Monday, November 29, 2010

Do I?

The other day someone asked me, "Do you journal?" I hemmed and hawed. I looked down. Finally, I said, "Well, um, yes. I mean, I have a blog. Blogs. I used to…in college I majored…I had a creative writing emphasis. I used to write fiction. I used to write on my blog every day…but I haven't done that for a long time."

My journal for today is that I rushed out of the house just before noon, leaving both my cell phone and watch at home. Unless I have the computer open, I have no way to tell the time…at least accurately. Have I ever mentioned that I sort of need to know what time it is? I used to wear a watch always. It's only recently that I started taking it off at night…which means sometimes I forget to put it on the next day. With the cell phone always with me, that's not a problem. Unless I don't have the cell phone. Can one survive a day without a cell phone? Yes indeed.

The next few months are going to be a bit crazy. I'm going to be traveling for work a lot. At least twice a month through March. I get to go to some great places (Hawaii, Alaska) and some 'eh' places (Reno, Oklahoma City). I'll take some extra time in the great places and stay the minimum time in the other places. I'm going to have to figure out the best cat-care plan while I'm gone. When I only go for four nights, one visit should be enough. But when I go for 10 days? I'll have to have more frequent cat sitting. It will work out—I now have three sources of cat sitting, two from friends and one paid. I'll figure it out.

I am also supposed to go to work today. I actually have stuff to do and I need to earn some comp time—to pay off the comp time I took for Yom Kippur. Maybe I can put in four hours today and earn the rest…soon.

I did mean to spend the whole day in the office, but I couldn't do it. I slept, watch a movie, at some pie for breakfast and I'm that close to finishing a pair of knee socks I've been knitting for what feels like year. I don't work on them very often, which is the problem, but I'm a couple of inches from having them done, which is great. Just in time for the cold weather. The other thing I really want to finish…at least in time for the trip to Alaska, is my purple sweater. I have to sew on twenty snaps and it's going to kill me. I think I can do maybe four half snaps in an hour. That means, for 40 total snap pieces, it's going to take 10 hours. Oy. That's not including the sewing of the ribbon to the sweater, though that part is starting to seem like…a snap. Heh. It's not actually hard to sew the snaps on; it's hard to center and space them evenly. In fact, I haven't succeeded. What I don't know is how much this will matter. How often will I snap all the snaps? How bad will it look? I guess I'll know when I finish. But at least then I'll be able to wear the sweater, which is the point of knitting a damn sweater. I might do another sweater with ribbon-facings (sewed in where the buttons go), but I have to say no to snaps. Buttons forever! Oh, wait, the jacket-sweater that is next on my list has snaps too. Damn it. At least they are much larger. Larger definitely equals easier.

Anyone out there with a fancy sewing machine that can do a whipstitch on thick fabrics want to lend a hand? I wish a sewing machine could sew on snaps, but I don't think even the fanciest once can do such tasks. Not to mention that I don't know how to operate a sewing machine properly (that is, in theory only).

The jacket-sweater isn't actually the next thing I'll cast on for—that's a toss up between a vest for newest great nephew and a shawl for my niece. Oh, and half-finger gloves for a friend. Actually, when I finish the socks, I'll have only two projects on the needles—socks and a scarf, neither a rush—and I'll be able to cast on for one or two new projects.

With all the travel, though, I'll need easy, portable projects. I think the baby vest and the shawl, at least in the beginning stages, will qualify. The scarf and socks do too. I can't do the snaps on the road, though. If I want to have that thing done in a reasonable amount of time, I have to make it the focus of my home crafting time for a while. Maybe that's a good balance—knitting on the road, sewing at home.

I don't know why I dislike sewing so much. I know a lot of people who really enjoy it. It's just not my thing—though I can certainly see the virtue of being able to sew, especially considering how much I've spent on alterations over the years. But it's not terribly satisfying to do one's own alterations—that's not why people sew at home. They do it to great their own custom-fit garments and save money. One does not knit to save money, though it's possible. The customizing part is key, though, and the satisfaction that comes with completion. A lot of knitters sew but I don't see it in my future. Just as I can't imagine spinning my own yarn. Now buying handspun yarn from sheep and alpacas whose names I know, I can imagine doing that…because I have done that. I am glad that I can support people in their hobby farm and yarn enterprises, but I don't want nubbly, lumpy yarn for my sweaters, though it can be good for a hat or scarf.

Well, there you go. A blog entry that's more like a journal entry. I guess I'm not in the mood for self-reflection today. Or I need more coffee.

Last night, I babysat for Pele. Kind of exciting for everyone involved. She and her husband went out for dinner and a movie. Baby and I stayed home. I made the same deal with Pele that I've always had with TR, I don't accept payment, but you have to feed me. Not only did Pele have some excellent food for dinner, but she bought me brunch earlier in the day, when we had a little together time. I almost offered to pay but didn't. I mean, I don't want her to feel bad about not paying me! Anyway, the baby was good. A little fussy, but that was because she was hungry. She cried a bit later but then promptly fell asleep. I knit my knee socks and watched "Nine to Five" on cable. (That movie? Holds up surprisingly well.)

Pele was a bit worried that the baby would cry a lot and that it would be hard on me. Maybe because I wouldn't want to sit again? Here's the thing, the baby did cry, but only a little. While I didn't enjoy it, it didn't upset me either. Is that odd? It didn't break my heart or worry me. I knew I had to do something—feed her, change her, bounce her, make it possible for her to sleep—and she would stop. And she did. The only thing that I majorly screwed up was making a big point about telling Pele to call me after dinner so she wouldn't worry. Except, I'd taken my phone out of my pocket and inadvertently turned the ringer off. The iphones vibration setting is extremely subtle. So, poor Pele got worried after she called twice and I didn't answer. I did have my hands full of baby at the time and was actually wondering why she hadn't called. When I was able to move about, I finally checked the phone and realized what at happened—much to my chagrin. A couple of texts cleared things up but I felt like an idiot. Way to make Mom worry!

Anyway, all was well, I was thanked profusely and we'll do it again soon, hopefully.

Grateful for: understanding friends.


  1. You should post a bit of your travel schedule when you have it. You have long-time readers all over the country who would probably love to take you out for coffee or lunch or dinner, or have you over for a meal!

    Anon 11

  2. Anon11--that is an interesting idea! It reminds me when I met one of my first readers who I didn't know--she was a friend of friend, so not a true stranger. But it was a funny feeling, for both of us I think, but not bad and definitely interesting.

    I'll think about it. I tend to like to keep my exact schedule a little obscure but there's really no reason for that. Today, I'm off to Denver!

  3. Technically, I think I would fall in the same category as the other reader you meant. When I first found your blog about 4-5 years ago (yikes!), it was because of a blog I used to read (not even sure what it was called or if it still exists) written by someone I knew many years ago but wasn't still in touch with. Anyway, that blogger met you through someone who you is/were friends/acquaintances with. If it sounds like you're ever headed my direction, I'll have to give you my blog address (only a few months old, very few readers, mostly just a running log of miles/races/training), so that you'll have some advance info about me.

    Anon 11

  4. Oh, and is/were = are/were. Not proofreading this morning apparently! It's been a long week.


Anonymous comments will be rejected. You don't have to use your real name, just A name. No URL is required; enter your name and leave the 'url' line blank. Thank you.