So Hey, It’s Sunday Again! Imagine That.

I have my go-to chicken simmering on the stove under the mushrooms, tomato paste, and Madeira. I’ve had a couple of ciders, read a bit, started a sock out of the Zauberball Crazy I got at Penelope in Amsterdam. I’m using these wacky needles for the first time.  It’s also about 72F here at 6:40PM, so it’s been a warm one. Spent quite a bit of time sitting outside, after running to the AT&T store, Starbucks, and the grocery store.

All in all, not the worst of Sundays.

Yesterday I went on a drive/hike with a friend. We collected lovely rocks and shells at Fort Cronkhite.


At this point mine were mainly rocks.

I quite like rocks, actually:


We had lunch at a fantastic little Mexican restaurant in Sausalito, and then came back to our side of the bay and had coffee. I managed not to get sunburned but I do have some color, which is nice, and I felt as if I’d had a few drinks, but I hadn’t. Nice.

The other day, this came in the mail:


It’s a kit for a stranded scarf (double-thickness, knit in the round, or I’d not have bought it) in a colorway called “wintry mix.” I know that wintry mix is not a fun thing to live through but I have always liked the term — it sounds like some kind of crunchy holiday dish. Also now a pretty scarf. (Sorry for the overexposure; it’s a phone camera pic from my credenza at work.)

Next week, as one of the results of the AT&T store run, I will actually have some television service. It’s probably good to have a little, especially as a person living alone. Sometimes you need some stimulation and exposure to the world outside. Although of course I go to work every day, that’s still a limited universe in a way. Same bus, same walk to subway, same subway, same job, same coworkers. I like the feeling of routine but having some of the wider world as company while I knit or what have you will be nice.

Also, people are more likely to agree to house/cat-sit if they can watch TV. Possibly sad but definitely true!

Dinner is nearly ready, so must be off.




What Would You Do?

You’re shy and introverted and find a lot of group socializing difficult. You know, the wallflower type. Drinking helps, but you’ve got to get there and if you’re the driver, only so much drinking can happen. Mostly, you’re okay with being a homebody — you’ve grown to more or less accept yourself as the person you are, and you’re certainly not twenty anymore anyway.

Yet when other people mention their social lives, you feel sad and, again, awkward. Because although in a way it’s that you’re not choosing that life, you’re not choosing it because you suck at it. Your friends tell stories of places you’ll never go, things you’ll never do. They do these things with their other, extroverted, friends, and would never think to ask you along (and having them there watching you might make it harder anyway).

What do you do?

I can be much more extroverted when I’m abroad — I have to be, to get by. And no one knows me in Europe (or, rather, only a handful of people know me in Europe). But here, I go home after work and I stay home on weekends and there you go. Granted, this is the sort of area that can be judgy and I don’t have the body or clothes for a lot of things, and since I’m not in my European linguistic bubble I would understand any comments made. Nonetheless, surely I should be able to do something?

There’s more to it than this, but at the moment that’s the tip of the iceberg I’m sitting on the couch on a Saturday night contemplating.

But seriously. If you have any ideas (or live near San Francisco and are bored) let me know.


Stressbuster Failure

You know how people read, or knit, or watch TV, or the like, when they’re nervous or in a holding pattern (waiting rooms and such)?

I can’t do that. I’m sitting here waiting for something to happen (nothing exciting) and because I don’t know when the phone will ring, I can’t settle. I’m the same way in doctors’ waiting rooms. I don’t want to have to throw my knitting down mid-row, and everything I read or watch on TV is sort of contaminated with the underlying stress — either just the stress of waiting or worry about the eventual appointment. I can’t just enjoy it.

Also, it stresses me out to read the waiting room mags because I will probably get interrupted in the middle of something and since it’s not my magazine I won’t be able to finish it.

I need a “why I am a weirdo” tag for things like this.



Although I can’t truly travel this year (or probably next), I am going to fly to Portland on my birthday, go to Powell’s, spend the night, and turn around and come home the next day. I don’t even have time to meet up with the people I know up there — it’s just a quickie solo overnight book run, basically. The reasoning behind this madness is: I need to fly every 23 months (I think) to keep my Flying Blue frequent flyer miles, so if I fly to Portland on Delta it pushes out my 23 months again; right now my last flight was in September. I also had to use up one of my earned free nights on before it expired. And finally, I have not been to Powell’s (ALL BOW DOWN PLEASE) since 2009, and that’s just too long. How can one resist a block-sized bookstore with no sales tax?!

Also, it’s always fun to stay in a hotel. I can watch TV, which I can’t here, and I won’t have to get up at the crack of dawn to feed Alexander, and I enjoy being alone in a city not my own, even for just a few hours.

