Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!

I dropped out of communication there in the rush to get out of town. I've been safely at my parents' house since Saturday around 10am. We made the trip in 17 hours! I couldn't believe it.

I finished all the knitted gifts I wanted to get done. The sweater for the nephew-in-progress did have to wait for its final wash until after the gift was given, but it was essentially finished. Of course the batteries in the camera were dead, so I don't have any pictures of the gift opening. I think everyone was pleased with what they got from us. My brother asked me to sign the photos I gave him to hang in his apartment, so I think that makes me officially a famous artist.

It's been fun to be at home so far. I have to admit when I saw the stroller and car seat my parents bought (to keep around their house for ALL of their grandchildren, my Mom assured me), I got teary, but mostly it's been fine. I forgot that even though my sister has gotten much happier, she's still pretty self-centered. She mostly talks about what the baby is doing, how she's feeling at any given moment, whether or not she needs to eat/go to the bathroom/pass gas, and she truly believes it's terribly fascinating to all the rest of us. I don't really know if it occurs to her that it might bother me. And for the most part it doesn't. I'm fine.

I just wanted to say merry christmas, all you lovely little imaginary friends out there on the internets! And happy whatever holiday you celebrate, too. Thanks for being out there!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Have you ever had crab rangoon at 4am? It's delicious.

I woke up at about 3 this morning and couldn't get back to sleep because I was starving! Finally I got up and threw a couple of leftover crab rangoon into the toaster oven and chowed down. It's not a practice I intend to continue, but it seemed to work at the time.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Six Weird Things About Me

It's Christmas, and I'm feeling expansive, so I'm not going to tag anyone specific. Whatever holiday you celebrate, think of this as my gift to you. It's just your size, right?

1. Sometimes, when I think of something stupid that I've done in the past, I wind up talking to myself or making some sort of loud noise to either (A) correct the situation in the past or (B) drive the disturbing thought from my head.

2. When I get into bed and the sheets are cold, I have to run to warm them up. I lay in bed on my side and run my legs (or bicycle them, I suppose). I've done it ever since I was in nursery school.

3. I always drink milk with spaghetti and tomato sauce. Again, something from my childhood. I spent time in Italy- I know this is a faux pas. My friend's Italian grandfather used to punish the kids for drinking milk with tomato sauce. My Sleepy-Voiced Husband calls it borderline-repulsive.

4. I was totally compelled to look at the photos of Britney Spears's "Devil's Onion Ring" as SVH calls it (just that specific one- not all of them). Oh yes, I regretted it. Oh yes, I think it's ridiculous that all these notorious tabloid queens are flashing their ladybits to the world and it's being considered news. I don't normally seek out pictures of the cooters of the rich and famous. And yet- I looked. And I made my husband look, which is simultanously weirder AND hilarous, because it made him very sad.

5. When I get the oh-my-god-it-hurts-but-I-can't-stop-laughing giggles, when I begin to settle down, I have to make a "hmmmm" sound. Which usually sets them off again. It's a vicious cycle. I didn't know I did it until SVH pointed it out.

6. I love bizarre, violent anime. I practice yoga, I'm compassionate, I'm a bleeding heart liberal, I hate real life violence... but give me an animated film with women with impossible measurements wearing too little clothing, carrying ridiculously huge machine guns and causing people's limbs to fly off in fountains of blood, and I can't get enough! Actually, one of my very favorites was called Hellsing- it was about vampires, and the main vampire gets shot so many times that his jaw falls off. Then he laughs and he reassembles, and dogs come out of his hands and then nothing recognizable is left of the people who shot him, and, and was awesome. I may have blended a few different scenes together, but you get the gist.

If you need to know any other weird things about me, I direct you to the post a few days ago in which I showed pictures of my bathroom and told how I was going to eat in the tub. Which is apparently much more common than I thought. I'm glad I'm in good company.

Monday, December 18, 2006


I finished the socks!

Kouros helped them get dry by lying on them shortly after this photo was taken.

