Sunday, October 29, 2006

I Do Love Them So...

1. What brand of shirt are you wearing?
Mossimo- from Target

2. What's on your feet?
Tess Designer Yarns Copper socks, Camouflage Keen shoes.

3. Look directly behind you, what's there, besides whatever your butt's on?
File cabinet.

4. Are you a morning person?
No, but you'd never know on the phone.

5. How many kids do you want to have?
Ok, this opens a can of worms for me. I would like to have two children, but I am afraid that I will be an awful parent, or kill my children- either deliberately or inadvertently. Not because I am a careless person, but because being responsible for someone FOREVER is a little daunting.

6. Do you have a good relationship with your parents?
With my mom, for the most part. Except telling her to STFU when I was talking to Sam. Dad doesn't know how do deal with me.

7.Do you wanna change your name?
Been there, done that, took forever.

8. What did you do for your last birthday?
Went to work, had cake at work, went home, took the dogs to the park, dinner at Chevy's, Xmas gift exchange name draw, played "Go Fish" with naked man playing cards, saw RENT at 10:30 PM.

9. What time did you wake up today?
Technically 6:45, but I crawled out of bed ten minutes later.

10. What was the last think you said to someone in person?
"If it's not noted, I didn't get it."

11. What were you doing at midnight last night?
Sleeping with the TV on.

12. What do you do when you're angry
Fume, yell, blog.

13. How many times a day do you check your email?
549635213748. This is a stupid question.

14. Name something you CANNOT wait to do?
Get my fiber in the mail and SPIN!

15. Last time you fell asleep next to someone?
Last night. This is also a stupid question. Even when Andrew isn't home, the dogs sleep on the bed with me.

16. What is one thing you wish you could change about your life?
I wish I had gotten an internship earlier in college- after my first year, and worked a real, grown-up job throughout. This would have meant that I could have bought a better house the first time and we wouldn't have to sell our place in order to get a house where we can't hear our chain-smoking, white-trash neighbors clomping up and down the stairs next door.

17. Who was your favorite teacher and what did/does s/he teach?
Mrs. Carmichael. She did teach 5th grade, and funny enough, I ran into her while Andrew and I were picking up kitchen utensils at Macy's two years ago.

18. Worst teacher and why?
Mr. Lackore and Mr. Bingham for not making an effort to actually teach and giving me the false impression that I was math impaired.

I'll also award an honorable mention to Rich Alipaz who felt intimidated and insecure from his students' success, rather than basking in it and taking credit. Oh yeah, and for making me walk on my injured knee (despite my doctor's not)- which compounded into a permanent injury. Maybe this is not because he is a bad teacher, per se, but rather, an insecure person. Thus the honorable mention.

19. What was your first job?
Babysitting- 8 years old. First tax paying job was as a sales girl at Le Kri Boutique.

20. last thing you ate?
Protein shake. Mmmm…

21. whats your favorite month?
February for Stitches!

22. Least favorite month?
Any month that sucks.

23. What's the last piece of clothing you borrowed from anyone?
I borrowed my grandmother's stethoscope for my costume.

24. Who's getting on your nerves right now?
Nobody. I am Zen with the world.

25. Most visited webpage?
Google, it's my homepage.

26. How old were you when you or your family first bought a computer?
Eight or nine.

27. Do you own a portible MP3 player?
Um, yes. Duh.

28. Last person to make you sad?
Um, my boss, I guess. Two, maybe three weeks ago.

29. Would you help your best friend fight if he/ she is losing?
Probably. Depends on the situation.

30. coke or pepsi?
Don't really drink soda.

31. How often do you see your crush?
Um, how often is House on? Or CSI? Or Criminal Minds? Wait, I mean, EVERY DAY. Because I'm married to him and see him all the time.

Current Location: In front of the computer, duh.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Obsession is Normal, Right?

Hi, my name is Jasmin and I'm a spinning addict.

I'm not saying that knitting isn't soothing, or that I've abandoned my knitting completely, but working 10+ hour days on a keyboard makes my hands hurt in a way that knitting just aggravates it more.

