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Sunday, January 29, 2006

So Jealous

Ok, so I used to act. And I loved it. It scared the hell out of me, but I still loved it.

It's the sort of thing that literally makes you pull every possible emotion you can feel, as intensly as you can feel it, and basically throw it up and arrange it on camera for everyone to see and critique. When done well, it feels amazing. When you screw up, it's devastating. You work so hard to connect to everything you have and when it doesn't come across, sucks. Life is kinda like that too, I guess.

I took classes from a professional acting coach, and in one of my classes was this gorgeous Indian girl named Noureene. Crazy talented, and gifted in all the areas I had to work extra hard at.

Which is probably why she was on Numbers this week, and I was not.

That, and I never bothered to move to LA because I didn't want to pay to park at the grocery store (OMG that's fucking ridiculous!!) and deal with sleazy agents/casting directors/Hollywood types. Seriously, nothing is free in LA. And there are earthquakes, wild fires, mudslides, Santa Ana winds, smog, and crazy people. I would have loved it. Maybe.

Anyway, congrats to my stunningly beautiful friend Noureene.

It could have been me. I'm just sayin.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Stop Me, I'm Crazy

My best friend Sasha called me yesterday. She's one of the most fun people I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. We were sorority sisters and then roommates at UGA, in a big loft room living above truly crazy people who had their parents buy the condo we shared AND give them allowance money to blow on beer every week, while Sasha and I worked two jobs and busted our asses to afford our rent and cars. She's half Puerto Rican, half German, and full blooded vegan/hippy/liberal-Republican/wild child. She's quite the anomoly, and this is why I love her.

She called to ask the most random of questions: would I sky dive with her for her 30th birthday, and then go smoke some weed. My immediate reply was, "Call me for the weed". But, after further consideration, I don't see why I shouldn't jump from a plane with nothing to catch me if my parachute fails. Fear of heights? Pish posh. I can surely get over that, right?

Can I have the weed before we jump? Please?

On second thought, with my luck the jump would go smoothly until time to pull the cord. I'll get a bug in my throat and be so distracted that "EW! Bug in my mouth!" is all that consumes me, and I'll plummet to the ground in a very ugly fashion. And still have the damned bug in my throat. And probably some grass too. I realize this is a fairly irrational fear, and that's what makes me occasionally (really, really) neurotic. I use it as comedy. Work with me here.

Oh! This is Picovoli, in progress. I've finished just one row past the sleeves and I think she looks pretty good so far. The yarn is so soft and easy to work with, and I love love the color. I'll be working on it today to get some shape into the bust so I can try it on and see if it fits! If it doesn't fit, there will be much cursing, ripping back and adding increases (along with the requisite wailing and gnashing of teeth). If it does fit, I should be finished in another two weeks.

While working on this at lunch yesterday, the sweet looking lady next to my table took interest. I always wonder what people think when they watch me knit in public. It makes me a little self concious, really. I forget that knitting at your restaurant table is not quite normal behavior, so I'm checking my teeth for salad bits, my shirt for globs of dressing or diet coke while simultaneously wondering, "Do I look like hell today? Did I get dressed in the dark? What the hell are they staring at?!".

Then I remember. I'm a knitting freak invading their comfortable lunch space. And they are fascinated and afraid.

So this woman gets up from her table and walks over to me. I'm fully aware that I have two pointy objects to defend myself if required. She asks if I'm knitting (no, I'm trying to start a fire!), and then wants to see the pattern I'm working on. "Ok, sure, fine," I think, "she's just curious." Then she says the dreaded six words, "Do you knit for other people?". All I can think is "Oh gods, this woman wants a knee length fair isle jacket in tiny itchy mohair!!". So I cautiously replied, "Not really". She smiled and handed me her card and explained that she's opening a doll shop down the street and wanted to know if I would want to knit doll sweaters and jackets.

I don't really do dolls, per se, but it's something to consider. At least it would be fast knits, maybe two hours each, and maybe some money, not that I care about that.

