Happy Valentine’s Day!

Once upon a time I viewed this day with loathing and deep disgust, wearing black as a protest against forced celebration of love and romance. Now, it’s just a day. Hating it gives it too much power and makes me miss what I don’t have, when most of the time, I’m pretty happy with what I do have. So, Happy V-Day to all, and especially to my nieces and nephews, siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, in-laws, extended family members, and beloved friends! I miss you all, and am very happy you’re in my life!

Now let us dance!

Hope and Rebirth?

I was at a conference a couple of weeks ago, where I got to hang out with a friend that I don’t see very often (like, every two years or so), but when we do, it’s like time hasn’t passed. He’s ridiculously easy to talk to, which we did for hours, and he’s very good at pointing out things that hadn’t occurred to me, and motivating me when I’ve given up on stuff (for example, he’s the one that convinced me to see another doctor two years ago about my knee–the doctor who then discovered the torn meniscus and need for surgery). This time was no exception.

I’ve been in a rut for a long time. I’ve known it, I blogged about it, but haven’t really done anything to get out of it–and no, picking up the hook and needles again doesn’t really count. The key, of course, is getting the hell out of the house. I spend waaaay too much time alone–sure, I have no problem with my own company, but eventually it does become too much. He gave me some suggestions to move me in the right direction, which may or may not stick for the long term, but for now at least it seems to be working.

So I’m going to San Fran soon for a weekend, to attend some WordPress seminars and to see another dear friend that I don’t see nearly enough. It was totally a whim decision, which I need to do more of.

And I’ve planned some camping trips–or rather, I’m tagging along with my almost-always camping friend on a couple of her outtings. Joshua Tree should be a good place to explore with my bicycle, and Big Bear will be great for the hiking and the smell of trees, which I really miss.

I have more friends visiting in May and June, and my work on other people’s websites will be ending very soon, so maybe, hopefully, if I stay motivated, I’ll finally take my bike out to the beach once or twice in the coming months.

And totally unexpectedly, but I’m excited so I’m putting it here anyway, one of my little brothers is in town, so I’ll be seeing him this week for the first time in four years. Yay!

Which is all well and good, but the second part is, I really need to meet new people, and that’s the hard part. I suck at meeting new people. Really, truly, please don’t make me do it, suck at it. I am weird and awkward and stay stupid stuff all the freakin’ time, and my friends love me anyway, but I hate to inflict that on strangers. I haven’t really figured this part out yet, but it’s on the List.

I also really need to move out of my apartment, but that one may be the hardest task of all–I hate change, I hate moving, I hate new situations that run the risk of sucking more than the old situation. And there are a couple of other steps on the to do list, that I may or may not do, but those are the key points.

So that’s the state of me. Time will tell if I can rock as Captain of my own Destiny, or if I wind up sitting on a reef somewhere. Again.

hopeAnd since I hate imageless posts, here’s a tattoo design I’m considering (no final decisions yet, either on design or even if I’ll definitely get one). It symbolizes rebirth encircled by hope.

Well, it's happened.

I have a bulky black brace on my left wrist/forearm, thanks to a nasty case of tendonitis in my elbow. And yes, this means no knitting or crochet for the time being. This is very unhappy making, not to mention painful. I’ll confess I did pick up a crochet hook, just to see if it was possible to manipulate it around the brace. The attempt, had you seen it, was laughable. Heck, I couldn’t even pick up a little hot dog wrapped in a pastry puff at the Sex and the City event I went to on Sunday–it made a hilarious series of bounces off my brace, my right hand, and my friend Kristen’s hand before rolling across the floor towards the bar. (Smart blanket-wrapped-piggy!)

So what should I talk about instead, during this enforced separation period between me and my hooks and needles?

Well, my latest obsession involves bicycles. I recently rejoined Weight Watchers, and this time I signed up with a group near my home instead of near my office, which is going to force me out of the house on Saturday mornings (a period I usually reserve for quality time with my couch). The meeting is about a mile too far for me to walk without my bum knee collapsing, yet close enough to make me mourn the gas usage. The answer? I must buy a bicycle! I’m not sure why I’m possessed with this sudden desire to ride a bike–many bikes have languished in many garages in my past–but really, I can barely restrain myself from running to Target and buying whatever I can afford.  I haven’t done this yet, because my friends have convinced me to test-ride one of their bikes first (which I hope to do this weekend) before committing to anything. Instead, I’ve been relentlessly combing the internets, researching bikes and frames and gears and customer reviews. Ideally I hope to find something on craigslist, because I can’t afford the $400 beauties I’ve fallen in love with, but so far no dice. I can no longer grab the first $50 comfort bike I find–I now know it needs to be aluminum framed and have at least seven speeds, or I risk becoming discouraged by trying to get a heavy bike up even a modest incline.

