Monthly Archives: June 2006

Finding the Humor

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Graphic: NYtimes.com, 6/29/06

I habitually check a few major news outlets throughout the day. The NY Times is one of those. Rather than fall prey to the varying emotions that occur as a result of these peeks into our “Present Day World that is Sometimes Heartbreaking” I try to focus on one thing – the absurd.

I just took a break to check out nytimes.com. Just to make sure no buildings had been blown up recently. The graphic above was listed next to a headline for this article regarding the US Sumpreme Courts decision on the military tribunals at Guantanamo.

A little known fact about me? I love graphics, tables, etc. The conveyance of information in graphic form is one of my “things”. (Hence, the love of maps.) I admire the intention behind this graphic. Giving a face to the law. Allowing people to take a glance and see, visually, where the votes fell. However, the absurd factor is cranked up to eleven in this one. I’m not sure they could have done it differently to eliminate the absurd factor. I tend to think it’s there on purpose.

When I see this graphic all I think is,

“The floating heads of justice.”

And the photo’s they used?! Kennedy’s eyes are closed. Are they closed to justice? Alito looks like he’s sitting for a mug shot. Has he committed a crime against justice?….

This one is going to keep me entertained for days.

Who you calling Loaded?

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Inspired by all of the giving in these here parts I hobbled over to Cara’s registry and got Rob 3/10 of a Goat for his birthday.

Because really? What would we do with a whole goat?

It is way more fun to say that you have 3/10ths of a goat.

People look at you funny.

I wonder which part they’ll send us? I hope it’s not the ass.

What?

They don’t SEND you the Goat?

It goes to a family in need?

Damn.

Well, to tell you the truth, I was a bit concerned about what 3/10ths of a Goat would look like and how it would smell in a few months.

A free fun silly prize to the first person who get’s the pop culture referenced in the picture above. Rob has a band named Loaded Goat, where did he get this from?

ps – If you know us in real life and know the answer to this question you cannot answer because you will ruin it for everyone and I will cry and stamp my feet and throw my hands up in the air.

pps – Thank you all for the birthday wishes. I think Rob had the best birthday evah, which was partly due to you all. Thank you.

NOT Dirty 30!

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Today is Robby’s birthday. How old is he now? Older than I can count. Older than the Magna Carta. Older than the mountains. Older than the oceans..

Okay – he is not that old.

A brain stormed list of reasons I am glad Rob was born..

1. Um, obvious one first – If he hadn’t been I would be without a husband.

2. He is kind to animals of all sizes, shapes, and kinds. Even bees. He rescues bees from swimming pools. Seriously.

3. He is funny. I mean fall over, hold your hand over your crotch to avoid peeing your pants funny.

4. He is supportive. I could tell him that I wanted to move to Siberia to make snowmen and he would be up for it. He may complain like it’s going out of style. But, he would go.

5. He told me on our 4th date that he wanted to have kids with me. Yes, this freaked my shit. However, his honesty, tenacity, and utter devotion in the face of rejection allowed me to somehow filter through my cold, dark heart and fall in love.

6. If I say, “Honey, do you want some ice cream.” He’ll get up from the couch, walk into the kitchen and return with a bowl of ice cream, complete with Rainbow sprinkles FOR ME. Seriously, no training necessary, he just came this way.

7. He is a lover of words. We like different words, but he loves them just the same.

8. He is passionate about things he cares about. Don’t even get him started on JFK and the current administration and all other things that reek of hidden agendas and dishonesty.

9. He thinks Jesus was a cool dude and an incredible role model. He also believes he was a pacifist and a benevolent person. As people go – Jesus is a pretty good guy to model yourself after…regardless of where you stand on the whole “son of God” thing.

10. He believes in family and devotion and love.

11. He is a good friend to those around them. He knows how to listen and truly enjoys hearing what people have to say.

12. He can, if you can get him out of his rocking chair and kick off his old man suit, be really spontaneous and adventurous.

13. He is incredibly complicated and filled with contradictions. Always keeps you guessing, that one.

14. There is something about him that just fits. I don’t know what it is or how to define it. It is just there and I love it and I love him.

Happy Birthday Bo-bo.

Smarty McSmart Pants

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I hosted a Duct Tape Dummy making party for some of our local gals this weekend. So. Much. Fun. The food, the company, the sangria! All of it melded into perfect time for me, I can only hope my guests had as much fun.

Claudia was my wrapper, thank you darling! To create the dummy (or smarty in my case because, let’s face it, a duct tape dress form filled with poly-fill is probably sharmter than me sometimes) you dress yourself in a plain white t-shirt and get wrapped up in duct tape.

Good times.

Here are a few photos of the process:

Cross your heart baby.


As you can see Claudia became quite intimate with by boobs. And my chubs. – Yes I am making a funny face here.

