Monday, March 23, 2015

Not-so-great health news, and a nice surprise

I had a doctor's appointment on Friday that I didn't think was going to be a big deal -- I really only made the appointment to ask her about possible solutions for the week of misery I have every month, if you know what I mean (and I suspect you do...*). So I was surprised when the nurse whipped out needles and vials and prepared to draw loads of blood! A few needle pokes in my arms (right arm decided it didn't want to play nicely, so she had to switch to the left, which bled quite enthusiastically, and now I have big yellow bruises on each arm) and a finger stick later, I finally got to chat with my doctor and... yeah, the instant blood test thing they do shows I'm diabetic. Not terribly severe -- an a1c level of 6.5 is the cutoff, and mine was 6.6. Alas. But not a big surprise, it runs in my family and all. So, I'm on medication, and working on eating less crap and getting more exercise. (Which will be easier once the goddamn snow melts. This winter was hellish, just walking to work was an ordeal, so any exercise outdoors wasn't gonna happen. I wish we had room for an exercise bike or something, but our apartment is tiny.)

I was worried about the new medication initially, because it was making me feel really sick to my stomach. Plus, I have a nasty cold and sore throat, so this weekend was less than fun. It all seems to be subsiding now, though -- I still have a whiskey-and-cigarette rasp to my voice, though.

I did have a nice surprise this morning, though: last night I noticed a giveaway from one of my favorite designers on Ravelry, one of those "leave a comment to enter" things, so I posted a quick comment and then promptly forgot all about it... until I got a message telling me I won! I'll be getting the pattern and yarn to make this lovely shawl. I chose a nice purple colorway for the yarn. I never win anything! Such a nice surprise.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Yarn Crawl!

So, this happened today:

This has been Boston's snowiest winter. 108.6 inches. ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHT POINT SIX INCHES. And it's snowing right now! I like winter, and I don't really mind snow, but for crying out loud, enough already!!

I did venture out into the rain/snow mix today, though, since C. and another friend and I went out to hit some shops on the North Shore Yarn Crawl! First stop was Seed Stitch in Salem, where there was a lovely table full of yarns by Dirty Water Dyeworks. I was sorely tempted by a skein of merino/yak/silk in a deep, intense purple, but it was more than I wanted to spend at our first stop... gotta pace yourself, you know?

Next up was a new shop in Salem, Circle of Stitches, which wasn't officially part of the Yarn Crawl, but we couldn't pass up a new shop! The shop wasn't open quite yet when we got there, but the owner saw us through the window and let us in early, which was nice. The owner dyes Toil and Trouble yarns, which I've been meaning to try for a while, and as soon as we walked in, a skein of her fingering-weight yarn in the Yeti Love Note colorway called to me:

The nice bright colors are so nice, after all the snow and ick.

Next up was lunch at Woodman's! They're known for their fried clams, but I'm not a big clam fan, so I go for the chicken strips, which are really good. And they have excellent onion rings. After lunch was our last stop, the wonderful Coveted Yarn in Gloucester -- my favorite local-ish shop. I picked up two skeins there -- first, a nice soft squishy skein of MadelineTosh Merino Light, in a colorway called Lepidoptera:

More nice bright color! It just glows in person, so pretty. And after browsing around, I noticed this skein hiding behind a few others:

It's Frabjous Fiber's Mad Hatter yarn, in a gorgeous purple called Phantomwise. The picture doesn't do it justice, it's just beautiful.

We headed for home after that -- the weather was getting nastier, and we'd been to all the shops we really wanted to go to. And a nap was calling to me, so after showing the yarns to Jeff, I crawled into bed with cats on my feet and slept for a bit. The Mollycat has the right idea:

"I'm not getting outta bed until Spring."

Thursday, March 12, 2015

A tale of roommates past...

...because a post on  Go Fug Yourself asked readers to tell their Very Worst Roommate stories, which reminded me of my very worst roommate. This story usually "wins" whenever I have the "bad roommate" discussion with people. I swear on my life, this is all true. I wish I was making it up, but...

I went to Emerson College in Boston, and had two roommates freshman year: A, who was a stoner who really did nothing but lie on her bed and listen to the same Grateful Dead/ Jerry Garcia Band mix tape over and over and over and over (and is the reason I cannot abide that music to this day) and S, who was… well.