Speaking of Alexander — I threw him out of the bedroom yesterday morning and shut the door. I dozed off. A few minutes later I woke up with an open door and a cat. I need to lock the door next time. Or go sleep in a hotel in the next state.



Time, Money, Home, Sleep

Note: Clearly, a bunch of things far more important than my self-indulgent nattering have gone on this week. Having said that, I don’t think there’s anything useful I can add except for relief that it’s over (see last paragraph of entry). I’ve felt like hiding under a blanket for a few days now, but on the other hand, I have not been personally affected by events and I don’t want to steal other people’s legitimate suffering in a drama-queen sort of way. And with that:

Time: Ever since I moved, the evenings have felt so truncated. I do usually get home about a half hour later than I once did, but it seems that I just have time to eat, clean up, and relax a little before I have to go to bed. It doesn’t help that I’ve been going to bed really early (for me) — between 9:30 and 10:30. What on earth is making time speed up like that? Time off always goes faster but this is ridiculous.

Money: I just paid my taxes, and I had an $1,800 vet adventure with Alexander a couple of weeks ago. SO NOT AMUSED. He’s fine, and the friend whose cat the vets think may have made him sick helped out, but sheesh. That’s certainly money I could have used for something else. It led to another bout of Why Did I Buy A House When I Could Have Gone to Europe Every Year Instead? I keep reminding myself that the money I put into the house is not like putting money into a car or various junk, but more like putting it into an investment account. Still, I’ve spent money round here that I really didn’t have to, I guess, but I wanted to — replacing the front door with a steel, you-will-not-be-kicking-me-in model; having a nicer faucet in the kitchen than the wobbly one that was here; buying a really nice dining table and a lovely two-chair bistro set for the little balcony; having my handyman finally hang my sari tapestry properly instead of me hanging it up again via thumbtack; replacing the doorbell that was too corroded to really hear; buying a standalone freezer. It’s not like I recarpeted the whole place (I wish) or gutted it to the studs or anything, but the upshot is that my travel account is a but a wisp and it made me sad. In a First World Problem sort of way. Cue the tiny violins!

Home: I was reading something about the genesis of this development and they called them “luxury condos and townhouses.” Granted, when they were new, just prior to the crash, they went for about twice what I paid for mine. And also granted, I am not an expert on what luxury is. I only saw five properties before I bought this one, and one of the others was in this development as well. Comparing those five, then yes, it’s kinda luxurious. I suppose my big garden bathtub should have told me that. But as I was discussing with the aforementioned handyman, some things were done here really nicely (there’s good tile in the bathrooms and kitchen and hardwood in the dining room; I am all ready for central A/C if I wanted to hook it up; I have granite countertops and good appliances [although the fridge is a bit of a lemon and will be replaced next year]; the windows are double-paned and they almost soundproof the place; speaking of soundproof, you never ever ever hear the neighbors) and then there are things like the kinda crappy cabinets, the not-so-fabulous-in-either-quality-or-color carpet, and the lightweight front door.

And yet, at the same time that I’m kind of ruing buying a place, I’m thinking about how I want to put wood floors in the living room, entry way, and kitchen (I don’t like tile in the kitchen; especially not the same rosy-beige tile as is in the bathrooms); recarpet the stairs to and the floor of my bedroom (oh that will be fun); buy blackout shades for the tv room and my bedroom; get Levelors for the office/guest room; and on and on. I know I won’t do it all at once, but I also think about how I didn’t buy a place at 25 or 30 or 35, but at 45, so I don’t have 30 years to do whatever… well, I might, but considering neither of my parents lived to be 75 and that I’d like to do these things while I’m still young enough to have a few years to enjoy them….

Sleep: I’ve been so exhausted lately — going to bed early, barely able to stay awake at work, miserable. And then I hit on a twofold, and utterly blindingly obvious, idea. Oh heavens, the facepalmingly obvious is apparently news to me. 1.) Take the 7:07 bus to work instead of the 6:37. I still get there in time, although I don’t get a kick-back thirty minutes before I start. But I get to sleep for those thirty minutes instead! A half hour in the morning is precious. 2.) Yes, I need to have plenty of warning and time to hit the snooze; I get too panicky and disoriented if you try to get me out of bed on the first go. But instead of having the first alarm go off at 4:20 AM (only ten minutes shy of two hours before I had to get up) and then having two alternating backup alarms on my phone going off in the five o’clock hour (which was kind of like being locked in a fun house, actually) I’ve changed to having one go off at five (an hour and a half ahead, give or take) and then the backup non-radio alarm going off after six. I may tweak it further, but considering I have to get up between 4 and 5 to feed the cats, I still won’t get entirely unbroken sleep. But it’s done wonders — I have gotten so much more real sleep, and yet I still have enough of a warning that I can get up without flailing.

And now, it’s a lazy Friday night after a hellish week for the United States. So glad this week is over!