Archive for July, 2013


Friday

Today has been a bit frustrating. This morning, I was feeling puny, so I let Rin and K go to the Big Tent Yard Sale at Boni’s house without me and I went back to bed. I was bummed at not going but I’m also pretty sure that was the right choice. They both had a lot of fun which is good and found some cool new treasures, including a vintage leather jumper for Kero that looks so freaking adorable on her. After they got home, we worked on finalizing our plans for the evening. We decided to head out to the Chicago area tonight for several reasons.

The first was that we still weren’t sure what time we would be meeting ‘Song and folks at the Field Museum and since Chicago is usually about two and a half hours from home, and I didn’t want to have to leave stupid early to get there, we felt finding a hotel room for the night would be a benefit. We decided on staying in Bolingbrook one, because hotels in Chicago proper are insanely expensive and two, there’s a BD’s Mongolian Grill in Bolingbrook, so the plan was to have a bit of early birthday treat. Plans, as we all know, tend to all apart pretty easily. :/ While we actually got ready to head out the door in pretty record time, it still ended up being too late once we got into town for BD’s.

We followed reviews in Google local that said Falco’s Pizzaria was pretty good and it was open until midnight (it was nearing 11CT by that point). I would strongly NOT recommend the place. The girl working the counter was awesome, and the pizza bread appetizer was all right, but our dinners were pretty bad. We ordered two kinds of calzones to share betwixt the three of us. Mine was chicken and mushroom and I could at least eat a little bit of it, though I kind of regretted it for a bit afterwards. Rin’s was so salty that even Kero couldn’t eat it and that’s saying something. Rin asked for a refund since she ate 3 bites of it and the man behind the counter was rude about it and acted like she was dumb, because obviously things like cheese and sauce have salt in them. I had to walk away at that point because yelling at him wouldn’t solve the issue. He finally relented and gave her a refund, but he was certainly a jerk about it.

We got to the hotel at about 12:30 and ran into more trouble. They had one room available and it was a smoking room. I was a bit “what the hell” because you usually have to request a smoking room. Also I’m spoiled by the states that have laws banning smoking in hotels. There were no other rooms available, so the desk guy, Esteban, took Rin and K up to see how bad the smell was. Neither to them could walk into the door. Since we had booked through Priceline, he couldn’t just send us to one of the other Choice Hotels without management’s approval and management was apparently asleep. That had me calling Priceline. I talked to the first rep and she had to transfer me to someone else…who I never spoke to. I was on hold from about 12:41 to 1:10. Esteban, gods bless him, actually found us a room. It’s a suite, and I suspect that it wasn’t in the room block because it has a broken television. He got us checked in and gave us blankets for Kero for the couch and was pretty much a freaking rock star. He could have just been like, “Sorry, it’s not my problem,” but he wasn’t. I think that is pretty darn cool.

By the time we got into the room, I was feeling a bit like an asshole. If it hadn’t been for me wanting to come out early, we wouldn’t have had a crappy dinner and hotel drama. Rin was working on reassuring me, but I still felt a bit like an idiot. I’m feeling better now, but it is still frustrating. (And obviously, now it’s 2am CT and we have a long day tomorrow.) I am a bit irked that my early birthday shenanigans have been way-laid a bit, but it will work out in the end I think.

We’re meeting folks at the Field Museum around noon tomorrow and wandering around there for awhile. I would have preferred Science and Industry, but it looks like there are some newer exhibits at Field since the last time we went so it will still be fun. Hopefully we got through all of the travel snafus today so that tomorrow will be much less stressful. Now, I’m going to knit for a little bit and finish winding down so that I can sleep without being tense.

ZOMG Knitting

I decided that I was not going to be purling’s bitch and set about mastering it once and for all. After doing about ten rows of just stockinette, Rin suggested making K a doll scarf sampler and then she gleefully ripped out my stockinette rows. (Okay, in fairness I let her take them out because I’m not good at doing it myself and they were practice rows.

After three attempts with varying levels of yanking out, this is the pattern I ended up making. At first, I was just going from stitch type to stitch type but seed stitch is a right bitch to learn and it was causing issues and I realized it would be easier to rip back to a purl or knit row than say in the midst of stockinette. It isn’t the prettiest doll scarf in the world, but it is actually cute and Miss Ma’am will be over the moon.

