Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I've got knitter's wrist! Like tennis elbow or something. I don't know, I think it is tendonitis, but WebMD thinks it is probably gout. Regardless, my friend Mr. Hix says to do these exercises from this website for it, and I did them and they totally helped.


Carpal Tunnel Exercises

Carpal tunnel exercises, exercises you can do to help prevent, and ease the pain of, carpal tunnel syndrome. Below are 6 carpal tunnel exercises that you should at the start and end of your work shifts, as well as after any breaks you have throughout the day. These carpal tunnel exercises are simple and only take a few minutes.

Carpal Tunnel Exercises Pic 1
Stand straight up and extend both arms straight out in front of you. Extend your wrists and fingers acutely as if they were in a hand stand position. Hold this position for 5 seconds.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Now straighten your wrists and relax your fingers.

Carpal Tunnel Exercise
Keeping your wrists straight, make a fist and squeeze it tightly. Hold for 5 seconds.

Carpel picture
Keeping your fists clenched, bend you wrists down. Hold this position for 5 seconds.

Straighten both wrists and relax your fingers again.

Carpal Exercises
Repeat steps A-E 10 times, then stand up with your arms relaxed by your sides.

These carpal tunnel exercises are simple and don’t take very long. We recommend you do these exercises anyway, evey if you don’t have carpal tunnel syndrome. These carpal tunnel exercises will help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome.

Saturday, January 26, 2008



Did you ever live with a really, really responsible person who sets schedules and then sticks to them, and who does everything he says he's going to do, like, right away? The kind of person who pretty much never says, "Oh, screw it, I'll do it tomorrow." Or, on the rare occasions when he would say that, he would, in fact, do it tomorrow. Like right when he got up, which would be the minute the alarm went off, because this is not the kind of person who stays up extra late reading a novel and then hits the snooze button 8 times.

I do. I live with one of those people. So imagine the kind of trouble I was in when the kitten went into heat. I was supposed to get her fixed, apparently, and I kept forgetting and saying I would do if after Christmas, and then after Christmas I kept saying I would do it tomorrow, and then Wednesday night we came home and Lucky Lucille was all dolled up with lipstick on and wailing like a cabaret singer.

I think it's almost over now. She has calmed down a lot. It's not a terribly big deal because she is an inside cat, but she did have to be locked in the bathroom for a couple of nights because she wouldn't stop yowling.

Type A personalities don't have any idea what it is like to be type B. Oh, they'll say they wish they could relax and stuff, but they really just wish they could be content with an A minus. They don't know what it is like to always be several steps behind where you intended to be, and you want to be good, and being good means being like those type-A people because they are the ones who get ahead and make the rules, therefore the rules say be like them. And you could never be like them because you think they're insane and also you are just not wired that way, and you always have thirty or forty things you've been meaning to do for days or weeks or actually, really, years. And you are working really hard, but you just can't seem to get it together to do them.

I get terribly frustrated with myself. I have always imagined that you can just decide that you're going to be on top of things and then stick to it. Like establish a system and always keep a list and do everything on it, and just commit to being a much more responsible better smarter organized on-top-of-everything person. I have achieved this at various times in my life, but it never lasted longer than a few months, and at the end I was exhausted. Here is what I think--a leopard cannot change her spots, and my spots are not those of a regimented, live by a schedule, crossin'-stuff-off-the-list-thing-doer.

I think I'm giving up on that ideal, or at least I am giving up on sitting around beating myself up for always meaning to do things and not doing them. I'll do stuff when I get around to it, and obviously if it is urgent it will get done. Yes, it is true that I am often getting things done at the absolute last second, but I've been doing that my whole life, and I think I'd better stop trying to change it and just get used to it and like myself anyway.

Living in a city packed with ambitious, ambitious people won't help, and living with one of them makes it a little harder too, but I figure once I have learned to accept my procrastinating, sloppy self, the rest will follow. He accepts my procrastinating, sloppy self, even if I do frustrate him when I do things like let the cat go into heat. So it is really about me changing my expectations and stopping trying to be something I'm not.

Here is my new years resolution: Stop trying to self-improve and hold myself to the standards of others; instead, just like myself.

