Toys everywhere

Jamie worked on cleaning up the house yesterday while I was at work and then surprised me by yelling at me in the stock room that he was there to pick me up (I was going to get a ride home with Amanda, but he decided he didn’t want to wait that long for snuggles, so surprise for me). I got home to find that he’d stuck up all my little backpack toys all over the bedroom walls and it looks adorable. He also found the bumblebear I got him and set him beside one of our Dia De Los Muertos figures, so that’s pretty awesome.

His desk broke, so he brought my drafting table into the bedroom where his desk used to be. I have carted that thing around for years and I’m glad it’s still standing (it’s heavy as hell, cumbersome, but damn if it doesn’t work).

Also when we got home yesterday, I opened the bedroom door only to be attacked by a Von Daniken book. Thwarted by Von Daniken, what a way to end the workday.

Since Jamie did practically all the hard work in order for me to “have time to rest and relax,” I might just…annoy him by bringing up all the notebooks and going through and looking for story pieces so I can work on finishing things.

I was talking to him about it the other day, pointing out that I told Ajax that I don’t write as much as I used to, but I’m finishing about the same amount of stuff as I did before. The main difference is that I’m better than I was, quality wise. That is a fun part about starting off writing, emulating people you like and trying to make it your own before you realize that your way is so much better for you and you go off and have fun with it.

Pseudopod posted to their twitter account that they’re open for submissions for next month and I had to stop myself from retweeting it and being “wow, I wish I could but my work is awful” because no one wants to hear that bullshit. So I just retweeted with “Hmm…” as my response because I’d rather give off a thoughtful, pondering which finished piece to send, than the reality of “omg my work sucks, pseudopod will never accept any of my submissions ever” fear that goes through your head.

Besides, I have enough anxiety due to work. I don’t need to add on unnecessary anxiety from just contemplating submitting something.

So!

I have about 100 rows left on this purply shawl I’m working on. I’m making it the same way I made the Cotton Candy shawl to see how it comes out because it’s a different type of yarn that the one I used for the Cotton Candy one and I want to see how it looks.

I still need to get photos of all my finished stuff because using the coat hook on the back of the door doesn’t really show off how it looks on a person (nor does sticking it on my Giant Sloth Stuffie). I keep telling Jamie I’m going to make him model for me and he’s like “whatever” and it just cracks me up to no end.

My goal is to work on trying to finish some stuff, or at least go through some notebooks and see like where some ideas are and see what I can make with them.

I’ve got 7 stories shared on the blog, one that I submitted to a magazine (and got rejected from, which I mean, come on, I don’t blame them. They must get a fuck ton of submissions each week) and haven’t shared here. I’m pretty sure I lost one finished story to the ether that is the computer, and I’m fairly sure I’ve lost at least one finished story (or at least a handful of notes) when the external hard drive crashed on us.

And hey, it’s a wonderfully chilly October morning. I’ve got coffee, I have access to music, audiobooks, and audio narrations. I’ve only been able to listen to the first story of the latest episode of NoSleep (wonderfully grotesque. I loved it) and I have access to all eleven seasons (plus bonus episodes) at my fingertips. The animals have been taken care of, the first load of laundry has just been thrown into the dryer so I’ve got about an hour before I need to check on anything. Oh! And we have a working printer now. I am excite.

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feel the burn

I had a Shiatsu massage yesterday. First time in…six years (I didn’t believe it, but they looked at the records and it’d been 6 freaken years since I was able to get one!)

Shiatsu is amazing. You basically get the snot beaten out of you by a licensed professional in order to feel better. The majority of stiffness/pain doesn’t usually show up until the next day.

Today is that next day and I realize that I cannot bounce back from the massage like I once did. Especially after getting your neck/skull realigned because you’re turning into a human turtle without meaning to. Also getting your shoulders popped back into the correct place is weird as hell.

But, it is pretty amazing to learn that something gristle-like hanging out on your rib getting pushed apart will make the pain in your elbow stop. It’s pretty neat.

The downside is, we both learned that my left side is weird. We’d thought it was just my left foot and ankle that’s messed up (yay swollen foot for like…4 years), but no. It’s my entire left side that is puffier to the point where even my ribs show a difference.

