27 April 2007

All About Perspective

I’ve been stressing myself out for the last few months. I don’t do the waiting thing well; and well, I’ve been waiting for the same thing to happen since last September. I am of course talking about the surgery. I thought that once I decided to have it done everything would move along super smoothly and super quickly. I’d assumed that the 18 months I’d spent at Weight Watchers would be a good thing for the pre-surgery process. My assumption, like many, was incorrect.

I put in my time with the nutritionist and while the time seemed to drag along I anticipated everything moving super fast and super smoothly once I completed that task. Again, anticipation = assumption in this case. Again, time is dragging. There was the wait to see the PCP to request the visit to the surgeon. I then had to wait for the IPA to deny that request and re-route me to the psychologist, and then the wait two weeks to see the psychologist. The next wait, which we just cleared this past Tuesday was to get the hard copy of the psychologist’s report so that I could get the PCP to resubmit to the IPA for the visit to the surgeon. So, now that my PCP has submitted to the IPA again for my request to see the surgeon I am waiting while it’s “in process.” It’s maddening really, because after I clear this hurdle there will be more waiting. To see the surgeon for the initial consultation. To get approvals for the pre-op testing. To get approval for the actual surgery…and finally for the surgery date, but that’s getting a bit ahead of myself.

So, I spoke to a friend last night who inquired about where I am in the process and I explained and she said all the right things about insurance companies and unnecessary steps and the long-ness of my wait. And then she asked: Well, how long has it been since this all started? I said, Well, I started “the process” in September, but I finished with the nutritionist in March, so it’s been over a month….well, actually just a five weeks. And I realized that in the grand scheme of things five weeks is not all that long even though I would have liked to have had it done in less time than that. It’s all about perspective right? I have my reasons for rushing through this process, but I see that I really haven’t been waiting all that long. And two months isn’t really a very long time to change your life, is it? It’s a matter of perspective, right?

So, in all my stress-filled waiting I’ve been knitting up a storm. I’ve been working on gifts, lots and lots of gifts. I vaguely remember stating that after the last round of gifts I would only be knitting for self, but I haven’t followed through on that. So, this week, I started the Shetland Triangle from Wrap Style. It’s to be a Mother’s Day gift for my mother if I can get it done on time. There are 80 rows of the body and I’m in the 50s I believe. It’s moving very quickly and I’m thinking I might actually pull it off. I’m concerned about the blocking, but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. I am also three repeats away from the conclusion of the knitting portion of the wash cloths, then just a bit of weaving in of ends. I’ve made it a habit in recent years to make gifts for the important women in my life that are mothers. I just can’t do it this year. I’m mentally and emotionally drained and just don’t have the time or money….perhaps I’ll find cards and get them in the mail on time.

Pictures will soon follow…I just need to find that disc with the drivers for the camera.

22 April 2007

Me? Over-reacting?

In re-reading the last post I got to thinking about how others would read it. Would you think that I was over-reacting to an innocuous statement? Would you understand why I found that statement and the ones that followed--that I did not share--so offensive? I figured probably not. I'll try to explain.

I'm pretty guarded. I don't let people in. I've got walls...lots and lots of walls. Every once in a while I'll let down my defenses and feel new people in my life out. This woman that I'm referring to wouldn't be someone that I would seek out to form a relationship with. The only things we have in common are our year of birth and job function. Beyond that we've got completely different lives. I thought this would make for an interesting exchange. I thought there would be some things to learn from her, and I did about cooking, but that was pretty much it. When I explained my relationship with my mother to her I don't remember why the subject had even been raised, and it's really one of those things that I'm no longer so guarded about. My issue is that I believe she felt it was something she could use to get under my skin...to hurt me with. It's all about the intention behind the words.

I've had several people do this very thing to me since I moved here from NY. I have excused these instances, but I will never forget the things that were said or how those things made me feel. Let me give you an example. There was a young woman, late 20s, who would confide in me about her sexual life...or lack thereof. She was a virgin at 28. I was a late bloomer and tried to put her at ease about it. I tried to let her know that there was absolutely nothing wrong with her or the fact that she'd chosen to wait. I'd also shared some of my own experiences with her. Well, she finally gave it up to some guy and they had a budding relationship. She calls me one day and says: I was bad last night? I tell her I'm not in a position to talk. She continues as if I haven't just said I can't talk. So, she starts this story about drinks after work and a parking lot and being "bad." My question was: Did you sleep with him? She responded, without a pause: No, I'm not you. W? T? F? And my mind ranted on about how insulting that was while my mouth said, Excuse me? And she said, Oh, I'm just joking!

