New Year, New-ish Things

A modified list of projects. I’ve removed the projects marked completed and deleted. Now, my mission is to finish these off. At the end of last year, I busted out a quick Valentine Teddy Bear with Heart Shaped feet, called Bertie the Bear, for my neighbor, on the occasion of her birthday. I’m not going to include it in this listing as it was finished prior to the New Year.

 

Mommy Sox Junior (Loading…)
Plastic Fantastic socks for myself
AHA Little Hats, Big Hearts Project
Blodeuwedd The Hat for me
Little Boy Blue Blanket (Loading…)
Cosmos Doily Madness: Doily Three (Loading…95%)
Child-bearer’s Cardigan (Loading…messed up but still loading at 90%)
Boba Fett Amigurumi Doll
Yoda Amigurumi Doll
Rose Doily #804
In Love With Color Throw (Loading…90%)
Bigger on the Inside Shawl
Gloves for myself
A scarf for myself
Villimarjatar Shawl (Loading…)
Large Pineapple Doily
Monster Slippers for Valerie
Socks for The Maternal Parental x4
Socks for Myself x4
A Shawl of my own design
Wings for Nightbird Shawl
Dragon egg
Hobbes doll for April
Inishturk Sweater x2
Long Weekend Cardigan
Simple Shells Cowl
Fan Lace Tunic
Revontuli -huivi/Northern Lights Shawl
Scrap Yarn Shiver Stopper 2017

After six months of growing and four months of harvesting, I am taking down the Mega Cherry Tomatoes. Aside from the fact that I’m allergic to tomato plants and have been sneezing up a storm since they’ve grown, I’m just ready for a change. So, I have ordered the needed parts, that being the filters and plant spacers. Everything else, the Grow Your Own kit, the Liquid Nutrient, the seeds, etc. are all here already. All I need do is clean the Aerogarden out on the ninth, when I get the remaining supplies, and set the new garden up.

 

This next garden, I’m planning on leaving in for quite a while. Actually, I may leave it in for upwards of a few years, if the plants last that long. Things in the Pepper family are supposed to last a while and Sweet Pickle Organic Pepper looks like a good plant to have growing for a long period of time.

 

In addition to all the things I’ve been focused on doing, I’m also adding the title of “tutor” to the mix. The Maternal Parental, apparently, wants to learn about computers (again), so I’m going to teach her everything I know about Computer Know-How, Getting on the Internet, etc. She was supposed to take classes at the Library but, owing to a previous day’s extended exposure to the extremely cold temperatures, she was unable to find the strength to get to the class the following morning.

 

Hopefully, I can come up with a lesson plan that is good for her. One that will enable her to learn and take charge of her own learning.

 

As if my plate weren’t full enough, I’m also going to begin attending meetings at a local organization that matches my philosophical beliefs, or at least seems to. We’ll see how much we actually gel once I get there. If we all do get along, it’ll be nice having good, secular voices to talk with for a change. Being agoraphobic and cooped up with someone who is, shall we say, religiously obsessed, is a bit on the tedious side.

 

My problem isn’t with the religious aspect. I’m fine discussing religion as I am fine discussing non-religious subjects. However, when one begins using it as a sledgehammer to try to convert people one feels aren’t living up to the ideals according to ones own beliefs, then we have a problem. I’ve stated myself as plainly as I could regarding not joining a religion, not having a specific belief structure, etc. but it is still attempted, in spite of my kindness or perhaps because of it. I don’t want to be rude or derisive but it is irksome to keep getting that.

 

In trying to understand, I’m guessing that, perhaps, people have an idealized vision of what I should be like, based on stereotypes and assumptions, and balk when I don’t fit the mold of what they think someone like myself should act like. Well, limiting expectations have never been my cup of tea.

 

Another “as if my plate weren’t full enough” thing is actually mentioned in the listing of knit and crochet projects in a sort of roundabout way. I’m getting back into volunteering. In this era of fear and greed, I need to do something brave and selfless with my time to counterbalance the aforementioned. I’m looking for “out of the house” positions but I am not opposed to doing an “work from home” position if it does good works and keeps me busy.

