I find myself someplace new. It would have been easy to slink back to Chicago after my last gig. I'd finally had enough months ago, but had to find a new job before quitting that one. So, I find myself in a new state, working at a real regional theatre. So far, things are good. Sure, I've schlepped and fished cables through the mud (don't try that at home), but that effort has been appreciated. I am part of a team here. I need that. My skin has also cleared up and my hair looks better. Less stress or no more crappy soft water? Perhaps a combination of both.
Winston is lying next to me as I write this. The move has been an upgrade for him, too. He has more windows from which to look longingly at the semi-wooded yard, and lots of sunny spots for naps. He already has a couple of fans in the chorus, who met him while visiting one of my roommates. In short, it is good to be Winston.
I am knitting occasionally a sock out of Claudia Handpainted sock yarn. I keep telling myself that I do not need more yarn, though I also took note of the local yarn store listed in the program at work. Maybe I'll just go check it out on my day off....


I am somewhere else

Yep, big changes have occurred since I last wrote here. Now, I live in a completely different part of the country. I don't like it. People are nice enough, certainly, but I'm used to living in a city. I realized this while riding the Metro and reading the free daily paper, as I had so many times in Chicago. It felt normal. I need to walk quickly down city sidewalks and feel the faster rhythms of an urban setting. It feels strange disliking a place that many consider an island paradise. It's gorgeous, but the pace is slow. So, so slow. Also, I am without the benefits of working in a major metropolitan market. If I need an unusual adapter, I have to order it and wait. Everything takes longer to get here, too. I spent half an hour on the phone with the post office this morning because a package I've been expecting is stuck in some sort of holding pattern in Puerto Rico. I live nowhere near Puerto Rico.
Work is work. I have a bunch of new gear, which is a joy. A console designed and made this century! It's like driving a Porsche after years of driving a Buick Century. The new sound system doesn't address all of the problems here; it never could. The expectations are high and the support low. I design the shows, I mix the shows, I schlep the gear, and I set up and break down everything myself. It's a lot.
So, that's a heap of complaints. It's not all bad. I have a very nice roommate who handily replaces lightbulbs and laughs with me about work bullshit. My cat is here with me, unlike previous relocations. I've gotten several RAK packages of sock yarn ends for my hexipuff project lately, too.
My knitting mojo has been on the wane since I moved.  Maybe because I am working many more hours than I was as a freelancer, maybe because the need for warm woolies is basically non-existent here. So, I've taken up my hexipuffs again. They're extremely portable and endlessly addictive. Last year, a fellow raveler sent me a huge bag of Socks that Rock ends. So, so many beautiful colors and a lot more than I could have dreamed from a total stranger. I think she must have small feet, because she had more yarn left over from making socks than I ever do. Well, 150 hexipuffs later, I put out another request for scraps on ravelry and was met with more astonishing generosity. I'm making one now with a lovely ball of Dream in Color Everlasting Sock that is dreamy to knit with. I've used their dk before for cowls and things, but the sock version is a lovely surprise.
So, how many puffs are one hundred and fifty puffs? Well, about a third of what I estimate I need to make a blanket large enough to drape across the back of my futon. They live in a large popcorn tin that I bought from Trader Joe's a couple Christmases back, with a couple of lavender sachets. And they keep me knitting while my enthusiasm for larger projects is on the wane.


My chum Nancy, a true master knitter, considers knitting with black yarn a waste. Want a black sweater, why not buy one? She says. Well, there's a real kernel of truth there. I am knitting a shawl in black and hot pink right now and it is very limiting. I can't knit it backstage, since I can't see the stitches well enough in low light. I really can only work on it during the day, as it has just enough detail to need scrutiny. This afternoon, I had to un-knit a big chunk of short rows in it. I had to take a nap to recuperate afterward.

I continue apace with my hexipuffs, with a little help from some kind fellow ravelers. My posts asking for spare bits of sock yarn have yielded excellent advice and both MadTosh and STR ends. Each puff takes about fifteen yards, which is not an unusual amount to have left over at the end of sock project. Still, I am grateful. It will be nice to have an influx of different colors, as my palette is very heavy in blue and green. We knit the colors we like, I suppose, but I hadn't really considered how positively Piscean my choices are until I looked at my collection of puffs the other day. They're now housed in a big popcorn tin from Trader Joe's that was once mistaken for a can of cat food. It is gratifiying to throw another puff in there, though I am still far from having enough for a throw.

A few days ago, I got a package in the mail from a kind soul that contained two pounds of STR ends. It was a real cornucopia when I poured the yarn out of its ziplock. Not just little ends, but fair sized balls in some colors. I suspect that the other knitter has small feet or loved ones with small feet, which cannot be said of anyone in my family. This influx of kindness and gorgeous yarn overwhelmed me a little: so lovely and so much. It may end up composing a good quarter to third of the finished blanket.

