Friday, February 29, 2008

The new term shall be Leaple

I did some more research, and found that Leapling was a term made up by some 1992 baby's mom for her book. Ah, how existential.

I am gunning for the term Leaple. It's a French surname, but is not an English word. It is a contraction of Leap and People-our birthdays make us special, but we are just people. Leaple works for me! Here's to getting it in Wikipedia.

WTF are Leaplings??

Today's my birthday. People I share my birthday with-Tony Robbins (Banana Hands in Shallow Hal), Richard Ramirez (The Night Stalker) and Aileen Wuornos (portrayed in the movie Monster). Great. A small percentage of the population is born on my birthday (1:1,500), but what a preponderance of weirdos.

I read in my local paper that people born on February 29th are known as Leaplings. I've been around for 12 birthdays and never heard that term until yesterday. Sputter grumble.... Leapling!!! Why not Leapette, or Leaper, or Leapster, or a niner? I think someone's making crap up and putting it in Wikipedia. I have to think about this a little, then I am going to make something will be good, I promise. Leapling, my ass. That's LAME.

I am pretty excited that Google managed to make a cute little icon for MY birthday. You'll have to excuse me, I don't get real birthdays all that often, and I relish them. Birthday absence is difficult in the formative years, that is-any year before your 30th. I have a lot of pent-up glee!

I also found out about the Leap Year Capital of the World. I am going for my next birthday. That's not lame at all.

There was a nummy little bit of yarny goodness, courtesy of the mailman. TWO matching hanks of sea silk, which is enough to make a BIG DEAL garment. Yummo!!!!

One really annoying thing about my birthday is that you only get a birthday horoscope once every four years. So let's stock up-

Responsibilities weigh on you. Much might be going on behind the scenes or in your mind. Start clearing out some of these thoughts, and you will have reason to smile. Listen to your inner voice about a boss, parent or older individual. Tonight: Could be late.

and then there is-

Born February 29 Your leadership skills are elevated, and you are likely to engage in teamwork and group projects with success. Your charm is strong, and others warm up to your ideas readily. However, there are times when you might come on too strong, attempting to push your agenda on others--something that can only cause problems. You can also be more temperamental, and sparks can fly in your love life! You are goal-oriented and capable of accomplishing pretty much anything you desire. You simply have to be patient and not expect too much at once. more

and then the Aussies say-

Friday 29th February Birthdays – this year sees you with plenty of desire but you may not quite have what you need for the carry through. Make sure your plans are based in reality if you want success.

Born on This Day– 1976 Jeff "Ja Rule" Atkins, 1972 Antonio Sabato, Jr., 1960 Tony Robbins, 1956 Jonathan Coleman, 1936 Jack Lousma, 1916 Dinah Shore, 1904 Jimmy Dorsey, 1896 William Wellman, 1860 Herman Hollerith

Babies born today will be dynamic little people, who will enjoy starting new projects. They may need help with carrying them out to the end though. There can be clashes with those in authority, beginning with parents and teachers. Once they learn to take responsibility they can move mountains

And then THIS caught my eye-but this one took the prize. I don't think the mom had hoops of pain....I think they meant whoops of pain. Because basketball would suck if you were in labor.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Why I am the coolest Grandma EVER-

I already know DD will buy chocolate for Easter. DGD goes thru shoes like a hot knife thru butter. These are pearl white with a silver swoosh, and she will LUURRRVVVV them.
PS-I loved them so much I paid full price. !

Life at Six

I just watched a Morning Show clip on Ernest Hemingway and the six word novel. He made a bet that he could tell a story in six words.

"For sale: baby shoes, never worn."

That's pretty straight up, isn't it? There's a new book of six word bios out. That's a challenge. What would I say?

Knitting, suitcase, ikimasho.
Then what happens?
Ikimasho is Japanese for Let's Go. Let's Go is the name of a series of travel books. I think I could just take the first line and be happy. But then I remember the last line of my life's mission statement-
I shall not live in vain.
That might be even better. From here, it kind of goes downhill. In a funny sort of way-
I came, I saw, I conquered.
Operators standing by. Have payment ready.
You can't fast-forward. Pass the popcorn.
Sew, Laugh, Grow. Play nice. Smile.
Who farted? My mouth was open!!
This is fun-like eating potato chips. Your turn. What's your Life at Six?

