Monday, November 28, 2005

Holy Fair Trade, Batman!

I have the Best. Secret. Pal. EVAR.

There is a pound of "Equal Exchange" Ethiopian FT organic coffee and a box of FT green darjeeling tea sitting on my kitchen counter. Bowl me over, I am squeeing with glee!

Thank you, SP!!
purple lace
Another stab at Sivia Harding's Diamond Fantasy, only this time in laceweight. Really fun stuff. Loving this yarn from handpaint dot com.

side two
Charles Bukatski Bear notes there might be a serious problem with this sock. Yes. I think we have... Houston, we have ginormous pools of color.

side one
SHUT UP! Oh gosh we do. We also have a lazy knitter who can't be arsed to rip it out and fix it, because, well, she's got stuff to do, mang. Lorna's Laces Irving Park, gonna be an anklet with GINORMOUS POOLS OF COLOR, I guess.

Really, knitting can be so fraught.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

A Tale Of Two Panties

I was feeling pretty miserable on Thursday morning after my shower - I've missed my mom a lot this weekend and was in kinda a pookie mood so I put on my very favorite Oscar the Grouch underpants, the ones that are green and say "I Feel Grouchy Today!" which are my cranky day panties. Some women wear special panties when they're feeling sexy, me, I wear special panties when I'm in a bad mood. My poor husband. Actually, he'd like to point out that I have at least THREE pairs of ranty panties because I often have grumpy days, and that the panties choice in the morning is something of a barometer and... hey! Careful there, Ace.... I have an Oscar shirt, too, for when I need it to be obvious to my family that there is DANGER here. Maybe I need to put that on.

Anyway, moving on...

ranty

All day, ALL Turkey Day, nothing fit right, nothing felt right, my clothes were uncomfortable. I looked at myself in the mirror and was depressed, which prompted a resolution to lose some WEIGHT already. I felt a little confused too, because the weight gain seemed to have come on SO fast. Like, overnight. I spent most of Thanksgiving Day with my legs going numb from my knickers cutting off circulation to my lower extremities and feeling very cranky for it. Why, you ask, did you not just change your knickers? In fact, brave little toaster that he is, the husband asked just this question. Twice. Ah. Well. One word. Denial. Yes, see, I was DENYING the panties were too tight, denying the fact that I suddenly seemed to have sprouted a butt zeppelin. I was trying to convince myself that the panties were just a little tight from being washed maybe in hot water and they would STRETCH BACK OUT TO THEIR RIGHT SIZE. I was denying the fact that my ass looked like a pound of sausage forced into a half pound sausage casing. IT WAS NOT HAPPENING, LA LA LA LA LA. This kept me going all day, though numb thighs and unsightly bulges, you bet. NEVER underestimate the power of a woman who is denying that her panties just don't fit anymore because her ASS IS SO BIG (husband cannot be reached for comment however, there was a long suffering sigh from the bed just now, so...)

Cut to last night when, I was going through my underwear drawer looking for socks and discovered a pair of Oscar the Grouch panties in green, that read "I Feel Grouchy Today" and I looked over at the hamper and no, the Oscar the Grouch panties were in there and what the hell was going on.... and the penny dropped. See, when I got my ranty panties, the teenager coveted them and used her allowance to buy ranty panties of her very own, only, in a size petite-not-a-butt-zeppelin-more-like-a-size-ZERO-or-maybe-a-two. And me, I am not a size two. I am so not a size two. I'm about the farthest thing from a size two you can get and still shop at a stick figure store 25% of the time.

You might see where I am going with this.

I tried the mystery panties on just to check and LO they fit! I do not have a butt zeppelin! The unsightly bulges are gone! This is the WORLD'S FASTEST DIET! I look amazing!!

I ate all that pie and my butt got smaller!!!

My mood also improved IMMEDIATELY. In honor of this, I am wearing Ernie.

