Monday, May 31, 2010

snaps on saturday (on a...monday?!?)

Yah. If you noticed the last few posts were all text and wondered why, it was because I sent my camera with MyFavoriteKid when he took off camping with his dad for the weekend.

So here ya' go...

..compliments of MyFK.

Today was the conclusion of TheMostImportantGuy's birthday weekend.
This morning it was off to the zen center for the 6:15am practice, then another breakfast out (this time at the french bistro La Note), and then back to the zen center for the 11am practice.
Kinda like a mini-retreat, only with pancakes ;-)
And les oeufs. And tomatoes Provencales.

Then I got home and not long after TheEx drove up in his rented camper van and tossed out my kid, a sleeping bag, and a pile of stinky laundry. Basically. Then MyFK and I spent a bit of time this evening booking some summer travel plans before it gets so late that said plans can no longer be booked.

I cannot believe it. Ten more days and MyFK is out of school and "the routine" is blown all over the place. It will fit right in with learning to walk again using a prosthesis, which is pretty much creating the same feeling.

Nothing is static.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

birthday gluttony

Ok, this "lots of time to write over the weekend" thing aint happenin' at all. It really has become TheMostImportantGuy's "birthday weekend". Today was an extension of yesterday.

me: Would you like coffee out here? Or in bed?
Him: Bed please!

me: Where would you like to have breakfast?
Him: Bed please!

(we slept in until almost 10am, and I dont think he came out of the bedroom until almost 1pm)

We then had to take one of the cats to a sort of urgent care appointment. He's fine. Just scratched his eye and is now receiving some treatments with ointment. While I was at the vet with the cat, TheMIG shot over to Guitar Center and took himself shopping.

After we got the cat back, we went out to a late lunch (or early appetizers) at a new place we've never tried before in Napa called Grace's Table. SUPER good. We loved everything we had. Fresh, local, sustainable, and it was reasonably priced and the environment was casual, but lovely. I am dying to go back for their "continental breakfast" sometime. They make homemade doughnuts!

After that I asked TheMIG what he wanted to do next, and we ended up taking a little nap on a blanket on some grass in a park. Dappled sunlight :-)

Then we drove over to our favorite place to eat, Ubuntu. We ordered a couple of dishes, had a glass of wine, and they served dessert with a candle in it for him.

Back home and took the dog to the little dog run that was just installed here in my neighborhood, and now we're tucking in early so we can go to the zen center at the butt-crack o' dawn tomorrow for practice.

So yah. No deep contemplating or typing as I had intended. Haven't knit a single stitch in days either. The food and fun sure has been good though. TheMIG's been making some great choices :-)

Saturday, May 29, 2010

ok, i lied

I thought I was going to be sitting at the computer today typing away, but it was the first warm sunny day since I don't know off we went to the dog park for awhile (only after sleeping in later than we usually do for the first time in ages, and eating a leisurely "gourmette" breakfast made by yours truly).

The rest of the day went sort of like this:
TheMostImportantGuy: So what's next?
me: I dunno, it's Your birthday...You tell me!
(we repeated this procedure many times)

This turned into our booking last minute tandem massages, dinner at an Indian restaurant, and then out to see Iron Man 2 (which I actually liked a whole lot more than I expected I would). It almost feels like it's my birthday we are celebrating, I am benefiting so nicely!

Since his real birthday isn't until Tuesday (and I won't be seeing him that day), I'm just treating this whole weekend his birthday.
Can't wait to see what he asks for tomorrow!

Friday, May 28, 2010

blog lite

I told ya' it would be light around here until the weekend, and it is very true.

It's 11 o'clock. I had a busy day, I got MyFavoriteKid packed off for a weekend of guy camping with his dad, then I met TheMostImportantGuy at the zen center for some chanting and sitting.

After sitting, I took TheMIG out to dinner to a favorite sushi place of his (Kirala, in Berkeley). I've known about this place for almost two decades and have never made it in there because every time I have tried that line has been too long and I've not be able to wait it out. It was very yummy. And it was the beginning of probably a few nice meals this weekend (both dining in and dining out), because it's his birthday next week, so I'm all for serving up his favorite foods.

For now, I have to crash. Long day. And I havent talked about it much, but the walking thing is pretty much kicking my ass and draining me at the moment.

Lots of chill time this weekend. Will make time to type.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

the perk of the peev

The Peev:

I woke up this morning to discover that my blog had been hit very hard last night by TheSpammerFromHell. Dozens upon dozens of comments were made (all having links to advertising). They were scattered all over my blog, through years worth of posts. All comments were needing to be deleted individually.

This took up all of my fun time today (which was limited in the first place).

I now have had to enable "comment moderation" here. Meaning if you write something, I now have to tend to it before it will be published...and ok fine, I'll do that, but what a bummer it is that this asswipe has to ruin the party here, especially when I was so happy just letting you guys go willy nilly and say whatever you want to say (feel free to do keep doing that. I love it. And it will get published eventually.

The Perk:

Well, the perk is that this fucktard nailed some of my best posts....some of which I had forgotten about entirely...and a few of them were written close to 5 years ago. (FIVE YEARS! I smell a blogiversary party coming on, kids...I'm also close to hitting 1k posts, too LOL).

If there was any bonus at all to having to spend small chunks of my day was in being reminded of my past. I didn't have the time to really re-read them all the way through, but even just to scan some thoughts, and to see some old photos that I haven't thought about in ages? was great.

Lemons Into Lemonade, I done made.

And this idiot has spammed me six more times just while I have written this post, even with the comment moderation on.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The only decent link I can find to this song (with the time I have available right now) has the creepy graphic attached to it.

So please.
Close your eyes.


A favorite of mine. I have even performed to it.

