••• Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Trippin' Down Memory Book Lane 

A few weeks ago, I decided it was nigh time to get started on a scrapbook for my son’s upcoming graduation party (or Congratulations Party, per The Cakers).

Much to my surprise, I actually had a thought to start this project way last fall, but then decided I should probably get his baby book done, first. (That was a joke, son.) (Well, sort of.)

Anyway, when I finally embarked upon this adventure, I didn’t know jack scrap about making a memory book. But neither did I think it any big deal. I figured I'd slap some pictures on a page, add stickers appropro, then pop it all in a photo album.

So, how hard can that be? Really?

Learn to Scrapbook in a Day (Knowing not a grommet from a dammit)
1. Go to craft store.
2. Walk down the scrapbook supply aisle.
3. Walk down the next scrapbook supply aisle.
4. Repeat steps 2 and 3, until woozy.
5. Unsuccessfully seek out section titled “Scraptards: Sturt Heer"
6. Find a blank scrap book.
7. Carry scrapbook for two aisles.
8. Put down scrapbook.
9. Find another scrapbook.
10. Carry second scrapbook for .5 aisles.
11. Put down that scrapbook.
12. Retrieve first discarded scrapbook.
13. Wonder: What the fuck?
14. At the end of the 19th row of scrapbook materials, wonder if scrapbookers are taking over the world.
15. Notice stock paper described as “acid free.”
16. Ask nearby stock clerk lady if they carry anything stronger than the “acid free.” Maybe something in an “acid-lite?”
17. Note to self: Never discuss the heyday of hallucinogens with Hobby Lobby stock clerk lady.
18. Pick out two sheets of decorative paper. One in micro-dot, the other in a windowpane check.
19. Notice a theme being revealed.
20. Pick up a sheet of stickers titled “Such a Good Boy!”
21. Get distracted by freestanding rack of 3-D stick-on thingies, offered in a strange array of themes.
22. Pick up 3-D stick-on thingy representing two pine trees, bending towards one another, and tied together with rope. Real rope.
23. Wonder what possible “memory” a rope around two pine trees would represent, in a scrapbook.
24. Make up a story about the rope and pine trees, titled Mommy and Daddy Go Camping One night, after drinking a bottle of MD 20/20, daddy got all freaky, and shit, and tied mommy to this tree. Then....Well...That's how we got you! ::insert “Hurray For Me!” sticker::
25. Notice that there appears to be a sticker for everything.
26. Look for “Your First Day at Kinder-Therapy” and “Pass the Zoloft” stickers.
27. Feel smug after determining there is not a sticker for everything.
28. Develop an odd attachment to the S&M Pine Trees, and carry them for three aisles.
29. Wonder if Scrapbookers have already taken over the world.
30. Wonder if perhaps you have been scrapbooked alive, and at this very moment are wandering in a scrapbook supply aisle, inside a scrapbook, as part of some sick fuck’s doctoral thesis on The Social and Moral Implications of Voyeuristic Stickerism. Kind of like The Matrix, with less science and more glue.
31. Tell stock clerk lady “There is no spoon embellishment charm.”
32. Sniff the pine trees.
33. Put down the pine trees.
34. Walk away from the pine trees.
35. Look back once.
36. Look back twice.
37. Wonder if your therapist would consider coming out of retirement.
38. Pick out two pieces of background paper.
39. Note that the paper is acid-free.
40. Ask the stock clerk lady if they carry any thing stronger.
41. Briskly walk away after stock clerk lady says “Ma’am, I believe you’re having what we used to call a flashback. Please, step away."
42. Note to self: Re-read step 17.
43. Put back “Such a Good Boy!” sticker sheet, after realizing it’s for a dog.
44. Wonder if people make scrapbooks for dogs, and if so, who looks at them?
45. Decide that “Table Scraps” would be an excellent title for a dog’s scrapbook.
46. “Scrapper Doo,” would do. Too.
47. Slap self upside the head.
48. Put back all scrap shit; to wit.
49. Run.
50. Fast.
51. To car.
52. Drive to bookstore.
53. Find “Idiot’s Guide to Scrapbooking.”
54. Open book and randomly select a page.
55. Read directions for making pastel letter tags out of a ripped up cereal box, tempera paint, and letter stamps.
56. Think: Letter stamp, my pastel ass.
57. Flip to page titled “What Your Font Collection Says About You…”
58. Decide “Idiot” in book’s title, refers to author.
59. Go home.
60. Call a struggling college student and offer her the opportunity to “name her price” to make your boy a scrapbook, with the following, minimal requirements:
a) Must be done in time for party.
b) Must contain pictures of people you know.
c) No pine trees. Bent or otherwise.
d) Use only acid and lignin free paper.
61. Look up “lignin” in dictionary.
56. Have a Diet Vernors and Vanilla Rum.
57. Knock on wood, or wood-like substance.
So, how hard was that?

