Monday, April 30, 2007

BoyCraft

Don't you wish?

No, your dear ol' AntiM is neither custom-crafting boys** nor practising her craft on boys,** but speaking of boys and crafts.

After Boy-Best-Friend Steve got me all mellow and serotonin-happy on Brasilian meatstuffs, we went to his place to watch Casino Royale (funny comment and review tomorrow. We're talking BoyCraft today). Prior to, I dropped by home to change into something more comfortable (read: less waistband to fight the immense quantity of Brasilian meatstuffs) and pee, so I grabbed my knitting as long as I was there. (*ahem*)

[SUMMARY: I'm fooling nobody. If I'd been wearing pajamas, I'd still have stopped home to pick up my knitting.]

Steve is a fine man, fully tolerant of my knitting foible and even evinces an interest -- at least enough to politely enquire as to what I'm knitting now. Once the movie was over, we turned to knitting, then to Steve's foray into the world of JoAnn, Michael's, etc.

See, Steve jumps. Out of airplanes. And he does all kinds of sewing stuff to that end.** When Steve goes to JoAnn for, say, nylon thread, the doily-crocheting denizens of that establishment can get a little... out of kilter.

Now, Knittas, I've noticed we are (or try to be) very open minded about the gender of our partners in purling, but it sometimes borders on that "some of my best friends are Mexican" territory. It's often still novel and maybe a little discomfiting when we're actually faced with boys with sticks and strings.

In honour of Steve and by his request, I'm addressing the Boys-at-Craft-Stores question today.

Have you ever noticed that when you buy something at Michael's or JoAnn, the check-out clerk always asks what you're going to be making with your purchase? I'm pretty sure it's part of their training, the "would you like fries with that?" of the craft store world.

Steve says he doesn't get that so much.

The picture he painted shows a cultural gap not unlike the racial gap: people with their minds blown attempting to be open-minded and managing only to highlight their prejudices in blinking neon.

Steve says they generally don't ask the rote, "Oh, what are you making with this?" they ask of all the women before and after him in line. To draw the analogy again, I figure they feel the same way about asking him what he's making as they would asking a black person if he likes chicken. Like somehow they're breaching some politically correct boundary.

So they hint around. They say, "Now, I see you got nylon thread. You know, you don't want to be sewing cotton with that..." (pointed, questioning stare)

Steve's a bright guy (the brightest) and has a wicked sense of humour.** So he very genially toys with these mini-Martha Stewarts.

"Oh, yes. I'm not." (big, goofy smile)

The longer they dance around the question they want to ask, the more oblique Steve becomes, leading them by his answers to finally ask the leading question:

"Oh, what are you making with this?"

Now, I've seen men at JoAnn. I've seen men who are clearly deeply into their own craft (I've run into -- for me -- a surprising number of male quilters at my local fabric store). Men who know what they're doing, know what they want, understand the nuances of their tools and materials. And I've seen men who are clearly out of their element. These men generally fall into two camps: the Chest Pounding Fronter and the I-Have-a-Right-to-Be-Here Defenseman (guess which goes with which).

The first talks loudly and in an improbably deep voice about how he's sewing something for his boat or just needs velcro to fix his laptop case. He hopes nobody will mistake him for (*whisper*) the gays. Or maybe a woman. He hopes everybody in earshot understands he's really very, very manly.

The second will open conversation with anyone around him about the extent of his dedication to this craft. He'll tell the young mother behind him how he's been knitting for five years, how his grandmother taught him, how he mostly knits stuff with skulls on it and really, the reason he's buying a yard of silk is to line a messenger bag he's making for a friend. A girlfriend. Sometimes he'll even come right out and yack about the difficulties of being a male crafter. All this? Totally unsolicited. It's pre-emptive stereotype bashing. And it's almost as silly as the chest pounding.

Men, boys, male crafters world-wide: EMBRACE the comedy. Fuck with the counter-girl.** Tell the checkout clerk you're knitting tea cosies or sewing slip covers for your toilet tank. Refuse to answer the leading questions in any constructive form. Make the craft world your kitty toy.

Someone who is generally prejudiced against whatever you are will probably not change barring an act of the gods, and you may as well screw with them for your own amusement. They probably deserve that much.

Someone who is simply awkward and doesn't know how they should handle you is looking for an excuse to be on your side, and you may as well help them out and make the world a better place. They probably deserve that much.

Hey, it's how I handle the hardware store.

[SUMMARY: Stereotypes are bad and injurious to everybody. And damned funny sometimes too.]

**FOOTNOTE (asterisked): Girls! Get your orders in now!

**FOOTNOTE (asterisked): Boys! Get your orders in now!

**FOOTNOTE (asterisked): Funny story: a big, burly, biker-type guy that jumps with Steve asked Steve to patch his jumpsuit. Steve doesn't really like that kind of work and balked. But the guy insisted, with an ill-natured "Just patch the damned jumpsuit." So Steve said, "OK, I'll patch your jumpsuit, but I get to pick the patch."

Does that not sound like fair warning to you?

Steve went to JoAnn and got Tinkerbell fabric, then appliqued (seriously, people, where is the accent mark?) Tinkerbell on some rip-stop fabric and patched the jumpsuit. So the big, burly, biker-type guy has Tinkerbell at knees and ass and Steve is hoping that will discourage any future requests for such sewing.

. . . FOOTNOTE WITHIN A FOOTNOTE (unasterisked): Truth be told, it kinda backfired because the big, burly, biker-type dude got a LOT of female attention for his whimsical patches.

**FOOTNOTE (asterisked): Of *course* Steve has a wicked sense of humour. Do you think he'd qualify as Boy-Best-Friend if he didn't?

**FOOTNOTE (asterisked): Not literally. Unless she's hot. And that's the way you swing... hey, in the interest of all fairness to boys in crafts, just because all guys in a craft store aren't gay doesn't mean they're all straight.

This public service announcement has been brought to you by my sense of guilt and fairness.

And the number four.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Hodge Podge

Let's see...

Lotta little stuff. Nada so big.

I went to Posh for their sale yesterday. Sylvia, my pusher, allowed me out of the store with at least one ball of sock yarn more than I really needed. See, I wanted to get some of that nice Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool (a hank or two maybe) to make more Branching Outs, 'cause I thought IRL Kelly's was such fun and I figured they'd make great keep-on-hand gifts.

Well, Elsebeth Lavold is 20% off at Sylvia's crack den. I got five.**

And the sock yarn. But it has aloe vera, which makes it totally new and different** and thus worthy of a place in my stash.

Here's the damage (I posted that middle picture because my camera almost captured the rich burgundy purplocity of the rich burgundy-purple-brown yarn. If my camera can find the purple, I think it's worth encouraging it with a little good pub).



















[SUMMARY: If I get hit by a bus tomorrow, who will knit all the socks and scarves from my stash?]

So as long as I had the camera out last night, I took pictures of the non-fuckme shoes I got at Nordy's last week. The girl noises shoes. Note they are satin (what the HELL was I thinking? Oh, right, I wasn't thinking, I was overtaken by cute shoe fumes and it-fits-my-fat-little-feet hormones and wasn't thinking AT ALL, just waving the credit card in the air madly and making girl noises), which means they have the lifespan of a fruit fly in my world, but what a ride we'll have while the riding's good!














The bow... oh, the bow (*moan*)

[SUMMARY: I really don't have the time, patience or cashflow for another passion, but the shoes... *moan*]

*************

Some time in the near future, maybe on your lunch hour, I want you to go listen to this song,** which I dedicate to the ones I love.**

[SUMMARY: Sandra Boynton rocks. Or maybe waddles. You know, like a penguin.]

*************

Here is the list of non-knitting Google searches that brought people to this blog:

horse "laurie post"
where the beer canteloupe play
watches run backward
naughty librarian
g&h green stamps
"what killed the dinosaurs, darling"

I have no idea about that first one.

[SUMMARY: I'm a little surprised "balls" and "fuck me" didn't figure a little more prominently in that.]

*************

I KIB'd at New Bar last night, much to the delight of Kelly the Bartendress. However, it turns out she's kind of the NASCAR fan of knitting, 'cause she mostly wanted to see what happened if I screwed up. When I failed to count to three in the universally prescribed fashion, I told her I was getting ready to tink, should she care to watch. She was so disappointed. She wanted to see a big hole in my knitting.

Kelly mixes a hell of a drink, but I worry about her around my knitting. She may have a... counter-productive attitude.

New Bar is opening a rooftop patio in June. Fast Eddie is strongly advocating water balloons for the rooftop denizens. And he mixes a hell of a drink too.

[SUMMARY: A good bar is a joy forever. A good bartender, doubly so.]

*************

I will be experiencing a Brasilian meatfest tonight.

Yeah, I wish. If you know any Brasilian meats that'd like to meet me in a dimly-lit room for the kind of Marinhandling you just thought about, let me know.

Boy-best-friend Steve has a hankering for Rodizio, so off we go. I haven't actually seen Steve since the Super Bowl, so that'll be nice.

Not much to say there, but telling y'all gave me a chance to use the Brasilian meatfest line.

Style over substance, baby. Style over substance.

