Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Magic Mushrooms

I used to have headaches.

A lot.

After the gallbladder incident, I'd met my deductible, so I decided to see how deep the rabbit hole went and try to find a way to combat the headaches.*

I'd been to my general practitioner a couple times about it.  He and I both felt certain it was a sinus issue, but the stuff we'd been trying wasn't kicking the pain.  He sent me to an ENT.  After a CT scan and allergy testing, I found that I was allergic to a lot of things, super allergic to a couple things, and that my sinuses were fine.


I went back to my g.p., and he sent me to a neurologist.

My neurologist made me do a bunch of sobriety tests to make sure I didn't have a balance issue, ordered blood work and a MRI, and prescribed a tiny pill that was on the $4/month drug list at giant soul-sucking retail stores.  I dutifully had my blood drawn, explored the cave, and filled the prescription.

I didn't really believe any of it would make a bit of a difference.

But within a week, the pill worked.  IT WORKED.

I've been on the magic pill for three weeks, and my headaches have dropped in frequency from nearly every day to perhaps once a week.  I have one today, and it reminds me how fortunate I am that I have one today and not today, yesterday, the day before that, and probably tomorrow.

Today.  I can handle it since it's just today.

I am thankful.

*See also, "Reasons Why Our Healthcare System Is Broken"

Monday, November 29, 2010

I Feel the Earth (beat) Move (beat) Under My Feet

Today my whole world shifted.  Everything I knew to be true, everything I depended on to make sense, moved two giant steps to the left.

My colleagues and I huddle together around a computer monitor, striving to create stability in the mist of chaos.  We attempt to wrap our minds around the fact that nothing will ever be the same.  We steel ourselves to do the necessary work to take apart our old ways and calculate them within this new paradigm.  We search for tools to help us.

Dear Readers, Weight Watchers has changed their POINTS system, and a banana is now 0 points.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Where Shall We Go?

The luggage tags are finished, and I love them.  I am giving away four and keeping one for myself.

Luggage finders knit in scrap sock yarn, mostly Blue Moon STR

Monday, November 22, 2010

Inside a Cave

One day last week, I spent part of the morning inside a cave.  It's not a literal cave, but it was cavelike, so let's pretend it was a cave.

This cave exploring had been planned for a week or two.  I had spent that time getting very, very worked up about it.

I have a tiny bit of claustrophobia, you see.

This phobia presents itself in odd ways.  I have never, ever freaked out while in a small space.  However, I regularly feel nauseous when I imagine myself in a cave, underwater, or buried alive.*  I recently got a little queasy while watching my pixelated Nancy Drew character flit around in scuba gear on the computer screen.  What if she loses her air hose?  NANCY DREW IS GOING TO DIE.

The day of the adventure, I steeled myself, determined to act like a grown-up even if I felt like a scared three-year-old.

It was perfectly fine.  My instructors were professional, quick, and helpful.  They told me I could keep my eyes closed if I wanted, and it was nice to have permission to play the "if I can't see the cave, it's not really there" game.  I did open my eyes a couple times, just to see if I'd freak out, and I didn't.

Chalk this one up in the "What would I do if I knew I could not fail?" category.

*The buried alive one might not be so much about claustrophobia as it is about... well, being buried alive.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Does Anyone Else Hear That?

I have a problem:  The produce in my kitchen talks to me, and it's not nice.

Tell me again why you have a garden when I, a beautiful squash, sit on the counter for weeks, ignored and unused?

Oh, yeah, squash?!  (Now they've begun to talk to one another.  You know how it is.  This voice comes from the crisper drawer where things aren't all that crisp.)  You were a freak of nature.  She wrote blog posts about your weirdnessI, on the other hand, am beautiful apples that came in her fancy-schmancy produce bin.  The real tragedy here is that I am unused.

Now the spinach speaks up.  She never even wanted me.  I'm from that time she forgot to customize her bin.  It was so much better when she just deleted me from her bin and chose more &*)$_ pears.  Now I have to sit here and go brown and liquidy with you lot of whiners.

The less intelligent fruits and vegetables simply chant, "Why aren't you using me?  I'm beginning to go bad!  Lookatme lookatme lookatme."

