Friday, March 26, 2004

para las mujeres... 

más fotos

Pues, para las mujeres heteros, los hombres homosexuales, o los bisexuales...

I just find her facial expression amusing, sort of a mixture of embarrassment, restraint of the evil impulse to perhaps bite that bottom, and fear of a fart attack?

What's going on in my knitting world? Not much, I'm kind of stagnating out there at my Dad's in deep rural East County San Diego, somewhere east of Jamul, north of Dulzura, and smackdab in the middle of Border Patrol country. Since the weather is so fine, there is a lot of migration going on and it's a bit unnerving to be out there sometimes. My husband was in front of the garage the other night and heard voices close by. When he pulled his gun out, the voices turned to running feet and the sounds of sliding through brush and across granite. There's no reason for anyone to be that close to the house unless they were looking for something. The other night Bélu kept running to the front door barking and growling, but I couldn't know if it was people or a bobcat (there's a bobcat that stalks the birdfeeders and killed all the chickens last year) that she was sensing. Then the other night I got out of the bath and stood in the guest room we're staying in and heard whistling (since I was naked and in front of a window, this was very disconcerting) but it might have been from the news on the television (although inapropos because at that moment they were interviewing a woman who had seen her child critically injured by a hit and run driver) but 30 ft from the window there are a screen of trees so if it was someone whistling at me, they were on the driveway. That is to say, way too close to the house with no reason to be there. It's not like there isn't a huge freakin' fence. A little hard to miss, even at night.

On a lighter note, marido y yo went to the doctor today to get some vaccinations and "just in case" prescriptions written for the vacation. My arm hurts from the Hep A and the tetanus vaccinations, but I am really getting wound up for this trip. The first half is just us exploring a small part of Oaxaca (Oaxaca City and Mazunte [located on the coast]) and the second half is a tour of Chiapas through Manos de Oaxaca which may sound familiar if you read Spin Off magazine and read the article on silk in Oaxaca. That article was written by Eric Mindling who runs the tours, and I have been looking forward to this for almost a year. We're going to do a lot of traveling by bus, so I have to make sure I bring enough knitting, without having a lot of bulk, so socks, lace, a fine gauge sweater?...

Nick and I went to the Yucatan peninsula on our "luna de miel" (honeymoon) and he discovered that he loves to snorkel. Absolutely addicted. Before, he thought he hated swimming, but he'd just never had a chance to swim in the Caribbean. We took this picture at Yalku, a little lagoon just north of Tulum:

I can't wait to go back to Mexico!


Sunday, March 21, 2004


I feel better than, and have nothing to complain about relative to this individual.
But...I had a whole bunch of dental work done this week (net result: three temporary crowns) by a sadistic gum-gouging dentist. Since I haven't been able to chew too well, I haven't been eating too well (which is to say, I've just been eating what's here at Dad's house, which means salts, fats and refined sugar--I've had more soda here in the past week than the last six months [meaning about five 12 oz. cans, and considering how much sugar the average soda has I guess I'm lucky my organs haven't crystallised]) and the sunscreen I wore the other day seemed to have expired, meaning I now have a cold sore on my lower lip, and unyummy tender sore spots on my gums. Plus, I'm pink all over. Wah.

And while I was trying to sew together the Vegan Fox I remembered why "spaaz" is pretty much the best word to describe me. I sewed the rear legs on, thought "oops, that won't work, wrong side," cut the legs off and picked out the stitching, sewed all four onto the other side, THEN realised I'd had it right the first time. Gah.


I did have an ethereal experience by the hummingbird feeder yesterday though. I stood right behind and underneath and twice had two different hummingbirds come within six inches of my face, checking me out, assessing my threat level. Apparently they decided I was level orange (which I believe means "extra vigilance" and "Huh? Whatever...") With the pointy beaks and jerky swiftness I was a little nervous to have them so close to my face. But I stood there and just marveled at how amazing they are.

Trivia bit: In the dictionary, hummingbird in Spanish is colibri (coh-LEE-bri) but around here you'll hear them more often referred to as chuparosas (choo-pah-ROE-sahs, lit. "rose suckers") although I haven't seen it in any dictionary.

When I brought the camera out, it was a different matter. Nobody came too close to the shiny thing, so this is the best picture I got:

And at my own cozy La Mesa home, the jasmine is exuding its intoxicating somewhat melon-like smell. Catching the passing whiff is a glimpse of gorgeousness for the nose.

Oh dear, it's late. Time to pile the kids in the car and head back to Casa de Shih Tzu and start kissing ten snouts beddy-bye.

