Tuesday, January 31, 2006

I do not advocate vandalism

That being said: a ping pong ball can be an excellent way to smite one's vehicular enemies.

Step 1: Get a ping pong ball.
Step 2: Put it in someone offensive's gas tank.
Step 3: Laugh as their vehicle continues to stall out for no appearant reason.

What happens is the ping pong ball floats at the top of the gas allowing a bit to be sucked in through the intake, but then the ping pong ball get sucked down to the intake, blocking the gas and stalling out the vehicle. The jerk restarts the vehicle with the same result. The only way to solve this problem is to replace the gas tank.

I do not endorse this idea I just heard it once, have seen it work once, and subsequently pass this on to you to with as wish.

Ta-Da! More Story!

Chapter the Second, in Which we learn Penryn Really is a Witch and a few Marriages are Arranged

The whole town was as busy as I had ever seen it. New troops were arriving all the time and all my sisters were busy trying to choose the most handsome captains for their husbands. All the while I was just so excited to see Penryn again and to show her what I had done. What she had to show me, however was even more impressive: a garment made with a special yarn, not so fine as that for stockings, that the men were to wear under their armor. She told us that it was made with a special charm in it to protect them from harm. It was true, Penryn was a witch and we were very glad to have her on our side.

The secret to this new garment was in the song. Do you remember how I told you Penryn taught me songs that contained the patterns so I would remember them? Well, that's not all the songs did. Each different song contained different charms, some would make the wearer more beautiful, others helped them find contentment, still others were for luck, or wealth. What Penryn had done was found a way to intergrate several of these charms together along with one of protection in a simply spendid tunic that the men could wear under their armour. I don't know how well they believed her that they would be protected but since these new garments fit better than their baggy tunics and the winter in the North where the would be fighting was quite harsh, they were happy to receive them.

It was such an exciting season, there were weddings to prepare for. Several of the ladies in the court were getting married as well as two of my sisters. No, my oldest sister did not marry Durrow, she was too old for him according to my parents. She married another ally's son and was soon gone to have heirs or whatever it was that my sisters did when they married. My second sister was married to a man that provided horses to my father, as I remember she was completely in love with him and we were all very happy for her.

"What about the handsome prince?! Prince Durrow?" Beatrix blurted out.

"I'm getting to it, dear."

Durrow was very upset at the loss of my sister. He really did fancy her and was not thrilled that my father thought he was too young for her. He vowed that he would not marry anyone from our court... But he didn't exactly announce it, he just became very withdrawn. When the troops were rallied and the war began he was more than ready to go and prove himself, in a tunic that I had knit, no less.

I only finnished three tunics before the men left for the war: one for Durrow, one for my father, and one that I made first which was full of mistakes because of the intricacies of the pattern. That one I gave to one of the pages that was always goofing around and made us laugh, Bolan (first one, first column). I had no idea whether or not it would protect him but it was better than nothing and he was a nice guy so I gave it to him.

After so long with all those extra people around it was mind numbingly dull when they all left, taking with them a good half of the men and boys from our own land. I didn't realize then that not all of them would come back. I thought they would go, fight their war, and all come home in a few weeks or maybe months. But they were fighting the savage Northerners and they were gone for eight months, home for one and then gone again. It was a long boring time that I likely don't need to go into detail about since that isn't the point of this story.

"Beatrix, what did you want me to tell you about? You've got me reminicing now and I've lost my point."

"You were going t tell me the story about how you learned to knit and how Grandpa slayed a dragon to build your house out of it's scales."

"Ah, yes. Then I'll skip a bit."

Penryn came and went teaching me not only knitting charms but some other useful things like medicines and how to find water with a pendulum on long journeys. My father and his armies subdued the Northerners, or at least beat them back to where they weren't a threat. All the men who wore the tunics Penryn and I had made came home no worse for the wear, and speaking our praises. By this time I think two years had gone by, maybe three. I'm too old now to remember.

Anyhow, time had gone by and my mother was starting to fear that I was getting too old to be married off. I didn't really want to be married off but I wasn't thrilled with my current life either so I decided to wait and see who they'd chosen and if I didn't like the match I figured that I would go off with Penryn or something. I had no idea what the real world was like or what kind of crazy trouble I was in for. Or the kind of trouble that I was about to get others into, namely Durrow, Penryn, and Bolan. I wonder if I had known then what I know now, would I risk their lives to escape a life of boredom? It hardly seems fair. How selfish I was!