Andrew fixed up my wheel a couple of weeks ago, and I was surprised and how soothing spinning is. Seriously, I've always known that it is relaxing, but here is my empirical evidence that it really works:

Before spinning: Waking up multiple times during the night, blood sugar crash at 2AM because I'm crazy stressed out.

After spinning: Sleeping like a baby. Dreams about the oncologist from House.

Science doesn't lie, people.

I spun up the two bumps of roving I got from Serendipity Fibers at Maryland Sheep & Wool (2006), and was amazed at how much grass matter there was in them. When I started spinning them, I assumed it was because of my own carelessness and the very out-doorsy nature of the festival, but the bumps were wound very tightly, and I still found tons of yuck in the very center of the bump.

It was washed, but there was still a significant amount of lanolin left in the roving- which is okay with me, because I like to spin "in the grease" (because I am a gross and disgusting person, after all), but the grass matter was way more than I would have liked.

After I spun those up, Andrew ordered me a bump of roving from Crown Mountain Farms. I love them. It came promptly, the bump weighed what it should, and was HEAVEN to spin and ply. The colorway is called "Love Me Tender" and, for comparison's sake, a before and after picture:



It also turned out very pretty, despite my fear that my spinning (which I'll admit is elementary at BEST) was going to make it look like [Ally's words] "Yarn vomit."

Friday, October 27, 2006

Beer, Bowling and BOYS!

Other people have lists of 100 things about themselves. Here is a short list of things that- until today- I didn't know about MYSELF:

  • I am not a skilled bowler.
  • Drinking beer makes me a significantly better bowler.
  • I don't care about competition, but hate being the weakest link on the team- because everyone else cares about winning.
  • I like to watch engineers bowl. Some of these guys were really cute- I mean, good bowlers.
  • Bowling hurts my fingers.
  • I love cake. [Okay, maybe I knew this one.]

Yes, that's right, we got to bowl FOR WORK. It was awesome.

Thursday, October 26, 2006


So, I posted earlier that I was suffering from some serious job burnout. I'm still tired and stressed, but BOY am I happy to be here!

We had a fire drill today. As usual, I was working with my shoes off, and one of the security guys saw me under my desk (tying my shoes), and said, "Hey, you've got to get our of here."

I quickly tie my shoes and grab my purse and follow my team out of the building. The parking lot is FULL of hot guys. No joke. Smiling guy was seen smiling at me, from a distance. The cute guy from around the corner was standing VERY close to me.

It was also a beautiful day, so after ten minutes of sunshine therapy, I felt better about everything.

So in case you weren't following:

Stress + fire drill+ hot guys in the parking lot= Job satisfaction.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Love & Marriage

I normally don't post about politics, religion or celebrities, so enjoy if you like that type of thing.

Weddings bring out the worst in families. People who can't just get over their crap take it out on the couple at hand, and the "happy" couple tests the relationship in planning the wedding.

I was listening to the radio this morning, and it turns out that there have been issues with the Tom Cruise/Katie Holmes wedding. For the record, I couldn't care less about any of their crap, but here is the issue I'm seeing.

KH's family is "devoutly Catholic". There are issues whether they're going to have a Catholic or Scientologist wedding. KH's family won't show if it's a Scientologist ceremony. So, they're devout enough to demand fish on Fridays, but she's not Catholic enough not to have a baby before the wedding? Hrm. [This completely blows past the whole "abstinence" thing that is/was expected of Catholic women.]

On a more personal note, there was some freaking out about whether Andrew and I were going to have a Muslim/Catholic/non-denominational wedding. He's more [Roman] Catholic than I've ever been [Shiite] Muslim. He was an alter boy and everything.

My extended family had a whole herd of cows over this, even though none of them were invited. My grandfather said that until we had a Muslim ceremony, we wouldn't be married in the eyes of God, and that we were living in Sin.