BTW: The bull/matador photo was taken by Kike Para, you can see a small sample of her other photos here.


Friday, March 19, 2004

In my father's house... 

This is rapidly turning into a dogblog. We are babysitting my father's six Shih Tzus, one golden retriever and one small terrier family mixed breed for about 8 more days.
Wyatt (as in Earp) is the one with his "button" to the camera, his larger almost twin Doc (as in Holliday) and Chata (as in the Mexican fond nickname which means "flatface." It's an endearment, really, it is).

All the Shih Tzus together can be quite a vicious unpredictable mob, despite the fact that they are each lovely on their own (Wyatt, Chata, and Peggy Sue are personal favourites) and Tahoe and Libélula have yet to forgive them for the sixteen bright purple bruising bitemarks (all administered within two seconds with Tahoe screaming and running before I could pick him up) and the four stitches (someone in the mob unzipped a hole the size of a quarter on her inner thigh, you could see the muscle) so it is an uneasy state of being and caring. It helps to break them into rotating smaller groups.

But, I'm taking my basket of unfinished projects back out there tonight, so I should have knitting FOs to post soon.

Next blogging goal: to post the buttons of the Blogs I Like and Envy, as I think we can all agree that looking at a stack of buttons is more enticing than the grey link font. Although, probably hell on the dial-up kids, but so's the rest of the online world nowaday anyway.

If you've read this far and are hankering for more knitting content -- not hard with my current total of almost zilch ;P --and another picture of a Shih Tzu (probably much better behaved than this lot), click here.


Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Awright, so you can see I managed to stick it in the right place in the template, but I still need to learn how to make a cool button with it like I see on other blogs. Any suggestions from my three readers? ;)
(Wasn't that a regular joke of some columnist [Dave Barry?] who'd often refer to his "two loyal readers" or "my editor and the other two people who read this thought...?")


Another blog code goal... 

Now I need to figure out how to make and use buttons, or put this up in my blog title field:

She's wearing Doggles and a knit hat I made for Afghans for Afghans...must remember to send in these hats this year...and lookin' pretty G-funkadelic if I may say so myself. She sat up just long enough for me to snap the picture and then went back to sleep. Whippets simply must have twenty hours of sleep a day or something terrible will happen. What, we don't know because they're pretty good at logging their Zzzzs.


Sunday, March 14, 2004

Lazing on a Sunday afternoon! 

I actually went to a knit-together this week. And remembered why I can be such a knitting hermit. I sat next to a woman who rocked back and forth constantly and breathed like a pug going for a jog...I managed a whole ten minutes there, but when she proclaimed loudly to the group (an apparent non sequitur, as while I'd been there a few minutes, I had no idea what triggered this assertion): "My father hung around as a ghost for years, until my mother died..." I got up and browsed the needle section of the store and somehow never found my way back to my original chair. It's impossible to communicate in a blog, but she had the voice, cadence, and enunciation of someone who has self-medicated their brain to death and I just didn't want to have to sit next to the rocking, wheezing, and oddness. I felt a little bad, because if she had been in one of the homes we visit with the therapy bunnies, we might have had a grand old time, and it was just the context of it that made me move away. Which was the real sticky bit, since it made me wonder if I have a subconscious desire for segregation of the mentally ill etc., where "I'm fine with it" until I have to sit next to it...the whole "not in my neighbourhood" schtick.

Which can't be right. I can't feel like that. I vote Green, for G-d's sake! [although not in this Presidential election]

Enough navel contemplation.
Prepping for the knittogether, I gathered up some UFOs and realised I should make a list up, maybe even try to quantify how much is done, like those status boards people have, since I'm still spinning for the Rogue (I don't spin every day, and so probably average 100yds a day, slow going then ;) but like the idea of using this as an online project progress diary. Another learning goal for this newbie blogger then.

The weather here in San Diego is back to being gorgeous again, but we are laying around, reading, knitting, gorging on green grapes.

Maybe we'll go to the lake later in the day, but I doubt it. It's a lazy, lazy day.


Saturday, March 13, 2004

como una mariposa... 

...flitter...flutter...lots of randomness ensuing...

What happened in Spain is terrifying...I hate to say "9/11", but it did bring me back through the stages
::Oh My G-d, that can't have really happened
::It can't be as bad as they think
::It is as bad, it's worse, it's horrible
::Who would do such a thing?/ Is everybody I know okay?

We have family living in a suburb of Madrid, and although it was unlikely that my sister in law would choose to take her two kids into the city at the height of rush hour, I was still relieved to get her e-mail letting everybody know they were okay and not to worry.
Not to worry!?!-- They're moving to Bahrain in two months, I guess we'll save our worry for then.

