Friday, February 23, 2007

Sorry if your feeds were spammed to death, I migrated the blog over to the new Blogger and it seems to have spat everything back out in the process.

I'm working two jobs right now, which means I haven't got much internet time and not a lot of interesting things to say even when I do get online. But let's see, a few highlights.

The grrl turned 16, got lip pierced, went crowd surfing and sang onstage with Defiance, Ohio in downtown LA the other night. I survived the experience, though a few more grey hairs appeared. While I am a veteran of tattoo and piercing parlors, it is entirely different when one takes one's offspring in for this sort of thing. However, Todd at Velvet Grip in WeHo was great, a real pro, did a nice job for her and it looks great. The youngest has been horribly sick all week with a nasty ear infection for which we now have appropriate medication, and with any luck she will be doing better by tonight.

Did I mention working two jobs and I have no life? Hi! Yes that's right, I am either working or sleeping and sometimes I manage a few rows on that damned painter's scarf, but I can't remember the last time I was able to just sit and KNIT for anything resembling more than ten minutes. Vive le single motherhood, y'all. It is busy, busy thing.

Um. Also, I am very tired. I want some fun yarny time. I see none in my future for several weeks. Alas.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

I think this is a perfectly beautiful song, even though it is maybe not hearts and flowers. Haven't heard it? Give it a listen on Itunes. It is utterly melancholy and haunting and maybe speaks to the reason why some folks act like Valentines Day is akin to having bamboo slivers shoved under their nails, though it does not spark that in me at all.

She sends me blue valentines
All the way from philadelphia
To mark the anniversary
Of someone that I used to be
And it feels just like theres
A warrant out for my arrest
Got me checkin in my rearview mirror
And Im always on the run
Thats why I changed my name
And I didnt think youd ever find me here

To send me blue valentines
Like half forgotten dreams
Like a pebble in my shoe
As I walk these streets
And the ghost of your memory
Is the thistle in the kiss
And the burgler that can break a roses neck
Its the tatooed broken promise
That I hide beneath my sleeve
And I see you every time I turn my back

She sends me blue valentines
Though I try to remain at large
Theyre insisting that our love
Must have a eulogy
Why do I save all of this madness
In the nightstand drawer
There to haunt upon my shoulders
Baby I know
Id be luckier to walk around everywhere I go
With a blind and broken heart
That sleeps beneath my lapel

She sends me my blue valentines
To remind me of my cardinal sin
I can never wash the guilt
Or get these bloodstains off my hands
And it takes a lot of whiskey
To take this nightmares go away
And I cut my bleedin heart out every nite
And I die a little more on each st. valentines day
Remember that I promised I would
Write you...
These blue valentines
Blue valentines
Blue valentines

Tom Waits

Every time I hear this song I am reminded of how much I have learned over the years, from having some relationship or another go utterly to shit. We feel so betrayed by love, by the object of our loving when it doesn't work out, but I think most of us do our best growing and learn the MOST about ourselves when we are in that place of picking up the pieces. I read once that anger is an arrow at your feet, shot by the person who sparked the anger. It is always your choice to pick it up and stab yourself with that arrow. Eventually, ideally, we forget the arrow of anger and betrayal is there at our feet because we've grown past it.

Kierkegaard said, "Don't forget to love yourself." and Buddha said you'd never find anyone more worthy of your love than yourself. So that's a good place to start, don't you think? When you look at it that way, you don't really need to send the blue valentines because it just doesn't matter if someone went or stayed. It isn't the litmus for being okay. Partnership isn't where the bar is set, or at least, shouldn't be.

Don't forget to love yourself and be the self you truly are, FOR YOURSELF That's a good message for today.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Today is definitely one of those days where I'd rather hang out in my jammies and drink coffee and play on the internet or knit, rather than go to work and push premium food pr0n at people with more money than sense. Unfortunately, we don't always get what we want, and food porn it is. No loungie for me.

I am 2 repeats away from finishing Baud #2 (yay! another FO!) and have realized something horrible and that would be that Baud #1 is lost. That's right, the first sock has gone missing from my knitting bag, it is not in my purse, it is not in my stash, it is not to be found anywhere. I have been knitting these socks since... when... oh hell, October? And I LOST ONE.

Bugger.

So even if I finish Baud #2, I won't be able to, oh, say, WEAR THEM.

Truly a stupid knitter trick if ever there was one.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Done.

poppa's hat
My first finished object in forever. I don't know the last time I finished something. But this went fast and I'm happy with it. Silk Garden and Merino Style, adapted from the Silk Garden Beannie pattern (I altered the stitch count and added the stripes) that's been floating around on the web lately. The merino gives the silk garden some structure, I really like these two yarns paired together. The oldest is hinting about arm warmers in the same combo. Not a bad idea... Anyway, this is my dad's birthday present, along with a very nice jar of Basque mustard.

Also done as in stick a fork in me, I'm done. Gran's funeral was lovely. Seeing all the cousins, aunt and uncle, everyone - that was wonderful. Cousin Will did a fabulous job of reading at the memorial. Moved me to tears. There were congo cookies. Cousins have all grown up, there are 2nd generation cousins bashing about the place and we are all getting older. It had been too damn long. I missed my family. I'm really sad about my grandmother this week. Lots of tears at weird moments, but I suppose that's what one does when one is saying goodbye to someone as important as she was.

legacy
A Grandma legacy. I used to creep into the rose room and play with these on the sly when I was little. I loved them. Now they're sitting on my dresser, on top of the handmade lace runner that belonged to Grandma Eve. We are just the caretakers of these things, but it is nice to be reminded of someone important by something tangible that becomes a part of our daily life.

