Friday, March 31, 2006


I am determined. This is the end of the third month of the year. If you recall, my New Year's resolution was to have an FO each month. So far I have been wildly unsuccessful, although I have three projects in various stages of nearing completion. Hence, the determination. The knitting part of the Lady will be finished by Monday evening. Preferably earlier than that, so I can start blocking her Monday evening, but that remains to be seen. If I do a couple of squares a day/night (before and after work) and then hit it hard Monday, I should be fine. I'm definitely NOT going anywhere this weekend. The past two Mondays I have been out of town, snuggling with my boy down in Orange County. This weekend, I just don't have the energy to make the 9 hour round trip drive in less than 24 hours and spend the night on a couch or floor. It sucks that I won't get to see him, but I know he'll be too tired to make the drive up here for the weekend - he's getting back from USITT and going straight into tech for a show he's designing - in which case I wouldn't be able to spend time with him anyway because of double rehearsals on weekends, and I know I'll be too tired to make the drive down for a day. Transporters totally need to be invented, working, and available to the general public NOW! Or Floo powder or Portkeys or SOMETHING! I want him here, or I want the drive and scheduling to be more convenient. But anyway, enough whining. If I can't have him, I can at least snuggle in with my new paperback (a J.D. Robb collaboration called Bump in the Night) and my knitting.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Venting - Very long, not about knitting, and soley posted to release my own angst

Okay, I work at a professional theater conservatory. This means that, although we do professional shows and are a for-profit company, we are also a two-year school for aspiring actors and theater technicians attached to a local community college. One of the reasons I love my job is because of the teaching opportunities. On this particular show, I have a second year student assigned as one of my assistants. Fairly common, although I had worked with this student before and, although he is pleasant and bright, he is not the most reliable of people, which is a necessary trait in the position he was assigned. Concerns were voiced by myself and some others, and shushed down in the hopes that Student would take this opportunity to prove himself. Concerns were soon proven valid, he has been late, been "sick" on weekends after having been seen partying the night before, and, this weekend,just plain didn't show up for calls without leaving any messages. EVERY time I have reported this to the Powers That Be, an excuse comes up from somewhere that lets him off the hook. This last time, I all but got called a liar to my face, and was told that he HAD called and left a message on MY extension. (They "know" because HE said so, and I have nothing better to do with my time than make up stories to get my students in trouble, you know! Okay, they didn't say that exactly, but that was certainly a subtext I heard.) I ALWAYS check my messages, especially when people are MIA, and there wasn't one. Do they really think that as soon as he didn't show up, and we couldn't get in touch with him, that I wouldn't have checked my phone??? We checked every extension in the office, and there was no message. Not only that, but they are just NOW telling me that I can't call Student in for any office work OR rehearsals this week because of USITT. He's not in Kentucky this week. He is going to his classes. People have seen him. But he's an ASM who is not required to be at rehearsals for a show that opens in two and a half weeks?? And he gets out of it for a WEEK?? Why the HELL was he assigned to this particular show slot, then?? And, why didn't anyone else know about this? The Artistic Director (the head of the company, for the uninitiated) himself didn't even know that. (Yes, I stomped on some toes by going straight to the Artistic Director, as Student's direct supervisors/hierarchy are at USITT this week, so no one else was around, nor did either of them bother getting back in touch with me about the situation until AFTER I went to the Artistic Director.) This is all so frustrating! I mean, I don't want the kid kicked out of the conservatory or to make his life more difficult, but I don't want someone I can't rely on working on this show. Is that so much to ask? He's PROVEN that he is unreliable. I can't make it too much clearer. How am I supposed to work him back into the show now? We are blocking all of Act II this week and running for the first time this weekend. He's missing all of that because of this stupid "USITT release" policy. And then I'm somehow supposed to work him back into the running of the show a week before we go into tech?! Granted, he's basically going to be Furniture Mover, as that's all I could really trust him to do at this point, but it's also the principle of the thing. That kind of conflict would NEVER have been approved for an actor, student or intern, in the conservatory. That kind of conflict would only have been approved for a tech intern or student if they were actually GOING to USITT, because we like our kids and encourage them to go and network and get jobs. Most of the second years are going, along with one first year. But if you're NOT going, and you're not going BECAUSE you're assigned to a show that is currently in rehearsal, is it so totally unreasonable to expect that you should actually BE at those rehearsals?

