Monday, July 30, 2007

My pasta machine is here!

Heh. I looked at DH's machine-it's made by Marcato, the same company that makes the Atlas. I went to the company website, and found this ad. Yeah, I'll get right on that, Guido.
I also experimented with a different brand of clay this weekend. I feel a little better about my chosen project, and hope I can make it happen!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Fuckety fuck!

Remember that line? From Four Weddings and a Funeral? Hugh Grant woke up, and realized he was too late.

In DHLand, sleep is sacred. I was a bit nervous when his phone rang at 10:30 last night. It was the ER. The young woman wanted to speak to DH, because someone there needed a ride. "Who is it?" I asked, worrying about the kids. Our neighbor. I woke DH up.

After some swearing and locating of the pants, DH went to the ER to pick up Lady Eve's Dad. Since I completed Lady E and gave it to Eve the Dog's mom, Eve's been put down, Eve's mom had a seizure, my Dad died, and Eve's mom moved out. And left Eve's dad.

LED didn't take all this too well. Over the past two months, we've had conversations with LED, and LED's out-of-state son.

"My dad's an alcoholic-you knew that, right?" Not really, because the only settings I saw your dad in were settings where a beer was completely appropriate. We knew LED was sliding downhill rapidly-garbage cans not taken in, wearing the same clothing for days at a time, you name it. He called DH about 2 months ago to borrow an electric razor. (DH went out and bought a new one the next day.) THAT's when I looked up his son's number, and called to make sure he understood what was going on with his dad.

LED's son was here two weeks ago-tried to get his dad help, tried to get something to happen, and was blocked by his father's 'rights' at every junction.

Last night, LED wrecked his truck. Drove it straight into a ditch on a busy highway. He was a mess at the hospital...was he drunk or just written off as an old crazy? Who knows? Since he didn't spend the night in jail, he was probably handled as an old crazy. He refused treatment, but DH said he was barely coherent, and very confused.

(I'm a little hung up on this part-a drunk can't enter into a contract, right? So could the medical facility take a drunk refusing treatment at his word? What if he was hemmoraging and refusing treatment at the same time? What takes precedence, the refusal or the obvious medical problem???)

Just before noon, DH called me...EMS was at LED's house. The police suspected he was dead. Were they coming to ask him about his accident? I don't know. Maybe. What killed him? I'll find out soon enough. I made the appropriate phone calls to out-of-state son, and Mrs. LED, who moved out of town. DH called me back for phone numbers, so the authorities could notify next of kin. Too bad, I already did it. Ooops. I don't have any experience with this, how would I know I am not supposed to tell them??

I am confused and mad. I know CPS would be on my ass like a duck on a junebug if I smacked a kid in Walmart....but I could not find a soul to deliver meals to my dad twice a week before he died...payment wasn't an issue, and he lived less than 2 miles from a Walmart, a Target, an Albertsons AND a Safeway, plus that instant "corner-copia" of big box stores that's been springing up all over the US (Subway, Hallmark, Chili's, Home De-Pot, Mailboxes Up Your know what that looks like). I could get my legs waxed, my nails done, go to Walgreens for a new Dora the Explorer toothbrush, ship it to any point on the globe, and buy a latte at 3 different Starbucks, but could find no one to deliver dinner to my dad twice a week. In damned Fullofoldpeople Arizona.

LED's son sought legal counsel to gather his dad up and dry him out....but he had no options. I spoke to Eve's mom today, and they had been trying to get Adult Protective Services to pay him a visit. I think they were supposed to come by last Wednesday.

I am going to need aging services in a few years, but the current system doesn't work! It took me two weeks to get an appointment at the VA. That's 'get an appointment' a month away, not make an appointment and be seen. And I get that, that's my right to recieve treatment, according to VA rules. Shit, what will happen when I am older and sick?? CPS barely works for some of the kids, and as many can tell you, doesn't work very well at all. I have seen some freaky stuff happen with older people, but don't REALLY want a CPS-style agency. I want stuff that makes sense. I don't see it happening.

