30 October 2006

Sometimes good things do happen

I often think of my life as a comedy of errors. Sort of Murphy’s Law, where whatever can go wrong will go wrong, you know? And if you know me, you know that this is absolutely true.

Well, every once in a while something happens to give me a little bit of hope.

I don’t go to many concerts, but decided a few years ago that I would do my best to see my favorites at least once. I saw Angie Stone for free on Summer Stage in Central Park on my 31st birthday. My mother and sister-in-law tagged along, after the concert we had lunch on 72nd between Columbus and Amsterdam at one of my favorite spots in NYC, Dinastia China. Ecuadorian Spanish/Chinese food. Then I saw Erykah Badu at Radio City the next year on Valentine’s Day. I paid $75 for the ticket, put on all black, wrapped up my head, and went alone. It was worth the money. The last person on my list was India.Arie, and as chance would have it she played at the Wilshire on October 20th and a friend told me about it.

I am a FAN of India.Arie. Not fanatical, but I love her music. She is a brown girl singing my life. I’m worried that she will outgrow me, fall in love and leave me behind by singing of nothing but her joy and the wonderfulness of her man and their love together. So far I’ve been super lucky, the road she is on is still bumpy and I can still relate. Although I’m about 5 years older than she is, we seem to be living in unison, and she sings my life, my pain…and on this last album my hope.

So, it was supposed to be Viviana, Joseline and I going to the concert. Viviana went to the box office and we ended up with the $60 tickets. We were in the back section of the first level of the theatre, to the right of center. The seats were good. Viviana's grandfather passed away and she had to go to Tijuana for the services on Friday so we had to find somethign to do with her ticket. I called one of Kasan's friends to see if he wanted to buy in but he couldn't, he was going to DC for a wedding, and I couldn't think of anyone else who even knew her music. So Viviana decided to give it to one of her co-workers, Van. She's in Administration at a Charter School in South LA and he's a teacher. So he met us at the theatre, which is right around the corner from my school.

Robin Thicke opened for her, and he was okay. Everything was too loud to hear his voice clearly or make out any of the lyrics so it was just okay.

After Robin Thicke finished Van said he was going to get a beer. So Joseline and I just chit chatted. Van came back right before the show started with bottles of water. He said that the line for the bar was too long so he went outside to smoke and when he was coming back he ran into two of his students and they gave him water for all of us (he teaches high school, algebra, pre-algebra and geometry). The lights dimmed and the band started with a Stevie Wonder song...I can't remember which, and the audience sang along. All the lights were out and the band had their cell phones open and were waving them and eventually so was everyone in the audience. Then the lights came up and she strutted out in all sorts of clothing. A robe like thing over a dress with long sleeves and her hair wrapped up into this wild afro puff and she started with “I Am Not My Hair” and as the song progressed she began to disrobe. She took off the sunglasses, then the brown robe and when she got to the part about shaving it off like a South African beauty off came the a hair and the crowd went even wilder than they had when she strutted out initially. Her hair is about half an inch long and twisted into little beadies, dyed a deep auburn with a red strip that went from her right temple to the left nape.

Then she sat down in her white outfit...it looked like a dress, funky sleeves that were long and flowy. She did the very last song on her new album, I think of it as This Too Shall Pass (but it’s “Untitled”) while playing the piano. Then she did “These Eyes” and one of the lines in that song is "these arms are letting you go" and she would wave her arms out to the side like she was doing the break dance move where they pass the move off to the other person....and the flowly sleeves looked amazing. Then she did a song called “Private Party,” at which time she got out of the top with the flowy sleeves and the skirt, and had on all white. Pants, a tank and under the white tank what looked like an orange sports bra, an orange scarf wrapped around her hips with what looked like a net with little gold coins on it and knee high at least four inch cognac brown boots. She was fierce.

After that it's all a blur. She sang for two hours straight. She told about how she worked thru her emotions & issues to write each song. She talked about meeting Nelson Mandella. She sang one verse of “Tell Me Something Good,” she started to play another song (I think it was a Bill Withers song, but I'm not sure) and this harmonica started to play off stage. She was alone on the stage at this point sitting with her guitar, and then Stevie Wonder came out of the wings. She must not have expected him because she was super excited. She walked him off stage after telling us how much he loved her. Then she came back and sat down and said "I know I'm asking too much, but do you think you would...maybe when you hear this," and she started to strum Redemption Song. So I got to see/hear India.Arie and Stevie Wonder sing a Bob Marley song.

