Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Feelin Like An Idiot

I leave on this audition tour tomorrow late morning. A normal, sane, sensible person would be all packed and have her apartment clean so that the person checking on her kitty will not be horrified to walk into the room. I'm definitely not normal, my sanity has been questioned several times, but I'm usually fairly sensible. Two out of three ain't bad. I was planning on doing that tonight, once I got home from class. Tonight was an unexpected triple class, though, plus staying a little longer talking with Sir and Mr. R, and I'm freakin' tired. So now I'm pondering if I want to do it all tonight like I should or crash now and get up early. Or maybe I'll clean tonight and pack in the morning. Something like that.

On the plus side, I'm on the last third of the first Boatneck Bluebell sleeve. I'm not going to take it, though. I'm going to take the second Wendelin sock, Tumbling Blocks, and the Drop Stitch scarf. I'll try to get progress pics up soon. I'm going to need something to do while I'm gone - the hotel has wifi, and a gym, pool, and spa, but even I can only work out so much...

The Road to Black Belt behind the cut.

So I talked to Mrs. S, Mr. R, and Sir tonight about what I'll be doing the next several testing cycles. The only recommended belt the adults do is first dan recommended, so I have three belts left. I'll do Choong Jung 2 (which I started learning tonight) for my red belt, In Wha 2 (the blue belt form that I skipped) for my first dan recommended, then do Choong Jung 2 again and a random color belt form for first dan decided. Apparently, the random form is usually either Songham 1, 2, or 3, but Mr. R warned me that since I'm in instructor class and by that point in time we'll have gone through all the color belt forms in class, it could be anything from Songham 1 clear through Choong Jung 1 (the brown belt form I just tested on). And I may or may not get warned in advance which one it will be. Of course, all sparring, breaking, and conditioning tests also apply. My next break will be a reverse side kick, which is awesome, not sure what the recommended belt break will be, and then Sir wants me to do a round kick and reverse side kick combo for my black belt breaks. Honestly, it doesn't sound like its going to be too bad. Just a LOT of poomsae work and memorization and cleaning and re-memorization and re-cleaning! For this weekend while I'm gone, I'm supposed to work on hook kicks (regular, reverse, and spin), memorizing what I learned tonight of Choong Jung 2, and working on some of the color belt forms and one-steps.
The most encouraging and most nerve-wracking comment I got tonight was from Mr. R. "Just remember, your black belt is [Sir]'s before it's yours, and he has it already. Oh yeah, it's here, embroidered with your name and everything already. He's just waiting for you to earn it."

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Three Classes = Three Beers, right?

Testing and tkd stuff behind the cut. No pics, though, sadly. Camera battery died on me.

The FIGHT guys and I have taken to hanging out for a while after class, and on Thursday, Sir was teasing me about my schedule for the next day. I told him I was thinking about ducking out of kickboxing to make sure I would be good for sparring, but it would depend on how hard he worked me during testing. He replied with "Hmm, good point. Skip kickboxing!" which was not exactly the most comforting thing I've ever heard.

Yesterday was indeed testing, then kickboxing, then sparring, all back-to-back. (Mrs. S threatened to have me test after sparring, which would have been insane!) It was HARD. I tested with one other kid, and Sir worked us. Form demonstration, full contact sparring against each other, board break (got it on my second try, sigh), self-defense, no contact sparring against Sir, then four conditioning drills. I offered to be a cheerleader for kickboxing class after that, but Mrs. S would have none of it. (She's asked me to teach again next month when she goes to Vegas to test during Spring Nationals.) Sparring was insane; the kids were all hopped up about testing the next day and not really paying a lot of attention, and I was actually starting to get tired by that point for some strange reason. My ankle was pretty weak by the end of the day. Sir did brag about me a little, though - one of the new kickboxing ladies was teasing me about doing sparring on the same day, and he told her all the other classes I do when I can. I thought she was gonna fall over.

Afterwards, I helped Sir, Mrs. S, Ma'am, Mr. M, and Mr. R set up the dojahng for Saturday's testing (Baby S tried to help, too), and then we crashed at Klondike's for a while. While *I* think a salad, peanuts, three slices of pizza and a couple glasses of beer is more than enough, Sir and Mr. M threatened to attach a calorie meter on me to see how many calories I burn on a regular day with classes, and kept putting extra slices of pizza on my plate and refilling my beer glass (hence the post title). Mrs. S took Baby S home early, but the rest of us closed out the place.