Friday, July 27, 2007


This makes my heart sing! LOOK at those colors!!!! Yeehaw! A friend of mine just returned from an overseas trip, and found these at a street market. I think they are FAB-it's a two sided ribbon, nylon and rayon, made in Turkey. I like those Turks better every day. MMMwha!
I've been pondering a specific knitting pattern in a specific knitting project (anything that gives me hope while slogging thru my obligation knitting) and this might just be THE specific yarn that goes with it!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

I BOUGHT a pasta machine!!!

I found one on ebay. Shipping kills the deal, but it was still cheaper buying it there vs. Michael's. I found several on ebay, and they were all reasonable, but shipping doubles the price.

Don't tell the relatives, but this one is actually nicer than DH's. It's an Atlas, so I COULD buy the cannelloni attachment. Or the angel hair, or the ravioli attachment. Or I could shut the hell up and pretend I don't know shit about it. Then I won't have to make pasta.

This project is starting to get a little out of hand, materials-wise. If the Atlas doesn't help me make a nice product, I am gonna chuck the whole polymer experiment, burst into tears, and use my little Guido pasta machine for PASTA. With olive oil, tomato, and a little sauted zucchini.

Burnt offerings-


I checked out a library book last week, and found my HUGE craft swap project in the polymer clay pages. (HUGe is an annual craft swap that works like a cookie exchange-make 10 of something, send 9 to the organizer, she sends you 9 assorted little gifties for you to give to friends and neighbors, who are in turn awed by your largesse and buy you adult beverages. You hope.)

I was SOOO excited. I found my supplies online, and was impatiently waiting for them. I flung myself out the door on Sunday to drive drive drive to Michaels and pick up some clay, just because I wanted to 'spearmint.

This project didn't go well. DH won't let me roll out clay with the pasta machine (he hasn't actually made pasta in 10 years, but I will respect the Italian family connection and not use the pasta machine his mom and dad bought him), I couldn't make it look like the picture, and this clay business was certainly harder than it looked. I'm used to following the directions exactly in knitting, and getting a decent looking something.

These were not beautiful.

I made goofy burnt blue plastic cookies. (The adage dark cookie sheets=dark cookie bottoms applies for petrochemical products, too.) It took me two hours to produce them. I could have skipped rolling and shaping all together, and just slammed clay on a cookie sheet, and had the same result.


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

NNggh! Wham! Uff! Ngrrh! Thump....

I am struggling. I am in the middle of some obligation knitting. It's finicky obligation knitting. It's not necessarily FUN obligation knitting. It shouldn't even be DIFFICULT obligation knitting, but if I ever meet this pattern writer, I will kidney poke her with my size 17s. "Damn, girlfriend, were you freaking BLIND??? Could you make that simple thing any harder? Wait, let me help you scramble up those directions some more, you missed a spot."

No photos today, sorry. Just know that I am in the throes of an epic struggle between good and evil- I was trying to finish this obligation knitting when I was blindsided by --- a damned good idea.

Yow! Ka-Blamm! How can I EVER get this THING done with a good idea hanging over my head??? I know, I know. Call it my carrot. (Call me a dumb - uhm - bunny, yeah, that's it.)

Saturday, July 21, 2007


Benne 0.810
Grace 0.950
Les 0.930
Sandra 0.953
Bri 0.864
Cate 0.957
Jamie 0.941
Trish 0.875
C.needles 0.882
Smarie 0.870
Lisa 0.976
Daryl 0.800
Kellygirl 0.864
T 0.800

I've spent the last hour trying to get a bundle of BabySwag together for the winner of our Libbypool. I've packed and repacked, and stuffed about as much into this envelope as I can.

Certain people have suspected our winner has a certain amount of insider knowledge (gasp!) They're just jealous, Lisa, it has nothing to do with you being a midwife.

Congrats, Lisa!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Doh! Put on your Harry Potter gear....

The sorting hat says that I belong in Slytherinr!

Said Slytherin, "We'll teach just those whose ancestry is purest."