Monday, February 25, 2008


Sometimes it's kind of hard to keep symbology straight. If you are in Texas, you know the first symbol. If you are in Hawaii, you know the one on the right. If you have deaf family members, you know the center one. And when you all pile out of the house to wave good-bye to the family, neighbors think you are either Red-neck (Hook 'em horns!) or Surfer (chaka, bra-surf's up!). The center sign is ASL for "I love you."

We got a phone call Saturday; DH's Uncle Tony passed away. I ordered these today. I browsed 1-800 Flowers, FTD, Teleflora-everything I wanted was either pink or absurdly expensive, and I spent at least an hour looking. Finally, I got mad, and just called a random florist in Spring Hill Florida. As it turned out, DH's cousin is her regular customer. Our transaction went really well until she asked "What shall I put on the card?"

I only met Uncle Tony once, when my father-in-law died. No one could sit in Dad's recliner, we all just looked at it, and cut a wide path to avoid it. Tony got comfortable in his little brother's chair. We were all fine with that. Nice man. He was very impressed with the flags I put on Dad's arrangement. I wish I had one for his.

When the florist asked the question, my eyes filled up and my lip trembled. He was the last of the three brothers from Brooklyn, only Aunt Ninni is left. The stories are winding down. I am so glad that in the last sight he had of my family, we were waving like maniacs.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Do ya think you're soxy?

There's one

afoot. I don't even think they need instructions, so pattern-writing shouldn't be a problem. Several companies are sponsoring different categories, so you might not have to buy yarn!!!

Y'all have til the end of December.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Tales and Tails

'Member this photo from back in October? I talked as if it were a swatch. It wasn't a swatch at all, it was a square for a blanket. A friend of ours was sick, and we all pitched in and worked blanket squares for her. The blanket itself came out BEAUTIFULLY, but there's something special about that blanket that I want to talk about.

I knitted up a companion square to this, frogging it several times, and finally settling on a simple basketweave stitch. I wanted to catch up, so I took it with me when we went to supper. DH and I were sitting in the bar at Chilis, and some guy proposed to his girlfriend. THAT gave me an idea!

EVERYONE did something else while they were knitting their squares! Why not collect the stories?? So along with a gorgeous blanket that Libby and Trish assembled, I did up a little table, and included a photo of each square, and the knitter's story behind it. For example, my square went to work with me and made a lot of caramel lattes. Other squares went on airplanes, to football games, to doctor's offices and dance class. Some sat outside, and some stayed in. I called it Blankie Tales, and it set a new standard for group projects.

We've done quite a few group blankies recently. Some of the things we learned?

1) Always pick a color scheme-it can be bold and wild, or monochromatic....but whatever you do, set a scheme. One of the very first projects we did DIDN'T have a color scheme, and it was TERRIBLE. There was no way to arrange that blanket to have ANY cohesion. I worked like a crazy woman to knit neutral sashings for it, and it was finished right before mama delivered.

2) Establish tension. State it. Expect it. Meet it. The portion that doesn't will be a total pain in the ass.

3) Don't rely on a hard and fast color chart/seating plan. Even if you make out a chart, someone will goof up. You will end up with an extra blue that needed to be pink, or something like that. If you've done your color homework right, it will all be ok, and might even be better than the original plan, but DO be flexible and gracious. We laid all the squares out, took pictures, cut them up, and made jigsaw puzzles out of them, just to get the layout right!

4) Pick the yarn and stick to it. Washing instructions ARE important.

5) Now I add-have everyone write down a line or two about their contribution. Trust me, the compilation of stories makes the blanket 10X more special.
Suggy came home from the vet an hour ago. It was really weird to be in this house without a dog. I hated it. Her heel tumor was just bumps, her booby tumor was malignant. She's ok for now, and on puppy-drugs.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Another damned hat-

Yeah, ok, I got an armload of new circs in from Discontinued Brand Name Yarn, and I picked up a few balls of Karoke (on sale) while I was there. More on the needles later this week.

