On Wednesday, I hopped a train to Solana Beach for the annual Tower Records trip to Del Mar.
What? Tower Records? You thought they were long gone, right? Well, Tower lives on in the hearts of all those who ever wore a badge on a chain that proudly declared, "I Work Here." And even though we have all gone on to other places of employment, we still climb aboard the Amtrak Surfliner for a day of fun in the sun and betting on the ponies. It was a small group this year, as many folks dropped out at the last minute (I'm looking at you, Rick Dorsey, Valerie, etc), but we still had fun.
On the way down, Chris Conant told us about theDiamond Club and its "Free and Easy Wednesday." Had we known about this back in the old days, Del Mar Racetrack would have gone out of business. The Diamond Club includes free admission on Wednesdays and half-price admission other days, plus half price beer, soda, and hot dogs. Oh, and did I mention free seats in the Stretch Run area on Wednesdays? No more standing in the hot infield for this crew. Of course, the place was lousy with blue hairs, but they're slow and it was easy to maneuver around them.
We had a great view of most of the starts and all of the finishes.
I made some modest bets and had some gigantic wins--a total of $7.60! Woo Hoo! As usual, I look for a horse that speaks to me. A few years ago, it was my brother Roy's birthday, and there was a horse named Roi owned by William Shatner. It was August 17th and he was the #10 horse in the 7th race. It was perfect. He won, too. Last time we went, there was a horse named "In the Poconos." This year, I found a horse named Neeko and placed a bet in honor of my nephew Niko, who was celebrating his 23rd birthday. It lost. Sorry, Niko.
We nearly missed our train back, but don't we do that every year? Since there were only 5 of us on the train, we set up camp in the bar car and continued reminiscing about all the characters that came along with a record store job. Good Times! Thanks for coming Jeff, Chris, Dave, Alex, Ben, and Marnie!
Back home in beautiful Gilbert, Pennsyltucky, the 89th Annual West End Fair is in full swing. I have to admit, I'm a little homesick right now. As much as we make fun of the fair*, it's a lot of fun. Plus, there's funnel cake! I used to live near the fairgrounds and it looked so small and lonely when the fair wasn't there. Enjoy some photos of good ol' country entertainment.
This little guy reminds me of my nephew Michael. The boy, not the calf.
They have show pigeons. Around here, we just kick them out of our way.
*a running theme of inbreeding, such as "let's go out to the West End Family Reunion," "that family tree don't branch out," or my dad's best line, "you know you're looking at the same two chromosomes." For the record, even though there are only five last names in the West End area, I'm sure they're checking the family histories before procreating.
This has been a particularly non-eventful week, or so I've been saying all week. I didn't go anywhere or do anything fun. I did a whole lot of research for the upcoming elections and legislature, and well, that's about it. But let me think, I may have something to say after all.
My brother is ill. That's worth noting. Let's all send prayers and positive feelings toward Little Rock, AK, for my big brother, Brian. (handy bit of alliteration, no?) It's fairly serious, so he can use all the help he can get. My family and I are notorious procrastinators when it comes to medical issues. We're like the Black Knight from Monty Python and The Holy Grail. I urge you all to not be like us. Get better, Bri Bri.
I saw a crazy accident yesterday and the woman walked away from it. She was driving a giant silver pick up truck and ran into the side of a motel. The front end of the truck was destroyed but other than being shaken (and who wouldn't be) she appeared to be all right.
I got a new cell phone at work. Naturally, I made a new cell phone cover instead of finishing the lacy scarflette I've been making for my boss's birthday (which was two weeks ago). It's a particularly inspired cell phone cover, too, but I can't tell you about it until it's blocked and sewn. I couldn't block it Thursday night because a) I didn't want to wet block and wait for it to dry; b) the steamer wouldn't help the stockinette lie flat; and c) I don't own an iron. I borrowed the iron from work and will block and finish it this weekend. Hopefully, we'll have a pictorial by Monday.
