Another day another hat

This is a knit hat made with long 5.5mm needle

Basic rib knit. cast on 74 stitches. Knit 5 rows then knit one row, purl the next row, and knit the next two rows until your piece reaches 5 1/2 inches.

I followed the ribbed pattern while decreasing. It went something like this K1(k7, K2tog) K1- 66 stitches. Basically I just knitted 1 stitch, knitted 7 stitches, knitted 2 stitches together, knitted 1 stitch until 18 stitches were left on my needle. I didn’t follow the directions entirely as stated on the package.

Once I got to that many stitches I knitted 1 stitches, then 2 stitches together until 10 stitches were left on my needle (I think). I cast off the stitches, and sewed the seam together.

It came out hat-like so I am not complaining.

The Creep

To keep myself occupied I am writing about people I run into.

Please keep in mind that this is somewhat fictional and just an exercise in interpreting people, their intentions, and how they might perceive the world.

A neighbour sometimes joins us in the patio area. He is a bit off-putting, and sometimes mentions doing outlandish sexual behavior, like running naked in the streets. He says stuff like this out of the blue, without any reference to the conversation happening, especially if a woman is around.

You never know if he is just kidding but the look in his eyes gives me the creeps, and he seems to do it to test the boundaries of the women in his presence. He never thinks he is doing anything wrong; he never means it, or so he says, and it is all in jest.

She asks to borrow a hammer and he shows up to his door without a shirt on, with an aggressive wide-eyed leer. She makes a mental note to watch his behavior and be careful.

In other ways he seems alright; divorced, and with daughters. He loves his daughters and he cares deeply for them and you can tell there is this gentle side to him. But his comments always come at the most awkward of moments, and seem to make you feel ill at ease.

He claims his wife falsely accused him of rape. He makes you think it is plausible because usually it is only women who do these things; it’s hard to discern when a man is just lying to play victim, when he did indeed rape his wife.

The comments start up as Instagram DMs telling her to wear that short skirt again, like she did at the barbecue. The comments start off as unwarranted, and out of the blue. She is embarrassed and tells him she’s uncomfortable with men telling her how to dress.

Later he apologizes saying he doesn’t really mean it, and again, “it’s just a joke.”

Now that the apology has been given he felt he could keep running with his little “joke.”

The jokes become increasingly suggestive about having sex with her. She says no, and he tries to re-assure her it’s a joke.

But it’s no joke, and really it is only an attempt to toy with her boundaries, and get her alone with him. She was supposed to drive him somewhere as promised, but she put her foot down.

She said it was no joke, and the comments were extremely unwelcome, and that he was to never contact her again.

Satisfied with setting her boundaries she saved the offending texts and decided to keep quiet.

As predicted he played victim, and suggested she was overreacting, and even possibly lying. It was just a joke and he owed her nothing, especially the money he actually owed her.

To her he was nothing more than a creepy lying bum who demanded money and more of his partners than he would ever give them. She wasn’t even his partner so seeing him act like that as a mere acquaintance was alarming.

The rumours made their way back to her and she made a mental note to watch and listen and stay away from the people he socializes with.

He befriended a man whom he claimed was sexually inappropriate towards women. Ironically this is the man he bashed on her to for simply saying no to his behavior.

How is she lying when it was all in writing, and she hadn’t actually said anything? He made it sound as if she was just over-reacting. He called her a liar to the same man he warned her to stay away from because he would be a detriment to her well-being.

Oh the irony.

And it’s jokes like these that disempower women. He was just there to drag her down. She meant no harm and was honest about her boundaries and lack of comfort.

He lashed out because she said no and potentially set her up to be victimized by others by trashing her character.

She made a mental note to consider carrying mace, or putting a light hand-weight in her purse in case she was ever confronted more aggressively. She is small and he is a large man, and he threw her under the bus to people who could bring her harm, all because she said no firmly.

New Job While Waiting in Limbo

I started my new job and it is working out well, and I am working from home until this COVID 19 crisis is under control.

A lot has been happening aside from landing in a new community; I have been dealing with challenges of navigating friendships and relationships- personal, online and otherwise.

No one has perfect relationships; I think typical families have at least one pink elephant that attends all family gatherings. No one wants to point the finger of blame where it should lie, and everyone wants to dump it on the scapegoat rather than onto something or someone else who is the actual guilty party.

No one wants to talk about uncle Tom’s raging alcoholism or his wife’s adultery. Everyone wants a smiling and happy family, but looks are often deceiving.

