Archive for January, 2006

The Knitting Olympics

January 29, 2006

Because I am nothing if not a fan of collaborative projects, I have signed myself up for the Knitting Olympics. I am feeling the lull of post-Holidailies and post-NaNoWriMo blues that always hits in January, so I’m dedicating much of my February to knitting my first ever pair of socks. I’m quite excited about it, and as time zips by I find it hard to resist picking up my extremely cute stripy sock yarn and getting started.

Knitting is starting to take over my life a little bit. A new yarn store opened up a mere ten blocks from work, and I find myself zipping over there on lunch breaks, picking up a few things here and there. After an unsuccessful trip to Michael’s tonight to pick up some smaller double-pointed needles (a test swatch led me to decide that my 3mm ones are too big for this sock yarn), I will need to hit one of the yarn stores in the next little while to pick up a set of 2mms. This means either a visit to the shop near my house, where the people are very friendly but the selection is not quite as much to my taste, or the one by work where I love the stuff they have but am lukewarm on the staff who answer many of my questions with “maybe you should take one of our classes.” We’ll see.

I am passing the time this weekend with a Booga Bag, which I’ve had the pattern and the wool for for over a year, and yet was afraid of until this weekend. Why was I afraid? I don’t know. This is super easy to knit and it looks so gorgeous. I’m knitting like a total maniac and will probably finish it before I go to bed tonight. (I may or may not do the felting today.)

Anyway. I will be blogging my progress on the socks, once the Olympics start, and until then maybe I will try to occasionally write about other things. I’m not sure what, though. My life is pretty unexciting right now. Knitting’s the most exciting thing going on.

I know, it’s pathetic. But hey, I’m not complaining. Now if you’ll excuse me, there is a bag waiting for me.

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Blank Slate

January 6, 2006

It’s been a long time since I had a blank year in front of me. 2005 was, as previously mentioned, one of the most scheduled years of my life. I worked full time for the first five months of the year, worked virtually every Saturday for those five months, with a break for a wedding in January (previously scheduled, naturally), lived my happy life with Erin, and was generally pretty predictable. The big excitement of the first half of the year was my trip to Disneyland, which was also well scheduled in advance. (Although not that much in advance – we only decided to go in March on about January 5th.) I had countdowns to things, a sense of time. The first half of the year sped by, and my plans continued to be laid out for me. Weddings, first those of other people, then my own. My wedding, obviously, was the biggest plan I had, and it consumed much of the year. A trip to Hawaii, moving, and settling into a new house, and suddenly the year was all but over.

2004 was not quite as structured, but still had major events that structured my life throughout the year. Although some things ended up on a different time frame than I originally anticipated (hello surgery with one day’s notice, how are you?), there were still many things that I had planned in advance for that year. Starting a new job. Moving out. Living with Erin. Some things caught me by surprise (I doubt anything will ever be more surprising than being proposed to), but although the year started out quite differently than it ended (I started the year unemployed and unengaged), I still had some sense of what I’d be doing with myself. It was the summer of many weddings, too, so most of my weekends were spoken for.

2003 was also well-planned, although it didn’t really end how I had anticipated. I finished my degree, went to Disneyland, got a real job, began the slow process of becoming an adult. (A process I have no delusions of having made much progress on.) I had intentions for that year, probably more than any other year of my life. The expectations were kind of overwhelming, and in retrospect I’m glad I didn’t end up with the life I thought I should have had.

Go back any further, and my life is the predictable nature of a student. Moments of freedom, but a reliable structure that dictated most of my life up until a couple of years ago.

This year, though, is a blank slate. Nothing nailed down, no dates filled into my daytimer, nothing to anticipate. Loose plans float around, but nothing is set in stone, and the freedom is both intoxicating and terrifying. It is now that I really have to start to ask myself what I’m going to do with my life. I am faced with the wide open future that is waiting for me, and I’m not sure what I’m going to fill it with.

But while no plans are yet finalized, ideas float through my head and I try to nail them down, wondering how to choose from the endless options that present themselves to me. I make small decisions here and there – a trip to Vancouver here, a wedding there. But the bigger things – the long-awaited trip to Britain, bigger plans for my novel, grander schemes for my writing in general – seem too large to begin.

