Monday, June 30, 2008
Distracts nurses. Steals kiddies. Mostly sick ones, and orphans.
Makes into Scary Clowns.
Cunningly disguised secret lair discovered.
Turns out to be Satan after all. Gets cumuppence. Almost everyone dies.
[Pics via www.shorpy.com]
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Warning: unless you are of sound mind and constitution, do not play this clip.
Saturday, June 28, 2008
And by people I also include you dirty penis-minded bitches, to whit:
- pictures of trouser bulge
- penis hanging out of shorts
- penis fabric quilt
Own up, who around here is a fan of dick AND quilting?
Plans for the coming week are for a new/old computer to replace this poor old clapped out one I have at home. My old work was discarding a pc that was only a couple of years old, because it needs about $90 spent on it for a new hard drive. So they gave it to me after writing it off, and I'm going to get it fixed and upgraded for around $170. Not a lot of money, and it should tide me over until I can afford the Mac laptop I want.
There's a couple of other things like having lunch with Mikey (the lovely ex), going to the Powerhouse Museum to look at the textiles, and probably the NSW Art Gallery too, and maybe braving that trip to IKEA, that a bit of weekday leisure time will allow. Nice. Oh, and hopefully a job interview for the job I applied for the other day that I really want.
And if I'm really lucky, then maybe there'll be another Nate episode on Oprah, like there was yesterday. I know it's a small thing to wish for, but seriously I loves me some Nate Berkus.
So sweet, so pretty. Such a dab hand with a sequined throw pillow.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
If it thinks I'm freeing up space by deleting the carefully collected vintage
Maybe it's time to hit the Apple store again...
I've watched about 7 and a half hours of The Royle Family in the past couple of days, after buying the DVD box set earlier in the week. CAN'T. STOP. I've always loved this show about a Manchester family, not least because everyone in it sounds like my parents used to! If Seinfeld prided itself on being a comedy "about nothing" then they should take a look at this show. The entire thing only moves between the living room and the kitchen of a small council house, with most of the comedy coming from banal conversation held sitting in front of the telly. Much like real life for many people.
I might brave Ikea later today, because really there is nothing better than avoiding the weekend crowds. I'm in the market for some more storage boxes, and those cunning Swedes know a thing or two about storage. And tealights. And curious names.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
- I got up at my leisure, ambled a few blocks to the nearest cafe, had a nummy breakfast + coffee, and ambled back. Sweet.
- Amazingly it's true, you can look at too much internet porn, like the entire Sean Cody archives for starters.
- Oh yeah, the client canned the three week temp assignment I was supposed to have, but never fear I'm enjoying the week off and it looks like I have another one starting Monday.
- I just fired off a job application, which I've spent a couple of days finely crafting. Trying to ooze professionalism, while showing a bit of personality, all the time stopping short of using emoticons and exclamations marks is hard!! :)
- I think I'm going to go and buy a heater now. I've been holding off because I've become Scrooge McScroogerton about my dwindling financial resources, but this is a COLD house. Two pairs of socks aren't even cutting it.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Monday, June 23, 2008
There are people everywhere. The two stories of glass staircase are cool. The staff are cute. That about sums it up.
As you were.
What a difference sleep makes.
It was a pretty cold weekend, hence the chills of the title. Mercifully it was dry though, and instead we were treated to some of that bright, clear winter weather than Sydney can turn on. That accounts for the chills, but the first thrill of the weekend came in the form of Haircut Day on Saturday morning. Haircut Day how I love thee, let me count the ways.
After Haircut Day (::swoon::) I caught up with the group I knit with every fortnight at cafe Barmuda for a fun afternoon. I kicked the proceedings off with the hot chocolate to end all hot chocolates. (I normally avoid milk based drinks like hot chocolates because being lactose intolerant I have to substitute soy milk, and my friends one of my truths, a thing only disproved this one time so far is that hot soy milk is kind of gross.) Warming and just sweet enough to be dessert-y, with great globs of real dark chocolate in the bottom of the glass.