Oh, that's strange. I'm alone and suddenly I smell that powdery old lady perfume. Weird. This place is haunted!
Hey, here's a funny story. I stayed late at work last night to try to catch up on some things and fell asleep at my desk. I know! I fell asleep sitting upright in my chair with my hand on the mouse and everything. I have no idea when I went out but when I woke up, it was dark outside. My sister suspects narcolepsy, an it's not the first time I've thought of this. This is the first time I've fallen asleep at work, though. Well, this work. It happened at Tower once. I'm just glad no one was around to see it because I'm sure it was hilarious.
Okay, what else.....my car is dirty. Black really shows the dirt. Why didn't anyone warn me? Oh, that's right. They did. I keep meaning to have Mercutio (or Mauricio or whoever the guy is who washes cars here at work) give her a good washing and detailing, but he has not been around this week. Yes, I suppose I could drop a few quarters and do it myself, but it's so darned convenient. It's right there on P4, and he'll even bring your keys up to your office for you. Maybe after payday....and maybe I'll get my hair cut, too. (and maybe pigs will fly...see? the procrastinating?)
While doing some research, I stumbled across a website that, quite frankly, is a little scary. We've all Googled our home address, or our friends' address, or an ex-boyfriend's address...don't look at me like that. You know you've done it. Yes, you have. YES, you HAVE. Anyway, I was looking up stuff and one of the links brought me to a sight that combines search engine results and presents satellite images of homes of the rich and/or famous, as well as fun things like giant food statues and a woman flashing her boobs at the Google truck. I'll admit; I was intrigued. Then, after looking around the site, I felt kind of dirty--like a Peeping Tom. I mean, some of these images are so close you can see the pillows on the lawn furniture in their pristine back yard (Nice choice, A-list actor who shall remain unnamed) and inside their houses, if the angle is right. Although, I did find this Google maps photo of graffiti in progress pretty entertaining.
Okay, I'm out. Hopefully something fun and/or newsworthy will occur next week so I don't leave you hanging again.
Since I have to have my car off Wilcox by 8am on Saturdays, I decided to hit the monthly "2nd
Saturday" Stitch and Bitch at the Farmers Market. Wow, it's a different world at that hour. First of all, who are all these people who are awake at that early? I mean, The Grove was packed by 9:30. I still found rock star parking, but man, who knew there was this much activity in the world while I slept. The Saturday crowd was a lively bunch, I had a great breakfast, and I actually managed to knit a lot.
But my Saturday was not over by Noon. Oh, no. I had a whole day planned. I was on a mission. I've been having some grip issues. Carpal Tunnel? Arthritis? Whatever it is, it hurts and is making knitting difficult, as well as typing, writing, holding a coffee mug...pretty much anything that requires my hand to grip. Not fun. Our office masseuse massaged my arms and hands and gave me some tips, as did Lauren on Thursday. But I was looking for something that, should this issue persist, would allow me to knit more easily. I was on the search for the elusive square knitting needles. But first? I took a trip to Barnes and Noble for a book or two (or three. I'm impossible.)
I mapped out a route from the Farmers Market to yarn store A, from yarn store A to yarn store B, then yarn store B to yarn store C. Two out of three of these yarn stores were having sales, so it was a dangerous mission to be sure, but my poor fingers and wrists were depending on me. My route took me over Laurel Canyon, which I would never have tried with Jamie because, well, are you kidding me? Laurel Canyon with a manual transmission? Even with the Volkswagen's hill hold assist system, it would have been madness. I'm sure many people do it but I never even tried La Cienega past Fountain (toward Sunset, of course, not downhill) with Jamie and I have good hill skills. Guess what? It was fun! Sandy just zoomed* up and around the twists and turns like it was nothing.