Bah, bah, bah, bahbahbahrain,
you got me rockin' and a rollin',
rockin' and a reelin' Bahbahrain!

We were really looking forward to visiting them in Spain, I'm not sure we can muster the same enthusiasm for Bahrain, even for to see this cheeky little monkey:

My sister in law's husband has been in Russia for a week a month for a while, and they were going to move there but the company decided to send them to Bahrain instead, which as Jessica (my SIL) said, "better repression than lawlessness."
Which is right enough, especially considering that in Bahrain at least they'll be living on a company compund, so she won't even have to observe local dress code unless she leaves the compound. It'll be like a little expat country of it's own, like military bases all over the world are little mini-USAs.
If you don't leave the base, you could be anywhere, or anywhere with quonset huts, anyway.

Coincidentally, I've been visiting "old folk's homes"/"geriatric facilities" lately for a volunteer project (the PET program) for the Helen Woodward Animal Center (an incredible Center, just huge and full of worthy causes, click on my link to Animeals if you want to learn more) and one woman at one of the homes only speaks Russian.
Pardon my enthusiasm, but:
I love languages!

I know you probably can't tell with my messy syntax-awkward/incorrect grammar-generally blah writing, but I love learning about modes of communication.
If I could live a million lifetimes and didn't have to worry about eating, I would live in every country and learn every language. I have a language acquisition wish-list a mile-long.
Spanish, French, Japanese, Arabic, German, American Sign Language, Cantonese, Mandarin, Swahili, Zulu, Afrikaans, Esperanto, Portuguese, Italian, Tzotsil Maya, Tzeltal Maya, and USA Republican English, a language so potent that apparently you can call someone (or rather a whole lot of someones who believe in a different prophet than you do) an "evil-doer" and label them as part of an "axis of evil" and thus be justified in blowing billions of dollars to bomb the shit out of their civilians. I think it's some sort of hypnotist language, but I'm not sure how it works.

[Anybody out there an X-Files fan? Remember "The Pusher?" The guy who could make you do things just by repeating your name and telling you what you saw/what to do?]

Anyway, I'd like to be able to at least say to this woman, "Hello." "How are you?" "My name is Wendy." "Would you like to pet the bunny?" [you perverts out there, it's a real bunny I'm talkin' about!] "Thank you." "Goodbye."

So I checked some Russian language all-audio tapes out of the library and it's been slow going. But it was all worth-while when I got to how you say "how" in Russian:
Cock. Cock. Cock. Cock!
The tape had me repeat it many times, despite the fact it was the simplest word we'd learned so far. I couldn't stop giggling.

I've also been listening to Japanese CDs, and it is amazing the difference in mouth shapes one makes. According to the CD, the FFF/phhh sound in Japanese is much softer, where English speakers make the sound by blowing air through the mouth with the upper teeth touching the lower lip, according to the CDs, never the twain shall meet. I guess it's more of a back of the mouth sound, involving the lip and blowing out of air, but...well, I'm still working on it.

But my first linguistic love is Spanish. I am still a long way from fluent, but I know enough to make a total ass of myself (just like in English) and I'm really excited that the San Diego Latino Film Festival started on Thursday and goes until the 21st.

I went Friday, and saw a comedy entitled "Uno de Dos" which they translated as "One or the Other." One of the biggest barriers to being fluent is "the idiomatic expression." Think about all the things we say in English that don't make real literal sense, or the conversational things we say which aren't grammatically correct but are just the way we say things.

It was an enjoyable movie, about a pair of twin sisters who have always been together, always rejoiced in being the same but still yearn to have something of their own. Cue "handsome" naïve rancher, mix in the sisterly instinct of sharing, et voila! aquí se tiene una comedia...

I found myself torn between listening and reading though, since it had subtitles. On the one hand, I wanted to test myself, on the other hand I wanted to follow any nuances, in both hands, I wanted to see these expressions and somewhat interesting constructions in action--and TRY to remember them for later use!

In another language the way of thinking about language is different even from one's own and sometimes the most mundane expressions cannot be expressed as one would expect in the literal way (perhaps because they are used every day, it is just one of those things absorbed by the culture). And because what we view as an everyday way of expressing something is ("duh" way of saying something coming up) a foreign way in another language.