I'm not sure what I think about Karoke. It can't make up its mind-you can spit splice it like wool, but it hangs like a cotton. I was just messing around with this, and made a hat for DGD. I used one ball, and I yanked some of the yellow out, just to make it easier to mix into her wardrobe. Just a fun little something.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A little worried about the little old lady....

The little old lady has to go to the vet's tomorrow. She's had a lump at her Achilles tendon for years, and it's suddenly gotten larger. They also found a booby lump, so they are going to do a lot of snipping while she's knocked out. I've spent a lot of time with her lately, and just from watching her, I think she won't be with us for too much longer.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Ok, I am dead now

I have officially died. Today, about 10 minutes ago, my Hat Attack hat arrived. It's SHORT. It is way too small to go to anyone but DGD. It barely comes to my ears! That is not my assassin's fault. The hat was written row by row, and most hats are written to the measurement. But if you tweak your needles for stitch gauge, you very easily may miss ROW gauge. I think our arms dealer was a little inexperienced with pattern writing, and that tripped her up.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Come out and Play-yay

DH and I went on a wine tasting tour today. It was fun. Texas is the second largest wine tourist destination in the country. (I can't believe the Columbia River Valley let that one slip by.) I don't know that wine tourism is that much FUN (I tasted both good and ungood today), but it helps that the country's top waterpark AND one of the top shopping destinations in the country are both nearby. The outlet malls ARE this state's number one tourist destination.....but I digress. These days, there are dozens of wineries throughout the state.

I bought the tickets for Valentines. We'd heard there were a lot of wineries in the Hill Country (north of San Antonio, west of Austin, south of Waco) but we've never been. Mind you, we've been in the state for 13 years, and the oldest winery we visited was 20 years old. As we found out, it wasn't necessary to have a tasting ticket for the wineries, but toting the ticket got us a little "extra" at every stop. If we hadn't bought the tickets, we probably wouldn't have gone, so I think that was money well spent. We went to the Fredricksburg Winery (downtown Fredricksburg), Grape Creek Vinyards and Torre de Pietro (right next to each other on Hwy 90) and Sister Creek Vinyards in Sisterdale.

I am not a HUGE fan of reds. I'm not wild about the tannic taste. I found it VERY helpful to taste and smell back-to-back-to-back. It helped me winnow out what I liked and what I didn't. (I had a NASTY Pinot Noir-tasted like vinegar to me!) My pick? Grape Creek and Torre de Pietro are right next to each other, and Grape Creek's wines were very enjoyable. Torre de Pietro kind of set me back on my heels, pricewise. They were pretty proud of their Petit Shiraz. It was 100.00 a bottle. I am sure I am not qualified to drive THAT snob bus. At any rate, if I was only going to make one stop, it would be Grape Creek. We picked up a port, and a sweet white that I thought would be a perfect little "prezzie" wine to have on hand. I just looked at wine awards, and hey, that little 12.50 bottle won a Silver medal in recent competition. I can be the 12.50 snob, ok?

We stopped at Sisterdale because it was kind of in the homeward direction, and they specialize in reds, which DH thinks are wunnerful. DH loved their self-tour (it's in an old cotton gin), and he loved their flavors. (It also helped that there was a large farm of rusting Chevies right next door.) He pointed out the big plastic cork tapped into the side of each barrel. "They call that a bunghole," he announced gleefully and not too quietly. See what I mean about licenses to drive the wine snob bus??

I finished a "punkinhead" hat this weekend. I first made this Ann Norling hat about 5 years ago, and decided I needed a few for baby presents. I am shocked at how easy it was to do this hat-much easier than it was 5 years ago!! So it's done. I need to do several more, because there are a lot of women expecting. EVERYONE loves the pumpkins.

If I hand knit a hat, I can just throw it in a wine bag, right? I am so NOT kidding about that!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Undeniable attraction

We started seeing this unlikely pair about two months ago. The slim green Anole lizards always snuggle up to our bathroom window, and sandwich themselves between the glass and the screen on cold nights. I have been known to stick a heating pad (one of those pain patch disposables) on the window in sympathy. The Texas Spiney Lizard was a newcomer, tho.

