Sunny Sunday Angst Anyway

And it’s not even a proper Sunday, because I have tomorrow off. But last night I dreamt I was dying, and that I had to make various horrible confessions to people. I woke up relieved but with that dream hangover you sometimes get. Perhaps as a result I’ve had a lingering anxiety all day and the muscle in my upper left arm has been twitching violently for the past four hours or so. Even ice didn’t stop it. Its unpleasant.

Also, tomorrow I have to get up early and get my car out of the garage before they start work on the driveway, or my car will be trapped til Friday. All this was supposed to happen last week but it didn’t. I would leave the car garaged but I have after-work appointments this week. I need to leave the car on the street which I’m a little nervous about. So when I’m out and about tomorrow I’ll buy a Club. Hopefully between that and my alarm it will be okay.

My DSL modem is on the fritz and I have to call AT&T sbout it. I’m putting it off; will do it tonight when I’m back from coffee with a friend.

Meanwhile I’m going back to my Fruit Stripes scarf and working on it a bit. I finished the sock yarn gauge swatch. Even on 2.25 mm needles I’m at 7 st/inch, and most patterns I’ve looked at call for 6/st. But I do have one pattern I can use for some anklets and they’re in tomorrow morning’s go bag.

Weird formatting and linking brought to you by the fact that I’m typing on my iPad due to  the aforementioned AT&T problems.


The Slowness!

For the last two days I’ve watched travel shows and some DVDs and knitted on the damned Opal sock yarn swatch. It’s about two inches high now but I want it to be about five before I take it off the needles and do measurements of different portions. If I were any slower a knitter I’d actually be unknitting everything.

Gearing Up

Yeah, I’m not so sure about the next eight days.

Wednesday I have a doctor’s appointment in the afternoon. I’m not dying or anything but I have to have some relatively unpleasant stuff done and I’m not looking forward to it.

Thursday, Friday, and Monday are the get-up-extra-early-and-get-home-extra-late days I have to walk to and from BART. I know I can listen to my iPod or daydream or whatever but I am feeling a little stompy about it.

While I still thank God all the time for the job I have as opposed to any of the jobs I once had, there are a couple of things there that are getting on my nerves and I am really hoping when I get in tomorrow that one of them is resolved, or I shall be annoyed.

I went to the financial advisor today and learned that

  • I don’t have enough money for him to do anything with. He thinks I should just keep that money liquid until/unless I’ve bought a condo since I may need it.
  • He still thinks I will be working until I’m 67. THERE IS NO WAY.
  • He does think getting a mortgage should be no problem and will try to hook me up with a good deal with the mortgage folks at his firm
  • I basically got up and drove twenty miles for a conversation I could have had on the phone, but I didn’t realize I wouldn’t be writing him a forty-thousand dollar check.

Tonight I fricassee’d some chicken (in red wine instead of the stipulated white because that’s all I had) so at least I have some good food for the next couple of nights; I’m just going to buy lunch in the city for the next week I think. I’m slowly getting back into cooking a bit, though, which is good. I do have a certain cat who keeps me company all the while I do it — sometimes sitting on my feet, sometimes trying to jump onto the counter. I’m getting better at parrying him.

I finished One Fine Day today. Wow, it would be amazing to be able to write that way. And it rekindled my love of England — I spent the first twenty-odd years of my life an ardent Anglophile, my heart eventually broken to bits by my inability to get permission to live there. After I also fell in love with France (my inability to live there doesn’t break my heart quite so much because I’m not ethnically French so I don’t think of it in the “ancestral homeland” way that I do Britain),  and had a romantic misadventure in England, I haven’t been back there or anywhere in the UK. But this book reminded me of things I love about the place.

Speaking of things I love about the place, the ubiquitous cup of tea and the belief that a good cuppa fixes many problems — so true. And so to fortify myself for Anxious Wednesday and then Annoying Three Walking Days, I am going to make myself a cup, do some knitting and watching travel shows, snug in my little TV room. I foresee some cats showing up too. Things could be worse!


Whoa Now

Where the hell are these weird dreams coming from?

Last night I had one in which a live-in partner, who alternated between being my ex-husband and an ex-boyfriend, was leaving me. Or, it seems, it was that he was having an affair, and I was thinking he had to come back at least temporarily because his stuff was still at home, and then I looked and his closet was empty. Then there was the usual weird dream-montage sort of thing, just flashes of meeting up with him and the new woman and being uncharacteristically stoic but really, really pissed off.

