Tuesday, December 19, 2006
But those deadlines are powerful strong motivators, and I'm supposed to start hanging quilts on walls during the first week of January, and I know that somehow it will all work out. The work is supposed to be hung by the first Sunday in January, but the "opening" or "reception" or whatever you want to call it (you know the day where I sit in the corner and drink wine and growl at people who want to ask me questions about "my work," why is it that all of the vocabulary words that are related to art are so damn pretentious?) isn't until February 4th, so you have plenty of time to come down and check it out.
And if you aren't interested in art, you could just come down and visit, since the "gallery" is also a "yarn shop," and isn't that a perfectly matched business pairing? I have a new "sort of job" if you can call hanging out in a yarn shop a "job," since isn't that what I would be doing anyway? Anyway, the owner is being nice enough to let me babysit her yarn once a week, so even if you could give a shit less about my "aahhhart" you could come by and keep me company on wednesdays and I will show you where all the most snuggleable yarn is. So clickety clickety, and the address is at the bottom of the page. Also, you'll notice that Fiona Ellis of "Inspired Cable Knits" is going to be coming....my heart is all aflutter.
Really I will post more often when stress monkey season is over....promise.
Friday, November 24, 2006
The only problem is that she doesn't really do cute things. She sort of menaces in a feline sort of way. She has this vulture like posture, hunched up as if she's about to strike...and she has a strange affinity for anything that's made out of yarn. She doesn't play with yarn, barring the few times that she's turned the living room into a spiderweb by knocking balls of yarn off the table while we sleep our innocent slumber.
See? Here she is gaurding a pair of mittens.
Notice the look in her eye? The "these mittens? Maybe if you wanna trade me for that thumb you're not using..." look. If any knitted item lays in a horizontal position for more than about 30 seconds it has to be reclaimed from the beast.
Here's a little photo essay about the last sweater I knitted...those of you who want to see the sweater will have to visit it at the local yarn shop, as it's a sample for the class that I'm teaching there. (shameless plug, I wanted to call it "pimp your sweater but the proprietor thought that might give some of the white haired old ladies heart palpitaitions, so it's called "Increase your bling" or something like that, basically it's adding cables to things. You should all take it because cables are fun. end of shameless plug.)
Ooo...on that last one you can sort of see the skull and crossbones that I knit into the back so that everyone would know that the sweater was knit by a pirate. In retrospect it was amazing that I actually finished the sweater since I had to knit a row, move the cat, knit a row...and when the feline doesn't sit on my project she sits on my tools...
Okay, well, the last photo was of my cat laying on my needlecase, but blogger is a BOOGER and it won't upload. Grr. Is it any wonder that I never update my blog?
Ragnar, cat wrangler, blogger hater...
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Anyway, I have a friend...let's call her the terminal non-knitter, who blurted out within 10 minutes of meeting me (in a bar...where I was knitting a baby sweater for the viking nephew) that she was "not a fiber arts kind of person." She then went on to describe all of her fiber arts mishaps, how she's only used a sewing machine twice but has managed to sew through her finger, and break a needle which hit her in the cheek an inch below her eye. And about the repeated attempts that her mother has made to bring her over into the ranks of the knit-enabled, and how she finally gave up saying "maybe you're just not cut out for this..." So I of course thought to myself..."we'll see, we'll see...I give you 2 months before you're begging for it."
She held out though 5 months into our friendship she still hadn't so much as picked up a ball of yarn. It wasn't until I got her really drunk and let her wear the dreadlock hat that she finally broke down and said: "so how hard is it to make one of these things." Before she could sober up/change her mind I whisked her over to the LYS and loaded her up with yarn and needles and started her on her first swatch.
It's been three weeks now, and she has three inches of ribbing on a circular needle that is going to start sprouting little i-cords at any moment. I don't have to tell you how proud I am, I'm sure you can see the sparkle in my eye. There is only one problem.
She's having so much knitting related stress that I'm worried about her health. I think she suffers from the notion that if she doesn't hold on to her needles as hard as possible that the whole thing will unravel into a tangled mess of yarn that looks like something the cat chucked-up, and so she gets hand cramps. She's having dreams about being chased by giant knitting needles that "keep doing the wrong thing." I told her to take her ribbing off the needles and try it on the other day and she nearly had a heart attack...two heart attacks really, one after I made a throw away comment about how I thought the work she'd done so far "looked a little big," and one as she was slipping the needles out seeing all the loose stitches hanging out looking oh-so-frightening and unravelable. I'm torn basically. It makes me all gooey to see someone working on their first project, but at the same time I'm questioning a basically held belief...that being that everyone's life would be improved with the addition of some wool and a pair of needles.
I'm giving her another month and if she doesn't relax, I'm taking the needles away.
Ragnar...knitting cult recruiter
Saturday, October 14, 2006
This first thing that I realized is that since I don't follow patterns I have no idea how to write patterns, so I have no idea if this hat is actually knitable, or if I just have made so many of them at this point that I could make them in my sleep. So....anybody want to be a pattern tester? I've taught several people how to knit with this as their first project, so I don't think it's that hard, basically I just want to know if my instructions make sense, and if all the decreases line up in the right spot, etc.
And if you have any plane trips coming up soon you can knit it on the plane, and then you'll have snakes on a hat on a plane.....ooooooooo.
Ragnar...as yet unpublished.
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
First of all, if you live under a rock, September 19th is International (I think they're one lonely guy in Sweden wearing an eyepatch and swilling grog) Talk Like a Pirate Day. Which means that you're supposed to say "arrr" a lot, and "shiver me timbers" and "avast ye scurvy lubber, give way or I'll tie ya to the mizzen mast with yer grannies garters..." etc. etc. But really, it's like that "everyday is earthday" bull pucky that I've been subjected to lately since I am visiting Boulder Colorado, mecca of the granola crunching universe:
If ye be a pirate, then every day be talk like a pirate day matey, 'cause everything you say IS SAID BY A PIRATE, right? Damn skippy. Or rather, "ye bet yer black piratical soul it be, or ye can call me nancy and keel haul me like the lubber I arrrr."
And pirates don't say "arr." They say "Outta my way you useless waste of space..." oh sorry, I'm looking forward to this afternoon when I will be rushing from one end of the Dallas/Fort Worth International airport in an attempt to catch my plane back to Lansing with only 50 minutes of layover to spare....yes I will be talking like a pirate in three different states today.
And like Andi said in the comments: Check out the Harlot, who as always, has her finger on the pulse of the knitting nation. Can I just say that I had the idea for making skull and cross bones argyle last year sometime? I'm just happy to see that someone isn't a lazy grog swilling excuse for a piratical knitter (point finger at self Ragnar) and gets off their ass to make these dreams a reality.