The rest of the classes tested this morning. Although we had auditions today, I promised some of the kids I've gotten to know that I would try to come over on my lunch break to watch them. I didn't get to see any of the testing, but I did get to see them get their new belts, rescue Sasha (a lady from kickboxing class) from babysitting duty so she could go give her kids who were testing a hug (she had been watching Baby S during most of the testing, and he decided that the organic shake Aunt Katie was drinking for lunch was YUMMY!), and help clean up. I also got a lot of teasing because apparently I "look like a girl!" with non-sweaty makeup and non-workout clothes on. Smart alecks.

I do, however, have pics of a finished body on the Boatneck Bluebell!
I've got the next two days off work, plus Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, and it would really be awesome to wear it during the SoCal audition tour I've gotten dragged into next week (Thursday through Tuesday). I love auditions, I really do, but the audition tour is NOT part of my job, I'm not getting paid any extra for it, and it's forcing me to miss four days of class AND a Super Bowl party. But they've decided that having an SM go out with them helps things stay organized (shocking), and it's Chrissy's tech weekend, so I'm the only experienced one left. I even offered to tech Othello for Chrissy, because she actually wants to go on the tour and hates tech, but they won't let us. But anyway, having a new sweater might help make it easier. So far, the only change I'd make is to do more rows between the bust and the waist ribbing to make the bodice just a little longer.

I'm going to have to talk to Sir about what to work on while I'm gone, though. In fact, I need to talk to him about what the rest of the road to black belt in general is going to look like. All I really know is that there are probably four more belts (red recommended - this one may or may not be required, red decided, first dan/degree recommended - a 1/2 red, 1/2 black belt, and first dan/degree decided - the actual black belt), but I've heard various conflicting things about time spans and requirements so I want to get that figured out so I have a clear mental path. I am thinking maybe this time next year I will get it!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Another FO!

Okay, so not exactly earth-shattering, but these finally got finished!

(playing with the timing feature on my camera. It didn't work out so well.)
(Forgive the sweatshirt. It's my "I'm hanging out at home/wear when I'm sick/need to just curl up in" sweatshirt. I stole it fair and square, and yes, it will be old enough to drive in June!) The second pic shows the colors better, but it's not a very good pic of the gloves. Anyway, they're Broad Street Mittens (sans the mitten flaps, I just don't like them) in STR Mediumweight, Seal Rock colorway. Anyway, I had these almost finished until my KP needle broke. I got a replacement this past Monday when I met up with Sam at knitting and got my part of the KnitPicks order. I finally got around to finishing them today. I have more than half of the skein leftover, so I might make a matching tam to wear in Solvang for the summer.

I've also been working more on this:

the start of the Boatneck Bluebell sweater. I took the pic around halftime of the first game today and worked on it for the rest of the games (until I got so excited by the end of the Giants/Packers game that I had to put knitting down for fear of accidentally stabbing myself). I'm almost halfway through the 27 rows of 2x2 rib now. It's going pretty well, if I do say so myself. I may go stark raving mad from the ribbing, though.

Other than that, my nose still hurts, but at least the Super Bowl will not be an eyesore. It's hard to complain about watching a game pitting Eli Manning vs. Tom Brady. (But Eli Manning is still cuter, Mom! Even if Tom Brady did cut his hair!)

Friday, January 18, 2008

Lessons Learned

Kickboxing went great. I got there pretty early and hung out with Mr. R for a while before class. My legs were too tired from last night to work on my jump kick, though. We only had about five ladies for class tonight, which is kind of a small group, but it was fun.

Sparring was good, too, except for Miss F doing a decent attempt at breaking my nose with a round kick. Luckily, she just caught my upper lip/lower nose instead of smashing the whole thing. Of course, it started bleeding, though, which got all the kids' attention. My immediate thought, sadly, was "I have an excuse to get out of class now," as the initial blow did a pretty good job of dropping me to my knees. My second thought was, "These kids are not going to see me quit because of a bloody nose. I have to get back out there." Most of them have seen me in kickboxing and just saw me teach kickboxing. They see me in sparring every week and some of them are scared of sparring. They're not going to learn from me that a bloody nose is something to be scared of. They are going to see that you can take a hit, clean yourself up, and go back to the fight. Even if I never teach another class of any kind, I am not going to teach anyone fear.

I am not too proud, however, to put ice on it and take some pain relievers when I get home ;) It's not broken, but it does hurt!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Success and Failure

Thank you everyone for your kind words on the afghan! (Mom, it's NOT for you! He needs the decor more than you do - you'll just have to visit him AND the afghan! =) ) Now I have to figure out what to do with the leftover yarn from it.

