Monday, October 09, 2006

C, sea, si: the return of the ABC posts

I started this post May 26 and then never finished it. Here I am, picking it up and editing it...


When I first started to become crafty, well into my twenties, my craft of choice was cross-stitch. My mother had tried, years earlier, to get me interested, but I always turned up my nose. It wasn't until my sister-in-law was getting married that I thought, "Hey! A cheap gift would be a wedding sampler, AND I'll learn how to cross-stitch..." Six months later, I gave the newlyweds the wedding sampler as part of their Christmas gift. I'd mostly finished the pattern--the background, which was supposed to be white and criss-crossing to look like lattice, never got done, and no one is the wiser!

I learned, though, that cross-stitching isn't a fast hobby, and that cross-stitching with a deadline only ups the likelihood that you will make a mistake. I ripped and ripped and ripped, and it was only after I was about a third of the way into it that I told my mom I was cross-stitching (and ripping), to which she replied, "It isn't cross-stitch unless you rip."

Since then, I've become a stitching NUT: I have a stash of patterns and 4 or 5 or even 6 containers of floss (4 are organized--there's probably enough still in skeins that would fill another 2 or 3 containers...), I have cross-stitch books, and I go to a cross-stitch convention every year. Yes, I am that girl.


We've been car-free since February 2005 when we turned in our leased Xterra and walked on out of there. For the most part, car-free living has been great. But, there have been a few occasions when we've needed a car and have had to go without. My most recent example of this is when I ran into a cross-stitch emergency--I TOLD YOU I WAS A FREAK. Anyway, my last needle broke and I had no more of that size and OMG, what to do???? I survived (by knitting...) and a dear friend picked up some needles on her way back from the office.

As of tomorrow, though, we are no longer car-free. Mike has found a job that pays what he wants and doesn't force him into overtime by locking the doors. The only problem is it's not conveniently located for Septa or for biking. And since his motorcycle needs work (it will be rideable soon!) and since we cannot rely on the car share to always and forever be at our beck and call, we've gotten ourselves a used car. It's mostly going to sit outside of our house, but it'll be nice to know we can run out to the craft store the next time I have a needle 911.

ETA: Well, since I started this post back in May, a lot has happened in the car sense (most of which dear readers know already). Still... We've put the Subaru up for sale (know anyone looking for a reliable car? Drop me a line...) and I've finally got a Karmann Ghia. I took the Ghia out yesterday for an around-the-block spin. She's not legal yet (I'm STILL waiting for the floorboards to get fixed), but I try to take her out at least once a week. I stick to the 'hood, though, because she's missing an inspection sticker and lord knows I do not want my car to be confiscated as part of Live Stop. I'd DIE.

While scooting around the neighborhood yesterday, I discovered two (minor) things wrong with the car--the engine compartment won't shut and the driver's side door won't shut. But, my neighbor (a Ghia nut; anytime he hears the car start up he comes running out to take a look) and Mike tightened the cable for the trunk release (the engine's in the back) and then the neighbor diagnosed a faulty pin on the door hinge before discovering that the door can shut securely if you first lift the door before trying to close it. Ah, the quirks of owning an old car...


Cross-stitching is in this one, but there's so much more that I do! I enjoy knitting, some crocheting, scrapbooking, photography, and making things out of non-traditional art materials. I used to be into painting and sculpture, but I also used to want to be a horse. Some things don't last...


I like cats. I have one right now and he, unfortunately, doesn't like me. He has been diagnosed as the meanest cat ever. He's a sweetheart though: he snuggles with me in the morning for exactly long enough to figure out that OH HE HATES ME, and then he attacks. He sleeps through the night and often heads up to our bed about 10pm. He loves to sit out on our deck and soak up the rays. And he pretty much attacks any person that walks in the house that is not Mike or me (he merely tolerates me).

The other CATS is the cross-stitching festival. CATS stands for (or stood for, I think they've changed the exact name) Creative Arts and Textile Shows. Anyway, my mom and I go every year and we are usually happy with the experience. The last couple of years we've not signed up for the expensive classes and have opted, instead, to do Make It Take Its. This year, we're treating ourselves to some time at the spa that's local to the event--I've been looking forward to September 2006 since September 2005.


Growing up, I was strictly an American cheese kind of girl. But, as I've grown up, I've found the rich and creamy goodness of fancy cheeses. If I could get away with it, I'd put cheese on everything.


When my husband and I were just friends, way back in high school, we would spend hours on the phone, just chit-chatting. I had a crush on him, and unbeknownst to me, he had a crush on me... In between phone calls, he'd drive over to my house and pick me up and we'd spend hours driving the backroads of farming New Jersey. And we were just friends.

On those rides, we didn't talk much. We listened to REM and drove past cattle and watched the sun sink lower in the summer sky. But over the phone, we'd talk and talk and talk. And then we wouldn't talk. I'd listen to him breathing on the other end, I'd listen to myself breathing. And sometimes, I'd ask him to say one word, and that one word was comfortable.


I love cameras! I'm fascinated with the idea of early photography and camera functions, though I've never really pursued this interest. I have a couple of antique cameras that should work with the right person and I have a couple of SLRs (one film, one digital). I also have a Fuji digital camera and that's my current point-and-shoot gig.


I love company! I love drop-ins and just-passing-bys. I like spending an afternoon or evening with friends or neighbors. I suppose it's the country in me that entertains the notion of surprise visitors just moseying on in.


I'm by no means religious (the last time I found myself needing to pray was probably well before my husband and I started dating), but I've long been fascinated with the Catholic Church, in both a train-wreck kind of way and a "fill the void" kind of way. I studied medieval history during my undergrad years and up until Martin Luther pulled his "no sleep til Brooklyn", the world as it was known was largely Catholic (here the "world" means Europe). Researching different reigns always meant learning about the religion. Studying Catholicism from afar like that also romanticized it for me.

Even before I found myself studying Catholicism (tangentially), I was obsessed with Catholic schools. Maybe I wanted to wear the uniforms, maybe I longed to have Sister Immaculate rap my knuckles with a ruler--whatever the case, I ended up attending two Catholic colleges (one for a semester, the other to complete my undergraduate studies). And while I definitely did not agree with the Catholic teachings (I took one class on the immorality of masturbation and the supreme morality of loving Christ first...), I feel that my time spent at the second school (St. Joseph's University) was vastly rewarding.


People find it amusing when I tell them what I do for a living, promptly following that revelation with, "But I hate kids." But it's the truth, no matter how well I do my job or how happy I am with my job, I am not fond of children. I don't want children, I don't need children, and quite frankly, I don't care for children.

Still, I love being a Children's Librarian--I love working with the kids, treating them with respect, helping them find books, answering their questions... Where I failed as a teacher, I am succeeding--immensely--as a librarian.

I have no explanation for the adoration I lavish upon the babies of friends, since I cannot claim that to be "part of my job". I guess that originates from liking the parents... Lots of our friends are having babies now and while that's great for them, I am always relieved when, upon meeting the little newborns, I do not feel any sort of maternal pull. My biological clock is on permanent snooze--and that's a-ok with me! Besides, babies give me a reason to knit cute little sweaters!!!

Next up, eventually, is D.

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