Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Life Update

Sorry, no knitting/crochet here. Maybe later.

I've found a place to live - an important thing to have by most people's standards. It's lower level (only 2 stairs), and allows both cats and dogs. It's more than what we were paying before, by about $50, but I think we'll be ok. Plus it's only 2 blocks from where we are now, so it's still not too out of the way for my mom and I to carpool to and from work. I was worried about how I would come up with the deposits to move, but I have been blessed by many people who have helped out and I'm pretty sure it's all under control now.

My roommate, Shylent, came back from California with his girlfriend, Linda, in tow. She was going to just visit, but now it looks like she's staying, which is good. That also means that he is staying, so I'll have roommates after all (this is good, and bad). If When Linda finds a job, things will get even easier for all of us (2.5 incomes is better than 1.5). She has even expressed the desire to find things she can do to contribute until she gets working, which is a nice change of pace from previous living arrangements.

I forgot to post a while back about our my car. Annie and I bought a Jeep Cherokee back in January of 2007. We were I was paying way too much for it (payments over $300/month) and the interest rate was insane (33%) but it was a reliable vehicle. When Annie vacated the relationship, the plan was that she continue to drive it - and carry the insurance on it - until I got my license again. When her move to Florida got moved up, we had to make some quick decisions. I couldn't afford to make the payments on it. Thankfully, the company that held the title was willing to work with us me and lowered my payment to $200 and my interest rate to 15%. It's only til the end of the year, but it gives me time to work out the finances.

On a similar topic, I have made the first step to becoming a licensed driver again! Last Saturday I went in and took the knowledge test to get my permit (passed with 82%) and have been doing most of the driving since then when Mom and I are together. I can also drive with Linda in the car, since she's licensed in California. I've got to get the insurance thing figured out on the Jeep, since it was previously in Annie's name only, but that shouldn't be too rough (I hope). Re-learning to drive hasn't been nearly as scary as I thought it would, and I'm looking forward to the freedom it will bring.

So, life is finally starting to settle down. Hopefully that will mean more time for the important things like knitting (those two hanks of STR are still taunting me from their ziploc baggies). Thanks for all your positive thoughts during this time - keep 'em coming!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Harlot Wrap-Up & Scavenger Fun


Besides the stitch I still have in my side, and the screaming muscle pain in my hip and back, yesterday was pretty fabulous.

Let's go back to Saturday though.

This is... well ok, I didn't get her name. She was volunteering at the Cully Neighborhood Cleanup, though, and I got her to hold my sock. She got a kick out of what I was doing.

So, yesterday. Turned out my dad had the morning off, so he was nice enough to drive me out to Scappoose and back to get my "At the Scappoose Post Office held by a postal employee" picture.
Apparently I was the first person to get out there because she was really confused at first. But I warned her of the approaching hoards. The weirdest thing about the SPO is that the building appears to also hold the offices of a psychiatrist. Not sure if that's for the benefit of the postal employees, or just a unique use of federal building space. Hmmmmmmmmm.

When Dad and I got back into town, he drove me around to a few of the non-downtown pictures I needed to get. First, East County Recycling, which is apparently now known as Environmentally Concious Recycling.
Seems a bit redundant, but good on them for getting the point across.

Next was this Horse Ring Project shot.

There were three right in a row on this street, but this one had the prettiest attachment to the street.

Finally the Joan of Ark statue which, contrary to what was on the Scavenger Hunt checklist, is NOT in Laurelhurst Park. It's down the street. But you get the idea.

The statue is at the center of a very busy roundabout, and rather than risk getting struck by inattentive motorists, I stuck to my own side of the street.

Oh he also brought me by work where my sock got to visit our photocopier and "My Boss" (who is actually my boss' boss, because MY boss was in a meeting.

I did get a photocopy of my sock as well, but alas no scanner to show you with.

So we headed back to my house where I picked up my friends/roommates Shylent and Linda, and we began our adventure by taking the Max to Lloyd Center. I stopped to get "In any of Portland's many parks with visible signage."

Although Holladay Park is not one of the most senic, it was on the way. I should have also used the opportunity to get "At the bottom of any large tree" but I intended to get that one Downtown in the Park Blocks.

This is the Made in Oregon Store at Lloyd Center, and one of the employees. She gave me a funny look, but she was a good sport.

I also got a sign in multiple languages back at the Max station.

Next it was down to the Convention Center to get the MLK statue and a building mural.

And we timed it well because another Max came as soon as we got the building mural.

Next stop was Skidmore Fountain where I got the fountain and a Benson Bubbler in one stop.

Then we walked up to Voodoo Donuts for what was by far the dirtiest-in-a-good-way picture I got.

Much Donut Awesomeness.

We walked up the street to get the Chinatown Gate

Then hopped on a bus to get lunch and more pictures.

At a red light I got the bus driver - very puzzled - to pose for me

Lunch was at Ringlers

And if you've never had a McMenamins Ruby Ale, you're seriously missing out.

