Monday, March 31, 2008

*SNORT* huh?

In the category of "knowing way more about Marin than you really need to know," let me tell you a little tale of my relationship with sleep.

I have always been a night owl. When I was seven and got a clock radio for Christmas, my parents thought it was so I could get myself up for school, allowing my mother to sleep a little later.

I put it to its proper use: listening to the radio until two or three in the morning.§

Despite this proclivity¶ for the darker hours, I don't remember having trouble sleeping. I just didn't want to. It was a *choice*.

[SUMMARY: Who says nothing good happens after midnight?]

When I turned twelve and the hormones kicked in,# I stopped sleeping. For eighteen years.

Every now and then, I'd sleep for fourteen hours on a weekend or a day off, but for the most part, I got about four hours of sleep a night.

It was miserable.

It wasn't like I was all full of energy and productive and stuff. It wasn't like those people who say, "Oh, I don't need eight hours of sleep a night. I do fine on four."

I'd lie awake, near tears, trying so hard to sleep. I tried all kind of meditation techniques and learned to read nothing but short stories, to no avail.

[SUMMARY: In which I receive kharmic payback for refusing to sleep as a child.]

When I turned, oh, 25 or so, I couldn't sleep comfortably on my waterbed anymore. One night it was fine, the next, I woke up achy and stiff.

This was the first in a series of odd, overnight changes that make me feel like a little gremlin in my body is practicing some weird, Third Reich form of behaviour modification.

I got a futon and was fine for a long time.

One day, I couldn't sleep with my neck all cranked up on my pillow, so I got one of those amoebic neck-support pillows and was fine for a long time.

An article in Cosmo told me that (among other things) once I turned 30, I should have a good mattress. So I got one.

And the second I turned 30, I started sleeping more or less like a normal human being.

[SUMMARY: You can do it, we can help.]

OK, I lied. This is where it started getting really weird.

This is where we start piling on the sorts of nightly needs that make it difficult to get our nightly needs met, if you catch my drift.

Mere days after the installation of the fabulous new mattress, I became overly-sensitive to wrinkles in the sheets and bought my first set of sheet clips. Once my sheets were taut, I was fine for a long time.

Then my pillow didn't seem thick enough or maybe it was too thin, so my parents bought me an exotic and expensive memory foam pillow for Christmas.†† I had the most luxurious, lovely night of sleep of my life and I was fine for a long time.

Trying to fall asleep months later, I realised I could feel the tufting in the mattress‡‡ and it was like I was sleeping on a rock pile. For Christmas, my dad got me a 2" memory foam mattress topper, which eliminated the holes-in-the-mattress problem and I was fine for a long time.

[SUMMARY: Simple problems, simple solutions.]

Then my shoulder, elbow and wrist started bugging me. I'd get shooting nervy things through my elbow and wrist and my shoulder ached all the time. So I bought yet another expensive pillow designed for side-sleeping and when it arrived, I could sleep happily once again and I was fine for a long time.§§

One night a couple of years ago, I realised I didn't know where to put my hands when I slept.¶¶ As soon as that thought lodged in my pea-sized brain, I couldn't find a place to put my hands. I would fall asleep with both hands up over my head and wake up with dead fingers and stiff wrists.

So I devised a system that when I switched out from the reading pillow to the sleeping pillow, I no longer just tossed the reading pillow next to the bed, I laid it next to me and rested my top hand on top of it and my bottom hand below it and no more dead fingers when I woke up. And I was fine for a long time.

[SUMMARY: Necessity is a mother.]

ONLY...

Over the weekend, I developed a new skill: I can make myself snore, which wakes me up.

See, the top hand has gradually moved up to where it presses into my bottom jaw, pushing my tongue into my throat, which causes me to snore (see today's title), which wakes me up.

So I put my hand back where it belongs, bent at the elbow, perpendicular to my ribs and FAR from my chin. As I fall asleep, it creeps back to my jaw, pressing the snore button just as I'm entering REM sleep.

[SUMMARY: What the hell?]

So you see, little by little I have changed bits and pieces to answer to the weirdities that suddenly cropped up in my night life.

Trust me, it's such a joy to display this apparently neurotic, ritualistic behavious to a boy I just want to boff.##

I fear the sleep gremlin has finally done something I can't remedy, and perhaps that's been his evil plan all along. After years of jumping through hoops and solving sleep problems, we have reached an impasse.

Or I may be the first person in the world to use duct tape as a sleep aid.



FOOTNOTE (crossed): "Need" being a strong word anyway.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): Which I pulled down on my face trying to hit the snooze button when I was 15 and split my lip open, leaving the nasty little scar that makes lipstick such an arduous prospect today. Reason #27 on my list of why I don't wear makeup.

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): Top Four Favourite Songs, 1974-1975: Nadia's Theme, Wildfire, The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald and The Chain (mournful songs where people and horses die, set in minor keys. Early goth training.)

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): Take that, elementary school readers!

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): Which explains a lot, all the way 'round.

††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): Which I left in a motel room in Las Vegas, New Mexico, and when I called to arrange to get it back, the guy treated me like I was an idiot for not just going and getting a new pillow and leaving him alone. "Pillows are like five dollars at Target. Just get another one." His respect for me did NOT grow when I explained it was a $100 pillow.

‡‡FOOTNOTE (doubble-crossssed): You know... the button-looking dents that keep the fluffy stuff from shifting all to one place.

§§FOOTNOTE (thoughts swirling, can't sleep...): Though I couldn't read in bed on the side-sleeping pillow, so I had to use my old, expensive memory foam pillow for reading, then switch to the other for sleeping. It's caused consternation and hilarity when boys have spent the night.

¶¶FOOTNOTE (like the hands of the clock): A mental exercise not unlike suddenly being aware of your tongue. You're welcome.

##FOOTNOTE (pounded like a two ay-em valium): And not scare off. Hey! It's the lost boffs of Dr. Seuss! Alas, indeed, I would not boff. Indeed, in fact, she scared me off.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Perspective

OK. Elementary school readability isn't as bad as I thought.

Denver Dumb Men's League

TTHFCIF

First and foremost, I promised updates on the keychain situation as circumstances warranted.

*warrantwarrantwarrant*

First, Angel-eek found the entire push-button animal keychain line here,% where they have many, many cool things and I really want the duck mirror. I don't even look in mirrors and I want the one with the duck feet.

Then Lyda, bemoaning the lack of zombie keychains, tracked these down. Despite her misgivings they may be too cute, I am madly in love with them. I used to have nightmares when I was six that looked a lot like those keychains.

Well, those and the hideous Frankentoys from "Toy Story."

For the record? Nothing to do with keychains, but Lyda also found this collection. I think a Zombie Knitter thong would be an excellent test for a man's dedication to the pursuit of a little trim.

Which brings us to our real topic of the day: men. And the dedication aforementioned.

[SUMMARY: Segueways are my speciality.§]

So let's talk about boys.

Oh, how I love boys. And men. And guys... 'specially guys.

I love their chronic simplicity. I love their straightforward communication style. I love taking their money at the poker table and how good natured they can be about it. I love watching football with them.

The more astute among you may recognise I'm talking about guy *friends*. If there's a hint of love or lust in the air, all that goes out the window.

Then they become the stereotype of a thousand predictable sitcoms. Every bad, mad comedienne shilling for two drink minimum shifts from shrew to incisive sociologist solely because she's so RIGHT. And even we reasonable and sane women suffer from bouts of why-can't-he-call-when-he-says-he's-going-to-call misandry.

