Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Her Done Been Topped

The Birfday Fairy is seriously out of her league. She has been found wanting... and me I have been found with lovely flowers thanks to a lovely person, older with wrinkles from my patented scrunchie face, a glass of champagne (thanks to a coworker) and smiling. Let the New Year begin!

Monday, June 20, 2005

I'm OK, You're OK, We Are All OK

Except for those French Bureaucratic Asshats. Them they are NOT OK... But dialing down the crazy over here, yes I am taking it down a notch. I will survive (even though my life seems to be a musical about what all is going wrong right now :) No more worries, no more bitching or at least not for today. Boss is a definite keeper. He left me alone for most of the afternoon and then made me laugh by sticking his head in my office at the end of the day saying “umm is it safe for me to come in.” Doesn’t sound funny when typing it, but to have a BIG TALL Lebanese man act like he is truly frightened of you, well it made me giggle. We will talk and start the “deal with this” segment of life later this week when I am not so raw or under pressure packed deadlines. Then he and other coworkers made sure that when out for drinks I had Kir Royales not plain Kirs as normal for my apéro, and then paid for them. And at dinner they made sure every time I took a sip of my wine that the glass got refilled. Needless to say I got enough alcohol in me to loosen even my “wound tighter than a 36 hour clock” ass up a bit. Then we all went dancing Friday night so that I could to forget the fucking French jackholes and their god damn hoops of fire. (yes I know calling them names does not win me karma kitty points but I am still raw) To add to mission dial downward, the weekend was gorgeous. I managed to get most of my errands done, and then got cheesy bread. Cheese can cure just about everything- had your leg amputated, here have some camembert; kidney stopped functioning, have a wheel of gouda. Feeling like shit thanks to French préfecture twats- have a hunk of parmegianno regianno to go with that pasta and some cheesy bread and you will feel better. My favorite scruffy Italian was in town and we hung out, had Italian night (where in english was not spoken and my brain just about imploded on itself again) and walked the Festival of Lights night, that helped immensely. Sunday I did nothing but lay in bed and re-read Pride and Prejudice. I spent too much time on my feet in heels therefore I laid down with the sun shining it put my feet up and pointed the fan straight at me. Call it soul healing for the battered and bruised. And for the record- THANK YOU for all the nice comments and good wishes. Even better last night I finally picked up the knitting again. I don’t know if I was too stressed or what but I didn’t want to touch anything. It was very odd- but last night there was a break through I picked up my trekking XXL sock. I turned the heel and picked up the gusset. And now I can start looking for patterns and yarns to make my Sockapalooza pal’s socks! I think I need to get some of the past couple of IK issues sock patterns (go with the flow and retro rib come to mind) cause I have been loving them!

Friday, June 17, 2005

Where is my Hammer?

