Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Story of Trevor

Years ago, when my precious Misha was an only child, people started telling me she was getting old. Now, this is a horrible thing to say, especially to someone as close to her as I was. Would you go to someone and say "wow, your mom's getting old. Bet she keels over at any minute!" Nevertheless, everyone mentioned how old she was (at NINE!). More and more I was thinking about her leaving me, which I knew would kill me. And I knew if I didn't have another cat in my life when Misha passed, I never would. If I had one to keep caring for, I'd get by, but if all I had was memories of her, no one else would live up to it. So I started thinking about getting a kitten.

Just then, GB announced that Elvira was pregnant by Meathead. This is not the scandel it could be, since Elvira and Meathead were the names the soldiers on the Naval base where GB worked had given to two stray cats who were seen 'round and about together.

So it was decided that I would have one of Elvira's kits - my pick. I had heard that alternating genders makes cat integration easier, so I'd decided to get one of the boys. Since Misha was named after a male dancer (Mikhail Baryshnikov) I had decided that my little boy kitten would be named after a female actress - Antoinette Perry, the only woman to have an Academy Award named after her (the Tonys).

About a week after the kittens were born, in early April of 2000, I went to visit GB and see a movie with him and with his son. During the entire movie, I heard a mother talking to her son. I never heard her son. I never saw her son. But throughout the entire movie I heard a contstant stream of

And people think the cosmos doesn't give warnings.

We went to see the kittens after that, and they all looked almost identical. There was one of the boys who had the tiniest white fluff on the tip of his tail - maybe 15 little hairs. He was running around, slapping the other kittens around, jumping on them, bossing them around....
and as soon as I picked him up, he fell asleep in my arms.

Yep, this was my little guy.

A string was tied around his neck so no one else would take him (eventually all the kittens found homes, and Elvira was fixed) and when he was old enough, he came home with me. For a while, he was Trevor Perry, but on visiting my parents, my mother decided that "Trevor Miguel" had much more "yellability" - and he knows the middle name means trouble!

Misha hated him. She didn't want a kitten (she might have liked a puppy). And he was fearless. Lungs like you'd never believe something his size could have. He was sick a lot when he was tiny. The vet told me he was small for his age, and that his inners hadn't caught up to his outers in growth, so things weren't processing as smoothly as they could be. He outgrew it, and hasn't had a problem since. He jumped on everyone and everything - the world was his playground (the picture above is him spelunking through a pair of my father's pants at about 6 months old. He'd started at the cuff).

When he was eight months old, I came home from work to find uncooked spaghetti all over my apartment. The box was still in the cabinet, which was above my head. He had climbed up, opened the cabinet and the box, and knocked it over, to pour noodles down to play with. He could turn on and off lightswitches by jumping up and hitting the toggles (I'm sure my neighbors thought I had some sort of freaky disco going on most nights.) He turned on the air conditioning once doing the same thing. I had to have GB raise the chandelier in my dining room on one of his visits, because Trevor would take a running leap at it, catch it with his front legs, and swing like George of the Jungle. You know how most cats poke and prod, and finally settle, and then start purring? When Trevor wants to cuddle, he starts at your feet, walks up your legs (with the pressure of what feels like four little ball-peen hammers pounding on you) purring loudly all the while, before he ever makes it to your chest to lie down and cuddle. It's as if the whole way he's thinking "oh, man, this is gonna be a good snuggle!" He still plays fetch with the little plastic rings from milk jugs, or his favorite toy, a little green and white stuffed chicken, which he knows by name
(Stephen - ).

My Trevor Miguel is seven today. He'll get extra cuddles, and a little bologna for a snack, and maybe I won't yell quite as loud when he pesters Aslan or tries to ride Oscar or any of the other trouble I know he'll get into. Any minute now he'll outgrow that kitten behavior, right? I'll cry that day.

He is everything a cat should be. Ferocious, and curious, and fearless, and loving. He will get into trouble where you think there is none. And then he will want to cuddle until the fear goes away. No mouse stands a chance with him around. And strangers better be ware, as well - I'm his mom, don't bother to try to steal my love (it took him years to accept GB!). He is by far the most affectionate cat I've ever lived with, though no one (myself included) would say he's the sweetest in temperment. He is my Spud. Spuderball. Trev. Monkey.

