Friday, August 31, 2007

The Measure of a Man

The Denver Broncos have a new tight end. They got him from the Tennessee Titans. This guy has 9 children from 9 different women in 4 different states.

I know. Sit down, take a moment.

So we were discussing this at the dinner table last night and the logistics of it. We figure as a pro-football player, at least he can support them. But as Dave says, financial support is one thing but how can he be any kind of a father to any of these kids that are so spread out? I thought up this elaborate scheme (as I am wont to do) - what if he had a big mansion with 9 houses around the perimeter. Each house has a baby mama and the kids can stay in those houses or the big house. Even then, it'd be chaos and tension. The women would be unhappy, away from their friends and family, not to mention being surrounded by daily reminders of their rather suspect choice of men. And the guy'd probably rarely be there with the duties of his job (and avoiding all the drama).

So what do you think makes a man a man? I know I am spoiled with the amazing man I managed to capture. He's an amazing dad, he's romantic and loving and beautiful. When the boys were babies, I never had to ask him to change a diaper or get their jammies on. He always just did it!

Awaiting your opinions, Ruth!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Goof-Boys

You know the old adage that you can give kids all the toys in the world and they'll invariably play with the box?

What's that sticking out of that box?
It's a Davis!
And Trev has decided he wants to try for a world record of blowing up several balloons at a time. He started with one, then two, then three, then four, then....
He got up to five. We told him to wait til he grew some more and his mouth got bigger!
Love these guys, Ruth!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

I Should Really Learn To Count (or MY EYE!!)

I almost frogged my Mason Dixon nightie AGAIN!! I thought I had 10 more stitches on one side then the other.

I shit you not, friends, I counted at least 15 times. Stitch markers every 30 stitches and everything. I was just about to (burn it) pull the long side off and frog away when I saw that one stitch marker seemed a shorter distance then the others. I counted, yet again, and realized I'd marked at 20 sts instead of 30.

Someday, I'll learn to count to 30. sigh.

In other stupid news...

I recently pulled some batteries out of one of the many kid toys in this house. The batteries were leaking and I wouldn't let the boys throw them away (which is usually their job) because I didn't want them to have that acid on their hands. I washed my hands really well and an hour later rubbed my eye. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH! It burned. So. Bad. What are you supposed to do to get that stuff off your hands? I did wash and quite thoroughly. That was 2 days ago and I'm still wary of touching my eyes!

I did the same thing a few years ago with arnica cream. It was given to me by a classmate in massage school after I sprained my ankle really bad. (Which would put it more like 10 years ago instead of a few.) Arnica is a type of pepper and the cream was more of an oil-based ointment which meant there was no getting that stuff off your fingers. It's amazing at making bruises go away but you have to wear gloves either to apply it or for the next few days until it wears off your skin! Another eye-burner, for sure. Ask me how I know.

Which makes me think of yet another eye story!

So There I Was....

sitting at my desk in the eye clinic in Germany. (I was an optician in the Army for 5 years. We screened the patients for the optometrists. Stationed in Germany for two years.) I look up at my little window where people check in and there's a young soldier standing there looking back at me with one completely blown pupil.

OHMIGOD!!!! I said. To myself. To him, I said, "I think we need to take you down to ER". You see, when one pupil is completely open like that and the other is normal size, it's a HUGE indicator of a serious head injury. And the boy was just standing there! Not talking and looking in at me, waiting for me to say something, I guess. I actually knew him. He was one of the medics for one of the signal corps at that base. They worked in the basement of our building when they weren't in the field.

Anyway, the boy told me that ER had sent him up to us and that it wasn't a head injury. Here's what happened:

In the gas masks that are issued to soldiers, there's a little side pocket that holds 2 0r 3 ampules of atropine. Atropine is a sedative (as I remember it) and if you're gassed before you can get your mask on, you're supposed to self-administer the atropine. You take off the cap, shove the needle in your thigh, hit the top to shoot the medicine in, then you stick the needle through your shirt pocket flap and bend the needle so it hangs there. Stick and Bend, Stick and Bend. It's something we all learn in Basic Training. You hang the empty ampules on your shirt so when someone finds you, they know how much you've already administered. Basically, if you're using the atropine, you're fucked. It's going to keep you comfortable and sedated so when the gas you were exposed to kicks in, either you won't feel it or you won't care that you're feeling it.

OK, the medics in the basement were going through all the gas masks and getting rid of the expired ampules. They were sticking and bending the full ampules onto squares of cardboard to send back to the manufacturer so they could get replacements. One of these ampules when stick and bended (?), popped open and shot this medic kid dead in the eye! He walked upstairs to our little ER and they sent him up to us.

I got him in to see the optometrist (Cpt. Renee Allison, where are you?) and she laughed her ass off! He asked, "Is there an anecdote?". That made her laugh even harder, "No. This is an anecdote. You mean antidote and the answer is still no. There is no antidote." She gave him quarters for 2 days (sent him home, basically) and gave him a prescription to wear sunglasses 24/7 for a week (yes, in the Army, you need permission for such things). She laughed for days over this. Easily amused, loved her!

