Sunday, May 29, 2005

finished wrap

Originally uploaded by queenmaxine.
I thought I would post a pic of the finished wrap and scarf I made from the yarn I bought in New Orleans before I started documenting the new project. Something decidedly Virgo about that. Maybe.

I love my new scarf and wrap!

home sweet home

So Wrecks' vacation was short lived. He was gone less than 24 hours as Fatima deemed him just too big. Reall, our only problem with him is that we have two other dogs. Two dogs that we actually went looking for and wanted, too. Not two other dogs who just showed up and stayed. What was I thinking. Yes, this is definitely my fault.

I still have a list to post a needs-a-good-home email to and I think I might post the same on the bulletin board at work. Maybe even go to petfinder. This is a mess I want to make a double effort at cleaning up.

On the fiber front, I finally went out looking for yarn shops in Houston. Ironically enough, a salon client dropped an article from the paper about the renewed interest in knitting. The shop I went to, Yarns 2 Ewe, was the one the paper mentioned. From what I understand it has better prices than the other local shops, but the selection beyond compare is at Nancy's (next on my list). Yarns 2 Ewe had a very unobtrusive staff, perhaps unattentive might better describe them. It was Saturday and they had a few people in there, but no hi or welcome or even a thank you afer I dropped $120. That just irritates me a little. I might email them and let them know of there slight.

You might have figured out, they carry Manos del Uruguay yarn. Ahhhhhhh. I just am in love with this product. The saturated colors, the merino softness, both draw me in to this particular yarn. I first found it at the shop in New Orleans, but Y2E has it for a bit less, so that was a perk. I got some to make a blanket for Hitaji as a thank you gift ofr blessing our union. It will definitely be done by our party. I started the blanket at work last night and worked through one of the 8 hanks of yarn. I think the finished size will be that of a throw with fringe. Pics to come.

I have recently read about felting and that the Manos yarn is a good choice for this. I saw a felted purse at the shop and need to find out if this can be done with crochet rather than knitting. If not I want to learn the process anyway, so knitting might come back for me. The purse is a small enough project. I need to research the process and I am sure Y2E has directions available. I think it involves boiling the finished product. Has anyone done this?

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Wrecks takes a vacation

Wrecks is off tomorrow afternoon to a sleepover at a prospective new home. One of my coworkers is taking him. Actually her daughter is trying him on. she has always insisted she would have a Rott, and as her mom has a bit of large dog anxiety, they are trying him on. I assured Fatima that he is indeed gentle and really unaware that he is a dog. I told her I would come pick him up at any point if it just wasn't working, and E added tonight that we will take him back if they get to the point, as we have, where they realize keeping him might not have been the best decision. An unlimited doggie warranty. Can't beat it, really.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

girls night out

Just in from the pub. Actually, tonight began as a side jjob for me as I went to Beth's to cut some hair. Irina had to work late so she will get done Monday night. Mimi had a humidity awakening, it was 96 degrees today, and realized she should wait to cut her naturally curly hair until it is a little longer or a little less humid. That left Beth and her sister Julie. Julie drove in from Austin for the experience and was back on the road minutes after I set my scissors down.

After hair cuts we went to Onion Creek for hot dogs and beer. E and had a late lunch at Pappasito's so we just went for the company and the beer. It had cooled to about 84 degrees and was a nicenight to sit outside on the patio and shoot the bull.

Prior to all this but after our late lunch, E and I went to target to pick up a back yard covered gazebo thing. tomorrow Beth is coming over to brunch to help E set it up. It's nice to have a friend who likes to help out in this way. See previous post!

Friday, May 20, 2005


Cris over at That Side Of The Moon asks:

• how do you choose your friends?
• how do you know someone is a friend?
• what are your expectations for those you consider friends?
• what do you give to friendships that make you a good friend?
• how do you define friend?
• where do you find friends?

I once was in a women's group where we were challenged to have an intentional relationship with another group member. It worked ok for about 6 months to a year and as it turned out, I had been paired with another lesbian close to my age so we had things in common, but it just wasn't sustained longer than 9 months to a year. I would not be surprised to get an email from her out of the blue, but it has been long enough to say the effort was not a success. In lieu of that I suppose I follow fate when it comes to friends and let fate choose them for me. It is a matter of instinct really. I meet someone and there is an instant recognition. One of my friends says this means you have found someone from your soul family, but that is a rather involved explanation for this entry.

My bestest friend Kimi and I met through mutual friends at a bar when I needed a new roommate at 20(omigod that's 20 years ago). We have known each other half our lives now and We lived near each other just those forst three years, but ours is a friendship that sustains itself unconditionally. I feel fortunate that she is in my life.