Now I probably need to take my tired ass to bed. Because it’s 5am. Curse you knitting! *shakes fist* or perhaps I should just curse my own stubbornness for not giving up sooner. Hrm. Who knows? (EDIT: Annoyingly, this didn’t post from the iPad last night so I’ll post it now. Stupid iPad shenanigans!)

Cast on 8 stitches.
Knit
K
K
K
K
K
K
K
Stockinette Knit
S P
S K
S P
S K
S P
S K
S P
Purl
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
Seed stitch K1 P1
P1 K1
K1 P1
P1 K1
K1 P1
P1 K1
K1 P1
P1 K1
Knit
K
K
K
K
K
K
K
Moss Stitch K
P1, *K1 (repeat from * to end)
K
K1, *P1; K1 (repeat from * to end)
K
P1, *K1 (repeat from * to end)
K
K1, *P1; K1 (repeat from * to end)
Purl
P
P
P
P
P
P
P
Stockinette K
S P
S K
S P
S K
S P
S K
S P
Knit
K
K
K
K
K
K
K
Cast Off

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Trying Again

That last post was full of awful whining and while I’m (probably) not going to delete it, I decided to counteract the awfulness with some more positive things.

First, without Rin and Miss Ma’am, I’d likely have lost my mind ages ago. While there are fights and other things, I like to think that the good outweighs the bad. I pretty much always get a kick out of listening to the two of them talking in the kitchen (when K isn’t in trouble obviously) because they have some pretty entertaining conversations while they work on things. The two of them hugging each other while they stand in the hallway by the living room talking to me is guaranteed to make me smile. There is no doubt in my mind that they love each other and they are both pretty adorable. Although I suppose I have to admit to occasionally sighing wistfully at them because K’s not that much shorter than Rin anymore. (Cue the “oh noez my baybeeeee”s here.) They are both giant dorks and they make me happy even when my brain is trying to eat itself with negatives.

Second, knitting. At first, I was skeptical, but I think I’m hooked. I’ve officially finished three washcloths and a small hand towel and have found that a) I really like hand-knit washcloths and b) I ay just make everyone washcloths for $Winter Holiday because that sounds kinda fun. Haha and I just spoiled everyone’s $Winter Holiday surprise! (Nah, I’m just kidding. I may make a couple of scarves to mix things up a little. :P) I still am being thwarted by purling, but I’m not letting it completely defeat me. I will master it or I will die trying. /dramatics So, yes, I’m not super great at it yet, but I’m learning and I keep picking it up which is more than I can say for some of the other hobbies I’ve tried in the last two years, so even if I just populate the world with more washcloths, I’m still counting it as a win.

Third, books. I’ve been reading a lot lately…okay, I tend to read at least 10 books a month anyway, but I’ve been reading a bit more lately. Right now, I’m rereading the Heralds of Valdemar series by Mercedes Lackey and am falling in love with it all over again. At the moment, I’m reading Redoubt which is the fourth of the Collegium Chronicles. Those four I’ve not read before and I’m finding that I’m enjoying them as much as some of my old favorites. Mags is a compelling character. The interesting thing is the way this series is unfolding. She is obviously giving herself room to write more in this time period in Velgarth (the world where the books are set) by keeping the time between each book shorter than a lot of the other series. In some cases, the time passed from book to book is just a few weeks, so it’s making for interesting reading. I suspect it will also have me eager for the next one that is due to come out in September or October. (I can’t remember right now and I’m pretty sure if I go to look it up, I’ll totally lose my train of thought and the writing will be done, so you can go look yourself.)

Earlier this month, I read Laurell K. Hamilton’s newest Anita Blake book, Affliction, and I absolutely loved it. The subject matter was heavy at times and the emotional content in the book is occasionally off the charts and yet the book stays fun. It felt, to me anyway, that she was having a lot more fun writing this one than she has some of the previous books and that was great to see. Anita is finally a bit more grounded in herself and her choices (FINALLY) and that helped get the book off to a good start. There were some unexpected twists and turns and I just overall enjoyed the hell out of the book. (Also, Edward shows up and well, I’m a huge Edward fan girl so that totally made me happy. I actually squeed out loud when I read that part and that amused Rin to no end.) I know a ton of people have written off the series and I can understand their viewpoints, but it is still one of my favorites and is one of the few book series that I’ve read through more than once. I loved Affliction and I highly recommend it.