OMG, pardon me while I uncurl my toes.
James O'Brien rang me during the afternoon to ask me if I wanted to go to the closing night film of the Sydney Film Festival. (James's job in the media means that he is frequently the distributor of complimetary largesse. We don't complain.) So we met up at the grand 1929 High Mock-Medieval environs of the State Theatre. So grand, see:
Actually, scooch over further to your right and that's roughly the view we had for the evening. There's something about sitting in The Dress Circle that makes me me regret the decision not to wear one.
Anyhoo. The closing night film was a fabulous animated feature called Persepolis. Named after the 6th century ceremonial seat of the Persian empire I suspect, and somewhat ironically, as the film details the terrible journey that Iranian people were subjected to under a couple of despotic empire builders.
So, not your average cartoon. It was adapted from the autobiographical graphic novels of Marjane Satrapi, by Satrapi herself, and tells her journey warts and all. It's not always a comfortable ride, but Satrapi works in a number of laugh out loud moments that break the tension when needed, and they are needed because the story is frequently quite harrowing. I highly recommend it, and a biggie thanks to James for the opportunity to see it.
Just one small note to the Film Festival, better gift bags. Leaflets, a pack of mints, and a pen per every 2 people is not really cutting it. Oh, and as delicious as the Fruits Of The Forest mints were, how can a 'mint' with no mint in it still be called a mint? Please check and get back to me.
OMG, that only covers Saturday. See what happens when I get my energy back?! Verbosity, that's what happens.
So, Sunday (and I might shorthand this a bit) was likewise cold and clear, two things I celebrated with a sleep in. A sleep in! 8am is a time I normally see having been up for an hour or two, not bleary eyed and half awake. I futzed (knitted, watched the DVD of De Lovely for the mumble mumbleth time, put on a load of laundry) before heading to the pub in the early afternoon for some knitting with my Courthouse Hotel pub knitting peeps.
Laughs, japes and untold rows of knitting later, I headed home to cook some dinner, watch Sunday night tv, have my usual small cry at the people getting their homes made over on Domestic Blitz (shut-up) and rounded off the night by admiring Diane Lane's good taste in men during the late night movie pre-sen-tation Under The Tuscan Sun. Seriously, a somewhat sappy film but Sandra Oh as her best (dyke) friend plus the hot Italian somewhat-of-a-bastard Marcello, the cute Bel-Ami (Google it and be prepared for NSFW) style Polish twink builder Pawel, and then the really cute American writer boy make for one hell of a Gay Appeal movie.
So, there you have it. My weekend, in a nutshell.
Friday, June 20, 2008
I'm looking forward to it more than I thought I would. I think this job has become emblematic of a tough past 6 months, in that it coincided with a period of me feeling very flat and a bit unwell. Now that I'm getting my sleep situation sorted, and generally feeling much better and more energetic for it, it seems right to close the chapter on this place as well.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Sooooo. Long story short I went to the chemist and ordered the 28 pack of the higher strength tabs, as these meds are so rare that no chemist seems to kep then in stock. I was browsing in the bookshop next door when the chemist called me on my mobile. Last time they warned me the drugs I had then were expensive at $44 a script. This time they rang to say the new script was expensive. I'm thinking, ok what $50 dollars or something?
$130 dollars! For 28 teeny tablets!
Sweet Jebus! I ordered them anyway, because really given the huge difference they make what else am I going to do? At the chemist's suggestion I checked with my private health cover provider and found out that I can claim back $45 of the cost, to a max of $450 a year.
So only $85 a shot! Bargain. I used to think my private health insurance was a cost that amounted to an unnecessary expense, but lately I've revised that opinion...
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
(Not a patch! See what I did there!? Ok never mind, as you were.)
