Dude, Not Cool

Ever feel like the world is out to get you? Well, that’s overstating things a bit, but I’m pretty pissed about the latest indignity I’ve been made to suffer:

Not only did they take the tires, they took the wheels too. Who fucking does that?

All 4 tires & wheels gone. About 2 weeks after having just put new tires on. Because we’re cheap, we had a $1,000 deductible, but with this and some other damage the whole thing came to $4100. I’ve spent more of my Forum severance pay in the last year than I did in the entire 2 years I was unemployed. The funny thing was, I walked right past my car on the way to the bus stop and didn’t even notice. The neighbor called H and told him about it. I wish I could have gotten a photo of Howard, three of our neighbors and me just standing there staring dumbfounded. Well, fuck. What can you do? Amazingly, the guys from Discount Tire came over to the house in the driving rain and put on the  new tires & wheels so we could get the thing towed to the insurance estimator’s place.

Oh yeah, I started a new job at the state in the IT department. 100% better than data entry. People have brains that they use for something besides complaining. It’s only been 2 weeks, but I think it’s going to work out just fine. I have to say it’s really different to work in a real IT setting than when I was pretending to be the IT at the Forum. Apparently most companies don’t just have a stoolie like me making it up as they go along. They have these things called experience, knowledge and training. Weird.

Now on to Kramer, the foster dog. Kramer had rough time. He was rescued from Georgia, brought up here, had 2 separate knee surgeries, got adopted, needed to get unadopted because it just wasn’t going to work out, and finally ended up here. A nice quiet boy who needed a chance. A chance to bite someone that is. On the first day we had him he bit H. OK, so H was being a little handsy, hugging someone he didn’t really know or have permission to hug, but biting is not an acceptable response. We talked to the rescue people and decided that he just needed a little time to de-stress from the unadopting situation, so we said we would continue on. Day 2 Kramer bit me while I was giving him his meds. Obviously this just wasn’t going to work. It wasn’t so much the biting us; we weren’t afraid of him or unsympathetic, and we may have continued on if it weren’t for our own dogs. We weren’t willing to risk them getting bit.

So we made arrangements for Kramer’s former foster to pick him up. Kramer was thrilled to see Bob and it sounded like the story was going to have a happy ending. Then Bob told us that Kramer had bit him when he was lifting him onto the couch AND he had bit his son and taken a chunk out of his lip. Bob thought he could rehabilitate this poor dog (who when he wasn’t biting, was a very sweet guy), but H and I think he’s probably headed to the Rainbow Bridge.

Published in: on July 4, 2012 at 12:26 pm  Comments (4)  

Death by Boredom

Now I know why they call it work.

Working at the DOR is the first soul-sucking job I’ve ever had. I go in. I sit down in a cube (my first time in a cube farm). I turn on the computer. I look at a tax return the system rejected. I fix the address. I go on to the next one. Wash, rinse repeat for 8 hours. Time is very important to these people so I have to be uber careful to arrive, take my morning break, my lunch break, and my afternoon break at their appointed times.

The only 2 things that make this bearable is that I accidentally found this great geek podcast that I can listen to all day, and that I get to play music professionally four days a week.  If it weren’t for these things, I’d a shot myself by now. Enough of the horror.

Cabaret just finished its third and penultimate week. All in all it’s gone very well. I feel that I rose to the challenge and even though I’m not in top form, I’m rapidly approaching it. I never knew how much I missed playing and now I want to keep going. My friend and music director Mike said I am now on his go-to list. I hope he’s means it because this is pretty much his doing.

There are a couple of high school students playing in the pit. They all attend Saint Paul Conservatory of the Arts, or the School of the Misfit Toys as I call it. Every story they tell me about their classmates or teachers is just this side of keeping child protective services at bay. They’re really good kids and they’re not bad players either. Renee the basson player decided that I’m like a cool crazy aunt, so I’ve got that going for me.

My adventures in felting continue. I sent The Rug through the washer a couple more times and things have evened out somewhat. I spent a lot of time tugging and pulling on it tonight and now it’s drying. I’ll still need to trim it up a bit and then whipstitch the border.

I finished my slippers and they felted down way too small for me, which is quite a feat since I wear kid’s size shoes. I snipped the opening a little so I could get them on to fit, but they’re definitely more like little felted footies as opposed to slippers. They may go into the etsy pile. I may go back to Bev Galeska’s Fiber Trend Clogs.