[SUMMARY: Did I really offer to give up sex for the sake of knitting a couple of blogposts back? Did anybody believe me?]

*************

Dr. Doom's (third) birthday is this weekend. Cutest, appealingest destructo-child EVER.

[SUMMARY: My nephew did the cutest thing...]

*************

Check this: IRL Kelley and I frequently have conversations that start like, "Have you been to..." On those occasions where the answer is "no," we do the we-have-to-do-that dance. So we decided to make a checklist so we'll get to some of it.

Then Kelley came up with the brilliant idea to each come up with ten things, write each on its own scrap of paper, then pull one out of a hat when the question of, "What do you want to do, sister?" comes up.

It appeals to the slut-for-ritual and the little kid interactive sides of me.

[SUMMARY: It's good to know where you're going. Or sometimes not.]

*************

I was walking down the 16th Street Mall** and got in a weird (and disturbing) mental zone where I was accutely aware of panty lines all around me. Then I saw a girl with no panty lines of any kind and I'm not sure I like knowing so clearly what she's not wearing under her clothes.

[SUMMARY: You can please some of the people none of the time.]

*************

If you go to Red's blog, you can see her pictures of Woolstock, and even a picture of yours truly amongst the knitters, standing next to that pusher, Sylvia.

*************

In a sort of best-for-last bit, I just want y'all to know I got an EMAIL from the YARN HARLOT yesterday.

Yeah, you'd wet your pants if you got one, trust me.

See, when I told y'all I have ten projects on the needles, I *accidentally* left out maybe four. Or five. Not that you can trust me to count to four. Or five. Since the Harlot was talking UFOs, yesterday, I just commented on my dorkitude and lack of math skills and how the curly scarf is in the basket BEHIND my TiVi chair, so I can't see it so in a solipsistic sort of world it doesn't exist (Schroedinger's Scarf)... anyway. I said that I simply didn't mean to lie.

She replied to say "You're not lying. You're being selective in your admission."

Now, if only she could explain my stash to Sex Toy, we might be getting somewhere.

*************

Happy Friday!

**FOOTNOTE (asterisked): Sylvia-the-Pusher kept reminding me that if I bought ten skeins of something, I'd get an additional discount.

**FOOTNOTE (asterisked): Sock yarn is not simply sock yarn. There are shades of sock yarn. There is sock yarn technology. That's my story and I'm sticking with it.

**FOOTNOTE (asterisked): If you were sullen in the 80s, you might get "Personal Penguin" dovetailing into the tune of "Personal Jesus." There is nothing wrong with this, unless you're horrified to find you think very much like me.

**FOOTNOTE (asterisked and almost forgotten): This would be most of you guys, in case you didn't get that.

**FOOTNOTE (asterisked): When the 16th Street Mall was first installed in downtown Denver, the Denver Post had a contest to name it. Much had been made of it being a mile long in the mile high city and on 16th Street, so, naturally, they wanted a name that wasn't so trite as to use any of those devices.

It has never been anything but the 16th Street Mall.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Too Serious?

Somedays, some things... sometimes ya gotta put on your thoughtful hat and tone down the clown.

Jaxon sent this to me yesterday and I dedicate it to Ally and the question of race relations

*************

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.

He said, "My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all. One wolf is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

"The other wolf is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, acceptance, grace, truth, compassion and faith."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: "Which wolf wins?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

*************

Maybe funny tomorrow. Happy Thursday.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Pictures at Eleven

Five chicas at SnSnBnW last night. Susie (you know her as the Naughty Librarian) dropped by too. How cool is that?

*************TANGENT*************

New question (discuss amongst yourselves): When is it OK to make demands on the managers of Knitter Bars?

Here's the sitch: Kelly the Bartendress at the ever-popular and tres, tres** chic New Bar (her brother is Fast Eddie -- gotta love a brother/sister bartending team**) heard about my KIB at Other Favourite Bar and got, well... just this side of jealous. She thinks I/we should knit at HER bar. I looked around at the tony decor, the high-end liquor, the elegant lighting and said, "Huh. I didn't think of this as a Knitter Bar. Too uptown."

Kelly the Bartendress insisted, though. So we have a rivalry between local Favourite Bars for knitter affections.

More precise question: Can we demand better lighting (I'd even be willing to bring in the lamp) at Other Favourite Bar so we can knit happily after the sun goes down? Should we play the New Bar card and let Cute Christopher know he's got a run for his money as far as Knitter Bar goes?

[SUMMARY: I'm torn between "What would Miss Manners say?" and "What would Jesus do?" here.]

*************END TANGENT************* as you were

Late in the session, I bent down to show Sarah my very cool tattoo-print socks from Target and found a pair of underwear in the leg of my jeans.

Thought y'all should know -- SSDD here at the Barfly Beach & Resort.

Book Club tonight.

*************NEWS FLASH!*************

I have not (yet) lost the second copy of this month's Book Club book!


Thought y'all should know that too.

Don't I win a prize or something? Do I at least get extra points for holding it together like a real grown-up for almost 48 whole hours?

*************END NEWS FLASH*************

For those of you knitting along at home, SnSnBnW will be knitting Green Gable (which I will continue to call "Green Gables" in honour of Anne thereof) in our own, special drunken KAL.**

Whether you're in Denverish and would like to drop by and drink and knit or you're in Timbukfour (I can't count to four... why did I jinx it like that?) and would like to drink alone in the comfort of your own living room or your own version of the Knitter Bar, please feel free to start your Green Gables at any time and we'll all get through vagaries of the pattern and any fibre angst together. With the help of a little Grey Goose.**

OK. Gotta get back to the workaday world. Seriously. One BILLION dollars, people.

[SUMMARY: Yeah, I'm still working balls to the wall, but it all goes smoother when I can invite the whole blogiverse for a Grey Goose playdate.]

**FOOTNOTE (asterisked): WHERE IS THE ACCENT MARK?

**FOOTNOTE (asterisked): So, Brother, wanna leave the icky, sticky-slick rat race and open our very own Knitter Bar?

**FOOTNOTE (asterisked): Secret Pal, I love the pattern, but I gotta tell you all the Drunken Knitters are swooning over it. Excellent choice!

**FOOTNOTE (asterisked): Do you think there's any magic to the fact that Green Gable and Grey Goose happen to have the same initials?

Yeah, me too.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Come to the Dark Side, Seth

Happy Tuesday, evry-bod-y!**

Today, I spilled a full eight ounces of very noodly soup right in my lap.** Nobody has seen this (yet), which is the enormous saving grace. I know I will dry out eventually.

Also? You may not believe this. I'm having trouble myself. Remember how I went to get the Book Club book a couple of weeks ago? And how it was shelved under the name of the book instead of the name of the author? Remember this story? Remember how I lost the last two Book Club books?

Oh, yeah. I did it again.

Oops.

[SUMMARY: It sounds deliberate, but it's not even careless, it's just supernatural.]

Where the hell are these books going? Some people lose socks in the dryer. I apparently have book gnomes (maybe trolls -- I think Laurie has the market cornered on gnomes). I had to buy another copy. I'm halfway through it. Let's hope I don't lose it again before Book Club tomorrow night.

Perhaps one of you should step in and take my car keys from me. If I can't handle a cup of soup or even a book... well, heavy machinery is out of the question.

Ah, but despite the woes, the week is gearing up. I knit a repeat on the Lacy Racy Bellocqs last night and I'm just as enamoured of lace as I could be. I almost can't wait to start the Print O' the Wave, only I'm still a teensy bit intimidated.

And I have ten projects on the needles.

Would eleven be excessive?

The fact that I'm asking my knittas and not, say, my father, only proves I'm not remotely interested in a dispassionate third-party sort of answer to that question.

Did I mention I may start spinning? Just to try? I can always stop? Really?

[SUMMARY: How many people want to see me take on another obsession? Show of hands...]

Babbling.

Before I go, I have to say the soup-in-the-lap thing (and for my next trick...) was completely mitigated by the following email from the mother-to-be, sister to the inimitable Seth, the Knitting Seven-Year-Old:

"...we just stopped at Wal Mart last night and bought Seth some needles and yarn and he actually began knitting. We couldn't get him to think of anything else or to put it down once he started.

I think he would have sleep with the needles had we let him! I just spoke with my Mom and Seth didn't want to go to school...he just wanted to knit!

Thanks again for spending the time teaching him!"

I really like that last bit. Like I'm not getting WAY more out of this than Seth is.

[SUMMARY: I may be able to give up sex to have time for spinning if I can just experience the get-off factor of teaching someone to knit, say, once a week.]

Y'all know.

Happy Tuesday. Keep an eye on your soup.

**FOOTNOTE (asterisked): Going for a Dr. Nick thing there.

**FOOTNOTE (asterisked): I'll admit one of the first thoughts was, "Please don't burn, don't burn, don'tburndon'tburndon'tburn... I don't wanna explain blisters *there*..."

**FOOTNOTE (unasterisked): Oh yeah! It's SticksNStringsNBeerNWings night! Things are looking up. If I don't spill beer on a baby blanket. Or someone else's knitting.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Big Kitty, Shiny Fruit and the Ugly Bus

Promises, promises... I always keep my promises. Unless I forget them. Due to the old and feeble. Y'all know.

