Saturday, March 31, 2007

I wish I'd made this

Don't you think it would be cool if I'd made this? Or if someone I knew had made this? Yeah. Me too.

But no. This is part of a giant pillow we recently bought from a store, for a couch we recently bought from that same store, for a life we recently decided we wanted to have. This life we decided on includes a couch that is glorious and new. And soft.

We are also looking for some handmade pillows, and so far have looked here and here. We're liking the ones we've seen, but are there any places you've seen that you like with lovely little accent pillows for a couch or chair?

You know I'm tempted to just make some myself, right? (I could totally embroider a bird on a pillow!) At this time, I am resisting that temptation, thank you very much.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

But or chunky

This might get addictive. The title of this post is the subject of another piece of spam I got.

I couldn't decide whether to feature it or "I concordville this colo". They're both really good.

Ok. But seriously.

I mean, but or chunky seriously! Ha HA!

Moo cards? They're killing me. I will easily spend twelve thousand hours making some of these. (Thanks, BDK.) Great gift item. Great gift tag. Great thing to spend half your life making.

If only the Moo cards weren't on the list of lists of fun things to do, because that list is taking a back seat at this time to other lists of lists -- ones wherein I drive all over creation, make more phone calls than anyone should, and try not to explode from crabbiness.

Good thing I concordville this colo. One can always take comfort in that.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

A batesfull as hibbing

Just thought I'd share the title of some spam I got today.

Feel free to posit what any of those words might mean. I'm good with "A'" and "as", I think. It's the others that I'm just not sure of.

How about this?

"Batesfull" = A way to describe how deeply you love your mother. (e.g., I love her a batesfull.)

"Hibbing" = hives that have formed in ribbed-like stripes. (e.g., Check out this hibbing on my arm!)

Unfortunately, those definitions do not make the phrase hang together. But that's the best I could do.

Other ideas?

Monday, March 26, 2007

What's with the hectic?

Behind on blog reading is like being behind on hanging out with friends. Only blogs have archives. So that's good. In the most wistful tone I've got I say to you: Someday I'll be able to read blogs again.

(I have now collapsed on my fainting couch with the back of my hand to my forehead. The vapors! The hysteria! My smelling salts!)

It is so hectic in my life right now. It is my-lists-have-lists hectic. So we're gonna just push on ahead. I know there will be soft, pretty things waiting for me on the other side.

Meanwhile, check out the avalanche of fabrics my mom sent me last week!

This was the other great pressie I mentioned. How great is that?! She was on a business trip and there happened to be a quilting store right near her hotel. So she got me some fabrics! Because that's how she conducts the business of being a mom. By being thoughtful and generous.

While I do not know what I will make with this giant panel of monkeys jumping on a bed, I do know it will be a celebration of their long tails. Because monkey tails are hilarious.

Hey! Maybe I can get some monkeys to do things on my lists. Yeah! No, that's ridiculous. It's tax season. What am I thinking? There won't be a monkey alive who isn't crunching numbers and filing forms. Bad timing, me!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Vote for Softies!

Looking for something quick, fun, and inspiring?

Go vote for The Softie Awards. (Scroll down to the March 22, 2007 entry to get started.)

People are so amazingly talented. You will not be disappointed. (I have a feeling my SIL and Leopold will be particularly interested.)

I don't want to sway any votes. But if you go over there, come back and tell me your favorites, maybe I'll tell you which ones I particularly fancy. They are SO good!

(via not Martha)

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Just because I'm fickle doesn't mean I don't love you.

Dear Socks That Rock Yarn,

You are awesome. Let's just start there. Really, really awesome. You're vibrant and robust. You're wonderful to look at. You're a great set of balls. Really. Just look at you.

But after a few tries with you and the Chevron Scarf, I just couldn't make it work. Let's be clear. I do love you. That should not be in question. Just because you're not the right yarn for this scarf, doesn't mean you won't be right for something else. Don't take it personally. Seriously, don't.

You and I are not the only ones to have to rethink a relationship. I'm sure you've seen hundreds of blog posts wherein fickle and guilt-ridden knitbloggers apologize profusely for misleading their well-intentioned and talented yarn. Right?

