31 March 2008

On Lyrics in Songs

Man, if I wrote poems with higher frequency and thus had them on the brain, this post would have to do with either Brigit's SONG or "Song" or the lyric in general. Instead it has to do with Outkast and "Hey Ya!"

I'm obsessed with this song right now, not that I haven't heard it until now or anything -- I am a bit hipper than that. But. I have this trouble with song lyrics, a trouble that is really only me not knowing what they are, and being certain I do, and singing out loud because why wouldn't you, life is short, sing some songs, but in the end? I look the fool.

But I have listened to that song so much that I think I really do know the lyrics. At least some of them.

Also I want to be knitting. I worked 8.5 hours of overtime this weekend, so money=yay, but weekend time=nay. So I have a knitting jones and a biscotti- and bread-baking jones and a sleep-jones. All shall be fulfilled in their time.

27 March 2008

and another one

Things I want to knit:
-- a sweater or wrap for myself out of my miles of green/maize/cream wool/mohair/silk yarn
-- a Clapotis with the single-ply bare silk
-- socks with the awesome best yarn ever, for me, in some pattern, not determined
-- napkin rings, beaded, knit with thin wire
-- hats with ears, 2.0
-- an a-line skirt out of hemp yarn, probably using a feather and fan lace pattern with a dyed to match or complement slip sewn in, or not sewn in, because I know my own clothes and which ones need slips, yeah?
-- some scarf thing with the pumpkin colored cassette tape yarn
-- some mitts, probably, with the really busy apiary yarn
-- some color theory malabrigo legwarmers (I am still cold, and this way, I can use up the 3+ skeins of pink/purple yarns I have around, not striping but fading randomly)

At this rate I'll knit a screen door.

That was a joke.

This odd thing is happening over here ... Noah's off to his Chicago thing, I'm here, it's raining, it's very still and cold and sniffly, and ... things are okay. That's what is odd. The okay. Sometimes silence like this can work out differently, more manic, more bathtub-scrubbing, high-production volume kind of things. Right now I just want to keep being still. And maybe reading Stuff White People Like.

A Very Editorial-ized List

-- Noah has interviews for summer full-time internships: woohoo!
-- I have allergies, DayQuil, NyQuil, and a nasal wash pot: woohoo!
-- Our house has fresh produce now, too!

Of course, the allergy fog that went with me to the grocery store led me to buy only fresh produce, and none of the food we actually eat as meals. You know, frozen pizzas, etc. Yeah, good job, immune system; bad job, all other body systems. You know I need more than fruit.

I think I'm going to try making our own yogurt. I've heard it's as simple as adding some existing yogurt to milk, letting it sit, and then watching it become yogurt. Because it is a living thing, it works that way. Kind of gross, huh? Don't think too much. Think "good bacteria."

Officemate Kyle and I finished our office theme song cd ... and it is awesome. Oh man, it is great. We are working on a second act, not a sequel, not a second edition -- at this point, a theme-less collection of songs that we throw out in very short emails as ideas.



"Whistle While You Work?"

Um, no.

24 March 2008

Good Hip, Sighs, Pipian, and Evil

For the record, my hip has not popped out of its socket. I heard rumors of concern. No need for that concern. It does make a popping sound, though, which might distress a chiropractor, but not me, and not you.

We are back in town as of yesterday. Sigh of relief. I slept the whole drive back and then eight hours more in the night. Deep, deep breaths.

Anybody know how to hull pumpkin seeds? I have all these seeds and they aren't hulled, and I'm learning that hulled ones will help me make the pipian I so desire.

If you needed proof that humans are evil, you can read this, but it is so disturbing that you could also take my word for it. We're evil. We just are. Maybe not all the time, but we are evil all the same.

21 March 2008

Owning It and Working It

is how I feel about scarves. The Sartorialist is boosting my confidence -- I mean, I'm an unstoppable scarf-wearer anyway, but the folks in his photos are so lovely in theirs. And I do get made fun of, from the way-back girls in high school who really did say to the air next to me, at the movie theater: "Oh my god, is she wearing a scarf? It's, like, spring ..." Down to the fellow poets and writers at writing conferences, who commented every time I put on a scarf, "Oh, at least we can tell you're a writer now." Also keeping warm! People! They are very practical accessories!

