Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Disorganized Finishing

We had a houseguest this weekend. A most delightful and awesome houseguest, the kind of houseguest that is not merely welcome, but the sort where you wish things like he would buy the house next door, and maybe his wife won’t notice if we just KEEP him. (I think she’d notice. And also, she could totally beat me up in a fair fight. Which is why I wouldn’t fight fair, bwa-hahaha.)

He brought all kinds of good things with him; good memories, good conversation, fun times, and last night we went out to dinner with him and a bunch of other people we haven’t seen in way too long – the old gang, cutting it up.

…until almost midnight…

NEEDLESS TO SAY, I did not catch the 4:49 train this morning.

Or the 6:09.

In point of fact, it is miraculous that I managed the 7:09.

And then I was heading for the shuttle and had a moment of confusion because it recently changed so that now instead of the 54 I take the 53, which used to be the “wrong” one but now it isn’t the wrong one and in the couple of heartbeats that I was going all autopilot to the 54, the 53 slammed shut the doors and took.off, soooooooo, I went ahead and got on the 54 whiiiiiich now takes approximately 3.5 hours to actually get to BART.

…but at least I got a seat, which it is looking like the people at the next station (which is where the 53 is now going all expressly) are not going to get.

So, I’ve got that going for me.

Plus, I spent more than half of the weekend going, “Blah blah blah blah blah!!” at our guest (the lucky devil) instead of tending to my usual anti-Chaos pre-next-work-week business, and then worked from home yesterday (which means I didn’t have to get my commuting act together until this morning, after said late night) soooooooooo, ahem, yeah.

I am more than tad discombobulated this morning.

How bad is it? Yes, well, let’s put it this way: I am wearing a dress today.

That’s right. Girl. Clothes.

Because, my usual attire is…well, I’m not sure where it is, actually. But where it is not is in my closet where I can find it. But the dress was there, and clean, and hanging up and all like that (because I have never actually worn it before, ahem) (yeah…had to cut the tags off it this morning) (huh…hope I got all of them, come to think of it…), so I threw it on and then there was this farce about shoes (oy), and since I have no full length mirror in the house, I have no idea if the “look” I have thrown together here is even marginally OK.

But, it’s what I’ve got soooooo, I’ll just have to go with it.

Welcome to my life, people.

But! I did manage to finally remember to grab my new laptop. Which is not the new laptop the husband bought for me a while ago.

It’s actually a very old laptop that has been re-re-re-re-re…hang on a sec…{counts on fingers} re-re-re-purposed.

SEE, the new laptop was…too big. It was heavy, and awkward to carry around, given that I had another laptop with me as well. A bunch of the function and number keys were in the “wrong” place for me, and I was having a remarkably (ridiculously) hard time adjusting to it.

So reluctantly, I gave it back to the store and the husband and I went back to the drawing board…and just as the fun and games were really ramping up again with the I dunno, netbook or notebook, or maybe a tablet thing, he had one of those a-ha! moments.

“What about that little machine?” he asked, pointing at the rather large paperweight sitting on the table – having recently been regurgitated from a long-forgotten box of Laptops That Only Need A Little Work To Function Again.

One $69 hard drive later, this older Dell is more than sufficient for my needs. Woot!

Now, a large of the reason that this extremely obvious option didn’t occur to us was that we are shamefully disorganized – things just kind of get shoved wherever they’ll fit instead of somewhere logical (ha!) or accessible (hahahaha!), and also we have so much crap potentially valuable bits of this and that (one of the dangers of the LBYMs lifestyle: You hold onto stuff because it “might be useful.” Which is fine up to a point, that point being the point at which you can’t get into your garage anymore because you’ve got so many boxes of cables, plastic parts that don’t fit anything you currently own but might be useful, you know, if we should happen to get another circa 1952 refrigerator someday! and the like).

I have actually been trying, really hard, to fix this situation; over the last couple months, I have been an organizing fiend. I’ve been going through all kinds of areas, one at a time, and really dealing with them; not just getting things to look neat, not just to get an idea of what-all kinds of Crazy I’ve got shoved in that cupboard or drawer, but to actually take everything out of them, really look at them, decide where it “should” live, and then {brace for revolutionary thinking, y’all} put them there.

I KNOW. I should write a book or something. I don’t think anybody in the history of ever has had this kind of crazy-awesome idea!

But it is very, very slow going. I totally know why it is that things have gotten to the level of Nuts that they have; it’s because the only person who actually cares enough to deal with this kind of stuff (that would be me) has almost no natural patience.

So when I’m sitting down with a file cabinet full of old papers from 1996 and deciding what I can scan-and-shred, what I can just shred, and what I’m going to have to go ahead and hold onto…I get real twitchy, real fast. It’s boring, it’s pointless, I have “better” things to be doing, aaaaaaaand then I shove it all back into the file cabinet to deal with “later.”

Which should be pronounced “never.”

It’s very slow going. My bedroom currently looks like a hurricane hit it. Right after a big earthquake. Which came on the heels of a yarn store throwing up in it. And then a classroom of ADHD children visited. And brought a farm-load of dust with them.

Plus I think I could knit a second cat out of all the cat hair. Oy. (How only one [1] cat can produce that much hair is a scientific mystery. If only we could harness this power, baldness would be a thing of the past.)

