February 8, and it’s 86 degrees in Los Angeles

WTH?

I’m at work right now, and I’m feeling anxiety, no idea why. Can’t focus ’cause I just want to go home and cuddle under a blanket on my couch (in 86 degree temps, go figure). But I can’t go home yet, so I came here.

It has occurred to me that I never got around to doing a “firsts” list for 2015, so let’s do that.

never-done-this-before

Things I did for the first time ever, in 2015:

I visited Chicago for the first time (for Museums and the Web).
2015 was the first time I knew someone from the witness list of a trial I was almost on a jury for (got booted, not a first).
Oh yeah, this is why I hadn’t done the list yet–it was the first time I found a deceased person, my friend “serenada”.
It’s also the first year I had two close friends die, serenada and Christopher (cancer). 2015 really sucked.
It was the first time I’d met serenada’s mother and cousins.
It was the first time I played a Meatloaf song on my phone, at a wake. (Chris’s)
I was captain of our pool tournament team. We came in third.
I was in the same room and breathed the same air as Benedict Cumberbatch and Kiera Knightly (panel discussion for “Imitation Game”).
I met Dr. Parvati Kashani, who fixed my elbow problems. She’s pretty cool.
I interviewed with the Smithsonian. (That was pretty cool!)
I saw the penultimate episode of The Thrilling Adventure Hour at the Largo.
I went to Wondercon and heard Felicia Day speak.
Saw the Arrow cast and crew panel at Paleyfest.
Bought my first $40+ skein of yarn.
Had a full-body massage for the first time ever, at the Rio in Vegas.
Went to my first clothing swap party, at Emily’s.
Went to my first Jewish service, a memorial service for my friend’s dad.
Spent July 4th weekend at a rental house in Vegas with Buffistas.
Was in the same room and breathed the same air as Sir Ian McKellan (!!) for “Mr. Holmes” panel (with Laura Linney too).
Went to a wedding at a courthouse (Kat and Katie, and their anniversary was this past Saturday, so yay them!).
Saw E.T. with a live orchestra at the Bowl for my birthday.
Went to LACMA to see the Gehry exhibition. (It was pretty cool!)
Saw Better Off Dead in a theater, with members of the cast.
Crashed into a coffee table and split my lip open.
Went to Legoland in Somerville.
Played Ticket to Ride. (LOVE this game!)

So it wasn’t ALL bad, but it really wasn’t a great year. I was depressed for at least half of it, and trying to dig out for the other half.

Here’s hoping for a better 2016.

Yarn Crawl 2015

The SoCal Yarn Crawl was a couple of weeks ago, and while I had a grand time in just one day (March 27), I spent a FORTUNE and am totally not allowed to buy yarn again for awhile. And seriously, I only visited four stores!

My first stop was Compatto, which is very near me and yet, I’d never been to it. It’s a compact store with plenty of light, and some wonderful yarns, but I must say, it’s a little expensive for my budget, and will have to remain a special occasion store for me. Most especially, I can’t allow myself to be in the vicinity of their amazing selection of Red Barn Yarn Llama Sparkle. Holy geez, I want to be buried with this yarn! Soft and sparkly and hand-dyed–simply gorgeous. And easily the most I’ve ever spent on a single skein of yarn (let’s just say it was north of $40). But seriously, could you have resisted this amazing marshmallow-y awesomeness?

Red Barn Yarn Llama Sparkle in Anemone
Red Barn Yarn Llama Sparkle in Anemone

My next stop was my favorite local store, The Knitting Tree. I love this place because it’s wonderfully busy and still cozy, and the staff are totally low-pressure. Of course, once I got there, I saw the Yarnover Truck in the parking lot, so I had to stop in there first, as it was another new-to-me experience.

The Yarnover Truck
The Yarnover Truck

Despite the heat of the day, they had enough fans going to keep the inside quite comfortable, and I spent a lot of time looking for the perfect yarn for my Sophie’s Universe–and I found it, in Baah!’s La Jolla line. But of course, I was in yarn crawl mode, so the price, while it would’ve freaked me out any other time, did not stop me from buying four skeins in gorgeously bright colors.

Four La Jolla skeins (the bright ones) and one Anzula Cricket (the left one)
Four La Jolla skeins (the bright ones) and one Anzula Cricket (the left one)

So bright and beautiful, how could I resist? I also had to get that Anzula Cricket, a super-soft cashmere/merino blend, that I know will make something nice for my sister–she loves those types of colors.

Then I headed into The Knitting Tree. I’d been in there just a week earlier, so I technically didn’t really *need* anything, but for Yarn Crawl weekend, I like to buy something from every store I visit, and what do you, they *also* carried Baah! yarns. So I picked up a lighter pink skein and a more solid green one to add to my Sophie colors.

