Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Who Needs a Wake-Up Call?

I think this has possibly been the worst trip to Folsom which we've yet endured.

As you all know, Monday was prison day. No biggie, right? I should have known that the trip was ill-fated before we even left the house.

First of all, we overslept. Again. I didn't have a thing packed, didn't know which flutes I was taking, didn't know where my stuff was - in short, nothing was ready. We had hoped to get out of here early because I wanted to get some work done before I went to bed. Heh. This was the latest we've gotten out of here - almost 9:00 p.m. I couldn't find the book I wanted to use or the CD's I wanted to play, so I didn't have a lesson plan for my boys. Then there was the small matter of dinner. To make sure there was a restaurant open (I was in my traditional nighttime traveling garb - my jammies - so it had to be a drive-thru), we stopped for dinner at McDysentery's in the next town. Yummy. Then it was back on the freeway for our oh so scenic and exciting drive out to the flatlands.

We were staying at a new motel, since Chez Outhouse had jacked up their prices. The cheaper motels in town were downright scary, so we decided to fork over $10 more and stay at a LaQuinta. I've found that these can range from really crappy to sort of nice. This one was pretty nice. Our room had a balcony, a sitting area, a knitting chair with footrest (very important, especially since I could drag the lamp over), a bathroom that didn't look like it was from the 70's (and that was after remodeling), and a really comfy bed (no more springy snatch... uh... the bed, you understand). I had the saggy snatch problem corrected years ago after my hysterectomy, but I digress.

We got there a little before midnight, checked in, left a wake-up call for 6:00 a.m., and settled in. I tried to get some work done, but I wound up in the classic Yarn Goddess pose - chin laying on my ample bosom, knitting clutched firmly in my hands, and drooling like a rabid dog. Once the room came into focus, I noticed that my pay-per-view movie (Saw IV, clearly destined to be a classic) had long since ended, and Hubster was snoring like a chainsaw. In bed. Alone. So I put my knitting away, turned off the TV and all the lights (helpful soul that he is, he left everything on for me), made sure the door was locked and the "Do Not Disturb" sign was out, and crawled into bed. Ahhhhh. Comfy. I got to enjoy it for all of three hours. Or so I thought.

A little later that morning, Hubster finally got me awake. It was 6:50 a.m. Our wake-up call never came. It was only due to the static of the clock radio which I had set when we arrived that we woke up at all. I had a ciggie or ten, dragged my ass out of bed, and tried to get ready as quickly as possible. Despite my best efforts, I was still late. It was now the time I was supposed to be at the prison. So I tried to get ahold of Bill. No go. I got his voice mail. So I left a panicked message telling him I was running late but would be there and for him to call the tower to let my guys go. Mission accomplished, we headed down to the parking lot. Hubster let out a groan and said, "Ohhhhh noooooooooooooooooo". Huh?

One of our tires was as flat as my ass.

Another panicked phone call ensued. Another panicked message was left. This took a while to do since I couldn't get the damn phone to work. I hate Hubster's phone - he's had it for ten years - and I'm electronically challenged to begin with. He finally had to dial the number for me - with his work gloves on. His nice clean clothes were now covered in parking lot crap from laying on the ground and jacking up a four-ton vehicle. The only good thing was our location - we were right next to an America's Tire, and Hubster always goes to them (or did - there aren't any out here that I know of). I tried calling the prison again, but now the mailbox was full. Oh great. My boys were going to be patrolling the grounds and worrying about me.

We got into the truck and sped out to the prison. I didn't even bother asking if Bill had been to the guard shack - he was long gone if he had been - so I began the walk of death (no, not to Death Row - to the cell block). I only fell once this time, but I scraped up my toe and kept walking out of my sandals. Bad shoe choice. Note to self - do NOT wear ancient sandals anymore. I finally made it to the sally port where I was greeted by those dreaded words: "C Block is in lockdown".

"But I called!", I wailed. "They said just the Crips and Bloods were locked down!" The guard (who knows me by now and even deigns to talk to me) called over there to see what was up. In the meantime, I passed the time of day with the guard on the other side of the walkway. "Yep", he said when he got off the phone, "they're having TB testing done this morning. No duckets have gone out.". A ducket is a list of men who are to be released for a function. In other words, all classes had been cancelled. I just looked at him, said a few choice words, and began the trudge back to the truck where Hubster was waiting for a phone call from me to ensure I had actually made it inside. I had almost made it back to the main shack when this ear-piercing scream scared the shit out me. I looked all over the place, wondering if I should hit the ground, try and run (my legs freeze up from the knee down and don't work, so running is actually pretty much out of the question), get ready to fight, or what. Then I saw what had happened.

There is a large variety of wildlife in and around the prison - turkeys, deer, quail, etc. What had screamed was a peacock who had had a cat sneak up on it. There he was in full fan, that magnificent tail waving in the breeze, while the offending cat took shelter in the sewer. All you could see of the cat were his ears peeking up above the grate. That peacock stood there, turning a little this way and that, until he perceived that the danger had passed. Then he let his tail down to lay upon the ground and went back about his business. No wonder the sultans used to keep them to guard their harems! I finally made it out the gate, had the guard called Hubster so I could find the truck, and collapsed inside. Major bummer.

