••• Monday, September 29, 2003

Sing a Song of Shell Shawls
Rachael's done with her Shave along Wawl, and it's beautiful. She's not only done, but the piece has already been gifted to its intended designee (I'm sorry, Grammar warriors, if that is redundant. And if so, I apologize).

I'm almost envious of Rachael, because I'm not even half done with my shawl. But I'm also wondering if she's maybe almost envious of me, as well. Because I still have about 35 inches of Indulgence to play with before it's over.

In matters of knitting, size matters. But when it comes to matters of knitting with Indulgence, I'm enjoying a slow hand.

Back to Work
The school year almost always starts off a bit slow for me. It usually takes a few weeks for the pooh to start flying and the need for my services evident (the need is always there, just not always evident). ::for the record, I'm a mental health type servicing sp. ed. students in school environment::

One of my favorite things about my job is the opportunity to work magic between a student who is wreaking havoc in the classroom and the teachers who want to throttle him.

Last Friday I facilitated a meeting between such a student, his teachers and his mom. The stated goal of the meeting was to design a behavior plan to address the behaviors in question. The outcome of the meeting was an improved, mutual understanding and appreciation between the teachers and student, and a decision that a behavior plan was not necessary. ::I love it when a good plan doesn't come together::

Of course this is just a thumbnail. I'll just say that sometimes my job is a beautiful thing. This was one of those times.

Also last Friday, on the heels of a beautiful thing, I was thrust into a seamier, uglier place. The place where politics, lawyers, budgetary restraints, fear, pathology and heartbreak collide. I became an unwitting cog in a machine of questionable efficacy and purpose, amidst the undeniable stench of big dawgs pissing territorial.

As nasty as the latter scenario is (and likely to worsen), I wouldn't have my job any other way.

Without ugly, beauty is just a thang.

••• Saturday, September 27, 2003

My Daughter the Headboard
I wanted to sub title "Never a dull moment" but it didn't exactly fit, in that if all I have to offer here are boring shots/stories of me and mine, then it stands to reason that there are "many a dull moment" round here.

This is what I walked in on this morning. "Momma See!"

I know, cute.

Until I came to this upload:

I know, scary.

What's your daughter going to be for Halloween?

A bed.

More Family Drivel
Last night one of the Herbie the Love Bug movies was playing on the Hallmark channel. There was a scene in the movie where the Helen Hayes character was trying to pick up a a drunken rancher on a hijacked SF cable car. I was only half paying attention but I remember thinking..."Ana, it's almost the story of how momma met daddy!"

Next thing I knew, The Cakers is pointing to the TV yelling "Momma, Nat-ten! Momma Nat-ten!." It sounded like she was trying to say "kitten." But there was no kitten on the TV. There was, however, Helen Hayes knitting continental while working her mojo on the besotted one. ::Now the story line was really hitting home::

Cakers was trying to say "knitting." Isn't that just adorable?

Oh...Now I'm feeling a bit verklempt.

Please, barf amongst yourselves.


••• Thursday, September 25, 2003

The Meek Shawl Inherit the Mirth
I have about 18 inches done on the Wave Along. I don't really think I'll be posting many more pictures of updates, at least for awhile. It seems kind of...well...repetitively redundant. It's not like it has a developing color scheme or shape. It's just more of the same, only longer.

House of Cards
Last weekend we took The Cakers to a neighborhood street fair. They had local bands and choirs for entertainment and there were booths of various crafty/political/esoteric/munchable persuasions.

The Cakers really enjoyed dancing to a local Irish group. My daughter's soul seems to have some connections to this type of music, as her dance moves were remarkably reflective of the sounds and rhythm.

I paid $5.00 for a Tarot reading that revealed I was enjoying the happiest time of my life. This was reflected through The Sun card in the apex position. I have no argument with the projection. I am deliciously happy, and I can't remember my life ever being this good.