That poor kid, though, eye all messed up, being laughed at and probably high as a kite. Come to think of it, maybe not so "poor kid" after all! Even with his eye all messed up and being laughed at, he was probably too high to care.

Good times, Ruth!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Whirlygigs

Tippa Tuesday:

Buy a swift and ball-winder. Today!

My Blogless Rachel and I went halvsies on a ball-winder and swift from JoAnn.com. You can get the Sunday paper, and use your 40% off coupons to buy them (they are not available at the stores)! We got an excellent wooden swift and a big ball winder for about $75 total with S/H. That's a steal!

They are currently on sale now at JoAnn.com but Rachel says there's something you can do to make them off-sale so you can use your coupons.

We had a couple of drinks and some ball-winding madness last nite! Forgot my camera, so no pic's sorry.

Playing with balls, Ruth!

heh, heh, playing with balls. I'm a geek.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Promptituity

Today begins our four-part series on How To Get A Massage.

Part One

Be On Time.

Seriously. I know it would seem obvious and why in the world would you ever be late for a massage but it happens all the time!

I did it myself just last Friday. I had a massage scheduled with Donna, the owner of the spa I'm on call for. I also had training for my new business Friday morning. It was supposed to be from 8a - 10a but John (the seller) didn't leave until 11:30 and my homework was to hand-write 20 letters to our clients. I was deep in the midst of this when the phone rang at 2:10p. You know how when you forget something and the phone rings and you look at the clock and think, "Dammit!" because you remember? Didn't happen. Not even when I saw Donna's name on the phone! All I thought was, "Oh, it's Donna. It's always so lovely when she calls." Oh course, when I answered and she asked where I was, then I rememb... nope. Not even then. "At home," I said, completely oblivious. Then she reminded me of my appointment and was kind enough to give me a grace, so I leaped into the shower, dressed and ran out the door. I'm a dolt.

Normally, when you have a massage, you need to be on time. It's unfair to expect a grace. Either your therapist has someone scheduled after you or they have a life outside the massage office that they'd like to get back to. I was very lucky that Donna was so understanding.

You would not believe the foolishness we had to put up with at the spa I where I used to work. There was the time these people came to the hotel late and one of our desk guys happened to be at the main hotel when they showed up. These people told him their flight was late and that they'd be right over to the spa as soon as they checked in. Well, a half-hour later, our desk guy called them in their room to see where they were. They said, "Oh, we thought we were the last ones and that it didn't matter when we came down." WTF?? They were the last appointments for the evening with one empty time slot behind each person. Since we as therapists had lives we wanted to get on with (as I already mentioned), we put in some fake appointments after these yay-hoos' scheduled time and gave them each what time they had left in their massages (about 20 of the 50 minutes scheduled) and charged them full price.

People at that spa would always expect you to just go into someone else's massage time or that you, as a therapist, were to just stick around and wait on them for whatever reason. Don't get me wrong. We, as massage therapists, are generally a very understanding people and if there's a late plane or traffic jam, we'll try to accommodate as best we can. But if we can't, don't' get mad or pushy. If you do, we'll just flat out tell you that we can't work on you and would you like to reschedule, oh, and you'll have to pay the therapist's fee for the massage you missed.

If the therapist is able to accommodate and still give you your full time, you might reflect your gratitude when you tip. (We'll cover tipping later.)

That about covers it for now.

Part Two next week, Ruth!

P. S. "Promptituity" hee, hee, I just love making up new words!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Ha-Ha

Wow. I just finished reading the most amazing book. It's The Ha-Ha by Dave King. It's the first book I've ever read where I had absolutely no idea what it was about. I got it from the library strictly on the recommendation of PaperTigerKnits. She didn't even really say what it was about, just how much the book moved her.

I'm kind of in the same position with the book. To try to describe what it's about.... I don't think I can. And, oddly, whenever I wasn't reading it and thought about it sitting on my nightstand, I'd think, "eh, no big deal". So I'd go days without picking it up. And yet. And yet...

And yet, when I read it, I can't put it down. It's over now and I don't want it to be over.

This is Dave King's first novel from what I understand and I so envy and admire people for coming up with these rich storylines and depth of character developments that they seem to have no experience with or connection to (not that I know anything about Dave King's life other then the blurb at the back of the book).

Stories like Life of Pi or Memoirs of a Geisha (which I still have a hard time reconciling the fact that it's written by a man) struck me like that, too. Imagination is a beautiful thing.

Longing for more Ha-Ha, Ruth!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Dear Diary

I've decided to start a food diary for a week. You know, where one writes down every edible thing one puts in one's mouth to see how much of a pig one might resemble?

I'm overweight. "How is that?," you say, "You knit all the time and love sweets and don't exercise that much and..... oh."

