You are currently browsing the monthly archive for June 2008.

Happy, orata? I hope so. It was hell to get away from those kidnappers.

Here’s dem rules:

Out of the top 50 yarns on Ravelry (by number of projects):
Bold the ones you’ve used and would use again,
Cross out the ones you’ve used and would not use again,
and italicize the ones you’ve never tried, but would like to.
Add comments as desired, and then pass the meme along to 5 knitters/crocheters.
Link back to this post and to the person who tagged you.

(By the way, I copied this verbatim from orata’s blog. The number of projects have surely changed since then, but I’m too lazy to update.)

1, Cascade 220 Wool, 11967 projects–I know I’ve used this, but I can’t remember what for. Huh.
2, Patons Classic Wool Merino, 10445 projects–swat team kitties! Felts nicely.
3, Malabrigo Yarn Merino Worsted, 8421 projects–malabrigo. Say no more.
4, Noro Kureyon, 7947 projects–I do actually have some of this in my stash. Just haven’t gotten around to knitting it yet.
5, Caron Simply Soft, 7914 projects–have felt this in the skein, and I never ever ever want to use it. Feels like plastic to me. Ick.
6, Lily Sugar’n Cream Solid, 6864 projects–dishcloths, baby bolero. Solid, upstanding citizen. Um yarn.
7, Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Worsted, 6619 projects–Attack of the evil itchy fuzzy things! Can’t knit with it.
8, Red Heart Ltd. Super Saver Solids, 6176 projects-No.
9, Lion Brand Wool-Ease Solid, 5554 projects–Makes my hands sweat.
10, Noro Silk Garden, 5410 projects–Sadness abounds. It contains mohair.
11, Koigu Painter’s Palette Premium Merino (KPPPM), 5094 projects–Again, I have some. I have some wound in happy little yarncakes even.
12, Knit Picks Wool of the Andes, 5071 projects–scarves for brothers. A bit itchy, so maybe that was a bad choice.
13, Lion Brand Homespun, 4296 projects–Blarg.
14, Lion Brand Cotton-Ease, 4157 projects–I have some. I know I’ve at least swatched with it. But have I knit anything with it?
15, Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock Multi, 4086 projects–I’ve knitted with the solid, but not the multi. At least, not the multi in sock weight. Gracious, how specific this is.
16, Manos del Uruguay 100% Wool, 3989 projects–so pretty, so nice
17, Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Bulky , 3927 projects-see note for worsted weight, above
18, Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran, 3751 projects
19, Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock – Lightweight, 3723 projects-have more
20, Plymouth Encore Worsted, 3573 projects–I don’t really like this, but I have more so I know I’ll use it again. For kid toys.
21, Cascade 220 Heathers, 3422 projects
22, Lily Sugar’n Cream Ombres & Prints, 3384 projects-not used this, but it doesn’t speak to me. Don’t think I ever will
23, Zitron Trekking (XXL), 3348 projects–I have a beautiful purple skein of this sitting in my stash. I’m saving it for something special.
24, Patons SWS (Soy Wool Stripes), 3243 projects–Can we say hairy? And itchy. And weirdly almost unspun. Pretty, but don’t like knitting with it.
25, Rowan Kidsilk Haze, 3203 projects–It’s mohair. Sniff.
26, Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino, 2917 projects-I made Elijah out of this. Love it.
27, Pisgah Yarn & Dyeing Co., Inc Peaches & Creme Ombres, 2658 projects–I don’t know what the hell this is.
28, Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece, 2512 projects–Love! We’ll be announcing out engagement any day now
29, Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock – Mediumweight, 2503 projects-squarshy and delicious
30, Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick, 2489 projects-I’m so glad I didn’t blog when I knit that poncho. And it had Fun Fur trim! *shudder*
31, Pisgah Yarn & Dyeing Co., Inc Peaches & Creme Solids, 2476 projects
32, Cascade 220 Superwash, 2323 projects-this waits on my wall to become a dolly
33, Berroco Ultra Alpaca, 2286 projects–
34, Knit Picks Swish Superwash, 2226 projects–Made the log cabin for Baby J out of this. Loved it.
35, Knit Picks Essential, 2149 projects-can’t really go wrong, here. I wish they had better colors, though.
36, Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice Solid, 2142 projects-NO!
37, Colinette Jitterbug, 2090 projects–I’m not even going to go there.
39, Knit Picks Shine Sport, 1976 projects-I have a bag of this in purple. I like the yarn, but if I made myself a garment out of it, I think my resemblance to a certain dinosaur would be too close for comfort.
40, Dale of Norway/Dalegarn Baby Ull, 1885 projects–heart!
41, Lion Brand Microspun, 1871 projects
42, Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Merino, 1863 projects
43, Knit Picks Palette, 1765 projects-again, can’t remember what I made out of this
44, South West Trading Company TOFUtsies, 1762 projects-hurt my hands
45, Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool, 1756 projects
46, Mission Falls 1824 Wool, 1725 projects–nice colors
47, Rowan RYC Cashsoft DK, 1718 projects-beauty, thy name is Rowan
48, Red Heart Ltd. Super Saver Multis/Ombres, 1664 projects-NOOOO!!!!
49, Rowan Felted Tweed, 1646 projects–see above
50, Rowan Calmer, 1571 projects–I don’t know knitting ten rows of Shedir counts as having used this yarn, but I do love it. And I do hope to finish that &^##&()%#@% hat

