Thursday, March 29, 2007

This blog post might be sort of an over-share.


So I went to the Doctor today, on my fourth day of illness, and the medical assistant did a throat culture. She was really nice, and talked me through it so that I didn't barf at the end, which is what I usually do. And, good news! It's not strep throat. The Dr. thinks it's viral, and he said he's seen it with several people in the last week. Apparently, it is characterized by a sore throat caused by post-nasal drip (ewwwwwwwww!), and it will either go away in a few days or it will somehow morph itself into a sinus infection. (Which is bacterial...I don't get it.) So he gave me samples (yay!) of some prescription strength decongestents whose distributer probably took him out for golf, and he also gave me a script for some antibiotics "just in case." He also tried to give me a prescription for Diflucan as a "just in case" for the "just in case" antibiotics, but I firmly drew the line there.

***I considered taking a cell phone picture of my throat (like Tyler did a thousand times after her tonsilectomy), for an illustration here, but I didn't. You should be grateful.***

So the moral of the story is, I'm not dying, and you probably won't either, although I feel really bad for getting you sick. We have what's known in the medical community as a "cold," but if you go to the doctor they will probably stick a q-tip down your throat and say some medical jargon. The good news is, I only paid $15 for my visit and came out with probably about $50 worth of prescription medications. Anyone wanna start a meth lab? (j/k, DEA agents reading my blog! rotflmao!)

I'm sorry you're so busy with work. I hate it when I'm too stressed out to knit. But knitting, while relaxing in many ways, is also a time and energy-consuming hobby, and if you can't concentrate on it, it's going to get really frustrating. Which is why I think it's totally normal and okay to stop knitting for a month or 2 at a time. I myself probably shouldn't have been knitting, for instance, the last 2 nights in a row where I basically knit, unravelled, and re-knit the last 4 rows of "section one" of Mr. Argosy over and over because I got confused, or lost count, or was taking the 'quil. (that's Nyquil, in case you were confused. I'm still kind of on the 'quil.)

I've actually decided to give the Argosy Wrap to my grandmother who, as you know, was just diagnosed with uterine cancer. She will be having surgery soon, so I want to have something finished that I can send to her afterwards.

Pictures soon!

Love, Brax

It had better be allergies and overwork.

Hey Braxie,
I am not feeling well, so I hope to high heaven that I haven't picked up your doom virus. But I guess even if I did I won't be too mad, because it was really fun to hang out with you and make a Redwall Feast. And to drink million dollar margeritas with you and get to see your Argosy Wrap, which is lookin great.

I haven't been knitting at all. Barely a stitch all week. It has just been crazytown busy. I have to send a whole crop of letters to congress by the end of the week, when they go on recess. So I worked on my day off, and I worked from home last night. I got a ton of it done via a new process called "e-mail," which I hear is taking the world by storm. I still have some of it to do, but I feel on top of it. So I took a half day today, for the sake of my well being. But I didn't knit...I read books and did the dishes.

Next week is looking hectic too. The in-laws are coming to visit. (The phrase "in-law" always reminds me of the Disney version of Robin Hood, when Robin Hood marries Maid Marian and the king is like "Now I have an outlaw....for an INLAW!") Anyway. They're coming, which will be nice. But I also have contracted Itgirl and Ellie to help me whip my office into shape. And the office cleaning overlaps with a class I am supposed to teach. But I am thinking I need to postpone the class because my life is not agreeing with my class schedule. Mostly, I keep wanting to shop in order to create artificial serenity.

This weekend I will do some finishing and ripping back and get my knitting back on track. My next project is a Mission Falls blanket. I bought 12 balls of 1824 Wool in 12 different colors. (This whole idea took shape because I loved the colors and wanted to use them all.) I intend to do 2 squares of each color, all in different stitch patterns, and I intend to work on it for the next 100 years. I think it will be fun to always have a square in my basket, so I can whip it out whenever I am getting frustrated or bored with a bigger project. Also, it might help me with my seaming-phobia. There will be a lot of seaming involved, but I plan to do it little by little, and since it is just for the couch and it doesn't have to fit, there is no pressure. I am excited about it.
Anyway. I should probably do Pft.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Sick Day

*The following was written yesterday in a fit of fever:

Smell Bruce,

As you know, I am ill. My throat is hurty, and I have a fever, and coughing hurts my head. Therefore, I decided to stay home and wallow in it and watch daytime TV. I watched that episode of the Golden Girls where Sophia talks Dorothy into doing Meals on Wheels, and she meets Leon from Roseanne, who hasn't left his apartment since the Sixties. Of course, Dorothy tries to get Leon to leave the apartment and live his life, but things keep happening, like when he went to the grocery store and he was the millionth customer, and all these balloons dropped and sirens went off. Whoops!! Hilarity ensued. People with anxiety are funny.