And then the scarf problem becomes worse when traveling. I mean worse in that I end up bringing so many. Pashminas and fake-minas are so great for travel, especially in that casual "oh no really I did bring this blanket with me" thing they can do in cars and planes. And that they are so low-volume to pack but big volume to wear, no?

I'm easily annoyed with scarves, though, as well. Little ones, mostly. I need something about them to be bold enough to be seen, if that's structure, or color, or pattern, or volume. I usually hate skinny scarves for this reason (sorry skinny-scarf-wearing friends, it isn't you, it's me). But dooce in that (is it skinny) blank one is fabulous enough to make me drop the charges of hate.

Anyway, I am wearing a huge blue-red pashmina thing, beige cordouroy coat (thanks Karen!) two blah tank tops, lilac socks, and these flower-printed ballet flats. And I don't think downtown yuppie Kirkwood can handle me. Or at least the dudes that work at this Kaldi's.

Knitting makes this scarf thing so much worse. I'll just stop there.

What's your limit on the comfortable shoe? How ugly will you go, and on the other end, how much pain will you endure?

I am learning lately that I may have a kind of huge pain tolerance for badly made shoes. Some product of being poor and stylish? Of having FAITH in cheap shoes, FAITH that they will feel okay out of the store? Faith that vinyl can stretch (which it can't really, it just breaks)?

Anyway, I am ready for more owning of and working 'it.' Yeah fashion, but really everything. I own what I am, and can I work it? Can I?

To end, the world's most awkward wedding (second only to Heidi's, and that had little to do with them as a couple, it was circumstance) is coming up for us on Saturday. Like tomorrow. And today is Purim, so it's time for Hamantaschen by the dozens, and I want to be more adult about all this grieving Noah's mom and accepting his dad's remarriage this weekend and meeting the woman who will be my stepmother-in-law and her children, etc., etc. But I am not feeling so adult about it. Distant from the real and violent feelings of it, but not actually here with it.

And it's Easter. Easter. What a mixed bag. Growing up, it was one of my favorite times of year, Lent and Easter and Pentecost, for all the ceremony next to the story of the gospels and Acts and all accentuated by the full choir and brass quintet and organ at my childhood church. Wow, wow. All my classical training is still ready to rush in there and sit down, with that church, on Sunday, just to hear it all. But now it feels like another thing on the list of 'things I don't know how to do now that I am not a child.' I still think in eggs, people. And songs like this with full brass:

O that, with yonder sacred throng, we at His feet may fall,
Join in the everlasting song, and crown Him Lord of all,
Join in the everlasting song, and crown Him Lord of all!

18 March 2008

Deep Hip Popping and Deep Molar Pits

Apparently it's a bad thing, and it really is my hip joint popping like you'd pop your knuckles. One of the books I'm working on, the clinical orthopedic assessment guide second edition, says so. I thought I was just flexible. Apparently one of my legs may be a bit longer, and my stance may be off, on and on. I think orthopedic clinicians may make some of this up. Whatever; those deep hip pops are okay by me.

Dentist appointment today, first one in three years, so I went in certain I had cavities, root canal needs, denture needs, all of it. No, my teeth are perfect. The dentist is a missionary-minded guy who supports Noah's dad in Lutheran-to-Jewish missions, so our visit culminated in him telling me 'that Lutheran teaching about free will is all wrong. God gives some people really bad teeth no matter how much they brush. Yours are great, though.' And they are great only because my mom and my first dentist (who I saw for twenty years) forged a pact that would ensure I would have no braces and no cavities. I'm still cavity-free, and it is pretty miraculous, given the deep pits in my molars. Many are filled in with permanent caps, which are so sweet, but others are not, and I worry about them and brush a lot. I am also braces-free and wisdom-tooth-removed and sometimes I forget if I have all my other molars or not. Things were tight in my alignment for a while, and there was some willy-nilly tooth extraction happening in my mouth. All my canines were pulled at once, all my bicuspids were pulled together another time, and in my vague memory, I just didn't have a lot of teeth for a long time. Now it is all good.