Ragnar....I be in Colorado now matey, but I be in Texas in 4 hours and then I be home lateish tonight...I'm not sure if I'm thankful that I get to spread the pirate love around today, or pissed that because of the time changes my Talk Like a Pirate Day is going to be 2 hours shorter than everyone elses....
Monday, September 11, 2006
Okay, maybe "invented" is sort of misleading, come to think of it, I'm sure that it's not really new either...but it is definitely food. So anyway...here's the story.
A friend gave me her old food processor (yay!) and Manimal...who has an unnatural aversion to "counter" based appliances pronounced a jihad against it. Actually I think he walked into the kitchen and saw it sitting on the counter in it's cute little "cuisenart" cozy, and said something like "what the hell is that doing on our counter?" while making some sort of complicated hand gesture meant to ward off evil. Of course by this time I had a full blown crush and would not be separated from my new true love, and I started making bizarre promises that I had no intention of keeping...namely that if I could keep the Cuisenart I would get rid of the blender (I know, what the fuck was I thinking?) and before I could hide the blender in the basement he had thrown it in the garbage! (I know...I know...)
So anyway, I was in the "look I can make hummus in 5 minutes" honeymoon phase, and I must confess that I wasn't missing the blender that much until Rat Girl asked me to make her a smoothy. Huh...a smoothy you say? Sure, why not.
So I threw the frozen fruit into the food processor and hit the "on" button. (none of this prissy "frappe" bullshit for my new baby, oh no, it's "on" or nothing bitches!) and I was getting ready to pour in the soy milk...because the blender required lots of extra liquid in order to reduce the frozen fruit to that sippable texture...but instead the miracle machine reduced that fruit to littly itty bitty pieces of...well frozen fruit...and I added a teeny tiny bit of lemon juice and a ittle bittle bit of honey....and hit that "on" button again and those itty bitty pieces of frozen fruit turned into this thick...creamy ...ice cream looking stuff. It was amazing. So I told rat girl that she had to eat her smoothy with a spoon.
Then I pulled all the frozen fruit that I had out of the freezer and made quarts and quarts of this amazing stuff. I swear it's just like ice cream except that the only thing in it is fruit! (and a teeny little bit of honey, which is natural and therefore good for you) So it's healthy.
So in summary:
Take frozen fruit, and put it in the food processor.
Add lemon juice and honey (or agave necter if yer one o' them vegans I dun heard tell about) to taste
Eat it out of the bowl of the food processor, or pack it into old yogurt containers and pack it in the freezer to eat whenever you want ice cream. 'Cause it's fruit! Which is good for you!
Mango and cantaloupe makes a really good combo.
Actually, melon makes a very good base for other flavors since it's not as sweet and has a flavor that combines well with other fruit.
Enjoy! And let me know if you come up with any amazing flavor combinations.
Ragnar...don't come between me and my Cuisenart.
Sunday, August 06, 2006
See! I can make the phone cough up the pictures.
I was going to celebrate by publishing that project that I alluded to last week, or you know whenever I blogged last (I think it was chiseled on a stone tablet...), but it involves about 20 pictures and blogger (booger...) is being it's irritating self, and I've just spent about an hour trying to wrestle in into submission. It resists! Oh how it resists. I can master the cellphonic device but blogger, oh no, that would be too easy.
Oh sure, now it works! Damn the man. Anyway, that's the tote bag that I was going to show you all how to make, but it's bloggers fault that I'm not publishing it today. It's my fault that it's a crappy out of focus picture though.
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
But but look! I've been being a productive member of society! Really. And they even spelled my name wrong so it won't wreck my ungoogleability...check it out. So in spite of the (admittedly rather snide) comments I made about artists being unmanagable etc, the Art Party went off fairly smoothly. Smoothly enough that we will be doing another one. Anyone who finds themselve in Lansing on the first weekend of November is welcome to attend or participate.
Other minor developement. I am the owner of a spanky new cell phone that takes pictures and plays MP3's and I think it washes dishes and feeds the cat too but I haven't figured out those functions yet.
So I had a "project" sort of post, a "how to make a nifty totebag," post, a bribe to the blog gods. However I am unable to use the library computer for this since it requires an admin password in order to install new software and so I can't actually get the pictures on to the blog...but never fear! I will find a USB port and I will upload by god.
And since this is already shaping up to one of those "random" entries: my ten words or less review of "dead man's chest" (subtitle, "Johnny Depp, the manliest pirate ever to swish across the quarter deck wearing more eyeliner than I did in my sullen teen years.")
Best movie ever. Period. Absolutely fabulous, couldn't have been better.
Uh...yeah, I was sort of drinking rum, so that may be a slightly biased review.
But I do have to say something, and this may sound like a critizism, but it's not really since as I've already said: best movie ever made. But if you haven't alreay seen it (and if you haven't then what the hell are you doing reading a pirate blog?) then stop reading now because I'm about to give away a minor plot detail.
I couldn't help but notice that when the crew of the black pearl (purl?) was hanging over the bottomless ravine, in two cages made from the bones of their former crewmates, that all the "international" pirate were in one cage and all the "angloish" pirates were in the other. And when there are two cages hanging in a ravine it is inevitable that one of those cages will fall, sending the pirates within to a messy, squishy death on the bottom of the bottomless ravine. And of course this was the cage with the swarthy internationals...leaving the crew of the Black Pearl, with a lot less blacks, not to mention asians. And I know this is a Disney flick (and don't think that doesn't make my heart ache) and I know that I should expect these things...but if I hadn't had a mouthful of rum at the time I would have lept to my feet and shouted "that is so lame! you should be ashamed of yourselves!"
But don't let that spoil it for you...like I said, best movie ever!
And as soon as I can find a USB port that doesn't require administrator clearance, I will post a cool project for you all, deal?
Ragnar...technophobe, and pirate propagandist.
and PS, I can't run spell check on the library computer either...so you'll just have to take me as I am...niegh upon illiterate.
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
I haven't seen the daughter creature in a month or so (I didn't misplace her or antyhing, we have split custody and she's been at her "real" mother's house), and the first thing that we did when she got back was go to weed my garden. "Do you ever weed the garden when I'm not here to remind you?" was daughter creature's first comment.
"It's not a garden, it's an oxygen farm." I muttered.
"I think that if we weed a little bit everyday then we can get this done by the time I go to Canada with Grandma, I'm thinking maybe half an hour everyday," she says in such a reasonable tone of voice that I can't find anything to argue with.
"Grumble grumble, okay, I guess." says me.
"In fact, I think I'm going to write you up a schedule for when I am in Canada. You can check off every day after you do your garden chores, and then when I get back I'll be able to check and make sure you did it."
"Seems like that would take all the fun out of it, grumble grumble."
She just had her ninth birthday, and she seems determined to skip the whole "tween," "teen," phase and go straight to middle age.
"So what do you want to do today." I asked after she woke me up this morning.
Giving me an evil look she said, "You know what we have to do today, you can't get out of it that easily, we have to weed the garden."