We had an amazingly non-denominational wedding (I don't think God was even mentioned), and were married by my friend Tim, the bartender- who is also an ordained minister.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes

Quick update: I am imploding from job stress. My bad knee is freaking out (yes, I am wearing sensible shoes and trying to take care of it), and my shoulder/neck area is so hard you could cut diamonds with my shoulder. (Seriously, jewelers have been following me around.)

Of course, the stress is causing headaches, but I may have found a stress reliever to counteract some of it. It's my own little form of meditation, which I'm not really ready to talk about quite yet. It seems to be working for me, though.

I have seen a glut of babies recently, which has kicked my ovaries into overdrive. So the plan is such:

  • Andrew gets a job
  • Andrew finishes his thesis
  • Andrew gets his Masters.
  • We move into a bigger/better house.
  • Start having babies.

That's the tentative plan, anyway. Modifications will occur, I'm sure, but for the time being, I'm feeling some serious burnout.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The Boyfriend Sweater Curse

I'll say it plainly: I think it's crap. Stupider than an urban legend. Stupider than the word "stupider", also.

I say this with conviction because I am living proof that it doesn't happen. I've made sweaters for two of my boyfriends (in the past, of course) who certainly did not dump me. Obviously, some dumping happened but there was in no way any correlation to the date the sweater was completed and the dumping date. Both sweaters were given six months to a year into the relationship. Any dumping took place a year and a half later (except for the one I married, obviously).

As further proof, I present Exhibit B, Grace. Again, a sweater was knitted, much time lapsed, and dumping occurred- but again, completed unrelated to the giving of the sweater.

Perhaps the issue is not in the knitting and giving of the sweater, rather, that these knitters suffer from Premature Sweater Syndrome. If in the early development stages of a relationship a knitter develops PSS, the other party feels that they, in accepting the sweater, have given implicit consent to a long-term, serious relationship.

I think that these men/women are correct in this assumption. Would I knit for a one-night stand? The chances are slim. However, if I'm giving 100+ hours of my life (in the form of a giant garment on itty-bitty needles, as has been the case), this should be interpreted as, "I really like you and I feel secure in our existing relationship enough to give you a thing of great beauty." [Or, in the case of Zak's sweater, miles of solid reverse-stockinette.]

You could equate PSS to proposing on a first or second date. [NOTE: If you proposed to someone on a first/second date and it has worked out, good for you. I, however, would find it odd/creepy.] Nothing will scare away a partner like the threat of a longer termed commitment than they anticipated.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Vegetable Jihad- Conspiracy Theory #643214877

First it was spinach. I was hurt rather deeply, because I like spinach. I'm not one of those crazy, I-eat-spinach-everyday types, but I enjoy spinach.

Next, it was lettuce. I hate lettuce. I'm sure the Lettuce Farmers of America are going to sue me (like the beef people tried to sue Oprah a few years back), but I just don't like lettuce.

Now, they're going after carrot juice. I LOVE carrot juice. I know it's not super popular, but there is nothing bad about carrot juice.

Carrot juice is delicious, nutritious, and best of all, ORANGE! If you drink enough, I have heard rumors that your skin takes on a more carrot-like appearance.

Here is my conspiracy theory:

The Atkins people are trying to eliminate everything good and make this a protein only world. Protein is cool, but sadly, it is inferior to more delicious things like carbohydrates and fiber. In the face of a world full of crazy diets, I stand alone in my fight for delicious food.

Monday, October 9, 2006

Knitters to the Rescue!

A receptionist friend of mine handed me a snippet out of the most current Women's Day with the following text:

Save a Baby's Life Did you know that as many as 2 million babies born in developing countries die within 24 hours? Simple measures like putting a cap on a newborn's head to keep him warm could prevent 70 percent of these deaths. That's why Save the Children teamed up with the Warm-Up America! Foundation to launch Knitters and Crocheters for Newborns: Caps to the Capital. Knit a cap before January 2 and Save the Children will deliver it to President Bush in a plea to allocate more federal funding toward health programs for mothers in the developing world. Find patterns and info at

Click HERE to go directly to Caps to the Capital.

Although I am a strong believer in the adage that charity begins at home, Americans, as a group, tend to be insular. As a country, we have done immeasurable damage globally, whether it has been with the best of intentions or not. Please take this opportunity to help those who can't help themselves- children.

