••• Sunday, October 29, 2006

A Week in Retro 

Sunday mornings seem to be the most bloggable for me these days. Even though Sunday is my weekend morning to get up at the crack of hell with The Cakers, she seems to be taking a momentary break from describing for me, stroke-by-stroke, every thing she knows how to draw, or spelling out the unusual Crayola names from the labels for me to pronounce, so she can argue with my pronunciation.

So I'm going for it.

My weekend review.

Spirits of '76
Last post I mentioned that last week was my 30 year high school class reunion. For two days after the party, I tried to put to font the amazing experience of this event, but finally gave up. It was too much work and boring to boot. But I'm still thinking about it. A lot. And those thoughts seems to be plugging up the system. So I need to say something about it, so I can move on.


I attended an urban school where most of the kids came from blue-collar or working-poor neighborhoods, myself included. Our school district did include a couple of what we called "R.B." or "Rich Bitch" neighorhoods, which were akin to the neighborhoods in Leave it to Beaver or The Wonder Years. ::I now know they weren't supposed to be rich. It's all about perspective. Back then, I thought anyone with an attached garage door was rich. As in, a garage with a door still attached.::

Anyway, we were always an unpretentious lot and I'm happy to say that after 30 years, aside from a few wrinkles and pounds and the one guy who had lost most of his teeth, none of us seemed to have changed.

Four out of my five bestest friends were there. Four of the five friends had gotten married almost immediately out of high school. Because we chose such different early adulthood tracts, our friendships all died a collectively slow and silently agreed upon deaths. Although I had run into a couple of these friends over the years, it had been at least 20 for a couple of them.

Initially I didn't recognize anybody right off the bat. But after about 10 minutes, my eyes got accustomed to the years and I spent the next 20 minutes crying and hugging and exclaiming "You look the same!" and meaning it, and hearing the same from them and thinking they meant it too.

And by the end of the night, everybody looked and felt and sounded like they ever had. ::Like on Cold Case when the perps/victims/witnesses fade back to the way they were...::

I think what had me floating for days after was the genuine affection we had for one another, for who we were and who we are and not at all for what we had or hadn't accomplished. I maybe told two people I had a master's degree and only because they asked specifically. Although I should add that people didn't hold back on their mocking astonishment at my having a five year-old daughter.

Anyway. It was all good stuff. And believe you me, this post is a world of improvement from the reminiscin' I almost presented last week, which included a personal observation on mandated busing between nearly identical neighborhoods and The ROTC Culture and the Viet Nam war and Nixon and the beauty of the perfect Afro and how we believed ::and still do:: that we invented the rolled-down-high-top-canvas-Converse look and the era of acceptable contraband and smoking cheerleaders and the beauty of the fire-retardant cheerleading sweater.

You're welcome.

WTF Wednesday
Wednesday I picked up The Cakers from daycare. I thought my husband was going to do it, so after work I had changed my clothes for a workout, washed my face and removed contact lenses. After my husband called to say he was running late, I immediately left "as is" to pick up the girl.

When I stepped into the classroom, Cakers said "Momma!" then started the usual complaint that she didn't want to leave yet, which prompted the usual discussion that starts off with lots of soshul-werky empathy and ends with lots of something akin to "Uno Shmuno. Get U-ass-a-moviN-O."

There was a girl about the same age as Cakers observing this interaction, with mouth agape. Finally, with that snotty, 5-year old churl I've grown to grab an alcohol beverage in response to, she blurted "You're not Ana's Mom!"

"I'm not?"

"No! You're her Grandma!"

Hardee Hah Hah, laughed all the pretty child care workers.

And I just joined in, all friendly and shit. And started muttering my new and seemingly oft-used personal mantra:

I am a professional.
I am a professional.
I am a professional.

FOAD Thursday
No, not that FOAD Thursday. It's Finish Off And Dance (a happy dance) Thursday!

I finished me Trudie.

I wore her to work on Thursday, over the black slinky dress which was the reason I wanted a cropped, lacey cardigan to start with ::remember back to the Cece debaucle?::

The sweater really looks great with the dress. Unfortunately, with Cabana boy now Cabanabizing out of the home, I had no one to take a picture of me in the outfit in question before I changed clothes for my second shift work assignment.

The best my self-portrait skills could pull off given the situation, was this picture in which you can at least see the context and form I was looking for, ghostliness notwithstanding:

Trudie Specs
Pattern: A bastardization of the Trudie Cardigan from Mission Falls Decade pattern book. I added a ruffle edge to body and sleeves. Shortened sleeve length from full to 3/4 and used only 3 buttons instead of 5 because of an Effin-O-Eff-Up.