I have another best friend Trisha. She and I met while working in the salon at JC Penney, me as a stylist, she as a receptionist. I think we have known each other eight or nine years now and she also falls into the unconditional sustainability (maybe I am onto something here). For a while, It struck me as odd that Trisha and I had this bond because where Kim and I are just a week apart in age, Trisha is about 10 years younger than I am. There is just something there that makes it work.

Beth is another friend who I know falls into this pattern. I met her from an ad I placed on an email list for a Gossiping Goddesses dinner out. I put an ad out blindly saying the GGs were meeting at a local resaurant and any local women on the list were welcomed to join us. The more the merrier. Beth showed up with another friend and we had a nice time socializing. The GGs were just E and I wanting to meet other lesbians when I was new to Houston. We have been friends now close to 7 years. Beth has been there every time we have moved. The first move, about three "friends" said they would be there to help us pack and load the uhaul. Beth actually showed up. That is how she got into the club and earned the friend crown.

I guess next on the list is Paul. I met hime here in Texas again at JCP. He is near 60, so older by far, but there is something again unconditional involved. He does make it a chore at times, perhaps due to circumstances beyond his control, but we always pick up right where we left off.

As far as expectations, my number one rule in life is no expectations = no disappointments. I think the key to adopting to this is to not be attached to the outcome. It is where the unconditional comes in. I amnot sure I have the mind to explain this further at the moment, but any questions or comments left are always replied to.

I give to my friends unconditional love and support. I am a good listener. Anyone who knows me even as an aquaintance, knows I do not gossip visciously. I give confidence.

A friend is someone you call when you hit bottom or are in jail and need to be bailed out.

Friends seem to find me.

So of course I have more than these four friends, but true friends like these are a precious rarity and I appreciate them and am grateful.

I think a lot of people fall into the habit of confusing friends with aquaintances. Drama erupts eventually, Sometimes they learn, sometimes not. And for the most part. Your coworkers are just that, period. Sure, sometimes and aquaintance or friend emerges from the crowd, but please, no blind presumptions about coworkers being friends.

So what do you have to say about friendship?

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Flickr Rocks!!!

I love flickr almost as much as I love my new wool. It is fabulous. I know, I said that already. Just loving it. It is soft. The colors are nothing short of delightful. Saturated. Compelling. Pink.

The wool is from The Garden District Needlework Shop. It;s linked in one of the previous posts if I did it correctly. This particular wool is from Uruguay and is "handcrafted kettle dyed pure wool. It is a Merino/Corriedale blend.

From the tag:
"Manos del Uruguay, the Hands of Uruguay is a non-profit organization comprised of more than 400 artisans in cooperatives scattered throughout the countryside of Uruguay. The organization's mission is to bring economic and social opportunities to rural women.

Manos yarn is spun from a luxurious blend of Merino and Corriedale wools. It is hand dyed in large kettles to create a marbleized, striated effect, sometimes subtle, often dramatic, and is available in more than ninety glorious colors.

No two skeins are exactly alike and there are no dye lots. We therfore recommend buying enough yarn to complete a project and to alternate knitting two rows from one skein with two rows from another to give an overall blended effect."

Loving it.

Halfway home

Originally uploaded by queenmaxine.
I have been taking my time and working on this at work when it is slow. It will be a meditation wrap to avoid a chill with the occasional trek out on the town just because it is so fabulous. Did I already mention its fabulousness? I did, I know. But it is so fabulous it merits repeating myself.

The width here is about eight inches and it is roughly half done.It is long enough to go around my shoulders and will have pink-hot-pink fringe.


The colors and textures

Originally uploaded by queenmaxine.
I wanted enough of the multicolored to make a wrap, but there were just three balls of it available.

Then I spied the pink. Double woo. IT's hot and sultry. I luuuuuuuuv it.

The Wool

Originally uploaded by queenmaxine.
While at the yarn shop in New Orleans, I took some time to look around and see what they have to offer. I had made a few selection to choose from and then was ready to decide which of the choices I wanted.

Around the last corner of fabulous selections I went and my eye caught this. Finally, *the* yarn for a meditation wrap for me. My own. Woo.

Butter Balls

Originally uploaded by queenmaxine.
I picked a random photo off my laptop to test out flickr and see if I can figure out how it works. More time spent than I would have liked, but I present "Butter Balls" as taken by T at Tavern on the Green.

Who knew?