Look, you are a yarn of noble character, and you're entitled to an explanation. Here's what happened. Yesterday, I accompanied my PIC to the yarn store with the stated purpose of finding yarns for her Chevron Scarf. (We're gonna make these scarves together like we did with the Clapper Project of '05.) Innocent enough.

My PIC was sitting on the floor in front of the cubby with the Colinette Jitterbug yarns, and I was squatting next to her. We held two yarns up together that we were considering, and we thought the combination looked good. As we were looking at them, a woman who works at the store came over, saw the combo, and pushed me she liked it so much.

You know how I'm always saying I want to shove someone and say "Get out!" when something is really great? Like Elaine on Seinfeld. When I imagine doing that, though, I always imagine the other person standing. Not squatting.

Yeah, well, this woman literally bent over and pushed me on my knee so I ended up on my ass she liked the yarns so much. Dudes, she pushed me, and I tumped over. In the middle of the store. Because the lady liked the yarn combination.

It's not a sales approach I'm familiar with, and I don't know what the liability ramifications of this kind of tactic might be, but I think it was effective. I think I got what she was going for.

These do look good together. I think you would agree that I would wear a scarf in these colors. I think.

I could be wrong. I'm willing to be wrong. These might knit up together and be terrible, drab crap. Certainly possible. But I have to give it a try. I have to. Because, seriously? I am not going to get knocked on my ass for nothing.

I trust you'll understand. (You are socks that rock, after all.)

With lots of love,
Dr. B.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

In awe of generosity

Nothing lifts the spirits quite like pressies. And gloriously wonderful pressies? All the better.

I got to work on Monday, and a lovely little box from Australia was waiting for me. When I opened it, I saw this:

Gorgeous cardstock and ribbon and art -- all just the wrapping for a handmade gift from Nora.

It's worth restating that I only know Nora from this here webberblog. And that a gift from her on the occasion of "Just Because" is truly something spectacular.

So, I stared at this stunning wrapping, and I was torn. Should I open it and then try to re-assemble it to take pictures for the blog? Or should I wait until I could take photos to open it? If I waited, it could be days before the conditions were right to take a picture. If I didn't, I would surely spoil the beauty of the presentation for posting here.

I tried to peek inside to see if I could spy the inner goods and make a decision that way. No luck. I couldn't see a thing. Hmm.

And I realized another way the blog impacts my life: There are situations like this where I can't open the presents from the lovely people I know because of the blog, because of the blog! Crap.

I put the whole thing away, despite my burning curiosity. And, wouldn't you know, yesterday was totally grey and not suitable for taking photos.

So, I tell you what. When the sun came out this morning, this gift was the first thing I thought of.

Behold the amazing handmade stitch markers:

Aren't they beautiful?

And there are so many of them!

I can't believe Nora sat there patiently bending wire and stringing beads and making these beautiful creations, and now they're mine! It really made my day. And I can't wait to use them! (Believe me, they'll be out on display as lovely things to look at in the meantime.)

Thank you so much, Nora! Your kindness and thoughtfulness are a beautiful part of the world wide web. People like you and Kristy are inspirations.

Being kind and generous out of the blue is so cool. It's totally the new black.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

It's starting to look up

Signs that this March march-ness may be turning around:

(1) I've received two packages filled with delightful surprises in as many days.
(2) I started the Chevron Scarf.
(3) Rather than be all, "I didn't get anything done over the weekend," I am able to call knitting two small rows "starting the Chevron Scarf".
(4) I am posting despite not having pictures to include. (It's very overcast here today. Terrible light for taking photos of the delicious surprises.)
(5) Rather than slicing my right thumb on my eggs this morning, I instead sliced my left thumb on the zipper of a compartment of my purse yesterday. Jealous?

Like I said, things may be looking up. I'll tell you more about the surprises when the sun comes out.

How are things looking where you are?

Friday, March 16, 2007

Hey, alligator! I'll see you. (Later.)

