confessions of a tight knitter

the sea

I didn’t have a photo to go along with any of the different topics in this post, so I’m placing one of my favorite images here. Maybe it will soften the blow for the randomness you’re about to read.

I think I had a dream about Burt Reynolds last night. Not the “now” Burt, but the younger, Smokey and the Bandit Burt. This has nothing to do with the rest of the post – I just wanted to document this somewhere.

I’ve been called a tight knitter. (For the record, I call myself a stone cold knitter.) I guess that could be considered an insult, but I have this new thing where no matter what kind of comment I receive, I try and take it as a compliment:

Dental Hygienist: You have a lot of saliva.
Me: OMG!! Thank you!!! I didn’t think anyone would notice!!!!

Lab Technician: You have tiny veins (after unsuccessfully poking me four times for a blood test).
Me: Do you know how long I’ve waited to hear those four words? I love you, Lab Technician…

Back to knitting. Okay, so my stitches are tightlywoventogether.  You could easily jump to the next logical conclusion: I’m wound tightly.

(I know, this is kind of a weird post. Burt Reynolds, medical personnel, and now knitting, but not having much to do with knitting, either. I understand. You’re angry and confused because you really wanted the details of my Burt Reynolds-infused dream. Or maybe you’re not even in front of your computer anymore. My eager-to-please tendencies are severely tested by this, yet the feline part of me is totally unconcerned.)

I can admit to this. Tight stitches = perfection, control, fear of failure. (I’m only speaking for myself of course, because I dig metaphors and I’m always on the lookout for lessons from inanimate objects.) But here’s the thing: I used to be even more tightly wound. You see, I have a very severe Inner Critic. But in the past few years, I’ve begun to feel more grounded and centered. Some of the seeds I’ve planted – realizations, practices, mindfulness, self-care, trust – have slowly started to emerge. It’s pretty awesome, even with its crazy and unpredictable moments. The Inner Critic can be a dirty bastard, so it has been a delightful surprise when I can either head it off at the pass, give it the side eye, or be met with serene silence.

I’m serious. My head is more empty than ever before. If you don’t believe me, I’ve also included a photo below of the white noise in my brain:

 

 

 

Isn’t it lovely? Don’t give up, TightKnitters. Plant those seeds. Plant a lot of them, and often. This is what it’s like to tame the beast. And someday you, too, can have an empty head just like mine.

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girls just wanna have puffed sleeves

 

Anne's Puffed Sleeves

“Puffed sleeves are so fashionable now. It would give me such a thrill, Marilla, just to wear a dress with puffed sleeves…I’d rather look ridiculous when everybody else does than plain and sensible all by myself,” persisted Anne mournfully.

Oh, how I love Anne Shirley. But seriously. Those sleeves.

All of you Anne-with-an-E fans: Am I alone in this aversion to her dress? Don’t get me wrong – I was thrilled when she got the dress of her dreams. I had myself a right ugly cry when she thanked Matthew for buying it. I mean, I’m not a monster.

But those mega-inflated sleeves. She looked like a linebacker, albeit wearing a lacy dress. A lacy-dress-wearing linebacker with a tiny head.

And then I came across this photo:

check out my puffed sleeves!

I don’t remember this dress. I don’t remember being this young. I don’t remember being so smiley.

This looks more like the me of today: You lookin’ at me?? You’d better not be lookin’ at me.

Apparently, my cute-as-a-button cousins didn’t get the memo about the dress code (sidenote: I think I look like Elvis Presley in this photo. Uh uh huh.)

And speaking of birthdays, today is my so-called day. What’s on my to-do list for today?

Write a post for my often-neglected blog. check.
Shave legs. check.
Find an adult version of puffed-sleeve dress. I’m on it.
Have dinner with friends who are excellent cooks, and request paella as my birthday dinner. Request pending. Four hours and counting.

And…Work. You heard right, you beautiful people! At the beginning of 2016, I managed to get two jobs with the help of incredibly supportive friends. One is a short-term contract job that is kicking the butt of my brain in a good way. The other? Well, it’s too early to talk about that one, as my role isn’t quite defined yet. But I’ll say this: Being myself finally paid off during the interview. I guess the others couldn’t handle the truth. (Wow. Seeing myself in that puffy dress is somehow giving me delusions of grandeur. It’s the attitude…it’s all in the attitude…)

writing is such sweet sorrow

 

I’m having writer’s block.

My mind is a blank. Not my regular blank but that no-makey-sense-my-words-no-good kind of blank. So, when in doubt, post photos of extremely random things and make matching random comments:

vandals

This is my newest succulent. I’m holding a little nub that had been uprooted from its pot and tossed disrespectfully onto the ground. It had toothmarks on it. I often find my succulents with bite marks and chewed leaves, knocked over, or uprooted and strewn about. Vandals. Miscreants. Other strong words describing animals behaving badly.

 

I have this thing with tree trunks

This is my favorite selfie. Morning feet, good. Morning face, bad. Trust me on this.

 

serious mood lighting
The lighting in my place is ridiculous. I want to invite people over so that they can take their selfies in this light. For a small, yet exorbitant fee, of course.

 

cute badonkadonk

Cute sheep butt sighting.
Sheep cute butt sighting.
Sighting cute butt sheep.

All of these descriptions work pretty well. I really missed out on a career with words about sheep butts.

 

planting bok choy

Planting bok choy. Taking time to admire my work. Too much time. I had trouble straightening my legs but didn’t have any problem making a lot weird sounds while trying to stand up.