That is my story and I am sticking to it.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Grandma's Holiday Cake

Today I made my grandmother's applesauce spice cake which she has been making forever, my whole life and before I was born. I am wondering to myself if it is not something that she modified during WWII to deal with rationing, because while it uses butter, it only uses one egg, no oil, not a ton of sugar and the applesauce and dried fruit really do most of the work. I won't be able to ask her now, she's kind of forgetful these days, but that's my theory anyway. It is a cherished family recipe that makes an appearance on family birthdays and holidays. It is my father's favorite cake of all time. I have many memories of sitting at Grandma's Duncan Phyfe (?) dining table in the big room and kicking my feet in the big chair and eating my slice of applesauce cake. Sometimes, my grandpa would point at something over my shoulder and I would look and then my cake would disappear. He always gave it back.

Grandma's Applesauce Cake and Mocha Icing Which Is Really The Point Of The Whole Thing

1 stick (1/4 c.) butter - room temp
1 cup sugar (I like brown)
1 c. applesauce
1 tsp. soda (which I dissolve in a little hot water)
1 egg
2 c. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. allspice, ground ginger and salt
1 c. golden raisins or currants or something dried fruit like

so you cream the butter and sugar, and then add your egg and your applesauce. I use homemade unsweetened applesauce, Gran used tinned. Whatever you prefer. Get it all uniform and mixed well, then you sift your dry ingredients and add those slowly, mixing well, then add the soda-dissolved-in-water and THEN add the fruit (which you should soak in boiling water for a few minutes and then drain before you add as this keeps the cake nice and moist) and then you mix that up and put the batter into a bundt cake pan and pop THAT sucker into a preheated 350 oven for around an hour give or take a little (when a knife comes out clean after you stick the cake) and then you let it cool.

the icing is easy and the best part.

2 c. confectioners sugar
1/2 stick of butter, very soft
4 TBS very strong, hot coffee
4 TBS cocoa powder (Gran uses Hershey, I use Droste or something way to expensive from a fancy store, whatever you like)

melt the cocoa in the coffee, cream the sugar and butter together and then add the cocoa/coffee mixture and mix well. Use the resulting heavenly creation to ice your now cool bundt cake.

Really, This is just the best cake ever.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

So it looks like my mom will be incarcerated in the hospital for at least another week, which, while that concerns me (because dude, a week in hospital? They never let people stay that long these days. She MUST be like, super sick.) it also is reassuring to know she's somewhere with knowledgeable folks and a lot of drugs.

Some states are small and you can drive across them in a few hours. Some aren't. In my infinite wisdom, I moved to the far southern end of California and my parents both live in the northern end. That is a one day drive if you smoke crack, maybe, but really, I usually take it in two, not being a crack fan. Well okay actually it is one day to Mom's house and the second day gets me to Dad's house and if I went an hour or so past that, I'd be in Oregon and there are a few places I routinely stop for an hour like, iHop in Bakersfield (this is to pee after the venti mocha I always nurse over the Grapevine) or the McDonald's in Willits (because if you don't stop for a chocolate shake there on a road trip, the trip is automatically cursed.) so maybe I really could make it in a day if I wanted, but it would suck hard.

My point is, it's very hard for me to GET THERE if something goes wrong and I can't just, say, drop by the hospital between lunch and picking up the teenager from school and so I feel really cut off and useless and like the Worst Daughter Ever because I'm not there, being useless, I'm HERE being useless. And being useless stresses me out. I love my parents. I'd prefer to be helpful and sit in Mom's hospital room and knit at her while she sleeps.

A blog post elsewhere got me to thinking about those cupholders they sew into plus size clothing. You know, the big pockets for boobs? See, I'm a quasi plus sized girl. I am just a little too bootylicious for the stick figure clothes stores, but the plus size stores are usually too big. Pants, I buy pants there. I would love to buy my shirts there but they come with venti soup bowls where your boobs should be and I could stick ferrets in there and they could invite a guest or three and I'd still not fill the boobholders up, so there's some lost revenue for that company. Are you hearing this, Lane Bryant? Some of us are shaped like EGGPLANTS and we don't need cupholders.