So let’s start with Darlin’ Kelley, my IRL girl.

Thursday night, she had a meeting after work. Seems her company, which merged with another last year, is facing layoffs (or “restructuring,” as they so gently put it). After the meeting, she called to see if I wanted to grab a drink and help alleviate stress.

When she picked me up, she told me The Boy had been hanging out outside when she left (did I mention they live in the same apartment building?) and gave her a big dose of sullen and sulky (keep in mind this is after they started talking again post Great Silence of 2007, but prior to Friday Night's Lights Out):

“Hey, what’s going on,” said Kelley.

“Nothin’.”

“Got plans for the evening?”

“No.”

“Going out this weekend?”

“Probably not.”

“Well, good luck with that, then.”

And all week, her boyfriend has been out of town. It’s a pretty common occurrence. She thought she’d cheer herself (and, hopefully, Boyfriend) up by sending him dirty little text messages.

Which he never answered.

But he managed to call Thursday afternoon to say he was landing back in Denver and would she be home for an hour or two so he could (I’m interpolating here) tap some of that hot Kelley ass. Booty call on a chica who’s at her wit’s end with everything (including her Hello Kitty underwear) and whom you have ignored for a week through messages steamy and personal…

Boyfriend, your timing sucked.

“Fuck ‘im,” said Kelley, and she only meant it figuratively.

This is the mood that catapulted the comedy that is the subject of this post.

Picture thus:

We’re sitting at Favourite Bar and she’s getting wound up. You know the kind of wound up where you’re talking really fast and you start repeating yourself?

“My fucking job. I hate my fucking job and my fucking boss and I felt fat all week and fucking The Boy and my fucking job and my fucking boyfriend and I’m fat and my fucking boss and fucking Boy…”

*pause*

Gloomy stare into depths of drink.

“I put my Hello Kitty underwear on yesterday… the ones I got at Target? I looked in the mirror and said, ‘Damn! That’s a big kitty!'”

If she’d been trying to be funny, it would’ve been funny. Because she was so glum, it was hysterical. When I snorted my Grey Goose Pear out my nose, she cracked up. “Big Kitty” is one of our favourite phrases now.

[SUMMARY: It’s not *exactly* schadenfreude. She laughed too.]

Well, that and “Shiny Fruit.”

Allow me to explain (oh, please, AntiM?)

A laundromat Kelley patronises was set upon by a pervert recently. According to the nice, little old Asian lady who runs the place, a guy came in several days running, asking to use the bathroom. When they’d go to clean the mens’ room later,** they’d find produce in the trash. Two or three pieces of produce notably phallic in shape. Produce that was suspiciously shiny.

So one day, Banana Boy comes in per usual and calls from the bathroom that there’s no toilet paper. Nice little old Asian lady brings some to him, and when she opens the door, he’s stark naked. And maybe happy to see her. Or maybe just doing his fine, upstanding banana impression.

It’s all alleged until the jury comes back with the verdict.

She called the police and he was arrested.** It turned out he was doing this at a salon right down the street from the laundromat too.

Her set-up done, our heroine – your dear ol’ AntiM – whisks us back to Thursday at Favourite Bar…

The bathroom at Favourite Bar is a single. No stalls. Lots of waiting. Kelly waited for… well, it seemed 20 minutes or so for a woman to come out.

“What do you think they do in there for all that time?” I asked.

“Maybe somebody delivered a basket of shiny fruit,” she grumbled.

Had I been drinking Grey Goose Pear, I would have shot Grey Goose Pear out of my nose. Again.

Now every time the bathroom is occupied for too long, we look at each other and say, “shiny fruit.”

[SUMMARY: Vaseline and bananas is *always* funny. Unless someone’s combining them in the bathroom of your favourite laundromat.]

Part of her Thursday anti-Boyfriend routine was checking out every guy in the bar and restaurant and rendering an opinion. Mostly favourable. And mostly pretty critical of the girls they were with. It sounded a little like the “my fucking job” rant from above:

“He’s cute, I’d do him and awww that one’s hot and I like a guy built like that you know and what the hell is up with her nose and that guy came in a couple of weeks ago and I had to look again and say whoa and that girl is some kind of homely isn’t she and that guy’s good come to Kelley who let the Ugly Bus off here...?”

Not as funny as Big Kitty, but rounded out the night with three phrases (‘cause three is a nice grouping, dontcha know?).

So that’s the IRL Kelley angst from Thursday. It takes pain to know joy. It takes snorting Grey Goose Pear to know true comedy.

Let us not speak of Friday night.**

*************

Here now, the knitting:

Sunday, I had a baby shower to attend and I took the Stupid Blanket. I also gifted the parents-to-be with the half-finished Big Baby (it’s there, a few posts back. I’ll post a picture when it’s done) and wrote on the card, “Now give it back to me so I can finish it.”

Seth, a seven-year-old boy who informed me he knows how to sew too, wanted to learn to knit. Big Baby is a basic feather-and-fan pattern with a couple of rows of knuthin’ but knittin’ in every pattern repeat, so I got to one of those and let him take a crack at it.

He got the hang of it fast, and pretty soon wanted to trade so he could work on the Stupid Blanket (he termed it, “Maybe I could help you out with that one now.”), which is a linen stitch. Not difficult, but an added complication over the knitting he was used to. I figured, what the heck. Anything gets tangled up, I can untangle it later.

After about six repeats of the linen stitch pattern, he had it down. He kept switching back and forth, proclaiming knitting, “pretty easy,” and “more fun that sewing.”

When it was time to go, he didn’t want to. His first suggestion was that I just let him take one or the other of the blankets home with him and he could practise on that, maybe even finish it up for me. I declined and his mother, trying to PLEASE get him to leave (“People are waiting in the car, Seth.”) told him they could find him some knitting lessons. He continued to knit on Big Baby.

“Seth! Come on now!”

“I’m almost done! I only have four stitches left! Just let me finish this row!”

The mom-to-be said, wonder and a little dismay in her voice, “It’s like crack!”

“And the two of you have just uttered two of the top ten knitters’ phrases," said I. "1) It’s like fuzzy crack, and 2) just one more row!"

She laughed and I marked the row Seth knit (since he knit a whole row all by himself) so when I give the blanket to the parents-to-be, she can see just which row he knit for her.

[SUMMARY: Maybe I *can* teach knitting to people. Or maybe Seth is just patient enough to withstand my knitting instruction.]

I was sorely tempted to send Stupid Blanket home with him.

**FOOTNOTE (asterisked): It should be noted that Kelly asked, "How long did he take in there?" When told, "A half-hour," she said, "Well, that's pretty good, I guess."

Any wonder I love Kelley so?

**FOOTNOTE (asterisked): When he was being carted off in handcuffs, Banana Boy said something like, “Put me back in jail. I can’t fit into society. I’m a sick, sick bastard.” Nothing like a self-aware pervert to renew your faith in humanity.

**FOOTNOTE (asterisked): Except to say (you didn’t really think I was letting that go wholesale, did you?) The Boy has been anguished ever since about his behaviour. He's been stalking Kelley to find out how he can make it right with me. Ah, the power of Marinhood.

Would angora and silk by the pound be enough?

Quickie

Here's an article from the Denver Post that came out of the Harlot's visit, plus a knitting night or two. You can see Red and her beer cosy in the article.

Personally? I think it's a little strung out and trying too hard. Kinda reminds me of some admittedly bad pieces I did for the feature section in the college paper when I first started writing for the college paper and didn't have a feel for how to write a compelling and journalistically sound feature piece.

See, the person who wrote it watched the knitting world through her living room window and didn't really glom on to the important stuff. None of her editors knows jack about knitting, so they all think it's fine even though it's weak beyond fluff. Any time the writer doesn't connect with something in the subject, you end up with this weak-ass pulp.

[SUMMARY: Judge much?]

At least Red is featured heavily. The writer's smart enough to know the personality of the group when she sees it.

[SUMMARY: Little nicer.]

Me? Busy.

All that IRL Kelly stuff later. Promise.

[SUMMARY: Really. Busy.]

**FOOTNOTE (unasterisked): I taught a seven-year-old boy how to knit at a baby shower on Sunday. Trip! Ego and otherwise! More later. Promise.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

news. flash.

fuck. me.

I think I owe the tiniest of apologies to the Male Lady.

fuck. me.

I mean, she still shouldn't be calling me at 2:31 am to leave messages for The Boy, or driving by my place twice a day to see if his Jeep's outside, but there is an itty, bitty reason that I can kinda understand why she's hanging around.

See, I have been operating under the notion (because it's what The Boy told me and I more or less trusted the info) that The Boy has made it perfectly clear to her he wants nothing to do with her, that he's told her to fuck off, that he doesn't understand why she won't go away.

Turns out he's sleeping with her.

fuck. me.

So I went home with Sex Toy Friday night for a little hot comfort and my world is turning just fine.

Still... fuck. me.

Kelly's Wild Ride and maybe even some knitting coming up.

[SUMMARY: fuck. me.]

