Friday, July 31, 2009

showing off

my fabulous sewing skills

(the crinoline, not the corset)

Blogspot, meet Lucy. Lucy, meet Blogspot.

I have a car. Her name is Lucy. I bought her yesterday with a Hello Kitty check. Today I got my registration and parking stickers. So now it's official.

I have a car.

Flickr, meet Lucy.  Lucy, meet Flickr.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Chop Suey


Since I almost never navajo ply, I have a growing collection of toilet paper rolls with leftover singles wrapped around them. I started plying them together, sometimes 2-ply, sometimes 3-ply, sometimes navajo-plied. Sometimes I’d take one strand and navajo ply it, and at the same time ply it with another strand that was going in straight. Sometimes I’d hold two strands together and navajo ply them together like one. It’s kind of a little bit of EVERYTHING.


BFL, bamboo, camel, dogfur, merino, mohair, nylon, recycled plastic bottles, silk, wensleydale
250 yards, mostly sport weight

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

today and tomorrow

notes for today:

Jess is leaving forever. I find that I'm still in denial about that, even though she leaves on Friday. We took her out to sushi tonight, and then she went back to the bookbinding studio to finish her final project.

Jess was the first person in Iowa to really talk to me. I mean, I'd met people, but she was the first person to come up to me and have a real conversation. I wish I'd been able to be friends with her then, but it took me the good part of a year to make social overtures her way. I'm usually too shy for social overtures. It didn't help that she's sweet, and smokin' hot, and I had a secret crush on her.

I did finally get to tell her about the crush. I really like telling people about crushes I have had on them, past tense. Well, with Jess it's only partly past-tense. I still think she's sweet and smokin' hot, but the flutter in my stomach has quieted down.

Tonight I had geoduck (in sashimi) for the first time. I mostly wanted to try it from having seen it in Dirty Jobs, which isn't really a high recommendation. I think it's a delicacy, but then again so is bird nest soup, which is boiled bird spit. I would totally eat that too.

Anyway, I'd been told that geoduck tasted awful, like a beach, not in a sunshine-and-happy-feeling kind of way, but a salty-smelly kind of way. That is exactly what it tasted like. There were moments as I was chewing when I thought it tasted good, but they were always followed by moments when I would have rathered spit it out. I ate the second piece, mostly because Andrew ate his second piece and I didn't want to be outdone.

Then I helped Andrew move a few things from apartment 1 to apartment 2 and 3. I failed to make plans to get drunk with Mike. Then I realized that I only had about 5 hours of sleep, and about 3 of those hours were spent on either a recliner or the floor. So now I am home again.

notes for tomorrow:

meet Alyssa for lunch
buy car
mail package for Fenna
shop for fabric for Fenna's bag
use yarn swift @ Home Ec.
stay @ Home Ec.?
more food?
Zoomba with Alyssa

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

fond memories of not being in love

I love a lot of things. I love sushi, I love swimming in the ocean, I love drunk dialing near-strangers. It's what I say to express how much pleasure these things give me. But when it's a person instead of a food, or activity, the word gets stuck. It means too much.

But what else is there, besides I love you?

I can avoid the subject, and love being around you, or love this, this thing we do. I can change the verb from love to the more acceptable like. Or I can say nothing, which is what I usually do.

Monday, July 27, 2009

My Summer Vacation in Jacksonville, Part IX

More illustrations:

St. Augustine, Florida

I found myself desiring cheesy tourist merchandise, of which there was an enormous quantity and variety. So I bought a pink painted shell for 8 cents, which allowed me to feel as if I'd bought something, so then I didn't have to buy anything else. It was my Magic Pink Shell of Protection Against Souvenir Spoons, Cuban Hats, Shot Glasses, and T-Shirts.

A Beach in Jacksonville

Sunday, July 26, 2009

oh HELL no

Someone guessed my age as 34?!

(Okay, it doesn't really bother me that much.)


Stop being so fucking awesome. Stop liking things I like. Stop saying funny things about liking them.

Just stop.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

My Summer Vacation in Jacksonville, Part VIII


The Fabulous Fenna Ryerson Blue and Friend

Bryan Armstrong, Temporary Squeeze

there were supposed to be more, but there was a slight scanning incident, more on their way shortly

Sunday, July 19, 2009


My dad is AWESOME.

Cambus weekends SUCK.

This isn't going to mean anything to anyone who hasn't seen me try to bowl, but I got a 105.

