Sunday, February 26, 2006

How do you get to Carnegie Hall?

$939 and airfare.

That was what one of my fellow group singers quipped as we talked about our experience. If you can perform and can convince someone to book you, you can perform at Carnegie Hall. Hate to bust your bubble, but there it goes. It all comes down to money.

But I was glad I spent that dinero for the opportunity. During tech rehearsal, we got the chance to stand on stage and wiggle and fidget like a bunch of elementary school kids. You look out and think, "I'm in the same place where Tchaikovsky, Bernstein, Horowitz and Yo-Yo Ma have performed. Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald sang here." And you're standing there with your friends and fellow singers in that same place! It does two things: makes you damn proud and makes you determined to do your best.

During rehearsal at the hotel, Tim warned us not to react to the weepy parts of the program. "Think of anything! Don't pay attention to the narrators! Don't listen to the words! You cry and you lose your voice. Think enchiladas!" Sure enough, there's a song the sopranos and altos do that is a daughter's cry to her mother who is now gone. Guaranteed to turn on the faucets. I sing tenor so I'm free of singing this, but I have to watch them sing it. I sit attentively on my stool and stare at the hairline of the guy next to me.

"Come to me, mother, again in my dreams"

Enchilada, enchilada, enchilada....

"You left an emptiness no one can fill."

Enchilada, enchilada, enchilada...

"Oh comfort and hold me once more while I weep."

I'm so glad I'm not having to look at the audience...enchilada, enchilada, enchilada

It worked like a charm.

The concert really capped a busy day. Earlier, I went downtown to Knit NY to knit on the Olympic sweater and meet up with a couple of my fellow knitters from the GLBT Knit List. Liz and Jeri arrived around 2 to chat and show projects and put faces to the names we see in our mailbox. Liza's showing Jeri a swatch while the Olympic sweater is having a rest. I had to break it to them that I couldn't stay longer than 3 as I had to get back to my hotel to change and be ready for the concert at 3:45, not 5 as I had thought earlier. While it was brief, it was a great gathering, one West Coaster meeting two East Coasters. I reached the neckline shaping of the sweater in the process; whee!!

The Olympic sweater is done!!

Like any creatrix I'm looking at my design and thinking about what I could have done to improve it. But it's done! It's done! Now I can go take a well-deserved nap and massage my arms.

Go Team Wales!

Knitlympics Last Day -- @$%^&^ Zippers!

Last night I got the sleeves done and headed straight for the front steek to put in the zipper. One half went in smoothly, but it took SIX tries to get the second one in with the teeth pointing in the right direction. It looks like hell. I was too tired and too pissed off to try again. What the hell was I THINKING??

The sleeves blocked beautifully. Today is assembly day, adding the pockets last. No problem!!

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Knitlympics Day Eight - NYC Day Three

We're on the home stretch! Our goal was met and then some, setting us up for the final knitathon of the sleeves at the shop. We're fighting the aftereffects of an asthma attack. Getting out into the fresh air and a less dusty environment will help that immensely. In the meantime, we continue with our jaunt to NYC

The early retirement to bed did the trick. I was able to get a full night's sleep, which improved my mood immensely. Rehearsal was in the morning, a runthrough complete with narrators and soloists to polish us up even more. My voice was tired afterwards, but I had energy to pursue my newfound quest to find a leather coat.

When we arrived in New York City Thursday, the temperatures were in the balmy 40's and 50's F. This morning they were in the teens. Some streets were okay to walk in but others had the wind blowing great guns, threatening to freeze me into a Duffycicle that could barely squeak. I had brought along my DNA scarf just in case and it kept the wind from stealing my voice.

My goal was to reach Macy's and see if they had any leather coats. When I got there, I was impressed by the store's size, but more amazed that they still had wooden escalators on the upper floors. They were the ones that had the claws at the top and bottom to clear the grooves of the steps. Stepping over them was a challenge. My excursion came up fruitless, however. No leather coats. The girlie in me liked the vinyl bags but didn't pick one up then. Bad move.

