Today was.

Things that shouldn't be complicated are complicated.

This holiday weekend has been a little dreary.  I didn't realize I'd miss my family on Thanksgiving as much as I do now that the day is over.  The Thursday at the end of November has always been the one time the whole family made an effort to get together.  I want to hug my grandma pretty bad right now.

Things didn't quite work out the way I'd hoped today, but I have amazing friends with wonderful words and good timing.  I was happy far more than I was sad and laughed 98237542089 more times than I frowned and that's A LOT of times!!

What's there to be bummed about?  I have a Norton in Lincoln and a donk in my room.



The love of my life

Is back in Sacramento.  Soon we will be together and inseparable.


The game needed me

This "weekend" of mine has flown by.  With friends making coming in from out of town for the holidays, the baking and the xmas crafting I haven't had much time to sit around.  Gone are the days of being a cripple who does nothing.  It's a blessing and a curse I suppose.

Tuesday I got to craft in a group and it was amazing.  I hope it can be a more regular thing and not just a once.  Ever.

Wednesday I was supposed to go shopping, but decided I should sleep instead.  I never usually turn down shopping, as it IS one of my favorite past times, but I was tired.  Brandon comes and wakes me up about 40 minutes later to see if I wanted to ride motorcycles.  I couldn't go back to sleep so the two of us did about an 80 mile trip out to Lincoln and back.

Katie was in town and we went to dinner and then to the bar.  I had a ton of fun and chair danced a lot of the night.  There were quite a few people there and it was far from a dull evening.  I didn't get to bed until about 4.  I was very tired when I woke up at 9 to get to my folk's place to start baking.

Today I made 3 lemon meringue pies and helped with the pound cake Jeannie Mae made.  I ate so much I thought my stomach was going to explode.  I filled myself so full I didn't have much room for dessert, but...me being me, I shoveled it in anyway.  Fat kid status.  Brother and I got so full that once we sat down we were physically unable to get up.  It's a good thing I spent that 3 minutes working out on the rowing machine before dinner got started.  I showed that meal who was boss.  There were only 8 of us for dinner, which seemed awfully empty, but it was an extraordinary group of people that I was very happy to have close and share dinner with.  I can't think of a single Thanksgiving where the entire party could fit at one table.

Katie came over pretty late after visiting with her family and I drove her home.  I'm not looking forward to going to work tomorrow, but I am happy there won't be any traffic.  Gotta be happy about the little things, right?  Gotta keep that PMA until my new schedule come January!


Uptown got it's hustlers...

Bowery got it's bums.

Still one of my all time favorite songs.  Thank you, dad.

This is still one of my favorite Etsy items.

Yellow is still my favorite color and is still the color of my gma's house.

I still wish my folk's had a sandbox in their front yard and a giant wooden play structure.

Regardless of obvious animal cruelty issues, I still think it would be way sweet to own a pig with wings.

I've got to clean my room before Tuesday night.

My favorite blanket is still the one my mom crocheted for me when I was 15.

I'm happy to have received the cash money I was missing in the mail.

Stoked to pay off my dentist entirely.

Excited to have found my necklace with the sewing machine on it.

Need to make more time for working out my knee.

Need to make more time for crafting.

Need to make more time to turn into Betty Crocker.

Grandpa's birthday is coming up soon and I miss him dearly.  The holidays make me miss these two glorious, amazing people.


Alissa Tugaeff: Motorcycle extraordinaire/gold medalist.

Today Alissa and I woke up early and saw a dreary day.  About an hour later, much to our surprise, we caught a glimpse of hope as the sky started turning more blue.  We quickly showered and got on our super extreme and exceptionally fashionable motorcycle garb.  Because that's what motorcycles are all about, right?  Looking good.

Alissa jumped on Brandon's bike and I got Suzi out from behind the fence.  We took a cruise down the highway by the river and did some quick motocross.  We took a few jumps and got a little squirrley, but nothing we couldn't control.  After all, we are experts.

We met up with Turkmenistan's favorite wedding crasher and giant horse tamer, George Tugaeff and his lovely wife Monica.

After a couple drinks we got back out on the highway.  Once we hit the road we raced some thugs in a pimped out Escalade and took them for all they had.

