Monday, August 11, 2008

positive thoughts only

Cariadus has hepatitis. He is in the kitty hospital on an IV. I have unilaterally decided that he will be just fine.

Your positive thoughts in that general direction are very much appreciated.


Thursday, June 05, 2008

A river in Eqypt

Last night some friends and I went to see the new movie about the four women in New York? You know the one. I refuse to type the words because I know just what sort of web searches will land people here if I do and well...I like my safe and unexposed little blog just the way it is, thankyouverymuch.

Anyway, so after sitting through about two hours of this thing, which I must say, was well acted, despite the script's apparent shortcomings, they actually had the audacity to take it all, tie it up with a sparkley, pink bow, and give it a happy ending. Now, happy endings are one thing, but when the happy ending required a man (or a dog as the case may be) that, to me, completely undermines the entire point of the whole freakin series.

And that's all I have to say about that.

In other news, I've discovered some co-workers at the "joe job" that are, by all accounts, rather promising prospects as real-life friends. The only rub?: They're both really cute.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am in trouble. BIGFAT trouble. The kind of trouble that can only lead to the most delicious brand of excitement...and possibly drama. This is why I am in denial. This is not happening, and I am not dealing with it. Because if I did. If I did acknowledge it and all the ramifications and allowed myself to think of the potentiality...? Well, I'm not going there. Cause it's not happening.

See? Denial.

Moving on...

During my glorious trip to Vancouver, (I'll pause here for a moment of blissful reflection.) I managed to stumble upon not one, but two yarn stores. There, I picked up enough Cascade 220 (on sale, no less!) to make Oblique (Ravelry link.) I am so ridiculously excited about it, it's kindof sad, really. It's a gorgeous purple heather colour that I will gladly photograph for all you lovely folks just as soon as it stops being gray and rainy outside. Being on the west coast, that could take a while.

My time in Vancouver was pretty enlightening, I must say. My entire energy changed there. I just felt...clearer. If that makes any sense. I came back feeling refreshed and lighter. I need to get myself to the mainland, people. I found a great neighbourhood that I would LOVE to live in, a job that I would be excited to wake up and go to every morning and a transportation system that actually takes people where I want to go. All very important. Now, universe this one's for you: gimme, gimme, gimme.

Also? I start my new Big Girl™ Job on Monday. I'm not gonna lie: I'm a little nervous. I'm sure it will all be fine. I am university edu-macated, after all. But still.

Speaking of university? I convocate this month. Can you believe it? I feel like I blinked on my first day and ended up here. But I'm definitely here. I just paid the university an unholy sum of money for the privilege of wearing some smelly ol' robe for a few hours. Pray for cool weather, people. That's all I can say. Now I just have to figure out what the heck to wear under it.

Y'see, I'm not really a dress sort of girl, per se. I mean, I have a few, but most of them are casual. And the one dress-up dress I own? Well, I wore it to a school function earlier this year. I'm sure you see the problem. Gah! I do believe there is some shopping in my future. I wonder if I have enough time to pick something up in Toronto on the morning before my convo...No. No. I'm a Big Girl™ now. I plan ahead. I am calm, cool, and...Oh, who are we kidding? This would be when a fairy godmother would come in mighty handy, y'all. Can you imagine? Oy. Maybe I'll go to the mall or something... I'll hafta ask around and see where one might acquire cute dresses about town.

Okay, I'm off to knit and drink coffee and try to arrange a visit to the art gallery to see the Warhol exhibit and generally freak out. Have a fabulous Thursday, everyone!

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Thursday, May 29, 2008


Tomorrow I'm going to Vancouver for the day. I don't know if I'll have any time to check out any fun stuff as this trip has a rather specific (and fairly hushhush) purpose. I'm really just hoping not to get lost. Ah, the wonders of learning a new place and its eccentric transit system. I'm sure it makes perfect sense once you've done it once. Me? I'm used to Toronto. I knew Toronto. Everything was on a nice little grid and I knew which came before what. The same things I chose the west coast for are the things that make me a little batty when it comes to trying to get around the west coast. I mean, really, if the street ends, would it kill ya to name the street that starts in the same place only three streets over something different? It would certainly help to minimize the amount of standing around, looking confused that I do. Just sayin.