I’m not tagging anyone. Except Hapagirl. Did you ever do it? Well I don’t care, DO IT AGAIN! MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

This one I was tagged for long ago by Annie, and even longer ago by Que Sarah. Sorry, guys! I wasn’t ignoring you, I swear. What I was doing was hoping you’d forget. Did you? Probably.

Rules: Each player answers the questions about themselves. At the end of the post, the player than tags 4 or 5 people to also do the meme.

1. What was I doing 10 years ago?

Just about to move to Bloomington. I must have been apartment hunting…

2. Five Things on my to-do list today. (this is for Friday, since I don’t tend to keep lists for weekends)

Call guy about primate study
Email guy about primate study
Try not to kill guy because he won’t get back to me about primate study
Finally get a hold of guy about primate study
Write piece on primate study

3. Three snacks I enjoy.

Barbara’s Bakery cinnamon puffins (yum!)
fresh sugar snap peas

4. Three things I would do if I were a billionaire:

Add on to my house
Pay off my house
Hire someone to take care of my house (at least the cleaning and weeding and crap like that)

5. Three of my bad habits

Spending too much time on my perfect and fabulously unflawed body
Not answering my gobs and gobs of email from adoring fans and admirers
Compulsive lying

6. Five places I have lived.

Chicago, IL
Bloomington, IN
Berkeley, CA
Genalguacil, Spain
a lime green Volkswagen beetle

7. Five jobs I have had.

sushi waitress
money counter (in a bank vault)
camp counselor
preparator (Art Institute, textiles)
lab monkey

aaaaaand I’m going to break the rules and not tag anyone. Ha! Authority, I flaunt you!

Holy schnikes! Kind of out of the blue, my mum decided to come visit me this weekend! Well, she’s trying to, anyway. Mumsie works for United Airlines (no snide comments, please–she’s very loyal to her company, even though they suck) (Um, Dad, don’t tell her I said that, k?), so she’ll be flying standby. That means she may or may not get on the plane. So she may or may not actually be coming to visit me. But she’s supposed to be here tomorrow night, and then we’re going to San Diego. Yay! So please send some mumsie-get-on-the-plane vibes, yes? Oh, and also mumsie-get-here-safely vibes as well. Those are more important.

ETA: Not enough vibes, people! She didn’t get on the plane. And the flights tomorrow are even worse, so she’s not coming. :( I think I’m going to hit the beach this weekend though, so I’ll leave things set as they are. Over and out.

So since I’ll be buggering off this weekend, I’ve decided to catch up on some memes that I’ve been tagged with lately. (Holy crap, has the world gone topsy? Answer: yes.) I’ll do one today, then set up the others to go up over the weekend. So that’s what’s coming from me. May I take this moment to remind you, both bloglines and google reader have this fabulous “mark as read” option. You may want to employ that for the next few days regarding this space.

To start: the mosiac meme that I actually haven’t been tagged for, but I think it’s cool so I’ll do it anyway. I first saw it on Nell’s blog, but it’s been a few other places, too. Here’s my contribution.

mosiac 2

1. Leigh, 2. Cottage cheese pancakes, 3. my school, 4. purple and green, 5. James McAvoy*, 6. lemonade, 7. Orkney Islands, 8. strawberries and cream, 9. writer, 10. blub blub blub, 11. quirky, 12. chemgrrl

The rules:

a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
b. Using only the first page, pick an image.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd’s mosaic maker.

The questions:

1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One Word to describe you.
12. Your flickr name.

Oh and as long as I’m doing the flickr thing. To my favorite dad. Named Glenn.

*I would highly recommend checking out this photographer’s photostream, especially if you like Alan Rickman.