I finally managed to buy Last Minute Knitted Gifts, and I have every intention of starting that blasted Chevron Scarf this weekend. Or the Dashing mitts.

Or, I suppose I could finish any one of the twelve million socks that I've started. But you know what? No. That's not what I'm gonna do.

I am going to start some new projects. I think new projects are just the thing to show March who's boss. Who is boss, you ask? Well, thanks for asking. That would be me. I am boss. So suck it, March.

Sidekick and I are off to a conference this weekend. We'll be back on Sunday. Hopefully, I'll have something to show for it.

Have a good one!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

What is it about March?

I swear the Earth is spinning faster on its axis. I swear it. Every time I look up at the clock, it's so much later than I think it should be. And my internal clock is usually right on the money. But it has not been in March.

Please do not try to tell me it's just this "Daylight Savings" Time thing, because I'm not buying it. Honestly, I would be more than happy to buy it if it were as simple as: "It feels like it's 5:00, but it's already 6:00!?!" No, no. This is: "We're on Friday already? Seriously? Wasn't it just Friday half a second ago? It should only be Tuesday or some shit. Fuck!"

(Yeah. It's like that around here.)

I see only one way out of this. It's declaration time.

I am hereby officially declaring that:

March is jacked up.

Other people are having similar experiences with time whizzing by, right? I've noticed people seem to be having a hard time keeping up with their blog reading, much less with their blog writing. Does this usually happen this time of year in the blogosphere? Or is there something else up? I'm pretty sure I haven't experienced any head trauma recently, but I'll look down at something, and the next time I look up? Three weeks have gone by.

Seriously. What is up?

My inside voice: Raaah raaah raaah. I'm old. Raaaah raaah raaaah. Life's too short. Raaaah raaah raah. Kids! Yard! Raaaah!

My outside voice: Is it just me? No, right?

I shall try to re-engage in the craftiness and share it with you in words and pictures. Just as soon as I figure out how it got to be the middle of March of two-thousand-SEVEN!


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

That eavesdropping from the other night

It's 1:12 AM. I wake up, confused by the sound of a booming male voice outside my window.

BMV: Heeeeeelp! Heeeeeeelp! Call the poleeeece! Call the poleeeece!

Me (whispering to Sidekick): Hey. Should we call the police?
Sidekick (asleep): Huh?
Me: Should we call the police?
Sidekick (still asleep): Why?
Me: Dude is yelling that we should call the police.

At this point I've realized whose voice it is. "Dude" is a man in his late 80s. He lives in our neighborhood. He has dementia and can often be heard during the day yelling at and about his wife, who is also in her 80s. Often his yelling is related to what an idiot she is (which she is not), how he's got to get to work (which he does not) and how she's keeping him from this (She does not let him drive because he does not have a license anymore, and he is not well. So, I guess technically, she is doing this part.). He's always been quite mean to her, but the dementia has made it much worse. It's a mess.

It's late, and I'm not sure exactly what's up, so I listen some more.

Dude: You know I have to get to work! Give me the keys! Give me the keys!
Wife: (says something to him I can't hear)
Dude: Give me the keys! Somebody call the police! I won't stand for this! Somebody call the poleeeece!

Me: Should I call the police?
Sidekick: What?

I call the police. I explain the situation, tell them Dude's name and what I know so far. The police in our neighborhood are so super kick-ass, we're the luckiest people in the world. So nice. So helpful. So right on it.

Within 7 minutes, I hear cops outside talking to Dude.

Cop 1: What's going on there, Dude? (They call him by name.)
Dude: I've got to get to work, and my wife won't give me the keys.
Cop 1: Are you gonna drive to work?
Wife: He can't drive.
Cop 2: Does he have a license?
Wife: No.
Cop 1: You don't have a license, Dude.
Dude: I have to get to work.
Cop 1: But you don't have a license, Dude.
(Repeat last two lines about 13 times.)

Cop 2 proceeds to talk to Dude's wife very kindly and thoughtfully, advising her to call Dude's doctor in the morning and tell them the meds aren't working. Cop 1 keeps up the abbreviated "who's on first" bit with Dude.