The human body is weird.

And we both learned that my left arm doesn’t move in a certain direction. This is due to the arm being pulled out of socket when I was like 3 or 4. I have no memory of what happened and every time Mom has talked about it, she’s ended up in tears so I have no idea to what extent the damage was. The best way to describe it is: y’know that “skin the cat” move you can do on the monkey bars when you’re a kid? You hang onto the bar, get your feet through the hole that your arms create, and basically do a flip while holding onto the bar. Yeah, I can’t do that. It causes an extreme amount of pain.

Anyway.

I was told that I needed to adopt a Herculean stance in order to make sure my ribs don’t try to go weird and so it can help my shoulders. I was also informed that I need to make sure I take the time to bend my neck upwards, and not just when I realize my neck hurts from looking down too much. And, I need to get a mouth guard because my gritting/grinding is causing my jaw to go out of alignment and is also causing a majority of the pain at the base of my skull.

I’ve been actively trying to stop gritting my teeth. It’s something I do when I’m mad or even subconsciously and I don’t realize until I feel the pressure in my temples. So I’ve been trying to do the whole “drop/loosen your shoulders, make sure your teeth are apart” thing.

 

Get out of the funk

I love autumn. It’s by far my favorite time of year. The leaves are turning crisp, it shouldn’t be as terribly muggy as it usually is during the summer, but it’s not yet freezing. Pumpkins, flannel shirts, an almost…sigh of relief that things are starting to wind down.

And, there’s Halloween. Best holiday ever.

Fall is where Jamie and I seem to be most ourselves. It’s not unbearably hot for him, but it’s not freezing for me (and I can start to guess at how bad winter will be for my bones). We’ve been in a hell of a funk lately (for a while actually) and we’ve decided to work on trying to get ourselves out of it. The longer we’re here, the less we care about things. The longer we’re here, the less energy we have.

Work is making its way into that unforgivable season, showing bits and bobs of Christmas merchandise here and there (or stuffing the stock room completely full of shit), and it’s a sign that we need to winterize the house. The attic window needs to be nailed shut again (the weight in it is broken so it’s constantly fighting to go up), I need to re-seal the window where the washer tube goes out of, and I also need to seal the doorway that leads to the staircase that goes into the backyard because we never replaced the window that Hobbes broke (it was a fairly thick plexiglass, and it’s been spring/summer, so way down on the priorities list).

For whatever reason, I was thinking about this…throwaway description? maybe? from a Dan Simmons novel that I’d read years ago and hadn’t really thought of since. In it, he makes a note of how this house’s second floor is sealed off via plastic at the doorway and I was like “I wonder if I could do that with the basement. That’s what? Painters plastic and duct tape?”

Anyway

I wanted to update with more positive things, so that’s what I’m going to do.

+ I finished SuperSekritProject (have I mentioned that already?) and was able to get a few photos, measure it (which the measurements were kinda weird, so I’m going to go by how the measurements were on the loom), and folded it up, tied some ribbon around it, and set it to the side for the unsuspecting recipient.

He got it the next day and was surprised and thankful for it. Jamie had to get it for him because I was working and he stopped by to tell me thanks. Yesterday morning, he told me that his wife was thrilled by it and that I should “be proud” of myself for “such an intricate piece of work.” I’m just glad my self-imposed deadline of “October” was a success because the baby is due here in a few weeks (and it was a crib blanket).

I wanted to make it a crib blanket because every time you look up “baby blanket,” it showed this small square and I don’t want to make just something that’s the size of a swaddle cloth or that is small enough to where it’ll be useless after a couple of months. A crib blanket can be used for a while, and, if the kid gets attached, a pseudo security blanket until they’re ready to put it away. I wanted a longer lasting peice, and I think that’s what I came out with, so I’m happy with it.

+ I turned around and immediately started making a new shawl with this skein that Jamie found for me for a dollar. The colouration at the beginning was pretty great (dark pink, pink, purple) and then it went to blue…just blue. All the blue. Blue that never ends. And then white and a little bit of pink at the end. So the whole thing looks kind of…weird. I told Jamie I wasn’t thrilled with it and he agreed: it looks odd.