[SUMMARY: Poetic wax: apply liberally, buff to a purple shine.]

See, I met this nice guy last weekend.#

He beat me in a spelling bee, but graciously†† conceded that our spelling aptitude was at least comparable, amid mild bouts of giving me shit for misspelling "boudoir."

And he chatted me up.

And I gave him one of my MOO cards.

And he kissed me. Several times.

And when I told him I'd knitted Sue's rainbow scarf, he said, "Huh. That's kinda... hot."

Wait... let's go back to the kissing.

Top four kisses, all time (in order):


  1. Mark, the coffin kiss, 1982: Our high school drama department was working the Denver Jaycees' haunted house. I was out of our cauldron and down the graveyard path at the BBYO cemetery, hanging out in a stand-up coffin, playing dead, getting a little rest from all the cackling and stirring. Mark walked up, pulled the split-lid‡‡ over us a little, leaned in and laid his lips on mine, absolutely parallel, and ran the very tip of his tongue across my top lip and then blew on it gently. I don't know if it was the coffin, the hot guy or my lack of experience, but I may have come just a little at that moment.

  2. Different Mark, the stair kiss, 1986: I was hanging out with The Denny Lake Band§§ at the ABC Motel in Gunnison after their gig during Western State College homecoming festivities. The very cute, very smart guitarist¶¶ spent the night in the corner talking to me about important stuff while the other musicians drank, diddled their egos and tried to get into Stesha's pants. He asked for my phone number when Stesh and I were leaving. I was behind him going down the outside stairs from their door. Halfway down, he turned and I thought he was going to say something, but he laid a liplock on me that literally made my knees go weak. Good thing he had his arm locked around my waist or I would have collapsed. It was a quality kiss, but it was the spontaneity of it that put it over the top. And the aesthetic -- very Le Baiser de l'Hotel de Ville.

  3. Currently a tie: The Boy, the bottom of my stairs, 8/15/06: I believe he was jealous of Marco during the Def Leppard concert at Red Rocks. Marco and I were having a good time, singing along, joking... and on the way home, Marco and The Boy made friends and agreed to take Mary, Marco's girlfriend, and me golfing the following weekend. Feathers soothed a little, The Boy laid a relieved, slightly possessive kiss on me before saying goodnight that made me go, "Oh!" TIED WITH: The Spelling Bee Champ, by the watering station at the Coral Room, the wee hours of 3/23/08: Just a spectacular kiss. Firm, warm, mobile (but not too), wet (but not too), sexy, judicious use of the tongue, good suction... just a really good kiss. And it didn't hurt that it was followed by a half-dozen more of the same. And a declaration of knitting as "hot."
So why hasn't he called?

I was speculating with Ange and Bag Lady Kathryn that he may have misunderstood something I said.

See, after a few of these lovely kisses, I told him he was very good at it. He paused for a moment and said, "Well, I guess there's always room for improvement."

At the time, I thought it was a little odd, but it sounded like the sort of thing I say when I'm caught wrong-footed,## so I shrugged, smiled and said, "Could be."

We had been in the midst of saying our good-byes, but I turned around to say something to Kelley and he just disappeared. Again, I didn't think a whole lot of it, but...

Now he hasn't called.

And now that I'm in the check-the-phone-for-a-dial-tone phase, I'm wondering if he thought I told him he *wasn't* very good at kissing. And he was crushed. And he's somewhere, nursing his wounds, dreaming of the young††† woman who so fascinated him and so defeated him.

Perhaps he cries in his pillow every night.

[SUMMARY: Leave me to my fantasies. Did you not hear he hasn't called?]

On the other hand, there's Soldier Boy, who calls every couple of weeks and either 1) says, "Hey, what are you doing tomorrow night? We should get a beer or something," then never calls, or 2) calls at 9:30 on Sunday night to say, "I'm in your neck of the woods, I was hanging out with a buddy and I thought maybe we could get a beer or something. Right now. Run."

OK, he doesn't really say, "run," but you get the idea.

I called him after I got home Wednesday night, a couple of glasses of wine making me brave, and said, "You do know I'm a girl, right? And you have to give me at least a few hours of lead time so I can shave my legs and put on the war paint."

"Honey, you know I'm not a planning kind of guy..."

"Oh, I know. But... legs. Shaving. Girly stuff. I'm not asking for much. Three or four hours warning."

"What are you doing August 8?"

"Smart ass."

At least we're both very aware of our needs and our shortcomings. I don't know The Spelling Bee Champ well enough to know what the hell he's thinking. If he's thinking at all.^

There I was crying in my beer, making Ange and Kathryn listen to my junior high rantings.‡‡‡ They were being very supportive, and Ange chimed in with, "They should have a Denver Dumb Men's League."§§§

Ange introduced me to the Denver Dumb Friends League KittenCam, which can be equal parts disappointing and addicting. We had been talking about that and DDML just popped right into place.

[SUMMARY: That, my elementary school-level readers, is a clear example of serendipity.]

Now, I got my cats at the DDFL ten years ago. My hedgehog had waddled off the mortal coil almost a year before and Brother offered to adopt me a cat for my birthday.

"But I don't like cats," I said.

"You only don't like cats because you've never had a cat," he replied.

So we went to a couple of different DDFL shelters a couple of times each. I watched the cats. I read their names and what history the DDFL had on them. I learned of their medical and emotional issues.

In the very room you see on KittenCam, I fell in love with my Quill and Lucy.¶¶¶ I watched them climb and hide and rub noses and I knew this was the pair I was seeking. The DDFL rep brought them into a room with me so I could get a little one-on-one and we all three were hooked.###

I had to fill out paperwork promising to take care of them and allowing that the DDFL could inspect my home for cat suitability and repossess the cats in the event any allegations of abuse or neglect were substantiated.

Then there is a two- or three-day cooling off period (you can't take them home the second you find them).

Because I was renting, they also had to get the OK from my landlord for me to have pets.

Then they micro-chipped them and sent them home with me.

My friends came over a couple of nights later to meet and greet and bring kitty treats.

[SUMMARY: A well-conceived process.]

How difficult a transition is it to make to a DDML?††††

Think about it:

-A place where you can watch the men in their habitat for a few days before seeing them in person.
-A place where you can visit them and get a feel for them before you actually mingle with them.
-A place where they have their medical history, emotional state and family history all typed up on a card.
-A place where there are always options for adoption.
-A place where they are electronically marked so you can find them if they stray.
-A place that makes sure you have thought it through and your home is open to the adoption.

Then a forum to meet friends and family all in one fell swoop?

It may be ideal. If only we could get the men into those little cages...

[SUMMARY: I think I'm funny. Don't send Glenn Sacks after me!]

How much would you love to be looking at the DDML SmittenCam right now?

And do you think I should ask Sue to ask Sarah to ask The Spelling Bee Champ to check whether he likes me, yes or no?‡‡‡‡


FOOTNOTE (crossed): That's much funnier in person. Out loud. Really.

%FOOTNOTE (percented): Ange also got a post-grad collegiate rating on her reading level, but it in no way makes me want to stick DPNs up her nose. I'm happy for her continued success and wish her all the best.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): As is evidenced by my classic Nick-Nolte-in-lockup hairdo.

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): If you say this with a posh British pronunciation (spěsh'ē-āl'ĭ-), I'm pretty sure it will boost my reading level.