Tonight it got to me.  I threw away the spinach and a head of cauliflower.  I mashed the three brown bananas and made banana bread. 

For dinner, I whacked up two big spaghetti squash and three bell peppers.  Naturally, in my haste to try to rid myself of as much produce as possible, I cut way too much and had to cook it in shifts.  I added kosher salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, and cumin and then sprinkled the top with a bit of sharp cheddar cheese.

It was... fine.

And now the leftovers are talking from the fridge.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Deco Lace Sweater Finished!

Last Saturday we had an early Thanksgiving with friends.  I asked Brandy to try on her sweater.

Blessed be the yarn, it fits!

No one would know the words I had with the lace pattern.

Brandy liked it well enough that I let her keep it.  
I plan on printing one of these photos and wrapping it for Christmas.

And the people said, "Amen."  

Friday, November 5, 2010

Alpaca with a Twist!

Alpaca with a Twist is a yarn company based in Indy, and I used some of their yarn in the weaving class I took with Mom.  Their yarn is delightful.  I've been keeping up with them on Ravelry and wondering when they were going to post that they were seeking to employ a knit-obsessed individual with a couple degrees in religious studies and some random knowledge about IT, accounting, HR, and grant-writing.*

Although they have yet to post this job opening, they did post a monthly contest on their forum.  Simply post a picture of a project you made (or are making) with their yarn, and they'll randomly pick someone at the end of the month to get something awesome.

Today I received a box of gloriousness from them as the October winner.

Happy knitting, indeed.  This is four beautiful skeins of soft alpaca goodness.

The pictures don't do it justice, but it's late and the light is crap.

I'm going to make something awesome with this. 

It was really nice to come home and find the box.  Andrew and I both worked late, then went to the grocery and didn't get home until nearly 10:00.  I was tired and cranky, and we all know that yarn is an excellent way to combat tired and cranky.

Go buy some Alpaca with a Twist yarn.  They need to sell yarn so they can hire me.  Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to sit on the couch and pet my new yarn.

*I'm still waiting, but am confident it is only a matter of time.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Conversation with a Colleague

Him:  Hey, B, I have a finance question for you.  (Stops short and stares at me)  You're wearing the Ubiquitous Sweater!

Me:  (quickly evaluates the likelihood of getting out of this conversation and realizes it is hopeless) Pardon?

Him:  The Ubiquitous Sweater!  When I was in Israel, someone was making fun of someone else for buying an argyle sweater.  They said it was horribly out of date.  Nobody wears argyle anymore.  I told them that lots of people were wearing argyle and I bet we would see it all over the place.  We all started looking for it, and it was everywhere!  Argyle sweaters, argyle hats, argyle socks.  We started calling an argyle sweater the Ubiquitous Sweater.

Me:  (blink, blink, and pause)   I have no idea where to go with this conversation.

I still maintain we should be able to say, "Insert appropriate response here" when stuck in these type of non sequitur conversations.  When I rule the world, things will be different.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Surprise Knitting

Tis the season of knitting gifts for the holidays, so while there are lots of things happening, I can't tell you about any of them.

For example, I knit this:

I can't even tell you what to picture because I don't want to give anything away.  You'll just have to think of green yarn and imagine some possibilities.

Then I knit this:

There's a charmingly amusing story that references Super Mario Brothers hooked to this project, but again, I can't tell you.*

If you're on Ravelry, you can see the projects here and here.

Now I'm contemplating what other projects I want to knit for the holidays.  I think these are next.

Image from Skacel, the nice people who made the pattern available for free

They use scrap sock yarn, which is handy since I have more scrap sock yarn than any one person should admit to possessing.

I'm feeling very optimistic about the holiday knitting this year.  I think that's because I'm doing a lot fewer projects than last year.  I have accepted that there is a limit for handknit gifts for most recipients.

Then again, maybe around mid-December I'll crack and start knitting roller skates.**

*Isn't this the best blog post ever?  You can't teach this sort of riveting writing.  You either have it or you don't.

**After you watch this, go to Franklin's store and buy everything.  He's brilliant and deserves to be wealthy.