The rest of the knitting is kind of in various states. Most of my projects are mindless, and I'm so close on some of my projects. The fingerless gloves are almost done - I just need to pick up the stitches and knit the thumb. Ten rounds left, and yet it sits in its bag. I've been working more on MS3, the Drop Stitch Scarf, and another Chunky Diagonal Afghan that I started over the summer. I finished the raglan increases for my size for the Boatneck Bluebell sweater, but I don't think the yoke is long enough. I might have to do a few more. It's on scrap yarn right now from trying it on.

I once again failed to break my board with the jump side kick tonight. Argh! It's mostly a mental block. I KNOW it's a mental block. But it's still a problem. I'm going to go in early tomorrow and see if I can sweettalk Mr. R into helping me with it before I teach (gulp!) kickboxing. Despite my apparently woeful board breaking ability, Sir had me start working with double bahng mahng ees last night in instructor training. It was obviously review for the rest of the class, but the first time I'd done any weaponwork for a tkd class. ("Um, Sir, I've never done these." "I know. You're starting now." He says it's in case someone has to take a class on short notice, which makes sense, but doesn't make me feel any more comfortable.) I like the bahng mahng ees, a lot more than I thought I would. We just did basic warmups and drills with them, though. I'm not looking forward to the ssahng jeol bahngs, though.

Morgan, Zach's brother, taught FIGHT tonight, and it was a lot of fun. We did knife sparring, a knife defense, and a gun defense. Quote of the night (after me disarming Shane - a newer guy): "Dude, she won. You're dead." It's always fun to be the only girl ;)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

First FO of 2008

Rambling Rows is done! Well, it would have been done on my lazy Sunday, except I got this far:
and ran out of yarn. At 9:12p, twelve minutes after the local Michaels closed. Can we say, "Grrr!"? So I had to wait until yesterday to get the yarn and finish the knitting, then last night I finished weaving in the ends and washed it. I'm still not guaranteeing that I got all the cat hair off of it - Teddie is still madly in love with the thing - but it turned out a heck of a lot better than I thought it would.

Pattern specs:
Name: Ramblng Rows Afghan
Designer: Carol Anderson of Cottage Creations (can't find a direct link)
Yarn: Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick 10 skeins Fisherman, 6 skeins each of Navy, Claret, and Pine, and 5 skeins of Butterscotch.
Needles: US 17 (KnitPicks Options)
Finished size: I have no idea what the actual final measurements are - my tape measure is currently in the office from helping tape out a floor - but that's a queen-sized bed it's draped on in the finished photo, so I'm going to go with size Pretty Darn Big.
Notes: I did the baby blanket size stitch counts with the Thick & Quick and large needles, and it turned out smashingly huge. Perfect for a 6'5" guy (we're all petite flowers in my family - it's those delicate Scandinavian genes, you know). Picking up the stitches along the knitted edges was easy as pie, but picking up stitches along the cast-on edges didn't always work out so well and puckered sometimes. I tried a couple different COs when I started, and had the same problem with all of them. I'm not quite sure how to deal with it. I also decided not to put a border on it; I don't think it needs one.

Anyway, that's going to the post office tomorrow. Other than that, not a lot going so far this week, thank goodness. I did actually get to go to knitting Monday morning. If the world ends soon, it's because Kim and I actually were able to come to the same knitting morning! It was so nice to see everyone again! Work is back down to just regular office stuff and meetings, with possibly an audition tour in a few weeks, until Godspell starts rehearsal in March. We're still trying to figure out intern assignments, but that's really our only major conundrum right now.

I rolled my ankle again on that $%^@ jump side kick board break. Mrs. S and Ma'am taught class last night, and Mrs. S wouldn't let me try the break again, even though my ankle didn't hurt. She told me it wasn't worth it, and made me do the break with just a regular #3 side kick, which I can do in my sleep. The bruise on my palm heel from holding the boards for everyone else hurts more (bad enough that I couldn't do the medicine ball pushups in FIGHT tonight, which sucked). What hurts the most, actually, is that once again, I couldn't do the board break correctly. I did it Just Fine last week with Sir and Mr. R. This is SO frustrating! I didn't get a chance to talk to Sir about it tonight but I'm definitely going to try to talk to him tomorrow. I'm already going in early to talk to Mrs. S about kickboxing, since she's asked me to cover class on Friday for her.