I'm off track again, I'm sorry. Where was I? Oh, my father had decided I would marry one of his war buddies and I was about to bolt...

More on Thursday!

Sorry, if this one wasn't up to snuff but I was having trouble getting into it today. Plus, I'm hungry! I need breakfast!

(Chapter One, Chapter Three)


Friday, January 27, 2006

OKay, I'm awful and I'm sorry. I know there was no story this week and I feel awful about it so here's what I'm going to do: next week there will be TWO installments. One on Tuesday and again on Thursday. AM I forgiven?

Also, I finished Satchel today. Pics coming on Monday!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Third time's not a charm

I have no idea if this willpost. I've been trying to post all day. There's a scheduled outage tomorrow so I'm sure that'll be an issue. I'm postponing the continuation of the story until Thursday. Sorry everyone!

Monday, January 23, 2006

Stupid Steelers

Red Todd Kidd lived in Pittsburg in his youth and consequently thinks that's where he's from. His family continues to cheer for the Steelers and they are very excited at the possibility of there being "one for the thumb" (Super Bowl rings, that is). I'm thinking of knitting a black and yellow beanie for my FIL but I don't really want to be confused for a Steelers fan. The Steelers having been considered an enemy around here since that whole Chargers/49ers Superbowl of a good many years ago.

The thing is, I'm not really a Chargers fan either. I've been in San Diego my whole life and they just dissapointed me once too often. I declared them dead to me several years ago and claimed the newly formed Houston Texans as my team since the NFL seemed to give them to me just as I was completely fed up with the home team. I sat down and watched their inaugural game and said, "If they beat the Cowboys (whom I hate but only slightyly less than I hate the Raiders) I will be a Texans fan,"and they did. It's like destiny right?

I have other teams I like too, you kind of have to when you can't get the games you want (oh if only I could get that hella phat NFL package from Direct TV on digital cable instead, that would be sweet). In fact one of the other teams I like to see win is the Seahawks who the Steelers will be pitted against in this Superbowl. I have to say that this time I'm going to have to root for the Steelers, my life would be in danger from the in-laws if I don't. Am I happy about it? No. Have I begrudgingly become a Steelers fan? HELL no. But I do know quite a few of their names and numbers at this point. If I saw any of the first string guys walking down the street I'd recognize them instantly. I can't say that for any other NFL team at this point.

Damn it.

I guess I should go get that yarn.

Thursday, January 19, 2006


Yes, today it happened to me. I was hit out of the blue by a question so rediculous and stupid that I literally could not form a sentence. I actually said, "Buh, wha? You..?" and hung up the phone.

You see today I informed by husband that I wanted to spend part of our tax return on some shoes. I didn't specify how many pair or how much they cost. Chances are it'll be about $200 for two pair. Cheaper if I get lucky. The thing is I have to special order shoes because I wear a size 6 1/2 EEE (also known as WW or XW), my feet are like square.

Another thing you must know is that I'm a cheapskate. Especially about things like clothes, shoes, hair care products, etc. Perhaps this is why I usually look like crap? Anyway, because I live in Southern California I can get away with wearing flip-flops year round and only plunking down like $10 a year on shoes from target. I honestly and actually own two pairs of shoes that fit me comfortably. One pair of the $10 flip-flops, and one pair of Mary Janes.

Last May a freind of mine got married and I was in the wedding. The shoes she wanted us to wear (those little cloth Mary Janes you get in Chinatown) cut off my circulation after standing in them for 10 minutes so I had to come up with something else. I knitted a pair but I also went out and bought a pair of leather Mary Janes that actually fit me from a specialty store. They cost me $99.97.

Okay you've got the background now. So here's the conversation:

"I want to spend a little bit of our tax return on some shoes."

"Don't you have a pair?"

"Buh, wha? You..?"

Seriously, I'm just flabbergasted. How much do you spend in a year on shoes? In the past four I've spent about $150. One pair of $15 heels from Target, three pairs of flip flops and the $100 Mary Janes. My mother has bought me a few pairs to supplement, less I go about unshod. I don't think I'm being rediculous do you?