Yeah. Oh. As of May (Trev and Davie's birth month), I've been around 30 pounds overweight for over 6 years. When I realized that, I realized it was either time to do something about it or time to give up and buy bigger clothes. I'm not really the giving up type.

I've been walking every morning this week for about 20 minutes. Yesterday, it was stormy about a mile from our area. I was plugging along with my ipod on and wasn't really looking around when I heard this huge clap of thunder. I looked behind me (where the sound came from), then back forward, then to my right. To my immediate right, I mean it couldn't have been 5 feet away, stood a small doe munching grass! She looked at me and then kept eating! She was still there when I came back 10 minutes later on my way home. Still eating. (Maybe she needs a food diary. Just kidding)

It's great having the inlaws here so I can feel comfortable taking these walks. Their apartment is ready on Sep. 15. I don't know what I'll do after that. Not really comfortable leaving the boys alone in the house for 20 minutes. I don't think they'll set the place on fire or anything like that but I'm fairly certain they'd open the door to strangers.

Despite the "no soliciting" sign on the house, we get solicitors about once a week. Last week, we were visited by a rather scruffy, jailhouse tattooed man who was selling a house cleaning fluid. He was very insistent and washed our front glass door, then streaked it with his hand to show it's staying power. Then he shot some on his finger and put it in his mouth to demonstrate it's chemical-free-ness. Eeeewww! I know these guys are just trying to make a living and I have no problem with tattos (I have 6 of my own) but "no thank you" means "no thank you"!

I really like the Namaste Yoga that comes on at 10:30a and I've tried to do the aerobics show that comes before it but there was too much of that annoying aerobic WHOO!! Hate the whoo. Maybe I'll find me some Gilad. Love Gilad! (Maybe because he's got William Shatner hair?)

Going for my walk, Ruth!

P. S. Anybody wanna play food diary with me?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

When It Rains, It Pours

I forgot to tell y'all some stuff.

The last day of Trev's school before the break, I had errands to run during the day. I checked my P.O.Box and I got a nice treat. I'd won an umbrella from a blog contest and it came in the mail that day. It's one of those small collapsible dealies that's perfect for keeping in the car.

Of I went about my day.

A few hours later, when I went to pick up Trev, it was pouring!! They don't let the kids out when that happens, they hold them in the classrooms until the parents come get them (or until they think it's safe and lightning free enough for the bused kids to go to their buses). I ran in, with my handy (and timely) new umbrella. When T and I were leaving, it was hailing, too! (Hail is something the boys have never seen before) Yikes!

Another "when it rains..." item:

I've often bemoaned the fact that there's really not any massage therapy jobs to be had because of over-saturation. I've been on call at one spa on Main Street since November, but they've never needed to call me! If you stand in front of that particular spa in Parker and turn around 360 degrees, you can see six other places you can get a massage.

Well, when I got my hair cut (a mere 2 miles away from Main Street) on that rainy Tuesday, my hairdresser told me they needed a massage therapist on Friday nights. Then the next day, Donna (the owner of the aforementioned place on Main Street) called and said her current therapist was moving and not only could I get on the schedule on a regular basis, I could be salaried by working the desk as well!

Good thing we just spent $60K on our new business for me!

sigh.

Soaking wet, Ruth!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

What's Wrong With This Picture?

Here's a pic of my Mason-Dixon After Dark Nightie in progress....



See anything wrong?

How about now....


Nothing? See, that's what I thought, too. I've had skeins in the past that aren't the exact yardage stated on the ball band. One will have a little more or less then another. Happens all the time!


OK, look here...


I gave a tip in the past about casting on two pieces at once and how much faster things go. With all the stress lately, I forgot to pay close attention to which "side" I finished with and ended up knitting on one side more then the other. I know the pic is dark and hard to see, but I have around 10 extra rows on one side.


OK, let's look at something else....


Looks like a furry placemat, right? It's supposed to be a scarf. Back when I learned how to knit, I was selling a LOT of my stuff. This was a very popular scarf (2003, also known as The Year of the Eyelash) and this was my third time making it. You'd think after making 2, I'd remember that I was to cast on 13, not 25. Clearly, I'm insane.


Here's what it's supposed to look like (on the left)...


I actually finished this scarf while watching this guy....


He's Anthony R. Byrne and he made a series of videos on recruiting in 1988 (the year I graduated high school!). If you can get past the goofiness of the guy's look, he really knows his stuff. There's 8 videos and I've watched the first 3 (while finishing the furry scarf). The videos are so old (and two are missing) that the tracking's off. My husband said, "You're supposed to be working, not knitting." I told him I was doing both and that I couldn't actually watch the videos as it would give anyone a huge headache (or an epileptic fit!) and that I could only listen to them. So there!
So at least I have an FO. Don't have any idea what I'll do with it. I'd've taken a pic of it, but you can see what it looks like in the second furry pic above. It's like the scarf on the left, just much longer.
The second to last day of Trev's school, Davis got a sticker from the front desk ladies. He ran over to me and said, "Here Mommy, this is for you!" and stuck it to my hand...
sigh.
Off to the Frog Pond, Ruth!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Bonus Post

I was the first commenter (commentor?) on the Yarn Harlot today!