••• Monday, May 30, 2005

Post Pompin' Circumspection 

The boy is officially a high school graduate. And I'm proud to say, that throughout what Cakers calls Cameron's Marching Party, I only cried once. Briefly.

I know. It surprised me too. Maybe it was the impersonal feel of a football stadium, on a cool, windy night. Or maybe I got it all out at the Baccalaureate. Or maybe it was due to the following distractions:
1) The Cakers following the previously drummed into her head agreed upon plan, to keep all talk to a whisper. While it was great that she was being such a good listener, the content of a toddler's whisper, in a crowded football stadium, is hard to discern,and the cause of no small amount of frustration. It's even more difficult to hear a toddler's whisper, when said toddler is simultaneously kicking up a racket on the aluminum bleachers in front of her. (An unforeseen behavior, and therefore, untouched by the previously established verbal contract. That Girl Ain’t From ‘Round Here. Mark my words.)

2) Just before the Marching Party begins, my mother pulls from her purse, a plastic storage bag containing a creamy, light-yellow liquid, and holds it up for all to see. Amidst some giggles, she loudly announces that in this bag is a partially melted, half-stick of butter, recently borrowed from my sister. "I wondered where that bag went. I looked everywhere, when I got home....."

::I could write a book about the stuff in my mother’s purse. For now, it’s enough to say that the topic has been a source of local entertainment, for years.::

3) Fighting the urge to grab my husband and drag him down below, for a rompin' circumstance under the bleachers.

Huh? Well, grab your favorite lust object/toy and go read this this poem, which was read by a student, as part of the graduation ceremony.

I was kind of surprised that this morsel of erotica passed administrative approval. A bit of a gaffe, for a school with a nationally recognized academic reputation. The same high school that gave us the likes of Chri*s VanAl*sburg (The Po*lar Ex*press) and the creator of Amerikan Pye (don’t want no local googlers ‘round here. I might have mentioned here before, that I live in Ea*st Great Fa*lls and my son attended E*st Great F*lls High).
So, what made da momma cry, at her boy’s educational emancipation ceremony? Just a bunch of talk.

When the processional first came into the stadium, the line was stalled for a few minutes, as the cadence was established*. Because they were all dressed alike, it was hard for me to lock on to my spawn, at first. But soon enough, I recognized a familiar movement, within the sea of gently bobbing, blue mortar boards. It was my boy, all right. Talking.

Talking to the left and talking to the right. In fact, sandwiched in line between his two best friends, he was in conversation-hog heaven. Some of the other students were talking too, but discreetly. You had to look real close to see it. But not my boy. He was a well-capped, walking gesture.

Why would a talking teen make me cry? Because at every parent teacher conference I attended, over the past 13 years, I heard about my boy’s mouth. It wasn’t a bad mouth, or a sassy mouth. Just a fully engaged mouth. Always.

Seeing him there with his best buds, in full chatty caricature, during the last moments of (in?) his official capacity as an educational ward of the state, brought me a tear, and a snot bubble.

But for the rest of the evening, my emotional control was like a bag-o-buttah: Lookin’a mess, but otherwise fully contained.
Eminem and the Drama Mama
The Graduate and His Mother

Post Post Note: Although I haven't been posting, I have been chronicling the mother's journey toward matriculation and the ongoing pain of the Open Wound House preparations. Originally, today's post contained nearly every thought I've had on all these matters, over the past week. But, my editorial instinct got the better of me and I commenced to chopping. Maybe, later, k?

*I almost cried, watching the teacher in charge of spacing the marchers. He held each student with a hug around the waist, followed by a properly timed, gentle shove into the processional.