Unfortunately, it's really turning into an issue that is showing the splits in the company. The Artistic Director, PSM, and Dir. for the Acting Conservatory agree with me that this is a serious situation and we need to look into some other assignment options for Student. The PM and the Dir. for the Tech Conservatory are trying to get it covered up and tell me that I'm making too big of a deal out of this. If this was a real world situation, I'd have fired the kid on the spot when he didn't show up and went incommunicado, especially since this is the THIRD time that I have had to file a concern against him. I've only been here a month now. I was woken up this morning by the PSM (who is at USITT this week along with the DTC and the PM) calling to tip me that the DTC was on the warpath that I had gone over his head. It's a pissing contest, and that irritates the hell out of me.

This has given me a headache already. I need to go knit.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


I actually had a post thought out and titled and everything in my head last night, but of course, now that I'm logged in, I can't remember any of it. Memory's the second thing to go, y'know. I can't remember what the first is...

The director is insane, but in a good way. She's very fun to work with and cracks us up at least once a night. Very high energy, and kind of flighty, too. I mean, she's done her homework, and she knows what she wants, but she does get distracted easily. Between her, the musical director, and the choreographer (both of whom are ALSO tightly wound/fast inner tempo/however you'd like to put it people), I feel like the only sane, calm, cool, and collected person in the room sometimes! It's a lot of fun, though, and the show is in good shape. We're going to try to stumble through Act One this weekend, so that should be fun.

Spent Monday down in Fullerton with Steve. He had a lighting call in the evening, so I got some more Jaywalking done along with several episodes of Law and Order. Gotta love TNT. Couple more inches on the leg, and then the ribbing, and the first sock of that damn pair will be done. Then I might actually get to report a sock to Amie's 2000-sock count! Finally.

I'm having last-minute terrors of the Lady Eleanor. She's still pretty small right now at 50-odd rows. I should have knit her on 11's instead of 10's. Should I frog and redo? I tell myself no, but she's barely past 60" right now, and I only have one skein left. I'm a tall girl and want it to wrap nicely. I could buy more yarn, but not until after I get a paycheck and my tax refund get the idea. Buying yarn is not in the cards right now. Besides, I have tons of it already. Any suggestions what to do with a bunch of WotA? I have three skeins each of about 8 different colours now. Not enough to do anything big with any of the colours, but not sure of nice ways to combine them, other than felted bags and such.

Cleaned the apartment, did dishes, did laundry, finished a props list, and thought I'd get some knitting time in before the ten million meetings I have this afternoon, but this post took up most of it. Oh well. Will do some more tonight after rehearsal.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Top o' the Mornin'!

Okay, so it's afternoon already. Picky, picky.

Yes, I'm Irish (with a whole side of the family named Kelly, how could I not be? I'm also Scottish - McHaney, German - Ottmann, Swedish - Lindbolm, and French - Trummel. Trummel is not pronounced the French way anymore, though, it's been totally Midwestern Americanized. There's also some Native American thrown in there, too, I believe. I'm a pure-bred mutt, as my mom used to say.) Yes, I'm wearing green. No, I will not be imbibing any strangely coloured beers today, unfortunately, as I have rehearsal tonight, and all day tomorrow. Damn responsibilities! And I probably wouldn't, anyway, as I've not met m'self a beer I liked. If it had to be green, you could pass me a Midori sour or five, though.

But just to prevent me from rambling:



Thursday, March 16, 2006


Heel's turned on the first Jaywalker. Finally. Did a short row heel again. I like short row heels. With YOs, instead of wraps. No wraps for heels, please. Lady is stretched out on my living room floor. Still one more skein to do. Raglan is curled up on the floor by the bed. Maybe Monday I'll buy a new e-book or two and work on that and the Lady again all day. It seems about the only time that I can, since I can't carry those two around with me like I can the socks.

Still coughing and sniffling from the cold. Ugh. I'm sure the director thinks I'm this unprofessional stage manager who can't sit for two minutes without making some sort of disgusting noise. Honestly, I can't BREATHE without making some kind of noise. And I'm so sick of Kleenex, you can't imagine.

