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I'm Laura. I am female, 31, a gamer, a bookworm, a knitter, a spinner, a tatter, pierced, tattooed, musical, vehemently geeky and occasionally ineptly artistic.

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Lemon-scented Clorox, in fact


Posted at 15 Jan 2009 02:04:20 PM

I broke down and ordered a yarn ball winder off of JoAnn.com. They had a "50% off any one thing" e-coupon on their front page, which means I got it for about $16. Since without it I can't start on a shawl with my beautiful Gothic Romance technicolor kiss (I have two cats - no knitting from the skein for me, thank you!) I am pleased with this development.
Even with the ball winder, winding it's still going to be tricky. Life would be spiffy if I had a swift too, but at $70-$80 looking like the going rate, that's going to have to hold off for awhile. Maybe I'll make one out of Tinker Toys...

Also finished my Falling Leaves scarf. It's gorgeous, even unblocked, and I'm excited to block it. Maybe tonight when I get home... Fun fact: appropriately-padded carpet with a towel over it makes a spiffy blocking board!


We had a scare with Mollie this past week. After casting on for the hooded baby blanket (currently in progress) I trimmed about two feet of yarn off of the tail. Gave it to the cats to play with (ok, I dangled it - they stole it) and not five minutes later it was nowhere to be found. The next day, Mollie couldn't stop vomiting. A brief period of denial - she's never actually eaten yarn before! - and I started having paranoid flashbacks from Emergency Vets on Animal Planet, about cats and dogs that ate string, had it wind around their stomach/intestines and had to have major surgery or be put down.

By Sunday she hadn't eaten successfully for two days and we were seriously worried, but the vet is closed that day. Planned to take her in on Monday, but that morning she looked more cheerful and seemed to be keeping food down.. so we decided to go hour-by-hour and take her in if she had a relapse. Skip to this morning while cleaning the litterbox I, ah, "rediscovered" the yarn. The crisis is officially declared "over."

(Damn cat. THIS IS NOT THE SORT OF EXCITEMENT I NEED.)


No idea on the kitchen yet. We still have to get someone in to do an estimate. I hate not knowing when things are going to be done. And hells, it may have to be put off 'til next year, depending on prospective financial stability. Right now I'm making a concerted effort to not spend money on random crap - including ooh!shiny groceries, too many take-out lunches, Starbucks every day, yarn, one-offs like a shadowbox for my puzzle ball chess set, and books (that one hurts). There's an entry to remind me in the ToDo list of my Google home page that reads "I may not buy shit. No, not even that."

*cough* The ball winder was purchased about two hours before the conversation resulting in the spending moratorium. I think it was grandfathered in. (Plus, 50\\% off!)


Got my T7 pants last night in Naxx25. From the dead silence in the healer channel, I have the vague feeling that some people maybe pissed at me for outbidding the class leader? Watch me cry - I was in blues whereas he's already wearing epic pants, and he raids three nights a week compared to my one. Not shockingly, they will drop again.


My office inexplicably smells like Clorox.




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It's all creeping up on me


Posted at 11 Dec 2008 10:51:30 AM

I realize that I've been quiet lately. Life has been normal, generally speaking; I've been playing WoW (a very little), knitting (a lot) and generally holding onto the status quo.

The cats are settling in, and are now playing with each others' tails like old friends. We got them a cat tree as an early "christmas present to the family", and I think they're enjoying it. It's another way to escape the dog, and I know they both like that.

Here's another one of Dory - bear in mind that photographing a black cat is akin to capturing the shadow that falls across your camera lens: Sleepy Kitten.

ETA: Here's one with her eyes open. She looks kinda stoned, since it was taken right after we adopted her and she was in that ugly virus-not eating-very sick phase. Nevertheless!

I'm trying lace now; it's gorgeous and fun to knit, but ye gods the progressbar* moves slowly. The gloves I could finish in a few evenings; I'll be lucky if I get this done by Christmas. That's not because I've frogged it a couple of times, naturally...

I picked up the Knitted Lace of Estonia book the last time I was at Chris' Needlecraft. I've been in love with one of the patterns - a really lovely Lily of the Valley pattern. Growing up, Lily of the Valley ran wild in our yard and it's one of my favorite flowers. So delicate and pretty, and a scent I never get tired of! Chris' is having a 30\% off sale, which is rather extraordinary, so I got some 3.5mm addi lace needles as well. I mean, $5 of a $15 pair of really superlative needles -- carpe diem!

Alternately reading Althalus, Nora Robert's Irish Trilogy and the Yarn Harlot's Free-Range Knitter.