Slytherin students are typically cunning and hungry for power. Important members include Draco Malfoy (Harry's nemesis), Professor Severus Snape (head of Slytherin), and Lord Voldemort.

This would concern me, except Slytherin is mispelled in the title. Hah! It was a close race-Gryffindor at 57%, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, and Slytherin topping at 71%.

Take the most scientific Harry Potter
ever created.

Get Sorted Now!

Baby Sir Prize!

I finished Elizabeth Zimmerman's Baby Surprise for Enid's small guy several months ago. Well, almost finished, I had ends to tuck in, and edges to crochet. This past Sunday, the San Antonio SnBers came by to meet and greet the young lad.
We had a great time.
Unfortunately, the Baby Surprise fit His Royal Cuteness like a bathrobe. I think there are too many rows in the center segment, because the extra length gave the jacket a "PimpDeLuxe" air.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

She is sick, she is sick, she is sick, sick, sick!

Or rather, my arm is. This happens every so often. I feel like generalized crap, and am going to bed. No knitting today.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Not THAT fugly-

Well, ok, it is just a little fugly.

I've been playing with a bag of ashy rose Elann Bag Wool, and a few balls of Nashua Wooly Stripes Tweed since yesterday noon. The rose is hidd-e-yus. I truly LOVE the yarn, tho, and can't picture giving it away just because it's ugly. I wish I'd bought that ugly ugly Nashua WST citrus tweed blend. THAT would have been the perfect color to go with this fugly pink. (It's a bad sign when I can come up with good matches for colors I hate.) I had to use SOMETHING with this rose. I only had 600 yards. (They should make Yarnburger Helper to help me stretch yarn when I don't buy enough.)

I ordered a new DSL box today. I called ATT tech support to consult with them before I ordered. Since the box is lifeless, we have no idea whether the power cord is the problem, or we have a dead box. It's kind of scary when the tech support answering recordings are malfunctioning. I heard two English recordings and a Spanish one. All at once!

Finally, I talked to a person. I almost fell off the chair trying to stick a paperclip into the back of our wall-mounted server. I'll do anything to get off of this pokey slow dial-up, which, incidentally, is what most of our town still has!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

We interrupt this program with a special bulletin-

The wireless access point at work is Tango Uniform. Tits Up. Dead. Which means I am gonna get an awful lot of knitting done this week. And very little blogging. And no Gamesheep OR


Friday, July 13, 2007

Let me call you

Sweetheart! This is a just a news photo, but I was captivated by this little guy's big heart!

In other news, I finished the Solista top from Schachenmayr 68. I am a bit 'ehhh' about it-somehow, the armholes aren't even, so I have a wee amount of stitching up to do, which is much better than unstitching, I suppose. I was put off by its boxy, matronly appearance, and went to try it on. I told DH it would look a lot better if I weighed 30 lbs less. He just laughed. I was generally satisfied with this top, and like the things this yarn can do. It patterns so regularly, it's easy to come up with imaginative uses for it. I used a smidge over 7 balls.

Lunchtime addition: Look at the HEART on the puppy's fur! I know you are so captivated by his cuteness, you are blowing right past it!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The eyes of Texas are upon you...

I don't have a bit of experience with affairs of state. I can barely manage the state of my affairs. I was surprised today when one of my customers came in today and told me his daughter (a recent UT graduate, and UT band member) was called to play for Ladybird Johnson's funeral.
"But she's not dead yet, is she?" I asked.
"No, but they expect the funeral to be Friday or Monday."
We pondered that a little. Given the current state of the world, and such, pre-planning is necessary, I suppose, but a little creepy.
In other affairs of my world, IWK started their hurt book sale today. Traffic makes the site C R A W L. It's like watching paint wet.
Wednesday, 11 July Note: SK forwarded an lovely and informative article on the late Ladybird Johnson's life. Ladybird, Ladybird, fly away home.

Monday, July 09, 2007

All votes are in!