Me love you long time.

clappy on chair 2

Pattern: if you need to know this, please do yourself a favor and crawl out of that cave. How do you get internet access in there, anyway?
Yarn: Zephyr DK, chemified
Needle: KP options US 7
Started: June 6
Finished: June 18
For: me, and I completely and utterly 100% super-duper big heart it
Mods: barely

Oh, the Clap. I’ve caught it, and I’ve caught it bad. I LOVE this thing! And I actually documented the entire blocking process this time. Um, as exciting as that is.

it bleeds!

Clappy’s first bath

So yes, I mentioned before that I dyed this yarn myself. I was kind of disappointed to see that it bled a bit when I popped it in the sink. Cuz I rinsed it about sixteen times after I dyed it. Really. I think it was actually sixteen times. And the water still turned pink. Well. I’ll never be irritated again by commercial yarn that bleeds on the first washing. Because sometimes there’s nothing you can do.

no more bleedy

Clappy’s second bath

The second time proved the charm here. No bleedy after bath number two. Hurrah! To the floor we go, then.

clappy blocking on floor

My room’s a bit small. Good thing that Clappy dried really fast. I had to step over it every time I wanted to move that day. It was worf it though. See how pretty?

clappy 1

I started Clappy on the roadtrip out here. And I knitted it through my icky debacle and adjusting to temporary Life Without Blubbster and I guess I kind of think of it as a sort of security blanket. When I get lonely at night, I wrap it around my shoulders and knit, even though lately it’s been hotter than Hyperion’s left butt cheek around here.

clappy in the sun

Plus, I don’t know–I guess I feel extra proud because I dyed the yarn myself. And it turned out pretty well! I deathly was afraid of pooling, but really only did it in one spot in the middle and even that is hardly noticeable. Like a child with a lisp, perhaps. A flaw yes, but a somewhat cute one.

clappy on chair 1

I was also afraid that I would run out of yarn. I knew I only had about 600 yds, and I’ve heard tales told of needing four skeins of LL Lion & Lamb, which chilled my little bonesies cold. So I made my Clappy one repeat narrower and one repeat shorter. Did the trick I guess, since I have about four feet of yarn left over. Yay for close shaves.

I don’t actually have any pictures of the whole thing laid out flat. Silly me, why the heck would I want that? But I do know that my pre-block dimensions were 17 x 53.5 inches, and my post-block size is 20.5 x 62.5 inches. Plenty big for me.

oswald with clappy

Plenty big for Oswald, too. My photographer is in Indiana, so no posed shots for now. Oswald kindly modeled in my stead. It does look smashing on him, you have to admit.

You can have it when you pry it from my cold dead hands, little bear. Mine, mine, mine.

I have seen the promised land. And it is humongous!

purl warehouse outside

Can you believe the awesome hugeness of Purl’s warehouse? No, me neither, since that’s a hangar from the nearby Tustin Marine Corps Air Station. The outside of the real Purl was so nondescript that I didn’t even think to get a picture. But here’s what we saw as we ventured inside.

the inside

And who is ‘we’ you ask? Why, no other than the fabulous weezalana. She parachuted in from a secret location just for ‘lil ol me. Oh yeah, and the yarn. But that really wasn’t a big draw, ya know? There was hardly any of it anyway.

great holy mother of yarn aisle

I mean come on! Really, that’s all they’ve got?

koigu and lorna's

And the Koigu and Lorna’s Laces shelves above were just shameful. I think I’ve got more in my stash than that.

tub o o-wool

And this is all the O-wool balance they had. Jeez it’s just…okay I can’t take it anymore. Holy crap! Did you see that? Did you faint? I nearly did, especially when I came across that koigu. When we first walked in, Weez wisely asked the woman working there if she kept smelling salts on hand. But then I don’t even remember the answer, because at that point wordless buzzing came into my head and all I could seeheartouchtaste was yarn yarn yarn.