The way I feel/felt: Fuck that. You don't say that kind of shit to someone you call a friend and think you can just laugh it off. I have slowly separated myself from her. I won't bore you with the other occurrences, but that's how the statement from my co-worker felt, like she wanted to hurt me and dug around until she found the thing that she believed would do that if the button was pressed.

Okay, I need to get over this...this...disgust. I've got to work with this woman everyday until I leave this job. If you've got some techniques please let me know. I plan to be as amicable as possible while keeping a good distance from her.

I had my first test in Physics today. I'm tired from the stress of the day. I got a pretty good grade, but far from the highest in the class. The girl that sits next to me did better than I did and she said she didn't study...I should try to cheat off her paper next time. Haha! Just kidding! We sit next to the teacher so it's not possible. ;)

Other than that I have almost finished the socks made from the Sockotta that I got from Christine....they're pretty, but super short. Tonight I'll work on my mother's last warshrag.

Hope you all had a great weekend!
I'll be working on getting pictures posted!

20 April 2007


I know...another long post sans photos, and not even completely about knitting...

I’d like to know at what point discourse changes from a simple observation and statement of facts to actual bitching. I have a co-worker who constantly tells me that I’m bitching about things if I make an observation about them. This morning’s complaints about my bitching: I ordered breakfast with said co-worker at 9:29am from Denny’s. This was probably my first mistake….well, my first two mistakes—I mean, breakfast at Denny’s, really? Anyway, at approximately 10:38 am I inquired about the delivery of breakfast. I got a series of one word responses from her, and then this:

“Next time you can order your own food. This bitching is getting old. You should be happy, your mother's in town remember.”

I was taken aback to say the least. Now, if you’ve known me for more than say a week you probably have an idea about my ‘relationship’ with my mother. I’ve known this woman for a year, and had what I thought was a deep touching conversation about mothers with her. She is less inclined to be sweet about her mother than I am. She doesn’t seem to remember this conversation, and has been throwing around the “ you should be happy…” about my mother’s visit for the last week or so. I’m not sure why she thinks I’m unhappy, or what she thinks I feel at all. What I do know is that I have no intention of shucking and grinning around this place just to make her comfortable.

Ice Cube had a line in “True to the Game” a long time ago, back when he was a hard core rapper, and that’s what goes through my head when people tell me I need to smile. I’m over it. I’m over her. I’m glad we had this exchange this morning. I think people always show their true feelings after a while. She’ll get over what ever it is that’s crawled up her arse this morning and want to have lunch again next week, but I’m good. I’ve got lots of studying to do for this Physics class. I told my therapist that I don’t expect to get an A in this class (she wants me to believe that I’m smart.), but in all honestly, I’m so concerned about my ability to do this work—to absorb and apply this knowledge—that I’ll be happy with a C. I’m a bit stressed out about everything that’s going on in my life and I don’t need people to try to unload their shit on me...not today...not at all.

I have been knitting. It’s become the thing that I do with my hands so that my jaw doesn’t tighten up. I don’t do the waiting thing well, and I swear I’ve been waiting since last September. I feel like all I’m doing is hurrying up to wait some more. In September I gave up on Weight Watchers and went to my doctor to inquire about gastric bypass surgery. First she said: You don’t want to do that, you won’t be able to eat steak. I told her: I can’t eat steak now based on the plans I’m supposed to follow, so what’s the difference. I've put in the work and gotten little results. I'm ready to move on. When she saw that I was serious she told me that the rules were that I had to have at least six months of medically supervised weight loss. I asked her if the 18 months of Weight Watchers meant nothing and she said that is correct, you must see a nutritionist.

So I made my appointment and started seeing the nutritionist. She recommended a high carb/low fat/low protein plan for me. I followed it for two weeks and gained weight. Then I started doing what I’ve been doing for what feels like forever and stabilized. I made it through my six months, and only gained six pounds during that time. Of course I only ate soup, and meat for the last two weeks of the process. Anyway. I’ve been reading Crazy Aunt Purl and after yesterday’s post feel like I should just tell you all this is what’s going on with me.

