Friday, March 28, 2003

Take the Celebrity Deathwish Test!

James Ewell Brown ("Jeb" Stuart) was a prominent general of Confederate cavalry. His troops were considered the eyes of the Confederate Army. Jeb himself, though, was quite the showoff, wearing red-line capes and hats with extravagant plumes into battle. He also had a tendency to sing. Essentially, he made a target of himself, and was killed in battle on 11 May, 1864.
His deathwish was from having way too much fun at a serious job.

We are greatly amused.

So I made a Wonton for the Toby-cat. I had held off on buying him catnip, 'cause it felt a little too much like corrupting a minor. I mean, he's the same age as Teddy. But he's been getting the short end of the lolly lately because all the kids are so rough on him, and I felt a haute couture knitty-kitty toy would make up for things. So I bought catnip, which came in a little baggie (!) and we had to stash it in the freezer (!!) because he started scratching up the groceries in an attempt to get his fix. There appears to be a step missing from the pattern. It should tell you to shut your kitty in the bathroom whilst filling the wonton with catnip lest ye be mauled by a jonesing kittycat.

Finished the top sockret surprise (oops...) and am hurrying to finish the homespun vest for my mom so I can start new, fun things. Like socks. I love socks. I am feeling really into socks lately.

Yesterday I was sick and the pampering P-man stayed home from work to look after me and the kiddos. Can you stand it? The day before that, he called and asked my opinion on needle cases. What a doll! (Dare I think there might be a wee giftie in my future? Cross my palm with silver...) I'll make a knitter of him yet. Luckily, Teddy was born a knitter--I can tell already.

Speaking of gifts, Brea came through with a marvelous birthday gift for me. A lovely pale periwinkle stretch boucle V-neck sweater that I adore and makes my cleavage (still nursing, remember!) look generous instead of trampy. Maybe in my next life she'll be my mommy.

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Itty Bitty Bug Song

Alice is at that stage where she wants to watch her favorite video over and over. We are watching much Maisy (that's Maisy Mouse, not Maisie from Horton, you know.) I am maintaining only because of a surprisingly cool soundtrack by the Umbilical Bros. (Do you or I or anyone know how oats and beans and barley grow...)

Teddy learned how to make kisses this week. He smacks his lips and then gives a big gummy grin (nary a tooth at nine mos.) He is just such a lovey. I can't believe a person with such a sweet disposition came from my loins. If you ever read Little Women, ore any of the subsequent books, remember Jo's son Teddy, the sweet second son who was watched over by all of Jo's Boys? That's my Teddy, too.

Yawwwwn...Pardon me, I'm still recovering. Saturday night we went out for Brea's birthday (while the papalicious P-man held Boys' Night In) and like a tiger let out of her cage, I totally overdid it. Drank too much, spent waaaaay too much money, flirted too much and with inappropriate people, danced all night long and rolled in around 4:30 am. All in all, a very satisfying night out. (Confidential to B:P-man has been briefed on The Incident, but I think it should be kept Just Between Us Chickens, don't you?) Sunday was gone in a flash. I've been a busy little bee working on a semi-secret project. Nothing to do with Knitty, I'm afraid. It's for my real life--sorry, no nifty surprises for my Dear Readers (well, maybe one...) I have a minor but very annoying cold and am feeling cranky and waspish. If Bel's grandmother hadn't swooped in and carried Isabel to safety, I might have listed the children on eBay. Remind me again why these are supposed to be the best years of my life? Oh, wait, that was high school. Right. Cheers.

Friday, March 21, 2003

We have met the enemy, and they is us.

I haven't posted properly the past few days because there was so much happening and I wanted to organize my thoughts. Fasten your seatbelts-I have a lot to say.

Viva la snow day!
Here in my neck of the Rockies we got something like three feet of snow. Should help out with the drought we've been having. Apparently we haven't had such a storm since 1913 and this was the snowiest March on record. Snow covered the garden-level windows in our basement. I haven't left the house since Monday. Cabin fever is setting in! School was canceled for Bel this week and next week is Spring Break, so she is irritable, because all this snow is, of course, my fault. French-toast-alicious P-man (Breakfast in bed yesterday!) got to stay home from work Wednesday and Thursday. He told them on Tuesday that he would try to make it in the next day if the buses were running but he made no promises. (As if I'm loading all my kids in the van and risking all our lives with these crazy drivers on the road who think driving a 4x4 means never having to go slower than 50 mph!) They even offered to come pick him up. These people are sad. Who would risk their neck for that job anyway? So. as it turns out, halfway through the day, the roof began to bulge and make funny noises, so they evacuated all the hardy souls (read: arrogant workaholics who believe they are so indispensable they show up to work with the flu and walking pneumonia so everyone else can have it, too.)