Only knitters would know how stupidly cool that feels!

Feelin' Stupidly Cool, Ruth!

P. S. Spell check says, "commenter".

What A Weekend!

Saturday, Dave and I tried our level best to kill ourselves.

In the morning, I had the computer tech guy come over and hook up our wireless (at a relatively painless $60).

Then we drove both the minivan and the hoopty the half-hour to Littleton and spent an hour trying to shove all the furniture and file cabinets and boxes of old files into said vehicles. The main desk is a behemoth (it had to way close to 100 pounds) and we had to get it out of John (the seller's) basement (up 8 stairs, 90 degree turn, 6 more stairs). After much sweat, strained backs and frustration, John put two of the filing cabinets into his Suburban and we headed off to his rental house where the rest of the furniture lived.

We dropped the Suburban's filing cabinets there and headed home, knowing we'd have to come back at least once more to get everything else.

I flew home with Dave not too far behind me (using the tennis ball in the back trick the whole way!) because it was already 1p and I told My Blogless Rachel I'd be at her house at 1:30 to help set up for the birthday party for her daughter Morgan. I helped unload some stuff, ran upstairs, took a rinse off shower, finished crocheting the fuzzy flip flops for Morgan, wrapped them as a present from Davis and wrapped the other present from Trevor, threw the gifts at the boys and ran around the corner to Rachel's house.

2-4p - What a great party! It was a carnival theme and they had the kids use markers to decorate their white goodie bags and then go outside for games. There were 5 different game stations (darts at balloons, ring toss, her husband made a big plinko board, etc.), a fake tattoo station and a face painting station! At each station, the kids all got little prizes whether they were successful at the game or not. A good time was had by all!

Go home, shower again (the party was outside and it was a little warm) and get ready for a night on the town. Dave and I haven't had a night on the town in about a year!! When we were in Tucson, his parents would watch the kids on Saturdays so we could have a date. It was almost always during the day and the few times we went out at night, we'd be home by 10p because it was either his parents watching them at our house or a teenaged babysitter.

Last night, Dave arranged a surprise evening! He's the only guy I know who would surprise his wife for his birthday night out! I knew we were going into Denver but that was all. We ate at P.F. Chang's and then went to somewhere near the 16th Street Mall. To Bovine Theater! It's an improv show much like Who's Line. When we came into the theater, the guy at the ticket desk asked us to write down something someone had said to us that day. I wrote down the book inscription Faith got (see the comments from here) and when it was used it got a big laugh. I got to go onstage and play in one of the games, too (yes I volunteered, I'm a big ham, donchaknow).

It was a lot of fun and I can't wait to do it again sometime! The tickets were only $16 each (the Friday tix are only $5!) and they also have an improv school! What fun!

When we left the improv show, we went back to Parker and stopped at a bar on Mainstreet called The Tailgate. They had a live band (Play It Forward) which was pretty decent and no cover charge, which is always nice. We had a couple of drinks and went home. We got home around 1a! I don't think we've ever stayed out that late! Not even when we were dating!

Sunday, we recovered. I've never been one to get hangovers. The only time I've ever had a headache from drinking was a Jim Beam incident in 1997. And that was just stupidity on my part, I've never liked whiskey so why was I drinking it that night? Anyway, I don't get hangovers, I just want to sleep all day from being up late and my stomach seems to object to alcohol as it always does angry, mean things to me whenever I have more then one drink. Good thing I've never been into drinking a lot!

OK, Massage Monday:

How to pick a therapist....

You can always find a student to work on you, like I mentioned in this post, but if you want a professional here's some tips.

1. Know that it's going to be trial and error, like finding a good hairdresser or family physician.

2. You want someone who has at least 500 hours of schooling. (In San Diego, it used to be, if you had 500 hours or less you had to register with the vice squad. EW! California has no standardization and there's all these little 100-150 hour schools. What do they even teach you in 100 hours??? "Here's some lotion. Come back next week." People take these classes, get a massage therapy license and do... um... otherwise. I've got no objections to prostitution. I think they should legalize it and regulate it. And if you choose that lifestyle, then that's your choice, but call it what it is. Stop giving massage therapy a bad name!)

3. You want to make sure your therapist knows their anatomy. If you ask them to work on your piriformis, they should know that's deep to your glutes. If you don't feel like quizzing them (because that might just be a little weird and off-putting), then make sure they listen to what you tell them you need. If you tell them your neck hurts and they focus on your legs... yes, it is all connected but, come on!

That's it for now! I know I promised knitting content and I do have some, but this post is too long already. Tomorrow for sure - knitting, pictures and a funny man.

Learning the new biz, Ruth!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Technophobe

I've been listening to David Sedaris on audio books. He's hysterical!

I'm hysterical this morning. But a different kind of hysterical.