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The story continues:

Chapter One, in which Grandma learns to knit and we meet a handsome prince.

When I was a girl I didn't spin yarn or wind it into balls for my grandmother like you do, Beatrix. When I was a girl I did embroidery and I did it badly. Likely as badly as I would do it now, blind as a bat, because I hated it. I hated everything I was supposed to do because most of it was boring to me and the parts that weren't boring, like learning to read, were wasted on the most rediculous subjects.

One day, in my twelfth year, after I had bled on yet another piece of expensive fabric because I was distracted during my "work", my nurse had enough and sent me down to the ovens to learn to help with meal preperation. She thought after a dreary afternoon of difficult and heavy work I'd be glad to embroider the next day. She was wrong. Instead I learned the fun of baking bread, or rather, playing with bread dough. Soon I was spending all my time helping with stews, learning to skin small game, and of course playing in the bread dough. I became the charge of the head of the kitchen who recognized some small talent in me and decided to introduce me, covertly, to her sister.

Penryn (third row, center) was an anomally to me. She was young, pretty enough, but had no husband and no children. She rode her own horse. She was different from any woman I had seen yet in my short life. She was also the purveyor of special goods that sent the whole kingdom into a frenzy whenever she came through: knitted hose. My dear Beatrix, in those days knitting was very new to us. All our cloth was woven, which was fine for a good many things, but the knitted hose were clearly supperior. So much so that people were willing to trade almost anything for a knitted garment even though they had to trade with Penryn who was... less than respectable, some even said she was a witch. So of course I liked her right away since my boring nursemaids and mother didn't (though they bought much of her goods) and as it turned out she liked me also.

I reminded Penryn of herself a bit, I think, and she was all too happy to show me how to do this craft of hers. She stayed with her sister for several weeks showing me the basics of how to knit and teaching me special songs that would help me learn the stitch patterns. Finally, though, it was time for her to move on. She had exotic places to go and get supplies for her next batch of finery (those goods would change the whole future of everyone in the kingdom but I'll get to that later).

Before Penryn left she presented a gift to parents, a case of knitting needles. Some were made from a dark black wood no one in our kingdom had ever seen and topped with little figures of animals carved from bone and others were made from wood that was striped, those had a point at each end. My father graciously accepted the gift from the strange woman but said to her that they were of no use as we didn't know the secrets of her craft. She told him that the needles were magic and that they would choose who truly owned them, that they should belong to whomever could use them. She tricked my father based on her reputation and it worked like a charm. She knew they'd never give a precious treasure like that, however useless to them, to an unruly girl without good reason.

Soon enough it was like that Arthur and the sword in the stone that they speak of in the west, who could use the needles? I knew they wouldn't let me try since I was young and they had little faith in my ability to do anything but cause trouble so I came up with a plan. I did a great deal of hiding and sneaking and spontaneous hugging to get ahold of all threee keys needed to get into the wing, the room, and the case that the needles were held in. I waited until the night before the next big attempt to find a woman who could use them (it didn't even occur to them that some man might be able to use them, like the men who make all the fishnets, I'm sure they could have figured it out with a little time). I snuck in with a ball of fine wool I had taken right out of the waever's basket. I selected a set of needles and cast on, hoping I could remeber all that Penryn had taught me. I knitted and sang my pattern song, working as quickly as my clumsy little fingers would allow. My mistakes were few thanks to the song and by the time I fell asleep I had several inches of a tube that would become my very first stocking. It wasn't thin and fine like Penryn's because all I had was wool, not the slick thin fiber that she used, but I thought it would get my point across.

Morning came and with it the bustle of everyone's early work. I had gone missing in the night so the women were frantically looking for me before my mother found out that I was gone. It didn't take long for mother to hear of it and join in the search adding more of the house staff to the task.

In my father's realm it was a day as usual but with the small bonus of having just about every woman in the kingdom parade through the stronghold in their finest dress. There was training of troops to be done, however, and he had recieved a new group from an ally that included that regent's son. It was very important business to train and look after the boy since he was a probable husband for one of my sisters (certainly not for me, I was no prize and this was a good ally perhaps even a friend). It was he who finally found me, lost as he was, on his way to find my father.