Little tyrant. She also makes me go for walks. She's a short, bossy, nine year old life coach, and after she's done turning me around we can rent her out by the hour.
Ragnar...no longer captain of this here pirate ship.
Thursday, June 15, 2006
There is a couple that has their studio in the same building as I do, and we are organizing an open studio/art party/grand opening celebration for the 15th of July (consider yourself invited, I'll send you a map), and we are trying to get as many other artists involved as possible, because it is a sad fact of life in this town that people don't give a shit. The only people who will attend are our friends, and our friends don't have money to buy art...because otherwise the already would have right? But if we get other artists involved then their friends will come too, and we still won't sell any art, but at least we won't be sitting around twiddling our thumbs and getting skunked off of the obligatory boxed wine that must be served at an art opening.
Part of being a professional artist is being a big poopy head pessimist. Sorry about that, fact of life.
So anyway, I've been trying to round up some artists. If there is one thing we have a surplus of in this town, it's artists. You would think that the word "show" would be the magic bullet. Isn't that what all artists want? Some where to show? I mean, you're definately not selling any art when it's in a box under your bed, are you?
But here's another sad fact about artists. They don't want to do your show, they want to do their own show. I suppose that's what makes us artists isn't it? After all, if we worked well with others we would still have our crappy office jobs. Sigh.
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
So, yeah, that slipped under my radar...I am a recovering goth girl remember? Although this is a serious enough lapse that perhaps I should say that I am fully recovered goth girl and go out and buy myself something pink and frilly....shudder.
How am I spending this holiest of evil-dead holidays? Well, I took the van to the alignment shop and dealt with a mechanic, surely one of Satan's minions made flesh...although this one seemed very nice. Then I tried to get approved for a car loan, since the SAAB is bleeding me dry, and the demons of the banking world didn't quite laugh in my face...but I did detect some off stage snickering, can you blame them really? I mean, I am unemployed, and my checking account is currently overdrawn, I couldn't exactly tell them I was good for it. And now I am at the library returning overdue books (probably not the what the demon of the black pit would do), and of course my least favorite librarian is working...but I don't think I can accuse her of being from the devil....which probably means I can't exorcise her, unfortunately.
What is the difference between exorcise and exercise anyway? From now on when I tell people that I am going to the gym to exercise, in my head I will be thinking exorcise.
However, I did decide which knitting project would be most suitable to work on while sitting on the porch and waiting for the sky to turn black and the rain of hellfire to begin. Yes! The lace socks! There is nothing in my knitting bag that even approaches the evil potential of the undead-lace socks. I tried to smother them in my knitting basket. I even started working on a blanket, a blanket! with which to suffocate the bastards...or rather, bastard, since I'm only half way through the first one...but they refuse to die! Or even dye...did I mention that they are pink, purple and green?
Is there some alternative yarn demension where everything you frog lives on? A dimension filled with miscounted lace, dropped stitches, and ill fitting sweaters? If there is, then there is a pink, purple and green lace sock there which would make a resonable leg warmer for an elephant, no doubt it will be even larger by the end of 06-06-06.
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
First of all, I had a birthday, it was yesterday, it was my third annual 30th (shut it Adrien-Alice, some secrets are best kept secret). I'm going to keep on turning 30 until I get good at it and then I'll probably start working on 50.
Second of all Adrien-Alice (who has known me since I was a wee leetle grass hopper, and thus knows far too much about me) came to visit and help with the pirate party. She held up well considering that the visit probably felt something like this: "Look! this is my daughter/garden/studio/fucked up ghetto house/favorite coffee shop/etc." It is good to have friends with patience and wit.
Third of all: Pirate Party. Make note for next year, all guests should be searched for edged weapons before being allowed to consume alcohol, even Machetes that are "too dull to cut butter." The evening ended with Yammer throwing sticks of butter into the air and attempting to slice them mid-drop...but as we mentioned the weapon in question was rather dullish, so there was more smearing than slicing...yikes. Also, the party was rather glam thanks to a care package from a friend who works at a Costume company, and included about 15 pairs of false eyelashes (mine were black with red beads on them...so chic!). I noticed many cameras being passed around and have let it be known that I expect copies so perhaps we will have a special "illustrated" version of the blog sometime.
Forth of all I have resolved to reduce my consumption of alcohol. This is sort of like a new years resolution, but since I am a self centered sort of pirate, my new years start on my birthday. I would appreciate any support you'd like to offer...especially since there is a lot of rum in my pantry just begging to be made into Mojitos.
Fifth of all that knitting content I promised you last week:
As you may recall I am attempting the "Celtic Icon" sweater from "Inspired Cable Knits." I swapped a cable pattern from Elspeth Lavold's "Viking" book so I am calling it the "Vicon" sweater, which could be described as "Inspired by Inspired Cable Knits." This is the biggest and most important thing I've ever knitted. This sweater has to be my favorite sweater and I have to wear it every single day until it falls apart, so I am getting a little whacky about it. How whacky? Well, I knit a front, a sleeve and one side so that I could baste the whole thing together and try it on to insure the perfect fit, then I reknit half of the front and had to recalculate the entire back panel because I put extra cabling on the back thus reducing the gauge even further...madness! The completely bizarre thing is that I am loving it! I get out my little scraps of paper with crossed out measurements and random numbers (is that my bust measurement or the number of stitches in a side panel? Hmm...) and figure stuff out and knit and frog and knit again, and I'm in heaven. In fact I have run out of yarn and have been drop spindling like mad (and who ever thought I would do that again, after the wheel moved into the house, not I!) so that I can knit the left side, sleeve and hood.
I think I'm a sweater person. I'm not sure how I feel about this.
And last but not least (and I'm sorry this is so mishmashy) I'm leaving you with a recipe for the best cocktail in the world...which I will be drinking a lot less of now that I am a (relatively) sober adult.
Mojitos....simply the best thing to drink, ever.
Put 1/4 of a lime (sliced into several pieces) and 10-20 mint leaves (about three stalks worth) in the bottom of a tall glass (pint sized rather than hi-ball) and "muddle" them (that is to say "crush") until the limes have been juiced and the mint leaves are bruised. If you don't have a muddler you can use a wooden spoon. Then add approximately a jigger (3 ounces, or two shot glasses) each of simple syrup (equal parts water and sugar, heated until all the sugar is dissolved and then chilled) and rum and a shot (1.5 ounces) of lime juice, fill the rest of the glass with club soda and stir. Serve iced. You can of course adjust any of those amounts based on your personal taste, and if you're turning over a new leaf, like I, and are going to try life on the wagon (shudder) you can drink them without the rum.
Ragnar...older than I've ever been.
Monday, May 15, 2006
I'm at Jiggy's house, I'm supposed to be kegging beer for the pirate party (5 days, panic panic), but the lure of a computer with internet is impossible to resist...so here I am.