Happy Birthday, Trevor Miguel.
I love you.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Spinner's Gestalt

The sock you saw in progress Monday at lunchtime looked like this when I went to bed Monday night.

And I didn't like it, so I ripped it out. I like the pattern itself, but wasn't crazy about the fit. I'd trusted the pattern sizing as written, rather than my own instincts to resize, and I should have trusted myself. So I'm resizing it, eventually. I'm about halfway up the foot again, but it still isn't making me happy (the lace repeat is 13 stitches, so it's not particularly flexible in the sizing department) so I may end up making adjustments to the lace pattern, or doing serious math on the sock itself.

Other than that I've been the Queen of Fickle. I played with the sock. I played with the shawl. I started a new scarf. I ripped that new scarf. I started another new scarf (on different yarn). I ripped that. I went back to the first scarf, and found a pattern I really liked, but not with that yarn, so I went to scarf 2, and can't get the yarn to work with the pattern, even though it doesn't have the property that made me reject the pattern for scarf 1.

So this weekend I decided to spend a little time with sweet, neglected Fiona-the-Lendrum.

Laura has spun up about 47 possibilities for our Shed-along. I know exactly what fiber I'm using, and just haven't gotten to it (too busy ripping scarves!).

So this weekend, I did. I spun the singles Saturday and this morning. Then, because I was feeling lazy, I decided to not divide out the singles evenly, but just wind it into a center pull ball and ply from the outside and the inside.

Which of course meant spending the better part of an hour rewinding the ball and untangling the mess, because everytime I use my little blue ball winder to do that, chaos ensues. I rewound (after untangling) onto my jumbo Fricke winder, and things went fine.

But I did get a lovely little bit of photographic evidence about how plying removes twist.

The bobbin above is exactly the same amount of fiber as the bobbin below.

The singles untwist slightly with plying, which thickens them up a bit as well, resulting in a much more packed bobbin, even with exactly the same fiber quantity. It's 3.5 oz, exactly 200 yards, of worsted weight merino, purchased at MDSW last year from Stony Mountain Fibers. Color: Olive.

Like my eyes.

Monday, March 19, 2007


I think if you know anything about me, you'd probably guess that my favorite color is green.

(I went through a line the other day, sometime early last week, while wearing a green cardigan. The woman who rang me up looked at me for a second and said "it's not St. Patrick's Day yet." with a very puzzled tone. Apparently, without my knowing, green has been outlawed for use other than March 17?)

Anyway, I do like green quite a lot, and would even if I weren't a pale redhead with green eyes. Green is easily my favorite color, but red takes a close second place. You wouldn't know this to look at my knitting. In fact, I was organizing some photos in Flickr the other day and I noticed something disturbing.

I appear to be drowning in water colors. (do you think it's the mermaid's influence?)

And though Sunday morning I started a new shawl for fun (the photo is in the top row, there, third from the left - note the green sheep stitch markers) I didn't have this drowning realization until Sunday evening.

I cannot be that predictable. I just refuse.

So I started this at about 9:30 this morning.

Note to self: design something red.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Making a statement without saying a word...

That's what my friend Chris is doing.

only in a kinda unusual way...

...which is why she now looks like this

To donate to Chris's cause, go

Saturday, March 10, 2007

There's a mermaid in my television.

Not this one.

Or this one.

She's sitting just like this one.

Do you see her, too?

How 'bout now?

Back in *ahem* December I decided to rearrange the furniture in my living room. But when I made the first big move, getting the gargantuan broken recliner out of the doorway and against a wall, I discovered this little friend in the reflection of my tv. I have a particular fondness for mermaids and fairies, and had a hard time motivating myself to continue the move, since doing so would shift the recliner over by eighteen inches or so, removing the boxes that the fan is sitting on and thereby sending my partially aquatic friend there back to the deep blue.

