Friday, November 28, 2008

Sleeping, Knitting, Sleeping, Sleeping, and ... Did I Say Sleeping?

Yep. That's been my life for the past few days. I have taken some potty breaks, eaten my obligatory meal a day (no, I'm not dieting; it's just how we eat ... although after seeing what size jeans I had to buy, maybe I should diet), bought more shit I probably don't need from the Harley store (see: size of jeans comment), read ... and that's really about it. We had some issues with the server going down and Hubster was working on the shop, so I really couldn't work on it even if I wanted to (which I didn't). So I've taken a little vacation and am much happier for it. Tomorrow, however ...

Sometimes having a shop is really nice. I get first pick out of anything that comes in. Normally, I put everything up for sale to give you guys first chance, but I just couldn't with the Woolly Boully order. I snatched the color I didn't have, and since this is a new base, well ... I had to complete my collection. This stuff knits like a dream and is gorgeous. I've only got six skeins of it to list, so if you're a fan, then you might want to keep an eye on the shop late tomorrow or Sunday. It'll be there, along with new artists like Misfit Yarns and several others. Hubster has the shop running like a well-oiled machine (until we get a report from an irate customer that something is fucked up), so now it's up to me to finish listing what I've got. Really, there's not that much left. I just have to stay awake long enough to finish it.

As for the rest of my life, I've got movers coming next week to give me an estimate. I'm really hoping we can afford this, because I neither want to nor can help Hubster load/unload a U-Haul. I especially can't help him with that damned TV because it has to go down stairs, and there's a nasty little landing where you have to hang a hairpin turn. Once it's downstairs, it'll be fantastic, but since there's likely to be snow on the ground, it goes in the front door and not around the back of the house through the back door (and there's still a nasty turn to make there). I hate moving. I truly hate it. We haven't packed a single thing, but fortunately, I didn't unpack a lot of the boxes we moved with (mainly because there was no room to put away their contents). We also saved all the boxes from the things we did unpack, so we don't have to buy any more of those. Hubster has to take pictures of the stash so I can get those skeins listed in the shop (I'm selling each one for $10 regardless of what it is) and hopefully sold (less to take with us), and I still have to list the damn car. I had to wait until after the 9th to even think about listing it because we didn't want to sell it and then find out that we weren't moving, and then the weather turned cloudy and/or rainy. Tomorrow is supposed to be sort of sunny, though, so he'll take pictures of it (we can list up to 18), and I'll get the listing taken care of. It would be lovely if that sold immediately, and we're fortunate to live near several very wealthy communities where people haven't been affected by the foreclosures or the economy in general. Buying a car for a Christmas present and forking over $27K in cash won't even make these people bat an eye. We'll see how it goes. A lot of stuff will get packed in our truck (especially things like my collection of Red Wing stoneware and pottery from the 1930's) to ensure they arrive in one piece. I've had too many things broken over the years from movers being asswipes and not paying attention to what they're doing. Those items are irreplaceable; even if I could replace them, I couldn't afford it. I don't know if any of these movers offer total coverage insurance, but we're going for economy here. We're not taking our couch, the Monster, or the recliner (they're full of ciggie burns and Emma tooth holes), so we'll sell them at a giant garage sale I'm planning. Somebody who is into upholstery or slip covers can do something with them. That will help with the moving bill. The only reason I'd take them is if they cost next to nothing to move (hahahaha!). Those fuckers charge you by the Kleenex, just like hospitals.

As for the bike, I'm contacting a carrier service which does nothing but move bikes around the country. I can't ride it down - I don't have the experience to undertake a ride of that length, let alone one that may involve snow and definitely involves a large mountain with very windy roads and no guard rails (not to mention the Grapevine which frequently sees snow in the winter and is not only a pain the ass, but very long). I'll save that little journey for the spring when I've got some miles under my ass. I'm also having it delivered rather than ride it home after my last class. After talking to the good service people at Eagle's Nest, the consensus is that for the maiden voyage, I should take it around the block during the day, not on the freeway at night. My classes start in two weeks, so that means the bike will be here in less than three. Yay!

In the bad news department, I went to turn my Kindle on and got a screenful of zebra lines, even when I turned the thing off. After calling Amazon, they said they'd send one out immediately to replace it. We called on Wednesday; it arrived today. I'm impressed with their service. They even sent me a label to send the broken one back. I assume they'll fix it, recondition it, and resell it as a used unit. Fine by me. My new one is charged, loaded with books and a subscription to the LA Times, and ready to roll. I missed it and am glad to have a new one. I'm so looking forward to sitting on one of my decks with my morning coffee and reading the paper or a book. Life should always be that horrible.