The Big 3-0

I went to my friend's 30th birthday party on Saturday night. In the upstairs of a bar that he rented. As Carl, Nicole and I headed up the stairs, feeling the thud of the pounding music, I turned and said (in what would be the last thing I said that night in anything resembling a normal voice), "I'm getting too old for this shit!"

Oh, I only celebrated my 30th birthday about 2 years ago (I'm an aquarius, of course), but considering I was planning on being about 7 months pregnant right about now, I really hadn't thought I was going to be in the position to be doing a lot of late night, loud, dancing and partying any longer. By the end of the night (make that OUR night- it was only midnight), Carl was losing his voice from trying to chat with people. He said, "Hey Nicole, just give a yell when you're ready to go," to which she said, "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!"

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed catching up with friends I hadn't seen in a long time. And I just love the birthday boy. But I'm beginning to understand why my Dad used to grin at my Mom on nights when we'd all be laying around the fire playing games and say, "There is no place else I'd rather be right now!"

We had such an active social life right up until maybe the last year... now it's more mellow. We like it that way. I reckon I'm nesting.

In honor of this weekend and my old age, I give you a picture of me at MY 30th birthday party.

I was given a tiara by a friend.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

The one where I have no pride

As promised, a picture of the gifty Jaywalker socks:

So this morning, I started to feel just the slightest bit of concern about whether I'll get everything done that I want to get done before we leave for Christmas (Friday). I decided that I needed to do something terribly nice for myself to get through. I'd been reading about April (Yes, yes, I'll get to that meme later) having those moments where she just had to follow her gut with her knitting and how doing what felt right rather than what she should do. It actually got her further in what she needed to do than forcing herself would have done. I'm actually not worried about completing my Christmas gifts- the socks are nearly done and the baby sweater should be a breeze- I'm thinking the Christmas cookies might not happen this year. At least, not before Christmas.

So anyway, I decided to do something nice for memememememe! I ran a nice hot bath, made a pot of coffee, lit a bunch of candles and had a bath while listening to Heather Ordover's dulcet tones. I found a really good bathtub iPod set-up where I was unlikely to drop the little thing into the tub with me.

I love knitting podcasts in the tub, don't you?

And I had a friend join me. After trying to sniff the flame on one of the candles, Kouros decided to hang out further away from them.


Dear God, I'm posting pictures of my bathroom. I have really lost it now. Well, as long as I've destroyed any illusion of normalcy, I'll confess that if Sleepy Voiced Husband hadn't awakened and come out to talk to me, I was fixing to eat that last piece of caramel apple pie IN THE TUB. Instead, I ate it while we chatted and before I got in the bath. He saved me from truly bizarre behavior.

Wow. I think I'll go now before I completely embarrass myself (actually, before I embarrass SVH- as I said, I have no pride). I'll answer April's 6 weird things meme later... although I think this post may have provided more than six on its own.


Thursday, December 14, 2006

The beauty from afar

I'm working my way through the heel gusset of my second Jaywalker. But it's dark so I'm not going to take ANOTHER crappy picture. Honestly, I fancy myself an artist, and then I post positively horrendous photos on my blog. Of course, I'm never in my home when it's light unless it's a weekend, so I'm going to have to wait until Saturday to post a picture. Instead, I think I promised a long time ago to say something about painting things to be seen from afar.

My set looks pretty good from far away, but when you get up close, the freaks come out. Here's the little mutant girl, who doesn't have features, just creases:

Have you ever been to the Cosmos? It's this crazy-ass house in the Black Hills in South Dakota that they claim has all these weird, mysterious forces. Whatever. It's all how it's constructed. The floors and walls are at odd angles so it looks like you're standing on the wall or a ball is rolling uphill. I've apparently channeled the Cosmos Mystery Area in my church- this building is NOT structurally sound:

And no freak show could be complete without a bearded lady:

So that was all in fun- really, I felt pretty good about the set. However, I noticed when my friend Nestor came over to do the lettering (he wants to get into set painting- he does billboards right now) I immediately began to point out all the flaws. I thought I was making a joke, but at one point he said, "Man, you haven't said one nice thing about yourself all night!" And I realized that he was right! I didn't even feel bad about what I was saying, it just seemed natural. Like I needed to say, "Hey, don't think I didn't notice that thing sucks. I don't want you to think I'm dumb and didn't see it or anything." Why do we do that? It's almost encouraged in women.

