Friday, June 29, 2007

Insufficiently Saucy

I can tell you that, when I first saw a photo of a knitted bikini, I was aghast. Not only would any yarn one could use to knit such a tawdry waste of fiber lose, when wet, whatever stitch structure kitting gave it, but my God, would a knit bikini be ITCHY. While I still think knitted swimwear is utterly retarded and obviously the product of some silly little skinny dilettante knitter who wanted to give the needles a go because Vogue said it was in but didn't want to invest the time to knit anything larger than your average pocket square, I now find myself adoring the idea of knitted lingerie. Same shapes, more understandable function and less water-induced droop.

There are a couple of recently published books on lingerie and related scandalous underthings, but when I looked at them, I noticed a real lack of any delicacy and, well, cleverness in the stitches used and in the weights and textures. Everything seemed to be in stockinette stitch, which is the average stitch used in a sweater, and were made with mid-weight yarn and large needles. Now, pardon me, but, while I adore my concealing yet fashionable warm outerwear, I don't wear it to feel particularly slutty or exhibitionistic. When thinking about knitted lingerie, I imagined mysterious and complicated lace patterns that allow one to catch forbidden glimpses of skin underneath before the fabric shifts, making one wonder if one saw anything at all, all knit on tiny needles using thin, seemingly fragile yarn that is deceptively strong engough to withstand some good use. It would have to drape and have enough structure to stay put without having too much heft. In one particular book, the items depicted all looked as though they were made for Soviet brides before the Cold War ended and all the yarn anyone could get was wool from the Steppes and so the bra sets and peignoirs look as though they could be used as body armor in case the wearer got got in a stray gun fight with NATO forces. I know the authors were going for garments in the STYLE of lingerie, but the camisoles that "could be worn under a suit or nothing at all!" look as though they'd keep you warm through the cold, New England winter, with their ribbed edges and obvious lack of any kind of lingerie-like elements. Where's the lace? Where's the sense that the garment could be ripped off at any second? Sheesh, folks, I understand that we all like to think that we own pieces of clothing we can wear with everything, but a nightie that looks like the sweater I'm knitting for Christian isn't lingerie, no matter how low you make the back.

I only found one piece in a magazine aimed at the young, hip knitting audience that will work for the intended purpose. It's a knitted lace sheath that looks like a flapper dress and will be given to my friend who recently completed her Burlesque course. I did have this glorious notion of knitting delicious and inspiring underthings for all my friends' birthdays and such, but to do so, I'll now have to turn my hand to designing, as well. The stuff I've seen wouldn't inspire anything but a cross-country snowshoeing jaunt.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Things Sasha says:

Pretty bird
Come here
Go away (mainly said to me)
Here, kitty, kitty, kitty
Step up
A variety of other, unintelligible words we can't quite discern

Things he does:

Barks like a dog
Shakes his head and growls, as though playing with a rawhide toy

All shall hopefully be taped soon.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Wrong again.

Sasha is a boy. Break out the Stogies.

Thursday, June 21, 2007


We got one of those calls last night that I live in terror of, the bad news phone call informing me of some problem that will cost an assload of money and my peaceful slumber. Our insurance company, with whom I've had my car insurance for 18 years, has been bought out by another company and that company will not cover me because of my driving history. I now have to go with a "high-risk" insurance company that will cost double per month and makes me feel like a serial drunken driver. Last year was a very bad year, indeed.

Saturday, June 16, 2007


Our adoption of Sasha was approved by the Exotic Bird Rescue, so now she's ours, all ours!! Mwah ha ha ha! Hee. So happy.

Friday, June 15, 2007

The Crazy

While Christian and I are developing a certain reputation for, um, insanity from the ever increasing fauna in our home, the last thing I want is to actually be considered bat-shit crazy. I have a whole passel of nuts in my brain, due to the panic-ishness of my genes, but I started taking medication four years ago to keep the crazy in check, and to keep Christian from coming after me with a kitchen knife after I had finally pushed him to crack with my constant paranoia and hysteria (although, without the uterus, could what I have actually be called hysteria?). However, the crazy started seeping back in about six months ago. At first, I tried to take it in stride and thought that, despite all evidence pointing to the notion that I was becoming resistant to my med dose, I could handle the symptoms. There were, after all, perks to this new state, namely that the bedroom once again became more than a room in which to sleep. Sorry, family who doesn't want to hear that, but it's true. However, the resistance has gotten more pronounced in the past two months or so, and when the meaningless crying and crushing headaches began, I thought it might be time to up the dose. It was only the other night when, at rehearsal, I had a vision of Christian walking in the door holding handfuls of dead birds because I had let something happen to them and throwing them down at my feet in front of all my opera colleagues and screaming at me that he was leaving me, that I fully understood the importance of the appointment I had made with my doctor to discuss treatment options. We're all glad now that the dosages have been upped.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Little losses.