+ I started on a new shawl, with a chunkier yarn, and this time it’s in purples. The colours seem to be more the same length throughout the skein, but we’ll see when it starts getting smaller.

The downside to chunkier yarn: my hands hurt so much faster.

+ I did realize that, while I am almost 100% completely done with laundry at the moment (including extra blankets, dog stuff, and fabric), I could start going through all of my finished projects and throw them into a pile to be washed. Not blocked, but just washed/dried  to get them nice and clean and dust free. And there’s a tote of probably finished shawls that has a layer of cat hair on them because the cats decided it was their bed during the spring and before we moved the craft stuff back down into the basement.

While thinking on that, I also realized that I might have enough finished items to have a table at a craft show or something, and that cracked me up a bit.

It’s a dreary day out there

Rain came back yesterday with Flash Flood warnings, and apparently we’re supposed to get hit with more rain as the week continues. The heavy rain yesterday and constant drizzle today reminded us that, when the rain hits the right way, part of our roof leaks. It’s strange as hell, but something that we’re kind of used to. It’s not a massive leak, more like “why is the floor damp?” It’s like going into the basement and realizing there is a thin layer of water on the floor from where the rain’s come in from up under the door leading to the back yard. But, this is an “old house” (first part built somewhere between 1900 and 1930, last addition to the house was plopped on about…2002? It was a few years before we moved in)

Jamie’s determined to make today an Art Day, which I am all for, so he’s been sketching out a few things in between doing some basic cleaning (and making food). I like his sketches, they’re fun.

I spent a few minutes trying to straighten out SuperSekritProject in hopes of getting a decent photo of it and re-measured it. On the loom, it had measured approximately 42×60, but having it on the bed, it measured approximately 50×30. I’m going to stick with the original approximation because, while it’s off the loom, it’s not blocked. I don’t have an area where I can block a yarn project (I also don’t have materials to block a yarn project), and it’s been rolling up onto itself. I figure I can give it to the unsuspecting recipient and they can do what the want with it. Tie a ribbon around it and be done. I got a few photos of it, so that’s fine with me.

I’m washing the last of the fabric that needs to be washed. I should’ve done it months ago, but…yeah. It didn’t happen. But I’m glad I did it today because apparently the bottom bolt soaked up a lot of rain water and that needed to be taken care of before mold set in. Now I just need to figure out where I’m going to put the last 4 pieces. Jamie wants it all to go into totes (we don’t have enough) and I’m just like “Ok” and work around it.

I started on a new shawl with a skein of yarn Jamie found for like a dollar. I wasn’t sure about it at first (because it’s this pink to blue kind of yarn and the skein makes it look kinda weird), but now that I’ve gone through 3 different colours, it’s looking pretty cool and I’m pleased with it.

Writing has…devolved into me just making random notes to myself. I did add a sentence onto one story before going “stuff happens here,” writing another sentence, and then writing “blah blah blah, fancy journalism here.” before giving up and going back to the documentary I was listening to/watching. Hey, it happens. I’ll see if the next time I go look at it, this will help me move on instead of dwelling on what to put down and then that way I can continue writing. I go from point A to point B, I don’t go point A to point C to point B. It’s hard for me, but maybe this whole “insert ____ here” will help.

It’s cold and miserable

The weather outside, while grey and dank, has been quite enjoyable for me today. The driveway is flooded and part of the bus route is flooded/closed. Half our street is closed as well and, while I did mark off work due to “natural disaster,” I’m fairly certain that some of it has gone down a tad since I marked off. If anyone has an issue with it, I can always say that I repeat myself fairly consistently starting around now: we live in a bowl. You have to go uphill to get in or out of our neighborhood. If one part floods, the other part is probably closed. If one part floods, chances are the other part has flooded. Yes, we do live in a part of the neighborhood where flood insurance isn’t needed, but I also ride the bus to work and I am not trotting my tiny little ass two miles in the opposite direction in hopes of catching the bus and hoping that downtown hasn’t flooded out again.

Anywho.