As for Thanksgiving, well ... I guess I'm a Commie. I've never liked the holiday and rarely have had much to be thankful for. Even during the good years, something always came up that soured the whole thing. This year, though, is different. Even though we didn't go to Mom's, I roasted us a chicken, made some parmesan pasta and corn, and thought about all the things which have happened this year. All in all, it's been a pretty good one. The best thing, though, is that we're changing our lives completely, and I think we both really need it. Hubster is really excited about the move and even happier that we'll be near LA, but not living IN it. We're also close to San Diego and all the oceanside communities, as well as the ocean itself. Then we can come home to sanity. I'm giving up a car for a bike. We're leaving everything I've ever known and moving somewhere I swore I'd never move to. And before anybody asks, no ... I'm not telling our daughter where we're going. I don't even know that I'll tell her we're moving. I have half a mind to just snatch the kids and take them with us. That would put her tits in a knot. I haven't spoken to her in a while, but I understand that she spent T-Day with mom and grandma and even cooked dinner. That fries my ass. She does all this shit over many years, and they just act like nothing has happened and welcome her back. Not me ... not this time. I can't. My shields have gone up because I have to protect myself from her. She's hurt me too often in the past, and I won't let her do it to me again. So anyway, yes ... we have a lot to be thankful for this year. That doesn't mean I have to eat turkey. Don't like it, never have, never will, unless it's slathered with mayo in a sandwich. Even so, I still prefer ham.

Heh ... ZZTop is on TV. I still like them. They're singing "Pearl Necklace". Not my favorite, but it's still a good driving song.

I mentioned about the jeans up above, so I guess I should explain that fiasco. Harley seems to realize that a lot of the broads who ride (or are hog whores) have BIG asses, so they make their clothing up to size 3X. I had to get a leather jacket and chaps (you know, for that memorable time I'll blog about in the future when I dump the bike and turn into a giant road rash), so I started looking for a matched set. I have to pretend I look good. Anyway, I found this very cool fringed jacket, and they had the chaps to match. The even better part is that they had both of them in my size. Then I found a pair of jeans in the sales section, so I grabbed what I thought was my size and one size larger, grabbed Sylvia (my lovely salesgirl), and headed for the dressing room.

You have to understand something about me. When I say I hate clothes, I mean it. I HATE them. I hate everything about the clothes-buying ritual: the selection, the guessing of sizes, the trying-on of said garments, the deep depression which comes from realizing just how horrible you really look and how big said clothing is. Anyway, I tried on the first pair of jeans - the ones in the size I've worn for years. Uh ... nope. Not a chance. I couldn't even bring the two ends of the waist together in order to button them. Shit. I knew it ... I knew they wouldn't fit ... but I had deluded myself into thinking that I was still a cow, not a heifer. Heavy sigh. So I peeled them off (when they were tight on my thighs as I was pulling them up, I realized this wasn't going to happen), and put the next pair on. Whew. I'm still a mini-heifer, so I buttoned them up and looked. Not bad. They held my gut in and made me look semi-presentable. As for the jacket, it fit perfectly, even with the boobage factor. The chaps fit like a dream. They're not the easiest things in the world to put on (it's a rather involved process, but I'm sure I'll get it in no time), and that's where Sylvia came in. She fitted them on me, showed me how to get the length right, where the part that goes around your waist should sit, blah blah blah. Long story short, decked out in my leathers, I felt good. Natural. This is how the big dude meant for it to be - me decked out in glorious black cowhide with fringe. Yep. So I plunked them on the counter and forked over the credit card. Uh ... shit. The bill came to over $700. Oh well. One must pay the price to be safely dressed and stylish at the same time. What it boils down to is that the other jackets were fugly. Give me fringe any day. Combine that with my leather fetish (I love the way biker leathers smell - they're that really heavy cowhide to take the punishment of the road instead of your skin), and you've got the makings of a very expensive little hobby. At least I only buy clothes once a year, and that's under protest. I've got underwear so old that the elastic in the body of them gave out a decade ago, so when I inhale, they shoot straight up my ass.