And thank god she didn't ask for a fair isle sweater. I might have cried. And there's no crying in knitting!

Monday, January 23, 2006

All these are totally true...

I swear.

Ten Top Trivia Tips about Melanie!

  1. The international dialling code for Melanie is 672!
  2. Melanie is only six percent water.
  3. On average, women blink nearly twice as much as Melanie!
  4. Melanie will always turn right when leaving a cave.
  5. Long ago, the people of Nicaragua believed that if they threw Melanie into a volcano it would stop erupting.
  6. In Chinese, the sound 'Melanie' means 'bite the wax tadpole'!
  7. Only one person in two billion will live to be Melanie!
  8. Tradition allows women to propose to Melanie only during leap years!
  9. Olympic badminton rules say that Melanie must have exactly fourteen feathers!
  10. A cluster of bananas is called a hand and consists of 10 to 20 bananas, which are individually known as Melanie!
I am interested in - do tell me about
Minor Corrections:

1. Actually it's 912, but whatever.
2. Probably not entirely safe in order for me to keep living.
3. True, except when I have something in my eye.
4. Totally true. And probably right off a cliff.
5. Well...yeah, cause see I was a virgin in a past life.
6. I do often bite wax tadpoles.
7. Absolutely true. I'm that super cool.
8. Wow, I'm going to be lonely. But maybe still cool.
9. No comment on the presence or absence of feathers.
10. Have a bite!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Sunday is for Losers

Ok, so I don't have the check yet, but it's coming on my next pay day. I love "you kicked ass this year, here's some money" bonuses. It's enough to go toward a house or car down payment. It's very rewarding to be thanked for the months you worked two jobs and stayed late to make sure things got handled properly. My boss is great, and I'm not just saying that!

Sundays are odd sometimes. They often remind me of being a teenager, when on weekends I was She Who Cleans the House, and my parents were They Who Mow Three Acres and Attempt to Keep Plants Alive. My brother was affectionately called He Who Doesn't Do Shit, and we all tried to coexist and keep from getting pissed off and stomping around the house. My step-father is especially adept at stomping. But he is easily subdued with an appropriately timed glare, followed by sharp pointy things emanating from within that glare. I am especially adept at said glare.

Waking up to the awareness of it being Sunday causes all types of reactions for me. Sometimes I spring out of bed and immediately start cleaning. Clothing optional. Sometimes it's with great vigor that I clean, and sometimes it's with a heavy sigh and growing irritation that I'm the only one doing the cleaning. Sometimes I wake up and say, "Life is too short, I'm going to knit! And read! And watch TV! And run!". And there is no cleaning, only fun things. I like those days. Maybe I should get a maid.

Sundays also remind me of summers spent in the back yard picking blueberries. Our house had a huge backyard, and in it were pear trees, cherry trees, and about ten blueberry bushes. I was charged with picking the berries before they were eaten by the birds, then washing, packing and freezing them until some unknown date when they might maybe be used in some pie or muffins or something. Needless to say, more packs of frozen blueberries were used as emergency ice packs than actual baked goods.

Regardless, I picked them. And I dragged He Who Doesn't Do Shit along so I didn't have to suffer alone. This usually led to arguments about who got to pick the smallest bushes, and who ended up picking more blueberries. It also sometimes led to chasing each other through the yard while throwing the blueberries as hard as possible at each others heads. If I told you that I have terrible aim, and my brother played baseball and could throw a berry hard enough to leave a bruise, you could probably guess who won most often.

However, when I was being an especially sore loser and was covered in little red marks thanks to He Who Doesn't Do Shit, I would make a little blueberry paste. I'd chose about 30 fat ripe berries and hide in the bathroom while mushing them and getting a nice juicy blue paste to form, and then when he least expected it, I'd walk up behind him and rub as much of it on his face as I could before he tried to turn and do the same to me. I usually got a nice face full of mush too, since he's faster and stronger than me (yes, still).