Then, I turned on animal planet...I know, bad idea! I found a show called "Animal Miracles," which has stories of animals helping people told in re-enactments. The episode I watched had the story of a lady who was having a "wall fire" (where a fireball apparently builds up behind your wall and your smoke detectors don't go off to warn you), and her 3 birds freaked out and woke her up. There was also the story of a cat in a hospice home who became really attatched to this patient in the final stages of lung cancer. The man was a cat lover, and had to leave all his cats to come to the hospice, and the cat would just hang out on the man's bed all day. And when he went into respitory distress, the cat ran and woke up his wife and daughter, and the cat stayed with him until he died. I LOST it, lost it like I was watching the end of "It's a Wonderful Life."

"To George Baily, the richest man in town!"

I've also been working diligently on Argosy Wrap, but I won't post pictures right now because Oscar keeps attacking my butt when i sit in this chair. Stop blogging right now and pet me! He's such a jerk.


Friday, March 23, 2007

oh yeah

Hey Braxie!
I was working at the ol' yarn store today, and I want you to know that a lady who raises alpacas came in and showed me photos of her alpacas! They were so cute. And she told me all about how she has just sheared them and their wool is at the spinner's right now. I am jealous. I can't wait til we get our own alpaca farm.
Visualize you and me and alpacas.

catch the fever

Braxasaurus Rex,
I've got the spring fever! I love spring!! It is beautiful, perfect weather here. I think it might rain a little today, but it will be one of those sweet little spring rains that smells good.

Last night was funny. The ol' ball and chain was---wait for it---watching the game at a bar. That's right. He came home destroyed and passed out on the couch with all his clothes on, and while I was trying to sleep I kept having to get up and go out to the living room and punch him in the head so he would stop snoring like a freaking antique tractor. Then I felt bad for punching him in the head, so I covered him with a blanket and turned off the lights and stuff.

I have been rereading Women's Bodies Women's Wisdom, which I haven't read since I was about 19. I understand it in a whole different way now, and I am so glad I decided to pick it back up. I had forgotton so much of it, and it is a really valuable book. As I read, I keep wanting to give it to every woman I know, and men too. There is so much there that is so revolutionary, and can change the way you look at the world. It is improving the quality of my life as I read it.

I am excited that you are coming to DC this weekend. We will drink beer.

And I know you are feeling a little bit citified, as am I, so here is your Rural Ohio Spring Fix:


p.s. Big Lefty looks great!!!

Manos vs. Malabrigo


As you can see, I finally re-knit "big lefty" into a much smaller lefty. I think I was concentrating so hard on knitting a tighter gauge that I actually made him a bit smaller than the right hand glove. Oh, well. It's not as noticable as before, and I can totally fix it by blocking. If I decide to actually block something for once.

I decided that for Mother's Day, I'm going to knit my mom the Argosy Wrap, which is based off of the Argosy Scarf of Winter Knitty fame. There's just something about that Argosy pattern. It touches people, in a way they haven't been touched since the almighty Clapotis. Instead of using Noro, I decided to use Malabrigo. I've only knitted with it once in my whole life, but it's a totally unforgettable yarn. People compare it to Manos de Uruguay because of the color variegation, but I think it's an unfair comparison.
As you know, I personally am anti-Manos. I have knitted several items with Manos de Uruguay, and they have all gotten pilly and/or fallen apart in the last year. Also, Malabrigo is much softer, and spun really well, and holds up. Manos is more scratchy, and the yarn goes from bulky in some spots to thin-as-thread in other spots. It feels to me like it's held together with spit in some places. And while I'm okay with it if I have to do it during a project, I'm not okay with paying someone else to do it.
So anyways, I had to order the Malabrigo from the internet, and I actually ended up ordering from Lambikins in Hamilton! Ohio. Small world. I picked a color which looked sort of blue-green on the internet, but I figured it would turn out a little greener in person (because "verdes" is in the name). Boy did it ever! I had trouble capturing the greeniness on camera, but here's the closest I came:

So greeeeen! I think she'll like it.

See you tomorrow!


Thursday, March 22, 2007

Sometimes capitol hill is a fun place. Thanks, Barb.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

A big socialist/musician/farmer in a handknit sweater

As promised, there's my old dad. Check him out, he's a handsome man! Handknits really suit him, don't you think? (It is too bad there is not a little more light so you can see the sweater better, but whatever. It's Karabella soft tweed in stockinette, and I think it's lovely. Also, it fits him, which is an improvement over its first incarnation.)

Hangovers and shopping

*I wrote this post on Sunday, but I couldn't post it until now.