My package o'sundry items that I either forgot or that refused to fit within my 50lb weight requirement on the flight arrived from Toronto yesterday. Who knew I'd be so overjoyed to have my watch back? Along with a bunch of other stuff, I finally laid hands on my copy of the Summer IK. I have to say that I agree with several others who commented that the attractiveness of at least a few of the patterns was better appreciated in print than in the online preview. (Also, the person who selected the cover photo may want to watch their back. If I were that model, I would not be pleased that they picked the shot in which my eyes were closed. Anyway.) I still thought the fair majority fell squarely within the category of "I would never wear that in a million years, even if you paid me." It takes all sorts though, I suppose.

I am willing to freely admit that I am rather particular about the fit of knitwear. I am a product knitter and will rip and redo until I get something that's flattering. Unless it fits well, I won't wear it, so it won't matter how fabulous this or that technique is. That's a big problem with a lot of what I see these days. The ideas are great, but the finished garment ends up hanging on the model like a paper sack. Now put that on a woman with my proportions and you've got a good chance at ending smack dab in the middle of a wardrobe malfunction of epic proportions. Now, I'm by no means calling myself plus size, but I do have an above average chest and hips to balance it out. I don't need something that makes me look like a big ol' blob. I like a garment to define my waist without making me look like a 10-cent...well, you get the drift. Perhaps we knitters have gotten too complacent and are expecting knitwear designers to take us by the hand too often. Perhaps what really needs to happen is a massive push towards truly understanding garment construction at a level that allows us to adjust patterns so that we end up with something that fits our unique bodies. I dunno. It's sort of a chicken-and-egg thing, y'know?

In any case, I, like half the knitting universe, also have every intention of knitting the lacey hoodie and perhaps one or two other things from the issue, but as a whole, was pretty disappointed with the pattern selection. The articles, on the other hand, were leagues improved and I was surprised to find myself actually reading them. Shocking. I know.

On that note, I'm going to close here so I can go run some errands and find eleventy-billion quarters in order to ensure my ability to pay various bus fares tomorrow. If anybody has any suggestions on resources for learning about garment shaping in knitting, please let me know in the comments. Please keep in mind: I am a visual learner and broad theoretical discussion just doesn't do it for me.

Y'all have yourselves a fantastic Thursday!

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Monday, May 26, 2008


Today I will:

  • Teach someone to spin

  • Buy some clothes so I can sling coffee in compliance with dress code

  • Drink coffee

  • Not worry about "what if"

That last bit? It's the hard part.

The public review for the job competition I won (woo!) closes tonight at midnight. At that point, baring any major drama, the job is officially mine. Along with all the anxieties that come along with starting a new job. But today I will not worry about "what if."

We spent some time at the beach yesterday. It was truly beautiful. Yet I found my mind wandering to other things. I was not in the moment, and all I could think was what a waste of an experience it was. Hence my resolution for today.

It's interesting how introspective one can become when one has very little else to do. I am still in a holding pattern; still waiting for things to start; still on a tight budget. So to keep myself entertained, I pick people apart - mostly myself, but sometimes others. I've realized a few things along the way. I finally have some sort of a why for the end of my relationship, such as it is. It is not a good why, but it is an accurate one. And, unfortunately, it has absolutely nothing to do with me. Which only leaves me with the fairly unsatisfactory knowledge that either he'll get over it or he won't, and there's no guarantee that I'll be around when he does.

There has been knitting progress. I actually knit an entire pair of socks (Okay, they were plain stockinette socks on 3's, but still. Socks. Two of them. In two days.) and I've begun work on some twisted flower socks in a lovely teal. So far there's only about half an inch of cuff, so nothing particularly picture-worthy. Besides, my photos are stuck on my camera until the package from my sister containing the various sundry items left behind arrives.

On Saturday, we had a bit of a party here. It was supposed to be a low-key games night, but somehow morphed into two separate parties occurring in the same space. There was the games night involving the three of us that were relatively sober and then the drink 'til you're stupid night involving everybody else. One of the people's newish significant other was in attendance for the first time. It should be interesting to see how that all plays out.

I wish I could do more to convince you all that I'm doing more than phoning this one in today, but the truth of the matter is, I'm sortof out of material until I actually start going out and doing stuff again.

What did you all get up to this weekend?

