Wednesday, March 31, 2004

My husband is on call and working from home this week so computer time is scarce. Plus, we just got our Freaks and Geeks DVD set, so we may not be coming up for air for a couple days. Send snacks, Diet Coke and rolling papers.

Monday, March 29, 2004

Three cheers for warm weather! Allowing my kids to go outside to play gives me the freedom to do things previously open to me only when they were sleeping, like mopping the floors, vacuuming, and doing the dishes. All of which are cruelly curtailing my knitting time, since I don't get to use the excuse "They need to be watched. Every. Second." (Not really an excuse, but their big sister has done such a great job triggering any dangers in the back yard that there is remarkably little mischief to be made.) I'm only one-tenth of the way through my No-Sweats, but they please me, being knit on such big needles. My other projects right now are snailing along on threes and twos. I know there's been some criticism for this design, but really, regular sweatpants are synthetic material also, only twice as ugly. Mine especially, since they bear proof that the bright colors in my house were painted by hand. I've missed SnB for the past two weeks and I hope I get to go this week. I need alone time desperately. I am enjoying a clean house immensely, but how can housework expand to fill all the time available in which to do it? It's sucking away leisure minutes I used to spend blogreading, knitting, and other soulful activities. But you know, if I don't have to worry what will happen to my nice clean yarn if it hits the floor, I am content.

Friday, March 26, 2004

A few pictures I feel I owe you! (Sorry, no Joan, despite two attempts she resists photography and I'm beginning to feel like part of the paparazzi.)

Tell me the child isn't a dead ringer for Drew Barrymore in ET. She looks more (much more) like Brea than me, and if I could figure out the logistics of her and Pman having an affair and conceiving a child while I get stuck delivering the baby, they'd be in big trouble.

My progress on the back of Deb. It's slow going, because it's not a steady project for me, by virtue of it being cotton. There are other, more urgent things on my plate, that of course I can't flash around, but I'll give you a hint: I'm still on a footwear kick.

I can never resist dyeing yarn with the leftover easter egg dye. Usually I get really into the egg-dyeing process, but this year I let the kids do the eggs and I colored thriftstore wool. I imagine I would rather have been dyeing wool all along. How could my mother have known?

A self-portrait mask Isabel made at school. She gave herself blue eyes although her eyes are actually hazel green. I love the artistic mind of the kindergartener. I love this so much because it puts me vaguely in mind of an H.R. Pufnstuf character. Keep in mind, I was about 7 or 8 years too young to watch it on real television, I caught it on Armed Forces TV in the mid-eighties. And I think it made me drop acid in high school. It was either that or Willy Wonka, and believe you me, I have a very conflicted relationship with Roald Dahl. (Long story.)

The plate I won in the silent auction. The really neato thing about it is that the woman who decorated the kids' fingerprints doesn't know any of them, but the critter she chose accurately reflects the child in many instances. Alice is a ladybug, which is appropriate,(another long story) Edie is a spider, and she loves them--she was a spider for Halloween. Henry is an owl, and he's a serious little guy who uses 50-cent words that crack everyone up, like aquarium and rectangle,while Mercedes, a kitty, is truly feline. Serendipitous.

A word about my Pom Squad socks--I never thought I was the first chick to come up with poms on the back of anklets, but no sooner did I see the pattern published than I walk into Target and see pom socks everywhere, and a character in the movie Welcome to Collinwood is wearing hers with capris and Keds. Another mom made some (that predate my pattern) that were orange with green ribbing and pom--carrots!(I'll post the link later today.)

You have my personal promise that before I attempt to publish a pattern, I've googled thoroughly to make sure I'm not ripping anyone off.(I try!) I can't guarantee (no one can) that no other person has had the same idea. I just want to be clear that sometimes a coincidence is just that, and I would rather sell my soul to Suss than intentionally copy anyone. (No one has said anything, but I hate the thought of anyone supposing I was cribbing from Target--or anyone--and passing it off as a spark of inspiration.)

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Things My Husband Has Done That Impressed Me 

He bought me a house and then proposed.

He doesn't care how often I rearrange the furniture.

He argued with my mother in the delivery room. (That takes courage.)

He bought me an entire set of casein needles for Mother's Day.

He helps me paint the walls even though he hates doing it.

He has become the resident expert on Pediatric Dental Hygiene.

He watches Jane Austen movies with me.

He cleans the drip pans on the stove. (It's actually kind of a grudge match with him, but anyway.)

He pumps the gas for me.