So you can probably tell by the fact that I have a blog, and the fact that I am obsessed with skulls and wear black all the time, that I am a total nerd. I come by it naturally though, I've been a nerd for most of my life. When I was in Jr. High, a friend and I convinced the school administrators that rather than going outside for recess, that we should be "allowed" to hang out in the Library and reshelf books...does it get more geektastic than that? I think not. There is a point to this though.
Point: as the certified nerdling that I was/am I devoured the Hitchhiker's Guide books when I was younger, my parents even bought me the set of tapes of the BBC broadcast version. And since, as a nerdling, I considered myself an outsider and a loner, my favorite character was...Marvin! The paranoid android. For those of you who are not nerds (and what are you doing reading blogs if you aren't?) Marvin is like the Eeyore of the Sci-fi genre, one of his big lines was "I'll just sit in the corner and rust." But wait there's a point to this.
Point: as one of the great unwashed it's my responsibilty to "certify" my continued unemployment every other week by calling the Michigan Automated Voice Response Interactive Network...and if you follow the capital letters you'll see that it's my old buddy! I call, Marvin answers and says "welcome to the Michigan Automated Voice Response Interactive Network, you can call me Marvin." And if that guy had a British Accent I would have sworn they hired the actor who played Marvin for the BBC. Then I have to certify...basically tell them that I'm still unemployed, by pushing "1" for yes and "9" for no. It's the most surreal thing I've ever done in my life...but two days later I get a check!! Freaky...but my love of the Paranoid Android has been repayed after all these years.
And "certify" cracks me up as well. It makes me think of those evangelical church services where everyone is supposed to testify about their faith in the lord.
Oh Marvin! I certify Marvin! I certify! I am able to work, I am willing to work! Marvin! Ain't no body offered me work, and I ain't refused no work. Send me that check!
Of course there's always certified, as in certifiable, as in insane.
Ragnar...certified knitting content next week I promise, the saga of the Vicon sweater, in all it's sordid glory.
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
I want to thank Kendra (sorry Kendra, I've got no bookmarks anymore and I can't find your blog!), Inky, Imbrium and Beverly for the mail! I have responses written and have been carrying them around in my purse waiting for the postage fairy to come and put stamps on them, but I hear that the postage fairy makes the same rounds as the unemployment check fairy, so I expect to see her little winged self sometime around next Wednesday.
Thanks especially Inky for the pirate bandages (I'm hoping for a paper cut, but if I haven't got one before the pirate party (in 10 days! panic) I will wear one anyway), Beverly for the fabric featuring Kiwi birds (only from New Zealand, who knew there was such a thing?) and Imbrium for saying that I was wickedly funny (I feel warm and fuzzy!).
Now...for those of you who feel the vomit rising at the mere mention of cute stories about children, consider this your final warning.
I suffer from Bad Parent syndrome, or perhaps Naughty Parent Syndrome would be more accurate. I get an unholy amount of fun out of tormenting poor daughter creature with false or misleading information. For instance: count day. This is a manditory attendance day because it's when the school district notes the number of students in a school and sends out those big checks. Much noise is made about count day, and there are posters and announcements for months reminding you not to get deathly ill, or end up in the hospital or anything. I told her, with a perfectly straight face, that count day had been rescheduled because they lost count and had to start over again.
This pales in comparison to some friends of mine who told their daughter that "Santa Claus bites," so don't look at me like that. They have a picture of their daughter sitting as far away from Santa as possible while still technically being on his knee.
But why am I writing about this? Because I feel like I might have gone too far, specifically in the matter of the "swirly."
You probably already know what a Swirly is, but just in case there are some people who were home schooled or something I will define it. A swirly is when you hold someone upside down, dunk their head in a toilet and flush...thus causing their hair to swirl around their heads. Voila, a swirly. It's right up there with wedgie in the lexicon of modern American English.
Daughter Creature heard me tell someone that I was going to give them a Swirly, and she said "I want a swirly!" "No, you can't have a swirly, maybe after you clean your room." "Okay!" and off she ran to clean her room.
I didn't give her one of course, being dunked in our toilet probably qualifies as some sort of biological torture, but neither did I tell her what it was. How could I ruin the fun (for me) by explaining it? Is there anything funnier than an eight year old who stamps her foot and shouts "I won't clean my room unless you give me a swirly," or begs "Please please please can I have a swirly? I've got all my homework done."
But here's my fear. Someday she's going to run into someone that really will give her a swirly...so how far do I let this go before I break down and tell her...and how do I tell her? After more than a year of holding out the swirly as a possible treat (I think she envisions it as some sort of extra special smoothie) how do I tell her that it's really all about beind dunked in a toilet?
Ragnar...the worst, just the worst.
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
Yes, it never rains but it pours, lose your job? The exhaust system is certain to fall off of your rediculously expensive to repair import car the very next day...or you know, a week later. So after hooking up the SAAB's monetary IV directly to my bank account and allowing it to suck a few hundred dollars out into a temporary exhaust system repair, Manimal and I decided that although the SAAB is cute, and has my pirate stickers on it, and is an irreplaceable shade of pea green, it's day has passed. It is time for me to get a new "old" car in which to haul my shite around the town.
We found our selves pulled, as if by some magnetic force, into the Used Car Lot. This is what you do if you want to encounter your very own Used Car Salesman: park the rather rusty, distinctly disreputable Green Swedish Piratemobile next to the largest and shinest SUV on the lot and wait 22.4 seconds for the "Used Car Salesman" to scent his prey. I would describe him but the only impression I have is of a very pink oxford cloth shirt and big white teeth that seemed to take up his whole face.
What are us folks looking for today? That's a good question. My fantasy car is a late 70's vintage diesel Benz station wagon, perferably in a ridiculous color. I'm also partial to the old mail jeeps with the steering wheel on the right side (or the wrong side as it were), and the old International "Scout." How does one express that to a pink shirt with lots of shiney teeth? One stands back and allows the Manimal to list things that make the Used Car Salesman's brow furrow furiously as he attempts to figure out just who the hell these people are. What are you driving now? he wonders, thinking this might give him an idea of what sort of freaks he's dealing with. Ah...freaks that would drive a pea green SAAB...with pirate stickers on it. Somehow he works into the conversation that he once saw the Ramones in concert....apparently people who drive pea green SAAB's have been known to like the Ramones (okay...so I do, shut up!). I am inclined to disbelieve him, even though his teeth seemed sincere, since if this man had ever been in the same zip code as the Ramones there would have been a matter-meets-antimatter type anihilation and the crater would still be a tourist attraction to this very day.
When he found out we didn't own a television he said "I love it, I love it, you guys are like...whatchamacallit...throw backs." Used Car Salesmen never say "What are you, fuckin nuts?" They always say "I love it, I love it." I have a sticker on the back window of my two door, hatchback, that says "Swedish Sport Utility Vehical." This is obviously a joke, but the Used Car Salesman? He "loves it."