And I often wonder why we still have such a childish relationship with each other. Sometimes it's all I can do not to chase him around the room and tickle him until he cries when I catch him. Of course, his children would be shocked, so I refrain. But he knows I could. And that's why, no matter how many fights we had as kids, I'm still the winner. Oh, and cause I'm older and he can't catch me in age. Still one up. Yeah.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Can you say LOVE?

I went shopping (online of course) during lunch today and came across Interweave Knits 2006 preview site.

I must make these two tanks now. MUST! NOW!

My shoulders would be so kick ass holding up the straps of the brown one.

And I would totally wear the pink to bed. Or out. Whatever. I just want it on me. Now people, now.

I think I seriously have to work on my patience some day. Like, some other day. My patience level is the size of an atomic particle. Way too small. When I get something in my head that I must have, dear gods don't make me wait. I'll tear myself up inside for that gratification. It eats at me. I can't get it out of my head. My credit card knows this well. It (read: they) hide from me when I start to twitch for yarn. And Ann Taylor Loft. Oh damn. My email has a Loft advertisement in it...

Er, where was I? Oh yes. My credit cards. Well, my credit rating is actually phenomenal. I really don't buy more than I can afford. Unless I must have it NOW. And besides, I just consolidated everything but my car payment the other day. Wow, look at all the extra money I have now!

Oh. But I have to save for a house and a new(er) car. The hybrid kicks ass. Love it, will drive it until it dies. And it has the added bonus of having my name (MINE!!) on the title. The Jeep (my jeep wishes it was this hot, by the way)? Near death. And ugly as hell. And I have to drive it twice a week AND park in front of my office. I'm not vain or anything, but getting out of that dirty faded green machine with a belt that screams and brakes that screech? You just can NOT be hot in that thing, no matter what you have on. Not that I have anyone to impress, I'm just sayin.

On Friday, I'll show you how awesome I REALLY am...there's a check to prove it!

Monday, January 16, 2006

Home Sweet Home

Broad Street, Athens, GA.

God I've missed Athens. It can be such a shiny happy place to be. There's the Taco Stand where I had lunch with Karen (on the right, yellow sign, yummy pseudo-Mexican, best burritos in town).

Isn't Karen lovely showing off her booga bag? She's very colorful, and it's very fitting!

Karen surprised me on this visit with this:

Her VERY FIRST knitting project! She's working on a sampler scarf where she's trying out all kinds of new techniques! I'm so proud!! Ok, this seriously makes the 10th person I've inspired to knit. It's so exciting to have another thing to share with so many of my friends!

I spent most of lunch staring out the huge windows that overlook North Campus. So many memories. Some good, some bad, some irrelevant. In my heart, it's home, no matter what the memories might be.

It's the first place I ever really lived by myself. I grew up here...not in years, but in spirit.

It's the the place where I got my first tattoo. Oh, and the second one too. I waved to Devon (my super hawt tattoo chick), but she was working on someone and I didn't want to take an unwilling stranger's photo. Especially not one with their ass in the air.

It's the place where I learned to love a good froo-froo coffee drink. Hot Corner Coffee is the shit, ya'll.

And it has lots of cute young people working on important things and listening to their iPods while drinking hot frothy goodness.

It is also the place where I got so completely drunk that I couldn't get up until 6 p.m. the next DAY (sparing you the photos, cause, eww). I was lucky to live through that night. The next day my gay friend Jude, who witnessed my degradation, called me up and made me eat (good Jude, good) and then took me shopping (better Jude, better!). We went to Junkman's Daughter's Brother and tried on wacky clothes and made each other laugh til we hurt. He kept handing me these kinky leather outfits and 5 inch spiked heels, but, well I'm pretty sure he was gay. I think. But I digress....

On the way out of town, we stopped at Main Street Yarns in Watkinsville, GA. Oh. My. God. That place is huge! And they carry everything you can think of. Yes, even that. And that too. And there were people sitting around knitting everywhere you went. It was a beautiful thing. I almost cried. I signed up for Annie Modesitt's classes in March. I am meeting her, damn it. And learning hopefully. I'll probably just stand there for three hours stunned and excited and flabergasted that she's standing in front of me talking. Hmm...yeah I definitely see me making an ass of myself here.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Dark Skies, Black Yarn

It's about to start raining. And I am driving/riding for 5 hours tonight, all during a thunderstorm. Yay.