It came up today when MyFavoriteKid asked me who Freddie Mercury was, and when I described him, I also mentioned that when I cried for 4 days when he died.
MyFK thought that was goofy, and I told him that he better run when David Bowie goes then, because I might be in mourning for months.


I am LOVING the comments to yesterday's post, so please...if you haven't tossed your hat into the ring, please feel free to do so.

I am super buried in that previously mentioned paperwork required by the State Department, and it is due on Friday, so I would expect fluff around here until the weekend. I can see that deeper topics need to be covered soon, though...and the weekend is looking much more wide open for that.

X's & O's to all of you :-)
I appreciate you all so much.

Ed to add, to TheMIG, (in response to the comment made on yesterday's post):
That was not advice. That was a "kweshun".

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

double happiness

Part of my day today was to visit James at the convalescent hospital. I always bring him lunch. I think it might just be his favorite weekly event. I'll bet it beats bingo. Today I brought in Chinese food, and when I opened my fortune cookie, there were two slips of paper.

The first one was:

Now is a good time for a new
collection or hobby.

I do believe that this was intended for another diner. Just make one pass around my house and notice the skeins of yarn shoved into vases to look like flower arrangements--or note the fact that there are two spinning wheels housed here, and I think you will agree. This belonged in its own separate cookie, and one not destined for me.

The second fortune was:

Listen these next few days to your
friends to get answers you seek.

So okay, friends. What say ye?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Ooo today was crazy busy. Errand upon errand, phone call after phone call, email after email, and loads of paperwork still to be done.

The errand part of the evening ended with my taking MyFavoriteKid out for dinner and two new pairs of shoes. He had beaten his Converse into shreds. He wanted to get a pair of Vans for lookin' cool, but he's also finally agreed with me that I am I right (?!?!) and that he needs more supportive shoes than he can wear to school on the days he has PE (they have wee tiny gym lockers that hold their uniforms, but are not big enough for shoes. lame.). His feet have been hurting him. And I looooove Converse and Vans, but they are canvas, and they are totally flat and have no arch support. we get out to the store, and we have his feet measured, and get this one:

The kid is two sizes bigger. TWO SIZES.

No wonder his feet hurt!! Sheesh.

We had purchased those now shredded Chucks just back around November or December I think, and I didn't just wing it with the shoe size, I had him measured that time, too! He was a size 7....and now, just a few months later....a size 9!

He's also eating like a horse.

Here's comes teenage-hood.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

not quite re-entered

Home from the retreat, though I still feel in the zone. It might be because I volunteered to take home all the linens (dishtowels, napkins, etc...used at the zen center over the weekend), launder them, and bring them back tomorrow.

So it's late...and I'm up folding. And folding. And folding.
But I'm also watching Miss Marple on PBS.

At least one of us is kicking back with the knittin' ;-)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

snaps on saturday

Tangerine juice is orange.
Orange juice is yellow.

~ Observation compliments of TheMostImportantGuy ;-)

Friday, May 21, 2010

guerilla knitting in my 'hood

Well, it aint the 'hood I live in, but it is the 'hood that I frequent several times a week for dance class (which I had last night) and the zen center (where I will be for the next 3 days, staring at the floor).

photo blatantly filched from the article,
but with hopes it will inspire you to click through & read it!

Article found here.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

sf ravelry meet-up

Ok. Here we go. Finally.

cute little badge given at the door if you donated towards the rental of the space
excess donations went back to the women's building

This event was the brainchild of Erica (rav links), and a bunch of her buddies who helped pull it all together. She rented out the San Francisco Women's Building, and just took the chance that enough people would donate at the door to cover the rent. I'm not entirely sure if she broke even, but from the looks of things (and how much she told me the place cost to rent), I think she probably did okay:

That's about 1/2 of the downstairs area. That shot was taken from the balcony, where even more people hung out and also nibbled and munched because the event was also a pot-luck and there were two or three big tables full of yummy goodness up there.

Donna and I sat up there for a bit snacking, chatting, knitting, and people watching.

There's Donna. She wears the blurry well, yah?
(sorry D.; shoulda checked my camera better and retaken that LOL)

There were no vendors selling at this event, and to be honest with you, I loved that. I mean, I love to shop, especially to support the local folk, but it really was nice to have an event where it was about the socializing. A couple of people who would normally have had a booth at something like this even told me that they loved having a day where they could go to a group thing and just have fun.

There were A LOT of door prizes donated (I lost count, but close to 50). There were posts about them on a Ravelry Thread if you want to snivel about what you missed out on by not coming.

Donna and I both won door prizes. Whoot! Donna won a pattern that goes along with that bag of blue yarn pictured above (second from the left) which was donated by ArtFibers, and I won a gift certificate towards classes at KnitOneOne.

Some of the other fun things at the event were machine knitting demonstrations, and needle felting demonstrations, and oh...let us not forget the hand and arm massages offered up by Erika and crew.

I have to say, while I had a blast at the event itself, I had just as much fun (maybe even more) just getting there and back. Thanks to Jennifer for putting it out there that those of us riding the train should try to coordinate and sit in the same car. I got to hang out with several folks, and I loved it.

For as much fun as I had on Sunday, it would seem it also slightly bummed me out a bit. Lame, I know. But when TheMostImportantGuy asked me later that day how the event was, and I said, "It was great," I must have said it with a lilt in my voice or something because all he said back was, "Awwww!".

When forced to articulate further, I think there were a few people that I had hoped to see that were noticeably absent, and I also explained to him that I think the Meet-Up reminded me of how infrequently I, up! I just love hanging out with other knitters. It really feeds me to be with my peeps, and I don't even mean that it has to be with people that I know real well, either. I just get a lot out of being with other fiber enthusiasts. It feels good. Really good. And I just don't do it enough because I can't find a group that meets at a time or location that I can get to easily (excuses, really).