Yarn: Cascade Sierra in a brownish color. It's Pima Cotton and wool.

Comments: Love the pattern, and it's a fast knit. I deepened the armholes a bit, but over widened the sleeves, so they're a little beefy around the pits, as though accomodating a localized glandular condition. I can take it in a bit, a la my new best friend, Mary Mattress Stitch.Oh yeah, the yarn stretches a bit by the end of the day.

I got lots of compliments on it at work.
Eye Candy Friday


::Blogger wouldn't upload the grass pic. Go figure.::

Saturday Sky

And for now, bye-bye.

P.S. Sorry for the multiple publishes. The post kept ending up in archives, for some reason.

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••• Tuesday, October 24, 2006

T is for Transition 

Fire in the Hole
Transition: (noun) the process of changing from one state or condition to another. 2 a period of such change. –Compact Oxford Dictionary
Bitch in Transit. As in on wheels. Right here. Right now.

Between two nights of parent/teacher conferences at work and a 30 year class reunion and a day of recovery from a 30 year class reunion and a dog diagnosed with fleas, ear infection and macaque ass on steroids and meal planning and exercising and blogging and knitting and the general accruements related to this thing called living, such as restraining self from going all Dollar Store on my currently unbelievably sassy daughter's ass, I definitely have a transition vibe about me.

Kinda brings to mind the tickin' of a timebomb.

Therefore, I feel compelled to reiterate an earlier warning that I won't be bloggin' 'round here no more. At least not consistently. For awhile.

In the meantime, I've turned over a new leaf, just for you. Make that a whole bunch of 'em:

The tiger can't change his spots. No wait, he did! Good for him!-Jack Handey


••• Friday, October 20, 2006

Freye Canday 

No explanation required.


••• Wednesday, October 18, 2006

I Haven't Got Time for the Sane 

Blogward Ho'?
Uh, no.

Systemic changes at Chez Porcine have further hampered the already hampered availability of blogtime to this writer. My from-June-til-now un-self-employed husband has found a job. Actually, he found two jobs. For job one he's contracting himself into a shop, 9 to 5. Job two entails working extra jobs for the same shop at home, evenings.

This is a good thing because we need/have needed/will need the money. It's a bad thing because I've lost my Cabana Boy. And how I loved me some Cabana Boy. Even when he was up to his twinkle blues with work, the freedom and flexibility of his schedule still allowed him to do dishes, laundry, pick up scripts or run to the grocery and grab some breasts. And broccoli. For dinner.

No more Cabana Boy means that I am now the Head Domesticator, which means that after work there is little time for fun and games and blogs and stuff. Even before this change, it was becoming increasingly difficult to carve out time to write posts, with sanity. So until I find myself a new groove,a new cabana boy and/or a live-in team of life-size scrubby bubbles, I'm going to be short on blog and long on whine.

Knitward, Ho!
So saith the directions for finishing the Trudie Cardie:
Join Fronts to Back at shoulder edge. Mark for buttonholes evenly spaced along Right Front straight edge. With RS facing and circular needle, pick up around front opening as follows....::imagine numbers inserted here.::
So how I readeth the directions for finishing the Trudie Cardie:
Drink the wine. Intuitively space and mark for however many buttonholes your little button heart desires.. Drink the wine. Shitfaced and with RS facing, take the circular needles and stab wildly into general area of front edge. Continue with wild abandon until it looks like you have stabbed yourself just about enough stitches to go all around the neckline. Say to self “Peeesha Cake.” Knit a row. Drink the wine. Drink the wine. On next row, include some button-size holes along the front, as spirit moves or spinning couch allows. Knit another row and cast-off. Take some Ibuprofen. Say a prayer of thanks to St. Pinot of Gris. Go to bed. Wake up the next day and weep like a baby.
Let's just say the end result looked like 7 miles of ass. So I ripped.

In my second attempt, I used much more care. And math. And much less wine. And random. But after buttonhole three was carved, I thought they were spaced too close, so I tinked back the row and redid it. By then I didn’t need no dang markers, because I had math on my side, as follows: Make a hole, count 9 stitches, make a hole, count 9 stitches...How could I go wrong? Heh.

After I cast off, I found my self pumped and plumped with pride, at the beautifully spaced outcome ::Or maybe it was water retention. Whatever::. It took me a few minutes to realize there was a problem. Yet again.

If you look directly above the top marker, you can see the ill-fated hole.