Also, I have returned to PT (did I mention this already? I can’t remember, and am too lazy to go check) in an attempt to cure my stupid knee once and for all. This includes making an appointment with a new doctor who will take new xrays and MRIs, and this time I picked someone *in* my insurance network, so I won’t still be paying off visits three years later. (I’m two payments away from being free of the last doctor, woot!) Here’s hoping they’ll find something concrete this time, something that can be fixed with more than a vague, “Physical therapy should fix that right up.” Give me more! I need an actual diagnosis this time, dammit!

Ahem. Anyway…. Work is hellish, but it’s of my own making. I really must get over my jealousy and possessiveness. Of course, I’ve had those traits for about 38 years now, so I don’t see how I’ll be divesting myself of them anytime soon. Yay. At least my review went well.

Ok, that’s all I’ve got. Nice to see the brace isn’t getting in the way of my typing skills, at least. 😀

slump

I haven’t been posting in awhile, but mostly it’s because I haven’t been knitting/crocheting much. My friend K’s hat is finished, but wrong–it’s more slouchy than beanie, which means I really will have to frog the whole thing and start over, and I’m so not looking forward to that. I finished the single-crochet scarf (Patons Soy Wool) while I was at the hospital two weeks ago with K, who was admitted after experiencing heart attack symptoms (wasn’t a heart attack, whew!), and I started a hat with the leftover yarn, but only had enough for the crown. I tried starting the hat my sister asked for, with the purple Lion faux-suede, but ugh, that yarn is tough! I got discouraged fast. I did start and finish another hat for a friend that asked for one since she has a hard time shopping for hats (larger than normal head size), but I haven’t got around to mailing it to Iowa yet.

That has been the extent of my yarncraft in the past three weeks. Pathetic, yes? I haven’t even been to the SnB group on Thursdays since Valentine’s day, and won’t be able to go next week as I have plans for that night.

This is why I don’t often take requests–if I get bored or stumped with them, I feel guilty about starting something more interesting until I get cracking on the obligations, so instead I do….nothing. I’m so predictable.

That’s all I’ve got. Depressing, no? Here’s something a little more cheery:
Aspen
It’s a picture I took of the Maroon Bells in Aspen back in 1999 or 2000 (can’t remember the year). I’m going to Colorado next month and hope to go hiking at least once while there, if only to get more cool photos like this one.

It's picture-palooza time!

Yesterday I took pictures of the projects I’m currently and actively working on, so today I get to share them with you! Yay!pictures!

WIP: Kristen's knitted hatThis hat was knit for my friend Kristen to match her birthday scarf. I cast on 80 stitches onto size 11 needles, same as I did for the hat for my brother-in-law, and yet, this hat is enormous. I don’t think I can save it as is, so I plan to frog it and start over, this time on size 10.5 circs with ten fewer stitches.

WIP: Snowflake motifThis snowflake motif will eventually, someday, be one of many that’ll join together to make a scarf for my sister. I’m using the yarn she bought at WEBS. The motif took me over an hour to complete, so who knows how long it’ll take me to make the whole scarf.

WIP: Tam knit in roundMy tam! I’m using the pattern from the current Knitty for this faux-fair isle tam, using two strands of Paton’s Wool. I tried using a strand in each hand, but I couldn’t get any tension from my left hand, so I’ve been holding both strands in my right hand, and I’m getting pretty good at it. Sadly, I think this hat is going to be way smaller than I’d hoped (yes, I know I should gauge swatch, but that’ll probably never happen), so I’ll have to think of a child deserving of such ugly colors. *g* Also, I think my stranding might pull a bit, making it even tighter, but I won’t know for sure until it’s done.

WIP: single crochet scarfThis is the single-crochet scarf I’ve been working on since the plane home last month. It’s the project I take with me to work on at lunch or while waiting for, say, the dentist, so it’s slow going, but I’m nearly finished with the second ball of Patons Soy Wool Stripes–now I just have to find the third and final ball. I’m sure it’s around here somewhere.

So that’s what I’m working on right now. My favorite at the moment is the tam, because not only am I learning something new (double stranding and working from a color chart) but it’s neat to see how the pattern emerges when I’m only focusing on one row at a time. Plus I’m always pleased when something that looks so hard and forbidding, turns out to be not so bad at all.

And now I’m off to see a baby about a smile. 🙂