Saturday, May 31, 2008

I am BACK!

I'll be honest. This insomnia thing had really thrown me off my game. So, off to Dr. B I went, and the conversation went something like this:

Dr. B: I'm going to suggest something. You're not going to like it.

Me: Ok, what? (<- Desperate for a solution)

Dr. B: Exercise.

Me: Oh, I did that in high school.

Evidently, working out is not like an innoculation, where you do it, with some boosters, and you're good until the end of your natural life. (Or a stronger strain. But I digress.) But, Dr. B is a professional, and as his suggestions have proven more than helpful historically, I listened.

I came home, and did a half hour of yoga. Then, I slept for seven hours. I woke up, feeling much more human, and continued my day as normal. Except for the soreness. The one thing that I vividly remember from my yoga sessions with Katie is the insane stiffness and soreness.

Despite the soreness, I felt better. Stronger.

Tonight, I went to the Saratoga Drama Group's production of Man of La Mancha. Walter, the lead, is one of the most commanding baritones that I have had the good fortune to see perform. Attending live performances gives me a high that you can't even imagine. I was practically vibrating afterwards.

When I got home, it was Yoga Time. I outdid last night's agonizing 30 minutes by an extra five, working on the yoga until the soreness stopped. It was like a rubber band snapping. One minute, I was stretching out the sore hamstrings and hoping for a swift, yoga-induced death, and the next,
it felt GOOD.

I stretched harder. I held poses longer. I breathed deeper. I felt ALIVE. And then I almost threw up. (I didn't.)

After I did my cool-down, I had some water, and was being reflective. When did I become this lazy lump of a person? Sitting all the time. Not moving. Indolent. It's disgusting. I used to be so physically active! I did all sorts of physical activities, and I worked out at the gym. Now, just walking the stairs?

I realized, that I could be developing the dreaded office butt. Office butt! Unacceptable.

I told Mike - the work husband - that we will be working out. Every day. No more leisurely, cheese-filled lunches. Lunch at my desk, an hour at the gym.

Look out world. I have returned with a VENGEANCE.

Friday, May 30, 2008

It's a system.

I would like to announce that I am not the only person who shops like I do. Norma, too, can "pull a Jasmin".

I don't need validation, but.

Neener neener. And, suck it, Trebek.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Tika's Hot Brother

On Sunday, we were invited to join Tika, ManCandy, HeteroLifeMate Jordan, and Tika's Hot Brother for brunch and the new Indiana Jones movie (skip it). We arrived on time, and since Ms. Tika was still in bed, we made the all-neccessary coffee run.

Upon our return, I noticed that Tika and I have read loads of the same books. This is really unusual for me. I pointed this out, and she walked me to her "fiction" bookshelf- in the TV room. We were chitchatting about books (I think), when this rockin-hot-stud walks into the room, wearing nothing but a towel. Slightly damp. With spiky hair.

(Spiky hair is a weakness of mine, starting back in the first grade, when I had my first crush on Doug A. As a child I referred to it "sticky-up hair". In high school, Doug A. and I were supposed to go to a winter formal together, but he ended up canceling due to a hockey game which he was playing in. He's now a cop in Oregon with adorable sticky-up hair.)

"Do you want us to get out, so you can get dressed, THB?" Tika asked, getting up to go, "This is my brother, THB."

I managed a "nice to meet you", and wandered out of the room, jealous that random hot men don't randomly appear in my TV room wearing nothing but a towel. It turns out, that other than being really hot, THB is charming.

To thicken the plot, AllyTheSingleFriend, was supposed to join us, to soak up the THBness. Some parental interference kept AllyTSF from joining us, so I texted her:

"Tika's brother is smoking hot."

I know I'm not a nice person. But I'm honest.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Good Friends = Good Advice

Like I've said before, I've gotten an overwhelming amount of support from my friends through this bout of insomnia.

Yesterday, Gretchen suggested a glass of wine, candlelight, and a bath. While I'm not normally a bath kind of girl, when you hit the end of your rope, you're willing to try anything.

So, last night, I drew a bath. I lit some candles, and I poured myself a glass of merlot. I listened to a chapter of Little Women (courtesy of CraftLit), and soaked.

For the first time in ages, I slept - sleeping pill free - for five, blissful, perfect, consecutive hours. This morning, the sun shone brighter, food tasted better, and there was a little extra spring in my step.

It's a good start.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Don't fight the force, Luke.

Sometimes, going with the flow is better.

I’m a planner. I’ve been a planner as long as I can remember- maybe this is why I’ve been dubbed the “Tiny Persian Dictator” of the knitting group. Recently, I’ve been trying to share the planning responsibilities, and take a backseat.

