Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Holiday Conversations with Father

Marin: Omigosh! I didn't know there was a book on Bill Watterson!

Father: I know.

Brother: Dude, you got her a book? That's pretty gutsy.

Marin: Yeah! You got me a book? Me?

Father: If you had known the book was out, I would have heard about it from you.

And that, my friends, sums up many, many aspects of my life, my personality and my relationship with my family.§

[SUMMARY: You're welcome.]

And happy holidays.

FOOTNOTE (crossed): With the inscription, "Maybe you'll finally find out why Calvin & Hobbes disappeared." My father knows what troubles me.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): Don't tell, but I will actually completely clam up about something -- even hid its existence -- if I want to get it for somebody else for Christmas or birthday. Wouldn't it have been funny if I got that same book for Dad for Christmas?

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): Deep stuff, people. Fitting for end-of-year-end-of-decade rumination.

Monday, December 21, 2009

I Shill, Therefore I Am

At least this time I'm selfish about it.

For the first time in my writerly life, I entered a writing contest. Brother told me a couple of years ago that I should, and I've been following a particular outfit for awhile, thinking someday it would be fun to enter.

[SUMMARY: I am a complex and deliberate creature.@]

NYC Midnight sponsors Tweet Me a Story, a contest wherein entrants tell a story in 140 characters or less.§

There were twenty groups in the first round, each consisting of about 26 people. Each group got a word which had to be used in the story, unaltered.# Each group member could submit up to three stories for consideration.

That particular round ended on December 8.

Then the panel of esteemed judges†† deliberated and picked 25 stories out of each group.

[SUMMARY: The suspense builds...]

From here, the top voted story in each group will go to the final round, along with four stories chosen by said panel of esteemed judges, for a total of 100 contestants in the final round.

They are now open for voting on the first round.‡‡

The final round will also be open to voting,§§ and the top voted story will receive $100, plus a story chosen by our now-familiar panel of esteemed judges will receive $100.¶¶

As it turns out,## all three of my entries in the first round made the judges' cut and now we're up for voting.


So, y'know, if you find my words worthy, I'd be delighted for your vote.%

Should you wish to tell all your family and friends that all you want for Chrismakwanzakuh is for your dear old AntiM to go to the Tweet Me a Story gold medal round, that'd be cool too.†††

FOOTNOTE (crossed): Well, except for the literary magazine in college. I should probably mention -- both in the interest of full disclosure and under the auspices of blowing my own horn -- that I flat out won that one. They gave me 100 unexpected dollars, then promptly took it away for library fees.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): Sometimes it takes me time to deliberate about important stuff.

@FOOTNOTE (atted): I can hear you laughing.

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): Duh.

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): Note the clever and subtle application of past tense to let you know where we are in this saga. That's why I'm the big rock star writer I am today -- subtlety and cleverness.

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): If the word is penguin, you can't make it penguins or penguin's, for instance.

††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): I believe that is the exact term used on the NYC Midnight website. I've come to think of them as The Panel of Esteemed Judges in a big, echo-y god voice.

‡‡FOOTNOTE (doubble-crossssed): All that foreshadowing from the first sentence is coming home to roost. Damn, I have a knack for this literary device stuff.

§§FOOTNOTE (what goes around...): So we may come back to this in a couple of weeks.

¶¶FOOTNOTE (kaching kaching): I know it doesn't sound like much, but that's some fine vodka or cashmere. Maybe a little of both. And this time, there are no library fees to be deducted.

##FOOTNOTE (pounding the subtle into your head): Did you notice the subtle again? And the humble? It's a big ol' whack in the head of subtle and humble.

†††FOOTNOTE (holy cats, that's a lot of cross to bear): That's me, Group 17, word: "witness." You have until, say, January 4 at midnight eastern time.

‡‡‡FOOTNOTE (the path to sainthood is bumpy): Turns out saints are not above stuffing the ballot box.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

It Just Keeps Getting Better

I am just so charmed right now.


So I was checking out the list of vendors participating in the second annual free shipping day, and one in particular lept out at me.

I could so be their spokesblogger.§

FOOTNOTE (crossed): Now that the holiday season goes Kay Jewelers Holiday Ad Kick-Off Day (Oct 15), Store Decoration Day (Oct 30), Chiropractor's Card Mailing Day (Nov 15), Black Thursday (formerly known as Thanksgiving), Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Free Shipping in Time for Christmas Day (Dec 17)... our advent calendars are going to have to be displayed in installments.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): Practically grabbed me around the throat. Does anybody else get abnormally tickled to see their name? Or is it just us weird name folks?

