Monday, March 31, 2008

McOddison of Weirdsville

I can't explain them, but I wish I could find the deeper meaning of my unrelentingly strange dreams. For example, last night. I shall lay the scene:

There were some earlier parts of the dream that evaporated from my memory as soon as I awoke, like cotton candy on the tongue, but I seem to remember underground passageways and canals of water. From what I clearly remember, I am staying in a large hotel that is also half research laboratory where studies are being conducted on the levels of heaven. I'm myself and then a man, the lead researcher. I suddenly realize that all of the other guests are enormous, big-headed alien cat-people who will eat me if they find me. I'm nervous because everyone else has received a post-it telling them to which level of heaven they are ascending, corporally. I'm hiding behind some drapes when I suddenly see my yellow post-it, telling me that I'm going to level 10, but I don't want to. I want to live, I think, loudly. I dash from my hiding place, out of my hotel suite, where the furniture has suddenly grown to massive, cat-person appropriate size. I run to the staircase, using my passcode to bypass the keypad, and meet up with another fleeing human. We run out of the exit door, and suddenly I'm in the car with Christian, but it's 1955 or so, I'm a femme fatale with a giant, flippy 'do and Christian is a Rock Hudson-esque character. Now, Rock was on Lucy yesterday, so I know where that came from, but huh about the rest of it.

So, we're staying at the beach in the house of a hotel owner, and I'm wondering why I thought big-headed alien cat people were trying to eat me. We're in the car, as I said, and I see that, on the large stretch of sand and grass behind the hotel are hordes of performing cats. I'm now in the lobby of the hotel speaking to the owner and telling her about the people eating giant cats, and we come to the conclusion that I was feeling anxious and the performing cats must have lodged into my subconscious, leading me to believe that I was going to be devoured. Yep, good explanation. Anyway, Christian and I are apparently part of some suspense film in which I've stolen some money and Christian is the fiendishly clever hero who has to fall in love with me and bring me to justice. We spend time in the bar of the hotel, which is inexplicably in the kitchen of the beach house. We get into the car AGAIN and are driving winding, jungly roads and suddenly the "film" we're in ends and we have to log on to a website to see how the mystery ends. Tina is there all of a sudden and she is reading the end of my story to me as I'm sitting at Christian's feet, next to the gangster I defrauded of money who is sitting in front of a screen covered in vines while the ocean rages behind even though I'm then suddenly dressed in an enormous purple hat leading a herd of schoolchildren, because I'm now the meanest beloved teacher in England's Edwardan history. Lost yet? Imagine how I felt when I woke up.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Make it stop.

Why, WHY I ask you, am I knitting socks on size 0 needles at 9 stitches to the inch in a yarn so dark I can barely see what I'm doing?  I love my Dad...I love my Dad...I love my Dad...I'm just trying to talk myself into not pitching them and making him a sweater with the One Ring inscription knitted in intarsia around the body and armbands.  Because that would be so much quicker to make.  Yep.  Quicker.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Never promise what you can't deliver.

I have too many knitting projects going that need to be finished by this weekend. Observe:

That is not including Christian's Aran sweater and my lace shawl, which are both on the needles but close to smothering me with their unfinished, wooly bulk, and I'm sure that everyone is wondering where THEIR promised projects are.  I know where they are.  Lurking in my sewing cabinet, sending out guilt waves and taunting me with more interesting patterns than the ones I'm working on now.  

