Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Chasing Rainbows

I have this issue with hoarding rainbow self-striping or variegated sock yarn. I get so excited and happy and I grab it, and eventually it occurs to me how very much I've acquired. Look at my damn stash.

So my big goal for 2010, as chronicled by the tag "chasing rainbows," will be to actually use this stuff. Right now, I have that big ball of Kauni working up into the lengthwise scarf, which is also coming along well:

I applied for a couple more jobs today and set up an interview for another subbing gig tomorrow. Then, I'm venturing into the Old Port for lunch with friends. Horrific time of year to attempt that but oh well. Better get my quarters ready for the parking meters.

I've been listening to Robbie Williams all day. His voice is so sexy. I'm thinking about picking up some used CDs of his on Amazon, but I just can't justify any extra expenses for a long time. I can listen to full tracks on last.fm for a while. Eventually, I'll suck it up and buy a CD so I can have something different to listen to in my car. I think it's getting sick of Electric Six and the mix CD I made last month. On the plus side, I always end up pulling into an elementary school blasting Beastie Boys' "Sabotage."

Monday, December 21, 2009

Destash my life, 12/20

* One bathing suit
* 3 pairs of sandals - including two pairs I've attempted to toss at least three times and always stop
* 7 pairs of socks (not the knitted kind, of course)
* a very trashy skirt
* A CD ROM game of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire
* A huge hippie skirt. I dearly love the color of it but it's just too big in the waist and not professional enough for work but too billowy to wear around the house
* Stuffed some more papers into the recycle bag
* Cleaned out a medicine bag from college and threw out three things that had expired between 3 months and 3 years ago. Also rediscovered some lotion, hair products, and bath products I had no idea I had.

There may be more in the pile but I can't remember. Every once in a while, during a break in a football game, I'd open a trunk or a drawer and pick out some stuff to toss. Since I'm back to work on applying to grad school and moving out, I want to have less stuff in my way. One of the major hurdles would be cleaning out the junk I have in the shed. It's not just that it's cold and the shed is crowded, but there may be assorted mouse heads in there. Yeah. Lovely. Mice have been getting into the shed, so my grandmother has been putting glue traps to get them. She got one on there, but when she picked up the trap with a shovel, she alleges the head fell off. I am never going in there again.

I spent the entire day watching football, knitting a new scarf (a lengthwise rainbow scarf made with Kauni Effektgarn EQ), and texting my friend Raj about football. It was a perfect day. 4 cups of tea, a cup of cocoa, a hard cider, made my own mini pizza, watched some killer games, really solidified a new friendship, and started in on yarn I bought over a year ago. I'd call it a very successful day.

It's 1 am, so I better think about packing it in (if I ever get to the end of this row) and go to bed to read. Goodnight!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


I had to make a pom pom today. I don't have a pom pom maker. I don't even have cardboard. I folded up a Webs catalog cover. And it's the best pom pom I've ever made. Fuck yeah. I'll take a pic tomorrow, assuming I feel like digging out my photo equipment. And when I say "photo equipment," I mean a white piece of foam core, a camera, and a USB cord.

To make pom poms in the past, I've folded up duct tape and cut it into the shape of a circle once it was as thick as cardboard. I couldn't even invest THAT amount of effort today. That said, Jeremy is gonna love this hat. Or else I'll strangle him with it. Nah, it was wicked easy. Look at all that stockinette. I strongly question the "k2tog across" school of hat decreases, and I'm not huge on what it did here, but I guess it wouldn't make sense to have my usual 8 decrease spiral here - the decreases need to be invisible. Now, I wish I had access to my ex boyfriend's Firefly discs so I could watch it while I celebrate getting this hat done. I'm kind of astounded by my own skills (humility is my strong suit) putting this together. It looks perfect. Totally accurate. It's sort of striking in its ugliness, too. I think I did Ma Cobb proud on this one.