On another lot with a different Used Car Salesman (I know, two in one day, it should be on one of those nature programs that I don't watch because I'm a throw back with no TV Set) I actually test drove something. This UCS had less teeth, but a rather disturbing habit of laughing at his own jokes, Ha ha, ha ha, heh heh, hmm....and then looking at us with sort of a "get it?" glint in his eye. No, we didn't get it....I guess I just don't understand jokes about Subwoofers. Anyway, the test drive...after asking me if I used to be Goth because of the expression on my face in my driver's license photo (No, I just didn't look enough like a serial killer in the first one, so I asked them to retake it) he encouraged me to "have fun." Having fun apparently means driving fast, since he kept telling me to squeal the tires, and when we pulled out next to a sporty red Corvette he leaned across me and yelled at the driver "You got beat by a KIA! Take that Corvette!"
So here's my "way to have fun" while not spending any money since the unemployment checks haven't started rolling in yet. Go and find yourself a Used Car Salesman, and see just how long they will put up with your shit. Answer...forever. As long as you keep looking at cars and acting like you have a down payment burning a hole in your pocket they will keep trying to figure you out. Plus you get to test drive things, take that Corvette!
Ragnar...yeah, I've become a once a week blogger.
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Instead of using my special piece of plastic I "walk." I walk anywhere that's less than three miles away, and in this town that's most places. Walking provides me with transportation, an excuse for not going to The Gym, and also fills up that void that some people fill up with television and other people fill up with meditation...the staring off into nothing void. Basically walking is a good thing.
Actually the only problem with walking is that it takes time, sometimes lots of time, valuable time that could be taken up with knitting...you see the problem? So I decided to start knitting while I walk. Yup. I'm the freak that you see walking around with a ball of yarn in the pocket of her hoody squinting at whatever's on the needles, bumping into things and basically causing traffic problems where ever she goes.
These are the things that I've noticed about walking and knitting. First of all, I walk a lot slower when I'm knitting. A former 40 minute walk now takes about an hour. Second of all, traffic is a good thing. Waiting at a stop light for the traffic to clear gives you a chance to look back and see if you've dropped some stitches or miscrossed your cables etc. And Thirdly...parking lots are really scary places full of people who are almost as oblivious as I am.
If you are going to attempt walking and knitting do it someplace that you've walked many times before, someplace where you know all the bumps in the sidewalks and which driveways contain crazy teenagers who are likely to zoom out without looking at what's behind them. And don't try to fool yourself into thinking that knit-walking is exercise because you walk so slowly that your metabolism probably slows down...if you want to be a super pirate you still have to go to The Gym...or I could try running and knitting? Knitting marathons? Miles per inch?
Ragnar...see I didn't talk about unemployment at all, even though I'm at the library printing out my resume.
Monday, April 24, 2006
First of all I am not supposed to be blogging right now, I am actually supposed to be writing my resume, but shush. I just had a realization that I wanted to share.
I have not yet missed a “normal” blogging day. Monday thru Thursday bloggety with a long weekend. See! I’m not so bad.
Second of all, I am totally stressed out for no reason. I think it’s because I don’t believe that this is really happening yet, the whole not having to go to work but instead fumbling around with a new bureaucracy that I have yet to fathom thing. I got a call from “work” a few minutes ago and when I recognized the number my first reaction was “Shit, what did I do?” Answer being nothing, because I don’t “do” anything there anymore. They wanted me to return my key (which I was planning on doing on Wednesday when I go to pick up my last paycheck anyway, so nyah). That doesn’t seem natural does it? To have heart palpitations when someplace you don’t work anymore calls you?
The other possible reason for stressed outness is that I have a writing assignment. You’ve probably noticed that I don’t have a problem with “writing” per se (you do tend to go on and on don’t you Ragnar?) but it’s all that propaganda that I had drilled into my by the career councilors at University. All that “your resume is you” and “the average employer only looks at a resume for 10 seconds” stuff. I’m not very good at condensing…or completing assignments in a timely fashion come to think of it. Also the two crutches of my writing style are frowned on in resume writing, those being superfluous ellipses (…) and random (misplaced) parentheses…
On the other hand, I mentioned to FWI that I would be hogging his computer today and when I got here I found that he had made me my own personal playlist with Slayer and Rasputina and all sorts of other “resume writing” music…isn’t that sweet? Although the only thing in the house to drink is pink wine in a box, but I suppose one isn’t really supposed to get soused while working on one’s resume is one?
Are you all thoroughly sick and tired of the Ragnar as Unemployed topics yet? I am. No more unemployed shit for the rest of the week. I was going to write about the Andy Goldsworthy show that I went to this weekend, but somehow my train of thought was hijacked by that “work” phone call.
Andy Goldsworthy…I have such a crush on that guy. If I lived in Scotland and he wasn’t married (and I wasn’t madly in love with my Manimal) I would totally stalk him, or place personal ads like “Nature lover seeks rugged middle aged artist for long walks on the beach, building things out of moss and piling of rocks into interesting shapes.”
Ragnar…I am more than my (unwritten) resume.
Thursday, April 20, 2006
Finally have all unemployment things filed...somehow the State Of Michigan has figured out a way to print 4 extra pages for every page that they required me to print off their website so now I own several blank pieces of paper that either have Michigan letterhead, or the Unemployment Agencies web address on them...at 10 cents a page no less. I'm unemployed! I can't afford that! Oh well, whatever.
My parents will be here in an hour and a half...I must go home and freak out at the dust maggots.
What are you doing here you dust maggots? Didn't I tell you to get out of here? You're not welcome around here. I swept you like 6 months ago, don't you know how to take a hint?
Ragnar...paying for internet.
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Argh! Filing for unemployment is really annoying! How the hell am I supposed to know the specifc dollar amount that I've been paid for the last 18 months? Booger on you Unemployment Insurance Agency...you stink.
But on the bright side (there's always a bright side to these things isn't there?) since I was unable to file today, I will have a good excuse to seek out an internet connection tomorrow!
See ya then!
Ragnar...a tool of the system, man.
I foundered in my attempt to file since I neglected to bring a copy of my (former) employer's tax ID number, or some such bull-oney, so here I am again at the CWI (Cafe with Internet) about to try it all over again. And since I'm paying a dollar per 15 minutes for this terminal I'm gonna make my presence known.
And for all you confused people that don't know wether to say "yay" or turn sideways and offer me their shoulder to cry on...thanks for the shoulders but really, the correct response is "congratulations!" This really is my happy face...see?
Ragnar...redundant and lovin' it.