Yesterday, they spotted each other. I got worried, because I didn't know if they would fight each other for territory. An anole fighting another anole is a funny thing-the males puff up and show little pink "gills". Often times, the winner will end up with the loser's head in his mouth. The loser's legs flail, and his body writhes. I never stick around to see what happens next.

These two decided to make formal introduction yesterday. I ran to get the camera.

Would it be lizard carnage? Would I have to go outside and fix the screen? Would one of them stuff the other's head in his mouth? See how the light changes in the background? There was a long, deliberate sizing up. They considered slowly, and moved very quickly. Heads tilted. And then it happened!!! The anole turned its back on the other lizard and.................

I think she was flirting with him. Who'da thunk? Happy Valentines Day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

My archeological findings-

I've been cleaning. I accidentally nudged this bowl, and all my Czech handpainted eggs inside tumbled to the floor. Judy bought them for me in 1990, when we were in Germany. The eggs made it from Germany, to Alaska, to here-and survived almost 20 years.

But the bowl-I hadn't really looked at it in those same 20 years. It is a salt/pepper bowl, and is a souvenir from a shrine in Loreto, Italy. (I looked it up last night.) It commemorates the 400th anniversary of the shrine's transport (by angels, no less) from Croatia across the Adriatic to Italy. Once again, despite growing up Baptist, I find I've bought another Catholic thing. Musta been so my future husband would feel at home.

I've been sorting thru and trying to straighten some knitting stuff this week. There's a lot of it. I need those angels to stop by and help me move stuff around.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Hat Attack 2008 Hat

is done. The pattern's been out less than 24 hours, so I wonder if the hat was difficult enough; there are a number of people (I guesstimate more than 10%) of the participants who are already done.

About the pattern-eh. My project looks like it's supposed to but there's a few bits of weirdness going on in the pattern. I know it's not easy to write one, but if things gave ME pause, I know they really goofed up jeep knitters.
The pattern is based on binary code sequence (01100 and such). I wish it were more balanced. Yarn is Soft Angora, 80%merino, 20% angora, about 130 yards (1.25 balls), color raspberry

Friday, February 08, 2008


I posted this competition on Ravelry, but wanted to give non-Ravelers a chance. It's a contest to write a birthday haiku for our friend Shui Kuen Kozinski, who's designed several shawl patterns. The announcement is as follows:

Announcing a contest!!! Where SK lives, the temperature has plummeted, and it’s hard to get into town or travel about. Talk about February freeze!!! That’s not a fun way to spend your birthday!! In honor of SK’s birthday next week, Feathersong and I are hosting a Birthday Haiku contest. As you know, a haiku is a form of Japanese poetry. It has a very specific construction. The first line has 5 syllables, the second 7, and the last line has 5 syllables. The message has to be succinct.

So here are the prize categories-
1) a haiku TO Shui Kuen 2) a haiku ABOUT Shui Kuen
There will be one prize for each category.
There will also be a speed demon prize for the FIRST haiku entry.
Already won by Trish@mymerinomantra (see the right sidebar)

To enter: Post your birthday Haiku here or on Ravelry at the Friends of SK group. One entry per person. Contest deadline is 5 p.m. (1700L) Central Standard Time (US) on 14 Feb. Feathersong and I will judge that evening. Winners will be announced on 15 Feb, and prizes will be mailed early the following week. Your entry will be disqualified if it does not conform to haiku construction guidelines.

Please label it “to” or “about”.

Feathersong and I can participate, but not enter.
Need inspiration? Listen to SK’s radio interview. Needles 54 posted the link up on the Ravelry discussion board!
PLEASE USE THIS FORUM FOR ENTRIES ONLY. If you just want to wish Shui Kuen a Happy Birthday in regular ol’ format, see you at Elann next Friday morning!!!

The Wish Book

It's been at least a year since I actually bought a pattern because I liked the pattern. There is something about a Patternworks catalog that gets my attention. I think this time, the patterns were actually cute and difficult enough for me to think that buying a pattern book would be a square deal.

The cardigan is REALLy cute (and it's knit lengthwise, kids!) but it was the hoodie that REALLY got my attention. I LOVE that neck treatment, I wanna learn how they DID that neck treatment. OMG, they showed me a back/side view, so I could SEE there was no unholy mess hanging out at the back of the garment!!! This is the PERFECT garment for my stoner niece-look at the neckline, look at the lace....both kinda tucked in there. Love it love it!!!
Hat Attack starts tomorrow. My victim lives in FL. I am SOOOOO excited!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

and dance by the light of the moon!