[Photo via www.shorpy.com]
My super cute (call me 'Rob') recruiter called me in a flap late yesterday to tell me that he's putting me forward for a job with a large real estate firm. If I told you the details of the job your head would explode and you might subsequently never read me ever again. Suffice to say it involves the minutae of bookkeeping, reporting, and trust accounting. (Are you feeling ok? Sure?) They were sending my resume to the client very late yesterday afternoon, and I may possibly have an interview late today. So I'm wearing The Good Shoes and there is a tie in my bag, just in case. It's around $7k more than I'm getting now, so I figured it was worth wearing The Good Shoes.
I also got an email from a friend last night to say that she knows someone who is looking for somewhere to live, so there is even a potential roomie in the offing. I might wait and see if anything happens with this job prospect, because if I get it I might forego having someone to share, in favour of using that bedroom as a studio/office. (Notice how I edited out "junk room"?)
Did you know that as an amateur knitwear designer you can submit designs to online and print publications, and they pay you perfectly good money for them? This is amazing to me. I've just finished test knitting a project I'm going to submit to the online magazine www.knitty.com for the Winter/Holiday issue at the end of the year. I'm in the process of writing up my pattern notes and charts, and I'm going to knit another test swatch to tweak an element of the design slightly. I'm 95% overjoyed with the end result though, it just needs a small improvement. This weekend I'm going to buy enough yarn for another one, so that I can give it all to my friend Cecilia who kindly offered to test knit one for me.
(Unfortunately I can't post exact details or pics here, because there is a clause that stipulates the work can't be published in any form before it is published by Knitty. Which is fair enough.)
I have ideas for another couple of projects rolling around in my back brain as well, both menswear projects based on retro designs. I spent a little while last night playing around at putting together a 'mood board' of historical photos, sketches and yarn samples, slowly building up the ideas. Nurturing them.
So it would be especially cool if I got an interview this afternoon,
-> got the job
-> started earning more money
-> and could afford to set up a studio space
-> in order to become a hot shot designer.
See how that works?
Monday, June 16, 2008
OMG, you guys! I slept and slept last night, so much so that when the alarm went off this morning I hit the snooze button and conked right out again. Unheard of! Crazy! Usually I've been awake anywhere up to an hour before I need to.
Last night was the first night of full strength medication for my insomnia. I'm on a drug to ease my nighttime restless leg syndrome, and I've had to slowly build the strength up until reaching the full strength last night. I was dubious about whether the drug was any good, because up to this point it has helped to a degree, but I was still waking up lots. Also, I'm not a big fan of taking medications.
I have to go see my specialist again on Wednesday, to review the drug amongst other issues. If last night is any indication I'll be begging on hands and knees to stay on it. It's expensive, at the rate I'm taking it now a $44 prescription will only last me about 8 days, but what price freedom from fatigue?
Saturday was Worldwide Knitting In Public Day, and this year rather than braving the elements like last year, we gathered in the plush surrounds of the Bayside Lounge, at Darling Harbour. It was a fantastic afternoon, although I only got a chance to chat to a fraction of the 51 people that came along, and there were plenty of new people that I hadn't met before. Kerry, David Reidy, myself and Disco Knitter's husband Mark formed the male contingent, and without prior planning ended sitting together at 'the guy's table'.
I have met such nice people through getting involved in the knitting scene. Considering that knitting is in many ways a solitary craft, it's kind of amazing and fantastic to me that such a vibrant community has sprung up. Through blogs, knitting websites, local 'stich and bitch' groups and now www.ravelry.com people have connected for friendship and information sharing. Events like this are a cool example of how knitting is bringing people from all sorts of disparate backgrounds together. It's really wonderful.
Part of the assemble crowd, 51 of us in total!
My friend Kerry's beautiful Turkish inspired sock.
Our hostess, Web-Goddess.
Veronica, an even more cozy eared version of Princess Leia.
Carolynn is wigging out! (I so covet this, but that is no surprise, right?)
Some more of the crowd.
Reecie! Looking very agreeable in her Ravelry t-shirt.
