so goeth 2005

2005 was over the top in every way...

i covered every range of emotion, every range of human experience.

this year, i shall sit out on the mayfly project, but i encourage you to play.

tonight shall be spent in with some (ambulance) candles, some knitting, and probably listening to the same song to which i listened last new year's eve.

"It used to be a race to see
Just who'd get there the fastest
But this frozen night it's only right
To consecrate the madness"

happy new year all. be festive. safe, but festive.

and falling bullets kill.

queen potato of michigan and the miracle of chanukah - the photo essay

last evening, crazy mara and i celebrated chanukah at her home.

here we are ready to celebrate. (either that or this is after a few glasses of wine)

chanukah 2005 006

we ate latkes
chanukah 2005 004
(i'm not pointing fingers, but of the two of us who were there, i wasn't the one to bite a latke and put it back on the plate)

we played with fire lit the menorah
chanukah 2005 002

we played dreidle
dreidle and the pot
there may have been some initial confusion as to whether there needed to be denominations (there didn't) and so we played with goldfish, sugar free creme savers, toffee, and a potato.

we got bored really quickly of dreidling and got a knife. and some puffy paints.

and the queen potato of michigan (a jew, duh) was born
chanukah 2005 009
(i thought by letting the jewish one draw a star of david on her belly, much like a sneetch, that'd go well. we had 2 five pointed stars before we got a six pointed one, and it's a little messy. what can you do?) we had to slice a piece off of the bottom of the potato (i kept calling it de-assing the potato) that was shaped like michigan, so i did some potato brain surgery and inserted it into her head.

home sweet home (canine TMI)

today, i've done work, i've started frogging mariah (SWIFT AND WINDER MAKES LITTLE YARN CAKES! not as good as lemon cupcakes, but whatever), and i've been cleaning up dog puke.


i think we finally got to the root of the problem when he upchucked a wad of cellophaneish plastic that was shaped in such a way as to make me wonder if he didn't somehow get it out of his small intestine.

his voice is also quite hoarse which makes me wonder how long he's been puking or if he's been allowed to bark himself hoarse the past 8 days.

either way, the fact that he had access to that kind of plastic and that he's hoarse makes me a little annoyed... he doesn't usually eat crap off of the floor, at most he'll find the kleenex box and tear out sheets, tear them up and leave them in a little mountain for me to find when i get out of the shower - he almost never does it if i'm not home. just a little "screw you!" to the woman who dares be home but not paying 100% attention to him.

boy did i miss this little guy.


just for jill*


*please note her blog was most recently updated 18 months ago. once she was sworn in as a member of the California Bar Association and became a fancy lawyerlady, she grew too cool for blogging. ;)

i have ever been fond of giving my parents toys

one year, i gave my mom legos for christmas.

my dad's name was oscar, so i've given him stuffed oscar the grouches. usually we made him have stuffed animals if he was in the hospital so he could tell the nurses his daughters wanted him to have them. then he'd have to explain his daughters were in their teens/twenties/thirties.

about 6 years ago, i bought my dad a sing and snore ernie for christmas. when he is on his back you press a button on his hand and he sings part of "twinkle, twinkle little star" and talks about being sleepy and snores. if you shift him to a sitting position, he shouts: "I FEEL GREAT!" after about 3 years, ernie (the doll, not my dog) started getting bored and spontaneously proclaiming how great he felt.

which made everyone start playing with him more. so sometimes, he'd hide under the covers and wait to be discovered. sometimes he'd give it away and shout "I FEEL GREAT!" before being found.

here I am!

sometimes we'd dress him up.

here's ernie straight outta compton (he usually wears JNCOs too, but a lot of my dad's clothes were gone so I made do with just the hat)
straight outta compton ernie

here he is extolling the virtues of oral hygiene and proper moisturization (respectively):
oral hygiene ernie moisturizing ernie

and sometimes, when he'd get bored in the middle of the night and talk about how great he felt, my dad would have to punish him. by making him do a headstand. which really worked for middle of the night chattiness.
punished erie

and here's a picture of some of the stuffed animals my dad received over the years (i couldn't find the others)
stuffed friends

the mariama scarf

thank you thank you, my lovely friend... when you told me you were attempting lace, you didn't say it was for me!!

i love the yarn, i love the drape, i love the colorway, i love the pattern.

and i love the mariama!

and by the way... when i was at the extended family poker tournament (i didn't play), i was asked no fewer than FIVE TIMES by FIVE DIFFERENT UNCLES:

"So, when is the Big Day?"

i tried playing dumb every time ("i'm graduating in june, and will probably move to the east coast assuming i get a job") but was always corrected for my obvious stupidity.

"No, when are you getting married?"

um, yeah.

that clarifier was consistently followed by:

"So, how old are you now?"

i was so annoyed by all of this that i started scolding (and hence shaming my uncles pretty ruthlessly) about how impolite it is to ask a lady her age.

however, this started the day of my dad's funeral. part of me can't help but think that they're doing this because my own dad isn't there to make sure i am being wooed by someone worthy.

that, and to negotiate my dowry in goats.*

*i wish i were kidding. but i'm curious how many i'd fetch. my goat - heatherfeather currency converter's been broken for a while now.

why are we whispering?

it's been very quiet around here - three posts since wednesday?! scandalous.

i have pictures - but am too lazy to transfer them to my family's computer (their wireless is kaput) to upload them and share with you.

mom's kiri is lovely.

michelle's mishawl is about 1/3 done (well, i'm on row 115 of 184, but remember it grows exponentially, every other row)

my site traffic, unsurprisingly, is down. luckily my self-validation doesn't come from the number of people who come to - and comment on - my little blogilla.

anyhow, today i hung out with the extended family, tomorrow - if we can connect - i'm supposed to drive south to hang out with an internet friendy.

upcoming pictures include:

  • yarn swift/winder (yay!!)
  • yoga frog
  • kiri on mom
  • mishawl
  • flip-flops in december
  • a special photographic shout-out to maryam who knitted me a lovely, lovely lace scarf.

of all things, no one has ever knitted anything for me before. i'm touched beyond words.

