Thursday, September 27, 2007

Why not to read opera reviews.

I read a review in the NY Times this morning of Romeo et Juliette at the Met, and the critic effused greatly about the young mezzo playing Stephano, who is a recent graduate of Juilliard's bachelor and master's programs and is managed by the top agency in the US. Now, I love to hear fantastic young voices, but sheesh, it can be depressing to read about those who have had a charmed career. Of course, that means nothing about her personal life and its hardships, but I can viciously hope that, when not making triumphant debuts at major international houses, she's a lonely spinster who sits at home and eats an entire gallon of Haagen-Daaz while watching A Baby Story on TLC.

Friday, September 21, 2007

An Obituary for Alex

And from CNN:

He was one amazing bird.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Photos from the fair, as promised...

Dr. Who done in needlepoint. Yep, David Tennant. In needlepoint.

Plus an angora goat, because, well, I like mohair.

And really, he's very silly.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

If knitting is crack...

I'm definitely its bitch.  I just finished the fisherman's sweater I started LAST YEAR, but since I designed it, it didn't come out even approximately the right size.  It was supposed to be for Christian, but I didn't swatch my cable pattern, and I didn't realize until way, waaaaaaay too late that the center cables I chose would make the sweater about four inches too narrow. Length right, width wrong.  Once I realized that the sweater wouldn't fit Christian, I put it down for many months but thought about it constantly.  I decided that I'd give it to mom, but that's when I thought the body and sleeves would be shorter than they ended up.  I had to pick out and then redo the collar as I also hadn't even followed my own pattern well enough and had not made the armholes the right length.  The good thing about it all is that I think it will now fit Tina as she is very tall and slender and has longish arms, so I'm thinking it will be perfect, and I'll be able to knit Mom something pink and beaded.  I'm just glad someone I love can use it.  And it is quite attractive:

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A sad event, indeed.

I just found out that Alex, the African Grey belonging to Dr. Irene Pepperberg, died unexpectedly on September 7th. His last words to Dr. Pepperberg before going to sleep, were, “You be good, see you tomorrow. I love you.” For the complete article, see here. I am distraught.

Monday, September 10, 2007

I shan't spend it all in one place.

We went to the Puyallup Fair yesterday, ostensibly to eat ourselves into a coma and chortle heartily at the tragic fashion parade in true, obnoxious, elitist, suburban form, but it was really to see if I won anything from entering my shawl in the Home Arts competition, which I DID.  I won second place, which was certainly a surprise, as I made two rather large mistakes in the border and didn't block it aggressively enough.  I won a magnificent $3, and I hope they give my my prize in check form so I can frame it next to the ribbon and this picture:

The first prize went to the shawl pictured below, the pattern for which is in "A Gathering of Lace," a book I also own. 

It is very beautiful and very well done, but I must comfort myself with the knowledge that the body of my shawl is one pattern and the trim is another, and I taught myself how to knit on the trim by picking up edge stitches, and in the winner's pattern, the book SAID how to do it, so nyah.  

Here was some of the competition. This one was very lovely:

And then there was this one, which, well, huh.  It's very Cher as dressed by Bob Mackie in the 80s if Bob favored acrylic fun fur which, really, he did.

I also got to see real Angora goats, from whence we get mohair (not angora, that comes from rabbits), and see mohair boucle yarn spun by one of the artist exhibitors in the hidden hall of classy (not with a k) handiwork.  Thankfully Shelly remembered where it was, as I had forgotten from last year.  I have never really been tempted to spin or dye my own yarn until now, as the colors and textures and materials were so gorgeously delicious that I only narrowly avoided humiliating my friends and necessitating a call to the fair police by throwing all the racks of skeins to the floor, stripping off my clothes and rolling in the piles of superwash merino and bamboo blends.  I was only allowed an hour in the hall, though, so there just wasn't time.  Next year, maybe.

