Archive | July, 2007

So hot…

30 Jul

It’s the heat. That’s why I haven’t been blogging. It seems like for each mile I’ve moved inland (30), the summer temp has also increased by a degree. I’m not used to the hot, dry, heat. I’m not used to living in an apartment that absorbs the heat like a sponge (and with an almost worthless air conditioner).

The other day I realized that during the heat of the day my computer feels like a hot iron underneath my fingers. The only way to get my job (writing) done is to find a cool cafe or to go to the library. Even there the heat seems to sink into my bones.

I finally unpacked my spinning wheel last week, but the last thing I feel like doing is working with fiber these days. Seems like I’m doing a lot more reading about knitting and spinning than the actual craft itself. Might have something to do with fiber holding in heat (even the silk I spin seems hot to the touch — it gets to about 80 degrees in the apartment).

I got tagged by Kate at Kniterations to write about 8 random things. I’ve done that in a previous post, so if anyone out there hasn’t done this meme, feel free to tag yourself on my behalf. Oh, and for any of you who’d like to try the Birthday Meme, consider yourself tagged as well!

In other news, the wedding is fast approaching — just about 4 weeks away. Most of the big stuff has been taken care of but there are so many smaller things to get done. And with the heat it seems doubly hard to do. The fridge is on the fritz too, meaning one more expense during a month where money is tight.

I think the heat intensifies everything, making it seem much harder and heavier than it really is. Can’t wait for October to come around!


Deathly Hallows

26 Jul

Ok. So I wasn’t going to buy the new Harry Potter book. I had signed up for it from the library (197th in the cue) 2 months ago. But somehow I just couldn’t resist.

It was easy at first to ignore the hype and not want the book, but while I was in the airport in DC last week I kept seeing people with it tucked (as much as something that big can be) under their arms. Sticker shock aside, I felt the pull of the tome, unable to control myself, much like someone under the Imperius Curse.

I caved.

I knew it’d only be a matter of time before the spoilers started coming out, before people would discuss the book on the net and in their blogs. It took me a little over a day to read (being stuck on a plane for 7 hours helped, of course) but the deed is done. I’ve finished the book.

I cried at the end, not just because of the ending (which I would never reveal to others, except Doug who hasn’t read the books and is not as invested in them) but because of the many hours of light-hearted fun and reading pleasure I have had.

Once I finished it, I felt like I was saying goodbye to an old friend.

Helping Out a Fellow Knitter

17 Jul

I’ve been meaning to post about this for a while. One of the women in my SnB group, Allison, just had a darling baby boy last October named Evan. He’s really a wonderful kid, super cute, and the last time I saw him, was the most well-behaved baby I’ve ever met.

On Christmas Evan started getting seizures. Luckily there was a doctor at the hospital who had seen this type of seizure before and could give Allison and her husband some beneficial info. After a long series of tests and trials (not just in terms of the hospital, but also with insurance, etc.), Allison and Jeff found out that Evan has a rare brain tumor called Hypothalmic Hamartoma. This condition brings on a host of problems — precocious puberty, seizures, behavioral problems (rages) and can only be treated by getting an operation. (There is only one hospital in the world that performs the procedure.)

Of course, for any of you who have seen Michael Moore’s movie, Sicko, you are well aware of the costs of even simple procedures. The cost of this one, though, will blow your mind (the last I heard around $200,000, of which 40K has to be paid out of pocket).

So, because the knitting community is so helpful, I was hoping that you all would check out Allison’s blog, read up on Evan’s condition, pass the word along to other knitters, and donate whatever you can. She even has it set up so that if you simply use the google search engine through her website for your searches, a small donation automatically goes to Evan’s health fund.

Another way to support Allison is to check out her on-line store, Supercrafty. She has the absolute best yarn prices around!

Every little bit helps.

Good Neighbors?

13 Jul

On Sunday when Machan disappeared I had a sinking feeling that she wasn’t merely lost, that she had in fact been taken. I hated to think of this thought because I have just moved here and most of the people I have met so far seemed so nice.

Paranoia began to strike slowly and insidiously.

Monday night when she hadn’t returned and we had completely ransacked our apartment, we went around to our immediate next door neighbors asking if they had seen a cat. No one had. We searched high and low around the apartment complex — under the dumpster, in the utility closet next to the swimming pool, in the boxes people put in their parking spaces.

By this time I knew that she wasn’t in the apartment because she hadn’t eaten or drunk anything (she eats a lot for a thin little kitten). I spent my time looking wistfully at her litter box thinking that I might never have to clean it again. Her little perch on the cat condo seemed so empty without her presence. I just didn’t have any more hope.

Monday evening after asking our neighbors, we decided to post a sign up on the bulletin board. It was a risk because we’re not supposed to have a cat in the apartment, but we checked with our manager and he was totally cool about it. I put up the info about her that matched the info on her tag (name and cell phone number).