When I called this morning from my cell phone I was told that because my social scurity number ended in XX that I had missed my appointment, which was on Monday between 8:00 and 12:00, and that I should call back on Thursday or Friday between 8:30 and 12:30. Huh? Missed my appointment? I wasn't even unemployed on Monday! Does this automated phone system (MARVIN, the Michigan Automated Response Voice Interaction Network...and isn't that freaky) know things about me that haven't even happened yet? And apparently I have to post my resume on the Michigan Works Website 2 days before I can start receiving my benifits. Uhm...Resume? It's been about 6 years since I had one of those. Ack!
So far being unemployed is not as much about sleeping in and sitting around drinking tea as I hoped it would be. I am lacking several crucial numbers without which my claim can not be filed...I think these numbers would be on my W-2...which I saw not too long ago....where oh where?
But instead I am going to go for a run because it's 60 degrees outside and I haven't been running in about 3 months...actually I'll probably be going for a jog/pant/walk...that 3 month thing. Then I am going over to the Forge (the building where I have my studio used to be "Melling Forge" and I think Forge sounds less hoitey toitey then studio...plus I like the image of a Forge with lots of red hot metal, ashes and smoke with the notion of quilt making. At the Forge I will push filing cabinets around...look for my lonely little W-2 with those important numbers on it and hopefully find enough cubbies to cram things in that I can claim enough table space to work on.
And plug in my electric teapot that used to live in my office...yay! And arrange all my little boxes of tea! Yay!
Oh...and since I'm using FWI's computer the spell checker doesn't seem to want function...it must be attatched to a cookie or something, so you'll have to be gentle with me about my spelling errors...I'm not as dumb as I spell, okay? I refer you to the first post where I clearly stated that any realation to any spelling living or dead is purely accidental.
Ragnar...unemployed AND unorganized.
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
That being the thing that I've been hoping and praying for for the last 3 or 4 years. That being a thing that will severely limit my ability to blog regularly in the future.
That being I got fired from my job! Well layed of technically, there was much protestation about how it was not because I was doing a bad job. In fact my evil boss (Who I can trash at will! Because what they hell is she going to do? Fire me? Ha ha!) made quite a lot of noise about how sorry she was and how she would be happy to give me a letter of recommendation etc. She even left me alone to clean out my office so that I could delete incriminating evidence from my computer...like the bookmark to this blog. Don't worry, I left up the Jolly Roger wallpaper on the desk top so whoever they get to replace me (at half my wage, I'm sure) will have a little Ragnar reminder.
Why have I been hoping and praying for this? Well, because I hated the job, and I was close to walking out once a week or so. Had I walked out though, I would not be getting unemployment checks...and now I will. I probably wouldn't be getting letters of recommendation either...and now I will. So I will have some income for the next 6 months or so while I get restablished in art. This is the best of both worlds as it were.
The really strange thing is that I dropped off a check with my studio landlord this morning that payed the rent on my little spot of heaven for the next year...yes I am fully paid up, rent, utilities...everything until next April. The only thing I have to buy is beer...and, you know fabric etc. So really this couldn't have happened at a better time.
The only thing that makes me sad about it is that I don't have a computer at home (I am at the library right now, which is only 2 blocks away from my house) so I won't be able to keep in touch with you all as easily...but I'm not disappearing! Never fear. If I can build my customer base back up with custom quilting then I might be able to justify a computer purchase...gotta keep track of those invoices right? And I already have an offer to hang a show...as soon as I have enough work finished to fill the space.
So anyway. Yeah. That's what happened to me this morning. I think I'm going to have a party...after I get back from the unemployment office.
Ragnar...unemployed, rather than underemployed....and that's really better don't you think?
Monday, April 17, 2006
Got a sunburn after being outside for 15 minutes….the phrase pasty white? Yeah, that’s me.
Brought my spinning wheel outside and spun in the sunshine…possibly related to the last item
Transplanted some tomatoes that had been disrupted by a squirrel digging in their pot
Moved the quilting machine out of my living room, this only involved the removal of one piece of hardware…my screen door no longer closes automatically
Moved the quilting machine into my studio, 12 foot long table, 11 foot high ceilings, 5 foot wide hallway…normal sized door. I think we ended up having to fold the space time continuum, but somehow we got it in without breaking any windows or light fixtures.
Gave a friend a ride to work
Drank a cup of hot coco
Swept the living room, this is miraculous if you know me (the anti-housekeeper), can I just say? Dust maggots as big as your head.
Ate a bacon cheese burger for breakfast, most imporant meal of the day dontcha know?
Organized my yarn and roving…it all fits into one very stuffed suitcase, thank you very much
Made two new friends…this deserves a longer explanation since I’m still boggling over it. I was knitting at the bar, it was Jiggy’s bartending shift…always a good excuse to go to the bar, and there was this couple sitting next to me. They heard Jiggy say something about her home town, which turned out to be their hometown as well. They are potters, and they are new to the area, yada yada…and suddenly I realized that I recognized the male half of the couple. I had been puttering around in my studio one evening last week, and this guy had walked past my window…it was sort of startling because I had my headphones on and hadn’t realized there was anyone else in the building. Anyway, I asked him if they were the potters that had their studio in Melling Forge, and he looked at me really funny and said “yeeeess.” “I’m the quilter that just moved in there! That’s so amazing!” I should mention that the bar we were at was not actually in Lansing, but about half an hour out of town….so it was even more amazing that we had run into each other there. We ended up chatting and drinking for a couple of hours
Finished the body of the baby sweater I’m making (first beer)
Started the sleeve for the baby sweater, figuring the increases while sitting at the bar (second beer)…extreme knitting
Messed up the cable repeat on the sleeve of the sweater (fourth…possibly fifth beer)
Frogged an inch of sleeve to get back to an un-fucked portion of cable and managed to recover from drunk knitting episode (morning after…no beers)
Ate a lot of fresh bread
Broke my favorite glass
Was asked if I was Amish when I told an irritating drunk person at the bar that I didn’t have a television Cutting him some slack, I was knitting, maybe it distracted him from the fact that I was wearing pants, sitting at a bar, wearing a sweater with a skull on the back of it and figuring out sleeve increases using the calculator on my cell phone.
Finished a quilt
Wrote a bill for the finished quilt
Called the client and told them how much they owed me and arranged delivery of finished quilt…see this studio thing is making me more productive already!
Rearranged my studio in an attempt to accomidate the 12 foot long sewing machine table that is taking up most of the east half of the room
Moved every sewing related item out of my house
Piled every sewing related item that used to be in my house in the middle of the studio floor
Finished the first sleeve for the baby sweater, miraculously the increases that I figured while sitting at the bar ended up being spot on…very exciting.
Started the second sleeve for the baby sweater
Opened the last jar of homemade jam
Hijacked most of the shelves in our house and donated them to the studio organization project
Got irritated by my new neighbors, whose entire social life seems to consist of standing on their front porch and talking loudly on their two-way chirp phones. *BEEP* crackle crackle you crackle bitch crackle mo’fo *BEEP* WHAT? I CAN’T UNDERSTAND YOU! *BEEP* crackle crackle
Got morbidly drunk…drunk enough that I’m having one of those “maybe I shouldn’t drink anymore” days.