The really horrible thing which happened this week is that I was knitting and fell asleep. No big deal, right? Not normally. But this time, Hubster didn't rescue my work from my hands (see the next paragraph). Emma jumped up on the chair to lay next to me, and we snoozed together. However, at some point during the night, she woke up and saw what I was holding. She removed it from my hands (she's a sneaky little thief), and when I woke up, she was merrily chomping away on a pile of kinked yarn with little sticks imbedded in it. I looked at it (it was out of focus because I'm getting blind as a bat and had just awakened, but I could make out what it was), snatched it away from her, and saw that she had not only ruined the yarn but broken all three DPN's into matchsticks. Then I freaked out even more because I realized that the fourth one was missing. It was bad enough that she destroyed them - they're the ones I can't get anymore, the ones made by Golding - but if she had eaten that fourth needle, there was a high probability of it piercing her esophagus or some other internal organ and doing a LOT of damage, possibly fatal. So I woke up Hubster, chewed his ass out for not taking my work away from me, and then we embarked on a search for the missing needle. I slid the chair away from the wall and there it was, lying unharmed on the floor. So then I had to tear the house apart looking for another set (I knew I had more than what was out on the table) and finally found a brand-new set tucked away in my knitting bag. WHEW. I've now got about three spares and the good set. I keep thinking that I have more of them, but I don't know how many I've purchased over the past several months. If there are more, they're in my studio, and I'll find them when we get all the boxes and bins out of there as the truck is being loaded. I'm guarding this set like the crown jewels. As for the ruined yarn, I've got more than enough to make the pair of socks, so I just cut away the ruined part and started over. It's a good thing I like doing ribbing because I have 2" of it on these socks and had almost finished it when Emma began eating everything. I hate when shit like that happens.

So that's been my week. Now I'm going to plunk down in the Monster, have Emma jump up there with me, and watch TV while I knit my latest pair of socks out of that glorious Wooly Boully. I'm sure that at some point, I'll fall asleep with my work in my hands. Hubster will gently remove it and put it away, and then I'll wake up in a few hours, pick it up again, and we'll repeat this little ritual throughout the night.

It don't get any better than that, dudes.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

New Shopfront is Up and Running

Take a look at the shop - we're finally making progress! I'll be working all day putting new artists up on the site. I had hoped to have this all done by last Saturday, but you know how that goes. Then we lost our server for a total of three days, including yesterday, and it had to be reconfigured again early this morning. We're golden now, though.

Have fun... and let me know what you think. :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Wow... Mondays are Getting Weirder... and Sunday News, Too

Let's start with this weekend, shall we?

I got my voice back just enough so I didn't sound like a croaking frog when I spoke, so off we went to our appointment at the Harley dealer (the one I spoke of in my last post). Our trusty salesman, Louie, was waiting for us and took us to see the model I had in mind. I had enough money to pay cash for it, so I took a good look to make sure it was what I wanted. Something told me to look at the other models in that particular color (it turns out that the color I wanted was available from October through December of the year, and that's it), so we wandered into the dealership to look at the five models they had painted like that (it's a custom, and the dealerships only got one of each style in it). Anyway, I immediately gravitated towards the Softail Deluxe - a retro-looking bike with wide whitewalls, full fenders, and all kinds of other cool doodads on it. I heard Hubster groan when he realized that was most likely the bike we were going to go home with. After sitting on it, drooling over it, and telling Hubster how much I loved it, we heard a roar behind us. We turned around and saw Louie riding that very bike into the showroom in that gorgeous purple (which really isn't purple at all - the color is called Blue Ice/Black Ice). That did it. I sat on it and didn't get back off until Hubster said to get the loan application papers.

Now, you all know my credit woes. The likelihood of our getting a bike/auto loan, especially in today's financial environment, was nil to you're full of shit. But being the idiots we are, we filled everything out and sent Louie into Finance with it. After a 20-minute wait and many ciggies, we got the news that if all the info on the application was correct (meaning Hubster's salary), we were approved. All we had to do was bring in a pay stub (and we also had to make a really hefty down payment). So I said good-night to my sweet ride, we had dinner, and came home. Hubster printed out three pay stubs, including one for last year, one for last month, and one for his last pay period. We had told the dealership that we would bring all the paperwork in on Sunday. Now came a horrifying wait, especially since what Hubster said he made every two weeks wasn't what his pay stubs said. Fortunately for me, I slept through the entire evening - this damn flu thing is holding on, and any activity during the day wipes me out.

Fast-forward to Sunday. Louie was again waiting for us when we arrived, so we took our paperwork to the powers that be and waited for their verdict. It turns out that there wasn't any problem at all, so we added a Lo-Jack to the bike (I have it on my T-Bird) and took out a full protection plan (not something we normally do, but we felt it would be a good idea for a bike). After signing the papers (and marveling that WE had gotten a LOAN!), the bike was all mine!! Then the nice lady who was our finance person, Julie, told me to go upstairs and pick out a helmet - the store would buy it for me as a thank-you. Since I was going to change helmets anyway, I went upstairs and chose a more suitable brain bucket. Then it was on to the Parts Department, where my bike was sitting with a "SOLD" sign taped to the gas tank (heh) to order some engine bars (they protect you and the bike if you dump it). That done, I got my Harley Christmas special - five large pewter bikes of the 90's (special editions, I think), all mounted in a lovely shadow box. Whew. I hauled all my loot to the truck, sat my happy ass down, we went to dinner, and I promptly fell asleep as soon as we got home. Too much excitement for one day. I had to be up at 4:00 a.m., though, in order to get ready in time to leave for the prison.