Today was my first day back at work in 4 months, and it's not to be forgotten because our co-worker's nephew came in.  This is amazing because her nephew is Andre Phillips, Olympic Gold Medalist.  We got to hold and wear the medal, meet the man who is amazing enough to WIN the medal and even get to take pictures with him!  I got an autograph for my mom.  I'm pretty sure she's gonna be bummed that she didn't meet that dark chocolate goodness herself, but I know she'll be happy with a signed photo.

This picture is a little blurry, but there's a better one floating somewhere.  I'll find it later.  Nice jacket.


Last night was my first time

Riding in a group.  I've only ridden with more than 1 person one other time in my life and it was for a little over 200 yards.  That being said, last night ruled.  There were four bikes total and I completely loved it.

Brandon and I were to be at Scotty's by 6:30 and he's in Roseville.  Traffic at that time was going to suck and B knew I was nervous about riding in traffic, so he said we'd leave early to make sure we'd make it on time.  We headed out around 5:30 and we agreed I'd be in front on the freeway so that way I could decide if I felt comfortable enough to play a little game I call Shoot the Gap.

We got stopped at a red light right before the on ramp.  There were about 4 or 5 cars waiting for the meter at the on ramp and Brandon looked over at me and signaled to split the lanes...I shrugged, smiled and told him to go first.  The light turned green and pissed off about 8 or 9 cars.  Motos don't have to stop for metered on ramps, riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight? 

Once we were on the freeway I felt comfortable, but not entirely ready to split lanes.  Traffic was moving at like 45 mph, so I felt comfy enough to stay behind cars.  When the traffic hit about 30, I peered down between the cars and saw a gigantic lane begging to be used.  So we did.  I don't think we went over 45 and when it came time to pass the old lady and the semi, I hung back.  I don't like big trucks and the elderly driving next to each other.  B laughed at me, but I told him "Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeck no!!!!"

We met Kip at Scotty's and went to pick up Annie.  We all rode downtown and no one really broke down.  Yesssssssssssssssssss.  

If I remember tonight I'll have to write about Kip's misadventure.  Muahahaha


Alissa's second ride

On Tuesday Brandon told Alissa she could ride his bike whenever she wanted...so long as she could get the thing started.

Yesterday B and I kept egging her on about riding the bike and finally she had time to go.  So we went outside and she hopped on the bike.  After brief instruction, it started right up.  I threw on my helmet and glasses and the two of us headed down the street!  I took her through the residential areas so we had to hit a lot of stop signs.  Everyone can use practice getting in to first gear, so that's what I had her do!  She only stalled a few times, but she seems to be getting the hang of it.  My leg also felt pretty good with being able to put the kickstand up and down.  That was my biggest problem the first time riding.  I've got no hamstring or quad muscles really and the motion for the kickstand was brutal.

Tonight I'll be riding with more than 2 people for more than 100 feet.  Yikes.  I've never really ridden with more than 1 other person before.  I'm not gonna lie, I'm a little nervous.  And by a little nervous, I mean a lotta nervous.  I can't wait to rule the streets on Nigel instead of Suzi.

I was talking to Brandon about how I'm glad Nigel isn't up here yet.  There's no way I'd be able to start him on my own and I'll be damned if I ask Brandon to kick him over for me.  If I can't start him, I won't ride him...nor will anyone else.  ESPECIALLY Brandon.

Off to physical therapy.  Got to get this leg ready for kicking over an 850cc beast.


Riding wet

That's what she said?

Physical therapy today for the first time in a few weeks.  It was pretty brutal.  She moved me up to 5 lbs for my leg lifts and I'm still sore.  We tried to do some squat exercises where I do these side step things, but my knee didn't like it.  I thought for sure it was going to give out.  I didn't attempt it because of the pain.  Maybe next week.

Brandon and I rode motos to Julio & Rachel's place to watch Sons of Anarchy tonight.  As we walked out the door it started to sprinkle.  Brandon looked at me and asked if I wanted to ride still.  We looked at the clouds and decided, "Heck.  Why not?!"  So we rode out.  Once we got there it started raining pretty good.  We decided to leave when the show was over and the rain had subsided we headed back to the house.

I noticed B was riding a little crooked.  When I got closer to him I saw his tire spitting water straight at his face.  Homie has no front fender.  Funniest thing ever.  He also has no rear fender to speak of so as we took off our coats, his sweatshirt was soaked.  I was pretty dry.  Good thing I wore boots to ride in!!!!!  Silly Brandon.