The frustration is NOT going away. SERIOUS badness.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

My Summer Vacation in Jacksonville, Part VII

odds and ends

I ate gator tail, conch fritters and crab balls in St. Augustine. I liked the conch fritters best.

When people in Iowa City see me, they tell me how thin I've gotten, how good I'm looking. Because they remember me 60 pounds ago, and compared to that I'm tiny. And when I wear my clothes, I look better in them than I ever did before. It was easy to feel satisfied. And I can't be satisfied yet. Meeting people for the first time reminded me that, without the 245 lb comparison, people are still going to see fat when they meet me. Trying on new clothes reminded me that there are still things I want to wear but can't. And then there was Bryan to show that it isn't automatically a deal-killer.

I am still glowing over Bryan. Not in a wishing-it-wasn't-over kind of way, but a I'm-glad-I-had-that-experience kind of way. When the crush was fading I was wondering what would be in its place, wondering if I would feel about him the way I did with B. (at least this time I would be able to leave the state instead of talking to him). But I just feel affectionate and strangely protective. I really hope things with this new girl work out.

I kissed Fenna. It was good.

My Summer Vacation in Jacksonville, Part VI


She stops and asks questions, and at first I wonder why do you care but then I find that I'm always glad that she asked. I find that when I take the time to really examine something, give it a chance, it always has more to offer than I would have thought.

She goes to the beach with me in pouring rain, sings loudly (with vibrato!) in the car, knows all the words to country songs on the radio, talks to strangers and learns their stories, takes naked self portraits in the woods, on the beach, on a frozen lake, in a cornfield. She's confident and forceful, and my opposite in almost every way, except that I feel like she gets me. She makes a great wingman, and even though I know she was getting annoyed being around me & Bryan, she didn't get in my way or make me feel bad about it.

And Fenna, I was totally hiding under your porch because I love you.

My Summer Vacation in Jacksonville, Part V

Travel Plans

It starts with my friend from work, back in the camera store in Berkeley (Looking Glass Photo, still the best store in the world). He and his wife were going to move to Maine and open a gallery and taco shop. I got a t-shirt for El El Frijoles, and a cheap '86 Volvo station wagon.

It's been many expensive repairs later, and I knew it was time to look for something newer, something more reliable, or at least cheaper to fix. But I had plans for the summer, and figured I would wait a bit before abandoning the Volvo. I had it fixed at the end of May. I took it to Chicago and back. I took it to Jacksonville. I tried to take it to Orlando, but never made it out of town. We got a tow, we got a ride home. $150 and a 1 1/2 days later, the car was running again.

(And, for the record, Fenna was a fucking superhero getting a mechanic and tow worked out. It was fantastic.)

And once I'd finished panicking, I realized how lucky I was that it broke down when it did. I had visions of long stretches of road through Kentucky where panic wouldn't even begin to describe what would happen if my car broke down. I could try to drive it back to Iowa, but what would I gain? A slightly cheaper trip (gas is still cheaper than a bus ticket plus shipping the stuff I couldn't fit on a bus), and the ability to hang on a little longer to a car I don't want?

So I got my first real trip on a Greyhound. 1 day, 7 hours. Jacksonville to Lake City to Valdosta to Macon to Atlanta to Chattanooga to Nashville to Louisville to Indianapolis (where the newspaper had an Ask Billy Graham column) to Champaign to Bloomington to Peoria to Galesburg (which I'd thought was also a town in PA but isn't) to Burlington to Iowa City.

I tried to curb my excitment; I was doing something I'd never done before, but everyone has their awful Greyhound stories. I shouldn't expect too much. But everything worked out. There were a few rude drivers. There was a bus that smelled faintly of piss. But if I rested my head against the window I couldn't smell it. I got into Iowa City having slept (something that wouldn't have happened if I'd driven myself), and in almost the same time than I'd taken getting down.

My Summer Vacation in Jacksonville, Part IV

Dancing, and lack thereof

I never get to dance in Iowa City. I can't get friends to go clubbing, there is no swing dancing, and while there is salsa on Saturdays at Flannegans, it just isn't enough.

So part of the planning of my Jacksonville trip involved trying to fit as much social dancing as we could. Every other weekend there's a dance in Orlando, and every Friday there's dancing in Jax.

Except Friday, no one came. And, well, after a while I stopped paying attention. On Saturday we didn't even get out of Jacksonville before my car broke down. And we tried one more new place on Tuesday, but pickings were slim there, too.

I got a total of five dances in three nights.

My Summer Vacation in Jacksonville, Part III, section C

Girly stuff, the last installment (I swear!)