Pulled the winter plastic off the windows
Ate breakfast outside
Wore flip flops
Hula hooped…in a bar. Was complimented on my technique by a random stranger.
Got a ticket for “failing to observe a traffic control device” That would be a stop sign…which I failed to stop for. That would be a very expensive ticket.
Read comic books in bed
Officially “moved in” to my studio, if by “moved in” you mean stocked up on water, beer and snack bars
Did laundry…four loads of it, yeech. Such a waste of time, it’s just going to be dirty again.
Went to the library…twice!
Picked a friend up from work
Got mooned…well almost. It was the same drunk guy who asked me if I was Amish. He lost his nerve after unbuckling his belt…wuss!
Did I mention, swept my living room?!! I was thinking about the “flash your” contests that are going around..flash your stash, flash the cupboard above your refridgerator etc., and I was thinking there should be a “flash your dust maggots” contest. I would have started it but I don’t have a camera…so I’ll just consider myself the winner.
And I have a question. Is there such a thing as darkness deprivation? I swear since daylight savings time I have not been my shiny happy self. I’d say it was “seasonal affective disorder” but it’s been 60 degrees and sunny...maybe I’m allergic to sunshine.
Ack! I just realized that my parents are going to be in town in 77 hours! I must start compulsive scouring in an attempt to convince them that their offspring turned out to be a functioning adult, rather than a pirate that lives in a nest comprised of little bits of yarn, fluff, dirty laundry, and cat hair. Hush! They must never know.
Ragnar...functioning adult...no laughing!
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
First of all…and Imbrium, you know people who are breeding so pay close attention to this…these books should be on every new mommy’s wish list. “Baby mix me a Drink” and “Baby make me Breakfast.” They are cardboard baby books that teach babies important skills through color and shape. “Baby do my Banking” and “Baby Fix my Car” are due out later this year. I’m considering pregnancy just so someone will buy them for me.
Also, out of curiosity I installed one of those stat counter things…thanks Inky for helping me out with that…and I am fascinated to discover that my blog is the first thing that comes up under “self-delusionment.” This is possibly because delusionment is not really a word, but is that not prophetic? In a rather perverse sort of way, I’m pretty proud. The other thing that seems to lead people to my neck of the woods is pirate jokes.
Also going with the flow, here’s another knitting picture.
Remember I said that I swapped a different cable pattern for the Celtic Icon sweater from Inspired Cable Knits, not because that one was “bad” just completely incomprehensible to pirates…this pirate anyway. This looks like a scarf, but it’s really not, this sweater is knit in 5 panels, and this is the front right panel. I was really truckin’ on this for awhile, but the inconsistency with the handspun yarn became an “issue.” I also got an offer to teach a class at Woven Art this summer, so I’m madly knitting a sample, and “Celtic Icon” is on the metaphorical back burner until I decide what to do about the yarn. No, that’s not true, I know what to do, I just don’t want to admit it. What I have to do is spin more yarn. I’ve even located someone who has some of the “free wool” left, and is willing to barter with me. I just don’t want to face the reality.
And I have a favor to ask of you.
See that? That’s me!! Fine Art Quilting. This sign shows the wrong suite number, but they fixed that the day after I took the picture. Here’s the favor. I have a mailbox that goes along with my new studio (which is filling up see?)
and I check the mailbox everytime I go there, because I’m a compulsive mailbox checker. There is never anything in it though, since I haven’t actually given anyone the address yet. So what I was thinkin’ was that y’all could send me some mail!! Just a postcard or something. Isn’t that a fabulous idea? (Isn’t it sort of pathetic to publicly beg people to send you mail…uhm, thanks we won’t be discussing that issue today.) The only problem is that I don’t really want to put my real name up on the blog (*gasp* her name’s not really Ragnar? Betrayal!) and the only name that fits on the mailbox is my actual personal name, not my business name. So if you are up to the challenge, then send me an email, savior_in_cellophane(at)yahoo(dot)com, and I will give you my address and my real name.
And look! This is the factory that my spanky new studio is in. Doesn’t it look all…factory like? Kinda “Urban Blight Chic” or something?
Ragnar...unrepentant mail whore.
R: Where are you?
M: I’m in front of the bus stop.
R: Well I’m in front of the bus stop too.
M: I’m standing on a corner.
R: Which corner.
M: Oh never mind, I see you. You have a skull on the back of your shirt.
So I guess it’s good to know that I haven’t changed that much in 10 years…I am still easily identified by the skull on the back of my sweater. Or shrug rather. What? Skull shrug say you? Would you be talking about this skull shrug?
Hmm…it’s kinda blurry, and you’re wearing it over a black shirt so it’s sort of hard to tell where the shoulders come in. You’re not a very good photographer are you Ragnar? No. No, I am not. But in my defense it is an on location photoshoot in the Subways of New York. That’s pretty damn exotic for a Midwestern girl, eh? Eh? The particulars. The skull, my first intarsia project, why thank you...I think it turned out very nicely too, is from the DomiKNITrix, who hangs her hat here. She's pulled the skull chart off her site because of bandwidth theft, but you can probably make your own with Knit Pro, which is found here. I promise, promise, promise to post better pictures of it someday.
Oh, and by the way. The hat/earband/bad-hair-day-hider that I’m wearing? That’s Manimal’s first knitting project ever. Pretty good huh? In the round, double pointed needles, ribbing, no pattern and did I say first project ever? He’s a talented boy that Manimal o’ Mine.
I’m going to randomly include roadtrip anecdotes until I run out of anecdotes/pictures. This is an attempt to limit the “and then we went there” and “then we did this” aspects of roadtrip stories so that my dear bleaders don’t get bored…also to ration the pictures since I have no camera of my own.
This is a picture of the engine compartment of Dready’s car. Notice the brighter silver object? That’s my left over breakfast, wrapped up into a burrito by the owner/cook of the best breakfast place in the world. We had pulled off to get gas and I told Dready to pop the hood so I could heat up my lunch. I said this in a matter of fact sort of way, as if everyone heats up their lunch in the engine compartment of their cars, and I think she felt too self conscious to say “What are you crazy?” It was sort of hard to find a place that would accommodate a burrito. I think they should design special food heating platforms on the exhaust manifold, but alas my letter writing campaign doesn’t seem to have had any effect just yet.