**FOOTNOTE (unasterisked): fuck. me. And I didn't even wear my new fuck me pumps for the occasion. Is that irony, Alanis?

Friday, April 20, 2007

Emotionoil

Hello, darlings. I miss you.

It's hectic here in Marin's World, what with the big acquisition and billions of dollars flying around and jobs to be won and jobs to be lost and all.

This isn't some hostile takeover, Enron-Big-Oil bullshit. My client was built to be sold. Everybody involved is very excited and agitated. Lots of money in the offing, on the one hand, and pride of a job well done.

On the other hand, it's been likened more than once to sending your baby off to college. Pride, yes. Relief, yes. Joy, yes. Separation anxiety, definitely. A little emptiness, too.

On the other hand (why? How many hands do the people have on your planet?) there's an assload of filing, fixing, cleaning, organising, finishing and handing over to be done in the next six weeks.

I may not sleep or breathe until June 1.

Other than that, I suspect very little will change in my world. Should I be offered a corporate opportunity,** I don't know if I could re-enter that culture after so many years of me-centric workaday world. Should I be offered a corporate opportunity,** it could change my whole career. My whole life.

I had a fucking job interview for the first time in almost 20 years.**

Even if I don't want a job, I have to represent both my client and my brokerage in this sit-down. Leeeetle pressure. I Office Spaced it (see footnote from above, below).

[SUMMARY: I'm about as close to corporate in this moment as you may ever see me. You had me at 410(k)...]

You will be happy to know that, true to the Marin creed, I took the big "we're all one big, happy family" meeting with the new owners as a really good opportunity to exercise my Nordtrom card and I bought an extremely cute outfit (if I do say so myself -- I give all credit to the designer, the store clerk who helped keep me from embarrassing myself and Jesus) for the occasion. And a couple of other cute tops. And two enormously cute pairs of shoes.


Here:



I got this in a lovely, classic-yet-sexy metallic brown patent leather (for some reason, Nordstrom online doesn't show the brown). It has the same depth of colour and sparkle and shine as a pampered muscle car in the hands of a lacquer enthusiast. You know -- the sort of paint job they like for Hot Wheels? But chocolate brown. Picture it in your head.


Now doesn't that just say "fuck me" in an Audrey Hepburn sort of way?

The other pair doesn't even show up on the Nordy's website, but (trust Marin) those shoes are cute enough to make me make girl noises all over 'em. I'll probably wear them tonight. Maybe I'll get a picture for you. I'm just that much of a dork.

[SUMMARY: Seriously. Cute shoes.]

I'm also either completely metabolicious these days or I have some dread disease -- maybe a tapeworm -- because despite all my efforts to ruin my good body work of the last couple of years, I have gone down a size.

Maybe more, since the snotty-designer, woman-hating pants I bought at Nordy's are a size smaller than my best-fitting Old Navy jeans.

Y'all know what I'm talkin' about.

Don't tell IRL Kelley. She's having a bad enough week, in a shitstorm litany that includes several rounds of "I just feel fat." I don't want her to feel torn between loving me and killing me.

[SUMMARY: How obnoxious. Skinny chicks make me sick.]

I'll tell you all about Kelley's bad week, not for any purpose but the humour.

No, no, no...

While schadenfreude is usually one of my favourite emotions, I don't practise it on those I like and want to drink with.** It just got really, really funny last night in a way I think you didn't even have to be there (which is good, since you weren't, but I'm going to tell you all about it anyway and you fall in that camp of people I like and want to drink with, so no pain for you).

But not now. This weekend will be soon enough. I'll give you a hint:

Shiny fruit.

[SUMMARY: It's called a cliff-hanger. I need to keep my four loyal readers coming back for more.]

And you?

Don't hate me because I'm slimming. Just help me name my tapeworm.

**FOOTNOTE (asterisked): That is to say, if they offer me a job despite the fact that my current resume reads a little like this blog, with slightly less reliance on the phrase "for fuck's sake."

**FOOTNOTE (asterisked): That is to say, if they offer me a job despite the fact that in the meet-and-greet I gave my title as "Beast of Burden, Land Department."

I am not making that part up.

**FOOTNOTE (asterisked): 1) I'm really curious to know what Marins go for on the open market these days, and 2) have you seen Office Space? Where the hypnotically laid-back Peter Gibbons has his interview and just rolls his way through it? That was pretty much me.

**FOOTNOTE (asterisked): Usually.

Hey! Where's the knitting?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Redhead Always Starts the Barfight

The world has gone bananas. This morning my workaday world became a whirlwind of excitement and energy and, oh, yeah... WORK.

[SUMMARY: Work!?]

There was SnSnBnW last night, as evidenced by these two photos:

Taken early, while it was still light outside and the bar was well nigh empty.








That's (L to R) Candice, Kathryn and Sarah...

Taken later, when it was dark and there were many, many non-knitters at the bar.









...plus Red.

Do you see the look of befuddlement on the guy's face at the table behind us? Now, it may just be due to the flash in his eyes, but I like to think he turned to his friends and said, "Dude! Did you notice anything strange about this bar? Look around. I didn't know this was a knitter bar," he and his buddies slowly inching toward the door, hoping not to be mistaken for one of them... the knitters.

I also have this little SNL-style skit playing in my mind where a nice, clean-cut, possibly Mormon couple breaks down in the middle of nowhere and they hike a couple of miles in the burning heat for help, only to walk into a lively bar.

When they enter, it goes dead silent, all eyes on the newcomers. A tough-looking redhead (it has to be a redhead) slowly lays her half-knit baby booties on the table in front of her, stands to an impressive height** and says, "Looks like you folks are lost." The nice Mormon man gulps and moves slightly in front of his wife, as if to protect her...

Of course, this scenario would probably end with the nice Mormon couple being clothed in hand-knits within and inch of their lives, but I like the idea of the knitter bar as a place of mystery, wonder and more than a little terror.

As much as I love y'all and would like to stay and chat, I have a company to sell.**

[SUMMARY: I think I need my own TV station so I can do Knitter Bar skits and the Traffic Channel.]

**FOOTNOTE (asterisked): This is how you know the redhead isn't me.

**FOOTNOTE (asterisked): Yeah, not really. But it sounds more impressive than, "I have to go update some shit so someone else can sell this company and make a billion dollars."**

...**FOOTNOTE WITHIN A FOOTNOTE (asterisked): Literally.

**FOOTNOTE (unasterisked): Since you asked, I knit a little on a lot of things last night (The Heathers ["God, aren't they fed yet? Do they even have Thanksgiving in Africa?"], Sparkle Socks, Stupid Blanket) and I even counted to three after a beer without losing my place, my mind or a single stitch. All hail!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Agony and Ecstasy

First, with another "biggest in US history" tragedy looming, it seems frivolous to talk about my weekend. I'm going to anyway, but let me put this unfunny out first:

Some lives are worth more than others. On the political spectrum, that's either extremely right wing in a religious-all-God's-children way, or it's extremely left wing in a communistic way. Since I'm so middle of the road, that wide grey area suits me fine.

I know it probably won't be a popular opinion. We all like to believe that every life is sacred and you can't put a price tag on a life (and don't you have to, in some way, put a price tag to talk of value? Even a rhetorical, theoretical price tag?), but I firmly believe that the life of a 20-year-old angelic honour student is worth more than, say, Charles Manson's life. I think value is inversely proportionate to age, for the most part. Potential is a powerful force in valuing a commodity.

I'm wholly guilty of being blase (where is the fucking accent mark?) about tragedies that occur far away. But I get more involved with three categories: children, animals and youth. Children and animals because they can't do for themselves and youth because of all the wasted potential.

I'm sad for Va Tech. And I'm deeply sad over the loss of potential.

Now back to our regularly-scheduled mayhem:

First, I started this yesterday and it got into that rhythm like recounting a weird dream. No matter how fantastic and lyrical the dream was for you, your friends are glazing over as you say, "Well, it was Bob, but it wasn't Bob... I mean, he looked like a giraffe, but I knew it was Bob, ya know? And I was talking to him about the new house... well, it was me, but it wasn't me, ya know? And there was this parakeet..."

So I'm going to try to pare it down. This is my dreamy Friday and it might be glaze-over territory for you.

Eight years.

I went eight years with no touch, no tongue, no boy in my world. Now look at me.

Your dear ol’ AntiM is not a pretty girl. Oh, sure, the hair is intriguing, the eyes are blue, but on a good day, I can put forth a sort of peasant prettiness that says, “Let me tend your sheep and maybe sing you a lilting Irish ballad (but only if I think you’re not looking, ‘cause I’m terrified of singing in front of people).”

Seriously. It’s that Boy thing. The one where I smell toasted marshmallows and get all glowy when I’m around him. I really think I should just drag him along every time I want to pick up a guy. They fairly flock when he's around.

Friday, Kelley and I went to Favourite Bar. The Boy was there, and, of course, the only open seat at the bar was right next to him. Kelly and The Boy are now speaking again. Well, for awhile they were arguing. I watched a basketball game and tried to stay out of it.

[SUMMARY: This is the short version?]

Remember Hot Tamale Jason? The Boy invited him for a beer and he showed up in the middle of the peace negotiations.