It was a perfect ending. Monday we couldn't stop touching. Tuesday there was nothing. Just a quick, awkward, good-bye hug. It was nice meeting you. All my worries were completely unfounded.

And I don't know if it ended so cleanly because his sweet-talk was just that, or because he went in and out of infatuation as quickly as I did. Maybe I was just another skanky club girl. I don't really care what the reason is. I got to spend a few days grinning and holding hands, being cute, being admired, and I got to leave it guilt-free.

My Summer Vacation in Jacksonville, Part III, section B

Girly stuff, continued (slightly edited excerpts from emails):

from July 12, 3:43pm

I hate this part. I'm going into crazy stalker mode, which sometimes just means looking up all the photos I can find on facebook, but this time means keeping a list in my head of reasons to think he actually liked me or if I was just there & available.

And the thing is, I know that none of this matters. I KNOW that. I'm not trying to actually be his girlfriend. But I'm crushing hard and I just want to think he liked me. Well, I want to think he liked me, and I want to kiss him again before I leave. That's all. I'm thinking I don't get either, though.

Don't think I don't get the irony of wishing someone would call. I get it.

...and it's weird having my crazy mad crush on fenna's friend -- I don't want her to know I'm obsessing like this, maybe because she knows him so he's a real person and not just a story? Or because it's looking like I'm the only one who wants to see him again, and she knows it, and the more I show how much I want to, the more pathetic I look?

I'm just trying to wait it out. I still feel like a teenager; I feel like nothing else matters. The world is ending! But I know that I've felt this before. It will pass. A week, maybe two, and he'll be a fond memory in the story of How I Spent My Summer Vacation.

from July 13, 8:26am

he likes me! He is my weekend boyfriend! Yaaay!

I find that I am being surprisingly rational about the temporary nature of this. He has a date on Tuesday and not only am I not jealous in the slightest, I am totally rooting for him. Yay for learning things about myself.

Also, had been totally worried that I was annoying trendy bisexual girl who isn't really, since the thing with B went so badly, but kissing Fenna was hott and I liked it so I'm not worried anymore.

Hooray for learning things about myself. Gotta go get dressed & go to St. Augustine!

from July 14, 8:44am

really, really, hoping that I'm doing the right thing here

the crush is wearing off -- I do like him, but it doesn't go very deep, and I'm terribly afraid that he might like me more than he should

and I feel so conceited -- like worrying about that just means that I think too highly of myself -- but that's gotten me in trouble before. I think "oh it won't go anywhere, so there won't be any consequences," but then I'm wrong. I know that I'm not going to be hurt, and I just hope that I'm not hurting him.

Can I just say, though, that I am a little proud of myself for keeping my clothes on? I'm not saying it wasn't dirty, and it did go further than I'd planned. But not so much that I felt bad about it later. Poor boy. I am SUCH a tease. But dammit, he knew that from the start.

p.s. really must ask him if he has any requests for what does and doesn't get blogged & what filters he wants. Seems polite.

Bought my bus ticket. Futzing around online. Fenna will be back soon.

brief interruption

I googled myself just now, and I'm on jstor. Neat!

My Summer Vacation in Jacksonville, Part III, section A

Girly stuff

One of the things I wanted to do in Jacksonville was meet the people in Fenna's life. I wanted to put faces to the people in her stories: her mom, Toni, Kara (and her baby), Danielle, Victoria, Bryan, Birdie, Emily. Bryan is the guy I talked to on the phone once, at a club, because he was feeling a little freaked out by Fenna. I wasn't very helpful, but apparently I didn't make it too much worse, because they're still friends. He's into her, but she isn't into him, not like that. She's just not attracted. So when he comes over on Friday afternoon while we're sitting on the couch, editing photos (Fenna) and knitting (me), I think this can't be Bryan. I was expecting nothing special. I was not expecting sexy.

And then he's charming, and geeky, and I'm trying to not make it obvious how hot I think he is. When he leaves and I'm sure that he's not only out the door, but at least two blocks away, I tell Fenna. She says I should make out with him. This is a GREAT plan. I am excited.

At the bar that night, dancing is scarce. None of the guys who can lead lindy are coming, and the DJ sucks (as, apparently, he ususally does). We meet a guy who sort of angles towards Fenna, but then he disappears, and she sends me & Bryan on a reconnaissance mission outside to find him. The guy's not there, but we don't go right back inside. He knows I think he's cute, doesn't know the plan. I still have no idea what he thinks.

