How to drive someone crazy from 1100 miles away

27 December 2006

I Survived Christmas and All I Got was this Lousy Blog Post

Okay, that title is entirely untrue. I got more than the blog post. We'll get to that.

Mom and Dad Dragon came out for the festivities in the early afternoon. We ate turkey within an hour of their arrival, then opened up the gifts we got each other. By late afternoon, they packed it in and went home. Mixed emotions.

First, I wasn't looking forward to this holiday (as we all know). So the fact that it was over quick was, well, kinda nice. I was exhausted; I fell asleep in Yoshi's lap around 6 pm and didn't wake up properly until the next morning (8:15), when I went to work. Sure, he picked my sorry butt up off the couch and walked me to bed, but that was all the activity I could muster. I was done for.

On the other hand, my parents didn't even stay for pie and egg nog. (Don't worry, Yoshi and I ate the entire pecan pie already, and there are two cheesecakes and a French silk to go, courtesy of Mom) If I had known they were going to do this, I would have slept the extra hour and a half in the morning rather than get up to bake a pecan pie. Also, when I go to them for holidays and such, they always get a little pouty if I act like I am going to leave before we watch a movie or visit a while or do whatever it is they want to do. I feel a bit obligated to stay, because I really don't make a huge effort to go see them "just because" anymore. But they were nothing but tail lights before the sun went down. I have to admit, I have a tiny amount of hurt feelings over this.

There is, of course, more.

I don't think my father is comfortable in my home, or on my "turf". It takes the man an hour and a half to get here, and he always has a reason to leave immediately. He has to check on his puppies, he has to pick up his boat, he has "things to do". The man is retired, what does he have to do?!? Example:

Not long ago, my 'rents had cause to pick up some extended family from the airport that is just down the street from my house; they knew I was going to be working, so I asked them to come have lunch in my restaurant so I could have a chance to see said family and them, and they could see the beautiful place I work. Halfway through their entrees, Dad is saying we gotta go, give us our check. I never planned on giving them their check, and said so, and he got a little cranky and made more "I gotta go" noises at me, until I explained that their lunch was on me and they were welcome to come and go as they wished, and invited them to walk the grounds a bit, because there is a pretty lake and dock right outside and I hoped they would like it. He left a really nice tip on the table and almost got away without even saying goodbye.

I guess the moral of the story is, I just don't get my father. I'm just not his baby girl anymore, unless I am in his house or somehow on his terms, like if he takes me to lunch or something like that. *sigh*

There was a really great part of Christmas this year. It was Yoshi. He was kind and supportive during my pre-holiday meltdown, thoughtful and generous in his gifts for me, grateful for the gifts I got him, helpful all Christmas day. He made the best turkey ever, carved it up and served it, and all in all acted like he didn't hate any part of what was going on. He complimented most of my side dishes (he doesn't eat stuffing or carrots, but really enjoyed everything else), and loved my pie. He watched me become crestfallen when Mom and Dad left, and reacted with cheer and enthusiasm, to make sure I didn't bottom out. He was unbelievably great, and I am lucky to have him on holidays and any other day.

Best present? That award goes to the book of constellations from Yoshi, which he got so we can lay in our backyard hammock together at night, and stargaze. Yup. He bought me a bookful of quality time. And that's why I have fallen in love with him all over again this Christmas.

23 December 2006

We interrupt this program...

I interrupt my holiday bitching to bring you the Malabrigo Slipper Socks.

I took a few minutes out of my morning of house cleaning to kitchener the toe on the second sock (which my knitting circle will recognize as the "have you felt my yarn?" sock I was working on two weeks ago). That quickly turned into "where's my camera?" and then " I gotta get this on the blog, STAT!" How gorgeous are these socks!?!

please ignore the unshaven leg. i'm a busy girl.

I have never loved a yarn more than I loved this stuff. Ridiculously soft, incredible depth of color. I had thought about giving these away, but I don't think I can. I am in love with my feet right now, and we are never ever breaking up.

And now back to our regularly scheduled griping.