Work is going well; gearing up for the holiday season and the new minor release. Our merger with Sprint has been approved (note the spiffy WiMAX-Voltron logo) and we're all proceeding with the confident attitude of people who know they will continue to be paid for the foreseeable future.

...Thanks to Firefox's spellcheck, I just learned that 'foreseeable' has an 'e' at the front. Feeling rather silly now.

Dan's got lasik surgery coming up soon... his parents may be coming down for it; we're not quite sure yet. He's said that they're aiming to keep him in a vicodin-induced sleep for 24 hours after the surgery, after which he's free to move around, drive and generally life live as normal. It's remarkable, really.

I'm not prepared for Christmas this year. Maybe this weekend, in between picking out cabinets, countertops, floor tiles and a new french door I'll try to work in Christmas cards. I've got a sliced ham in the fridge that's begging for a loaf of Farmgirl Susan's Farmer's White bread, the lace scarf to knit, Bronwyn's only 74 for pity's sake, and quite frankly I'm trying not to think about it all at once lest I go insane.


* As it were.




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Stress relief


Posted at 13 Nov 2008 09:23:12 AM

Stood in line for WotLK last night. We were home by 1:30, so it could have been a lot worse.

Dan installed it immediately; I went to bed. I don't seriously believe that the servers will be stable today anyway, so I doubt I'm really missing anything. Being one of the server firsts for anything isn't on my list of aspirations anyway... I'm finding it hard to get enthused about leveling yet again.
Of course, my favorite part of any leveling process has always been the professions, so I guess it'll be neat to dust off False's leatherworking.

My second (last) knitting class on cabled armwarmers was yesterday. I got there in a foul mood, but right around the time where Georgia brought out the sock with erectile dysfunction* and we collapsed in a collective fit of giggles, the mood vanished. It's nice, honestly nice to be with a group of people who are about at the same skill level** in this particular brand of geekery, who aren't catty, or gossipy, and who are all making something. It's not just sitting around socializing (which I am terrible at). It's sitting around for a purpose, and everything else seems to take care of itself.

I think I'm capable of finishing the one armwarmer by myself, though if I get snarled up at the thumb I may have to make an emergency run to Hearthstone on Saturday to get unsnarled. What a shame. ;-) With sewing I've got more projects on my plate than I have time or energy to work on, and it's looking like knitting is going to be the exact same way.

(*cough* I bought that punkrock handspun from the post just below this...and also a gorgeous red & cream yarn that was spun with gold threads and rosette ribbon called Winter Rose. Etsy is dangerous, my friends! The punkrock's aimed for a rather rockin pair of wristwarmers, and the winter rose is probably destined to become a long thin scarf. Rather excited!)

The new kitten's still sick. She's got more antibiotics now, and special stinky food that she -seems- to be eating. That's what's had me the most worried, really... sneezing and congestion so bad she can't even wash herself because she can't breathe while she does it is bad enough, but she's too tiny to not eat for 5+ days. We've got some liquidy super-nutrition prefilled syringes that the vet said to give her if she keeps not eating, and they'll at least keep her going.


* It was knit with a special stitch on the sole which makes the fabric thicker, but also means it takes 2 rows of knitting to make one row of fabric... I didn't catch the name of it. But, forgetting to compensate for that means the sock rather unfortunately was longer on the top than on the bottom, and er... it drooped.

** Excepting Georgia, who is amazing - this is why she is teaching the class.




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Where I've been


Posted at 10 Nov 2008 03:59:03 PM

Day 6 of my left arm being taken over by a hematoma. I realize that I didn't exactly mention days 1 through 5 - they were lost in a haze of "Wait, wtf?", "There is no way in hell that I am typing today" and "I forgot again."

Long story short: after giving blood on Wednesday, the nurse tied the gauze pad to my arm with plastic "tape" in the classic above-and-below-the-elbow figure-8 technique. But she tied the top part just a wee bit too tight - and I didn't notice it 'til I got home after knitting class. By the time I peeled the tape off, there was a rather gigantic bulge in my arm right above where the tape was, it didn't go away, and it hurt like a motherf*cker.

Should I have noticed at some point during the day? Probably. In my defense, they'd dug around in my arm for a good 20 minutes, trying to actually find the vein. Also, I was wearing a long-sleeved sweater. I wasn't really in a position to differentiate between "pain" and "more pain" - I just figured it hurt because they'd torn up the inside of my vein.

Live and learn.

So after 24 hours of my arm having a golfball-sized bulge and crying in the car from the pain (ya'll? I do not cry in public), I broke down and headed to the doctor's after work on Thursday. Diagnosis: hematoma. Prognosis: It's going to hurt like someone took wire shears to your arm muscles. Here, have some Tramadol! Also, as the blood drains out it'll probably look like you got your arm caught in a shredder.