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): Shut up. If you want to stay on the "reasonable and sane" train with me, you have to stop laughing.

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): Oh, yeah. This may look a little like social commentary, but it's all about me.

††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): And -- it seemed -- sincerely...

‡‡FOOTNOTE (doubble-crossssed): For easier viewing!

§§FOOTNOTE (dizzy, head-spinning smooches): No, you've never heard of them. Just detail for the sake of authenticity.

¶¶FOOTNOTE (like tuning pegs on a guitar): Not an oxymoron.

##FOOTNOTE (pounded like an object lesson into your brain): Like the time I was staring at The Boy, daydreaming, largely unaware he was even there, when he said, "What?" in that sorta sexy way that invites a love-nibble of a reply. "Did anyone ever tell you you have really nice teeth?" I said. Wrong-footed. Like that.

†††FOOTNOTE (Calgary? Cavalry? Calvary?): Damnit, stop laughing. Hey, one other point in his favour was that I thought he was about 30 and when he asked, "Do you mind if I ask how old you are?" and I confessed to 40 (thinking I might just be relegating myself to the role of mother figure), he was so visibly relieved because he thought I might be in my 20s and he's 38 and just doesn't have a lot of truck with youngsters. It could happen. I was wearing pigtails.

^FOOTNOTE (careted): Perish the thought! He hasn't stopped thinking of me since that night. He's haunted by my wit, my beauty, my curly hair... his work suffers and he loses sleep. Or maybe I'm projecting.

‡‡‡FOOTNOTE (how many ways can I say "train tracks"?): "Maybe I should ask Sue to ask Sarah if he likes me. Or maybe I should tell Sue to tell Sarah to tell him I thought he was a really good kisser, just in case he thinks I said he was a bad kisser. I really like him. Where's Sue? Do you think I should talk to Sue?"

§§§FOOTNOTE (spinning right out of orbit): Ange regularly and frequently says the funniest, smartest things I hear in any given week. She claims, "...my contribution was the name. I'm just the idea person, I'm not so-much about action or follow-through." Bless you, Angel-eek for letting me steal your idea and provide my own wonky follow-through.

¶¶¶FOOTNOTE (clubby!): Quill and Lucy were littermates, actual brother and sister, given up by a guy who moved to a rental where he couldn't have both cats and his dog. He chose the dog. He also named the cats "Garth" and "Axl," so his whole mental state may be suspect, but they were well-loved and well-trained kitties, so I bless him a little every time Cat for Scale purrs at me.

###FOOTNOTE (we are taking such a pounding): I don't think Brother was immune, so let's say "all four of us." He started volunteering at the shelter not too long after that.

††††FOOTNOTE (have I ever been this crossed?): None. None difficult transition.

‡‡‡‡FOOTNOTE (we're nearing the Golden Spike): Wasn't this fun? Hasn't it been a long time since I've shared my stupid girl neuroses about boys with you? Don't you wish we could do this more often?


Wow. It's really unfortunate Blogger won't let me put "Dork" in the labels more than once.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

101 Reasons Elementary School Level Readers Plotz When They Read My Blog

  1. prolixity
  2. solecism
  3. collegiate
  4. cocky
  5. hubris
  6. voilà
  7. imbecile
  8. lexical
  9. warrants
  10. insightful
  11. melange
  12. cataloguing
  13. kharmic
  14. diorama
  15. conjoined
  16. sextuplets
  17. spackle
  18. aesthetic
  19. verdant
  20. qiviut
  21. fetish
  22. limbo
  23. detriment
  24. chardonnay
  25. acoustic
  26. fellatio
  27. boudoir
  28. aborigine
  29. idiosyncrasy
  30. torchiere
  31. Krzyzewski
  32. lesbian
  33. busser
  34. smiting
  35. enviroweenily
  36. caret
  37. succinct
  38. nuisance
  39. contemplating
  40. chronologically
  41. riveted
  42. mete
  43. scoff-laws
  44. demoted
  45. grueling
  46. claustrophobic
  47. edification
  48. HR 2016
  49. stricken
  50. disclosure
  51. rhetorical
  52. retribution
  53. exerting
  54. collaborative
  55. criterion (used correctly, in its singular form)
  56. oboe
  57. tortellini
  58. theology
  59. paragon
  60. paraphrasing
  61. venial
  62. bolster
  63. martyrdom
  64. sanctioned
  65. beatitude
  66. Lenten
  67. deprivation
  68. Burundi
  69. pundit
  70. fraught
  71. masturbator
  72. critiquing
  73. delusional
  74. Slavic
  75. solidarity
  76. exaltation
  77. cuisines
  78. segueway
  79. iridescent
  80. evocative
  81. sachet
  82. serendipity
  83. experiential
  84. linguistics
  85. loath
  86. dipthong
  87. retrospect
  88. indoctrinated
  89. sheetrock
  90. architectural
  91. incompetent
  92. cervixes
  93. estrogenal
  94. doulas
  95. macro
  96. reprieve
  97. groovy
  98. inept
  99. carnitas
  100. Slovenia
  101. footnotes

And that's just in the last month.

Yes, Damnit, I'm Smarter Than a Fifth Grader!

Was it my customary prolixity? Or maybe my rampant solecism?

blog readability test


Could the damned thing even recognise solecism if it was bitten by solecism on its elementary school-going ass?

How many big words does one have to use to get a collegiate rating?

I found this on Iron Needles and got all cocky and hubris-like and plugged in my URL and...

Voilà!§ I'm an imbecile!

*sniff*

Kim says I'm smart. Kim even praised my lexical prowess.# And she thinks I'm funny. Does the damned elementary school thing even know from funny?

I bet Kim gets mad reading level points for "lexical."


FOOTNOTE (crossed): Perhaps it's marking me down for British spellings.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): Hubris! I use the word "hubris" ALL THE TIME! That's not an elementary school word!

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): How many people take the time and care to make sure to use a grave accent in "voilà"? Not an elementary school student, that's how many!

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): Shouldn't "imbecile" raise me to at least middle school level?

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): I can spell "lexical." Huh. Maybe the damned elementary school thing heard about my spelling be debacle. Debacle's a pretty good word...

*News Flash!*

I think I'm funny.

But, seriously... this just in: Brother has the cow keychain, I have the pig keychain, turns out there's also a duck keychain. So you don't have to limit yourself to turning on your cowlight or your piglight, you also have the option to turn on your ducklight.

Collect them all! Trade with your friends!

Further updates as the situation warrants...

Monday, March 24, 2008

Turn On Your Pig Light♪

video


♪♪Let it shine wherever you are...♪



For the record? I had kinda anticipated putting this up Friday, but YouTube has gone all weird on me...

SEE... my camera used to download movies in some bizarre Olympus format (apparently) that Blogger couldn't recognise. There is a place in the Olympus software where it allows you to choose your formats, but all the formats you've ever heard of were checked and things were still going wonky.

SO... I had to upload from the Olympus software to YouTube, then share it to my blog via YouTube. Which worked pretty well for that first video I ever loaded onto the blog.

BUT... then YouTube started taking three days to get the videos to my blog, and it posts them directly, rather than putting them in draft form and allowing me to choose the time of posting.

THEN... I noticed there was an actual media player icon on my piglight movie, so I went to check and my camera is now downloading in AVI, so Blogger can totally deal with that. So I uploaded my shiny new AVI movie to the drafts and waited.