Sedaris talks about how people call him a technophobe but that's incorrect. A phobia is a fear of something and his feelings toward computers is not fear. It is hatred. A nurtured, stoked, steadily maintained hatred.

I know how he feels.

I've just spent two hours trying to hook up my wireless network. To no avail. And the guy we know that's local and would trade for massage is on vacation. So I've got to pay someone lots of money to come to our house and set it up. My husband didn't want to let the free guy finish the job because it was going to involve buying a $50 piece of equipment. Now it's going to cost a lot more.

I've got a raging headache and I'm going to go lie down til either the phone guy (who's scheduled to be here btw 8a-5p) or the computer guy (who's supposed to be here around 4:30p) gets here.

More of my whining on Monday, Ruth!

P.S. Just kidding, on Monday, we'll actually have some knitting content 'round these parts.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Do I Look Any Different?

OK. Big week. Big news. Let's see...

I got a haircut and color yesterday. It's the first one I've had since January, so I was pretty excited about it. Love the cut but the color seems too dark to me. As I was leaving, the hairdresser said, "Now it's more like your natural color." WTF? If I wanted my natural color, I wouldn't dye it! Just sayin'. It's not bad, just darker then I'm used to. Need to get used to it.

But that's not the big news.

Trevor is "off-track" which is what they call vacation when your kid goes to a year-round school. It'll be nice having him around to entertain Davis and help his little brother learn to read.

But that's not the big news.

Quit Target. So. Happy! Wait, I already told y'all that.

But that's not the big news.

Oh! Today is my husband's 38th birthday! I got him an omelet pan. He makes breakfast on Saturday mornings. Kind of a tradition here in our house. Usually he makes breakfast burritos but has taken to trying to perfect his omelet skills. We don't have a pan where he can flip his omelette's so I bought him a specialized pan.

But that's not the big news.

You are now hanging out with the owner of a new business! Or, rather, the new owner of an already established and making damn good money business. (Which means I did NOT buy the Yarn store for sale in Parker. sigh. no biggee.)

When we first moved here, the biz broker (Mark) that was hired by the man who sold us the FedEx route (Paul) called me. Mark said he had a man who may be interested in selling his business and were we interested in something for me. (As though, like cars, every household should have a business for each adult in the house.) We sort of were (although we had no clue where we'd come up with the money for it!). The man ended up deciding his wife could run the business and we didn't hear any more about it. Until about a month ago.

The wife decided she didn't want to run the business and also, she has some health issues that are making it difficult for her to be really effective at it. So they are selling for sure now. And we bought it!

Dave's parents were kind enough to lend us their entire savings to do so. The biz is a headhunter biz. It's matching up resumes with companies and getting paid to do so. It's run from the home and the seller spends about 20 hours a week on it and makes around $65K/yr. The business itself is called Omniquest and has been around for over 20 years. The companies they place people with are mainly medical equipment sales positions and it's all very complicated and not complicated at the same time. The seller (John) is the third owner. The original owner had it for about 15 years, wanted to retire, sold it to her office manager who sold it to John after about 2.5 years (she also had health issues and couldn't maintain it).

It's primarily emails and over the phone. I started my training with John about an hour after we closed and will be training with him for a couple of weeks.

When we bought the FedEx route, it was all scary and stressful but at least it was only our money we were messing with. Now with this loan from Dave's parents, it's not just our money. In fact, it's none of our money. It's his parents money. And his two much-older brother's money as it's just as much their inheritance as Dave's should anything happen to their parents. So. You know. As long as there's no pressure.

Dave's been so stressed out since we moved here because he became the sole breadwinner and everything's been lying on his shoulders. Lots of pressure. Now I get my own pressure. What fun, right?

I'm nervous and excited and worried and scared and, and, and....

Someone throw me some hand-dyed sock yarn! I need a woobee!

When I'm anxious, I chew my lip. I have quite a lovely split in my bottom lip that won't heal right because I keep chewing it.

Wish me luck, Ruth!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Supah Fast Part Two

Don't piss off your cashier. You'll get pinched peaches.

Just sayin', Ruth!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Bye Bye Bullseye

Got this at work today.....


It's my name tag. Only took them two months to get me one. Strangely, they handed it to me today. Which happens to be my last day!!!!

SPLEE!!!! (runs around house tearing off red shirt and khaki bottoms, throwing them into a fire pit and doing ancient and strange ritual dances)

I'm too exhausted from celebrating to give details or participate in a Massage Monday post. I will say that, no, I wasn't fired. I quit. It involves the super-secret goings on at this house that will be finalized on Wednesday.

To soothe your blogging needs, I present two of the fibers I bought during the crawl....



Red Rocks Sock Yarn in the Fallback colorway (it was also, a "fallback" color as I wanted A Wild Night Out colorway, but they only had one skein of that).




Colinette Jitterbug (forgot the colorway name but... ain't it pretty?!)

