Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Taking a breath

Well, I accepted that new job. I gave my notice today, and it went really well, but for the next month, I'm going to be splitting my days between the two jobs. I'm really excited, and really determined to make this a success, so I'll be taking a little break from blogging.

I'm sad because I was just invited to RAOK, and I haven't even had time to go introduce myself on the message boards, or figure out the blog feeds, or anything like that. I hope everyone understands (they all seem so nice, I'm sure they will), but I'll be charged up and ready to RAOK all over the place once the dust settles.

I also just joined Knit1Read2, (the marriage of my two favorite things), but I'm skipping the January book, and planning ahead for February.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Belated New Years Resolutions

Well, one way to avoid breaking your NYRs by mid-january is to wait until mid-january to do them. Really, I was just going to re-tred last year's so I had no real urge to work on them. Last year I did them based on a Franklin Covey "what matters most" worksheet. So they're all a value + a goal.

Value: Being well-educated
Goal: Work on getting my degree.
This one may actually get done. The new job I am considering has offered to pay for an Executive MBA program and let me work part time to get my butt in gear and finish my undergraduate degree. Of course, this discussion occurs one week after my community college closes registration for this semester, so now I will have to wait for the summer semester to enroll.

Value: Creativity
Goal: Enroll in a jewelry making class.
Last year I bought all the raw stones I wanted to set, etc., but never signed up. This one is looking iffy because *if* the above goal does rise to the top, I will give that 110%.

Value: Supportive Mother
Goal: Help my children become academically successful.
I'm trying, god help me, but it's so HARD....

Value: Responsible Mother
Goal: Establish a college fund for my children.

Value: Compassion
Goal: Find time to do more volunteer work for a cause I believe in.
I think this will be Literacy OC, again, unless #1 happens, in which case I will have to salve my soul with just sending more money. If #1 does not happen, then I want to actually do Literacy OC and the Irvine Animal Care Center.

Value: Being at ease in my own skin
Goal: Lose 50 lbs. and 3 dress sizes.
The perennial favorite.

Value: I'm not sure what to call it at this point
Goal: Finish my book and submit to at least 3 well-researched agents per month.

And now for the fun ones:

Knitting New Years Resolutions

1. I will not stash more than two tubs full of yarn.
2. I will not buy any more yarn until I have used up some of what I have (to keep it under the aforementioned two-tub limit). EXCEPT for sock yarn.
3. I will learn cabling.
4. I will learn intarsia.
5. I will learn to use double-pointed needles.
6. I will learn to make socks.
7. I will learn to read knitting charts and schematics.
8. I will knit more things for other people.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Amelie, you wench

First off, I have finally succumbed to that loverly flu (sniff, sniff, hack, hack) that has been making the rounds. I spent the last two days dozing and knitting (which aside from the "hit by a truck" muscle aches is actually quite a perfect day for me). The good things:

  • I finished my Tempting body up to the armpits (and then discovered I had no size 8 DPNs for the arms).
  • I did one repeat of the heart pattern from Knitty's Heart Scarf (in sport weight red yarn b/c that's what was in the stash basket) so I've proved I can do it, and made a little heart for my husband at the same time.
  • I finally felt up to leaving the house, so I went to tall mouse and got size 3 DPNs so I can try socks (the next thing up on my knitters resolutions). I cast on for my first sock ever(!!) in Lion Brand Magic Stripes and I have about three inches done.
  • During the same shopping trip, I got a second ball of sock yarn (but in the same color I already have, so back it goes for exchange) and two balls of GGH Yarn's Amelie for the Opera Scarf for my MIL.

And here is where it went wrong.

I bought the Amelie because it was beautiful and soft and fluffy and lacy looking. My thinking was that it didn't matter if it didn't exactly match the yarn in the pattern because after all, it's a scarf. I'll just use whatever needles are called for on the skein and leave it at that.


This is my beautiful Amelie up close:

You see those pretty fuzzy hairs? They bind to each other in ungodly death grips. The yarn is UNFROGGABLE. I had to restart four times because I kept dropping stitches, and all four times the yarn had to be just cut off the ball because it was too hopelessly tangled together. I tried it with a 9 - no go. I tried it with a 13 - no go. I've put it aside because I don't know what to do - I love the look and feel, I think it will go well with the pattern, but I just can't get it to work. I'm wondering if the type of needle will make a difference - maybe bamboo? I'm going to ask the uber-knitters at Craftster for advice.