(be forewarned, however, that should you ever receive handknit anything from me and your reaction is any less than mine was to receive that scarf, you will either pay in blood or i'm taking it back.)

it came upon the midnight clear...

that's, hands-down, my favorite christmas song.

christmas songs i can't stand? winter wonderland, silver bells, the christmas song.

other songs i love? what child is this? (i also like greensleeves.), bring a torch, jeanette, isabella; i saw three ships come sailing in.

right now i have to get ready for midnight mass (which is being held at 11 pm for purposes beyond my imaginings). this is going to be the hard part of this christmas - going to mass without my daddyhead. followed by how giddy my dad got by giving christmas presents.

those of you who are not celebrating the christmas, but lighting the lights, happy chanukah - have fun at the matzo ball dance.

(and crazy mara, we're totally doing latkes and discovering universal truths again when i get back.)

for those of you celebrating neither,howdy!

but i'm not here to talk about christmas music or how i'm reacting to christmas this year or other non-christmas holidays.

i'm actually posting to say, merry christmas friends, family, and fleeting strangers. be assured i have warm gooey feelings for most of my blogdience (that worked better in my head), and wish you joy and happiness.

mmm... iced dryer...

Originally uploaded by swandive00.

what is so funny about this picture to me, is that the line above maytag ensignia -a clothes dryer- reads (if you could read it):

icemaker $70

dr. jekyll and mr. hyde

ernestine 001
"my puppy loves meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee"

ernestine 002
he can look like half a bat

ernestine 003
but he gets weirded out if i just look at him through the camera

ernestine 004
and starts his evil barking

ernestine 005
and finishes with the frantic running to and fro, until he decides it's time to pee and whines next to the door.


white lights

i have always preferred white christmas lights to colored. (insert racist jokes here) i like how they make things brighter and how they make things look more like they do.

i don't have the hate for colored christmas lights (unless they're in my house), but i prefer white lights.

that, and one time someone told me, "you are white lights and the silence of falling snow."

that is the loveliest compliment anyone has ever paid me.

feel free to try and top it.

i invite you...

to look at the ten-day weather forecast for where i'll be as of tomorrow.

ususally i prefer cooler weather on christmas, but this year i need the sunshine and the warm...

a touch of the OCD

yes, i organize my shower accoutrements in spectral wavelength order. from right to left. or left to right, depending on whether we're starting with long or short wavelengths.

except for the black clip which is on a green bottle of deep conditioner.

i'm terrible at waiting for people to discover things on their own

i updated my sidebar, yo.

why going out of town sucks

because you have to get a dogsitter and feel compelled to have the place spic n span before leaving. you'd feel compelled to do the same even without a dogsitter, but not freak out if it doesn't get finished.

unrelated: yaymee's home!

unrelated also: i bought an ambience candle at whole foods tonight... they smell like orange and lemongrass and remind me of clean-ness and my sister (she used to burn those when she felt nauseous - a frequent occurence - and it would ease her discomfort)

i had one of those annoying dreams last night.

the kind of dream where my alarm goes off and i hit the snooze button twice.

so i wind up getting up, letting the dog out and checking my email before i realize that it's onl 3:16 am.


something i ate

tonight's a night where i'm hoping to find people... dunno why. and the only person i wanted to find was my guitar teacher from college, John Rankin. he is such an amazing guitarist, musician, artist, and guide. we had our half-sets of acrylic nails done at the same place to get that richness of sound out of the nylon strings. he encouraged me to try new things and showed me i was more versatile than my immediate interests.

90% of my attempts to write music were due to him...

and i lost all confidence in my abilities after i stopped studying with him.

he's so versatile - from new orleans standards to classical to folk to jazz, this 6'5" teddy bear of a man (who plays lefty) can do no musical wrong in my eyes.

i miss studying with him.

you can watch him play here (opens to a .mov file)

kiri finished

kiri finished 003
(i tried to get as little gratuitous ninja in as possible for those with sensitive consititutions)

kiri finished 005
(pretty good representation of the color in the front of photo. also, yay for how long my hair has gotten in the past year!)

these are both pre-blocking for reasons outlined below.

project: all tangled up's kiri (pdf file)
started: 12/10/05
started again: 12/11/05
finished: (blocking to be done sometime this week) 12/18/05
yarn: knitpicks palette (2 stranded fingering weight peruvian wool) in fog
needles: addi turbo natura's 4mm (US6) 40" circs
for: me mama
notes: i did 11 repeats of the pattern. or 131 rows, minus the edging.

it's done (except blocking, of course) and about 56" across, 29" to the point.

when i block it it will be approximately the size of canada.

my question is now thus: block it here (where i don't have proper dog-free surfaces, although could buy a sheet of tyvek and stick it in the storage closet) or block it at home where it'd not be a christmas surprise, but more likely dog-free? the answer is two. or b. whatever. not here.

(sorry 'bout the crappy pic, it's a lighting issue. the stuff on the right consists of my floofy knitting bag, the pattern. the poster above is from the paul simon/bob dylan tour of 99, and the blue sphere is a dog toy that was confiscated as the dog was being a pain)

updated: i got jealous of yahaira's lovely ella shots and re-took them. it's hard to take pictures of shawls that you're wearing with no photographer other than yourself.

