In Which I Receive an Odd Facebook Message

Dear Lindsay,

First off, I must congratulate you on your post title this week; it’s positively “Friendsian,” and yes I just made that up. I decided to go Dickensian with mine. 

Since I don’t want to gross you out, I won’t include the pictures I’ve taken this week. They have all been of my thumb wound, which is actually healing pretty nicely but it’s sensitive and not particularly pretty. I’m down to just a smallish Band-Aid to cover it when I’m typing, because you just don’t want to hear me yelp every time I hit the tender area on the keyboard, which is basically every time I hit the space key. 

I know you’re curious about the impetus of my post title, so I’ll tell you a little story. I was just sitting here eating some lunch and thinking about doing some school work (I’m waiting for the results of my first first PowerPoint submission to finish my most recent class, and I’m doing the reading for my Literature, Arts, and the Humanities class) and my phone made the Facebook message noise. I thought it might be from you, so I took a look. Nope, not you, a guy. The guy, in fact, to whom (in Monica Geller terms) I gave my flower lo these many, many years ago (truth to tell, before you were born; it’s a fact). Two word message. “My first?” My one word answer, “yeah.” Nothing else, so eventually I look at FB, and sure enough a friend request. Now I’m in my Amy and Seth “Really?!” phase, ’cause Really?! Or my Meredith Grey phase, with a big helping o’ Seriously?!  I looked at his page, he’s an asshole republican (judging by his posts) who lives 20 miles from the shithole I grew up in. I deleted the request; I think it was the right choice. 

(The word you’re looking for is  . . . )Anyway, I’m trying not to be obnoxious girl about my new gadget, but damn, I love the FitBit. I know I blather about not believing in motivation, and that’s still true, except when motivation comes disguised as competition, and you know how I am. Mostly competing with myself, but every day, I want to beat the previous day’s step count. I don’t always manage, and I let my injured thumb be an excuse to take it easy this week, but since the giant bandage came off, I’m feeling more like moving again. I’m even using the Wii, and for a fun picture for your head, picture me rocking out on Just Dance to Ke$ha and the Jackson 5 (Tik Tok and I Want You Back, respectively). Yeah, the cats don’t know what to make of it, either. 

It’s starting to feel like summer might be starting to let go of her grip on this part of the world; it’s more bearable for me, which is nice. I am, after all, more than 100 pounds overweight and menopausal; the last thing I want is temperatures above 75 degrees Fahrenheit. It just makes me want to punch someone. This cooler weather is nice. I’m starting to feel like I might want to cook again, which is good. I’ve been reduced to eating salads as dinner time meals lately (and you know I don’t think of a salad as an actual meal) because it’s too hot for anything else. I’m thinking about cooking, thinking about football, thinking about school (pretty much always lately), and thinking about you and the Month of Lindsay. I still believe that great things can happen while you’re on this trip, and that’s what I’m wishing for you. 

Love,

Connie

P.S. I’m now chatting with the guy. Life’s too short to be angry at someone who dumped you when you were 14, right?

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The One Where Things Continue To Go Poorly, And I React By Being Selfish and Inconsiderate

 

Dear Connie,

OK, let’s start with the positive news.  (I’m going to skip right over that work situation and just talk about knitting.)

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I finished my first Sake!  It is lovely, and a beautiful yellow color, and the yarn (SweetGeorgia Yarns Tough Love Sock) is amazing.

Now the bad news.

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It doesn’t really fit that well.  Even to get it on my foot once took stretching it over a water bottle, then a wine bottle, then a good deal of elbow grease.  Unfortunately, I didn’t bring my sock blockers and that particular care package has not arrived.  I’m going to hold off casting on the second one until I can be absolutely sure I don’t have to tear this out.

The issue, if you look at the side view picture, is that one cable that wraps around the back of the heel and across the top of the instep.  That cable has no stretch to it at all.

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So that was disappointing.  Mona is still going well, if a little dull at this second sock stage.

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The other sock I currently have on the needles is Business Casual in Socks That Rock (colorway Obsidian).  These are a gift, which inherently makes them a little less fun to knit.  The STR, fabulous though it is, is so firm and round that it’s like knitting with cord.  And it makes my wrists hurt after a while.

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So all of this is to attempt to excuse the fact that I broke our knitalong pact and started a sock from Sock Knitting Master Class before you were ready.

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On Saturday the air conditioning went out.  And if there’s one place you don’t want to live without air conditioning, it’s a subtropical island at the end of August.  There was fans, and grousing, and feeling awfully sorry for myself.  Then there was the desire for variety.  Sake was stalled, Mona was boring, and Business Casual was only good for short spurts of knitting.  So I picked up the Knot Socks (yarn is Dream in Color Everlasting, colorway Elysian) and cast on.

I’m a douche.  Sorry, and I hope your poor thumb gets better soon.

Love Lindsay

 

Injury ridden Sunday

Dear Lindsay,

Well I’ll be, Connie has done some knitting. Heel flap done and heel turned, ready to pick up stitches on the gusset (a word that, by the way, will always sound dirty and make me giggle because of Jeff on Coupling, but I suspect you know that already). 

2014-08-24 16.35.08 Unfortunately, due to an unfortunate incident on Friday night, I’m going to be unable to knit for a little while. The picture is disgusting, so I won’t show it to you, but as you know I injured my thumb with a mandolin (on the first slice, which adds insult to injury, I didn’t even get to eat any of the cucumber), and while the area that is injured doesn’t actually touch where the needles, I’m not able to bend my thumb at the moment, and the needles just fell out of my hand when I tried. I feel like it’ll be a little bit before I can work on these again. That makes me sad. They are so pretty, I have yet to be able to capture the depth of yarn color on camera. 

Oh, and guess what I started reading last night? 