On the day she arrived, S. marched into our room and announced that she was a “Jewish American Princess,” and thus got whatever she wanted. No hello, no introduction, just that. Her favorite thing to do was to open the window (we lived on the fourth floor, facing the dorm on the other side of the street), sit on top of her desk, lean out the window, and scream the word “PENIS!!!!” at the top of her lungs, then laugh and laugh. She could, and often did, do this for HOURS. She made it her goal to sleep with one guy for each letter of the alphabet that year, and since I was dating a guy named Andy at the time, she decided he would be letter A. He stopped coming to our room because she would try to stick her hands down his pants, or tell him that if he got bored with me, she was available. She also had no qualms at all about having sex in the room when A. and I were there. Not while we were sleeping, mind you — I mean in the middle of the day. You’d be doing homework, hear suspicious noises, look up, and she and whichever guy she was with would be going at it. Sometimes with the door to our room open, so people in the hallway could see.

The best part, though, was this: (I advise you to skip this part if you have a weak stomach…) She and A. had the bunk beds in our room, while I had the single bed. A. was on the top bunk, S. had the bottom. S. got a steady boyfriend halfway through the year, and decided that, as a show of how deeply in love she was, she was going to KEEP ALL THE CONDOMS THEY USED AND HANG THEM FROM THE TOP BUNK’S SPRINGS. I wish I was kidding. She had one already dangling there when she announced this plan. She changed her mind about leaving them there when A. and I informed her that we would literally set her bed on fire if she did anything that disgusting. (I think she still kept them, though. I suspect they were in her desk drawer. I’m not sure.) 

S. also had a boyfriend back home, who she'd been with all through high school. M. was... oh, he was a very nice guy, but dumber than a bag of hair. He had some sort of heart condition, which meant he came to Boston a lot for medical appointments, and also to visit S. S., of course, treated him like shit -- she was on some sort of remedial program at Emerson, I think because her grades weren't good enough to get her in, but her SAT scores were? Something like that. Anyway, it meant that she never had morning classes, and didn't have classes on Fridays, and had, I think, a lighter course load than normal. Maybe she only had to take two or three classes per year, instead of two per semester? And they were special classes, too -- you could only get them if you were in this program, and they weren't anywhere near as challenging. (This also meant that S. would stay up partying with her one or two friends all night every night, even though she knew I had classes in the morning. I think A. did too, but she almost never actually went to class, so it wasn't really an issue for her. A. dropped out after freshman year to follow the Grateful Dead around... just a year or two before Jerry Garcia died.)

But back to poor M., who would often come to Boston on Fridays, wanting to spend the weekend with S., who would lie and tell him she had classes all day on Fridays. Andy and I would frequently arrive at our dorm on Friday afternoons to find M. forlornly sitting outside on the front steps, waiting for S. to "come back from class." Except she wasn't in class, she was upstairs in our room, probably screaming "PENIS!!!!" out the window, as was her hobby. We didn't want to lie to M., and were also thoroughly sick of S., so we'd sign M. into the building and bring him up to the room. I don't know what bullshit S. told him, but he kept coming around. (She would also make up reasons why he had to leave much earlier than he had intended, so instead of staying for the weekend, he'd end up going back home on Saturday morning or something.) I think the only reason she didn't dump him was because he gave her money every time he visited, and because she wanted someone waiting for her at home.

My freshman year of college was pretty horrible to begin with -- my parents split up right after I left home, and I didn't find out until I came home for Thanksgiving, since that was when my mom could no longer hold off on kicking my dad out of the house. And then Andy dumped me the day we all got back from Christmas break -- like, within an hour of my getting back, he did the "we need to talk" thing. Dude, timing. I was very nearly suicidal that year already, and then you add in S. and the fact that her antics kept me from getting more than a couple of hours of sleep per night... it wasn't pretty. And I'm still holding a grudge against the housing director who wouldn't let me change rooms, even though there was an empty space available in a triple with two of my friends -- their third had moved to an apartment -- because she had "already dealt with too many room changes and didn't want the hassle." My RAs were both appalled, and did the best they could, but alas, being a complete asshole isn't against dorm rules, you know?