SOoooo many people that I saw at the Meet-Up said, "Wow, I haven't seen you in ages!" I got that response from the SF Sock Knitters, people from the Berkeley Stitch-N-Bitch, ladies from The Yarn Cottage, and people from the Napa Weekend Warriors (which I was actually a bit of an instigator in starting). I'm not sure what I'm gonna do about the situation yet, but something has gotta shift. I either need to make getting together a priority, or I need to start something up that is closer to home and at a time I can make it. Kinda scary. I'm not that much of the activist sort. I'm more of a sheep when it comes to group functions.
Ha. Sheep.

Anyhow...meepy awwww it's over attitude aside, the SF Ravelry Meet-Up was awesome...and I sure hope it becomes and annual event.

ed: to fix a slew of typos, and I probably still have not caught them all. sorry!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

many things! many things!

This is a long post. Sorry. Pull up a chair and a nightcap (or a cup o'joe, depending on what time you are readling), or maybe just scroll down and look at the photos...hahaha.

Oooo so many things. Where to start, where to start?!!

I know. First up. How about an installment of The Convalescent Cast of Characters ?

Please send your loving vibes out to Harry & Ann.
Today is their 59th wedding anniversary!

Ann is a resident at the facility where James lives. She arrived sometime last fall after being in the "hospital-hospital", and I think this was just supposed to be a temporary stay here for rehab and extended care before going home. It's been months though, and she is still here. I have a hunch she has become a permanent resident here, but I never pry, and us volunteers aren't privy to details like that.

Ann was very witty and sparkling when I first met her. She's beginning to fade a bit. Sometimes when I ask her something, she gives an unrelated answer. Harry gets a protective nervous look when she does that, but he doesn't jump in to save her. He gives Ann and I the space to sort it out first.

Harry comes to visit her every day after lunch and he is the sweetest guy ever. We usually share an extended handshake, and I ask him how he is, and I can tell that he sort of has to force a smile when he answers me. He usually says that he, "can't complain," or sometimes, "things could be worse." When he tells me how he is, my mind fills up with images of him being home all alone in his empty house without her, and I just feel for him so much. I think they both miss each other terribly.

But yesterday when I saw them and they told me that today was going to be their 59th wedding anniversary, the both got really cute about it, and then I asked them to tell me how they met, and they both talked for a good long while and giggled a lot, almost like newlyweds.
Dolls. Living dolls. Send them the love, please :-)

Second. A section I shall call I LOVE YOU, MAN!!

Thanks so much to all of you who have commented over the last few days and made me feel supported. Double thanks for cracking me up, too. I also really appreciate your telling me to get my ass to the Zen Center. I've been a bit hesitant to bring up the zen-thang here on the blog too often, because every time I read it back to myself I worry that I sound like a bit of a FrootLoop.

As it stands, there is an extended Three-Day Retreat at the zen center this weekend, and I'm signed up for to be present for the whole damn thing.


Third. Yesterday. In bullets.

* I showed up at the State Department forty minutes before they opened and was second in line. They have allowed me until the end of the month to get the paperwork together, and so I was able to leave then and hightail it over to Physical Therapy.
The bonus of going down in person? (if there could in fact be a bonus) While I was waiting in line I met an ANGEL. For real. She may even have had wings. It was a lady who works for the county as an advocate for patient rights. She was there representing another amputee and had some very useful handouts for me that might help me out. She gave me her card and said if I called her, she'd totally make sure I have everything I need, and would even come back with me to represent me. The county pays her to help. How lucky was that.

* I went to PT and wow, is she amazing. I should let you know that I worked with her when I took a stab at this walking thing a few years ago. I didn't know this then, but it turns out that both our kids go to the same school (in fact I didn't even live in this area yet), so I see her from time to time at school events. It was on Back To School day this year that she mentioned to me that there have been some advances made in the last couple of years with sockets that may make things easier for me. It's because of her encouragement that I am giving this a whirl again.
Anyhow, back to yesterday. As I walked (well, waddled) he was able to see what I needed to tweak, and she talked me through making changes rapidly. She was able to see what the prosthetist might want to try tweaking to the mechanical parts, and that information will help me when I go back to see him. I was there for an hour and it was a workout, but even in just that short time my gait improved (or at least my understanding of it--I do need to gain some strength and stamina, though). I still look like I'm walking like a toddler (or a duck), but I'm walkin'.

* I visited both convalescent hospitals, including the one where I host the Knitting Group. We are having a really good time, but there are changes happening there, and I'm overdue writing about it. Soon.

* In between convalescent hospitals, someone parked so close to my car that I couldn't get in it. Like REALLY close. I had pulled straight on into my spot, facing forward. He had backed in to his spot, so that our driver's side doors were next to each other, and he was so close (there was only about 6" of space) that I couldn't open my door wide enough to get in my car. I went into the hospital with his license plate number and for 10 minutes the lady at the desk balked at making an announcement over the loud speaker. I had to get a manager to do it. Even with the announcement, the driver didn't respond for another 15 minutes, and I was late for the Knitting Ladies. When the guy finally came out to move his car, he had to get into his own passenger side and climb over into his drivers seat. In other words, he admittedly knew he had parked so close to me that he couldn't open his own door to get out, but didn't care that the person in the neighboring car (ie ME) would have the same problem.
I had a bit of a flip out. I didn't scream, but I was certifiably pissed. I told him he was rude and inconsiderate, and I think I might have thrown selfish in there. And then I told him I had left a love note on his car seat.
See, he had left his driver's side window down, and while I was stuck waiting, I had squeezed into those 6" and left a note on his seat that had "ASSHOLE" scribbled on it. You'll love this one. I couldn't find paper, and so it was scribbled on a Interweave Knits subscription postcard.
So this basically makes ME the asshole. I know that.
*bigger sigh*
Thought I'd cop to it here, as I will probably never see the guy again (and if I do, I get to apologize--whee). Plus I thought it would entertain you to know that I can be such a twit.
What trips me out the most about this whole thing is this: HOW is it that I can go from being in a completely big hearted loving space (like, I'm a volunteer at a convalescent hospital and I was just talking to Harry & Ann the lovebirds), to being in a totally flipping out rage, and then going back to more volunteer work. In rapid-fire extremism. It's a wee bit insane (possibly a grand bit insane). I want to investigate.

