Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Am I blue?

Parts of me are.

It's tough to take a shot of my own hands, but there you see a line across my index finger where apparently all yarn must pass. The inside of my fingers and hands are pretty bad, too, but Oscar's focus with the camera is even worse, so no shots there.

But at least it's proof (HA - Jody - IN. YOUR. FACE.) that I still knit.

Last night at about ten pm I had this

A lovely ball of yarn purchased at my first Maryland Sheep & Wool as a knitter, some five years ago or so. It's Tess, in the Lime Splash colorway, I do believe. Nice stuff, although it apparently bleeds a good bit. And I've been meaning to play with it... well, obviously since I bought it, so I made sure it was on my list of things to do for 2007th Heaven. And I realize that I haven't finished the argyle, and I realize no starting one without finishing another is one of the rules, but I also realize that the seventh and most important rule is not to stress over this.

So tonight at eleven pm I have this

See, I figured out why I can't get myself to do the short rows on the argyle. I'm sorta at one of those life periods where a lot more is on me than I would have chosen to have on me, and a lot of that requires a great deal of thought and concentration on my part. And then a little thing happened that meant I couldn't knit on one of the things I was knitting on (that you can't see yet) but I could sit and think about how much work I needed to do about it, and I realized I wanted to be knitting, but didn't want to be working on any other patterns when I needed to be thinking my way through that one (anyone still following?).

So I decided to go for something mindless, grabbed that and away I went.

A sweater, for me, in the round.

I finally stopped tonight (at, according to the black sheep tape there, seven inches, of which three are seed stitch) when I realized I couldn't actually feel my hands anymore except for an odd tingling. And yes, I slept last night, and yet, I went to work today, and yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. Oh. Wait. That's something else.

But I think this particular sweater is going to be lovely, and see? I do knit.

For those of you who are waiting for patterns for me (sorry, E & S) I promise I'll work on them more tomorrow. Today, I just needed a little fiber therapy.

Monday, February 26, 2007

If only this were the first time...

What my pantry should look like:


What my kitchen floor looked like when I got home yesterday:

(guilty party pictured)

This is not the first time that someone has broken into my pantry, climbed up several shelves, opened a box of pasta, and made cat toys. Do you know how long an entire box of pasta that has been made into cat toys takes to clean up?

Neither do I, because I have yet to be successful at it. Trevor did this once when he was a bitty kitten, when we lived in DE. When I moved out nearly a year later there was still spaghetti being found on a regular basis, tucked in corners and crevices unseen by human eyes.

I was on the phone last night (hi, Sue!) and Trevor hopped into my lap with a piece of rotini (that I thought I had cleaned up). Clearly thinking it was such a great cat toy I would be thrilled to play with him, and clearly disappointed in my level of coolness when I took it away and threw it out.

Meanwhile, Mr. Butch, last week's escapee, is very unhappy with the weather right now. Granted, when he made his break for freedom it was less than 20 degrees outside, but no cold would have been enough to stop the savage beast.

Today, it's about 45 degrees outside, well above that inside, but this is too cold. He has taken a toy (and some wool. ahem) and gone to sleep under a space heater. He's been there all day, squeaking when I walk past (because he wants pets, and if I could bring him some peeled mice and perhaps some warmed cream?)

A guy could freeze to death otherwise.

I have been knitting, like a fiend actually, but nothing that can be put on my blog, so it's sort of a question of how much you trust me.

But even if you don't believe that I actually knit or spin anymore, please wish my mommy a happy birthday tomorrow (February 27).

Happy Birthday, Mommy!!!!!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

It's been over a year since I left radio and every once in a while, someone asks me if I miss it. In fact, at the KR retreat, after I'd told some story of some kind, someone suggested I look into radio, because she thought I'd be really good on the air. It took me several minutes to stop laughing long enough to explain.

But do I miss it? Yes and no.