Obviously, to solve today's conundrums, I need a TARDIS and a couple of ferrets.

Monday, November 21, 2005

it's been an interesting week or so Chez Yarnpirate. My mom is in the hospital. I'm a little stressy. Thanksgiving as we'd planned has been effectively cancelled but we've been invited to a friend's house for dinner, so have somewhere to go. I may make a little dinner for just our family on Saturday so we can have our favorite dishes. It just won't be right without Mom. That's always been the holiday we spend together. Having one's mom be really sick is... well it's just sucktastic is what it is. Even as an adult, you kind of think of your parents as being, well, MOM AND DAD, so when one turns up to be fragile and human it is a little scary and unnerving. I know we all go through it. Welcome to adulthood, kid.

My most awesome SP6 sent me a package today with a siddur and a pirate candy and a pin up girl bracelet in it - most excellent and thank you, the timing was awesome. I needed something cheery today.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

http://westernjew.blogspot.com/2005/11/judaism-wont-be-here-in-100-years.html#comments

Really interesting blog post. Food for thought.

Currently reading Living a Jewish Life which is co-authored by Anita Diamante (of Red Tent fame) and.... I Don't Have The Book In The House It's In My Car And I Can't Remember the Other Author. Helpful, explains the whys and hows of some things though I am pretty sure that it's just an introductory taste and most of this stuff gets more meaningful with study and actually living. Because honestly, I don't live much of a Jewish life at all. Now, I *like* the Diamante book because they talk about liberal Judaism being supportive of choosing which aspects of Jewish life you want to keep and which you want to not keep (such as, my understanding of being a liberal reform Jew means that living by the J-calendar, lighting candles on Sabbath but keeping Xmas and having bacon double cheese burgers are not mutually exclusive acts) which brings me to this whole kettle of, I almost kinda feel like if I don't do it all then I'm just a poser and what's the point? But ya know, WOW that is a lot of stuff to do and it'd be a huge life change and I don't know where it would lead me and THAT is terrifying, so I almost don't really want to do ANY of it because at least I know what to expect right now.

Because, I like cheeseburgers. I like Christmas trees. I like... a lot of stuff. And I am an intrinsically lazy person. It seems like part of Jewish observance is not allowing yourself to be a lazy person as far as keeping the rules and doing the mitzvot(?) ie, charity, lighting candles, eating kosher, all the STUFF. Seems like the STUFF, which is a HUGE pain in the ass and keeps you from participating in a lot of mainstream society things (like movies on Friday night, bacon cheeseburgers, etc.) is also at the heart of having a meaningful Jewish practice, that the stuff is part of the life. So you have to do it and you can't be lazy and just, suck it up little buckajew and DO WHAT YOU KNOW IS RIGHT.

The book says, no, not so much, you can pick and choose. Hey, a book that says I can still be lazy and eat cheeseburgers but be a good Jew? Bring that on. Yeah. But maybe not so much and maybe it doesn't quite feel right to me, maybe it feels a little half assed and I don't know how to reconcile being ME, Rainy, with the boots and lifestyle I lead now, with being a good Jew living a meaningful, observant Jewish life. Maybe it feels like cheating to do both. Problem is, I LIKE me and my life. I don't want to change into someone else and it seems as if a lot of these observances would change things dramatically.

Well, so I'm thinking a lot and I am still... pondering and wondering how it all applies to me. And I know that when I do make choices and changes, they're going to be the right ones and they'll mean something. I have time. I'm sure that G-d gets that it's a process, right?

Next time someone asks me my religion, I am just going to tell them that I am Confused.

We saw some Hasids (Hasidim? Chasids? Chasidim?) with the very long coats and fur hats a while ago over on La Brea near Little Israel, walking down the street on their way to Temple and my little girl pointed and yelled, "Mommy, look! Amish!" because she didn't know what they were and "black clothing/hats" equates to Amish in her head.