Here I am all wrapped up. I have Ben to my right and Martha to my left. I cut them out until I get permission to post them all wrapped up.


It’s looks uncomfortable. Strangely it was actually somewhat comfortable. Your spine is aligned, you have to stand up straight and all your chubbies have been put away. I wouldn’t want to hang out like this for too long. But it certainly wasn’t as horrible as I anticipated it being.


Just in case there was any confusion Maryse labelled my Boobies and Chubs. I love that she put a heart next to my chubs. I lub them.

After getting cut out of the dummy you have to tape it back together and stuff it with poly-fil. You also have to measure to make sure your measurement’s are realistic. I found that the smarty’s chest was a bit too small. Time for a boob job.

I found, at this point, that it was easier to use one of my bras to help me get the right size and shape. It made my job quite a bit easier.

Some things I learned:

My belly button is off center – by about an inch!

The back half of my waist is about 4″ shorter than the front part of my waist.

Woman have incredibly beautiful bodies. We are all different but truly amazing. I was the wrapper for Julia and Chreryl – both different body builds and equally as stunning.

I adore my knitting community. Absolutely and totally adore them.

Stitchy’s book – amazing. Truly.

Thank you to all the girls that could make it over. You’ve warmed my home and my house.

Johanna makes a mean cupcake. (and she has news! big news!)

Mwah!

(I think I hit you all – but if I forgot someone please tell me!)

And to smarty – my new bestest friend…


It’s strange to feel your self up.

I’m hot blooded, check it and see I got a fever of a hundred and three…

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… Come on baby, do you do more than dance?


Let’s lighten the load over here.

Another finished knit.

Finished back in February, right before I started the Olympics. The pattern is a free pattern from Blue Alverez Designs, it is called – Hot Lava. Which, every time I think of the name, I think of the Foreigner song quoted in the title and at the start of the post. So funny.

I used Classic Elite Montera. Another score from our Christmas trip to the Warehouse. It was fun yarn. Definitely a WOOL wool.

Not sure what sized needles I used, I can’t remember.

I love this sweater. It was an easy knit. It fits great. I actually prefer to wear it upside down from the intended orientation. I like the way fabric lies. It’s sassy while still being functional.

And, most importantly. It deals with the rack well.


sweeetttt.

I just found another pattern from Blue Alverez that I think I’ll put on my list…Licorice Whip.

Earth to Wendy, tune in Wendy

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Thank you all for the trip suggestions. We have chosen a place from one of the comments and are actually going to be able to spend two nights! I’m super excited. I will let you know where we went after the fact just in case anyone reading this block is a murderereererere.

I also want to thank you for the compliments on the sweater and my legs. It is truly amazing what a camera angle can do – my legs are not that long. For realsies. I’m 5′3″ with a long torso. My inseam is about 28″. I would like to confirm this but I can’t find one of the million tape measures that I have…

The sweater did shrink with blocking. As I suspected, it did not come up quite enough. I thought I would just rip out the extra length and then I decided that the sweater is going to be ripped to the armpits.

As I was explaining to Lauren today, the yoke of the sweater is knit from the top down starting as one piece. You then separate the front and back and knit them flat, rejoining again after the armholes are shaped. Teva has you adding quite a few stitches under the arms as you join the front and back. I dubiously followed her instructions to the letter, with the appropriate gauge adjustments. Too bulky. As I mentioned in the previous post, I wanted a tighter sweater out of the Lace Leaf Pullover. So, I ripped back and added less….about halfway through I got nervous and, against my instinct, didn’t leave off as many stitches as I intended.

The sweater is totally wearable. I would probably be happy with the finished product. However, I’m approaching this whole thing as an exercise. Make a garment that I’m 100% satisfied with. At 3.25 sts/in this is a great project to approach with that attitude. I may go ahead and knit a sleeve to see how it looks with the sleeve set in. I will definitely sleep on this decision.

Which brings me back to the thing about the instincts. I truly believe that if we listen to ourselves, really listen and hear, that we can make no “mistakes” in knitting or in life. We may get it wrong and have to try again but I view that as something different than a mistake. Getting it wrong is not knowing any better. A mistake is knowing better and doing it anyway.

I look at many of the mistakes that I have made, the knitting ones are the easiest to see and/or admit, and realize that – deep down – I probably knew better. Why don’t we listen to ourselves? Especially woman – I think our sense in this area is a little better honed. This is not a diss on our male friends and/or lovers, it’s genetic. We also, in most cases, need it the most often. Growing up I always had to be aware of myself, where I was, and whether or not I was safe. Learning to trust my instincts to remove me from a potentially dangerous or unsafe situation. I had to do this not because I lived in an unsafe place (I grew up in Middle Class America) but because I was a girl.