This time, we didn't sleep through the alarm, so we had a cuppa and got ready to go. No problems getting there, but when I got to the guard station, no Bill. The guard told me that he said he would be right back and to wait. After waiting 45 minutes, he still hadn't shown up, so I decided to take the taxi to the sally port and then walk the rest of the way, hoping Bill would get the message I had left him and pick me up along the way. Nope. I got checked in and walked onto the yard, but it looked and felt different. My boys weren't there, and a lot of the inmates were new. First, I got approached by one guy who said that I looked like a lot of fun. I made a smart-ass remark, and he told me that he wanted a taste of me. Holy shit... definitely not people who knew I belonged to a group. Then, as I passed a picnic table full of younger inmates (in their 20's, I would say), they began smirking while one of them put his hand to his crotch and made a jacking-off motion. What? I just stared him down and kept walking, hearing them all chortle as I passed. Then I opened the chapel door and ran right into one of my boys. He had been on the yard; however, he thought I wasn't coming (I was really late because of Bill), so he had gone into the chapel to tell everyone I wasn't there and was just leaving. It turns out that all my boys were waiting for me but seemed a bit peeved.

After talking things over with them (we had more of a meeting than a class), it became apparent they had been lied to. I won't mention any names, but they hadn't been told I was there when I showed up and couldn't see them, the group was being slowly dismantled (two of them were missing, one never to return), and another was being fired from his position as clerk. When I initially walked into the chapel, Bill was sitting there with his new clerks passing the time of day. I tore into him while he backpedaled and said that my message said I'd be there in five minutes. From the main gate? Huh? I don't think so.

Class over, I asked Bill if he was driving me back; he told me he had to get the cart. The yard was cleared because there had been a stabbing right in front of it while we were inside, so my boys couldn't hang out with me; they had to have an escort come get them and take them back to their cells. I told the guard that two of them were walking me back to the entry door, so off we went, not bothering to wait for Bill. I didn't even bother to say good-bye to him. I think I'll walk the last two visits rather than depend on him; I'm so angry with him that I could strangle him myself. One of my boys had, in fact, gone into his office that morning and ripped him a new one because they found out about a bunch of other lies Bill had told. Things aren't good there. I'll be attending the annual Christmas party (it's conveniently on a Monday), and I think that will be the last time I see my boys for quite a while. I'm keeping my brown card, though, so I can come visit when I'm in town.

I slept all the way home, not even realizing that we had made a few stops (including at my mom's to pick up Emma). Hubster woke me up when we got home, and it took about 15 minutes for me to wake up enough to get out of the truck and into the house. I sat down in the Monster and promptly fell asleep again, waking up around midnight. After taking my pills, I was awake for another hour and that ended my evening.

Today has been spent sleeping and trying to get insurance quotes for the bike (our company quoted $8K/year). I don't think so. The dealership is working on that because the payments would be around $700/month with the other quote. We can't afford that, and we have to carry full coverage because of the loan. I'm hoping this doesn't turn into a cluster fuck, which would mean Hubster would get really uh... difficult to live with. I know it won't be cheap, but that's ridiculous. It was partly because of the accident I had last year in the truck, but they already raised our rates for that. Now they're trying to penalize us twice. Sigh. Nothing is ever easy. Even if I could give back the bike (there's a paper you have to sign which says that California doesn't have a second-thought option), I wouldn't. Our monthly payment on the bike plus our new house payment is less than what we're paying now for rent, but we just can't add any more to that number. Shit.

So now I'm working on getting orders out and the shop finished. I haven't seen hide nor hair of the magazine, so I don't know who (if anybody) has received their copies of it. I do know that it will be out any day now, so I'm working as fast as I can to finish this up. Hubster was putting the finishing touches on the new shopfront when he began having trouble with our server, so he's on the phone right now to try and figure the problem out. I won't ask what else can go wrong because, sure as shit, something will.

If you hear screaming from the Bay Area, you know that I was stupid enough to ask that question and yet another thing has gone wrong at Chez Goddess.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

All Hard Work Does is Make You Sick

Hubster and I have been working like fiends all week, trying to get everybody listed and the new storefront operational before later today when IK hits the stands. So other than feeling like a total failure, what happened?