I, meanwhile, am out of bed at the window, trying to get a sense of what's going on without being seen. Sidekick is sound asleep. At this point I don't know if I should try to intervene and tell the police that sometimes he's really verbally abusive to her. I don't know if this will just make the situation worse or if it's what needs to happen. It's the middle of the night, the cops seem to be handling it, and Sidekick is snoring and unable to help me decide what to do.

I had a hard time figuring this one out. I finally got back in bed and tossed and turned, and I made a commitment that the next time I hear him yelling at her, I'll call Adult Protective Services.

The next morning, I saw Dude sitting outside his home next to an empty chair. As I walked past, he turned to the empty chair and said to it, "Excuse me, won't you? I need to check on my wife."

I haven't heard him yell at her since. But I'm dreading the day I will have to make that call.

I tell you what. Be nice to people. You never know what gear your brain is gonna get stuck in.

(I promise the next eavesdropping story will have some laughs. This one? Not so much.)

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Next up

I wanna make these Dashing mitts from the new issue of Knitty. They're the longer, better, no-frills version of Fetching:

Oh! When I went to get yarn for the new mitts, Yeardley Smith was at the knitting store. You'd never know by looking at her that she could buy and sell all of us in the blink of an eye. She seemed perfectly nice. I was so busy being calm and unflapped at seeing her that I forgot to buy the needles I needed for said mitts. So calm, me.

Also, sorry it's been so long since I last posted. I'm not quite sure what happened there. I was probably loving too much, or foolishly thinking he was into me, or messing up the rules. Oh, wait. No. That's not right. Those are the things self-help books want me to think I'm doing. Instead, I think I was actually out in the world, working.

So sorry to have neglected you.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

The socks

Sock Tube # 1: Yeah, hi. Listen. I was just noticing that you're about to be finished there, and --
Dark Grey Sock: Uhm. And you are...?
ST: It's me! Me! Remember me? We were pals back in the day.
DGS: Oh! It's you.
ST: Yeah! Me!!
DGS: Yeah! Right! You were a tool.
ST: Yes. There's that.
DGS: Yes.
ST: I wasn't very kind.
DGS: No. You were not kind at all.
ST: Ok. Well, see. Let me explain. I --
DGS: Not interested.

ST: I had a lot going on back then. Things were hard for me. I'd had all those rows that got ripped back.
DGS: No excuse.
ST: Yes. Yes! I know that. That's why I've come back around. I read your letter, and I wanted to tell you I'm sorry.
DGS: Really.
ST: Really! I'm sorry for looking down on you and calling you a stubbit. I'm sorry you doubted yourself because of me. I'm sorry you called into question your very sock-ness because I took off.
DGS: Uh huh.
ST: Look, how about we pose together for a photo? You know, for old times' sake. I'll put it up on my fridge to remind me to be a good friend to you.
DGS: Ehn. I don't know.
ST: Look. I know you have no reason to believe me. But, I have changed.
DGS: Changed?
ST: I've spent a lot of time alone, in the bottom of a bag, not seeing the light of day. I've had time to think.
DGS: Uh huh.
ST: Don't you think a sock can change?
DGS: Of course I do. People change socks all the time.
ST: Right! Ha HA! You're hilarious! I'd forgotten how hilarious you are!
DGS: Don't.
ST: Right.
DGS: I suppose I'd consider it.
ST: You would?
DGS: But I still need a kitchener stitch to close up my toe, and my ends need to be woven in. I can't take a picture with my tail all hanging out.
ST: My tail's hanging out, too!
DGS: I don't know.
ST: I'm know I'm not perfect, but I promise I'll try to be a better pal.
DGS: Well...
ST: How about just until you get your mate? Then we can go our separate ways, having had a few laughs.
DGS: It is very kind of you to come all the way back around to apologize. And my mate will probably be a while.

DGS: You did not just reach out and poke me in the side.
ST: So sorry! One more -- with a shot of your heel!