La Jolla in pink and variegated green.
La Jolla in pink and green.

And that was all I had time for that weekend. But once I started my Sophie (that night), I realized it was going to need some lighter colors to offer some relief from the bright. I spent that Saturday working on my taxes, but Sunday, I stopped at an LYS on my way to a party. A Major Knitwork did not have any La Jolla in the colors I was looking for, but I found some nice substitutes that I thought would mix well (and at half the price!), so I picked up these lovely off-white and light-green skeins.

Frog Tree Pediboo
Frog Tree Pediboo

Cascade Yarns Heritage Sock in soft lime
Cascade Yarns Heritage Sock in soft lime

And so far, they’re working out quite nicely with the La Jolla colors. All told, I spent a bit more than $300, on just eight skeins of yarn. Yikes. No more yarn spending for awhile, for shizzle.

But to end on a high note, here’s the most recent pic of my Sophie:

Sophie's Universe, as of 4/13/15. I'm actually a little further along now, but I have tendonitis and have had to stop crocheting and knitting for awhile.
Sophie’s Universe, as of 4/13/15. I’m actually a little further along now, but I have tendonitis and have had to stop crocheting and knitting for awhile.

Sophie’s Universe is a mystery crochet-along, although I’m so far behind now, it’s no longer a mystery. See for yourself!

So that was my yarn crawl weekend. I would’ve loved to have hit up a few more stores, but to be honest, I’m not sure I could’ve afforded it. 🙂

The state of me, which is, I’m now large enough to be a state

So the hill didn’t work out so great. I made it about 100 yards before my knee protested quite loudly, and I haven’t had the guts to try again since.

Me getting a tattoo in January. There is no excuse for how much weight I've gained. :-(
Me getting a tattoo in January. There is no excuse for how much weight I’ve gained. 🙁
Eating healthy on my own hasn’t been working either, though, so last week I rejoined Lindora, the SoCal weight-loss program that has worked for me quite well in the past. It was $600 I wasn’t planning on spending at the time, but I’d reached maximum disgust with myself and didn’t stop to think about the consequences–I just drove myself to the clinic and walked in the door.

The consequences came later, of course. For one, I’d signed up right before a conference in Chicago. The Lindora rep and I decided the best time to officially start the program would be the Monday after I get back, since starting while in a hotel would just be setting me up for failure. (Whew!) That $600 price tag was another yikes, so I sold some Apple stock to help pay for it.

And then the scariest part was stepping on the scale. Holy bejeezus, that was horrible. I’m up to a horrifying, revolting, what-the-fuck L.A. high of 242 pounds, a mere FIFTEEN POUNDS LESS THAN MY LIFE-TIME HIGHEST OF 257!

So. That happened. And now I almost can’t wait for next Monday to come so I can get started on resetting my brain, because even that horrible, terrible number hasn’t been enough to stop me from eating the ice cream and donuts, and even sitting in the most uncomfortable chair ever last week at a restaurant that obviously doesn’t cater to large-assed customers, wasn’t enough to stop me from ordering dessert. I need the full-stop, no-compromises regimen that Lindora provides, and I really can’t wait.

I don’t want to be this uncomfortable in my own skin anymore.

Getting out of survival mode

A close friend of mine died in January, shortly after the holidays. I was the one who found her on her couch, two days after she’d passed, and I’ve pretty much been in survival mode since then. For me, survival mode means ice cream and donuts, rarely leaving my couch except for work, watching TV episodes that I’ve already seen and therefore already know what happens, and knitting and crocheting like my life depends on it.

So here I am, two months later. My weight is the highest it’s been since I moved to L.A. almost 15 years ago, which has led to my knee issues and heel spurs flaring up and causing much pain whenever I’m standing, much less walking. My right arm, particularly the elbow, is in almost constant pain from the relentless knitting and crocheting, making it difficult to type, to brush my hair, to hold my camera, and to play pool. My whole body feels out of control, and the pain makes me not want to move at all, completing a very ugly circle.

I’m trying to shake loose and bounce myself out of this survival mode that’s more like a “self-destruct mode”. This morning I finally went to my knee doctor for my overdue orthovisc shot–only two and a half months late. Next week I’m seeing an elbow doctor. And tomorrow I’m going to try to walk down the hill for the first time since before Christmas.

Changing my eating habits is of course proving to be way harder. Despite probiotics and some new med my doc put me on to control cravings, I have been unable to stay away from any of my customary sabotage foods–particularly sugar, but also pizza, chinese food, pasta, etc. My sis and sis-in-law suggest The Whole 30, which seems crazy hard to me, but my colleague said 14Four is similar, but half the time, so theoretically easier. However, it also costs, which The Whole 30 doesn’t. So, do I fork over the cash to try to help myself? So far, I’m undecided. I think I’ll see how the hill works out first.