Friday, August 31, 2007

Once Upon A Late Friday Night

sleepy. In less than 4 hours I will rise to watch the Aurigids meteor shower with a bunch of other geeks in an izzytart sanctioned meteor gazing partay.

I'm ashamed to say that my kitchen is a mess and we had my parents over AND Mr.G's friends.

I just hope I remember to grab my camera before I lumber out the door.

I can't tell if I'm going to need warm clothes or not? Should I show up in my pjs and bathrobe? it's too hot for a handknitted sweater.

Forget it I should just go to bed.

But I need earplugs b/c Mr. G is racing cars with his friends on the xbox.



Thursday, August 30, 2007

I Just Spent Six Months In A Leaky Boat

Ok, So it wasn't actually a Split Enz show, but The Crowded House show last night was heaps of fun, even if the stupid venue shut down the show just as the crowd was getting warmed up.

I will never again haul my ass down to the South Bay and pay $75/person plus a hotel room to see a show at the Mountain Winery.

I don't care who lives near the winery. If I'm paying $75/ticket I want to hear my band play the two favorite songs I've been waiting to hear all night in the encore.

So if you're thinking of seeing one of your favorite bands at the Mountain Winery wait instead for them to make an appearance at the Fillmore. It will do doubt be less expensive and the show will last for hours.

But still the night was fun mainly for the band, the friends we met up with, and the wine we drunk.

Here's a photo from the show!

I was especially happy that they played Fall At Your Feet. Unfortunately Better Be Home Soon and Weather With You were the ones that got cut off at the end. It was nice to hear a live version of Pineapple Head.


Who Are You People?

Let it be known that I have a stat counter on this blog.

As such I have discovered that there are people who read this blog on a regular basis. This is little surprising to me. I'm sure most of you are friends and or family. But there are a few places where I don't have any direct relatives.

Like Istanbul. Apparently someone in Istanbul really likes to read about Northern California women who knit.

Or Fairfield, California. I don't know a soul in Fairfield.

Or Japan. There's someone in Japan who reads my blog daily. Are you somehow related to my brother's in laws?

Anyway thanks for coming, glad you're interested. Come again soon.

And feel free to comment.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Solar Summer

The heat's finally on. Our house has begun it's part time job as an oven, roasting our houseplants to death. And I'm realizing that my high school reunion is less than six weeks away. Jitter jitter jitter.

I can imagine the conversations now.

"So Gigi, what do you do these days"

"Oh you know, living the American dream, writing a knitting book"

Now normally these conversations become stilted as most of the people I have to explain this to do not knit. But I'm realizing that it helps a lot if I'm wearing a knitted garment. It sort of proves that I'm not a crazy lady, or making this up to sound successful in a strange way.

Which brings me to the biggest problem with this whole reunion thing. What should I wear? It's in early October in a festive atmosphere (read NOT a hotel ballroom) where one can gamble. I have frequented the establishment before and truthfully the attire isn't typically fancy. But one can't look like a schlub in front of one's former classmates.

I think the key thing here is to start with the shoes. And it's going to be boots. Tall knee-high boots. Funny how somethings never change, I practically lived in boots all through high school...

Shit, I'm going to look exactly the same as I did when I was 17. In fact the dress that I want to wear with the boots could have been wearable in high school.

So scratch that. No boots, no black dress. That's just too easy.

What to wear instead????

It has to say I'm hot, but not trying to be hot. So in short, no dresses or skirts.

It's going to be dark jeans and open toe wedges. That gives me an excuse to buy a new top and jacket. Excuse me while I talk to myself about this.

Alright I feel better now...

Oh great, now I have to figure out what to knit for the damned thing. Hard to imagine in this heat. And I only have 5 weeks to make it. Must consult Lace Style. Yeah that's the ticket.


No Sleep Til Brooklyn

Thursday, August 23, 2007

raindrops keep falling on my head

I'm having a cranky moment.

It's only temporary.

It's a momentary pity party.

There's nothing I can do about it.

Except put a cheesy romantic comedy on the dvd.

excuse me while I go beat up a pillow or something.

How come they never show the "after" of a romantic comedy? They spend the whole movie getting the two diametrically opposed lovers together and they never even give you a list of their trials and tribulations. You get to assume that they have their ups and downs, but you always leave the theater with the fairy tale happy ending, feeling good about living and confident that things always work out in the end.

And I am one of those youngsters that falls for that sentimentality. But right now, I'm not always so sure that everything works out alright.

Like When Harry Met Sally, arguably my favorite movie. Sure they get their wedding cake with the chocolate sauce, on the side. But this couple gets married in 1988. That's nearly 20 years ago. I want to know what happened. And I don't think it's pretty.

But I suppose that's not why we go to the movies. Because the messy life is what we're living now and what we want to escape from on dvd.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007


I've managed to keep a potted plant alive since June 19th!