One idea nags at me, wanting to be turned into a plan. I waffle on the subject, wait for validation from others, beg for other people to join me. It seems both infinitely do-able and totally impossible simultaneously, and I change my mind by the moment while deep down knowing that I will do it, in some shape or form.

And slowly, my year begins to take form in front of me. It is hazy, no question, but shapes begin to appear, filling me with excitement and fear for the days ahead. I don’t know what lies ahead any more. My life is not planned out on the page in front of me. I cannot predict where I will be six months, a year from now. I do not know what I will accomplish in that time. All I do know is that somehow or other, I will find out. And until I begin to fill it with my life, a blank slate waits for me, full of potential. I only hope that I can live up to its promise.

Reunited and it feels so good.

January 5, 2006

We tried, yesterday, to figure out the longest we’d ever gone without seeing each other. I could probably figure it out if pressed, with a combination of old journal entries and daytimer pages. We had a couple of guesses, a few memories of long waits between visits. This was definitely up there, though. Four months nearly to the day since the last time I saw my best friend.

I went down on Monday evening, driving down the endless highway and grumbling about it most of the way. I thought about taking the bus but decided I’d rather spend the extra money on doing goofy things with Jana, so I crossed my fingers and hoped my little car would hold out. (Which it did, fortunately.) I called Jana part way down to inform her that we either had to move to the same city or live in two cities that were separated by a more interesting highway.

Still, it was worth it. We had two full days, more than we’ve had without some other committment (like, oh, a wedding) in a long time. They had supper ready for me when I got there, and we looked at pictures from their trip to Europe. (The main reason I haven’t seen her in four months: two of them were spent in Europe.) Tuesday, I slept in rather disgracefully late, then we went out for lunch and bummed around like we used to do before we had to schedule our visits. It was great. We watched a movie and goofed around and talked. Oh, how we talked. I don’t talk to anyone else like I talk to Jana. There are some who come close, but nobody manages to be quite the same.

Wednesday, we got up and went shopping for a while, then decided to go play the imaginary rich game. We drove out to the suburbs and hit the show homes.

It was way more fun than I expected it to be. The houses were incredible – our favourite was an absolute monster that cost 2.2 million dollars. Clearly I’ll have to get on that best-selling novel. God, it was a beautiful house. But even better than the house was wandering through it with my best friend, imagining living there, planning what we’d do with the extra bedrooms, discussing who would take which floor if we bought the house together. We then went home and watched two incredibly cheesey girly movies, made dinner, and lounged around. We talked, laughed, and sat in companiable silence. There was never a moment where I had to try to think of something to say, or a moment where I said something I shouldn’t have. It was never awkward or unfamiliar – the four months without seeing each other just melted away.

Almost eight years now we’ve been friends, and we’ve never fought once. Given my temper and propensity for starting stupid arguments, that’s pretty damn impressive. And while I hate that we don’t live in the same city, part of me thinks that’s why our relationship is so good. We don’t have the chance to get complacent, or lazy, or tired of each other. Every time we see each other, we have to get our fill of each other as much as we can. Here’s to another 70 years of friendship.

New Year

January 1, 2006

New Year’s Eve was a rousing success. There were games (Ticket to Ride Europe is officially a lot more complicated than the North American one, and Super Scrabble is not particularly super, just really fucking long), there were snacks, and there was laughter. Oh, my word, so much laughter. I think, perhaps, that the time was more of a factor than the actual hilarity of what we were talking about, but by about 3, I was weeping with laughter and having a hard time breathing.

And so, a new year kicks off. It feels, for the most part, remarkably like last year, except for the fact that I appear to have a cold. Whoopee. 2006 is much more of a blank slate than 2005 was. Last New Year’s Day, I knew what was in store for 2005. Going to Disneyland, getting married, moving, going to Hawaii. Things were scheduled and organized. This year, there are vague plans, occasional ideas, but the year is opening out in front of me with endless possibility.

As for resolutions? I only have one. Be less lazy. It’s a pretty all-encompassing resolution, though. I want to start getting up earlier on days when I have to work rather than dashing out the door at the last minute. I want to be less lazy about cleaning around the house so Jamie doesn’t have to do all of it. And I want to be less lazy and get off my ass and use my new elliptical. It’s not as specific as some of my resolutions in the past have been, but I think it’s what I need.