I miss Todd, and Jeff (incidentally, if anyone's reading this from Tampa FL, let me know and you might be able to hear my Jeff - he's working there now), and of course Sharon. I miss people coming up to me on the street after recognizing my laugh and telling me that something I said on the air really touched them. I miss the free concerts and dinners and events (and hairstyles and manicures) that I never would have been able to afford (cuz God knows radio doesn't pay well enough for frivolity like that!). I miss being on the air and being forced to be the best version of myself several hours a day.

I do not miss the being at work at four-thirty in the morning, staying until three in the afternoon, and then being expected to be at a smokey bar at seven that night; the pay, which after hours like that came to below minimum wage; the abuse; being told that even though I've gotten the highest ratings in the area and beaten our lead competitor for the first time since the station existed that I'm not getting a raise until I do a better job vacuuming when it's my turn even if that wasn't in my job contract; doing the weather; having to listen to a bus-full of middle schoolers call and request Britney Spears' Lucky every single day at 3:20pm and every three minutes for the next hour for three weeks straight; having to do commercials for companies I disagree with; dealing with clients who think thirty seconds and fifty seconds are close enough; being recognized at WalMart at three in the morning trying to buy cold medicine while looking not as attractive as death warmed over and being asked for an autograph; having to do remote broadcasts in the freezing cold outside and having to sound like I can't imagine any place I'd rather be than an auto part store; having one caller complain we play a song too much, and having the very next caller request that song; strip clubs; being told that women (by a woman manager) can't be on the air in the afternoon shift because it's too alienating to the drivers and I'll cause accidents.... the list goes on.


why am I rambling on about this?

Because I had a dream about radio last night.

I was on the air with an old ex-boyfriend who lost half a finger, and when he tried to count me down for my intro, I kept getting confused because I didn't know if he meant a whole second or half a second when he held up that finger. So when it was his time to get off the bench and go play football, it was a good thing and I took over the shift alone. So at first I was terrific and immediately began getting more women callers, which is a good thing. But then
(duh duh DUUUUMMMMM)
The computer broke down, and I had to start playing from CD... and with every CD, my caller in between songs was getting younger and younger, so that after I accidentally played the rap version of Dido in which she cusses (which, to my knowledge, doesn't exist, except in this particular dream) my next callers were elementary aged, and then all I could find were nursery rhymes on CD.

And then I woke up.

Because little is more terrifying in radio than your audience skewing too young.


Monday, February 19, 2007

Q & A

I think I used up all my entertaining points at my knitting night tonight (hi, girls!) so instead of being even a little creative, I'll simply respond to questions/comments left or e-mailed over the last few days.

1. No, I don't think anyone broke in. For one thing, I can't think of a drug that would make my hovel look appealing (but if there is one, please let me know, and I'll take it), for another it doesn't appear anything was taken (no smart comments, mother) and for another, the door wasn't left open that far, only about the width a cat would need to go for a stroll, not the amount a burglar would need to... burgle.

What I think happened is that as I was leaving for work, I was concentrating more on not breaking my neck on the ice than I was on closing the door as tight as humanly possible. When it's anything less than as tight as humanly possible, Trevor can open it (I think he carries files). So I think he did open it, probably went outside about two feet, and found the hard coldness on the ground, and came back in, upset. Aslan, who has been on a hunger strike for the past few days since I'm trying a new food for them, decided to try to hitchhike for the grocery store to buy mouse pate, but when he got out realized he didn't have thumbs (thus impeding the hitchhiking process) and didn't get too far.

2. No, Aslan is not hurt in anyway. He does have a small scratch by one of his ears, and I really think he may have gotten into a fight with the cat next door that irritates him by rudely walking in sight of Aslan's windows, but otherwise he's been strutting around with his chest puffed out like he's a bad ass now. I haven't found any new tattoos or piercings, but I did see a gesture that may have been a gang sign, I'm not sure. As I said, he's on a hunger strike, but since I have both the car keys and thumbs, I'm pretty sure I'm going to win, so otherwise things are fine.

3. Yes, Aslan is declawed, front feet only. This is a horrible, abhorant practice. But Aslan was not factory direct (we found each other when he was about five) and as Sarah said tonight, sometimes when you buy a used model, you have to accept whatever they've got in stock - no special orders can be made. New attitude aside, he's pretty much flawless in every other way, by far the most well-mannered cat I've ever known, and has me completely won over to the wonder that is a Norwegian Forest Cat.

