Gin. Knitting. Monkeys. What more could you ask for?!

26 June 2006

LA is Beautiful

Or at least, some of the houses are just gorgeous. I have no idea what shape this house is in, or how much they're asking for it, but I would give a body part to be able to live in this place. ANY body part.

It's *kinda* on my way to work (thanks to Ellen for telling me about the "short cut". I don't know if it saves me a bunch of time, but it is way more enjoyable!), so I kinda have to go by each day.

Oh, and its for sale. Anyone wanna buy me a house? You can have any body part of your choice.

19 June 2006

Happy Pappy Day, 06

Well this was fun. I got my package out to my pops in time for FedEx on Friday (the folks currently live in Hawaii), but I just found out this a.m. that they are buying (yet another) house in NorCal. He says "this is the last one", but I've heard that before.

Anyhoo, the package had some loverly shots of the Wee MonkeyGurl, plus a knitted item for Pops. Faith asked me at SnB last week *why* I was knitting this for my dad for Fathers' Day. My response? "Because its funny."

See, as a career Marine, Pops never did have much hair, but as he gets older, I can tell that the buzzcut is a little. . . thinner than before. And since I knew they were getting a place in NorCal (where temps are much colder than Hawaii or Florida), I figured he'd need a little something to keep his head warm. But I couldn't make my Pops any old hat. Not for the King of Pun. (I once sent him a card which read, "Happy Farters' Day"; when I was in HS, I would give him the ugliest, gaudiest ties I could find - and this was in the 80's, people!!) And so I knit him (drumroll, please):

Knitty's HALLOWIG!!! (as always, modeled by the amazingly cute wee monkeygurl!)

Yeah, she's a ham. But at least she's more animated than Head.

So, for the Jman, in addition to the privilege of being WMG's father, he was taken to see a movie tailor-made for him. Gawd. It only reinforced my practice of napping while he and the WMG go to the movies.

Plus, I was caught smootching with my boyfriend.

(yes, if there's a camera around, WMG will be in front of it!)

Hey, you make me get out of bed before noon on a weekend, you have to deal with the consequences.

15 June 2006

Quick Update

Ms. G went in for her surgery today. 'Dre flew back east Tuesday nite to be with her. I let 'Dre know we were thinking happy thoughts for the lot of them, and she responded:

"Mom said to tell you she brought her hat for good luck. And she liked thinking about the "strong women dance" or at least I think that is what she said before she fell asleep."

Me: "OH, you're gonna make me cry. Well, she *is* a strong woman. And I'm sure she'll dance her way through this."

"She was making me cry. Said she felt like a warrior."

Excuse my wussy arse whilst I go boo-hoo in the bathroom.

13 June 2006

Cancer Sucks.

Blight always seems to come in waves. Back in the late '80's, the ranks of my friends and aquaintances were ravaged by AIDS. Every time I turned around (or so it seemed), another person was sick, dying, dead. And since I was living on the East Coast, it was particularly hard; most of my friends from college were like me - trying to scrape by, working several jobs, and didn't have the time or money for long distance telephone calls. These were the dark days before the advent of wide-spread email, text messaging, BLOGS, and disposable cell phones. By the time I heard of another person's illness, they could in actuality be dead.

But now everything is instantaneous. As soon as someone gets bad news, they tell two friends, and they tell two friends, and so on, and so on. . . (another reference to times long ago. If you don't get it, don't worry. I like young folks too.) Now that I finally learned how to be friends with GIRLS, breast cancer is all the rage.

Most recently, one of my best friends emailed me that her mother had some suspicious activity in breast (I think it was a routine mammogram that led to that discovery), which led to the recommendation that she have a double mastectomy. My friend, Dre, is crazy, brilliant, beautiful, neurotic, genuine and fiercely loyal. Of course it would take a special person to make her that way.

Dre's mother, Ms. G, is beautiful, intelligent and gracious; to me, she is the epitome of class and style. If it weren't for some weird fart of fate, our paths most certainly would never have crossed. We don't travel in the same circles, to put it mildly. But you know what? In all the times we've been together (usually for family-related events, like Dre's wedding, where the Wee MonkeyGurl was the flower girl, the babies' birthdays, etc.), she has always been the most kind, generous, warm, welcoming person to me and my family. Which is why I was crushed to hear of her illness.

I think I cried more about it than I would have if my own mother was diagnosed. It just doesn't seem fair. Too many good women keep getting this cancer. Out of 5 sisters, Ms.G is the third to be diagnosed. Dre is considering having testing to see if she has the gene. I guess it's good, people are catching it early and dealing with it proactively, but it just seems to be the scourge of the oughts.