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): At *least* their patron saint.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I Love My Broncos

And my Broncos love me right back.

Friday, December 4, 2009

You're No Gypsy, Fredo

I thought of a chicken thing!

[SUMMARY: You are so excited!]

I flipped on the TiVi Monday night and it warmed up to the beginning of Wheel of Fortune. Pat was asking the contestants to tell us a little bit about themselves. The first guy wanted to say, "Hi!" to his four dogs and his wife§ and Pat asked him a couple of leading questions about the dogs.

The next contestant was a woman who mentioned her husband and kids, and Pat, tongue-in-cheek, asked if she had any pets she wanted to say, "Hi!" to.

"We have seven chickens, Pat."

"Seven chickens? What are their name? Do they have names?"

"They do, Pat. There's Kung Pao, Fricassee, Alfredo..."

I thought it was pretty funny.

[SUMMARY: You are so laughing!]

What's more, I thought, "Chickens! I have to remember to share that with all my blogfriends! 'Cause it's *chickens*!"

Then four hours passed and I lost it, but trying to remember where I put my Chase credit card this morning, I remembered the chicken story.#

[SUMMARY: You are so lucky!]

In other chicken news, Red, most-favoured pirate chicken of Marybeth, may be a rooster. Which would make him ineligible for city living. And Marybeth would have to send him to live on a farm.

Just like your dad did with your dog when you were four.

[SUMMARY: Euphemism?&]

And guess what? I got a lovely perfume sample in the mail from Ineke††, so perfume too!%

It's Friday. It's a good day. Keep your fingers crossed for Red.


Field Notes from Paris - Ineke

Marin says: Love may not be too strong a word.

It's funny because this evolves in my head as something maybe I shouldn't like and I don't know why -- like a guilty pleasure, only I can't even tell you why I'd be sheepish about it.‡‡

There's a splash of sweet lime in the beginning. Like almost all citrus, it levels out quickly and leads to the most intoxicating, elusive blend of... what? I would swear there's a touch of patchouli in there, but I can't quite catch it. It's not as earthy as some patchouli, not as dark as some patchouli and definitely not as strong as most patchouli. A patchouli of song and light?§§

Something woody, but I can't put my finger on what breed of wood. Tobacco flower, definitely -- it's one of my best scents and I can usually pick it out of a crowd. Maybe the wood is tobacco leaf. It has a sweetish tang I associate with tobacco.

The more it settles in, the more it reminds me of some of the exotic pipe tobaccos I've sniffed in my years of trying to find gifts for my father.

Then the sweeter, rounder elements mellow back in the mix and an oil slick of... leather? Salt? Clean sweat?¶¶ settles on top.

I think this smells the way I want a man to smell, but I find it not unfeminine. Maybe there's a white flower floating around, keeping it from being all horses and testosterone. In any case, it may be the perfect unisex fragrance.

Ineke says: Field notes from Paris is inspired by Ineke's halcyon days studying perfumery in Paris and Versailles. It captures the romantic, nostalgic feeling of sitting at a cafe and writing in a journal while lingering for hours over a cafe creme.

This "woody oriental" structure combines the warmth of tobacco flower and leaf$ with the vintage perfumery notes of coriander seed@, patchouli$ and tonka bean. Field Notes from Paris is an enigmatic scent with a warm, comforting presence.##

Top notes: Coriander Seed, Orange Flower, Bergamot
Middle: Tobacco Flower & Leaf, Patchouli, Cedar
Base: Tonka Bean, leather, Beeswax, Vanilla

Hans says:

Marin: "I really like this one. I probably shouldn't tell you that."

Hans: "Oh, great. Now I'm not objective. Ooooh. I like it too. It's got some spice@, like... cinnamon and... spice. And everything nice.

"You can quote me on that."

FOOTNOTE (crossed): Which sounds like the tawdry confession of a dirty little fetish.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): Remember back in the day when the TiVi had to warm up -- and cool down? It kinda tickles me that my state-of-the-2006-art HDTV has to warm up like when I was a kid.

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): In that order.

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): Hence, the Fredo blogtitle.

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): And tomorrow, when I'm trying to find my cookie scooper or my size 9 Addy Turbos, I'll probably run across my Chase credit card.

&FOOTNOTE (ampersanded): Actually, Marybeth does have a friend with extraurban farm space who could take Red. So not entirely a euphemism. Then again, said friend said she couldn't guarantee Red wouldn't end up as Sunday dinner. The suspense continues...