A few things, not the least of which was the flu.

Yes, the good old-fashioned, barf until your guts are heaving and you wish you were dead, bodily fluids running out of both ends so fast that all you can do is shit every time you barf into the bucket between your feet, a body so sore that it hurts to blink, gotta love it flu. And I was the proud recipient of this lovely illness all week. Sigh. The other things that happened were minor compared to that: a computer that wouldn't work for a while, too many vendors to list in the amount of time I had left (I always overestimate how much I can get done in a given amount of time), and other assorted and sundry problems which were easy enough to fix but took up precious time.

Today, I finally felt pretty good. I was able to drive over to KaratStix's house to pick up new stock for the store. It was a great day to drive across the San Mateo Bridge (it sits right on the water for the vast majority of the span - it's a weird feeling, but I've grown up with it and love it) with the top down on the Bird, the sun beating down on my head and shoulders (it was 86 - holy shit), smelling that salt air as I raced along doing 80 mph (I swear, I didn't know I was going that fast), the radio churning out Led Zepplin and other classic rock tunes. The drive back was just as much fun. I got home, put the new stock in the house, and we decided to go out to dinner. On the way, Hubster jokingly remarked that he was looking forward to sleeping for four hours when we got home. I jokingly said that I was looking forward to sitting down and knitting. Heh.

You know what happened, right?

Let's just say there was no knitting involved. Let's also take this a step further and say that when I cracked my beady little eyes open, it was midnight, I was sitting in the same position I sat down in when we got home, and my feet and ankles were swollen to the size of weather balloons. Ohhh SHIT.

So here I sit at 1:00 a.m., nothing done yet, tired to the bone and, worse yet, feeling like shit again. I have two choices at this juncture: I can work all night getting what stock I can up on the site and get really sick all over again, or I can pack it in and sleep for the rest of the night, get up at a decent hour and work until its time to leave for my 3 p.m. appointment. Where am I going that's so damned important? More on that in a minute. For the time being, suffice it to say that I don't think I'm going to try and get more stock listed tonight. I think the wise thing to do is to stop pushing myself so hard and rest. I think the best thing for everyone concerned is to go blow my nose AGAIN and curl up in my chair. If I get really sick again, I'll be of no use to anybody. I can get a whole lot more done in a shorter amount of time when I feel good than I can when I'm running to worship at the porcelain god every 15 minutes. So to those of you who are still waiting to see your work listed, take heart: I'm on the home stretch. Hubster is at this very minute putting the finishing touches on his masterpiece and then doing beta testing. All will be well, everything will get done, and I'll be well enough to go see my boys on Monday and try to explain to them why I'll only be seeing them three more times. I don't have a clue how I'll be able to tell them that. Sigh.

So the all-important appointment. Hubster and I will climb in the truck at 2 p.m. and head down the freeway until we get to Lathrop. Once we get there, I'll be walking through the doors of a lovely shop I visited a week or so ago and selecting one of five...


No, I haven't sold my car yet. My mother loaned me the money so I could get the bike I wanted before they sold out (yeah, right... all they can sell right now are helmets if they're not the really good ones). Anyway, I did want to be sure that I got the bike I could handle, the one that made my heart go pitter-pat, the one that... oh hell, I'm buying the bike I want without having to settle for what's left. That's why she gave me the money before my car sold. This purple is wicked, too - it turns into a cobalt blue depending on what angle you're looking at it from. I just have to be sure that I can pick it up if I dump it and it isn't too big to fit between my legs (that'll be the first time in history that something has the potential to be too big to fit between MY legs). Ahem.

I'm signed up for their class in December (I think I told you how the Harley class - "Rider's Edge" - is so much better than the one I was signed up for), so once I'm finished with the final night of classroom work and test-taking, I'll ride my new toy home from the dealership. They'll keep it there for me until I'm able to ride it (they also have free home delivery, but I have nowhere to store it in our dinky one-car garage). I want a few things done to it - maybe a sissy bar for my passenger (looking at Sheryl across the pond and waving - I have a helmet for you, darlin'!), maybe a set of bars that keep the bike from sliding across the pavement on the gas tank if you dump it, definitely saddlebags, maybe a new instrument cluster. It all depends on which one I buy and what comes with it. I'm looking hard at the Sportster - easy enough for me to handle, but not too good on the comfort level for longer trips - and the Heritage Softtail Classic (the bike I've always wanted - they have this ultra-cool retro one with big fenders and wide white-walled tires), which is a much heavier bike but is designed for touring. I think what I may wind up will be between those two. I just need something that I can ride on the freeway if necessary; the majority of my trips will be around town. They were right at the dealership, though, and it wasn't selling you the most expensive bike they could bullshit - the bigger bikes are much safer than scooters. As cute as the scooters are, you can't see or hear them when you're in a car with the radio blasting. You can always hear a Harley coming. Thank goodness for American-made iron horses. Besides, my boys would shit a major brick if I bought an Italian scooter when I could have bought a Harley. I still expect to find some tricked-out custom bike sitting in my driveway one morning when I go outside to get the paper, courtesy of one of my motley crew who's getting out next year.