 

Right now, I’m making baby hats for the American Heart Association’s Little Hats, Big Hearts drive. Basically, you make a lot of little red hats for babies, send them in before the deadline, Lather, Rinse, Repeat. I am fully prepared for the making of hats in 2017. I have a skein of Lion Brand’s Pound of Love yarn in Cherry Red and a few patterns with plans to get more of both. I actually love making little hats. Squeeeeeeee!

 

Other volunteer positions I’m looking at but still on the fence about are NAMI, the Library, and a few local yarn shops (if they’ll take me!), etc.

 

Speaking of the Library, I’m upping the ante on my Korean Language learning saga. Up until now, I’ve been learning words and a few phrases. I just put a bunch of language Audiobooks on hold at the Library so I could not only study the language more but also so I could learn sentence structure. My next step, after this, is going to H-Mart to get a newspaper to study.

 

Well, I think that’s enough writing for one day. I have a lot to do and not much time in the day to do it.

 

Have a fantastic New Year. Later!

Rage, Hurt and Healing

I just participated in the #WhenIWas hashtag on Twitter. In case you all don’t know what that is, this link and this link should explain it in more detail.

 

I have to say, it was very cathartic getting these events written down outside of my private writings. There were so many instances that I had to stop writing for my sanity’s sake. Like many others, I paused before tweeting and considered deleting my tweets several times before letting them stand. Then, I thought about it. Why, after all these years, should these people have power over me to write or not write a tweet confronting the disgusting truth of what was done?

 

I have never understood the mentality of pushing the victimized person in the corner and blaming them for the horrors they’ve suffered. Yet, I’m seeing it and have seen it over and over in my day to day life. Where is all the outrage for the person doing the victimizing?

 

This stuff is unacceptable. No one should have to go through these things.

Vampire Writing Hours

I’ve been so stressed out lately. I’m giving serious thought to inverting my schedule just so I can get some peace and quiet to write in. Apparently, it takes the passage of midnight for people to stop banging on the friggin’ front door or ringing the phone. Sometimes… *glare* …not even then will the noise stop.

 

The only writing I’ve gotten done is a story I’ve completed after nine years. It’s not for NaNoWriMo but it’s something I’ve been anxious about completing. I consider it done now at thirty-nine pages. Thanks to my friend, it has a title. I’ve put it up on a few sites, including my own InsaneJournal behind F-lock. I may put it up on another site a friend just told me about last night but, for that, I’ll have to go over it with a fine toothed comb for errors. I do that now but, as of now, it’s just me reading my writings. No Beta reader. I’ll just have to up my game of checking after myself. I did get positive feedback about it though. That’s something. Now, I just have to keep churning them out.

 

Finally have an appointment for the doctor to get this bronchitis checked out. I don’t have the strength or the patience to go to the offices with more open appointments available, so I’m waiting for the one in my area even though it’s got fewer available appointments and on a later date.

 

Speaking of appointments, I have an appointment to donate platelets in forty four days. This will be the first time I’ve been back in almost four years. Life and various tiny illnesses/injuries just kept getting in the way. Like this darn bronchitis. Hopefully, I’ll be in peak physical condition come my appointment time. I normally pull a high number too, whatever that means. I’ll remind myself to look up what that means. It’ll just be fun to be helping out again.

 

I’m also taking my buddy, Winky – the Blood Drop.

 

He’s a squeeze ball. I made him off of a pattern I found on Ravelry.

 

I’m getting sleepy now. So, I’m going to take a nap, so I can wake up at 1am my time to write. Later!

Changing My Programming

Last night, I spent the better part of the night writing out my gloriously wonderful and supportive childhood. *ironic laughter*

 

Okay, that’s enough, I don’t want to tempt universal fate and have lightning to strike me or something. Lightning

 

Actually, I spent that time writing out part of my life’s story. Yes, it’s a tragic tale of woe and no, I don’t talk about it too often outside of a therapy session. You see, I am writing a letter. A very special letter. A letter which may well change the course of my life depending on the reply I get from the recipient. It is important that I disclose everything about my life to this person, so they may better understand my idiosyncrasies and, hopefully, be willing to move forward together in friendship and love. Awww…Red heart

 

If this person is not as serious as they claim to be, this letter will serve to warn them off before we’re irrevocably tied together. So, I have a lot riding on this letter. As odd as it may seem, I’m not nervous, despite so much weight being put on my mind due to this situation. Strangely, my mind is at peace with the whole situation. Either we’ll move forward together or we won’t move together at all. Those are the two big choices. Everything else is small potatoes. Fingers crossed

 

In another situation, I have been writing again recently. I’ve taken to posting it to Facebook, usually with a warning of impending doom at reading my works. This is another situation where my early programming comes in.