Maybe, if there's enough lightening, I can knit too...

Today I opened my mail box to this lovely package!

Oooh Elann, sometimes I really love you. I had almost forgotten that I had yarn coming. Ok, not really. I'd been checking the mail relentlessly for days. Sometimes several times a day. Like the mail actually comes SEVERAL times a day. The justification in my head was, "Oh, maybe I overlooked it". Overlooked it? Right. Cause it only takes up the ENTIRE mailbox.

A closeup, with the requisite dog hair. Cause that's how we roll.

In an apartment with FIVE animals, everything I own has some sort of animal hair on it. And I'm allergic to all of it. I swear, once my beloved animals have moved on, there will be no more.

Until I go to a humane society with a friend and MUST come home with the cutest little thing. Or they walk up to me all on their own. I call that animal karma. They cross my path, look all cute, I take them home. Their sixth sense tells them I'm a good kitty/puppy mom. Or that I'm just a big mush who can't resist their fur even when it makes me sneeze. Yes, yes I'm a sucker.

Anyway, the soft shiny goodness of Lara will have to go into my stash (I really need to organize that stuff!) for a while. I'm still waiting on my Addi Turbos to arrive so that I can start Picovoli. I've been saying I would start this thing for a good 3 weeks now. But I'm always waiting instead. Meanwhile things like 1930 (see the black Lara directly above...YUM) are sitting on my desk, staring at me, begging to be knit. And now I have the yarn for it too. Maybe I'll just take a ball with me and see how it swatches. Ok, I think I just got a little too excited about yarn.

I need a twelve step program, people.

I do have a plan, see. Picovoli comes first, 1930 next and the project after that is one of about 10 things. To knit out of order would just be reckless. Oooh. Reckless Knitting. The rebel in me just shuddered a little.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Angry Knitting

Is hazardous to your health. And the health of your tiny size 4 bamboo needles. And for the health of your swatching.

Save the needles, people. Don't knit while pissed!

My poor swatch for my cute little Razr phone. Some stitches are really REALLY tight and some are just my usual knitting. I can look back at and remember all the things I was thinking. And I realize that now, damnit, I have to start over. In a better frame of mind. And NOT at 3 a.m. while alternating between delirium and nauseau.

Oh, and after I get a new set of needles. Damn it.

Back to bed and my orange juice.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

SP7 Questionnaire

I'll post a link to this on the side bar too!

1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer higher quality and/or natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand?
Er...yeah definitely to both questions.

2. Do you spin? Crochet?
Nope, neither.

3. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
I have a great needle case made of some gorgeous Japanese tapestry.

4. How long have you been knitting? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I've been knitting since June of 2004, and I'm intermediate or advanced at most things. I'm willing to learn anything, and try to teach myself new tricks all the time.

5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
Yes, under Melanie Childers.

6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)
I like Tuberose, Orange and Quince at Bath & Body Works, otherwise anything that smells fresh and clean. Lavender is probably my all-time favorite.

7. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
I do, but I'm not telling because I can't eat any of it for a while!

8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do?
I dabble in lots of things off and on, but nothing seriously.

9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
Music interests are varied, but the most commonly listened to bands are listed in my profile. My comp can do anything, and I have an MP3 player for the gym.

10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?
Blue, purple, and pink are my favorites, any shades. But I like just about anything except orange, and yellow makes me look like hell.

11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
Married, no kids. 4 cats and a dog.

12. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
Scarves yes, but it's not cold enough here for any of the others.

13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?
Hmm...that's hard. Just about anything that's soft. I'm really liking Debbie Bliss's Baby Cashmerino right now. Lorna's Laces is very nice too, but it's wool, so maybe not so much.

