Starring Bezzie, her Mad Scientist husband and their kids Chunky, Moochie, and Baby Sister in a whirlwind "adventure" involving excitement, loss, separation, a series of financially draining transnational moves, hitting rock bottom, climbing up again, and a slight change of plans. Oh, and there will be some knitting involved too!
Saturday, June 30, 2007
Right Under My Nose
Chunky and I drove to Livingston in my eternal quest to find a place that will change my oil without an appointment and that is open on a weekend.
While we struck out in the oil change department (I'm just going to have to suck it up and make a damn appointment to get it done and borrow Dr. Mad Scientist's car to get to work), I drove past a large banner kittycorner from my office building declaring "Jersey Fresh Produce."
I saw the banner on Friday, but it was kind of droopy and I couldn't tell what it said.
On our way back home, I decided to check out to follow the arrow the sign pointed to and lo and behold, check out what we scored.
Three ears of white corn (4th of July dinner), two Jersey tomatoes (bound for hamburgers tonite and on our homemade pizza tomorrow--I'm excited to lose my Jersey tomato virginity!) and a pint of green beans (side dish to the aforementioned burgers tonite).
The blueberries were scored at Shoprite and are grown here in Jersey too. $1.48 a pint. Me and Chunky will snack on those like candy. Mmm!
All told, this produce set me back less than $8. What a steal. (Remember I grew up in Alaska where produce is muy expensive!)
I asked the guy there when they were open--he told me daily after 11:00 a.m. How freaking sweet is that? All I have to do is freaking cross the parkway I work on to get there on my lunch hour. If I'm feeling dangerous I could even do it on foot!
Yes, probably not best to put my WIP on my dirty stairs, but if people can hang knitting and/or yarn in trees to take pics, a dirty stair isn't going to kill me.
I'm nearly done with the increases for the sleeves. After I completed 15 (of the 24) 2 row increase rounds, I did the neck modifications so the neckline won't be so lowcut. I think it will turn out OK.
I'm also not really having the "it's ginormous!" panic that many people knitting this seem to be having. Granted, that could be because I'm knitting the 35 1/2 inch bust version (I'm a 37" bust--but the next size up in the pattern--40"--seemed too big).
It could also be because I'm knitting it with a sub yarn. TLC Cotton Plus is a lot thinner than the Blue Sky Alpaca cotton that the pattern calls for.
And yes, I did swatch!
I had to go up to a size 8 needle. Even then, my swatch was a smidge smaller than what the pattern gauge called for.
If it's too small I'll send it to Mom or something. Or maybe my Youngest Younger Sister. Or maybe I'll just send it to Palmer and let the both of them wrestle for it. Hm, I might be on to something there!
My tomato plants are still doing well too--knock on wood. I had to pull them upstairs and under the landing last night during a torrential downpour we had.
We're under flash flood warnings all tonight too.
Hopefully my steak knife stakes will hold.
I couldn't push the blades too far down for fear of slicing some roots.
Speaking of Tomatoes, Chunky and I tried hitting the local Farmers' Market tonight.
As I was telling Youngest Younger Sister via email today, it's that time of year where I miss things like fresh turnips that you can eat like apples from Bushes and Bunches back in Palmer, or Van Houten Produce in Lansing (which downscaled from a large local produce store to a flea market stand last time I read due to the owner suffering a fatal heart attack chasing some jackhole who was shoplifting/stealing from them).
This yearning combined with my not-quite-ready-pot-garden-harvest and the fact I signed up as a Baby Steps member of One Local Summer, I figured we would check the Farmers' Market out.
It runs every Thursday in downtown (Insert The Name Of The Town I Live In) from noon to seven p.m.
We got there at 6:10 p.m. to find all of the vendors packing up.
I was sorely disappointed. If you're going to advertise "Until 7:00 p.m." then at the very least don't start packing up til 7:00! Ok, ok, I understand they've got to get home, and I could accept them packing up at 6:30 p.m.--but 6:10 p.m.?