Let's wait and see exactly how big BetsyFaye Jr. will be! Might as well get the prize box ready NOW!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Schachenmayr #68

(What is it with Blogger and titles this week? I'm having trouble posting titles! And photos too!)

I tackled one of my UFOs and have been diligently working. The project came to a complete halt when I thought I would run out of yarn, and had to track down more Solista. (Notice that the time languishing was the square of the number of days needed to find, order, and receive three extra balls of yarn? ) Enough languishing, I have some new knitting on deck, and I need to finish this! (I also need to sew Wren together, but I am not going there right this second! For that matter, I have a shawl that requires blocking and pinning too....)

This is an entirely satisfactory project. I need some other good ideas that work well with directional yarns (I think I bought about 40 balls of this stuff in assorted colors! Don't frown, it was a buck a ball!) I had a small meltdown when I discovered that one of the balls was wound BACKWARDS...all other balls were wound white, to print, to silver. On the front panel, it doesn't matter, but the print on the sides had to flow similarly, or it will bother me for life. (I actually look at how prints sit on commercial clothing too---no one wants identical hydrangeas growing out of their breasticles, or leaves that point to cleavage or crotch, right? Or maybe they do???)

I am almost done-I have one side panel left. I've found myself wearing my handknits out to dinner lately. I hope I like this one! I can credit Libby and her Summer Olympic Training for restarting this project. Thanks Lib, for lighting a fire under my butt!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

My brother and I play a game....I call it "What weird shit can you find on YouTube?" He was floored when I found Minami Haruo's Tokyo Gorin Ondo, my hunt inspired by a coin I got last weekend from my father's safe deposit box, and a vague memory of my mother practicing the fan dance to it.

It wasn't all that easy to find-I knew it was the Olympic theme for the '64 Olympics, and that was all. On-line, I found souvenir documentation from the Olympics, and watched Hirohito's speech. This image was vaguely know 45 slipcases had a life expectancy of two months, especially with pre-schoolers in residence, and I had nothing but that memory to guide me. I had to play "match the characters" on a few sites to find the right version of the song. Sakamoto Kyu sang one very clear version, and I knew it was the right song, but the wrong voice. It's funny; when I was a little girl, Minami's voice scared me. Now, it is familiar and comforting.

This moved me to tears. The old oba-san in the front row touched my heart, she clapped so enthusiastically...the Olympics must have been a glorious sign of post-war recovery, and a source of great national pride and hope for her, and others of her generation. The end of starvation, no more waiting for neighbors and friends who didn't come home.

Of course, baby brother had to top me. Equipped with a better command of Japanese spelling, he found this:

which my mother owned. It was released in 1963, and I remember the 45 slipcase. (Isn't it a kick to hear a song with a xylophone in it?) Hearing this song reminds me of good intentions Mom had for us. I was a little startled to see the post date. Tsuko te hoshi noh? (What is it you want?) I wanted to hear the song again, Ma. Thanks.

Friday, July 06, 2007


I was really surprised to see THIS this morning: - Knitting Yarn at Irresistible Prices

Poor Margaux. The top is WAY big on her!

Thursday, July 05, 2007


I've been trying to vote for the Seven New Wonders of the world for several weeks now, and always got an error page. Now that the last day is upon us, I finally got to the voting page. I chose to vote via the Internet, because it's free.

Vote! You only have one day left!

I chose the Taj Mahal, Stonehenge, The Great Wall of China, the Colosseum, Petra, the Easter Island Statues, and the Kiyomizu Temple (one for the home team). What about you?

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Happy 4th

I was on my first overseas tour when I connected with this song. I was unpacking and organizing, and flopped this album (a gift from my brother) on the turntable. That's right, the turntable. By the end of the song, I was a sniveling mess.

I don't know how this song, crafted in a divided Europe, and sung pre-Glasnost, can be more relevant today than it was when it was released. Somehow, it is. If we ever switch anthems, I'll vote for this one. Even if it is sung by a Swedish guy who obviously doesn't dance. And written by Abba.

Move over, Dancing Queen, you are hogging the floor.

Chess (Cast Recording)