In other news, I had lunch with a former boss last Friday. He told me he'd like to hire me back when he can afford me. Then he called today to say there had been "developments" and he'd like to talk to me tonight. I'm not sure I'm ready to make a decision now.... there's no word on whether my new manager will honor the compensation plan I had negotiated with my previous manager. There's no word on whether we're moving 90 miles away. There's no word on anything. Sure money or possible big money? Known boss I've successfully worked for, or difficult boss who could make me a better marketer? 20 minute commute or an hour and 20 minute commute? It really all comes back to the money. IF they honor my previous package, it means almost doubling my current salary, but most (80%) is in incentive bonuses. The previous manager said incentive = no brainer = a way to slide a big raise past the board (he got me to come on board in the start up at a decrease in pay for 18 months, so he's trying to make the deficit up to me). The new manager = extremely frugal = probably not going to give a huge bonus = even if he did would set the bar SOOOO high that I would have to work 80 hrs. a week to reach it. It's not likely my old boss (with the new offer) would be able to match the package, but unless I get the money it's all theoretical, ins't it?

Aggh - I'm just a chicken.

Good news: my son got an award for improved academic effort. He's a smartie, but he HATES school. His teacher has been having him stay after class so he can work on his homework and ask questions, and that has helped him bring up almost all of his grades at least 1.5 grades. I'm going to send that woman flowers tomorrow!

Saturday, January 08, 2005

The Flower Hat, part duex

*Now Updated With Pictures*

Okay, so I frogged the damn thing back several inches, and switched to the decreases from the NY Mets Hat. Much better!

Here's my boy, thinking he's all that in his new hat (unfortunately, the boy is more visible than the hat):

But THEN, I had a total brain collapse and BOUND OFF instead of pulling the yarn through and knotting. So now the hat has this horrible peekhole in the top. I will fix it as soon as I stop crying.

Here's the keyhole on top of his head:

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Hooray for Photo CDs

Finally!! I got the disposable camera developed, and now have pictures to liven up this deadly dull blog. So I went back and updated several posts from the past month.

And here, as a bonus to you for coming today, is your FREE PREVIEW of The Cutest Dog In The Whole World:

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

There is way too much disposable income in the world

Because who would have thought there would be a need for this magazine:

Yes, that's right - "The Ultimate Cosmetic Enhancement Guide"

I have only one thing to say

USC rocks my socks!!!

Where are all the color commentators who said the PAC 10 was too soft NOW?!?!?

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Chugging right along

Tempting isn't exactly flying off of my needles, but it's coming along at a respectable clip. Here it is at 6.5" - I'm 50% of the way done with the body (pre-adding sleeves)

Sunday, January 02, 2005


As part of my knitting new year's resolutions, I want to learn new skills I do not currently have: cabling, intarsia, fair isle (maybe), entrelac (maybe). So my first project was this intarsia skull and crossbones.

It was going to be the first square in my Zephren's Skull Blanket, but this was HARD and time-consuming, mainly because the chenille did not flow off of my needles, so I don't think I'll be making the blanket anytime soon... or at least not with the yarn I bought for it.
I think I'm going to make a throw pillow out of it, and give it to a Pirates of the Caribbean-obsessed friend.

101 Things

Yes, another one. But there are cookies and milk at the end for those of you who slog all the way through.