I had been warned, too, by Jerry who had been before. (I met him at the Anaheim knit night and he’s very nice. Hi Jerry!) “For the sake of all that is good and holy,” he told me, “find what you want at the website first! Otherwise you’ll get overwhelmed and end up a gelatinous pile of gobbering gook on the floor of the place!” Okay, I may have been paraphrasing a bit, but that was the substance. But it was really good advice. So I went in with ideas, and limits. And then promptly broke them.

pooter front

And this is what I came out with. See my charming bag? Weez came up with the idea of PUWTR 2008 since she says she never gets to go to fiber festivals or things like that. And then she made us bags! Yup, she made those. Jealous aren’t you, and you should be. Not only do I now have a super-cool bag, but it is stuffed to the gills with yarn and fabric. Yes, I got fabric too. More on that at the end.

pooter back

Back of the bag. Of course PUWTR is pronounced ‘pooter.’ How could it be otherwise? And my stash IS real, and it IS spectacular. Even more spectacular now. Shall we take a look?

manos silk

Ah yes, the Manos silk. I’ve been itching to get my hands into this for awhile now, ever since orata started knitting her prismatic scarf. Ooooo. Silllllk. You all know I loves me some silk. I had been looking at both this and the Sheep Shop 3 on the website the night before. And while the SS3 was really pretty, in the end it was the Manos for me. I think it was the color that did me in. It was just luminous on the shelf. I only meant to get one skein. I don’t really know how that second one leapt into my bag. I think Weez must have put it there.

purplue koigu

And this practically attacked me from the koigu shelf. Really. It began its assault on my eyeballs, then wormed into my brain with its squishy snakey softness. Yes, two skeins of Koigu KPM. It looked blue inside and purple out in the sun, so I’ve named it purplue. And it was never meant to come home with me at all. Oops.

But this next stuff–yes, this was meant to.

lots o o-wool

It’s an entire sweater’s worth of O-wool balance. Ten skeins. And I think O stands for: Oh god, it’s soft. Oh dear, it’s nice. Oh crap, I’m in public so I can’t stuff it down my pants.

o wool

Or, you know, the obvious. Orgasm.

I looooooove this yarn. It’s a 50:50 merino cotton mix, with slubby tweedy things. I heart the slubby tweedy things. And I didn’t walk in to Purl wanting this color, but I’m quite glad I got it now. It’s called ‘peridot’ which happens to be my birthstone. And I do really love it. I don’t know quite what it’s going to be yet, but I have tons of ideas. But I have to wait. Because what I don’t have is a ball winder. Arrugh! So for now, it becomes new yarn decor. I think it fills in the empty spaces nicely, don’t you?

improvements to yarn decor

additional improvements

Oh yes, and the fabric. I don’t sew so much (ha!) but my mum does. Remember the bag she made me? And the quilt? Well, on the way to Purl, Weez took a wrong turn at Albuquerque so was a little late. I took the time to call my mom and tell her where I was. And she said “Oooo! If you see any fabrics you like get them! I’ll make you a bag! And a skirt! And pay you for the fabric!” Crap, my mom loves me. (Of course I’m not going to let her pay me for the fabric though, don’t be silly.) So I ended up getting this stuff.


The very left greeny stuff is the skirt fabric, and the other two will go together to be a bag. I don’t know what bag yet, but I like this one. And this one and this one. My mom already has a skirt pattern in mind for me. I just hope I got enough fabric. Or otherwise, darn I’d have to go back! Wouldn’t that suck?

Actually, we do tentatively have plans to go back. Meeting Weezalana was so much fun that I want to do it again! And yes, I am now mad with the powah that I know what she looks like and nobody else does! (Well, I imagine that her husband does.) But, never fear dear readers! I, yes I, have surreptitiously gotten a photo of her face, and yes I will post it here! She even got a new haircut, which she was asking my opinion of.

weez's new haircut

I dunno, Weez. Maybe something a little less extreme next time.

That’s how flickr greeted me when I logged in about thirty minutes ago. You know how they always say hello in some foreign language? I’ve seen Russian, Swahili, German, Tagalog, and a bevy of other languages. And now…LOLspeak. I wonder if the kitties be getting their own country soon.

BUT the good news is, I’m back on flickr again! So I can has pictures! And you can has see them! Hooray! So let’s cut the crap and get to it, mkay?


is pretty

view from my window

That’s the view from my window. It looks nicer from here.

purple flowery things

This is the other side of the bush that I can see out my window. The flowers are purple and pretty. Sparrows live in there, too. They are chirpy and feathery.

teh oranges

The orange tree! is also visible from my window. I haven’t tried the oranges yet, but I’ve been told they’re quite tasty. Maybe this weekend I’ll make a big ‘ol jug of fresh squeezed orange juice. Mmmmm.