Gotta go grab a shower and fix some lunch so I can sit through design and production meetings all afternoon before rehearsal. Again, HOW were they expecting me to not go into overtime?? They will probably breathe a sigh of relief when my staff contract kicks in and I go to a salary instead of hourly pay!

Monday, March 13, 2006


Yes, I know, it's crazy. Most of the world looks forward to Fridays and weekends. I look forward to Mondays. Why? Because the reason that most of the world looks forward to weekends is because they don't have to work and can go out and get entertainment. My job is in entertainment. Therefore, we poor saps work while the rest of the known world puts their collective feet up. We don't get time off until after you all have gone grumbling and moaning and "ugh it's Monday"-ing back off to work. Then we proceed to collapse for 24 hours until we get to start all over again. Oh, and because Actors' Equity (the acting union and one of the Powers That Be in the live entertainment world) mandates that actors (and stage managers, who somehow fall under the acting union's aegis, not IATSE, which would be the theater tech union) get one business day off per 7-day time frame so they can do errands like go to the bank, and deal with the rest of you all who work normal work weeks. And I just put in a 60 hour, 7-day work week, and I've had a fairly irritating cold since Thursday, so I'm whiny and very glad it's Monday. Not only is it my normal day off, but I actually CAN'T go into work and get paid for it today. Racked up too many hours already and payroll is going "Erk! Overtime! No more!" Now, I'm not sure how they figured I could do six days a week, with nine 4-hour rehearsal blocks, plus prep and paperwork (there's at least an hour worth of paperwork for each rehearsal), plus attend meetings and deal with my students, WITHOUT going into overtime, but as long as I get paid fairly for the work I do, I don't really care. (BTW, "Food, Glorious Food" is going to be fantastic. So is "Consider Yourself" - think of the choreography for the waiters' dance right before "Hello, Dolly" in the Barbara Streisand movie version. Phenomenal. This show is going to be amazing! Wish I had taken dancing and could be performing in this one!)

This is getting really long already. Anyway, my original thought to share was that, it being Monday, and my sweet, sweet Steve having bought me Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire on DVD yesterday when he was visiting ("I know you've had a long week and you aren't feeling good." Steak, mashed potatoes, creamed corn, and green beans ready and waiting for me on my dinner break. "I know you don't like green beans but you're sick and they're good for you, so eat them anyway." Seriously, if he didn't have me hooked on him already, I didn't stand a chance after melting into THAT puddle of "he's wonderful" goo! Too bad he can't stay up here yet. May 26th!), my big plans for the day are watching Harry Potter and working on the Lady. On skein nine of ten!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Well, whaddya know?!

Apparently, I've been purling incorrectly for, well, since I learned to purl, what, two years ago (I'm in my third year of knitting) now! It took learning to knit backwards for the Lady E and Danica and then doing the first heel of a Jaywalker to realize it. I kept wondering why all of a sudden when I purled my stitches got twisted, but when I knit backwards they were fine. I mean, obviously, I know how to purl, and knitting backwards was the problem, right? I pulled out some of my earlier projects to reassure myself. Nope, now that I know what I'm looking for, every other row is twisted in all of my stockinette! I checked three or four different projects, and they're all the same. Why I never realized it before, I have no idea. (It does explain, however, the really cool texture to the heels of my Sockotta socks! I might continue to do that for sock heels.) I do know what a twisted stitch looks like, and I really do know how a stitch *should* be seated on the needle. I guess it has been so long since I've had to do any purling, since most of my projects for the past year have been garter or stockinette in the round, that I just never realized it. It doesn't seem to affect ribbing at all, though, except perhaps to make it tighter on sock cuffs? Could be why I've been having a problem with them being too tight? I checked The Knitter's Handbook, my new Bible, and I Can't Believe I'm Knitting!, and I guess you're supposed to go over the needle and through, not under it and through. It makes sense, I just have to train my hands to do it correctly.

Oh, and I've done another inch or so on the raglan, a couple of squares on the Lady, and am almost done with a heel on the first Jaywalker. The two of them have been sent to seperate corners for laughing so hard at me, and will continue to be seperate entities until I have had my say and finished the damn things them. It does make them go faster, I will admit.