1. I have the "perfect" family - me, hubby, daughter, son, dog, cat.
2. Who are all blessedly imperfect. (except maybe the dog - he is my perfect angel baby)
3. I am on the 25 yr. plan for getting a degree. By all accounts, I should ahve a bachelors in 2014.
4. My husband is 16 yrs. older than me, but we think that's okay because in maturity years, he's younger than my cat.
5. I am a frustrated writer.
6. I am frustrated mainly because my novel is set in Orange County (where I grew up) but the evil "The OC" has made me feel I should be ashamed of my home "county".
7. I have been knitting for about 8 months.
8. I met my husband in a bar 10 years ago.
9. He called me a bitch.
10. I went out with him anyway... and here we are.
11. My husband succeeds at every thing he does, which I try not resent him for.
12. I work in marketing.
13. The last seven years of my life have been spent marketing male, engineer dweeb dominated products (automated light switches, engineering software).
14. I would sell a kidney to work for a company that sold something like makeup or clothes.
15. I got a new boss this year, and he wants to move our entire company 90 miles away because it's more convenient for him.
16. Therefore, I am pondering new career options (surely someone out there is the CEO of Urban Decay and just DYING to hire me? I'm even wearing pleather lip pencil right now.)
17. I am thinking of starting my own business this year - a hybrid knitting store/book store/cafe/opium den (it's gotta be less addictive than yarn.)
18. I have several holes in my head. For real. My baby soft spots are permanent.
19. I have never renewed my car registration on time. As I type, it is two months out of date.
20. I have had only one nasty breakup. But that one ended up in extended litigation.
21. All the rest of my exes are awesome. (And several are still single and looking. Ladies?)
22. My "perfect guy" (prior to the hubby) knew I was in love with him for two years, but never gave it up.
23. I cry at movies. All movies. Including non-ovious selections like The Little Mermaid, Big Daddy and Varsity Blues.
24. I have a secret obsession with Paul Walker.
25. I have a blatantly obvious obsession with Colin Farrell.
26. I made my husband watch The Rundown three times so I could see Seann William Scott.
27. If I could be any celebrity, it would be Angelina Jolie.
28. Both of my pets are rescue animals.
29. I will spend hours reading pound listings to find animals for coworkers who are looking for a dog.
30. My volunteering/donating/promoting urges revolve around three groups: kids, animals and women. I donate to literacy programs, battered womens shelters and animal rescues.
31. I want to buy a bigger house so I have more stash storage.
32. My husband thinks it's because I want room for another baby, but really it's all about the crafts.
33. I am half japanese, and half whatever other nationality you can throw in from Europe.
34. When I was rebelling in high school, I told half my friends that my dad got my mom out of a catalog.
35. I told the other half he brought her home from the war.
36. My mother is a saint for putting up with me. I try every day to make that decade up to her.
37. My son plays soccer. I am a soccer mom. I'm not really sure how that happened to me.
38. He was invited to play on an all-star team for the first time ever this year, and I am incandescent with pride.
39. I blew off three interested colleges in high school because my parents convinced me I wanted to be a missionary. When I came to my senses three months later, I had missed all of my application deadlines.
40. I learned to snow ski when I was twelve. The first day, I took out an entire class of tiny tots in the process.
41. The next day, my dad got me a cute instructor, and somehow that made all the difference. My previous instructor fell over when he saw me upright and skiing.
42. My husband and his entire family can waterski, wakeboard, etc. like pros.
43. I learned to water ski three years ago. It is still not a pretty sight.
44. I tried out for Jeopardy, but didn't make it past the first cut.
45. I have been to Japan twice, and would love to go back.
46. I have also been to France, Spain, England and a bunch of states.
47. I grew up in Orange County, and I never want to live anywhere else.
48. But I would like to take extended vacations on the Magnificent Mile in Chicago.
49. I have a handbag addiction. There are bags and yarn hidden all over my house.
50. All of the clothes in my closet stick out about 6" from the wall. It's because I have to store/hide all of my extra yarn, books, craft supplies, and handbags behind them.
51. I have spent about $1000 at the Friends of the Library bookstore, 25 cents at a time.
52. I love to buy textbooks for random subjects I would never waste an entire semester on.
53. I went to japanese school for three years. At the time, I could read and write hiragana and katakana, and some kanji, and carry on elementary conversations about what I wanted to eat and what I did for summer vacation. I cannot remember a single word now.
54. I want to re-learn how to speak japanese.
55. When my boss and I went to Tokyo last year, I was the designated speaker. It consisted of pointing to maps and saying "koko, koko!" ("here, here!")
56. I'm getting ready to buy a new car - a 2005 Nissan Xterra.
57. I would rather drive a cheap car and wear expensive shoes.