But you know one of the cool things about this kind of frenzy, where you pull out a bag full of something and say, “No! You will not just shove that back into the cupboard! You will deal. with. it!”?

You finish stuff.

Like…little Dale of Norway “Lillehammer” sweaters that have “only” needed their steeks sewn and cut, and their sleeves set in, and approximately 32,000 stitches picked up around the neck to make the collar.

Captain Adventure Lillehammer

(Alas, it is too small for Captain Adventure now. I could weep, even though it totally serves me right; you canNOT set aside a sweater for a 4 year old until he is SIX and reasonably expect anything but sorrow to come of it.)

I will have to make another one for him, someday. I do love it so…and it would look so smart on him. Plus also I did a pretty awesome job on the collar – if I do say so myself, and you will note that I do (shameless!):

Lillehammer Collar


Like another less-little sweater for a more-bigger sister.

Danger Mouse Sweater

Fortunately, this one was being made a size too big for Danger Mouse to start with, so it does still fit her! WOO HOO!

I’m not as thrilled with the collar on this one, though; these Dale of Norway sweaters do a nifty thing where you do the collar, then purl a turning row, knit another fourteen rounds (or so) above the collar, and then fold that down and stitch it to the inside of the sweater – it makes for a very neat looking finish on the collar, and (if you do it right) a smoother join for the wearer. Win-win.

But this one…I dunno. I just had a lot of trouble getting the stockinette to not pucker around the neck on the inside. (It doesn’t show from the outside and doesn’t bother Danger Mouse at all, but I know it’s there. All wrinkly. And pucker-y. Feh.)

Danger Mouse collar

The other thing that has me mildly alarmed on this sweater is…after I washed it and stretched it out on the PVC sweater blocker the husband made for me…I found a couple holes in it. I’m not sure it is actually moth damage; they don’t look chewed so much as like I split the yarn (possibly because I was daydreaming and looking out the window on BART instead of looking at what I was doing with my hands right now, which was actually a recurring problem on these sweaters), hooked only one of the plies with the needle and then that gave way in the wash.

I repaired the holes (pulled out the broken bits and tacked them down on the inside, then used a duplicate stitch to pick up the “dropped” stitches, graft them back together and keep the pattern intact), but now I’m regarding the sweater with Great Suspicion.

Which makes Danger Mouse nervous, because of course she doesn’t know I’m squinting irritably at the sweater as she dashes by, so she’s all, “What?” and I’m all, “WHAT-what?” and she’s all “I didn’t do it!” and I’m all, “Wait, WHAT didn’t you do?!” and it just kind of goes downhill from there.

(She did too do it. That’s a given whenever a child randomly blurts out, “I DIDN’T DO IT!” The trick is discovering what she did. Like maybe shoving five travel mugs full of hot cocoa under the upstairs bathroom sink instead of bringing them downstairs to be washed. WHICH SHE DIDN’T DO. AND NEITHER DID BOO BUG.)

(You’d think I beat them bloody, wouldn’t you? The way they struggle to avert all blame, for anything and everything, you’d think I practiced Old Fashioned Spanking-Style Parenting…which I don’t, not because I’m “100% dead-set against spanking, period” but because by the time I’m pushed to the point where I don’t wanna use words anymore, well, I shouldn’t be raising my hand to anybody, let alone a little child…)

ANYWAY. That’s the news, in brief, now from BART, straight from my cluttered-up, hopeless mind to yours. (Wait…waaaaaaaait…here we goooooooo…AND! IT IS UNDERWATER BLOGGING! WOO HOOOOOOOO, UNDERWATER BLOGGING!!!!!)

May your day be free of madness, and may your filing systems be systems…instead of “where can I shove this envelope full of whatever-it-is, AH! There’s a little daylight...!” operations.


PBear said...

TWO Dale of Norway sweaters??? I bow at your feet in awe... my lifetime ambition is to make ONE. (Although I must confess, it would be for ME, if I'm going to spend that much time on something...)

Love the Lillehammer...

nannisandi said...

I think you are talking about MY house! Mr B has enough "dead" computers in the dead computer room to supply all the offices in Whitehall....if they were working (which they're not!!) love your blog, it makes me laugh!!

Louiz said...

Weee, underwater blogging! Sounds so very cool.

Plus I think I trademarked that sort of filing system. I could prove it too, but the paperwork is... somewhere around here:)

Lois B, said...

The sweaters are awesome! With everything that you do including raising kids, I'm overwhelmed. T

PipneyJane said...

You're talking about my house, aren't you? How did you know? :o)

Great sweaters.

- Pam

Sungld said...

Keep writing!!! You give us hope for own lives.

ccr in MA said...

Those sweaters are amazing! Perhaps a little later than planned (ahem), but extra points for doing an awesome job.

JustGail said...

I totally understand the "could be useful someday" and the "put it where it fits" syndromes. It's hard knowing what the cut-off is between still useful and not any more. With computers, that cutoff is when you offer them for free and no one wants them.

Gorgeous sweaters, I hope to be able to knit like that some day. As for the puckers, only you can see them, anyone else would attribute them to the kids moving around. The galloping horse rule should be invoked here, in my opinion.

The Incredible M. said...

As far as the organizing thing goes, I jumped on the Flylady bandwagon for the decluttering, and it works super well. You kind of make a game of it and give yourself permission to not tackle the whole thing at once. Slow, but consistent progress. Shockingly enough, it gets you there.