Monday, April 23, 2007

Good Day Sunshine

The Socal weather is finally here. The sun is out and I've had to break out the flip flops.

I took a stroll down Main Street in Santa Monica. It's not Haight Street in SF. My only complaint about LA is that it's at the end of two extremes. Shopping areas are either brand name shopping malls or shopping districts of inconsistent shops spread over many blocks. Main street was the latter, with most shops either hit or miss. It's a whole lot of walking. Perhaps I wasn't in the shopping mood.

The only store that spoke to me was the MOCA shop where I found some nifty cards and some socks. Almost everything in the store made me think of my friends beergeek and Izzy. And it's funny because Izzy once lived in LA and hated it.

I got really hungry and I walked into not 1, but 2 casual cafes and neither of them were too quick about the service so I left. I eventually found a cute little diner and it was worth the extra walking. I had a yummy lunch at Joe's Diner where I encountered Titch, an Australian expat wearing a Boston Red Sock hat. He's been living in the states for the last 20 years and switches his accent back and forth between American and Australian. I had a delicious taco salad, and the service was entertaining and prompt. The dinner menu looks tasty (and half the price of the swankier joints on the street) so I'll probably go back.

In the end I shouldn't be surprised to meet an Aussie in this neck of the woods. Santa Monica reminds me of some of the beach front cities and towns of Australia. The weather is similar, but the beaches are better in Australia (they're pretty hard to beat!)

So today I was a traveller and not a tourist, which you will understand if you've read the yarn harlot's latest book.


Saturday, April 21, 2007

A Glimpse At A Past Life

A long time ago in a land far away I was a film geek. I would watch 2 to 3 films a day, upto if not more than 8 films a week. Nothing made me feel more alive than movies. To this day one of my favorite things in the entire universe is to cry at the movies. More often than not, I am crying in pure joy, happy to have experieneced something in film that mirrors my life in such a way that it makes me feel that there's a kindred spirit in the world and that I am not alone.

When I was a film geek, I felt destined to go to LA and try my hand at the film industry. I got a BA in film, had a small portfolio of crappy student films and a few feeble attempts at screenwriting.

But then I met my husband to be when I was least expecting it and I ended up with him and not going to LA. I feel no regrets about this. One of my favorite things about life is how it often takes totally unexpected paths. If I truly wanted to be in LA, I would have ended up in LA.

But tonight I experienced what life might have been like had I chosen that path. One of my best friends celebrated her new job, a position that moves her to the next step of what turns out to be a career.

Instead of retreating to my hotel room after dinner, I felt inspired to go out, maybe it was that tasty cosmopolitan I had with dinner. So I hopped in a cab and met my friends at the Pig and Whistle in Hollywood. It was like a huge film school party, except that I didn't know anyone. I had a pear cider and became nostalgic for college. This is funny because I suddenly have as much freedom as I did when I was in college, not having a job and all. And it made me realize that I am as happy now as I was in the zenith of my years at university.

Anyway, as it is in LA, the main topic of conversation; especially for someone new to the group, is the discussion of what one does. And it was rather liberating to announce that I am writing a knitting book. Of course knitting to these people is about as ambitious as say breeding children or maintaining a house. And the puzzled faces of the group made me long for a group of knitters who would all nod their heads enthusiastically and offer to knit samples for me.

However I was reminded that there was a time when I used to read scripts and write script notes so I'm going to try that again and maybe do some script reading this week whilst in la la land. Lord knows after those cab fares I could use the cash.

This is all so darned therapuetic.

Que sera sera.


Friday, April 20, 2007

Rebuilding Myself One Day At A Time

Sometimes you just really have to treat yourself. My sister in law is in the beauty business and I went to her salon and had the works, manicure, pedicure, facial and hair. I felt so renewed that I scheduled an appointment for highlights next week.

I feel reborn.