I discovered a new button in my iTunes program last night. Shuffle. Duh. I put on my ear buds and hit play in my music library and then the shuffle button. Since I have loaded only artists I like, the resulting shuffle is pretty awesome. Interesting to go from Sinean O'Connor to Dead Can Dance to Sting to Sarah McLachlan, etc. I don't know why I haven't pushed the shuffle button before. I guess the graphic being different it just didn't strike me to see what the button does.

I am going to yoga this morning and to see my friend Hitaji this afternoon. Hitaji does a radio show on KPFT called Earth 101. There is an archive link that has audio files of past shows that you can listen to. She will be officiating at our gala in July and we are going to talk about what she will actually do. It will make for an interesting ceremony, whatever "it" is.

Other than that, I think it will be a pretty light day. I noticed that my work in progress link is on a page that I no longer remeber the password for, so I might begin to transfer that content to a different page. Also pics coming today of the new projects. That's the plan.


Tuesday, May 17, 2005


fresh strawberries and fresh whippede cream...pure d evil

Reply cards are a-flying

So far the partay is shaping up nicely. At least guest response is shaping up nicely. It just might be a regular pyjamma-jammie-jam weekend slumber party.

One of my purchases in New Orleans was from a yarn shop. I bought some kettle hand dyed merino wool. $80 bucks worth in fact. A small little bag for my dollars. I was drawn to the saturation of pink and orange and maroon and tan. I had to get it. There was no choice.

I was hoping I would have enough to make a meditation wrap for myself. I crocheted my ass off pre-xmas and while I can share the blanket and wrap I made for E, they are hers. So it is only fitting that I make one for myself. I have been waiting for the right yarn to call my name.

Today I was working with this wool while at work. I am absolutely falling in love with it. Ok. I already am in love with it. I will post a pic soon because I am loving it that much.


Sunday, May 15, 2005

Home sweet home

The whirlwind New Orleans tour has come to a close. A little bit of jewelry, a few t-shirts, lots of new art, consumerism is alive and well in the state of Louisianna.

And did we drink a few beers? Yes, just a few.

Saints and Sinners was as good an excuse as any to hit New Orleans. I really enjoyed the events I made it to, and I enjoyed talking with Toni Amato. She might be just the person to get me headed in the proper direction with my writing. I went to a workshop she did with Amie Evans and enjoyed the discussion immensely.

I also went to a mystery workshop with Ellen Hart. If you have ever peaked at my library link on the left, it is clear I have read a book or two of hers, as in nearly all of them. She was very gracious as were all the conference-goers.

I did not attend any of the readings. The ones I wanted to go to were on Sunday and we were just ready to get home by then. It was late in the day after check out time, and just not feasible when we had a 5 hour drive in front of us.

I saw an ad in the local freebie mag for a yarn shop and dropped just a few $$ there. I think the wrap I make will be divine.

Enough update for now, yawn...

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Vacation all I ever wanted

Time for a little adventure. We head to New Orleans today and will be back on Sunday. I am still curious as to my attendance at Sasfest and how much I am a fan vs. a writer. I think it is pretty balanced, but it will be an interesting (at least to me) observation. I learned that Kristi Helms has had to bow out from attending and I was looking forward to meeting her finally. After reading her book and blog, linked left as 'Dish" for some time now I feel as if I know her already, but I like the association of flesh to this online world.

I have experienced this having read Susan Stinson's blog and books and then seeing her at a reading at BookWoman. It was somewhat surreal, and I now hear her voice when I read her work. It is an interesting phenomenon.

So I have to confess. I am a New Orleans virgin. Nice to be a virgin of something, but I will have to seek out virgin status once again after this weekend. We are staying within walking distance, I think, of the French Quarter which is where all the conference activities are centered. There is an informal pre-party tonight, the opening reception is tomorrow, and the closing reception on Sunday. I am sure there will be goings on for Saturday night, too.

Off to get E's car belatedly inspected, then to yoga and then to the post office to mail party invites. Whew, that's an agressive morning for a vacation day.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Just two days...

The weekend was thoroughly relaxing, and now I have just two days to work this week before heading to New Orleans. I have registered for Saints and Sinners and I am trying to keep myself from having great expectations. About the conference, about the time off, about my first trip to New Orleans. Yes, all of the above.

Sasfest is the third annual LGBT writer's conference. It is hard to know without having been before if I feel I am attending as a writer or as a fan. Certainly a little bit of both. There will be many of my favorite authors in attendance, and I find it odd that there is not more excitement on their sites for, if nothing else, to generate attention for the event. I plan to attend a couple of workshops and panel discussions and a few of the readings. It seems the authors I would want to see are all later in the day on Sunday and we might be on the way home by then, but it's all good.