OF COURSE... YouTube chose some time this morning (apparently) to post the thing and now I have to explain all this to you so you'll understand why it's here on Thursday instead of Friday.

AND... we were going to chat about the Denver Dumb Men's League today, but it might have to wait for tomorrow and I may forget all the funny and insightful things I was going to say.

Fucking YouTube.

Four Feet Two

First in knitting news, I had quite a lovely surprise when I made my weekly trip to the mailbox yesterday.

It seems A Knitted Peace determined I had spent $500 in their store in 2007 and am eligible for their customer appreciation program. I got a $50 gift certificate.

Why do you suppose it's so much harder to spend a gift certificate than cash? I'm paralysed by my options. There's a good chance I'll sit on this for ages.

Probably until I lose the gift certificate.

[SUMMARY: I'm a financial wizard.]

But I didn't bring you here to talk about my "windfall." No, I brought you here to talk about my knitting.

I finished the Jellyfish a week ago, but couldn't deliver it§ until I could take pictures.




In the end, it was 33" across. It took three skeins (less three yards) of Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick & Quick in Sky Blue. It's very, very thick and may make a better dragging blankie than covering blankie.

[SUMMARY: Know your audience.]

Speaking of audience...

Nice segueway, huh? But I just thought of this. And it's sort of knitting related. And it goes with the footnote on baby blankets, specifically the one for Jeron, Christa's son.

Christa was supposed to be at the baby shower, but her mother was in the hospital or some such, so I left the long-finished blanket with Tani, who I felt sure would see Christa before I would.

Tani reported that Christa loved the blanket and...

(wait for it)

...is going to frame it.

I almost cried. I almost yelled. I almost argued.# Then I caught myself and thought and said, "I guess she can frame it if she wants to. I made it for her, so it's her blankie."

But, really.

I envision the blankies I give to the babies being loved and mussed and dragged around until they're frayed and stained. I want the blankies to be loved. Not preserved.

But, again... not my call. Blankies are like children: you do your best with them, then release them to the world and trust they'll reach their best potential.

But, really.

[SUMMARY: There's a lot of philosophy in a baby blanket.]

OK, I'm back. We were talking knitting.

Real knitting. Not philosophical knitting.

So here's the scarf you've never heard of before that I knitted for the raffle on Saturday. I used Misti chunky alpaca†† and it was lovely. Soft as alpaca is soft and quick and comfortable...




And look at the colour! It's called "Marina Melange" and it has wisps of green and deep purplish-blue in among the tealish colour. I could have stared at it for hours,‡‡ just wrapping my eyes around the depth of the shades.

See?




In a quick field trip to some of the fluffly little shops across from the Coral Room, I found the perfect card on which to write content and washing instructions:




Perfect for me, I mean. And the fact that it came with 11 other cards just like it? Bonus!

[SUMMARY: I'm a total package kind of girl.]

Finally, I finished the four-at-once socks.

As anticipated, the difference in sizes caused most of the headaches, but they were very small headaches. Not even headaches so much as exercises in brow furrowing. They hardly hurt a bit.

I think I'll do six at once next. In lace. Different laces for each pair. Then I can tell if it's difference period or just difference in size that makes the... difference.

Sort of like a double-blind study.§§








[SUMMARY: I have superpowers!]

Happy story:

The orange yarn is Hobby Kids from Schoeller + Stahl, left over from a pair I knit for Brother. I figured I wouldn't have quite enough for all four socks. When I went to look for more, I found the yarn has been discontinued.

Paradise Fibers showed they had ten balls of Hobby Kids in red, so I ordered one. They called me that night to say, "Oops! There was an error on our website. Can we send you [some other yarn] instead? Please leave us a message."

I told them I needed the same gauge, same basic tweedy colour scheme and fully machine washable and dryable.

Nobody at Paradise Fibers ever checks their messages. I got about four phone calls and three emails the next day, all from different people.% When I got the yarn, it's 83% wool and wholly unsuitable.

I had to be down in Littleton for random work reasons, so I stopped by A Knitted Peace. That's where I got the original orange yarn. I had no illusions that they would have more of the Hobby Kids, but I thought maybe they'd have SOMETHING.

Guess what?

They happened to have two balls of green^ Hobby Kids in the back. They collect yarn for the women's correctional facility to use in making charity knitting projects, and someone had donated it. So they didn't charge me.@

Oh, happy!

[SUMMARY: Good things come to those who wait 'til the last minute.]

Funny story:

I dropped by the Household du Brother Monday to drop off the socks.¶¶ Dr. Doom ran into the living room in his underpants, excited to get his socks.## Tallest, Hairiest Nephew also came in to see what the fuss was about, although he apparently forgot his underpants. And all other clothing.

Upon seeing the aunt and the open door, he covered his privates and fell to the ground. As he crawled to the pile of clothing on the coffee table,††† eBeth said, "Remember when I told you to put underwear on? Wouldn't that have been a good idea?"‡‡‡

So they both put on socks and wandered around in their underwear making appreciative noises.§§§ Just as I was leaving, Dr. Doom whipped off his underwear and went puttering around in nothing but his new socks.

[SUMMARY: Naked is the new black.]

I'm mildly disturbed that it's so easy for me to get my nephews out of their pants.

Then again, I haven't tried... do you think handing a pair of socks to The Spelling Bee Champ would entice him to remove his?


FOOTNOTE (crossed): Honestly, I don't know if I ever knew there was such a thing. And it's a little scary to think I spent that much last year at my SECONDARY LYS, but look! Customer appreciation!

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): That's a 10% ROI. I couldn't have done any better with a Certificate of Deposit.

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): Speaking of delivery, the baby was born Monday. That makes this blanket a personal record for me, being both finished and presented (OK, OK... but I'm taking it tonight or tomorrow morning) within days of birth. My brother assured me long ago that hand-knit baby blankets don't have to be finished by the time the baby arrives. In fact, he tells me, they don't even have to be finished that soon after the baby arrives. Good thing, too. Christa just got Jeron's baby blanket and he's nine months old. In my defense, it didn't take me that long to knit it, just that long to get it to her.

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): Perhaps my hand-knit gifts should come with a warning that they will not be distributed until the proper photography and cataloguing (I can spell "cataloguing") has taken place.

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): Which, y'know... lots of good. Yelling at Tani for Christa's actions. Very productive.

††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): 100% baby alpaca, which sounds really cruel when you say it out loud to someone.

‡‡FOOTNOTE (doubble-crossssed): OK, I *did* stare at it for hours.

§§FOOTNOTE (two pairs, two circs): Almost nothing like a double-blind study. Mostly the cheerful, blind flailing of the blissfully experimental.

%FOOTNOTE (percented): As you may recognise, this is a mini customer service indictment of Paradise Fibers. They are VERY nice and VERY prompt, but not particularly well organised and they don't appear to ever talk to each other. Or check their messages.

^FOOTNOTE (careted): Which I suspect looks better than the red would have.

@FOOTNOTE (atted): I know, I know... I felt a little wriggly taking charity yarn and told them I'd gladly replace it with two balls of something, but they said they have way more than enough and they'd never miss it. Perhaps it's my Kharmic payout for the raffle scarf.

¶¶FOOTNOTE (little stocking feet): Did I mention it took me until nearly 2:00 in the morning to finish them?

##FOOTNOTE (pounding like the last round of knitting at 2:00 am): It's spring break and they were getting ready to leave for South Dakota. He deemed the socks, "perfect trip socks."