We went out to breakfast and then back to the room and air conditioning (it was hot already - I had forgotten just how brutal the temps in Sacramento are) where we intended to work for the rest of the day. We worked, alright - at snoring. Both of us fell fast asleep and didn't wake up until around 6:00 p.m. Bummer. Another day completely wasted. I had purchased a notebook computer to take with me so I could work on the shop while away from home. It sat there pristine and untouched. I decided to get ready for dinner and work when we got back.

Dinner was yummy, and the heat from the day finally disappeared. We sat down to work (damn, that computer is sweet), watched TV, worked some more, dozed, knit, dozed, and put in our wake-up call for 6:30 a.m. The whole reason we stayed two nights is because I had an early-morning doctor's appointment with the pain doctor. I had had to reschedule it because the dumbshit nurse had made it too far out to begin with - I would have run out of methadone (that would have been a bad scene). This time, I went to bed earlier so I could enjoy the damn thing. We both fell asleep instantly.

The next thing I knew, Hubster was shaking me awake. Once again, I didn't hear the phone. Maybe that's because it didn't ring. They never called us. The only thing that woke him up was the static from the clock radio again. Now I was late for the damn appointment at 8:45 a.m.; what's worse, they didn't begin answering their phones until 9:00 a.m., and we didn't know where the doctor had moved his office to - all we knew was that he had moved. We decided to wait until they were answering the phone, call, and explain what had happened. They were good enough to work me in so I didn't have to come back or, worse yet, stay another night. It turns out that my doctor had broken off from his partners and gone solo. I talked to him for a short time and told him what was going on with the falling and my legs not working. I'm now going to be the proud possessor of a gimp sign for my car so I don't have to walk far. It's a two-edged sword. I'm happy that I now have that privilege; on the other hand, it makes me realize that there's no turning back. The disease has progressed to the point where it's going to affect my walking for the rest of my life and isn't going to improve. I'm going to wind up being one of those nasty old ladies on a scooter with a basket full of rocks to throw at all the kids I pass.

Before we left, I called the front desk and began to bitch to the lady who answered my call about our lack of wake-up calls for two mornings in a row. She wasn't the manager but said she would comp us one night (nice) and would talk to the manager when he arrived for work. It turns out that the dude on the night shift had never entered our call either on the phone system or in the log. I hope they fire his lazy stoned ass. I bitched about it again on our way out - both managers were there, so I got a chance to give them an earful. I really just don't want that to happen to anybody else.

Back to the doctor. There was a lab right across the hall from the doctor, so I went over there to get my blood drawn (I've had these orders for months and keep forgetting to do it). Then the lady there informed me I had to do the pee in a cup gig. Sigh. I sat on that john for almost 30 minutes and succeeded only in glueing my ass to the seat. I ran the water. I dreamed of pools with waterfalls. I imagined what Tahiti must be like. I bounced up and down (partly to keep my ass from falling asleep). Hubster knocked on the door to see if I was still awake, on the floor, or just having problems. I couldn't go no matter what. The lady asked if we could come back later. Swell - that meant I had to stick around Sac for another day. I was already having trouble with the memories - we were too close to my old house, and it was beginning to take its toll. So Hubster decided to take me out to lunch, and off we set.

When we drive somewhere, he drives and I read aloud to him. It used to be the opposite: I drove and he slept. Anyway, my nose was buried in the book, and I didn't realize where we were headed. I looked up to see that we were way out by Rocklin. After asking him where the hell we were going, he remarked that he thought he could catch the freeway we needed from there. I told him nope, that we were way out by ... THE CASINO! He began giggling and grinning - he had hoped I wouldn't look up at all until we were there so he could really surprise me. I got treated to a Fatburger and a few hours of gambling. Fun! And at last, the golden waters flowed. Back to the lab, dropped off the cup, got a Jamba Juice, and hit the freeway for the ride home. Oh... I also got to go to Filati to see my old friends. I found a wonderful sock yarn I hadn't heard of before, talked briefly with Sally, and managed to find a swap pal gift. All in all, a wonderful end to the shittiest trip I've taken out there to date.

So now I'm back home recovering. We got home very late last night, so I tried to knit a little to no avail. I'm going to try and work a bit later, but I think that tonight is a knitting night while I recover. Then tomorrow, I'll be hitting the shop hard and working for the rest of the week on it to get a lot of new vendors up and reorders posted. I'll also be working all weekend on it. The Yarn Harlot is coming to a craft show across the water from me, and I was supposed to go with my buddy, but I won't be able to make it. Sigh. I just have too much to do, and the place will be swamped with people. I can't stand in line that long, so it would turn into a nightmare for me. Maybe if I ask her nicely, she'll get me an autographed copy of the book if she decides to go and wait in line. If not, there will be other opportunities. I'd like to hear the Harlot speak, and I don't know what the afternoon holds for her appearance. It's also going to be warmer this weekend, and I need to help Hubster with the jungle out front. So much to do, so little time, so very little ambition.