Friday, September 07, 2007


So, all the tests are done and all the tubes are out. A week and a half of sleepless nights are over and I feel a surprisingly strong sense of relief and I am no longer annoyed at, well, everything (Christian is heard to breathe a sigh of relief from his Redmond office).

It was confirmed that I have a hiatal hernia, which I knew. It's a sliding hernia, the more common type, thankfully, as a paraesophageal hernia is v. v. bad and can cause icky problems, like esophageal strangulation, which sounds like the esophagus would make little acky noises and hold its hands to its throat in the universal sign for "give me the Heimlich".

Anyway, the hernia isn't large, which is good, but it's either caused the sphincter at the base of my esophagus to become incompetent (useless thing) or the incompetent sphincter caused my stomach to migrate into my esophagus. Chicken...egg...

Interestingly, I also have a wastrel esophagus. It doesn't perform its job adequately, and sometimes not at all. The wretched manometry showed that the muscles don't move in synch to push food down, and sometimes give up all together and just flap around while looking for a place to nap.

Consequently, I can get a Toupet fundoplication performed to correct the hernia and limit the reflux, but this procedure isn't quite as effective as the full fundoplication, for which I'm not eligible because of the layabout esophagus. Another wrench in the works is that I'm too heavy right now to ensure the best outcome from the surgery. I actually felt a little sorry for the doctor, as he seemed a trifle nervous to bring up my weight, as though I would heave around my ass and smother him in outrage for letting that taboo subject be discussed amongst strangers, like my weight is an illegitimate child or Auntie's affair with the neighbor's hunky son. But really, saying I need to lose weight is like saying that global warming exists. We know it's there, it doesn't have a quick solution, but it's perfectly manageable if we all work together and exercise some restraint. Consequently, before I get the procedure done, I need to get the plump little ball rolling. Support and solidarity are requested.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Tube in, stomach contents out.

First three of four tests are done. First test, horrible. Large tube embedded with metal sensorballs inserted painfully through nose and down throat, inducing several vomiting bouts, embarrassingly, and then had to swallow salt water and viscous gel meant to simulate chewed food, all to test muscle strength and coordination as well as sphincter capabilities. Scrumptious. However, husband's love proven yet again, as held hand and petted head and lifted me up, while I oozed liquids from eyes, nose and throat. Wonderful husband. Love husband.

Finished test and then very happily sedated for second, of which absolutely nothing is remembered. Lovely drugs. Hiatal hernia confirmed. Had yet another tube inserted through nose, down esophagus and into stomach, fortunately while groggy enough to not care. Came home and was surprisingly alert, although surprisingly exhausted. Oddly, no reflux and belching now, irritatingly. Want proof of vexing issues. Where is proof? Need acid now. Must keep diary of incidents, but few incidents to report, as of yet.

Shelly and Angie came over and gave beautiful present, cupcakes and ice cream because they are loveliest friends and wanted to help. Shelly even taking me back tomorrow so I don't have to drive. At 7:30 am. Must buy chocolates for that.

Tube out tomorrow morning and then barium swallow. Consult with doctor at 9:30. Cross your fingers and hope for possibility of laparoscopic repair.

Monday, September 03, 2007

It burnses, it burnses.

Day five off Prilosec. Scope not for two more days. Esophagus burns. Throat hurts. Acid bubbling up from lack of sphincter. Intestines cramping from unaccustomed levels of gastric juices. No caffeine as makes more burning. Finally understand what endoscopy clinic questionnaire means when asks if stomach symptoms interfere with every day life. Can't sleep. Wake up coughing. No voice. Can't sing. Must constantly eat bland food to give hydrochloric something to do. However, all food sounds horrible as want to vomit all the time. Very burpy, which causes much embarrassment.

Bright side, lack of energy means I re-finished front and back of Aran sweater as only want to sit on ass and watch Coupling marathon. Don't want to work tomorrow as will be very busy and is Christian's birthday. Want to celebrate (in limited fashion). Can't wait for glorious drugs for scope.