†††FOOTNOTE (are we back to Calgary? It was Easter, after all): Packing, remember. Not a housekeeping issue.

‡‡‡FOOTNOTE (Frankenblog!): The things you get to say when you're a parent. Apparently. Heh.

§§§FOOTNOTE (OK, now I'm dizzy): Have I mentioned recently how marvelous it is that so many people in my life -- particularly everybody I'd ever be inspired to knit for -- is so appreciative? I hear stories from knitter friends all the time about people who aren't thrilled or impressed or... appreciative at all. I may be the luckiest knitter in the world. Even the four-year-old thinks hand-knits are cool.

Where My Peeps At?

First, I want to share my Powerball winnings from last week with you:




Well, not actually share the money, but share the jolly fun of getting a 52¢ return on a $6 investment.

I probably would've shared if I'd won a bazillion dollars too. The picture would have been more impressive.

[SUMMARY: This is as close to Barney as I'm likely to get. Enjoy the moment.]

I'm guessing most of you saw this some time during the Easter season§:




Matt replied when I forwarded it to say, "I think it would be even funnier if they were smoking candy cigarettes and pushing chocolate coins in their little Peep g-strings."

I wondered then just how far I would go for the joke. Would I invest in Peeps and chocolate coins? To what lengths would I go to track down candy cigarettes? How exactly would those blobby little Peeps chickens hold chocolate coins? Could I find a disco ball the size of a tangerine to take it that one step beyond?

Two days later, I got the invitation. We were going to make Peeps dioramas.

[SUMMARY: When good things happen to bad people.]

Apparently, this is a trend sweeping the nation. The Denver Post ran a contest. As did the Washington Post. And the Chicago Tribune. Hell, go Google "peeps diorama," pull up a chair and spend the day.

Several things you should know about hosting a Peeps Diorama Party:
  1. Everything is sticky. A readily available source of soap and water is a must.
  2. Glue guns. Lots of glue guns.
  3. Sharpies don't write on Peeps.
  4. Sticks. Sticks of all sizes and shapes. You don't know how useful sticks are until you don't have the stick you need to make the hairdresser Peep perform a comb-out on the Madonna Peep.
  5. This is theoretical, but I think having coordinating coloured sugars would be good. All Peeps begin as conjoined sextuplets and the separation leaves ugly scars. A little Peep spackle would aid the aesthetic.

Here are a couple of my favourites:

My cousin Hannah...




Made this Peeps skate park entitled "Peep Park." Note the air the purple Peep is getting off the half-pipe. Totally rad.#




Note the extra-special Marin Peep.††




The youngest of our crew (Lisa, I think) made this Peep Sea Fishing display:




And, me being me, I was partial to Peeps in Space‡‡:




Me? I went a little different route.§§




These embiggen real nice. Go ahead, look.¶¶ You know you want to.




Of course, it wouldn't be Easter without the traditional Easter skull in the verdant veil of spring##:




By the way? Peeps are disgusting. They go very well in hot chocolate, however.

[SUMMARY: More fun than marshmallows should be allowed to have.]

Hmmmm. I bet they'd toast up real nice and festive too.


FOOTNOTE (crossed): Again, maybe not so much in the "give you money" way as the "see what I got" way.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): I may have even converted it to qiviut (I know how to spell "qiviut") just for fun.

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): Some directly from me. And I think this is a lesson learned: don't give you email addy to the crazy chick with the pig-licking fetish.

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): Isn't she cute? She also had these pink and pink and grey high tops with raspberry-coloured laces... I considered jumping her in the parking lot and blaming it on local hoodlums.

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): Or possibly tubular. I'm forty, people. I don't know what skatepunks say these days.

††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): She has a pony tail. That's how you can tell she's me.

‡‡FOOTNOTE (doubble-crossssed): I was too busy scraping the marshmallow film off my jacket, feet and eyelashes to make all the Peeps in Space jokes I wanted to. And the "Jeepers, creepers, where'd you get those Peepers" bit. And the "I only have eyes... eyes... eyes... for you" bit. And the Jabba the Peep bit. And I'm sure something about Uranus. Possibly also something rhyming "penis" with "Venus," though only once the kids had their backs turned.

§§FOOTNOTE (swirled like the beak of a Peep chick): You are so surprised.

¶¶FOOTNOTE (bunny ears!): Why else would they call them "Peeps"?

##FOOTNOTE (dead Peep eyes): I'm probably really lucky the owners of that backboard didn't come to investigate my flash. It wasn't the best neighbourhood.

I'm Number Two!

Just wait 'til you see all the knitting what took place this weekend! There's engineering! Peeps! Drama! Math! Ribs! 100% baby alpaca!

They should have made a reality TiVi series out of my weekend! And my weekend started really early because I had Good Friday off and they closed the office at 3:00 on Thursday!

[SUMMARY: She exclaimed!]

Of course, the pictures are stuck in the camera for the moment,§ so you'll have to wait to share in most of the festivities. Damn it, *I'll* have to wait. And I'm off-my-rocker excited to show you my knitting pictures from this weekend.#

But since there are no pictures in Olympus Limbo for the Saturday night spelling bee, I can recount that particular tale.

[SUMMARY: A spelling bee story? With no pictures? REALLY?!]

The Coral Room hosted a benefit Saturday night for Kristen, who is undergoing cancer treatment, much to the detriment of her modest cash flow.††

There was a big raffle, for which I knit a lovely alpaca scarf and bought my fair share of tickets.

There were drink specials, for which I strayed from my usual glass of Evolution in favour of a chardonnay.

There was the guy who wanted to buy Kelley and I drinks for letting he and his wife sit in our seats to eat, but we asked him to put the cash in the Kristen Kitty instead.

The Platte River Killers played an acoustic set.‡‡

And there was the spelling bee.

[SUMMARY: Cancer takes a lot of effort.]

My first word? Fellatio.§§

There were about 25 people signed up. Most made it through the first round. Most didn't make it through the second round.

I made it to the fourth and final round, and somehow decided the U in boudoir was one vowel too many and lost to he-who-shall-be-known-as-Spelling-Champ, who spelled "aborigine."

I can spell aborigine.

Apparently, my French is a little rusty.

And I could've spelled it right if I'd written in out.

And I'm pretty sure I spelled "idiosyncrasy" correctly in the round before, even though the MC said I was wrong.

And the sun was in my eyes.

*ahem*

I did get some nice parting gifts, including a dictionary, a crossword puzzle book, a $35 gift certificate to the Coral Room¶¶ and some very accomplished kisses from The Spelling Bee Champ, who also got my phone number.##

[SUMMARY: What ego was damaged in the spelling be was totally spackled over in the aftermath.]

So all in all, a good night, though not the win I anticipated.†††

As a funny aside, the final gift in the prize bag was a "green"% light bulb from Wal-Mart.^ When I got home, I flipped on the torchiere (I can spell "torchiere") lamp that I favour over the blasting overhead light and it promptly blew.

I reached into my little bag, pulled out my little light bulb, shed a little light on the subject and went on my merry little way.

[SUMMARY: I fear I used my Kharmic Green Stamps on light and The Spelling Bee Champ will lose my phone number.]

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

I am studiously avoiding saying anything about my tournament brackets. Once again, I picked Duke to win it all. In fact, I filled out seven brackets for seven different pools and put all my basketball eggs in the Duke basket.