So I have to work today 1-9 and tomorrow 9-6. I am hoping my boss is in a better mood. On Saturday she was in a bit of an odd mood. At first I thought it was me she was put out with for having been sick (um, yeah, really, I was soooo sick) on Friday. As the day wore on, I decided she was just in a foul mood otherwise. As that does not happen all too often, it was just kind of weird.

The laptop will travel, and I will be sure that E brings the camera, so we will be able to document yet another adventure via travelog on EP. Woo. Hoo.

Monday, May 09, 2005

And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming...

I am just back from dropping Kimi back off at the airport. Sigh. It was a fabulous weekend starting with a bit of time to visit after Kimi arrived on Friday. Then it was off to ladies night out with friends. There were eight of us all together and we met at St Pete's for Margaritas. We had appetizers while we waited for everyone to arrive, then we headed around to the other side of the block to Cabo.

Once we got to Cabo we had to wait a bit for a table. Once seated, the Margaritas were again flowing. I had shrimp tacos and they were just right. After Cabo we went down the street to Char Bar. It used to be Duke's Tailors. Tailoring still goes on and just inside the door there are two or three antique shoe shine stands where you can still get a shine if you need one. Of course, Margaritas were an offering there as well.

I thought we were going to go to another bar across the street. The eight of us were standing on the corner ready to cross and discussing what to do next. The bar across the street was calling and we could have been standing in there with a drink discussing. I decided to cross the street thinking everyone would folllow. Four of us ended up across the street and the other four had simultaneously decided we should drive to Chances.

We caved and went to Chances. It ended up being a good decision and we had a good time there. A couple of beers and dances later, four of us decided it was time to go home. That was around midnight. The rest of us were not convinced and decided to stay out. Afterall, we were at Chance, *and* we were having a good time. That does not often happen, and if nothing else, we learned that Chances is best braved as a group.

Those of us who stayed toured the rest of the bar and then decided to go over to Slick Willies to shoot some pool. We had parked over there and had a beer when we arrived, but then told Scott, the manager we would be back before the evening ended for another. So along with a few more beers, Kimi and I both did four shots. Scott is such a bad influence. He bought us a round of Lemon Drops. Now Mimi and E both declined. E always declines liquor of any kind with Amaretto straight up being the only exception. So that meant that Kimi and I were forced to consuime 2 shots each in rapid succession. A little pool and a lot of silliness later, we had eached had two Red Headed Sluts. Yumm.

We gave Mimi a ride home, luckily, E had the sense at some point to stop drinking. We got home and hit the bed at about 2:30. I had to get up at 6 and work 8-4. Ahem. I made it and was tired, but fortunately for me, I just don't get hungover. I did take a moment to evaluate if I was ok to drive, and after a shower to wake me more fully, I knew I was ok.

On Saturday night we went to a lovely dinner, just me, E and Kim, to DiVino. We sat there and had a lovely time eating and drinking. I had the most perfect meal that night and after hopping around the menu there over several visits, I might never order anything but the beef tenderloin salad again. Beef, baby spinach, mixed greens, walnuts, glazed figs, gorgonzola. It was just perfect.

Sunday brought the breakfast run and a trip to the farmer's market. We had Kolaches from Olde Towne and Chai from Starbucks on the way to the market. We got mostly fresh fruit to carry us through to Thursday when we head out to New Orleans for the weekend. We were then home for a litytle while before heading back out to the Galleria where I got some tea from Teavana. We walked the mall for a bit then scored a seat at the bar at the Cheesecake Factory. There we had avocado eggrolls and panfried dumplings.

We went home after that and I made cookies. Then we hit Empire Cafe for dinner and went to Beth's for the L Word.

This morning was sad because Kimi had to go, but she will be back in July with her gf Susan.


Friday, May 06, 2005

bestest weekend

Woohooooooooo. I am off to the bakery to pick up my sample cake for the party in July. I picked this weekend for the sample because Kim is coming to visit. After getting the cake, it will be off to the airport to pick her up and she is here through Monday morning. I haven't seen Kim in about 5 years, so it will be a grand weekend. We are meeting friends tonight at 7 at St Pete's for margaritas and then going on a mini pub crawl down and around Market Square. The current plan then takes us to Cabo for dinner, but that is flexible and we could easily end up somewhere else. I was thinking Ambassador, but the logistics are not prudent given that we will have been drinking. I think there will be 8 of us. Should be nice.