Oh the joys! You know I am ready to nail my own damn ass to the cross of French bureaucracy. To say this morning didn’t go well, that is like saying that the Titanic was a minor boating mishap. My morning went as follows: Wake up at God o’clock. Say FUCK cause at that hour of the morning I have Tourettes Syndrome. Lay there thinking to self that my two most hated words in the French language are carte de séjour ("de" is an ok word in my book though). Frump about as crappy phone and phones crap no power battery mean there are no morning texts to wake me up with a smile. (dippy the shit stick here left the charger at work) Say FUCK again, you know the Tourettes kicking in. Get out of bed and get ready, note the memo- Tink should not dress herself in the mornings… If she should ever think that she can, you are all implored to remind her that she cannot. Put the crown of thorns on… check! Look through things to see if you have everything (and I MEAN EVERYTHING) Drink your last bit of milk and … Check papers again. Step out door to be on the way to hell (or prefecture whatever you want to call it) Go back in and check everything again. Take métro to prefecture am there an hour early. Go me. Say HOLY FUCK out loud, line is already AROUND the building. Go look at buildings hours. Doors open at 9am Look at convocation… my appointment is at 8:45am WTF??? Wait in line and start reading Pride and Prejudice (you’d fuck up the socks at this hour in the morning) Get lost in clusterfuck of a préfecture from hell. Say FUCK. Cause if it isn't the being lost it is the Tourettes. Find office and give them your papers And the sit and wait for your turn to be called out. Watch people before you be dealt with. Watch people after you be dealt with. Mutter FUCK and this is not right, repeatedly. Wait two full hours before asking the lady who took my papers if this was normal. Call lady a bitch under your breath after she snaps at you for no good reason. Sit back down and have other people waiting notice that they are going ahead of me and lady sitting next to me shout how it is bullshit. I should start screaming she says… Am PISSED as I have now just missed my waxing appointment that is in dire need! FUCK!!! That sucks. Hear one of the lady’s say to the others they have now worked up to taking the 9:40 appointments. Again my appointment was at 8: 45… It is in fact 11:50 WHAT THE FUCK!!! FUCK THAT. Go to a nicer looking lady who is doing nothing… ask her if this is normal. Get bureaucratic confirmation that I am not normal (LIKE I needed THAT) She tells me that my papers I handed the reception lady are now lost. Hole in head, where are you??? I NEEEED YOOOOOUUU!!!!! Nice lady says she will help me after she deals with her next person. Next person takes and hour to deal with... FUCK Listen, do you hear that... my stomach is growling loud enough for the third world tapestry lady sitting next to me to think she should put her hand on my stomach and her other hand to her mouth. Sign language it makes the world go round. Great I am hungry and it is almost lunch time. FUCK I am going to be late getting into work… Nice lady calls me over. She looks at my contract, looks at my papers, looks at my visa… Then she says no you don’t have the right to a carte de séjour. We go back and forth a bit about this and my visa (a student one but one that looks like a tourist one and the fact that working for an international organisation does in fact give me this right) She says she can't do anything but give me another appointment. Oh yeah and the person who told me I couldn’t leave the country until this meeting was wrong. But now… Now I can't leave the country. She gives me an appointment at the end of August (after the current (but most likely will be extended) contract is over) FUCK. Is this shit supposed to be entertaining. I mean I am laughing but is it funny?? NO. Those are not tears of laughter backing up my eye ducts. Note this means I pay my sécu taxes but cannot access the system. DUDE I need to go to the doctor, I need to do my annual checks, I need to get my teeth filled with white plastic! Theoretically I am to be covered retroactively. My trust in things like this though is built on quicksand. I break the number one rule in France, I ask for the boss’s name. I walk out of Bureau Six shaky and eyes welling up cause I do NOT know if I can keep doing this. Is someone trying to send me a signal?? Take métro to office and am pressed up like a sardine next to a person even I want a space bubble from. Go to get money out of the ATM, ATM rejects card. I KNOW there is money in there, lots actually I have to make a nataional debt payment on Monday, but today there is money in there. Almost cry again and chide self for being stupid and crying over rejection from an ATM... Get a sandwich finally as métro ride involved dizziness from no food and long ass fuck off wait. Sit in office and tell people not to talk to me and not to pay any attention to me. Think to self OK this sucks but you can get through today without crying in the office by looking forward to dinner at your favorite restaurant tonight for coworkers going away. Open email, they changed the restaurant. FUUUUUUUCCCK, I don’t want to go to crappy Italian and I am already committed. Stupid shits who want to go to chi-chi places and cant get up off their asses to go out somewhere besides the every time place. FUUUUUUUCCCK Y’all (and I hate that word for the record) I am bruised and battered. We arent talking pink, we are talking all kinds of shades of purple to blue to black. Try to find way to get spirits up so that 1. New boy doesn’t think I am more insane than I have already given cause to believe and 2. So that friend visiting this weekend doesn’t think I am more insane than he already knows me to be. Again… with the bruised and battered- THAT is me. Want to crawl up under my desk in the fetal position with a bottle of vodka, cause really I want to be here and am starting to wonder if this isn’t something trying to tell me that I am not meant to be here. That thought tramples out a little corner of my soul every time it appears… my soul is not ever inflatible. Oh yeah and I get older in 2 weeks and my birthday gift, it is not a trip like I hoped (though I haev a very nice visitor coming in next week that kind of makes up for that), not an IPod Shuffle like I thought, nope it is fumigation. Birfday Fairy didn't read the memo that she need not sprinkle dust on me this year. Dumb Bitch, hope she rots in hell. Yeah so ummm if you were looking for rainbows and puppies- they don’t live here. Sorry, will try to post something more positive on Monday.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Oh Father I Have Sinned