So, at lunch, I thought I'd take the opportunity to count up my pictures and points so far, and re-evaluate what we had left to do. I opened up my purse to get out the ziploc bag with my checklist and My First Sock (which I brought to show the Harlot) and it was gone. I had everything else - current sock-in-progress, camera, wallet, pen, etc - but no First Sock and no checklist. 'Scuse me, another beer please!

So the next stop was to find a Kinkos so I could print out a new checklist. My sock was gone, but I'd have to try not to dwell on that. We headed back to central downtown, stopping at a Stumptown to get the Stumptown Rooster (you can see it, barely, up at the top center in the dark)
and I realized - it was 2:37 already! I was supposed to meet with Phil Margolin at 3, and I didn't even have half of my pictures yet! And did I mention that it started to rain right after lunch? So here I am in this swanky author/lawyer's office, a drowned rat, face red as a radish from all the walking. He, too, was a good sport though :)

Outside his building was another multi-language sign

On the way to Kinkos to get my checklist, Linda and Shylent wanted to stop and we had passed Buffalo Wild Wings so I left them there, got my list, and then joined them. The bartender was a (very nice looking) non-knitter so I introduced her to my sock.
She didn't charge me for my iced tea either. And I made Shylent, also a non-knitter, hold my sock for that point.

We walked back up to Pioneer Square and on the way shot the Animals in Pools fountains

And then three in one place, the Weather Machine, the Allow Me statue (love how Shylent posed) and a street vendor.

Those Mexican guys backed away slowly once they saw I had my camera out!

We caught the Max one stop up to the parking structure at 10th & Yamhill and took the elevator to what we thought was the top floor. Turns out there's a very top floor that you can only get to via stairs, so I made Shylent go up and get that picture.

Across the street we got the Windup Toy Station at Finnegan's and the nice guy that was in charge back there.

By that time, Shylent and Linda were ready to head home. So was I, actually, but I wasn't going to give up! Walking back to the Max I ran into my friend Ken, founder of HomePDX. Hadn't seen him for a long time, so it was a pleasant surprise. While waiting for the train I saw some folks with handmade-looking felted bags and wondered to myself if they were headed the same place I was. Sure enough! So I got points for "On the Max on your way to the signing with fellow knitters."

When I thought about my day, I forgot that it would be rush hour time on the train, standing room only. Ugh. Enough standing. Srsly. Then when I got to the Washington Park/Zoo/World Forestry Center station, go figure, the elevator at the WFC-end of the station wasn't working. More walking. In the rain. Uphill. Did I mention the rain?

Finally got to the WFC, bought my book and my one skein of Socks that Rock in the Knitters Without Borders colorway, and got settled.

Ahh, seated, relaxing, knitting time. I got into The Zone and when I finally looked around this is what I saw.
Knitters. Everywhere. I'll bet there weren't more than 20 people in the whole place that weren't knitting. It was awesome. Much yarn fondeling, project comparing, etc. Lovely-ness.
*And yes, that woman on the left is the same woman who held my sock on the train

The first thing they did was points for the Scavenger Hunt. Everyone around me was rooting for me, but I ended up being the last person who DIDN'T get a prize. The cutoff was 65 and I had 62, thanks to all the time it took to hunt down a new checklist.

I took some really bad, blurry, unflattering pictures of Stephanie, but you don't get to see those. But you do get to see Duffy
singing "My Travelin' Sock" to the tune of "Little Deuce Coupe" - ROCK ON!

I stuck around to have my book signed and was one of the last people in line. When I got up to her, I told her about my Sad Sock Story and that I would have had probably 70 points if I hadn't had to track down a new checklist, and everyone felt sorry for me and they let me pick a skein from the prize bucket anyway :)

I was so ready to go home. I laughed so hard and my body was so worn out that I barely made it out to the car when Ben picked me up. Oh Thank God for Ben!

This was the best part. "I'll hold yours if you hold mine!"
I gotta say, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee is one fabulous woman/writer/knitter/human being.

Monday, April 21, 2008


It just keeps getting better!!!

One of the things on the Inexplicable Knitting Behavior scavenger hunt list is:
"With any independent film producer, published author, or cartoonist"

I've been mulling that one over all week. Who can I think of? Where can I find them?
This morning, it hit me.


When I was in high school I participated in their Job Shadow program, and two years in a row I got to meet with Phillip Margolin. Mr. Margolin is an attorney who also happens to write some of the best legal thrillers/dramas around, IMHO. He's also a very down-to-earth, nice guy.

So this morning I sent him an email, and he called me right back. I'm meeting with him tomorrow at 3 (which is about the time I was going to head to the WFC anyway) to take his picture with my sock-in-progress.

I'm over the moon. I'm so sillyexcited I don't know what to do with myself. GEEK. Srsly.

Got my first picture for the hunt on Saturday, at the Cully Neighborhood Cleanup. I'll update this post later today so you can see it. The woman whose picture I took was a real hoot - she even bumped us up in line to drop off our junk after I took her pic.

