Blogger FAIL

August 5, 2008

I am a complete blogging failure, I know. I think I can live with that. However, I am also a complete Tour de Fleece fail, and I will post more about that later, because as a blogging failure I have failed to take the necessary photos to do a post on that particular fail.

Here’s what I’ve been doing instead of paying attention to you.

And updating my Etsy shop.

I will resume paying attention to you soon. Ish. Goodness I’m a crappy blogger.

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Since my husband works today, we celebrated yesterday. I had a GREAT time. I woke late and got breakfast in bed (hell yeah) while my family and pets crowded around me and chatted with me. I received lots of beautiful cards and pictures, lovingly crafted with construction paper and markers. After puttering around not doing much of anything for a while, we headed out to Portland’s Saturday Market, which we had not visited before. It was amazing–part suburban farmer’s market, part flea market, and–at times–part souk. There were palm readers, food vendors, street musicians, handmade clothing, jewelry, art, plants, henna artists, glass artists, games, puzzles, wind chimes, and even a man putting scorpions in his mouth for tips. We had very greasy spring rolls for lunch, picked up a henna kit for home, and I bought myself a handmade purse in a very pretty Japanese print. Then we walked to Powell’s City of Books where we always spend too much time. I picked up Priscilla A. Gibson-Roberts’ Knitting in the Old Way, a book I have long coveted.

By then it was time for dinner. We headed to our favorite sushi restaurant. I hate to recommend it, because I want it to stay the little hole-in-the-wall restaurant it is, but since we’re all friends here I’ll tell you. If you want great sushi in Portland, skip the snobby Saburo’s and Mio restaurants and go to Sushi Mania. It looks seedy and a little strip-jointy from the outside, but the inside is small and cozy and the waitstaff are always adorable and helpful. They have fresh, well-cut sushi and some very unusual rolls. I can’t recommend their signature Blow Blow roll (even though I love the name) but I can’t say enough about their negihama roll. Dear lord, just typing it makes me crave it. We stuffed ourselves with sushi and edamame, and I had myself an entire bottle of sake. We picked up a Snickers cake on the way home (SO YUMMY. SO BAD FOR YOU.). I wallowed contentedly for a little while and then went to bed full of sushi, sake, and cake. I managed to read the preface to the Gibson-Roberts book before falling asleep. Happy day. The only way it could have been a better day is if I had done all these things IN SCOTLAND. I’m talkin’ to you, Carla.

My plans for today, my actual birthday, involve a lot of sitting around in my pajamas, maybe a load of dishes, dying up myself and my kids with some henna, and a ton of fiber dying and spinning. However, it’s already noon, so I should probably get started with that. But first, here’s a tribute to myself (shameless!) by looking back a little: (cue Lifetime Television music)

30 YEARS AGO: I was born in a military hospital in Okinawa, Japan, to a Chinese woman and a Caucasian-American man. On the same day, another baby was born to a Japanese woman and a Caucasian-American man. In a scenario straight out of a bad comedy movie, this other couple would give their baby the same name as my own (both fathers were even from the same tiny county in Montana–crazy!). The mothers of course became confused at one point and accidentally switched babies, caring for and nursing them for nearly an entire day before a nurse caught the switch and the infants were returned to their proper families. I would spend many years hoping the switch had actually never happened and that my real parents would eventually come for me.

20 YEARS AGO: I was a small, skinny, painfully shy girl. That’s what happens when you have insane parents and a highly dysfunctional upbringing. I was living in Okinawa again, which I loved, but my family was having nervous breakdowns and self-induced crises one after the other, which I did not love. It was a tough time for me. My parents, in a surge of parental guilt, took me to a very fancy French restaurant for my birthday and fed me steak and virgin Shirley Temples. My infant brother tried to choke to death in his sleep during the dinner and ruined the night. I did, however, have “Happy Birthday” sung to me by a mariachi band (in a French restaurant? in Japan? WTF? just go with it). Three days later I went to Tokyo for a month-long homestay trip which was awesome and scary.

10 YEARS AGO: I was in Missoula, Montana, and in my junior year of college. I was recently married to a silly, sweet, perfect boy and had given birth to our first daughter in January. I was working at a sushi restaurant as a sushi chef (awesome) but we were dead broke and had lots of trouble making ends meet. To make matter worse, my father would be diagnosed with lymphoma later that year, and my mother would undergo thyroid surgery. Tough times. I don’t remember what I did for my 20th birthday, but I’m sure it was humble due to our money troubles.

5 YEARS AGO: That silly boy and I had been living in Japan for a year with our two girls, this time in Akita Prefecture, Japan. I was teaching English in a Japanese junior high and we were having a pretty good time. We were not financially secure, but we did well enough and got to run around Japan, seeing and doing some pretty amazing things. For my 25th birthday, we drove to Akita City for some shopping, a movie, and dinner at our favorite Thai restaurant in the world (haven’t been able to find a better Naan since). During this year, I would spend a lot of time soaking in hot springs, eating yakisoba and takoyaki, making onigiri every Wednesday for my daughter’s bento, going to my shamisen lessons, and exploring hidden places looking for Jizo and Inari shrines. A very good year.

1 YEAR AGO: We had just moved to Portland. We dropped the kids off with my sister and went to a couple different yarn shops. I don’t think I bought anything. Went to a movie, then dinner at Kalga Kafe (good, but too dark and noisy). My birthdays are mostly about eating a good dinner because I’m a little food-obsessed.

I’m really happy to be turning 30, mostly because I really sucked at being 20-something. Thanks for being here for this milestone.

I’m starting to think

July 18, 2008

that I should quit my job so that I can stay home and spin, knit, dye fiber, and blog. What do you think?

First there was the rinsing of the fiber.

First there was the rinsing of the fiber.

Then there was the drying of the fiber. (Pardon my dark bathroom.)

Then there was the drying of the fiber. (Pardon my dark bathroom.)

And even more drying....

And even more drying....

And even more drying…. It seemed like a never-ending dry-a-thon. Finally dry, I have begun to spin! The Tour is half over and I’ve finally just started. Lovely.

Big Bad Wolf merino roving

Big Bad Wolf merino roving

Gretel merino roving

Gretel merino roving

Gingerbread House merino roving

Gingerbread House merino roving

Beast merino roving

Beast merino roving

I’ve been working very hard these past few weeks in my scant spare time after work dying these colors and others. I’m very happy to say that I’ve opened up a new shop over on Etsy. Apparently I couldn’t stay away from the dye pot. Some of you have ordered my yarns in the past, and I may offer yarn again in the future, but for now I’m going to focus on spinning fiber. The shop has been up for less than a day, and I’ve already received some great feedback.

I’ll post my Tour De Fleece progress soon!