I said it was a snow day, damnit! If everyone would simply listen to me in the first place...think of all the saved time.


First of all, let me say I will never apologize for having and posting opinions. This is my blog, it's not a job, and I will print anything I see fit. If I did what some people do, sticking strictly to knitting, I would bore even myself. (Especially myself! I'm the only one who has to read it!) If you wanted to read about nothing but what I'm working on, what I've finished, and what I'm planning to knit, you could find a zillion more proficient and expert knitters out there, although you would not be able to tell any of them apart since they would only talk about knitting. A bit of personal life, a note of opinion, a dollop of personality-these are what spice our writing and make it interesting for other people. Be honest now. If you really wanted a kick in the pants, you would call your mother-in-law or your snarkiest college friend and tell them what you're working on. Everyone who starts a blog starts one for the same reason. We want an audience. We think of ourselves as witty, intelligent and different with a unique viewpoint to share, and we want to be heard. And appreciated. If this isn't the case, why do we all have little hit counters on our blogs? Why do we all have comments and tagboards? We want a public. So if you are refraining from commenting on a topic, fine. But if you are holding back because "this is a knitting blog," you are fooling yourself. Not me, though.

And if you have more than one blog, great! But you probably don't have kids.

While I'm ranty, I am really tired of this I'm-so-sick-of-x-topic topics.
1) Not everyone is an expert knitter. If I had to depend on my mother to teach me useful things, I'd be limited to marrying inappropriate people and chainsmoking. (Both of which I can manage on my own, thankyouverymuch.) Oh, and drywall. Which is actually pretty useful, but I digress. There are people learning knitting all the time who have questions and no good idea of whom to ask. They don't know how much info is out there in magazines, books, and the Internet. I know I didn't. I used to work for a wonderful, famous bookstore here in Colorado that believed, in a nutshell, "It doesn't matter if they are reading porn or comic books. At least, they're reading." At least they are knitting. Which should be encouraged. When I was in high school I was so anxious to be an adult because I believed that for grown-ups, appearances didn't matter nearly as much, popularity didn't count for much at all, and nobody laughed at you for asking questions. Mostly I have been right. Probably because I can avoid the kind of people I was forced to endure in high school. Let's not be KnitSnobs, people. (Marilyn, this doesn't mean you. I borrowed your syntax because I liked it.)
2)If you don't like it, leave it alone. It takes all kinds. I do feel attacked when people criticize a specific lifestyle or style or something that I share. (And news flash! If you think those kids act badly in the store, imagine what they are like when they get home! Kids are kids, and they all pretty much act the same. Maybe you could offer to babysit at a nice quiet park so that poor mother can go run her errands in peace. Do you have any idea how long it takes to go to the bank with three little kids in tow? Thank heavens for the drive-through. Imagine being carted around to Star Trek convention after convention and that's how my kids feel after a day of very necessary tasks-unless you're into that kind of thing. Parents have to eat sometime, and we can't be forever hiring babysitters to do it.) I don't gay-bash so please don't breeder-bash. You were a kid once, too, and someone put up with your tantrums. If you are really offended by this post, perhaps you could contribute a little something to P-man's Research to Develop Nap-Darts (TM-no, just kidding). Combine those African blow-dart thingies with a low-grade sedative guaranteed to knock your little angel out for two to three hours just when she reaches that too-tired-to-do-anything-but-run-around-and-scream stage...minutes of fun for the whole family and a whole pile o'money for me and the husband.

I may be just a bit sensitive about kids ( I originally meant this in terms of taste, Mary Maxim vs. Rowan, etc. Some people like felt-appliqued sweaters, and goddess knows I wouldn't wear some things I've seen on this very ring.)...but, whatever. Only really, really wishy-washy people like everything.

Sunrise Over Baghdad

The war has started so protesting it is pretty futile, I think. Of course, you are still allowed to disapprove, but if they didn't listen to us before commencing bombing, I find it highly unlikely that they will see reason and cease now. This war is bringing up all kinds of other issues for me.

My step-dad was in the Gulf War. We lived on base and all the other dads were gone too. In every home, CNN was on nearly all the time. It was how we kept up with our loved ones when they couldn't call home. I think this is where I learned that in times of trouble, monitor CNN. Then I know exactly what's going on and who to hurt for. It's a strange form of masochism but I feel irresponsible not trying to carry a little bit of everyone's pain. Death by empathy, that's me. As I told Brea, I would have made a great Jew. I can sit shiva with the best of them.