I love how some things are so much shorter in Spanish: por ejemplo, cuñado/cuñada, suegra, madrasta...
(for example, brother in law/sister in law, mother in law, stepmother...don't they sound prettier and a little less antagonitic in Spanish? [koo-nyah-doh/koo-nyah-dah, sway-grah, mah-drah-stah, ephasis on penultimate syllables] Although you can certainly spin it with snottiness, si quieres.
On the other hand, some things are much longer, the only example I can think of right now being the lack of possessive apostrophes (the bane of English grammar hounds anyway in their perpetual misuse/confusion with contractions etc.) so whenever something is someone's, it "of" them: "Maria's cow" becomes "the cow of Maria." Which is an option in English, but many choose to go the slightly shorter way, so often that to say it the other way sounds antiquated and stilted. Or like you are a non-native speaker. ;)

Reason #132 why I am looking forward to next month's trip to Oaxaca:

Mmmmm...Monte Alban mescal con gusano, (mescal with worm) do it like a tequila shot and let that pinetarrish aftertaste warm your insides right up!

I actually had somewhat knitting related content to relate tonight, but I think I've gone on long enough. I'll "save" it for later.

I think I am becoming a bit like Stephen King (that is, in dire need of an iron-fisted editor)...but I'll bet I'm not the most boring blog out there, not yet, and maybe not even by a longshot. I wonder if we should start a "Most Stultifyingly Dull Blog Award."

Adieu! adieu! to you! and you! and you-oooo! (remember the Von Trapp family?)


Sunday, March 07, 2004

An abso-freakin-lutely gorgeous day here in San Diego, it was 86ºF today, so we took the kids to dog beach. Bélu got herself very sandy and very wet, like this:

Only three times so.
Her entire face, snout, shoulders and chest were coated in sand.
It's all in our bed now.

Tahoe was a mopey boy because he is a creature of habit and likes his excercise in the late afternoon or evening. Usually, at eleven in the morning, he is fast asleep in daddy's arms and that's how he likes it.

Bélu is game for dog beach anytime.

I've been trying to get this house in order. We've lived here since August and we still have pictures in boxes and things in random places...so that means I've been spending way too much time on the internet avoiding housework:

The Cheshire Cat! You're a sly cat who grins on the
outside, but schemes on the inside. Even your
best friends don't realize that you may
actually be their worst enemy!

What kind of cat are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

I don't agree with the character assessment of course, but I couldn't help clicking the responses that had to do with barfing on or urinating in shoes, since it brought back such great memories of my sweet Katisha. There's nothing like skidding in fresh hot cat vomit. And while she never urinated in shoes, that is the great habit of Trouble, a cat my husband's family has. Trouble will pull down your towel, or sweatshirt, and urinate on it. Or, as I said, he'll piss in your shoes. He hasn't done it since the very beginning of Nick and my relationship, so I think it was probably a sort of territorial test thing.
Katisha was a gift from a neighbour on my fourth birthday. I loved her more than should be possible for anyone to love a mortal creature. She was eighteen when she died. I have never cried harder in my life for anything than the day I realised that one day she would die.

On a recent episode of "The Simpson's," Snowball was killed and Marge was consoling Lisa at the gravesite, "Aww sweetie, when I was your age I lost my Guinea Pig, Cinnamon and I thought the pain would never--" and she breaks out crying and in classic beseeching G-d pose, cries "ahhh Cinnamon! It should have been me who chewed through that extension cord!" And I started sniveling a little because it brought back memories of pets lost, stupid female brain.

The most fun quiz I've taken in a while, although the music answers didn't host quite the right fit:

You are mRNA. You're brilliant, full of important,
interesting information and you're a great
friend to the people you care about. You may
have sides to you that no one understands. But
while you understand more than most people,
you're only half-there most of the time.

Which Biological Molecule Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla


Friday, March 05, 2004

Somewhere along the blooging trail, I ran into a reference to PhotoBucket, with not much more than the name, just one blogger thanking another for letting the first blogger know about it, so I checked it out and it is the perfect solution to to my Imagestation issues, since image hosting and direct linking is what it's for, and it's free, although I think if one uses it one is honourbound to toss a couple bucks or so into the paypal account.

So I went back and redid all the tags, so hopefully now people will be able to see what I've been/will be yapping and tapping about. I reformatted a little to make it more pleasing to the eye.

I've really been enjoying learning little by little new things to do with html and blogging. My next goal is to learn how to do a cut tag here, like the folks over at LiveJournal, so I can hide my ramblings and extra pictures so they won't load unless people specifically click to see them.

Not a new finished object, but the weather is getting warmer, so I thought I'd show off an old FO, a wedgie-o-matic bikini from Rebecca:

My husband loves it because my boobs pop out, it doesn't cover much of my ass, and when I try to go swimming in it, the cotton stretches and has to be retied or else it falls off... it's a randomnaughtypeepshow suit.