So it's to the chair for the duration. I'll get up around 9 a.m., work until we have to leave, and then stop at Borders to see if the magazine is on their stands yet. Even though I subscribe to it, I want a copy I can keep pristine. It IS my first ad in a major rag, after all. Besides, I refuse to be sick all weekend. It would screw up my Harley-buying trip. It would fuck up my prison visit. It would make me a very unhappy broad for the entire weekend.

'Scuse me while I go worship.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Questionnaire for SP13

I'm sick. I'm so sick that the hair on my arms hurts. I suppose I should be glad I've got hair somewhere, but not right now. So if I'm even slower than usual getting artists up on the shop site, please bear with me. You'll all be there before the ad comes out next Saturday.

Since I'm wearing out fast, I figured I would put up the SP13 questionnaire. How difficult can this be? Hm... I better not ask that question. I might actually have to think, and I know if I do that, my brain will hurt, too.

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like? I only use indie yarns, such as those found in my shop or on Etsy. I'm a sock knitter, so I pretty much only use fingering weight. My favorite fibers are natural - wool (especially merino), silk (blended with merino), cashmere, alpaca, angora (blended with merino), etc. I'm not a huge fan of Tencel, rayon blends, cotton, or mohair, and I absolutely despise acrylic.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in? I have an organizer thing for my crochet hooks, and my DPN's are kept in a wooden case which I stick in my knitting bag. Needles not in use are kept in a bin in my studio.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced? I've been knitting for 48 years and learned from my Auntie Marge and mother. I would consider myself to be advanced (I'd better be, after all these years).

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? No.

5. What's your favorite scent? Patchouli and lavender.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy? I don't eat candy.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin? I do just about anything fiber related, but only one thing at a time. Right now, it's knitting. I do spin, but I don't have the time to do it now.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD) I don't really listen to music when I'm on the computer. In fact, the only time I have music playing is when I'm driving. My favorite music is classic rock, especially bands like Led Zeppelin and Cream.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand? I love all colors.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets? As far as people go, it's me and Hubster. As for pets (if you can call them that), I have an English Bulldog who sheds like a tree in autumn, and a macaw who likes to throw nuts at me when I'm ignoring her.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos? I'm going to have to. We're moving in January to a place where it snows (you have to remember that I'm a Bay Area native - California - so I've only seen snow a few times in my life). I'm ill-equipped for weather that cold, so I've purchased a pair of mittens and a long scarf. I need more, though. Ponchos... nah. I'll be riding a Harley. It's just not cool.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit? Socks.

13. What are you knitting right now? Socks.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts? Yes!!!

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic? I'm using DPN's right now and prefer a type which aren't being made anymore (figures). They're black walnut and ultra-slick. I don't like bamboo. I need to find another artist who makes hardwood DPN's in sizes 1, 2, and 3. I don't use aluminum or plastic unless I'm using circs; then I use Addi Lace Turbos.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift? Yes... a couple of each.

17. How old is your oldest UFO? I don't have any.

18. What is your favorite holiday? What winter holiday do you observe? My birthday. Hubster and I observe Yule between ourselves; we do the Christmas thing for our grands and the rest of my family, though.

19. Is there anything that you collect? I would love to collect classic 'Vettes and large diamonds, but so far, nobody has stepped up to the plate (well, Hubster did, but he gave one of each, not a collection). No Matchbox 'Vettes, please (someone did that to me once - I'm afraid that Emma would get ahold of it and eat it). Anyway, the answer to the question is no.

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have? I'm afraid not. I subscribe to all the magazines, so that's out. I love anything, though, so please don't let my rampant consumerism scare you.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn? I haven't heard of any.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements? I wear a size 10; my foot is 10.5" long; the ball circumference is 10.25".

23. When is your birthday? June 23, 1958 (but I keep celebrating it year after year).

24. Are you on Ravelry? If so, what's your ID? Yes. My ID is pjyarngoddess.

I was right. I had to think. My brain now hurts. So I think I'll add a new artist to the shop and flop on the Monster. I realize that you left-coasters are already on your way to work by now, but it's 4:00 a.m. here. I'm not sleepy - I tend to sleep more during the day now. As usual, my schedule is turned upside-down.

