March 30, 2005

SQUEEEEE !!!!!!!!!!

Yup I am red handed. I haven’t blogged in a while. Life has definitely caught up with me, and now I am going to catch you up! Hold on for a random ride through the life Tink leads.

So when I got back from the joy-ride round the death wheel through the tenth ring of Consular Hell, I had postal notices to pick things up. Now I have to admit La Poste is my nemesis. I am horrible about getting there, even when I know that goodies are waiting! And with the whole starting work, jet lag, cold, rainy weather and being on a team that says we are going out at 7pm for TGIF drinks and not getting home till 3am did not help matters any (though DAMN am I on the right team, with the RIGHT boss!).

But I finally got my act together, and boy was I glad! First I ripped open Emma’s package (it was in an envelope that my hands could tear apart). Oh the joys!! I had a lovely card from Miss Emma & Co. herself that included a Rowan kit with the PERFECT Merlot shade of Cork. I have never tried Cork! And now I have enough to either make a mini poncho (random tangent- why is it when I think poncho my brain immediately thinks of Monchichi’s??) or I was thinking if I got the Scarf Style book maybe that shrug turtleneck deal… hmmm the thoughts. Even cooler though was that Emma included me some stitch markers. I had seen these all around and thought hey those are cool! But I never had any, and now I do. Emma love, I LURVE them and especially you :)

After that I had to break out the knife. See when I talked about Bibles (I’ll get there, I’ll get there, this is a L-O-N-G post people bear with me) Susie emailed saying “Hey I have this book, it’s not on your bible list but I’d love to send it your way!” And in my astonishment at people who read (really people READ me?? they don't click and move on??) and then go one step further and OFFER to send me things I was blown away and had the cognizance to say yes.

So this is the part where my voice went decibles above that which only dogs can hear! Cause I was expecting only a book and there was this bigger box. I was all “Huh??” But that didn’t stop my inner three year old from whipping out a knife and slicing into that box (ummm yeah I was soooo the munchkin who tore her way through presents and was often WAY more interested in the packaging than the toys for the first 30 minutes of present time). That box made me squee!

In there was a book, a lovely book that told me some finishing things (and says I knit the French continental way… hahaha) but there was more! To my joy I found a package of sock yarn that managed to stow-away in the box without a passport. It is this lovely springy pinky set of variegated colors and I am searching for a sock pattern. But really it Suzie has topped that cake with something better than a cherry. See she read my whole blog, people I don’t know what to say to that. Seriously she read it and she mined for info, tailoring her gift. She sent me GUSHERS!!!! In the best and right flavor! Ok that is where I went overboard. I HAVE GUSHERS and sock yarn!! Life is beautiful, now if only spring would get its act together so I can wear my new skirt!

Then things got better! How I know not, but they did. Cause see I made it back in time for the TBM (happens twice a year at Le Bon Marché and is their way of doing a sale without calling it a sale) and I got PAID (yes and in EUROS too- utterly beside myself, beside self!). So I promptly picked my ass up and I bought yarn. Serious, I did it. I haven’t done that in at least 6 months and I DID IT.

I was a bit in overwhelm once there. The Rowan discounts are always good during the TBM, and they aren’t clearance so it is free and fair choice- and if they don’t have it you can pay at that price and get the yarn once its in. And this time I got enough yarn to make Martha (yes I know it says Buzz but that is what I am making! the Cardigan, tell Rowan to get their act together not me) from the latest Rowan catalogue. I got some Phildar Aviso to check out what I think of that yarn- I have been meaning to forever.

And then I broke the bank and let impulse carry me away. In my defense I was hallucinating on the fact that my bank account had money in it and I ate something other than couscous for dinner. And it was 20% off… so I got me some Kid Silk Haze. I am thinking of no lace but simple scarf, maybe even a Clapotis inspired do. I don’t know.. I do know that I LOVE my colors . And now I am about to put my order through the Germans for more sock yarn (See Leya it is coming your way) and Rebecca patterns! And serious boys and girls it looks like I have a stash. Or at least what I call a stash :)

And onwards to the discussion about Knitting Bibles… so I have gotten a fair amount of feedback on that post. I will be following it up here soon with a dedicated post. I have to say I had the chance while in SF to look at some of the options listed and not listed. I didn’t get to see the Buss or Vogue book but I liked both the Montose and Wiseman options. I think for myself to be comprehensive and fiscally responsible I am going to start with the Montose book. It is more technical and less user friendly on that initial reader perspective. But I don’t intimidate easily by books and hopefully it will be worth it. More in a later post though cause I have more to roll through!