Hug followed by shove.
A representation.
Of something currently familiar.

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••• Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Unexcused Absence
Life's got me by the emotional short and curlies, right now. Between my son's high school graduation, planning an open house, ongoing family flustercucks (damn, these people live way too close.) and the annual end of the year work craze, I'm not feeling quite myself.

Last night was Baccalaureate, in which I produced and starred in a personalized episode of "Snot's Landing." (I must say,I was relieved to learn that Baccalaureate is not a casino card game.)

I'm still very weepy over this current, unsettling phase of parental transition. I think, however, that I'm actually getting used to my perpetual state of degenerative affect, as are my friends and family. In fact, my favorite people, right now, are those who are unafraid to look my snot bubbles right in the nose.

All that being said, I won't be posting for a few days, give or take a week, or two. Too many thoughts, not enough time.

Tonight, I close with a little humor, for the season. (I think I made it up, just yesterday, and am feeling quite proud. So, if you've ever heard this one, please, don't tell me.)
What did the momma bird say to her nest full of offspring?

Last one out is a rotten egg.
Damn. Sometimes I crack myself right up.

Really, think about it......

••• Monday, May 23, 2005

Monday Morning Quickie 

When you're three year's old, all the world's a milkshake.

I Really Love My Peaches
We went to the cottage this weekend. The phone line was not working, so no blogging could be done. I got plenty done on Peaches, however. (Add about two more inches from the long drag home)

Here's a close-up of the pattern.

Have I ever mentioned how I love knitting lace?

Senior Moments
My son graduates high school this week. And I'm finding myself increasingly emotional about the whole thing. At the high school where I work, Friday was the seniors' last day. As it was my son's.

At the school where I work, it's tradition that at the last bell, the entire student body cheers out from the hallways, in unison. It's a cool thing, for sure. And always puts a smile on my face. Well,usually. This year, it made me cry. Blubber cry.

Of course, I have more to say on the matter, as well as some exciting weekend coverage. But people, school is still in session for some of us, and I gotta get.

Have a Monday, everyone.

P.S. No time to edit today. I'm subscribing to the TPP system of blogging. Type, Publish and Pray.


••• Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Rekindling the Flame 

So, my sister comes to visit and I offer her the Blaze. She "oohs" and "ahhs", then holds it on her lap as we chat. After about 10 minutes, she rubs her eyes and complains of feeling like she's been standing in a fur storm.

"That might be the sweater", I reply. And quicker'n you can say "Alpacan Hacky Sack," the sweater bounced off her knee and back onto me.

And that's when I decided it was nigh time that I felt my pain. (Great minds, and all that, Rachael...)

I should clarify that I didn't felt my pain, fully. I simply swished it through a three-minute warm wash/warm rinse cycle, followed by 10 minutes in the dryer, then air dry.

The neckline still drops off my shoulders, but the rest of it fits pretty well. I guess I'll have to buy myself a lovely-strapped camisole.

Ten Minutes Later, Another One Comes Along...
..Buses, Boyfriends and New Knit Projects.

Here's startup shot of my new love:

It's Rowan cardie Peaches,from my all-time favorite pattern collection:

The yarn is Rowan Glace, in Oyster, which makes me think things, such as, it's way past my bed time. So here's my parting shot...

A Good Boa, Gone Bad

Say Good-night Gracie.

••• Sunday, May 15, 2005

Nessie, That You? 

I finished Blaze.
And feeling burned.

I'm sure there is a funny observation to make about that thing crawling across my upper plexus. But for some reason,I'm a woman without humor, at this time.

Just in case that shot does not adequately represent my personal anguish, let me clarify: This little fucker is too big.

This is my back doing a pretty good imitation of a Raspberry Sharpei.

By the time I had walked back into the house after the picture was taken, the sweater had fallen off both shoulders.

Please don't tell me it looks okay. 'Cause it don't. Need a comparison shot? Take a peek at the designer's intended look, here.

Even my sweet, good-natured husband struggled to find something positive to say. His best shot: "Can you can knit some kind of insert to put back there, like a low-riding humpback thingie?"