4. The alcohol status in my house is as follows: beer (blech), wine (good, but not strong enough for a "where the hell is my cat" moment), schnapps, scotch.

I think this was actually a scotch moment, but since I wasn't sure how much medication was still in my system, I thought the scotch might kill me, and then who would try to give Aslan a guilt trip when he was back in the house, I ask you that? So schnapps it was.

5. Yes, Oscar apparently missed all the excitement. This is another thing that refutes a break-in theory. Oscar's bedroom has a hook-and-eye lock on it (to keep the cat out) and I think if someone were to break in, it would be no trouble at all for a pissed and defensive pitbull to break through. If there was any doubt in his mind that someone was hurting his brother-cats, he'd be out in a heartbeat, I'm sure. When the two of them fight, he goes over and gets between them. If someone else was hurting them or doing anything else he deemed threatening, I'd be Boberta the Builder replacing another door the next day.

don't mess with the fluffy badness

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Who's a VERY VERY bad boy?

This is what I saw when I came home from work this evening

(that's an open front door)

This is who has a trouble-maker reputation but was standing inside and started crying when he saw me and is now glued to my side

This is who was no where to be found inside, but, by the time I'd worked myself up into an asthma attack calling for him outside with my still very hoarse voice, came trotting proudly from around the corner of the parking lot as though his ability to beat up a wussy pitbull inside would somehow make his claws grow back if attacked by the numerous beasts outside, and also suddenly didn't mind the fact that it was twenty degrees outside, despite the fact that as soon as it drops below sixty inside he demands to sleep under covers.

This is who remains entirely clueless about what happened while he was asleep in the other room, but at least, unlike some people (see above photo) has the decency to look sorry

This is what I am now drinking straight from the bottle

(and also the rest of the soy milk)

(but not at the same time)

Friday, February 16, 2007

a karmic kick in the pants

Mostly I'm feeling significantly less like this (actual picture of sleeping cat with cold nose - I think he was breathing through his ears)

and a little more vertical. I'm able to speak and now sound more like Demi Moore than Harvey Fierstein (though still somewhere in the middle, and not near normal for me).

Oscar is still very much enjoying the snow (seen here in early stages) and very much enjoys his parka.

(this picture was taken as he did his little "come play with me" prance - not to me, but to Trevor, who came to the door to see what I was looking at, but couldn't be persuaded to set foot in the coldness)

Once it had stopped snowing, we had nearly four inches of ice. Oh, sure, it looks pretty and snowy, but no, this is ice. Ice that does not sink the smallest bit when I walk on it. It's a little surreal to walk across what looks like a light fluffy field and turn and not see any new footprints. Was I really there, or am I still back on the couch high on TheraFlu and dreaming this?

Yesterday was the first day I actually ventured out into civilization, and I felt like Xena the Warrior Princess for figuring out how to get the ice off my car (why are men always on business trips when you need them???)

With that thick ice - that's an actual block of ice from the roof of my car, with a tape measure on top of it attempting to show you that it's more than three inches thick - my little scraper wasn't quite cutting the mustard (why does mustard need to be cut anyway?). I started the car, unlocked - this is important - UNLOCKED the doors so that when I went back inside I wouldn't lock myself out of the car with the motor running, since I did that three times while living in NY, and let the car warm up for a few minutes.

Then I opened the trunk, and the hood. Just an inch or so. But that was enough to crack the ice, and I could shove the gigantic thick sheets off the car, giving you the rubble you see before you now.

And while my not-petite frame doesn't crack the ice in the least, my tiny sweet puppy can do some damage.

Those aren't shovel lines, people, those are teeth marks. From the dog who finds great joy in running down the hill with his teeth scraping against the ice. (he does have more than three teeth, but apparently those three are sharpest)

But anyway, the car is clear, and the cats had no food, so today was errand day.