  • Miss Clara P, on Knitter's Review, reviewed Buffalo Gals yarn today. Trouble was, the ball band made a break for it. As luck would have it, DH came breezin' in this afternoon, and wanted me to go ride around the golf course with him. I grabbed this hank, an Ann Budd, and my short Addis, in hopes of casting something on. DH drives golf carts like they are go-carts. Good thing I didn't pack anything trickier.
  • Here's the Buffalo Gals 2 ply; this was plain and naked on my Jan 29 post and now it's sporting lime and blue raspberry Koolaid.
  • My zippers came in today. They are BEAUTIFUL. Can't wait to knit stuff up and have the dry-cleaner sew the zippers in. Why yes, I AM lazy!!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

I'm excited, but after last year....

Last year was supposed to be all nice and happy, with good money for me and all my friends. Supposed to be LUCKY for me. Liars. Most of my friends had a tough time too-death, health issues, oh, you name it. Did it pan out? This year-the year that is supposed to end a 12 year YUCK cycle for me (and why the hell didn't they just come out and SAY that 12 years ago-why'd they let me stay hopeful?) I think THAT was mean!
HONG KONG -- Caution will be the watchword for the Year of the Rat, the new lunar year that begins Thursday, as Chinese fortune tellers predict financial and political rumblings, tsunamis and epidemics in the year ahead. The reason, they say, is that water and earth -- two of the five elements Chinese mystics believe are at the root of all things -- are in conflict in 2008.
"Earth usually conquers water, but it is too weak to control the rat, which symbolizes the most powerful water," said Raymond Lo, a Hong Kong master of feng shui, the ancient Chinese practice of trying to achieve health, harmony and prosperity by the arrangement of dates and numbers, building design and the placement of objects.

Millions of ethnic Chinese across Asia have eagerly anticipated the weeklong celebrations that kickoff the lunar new on Thursday. From Beijing to Bangkok, and Sydney to Seoul, streets are festooned with red and gold, and planes and trains packed with people heading home for the biggest family reunion of the year.

Year of the Rat predictions seem as though they're already coming true in China, where freakishly frigid temperatures in the last three weeks have claimed at least 60 lives. The worst snowstorms in five decades have crippled transportation, leaving millions stranded during the busiest travel week of the year, similar to the Christmas holidays in the West. Tang Ming, 45, a furniture factory worker in the southern city of Guangzhou, was standing in line at the train station for a fourth day last Friday, desperate to get on a train and spend the holiday with family in northern Hubei province. "It's unthinkable not to be with your family," said Tang. "I'm going to do whatever I can to go home."

Like the Chinese, the Vietnamese consider Tet, as it's called there, the most important holiday in the calendar year. Urbanites head to hometowns to visit family members or go to temples. Streets are filled with kumquat and peach blossom trees, which signify prosperity and goodwill. Markets overflow with dried fruit, colored candy and flowers.

As in many Asian countries, the Vietnamese have turned their thoughts to the animal being honored this year.

Tran Quang Thieu, 54, director of a rat extermination company on the outskirts of Hanoi, was reveling in the Vietnamese belief that the rodent population multiplies during a lunar rat year.
"This holiday will mark the start of a booming year for us, so this is a special Tet," Thieu said. "From a spiritual standpoint, I hope that our rat-killing techniques become more popular this year, so that everyone can protect their crops, factories and businesses from being ruined by rats."

Nguyen Tien Phat, who sells freshly butchered rat at a village market in the northern town of Bac Ninh, shrugs off any notion that more rat will be eaten this year than any other. They've been eating rats there for centuries, boiled and flavored with ginger, lemon and fresh herbs.
"Those who like it will eat it, and those who don't, won't," said Phat, who sells rat for US$3 a kilo.

Rats are sneered at in the West as filthy, despite the hit Hollywood animation "Ratatouille," which showed a more refined side to the gutter-dwelling rodent. They are revered in the East, however, for their anthropomorphic characteristics of wit, charm and ability to amass great wealth.