Rhino vs. Donk

I don't know who'd win...but it looked like a good match up.  I think the rhino stands a chance.

I GOT A DONK TODAY!!!!!!!!!!  It's amazing.  And it fought a rhino.  It came in the mail from a fantastic person!!!  Super donk.

I didn't work on my new cable scarf at all today.  Instead, I cleared up my room and created a much needed crafting area within my bedroom.  I now have a chair for my desk too.  I also started on my xmas presents. Not an "I'm going to start but NEED to do something else in order to get everything right" kind of started, but actually started.  I'm proud of what I've done so far, but I've got a long ways to go.  I made yet another trip to the craft store today.  That makes 5 stores in 3 days (once was with Jeannie Mae and I didn't get anything so I don't know if that still counts?).  Yikes.  Good thing I'm only getting necessities.  If not I'd be totally screwed.

This was made for me years ago.  I decided Loco Bandito should be my nickname.  I got a button.  Amazing present as well.


There's a war around the corner

with no guaranteed winner.
Don't think I'm all political...totally not.  Those are lyrics, don't be silly.

This is the week of domestication apparently.  I'm waking up at or before 8 every day and even making  breakfast.  I tried baking some pies at my house and I don't think it went so well.  They just didn't turn out as good as I'd hoped.  There's something about baking at my folk's place with mom's recipes that just makes everything turn out well.  I feel like I should redeem myself with pies baked at her house!!!  During this pie baking extravaganza I threw in a gluten free pie for Brother and Brother's wife...it looked better than I expected and Amy even said it tasted good.

Last night I also mastered the incredible cable stitch.  It was something I was a little intimidated to do.  I'd tried it once before and failed (probably because I didn't have a cable hook) and refused to try it again, UNTIL last night.  I sat around watching the tele with the 'rents and Jeannie Mae and I knit up a storm while Dennis Lee flipped through the channels and critiqued my cabling.  Hahaha...he just didn't know what they looked like before sweater-form.

I'm pretty impressed my stitches are as consistent as they are.  I'm not used to purling, so I don't think this is toooooo bad.  I see small flaws and I know gma would, but I wouldn't expect any less from a woman who's a self-taught knitter since the age of 5.

I've also got a craft day set up for next week and I'm EXTREMELY excited about it.  It feels good to have friends who are into needle arts to work on stuff with.



This is the homemade wonton soup Alissa and I made for dinner.

These are the pumpkin pies that I made for dessert.

The wonton soup was a little salty, but it was still pretty delicious!  Especially for our first time ever making wonton soup...especially from scratch!!

The pumpkin pie may taste like crap because I totally forgot to add a can of evaporated milk.  I was doubling all the ingredients to make 2 pies...and so I've only got the one can in the mix.  Yikes!!!

I think I'll make bread soon too.  Sweet bread is the BEST!!!!  Plus quality time with Jeannie Mae!!!


Knees in the breeze

I got on a motorcycle today for the first time in over a year.  I took Suzi for a spin around the block and when I got back Alissa jumped on the back.  I'm not going to lie...it made me a little nervous to have someone on the back of the bike, but I would never put anyone's safety at risk.  It felt good being on a bike again.  REALLY good.

Once Alissa hopped on the back, Brandon, her and I hit the road and headed to my folk's place.  We made it to good old Rio Linda and made a vat of wontons.  I think we made enough of them for about 13 people.  There were only 5 of us.  Yikes.  So if anyone wants to come fry some left over wontons that may or may not be good (it's unknown at this point)...please let me know.

At my folk's place Alissa got on Brandon's bike and took it for a spin.  She's basically a natural.

My dad also took the bike for a spin.  I was extremely surprised he didn't come back and tell me it was "a piece of shit," but he did tell me it needs some work (which I already know).

After Alissa took off for 15 minutes, Brandon freaked out and got Suzi and went to find her.  Apparently she made it down to THE busiest streets in a 7 mile radius.  How she did this...I have no idea.  She made it back safely and we were all off again first to Scotty's and then to Kip & Mel's for ANTM Wednesdays.