Maybe next I should get a dog.

Well let's not get carried away...


Monday, August 20, 2007

Clean Sweap

Today was a housework day. I hardly did anything on the book. I bought a new piece of furniture last week and one must do some rearranging to make full use of the new item. I got rid of some books, moved books, looked at books. books books books. And after 90 minutes my living room looks 62% more liveable. There's something therapeutic about this process for afterwards a calm came over me that I usually associate with a yoga session. And this good feeling (cue Violent Femmes) lasted the whole day. A stillness of mind, a realigned spirit. It remains even now, after grocery shopping, meal cooking and bill paying. I suppose this means I'm going to have to clean more. Strange how I also usually associate this frame of mind with knitting... hmmmm.

Since I was organizing, I figured I might as well go to the Container Store to get some magazine boxes. Which meant I also had an excuse to swing by the bookstore and pick up the new Vogue Knitting. It's beautiful and all, but it's expletively annoying that the patterns I want to knit are the downloadable ones off the Vogue Knitting website. You know what I'm talking about -all those beautiful patterns at the front of the magazine? Gorgeous, simple use of intriguing stitch patterns and silhouettes. Quelle suprise. Still, I'm glad I got it.

I've developed something of a coffee habit. In that I stopped by Peet's Coffee to read my Vogue Knitting. It was lovely. I was wearing a sleeveless cotton top and it was warm enough that I did not require a cardigan. Apparently there is such a thing as summer in Marin County. For about 40 minutes I felt like I was on vacation, the whir of the freeway substituting the crashing sway of the ocean. My arms even got a little tan, well at least my cluster-freckle version there of.

I took a moment from the cleaning to take a few photos of the few knitting projects I'm able to show you. Socks are my escape from book knitting. I'm not a fancy sock knitter. People send me sock patterns and sock books, but I'm usually happy with a simple rib, or endless stockinette. Socks for me are the thoughtless project. I get frustrated when socks carry on too long because I want to move off onto the next sock project, the new superduper magical hand dyed sundae of a sock yarn. There's no time for cabling in my sock project. That's what scarves and sweaters are for.

So voila:

These are the finished Phoenix socks, which I started to cheer myself up after I got laid off:

They certainly did the trick. It was hand-dyed Schaeffer Anne. It's beautiful to knit with, but it's fine fingering weight and it took dog's years to finish. I'm happy how similar the two socks look. And indeed I have resurrected myself since losing the FYC job. I was reading through my book submission materials and I'm pretty far along.

Ironically, I just have to get the silly thing organized.

Just the thought of that freaks me out. I'm at a point where I could actually submit the book proposal. Ack. The only thing stopping me is myself. Weird. I see the light at the end of the tunnel. I didn't think I'd be here this soon. I should be celebrating.

Back to socks:

Here is sock one of the Page Mill Farm hand dyed yarn. Sock two has been cast on, but has been neglected in the name of book knitting for a while

Never have I been more satisfied with a sock yarn. It knits up quickly and have a beautiful loft. The colors are varied and vibrant. Dreamy.


Sunday, August 19, 2007

Uh, I Feel Sick

That's what my mom says whenever she is presented with something she doesn't agree with or doesn't want to do. It's always said in good humor. But really right now, I feel sick. A little queasiness to the tummy right now. I don't know if it's the bbq I just ate or the Thai food I had for lunch, but I'm not feeling so good.

Maybe it's that I just cast on the Tulip Jacket and I used the incorrect cast-on method and it looks crap. So I've totally undone the first 8 rows. Ripping back never feels good. Monsieur G is once again on the Xbox, testing out the new John Woo video game. I don't think there are enough bullets in all of America to account for all of the shots in this game, but I'm not so into the shooter games anyway.

So I'm in the craft room again procrastinating when I should be working on the book. I've made some good progress in the last couple of days. Now I'm working on two full-size projects at the same time -including an entirely *new* one. Monsieur G wants to see more physical proof, actually writing of the book. How convenient that our printer is out of ink!

But still I'm hoping that I'll spend a sizeable amount of time tomorrow going through the submission guidelines and typing out my official responses.

Otherwise this Sunday was rather uneventful. It took me most of the morning and early afternoon to boot up the old brain. I found a way to watch season 4 of Kath and Kim and got caught up on Flight of the Conchords. hardy har har.

Maybe I'll procrastinate some more tomorrow and take some knitting photos. But for now I'm on a roll on a story I want to write about knitting geeks.


Saturday, August 18, 2007

Long Saturday

It's 10:53pm. I'm hiding out in the craft room whilst the husband and his friends play zombie video games. I'm too tired to knit, too tired even to watch a movie (a pile of recent romantic comedies no less), but somehow I'm not too tired to stretch the laptop to the end of my fingertips and rattle out a few words.