Durrow was everything you would expect from a handsome prince. Except he wasn't tall. He was still young, five years older than I, he still had a little height yet to acheive, though when he did he was still not the tallest man but not the shortest either. He was lean from training and riding. His hair was dark but streaked a bit from the sun, clear tanned skin, and shining eyes. If he had found anyone of my sisters I'm sure they would have been caught in those eyes, they would have been stricken with his handsome face but not I.

"What are you doing in here?" I asked this stranger.

"I'm looking for King Samus, I was told he was this way," he replied with a smile. "It looks as though I'm lost. What are you doing?"

"It doesn't concern you. What should concern you is being found all alone with the King's young daughter who went missing last night. I'm sure the whole place is in a tizzy looking for me."

"Ah, it's you they're looking for," he cocked his head to the side and his smile grew, "with all the hustle I thought they were looking for someone important."

"No, they're looking for someone who is a constant source of trouble. Why else would they be in such a hurry? They must hide me before people start arriving to try the needles."

"So Miss Trouble, what are you doing? Sabotage of some kind?"

"No, smart guy, I was trying the needles myself. With much more success than anyone else."


"Yes really," I held up my work to show him.

"Well done. Now if you could just point me in the direction of your father, I'll get out of your way."

"I have no idea where he is."

"Good, thank you," he said stile with that insipid smile and turned and left, stopping in the hall to tell where I was and ask directions to my father.

I'd like to say that what happened next was that everyone came running in to see what I had done and lauded me as a hero and that Durrow was won over by my beauty and obvious skill and we all lived happily ever after but that's not what happened. What did happen was that my nurse came in and scolded me followed by my mother who scolded me. When I showed them my work they were amazed for a number of reasons but decided not to change the day's plans. They just had me go through the line with everyone else.

I did get the needles and to me they were magic. They gave me freedom. Freedom from embroidery and kitchen work. They let me do what I wanted and go where I wanted, within a few limits. I was finally someone other than just a troublemaker. I saw much of Durrow that year, as he lived with us, and I grew to like him though he was smug. He took a fancy to my oldest sister and came to me often to find out what to say to her or give to her. There was quite a bit of training going on and new groups of men and boys arrived all the time to meet with my father and learn to ride and train their horses like he trained his. I had no idea this was because there was a coming threat, I just thought it was good fortune to have new people to meet with new stories to tell.

The year went by very quickly and soon I was accomplished at making crude stockings and breeches for my newest sibling. Before we knew it, Penryn came back to trade with us and she had something new, something that would become very important...

See you back next week!

(Prologue Link, Chapter Two Link)


Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The yarn is plotting against me!

Yep, it's Tuesday again. Lovin' that Tuesday mellow. Ahhhh. I'm just sitting here, working on tomorrow's story and thinking about all my UFOs. Man, why'd I have to go and do that? Ugh, now I'm mad at myself. AS you can see I took down my rarely updated progress bars. They didn't make me feel accomplished and I never remembered to update them.

Do you ever look around at your UFOs and think about the (at least) three projects you need to start and the (at least) five projects you want to start and just want to scream? More to the point do you want to scream, "FINE! YOU WIN! I'M NEVER GOING TO FINISH ANYTHING! I'VE SPREAD MYSELF TO THIN! YOU WIN UFOS! YOU WIN YARN! IF I SPENT EVERY WAKING HOUR KNITTING I'D STILL NEVER GET IT ALL DONE! I LOSE AND YOU WIN!" Okay I guess no one else probably feels like their yarn is out to get them but my yarn is out to get me! Or maybe I'm out to get me and I just project it on the yarn. No, that can't be it.

As you know I have several UFO's lying around including but not limited to the Harry Potter Scarf (slightly over half done), the Somewhat Cowel (maybe 25% done?), Satchel (I finally got an idea on how to make the strap adjustable!), and a tiny bit of one sock I started over the weekend with yarn that I bought about a year ago.

I really should start a vest for my MIL since the vest I gave her for her birthday last year ended up with her MIL because it didn't fit. For a year I've been promising her a new vest and having trouble with yarns and patterns (does no one make vests anymore?) and finally I think I've found one, Veste Everest. Turns out, that sucker is a lot of work that you actually have to pay attention to.

I really should start the sweater I was making for my mom for her birthday IN SEPTEMBER that I had to frog because of errors I couldn't seem to fix.