The lovely Michelle, looking cheeky.
Fellow Sunday afternoon pub knitter Roceal
A huge thanks to Web-Goddess for organising such a fun afternoon!
Sunday, June 15, 2008
We were teamed up with a couple of sweet guys from Graeme's work to make a team of 6. Two sweet guys who knew how to bowl I should add. I came a mildly disappointing 4th in the first game, but lead the 2nd until Harrold got his competitive testosterone thing on and wiped me in the last frame. Still, 2nd isn't too shabby for an infrequent and moderately skilled bowler.
We repaired to the pub next door afterwards, where James and I played our usual game of summing up our versions of the life stories of the other patrons. Only this time we turned our
Graeme and James stopped off at one of the gay pubs on the way home, but my enforced sobriety and I headed home in the freezing wintery night, and I was home by about 11. So, a fun night. I'm determined to do a bit more bowling, because it was really good fun. Plus, the lame DJ at the bowling alley played some mad 80s/90s pop and kept mispronouncing the names of the artistes (ie: Rick Ashley anyone?).
And that in and of itself is rare entertainment if you ask me.
[Don't just take my word for it, check out James's take on the evening.]
Friday, June 13, 2008
I hate this process. Time is running out and I don't seem to be getting anywhere, plus I'm finding it harder than usual to deal with the knock backs. The recruiter I saw isn't returning my calls. The only word for today is ugh.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
The colour? Poinsettia, of course. What else could these lush reds be?
At $13 a ball and 356m in length, this one little scrumptious yarn cake is enough to make a lace shawl. An entire shawl! Just the thought of it makes my mind boggle. I haven't knit lace before and I've been wanting to give it a try for a while. So this little baby is destined to become a gift for my sister. She's not a shawl kind of gal, but a long rectangular scarf with a nice unfussy lace pattern, one that shows off the subtle colour changes in this yarn, should be just the ticket for either her birthday in August or even Christmas maybe. Project!
Oh, speaking of which, I cast on last night and started knitting the Japanese rib zip front cardigan I mentioned here. Only instead of white, I'm doing it in black. I thought black would be hard to knit, but it actually hasn't been a problem at all. With a little extra lighting, courtesy of a lamp beside my sofa, it hasn't been a problem. So far so good!
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
I know that this is a risk when you post stuff on Das Internetz, but still it's definately unethical. Somewhat optimistically I assume people will play nice and at least ask for permission. Over the years I have had a few people ask to use my photos, and I have sometimes said yes depending on the nature of the intended use. I would be really annoyed if I made a living from my photos, but then I guess I would have unfortunately had to have take steps to make them less accessible.
Proof! The woman who kindly let me know about it, scanned the brochure from the company for me. Low and behold (bottom left), there is my "Coffee & Koigu" pic from last year's Worldwide Knitting In Public Day.
I think I'm going to pursue this further. I'm pissed off for myself, but looking at the brochure (I just posted a snippet here) it is packed full of photos. But just whose photos?
Monday, June 09, 2008
On Saturday night I went to a lovely dinner for Stu's 40th birthday, and rather pleasantly was the object of a considerable amount flirtation. From a couple of guys. At one point one of the guys stroked my beard "to see how soft it was". Verdict = soft. At another point a different guy kissed me on top of the head (which sounds kind of ick, but in context was rather sweet).
As the night wore on, and more alcohol was imbibed, the flirting increased. Can you call it flirting when someone grabs you by the balls?
Can I just say at this point that recessed halogen downlights are a PAIN IN THE ASS. There, I've said it. My house is full of the little babies, every room has at least 3 or 4 of them. The entire older front section of my house, the original cottage part, which includes the bedrooms and hallway also has a ceiling height of around 13 feet or so. Picture pint-sized man perched precariously and perilously on a (potentially) pernicious ladder, and not only do you have a lot of alliteration but you also have an afternoon of hijinx.