And yes, he has had flowers delivered to me just because I was having a really bad day. (Not roses.)

So all in all, I don't expect to see the Fab Five knocking at my door anytime soon.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

A few things.

First, you know what makes me feel old? Commercials. Ten years ago I would watch the commercials during daytime and wonder, "What messed-up throw-back doormat chick actually cares about dishsoap that softens your hands, brightening and deodorizing, and a streak-free shine?"

I do.

Living with sandpapery hands, dull, stinky clothes and a bathroom mirror that reflects a crone when not cleaned regularly was never part of my life plan. But then, neither was making a special trip to the store just to try Press'n'Seal, or Magic Erasers. And had I known then precisely how much of my time was going to be absorbed by dishsoap, laundry and bathroom cleaning, I might have become a chemical engineer, signed on with Dow and created the perfect cleanser, the one that rinses away household dirt, disobedient children and marital spats with no scrubbing.

Second, a word about roses. Roses are social flowers and do not like being singled out of a group. They want a big bunch of their friends around them at all times. If you think it is romantic to buy your girl a single rose, it is not. Particularly not if it is purchased from a mysterious person wandering the bar with a basket of plastic-wrapped roses, or (horrors!) from 7-Eleven. Such actions mark you as singularly unromantic and unimaginative. I've heard that those sad little plastic-wrapped flowers in the convenience store called "doghouse roses," because you buy them when you're in the doghouse. My husband knows that buying those for me would land him smack in the doghouse. Roses are romantic in ridiculous dozens, preferably filling the house as apology for a major gaffe on the level of inadvertently hitting on your wife's college roommate. Singleton roses belong one place and one place only--in the teeth of flamenco dancers. If you want one little posy as a token to give to your heart's desire, try an iris, a Gerbera daisy or a perfect daffodil. Romance has nothing to do with flowers sold at taverns, stuffed animals and red-plastic Valentine boxes of chocolate (your wife knows good chocolate, and it ain't sold next to the Ring-Pops) and everything to do with surprising your lass pleasantly with the time and attention you pay to her preferences and interests. It's 2004, dudes--we shouldn't have to be telling you this.

Under no circumstances should you buy flowers for someone's else's wife, unless she is bereaved or a new mother, or your mother, or so on.

By the way, honey, it's time you took the Tenacious D approach to romance--kick some ass already.

(Sigh. The shoemaker's children go barefoot, you know.)

PS-Flowers bought on the street are okay, I don't know why, they just are.

PPS-I have no idea why I feel so strongly about this.

Monday, March 22, 2004

Jeez. Sorry about the radio silence. The issue at preschool turned into a big ol' shitstorm, but it's all pretty much worked out. At least for me. I felt like I spent all last week doing nothing but talking on the phone, and I don't mind saying I didn't know if I was coming or going. But it's all settled to my satisfaction, and I'm sick of the subject.

On the knitting front, I've been ripping out more than I've been knitting, or at least it seems so. Not that this isn't productive, but I haven't been knitting as much as I am accustomed to and that sucks. I am working mostly on a few designs, which naturally I can't discuss too much, so I have very little to show you. I promise I will get pictures of Joan posted soon (I've taken some but they were dreadful--well, I looked great but the sweater was a maroon blob) but keep in mind that it has been in the high 60's through mid-70's around here lately.

We planted a tree at the preschool on Saturday. Not as hard as I thought--guess it helps to have 6 or 7 volunteers.

Brea's birthday was on Saturday, and we all went out and drank lots of wine. A good time was had by all but my husband. I mean this honestly and sincerely, but I don't think most of us women understand the trials of the feminist man.

All you ladies who thought that a wedding ring would protect you from overt sexual interest from strange men, I wanna hear you say "Haaaaaay!"

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Joan is done! Well, she still needs a collar and seaming, but the pieces are knit and blocked. For about three days, it felt like I was never going to finish! I have enough time to post thoroughly, or seam and shower, but not both.

Sunday, March 07, 2004

The Bitch is Back 

So, it's over. We don't really know how many tickets we sold, nor how much money we made, but lots of people said it was the nicest Steele-A-Deal in a while. Steph (the director), Lisa (Vice-Chair) and I were at the school until 3:30 Saturday morning getting everything ready. This meant that I missed the midnight sale at La Ti Da. I was disappointed, but since I had been there since 2:30 Friday afternoon, I was hardly in any condition to shop, much less socialize. I was dozing off at the computer and we were all running into things. We quit for the night primarily because we were afraid of making frightful mistakes while we were that tired, plus we needed some rest to be back there at 8 am to start transporting prizes.