* I called the prosthetist's office after PT and he topld me to come in. He squeezed me in after hours (See? He's great, too.) He put in shim in between the outer and inner wall of the socket.

This makes the socket a tighter fit without him having to redesign the wheel yet, which we both know is soon to come, but the idea is work with what you have until it aint workin' no more. That foam he put in there is 1/2" thick, and 1/2" reduction took place in 7 days, without my even wearing as consistently as we'd all like to me to be wearing it (but I can't wear it when it's falling off, either). For the record, my weight has stayed the same....and for the O&P who sent me that email a few weeks ago, my cellulite hasn't changed either thank you very much...neener-neener.
(see how I get?!)

* I didnt get home from all of this until about 7pm or so, and I caved in to MyFavoriteKid's request for take-out burgers.

* I went to sleep quite early for a change...practically passed out from exhaustion. I think the PT rocked me more than I rocked it.


Next up, A Big Shout Out To My Mom.

She phoned me in between the visits at the hospitals. Right after I flipped out on the BadMannersParkingGuy. Talk about timing. She called to ask me if I wanted Matzoh Ball Soup.

Are you kidding? Of course I do!
get a load of the steaming goodness :-)

She made it for my dad because he is sick, but I have a hunch she did a double batch after reading my last couple of posts.
I love you, mommy :-)

As previously mentioned, I did cave in to the burger dinner, we didn't eat the soup yesterday. But since MyFK had a minimum day today, we saved the soup and just warmed it for lunch. It's overcast and drizzly outside today. Perfect soup weather.


Okay. This post is long enough, and it STILL does not contain the Ravelry Meet-Up photos.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


yah, I can't figure it out either, Riley

I had a "tucking in" phone call from TheMostImportantGuy late last night. He'd already read my post yesterday with the list of kvetching. He said, "Oh, that doesn't sound so bad. I was expecting much worse."

Well, yah. But as I have previously stated there are about eighteen things of this frustrating nature, and that was only four of them. There is something to be said for what happens to small things when they glom together in a larger mass, ya' know.

Here's another one for you.
The prosthetist and the physical therapist. The prosthetist has the computerized settings on the new leg set below where they should be. It is incorrect. He cannot set it correctly however, because I am weak and it's been over two years since I walked, and I kinda can't remember how. So I need to do some physical therapy to correct my gait and get me stronger. Once that happens, he can fix the settings and put them where they belong. The physical therapist however, does not want to put in the order requesting PT sessions, until the settings are where they should be because when they are in the wrong place, I can't walk correctly.

I have finally pushed the PT to place the order with the agreement that I will work my butt off and then to get back with the prosthetist to fix the setttings as quickly as possible.

BUT! The only time the PT can see me this entire week is TODAY AT 10AM (the same time the State of California wants me in their office with a stack of paperwork, of which they just notified me last two business days ago), and the day that I would go see the prosthetist for the tweaks to the computer, would be THURSDAY (the same day the stupid drama teacher decided to plan her last minute cast party).


Add to that needing to deal with the math department, the fact that one of my co-dance teachers did a little flip out on me when I asked to miss ONE WEEK of dance class this summer (I guess no vacations for me this year!), the stupid delivery issue about the refrigerator, the fact that I probably need to replace the heating and air conditioning units in my house and I'm pretty sure the guy who came buy to give me a quote is trying to shaft me, me, I could go on....but I am sick to death of hearing myself.

What I'm trying to describe (and which TheMIG says I failed to illustrate in yesterday's post) is the current state of affairs with me, in general.

It goes something like my being asked:
How are you?

And my saying:
I'd be great! (if only you'd just get the frick outta my way).

My point is that I dont mind life's little issues. Dudes, I dont even mind dealing with life's BIG issues. But it really annoys the shit outta me when I am working as hard as I can to keep things moving, and everyone's spilling a bag of marbles out onto the floor in front of me.

So much for that Ravelry Meet-Up post.
I'll save that for tomorrow.

Right now I'm off to stop by the State Department for when their doors open at 8am so that I can tell them I can't stay for their 10am thing they assign3ed me to with short notice, because I had already been slated to be in PT, and if I miss the PT I also miss the prosthetist later this week, and I may never get walking.

At least after that I get to go visit the ladies at the convalescent hospital for our little knitting group.

It's rare they carry marbles.

Monday, May 17, 2010

happy string & the list o' kvetch

Down at the bottom of this post you will find, as promised, my Craptacular List o' Kvetch.
Personally, I'd skip it and just read the nice stuff I'm gonna put here up top. This is my attempt to bury doody. My goal for tomorrow it to bury the doody even deeper with a photo heavy post about the SF Ravelry Meet-Up.

Happy String

Last night, after that lame-assed post I wrote for y'all, things actually improved a bit. MyFavoriteKid came out of his room with a very long rubber-band, and said, "Look what I can do with this, mom!" What he did was make a tangled up stretchy mess, but what I realized he was trying to do was some sort of Cat's Cradle string game. Well, I was all over that.