Reveling in retail-free freedom, Ruth!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Subterfuge

Dave and I have an unspoken truce about my yarn consumption. Sort of a "don't ask, don't tell" kind of thing. If he doesn't see it, it doesn't exist. And he doesn't read my blog. It's a knitting blog (theoretically) and he isn't interested in my knitting, so...

So yesterday when I took part in the infamous South Denver Yarn Crawl of '07, I knew he'd be home before me so I gave my purchases to My Blogless Rachel H. to hold for me overnight. All of them. What was I THINKing?


I'm completely feening for my new stuff. I want to cast it ALL on immediately! I scored some small discounts for us and I got some Jitterbug and some SWTC Bamboo. Some Cotton Fleece and one large and two small skeins of hand-dyed sock yarn. Oh and some Cadenza. And some tweedy teal colored yarn. (I'd been squirreling money away here and there so I could get a much needed haircut and color. My last one was in January. My next one won't be anytime soon!)


The last two were purchased at String. The owner had a baby boy, so anything blue (or with a speck of blue in it) is half off!! The sale goes through this Saturday. And they have an enormous table of yarn in the back room that is also all half off. I was walking around with my arms full of the tweedy teal yarn, feeling (and looking, I'm sure) rather shell-shocked.


And the company I kept yesterday! Too much fun! I picked up La in the hoopty van.
That's my almost-80-year-old FIL (and D2) with his new van. Notice the license plate?
My inlaws wanted to take the 4 year old to the museum to see some animals and there's no place in their van for a car seat. So they took the minivan and I had the hoopty. I told La that I brought our Yarn Transport and that we were to fill the back of it, full. The other knitters immediately took to calling it the pumpkin. As we drove from shop to shop, they kept saying, "We'll just follow the pumpkin." And I had to keep reminding them that I'm new here and don't know where anything is!

We met up with Imbrium, Nake-id Knits, and Yarn Thing at Knitty Cat. Nobody found anything they wanted there. It's a sweet yet small shop that was somewhat lacking in the organization of yarn department. Plus it was our first stop and there was some talk about pacing ourselves.

We caravaned to A Knitted Peace. Wow. What a beautiful, well-organized, helpful place! They offered coffee and showed us around. La discovered that they had a good selection of the Barbara Walker Treasury books and all three of the First Treasury were snapped up immediately. (One may've fell into my basket, I don't know.) Purchases were tossed into baskets and restraint was summarily kicked out the door.

A Knitted Peace has this yarn. The proprietor said she believed they were the only shop to carry it in the US. But she wasn't sure.

We went to a much needed lunch after this. We were eating at Chammps and My Blogless Rachel H. was to meet us there. She called before we left A Knitted Peace and said, "I think I'm at the wrong place." Marly gave her directions to the eatery and we met up there.

We were a rowdy bunch! We were laughing our asses off. Risque subjects were not only broached but thoroughly explored. Not much talk of knitting there!

Feeling replenished (and maybe a bit tipsy), we saddled up and moved on to the next store. It was Colorful Yarns. A small but lovely shop! The owner does a special thing if you're doing something special too (say, a loud, overly gleeful yarn crawl). Call and let her know in advance and not only does she provide a small, useful discount, she makes treats! She had homemade brownies and delicious ginger cookies (also made by the owner) and some sodas to refresh throats grown raw with laughter and dry with dropped jaws agog at the sensory overload that comes with visiting multiple yarn shops.

At Colorful Yarns we were joined by the incomparable Miss Wanda. She and Nake-id Knits were the models of restraint. A testament to forbearance. A fine example to us all of self-discipline. An example that was resoundingly... ignored. By us all. Except to note that they weren't making many purchases and what was wrong with them anyway?? (Just kiddin')
We ended our crawl at String. I already mentioned my String follies at the beginning of this post. There's also a very beautiful bead store two doors down. Hugs were given (they weren't strangers to me, so I was OK). Unsuspecting bead boys
were commandeered to take pictures.
And we all went home. At least we tried to. The hoopty needed a jump and Imbrium was kind enough to give us one. Rachel lives around the corner for me so she led the way home (and halfway there, when she got behind us to go throught the toll booth, let me know I had no taillights! That's what all the smoke was about after our battery jump!) She stayed behind us the rest of the way, giving directions by phone. We got La and ourselves home safe and sound and last night I dreamed of Koigu.
Missing my new stuff, Ruth!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Supah Fast

Tippa Tuesday:

Hang out with knitters whenever you can. They are a good time. Every time. Details later.....

Monday, August 6, 2007

Touching Strangers

CAUTION: This post is not for people under 18 or the faint of heart....

I don't like when strangers touch me.

"But Ruth," you say, "You were a massage therapist for 8 years? Weren't there a lot of strangers there?"

Yes. But that was me touching them. Lots of them. At the spa, I averaged 700 people a year. I loved that job. There were good clients and bad clients. There were lots of 50 minute life stories and lots of silence. There was more then I care to remember of oversharing clients.