So tomorrow is all meetings, paperwork, learning to teach, and most likely a lot of jump side kick drills. And I wouldn't want it any other way =)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Nothing Like Hitting the Ground Running...

This week in review:

Last blissful day of vacation. Finally succeed in completely cleaning the apartment and getting everything organized and put away. Two classes. Work on Rambling Rows, MS3, and the Dropped Lace Stitch Scarf kit that I finally broke down and cast on over the weekend. I'm simply in love with Mountain Colors Twizzle right now - it's sooo wonderful to work with!

PCPA starts back up. 8:15a meeting with Chrissy to decide how on earth we're going to handle the day. 9:00a company meeting and meet new interns. 10:00a-4:30p student auditions. 6:00p-11:00p callbacks. No class. No knitting.

11:00a-9:00p more callbacks. 9:00p-11:00p casting meeting. Find out I'm supposed to go to Long Beach with a recruiting tour on Saturday. No class (and it was supposed to be a triple day for me =( ). No knitting.

Get up early for a 10:00a meeting that gets cancelled just as I get ready to walk out the door. 12:00p help Chrissy teach her ASMs how to set up a rehearsal room in time for Othello's first rehearsal. Attend design presentations. General office work, meetings, and more teaching of non-Othello interns. Two classes, get teased by Mr. R for having such a light week, and curse Zach to hell and back during Haganah for making us do three sets of thirty medicine ball tricep dips. (Yes, that would be NINETY dips. And I don't even want to count how many pushups I did that night between tkd and FIGHT. Despite this torture, he and Mr. R did a great job covering for Sir, who was out of town for a FIGHT conference in Florida. And in all fairness, Zach did give me the choice between the 12-lb ball and the 10-lb ball and it was my stubbornness that had me going for the heavier one.), then back to PCPA to help Chrissy's ASMs finish taping out their second rehearsal room until 11:30p or so. Get asked to come to Outreach rehearsal in the morning again. No knitting.

Get up early again for a 9:00a Outreach rehearsal. Wake up to discover my eyes are puffy, nose is stopped up, sinuses just plain hurt, and the only allergy meds I have left in my medicine cabinet will knock me out within about thirty minutes of taking them. Allergies suck. This is going to be a perfect day. 9:00a-12:00p Outreach rehearsal (very interesting). 1:00p-5:30p more office work, meetings, prepping for the recruiting tour, and more teaching of interns. Two classes: kickboxing and sparring back to back. Curse Zach again for the Thursday night tricep dips during our kickboxing dips and curse Mrs. S for a really nasty squat/side kick drill at the end of sparring class. (I swear, my shoulders and legs have not burned like that in a LONG time!) Am dragging by the end but revive a bit over pizza and beer with Ma'am, Mrs. S and baby, Knitting TKD Grandma, her grandson, and Ma'am's son. (Ma'am's son, who did FIGHT with me, shipped out last night for the Coast Guard. Please keep her son and her daughter, who is in the Navy, in your thoughts and prayers, please! And send peaceful thoughts Ma'am's way, as well!) Small crowd, and yet we still managed to be one of the last groups in the place. Get home, pack for recruiting tour and crash around 10:00p. (Which tells you how worn out I was, between work, allergies, and class!) No knitting.

Wake up at 3:30a (3:30a is usually a "I REALLY should start thinking about going to bed" time for me!) to get ready for recruiting tour. Meet the other three tech faculty members (oh, btw, I'm now faculty for some reason) at CBC at 5:00a and leave for Long Beach. Get to Long Beach around 9:00a and start to have some inkling about how small the theater world really is. I've only been working professionally for five years now, yet I knew, at least by reputation if not by actually having worked with, a decent number of other recruiters/employers/representatives there, and...they knew me! I was asked to sit on a question-and-answer panel with people like the president of the regional USITT chapter, the dean of CalArts, a Disney representative, and a couple noteworthy designers. In other words, people who have been doing their stuff and teaching their stuff for years and have made their marks in the field. Immediately after the panel session, we went into interviews and portfolio reviews. It was a little intimidating, actually, but apparently I didn't embarrass PCPA too much. I felt a little bit like a fraud, though. I mean, these students are asking me questions and taking notes of my answers like I actually know what I'm talking about and my advice and opinions are actually valuable to them! I wanted to shout "I'm only twenty six! I never went to grad school! I'm still learning!" several times that day. What if one of them actually listened to me?? It was a bit surreal. We got done a lot earlier than we had expected, though, so instead of spending the night in Long Beach, we decided to head home and blew the hotel money on a fantastic dinner at the Brewery instead. (And yes, Mom, we will have to go there next time you guys come out!) Got home around 7:30p, crashed on the couch, and woke up around 10:30p - just in time to go to bed. No knitting, despite the fact that I did bring the start of the second Wendelin sock to work on during the drive. I just couldn't get to my bag while in the van!