But my "inner worrier" focused on the possibility that from "the apex", one could only go downhill. My husband reminded me that I paid 5 bucks for information that I probably could have intuited myself, for free. And if I kept up the morose attitude, everyone's happiness quotients would rapidly decline.

I also picked up this bit of history from a vintage clothier. It's circa late 70's, likely something my mother wouldn't have been caught dead in. We were poor, but we had standards.

I wasn't real happy with this picture. My husband took several shots, but could not stay away from my double chin.

Through my attempts to crop a chin, I somehow ended up as a quadruple-chinned Retro-Rorschach. I think the jacket is haunted by the spirit of the rare mescaline zebra.

Today's Lesson: What God hath in the attic, let no man take for plunder.

••• Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Is That a Tomalley in Your Pocket or are You Just Happy to See Me?

This weekend my husband and I read the following on the Daily Special marquee of a local seafood restaurant:


It's a unique concept, that's for sure, but I'm curious as to the rationale behind such a promotion. Assuming the lobsters are just lounging around, are they hoping you'll come in for a brisk bisque nooner, and fall for a crusty redhead you'd like to have later for dinner? And aren't there sanitation and safety issues to consider? You'd think the Society for the Safe Cracking of Crustaceans would be on this like Anna Nicole Smith on a seafood buffet.

We thought about stopping in just to quench our curiosity, but we were both wearing sandals and thought that would be just too creepy crawly.

Gawd. I can't believe I just wrote this post and worse, am considering hitting the "publish" button.

What's wrong with me?
What have I become?

It's gotta be the "stuff."

Momma always said "Never play pocket pool in public with alpaca."
Momma knew and I shoulda listened.

••• Saturday, September 20, 2003

Shawl Shell Redemption?
I'm playing in the Wave Shell Shawl Knit-along with the kids over at Rachael's.

For those who remember or wonder about anything remotely knitty around this place:
The Nantucket
I stuck it.

Although I had already tinkered with the idea of temporary abandonment, I was easily lead to the decision by a kind commenter (Barbara, I believe) who dittied me permission to put it away until spring.

I'm knitting the shawl (I consider it more of a wrap) out of white Indulgence I purchased from The Thread Bears. It was a steal at 9 bucks/skein, normally $18.

I know I've typed incessantly about this "stuff", but knitting with it is even more decadent than "feeling up" the skein. The sickness evolves.

Thursday night I worked on the wrap for a couple of hours, then put it out of Danger Mouse range (not to be confused with Danger Girl ) on the snack bar in the kitchen. As I was leaving for work the following morning, I saw the "stuff" sitting there and experienced a strong emotional reaction to the thought of leaving it behind. So I stuffed the "stuff" in a brown sack and took it with me, for the sole purpose of having it near.

It's almost like having an attachment to a "blankie" (or "get" per The Cakers), only more adult. The tactile expression of the "stuff" as fabric is truly indecent. Between tasks or during phone calls at work, I fondled it in the bag, all day.

I've become a pervert. And I am not ashamed.

Here's a wrap on the wrap as of Thursday evening. I've added about two inches since then, but no time/energy/battery reserves to update photo.

And the obligatory close-up:

The pattern is easy (and fast on size 10's) but (of course) I've done some frogging and tinking*, mostly because of relative interference. There's a four-inch garter border, and I practically giggle with relief at the end of every row when the pattern ends where the border begins.

The wrap is intended for my mom, as a Christmas gift. I'm not a shawl/wrap person, but I'm foreseeing some difficulties giving this up in the end.

A little wave.
A little shell.
With perverse Indulgence,
I'm going to hell.

*Tink is Knit spelled backwards, denotes "unknitting" stitch by stitch, as opposed to Frogging, which represents "rip it" which sounds like "rib-bit". This is Yahoo Knitlist lingo, although it may be more universal. But I wouldn't know. I don't get out much.