"she has four fatal diseases"

meet me in st. louis is just wrapping up on TCM. it's my favorite christmas movie, even though only a quarter of it is set around christmas.

in other news, i have 4 rows plus binding off on kiri.

so i shall do that now.

kyoto and ernie

kyoto and ernie
Originally uploaded by swandive00.

i have decided that once i get my swift and winder for christmas (hint, hint), i'm going to frog and re-knit kyoto. i'm going to do this for several reasons.

one - as my first sweater it looks like crap when on.

two - it's all knitted in twisted knit stitches which sorta gives me a headache

three - i'm going to knit it in the style of bella (knit the top section -including the seed stitch neckband - in the round until the armscyes, with a provisional cast-on from which i'll knit the sash down) and pick up the stitches for the sleeves. this will do the following: reduce seaming to almost none thus evening out the tension and hatred i have of seaming, and give it an overall smoother look.

sniff. bye kyoto. once i (ahem) get the swift and winder.

why i rule (i hope)

after letting it languish in my den for a month, i decided i did NOT want to pay someone to fix my computer.

so i went online using the borrowed computer (yaymee rules, too), and looked up how to go about fixing it myself.

i entered scary worlds of DOS screens, and god willin' that the crick don't rise, i think i fixed it. i've got to reboot and change the order of my startup disks again, but it appears to be starting with little hoopla.

so i rule (i hope).


i am dum

i have a nasty bathroom. not in its cleanliness factor, but in its design. it's improperly ventilated so the ceiling paint peels and molds and is likely to fall on you in slimy, moldy chips while you shower. the shower is tiled, with lazy caulking and grouting so it supports life readily.

but i have to clean it anyway because letting it do its own thing is just nasty, yo.

i wish, however, that i'd remember to wear the gloves when i'm using the bleach, or else i have to slather my hands in a& d ointment to protect them from the harsh elements and that makes me want to not touch the knitting project i'd like to finish TODAY.

yarny yarn yarn (and your guts)

so, i'm thinking that i will spend a portion of my gift certificate on blue sky silk/alpaca for angelica. it's a finer gauge than the yarn the pattern calls for and requires me to do algebra, but i like algebra so that's good. i'm thinking i'll do it in spring (the color - not the time i'll knit it. i hope).

i'd like to make the following:

i'm sure there' s more, but i can't do this anymore. my brain is starting to whir with patterns and modifications i'd like to make and stuff i'd like to design...


i have been eating so strangely lately. these are complete meals i've eaten in the past 3 days (i've had each 3 times in the past 3 days):

edamame and diet coke
brie and ritz crackers
cafe americano

these kids with their newfangled podcasts...

...anyhow, TMBG has a podcast (on iTunes. if you don't have iTunes, clicky here to get it. if you're some kind of weirdo that is against iTunes, you may be able to subscribe to the rss feed to listen through your regular music player or your browser, but you should get iTunes.) that starts with a cover of "A Pretty Good Year" (frank sinatra, not tori amos):

"when i was the square root of a negative number, it was a pretty good year..."

and a random song about enjoying being a boy in love with me that mentions cucumber castles.

a song about how TMBG hates each other, but can put it aside when they take the first ave. stage

the hit tune "tippecanoe and tyler too" (steve...)

turtle sounds of north america

a song with a very sgt. pepper's era chord that may wind up actually being a song that your internet friend is named for.

and other surprising stuff!

get it today, or be prepared to be mocked and called "loser!" by none other than me.

i sit on their baby and STILL they treat me like gold

i got a christmas present from the family for whom i babysit.

they gave me a ginormous gift certificate to showers of flowers.

with which to buy YARN and YARNY GOODNESS (conceivably notions, kneedles, or books, too).

before i spend even a penny of it, i MUST decide what i want to get and why i want to get it.

if you can read this you're probably not a college graduate

one of the more baffling stories i've read today.

today i don't have to be at work until 8

so that means that i can sleep until 6:15, correct?

no, that means i will be very much awake (albeit still rather tired) at 4:45 and unable to sleep for those lovely 90 minutes.

in other news, i saw narnia last night and it was amaaaaaaaaaaaaaaazing....

(alpineflower was right, however, and the first 10 minutes were dreadfully acted. however the rest was so. good.)

i used to own the ugliest couch in the world when i lived in georgia

as you can see, it was black and brown velour in the pattern of turkey feathers.

it was SO comfortable, could seat 6 easily, and sleep two friendly people.

the woman from whom i bought it told me that her husband named it "the jungle of love." i almost decided not to buy it when she said that.

my interests are broad and many

so, you know about me liking the following:

  • music (listening and making)
  • knitting
  • arms control/disarmament (especially biological weapons)
  • monkeys
  • reading fiction
  • movies
  • coffee

but did you know that i like sketching and photography? sadly, the REALLY good photos i've taken of people were taken pre-digital days on the trusty pentax p3 slr (i have a 50 mm lens and a 200 mm lens) , and i don' t have a scanner. so in true ghettoheather fashion i took pictures of some stuff i've done.

in art and music, what interests me are people, interactions, and their emotions. i take REALLY BORING photos of landscapes, and my sketches of non-humans are only so-so. i've done a still life or 3 i've liked (i usually LOVE doing charcoal reductions).

one of them is in my kitchen:

kitchel still life

and the other two languish in my portfolio in the storage closet in the kitchen:

still life 3 still life 2

the best portrait i've ever done was done via cheating - i drew it from a photo. but the thing i liked was that i used a new technique (to me. i'm not cool enough to actually know what it's called, but it was hard for me to do). i don't have a proper copy of it, because i gave it to rockstar matty for his birthday about 5 years ago, so here's a picture of rockstar matt holding the picture. more accurately, it's a picture of the picture of rockstar matty holding the picture that's hanging on my fridge:

rockstar matt and jeff buckley

and the best portraits i've ever done, of my hal (they're hanging in my living room:

hal piano

hal side

i love taking pictures of people, i love taking candids. in fact, i'd prefer if you not at all know i had a camera. sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't... but i like to capture that certain je ne sais quoi that disappears the second someone becomes self-conscious... if i can.

there's some other stuff in the set which is located here. some of it is crap. but the point is this makes me happy.

and i haven't done it in years... maybe i should.

(i'm also posting a bunch of pictures from maine and georgia to my flickr account, if you're curious... they're - more than anything - examples of how boring my landscape shots are)

tee hee hee hee

this is not a completely random search hit, but i think it's funny that someone wound up here looking for how long does a baby caribou stay inside the caribou mother?

and that i'm the number 3 site.


i'm on row 93 of kiri, i'm thinking i'll be done around 152 or so. right now, there are 230 stitches (i don't really know - i haven't bothered to count or figure it out) or so and it's about 48" across (that's my estimate with blocking) and about 26" to the point:

kiri 93 rows 001

here's the pretty fern-y leaf-y pattern:

kiri detail
all in all, it's not that dissimilar in progress (not to mention color and fiber) to yahaira's progress on ella which she is also making for her mom.

i love knitting this...

i've used 1 skein and change of knitpicks palette (100% wool) in fog, and i'm using #6 addi naturas (i think 40"). i am fond of the addi naturas. this kiri shan't be as lacy as those made of KSH (cori w's is SO pretty) but it's for my mom and i don't think she would use something that lacy.

the question is: will i finish it in time to start and finish my sister's all-over lace faroese shawl (also in knitpicks palette - petal) before christmas? if not, i'll be able to give it to her for her birthday in mid-january.