I also read Neil Gaiman’s new book, Ocean at the End of the Lane. I enjoyed it, but I think I was expecting more, especially given some of the reviews. It was a good story and I did enjoy it, but it wasn’t one of my favorite Gaiman stories. I told Rin that I wish I had read it before I read Affliction, because I think I might have enjoyed it more then. It was a bit of a letdown in the order I read them. That said, I still would recommend it. It was an interesting story and it is well written. It just didn’t move me the way a lot of his other books have.

So, yes, I’ve been reading a lot and books are good.

Other things that I’ve been enjoying of late are several webcomics that I’ve liked for awhile along with a few new ones I’ve found in the last couple of months. The staples include Something Positive by Randall Milholland. First, a warning. S*P is not for everyone by any stretch of the imagination. It is rude, crude, and socially unacceptable. Randy enjoys seeing how many different people he can offend at one time. That said, it is pretty much always hilarious. The characters are well developed and well, there’s a boneless cat named Choochoo Bear. How could you NOT love that?

Another is Questionable Content by Jeph Jacques. This one is a bit more everyuser friendly. One of the things that I have always loved about QC are the characters. They come across as very real and they are a lot of fun. A lot of the stories take place in a coffee shop or a library so you can’t go wrong there. Faye is and likely always will be my favorite and one day I will own her bear shirt. Just sayin’. I also love Hannelore and all of her crazy quirks and Claire is quickly becoming a favorite as well. In short, Jeph writes a great comic and you should check it out.

Next is Girls With Slingshots by Danielle Corsetto. Danielle is another comic artist who is good at making real characters and combining that with great story lines. I suppose I should warn you that one of the main characters writes for a magazine called “Pussy Whipped” and there are conversations about adult toys, but to be honest, that just makes the stories more fun. The GWS gang could be your friends and that’s pretty darned cool in my book.

Also a fun read is The Devil’s Panties by Jennie Breeden that I can’t remember the link to off the top of my head. The earlier strips can be harder to read because of grammatical errors, but honestly, it’s still totally worth reading. Basically every time I read more of her comics, I want to meet Jennie and be her friend – not in a creepy stalker way but in a “wow, she could be my people” kind of way. Seriously, there are a lot of things that we seem to have in common and that definitely amuses me.

I should also note that all four of these writers have pretty awesome Twitter feeds.

Newer to my comic readings include Weregeek (I think that’s the link. I’ll have to go back and check it) by Alina Pete, that is definitely a geek focused comic. She combines various games in her storyline and it’s just all around fun. I will offer the warning that if you’re not a huge geek, a lot of the references might be lost on you, but even so, it is still a good story so check it out. Next is A Girl and Her Fed (that I also can’t remember the link to or the artist’s name which is making me feel like an asshole at the moment damn brain). This one is a quirky story that involves the ghost of Ben Franklin…who looks like a fairy and a smart arsed koala named Speedy. Seriously, with that combo do I really need to tell you more? Seriously, you should read it just for Ben and Speedy. They are hilarious and I love them. I read through all of this one in a couple of days and when I got caught up to the present, I got mad, it’s THAT good. A lot of world building and story building has gone into this one in ways that I would never have considered and it’s just fun. Finally, I have to recommend the Chapel Chronicles by Emma T. Capps. This one is a cute and quirky teenage story written by a teenager. Emma actually was featured in the newest Dark Horse presents volume and I think that’s pretty damned cool since she’s still in high school. Chapel is a lot of fun and she is a huge Doctor Who fan. It’s lighthearted and adorable and that’s fine by me.

Hmm…I think that’s about all at the moment because I’m tired of typing. #kindalazy However, it is a much happier entry than the last one and you may even find something you like and that’s not half bad.