Right now I am dealing with a neighbour who has loud, one-sided sounding conversations with whoever on her phone, outside my window. She’s loud and it constantly involves her complaining about others. Sometimes I wonder if someone is even on the other line with her, or if it’s just a stream of conscious complaint, where she spews profanity with sentences that almost sound intelligent. I imagine this person on the other line gets up often while she talks, answering “hmmm” and “yes” to give the impression they’re listening.

I am also wondering if she is a paranoid schizophrenic and no one is on the line, except her audio hallucinations. It’s strange and I am unsure if she entangles me in a delusion now and then. But the conversation runs with deep complexities about layered relationships with a friend who only exists in her head.

I am wondering how the relationship in her head started, and how it kept her there, and took her down a tangled path.

I get stuck in the relationships outside my head, but I imagine I get stuck with the memory of them, moreso once they’re gone. I get stuck on the internal process, and the memory of the past resonates loudly with now. I am left piecing everything together, every bit by bit, still trying to dig up a solution; and sometimes I get to volatile stages, and then at other stages, life is less in flux and things are quiet.

And this lady’s brain is running a process that demands attention more loudly than the world outside her. Do their demands tire her, or do they bolster her, or both? The people outside of her feel like a façade, while the inner ones seem most real. She interacts with the inner world to give and take messages from the façade while her inner self instructs her on how to act.

This can all seem like it’s a brain working like it’s supposed to, with a clear separate stable self, with clear concepts of the outside world.

In other minds the self shatters, either from a severely volatile outside world, or from itself.

This lady’s mind started inventing people to talk to. Does she know they’re not real? How do Doctors discern a dissociative fugue from a schizophrenic break from reality? Or some other disease? Is it time and observation?

Do they take shape and form? Or do they invent another world? Are they stuck permanently in waking dreams, while trying to convince themselves of what’s real and what isn’t, and that there is a another door they can really walk through?

Or is this just everyday life? I get sleep paralysis and I wake up thinking I see people in my room, and I know to let my eyes and brain adjust before I continue. Is her world just really her carrying on from a dream in her head, that never quite shuts off?

Is it better to live amongst the living, or amongst the ghosts of comfort in our head? It seems whatever side of the spectrum we fall on it’s the latter, especially since this pandemic started.

Creative Inspiration: Trauma and Personal Stuff

I find writing a deeply personal expression of my innermost thoughts, and thus I tend to stay away from my personal stuff when I write publicly. I might express distress or trauma by using humour, but when it comes to actually writing about a serious issue like sexual harassment, I tend to avoid current experiences until I have full closure on the incident. This includes disclosure, recognition for my experience, and retribution- like potential charges, mediation, or a genuine apology. If these things have not been reached they do not get shared. I’m ok if I can discuss something that has long ago been resolved in some form. It’s of better use to someone else who might be experiencing the same thing because they can see the resolution I took, and may apply it to their own situation.

I don’t care if the offending party goes blabbing stuff to everyone and everything. I think silence is a virtue, and can also be a useful weapon because the guilty are the ones who tend to talk and talk and go on smear campaigns. When you are quiet you hear and understand things and intentions better. Surprisingly being quiet has kept me safe at times. I quietly acknowledge you’re an asshole with possibly bad intentions, and I move on. I may share a text or actual evidence of said assholery with a trusted friend or individual with some leverage who understands the fuckery of human behavior. Then I move on and let the uproar from the asshole continue.

They keep talking and talking until their fuckery, or karma has said, “enough bitch.”

I do not always find the internet as a useful way to resolve an argument or a major issue. In fact it’s incredibly useful for causing an uproar that spreads like the plague. If you’re going that route make sure you literally have your ducks in a row. It’s a form of sounding the alarm and inviting all sorts of human opinion in on your experience.

Don’t get me wrong, there are genuine issues that deserve exposure and don’t get full closure. These are genuine issues that should be discussed. The internet has been proven useful in these cases (like #metoo).

But trust me if you are not ready for genuine creeps who literally have a hard-on for destroying you as a human being (shoutout to #incels) the best thing to do is to share something you know will create a human chain of compassion around your experience. If you know it in your heart to be wrong, and there is a significant evidence pointing to the fact it is wrong, go for it.

Ode to the self entitled drivers…

You’re a shitty driver no matter what you think.

Around 6:15pm I was nearly mowed down at an intersection by a driver who completely ignored the stop sign, and buzzed by me in a very aggressive and deliberate manner.

She saw me, and that’s why she kept driving. She was either that deliberate, or daft. She probably knew there was a stop sign, and thought what the hell, this pedestrian is close enough to maintain eye contact with me so I’ll just keep driving.

