7.28.09

7.28.09 - Total waste of a perfectly good dress

Dress is thrifted, orignally BCBG Max Azria. Today was a total waste of an outfit/blow-dry/made up face.

7.28.09 - Total waste of a perfectly good dress

7.28.09 - Total waste of a perfectly good dress

7.28.09 - Total waste of a perfectly good dress

Don’t

don't tattoo

All of this freaking out I’ve been doing? I forgot that I gave myself advice on what to do months ago. Just don’t freak out. Don’t let it get to you. Don’t do stupid things. I finally looked at my wrist last night, and felt much better. I slept well. It wasn’t lasting, but it worked long enough for me to get to sleep. Which is exactly what I wanted when I got this sloppy little tattoo.

I’m going to be leaving for a vacation in a couple of days, so expect fewer posts.

And now for dessert.

I feel bad for that last post – like it’s a burden (see the very last bullet point). So anyway, here’s some fluff about my magnificent best friend Winston, which I hope you will enjoy:

These are all of Winston as a baby. He’s much much much larger now.

Winston likes to hold hands. When he’s sleeping and I’m reading and we’re on the same bed or chair, he’ll keep my hand right next to his face with his claws.

A couple nights ago, Winston was on my lap while I ate an Otter Pop. He was interested in the wagging tail-end of the popsicle’s wrapper, and batted at it a couple times. I encouraged this behavior. Eventually, he bit it and we did a bit of an awkward tug-of-war. And then I died because a person can only handle so much.

My dad picked up Winston for the first time yesterday. They don’t like each other too much, but remain tolerant because I love them both. Anyway, it was really uncomfortable for both of them and you could see it on their faces. And it was hilarious.

Winston will either nuzzle something when he wants it, lay down and point at it. So when he wants fresh water, he meows (a lot), lays down, and points at his water dish with his front paws. When he wants to go outside, he’ll nuzzle my bare feet and then nuzzle my shoes. When he wants to get up on my lap, he’ll nuzzle the legs of the chair.

Winston can climb up walls and trees like a monkey.

Winston goes crosseyed when he’s tired.

What am I doing?