The firewood order for winter arrived today. I know it's August, but if I wait until November to get firewood it will be too wet and too expensive. Now I have well-seasoned pine, walnut and oak kicking it in my garage. Loading the firewood in the garage was easy work, especially with all the help from my friends. I can't believe I even considered hiring someone to assist. I may not even be sore tomorrow. It makes me wish it was October already and raining so that I could knit in front of the fire.

Had lunch with my fellow firewood friends. A lunch of toasted bagels and cream cheese. I was on a total carb overload, which I probably why I required a nap in the middle of the afternoon. After the nap I went Target, the French store and hung out with the only local friend I have with kids and it was an eye-opening experience. In a good way. I am blown away with everything she and her husband are doing and how well behaved and pleasant their kids are. Makes me want to become a parent tomorrow. I know it's not all shopping and slurpees, but I'm inspired nonetheless. Some people say that a person becomes 80% less interesting when they have kids. But J and J prove that wrong 1000 times over.

I'm sleepy, maybe I'll turn down the lights and watch Catch and Release.


So tired, tired of waiting, tired of waiting for you...

Friday, August 17, 2007

Crazy Week and It's Not Over Yet

In the space of one day a good friend died of skin cancer, another good friend gave birth and I found out that my brother's having a baby girl.

All of this stuff has only started to hit me now, a day later. I can't stop crying. I love the bittersweetness. The sharp pain of tragedy with hope for the future. It's all one and the same thing. One leads to the other. Despite the tears I feel more whole and comforted by the universe's consistency. Though I doubt that it's a comfort to those who are more directly affected.

This evening I felt drawn to more earthly comforts. I bought the Once movie soundtrack which makes me want to see the movie even more and elicited full-out sobbing on the drive home. I also got When Harry Met Sally on dvd, because I used to own it on VHS and I haven't had a video player in years. It was like watching it for the first time all over again. I even cried at the end.

I feel a lot better now.


(cue the Rentals)
Oh sweetness, I need some tenderness, tend-er-ness

Monday, August 13, 2007

This Is More Like It

I've had my head in the clouds for the last couple of weeks. Change is imminent and I've been acting out like a toddler still learning the meaning of the word no. But that's all over and I've become more disciplined again.

Finished another pattern for the book today. Searched out and found a new piece of furniture off Craigslist and got it for less then half the value. Fingers crossed that I'll be able to fit it into my car.


I'm cleaning the craft room. This time it's messy from actual use, a nice change of pace for me.

But that's not all folks. I also went out and socialized, taking coffee with my knitting partner-in-crime Izzytart. I'm going to have to do that more often. It keeps me motivated knowing I have to get a whole bunch of stuff done before I can go and meet up with Izzy.

The strangest thing happened today too.

I got a false start getting out the door for coffee. I had to put gas in my car, but once I got to the gas station, I found that I had forgotten my wallet. Instead of berating myself I wondered what the universe had in store for me since I had made such a stupid mistake. Then driving down the 101 towards Izzy's work, I realized I was superbly early, so I turned around and went to Barnes and Noble to pick up the new issue of Interweave and Craft. I stopped by the craft section to see if any new titles were out and found a man perusing a knitting book who wasn't Warren of Marin Fiber Arts fame. I wanted to pester the man, but didn't want to disturb his knitting book reverie. So I grabbed my magazines and headed to the counter where a nice middle aged gentlemen rang me up. Gazing upon my purchases he looked at me over his glasses and said "Knitter aye?" (all Canadian style) and I nodded and smiled. He got a knowing gleam in his eye and admitted, almost sheepishly.

"I'm a knitting widow"

It was the highlight of my day. I wish I had recorded it, the way he described his partner's knitting habit. It was full of respect and awe, an appreciation of the peace that fulfills her when she knits. I hope whoever that lady is knows what a lovely partner she has. He even went so far as to say that I should submit my knitting book to Interweave Press. And he even knew who that was.

I'm back on the horse. Giddee up m.f.


Sunday, August 12, 2007

The End of the World Is Near

My husband asked me to play tennis with him.

I went, I played.

I actually enjoyed myself.


Saturday, August 11, 2007

Isotope Rocks

If only I could spend every Saturday morning hanging out in the city with a coffee from Bluebottle and new comics at Isotope. I could, but the knitting book would never get finished and I would always be broke.

It was lovely hanging out with beergeek and izzytart. They make the ride to the city enjoyable even with bridge traffic. They maximize the German engineering of their Spaghetti Monstered Bug. One keeps an eye out for traffic calling out blind spots while the otherdrives, veering around unsuspecting drivers of questionably engineered vehicles, cursing all the way.

Plus they are the best comic book enablers, giving you the inside dish on every writer and artist. Also many thanks to James for putting aside some things for me -your email got stuck in my stupid yahoo junk mail folder.

