Friday, June 30, 2006

More Albany Bulb Photos

This is long overdue, as these photos are about 2 weeks old but life has been well, y'all read the poop post right? Albany bulb is an amazing place with little hidden spots of art. Unfortunately the battery was running low the day I shot these so I only have a few glimpses of the gems seen that day.

Cat on a Rock.

Man Riding Sea Beast. I wish there was something to indicate sca
le. In fact I didn't even get the end of the beast's tail in this photo - it keeps going. It's waaaay longer than a h*mmer3. How's that for some perspective.

One of the many panels of art. Unfortunately on each visit another one of these amazing paintings have been tagged by thoughtless individuals.

Old Man by the Sea. He is quite tall in reality. Hm, maybe about 8 feet*?

She Brings Offerings

I could take a thous
and photos of her and still find something new to highlight. I would estimate her about about 10 feet total height*.

When you com
e down one path she greets you just like this, it's an amazing sight after the relative wilderness one traipses through to have this directly in your path at the bottom.

*I suck at estimating scale, but these are really big, way beyond life size

Sunday, June 25, 2006

But I'd rather be....

Life these days is odd, unstructured and I waste far too many hours on things like this. I found it through Chris Glass's blog, no I don't know who the hell he is and I no longer remember where I found linked in the first damn place.

Do you think Mad*nna would send me tickets to her new "Confessions" tour if I sent her this?

Yeah, I know I should be reading chapters in Clinical Handbook of Couple Therapy instead of writing inane posts.

Okay, I'll get right on that.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

The Poop

The poop keeps landing on me, I keep slipping in the poop, work is full of poop, and I'm gonna give you the straight poop. Yes, I'm trying to be funny but considering my stress level these days I doubt I will succeed.

Kittens - lots of poop. My first night back from my residential conference for school, I arrived home just in time for feeding the babies. And to apparently make up for lost time ruining perfectly clean clothes with pee and poop. Last night I again was hit by the very talented Marcel, just as I thought I was safe.

Residential Conference - lots of good poop. Really. I didn't get as much done as I wanted in terms of catching up, though I did actually read a text book! I made a great reconnection with a local therapist out here who is associated with the Pacific Center and the Women's Therapy Center. Received lots of validation about how the notes I have to write for work are horrible. Did my bit as a sex goddess, cast my mojo and my colleague finally got laid - first person since her divorce about 2 years ago! This resulted in losing my room for the night, which in turn resulted in an outrageous all-nighter pulled for no real reason but I got to see the sunrise over the bay with my new bud, Sandra.

Knitting - a little poop. A newbie in my program had a cold head so I offered to make her a hat. This resulted in visiting a LYS (local yarn store), oh the horror! Unfortunately it appears the Creative Hands doesn't have a website but you can find a review of the store here. I didn't have large enough needles (8 or 9 dpns) and really the yarn I had was too thin. So I used Jo Sharp Rare Comfort Mohair in Jasmine Tea, and purchased Queensland Collection Llama Seta in 14. (At this website it is SO much cheaper than it was in the LYS!). This Queensland stuff is heavenly, very tempted to buy a bunch and make a sweater for TGF. Made a sweet little hat.

Just about finished the one ankle sock thing (LouLous from - turning the heel wasn't too bad. I have since finished it off with the picot edging - very cute and have begun the second sock. Jennie - I will not suffer second syndrome, I just won't!

Since Niya isn't feeling too well, I really must start working on her cat bed. Chris was sweet enough to purchase some yarn (colourway #37509) I was contemplating for the project. She bought it from WEBS - yarn nirvana which I intend to wallow in when I am back east in the last summer. This stuff is beautiful! The photo on the website does not do it justice. I think I need to buy more of this stuff! It's on close out.

Work - random poop. All in all it's going really well, considering having a schedule, a fairly quiet client, and needing to do inane paperwork is hardly what I could call my strong suit. Apparently the office coordinators think my notes are great and want me to take another client when I return in September from my great adventures. I suppose I will because it's experience and it's some pay though hardly enough I tell ya what!

BirthWays - I'm buried in the poop. Newsletter hell is poop. I am very behind in nagging folks for re-upping their advertising. We lost of layout person and I am trying to find some lovely, competent and fast person to replace him.