 

Throughout my childhood, until I was a legal adult, I was frequently derided for my writing skills. It didn’t help matters that I wasn’t fully literate until third grade. Yet, to have multiple adults constantly barraging my young mind with the same negative programming wasn’t good, in my opinion. It only served to push me into self-deprecation in all my work due to expecting derision from others. Rather than suffer the arrows of others, I tend to commit social seppuku whenever I can. Especially when it’s something related to my creative endeavors.

 

I was recently admonished by a friend not to do this. She’s right. I shouldn’t do this. I may not have formal literary training but I do have good stories. They stand up well, despite the flaws in grammar and punctuation. I just need to remember that writing is a marathon of creativity, not a sprint. The fun is in the process of uncovering the stories in our minds.

 

So, from here on, I’m going to post my words without derisive commentary.

 

Okay, now it’s almost Lunch time. Bowl

 

Later, Earthlings! Rolling on the floor laughingRed heartRainbow

Not My Clowns, Not My Circus…and Crocheting Too

This whole situation regarding the Cosby allegations has certainly been triggering over the past few weeks. Last night, I donned the asbestos body suit and dived into the comments of one of the Facebook article links. In that unhappy land, were a bunch of apologists, making brash assumptions about exactly what and how a person victimized by Rape should do and act. If it weren’t so pathetically sad, it would have been laughable. Most of the people tapping their fingers and flapping their gums have no experience being victimized and yet they felt honor bound to not only call the accusers every conceivable derrogatory name in existence, but to actually have the audacity to dictate, in their view, how someone who has dealt with such a trauma should behave. Madness.

Really, spare me such ridiculous nonsense.

None of these self appointed guardians of Cosby’s virtue were in the presence of accusers and accused at the time of the incidents, so how could anyone stand there and so vehemently declare his unblemished innocence?

I don’t know either Bill Cosby or his accusers. Nor do most people taking sides in this dogfight.

In all honesty, I don’t like him and never have. I think he’s an arrogant shithead who uses people for his own ends and castigates when he hasn’t got an ethical leg to stand on. Yet, you don’t see me screaming from the rooftops that he’s either innocent or guilty in this situation because I wasn’t there. I would hope that, when the full bevy of facts come to light, everything will fall into place on one side or the other. Sadly, I know from experience that cases like these often go unsatisfied because of gullible people who become staunch defenders even in the face of overwhelming evidence.

The whole thing just sickens me. Not my clowns, not my circus.

In brighter news, if I can ever get from under this somnolent haze I’ve been under these past few days, I am almost finished Ari’s scarf. I’m going to work on it tonight, provided I don’t pass out again and sleep for twelve hours.

Here’s the most recent picture of the scarf.

Everyone, and I do mean everyone, loves the pattern and the colorway of the yarn. The pattern is called the Noro Windowpane Scarf by Adrienne Lash and the yarn details are Knit Picks Chroma Fingering weight yarn in the colorway Prism. I honestly don’t know if Knit Picks will ever sell this colorway again but it’s worth a try petitioning them.

Now onto my craziness. I have been doing a lot of updates with regard to my online accounts recently. I’ve updated this blog’s appearance a bit, got a few new accounts that I’m looking forward to playing with and I’ve even updated my public Facebook page. I’ve also updated my OK Cupid page again, expanding on my interests on my profile. Hopefully, this will all aid me in meeting people I actually want to meet (OK Cupid), aid in my production of fresh new online content (everything else) and over all just save me from the headache of keeping up with multiple accounts of differing names.