It has been a while since I last blogged any knitting content of substance…I know I have said it before but it really is true. Life is taking me over like a 4 plow tractor. And in all honesty I don’t think I have knit a stitch in a week… I have been flirting with a new boy, I have been dealing with defumigating (which is seemingly working but let’s give it a bit longer before we all start rejoicing, cause I am still not so sure on it and dont need to jinx it), I have been working like a dog, I have been trying to catch up on sleep which my body is thoroughly against (me I am against it waking me up at 4 fucking am!), I am prepping for the Visit Tink SPREE 2005 (serious I have 6 visitors over the next 3 weeks…) I have in short had my world spinning around me saying WHHEEEEE. It has been a balanced WHHEEEEE but still ass over teakettle I go. I mean I didn’t even know about the international knit in public day (and I was on a much needed shoe hunt and Japanese food trip, therefore I was a loser on that front). I also need to finish up and post about the Paris visitors, well before I have another special one!! PROMISE I will get that email up! So there is my grand apology, I am going to try and set those sleeves on Martha and then I’ll see what sings to me next- worst case I have a sock I can work on :) And I am in Sockapalooza 2!! Many thanks in advance for your tolerance. I'll do my best to entertain again at one point, when I have eaten something besides a fig Newton lunch.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

It’s like they said…

Once I learn something I am possessed by it. I learned at the feet of the Goddess herself with the observance of the great Nascar Gods. People I now know how to mattress stitch! And I will forever thank Bonne Marie (and wish I had asked about setting in sleeves- good thing I have another resource here in town to bribe :) I am master of my seaming and I couldn’t be happier since I don’t see my seam! And if you do I don’t want to hear about it! (You kind of can but that is because I screwed up on the pattern not the seam!) And that means I have a fully seamed Martha (and am even seaming Pretty Wrappy Top and Fern, but mohair seaming when it is warm goes on the back burner). Now to learn how to set the sleeves cause I really do want to wear Martha here soon. And since I am trying to keep money slightly tighter to my pocketbook or more appropriately that national debt that graduate school incurred, and Summer is SUPPOSED to make an appearance for longer than 3 days; I thought hey self let’s try one of those croppy top things popping up all over. That Boobholder pattern looks perfect… Oh. Wait. Who the fuck wears wool that is 3.25 stitches per inch in summer?? Hmmm… Probably that same lady who assaulted my eyes on the métro free balling without a license in a low cut halter tank top with mid bicep gauntlets in BRIGHT ASS pink. But for the record… 1-2-3 Not Me! Never fear though I am brave and spineless, I wouldn’t let something like yarn gauge dissuade me when there is wine. So I sat down with the pattern and … started to search for my bottle of wine immediately (that is right forget the glass I want the bottle). It is somewhat vague on certain things and I could not make heads or tails of it. Even worse since I had to have a calculator out to try and change numbers, yeah brain about to self implode. But I am no quitter, no! I am an Olympic Gold Medalist in the Stud Game. I continue on and preservere against all odds and French bureaucrats. But I have to say top down patterns just do not look right on paper, not.at.all. But I had a ball of Phildar Aviso to try and off I went. After you get started and blindly follow, making up other bits on your own; you start to see how it works and you no longer totally freak. Except for ripping it all out because you didn’t change numbers and this thing is only going to fit a Cabbage Patch Kid. So I got myself committed and started over. That meant I needed to go buy yarn. I also decided if I was going to do one I was going to do the other so to the Bon Marché I went. I bought me