I'm back to work on my Toni sweater. I've bitched out and decided to look into a professional finisher. I just don't trust myself to put this thing together competently. I think if I devoted a long, long time to it, and tried not to get too discouraged, it could happen, but I just feel like it's better in someone else's hands. At least then I know it'll come out wearable. I guess my anxiety goes back to Lina making fun of my seaming in college. Thanks, Lina. Way to endear yourself to the other knitter in the dorm. But, needless to say, when there was a knitting group in that dorm before Mary went to Germany and Sarah graduated, I didn't blend in too well, if you haven't figured that out from all my swearing and debauchery. And the fact that I knitted a thong. And showed it to a girl that used to ask us if we wanted to go to church with her. Were it not for LSG, I'd think I was the strangest knitter on earth.

I'd forgotten how nice so many of the patterns in Mirasol Book 5 are. Maybe I'll actually make another one of them after I get some projects out of the way after this sweater. My sweater yarn stash watches me sleep every night and begs me to do something with it. At least I was smart enough to keep the sock yarn hidden in the closet.

Destash my life updates:
* Finished a few more sample bags of tea - getting scarily low on good tea.
* Sent out lots of sock scraps
* Mailed out the charity blanket I had long ago finished as well as one that was in progress, plus many squares I hadn't attached yet. It's someone else's problem now. They're going to finish it and give it to their charity and I don't have to feel bad about having a WIP on my sidebar here that I have no intention of ever working on.
* A book I read, a sweater that's kind of bleh, a shirt I'm not in love with

Monday, December 14, 2009

It's almost over.

I just have to finish this neckwarmer for my aunt, then do Jeremy's hat, which is mostly, mercifully, stockinette ITR, then I can finally get back to the stuff I want to make for myself. My grandmother wants something knitted, but it's not going to happen. I don't have yarn in the colors she wants, she doesn't want socks, and she doesn't wear the 2 scarves I already made her, so why would I make another? Oh, and she wants one made of black fun fur. No.

The neckwarmer's grown by a full repeat since this picture, but here's an idea of what I'm doing:

I'm hoping to have enough white yarn to get through it. It's looking better than I thought earlier, but I'm always concerned about this stuff. After the gifts, I'll finish my sweater, which just needs half a sleeve and then the assembly. Then, I'll either make a hat with some fingering weight yarn or an Ishbel with either Neptun or Baristo Wollmeise. But it'll be a while before I have to make that decision.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Oh, and.

H1N1 - an excuse for adventure

I found out last night about a free clinic for H1N1 shots that I actually qualify for (they usually only take preschoolers or other groups I can't pass for) but it happened to be in Portland. My grandmother has been trying to convince me that that's JUST TOO HARD for me - I don't know the magic number of trips to the post office I have to take before I'm good enough to drive to Portland. I also go back and forth about if I really need this vaccine. It's not like I even leave the house enough to get exposed to it in the first place. I wrote down the directions last night and decided to play it by ear today, rather than plan to get up at 7 am and wait outside for hours in 20-30 degree weather. To hell with that.

I decided to see what things were like at the health center when I got up today, so at 10 I called and asked if there was still vaccine and if there was a huge line. They said there was plenty and not much of a wait, so I got ready to go right away. My grandmother tried to give me directions, but I decided to stick with google maps. Her directions turned out to be wrong. Score one for me. I had no problem getting on 295. I even got stuck behind someone that kept putting on their brakes for no apparent reason and I didn't feel safe behind them, so I PASSED THEM. Then I got stuck behind a slow moving truck (not a tractor trailer, but not a pickup - like a delivery truck) so I PASSED THAT. How empowering.

I followed my directions and used what I remembered from zooming in on the map and I got to the place with no problem. I wasn't able to park there so I went around the corner. I ended parallel parking going downhill in Portland. SUCCESSFULLY. Apparently you do use that skill again. I got in, filled out my paperwork, and only had to wait in line for a couple minutes. An old man talked to me. I got my shot and was out of the room in a matter of seconds. At first they wanted to give me the nasal spray, but my cold got me out of that. Yes, I prefer a needle to nasal spray. I had to sit and wait 15 minutes to make sure I didn't develop Guillame-Barre syndrome (nice) - I think I lasted 10 minutes before I claimed I'd been there long enough and left. I'm impressed I lasted that long before I needed fresh air. The old man was talking to me again, though, and that was distracting.