Now to those IT details that I have heard about. La made the lovely point that Blogspot is sucking the royalty out of life right now. And I kind of have to agree. That and I am still hallucinating from having a paycheck. People I got paid!! Additionally once I can figure out how to work a Mac (serious this is SO not intuitive to me. AT. ALL.), and can get me a proper power adapter/charger I have a computer again. And that means that I will be able to download and take more pictures (but not of me doing tequila shots with my work collegues… that is for other stories and hiding when people go round with the camera phones). And it also means that I am going to play around with design and maybe move this blog out into the big world on its own. You know following the lead of the other big bad girls… So look back and listen clearly for updates.

What more?? Well there are the daily entertainments of working in an international organisation– like having my Polish coworker invite me out to coffee and then when I teased him about a fellow co-worker he turns to me and dead pans, Never trust a Mexican :) Without any PC tones. I entertain easily, and I can’t explain it.

There are the “what the hells” of town- like seriously who told all the old ladies that Bee-hives alla the 70s are back in style?? There are the holidays (come on the French have the best we are on acid explanation for easter around- the BELLS from the Vatican bring the Eggs… Yeah I’ll stick with Eddie Izzard's explanation). But really I am marinating in the dullness of my life. I am knitting a lacy Koigu sock, making it up as a I go (and of course not taking notes and TERRORIZED by the thought that I might run out of yarn…) and have since become addicted to that Oxygen drug.

I hope everyone had a lovely Easter. May you all have been Peep-ified (I was peeped early while in SF) and have chocolate bunnies multiplying in the home.

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March 21, 2005

Hi, I Am Over Here...

Forget what my brain looks like on crack, this is what my ass looks like dragging a doobie of jetlag with a cold while trying to start a job…

I am back in Paris, which seems surreal as I was here a while ago in Brussels and San Francisco in between. My brain says it is way past Christmas, so it refuses to wrap these kinds of concepts. It is no surprise either, that my ass draggeth badly! After one 24 hour travel leg (involving a 30 degree change) followed by 4 days with 3 hours sleep a day, my jacket being “left” in the airport shuttle, plus another 22 hour travel leg back then straight off the plane to catch the train, dropping off luggage and into the office… all with a stuffed up nose, sinus pressurized headache, hacking cough, superpower lugie manufacturing and launching capabilities and sore throat- it makes sense.

First and foremost, I want to say thanks to everyone who supported me. Whether it was listening to me rant like an utter lunatic, fielding a paranoid call, sending a nice thought, leaving a comment, making me smile and laugh or telling me I could face this crap. You are all wonderful.

The kindness extended by knit bloggers (and readers of knit blogs) in the community was amazing. Terry in SF and Miss Eggplant emailed me info on SF yarn stores. Terry upped the ante, being so kind as to get me a gift certificate to Imaginknit! At this point I had entered the tenth ring of Consular Hell. I was switching from a weekend trip to a “you will not be home for 11 more days trip” trip, in the blink of an eye.

This was where the blessings of this trip began. I was going to stay with friends, the weather was GORGEOUS, and it is San Francisco. Then the very kind, but blogless, Lizabeth decided to take pity on me. Normally I am not one to take or give pity, but when it comes in the form of Koigu… I say ok! Susie sent me a book. And to top it all off the divine Emma herself sent me a RAOK that arrived while I was gone.