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Monday, May 19, 2008

ain't life funny like that?

So, remember a few days ago when I wrote about trying to come to terms with the whole no articles question..? Turns out I was going to get my answer sooner than I though.

On Thursday, I received a call from someone who had contacted the authors of my reference letters who wanted to let me know that one of them has, apparently, been sabotaging me. Discretion didn't permit her to tell me what was said, only that it had raised some "serious concerns."

For a person such as myself who takes expectations very seriously and has been known to move heaven and earth in order to meet them, this was a significant blow to my psyche. It is particularly troubling to me that this is the first I'm hearing of anything even slightly resembling dissatisfaction with my performance. Perhaps it is my overt inherent sense of morality, but I just feel that this isn't the way things should be done. I have never considered myself perfect, nor do I expect to make everyone happy all the time (try as I might), but I certainly cannot become aware of areas to improve or learn more about or alter if there is no indication that it is required or desirable. Unfortunately, I am not omniscient.

Needless to say, I've been feeling a little vulnerable and betrayed. And hurt. And I'm not entirely sure what to do about it. If a person lied to you directly when you asked if they felt they could give you a good reference, is there any hope that you can get truth by asking via telephone what the issue is?

It does explain an awful lot though.

At some point, it seems your brain (or perhaps just my brain) just closes up shop and refuses to try to sort it out any longer. And that's when I find myself staring out my bedroom window, looking at this:

Allow me to be the first to tell you: It is very difficult to feel sorry for oneself for very long here. There's just far too much to smile at.

I expect to hear the results of having spoken with a third reference I provided tomorrow. My hope is that with the result will come some clarity. Either way, I do believe I will be slinging coffee in the very near future, so at least there will be some money coming in for all the money going out.

Also, once I overcame an unbelievably dense moment and somebody pointed out that I was not reading the chart for all the information it truly provided, I've been making much faster progress on my test knitting:

I am most pleased by this. Isn't it funny how your creative life can both mimic and contrast other aspects of your life?

And on the topic of exciting creative stuff, the knitting group I have adopted turned out to be a most gratifying experience for me on Friday night. I may have had to force myself to put on a dress and a happy face, but it was a good thing I went. I had a great time, got to listen to a lovely Australian accent and discovered that one of the ladies there wants to learn to spin and has borrowed the very same wheel I left in Toronto in order to do it. I'm hoping to arrange to stop by later this week so she and I can share knowledge. Just when I'm feeling at my most incompetent, someone comes along to remind me of all the valuable knowledge and skills I possess. Hell, stick me in Jane Austen's time and I woulda been the hottest product on the market! ;)

Ain't life funny like that?

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008


"When you realize that by changing your perspective, big things can be seen as little things, it becomes harder to worry about anything."

Today I had my fourth interview with a well-known retail coffee purveyor. That makes four interviews, one background check, and one criminal record check. Despite the very laid back attitude out here, I suppose some things are just not as malleable. This last interviewer graduated as a philosophy major in Toronto and she and I had a very stimulating conversation involving at least a few SAT words. I genuinely wanted to be friends with her. Come to think of it, I genuinely wanted to be friends with the shift supervisor there too. She was fantastic.

In other news, the government gig emailed to ask if it was alright if they contact the people who wrote my reference letters, so that's a good sign. Things are looking pretty pink and sparkly in this neck of the woods today.

I still miss this though:

How can you not, really? To me he just looks like a giant, fuzzy bundle of cuddley-ness. After everything he and I have been through (read: near-death illness on Christmas Eve '07 and several other very expensive medical melodramas) it's hard for me to be away from him, knowing that his hair is growing in more and more white every day and that the person who can read him best (me) is not there to check in on him.

I miss all the pets, really, but that was expected. This separation is only temporary and I'm sure they are being well cared for. I guess coming home to them was a very calming and happiness-inducing influence on my life that I hadn't fully recognized until now.

Lest you think I have been totally lazy on the knitting front, I have proof that what will be henceforth known as "The Tree Jacket Debacle" (TTJD) scarred me for life and robbed me of any and all desire to knit, I present as proof otherwise:

Tiffany's Utterly Fantastic, Super and Spectacular Exam Reward Socks!!
(note the two exclamation points - this is not a single exclamation point kind of sock by any means.)