Yeah. It's like that around here. We're all Confused.

Confused-ian?

Friday, November 18, 2005

Is it dead, Jim?

The laptop, it appears to be fried. While I have access via the husband's computer, that goes back to work on Monday... gee I hope we can get the laptop fixed or I might go into withdrawal.

Saw Harry Potter today... Daniel My-How-You've-Grown Radcliffe did a great job and those Weasely twins are a bit of all right now, aren't they? It's wrong of me to leer at all that tasty eye candy. I know. I can't help it. No spoilers, but a few things I liked... you get a lot more tiny glimpses into supporting characters as people, such as Mr. Filch (charming bit), Snape, new facets of Dumbledore... a lot of the characters who make up the scenery around Hogwarts really came more alive for me in this one. The kids are amazing young actors, they did a really nice job. The Quidditch World Cup is... breathtaking. Amazing. This film made me cry in a way the others didn't, everything was very real and the darkness was real - not all fun and games anymore. DEATH IS ON THE LINE! /Vincini> and good people are lost to the darkness. The characterization of Harry as a reluctant hero is even stronger this time around. I think the director did a brilliant job of using as much as he could to keep the film moving but without dragging it down. Huge swaths of the book did get cut, however, it worked for me. I give it two knitting needles way up. Brilliantly done. Can't wait for more.

So while I wait for my laptop to be unfried, I am patiently knitting away on repeat #1 of Sivia's DF Shawl. The laceweight from handpainted yarns dot com is awesome. It really blooms up when you get it on the needle, you get a little halo and the very dappled subtle color shifts are stunning. Pics to come.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Dear my friends,

I know I never see you these days, we don't keep in touch, yadda yadda. But see, if you go and have a baby and I don't know about it until the announcement arrives, then that leaves me no time to KNIT FOR YOU. I know it was a long and fraught 9 months full of beautiful life changes, hormones, weight gain, grapes hanging out of your arse (if you've never been pregnant, trust me, don't ask. If you have, you already know.) complete strangers touching you and asking intimate questions and inlaws making you nutty about the breastfeeding issue. I know. I get it. But next time, some warning please. We knitters can't pull eensy sweaters, booties and hats our of our arses now, can we, and there's nothing we like better than doing something lovely for a new person. It's a celebratory thing, but with yarn. Ok, fine, it's an excuse to do something else with yarn. Maybe even buy yarn. Definitely go to a yarn store. Fine. Mea culpa. Yeah. But it makes us happy, it makes you happy, it makes baby happy, it's win win all around.

Anyway, Scribbles Macstagger and Regina de Tuto, congratulations on the birth of your new, wonderful, (probably freezing NAKED knitless) baby girl. S'wonderful!

Love,
Yarnpirate

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

mystery solved... I think.

I have had a few skeins of "mystery laceweight" sitting around in my stash for months now - a gift from a friend in Denmark. Unfortunately, she wasn't sure of the yardage per skein (or at least never said) and so that's been a mystery. After some research* and noodling around, I am 99.9% sure it's from handpainted yarn dot com. Definitely has that look and the overwhelming vinegar reek. I have two skeins of this. The frustration lies in that none of the shawls I've been thinking about making call for less than 1200 yards of yarn and I estimate I've got about 800-900 yards of the handpaint. I am not stupid enough to order from another dyelot and hope I get the same color. Have decided to make the Diamond Fantasy shawl v. II (not scarf, which is the size I made my mom) - that calls for 750 yards. Close enough. That'll do, donkey, that'll do.

I'm finding it a bit reassuring to do a pattern I've done once already while I get the knack of the eensy yarn. It really IS fiddly, but not hard, not really**. It swatched up very nicely and I'm about halfway through the first chart. The yarn is just delicious. It is also a pita to wind if you don't own a swift and ball winder. It took me over two hours to wind the damn skein.