If you know me in the “real world” (as opposed to on the internet), you know that my schedule has been… over committed, at best. I have been trying to plan out a month in advance, but there is that adage about the best laid plans, and the path to hell being paved with good intentions. A mixed metaphor, yes, but go with it.

Last year, I went to the Harmony Classic Sweepstakes in Marin and had a FABULOUS time. This year, I was trying to decide whether I wanted to go alone, or who I would take with me. I also could have SWORN that I went at the end of last May.

Last night I checked online (so that I could get my ticket online, since next weekend is the end of May), and it turns out that I missed it. Totally, utterly , completely missed it. It was on May 3rd.

I won’t go into the fact that six months ago, when the tickets went on sale, I thought, “I should get my tickets now.” But no. I couldn’t decide whether to get one or two tickets.

With one ticket, I could go, flirt outrageously with all the singing mens, go to afterglow (and partake in the drunken singing), and head home (or crash in a hotel room) at my leisure. Two tickets means two people. Potential blockage. ‘Nuff said.

What have I learned? Go with the OCD. Buy one ticket. Flirt outrageously.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Saturday, May 24, 2008

It's love

That's right.

I'm watching a Sci-Fi original that my TiVo thoughtfully picked up for me. Crocodile 2: Death Roll. It has everything that I need in a movie: cheesy dialogue, corny special effects, and people who are unusually attractive when wet.

Didn't see Crocodile? Not a big deal, as there was no exposition at the beginning of the movie to tie them together.

Ah, how I do love a Sci-Fi original.

Friday, May 23, 2008

An Ode to Wikipedia

Not exactly an ode. A haiku:

Wikipedia
User-generated stuff
Unreliable.

Thank you.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Holy Shawl, Batman!

I was just working away on my computer, when I saw that I got a Facebook message from Marie, telling me that she was (fairly certain) that I was in the new TKGA catalog, on page 13.

So, I found page 13:

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What?!

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I'll be damned! It is me. Now you all can say you knew me when. (Also in the picture, the fabulous Brenda Patipa and Audrey the Amazing Lace Knitter.)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Helping hands

I believe that knitters are generally very helpful people. The post about my recent bout of insomnia drew out a fair amount of empathetic- and helpful - commentary in my inbox.

Heather, of CraftLit notoriety, directed me to this interview on NPR about insomnia on Talk of the Nation. Part of the interview addressed how different people (and the medical industry) deals with insomnia.

There was also a link between people who suffer from migraines and insomnia. Oh, and the hormonal thing. (I hate when anything is linked to hormones. It feels like a second coming of the Hysteria argument. Ugh.)


Dr. B mentioned a while back that he read a study that revealed that type A women tended to have a higher incidence of migraines. While, at the time, it sounded more anecdotal than scientific, there is a "duh" quotient. (Not "Duh, I knew that already. More "Duh, why didn't I think of that?". Does anyone still say "duh"?)

I looked up "type A personality", and came up with this (from Wikipedia):
"Theoretically, people who fall under Type A generally exhibit characteristics such as being time-conscious, highly competitive, direct and more assertive, and less relaxed.[1] Type A individuals are often high-achievers who multi-task, and are unhappy with delays. [2]"
Of course, if you're competitive and less relaxed, you're more likely to suffer from sleeplessness, and migraines have been linked to sleeplessness. The whole thing is a cyclical disaster.

Complaining ends today, when I start knitting Auntie Desiree's baby sweater.

Beauty and the Beast- a Review

I attended Beauty and the Beast at AMTSJ on Saturday, accompanied by Mom and Tika. I grew up a Disney-ish kid, and I love musicals, but this musical holds a slightly more special spot in my heart. The last time it toured through San Jose, Andrew and I went to see it. It was our first real date.

When they announced that it was going to be part of this season, I was pretty happy. The cast was phenomenal, but it seems that there have been some changes made in the last 6-7 years.

I didn’t think it was possible, but they Disney-fied it even more. Gaston is even more of a bully (who doesn’t go more than 3 minutes between punching the formly-sycophantic-now-stuttering Lefou), and they have changed the Beast from a gothic hero to an awkward buffoon. Less angst, more social ineptitude. My heart was very nearly broken by this change.

Despite the ill-advised changes, the actors were terrific- Brad Little plays the Beast, Edward Staudenmayer plays Gaston, and Nikki Renee Daniels interprets Belle with an incredibly powerful voice. I enjoyed the show so much that I picked up a copy of the Brad Little CD. I do love a good baritone. We also thought that Gaston was a smokin’ hot fox.

It’s hard to separate what I want theater to be- thought provoking and moving- with what it is- occasionally aimed a little lower, going for the cheap laughs. I understand that it has become a kids’ show- but it wasn’t before. (Just take a listen to the lyrics. You’ll agree.)