Published in: on March 20, 2011 at 8:44 pm  Leave a Comment  

Of Musicals and Knitting

First the knitting. I finished phase one of The Rug. Here it is in it’s unfelted and unsteeked state


THE rug, in all its unfelted glory.

It’s so pretty and vibrant, I’m afraid to take the next step. Maybe tomorrow.

So as I’ve mentioned, I’m playing clarinet and sax in a production of Cabaret. It’s going OK. I’m not as pick-it-up and not miss a beat brilliant as I was in my fantasy about all of this as I’d like to be but I don’t completely suck either. The thing I’ve found the hardest is counting rests and coming in properly, oh and catching key changes because the keys for singers are gawd-awful for players. No one in the real world plays in B major, seriously. And really do you have to change key a hundred times in one piece? Isn’t the smell of the greasepaint and the roar of the audience excitement enough that you have to keep changing keys all the damn time? It’s annoying. Anyway I’ve always played a bit by ear so it takes me a couple of times to hear when I’m supposed to come in because I don’t trust my counting or keeping track of 8-bar phrases. Poor Mike. I told him it wasn’t going to be pretty. I’m getting a lot of “gee, you sound great,” and “we’re so happy to have you doing this,” that I think they all protest too much. The piano player, who’s done the show a million times and knows the book inside and out is very patient with me and when he says something nice it doesn’t feel quite so like someone cheering on a runner at the Special Olympics.

One thing that amazed/amused me about doing this musical is that the choreographer asked Mike if he thought she could get me for a production of Fiddler that she’s doing at the arts high school. I will do it if she asks. I mean, I pulled the horn out from it’s case so I might as well take the opportunities presented to me. The universe is funny.

No word from the Craft Council yet. I has a sad about that. I want that job. I mean if I have to have a job, that’s where I want to work.

Published in: on February 28, 2011 at 3:19 pm  Comments (3)  

Curse you, DBNY

Discount Brand Name Yarns is an evil, evil entity. I think I’ve gotten something from them every day this week, its siren song of cheap yarn tempting me closer and closer to the rocks. Usually I just delete the emails without looking at it, but they got me this week with a 75% off a box of Lamb’s Pride schwag – $100 of merch for $25. How could I pass it up? I didn’t.
So since I took the bait, they’re now sending me something every day. The obviously know about my alpaca problem, because they keep telling about all the lovely stuff they have for me. NO! MUST. NOT. BUY. MUST. NOT. EVEN. LOOK.

I’m still at the college, and even got an extension of my gig here. I suppose it’s nice, but I miss being lazy at home, making a latte and staring contentedly out at the winter scene before me. It’s a pretty easy gig and it even allows me time to surf the web and do some knitting. So far I finished a pair of Happy Feet socks, and cast on then frogged 2 socks for Mister. For some reason I just can’t get the size right for his Flintstone feet!

The women I’m spending my days with are all charming and very different from one another. OK, maybe there’s one who’s not charming, but hey, it wouldn’t be my life without a certified whacko in the vacinity. The lady is a professional victim who always seems to be on the verge of having a complete meltdown. To be fair she’s had a couple of things happen that she’s trying to work through, including an emergency trip to Spain because her mother had a stroke. But even before she left for Spain she had the look of a trapped animal in her eyes.

To illustrate the oddness: I was texting my pal Kate about a very important knitting question involving a steek. I’m sure everyone here can acknowledge that any discussion of cutting one’s knitting is serious business, right? OK so I’m texting Kate and my phone makes a little beep on every keystroke. Nobody dies, no wars start, it just a little beep. All of a sudden Mrs. Crazypants shouts, “What is that beeping? ARE YOU TEXTING?”

“Yes, I am. I’ll be done in 30 seconds.”


“I don’t know how I’m sorry. I’m almost done.” – said meekly.

At this point she had a huff and flounced out of the room. I’ve also heard her yell at students, hang up on them, and she frequently has no idea what she’s doing and she’ll either look desparately at the rest of us, or she’ll just make something up. Yesterday she was eating some sort of powder substance (looked like jello mix) off a knife. I have not poked the crazy once.

