domingo, diciembre 11, 2005

A Fruitvale Day

After my walk yesterday, I came home and hung out with my cute and sleepy L*. I told Mxi about the cat sitting with a guy on a park bench. (note to self: most guys on park benches are not runners taking a break)

I headed back out to scope out some yarn stores, because L* admired an angora scarf in the second Stitch 'N Bitch book. Remember that I have tried and failed on my previous yarn expeditions. The first store, YARN, in Alameda was cool (pricey!), and full of ladies looking for this or that gift or taking lessons. I didn't like any of the colors of angora yarn they had (I'm worried about were they find those rose and navy bunnies!--not to mention the variegated). I noticed a definite preference for that "Irish" yarn that comes from Chile (ahem) in the stock, and none of what I consider the basics: Brown Sheep in zillions of colors.

So I decide to pass on a purchase and zoom all the way back up Fruitvale to Park to Montclair (and, by the way, realized that Yahoo directions to Montclair are totally whacked, since they have you go way (east? south?) and then go way (west? north?)

I felt like I was seeing all of Oakland's "little villages" which are o so much whiter and soccer-mommy than la Fruitvale.

This yarn shop, THE KNITTING BASKET, was the one that had the effrontery to be closed when i hiked up there on a monday. It was huge, and their yarns were sorted by color (not by fiber) which made it really pretty. Again, very pricey! Again, no brownsheep (they tried to sell me Manos de Uruguay instead, which at my old yarn stores was one of the priciest yarns in the shop). I bought only the angora for the scarf and the navy wool for the cable skully on my list. they bagged the two different colors of angora in two different bags so "the bunnies don't mate".

L* mentioned I was getting grouchy around noon, so after that I had a gatorade and some cacahuetes "japoneses" and felt more civil. I dropped her off at an Urban Teahouse, and went to Chelo's for a (long overdue) haircut. Again, in the hopes of banishing my blues (maybe if it weren't six months since my last haircut, I would feel more pretty)

My Spanish skills pretty much abandoned me at Chelo's iNternational Hair Salon, so I ended up getting just a wet cut (I had just taken a shower so my hair was clean and wet) rather than a champu, cut, and style. My participation in the conversation was pretty much "si," as the lady lamented the state of my ends, calculated the months since my last cut, pointed out the high percentage of new growth (all those trenzas must produce a high rate of breakage that I hadn't noticed) admired my natural hair color, and re-shaped me into clean, presentable lines.

Then off to the Cesar Chavez branch library, where after searching the fiction shelves unsuccessfully, I had to go ask the librarian where the Chicano literature was. THEN I found my copy of Alejandro Morales's THE RAG DOLL PLAGUES, and returned in triumph to the Urban Tea House, where L* had graded all of her exams and a chunk of the essays.

I had parked in front of Saint Elizabeth's, where, in celebration of La Virgen de Guadalupe, they had made a screen of fresh flowers for the front of the church, just like they do in Mexico. The Urban Tea House was also rich with images of La Virgen: paintings, prints, t-shirts (I should have asked where they got the t-shirts, 'cause they were really nice ones!)

After all that, we were lured to have dinner around Internacional, but made an unfortunate choice, as a muchacho who had had too much beer was making una escena, and wouldn't leave until the police came and cuffed him. (With handcuffs, I mean: I just realized that "to cuff" means both "to put on handcuffs" and to smack around. hmm)

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