My anxiety dreams are usually one of these:

  • trying to throw things into a suitcase because I have to leave righthisminute, but I don’t have a big enough bag or I need too much stuff, and/or I’m just too confused about where everything I need is;
  • trying to catch a plane or a train and being foiled;
  • wandering through a mall or shopping area trying and failing to spend money;
  • or a bookstore, ditto;
  • trying to find a bathroom and they’re all filthy and/or big rooms without doors;
  • something about my damned marriage.

Almost never is my bad dream about something that is current and actual. And right now I don’t know what I’d be anxious about. Vacation? That’s not for a month and it’s not like my previously lamented failure to improve my French much is going to make any difference — for two-thirds of the time I won’t be in a French-speaking country anyway. Work? I’m off tomorrow and work is just work, especially now that I no longer slave in the gulag.  Money? Not an issue at the moment.

I’m kind of at a loss.

I’ve been in the doldrums, and feeling like a major underachiever, but that’s not panic-inducing.

In the mid-1990s I had a run of dreams I still remember. It was so much fun I looked forward to bed every night. My favorite one was where I was ice-skating in purple skates in the multi-room basement of a house where that level had been flooded and then the water frozen. I’d like some more dreams like that, okay?



Next Thursday they’re replacing the building’s driveway. Unfortunately they’re not arranging for a drivable ramp until MONDAY NIGHT. This means that I either have to take my car out and put it on the street — which I’d be somewhat open to, if only I wouldn’t probably have to park five blocks away and keep moving it on Saturday, since I don’t have an area parking permit — or else leave it in the garage for five days. Three of those days I work.

This means getting up earlier (and oh Lord, how I wish I were a garden-variety non-morning person, not a non-morning person in the manner of a depressed teenager) and schlepping the mile to BART. And then it means when I finally get back to town after nine hours, schlepping home in the heat. I will get home with my lower back in a knot, drenched with sweat, twenty minutes later than normal. I haz a sad.

It also means no big shopping. I can run over across the street for small stuff, but that store carries little in the way of non-food items and the stuff it does have is terribly expensive. So I just spent a bunch of money at Nob Hill buying things like cat litter and toilet paper and the like.

In the plus column, it also means that except for Saturday night when I’m going to the theatre with my sister and niece (and someone else will need to drive to BART), I have an excuse to run no major errands!

Today I did run around quite a bit, in addition to the OMG Five Days Without a Car Whatever Will I Do shopping trip. I went and got my hair cut at a nice salon on College — it’s been years since I’ve had a good haircut. For several years I didn’t cut my hair at all until it was a mass of wild curls down my back. When that got too heavy and hot (and unkempt looking — only certain people can handle wild hair and not look slovenly), I just had it cut at SuperCuts type places. And once I just lopped a couple inches off my ponytail myself.

But today I went here and had a lovely time. They offer you coffee, tea, sparkling water; the chairs massage you during your shampoo (and it’s been so long since I’ve even had my hair shampooed before cut!) and she spent an hour on it, unlike the fifteen SuperCuts minutes. (Not knocking SC really — they did an adequate job and cost me $15. Curly hair hides a lot of mistakes or “eh” cuts.) I brought her this picture;

If only I actually looked like her. At least our hair color is pretty close.

And that’s more or less what she did; my hair was left a little longer; it had been brushing the tops of my shoulders and now it’s just a little bit off them. I also bought the creamy quasi-mousse she used in my hair. It really didn’t give the crunch of my gel, and I was running out of that anyway.

Then I walked across the way and got a cafe au lait and sat and read for awhile, practicing my Solitude in Eateries for vacation. Then to the Salvation Army, my mailbox, and the grocery store.

When I got home I put on sunscreen and sat on the balcony for awhile to get some sun on my hair. Now bits that haven’t had any sun are showing and they’re much darker/browner than the auburn that’s seen the light. And I knitted on a sock swatch. I am such a loose knitter that socks that call for 2s I knit on 0s. I’m using a set right now to see what my gauge really is with Opal. I just want to knit some vanilla socks with the small collection of patterned yarn I have and I can do a sock recipe if I know the gauge. I am usually crap at gauge-measuring. I think because of my eye muscle problems, when I try to count the little row of tiny Vs, they jump around like an Escher print to me. I’m going to use my reading glasses, magnifying glass, and Ott lite (or bright sun) when I get to it. And I’m going to do it right and knit a large-ish expanse instead of giving up with a small strip, which is so tempting to do when swatching in the round — basically doubling your work.