In the midst of all this madness Van's students came into the theatre and he came back from talking to them and said "give me a hug on the first day you met me." So I hugged him and he said “I got backstage passes.” It was too much, I swear I got a little light headed. She did most of her new album, and the two songs with Stevie Wonder, Tell Me Something Good...I think there was another song she did that wasn't hers....then she went into her old stuff. Brown Skin, The Truth, Strength Courage & Wisdom, Video....I don't know what else and she left the stage and the crowd did the standing O…So, she came back out and said that she had to come back because we wouldn’t stop clapping and she sang “Ready for Love” to close the show.

I would have been happy with that for my $60, but we had BACKSTAGE PASSES!!!!!

Then we waited for her to come out to the VIP section. We didn't have any cameras, nothing for her to sign....johnny come lately unprepared! In my defense, the tickets said no cameras and I've been to places where they confiscate at the door....not this place. So here come Van's students again with a small poster AND a magic marker. After we said good night and thanks to the students Van turned and handed me the stuff. I asked quietly, “I can have these?” He said: “Girl, you knew every word to EVERY song she sang, you deserve these.” Needless to say Van got another hug! So she finally comes out, it's my turn in line and the body guard had already said to keep it short and sweet, he didn’t want to hear about how you fell in love with any of her songs or how they'd changed your life, she had another show to do the next day and he wanted her to get her rest. So, I'm thinking what can I say? What can I say? What can I say?...I've got so much to say....I shake her hand and I say how are you. She says I'm fine. I ask her if she'll sign the poster for me and she says of course and signs it. Then she gives me a hug and as she hugging me I say: “You sing my life.” And she lets me go and looks at me and I smile and say: “And I've cried thru every album.” She looked like she didn't know how to react. She put her hand up to her chest and I just sort of moved off because the body guard was right there watching me, and there was just too much more to say. She signed Van's t-shirt and spoke to Joseline for a minute. It was GREAT!!! I didn't get home until almost 1am and had to force myself to sleep at 1:30 and was dragging my arse the next day at school.

She started the show by saying she didn't believe in coincidences that everything happened for a reason, perhaps she's right because the stars definitely aligned for me to meet her. If any other person had Viviana's ticket, if he hadn't gone to the bar, if he hadn't gone to smoke...you know?

So, that was a week ago and I still get a buzz thinking about it. I’m going to have to work on my 6 degrees of separation to get some sit down time to talk to her for real.

As for the stitching, it’s plodding along. I’m still working on the afghan from the 30 yr old acrylic for Carol, and I started a pair of socks out of the fake Fixation for my aunt while waiting for the concert to start…one sock done, the other one I’m half way thru the heel flap…pictures to follow.

19 October 2006

Destashing and Gift Yarn

I decided to do a deep cleaning of apartment the weekend I had off. I thought, foolishly, that if I got the books, yarn and cds straightened up that everything else would just fall into place. Yeah, not so much. I apparently forgot that things don't just clean themselves up in my place--oh to have some bewitching skills or house elves. Anyway, I did get the yarn, books and cds in order--for the most part.

I got a new book shelf, that matches the other one, to replace the one near my computer. I got new 'books' to hold my newes additions to the cd collection, and I cleaned out my yarn stash. I got rid of all of all of the acrylic, weird colors and textures that I bought when I started this, uh, hobby. I got rid of things that I know I'll never be inspired to knit with again. I put all of the yarn into ziploc bags--I am all about a ziploc! And in the end I had an Ikea bag over flowing with yarn and pieces of UFOs. Here is a picture of the bag so you can see just how much destashing I did.

I mentioned my cleaning to Melissa and she said she was trying to force herself to go to buy some cheap acrylic for a charity event she's holding. Tevana to the rescue. The bag is now only full to the top and not overflowing. I think if I pulled out the UFOs and put all the yarn into balls I would be able to fit it into a regular grocery bag, like from Trader Joe's...but for now it sits in the middle of my living room. Hey, school started again, no time to wind balls of yarn.

In this destashing I came across some yarn that I got for/around my birthday.

Here's a merino silk blend that Victoria brought me from CGOA in King of Prussia. The yarn came with a sampler lace scarf pattern. You can see part of the patterns on the top of the page under the yarn.