What a blessing it must be to have a loved one over there and be able to see a little of what they experience via the "embedded" reporters. I am so seriously jealous of those journalists. if I didn't have kiddos I'd be there in a heartbeat. (My little hostages to fortune, I call them) Now where would I put my Pulitzer...?

John McCain says, " Look, it's not possible to only support the troops and not their mission."
Well, I am here to tell you that this is BULLSHIT. I have nothing but the highest respect for these soldiers. Not so much for their Commander In Chief. Which brings me to Rant #2.

I am not by nature a pacifist. I am surprisingly bloodthirsty. I am against war because it is wasteful, in human life, in resources, in money and time, and is usually not the best way to get things done. If Saddam is such a threat, (and I believe he is one bad guy) go in there and take him out. If you are willing to defy the UN and most of the civilized world, I don't see why going against Jimmy Carter is so problematic. If I felt this war was totally just, I would be waving my flag out on the front lines too. If we really want to liberate the Iraqi people, bombing them is an odd way of going about it. But if Hussein was going to attack us with chem weapons or anything else, he's had ample time in which to start. I don't buy the spurious terrorism/Iraq link.

The only way I can see to understand this war is to believe the Administration knows things they aren't sharing. (First, you have to believe they know anything...)I really want to think this. I was born when Carter was president, and the strange political history of this century has been an interesting legacy for those of my generation. We are post-Nixon and post-Kennedy. Idealism and cynicism are the opposite sides of the Caterpillar's Mushroom for us, and I know many who have overdosed on one or the other. I'm also part Capricorn, which makes me prone to accepting the status quo and ancestor worship. I want to believe that our President knows what he is doing and is justified, but I fear this is not so.

Godspeed to our boys and girls. Strength to their families. I hope your great sacrifices will be rewarded.

And Finally, the Knitting

You should be commended for making it this far!

It has been my week for clearing off the shelf. I finished weaving in the ends of Teddy's baby blanket! I didn't embroider it, though. I tried it several different ways and hated the way it looked every time. I am getting close to finishing my mom's vest, as well as a bubble-gum pink perhaps bag made out of crochet thread begun back in the bright days of early summer last year. I have pretty much finished Teo's zip-up-the-back sweater, except I might crochet a trim and I need to find the world's longest baby blue zipper. Toddler Attack! Alice got ahold of the scissors and snipped stitches in Teo's sweater and Mom's vest, as well as big gaping holes in the mulberry baby sweater. I think I can save the first two, but the last...I can't imagine a two-week-old infant goes in much for the deconstructed/grunge look.

Well, that's one girl's opinions. If I had meant you specifically, I would have named you. And I think the KnitLeech thing is hilarious.

Thursday, March 20, 2003

Happy Birthday Brea!

The best best friend in the world. Today, the anniversary of your birth was the best thing that happened all day.

You're a Diamond. You seem like a cold and an
unreachable person outside, yet you are
beautiful inside and outside. You may be
stubborn at times. You act with grace and
elegance and you are a precious asset to all
your friends.

What Jewel Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Well, the first time I did this I was a ruby. Well, anyway, that's a nice rock.

Monday, March 17, 2003

I am Charlie Brown

Which Peanuts Character Are You Quiz

Sort of at odds with "Death," don't you think? Ah, I am a paradox.

Sunday, March 16, 2003

Make Tea, Not War

Stole it from nobody's doll.But I think she read it on a sign at a march, so-public domain.

This has been the weekend of finishing! Mulberry baby sweater-done! Bronco socks-done AND given away! Taos scarf (for ex-mother-in-law)-very very close to done! Kayla's pink cotton ballet sweater-only needs a collar! My knitting to-do list is shrinking as we speak! (Or as I write and you read.) I guess I'll get to spend some quality time with my stash planning my next projects. I imagine I'll get my chance tomorrow when I'm on hold with the Social Security Administration, trying to find out if the baby even has a SSN yet.

I have this pet fancy, where in my mind's eye I see George W. strutting around the White House wearing a Superman cape. You know how kids go through that stage? I met a little boy last weekend (dressed in full regalia) who only answered to "Buzz Lightyear." And of course there was Zoe's "Can't Leave Home Without the Tiara" period. George W. definitely has that air of stubborn denial about him. This is one guy who wears his petulant, enraged inner child right on his sleeve (or cape, I guess.) And if we go to war, I have a hunch we'll be seeing that cape a lot. I am not referring to the President as "Man of Steel." (Title's already taken by Bob Dole, anyway.)