Like the guy who's telling me about the new nanny they have and how hot and young she is. Telling me this while his wife is getting her massage in the next room. Ew. I had to remind him (and others) that there's no client confidentiality when it comes to massage therapists.

I've had creepy clients and clients that needed a lesson or two in proper massage etiquette. And the difference between massage therapy and prostitution. Now, if you've visited here before, you know I'm not the most diplomatic of people when I'm mad. I got propositioned 3 times in the first 3 years I worked at the spa.

The first guy was the worst. I had him as a client just one week after I got licensed and moved from the desk at the spa to downstairs as a therapist. Usually when you get a creep, they give you creep signals. They are strangely squirmy or say things that hint at what they're after and you can cut that off at the knees. This guy gave no such warnings. He wasn't a talker. He wasn't squirmy or weird. I always start people face down and then after the first half of the 50 min., I have them turn over so I can work the anterior aspect of their arms and legs as well as their neck and head. So I have this guy turn over and when I've got my back turned to put the face cradle on the counter....
Well, when I turned back to the client, he had the sheets pushed down to his knees and was, hmm... erect. I was incredulous and disgusted, "Oh, seriously... what is this?"
Pig: What does it look like?
Me: I don't know. A penis... only... smaller? [I yank the sheets up and say] So ends the massage. And for insulting a highly trained professional by implying I'm a prostitute, you're going to tip really well.
Pig: Oh, am I? (in a pissed off attitude)
Me: Well, I can go tell the desk we had to finish early because you had a meeting to go to or I can tell them the real reason in which case they'll call security to have a little talk with you about proper massage etiquette. You decide. Cash is best.

And I stormed out of the room. When he came up later (after having dressed in the locker room) and he was paying his bill, I was sitting at the desk. He glared over at me and I picked up the phone. He left a $30 tip (that was back when we charged just $70 for the massage).

Looking back, I basically blackmailed the guy. And when the desk girl tried to hand me the money after he left, I told her I wanted the money but not that money and she gave me a different $30. I was new at the job and, again, looking back I should've just reported him because you know that he's going to that again (or worse) to the next poor unsuspecting therapist. Pig.

The second time was a guy that was a talker. He was chatting and nice and I asked if he'd had massage before and then he got stupid...
Pig 2: Yes. I get massage every week. I have a girl who comes to my house.
Me: Oh? I have some private clients where I go to their house every week, too.
Pig 2: Yeah.... Well. She always does extra.
Me: [thinking, "Aw shit. Here we go."] What do you mean, like she cleans your house?
Pig 2: [lifting his face from the face cradle to look at me] Something like that.
Me: What are you telling me. Is she your girlfriend or something? [trying to give him the benefit of the doubt]
Pig 2: No. I just tip really good.
Me: [looking him dead in the eye] Well, I don't do housework. I could clean your clock [big smile] or we could just continue on with the therapeutic massage [smile dropped].
Pig 2: [laughs] The massage sounds good.
This guy was just "testing the waters" as we say and after this exchange was a good client. But I still washed my hands twice after working on him. Ew.

The last guy was the strangest. He was a Calvin Klein model from Australia. I was 8 months pregnant with T and so was rather taken aback when he asked me a question. The massage was almost over when he asked me
Pig 3: Would you finish me off? [He asked this as though asking me if I did that sort of thing, not actually asking me to do that sort of thing. Understand?]
Me: [pause. sigh. Big smile.] I don't know what that means in Australia, but in America to "finish someone off" means you are mortally wounded and want me to shoot you in the head. Is that what you are asking me??
Pig 3: [laughs] No, I guess not.
Me: [looking him in the eye, smile dropped] No. I guess not.
I was thinking, "Hey. Dumbass. I'm 8 months pregnant. I ain't "finishing" shit off at home, why would I do that here??"

I find that you can say just about anything you want to people if you do it with a big smile on your face like you might be just kidding. Even though everyone involved knows you Are. Not. Kidding.

Don't piss off your massage therapist people. It's like pissing off your dentist or your hairdresser. They can do damage. They won't, because they are ethical professionals. But they can. (That's your tip for Massage Monday, by the way.)

Anyway, back to strangers touching me. Sometimes, clients would be all blissed out and they would give me a big hug after the massage. This was always really awkward for me. 9 times out of ten, it'd be a woman but still. I stand there stiffly and maybe bring my hand up to pat them on the back and they were always blissfully unaware of my horror.

Rarely, there was the client that we had really connected and talked during the massage so that a hug after didn't bother me and was actually welcomed. Rarely. But it did happen that way now and then. Mostly, it came as a complete surprise to me, like they were jumping out of a bush and hugging me. It was especially unnerving when the client had been completely silent during the whole massage.