Yeah, I wasn't too happy.
Oh well. The (Insert The Name Of The Town I Live In) Center Alliance will get a strongly worded email expressing my displeasure and informing them that unfortunately I will be instead patronizing the Farmers' Market (also on Thursday) located in (Insert the Name Of The Town I Work In That Is 20 Miles Away From The Town I Live In) on my lunch hour.
I just thought it would be fun to drag Chunky along with me. I remember how much he loved going to Van Houtens in Lansing.
This weekend we'll be hitting the local butcher shop though for some steaks. Shoprite steaks don't hold a candle to butcher shop steaks.
We've got plans for a delicious July 4 grill-out. And hey, maybe they'll have chicken hearts. I have yet to find anyone that sells chicken hearts. They always mix them with gizzards. Gross. Who eats gizzards?
Ok, normally I'm not a joiner. But when I saw what I am about to show you, I had to get one.
Let me explain why.
I own a Boye Needlemaster set.
They're pretty colors.
They they go down to a size 2 (KP Options and Denise needle sets don't go that low the last time I checked.)
Plus if you could illegally fight needle sets against needle sets, the Boye Needlemaster would win.
I mean what kind of wussy names are "Options" or "Denise?" Those sound like tampon brands.
That name freakin' instills some respect!
However have you seen the barfalicious case the Needlemaster comes in?
Ok, ok, it's possible they're recycling the pleather interiors of 1975 Ford Mavericks in making these cases, which is great for the environment I suppose--but I think it's just godawful ugly.
It even smells bad. It reeks of that fakey-plastic-leather smell.
And don't get me started on the inside of the case. It has these annoying little strips to store the cords and these tight plastic pockets that you have to wrestle the tightener keys and endcaps out of. The reason I bought the Needlemaster was to save time from having to buy lots of other needles. I don't have time to be fumbling around for the tightening key!
But then I came across a needlecase that Zknitter whipped up on commission for another blogger.
When she said she was taking orders for them--I had to get one!
Here it is all spread out:
Ohhh...the room! My cords are all neat and tidy! My endcaps and tightening keys have a little velcro pouch all to themselves! And look at how pretty my needletips look! (Size 8 is missing currently being used on Tomato--as is one of the cords!)
(The card on there is her info card--that's not attached).
It gets better!
Instead of merely zipping up the sides, which was a pain in the assmar if one of your cords started poking out like with the old Needlemaster case, it folds up!
First in half, and then into thirds.
Then you secure it by slipping the case (for a lack of a better word) scrunchy over the whole thing.
I freaking love it.
Now comes the part where I pimp the site she's selling them on. Click-y here.
I don't know how many more she has left, or if she'll continue to make them. But it can't hurt to check it out if you like what you see here right? (Pimp, pimp, pimp, pimp!)
She designed them to fit all types of needle sets. Therefore, one would fit your wussy KP Option or Denise set should you cower in fear of ever owning something as domineering as the Needlemaster set. Muhahahaha!
The case was very reasonably priced too. I think she could probably charge more honestly. If you're a knitter or a crafter, you appreciate how much work goes into something handmade.
I want to know who the wiseass was that put my name on this mailing list.
My AARP card came in the mail today.
Think they'll believe me if I write: "I'm only 29, try back in 21 years!" and mail it back?
I'm making good progress on Tomato--both the sweater and the live ones.
I'm about to start the neck modifications (so the neck doesn't show off too much cleave). I love how fast these top down sweaters go.
I had to stake my real tomatoes today. I used some old steak knives (duller than hell and why I didn't Freecycle them when we moved I'll never know) and some kitchen cotton to secure them. Only fitting since they are steak tomatoes.
What a freaking gorgeous weekend we have had here in America's Armpit (as I have heard some so fondly call Nueva Jersey). For the record I'd rather live in America's Armpit than in America's Wang.