22 December 2006

Positive Mental Attitude

At the restaurant where I work, they coach you almost constantly on the concept of Positive Mental Attitude (PMA). This is necessary, because servers are trying to accomodate our guests in a friendly and professional way while screaming at each other, being screamed at by management and the kitchen, and hoping there is no screaming coming from the dining room. If you can practice a little PMA, you will not commit suicide on your drive home by slamming your car into a tractor trailer, and this benefits everyone.
So, I am doing what I can to inject a little PMA into my holiday spirit (even though I had to miss knitting night so I could finish shopping and wrap a pile of gifts). I gotta get out of this funk before Monday, or I will stick my head into the oven next to the turkey, and that is not Good Eats (even though I still have to clean the whole house and have no decorations up whatsoever). I must persevere in this goal in order to not ruin everyone else's holiday (even though I have to work 34 hours before Monday and can't find the time to sleep, let alone chop celery for stuffing).
Solution found!
I recruited.
Yoshi is helping out. He will be cleaning the house up a bit, and setting up my mise en place all day Sunday so I can just throw stuff together and into the oven/onto the stove/into my mouth. Not bad for a guy who doesn't believe in holidays. I guess he does believe in helping me have a decent holiday. And Jenn has offered to have my back, as well. So while I am on my double shift on Sunday, the two of them will be chopping and scrubbing and making sure Lisa doesn't have a mental breakdown.
And that's what the Christmas spirit is really all about, isn't it? Helping your friends not harm themselves. If only Charlie Brown knew.
And if anyone asks me what I knit for them for Christmas, they are getting size 15s to the throat. Merry Christmas.

20 December 2006

It just ain't happening

I recently read a little something about the infrequency of posting. It made me feel a wee bit guilty. Then I realized, I have a life outside my computer. Who knew?
Knitting? What knitting? I have been working way too much to even get the yarn out of skein form, let alone pick up some sticks. I am just so tired and holidays are bearing down. I really thought I might get out of it this year until Mama Dragon let me know she would be taking me up on my challenge to come to my house this year. Note to all who don't necessarily care for holidays: Do not throw down the gauntlet at your mother. She will pick it up and make you run around all day buying turkey and trimmings and gifts and considering the dietary needs of others, with not even a second thought that you may have been bluffing.
Okay, maybe I'm a little (read: a lot) bah humbug, but man, oh man, I don't care for holidays anymore. I don't believe in Christmas in so many ways. I am not a Christian, nor do I subscribe to the rampant consumerism that plagues this holiday. No Santa for me, thanks. Family get-togethers? Not really big on those since my own family started dwindling down through deaths and loss of contact. My family used to be really large, and a fun group, but now... I am just reminded further that we are not what we used to be every time I see another empty place at the table.
Possible solutions? I could start raising my own family; not really ready for that, though. I could banish the holiday from my life (tried and failed) but the way our country operates will not allow that. Everywhere I look is another reminder that it is THE HOLIDAY SEASON and I should be out spending money and time gifting people in mass quantities.
I just can't get into this anymore. I'm just too tired of it all. I saw through the master plan, I peeked behind the curtain, I am unable to believe in the spirit of the season. Depressing? Yes. Cynical? Very. Be assured, it is more painful for me than you.
Yoshi is getting gifts, though. And damn thoughtful ones, at that. I'm trying, people, I really am, but it's hard. At least I'm not attempting to knit on a deadline, like the rest of the knitting world. Takes all the fun out of it, if you ask me (and you are still reading, so I assume you would).
I'm just unhappy right now. Sorry for the total lack of knitting content and oversaturation of cynicism. I'll be back to normal perkiness levels after January 7, I promise.

07 December 2006

Where did I find the time?

I have news! And it's knitty news! Yay!

I present to you the Monkey Hat.

Pattern: Made up as I went along. Yarn: Patons Classic Wool. The recipient was not keen on having his picture taken for the blog (actually, I got a picture which didn't work out so he wasn't keen on a second picture) so it is shown here next to a Diet Rock Star. He showed it off to anyone who walked by and stroked the living heck out of my ego. Thanks, Brett. That was ridiculously nice of you. I hope he enjoys it.

I really like the Fair Isle. I'm going to have to do that a lot more.

There's also this crazy group of ladies.