With my throat hurting this bad, one thing is for sure: no playing Swallow the Stick tonight.

(for my new SP... don't let me scare you... my bark is much worse than my bite... ask the Hubster)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

More Shop News... and a Decision

I wanted to lay a few things on you, my dear friends.

First, the decision between a Vespa and a Harley has been made. I'm buying the purple Sportster. :) Thanks for the comment, Bez - I think it's really cool, too. :)

The other thing is that I've received the most incredible work from all my new artists. Hubster is sleeping right now - he's as tired as I am - but he'll be taking pictures tonight. Today, I received some beautiful work from another new vendor who not only sent yarn, but little kits in holiday tins. That's all I'm saying about that. Then there was another box...

Woolly Boully is in the house! It's a merino/silk blend in the most gorgeous colors; if I manage to actually part with it, it will be a miracle (of course it will be listed, but it's fun to think about keeping it all). Since I put artists' work up in the order received, it will be a week or so before it hits the shop, but for you fans of her work, I've have it in the shop very shortly.

Back to reading. I can't even knit because I can't see the stitches.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Tired? Who, Me?

Tired doesn't even begin to convey the deep, bone-weariness I'm experiencing right now. It's been a hell of a week so far. However, because I'm a whiny sort of bitch, I felt the need to moan and snarl to everyone out there. Warning: this has the potential to be a snarky post.

Let's start with Monday, shall we?

Hubster, Emma, and I left the house at 5:15 a.m. to head to Mom's house first (to drop off Emma for the day - she's too big for her pen, and our furniture would be turned into matchsticks if we left her running around without us here), and then hit the road to go to the prison. I had called ahead to make sure the block was on regular operation (no lockdowns, riots, escapes, or pissed-off CO's), so I was sure everything would go as planned. We got there on time, saw Bill waiting for me, and I was about to get out of the truck when Hubster asked if I knew his new phone number (since we got the BlackBerries, we also got new numbers). I told him I didn't know it or need it, but he insisted and wrote it on a piece of paper. I stuck it in my pocket and headed into the prison.

Things went just fine - Bill dropped me off at C Facility, telling me that he was going to be working in another part of the prison for most of the morning. He gave me the phone number where he could be reached, and I headed into the block. After getting my siren and keys, I entered the yard. Hm. Something was wrong.

There were NO INMATES. NONE. NADA. Shit.

There were, however, a bunch of CO's wandering around the yard, with a group of them standing in front of the chapel. Great, I thought - maybe there was a stabbing or disturbance of some kind, and they'll be letting the guys go in a few minutes. I walked up to the chapel doors and was about to open them when I asked one of the CO's what was going on. Then I heard the dreaded words - RIOT TRAINING. I asked when the inmates would be released and was told in two or three hours. Then, as I was unlocking the door so I could phone Bill for a ride back out of the prison and call Hubster (thank goodness I took the phone number), another CO with a lollipop in his mouth came up and told me that I'd have to leave - that they were using live grenades and loaded AK-47's. I just stared at him, told him I'd leave when I was done making my phone calls, and slammed the door in his face. I bet GI Joe doesn't walk around the inmates with a lollipop sticking out of his mouth. Think jokes - prison jokes - about a man with a hard stick-like thing in his mouth.

I tried Hubster first and got his voice mail. Huh? He told me he would have his phone on and would listen for a call. Then I tried Bill. I got his voice mail, too. What the fuck? After about 15 minutes of frantic phoning, I finally got ahold of both of them. It turns out that Hubster was already in the parking lot waiting for me, and Bill... well, who knows where he was. I hung up the phone, looked around, and burst into tears. I hadn't realized how badly I wanted to see my boys, and once again, I wasn't being allowed to. It wasn't the long drive, or the uselessness of it all - I wanted to spend time with them. So I locked up and trudged back out to the front of the block to await Bill.

Since I had to drive back to Sacramento today for a doctor's appointment, I asked Bill if we could hold the class this morning. He said he would check to see if there were any conflicts and to call him after 4:00 p.m. I called him - several times. I've yet to hear from him, and now he's gone on vacation until the 14th. Then I called the office to see if a ducket had been filed. My boys were doing a sweat this morning at 8:00 a.m. I know if they heard that I wanted to have the class this morning, they would have scheduled their sweat for another time. Shit. Double shit. Now I have to wait for two weeks, and that marks the beginning of my last four classes with them. It's horribly depressing.