I'm beginning to think that shit is for the birds.

Monday, December 11, 2006


I was in the kitchen and I heard a strange noise.

I found this cabinet open (note the gap at the top between it and the next cabinet).

The noise was coming from the next cabinet over (which was closed). So I looked inside.

Three guesses why he climbed in there...

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Better Late Than Never

I went to the show last night, and I was duly impressed. It was one of the better high school plays I've seen. The actual title of the show was
The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen's Guild Dramatic Society's Production of "A Christmas Carol" by David McGillivray and Walter Zerlin Jr.
and it was hilarious! We laughed a lot, which is always good. Really brought me into the spirit of Christmas happiness.

Here are the pictures:

The blank slate... well, with the place we tested the airbrush. It's got the sketch drawn on it, but you can't see it here.

Maybe here you can see a bit of the sketch

The sky brushed in... and it looks like shit.

The trees add a lot and make the sky look less shitty... it recedes. So then I forgot to bring my camera for the next 3 days...

And this is the final, finished project

This is the corner I kept showing you before. There was a lot more going on in it than you could see from the earlier pictures.

Tomorrow- how painting things to be seen from a distance is different than my regular painting.

Thursday, December 07, 2006


I finished the crazy air-brushed backdrop tonight, since the little high school play opens tomorrow. I started taking pictures of the process, but I don't have any of the past couple of nights. Maybe tomorrow I'll bring my camera and snap a few shots before the play so I can show you the progression.

Air brushes are kind of cool. However, they are often A HUGE PAIN IN THE ASS! They get clogged, they are temperamental, and you have to have a frigging air compressor to make them go. I don't think I'll buy one any time soon, but I do appreciate what you can do with a good airbrush. Still, give me a real brush any day.

Overall, I'm pretty happy with what I managed to accomplish in a week's work. The first time I ever touched an airbrush was last Friday night. I learned a lot. And whatever isn't so great doesn't show up from the audience. PLUS, the thing was supposed to be painted by a bunch of batty old British ladies anyway.

Like I said, pics tomorrow. Ta!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Cara's Story

I don't know if you read January 1- a lot of knitters do, though I only started reading it recently- but she told her story today about leaving grad school and the panic and anxiety and being a perfectionist and feeling sick all the time and it was all so familiar and so RIGHT ON THE MARK that I felt that feeling in the pit of my stomach all over again.

It's been nearly 3 years since I left. I haven't moved on as quickly as I'd like in some ways and in other ways I'm progressing so fast. I really didn't know what the hell I was going to do, and while I'm still working in science, I've got a JOB that I can forget about when I leave at the end of the day (and sometimes even during the day) and a Fantastic Boss who knows the score and is glad to have me work for him for as long as I wish. I've taken a few classes, learned to paint, designed a few graphic-type thingies and been paid for them. I've painted sets and even won awards. I know it's only the beginning. I've got good feelings about the year to come.

I'm so glad Cara decided to share her story. It was so similar, except that she showed amazing maturity at 22 and stopped it THEN rather than at 29 with 7 years of torture under her belt. I don't know how to explain the sense of deja vu... it was like she was saying things from out of my memories. And it was good to remember, to take stock of where I am now compared to then. It was good, too, to know, even now that I'm through the whole ordeal, that someone else out there knows how terrifying, and yet how absolutely, undeniably necessary the choice was.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

My New Year's Resolution

One of my new year's resolutions last year was to knit a sweater. And I did, albeit a mini-sweater. This year, I'm going to knit one hell of a sweater, starting on New Year's Day! I'm inviting all of you to join me and my favorite displaced Minnesotan, Amanda, in our quest to learn colorwork and steeking! The THRILL! I give you, the Enid Cardigan Knitalong!

This will be my first adult size sweater, heaven help me, and I'm going to jump in with both feet! Yee haw! Our group blog is located here. This will be our first big project of 2007, so you don't have to worry about it while you're frantically doing your holiday knitting. And the bonus? You can ask Santa for the yarn!