When I changed the spacing of the buttonholes while the stitches were still on the needle, I kind of missed an important component of buttonhole planning for a v-neck cardigan. The V. Which begins about where that top marker is, about an inch lower than the top buttonhole.

Too bad, so sad, 'cause I’m not doing it again. The Trudie Cardie has been hereby redesigned itself from a five hole garment to three.

I sometimes hear my yarn crying out from their bins in the basement. I wonder what it means...

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••• Saturday, October 14, 2006

Screening Calls 

S is for Screen Door

While looking for old photos for earlier on in the alphabet, I came across this picture:

Well, the screen door wasn't the focus of the original picture. It quickly became the focus of my emotions when I saw it. That's the screen door of my childhood home. A filtered memory, if you will.

The screen door of my childhood home had a distinct sound when it opened. A subtle screech. When it closed, it whacked one time loud, followed by two tiny bounces. If a parent was in earshot of the first whack, and the child who caused the whack was in earshot of the parent, invariably said child would hear "Don't slam the door!" If said child causing said whack was exiting the home, said words of parent fell on deaf doors.

Our screen door had a distinct smell. A kind of metal meets dirt. At the end of a long dusty summer, said smell could leave a tiny screen print on the forehead and nose tip of a toddler. Or 5th grader. Or high schooler. Or college student on summer sabbatical.

Like most screen doors of that time, ours had one of those loopy latch things at the top. Over a fifteen year period, that loopy latch thing kept 5 babies safely in the house while their mother did dishes or laundry or held a morning koffee klatch with neighbors. Not that those toddlers didn't try, as evidenced by the screen being forever stretched and bowed out, just about toddler height.

Our house had western exposure with no shade. The design of the home was akin to those 1-1/2 story American bungalows found in cities across the country. Ours had a bit more floorspace than those homes, but was still pretty small. And stuffy. During the hottest of the hot summer, sleeping upstairs was unbearable if not impossible.

When I was really young, we had hardwood floors in the living room. On the hottest nights, the entire family would camp out downstairs. From the screen door, we lined up like train cars across the living room floor. The person with the most seniority was closest to the door, and youngest played caboose. I remember sleeping directly on the hard wood, and the initial feeling of the cool wood on my cheek and legs, which quickly turned hot and dampy.

In those days people thought nothing of leaving doors unlocked at night.

There were weird little markings on frame of our screen door. Dog scratchings. Initials carved with pocketknives ::Brother-Not-So-Bright tried denying it. Goof::. A flour dough handprint.

It's been 18 years since my mom sold our childhood home. I'm glad she sold it when she did. In fact, considering the swift decline of the neighborhood not long after that picture was taken, she probably waited too long.

Still, the final move was a difficult thing for me. Obviously I mourned the loss of the only home I knew for the first 22 years of my life. But how does one know to say goodbye to the little things, like the smell of old screen, or golden glittery address numbers or the dangling shadow of a maple tree branch? Things that can be so easily overlooked or taken for granted or forgotten.

Or not.


••• Friday, October 13, 2006

It's Snow Joke 

I seldom complain about the cold and snow in Michigan. In fact, I love my Michigan and all her weatherly foibles. But I do draw the line at accepting snow before Halloween. Puleeze.

Today's Eye Candy is a lovely dangle I picked up on our beach at the lake. You know, last weekend.

Have a Berry good Friday.


••• Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Dwelling on the Dwelling by the Sea 

The weekend was so delicious, I'm having a hard time letting go.

I can't stop thinking about it.

I can't stop talking about it.

I can't stop looking at the 500 plus pictures I took about it.

But it's time. I know. People are sick of hearing about it, and truthfully, I'm sick of people getting sick of it.

So I'm moving on. To some knitting. Really.

As promised last week or so, here's the Cakers modeling her Queen of Hearts sweater:

I can't remember exactly when or where that picture was taken. I think it was over the weekend. There may have been some bodies of water involved.

Oh, you say you can't see the sweater very well? My bad. Here's a bit of an action shot, taken, hmmmm, maybe this past weekend. But I can't be sure.

No fashion spread is complete without the ol' Walking Along the River with my Daddy shot. This picture may have been taken some time over the past several days or so and that could be Lake Michigan in the background, but I can't remember. Exactly.

Whew. It's kind of nice to finally be over my weekend dwelling. When I started today's post, I wasn't sure I would be able to get through it without mentioning, well, you know.