I got absolutely no work done in Spokane.  I had the sheer overpowering nephewitude to contend with:

My boys, minus one.  Deco was sick with the stomach flu, so we got the chickens for almost the entire time we were there.  As a non-parent, I have never really understood how you have to
 keep little boys busy all the time or they will eat your head, but be really cute while they do it.  This photo was the only time I think the sat still the entire day.  This was, of course, before the St. Patrick's Day parade started when they were given candy by every business owner, cross-dresser and guitar playing gorilla that rode, walked or cycled past them.  A side note:  apparently, parades like the one we attended are community affairs, and Dad said that anyone who wanted to be in it just had to show up wearing green.  There were daschund clubs and cement companies and, inexplicably, one older couple riding a golf cart with sparkly antennae on their heads.  However, I still don't get how the crowd could have been more interested in this:

Than this.  No one even seemed to notice the camera crews.  All I have to say about the film that was shooting is that it's by the director of Mansquito.   Go read the review.  It's worth the five minutes.  Maybe that's why no one cared.  

Anyway, back to the boys.  Jayden is wrestling now, and won a silver medal.  Seriously, though, I felt bad about how hard I was laughing at the tiny, skinny, big-headed little kids politely pinning each other to the mat and then crying if they were pinned too hard themselves.  Jayden was an amazing little champ, and so polite.  He thanked the boys he beat and was even gracious to the one boy who beat him.   He didn't understand what the "grey" medal meant, any more than the "brown" (bronze) one he had won the week before.  He made me and Shelly wear them as he couldn't be bothered.  He was more interested in showing us his outfit and explaining how important his shoes are to his being a real wrestler.  It was all very sweet, earnest and five.  

So, after wrestling and McDonald's, we took them to the parade, brought them home, went to church, got pizza, watched SpongeBob, ate popcorn and were given more unadulterated, unrestrained love than any non-parental adult gets in a normal, full year.  Jayden is so skinny now that he's all knobby elbows and knees, and, when he hugs me, all I can feel are ribs and spine.  However, he somehow gets squishy when he wants to lay his head on my shoulder and fall asleep.  Kyan's arms are so chubby that I can't help but bite him constantly, and nom on his fingers, especially when he's in his jammies and all sleepy and warm.  He, apparently, though, is forty, and, when Mom asked if he'd like one of us to sit with him on the hide-a-bed before he fell asleep, he shrugged his tiny shoulders and said, "No, that's OK.  I go to sleep by myself."  And then he asked for his binky.  

Shelly played with them all the next morning, winning their love and eternal devotion.  I had an audition that afternoon, and if only I could tell you about it here, I would, but it's just too, too unbelievable.  We also went to lunch and then to the symphony, so we only got to see the boys for dinner that day, but they told both of us how much they loved us and would miss us.   And then they fought over which of them Mom would carry to the car.  Our victory was short-lived.  

So, with no knitting having gotten done for three whole days, I'm backlogged.  Meh, it was worth it.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Yes, I know.

We've forced most of you to watch things such as the videos below in person. Too bad. The chickens are so cute, you'll want to watch again, and again, and again, and again....

Monday, March 10, 2008

And my next project shall be...

something made of this, for those times when I just don't feel safe walking alone from the opera house to the parking lot.  Or, I could knit us some gloves with which to handle Sasha.  However, I have no doubt that Kevlar would be no impediment to the beak of doom. This, though, might protect the precious hands of the husband and preserve them for the putting.  If it's good enough for the space shuttle, it's good enough for us.  Space couldn't possibly be harsher than that bird.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

And, as a bonus...

Chuck Jones? No? Did he animate for Sesame Street?

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Episode 2

Note the homage to "The Full Monty":

Simon, you're a genius.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008


Nonononono.  I want heeeeeeeem.

Saturday, March 01, 2008


I'm still shaking.  There was a yarn sale today.  You scoff.  A yarn sale.  How bad could it possibly be?  Little old ladies and acrylic.  Pshaw.  Well, to give a non-participant an idea of what Christian and I faced, I want you to remember a time, long ago, when a dimpled doll made mothers manic and children crazed.  Do you recall those news reels showing desperate, ashen moms lined up for hours outside Sears and K-Mart to buy Cabbage Patch Kids, and, once inside, attacking other mothers with handbags, umbrellas and their own limbs in order to get one?  Well, subtract the bodily harm and you have today, but packed into a 600 square foot yarn shop filled with antique tables against which to bash hips and open bins against which to mash toes.  Stir in 300 women and a handful of men desperate to get sock yarn and Handmaiden and Kidsilk and Koigu for 50% off.  Fifty.  Percent.  Off.  Read that again with me.  Do you understand that, if yarn goes on sale, it's maybe 20% and then online, so you have to pay for shipping.  There is no such thing as a 50% off yarn sale.  And it wasn't for one or two things.  No.  It was for the entire shop, books, needles and notions included.  The whole shop.  