Finally, finally get to sleep in, and of course, wake up at 8:00a instead. Lazing around in pjs and watching the Colts/Chargers game (ETA: watched, past tense, the Chargers just won) until I have to get dressed to run some office errands and go to snag one of the rehearsal rooms to do some form work. I have one more rectangle and one more large square to do on the afghan, and I'd love to get that done tonight. I'm reconsidering putting a border on it - once it's spread out, it looks pretty good without one. Still having to take allergy meds, so lacework may not be the best option right now. Possibly more sleeping, too, mostly because of the meds, so I'm not looking to be particularly productive today. Thank goodness!

Friday, January 04, 2008


I actually did get all my yarn sorted and stored yesterday. I bought three of those under-the-bed-style storage containers, and put worsted weight acrylics in one, bulky weight acrylics in another, and then dk/sport/worsted weight cottons and wools in the third. I didn't get a chance to cover them before I had to leave for class, and when I got home, this is what I found:

I didn't realize I had to store kitty fiber in there, too! And note that he even shoved some of the yarns almost out of the container to make room! The lazy bum didn't even bother to get up when I got home, although he did open one sleepy eye and yawn in my general direction. I guess he was so comfy, nestled in those wools, that he couldn't deign to acknowledge me more than that. The only real problem with the storage system, other than kicking cats out of it, is that I actually got them to fit under the futon in my living room. This way, all my yarn would be together in the same room, and be handy but still fairly discrete. A brilliant idea, until I realized that this futon (and I REALLY need a new one, or better yet, a sofa or a pair of comfy chairs) is so broken and bent that the containers don't fit underneath it. I guess they'll have to go under my bed for the time being. The containers that the dk-bulky weights outgrew now house my sock yarns and WIP bags.
(The sock yarn container is under the WIP container.) The laceweights are still in the top drawer of my Rubbermaid stackable, with cross-stitch stuff in the middle and all my needles in the bottom. We'll see how long this actually keeps things organized.

And I finally got the pic to Kiz, so I feel safe in posting it here now. I do present, The Most Awesome T-Shirt:

And off topic, but exactly one year ago today, I went to my first taekwondo class. I could go on for a while about all the physical, mental, and emotional benefits I've gotten from it, but to spare you the boredom and at the risk of sounding like an old Nike commercial, all I'll say is that working up the nerve to Just Do It was one of the best things I've ever done. Thank you so much to all of my instructors and classmates for teaching, encouraging, and supporting me through the year, and thank you to you all for your support and encouragement as well!

Mr. R teased me the other night, "Sometimes you come in all dolled up [when I come straight from work and have to change at the studio], and you look out of place. But at the end of the night, you're one of us!"

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Productive Unproductivity


There were supposed to be lots of pretty pictures of new yarn, new shirts (I promised Kiz a pic of the shirt he got me for Christmas), properly stored and put away yarn, and maybe, possibly, a FO (all I have left on the Broad Street mittens is the thumb on the second one!). But a combination of KR, Ravelry, getting caught up on all of y'alls' blogs, paying bills (and realizing I'm broke ALREADY, stupid travelling), running errands, trying to clean the place up at least a little, and class tonight, that didn't happen. Pretend there are pretty pics up! Hopefully, there will be tomorrow!

That is, assuming I can walk or move tomorrow, since I did, um, three classes tonight after having almost two weeks off. I totally forgot that instructor class was tonight since it was the first night of classes for the week. Kickboxing, tkd, and instructor class. Oy! Now, this is actually what I am planning to normally do on Monday nights, but I really wasn't mentally prepared for it quite yet. Luckily, I just got drilled on Songham 1, 2, & 3 forms, and there was a black belt who also just recently started, so we could work together for a little bit. Tomorrow is tkd and FIGHT, Friday is kickboxing and sparring (with lots of pizza and some beer afterwards!). I do have some kind of cool bruises on the back of my hands from the backfist/knifehand/spinning backfist combinations we did in tkd tonight, though.

Now for some sleeping, since, as Mr. R was teasing me, Round Three just about did me in tonight!