Dance New England - up to my eyeballs in the poop. Behind here as well. Really need to download the new database structure and start entering registrations which are in just about 4 piles on my desk.

School - I can't even talk about that poop.

So that's my poop. How's yours?

Monday, June 19, 2006

Because I use Jennie as a guide....

From Jennie's knitting blog, which of course is separate from her other one:

From Rabbitch's blog, so of course it belongs in my knitting blog.

She writes, "Almost afraid to do this one, here. " I'm definitely afraid.

Please leave a one-word comment that you think best describes me — it can only be one word long. Then copy and paste this into your blog so that I may leave a word about you.

So in attempt to match the bravery of these wonderful women, here goes nothing.

Monday, June 12, 2006

The Albany Bulb

Saturday we went to the Albany Bulb for the second time. Last week we went with Wyatt and Piccolo but without Ruth, Pic's, because we were doing a dogsitting exchange. Ruth was lovely enough to take Wyatt on an overnight last Saturday and we were able to hang with Sue & Sarah without worrying about what the boy might get into while alone. So we took them to the park on Sunday.

We had heard various stories about the Bulb from Jill the photographer/activist and JJ, the dog walker. But nothing can quite prepare you for what is there. It is an amazing bit of industrial wilderness, at least that's one of the ways I described it during our visit last week. TGF said it brought to mind Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. Now I really want to see Jill's photos from that area.

Last week upon arrival there was a gathering that could be best described as some offshoot of Rainbow or some other pagan "let's brunch at the funky beach just off the freeway" grouping. (And yes, being true to my name, I have attended a gathering, in fact I hitchhiked my way in to the site.) TGF hoo'ed and ptoo'ed them but that's okay. The kids (Wyatt and Piccolo) played in the surf - we both wished I had the camera for this. Here's a shot from this week's adventure there.

People have done a lot of work, from placing hunks of concrete along the waters edge to create a path, to art on large slabs of concrete, to placing little decals of paint or metal tiles. There is even a "shoe tree". Sorry I didn't take a picture of that one.

We took a totally different path with Ruth from
the stepping stone water front. This week we found a decorated bunker that I am sure has served as a home to many folks, when homeless people were in residence here. We looked around inside and climbed up the stairs and stood on the roof of it - wonderful views from there. There are many ways to transverse this place and each one seems to lead to interesting artwork that has been created here. I really want to take Greg & Janet here when next they visit.

It really is a wondrous place, the art making it feel magical in a very odd, rather incongruous way but beautiful. Here a few more photos to give you an idea of what you might find while hiking here.

Bicycle wheels still catching a spin in the bay breezes

Mirrored rock amid blooms

Our pups at play.

It was a lovely afternoon.

Now this definition I understand

Perhaps it is shameful, but mostly I don't understand what it meant when people bandy about the word "postmodern" and it's various incarnations (postmodernism, -ist). But this one I get and do think it is a fairly accurate protrayal of the one that is Dharma

"You scored as Postmodernist. Postmodernism is the belief in complete open interpretation. You see the universe as a collection of information with varying ways of putting it together. There is no absolute truth for you; even the most hardened facts are open to interpretation. Meaning relies on context and even the language you use to describe things should be subject to analysis

Postmodernist 94%
Cultural Creative 94%
Existentialist 64%
Idealist 56%
Romanticist 38%
Modernist 31%
Materialist 31%
Fundamentalist 13%

What is Your World View? (updated)
created with

Is this a good thing?


Which Princess Bride Character are You?
this quiz was made by mysti

Sunday, June 11, 2006

A new work in progress (Sunny don't read this one!)