Roses! in the backyard. Not visible from my window, but I can see them if I stick my nose up against the screen and turn my head to the left. There are different roses directly outside my window, but they’re further along in their life cycle and therefore not as pretty-picture making. Still nice, though.

flowers on my desk

Flowers! on my desk. I bought them at a supermarket, but they’re pretty. Especially with the weird color thing I did to them. I was trying to brighten up the picture and it ended up like that. And it was nice so I left it. Um, I mean. Yeah, I’m all arty? This photo represents the soul within the flowers, and how they speak to us of transcendental discombobulation and defenestrating fruition. Feel their pain! Feel it.

knitting spot

This is my knitting corner. I took the picture kind of high so you could see the nifty Shaker hooks and shelves. Aren’t they nice? I wish I had these at home. They go all around the room! Imagine all the yarn I could stuff up there!

yarn decor

My yarn-deco! I think it looks kind of wimpy in this picture. I assure you, it’s way cooler than that. In fact, it’s almost as cool as me sleeping with my teddy bear, Oswald. Hey, I’m two thousand miles from my husband. I need a little huggy comfort. You got a problem with that?

elephant's got the clap

Oh lookee, we’ve gone outside again. Mr. Weird Elephant thing in the backyard was simply laughing with delight to hold my clappy for me. I’m actually getting close to done with this thing. I’ve finished all the straight rows and begun the decrease part. And…I think I might run out of yarn. No worries, I can rip back. But I have to see how far I can get first! Then I might rip. But I do very much like how it’s coming out.

clap close

And that ain’t such a good photo of the color. I monkeyed with it a bit, but I couldn’t get it right. But remember when I dyed this yarn? I took ninety-gazillion pictures?

Berry bootaful 747

Yup. There it is. In all it’s shinypurpleypinky glory. I love knitting with this yarn. In fact, I may have to buy lots and lots and lots more cones of it. (Zephyr DK–I got it from Sarah’s Yarns, here. Go forth and multiply…your stash.) Enough for a sweater, perhaps? Perhaps.

Or perhaps I’ll put that off until later, as I’m soon to go on a spiritual journey. In fact, by the time most of you read this, I will be there. And what is this mecca of yarny goodness that myself and a trusty companion will pilgrimage to on the morrow?

Purl warehouse.

Until then!

Hey look at me! I’m online, I’m online! Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Okay, sorry. But I have just had such a hard friggin time with the internet lately, and it feels so so so good to be back. Did you miss me? I really appreciate everyone’s kind comments from last week. And I loved all of the jokes. They really did help. But now I have quite a tale to tell you, so pull up a chair and get ready to listen. This may take a bit.

So when we last left our heroine, she had just dropped her husband off at the airport, and didn’t expect to see him again for two months. She had moved into her rented room, and was combing the area, looking for free wifi access.

(Hint to other people in similar situations: try the public library. Worked like a champ.)

So I guess to begin the story properly, I’ve got to go back a bit. About a month to be exact. When I first learned of the internship, I immediately asked the Intern Coordinator guy at my new job if he could help me find a place. He sent me the email of a married couple on staff who had a extra, furnished room. Great. I emailed the wife lady. We talked. A lot. Great. I told her I wanted the place, and that’s when she stopped emailing me. Completely. No explanation, nothing. Just no reply. I then spent a little time panicking, got over it, and tried to find a new place. I did, through a roommate website. Great. The new place was a furnished room in a townhouse that had high-speed internet and its own bathroom. The owner of the house was a 30 year old woman with a 9 year old daughter. Oh, and a chiuaua. Not so great (about the dog–I don’t particularly like yapyap dogs), but it was only for two months so what the hell. So I went there Sunday morning after I dropped off the blub. (But after I went back to the hotel and cried a little bit. Then I took a shower. Then I went over there.)

So I get to the townhouse and she’s not there. So I call her and wait. And wait. Thirty minutes later (she said it would be 5) she shows up and lets me in. The house is pretty messy. But she says her daughter just had a sleepover that weekend, so I don’t think much of it. I move my stuff in and try to get settled a little bit.

Okay, so here is where I start to notice a few funny things. Like I didn’t have my own bathroom after all. I guess when this woman checked the ‘bathroom’ box on the website, she meant that the house had a bathroom. Um, I bloody well hope that the house has a bathroom! But I guess that’s not how she interpreted that, so whatever. I can deal with it. But when she said the only high-speed internet was in her bedroom, I got a little bit annoyed. So she handed me a phone cord, said I could use the jack in the kitchen, and left.

Okay, fine. I went to the kitchen. There is no dishwasher. (And I didn’t even think to ask–doesn’t everybody have a dishwasher these days? Hell I live in the sticks on a gravel road in a wood-heated house and even *I* have a bloody dishwasher!) The dishes were piled so high in the sink that you couldn’t even see the fricking thing. And then there’s the thing in the middle of the floor. You see, they keep the dog in the kitchen when they’re not home. And apparently, the dog just pees on a pad. That they leave there. Soaked in urine. All the time. Yeah, it was disgusting. And it stank! I spent about 30 minutes trying to get connected through my modem and gave up. I just couldn’t stand the smell anymore.