I'd really like to make myself a hat to sleep in with some fab alpaca I have lying around here because at night it gets way cold in my house but knowing me I'll finish it as the first heat wave of real spring hits in March.

I should start on Christmas gifts now so I'm not screwed when I think of it in another seven months.

I want to make things for me! Me! Me! Me! I'll just end up giving them away though so whatever. I think I'm going to go find something to work on. I'm going to finish something this week. If the yarn doesn't get me first...

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Monday, January 16, 2006

New feature and comments

So I was looking at some other blogs and realized there are people out there with some good ideas. I love it when I find a blog where the writer gives me a heads up on what they're reading or listening to. I've gotten some good book suggestions from Wendy of Knit and Tonic (though our musical tastes, uh, differ) and she probably doesn't even know it! So I thought, why not do that for my six readers? I bet one or two might want a book suggestion or need a new band to listen to.

So there it is over there ----->

Also if you click on the pictures it will link you to amazon so you can buy a copy or read some reviews. I don't get paid for this, I just thought it'd be helpful. Sometimes I like to be helpful. Really.

The other thing I wanted to say on this lazy Monday is that I really appreciate those of you who take the time to drop me a line in the comments. Back when I first started reading blogs which was not too long ago I left a comment for the aforementioned Wendy and she actually emailed me back! I was so excited it was rediculous. I told Red Todd Kidd about it as though I'd met Bruce Willis or something. Wendy is a star and she talked to me. Omigod! Anyway, I try to email back to people that comment but sometimes their blogger accounts aren't set up that way so I can't. I do check out the blogs of nearly everyone that comments and try to comment back (sometimes I'm just not witty or personable that day). So anyway, comments are awesome and commenters are sublime. Thanks because it totally makes my day.

Oh, over the weekend I started a sock. I still haven't gone back to the Somewhat Cowel because I need that longer circ.

Don't worry Chapter One is on the way on Wednesday.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Tiny completed project (and it only took two weeks!)

I finished up my sister's ipod cozy on Tuesday night and took a couple quick pics for the blog. Since I'm not feeling altogether witty today I thought I'd slap 'em up for you to look at and go, "Eh, whatever," at. My expectations are clearly quite high on the compliments so really try to gush people. Now if you look out the window to the left side of the plane, you'llsee the cozy without the ipod in it and to the right with the ipod in it.

Anyway, this was done without a pattern I just sort of made it up as I went along, whih was great until I got to the "shoulders" and was totally baffled until the third time I did it (rip, rip, rip). The yarn I used was called Colorado sunset and even though you can't really see it there's a hint of purple in this otherwise orange and sparkly yarn. My siter LOVED it. She said it was perfect for her so I'm happy too.

The goal here was for it to look like a little turtleneck sweater and I think I succeeded. As an added bonus my sister can actually still plug her headphones into the ipod with it's little sweater on. I don't know when she'd ever do that seeing as how she uses it almost exclusively in the car but if it ever comes up, she's prepared.

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Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Knitting a Soap Opera

I've had this idea bouncing around in my head for awhile, a weekly serial that I post on my blog. I've had the first paragraph taunting me for quite some time and I think I'm just going to go for it. Clearly those who read my blog like reading. Most of you like knitting. I'm sure one or two of you may think I'm funny. Roll that all together and it's the perfect audience for my story of a knitting grandma (don't worry, she's not JUST a knitting grandma, and she's not a stereotype either) and how she got to where she is.

The story takes place in an imaginary land in an imaginary time because I don't want to do any research. Suffice to say it's an Arthurian, middle ages, type feel I'm going for. Also all the characters will be named for patterns or yarns whose links will be given upon the character's first appearence. With no further ado the story:

The prolouge, in which we learn very little but much set-up is acheived.

"Knit, knit, knit, purl, knit, purl, knit, purl, knit, knit, knit, purl..." the clear voice chanted as she worked through a pattern she had memorized in her youth. Even though she could no longer see she still always knit the sweaters outside in the sunlight, just like the other women who needed the light to see the complex patterns work up in the traditonal dark grey yarn that was spun in the village. When she sat out on the porch she felt like she could still see the land around her since it never changed. The marsh not far off, full of the sounds of birds, and the rolling hills to the south from which her granddaughter would soon come. The familiar sounds and smells of her home were enough for her to remember the last time she had seen it years before. It was the last thing she had seen and though sh'ed never seen her granddaughter's face she didn't regret it.

