Monday, November 29, 2004

Some of the cool links I have collected recently while wandering the Web...

In Passing

Mr. Beller's Neighborhood

Any Soldier, Inc.

Impeach Bush

Jenny Turpish Slapped Me (Quizzical goodness)

The Things I Will Not Do If I Direct A Shakespeare Production (from creating text(iles))

My apologies if I found the link at your site and didn't credit you. Some of these have been in storage for a while, so to speak.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Happy Thanksgiving! Since we'll be celebrating with my parents and my ex-husband and his parents, I'd better post now before the wine gets opened.(Can you accidentally like, trip and fall and open a wine bottle? Hmmmm...)

In the spirit of being thankful, I present you with an incomplete list of The Things I Love About Pman.

1. No matter how cold I am when I come to bed, he makes it his job to warm me fully instead of feeling my icy toes on his calves and screaming.
2. He cleans the stove. And the burners. He is the only person in our family to do that, because I would wait until something caught fire to notice it needed a cleaning.
3. He recieved a phone call from my mom at *4:45* this morning, asking if he needed any help with the turkey. Thank heavens I slept through it, because if I had woken up, I would have assumed we were needed at the mortuary for a family member. Not one complaint from Pman--I complain about his family much more than he complains about mine.
4. Like a true parent, he knows when I am over-tired or over-hungry and therefore totally spazzing, and then puts me to bed or feeds me. What's that, you say he's not my parent? Shut up.
5. He's paid so much attention to my involved knitting lectures that he learned how in about 8 minutes. The man knits, people, THE MAN KNITS!
6. He's the funniest guy I know. He makes me spit out my drink on a regular basis.
7. He's the "Beer Fairy."
8. He never complains when I borrow his clothes, CDs, coat, bathrobe, etc., leave them in my car. OK, maybe not the bathrobe.
9. He never tickles me. (VERY important.)
10. He makes me mix CDs.
11. He never gets frustrated with my baroque, destined-to-go-wrong, last-minute plans.
He just helps.
12. He loves my friends. But not too much. Except maybe Betty. But it's OK.
13. I find it endearing how he can't find anything that isn't directly in front of him and thus relies on me to find his keys, his socks, his shoes, etc. It makes me feel that he'd be lost without me.
14. He loves my home-made apple pie. He says it's the best ever.
15. He rubs my back without being asked.
16. He always takes my side when I'm fighting with someone.
17. He can chat up anyone, anywhere, anytime. He's a pro. How that man can converse!
18. He's absolutely gorgeous. Sure, with the glasses on, he's just very very cute, but he whips those glasses off and he has huge brown bedroom eyes. It's his superpower.
19. He has never said word one about how much yarn lives with us.
20. He sings "Tenderness" to me. It's worth the plane fare from wherever you are to come see him sing "Tenderness" to me. If he likes you, maybe he'll sing it to you, too.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Friday, November 19, 2004

Okay, guys, here's the deal...

Obviously, this is not just a knitting blog. I started this blog primarily to interact with the knitting community, but blogging has been a much more involved activity than I had thought. Here I talk about kids, friends, housework, politics, and people who piss me off. I've never flattered myself that I have an enormous readership or that my voice is heard by millions on the web. I generally know my readers.

The thing is, I have sort of a problem with assertiveness. It's a very long story, as people's personal quirks often are, but suffice it to say, it's nearly impossible for me to be rude to people, even when I might have every right to do so. One unintended consequence of blogging has been that I sort of censor myself for my audience. Two people very dear to me (and maybe more) in my personal life read wooliemama, and obviously I don't post about our personal issues. This is my blog, about my life, but I try not to drag unsuspecting bystanders into my posts. Sometimes, I really wish I could tell those people not to look so I could vent about those issues without hurting them.