Then Sex Toy showed up.

Then a couple showed up.

Two puppies (in their 20s) came in.

So begins the intricate mating ritual of the Urban Marinbird.

Seating order: Girl in couple, boy in couple, Marin, Kelley, Jason, The Boy, Sex Toy standing at the end of the bar behind The Boy, puppies at a table in the restaurant.

Kelley, Jason and The Boy start old home weeking and I watch more basketball. Boy-in-couple starts talking about the Nuggets. I throw in my two cents’. He says, “There’s nothing hotter than a girl who knows sports.”

Girl in couple… well, I can read in an instant on her face the litany of he wants sports/she doesn’t want sports throughout their relationship. She smacks him in the arm and stomps to the bathroom. He offers to buy me a drink.

Kelley sent me down the bar to talk to some of her friends. When I came back, the couple was gone and I was next to Jason. Jason and I flirted a little, then Kelley went to the bathroom. The Boy took that opportunity to tell Jason Kelley hadn't been speaking to him for three weeks. And to fondle my arm -- he was always good at the fondling thing. And rub my back.

“I think I’m going to get some air,” I said.

“I may join you,” said Jason.

So I made my way through the crowd, went out and turned around to talk to Jason. Only Jason didn’t follow me. The Boy followed me.

And he kissed me -- he was always good a the kissing thing. And wanted to go home with me.

"I think I'm going back inside," I said.

On the way, I was intercepted by one of the puppies, who asked me to sit with them. I told them I had my friends, and looked over at my friends, but by then, all of my friends were in conversations and the bar was crowded, so I sat down with Steve-pup while Matt-pup went to get another beer. Matt came back and said, “That dude at the bar cut me off.”

“Y’all should go down to Three Dogs,” said I. “They’ll serve you there. It’s not quite so frou-frou. Probably more your kind of place.”

“You come with us.”

“No, I have my friends here.”

“Well, I’ve gotta drink. I’m Irish.”

“And what do I look to you?”**

“You look like a hot chick sitting at my table.”

I walked them out, and on my way to the door, I felt hands around my waist. I hoped it was Jason, figured it was The Boy, turned around and it was… Sex Toy. Who nuzzled my neck and told me I smelled edible.

I sent the puppies to their playground and came back in, where Jason said, “I think I want to get that fresh air now. How ‘bout you?”

It was chilly. Jason pulled up the hood on his sweatshirt and The Boy came out. And fondled my elbow. And Jason said, “Man it’s so cold, I’m about to jump inside your shirt to get warm.”

The Boy went back inside.

I said to Jason, “If I give you my phone number, will you call me?”

“Yeah. I’ll call you.”

Jason flirting. Boy fondling. Sex Toy winking.


[SUMMARY: There were boys -- ah, gods, the boys -- and touching.]

I switched to water and everybody else slowed down, except The Boy. Kelly drove me, The Boy clearly couldn't drive...

...so I drove The Boy's Jeep to my house and planted him on the couch. He started reminiscing. He requested I get naked. I requested he drink some water. He requested we cuddle. I requested he sleep. He did. I went upstairs to my bed.

2:31 am -- Private Name, Private Number. Ladies and gentlemen, for the very first time, the Male Lady spoke, forever proving beyond simple coincidence that she is the PNHead Stalker.

"Tell The Boy** I said thanks."

The phone woke The Boy up and I heard him puttering around, so I went to check on him.

"Are you sober? Do you want your car keys?"

"Are you cold?"

"Uh... no. Are you cold?"

"Yeah."

"Do you want to come upstairs?"

"Yeah."

So he came upstairs and wrapped around me -- he was always good at the holding thing -- and we slept, had a nice little chat in the morning and he left.

[SUMMARY: Taking The Boy home may not be the brightest thing ever, but it worked out OK.]

See? A nice, tight summary for the most part. I know I sucked a lot of the joy out of it, but (trust Marin) you're really glad I did. I was reeling from the attention and everything was moving so fast, like a scene from a Matrix movie. A touch here, music in the background, a comment there, I'm all emotional and giddy, the bar darkened, the lights whirling, Bob was a giraffe, glasses clinking, boys, boys, boys...

I stayed home and knitted Saturday night. I finished the heel and ankle on the Lacy Racy Bellocq and made progress on all the other 237 projects I have on the needles. Knitting is not as fun as the carousel of boy lust, but it's a lot less complicated and confusing and you always know about what you're going to end up with in the end.


*************

Kelly-with-a-Maren brought moment of blogdork joy to my attention. Being the limelight slut I am, I'm posting it here. I am nominated in four categories for Blogger's Choice Awards (Best Humour Blog, Best Hobby Blog, Freakiest Blog, Best Blog About Stuff). I have one vote in each category and some of them aren't even from my four loyal readers, so that's pretty tittilating.

If you go to the site and put theantim.blogspot.com (if you put in "AntiM and the Rickety Blog," it tells you there is no such thing and we all know better) in the search, it'll bring me up (you have to scroll down to the bottom of the page for some reason). Now, I'm not TOTALLY toadying for votes, but if you wanted to check it out... maybe vote...


Just sayin'.

**FOOTNOTE (asterisked): Actually, I'm German, but I look so Irish the comment still holds.

**FOOTNOTE (asterisked): The Male Lady uses his actual name.


**FOOTNOTE (unasterisked): Judge Jim is my new best friend! (see Sunday's comments) And Robin is lucky to have a man who UNDERSTANDS the crux of the issue.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Ooooh! Another SP10 Contest!

And I don't really have a story that fits.

See, the theme is sort of "How far have you gone for yarn," and it's instigated by Charming Hostess Robin's husband, who I suspect has been involved (at least chauffeured [sp?]) some interesting yarn treks in his day.

So I'm suspecting his vision has to do with climbing the mountains in Tibet for the much-fabled Yeti Yarn, or a quest to the whitest north for a qiviut-alpaca blend (yeah, me neither. But now that I've said it, dontcha wanna fondle it?).

I've never gone way out of my way because I had to have THAT yarn. Usually, I work backwards from a pattern or what's at my LYS. I do have a story of angst, most of which you've read before:

I want to make a sweater. I picked the Dark Horse Fantasy Shaped Ribbed Sweater (everafter dubbed "Trojan Sweater" for the ribbing and the bad joke) from the December 2006 Knit'n'Style and went in search of the YARN CALLED FOR BY THE PATTERN. I know how narrow-minded that is, but I figured I could screw with the details on a project where I was comfortable enough with the process to feel I could make informed decisions. First sweater? Not poking the yarn gods with a stick.

Of course, in the Age of the Internet, the first thing I did was Google the yarn. I came across a place called the Yarn Barn that had a myriad of colours and seemed reasonable, so I put my order in. You may remember this part of the story too: evil yarn store owner says she'll have to special order, it'll be a week before I see my yarn, fine... two weeks later, she's pissy with me because I want to know if I'm ever going to see my yarn and if her store is prone to denying fibre geeks their heart's blood...

I cancelled the order, confident that I could get the yarn since they were now carrying it at A Knitted Peace. Of course, they didn't have the obnoxious shocking pink I craved, so I had to special order it. They told me it would be in the end of the next week. I was in the store that Thursday, right before the Yarn Harlot, asking if -- by chance, by any luck -- my yarn had come in.

It had! Yippee!

"But we can't give it to you."

*gasp*

The computer was down and they couldn't check it in. I could hear the yarn vibrating in the back room. I could SMELL it. I wanted to beg they take a ball band, take notes on what they needed and LET ME HAVE MY YARN.

But she said she wouldn't be able to until the computer was up. In fact, probably not even on Friday.

You can imagine the pain. I was beginning to wonder if this was God's way of telling me the Trojan Sweater was the devil's work and not meant for my idle hands.

I happened to be down in Littleton Friday and stopped in again. Just to check (read: be a pain in the ass and hope for the best). Two different women were there, and apparently hadn't gotten the Marin Yarn Moratorium memo and let me have the yarn, even though they couldn't check it in. They took notes. I hope they didn't get in trouble.

Of course, I have way too many things on the needles to start on the Trojan Sweater, but at least I have. my. yarn.



Y'all know.

[SUMMARY: I sure talk a lot, don't I?]

TOMORROW (or the next day -- taxes and all): Spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of shitstorm...

Friday, April 13, 2007

SPECIAL BONUS POST

This came through the comments, and I think it bears owning its own space:

Just a quick note to let you know that on the DomiKNITrix t-shirt sizing, that is a FLAT measurement you are seeing, not the circumference.

So 19" x 2 = 38" around.

The baseball tee is ribbed and I found that the medium fit my 40" bust quite nicely, thank you. But you might have guessed I like my stuff *tight*

Don't ask me why Spreadshirt does it this way; it's silly. If you are interested in a wider range of sizes for Women's shirts, feel free to petition Spreadshirt directly about adding more larger products. The selection was limited when I was building shirts, but I chose Spreadshirt because they print on BLACK!

Who needs another white tee shirt to stain and see through?