So you can imagine how I felt when a Target guest hugged me yesterday! OK. She was about ten years old but it was still really weird for me! If she had been 4 or younger, it would've been cute. She wasn't. It wasn't. I rang up all the purchases for her and her mom and then she came around the counter to me. She stood too close to me and tilted her head to the side, closed her eyes and dramatically spread her arms out wide and up. She stood like that for a full 5 seconds before her mom said matter-of-factly, "She wants to hug you." I honestly had no idea what she was doing! "Oh." I said, brilliantly. I didn't step closer to her (she was close enough believe me), just woodenly bent nearer and she wrapped her arms around me and gave this weird sigh. Then she kissed me on the cheek! I didn't mean to but I jerked back like she touched me with a lit cigarette. "OK. Um. Have a nice day." She still stood there with that weird bliss look on her face. Eyes closed, head tilted, strange smile. But at least her arms were down, now. Finally her mom said, "Let's go honey." in that same flat matter-of-fact voice. As though she's seen her daughter do this about 30 times a day and is over it.

After they left the next guest asked, "Did you know her?" I just numbly shook my head no. "Well that was odd, then," she noted. Thank you! I thought. So it wasn't just me that thought so. Because seriously, it wasn't just that she hugged me. It was that she was so dramatic about it!

Sorry I dropped off the radar a little last week. I had a wicked cold and I appreciate all the well wishes! You guys are so sweet! But also, I was gone because I have something major in the works. It's not knitting related (unfortunately) but it's pretty huge. It's huge enough and stressful enough that I haven't been knitting anything! That never happens. Usually when I'm stressed, I not only knit, I get startitis. Send some good vibes my way and I'll let y'all in on it by August 18th.

Special thanks to Carol G. for sending a helmet liner! And to My Blogless Rachel H. for making two more. 6 down, 194 to go!

Off to stress some more, Ruth!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Fundraiser

I'm sick today. My throat's killing me and I can't stop sneezing. Don't get too close. Trev was in the same boat on Monday so I'm pretty sure where I got this bug!

Even so, I'm healthier then most.


Today is the last day you can get discounted patterns at StitchDiva. Proceeds are going to help Annie Modesitt and one other family. I bought the Sahara pattern. I've wanted it for awhile but balked at spending $7 for one pattern. It's on sale for $5.25!

LAST DAY: SAVE MONEY by HELPING OUT
25% off our patterns for 1 MORE DAY
Sale ends 11:59 pm Pacific on Wed, Aug. 1
75% of all proceeds to 2 families in NEED
We are cutting our prices to make it easy for you to help.
Take advantage of this chance to get yourself a deal on our patterns and feel good that your purchase will be helping out two "knitting and crochet" families that really need help.
These families are experiencing very bad times because a family member is seriously ill and needs life-saving treatments. Insurance doesn't come close to covering all the miscellaneous expenses needed for these families to get necessary help to the people they love.

Evan - son of Allison
When Evan was only 8 weeks old, he was diagnosed with a very rare brain tumor (Hypothalamic Hamartoma). Although the tumor itself is benign, it causes seizures approximately every 15-20 minutes, 24 hours/day. The seizures are damaging his brain. Evan's best chance for a normal life is to have surgery to remove this tumor and there is only one place in the world the specializes in this disorder. Allison is facing a battle not only with the needs of a baby that has seizures 4 times per hour, but with insurance companies and a medical system that are not making it easy for Allison to get Evan the care he needs. Read more about Allison and Evan here.

How you can help:
ETA: I got an email from Allison (11/10) that Evan is doing really well and she asked that I remove links to her sites as she has re-entered the corporate world and we all know how that can be! I'm happy to hear he's doing well and I wish them the best!

Buy a Stitch Diva Studios Pattern in the next 24 hours


Gerry - Husband of Annie Modesitt and father of Max and Hannah
Annie's strong personality and beautiful design work have made her a stand-out in the knit and crochet communities. She moved with her family earlier this year to Minnesota for a life change to focus on her design work: Her husband Gerry, formerly a television producer, was going to be "Mr. Mom". During their move, it became clear that Gerry's "bad back" was infinitely more serious and was actually a symptom of Multiple Myeloma, a painful blood cancer that manifests itself in the bone marrow. Gerry is scheduled for a stem cell transplant at the Mayo Clinic in August, and the family has been given somber projections for life after the bone marrow transplant. Annie is curtailing much of her teaching activity to spend more time with Gerry, and their savings is eroding. Read more about Gerry and the family's situation here.

How you can help:
Purchase Annie's Red Carpet Convertible pattern or any pattern offered for sale on her website.
NEW: Knit Along! Love one of Annie's patterns? Once you purchase it, organize a knit along either online, at your yarn store, or at your "Stitch and Bitch" group. You will be encouraging other people to buy the pattern to support Annie, you will end up knitting something that is beautiful, and you will have lots of fun in the process.
Purchase one of Annie's books.
Donate directly on the Red Carpet Convertible page.
NEW: Get the word out. Feel free to forward this email to friends that might be interested or copy any of the text or pictures in this story on your blog.
Buy a Stitch Diva Studios Pattern in the next 24 hours

Go and get some new patterns and help out.

Pass the word!

Looking for my Nyquil, Ruth!