So here we are today. I've learned that I dislike narcotics rather intensely, that the muscles above and below my elbow STILL hurt if I move too quickly or do tricky things like turn my palm upwards, and that after the past 2 bad experiences I'm banned from giving blood again By Order of the Husband.

Not that I disagree... the Red Cross seems to have missed the "do no harm" part of the Hippocratic Oath, and I'm rather annoyed at them. Red Cross? Let me know when you actually train your phlebotomists, and then I'll be back.

(Also, we have a new cat. She is solid black, 6 months old and her name, for the present at least, is Endora. Mollie is Not Amused.)




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Marmalade, but not the kind you eat on toast


Posted at 11 Dec 2008 10:57:51 AM

There have been developments! Small, fuzzy, marmalade ones, in fact!

Specifically, there is a very adorable cuddlebug of a 3-month-old orange & white tabby, currently going by the name of something that I can't remember, but who will be Mollie when she comes home with us on Tuesday. Today she is still at the APA, being spayed. God, I wish I had the presence of mind when we were looking at her on Saturday to take pictures - honestly, she's adorable. And talkative! Not whiny-siamese talkative, but happy "Hi! Play with me?!" talkative. The more I think about her, the more excited I get.

We'd gone in looking for an older cat, 1, 2, 3 years or so. They had a fair number, but nobody (literally, nobody) would wake up and even come to the cage bars. I feel sort of guilty - maybe we could have tried harder? but the supposedly-gentle 3-year-old that we tried to play with first would only hiss and scratch at the APA staff member. There was a beautiful 2-year-old long(ish) haired tabby that was an absolute sweetheart, but her previous owners had given her up because of "problems with other pets," and we had no idea what that would mean when we get the dogs this fall. Better safe than sorry, unfortunately.

Choosing a cat was trickier than I thought. I mean, what I -want- is Jessie (my cat from home, who is still [miraculously] living with my parents), and I can't have her. Whenever I looked at another cat, I was wondering whether she would like to eat pretzels, or lick cream cheese off of my finger, or climb the "stairs" on the chimney, or snuggle up on the couch when I was reading. It doesn't do any good to wonder these things, but I couldn't stop. Being almost on the verge of tears while looking at perfectly happy cats is a bit disconcerting, and I'm sure it puzzled Dan to no end. It's part of why we ended up with Mollie, actually... a cat who is curled up and sleeping doesn't have much of a chance to show any definable characteristics or personality, so they kept getting imprinted with "Jessie-replacement" in my head, and then I'd get sad again. The kitten actually talked, and wanted to know whether we could get her ball out from under the water dish where she'd batted it, please? She didn't make me feel guilty.

Mollie apparently likes to scratch, and the staff recommended that if we didn't want to declaw her (which I will not do, under any circumstances) we should keep her nails trimmed short. They're already trimmed, and I'm totally fine with doing that. She won't tear up the furniture, or the dogs, or us, and she's not defenseless. A perfect compromise!

There will be pictures. Oh yes. There will be pictures.

Also this weekend, Dan and I put up a new garage door opener. This was more of an undertaking than I'd expected - I thought he was exaggerating when he said it would take most of the day, but we got started around 1 and didn't finish until almost 8pm. There was a quick trip out to Lowe's in the middle there, but it couldn't have taken more than half an hour. My arm is aching - I can't imagine what he's feeling like - but hey, we did it!

The opener that we replaced must have been original to the house. It was a Genie "Automatic Garage Door Opening Mechanism" or something of the kind, in that puke yellow-green color that everything from the 70's seems to be (see: the tiling in the kitchen). The new one, on the other hand, is all stainless and dark blue, and has all those qualities most prized in garage door openers. Efficiency, quiet, and did I mention quiet?

One down, one to go... the second one will go much more quickly now that we're not total noobs.

We filled up the van with all the trash which moving into a new house seems to generate, including the boxes from the grill and lawnmower, not a few pizza boxes, &c &c. The garage was getting full, weekly trash pickup was -not- going to want to take all of that stuff, and so Dan's boss came to our rescue when he offered up his dumpster. I can't properly express how good it feels to be able to see that corner of the garage again... it's gotta be a 'house' thing. Like suddenly understanding why your mother always told you to "Shut the door! What, were you raised in a barn?!" These things take on a more immediate meaning when leaving the connecting door open between the house and 30-degree garage all day translates directly to one's electric bill.

Still to do: wire up the surround sound, run cable into the master bedroom, hang the ceiling fan in the office, build the garden.