(nuts, i appear to be about 200 yds short for the faroese shawl...)

a touch of the OCD

sometimes i get songs stuck in my head (hence the "songs to which i cannot stop listening" series).

other times i get words stuck in my head (in the early 80's when the fast talking dude did the federal express commercials - when it absolutely, positively has to be there orvernight - there was a scene in a board meeting when he said "wonderfulwonderfulwonderful" and that was stuck in my head for early childhood).

this morning there is a word stuck in my head:


sporksporkspork sporky spork sporkerson.

clearly i haven't been drinking enough.

in unrelated news, birga called me yesterday! yay!
in unrelated sad news, i didn't get the job in nyc i wanted - but there's more for which i will apply later.
in unrelated annoying news, applying for jobs is icky work.

a possible cause?

it may very well be that i am suffering from PMS.

the symptoms:

sinus/migrainey/persistent headache
aching ninjas
ate a package of cookies over the course of a day
mushy feelings

if it's not PMS (can't be sure - long story), then i'm just having a crappy day.

things that will always make me think of my dad: i've been working on the railroad or something

my sister and i get violently carsick. since my sister's been sick, she gets even more so.

so if there were 3 or more people to travel in a car, my mom and sister defaulted to the front seat (my mom's driving is just about all that my sister can handle - and not only then. she can't drive all that much). if i was one of the 3 and my sister was NOT there, i got bumped to the front seat.

my dad was always relegated to the back seat unless there were only 2 people in the car.

2 years ago, we (mom, dad, hf) were driving to church for midnight mass on christmas, and i asked my dad if he remembered any christmas songs from the philippines. and he got SO EXCITED and started singing something. all i can remember are 1.5 lines because it's in tagalog, yo. i can only say "monkey," "dog," "water," "i'm lost," and "it looks like you're sitting on a coconut" in tagalog.

(i have some mystery hits from LA and orange counties - if any of my cousins are reading this and may know the rest of this song, lemme know!)

ang pasko ay sumapit
[blah blah blah blah blah] awit.

he started singing at the top of his lungs and sang FOREVER (their church is quite the hike from their house).

i asked him to sing it again because it was super funny and we were having fun

when my mom started laughing uncontrollably.
"that's a CHRISTMAS song? it's not 'i've been working on the railroad' or something?"

(in her defense the melody sounds an awful lot like that)


i had an icky night last night.... well, it started out okay, what with all the knitting and whatnot.

but i got home, and started getting reafy for bed and FREAKED OUT.

what am i doing with my life?
what am i going to do with my life?
what will i do with my dog?
what if i don't get a job?

so i went back to reading the company which i've been reading for months and am only on (after reading 100 pp last night) 362 of 900 and treid to go to sleep.

but couldn't.

so i checked my email which made me feel worse.

and i tried to go to sleep.

and started sobbing uncontrollably for like an hour.

then i had a fitful night's sleep, including dreams of my sister in the ICU coming in and out of a coma.

then the alarm went off and i feel like i've been awake for a month.

morning, y'all. happy hump day.


someone came to this site by googling:

iam loking for thats puppets i can record my sound

welcome, i think.

(i should pay closer attention to my grammar, methinks)

yay for new friends!

tonight, i'm going to go knitting in public places with alpineflower, the blogless knitting commenter here!

we're going to caribou coffee (the cherry hills location, if you're up for public knitting at 7).

we have caribou coffee in denver?

i didn' t know that.

update: she found out i wasn't a stalker, i found out she wasn't either. there was knitting and talking and laughing and coffee and stories and pictures. there will hopefully be more knitting in the future and cheese as well.

and i did 10 more rows on kiri (a row takes forever now) bringing me to a grand total of 80 rows... i'm going to stop around 140 and see how big she is at that point, because i think she may be just about finished between 141 and 161. yay!


i can't think of anything to say so i'll talk monkeys in absurd situations

monkeys wearing backpacks and climbing rock faces

monkeys wearing party hats and lampshades and passed out under the coffee table

monkeys dealing poker (5 card stud)

monkeys roping cattle and swine and wearing fringed chaps

monkeys clubbing, drinking cristal and hennessey, surrounded by groupie monkeys

monkeys at a widespread panic concert wearing tie-dye and smoking herbal remedy

monkeys as correspondents on the daily show

monkeys driving for nascar

a giraffe in a miniskirt (okay, not a monkey, but the funny image that pops into your mind when someone doesn't know the words and winds up singing "i want a girl with a short skirt and a looooong... neck?")

here's your question:

what color is the miniskirt?

you smell like beef and cheese

it's the first elf watching of the season tonight.

things about this to which i am looking forward:

  • francisco
  • your favorite color
  • smells like mushrooms
  • throne of lies
  • i saw a dog
  • cotton balls as food
  • my finger has a heartbeat
  • kheeeeeeeowwwwwwuuuuuuaaaaaaaaa
  • narwhale
  • heatherfeatherknitting time

we are water born, we are not your kind

i kept vascillating between okay and sad and frustrated last night.

so i started listening to antje duvekot, especially "sirens" and it helped me hone in on the happy kind of sad.

i heard of her from mariama, my lovely little opera singing friend who named her cat after a character in the book that makes me want to drive off a cliff with the wandering and rambling and stuff.

she also told me about andrew bird who makes me feel the happiness and whistle along when i can.

there is no point to this post.

still love knitting lace, it's me i'm not so crazy about

i've been merrily trucking (can one truck merrily?) on kiri since about 11 pm last night. i've probably put about an hour and a half in on it and i'm already this far:

kiri round 1 001 this is at 35 rows.