††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): From whom I got the lovely A-E scent collection last year, only I can't find the blogpost to link to to remind you because they made me go to IE 2, the stone age version, at work and the search function doesn't work anymore.

%FOOTNOTE (percented): I saw the headline for this on Nathan's blog and I couldn't read it because I didn't want his review to influence me, so I've been cold and lonely and Nathanless for *weeks*.

‡‡FOOTNOTE (doubble-crossssed): Sheep! Like knitting! WOOT for the KNITBLOG!

§§FOOTNOTE (spin goths! SPIN!): Did you hear that? That's the sound of a thousand goths spinning in their graves.

¶¶FOOTNOTE (nod with me): These scents are TOTALLY related.

$FOOTNOTE (on the money!): I'm giving myself a little leeway on mixing up sweet lime with orange blossom and bergamot, but deducting points for not recognising tonka bean. It's a wash.

@FOOTNOTE (atted): Two important notes (ha! pun!) on coriander: 1) I don't have the slightest idea what coriander seed smells like, as it turns out, and 2) Hans now claims that the "spice" he was talking about was coriander seed.

##FOOTNOTE (holiday pounds): That's what I said! Not as succinctly, but surely that's what I was talking about when I said it smelled the way I'd like a man to smell.


Thursday, December 3, 2009


Have you ever run into someone, say, in line at the grocery store... someone you haven't seen in ten or fifteen years?

In the two or three interruptable minutes you have, you try to catch up.

That's how I feel right now.

It's not really that anything major has happened that anybody needs to know about. That would be easy. It's that this blog isn't about major things. This is about teeny, tiny little muses of fluff. There have been a LOT of fluff muses in the last *mumblemonthormoremumble*.

[SUMMARY: Facebook lifestyle got me down.]

I really wish I could share some of the funny, witty, clever, wicked, brilliant thoughts I've had,§ but I only remember them for about four hours and they're all gone now.

So let's start with knitting, since once upon a time, this was STILL A KNITBLOG.

I finally finished the last two of the six-at-once socks.# I wear them often.†† I'm mostly pleased with how they look, but I have to admit that the Shibui sock is so tightly twisted that it's noticably rough on the feet. I know they'll last longer than nice, soft socks, but I think I'll be seeking nice, soft sock yarn from here on out.

I am currently knitting a fabulous sweater‡‡ for Dr. Doom. I'm so excited about it I'm practically vibrating, but I think I'll wait until it's done so you're all surprised and stuff.

[SUMMARY: Blah blah knit blah blah blah knit knit blah.]

I get to go on an airplane next week. The payoff for being allowed to fly on company dollars is that I have to go to Houston. And answer questions from potential buyers at an auction. Two days of misery, but did I mention I get to ride an airplane?

[SUMMARY: The glamourous life of a petroleum landman.]

I gently declined to spend Thanksgiving with my family and ordered my dinner from a local gourmet market. I shopped Old Navy at noon, had some dinner and went to the Broncos game by myself.§§

TRAGIC NOTE: This dreck has taken me two days¶¶ to slog through. I don't know what's wrong with me, but I think we should all cut our losses and look at something shiny. Tomorrow may be a better day.

To make up for it, please help yourself to one free holiday song download every day in December from Amazon.com.##

FOOTNOTE (crossed): All the while wondering if you should mention or avoid that night backstage with the tangled scrim and the masking tape.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): We can blame Facebook for part of this. Facebook sucks a lot of time out of me. I'm trying to learn to control it, but it's been a long road to recovery.

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): You just *know* I've had dozens of brilliant, clever thoughts.

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): Old... feeble...

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): Though I didn't bind off loose enough and they get stuck partway up my calf and slouch there.

††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): Despite the binding and the slouching.

‡‡FOOTNOTE (doubble-crossssed): And just discovered last night that in adding an inch under the arms when I put the sleeve holes on holders, I added an inch to the body of the sweater and am now trying to figure out a way to take it in by two inches that will 1) make it look like I meant to do that, and 2) be removable so he can wear it an extra year if he wants to.

§§FOOTNOTE (a fine turn of events): And have discovered that one or both of the following must happen for the Broncos to win: 1) I must go to the game by myself. 2) Van Walker can not be advertising his Bronco Slappy bandwagon fandom for his beliked Broncos on Facebook.

It has *nothing* to do with the team.

For those of you scoring at home, the Raiders should beat the Broncos by about 83 points, since I'm taking three people to that game.

¶¶FOOTNOTE (bock bock): And there aren't even any chickens.

##FOOTNOTE (murder by numbers): I'm not getting anything for this -- I just heard about it and thought I'd share.