(Warning: image-heavy and very long. I *know*!)
Not exactly original, I know. But if you'd had the time I had last night, you'd feel that way too. There just wasn't much that sucked that one couldn't expect of Houston, really (count 'em: heat, humidity, mosquitoes, and traffic).
Enough of that, then: I am ready to move on to the fun.
For those of you unfamiliar with the sprawling purgatory of concrete that is the metropolitan Houston area, I'm providing map links. It won't quite do it justice, but perhaps you'll gain some understanding of the lengths to which we'll go for the Harlot (and, of course, for great yarn sold by great staff).
I begged an early afternoon off weeks ago, even though this is the last week of hell for this particular work season - and got it. (Believe me...it's been earned.)
So I left the Hobby area just before 3:30 and headed for the Rice campus to grab Everwhelming Liz, then to Montrose for Meredith. Rush hour considered, we fairly sailed all the way out to Spring and Twisted Yarns, grabbed a quick dinner, and found a parking spot just as Stephanie was walking in. I'm really, really glad I didn't run over her.
I couldn't quite believe my eyes (or my luck) when I saw him in the parking lot, so imagine my surprise when, a mere few minutes after we arrived, a comfy chair opened up in the vicinity of:
David, all the way from San Antonio - replete with sweater, kilt, Marshmallow kilt hose, cute knees, kick-ass camera, and...well. You get the idea.
Christine was also on hand for the circle of comfy chairs (and throughout the evening). I pulled out the Red Shawl Dammit, and Liz nestled herself into the Cotton Corner:
as Meredith (and I'm sorry...my pictures of you were sub-par) did a bit of shopping. We whiled away a good 30-45 minutes before taking a "short" walk over to the Wunsche High School. Folks, let me just say: this was not a high school, it was a mini-mall. New construction, fabulous decor, an OPERATING coffee shop...open for the knitters, and most importantly: killer air conditioning. Aaah.
Then, check-in, door prize tickets (plus a hug from Janet), and row stakeout. I gave Meredith an extra chair on my left due to my significant seated arm span, and two very cool, very vocal characters took up residence at the far end of the row. We soon spotted Amy and other SnB denizens, who chatted at the entry for a bit, leaving an empty seat to my right...
...just long enough for David to ask if he could occupy it. How could I refuse? ;) In short order, he'd semi-unpacked, offered to buy me coffee, ended up sharing his water, and laughed heartily at my witty repartee.*
Amy took a seat by Liz, and we soon saw Jen and her cute mom, plus Jenny and Sarah. During the door prize giveaways, it quickly became apparent that our entire section was a bit rowdy, and I thanked my lucky stars, because the smartasses are so much fun. Liz lucked into some Cotton Yarn of Orange Randomness, I whimpered at others getting the Lexie Barnes and Della Q bags, and the color commentary grew more and more colorful. Then, some intro from Twisted owners Eve and Shelley, and finally:
HARLOT. (Yes, she's blurry. Blame me if you must.) There were Traveling Sock photos. There was (briefly) a curly head on my shoulder (that didn't belong to me). There was a lot of laughing (especially at shared knowing looks with Amy, and at David's well-placed cough). There was a lot of nodding in agreement. There were a few "amens." People, it was Knitters' Church, and Stephanie is well and truly the traveling preacher. We all seemed to love every minute. (I did so while trying desperately to neither sweat nor blush too profusely. I was only somewhat successful.)
Afterward, I discovered that Melissa was now a *former* colleague (but she landed on her feet and is employed again), and that Amy was parked at the school so that she, Jenny and I managed to avoid walking back. Thank God. Because the humidity had multiplied...and I swear it was hotter at 8:45 than it had been in broad daylight. We gathered at the Twisted Yarns door:
Tried to figure out what the hell this bug was:
Queued up (and P.S. - I'd love to know if the really adorable ladies from Austin who were behind me in line ever stop by - give me a shout, I was too goofy to catch your names!):
Obliged each other some photos:
(Jenny at left, Amy at right.)
Got the giggles:
(That's Melissa on the right.)
Realized that the Harlot reads our blogs:
and completely lost our shit and turned into blithering idiots. (Well. I can only speak for myself on that one. Bless Melissa for catching the moments for me!)
Oh, and gave her presents (Brown Paper Chocolates and Central Market honey-roasted pecans):
The "reads my blog" part was reinforced when she asked if I wanted a sock picture. I said yes, but that I couldn't touch the actual sock. She said, in that very astute Stephanie way: "I know."
I held it by the needles instead.
Beyond that, there was blerphing, a little milling, a lot of repressed squeeing, and a shit-ton of driving. Not to mention not nearly enough sleep, which I seem to be repeating** in the interest of avoiding as much blog-heckling as possible.
And now...it would appear I've done it. I've made a photo-laden post only one day after an event. Is that a plague of locusts outside my window?
No, wait: I live really close to a major side street. And there's still traffic at midnight. That's Houston for you.
*Nice work if you can get it. Though the Divine has a wicked sense of humor to not let such things happen to me for most of my life...until after I'm married.
**Confidential to one anxious reader: 15 minutes...an hour...what's the difference? :)