It was amazing, though. There were no mistakes in the list, although some people walked away without the gift certificates that went with their prizes, but we'll find them and rectify that. You can believe I feel like the most righteous person since Martin Luther, though. There was a lot of sincere altruism last night, which led to an interesting philosophical discussion between Pman and me after drinks with Laurin and Chris.

I'm pretty sure we didn't make nearly as much money as last year, but the parent participation (with one Notable Exception) was truly impressive. As usual, people just showed up and got the job done. The difference was that a lot of people showed up with out even being told, and stayed right on till cleanup. I am so proud of our preschool.

The only blemish on the day was that J. (That Woman.) came for the raffle, sat in the front, enjoyed a meal and generally had a lovely time eying me meanly while I was up front working. I'm sure she thinks I'm a gloryhorner, and I somehow engineered this whole debacle to cheat her out of the credit. But if I had wanted to do fundraising this year, no one would have objected. Plus, this is absolutely not the kind of credit I want. She didn't bother to lift a finger. I couldn't stop myself from crying a little spell afterwards, I was just so exhausted and overwrought and so very, very angry. But Laurin said the thing that made me feel the best;"Everyone knows what she did, and everyone knows what you did, too."

I was noting all of the parents J. talked to last night, sure that she was slagging me to hell and back, and it does bother me. Are the other parents really going to listen to her and start thinking of me as a controlling, power-mad ambition-junkie? Probably not, but there's no good way to defend yourself from this. It just frosts me that I have bitten my tongue several times when people have really pissed me off in the interests of professionalism and preschool harmony, and without my even realizing it, this woman is bad-mouthing me all over town.

These things I know for sure:
Any teacher her child might have in the future (at the preschool) will know about this.
She will never, ever get a spot on the board. Not gonna happen.
The people I admire the most all know the truth, as do the people at Isabel's school.
I have wonderful friends who will show up and shoulder the burden with me.
I will never work with her voluntarily. I will never even speak to her if I don't absolutely have to, unless I have the opportunity to tell her what a waste of space I think she is. Even if she pushed me out of the path of a runaway bus, I wouldn't trust her.
If I ever doubted that I deserved the responsibility I've been given, I sure don't now.
I worked as hard as I could to pull this off and it showed. I did a terrific job. So did all the other people who busted their asses for this.

Lisa won the knitting class,so I'm excited to turn her into my knitting buddy. I won the plate for my daughter's class, where all the kids put fingerprints on it and the pottery studio decorated them as little critters--so cute! Alice is a ladybug. I wanted that plate soo badly. Naturally I haven't been knitting much this weekend, but Amazon delivered some books on knit design that I just can't wait to crack! Off for some well-deserved R&R!

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Where the hell's my drumroll? 

And the winners of the First Annual Janet Jackson Blush-Along are...

And your winner is, Ms. Amy.

First runner-up goes to Leya.

Since all the entries were so funny and so very very embarrassing, I couldn't choose. some were so awful I could hardly believe they actually happened to people of my acquaintance. Others were eerily reminiscent of predicaments I myself have been in. All the tales were special, in their own way. So Isabel and I pulled the winners out of a hat. Email me with your address and I'll send'em along...later.

I may be quiet for a few days getting Steele-A-Deal taken care of, but I can still hear you so you'd better not be dishing behind my back. My eye is upon you.

Monday, March 01, 2004

Okay, everyone, I'm closing the contest at 9:00 pm, Denver time. Sorry so late, but I need to make sure the kids are asleep before I can really concentrate.

Pom Squad resides at MagKnits.Do you really want to be the last to know?

Warning: I am in a vile mood and circumstances have conspired to make me venomous and vehement.

V-words are so crisp and emphatic for when you're feeling pissy. Perhaps I should shut up before I find a way to work the word "venereal" into the conversation.

First of all, let me say how proud I am to have my pattern published in MagKnits and how much I admire Kerrie for all her hard work, vision and just plain niceness.

But I am real bitchy right now.

I have spent about seven of the last twelve hours emptying prize bags, a monotonous job that consists of taking each of approximately 180 plastic bags, putting the anywhere from zero to three million tickets into a ziplock bag and stapling it to the corresponding prize sheet. It sounds fairly low-trauma, I know, but neither the bags nor the sheets are in proper order, and both bags and sheets have packing tape liberally applied. This makes for low-grade irritation and backache that mount after, say, seven hours. Additionally, I was supposed to be recording the names and addresses of ticket purchasers from last year in order to send them invitations for this year's fundraiser. I quit doing that after about thirty-five bags, while I still had functioning grey matter. Also, this took a massive chunk out of my knitting time.