Glad January is over, it was an absolutely stupid month, fraught with loss, and it deserves to be thrown out of the calendar year. It can try again in 2008.

buddha

Peace. Out.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

I wrote this up to share with my family this weekend, at Grandma's memorial. I thought I'd share it here too.

These are some of the things I remember about my grandmother.

Grandma used to put vanilla ice cream in a cup of Constant Comment if I was having a bad day. Just a little scoop. It would melt and blend in and make the tea really sweet. I always felt better because of it. I used to think it was the ice cream, but now I am thinking it was probably because she'd sit at her kitchen table with me and listen to me talk about my sorrows while I drank it.

She got her first pair of pants in 1969. One day out of the blue, she called my mom up, said she wanted to be a "modern woman" and asked Mom to take her shopping for pants. Mom said that Grandma tried on about fifty pair until she settled on some. Grandpa was just appalled and horrified and made such a fuss, but Grandma wore them anyway. One day about a week later he allowed as how perhaps they were not so bad. By the time I was a little girl, she had many stylish pantsuits. But she always wore a pretty dress if we were going out and to sit down to dinner. She always matched her shoes and her handbags.

Grandma took me to the toystore on every single visit and said I could pick out anything I wanted. Once I wanted something very expensive. She got it after I agreed to pay for half. I think I still owe her $8.00 for it but she never asked for it.

Grandma was a lady. When Grandpa said words like "D*mmit." at the dinner table, Grandma would scowl at him and say, "BILL!" He'd look sheepish and pat her hand. He loved to play tricks on us, and often would distract the child sitting closest to him and steal their dessert (I cannot tell you how many times I fell for "Oh look, a balloon!") and she would always make him give it back.

Grandma had yellow roses that grew along the back fence and geraniums by the back door.

She liked to drink dark beer if we went out for Mexican food. She only started drinking it after Grandpa died, because he didn't like her drinking it. There was great consternation on the night we were out for a family dinner shortly after his death. We went to her favorite Mex place and everyone's jaw hit the table when she politely shook out her napkin, placed it in her lap and informed the waiter, "I think I'll have a dark beer."

My grandmother raised me, both in infancy shortly after I was born and then again when my mom had to leave us for good and find her own bliss somewhere else - I was just 13 months old. Grandma came to stay for a while until my dad got things sorted out with a nanny. I spent every summer with her until I was about 13 and then I went to summer camp instead. I had long auburn hair that Grandma liked to style into ringlets. When I was about 5, Dad got sick of combing it so he cut it all off into a boy cut and Grandma yelled at him.

Grandma was such a great cook that when Grandpa went hunting pheasant or grouse, you never got a piece of buckshot after she made it.

Grandma never said an unkind word about anyone but always managed to let you know when something wasn't okay. She was gracious, empathetic and made things smooth and pleasant for the people around her. She would remember your favorite soda and have it on hand in the cold cupboard near the basement. She'd remember that you were scared of the dark and put the nightlight on. She wouldn't ever make you climb the scary stairs alone up to bed. She had infinite patience and knew that if one parked oneself with a book on the 2nd step of the wide staircase in the foyer, all 8 small grandchildren could gather around on the steps beside and above to listen and everyone could see the pictures. She did not yell when someone who looked a lot like me crayoned their name painstakingly on the silk wallcovering above the fourth step. The letters stayed there until the day the house was sold.

Grandma provided me with, as one friend aptly put it, an alternative view on the world. If I'd been left to be raised by the wolves at Chez Single Dad, I would be a very different person today. Don't get me wrong, my father did a great job, but he didn't know what to do with a little girl. He bought me Hot Wheel cars, built me a child sized toolbench in his shop and equipped it with tiny tools. He taught me to make model airplanes. Grandma bought me dolls that cried real tears and needed real diapers, gave me tiny houses with tiny families to put inside and taught me what forks to use. She reminded me not to put my elbows on the table, how to eat soup properly with a spoon (don't slurp) and how to pour tea. When I was with her I got to be a little girl and wear dresses with knee socks and hair ribbons.

My dad reminds me for all the world of Atticus Finch, both in the larger story and in the lessons he taught me about life, how to treat other people and fairness. I know he learned those lessons himself at Grandma's knee. Growing up I was a proper Scout, half wild, a rumpled little heathen in ripped overalls. One who needed a bath, a good combing and whose pants never fit quite right. It was absolutely glorious. And every start of summer, my dad would drive me to Grandma's and life would be transformed into something also glorious but completely different. Grandma and I went to wonderful movie theatres and restaurants, we took tea, and I had patent shoes and little gloves and a purse. Somehow she always managed to know when I needed to put on my pants and go run all that civilizing out at the park or visit the boisterous boy cousins in San Mateo.

I was always happy to go home to my dad, my trees, my playhouse (dad did make a concession to girlness, he hung curtains in the real glass windows), my child sized toolbench and tools and model cars. Grandma didn't hand out glass jars and allow one to go hunt tadpoles in muddy ponds after all, or disappear into the woods all afternoon. Grandma did not like mud and I thought mud was perfectly splendid, thank you. Particularly if you got it all over your clothes and hands. We disagreed on a few of those minor points. Still, the contrast was nice and it did give me a bigger view of the way things *could* be.

The time with her was special and indelible and imbued me with the knowledge that I was loved unconditionally and that has sustained me throughout my entire life. The wonderful thing is that she wasn't just that for me, you see, she was that for all of us, all her kids and grandkids, in the way that we each needed most. She was remarkable, inexhaustible and generous with her affections.

She had 8 grandkids, 6 great grandkids. She sent two sons to two wars and they both came back alive. She was married to the love of her life for 65 years and he adored and cherished her every day of those years, until the day he had to leave us. And on top of all that, when it was her time to go, she'd done SUCH a good job at living that God let her have one last cuppa and an ice cream sundae before she left.