I ended up getting: Faker #2, Fables trade #4 (which made izzytart gush with nostalgia), Glister the new Andi Watson (!!!), and Lucifer trade #3.

I reread Faker #1 before reading Faker #2 and enjoyed it way more the second time around. The first time it seemed like a bunch of whiney college kids, but on second read the subtle hints of the story peeked out and I appreciated it much more. Faker #2 did not disappoint -it's funny and disturbing, can't wait for #3.

Now I'm working on the Fables trade, which I have a feeling will break my heart. I still have a bunch of stuff to read from the last time I bought comics, but I'm getting a feel for what stuff I really love to read.

thanks again to beergeek and izzytart for breaking in another geek.


Friday, August 10, 2007

Now this is what I call a Friday night.

An Indian Feast of Lamb Korma, Mango Chutney and Naan, plus lots of leftovers for Sat. lunch.

And The Elder Scrolls IV on the Xbox.


and tomorrow morning a trip to Isotope with Izzytart and Beergeek!!!! Yay!!!

I am very spoiled indeed.


Thursday, August 09, 2007

Wasn't I Talking About This With Someone???


yay for new Michel Gondry.

And there's a new Wes Anderson movie coming...... even if it does star Adrien Brody.


Wednesday, August 08, 2007

On A Lighter Note

I've been hiding this information for quite some time. I've let it slip here and there, but I can officially announce that:

In the Simpsons Movie, I am the sound of Marge Simpson's knitting.

Those short clickity clacks are my doing.

It's my small claim to fame.


Marie Antoinette Syndrome

Hung out in the city again last night. I'm envious of all of the old houses, the public transportation, the walking distance to everything, and the endless possibilities.

Past fantasies. Forgotten realities. I'm taking so much for granted it's just silly. I'm learning more and more what a ridiculous woman I am in the face of change. How I take perfectly good opportunities and ruin them with weakness.

I should be strapped to a chair in front of a computer getting all of the real work done, instead of distracting myself constantly. I need a non-internet connected computer. Or to be stuck in a shack in the middle of Oregon with a generator, camp stove, paper, and pen. I am so undisciplined.

But this ennui is a temporary place setting for what is soon to come, swiftly and without warning.

I hope that I will be stronger for it.


Monday, August 06, 2007

The Fog Persists

Spent the morning at the Weeds-like suburban mall.

After window shopping every store, I plopped myself down in an Adirondak chair that was situated in front of a gated fire pit. Seriously, a fire pit at a shopping mall, in August. It's called living in Marin County. I should just take these things for granted like everybody else.

Some people would have read the paper. I read a graphic novel. Slow News Day by Andi Watson. More satisfying than a beer on an Australian beach that was.

As lucky as I get to be lounging around on a Monday, there are some people who are not so lucky. As much as I support the troops in Iraq and as much as I don't blame them for the mess our government has gotten us into, I'm still pissed off that we're in Iraq and there's seemingly nothing we can do about it. At least until this bozo gets booted out of office, if we manage to elect a pro-phased-pullout president.

So I'm going to see a documentary. And I'm going to write to my political representatives and I'm going to research future protests. (why don't we protest more often in this country? We're not angry enough and we are too easily distracted, and it doesn't help that our news outlets ignore what's going on in the real world and instead scare us all with sensational bullshit, bloody hell I have to go overseas to get real news these days).

so yeah if anyone wants to go see this documentary let me know.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Sunday Catch Up

It is cold and foggy today. Seems more like March than August. But that's good because I've been watching a strange documentary about Japanese host and hostess club called The Great Happiness Space. It follows an Osaka host club and it's lady patrons. Oddly enough, the hostess club is in the same district where I stayed back in May. It's called Minami, in case you speak Japanese well enough to find these places.

Here are some photos to refresh your memory:
This is Minami in the daytime, when everyone who actually lives there is hungover.

Also here are some photos from my latest trip in Vancouver. They're kind of boring because really I was just there to hang out and be silly. But still Vancouver is a beautiful city.

This one is taken from the outdoor cafe at the Vancouver Gallery. They had a great exhibit featuring artists from impressionism all the way to surrealism. My favorite was the huge hallway of Rodin sculptures. I always tear up at the Age of Bronze.

I'm a sucker for the color of leaves in the sunlight. I'm going to save this photo for the next time I want to dye my hair red.

And let me introduce you to a movie star of tomorrow, my pal Lucy:

and one last little thing.
I was lounging in the backyard of one of Gabrielle's neighbors when a tiny little pinecone landed on my knee.
I wanted to take it home with me, but really what the hell am I going to do with one teeny pinecone, so I took a photo of it instead.

So what did we learn on our trip to Vancouver?
#1: Beer and wine do not mix