Yesterday was a typical Saturday, housecleaning, laundry, and grocery shopping. It just had the added bonus of birthday cake (angel food) and icecream (mint chocolate chip), and presents!
(Can you tell who else was having a lazy Sunday in the windowsill from the shadow on these books?)
Dr. Mad Scientist and Chunky got me these cookbooks (and the first season of "The Office" on DVD). Dr. Mad Scientist isn't confident enough to venture into knitting related presents (that I don't specifically ask for straight up) yet. But he has no problem buying me cookbooks! The only bummer part of presents like this--it's a tad bit too hot to be firing up the oven.
I guess in my imaginary-food-related-Ravelry-knock-off there would be a section where you added a list of the books in your cooking library just like the Ravelry allegedly has. I say "allegedly" because I am NOT a part of that club. I had my name removed from the waiting list after they published the screen shots.
I don't think I need the organizational help Ravelry has to offer. I don't have an out of control stash or 2,789 patterns in line that I want to knit. Maybe my opinion will change in time. But for now I'm happy not to be affiliated with them.
Today was gorgeous weather too.
Chunky and I took a walk to "the swamp" and saw a Great Egret.
You have to squint, but s/he's the white blob on the shoreline in the middle of the picture.
Let's get things straight. I don't mind old age. I don't worry about birthdays. I'm looking forward to seeing where I'll get wrinkles and how far my boobies will sag. I'm even crossing my fingers that I'll get one of those cool bride of Frankenstein gray streaks in my hair.
Therefore, turning a year older doesn't scare me.
What does scare me is the way women abuse this age.
Oh you know what I'm talking about. How many times have you asked someone their age and they laugh and make that tired joke: "Why I'm 29!" Or they state they're celebrating their 29th birthday for ___ time?
Well guess what chicas?
They've ruined it for those of us who are ACTUALLY 29!
Now for a whole year I've got to walk around telling people that I'm 29 and there's a chance they might not believe me because the abuse women afraid of aging have given this age.
This why I've declared this the year of "Taking Back 29."
What all does that entail?
Well nothing really.
Except for if you dare use one of those tired 29 year old jokes in my presence, I'm kicking off my heels, tucking my earrings into my pocket and throwing it down!
Do you think such a sweet peaver face would lie to you about something like that?
I'm pretty sure they don't have a "Baked Goods FO" section.
Lucky for you, you don't have to belong to any quasi-exclusive club to see good cupcake porn.
Ok, it's not the best cupcake porn because like yarn, cupcakes photograph best in the natural daylight.
Boston cream cupcakes--yellow cake with a chocolate ganache "frosting" and a:
Creamy vanilla pudding filling!
You know maybe the Ravelry folks are on to something--you could make a website for all types of hobbies/pastimes.
It could have a section where you photograph all of your muffin tins, cookie sheets, mixing bowls, spatulas, etc.
You could have a queue where you have all the recipes you would like to try.
There would be a section to display and rank your finished recipes by satisfaction level.
You would also be able to search out cooks that like to make the same things as you by category--baking, barbecue, French cuisine, etc (Does Ravelry have a way to search for other knitters that like the same things as you? i.e. Fair Isle or lace?)
Of course the works-in-progress section might be kind of lacking.
Huh, that would certainly be something to chew on.
How did the "singer" portion of Chunky's performance yesterday go? Smashing if I do say so myself.
Here's a quick five second clip for ya:
My finger wasn't fast enough pressing the "record" button. The first line and portion of the second line you missed was "Someday I'll be a singer/Just you wait and see..."
What was he wearing?
I took a misprinted t-shirt I got from Cafe Press (The Loteria Bloody Heart-Come Ball of Yarn #27 ala Knitty shirt--they let me keep the misprinted one after they sent me my replacement at no charge). I turned the t-shirt inside out, ripped/cut off the sleeves, slashed some holes in the body of the shirt, stuck some safety pins on there and used puffy paint to write "Rock n Roll."