••• Friday, September 19, 2003

TGITLAPD! Let's Splice the Mainbrace! 

Ahoy there me hearties and otherwise fine mateys of the knittin' bloggin’ world. Unless you’ve been a livin’ with the bilge rats, ye must be knowin’ t'day be the Talk Like a Pirate Day.

So....say one say all, say Yo-ho-ho to a swashbucklin' adventure.

Singin a Sad Shantey
Argh. Today, me buckos, I be hangin’ the jib.

Why, ye might say?

Yarr. Last night I be workin’ on me new blog post and before I hit the poopdeck, I be sure to save it. So this mornin’ I return to me blog spot for a quick titivatin’ of the piece before me final publish. And shiver me timbers, what do I find? Nothing. Me beauty be gone to Davy Jone’s locker.

Me first thought be Blimey! Me next thought be to find the scallywaggin’ bilge rat who commandeered my literary booty. But seems the hornswaggler weighed anchor under the darkness o'night, leavin’ me nothing but a hole in me mizzenmast and the strong need for the clap of thunder.

This be me final declaration in the matter: If I chance t’overhaul the swabs responsible, I'll be a-sure t'look’m straight in the deadlights fore inflictin' a smartly taste o’ the cat-o’nines. Argh!

If readin' this post makes ye wonder if you've turned squiffy or had a bit much o'the grog, try this and this.

••• Monday, September 15, 2003

A few weeks ago, my blog sister Amy made reference in a post to the VH1 series I Love the 70's.

Side note: Amy and I started blogging at almost exactly the same time, our blogs look a lot alike (but not twins) and we continuously find things we have in common, usually via blog content serendipity.

During the last two weeks of August, I managed to watch every episode of I Love the 70's. I did enjoy the entire series, but the episodes covering my high school years didn't hold much interest for me, as there wasn't much I could relate to. Evidently I didn't pay much attention to iconic culture outside the bioshere of my teendom.

The "I love 1970" episode was my favorite and I was riveted by the sampling of cultural trivia and phenomena, much of which I had long forgotten. Probably the biggest hook, for me, was the segment on The Brady Bunch.

I must confess, I loved my Brady Bunch.

I know that the Brady Bunch was dorky and unrealistic (as Amy has already testified). But Marcia Brady was the only other Marcia I "knew" who wasn't someone's spinster aunt, a foul-breathed bus driver or a purple-haired meany who worked at the corner 5 & 10. Plus, Marcia Brady and I were the same age, in the same grade, had the same last initial, and we both had long, straight, shiny hair.

The commonalities definitely ended there. Marcia Brady enjoyed the plush world of upper-middle class suburbia. I was an inner-city urchin who liked to scale the lumberyard walls to pet the guard dogs. I also enjoyed standing on the expressway overpass to make semi drivers honk by plunging my fist into the air. Marcia Brady wouldn't be caught dead...

I lived just a few hundred feet from railroad tracks, and sometimes went trolling Hobo lairs in search of money. (true story). The other MB was so smart, super-cool and with-it, she'd have figured right off that such an endeavor would be not only stupid and dangerous, but less than lucrative.

I actually enjoyed the entire Friday night line-up of 1970, which included the Brady Bunch, Partridge Family and Love American Style. Every Friday evening, my younger sister and I were allowed to share one 12 ounce can of store brand pop. No ice. The "splitting of the can" was a weekly ritual that always began with an argument over who would get the honors, followed by each of us kneeling in front of the table to eyeball the results, up close and personal. Any perceived imbalance (we're talkin' a quadzillionth of a nanohair) between the two glasses would prompt an accusation of underhanded pouring, which was immediately followed by a protest from the accused. Next was an all out bickerfest, which continued until my mother stepped in with a most generous offer to open another can.....of the whoopass variety.

We'd finally settle our butts, side by side, on the orange shag wall-to-wall carpeting* to watch the shows. My mom usually sat at her sewing machine in the kitchen, or read in the living room.
*what other kind of carpeting is there? Isn't anything else known as a rug?