Last week was sort of a bad one at work. Therefore, it was fortunate..."lucky" if you will, that yesterday was St. Patrick's day. I'm somewhat amazed that even though I'm little older and a tiny bit wiser, even though I work at a professional job and don't really know anyone in this city, I managed to get hammered last night. It wasn't my finest moment...I basically invited myself out with a girl I'm friends with and all her friends who were at a bar. As all bars in Toledo seem to be, it was located about 20 minutes away from my apartment and was situated in a strip mall.

Abby, my friend, is totally awesome and really fun. But I am so out of my element every time I hang out with her. She is friends with like two girls, and the rest of her friends are straight guys. This is totally foreign to me! Also, I have a really huge problem remembering average, white straight guys. I have no memory for their faces...they all blend into one another, as do their Abercrombie and Fitch shirts. And don't even get me started on their names! There is a reason I have slept with 4 Daves in my life. 99% of men seem to share about 8 names!!

I don't say all of this to be mean or anything. I've grown up a lot in the past few years, and I have absolutely no problem with guys like this (provided they don't say anything overtly homophobic or sexist)...I can totally carry on a conversation. But I have no interest in sleeping with them, making out with them, flirting at all with them, etc., and I think this aspect of my personality really shines through when I'm introduced. Because of it, I am totally forgettable to them and they are totally forgettable to me. Therefore, every time I go out with Abby, I end up mostly talking to her in a really crowded sports bar in a strip mall, standing against the wall equidistant from the bathroom and the bar, surrounded by these "dude" guys who are trying to hit on her. And I introduce myself to them over and over, each time I run into them (whoops!). This whole social situation has made me feel like I'm: a. completely asexual, and b. a very socially awkward person.

So, I woke up this afternoon and decided to go buy a pretty dress...because I don't know if you've heard or not, but I'm taking a business trip to D.C. this weekend, and I haven't shopped for clothes in awhile. I decided to go to Target, because they are pretty much the cheapest option. However, as I learned today (for perhaps the millionth time), cheap clothes come at a heavy price.

2:30pm: Enter local Target store, grab a shopping cart (first mistake). Head directly for women's clothing. Choose several different dresses to try on.
2:36pm: Make my way towards dressing rooms, passing through the "professional" clothing section. Decide to choose several pairs of pants to also try on, seeing as how I only own one pair I can wear to work. Also choose several Businesswoman tops so I can fully appreciate the pants I will be trying on.
2:38-2:45pm: Because the Target dressing rooms have a six-item limit, two dressing room trips are necessary. I try on several unflattering cuts of size 14 pants and dresses, amidst screaming teenage girls and their mothers trying on bathing suits. One young teenaged girl laments that she needs her bikini bottoms to me a size Medium instead of a Small this year. A nine year old in the dressing room next to me actually begins rolling around on the floor and screaming because her mother won't let her get a two-piece.
2:50pm: Deciding finally on a dress and a pair of pants, I decide to head over to the "sporting goods" section to see if they have any hand weights I can use during stepaerobics.
2:52pm: Oooh! Housewares! I just love these soy candles... really? There's a fragrence called "cut grass?"
2:58pm: Wow, I can't afford NOT to buy these picture frames!
3:05pm: I wonder if they have "When Harry Met Sally" on DVD? My tape is completely worn down.

...and so on. Suffice it to say, my $25 dress paled in comparison to the $50 I spent on a whole bunch of worthless crap. I blame it all on the hangover.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Oh Holy Heaven

Look, I'm in love and nothing, I say nothing can tear us apart.

I was working at the store today and some big brown boxes came. An old yarn-rustler like me has seen it all, so I was not curious. But when I opened them up, my heart fell out. It fell right out and landed in a fluffy gorgeous bed of 100% virgin wool, which feels not like wool, but like glorious, otherworldly fuzz. Twinkle Soft Chunky!! Where have you been all my life? A photo can't do it justice, you have to just track some down in person, look at it, and feel it, feeeeeeeeeel it.

We also got the Twinkle book, which after a cursory glance, I am totally into. If Wenlan Chia can make 2 stitches per inch look sexy and stylish, then she gets the Bruce Chocolate and Beer Award. (This is an award I just made up. I feel that I should have my own award.) I think I will make every cardigan in this book, each one in a different color of Twinkle Soft Chunky. This will only take me a few days at 2 stitches per inch, and then I will just swoosh all over town in my sexy sexy bulky knits, looking fabulous. Then I am pretty sure I will get discovered, and be offered a high-fashion plus-size modeling gig, and everyone will want to touch my soft, otherworldly sweaters, and soon all the models will be gaining 40 lbs and rocking hairy pits, because me and my sweaters will be serious trend setters.

Yeah. Anyway. Like I said, I'm in love.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Happy Ides of March

Brucie, that a real greeting? I'm making it one!