Most of us shoppers were feeling slightly guilty about this event, as it was a literal fire sale.  Hilltop Yarn is in a spectacular old American foursquare house, and, like homes of this vintage, the wiring has never been replaced by the building's owner, who is not the shop owner.  Because of the advanced, elderly age of the wiring, the fire that started in the breaker box was sadly inevitable.  While the fire was contained in the basement, the smoke was not, and all of the yarn had to be sent out to be treated with ozone.  Unless you have been inside a yarn shop, you can't understand how much fiber one can squeeze in, and every single ball and hank had to be packed up, sent out, sent back, unpacked, marked down, and reshelved.  Apparently, the shop allowed all of those who helped them with the labor to come in the day before to buy whatever yarn they wanted at half off.  According to the staff, those damn bastard few purchased 10% of the stock.  However, that did leave 90% of the stock for the rest of us.  

As Hilltop advertised this sale on every knitting website and with every knitting group, we all knew that today would be, well, a knitmare.  Har.  I bribed Christian into joining me, as I hate to face the masses alone.  We were the first to arrive at around 9 am, two hours before the sale was to begin.  Within ten minutes, ten or twelve more people had arrived.  By ten, the line was down the sidewalk.  By 10:45, the line was down the block to the stoplight.  They let us in a few minutes early, and it was a desperate push to the sock yarn.  I got one ball before I was nudged out of the way.  I did my best to get around the corner to the alpaca, and I think I got enough to make a sweater, which is shocking considering how many people were trying to do the same thing.  I then wedged myself into the room with the specialty stuff, like the above-mentioned Handmaiden and the Lorna's Laces and all of the other fancy pants yarns.   We all kept trying to direct traffic to move clockwise, but order was impossible.  One woman ended up serving as an auctioneer, shouting the names of what yarn was left from the corner, while the rest of us hurled ourselves against the back wall of worsted.  We had been advised to bring our own shopping bags, so I had an enormous tote that Karen gave me for making her sweater, and, by this point, I had filled it to literal bursting.  Those of use who were ready to check out formed a clump of determination and started the progress towards the two registers.  

There were many, many people who had only just entered the store when I finished, and they were fully expecting to have equal access to the remaining yarn.  Ha.  Hahahahaha.  That's when people started to get snippy.  The small, vocal group of latecomers and slow movers then tried to tell us to move so they could get access to the registers as they hadn't moved in 20 minutes.  Those of us at the front turned and tried to stare them down, but there were tall, tall people in the way.  It's probably for the best.  I would have had to drop my yarn to scrap with them.  

My arms and legs were shaking by the time I reached the register.  And there, behind the counter, were the two skeins of Tilli Thomas I had been desperately hoping were still in the shop and on sale.  Did you notice that there is no price listed on the website I linked?  Yeah, there's a reason.  At 50% off, one hank was still $60.  Yes, that's right.  It's one of the most expensive yarns on the market, but I will never find it for that price again.  I bought one hank in champagne with chocolate colored crystals, and will stroke it and kiss it until I finally figure out what the hell I can knit with it.  

When the cashier was unloading my bag, the women behind me actually started gasping and commenting on how I had gotten the best stuff, and how did I do that?  How??  I was the first person in the doors, that's how.  My obsessive compulsion paid off.  Witness the glory:

I need a nap.