*this brings me to a pet peeve. I tire of how often I find myself muttering "Just GOOGLE IT already." at people. It's not restricted to knitting, I see it in a lot of places. Are we truly (as a society) incapable of going out, finding information, sifting through it and then applying what we've found? Or are we just lazy? Two phrases my children hate: "Just google it and then ask me again if you can't find the answer." and "Why don't you get the dictionary down and look it up, then tell me what you found."

**I've noticed that the things I squawk the loudest about like socks, dpns, lace, cables, colorwork aren't really so much "hard" as just, fiddly and awkward. I find that generally once I'm over that initial frustrated throwing the yarn at the cat phase, I am shocked that I ever called something hard at all. Let's not fool ourselves, there are knitting patterns that make me blanch and shiver and make the sign against evil under the table, but I do hope that I stop equating new skills with "hard/impossible, will run screaming from the room and never touch project again" and just think of them as "potentially fiddly, might throw at the cat once or twice but then the pennies will drop" overall. If only because, sometimes I avoid something because I'm afraid of it being TOO hard, whereas if it's just fiddly, hell, bring it on. Ya know?

Right then. Mystery yarn. Bring it on.
I am reliably informed that the three bags of fluff from my SP are all cotton. Which means I'm gonna get to borrow my friend Em's takhli (sp?) cotton spindle thinger and try it out. Woot! I've been wanting to try one ever since the Santa Monica fiber fest so this is rather cool. The two little yarny skeins of unknown origin? Habu yarn! *poing* And get this, it's made from paper! I'm not sure but my guess is that probably I would need to make something that doesn't need washing from this. I've decided to just let the wee skeins chill out in the yarn bowl in the living room for a while. People can look at them and oooh and aaaah. I'll get yarn cred. Habu yarn. IN my bowl. Habu. All the way from NYC. Rar! I am ALSO told that the niddy noddy (cunningly made of pvc pipes) is boilable.

Very cool with the unexpected package of goodness!

I'm not sure that I'm EVER going to get that little skully bag away from my older daughter, who has pronounced it the "coolest bag evar" and also, her boyfriend pointed out that the knitter has "Mad skillz with a Z" and it keeps disappearing into her bedroom and I keep demanding it back so she sulks and gives it back and then it is cunningly spirited away again a while later and... yeah. You get the idea. Secret Pal, it is the coolest bag evar and you have mad skillz with a Z. The kids said so.

So I cast on a sock in Lorna's "Irving Park" colorway and I must say, this is lovely. I'm not getting the usual striping effect that I get with LL's sock yarn, right now just an overall, dappled effect. I'm sure that once I get up into the actual body of the sock, the colors might get into a more uniform patterning effect, but definitely enjoying what they're doing now. I <3 Lorna's yarns so much. I have two skeins of Black Purl that I think I might make into a pair of Marnie's Hooray For Me gloves - it never really gets cold enough in LA to need mittens, but it does get nippy at night this time of year on the Westside and a nice sockweight pair of gloves sans fingers could be just the thing for dog walkies in the wee hours.

Imgp0611
Here is where my wee nephew is getting introduced to sock knitting. His younger brother is chewing on Daddy's knee and thinking that he'd like to knit socks too, or at least just get the yarn into his mouth. What the photo does not show is what happened when Uncle Yarnpirate said "It is super funny when you hold the yarn and run around the chairs in and out real fast. Try it and see what Auntie Yarnpirate says!"

Yep. That whacky Uncle Yarnpirate. Always a gas.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

SP6ii

Mystery fiber! There's mystery fiber in them thar bags! Left to right - browny, fuzzy.. pods? I think they're pods or seeds. I'm not sure. There's a hard center in each little fluff ball. A wound ball of some kind of roving, very short staple, no distinctive smell, so I'm not sure what it is. Puffs. I think that's cotton. The two wound skeins are also mysterious and interesting. I'm not sure what those are either, but they've got this creamy base and some flakes of color like red in one and black in the other. Then the wee bag, there's a SKULL and CROSSBONES on it. Coolest bag evar.