My friends who renovated this house (I rent from them) also apparently decided to use two different types of downlights, one where the covers pull off and one where the covers screw off. 13 feet up a ladder and I discovered this fact through trial and error, by trying to forceably pull off one of the screw off ones. More than once. It wasn't helped by the fact that some of the covers were jammed, so I had to pull the entire thing out of the ceiling and clamber down the ladder to try and get the covers off.
Anyhoo. ::breathing through the trauma:: Having changed them all the two that light the hallway still aren't working, as I think the transformers attached to them might have blown. Maybe time to call an electrician. Or do without light in the hallway. I mean, walking around in the dark isn't that bad right?
Then I took the ladder out the front of the house and cleaned out the front gutters. There is a picturesque (ish) Australian native tree out the front of my house that, considering it isn't actually deciduous, still manages to drop a shit load of leaves. I call 'false advertising'. My front gutters are now a thing of pristine beauty. You could eat off them really, not that I can think of any reason why you would.
Wait, it continues! I also took the Ladder Of Much Home Maintenance & Vertigo out the back and trimmed the limbs of my tree that were starting to badly overhang my back fence. There's a couple of big ones I still need to get, but I'm going to have to buy a pruning saw to tackle those babies. Me, a pruning saw. Who would have thought it? Oh sure I own a 'lopper' (as apparetly they are called) but really that's just a fancy name for what looks like a huge pair of nail clippers.
I still have a few more jobs to do. The back and side gutters need some attention, but the back part of my house is around one and a half stories tall. Whether I can bring myself to tackle that remains to be seen (and yes, I will get someone to hold that ladder, I'm not that cray-zay). Of course it rained all day Sunday, and the forecast today is rain, and the forecast for the rest of the entire week is rain. So at least I have a little time to steel my nerves for the next perilous ascent.
Friday, June 06, 2008
I'm not convinced that I'm dealing all that well with these new meds I started to try and improve my sleep situation. I've been sleeping well for about 4 hours every night, before waking in the early hours of the morning and tossing and turning for the rest of the morning. I'm still in the process of progressively increasing the dosage until I get to the full strength in around a week's time, so I'm going to persevere and see if things improve. I've been up since about 4 this morning though, so I'm not really firing on all cylinders today.
Anyhoo, I'm looking forward to a nice long three day weekend this weekend! I'm going to try and pack in as many early nights as I can to try and catch up on some of this sleep debt I'm making. Recent changes to the airport approach here in Sydney (due to runway repairs) mean that all the morning flights seem to be flying pretty much directly over my house. So 6.30am onwards is just a wall of sound as flight after flight make their approach, meaning that sleeping in is not really an option. I might try and plan in some afternoon nappage as well. Mmmm, afternonn nappage.
Current weekend plans involve a couple of knitting get-togethers and a birthday dinner for a friend. This is like day 6 in a row today of rainy weather, so I'm hoping the weather clears over the weekend because there are things I need to do outdoors. Fun things, but also jobs that I have been putting off like cleaning out my gutters and trimming the trees in my courtyard.
This will probably be it for today, but once I've caught up on a bit of sleep and improved my outlook I'll post some more stuff over the weekend. Catch you then!
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
Damo is normally based in Melbourne, but whenever he's in town to visit retailers and do business he organises these meet ups. I think it's great, not just because he's nice company to hang out with but it's good to see a company that engages with its customers. There is a lot of two way exchange that can happen if you are interested and active in the community that your customers have formed.
It works both ways, they get feedback and ideas from the community but then knowing that they are engaging and taking a genuine interest also makes us feel more positive about them as a company. Not just as a cynical marketing exercise, but really showing an interest like these guys do. As a fairly new knitter there are lots of brands I haven't yet tried, but I'll certainly be looking for Damo's brands in the future.
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
- Juggling a) camera bag, b) backpack over one shoulder, c) newspaper, d) cup of coffee, e) paper bag containing bagel and f) umbrella in the torrential rain is just courting disaster.