We ditched the rubber band and replaced it with a loop of string (no shortage of that around here), and then jumped on YouTube to watch a couple of How-To videos. I used to be a pro a this as a kid, but I was seriously due for a refresher. It's totally like riding a bike, though. It was like I was in a time warp. Within a few minutes MyFK and I were side by side with our loops of string doing this:

I never thought I'd get a chance to do something like this with him. I never thought he'd be interested. When I was kid, this was something us girls did on the playground and the boys steered clear. Like, a wide berth, if I do reacall. Turns out times have changed, because several of MyFK's guy buddies have been running around with string trying to figure this stuff out.

I went to bed thinking, "Ya' know, when I was little girl and I learned how to do this, it may very well have been my first love of string! Watching it twist and turn and seeing how it wove into itself and what part your hands played in it, and then *poof!*. You wove it into some sort of magic. This may have been the beginnings of what inspired me to knit, I fell asleep wondering.

Except when I woke up this morning, I realized that the Cat's Cradle thing was our playground activity in 6th grade...but I learned how to knit when I was only 7 years old, and I knit a cardigan for my doll in a 4th grade after school program. So the Cats Cradle games came after.

I wonder what, if anything, came before the first time I picked up yarn and needles at age 7. I'm starting to have images of granny square blankets, and holiday gifts made by my aunt, and sitting and watching my great-grandma fiddling with something, but I'm just not sure.
I wish I could remember.


Seriously, I'd just move along.

The KVETCH---as in, a rant that goes something like, "Can't you people just stay outta may way? My life is difficult enough with ME getting in my OWN way!"

* The State of California has sent me a letter. It was dated Monday 5/10, is postmarked Tuesday 5/11, and I got it late Thursday evening 5/13. It says I am required to appear in their offices at 10am on Tuesday 5/18 (to determine the fate of my insurance coverage) with a whole stack of papers and details that I cannot put together that quickly. The letter says I can call if there is a problem and make other arrangements. I phoned first thing the next morning to say I have a problem (short notice, plus I have a hugely important physical therapy at that exact same time). I got a voicemail telling me to leave a message and they will call me back in two business days. That was Friday. I got no call today, Monday.
Thanks, people.

* MyFK's drama teacher has decided there will be an post-productions cast party this Thursday, which she just announced this afternoon. I know it's still a few days away so I have a chance to wrap my brain around it, but here's the rub: this party of hers is to be held after school from 330pm to 5pm. ALSO HAPPENING THAT NIGHT? Every student from ALL classes are required to show up between 6pm and 730pm WITH parents in tow, to meet in the kids' homeroom so the kids may give an oral presentation about what they have learned this year. If they kids and parents do not show, the kids will fail a simple pass/fail homeroom. So I guess between 5pm and 6pm I am supposed to pick MyFK up after the drama party, drive him home, feed him dinner, make sure he's got his homework done, and get him back for his presentation (which includes dressing up and bringing props).
I should maybe tell you that all of this comes on the heels of her forcing required play rehearsals DAILY the same week that the state tests were taking place. I notified that principal that his letters home about, "Make sure your child is well fed and well rested," were ignored by his own staff. Next year's productions will take place earlier in the year.
Anyhow: Thanks, lady.

* The math teacher, the math department, the school administrators, the school district, and/or the state of California (not sure who to be pissed of at yet, so why not just be annoyed with all of them). This year MyFK is taking 7th grade advanced placement math (Algebra I), and there are two classrooms of 36 kids taking this one. Next year, for the 8th grade advanced placement math (Algebra II), there will only be one classroom of 36. Last Friday there was a surprise test issued (the day after annual State testing was completed--meaning, the day that the kids finally let their guards down after two weeks of stress), and this one test will determine which 36 kids will move forward. What this means is that if even if the student got an "A" in the class all year long, and even got, let's say, a 91% score on this surprise test, if he ranks as student number 37 with his grade on this one pop quiz? He/she will be repeating Algebra I again next year. So I might get to rally and fight this one (energy out), or I will have to spend all of the 2010/2011 school year listening to my kid complain about repeating the work (also energy out). There are a few other ideas I have to make this better, but I need to get some info from the school before I turn into a tornado.
So School folk?? Thanks, to all of you, too.
(*update to this: MyFK thinks he ranked 21 out of 36 and that he is in. I have no written proof yet, though.)

* My immediate dance community. I also feel very restricted by the scheduling issues that keep arising between my co-teachers and fellow performers when it comes to teaching and/or performing. This has been going on for over a year now, over and over again in various forms, and it once again points to the fact that I am overdue in assessing whether or not this is working for me anymore. I'm not as pissed off at my dance-folk as I am at the state or the school folk, but it's still in the same category---but if there was more flexibility and consideration in regards to scheduling coming from my counterparts, I wouldn't be in this place of figuring out if I need to basically redesign my entire creative life. So, Thanks.

There's more, but I'm sick of thinking about it and I'm sick of rambling. Some of these are big deals, some of them are not--I know that. I know that I am just making them big deals. I know I do that. I am the Queen of Doing That.

Now. Tomorrow. Pictures. And we'll just make this all go back to being no big deal.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

close to perfect. but not quite.

This was a really good weekend. A nice day yesterday, and hooo-boy, today was just awesome with the Ravelry Meet-Up and all.

Sadly, it took at turn. I picked up MyFavoriteKid from TheEx at 6pm as was basically greeted with, "I was supposed to do homework while I was at my dad's??"

Um, yah. Let's see. You went with him Friday night directly after you performed in your play, and I am now picking you up Sunday evening, and you packed all your school stuff with you becauuuuuuuse....why??

TheEx is always the party guy. I am always the party pooper.
Hence him being the EX.

Ok, so I was to come home a do some list making for you, but instead I have been keeping my kid on track, and also proof reading an essay he finished, and quite frankly if I have to spend one more goshdarned minute looking at a computer screen, I might lose my mind.