The original story has depth about appearances being deceiving and looking past the superficial. With this one, it felt more like the moral was, “Once you spend enough time with someone, you’ll love them.” A little more Stockholm-y, and a little less a-meeting-of-like-minds, if you will.

This is just be a criticism of the Disney-fication of the world, not the show. Take your kids, everyone will enjoy it. Ignore the curmudgeonly, pink-haired woman in the fierce shoes. She likes angst.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Insomnia

I’ve been flirting with insomnia since the cruise. There was one night, when the fabulous Sharon gave me an acupuncture relaxation treatment and I slept for twelve blissful hours. I don’t think I’ve ever been happier than I was when I woke up, refreshed.

I’ve been battling the lack of quality sleep for a while now, but this is the first time I’ve felt like a true insomniac. I can’t really fall asleep, and when I finally do, I wake up with incredible frequency. In lieu of being frustrated, I’ve decided to use the extra time to do things like read, write, knit, and catch up with my TiVo.

I’m also using the time to plan my wardrobe so I don’t kill myself in the morning trying to make it look like my clothes didn’t jump out of the closet and attack me. This is better for everyone- trust me.

I’ve got an appointment with Dr. B this week, and I’m debating taking the sleep meds that my regular doctor prescribed. (I stopped because they made me perpetually drowsy. I also didn’t want a pill to fix the problem.)

Maybe I’m not spending enough time at the spinning wheel. Maybe the issue is that I spent ten days away from the spinning wheel, and my brain has interpreted it as a major deficit.

While I don’t really like how I feel, the upside is that I am getting a lot accomplished. I’ve always felt like I don’t have enough time to do the things that I want.

Instead of being frustrated and tossing and turning, I’ve added a few things to the nightstand to pass the time- knitting, a notebook, and Tika’s copy of The Poisonwood Bible. I understand that this will pass with time, but I figure, why not use the extra time?

Monday, May 19, 2008

Chivalry is not dead

It’s not, and I have proof that has given me a modicum of hope that humanity may not be entirely doomed. Let me preface all of this by saying, I love the movie “Love, Actually”, but I have historically found people in airports to be unpleasant and rude.

They’re not happy to have their loved ones home, but rather, inconvenienced by what air travel has turned into. People don’t like all of the security, and it makes everything very ugly.

When I got to the airport to come home, baggage claim was my first stop. What I have noticed about Baggage Claim is that people cluster around the carousel long before any bags have started coming out, and stand there, regardless.

Since my luggage is a little… colorful, I stood back from the crowd, and waited. My smaller bag popped up first, and I walked up, excused myself as I parted a couple of people and grabbed my bag. I rolled back to the sidelines and waited for my other bag to make its appearance.

When it did, the gentleman to my right said (without looking at me), that he would grab it for me.

“Thanks,” I said, “My bags are a little … colorful.”

He laughed, looked at me and said, “They match your backpack.” Looks up at my face, “And your hair.”

I smiled and said, “Sometimes things work out just that well.”

I have to admit, I was shocked. Sometimes people do nice things for other people. When was the last time you were courteous to a stranger? When was the last time a stranger was courteous to you?

I try to be courteous and polite when I can. I smile, I’m polite, I hold doors. Maybe the trend is catching on.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

I'm baaaa-ack!

Hi all.

I know. You're thinking, "How was the cruise, Jasmin?"

Poorly planned. I would go into the details, but that would make this post intensely negative, and frankly, boring to read. Sadly, I can not recommend going on any future Sea Socks cruises. Really.

But.

Alaska was beautiful. You should totally go.

Ketchikan Sign

I may have been pre-occupied with having fun to take a lot of pictures of Ketchikan. It was cold and rainy, and I LOVED it.

We stopped at the Hubbard Glacier.

hubbard glacier

It was pretty cold. Perfect time for a vanity shot!

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It was also super-cold. So, to warm up:

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Hot chocolate with Bailey's and my pink socks.

hubbard glacier 2

We went around Juneau. First to the Mendenhall Glacier:

glacier

waterfall

landscape

Pretty, huh?

I met my first snowman ever.

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He liked my sock.

I was hoping to see some black bears, but only saw this:

bear proof

Afterwards, we went to Glacier Gardens, and got rained on in the rainforest. In person, I wax poetic about how peaceful and introspective the time I spent there was. Here, you get a picture of our very young (and sporting) tour guides:

glacier gardens tour guides and sock

Next, we went to the Alaskan Brewing Company. There was beer. I drank jalapeƱo beer. And six or seven other kinds.

Jasmin and beer

Mmmmm... Foamy!

After sampling some of their brews, we went to dinner at the Twisted Fish.

beer and sock

I can really pull off a bib.

bib beer and Jasmin

And we had the best waitress ever, Jennifer. (Holding the sock.)