I almost forgot. While she was wearing that heart sweater somewhere recently, The Cakers found this stone:




I had a long, drawn out tale prepared for how this sweater came to be on my needles. The story included intrigue (where is that yarn?) and suspense (will I get gauge?) and a case of mistaken identity (WTF? This isn't even close). Bottom line: Afer my original plan didn't work out, I had less than an hour to start over in my search for a pattern and yarn.

Well, the impromptu knit gods were for me on that day. The pattern is from A Treasury of Rowan Knits and is called Polar. It's a tunic. I'd show a picture of the pattern but my hub is on the computer that's attached to the scanner, and he's kind of crabby right now. It's a moss stitch/stockinette rib. The knit stitch, not my husband.

The yarn is Kilcarra Cottage ::shut up.:: Tweed. I bought it about four years ago on Ebay from a woman who was living in Kilcar at the time of the sale. The purchase was a steal, I recall, even with interuniverse shipping. I don't know if this stuff is still available on the market, but I think Tahki sold it under their label for awhile. It's kind of crunchy but I'm hoping that will come a bit in the wash.

It's also a fat, quick knit.

WTFreud Tuesday
There'll be no WTF Wednesday post this week. In fact, my weekday blogging will be even more sharply curtailed for awhile, for reasons I will explain when my weekday blogging is not so sharply curtailed.

Anyway. Tonight we attended a school function for The Cakers at the high school. ::A post for another day. Or two.:: The only open spot to park was near that, ummm, special place I showed you last week.

I was pleasantly astounded to see that this week they've added a feature to our precious Vagigantic.


I'm tellin' ya, I couldn't make this shit up.

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••• Saturday, October 07, 2006

Saturday Sigh 

Saturday Sky

Saturday Lakes

That's our lake in the foremost-ground and Lake Michigan on the horizon. If you click it big, you can barely make out the head of the Baby Bear of South Manitou Island.

This one is a neighboring lake in a neighoring town, a few miles up the road.

Saturday Eeyore Dog

Saturday Chair on Neighbor's Porch

Saturday Knit

Yes, new project. We'll talk later.

Saturday Nap

What a cutie, eh? And such a happy guy, after his bitchy-ass wife just woke him up for snoring. ::Yeah, he's cute and sweet, but there's no snoring in beautiful fall days at the lake.::

Okay. Okay. So I'm glad it didn't rain.

::I didn't plan on posting so many pictures, but Blogger was giving it up tonight, people. We just kept goin' and goin'.::

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••• Friday, October 06, 2006

Don't Hate Me... 

...Because I'm some place beautiful and it's:

It's actually been a rough afternoon up here. There are so many nice pictures to choose from, Eye Candy Cide which one to pick.

Feel better, now?

That's the Cakers' silhouette, on a pile of sand.

The rest are self explanatory.

For some reason, Blogger kept showing this in the vertical position, so I had to give it a hand job. I mean, a hand-typed job. That's why it won't get bigger if you click on it. In fact it won't do anything but stare back blankly.

bell view

Now I'm just counting the minutes until Cakers goes to bed and my husband goes out to the campfire, and it'll be just me and my 'nilla rum and my diet Vernors and some yarn on some needles.

It's supposed to be a gorgeous day tomorrow, so we're planning on attending a local fall festival. While I'm sure it will be a marvelous time, I was kinda hoping it would rain. For some reason, a day of rain and jammies and coffee and knitting at the lake sounds really good right now.

I'll keep me posted.

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••• Thursday, October 05, 2006

October Harvest 

This picture was taken five years ago today, on my baby boy's 15th birthday, just moments after he was introduced to his baby sister, one day old.

Can you see the adoration in his face? Whenever I look at this picture, I hear him thinking "Now everybody's going to know my mom did it. And she's over 40. I'll never get a date for homecoming."

My son has a tiny little pea head, for which he gets teased without mercy by his friends and mother. For perspective: The Cakers' head is 3/4 inch smaller in circumference. He also has crimped ears, which he somehow blames on me.

Anyway. In honor of his 20th birthday, I made him this card.

He seemed to get quite a kick out of it. And it didn't even go to his head. ::yeah, I can now see that the text contains some grammos. It was late and I was tired and this was the best I could come up with after 16 fucktillion tries.::

In case any of you were paying attention, yes, The Cakers turned five yesterday. And no, I don't have any decent pictures of her, representing the occasion.

I do have a picture of Mattel's most recent addition to their lineup: Flaming Uterus Barbie.

Okay. I'm so tired, I'm actually considering going to bed before Grey's Anatomy. Besides, I am so over Meredith and her McFucktards.

So g'nite.


