Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Pretty Daisies 

20 Questions to having a Better Family

Your score as a human being is 35.

This makes you like The Sopranos.

Holy crap. This is some serious malfunction you've got in your family. It's like baked ziti of anguish set off by a romaine salad of conflict and a nice Merlot of denial. Your parents would cheat on each other in a heartbeat if they could find anybody but each other that could tolerate them. Your siblings blow hot and cold, and by "hot" and "cold" I mean "intractably selfish" and "desperately codependent."

Don't feel bad. This is the score my family gets, and we're not bad people. Mostly.

Right. Like I was even surprised. You know how on some quizzes, you sort of have to fake it and choose the one you hate the least? Every answer on this quiz was God's honest truth. And funny? I was laughing my ass off because I actually got pregnant younger than my mom did, which ruled out at least one really appropriate answer.

DIY Palm Reading

For Drunks-On-A-Budget

It's Not Bait, It's Jewelry

I, my friend, have class. I am so not white trash. . I am more than likely Democrat, and my place is neat, and there is a good chance I may never drink wine from a box.

I think I lost points for my tattoos.

How Did I Live Without These?

I warn you; the above link is pro-smoking, which I'm not advocating. But if you do happen to have atttained your majority, and you smoke, and perhaps you love it more than your own life and might dare others to remove the lighter from your cold, slowly stiffening hands, then you might appreciate that.

Vote With Your Disposable Income

I am nearly out of my time-out on Sleeve Island. Three more inches of sleeve, reknit the neck shaping, etc. on the fronts so the damned ribs match up, sew it together and install a zipper (eeep!)

My previous attempts at inserting zippers have all been fraught with drama, coarse language and beads of sweat on my temples. I have seen proponents of both machine- and hand-sewing the zipper in place. Any suggestions? I don't relish the thought of hand-sewing a zipper along all 3078 inches of Pman's front, but machine-sewing makes the knitting all squashy. Alack!

A word about bigotry and religion: without any rehashing, let me just say that like most of you, I'm sure, I run an internal check when someone says something about me I don't agree with. Am I? Do I? Would I?

When I refer to religion, I usually mean Christianity, in the broad sense. I know very little about Judaism, and less about other religions, and therefore keep my trap shut about them. Catholicism I do know--I was a victim of the Polyester Plaid Skirt, too. And here's the thing.

Religion is a club you join. It wouldn't cause a ripple if I ragged on members of the KKK, because people know what they stand for, and presumably, if you went to all the trouble to join, then you probably buy the ideas they're selling.

I disagree with a lot of Christian religious viewpoints (NB: I know that there are variations, and that not everyone agrees with absolutely every word their church says. I'm aware I'm speaking in generalities here.) on abortion, gay rights, original sin, hell, gender equality, etc. To me, it follows that if you join a church, you probably agree with most of what is said--that's why you join. Nobody's forcing you. I don't think that judging a person, or at least assuming you know a piece about them, according to their religion is completely crazy. We judge the KKK all the time--they believe in racism. So why can't I judge the Catholic Church, and its adherents, knowing they believe things that are similarly abhorrent to me?
(A note about the use of the word "judge:" of course I don't think that religion should be a factor in employment, housing, or anything else regulated. I'm speaking merely as a person, how I choose my friends and the people I wish to spend time with. I don't mean condemn, I mean forming one's own opinion.)

I know and am friends with some people who are strongly religious. I think that I am probably friends with these folks in spite of their religious views. Plus, I don't confuse religion and spirituality. Some of the most deeply spiritual people I know are religious, but some aren't. The two are neither mutually in- or exclusive.

I distrust the Christian religions, and I distrust organized religion in general. I feel it prevents people from thinking about issues and making up their own minds. So I naturally distrust people who are actively religious. This does not prevent me from finding out more about a person, but it does give me pause, the way your neighbor might be the sweetest little old gray-haired lady ever--but you'll have a second thought when you find she did a dime in the pen for killing her husband with a lawn mower.