But, wooliemama is still for me. I find that a lot of times, I post about what makes me angry, what frustrates me, things that bother me much more often than I post about my joys or things that make me really happy. There are very few places in my real life where I feel comfortable expressing myself fully, particularly negative emotions. My blog is sort of a spot of catharsis for me, where I can vent, blow off steam, and get mad without hurting anyone. Perhaps if I had one of the "famous" knitting blogs, that get thousands of hits a day and dozens of comments, I would feel more responsibility about putting "positive" or "negative" things on my blog, but I don't. Wooliemama is my private place, where I can shout without anyone hearing me. I love my dozen or so readers who visit me daily, and have had the pleasure of getting to know some of them personally. I privately think that those dozen people understand the "real" me a little, just from reading me frequently. Do I say stupid stuff sometimes? Make bad jokes? Get grumpy and pissy? Of course I do. But I imagine the people who come here are quite forgiving, letting me have my little hissy fits once in a while. Those of you who caught my post about my husband know what I mean. I was very hard on the man, and I knew there was a chance that he might read it, but I needed so badly to be real about how ugly and black I felt without it coming back to haunt me, the way it sometimes does when you unburden yourself to a person you know. So many people were supportive of me that, while I ultimately decided (without being asked) to take the post down, I feel I did the right thing by spewing my nasty personal crap out of me and having the bright light of day expose it as, well, not that bad. I hurt my husband's feelings, I know I did, but he understands how badly I want to be heard sometimes and how scared I am of sharing my feelings with people I know. It's very hard for me to admit my life's not perfect, not shiny and happy all the time, in real life. Maybe I'm not as good at expressing those angry feelings as some people, but I've got catching up to do.

Some people thought I was talking right to them, and this was not the case. I was dumping the frustration and anger I feel about the election. If I had known that friends of mine had made a point of trying to bring people together, I probably would not have worded some things the way I did, but I didn't know.

If you think that I would read something I didn't like on a knitblogger's site and then go back to wooliemama and blast them, you are wrong. There have been numerous times I have read something on a knitblog I found less-than-pleasing. I have never flamed anyone in their comments. I have never linked to a knitblogger's site in a negative way. If I had a serious problem with a blogger, I would only comment if I could not reach them by email, because I don't want to embarrass people publicly. You can look through all two years' worth of archives, and you will never see me put down another knitblogger. It's not my place to go visiting Republicans' sites and throwing fits; I simply go and remember not to come back. I would never make fun of someone for their charity work or volunteering; those of you who know what I do for a living would laugh at the very idea. I've spent more time volunteering over the past three years than I've spent doing just about anything else besides knitting.

I have talked with my friends who were bothered by my comments, and I think they understand why I needed to get so much anger and frustration off my chest. My post did not refer to them personally, and I was surprised to find they had taken it that way. I would never post that sort of emotional stuff on another's blog, only my own, and I generally agree with them about putting negative stuff "out there," but wooliemama is the place where I can put some of this unpretty stuff I feel. And I would never slam someone anonymously; you can take that to the bank and cash it.

I am sorry if my post angered or upset people whose feelings were already raw, either from political stuff or inter-blogger issues, but I stand behind my words and my right to use my website to write about my feelings. The next time someone takes offense to something I say, and there will be a next time, please email me directly so we can talk about it.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Love your enemy--love, love, love, love, love. Barf.--Clara Fraser

Okay, I know everyone is dying to hear what I have to say about the election. I've waited long enough, and I know some of you Faithful Readers have been refreshing the site around the clock, hoping for a rant, and I should probably just get on with it so you can go pee. Here goes:


I hate the Shrub! And I certainly don't wanna be staring at his Perot-eared, unwrinkled-'cause-I'm-too-stupid-to-worry, mama-hatin', war-mongerin' ugly mug for the next four years.

And it is a shameful thing to live in a red state. Shame, shame! Colorado.

Plus, my birthday happens to be January 20. That's Presidential Inauguration Day, if you didn't know, and if you didn't know, please don't tell me about it because I can't find any Percocet.

But, on the other hand, now Georgie Porgie has to clean up his own damn mess, and I'm sure that we won't go another four years without some kind of Bushy scandal that will make CNN the best, nastiest reality programming since The Simple Life. I think a lot of us feel some comfort in our belief that he won't make it four more without publicly self-destructing. Will anthropologists in the far-off future suspect that TiVo was our god? All I know is that the man couldn't make it through a scheduled
120-minute debate, with what appeared to be an earphone (Pman heard rumors that GW's speech patterns from the first debate were analyzed and found to be consistent with those of someone who is repeating what he is told) without losing his shit on national TV, sputtering like Elmer Fudd and pouting when he lost a point. We laughed long and hard. No wonder he got so many votes. He's inspiration to the stupid people in our country that undereducation, laziness, idiocy and poor logic need never hold anyone back.

