Saturday, April 26, 2008

The audacity of hope

and stuff. Barack Obama has a book out with that title. That's not what I am referring to.

I went to a baby shower today. Little Nicholas' due date is any day now. I started a pumpkin hat for his mama, because Chris absolutely LOVES Halloween. I finished it and took it by her job a few days after Valentines' Day. I was absolutely shocked when I found out she'd already HAD him. He weighed one and a half pounds at about 25 weeks.

It hit me last week when I was browsing little onesies, looking for a gift. Such an optimist. Buying size 9-12 month clothing for a child who weighs less than my purse .... THAT is audacious hope, pal. Women do it all the time.

Speaking of hope, I got my Suede in this week. Couldn't stand walking by it, and finally I sat down with it. It was the center piece of one of those tops that starts as a circle, then morphs out into a real top. Gauge-wise, it wasn't QUITE gonna work. Then the amazing gassy dog laid on it and pushed a few stitches off the circs. Pthb! went the dog. Zip zip zip, out went the needles.

Those patterns are usually written as 'One size' and too bad if it ain't YOUR size. I don't really think Suede wanted to BE that circle top, but at least now I understand HOW it works, and have a good idea of the color layout. The top that it REALLY wants to be is trapped in my head.

Monday, April 21, 2008


All's been quiet in blogland. I've had several nice half-day excursions to the VA. I am a leetle bit worried about what the doc gave me. I've got another appointment in a week, I will ask more questions then, but right now, this bottle of meds and I have been in a staring contest. I ain't taking it yet. It's used for hyperthyroidism, and to shut your thyroid down. Thanks, I'd rather be certain about it, I hate to experiment.

Last week, I got a message from my little brother. He had an emergency appendectomy. He THOUGHT he was going to go to Tokyo this weekend, but he was wrong. (Mothers KNOW this stuff may feel really good after childbirth, but someone sneaks up on you and hits you over the head, and you fall on the bed. This happens repeatedly until the kid graduates.) So he's been bunny-slippering around the house. Good. He told me they weren't going to take his staples out early, and I said he wouldn't make it thru airport security.

Last week, I got my phone bill from China. That was not so good.

I haven't knit much lately. I think some of this is because the DVD player died. This is pretty annoying, especially since I bought a copy of Juno on Friday. It's stuck in the machine now, I haven't even seen the menu.

I've been pondering the whole thyroid issue-and mine's pretty simple, really-I have almost no TSH- and decided that it would be in my best interest to document my body's response to this process. So I joined Weight Watchers. It's pretty interesting-it's like Ravelry for Dieters, but they are (for the most part) no where near as cool as the knitters I've met. Just sayin'. It's been sucking a lot of time. I joined the Core plan, but staying honest is harder than it sounds.

One thing that's been especially difficult is food. Last week, I roamed thru Target gathering a care package to go to China (lots of nuts and organic stuff) and picking up bulgur wheat. Bulgur wheat is one of the things I am allowed to eat, but I can't even imagine a food it reminds me of. Possibly bean sprouts, but that's it.

Another thing that's been giving me grief is my scale-we've had a fancy schmancy digital one that stores body fat and composition for up to 4 people...trouble is, if you move the scale, your numbers change. So you might lose 5 pounds overnight because you've mopped the floor and moved the scale 8".

I went to Wallyworld today-to look at scales (I bought the old school boring kind for 10.00), a new VCR (they were out), and to pick up some cabbage for slaw (Italian beef night! YAY!) And I found this awesomeness:

It seems to be scarf fabric, or perhaps advertising background (the squares are 18"). It looks like polyester. And it was 1.00 per yard. I bought their last 3 yards. I think it would be FABULOUS purse lining. Isaac Mizrahi is leaving Target to move on to Liz Claiborne.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Warren Jeffs is in prison

I've been following the FLDS situation in the southwestern part of the country for a number of years now. They are an interesting study in mind control and social engineering. I was sympathetic to the 'lost boys' who were banished for minor infractions, culling the herd of superfluous males. I shook my head over men who would marry women and their daughters, and I did not understand how a household like that could benefit all members.