Doesn't 'deep molar pits' look like 'deep moral pits' as if to create some ridiculous way of saying 'her morals are in the pits, the deep pits?' No one talks that way, though. And this is my editor brain working too hard for sure.

My real editor work is not hard, though, and I should go do some more of it. Never lay out documents in Word, people. It is not a layout program. It doesn't want to make books for you. It will declare its hate for you by deleting your footers at random and also centering paragraphs for no reason. Oh, Word, this is not your calling.

17 March 2008

In Saint Louis and It Already Smells Like Dry Rot

Or mildew, or mold, or whatever you call it. I mean from faucets to walls to the water itself: dry rot. I am definitely hypersensitive to this stuff, no question, but this visit is the first time ever that began with my too-enthusiastic rush for STL tap water (it is the best, ever, ever) and then segue: "DRY ROT? The water and the faucet and now my water bottle all smell like dry rot?!"

It's a little sad, but honestly, the city has survived this way for four centuries, nearly, so they'll be fine.

Do you tell your hosts you think their faucets and walls and entire home might be rotting? While mentioning there's a chance that, due to your well-irrigated sinuses, you could be smelling your own indwelling sinus infection, which might be fungal anyway? It just seems a bit awkward.

So yeah, in STL, and I'm working anyway, which is kind of great in the long run. I started out working today at Panera, formerly St. Louis Bread Company, where I realized yet again that I attract all kinds of crazy. Maybe it's my sweet face and calm demeanor, maybe it's a proximity thing, maybe it's just that whiffs of psychosis hit me in the same way that dry rot does -- I sniff it and I'm done. An older man walked to a table near me, and I could only see one side of him, so when I noticed he was having a full-out conversation, I prayed, "Please be wearing a headset. Please, a bluetooth, an ear bud, something, please please."

No avail. Full-out conversation with himself, but probably not from his perspective, punctuated with hand movements and explosive noises and general gun/bomb mimicry. Well, he left, nothing happened, but trust me, I kept thinking about where my knife way (don't you all keep one in your purses too?) and where I'd go and who I'd yell to and how no one there in all likelihood would know how to take him down but Noah always says that punching someone softly in the throat should always work ...

And to answer a question Jeff asked, I think the songwriter who brought us "I Want to Play with Your Poodle" knows if poodle is a euphemism for something.

13 March 2008

Oh right, slum tourism

I can't believe I forgot to write about this. Really, tours of slums, really. The article is carefully neutral, which I can appreciate, but it left me raising my voice in our office: "Where is the OUTRAGE? These comments had better have some outrage." And some do, but a lot don't, and that is more outrageous.

Also Beijing is killing and neglecting lots of cats in preparation for the Olympics. I don't want to read an article about that, but Laura told me about it, and it is haunting.

And a woman in Boulder dyed her poodle pink with beet dye and KoolAid (good choices), and was fined, but says she was just raising breast cancer awareness. Do you buy that? I do not.

Went to the Doctor and the Doctor Said

"Your lungs aren't crackling but we can do a chest x-ray anyway." What?

It was a really frustrating appointment. First, not an appointment -- I went to the clinic at 4pm and did not avoid all the moms and kids and elderly and other sick working-types and all of them coughed in unison in the waiting room for an hour and a half.

So, yeah, my lungs aren't crackling, which means probably no pneumonia. He offered the x-ray anyway, saying it could show stuff that he couldn't hear. So I kept asking "Do you think you need to do that?" and he kept repeating "We can if you want to."


And he offered me the blood test for mono, which functions just to let you know you have it, because there is no treatment for mono. Besides what I am already doing: avoiding alcohol (by falling into a bottle of tasty chardonnay last night); getting rest (which is not happening this week); and getting vitamins.

Mostly it was good to hear he couldn't hear liquid in my lungs or crackling or any of that.

Anyway, I am a knitting fool, I am bringing two dresses to STL because I am like that, I bought new flats which are lovely and painful to wear. By the end of the first day wearing them, I felt like I might have plantar fascitis in my right heel. Then I took them off and I was okay. It's back to the good Clarks boots and SmartWools today, recovery wear if there could ever be recovery wear from dress socks and unsupportive flats.