I have grave doubts about unity. This is a nation of polarity. We are that rare country of non-indigenous people--no wonder the Aussies have our back. It is always Us against Them. Personally, I am glad whenever someone announces their Republican status, because it helps me know whom to avoid. I know a very few people for whom abortion is their deal-breaker (it's one for me, too) and I'm willing to negotiate on that, but in my book, admitting you voted for Bush is like admitting your IQ is smaller than your chest measurement. The problem is, Republican and Democrat don't mean the same things they used to. The snotty, self-righteous, no-fun Religious Right got into the mix, and now being Republican means being anti-child, anti-woman, anti-family, anti-poor, anti-elderly, anti-environment, and so on. As Pman says, "Shit, everyone's a fiscal Republican. I'm a fiscal Republican." But our debt is staggering. Could our government please have better money management skills than stupid ol'me? Can we have that, please? Maybe it would help if our president had more than what amounts to a third-grade education. Sure, my six-year-old calls orphanages "adoptionaries," but hell, she can pronounce "nuclear" correctly.

The phrase I could go the rest of my life without hearing? "You can't change horses in mid-stream."

Whafuck? By all means, let's not change handbaskets on the way to hell. If I was crossing a stream, and my horse was drowning, damn betcha I'd be looking for a new ride, current or no current.

I believe that we can make "live and let live" work, I believe in taking care of those who cannot care for themselves, and I believe in supporting children and the elderly. I believe that sometimes homeless people just need some help, that every human being has the right to health care, and that women deserve to live in a country where being female does not make you a target for violence. I believe that every single child should be wanted and loved desperately by their parents, and that love is a good thing regardless of gender. I believe that people should be free to make their own decisions about who to love, and that guns are unneccessary, and that sex is not a dirty word. I believe that religious beliefs are private and should be kept that way, far, far away from the legislative arena, and that Jesus was a pacifist. I believe that the young people in our country are too valuable to be fodder for a war that would have been won already if it was going to be won. I believe that George is a blithering idiot and that the country should be run by somebody who speaks English fluently. I believe everyone is entitled to their opinion, and everyone else is entitled to make fun of that opinion if it is stupid, mean, poorly-thought-out, or without a sliver of fact to support it. I believe in the USA, and its potential to be a wonderful place, but I believe the disintegration of our educational system over the past thirty years has resulted in 51% of the nation not having basic deductive skills and choosing incorrectly on the 2nd of November. I believe that resistance is the secret to joy, and I plan to be resisting the government so much that I'll be the most joyous bitch in the room.

I am never going to be some mealy-mouthed priss, saying "Why can't we all just get along?" and looking for common ground with gun-totin', gay-hatin' Baptists who all think I'm going to hell. (I'll save a seat for you, sugar.) There is none. I love my children and they love theirs, but the difference is that I would buy my kids one-way bus tickets to Canada before I would put guns in their hands and send them off to an immoral war because the yahoo who started it was born-again and therefore "God's Warrior."

Say it with me, mamas. FUCK THAT! I want to know who my enemies are. Make no mistake; this is a war and I am a guerilla soldier. No amount of bombast from the Middle is going to get me on board with a hate-filled, misogynistic Republican agenda. These people in the red states are the same people who, fifty years ago, had their knickers all knotted over desegregation. We blue folk had to drag their sorry asses into some semblance of human kindness, and it looks like we'll have to do it again. These are people who, fifty years ago, would be fighting like hell for their right to burn crosses and little kids in churches. (Why is it OK to burn crosses in the South, but not flags? Hmmm...) Why aren't they fighting like hell for a decent school system? Here in wooliemamaville, we are contemplating a ten-mile move to be close to a good school. In Mississippi, moving to a better school district probably means moving to Georgia.

I would like to point out that less than twenty thousand people in D.C. voted for Bush. He may be loved at home, but they absolutely fucking hate him at the office.

I registered for the Democratic Party on Nov. 3rd. I'm planning on wearing a black armband on January 20th, which I should probably do every year anyway. If Pman really wants to break the Birthday Curse, I'll be in D.C. with a sign and a bullhorn, greasepaint under my eyes and aluminum size 11's to defend against police brutality, when I turn 26.