Twisted Fish

In Victoria, there was Beehive Yarns, and the Canoe Club. Sorry, no pictures. But, I had some amazing drinks. (There may be a connection between those two.)

There were more upsides:

Meeting so many fabulous people. I really do believe that knitters are inherently interesting and good people.

Amy's husband (Phil) looks hot in his kilt. HOT!

Churchmouse Yarns & Teas. Nice people, good yarn, GREAT sherry.

Now I just have to wait for my souvenirs to show up in the mail. Mom asked me why I didn't mail my dirty laundry and pack my new yarn.

Clearly, I was having a "pretty but not smart" day. Live and learn, right?

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Preparing for travel

I hate going on vacation. In my opinion, it’s almost more trouble than it’s worth. Almost.

For me, the hardest time is right before and right after I leave. In addition to having to make the lists, do the laundry, do the packing, there is all of the work stuff that needs doing.

It starts with prepping everything so that when you’re out, if something goes wrong, there is a pro-cess. Set your e-mail to ping your co-workers if they forget that you’re out and try to e-mail you. Looking forward to the time frame that you’ll be out, and getting everything set up to move seamlessly when you get back.

I can’t even begin to start thinking about when I get back- the last time I was out for 4 days over the winter holiday I spent three hours sifting through my work e-mail. Three hours. During a quiet time of year. It’s enough to give a woman hives, I tell you.

But. All work and no play make Jasmin 2008 antsy and burned out. So, part of this week’s planning includes:

  • Filling out the pre-boarding paperwork for the boat
  • Pre-boarding for the flight
  • Packing my bags to stay within the weight guidelines, and still leave a little space for a few, circumspect, Jasmin 2008 approved purchases.
  • Making phone calls to all dropping-off volunteers to remind them that we need to be at the airport early.

Are we there yet?

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

It's [not] Hammer time!

I’m a one-tool kind of gal.

When Andrew and I got married, I brought a hammer into the marriage. An orange-handled hammer- not one of those sissified floral ones. It is a rugged, manly, hazard-orange hammer.

When something needs hammering, I’m there. I’ve learned how to re-sink the nails in the hardwood floor, remove baseboards, and any amount of demolition work – all with my trusty orange hammer. Until today, I hadn’t found any need for any other tools.

Sure, I can operate a drill, and I’m a whiz with an allen wrench, but the hammer is my one true love.

This morning, I was driving to an appointment, and my tape deck adapter (for my iPod) was having some issues. There are two little plastic gears on the inside (whose purpose was unknown to me, then), and when they get jostled (like when you hit a bump, brake enthusiastically, etc), they jam. That’s when the auto-flippy mechanism kicks in, and it tries to flip the “tape” direction until it can un-jam enough to keep rolling. (There is no actual tape, just a metallic connection where the tape would be.)

I pulled into the parking lot, a little early, pulled out the tape adapter, and looked at it. The hammer would not work for this fix.

Hmmm… a small, sharp implement might be able to wiggle the gears so that they are meshing exactly the way that tiny plastic gears are intended to.

I searched through my glove box, and found a pen. Too big.

At that moment, I saw the reflection off of the sock needle in my purse. PERFECT. With the tip of a size 1 ½ US needle, I wiggled and maneuvered the gear into place.

Step aside, hammer. A new era has begun.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

A contest of EPIC proportions!

The other night I had a dream that I met Barack Obama, and asked him to pose for a picture with me and my sock. In my dream, he was totally cool about it.

Also, he smelled amazing. This dream was so real, I woke up and checked my computer for my picture to post on the blog.

But alas, it was a dream.

That’s the last time I fall asleep with The Daily Show running. Maybe.

Part of me thinks it would be super-cool to have a presidential candidate sock picture. Sounds like time for a contest.

The Contest:

Get a picture of one of the candidates, a sock, and you. (Photoshop does not count.) Your pictures should look something like my picture with Taylor Swift, Patton Oswalt, Maria Bamford, Cat Bordhi, or Stephanie Pearl-McPhee,

If you’re a non-knitter, a regular store-bought sock will do. Please tell them that it’s for a knitting blogger- I don’t want you to get shot by the Secret Service.


The Prizes:


Knitter prize: 4 oz of handspun. Your choice of colors. If you’ve seen it on my blog, flickr, or ravelry already, it’s very likely I haven’t knit it yet. Or, I can get more and spin it for you.


Non-Knitter prize: A custom iPod sock.

BUT WAIT, there’s more!
If you get all three major candidates (McCain, Clinton, Obama), you get the Hat Trick Prize. My duplicate copy of the very Out Of Print “Sweaters for Men” by Alice Starmore. (Non-knitters, sell this on eBay.)

Remember to tell them Jasmin sent you.