  • Bulleted lists are so comforting. I can’t emphasize that enough. If I’m sad and someone tells me that I look pretty and they love me, I don’t dig it. But if the tell me that
  • I look pretty
  • And they love me
  • I feel so much better. It’s a crutch, and as a writer I shouldn’t allow it. But I really want to.
  • So, the strange happy-denial/manic-disconsolation limbo that’s been going on the last couple weeks has reached what I hope is its zenith. On my birthday I was extremely stressed. Then for about four days I was relaxed, to the point of seeming medicated. Then I freaked out again. Then I forced myself back into the denial/relaxation. I did this by keeping busy. Now I’m traveling through the spectrum almost hourly. And now you’re caught up on the fascinating history of the last week.
  • I talked about how I would regret being so relaxed. And this has translated into an almost-unconscious effort to stress myself out again. No, more than almost. I’d say it’s an average amount of unconsciousness. But the dreams are back. I’ve been reading things that I ought not read. Talking to people that I should avoid. Letting my mind wander to places where it has no business. Rehearsing tragedy. Ignoring the full reality. Allowing and encouraging daydreams that make reality so much more jarring and bleak. Trying to obtain things that are just no good for me. Setting goals that have no purpose but to remind me of troubles that I cannot change.
  • So, I do that for about an hour. Then I watch the Daily Show or read books to prepare me for labor (I find them so interesting and heartening) or teach myself how to do Tunisian crochet or try to eat food, and forget about everything but whatever is in my hands and relax. It feels like stagnation. That makes me worry. Repeat.
  • I haven’t been able to finish a meal for about two weeks. Pregnant ladies are supposed to have cravings, and I’m never ever hungry. Since about week 12 I actually lost almost all preference towards food, and became completely apathetic.  This is good, because it encourages me to eat with my brain instead of my gut, and I’ve been very healthy. Everything I eat has a purpose. But it’s getting kind of ridiculous now.
  • Breakfast this morning was a glass of milk, a peanut-butter and organic unsweetened strawberry preserves sandwich on delicious wheat bread, and a banana. I couldn’t finish any of it. So I’m trying to understand what my body is telling me here. Growing humans is what my body should be really good at doing. If I needed more food to grow a human, my body should clue me in. But the only thing telling me to eat is the alarm I’ve set up on my phone. I had some trouble gaining enough weight in the second trimester, but then everything was shiny. Well, also there was some trouble with not losing weight in the first trimester. But really, since about week 17, everything has been perfect. My doctors have been telling me that my weight gain and the baby’s size is perfect, and it really makes them feel validated in their career. Which I’m all for. I’m terrified of going to the next appointment and seeing their scowling faces, thinking that I’m not taking care of my child. Whoops, didn’t mean to follow that tangent. Especially not for two whole bullet points.
  • Anyway. Everything should be going so well. Broken things are being mended. I have air conditioning now. I’m reuniting with lost friends. I still have my vanity. There’s so much wonderful yarn-stuff happening. I feel like steps are being made – I’m moving forward.
  • Except for professionally. Or emotionally. Or in any way, now that I think about it. I’m not moving forward at all. No! Now that I think about it I’m actually moving backward! Really fast! Dammit!
  • I’m going to try not to think about that.
  • I’m chatting on facebook while writing this, and someone (who I haven’t spoken to in at least a year) is telling me about their wonderful loving friends who can’t have children and would love my baby so much. This happens all the time. I feel like it’s a meat market. I should be sympathetic – it would be awful to want, but not be able to have a child. However, when this happens I just want to tell these loving poachers to stay the hell away from my baby. It makes me angry, and I feel taken advantage of. Even though these people only have good intentions.
  • I had to ask my dad what it’s called when you hunt something you’re not allowed to hunt because I couldn’t remember the word “poaching.”
  • I know I had a point to get to when I started writing this post. It had something to do with me being stressed out. But I think I’m transitioning into a relaxed phase again. Time to break out the crochet hook and reruns of 30 Rock.
  • But while I’m at it, I’d like to talk about hormones for a bit. I’m sure that a lot of this emotional see-saw has to do with hormones. But that doesn’t make it completely imaginary. I’ve always been bad at accessing feelings, and for me hormones are more of a locomotive to bridge the gap between an actual happening and my own emotional response. Does that make any sense? And also, as a pompous but cute actor said in one of my recent interviews, “We have such a cynical society … that’s so easily willing to dismiss the emotions of young people as hormones. … This is real, it’s what you’re experiencing and it’s valuable.” Of course he was talking about love and Shakespeare, but it still applies. So don’t dismiss me, because it will light a fury that I won’t know how to deal with.
  • What’s happening to me now would make an awful book or movie. The plot’s too scattered, there are too many variables, and the main character can’t express herself eloquently.
  • I feel bad that there aren’t any pictures. I promise that tomorrow I’ll get dressed up all pretty and take some outfit shots for you. Or you can go to my other blog, were many exciting yarn-related things are happening.
  • Here’s a joke I made up a while ago and am very proud of: J.J. Abrams, Gene Roddenberry, and Joss Whedon walk into a bar. Come back next week for the punchline. BA-DUM CH!
  • Nope, actually I’m not done. What drives me crazy is that honestly, my closest relationship is with my cat. If I talk to anyone else, I feel like I’m burdening them. And people should have people that they can talk to, even when what they’re saying makes no sense at all. Let me rephrase. People should deserve to have people that they can talk to. I need to work on that. But until then, how am I supposed to condense all of this intangible nonsense into a coherent answer to, “How are you doing?” I try to be honest, but always just say, “Fine.” Because I guess on average I am fine. But it’s the average between two extremely distant points.

Sneak peek.

Handpainted yarn

  • Can you believe my phone took this photo? It’s like living in the future.
  • Turns out if you’re pregnant and decide after noon to dye 13 skeins of yarn outside that day (in July), you’ll probably die. Well, you’ll probably bring back your sciatic pain, kill your feet, almost forget to eat dinner, and have your first painful Braxton-Hicks contraction. Just so you know.
  • I’ve documented what colors I used on every skein, if any of you want to be copycats.
  • I dove into this after peeking at this tutorial, and with the knowledge I gained from this tutorial about sleeve dying last year. I won’t make a full-on tutorial here, because there are just too many out there. But I may list a few of the things I did differently.
  • I’m kind of completely in love with every yard of this fiber.
  • I’m too cool to wear gloves while I dye, so I have total Baba Yaga fingernails. It’s extremely sexy:

Baba Yaga fingernails

Indecision

Batch of neutrals

Remember all of that talking I did about recycling sweaters? Well, I ripped a whole bunch of them. Thousands and thousands and thousands of yards worth. You can see the full pile in the background of this picture. I’ve washed, dryed, stretched, and skeined all of the cotton blends, acrylic blends, and dark wools, and currently the light neutral wools are in the tub.

Batch of neutrals

Aren’t they pretty? But here’s the thing: I’m really tempted to pour half a gallon of vinegar in there and just dye all of it. Dye every single skein. Doesn’t that sound wonderful? I want to make some really deep greens, and crazy yellows mixed with a wee bit of pink, and wind up with armfuls of bright colored, happy, wonderful beautiful yarn.