I was happy when they caught and imprisoned Warren Jeffs. Hopefully, the correctional system will correct him. I have every confidence he will be someone's girlfriend, and I believe justice will be served.

I get a lot of junk mail from people I know. Bill Gates STILL wants to give me 500.00 for forwarding email, Victoria's Secret is still checking its mailing list and wants to send everyone a gift certificate (I am a shareholder, and that would PISS me off), and oh, and that kid in Ohio with apageal cirrhosis of the appendix needs a postcard for his hugemongous collection. Yeah, whatever. I am readily able to discredit most urban legends in five minutes flat.

Most of the mail I get from casual aquaintances is stuff to blow off. Except this, which I got from Fran the Rancher's Wife. Texas, once you actually stop and look around, is actually pretty small. Both Mark and I lived in San Angelo (near Eldorado Texas) for a while, and Eldorado Texas was a location of a little military significance. And I believe there is probably more fact than fiction in this email:

Subject: Eldorado FLDS situation

Dear Friends & Family:

Just needed to ask your prayers for the situation with the women & children taken from the FLDS compound north of Eldorado. This is so much bigger than any of us ever dreamed it would be. Please pray that some of the girls would be willing to step forward and tell the truth. They are scared to death as they have been indoctrinated to believe we are all evil. At the moment, we must surely look that way to them.

Please pray specifically for the Child Protective Services workers that they will have a positive affect on the women and girls. They are under such strain. Our high school athletic director's wife is employed by them in San Angelo and I am specifically praying for her as her heart has been so burdened for them before all this took place. Pray for strength for all of them to endure the days ahead.

The 5 people from our church that tried to feed the group at the Fellowship Hall and take care of all the donated food,etc. were emotionally & physically worn out due to the girls being scared, reclusive, unable to eat due to our food not being natural food. They even refused chicken noodle soup. They were throwing up and some had diarrhea, etc. They asked for raw milk which we were not able to supply, but our group did get fruits, vegetables, yogurt, dried fruits, etc. They finally ate some grilled chicken. In other words, it was a wreck trying to figure out what to do with them.

Of course the CPS people were there and law enforcement outside to keep the media and church people away. The fellowship hall was full and we only had the men's & women's restrooms for them. They finally agreed to be bused over to the gym at the school to shower.

Most were young teenage girls, but some of their mothers came with them. We heard that there were some very young who apparently were pregnant. I cannot imagine how they all must feel right now, but we have all prayed God would help us to find a way to get into the compound and get the children out if they would come. He answered and now it is in His hands to help the State complete the task ahead. It can be accomplished, but I believe only through His intervention. Please also pray for all the local & government officials still at the compound as they continue to search for evidence. Our local bunch must surely be tired. I thank each of you for your prayers.

(name withheld)

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Exactly WHAT is this supposed to do?

I talked to Enidation earlier in the week, and she told me about "Ni-Hao Kai-lan", which is Nickelodeon's new Chinese cartoon character. Of course, I checked Kai-lan out, and she seems like a nice little Dora-style cartoon. Yay-I learn how to say xue.

While waiting for Kai-lan to come on (yeah, ok, I didn't DVR, I don't ALWAYS think of those things) I met "Yo Gabba Gabba" this week. Have you seen this? OMG. You can't TELL me there's not an agenda afoot. Really.

First, there's the host, wearing the only piece of vintage Mary Quant the producers would spring for. Remind YOU of the winter VK cover photo?

Can YOU look at this character and NOT think "one-eyed trouser trout"?

And Biz' Beat? Biz scares me, plain and simple.

Blogchatter seems pretty favorable toward this show. Parents seem to think it's cool. Kids want to please their parents and are usually open to things their parents like, so it would be hard to say if KIDS really like it. I would venture to say that some skits are presented in a way that's 'too old' for the "intended audience". Heavy guitar solos to teach 123? THAT's for parents, not for the kids.