The ride from Kip & Mel's back to our place was...cold.  I kind of forgot and luckily for me Kip had hooked me up with a good scarf for the ride back.  My neck was warm.  Sore from keeping my head up against the wind, but warm.  I forget all the small things about riding.  Like how much I should get a full face lego-man helmet or how good it feels to have my wrist hurt from pulling in the clutch.  These things are bothersome, but in a very, VERY good way.

There was no game of Shoot the Gap.  I'm still trying to keep the bike in my half of the lane...especially with someone else on the back.  Besides, I would never do something that dangerous.  I'm responsible?  Pshyeah right.  Before you get off congratulating me, I'll probably be playing that game in no time as long as weather permits.

I love my new gloves.  I love my cowboy boots.  I love my friends.  I love my parents.


Standard Brandon

I've been waking up early lately and today was no exception.  I woke up around 8, checked facebook, saw Omar's post about some delicious burrito and decided I was going to give it a go at making breakfast.  I got out a couple eggs, a potato and a bell pepper.  I scrambled the eggs and cut up the potato and pepper and put them all in a delicious tortilla, added sriracha and put them all in my mouth.

Around 10:30...after I finished up with the food and made my burrito thing I went and woke up Brandon.  He's usually up around 10 anyway and so I figured it'd be alright.  After I tell the asshole what I made he says, "This is why you woke me up?!"

Then after I started to leave the room...this doldrum asshole says, "You should've added soyrizo."

Yeah.  I made this guy breakfast and all he does is say I could've done it better.  This was my first attempt at scrambled eggs or potatos and he tells me I should've done it differently.  I.hate.brandon.

You're on infinite repeat

I've already started thinking about Christmas and the presents I wish to create.  I have a few ideas and I think they're pretty good ones.  Hopefully I will be able to pull them all off.  If not...everyone is getting crocheted coasters.

Didn't get to see fun. today, but Lawrence Arms on Thursday.

Words to live by:

Let's turn good into fantastic.


Google-ing my own name

I don't always google myself.  But every once in a while I think it's pretty funny.  I'll start with "rijel" then move to "rijel violet" sometimes I'll throw in "rijel lewis."  I got all tricky tonight and decided to pull the throw back "rijelviolent" and "rijel violent."

Not only did I find an old friendster profile that I can't seem to remember the login for to delete, but I also found a forum post from MotoHouston.com about an old Ebay ad Jeff had posted quite a few years ago.  This was part of an ad for an old 19" drum front wheel:

"instant legendary status. and hopefully your neighbor who comes by sometimes and drinks all your beer will then feel obligated to carry on the name, only now its "black-widow old-school spider-web-all-over-everything choppers....... legacy". you are a schmuck. don't buy this wheel. go back to school and become a lawyer or start a restuarant. i hate you already. no reserve. check my other auction items for smoking deals on harley and chopper junk.

if you have an important question, or you want to talk about your feelings, call me at 916 397 8495 jeff"

You may think he's an asshole.  I think he's funny.

Dessert for breakfast

All day every day. At least that's how the world should work.

I got a message today on my Flickr account from someone at the art blog vvork.com. I'd sort of forgotten, but back in June they had sent me a message asking permission to use one of my silly dino photos (this dino photo) in the Fotofestival Mannheim Ludwigshafen Heidelberg, Germany. The message I got today sent me photos of my picture in the exhibition. One of Alissa's photos was in a travel book, mine in some crazy art labyrinth...now we just have to wait for one of Brandon's!!!

I think I've figured out some Christmas presents this week. Now it's just executing the ideas. I'm pretty sure I can do it, I just need to make the time and find my supplies!!!

My knee has been a trooper lately. I'm pretty impressed with it's progress. Hopefully my physical therapist will be too. I just need to keep stretching and keep up with my work outs.


Little mechanic

I got this picture from my brother. Looks like my nephew's starting
early! Now if only we can get him away from air cooled engines and on
to domestics!!


Breaking and entering

Or just opening and entering. I went to a BBQ on Friday night where I
met some pretty fantastic people. The coals were warming up outside
and the door back to the apartment where the festivities were being
held was always locked. Once the BBQ was ready for the meat the owner
of the place starts patting himself down and looking at the table top
a bit confused. "Do you guys see my keys anywhere?"

We all search for his keys and none were found. This is how we got
the meat: