Monday, June 30, 2008


Hello, darlings. I'm sorry that I haven't been more regular about the blogging, but I've been suffering from a horrid bout of tendinitis and writer's block. Since I mostly blog about knitting, the tendinitis and writer's block might just be more connected than I realize.

This is frustrating on a number of levels, but I'm going to just let it go now. Please think good thoughts for my hands/wrists/hurty bits.

I don't want to totally rip off the Yarn Harlot, but what the hell is wrong with people on airplanes? I try to be courteous and polite most of the time, assuming that everyone around me is exactly as miserable as I am, and that I don't need to make it worse. I smile, I'm polite, and most importantly, I say "pardon me" when passing, and "thank you" frequently.

The YH has already ranted about the jerks-with-cell-phones issues (which I've now encountered twice in the last month), but on my most recent plane ride, I've seen people be rude to the flight attendants for NO REASON. Being on a plane for my job is my version of the worst kind of hell, so I have nothing but respect for these hardworking folks.

In the "people to be nice to" category, let's include every single person who works (in any and all capacities) at the airport. After close to twelve miserable, sleepless, crunched hours in airports and on uncomfortable planes, I walked to get a cup of coffee in the most unloved wing of JFK. After I sang praises to every God I could manage to dredge up in my sleep-deprived state, I had a bucket of coffee in my hand, waiting to be paid for and appropriately doctored.

Behind me in line, stood two fresh-to-the-airport people. They were clean, their clothes were pressed, and they clearly had not had the same 12 hours I had. The entire five minutes we were in line, they bitched about EVERYTHING. The man in front of me was juggling two cups of coffee and an INCREDIBLY well-behaved toddler, and yet, this couple bitched about HOW HE WAS HOLDING THE COFFEE.

Really? You want to micro-manage how people hold their coffee? I considered turning around and telling the two of them to shut the hell up (sleep deprivation brings out the best in me), but the rational side of me decided that anything I really want to do when exhausted is probably ill-advised.

I feel so naive, thinking that people should be polite whenever possible. I find that in most unpleasant situations, being polite is always more effective than being rude and obnoxious. Squeaky wheels do get oiled, but you'll get the minimum that they are required to do. Being polite bears many rewards, really, really. I think it's redundant to talk about it here. Obviously, if you read this blog, you're smarter (and decidedly more attractive) than non-Better Than Yarn readers.

After my most recent flight, I told Andrew that I am never, ever, ever, leaving the house again. Other feature of this flight included a rabid-looking hairpiece, no sleep, an open-mouth-breather, and me catching a wicked ugly flu. The world can come to me, if I never see another airplane again, it will be too soon.

The wicked ugly flu has wiped out all of my brains and energy. Before I left on the trip, I finished the body of my Not-Your-Standard-Issue-Sweatshirt, and cast on the sleeves. I estimated that the sleeves should take me about two days to complete. Not so much. I can knit about 4 rows (total), and then I'm too tired to knit.

The upside of the NYSIS is that it's on size 9 needles, which are the ONE SIZE of needle that I can knit with the tendinitis. So, it seems that once this is done, I'll be knitting all of my malabrigo up, since I can't manage the three lace shawls or any socks that I have on the needles. Essentially, if it's not on size 9's, I can't do it. Period.

I feel a little bad about this, since I promised a sample lace shawl to a friend (to be a booth sample which is returned to me), but it's on 2's, and thus, impossible to knit. Please ignore the fact that regardless of the tendinitis, I don't have enough brains left (due to the airborne influenza of death and destruction) to knit anything more complex than stockinette stitch in the round.

Oh, and "Walker, Texas Ranger" is great to sleep through. Wierd, huh?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Shoe dilemma

On Monday, I went and bought a pair of shoes. These shoes, specifically. (Sorry, couldn't get pictures.)

On Mom's urging, I tried on these other shoes. I kind of loved them, but Jasmin 2008 reared her head and I didn't buy them. But you can bet I've been thinking about them.

So, I'm leaving it to you, readers.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A more direct route, perhaps?

Today, I gave blood. This is kind of a big deal for me, since the last two times I tried to give blood I was gored by the person checking my iron levels, only to be told that they were too low to donate.

In preparation for today, I've been taking iron pills. (Sorry, I can't eat enough red meat to keep those levels high, and I'm not organized enough to do it with fish.) The woman checking my iron levels gave me the BAREST of pinpricks (as opposed to stopping when the lancet hit bone), which was - in my mind- a good start.

I sat in the chair with my book (paranormal stuff with vampires and werewolves seemed appropriate), and the phlebotomist attended to me. Last time I donated blood, there was a slight pinch when the needle went in, and then nothing until it was over. Uneventful.