If you find yourself in Santa Monica go to Chu Nin's Beauty Salon on Wilshire in Santa Monica. It's right by the Third Street Promenade. Ask for Erina. She does a phenomenal facial, using all Aveda products, which are so yummy. It was so relaxing that I ended up drooling on the facial table, which was a little embarrassing, but still worth it.

Also noticed something funny about LA. If you're wearing sunglasses, people are more likely to check you out. And there's alwasy the possibility of bumping into a celebrity, so you find yourself checking people out more than usual.

Of course we're pretty jaded about celebrity because where I live we have quite a few and it's rather gauche to gawk at them. I run into the guys from Metallica all the time. James Hetfield is always driving some bomber around and I frequently end up next to him at the stop light, so much so that he might think I'm stalking him. I've seen Lars Ulrich bowling and Kirk Hammett getting angry with a United Airlines desk agent. These Metallica run-ins make me chuckle because when I first discovered that I was moving to Northern California one of my good friends was a Van Halen and Metallica fan and was jealous that I might run into them, which I thought was absurd, but there you go I see them all the time.

So we're now on day 3 of no headaches. But then I haven't really tried doing anything with the knitting book. I'm hoping that these headaches aren't in any way related. I would like to have at least one big apron pattern written before I return home.

I found some new clothes today. Macy's was having a huge sale and for once I've benefitted from being normal sized. All the skinny clothes were gone, leaving my size 8/10 on the sale rack with HUGE mark downs. I got three pair of jeans for the price of 1 really pricey pair. It pays to shop in LA, and there was so much better selection than in my local Macys.

So this evening will be a quiet one. I'm going to put on some new clothes and go downstairs to the lobby for dinner. Then I'm going to knit and watch tv.

Ah the good life.


Thursday, April 19, 2007

Welcome To LA

I haven’t had a headache in two days. Let’s keep our fingers crossed shall we? Considering that two days ago, I had to pull off the freeway and throw up because my head hurt so bad, and have my mom come and rescue me, any thing is a vast improvement.

Staying in Santa Monica. It is gorgeous. We have a room with an ocean view and a balcony. I’m feeling relaxed. No wonder the headaches are going away.

I love traveling. I love lounging around hotel rooms. I’ve got some goodies to munch on, a heap of knitting, some magazines, some bath bombs from Lush. This week is all about relaxing.


Of course that attitude will change the broker I get.

I suppose I could also go to the hotel gym, but let’s not push our luck.

Did I mention that there’s a yarn shop a mere 3 blocks from the hotel?

The only downside is that there isn’t any wifi in the room, I have to go downstairs to the lounge for that, where I will be tempted by fruity cocktails and small plates.

I’ve been reading the new Yarn Harlot book and there’s a lot of talk of traveling. It seems an appropriate read.

OK I kid you not I’m watching the news and there is a high speed chase on tv. Damn I thought that only happened in the movies. Welcome To LA.

Then I went out to dinner with my brother and sister in law. Had some delish sushi rolls. My sister in law is an esthetician and I'm getting my hair and nails done and getting a facial tomorrow. Can't wait. It's all a part of that whole relaxing business.

I think I'm having a l'oreal moment, you know, because I'm worth it.

ha ha ha ha


Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Every other day since Friday I've had a migraine headache. Unfortunately this has put a major dent in my knitting.

We're going to LA. Maybe I just need to get away from it all.

photos to come.


Sunday, April 15, 2007

Just Because You're Not Working Doesn't Mean Things Don't Get Crazy

So last I wrote, our trip to LA had been postponed again.

Friday was largely uneventful. I spent the whole day working on this one knitting pattern and writing another one so my knit nighter friends could knit me some samples.

Just as I finished typing out the pattern I got this horrible headache. Worse than anything I'd ever had before, like tectonic plates moving together in my head. And my arm went dead, totally numb and so did my face and mouth. I was entirely freaked out. Mr. G was still at work and I thought this was just something temporary, and it would go away. I took a shower, but it only got worse. Mr. G called to tell me he was on his way home and I could only cry and explain that my head was killing me.