When I went out on 34th street to brave the wind, I spotted a leather shop. Joy! I tromped over there and found myself in the most helpful hands of a gentleman who promptly started helping me try on leather blazers. I have broad shoulders, a broad belly, not much tit, and a broad back. It took a while to find the right coat to fit me properly. It was a beautiful experience being surrounded with all that leather...mmmmmmmm.....

I started on the sleeve shaping of the front of the Olympic sweater and knitted furiously through the evening. Tomorrow is the performance, so rest was important for the rest of the day. I didn't get to see Central Park, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, or any other attractions, but I have my leather coat. I am pleased.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Tremors of Panic

I calculated the number of rows I have to do versus what I have done on the sleeves. 58 rows done. 80 rows to go, not counting the section of adding length to the sleeve. Two more Olympic days. Ew. Good thing I stocked up on movies. Some observations while I sat in a panic at work.

The endeavor seemed doable. I'm at the panic point. I switched from Balenes to Addi Turbos to speed things up and my arms are starting to ache, especially purling. Back to the Balenes.

The endeavor would have been easier if I had staff. Instead I took up the challenge as a solo. Like a skier from Bermuda doing the alpine ski jump without a coach.

Cats are not staff.

I lost a couple of evenings to exhaustion as my body readjusted itself to Pacific Time from Eastern Time. I'd call that a hurdle. Tonight, tomorrow, and Sunday are what's left of my knitting time. Goal for the end of today: have at least half the second set of increases done (8 rows of the first section, 24 of the second section, adding up to 32 rows on both sleeves). Coffee, Duchess of Duke Street, movies I've seen. Keep the cats at bay. Save eating lunch for while one is doing work instead of during lunch break.

I'm feeling a cold coming on. It didn't help that the office had the carpets cleaned and the ensuing dust raised from people shifting objects off the floor and cleaning their desks went straight into my lungs. They feel icky.

Food is overrated.

Obviously I'm letting this get to me. It's only a's only a sweater...

But a gold medal button from the Yarn Harlot would be so cooooool! What are you doing writing in your blog right now? You're working the muscles that you use to knit! Stop it!

It's ONLY a sweater!

Time for a break....

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Knitlympics Day Seven - NYC Day Two

Before I put in this entry, I want to be clear that I am home now. I got a nice email from a reader wishing a good time in NYC. Thanks! I did have a good time but opted to not be connected with the Web because I'm such an addict about checking email, surfing, checking my email again, cleaning out my quarantine box, and checking my email. Last night I was so tired I went to bed after feeding the cats and slept 12 hours. I'm much better now and definitely more coherent, which trust me is a very good thing. So back to our heroine's story at hand....

The day did not start well. After eating, we all tramped up to our hotel rooms. I shared a room with three of my fellow choristers, one of whom had already arrived and settled in by the time we arrived. We didn't want to disturb her, so we quietly set our suitcases aside, changed in the shaded light of the closet, and went to bed. We were all too tired to realize our first mistake: no one knew where the thermostat was or had done anything to reduce the room's temperature.

I was told New York was going to be cold. "Dress for cold," I was warned. "It will be cold!" It may have been outside, but in our hotel room, you could strip down and have a sauna bath. There were lofty comforters on the bed so that you could stay nice and warm. My bedmate got my share quickly. Toss carefully. Turn carefully. Sigh. Stick one leg out from under the bed sheet. Find a cold spot. You'd think after being tired from a flight one would fall asleep right away. Nope. The last time I saw the clock it was 2 am.

The night was punctuated with snores from a roommate in the other queen bed. I had earplugs in for that contingency (with a dozen spares--one can't have too many earplugs when rooming with others), but I could hear her through the plugs. Ignore the snores. Focus on trying to sleep. Count your heartbeats; that's a way of doing it. I wafted in and out of steamy sleep, wishing that I could just go lie outside on the roof. When it was 6 am, I lay in the bed as the sound of rush hour traffic hummed and honked outside. By 6:30, I had had it. There was no way I was going to get to sleep. So I quietly dressed, gathered my purse and knitting for the morning jaunt, and went to hunt up a latte.