When was the last time I knitted with a light neutral wool anyway? Quite a while ago, I think. But then again, when was the last time I wore a knitted object in the colors I’m dreaming of? Probably when I was six. Maybe I’ll go through the skeins and take a sweater or two’s worth out. But I really want to dye all of it.

Batch of neutrals

Screw it, I’m doing it. Besides, fantastical yarns are expensive, and I can buy neutrals any time, anywhere. So say goodbye to these yarns – they’re about to metamorphose into some magnificent jewel-toned beauties. I’m really excited!

7.23-24.09

I’ve given to the idea of re-using an outfit two days in a row. This is an old prejudice, with roots in childhood. But on days when I spend most of the day working outside and lounging inside, with maybe just a few hours of social contact, it’s silly to allot one outfit per day. Anyway, here it is:

7.24.09

My aversion to maternity clothes is getting pretty sloppy. This skirt, which comes with a side-zipper and a wide, low waistband, is only half-zipped. And I’m certain I walked around with the bottom of my belly showing today. I do have two “maternity” shirts, but one is long-sleeved and the other is ugly. It’s just so hard to find good maternity at a thrift store.

7.24.09

I’m not going to get too much into personal details on this post – we need a break. Today started out pretty miserably. But enough superficially pleasant things happened to cheer me up, and I’m feeling much better now. That is all. I wish you could see this skirt better – it’s purple with little flowers, and I want to own a million of them. I’ve been trying to find some cheap easy way to make a bunch of maternity-friendly miniskirts, and I’ll probably just give in and buy some elastic soon. Yeah, elastic is the thing keeping skirts from being “cheap.” It doesn’t make sense at all. But so far I’ve been trying to convert pyjama pants into skirts (it’s promising, but not perfect) and using drawstring (which is infuriating because though my ass is bigger than I’m used to, I still don’t have anything to hold up a skirt). Just something about using elastic that makes me feel sort of ill.

7.24.09

I figured it out in the time it took to place that picture: you can’t usually buy elastic at a thrift store. What’s there is old and brittle. And I don’t want to buy a pair of pyjama pants just to harvest the elastic. I’m not noble or anything – just cheap.

But imagine a tiered ruffled skirt like this with a crocheted hem on the center ruffle. Or a mini circle skirt made from white t-shirt cotton. I want to make them so much!

10 simple things that make me happy

Found deep in the archives of ten on tuesday. And yes, the pictures are awful. I really don’t care.

1. Winston

12 simple things that make me happy

12 simple things that make me happy

He’s just. The. Best. Right now he’s pretending to sleep on the chair next to me, and meowing begrudgingly every time I touch him. He’s such a sweet little grouch. Sometimes he’ll fall asleep under my bed, and hearing him snore while not being able to snuggle with him is absolute torture.

2. Books

12 simple things that make me happy

Even though almost all of my reading time is committed to pregnancy books (this one is amazing), I still love seeing my favorites on the shelf. By the way, the book second from the right is by Joyce Carol Oates, and I can’t remember how I know that name. I don’t even know if this “Oates” is a boy or a girl. Help?

3. Yarn

12 simple things that make me happy

Seen here are a few of the skeins you can see in the background of these pictures, but washed and hanging out to dry. This really isn’t the venue to talk about my obsession with knitting and crafts, but suffice it to say that yarn makes me so happy. I like all of it – the squishy, the scratchy, the stretchy … I’ve never met a skein of yarn that I didn’t have a use for.

4. Stubborn flowers
12 simple things that make me happy

Do you see how miserable those leaves are? I’m pretty sure we’ve been hit with rust disease, and I didn’t think the hollyhocks (which have planted themselves all over the property) would amount to anything this year. But the flowers are surprisingly vibrant. I’m trying to decide whether or not it’s too risky to collect some seeds from the infected plants, and try to use them next year. I mean, hollyhock seeds are extremely easy to find around here, but I just love the colors we’ve grown this year. Deep deep reds, purples, a lovely peach, as well as the ubiquitous white and pink. Anyway, who wants to help me cut down and collect the leaves from dozens of hollyhock plants this fall? Anyone?

5. The character inside this belly

12 simple things that make me happy

I know I’m most likely projecting notional traits on the baby (like I’m wont to do with Winston), but this little girl is pretty hilarious. She reacts when I rub my belly a certain way, or when I eat certain foods. When I’m around people she’ll kick right towards my spine, so no one can feel her movement but me. If she’s having a tantrum (or what I think is a tantrum – just a lot of turbulence), she’ll calm down if I hum a little tune. She’s pretty great.