I just couldn't help myself. T'Mane's sweater pattern is easy, but a tad boring. Besides at the rate T'Mane is growing it will big on her for awhile, so I figure I have time. The back is finished, I have about half of one sleeve done and I have realized that the magazine, Knit It, was wrong about how many skeins it will take to make the top and pants. In my possession are 3 skeins of Sirdar Snuggly DK in "khaki" and 1 skein of "lavender" (I think they call it "Blueberry") for the trim. The 3 skeins of khaki are definitely going to be enough for the top but I will need probably 2 more for the pants. I suppose if I did the math I would know for sure, but I just need to find some more of the colour. There is no way to get the same dye lot I'm sure but I figure it won't matter that much. What is more annoying is Knit It! doesn't have a website, and though all (maybe all) the yarns are L*on's Brand, there isn't a correction on that website either. Frustrating. Well at least one of the other patterns from that issue that I might make (Spring 2006) has corrections noted on the website. Now before anyone suggests that I used a different yarn, I want to offer in my defense that the Sirdar gauge on the label is exactly the same as the gauge noted for the pattern and my gauge swatch!

The Cleckheaton "Tapestry" (now called Country and this colour has been unfortunately discontinued) has been whispering to me, "Go ahead, try some socks with me". Knitty's "Lou Lou" socks seemed sweet. The other night I could hold back no longer and though I had never done short rows, I embarked upon my adventure. The pattern calls for size 5 but the yarn calls for 6 and I have
e a set of double pointed size 6 so a decision was made. Besides these are just a practice pair, right? I attempted the first set of short rows for the toe and it didn't come out quite right but it was close. Frogged all of it. Crocheted a new 22 stitch chain and put it away for the night (I was doing this in bed, while TGF drifted off to dreamland). The next day, during my group supervision meeting, I started the short rows - it worked! Proceeded to start my rounds of stockinette. It seems quite clear that I will have more than enough yarn to make these into ankle length socks, which I think I will do. TGF thinks the colours would be good for Sunny, and I agree as I had mentally tagged this yarn for her. I have tried on what I have done so far and I think they will be on the large size for her but cozy. I suppose I could try to shrink it a bit, maybe in the dryer? I don't really know.

I realize I have it easy, using this yarn because compared to regular sock yarn it is bulky and I am using large needles (again by comparison), but I feel pretty hooked on the concept of making socks. I would like to try a pair using regular sock yarn such as this stuff - the colour is beautiful! Mirabella looks beautiful, but a bit advanced perhaps. Amy's socks look nice, of course I'd have to learn the provisional cast on technique. Now of course there is a certain reality I am ignoring in my glee right now - I haven't attempted a heel yet. I hear tell that could be my downfall.

Then last night I pulled out this pattern and a ball of Jo Sharp "Rare Comfort Kid Mohair", in colour Jasmine Tea. However before I could do a test swatch TGF looked in askan
ce saying "That doesn't look like crawling into bed and cuddling." I am concerned about the dimensions given in the pattern as, well, frankly the lovely woman in the photo is very slender and I am most certainly am not. In fact because my arms are on the large size (even when I weigh less, I have fairly bulky muscle) it can be challenging to find tops that work on me. This pattern is lovely but very different and wouldn't work with the Jo Sharp yarn. Elann has a beautiful one, but would take more attention and again, wrong yarn. Of course I'm not sure I entirely understand Leigh's pattern but I didn't think I understood short rows until the day before yesterday. However mohair yarn doesn't always do well with frogging, though I do have 5 or 6 balls, and I could get more but not at the same fabulous price (I found these at 1/2 off back in November) nor the same dye lot. Am I crazy for trying it? Probably but well, so what? Well, so what, one might offer is, er, what about school work and work? Yeah. Well, it's still a struggle and quite frankly the knitting is key to my sanity right now. Perhaps that a bit of an inversion in that having many WIPs (works in progress) is the road to insanity. Sigh. But productive insanity, I say. My niece will be kept in homemade knitted garments and hopefully toys as well. Sunny will continue to get long distance hugs this way. The Girl Friend will have scarves, hats, mittens (one day, I promise honey!), and other items to help keep her warm - she chills most easily. And hopefully many friends will continue to be recipients as well. I have so many plans for various folks in my life. I can't blog about them because, well they read this damn thing. Imagine that!

Friday, June 09, 2006

Yes, We Are The Suckers!