I admit that I worried about the medium being too big. But having a license to conceal 38-D Magnums, on a smallish body frame, I neither wanted to err on the side of going too small, and end up with this look:

I'm not really sure what's next for this most recent bain of my knitsistence. I'm thinking of offering it to my younger, larger- boned, smaller-busted sister. (The one with issues with her issue.) If she'll have it.

But, love it or hate it, an Effin' FO still deserves a decent wrap-up:

Pattern: Knitty's Blaze
Size: Medium (bitch.)
Yarn: Cascade Indulgence
Size Needles: 5 and 6

Since I had this yarn for more than a year, it qualifies as another ball buster. Ain't that the saddest irony?

Open House Correction
In my last post, I edited out the explanation for the Ode. (I was trying to practice "positive posting", as my hubby recently told me that my blog's been a bit of a bummer, as of late, and the preface to the ode was a bit of a whine). So, to clear up the confusion, the graduation open house for my son is not until June 5. The poem was a representation of my overall attitude toward the upcoming celebration.

I've got a butt-load of thoughts and frets (mostly frets) as I prep for the shindig. I hope I can find the time to get them down. Lucidly.

That being said, I do have a bit of advice for anyone who is still reading this. If you're thinking of starting up scrapbooking, from scratch, with the sole purpose of creating a memory book representing 18 years of a high school graduate's life, with only three weeks to get it done, please, take the scallop-edged scissors away from your neck (they'll only leave a curvaceous, hickey-looking mark, anyway.) and call your doctor.

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••• Friday, May 13, 2005

Ode to a Graduation Open House
By Marcy May

"Open House," sounds so friendly.
Come here to break the bread.
Come enjoy the cumpney.
(After docs exam my head.)

‘Cause I’m not real good at social.
Rather comb ass hair with rake.
And I’m not real good at planning,
Unless it’s my escape,

From a scrutiny worse than GYN-o,
Under guise of friendly chat.
"You went to Junior College...?
Well…there’s nothing wrong with that."

Please, have another crumpet.
And sit upon this chair.
I hear you are a strumpet,
And your husband waxes there.

I saw you at the grocery,
How you quickly looked away.
Now you sip my finest Pinot,
And scarf down my buffet.

So sad you must be going.
So glad you came to munch.
I hope you won’t be bothered
By the Valium in the punch.

••• Wednesday, May 11, 2005

I Don't Know Jack 

Most of the time it was probably real bad being stuck down in a dungeon. But some days, when there was a bad storm outside, you'd look out your little window and think, "Boy, I'm glad I'm not out in that.” -Jack Handey

I'm really in the mood for a fine whine, but compared to my sister's current heartache, any lament of mine sounds petty as a pixel in a jpg stack. While it's not my story to tell, here, I will say that the situation is bad. I just pray that there is still some room for mercy, in a small community's pursuit of justice.

Between work, and running with a one-pack of Cakers, and keeping up to speed on the family information highway, I’m not even sitting down most evenings, until 9:30 pm. And that’s with leaving dishes in the sink. ::I'm way okay with that::

Of course, with all these stressors, I’ve not been sleeping well. Last night, for some reason, I was able to fall asleep right off. Three hours later, I was awakened by the sound of The Man Who Lives In Cheddar’s Mouth, performing his annual Spring Aria “Co-Prophesies for the Coprophagic” (or, Some Serious Shit, She be a’comin’). Cheddar was so excited frightened by The Man's prognostications, at 4 a.m. he was already headed downstairs, to pine wait by the door.

Plans for the upcoming Open Wound House are, well, still being deeply considered. Okay, I did buy a large tub for storing cold drinks. And the invitations are almost ready for postal consideration. I’m even thinking about making a list of things I need to do. (That be some serious shit, for me).

I'm less than two inches from casting off on Blaze. Hopefully, this piece will be "fait accompli" by weekend's end. PTL.

Without access to a clever thought of my own,I once more defer to the Jack with a Knack, to capture the current essence de moi.

As the light changed from red to green to yellow and back to red again, I sat there thinking about life. Was it nothing more than a bunch of honking and yelling? Sometimes it seemed that way."-Jack Handey, again.

••• Sunday, May 08, 2005

The Mother of All Days 

The best way to keep children home is to make the home atmosphere pleasant--and let the air out of the tires.- Dorothy Parker

We're in the midst of another family crisis. One which will not be easily resolved with a reassuring phone call, or a safe passage home. Today, a child of my extended brood is sitting in a county jail, instead of at his mother's dinner table.

