••• Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Knittin' Knuttins'
I've been wrestling with my Blaze sleeves, again. Between the two sleeves, I've re-ripped and re-knit, at least 5 inches, over the past two days.

And why did I do this? I did it to align the pattern at the bodice/armpit joint. Am I a knitting Goddess, or w,tf?

I'll take w,tf for five hundred sleeves, Alex. In other words, Knitting Goddess I ain't.

After all that fine-tuned attention to detail, I was finally (FINALLY!) ready to join the sweater body and sleeves in Holy Knitrimony.

But when I came to the part in the directions where it states,"If anyone here has reason to believe this menagerie trois should not be joined in holy knitrimony, raise your hand now, and forever hold the piece(s), in the bottom of a knit bag," I was stunned to witness this:

Upon closer inspection, I realized that this creepy sweater was trying to tell me that I wasted a shitload of time and effort aligning the armpit stitches,because the pattern at the sleeve/body join does not line up, by four stitches.

I'm sorry, but I've had about enough of this boolshit. I have things to do. Open Houses to plan. Spring things to knit.

But I'm not giving up. I will finish this little turd, at the cost of excellent armpit alignment. I know,nobody ever said knitting was going to be easy. Sometimes there's loss of life, limb and armpit alignment. And just between you and me, I think the pit part stinks.

Mi Open Casa, Su Open Casa
In comments, Kelle observes that I seem to be malingering in my parental duty to plan and provide a most excellent graduation party, for my son.

Well, I'm here to tell you, Little Miss Thang, I am currently working from a Graduation Party Plan . As follows:
1) Have a drink and think up some really cool shit to do for the party.
2) Go to bed.
3) Wake up and decide that all that cool shit you thought up last night was just the rum thinking, and who will give a rat's ass about the party anyway, come July?
4) Buy some really nice toilet paper at Costco.
5) Sweep toenail clippings from bathroom floor, into cold air return vent.
6) Wonder what the hell is a cold air return, if they are really cold and why people talk about them, as though they know what they are, but they really don't. Know. Either.
7) Wonder if my toenail clippings are now cold.
8) Laugh, clown, laugh.
9) Take my medicine.
10) Buy some really nice toilet paper at Costco.
P.S. I'm way behind in email correspondence blog reading. And I apologize. I've had about a one hour chunk of online time over the past three days, and chose to use that time to publish this post. Laurie, I hope to get to your book MEME this weekend.

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Worry Warrior 

Are you one?
I am.
I have a worry all the time.

Big ones. Little ones.

And when I don’t have a worry, I worry that I forgot what I was worrying about. I am Our Lady of Perpetual Rumination.

Before the big brother scare last week, I took my worries for granted. Pre-last week, I was waking up at night, worrying about about things like the new pope being teased by kids on the playground, on account of being named after an egg dish.
::Hey Benedict, ya got sauce on my muffin.::

Or, what the hell were all those people doing with lighters, on airplanes? Is it related to the mysteries of the first class only sector, to which I’ve never been privy?
Smooth landing encores?
Private concerts?
One-hit wonders?

Now that I’ve faced (and survived) a recent, real life/death worry, I’m concerned about the future of my every-day-fixations.

But, hells bells, I can’t worry about the loss of worry, right now. I have bigger fixations to fry.

This morning, at 4:00 a.m., I woke up recalling that I forgot to remember to worry about my son’s upcoming, high school graduation. What the fuck was I not over-thinking? ?

Isn’t he going to need an open house, or something? A shindig to which he can invite about 137 of his closest friends? ::137 is the current body count, fyi:: And it's only the busiest time of the year for me, at work. But I'm done with the whine.

And speaking of brothers, mine was home safe, yesterday, but I was not able to catch up with him (he lives a few blocks away). He's out of state, now, for a funeral. For a comrade. Thanks again for all the good thoughts. Between worrying and being recently wirelessless (my son chopped up the cable in the back yard, while doing yard work. ::So, I gave birth to an axe-cable-disabler::), my internet access has been limited, so I've not been able to personally respond to all the great comments...but I really want to.

Then The Cakers Says....