The new Knitty is up; if you follow my link on the right to 'the patterns!' you'll see it. This is a major event four times a year. Trust me.

Work is calm and yet swirling, swirling beneath the surface. I learned that half our editorial team might be leaving by the end of this year, with two of those five people a 'maybe' and three for sure (there are 12 of us; we're tiny). And we're at workload capacity, so that makes me think immediate promotion to the two dedicated AEs who would be left ... like me ... one can dream. Dream dream dream. Then I would be in a position that grudgingly allows telecommuting, which I would want to try maybe, at least until getting my bearings in our new town wherever.

Our landlord agreed to raise rent by $25 and no more. Yaaay nice landlord! He is really nice, super nice in fact. A bit odd, with all the complimenting me every time he sees me (without Noah) by saying something like "a pretty blouse for a pretty lady" or a variant on that safe old man with charming phrases thing.

Today is 'let's start a colony on a farm with lots of hills and sheep and alpacas and bread and gardens' day. Is that what your dream colony is like? How different is it? Is it, by chance, urban and not farm-ish? Let me know. It's a dreamy day.

10 March 2008

The People Have Spoken

I will probably see a doctor or nurse today.

Noah managed to convince me to go to bed last night by saying "Remember how we talked about keeping you well? Or getting better? It's ten o'clock."

Can anyone else in the world be as fastidious as me? I can think of a woman I knew in college who included in her criteria for selecting jeans THE COLOR OF THE THREAD used to sew the seams. Like the exposed thread. Which, certainly, can be a dark wheat color or red or pink or blue. But this influenced how she coordinated outfits.

I think about the metals exposed on my clothes. And my jewelery choices. I do not find this overly fastidious.

I'm thinking of outfit-planning for these two weddings in STL that are a week apart, and how I've been knitting a capelet/shrug thing for myself to wear with a dress I love. But now I am worried. I am worried the plum/mauve/dusty pink yarn and the dark red dress are not working.

Thankfully I have far too many clothes and with a few hours spent trying things on, I will work it out.

Does anyone else love and hate J.Crew at the same time like I do? Love the quality, love the colors, hate the casting of models and the lifestyle portrayed in the ads, hate the 'coast' feeling of it all, hate the prices, hate knowing that their cashmere comes from a sweatshop like everyone else's ... probably ... I have no evidence for that last one. Just worries.

But good god their shoes.

07 March 2008

What Sick Looks Like Over Here

Scene 1: The Kitchen

me: I am so sick of water! Water! Ugh!
Noah: Do you want some juice or tea? Tea disguising water?
me: Okay.

Noah: What do you want to eat?
me: Another blueberry fudgy wudgy brownie.
Noah: Really?
me: Yes. But I can be convinced.
Noah: How about box 'n' cheese? With whole milk?
me: Yeah okay.

(two hours later)
me: Is all the mac gone?

Scene 2: The Main Room

me: I am so cold!
Noah: It's cold-time Wifey! She's cold!
me: I am really really cold!
Noah: Do you have your down vest on? Or a hat? Or your mitts?
me: No, not yet. They depress me.

me: I will never be warm again.

(seated on couch, with kitten Eto)
me: Eto! Stop biting my sleeve! I know it's woolen and you think it's prey but IT IS MY SLEEVE!
Eto: Mraw raw roow raw rarwm! (pauses, begins biting and snarling again)

Scene 3: The Bedroom

(I sleep for four hours. Then at night, for ten more. Minimum.)

Scene 4: Downtown Champaign

me: OWWWW! My lungs hurt so bad!

(Keep in mind this is a very flat walk of a quarter-mile. My lungs are just dying.)

Scene 5: The Mirror

me: Oh my god, where did all these pimples come from? And this greasy hair? And this crazy look in my eyes? And my lips looking a little blue?
Noah: Want some more vitamin C? Maybe you should lay back down.


It's been a week now, and I am worse.

05 March 2008

more fever babble: medication

Meds. Yeah.