2014-08-24 16.35.36Yep, we are unknowingly reading the same thing. I saw the movie trailer and immediately got on the library list for this. Picked it up last weekend, and I was trying to be good and follow my rule of having to finish a class before I get to read a book purely for pleasure. But then I remembered that I can’t renew this one because there’s a waiting list, so I really had to start reading it immediately. I’m very much enjoying it so far (and I’m going to be intrigued to see the movie; it has an excellent cast). 

School wise, I have finished 1 paper for my current class, and paper #2 (which is technically task #3) is coming along. I should be able to really get some good work done on it tomorrow and also get the PowerPoint presentation into some semblance of order. I have Literature, Arts, and the Humanities (all lumped together in 1 class) coming up after this one, and I’m looking forward to the change of pace. 

And finally, something that I hope will make you happy. I’m back on the right track with changing my weight because it makes me so unhappy. Not Weight Watchers, but I did get a FitBit and I’m tracking my food and my daily steps. I even got out the Wii and have been using it. I have challenged myself to get to my goal weight at the same time that I get my degree. Why? Because why the hell not?

I miss you, my friend, and I really do hope that the rest of this trip gets better.  

Love,
Connie 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Week in the Dark

Dear Connie,

This was a rough week.  Work continues to be…challenging.  On Wednesday night the power went out in my hotel and was out more or less until the wee hours of Saturday.  I had to throw out everything in my refrigerator and go shopping again.  So much for eating on the cheap while TDY!

In less aggravating news, Sake is really coming along.  I’m through the gusset and working my way down the foot.  I’m hesitant to make the comparison, but this pattern might just be on par with Lingerie for complexity.  Luckily, unlike Lingerie, there have been no needles magically dropping out of the knitting, and no consequent psychotic breaks.

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 Sake front

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Sake back.  I think I like the back better, but the diamond pattern (which I have been referring to as the Eye of Sauron) picks up again across the instep.

In surprisingly positive news, I went to Knit Night with the Okinawa Yarnies this week and it was great!  A really nice group of women, most of whom have been here for a year or so and can provide some insight and advice.  It’s nice to have something to look forward to next week.

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I also finished my first Mona.  I dutifully cast on its sister (weirdly, also named Mona.  What were those parents thinking?) right away, but it’s been relegated to lunch time knitting.  Sake is so complex that I need a distraction-free environment where I can obsessively highlight every completed row of each chart.

While knitting at lunch I’ve been listening to “This Is Where I Leave You” by Jonathan Tropper.  I am really enjoying it.  In paper, I finished “Water for Elephants”, the great reputation of which is completely deserved, and started “Sacre Bleu” by Christopher Moore.  It is very entertaining, and enthralling enough that I can bring it to a restaurant and tune out everyone else.

Tragically, I forgot my Kindle in WA, so after I finish “Sacre Bleu” I’ll be visiting the on-base library.  The book store here is abysmal.

Miss you tons!

Lindsay

 

Sunday night in the US

Dear Lindsay,

Connie's Rose Ribs

I very dutifully took a picture of my Rose Ribs sock in progress, and I’ll tell you a story. I’m pretty sure it looks exactly the same as it did the last time you saw it. Ten pattern repeats are done in the leg, and I’m at the part where I should start the heel flap. Considering that it’s been two weeks since you last saw the sock, that is shockingly little in the way of change and/or growth. Truth be told, I don’t think I’ve picked it up since later in the day on that Sunday.

It’s not that I don’t want to knit the sock, and it’s not that I don’t like the sock pattern. Neither of those things is the case, but I am having a bit of knitter’s ennui. Also, I’m working on a class right now called Health Information Law and Regulations, and it’s not as interesting as you would think. I know that you’re stunned by this, but I’m sort of having to force myself to think about things like HIPAA and release of information and the ethics of health information management, and the more I force myself to think about it, the more guilty I feel for wanting to knit. Hence I don’t knit. However, one of the 2 papers I have to write for the class is mostly done (I’d say 80%), and I’ve finished the reading (which acts like Ambien in book form), and so I’m seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

I also picked up a book from the library yesterday, but I don’t get to allow myself to start that until I’ve finished all the tasks for this class (total of 2 papers and a Power Point presentation ~ did I mention that I also need to learn Power Point real quick?). Knitting on the other hand, especially now that it’s cooling off here, is something I can do in the evenings while I binge watch Friday Night Lights on Netflix.

I swear there will be more knitting content next time.

Miss you,
Connie

Sunday Wrap-Up

Dear Connie,

I know it’s not quite Sunday where you are, but it is in Okinawa.  This is the day we would hung out, caught up, and probably fondled yarn.  Unfortunately I’m all the way out here and missing you and my family pretty badly.

While you’re working your way through Rose Ribs (and your super kick-ass education), I am burning up time and distracting myself with some of Cookie A’s more sadistic contributions to sock knitting.  My plane sock, Mona, is through the heel.  Which means I have just about lost interest in it.

Mona - 8-17

My hotel sock, Sake, is so twisty and difficult to track that I’m expecting to encounter the Minotaur any time now.  Nevertheless, it has performed the kind service of taking up my entire weekend (as I binge watch TV on Hulu and make myself available for FaceTime with my family.

Sake - 8-17

Pictured here, I am just through row 53 of Chart A.  The entire pattern is composed of five massive, complex charts.  Cookie A is the master of Tantric knitting – they go on and on, and you never really reach the release of pattern memorization.  Hopefully you will excuse my crappy hotel room photo shoot.  Just be glad the couch isn’t in the background.  It is a charming shade of pea green not seen often seen this side of Linda Blair.

In short, I miss you tons, knitting is the only thing keeping me sane, and my socks are the prettiest thing in this hideous room.

Love Lindsay