People born in the Year of the Rat include authors William Shakespeare and Truman Capote, actors Marlon Brando and Cameron Diaz, Britain's Prince Charles, climate change champion Al Gore, and former US President George H.W. Bush.

The rat is the first of the 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac's 12-year cycle and symbolizes new beginnings. Legend has it that the rat beat the other 11 animals in a race, not because it was any faster, but because of its cunning. After lying to the tiger about the day of the race, the rat rode most of the way on the ox before leaping off and making it first past the finish line.

In South Korea, the lunar New Year's Day coincides with "Chuseok," the Korean version of Thanksgiving holiday. Many people celebrate the day by eating a rice cake soup for breakfast, playing traditional games like a "yutnori," a board game involving wooden sticks, and spending quality time with family.
In Hong Kong, one of Asia's chief money capitals, the banks have printed up millions of fresh notes to fill "hong bao," or red envelopes traditionally given to children during the celebration.
Last year, the feng shui expert Lo predicted that the clash of fire and water elements would spark more bombings and gun battles. True to his predictions, the Year of the Pig saw a slew of suicide blasts in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan, including the assassination of popular Pakistan opposition leader Benazir Bhutto.

Some countries will see new leaders this year, including in the United States, where a new president will be elected in November. Celebrity fortune teller Peter So was coy about who he thought would win the race. "I can only say Hillary Clinton stands a better chance, as I don't see that Barack Obama or [Republican hopeful] John McCain will have a good year," So said.

The glamourous life

It just goes to show you how little things change, I think. This photo is circa 1977, and that red thing is pretty certainly my bathrobe. I've got makeup on, so it's at the end of the day, and we were just goofing off in the TV room.

It's tough to stop natural talent and good looks....too bad we don't understand our gifts when we are that age. Sometimes it takes a while to figure out strengths and weaknesses, and how to best utilize those qualities.

I opened my mail today and found a skein of what is EASILY the most glamourous yarn I have ever owned. It's Tilli Thomas Mogul, in the Atmosphere colorway. It is a gift that warrants a little thoughtfulness, a little introspection. It's a great neutral (for me) and has the right amount of bling in it. (But why IS it dry clean only? Bueller?) What will IT be when it grows up? No hats-the beads would tangle, so probably a yoke, bands, patterns.... And what should I partner it with? Elann's Highland Wool, or maybe some Brooks Farm? Beads aside, I LIKE the yarn, it's a nice sheepy texture. I would think that bamboo needles would be the way to go. I am a wee bit worried about things that go crunch.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Con see err //gggrrrrrr// jjjjah

We went to the depths of hell today. We went to the Apple Store, because it was time for new phones.

I wasn't really wild about giving up my old phone. My last few calls from Dad are still in the call menu. I worked hard all year to keep them there. But I dropped it a few months ago, and the hinge finally fell apart.

Mark bought himself a very expensive Sprint Treo last year; that's a weird calculator/phone/portable typewriter hybrid. We're still waiting for the rebate check on that. Mark was never really happy with it. So off to the Apple Store we went.

The first thing you notice is that the store is packed. They don't have sales clerks, no staff, no store partners. If you can flag a kid down, he's a concierge. I think they made a mistake on that, because MW says a concierge is:

1: a resident in an apartment building especially in France who serves as doorkeeper, landlord's representative, and janitor

2: a usually multilingual hotel staff member who handles luggage and mail, makes reservations, and arranges tours; broadly : a person employed (as by a business) to make arrangements or run errands

Mark and I gave each other desperation looks several times. The store is loud, no one REALLY wants to help you or REALLY answer a question, the security alarm goes off, there's no calm place to set up your new phone accounts. It's set up weird. The guy had to go get our phones from the back-no biggie, but the cases and headsets weren't convenient, organized OR easy to find. And they are getting A LOT of your money.

DH is a computer security wonk. Ask him to type in his credit card and his SSN in that store-with his back to EVERYONE? The only reason he did it is because I watched behind him. We BOTH know better. He was distressed, and after about 5 minutes in the store, I didn't even want a phone, it was so crowded and noisy.