Before I close out this edition of the ongoing show which is my life, there's something that's been bothering me. About a week or so ago, I heard about MagKnits up and closing because of something someone on Ravelry said. I've seen this happen a couple of times already; somebody gets a wild hair up their ass and says something (or rather, starts something). Then all the women jump on the bandwagon like a bunch of rabid lemmings; they all knew it was going to happen, they all saw it coming, they all are experts on the situation, if only the person (or business) had done this or that, blah blah blah. They're not happy until they drive the person out, and then they talk about that until their teeth fall out or their fingernails drop off. It makes me sad and not at all proud to be a woman. What the hell is wrong with people, anyway? Are their lives so empty and devoid of compassion that they live only to see others suffer? Are they so jealous of another person's success that they feel compelled to destroy them? It really worries me that all it takes is a word from someone to start the ball rolling. I was afraid this would happen when Ravelry became so huge and so many groups began forming. Cliques are forming over there, and I've heard of several instances where friends of mine have been drummed out of groups because they had the audacity to speak their minds. The same is true of the yarn business; there are shop owners who are so large and powerful that both vendors and other shop owners are afraid to say anything against or about them for fear that they'll be drummed out of business. Why can't people just enjoy something without having to dominate the situation? Why do some people feel they have to get rid of people who are different? Why are some shop owners compelled to try and dominate the market instead of realizing that there are more than enough vendors - both indie and commercial - for everybody to represent? I don't understand it, and it's part of the reason I don't use Ravelry very much. I know of women who spend hours every day on there, who have logged every needle, every skein of yarn, every EVERYTHING, into every category, and if they don't, they feel like they've failed somehow. While Ravelry is a wonderful resource (and I do advertise over there and have found some wonderful vendors and made some friends), it becomes a powerful weapon if not used correctly.

Ladies, behave yourselves. The only ones you're hurting are yourselves. By getting rid of someone who has a different opinion or way of doing business, you're depriving everyone else of the privilege of knowing someone who could possibly be a good friend or teacher or business outlet. Think before you type. Put yourself in that person's place. Act like a human.

In other words, keep your fucking mouths shut unless you have something to contribute that isn't harmful to another.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Another Day, No More Money

Good lord. I just looked at the date of my last post and realized that it's been well over a week since I last posted. I'm such a loser sometimes.

So what's been going on down here in the shithole? A few things, actually. I decided that since I just sit in the hotel room doing nothing when we go to Folsom for prison day, I needed a laptop to take with me so I could work. It's just too dark in those rooms to knit, but a computer... well, I might just be able to finish this shop update. So we went to Best Buy last night and found a Compaq Presario with all these bells and whistles, a 17.4" screen, and all kinds of software preloaded for only $600. I was shocked. I remember when Tandy computers with 256K were all the rage, used floppies, and cost over a grand. Wow. So I snatched it up (it was the last one; I suspect that its last year's model, but who cares?), bought a nice carrying bag for it, and I'll play with it tonight so I can work on this trip. We have to stay for two nights because of a doctor's appointment on Tuesday, but who cares? Now I have something cool to play with. Hubster is going to help me get it all set up so I can use it in conjunction with my iMac. I wanted a MacBook something or other, but they're twice the price, the screen is only 13", and I just didn't see the point when I could get so much more and use it for the business. Besides, I can write it off. So I'm back in the world of PC's (just for those times when we're gone), and I'll do the bulk of my work on the iMac. Hubster is loading a few different browsers on the new one (I don't know what to call him yet, but he's a graphite color and very sexy, very fast, and very lean - just how I like my cars) so I can see how things look on different computers. I think it was a wise business move, especially for the price.

I'll still bring my knitting along, though - I can't travel without it. I bought the coolest bag when I was at Article Pract with Karen of KaratStix fame last week - it looks like it's made of those needlepunched rugs - so that's the one I'll stuff my socks into this time. I'm almost to the toe of my first swap sock, so I think I'll make this swap deadline. For a change. I'm also bringing my Firebird socks from the Vancalcar Sock Club. They're so cool, and I'm dying to cast on for a pair for myself. So those are my end of weekend/beginning of the week plans. Ain't they a hoot?

I also get to go to the dentist next week for two root canals, new crowns, and hopefully the beginning of the miracle teeth. It's going to hurt like a bitch, but I suppose no pain, no gain. It's also horribly expensive. Why is everything so damned expensive these days? It's like dentists think you're made of money, and if you can't afford it, you can always take out a loan at some ridiculously high interest rate. I don't know what's worse - paying the interest rate or begging my mother to help and then listening to her hound me about the money. Sigh. Sometimes, I absolutely hate life.