If you are local (California Bay Area) and wish to participate but don't want to pay/ can't pay for shipping, please send me an e-mail (hit the "Contact Me" button) and we can arrange to meet and I will send your contribution in our box/es. I will also make loads of the tags at Kinko's (as opposed to printing one per page) on tagboard/cardstock.

Blog lurkers/commenters are encouraged to spread the word and participate.

The deadline is January 2nd, so this will be an ongoing project.

Sunday, October 8, 2006

Much Ado About Keanu

I am not a Keanu Reeves fan. I don't like him as an actor. I don't find him attractive. He might be a great guy, but I am NOT a fan.

I Netflixed the Kenneth Branagh version of Much Ado About Nothing, and had a good laugh as the main characters rode in on horseback. There is Keanu Reeves, Denzel Washington, Kenneth Branagh, and Robert Sean Leonard.

Now, I love Kenneth Branagh. His film adaptations of Shakespeare rock my world, and I find his arrogance/self-confidence and liplessness oddly sexy. If you want a good look at him, there's a great scene in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein where he's topless and completely covered in amniotic fluid. Pretty funny stuff. I also loved him in Harry Potter 2.

Denzel? Denzel needs no introduction. I love him as an actor, and I think he is a very good looking man. Don't care for him as a director, but he did the Shakespeare surprisingly well. [A little trivia: Much Ado was the first movie he did after Malcolm X. ]

Robert Sean Leonard (the cute oncologist from House, M.D.) played the very young and love-struck protagonist, Claudio. He was just too cute, and played the fawning/ailing, love-afflicted Claudio wonderfully. Andrew thought it was a little over the top, but what is young love if NOT over the top?

[This makes me wonder, where are the days of gazing upon a complete stranger, and marrying them before you've spoken two words to them? ]

A very young and strikingly homely Kate Beckinsale played Hero, Claudio's main squeeze. She spoke about 5 words, and the whole time I could not believe that the awkward youth on screen was the lovely Ms. Beckinsale. Adolescence was cruel to us all, apparently.

Then there is Keanu. He had five lines in the whole thing and was Don Pedro's [Denzel's] jealous little brother. He was supposed to be eeeeeeeevil. But he was just funny. [I was laughing and repeating his lines a la "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure"/"Speed"/Any other movie he has done.]

The best scene, in my opinion, is the celebratory home-coming at the beginning. There is some great homo-erotic play in the fountains while the soldiers all strip down and rough house in the nude. [AWESOME!]

So, I have to say, it was a great movie, made only funnier by Keanu's sheer presence. Maybe that was part of the intended humor, and nobody told him…

Saturday, October 7, 2006

When the Body is Ill

The Karen posted about breasts, and loving your breasts in light of breast cancer awareness month. She admits to linking breasts with femininity. To a certain extent, I agree. I also agree with her statement about loving your breasts because you don't know when you might lose them to cancer.

All women are at risk for breast cancer. The risk is significantly higher in Silicon Valley. (Sidenote: I had a psych professor at De Anza who was convinced that carrying your cell phone in your purse causes breast cancer and carrying it on your hip causes testicular cancer.) I heard a statistic that one in four women in Silicon Valley will get breast cancer. I don't know why, but I have a feeling that the data was skewed by the one jillion people who live here.

As far as my own personal experience, breast cancer runs in my family. When the doctor found the lump last August, my first thought was not "I'm going to lose my breast." It was, "I am going to die."

What I think is the most horrifying part of breast cancer is not the loss of the breasts, rather the positioning of the cancer. At the breast, it is right next to your heart and your lungs. Sick breasts are sad, and the horror of how close the illness is to vital organs is terrifying.

When the illness is so close to the core of your body, I have conceptualized it as destroying you from the center out. When I hear that someone's cancer has metastasized, I envision the cancer spreading like deeply embedded, barbed roots throughout the body. Roots that can't be pulled out.