By Tuesday morning there was still no word or news of her. No messages on the phone. Nothing.

Doug came home for lunch and we decided that our next course of action would be to go door to door (after listening at each person’s apartment for her howls — she has a very distinctive cry…). That’s when we noticed that our sign had been taken down.

After checking with the manager that he hadn’t removed the sign, we both had an AHA! moment — Machan had been kit(ty)napped.

It’s a strange feeling not being able to trust the people who live around you. That afternoon I eyed everyone I saw with suspicion, not really wanting to believe that someone would make off with a cat who had tags and obviously belonged to someone.

We reposted our sign. This time embellishing the notice saying that Machan was very old, needed special care, and that we wouldn’t ask any questions about her return.

It worked.

Four hours later I had a message on my cell phone from a woman down the hall saying she had ‘found’ Machan. While this may have been the case (since Machan slipped out of the apartment), this woman didn’t bother to check her tag and call immediately. She made all sorts of excuses — she has epilepsy and therefore couldn’t call the humane society, she didn’t notice the name on the tag, etc.

The truth is, she took her. (This is the same woman who walked into another neighbor’s apartment looking for a ‘colander’. She has been known to take drugs and do really wacky things.) We had suspected her (she would’ve been the first person whose door we knocked on).

I think the main reason she called is that Machan had just bitten her (go Machan!) and she knew that it was someone in the building and not just a random person in the neighborhood who had lost the cat. I’m sure for her drug-induced mind, paranoia started to sink in.

I got the message 5 minutes before Doug got home. I didn’t want to go into this woman’s apartment alone, so I waited for him and we walked down the hall. Even though I had met this woman a few times, she stared at me with blurry, unrecognizing eyes; repeating the same excuses she had on the phone over and over to us.

The apartment was closed off, dark and filled with cigarette smoke. It was neat but so disgustingly smoky I thought I was going to die. She told us Machan was under the sofa, but we looked and she was nowhere to be found. I started calling out to Machan and finally, after Doug called her name, there was a cry from the kitchen. Machan had opened up the kitchen cabinet and hid herself away from this woman the best way she knew how (we think the woman unknowingly closed the cabinet, hemming Machan in).

Machan was so happy to see us! Doug and I both got kisses and the first thing she did when she got home was eat a bit of food.

All that night, though, she kept us awake with her howling. At one point Doug went over to her, and she was limp with sleep a deep growl emanating from her throat. We think she was having nightmares about her ordeal being kitnapped by druggy neighbor woman.

My only consolation is that Machan fought back, and I hope she left some ‘surprises’ in the woman’s cabinet!

(Thanks to all of you for your kind words and advice!)

The Wormhole

10 Jul

I’m convinced that we have a wormhole in our apartment, that is, something that transports things from this point in time and space to another, alternate universe. I say this because recently things have been disappearing without a trace.

At first I thought it was simply a gremlin or two, like the little creature “Not Me” in the Bill Keane comic, Family Circus. But now I’ve come to realize that there is no other explanation — someplace in our apartment there is a wormhole. Not a stationary one, mind you, but one that twists and turns with the cool summer night breezes.

The first hint of the wormhole was when Doug was looking for a DVD, The Scent of Green Papaya. We had just eaten Asian food, the night was warm, but not too hot, and somehow the lure of the poetic cinematography and stillness in the film was something we both craved. He had just organized his DVDs but the film was nowhere to be found. Not with the other DVDs, not on the desk. It was simply gone.

The next thing to go was our wedding planning book called Cheap Ways To Tie the Knot. The last time I had seen it was when I was working on invitation wording. One of my books is still there but this one is missing.
Last night it was one of Doug’s contact lenses.

But, sadly, the major thing to disappear in the apartment is my cat, Machan. The last time we saw her was on Sunday — she was under the bed. We left in the mid-afternoon for a movie and when we got back 3 hours later, she wasn’t there. We searched all her favorite hiding places, closets, everything. Still no sign. She’s been known to hide away in the closet every now and again for a half a day or so, and so I didn’t really worry until yesterday morning when she still hadn’t appeared. She’s a noisy little creature, and after tearing apart everything we had organized over the past 2 months, we came to the conclusion that she was definitely not in the apartment.

But, she’s not outside our apartment either.

See, Machan is a scaredy-cat. Whenever she sees someone coming, she runs under the furniture. If she ventures outside, it’s only when we are watching her, slinking against the wall, going a few yards only to get spooked by some random noise and come running back. I can’t imagine that if she did get out, she would have stayed out long. We would’ve heard her whines or she would’ve been sitting outside the door.

There is no rational explanation for her disappearance, especially since the door was closed and neither one of us saw her sneaking out.

After 11 years, 2 continents and 3 homes, I hope she comes back. I keep thinking that maybe wormholes can work the opposite way, bringing us back the things that are most dear to us which we have lost to their energetic force field.