S. was a horrible, horrible little troll of a person, and I still sometimes wonder whatever became of her. I stopped seeing her around after freshman, or maybe mid-sophomore year. And that is my sad, true story! Top that, if you can, in the comments!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Oh for crying out loud.

I was making such great progress on the mitts... until I realized I'd made two right-handed ones.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Saturday library shenanigans

A Saturday library shift just wouldn't complete without a patron, when asked politely to take her loud cell phone call out of the Reference Room, losing her shit and declaring the following:

"THEY know all about this and are FINE with it, so you need to walk away." (Gesturing at the Circulation desk staff)

"You don't have ANY IDEA what's going on. This is A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH." (I'd expect an emergency life-and-death call to be less giggly and chatty, but what do I know? Of course I didn't say that, but I did tell her that, if there was an emergency situation going on, anyone on staff would be happy to help in any way we could, and did she need assistance? She ignored that.)

"You WILL be spoken to!!!" (O...kay? I asked her if she'd like me to give her the library director's card. She ignored me.)

"I HOPE YOU FEEL REALLY GOOD ABOUT YOURSELF!!!" (At the moment, I just feel confused...)

"I hope you enjoy LOSING YOUR JOB." (Yeah, good luck with that, lady.)

The patron in question had been sitting at a table with her late-teenage daughter -- the two of them seemed fine, just chatting and laughing together. It looked to me like the daughter was maybe doing homework, and Mom was just flipping through a magazine/ playing with her phone. I had spoken to them once, when the daughter's voice got a little loud while she was talking -- I just asked her to try to keep her voice down a little bit, while smiling, and while the daughter was all "Oops, sorry, okay" Mom was giving me an absolute Death Glare. So I guess it wasn't a huge surprise that, when I had to go back over 45 minutes later to ask her to take the cell phone call out to the lobby (and seriously, people, we have signs posted everywhere, it's a quiet area, and the lobby is ten feet away), she blew up at me. It was pretty bizarre, though.

On her way out, she beelined over to Circulation, and I followed to see what she was going to tell them/ give them a heads-up. Of course, the circ staff had no idea what she was talking about, in spite of her insistence that they were fine with her loud phone call. She got the director's card, demanded my name (which I cheerfully gave her) and then stormed out, leaving us all befuddled.

Clearly, there was an issue going on that didn't have anything to do with me -- obviously if either Mom or daughter had seemed upset in any way, I would have approached them differently -- I'd have asked if they were all right, and if they needed assistance, or if they'd prefer to use a more private area of the library. (We don't have many, but there are a couple.) Apparently the two of them had been in the lobby talking on the phone and maybe arguing a little bit earlier in the day, but still, nothing to indicate a LIFE AND DEATH SITUATION OMG. And really, asking people to quiet down or take a cell phone call out of the quiet area? Is no big deal. I usually just stop on my way past to do whatever, and very quietly and cheerfully ask the patron to try to keep their voice down/ take the call out. I only become Stern Librarian if I have to speak to the same person multiple times.

Of course, all this happened while the other librarian was at lunch, so when she came back, I told her that she'd missed all the fun, and filled her in. While we were talking, another patron who had been using a computer nearby came over and said that she'd overheard the whole thing, and that I'd been nothing but nice, while the angry woman has been completely out of line. And I spent the rest of my shift writing up an email to the director, letting her know what had happened just in case this patron contacts her. Fun!! And I'm working a Sunday shift tomorrow, so I hope the craziness all happened today, and tomorrow will be quiet.

In the meantime, though, I shall continue to knit away on mitts for Jeff:

They're fingerless, and will have a mitten flap that can be folder over to keep his fingers warm, or folded back. (That line of light-colored yarn is marking the spot where I'll be picking up stitches for the flap.) The pattern has been annoying me to no end, but I'll post more about that when the mitts are done.

I also finished my Giant Cowl of Warmth:

It's big and squishy and comfortable! Definitely keeps me warm on my walks to work. It's been so damn cold lately, I needed something to cover the gap at the top of my coat, that could also be pulled up to keep my face from freezing off. It's big enough to cover most of my ears, even!

And in closing, here is Finnegan being attacked by a swarm of Wild Socks. The horror!