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Thursday, March 30, 2006


Woo hoo! I finally figured out how to add photos! So, here we go...

Here's a shot of my latest work in progress. This is the top back and front panels of the "Short 'N Sweet" bolero from the S&B Happy Hooker. So far so good, other than having to rip out the last row (joining the front panels to the back to form the armholes) 3 times because I was tired and reading the instructions for the wrong row...whoops! But I finally figured it out and it's looking good again. I really like the shell pattern.

Just another shot.

I finished this cute capelet (also out of the Happy Hooker) for a friend. I love it! It's so cute and I hope my friend likes it. My only worry is the color...(I think it's great, but not sure it's something she wears much). And yes, I even made the pompons....(they're not my favorite embellishment, but the ties looked naked without them, so I made little ones. They're not all that round was my first try.)

And finally, here's a photo of one of the socks I finished this year (first finished objects of the year). Hardest thing I've created to date. (Things, if you consider that I had to make 2.) I was pretty pleased with the results. :)

As a footnote (no pun intended!), that hideous background to the first 3 photos are my lovely couch... I swear I have the ugliest couches ever. And to think that these (there's a sofa and loveseat) used to be my mother's pride and joy in our formal living room. I've finally gotten her to admit that they're not as great as she once thought. They're not even comfortable... And I attempted to find slipcovers to fit, but the couches are the wrong shape. :(

Nice Guys Finish Last

Sometimes I feel like one of the last honest people on Earth. I find it rather frightening to see how many people get by in life on lies and manipulation. Reality TV seems to encourage this behavior and exploit it to no end…not that I don't watch my fair share of Reality TV. In fact, part of my little rant here is based on it… (But loosely) Mainly, I'm addicted to the Apprentice and America's Next Top Model, and that's about it for my "reality" TV, aside from the occasional American Idol audition. I justify my addiction to these by comparing them to game shows…

But I digress. Here's a little background. I work in the Risk area of a large mortgage company. I review and re-underwrite closed loans for underwriting issues/possible fraud/payment defaults - anything that might make a loan ineligible for sale to an investor. So, I see a lot of dishonesty in my job, because the investors notify us of the loans that they have found "issues" with. I've become rather jaded, but I only see the bad stuff that gets through. There is a level of vindication though, since my department finds these guys out and can go after them for fraud (if indeed that is the case). So, this morning 2 e-mails went out from upper management alerting the department to 2 separate fraud schemers that had been convicted. We don't get these notifications all that often (I guess the mortgage fraud rings don't make headlines that often), but they're always interesting to read, to see what is being done. These two were reeling in unsuspecting "investors" (whose credit the ringleaders were using to obtain mortgages on properties with inflated values, and fraudulent documents were created to qualify the borrowers for the loans). So, the ringleaders walk away with all the money, never pay the mortgage payments and destroy the "investor/victim's" credit rating. I just don't know how these people sleep at night (I know, on comfy beds surrounded by expensive trinkets and comforts).

I just hate that it seems like so many dishonest, mean-spirited people seem to get ahead in this world. I'm sure that's nothing new though. As for the Apprentice and ANTM, I like to think that the producers edit out the nice things and keep in all the nasty stuff (I know it makes for better ratings). But it's amazing how some people treat others while cameras are rolling. I wonder how bad they are when there aren't any witnesses. And the manipulation….I don't even know where to start.

What ever happened to the golden rule? When did it become okay to take advantage of others for your own personal gain? Didn't these people's parents teach them anything??

**Please don't take this to mean that I think I'm perfect…Believe me, I have my moments of nastiness, but I still hold honesty and integrity in high regard**

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Accentuate the Positive...

New Year's Eve and Day I was convinced that it would be a great year… Fred and I went into San Francisco for the party at the Hyatt, and spent the night dancing and having fun…and I finally had someone to kiss at midnight. We had a nice leisurely day on the 1st - he made a turkey for dinner while I did my laundry, and all was well with the world.