No, Gary doesn't have big eyes. He just has big eye necks.

P.S. I'm posting this real, real late, for me. I'm not going to be able to proof it, to my standards. So, please take pity, you late night, grammatically raging IMer's. You know who you are.

••• Sunday, April 24, 2005

Be grateful for luck. Pay the thunder no mind - listen to the birds. And don't hate nobody.
~Eubie Blake
Thanks for all the good thoughts regarding my brother. I had a little email exchange with him last night. He's due home this week and promises that he's unharmed.

I'm feeling much better, although drained. In that email exchange, my brother couldn't promise that he's coming home for good. And honestly, while it's hard for some to understand, I'm not surprised at this. It's who he is.

But I'll think about all that another day.

While awaiting word on my brother, the other night, I finished the Mimi Toolong scarf. I had to try a few different scarf poses to find the best shot.

This wasn't that shot, but I still kind of like the tired, drippiness of it. A reflection of my emotional state, at the time.

I also liked the background shot of Cheddar and Old Man Khaki Ass.* Weird, that I don't remember them being in the viewfinder when I took the picture. Stress does strange things to the brain.

Here's a better shot of the scarf, although I just noticed the scarf and house kind of blend together.

The Cakers had her dance recital yesterday. It was tu, tu cute. If I get a minute, I may post about it. My brain has not yet recovered from the 24-hour crisis bug, and words just aren't flowing.

Thanks again, for all your good thoughts and prayers. Y'all rock.

*Have you ever noticed that whenever a fineassed, middle aged guy, puts on a pair of khakis, his butt gets old?.

••• Friday, April 22, 2005

Brother, How Art Thou? 

To the outside world we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters. We know each other as we always were. We know each other's hearts. We share private family jokes. We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys. We live outside the touch of time. ~Clara Ortega

For the past three months, my brother has been working in a scary part of the world, for a company that does scary things.

He was due home, tomorrow.

Yesterday afternoon, my sister called me at work, hysterical. Through gasps and hiccups, she told me there was a helic0pter crash, in the scary place, and the people on board were employees of the company that does scary things.

She also heard that the helic0pter was enroute to the scary-place-airport;* a logical destination for a brother in a scary place, in search of a safe portal home.

Being the rational, "go to" member of the family (I know, it's a fuckin' stitch), I was able to calm my crazed sib, while successfully fighting the urge to blow the chunks of my inner sanctum, all over my work space.

After successfully pawning my now calm sister on to my mom (via the formerly hated, now fully appreciated call waiting), I spent the next hour scouring the internet, in search of information that would rule out my brother as a passenger, on the ill-fated flight.

Also, in that hour, I became a one-brain case study in how many things a person can worry about, at one time, without psychic implosion. ::It’s between 2,333,994,384 and 2,334,675,948. ::

At 4:15, my husband called me with news that my brother had not been on the helic0pter and he is, indeed, alive. However, his caravan had been hit by a r0adside bomb, which killed one man and injured my brother. While there was no word on his specific injury, my husband assured me that my brother said, more than once "I'm okay."

I'm okay.

Okay. What does that mean? Short of death,okay can mean just about any thing.

I'm Okay (but lost a limb).
I'm Okay (despite the 3rd degree burns).
I'm Okay (aside from the closed-head injury, which affects my ability to accurately ascertain the proper contextual application of okay).

In the absence of more information from the scary part of the world, for the next 20 hours (minus 3 hours of sleep), I could do nothing but speculate on the possible meaning of that one little word.


At 2:00 pm today, my sister called to tell me that she had spoken to a rep from the scary company, who assured her that my brother was okay (ambulatory) and likely on his way home.

At 3:00, I received a brief email from my brother, saying he's okay (But still incountry. Likely leaving in a day or so.)

And at 3:03, this afternoon, I decided that I'm Okay (But I can't stop crying)
(And Crying)

*We later figured out that fear had clouded my sisters ability to listen to details and that the 'c0pter in question was headed not to the scary-place-airport.