Mr. G had never seen me in this much pain and insisted on taking me to the emergency room. One there they determined that I showed the symptoms of brain hemmoraging, but that it was probably an atypical migraine.

One cat scan and a spinal tap later: it was an atypical migraine.

So apparently on top of the other annoying problems I have with my body I also get migraine headaches.

We didn't get home from the hospital until 3am. I feel asleep and didn't wake up until 12:30pm. Mr. G had to go back to work again but said I needed to rest and needed to stay in bed. So I slept the whole rest of the day, only stopping for the occasional read and a glass of water. I think yesterday was the first day in a long time that I didn't actually knit.

We've concluded that perhaps I've been stressing myself out about this unemployment business and that I haven't appropriately grieved the old job. I won't argue with that. So I'm going to go hang out with my mom for a few days, get my hair done, do my nails that sort of thing.

guess we'll call it a vacation.


Friday, April 13, 2007

Unemployment Week 2: where the author starts freaking out about money

I'm a lucky girl. I've spent the last week out of work, at home, knitting, writing projects for a book proposal. This is a good thing. Perhaps I have put myself to work to forget the fact that in a few weeks I'll be entirely broke.

And now I'm totally freaking out about it. I know I qualify for unemployment, but how long is that going to last? And don't they make you try to find a job when you're on unemployment? I don't want to go back to work until this book proposal is finished and if I do go back to work I don't just want to choose any job. I want it to be a good job with nice people close to home working less than 30 hours a week... preferably in a crafty setting, but not work weekends.

To alleviate this freakout, a pot of boiling water is on the stove in preparation for a delicious carb-fest, lemon pasta with asparagus, onions, fresh tomatoes and feta.

I'm also knitting another swatch for the book, continuing with the Rowan denim swatch, but trying to make the stitch pattern larger and more spread out, and testing out a larger needle. I've determined that the larger needle is too large and I have to rip out a few rows because I've messed it up. Darn it.

The good news is that I made it to knit night, due to a last minute postponement of my trip to LA. I even took some photos. And I splurged and bought a skein of the Claudia's Handpainted mohair boucle. Somebody slap my wrist.

Anyway if you are a craft-related enterprise and you're hiring: email me.

I'm hoping that Mr. G comes home early from work tonight so that we can drink beer and play video games.


Thursday, April 12, 2007

Mystery Solved

I finally understand why Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan ended up in rehab.

I've been out of work for exactly a week and I'm getting freaked out. I'm trying to enjoy the time, but I'm still beating myself up for getting laid off. To counteract this I'm trying to be as productive as possible. I'm helping Mr. G with things, I'm working on the book. So I guess I get a little nervous when I don't have any plans on the horizon.

it's enough to make you want to get drunk everyday. Perhaps this would have been a problem, if like Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan I was under 25 with gads of money. Imagine having all that time and money and still being bored. To me that's the scariest thing. Boredom seems to be ungrateful for living. There's no excuse for boredom.

The bottom line is that you have to break out of your established pattern and find something new to enjoy.

So tomorrow is a non-knitting day. I'm going to go on a little day trip into the city. I'm going to check out the De Young and hang out in Golden Gate Park, with my camera.

Ok. I'll probably knit when I get home.


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

When in doubt

Start knitting a new pair of socks.

With a fancy handpainted sock yarn.

The Phoenix Socks

To tell the truth though there isn't much doubt around here. I'm feeling good. Been very productive. Visited my brother for his birthday. Got the car serviced. The kitchen is clean and I'm writing patterns. Just have to stay on task. It's important to have rules for yourself or you end up on the couch watching The View, which is as bad as watching the news in the way it fosters anxiety.