Last but not least, I’ve been eating grapefruit. Ye gads, it’s disgusting! Being a completely unobservant silly person, I saw citrus-y fruit in the spot marks “Oranges” at the market and picked up a bag. Little did I know that what I picked up was, in point of fact, the most foul thing to evolve from the citrus line. Grapefruit. Ruby red grapefruit. I didn’t notice it was grapefruit until the Maternal Parental and I had gotten home and couldn’t return it since it’s a perishable. So, there I was, stuck with grapefruit that neither I nor the Maternal Parental could eat owing to medication interactions.

I tried to give it away but no one who was close enough to take it would come and get it. (glaring at Joel and Mike) So, after initially trying one grapefruit and swearing them off for all eternity, I began to eat the rest of them. Mike, in his infinite wisdom and goodness, explained how to eat them with a minimum about of bitterness. Apparently, you have to peel the membrane from the flesh of the grapefruit for it to be palatable.

Why do we eat this again?

I did this and was met with a bitter but not impossible to eat fruit. Then, I started getting dizzy and thought it better that I suspend taking my medications until after this little lesson in paying attention at the supermarket was over with. From a maximum of ten, I have two left after almost a week of eating them.

Of course, the downside is that I’m more dizzy than I’ve ever been before in my life. Somewhere at the intersection of medication still in my system and grapefruit consumption, I am having some nasty side effects. Oh well, it’s one more day or less if I eat these last two grapefruit tonight. Then, it’s three days to clear the grapefruit enzyme out of my system before I can go back, blissfully, to taking my meds.

All because I didn’t want food to go to waste. I’ve got a pathological issue with this that really should be addressed. I know what it comes from: brutally starving as a kid and as a young adult but there’s no reason for me to make myself suffer like this anymore. Yeeesh. 😦

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I must get back to work on the scarf and other projects. Later. 🙂

The Hair Saga – Relaxers AKA The Nightmare of My Youth

Last night, I took a picture and uploaded it to Facebook. Not the above picture, I just included it because I like it.

I had just washed my hair and hadn’t yet combed it out into a style yet. I liked the look of it so much, that I contemplated wearing it out in an Afro when the weather got warm again. A number of friends of mine “Liked” the picture and one even commented on it positively. As it usually does when the subject is women’s hair, the conversation turned to chemical/mechanical manipulation. I then bemoaned women’s reluctance to wear their hair in its natural state. As it usually does, this brought back memories of my own experiences with chemical and mechanical hair manipulation and the dire after effects of said treatments.

When I was very young, my female relatives and a few select hair dressers used to do what is called “Pressing hair”. A hot comb, made of metal, is heated to a medium temperature and combed through dry, greased hair until it straightened the strands temporarily. It’s really not a fun process to endure. I recall frequently squirming in my seat, hoping to avoid the ritual but, to the minds of the community around me, nothing could be worse than my own unprocessed natural hair. Apparently.

This went on for several years until the hue, cry and clarion call in the surrounding community became one of getting a relaxer in my hair as soon as possible. In particular, one teacher took special interest in commenting on my usually unprocessed hair by making derogatory remarks whenever she could. This was usually laughed at by other adults and students, so there was no hope of rescue from my eventual fate.

When I was ten years old, this teacher pressured the Maternal Parental into getting the first of several relaxers applied to my hair. It was arranged that, a local woman who knew how to apply the chemicals necessary would put it in my hair. So, one Sunday afternoon, we walked up from where we lived to the next block north of us and found the lady’s house. At the time, her daughter was battling leukemia and I guess it was a feeling of empathy and extreme sadness for her situation that kept me from fighting more against the whole endeavor. So, I submitted to this experiment.

I had been asked specifically if I had recently dug in my scalp using my fingernails. I replied that I had. This is an important factor when getting a relaxer. You see, the chemicals used are of such a high pH, that, any purchase it can get will cause scabbing. The Dark & Lovely Permanent Relaxer was applied to my hair and, initially, had a cool, almost icy feeling to it. It was cool in the house and I felt chills all over my body from the rapid application of the chemical mixture. I was slightly uncomfortable but that comparatively blissful cool feeling didn’t last long.