I found my car, and just as I was getting in, the person I had parallel parked behind left, so all I had to do was pull forward. Doesn't get luckier than that. I decided to meet my mom at the hotel, and then I had to figure out how to get there. I have no idea how I got there, honestly. I just followed Forest Ave for a really long time, then saw a sign for Westbrook, so I took that left, thinking it sounded familiar. Then I saw Joker's and knew I was in the right area. Sadly, what confirmed I was in the right spot was seeing the strip club. I met my mom there and I had a big lunch, courtesy of her - a fried haddock sandwich with a pickle and french fries, soda, hot chocolate, and a super-heavy peanut butter pie. It was awesome. I had a lot of fun - it was kind of cool eating by myself in the restaurant, too. I just read my book (Upton Sinclair's The Jungle - a real uplifting one) and enjoyed myself. We were able to sit and talk when she had free time after the lunch rush.

I was there for two hours and decided since I was out of the house anyways, I might as well go Christmas shopping. I was going to take the turnpike, but I ended up going North instead of South and ended up in Falmouth. I was concerned when I saw signs for Topsham. And then it was snowing, to just make this even better. But at least it was just light and brief. And at least I knew enough to get off in Falmouth. So I ended up in the center of Falmouth. I could have just gone home, but I'd already sold myself on going to the mall. So I kept going through Falmouth, got on 295 once I got into Portland, and went to the mall. It was an easy ride out there. I did some lane-changing when I figured out which lane was better and I did a great job. I realize none of this makes any sense to you if you're not from Maine, but trust me, I took the extremely roundabout way of getting there. I went to Michael's first because I've promised my friend Jeremy a hat and I remembered I had a gift card there. I got the yarn. I forgot to use the card. Also, wow, it sucks parking out there. But not as much as it sucks driving that strip from the mall to the store. I could have walked faster. Much faster. At least I had a lot of CDs.

I decided to go to the mall, if only to say I've gone to the mall by myself, and got back on the road. Getting back to the mall is much faster than getting away from it. I parked between Longhorn Steakhouse and Macy's. When I walked into Macy's, I felt like a new woman. I had gone to the mall alone. It's such an amazing feeling, knowing what I just did all by myself, and that I can take my time and go wherever I want and no one cares. I hung around the mall for a while and got some presents, then decided to go check out the new Wal-Mart to get a gift card for my grandmother. Sure, I could have done this in Falmouth (near where I live). But this one is big and new. And I could have gone there the first time I went down that way. But I hadn't thought of it yet.

This took FOREVER. The traffic was much worse by that point and I was stuck there so long. But I had my mix CDs and the radio to keep me occupied and I was enjoying myself. The new Wal-Mart, incidentally, is not worth this trouble. It's a large Wal-Mart. Where Tide is almost $14. To hell with that. But I did get the gift card.

I opted to go home after that, since, you know, I was out of places to go. So yes, I left the mall at 4:30. That's fun. And I had to get on 295 on this new loop that looks absolutely terrifying. I've never ever done that before. Since it looks terrifying. But it's not like I had a choice - just take a deep breath and do it. And I did. And it was fine. I got home about 5:00, rushed my presents up into my bedroom closet, and now I can just hang out and work on a scarf I'm making for a gift, knowing all my other shopping is done. I had an AWESOME day. I feel like such a grown up. And I feel like I know a hell of a lot more about driving than I had let myself realize. I navigated Portland, compensated for not being able to park somewhere, PARALLEL PARKED, merged, passed, and drove fast. It was fantastic.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

I'm Jenna's car, and I'm a Night Elf Mohawk

Parts of car ownership that are awesome:

Getting to go to work by myself
Not having to walk home 45 minutes when it's freezing cold/raining/I don't feel well/I got three hours of sleep last night because I wasn't counting on getting the 6 am call
Being able to work in more places
Pumping "Sabotage" on my CD player as I pull into the elementary school I'm working at that day
Using a drive-through or going to three grocery stores BECAUSE I CAN

Parts of car ownership that totally suck ass:

Scraping ice
Brushing snow
Parking bans

So it's winter in Maine. I probably should have expected this would be a problem. There's kind of a little history of snowy weather here. Because this miserable goddamn motherfucking snowstorm, I lost the day of subbing I was scheduled for. I'm not scheduled for anything else in either of my districts this week, so chances are, the way it works out, I'd have made more money if I hadn't worked when I did on Monday and Tuesday and just gotten my unemployment for th week. So essentially, I just paid $70 to be sworn at and get Legos thrown in my face. That's nice.