Unless the Kansas plane collides midair with the Memphis plane, with both falling to crush the UNC bus, the resulting firestorm taking out Tennessee, let us not speak of this again.

[SUMMARY: Krzyzewski is French for goddamnit.]

Shit. They should have given me Krzyzewski in the spelling bee. I can spell Krzyzewski.


FOOTNOTE (crossed): Any Friday when I can knit for six hours and still start drinking by 3:30 is a good Friday in my book.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): Note the clever (over)use of exclamation points to indicate I don't actually have the pictures to prove it yet, but I want you to be really excited.

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): Why? Because I was up until 1:30 this morning knitting, that's why.

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): See: excited!

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): Y'all have known me awhile now. I hope you are keeping this all in perspective (I can spell "perspective") and knowing deep in your hearts that this may be wayyyyy more exciting for me than for you.

††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): As in, "Despite having health insurance, this is costing her more than $1000 a month out-of-pocket."

‡‡FOOTNOTE (doubble-crossssed): Kind of a departure. They're a metal band, complete with thrashy guitars and muppet voice.

§§FOOTNOTE (y'know... like when you swirl your tongue): To which I said, "If you can't spell it, you probably shouldn't do it." A lesbian (I can spell "lesbian") asked me to sign her autograph book with that quote.

¶¶FOOTNOTE (one Ps... no, wait! Two Ps! Could you use it in a sentence?): The winning prize package was exactly the same, only it was dinner for two at the Coral Room.

##FOOTNOTE (right in the kisser): Of course I did. I don't have so many knee-buckling kisses that I feel I can afford to snub the kisser. Or busser. 'Cause I can spell "busser."

†††FOOTNOTE (triple threat! Beauty, Brains and... uh... Boobs!): Ah, hubris (I can spell "hubris"). Hey, when my church gets off the ground, there will be a lot more saints and a lot less random smiting.

%FOOTNOTE (percented): Which I put in convenient quotes so you'll know I don't mean it was kelly green or moss green, but enviroweenily friendly.

^FOOTNOTE (careted -- see? I can spell "caret"): I know, I know, but they donated. And they donated green, so it could be worse.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Dog's Dinner

We've seen the ads in Interweave Knits to have your pet's fur spun into yarn.

This (from my dear friend Mark in sunniest England) brings it a little too close to home.

Brrrrrrrr...

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Certain Words...

...you just don't misspell. Not in Colorado.


Picture from 9News.com. Story here.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Images of Marin

I will now share with you a pictorial journey of my weekend.

You are so excited. You nearly peed on your feet.

First, I don't want you to feel you're falling behind on the goings-on out my window at work.

This overall view shows you Friday's weather, My Crane, the progress on the high-rise and the lack of arms on top of the 1999 building.




[SUMMARY: I am nothing if not succinct.]

I know some of you were following the saga of the arms on the 1999 avidly and I wanted to be sure you got proper closure.

Also? The billboard debacle of two weeks ago?

Thursday's billboard:




Friday's billboard:




You're welcome.

Friday brought some interesting§ scenes.

Rooftop conference:




And this poor little old guy who apparently is unclear on the concept of the new freedom afforded him by his Rascal scoot-along:




I took this through the sun roof on the Cutest Little Car in the Whole Wide World while stopped in mad traffic Friday afternoon.#




And this out the window of the Cutest Little Car in the Whole Wide World:




For those not in the know, La Bohéme is a strip club and Bridget the Midget% is apparently famous.††

[SUMMARY: No education is ever wasted. Some may be suspect.]

Sunday, I went to see my grandmother. She tells my father I'm the only one of her grandchildren who comes and visits her.‡‡

I want to be sure to get that out there in support of my ongoing bid for sainthood.

[SUMMARY: I know, I know, but I'm convinced enough points will at least get me a t-shirt.]

After Grandma, I decided to stop for a grilled chicken^ sandwich at Arby's and saw this:






I believe that is what they call and attractive nuisance.

OK, maybe not in the spirit of "attractive nuisance," but how can they expect me not to be tempted to turn the entire Arby's off with such clearly-labeled, accessible triggers? That look like mad-scientist switches? I can turn the entire Arby's off while pretending to bring my monster to life.

One more sainthood point for doing nothing but taking the pictures and contemplating the possibilities.

[SUMMARY: Join me in my game of cosmic Skee-Ball.]

This is chronologically out of whack, but I wanted to save the best for last.

Beth, with whom I used to work in Boulder, came from Seattle for a visit. She stayed with Tani and the three of us§§ went shopping in Boulder on Saturday.

This is outside Paper Doll:




The rules?




Do you see what I see?

[SUMMARY: Everybody's doing it...]

Yep, I'm pretty sure you can lick the pig!


FOOTNOTE (crossed): You can stop laughing now.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): Sarah.

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): It's all a matter of perspective. Hans and I were riveted.

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): Beyond the usual antics of the parking lot monitor. See, he used to drive up in a small, silver pick-up truck, run the paid spots off the computer, walk around making note of who was parked where and mete out parking lot justice to those scoff-laws who didn't pay. Then he'd usually get into his small, silver pick-up truck and drive away. If the weather was really nice, he'd take off walking.

We think he may have been demoted, 'cause now he drives in in a little green VW something-or-other and runs the computer and checks the spots kinda half-assedly, then climbs into his car and reads the paper for a couple of hours. We've seen people park and just walk away without paying while he was sitting there in his car and they never get tickets.

The small, silver pick-up truck still comes around, but it's driven by someone else and all he does is pull in and get the cash out of the box while the small, silver truck is still running.

Hans and I are wildly interested in what's going on with parking lot politics. Some day we will snap and go knock on the window of the little green VW something-or-other and ask a series of grueling questions until our curiosity is sated.

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): I was going to see Brass, Bagpipes & Co. with my Dad and his not-girlfriend (and her daughter and granddaughter). I left a little early so I could stop by the yarn store (*ahem*) "on the way," but traffic was such a claustrophobic hell I barely made it in time to his house and had to skip yarn altogether. Oh, the humanity.

%FOOTNOTE (percented): I'd love to give you a link, but I'm pretty sure I shouldn't be looking up "Bridget the Midget" here at work and I'm also pretty sure you shouldn't be clicking over to Bridget the Midget there at your work. I'm saving us all a lot of grief and humiliation.

††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): My latter-day porn star knowledge is limited to Jenna Jameson and Katie Morgan. I don't know that I've ever actually seen a picture of Jenna Jameson, but I love Katie Morgan's HBO gig. Bridget the Midget is all new to me, but Hans says he got a friend a Bridget the Midget video once.

‡‡FOOTNOTE (doubble-crossssed): I win!

^FOOTNOTE (careted): Which sounded righteous and possibly yummy and tasted boiled.

§§FOOTNOTE (curly like a pig's tail): Well, and 10-month old Benjamin, who didn't so much shop as play with his feet.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Really?


HowManyOfMe.com
LogoThere are
0
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?


The website explains there are 303,644,061 people in the US.

There are at least 88,799 last names and 5,163 first names in common usage.

There are 1,518 people with my first name and 972 people with my last name.§

As to how I don't exist?

There are 0 people in the U.S. with your exact name. While both names you entered were found in our database, neither was common enough to make it likely that someone in the U.S. has that name.


Just for your own edification, it apparently isn't actually linked to any census records or courthouse filings. They're just going strictly on odds.

