Archive | September, 2007

I’m a chicken

27 Sep

This blog post is pretty personal. I originally wrote it a couple of months ago…

I’m a scaredy cat.

Even though I’m the sort of person who can readily hop on a plane and travel the world without so much as a few pages copied from a guidebook (and sometimes not even that much), I’m just, deep, down at heart, a chicken. If something seems too daunting, I don’t dive into it – I avoid it.

So, I probably would’ve known about this whole thing earlier. All the signs were there. I had a feeling inside of me that there was something going on that was unusual, but instead of being proactive, I put things off, hoping against all hope that whatever my intuition was telling me was misguided.

I should’ve known better – my intuition is always right…

I notice the first signs while I’m teaching. Extreme tiredness and grumpiness. Nothing out of the ordinary for me, since my PMS symptoms are usually really strong. I debate whether or not to go back on the pill because this one time I feel so bad, I think I’ll scream and I don’t want to have to deal with this right before the wedding. Between working and moving, my schedule has been thrown completely off and all I want is for my cycle to end.

I wait…
and I wait….

This is strange for me – unless I’m stressed (which I am, though), I’m like a clock. I know the moving, wedding planning, and working is getting to me, but this much?

Something inside of me tells me that things in my body are different. For a week I wake up in the middle of the night, heart beating wildly, unable to sleep. It feels like there is an unknown entity taking over my body – visions of horror movies unleashing their vise-like hold on my psyche.

What if, I ask Doug the day after one of these episodes, I’m…well…you know…pregnant?

It wouldn’t be the end of the world, he says. It might be in God’s plan for us.

The thought lingers in my mind for a good week. I keep pushing it away because I did have some mild cramps and some bleeding. I am just about ready to go to get my pill prescription refilled when I decide to go ahead and take a test just in case.

It reminds me of being a teenager all over again.

Walking in the drugstore the same nervousness grips me like when I was 17 and considering sleeping with my boyfriend. Back then I knew that I wasn’t really ready (and, we ultimately didn’t because of my then strong religious beliefs and the fact that I didn’t love him), but at the time I thought it would be wise to have some protection on hand just in case.

As I walked down the aisle those 20-odd years ago, I remember being totally overwhelmed at whatever lay ahead of me. As fate would have it, I ran into a high school friend, chickened out and bought something simple like gum instead.

This day in the drugstore seems no different, except I muster up my courage and go through with the purchase. I throw the box in the back of the car and head over to one of my favorite cafes to write.

When I get home, I look at the box, fear once again rearing its head. Hands shaking, not certain if I can go through with this.

But of course after a few deep breaths I do. It feels like the first time I went scuba-diving in Hawaii where I had to end my dive early because I started hyperventilating. I am confined within the 16 square foot space of my bathroom, the pressure inside of me reminiscent of the weight of the water on that particular dive, pushing me down, closing me in. I’m unable to do much but wait.

The box says to wait 5 minutes, but the answer appears almost immediately. First one blue line in the left window and then a minute later another line in the right.

There’s got to be some sort of mistake, I think to myself. This can’t be real. Maybe the test is wrong. (Being the thrifty person that I am, I had gotten the generic brand, after all).

But it is there, clear as day. I am pregnant.

Even though this is something I’ve always wanted, I’m not ready. I’m terrified and start sobbing uncontrollably.

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Fibery Goodness

26 Sep

Okay, I must be one of the last knitters on earth to finish up a Calorimetry headband. But the other day as I was organizing my fiber stash I realized that I had enough of some of my handspun to make one. With a winter storm approaching, I decided that it was the perfect time to make one of these. I finished it up on Friday evening, just as the first raindrops started to fall. (For some reason WordPress won’t let me upload this picture file normally — but here is a thumbnail to give you an idea…)

handspun fo
Calorimetry using Handspun

I also got some really nice roving at Lettuce Knit in Toronto. I wanted to get some Canadian roving, and it was the only place that really had cool colors. I started to spin some of the rainbow colored merino on my new Ashford spindle as soon as I got the roving. (Sitting in a cafe in Kensington Gardens spinning must’ve looked a little strange, but, oh well!) I love this little spindle. I have a Kundert which is really nice, but the Ashford seems so much better balanced and it is versatile enough so that I can spin thick or thin yarn.

Hand-dyed Merino from Lettuce Knits

canada roving
Roving from Nova Scotia

I also broke down and purchased a whole bunch of yarn. Actually I got a bag of random cottons on sale at Romni Wools and some Karaoke yarn. I also found some corn yarn that I have yet to see here in the States.