This particular phlebotomist kneaded my arm (like dough) to get my veins to rise nice and clearly, then put in the needle so deeply that I thought that going directly for an artery might be faster than trying to make the needle a central line to it. But, since being polite is my default, I let it go. I can deal with a little discomfort.

When I was finished giving blood, she bandaged me up, and the first thought that crossed my mind was, "Drat. I bet she left a bruise."

You betcha. So, for your reference, I am not a junkie, just a blood donor.

Oh, and I officially submitted my stuff to be part of the bone marrow registry. Not bad for a Tuesday.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Oh, positive.

I posted a few months back that I gave blood at work. This was super exciting, since this was the first time I weighed enough to give blood (and had the opportunity to do so). In addition to cookies, juice, and ice cream, they told me that they would let me know what my blood type is. Super cool.

A few weeks later, I got a card from Stanford's blood center, letting me know that I'm O+, and that they were in desperate need of O+ blood and bone marrow. So, every chance I've had to give blood since, I've tried.

(I'm battling my iron count. I'm trying to keep it high enough to donate every two months, so I'm taking iron supplements.)

Now, I think I'm going to try and get into the bone marrow registry. I need to do a little more reading on the subject, but mostly as to how to get in and whatnot.

Am I sure?

Oh, positive.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

I'm damaged

Dear Girl at the hair extensions booth;

While I appreciate your concern for the health of my hair, please bear in mind that I am keenly aware of the damage that hot pink highlights do to my hair. But, my hair has done loads of damage to me, so turnabout is really fair play, in my opinion.

I'm pretty much counting myself lucky that my hair hasn't all fallen out, so by comparison, brittle hair is a coup.

Oh, and I'm not going to buy your gross hair extensions just because you tried to lecture me about hair health.



Friday, June 13, 2008

World Wide Knit in Public Day- TOMORROW!

Hello, darlings!

Tomorrow is World Wide Knit in Public Day. Mom and I will be at Santana Row from 1-4PM. We'll be in that center section, in the shade. (Specifically, at the far end of the center island that is across from Ben & Jerry's.)

If you're coming, please bring/wear sunscreen, a chair (if you have one), and snacks. See you there!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

So VERY liberated

My girlfriends all told me to get a Rabbit. They told me it would change my life. I insisted that I like having a man do certain things for me.


On Monday, I was shopping and happened across one. A pink one. On a whim, I bought it.

Oh my.

Easy to use... and it does the job quickly. Like, 3 seconds quickly. (Impressive, eh?)

This little gadget fulfills all my desires...

pink rabbit
(Click the picture to get one of your very own.)

For wine.

You see, the wine opener we had requires brute strength, and I haven't been able to pry any bottles open on my own. The problem with that is that Andrew isn't always home when I want wine, and my feminist-y side is fiercely defiant. Jasmin the Feminist wants wine when she wants wine, regardless.

(You should know that I'm not above walking my wine to the neighbor's house to get help. They're generally very helpful and charming company to have a glass of wine with.)

Now, there's no need. I love my pink gadget!

(Just a heads' up, a part of the proceeds on the pink one go to the Susan J. Komen Foundation.)

Monday, June 9, 2008

Dear Technology

You may have thought that you had won. I may have admitted some defeat when I bought a book to help me figure out how to use two microphones with the same software. Since you were Apple software, I assumed that if I plug in two separate mics, you would automatically work.

As I learned, GarageBand, you are a plucky strumpet. Exhaustive internet searching yielded terms like “aggregate device” with directions on how to set up said aggregate device. But alas, no amount of microphone positioning would get rid of the satanic-sounding feedback. That was when I turned to the book.

I purchased the Idiot’s Guide to GarageBand. I have no real interest in recording music at this juncture, so about 75% of the book wasn’t relevant to me, but I pushed through. A couple of nights in bed with this book promised to solve all my problems. But, like any fickle creature, you disagreed. Fiddling yielded no success.

But yesterday, I defeated you. Ten feet of distance between mics, recording in mono (NOT in stereo), and monitoring the audio with headphones ended in SUCCESS. Now, Mom and I don’t have to sit on top of each other to both get picked up on the mic, and I can adjust the volume on the individual mics so that my voice doesn’t drown Mom completely out.

Perhaps next time you’ll remember this defeat, and not require the use of my tech-fu on you again.

You’ve been warned.

Your adversary,


Saturday, June 7, 2008

I am a naughty girl

Well, more a naughty blogger. Partly because I've had writer's block that is the equivalent of the Writer's Block-Wall-of-China, and partly because I've been reading bad books.

"Bad books?" You may be asking yourself, "How can a book be bad?" Then, the philosophy of an ex-boyfriend's brother comes in, "You'll learn something, even from the worst book. Where's the bad."