58. My cat thinks he's a dog, and insists on sitting in your lap all day long.
59. I want a small dog next - a yorkie.
60. I read all the time. I think it may be an addiction, as it interferes with my ability to be productive and clean toilets.
61. I am an only child
62. My father wanted to name me Fifi. He thought it was exotic.
63. His backup choice was Ruth. My father is not allowed to name anything anymore.
64. For a boy, they picked out Matthew. Not so exotic.
65. I'm an emotional eater. I eat when happy. I eat when sad. I eat when frustrated, bored or turned on.
66. My favorite books are The Feast of All Saints, The Secret History, and - of course - Stitch N Bitch.
67. My current favorite writer is Robert Parker - he is a genius with dialogue, and one of the nicest authors I've ever met. He lets people bring old books - bags FULL of them - to his signings and signs every single one.
68. I would be too embarrassed to bring a bag full of his old books to a signing, but I own I think every one (like 20-something)
69. When pregnant with my son, I had it narrowed down to three names. I picked the one nobody liked because I was tired of everyone saying "oh - you have to name him ______!" Looking back, it was the best of the bunch, so all's well that ends well.
70. I hated clothes with cables on them until I started knitting. Now I think they're genius.
71. I think I may be the only person alive who didn't find Napoleon Dynamite hysterical. It makes me feel inadequate.
72. I believe that certain movies separate people into A/B categories based on their temperment or life experience. Glengarry Glen Ross, for instance. Love it = born salesperson. Hate it = not a born salesperson. Dogma. Raised in strict religion = piss yourself laughing. Not raised in strict religion = Not finding it quite so funny. Still happily in a strict religion = never saw it, or saw it and were appalled. This is not a scientific theory, but has yet to be disproven.
73. I am a horrible singer.
74. But it makes me happy and I sing all day long.
75. Were time travel possible, I would want to have a dinner party with Audrey Hepburn, Natalie Wood, Marilyn Monroe, and Jane Austen.
76. I have only dated one person my age, and one person younger than me. I evidently like 'em older, though I didn't see a pattern until after I got married.
77. My husband and I got married in Las Vegas. We were buying a house, so splurging on the big wedding was out of the picture.
78. I'm secretly sad I didn't have the big wedding.
79. I am the most neurotic person I know. I wish it was endearing, but I know it's not.
80. I'm afraid of flying, escalators, stairs, opaque liquids, car windows (but only when they're down like an inch and you peek your fingers out - I imagine that in an accident, they would chop your fingers off) and spiders (I once had a dream that I squished one, but it kept getting bigger, until it was the size of my parent's living room).
81. None of my grandparents are still alive.
82. Before my grandmother passed, for six months she didn't know who I was. She thought I was her younger sister. I was happy that she was happy to see me, but it also selfishly broke my heart.
83. My favorite TV show of all time is My So-Called Life.
84. Jordan Catalano is the picture in my head for the archetype of "the cutest boy ever".
85. My parents have been married for 33 years. If nonething else, they have driven home the message that - no matter how miserable you are - you never give up on your marriage.
86. I have only lived in three places. None were by myself.
87. I was a cocktail waitress (twice), and I was horrible at it.
88. I like plain old fiction better than I like literature.
89. I like to cook, but only in spurts. I will make my family eat drive-through for weeks on end.
90. There are very few foods I will not eat with gravy. It is the all-purpose seasoning.
91. When I was in high school, my mother would make three or four Cool Whip size containers of extra gravy and freeze it. I would eat it with toast for breakfast for months.
92. And yet still fit into a size 3. Metabolism is wasted on the young.
93. Eeyore and Hello Kitty make my heart smile.
94. I wish I could shop solely in Japanese markets for the rest of my life.
95. I hate reading the newspaper because it makes me cry. #23 may seem to diminish the impact of this, but it's a totally different kind of cry.
96. My husband, lord love him, is one of the most shallow people I have ever met. I am his concession to being non-superficial.
97. I have lost about 400 lbs. in the last decade. Unfortunately, I gained 450 in that same time period.
98. I was always a night owl. In the last five years, I have stopped being a night owl, but have not turned into a morning person to compensate. I am really at my best for some random hours in the middle of the afternoon.
99. I wish I were athletic. But I lack drive. And coordination.
100. I can sleep through anything.
101. I lied about the cookies and milk.

Saturday, January 01, 2005


Happy new year to everyone! I hope your 2005 is happy, fulfilling and crafty!!

I am off to unwrap my 2005 Knitting Patterns-A-Day calendar, write my resolutions (which, conveniently enough, will be the same unacheived ones from 2004), and lay about on the couch with hubby cheering on the PAC 10! (Go USC!!! Okay so I know they don't play until Tuesday, but my other loud vocalization option is jeering at Texas and telling Mack Brown he's a whiny bitch.)