Also, in my opinion, one's spiritual beliefs are private. I do have some, you know. I just don't talk about them here because it's none of your business. And frankly, I don't want to hear about yours, either, anymore than I want to hear about your thyroid surgery or how daddy punished you as a child. Private. Personal. When I hear people blabbering on about Jesus, it sounds to me like they're gossiping about the neighbors--very familiar. I don't like familiarity. My kids, my favorite books, my apple pie: I share, but not with just anyone. I am careful about where I share things that are so dear to me. And since we are guaranteed separation of church and state, not to mention freedom from, oops, I mean of, religion, anything with a whiff of theocracy makes me see red. Blood red.

And WWJD? I'm not sure, but it probably didn't have anything to do with accessorizing.

Anything evangelical is out. After that much advertising and that little success, rethink your product.

So, to recap, I'm not a big fan of religion and I bitch about it a lot. But the reason I bitch about it so much is because it's forced on me and a lot of other people. If you are religious, but still have a brain connected to your spinal column, and are reasonably discreet about sharing your beliefs, I have no beef with you. Believe whatever makes you happy. I mean it. If you want to wrestle snakes, burn playing cards and speak in tongues, fine. Just don't call the rest of us amoral heathens because we don't. It seems to me that lots of people are condemned because they don't go to church, as if religion was some sort of ID card you could flash to prove you're a good person. I don't see religion as any factor in determining goodness. There are probably just as many priests in hell as prostitutes.

Of course, if you voted for Bush because you think he's God's Warrior and are anxiously awaiting endtimes, well, see you in hell. (Maybe not. I'll probably be in the VIP lounge.)

There are more things on heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

There is a feeling that you should just go home 

I am Not Well. I am having a Bad Day.

Does it sound like that's all I have? Do I never have good days? I do. I'm just too busy catching up on all the stuff that overwhelms me on bad days.

But I do have Tang, made with hot water, which reminds me of being a little kid, bundled into the car at four in the morning to head up the mountain, just me and my mom. My spontaneous announcement*, one day, of how much I love this warm beverage, has resulted in much mirth for those who witnessed it. Pman fondly recalls it often for his own private amusement.

But I do have new jeans that fit (I've lost five or ten pounds running my ass off cocktailing) and a new soft shirt in the same raspberry color as my new lipstick, and I'm wearing my Felty Socks, made for Pman last Christmas out of scrummy blue Peruvian Collection Baby Silk, and then promptly, accidentally, felted. When you've got a case of the mean reds, you don all the armor you can find.

But still, I'm not content, and honey, if a new outfit doesn't lift my spirits, you know something's wrong. My life's just out of whack and so are my moods.

I know there's a little vacation in the psych ward in my future; it's just a matter of when, really. Because I cannot take care of myself. If left to my own devices, I'm a wreck. Won't eat, won't sleep, and I know B. remembers the winter when I basically forgot to feed myself and my therapist would push candy bars at me. And this was before I had kids. Now, any care for myself feels like selfishness. I have to justify it. I have to stay up longer, get more done, work harder. I'm never efficient enough the way I am.

One of these days I'm going to go off my nut completely. I'll wear my bathrobe as outerwear, stop answering the phone, and tell the Anal-Retentive Mommy Mafia, "Fuck you, I'm not going. And I hate sushi." Do they let you have knitting needles in the booby hatch?

I'm on Sleeve Island. I have a sinking feeling that I may have reversed the fronts of Pman's cardi. I still have no clue what "right side" and "left side" refer to. Whose left? Can't be Christmas without a knitting emergency, can it?! This is the only gift I'm knitting for the big day, so I've really been able to concentrate on screwing it up.

But Alice just opened up a present that contained the (Disneyfied) book "Pinocchio," and exclaimed, "Oh! I love Penokey-Ho!" and I giggled. Am I crazy or is it the rest of the world?

(Do you see the family resemblance?)