Yarn store A had square knitting needles in circular only. I grabbed a size 7 just to have them. They were having a big yarn sale, but there was such a cluster of ladies standing around eating cake that I didn't want to bother. Yarn store B did not have the square needles. Saleswoman #1 told me that each time they'd had them in stock, they sold out right away. Saleswoman #2 said they would likely not be getting any more in because "they're not really as popular as the company would have hoped." Really? Even though you sell out every time you have them? Hmm, whatever. They weren't very customer service oriented anyway. Yarn store C--ah, my favorite. They always have the nicest sales people working (as does yarn store A, but it's just a little too far for me). It's hard to yarn shop sometimes when I don't have a specific project in mind, however, I did manage to get some Noro Silk Garden Sock, this gorgeous black fingering weight hand dyed with just a hint of blue that reminded me of midnight,
and this wee ball of Japanese silk blend which has surprisingly 110 yards of yarn. Look how tiny! It fits in the palm of my hand! How do they do it?
Sadly, what I thought would be an all-day affair only last until 3pm. How did I hit three yarn stores in two hours? Magic--and a car that actually runs well. I was home and knitting by 3:30. The jury is still out on the square needles, though. I'll have to finish my current project (almost there) and do a swatch with them before I declare them a winner.
*by "zoomed" I mean speed limit the whole way, officer.
San Diego Momma, for Prompt Tuesday #117, asks, "What is your passion?" Her passion is words. Ah, words. Yes; I, too, love words with a fiery passion. But do you know what I love more than words* ? Grammar! I love knowing when to use who and when to use whom. I love that I can rattle off all the helping verbs at the drop of the hat without even thinking.** Adjectives, adverbs, appositives! Predicate, pronoun, prepositions! Just the sound of these words leaves me weak in the knees. Verbals are not rodents. Transitive verbs are not hobos. (I had a classmate who once confused transitive with transient) Sometimes I have dreams in which I am instructing some poor soul on the proper form of a verb or adjective. Often, I yell at my television when I hear characters say they "feel badly" about something. One feels bad when one is expressing an emotion. One feels badly when one has lost the sense of touch. Don't get me started on the entire season of a television show that I recently watched in which nearly every character used "who" in the objective case. "To whom, for whom, with whom," I shouted in vain.
That being said, I am wholly forgiving when it comes to friends, family, and rock and roll (I'm looking at you, Eric "Lay Down Sally" Clapton, and everyone who has ever covered "Who do you love?") so don't be afraid.
**I don't include Ought to, used to, and need because no one should.
Last night when I got home from SnB, there was some hipster party at the top of my street at Sunset which left zero parking spaces anywhere for me. I drove around a few blocks and finally ended up risking a parking ticket by parking in front of my house (because Sandy doesn't have a permit yet).
This morning, I woke up at 4:30am on my sofa. I did what anyone would do, I started knitting. First, I had to peruse my stash for appropriate yarn for the pattern, then find the right needles, but then I started knitting. And knitting. And knitting, until it was very nearly too late to make it to work on time. You know, that arbitrary time that you give yourself beyond which you'll surely be late? Yeah, that time. So, I put the knitting down and got ready for work. I have to admit, there was a minute of deep contemplation about whether or not I could call in sick to stay home and knit, and how far behind that would make me. The practical, good work ethic side of me won. Besides, without a parking permit, I'd have to keep moving the car all day anyway.
One more positive--I didn't get a ticket for parking on my street. Thank you, Parking gods!
And this one is so true it's not even funny. All I get in the mail anymore is junk mail and Netflix.
How did it get to be August already? Our summer camp is in full swing. The program staff is back from the July hiatus and gearing up for the coming school year. We're halfway through Leo and nearly into Virgo, the land of too many birthdays (serious, I'm like a Virgo magnet). Our Fall fundraiser is just around the corner. Then it'll be Thanksgiving. Then Christmas. I have so much knitting to do before the holidays. I'm just feeling the days rush by and I want to stop, have fun, and go to the beach or something. I'd better get a move on.