Dr. Mad Scientist nearly shit a brick when he heard I put an anarchy symbol on there. Considering the performance was in the Temple gymnasium, yeah, I might be going to hell for that one. Add it to the list. (We're not Jewish, and neither is the preschool--but they use the basement of a local Temple).
Next item of cuteness on the agenda--the mini-mite hat I knit for the baby shower Dr. Mad Scientist has at work on Thursday.
Gah, the damn thing looks even cuter in that picture.
Notice anything else in that picture? On the bookshelf?
Yeah, at Knit's End.
It was a gift! I swear!
If you've been around here, you know I don't really care for the products of the Yarn Harlot.
I did read at Knit's End--but I checked it out of the library. It wasn't that bad, but it wasn't full of stellar revelations that would make me want to shell out $9.95 for it or any of her other books.
And ok, I'll admit, I have been stalking the Yarn Harlot's blog this past week or so--but only because I was waiting for her Alaska post.
Her post on Alaska was kind of like At Knit's End.
Nice fluff, but nothing interesting about Alaska.
I keep hoping that someday someone will visit up there and say "You know, Alaska's really not that weird."
I hate the way everyone fixates on the whole light in the summer/dark at night thing. Norway's the same way--why don't you hear more people talking about Norway in that respect???
I didn't really appreciate her misspelling of the word "Oomingmak." I will admit that I'm not perfect and I make my fair share of typos/grammatical errors. However, I do go back and read these posts before I publish them to clean them up and check my spelling.
If you're going to consistently misspell a word, great! Go for it.
But if you're going to misspell a word UNDERNEATH A PICTURE OF A SIGN THAT HAS THE CORRECT SPELLING? Bah.
Alright, maybe I'm being a tad anal.
I guess the Yarn Harlot's been having a hard time lately.
I'll preface it with the perfunctory: I'm sure in real life she's an upstanding human being. However, again, like her books, what she had to say about blogging today was kind of "duh" and has been said many times before by others.
(Go read her post today if you're interested in seeing what I'm talking about. I don't link to her not because I'm afraid she'll see me talking about her but because I've never linked to her. She's ubiquitous enough in the knitting community, she doesn't need any link pimping).
But on the other hand, I want to say "Get over it."
Ok, maybe the written word has more sting to it than the spoken word. But who among us doesn't remember the not so nice things said about us?
I remember Maree G. in 9th grade telling me I had a fat ass.
I remember Richelle, my elementary school nurse's daughter, telling a friend of mine (I overheard them talking) that "it made her sick to look at me I was so poor."
Yeah those words stuck with me how many years later?
But on the other hand (how many hands am I up to now?), I also remember the first time someone (outside my immediate family ha ha!) told me I was beautiful.
The good words stick just as tight as the negative words.
So what if someone thinks you look like a weasel and have bad grammar? Now I might be more inclined to side with her if someone alleged she beat her children and locked them in closets. Them are fightin' words!
But looking like a weasel? Yeah, get over it.
OK I realize that she might have been using the weasel thing as an example...
...but who doesn't look like some type of animal?
Sometimes I think I look like the lovechild of the pig and a beaver.
C'mon, you know you think it too!
It's OK. You can say it.
I promise I won't write a veiled blogpost anonymously yelling at you.
Pardon the picture. It was 6:30 a.m. and the blurriness matches my bleary eyes. And yes, his shirt is on backwards and inside out.
I finished them last night. What a nightmare. They were easy enough to sew, because hey, they're pants.
They were Boring (with a capital "B") to make. I had no motivation to do them and found myself finding reasons to finish another few pages of the book I'm reading or a few rows on the sock I take to work with me instead of work on them.
But I buckled down and didn't touch the sock at lunch and instead worked on these pants.
Chunky really loves them. I think that's mainly because they're flannel and soft on his skin. And I suppose he looks OK in them. When you're five you can get away with white pants.