Yesterday, as usual, I was wiped out from the drive. I slept for a good portion of the day. Fast forward to today.

Our drive to the doctor's was uneventful. I told Hubster that on the way home, I wanted to stop at the Harley Davidson store in Livermore to get the stuff I needed for my class. We got to Lathrop, and he noticed a really large HD store on the side of the freeway. "Want to stop there instead?", he asked me. I told him to pull off the freeway, and we parked in front of a gleaming store with a shitload of new bikes in front and even more inside. Heaven. What's more, the name of the dealership is "Eagle's Nest". That's the name of our new home. Tell me that isn't a sign.

After entering the store, I was directed upstairs for the clothing. The gentleman helping me was extremely knowledgeable and fitted me with boots, gloves, and a helmet in record time. Then I found out that if you buy a new bike, they give you their riding course free. It's something pretty new - used to be if you bought a Harley, you'd better know how to ride. This course is more comprehensive than the one I'm signed up for, with two days of class and more riding time. You also take your DMV test at the end of class and get your license right then and there. Of course, I had to look at the bikes.

I'm sure you all know I was going to buy a Vespa, but the Sportster wasn't that much more than a Vespa. I took one look at a deep purple one, sat on it, stood it up, and fell in love. I think I'll be going back to buy that bad boy and take their course instead. I can see it now - I'm turning into a leather biker babe (well, the leather and biker parts are accurate). Wait until one of my boys hears this. He builds custom bikes and will be thrilled all to shit. Even Hubster is excited about it. I think he wants to learn how to ride it himself. Fine. He can learn how to ride, but he's going to have to buy his own bike. Harley even has a few models which offer his and hers bikes. The Sportster is one of them.

So now we're home, and I'm so tired that I can barely see straight. Even though I'm sure I'll get rotten produce hurled at me for saying this, I have to tell you that I'm one of the few who didn't vote because I never do. In fact, I've voted only once in my life, and that was when I first became old enough to do so. All the same, I'm really disappointed that Prop 8 passed. I just don't understand the mindset of people who fear gay and lesbian couples being granted the same benefits and privileges all people in love who marry are given. It's stupid, and I'm ashamed that in this state, the state that's supposed to be the bellwether for everyone else, the state where The Summer of Love happened, the state that everybody else around the country makes fun of for our colorful residents and open lifestyles, would quash such a basic right. I'm also sorry that prostitution wasn't decriminalized (San Francisco only, but it's a start). I say, make it legal and check the girls often for HIV and other STD's. It would cut down on the number of johns who become sick, would protect the girls, and might get them away from pimps who beat and otherwise mistreat them. I am glad, however, that the one about animal mistreatment (was that Prop 2?) passed. I couldn't even watch the commercials - they were so heartbreaking that I sobbed when they came on.

One thing I'm VERY happy about - my shows are back to normal, and there are no more boring political commercials to suffer through. I'm always a realist. Take off People's Court for election coverage? What the hell is wrong with the people who do programming?

So now, I'm going to go curl up on the Monster (Emma is passed out for the evening - the grands wear her out), read a little, knit a little, and most likely fall asleep. Then I'll wake up at some ungodly hour, eat something for dinner, and go back to sleep. I really need more sleep - my body is beginning to scream from all the abusive treatment I'm doling out to it.

Oh... I'm receiving a shipment of a new base yarn from Jenny Boully (of Woolly Boully) dyed in the most delicious colorways. It should be here by Saturday. Tomorrow is a heavy work day, and we have a ton of stuff to get listed. To all of you who ordered during the sale, your packages go out tomorrow. I've barely been home and awake long enough to get your orders packaged up. Thank you for being patient. I've got a shitload of new artists' work to photograph, and the website has to be finished (wait until you see it!) before the ad hits on the 15th. It's not that far away.

One last bit of bitchery: Hubster will be gone all next week on a business trip. He's going to Raleigh, North Carolina. It's the first time in all the years we've been married that he'll be gone, and I'm barely able to keep myself together. I'm so used to him being with me that I don't know what I'll do with myself. The days will be long; the nights, longer. I hate it when he leaves for the day; now he'll be gone a week. I'm already in mourning. I'm sure that sounds silly to those of you who have normal lives and go off to work each day, or who are used to a spouse leaving for work while you stay home. I'm not used to that. I'm not happy about it. I burst into tears last night when I was talking to him about it, and I know I'll blubber like a total ass when I drop him off at the airport. Sigh.

So off to sleepyland I go. I'm barely able to see the screen now.

That's after I have a ciggie and a cuppa, though. Can't go to sleep without having had those two bastions of healthy living.