There was a niddy noddy in there too. I put it together and now I can wind skeins and not use my arms - I was going to ask for one for Christmas and now I don't have to. Yay!

Thank you Secret Pal! It's all perfectly wonderful!

Monday, November 14, 2005

New winter IK is up I like the Winter Star jacket, the Pearl Buck swing jacket and the embossed leaf socks (I usually like their sock patterns). The Teva Durham retro sweater isn't bad, though I'd make it in black, natch. The rest of it, not so much my thing. I kinda go for simple, straight lines when it comes to knit stuff. The Winter Star jacket has gorgeous colorwork but what makes it work for me is that the lines are pretty simple and there isn't any frou.

Given that the Ice Cream sock is cursed (and I broke my last extra 0 Brittany birch dpn) it has gone to the gulag of UFO's until I can afford to go buy another set of dpns. So yes, I cast on another sock but with bigger needles and this one for myself. I'm out of socks, the teenager keeps stealing them or the dryer monster eats them and I have a ton of sock yarn, so why the heck not? I am being clever as hell though. I am making them all a little different but with coordinating colors/yarns so that I never have to worry about matching up an exact pair again. Rar.

I have no enthusiasm for knitting Xmas/holiday presents. None. I think I may just skip it. I think I may just do something else entirely for everyone else (who I haven't already knit for) and knit for ME the whole holiday season. We are hosting Xmas dinner (which happens to also be the first night of Chanukah this year) for the extended family and I am a bit overwhelmed at the idea. Not freaking about finishing a sweater by Christmas morning might be a good idea. There are a few nights a year aside from when we do a Sabbath meal (rare) where I don't mix meat/dairy and try to keep somewhat kosher and cook a recognizeably "Jewish" meal and first night of Chanukah is one of 'em. I'm thinkin, latkes of course and that's a lot of work (taters, precious!). Some roast lamb with a nice assortment of homemade chutneys. Okay, chutney, not technically "Jewish" but there were historically thriving communities of Jews in Calcutta, Bombay and Cochin once upon a time so I think I can swing it. The challenge will be pleasing the inlaws who seem to really prefer the traditional turkey or ham holiday meal. It does get difficult and limiting trying to please everyone. Not to mention, booooring. I can't even use garlic when I cook for my inlaws. Which occurs to me, ye gads. Lamb without garlic? Maybe I'll cook a smaller garlic free roast chicken alongside (chicken sans garlic, equally criminal, but somehow not as horrifying) and then they'll have a choice. I have this tiny kitchen and tiny apartment and having the whole crew in for dinner and cooking it all so it all comes out hot at the same time is something of a logistics nightmare.

Point is, holidays = much stress and a ton of work for me this year and at a time when I could really stand to have less stress overall because I think I might blow a gasket if things get anymore "interesting" around here. So no knitting. People are getting... something else. Olive oil. Artisan vinegar. Fancy chocolate bars. No knitting. My knitting henceforth until after the new year is officially being done for ME, for my relaxation, my pleasure, and with no time issues or deadlines. Phwoar.

two miniskeins, bfl, navajo plied
Skein on right seems to be more evenly plied. Not as tight. Better overall. Now if I only know what the hell I did differently....

detail
See? Yummy. BFL extra fine from Copper Moose, navajo plied, spun on the Bosworth midi. I think if I get a mini, I could get lace to threadweight singles out of this stuff.

henna
you can't knit if you have this on your hand. Remember, henna means sitting on the couch and looking sadly at your neglected knitting for HOURS, kids.

Friday, November 11, 2005

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders Fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

- John McCrae, 1915


Perhaps this is more apt for Memorial Day than Veteran's Day but whatever.

Thanks, Dad, for going when you were called to Vietnam. I know it cost you. Thank you Grandpa, for fighting in World War II. I'm glad you came home. Thanks Cousin Jimmy, for fighting in Afghanistan and again in Iraq these last few years. Thank you, Cousin Jeffrey for making the ultimate sacrifice, for going far from home and laying down your life. Thanks, my friend John, for fighting in Desert Storm, even though you came back with something permanently shattered in your eyes. Thank you, Uncle Don, for serving your country in Korea, I know it left scars. Thank you.