For the record, some people look good in white pants. Mainly people with small butts and some men.
It's a small percentage though.
Alas I'm not out of the woods yet. I got a note from school that I'm "missing" black shoes (damn, I thought they wouldn't notice!) and a "rock star" outfit. What the hell does a rock star wear?
I think I might steal an old Metallica t-shirt from Dr. Mad Scientist, rip the sleeves off of it and slash some holes in it.
I don't know what else to do! Have I become so square that I don't know what an archetypal rock star wears anymore??? Should I paint some track marks on his arm? Maybe give him breast implants and a baby doll to smack around ala Brittney?
People say having children is expensive. I never really understood why (Chunky's a pretty low-maintenance child) until now!
I had planned to swatch for Tomato tonight as the pants were done. However, during dinner last night, Dr. Mad Scientist casually mentioned the baby shower for a knocked up coworker he works with being next Thursday. I had told him back in March that I would knit her something.
Of course I knew she was due in July, but holy crap time flies!
In a panic I had to come up with something to knit her--so last night I started a mini-mite hat. I think I'll also make the kid a Bronty (she's having a boy).
I thought about maybe a sweater but summer babies are so annoying (I'm a summer baby, so I can rag on my own). Yes, the kid will be about six months old when it gets cold out and time for a good sweater--however I know when Chunky was six months old, he wasn't wearing six month sizes. Try more like nine or even twelve month sizes! Plus I just knit a sweater for The Spawn. I'm baby sweatered out for a bit.
Finally, it's Friday, you know what that means! No, not yarn porn. Potato porn!
That's what I went on this weekend to obtain the missing items for Chunky's Urban Brokeback Cowboy Extravaganza next Monday.
I found a long sleeved "denim" shirt. It's actually light blue and no where near denim, but it was $5.00 at Kmart. It will have to do.
I finished the microphone.
The white pants were a no-go.
Plenty of white pants for girls, but nothing for boys. And no, I will not buy my son a pair of girl's white capris for a school performance.
The answer to this? Ghetto Sewing Skills Activate!
I've got to have them done by Friday. So much for TV knitting at night.
I've been in an uber-irritated state lately where everything is rubbing me the wrong way. As such, and combined with having to get these stupid white pants stitched up, I probably won't be blogging much this week.
Since I don't have anything nice to say, I won't say it at all.
Yarn: Plymouth Sockotta in um, a color number I don't recall. (I hate it when companies don't name their colors but only give them numbers!)
Needles: US2 DPNs--my faithful Brittany Birches. I managed to hairline crack one knitting the first sock. It survived the second sock in on piece, so I'm not giving up hope.
Notes: This was my first attempt to knit a pair of socks on DPNs from a pattern that was written for two circular needles. After I got the hang of the lace pattern repeats, I stopped paying attention to the pattern. As a result the lace "rib" of sorts is broken on the ankle where it meets the cuff. They also don't have an eye of partridge heel either like the pattern called for.
But I really don't care. I wear my socks with tennis shoes, and no one is going to notice the flaws. Quite frankly the only ones who will probably notice are people who knit socks. Sadly, I don't know anyone around here personally that does. I should be safe.
Knitting these socks had a lot to do with Turtlegirl. Why? Because they gave me the first opportunity to try out the kick-ass sock blockers her daddy-o made for her and she so sweetly sent a pair to me...
(They're kind of damp and blotchy looking there)
Aren't those the coolest things ever?! I pine for a jigsaw of my own.
The way I knit this pattern is also the first step in my preparation in knitting her Red Dwarf Socks. Those bad boys are knit toe-up on two circs. I'm confident with my results doing lace now on DPNs instead of circs, so the next step will be to knit a pair of socks from a toe-up pattern that I've converted to a cuff-down.
She thinks I'm crazy, and yes, I know I am. But I will knit them cuff down on DPNs, oh yes, I will knit them cuff down on DPNs!