Laurell K. Hamilton
. That's where the bad is. Her books used to be really good. (Keep it in context, people. She writes paranormal fiction. Not high literature.) Anita Blake was a character I could connect with- a petite, curly, ethnic, ass-kicking, wise-cracking necromancer/vampire executioner. While I may be some of those things, the rest I found inspiring. Especially as a 14 year-old girl, when I started reading her stuff.

Anita had a set of black-and-white values that she constantly struggled with, but she managed to work out that gray areas exist, too, and still manage to be a decent person. Until.

Narcissus in Chains
. Anita becomes (in her own words) SlutGirl. A person does not go from being a "sex is for love and marriage" to a "sex with strangers is fun" person overnight. While I do not like the socio political nature of any word that judges a woman based on promiscuity (which is also a gender-based loaded word of dooooooom), I call a spade a spade, and a ho a ho.

The books went from being about fighting amorphous evil and raising the dead to ... paranomal porn. This is disappointing at BEST.

I can't even call it paranormal erotica, because it lacks the intimacy that characterizes erotica. It's just straight-up, written porn. (This is why I couldn't get into the Merry Gentry series that she wrote. Evidently, it has bled over into the Anita Blake universe.)

Worse than the written-porn-lack-of-plot-ness of it, I just feel like she's pandering to masses of desperate fans. Because, let's face it: you're in at least one of the camps that believes she should be sleeping with Jean-Claude, Richard, Asher, Jason, Nathaniel, or any of the other characters that Ms. Hamilton has developed throughout the series.

(In case you're wondering, I'm in the Richard camp. What's not to love about a werewolf who attends musical theater? I'm also a big fan of his naive ideals about democracy in a pack environment. Just not the long hair. I like my men clean-cut. Seriously, what is with LKH and long-haired men? Sounds like a Samson complex, of sorts.)

So, after all this ranting about how terrible the books have gotten, you ask, "Why are you still reading them?"

I'm still reading them because I keep hoping, deep in my heart, that someone will slap some sense into Anita and she'll go back to kicking ass and taking names. LKH and I have an abusive relationship. She'll write a bad book, and I'll finish reading it and feel devastated (and possibly, a little violated), and then I'll see the next book out, and say, "Well, it'll be better next time." It's a vicious cycle.

Oh, and the spoilers for the next book have PROMISED that Anita is going to get her act together. So I have to get caught up.

(I'm four books behind.) I think, one of the worst changes, was the shift from a detective-story looking cover to the current covers. Which have LOADS of nudity.

It's one thing to read dreck. It's a whole other thing to advertise that you're reading dreck. A girl has got to have standards, you know?

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Flattery will get you EVERYWHERE

When I get a few spare minutes, I read blogs. Imagine my surprise when I read Lisa's post about her trip (a while back) to the Asian Art Museum in SF. I was pleasantly surprised to have embodied one/some of the wrathful deities in this picture:


(Picture courtesy of Gretchdragon)

If you go through and read the bit about the wrathful deities, maybe she's not so far off.

But you know what they say: Looks can be deceiving... or can they?

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Beating the clock

If you've been reading the blog for any length of time, you will have noticed that when I decide to do something, there is no stopping me. Whether it's finding an out-of-print book, or completing a project, it always happens- usually before schedule.

Per Dr. B's instructions to exercise, I've been doing a minimum of half an hour every day. (Notice how I say "minimum". It's been closer to 45 mins- 1hr.) On Monday, I went to the mandatory orientation for the gym at work so that I could start doing time at the gym everyday in lieu of a long, leisurely lunch with WorkHusbandMike.

WHMike was on board on Friday, letting me know he'd be my workout buddy. Come Monday, he was shocked when I insisted on taking the stairs after lunch. (We work on the second floor.)

Those of us in the corporate world know that meetings will be meetings, so WHMike couldn't make it today. So, I went by myself.

I got on the machine, started up the iPod, and did two miles. Mile one took twelve minutes. (This would be the second fastest mile I have done since high school.) Originally, I had decided to do a mile, then get back to the grindstone.


The exercise machines have little LCD data things on them. How many calories you've burned, your time, and the distance you've gone. While I don't care about the calorie bit, watching my distance vs. the time lapsed got my competitive side up and roaring.

I pushed through the stitch in my side (deeeeep breaths!), and did another mile.

In eight and a half minutes. Beating my best time from high school by a minute and a half. That's right. Two miles in UNDER twenty minutes.

I stepped off of the machine, and woo! Light-headed. But, again, I'm feeling really good.

Oh, and it doesn't hurt that my abs and obliques are starting to be all washboard-y.