14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
Mohair and wool are starting to irritate my alleriges, so I'm probably going to be gifting away most of mine or at least knitting with something different for a while. I really don't like Noro Kureyon because it's way too scratchy. I don't see what the fuss is about over that stuff.

15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s?
Picovoli is occupying most of my brain at the moment. But my heart is on 1930. Can you see it in black? Yum.

16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
Just about anything that is something that I would want to wear or gift, and will challenge me enough so that I learn something new.

17. What are you knitting right now?
A cell phone case for my new Razr and its wireless headset (god, I'm spoiled, lol), and casting on for Picovoli once my new Addi Turbos come in (insert dance of joy here). Oh, and Backyard Leaves are still in progress. Each pattern repeat takes about an hour, so it's slow going.

18. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
Oh absolutely! Especially socks, since I can't seem to get the hang of knitting them myself. I love cabled patterns and sock yarns that don't pill. Hmm...actually I've never gotten a hand-knit item, so that would be pretty cool!

19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles?
Either, though probably circular more than straight since I'm a little averse to purling sometimes.

20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
Bamboo, and my Denise set. Oh, and the Addis! So, um...anything really, hehe.

21. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?

22. How did you learn to knit?
Me, Stitch n Bitch, and a whole lot of patience (which is a miracle in itself).

23. How old is your oldest UFO?
Couple of months maybe. I can usually tell if I'm going to finish something or not and I'll continue or just rip it out and find another use for the yarn. And I gave my Trellis (UFO) to Denise actually, and she might finish it for me since I am having little patience with cables right now.

24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird?
Pinky and the Brain, or Southpark. Ok, both.

25. What is your favorite holiday?

26. Is there anything that you collect?
Other than yarn?!? No, I don't think so.

27. What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
None. Though I'd love a subscription to IK.

28. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on?
The Knitting Vintage Socks book.

29. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
Oh, lots! I'd like to get socks down so that they fit. I'm interested in Fair Isle, but I'm not sure I have the patience right now.

30. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
Um, no. US women's 7.

31. When is your birthday? (mm/dd)

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Conspiracy Theories

Theory #1:

When trying to finish a project, kitties will do anything to distract you. They like to think they're "helping". The hubby even thinks they're helping. I say, they're trying to steal my yummy yarn.

That's Tristan on the left, being in "love" mode. Ever so nonchalantly inching closer to the ball of yarn. Murphy is on the right, pretending to help by holding the page open for me. Really though, he's drooling at the yarn. And Sydney on top of the couch? Yeah, she only LOOKS like she's not paying attention. She's just biding her time, folks.

Thankfully I managed to finish the left cabled arm thingie during my lunch hour today. That was very rewarding. And my second thumb looks far, far better than the first, so erm...I might rip out the original arm warmer. Or at the very least, remake the first thumb. But, I'm really loving this cable pattern. It just fits, so maybe I'll make another one!

I really shouldn't be allowed to take pictures of my own body parts.

Theory #2:

Knitpicks does not want me to start on Picovoli. I ordered my yummy Shine yarn last week (yeah, yeah I know there were two major holidays, I'm just sayin...) and I still don't have it! I need to swatch and I'm ready to get started already! I also have my first pair of Addi Turbos in the mail. Can you not feel the anxiety emanating here?!? I NEED my new toys!!

Ahem...I am not addicted. Really.

Theory #3:

There's not a third theory, I just like the number 3.

"Come closer...I have cashmere..."

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Focus & Intensity & SP7

Today I continued to work on my gaming gloves and I'm almost finished with the left one. I had used the leaf and vine pattern from SnB Nation for the first one, but I had really wanted a cable pattern instead, so the left one has a cable and the right has leaves and vines.

I'm ok with them being different. I swear. It does not make me break out in hives and want to rip one of them out. They're mine and they are unique. Uniquely mine. And most importantly, made by me. Photos coming soon.