And here's where karma had a little thing to say about me frivolously taking a week off to writhe in misery. It started with my coffee cup this morning. Bought two years ago for a buck, and apparently worth every penny.

The astute among you will notice the dripping there is not coming from the brim of the mug.

I should have gone back to bed.

But no, I went to AC Moore, where for some reason my paycheck hadn't come in with all the others.

So I went to the pharmecy, where my prescription had run out (despite being told I had two more refills last time I was in there).

So I went to buy catfood, but the store claimed the didn't have the brand I wanted (though the brand's website recommended that store).

And I went to the grocery store, but they didn't have the kind of firewood I wanted.

And now I'm sitting here staring at this sweater, completely stalled out.

And the thing is, I love the sweater I'm working on, and it was going quickly until I hit the current stall point, and I know once I get through this current stall point it will continue quickly and I could conceivably have it finished a week or two after.

It's just this damn current stall point.

I'm about half a diamond up from what you see here (to where the oatmeal color is the big section and the pink is reaching its point). That puts me right where I'd need to be if I were to do short-row-shaping at the bust. And, being a busty gal, I want to do short-row-shaping at the bust. Right?

Someone tell me that college, high school, middle school and the last three years of elementary school were a lie and I suddenly have no need or short-row-shaping at the bust. Please.

Because for some reason, my head refuses to wrap around the concept of short-rows in the argyle pattern. It just shuts off completely. I sit down to knit it, and can no longer form stitches. I attempt to chart it out first, and can't even type. I start to daydream about the shawl that I decided would be cruise knitting...

Just cannot get past this - three, maybe four, not-even-full rows, and it's completely brought me to a standstill.

I'm going to love the sweater. I can see the finished sweater, and it's gorgeous, and stunning, and I look darn cute in it.

I just can't see those damn short rows.

Instead, I see the sign the universe has stuck to my back today.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

when they find my cold, dead body

I want you all to know it was Catherine's fault.

She's the one who suggested Miss Doxie's blog. Further, she's the one who suggested I read Miss Doxie's archives.

And, because I love, respect, and trust Catherine, I chose to heed her advice.

Sitting here on my couch, surrounded by used tissues, cough drop wrappers, tissue boxes, bottles of water and half a mug of cold TheraFlu (and according to the noises I just heard coming from Trevor at the foot of the couch, cat vomit), recovering from my rampant strain of martian death flu, influenced perhaps by a higher-than-normal body temperature, I set about reading Miss Doxie's archives.

I have now, on three sepearate moments, nearly choked on three different cough drops and my own larynx.

By the way, folks, we're going to need a bigger boat.*

* I just read January 2005. It's okay. The dogs didn't laugh either.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Auditions Held Today

I've been on the couch for six days now. I haven't had the energy to put the NetFlix DVD in the mailbox (which, to be fair, is at least 100 yards from my door) not that my mailman (a three time nominee for "Worlds Worst Mailman") would actually remove it from my box anyway. This means I don't have a new movie and I've watched Hollywoodland (and the commentary) three times. Each.

I am currently debating between Bones and Walker, Texas Ranger for TV at eight pm. Bones, because it's a decent show usually, Walker, Texas Ranger because it means if I drift off to sleep in the middle of the show and wake up anytime after 9pm, I won't be subjected to a single second of American Idol (yes, I'm that lazy).

Aslan has performed several arias on the variation of "Trevor's picking on me and I want to sleep on your right thigh, not your left, please turn over now".

Trevor has knocked all things weighing less than he off of all shelves higher than my head.

Oscar has gone out - played in the snow - gotten cold - come in - gotten warm again - realized he forgot to pee - whined to go out again, no fewer than four hundred thirty seven times.

In short, I'm bored.

Please commence amusing me.