(Cue the music )

The phone rings at 12:30am, yes you read that right, freaking A.M. It was Sue, calling The Girl Friend's cell phone. Words like "damn" are uttered. TGF says, if she doesn’t leave a voicemail, it’s nothing big, but if she does it means something is up with one of the boys. Moments pass. TGF foolishly breathes a sigh of relief. As I am about to say that it could take a moment for voicemail to register, the phone beeps, Yes there is a message at this hour just for you, it says, mocking TGF. Sue is telling us about a pair of abandoned kittens. Okay, not exactly an emergency but a note is made to call her back in the morning. Somehow between that phone call and, oh about, 10 hours later, arrangements are made for the kittens to come to the Cedar Street Zoo and Rehabilitation Center.

After going to Jennie’s to make my weekly karmic d
eposit (I’m helping her organize her home) I return home to a dining table full of folks (Sue, Sarah, Eric and Isaiah), and two terribly cute and TINY kittens. From research on the web, Sarah estimates them at about 8 days old. Yes you read that right, 8 days. Their eyes are open – just, their ears are unfolded – barely, and they weight 6 and 6.5 ounces. Yes that’s less bulky than a petit S*zzler steak. So not worth eating weight yet.

Yes, of course I took pictures already. How could one not, I ask you? For the moment their names: Marcel, the white with orange spots, which is French and means “warrior”. We decided that calling him “Creamsicle” just wasn’t working for us, nor for him. The beautiful dark striper, is Sanaa, which is Swahili and means “work of beauty”.

Yes they really fit in these

classic Fiesta teacups.

Lest you think these are really the MUGS we drink our coffee from in an attempt to fool thee, here are the cups next to a standard pint glass.

So life here is filled with bottles, loads of kitten laundry, and some jealousy. Atticus, as TGF blogged about, is less than pleased about HIS mama holding babies. Last night he finally swatted at them, which got him a scolding. Wyatt is quite curious about them, getting very concerned when they cry and always, always wanting to lick them.

I tell you, there is something about feeding kittens by the bottle that just makes the world feel okay. Marcel likes to crawl up on my shoulder and burrow into the nape of my neck, making a nest out of my hair - good times, I tell you.

Next Monday night or Tuesday morning I go off to my school conference, the kittens got here Tuesday night, by Wednesday I told TFG that she was going to have to bring them for a visit at the hotel because I don't think I can go until Saturday without seeing them. Can you blame me??

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Status Update

Some things are better. Really. Hell I even cooked dinner last night. The Girl Friend and I went food shopping the other day and I picked up a few things with a vague notion of what I actually needed for some recipes, figuring I could wing it or pick up the missing pieces once I was ready to cook. Chancing that it would be something she liked, and since I had all the ingredients I made "Polenta-Filled Red Peppers" from The Meatless Gourmet. This book has a ton of great, fairly simple recipes (though simple is not a requirement for me!) with lots of basic ingredient - nothing too exotic (again not a requirement for me). I received this book as a wedding shower gift many many moons ago and it has served me well. Add a salad and some Herb Slab bread from Acme fresh from the corner, and voila - Dinner.

My office, as I may have mentioned, maybe not, is done! Okay there still isn't artwork on the walls. I think Cynthia's painting will work in here, and the two Janet prints that need framing will definitely live here. But, but, curtains are hung, the bed is set up and it looks great! And feels great.

Here to your left is the view from the door. Sorry it's a little dark. Could have sworn I had the flash on.

Here on the right is the view to the left of the door, taken from the diagonal corner.

The bed! My favorite place to sit and study, play on the computer, and write.

As you can see the cats enjoy the bed as well.

I am so happy to have this retreat.

The rest of the updates. I am caught up on my progress notes for work. Major accomplishment. Without J there it will be interesting to see how much I am asked to rewrite. I have mixed feelings about this, as I do think I was learning a lot (hence growth, hence pain, hence my resistance) with the edits. After having my first supervision with R, well, I was reminded that J really did do some good work with me. Such a mixed bag, getting what you ask for.

Except for this week, I usually go to the dog park 4 times a week, which means while it's mostly strolling and frequently stops, I get walking in and I am outside. I have really missed it this week. On a related topic, I am trying to be more aware of what and how much I eat in order to deal with the return of most the weight I lost 2 years ago. It's been about a year since it returned and I am tired of it, especially since the plan was to lose more, not gain it back. Soon that Pilates DVD will find it's way into the desktop computer in my office. There's a reason the floorplan calls for space in the middle of the room!