Granted, in the case of my own lump scare, I have a penchant for melodrama. It's a little more understandable when you have a family history to back up the perceived melodrama/panic/paranoia. I was instructed to give up caffeine for a month, then come back and get re-checked. It turned out to be nothing.

It hits closer to home when you realize that you may not live to do all of the things you had hoped. Fortunately for me, I was okay. In light of my okay-ness, I say this:

I love my breasts. I think they look pretty nice, and they certainly help me get good service around the valley. You can ogle Karen's goodies (and you should, 'cause they rock), 'cause if I go braless and you can see my nipples through my shirt, you can be certain that I will be uncomfortable. That's my personal hangup, though, so don't take it as a judgment call.

It's just me not wanting to be eclipsed by my breasts.

Friday, October 6, 2006


When it comes to yarn, I have a memory like an elephant. Everything else, it's more like a sieve.

While Andrew and I were Space-Bagging The Stash (which is a proper noun only because of it's sheer size and magnificence), I got the opportunity to reacquaint myself with yarn that I remembered, but hadn't fondled in some time. Ball by ball, I went through my stash.

A couple of days after we had bagged the last of The Stash, I turned to Andrew and asked about some Garnstudio Silk & Wool that I had bought a gross of when it was closed out. I hadn't seen it, but I knew I had bought it. I called Mom to make sure there was no more of The Stash hiding at her house. Nope.

I did that obsessive searching thing I do when I lose something- where it consumes me whole. I hunt day and night though everything, crazed. The dogs hide from their crazy mother, knowing this crazy storm will blow over, and she will give them doggie ice cream to apologize for her "episode". Andrew assured me that we had bagged it.

At some point, during a fix of complete frustration and exhaustion, I decided to believe him, that I would see it again when I went hunting for a new project. I let it go. (I know, I'm not a very committed person, even with my obsessions.)

So, today I sent Andrew to dig out my winter clothes out of the garage. Andrew emerged with a duffel bag and a suitcase. I open the duffel bag- and there was the elusive Silk & Wool! I did a little dance, freaked out the dogs a little, and ran around the house proclaiming "Boo-ya! I KNEW we hadn't Space-Bagged it!"

My father has often accused me of paying more attention when it's something I like or care about, and to that I say, "Duh," but seriously, I don't mess around when it comes to yarn.

Thursday, October 5, 2006

I Am Loved!

I felt awful. My face had started hurting around noon, and by the end of the work day, my face was throbbing. Horrible, raging, exhausting sinus pain.

I slogged my way home, ate some dinner, brushed the dogs' teeth, and at 7:00 PM, I laid down on the couch and slept rather soundly until 11:30, when I woke up, and went to bed.

The funny thing is this: the dogs were laying around me, on the floor next to the couch and on the chaise, next to me. Niki decided that since I was in desperate need of love, he climbed up next to me and slept on my chest and stomach for a little while. Naturally, I woke up for this bit, since he is 45 lbs of furry love.

Both dogs were unusually quiet, as they are when I'm sleeping/not feeling well. It just is funny to me that they seem to know when I'm not at my best.

Wednesday, October 4, 2006


There is a new yarn I am obsessed with. It's Lana Grossa Meilenweit Colortweed and I LOVE IT.

It's like Trekking, but there are more colors, and the only problem I'm having with Trekking is that I own every color. (I think)

If you have a cool LYS, buy it there, if not, you have the link.

Tuesday, October 3, 2006


I'm too big a loser to load the Socktoberfest button, but here's the survey thing from Lolly Knitting Around (because I LOVE surveys!):

* When did you start making socks? Did you teach yourself or were you taught by a friend or relative? or in a class?

I started making socks when I was 16. I, being the all-knowing teen that I was, refused my mother's help, and learned out of a book. It worked, too.

* What was your first pair? How have they "held up" over time?

I made my first pair out of Grignasco Top- Print Alpaca, in the dark red colorway for Chris's mom. I don't know how they've held up, you'll have to ask her.

* What would you have done differently?

Used something superwash, duh. Making hand-wash only socks is evil, and even worse if they're gifts. If I, as a knitter, refuse to hand-wash my socks, how could I have expected someone else to?

