Sunday, May 31, 2009

End of the Line

Everyone is tired of hearing about the economy. Even I am. Especially I am, I guess.

Because right now, I'm not sure about what is going to happen. I wish they had taught us useful things in high school. Like how to deal with economic crisis.

What happens when:
  • You've got $10.62 in checking, $0.89 in savings.
  • You've got $420 of rent due, your other bills are $300.
  • Your old job owes you $700 but the company is going under and may never pay you.
  • You are 20 years old with specialized trade skills in construction/remodeling and plenty of sales experience...
  • and yet no one will hire you.

The thing about college kids is that yes -- we are as frugal and desperate for money as movies and books make us out to be. But most of the ones I know -- including myself -- have parents that, if starvation and homelessness are a true possibility, will come in and rescue us.

However, there are some that don't.

Such as Alex. Who recently left the Jehovah Witness church. Meaning he has been disowned by his parents and is no longer able to rely on them in any way, financially or emotionally. Even though I know this is not me personally, I can't help but feel anxious about it. Because in a matter of days he could be homeless. With a dog he can't feed and a car that barely runs.

I try not to write about personal matters like this here, but I couldn't help it. It's all that runs through my mind now. I've started knitting as a worrisome nervous habit these days.

So for all of you out there who don't believe that the economy is half as bad as the media is making it out to be, or those of you who are in the same situation -- tell me, what do you do when it's truly the end of the line? Because I'm out of ideas.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

rain, traveling, and a whole lot of productivity

My job is outside. So when it rains, we close up. And when there are torrential downpours for a week straight, we don't even bother opening.

So no work Thursday and Friday meant I got bored enough to paint my room.


Considering I've had white walls for the entire 18 1/2 years I've lived in this room, green is a nice change. It feels like an actual room now.

Other than knit -- which I'm already doing four days a week -- I don't know what to do with myself, so it better quit raining here soon.

Sunday I drove down to college town to visit my friends. Stayed until a few hours ago today, so it was a nice visit.

And, oh look! In between the sleeping a ton, cuddling up with Alex, and partying... I managed to almost finish my Talia vest:

Since this photo was taken, I finished the edging on the other sleeve. Just needs the neckline edging, blocking, and some buttons. Hurrah. I hope it stretches a bit when I block it... while knitting I tried to account for the fact that my boobs are a bit bigger than most girls who are my waist/torso size, but at the moment it's still a bit snug.

Somehow every time my camera enters that apartment, I end up with a slew of Hiroki pictures. One of the cutest of the bunch:

One of these days I should learn to take good pictures like the rest of the knitting world. Forgive me, after years of art school I have blocked out as much of the inner artist as possible.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Scammers on the Loose

Most students don't view their textbooks as an adventure. They read them -- actually, no they don't --, they fall asleep on their pages, they spill energy drinks on them.

I, however, attract scam artists with mine.

I bought this book for my Astronomy class:

Because a new edition was coming out, the bookstore wouldn't buy it back from me. Or any of my books from Spring. Bastards...

So I put it on Facebook Marketplace, a tool I'd never used before but my friends sold stuff on all the time.

I got a message from an interested buyer and we exchanged some e-mails. He was obviously foreign. A few e-mails in I realized this was a scam.


Because he wanted to send me a check for the money. I was asking $45 for the book (brand new), and he said he'd send me money for the shipping people who would come and pick it up from my place because he was getting a few items from the area. Oh... and he'd throw in an extra $50 for any "inconvenience" the transaction caused.

Red alert. You're going to pay me double for my item?

He mentioned Western Union in all of this and I e-mailed him back saying I would not work with Western Union. Please, I'm not stupid. Why do you think craigslist and ebay say DO NOT USE WESTERN UNION.

He ignored this and told me the check would be here today by UPS (!) and that I was to cash it immediately, keep my side of the money, and send the rest through Western Union money order to the shipping company.

Ha. That's what you think.

Almost 10 minutes after I got the e-mail, the doorbell rings and a UPS truck is outside. Not wanting the driver to see me and be able to verify that I did indeed get it, I waited until he drove away. Which does nothing except satisfy my inner suspicions that he could be a spy.

Oh look, an envelope on my doorstep. With a check! Oh boy!

For $1,950.95

So minus my share ($95), the shipping company is charging you $1,855.95? I don't think so.

And then my phone started ringing. Withheld number. Answered it, knowing it had to be them.

"Is this Lindsay?"

"Um... no."

"She gave me this number."

"This is not her number."

"Hello?... hello?"

Hang up.

They call again. I don't answer.

(He's stopped calling... so that's the best action shot of that I can manage.)

Okay, so yes... I was the dummy that at first thought it might genuinely be a college kid trying to get a textbook. He's got my name, address, and phone number.

I've got... several of his addresses. Because the starting point of the UPS envelope tracking is from one place. Carnesville, GA. The last e-mail sent was signed from Lula, GA. The check and actual envelope list Spring, TX.

Eenie meenie minie mo?

Needless to say I will not be attempting to cash this check. Because I'll get the funds, send the money via Western Union, and then the check will turn up bad. Which means I'll have to pay the full check value from my accounts AND a bad check fee. That's how these things work. I'm not entirely stupid.