I finished up with the nutritionist in March and figured it would be smooth sailing from there on out. Not so much. It’s been lots and lots of waiting. Waiting for the nutritionist to send her report to the doctor. Waiting for the doctor to submit for the referral. Waiting for the IPA to get all the necessary documentation and decide about the referral. My referral to the surgeon was transferred to the psychologist and it was a two week wait to get in to see him. That was this past Monday. Now I’m waiting for the transcriptionist to type up the report, him to sign it and it to be sent to my pcp so that she can resubmit for me to go see the surgeon. Yes, surprisingly enough I passed the psych eval. And this is why I’ve been leaving the SnB early on Thursday s to attend the support group meetings. Last night was a presentation from a plastic surgeon…..really quite interesting.

So, in all my waiting I’ve knitted quite a bit. I made a pair of worsted weight socks for one of my classmates. I also made fingerless mitts for myself and two other classmates. Mine are out of Koigu, the peachy solid Koigu that was a scarf that sprung a hole a long time ago….old yarn new life. I completed one set of mitts out of this alpaca wool blend yarn I had in the stash. I loved the color…hated the shedding…gave them away. Those were the first pair, and didn’t have thumbs, just holes. I figured out the thumbs on the peach Koigu ones and put them in on the black ones for another classmate and will put them on the lavender ones for yet another classmate….those were both made of Simply Soft in the stash. There are only three other women in the class that I plan to knit for, one I’ll make socks…the other I think a scarf that’s light and lacey and will take more concentration than I can muster now, and the last one actually knits and she bought herself the stuff to make the MaryElla, but doesn't feel that she's capable. I’m thinking, as much as I don’t want to, I’ll offer to make her MaryElla for her….we’ll see.

I’ve also made 2.25 Ballband Warshrags in the pattern from the Mason-Dixon Knitting book. They’re also made out of stash yarn, and will be Mother’s Day gifts for my mother because although past gifts have received lukewarm receptions I am compelled to knit for my mother because I do love her and am really happy that she’s in town.

19 April 2007

Out With A Whimper

Still no pictures....sorry.....but at least I'm posting.

Happy belated birthday to Carlin & Toni!

If you know me then you know what my schedule is like. Between the overtime at work and all the stuff for school some weeks I don’t have the time to do laundry or buy food. You also probably know that my brother’s wife is expecting their first child in early May. You can imagine my surprise when I received my invitation to the Co-Ed Baby Shower scheduled on the weekend of March 24th…. Seven weeks prior to the due date. Is it me, or is this a little bit early?

Well, it turns out that this is the date that worked best for my brother’s sister-in-law. One weekend later and I would have been able to finish up the things I’d planned to do AND attend the shower. One month later and the father’s mother—who is flying in from St. Croix, USVI—would have been able to attend. But I digress. I was still searching for the perfect yarn to make a nice new baby blanket for them, but now the race was on to find decent yarn that I could fit into the budget that matched the chosen color scheme. Luckily A Mano was having a sale! Whoo hoo! This is one yarn store I don’t mind battling the traffic to get to! They are over in Mar Vista/Culver City and a trip there involves the 405…but, remember Cherry Tree Hill for 40% off. I get a chill just thinking about it. Anywho. I decided to trudge over to A Mano to look and see if they had the Blue Sky Alpaca I had in mind on sale and in the right colors.

Joseline and I hurried over after work on the first day of the sale and got there about an hour before closing despite a slight mis-turn in the South LA area. They did not have the BSA in the right colors and I’d resigned myself to a $90 blanket with supplies purchased at Unwind because I didn’t have time to wait for mail deliveries of yarn because the shower was in three weeks! I was thinking I would make a Big Bad Baby Blanket (BBBB) with the two pinks and brown as the border. So I asked if they had the SnB book but they didn’t and wanted to know what pattern I had in mind. I told her the BBBB. She, one of the owners of A Mano—not Shannita—said, “the Big Bad Baby Blanket is made of Koigu,” as she headed towards the Koigu display. I stayed where I was near the sale table and said, “Yeah, this little one isn’t getting any blanket made of Koigu.” And then I went back to my browsing under her raised eyebrow of what felt like disapproval. I’m sorry. Koigu, for a baby blanket is insanity….it’s beautiful soft yarn, but WAAAAY out of my price range even with the sale.