Watched the new Sopranos episode. It nearly put me to sleep. Just listened to the Guster album while I was cleaning/running around this morning. Beautiful music. This house has been full of new music lately. Regina Spector, Amy Winehouse, Mika and now Guster.

ok personal insight, trying to find today's personal insight. In some ways I used to be disapointed with myself because I went straight into the job market from college. But in the end it was the right thing because I didn't really know what I liked to do. I guess this is why universities want you to have life experience before persuing certain masters degrees. You have to know what you don't like before you know what you absolutely LOVE.

And when you don't figure this stuff out, you end up repeating it over and over again until you do.

There was a time when I was so frustrated with myself because I didn't know what I loved and what I was good at. There were a few things I liked, but I didn't like them enough to be passionate about them. I didn't feel an irresistable compulsion to write screenplays or to work in film. I felt an irresistable compulsion to be with my husband and to knit.

So I guess I might be moving in the right direction.


Monday, April 09, 2007

Help help help


decisions decisions.

so I'm unemployed right, and I have heaps of free time. I'm knitting up samples for my book and I discover that one of my previous employers is in dire need of a temporary receptionist. This is a previous employer that I quite like and it would be nice to temporarily work there until I go to Japan, in just two weeks. This would mean that I had money for Japan. And it would be temporary...

but I think I'm trying to hold on to security too much. Maybe I should just throw caution to the wind and say no and work on my book, visit with my family that's coming to visit next week and go to LA???

you know if I didn't have anything going on, then I would say yes, but there are lots of fun opportunities and surprises, which may not be had if I was making money.

Book takes priority


Saturday, April 07, 2007

The Cure To All Ills

Tenacious D and The Pick of Destiny

Bless You

Got my wish last night.

After spending the whole day inside Mr. G took me out for sushi.

"To celebrate" he said.

This meant I had an excuse to get out of my pyjamas and into those fabulous jeans I bought the other day. And I felt more motivated than ever to wear makeup. I had been feeling badly about being laid off the day before. I was afraid it was going to change my relationship with Mr G, that he was really let down about my job situation and disapointed in me. So I made myself look extra pretty for him.

Strangely I didn't need to. He was surprisingly happy for me. We had a beautiful dinner together where he told me I was destined for bigger and better things and he wanted me to have the time to work on my book.

So in essence. Everything's ok. In fact, it's better than ok. It's fabulous.

As the song says "You can't always get what you want, but sometimes you might find, you get what you need" and apparently I need lots of free time to knit, care for my husband, and travel.

The joy of the blessing in disguise.


Friday, April 06, 2007

Unemployment Day 1

It all started out well. Got up at 8:30 with Mr. G and made morning tea. Read the blogs, not a lot today maybe because of Good Friday...

neighbors' children bring me a plate of Easter cookies. Super cute. Their mum had to borrow some vanilla extract to make them. They were really yummy.

Clean house, do dishes, start laundry. Watched The Holiday, Then watched The Chronicles of Narnia. Then later watched Before Sunset. At first I was depressed about losing my job. Sad for the loss, but then I was happy to have all this free time. Suddenly the day doesn't seem so short when you know that you don't have to go back to work any time soon.

But then you start to freak out b/c you don't have to go back to work any time soon.

4pm was kinda bad it was probably the sugar crash from all those Easter cookies. And I started to get a little lonely. But then I talked to Mr. G and he's takin me out to dinner. I want sushi, but I have a feeling we're gonna end up at the Outback.

Am I making good use of my time???? In between all the movies I did do a bit of knitting.

Damn this all sounds so boring. Guess I'll actually have to get out of the house or at least get some exercise. Maybe I'm still a little shell shocked.

but i feel better writing this all down


Goal for Monday (the weekends don't count): get out of your pyjamas.

My Little Snowglobe World Is Shaken

A funny thing happened to me last weekend. As I was reaching to pick up my handbag I bumped my head on a bookcase. Mr. G witnessed the head bumping and asked me if I was alright. "No" I said. Not only was I in pain, but bumping my head is usually a harbinger of bad things. Not terrible, just unexpected unfortunate things. When I told Mr. G this he laughed it off and called me silly.