I hope one day we live in a world where there are no more veterans of wars to thank - because hopefully one day, we will evolve past war. Until that day though, I'll think of every one of you on the 11th day of the 11th month.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Yet another day with NO KNITTING CONTENT whatsoever. Have I picked up a ball of yarn or a knitting needle? NO.

My day has been spent wrangling the younger member of the family into applying herself to division of fractions (hairpulling fun) and sneaking zucchini and blackstrap molasses into food my children will willingly eat. For example, it can be snuck into muffins...

barista and muffins

This plate was much more full of muffins. Apparently muffins are a good way to sneak iron-rich blackstrap and veggies into the diet of the average child. If you put a plate of warm muffins on the counter, later you come back and most of the muffins are gone. It doesn't matter what you put into them. My children seem to be eating them with a lot of butter, today. Maybe it has nothing to do with the muffins at all. Perhaps the muffins are just a vehicle for the butter. Honestly, I think if you put enough butter on little green horse apples, men and children would probably happily eat them. Whatever. Muffins. yes I do play with barista action figures, what? I also made a loaf.

Zbread
Loaves can be sliced and then toasted and the result of that action is also a vehicle for conveying butter from the plate to the mouth. Will "loaf" be as popular as "muffin"? We'll have to see.

pete's hat
Is the hat done for my friend in New Hampshire? No. Will his noggin freeze? Yes. Is there SNOW ON THE GROUND THERE while I sit here in sunny LA and neglect my knitting? YES. SEE? SEE the unfinished hat! WINCE at the idea of my friend's unprotected head in the -22 New Hampshire winter! There is guilt.

See all the fractions we're getting done around here?

fractions? We don't need no steenkin fractions
We take homeschooling seriously, mang.

Is there a ball of yarn in my hand yet? NO. But we have butter.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

I can be a misanthrope at times and I do occasionally yearn for a house filled with cats. I yearn for the freedom to grab a sawed off shotgun and pepper humanity with rock salt from the shelter of my front porch, I think that probably lands me in the category of Potentially Dangerous Cat Lady. For the record, pizza, curry takeaway drivers and Chinese delivery all have a Get Out Of Salting Free card. That said, I do like random acts of kindness. I like it when I can perform one and I like it they happen to me. In general, I try to pay good things forward when I can. If it didn't make me feel good, I wouldn't do it. So what I really wanted to say, the POINT (I do digress, don't I) is that I'm having a great time with the Secret Pal thing on both sides. I don't think it is necessarily silly or self aggrandizing or whatever. Obviously if it isn't your cup of tea, don't participate. Why run it down?

Hey! One thing that is giving me great satisfaction today is that Arnold's pet election went down in flames. BURN, baby BURN! First time in years that CA voters have afforded me any good feelings at the close of an election. Phwoar. The breakdown of votes by county was depressingly predictable. We could just have a wall down the middle of the state. Counties on the coast are filled with People As Think. Counties in the creamy middle filled with Them As Think Der Governator hangs the moon. It gives me hope though. Come re-election time, maybe we CAN vote the big looby out of office. Hasta la vista, baybee.