a Chibi, it’s not pink but it will have to do for now. I also got myself some small clover stitch holders, I found the color I would love to make a croppy top in with Rowan Handknit Cotton to try out and of course more Aviso. Then there was a makeup make over courtesy of the International Artistic Director for Stila who grabbed me as I walked by, followed by shopping on the rue Cherche du Midi with a stop at my favorite boulanger- Poilane for bread to go with my cheese at home. And walking I home through the Luxembourg Jardins I go… Once home I clean up and get down to business- watching a movie and knitting this thing. Oh dear god… it looks like a tiny and quick knit non? Even at a HUGE feeling 4 stitches per inch I see my life passing before my eyes and it is NOT growing… But I still in my delusional state think I can somehow manage to finish in time to wear on Monday when if the weather keeps up it will be cold and not really wearable. I am clearly high on something! Something that really ought to make my fingers stop hurting, but it doesn’t. Emma see these? They are beee-ouu-ti-ful and I am using them. I can’t make that turtleneck shrug in Merlot Cork yet, which with the weather we have been having I would put to good use, but I can use the stitch holders. And this time using them doesn’t make me batty. Between them and my Denise needles (oh thank Bloody Dog for those Denise needles- the Aviso does NOT like to slide round the loop and is slightly splitty but I can switch loops and insert a really long one to try it on! If it weren’t for Denise needles I might have given up a long time ago.) I am getting somewhere but not where enough fast enough for my liking. Thank god for the French Open Finals and the Matrix otherwise I would have totally given up. But persist I did and what do you know if I didn’t finish it! After I finished I saw things I might want to do differently. But it would involve LOTS of ripping out and I wasn’t up for that. So hey it isn’t perfect, I will live it was cheap since I used Phildar. I decided I like Aviso (especially as a substitute for Rowan’s All Seasons Cotton), and we will see how it holds up with this trial. If it holds well I will use it again (though I wish they did better on colors!). Additionally there are modifications if I make it again. First I might want finer gauge; I know I just bitched and groaned about how I thought it took forever with a thicker yarn but finer might look a bit more polished and sophisticated for work… Turns out even though I tried it on I couldn’t tell the sleeves deal and I think I should have started the body rounds one or two rows earlier. Also I think rather than do decrease rounds on the sleeves (which I brought out the DPN’s for and did in the round) I will decrease when they are part of those rows that NEVER END. I also think I needed to start the V earlier. And if I decided to do the button I would need to remember that, as the pattern says nothing about button or buttonhole except to attach a button. I think I am an intermediate knitter but I am also a ditzy intermediate knitter. And if I get brave I may try to incorporate a different neckline. For all its annoyances this experience taught me lots. And at 14 euros I think it was worth it. I learned top down construction with the raglan increases, which forced me to learn the right way to do a strand/M1 increase (instead of a pinhole increase). And I actually like this design style. Well except for the casting off bit, cause it is very obvious and I need to test out other ways to find one that works better and lies flat. It gave me ideas for my own croppy wrappy top that I have been playing around with design-wise. So a quick rundown on the specs for an FO!!! Dressy or Casual Pattern: Mini Sweater / Boobholder by Glampyre Yarn: Phildar Aviso in Black (4 balls/about 300yds) Gauge: 16 stitches x 28 rows (and you do have to take that bitch row gauge into account here or you are going to be off) Modifications: Change in gauge. Sleeves done in round. Started June 3, 2005 Finished June 6, 2005

Friday, June 03, 2005

How brilliant am I???

