Saturday, January 21, 2012

Arty the One Man Party

Yesterday, we had Artemis euthanized.  The cancer had progressed to the point where he was no longer digesting food, and he was down to less than half his maximum weight.  Even so, it was incredibly difficult to go through with.  He and Luna have been our sweet kitties for 12 years, since kittenhood.

In remembrance, I will share some old journal entries I wrote when the cats were new additions to the family:

Autumn 1999

Luna's description as a kitten: Dark grey with white feet, she has bigger patches of white on her hind legs, he has a downward pointing arrow on her chest, an upward pointing one between her hind legs, and a white patch that goes over her nose and circles partway around her neck, a little pink nose, beautiful big golden eyes that fade to green in the middle.  She's small, but she's kind of mean.  Sometimes she's really mean, sometimes she's very sweet.  She loves to be wrapped tightly like an enchilada, and even though she's mean and scratchy a lot, she's very shy at first.  She still sometimes runs when I come near.  She is too adorable for words!

Artemis' description as a kitten: He's a lighter grey than Luna, he has a light grey rectangle above his nose, has a black nose, and beautiful eyes like Luna's.  He has a little white on his front paws, and on his back paws he has more white.  He has a white triangle spread under his chin and two spades, on his chest and stomach, with the points touching in the middle.  He is so kind and nice and he barely ever scratches.  He follows you around begging for attention by meowing in his loud voice which he uses to call us out of our beds in the morning to let him and Luna out of the basement.  He and Luna both have very loud, ragged purrs.  They are both so cute and I'm so happy we have kittens!

Now that I sat down to write this, I keep hearing my little garbage can being scooted around the floor behind me, so I leaned around the side of the chair to find that Artemis was playing with it, and when he noticed me he stopped and tried to look innocent.  He repeatedly starts playing with it every time I turn around, back to writing, and then every time I look back at him, he fakes something different.  Once, he rolled on his back and stretched, another time he pretended to be playing with his tail, another time he started cleaning himself, and another time he faked watching the birds outside!

He stayed the same cat his whole life; a sweet boy who never harmed his humans, and would begin to purr the second you walked in the room.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Thanks everyone, for all the responses to the last entry!  It sucks that cyclists are such second rate citizens, but I think if we keep it positive and try to encourage others to bike, and our driver friends to at least be more tolerant... that's the best we can do.  I'll let you know if "I'm crying because a driver honked/yelled at me" t-shirts become available.  :)

I finished Daniel's rug.  I'm exceedingly proud of it, for some reason.  I keep going in to admire it, way more than I should.  (It's made of his old t-shirts!)

Then we watched the EPIC BLIZZARD from his window!

Then of course we had to go out in it, to "see accidents on Denny."

We were not disappointed.

I think this was just before the truck barreled through, knocking the lady out of her already sideways car, sending her spinning, dragged on the ground, but thankfully apparently unhurt.  The truck came to a stop when it crashed into the post at the corner of the overpass.  Made sure no one was dead... then went on our way, a little shaken...  Did we cause that through some weird karmic force?

Glitchy cell phone photo.  Finally the police get around to barricading off Denny.

More views from Daniel's apartment.

It was actually not this blue....  I think that my cellphone took some creative license.

This is the mystery carpet dog who seems to live alone in the (abandoned?) carpet shop near my house in Ravenna.  Who are you, doggie?  Who feeds you?

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Most Hated Commuters

I have my morning commute worked out for ultimate efficiency, where I meet the bus en route, by bike, two miles downhill from my house.  It's great: most of the way is even on the good old BGT (the only place where bikes are even remotely tolerated)! However, at the end, I must cross the Montlake bridge... during the morning rush.  Sometimes I'll take the pedestrian walkway, because the cars are too densely packed and obviously motivated by harried commuters, but navigating around the pedestrians is slow and can cost me my bus.

Today, the way looked relatively clear, so I assertively merged into the stream of southbound cars, stayed to the right of the lane, and put on the "hyperdrive" (pedaled like crazy) to try and be as little of a nuisance as possible.  The car immediately behind me went into the left lane to pass me with lots of room.  The car behind her began to honk.

She pulled up, alongside me, in the still clear left lane, rolled her window down, and screeched "You've GOT to be KIDDING me!" with the raw, ragged, hysterical voice of a mother whose infant-in-arms has just been struck by a stray bullet.  As she pulled in front of me, I smiled at the back of her car with all the teeth I could muster.  As I watched her disappear down the 520 entrance ramp, I felt that familiar feeling welling up in my chest.  I pedaled the remaining 50 yards to the pedestrian-inhospitable bus island on the bridge, pulled my bike over the curb and began to cry freely.

Lady, I'm NOT kidding.  I'm on my way to work, too, and I'm trying to get there on time.  I only delayed you 30 seconds: if there was any more delay, you caused it by slowing to roll down your window and yell at me.  I try to steel myself, but I can't.  It still hurts my feelings, every time.  I want nothing more than that lady's phone number.  I wish she was listening to me cry.

Does she think her outburst has no consequences?  If you happen to be driving by and see someone, bundled in warm clothes, helmet, and reflective tape, sobbing, but apparently unharmed, this is what happened.  I'm thinking I should carry around a big neon sign that says "I'm crying because a driver honked/yelled at me!" just in case.  I hope, but I'm not confident that, watching me cry would inspire compassion instead of pleasure.

remote bus island in a sea of traffic

Strangely enough, these experiences serve to reinforce my determination to maintain my bi-wheeled presence on the road.  If this defeats me, the assholes win.

(My morning bike route illustrated by Google Maps.  Thanks, Google!)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Feeling quilty!

I want to make a "Pineapple Log Cabin" quilt.  I saw one hanging in the window of Cairo on Capitol Hill, in just red and white, and it was SO COOL!  

It looked kind of like this:

I also found this example of a pineapple log cabin quilt, which I think looks pretty amazing:

Here's another inspiration for simple yet awesomely graphic quilt design:  (This uses the normal "Log Cabin" quilt block, but with a unique color arrangement.)

How does this happen to me?  Why am I so obsessed with quilts right now?  (Yet not producing any finished ones...)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Here is a glitchy cell phone photo of the rug I am crocheting!  Of course I can't help but put it into use before it is finished.  It's so fun to step on!

It's made out of old t-shirts cut in such a way as to turn them into "yarn."  There are lots of tutorials available if you want to do it yourself.  Here's one that looks pretty clear:

The cool thing is, it is SO FAST!  The yarn is big and bulky, so I managed to make what is shown above in only a couple evenings of sitting around.  Also, it's a great way to recycle old t-shirts that are too junky to even give to Goodwill.

Extra Maddie hint:  If you bleach a black shirt, you can get that lovely rust color that makes a spiral in the middle of the rug above!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

random points in quilt-space

Daniel, being wonderful, is helping me create computer programs to generate quilt patterns (or really doing it at my behest).

I wanted to randomly generate quilt blocks based on some traditional themes, such as the ubiquitous "half-square triangle."

The examples below are preliminary proofs of concept, but I think it looks promising!  (I cropped the images-- they started out probably 10 times as large!)