It was WORSE than "Saturday before Christmas" shopping at Walmart. It was AWFUL. So bad, I had to take him to lunch afterwards. At a place with real napkins. And nice staff.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Oh, a party! With PRESENTS!

This appears to be Christmas, 1963, and I am all dolled up behind my cousin Judy, and standing next to her sister, Jeanne. We are all standing in my Grandma's dining room, all revved up by Christmas fun and treats. 'So funny-John, who is wearing the white shirt and bow tie, is STILL significantly shorter (tho no less portly) than my older brother Fred. He's carrying Legos, which I think my parents stepped on and cursed for several years. Yes, I am wearing a kimono and flops. With socks, because I am so ubercool. (Actually, those are tabi.) I love, love, love parties with family. The big messy church-food buffet is just my style. I agonize about what kind of present to bring.

The gaeta (flops) and tabi brought me round to an interesting sidebar. Bri and I were talking a month or so ago, and she was telling me that since she moved to Florida and started wearing flip-flops, her feet grew at least a size. There is, apparently, a medical phenomena where your feet grow because of loose support provided by flops. I don't understand that-my feet GREW at 35, and I threw out all of my 6 1/2s and most of my 7s, but I thought that was just how things worked age-wise. And if flip-flop feet were the case, wouldn't there be a lot of Japanese women with size 10s?

So back to party life. DH has been in Co Spgs all week, and I've been closing up shop and getting W2s together. Today I looked at him and said "Isn't it your mom's birthday?" He sighed and said "No, it's Monday." "I didn't get her anything-what do you think?" "Flowers." Flowers. Ehh. My DMIL is a busy little bird, and appreciates most of what comes her way. Flowers just didn't send ME. I'd been in and out of East Cupcake's few shops this week, and didn't REALLY see
anything that I thought she needed. So I thought about it a little more.

Then it hit me. The Texas wine industry started in earnest about 10 years ago. And DMIL lives in a dry county. And ma likes her glass before dinner. And they SHIP!!!!!! Music to my ears. I feel smug, because I've addressed her likes (wine) and her requirement (30 miles to the nearest liquor store). I would just as soon have a few bottles of Riesling as a bouquet, and I think she'd like to get her merlot on.
On the knitting front, not much is going on. I'm working on some cotton. The pattern calls for lace on 8s. I'm down to 2s (just because my 4s are occupied). Gauge is SO annoying.

Friday, February 01, 2008

You should shut up and knit before we figure out that you are both stupid AND annoying-

--Welcome to Betsuary. In celebration of the bestest of months, I am digging thru the photo albums for fun and general amusement. I plan on a different decade each week. We will start with the 1960s-I think this was from 1968. It's funny, when we are little we cheese for the camera. Then, when we are older, we don't cheese, but are offended when our photos show us as sullen dorks.
--Dorks, like cream, rise to the occasion, and claw their way to the top of the dumbass pedestal. There's a lot of dork posturing on Ravelry.
--Take for example the YarnSaleORama forum, where one of my friends posted a link for a decent quality, well known, bulky yarn at a fire sale price. Someone had to pop on there and say "Oh, too bad it's not dk or fingering weight...." Oh, you mean, "Too bad it's not spun from fairy farts during the light of the last full moon and dyed with plankton recovered from Matanuska Glacier!" That's what you really mean. Shut up and find your own bargains.
--Or recently on the "DesignerKnockOffs" forum, someone was asking for a pattern of "LeReallyExpensiveFrenchBag". I was trying to encourage, and talked to the seeker about the design elements, and how she might fake them, and generally, just encouraged her to try it. And the moderator (who lives in Florida, and is a beginning knitter) pops on and says "Oh, and do two patterns, because I don't like felted bags. And I think you should make latigo handles." Oh, GRRRRR--knit your own LeFakeO.
--And Hat Attack-I am sooooo crazy excited about the upcoming Hat Attack! It's a knit group, and of course someone had to pop on and say "Oh, too bad it's knit, because I haven't caught the knitting bug, I CROW-SHAY." I had to step in and say "Oh, you should start up the crochet version." I think she shuffled off in her bathrobe.
--These people clearly indulge in too much whine. None of these people ever smacks themselves in the forehead and says "Wow, I COULD try that." I'd like to help them out with that smack. For starters.