Hope this helps,
Jen ~DomiKNITrix!~

*************

All I have to say is thank goodness, and thank you Jen. Oh, and Kelly-with-a-Maren? You were right. So smart. So calm.

Word to My Knittas!

The world runs in circles. It goes around corners, chases its tale... but it always comes back 'round. Sometimes it's an equatorial loop, sometimes just a stitch marker.

I have now been to "my" SnB (hosted by the lovely Sylvia at the lovely Posh) a total of THREE times. Now, while we've well established that your ol' AntiM can't quite count to three, it's still a pretty small number in real life.

Now let's check in with a much larger number: the number of times (sometimes in a week) I go to Other Favourite Bar and hang out with Cute Christopher the Manager and knit. As previously mentioned, Christopher has indicated a willingness -- nay, eagerness -- to have more knitters, a whole WHACK of knitters, in his establishment.

In my truly eloquent Kelly-phone-call, Sylvia-phone-call manner, I said, "While I'm thinking of it... um, I don't know if anyone would be interested... um, I go to this bar a LOT..."

Turns out there's a pretty solid market for the sticks-n-strings-n-beers-n-wings thing.**

My cell phone went 'round the room** and I agreed to call everybody and we settled on Tuesday as a GREAT night for drinking and knitting and we all determined a knitting project with no counting and probably to-be-felted is the order of the day. Then, as Emily DK (all the chicas who put their numbers in my phone indicated "drunken knitter" by putting DK after their names) said, "I think you have your own knitting group."

As a keen technological side note, did you know you can send a text message to multiple people? Yeah, I'm a dork, and way behind the times, but that's still pretty cool. Hey, remember when we didn't have fax machines? I'm old. Cut me some slack.

My homebar and homeLYS are only blocks apart, and now that circle is complete.

[SUMMARY: Technodorks need circles too.]

We got to talking cotton yarn, which seems to inspire the same brouhaha as straights vs. circulars. Red hates cotton. My one experience was miserable. Sarah looked at both of us and said, "You don't like cotton?" in that "knitta, please," tone of voice.

I was trying to remember the exact name of the yarn Secret Pal sent me, said it has some wool, it's a really pretty colour... when I glanced over and saw Candace DK knitting a baby blanket (I think -- seems like blankets were the topic of the day and I may just have blanket on the brain**) out of the self-same Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece (albeit a different colour. Lilac Haze is a little sophisticated for the poop factory that is baby).

"Like that!" I exclaimed. "That exact same yarn!" (little, tiny circle. Hold on, the bigger circle is coming).

"Secret Pal sent it to me with a pattern."

(Just for you, Secret Pal: Sylvia said, "That was some awesome swag you got from your Secret Pal.")

"She sent a pattern too?" said Red.

"Yeah. I said I want to knit a sweater so she sent me a sweater pattern and the yarn to make it."

"You should knit Green Gables."**

"That's the pattern she sent me!"

"That's the Pattern?! I'm making Green Gables! I'm drinking lots of wine and knitting it in cotton! Would you like to drink and knit with me?"

Sarah also may drink... um, knit along, so we have our own mini drunken Green Gables KAL.


Green Gables



That's the Green Gables circle, all the way around Secret Pal and back.

[SUMMARY: I'm knitting a sweater and I'm not alone. As always, there will be drinking.]

Megan-from-Work asked me to re-teach her knitting, so I invited her to SticksNStringsNBeerNWings (I think we have a name) and she's very excited. That's the work-knitting circle.

Since the Yarn Harlot, my list of fellow fibre freaks in Denver and surroundings whom I could conceivably drunk dial has grown exponentially. A state-wide circle, really.

Then there's the blog thing, which throws a giant lasso around the world. Really. Someone is reading this in Berlin. Someone is reading this in London. Someone is reading this somewhere in Argentina. Who'd've thunk?

So to my big, wooly circle, Happy Friday, thanks for playing.

[SUMMARY: Can't you just feel the love?]

And if you're in Denver on Tuesday, April 17, please feel free to drop by Patrick Carroll's at 3963 Tennyson between 6:00 and 9:00 for SticksNStringsNBeerNWings.

*************

Tani sent me this yesterday and it made me laugh, so I'm passing it on:
Go to Google Maps and click on "Get Directions." In the from box, type "New York." In the to box, type "London." Look at number 23.
Yeah, me too.

*************

**FOOTNOTE (asterisked): Red was telling us about a genius item from (I think) Korea: a cell phone with a built-in breathalyser that will lock out certain phone numbers when you blow a certain BAC. Think of all the heartache that could be prevented with this simple device.

**FOOTNOTE (asterisked): Turns out Heidi from SnB goes there a lot. How come I never run into Heidi there? It's like when I first me The Boy and we had that, "You come here all the time? You can't come here all the time. I come here all the time," conversation. Huh. That'd be a heck of a circle too.

**FOOTNOTE (asterisked): Most of the blanket advice started, "Don't do it!" Then it turns out knitters have almost as much opinion about blankets as they do about straight vs. circular and cotton vs. real yarn.

**FOOTNOTE (asterisked): To give credit where credit's due: Green Gables comes from Zephyr Style.

**FOOTNOTE (sort of unasterisked -- goes with the Green Gables theme): Kelly-with-a-Maren -- has Maren read the Anne of Green Gables books? If not, PUT THEM ON THE LIST. I loved those books... still love those books. I think Maren, being a young lady of elegant hair and discerning taste will love them too.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Ketchup

So here's the brief (in chronological order, not in order of importance):

  1. Wednesday night when I was at Favourite Bar with Megan-from-Work, Male Lady drove by and slowed waaaayyyyy down as she passed. Did I mention she has the same little red convertible as Kelly, but with a different coulour top? Anyway, I got home and there was a PNHead call on my caller ID from roughly ten minutes after she drove by. So it's slowing down now that I'm not hanging out with the love of her life,** but it's not quite out of her system.


  2. Thursday: Woolstock.


  3. Red called Friday night while I was on the phone with my father to tell me she and Jenny and Amber (you remember Jenny and Amber from Woolstock, right?) were doing the First Friday Art Walk on Santa Fe, carrying fun adult hot chocolate (which sounds like a service of which you might be able partake in a whorehouse in Bangkok).

    I discovered my caller ID doesn't capture phone numbers of calls that never actually rang out loud, so I couldn't call Red so I didn't go. I stayed in and knitted. There was Bellocqage, there was Sparkle Sockage, there was Stupid Blanketage. It was good.


  4. Kelley and I went shopping at the fashion show at the Oriental on Saturday. We both bought Vamp Bags. Kelley bought Debbie



    in a very cool plummy colour and I bought Vicki



    in a very cool green. I also got the Skulls-in-Hats tote, and a tshirt with a pumpjack and derrick on it. Now, it also has fighter planes, so I'm pretty sure it's a blood-for-oil political statement, but I told the be-pierced and heavily inked artist I'm very excited to have a tshirt I can wear to work on casual Friday.**


  5. Saturday night, we went to Favourite Bar (this is after a day of shopping, dining and drinking) and left by 8:00. Yeah, I know, but remember how you found in college when you started drinking at 10:00 in the morning, you were pretty much ready for bed (or ambulance) by 10:00 that night? I'm no longer in college. If I start drinking at 2:00, 8:00 looks like a pretty reasonable bedtime.

    Anyway, we left before Sex Toy was scheduled in to Favourite Bar and Kelley suggested I should at least text him, which I did.

    The next morning, I heard the twinkle-tones of a text message coming through from the celly downstairs. I went down to check, assuming it was Sex Toy, but no. It was The Boy. Texting to say he's good and wishing me a happy Easter. Huh.

    The first thing Tani said? "He still has your number in his phone." Would you believe that never occurred to me? What mostly occurred to me was: Huh. Does he really think I have enough influence over Kelley to get her to talk to him?

    Anyway, I texted back the following (verbatim): Good & thanks & you too.


  6. Of course, Monday was sitting-on-twins day, followed by the mad rush home to see if Secret Pal's package had arrived. I opened my little box and -- joy! -- there was a key to the bigger box, indicating a PACKAGE! I opened the bigger box and there was NO PACKAGE! It was empty. I almost wrangled a guy walking by to ask him if *he* saw anything in the box. I thought perhaps I was experiencing hysterical blindness. But, no. I called the post office... it was left on the front porch... too big for box... sorry we left the key and freaked you out...


  7. Tuesday: Magic of pedicure impeding magic of receiving presents, but feet renedered unembarrassing (my car is clean and my feet are pretty. What is the world coming to?)


  8. Tuesday later: Presents! You saw.


  9. Wednesday morning: Funeral.**


  10. Wednesday morning later: Another BLM field trip.


  11. Wednesday afternoon: Back to office.


  12. Wednesday evening: Wanted to go to Goosetown Tavern with Downtown Denver SnB (who seem like my kinda chicks all the way 'round, but I've yet to meet them) and be on TV like a rock star, but worked until 8:00. Went to Other Favourite Bar for dinner and a (one. single.) beer. Christopher bought me a second beer. Never look a gift beer in the mouth.