I am a cold turtle, so I made chili. Being a somewhat lazy turtle, it’s a vegetarian style chili. And I have more beans, lentils, and rice than I have meat so vegetarian it is. It’s pretty tasty, so here’s to hoping the cats don’t stick their paws in it later on.

So!

SuperSekritProject is nearing completion, which is good because my deadline of “October” is nearing and, while working on the project, I’ve realized a handful of things:

+ I need another cloth measuring tape. I’d say I need a new one, but I’m sure mine is around here somewhere and I haven’t seen it in months. It’s useful.
+ I have lost track of what side is supposed to be 60″ long so many times
+ 6 rows = 1 inch has somehow turned into “I think 5 rows is an inch now, when did that happen?”
+ I need to get those little hooky things, not row counters, but those little plastic almost safety-pin things for knitting so I can keep track of things, like every 12″ I’ve completed because, for this project, that shit would be useful
+ measuring things via a pair of busted ear buds and using a knitting needle to figure out footage is weird

During this project I have had two people come to me for other people and say they want something made. I have seen the two people that have approached the other two people and neither one of them has made any attempts to talk with me about having an item made. One of these people made the comment about how I don’t need to go out and get more yarn for SuperSekritProject because I “already had some” and I wonder if they’re colourblind. The other one hasn’t even made an attempt to even talk with the person who approached me about their wants since it was first brought up. I’ve come to the conclusion that these two people didn’t really want me to make them anything, they just wanted to know what I would say.

So, fuck it. I’ll continue making what I want to make and go from there.

Jamie and I went to Michaels this past weekend and it was…freakishly busy. Like I’m talking “a bunch of people realized that slime was on sale and Christmas stuff just rolled in” busy. It was really unnerving.

Jamie and I lost each other about 12 times. He got distracted by woodworking stuff, I got distracted by yarn sales. He picked out some fun ribbon and I somehow calmed a kid down by talking about how awesome the rat statue thing was (the kid saw it and freaked, I picked it up and squeed about how cute it was and then realized a kid was nearby freaking out over the faux rat). He got some carving blocks and I got more yarn to add to the hoard.

We also hit up Lowes, where Jamie bought more wood and I made  mental note of where to get brown paper in rolls for patterns (I miss my giant rolls of paper, but they’d be gone by now anyway)

As for writing, I’m jotting down a few things for a couple different ideas. I’m not going at it as I should, because I want to finish some stuff, but it’s mainly because I’m trying to lay off the horror for a bit that’s caused an uptick in nightmares and excessive paranoia. So, laying off listening and reading much horror as well. Hopefully that’ll bring me back around to my normal self.

gearing up for the holidays

That’s a bit scary, innit? Gearing up for something that happens a few months in advance because I’ve worked in retail long enough to be like “…we got our first pallet of something with the word “Christmas” on it on Saturday. Motherfucker.” and a resigned sigh followed by a shaking of the head.  But, I work in an industry that focuses one season ahead and bases all their plans around the largest American holiday (Christmas).

This is also that time of year where everyone either gets the flu or a headcold and everyone is snotty, sneezy, dizzy, etc and it just flows along work because we work in a germ factory (especially when people don’t wash their hands after going to the restroom. ew)

Jamie’s already gotten the paperwork for how many turkeys he should be expecting in the next couple of weeks, clearly labeled for each week that they’re coming in. I’m highly entertained and warning his people “Y’all have fun with that!”  because, man, for real, I had no idea how obsessive people become over freaken turkeys. But, this also means I’m going to have some very angry customers when I tell them “sorry, we’re not allowed to cut your pre-cooked, pre-packaged, non-boned turkey/ham” because apparently that’s a thing now. I think it’s bullshit and I’ll still do it because, if someone gets mad at me, I can always point out the whole “Our priority is to make customers happy. I am not going to deny some of my customers just because you think it takes away from us. It makes them happy, it makes them grateful, and 9 times out of 10, they come back and buy stuff from us.”

I was planning on updating more, but Jamie is now awake enough to snot and snort and get his shoes on, so we’re off to the store in hopes of beating the morning traffic and the people who do panic-shopping