Thursday, January 27, 2011

I.M. Smart

Do you ever surprise yourself with how smart you are?

I do, all the time. Now, I know that for the most part I'm a fairly intelligent woman, but I don't always give myself credit. You see, I have so many smart friends and acquaintances that I just don't think I compare. They've done things. They've been places. They speak so much more eloquently than I do. I'm probably selling myself short, but I often just sit in a corner and feel dumb.

But not this week, no sirree. I'm solving crises left and right over here. And I just solved a great mystery involving years of billing invoices, matching product to paperwork, FINDING the product to begin with and many other things that have, until now, been unsolvable. I looked at the puzzle, put two and two together and came up with "Ta Da!" I felt like a genius being the one to figure it all out.

Then, I was asked by no less than three people to define a word I used in casual conversation, which truth be told made me feel a little pretentious, but they weren't big words, folks.

I know, it's not quantum physics, but I'll take my little victories where I can get them.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

A Cautionary Tale for Knitters Everywhere

I started a pair of convertible gloves last January. They were to have a flap attached that makes them convert into mittens. The pattern looked easy and I was in need of some tipless gloves. I started and got to just before the fingers start, and then things happened. I put them aside. Actually, I carried the project around for a while , then put them aside. But, as previously mentioned, I'm in a fingerless glove knitting kick and decided to finish them. Here they are:

Right glove:
Left glove:
Now, if you know anything about knitting, or if you have eyes and some idea of scale, you may be thinking to yourself, "hmmm, something's a little off. They don't seem like the same size."

and you would be absolutely right.
They're like big sister and little sister. You can tell they're in the same family, but not quite a pair. I've learned a valuable lesson--If you're making a matching pair of something, make them one after the other and jot down notes. Otherwise...

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Got cold hands? Need fingerless gloves?

I'm on a fingerless--well, technically, tipless--gloves kick these days. It started Christmas Day when Jaclyn's mom requested that her daughter knit her a pair. Jaclyn was afraid, but I assured her that there's nothing to it and that she most certainly had the skills, plus I would guide her every step of the way. So, when I got home, I looked up a mess of patterns on Ravelry. I found one that was particularly intriguing with a sideways knit row (it's called a lateral braid). I had to learn how to do this amazing trick. And so, I cast on.Pay no attention to the corpse hands I borrowed to model them for the photograph.

Anyway, with this pair finished and in the mail to my lovely sister-in-law (Hi Evie!), I looked around for yarn to cast on along with Jaclyn, so that I could show her side-by-side. Turns out, she didn't need it. That Jaclyn took to double pointed needles like a duck to water. And size 2, mind you! So, I finished up a glove I started last winter, and am almost done with the second glove. THEN, I'm going to cast on for the same gloves that Jaclyn's making, mainly to help her, but also because I like the pattern (Hooray for me gloves).

So, with all these gloves going on, I ask you--Do you need some fingerless gloves? Let me know. I'll make you a pair.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Yes, Frau. I live in squallor.

The Frau has not come to replace my faucet yet. I expected her on Monday, but she didn't show. I thought, "She'll come Tuesday," but still no Frau. In anticipation of the Frau visit, I clean up a bit, and make sure there are no dishes in the sink from breakfast because, you know, she lectures. I also lock my bedroom door because, you know, she's nosey.
Today, I was running super late. I made some lunch quick (beans and rice), tossed the pot and measuring cup in the sink, and ran out the door. I remembered the dishes and open bedroom door on my way to work and actually contemplated turning around. If I didn't have to open the office today, I might have.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Consistency, people.

I was watching "The Patty Duke Show" last night. Cathy, the identical cousin, was tutoring some star athlete named Elliot, aka "Stretch." Stretch has to pass his history exam or he can't play in the big Basketball tournament. Basketball--you'd expect that from a fellow named Stretch, right? So, Cathy is tutoring and trying to help him remember things and Stretch is all, "It's no use. I'm just stupid." Cathy says, "No, you're not. You remember all those plays." So Stretch gets some paper and shows her how each play has a number and he just remembers the numbers and the moves that go with it. Cathy gets the brilliant idea to make historical facts like his playbook and they're off.
[bear with me; I'm coming to my point]
When they show Patty their progress, Cathy says to Stretch, "#77, Hut." He gives her the answer. Then she calls another number followed by "hut." Now, I'm not the most sports minded gal, but isn't "hut" usually associated with football? And then, when they're done showing Patty and everyone is impressed, Stretch says, "That's great here, but who's going to quarterback for me during the test?" Pick a sport!
Oh, and this isn't really a consistency thing, just a moral one. When Mr. Lane asks Cathy if she was helping Stretch cheat, she says no, she's just helping him remember the facts--by telling him which facts to remember. That's still cheating in my book. Shame on you, Cathy.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Avoidance is futile; you will be Frau-inated