it may be more than an hour and a half, i'm not sure because i was at row 29 when i realized i screwed up around row 25, and frogged 5 rows. i did it the slow and patient way because i love knitting lace and i want this to be good.

but. did you see the real problem above?

did you? here let me show you:
kiri round 1 002

that hole? those are live stitches.


how on earth did that happen?

i'm frogging down to nada and going to start from there.

in my opinion the best thing about this pattern is that you only have to cast on 3 stitches. booyah.

update: 8:30, i'm back at row 35. in the 3.5 hours since i said i was frogging, i've frogged, made dinner, baked cookies, cleaned the kitchen, had an IM conversation, and an email conversation, as well as knit 35 rows. i'm just glad i wasn't on row 2354375 when i saw the boo boo. because the rows get 4 stitches longer than the previous. that's a lot more stitches. each row takes longer than the last is the moral of our story.

the saga of christmas decorations

(just randomly, this is one of the pictures we used at the funeral. because it's funny)

last year, at my parents' house, this little tree was the sum total of our christmas decorations.

since i left home 10 years ago, the amount of time and effort put into christmas decorations has vastly declined. my older sister lives at home again (due to a protracted illness. and that's her senior picture on the wall, fyi) so it's not an empty nest syndrome thing.

it's that my family has medical issues. yes, we may have more than most, but a bulk of the pressing ones take place on major holidays and weekends. (i.e., 23 stitches from an onion slicing incident gone awry, emergency surgery for someone or another, yada yada)

more than one year, i came home a few days before christmas to find that the tree hadn't been put up (fake - we're allergic to the real ones. duh.) not a single festive thing has been laid out.

we tried to write it off with saying the christmas season doesn't start until christmas day, anyway, and goes through epiphany. but the fact of the matter was, my mom and sister were usually flattened with their annual christmas bronchitis, and my dad was working his little tail off day in and day out and didn't have time.

so, when heather comes home from college/work/wherever in the country she's living at any given point, all healthy and stuff, guess who is given the job of making it look festive?

which made me feel the resentingness and annoyance with christmas decorations. however, about 3 years ago, my mom and sister got the decorations in order before i got home. i didn't know what to say.

then, it was back to bronchitis for them 2 years ago, so it was me again.

and then, there was last year.

i got home on december 23 around 10:30 pm (PST), and had been up since about 4:30 am (MST) on like 3 hours of sleep the night before, so was EXHAUSTED. my body does one thing consistently when it's overtired: gives me a migraine. so when i woke up on december 24th with a blinding migraine that descended into a blinding vomiting migraine which descended into a blinding vomiting weeping in uncontrollable agony migraine, i did everything i could to make it stop. i tried non-prescription drugs (liquid advil alternated with excedrin), to prescription drugs to tried and true non-medical remedies (pounding mtn. dew like it's going out of style) to accupressure (usually works to some extent - not this time) to sleeping, all to no avail.

finally we decided to go to urgent care before it closed at 9 pm on christmas eve. (urgent care is far less likely to have a 44 hour line on christmas eve than an emergency room) the actual story of that can be found here and here.

last year i put my sad little tree up. this year, i realize it's already the 11th and i'm going to california on the 21st so it seems like a lot of effort. and i have grown to totally hate decorating for christmas.

so imagine my shock when my mom called me last night to tell me they put their christmas lights up yesterday. christmas lights?! we haven't had those in probably 20432652 years!

but then she told me they had gotten the boxes out of the garage and the ladder, and their neighbor offered to hang the lights for them. they gratefully accepted their neighbor's offer.

their jewish neighbor.

i am a knitting fiend*

anouk 003

another finished object.

for the baby upon whom i sit.

here's my maiden intarsia voyage (not sure why left pocket is so puckery in the picture - it's not really):
anouk intarsiaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

i'm sorta "meh" about it. i think i'm just tired of it - i knitted it like a mo-fo and did it in 2.5 days.

there's serious rowing that doesn't come through in the pictures, and i'm hoping a trip through the washer (yay for machine washable yarn!) will even it out some.

pattern: anouk by kate gilbert from spring '04 knitty (18 month size)
yarn: knitpicks shine in apricot, cherry, grass, and violet
needles: susan bates silverado #7
started: 12/7/05
finished: 12/10/05
for: babyhead
new skills: intarsia

next up: kiri for mom with knitpicks palette in fog.
*from the subject of an email from someone asking for a hat

cue the boyz II men

yaymee leaves for guinea one month from today.

i will miss her a bunches, however i am SO excited for her, that i will never stop jumping up and down. and i think guinea is so lucky to get her for 2.5 years. even if that does mean that i'm not allowed to get married or have kids (preferably in that order) until she comes back in 2008.

(well, i might have to stop jumping up and down sometime - i'll probably sprain my knee or fall down after a while, but you get the point)

maybe i should send her something every now and then to remind her that i am a banana problem. or is it her mom who is a banana problem? hard to say.

it's so haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaard to say goodbyeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee...

3 girls

by the time he reads this...

... he will be done with law school.

thomas, i say unto you: word.

time to celebrate! i'll, um... crack a beer in denver in your honor?

hanukkah bush

at jo-ann's today, buying buttons for anouk, i happened to spy this color-a-cookie. i think it's scary and wouldn't eat a cookie i bought at a craft store, but that's not my point.

my point is, that's a christmas tree on the cookie. and that tiny black mark in the upper right corner? it's a K inside a star with the word "pareve" under it.

i'm so glad the christmas cookie is kosher.

the lone ranger and tonto fistfight in heaven

i was so close to buying that at the bookstore yesterday.

and it also made me really want to buy my own copy of smoke signals if for nothing else, the scenes of the traffic reports on KREZ.

and so i can drive all of my denver friends nuts by saying "heyyyyyy, victorrrrrrrrrrr!"

frybread power.

i just threw up in my mouth a little

i walked into the bathroom to brush my teeth about 45 seconds ago.

there is a giant centipede sitting on the bristles of my toothbrush.

cereal stories

from steve's site, these are the true hollywood stories behind these cereals:

steve's contributions:

  • Frosted Flakes - A group of blondes get lost in North Dakota in the Winter.
  • Fruit Loops - The adventures of the world's first all-gay stunt plane team.
  • Trix - A diary of breakfast for Johns
  • Raisin' Bran - The trials of grain growers in Kansas.
  • Special Kay - A developmentally challenged girl just wants to live a normal life
  • Product 19 - The quest for the perfect prime number
  • Cheerio's - A guidebook to farewells in different languages
  • Cookie Crisp - A freak lightning strike leaves the cattle drive short a chef.
  • Honey comb - the quest for all-natural hair care products goes surreal.

mine (i'm so proud of mueslix):
  • honey nut cheerios: how to leave your insane lover in 15 easy steps
  • mueslix: the surface of the highway after a herd of cats was tragically run down by a semi
  • golden crisp: when rumplestiltskin's work was reverted to straw.
  • lucky charms: the story of an irish down-on-his luck boxer who finds unexpected love

any others?

texas waltz

i have spoken some about gina forsyth - a folk singer from new orleans... we used to play scrabble. she's written one of my top 50 favorite songs (if you've ever spoken to me at ALL about music i like, you'll realize what a feat it is for me to narrow favorite songs down to a number smaller than 100), "the sweetest sound" which is also one of my favorites to play on the guitar for one of my living room folk star sessions (download "the sweetest sound" for free here).

but tonight i'm in the mood for "texas waltz"

I am standing on a hilltop
'Neath the big Texas sky
Conversing with the night stars
As they're passing by
Cause these hills are as lonesome
As the four winds that blow
Cause they only remind me
Of the one I love so

Coming down from the mountain
To the valley below
Way on some blue bayou
Where the Red River flows
So it's goodbye to Texas
Cause the place I long to go
Is back to Louisiana
Near the Gulf of Mexico
Near the Gulf of Mexico

From here you can see the country
You can see far and wide
And the grass it ain't greener
Way on the other side
So I'm down here in Texas
Looking up at the stars
So helpless I can't help
But wonder where you are

If you were a star, love
In the big Texas sky
I'd be all night waiting
For you to pass by
But I've been all night waiting
And I don't have a clue
I've looked all over heaven
And I still can't find you

I've been up the East Coast
And down to the West
But my old home on the Gulf Coast
Is the place I love best
Cause I've grown tired of standing
On a hilltop so high
With hopes I might see you
As you're passing by

much better today


i think the upgrade in temps combined with the entire day devoted to playing with insanely funny and cute baby and knitting helped.

that and blasting "genie in a bottle" in my car on my ride home.

you gotta rub me the right way.

je suis dork

i am almost finished with the front and back of anouk (which is about 85% of the project. note to self: knitting for babies is WAY faster).

and in shaping the neckline for the back, i realized that i didn't do it correctly AT ALL for the front. i BO 9 stitches, but didn't do the 6 additional rows of shaping for either shoulder.

and of course i've already woven in the ends because i do that as i'm going along because i hate weaving ends.

je suis dork.


i am blue.

i had an IM conversation (i love you, internets) with my best friend who lives 900 miles away, and she could tell that i was a blue monkey.

blue monkeys... that's actually funny. but i'm having a blue night.

not crying (much) sort of blue, but don't want to move, and having a difficult assembling my visage to reflect any sort of emotion... i just want someone to sit on the couch with me and let me mentally check out in front of a movie.

where's your SOB when you need him? well, he's busy and it's not really his fault. (stupid no one having invented teleporters yet making SOB be far away and unable to come here for my own selfish whims...)

wildflowers or weeds?

i've always called them wildflowers. glass half-full or -empty? sorta... but it's definitely your perspective.

but then...

"i've been listening to the tunes i've heard you talk about
don't want to be out,
don't want you to think we have nothing in common
or that i don't care if we carry on a conversation.

i'd speak if i could breathe.

wildflowers or weeds, i wonder what you think of me? [...]
when i look at myself, sometimes i feel like i'm a dandelion,
like others you can find."

wanted: bad elf. now accepting applications*

i like beer.

i like malty beer.

i'm not crazy about overly hoppy beer (hee hee, hoppy beer).

but a little hoppy is ok.

should anyone want to purchase some festive, warm welcome beer (nut browned ale - look at the label to get the joke) for the holidays and present them to your favorite heatherfeather, who would i be to object?

(and although i don't think i'd like it as much, i wouldn't object to some seriously bad elf, for the simple reason that it's banned in connecticut)

*okay, i don't really want bad elf, but the subjectline isn't as funny as "wanted: warm welcome."

all the lights that light the way are blinding

when i lived in south thomaston, maine, i lived on 20 acres of land next to the st. george river. i lived on drury lane, which was named for my landlord who lived further down the lane. for obvious reasons, my friend annie and i called him the muffin man.

there are about 1,100 people in that town, and about 5 stop signs. you had to go to thomaston proper for a traffic light, and although there was a little general store on the water (on the wessawekeag river, or the 'keag, pronounced "the gig"), you had to go to the stop and shop in rockland for proper grocery shopping. but it was charming, friendly, and quiet (much like myself, clearly)

the thing that still is so funny to me about mid-coast maine (might be true of the rest of maine, but i don't know for sure) is that most people go to the gas station for pizza. there is a domino's in rockland, but it wouldn't deliver out to my house. oddly enough, however, there was a FABULOUS video rental shop 1/4 mile down the road from my house with an amazingly well stocked foreign films section.

to get to town, the fastest and lowest traffic route (especially in summer) was to take westbrook through spruce head and owl's head into rockland. if you've never been to maine, it's predominantly rural (i had clients who lived in areas without names, but their townships had at least been numbered - T9, T15, etc.) with charming, more developed towns that make their living off of tourism (like damariscotta, camden, castine) and summer rentals.

where i was living was almost in camden, but not that far from damariscotta, it was predominantly fishing and lobstering communities, and there were goregeous open fields that led to charming seaside vistas. when i was there, in addition to doing social work, i was working as a photographer's assistant, and we did a lot of weddings in these areas down in tenant's harbor, the children's chapel, private estates. (that was how i KNEW that i thought outdoor weddings in a field were singularly UNROMANTIC. what's charming about 21346521314 crickets and spiders and ants crawling up your dress as you traipse around a field of wildflowers in 3" heels?)