Yarn Purchases
Cotton, Karoke & Corn Yarns

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Way up north

25 Sep

So, yes, even though Toronto is not the most romantic place on earth, the weather is variable, it’s a large crowded city, we both still really enjoyed it. Coming from LA where it’s really warm and we have the mountains and beach, Toronto actually seemed pretty exotic.

We saw some really amazing films at the festival such as Naomi Kawase’s meditative and poetic Mourning Forest and Carlos Reygadas’ visually stunning film, Silent Night and Persepolis, Marjane Satripi’s film adaptation of her two graphic novels describing her childhood. Doug’s put up some more extensive reviews on his site, Film Journey.

Maybe because I was born in Canada, it seemed fitting to begin this chapter of my life there. I loved exploring the neighborhoods and yarn shops, being able to hop on a tram, looking through used bookstores. While I didn’t find a lot of really amazing roving like I would in LA, and the yarn deals weren’t all that great considering the falling value of the dollar, it was still fun to go to some of the different shops and the neighborhoods they were in. The most amazing of all of them, though, is Romni Wools.

This place is totally like crack for a fiber addict. Something like 5000 square feet of yarn. We won’t even go into what the basement (where everything is marked down and there are mill end cones) was like! I decided to limit my purchases to just a few items — a new spindle, some roving, and some cotton sale yarn, but I could see how this place would eat through one’s budget really quickly.

Romni upstairs
Romni Upstairs

Romni the cone room
One of the Cone Rooms at Romni

It was also fun to see things that you won’t normally find here in the US of A. Like tourist billboards all over the city saying “Vive Cuba” or posters in the movie theaters advertising birth control pills. I felt like I really had entered into another world at times and really long for the day when such things are common in the US. On the minus side, though, it seemed like everyone in Toronto smokes unlike here in California, where if someone blew smoke in your direction, they’d be getting dirty looks…

We stayed in a funky area called Kensington Gardens. It reminded me of what Venice Beach once was — indie coffeehouses, potheads, rasta shops. They had the best greengrocers I have seen in my life there, tons of cheese and spice shops. It was easy for me to just spend a few hours exploring each day.

Car garden
Kensington Gardens Car Garden

During the middle of the trip we took a short break and went to the falls. We stayed at Niagara-on-the-Lake, which was a little too touristy (in the shopping sense) for our tastes. But since neither of us has really gone to Las Vegas or do much that is campy, we did quite a few touristy things at the falls — the Maid of the Mist, slot machines at the casinos, walking along the whirlpools — and had a blast.

On the maid

On the Maid of the Mist

Niagara at sunset
Canadian Falls Panorama

It’s great to be home, though, even though I found out the day before we left that my writing gig is no longer going to continue. The past week has just been spent recovering from colds gotten while traveling, planning, job hunting, and getting wedding stuff put away.

And the contest winner is….

18 Sep


Em. Yep, Doug and I went the cheesy route and spent part of our honeymoon in Niagara Falls (the Canadian side with all the casinos and tourists). Actually last week was the Toronto International Film Festival, and, since Doug is a film critic as well, we thought we’d go there after the wedding and tag on a trip to the falls, so it’s not really as cliche as one might think. (If you are into art or foreign films, check out Doug’s blog, Film Journey…)

For those of you all who guessed the Caribbean or Hawaii, we would’ve loved to have gone but couldn’t really afford it. Greece is a great guess and it would’ve been nice, but what with fires and the heat and such it might be a little too reminiscent of home (plus navigating Athens public transportation with luggage might have put quite a strain on our newlywed bliss…). Southeast Asia, Bali in particular was actually discussed as an option, but I’ve been there so many times and find Balinese men really attractive — not really the best thing on a honeymoon.

So, we settled for the land of my birth (although I was born in Montreal).

Thanks to all of you who guessed, and Em you should be getting something cool in the mail pretty soon!

The Deed Is Done + Honeymoon Destination Contest

5 Sep

Yes, as of today I’ve been an old (ok not so old) married woman for 3 days now. The wedding went off without a hitch and was loads of fun. Will have some pictures in the future I’m sure, but for now it’s just relaxing after having a killer heat wave (our wedding was on what was probably the hottest day of the year — temps around 110) and seeing our families off.

So, now for the contest promised in the last post. Tomorrow I’m off on my honeymoon. Whoever guesses where I am going (or gets the closest geographically) will win either some fibery goodness from our destination or (if you aren’t a fiber type person) one of my prints.

Here are a few hints (I’d like to give more, but then I’d probably make this too easy):

1. I’ll need my passport
2. It’s near a large body of water
3. It’s a popular honeymoon destination

Just a few caveats for the contest, though. The contest is limited to those who haven’t heard where we’re going (no fair cheating, after all) and those who know Doug well enough to know where we will probably go.

I’ll keep the contest open for 10 days (that’s Sept. 15).