I found a Starbucks around the back of the hotel, got a paper and latte, and camped in a window seat where I could watch the commuters making their way to work. If there's a lovely way to start the day slowly, it's with a cup of hot beverage in hand and an advantageous location for people watching. But my poor sleep-deprived brain didn't register that as part of their garb they had umbrellas and rain-type gear. It was too good to sit and sip in the coolest part of the place, letting all that sweat evaporate while watching. I saw people in leather blazers and thought, "That would be cool to have. And where else but here to get it!" While I was perusing the paper, I saw that Bloomingdales was having a sale. There! There's my morning destination. I finished my latte, folded up my paper, and headed out for Bloomingdales.

When I caught the subway, there was no rain. When I went aboveground, it was raining steadily. I had brought an umbrella but it was nestled comfortably in my suitcase. *dope slap!* I was also early. Bloomingdales didn't open until 10 am, so I had time I had to kill. Since I didn't pick up a pastry at Starbucks, I went in search of a place to eat, which isn't hard in Manhattan.

A quick dive into a variety store yielded a cheap umbrella that at least kept me dry. At 61st and Lexington, I found a corner cafe with a very reasonable menu. I went in and sat at the counter, hungry, sweaty, and damp from the rain. Bobby the waiter served me water, hot tea and extra napkins. I ordered a spinach and feta omelet, something my still painful gums could handle. While I waited, I watched people in the mirror that stood against the wall behind the counter and listened to the conversations around me. Locals visited here--a good sign. I talked with Bobby a little and started a conversation with a woman three stools down. Turned out she had sung opera but had been out of it for a while. The omelet arrived, stuffed with spinach and glorious feta. More conversation. I told her of the performance coming up. She said she'd try to get a friend to go, someone she's been trying to convince to join the NYC Gay Men's Choir, then she left for work. I finished my omelet and headed to Bloomie's.

Bloomingdale's was what I expected to a certain degree. Many designer clothes. Very clean, reminding me of Nordstrom. The women's large size department was in the basement. I thought that was rude. They had no leather coats to speak of. By the time I got out of there, my feet were hurting and I needed to get back to the hotel in time for rehearsal.

The concert was divided into two parts: "When We No Longer Touch" was to be done first, then "Sing For The Cure". The rehearsal for "Sing" was scheduled for the afternoon on Friday, morning on Saturday, which meant opportunities to sleep for our group. I returned to the hotel in time to rest a little before going down. I was hot in my turtleneck shirt so I changed into my t-shirt which I had been using as my night shirt. The only t-shirt I had brought. I was cooler, but it also was gaining more of my sweat. Ugh.

I won't go into the rehearsal details, as most of it is pretty dull stuff for reading and I didn't note down some of the things the director Tim said that were pretty amusing. I will say that during the rehearsal the director lost his balance after jumping off the podium and ended up in my lap. "Oh, I'm sorry, are you okay?" he says. "Ohhh baby!" I murmured. He gave me a little kiss, then got up. "I just love redheads!" he quipped, then went back to the business at hand. I'll bet there were some tenors who were just greeeen with envy! Yeah, right. 'Nuff said.

After rehearsal, I was hot, tired, hungry, and feeling a little crawly inside. My temper was getting short and the prospect of going out on the town that night did not really appeal to me at all. We went to the food court at Grand Central Station (which was next door) to find dinner. I found some and quickly sought out a quiet corner where I and others could eat. The feast? Sesame chicken, stir fry beef, and rice. I scarfed it down, hoping that would help settle my mental mood. But when a fellow chorister started to talk my ear off, I felt that familiar panic again. I needed a break. I HAD to have a break! I would have a breakdown and say things I would regret if I didn't get out of the noise, the chaos, and the attention. It didn't matter if the room was hot; it was quiet, it held my medication, it was safe. I told my fellow choristers with me I wasn't going out that night and fled for my room. I was able to give my Broadway ticket to another chorister to try to sell. When asked why, I told him I needed space very badly.