I decided to try to unpack instead. The room that I was staying in used to be the daughter’s, and there was still a lot of her stuff in there. And trash on the floor. I mean little trash–like bits of candy wrappers and stuff like that. Not very nice. But I decided I would ask to use the vacuum later (but it turned out she didn’t even own one) and carried on. At some point I left to go buy some sheets, since the ones left on the bed were dirty. Yeah, really. I was supposed to be sleeping on those. No way. Anyway, I went. I bought sheets. I put them on the bed. I went to sleep, accompanied by the sound of cars zooming by on the freeway outside my window. (Which I had been assured that I would not be able to hear from the house. Well maybe if you never open the damn windows! And it was hot in there, so it was listen to cars or sweat to death. I chose the former.)

So, the next morning I get up and take a shower. And the bathroom is filthy. And the tub backs up while I’m in there–dirty gross water from the dirty gross tub. I get dressed and go to leave, and find a pile of dog shit on the stairs leading to the garage. Ew. I step over it, but then need help with something (I forget what) and the little girl comes downstairs to help me. And she doesn’t give the shitpile a second glance. In fact, she steps over it like it’s not even there. Just oh, another pile. No big deal. It occurs to me then that the dog doesn’t wear a collar. And I haven’t seen a leash. Or seen anyone take him out. To quote Han Solo, I was getting a bad feeling about this.

(Aside: they kept calling the dog ‘she’ when it very clearly had a little doggy wee-wee. I don’t know if they were in denial or they just couldn’t tell that thing was a wee-wee. And no, I never said anything.)

Went to work. I only worked the morning on Monday, since I was supposed to be getting settled and set up with my badge and computer and stuff. I went home around 1ish to find…another pile of dog crap. On the front rug this time. At least the stuff from that morning had disappeared, but here magically was another. The Incredible Crapping Dog was running loose around the house, but it looks like they hadn’t tried to contain him that day. I went to the kitchen to put some groceries away, and there was the big pee-soaked pad again. Plus dog food all over the floor. Plus a bag of trash sitting open there. So I went upstairs.

And cleaned. I had gotten some of my own cleaning supplies, as I had looked earlier for some in the house and couldn’t find any. (Really. No cleaning supplies.) It was here that I found the petrified pile in the corner of my room. Seriously, this shit was stuck to the carpet. Like it had been there for ages. Aaaand, that’s when I went out and found a wifi spot. So I could get to my email. And I told the whole thing to my friend Sunni, who wrote back in very large capital letters, “GET THE HELL OUT OF THERE.”

…are you guys still with me here? Sorry this is so long. But I’m only about half done.

Okay, remember the first girl? Who didn’t email me back about the room? Well, she finally got back to me the very day that I told the dog crap woman I’d rent from her. Yeah. So Monday night I emailed her again, asking if the room was still available. She said it was, and I could come and look at it the next day. Yay. I went back to the Den O’ Dogshit and went to bed.

(And by the way? The pile on the front carpet–still there.)

The next morning, I got up and left early without taking a shower. (Didn’t really want to stand in someone else’s filth again.) And I didn’t make myself breakfast either, since preparing food in the piss stench kitchen turned my stomach. So I left, noting on the way out that the pile on the front carpet was still there. (18 hours and counting.)

Went to work. Went to see the other room immediately after work.

And this is what I thought.

The place was clean. The room was small, but nice. There were a lot of people living there (married couple, plus two roommates, one of whom is out of the country until the end of the month), but it seems well-managed. They had WiFi. They had a dog, but it’s so well trained and good. And one of the roommates had two cats, but I like cats. And they’re sweet and friendly and the litter box is not stinky and get cleaned out a lot (it’s one of those self-cleany ones). So I did ask many many questions. (Like, “Hey does your dog shit on the floor?” You know, ones I hadn’t thought to ask before.) But my last question was, “When can I move in?” And the answer was “Tomorrow, if you like.” So I said, “I’LL TAKE IT!”

But now an unpleasant thing lay before me: I had to tell dogshit woman that I was leaving.