I put out the SOS in Brussels. I scrambled to find a “reasonably priced” ticket- 4 days before departure… I scrambled to make paperwork/justifications appear where they were not before. Then these Consular fuckers go and think they are thespians- they put on a performance of Jekyll and Hyde. Tink is NOT impressed and she sure as fuck is NOT entertained, in fact she is extending an ultimatum. You son of a bitches want to play Jekyll and Hyde, Tink is going to let loose the Pandora’s box of the many and ugly faces of Sybil.

So in a bit of a daze and not letting myself think about things I flew out, with quaking hands. I landed (about 2 steps away from deaths door, loosing my voice and having told off more than one rude person in Newark). I did the jet lag limbo and a few hours later I put those applications together. I walked through China Town to the Consulate. I talked to the nice man, he said I had the complete application and sent me to sit in a chair.

The chair of hyperventilation! You want me to wait MORE… I thought I had avoided the great white bullet. Shit, the lady goes to talk to him and they are pointing at the screen. Why does she have to do that?? Cause the experience would not be complete without heart palpitations Tink!

I know most people say hey- if there is anyone I want to throw into the fire who can think quick on her feet and pull all the shit together managing to come out without 3rd degree burns, it is you Tink. Well Tink would like to tell you all that while she has decided she will take that as a compliment, she’d prefer it if we left that whole FIRE bit out of the equation for the next say… 70 years. Tink has prematurely aged herself 30 years over the past 3 weeks. She may have found her first gray hair. And really she wants it abundantly clear, in case anyone gets confused, that she wants NO MORE FIRE AT ALL, just dull and boring dirt.

Then the visa lady calls me up and says I have some questions for you. Oh I am prepared with the truth and fibs to anything you could ask… Bien sur, just please don’t judge me compared to that guy before me. You know the one who writes books on "French History," him who shouted at you in English when you answered his question about what a national police report is - telling him that he needed to get an FBI criminal clearance. Yes that one, the one that pointed out in haut voix that the FBI is not a national police, it is the F-B-I. Thank you for that illuminating elucidation. In case you did not know he is the next Einstein. I don’t want to live up to that standard. And then after a slight clarification of why I have played the visa merry go round, she says the magic words- Ok I am going to issue your visa. It was all I could do to restrain myself from snatching it and RUNNING. Instead I quite literally skipped out the office.

POOF- there went the whole world up and off my shoulders. Atlas, I chuck thy globe. I no longer am the star of the one ring circus with that monkey on my back. I HAVE MY VISA. I walked around the corner and stormed the Banana Republic. I tried things on and danced in the fitting room. I looked at knitting books. I had a BAGEL with lox spread. I headed back to my friends flat. Wheeee there is a package of Koigu for me waiting there from Lizabeth! I am so blessed at this point, that I loose my voice during dinner that night and I forego Belgian beer for this… I think I started resenting my cold at that point.

I slept little and went out to brunch the next morning and wandered around town. Walking LOTS. I went to a bar in Berkeley with my other local friend and her friends. I had a cider, which I probably shouldn’t have, and I was not good company. I had no voice therefore in an Irish Pub at 11pm you couldn’t hear me.

I had been awake since 1 am and at 11:30 some guy came up me startled the hell out of my just head nodding self to pull an entertaining pick line on me. “Hey do you work at the Oakland Library?” Sorry no I don’t. “Well you look just like someone who does, where do you work?” I don’t live here. “What?” I don’t live here. I turn to my friend and say it is time to take the cranky crazy girl who is pulling the Bezerkeley freaks home.

Unfortunately due to time and other things I only got a few second scan through Artfibers. I didn’t head home with anything but I did decide I really like that Kyoto yarn! On Sunday I hit the Imagiknit, where I had a gift certificate! I saw all sorts of yarns, I was in yarn overwhelm. Ones I had and others I hadn’t heard of. I wish I had more money, or had a credit card (I know I am a freak for not having one). I wasn’t sure if I would have enough in my US accounts to get me back and I only have funds in a French bank- which it seems I need to use a cat o’ nine tails to whip into submission so that they will finally replace my card.

So there was some shopping but not lots. I got Lorna Laces Shepard in Gold Hills. I figure I will start stocking up on socks cause my bet is they are going to be my commuting knitting. But I wrote down colors and yarns I had heard of, touched and liked.