To the pedestrian this is really aggressive behavior from the driver. They didn’t even stop at the big hexagonal red thingy that says “stop.”

They just kept driving with this big FU attitude and thought it was fair because she glared you down and tried to own your carless ass in the crosswalk.

I gave a rap to the back of the hood of her car as she drove past. No damage done. She didn’t stop. She was well aware she blew through the stop sign and thought she was being bad ass. Was probably surprised I’d bother to knock.

But then she followed me home and yelled at me for touching her car. Ok Karen, are you fishing for a fight? You drive like a fucking moron. Be thankful I wasn’t a large cranked out dude who didn’t freak out on your car and you.

Adventures on Meetup.com: The Spiritual Guru

Since this Covid 19 thing I haven’t been getting out as much as I’d like. So I have been trying Meetup.com.

It’s not as great as I’d hoped would be. While being adventurous I decided to talk to a life “guru” of sorts.

I’m not gonna lie I think some “spiritualists” are kind of just full of shit. So I thought it would at least be interesting, if not amusing.

The whole meeting went like this.

Guru: “I’ve been able self heal from serious illness.”

Me: “That’s very interesting. What did you heal yourself from?”

Guru: “I had COVID 19.”

Me: “oh my God. Were you in the hospital?”

Guru: “No but one day I went shopping and got very sick in the parking lot.”

Me: “Wait a minute you went shopping while you had Covid 19? Did you get tested?”

Guru: “No I didn’t get tested but I was very sick. I willed myself to walk even though others tried to help.”

Me: “You suspected you had Covid 19, so you went shopping but then decided because of your healing power nothing matters, and you’ll heal because of… your powers.”

Guru: “yes I just healed myself.”

I wish I could buy into my bullshit that well.

A funny thing happened at work…

I was being taught about all the special offers company X has available at my new job yesterday.

Since I am doing everything from home we are being trained via Google chat.  To help me not miss anything I turned on the closed captions to catch the conversation.

Google chat did not disappoint.  Instead of properly spelling company X’s name it just kept referring to the offers in the captions as “conjugal offers.”

In case you were wondering what conjugal actually means it’s when you visit your spouse/partner in jail and you request intimacy during the visit in a private cell.

I couldn’t stop laughing at the closed captions every time the offer was mentioned.

Strange Wanderings: what I saw today

I was feeling pretty cooped up after sitting at my job, so I went for a run.

On the way I ran by a woman in the park who was wearing black lingerie, and had looked like she lost her pants. She didn’t seem to mind and was busy trying on a pair of knee high knitted white socks.

A man who was either aroused or confused, or both, stopped to watch or help, or whatever…

Another 200m later I ran into a furry who was changing into his fox fursona in a parking lot. I hadn’t even run a km yet.

I made it another 4km decided to stop. I luckily ran into a good friend whose number I had lost so we hung out for the night.

It was actually a pretty interesting day. My friend had also witnessed the same woman wandering around in black lingerie as high as a kite.

finding my writing voice…

I tried writing a post the other day but then realized that people might be watching who might not be as in tune with what I am saying, or might think it’s a bit too raw for the audience I might eventually be writing for.

I wrote about exes and men not behaving well and just let the raw side of me come out. This edginess is not really necessary for writing about my visit to the local bakery, but it can be when you want to lay down the law for a man who is pursuing you a bit too aggressively, and disrespectfully.

In a way I honour that bit of edginess because really it is the language of survival. Without it I’d be in a world of hurt.

I had approached the local area BIA and offered to write about, or advertise my experiences with the local restaurants; however COVID is on the rise again.

Some people think it’s a minor illness; other’s like myself know the risk of becoming extremely ill, and dying. It’s no joke to me. So I respect the rules and just try to be aware of my surroundings.

Moving away from Toronto during a pandemic has been a sort of surreal trip. Things are not quite open, and some coffee shops and restaurants will not let you go inside. The occasional trip to a patio is as far as I will go.

I like to visit these places but they may batten the hatches yet again. In the meantime, writing is sort of helping me make sense of things. It is kind of like navigating an alien landscape because in the past I would just go somewhere, and meet people but my choices are limited and sometimes- especially with someone who is behaving disrespectfully- my patience gets worn thin.

I move to a knew place and I no longer learn about the place through seeing the faces of people, and the workers in the shops. Recognizing them is hard when you’re usually wearing a mask.

Staying in touch with family, even the odd meetup where I can socially distance on a walk is good.

So writing is helpful when times are uncertain.