*"I love hot Tang!"

Friday, December 10, 2004

I'll fake it through the day... 

So, did I tell you I quit the preschool board? Long, long, story, but apparently it's turning into a kind of exodus, which is sort of festive, if you look at it right. Well, one thing I've been working on, at others' urging, is an email to the board explaining my reasons. It's really fucking hard. Two sides of my brain are duking it out--one side of me wants to shoot from the hip and tell everyone exactly what I think of the situation, and the other knows I'll have to be diplomatic and positive, which everyone seems to recommend for problem-solving, but really leaves the first side, which thinks perhaps these people need a little straight talk, well, unfulfilled.

This explains the headache I've been sporting for the past twenty-four hours.

If I'm polite and gracious, I'll come off well and probably not make any new enemies. But I probably won't accomplish a thing.

What would you do? Would you go the ladylike (or gentlemanly) route and spare the Board any oooey feelings, or would you call it like you see it?

It's another anger management problem: trust me, I have justifiable reasons for being angry. But if I express that anger, will people respond to the problems, or will they react to the anger, because, as the universe is trying so mightily to teach me, Nice Girls Don't Get Angry.

And that rule makes me angry. NICE GIRLS DON'T GET ANGRY. You can cry, sulk, pout, or suck it up and smile and try to please everyone else, but for Pete's sake, don't get angry. You're a woman--your job is to make everyone feel BETTER, not worse, sweetie!
Anger isn't feminine OR ladylike, and besides you get that really ugly crease in your forehead, so you'd better just smile and try not to hurt anyone's feelings. How come men get such a range of inappropriate activities--punching walls, throwing things, groundless fistfights, stony impassiveness--to express their anger AND their masculinity while all WE get to do is cry?

You know what I mean, if you have more than just the one X chromosome. You're are blindingly, furiously, ragefully angry for a very good reason. So what do you do? You burst into tears.

How stupid is that?

I don't want to be a rageaholic. I don't feel that I'm a supersensitive timebomb just waiting for someone to bump into me so I can go off on them. But women have been making things nice for everyone else since the dawn of time. Have you ever noticed that when a group of women start asserting their rights, unfemininity is one of the first charges levelled?

Maybe if enough women expressed their righteous anger, it would change the world.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Pissing in the River 

If you feel I've been particularly quiet lately, the reason is that I'm trying to potty train my son. Which sucks. We make quite the pair, me smelling of beer, him reeking of urine. (No, I'm a part-time cocktail waitress, not a drunk.)

We've been a little light on knitting content, too. My neighbor repossessed his digicam, and my ex's dad's promise to lend me his has not yet materialized.

I'm fiendishly knitting on an Accordion for Pman, using Schoeller Esslinger Vulcano (50%wool/50%acrylic) in a medium blue, with sections of lighter blue and lava red thrown in. Last year I was knitting him a pullover in the round, but among other things, the variegation wasn't coming out well. So, I'm using it doubled now, sometimes working one ball inside out, to smooth out the color change. Using variegated yarns doubled is my favorite trick for slapping color changes into submission. It worked wonders on my Big Sack Sweater that I made with Araucania Nature Wool, a yarn that is prone to wide, colorful mood swings.

No wonder I like that yarn so much.

The doubling is working quite nicely--I'm knitting from the smallest size, but following the largest size's length, per Pman's request.

Thanksgiving week brought my friend Rose out from the Windy City, along with her sweetie, Dan. Like all of her visits, it was too short.

Do you think we could have an emergency meeting where we all agree to postpone Christmas until, say, February? Would anyone really miss Valentine's Day? Isn't it still September? I have no memory of Fall passing that quickly.

Clearly, I've been drugged by malicious ex-elves who get their kicks ensuring poor overworked mamas like myself are smacked round the back of their heads by impending holidays. I often am attacked by their nasty cousins, the Birthday Gremlins.

I've been reading way too much Harry Potter, evidently.