Honestly, I like this woman. She’s very nice, and the kid is great–sweet and smart. And I know they’re kind of hurting for money, which is why they rented the room out in the first place. So I felt really bad saying, “Hey! Your house is disgusting! I’m outta here!” Plus I was kind of afraid she’d want to keep the deposit check I gave her. I had sent her $300 a few weeks ago, to hold the room for me. And I’d asked her to hold onto it until I got there. And she still had it, but I hadn’t given her a rent check yet. So I was thinking that by backing out early, she’d at least insist on keeping the deposit. I mean, wouldn’t you? I would. So I was stressing a little. Trying to think of what I’d say to her.

After sitting in a grocery store parking lot for a little bit, I finally stopped being a ninny and went back to the townhouse. And guess what! She wasn’t there. Her car was, though. So I guess they had just walked down to the pool or something. Great, I thought. I’m sweaty and gross, so I’ll take a really quick shower while trying not to vomit at the nasty bathtub. So I sprint upstairs (noticing that the pile on the front rug is still there, we’re at plus 24 hours now), grab my towel, and dash into the bathroom.

And find another pile of dog shit in the middle of the bathroom floor.

Remember me being steeled for barf control? Yeah. That really came in handy.

I turned and went back to my room. I sat calmly on the bed, hugging my towel to my chest. And I stayed there for five full minutes, not doing anything.

Then I got up, threw the rest of my stuff in my suitcase, crammed it all in my car, and prepared to flee.

Really, I had Just. Had. Enough. That last pile of shit put me over the poop edge. My crap cup runneth over. It was Nas. Ty. Gross. Disgusting. Ick to the millionth power. Dogshit woman came in the door just as I was jamming the last of my stuff in the car. So I told her what was going on. That I was moving out. Now. That I couldn’t live in such conditions. That it was unsanitary.

And you know what? She just shrugged.

Really! Like it was just one of those things! Some people just aren’t cat people. Some people don’t like sports. And some people don’t like it when you let your dog use the floor for a bathroom. Go figure, ya know?

She gave my back my deposit check. And I paid her a week’s worth of rent ($160). Yes, I had only been there three days. I offered her that, thinking she’d argue with me and want to keep the deposit check. But she didn’t argue at all. She just said okay. I’m a little peeved at myself for immediately offering her that much now, but oh well. And then she wished me luck. And the little girl said ‘bye!’ all brightly like this was completely normal. Well, whatever. The important thing is that I’m gone.

I went to a hotel. Did I mention that this occurred around 9 pm? I was supposed to be in Irvine at 8 the next morning anyway, so I headed in that direction. I stopped in one likely looking spot near the airport. They were full. Then I tried the place where Nels and I stayed the night before he left. They were full. With panic creeping into my voice, I asked the guy behind the desk if he knew of any vacancies in the area. Yes, he said kindly, right next door. (Bless that guy.) So there I went, and got a room. And it was so nice and clean! And their soap smelled great! And the beds were nice and clean and fluffy! I giddily watched Friends reruns for an hour and a half before finally falling asleep. And then the next morning, I took the best shower ever. Seriously. It was a $150 shower, but it was worth every dang cent. No kidding.

That day I went to UC Irvine with all of my stuff in my car, and interviewed four scientists about their kickass cool research. And had lunch with a Nobel laureate. Then I drove back to Orange, and moved in here. And let me tell you, I’m as happy as a clam in shit. Or is that a pig in shit? Or maybe a girl in no dog shit. Whatever, I’m happy.

So there’s my tale. Hope it didn’t bore you. For those looking for knitting content, I’ve recently finished a February baby sweater (EZ) and am about halfway through a Clapotis. But I’ve been locked out of my Flickr account, so I can’t show you pictures yet. Hopefully that’ll get resolved soon. Plus I have to show you my new place! There are orange trees in the backyard! And roses and geraniums! Plus there are these Shaker style hooks all the along the wall in my room, so I’ve decorated with yarn! Really, I may have to try this at home when I get back.

Anyway, good things to come. Stay tuned for happier blog posts (I hope).

And a long blog post. Bear with me–I’m trying to effectively shove 10 lbs of shit in a 5 lb sack. A lot happens when you don’t blog for over a week.

So I’m here. California, I mean. The left coast. It’s been…interesting. To say the least.

Well, first things first, which was my trip to D.C. That was pretty boring, from a knitting blog’s point of view. I didn’t even go to any yarn stores! But it turns out my roommate was a knitter, and I think I got her if not hooked at least interested in Ravelry. Yay me.

I got there Thursday, May 29th, spent a few days with my brother and SIL and the munchkins, then did the AAAS thang from Monday to Wednesday. I flew back to Indiana on Wednesday afternoon, which is where things get interesting.