Apparently I am supposed to write something. I suppose I could be a smartass and say, “Hah, there, I wrote something,” but I suspect that would just get me thwapped. I suppose it has been a bit since I wrote much of anything which is probably not smart. Okay, I know it isn’t smart and yet, at this point, not writing has become more of a habit than writing. Awful, I know, yet there it is.

I used to write all the time. I used to be consumed with words and writing was easier than pretty much anything else. It started to change when I had to start censoring myself around certain people in order to keep information from getting back to places it shouldn’t. I also started pulling away from people and then that became easier than reaching out. Sad, I know, but true. These days, I’m doing good to interact with people on Facebook let alone reaching out to them in other ways. Now I’m consumed with words that never go anywhere.

I suppose in some regards what started as a defense mechanism to protect myself turned into more of a habit than I would like to admit. Now, reaching out to people is harder than not. I occasionally entertain the notion of chatting with people on skype or even FB chat and then become totally overwhelmed by the very idea, a feeling usually coupled with the self-doubting question of “who would want to talk to me?” It becomes easier to just let the whim to chat pass instead of figuring those things out. Wow, that sounds pretty pathetic and yet it doesn’t feel pathetic…okay, somewhat, but mostly it just feels overwhelming and a bit sad.

I wish I didn’t become so easily overwhelmed these days, but the simple truth is that it doesn’t take much at all to be overwhelming. I suspect part of it is due to pain levels. When you’re fighting an on-going battle with your body, everything else can somewhat take a side seat. And yet there is a theoretical solution to some of that. Finding a new doctor and trying to get back at least some of my meds would help, but the idea of trying to find a new doctor is completely overwhelming. I don’t really want to deal with the risk of the “you’re too young” speech or another doctor that won’t prescribe my medicines, so for now, I just take extra ibuprofen and try to make it through. It’s stupid. I should be able to find a new doctor, but the idea almost always sets off a panic attack, so I just keep struggling through.

Other things that are stressing me out include Girl Scouts. On one hand, I do want to take over the troop, because I want the girls who are still interested to have somewhere to go. On the other hand, all of the paperwork requirements and rules and regulations involved are enough to make anyone’s head spin. I keep going back and forth on the whole idea, but the time to make the decision is getting shorter and shorter. What I need to do is finish up the things I need to do to become a leader and go from there. Or maybe I should start by talking to Cindy since it’s her troop that I’d be taking over. She obviously stepped down as leader and Danisha wants to focus on the Daisies, so it does leave a bit of a void. The other question is do we even still have three girls who are interested in continuing? I know Dani and Lizzie said they were a couple of months ago, but I don’t know if that’s changed in the interim. Maybe that should be the place to start? I just don’t know.

Beyond that, there’s the zomgthehouseisadisasterarea issue. It’s hit the point of being totally overwhelming. The last year has pretty much seen tons of things getting tossed around will-he, nill-he without much regard for order while we packed for various trips or events. Now, it’s an out of control mess that just makes me want to pull my hair out. There is no clear place to start and that is ridiculously frustrating and well, the idea of starting is just as exhausting as actually doing something. It’s something that needs doing and yet finding the energy for it is hard. I suspect that some of this also comes back to the general state of body fuckery and pain levels to be perfectly honest. It’s all part and parcel of the whole, I suppose. Whatever it is, it’s something that really needs remedies and soon or I think I may just go nuts from that. How sad is that? The situation is super stressful and yet I can’t become calm enough to actually tackle it. ARGH.

I wish there were a magic wand to wave that would fix it all but that’s a futile waste of time. Barring that, I wish I could manage to find the focus and ability to be able to work on it…and that Rin could find the same at the same time. I know the mess isn’t helping either of us mentally and yet we can’t break past the anxiety to deal with it. There’s irony for you.

Oh. Yeah, this is why I don’t write much anymore. It sounds like a fucking broken record and I haven’t solved the problem so it feels dumb writing about it again and again because then I just feel stupid on top of overwhelmed. Goddamnit. So fucking stupid.

Whatever. I wrote something. Shut up stupid journal thing. (I have an app called DayOne and Rin saw the writing reminder thing for it and told me I should write, so I blame the app reminder.)