Back to the subject of steeking. Kate and I have started our own little knit along. We’re both doing “the rug.” This rug being the Kiki Mariko felted rug in the 2nd Mason Dixon book. Exhibit A someone else’s rug:

photo of awesome rug
My first Faire Isle. So scary, but once I cast on and started up I found out it’s not bad at all. It’s a pretty easy pattern – a perfect place to start. And at the end you have a georgeous rug. So georgeous in fact that if my baby turns out well, I’m going to finally have a piece to approach my friend Jennifer who runs an artist shop with and ask her if she’d like to take it or any like it for sale. I’ve wanted to do this for a long, long time, but I really haven’t had anything to offer her that would be different from what she already has.
Here is my next Faire Isle project:
Knitting Porn
Sorry I can’t embiggen it. It’s really for your own good because if it was bigger you’d probably fall over from the beauty.
Published in: on January 7, 2011 at 12:29 pm  Comments (3)  

I’ve been avoiding the blog

Mainly because I didn’t have photos to share. Well, imagine my happiness when I opened an email from my friend Kati and there were multiple photos of her little boy in the sweater I made for him.

Simon models his latest spring fashion.

I picked up a temp job for the Minneapolis Public Schools doing web work for the department of world languages. It’s been interesting, a great learning experiencing and it’s morphed into a number of different assignments.  Most importantly it’s been bringing money into the house from work instead of unemployment.

I had to switch from my beloved Happy Choice socks to crank out a baby blanket for a friend. I realized that I don’t like big projects. I like quick stuff like hats and socks. So why did I just order a pattern books for afghans? I just love books so much, and I’m thinking maybe I could like an afghan that is made up of different blocks. Anyway, I’m knitting this thing and now after getting the pictures of Simon in his little kimono I’m wondering why I didn’t make another of these? It would certainly take less time than this blanket.

Truth be told, yarn I’m using, a green and blue self-striping boucle, has been hanging around my stash for far too long and this is a great opportunity to move it on it’s way.

Published in: on April 16, 2010 at 3:27 pm  Comments (2)  

Team Cake vs. Team Pie

So, through my friends at www.ravelry.com I found a site that contemplates one of the great questions of our time Cake vs. Pie. Not only Cake vs. Pie, but a real March Madness, bracketed, knock down drag out. Even though I never NEVER have the urge to go out in search of cake, I really am Team Cake. I think it’s because I’m always sort of in search of Mr. GoodPie, and pie just never lives up to the promise. Cake in any form is almost always edible, although frosting can ruin or make the cake. Catch up and vote at http://jezebel.com/5499422/march-madness-day-5-cake-conference-keeps-playing-it-safe.

Mr., it turns out is Team Pie. We’re trying to learn to agree to disagree.

I have a real-live job interview on Friday for a financial aid officer gig. If I have to have a job, this would be just fine. Currently I’m doing a temp job for the Minneapolis Public School System putting up a website for the world languages department’s Arabic and Chinese courses. I’m also doing some evaluating and documenting of cultural programming and curriculum on their behalf. It’s been very enlightening to see a little piece of a big school system’s administration. I really feel for these teachers. If they weren’t all having to do a million things besides teaching kids, the US education system wouldn’t be in such dire straits (straights?).

I haven’t made much progress on my Happy Choices sock no. 1 which is now sock no. 2. I got burned out as this is the 3rd time I’ve restarted that particular sock. I put it aside in favor of a baby blanket that will need to travel to Colorado sooner rather than later. Nothing fancy, just large, alternating blocks of knit vs. purl rectangles.

Published in: on March 24, 2010 at 3:15 pm  Comments (1)  

I feel like the weather

Gloomy and mud-covered. All this shall pass.

I got my second nibble of my entire job search. Financial Aid Officer at Metro State University. It’s been a lot of years since I was a financial aid counselor but I figure that after I get caught up on current rules and regulations, it would be like the bike of legend and song. Other pluses: it’s really near the house, there’s (probably) free parking, and some sort of tuition allowance.

I got a little order of 12 felted coffee sleeves from my beloved Black Dog Cafe. That took the better of two weeks and more like 20 sleeves made. Some just came out butt-stinking ugly.

Other knitting – I made a pair of thick and juicy house socks for Mister. They feature my first after-though heels. I got to the second toe and realized I didn’t have enough contrasting yarn to do the heel, so I just used a different color. Mr. is not a fashionista and he doesn’t care. Besides, they’re as much slippers as socks and really aren’t capable of being worn in a shoe. In some ways I think it’s cute. Of course I handed them over and found the rest of the ball of red yarn. Sigh.

I finished happy choices sock 1 and the poor thing is really disfigured. Being paranoid about picking up gusset stitches, I ended up with 24 instead of the 12 I was supposed to have. The result is a goofy gusset that goes almost all the way to the instep. I shant be re-making the sock however. It looks fine on my foot and fits perfectly.

Photographic evidence on all this forthcoming.

Published in: on March 12, 2010 at 6:50 pm  Leave a Comment