  13. So I had time to knit and ran into a new mathematic adventure: now I can't count to three. I'm going to have to do some serious backtracking on the Heathers ("Well, it's just like - they're people I work with, and our job is being popular and shit.") to even figure out what went pear-shaped. I think between the second beer and the basketball game, all hope of counting to three was lost.

  14. Work today. SnB tonight. Hopefully to bed early.

Now we're all caught up. Who would have thought the most interesting thing about me is The fucking Boy? How degrading. How anti-feminist. I feel dirty.

Thank goodness I have a solid Bath Whore Support System waiting for me at home.

**FOOTNOTE (asterisked): That's The Boy, in case I outclevered myself again.

**FOOTNOTE (asterisked): For one, I think he was seriously considering refusing to let me have the shirt on grounds of issue, but his capitalistic little heart beat too strong and he gave in.

For two, my first thought? Honestly? "It has airplanes AND oil accountrement. I'm going to be the most popular girl at Easter brunch!" (what with the Tallest Hairiest nephew's love of all things avionic and both father and brother being in or late of the petroleum industry.) Did I mention dork yet today?

For three, may I take this opportunity to point out that I and mine are fully involved in DOMESTIC exploration and production, so whatever you think of the industry, never try to paste a blood-for-oil label on us. And vote domestic-production-friendly in 2008. It's good for the country, it's good for you and it's good for your dear ol' AntiM.

**FOOTNOTE (asterisked): For one, Catholic. I know all the words, mind you, but I felt like a black man standing on a corner in Gstaad... so outnumbered.

For two, sad. Made me think of Mom. I mean, I think of Mom every day, but this was a LOT. And it wasn't one of those, "Oh, Mom would have loved that" things, it was Mom and death. It makes me sad. And tired. And tired of being sad.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

My Secret Pal Can Beat Up Your Secret Pal

My Secret Pal rocks me like a hurricane (yeah, I said it).

Just look!

After serious post office drama (mostly caused by my complete lack of faith in my postal carrier and humanity in general), I came home to find a very exciting package with this right inside:



Wait. It gets better. I lifted the cardboard apron to reveal...

Stuff! Lots of stuff! For ME!


My Secret Pal made me this uber-cool bracelet. I think it sets off my snowy, freckly skin perfectly. Note the coppery button and closure. I may be stealing this design.



My crafty, crafty Secret Pal knitted me a bag...



...and filled it with soap she made herself. I'm in bath whore heaven.



Oh! Don't speak too soon! There is more bath whore nirvana to be reached!


By the way, if you've never used Smith's Rose Lip Balm (this is minty -- I've never used the minty before, but I'm an absolute freak for the Rose Lip Balm), I highly recommend it.** It smells so nice and feels so good on your lips. I'll test drive the minty version and let you know how it works out (heh heh heh).

And ya gotta check out the little red lip balm tin:


You know I'm going to be carrying it around, showing it to any and all boys in my vicinity. Perfect icebreaker if you wanna get tongue-tied (if you know what I mean, and I'm sure you do).

Here's an adorable little bag (it's that blue and green and white in the middle, almost obscured by the schwag that filled it. If you look at the big view, check out the sparkly, beaded zipper pull).


I know it's hard to see, but there's this little string person in the upper left, thus:



Secret Pal had no way of knowing, but I'm already the proud host of a little string person:


That's the vampire. He's to protect me when I'm out past my bedtime. If you've been reading along over the past few months, you may come to the conclusion I need a little more Vampire and a little less Thelma in my life, but I would beg to differ.

Also, there is a skull-n-crossbones air freshener (that now graces the rearview of the Cutest Little Car in the Whole Wide World). When I went to the fashion/designer show at the Oriental last weekend, I got myself a nifty tote:


It's reversible, but the other side has polka dots. Skulls? Fabulouser than polka dots, no matter what Vogue tells you.

I took the tote to Easter brunch with the fam, and my dad took one look, chuckled and said, "If I saw that sitting in a pile of bags somewhere, I'd say, 'That one probably belongs to my daughter.'" He went on to observe that there are no bats on it (admittedly an oversight on the part of the fabric designers), so I had to explain that skulls are apparently in this year, while bats, sadly, still out.

So Secret Pal? You are so on the nose it's almost frightening.

Also? That kleenex holder (yes, there is. Check the bottom left corner of the pic)? Has little goldfish all over it. Goldfish with names. One is Bjorn. I love Bjorn the Goldfish.

And sheep cards! With green envelopes!

Like any really good care package, this one had sugar. Good sugar. Toblerone, bunny tarts and these divine dark chocolate raspberry almonds, which didn't make it to this photo because... because... well, I was eating them at the time.


Check out the toy attached to the bunny tarts:


When you press the yellow button on his bunny tummy, his face spins around and changes expression. That one in the picture is my favourite. I often make that face myself.

I also got a chocolate sheep named Lambert.


She sent flowers...



...and even sent something for Cat for Scale. It was an exciting package for the feline portion of the household, let me tell you. Secret Pal may not realise it, but the cat is nearly as excited about the raffia, tissue paper and bubble wrap as he is about the cat grass.

[SUMMARY: Secret Pal is Cat for Scale's new best friend!]



Then there is the yarn. This is a knitting show, remember?



It's 70% cotton, 30% wool in a colour called Lilac Haze (as always, the purplocity on my camera sucks. It's purpler than it looks here) that's almost the same colour as my dining room walls (Obi Lilac by Sherwin Williams, if it's important to you). There are six skeins, and she says she has a project in mind and will email me the pattern. It's like Christmas...

[SUMMARY: Secret Pal is AWESOME, not only in her excellent taste, but in her eerie ability to pick out things I love when she had no way of knowing.

Hey! Secret Pal, are you reading my diary?]



If you check between Lambert and the cat grass, there is the bag of dark chocolate raspberry almonds (you can't see or hear it, but I'm doing a Homer Simpson-style gurgle thinking about them. It's like a little orgasm for your mouth).

[SUMMARY: If it's good, there's always a little sex to it.]

And Secret Pal? The bubble wrap was a lot of fun too. Thank you SO MUCH for everything!

*************

Just for the record, the foot procedure went well and my feet are no longer embarrassing. Today, I wear sandals.



Tomorrow, it will snow.

Tomorrow, I will share weekend adventures, observations on a funeral and maybe knitting.

[SUMMARY: The weather is wrong and I'm behind.]

P.S. -- If you go to the Yarn Harlot's post on Denver (scroll up to get above the comments), you can see Anna-Liza and Morwynne, Sylvia (darling Sylvia, who has suffered many evils at my photographic hands), the "ribbed for her pleasure" shirt... and if you look just over the second sock-with-audience picture, second row, second from the right, your dear Ol' AntiM, second to everyone and everything, but still smiling to beat the band.

I am a dork.

**FOOTNOTE (asterisked): Even if you have tried the Rose Lip Balm, I still recommend it. It would just be a little redundant.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Field Trip

OK, it's like this: I sat on Annie's boys (three-year-old twins. You do the math) last night and got home to find a message that the Client wanted me to head to the BLM this morning to copy some files. I didn't get to hit my normal routine and write up last night and edit and post this morning, so there's a big, blank spot.

It matches the one in my brain.

The good news? Nameless Knitting Sprite has a name! It's Morwynne. Anna-Liza (her mom) was poking around in the comments and bailed me out. It's good. Everybody should have a name. Though if you're going to go without, you could do worse than Nameless Knitting Sprite.

The bad news? I have a ton of work yet before I can leave at 3:45 for my SIGNATURE PEDICURE at the BROWN PALACE SPA, so 1) you'll have to wait for a day or two for the soap opera shitstorm update (Breaking News! We've downgraded Oceanic Shitstorm Marin to a Level Two Tropical Depression! Pictures at eleven!) and you'll be really pissed, 'cause it's not even that exciting, and 2) I have to wait for my Secret Pal package, which is apparently on my front porch, until much later than I'd get it if I were left to my own devices (i.e. -- tempted to run home RIGHT NOW and pay the $12 parking just to satisfy my curiosity and allay my nervous angst over the quality of postal service in my world).

See? It's really all about me, but I'm still thinking of you.

[SUMMARY: Same shitstorm, different day. Hey! Where's my shitstorm?]

Addendum: The boss's mother-in-law died late last week and I just got word on the service from a co-worker, so I'll be at a funeral tomorrow morning, possibly instead of blogging. I hope something juicy happens between now and the next blog to make the wait worthwhile for y'all.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Woolstock

First and foremost, if the Yarn Harlot is within shouting, rock-throwing, driving (and I'm talking a couple or three hours here) distance of you, GO.

Stephanie is a terrific speaker, no matter the impression you may get from her blogaccounts of her book tours. She's even funnier and more thoughtful in person than on paper, and that's saying something.

Anyway, as always, the photography leaves something to be desired,** but here's the scoop:

I arrived at 4:00-ish and found Red (remember Red? I told you you'd be reading more about Red) from the Posh SnB. It's hard to miss Red; she's a redheaded whirlwind of social energy and funny phrases. And she spins in public, which -- let's be honest -- is probably a step beyond knitting in public. My picture of Red? Alas, too horrible for posting. I did meet some other nice knitters, like Anna Liza (you can find her in the comments and once I'm caught up, I'll post her blog link) and her daughter, the Nameless Knitting Sprite.**

Anna Liza and Nameless Knitting Sprite, who offered to kneecap any bad boyfriends free for knitters (everybody else has to pay). See? There is a multitude of perqs for being a knitter.