The one where I rooted a grocery store Yukon Gold potato?
So far so good!
Friday, May 25:
Friday, June 1:
Friday, June 8:
If I get one potato out of this experiment, I shall dub it a success. I don't know if it's the Irish in me or the Palmeranian (my hometown, Palmer, is known for it's excellent potatos and marijuana), but I am super excited about this tater plant!
Chunky is really into my pot garden too. He loves to go out and water the plants with me in the evening after work/school.
In that picture you can see him next to my tater, the marigolds he planted me for Mother's Day (still blooming strong), some sunflowers down in front of the tater (not sure if those will work out but BP was giving away seeds to kids and Chunky wanted to plant them), and my oregano over to the right (which is growing like a weed!)
I also have six tomato plants, a pot of green onions, and a bunch of nastursiums growing. It's my first time growing tomatoes, if you don't count the space tomato I grew in sixth grade. I actually got a tiny little tomato off that plant. Growing tomatoes in Alaska without a greenhouse is no easy task!
The nastursiums are delicious--I like to eat the leaves and flowers straight up. They're very peppery and almost spicy. A great alternative if the green onions don't work out.
Who says you need land to garden? I think even if I owned a house proper I would continue to pot garden. It's so much more versatile. If the rain or wind gets too strong, I can move them out of it. If the sun gets too intense, I can move them out of it. If it gets too cold outside, I can move them out of it. Can't do that with a vegetable patch!
Is it pathetic when you can't take your eyes off the hat the baby in question is wearing because you can't help but wonder if it was handknit or not?
She's cute enough as far as scrunchy pinkie newborns go. I'm sure we'll be seeing a lot of her since her parents (Dr. Mad Scientist's brother and sister in law) have already made tentative plans to join us for Thanksgiving dinner. I don't really remember inviting them, but hey, if they're up for adventures in cooking turkey in my non-temperature calibrated oven, they can be my guests.
I'll be honest with you, she's cuter than Chunky was.
He may be a cutie now, but he didn't really come into his full cuteness until he was about 8 months old. Poor kid had some serious cradle crap on his scalp, a Cletus slackjaw (that he finally grew out of thank god) and eczema on his cheeks. Don't get me wrong, he was cute to me. However they didn't coin the phrase "A face only a mother could love" for no reason.
Maybe he'll be blessed with non-awkward looking teenage age years as a reward for going through some seriously not-so-cute baby time. Ha ha, yeah right!
Hm, upon closer inspection of The Spawn up there, I detect a hint of slack jawedness on her as well. I guess this means I can blame Dr. Mad Scientist's genes for forcing me to mechanically milk myself for a year because Chunky couldn't latch on to Laverne or Shirley properly to feed with his slack jaw (and I was too cheap to buy formula).
This gives me a bit of peace.
Speaking of cute! I have got to finish up these damn Quill Lace socks. Why?
Now that's a bandwagon I can hop on. I like the Noni bag line and I love seeing other knitters knit them, but I've never felt inclined to buy the patterns for myself.
Maybe after the Quill Lace Socks and Chunky's microphone are done, I'll buy this pattern and also cast on for Tomato as well.
Hm, and I was just giving Turtlegirl crap about knitting a BLT.
$8.00 is a wee steep for a pattern in my cheapass opinion, but I I'll check my piggy bank. I think I might have enough yarn in the stash to do a black and white one. Therefore it would only be an $8.00 purse right? I can always scrounge up handles and a zipper from something in my closet.
I'd have a hell of a cute frankenpiggy bag on my hands.
Before Yasser, I would tie a plastic grocery bag to the headrest.
Now that it's summer, with the windows down, Chunky would get a facefull of plastic and trash blowing in his face with that set up.
I needed something sturdier.
Cristi rak'ed me some black and white sock-weight cotton mystery yarn.