We weren't allowed to drink in the living room so at commercial breaks we'd both scamper to the kitchen for a sip. We'd never let the other go by herself, of course, because we had to guard against pilfering. ::And think of the tiny sips we had to take to make six ounces of pop last even an hour:: Despite the contentious relationship with my sister, our Friday night ritual was special and sacred. And even though we watched TV on Saturday nights too, there was no pop ritual no special routine and we had to take baths.

I've been thinking about writing this post for weeks now. While I sort of knew what I wanted to say, the process of bringing it "out here" in a logical way, seemed overwhelming and complicated. And I'm still not sure if I can tie it up, all neat and purty.

But I'm gonna try....'cause I gotta get on with my life.

Watching "I Love 1970" conjured up for me very special, happy recollections. But here's the weird part: In February of 1970, my father died, after a brief battle with cancer. So in terms of the Universal Calendar, 1970 is on record as the worst year of my life.

So I guess my point here is about amazement. Amazement at the power (and inherent wisdom) of the human psyche. Amazement at how simple routine and ritual can provide a child with a framework of safety, comfort and predictability, in the face of debilitating pain and loss. Amazement that that when all is said and done, the power of remembering a happy event or simple act of affection can win out over devastation.

So here's to amazement. And here's to 1970, the Worst Year of My Life.

P.S. This Urban Myth was popular when I was in high school. Of course we didn't call it an urban myth, we called it a true story because my best friend Alice's brother John knew someone who knew the person it happened to. I remember cranking the stereo and screaming when I heard the scream. The myth around these parts was that the recording was of a person being stabbed while riding the roller coaster. Which is about as logical as rolling a hobo.

••• Saturday, September 13, 2003

Please Standby
I've been working on a lengthy post for a couple of days, and it's still not ready. I've been short on typing and thinking time, and my husband has called dibs on the computer for the rest of the weekend.

In the meantime, I'll entertain you not with some old magnet poetry. I created some pretty cool ditties, back in my magnet poetry heyday. Unfortunately, it never occured to me to record any of them until just before the magnetic era in our household came to an abrupt end.

Alas, I only recorded these last three creations, and they're not my best work.

summer crush
winter lust
spring urges
fall we must

puppy drool
a delicate mist
gone mad

breasts fall
after the
apparatus recall

Blog Alerta
If you haven't yetta...
Gotta getta bitta Greta.

Nothing new on the knitting scene. I've yet to untangle the cotton blend mangle. I did make two more garter squares for my afghan. I'm feeling torn between continuing with the Brocade or moving on to more compulsory knitting duties. I'd hoped to wear the Brocade during the transistional fall weather, but I'm thinking by the time I'm donewith it, I'll be wishing I'd been working more woolie.

What to do
With bane Nantucket?
Just plod along
Or just plain chuck it?

••• Wednesday, September 10, 2003

L'il Re-Miss Thang (The Re-mix) 

I seem to have a bad case of Blog Lag ("Blag" if you will") and have been remiss in my blogging duties. This seems to be the result of a variety of forces colluding against me in my quest to maintain the bloglife style to which I have become accustomed. Five of these forces have names and live in my house. Two of the five are furry..well three are furry, at least sort of.

I truly love and cherish all the creatures who have been assigned to me for the purpose of physical and emotional nurturing. But some days I indulge myself in a little fantasy where I gather everyone into a room (I stand closest to exit) and proclaim that I'm not ready for a serious relationship after all. Maybe we'd all be better off as "just friends."

"What does that mean?" might the new Friend Formerly Known as Husband ask. It means cook your own food, wash your own clothes and buy your own dang computer to hook up to your own blessit phone line. To the teenager it means all those things plus a reminder that "friends" give "friends" more than 45 minutes notice to attend a mandatory school function that's been on the daily announcement scrolling marquis since the first day of school.