The room was silent. I took my medication and stripped off for bed. I pulled out my knitting and worked on the front of the sweater. Knit, knit, knit. Purl, purl, yarn over, knit 2 together, purl, purl, knit, knit, knit..... Calm. Silence. Stitches forming in my hands. Fabric falling from the needles. One stitch. One more stitch. Breathe. Breathe again. Deep breath. A drink of water. Another drink. Knit more then turn to purl across. Work pattern at the markers. Finish another row. Soft blue wool under my fingers. The quiet click of the needles. I find the thermostat and turn it down as far as it will go. One of my roommates comes in and after a short chat settles down to read before going to bed. We both go to sleep early. I am comfortable at last and sleep the sleep of the dead.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Knitlympics Day Six - NYC Day One

The 8:30 am flight to Chicago ended up being the 11:45 am flight. A line of thunderstorms kept all flights grounded at O'Hare, so while our flight was late it meant that our departure flight was also delayed. We had less than half an hour to run from one gate to the next (fortunately not a long run). We took off with a flock of teenage girls that had more air in their heads than the plane's tires. By the time we got to LaGuardia, it was nearly 10 pm eastern time. It was good to land and stretch and get away from the airheads. I was dressed for cool weather so when I got to LaGuardia I was drenched.

I flew with the bulk of the Confluence Chorus group, so the waits and flights weren't interminable. I had a chance to talk with Renee's wife Donna, who is a weaver and knitter. She was working on a cabled vest for Renee in beautiful heathered grey 2-ply wool while we were traveling. I had a chance to chat with her about weaving and weaving measurements vs. knitting terms. I learned:

1. Sett is not the same as wraps per inch. The sett is the number of warp threads per inch depending on the type of weaving pattern you're going to do. A basic weave sett is roughly half the measurement of wpi, because you're leaving spaces between the threads.

2. Weaving yarn, especially warp yarn, is treated so that it can handle the constant friction of the shuttle. Some yarns are treated with a substance that washes out later. It's something to watch out for when buying weaving yarns for knitting projects.

I cast on the Knitlympic sweater front the night before so that I could work with two sets of needles for the edging. The border requires that the cast on edge be picked up with the next row of stitches to make a picot edge. The rest has a border along the steek where the zipper will go, so the front isn't entirely mindless. By the time we landed in LaGuardia, I had finished one skein of Rowanspun and knitted up 13 1/2 inches of the front.

More tomorrow....dreams of leather and getting a full night's sleep....

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

A Path To Understanding

I leave for NYC tomorrow and I'm nervous as all get out. Most of it is excitement but part of it is the performance. I don't feel ready. Even knowing I'll be in the middle of a huge choir I'm still not ready. I sing First Tenor in the program, lower First Tenor in our only TTBB piece, "Livin' Out Loud" (my favorite and I hope sung at my wake). I'll sing through it today while I'm packing and hopefully be less nervous. Being with my friends from choir will help a lot.

Reid sent me an article he had written 5 years ago about what factors made his transition from female to male smoother. It made me think about what made me more accepting of my own orientation.

I didn't fully accept myself until April 1994 when I realized that my affection for my best friend from high school was more intimate and sexually directed than a usual relationship between friends. I didn't come out to friends until later that year; I came out to my relatives when I joined the Portland Lesbian Choir in 1999. There was a bond within that group that gave me the courage to tell my sisters and brothers I was a lesbian and it gave me the confidence to pursue my desires.

But I didn't really feel a family bond until I joined Confluence Chorus. I enjoy women, but I really enjoy the company of men. When I'm at a mixed party, I gravitate toward the men. Singing with Confluence gave me a sense of wholeness that I had not felt at any other time. The group is comprised of heterosexuals, gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender folk. I have learned so much from this family of singers and gained so much understanding of the other cultures of queer life that if I had to leave it would wrench me more than if I had to sever ties with my blood family.

When I was with the PLC I identified myself as lesbian, but I was truly bisexual. I had said early in my life that I didn't care who I loved as long as the love was mutual. Gender had nothing to do with it. But I didn't dare identify myself that way within the PLC or with some lesbians for fear of being ostracised as not being part of the "club". In Confluence, I could embrace my bisexuality. I could be me and know that I was loved as a person who happens to be bisexual.