I also joined SP7 (link on the right) and it starts tomorrow. I'm so excited to find out who I get to spoil! As for myself, there aren't many yarns I don't like! I think I might be allergic to mohair though, and it gets in my eyes and nose and just causes a lot of discomfort for me. I actually gave away my Mountain Colors Bearfoot (gasp! the horror!!) because I can't deal with the mohair. In fact, my wool sweaters have been doing this to me lately too...hmm. Maybe wool is not a good idea either. But, I LOVE Debbie Bliss Cashmerino in all sizes. I just picked up a skein or three of the Baby Cashmerino today for a pair of socks, and it is divine. I can't wait to knit those up! I really love cotton as well, and Knitpick's Shine is a good example. Microfiber and silk blends work great too. I don't have any color preferences except that I'm too olive colored for yellows. As for needles, I love bamboo and Addi's or Inox circulars, or for the truly indulgent days, rosewood. I don't eat candy or sweets, but chai tea would totally make my day.

Oh, and I joined Sexy Knitters (link also on the right) a few weeks back and I'm just waiting for my yarn and Addi Turbos to come in so I can swatch and get knittin'!!

My major focus today was on my work out. I started my contest prep and I guess I really had forgotten what all is involved. It all came back to me, and I'm glad for the refresher. I feel great. It's a combination of eating enough of the right foods, and working hard in the gym, with total focus and intensity. Normally I'll cop out at the end of my workout and fudge the last 5 or 10 minutes or the last few sets, whatever. Not today. I pushed myself to finish every bit of the workout. Even though I worked myself up to the running with a long walk, I still got a great workout.

I'm very excited about the drive behind this preparation. I'm looking at it in a completely different way.

Ordinarily I would be dreading the workout, even though I love it, I would dread it because I HAVE to do it. But I'm doing it because the result makes me feel better, physically and mentally. So I've changed my point of view becase I realized (thanks Pete!) that if I'm doing something that will provide me happiness, I can't begrudge the methods that get me there. No bitching about food, or workouts or cardio. I'm loving every second of it, and I will look amazing at the end of this journey. And I'll be glad for every moment devoted to the result!

Sunday, January 01, 2006

New Year, New Goals!

After several months of laziness, boredom and the occassional depression, I've found a renewed vigor. Must be the whole 'end of something dull, beginning of something new and exciting!!' thing.

I've been working toward this re-energizing for a few weeks now, so I'm ready (really, really ready) for some changes. And I love to be organized, so of course I made a list for these changes! Several lists actually, and almost every point on each list gets it's own plan and list, so really, there are tons of lists. Maybe I should get a planner or something because I have some pretty major things coming up...

An abbreviated list: (the first two are physical, so maybe they're just one big one)

1. NPC Eastern Seaboard Bodybuilding & Figure Championships, May 13, 2006, Atlanta, GA. (19 weeks folks. I have a lot of work to do if I want more muscle and to come in at 10% body fat. I just want the experience at this show. There will be a LOT of competition and a LOT more muscle than I could have, so I have no serious expectations of placing.)

2. INBF Grand Prix Figure Championships, July 29th in Augusta, GA. (This one I could place in. Different federation, all natural, so less muscle is expected. They also want a different physical look - softer, so more body fat. Could do 12% at this show and place easily. Oh, and this is a MUCH smaller show, so if I work hard I could win it. And that would mean a pro card. And Nicole on my ass about competing professionally. The PRESSURE!)

3. I would like to have a plan for my knitting, rather than just buying yarn with no projects in mind. I have about 5 major projects on the table, so I may be set there, but I need to review it all again.

4. Set a meditation ritual. I am really the best person I can be when I'm physically active and also mindfully rested. Must be the endorphins.

5. Probably the most disruptive but most awaited change is moving (think February/March). Along with that comes new jobs and a house. Focusing on getting clear about work I can be passionate about is of the utmost importance. I have a lot of passion and I love feeling it, and it MUST be included in my next adventure, or I will lose interest quickly. In other words, I need some career direction since I'm moving! I have many interests, but not many I would want to pursue for a living.

Anyway, those are the top 5. There are several other things I'll be focusing on, but they're more private.