As a whole and all points given, I have to say the trip was a complete success and pretty damn enjoyable. Unfortunately I have to say there is no knitting to show for all those hours of transport or anything else. I felt like shit, I drank copious amounts of water (as astute friends commented "shit the camel pees"), I read a bit, I watched the movies and I slept. I guess since I was relieved from of my stress I took the tension knitting down a notch.

So we are living the wonderful life: I am dollar bankrupt, sucking down vitamin I and C like no one's business, popping little reds sniffers, taking tabs of Echinacea, and topping it off with shots of celebratory cough syrup. But none of that matters. You see, I BEAT French bureaucracy. Again! I have my job, I am staying in Paris, and I am still standing. I gave Life the smack down, and yes Kitten, I threw in a swing at her for you too :)

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March 11, 2005

1001 Words



Nuff said! I am off for the weekend. I will detail more once back in Paris and there are three people that have been beyond gracious and shared blessings with me.

But really, I have a BAGEL with lox spread that is calling my name. A sunny 70 degree afternoon (dude it was 20 degrees where I was yesterday) and one big ass pair of bottles of tequila and vodka that are begging to be poured down the hatch.


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March 07, 2005

Fail to Plan...Plan to Fail

Tis my motto! So when Plan A failed miserably; I had my depressive moment of despair, my tears of frustration and I unhappily shifted my arse to crisis-bossing Plan B round. It was always there, but I wanted to live in De Nile about it, as it is NOT my preferred choice (unlike a vacation to Egypt).

Plan B shall make my life physical hell for the next two weeks, but it should resolve things. It will also have me quite silent as well. Why?? Cause I will be making an emergency visa run to San Francisco! An unplanned emergency visa run (well "planned," but not how it is happening), could life go further South of the Border?? I think not.

Yes people I am flying a total of 36 hours with effectively less than a 4 day turn around. And then getting off a plane onto a train and then straight into a desk to face the week. Important bits though: I will have a visa (otherwise I will be going Consulate- kind of like Postal only more vitriolic and ballistic- and those screams eminating from that direction will be me), and I will have a job. I will be a bit strapped for that first month but I will have a "stable(r)" future. One with yarn in it and on the "right" side of the pond.

So I got a bit happier when that was all confirmed; see- uncertainty is not my bleeding ulcer's friend. But more so because I have two friends there friends I want to see! And also a place to stay for free. Save every penny I can and I just might be able to come back with one ball of yarn! And there are supposed to be some schmansy yarn stores around! Yeah even Black Molly over here can see the green tinge of a "silver" lined cloud...

So should I have a following in SF area, anyone who wants to meet up I am game. I will be in town THIS WEEK, basically Thursday through Sunday. Thursday and Friday are off limits until the Visa is obtained, which with all good karma should be done by Thursday afternoon. I might even tempt the Consular Gods wrath and put an appearance in at the Spanish Consulate (from Hell) about that whole citizenship deal that I am legally entitled to. I will try to hit the trifecta (Banana Republic, Gap and Ann Taylor) to see if there is anything round those parts that is cheap for work this spring (last year's spring stuff is either in Italy and/or does not fit as I lost weight) and can be shoved on their store card. The same for the mothership- Nordstroms. I will head to a grocery store to stock up on the silly things that are outrageous here, and maybe a Whole Foods- to reminisce. I MUST find a bagel place where I can get salmon cream cheese for a FREAKING BAGEL!!!! I might get a super cuts hair trim- cause in Wendy style the hair has not been cut since the first week of July 2004. And well I'd like to hit a yarn store to touch even if I can't buy- particularly one with Koigu, so I can see colors! And I might do some touristy things too. Yeah lots of stuff, not lots of time... I am sure something will give or go Speedy Gonzales- but for now those are on the list.

So feel free to leave a comment or email me or not, I am guaranteed to check mail Wednesday morning (Brussels time) before I fly out. After that probably Thursday once the visa is resolved (see the power of positive thinking :).

Anyways I have to go get back to that crisis planning. But have a good week and think Visa and No Jet lag prayers for me!

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