Tuesday, July 31, 2012

This Is Why I'm Getting the ReloCube

I spent about an hour and a half tonight pulling all my yarn and knitting stuff out of the closet, ziplock bagging it (stop the spread of moths, if any eggs are in a skein or two), and stuffing it into tubs.

This is the result of tonight's efforts:


The four plastic tubs (one 18-gallon, one 22-gallon, and two 4-gallon) are crammed to almost bursting with yarn. The basket on top has knitting magazines and my three pattern binders.
I've added a bottle of wine to the picture for scale. Because wine and knitting go together pretty well.

Please note that this is not enough.  I still have at least a large tub's worth of yarn, and will need a cardboard moving box for all my knitting books.  And you all just laughed when I told you I had over 36 miles of yarn in my closet. That was when none of you had an idea what it actually looked like.

Is this when I admit I have a problem, or just revel in it?

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Fait Accompli

This is what I accomplished today:


It feels fulfilling, until I pull back my view a little
and realize I've only just begun the horror.

I promise I didn't mean to neglect the blog this month. It's shocking just how popular one becomes just by planning to leave. I steal nights to myself here and there, but for the most part I've become a ... well, not a party animal. I guess a social butterfly.

Also, who really wants to hear about a happy Sarah?  Oh, you do? Huh.


Angela was in town for a week near the start of the month, just after the previous entry. We hardly saw each other during the working portion of the week — she was doing the graveyard shift, and I was having my usual evening thingies after work. However, she did school me in the fact that there are some amazing mural alleys down in the Mission that I had no idea existed. I feel chagrin at having walked by them a million times and never thinking to go take a look. I didn't even have a real camera, just my cell phone, but I still tried to take a few shots to remember with.
Clarion Alley

Clarion Alley

Clarion Alley

Clarion Alley

On the one full day we had together, she wanted to go take photos of the Golden Gate Bridge, eat at Avatar's, and see an exhibit at SFMoMA. Since the whole week up to that point had been wonderful, I figured it shouldn't be too hard to pull off, and I knew exactly where to take her for that Golden Gate Bridge shot: the Marin Headlands.

So of course, that was the day San Francisco decided to bring its summer.


That was pretty much the best shot we could get.  Hooray.

Still, Avatar's was good, and the Cindy Sherman exhibit at MoMA was completely worth the foggy, cold day. I don't know many photographers, and actually never thought I'd be into photography exhibits at all (that was always the section I skipped at the Met when I went), but every time I am dragged to MoMA, it's for a photography exhibit, and every time I am impressed beyond (1,000) words.  Perhaps it's time to rethink that prejudice.

The rest of my month was filled with ceramics, Krav, family, friends. One Sunday I spent an early afternoon at Lovejoy's Tea Room with Lila and a couple of her friends.

Lovejoy's for Tea

Lots of fun, and the food was great. (So was the tea: I ended up buying a tin at the Attic across the street.) I wish I had time to go back again and try the non-tea food — they had a pretty good-looking menu of British pub fare that smelled amazing whenever it passed by our table.

There's also been bowling with coworkers, drinking and Pictionary at Maria's house in Oakland, a wine and cheese gathering at Dorian's, Korean BBQ with Stephan ... and things that came up that I never wrote into my Google Calendar. It's to the point I'm almost regretting that I'm going to leave. (Though again: I probably wouldn't be doing most of this if I weren't leaving. That's the catch.)

But the move is set into motion for reals now. Notice has been given to my building manager. Boxes and packing supplies have been purchased (including a plan for safely packing most of my monsters). The House Cooling Party has been planned and scheduled and invites have been sent.

And soon, between the phone calls to friends along the route (to make sure I have a couch to crash on), and the money shuffling, and the frantic boxing of my goods, I'll have to face the piece of my soul that is dying, and decide what to do about it. Whether it's a good thing to let it die, or try to revive it, or just let it linger and see what it does.

All right. I'm going to try to pack one more box. Just to feel like I've truly done something productive with this day.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Double-U, Like Vacuum

I've started several different entries in the last few weeks for this blog, and then let them all sit as Drafts in Blogger, unpublished and collecting dust. I realize it's kind of a waste of server space to write a blog entry that no one will ever see (that's what a diary is for, duh, if I ever got around to having one of those again), but I also realize that some of them done in the heat of emotion probably aren't exactly interesting to the public:  at least one of those was written in the heat of anger against my upstairs stompy neighbor; another, an unfinished attempt at poetry that is almost as bad as the stuff I wrote in high school.