If you have any great ideas for guerrilla warriors, send them to me.

P.S. I taught Pman to KNIT! Next: world domination.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Please accept this questionaire as a substitute for knitting content. I stole it from Kristiv, but my answers sound half-assed next to hers. I guess I didn't feel that I was probed enough.

what ...
are you wearing? Accidentally-way-too-big blue jeans, a too-tight periwinkle stretch T, new charcoal-and-pink sneaks from Payless. The laundry awaits...
song are you listening to? The Divorce Song/Liz Phair. Also, Philosophy/Ben Folds Five, You're So Damn Hot/OK Go, Jesus, Etc./Wilco.

taste is in your mouth? You even need to ask? Diet Coke. And Tim's Cascade Sour Cream and Onion potato chips, which you can't even get in Colorado, but magically appeared on my doorstep. (Thanks, Dave...)
whats the weather like? Sunny and cold. Blech.
how are you? Stable, for now.

do you ...
get motion sickness? Once or twice.
have a bad habit? I have made a whole personality out of bad habits.
get along with your parents? Pretty much, to my total surprise.
like to drive? Like to drive WHAT?
have a boyfriend? Sort of.
have a girlfriend? No, thank you.
have children? Three.

ever ...
had a hard time getting over somone? Uh, yeah.
been hurt? But I'm still here.

your greatest regret? Being mean to a girl in seventh grade because a popular girl told me to. Shame.
your cd player has in it right now? A mix CD of my own creation.
if you were a crayon what color would you be? Apple green. If it isn't in the 64-box it will be soon. I know these things.
what makes you happy? Cashmere. TiVo. Books. Caramel-apple suckers (and shots.)A new pack of cigarettes. Singing in my car where the acoustics are, frankly, perfect.
whats the next cd you're gonna get? Kathleen Edwards. Or maybe the new Cake.
seven things in your room? Sewing machine, ironing board, sock I'm knitting out of my first Lorna's Laces, two baskets of yarn, CD case, and a wine jug with about a buck ninety in change.
seven things to do before you die...? Visit New Zealand and gawk at the sheep, get bloody drunk in a Land Rover whilst circling Ayers Rock, make Mardi Gras, be a bridesmaid (or a bride, for that matter), receive a surprise party, move back to Seattle, visit Graumann's and obsess a little, privately, about the actress whose feet and hands match mine best.
top seven things you say the most...? No!!, Do it!!, Can I get you something to drink?, GoodNIIIIIGHT!, Wow!, Enough!, and No problem.

do you...
smoke? Do you even have to ask? I practically invented smoking.
do drugs? We plead the fifth.
pray? Not to God.
have a job? What job don't I have?.
attend church? Not if I can get out of it at ALL.

have you ever...
been in love? More than is healthy, I'm sure.
had a medical emergency? Sure.
had surgery? Yep.
swam in the dark? Yes. Probably trespassing all the while.
been to a bonfire? Sort of. There's actually a story there...
got drunk?As we speak. Just kidding. Maybe.
ran away from home? Sort of.
played strip poker? Mmmmm...no.
gotten beat up? Yeah.
beaten someone up? Not yet.
been onstage? Yes.
pulled an all nighter? I live for all-nighters.
been on radio or tv? TV.
been in a mosh pit? Not on purpose.
do you have any gay or lesbian friends? Yes.

describe your...
first kiss? Gross. Liver lips. No warning! GET OUT OF THERE, BABY!
wallet? Red leather, too expensive, ripped ID holder.
coffee? Diet Coke.
shoes? Sneakers. Cheap, colorful sneakers. And none of that platform rubbish for me. cologne? Poison. I've been wearing it since I was about twelve.

in the last 24 hours you have...

in the last 24 hours you have...
cried? I have, but it's none of your business.
bought anything? Nope.
gotten sick? I certainly hope not.
sang? Constantly.
been kissed? Why, yes.
felt stupid? It's my cross to bear.
talked to an ex? Bel's dad.
talked to someone you have a crush on? It's been so long since I've crushed on anybody, I've forgotten what it's like.
missed someone? Like crazy.
hugged someone? I'm not a social hugger, but I hug my family a lot.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

FUCKING Republicans. I feel like having an abortion out of spite, and I'm not even fucking pregnant. Is anyone else ready for the revolution?