6. Garden-fresh vegetables

12 simple things that make me happy

Our tomatoes are doing so well so far this year. And nothing is more delicious than a sun-warm tomato. The peppers are almost to size, the corn is starting to show some fruit, and our fruit trees look like they’ll keep me plenty busy in a month or so. Yikes. Sorry, I forgot that nothing is more boring than some chick talking about her garden. I’m done, I promise.

7. Tea

12 simple things that make me happy

Lately I like it black, with a bit of honey. Don’t worry, I’m keeping my daily caffeine intake below 200 mg. But man oh man, I love a cup of tea.

8. My grumpy old dad

PIC_0120

This picture slays me. He loves driving that car so much. In general he’s such a stoic, but every once in a while he gets just giddy. And he’s so thoughtful and sweet, and so ridiculously smart.

9. Mail

12 simple things that make me happy

I hardly ever get mail. This is because I never send any. But whenever I get an actual letter that has been touched by the hands of a friend, and then passed through USPS, I get giddy. I keep the torn envelope for at least a week. This is a thank you card from the lovely Jennie for my extremely late, extremely plagiarized wedding gift.

10. Amazing thrift store/yard sale finds

12 simple things that make me happy

Whenever you see a yard sale boasting craft items in Utah Valley, it usually means crates and crates of unused scrapbooking supplies. It happens to all of us around here – we get really really into scrapbooking, spend a whole lot of money on it, and then drop it for something cooler. Luckily this happened to me in Jr. High. There are a lucky few who are able to cultivate the craft for years, like my incredible sisters. But most of us never reach that point, and wind up with a few lackluster albums. Anyway, to the point. I went to a yard sale boasting craft supplies, and found hundreds of pages of hand-marbled paper. I’m kind of madly in love with it, and have been changing the paper on display in this easel every day. I’m planning on a very ambitious embroidery project, but need to learn a bit more about fusible interfacing first. Finding something unexpected and lovely at a thrift store or yard sale is so fulfilling.

Freewriting again: 7.19.09

7.19.09

Everything is thrifted. The dress is silk, originally from Old Navy, and I love it. I think the hat’s from San Francisco.

  • I’ve been thinking more about the fashion/personal blog hybrid, and I kind of like it. The juxtaposition of what people look like on the outside against what they look like on the inside seems interesting. But it doesn’t work when I’m lazy and wait a long time to post, because right I don’t feel like I felt in these pictures. Not a bit.
  • I know, that’s a lot of yarn. Relax.
  • I’ve been extremely calm since about Tuesday. I think this was based on a really convenient, magnificent denial. And tonight, while driving, I let go of the denial for two seconds and it hasn’t come back. I’m back to being disappointed, impatient, lonely, and on my guard.

7.19.09

  • My hair is getting long, and is healthy. For basically the first time ever.
  • I miss the denial. It was so useful. I was able to relax enough to start making a birth plan. I was getting excited to go into labor, and had the time, energy, and extra brain space to start really becoming informed about the birth process. I was still nervous, but excited. Now I’m so fixated on other problems that I can’t really see that far down the road.
  • I knew, while I was relaxed and happy and in denial, that I would do things that the other me would regret. That didn’t keep me from doing them. Now, because I was happy for a while, I’m feeling the contrast – noticing what issues I had to ignore to be happy. I think I’m mainly just lonely.

7.19.09

  • In other news, I’m learning to love female company. Girls are so wonderful, and they make such good friends. Thank you to all of the women in my life for being so completely fantastic.

I'm awesome.

I recieved Vintage Baby Knits for my birthday, and immediately cast on the adorable Pearl Shrug (ravelry link). The pattern is great. I might be using a yarn with a bit too much color variation, but that’s okay. I’ll most likely want to knit this one more than once.

Anyway, on to the part where I’m amazing. This pattern requires a 72-stitch cable cast on for each arm. I have never done cable CO before, and as it turns out it’s pretty awkward for me to work. So, I figured the least aggravating route would be to not count stitches as I go, stop when I think I’m close, and then add or rip stitches accordingly. I went merrily along, and after a spell decided to count. The total came to exactly 72! This was before I had eaten any breakfast, so I figured it was probably just a low-blood-sugar induced hallucination. I had some breakfast (with the most delicious Braeburn apple butter, from here), and even with steady fingers the total was still 72. I’M AMAZING.

For all of you non-knitters, casting on exactly the right amount of stitches without counting, especially when the number of stitches is large, is like … driving a car while wearing a blind-fold, and not only not hitting anyone/thing, but reaching your destination. Just, you know, slightly less life-endangering.

P.S. The specific apple butter I’m talking about isn’t available online, but it’s worth the drive to Colorado.