Nevermind. Don’t answer that. Yes you in the back, I said shut it or I throw the frying pan to hit you in between the eyes. I thought I was going to have this BRILLIANT post about how I met and absolutely fell in love with Jackie and Bonne Marie this past week/weekend and had a lovely time with all at the KIP and at dinner with Kate. How Bonne Marie cleared things up for me and said my knitting was lovely. I had a pictorial all ready to go with some pretty damn impressive shit if I do say so myself. It was glorious news. I even thought about writing about all the crazy things happening here in France. But no that news report has been interrupted by the breaking news of OHHHHH FUCK! That brilliant reporting will have to wait till tomorrow. So the Harlot had a household go at Ikea; me I have nothing against Sweden (despite their transport gods, actually it is to the contrary of that as a friend just made a brilliant set up with someone in Sweden) but the French it is another story. Let me fucking tell you. I live in an old building, not Miami built in 1950 old, but OLD. Yes I pay to live in a building that Napoleon’s Josephine lived in old. Poutres (i.e. ceiling beams) that look like the termites have had a serious go at them, but in Paris poutres are a serious deal both price and marketing wise, old. Old buildings have their character, quirks and pains in the ass. And in the endless fucking rigamarole with these fucking Yahoo’s; the people that are the “syndicat” for the building fucked up on the insect care for this year. As you might guess in an old building with restaurants on ground floor this is a wee bit of an issue. So of course you know that my flat has been invaded and infiltrated by a not so fucking nice bug. A very not so fucking nice bug that is FUCKALL to get rid of; though my landlord is not so sure about the bug being as nasty as I said. Everything I read in French is blaisé so he says what is so bad… Are you fucking kidding me?? In English it says burn the fucking building down. And given what I know, I agree with the English version. Yeah can’t be no ordinary run of the mill coackroach or fleas for Tink… So I screamed and flailed to my landlord to the point that I at least got the futon, where I think they shifted from the wall and infested thus “piquing” me- forcing me to sleep on the floor (trust me I am not pleasant in the morning, after sleeping on concrete I am even less so), replaced. That was 2-3 weeks ago. It looked good, I thought hey maybe they aren’t in residence in the carpet etc. They are gone, WHEW. Crisis averted, enjoy summer. Hold on. NOT.SO.FAST. Yeah let’s shoot that dream down with a b-b gun for Chrismas. I am paranoid and with good reason as today I am bitten again and see another bug; my first thought was FUUUUUUUCCCCCCKKKK NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. The second one was fuck Buddhism for the next minute I am KILLING this fucker, and I will take pleasure in that act. Then we proceeded to think about the possibilities of burning the fuckers. Insert visions of bug families bloody burning in the dryer’s inferno. Launch brilliant multi-tasking idea. Note to self NEVER try multi-tasking EVER again; it leads to you making fuck ups so that you look like an ass and cost you dearly. I had to do laundry so I stripped off the futon cover and shoved it in a dryer for an hour, shifting it around so that all parts would get enough heat to kill all the babies. Yup Chez Tink we want to kill babies, baby bugs that is. UMMMM yeah and that would be when the grand fuck up happened my friends. It turns out futon cover must be made of some French version of shrinky-dink plastic techno fabric. Can you guess where this is going??? Come now I know you are all smart people guess… Don’t worry I’ll wait for you to come to the conclusion. . . Yes my friends I have irreversibly shrunk the crap cover to this new futon. Repeat after me- FUCKTASTIC. I tried ripping some of the internal bits to make it stretch more. Nope that does not work, and not only did it shrink but it is bunched all the fuck up. Big clumps of plASStick bunching together to the point that the fucking fabric does not lay flat clumped up. Do you notice the LIBERAL use of the work FUCK. That is because of this fucking syndicat not spraying for bugs; and not doing so since I proved to my landlord that it was in fucking fact the not so fucking nice bug I told him it was; the one that has fucking crawled up my ass and made me fucking dance monkey dance; now I am going to have to call my landlord on this AGAIN and replace this fucking crap futon cover. Don’t you know my Irish genetics will kick in and it will cost an OBNOXIOUS sum to replace too... There goes the yarn and birthday pressie money, but consolation, I am still in France and ummmm... oh yeah the exchange rate is going down in response to EU Constitutional votes. So in short there is only one word for today. FUCK!

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Do Me a Favor

And go congratulate Kate. At the top of your lungs- CONGRATULATIONS KATE!!!! I have been itching to do so publically since she burst and told me last week that she made the COVER (on the front people!!) with her IK debut. Thanks to Jessica you can see it in the preview here. It is a lovely sweater, in alpaca (you know that is one of the ways to my heart) and she deserves all the kudos you can send. Two other posts in the working (and now that I remembered my USB key today there will be the whine and wine post later on, but this one it stays at the top :)