- Said disaster will eventuate in the middle of a pedestrian crossing and result in a) newspaper dropped in puddle, b) a chain reaction of dropping things, c) a scalded thumb from piping hot coffee, d) getting wet and e) many, many swear words.
- My socks are wet and I can smell my own shoes. Nice, right?
- I'm heading into the city tonight to meet up with some fellow knitters and have a meet & greet with a chap from one of the larger yarn companies. It should be fun, and I'm looking forward to maybe hearing about the behind the scenes stuff, and yarns that are coming out.
- I really hope my shoes aren't stinky by then.
Monday, June 02, 2008
My first go at knitting cables!
And you know what?... easy peasy! Really, it's like one of those things that looks at least several times more complicated than it is. Before I started knitting I would look at intricate cable designs on things and think that it was some sort of magic, the way stitches travel across the surface of the knitting, weaving in and out of themselves.
I had already planned to make a pair of these fingerless gloves called Fetching as a gift, and thought they'd make a nice little project to have a go at knitting cables. As I mentioned in my last post I bought a couple of balls of scrummy Debbie Bliss yarn at the Tapestry Craft sale on Saturday, in fact with this project in mind. This yarn is a luxury blend of cashmere, Merino wool and a small amount of microfibre, and it is the softest, most squidgy yarn I have ever felt. Delicious!
(Yes I know the yarn is purple, but these are no Barney Hands this time around. Plus the woman I'm knitting these for likes colourful things, and what could be more colourful than purple, right? I do have to kick this purple habit though...)
I cast on last night and got this far while watching a bit of Sunday night tv. Talk about Instant Gratification Knitting! I should have the pair finished in another couple of night's worth of knitting. I'm knitting them on 4 dpns (double pointed needles), using the fantastic joining method my friend Kerry showed me where you slip the first stitch on the left needle over onto the right needle and then slip that last stitch on the right needle over onto the left. In effect swapping the first and last stitches to make a seamless join. (You can just see it at the bottom of the knitting in the pic above. Once I weave in the loose end the join will disappear completely.)
Fun! Now I've learnt the basics I can't wait to try some more complicated cables. Cables on everything! I might even make myself a pair of the guy equivalent of these gloves, Dashing. Just the name alone makes me want a pair.
I spent much of Saturday racing around like a mad thing. Into the city to get a few things and to pop into Medicare to get my refund from my trip to the specialist, only to discover the city Medicare office isn't open on Saturdays (cue sad face). Given that I was right there anyway I decided to console myself with a side trip into Tapestry Craft to check out the big Winter sale. I bought two thoroughly luscious balls of Debbie Bliss yarn (Cashmerino Aran, and OMG you feel this stuff! Yummers.) and a Knit Picks circular needle at 20% off.
Then I decided to get on the train to Burwood to see if the suburban Medicare office was open, which it thankfully it was. As I was cruising through the Burwood shopping centre with my Medicare refund burning a hole in my pocket, I spotted a novel on a sale table for $5 by an author I quite like. Score! The Shopping Goddess smiled upon me. I spent the rest of the afternoon doing stuff at home, before catching up with a friend for a bite to eat in the evening.
As I mentioned already, Sunday was grey and wet but I headed out early to the Organic Markets to get some fruit and veg for the week, and to catch up with some friends that live locally, and my friend Spyder who was in town from Melbourne for the weekend. The markets were quiet on account of the wet weather, so I grabbed what I needed and then we all headed to Meaghan & Jamie's house around the corner from the markets for a late breakfast. We sat around the table chatting and catching up while the kids played, and other friends dropped by to join us. Breakfast dragged into lunch time, and then I headed home to go to knitting at the pub in the afternoon. After a lovely relaxed afternoon at the pub, I headed home to cook some dinner and chill out before the week ahead.
So a busy weekend, with a nice mix of lots of things done and time spent with friends. Just about perfect I'd say.