And because I'm extremely lazy and can justify this behavior with the greatest of ease, the furniture has remained in a non-arranged state since then, with cushions and boxes and all sorts of things sitting in their "I'll just put it here in the meantime" positions.

< excuse justification >
Remember, please, that I was in treatments all of January, and sick with the Martian Death Flu most of February.
< / excuse justification >

Today, I have decided to photograph my friend, bid her adieu, and get back to rearranging the furniture.

This likely comes from the guilt I'm feeling because of the last few days. See, I've recently discovered the tv show Friday Night Lights. I've heard nothing but good things about the show, but remember, please, that I am an airhead, and when you name a show something like Friday Night Lights, and then don't put it on Friday nights, you will cause my head to explode. So while it stars one of my very favorite actors and I was moderately motivated, it took me seventeen episodes to find it on Wednesday evening. And then it promptly went on a two week hiatus. Which means when I went looking for it again this past Wednesday and found some 20/20 special (or something. Not Kyle, which was the important part) I had a rare moment of brilliance and decided to catch up by watching past episodes online.

Whoa, Nelly, is this some compelling tv. I had finished all 17 episodes by Friday evening at 6, re-watched episode 18 (which I managed to see on tv during it's original run) and rewatched some scenes of episode 4 ("Who's Your Daddy?") which Cracked. Me. Up.

The good news is that while I was revelling in Kyle slothhood, I did a fair amount on this

Just a few more inches on the shoulder decreases, then I'm done.

Then I can help Aslan recover from one of the banes of being a man with luxiouriously long hair.

Chest hair in the mouth.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Zones, Bones and Kitty Toes

The sweater that I started last Tuesday night is now up to the sleeve joins.

I really did work on the other things I needed to work on, and only knit on this Wednesday (as I already told you), in the car Friday night, when we drove up to see my brother musically-direct a local-to-him high school production of Les Miz (which still seems a bit oxy-moronic to me, but the production was very good musically, if lacking in acting technique), a little bit there in the theatre (oh! and look what was on the foot of the person sitting next to me!

No, I didn't get her name, but she was wearing Counting Sheep socks! Kismet!)
and then a little more knitting on the sweater today. Today was only because I realized I was so close to the armholes that when I went to knitting tonight I was going to get stuck if I didn't have something else to do, so I had to cast on for a sleeve (which is what you see in the little blob to the upper left there, the two inches or so I did at knitting group tonight).

So you could say I'm in a bit of a zone when working on that sweater. I'm pleased so far with how it's going, but I have a very distinct neckline in mind, and I have no actual idea how I'm going to accomplish it, so there's still plenty of time to stall out on that.

Otherwise, a neighbor brought over a wee bone for Oscar the other day - he came to the door because he was afraid I'd be nervous if someone just left a bone in the yard, for which I thanked him. He mumbled something about his dog being sick or hurting his leg or having a sore throat (I'm not really sure where he was going with that) and wanted to know if Oscar wanted the bone, which in fact he did, very much, thank you. Oscar tried to carry it, failed, so he tried dragging it, but couldn't get it far enough, so he tried doing the Lassie routine of running a few steps forward with enthusiasm then looking back to try to encourage it to follow him, but all that failed him, so I carried it to his room for him.

Keep in mind that Oscar is fifty pounds of solid muscle. This is a large bone.

And in honor of Jane and Annabelle, I give you kitty toes. Only these are the kitty toes of someone who's been a bad boy and is not giving any details.

I think I blame Patricia for this, since I was just today on the phone telling her that Aslan is back to his normal well-behaved self after his adventure last week. Aslan must have heard this, immediately decided that well-behaved = nerdy, and this he could not have. So when I got home from knitting tonight, he hopped up on the bathroom counter with me (since, as was discussed at knit night, I am not thought responsible enough to go to the bathroom without all three boys supervising me closely) and showed off his battle paint, which includes smears of something, and twigs of other things. He won't provide details as to how this happened to him, but he's been very chatty, so he obviously does want to brag, and is very frustrated that I don't understand the nuances of his dialect.

Me, I'm just going back to the sweater... oh, and the work I have to do...

Marriage is love.