This morning, I got about two hours' sleep while Hubster finished cleaning the house (he's a terrific housecleaner). He came to wake me up, and I reluctantly crawled out of bed. Once I had my snowman jammies on (think I'm hanging on to winter?), I tried to exit the bedroom. Bad move. I went careening out the door, slammed into the wall, bounced across the hall, hit the other wall, and cartwheeled my arms to try and catch my balance. Nope. Down I went like a ton of bricks. Fortunately, it was all in slow motion, so I didn't hurt myself. I'm such a comical bitch sometimes. Last night, though, while I was putting away skeins of yarn (holy fuck, I've got a lot of yarn), I must have turned my wrist just right and twisted it. It hurts. A lot. Does it stop me from knitting or doing anything else important, like typing? Nope. But every time I move my hand, it sends shooting pain up my arm. I couldn't believe it. I got injured by a skein of yarn. I have to remember not to buy that dyer's work anymore. It has teeth or something. You know... like some snatches. Bearded cannibal tacos is what they are.

Hubster just got up from his nap (I should have taken one while I had the chance), so I guess it's time to begin working on the shop again. We didn't get my car in for an oil change or smogging, so my registration is going to be late. Oh well. It's not the first time, and it won't be the last. He was so tired that I didn't want him sitting there and falling asleep in the waiting room at the gas station (yes, we have one of the last remaining gas stations that actually services your car - sort of). I also have to wash the thing. It's got sycamore leaves and tree shit all over it, and I don't want sticky sap or paw prints all over it. Then the cover goes on, and I'll probably kill another battery by not driving it.

In any event, we're off tomorrow for Folsom, so I won't post again until Tuesday or Wednesday. If you place an order before then, it won't be filled until Wednesday. I'm sorry, but I'm always so wiped out from those trips that I need the night we get back to recuperate. I promise that vendors will be going up while I'm gone thanks to Thor (that name just popped into my head - it's better than Nosferatu and easier to spell). I'll see you all on Wednesday.

If I don't fall off the balcony at the hotel or get attacked by a bearded cannibal taco.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

If I Were a Painting, I'd Be a Van Gogh

If you don't understand the title of this post, then you're a well-adjusted, well-balanced person whose life is in order, who has a "To Do" list with check marks next to the items which are done, the requisite 2.5 children, two cars in the garage, a house with lots of equity, and no debt (and probably a chicken in every pot).

Your head isn't smeared sideways in bizarre, running colors with a gaping black hole for a mouth. You know the one - "The Scream".

It's like my life is a runaway train and there aren't any depots - or at least none which you want to stop at. Kind of like in "Hostel".

I've got orders coming out of every orifice (a terrific thing, but getting them filled while I'm awake has been a challenge this week), more vendors to add than vendors already listed, so much yarn laying around the house that I'm thinking of stuffing my mattress with it to make it softer (the mattress, not the yarn), and a pair of swap socks which are, as usual, behind schedule. So what did I do yesterday?

I hauled my sick ass out the door and went lunching and yarn shopping with a girlfriend.

It's not as irresponsible as it sounds. In fact, it's restored some of my sanity. The problems began Sunday.

We checked into our usual rathole motel for prison day and found out that they've renamed it, made some of the rooms into suites, and jacked up the price by $25 a night. Huh? The desk clerk said they had upgraded all the rooms; hence, the increase in price. Okay. I was looking forward to sleeping on a mattress which didn't have springs escaping the mattress cover and nailing me right in the ass. It was with this sense of expectation that we opened the door and found... the same shitty mattresses, Hubster's favorite work table gone, dark ugly furniture, no more safe, and a miniature granite bathroom counter. The rest of the room was the same. The same horrid bedspread which didn't match the "decor". The same crappy shower and toilet area. The same little TV which got even less channels than usual. I opened the nightstand drawer and almost tipped the thing over. Oh swell. I tried to get some knitting done, but the light in there was so shitty that I couldn't see what the hell I was doing. Finally, at 2 a.m., I fell asleep. The clock radio went off at 6:00 a.m. to nothing but very loud static. I dragged my ass out of bed and heard a loud POP. Yep... there went my back.

Off I hobbled to the bathroom area. I got ready as quickly as I could (all the while drinking copious amounts of Coke and chain smoking to try and pry my eyes open); late as usual, we headed down to the truck and drove to the prison. No problem there - I had a ride in this time. Good thing, too - I had a large box full of new flutes which the man who started the flute program had made for my boys. The trip inside was completely uneventful, my boys were waiting for me (one of them chided me for not wearing a coat, and another took the box out of my arms), and we trudged along to the chapel.

Since I didn't have the book I wanted to use, I decided to let them familiarize themselves with the new flutes. That took about two hours; then I had an inspiration. I made them each play a love song to me. They stared at me like I was an idiot; then I explained my reasoning to them. The music they played was beautiful, ethereal, haunting - and they were shocked all to shit. Even Kid (my new boy - we'll call him that) played me a song that would have brought tears to anybody. I talked to him after the class, and it just broke my heart - he looks like he should have a paper route somewhere. I asked him if he had played before going down (and not in the fun way), and he said he'd played tenor sax in his high school band. I touched his cheek, and his eyes welled up with tears. That child does NOT belong there. He said he made a bad decision and needed to be punished - yes, he did and yes, he does - but not there. I hope his appeal goes through in his favor.