"Grandma!" came the call from the hills, Beatrix was coming. "Grandma!" she called again, she was deffinately in a tizzy about something.

"What's the matter Beatrix?"

"Grandma! Grandpa called you a witch! Grandpa called you a witch!" the little girl threw herself down next to her grandmother, completelty out of breath now that she had used the last of it to tattle on her ornery grandfather.

"Oh he did, did he? What else did he say?"

"Grandpa said that I'm a princess because you used to be a princess but that now you're just an old haggy swamp witch that curses everybody!"

"Oh really?" she chocked back a chuckle. "I think Grandpa was pulling your leg, Beatrix. Have you ever seen me curse anybody?"


"And do I look like a haggy old swamp witch?"

"No but sometimes in town I hear people say there's a swamp witch."

"Okay, I'll tell you the truth, I am a swamp witch but I only do nice things for the people in town, I don't curse anyone. I just knit out here by the marsh, how could that be any harm to anyone?"

"I guess it's not."

"Good girl, now you wind up that new wool into a ball for the Swamp Witch would you?"

"Yes Grandma."

The girl happily went to work winding away at the rough grey wool that had been delivered since her last visit. Soon the two were in a good rhythm, Beatrix's little hands turning a basket of skeins into a basket of balls and Grandma the Swamp Witch making quick work of the sweater she was making for a boy about to become a soldier. Beatrix would hum a tune and Grandma would chant her pattern. Finally, little Beatrix couldn't contain herself anymore.


"Yes Beatrix?"

"Were you really a princess?"

"Grandpa says a lot of things dear, not many of them are altogether true."

"Is your house really made of dragon scales?"


"Grandpa told me your house looks funny because it's made out of dragon scales. He said he slayed a dragon and made your house out of so it could never burn down."

"He told you what?" Grandma was clearly irate. "He slayed a dragon? He told you he slayed a dragon? Well, Beatrix, I guess it's time you heard the truth. I did used to be a princess and how I got here by the marsh, married to your grandpa is a very long story."

"I have time Grandma, I have lots of yarn to wind still and a whole basket of fleece to spin when I'm done with that," Beatrix said quickly, trying to contain her excitement at the prospect of being a possible princess.

"Alright, I'll start at the beggining when I was a princess. Before I even learned to knit which is what changed my life forever..."

Tune in again next week for chapter one!

(Later Edit: Here's a direct link to Chapter One)


Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Tuesday mornings and an ode to socks

Ahhhhhhhh. It's Tuesday morning. To some that may just mean it's no longer Monday but neither is it Wednesday. To me, however, it means peace and quiet. Darth is off to preschool so it's just me and Miss Beans who's on a trip in her favorite rocket ship right now (name the cartoon and you get a prize, don't get too excited though, it's just my commiseration). I'm sitting to breakfast at my computer. Peanut butter toast and a hot chocolate that Moctezuma would have been proud of. All is right with the world.

To the knitting!
I'm waiting on a longer circ before I can continue with the Somewhat Cowel. A 29" circ is just not enough for a top that will have a 44" bust. I hope my dodgy math turns out okay, I've already put a LOT of time and effort in this thing.

I'm also working on a little ipod case/cozy for my sister. She loaned me her ipod and car adapter thing for a recent trip I took so I thought this would be a nice way to pay her back. It's being knitted up with some sparkly orange yarn I got from punkrawker86 in the Holiday SP round. Totally perfect for my sister.

I'm still toiling, albeit occasionally, on the Harry Potter scarf and I think it may be time to break out Satchel and finish it. I have a vest for my MIL waiting in the wings as well.

Oh crap! I can't believe it! I haven't shown you my best Christmas present, have I? What a bad, bad, knitblogger I am! I got a Lexie Barnes knitting bag from my MIL for Christmas! It's in the Hermosa print. I love it. The best part is that it doesn't replace my other super cool handmade bag. They're SO different that they both serve an excellent purpose. I use my Lexie Barnes bag when I want to carry several small projects, I'm going on a longer trip and need a bunch of tools, or there might be inclement weather. I use my handmade bag to carry a large project, when I'm going over to someone's house, or when I'm going to need to have a lot of access to my materials while I'm working. So awesome.

