Monday, August 28, 2006

They'd never match my sweet imagination

Actually this is very close to how I imagined it. I finished my Kiri over a week ago and still can't stop admiring it, draping it into different positions and wafting around the house with it floating from my shoulders. Such a pretty shawl and an easier-than-it-looks pattern.

I only wish I had forced myself to knit from the charts rather than the instructions. I've since aquired a book of beautiful lace patterns, all of which rely on charts. Oh well. I'm pretty sure I will be able to do it, when push comes to shove. I actually had to pull out my first Kiri attempt, amounting to quite a lot of rows (and hours) because I made a crucial mistake in reading the pattern, and what was coming off the needles was not at all symmetrical. A mistake that probably wouldn't have happened if I had been knitting from the chart.

I did wonder if I would actually find a triangle shawl wearable. This is how I am most likely to wear it (and have, over my coat). It feels very flamboyant - a bright red frill-neck - but I love wearing it anyway.

It was washing day so I used the bed to block it. I used wire (tiger tail) for the straight edge and pins for all the scallops. If you try this manoeuvre, I can't stress enough the importance of keeping track of ALL the pins. I thought a final sweep with a large magnet might have come in handy.... but I haven't come across any pins in the bed since then so I guess I did ok.

Think I'll go and eat worms

The boring stuff:

You may have noticed I've been messing around with my template (the format of the blog). I've had a very kind offer of assistance to design my very own, and I'm planning to do that asap. So for now I've restored something similar to what I had before.

For those who have had difficulties leaving comments in the past, now would be a good time to try again. I have finally changed over to Blogger's own comments system. I hope you'll find it easier to use, even though I do have that annoying word verification turned on, to avoid comment spam.

I used to use Enetation, because when I first started Dreaming all the Time, Blogger did not offer comments. In blog terms we are not quite a senior citizen, but maybe getting towards middle-aged.

In the midst of all this template-y tomfoolery, we went waaaaay over our monthly download limit and had our internet connection SEVERELY shaped - slowed to a very slow crawl. Although we've gone over the limit in past months, the slowdown hasn't seemed that bad. This time they appear to mean business. I guess I should think about paying a little more per month for this wireless service.

Let's not even talk about the fact that the part of Canberra where we live is completely in ADSL territory, except for our house/street/some mysterious segment of our suburb. Every few months we get a personalised letter from Telstra offering us a great deal on a broadband connection. The first few times, I went through the charade of calling them up to find out that no, ADSL still wasn't actually available to our phone number. Even though they sent us a letter . More recently I have simply taken a pair of scissors to the letter while it is still in the envelope. Strangely satisfying.

Tonight I have travelled just a few streets away to my sister's place, to partake of the wonderful broadband feast. Yum.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

something fishy goin' on

So, Bertie is now a vegetarian. It's a good thing that he doesn't tend to frequent ski resorts. I had another hilarious Thredbo vegetarian experience.

This time around, we had a similar deal with the accomodation, breakfast included every day as well as three dinners. The restaurant had a Thai menu, though they also had a small western menu, for variety. They had helpfully marked the vegetarian items: one entree, one soup, and two mains. Poor compared to your average Thai restaurant, but not too bad for Thredbo. However, one of the mains with a 'V' next to it contained oyster sauce. I asked if oyster sauce indeed contained fish or oyster, and if so, could soy or some other sauce be substituted? The message back from the chef was: yes, a little bit; and yes, but (hmph) it wouldn't taste as good.

Call me paranoid but I feared an attack of chef-rage. That sort of chef might be the sort of chef who will spit in my plate in retaliation for my show of disrespect. This is exactly what I don't like about fancy restaurants. You're supposed to sit down, shut up, and eat the food exactly the way the chef decides to prepare it. Maybe I'm not much of a gourmet, I just prefer somewhere a bit more flexible. It's not like I was mucking around with the dishes just for fun. I was only suggesting that a vegetarian meal be made actually vegetarian.

So I ploughed through Pad Thai on three different nights. I do quite like Pad Thai, though I won't be ordering one for a while now.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Whassa matta you, hey?

This afternoon at work I came back to my desk to find a tangello with a post-it note stuck to it.

'You need more Vitamin C'

I think perhaps some one of my colleagues had not been able to help but notice the all-consuming bad mood this week. The rage and fury earned a special name. I coined it myself. PVG - Post-Viral-Grouchiness. I was tempted to put up a sign: Just don't talk to me. It's better for everyone.

After-hours this PVG week I've been trying - with no success - to prepare a little secret craft project with a kind of urgent deadline. This project required use of a power drill. I'm sure I can manage that. Only problem was I couldn't even get the case open. The plastic case. It has flaps that flap up, only they just wouldn't. Finally with a bit of advice over the phone I managed to get only one side open, breaking a nail in the process. One flap up was essentially as good as none. Worse than useless, I felt like such a wimp. A very angry wimp. If only my anger had a bit of a hulk effect.

Anyway I've never tried a tangello before and I was quite tickled. And I have nice things planned for both days this weekend. The rage has finally cooled.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

(Don't) wanna be sedated

Once upon a time I was going to do good things. I had no illusions about being GREAT, or famous, but I was going to spend some time (not necessarily the whole rest of my life) doing a meaningful, helping-those-less-fortunate kind of work.

Somewhere along the way I became less idealistic. Actually I don't know if that's true, I think what has happened is that two sides of myself coexist uneasily. I pride myself on being realistic and practical. Sometimes I go too far and call myself cyncial; this isn't really true, but I find it hard to respect people who don't take a realistic view of how things really work. The workplace, with its small 'p' and big 'P' politics, and seeing some of the workings of government, has had a strong influence on me. Still, as always, I try to be balanced. Most politicians' hearts are in the right places, or at least start out that way, but the system requires distortion to keep it fed and to keep them in the places they need/want to be.

I still have the desire to do something, just... good. Something that helps people and makes the world a better place. I don't mean in a big way. I guess I am very attached to working in road safety because I can see the meaning in it and the good that can come of it. But I don't feel like I am contributing anything unique in the field, and I always remain well in the shadow of my mentors.

I meet with a friend who is newly fired up to change the world. For some reason I was compelled to provide reality checks about politics, compromise and realism. But inside, all the while, I was jumping up and down with excitement and glee, imagining my way to join this bandwagon.

I suspect I'll have to find my own bloody bandwagon.

I never like to put my hand up for a challenge. (It might be hard! I might have to talk to strangers! Think on my feet!) I wonder what it will take to push me to the next step.