and in the winter, it would snow. it was in some ways better than inland maine because the ocean would change the snow to rain, but in others it sucked, because it was far icier from the rain. and on sunny days, it was goregeous.

but you'd better have your polarized sunglasses handy because it would strike you blind to have 20 acres of unadulterated snow shooting laserbeams of UVA and UVB into your retinas. and that's just walking to your car.

i'll see your pi and raise you two places

thomas and i were discussing how to highlight his intrinsic appeal on first dates. and we came up with this:

thomas knows pi to two places.

ladies, restrain yourselves.

things that will always make me think of my dad: peeling oranges

i love oranges. they're my favorite fruit. they're my favorite color. i love blood oranges, navel oranges, valencia oranges...

i love peeling them. when i peel them, i try to peel them in one long strip so that i can put the peel back together in a reasonable facsimile of the orange. navel oranges are the best for this, blood oranges the worst. it's weird - it's one of those things that totally lets me escape and still my ever-whirring, busy little brain. and once it's peeled, i get to eat an orange.

my dad was much the same way - loved oranges, loved peeling them. however, he was far more fastidious than i in MANY ways. so for him, peeling oranges was easily a 15 minute job. to peel an orange like my dad, you'd need a thick-skinned navel orange, two knives, a 3 paper towels, and a plate.


got all that?

okay, instructions:

  1. take the first knife - paring, naturally - and peel the outermost layer of the skin. (our peeling techniques were similar in that he'd try to do it in one strip)
  2. take the outer peel, and place it on the paper towels (stacked, to absorb any stray juice).
  3. take paring knife and gratifyingly peel off strips of the pith.
  4. place pith in an increasingly pyramidic pile on the outer peel on the paper towels.
  5. break the orange into sections.
  6. take the sections, one at a time, and use the second knife (far thinner, and longer... maybe a vegetable knife?) to slice the section jackets open and slip the orange slice out in a juicy mess
  7. place naked orange slices on place, section jackets on orange refuse pyramid on paper towels.
  8. repeat until all sections are naked.
  9. top pyramid with the navel of the orange.
  10. eat your orange 16476537 hours after starting to peel it.

listiness (caveat: gratuitous -clothed- chest shots)

  • happy pearl harbor day.
  • dear colorado: you suck for being so cold
  • dear denver: you suck at plowing/putting down mag chloride on main streets like speer blvd. before the morning rush hour
  • the dog is colder than he's ever been. i thought he broke his front foot, but no, the snow and wind were so cold that he couldn't bear to put his foot on the snow anymore. however, his other three feet were cold too, so he made the most horrible noise EVER, and lay down on his back in the snow so as to avoid his feet being in the snow. however this made him cold too and he continued making the most horrible noise ever. this resulted in him being covered in snow (oh joy - i love melted snow all over the house and my bed). this is also causing him to refuse to poop but asking to poop every 5 minutes. because i am stoopid about such things, how long does it take a dog foot to get frostbite in -20 windchill? (update: woo! he finally pooed! 9:04 pm)
  • i am hungry so i am glad i threw some food in the crock pot before work today. it smells good. like chicken. good thing - it's chicken.
  • anouk is 1/2 done. woo!
  • i ran out of allergy medicine the other day and have been alternating between states of breaking out in hives with a chapped nose from all the blowin' and sheer drunkenness from the benadryl.
  • i'm hopefully getting more tomorrow.
  • allergy medicine, that is.
  • i found out yesterday that bath and body works puts macadamia nut oil in their lotion. just as i learned that gatorade puts sunflower oil in their beverage, i learned this the hard way. cue the hives.
  • cherz rules. you too can warn others that you run with scissors - buy your own.
  • proof of cherz' rulingness? he sent me this (addressed to Captain Heather Feather, Ph.D., no less):

taking a page from particleman's book, the photo essay:

  • take the shirt to parties!

  • use the shirt while being hygenic!

  • take the shirt while you diagnose your friends' mental illness!

thanks cherzie!

post number 5 for the moobert

i have been surrounding myself with comfort food lately...

homemade tapioca
cinnamon muffins
warm grape nuts
hot chocolate

why do comfort foods consist primarily of carbohydrates?

withering where some snowman was

i'm having a hard time with the idea, or the practice of winter this year. it usually seems annoying, but tolerable.

but it seems intolerable this year.

denver doesn't have terrible winters - it has snow, which usually melts in a day or two, it doesn't get supercold except for a few days each season. i know i couldn't live in minneapolis or brainerd or green bay or pierre or buffalo or fort kent, so i don't live there.

but tomorrow it's supposed to be 8 degrees as a high. i've slipped twice on the ice in as many days. i have an antifreeze leak, so it's hard for my car to start in the cold. i have rear wheel drive and need new tires so badly that it's not even funny. and it's seeming interminable and so. bleak.

but i have to get up every day, plod through, and know that this will end.

because i'd be otherwise inconsolable.

c'est fini

bella paquita by marnie maclean

after feeling like i had entered a labyrinth of 2x2, i gave up last night and bound off with 12 rows to go. and it turns out that it was a good choice, because it's a few inches longer than i wanted it (hitting, um... the top of my inseam, i was going to hitting my hipbones, or anterior sacro-iliac spines). and it makes me look as boxy as i feel. woo! it's actually not that bad, except in pictures. the top is good, the bottom is liveable, i'm wearing it to lunch today.