Oliver! started rehearsals this week, and is going well. We've just been learning ensemble music and dialect this week. Honestly, if a group of 8 to 15 year old energetic kids singing their hearts out and trying to learn a Cockney accent isn't enough to crack you up with cuteness, I can't really think of what would. Sickness is starting to go around, though, so I'm expecting their next few rehearsals to be a bit sparse. Hopefully, they'll all be okay. I hope the adults and students will be, too, of course, but they're just not as cute. They start choreography tomorrow - that should be fun!

And the apartment is DONE! Everything is unpacked and put away and clean and pretty! We desperately need a dresser or chest or something for the bedroom - all of our clothes are hanging up or on the one upper shelf or on the closet floor - and the only places to sit are the floor, the bed, the toilet, or the two desk chairs, so we can't really invite company yet, but it's getting there! And it's OURS! Steve will be up this weekend again, can't wait!

Monday, March 06, 2006

Random thoughts

Ahh...Monday, my day off. And what am I doing? Sitting in the office so I have access to the internet so I can get some banking things taken care of. Ugh! We also had to tape down the set in the rehearsal space this morning, too, so it wasn't a total day off anyway. Rehearsals start tomorrow - I can't wait!!

Steve came up this weekend, and we finished getting everything out of storage. Now I just have tons of boxes of trinkets and small things that don't really fit anywhere to unpack. Of course, the stash got unpacked and fondled and lovingly put away last night. (After the Harry Potter books, though.) I have (erk!) three medium sized boxes and a small plastic basket full of yarn now. The acrylics went into one, the natural fibers in the other, and the sock yarns went into the bottom of the "project bin". My thinking is that when (if) I want (get) to work on new socks, I'll have to paw through all my UFOs WIPs first. So far, the only casualty of the move seems to have been my ball winder. It looks like one of the plastic gears inside snapped in two. Guess I have to add a new ball winder to my list o' things to get after I get paid again! Maybe I'll get a swift to go with it this time!

It's a rainy, chilly day in Santa Maria, and I would really really love to kick back with a movie and knit all day. I could probably get my raglan sweater done, or the next skein of the Lady, who has been sorely neglected the past two weeks. Remember when I said the Jaywalkers were mocking me for not getting them finished in time? Apparently they laughed so hard that at least one of them dropped their stitches! I picked them up for the first time in ages the other day and have already noticed at least three dropped stitches on one of them. I'm really thinking at this point that I want to take one off and do them seperately. Apparently, I'm going to have to frog back anyway. I should probably at least attempt to get clothes unpacked first, though.

I ranted a week or so ago about this on the KR Forums that I really have been disappointed with the Noro Kureyon. That dislike continues, unfortunately. The colours are unbelieveable, I'll grant, but I don't care if I'm buying the yarn from an eBay dealer or straight off the spinner's wheel, big factory or not, when I pay for yarn, I expect it to be of good quality. I don't mind paying for quality, especially when it's for hand-painted colourways. I do mind when I pay and don't get it. Yarn should not be dirty, not have leaves, twigs, and spliters strewn through it, not be SO unevenly spun that it's impossible to keep a consistent guage. Mistakes happen, I know, but honestly! KnitPicks needs to come out with some varigated wools. I've really enjoyed working with the WotA so far. Much better than the Kureyon, it's just the colours! So frustrating! I'm very very interested now in getting some of that "dye your own" yarn and playing with that. Not in the near future, though.

Alright, running away from work! This whole no internet at home thing is killing me. That's DEFINITELY on the list for the next paycheck - argh!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

I am alive!

Just very busy, and don't have internet at home anymore. Probably won't for a month or so. We can get into our new apartment tomorrow - until then I'm staying with a friend. I can't wait! I even got to take a half hour or so to work on the Lady last night, and my friend said, "Oh, knitting! I should really get back into that!" She was even more enthusiastic when I pointed out that this was my "Katie is NOT going to freeze in Solvang this year project".

On that note, I hate Noro Kureyon (the yarn, not the colours) right now, and I still have two skeins to go. I'm hoping that once we get everything moved in and the rehearsal schedule gets set, I'll have some more time!