So I am going to tuck him in right now, pop in a dvd, and do some knitting.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

to kvetch or not to kvetch, that is the question

Ahhhh, it's a nice morning here at Casa de AmpuTeeHee!

MyFavoriteKid is off with his dad for the weekend (he left last night with TheEx after the play). TheMostImportantGuy came up and spent the night, so at present he is all tucked in and snoozing away (we chose not to get up at 5:30am to go to the zen center for a change, but instead to get some much needed sleep and practice here). RileyTheDog has already been outside to make sure his buried cookies are safe. The kitties are now out there, too...probably hunting for slow moving cold blooded animals. The snails are in the garden slowly eating up my dinner.

Wait. I don't like that part.
Let us move along, shall we?
This is to be a pleasant morning.

I am sitting here on the sofa, shades pulled up, looking out into my very quiet little neighborhood, watching the fog lift, listening to the birds going about their morning business, sitting here with a nice cup of hot coffee....ahhhh....time to myself and an opportunity to write something decent for a change. The gears in my brain are slowly beginning to grind, and the topics I could and should write about are slowly starting to organize themselves, and what keeps coming to the forefront of my mind....

....are complaints.
Gah. Hate that.

Okay. SO. A week or two ago, was it? I posted about responding to the question, "How are you," as I found I was blurting out things like, "Coffee cup!!" Remember that? (okay, so it was 3-1/2 weeks ago. time flies. here's a link to it).

Anyhow, I don't know if I ever followed up and told you, but after a little bit of a thought, and a whole series of inappropriate tourettes-like responses ("eating cheese!" ..."getting in my car!!"), I finally found a phrase that I could use to answer the How-Are-You question that felt genuine. It went:

I am good. But at the expense of much effort.

Whaddya think? Good one, eh? I think it's great.
Yes! Things are good! Or, alternatively, things are not good, but I have become good with them not being good. But! The good things in my life right now? Or the good attitude I have developed about the not so good things? Dang! I had to put in some serious effort to get it that way!

I like this response. Lots. It suited me. Nobody backed away from me slowly ("buying tomatoes!!"), and I wasn't lying. And it kept me present, in the moment, and in a strange way, appreciative and thankful to myself for my contributed effort towards making this world (ok, my little world) a better place.

Of course nothing lasts forever in this lovely little cauldron of suffering and impermanence we live in now, does it. (gotta love the buddhist description of things, dontcha?)

So I was brewing my cup o' joe this morning, and realizing that if you asked me today, right now, how I was, and I said, "Good. But at the expense of much effort," that this would be incorrect. A lie, actually. I'm not quite sure what the answer is today (or even just this second) but it's probably closer to..

I'm expending much effort, and things are not good, because even though I am expending much effort everyone and everything else is getting in my gosh-danged-mother-frickin-fracking WAY..and now (please) go away and quit raining on my GOOD little personal parade for-cryin-out-loud. SHEESH.

Something like that. Not as elegant a response. To be sure.

Okay, so I have like 18 things in my life right now that are going this way. And so now I write about them? (It's this very question that has me posting something stupid like a quiz or a photo or a link, other words I basically just do nothing or as close as I can get to doing nothing while still keeping up with Blog365). Do I just make a short and sweet list here? Get it out of me so I can blast through the writers block, but restrain from ramping myself up into kvetching mode? Do I just go full-frontal-kvetch on yer arses? A couple paragraphs for each of the 18? Or 18 full page posts in a row? A topic a day? Do I just shut up and post cute photos of the dog and/or little quizzes about what flavor toothpaste you are, and wait until the impermanence-thing kicks in like it always does (which could happen any moment now, umm are ya hearing me out there, life?).

I mean who knows.

*takes another sip of coffee, looks out the window and checks the status of the fog*

List. I think I list. I think the exercise of the day is to play with acknowledging the facts, but not splattering my feelings and opinions all over it. Not sure I can do that. I'm kinda opinionated. And f-f-f-feeeeeling. But yah, a list.

Oooo TheMIG just shuffled out here half asleep, sat next to me, made a little giggle sound and said, "It's fun waking up with cute girls in the house." I think that concludes my typing for now LOL.

I have an afternoon meeting with my co-dance teachers to work on some stuff for our class, but the evening and tomorrow morning are the list, I shall create. And then tomorrow afternoon? It's the San Francisco Ravelry Meet-Up! So Monday I can make the list sorta disappear under a loooong photo heavy post about fun times and fiber-fumes ;-)

Friday, May 14, 2010


Just got home from an evening with MyFavoriteKid and family, because he was in a school play tonight. I got there an hour or so pre-show to bring the kids some healthy snacks to hold them over (they had a rehearsal right after school, and then the play started at 6pm--they were starving).

My mom and dad came, as did TheEX, his brother, and his mother (hail! hail! the gang's all here!). The ExMIL gave MyFK some roses after the show, and the drama teacher gave me a lovely bouquet for helping (I've actually brought snacks for ALL rehearsals).

So the play was a middle school version of Romeo and Juliet. MyFK played Benvolio. Here he is breaking up a fight between Tybalt and one of the Capulets.

Sorry for the fuzzy photo, but the teacher wouldn't allow us to take photos, so I totally snuck this one in by shooting from my lap while pretending to just fiddle with the camera.

There's other stuff to blog about. For sure. But I am beat. I have some free time tomorrow morning though, and my plan is to have a little sit down & type over coffee in the morning.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

super late

Oooboy, it's late! Dance class started an hour and a half earlier than usual tonight. We had a meeting with our students about an end-of-summer student dance concert we are planning. Then we held our regular dance class. And then us co-teachers had another meeting after class to tie up the loose details from the earlier meeting. Add my commute to that, and I didn't get home until 11:30pm. Sheesh.