I am very patriotic. The men in my family have served in every US conflict since WWII-maybe even before (I have been lax in my genealogical research lately.) I just happen to believe that revision is good for governments as well as writing. This is a wonderful country and I am too proud of it to let it be less than it can be. I see neither sense nor justification in sending young people off to kill and be killed when the problem could be solved with a pocket ruler and two unzipped heads of state.(You just knew how they drew the line in the sand, right?) I would not be against war if I could see some actual reason behind it. We are supposed to be smarter than this. I fully support the people who serve in our armed forces. But I do not support waging war against someone who might attack us (and has had ample time to do it) any more than I plan to divorce my husband because he might cheat on me. Give me proof or give me peace!

I guess it's a symptom of my multi-culti-We-Are-the-World eighties upbringing, but I imagine the Iraqi people are, by and large, just folks who are trying to raise up their kids and put food on the table as best they can.

If you don't agree with me, fine. You know where to find the door (or the back button) and watch out for the knob. I have yet to meet anyone in person who agrees with George W., no matter what the "polls" say. There's my buck sixty-eight. I'll be here all week-tip your waitstaff.

Use Your Words, President Bush!

Friday, March 14, 2003

Well, I have been vomited on three times in 24 hours. The last time was at preschool during our parent-teacher conference. Teddy was sitting on my lap, just as happy as could be, when oops! I was drenched. I had a puddle in my lap, I kid you not. At least it's my weekend to clean the school. He did it last night during ER and I swear, my first thought was to move my knitting. Please don't call CPS. My lap took the hit for my yarn-fair's fair.

I think I have given up on the Friday Five. Too much pressure. But I enjoy reading everyone else's. One thing to know, though: we have these fancy-schmancy Siemens phones, they're supposed to be some big la-la wonderful brand, but actually they suck. They have so many quirks they might as well be pets. A for-instance? The "call-waiting" or "flash" button says MEM. Don't tell me that's normal. How counterintuitive can it be? It's not like I just started using the telephone! My husband works for the Isis-be-damned phone company! It isn't so much that the phones are smarter than me, it's that they are smart in that Eistein-absent-minded-professory way of people who can instantly compute the distance to Alpha Centauri but can't find their way home. Sometimes when you push buttons the phone will do something entirely different than what you are accustomed to. Frightening.

I am really glad everyone is asleep. I am flat broke and it's not like I have loads of free time to fill, so I enjoy a little quiet time with the ol' laptop to live vicariously through all you other bloggers' exquisite yarn purchases and elaborate projects. It's the optical version of an Easter basket full of Peeps. Which is good, because if you really had a stash of Peeps, my mom would be knocking on the door before you could cram even one improbably-colored marshmallow bunny in your mouth.

She's a fiend.

Thursday, March 13, 2003

Welcome New Person Zoe! (Not to be confused with five-year-old Zoe Monster) The babies are coming fast and furious! I have begun a mulberry Snowflake sweater in a much more reasonable size. I have also decided to lengthen the cuffs of the Bronco socks. I had made them a little short since I was afraid of running out of yarn. I have plenty, though, probably enough for a third sock, should the need arise. Yesterday we had a picnic at the park, and today we had a picnic before school. It gives me that Good Mommy feeling to have picnics, which I need to counteract the Bad Mommy vibes I got Tuesday when I fell back asleep while nursing and awoke to find frozen blueberries, Pringles and chocolate-covered marshmallow eggs covering most of my freshly-cleaned kitchen (not to mention the pot of expensive body lotion.)

It's totally not my fault. Nursing releases hormones that make you sleepy. Really! All the books say so!

Thank heavens none of my kids have been interested in electricity, is all I have to say.

I really want to read that book about socks soaring on two needles. I want to soar.

Monday, March 10, 2003

O, hell's bells, I adore this article on introversion!(Snagged it from staceyjoy.) I am an introvert who does an extremely good impression of an extrovert, or maybe I'm an extrovert who wants to be alone. Obviously I have issues from my childhood.