Indeed the first few days after banging my head were fine, uneventful even, but then yesterday I got laid off by the Fabulous Yarn Company. I had an inkling, but perhaps I didn't want to accept it. The bosses were great, very sympathetic and unhappy that they had to lay off an employee. I think they felt worse about it than I did. I'm one to accept things as they come to me, and later one feel awful about them. There are no hard feelings about FYC and I will always say nice things about their yarn.

That said though, there's still disappointment and what does the wise women do when laid off and suddenly unemployed?

She does as the Manolo and goes shoe shopping.

And she buys a pair of jeans because when you find a pair that fits you cannot let them go, even if you're unemployed.

But truly, I'm doing alright, even if my brain couldn't stop thinking last night and I couldn't get to sleep. This time will be a gift b/c I can't really get a new job before I go to Japan and I don't want to find just any job. I want to find the right job. I also want to consider going back to school.

So what am I going to do with the next couple of weeks before Japan?

Well, I'm going to write a book proposal. I have a heap of knitting pattern ideas and I have been collecting the yarn to make them.

I really don't have anything to lose.

Suddenly I feel much better,


Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Yay I have photos for you. The only problem is that they're a little dated. They show works in progress that I have finished. Unfortunately I'm having a hard time figuring out how to photograph myself with a cardigan in good lighting without the assistance of a friend or a tripod. And without having one of those goofy, camera in photo mirror shots.

We can't abide that.

Mr. G has been working like a fiend I see him for about 30 minutes a day. The bad news is that I don't get to see much of Mr. G. The good news is that I get a whole lots of knitting done. I'm really not trying to sound so excited about the positive side of this equation. Not to worry tho. Mr. G and I will get plenty of time together on our trip to Japan in a few weeks.

I'm still trying to find out how to say: tell me where the nearest yarn shop is in Japanese, or any helpful craft/yarn phrases. If you know some Japanese and can help, let me know.

So here are the photos:

This is a special sock in progress.

And now the sock is done. I'll explain why it's so special another time.

I'll give you a hint tho. I have to email The Queen about it.

Here's the cardigan mentioned above, albeit unfinished.

Gotta email the Queen.


Monday, April 02, 2007

It's that time again

We have a never-ending line of politicians seeking the presidency in 2008. I've been trying to decide who to support this early in the game.

It should be noted that I will not support a Republican for president unless he/she says publicly that Bush has led our country astray, and unless he supports a reasonably supportive stance towards our nation's immigrants.

So that leaves me with the dems. And it's been a struggle. As much as I would love to see a lady president, Hillary isn't doing it for me. As I keep mentioning to people, it feels like more of the same. We've had either Bushes or Clintons in the White House for the last 20 years. It's time for some new blood. And Hillary hasn't listed her proposal for the country. I have no idea what she stands for except that she's a woman, state senator of New York, former First Lady, and she's for health care, whatever that means. She hasn't listed any ideas for what she wants to accomplish and how. Which in a large way reminds me of Bush. So in brief, Hillary Clinton: More of the same, in a bad way.

My other problem is that I want to support a viable candidate. I want my guy/girl to win. As much as I love Bill Richardson, he doesn't have the national spotlight. I remember his work with the Clinton administration, I like that he's the governor of New Mexico, but he just doesn't have the national pull to win.

That leaves me with Barack Obama. In fact, I love the guy. He's listed all of his presidential objectives on his website. Even if I feel like his ideas about the health insurance system are a little more international, it seems he's more concerned with the health of 3rd world countries than with the health insurance crisis of the United States. Perhaps he's trying not to step on Hillary's toes. While I do agree that third world countries need our attention, we're long overdue to address our health system concerns at home. Regardless, at least I know where his views are.

I'm still game though. I want to hear what the others have to say, perhaps it's too early in the game to choose. But Obama's got the JFK thing going and the wherewithall to actually lead this country, not simply take charge of it.