The Frau cornered me last week and asked how things were going. She didn't have my new (now 7 months old) phone number. I told her things were fine, except for a small drip in the tub. After the lecture about how much water is wasted by a leaky faucet, I gave her my cell number and ran off to work. She called a few days later and I didn't call her back. Then she called on Saturday at 8:30ish. I avoided her by going off to Stitch n Bitch. After Stitch n Bitch, I avoided her some more by going to the office. Every time I mentioned to someone that I was avoiding my landlady, I got the same response--"Rent due?" NO! People, for the record, I have never not paid my rent and only a handful of times have I been late, but that was in my 20's. I think frequent readers will understand that I avoid the Frau because she is simply a pain in the ass.
However, her second call on Saturday was ridiculously annoying "There is water downstairs and if you don't answer my call, you're going to have to move!" What? I have to move because she can't repair things properly? So, I went home to meet the Frau and deal with her nonsense head-on. Nonsense, indeed. As usual, the mysterious leaks downstairs have nothing to do with my apartment. I suspect pipes are leaking between the floors or in the walls (as was the case with my bathroom sink, which necessitated new pipes). She came in, looked at my tub, decided I needed a new faucet, checked the kitchen sink, saw no leaks, and left. She's coming back today while I'm out, so at least I avoid another "you need to clean" lecture. However, I'm sure I'll have a mess to clean up when I get home.
On another note, I feel kind of bad for the Frau. Her knees are messed up (cartilage is gone) and my apartment is upstairs. On Saturday, she struggled to get up and down. I wanted to carry her. She's having surgery soon, so I expect some blissfully Frau-free months while she's in recovery. Still, I felt bad for her as it looked really painful to climb the stairs, and because she was nice to me, leaving me to suspect she has a good heart in there somewhere. Oh Frau, tugging at my heartstrings with your bad knees...I'm an old softy.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

some guy

This cracked me up.
Nice job, Times-Picayune.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Too Many Awesome Quotes to Choose a Title

After an uneventful New Year's Eve and Day, I woke up yesterday with two very odd maladies. My eyes were swollen nearly shut as if I'd been sobbing all night, or as if I'd been near a horse, neither of which occurred as far as I know. And, I woke up with the film Point Break playing in my head. Not just a scene, although I think it started with a scene, but the whole movie just kind of snowballed and as much as I tried to stop it by reading or playing Word Mole on my phone, I couldn't. I played it out in my head until that last rain-soaked confrontation at Bell's Beach.

I think it started with someone working on their car outside. It was powerful loud and they kept revving it and shouting. I couldn't hear anything but the car revving. In my head, this must have translated to that scene in which Johnny, Angelo, and company are about to bust that house where they think the Ex-Presidents live but it's really those drug dealers. You know, just before Anthony Kiedis shoots his foot. Now don't y'all sit there and pretend you haven't seen Point Break enough times to know exactly which scene I'm talking about. Johnny is trying to radio the guys at the back about the guns and the one guy says, "I can't hear jack shit over that lawn mower." Yeah, so I think that's what started it. I couldn't hear jack shit over that car revving.
I do love me some Point Break, though. Bad dialog, day-for-night surfing scene with the very visible sun, implausible chase scenes, Keanu's ridiculously tight jeans--love it.

As for the swollen eyes? I think I had an allergic reaction to some old mascara. They started burning the night before while I was at my friend's house, and were swollen to Elephant Man proportions come Sunday morning. I'm not wearing makeup today in hopes that the puffiness will go down.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

No Roses today

My Mom loved a good parade, and the Tournament of Roses Parade was her absolute favorite. As long as I can remember, Mom would get up early on New Year's Day to start making all the food for a day of parades and bowl games, and while things were cooking we would sit and watch the Rose Parade. She never failed to be amazed that all the floats are covered in flowers. "That's all flowers and plants. How do they do it?" she was say in awe--every year.

My first year in Los Angeles was rough. Mom and I didn't speak for nearly that whole first year. My cross-country move was not a popular decision back home. On my first New Year's Day in LA, I had no job, no television, no telephone, and no parade with Mom. I was miserable. The following year, things were looking up. I had a job, a phone, still no TV, but I did call Mom first thing on New Year's Day and let her describe all the floats to me while we caught up. I suggested she come visit me and we could watch the parade in person. "Yes, that would be great!" she said.

Years passed, things got better, I finally had a TV and discovered the KTLA uninterrupted Rose Parade magic. I called Mom every year and watched the parade with her over the telephone. Since Mom relied on Network coverage with commercial breaks, I would describe the floats she missed. Every year, we'd make plans for her to come to LA for Christmas and stay for the parade. But it never came to be. Money was tight for both of us, and Mom hated taking short vacations, wanting to come for three or four weeks! Seriously? I loved my Mom, but I also had jobs (two of them for most of my life) and what would she do alone all day except clean my apartment and find things. She wasn't the type to venture out on her own and explore the city.

Last year, I watched the parade with my Mom as usual. It was the last conversation I would have with her. She died a month later. I know that our last conversation was filled with love and we got to share her favorite thing one more time. But I just couldn't watch the parade this year. I slept straight through it. I will avoid KTLA all day today so as not to catch a re-broadcast either. Maybe next year will be better. This year, I miss my mommy.