(say it with me: oooooooo, faaaaaancy)

For some reason I thought matching hangers would not only make things look more organized and lovely, but that it would also have some sort of magical elixir type calming quality to it. I thought it would be all Zenned Out. I thought that I would stare into the closet, and would be lulled into some relaxed dreamlike state, and that I would fall asleep peacefully, knowing that life was just .....I dunno....tidy.

Well, it does not do any of that for me at all. In fact, the matching hangers sort of make me a little nervous. in a sort of Martha Stewart meets Joan Crawford way.

Not only does it sort of creep me out to have the hangers all matching, but it now totally wigs me out when order is disrupted (like when TheMostImportantGuy comes to visit and he hangs up a change of clothes):

Come ON. A big fat BLUE PLASTIC HANGER???!?!?!
Oh, the stress.

And shut up. I know the shirts are sorted by color and that probably isn't helping matters any.

You should see the skirts.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Took MyFavoriteKid out today for a minor bit of shopping for the school year. A couple pairs of jeans, a new lunch box, and a new pair of shoes.

black shoes = kid shoes
white shoes = mommy shoes

I don't think you can tell from the angle of the photo (sorry, maybe I should have shot it from above or something to capture that properly), but MyFK's new shoes are actually bigger than mine.

The growing.
Please make it go a little slower.