In keeping with the simple pleasures theme of today's post, I'd like to leave you with a poem by Chilean poet Pablo Neruda who truly understood the love that comes with a hand knitted item. This poem is from a book called Odes to Common Things, which is truly excellent. I highly recommend you go check out Mr. Neruda at your local library, let me know if I turn you into a fan!

"Ode to My Socks"

Maru Mori brought me
a pair
of socks
that she knit with her
shepherd's hands.
Two socks as soft
as rabbit fur.
I thrust my feet
inside them
as if they were
little boxes
from threads
of sunset
and sheepskin.

My feet were
two woolen
in those outrageous socks,
two gangly,
navy-blue sharks
on a golden thread,
two giant blackbirds,
two cannons:
were my feet
They were
so beautiful
I found my feet
for the very first time,
like two crusty old
firemen, firemen
of that embroidered
those incandescent

I fought
the sharp temptation
to put them away
the way schoolboys
fireflies in a bottle,
the way scholars
holy writ.
I fought
the mad urge
to lock them
in a golden
and feed them birdseed
and morsels of pink melon
every day.
Like jungle
who deliver a young deer
of the rarest species
to the roasting spit
then wolf it down
in shame,
I stretched
my feet forward
and pulled on
and over them
my shoes.

So this is
the moral of my ode:
beauty is beauty
twice over
and good things are doubly
when you're talking about a pair of wool
in the dead of winter.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Preparing for The Feast

Any Sealab 2021 fans out there?

Preperations are being made for the second annual Feast of Alvis around here. That being a "ham and liquor hootinany" (in the words of Quinn anyway) that celebrates the twin virtues of Alvis: drinking and revenge.

("'Vengence is mine!' Quoth Alvis. Then he shot that guy right in the freaking face." -Murphy)

You see, last year in a Christmas backlash a few freinds and I decided to throw a Feast of Alvis after seeing the Sealab episode of the same name. As it ended up there was neither ham nor pomp (and for poor Lucky* there was also no liquor but I'll get to that in a minute) but there was a gift exchange. A gift exchange that we have named the Hate Gift Exchange.

Here's how it works: everyone draws a name (there are eight of us, three couples and two single guys that we tease by calling a couple) of a person they are to get a Hate Gift for. The only rules on the name drawing is that you can't get the same person two years in a row and that couples can't get each other's names. After you've gotten your name you set out to get that person something that will completely piss them off or humilliate them.

We're such a nice group of people aren't we?

Last years highlights included:
-My good buddy Lucky who loves to drink (and had his childhood cat put to sleep earlier that day, poor guy) was given a six pack of O'Douls (a non-alcoholic beer) that he was required to finish before being allowed to drink anything fun.
-Napoleon* who had lost his job that week was given a "Career Start-up Kit" that was really just a box of that crappy gum that the little kids in Mexico sell.
-Fuzzy Tail* was given the last picture in the series you can see throughout this entry in a frame. In front of Napoleon.

Now I'll take a second to explain the pictures. Napoleon and Fuzzy Tail had a breif fling but remained good friends. One day, months before the Feast of Alvis, she emailed me a picture of Napoleon in her front yard with the caption, "My garden gnome" because Napoleon is rather on the short side. I laughed, drew a hat on him and sent it back. This went on for several hours ending with that last picture. She told me I could never-ever metion this to Napoleon because she didn't want to tick him off. I agreed never to say anything to him or show him the picture. Instead I framed it and let her do it. I'm such a good friend.

This year promises to be equally if not more spectacular. We've added two more people to the gift exchange and hopefully this year there will be ham.

*Some names have been changed to protect the not-so innocent. Or because I found it funny.

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Friday, January 06, 2006

More from the Overalls of Shame

Welcome to my blog pictoral essay of the Overalls of Shame being recieved. I hope you enjoy it.

I'm not great at following directions.


Initial shock.

Totally baffled.

Still baffled.

Then Aunt Blondie jumped in to try to explain it since she had seen them a couple days before.

Finally she figured it out.

This is Irie reading all the emails I got from everyone who wants to be part of the world tour. She's pretty excited about that, I think.

And here's Irie and I together. See, she still likes me. Though she may be plotting revenge...

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