Bastards.


FOOTNOTE (crossed): They didn't explain exactly what they mean by "common usage." That there are at least two people who have that name? That more than 2% of the population has that name? And did they count the Anne Heche character on "Men in Trees," a show I watch for the sheer thrill of hearing a TiVi character say, "Marin, I'm worried about you"?

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): more than 99.99% are female. For the record, I know a male Marin.

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): Proving once and for all that my last name is even weirder than my first name.

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): And I quote.

Friday, March 14, 2008

BTW?

I finished knitting the jellyfish Wednesday night, then wove it in and washed it last night.

I finished the toes on the four-at-once socks and wound the next colour yarn into four balls to switch colours at the feet.

Did I mention I'm switching colours?

I believe I can fly...

Here's How Your Congressman Voted on the NLCS (the subject of an email I received this morning)

Turns out this is a bill in Congress, HR 2016, but my immediate thought was, "Well, he damned well better have voted for the Rockies."

Meme Me

TTHFCIF

Yvette tagged me! Yay, Yvette! Now I don't hardly have to think at all! And I get to talk about myself! It's totally meta!

The Rules:

1. Link to the person that tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself.
4. Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.
5. Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.


The list:


  1. I take my coffee with whitener. I don't need cream or milk, just as long as it's whitened a little. Though sometimes I like it black if I'm having it with a creamy dessert.§ My dad has stopped trying to figure out when or why coffee whitener.
  2. During a thunderstorm once upon a time, a car alarm across the street went off for about six hours. Apparently the owner was out of town. It was one of those alarms that changes voices throughout the alarm process. Now when I hear that brand of alarm go off, I sing along 'cause I know all the words.
  3. When I hit the road, I generally get in the lane I want to be in and stay there. If I have to switch lanes somewhere along the line, I get into my ultimate lane as soon as I can. Some people do this for defensive driving reasons and that's why I *say* I do it, but I really do it because I feel secretly smug about knowing the route so well that I know which lanes end or turn into turn lanes or whatever.
  4. I know exactly how I'm going to handle my Powerball winnings.
  5. I sometimes miss my apartment-dwelling, poverty-laden days right out of college. There was something challenging about it and I really bonded with all my friends who were in the same boat.
  6. I have the same birthday as H. Ross Perot, Helen Keller and Captain Kangaroo.


So now it's your turn, Stacey, Kim, Kelly, Sarah, Angelique and eca. Y'all deserve a moment of structured fun.

Besides, eca thinks she needs something to talk about. ;)


FOOTNOTE (crossed): I hear you out there. I do so think other days. I even occasionally do research. Stop snickering.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): *snarf* If you'd asked for six important things, I'd be hard pressed to come up with that many. The biggest problem here is narrowing the field of non-important.

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): Mmmmmm... dessert. Welcome to Day Five Without Cookies.

ETA #6: as Kelly pointed out, I may have learned to count to four, but I still can't get to six. When she said that, I went back and counted my memettes over and over and over (Stacey = 1, Kim = 2, Kelly = 3... what the hell is she talking about?) before I realised I'd only listed five things in the meme list.

I are a dork.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

'Scuse Me While I Kiss This Guy

More adventures in misunderstanding:

In reading a menu a few minutes ago, I read "Hunan Pork Chops" as "Human Pork Chops."

The scariest part is how unhorrified I was at the idea of Human Pork Chops -- I just looked at the description to see what human-style pork chops might be.

Ad-Man, Master of the Obvious

I was finishing up the jellyfish last night and just let the TiVi run in the interest of getting to bed before it was tomorrow.

I had a good lesson in why I TiVo and skip commercials. Because stuff like this gets stuck in the OCD lobe in my brain and I lie awake composing letters to Kraft™ and I argue with Madison Avenue types about their language choices in my dreams.

Actual words from actual Kraft™ salad dressing commercial:

"More than 50 flavours made with real ingredients!"

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Knitting!

Imagine!

First, can you believe I wasn't stricken by lighting or smitten by a wandering priest yesterday?

No, my friends, I'm still standing. Or, in the interest of full disclosure and complete honesty, sitting.%

Hey, I'm still going for sainthood§ and Carol mentioned "thought, word and deed," or some such nonsense, then Sarah chimed in to clarify how the title saint basically means the PTB at The Church ar 99% positive that person is in heaven,@ and it started to feel complicated, then I decided to start my own church, under which I can be a saint if I damn well please.$

[SUMMARY: So many rules, so little patience.]

I *have* been knitting, though you may not have guessed.

I've been knitting a little on the Noro socks. I've been knitting¶ on the Father's Day socks for Brother. They don't really look that much different than the last time you saw them... just a little longer.

Then there's Mr. Greenjeans:




Mr. Greenjeans even has CABLES now.#




And I showed you the silk for this:




Now it looks like it will be something someday.

The photography still doesn't do the red justice. It's beautifuller than you can imagine looking at it here. And, for those of you interested in such technical details, the Harmony needles totally rock silk. It's the perfect marriage of slidey and grippy.††

When I found out I was invited to the baby shower, mere days before the event, I decided to make a baby blanket because I am insane and believe I have superpowers. But I started the blanket Saturday the 1st and have only knitted two rounds since the shower on the 2nd and here it is, nearly done:




OK, so it mostly looks like a jellyfish,^ and when Mary pulled the unfinished product out of the bag,‡‡ the look on her face didn't say, "Oh, goodness, what a special and lovely blanket!" It said, "If that's the hat that fits the thing that comes out of me, I'm keeping my legs crossed. Forever, if necessary."

*ahem* No need to note I haven't done a significant thing since the shower.

[SUMMARY: I work best on a deadline.]

The brightest new star in my demented constellation is this:




Guess what that is. Go on... guess.


***


***


***


***


***


Give up?

Four socks at once.

See, the Tallest, Hairiest Nephew expressed a desire for socks. I decided Easter would be a good occasion, but I feel I should probably make socks for Dr. Doom as well. I can do two socks at once, why not four?

And that's only sort of a rhetorical question. I asked myself that question yesterday then spent a certain amount of spare time drawing diagrams, doing maths§§ and doing those hand gestures and squints to indicate I was thinking in three-dimensional space.

I had to rip the first try out because Tallest Hairiest Nephew's socks start with 18 stitches and Dr. Doom's socks start with 16 stitches.¶¶ I got them all mixed up and was adding random stitches here and there.

We're OK now. I'm going to have to keep a close eye on the toes.

But once I hit the feet, it'll be smooth sailing.

Until I get to the heels.

But then the legs will be all good again.

I can do it. Can so.

[SUMMARY: Cleopatra...]

Hey! Guess what! Still a knitblog!

Now with added saints!


FOOTNOTE (crossed): Though my near-perfect record of laughing uncontrollably in church -- sometimes during the Lord's Prayer -- should have long given lie to the idea of divine retribution.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): Smote?

%FOOTNOTE (percented): It is a werk day, you know, so I'm exerting myself as little as possible.

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): Back when Annie and I were both old and single (before she got married and ruined it for everyone. And by "everyone," I mean, "me"), we had a running collaborative tale about our pathetic childless, husbandless states. I was St. Marin of the One-Cup Coffee Maker and I was doomed... um, *destined*... to forever be "Aunt" to hundreds of unrelated children, the "extra woman" at dinner parties and a collector of cats and dolls. Trust me, it's not nearly as funny (nor tragic) now.