School. I am trying to frame this as positively as possible, as TGF keeps reminding me. It is hard not to beat myself up for how behind I am, and behind barely describes it. Drowning would be more accurate. However, I am attempting to be positive here. I posted the week 5 response in one class (note - this was due in April!). Have done the reading for week 6 in the same class. This is an accomplishment. I have been posting irregularly to the "journal" portion of my Practicum class. I have a lot to do in so very little time and discipline is not my strong suit. Well it is for some things. The perfectionism and thus the procrasination that has followed me forever are getting old. I am feeling like I really need and am able to do something about it, though I don't know what that is yet. I'm sure I will write more about that later, but now I must get my butt out the door for group supervision.

Update featuring yarn

It's been a time of successes and battles. As previously posted Melissa's square was an uphill battle. I did finally finish Secret Project #2! It was scarf made from 1 ball of Trendsetter Yarns "Muse" in colourway 1477. I originally found this yarn while at the fire sale of Goldman's Yarn in NY, unfortunately there was only the one ball so the scarf is not very longer. However I knew I had to have it because it was perfect for Jennie, the giftee! This yarn is 65% kid mohair, and 35% acrylic.

All in all it was quite fine to work with, though the project took infinitely longer than it should have. I first tried this Feather Lace Scarf pattern that I found on the web. The pattern didn't feel like it had a rhythm and after 2-3 pattern repeats, well I wasn't seeing the pattern! So frogging occurred.

Then I found Rabbit Tracks, and it was a breeze to memorize, and looked really pretty. In trying to find the pattern I found someone else who just finished this pattern as well! Beautiful colour. The pattern called for size 11 needles but I used, um, 8s I think. I mistakenly worried that it wouldn't be wide enough so I increased the number of stitches to be cast on. Foolish. Naive. Anyway I proceeded, fearing more and more that I should have stuck with the pattern, then I discovered a dropped stitch. Oy! Still I didn't frogged. I still can't remember what made me frog but I did. Essentially I knit the scarf at least 1.5 times! This yarn turns out to be fairly sturdy given all the frogging I did so I am doubly pleased with it.

The other thing that made me happy is while the colour looked lovely in a ball it truly comes into it's full beauty when knit up. I will show you.

The last thing I had to do was block which I did, very last minute on Tuesday morning knowing that I would see Jennie that
night. Luckily it dries quickly.

I am quite pleased with it overall, though I wish I had two balls so it could have been longer.

I want to thank The Girl Friend for helping with the photos. Those are her hands one can catch glimpses of in these photos.

Once I finished this scarf, except for blocking I cast on for T'Mane's next outfit. Very exciting! So far it's going very well and rather quickly. I have more than half the back done and I just cast on last Wednesday. The yarn is Sirdar Snuggle DK and is a dream to work with so fair. Soft, good stitch definition.

I am debating finding a way to do two sleeves at once but I don't know if I have 14-inch size 6 needles. Of course circulars would be a better option in terms of navigating with space and all that. I wish I could so something like that with the two fronts also, maybe I can work it out. I hope to have it finished in something like a reasonable time frame.

Well that's about it for now.. Greg, please wake up now.

Progress on Square - On the block

Well I had great ideas for Melissa's block. I decided to use some of the stash I acquired off of Freecycle of Lio*n Brand Homespun because I know she has used this yarn and likes it. I contemplated various stitch patterns and finally decided to make a yarn painting. A very crude yarn painting as it turns out. This is my first attempt mixing colours and certainly my first time using yarn to make an illustration! I ripped and restarted many sections, more than once sometimes. I tried just going free hand and realized that is a HUGE mistake for a beginner. So I sketched out what I wanted to try to do in yarn with some crayons (this did not end the cycle of frogging):

I can assure you that the block looks nothing like this! I realized after numerous restarts and frogging that in order to do something like this again in the future (shoot me now!) I really ought to have done SSK, and K2Tog sort of stitching to give a more graceful look.

This is how it looks just pinned, shot with no flash.

This is how it looks shot with a flash.
Gotta love the flash! Makes it look so much nicer. I doubt very much it will look this flat and pulled together, even after blocking but there it is. The design was inspired by New Hampshire landscape, which is where the recipient lives.