I have had many discussions with male friends who marvel at the idea of such an existence and few have had little frame of reference. Whereas my girl friends totally know what I’m talking about. In fact, too many of them, myself included, have had experiences that reinforce the need for this kind of behavior. They know what it means to feel an instinct, a gut feeling, a inkling that something is right, or not right, or “off” just a bit. The problem, I think, is that most of us do not know how to or will decide not to act on that instinct. Do we fear the repercussions? The risk? The thought of getting it wrong? Of going against the grain?

I wonder about our little girls in society. How do we teach them to listen to themselves, pay attention to their instincts, and to follow through with what they know is right, even in the face of those that will tell them they are wrong? I wonder about the woman in our society how to we teach them? How do we teach ourselves?

How to you listen to and HEAR yourself in a way that moves you to act?

Whoa. Reading through this I realized that this went a different way than I thought this post would go. But, hey, I’m crazy like this. I am putting it out there. Feel free to comment or not.

Dude, you so forgot your pants

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Something drew me to Rowan Cork. Not so sure what. I tried it way back at the Taste of Yarn I hosted (which I just realized was OVER a year ago, so strange how quickly time flies.) Didn’t hate it, didn’t love it. However, something drew me to the bag of sale yarn. I walked out of the store without it. Rob is the one that insisted that we go back and purchase enough for me to make the sweater I had spotted in the Rowan Cork book (Bless if you’re curious.)

As I began to swatch I really began to love the yarn and wanted to make a simple top down pullover with ribbing at the neck, sleeves, and waist. I wanted subtle shaping and a sweater with little ease (to make up for the bulk of the yarn, Cork knits up at ~3.5 sts/in) I was not up for writing a pattern. I shuffled through my knitting books and found a sweater that I have been coveting for awhile. Which, ultimately, made me think that when I find something I like and would like to knit that I should record it somewhere. Thereby allowing me to buy yarn with a purpose when the need comes. Does anyone have any ideas where I could write these things? What? Where? In a knitting blog? Huh. Great suggestion. I’ll have to look into that.

The sweater – The Lace Leaf pullover by Teva Durham. It totally satisfied my requirements, minus the waist shaping but I could easily add that. The construction, as many of you probably know, is a bit original. It’s knit top down and bottom up with a bunch of grafting in the middle. I wasn’t up for that so I eliminated the bottom leaf. My swatch told me that I needed to make some changes due to a difference in gauge. I pulled out the calculator. A quick look at the pattern made me realize that I’d have to size the pattern down as I wanted a tighter fit with less ease than the designer intended. I pulled out some paper. I realized I wanted it a bit longer. I pulled out the pencil.

Next thing you know I’m rewriting the pattern. Good bones by Teva, I modified based off of her ideas.

I started knitting top down in the round (I prefer sweaters with seams…but we were going for easy here). And I knit and I knit. My swatch told me that I would loose about 12% of my length so I knit it 12% longer than I would like it to ultimately end up. I finished all of that damn twisted stitch and, last night 10pm, I tried it on with my new shoes.

Ever had those dreams where you go to work and realize, after you arrive, that you’ve forgotten your pants?

This is the sweater for you. Long enough to cover it all up, erase your mistake, pretend it was all on purpose.

At least that’s my story.

This is pre-block and a little bit stretched to hide my bizzness.

My fingers are crossed that the 12% length skrinkage really shakes out.

Oh, and this photo-shoot is dedicated to Kay. “This Fresca is for you!”

The Internet that Ate my Brain

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So. Tired.

The internet ate me last night. I was up until 1 a.m. with all of these cool language sites. Seriously, I have a problem.

Tonight I’m focused on twisted rib for my Cork project. I hate this part. Twisted rib, 100+ stitches in the round with size 11 needles. Not. fun. It’s taken me all night to get through five rows. No joke.

Rob and I are thinking of taking an overnight somewhere nearby for his birthday. We hope to head out next weekend, with the dogs. We are poor and would like a fun adventurous 24+ hours within a 150 mile radius of Boston. I’ve been trying to find a cheap cabin to rent for the night but the internet truly doesn’t lend itself to these type of things. We would be up for camping but we can only go for one night and that seems like a lot of prep work for one evening.
Any suggestions? The only real requirement is that the dogs must be welcomed.

Chi·ra·gra – A knitters worst fear

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I am a creature of habit. The laws of physics practice their ways on me. I blog blog blog and then I stop stop stop. No reason. Busy as always. Just out of the habit.As a way of reentering my world. Here’s what’s up:

Readin’:
Just finished Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood. I read it for my bookclub and really enjoyed the novel. Something I learned: Slut’s Wool. My original thought on the definition wasn’t too far off from the actual. However, I believe mine (which you can guess by firmly placing your head in the gutter) is more amusing. As an alternative definition, I can’t help but think this is what all those little crap pieces of yarn strewn about the house should be called.
I’m now settling into The Eight by Katerine Neville, a gift from Elisa. I had started Wuthering Heights by “one of those damn Bronte sisters”, as Rob says (purchased at the thrift store for 50 cents thankyouverymuch). While I enjoyed the first chapter I found I was not in the mood to concentrate so hard. Neville’s book is perfect for my current attention span.