I also met Red's friend, Jenny, who sported a very cool skull belt buckle and necklace and invented pedicure socks before Knitty published their pattern. Only she calls them "Heels," which I really like.

Jenny, knitting a Heel


When the line was still reasonably managable, the Pizza Fairy (I think her name was Lisa) took money and orders for pizza. It was a fine example of the comeraderie and companionliness of knitters, because my measure of the world has always been that ordering a pizza with more than two people is a pain in the ass because everybody has SOMETHING pizza-friendly they won't eat (except me. I'm easy. I even like anchovies. Invite me for pizza.). However, thirty knitters happily ate what was put in front of them and we all sang Kumbaya and it was like Woodstock.

Woolstock.

One shining moment, the duplication of which I highly recommend to anyone attending one of these things: knitbloggers were exchanging Harlot books to write their URLs in the back. It was like a grown-up, knitterly version of yearbook signing and a very cool and apt way to commemorate the event. I like that Stephanie's autograph is in the front of my book and all my new blogfriends' addresses are in the back.

Take a pen.

Work let out and it wasn't long before the line was down the hallway...



...and around the corner...



...and all through the second storey of the Tattered Cover. One woman (and, yes, she was first in line) showed up at 7:30 that morning. That's dedication. Did I mention TOTALLY worth it?

Sylvia (from Posh, my homeLYS)showed up and I got several really shaky pictures of her.

They let us in around 6:45 and much knitting and reciprocal blogging ensued. The chick with the camera is Amber, another friend of Red's and a people from my neighbourhood. I mean my real neighbourhood, like where my house is.

I'll take your picture if you take mine.

Let's see... the nice man knitting the yellow thing and the nice lady in lavender next to him were in Denver from Alaska. If you look right between them? In the white shirt with the red stripes? That's Red. And if you look over Alaska Man's right shoulder (his right, not yours)...




...you see Fascinating Punkboy Knitter. With the Socks that Rock (I think) penis sock.



There were luminaries in the crowd. Red's archnemesis** and creator of the Print O' the Wave Stole that sits in my living room in its yarn and separate needles stage, Eunny Jang (possibly more noteworthy that she's the new editor of Interweave Knits. Hey, it's my world and the sun revolves around me so I went for my own personal knitting project).



Amy Clarke, editor of Spin-Off Magazine with Red on her left (her left, not yours), who was drawn to Red's SIP (spinning in public -- y'all got that, I'm sure) and cultivated her to write an article.


Red made out pretty well in this thing, networking for fleece and writing gigs. See, not only was Amy Clarke into the idea of her writing, but the Pizza Fairy is a veterinary student at CSU and told Red they have sheep they use for pain studies (don't dwell on that) from whom (are sheeps "whom"?) they shear the fleeces, then THROW THEM AWAY.

Red's trying to do something about that.

[SUMMARY: Knitters. Everywhere.]

Ah. Finally. A Harlot sighting at the hall bathroom** (I'm sure she'd be thrilled to know how excited we were to see her going into the loo). Then the long (it really wasn't, but like December 23rd when you're a kid) introduction by Tattered Cover staff, as she looked on...



...and we're off (with the comment from her, "Apparently I'm still short," as she adjusted the mic)



Of course, the sock needed its photo taken.


Then she talked. Beautifully. Funnily. Thoughtfully. Occasionally poignantly, with perfect timing and delivery. Complaining of the altitude all the while.

One of my favourite bits from her presentation was entwined with her discussion of the community created on the Internet. To paraphrase, she said knitters are like flocks of birds. Have you every watched how they'll take off and fly and suddenly all turn left at the same time? And knit Clapotis?

Yeah, it's a niche joke, but a big funny for those in the know. A little like the "All Your Yarn are Belong to Us" shirt, but more so.

After she was done speaking, we got in line for autographs and face time. I was TENTH in line, thanks to Red. (If it makes you think better of me, I would have been 25th in line without Red, so it's not like I changed the fabric of the time-space continuum with my line-jumping).

I brought the Harlot a gift of Lonesome Stone sock yarn. I told her I was hoping to bribe her into taking a picture with me and my sock. She said, "I'd do the picture anyway, but I like the way you think. And see this?" she asked, pointing to some random chocolate I'd tossed in the bag for good measure, "Dinner."

Now, Red took the cross-sock Harlot-AntiM picture with her camera, as mine was acting up. I will get it from her one of these days and if I'm not sporting too many chins, I'll post it. In any case, I'll probably be sleeping with it under my pillow for quite some time.

The Bohus? Soft as a kitten and apparently knit on fishing line. Tiny, little stitches. Y'all gotta see it to believe it.

This account is probably anticlimactic after all the fussy teasing this weekend, but it was too full and too complete an experience to describe adequately. Every time I've tried, it's been like trying to tell someone about a strange dream you had; you miss bits and get enthralled with bits only a witness could appreciate. And nothing is more boring than listening to an account of a dream that goes like that.

Let me just say it was like the Beatles for knitters. Our Mecca. Our Ark of the Covenant. If you've never seen 200 knitters vibrate, needles and all, it's an awesome thing to behold.

Oh, and Denver? Had enough chairs.

[SUMMARY: THE Knitter. Here.]

*************

On a more personal knitting front, I cast on and got well underway with the Bellocqs for the sis-in-law. We did a mass measuring during family Easter brunch, but -- check this -- the pattern doesn't ever call for the measurement of the length of the foot. While I appreciate their confidence in my ability to figure that out on my own, I draw their attention to the fact that I used their measurement chart as a checklist, therefore had nothing to check off for foot length and didn't realise until I got to the place in the pattern where it says "repeat five times, or until pattern measures two inches shorter than desired length."

So I await word from sis-in-law on how long her foot is so I may continue the Bellocqs. The Sparkle Socks continue. The Stupid Blanket continues. Pink Magic languishes. The Heathers ("You wanted to be a member of the most powerful clique in school. If I wasn't already the head of it, I'd want the same thing.") got scant attention.

Give me points, though. I undertook to tame the living room on Saturday, and that mainly consists of taming the knitting. I gathered, untangled and wound stray yarn balls from all over the (tiny little) living room. I put project-oriented yarn in separate ziploc bags with the operative patterns and needles (where I could) and filled a really large laundry basket with everything to go upstairs to the yarn room (yes, I have a yarn room. What do you use your spare bedroom for?) The only ( ! ) items left in the living room are the above-mentioned projects, as well as the stuff for the Print O' the Waves Stole. Everything else? To the yarn room!

Here is the progress on the Bellocqs. Note the pasty, um... creamy, um... dead white of the skin in the sock. I like to keep my skin lily white to help set off the lace pattern... who am I kidding? I couldn't tan with a bottle of brown shoe polish.



[SUMMARY: Wow. And more knitting.]

Apropos nothing, this is the pattern graphic on my favourite pajamas.


There was minor drama this weekend. Oh! And Wednesday, out with Megan-from-Work. Oddly, with Kelley not talking to The Boy, things have gotten much quieter. And Sex Toy? Too quiet. There was also shopping, encompassing cute purses, cute knitting tote and the crushing of one man's political symbology through sheer dorkitude. And it fucking snowed all weekend.

[SUMMARY: Finally! Ooey-gooey stuff! The fibre was clogging my sinuses!]

We'll chat about all that another day.

Happy Monday.

**FOOTNOTE (asterisked): Honestly, really and truly, I think there's something wrong with my camera. Actually the battery. The flash is all wonky half the time, and it's always on the verge of empty battery, even when the battery's been on the charger all day. I think a lot of my bad shots (really! truly!) have at least as much to do with the wonky battery as with my lack of skill and occasional cocktailing (the flash and the autofocus just don't work very well on low battery). I have really crappy pictures of very lovely people (Red, Sylvia from Posh, several Harlot pieces, the nice couple from Alaska, the Pizza Fairy...)

**FOOTNOTE (asterisked): Funny, a bunch of us went to a restaurant/bar just down from the Tattered Cover after Woolstock, and we were talking about being in a group -- knitters, for example -- where you can talk for ages about your common craft and never get a name. At some point, you probably have that thought that you wish you knew this nice knitter's name, but it seems weird to do the name exchange AFTER you know each other's life stories and straight-vs-circular needle biases. Ironic, then, that I never got Nameless Knitting Sprite's name.

**FOOTNOTE (asterisked): Red doesn't personally know Eunny Jang. They didn't vie for the same job, same man, same sale yarn... The most succinct reason for Red's unflagging venom is, "She steeks for fun." While I stand fast by my admiration for Eunny's craft and will be knitting at least two of her patterns in the next year, I also offered Red garden space to plant her, should she (Red) ever need to bury the body. That's the kind of friend I am.

**FOOTNOTE (asterisked): You knew it was a knitting event when nearly 200 women were vying not for the stalls, but for sink space to wash the pizza off their hands before they got back to their knitting.