Since it's been snowing All. Damn. Day. there's a little bit of a pileup on my car. As in, I had no idea my car was underneath the snow. Because the parking lot isn't plowed, I'm nearly knee deep in snow (thank god for my Uggs which I got for $4.50 through a perfect storm of gift certificates and discounts - though I think the original price was only $180 - wtf ebay?) trying to reach across the car to get all the snow I couldn't reach. Since I had brushed it off the sides and still had the middle left to attempt, my car was looking pretty punk rock with its mohawk.

It's down to rain now, which will probably become freezing rain. Good God, I hate winter.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009


I finally got a day of subbing today. It was teacher subbing, so it wasn't as high pay, but it was for a special ed teacher, so I didn't have the pressure of being in front of a classroom. I don't know why I keep begging for that - it's just for the sake of the money/getting out of the house, I guess.

I enjoy subbing for this teacher because half the time, when she has to work with multiple kids at once, one doesn't show, she has a nice long lunch period, there's computers in the learning center so I can go online in my downtime, and there's even a prep period. I don't have anything to prep, since I'm just there to make sure no one sets any fires, so I get to chill out and amuse myself. Sometimes I knit, sometimes I go online. Today, I had brought my current book, One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. It's pretty good. And a nice departure from the silly stuff I've been reading (the kind of stuff I get at "fill a bag for a dollar" day at the Clam Festival). I didn't get any reading done, though. I had brought a job application for tomorrow's interview to fill out during my down time. Admittedly, some of that down time was while my students were doing math. And God, I hate when companies do that, insist you fill out the exact same info from your resume on another form. I had a bank do that when I got to the interview and wouldn't talk to me until I had done so. The best part? I was literally filling in the exact same form that I had submitted to them online. I haven't gotten a call back about that interview. It was Summer of 2008. I guess I didn't get it.

Since I was already in "be proactive about your semi-employment" mode, I used my break times to jump on the computers and look for jobs. I decided to apply for two ed tech jobs. One is at a fairly nearby school, though I've heard it's nothing I'd want since the kids are very low-functioning. At least I can amuse myself by trying. Another one isn't as nearby as I'd like, but if it's "drive an extra ten minutes more than I'd like" or "not have a job," it's not really a choice any more. I also remembered there's this Maine career center job bank online and got back on for the first time in a long time. Oh, sweet hilarity. When you look at a job, one of the first things you see is a box for if it requires a driver's license. And the one I jumped on did not. I am hoping with all of my heart for it - a liaison between state and partner agencies on domestic violence through Child Protective Services. I want this more than breathing. Awesome salary, very rewarding, challenging.

Problem: there is a very reasonable chance I'll be hired at tomorrow's interview. I don't want this job. It's one of those "if I have to, this will do" jobs (see also: pharmacy technician at the hellhole) but it is NOT my preference at all. But I can't count on the CPS job. I can't even count on subbing. But if I accept the job and hate it, I can't quit, because I won't qualify for unemployment. I realize that I should expect a place called "______ Home Health" would require in-home care, but honestly, the posting was fairly vague, and I applied so long ago that this might not even be the same job. I'll go to the interview (which screws me out of a day of subbing because it's at 1 pm) and I'll put on a good face, but I won't hesitate to ask questions about what I'm really getting myself into. Who knows, hopefully the pay will suck and that will make it that much easier to say no.

woo hoo!

Thanks, Robyn, for teaching me how to add buttons to the bottom of my posts! Look, I made a mini Ravelry. This was as "original" as I could get. I'll think of something better later.

I finished a neckwarmer for my aunt and some socks that were almost done and now I'm starting some fingerless gloves for a friend with leftover yarn. It uses up scraps, makes me a good friend, and is an easy pattern. Hooray.

Don't feel like posting too much more tonight - I'm in more of a work mood than a writing mood.