ST: Awesome!
DGS: Thanks for your apology. It takes a really big sock to come back and apologize.
ST: Yeah. We all do and say things we regret. But we don't always say we're sorry. I am sorry.
DGS: Awwww.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

How the week went from Whee! to Meh. and back to Whee! again

Sunday: Order Yarntini yarn. Eat chicken tacos.

Monday: Blog about Sunday's spectacular events. Work all day and half the night.

Tuesday: Do some teaching and some working. No blogging. Spend much of the middle of the night eavesdropping. Debate whether or not to get involved in the goings-on until 2:30 AM.

Wednesday: Sleep in with a wicked hangover from the eavesdropping-debating cocktail. Stumble to the mailbox. Upon opening mail, hear a chorus of angels and take a bath in light from above. {Aaaaaaaaaaahh!}

Check out the Yarntini yarn I ordered like two and half seconds ago! It was wrapped all cute, like so:

And then, it was not just yarn. No. That would be outrageous if all I got was the yarn I ordered. What kind of business would that be, if they sent you only what you'd ordered?

Lip balm, people! Strawberry daiquiri flavor! And a handwritten note. And that tissue paper color? Forget about it. (I realize my gratitude is over-reaching. But I really do like that tissue paper.)

The plan for the rest of Wednesday: Stare at yarn. Touch yarn. Read comments wherein people tell me what I should make with the 490 yards of this delicious, fingering weight yarn.

(Does "fingering weight" sound creepy to anyone else, or just to me?)

Seriously, what should I make?!

Monday, March 05, 2007

Yarntini frenzy

It's so boring to hear me say over and over again, "Isn't the world wide web so amazing?" I kind of know this and yet... seriously. Isn't it?

Yesterday afternoon, my sidekick came home with some delicious chicken tacos for dinner. When he walked in the front door, I was sitting at my laptop, hitting the refresh button every 5 seconds.

Sidekick: Hey! Delicious chicken tacos!
Me: (not taking my eyes off the screen) That's so great!
Sidekick: Come on and eat 'em!
Me: Just a second.
Sidekick: What are you doing?
Me: Nothing. (refresh)
Sidekick: So come on!
Me: I'll be right there.
Sidekick: What are you doing.
Me: Nothing. (refresh)

The dialogue went on like this for a few minutes. I then had to admit what I was doing.

Me: Well, there's this yarn called Yarntini, and it's always sold out everywhere, and the woman who makes it... hold on... um... (looking closely at the screen) Ok... the woman who makes it is updating her Etsy shop right now. As she puts colors of yarn up, people are buying them instantly. You have to snatch them up...oh God! I think I have to buy this one. Hold on.

I then entered this controlled frenzy wherein I filled out forms and got email verifications and engaged in shopping cart madness, and actually managed to buy this:

I think the colorway is called "Good to Be Girl". But I can't be entirely sure. It all happened so fast.

Sidekick: You mean there are lots of knitters all online right now, trying to buy this yarn?
What I wanted to say was: They're trying. I'm buying. But that just seemed mean. What I said instead was:
Me: Yup. There are a lot of knitters in the world who love yarn. Pass the tacos, mister!

I highly recommend including delicious chicken tacos in your next celebration. If you do chicken. If not, I suppose any taco would do.

Happy Monday, everyone.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Anne Lamott

Check it out.

You like Anne Lamott, right? You know, she wrote Operating Instructions and Bird by Bird and tons of other great stuff. She's a magnificent genius. And! She has a new book coming out called Grace (Eventually); Thoughts on Faith. That's cool, right?

But even better? The book tour.

Anne Lamott will be all over the place -- well, all over the US -- reading from her new book, signing your copy of that book, and being cool in real life and stuff.

For those of you in NYC, she'll be there March 20th. For the LA crowd, she'll be in Pasadena at Vroman's Bookstore March 28th. For those of you in Texas, looks like there's a big event in Austin May 15th that you can buy tickets for online. For the full data, check out the US schedule.

But check it out ASAP. Her San Francisco appearance at the end of March is already sold out.

Just thought you'd wanna know.

(Thanks to Kelly Kilmer on ArtGangLA for the tip!)