So all I have to offer you tonight (but this is a pretty great offering) is a link to SMKR (here's yer offensive language warning, because SMKR stands for "Sh&% My Kids Ruined").

I think I have about 27 photos of my own I could submit.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

shiny. new.

TheMostImportantGuy's new car is sooooo shiny & new that we can see ourselves in it ;-)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


I finally finished that little shawl.

My Ravelry Project Page ~ Ravelry Pattern Link
Finished: 5/10
Pattern: Herbivore, by Stephen West
The yarn: The Sanguine Gryphon Bugga!, colorway-Bog Fritillery, 1 skein (with just a few yards left over)
Needles: US 8's; my first project using Addi clicks (love!)

Mr.Darcy helped me block it yesterday.

The pattern was great fun to knit. Easy enough to knit on while chatting or watching a movie, but interesting enough to not be a snooze-fest. There is a whoooole lot of P-TBL's in this pattern (Purling Through the Back of the Loop), which usually kill me. I am happy to report that I have finally found a way to do it that was (for me) more ergonomically sound. My right wrist (which holds 2 metal plates and 11 screws) was very pleased with this new discovery.

I absolutely adored working with this yarn. I am thrilled that I have another skein of it in my stash, and I cannot wait to play with it again. I'm not sure if this particular colorway I used here is really "me", though. I love the color, I'm just not sure how well it goes with my skin tone (especially being so close to my face) or if it works with what's in my wardrobe. I'm not ready to put it in the gift-pile quite yet, though. I'd like to play with it for a bit first. If it doesn't work out, I might knit this again in a lipstick-y red. Hell, even if it does work out I might knit this again in red. It was that much fun to do.

I'm also still tinkering with the best to wear this shawl, with it's interesting points and angles, and all.

I tried it this way:

And that way:

But I think this might be my favorite way to wear it:

(even though you wouldn't know that by looking at my face LOL)

In that last shot, the center point is in the back, and the ends are criss-crossed in front and then tossed over my shoulders. This leaves the two other side increase sections to just lay there in a "I can't be bothered to arrange this" sort of way. And I like it.

When I was playing around and taking pics today, I realized that this colorway matches the little FroggyAsDrummer night light thingy I have in my bedroom.

His body is made of glass and has a small bulb inside, and when he lights up he has a lovely glow.
I have a hunch it might be what drew me to the color in the first place.

Monday, May 10, 2010


from a conversation today with MyFavoriteKid, 7th grade/age 12

Hi, honey! How was your day? What did you do in school today?

MyFavoriteKid: My friends and I decided what school stands for.

Me: Huh?

MyFK: What it means. You know. What the letters stand for.

Me: Oh, ok. Gotcha. So?

MyFK: Seven Crappy Hours Of Our Lives

(sounds like they had a productive day *ahem*)

Sunday, May 09, 2010

moms day

Happy Mother's Day (to all that celebrated in some form or another).

I had a good one:

* MyFavoriteKid gave me a handmade card plus a book he had picked out for me about Zen koans. Good choice ;-)

* TheMostImportantGuy was here...always a treat (he left mid-afternoon to go car shopping, though!).

* My parents came over this morning to join us all for brunch. My mom finally got some of those poached eggs. I got a round or two of mimosas in exchange (she brought the champagne). I had a ShortOrderCookMoment getting the food out. Five of us for breakfast, and not ONE person wanted the same thing on their plate. One poached hard; one poached soft; one with vegetarian sausage instead of prosciutto; one with no garlic or olives and with the remaining components kept separate; and one who would not eat poached eggs at all, so got zucchini frittata instead. Lucky for me I totally love cooking like that. LOVE.

* Spent a good chunk of the afternoon knitting. I'm in the process of binding off that little shawl right now. I will block it tomorrow. Hope that helps some, because the bind-off looks like it's curling :-(

* And spent the evening watching a dvd series I have been sitting on for awhile, "Wives and Daughters" (it's a BBC/PBS masterpiece classics sort of thing--my favorite).

So a nice day for me!
How was yours?

Saturday, May 08, 2010

sort of a snap on saturday

Pink Floyd Laser Show.
But not nearly as much fun as when I went in my 20's.
Most of my 20's were a blur, though (lots of, "Ooooo! shiny!!!!" going on).

Friday, May 07, 2010


Two legged today.
First time in a couple of years.

It's just....big.

So begins the very early stages of acclimating myself, to be sure. You certainly will not see me jogging down the block or tap dancing anytime soon. If it's anything like the last attempt with a prosthesis (I tried a few years ago), I'll still be using crutches for balance for a bit, then I'll drop down to just one crutch, then I'll ditch that for a cane, and then if I can manage it, I'll graduate to, "Look, Ma! No hands!"

Slow and steady.
It wins the race.
(or so they tell me).

I'll take a few pics of the upper part (the socket) this weekend, and tell ya' how it's going. But for now, I gotta go. I have a bunch of figuring out to do. I basically get to relearn how to do everything again. EVERYTHING. Even getting dressed or undressed or using the little girls room or getting in or out of the car...none of that is gonna happen on autopilot for awhile.

I'm up to it. No complaints, even.
But it's still...big!

Thursday, May 06, 2010

short n sweet

In fact, I'm not even here, if you don't mind. I left the teaching of dance class tonight to my co-dance teachers so I could sneak out early, get home, and get to bed. Tomorrow feels huge!

MyFavoriteKid needs to be ON THE BUS for a field trip AT 5:30AM---gah!---so we're gonna be up in the dark.

Then I have to drive into the city (south and west of where I live, by about an hour) for a physical therapy appointment.

And then after that, I have to drive into Napa proper (north of where I live, by about 20-30 minutes) for an appointment with the prosthetist, where if all goes well, I walk out wearing the El Fake-o Leg-o.