Sorry I have been slacking in the blog department. My internet connection hasn't been the best. But that's all behind us now, and I'm coming to visit in exactly 9 days, and (hopefully) Alena will be there too! Hooray!! We're gonna have so much fun, and make so many drunk dials to senior officials in the Bush administration.....

"Hey Rovey! I was just calling to see if I could borrow your favorite outfit! Call me back."

I have a cat-a-day calendar on my desk, and today's cat has 7 toes on each front paw. It's creepy. And the scary part is, I think I saw the same cat on Stuff on my cat! I'm more than a little bit disturbed by the fact that I seem to be at the point in my crazy cat lady-ness that I recognize stranger's cats from the internet. On the other hand, that cat's thumbs are pretty scary looking, like evolution is speeding up. Just saying.

Also, not to complain about the weather in one more post, but what the fuck? It was in the 60s and (gasp) 70s the last two days, and I woke up this morning to a snow-covered car. I guess this is winter's last chance to stick it to us before next Wednesday. But still! No wonder I had a massive headache all day yesterday. Well, that and because I was trying to cut back on coffee and I limited myself to just one cup. I'm never making that mistake again, no sir.

In knitting news, remember that post I made where I freaked out about gague? Turns out my gague isn't huge per se, it just fluctuates wildly from one project to the next...or, as the case may be, from the left hand glove to the right hand glove.

That's right. It's not a camera trick. I have since unraveled "big lefty," and he's now a little ball of yarn. Maybe I'll finish this pair of gloves in time for one last morning of scraping snow off my car. Maybe.


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

New York City

I went to visit Alena this weekend! It was so fun. And do you know what? I forgot to take a single photograph the entire time. So Here is what we did: We went out drinking. We went to a nice dinner. We went to Central Park (I love central park!). We walked across the Brooklyn Bridge (how cool is the Brooklyn Bridge? It is cool). We shopped. And two other important things happened:
1) We went to see this exhibit. It was really cool.
2) We went to Knitty City, and I bought some yarn. And Alena bought some yarn and I taught her how to knit. So she is joining the cult. I am dangerous.
Also I have tempted her to come to DC for a weekend, and she might come the same weekend you come. Hooray!

Now where are you?? You are not gmail chatting, and you are not blogging? Are you well? Are you OK?

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Top Model, knitting and beer: Awesome.

Note: I wrote this post on Sunday, but the internet went away before I could post it.

Hey Brax,
The 'ol ball and chain is out of town, so I had the whole day all to myself, and it was also my day off, so I was totally free! I slept late, and I woke up and read some Redwall, and then I made coffee and took a shower, and watched a little of a PBS fundraiser, which was about having a healthy diet. Then I went on down to the market and got me a bottle of organic wine, which I didn't consume yet because I got in the mood for beer. (We had a BYOB party this friday, which went very well, and was very fun, and now our fridge is totally full of booze. It reminds me of the time we had a BUYB (Bring Us Your Beer) party at the Goody house. Remember that? Man, we were high on the hog for a few weeks after that party.) Anyway. So I played Harvest Moon for about 15 hours, and now I am watching TV.

Dude. ANTM? I missed the first two episodes at their regular time, but I caught the replay of both tonight. I love it! I was really nervous at the end of the second episode, because my two favorite girls were in the bottom two. I love Jael. She is fabulous. And I really, really liked Kathleen, I'm sad they cut her. She was a total moron, in this really amusing way. Also, she had fierce style. A solid FOOT of orange hair? Come on, Tyra! I hate how they have to keep the bitchy girls to keep the show interesting, and sometimes they send home girls who are better models. I love Top Model, but it makes me really miss you and all the girls. I miss our weekly Top Model parties.

While I was getting all caught up on ANTM, I cast on for the Cherry Twist. I like to knit easy things! But I am totally not into making sleeveless tops in super bulky wool. So I picked my yarn, and I swatched it, and then, sneakily, I called Jess up and asked her what the formula was to resize a pattern for a new gauge. She said she'd call me back, and when she did it was to say that she'd e mailed me the pattern edits! Because she is lovely and awesome. Also, she is magic, so it only took her about 15 minutes. The yarn I chose is Nashua Cilantro (Oh Nashua yarns, take my hand, take my whole life too, cause I can't help falling in love with you). It is mostly cotton, but it has a little bit o' poly in there for stretch. Some knitters will scoff at the little bit o' poly. They will discuss this post while they drink tea with their little fingers sticking out. But I am of the opinion that a pinch of poly can be great for cotton, which has a tendancy to pill and to showcase your mistakes, as well as creating an optimum environment for fucked up looking stockinette. I picked the lime green. It looks like a margerita! Hey yarn snobs, don't be assholes! Check my cotton-poly bleeeeeeeeeeend!