Tomorrow I have to work in the morning, but Grupo Fantasma is playing in Galveston at 10 so we might go down after work for some beach time then dinner and Grupo.

Sunday is still up in the air. If we do not head to Galveston tomorrow, we will likely go early on Sunday. Then we can hit the farmer's market on the way home, or maybe make it to West Oaks Birra Poretti's where Ginger and her band are playing Sunday brunch.

The weekend will fly by all too quickly, then it will be time for Kimi to go. Wah.

But she's coming baaaack...for the party in July. Woohoo!!

Monday, May 02, 2005

vying for a tie

This morning I had to go do my upper GI series. I think it is a pretty close tie for the worst experience ever with the colonoscopy prep. Here honey, drink this barium cocktail. It's not so bad. Really.

Worse than actually having to do it is the thought that I could have to repeat this at my doctor's whim. I am truly at her mercy, and she thankfully, does not appear to have a sadistic streak. I am holding on to the hope that These are just diagnostic tools and that they will be used sparingly.

Today's treat was a thick creamy substance which might be better if served well chilled. There is an attempt to improve it with a fruity sort of flavor, though I think mint or chocolate would be a better choice. About 20 ounces was just divine.

There were no dietary restrictions, but I am glad I chose to not eat because I am not sure I would have been able to keep it down. In addition to the unpleasantness that would have been vomiting, I would have had to drink more cocktail. Ugh.

On the table for an x-ray. Sit in the waiting room 15 minutes more. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Ok, I think you're ready honey. Roll to the side a little, a little more don't breathe, a little more, breathe, don't breathe, roll back, there, don't breathe...waiting room for 15 minutes more, repeat.

It was exhausting. Then, for me trouble, I was given some apple juice and a pack of cheese and crackers and a pack of graham crackers. Graham crackers only in the future, please.

And the nice lady at the desk gave me a double parking validation which means at least the parking was free.

The staff at outpatient imaging was somewhat more pleasant than the staff at the doc's office, but there is still work to be done in that area. There are signs all over the place that say they, the hospital staff, aim to provide 5 star customer service. Unfortunately, they hover between one and two star with the occasional exception. Not good enough, IMO.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

TMI part two

As we left our brave heroine on the procedure table...

When you get a colonoscopy, the doc is examining your whole colon or large intestine. Not just the lower part just inside the anus. If you would for a moment, consider that the colon runs from the anus up the left side of your torso to just below the chest. Then it traverses across to the right. then it runs down the right and turns again toward the belly button where the rest of the intesting picks up, the small intestine. Altogether, the large and small intestines comprise about 32 feet of intestinal tubing. I would estimate the large intesting at somewhere around 4-6 feet.

The doc told me before the procedure that I tested negative for Colitis antibodies, but positive for Crohn's. Testing positive does not mean you have something, just that you are somehow predisposed for it. As E has learned, Jews of European descent are 4 to 5 times more likely to have Crohn's, so I am doubly predisposed. The colonoscopy gave the doc 90% certainty that Crohn's is what have and now she is waiting for final confirmation from the pathology of the biopsies she took during the procedure.

I suppose I could ask E to scan the pics of my colon that the doc sent me home with, but honestly, I have not even looked at them yet. Crohn's is usually confined to the small intestine so the lesions in my large intestine are extremely rare. I am just so increasingly special. Tomorrow I get to go to the doc for another less invasive procedure. I get to drink some radioactive stuff, and then get a scan of my small intestine t see what is going on there. Whoopee.

Onto the meds. The goal for the meds is to heal the lesions currently present, and then to maintain the colon outbreak free. Mesalamine is the first drug of choice. ^ pills daily that are designed to stay intact until they get through the small intestine and then burst so the medication can coat the colon. Just in case that is not enough, I get to adminster an enema of the same medication nightly for at least a month to introduce the meds from the other end. Or rather, E gets to administer for me my medication. She loves me so.

The meds are not nearly as bad as they sound. After a while, the enema literature says, You should be able to retain the medication the entire night, but please retain it for at least 30 minutes. I am so proud to say that I was able to retain the medication all night on the first night. However, last night we learned it is not advisable to play footsies in bed after medication has been administered.



Alcohol is discouraged as it might aggravate my disease. I am willing to risk it for now since I rarely drink to excess.

Pineapple, I discovered, is evil. Pout.

With insurance, a 30 day supply of Mesalamine enemas is $10.00. Without, it is $414.00.

The Mesalamine pills are $179.00 a month with insurance, $227 without. That would be generic Mesalamine. Name brand, the pharmacist says, is *A LOT* more.

Donations graciously accepted.