[Short anecdote: There was this awful woman at this knitting group I attended in college who was talking about knitting socks out of something that wasn't superwash. I said, "But they'll felt in the washer. Nobody hand washes their socks."

She puffed herself up and said, "I hand wash EVERYTHING that I knit."

Seriously, this woman never finished anything. I finish and wear too many hand knit socks to hand wash.]

* What yarns have you particularly enjoyed?
Lisa Souza Sock! (and the merino she used a couple of years ago, I haven't tried her new one), Trekking, Regia, Tess Yarns Sock & Baby! , Socks that Rock (beware of knots!)

* Do you like to crochet your socks? or knit them on DPNs, 2 circulars, or using the Magic Loop method?

I usually do them on 2 circs b/c I bend the life out of my wooden double points. It's also easier for transport and I have a much lower occurrence of needle-loss. I'll still do them on DPNS, occasionally, but I'm a 95% 2 circs gal.

* Which kind of heel do you prefer? (flap? or short-row?)

I fall in and out of love with heels. I started with the flap heel, and went through a 2 year period where all of the socks I had knit had short-rowed heels. I gave all of those away when I had to wear real shoes to work. (Real shoes= not clogs.) I like how the flap heel fits better in shoes, generally.

• How many pairs have you made?

Lots. Andrew has a drawer full, I have a drawer full, and I gave a drawer full away over the last year. My socks are EVERYWHERE.

Monday, October 2, 2006

“I’d Like To Thank All The Crazy People…”

I come from a long line of crazy people. I am of the opinion that my mother's side of the family is the charming kind of crazy- where [most of them] are a little/ very loopy with the best of intentions, whereas my father's side of the family is the kind of crazy that requires lots of medication and rubber walls. This is my non-medical opinion since I am not a doctor and I also do not play one on TV.

So, my Auntie Wolf [translation of her nickname- she's my mom's first cousin] is giving me all of my mother's needlepoint. When Mom went "back to her roots" with the camels and desert theme, she gave/ loaned Auntie Wolf all of the "Anglo Needlepoint".

Auntie Wolf has a keen appreciation for fine things, and snapped up all of Mom's needlepoint, almost angry that Mom was planning on just boxing it all up. She spent loads of money getting it all framed/re-framed so that these beautiful pieces- the culmination of thousands of hours of my mother's handwork, could be displayed with the respect and presentation that they demand.

Auntie Wolf called me a few months ago, and commented on the bare walls at our house. She generously is giving me the needlepoint LONG before she dies (I assumed that I wouldn't be able to pry it away from her otherwise), so we have been making arrangements to make a trip to collect it.

I called to touch base with her, and she asked how the family was doing. The latest family drama is this: my father's sister ["Auntie Angel" is how her name translates] has been telling everyone who will listen that my father gave us a great big down payment for the house. Isn't he generous? The problem with this is although he promised to help us with the down payment (about 25% of the total down payment we put down OURSELVES), we haven't gotten a red cent of the money he promised.

Social pressure is a huge thing for Persian people. Auntie Angel telling all of the relatives that my father has already made good on his promise means that there is no social pressure on my father to cough up the cash. I've written it off; I'm never going to get it. It upsets me that he looks like he's generous and magnanimous when in reality, he's the same cheap, "big-talking", jerk he's always been.

So, I told Auntie Wolf what Auntie Angel was dong, because it really upsets me that my own father cares more about his nieces and nephews than his own children- but I've been battling this since I was a kid. Auntie Wolf apologized that Andrew and I have it as hard as she did, but she praised my ability to find balance and success in my life. She also praised my mother for raising me to be the only really sane person in our family.

I laughed. I'm not all that sane. I told her I felt like I'd gotten the "least crazy" award for our family.

I suppose it's the whole "In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king" thing.

Sunday, October 1, 2006

FO and Photo!

I like to start the month with a FO. It just sets the tone.

I bought the yarn at Maryland Sheep and Wool this last year, and I love how it knitted up. Completely unexpected!