After class, I got in the truck and don't remember a thing until we got home. I was so exhausted - that session drained me more than any of the others - and it was an effort to get out of the truck. I got inside, sat down, and fell asleep again. I kept trying to stay awake when I'd wake up, but no go. The same was true of Tuesday. Yesterday, I managed to stay awake and have fun while we were out, but then I came home and managed to do very little work before I gave up the ghost again. I've gotten more sleep this week than I've gotten any other time in the past several months. But it's ominous.

It means I'm really sick again, and it's just going to get worse.

So I'm working on orders as fast as I can, both of us will be working on the shop this weekend (Hubster is sick with a flu-like thing), and I might even get some knitting done. Surprisingly, I didn't drop any stitches when I managed to get in five minutes of knitting, nor did I spill coffee on it. These socks are made of Posh, which is a dream to knit with, but I'm a little apprehensive. It isn't as soft as I thought it would be. In fact, many of my merinos are softer, and this has something like 20% cashmere in it, which is why I chose it. The colors are perfect, though - they're exactly what my pal specified.

On the brighter side of things, I've got some exciting vendors about to hit the shop. Hubster will be updating the "Coming Soon" part of the front page (in fact, the whole front page will be updated), I've just ordered some new colors of the Debra's Garden needle sizers, KaratStix has a new product which will hit the shop this weekend (she was the girlfriend I goofed around with yesterday, and she handed me the new thingies), I've now got point protectors in sock needle sizes custom-made by Designs by Tami, and a bunch of other really terrific stuff. I also spoke with Jenny Boully today; she is definitely supplying yarn to the shop. It'll be a while for that one because of all the stuff going on in her personal life (you go, Jenny!), but I don't care how long it takes - she's embarking on an exciting new life, and I couldn't be happier for her. She's even nicer on the phone than in emails, and I didn't think that was possible. I don't know what she'll send, and I don't much care - just to have her yarn is an honor. So you all have that to look forward to. :)

Another thing that's going on is an email I just received telling me that my signature yarn is done! It's on its' way to me as I type, and I think you'll all love it - I know I do! Speaking of siggy yarns, all the people who entered that contest will have their skeins put up for sale when I introduce the winner. All proceeds will go to the ladies who dyed them.

Starting next month, I'll be highlighting a vendor each month. I had wanted to do it this month, but... well, you know. The first vendor I'm highlighting is Karen of KaratStix.

One last thing. One of the emails I got today included a suggestion, and I'm taking her up on it. I am officially announcing the S.A.B.L.E. Sock of the Month club! It's open to 10 people, will cost $70 for six months (three shipments including shipping), and will include brand-new yarn taken from my stash (and you know the kinds of yarn I use). There will also be fun things, really neat swag, and whatever else I dream up. If you'd like to join, please send me an email at If I don't reach 10 people by the end of the month, we won't do it, but this is the first of it's kind as far as I know! My thanks to the lady who suggested it (and I'll keep you anonymous unless you tell me otherwise). Our Stitch Marker Club is a no go due to only three people signing up, but we'll try it again later in the year.

I also wanted to mention that Yarny Goodness is proud to be supporting a breast cancer cause. Check out the patterns by Randi K.; some of them are designated for that purpose. YG is picking up the shipping for them.

I think that's it. I'm going to take a break and try to knit. Then I'm going to fry some baloney for a sandwich (you have to be there) and hit the packages again. All orders will have gone out by Saturday. Thank you to those of you who - again - have patiently waited for your items. It's appreciated. :)

At least I can sit on the Monster and knit without worrying about a spring shooting into my snatch.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Sometimes, I Just Feel Like Hiding in the Closet


What a week this has been.

Chewed up packages, torn labels (both courtesy of the post office), over 30 orders to fill, the Flat Feet frenzy - I feel like I've been stuck into one of those rides which spin around so fast that you're plastered against the wall and can't move. There's so much to do that I almost feel paralyzed. It's wonderful that so many people have shopped with me (thank you!!), but I'm slower than what I wanted to be in filling the orders. Please bear with me - I've slept pretty much nonstop for the past two days because my body gave out again, but I'm raring to go today. Hubster is out buying me new wrapping supplies as we speak; as soon as he gets home, I'll be packing.