••• Wednesday, October 04, 2006

WTFing Around the 'Hood 

Over the past year, the main street of my little town has been undergoing a major makeover. What was once a snooty-patooty department-store-turned-vacant-lot, is now a series of lovely storefronts, with vintage appeal.

One of the more publicized additions included in the overhaul has been a stained-glass-like sculpture of the sails of a sailboat, which adorn the entrance to a parking garage.

After the first few pieces were put up, I took this picture:

I was really excited about this sculpture, not only because I thought it was going to be a cool addition to the neighorhood, but also because I imagined a variety of artsy photo ops.

Well..I was right on one count. There are photo ops...

...of a gigantic, pink Peter Maxx vagina.

Here's a rather unfocused, long distance view of the, ummm, piece. ::I apologize for the poor quality but there was a lot of traffic. Mostly teens. I was in fear for my life. My readers are worth a lot to me, but not that much. Sorry. ::

With this shot I wanted to show what people see straight ahead of them while driving down this street. A street which happens to run along side the high school. Initially I was a bit concerned about the impact of teenagers getting a daily exposure of, well, this. On the other hand, the athletic teams have been doing really well this season.

I hear that there's talk of adopting Ypsilanti as a sister city, where this landmark graces their beautiful downtown area.

Okay. I made that last part up. I just wanted to show a picture of that tower again.

Anyway. WTF?

P.S.For a real tall treat, Google images using Ypsilanti and tower.

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••• Monday, October 02, 2006

Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho.... 

...I got some Effin-O.
I knit real swell,
Then seamed like hell,

The Caker's Queen of Hearts:

Here's a shot that shows a little more of its natural texture:

I'da loved to have shown a Cakers actually wearing it, but she was in one of her "I ain't your Monkey" moods and wouldn't put it on for the camera. It does look cute on her.
Pattern: Queen of Hearts, from A Treasury of Rowan Knits

Yarn: Brown Sheep, Cotton Fleece. In Some Kind of Green.

Comments: What the hell took you so long? That poor girl is prit near grown!
Okay, is there anybody out there who just can't get enough of the mattress stitch? ::Raises hand::.

I'm not kidding. I love the mattress stitch.

I have it in my head that finishing a sweater is about as joyful a chore as getting an oral colonic.

Therefore, per usual, I had the knitting on this sweater done weeks before the final construction.

And, per usual, once I finally got to the finish line, I wound up falling in love with the mattress stitch, all over again.

I don't know what it is, but this thing, it mesmerizes.
It holds some kind of secret power over me. So that once I start, I don't want to stop.

I don't want to talk.
I don't want to work.
I just want to bang on the seam on all day.

A regular Mary Mattress Stitch I am.

Unfortunately, all good mattress banging must come to an end.

But somehow, I didn't feel quite finished, so I dug through my pile of knitting-crap-to-take-care-of, and came up with this:

All it needed was a zipper. Even with Bonne Marie's lovely tutorial, sewing a zipper cannot hold a brand-clean colonic hose to my mighty mattress stitch.

That sweater actually looks better in person than in the picture. Well, except for the part you can't see in the picture, where the left side of the cardie is longer than the right. This is a problem that becomes a real problem when putting in a zipper. To say nothing to the fact that the sweater itself was born on the wrong side of ugly.

Yes, it's a little ugly. But it's my little ugly. I think it will be great for a fall stroll or hayride, or neighborhood dogfight.

I'd provide specs but I can't remember the yarn. It's Bernat something. Flesh of Fish ,or something like that. Discontinued, of course. The pattern was from Vogue Knitting, Fall 2004.

I had a hideously ass-kickin-busy-but-nothing-to-show-for-it-at-the-end-of-the-day kind of day. And I'm tired. And I gotta go.

Both my babies have birthdays this week, so on top of being quite the FO Ho', I'm wearing my brain cells to a nub, pondering the passage of time and the growing up of babies fine.

I actually have even more knitting to update, plus an FO of another variety. But now I'm feeling like that guest who says she's leaving, but merely lingers at the door, obsessively finishing every new thought on saying good bye.

So I'm just going to do it.
I'm hanging up.

Oh, that reminds me. Did I ever tell you about my ex-boyfriend Tad? About the time we were on the phone, and he kept talking and talking and talking and I accidentally bumped my chin on the hang-up button and hung us up but he didn't even know I wasn't there and I couldn't call him back because it was busy because he was on the phone?

Okay, I got it. On the count of three, we both hang up. All right? At the same exact time. One, two, two and a half...