To the dogs and cats...it means cleaning up your own puke after a night of revelry, which seems to include binging on poop and mouse entrails down at the corner lot. In all fairness, the dog is usually pretty friendly about cleaning up after both himself and the cat. He even helps clean the litter box. But yesterday was an exception (you might guess what he'd been eating). And today I only wish to purge the piling pool of intruding thoughts about the clean-up.

I really love taking care of all my goofballs. I'm just asking for a little less talkin' barkin' mewin' eatin' goofin' poopin' pukin' and 'puter hoggin', so we can all be on our way to a beautiful relationship.

Everybody Loves Ramen...
...noodles for a quick snack, but not for knitting. I had to frog a sweater to get more yarn for the Nantucket and it ended up looking like this:

I did finish the back of the Nantucket Brocade but cannot proceed until I deal with the noodles.

I want Brocade
To finish fasta.
But first must deal
With bowl of pasta.

Editor's Note: I began this post on Sunday but didn't finish/ publish until today. It was originally published today under Sunday's date but I recently cutnpasted to current 'cause it was buggin' me.

••• Thursday, September 04, 2003

Sukilent Absolution  

A little tuck here,
A little tuck there,
Some fabric glue
'Bout everywhere.

...and a Pseudo-Psuki at your pleasure.

Praise the Hoard (of works in progress) and rack me up an effin' FO.

I didn't cut the strap, but folded the ends and sewed them a bit deep. I think it's dandy, and hopefully handy.

My husband is relieved that all is well. I think he was growing weary (and anxious) of the need to offer hollow assurances that the Suki was "looking good" ("but....is it supposed to be that big?")

Just a Minute to Myself???

Making progress
On Brocade Nantucket,
Like bobbin' for amoebas
In a leaky bucket.

We bought The Cakers some finger puppets at the zoo. She'll bring them to me and demand a show. Then she'll toddle off and I'm free to knit until she returns for an encore performance. Tonight, she upped the ante-lope, and insisted that I wear the puppets while she played at leisure.

Nothing like a little tension breaker. To say nothing of the inherent difficulties in facilitating healthy relationships between links on the same food chain.

It's a jungle in here.

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••• Tuesday, September 02, 2003

Mired in the Mucket 

Inches down
Brocade Nantucket
Big mistake
Had to pluck it.

But I recovered well and am about 3 inches from finishing the back.

Scarce Post Week Warning:
1)Husband commandeers computer for most of weekend and upcoming week.

2) Teen age son waits one year (for an automatic transmission) to work on driver's permit mileage. Now he's on fire to get license in time to drive new girlfriend to homecoming festivities in October.

We've been driving and driving (Although I send him secret automatic transmissions which rhyme with Nantucket because he's had a whole year to do this ....but I also need him to be able to drive his saggin' self places so I don't have to).

And even though it's a pain and I have to bite myself to keep from saying..."Do you remember me saying you really need to get your hours in...all last year?" we are getting in some great one-on-one time and it's fun to see the improvement in skills from day to day. And it's even greater fun that he must both defer and be really, really nice to me at the same time. Added bonus, he does dishes without complaint.

Wave Pool
I've joined Rachael's Wave-a-long and have ordered some white Cascade Indulgence from Threadbear Rob for the occasion. Contrary to what you may have heard on the rumor circuit, Rob's not a pusher...really he isn't. He's very helpful and always has the customer's best interests at heart.

For example, when I initially tried to order only 3 skeins of Indulgence for the wrap, he expressed concern that I would come up short and suggested I go with 63, just to be safe. That's commitment to service. (Rob, you know I'm just engaging in some smart a** Indulgence .)

Seriously, these guys mean business. Last time I ordered from them, the package was at the door 1.5 days later. And the Indulgence is still a steal at 9 bucks (regular 18).

But now I'll just be waving-a-long goodbye