We sing "True Colors", which Cyndi Lauper sang in the 80's. It's a song that tells the audience we care about you no matter who you are. We don't judge you by your orientation, your race, your creed. It's you we care about and we embrace you. For those going through transition in our group, it's a very moving song. We sing it at our retreats and there are always some who are so moved by the spirit it raises they can only mouth the words as the tears flow (I'm one of them).

So I hope we take that spirit with us to New York and project it in our voices. Our group is a microcosm of Confluence. We have straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender members representing Confluence in this concert. We will show our true colors and bring our joy to share.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The back is done!

Right as the US won the gold in the Combined Alpine Skiing, I finished the bindoff of the back. Tomorrow I'll cast on for the front and block the back.

Knitlympics Day Five

The day flew by thankfully. I spent most of it training someone on the system they'll be using instead of the old system. This morning I had the Percocet sleepies and was falling asleep at my desk. Not a good thing. Tomorrow I get to clean clothes, clean my kitchen, and pack for New York. Between dish and clothing loads I'll get to knit. I'm three inches from the last armhole decreases; eight more to go before I start the shoulder shaping.
I got a nice ecard from one of my college buds and her family. No flowers, some candy from my coworkers, and a couple of paper cards. I sent one to Reid. The more I learn about him, the more he amazes me. We have marvelous conversations to and from chorus about politics, religion, people in general, past choir experiences (we sang in the Portland Lesbian Choir but he was gone when I joined), and cats. You can read about him here.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Knitlympics Day Four

A workday so not much knitting going on. I may knit tonight, depending on how I do. I had oral surgery last week and the area is tender, more so after I eat or talk too much. I had to resort to the more heavy duty drugs so I may end up sitting stoned in my chair while watching the Olympics.

This business with the Western media and how they're interpreting the riots going on in Muslim countries, neighborhoods, etc. I listen to the commentary and can't figure out why they don't understand why there is such a stink about the Danish cartoon portraying the Prophet Mohammed. In my mind it boils down to this: the Islamic faith prohibits any visual depiction of the Prophet. None. Not even in positive images or teaching materials. None. Period. Christianity doesn't have that prohibition; Jesus Christ is depicted everywhere from Bible illustrations to keychains, statues, and tattoos. A cartoon of Jesus doing something blasphemous would raise a stink, but depicting Mohammed is most definitely a no-no.

Tomorrow will be the last workday before I head east. It will be hard to stay focused. Wednesday is cleaning, preparing, and packing day. The hair will be done, the outfits chosen, and the packing list gone over once, again, and again. The perfect handbag will hold the essentials and the knitting bag will ride with me on the plane. I will have to go through my tools to make sure I don't carry anything that will have to be left behind. That would be a major boo hiss.

Knitlympics Day Three

The Carnegie Hall jitters are growing. Sunday was the last rehearsal. We're rough but hopefully the rehearsals we have in NYC will solidify our sound. We're all excited about the trip and a little worried about the weather (they had a nor'easter this weekend that dumped a foot or more of snow along the coast). But there are good signs. A fellow chorister sold me a used Coach handbag that was exactly what I've been looking for. She got some spending money in the process. I'm up to the armhole shaping on the back. I'm making very good progress so far. I'm trying not to push myself too hard and injure myself. The tendonitis was not completely healed so it's been flaring up. Judicious massage of my arms and shoulders have kept it in check.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Knitlympics Day Two

I ended up watching the opening ceremonies last night as I was working on my sweater. Would someone please tell NBC's head of camera shots that if you're going to show something that is designed to be seen as a whole and is done on a platform that's as big as a football field that it's much more effective and enjoyable for the viewer if you don't do FIFTY BAZILLION CLOSE-UPS!!! Ok. Cow over.

Speaking of cows, how about those cow ballroom dancing outfits, hey? I don't think I'll be seeing those on PBS during the ballroom dancing competitions soon. But I have to say the Italians really tried to make the opening ceremonies spectacular. The dancers showing the beating heart and the ski jumper were really cool. I can't imagine how many hours they had to practice those moves. "Left. Left. I said LEFT! Now right! Up! Down! Bring out the blue fabric and run like hell! Run! RUN! Oh Christ...."