I kept looking around for the right colors, and I wasn’t even thinking fiber content at that point. I found them in one of the sale bins! It was GGH Samoa (mostly, I think there was another name on some of the skeins but they all looked the same). It was two pinks and one brown. The pinks were a hot pink and a bubble gummy sort of pink. It really is a pretty combination. The yarn is a cotton acrylic mix I believe. There has been an uproar on the SnB LA board lately about the acceptable fibers for a baby blanket. I don’t really have any thoughts on that except that it seems insane to me to make things that will have to be washed over and over again in some fiber that can’t really stand up to that sort of abuse. Also, I want the blanket to be used, and I think the parents might be reluctant to toss a wool blanket around the way they would one made from Red Heart. I bought nine balls of it and it cost about $40 in the end. I’ve got some left over and am thinking maybe I’ll make a sweater or booties and a hat. I started the blanket that very night. I had to call Joseline to get the instructions for the BBBB. I made it through the first 20 rows and then went to bed thinking “I’m off to a good start!”

The next day was the Burbank gathering of the SnB. I asked about intarsia and joining the yarn and everything seemed crystal clear. I had four balls of yarn going, two brown, one hot pink and one bubble gummy pink. I worked on it the entire time at the SnB and everyone oohed and aaaahed over it. Then I got it home and the cold light of truth shined (shone?) on that piece of work. Yes, the colors worked well together. Yes, in theory the blanket would have been adorable. NO, my intarsia work –such that it was—did not look good! Argh! So, I ripped it out and thought It would be simpler to make four big squares, stitch them together and add the border. Argh! No, still a problem with the seams. Deep breath. Pinwheel it is. There was a polka-dot sheet on the registry. This would be the perfect blanket to use with that sheet! Off I went. I ordered the sheet and the blanket went every where with me for those three weeks. The production of that piece was so down to the wire that I didn’t have a chance to wash it OR weave in the ends.

I wrapped it up with the sheet, thinking it would be a spectacular presentation at the shower. And I delivered everything to the expectant parent’s apartment, while they were out, at midnight on a school night. I was happy and satisfied that I had basically gotten everything done. I would worry about the shower the next day.

So I went to school the next day and sweet-talked my teacher into letting me leave the lab an hour early so I could at least make an appearance at the shower and see them open at least my gifts. I rushed from Beverly Hills down the 10 to the 110 and got to South Pasadena in no time. They were all surprised to see me. I said all my hellos and helped a bit with the setting up. I was only able to stay for about an hour, and I caught hell for that….what kind of auntie was I going to be if I couldn’t skip school for this one occasion? I wanted to say a gainfully employed one, but I held my tongue.

Okay, so can we open my gifts? Silence. A look exchanged. She says: “Oh, were we supposed to bring them?” What the fuck?????? I rushed all the way over here from Beverly Hills and you didn’t even bring the gifts? Why the fuck do you think I stayed up late on a school night to get them to you if I didn’t want to you bring them to the shower???? I don’t say any of that. I take a deep breath. He can see that I’m pissed about this. He says: “I had to leave the house early in a hurry. I forgot.” I won’t even bother with the rest of the excuses. He did offer to go pick them up, but there was no way for me to wait around that long. Someone that I told this story to said: She doesn’t like you much, does she? And they don’t even know the history.

Anyway, they got home from the shower shortly after I got home from school and sent my other brother’s stepson down to get me so we can open gifts. They were non-plussed by the blanket. They didn’t “get” that the circular motif of the blanket was chosen because of the dots on the sheet. She is more excited about the crib-side MP3 player speakers. Why the fuck do I even try?

I take another deep breath and I tell him to wash it and bring it back to me so I can weave in the ends. I explain that some shrinkage will occur and that if I’d woven them in before the ends would have popped out. I also explain that the crunchy spots are where someone spilled protein drink on them at one of the support group meetings……so, my blanket went over like wet bread despite my best effort. I’ll tell you about the support group later…