Clearly I did not get enough sleep last night.

I have not had a cigarette yet this morning.

I have been surfing the blogs while performing this odious task and am now thinking I should carry a gun in my kntting bag lest I encounter some of the (mercifully few) idiots who knit that are running around.

See, I wasn't even supposed to be here today. Well, pardon me, but the dumb bitch fucktard who was supposed to be the fundraising chair dropped out last week. No, not out of the preschool, she still has the nerve to show her face after screwing us, (where was all that nerve when she was supposed to be gathering donations, making decisions, and managing her committee? I ask you.) But her oh-so-delicate feelings were bruised when we set a certain date without her input, seeing as how she had failed to do it in the previous five months allowed for the task and was very late to the meeting that was our last chance to make a decision. So she drops all the paperwork and responsibility at my door, literally, and tells folks it was because I am a control freak, basically. Now, anyone who knows me has snorted with derision at this. Of all the insulting things she could have dreamed up, she couldn't have picked one less like me out of a hat. It's like saying I make a lousy Queen of Rumania.
Plus, I'm the chairperson. I'm supposed to be in charge. It's what chairpersons do.

Now, I'm not faulting her for disliking the job. On the contrary, I did it for two years and it is an overworked, underappreciated job. And I hated my chairperson. But, I didn't quit. I wanted to quite badly, but I would have had to leave the school because I wouldn't have been able to face the other parents. Instead of quitting, I made up my mind to do it the next year, and do it better. I did, too--we made about $2500 more than the previous year, compared to average yearly increases of $500. Plus, when you agree to a responsibility, you need to see it through. Even my mediocre mother managed to instill that in me. What's her excuse? She has had more resources and support than I ever did.

If I had been in charge of this from the beginning, I would have done it properly and with style. I'm not overly perfectionist, but I like to make sure any job I do is done to the best of my ability. Who likes having their name attached to slapdash work?

Like I don't have enough fucking people to clean up after.

I've noticed on a very few blogs that there is a feeling that publicly airing your political views is unseemly. Bullshit. I care very much about politics, because I care very much about the world I live in. If you prefer to be apolitical and ignore the sorry state the world is in, go back to watching Sesame Street and let the big girls figure it out. Is there actually a woman out there with a brain attached to her spinal cord who isn't worried about politics? Some issues aren't deal-breakers for me. If we have opposing views on the death penalty, for instance, well, we'll work with that. But abortion? Gay rights? Family? Please, let me know up front if you are stupid, apathetic or homophobic. Personally, I want to know if you are a bigot or a religious zealot so I can shun you like all decent people should. I don't care how well you knit if you are a complete asshole. If you have ever contributed money to Focus On the Family, at best you are seriously misguided and at worst you are going to hell.

I don't oppose religion, per se. Some of my favorite people are deeply religious. But being religious does not excuse you for being cruel. George Bush is an affront to all spiritual people everywhere, not least because he uses his religion as an excuse for Very Bad Behavior. If you are hiding behind God to excuse your backward beliefs, I have a message for you: Jesus Wants You to Shut the Hell Up. Like he died so we could wear WWJD bracelets? You ain't going to heaven, honey, you're going to Wal-Mart. For eternity.

I will post as much Quizilla as I see fit. This is not capitalism. This is not a marketplace. My consumers do not have the privilege of dictating my content. I think they are funny and and a cheap, easy, dose of good feeling. No matter what kind of awful day I've had, it can only help to have someone somewhere compare me to Albert Einstein.

You know what I don't want to read? About your diet. I can't fucking see you, man. And the Atkins thing? Well, this isn't precisely rational, but carbs have been good to the human race and it seems ungrateful to drop them now. Plus, any diet that's based on virtually eradicating an entire type of energy is not a long-term option for me. Twenty minutes without carbs seems like an eternity for me, so maybe it's that whole "it just seems longer" school of health.

Gratuitous pet shots are fine by me. A web page should be about the things and people and animals you love. If people are truly looking for "just the facts, ma'am" knitting info, perhaps they should be gently steered in the direction of their local library. This is not just a resource, it's a community.

If anyone badmouths MagKnits in my presence, I will break your kneecaps. I promise. I went through something like eighty hours of labor with my three kids. I am Batman.

And if anyone sees the Ex-Fundraising Chair on the street, do me a favor.

Throw rocks at her.