••• Wednesday, April 20, 2005

How Momma Lost Her Noodles at the Grocery Store 

Or...14 Reasons peri-menopausal women should not have babies:
1. Momma!
2. Momma!
3. I love Jimmy Neutron soup!
4. I love Jimmy Neutron soup!
5. I love Jimmy Neutron soup!
6. I love Jimmy Neutron soup!
7. I love Jimmy Neutron soup!
8. Momma!
9. Momma!
10. I love Jimmy Neutron soup!
11. I love Jimmy Neutron soup!
12. I love Jimmy Neutron soup!
13. Momma?
14. Do I love Jimmy Neutron soup?

••• Monday, April 18, 2005


Calling Mrs. Churbineksy.

Mrs. Churbinesky is a school soc*ial worker from a neighboring district. This morning, Mrs.Churbinesky left her phone number and a message on my voicemail, asking me to call her. So I did.

This seemingly simple act of techno-protocal went something like this:
You have reached the voicemail system of Easchet Ian Digh Middle School. No one is available to take your call at this time. If you know the extension of the person you are calling, please enter it now. For a complete listing of staff and their extensions, press 2.
Mrs. Churbinesky didn’t leave me an extension number, so I pressed “2.”
Please enter the first three digits of the last name of the person you are trying to reach.

Hmmmm...Churbinkesky…Sounds like a C-H-Ur to me.
To leave a message for extension 1046, please press one.

What the hell? If I knew the extension, I would've dialed it in the first place.

So, I try again, using the C-H-Er spelling.
To leave a message for extension 2435, press one.

Maybe it's spelled S-H-Er? So I hang up, redial and start all over. Again. Except this time, I seem to be getting somewhere....
Mrs. Shet, extension 1257. Mrs. Shinola, extension, 1573. Mr. Tingleberry, extension....
....Wait a minute. It went from Shet to Shingola to Tingleberry, with no Sherbiniski in between ski?

Hang up. Take a breath. And dial. Again.

This time, I went back to the C-H-E spelling, on purpose, to see if I could access one of the previously offered extensions. I wound up in the district's accounts payable department.

You may be wondering why I didn't take the easy exit from Technohell, by using the “If you wish to speak to the operator, press 0” option.

Well, I'll tell ya why. Because, on some deeply disturbed level, I'm kind of enjoying this idiocy. I'm attracted to it, even. And curious to find out, how perverted it can be.

Kind of like poking a cinnamon toothpick into chewing on a canker sore. I just can't stop myself. I need to feel it. Hate it. Defy it. And mostly, I need to beat it. I need to win. And pressing 0 would be admitting defeat.

After running through the entire staff listing two times, never learning Shet from Shingola, I caved. I pressed 0.

But (of course), instead of finally reaching a real time human voice, I heard nothing. Not even a voicemail option. After about 30 seconds of silence, I hear a beep. A "leave a message after the" kind of beep, without invitation to record. After another 30 seconds, I hear "Your message has been recorded. If you are finished, you may hang up." (Why, thank you.) "If you want to hear a listing of other options, please press 1.."

In a gesture of deference and concession, I gently let the handset drop to floor, and rest my forehead on the phone's key pad. Then, in a voice from the floor, I hear “Easchet Ian Digh Middle School. Hello? Anyone there?”

By the time I grab the line and say "hello," I hear click, then nothing.


Later in the day, I finally reach Mrs. Chirbinesky. After taking care of business, I ventured a couple off-topic questions.

Spelling of last name?
Szcerbynszceski. (Some vowels have been added, to protect the innocent)

Phone extension number? She doesn't have one. Just call the main office, she says. Somebody always picks up.

••• Sunday, April 17, 2005

Pass The Cheesespreader 

Busier than a whore at a picnic...

I've been struggling to find some clever way to describe my current state of undress. The only thing that comes to mind is something I picked up at cheerleading in camp, from a *farm girl.

Oh, Fuck me.

::*The farmgirl and I established a close, long-distance friendship, which lasted through college and beyond. In high school, this friend personified Polly Purebread meets Mary Mattress. At 17, she taught me the importance of proper nipple hygiene. She believed that having a reputation for sleeping around was one thing. A reputation for passing around stanky-ass, hairy nipples, was quite another. And dammit if her momma didn't make the meanest Tuna Noodle Bake, complete with crushed potato chip topping.::

C'est Mimi
Okay. "Mimi."
Now what?