Well, the buzz from fabulous fund-raising has worn off. The normally insouciant P-man is grumpier than a crocodile with herpes and despite the lovely walk we took today, searching out little green leafy budlings on the trees, my kiddos were hopped up with cabin fever. Either that, or they've secretly figured out child-proof caps and have been hitting the cough syrup rather heavily when I'm not looking. I am very nearly done with the second Bronco sock, and I can't wait to finish them and give the damn things away. I hate putting something down and coming back to it. It feels like it takes months and months to knit something that way. I am an obsessive personality and like to be submerged in projects, breathing and sleeping whatever has captured my interest until it is done. My favorite knitting time is when a project forces its way out of my brain and I devote every possible second to finishing it. I feel the same way when I'm obsessed with a song I love, a TV show that suddenly entrances me, or a book that I simply cannot put down. What can I say? I am a woman of passion. I once listened to Jeff Buckley's Grace (AKA The Greatest Album Ever) for 24 hours straight-after having owned it for 3 years without listening to it twice. Isabel's dad was not as captivated as I was. To put it mildly.

So I left him. (I did say it was The Greatest Album Ever, and I was ever a girl with a mind of her own...)

Sunday, March 09, 2003

It was fantastic! We made so much money! Probably $1500 more than last year, triple what I expected, although we won't know exact amounts for a little while. It was such an adrenaline rush. We didn't win a thing, though. My brother won a sand art kit, but that was it for me and mine. Who cares? We went out for drinks and delicious crab dip and came home and slept until 5 pm. I don't remember the last time I had seven hours of uninterrupted sleep in a stretch. (We woke up at 10 for Koolaid and aspirin.) My mom cleaned my house, too. She means well but she shrunk my favorite sweater (yes, the grey one), threw out a lot of the containers I was saving for preschool, and almost tossed my cashmere in the wash before I got home and stopped her. I haven't had much time to knit in the past few days, but Thursday I turned the heel on the second Bronco sock for Isabel's Pa, realized it was almost but not quite entirely wrong and started over tonight while watching Six Feet Under. The blue sweater is set to be frogged and tried again on a more reasonable scale. I met New Person Nina last night! She smells so good! Not good enough to want to have another baby, but good enough to want to nap in a rocking chair with her.

Wednesday, March 05, 2003

Stop the preschool, I want to get off

Have you ever had a day (or a week, in my case) that made you feel exactly like you were one drink away from oblivion? There is just so much information and delegation and coordinating and data entry (eeeew!) to be done before Saturday that my head is spinning like Linda Blair's. I have it on good authority that a woman on a certain committee was contacted by the chairperson about our fundraiser and told her she couldn't help because "this wasn't a good weekend for her." Well, pardon me while I reprint 9000 raffle tickets to reflect a rescheduled date to fit around this woman's busy life. (Keep in mind that the name of the school has the word "cooperative" in it, this is the pinnacle of the school calendar for us, and all parents know about this night from Day One, if not before.) I'm a little wound up. I hate people who don't pull their weight. I have busted my ass for this school since I first walked in the door because I love it and believe it is an extraordinary place. Anybody who doesn't feel like rolling up their sleeves and digging in can beware the proverbial door hitting them in the ass on their way out. Even my knitting has a slightly surreal feel to it. I am knitting yet another New Person Sweater (obviously, the near-miraculous appearance of my Teddy this summer proved inspiring, to say the least) in royal blue Snowflake DK, with a lime stripe, possibly, and although it was the right size when I cast on and started stitching, it appears that it has been growing and growing and growing! Or maybe somebody at Coke finally read all my letters and added Windowpane to the list of ingredients of Diet Coke. (In the spirit of Occam's Razor...) If it doesn't pick a size the poor kid who receives the sweater will be wearing it under his graduation gown.

By the way, a kitten adopted us. His name is Toby.

Saturday, March 01, 2003

Goodbye to Sheldon. May you find the next world more tender than this one.

Mea Culpa

I am so sorry to have disappeared for so long. It wasn't planned, but I have been going through a really intense period of time. January is my busy month, because of P-man's, Alice's and my birthdays, followed closely by V-day and my anniversary, and the school fundraiser (which I'm in charge of) is in a week. There are babies popping up like crocuses and I have taken my kids to the doctor's weekly in the new year. Add to this a wicked little drink called RockStar and the prescription for Prozac (if only it were Percoset) that my merciful physician slipped me (she has been blessed by Hippocrates) and I am sure that if Aladdin's lamp landed in my lap tomorrow, my first two wishes would be to have six arms and never need sleep. Ah, who am I kidding? My first wish would be for a bazillion dollars. And then the arms and the sleeping. I am knitting a baby sweater for New Person Nina, in a heathery brown, that matches the heathery grey sweater given to New Person Amelia (they are Preschool babies, born on the same day.) I've been working on the multicolored scarf for my ex-mother-in-law, and I wish it would die. Isabel got into the kindergarten of our choice, I am beyond thrilled, and I don't have to worry about choosing a school for another nine years. Amen!