My exodus — does one person count as an exodus? probably not — my departure from SF is becoming more and more real, not the least in part because after a momentary dilemma in the unexpectedly-high cost of pod shipping containers, I finally booked a date with one of them (after negotiating down to a more reasonable price). Which means I have six weeks to sort, purge, pack, and box before I load most of my personal belongings into a crate to go wait for me 2800 miles away.

Now I just need to call the city and get a parking permit for that behemoth.

So of course since I have that limited time left, I'm making the most of my SF experience. Which means I'm enjoying myself here in this city more than I have in years. Of course.

I marched in the SF Pride Parade with my friend Elsie's group (just passing out flyers), with the lesson learned that it's far more fun to be a part of the parade than it is to spectate it.

Last Friday I got a free pass into the dress rehearsal for the final weekend of the SF Ethnic Dance Festival, and it actually changed my attitude towards dance festivals. I mean, it's nerdy, but in an awesome powerful way. I really enjoyed it more than I expected. 

Here's what I wrote yesterday, on the 5th of July:

Yesterday [July 4th] was the first day in weeks that I've had completely to myself — no family or friend obligations, no work, no dates, no need to be anywhere. I took advantage of the endless open hours to actually do a cleansing of the apartment, inspired mostly by the fact that my friend Angela is coming to visit and I didn't really want her to have to constantly inhale my bachelorette filth. So I spent my Fourth of July doing the most patriotic of duties: bleaching my bathroom. Also: vacuuming the apartment.

Really, this is training for the big deal next month, where I purge and pack and eradicate evidence of my existence from this domicile. In a lot of ways I'm looking forward to it — an excuse to lighten the load on my life, get rid of a lot of clutter, and it means I'm getting closer to the day that I don't have to live underneath my heavy-walking upstairs neighbor with his booming television and tendency to stomp around at 6 a.m. and wake me up before the alarm.  (I don't know what changed in the last year that made it more noticeable: did he get rid of a carpet that used to muffle the sounds? buy a new TV? rearrange his bedroom? But I'm bothered by it more and more, wondering how I used to sleep through this when I worked graveyard.  Oh, wait, I didn't: he used to wake me up at noon every day for whatever television show he liked that was on then. I'm just hitting my breaking point.)  Mother fudder.  *flips a birdie in the general direction of up* [Ed note: oh, I guess two entries had some passionate anti-neighbor heat in them.] 

Of course, as the day approacheth, I'm also starting to get a bit nostalgic about this place, too. This was my first apartment that was all mine, only mine. No roommates, no dormlife, no family. I've lived here almost six years, it'll be hard to see it empty. It'll be hard not to think of the people I had over and cooked for, the men I've shared my bed with, the lazy weekends spent naked and curled up in blankets, watching Netflix. The nights I've stumbled home drunk, and woken up four hours later to a path of stripped clothing leading from the door to the bed.

I'm still waxing nostalgic, of course. I mean: only 60 days left. Wow.

And just for fun, here is that terrible poem, to remind us all why I'm not a poet:

I cut off that finger in January.
It was gangrenous, broken, painful.
I kept snagging it on sleeves, corners,
my thoughts. So I chopped it off.
With one quick stroke, it was gone. I thought that
would be it, but the searing fire was worse
than the throbbing, worse than the quiet hurt.
It lasted for weeks. I kept finding bits
of dead skin that needed to be trimmed.
Until finally, it was clean.

At first, it was clumsy, that having to
relearn everything, how to live again.
That finger had been my prod, my crutch,
the digit I did with. And now it was
I worked hard to stop thinking about it.
When I wanted to reach out, I stopped,
took a deep breath, used another.
And as the months passed, six of them, I found that
the other fingers I had were just as
dextrous.  And I found that I had more talents
than I'd let myself believe. More love.

But today I snagged it, that finger that
isn't there anymore. When it didn't hurt,
I looked down, and saw the empty space
and cried a little.

Ouch. Yeah, maybe metaphor isn't my thing.

Tonight is about tidying up, and then this weekend is about family and friends.  I'm tempted to hit up a morning Krav class on my way to the East Bay, but I guess that depends on how early I wake up, and how much I get done tonight.