Monday, November 01, 2004

First of all, thank you to everyone who posted so sympathetically.

Second of all, I'm taking the previous post down, as part of my apology to my husband. (Not for my feelings, but for posting them in such a public forum. He was kinda embarrassed.) I just felt so low, and my blog was one place where I felt I could just say what I was feeling, without having to have a conversation about it with anyone. The thought that my husband, or anyone else, might read it wasn't at the forefront of my mind. We talked a lot that night, but whether he knows me well enough is a question to be answered by time. Heaven knows I have a hard enough time understanding myself.

Third of all, it truly helped to see all those lovely comments when I got here today, because my astrologist is on crack. I seem to have nothing but interpersonal problems lately, many of which are not improved by my inability to break through my ladylike training and say what I think. My horoscope keeps telling me I'm in for these wonderful months of recognition, prestige, success, blah, blah, blah. (What was I expecting? "Your lack of skills as a human being isolate you from the rest of the planet?"

Fourth of all, I really do contemplate long-term drug addiction, or at least high-functioning alcoholism. It's possible that I am ever-so-slightly manic-depressive, or something like that, and completely underdiagnosed, because my manic phases manifest as extreme competence, punctuated by bursts of feeling like I'm something the cat spat up. Who the fuck am I kidding? I'm just a depressive who can't talk to people.

Fifth, my marriage is okay. It'd be a whole lot better if we were packing for New Orleans right now, but we are good. There is something ever-so-slightly askew with my upbringing, and asking for help, or even stopping pretending that I can do it all, that it's all perfectly under control, is like hitting myself in the head with a hammer. I can psych myself up to do it, but it's gonna be half-assed. We're still hanging in there, with him trying to put me to bed early every night for a good night's rest and me trying to feed him all his food groups. (And to think we are considered adults by the world-at-large. I won't sleep and he won't eat.)

Sixth, what the fuck is the matter with me? I suppose counseling is an option, but a long-term one. But I'm probably at the point in life where one needs to think about coping strategies, not first causes. Maybe assertiveness training. It's like trying to overcome Jedi Voice, trying to break through that training that tells you to be polite, think of others, sacrifice the self. I can be guilt-tripped into anything. And when I try, and I do try, to overcome, to state my case, to be myself and not get pushed around, it's always some version of Wayne's World. (Remember the stalker girlfriend who wouldn't accept Wayne's breakup?)
I tried to get out of my carpool last night. I tried to say it was time to stop before things got out of hand, that I was starting to truly despise her little girl and I am a Grownup and that's probably not okay, and it wasn't great, but I did it and I felt very, very relieved. Then she called me back and strangled me. O, the guilt--how I should have talked to her earlier (but it's your child, not her behavior, that I don't like) and if I quit now, the child will win (but so will my kids and I.) The mother, she can't discipline her child if she doesn't know there's a problem (you're about seven years too late for that train, honey) and Blue's having a really hard time at school right now (because she's an asshole.) She values our friendship too much quit carpooling this way and put a strain on our relationship (we are not friends, we're friendly and besides, I'd gnaw my leg off to get away from you)and please don't give up on her (but I've never liked her, not for a minute, and I tried to get out in April and you wouldn't let me, and she is your responsibility, not mine. I have my own kids.) I feel so bullied. If she had any manners, she'd have let me off the hook with my lame excuse. If she had invited me to a party and I said I couldn't come because I was sick, would she demand a doctor's note? Lame excuses, and the polite acceptance of them, are the bedrock of a civilized society. Amy's husband called her the Borg. I was totally outgunned.

And the kicker: the nasty little brat ruined my first knitting class. She was so totally loud, rude, disruptive and needy for attention, everyone's attention, that the other kids were definitely short-changed.

I think, when you start referring to another person's nine-year-old as Satan, it's probably time to cut one's losses.

On the plus side, there are thousands of Lone Gunmen out there looking for the Anti-Christ, practicing their Barcode-In-The-Forehead defense techniques. How many millions do you think I can make with a Map-To-The-Anti-Christ?