January. I woke up on the 2nd with poison oak. First time I'd ever gotten it, and according to the doctor, I'm incredibly sensitive since I only had secondary contact with it (It's confirmed...I'm a freak). That lasted (and itched horrifically) for a couple of weeks. Then, my brakes started making a grinding noise…metal on metal…kind of scary. Fred was all concern for me and urged me to take the car in. Which I did. $1200 to completely replace the front and back braking systems, and also to fix the broken circuit in my steering column that was preventing me from having working brake lights/turn signals. Worth it to make my car safe to drive again, but a good debt incurred on my credit card… Added stress from that. Fred had given notice to his company and accepted a new position further from his home. He had been stressed about that, and we'd discussed a lot of pros and cons. He seemed very introspective and slightly withdrawn. I figured it was because of the job. And I knew I wouldn't get to see him as much for a few months after he started at the new place, since he'd be at an offsite training for the first 2 weeks out in Sunnyvale, before starting to train at the office. Eventually, he was supposed to be able to work from his home office, but I knew it would be a while before that would happen. So, the last week of the month, he started the new job, and I was making sure not to pressure him into spending more time with me. The last weekend of the month he made a point to spend the day with me and my mother (who was visiting) and some close friends of mine. I ended up not feeling well that night, while at my friends' house, and Fred and mom ran out to find me medicine, and he was all concern for my welfare, and came and sat with me a little in the back bedroom, brushing my hair back and comforting me. He came over the next morning and stayed until a little after my mother left. Affectionate as ever. I was assigned a big project at work (along with a co-worker) to be completed by the end of first quarter. I took this as a sign of their confidence in my abilities...

February. Worst. Month. Ever. Well, may have been topped by May '92 when my sister died, but this was pretty bad for the recent years. The first week wasn't too bad. Fred was at my place Monday night, and everything seemed normal. I seem to remember waking up in the early hours to his hand stroking my hair off my face - very comforting. He was very stressed at work that whole week, and we didn't get to talk much, but I was looking forward to seeing either Friday night or the weekend. Friday came and went with no word from Fred…I left a message on his cell phone. He called me Saturday morning, and said that he'd been out driving and thinking until past 4am, and didn't call because he'd left his cell at work. He said he'd been thinking about everything, and wanted to talk to me. So, naturally, I panicked…I asked him if he still loved me, and he said of course, he just needed to ask me a few questions. I was headed to a friends house to help her with wedding stuff (she's getting married in August), and Sunday he was supposed to be working most of the day at his co-worker's house on some project his new boss gave him (even though he was not supposed to have started work until the next week, after the training sessions were over.) He told me not to worry. (Like that's going to happen…) So, I couldn't eat all day, I was on the verge of tears the whole time, trying to convince myself that my relationship wasn't ending while assembling save-the-date cards and viewing wedding dresses with my friend. And then she (my friend) had a huge fight with her mother and aunt that I was lucky enough to witness…(it was pretty awful, and her mother left). I get home…can't concentrate on anything…call Fred and ask if we can "talk" before Monday, because I can't handle waiting. I couldn't sleep all night. Sunday I left a few tearful messages, hoping he could come by quickly after work. No word until Monday morning at around 3:30am (I honestly can't remember the time). He told me he'd driven down to southern CA and back thinking about everything and trying to figure things out. He'd blown off the work project. And he said he'd stop by Monday night. And that I shouldn't worry. (Lying bastard) He had the nerve to ask me what I was afraid of. So I told him right then that I was afraid he was giving up on us. He said he just needed time to work through this. Work was awful Monday. He came by my place around 9:30pm, and I'd actually convinced myself that maybe it wasn't the end. Maybe we could just take things slower for a while. Nope, he was done. He said he just needed to be alone for a while. He wants me to still be in his life (so he said)…but doesn't want me to have any expectations. That's not going to happen. Not right away anyway. The rest of the month is a blur of tears and pain. But, I have awesome friends that are really supportive and definitely there for me. My family is great too. Mom came up the next weekend and cleaned my house. He called me that Saturday to see how I was doing and didn't understand why I was so upset and angry. He again stated he wants me in his life, and wants me to call if I ever want to go have coffee or something (????). I spent a few nights here and there with some friends. Work was there. And I threw myself into it. I was actually glad I was swamped, because I could focus on that instead of other things…Valentine's Day - which I have always hated, was not as bad as it could have been. I spent the night at my friends' house and felt highly loved by her 2 young children. It helped.