Anyway, the *good* news is they hopefully caught it early enough where she won't need chemo or radiation. And that she is at arguably the best possible facility to receive treatment. So for my own consolation, I made her a couple of caps. I didn't know what else to do! I made the lace cap out of a beautiful silk. I've never handled anything so sumptuous - like knitting with clouds. I figured she could actually wear this, post-surgury, when she doesn't feel like bothering with her hair (people like her actually *care* about how their hair looks!) The colorway is gorgeous, and will look lovely with her ginger-colored hair and fair skin. I'd like to show you the picture of it, but BLOGGER HATES ME.

Okay, apparently Blogger only hates me between the hours of 9am and 5pm. Gofigger.
Please ignore the apparent lumpiness of the model's head. Wee MonkeyGurl had a kicky little ponytail that didn't lend itself nicely to photography.

I just *had* to show the top. I love this spirally thingie. So did Ms. G.

The second was more symbolic. It was the fourth strong women dance cap I've made. It was made out of a beautiful cotton/silk Noro Sumile. The picture does NOT do it justice; the colors are so vibrant (I made it in pink and teal) as to almost be obnoxious. GOOD THING BLOGGER HATES ME, so you don't get your retinas burned.

Guess your retinas are burning, after all.

I told Ms. G I don't care if she wears it; all she needs to do is see the colors and know we're all thinking about her. I'm such a mush-head I actually got all choked up and had to really try hard not to cry. Good thing we were outside and I had my sunglasses on.

I was whining to my BFF@W that way too many people I care about are getting sick again, like it was in the '80's. She said that is what happens when you care about people. And it's true. For almost 20 years (TWENTY YEARS! I graduated college TWENTY YEARS AGO!!!) I survived by insulating myself from others. It grew to be quite comfortable. Then I somehow met the most amazing bunch of people that refused to let me sit in the corner by myself. And somehow, their friendship allowed me to expand my horizons even more. I'm not saying it's easy. It certainly isn't. I kinda miss the days when I was numb. But, as this is yet another *compelling* chapter of my life, I guess I have no choice but to embrace it.

On that note, please make it a priority to get your exams (breast, prostate, whatever), particularly if you have a family history or disposition. Because I like my friends healthy and well.

09 June 2006

How well do you know me??

You may think you know me, because you previously received this meme in e-mail form. BUT, clevah character that I am, I've edited, added, and amended the list.

For instance, did you know:

Four jobs I have had in my life:

1. National Prison Project of the ACLU - my first experience as a legal secretary. They (surprisingly) paid about the same as the fatcat law firms, but without all the pretense and attitude. It was pretty cool, and I had the greatest co-workers.

2. Senate Parking (US Senate Sergeant-at-Arms) - I worked in the Capitol buildings (Senate side), and had great fun exploring. This was pre-9/11, so we pretty much had our run of the place. The parking office was staffed by students from Georgetown, George Washington, American and Catholic universities. It was probably the erudite parking staff I've ever experienced. My biggest thrill? Meeting a handsome Marine and realizing a month later (as he was in Senate hearings) that he was Oliver North.

3. Counselor at Boys Republic of Chino - This was hard. A secure facility for troubled youths, I did a 6-month internship for my Psych major here. The boys ranged from about 8 to 18, and they had absolutely the most horrible experiences I'd ever heard (this is mid-80's, so there wasn't a whole lot of reality t.v. or CSIs or Law & Orders). I realized here that despite my unhappy childhood, there were plenty that had it far worse, and still managed to maintain a positive outlook. I admire them.

4. Coors Baseball All-Star vote taker (Anaheim Stadium). Two weekends before the all-star break. I got paid, free admission to the game, and only had to collect ballots and ward off drunken asshats. I was 20 y/o at the time; it seemed like a good idea...

Four Things that Annoy the HELL outta me:

1. The fact that my work keyboard is missing the anchor bump on the "J" key; now I have to look down to make sure my fingers are placed properly.

2. Inconsiderate, unfocused, or otherwise occupied bad drivers. At least I now have a label for my condition "IED". Although, that makes me sound like I should be buried in the roads of Iraq.

3. When I can't make up my mind. Happens way too often - way more now that I'm older. I miss being young and certain the world was black and white.

4. When the Wee MonkeyGurrl acts like she's stupid to get out of doing homework b/c she knows I'll pop a gasket, yell at her, and send her to bed. It works *every* time!