  • made of lion brand wool-ease in grey heather(i know... but i'm on a student budget)
  • #7 susan bates silverados, 32"
  • started: 23 november 2005
  • finished: 5 december 2005
  • new techniques: 2-needle bind-off, provisional cast-on, super pretty lace pattern.

if i haven't communicated it effectively yet, I LOVE KNITTING LACE. and cables, but there aren't cables in this project.

words i cannot spell

license (i'm getting better)
money (well, i cannot type that one-it's always "monkey" on the first go)

put out your boots, yo.

if you live in arizona, put out your boots and don't forget to shake them (and your coat sleeves) before you put them back on (scorpions, you know).

but put out your boots, because it's saint niklaus tag.


i finished the bella paquita - as soon as i get a decent picture of it, i'm going to post it. however, this is likely going to be a picture of the sweater on the bed, because although i like it, and i like it on me, i don' t like it on me in pictures.

the whole rectangleheather situation and whatnot...

cast on for anouk tonight, but haven't started even row 1 yet. i think i'm going to need more yarn for kiri and the all over lace faroese shawl... i should order that NOW.

boring post due to sleepy heather.

to keep you entertained until i post 5 posts tomorrow (ahem), i direct you to day 5 of the weebl advent calendar.

sneaking out of 2x2 ribbing purgatory

i was chez chris, and found a meme:

These are the first returns (and some make no sense) from Google image search for

back to purgatory.

but that's not the way it feels

since school ended, i've been on a stranger and stranger (read: no longer focused around getting up in the morning) sleeping schedule.

i am a morning person. the only time i was a die-hard night owl was the summer i was in alaska so my body didn't understand that it wasn't morning. and that was 1991.

but tomorrow i don't have to work.

so i stayed up late knitting, and watching in america.

there is no excuse for me not having seen this until december 5, 2005. it's been quite some time since i've been touched by a movie like that. it made me happy, it made me uncomfortable, it made me sad, it made me cry, it made me giggle, it made me miss new york, it made me want to be with the person who is like home (in the general sense, not the specific).

i think i will watch it again tomorrow night.

how did i miss that?



i have to go look at the patterns then i'll give my assessment, because my assessment is LAW.

update: there are like 10 million patterns. including:

there are also good articles:

best laid plans

my plans were to finish bella last night. there were some of you (okay, just one) who were snarky enough to imply that i never planned to finish this sweater, just keep taking and posting pictures of my ninjas, thinly veiled as a modeling of a sweater in progress.

well to you i say thpblllllllllllllllllllllllllllll. (take that, mr. snark. see? see how i did that?)

bella 010

that, ladies and gentlemen is what we call 37 rows of 2x2 ribbing. the bad news is, i have to do 51 more rows (88 rows total) of 2x2 ribbing. i have underestimated how bored i get doing 2x2 ribbing. hopefully i'll finish it tonight so i can cast on for anouk or kiri...

i am such a chick

i want to go to nordstrom (or nordstrom rack) and buy shoes. i want cute shoes, comfy shoes, sexy shoes, warm shoes, ridiculously expensive shoes, impractical shoes.

i want to go to nordstrom (or nordstrom rack) and buy a new handbag to fit over my winter coat. i'd sell your mother for a kate spade stripeyish bag or a monsac leather bag.

my perfect handbag isn't too big, but will accomodate my wallet, janitor keys, cell phone, ipod, lotion, epipen (nuts, i need a new one of those), and have an inside pocket for chick products, and second pocket (or exterior) for chapstick, lipgloss and a pen (or 2645 - i'm a pen hoarder). but remember, it's not too big. it would be in the shape of an inverted trapeziod where the base is narrower than the mouth (whoever decided to make purse mouths narrower than their bases is my nemesis), and just long enough of a strap to fit over my shoulder and tucked under my arm when i'm wearing a winter coat and not slide off all the time.

the chances of me doing that? slim to none.

songs to which i can't stop listening (the "hey! i remember that!" edition)

  • "operator" by jim croce
  • "cherry, cherry" by neil diamond
  • "lola" by the kinks
  • "jane says" by jane's addiction
  • "babe" by styx (shut up, you know you love it)
  • "uptight" by stevie wonder
  • "you dropped a bomb on me" by the gap band
  • "william, it was really nothing" by the smiths
  • "on the road to find out" by cat stevens
  • really, anything by cat stevens

how does this ALWAYS happen?

voila the top of bella. i swatched a 6" square. i tried it on as i went along. first the top, then the sleeves, then the top with the sleeves. suddenly with the addition of the lace, it's GIGANTONORMOUS. i still like it and will probably do the waist shaping without doing the increases again so that it will sorta maybe fit.

but now i have to go to get some coffee and some mike doughty before the roads freeze again and before i throw the damn sweater in the furnace. (no, i wouldn't do that.)

doh: okay, so i overlapped the lace wrong, creating a top that was 15 stitches (or almost 4 inches; gauge: 16 st = 4") too big. so i redid it, and am 10 rows into the body of the sweater. 78 more rows, and bella is finito!

and the only way to beat it is to bat it down

i should check the weather more frequently. because then i wouldn't be taken aback by sights like this when i let the dog out:

snow blows

see, snow is just getting in my way today. i wanted to buy the new mike doughty album, haughty melodic... instead i've just gone to his site where i can at least hear "looking at the world from the bottom of a well" until the snow melts enough to be conducive to driving so i can buy batteries for the camera and also get a caffeine fix... because i also gots the migraine going on, yo.

worried about your unborn children learning english? blogging baby tells us there's a way around that.

and i also started the cable hat again last night when i was watching magnolia. i finally decided to use the DNA double helix pattern that i adopted from the DNA scarf by june o. with true cable twists because i am ubernerd (excuse poor photoshopping, which is really "microsoft picture editing" because i don't have photoshop. however christmas is coming... ahem, but anyway, i wanted the pattern to show and the color to sorta be simulated - at least the pattern's of two is only 50% but i'm aiming low):

DNA hat corrected

in other yarn news, the bella lace is done blocking (both sides, no more raisins) so i'll attach that and see about starting the torso section...

knitting/fashion question (really interesting for those of you who could care less):

since my waist is approximately 12523 inches above where waists normally lie, and i am hippy (look at these my childbearing hips...) should i do the waist shaping as is? should i omit the shaping all together? should i shift the shaping to directly under the bustline?
i'm sorta leaning toward the latter, but i'm feeling lazy about the chart situation... granted, i could write it out, but that's not the lazy way out.

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erratically updated for food, yarn, or other nonspecified reasons