Bring hot tea.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


I believe Heaven is a great big jigsaw puzzle, and each and every one of us is a piece. We all have unique bumps and quirks that make us fit in one specific spot in that puzzle. Now, there are pieces of this puzzle that don't fit with my puzzle piece. But that's okay. They still belong, they just fill in a different part of the picture than I do - neither is right or wrong, both are beautiful, both as they should be. Neither of us has to alter our shape, we just have to find our proper part of the picture and do our best to make our portion of heaven more complete, without demanding that either of us cut or bend our pieces. All we have to do is be the best piece we can, and remember that everyone else is being the best piece they can, and that we're just a small little part of a great big heaven. The pieces around me that fit right along with me are my husband, my brother, and my family, and some very special distant friends (more than I can link too)... even Aslan and Trevor and Oscar and Misha all are little furry puzzle pieces that belong next to me and make my tiny little view of heaven a little bit bigger and a lot more beautiful.

And a year ago today, on a fluke of happening to stumble over a blog and a commenter within that blog who both wanted to meet up for some knitting time, my puzzle grew even more. It very quickly expanded, and merged with another small group in the area, and in no time it was clear this was something very special.

Most Monday nights since then, and several other days in between, I've had a group of raucous ladies to laugh with, to sometimes cry with, to walk with and talk with and knit with and feel like I belonged with. They haven't replaced the special others in my life, but they've filled a void, and I'm very blessed to have them (and the others who aren't in this photo).

JigZone: tiarasforeveryone Jigsaw PuzzleHappy Valentine's, girls!

May your tiaras shine and your knitting styles suck forevermore!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

The good news is, the water's back on....

The bad news is, a rampant strain of martian death flu is kicking my ass.

My weekend looked like this: Frosty (the bear, a long time friend), lots of tissues, TheraFlu, cough drops, bottled water (since, as per the title, I've had no water in the house - the pipes froze a week ago and only thawed today), Netflix (Hollywoodland - don't tell me what happens), a package from Minh, and a chocolate bar. Dark chocolate with blueberries, cranberries and almonds. That's so healthy it's practically medicine.

I sorta felt bad Friday, but like I could muddle through. Around 3 am Saturday, I was ready to call 911. By 10am, I was praying for death. It didn't come, but I did have to cancel a sock class I was supposed to teach Saturday afternoon (if you were supposed to be in that class, you have no idea how bad I feel about canceling. We'll schedule a make-up date as soon as I can speak and stand upright simultaneously.)

I spent a lot of time this weekend with the boys, who were sufficiently companionable, vicious killers that they are. Aslan's super-intuitive self is so glued to my side I've nearly killed him about fourteen times this weekend. He's been alternating between playing in my hair, licking my face, and following me so closely he's tripping us both. But you know what he looks like - he's the handsome blonde.

I didn't even have the energy to play with my lovely gift from Minh, about 1200 yards of alpaca/wool... gorgeous, gorgeous stuff that I can currently do no more than gaze at lovingly, since knitting is making me dizzy.

Friday, February 02, 2007

2nd Annual (silent) Poetry Reading

I'm sitting snug under a blanket, two cats and a dog, on a bitter cold winter morning. Outside there is ice on the sidewalks and on the cars, there are snowflakes falling.

But today I am concentrating on warmth ...on Imbolc ...Oimelc ...the Feast of Bride.

Imbolc means "well waters" - it celebrates the melting of the snow and ice.

Oimelc means "ewe's milk" - it celebrates the oncoming of lambs (as should all knitters!)

This Feast of the Bride honors the celtic goddess Brigid (or Bride, or Brigandu, or Brigitania), who by any reckoning was a goddess of hope and warmth.

Brigid, the 'Fire of the Hearth', was the goddess of fertility, family, childbirth and healing.

Brigid, the '"Fire of the Forge', a patroness of the crafts, and a goddess who was concerned with justice and law and order.

Brigid, the 'Fire of Inspiration', was the muse of poetry, song history and the protector of all cultural learning.

The Feast in her honor reminds us to be patient through the remaining winter days, there is hope ahead. There is warmth ahead. There is love ahead.

My own honoring is a prayer of hope, warmth, and love.

I will spend the day putting together afghan squares knit and crocheted a few weeks ago for various local charities. And as I do so, I will keep this poem close to my heart, and strong in my thoughts.

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection:
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is lead forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action--
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

--Rabindranath Tagore

Marriage is love.