@FOOTNOTE (atted): And if y'all are interested, I highly recommend James Morrow's "Only Begotten Daughter," a book in which Jesus Christ has a 20th century step-sister and the only criterion for hell is that someone else thinks *your kind* goes there.

$FOOTNOTE (moneyed): I think I'm funny.

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): You can't imagine how slowly the colourwork portion of the Arrrgyles is going. I knit and knit and knit for hours and only get two rounds done. Elves. I need elves. Y'know... like The Sockmaker and the Elves.

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): And gets to do its photo shoot on a *very* clean carpet. Which is a tortured way to segueway into the explanation that I did take before and after photos of the carpet, but they don't look that much different. Trust me... IRL carpet is shiny. Photo carpet wouldn't impress you.

††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): The little-known eighth and ninth dwarves.

‡‡FOOTNOTE (doubble-crossssed): And not a pretty gift bag. I put it in a King Soopers bag and tied the handles in a knot. Mary didn't even know it was a gift; Tani had to nudge it toward her and say, "This is a present too." So you can imagine how that compounded the confused dismay she felt when she opened the homely little bag and found... a blue acrylic jellyfish.

^FOOTNOTE (careted): Cat for Scale was nowhere to be seen when this picture was taken (it was too early and he'd crawled under the covers for a little nap before his mid-early-morning snack). It's currently about 30" in diameter. I'm not even sure how big it SHOULD be to be an effective blanket that will still fit over a carseat (the benchmark mothers have hipped me to). I think I'm going for 36". It seems like a nice, round number. Or maybe 39" because it's a multiple of 13 and that appeals to my prickly dark side.

§§FOOTNOTE (tidal pools of jellyfish...): I know, I know, but I keep thinking someday I'll wake up and the maths thing will click... kinda like when I was playing the oboe.

¶¶FOOTNOTE (little stocking feet): Yes, thank you, it has occurred to me that Dr. Doom's 19-stitch feet and THN's 23-stitch feet will require slightly different jump-off points for the actual feet (to correspond with the slightly different ending points for the toes), and that it will take me slightly different lengths to get to the heels... I'll burn those bridges when I get to them.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Get the Pope on the Line

YESTERDAY

Yesterday was a day of rare virtue.%

I would be smugly self-righteous if Pride wasn't one of the big sins.

I brought and ate oatmeal for breakfast.

I packed my lunch -- a healthy, reasonable lunch of tortellini, apple sauce and pickled green beans. I ate that lunch and only that lunch.^

I stopped at Vitamin Cottage on my way home and got an organic, whole grain, no preservatives burrito and a bunch of stuff for future lunches.

I got home and immediately divided fruits, vegetables, crackers and cereal into individual servings, distributed in zip-seal bags and ready to grab for those woozy early mornings.

I did the dishes, cleaned the kitchen and ate dinner.

I started the laundry.

I vacuumed thoroughly,§ per the steam cleaner instructions, then I steamed half the living room.

I brought the laundry upstairs and folded it.#

I steam-cleaned my way out of the living room and went to bed.

TODAY

I took low-fat, high-fibre cereal and light yogurt for breakfast.

We had a celebratory lunch at work, and I ordered the fish tacos, only eating half my lunch and passing on dessert.††

IF

I can get through tonight and one more day with no sweets, being productive in my home and work life and healthy in my meals,‡‡ I believe that counts as three miracles.§§

[SUMMARY: My grasp of theology is slick and slipping.]

Canonise me, Benedict. I'm a fucking saint.


%FOOTNOTE (percented): I am completely leaving out the part where I was talking to Vickie in the kitchen while I microwaved my oatmeal and she said, "I'm just going to tuck your tag in here... huh. Well..."

"Is it inside out?"

"I think it is."

This wouldn't be the first time for that shirt. It's a button-up but I treat it like a pullover and its seams just aren't obvious enough for me to notice in my morning fog. So I huddled in the least visible corner of my office, turned it right side out and was left with big, white deodorant blotches for the rest of the day. (More about deodorant later in the footnotes. Stay tuned.)

I'm not sure this counts as a defect in virtue, but I worry they don't let dorks become saints.

FOOTNOTE (crossed): Speaking of, did you see the Catholic Church is expanding the list of deadly sins? I do admit that, in researching that to make sure I remain the paragon of education you've come to know and trust, I fell a little in love with the actual words under the Catechism governing sin (paraphrasing, but only just slightly): Mortal sin destroys charity in the heart of man, while venial sin allows charity to subsist but offends and wounds it.

^FOOTNOTE (careted): No between-meal snacks!

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): If anybody doubts my three miracles, this should bolster my claim. Believe me when I tell you I've never cleaned for the sake of cleaning. Oh, sure, if people are coming over or as a matter of public health or I've lost the cat, but I just don't clean for fun. Or even because it's the right thing to do.

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): OK, my vacuum cleaner has this cleaning indicator attached to an electronic eye that monitors the amount of crap being sucked into the vacuum. A lot of crap earns three red lights, then in goes down to two... one... and finally green as the carpet is picked clean. I live and die by the lights. I vacuum slowly, slowly... RED LIGHTS! Sit! Stay! Three red... two red... one red... GREEN! Inch to the next red light, repeat. I am such a dork.

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): The half I wasn't using to fold laundry and knit.

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): If there is any question, this counts as our second auxiliary miracle. I tend to leave the laundry in the dryer overnight when I do it. Then I go down every morning (two-and-a-half flights of stairs, three levels) and pick out an outfit, tossing it into the dryer with a damp cloth to steam the wrinkles out. I dress in the basement (which almost always entails at least one trip back upstairs for shoes or socks or bra or something) and go out the garage from there. Also? I keep my deodorant in the car. There's a reason. You don't need to know it right now. Just take comfort in my current state of martyrdom that I'm putting this forth to make your wacky life seem utterly sane.

††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): I skipped COMPANY SANCTIONED DESSERT. Dessert SOMEONE ELSE WAS PAYING FOR.

‡‡FOOTNOTE (doubble-crossssed): I should probably point out it's the night of Drunken Knitters, so I'll really want a beer. Do I still get my miracle if I drink? Catholics aren't averse to drinking, right?

§§FOOTNOTE (spinning in a sea of beatitude): I believe now would also be the appropriate time to point out (again) that I am suffering through Lenten deprivation even though I'm not Catholic and I think I should get saint points for that.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Your Turn

111

Confession: after six tries.

I know this many countries. I know more. But when faced with the timed challenge, I choke and blurt and stall and freeze and flail.

I try to approach it in an organised fashion, going by continent or north to south.

I usually end up doing a whole bunch of A countries, a pile of B countries and somehow can only come up with the Cayman Islands for C countries, finally banging about the world in a completely frantic manner.

All thanks to Eddie Izzard, I never miss Burundi.

I usually end up in the 75 range, covering completely different countries than the last go-'round. And the go-'round before that.

And I usually spend the last 40 seconds or so goggling at the screen like a guppy.

When it's all said and done, I feel like a moron because I forgot, say, MEXICO.

But y'all have fun. And just because you didn't know the Ross Dependency is considered a country, y'all aren't a moron.


FOOTNOTE (crossed): Zimbabwe! Tobago! Belize! Antarctica! Wait... Antarctica's considered a country?!

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): Doing the math, I should probably be able to name 225 countries in any one sitting, time allowing. But I'm only allowed to know 75 countries at any given moment. Apparently.