Cam's sock, yet again, hopelessly stalled out. What with the dropped stitches, breaking needles and general angst, I think the second Ice Cream sock might be cursed. Woe. Never fear, I'm off to the LYS to get yet another set of 0 dpns. Maybe I"ll have this thing done by Greek Easter. FFS.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Spent the day practicing trad and tribal henna designs but in underglaze, on bisque, rather than in henna on skin. I think I may be on to something here. Test firing commences next week. Wish me luck kiddies, I think perhaps I'm starting to shake my moneymaker once again. I've also begun scheduling some folks to come get henna'ed and will be taking some pictures of all that for my book. I really need to get myself out there for parties. Got offered a henna gig this last weekend but honestly, the per hour price was SO silly. Just, way too low. I'm a good artist and my time is worth a respectable wage. Maybe shot myself in the foot there, I politely turned her down, told her my hourly rate and that's the last I'd heard. This person apparently hires henna artists all over and sends 'em out to parties - I do need someone like that and I'd like to be affiliated with some kind of party service, but not if I'm going to be making less than $50 an hour! It's just not worth my time otherwise. Gas, supplies, shlepping my whole set up and dealing with logistics... I can't afford to lowball.

Have precious little knitting to show for myself. About 2/3 of the way through Yet Another Hat, this one for a friend back East. Yeah, I know, ho hum....

I *am* feeling really squeeful though, because my SP6 (the person I am spoiling) got zir secret package and really liked it and I was SO GLAD. It made me just really happy to read the blog, I've been so blah lately and it just made my whole week to see that it went over well. This whole thing is a ton of fun, both ways. It is fun to be the secret spoiler and it is fun to be completely perplexed as to WHO is spoiling you. Who, me, looking at blogs on the participant's page and thinking... hmmmmmm? Yeah, I confess. Don't worry Secret Pal, I've given up and will wait patiently for the big reveal. Honestly, I'm having the best time with it all.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Have spent the day seeking evidence of a mouse who I think might be living in our closet. No such evidence, which causes me to believe that the little bugger is somewhere in the actual walls. We love that. If the mouse sets one paw near my stash, it is a dead mouse for I shall be most vexed and displeased.

No meeses in the stash, please.

Really, nothing to see here. Just vexation and misery.

It continues to be a long, bitchy week. Fiscal disasters also continue, unabated. I anticipate some improvement at the end of this month, as we will have paid off the many thousands of dollars we owe our vet, IN FULL, and that will make for a happier bank account. Of course, then we have Christmas. Still. It'll improve, come December.

A note to my ex. I calculated it out - you owe me (well, really my daughter) more than $16,000 in unpaid back child support. Yes, that's right, Mr. H, if you are reading this? You, sir, are a deadbeat and I find that I loathe you with the heat of a thousand white hot suns. It is my considered opinion that you need to be racked over a nice hot bed of coals until you pony up and fulfill your financial obligations AS ORDERED by the nice judge at court. I would like you to know that it gives me a great deal of pleasure to consider the day that I take your sorry butt back to court, for on that day, I know that the judge will hold you in contempt and he will order you to pay the whole big lump in one piece or go to jail, where you will meet someone nice who will aptly be named Bubba. I think I might wait a few more years to file so it HURTS MORE when the hammer comes down. Honestly, while I'd like the money so our daughter can have her teeth straightened, the idea of your conubial bliss with good ole Bubba almost makes me happier. Almost.

One might surmise from all this that the constant money issues are putting me in a bad mood. That and I have a vivid imagination when it comes to my ex's karma.

So what's on the Yarnpirate's agenda for the day? Well instead of going to a sunny park with a duck pond as was my plan, I'm going to spend the day cleaning out closets and trying to determine if we have a mouse (something keeps CHEWING all night long and keeping me awake) and if we do, then I have to decide if I want to just get the cheap whack'em traps which I hate, because we can't afford a live trap and honestly, where would we release a mouse if we caught one? Maybe into my landlord's yard....

I haven't really knit a stitch this week that didn't get ripped out, except another spiral Noro hat that the younger daughter promptly appropriated for her own use. Creativity=nil.

It's just one of those sucktastic, mercury in retrograde, miserable weeks. It's GOT to get better, right?

In this time of fiscal woe, I am truly and deeply grateful for sites like Knitty and Magknits with free patterns, as well as my wonderful stash of yarn, accumulated in greener times. I am grateful for our new prescription benefits and I am grateful for the roof over our head and the milk I can still afford to buy. I am truly aware that so many have so much less. It's all relative.