She's done except for the fringe.

For that Mimi photo, I was trying to be all artistic, and shit. However, considering the band of monkeys currently playing chinese jumprope with my last nerve, this may not have been the best approach.

It's time for bed. My tales of chagrin, will wait another day.

I'll wrap with a poem from The Cakers. She recited this to me today, as she waited for me to take her to the park. Her toes were basking in a sunbeam.

My feet are hot.
The warm Is shining.

And now,
It's time
To go.

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••• Wednesday, April 13, 2005

All About MiMi 

Okay, it’s not all about Mimi. But prit near. And I promise, no tales of wee-wee today, either. ::Can you appreciate the restraint I’m showing here? I mean, Mimi just begs a rhyme.::

This is a fun pattern, and easy, and I love how it turns in. Kind of like the Clapotis, which rhymes with, with...just slap-o-me.

Tro’ Ho
This is The Cakers outdoor Trolly Dolly.

She lives year-round, in the garage. And even though she doesn't get to live in the house with her 2 dozen or so step-sibs, she does hold a special honor as being the only doll who gets to ride in the stroller. Weather permitting.

I'm afraid, however, that her undersocialized, reclusive upbringing has made her a bit, well, feral.

This is the sight that greeted me on the porch this morning, as I left for work:

Needless to say, I was not pleased. What that little Troll Bitch does after sundown, with goats, under bridges, is none of my business. But dammit, I will not have this shame brought to my doorstep.

So I rebuked* her.
And she agreed.
No more naked yoga on the porch.
'Cause we just ain’t dog-down widdat.

*Anybody guess what tv show I've been watching?
**I'm pitifully behind in email correspondence and blog reading. I'm sorry. It may not let up for a bit.

••• Tuesday, April 12, 2005


"...Bathroom traffic's movin' way too slow.
Drop the drawers and Go, Go, Go.
Goin' riding on the Peeway of Ugh...."
-Uretha Stankin

Yeah, it's back. The Bladder Wrack.

And I've been such a good girl, too. No Less booze. No Less coffee. Lots of water.

And minding my front to back.

Maybe I'll catch up with all y'all, later in the leak.

In the meantime, more weekend re-ducks. ::Get used to it. I took about 3,476 pictures over the weekend. So far, you've seen about, hmmm, three.::

Saturday morning, my husband went into town to get a cup of coffee. He came back with this:

Presenting: SpongeCakers Squarepants!

Sometimes, being a big-ass beeach, is a beautiful thing.

Yours Truly,
The Whizzer of Ahhs.

••• Sunday, April 10, 2005

Just Thinkin' 

Yesterday afternoon, while billions of my neighbors, co-workers, closest friends,ear coners and butt waxers, were cluster trucking their way home from a tropical paradise, I was here....

...To watch some kite flying.

Extreme kite flying.

For those interested, that body of water is Lake Michigan, which is just a few miles from our cottage. That guy walking the path, with the kite dragon behind him, is my husband. I have a bunch more pictures I may share later this week, when/if I run out of time/energy/creative blog juices (that be vernors-n-vanillerum).

Scarflette O'Whora

Here's my finished scarf:

(Yes Daphne, it's wack. And I'm loving it. )

I worked on Blaze last night, for an hour, with nothing to show for it, but a sore ass. Seriously. I was so tense after detangling the Mess-O-Blaze from my bag, only to find yet another, fixable mistake (one requiring non-movie-viewing attention), I experienced ass cramps. Swear.

So, needing something to work on, for the late night viewing of Sideways, I cast on for Amy Singer's MiMi Verylong

Here's a closeup

The yarn is Brunswick Rio, a discontinued cotton/acrylic blend. It's very soft. Satiny, even. This was a contest prize from the Knotty Girls, back when. The pattern is fun and addictive. Of course, I'm making this in a much fatter yarn, than what Amy's pattern calls for. The Rio is a sport weight and I'm using a 10.5 needle. For those who care.