Four movies I could watch over and over:

1. POC, or POCĀ² - Love me some Johnny Depp. Especially in these flicks.

2. King Arthur - Love me some Clive Owen.

3. Beyond Borders - Love me some Clive Owen with some Angelina, too! BTW, how impossibly *HOT* does she look as a new mom?!

4. TIE: Rabbit-Proof Fence - one of the few "inspirational" movies that managed not to annoy me! Also, Jesus Christ, Superstar. What a freakin fantastic movie.

Four things that I regret most:

1. Only having the one WMG (and yes, it *IS* too late to do anything about that!)

2. Worrying too much about the opinions of people who shouldn't matter to me.

3. Doing what I was supposed to do, and being fearful of what I wanted to do.

4. Not marrying for money. Seriously.

Four places I have lived:

1. Washington, DC - actually, twice. Once (NoVa) as a 5/6/7th grader, and again (DC, proper) in grad school.

2. Milton, FL - the armpit of FLA. I was born there, and I hear it's got way more in common with Abalama than South Beach.

3. San Diego, CA - met some of the greatest people EVAH there.

4. Los Angeles, CA. Eh. I've been her 8 years, and I think I may finally be getting used to it.

Four things about me I betcha don't know:

1. I'm not as bad as most people think I am (but in my mind, I'm a whole lot worse!)

2. I'm smarter than I look (and sound, and act).

3. I am painfully, terribly shy and embarrassedd to be me. And yet, I have no problem doing stuff by myself (going to a movie, eating in a restaurant, going to a bar).

4. I have legitimately attempted suicide several times, have an on-going battle with depressive tendencies (with symptomatic behaviors, e.g., self-mutilation, body dysmorphic disorder, etc.), and still embrace the concept of dying young (despite it being too late for that as well!)

Four TV shows I love to watch:

1. Grey's Anatomy - hot men and women of all types and sizes and intelligent writing. What more could I want.

2. House - Even *MORE* intelligent writing.

3. DHC medical mysteries - the human body is an amazing thing.

4. So You Think You Can Dance - "back in the day", I would totally have made it TO Las Vegas, but probably would have been sent home from there.

Four places I have been on vacation:

1. Italy - Tuscany by way of Rome. Beautiful country.

2. France - Paris. Unbelievably beautiful and fun, despite beinggrievouslyy ill.

3. Salt Lake City - Quite possibly the best skiing, ever.

4. Taos - spring skiing. Too friggin crowded.

Four places I would like to be right now:

1. In a cool, laid back bar, drinking and dancing, with Johnny Depp. Well, pretty much anywhere with Johnny Depp, but not meeting him for the first time, b/c I'd be a completely blathering idiot.

2. Rollerblading down the boardwalk in SD, during the day when everyone else is at work/in school and I have the whole thing to myself. Well, me and those boys playing vollyball. . .

3. Salzburg, Aus. (or pretty much anywhere in Europe), walking. My dream destination for EVAH.

4. Hanging out with my friends, laughing, drinking, knitting. But mostly drinking.

So, if you've read this post, you've been tagged. Post it in your own blog and leave me a comment. Pass it along to those you think you know, or you want to know better.

Have a great weekend, everybody.

06 June 2006


From the man with the FAHNCEE camera:

The Wee Monkey Gurrl, EMOTING:

Can't you just FEEL the sweatshop in the background?

And a good shot with aforementioned cap:

Hot as Hades

But well worth it. The production of Oliver was highly entertaining. We had our bestest buds from San Diego come up to partake - yes, two large dogs, three pre-teens and four adults in one crappy little apartment during the hottest days of June in history. Niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice.

The auditorium, natch, was not airconditioned either, and of course, we couldn't get tickets for the saturday evening show (which, btw pissed me off to no end because when I drove all the way out there to drop off the wee MonkeyGurl, quite a few people remarked that they had extra tickets). So we got the Sunday "matinee", at 2 pm, arguably the hottest hour on the hottest day in history. But it was so worth it.

Here's the weeMG as "an orphan".

Would you believe those are Bebe capris (gods bless thrift stores!), in which I sewed an elastic band to give it that "bunched up" look without her having to deal with a functional belt, then ratted the cuffs, and knotted a bunch of ugly yarn to make a belt. Crafty, no?

And here she is as one of "Fagin's Kid"s
And yes, I did knit that cap, thankyouverymuch, based on Knitty's topi. There's even a matching scarf, but it was much too hot for that. But we can snazz it up with some pink stuff and she'll have a set next winter (assuming this global warming thing doesn't destroy the earth before then).

Good times, good times.