We lost one of our frogs, Buxtehude, today. He was the smaller of the two White's treefrogs, and never really thrived as he should have. He lived for the last three years in the vivarium in the kitchen with Squinky, who, I think, may be a food hog. I wonder if maybe Buxtehude simply couldn't compete with el Chubbo for the bugs we give them every night. It's next to impossible to tell with frogs, unless blood work or an xray are performed, what ails them, and the numbers of vets who will perform diagnostics are few and far between. We have no idea how old the frogs were when we got them, but I assume at least a few years, as they were fully grown. Buxtehude didn't show any over signs of illness, no red legs, no hard abdomen, nothing to indicate encroaching demise. As soon as I saw him in his cage this morning, struggling to move, I removed him and soaked him in purified water over a heating pad, but it was too late. He lasted until about a half hour ago, when he finally passed to the great eucalyptus tree in the sky.

It's awfully hard to truly get attached to pets that are so fragile. We keep them and observe them and wonder over them, and hope that they do well with the meagre resources we can provide. We read everything we can on their keeping and we obsess over research published in the herp journals. It works sometimes, and doesn't others. Amphibian keepers are an optimistic bunch, though, so we keep trying. I know the zoo raises their own bugs for their herps, as that's the only way a large enough variety can be provided to keep them as they would be in the wild, but we're lacking a few of the resources (and space) they have, so we buy our little tubs of worms and pots of crickets and powder them with vitamins. Our vet is extremely against keeping any animal in the home that eats insects as there is no way to give them a wide enough spectrum to keep them hale, and I'm beginning to agree with him. We are lucky with Gus, the turtle, as his species is indigenous to North America, and it's easy enough, from all the observational research, to feed him a complete diet. That, and box turtles are stubborn and tough. I wish the frogs were, too.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Toasty Toes

Squee. And I hate my voice. Ugh. So whiny.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

The long, long journey home.

Our home was inspected by the Exotic Bird Rescue volunteer on Friday, and the volunteer said she was embarrassed to be inspecting us as our house was so clean and that approval was a given. We decided to take immediate action and drive down that night to Eugene, so we could fetch Sasha the next morning and be back by afternoon. I had already purchased her travel/quarantine cage, so we'd be ready to go as soon as we were given the good word.

The drive to Eugene was hellacious as we got shunted off the freeway in Portland due to poor signage and couldn't get back on due to a wretched festival that had clogged the streets with drunken idiots and blocked the freeway on ramps. We drove around downtown for almost forty minutes until we just gave up, got on northbound I-5 again and got off and on in a less congested area.

We made it to Springfield, where we were staying, at around 11:30 and checked into the Motel 6 in which I had reserved a room the second the inspector told us we had passed. It was cheap, and never, ever again will I let that be the deciding factor for a lodging choice. The pillows were tiny and flat and stank of cigarette smoke, the mattress was wretchedly uncomfortable and poky with aggressive springs and the towels had been soaked in bleach flogged against stones long enough to give them just the right texture to flay the flesh from our bones.

We got up with the wake up call and were more exhausted than when we had gone to sleep. We raced through breakfast and got to the coordinator's house at around 10:40. Sasha was out and waiting for us, and we wrote our check and ran. Christian held Sasha as he sat in the back seat until we reached the freeway, and he then put her in her cage to keep her safe.

She was so quiet and content sitting with him that it seemed a shame to put her in the cage, but it's simply not safe to have a loose pet in the car on the freeway. She took to her cage with a equanimity that was utterly unexpected and allowed us to feed and scratch her through the doors. For a bird purported to have cage aggression issues, she was remarkably placid. She hardly uttered a peep the entire ride back, and had no trouble stepping right up onto her beloved's finger to carry her in the house when we arrived home at around 4:30. We took the snakes upstairs to bask in the heat and set Sasha's cage up on the desk at the foot of the bed.

It's far too small for a bird her size to live in permanently, but it's just her quarantine cage for a month, and then she'll be moved to the large cage in the living room, next to the muffinhead.

She has been so silent as to almost be eerie. We've taken her in and out of her cage and outside and into the shower and all over and we're waiting for that damn shoe to fall from the sky. She's been too good. It just can't last. Our hearts are lost, though, so it won't matter if she decides that our fingers are all she wants to eat.