Big. Day. All the way around.
So I'm outta here. Bedtime!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

ladies and gentlemen...

...the one...the only....

...strawberry in my garden.

I've been watching it get a little bit more color every day. I see green ones growing nearby, but I never can seem to get enough ripe at the same time to really make a difference. And sometimes they just seem to disappear. Today I figured out why I only ever have...the one...the only...strawberry in my garden.

That one you see in the photo there? I caught the dog licking it about 2 minutes after I took that photo.


Tuesday, May 04, 2010

ppjills! get yer ppjills!

Like most folks (?), I get plenty of spam advertising all sorts of happy pills. Most of it does get filtered out, but when I scan my junk mail box every few days checking for real emails that might have gone astray, usually there is a SpammySubjectLine or two that catches my eye and causes me to fall into a teary eyed ball of laughter.

Here's today's ha-ha:

do not mock at your pooteency - bjuyj VjaqrRa Ppjills‏

Hmmm. Maybe their Ppjills help you with your tiny farting problems??

Monday, May 03, 2010

fail? didnt feel like fail.

MissDonnaOfTheChaos and I played "Ladies Who Lunch" today. Yay!

She and I are both doing our own versions of being a bit more mindful of what we eat these days, but we also knew full well that we were ditching that entirely when we planned our lunch date to be at Rudy's Can't Fail Cafe . Rudy's is one of those places where you open your mouth and say ahhh, and a slice of meatloaf or chicken fried steak just sorta gets shoveled in your pie hole (so maybe for people like MsChaos and MsAmpuTeeHee it should be renamed Rudy's FAIL Cafe--hahaha).

In fact, when MsChaos opened her menu, she flipped right past the whole first page and said something like, "I didn't come here for a f*%#ing salad," (she probably didn't curse, though LOL). And I was in total agreement.

We got what we wanted and we totally enjoyed it. She had her burger but left pretty much her entire order of french fries on the plate. I got a BLT with Avocado, but did the side salad, and took half the sandwich home for dinner.
And we passed on dessert.

Food was good, company was great.
Good times. Love getting out with friends. :-)

Sunday, May 02, 2010

the weekend. bullet style.

Friday (night):
* MyFavoriteKid had a buddy over after school 'til about 9pm. Cooked them up a nice dinner, and they had a blast goofing around with the video games. Friend would have stayed over, but it was MyFK's weekend with his dad, and the pick-up happened right after the friend left.
* TheMostImportantGuy came in Friday night, too. That's what that yummy asparagus salad was all about, plus the rest of the meal, and then we watched some comedy shows and I set him up with a tub to soak his feet in. He'd had a hard week. Needed to shift into weekend mode toot-sweet.
* Early bedtime, actually. Nice :-)

* I got up at the butt-crack of dawn and headed out to the zen center for meditation practice. TheMIG slept in a bit later and he drove up to visit his family.
* After the zen center and breakfast out with some of the folks there, I popped into A Verb For Keeping Warm. I was going there (I swear it) just to drop off one of those dog fence/playpen things for her adorable dog and/or angora bunny to use. I had picked it up for Riley to use for when I'd take him camping, but the first time I stuck him in it, he jumped right up and over and out. So much for that.
* I ended up walking out of there with a bulky plyer flyer head for my spinning wheel (*kachink*).
* And maybe a wee little bit of fiber to spin.
* And a signed copy (since I sadly had to miss the signing party held there earlier) of Rachael Herron's (aka YarnAGoGo's) book: How to Knit a Love Song.
* Came home and didn't spin (oddly enough), but read. Like, half the book.
* Drove out to a big mall, meeting TheMIG there as he was rolling back into town from seeing his folks, to look at buying a new fridge.
* Almost bought one.
* Sears has one f*&$'d up delivery procedure, and I couldn't figure out how to make it work (they want to set a date with you 3 weeks in advance, but do not want to commit to a timeframe until they call the night before--?!). I pretty much wheeled out of there with smoke coming out from behind my wheelchair, I was going so fast....and steam coming out of my ears.
* Date night after that made up for it :-) Definitely.

* Up early, read more of the book. Lots more.
* Tried out those new egg poaching cups. I don't love them as much as my pan, but I think they'll be great for when I need to make a large batch. The eggs do take longer to cook in the cups than the pan, though. Metal v. silicone, I guess.
* Headed out to an early tech rehearsal for a show I was dancing in later in the afternoon.
* Went out for lunch in between the rehearsal and the show. Read more of the book. Had mexican food and a margarita.
* Went back to perform and it didn't take too long to realize that a belly full of mexican food does not make for good belly dancing. Duh.
* Picked up MyFK from his dad's on the way home, and in between spending tiem with him and doing a few chores around here, read more of the book every chance I could squeeze in a few pages.
* Now I have posted for the day.
* And NOW I need to go finish the book. I'm close. Only a couple of chapters away. I didn't even expect to like it, to be honest with you. It's a romance novel. I just don't do that sort of reading normally. But what is not to love about this sort of romance novel. There is yarn, spinning wheels, knitting folk, alpacas and sheep---AND A HOT COWBOY yeehaw! :-)
It's been quite the enjoyable read, actually.

So now I go finish it!!

Saturday, May 01, 2010

sort of a snap on saturday

Colorful egg poaching cups.

My mom has mentioned a couple of times that she saw that post I put up about the poached eggs and my fancy pan (hint-hint). I'm going to do it on Mother's Day, but there will be five of us, and the pan only holds four I bought these silicone egg poaching cups. I'm going to test them out tomorrow.

For the record, I do know how to poach eggs in just a regular ol' pan of simmering water (two years of culinary school--one should hope I know how to do it LOL).

It's just that I'm a bit of a GadgeJunkie.

And I'm a slacker when it comes to scrubbing pans.