Sunday, December 30, 2012

I didn't finish by Christmas, but I'll take 5 days late.

I finished Lyra 2.0 today. Well, actually I blocked her today (gendered pattern name = gendered finished object... it's a bad habit of mine) and spent 6 odd hours yesterday crocheting around that border.

Gosh, do I crochet like an idiot.
Every time I pick up one of my hooks I'm reminded just how bad I am at it... Maybe if I practiced, I'd get better, but I'm at the level where I suck at it enough to dislike it, which hampers the desire to practice. It's a vicious cycle, really.

I had to go out and buy more T-pins because I knew I had nowhere near enough to block the added corners. Turns out T-pins are priced by idiots--$3.50 for 35, or $4.99 for 40 pins. That's right. Those extra 5 pins are going to cost you $1.50. Needless to say, I purchased 70 T-pins, not 80. That's one of those little things that irks me for reasons which I can't fully articulate. It sits on my irksome shelf right alongside the medium peanut butter being significantly cheaper per ounce than any other size, regardless of brand, and when a name brand product costs less than store brand products. Why? How did this happen? I'm sure there's a mathematical reason for it... probably one relying on people being creatures of habit who don't read labels.

But enough of that. Pictures!

I think it'll fit this time. That's Lyra 1.0, and she
kisses the edges of my table ever so obnoxiously.

 It's a full 16 inches wider than Lyra 1.0. I'm really glad that I decided to make the square, but let me tell you, man oh man was that last ball nerve wracking. I decided to forgo row 180 due to my frayed nerves and premonitions, and was that ever a good decision. I'm pretty sure we were in single digit territory for remaining yards after that crochet border.

So there you have it. Herbert Niebling's Lyra. I have the heat cranked up in our house right now so that it will dry faster. (In the winter, I tend to keep the house at a warm 55 degrees, which is not conducive to anything drying. ever.) When my seester gets me pictures, I'll post pretty Christmas presents, but as I finished them far from my camera, I have no evidence of their completion. In the mean time, I'm thinking of playing with some planned pooling. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Be nice to secretaries... or really just be nice

It is one of my life mantras that secretaries have all the power, so you should always be extra-super nice to them. Think about it--they control all the office supplies, most of the keys, and all of the memorandums including the tone with which they are sent. A happy secretary is your greatest ally. An angry secretary is a force to be reckoned with.

I've found that this rule also applies to government workers--you know, the sort of people that deal with idiots day in and day out. They don't have the power in the same way secretaries do, but if you are genuinely kind to them, they let you get away with murder. Want tot' get through the TSA with that liquid in your luggage? Ask them how there days is. Say thank you when they hand it back to you, unsearched. (Being young, pretty, and having 2 X chromosomes helps this, but it's not everything.)

Going to the DOL? Have all your paperwork ready and smile pleasantly all the time. Suddenly your bill will be several hundred dollars less than it should be, and the nice lady behind the desk will apologize that it's as high as it is. Fees are all relative to mood. Some of them are unavoidable, but if you piss the staff off, they'll find extra things to charge you for.

Seriously, though, being nice to people will get you everywhere.

I've finished my knitted Christmas presents, and pictures will be posted after the holiday has passed. I am on row 155/180 on Lyra (25 more rows, people. 25.) I'm trying to be diligent about working on it, but it's pretty heavy and rows are running about an hour each. I'm also dreading the end of ball #4, because I'm not entirely sure my math is going to hold up to the real world. And I can't find any stores in the area which carry Navy blue crochet cotton...

I also started a door sealer... thing. It's a tube, which will be stuffed and then shoved against the door to keep the outside just that--outside. It's basically a 3 foot scarf. I'm doing fibonacci stripes (1-1-2-3-5) to keep things interesting. Hopefully I'll have it done by the end of the evening.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

*Fingers in my ears*

I should have been a spy.

Or a psychiatrist.
Or a spy psychiatrist (The 1st 3 letters of psychiatrist are an anagram for spy. Coincidence? Not anymore.)

I don't know how I manage it--if I just have a very trusting face, or if I'm a good listener, or if I'm just super nonthreatening, or what, but people bare there souls to me. Often. Deeply. For reasons which I do not clearly understand.

I don't mind being a confidant for my dear friends--not in the slightest. If they need a listening ear, I'm always willing to lend it.

But I can think of multiple instances in the past few years where perfect strangers have broken down and bawled to me. A woman on an airplane spent 2 hours explaining why she hated her career, how her boss was corrupt (as in take to court corrupt) and how she really just wanted to be a wedding florist. A man I hardly knew recounted his sexual encounters, clearly seeking advice of some sort. (that one was weird. Apparently you can have debilitating shame and still maintain bragging rights.)

And those are the strangers--I sort of understand that. It's like no strings attached therapy where you can vent to someone who can do nothing to make things worse. It's cathartic.

However, acquaintances have a tendency to do the exact same thing. People who are concerned with social appearances, people floating around my immediate circle,who have no way of knowing just how gossipy I am, do the same thing. I can, again, recall more than one occasion where people on both sides of an argument have independently pull me aside to talk things out. Awkward. I've had people pull me aside just so they could talk out major life tragedies (I didn't even know you had a sister... this is awkward...)

And now people who are in positions of authority over me are taking 3 hour chunks out of my day to tell me their woes. Often.

I just want to work. How do you tell people in charge of the next two years of your life that you really don't want to know anything else about their personal life... ever... please... for the love of everything good and holy in this world...

I should have been a spy.