OK, so the above was supposed to be a brief, funny anecdote about the cat as a sexy cabaret singer, and it was supposed to lead into a post about my sweater and maybe some new years resolutions. Somehow it turned into a pretty involved self exploration, which actually ended in a new years resolution, and that particular resolution eliminated all the other ones I was thinking of, like exercising or being more organized.

Writing is funny.

Here's the sweater.

It's the Cozy V-Neck Pullover from Fitted Knits. Easy easypants, and also handsome. I'm about to start the ribbing, which starts right under your boobs and goes all the way down, thus creating the simplest waist shaping in history. The yarn is Debbie Bliss Donegal Tweed Chunky. It is bigger than the pattern calls for, so I'm resizing for gauge as well as lowering the stitch count a bit around the bust. Uh huh. I am using the fatter yarn in spite of my suspicion that my love of fat yarn is becoming a joke among the gentry. I love it. There are several reasons why. 1) it is fat. 2) it is green. 3) it is tweed. 4) it is wool. Those are, like, my FOUR FAVORITE yarn traits. It is a fun time, and it's knitting up so fast that it I'll be wearing it within a week here.

Ok, I have to go find a bean recipe because I am going to a bean-themed potluck!


Monday, January 21, 2008

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Duuuuuude, Brax.

How are things? Things are pretty solid over here, lots of important news to report. For one thing, I am nearing the end of A Week With No TV. Last Wednesday, I was home alone all evening with a bunch of stuff I could be doing. Suddenly, I realized that it was 11:30 and the whole night was gone and I didn't even know what had happened, except that Criminal Minds wasn't as good a usual. Criminal Minds is an AWESOME SHOW. I really, really want the hot badass agent portrayed by Shemar Moore to get with the funky and stylish tech girl portrayed by Kristen Vangsness, who, in addition to acting, also has a cute blog. So anyhoo, as much as I love Criminal Minds, I sort of looked up and realized that I had wasted many hours in which I could have been writing or reading or singing with a rock band or learning how to blow glass or cleaning the kitchen or any number of constructive, fulfilling, live enriching things. So I put a blanket over the teevee and that was that.

The real goal of this experiment is to break the habit of automatically, every single night, staring at that box for hours. It hasn't been too hard--I think putting the blanket over the TV helped. I did watch TV on Sunday, because I was really sick and sniffly, and I couldn't go anywhere, and I think that such noble resolutions don't really apply when it is Sunday afternoon and you have a bad cold and you've already read about 200 pages that day.

So that's the story on the TV ban. It's over on Friday, and I will resume TV watching, hopefully to a lesser degree than before the ban.

So what else? Oh, Knitting and Purling and Hurling at the bar last night. Fun!

This guy was trying to force himself to knit from a pattern. He has some trouble with trusting the instructions to work. He was all "What the hell does it want me to do that for?" To which I said something like, "Just do it and then you'll see." To which he groaned and rolled his eyes and got another beer. Dude, trust the pattern!

Ellie was making a cute little hat in Rowan Wool Cotton for her little tiny baby niece.

Me? I was working on this completely half-assed My So Called Scarf, which I have just kind of been doing to keep my hands busy. It is a cute, easily memorized pattern, and is especially nice in a variegated yarn. I'd like to be doing it in a larger gauge, but meh. Like I said, just keeping busy.

The yarn is this Reynolds Smile stuff, which I picked up when I was in Ohio, and I bought it without reading the label, just cause I liked it. When I got home I saw that it was mostly acrylic. Say wha?? But it is nice to knit with, and it is pretty, so I am officially softening my position on acrylic-wool blends.

I am also working on the ol' blanket. Remember the blanket? She comes out every now and then. (Yes, I do need a new big project. Just waiting for inspiration.) Anywhere, here is my new square:
I had a rough time getting it to photograph well, but it is a really nice sort of iridescent white. Pretty! This pattern is the Single Eyelet Rib from the Barbara Walker Treasury (Volume 1).

Oh, also! Today I found out that you can download the Metro map onto your ipod. That is pretty amazing, I am totally going to do it. I know that people with fancy cell phones that can photograph the moon and talk to the dead and stuff probably don't think it is that cool, but I am an old fashioned girl and these sorts of things blow my mind.

Alright, it is Pizza O'Clock!


Tuesday, January 8, 2008



I wasn't going to do new year's resolutions this year, because they always end up being a bunch of dumb crap I never do anyway. I always say I'm going to lose a bunch of weight or something, and then I feel bad that I never do it. This year, I decided to pick things that will be good for me, and not just what I think I ought to be doing, like dieting and working out a lot.