Here is a beautiful blend sock yarn that Daniella gave me for my birthday. I feel like it's too nice to make into socks. I want to make a scarf out of it, maybe branching out, leaves would be nice with these colors, right?

These two beauties are now living in the plastic container under my bed in their own little ziploc bags. :)

09 October 2006

School & The Seraphim

School started on Saturday. It seems like it's going to be a good session. I heard a rumor that the disrespectful old man (he actually rolled his eyes at the teacher because she said she didn't have the handouts to email to him electronically because he doesn't want to have to deal with the paper, ugh!) might be moving to another class because he said the teacher isn't clear and the class is mean to him. Good riddance I say...we can defend the teacher later but I'm not sure how much longer I can supress the urge to hurl things at him across the room...or worse, stand up and berate him for his disrespectful behavior...he'd say I was doing it just because I'm black, and it seems as though he's not very fond of the brown people...although he is REAL interested in Chinese girl in the class.

I really like the teacher. She's with us for lecture & lab...I've had my uterus scanned...at least six times this weekend. Did you know that you have to have a full bladder in order to get an image of the uterus transabdominally...yeah, neither did I until they gave me the order to drink 6 to 8 glasses of water during lunch to prepare for the scanning. It was a traumatic weekend, my stomach has been seen now by more people than in my entire life. **sigh** Maybe it will help me get over my body issues. We'll see. I've also got to allow my boobs to be scanned at some point...talk about public displays.

The Seraphim

I haven't touched it in a week. I've been trying to clean up my WIPs and I finished one yesterday...well, I finished the knitting portion, I need to actually finish it now. I'll tell you more about that later.

I have to pay very close attention to the Seraphim now. I'm on the first chart and it is just a series of holes I'm adding, but if I don't perfect the practice of reading the chart on this one I will have problems on the next one, and it is much more complicated.

Here's my progress on the Seraphim...please note my lifeline (cut in the middle cause I strung it thru the stitch markers and didn't remember I wasn't supposed to do that until I was starting to knit the next row...yeah), and my stitch markers, little rubber orings:

I'll do my best to get a better picture soon, but the shawl is now longer than the needle so it may be impossible.

Charity Knitting
I also finished the solider scarf. I'm going to have to find out where to drop it off or send it.

It was a quick knit. It gives me a little hope for the one I need to make for Lester, if it only takes me twice the amount of time to do Lester's as it did for this one I should be done in less than a week. As for now I'm waiting for the Swish to arrive from Knitpicks. During this wait I really should decide if I'm going to try something complicated for Tooraj.

06 October 2006

Nothing good about it....well actually

I went yarn shopping, and there is nothing good about that...sort of....

I had a weekend off from school on Sept. 30th & Oct. 1st....I was coerced into going to Octoberfest down at Alpine Village in Torrance. Not really my scene, but it was an okay time. I expected better beer and food, but you get what you pay for, right? I got in free and only sipped someone else's beer to taste it.

On my way to the 'Fest I talked Joseline into hitting up a couple of yarn stores with our Stitch-n-Pitch coupons. It was her first yarn jaunt Tevana style and I think she was a bit overwhelmed. She's new to crochet and has only been to Unwind (I think) and Yarn Garden (maybe)...I know she found some Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece somewhere, but just can't quite remember...age it seems....

Anyway, we decided to go to A Major Knitwork and A Mano Yarn Center.

I really like A Major Knitwork. The owners, a mother and daughter, are great. Very welcoming and knowledgeable. They've also got real sales, none of that 10% off, but a REAL sale.

So, I picked up out of the sale basket:

That's right, it's Opal yarn. It's blues and white in their Crocodile pattern...I think it's the CR-5 colorway. Two balls for $5.55 each. I've been thinking alot about knee socks. Not sure why since I never show my legs, but just maybe...

I also got a ball of Trekking XXL that everyone is raving about. It feels fine, I'll let you know how I feel about it after I start to make the socks out of it.

I'm also very fond of A Mano Yarn Center, although, before last weekend I would only go out there for a sale...it is way over in Mar Vista and I will travel for yarn but the 10 on the way back is a nightmare...and don't get me started on the 405 in either direction. Anyway, I figured I had the coupon and we were going to Torrance anyway, so why not?