My cousin Bam Bam spotted the yellow bug out an about the other day. He told me that he saw a young woman driving a yellow beetle with a paint bubble on the hood just like mine had. I hope she enjoys it, and that she wasn't swindled by the dealers like I was. I miss my sweet little bug, though I am glad to have more schlepping room as I contemplate my upcoming move. I decided to measure the interior cargo space, since cubic feet listings (or God help me, liters) doesn't really tell me if I can fit a futon mattress in the back. Then I couldn't find any of my measuring tapes. They must have run off with all of my darning needles. Some future archeologist will wonder about the proliferation of notions and odd socks.


Rust In Peace

My beloved yellow Bug is no more. Or, more precisely, no longer mine. I loved my Volkswagen. Loved it. I just didn't love writing all those checks to my mechanic. While I was driving through the Rockies last summer, part of the undercarriage fell off. Alarming, but apparently unnecessary for continued driving. Then, a big bubble developed in the paint on the hood and peeled off. Did I mention that I was living in the high desert and the AC was kaput? Then, on the way to a gig early one Saturday morning this winter, I hit a patch of ice on 294 and hit a concrete wall. I was fine, but it was the beginning of an extremely antagonistic process with my insurance. Multiple times, important information was "lost" by the agent handling my claim.
Well, a little over a month ago, I was on my way to meet up with an out-of-town friend on a layover in Chicago, when a Spring rainstorm turned to hail. Horrible, monsoon-like lashings of rain and hail. And I couldn't get my windshield to clear because the AC didn't work. I had to wipe the inside down with a towel I happened to have in the car, then keep the window cracked to equalize the temperature. Fuck that shit. I could tolerate the Bug's various hoopy quirks until they adversely affected my ability to drive, and brother, not being able to see is a major problem.
If you'd told me that I'd drive an SUV, I would have laughed in your face. Somehow, in my search for another Beetle, I ended up with a RAV4. It's great. I looked at the Suburu Forrester, too, but it was more car than I need. Now, I can schlepp gear without looking like the punchline to a joke, and it isn't much harder to parallel park. The AC is chilly and everything works! It still needs a couple of irreverent bumper stickers, floor mats, and maybe some fuzzy dice.
And boy, have I been schlepping lately. Full sound rigs, a mixing console the size of a yacht, a handcart, and the other sound designer I'm assisting have all made an appearance. At the end of next week, I will have three musicals running concurrently. I'll also be tired. I've been designing almost exclusively this season, which is a change of pace. Mostly assisting my pal Mikey, who shares my love of Silky Johnson and lets me take pictures of him sitting on a pink toilet at 2 am.
On the knitting front, I've picked up my hexipuffs again. They're addictive and don't involve knitting lying on my lap during the humid, hot months. The puffs are zen, since there is no real end to their project. At some undetermined point in the future, I will look at my pile of puffs and decide that there are enough of them to make a blanket. Blankets come in many sizes. then, I will spend hours arranging them in an artful "random" pattern that is anything but. And I can cheat on the puffs and not feel guilty, unlike my one sleeved cardigan.



It would be fair of you to think that this blog has been abandoned. Really, it's just been terribly neglected while I've worked in summer stock. For any civilians reading this, I should explain that summer stock is an intense form of theatre in which everyone works impossible hours, drinks too much, and sleeps too little. I highly recommend it.
I hadn't worked a stock season in six or seven years. One of my dearest friends, herself a summer stock vet, asked me if I wasn't too old for this shit. I was insulted at the time, but while working with a department full of twenty-two year olds, I saw her point. "Kids today," I find myself saying to one of the other adults here. Mostly, I mix my shows and try not to be too homesick. I like to think of myself as a bit of a gypsy, but I miss the familiar things: strong coffee, good ethnic foods, and decent fucking pizza.
I've been knitting less than I do at home. Just as well, since there's no local yarn store within two hours' drive. I packed what can best be described as an optimistic amount of yarn, knowing that I'd be left to my own devices, knitting-wise, here. So far, I've knit: two shawls (and abandoned a third), a funky lace weight scarf, a big lace cowl, opera-length armwarmers, an unfortunate tee, and a single sock. Looks like a long list when written down, but it hasn't felt very productive. Most days, I spend hours with my hand hovering, ready to spring over my mixing console, or doing painstaking repairs with a soldering iron. Both involve a similar wrist movement to knitting, which really cuts down on the amount of lacemaking I do at the end of the day.

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