On knitting news, I've begun knitting my Monkey Swap socks with Posh yarn. I've got a lot of it in my stash, but this one had to be special. I was lucky enough to find a colorway which contained all the colors my pal wanted. It's knitting up beautifully, too - the colors are dancing around each other instead of doing boring stripes. I didn't realize it's a cabled yarn, which is really nice to knit with. There's no halo around the finished knitting, and it forms perfect stitches. The cashmere is a nice touch, too. I would have knitted them out of pure cashmere or camel, but the durability factor would have been in the crapper. I want these socks to wear well, and just from the construction of the yarn, they should wear like iron. I'll post a picture when one of them is done. They're going fast, too - could it be because I've knitted this pattern so many times in the past and could probably do it in my sleep? I don't know - I've fallen asleep with my knitting in my hand at least 10 times in the past few days, so I must be knitting in my sleep.

Oh geez - I've got Steve (he of Jerry Springer fame) on TV, and he's yelling at some loser who walks around the house naked in front of his 14 year old daughter and masturbates. Egads. I've got nothing against masturbating, but doing it while you're walking around the house with a beer in one hand and doing it in front of your child? This fool should have his tool cut off and stuffed up his ass. That poor kid. She needs a family who loves her and doesn't walk around in the nudie rudie in front of her. I also have nothing against being nude - I do it all the time - but NOT in front of kids. Holy shit. I consider this type of TV educational.

I realize that this post is really disjointed - I feel like I'm out of my body today - so please bear with me. I'm trying to think of what's happened since I last spoke to you all.

I got some really cool shit in the mail. One of them was a swap gift from Tara for the Cancer Birthday swap. I'm not telling you what I got - I'll take pictures of it tomorrow - but suffice it to say that we had a spending limit, and she did a fantastic job of selecting gifts for me. One of them (I'll tell you this one) was a new set of Golding DPN's. I'm in heaven. I've got a special pattern and an equally special yarn which is begging to be cast on. That's my reward for filling all my orders - I get to cast on socks for myself. What a concept! You'll see the other cool stuff she sent tomorrow. The rest of this stuff are things I bought for myself. I got a bunch of yarn (pictures of them are forthcoming); the book "The Principles of Knitting" (I bought it off Amazon and paid dearly for it - it's out of print, but TKGA recommends it for the Masters program; what kills me is that I had it and it got ruined in a box in my garage); the update for my Mac to bring the operating system up to Leopard; an equally cool thing made by FileMaker called "Bento" (it's a personal organizing system that's also good for small businesses - spread sheets, contact listings, places to put appointments and events, etc.); a custom pouch for my purse to hold all the small stuff which falls to the bottom of the beast, never to be found again (it's leather and has the winged heart on it, along with crystal studs to hold it all together); a bunch of new sock patterns; and a bunch of other stuff which I can't remember. I think I've spent too much money lately. Oops. Hubster will be pissed. Speaking of him, he just got home with my loot. Now I can start wrapping all the orders.

Monday is prison day, so you all know what that means. I actually got ahold of the chaplain; he's going to meet me at the gate so I can ride in. I got all the new flutes for my boys, and I can't carry them in (I think I already told you that part). This way, I can just stick the box in the back of the golf cart and not have to walk. I'm going to have to talk to him about my trek inside; I can't walk in the heat, and it's coming soon. Either he's going to have to pick me up or have someone else do it. Sigh. I hate being ill.

I'm having lunch next week with Karen of KaratStix (we're friends, and what a delightful lady she is!), and then we're going to Article Pract to get into trouble. They're having a 25% off sale on their bags, so I KNOW I'll get in a lot more trouble than I would like. I just can't resist knitting bags, and if this one particular one is there, I know I'll buy it. It's made from a hand-punched rug-like fabric and is just gorgeous. They also have some killer sock yarn which I probably won't be able to resist, either. Karen is no help; we both enable each other. This will be the first time in ages I've gotten out of the house to have lunch with a friend. I was supposed to meet a prospective vendor for coffee a few weeks ago, but I was up all night and got no sleep, so I had to cancel. I'm not canceling this one - I really want to see Karen. Besides, she may have new things for the shop. :)

I don't have any funny stories for you, and nothing really exciting has happened - I've just been feeling out of sorts and not quite myself. I had a bad night last night (when I was awake, that is) - the Apple stuff I got was from the Apple plant which wasn't far from my old house. It triggered a lot of memories, and I finally told Hubster what's been bothering me - I wanted to go home, I wanted my house back, I wanted what was lost and will never be returned. I wanted my Corvette back, I wanted my pool, I wanted... a deep, searing pain that consumes me when it rears it's ugly head. I miss my friends from back there, I miss turning mahogany in the summer, I miss the cool tile under my feet and the soft carpet, I miss my kitchen, I miss, I miss, I miss - and it's tearing me apart. I guess seeing a therapist didn't help me as much as I thought. While it's nice to be back in the Bay Area and close to my family, I want to be back in my old location. The other thing that pisses me off is that houses are now so available and affordable, and we could have bought one with the equity money we received - but all that is now gone. Most of it went to paying off bills, $33K went to paying for a year's rent, and I got my ring (I had to have something to mark this new phase in my life). I'll become an Elder in June, and I thought for sure that I would be settled in my home. I'm not. We haven't even received the lease for the upcoming year for this place, and that scares me. Hubster wants to clean the house before he calls the landlord in case he wants to come over, and I agree with him - but I don't have any desire to clean this shithole. I know there are many people who are in worse shape than me, but I can't even begin to think of anybody but myself when the depression hits. I'm a sorry sack of shit right now, and I know it. We're arguing a lot, and I don't know if I'm the cause of it or not. I know we'll get through this like we've gotten through every other bad thing that's happened to us, but knowing that the housing market is going to get better scares the shit out of me. Our credit is slowly getting better, but we don't have the money for a down payment. I'm also scared to talk to our landlord about houses the bank might be holding - he might not extend a lease to us. I really think we need to talk to a realtor, but Hubster doesn't want to do it right now. He always wants to wait, but if we haven't done it in six months, I'm going to insist. This may be the only chance for us to get back into a house. I know it won't be like my last one (and that's probably a good thing, although I loved the setting and the acreage); I just need and want my own house again. Fuck.