Six inches done on the back of the sweater. Some was done while I was at my group's rehearsal for the Carnegie Hall concert. Some was done on the way home. Some was done last night. Some will be done tonight. The tennis balls will come out and be utilized on my shoulders, and I'll be massaging my arms at the critical points where the muscles like to stay tensed up. It's a good beginning. I have to have 16 inches done before I start doing my armhole shaping.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Knitlympics Day One

Rules state: cast on not allowed until the agreed upon time of 2:00 pm regardless of time zone.

Reality state: the source of yarn fundage requires that I take my break at 3:00 pm.

There are other diversions that take my mind away from today's start, but I count the minutes to 3:00. I dash to the break room and start casting on for the back. One hundred six stitches on size 7 needles using the long tail cast on. I finish the cast on and a row and a half during break. My car is at the mechanic's so I plan to ride the MAX train there, but a fellow worker offers me a ride. I finish purling my row and do a row of the picot edge. After forking out for my baby I go to a nearby fabric store and pick up the zipper for the cardigan. I don't have EXACTLY what I want, which is a copper zipper with a nice pull, but I have a good heavy duty YKK zipper in grey that will nestle out of sight in the place of the steek that I will put in the front.

Will settle down tonight with knitting in hand to watch "The Duchess of Duke Street" as the opening ceremonies don't really interest me.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

25 more things about me

I got to thinking about the 50 things and they're kind of blah to read. Sure some are very much to the point but do they really say much about me? So here's some more.

51. Of the cities I've been to, which aren't many, the one I would like to see again is Montreal. I also want to return to San Francisco, Washington DC and New York City. I have no desire whatsoever to return to Los Angeles.

52. Of the cities I've seen but never been to, I would like to visit Edinburgh or Heidelburg or Stockholm. I have no desire to visit Mexico City or Calcutta or Taipei.

53. I went to Yellowstone Park and outside of the geysers it looked a lot like the drier forests of Oregon. I'm not sure I would want to go back again.

54. The non-urban place I would visit again and again is the Oregon Coast. I would like to return to Yosemite and Banff National Park and visit Glacier National Park.

55. My favorite means of transportation is the airplane. It's very disappointing that it has been turned into a travel method so potentially annoying (add one crying child). It's always so magical to me that this vehicle of thousands of pounds can get off the ground at all.

56. Unless my life is dependent upon it, I will not step onto a Greyhound bus again in my life. They don't call it "riding the dog" for nothing.

57. The longest road trip I've taken was to Ridgecrest California. I went down I-5 through Oregon and cut over to the California coast at Cave Junction, driving along Highway 1 to Boonville and going into San Francisco to stay with my best friend from college a couple of days. From there I crossed over through Yosemite Pass and down the back side of the Sierra Nevada to Ridgecrest. It was a beautiful drive with lots of interesting scenery. The most breathtaking point was seeing the moon rise over the desert.

58. My favorite color is red. I prefer to wear rich colors with black as the neutral.

59. Shopping for clothes is both a dream and a nightmare. I love to spend money but it's a bitch to find anything that I find attractive on my body. My dream body would be clad in black leather: corset, pants, armlength gloves, Doc Marten boots.

60. To have my dream body, I would need to lose 90 pounds.

61. If I were to relive my childhood, I would be more assertive and beaten up the bullies that tormented me in the 7th grade.

62. I am happier now than I was 20 years ago.

63. Other fiber-related hobbies I've done are quilting, clothing construction, beadwork, and crochet. I've also done collage, painting, plaster mask-making, and pottery. My favorite non-fiber piece I've done is a deck of tarot cards.

64. The oldest memory I have is standing in my crib and crying. I was sick with the measles, as were my younger sister and middle brother. I shared my bedroom with my sister at the time. I remember seeing the RCA black and white set that was usually in Mom and Dad's room set up for my sister to watch while she was recovering. I was probably 1 or 2 years old.

65. The most disturbing dream I have had occurred a few months after my mother's death. I had not fully realized that she was gone until I had a dream where she and I were doing the things that we loved to do: shop in antique stores, drive around town, sit and eat lunch together. When I told her I would come by to pick her up again the next day, she told me that I couldn't because she was dead. I woke up and cried for some time. The next most disturbing dream I had occurred 2 weeks after the World Trade Center attacks in 2001. I dreamed that the house I grew up in was on fire and everything that I held precious to me was going up in flames. I later learned that other people had had similar dreams during that time.