We go in and they've rearranged the store. It's so much brighter, open and more welcoming the way it is now. I head to the stacks (as I like to think of yarn in the same way as I think of books) and I'm feeling my way along. Checking out the Misti Alpaca (I've got six balls of aubergine dk weight from my very first visit to A Mano), I notice they've put all the really pricey yarns (Alchemy, Fiesta) on the back wall way up high, and then I come upon a bunch of baskets on the floor. These baskets are reminiscent of the way they set up their sales and I wonder...maybe they still have "sale yarns" post sale. I see some Cherry Tree Hill yarn and I start to tell Joseline how much I like it and how I can't afford it and then I see a sign on the shelf where the Cherry Tree Hill is living that says 40 % Off with an arrow pointing down. I freeze. I look around as if I've been caught doing something wrong. I look at Joseline and ask her (as if she'd know) if the Cherry Tree Hill is 40% off too. She looks at me like I'm crazy (as is her right to) and says, I don't know. I breathe and ask her to go and find out if the Cherry Tree Hill is on sale for 40 % off too. I, for some reason, don't want to let go of the yarn. I don't want to walk away from the shelf. This makes absolutely NO sense because she and I are the only people shopping in the store. It's not like the yarn is going to disappear if I walk ten paces and ask a question, but she obliges me and she comes back and says yes, it is on sale. I sit down. It's more than I can deal with. I sit down with the same skein in hand that I've been holding this entire time and breathe...next I called Dixie...then I start digging. Did you know that Cherry Tree Hill comes in solid colors? NEITHER DID I!!!! But now I've got some. Here are my Cherry Tree Hill acquisitions, and that block of peachy goodness is the one I was holding the whole time (even though there were three more just like it!):

We lingered around that store for almost an hour...Joseline probably wanted to choke me. I chit chatted, I helped wind my hanks into center pull balls, I confessed that we were on our way to Octoberfest (one of the women had as much disdain for it as I did and she was German). I felt guilty that they had granted me a wish, Cherry Tree Hill yarn at a price I could sort of afford! Yes, I bought five hanks, which I couldn't really afford, but it was Cherry Tree Hill at 40 % off AND in solid colors. The ladies wanted to know if I was going to make all the socks for myself or to gift. I told them that there was no way that I would be giving away Cherry Tree Hill socks, they were all for me.

It was a good day!

05 October 2006


Today, for the first time, I'm wearing a pair of my own handknit socks. I'm very excited about this. They're the Magic Socks, made from $5.45 Regia from A Major Knitwork.....$5.45 for two balls, whoo hoo! I'm wearing them with my Soft Walk mary janes that are decidedly ortho in style, but oh so comfy now that I've gotten them stretched out.

I don't have a picture of my feet today, but here's a picture of the sock in process. Medium grey slacks, I'm so excited! I was inspired by Mindi at Burbank last night!

04 October 2006

Playing Catch Up

So, I realized that I've been blogging lately, but I have become the blog that is long on word and scarce on pictures. So, I've decided to catch you up in pictures on the last three months of my life. I think I mentioned my birthday at some point, but I don't see any pictures chronicling the event. It was one of the sevens, a big one, and I had a great day.

I went to school, and one of the girls in the class took me for sushi for lunch. Then I rushed home to change for dinner, which was at Gaucho's Village in Glendale. So much food, so much meat, so many cute servers, such a large glass of mojito. Here are some pictures of my family and friends...and the servers:

Me and Ransford (He's just a friend.):

Me and our server (i can't remember his name any more):

Kasan and his wife (I don't know, I thought I took a picture with his face normal, but I'm thinking he erased it):

Ivan and his wife and stepson (He's my older brother.):

Ivan and my cousin Rock:

Victoria and one of the "meat boys":

Joseline and Viviana:

Lupe and John:

Me and Tara(who was kind enough to come even though she's a vegetarian):

My desk at work the day before...notice the double unicorns, people who I don't talk to assumed I really like unicorns:

Tara, originator of the double unicorns, before and after I told her the party was over:

It was a great birthday. The people at work took me to lunch in addition to decorating my desk. I got gifts from them too...you have to get these if you don't already have them...I'm just saying. Toni and Clare surprised me with treats from Porto's, and the Burbank SnB ladies got me a cake too. It was simply marvelous!

Now don't you fret, I'll have more pictures tomorrow, as well as some yarn related content! ttfn!