So for any of you who have gone through this, how do you suggest I further handle this? Because I don't know a real name (he went under Tran Peterson up until today when it was signed Peggy Hamby). I don't know a real address.

Is it possible for me to go to the police with the check and have them trace it and the origins of the UPS envelope?

Or we could just entertain the notion that this is an honest transaction and he's just a really good tipper.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Hopeful and Over-Motivated?

So after spending way too much time on Ravelry in my newly inspired knitting mood, I have come up with the semi-crazy goal of knitting five tops this summer before I move back for school. Yes, five.

Semi-crazy because I know it's completely possible, as I'll have about two and a half weeks per top and when I get going on something I really like I don't put it down.

Semi-crazy because if I fall out of said knitting mood, I'll be lucky to get one done.

I've got the first four already picked out. My requirements for a good pattern are: realistically useable (because let's be honest... an 18 year old college kid doesn't wear over-cabled cardigans and a Florida girl doesn't wear long-sleeve bulky color-work sweaters), minimal seaming, and a close-ish fit.

1. Talia vest by SweaterBabe from the Spring 2008 issue. (Starting this tomorrow when my mother isn't home to lecture me on driving out in this horrible rainey bluster to get yarn.)

2. Cherie Amour by Ashley Adams Moncrief from the Fall 2007 issue.

3. Yosemite by Swanky Knits from the Spring 2008 issue.

4. Ultra Femme by Jenna Adorno from Stitch N Bitch Nation and Knitty Gritty.

Five has yet to be determined. Got any suggestions that fit the above criteria? I might design something, depends on how ambitious I get or how frustrated I am with my suitable pattern search.

Oh, and this is all besides the socks I'm knitting for Alex, the socks I'm going to make for me, the baby socks for Charlotte, the beanie for Alex, and the stuffed pterodactyl for Nicole. And whatever other small projects come along.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Sasquatch socks

I've been home from college for 12 days and it already feels like forever. The upside to being bored out of my mind and away from all my friends is that I might, for once, concentrate on productive things. Like classes (taking two online this summer for something to do). And reading. And knitting.

Found some sock yarn I bought mid-spring and decided that for once, I was not only going to make it through a pair of socks, but they were going to be some damn attractive socks as well.

The first time I attempted socks, I was still pretty new at the whole knitting-garments-that-actually-work thing and bought needles about 6 sizes too big and the socks ended up more like padded boots. I vaguely knew of shrinking things in the wash, and yes... I must admit that I tried to shrink Red Heart acrylic yarn. Go me.

After several years and projects, my almost-finished sock looks like this:

It's a little big on me because it's for Alex. I had him tell me his foot measurements over the phone and just kind of assume that it's going to fit him. You'd be surprised at how hard it is to find measurements of sasquatch-size socks on the internet. And here I was thinking you could find anything through the power of Google.

In the past 24 hours I've knit the majority of one sock (it's going to be a short leg, so I'm a few rows until the cuff now), got a new set of tires for the car, submitted a homework assignment for a class that started today, read about four chapters, and slept 10 hours.

Hurrah productivity.

Just so you get an idea of what I'm missing, here's something I had to leave behind when I moved home:

This is Hiroki, my loveable puppy that is actually Alex's. Yes, he's a greyhound. And quite possibly the sweetest thing I've ever met. If you've never had the experience of playing with or being around a greyhound... add it to your list of things worth doing in life.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Yarn Giveaway!

Upon returning home from my first year of college (aka living on as little as possible for 8 months in a relatively empty dorm room) I felt overwhelmed by the amount of things that have accumulated in my room for the past 18 years.

I'm set on a four part mission of de-cluttering. First, a ton of books. Second, yarn giveaway! Those two parts are underway. Once that's done I'll start attacking the closet for clothes and shoes, and then finally... I'll be getting rid of some of my giraffes. The giraffes I've collected and hoarded for about seven years now.

I've set up a flickr set of the yarn I'm giving away. Feel free to take a look here.

This is all acrylic yarn, most of it donated to me when I was in high school making hats for the homeless as a community service project. A lot of it is older yarn without labels, and I am just as clueless as you are as to what brand most of these are.

You can post a comment here if you see something you'd like. Please include the photo # and the position of which skeins you're interested in.

I'm giving these away FREE, but as I'm a poor college student I do need you to cover the shipping costs, which can be sent to me through paypal or by check and should only be a few dollars. Please note that this yarn resides in the US, so foreign shipping will cost considerably more.

Stay tuned for a posting of the books I have left, and in the vague future I'll post pictures of clothes, shoes, and purses. For the moment this blog is somewhat of a thrift store/garage sale.

New Blog!

Hey guys... new blog. You may know me from Hats Tats N Lace, my previous blog. I stopped posting there because, well... I stopped having so much time to knit. I'd love to get back to blogging (and knitting), but hesitate to revive a blog that is solely knitting/crafting.

So here it is. The life-knitting-crocheting blog. Inspired by Andy in Amsterdam's blog in two ways: first, he writes about his life and includes knitting, so anyone can read. Second, he recently wrote an entry talking about what happens to people's online presence when people die -- mentioning, of course, those blogs that go inactive and readers are forever left wondering what happened?.

I hope to post more about everyday things, what I'm currently knitting or working on, and maybe the crazy finds that are out there.

Check back with me. Be patient, just starting all this up again.


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