La Poncharita a Cakers
(I have no Spanish.)(I know, no English neither.)

I'm ending this post with a shot of my Nadorable, wearing the Harlot's poncho. (Sorry Harlot, my fingers done run out of link. But everybody knows about you, and your Harlottness):

I started and completed two items this week. I highly recommend finishing projects. It feels damn good.

My advice du jour: FO. Everyone. FO.

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••• Friday, April 08, 2005

Cottage Industry 

Dear Sisters of the Cystitis, thank you all for your words of support and encouragement. I’m pleased to announce (no, Kelle, not that!), my Pee Hole is doing mighty fine.

I have been working on a summary of my recent visit to the urgent care center. It seems, however, that the further I get from a seemingly inspiring event, the less interested I am in writing about it.

I had also planned on getting the Blaze sleeve issue resolved before leaving for the cottage, so I could work on it in the car. However, on the day of departure, between pissin’ poorly and preparing for the trip (i.e. putting together just the right knitting packages. One main project and two emergency.),I had no time to determine an adequate plan of sleeve action.

So, I made a last minute decision to cast on for an easy spring sumpin-sumpin, for me. A scarf. And in the three-hour car trip, I got quite a bit accomplished. Soon after our arrival, however, I developed an unforeseen hatred for the item, and ripped it out. I then spent most of yesterday, trying to make psychological amends by creating/finding the perfect scarf pattern. ::A Psychological Moment: I have this compulsion to make amends for wasted time and effort, by wasting, threefold, further time and effort.::

Long tail short, I decided on this:

The pattern, I found here

The yarn is this gawd-awful cotton shit, bought off Ebay a few years back. It's known as Cotton Flamme, by Crystal Palace. While I hate the texture and overall ungivingness of the stuff, it is a pretty color and seems to work well as spring scarf material.

This pattern is really fun and easy, once you get used to the awkwardness of the cross-over row. I went with a two-loop yarnover, because the three wraps resulted in what appeared to be an orifice for the devil.

In town, yesterday, I snagged myself a good deal on this yarn (40% off):

It's Adriafil's Jumping, a wool, acrylic blend, akin to Kool Wool, only sproingier. I know I wasn't really in the market for yarn, but hell, I'm on vacation. And I received full spousal support, after assuring spouse in question that the yarn was designated for a little something for his dear mom. ::I hope my husband is not recording all my yarn professions. I use the highly effective "I was thinking of something for your mother...." rationale, about every other yarn purchase.::

Don't Think Ice, Baby....
When we arrived at the cottage Wednesday night, the middle of the lake was still frozen. Later that evening, there was an incredible raucus amongst the indigenous birds of a feather (ducks, geese, seagulls and loons), out on the lake. The yelling and screaming lasted for about and hour, and was like nothing heard up here before.

The following morning, the ice was gone. I think the birds knew what was coming, er, going, and were holding a celebration. Here's one (unretouched) of about 40 sunset shots I took last night.


Life is good. Pee well.

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••• Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Spring Broke 

Spring Break is offically here. This morning I woke up with an entirely different crowd than the one I went to bed with.

Speaking of spring, we had temps in the mid 70's yesterday. Twas a beaut.

Allow Me to Ponchificate
(no silver hammer required)

Yeah, I did it. I had to.

And you were quite right, Norma. It took only three shakes of a lambs tail, and I’m a better person for it.

Thanks to everyone who offered observations and advice on my ongoing Blaze sleeve peeve. I think I really just needed to take a little spring break from the thing.

In fact, Kelle, by your comment, I half thought you had been digging around in my brain’s drawer of underthings, until you took me Blaze sleeving to infinity. Okay, maybe in that tiny box, way in the back of the drawer of my brain’s underthings, there is/was that fear/fantasy that the sleeve extravaganza will never end. You win. Again.

Poncho Specs: Pattern is adapted from The Yarn Harlot's. Yarn is Lorna's Laces bulky superwash, accented with Paton's chunky acrylic blend. (Purchased from the Fabulous T-Bear's)

I'll try to get her into the dang thing later, for a picture.