I began feeling a searing, flaming, burning pain all over my scalp. If the Sun had landed on my head, I don’t think it would have been as painful. For those in the know, this was two minutes into the process and I have very thick, tightly curled hair. I hadn’t even gone the full eight to fifteen minutes for my hair to straighten. For those not in the know, depending on your hair’s thickness and curl pattern, you have to leave the relaxer on for a set amount of time according to the recommendations on the box. In my case, it’s a full eight minutes or longer. So, to have blinding pain at two minutes in was not fun. Not fun at all.

Proudly Tomboy ten year old me started crying like a newborn baby. I screamed and screamed for them to take it out. Yet, the process was nowhere near complete and, because it was costing the criticizing teacher money, I had to wait. It was torture. It was beyond torture. So, I sat there, crying and learned a whole new level of what it meant to tolerate pain. Even my precociously procured period pain was nothing compared with this plasma fire sitting on top of my head.

Finally, the preset timer in the kitchen went off at the eight minute mark. The lady rushed me into the kitchen, sat me down in the chair, and put my head in the depression of the hairwashing cradle she’d set up in her sink. I closed my eyes, cried, and prayed for death. It was that bad. I got admonishments from the lady that I must be “tenderheaded” not to be able to take a relaxer. Right….

Quickly, the neutralizing shampoo was applied and rinsed through my hair. It’s pretty self explanatory. It’s a shampoo that neutralizes the chemical in the relaxer to keep it from reacting any further. The initial stream of water felt like fire on top of fire but it was only lukewarm water coming out of the tap. Eventually, the searing, burning pain subsided to a dull ache. Apparently, I had scabs in my head from the relaxer’s burn.

When I’d opened my eyes finally, I must have had a look of pure hatred on my face because the lady jumped back a bit. Wrapping a clean towel around my head, she ushered me into the diningroom of her home and began combing my hair out to dry it properly. Much to my shock, the comb went right through my hair. I sneaked a peak at my head and my beautiful mane was replaced by a wavy mass of shiny long locks. I was in shock, I didn’t know what to think. Apparently, the relaxer didn’t fully take but it was good enough for a first time, according to her.

She then styled my hair into a single cornrow, coming up the back of my head to terminate in a series of Shirley Temple curls at the front. My hair was pretty long back then. I was then informed that I’d have to come back in about six weeks to get a touch up to the relaxer. I was given a dire warning not to wash my hair the week prior or to dig in my scalp at all or the same burning pain would happen again. She didn’t need to tell me twice. Since this was going to be a regular occurance in my life, I committed that little factoid to memory.

The next day at school was heartbreaking. I was not well liked by most students and was frequently made fun of. I was used to that. I’d come to accept that as a part of my daily existance. What really hurt me was the school’s collective reaction to my new hairstyle. I had come in late that morning, and had gone directly to my fifth grade classroom to sit while I waited for everyone else to come back so the learning could begin. I think they were all in Physical Education at the time. When they came back to class, I was sitting in my usual seat and, after first doing a collective doubletake, they all started applauding.

All I could give was a wry smile at the time but, man, that really hurt to have that reaction. Even at that age, I knew that I was more than the sum of my parts. To be judged and found wanted based on something as trivial as my hair texture was painful. From there, the fake nice “false friends” started coming out of the woodwork to compliment me on my hair. Even the teacher had something backhanded to say. Ah, you just can’t win.

The relaxing of my hair became an almost regular ritual until I was thirteen years old. I was so sick of getting relaxers and the effects they caused by that point that I cut my own hair short in protest and to save myself the embarassment of the chemical fade I had. You see, the relaxer damages the hair follicle so that it eventually breaks off. My hair had gotten to the point where most of the permed hair had fallen out, but for a small amount at the top of my head. To save my sanity, I cut it all off. Surprisingly, the world didn’t end when I did.

This fractured bit of dysfunction was brought to you by the letters P and O and by the number 9. :-p

Okay, just messing with you. Thanks for reading a slice of my history. For more information on natural hair journeys, please check out Naptural85 and CurlyNikki for more information.

9 June 2010 – My Nightmares

My nightmares about past events are the single biggest reminder why I never want to go back to the way things were!