I promise there are two of them, it's just that only one fit on the windowsill where there is enough light to capture the gorgeous true colours.


    Yarn: Handmaiden Casbah
    Colourway: Good question. Let's call it stunningly beautiful and call it a day, mmkay?
    Pattern: Cookie A's Monkeys (click here for those among you still uninitiated to the wonder of Ravelry. Get on with it already!)
    Mods?: Not a one. I even did the twisted rib cuff despite my penchant for laziness with this particular type of ribbing. Can you believe it? It must be some sort of knitting miracle: I knit a pattern exactly as written.

And, and AND...

I've also started in on my test knitting for Cookie's forthcoming pattern, Ornette (and again (scroll down)). There's more of it now, but I haven't had a chance to take a new photo yet.

If you're reading this, and I'm assuming based on my hit stats that there are at least a few lurkers out there, how 'bout y'all get in on a bit of audience participation and lemme know what kind of things y'all do to keep it all in perspective and avoid the worrying? Bonus points if one of those things is knitting! (hee!)

I'm off to enjoy the sunshine! 'Til next time!

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Monday, May 12, 2008

growing pains

When I declared my intention to "rediscover" myself I knew that I would have some challenges ahead. I knew that, in the process of redefining my boundaries, I'd run into some confusion or dismay that the predictable response was not forthcoming. I had no idea the tempest in a teapot I was about to unleash.

Apparently, it has been a good long while since I spoke my mind, I mean really spoke my mind. No holds barred, not pulling any punches; just calmly laying things out on the table and being satisfied with simply saying, "Well, here it is. Certainly, do as you please, but you asked." Apparently, doing just this, which as I (re)discovered is one of the personality traits I sortof enjoy about myself, is bound to shake things up a bit. Especially when the person getting the treatment is a little bit touchy about the subject to begin with.

Misunderstandings were had, tempers (well, really temper - singular) flared and silence was well...not-so-golden, shall we say? Things were "resolved" for lack of a better word, within 24 hours, my newfound boundaries still intact. (I will no longer be apologetic for having an opinion that differs from yours.) The friendship? Well, I think that particular friend's head might still be spinning a little. We'll see, I suppose.

I'm feeling a lot more positive about my life generally too. Lest you think I have transcended the status of mere mortal, rest assured: I still have my moments; moments when that tiny voice that creeps in at the edges of my mind just after I lay down to sleep murmurs all the negative, scary "What if...?"s that never lead anywhere good. I'm just becoming more practiced at arguing back. See? Law school did stick after all!

I had a truly honest conversation with my mother yesterday that I still have to remind myself wasn't dreamt. I think it was the very first time she actually heard me when I told her about how difficult it is to be in a city full of friends who mostly don't seem to understand how I've found myself among the ranks of article-less souls. That in itself wouldn't be so troublesome, but the pulling away is palpable. The silence from that general direction is deafening. Here, it's not so uncommon to be without an articling gig in this tougher market. People are not as interested in pretense. What I do doesn't come up in the first ten minutes of conversation. Often, it doesn't even come up at all. Unless I'm at a job interview.

I have yet to make significant progress with myself on the question of why I am without articles. I do know this: I went to law school to get a set of tools. I wanted to help people; truly to improve lives in some way. I wanted to open doors for people who, for whatever reason - lack of motivation, understanding, courage, resources - couldn't open them themselves. I am not so naive as to think that being a lawyer is the only way to do this. However, I'm equally unsure what alternatives can both satisfy that desire and feed my appetite for variety, intellectual challenge, and analysis. I do love to pick things apart, I do.

So I find myself on a journey. And for this journey there is no map. I bought myself a magnet for the fridge the other day; somewhere I'll be sure to see it on a daily basis. It says, "The future comes one day at a time." (Abraham Lincoln) and it's something I sorely need the reminder of. I like to plan; to think out the next three steps in any direction. That way I always have somewhere to go; a contingency; a backup plan. In some ways this is a positive personality trait. In others, it limits me and causes me to occasionally miss the moment. My aspiration for this time on the west coast is simple: to get comfortable in the not knowing; to relish it; to appreciate the beautiful possibility that not knowing creates. Yes, this may be a harder road to travel. (Allusions to Robert Frost acknowledged here.) I truly believe it will make all the difference.