And no, I didn't send the Blaze or the diaphragms (I had no idea there was a "g" spot in that word) to Miss Wane's. Rabbitch was right, the Women of the Cloth have no use for birth control, and I fear what use they'd find for my treasured alpaca.

Broke Spring
I’m revisiting another spring break tradition this week, by catching a case of the Bladder Wrack. Yup. I got the Pissin' Moans. And it’s been a bloody scream.

After an unsuccessful day of attempted home remedies, I finally dragged the burning front of my sorry ass to the Urgent Piss Care center, late last night.* Of course, the only reason I went was for those magic pills. You know, the raison-colored beauties that provide instant solace to the rotting hole, and turn your piss to Paas orange. Actually, the color is more akin to mercurochrome, but gosh darn if I don’t love the allure of alliteration, first thing in the morning.

Well, all this talk of whizzin’ has me needing to go. Literally. We’re heading to the cottage late this afternoon, which means I have things to pack, in addition to orange to piss. Come to think of it, I don’t think my husband’s ever traveled with a wife gone wack with bladder wrack. This trip could forever give PMS a good name, around here.

Melissa and Susie: In that picture of the Cakers (previous post), she is most definitely trying to open the battery encasement on the Sit-n-Spin. Unfortunately, it was not to turn the bloody thing off, but to change the worn out batteries on the blissfully silent beast. For the record, she found the screwdriver on her own, and commenced without parental supervision. Of course, after I took the photo, I gave her a bit of mother's what not.

*There’s a painful saga to be shared from this pis-adventure. Soon as I get a minute. Or two. This spring break be whizzing by. (Gawd, this medication makes me sick. 10 days of it! Yech. I thought I heard that they developed some 3-day treatment for this affliction?)

Have a Wednesday. And please, everyone, Hump with Caution.

P.S. Kim has been having inconsistent difficulty viewing photo images in my posts. If any of you are having similar difficulties, would you please let me know?

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••• Sunday, April 03, 2005

Blazing a Trail of Sorrow 

Warning: The following post has a Profanity Classification of F5

I’ve been kicking some Blaze sleeve ass. Finally.

In fact, out of all three (so far) Blaze sleeves I’ve created, this is by far my best work. Nearly perfect. Too perfect.

But let's see what you think. Here’s a little, knittelligence test: One of these sleeves does not belong with the other. Which one is it?

Okay. You’re too smart for my clever. That was a trick question. There was no wrong or right answer, so let's just move on to the crux, or in this case, the elbow of the matter.

In this pattern, you must end each sleeve and the body of the sweater, on the same pattern row. This is a key element of the garment design.

I know this now.
I knew it then.
It matters not.
For I am a knittard.
And my sleeves don't match.

If I continue to Blaze this trail of perfection, and end this sleeve on the prescribed row, one sleeve will be longer than the other. ::Or is it shorter? No, it's longer...right? Yeah,longer. k.::

You may recall, the current sleeve in production is actually the third sleeve I’ve produced for this sweater. I had to ravage the first, practically perfect sleeve, because I forgot to switch to a larger needle after the ribbing.

I make this seemingly innocuous point to create for you, the reader, an appropriate context for my current Stattitude (i.e. State of Attitude) toward this once favored project. That stattitude be Knitfucked.

What to do? Well, I figure I have three options available to me :
1) Fuck-up the currently perfect sleeve-in-progress, so it will match it’s fucked-up, older sister.

2) Frog back already fucked-up sleeve number 1 (aka 2) then fuck-it-up better, so it more closely resembles its perfect, as yet unfucked-up, younger sister.

3) Box up the entire project, along with my collection of vintage, spring action diaphragms, and send it off to my favorite charity, Mrs. Wane's Home for Women Watching the Hair Grow (A safehouse for first-time self-bikini waxers, who just can't pull the strip. I have it on good authority that our very own Rabbitch is a primary benefactrix) Then cast on for this thang, for Miss Thang, with this:

What do you think?

Psssst, Norma are you buying any of this?

Tomorrow, the poncho, she's mine.