Just Turned 17.
And in the blink of an adolescent, impulsive eye, Just Turned all our worlds upside down.

It's too hard to think about and talk about, today. Although, I'm pretty sure, when I resume my thinking on it tomorrow, it will be no less a tender pain in my heart.

In the meantime, I offer this Mother's Day gift.

A flower. Picked by my own delinquent Cakers, just this morning. Uninvited.

This photo was enhanced with some texture function in my software, but the color is unretouched.

Now, go kiss some mothers.
And babies.
And too tall teens.
Despite the opposition.

P.S. I apologize for the multiple publishing, but I haven't been able to see the post unless I scroll way down, and I'm trying to fix it. 'Cause it be buggin'.

••• Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Psycho De Mayo 

Over the past week or so, I have been the picture of efficacy. Between mastering the Blaze pattern and getting totally caught up on report writing at work (unheard of, for this time of year, in the school setting), I be one Efficating Mutha.

At least that’s what it looks like from the outside. But on the inside, I’ve got some seriously demented, psycho-babblin'going on. And it’s all about the Graduation Party, aka The Graduation Open House,aka The Ritualistic Whoring of a Whousehold.

Oy. It’s too complicated to get into right now. But I will share that there are balls in my tale of woe.

Big Balls.
Blue Balls.
Big Blue Balls, that I could not let be....

But I can’t get into that, right now.

::I almost did, though. Did you see that? I almost did get into that, now. Damn.::.

Let's just say that I spent the better part of a week of Sundays, working on the invitation portion of the Open House Agenda, with not a damn thing to show for it.

I was tagged for this book Meme, by Laurie, way back,last week.

Q: You’re stuck inside Fahrenheit 451, which book do you want to be?
The Mists of Avalon by Marion Bradley Zimmer. It’s one of my all time favorites. And it's got just about everything you could want in a book: Historical facts, historical creativity, war, primal sex, prudish sex, magic, feminism, masculinism, homosexuality, heterosexuality, Three's a Crowd sexuality, incest, religious persecution, unconditional love, unmitigated hatred, survival of the human spirit and a lady in a lake. Armed.
.Q. Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?
No one comes to mind, but I’ve read me a butt load of books in my lifetime. If I had to name a guy, like, to save my life, or something, I’d say the Lord of Penmar. ::Was he the short guy? Built like a fireplug?::
Q. The last book you bought:
Hot Knits by Melissa Leapman.

Last “real” book? Maybe The Bone People, by Keri Hulmes.
Q. The last book you read:
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Carson McCullers. I was intrigued with this book, until about 2/3 through when it started to feel like a character circus free-for-all.
Q.Five books you would take to a desert island:
1.The Dollmaker, by Harriet Arnow. Because you can actually smell her writing.
2. Shel Silverstein's A Light in the Attic.
3. The Great Life Photographers, because with a book of great photos, the story possibilities are endless.
4. A really fat, thick, juicy, thesaurus. Because if you have a book that contains all the word relationships in the whole, wide world,the story possibilities are endless.
5. An anthology of short stories.
I'm not able to tag anyone for this meme,at this time. This is partly because I haven't been around the blogs all week, so do not know who's Meming whom.

And mostly because....Dude,I'm tired.

Maybe tomorrow. k?


••• Sunday, May 01, 2005

Gotta Light? 

I just got done with some smokin' Make-up Knitting.

Makeup Knitting? It's a lot like Make-up Sex, only better. Yeah, better. ::I never really understand the hoo-hah over Make-up Sex anyway. I mean, isn't make-up sex mostly about insecurity, and manipulation?::

Let's just say that Blaze and I have put our differences behind us. The joining of the sleeves went without further drama, and we've all done kissed and made up.

Doobie Brothers
A local college student and his brother were recently arrested in Ann Arbor, for growing and selling a hybrid (read: Mighty powerful) form of Maryjawanna. A couple of years ago, one of these young men was valevictorian of his graduating class, from an academically prominent high school.

In a recent newspaper article, the former academic superstar was quoted thus: The situation we had in our house is not much different than many houses in Ann Arbor. Pot is very prevalent on campus and not uncommon.

You can say that again. Too.