Here they are:

1. Get a bunch of re-usable grocery bags together and use them to shop. I'm pretty sure I resolve to do this every year, and then all my free canvas bags end up getting used to store Works In Progress. Since I have several cones of peaches n' creme worsted lying around my house, I think I'm going to knit a few up. Because, really, how many dishcloths does a single gal with a dishwasher need?

2. Not use my credit cards once. Yeah! I can so totally do it!

3. Eat no more than 2 restaurant meals per week. I usually do pretty well with this already, but sometimes I just get in a rut where I don't go grocery shopping for awhile and I end up buying lunch a few days in a row.

4. Get a bike. I'm totally going to be one of those skinny little bike messenger types before the year is out. Okay, I might not ride it to work, but I want to at least ride it around places a few times a week...carbon footprint and all that.

5. Visit the farm. No, not the bar in Ross, Ohio that your uncle used to run...I mean my family's farm out in Pennsylvania. You should come's in the middle of Amish country, and you can buy the best homemade ice cream/rootbeer/jam in the world from Amish farms. It's a fact. Also, my family is a hoot.

6. Go back to school. I don't know how much control over this I have, since going back to school involves a lot of money. But I'd really like to at least meet with an advisor to figure out a plan for getting my nursing degree. Nursing! My plan is to be a hippie earth mother nurse-midwife on the alpaca farm with Bruce by the time I'm 40. (with no debt)

I think there are some other ones, too....I just can't remember them so they must not be very important. Anyway, they mostly fall under the categories of get healthy, spend less money, hurt the earth less, and see friends and family more.

I think 2008 is going to be freaking awesome. If not, we still have that sweet picture of Christopher from your last post to carry us through.


Saturday, January 5, 2008

2008 better be totally great


I would like to start off by saying that I am watching the Republican debate and Giuliani just talked for around 6 hours about how America has the best health care in the world. Somebody had better tell our infant mortality rate--obviously it hasn't heard or it wouldn't be the second worst in the industrialized world. Oh Christ, now he's talking about how nuclear power is going to save the world. I don't even know why the hell I'm watching this. Excellent, I've changed the channel. Britcoms! I love Keeping Up Appearances. Hyacinth reminds me of my grandma.

I knitted some Christmas presents! I didn't document the process here too much, obviously, but here are the finished products.

Here's my mom wearing the scarf I made her. Most moms deserve cashmere scarves, my mom especially. (I blogged about this scarf when it was just a baby scarf.)

As moms deserve cashmere scarves, so dads deserve warm feet:

The pattern is Felt Clogs by Fiber Trends, and the yarn is Lamb's Pride Bulky. You're supposed to use a worsted wool and double it, but pffffffffft. A single strand of bulky worked fine, and I didn't have that whole keeping-track-of-two-tangled-skeins-while-two-cats-try-to-destroy-
everything problem. It felted FAST though, so if you're thinking of making these, watch 'em like a hawk. Also they needed a haircut after I finished them...the Lamb's Pride folks throw in a dash of mohair that makes this yarn felt up pretty fuzzy.

Here's my dad playing with his new amplifier while wearing his new slippers. See the amplifier? It is the size, apparently, of a briefcase, but has a remarkable sound. Modern technology!

It was a lovely Christmas.

So I know you had a good New Years because I was there. Here we are! (Readers, the two gentlemen in this photo are our former roommates. We all four live in different cities now, so it is always nice to see one another again. You may have seen them before, I think they're pretty popular on certain subscription-only websites.)

So yeah, that's us at the beginning of the night.

Cute, right? We are clear-eyed and pretty and ready to greet the new year. We're all upright. We're all dressed. Let's fast forward a bit...

Happy new year, my beauties! Readers, it only got better from here. I am refraining from posting any photos from later in the evening. This is all you need to know.

All lushery aside, it was fantastic and nourishing and energizing to see everyone this week. I love the people with whom I spent New Years Eve. They're the reason I'll be able to power through the last leg of this particular adventure. Yes, even (or especially) this guy:

I hope all of you had as good a holiday as I did. I've got high hopes for this year.


p.s. Special thanks to KT for being awesome and hosting the madness.