I don’t know how much you guys pay attention to the weather, but it was pretty nasty in D.C. on Wednesday afternoon. That would be June 5th. My plane took off on time, but apparently they shut down the airport about 5 minutes after we left. Then we landed in Indy, and they shut down the airport about 15 minutes after we got there. That’s because a huge, nasty, ginormous storm came through. I didn’t think about the repercussions of this storm at the time, since I was so happy to see my blub, plus the check engine light went on in my car as we were pulling out of the airport parking lot.

Did I mention that was the night before we were supposed to drive said car to California?

So after my initial panic mode (I tend to freak out about things first, then quickly calm down and deal with them efficiently and rationally. It’s my MO), I called our local Ford dealer and got an appointment for 7:30 the next morning. We then drove the rest of the way home. As far as we could get anyway.

For that was the night that my home town got 2 inches of rain in 90 minutes. Nels and I didn’t know this at the time, we were just driving along innocently. We didn’t even get rained on the whole trip home! But as we got very close to our back-woods abode, it was apparent that something nasty had gone down. Or come down. The roads were flooded on our normal route, so we tried a second. That had a very large tree across the road, so we tried a third. And we finally got there, taking about 1.5 hours longer than usual, to find this waiting for us.

Bridge devestation 6

It’s a footbridge. Up against our bridge/deck thing that leads to the house. It used to be in front of my neighbor’s house. But now it is in front of ours.

Bridge devestation 4

The water was so high and it was going so fast that it frigging swept our neighbor’s bridge away. Fortunately, that holy mess contains not very much damage to our own bridge. A couple of the supports got pushed askew, and the ramp that leads to the garage side got pushed a few feet, but that’s about it.

Bridge devestation 2

It’s just really scary looking. (And by the way, the water also went up over our bridge. That’s really scary. I’m glad we weren’t there.)

The real damage happened in our garage. There were water marks in there that were over my knees. I’m pretty short, but that still was about a foot and a half of water in our garage. Luckily for us, neither of our cars was there. But the blub’s motorcycle was. I don’t know if it’s wrecked or not—he didn’t check. And our riding mower might be toast. But I lost some stuff that was on lower shelves in the garage. Like my high school yearbooks. And the short story I won the Young Author’s award for when I was 9. (No, I don’t have any copies.) And pictures of my second grade class. Stuff like that. All ick, all ruined. Plus there’s about two inches of slimy mud in the garage, waiting for Nels when he gets home. And I really hope it’s not any worse than that, as another huge storm went through there last night. And at the time of this writing, Nels isn’t home yet. He had a layover in Chicago, and he’s been delayed there for, oh about four hours now. Hopefully he’ll get home soon, and call to tell me everything’s okay. I really really hope so anyway.

So anyway, after finding all that mess and crap at home, we still left the next day. Well, after sitting at the mechanic’s for three hours and leaving them with about $700 of our money. But I guess the good thing about that is that we found out about the repair before we hit the road, and for the cable access. See, we were watching CNN in the waiting room, and saw that we were about to drive into 300 miles of tornadoes. So we decided to go a different way. But that meant not driving through Denver to see my little brother, which kind of sucked. But oh well.

(Just got a call from the blub. He’s in Indy now, going home. Cross your fingers for us!)

Okay, sorry about that. A lot happened to us between last Wednesday night and Thursday morning. But we got on the road just fine. We drove through Illinois, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California, a total of 2062 miles. Here are some highlights from the journey.

I think we were in Texas

We were in Texas, I think.

Um, road

Yep. We drove on a road.

The blub at his best

Goofing around in Holbrook, Arizona.

The kiss

I guess he really liked that dinosaur.

Holbrook, AZ

More Holbrook, AZ. They are apparently fond of dinosaurs there.


And they had really old gas pumps. I hadn’t seen ones like this in ages!

welcome to CA

Welcome to California. Ouch.

And I left my sweetie at the airport this morning. I’m lonely and sad and I’m not sure I like Southern California very much. But I guess I’ll get used to it. It’s only for two months, right? That’s what Nels said to me this morning when I dissolved into tears in his arms. It’s only two months.

And now I’m sitting on the floor in a Barnes and Noble, typing with my laptop propped on a chair. I have to pay for internet access since I don’t have any at the townhouse where I’m staying. And it’s so full that I can’t even find a stupid table. My butt’s getting numb, so I guess I’ll go. Sorry for the sad and long post. But I’m feeling pretty sad right now. Tell me some jokes, okay? The worse the better. Make me forget where I am, please.


Contact me

thechemgrrl AT gmail DOT com (you know what to do with the extras)
June 2008