Have you seen it? What do you think?

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

You can't take it with you when you go...

But I can sure as hell try....this is the Mongkok postal station, in Kowloon Hong Kong. It is the best post office in the universe. And I have seen my share. The clerks HELPED me get a cheaper rate, which you would never see in East Cupcake. Not a total stranger, at any rate. These guys are small team champions, according to the Civil Service website. I can see why.

I have some 15-17 magazines somewhere enroute, which took up a significant portion of my luggage allowance, and I was so panicked to mail things out in Hong Kong that I bought very little there. But my Shanghai surprises?

Weasel yarn (the photo is a ferret, but the actual fiber is marten) and Delphi. Delphi was the surprise bargain of the trip. 100 grams per ball, soft wool, and reasonable. My shopping helpers were astounded by Noro's price. I consider it to be comparable. A total shame I found the Delphi at the SECOND LYS I went into.

Ah, needles and totes-I was pleased and surprised to see an El Cheapo Peko candy tote. The last time I saw that candy was in 1962. Yes, I remember things that far back. I was probably barely potty trained, but I remember THAT candy box. I bought several of those little novelty sacks, as well as the sock sized brocade bags too.

Cashmere yarn porn shot.

The hank of burgundy, and the hank of crystal blue-maybe 3-4 ounces total, very nice laceweight cashmere. Price for both hanks? 1.00 USD. I ran out of suitcase LONG before I ran out of money.

The guys I was with were VERY helpful...but you HATE to keep non-knitters waiting. I was a little PO'd that I got a mixed/broken bag on accident. I bought the Popular at the FIRST LYS. It's nice, but I prefer the Delphi, which I got in two colors.

Monday, April 07, 2008

The aftermath-

I got home last Tuesday.

There is something about a trip like this that always makes me take stock. I remember years ago, Dean and I went to London for the weekend. From California. It was right after we'd gone toe to toe with the wicked witch of the north for the kids. We lost, and it was brutal. Going to London reminded me that Anchorage Alaska was not the center of the world.

It IS very good to see other things, just to get another viewpoint.

Coincidentally, this morning I threw out 30 bottles of nail polish. Don't worry, I still have two dozen left. Our nail polish consumption has gone WAY down since the kids aren't here, and aren't coming back. What a huge fucking waste of time THAT's been, eh? There, I've said it.

I've been taking stock on a lot of things-I need more exercise, I need to take more care with my appearance, I need to work on quite a bit. I worked 70 hours a week for three years at the coffee shop. I need to direct that effort to myself now.

This morning, I assessed my shoe wardrobe, and bought five pairs. I threw out seven, yay me! I bought several pairs of expensive shoes (all marked down, of course), the kind I don't buy myself because I cheap myself out of things. I bought a pair of killer pumps. And these:

I just found my size (at another e-tailer) in silver. And BLUE. These might have to go back. BLUE!!!

Note to all: I can SEE that they are brown. This was the only color offered at the first site I shopped, and explains why these were 20.00-I guess the original retail was 85.00? BLUE ones are 10.00 more, but I plan to hold off on the blue ones until I see how these fit. There is a strong chance that these will go back. They also come in BLACK, and according to this person, also came in pink at one time.

The other central truths I learned while I was out this time?

We are no longer a super-power. Learn Mandarin now. If you argue about THAT, you are acting like the French.

The best post office on the planet is the Mongkok branch in Kowloon, Hong Kong. I know my post offices; they were GREAT with everyone in the parcel line, and the patrons represented several countries.

I don't shop drunk-but my little brother will. I coined a new phrase "Drunkle" Dean, a little play on one of his childhood nicknames that is a conglomeration of drunk and uncle. Drunkle Dean bought a cute backpack for his niece, and a cute train case too. I veto'd the train case, because that is going to his new nephew. (We're out-guessing karma, here. What are the odds that the baby will be a boy?) I have to mail that to Phoenix.

I have taxes to do. ick.