I'm sorry. I'm rambling and disjointed. I think it's time to knit, watch Steve and Jerry, and then have a cup of coffee and work on the order filling. I won't have it ready for today's mail, but we can take it all to the post office tomorrow.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend and do something wonderful. We're going to San Francisco tomorrow; maybe I can talk Hubster into taking a cruise on the bay. Then I can relive my childhood.

Back when I was happy.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


I know... I said I wouldn't use this blog for shop news, but not enough people are reading the shop blog yet. This is too important to risk having you miss, so here it is:


I'm sorry for shouting, but this is just too cool.

I've been waiting for these since February, and they finally arrived today. They are too cool for words. We'll be taking pictures tonight and posting them - they'll be there when you get up tomorrow morning or arrive at work (or whatever). I can't give you an exact time; as usual, I'll be working all night to get them listed. They come in warm, subdued, and cool, and within those categories, there are bright, neutral, and pale. It's difficult for me to tell what they are (unless it's on the label - I haven't looked yet), but you'll see the colors as true as we can get them.

For those of you who don't know what these are, they're blanks of yarn which have been machine knitted into fabric. Then they're handpainted. You unravel the yarn as you knit, which means that you don't have any mess to contend with, no knots, no nothing except blissful knitting - and it's very portable. Plus, it's a lot of fun to see how the design develops.

There is a strip made of waste yarn which runs right down the middle, selvedge to selvedge. You cut it apart on the waste yarn so you can knit two socks at once, or you can leave it as one piece and knit one sock at a time. It unravels very easily, but only from one side - if you have trouble unraveling it on one side, merely use the other. They're all painted individually, so each is a work of art. You also can't tell what the pattern is going to be on the finished sock, which is a great deal of the fun - the blank may not look all that gorgeous, but the socks turn out too cool for words!

They're also portable - you can roll your needles up inside the fabric and stuff it in your purse or knitting bag. There are no balls to roll around on the floor, no winding (you do NOT wind this on a ball winder) - you merely lay the fabric on your lap and pull out enough yarn to cast on, then start knitting. I can't wait to begin knitting with mine.

The cost is $25 for approximately 400 yards. You also get your choice of one of three patterns, which will come to you in hard copy - Basic Socks, 3 Ridge Socks, or Ladder Socks. When you check out, please indicate which you prefer in the message box. I'll stick it in a sheet protector and send it along.

Please... no requests to hold one aside for you. I tried to do that, and it's just too complicated. I also don't have the time.

I've already placed my second order - this time for 50 - but it won't be in until the end of June. The good folks at Conjoined Creations are working as fast as they can to get these out.

Good luck tomorrow, and have fun!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Small Update Completed

There has been a small update completed on the shop site. You'll find new bags from Stuck in Illinois, as well as two additional new vendors:

Craftiness - nostepinnes, knitting needles, pens

Japanese Handmade Etc. - exquisite sock knitting bags by Satomi

There will be another update next week.


Thursday, April 3, 2008

Hand Cream on Shop Site

I just wanted to let you all know that I'm working on an update and have just added a delightful hand cream by "Purple Ducks & Stuff".

Thank you!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Murderers Are a Girl's Best Friend

I keep saying to myself that I need to start putting pictures in my posts. It's kind of hard to do with prison day posts, though, since they don't allow me to take anything inside (not even my clothes sometimes; I've had to have the chaplain run all over the prison to find me a pair of black pants that fit because the outfit I was wearing violated prison rules). I can't take anything that could potentially be taken from me - things that inmates find valuable. Things like... pieces of paper.

In any event, Monday was prison day. What a day it was.

To begin with, Hubster and I both fell asleep Sunday afternoon and didn't get up until around 7:00 p.m. Oh swell. I hadn't even packed yet for the trip, had no idea what I was going to wear, blah blah blah. So I threw some things together, took a shower, and two hours later, we set off.