Eventually Fenna comes out and tells Bryan, "Angela thinks you're hott, and you guys should make out." Then she leaves. He still doesn't make any comments about liking or not liking this plan. We talk some more. I'm halfway through a sentence about, I don't remember, Dollhouse coming back for another season, or Torchwood versus Dr. Who, and--WOW--I swear there was no time between being in a state of talking, and being in a state of kissing. I didn't see it happen. I like this boy.

We look in through the window, and see Fenna dancing, so it seems not too terrible to abandon her. So we do.

Fenna comes out again -- the club is not awesome, people are hungry, let's go get food. It's walking distance from her house, so we meet up there. Her downstairs neighbors are sitting on the porch, smoking & drinking. We don't end up inside, and we don't get food. I do a little talking, and a lot of being part of the annoying couple on the side who should really get a room. I know it's annoying. I figure, I have three options, either 1) go inside, which I'm not willing to do because I know how bad my self control is and I won't put myself in a position where I might have to depend on it, 2) stop making out, 3) be the annoying couple all over each other. Did I mention I like him? Did I mention that I think he's really hot? I pick option 3. People can deal.

At some point someone brings out guitars and now there's singing, some of us good at it, some of us not. When the harmonica comes out it's like the most perfect thing in the whole world. I fucking love Florida.

My Summer Vacation in Jacksonville, Part II

The Beach: July 10, 11, 13

I feel sorry for cliches. Sometimes people use the same phrase over and over because it's true, and those poor cliches get mocked when all they've done is actually say what everyone was thinking. No one takes them seriously. But sometimes it isn't you, it really is me. And when I get really high up enough, people do look amazingly tiny, like ants. The Mona Lisa is smaller in person than it seems in pop culture. And the ocean in Florida is warm.

I've only been in the Atlantic once before, and that was Delaware in November. In San Diego, even during the hottest point in summer, the ocean is cool, almost cold. Every step deeper makes me gasp a little -- the shock of cold, then the relief. The ocean in Florida was warmer than a swimming pool. I could just keep walking in.

When I see water I forget everything else I might have been doing, or wanted to do. I stop being able to think. I broke my phone a couple weeks ago, walking straight from the street into Lake Michigan. I almost did it again on the beach in Jacksonville.

I don't know why I love the ocean so much. It's calming, but I'm pretty good at calm. I'd like to say, because it sounds good, that when I'm out there I enjoy the moment, the physical sensations, being the player and not the narrator, but it isn't true. I'm just as in my head when I'm half floating in the ocean as when I'm sitting here typing. There's always a part of me that's writing things down for later, telling myself my story as I live it. That never goes away.

My Summer Vacation in Jacksonville, Part I

Tuesday, July 7

Driving non-stop: Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia. Dusk on the Tennessee Valley, dawn on a gray day somewhere south of Macon.

Wednesday, July 8

Georgia to Florida, parking in Fenna's driveway around 10 or 11, more than 24 hours earlier than planned.

Thoughts while driving:

In the spirit of Meatloaf, I want to start writing down highway signs, as if they were meaningful. Like bridge freezes before roadway, or dip. I can see bad poetry being written about them, or inspirational posters.

The Mississippi is overrated.

Text sent to Fenna: 1:30 est-80 mi to atl-another coffee- may not sleep at all

Giant cross architecture is neat.

Sunday, July 5, 2009


I once called every dirty 1-800 number I could think of, to see if any of them weren't actually what they sounded like. Most of them, like 1-800-444-FUCK, reached exactly the kind of recording one would expect. On the other hand, 1-800-NUTSACK reached a desk at Continental Airlines. This was almost 10 years ago, I think since then the airline has changed. Feel free to try it and let me know what you get.

I also love talking on the phone to strangers. Or, at least, I love talking on the phone to people I don't really know. I think part of it is because I don't get the same kind of "new person" shyness on the phone the way I do in person. When I meet someone in real life, I freeze up. I am quiet and shy. I blush. I really do. And so you can't really meet me in real life, because you won't be meeting me. I'll be too busy hiding and stammering and fidgeting.

And there's something both removed & intimate, distant & revealing, about being on the phone. There is me, at home, sitting semi-naked on my floor, or (clothed) in my backyard. It's my space, and no one is watching, so it feels private. And then there's this disembodied voice; despite all the intimacy, nothing is revealed. We are removed from each other. I find it terribly attractive.

I guess what I'm saying is, if you're reading this, you should call me sometime. We should totally talk. 510.499.4379