Watchin’:
Many of you may remember that I love old movies. I’m slowly trying to get through the decades past. Times of women in skirts and men in pants with waists at their nipples. Hitchcock is a favorite. The man made a lot of movies. These are the movies that I got through this weekend. All, believe it or not, first time viewings.
1 – Young and Innocent. Verdict: Not my favorite Hitchcock but very entertaining. He was a younger film maker and it shows. However, some of his trademarks are striking in this film.
2 – Lost Angel. Verdict: Cute feel good film. Shirley Temple-esque. Which reminded me to add her to my DVR WishList.
3 – Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. Verdict: Great movie. Moving and a fine film. Rings too true for our times.
On the non-movie front.
1 – I am about two-thirds of the way through The Age of AIDS, a Frontline program. Verdict: This level of darkness and tragedy is difficult for me to process. However, I feel a sense of devotion and responsibility to those that have been more deeply affected by this disease. It’s an interesting look through our history as a nation and how the character of those in the Executive Office so strongly influenced the course of the disease.
2 – National Spelling Bee. Verdict: I am without words. For a fun site that takes a look at the final words through the eyes of baseball check out this MLB article.

Listenin’
My ipod supplies me with music and books on tape. Maryse insists that listening to the books does not count as “reading” them. So, here we go – they’re in a different category.
I am EXTREMELY picky about my readers. If you’re going to invade my ears for more than 8 hours – you need not annoy the crap out of me. I also can only listen to certain types of books on tape. Books that are driven by plot rather than by characters are a bit easier for me to pay attention to. I just finished, A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore. Loved the narrator, loved the story. Two thumbs up. Christopher Moore does a great job with turning phrases. Lends it self well to the auditory experience. The nice thing about audible (where I download my stories from) is the feature where you can see what other books they narrator has recorded. Must keep this in mind for future selections. I presently have Heat by Bill Buford in the queue. How could I pass up a book that has “pasta-maker” in the title? (ps – I just found out this is the abridged version. Pissed. I do not do abridged books.)

Doin’:
Workin’, Knittin’, Readin’, Watchin’, Thinkin’ and just a gettin’ it. Oh, I suppose there may have been some farting with my pants off in there too. ;)
Knittin’:
We had to travel to Milton, MA last weekend. This meant a stop in at Stupid Snow Goose. A LYS there with which I have a love hate relationship. Most of the hate is really just a matter of personal preference, as the people there have never been anything but friendly and accommodating as I plop my credit card down on their counter. The store is an OCDers nightmare. Yarn everywhere. In piles. In corners. No logical organization. The sale box? Clearly visible. I picked up a bag of Rowan Cork and the pattern book. Seriously, nothing like discontinuing a yarn to get you to purchase it. I came home swatched, abandoned all other projects, and haven’t looked back. I am loving the yarn and really loving the project that I’m working on. I’ll spare the details for my next post. All the watchin’ I have been doing? Totally the fault of this damn yarn and pattern.

Eatin’:
Fresh Strawberries. Yummmm.

Lovin’:
Aside from the usual swell that I have in my heart for the man who sleeps next to me as I sleep without EVER snoring, I am lovin’ my new knitting bag. Unfortunately I cannot find it online. It’s a black diaper bag from Targ*t.

Thinkin’:
If humans are intelligent enough to manipulate cells to create medicines, vaccines, and treatments for major disease than why oh why have they not created a crystal ball? My family’s life is at a cross road. We are searching and seeking the right direction. I have faith we will find it but man, it would be a hell of a lot easier with a damn kick ass crystal ball.

Oh, and tell me how stupid I felt when I realized that, at the age of thirty, the phrase, “for all intensive purposes” is a malapropism. It is actually, “for all intents and purposes”. While it is, apparently, a common error I am still shocked. Seriously, how can I count the ways my English teachers have failed me and/or how dense my brain must be?*** PS- I love how the linked to website says the mistake is made by people who do not read much…right, sure….this falls into the same category that people who read are really good spellers.
By the way, this would be a great opportunity to use one of the words (psittacism) that I learned as a result of the Spelling Bee. However, it’s 11:21 pm and by brain cannot stretch that far. So, I will be satisfied by just telling you about it.

Hmmm, this is kind of fun. Maybe I’ll make this a regular feature. Except in the future we’ll have to add a “Spinnin’” category. Yip!

*** My husband just informed me that he has corrected me on this phrase multiple times. In fact, he insists that a few years ago we made a bet and I looked it up and, of course, lost. I guess I cannot realling blame the teachers huh? My thick head is the larger problem.