 

apple season

I am so lucky to be in a part of the world that has an abundance of beautiful summer fruit. I’m very, very grateful. Along with eating the fruit raw, I’ve made apple cake, apple crisp, and multiple batches of applesauce. Peach crisps are dang delicious. I put plums in my oatmeal. Nectarines and strawberries went into my yogurt. Pears went down my gullet. Fruit has been an extremely attentive BFF, the kind of BFF from whom you need to take a little break and hope they don’t take it personally. Okay, I think I’ve covered my bases. If there’s one thing I don’t need, it’s Fruit being all like, “I thought you were my friend….!!!!”

Well, I guess I wasn’t lacking for words after all.

I believe that part of having writer’s block is the belief that you have nothing to say. Fear of sucking at something you actually love to do. Overthinking doesn’t help. It gets tiring, this thinking about my thinkings. While some people need a more stringent thought process, I need to keep free from extraneous thoughts. I’ll try it now.

Are you still there? It’s kind of creepy the way you’re watching me not think.

That’s why I like you.

I’ll leave you to overthink that one.

 

don’t judge a princess by her tiara

 

Isn't this a pretty sunset? *this is a blatant attempt to lure you into this post.

Isn’t this a pretty sunset? *this is a blatant attempt to lure you into this post.

I recently had a medical procedure – wait! don’t go anywhere yet. I promise you, this post will not contain any gross details. Unless you love disgusting and putrid information. In that case, Louis, my personal bouncer, will show you the way out. He lives for PX90 and eats metal for breakfast. Louis!!! 

Okay, back to my exciting medical procedure.

It’s always been difficult to get a blood pressure reading from me using those arm floatie things. I used to tell technicians about my history of arm-floatie-failure, but they never took me seriously so I stopped saying anything.

This time they gave it a good go using both arms, twice on each arm. Nothing. All four times, the cuff strangled my arms until they couldn’t breathe. If it weren’t for the good meat on these bones I’m sure my arms would’ve passed out and been rendered useless for writing this post. Wouldn’t that have been a shame?

I SAID, WOULDN’T THAT HAVE BEEN A SHAME????

Okay, back to my exciting medical procedure.

Look! Another beautiful sunset. *and another despicable attempt to keep you here.

Look! Another beautiful sunset. *and another despicable attempt to keep you here.

The technician wisely decided to get the manual cuff and the reading was a success.

More staff arrived for the next part of the procedure.

Nurse (peering at me): “What happened to your arms?”
Both upper arms were marked with dark red, vertical lines.
Me: “Oh, those are from the blood pressure cuff.”
Nurse: “Well, aren’t you a precious little Princess.”

I consider myself pretty quick with the comebacks, but that line was like a kick to the head. All of my fancy, funny words fell to floor, stunned into unconsciousness.

Half the people reading this post know me. That’s two of you. And you guys know the irony of that statement. (Unless it’s a truth you’ve been keeping to yourselves, fearing I would go mental on you if you said it out loud.)

I don’t mean to diss any real-life precious princesses, but I think what she said is hilarious. I consider myself way too sensible and sarcastic to be a princess. I am not girly. Hell, my voice is lower than most men’s voices.

But I do have a fluffy, dreamy side to me. Sometimes I’m dainty. I can be bossy. I own 33 tiaras…damn…maybe I…

one of my loyal subjects bowing down to me

One of my loyal subjects bowing down to me.

...like the idea of being royalty.

But the label “Princess” makes me want to kick someone’s ass. Or their calves, since I’m too short to reach their ass. If I were a violent person, I could cause a lot of damage to a lot of legs. But since I’m not…

Louis!!!

I’ll sit for a moment and give this entire topic a bit more thought…

I wish I weren't wearing flip flops in this photo. I'm pretty sure royalty don't wear them. Darn my love of comfortable footwear!!

happiness is a warm taco

My friend Mae took this photo during a moment of our champagne tastes and caviar dreams (I didn't have a picture of me eating a taco).

My friend Mae took this photo during a champagne tastes and caviar dreams moment (I didn’t have a picture of me eating tacos).

The alternative title to this post was “happiness is hugging a warm taco”, but doing so is decidedly messy. Don’t believe me? Try it, then get back to me.

The other day a friend and I went to get tacos at a local Mexican market. It’s no frills and the tacos are soooo good. You walk in, pass the glass case filled with ready-to-go carnitas, salsas, cheese, chicharron, and crema, and head towards the back where you can order your deliciously warm tacos. Did I mention that they are $1.50/each??

When they call out your order for pick up, you can sit down at one of the few tables or hoist yourself up on a bar stool and sit at one of the counters.

I hoisted.

I hugged my taco.

I spoke with my mouth full: “Thi foo make me happy.”

If you’ve made it this far into the post, first of all, thank you from the bottom of my taco-loving heart. Second of all, you might be thinking, “Poor girl, she thinks she’s posting a review on Yelp. tsk tsk.”

Yes, sometimes I get confused and think I’m on Yelp, Match.com or even forget where I am in general, but today, talking about tacos reminds me how something so simple can bring such joy. When everything is so clearly simple and solid and in-the-moment. It doesn’t matter if it’s a taco, a stunning view, or breaking out in uncontrollable laughter with a friend. I’m grateful for any fleeting moment that causes you to connect to yourself and something even beyond that. Something bigger than yourself…that intangible feeling of…love?

I don’t know why my lesson was sent in a taco, but hey, I’ll take it. There’s a reason why I’m always proposing to food. Mr. T and I pity the poor fool I fall in love with: “Marry me or else I’m going to make a taco a very happy husband!!”

Hey, that’s a good title for a Match.com profile…