A long long time ago, when I was young and the music used to make me smile, I announced to my mom that I thought modern medicine is/was for suckers and that pills were killing us as a species and really, we should just let ourselves either LIVE or DIE.

My mother, in a moment of utter her-ness, looked at me slowly from her wheelchair and said, "You realize I'd be dead, right? And you wouldn't exist?"

I probably began arguing something about the way my great-grandmother survived her appendix bursting and severe blood poisoning without even penicillin in the 'teens. I probably had the sense to stop talking then.

Today I want all the meds I can get. But I really want to know which one is giving me a rash on the backs of my hands.

fever babble

Bright white caulk may be the prettiest thing in my house right now. Maybe. It is so lovely.

We made our first entree from Veganomicon last night: potato-kale enchiladas with homemade chile sauce. Oh my they are delicious. Really filling, too -- Noah and I both served ourselves two and could only eat one.

For the record, though, I should ignore forever how long the author of a recipe says something will take, and just assume it will take an hour and a half. Then either be pleasantly surprised or just eat on time.

My fever is higher today, and yet I am at work. I am leaving very soon. Martyrdom is not for me.

03 March 2008

"Every angel is terrifying."

Somehow, in all my years of reading poetry, I have not read Rilke's Duino Elegies.

And he's right about all of it. Unacknowledged legislators of the world, unite, and let us proclaim him our mascot.

Especially that thing about angels.

I've been trying to read Donald Hall, because I got that big book of his with the great title, White Apples and the Taste of Stone, for free a while ago and haven't read it. But wow is it painful. I mean I think his writing is painful to read. Repetitive, dull; sorry, dude. I miss your wife too, but not as much as you do. You have the right to be repetitive about it.

My landlord had my moldy caulk all re-caulked today! Big stink, though, so I had to open many windows and the door to flood the place with fresh, very cold air. Now in two shirts, a cardigan sweater, a blazer, a scarf and mitts to compensate.

I am also a knitting fiend. I also make mistakes when I don't check my gauge (that's stitches per inch for you non-knitters). I mean, I thought I was making a hat to fit a four-year-old Japanese girl. Instead it is a hat for a newborn. Marie Antoinette is a good movie for knitting, though -- the decadence and lack of depth make it pretty but not distracting and very indulgent. And I thank you, Sofia Coppola, for leaving the beheadings out.

So, some secret knitting to do, two hats to work on, my shrug to work on (just the sleeves to go), and ... new yarn to play with. It has cassette tape spun into it. I will keep you updated.

And no, I don't know what tape it was, and my brother asked me first.

02 March 2008

How to Find Something You've Lost

1.) In grade school, I had many brightly-colored socks (think late 80s neon) and would frequently misplace just one. I really didn't want to wear mismatched socks, so the lone neon sock would float on its own. Eventually I would dream about finding its mate , usually in the sock drawer under other socks, and in the morning I'd search in said place.

No dice.

2.) We need to find our copy of our lease. Today. Well maybe tomorrow would be acceptable. But our landlord, who is really a great guy, wants/needs to raise rent by $90 a month, and the lease doesn't allow that, and he knows that, but he wants us to agree to it anyway. And he offered us an empty third-floor apartment, in light of my mold issues. I can already guess we'll say no to moving upstairs -- moving things up stairs is awful, and our cat Hobbes (the elder statesman cat who is responsible enough to be outside) would kill us if he couldn't go out and in and out all the time. And we would have no patio/pit thing for yakiniku, which would make Noah very sad. So we're not moving upstairs, I think.

But the lease has been lost. And this is very bad.

How do you find something you've lost? If you knew where it was, or had a good idea, it would no longer be lost. You wouldn't be looking, even. You'd have it already.

The problem is, we don't lose that many important papers anymore because we are generally careful in our old age about these things. We have a fire safe, we have a shredder, we have an emergency kit, and that emergency kit includes Chef Boyardee and cat food and some water. We aren't so willy-nilly.

I'm guessing, though, that I put it somewhere "really smart." That it was me, not Noah. He puts things in two places; I put them several places. And the lease isn't in either of his places.

Think of us, St. Jude. Isn't there another saint of lost things in general? You think of us too.