66. I usually dream in color and remember my dreams.

67. I wanted to be a writer when I grew up but was too insecure to pursue it as a career.

68. My favorite season is autumn, especially when the nights get really cold. My least favorite season is summer.

69. I enjoy working on computers and have considered a career in them but opted not to pursue it as at the time the market was flooded with out of work computer geeks. I know enough to get myself out of trouble in most instances and enough to know when to call in my computer guru to fix it.

70. I know how to use basic household tools and have done home repairs without fear. My mother taught me most of what to do. The most complex thing I've done is install ceiling light/fan fixtures.

71. I live in a haunted house. I believe the ghost is the father of the woman who used to own the house. Her grandmother had owned the house before her and her father was a carpenter. He visited me while I was painting the house interior before moving in and has visited friends and family who have stayed the night, appearing as a bright green floating head with white hair. The first year I had some problems with my answering machine and doorbell but after that I had no problems. He hasn't been seen in several years.

72. My house will celebrate its 100th year in 2013.

73. I composed my first song at 14. It's unpublished. It was a theme song to go with a story I was writing at the time.

74. When I write a story, I usually associate music with it. I have soundtracks for most of my longer writings. Earlier soundtracks used rock songs; my most recent soundtrack uses a lot of ambient, world and new age tracks. To this day when I play that soundtrack, it triggers memories and emotions related to the works I was writing at that time.

75. I have a hard time choosing a favorite classical composer because several convey different emotions within me. If I had to choose 5, they would be Beethoven, Chopin, Tchaikovsky, J.S. Bach, and Gershwin.

We are SOOO ready!!!!


One more day to go!

The Oregonian published an article in their Living section yesterday morning about the Knitting Olympics. I had a head's up on it so got my own issue, but I've already had one coworker come up with a copy. I'm not a closet knitter; I'm very much out and proud of my knitting. I haven't been silent about being part of the Knitting Olympics either as a member of Team Wales. Why did I join Team Wales?
1. I'm part Welsh.
2. Cool red dragon on the flag.
3. I'm fond of male voice choirs.
4. I know what a leek is and have enjoyed them.
5. I know what currants are and have enjoyed them (they're tasty in scones.)
6. The co-captain is a fellow lister and former Portlander.
The Yarn Harlot says there's over 3300 participants. Some local yarn shops are giving out medals to participants but I feel that's not really intended in the spirit of the thing. You're challenging yourself, not each other, to do this. That's reward enough.I'm doing down time today from the needles. I worked on a hat to match my giganto-scarf for New York and ended up with sore muscles and a right hand that ached so much that it woke me up an hour before my alarm was to go off. I've been knitting daily for a while. Time for a break.
I read some more of Franklin's 100 Things and feel very inferior. Not me as a person, but for my writing. I'll put out more interesting things.
I couldn't sleep last night. My mind was whirling with memories of my last trip to NYC and the things I want to see. I can't believe that in a week I'll be on my way there.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