The neutral colors made them a perfect fit with the color scheme my car. All I did was knit up a giant lacy-mesh rectangle, some straps to attach it to the seat and sewed it all up. Very mindless.
Why do I call it "Yasser?"
The way the yarn knit up it reminded me of Yasser Arafat's trademark headscarf.
That's not the best picture of him, but I couldn't resist posting a pic of him going through his Ringo Starr identity crisis period.
Now all that's left on the needles is my second Quill Lace sock. I'm about to turn the heel on that one so it should be done soon.
I thought I would be hard up to think of something new to knit. Oh no. Not with a five year old in the house.
He came home with his "wardrobe" list for the graduation performance they're putting on at school.
Wanna hear what I have to get to school by June 15? And is it any wonder I hate musicals?
* A bandana (Check--it was a going away to Texas present from my old coworkers)
* Blue jeans (Check--I hope they don't mind them with knee holes)
* Denim shirt, long sleeved
* Cowboy hat (Check--Thank you Grandpa for getting Chunky a real cowboy hat for xmas two years ago!)
* Light blue shirt (Check--I think I can round something up in his shirt drawer resembling this)
* Solid white pants
* Dress black shoes
* Toy microphone
Here's what I have in mind:
I can knit him a toy microphone, that will be super easy.
I've been wanting to buy him some bigger shoes, but I hate buying him black tennis shoes. I think I'll buy some black shoe polish and a new pair of white tennis shoes. I'll take the polish to his OLD white tennis shoes that he's wearing now. His teachers will never know the difference. He's outgrowing those old shoes anyway.
Here's what I'm stumped with:
White pants (Who the hell looks good in white pants?)
Long sleeved denim shirt (Where am I going to find a LONG SLEEVED SHIRT in summer?)
Maybe my ghetto sewing skills can help me get away with making him some white PJ-type pants? I can't guarantee they'll be thick enough where his Sponge Bob underpants won't be clearly visible on his butt when he turns around though.
The long sleeved denim shirt is totally annoying. Thrift stores are out of the question. They have JACK for thrift stores around here. It sucks.
Ah the joy of having children.
Speaking of which, The Spawn was spurned this morning at 6:06 a.m. I seriously thought that blog name was prophetic when I heard what time she was born, but then I realized it was 6/5 and not 6/6. Whew!
I'm sure she'll be cute. But only because of my two ugly parents = cute kid theory. Two pretty people = ugly babies.
Chunky is cute, but Suri Cruise freaks me the hell out.
For some reason this has been a theme coming up a lot recently in my life.
I don't know if it's the anti-social bitch in me rearing her ugly head or possibly the extreme lack of sleep from having to drive around northern New Jersey trying to find my husband at the Tocawa train station at 1:00 a.m. because he slept through his stop and woke up seven stops too late. We ended up getting horribly lost and finally I told him to just get a cab. There's $60 I'll never see again. Thank god I've got a job now. Takes the sting off of that amount a bit. On the plus side if I'm ever looking for skankalicious hookers, I know where to find them in Paterson.
But I'm finding this theme everywhere I turn right now.
For example, take the ballet Dr. MS took his mom and PC to see--he and I got to talking about other cultural things for the masses: plays, opera, broadway shows, etc.
I despise all of those things.
And you want to know why? Because it seems everyone loves "Phantom of the Opera" or "La Boehm" or "Cats." I don't want to lump myself into that group.
I loath Harry Potter and everything about him. Why? Because everyone else likes Harry Potter.
Don't get me wrong, I actually tried to love that one (just like I did actually go see the opera "Der Fledermaus" but I walked out after the second act, I wanted to gouge my brain out with a dull spoon).
I read the first Harry Potter before it became the "cool" thing to do. I read it one night when I couldn't sleep. I will give it credit for putting me to sleep.
My sister T. does book reviews on her blog of what she's been reading lately. The last book she reviewed was The Catcher In the Rye. I read that book in my "I feel I should read this because school didn't force me to" phase. I didn't care for it.