There is a great group of women who meet every Thursday night (6-ish to 9-ish at Borders in Oviedo, if anyone wants to know) and I crashed their party the Thursday before Thanksgiving. They were so nice and welcoming that I keep going back. I've never knit in a group before; I find myself wanting to put down my knitting (gasp!) and walk around seeing what everyone else is playing with. I need to get one of those little hip bags or something so I can walk around while knitting and satisfy my curiosity. I saw a bit of magic loop today, which I had not yet seen, and shared a few tips I have up my own sleeve about sleeves (ha!). Also found out that maybe Knit Picks has the dpn holders I am coveting. I have a great set for my size 2s, and am desperate for more. Rubber bands ain't gonna cut it much longer, now that I have a weekly reminder that I have stuff worth showing off. I worked on the second Malabrigo sock today. Remember, the one where I was teaching my roommate to knit socks? Yeah, second sock syndrome prevented the casting on of this poor little sock, but the yarn is so soft and the colors so impressive that I thought I would show the ladies and get some drooling going while defeating SSS apathy. I have a feeling that sales of Malabrigo are about to rise in Orlando. It really is the best stuff ever.

Other news? I can't believe Heroes won't be back until late January. Why do they do that?

06 December 2006

Still have a pulse, but it's weak and needs socks...

No, really, I am still alive. I just don't look it.

Work is killing me. We are a bit understaffed, and I am pounding out a grand total of NINE SHIFTS this week. Six days, three of which are doubles (about 13-14 hours). I am going to have to start remembering that I need to eat in the middle of the day whether the restaurant thinks so or not. They put food out for us every day (we call it family meal, because everyone comes in early and sits together like a family) but yesterday, some ball was dropped and we were not fed. If I had realized this, I would have hit up the crappy fast food places all around my restaurant on my break, but I was kinda counting on the free food, so last night was awful. Low blood sugar does not help you remember to ring in someone's Caesar salads. And getting over this horrible creeping crud infesting my lungs and sinuses was not helping either. Wah.

In lighter news, I made a hat with monkeys all over it. There's a guy I work with who seemed to really enjoy the fact that I look like I am twelve years old when I am actually thirty (use your moisturizers, ladies!) and I knit. He would tease me mercilessly until I said to him, if you don't stop it, I will never knit you a hat. So now, all I ever hear is where is my hat? I want my hat! Turned the tables on that, eh? If only he would shut up...

I will post pics of the hat when it is finished and I can get him to model it. Let's just say that my Fair Isle designing is far beyond my sock designing. Oh, yeah, the sock....

I am so sad about the sock. I was really excited about the sock until the heel. I converted a textured pattern out of a Stitchionary into the round and was merrily working away on these flame red socks. I was happy. I was ignoring the fact that the variegated colors looked not as great in the purl background as they would have in stockinette. I was not paying attention to the yarn that liked to split when I worked the cross-overs in the texture pattern. I was just pleased and forgiving about the mishaps of the sock, until the heel.

I wanted less textural contrast, so I decided not to do the usual slipped stitch heel flap I know is so sturdy and durable. I decided hourglass heels would be nice and make an easy transition from the textured leg into the sole of the foot, as they look all stockinette-y (not a word) and the sole would be stockinette, with the texturing continuing on the instep. Apparently, I do not know enough about short rows to successfully pull off an hourglass heel. Let me correct myself: I winged it. I figured I know what a short row is, I know what it does for shaping, I know how to make one, let's just go, go, go! Hmmm. Apparently, one must also know how many short rows one needs and where they must go and whether one needs a plain row or two. Or fourteen. I swear, the heel looked rather, hmmm, nipular (also not a word).

I thougth I could rip back and pick up the stitches. The yarn had other plans.

So, you know how when you are in a relationship, when one thing goes wrong, all the things you have been forgiving for so long about this person come glaring out into the light? You have always said to yourself something like "You know, maybe he leaves his wet towels on the floor, but I love him anyway." And then he forgets the second anniversary of your third date and those wet towels are the most offensive thing you've ever seen? You take them personally, you just know he keeps putting those towels there to piss you off, you pick fights over the towels and then break up and realize you could never live with that guy for the rest of your life anyway?

Have I taken the metaphor too far?

All of a sudden, I hated the pattern. And I knew that with less difficult stitches to deal with, the yarn would behave more like yarn and less like Sybil. Less splitting, more color showing off. I broke up with the pattern and am trying to move on.

Jenn was nice enough to frog the poor sock on the ball winder with me.

And for anyone thinking they are clever and reading between the lines, Yoshi and I are fine, even though we are working hard schedules lately and don't see each other much. We still get to sleep next to each other every night, and that's enough for now. Especially since he always hangs up his towels (me, not so much. I leave them everywhere.).