But it will be worth probably five pairs of footie socks, so there you go.

Tonight it’s “watch a movie and do laundry” night. I bought some Port Salut and dill Havarti at the store, with some Rosenblum Syrah and some water crackers — that plus grapes will be a decadent hot summer’s night dinner. And then I will work on my Fruit Stripes scarf. I have been neglecting the French, and I leave in four-ish weeks, so I think I’m screwed on that front. Ah bien, les français parlent bien anglais, souvent. Leur anglais, c’est meilleur que mon français. Et, je puis parle assez pour mes fins — pour commander au restaurant, par exemple.

(That was one of those things that, if I’d read, I would have read without hesitation. It took a little work to write it myself. Sigh. Although I am pretty happy that my reading comprehension has increased. I just have a problem with small words. My mind wants to slip over them but they’re important!)

Laundry now. Whee.

Adulthood FAIL

Although I may be being a little hard on myself.

When I was younger (read: from about six to about twenty-six) I’d read books or watch movies looking for people to emulate. I certainly didn’t want to be boring, plodding, shy me, the one who never traveled or had adventures or knew how to go about things.

I was the one in college who sat in classes in awe of the people who could verbally articulate original thoughts — or, if not original, at least coherent and original-sounding.

I was equally in awe of a high school friend who came from a similar socioeconomic background to mine but who managed to study abroad our junior year, go to an Ivy League college, and join a sorority. I did none of those things. Also, if either of the first two had presented themselves as opportunities, I might not have gone, because I may have been too much of a scaredy-cat to do so. I mean, I don’t live at home anymore, but I almost can’t claim any credit for that, seeing as my parents are dead. (OK, that is being too hard on myself. I did move out from a home with one living parent when I was 24 and I never went back. But I didn’t go far; I still live in the next town over from my hometown.)

There was a woman I went to college with who asked her parents to send her to boarding school at 14 so she could have some independence. I can’t even imagine.

So anyway, my younger self was all about emotional, intellectual, and practical insecurity; a lack of expertise in almost everything; a lack of chutzpah ditto; an inability to defend myself from criticism; a deep need to be liked at almost any cost; and an equally deep need to find role models.

The reason this is an adulthood FAIL is because, in a way, I’m still like that at 45. I think it’s unlikely at this late date that I will change drastically (one can hope, though). But I still read book and blogs, and watch movies, taking mental notes of things I could do or ways I could be. Or even ways I could look. What is this, high school redux? Was not one pass through of that enough?

On the one hand I think that it’s a good thing to be open to new ideas and ways of looking at things and if someone’s blog can fire you up over something, cool. On the other hand I’m chastising myself because at my age, shouldn’t I be fully formed, have some guts and the courage of my convictions? (OK, you’re never going to get me to vote Republican, it’s true. But since that is also true for almost every one of my friends and relatives, I’m not exactly trailblazing.)

So is it refreshingly open-minded to read a blog or a book and try to take concrete inspiration from it, or is it pathetic? Does the answer change from the former to the latter on a sliding scale the older you get? Or am I overthinking this? (Is there a book I can read to get over that?)

Memory Blank

It’s not that big a deal, I suppose. It’s just one brief incident, but I was thinking about my trip last year, and while I can remember most of the things I did,  I cannot remember getting on the train at Brussels Midi.

I remember getting there (same station) in the rain on the Wednesday. I remember the taxi drive to the station on the Friday. I vaguely recall standing near an info booth in the station, but I can’t remember if I asked them anything. I think I did (like, “which quay for my train to Gint-St. Pieters?”) but after that, I have no memory. I remember getting to St. Pieters and the couple of hours I wandered around there waiting for my train to Lille. I remember that train. And the train from Lille to Paris, and the sonorous tones the train stations play every couple of minutes before announcements. (At Lille, in my next-to-the-gare-hotel, I heard the tones late into the night.)

But I don’t remember getting on the train in Brussels. I don’t remember if the trip where I watched the Belgian railway employee sitting with some friends in his grey and orange uniform was the train from Brussels or the train from St. Pieters.

And  frankly it’s driving me crazy! I keep looking for pictures of the quays at Brussels Midi to jog my memory, but so far no good. I wonder why the weird gap?
[Edited to fix weird formatting; I wrote that on my iPad with the wireless keyboard and it is going to take some getting used to!]