March. I had a random IM from Fred saying he'd gotten my e-mail (a random moment of weakness on my part - telling him I missed talking to him and that I had some things I felt like I needed to say). Awkward IM exchange that basically said nothing. I ended it by saying I needed to go to bed. Then...The car died (no, not that same night). After having just spent $1,200 on brakes, etc…the battery decides to die on me. And for some reason, it made me feel utterly alone. At least I was at home (down by the mailboxes - but walking distance to home, at least). Car trouble stresses me out like nobody's business. So, I spent another $200 on that repair, and took a sick day to take care of it. Work stress is out of control…the project deadline is looming, and all these other urgent projects have come up in the meantime, pushing the big project to the backburner. I sent a really long e-mail to Fred detailing my feelings and thoughts about everything (2 weeks ago), which really did make me feel better, because I felt like I finally had my say…even though he may never read it. No further word from Fred. I know I'm fooling myself, and causing more stress by doing so. I'm hoping that the hope will fade and I can move on. It hasn't been 2 months yet, though. And it's getting easier day by day. (And I know that I deserve somebody that will not bail on a relationship when life gets difficult.)

And after writing all of this out, things don't look all THAT bad, and I should quit my whining and move on. Easier said than done. I've never felt quite so emotional. Totally different from when my sister died. I was 16, cried for a week straight and then pretty much shut down. I've put up a lot of walls since then. I'm not saying that is healthy, but I recognize it. It was my confused teenage way of coping with the loss. I have few memories from that time. Fred helped knock a lot of those walls down, and I hope they don't go up again. I suppose I should thank him for that. But, I still have a hard time letting people go, and probably always will. I really value all of my relationships - friends, family, what have you. I guess that is why this is so hard for me. Once someone makes it into my heart (and I'm pretty picky about who gets in), I expect them to stay there. And, I guess I expect other people to value their relationships as much as I do, but I guess that's a bit idealistic.

In any case, I hate being this stressed out…and debate going back to drinking coffee (gave it up after the breakup, since I couldn't stomach anything, including coffee for a week, which kicked the addiction). Of course, coffee is a stimulant, so that might not help anyway. As this month nears to a close, I am still hung up on the breakup and not able to rid myself of a touch of hope.

And as bad as things have been for me so far this year, I need to try to keep a positive outlook for the future… So, let's look at the positives so far this year: 1) I've gotten a lot of crocheting done. 2) I have found out (again) what an awesome group of friends I have. 3) I've read some good books. 4) I've re-discovered the joys of tea. 5) I've spent some quality time with my family. 6) I have started going to church regularly again (started this for Lent, and hope to continue after the season is over - it actually does make me feel better). 7) I've be re-motivated to follow my diet and have seen some success. 8) I am determined to learn how to knit this year (this is a positive, right?)

So...Here's to focusing on the positive!

Monday, March 27, 2006

Bitch Session

I got a gift today from a co-worker! Well, sort of a gift, sort of a trade-off… I gave her one of the 3 crochet-pattern-a-day calendars that I got for Christmas, and she gave me a copy of the Stitch & Bitch Knitters Handbook (which I've been debating buying for a while - they were on discount at her Beverly's). I'm so excited!

I've dabbled in the knitting arena before…the first time was very frustrating and highly unsuccessful. That was when I was trying to teach myself how to do it. My tension was way too tight, and it was too hard to slip the stitches from one needle to the other. As such, it was NOT a relaxing experience…so I went back to crochet and was happy as a little clam again…(now, how do we know clams are happy anyway?)