A lot of people find it profound.
Dr. Mad Scientist reads authors that people have heard of. I make a point to try and read authors that don't get on the NY Times Bestseller list or come out in paperback editions that only cost $7.99 to buy.
I recently read a Jodi Picault book and I was so ashamed of myself for indulging in such a piece of what I consider "pulp" fiction.
And yet I knit.
It could be argued that right now knitting is the "popular" thing to do.
I wholeheartedly admit to getting sucked into the "hot" patterns. I've knit Jaywalkers (albeit a year after they first came out), I've knit a Calorimetry. I've even joined a Knitalong or two (although not for one specific pattern, I prefer "theme" KALs).
Now Ravelry is the latest hooptie-do that has hit the knitting community.
Yeah, I'll admit, I signed up for an invite.
But now, if that invite were to show up in my mailbox tomorrow, I would delete it.
Because everyone else is doing it.
I vacillate between wanting to be a cool kid, and wanting to keep my identity as a fringe dweller.
I even bought the yarn to knit Tomato. But now I'm reevaluating. Why do I really want to knit that pattern? Is it because everyone else has? Is it because I have finally discovered the joy of a top-down sweater? I think I'm going to shelf that yarn for a bit while I make up my mind.
And here I am blogging. Another outwardly "mainstream" or "cool" thing to do. I'd like to pretend that it has taken the place of my pen and paper musings, but that's not true. I censor myself quite a bit on this blog. Much more than I did with pen and paper. Blogging and pen and paper don't even begin to compare. Blogging can never replace pen and paper for me.
Even in the blogosphere, I don't like to read blogs that everyone else reads like The Yarn Harlot, Grumperina, Crazy Aunt Purl, Wendy Knits. I've tried reading them here and there, but I just can't get into them.
I think the closest mainstream blog I read is Knit n'Tonic. I enjoy her crazy ass style. She protrudes an air of sophistication with a hint of true self-deprecation that I think those other bloggers I listed off above only try to capture but don't succeed (but again, I've only read those other bloggers here and there inconsistently).
So what's a girl to do?
In my dream world, I would head for the Canadian potato fields and live off the land, read obscure authors, never attend a play, journal in my notebook, and knit my non-Monkey socks.
But I'm sure someone has done that before and it wouldn't be totally original.
For now I guess I'll just sit here contemplating my sometimes hypocritical contrariness wearing the opposing team's school colors on spirit day.
So hey, did anyone happen to catch the comments yesterday and read a certain Youngest Younger Brother's veiled reference to something he was mailing me?
Well it came.
Remember I mentioned a surprise a while back?
Well it's here.
Youngest Younger Brother, for those of you who are just tuning in for the first time, works summers at The Palmer Musk Ox Farm.
That's him frolicking with a baby musk ox a summer ago.
Youngest Younger Brother realizes that knitters go ape-caca over qiviut.
So what did he do?
He offered to donate this to the KAYE cause:
It comes complete with 120 yds. of bulky-spun 100% qiviut.
My pathetic attempt to get a close up said qiviut:
I thought about saving this to add to the grand prize drawing of kindly donated yarns to be given away to one lucky knitter at the end of the year, but I seriously need to get this stuff out of my house before I attack it!!
Plus I think this makes a great incentive to give my cooter rootin' campaign a good mid-year push to get the word out!
And it also happens to be the month said Youngest Younger Brother has a birthday.
So in honor of him, coolest Youngest Younger Brother ever, and Friend of Kootchies (Hm, I wonder if he used that to introduce himself he could pick up chicks? Nah, probably not.), the qiviut cap kit complete with 2 oz. of qiviut yarn will be June's KAYE prize.
Remember, you must have completed your exam (or fulfilling the alternate rules of the contest if they apply to you) and email me after that you have in the month of June to be eligible for this month's prize.