Arriving at the motel at midnight doesn't bode well for any type of sleep. I was wide awake; Hubster can sleep anytime, anywhere. So while I sat there knitting and looking at the clock ticking the hours by, he was laying there snoring. Finally, at 5:00 a.m., I fell asleep. I never heard the phone for our 6:00 a.m. wake-up call, so it's a good thing he did and got me up. It took a half-hour for me to peel my eyes open (aided by a lot of ciggies and Coke); then I stumbled to the bathroom to get ready. That part went fine until I put on my outfit. It's a pants/top/long vest concoction that I bought in San Diego last year. It fit great then. Now it fit... uh... well... let's just say that I looked like a piece of overripe tropical fruit whose skin was about to burst. Great. I didn't have time to worry about it, so I threw the stuff I needed in my flute bag and we took off - at 8:00 a.m.

Getting there was non-eventful; however, once I got there, I had to go to the admin building for new chits. They're these little round brass tags which have your name stamped on them. You hand them to the guard at the final checkpoint to receive your keys and emergency siren. I had been using the chaplain's extra chits, so this was the first time I had my own. Of course, they kept me in there for almost half an hour while the dipshit guard was looking for them. Once I had those in my hand, I went hiking.

Stupid me didn't realize that Monday was a state holiday - Cesar Chavez Day - so the inmate taxi wasn't running, the parking lot was empty, and I was on my own. I got no more than 20 feet when I realized that I was in trouble. I fell five times before I even made it to the A/B sally port because I couldn't walk. It was a combination of not having slept and being sick, but I had to get there. So I stumbled, stopped, rested, stumbled some more, and finally got to the sally port. Halfway there. I got through the metal detector, gathered up my shit, and set out for the second half of the journey. The only way I could make it was to put my head down and trudge without looking at the cellblock WAYYYYYYY in the distance. Fuck.

I finally got to the block, exchanged my new shiny chits for my keys and alarm, and shoved my way out the last door. I saw my boys walking around the track, so I hollered at them. They turned around, took one look at me, and hotfooted their way over to my side. It was a good thing, too. I took one step and my legs went out from under me.

It was like I was ascending into the clouds. I was suddenly lifted in the air by four strong arms - two around my waist from each side and one on each arm - and they carried/walked me to the chapel. The guards must know that we have an unusual relationship because they didn't intervene. Being overly friendly with the inmates is one of the things they'll throw you out for.

While fumbling with the keys to open the chapel door, I dropped the siren, popping the back off it. All the guys jumped like I had jabbed them in the ass with a cattle prod. They get really nervous around those sirens because they're REALLY loud; when one goes off, all the guards from everywhere come running. They didn't particularly want to be thrown on the ground, cuffed, and put in the cages.

Once inside the chapel, I found out that my class had been cancelled because I was more than a half hour late. The chaplain wasn't there (again), so I had to call the guard tower, the captain of the guards, and finally the lieutenant. They wouldn't release the rest of my class, so I had my four regulars.

We convened in the office and decided that since it was just us, we would sit around and shoot the breeze for two hours. Then they proceeded to gift me with some healing items they had made for me - two medicine bags and a special stone. Because they're considered religious items, the men are allowed to buy things like beads and beading supplies, herbs (not the fun type), leather, etc. One is a beaded bag that hangs around my neck. It's actually the first bag one of my boys made and has been through many ceremonies. He had a dream where he saw me wearing it, so now I am. The other is a leather bag tied shut with a thin strip of leather with an owl feather on the front. That one is supposed to stay near me. The man who made it whispered to me the words I'm to say to it should I need its' help (Apache words - they're a prayer), and gave me a picture of him. The stone came from my "hardest" man. He's tattooed from head to foot and looks every bit the biker who would rather shoot you than say hello. He wouldn't even give it to me himself; he had one of the others give it to me because he was too shy to do it himself. No matter - it's a tiger's eye that he's had for a very long time and a powerful healing tool. I gave them all big hugs, they chided me for even being there (and not having on a coat - I didn't need one, but they're like mother hens around me and are convinced that if it isn't 80 degrees out, I need a coat and hat), and we settled down to tell dirty jokes and just gab. The new boy (he's such a baby - 18 years old with a four-down) sat there quietly because he's new and also because it was a sign of respect for all of us. The others are teaching him how to act in prison - this poor thing looks so out of place in there. He looks like he should have a paper route or something. Anyway, we're the core of the group - the family.

When it was time to go, they did the same walking/carrying motion so I didn't fall again, got me to the door, and bade me good-bye. The walk out wasn't as bad - in fact, I was able to make it without any problems. I was loaded with enough medicine from them to walk through walls, so I'm sure that got me through the rest of the trip out. I made it to the truck, we went to breakfast, and it wasn't until my face fell forward and smacked right into my plate of eggs and linguisa that Hubster realized how tired I was. He got me in the truck, and I don't remember a thing until he said, "There's a HUGE box on the porch!", thinking that would snap me to attention. It didn't. Turns out that the huge box was full of flutes for my class, so I've got to make sure I have a ride in next time; otherwise, I can't carry them all. Maybe I should bring my eagle feather.

Then I can fly.