Then, a few years ago, my aunt took a knitting class and got hooked immediately. When she was out here visiting from Buffalo, she showed me how to do it again, and I finally caught on and figured out how not to hold the yarn so taught (which hadn't been a problem for me with the crochet…go figure). Unfortunately, I only know the absolute basics…casting on, the knit stitch, and binding off. If I drop a stitch, I'm pretty much screwed…And I appear to have a knack for increasing…as I tend to end up with more stitches on the needle than I started with. So, I made most of a scarf…and then put it down to crochet a bit more.

But, there are so many awesome patterns out there that are for knitted projects and not crocheted (though there has been a major increase in awesome crochet patterns lately). So, I've always kept the possibility of tackling knitting again in the back of my head. Then, I got the S & B Happy Hooker (their Crochet Handbook), which is awesome! And it's written with great humor (nice and cheesy/punny, like me!), with neat patterns of things I might actually make (I've made the capelet already, and am working on the short jacket/bolero). I figured that if the how-to instructions were as clear in the knitting version that I might actually be able to make some progress with my slow learning process.

Anyway, since I had decided to try to buy the original S&B, I hadn't been able to find it anywhere! :( Poor me. But, the other day I was chatting with my co-worker, who is also trying to learn how to knit, and she said she'd work out this trade for me. Yay! I'm happy now, and it's all I could do to leave it sitting untouched on my desk all day…okay, so it wasn't untouched ALL day. I may have flipped through it a few times already. Or more. And I'm telling myself that I can't delve into it until I'm done with the short lace bolero that I'm working on. Talk about motivation!

Off to yarn-ville….

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Long Live Dr. Seuss!!

Well, I had a really busy day yesterday. I met up with some friends and went down to the Children's Discovery Museum ( in San Jose to check out the Dr. Seuss exhibit. It was cool, but unfortunately none of our friends with children were able to make it. We did plenty of our own exploring though, and it was still fun. I will always be a kid at heart! And in what my possibly have been a global first, our friend Jodie was at the museum to meet us before we even got there (she is usually late, more so even than me!).

After the museum, we walked around downtown (through a protest rally against the proposed immigration laws) and had lunch at an excellent Thai restaurant. (A Taste of Siam, or something like that... I'm glad that I can still enjoy Thai food, even though I was really introduced to it by my ex-boyfriend. I guess it's progress that I can again enjoy things that he and I enjoyed together.)

So, after lunch, we all walked back to the museum and Kristin and I dropped Jodie off at home and headed over to the Great Mall in Milpitas on a shoe shopping mission. (Surprisingly, we couldn't convince Jodie to shop with us!) I didn't find what I was looking for, but Kristin picked up a cute pair of light blue Keds for only $15! Not a bad deal. We also checked all the bridal type shops in search of a light blue flower girl dress for her niece. No luck there though. Peeking at the wedding dresses was a little bit depressing for me though...since I had been convinced that Fred and I would have eventually married (which I am no longer convinced of...since he dumped me). But it could have been worse.

After the mall, it was off to Sweet Tomatoes for dinner. Where I threw my diet to the wind and ate whatever looked good...and too much of that to boot. Kristin's fiancee met us there and picked up the tab (thanks Shannon!!). They are so affectionate and cute together, and that actually was a little hard for me, because Fred and I used to be like that. And it made me miss him a lot. Which I've been doing anyway, but this tossed it in my face. And just made me want him back again. (Which I've also been doing anyway, irrational as it is - but I'm still not convinced we couldn't have worked out. I can't help it. I loved him so much, but I guess I will never really know what was/is going on in his head. I just want him back in my life.)

Friday, March 24, 2006


Well, here I am on the web. And here's a little bit about me:

I'm 30 and just experienced my first real heartbreak (no fun at all, and I'm still not over him, but it hasn't been quite 2 months yet, and I'm still hoping he'll come back to me...I live in fantasy land).

I'm an avid crocheter, reader and TV watcher. Nice mix, huh? I'll actually try my hand at most any craft (and have dabbled in sewing, drawing, knitting, cross-stitch...), and also like to cook and bake, but don't get much time to do that, working full time, and needing time to crochet...

Hmm...not too much to say today, I feel like I'm on the spot. So much pressure!!

More later.