It was fun to knit though. Maybe I should translate that into latin and put it on a family crest, as it seems to be becoming my motto: "Yes, it's unflattering/doesn't fit, but it was fun to knit."


Thursday, March 04, 2004

Marriage is love.

I think the internet has really revolutionised grassroots protest and political movements. And I use the word "revolutionised" in that highly self-conscious yes, I know it's cyclical sense, because on the one hand, it makes it so much easier to disseminate important information, to give interested parties a heads-up on the issues and contacts, to get people together easily...and on the other, sometimes we really do get desensitised when faced with so much important stuff over and over. I signed the Millions for Marriage petition, I'm on the Move On list, and if I donated to every charity I wanted to, I'd be be broke-ass broke, as opposed to just generally skint (you can't be too broke if you've still got an internet connection...although I guess maybe some people blog from public libraries or schools). My focus seems to be going in and out lately, and it takes a colourful bit of e-banner to make me pay attention for a little bit. It's hard not to be discouraged when things you believe in, the worth of which seem so intrinsic and obvious are voted down, pissed on and set on fire. But that's what I get for living in San Diego, CA, a city seemingly bursting with "it's not my problem" kind of people.

Anyway, Rogue progress: I steamset the twist of 160 yds last night and hung it up to make sure it dries. Smelled like a sheep fart when I pulled it from the steam rack.

Does anyone want to suggest a good reliable free image hosting service? The whole point of this blog to me (although you wouldn't know it with all the whining lately) is showing pics, and Imagestation isn't cutting it. I sent them an e-mail, but since it took them a week to get back to me when I contacted them regarding offensive materials in their albums (sh*tloads of copyright violations and one really creepy album of a man's wife and her teats and sad eyes which was getting +/- 1000 views a day) I don't have much faith in them and getting to see the pics soon. I checked the coding, the img src address, the images in the album, everything appears to be fine but they're just not showing up. It's weird, and any advice/solutions/suggestions would be appreciated.


Tuesday, March 02, 2004

I've spun another bobbin's worth for the Rogue, but still have to swatch it and make sure it passes muster for inclusion in the project, matching the drapiness, slubby quirky-ness of the other, etc.

Doing this reminds me of what seems to be a common lament among spinners, to whit, that the more experienced one is, the less quirky and interesting the yarn is. Less Colinette Point 5 and more ...er, I'm blanking on a consistent dk weight single ply name.

What Classic Movie Are You?

I have never seen this movie, but I might as well agree with this assessment of character as it is IMO highly flattering. I am a little pissed. I heard that Raiders of the Lost Ark is a result option. That's what I want to be!

I don't have much to post otherwise. On a personal note, I just returned from visiting my grandmother in Arizona this weekend. My grandmother has had an amazing life: she was born in 1908 and traveled through Europe with her sister in the thirties, was in Spain around the same time as Hemingway, learned to fly an airplane, was an incredible artist with oils, was a toreador in México, married in her thirties to a young lawyer who had a brilliant career, had two sons and a loving family...and now her husband has died, she is bedridden and in constant pain, comes in and out of mental acuity, struggling to remember basic facts (but is sharp enough to be embarrassed that she cannot remember), fighting to control her own prison of a body, and is battling to maintain her dignity.
This is a woman who used to be mortiified when one of the grandchildren "double-dipped" in a communal crackerspread, little surprise then that she argues with the nurses: "Don't call them 'Pampers.' I do not need to wear them, and I do not need to be changed..." and when the nurse holds up the dirtied diaper, "I didn't do that, that is not mine!" It is excruciating for her to be moved. The distress of being changed forces her bowels to evacuate again, so she has to be changed twice in a row every time.
I just wonder why we give animals the benefit of a dignified exit when life is unbearably painful, yet we make our loved ones suffer through untold indignities and pain.
I would never let one of my dogs suffer like this. It makes me very angry that she is being forced to do so. And sad, because there is nothing I can do to help her.

I hope that when it is my time, I either don't wait until I can't do it myself, or that the law has been changed so those who love me can help me choose my time without fear of prison.

And I hope that I do not have a granddaughter blogging every embarrassing detail.

I just can't find anything redeeming in this, it just seems like she is being punished.

Crap. What a depressing me-me-me-blog this is becoming. I better get crackin' on the Rogue, or at least finish something so I can post some picture which isn't generated by a quiz site.

And what the hell is going on with my img src from Imagestation? Hope that's resolved by the time anyone cares to read this. [I always skim for pictures ;P]


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