This time tomorrow, I'll be digesting my cock 'n' balls donut and hopefully be more than half-way through my picture list.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

OMGOMG - Portlanders Look Out!

What's more chaotic than a town full of Knitters?

A town full of Portland Knitters.

Did I mention that Stephanie Pearl-McPhee is coming? I did? Oh. Well, here it is again, in case you missed it.


Remember all that Inexplicable Knitter Behavior I mentioned a couple of posts ago - Well thanks to the folks at Blue Moon, we get to have it here too!! WOOHOO!!!



**Update!! My boss is giving me the whole day off!!! So I'll have time to get my scavenger hunt pictures AND get in line early!! OMGOMG!!!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Through Any Window Progress

And that was a couple of days ago.

It's going pretty quickly, with the exception of the light blue rounds that are done in every stitch instead of the chain spaces. And I wish I had done the colors differently - I would have switched the dark blue and white, I think. But it's great, I like it, and I get lots of compliments on it when I work on it in public.

The baby that I'm making it for was born this week, about 3 weeks early, so I better get my rear in gear.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Stephanie's coming

Oh, hadn't you heard? The Yarn Harlot, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, has another book.

Ok I feel a little weird saying that, seeing as how I'm new enough to the knitting world that I didn't know she had ANY books, let alone five of her own plus one that she contributed to.

Anyway, she's coming. Portland might not get to have all the fine knitting fun that Toronto had, but that's ok. I want to go. The problem? It's a work day. Doors open at 5, but I have images of people starting to line up the night before. If I leave work on time, I might get lucky and be able to stand outside the building waiting for a glimpse. Plus, I hate going to things alone. Of the two knitters that I know in real life, one's not going to be in town and the other already has a group of people she's going with - and since both those people are acquaintances from work, it's a little awkward. I thought about inviting Amanda, but she works too (Amanda, if you see this - let me know if you want to bail on work and go anyway). I even thought about inviting my friend Joey, even though she A) is not a knitter and B) hasn't made any attempt at getting in touch with me since Annie left, but she works too.

So I'm tossing it back and forth in my head. Do I really, REALLY want to go? Do I want to tell my boss that I have an appointment that day and leave early? Do I want to take the Max out there during rush hour and back in the dark? Am I going to kick myself if I don't go?

*le sigh*

Thursday, April 10, 2008

We interrupt regularly scheduled blogging for this political message:

Politics is something I usually stay out of, but Barack Obama's interview with The Advocate is worth sharing.

Among things I was glad to see in the article:
"I reasonably can see "don't ask, don't tell" eliminated."

(On what Obama can get done for the LGBTQ community)
I hate DADT with a vengeance. I don't support the war, but I do support the people fighting it, and not allowing gays in the military to BE gays in the military is reprehensible.

"I have been clear about my interest in including gender identity in
legislation, but I've also been honest with the groups that I've met with
that it is a heavy lift through Congress."

(On an Employment Non-Discrimination Act being transgender-inclusive)
I'm glad he's being honest (or, as much as a politician can be) here. He's not making promises for the sake of getting votes, and that means a lot to me.

"You always want to be careful comparing groups that have been discriminated
against because each group's experiences are different."

(On comparing the struggle for gay rights to the African-American civil rights movement)
Soooo many people do this - compare each culture's struggle to every other culture's struggle - but they are all so much different. It's good to see someone who wants to run our country that knows the difference.

So, that's all. Read the full article here. And vote. It's important, whatever you believe.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Word of the Day: Inefficient

Main Entry: in·ef·fi·cient
: not efficient: as
a: not producing the effect intended or desired
b: wasteful of time or energy
c: incapable, incompetent

Well I certainly spent the past 6 days being inefficient. There's something to be said for laying in bed though. Even a not-so-comfortable bed can be of great comfort in times of stress. In fact, going to bed is my favorite part of my day, I think.

I did make some progress on the Through Any Window Baby Blanket that I'm making for Cute-Guy-At-Work and his wife. It was a test at first, even with the tutorial, but I figured it out. I'm not looking forward to all the ends, though. (I should make a point to say that the difficulties at first are no reflection on Laurah and her design skills, they're more related to my own stubborn brain.)

Unfortunately I was supposed to spend those 6 days packing and clearing junk out of my house to get ready for my forced move. I didn't pack a single box. I did dig through two cupboards and come up with 4 bags full of garbage though. My can only holds 3 on a good day. I didn't apartment hunt either, but I did find out that I'm totally on my own when I move - roommate and his girlfriend are not going to be moving with me.

I had some good Pizza and Beer with my friends Ben and Amanda. We had some decent cheap mexican over the week too. No pictures. I really ought to start carrying my camera. Much loving of dogs happened as well - both theirs and my own.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

FO Alert! Half Moon Shawl

Just finished up the Half Moon Shawl - YAY!

I get excited about FOs because they're so few and far between.

The first pic shows the color better, but I really like the professional blogger quality of the second pic :)

I hope the recipient loves it as much as I do!
Posted by Picasa