50 Things About Me

I like the idea of having a list of things that describe me. I'll be frank: I love me and want the world to know about me. So there's the egotist in me. I found similar lists on QueerJoe's Knitting Blog and Franklin's Panopticon (they went to 100, but I'm sticking to 50 for now). If you get bored with my list, you can check out theirs. Or this.
1. I'm the seventh-born child of my father, the fifth of my mother. I have a half-sister and half-brother who are old enough to be my parents. They have children my age.
2. I'm a fifth-generation Oregonian and thirteenth-generation American. A distant relative traced our ancestry back to the Danes landing in Kent England in the turn of the second millenium. Another relative traced an ancestor's arrival from Wales to the US.
3. I have naturally wavy dark brown hair with red highlights.
4. My paternal grandmother had naturally curly red hair.
5. My maternal grandfather and my maternal uncles died from colon cancer. My mother died of cancer of the kidney that spread to her bones.
6. My father was an alcoholic and died of Alzheimer's disease.
7. I am not an alcoholic but I am addicted to food.
8. I am 5'3" tall and weigh over 250 pounds.
9. I have been overweight all my life.
10. I am a Gemini with Leo Rising and Scorpio Moon. My being Gemini indicates that I'm a good communicator, but that's not always true. I'm more prone to having ideas flitting through my head at breakneck speed and wanting to know what's going on with everybody. My Leo is very strong: I love to perform and create. I'm also very emotional and will cry at weddings.
11. I have three cats.
12. I have had a cat in my life every day except for a month when I was 6 years old and during the months I was at college.
13. I have a bachelor's degree in business from Linfield College.
14. My first job was as a bag boy (official name courtesy clerk) at my mom's favorite grocery store, Kienow's Food Stores, which is no longer in existence. I worked there 5 years.
15. My first worker's comp injury was carpal tunnel syndrome from working the cash register 40 hours a week.
16. My second worker's comp injury was pulling my back from lifting 50 pounds of cat litter wrong.
17. I buy 50 pounds of cat litter a month.
18. I am an omnivore.
19. I don't like oysters, liver, cauliflower, parsnips, eggplant, or cooked green peppers.
20. My favorite food is homemade macaroni and cheese.
21. My favorite vegetable is the cucumber.
22. My favorite fruit is the peach.
23. My favorite meat is a T-bone beefsteak.
24. My favorite intoxicant is tequila.
25. I was a second-hand smoker for 25 years.
26. I own my house.
27. I own a VW New Beetle.
28. I learned how to knit in college.
29. I stopped knitting 6 years later.
30. I started knitting again October 2002.
31. My favorite fiber is wool.
32. I'm allergic to mohair.
33. I came out as a lesbian in 1994.
34. I came out as bisexual in 2002.
35. I've had only one true relationship and that was with a woman.
36. I've written 3 novels but published none.
37. I've invented a language.
38. My favorite dream is flying without being in an airplane.
39. In my first election, I voted for John Anderson. I have missed only 5 elections since.
40. I wear size 7 1/2 D shoes.
41. I have been wearing glasses since the 6th grade.
42. I had a crush on my 7th grade math teacher.
43. I've been singing since February 2000. Before that, my last public singing performance was with the 6th grade chorus.
44. I played piano for 6 years as a child.
45. I own over 500 CDs.
46. My favorite group in high school was Queen. My favorite group now is the Beatles.
47. My eyes are dark brown.
48. I had my first grey hair at 26.
49. My parents died when I was 26.
50. I'm an aunt to 13 nieces and nephews, great-aunt to 17, and great-grand aunt to 5. But not a mother.

Preparing for Torino

The Knitting Olympics start Friday. I am so ready to start knitting on my Rowanspun sweater. The yarn is wound, the needles are free of other projects, the pattern is written and ready, and the time is planned. There are a few rules I plan to follow while doing this so that I don't end up with major tendonitis. You may find them handy.
1. If it hurts, stop. Massage the arms and shoulders. Step away from the needles and do something that doesn't require your arms and hands.
2. Take 10 minute breaks every 30 minutes when doing knitting for long periods.
3. Eat well. Drink plenty of fluids.
4. Keep your glasses on to avoid eyestrain. This one may sound weird but my eyes have reached a point where I'm thiiiiiiiiis close to getting bifocals. The narrow lens fashion specs have not made it easy for me to do close work. However, when I take them off to see, I can't see close at all for some time. So I want to avoid eyestrain.
5. This is not a competition; it's a joint project. If you don't make it, don't sweat it.
6. No cats on the lap while knitting to avoid shoulder strain. (This one's gonna be hard when I'm home.)
7. If tendonitis starts to flare up, stop. Period. See item 5.
My choir friends will have to be used to seeing me knitting while we're in New York City for our Carnegie Hall performance. I've knitted while walking before (I knitted a Bag O'Plenty while marching in the Portland Dyke Parade three years ago). Purling may be a little tricky, but I'm up for the challenge. I can see me now knitting my sweater in the Metropolitan Museum of Art while viewing the exhibits.