Anyway, we’re pulled off at this gas station, and I’m rummaging around in the engine compartment, and the only other car in the place has two girls in it; girls of the white t-shirt, tight stonewashed jeans and teased hair variety. Very solicitously they ask if there’s something wrong with the car. “No,” says Dready in her French accent, “she’s just heating up her breakfast.” Without any noticeable pause one of the tight-jeans wearers says “That’s the kind of girl to be!” reinforcing the notion that normal people do this sort of thing all the time. I think at this point Dready was thinking “everyone in this country is nuts.” She really started to question my sanity when I closed the hood and said “Okay, ready to go.” “Is your burrito hot yet?” “Oh, no, I’ll pull it out when we stop.” “What?! We can’t drive with that thing in the engine! It’ll fall out, or get caught in something!” “It’ll be fine.” “It’ll fall out.”
So for the next 40 miles Dready got a big kick out of saying “What’s that silver thing on the road? I think your burrito fell out” every time we hit a bump. When we stopped she said “If that thing is still in there, I’m taking a picture of it.” Which is why we have a picture of a burrito in the engine compartment of Dready’s car. The burrito was very tasty by the way, more warm than piping hot, but definitely edible.
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Continuing in my recent pattern of putting skulls on everything, I recently knit a pair of socks using the skull from the “we call the pirates hat” and some other fair isley type funkiness of my own devising. Here is the first sock sitting on my desk, posed with my Princess Leia pirate doll. Subplot for those of you interested in Princess Leia, , she came out of a 25 cent bin at a thrift shop when I was about 4. She was the scourge of the doll house…co-ruler with Mr. T who was about 2/3’s her height. Anyway, last year for my birthday my Mother dressed her up pirate fashion and sent her back to live with me…she sits on my desk to keep me sane. As you can see the first sock was well on its way in this photo. Because these are flip flop socks, and because I’m making them up as I go along, I decided to knit the second sock before fiddling with the toes so that I would have some hope of remembering what I did when I got to the toe on the second one….not a note taker you see.
And here’s the second sock after about an hour of on the road knitting. That’s southeast Michigan in the background, Monroe Country I think.
And here it is after the heel has been turned, somewhere in the wild backlands of Ohio…a fierce and fulsome place Ohio.
And still in Ohio. Ohio is sort of big and really flat….we drove most of the eastern half on the Tollway, so there’s really nothing but roads, big rigs and flat for as far as the eye can see. I grew up in North Dakota though, so it seemed very lush and interesting. I mean look...aren't those trees?
I think by this point we were finally in Pennsylvania. This ended up being an 11 hour drive, which was considerably better than the 15 hours that we were expecting. This would be the magic “and here's the turkey that we put in the oven 3 hours ago” picture. This is also when Dorothy said. "No, you're not putting pictures of your feet on your blog. There's going to be an intervention. So yeah, these are my feet. Please to note my unshaven legs and my untrimmed toenails. But y'all are knitters, I know you can face foot nudity.
We were alternating between sort of mellow world beat/folky type music and industrial/metal/hardcore punk music. This is one of the things that I like about roadtripping with Dready. I say “what music do you want” and she says “Do we have anymore Slayer?”
Gosh! A Toe! Unfortunately after this point it started going much more poorly. The big toe was fine, only had to frog it once (which is "fine" by my definition). The other half of the toe didn't go so neatly. I'm trying a non-kitchner method and it ended up being much too short and toe squishing. By the time I frogged it the second time it was too dark to knit.
But that's why there's a 11 hour drive back as well! So that you can get those little inconsistances worked out. You probably can't tell from this picture, but the road is going in the other direction! We are on our way home.
Here's my attempt to photograph just how strange a split toe looks when juxtapozed with a map of western Pennsylvania. I don't know why I decided to make the toe red. If I hadn't promised Manimal that I would stop quoting him in the blog I would tell you that when he saw them he said "Uhm, honey, what were you thinking?" My only excuse is that I really love the yarn. Both of these are Kona Superwash dyed by the wonderful owner of my LYS, Woven Art. She does mail order if you'll excuse the shameless plug.
And for those of you who like happy endings...
As you can probably tell from the landscape we're back in Ohio. They would have been done sooner but Dready made me drive. This is another reason why Dready is a great road trip partner. She likes to drive. It makes for a nice division of labor. I knit, she drives.
Tune in tomorrow for blurry photos of the skull shrug...if Blogger continues it's recent streak of photo-cooperation.
Ragnar...see, I can pull it together every once in awhile.
Monday, April 10, 2006
But I can’t stop thinking about it, so I’m going to go ahead and write about what’s on my mind. Damn the torpedoes, etc.
So the subject line of this email was “Kill before they multiply.” And I suspect that that was the subject put on by whoever forwarded it to the acquaintance who forwarded it along to me, since it had "fwd:" in front of it, so hopefully that was not the sentiment of my friend.
The body of the email read: And some people consider this attractive.
(Okay...here's where I would post the pictures, but blogger is being a COMPLETE BASTARD! Suffice to say that they were pictures of extreme body modification. Pretty much eveyone had facial tattoos, one person had a coke can in his earlobe, bones through the nose, branding etc. If you're really interested I can email them to you.)
So anyway. Yes. Those are pretty extreme. But really? None of your fucking business. If people want to have klingon ridges installed in their foreheads, or have their ears stretched out so that they always know where their cellphone is, then what business is it of yours? If you find it disturbing, then guess what? You don’t have to look at them. And “kill them before they multiply?” I know you’re joking, but it’s not remotely funny. The fact is that there are groups of people who think it’s okay to persecute people because of how they look: there’s a neo-nazi group that’s coming to rally at the Michigan Capital on the 22nd…13 days from now, which is perhaps why this is on my mind.
And you know what? I’m one of those people who find it attractive. I think that tattoos can really enhance a body’s appeal, and they can be deeply spiritual if done for the right reasons. I have a one on my back, a stylized depiction of my womb and ovaries approximately life sized and tattooed over the “real” ones. Designing it and having it applied was one of the ways that I came to terms with myself as “woman.” I’m terribly fond of it. Also, piercings. I had to take mine out because they never healed properly and they hurt like hell when they got caught on things, but for the 2 years that I had them, I got a lot of joy out of them.
I’m sure that the person who sent this to me has a list of people who he forwards things to, and thought “wow, those are some pretty crazy pictures,” hitting “send” without considering the full implication of what it was he was sending, but come on! I mean, I don’t have purple hair anymore, and yes, I don’t have any visible tattoos or piercings, but why would you think I would sympathize with this? Perhaps I’m just cranky because I’ve become enough of a “normal” person that people who know me slightly think I would be entertained by something like this.
In case you are wondering I did reply. "It amazes me that we are friends. FYI, I'm one of the people that find it attractive." And I left it at that...if he brings it up to me in person he will get an earful, but hopefully that's enough that he'll think a little more deeply before hitting the "send" button next time.
Sorry, the normal entry was hijacked. I was planning on posting about the knit-in, and the multi-skein project, the pirate themed yarn tasting that the LYS is planning, and the cult of bar knitting and how it spreads. I even have the roadtrip photos in my knitting bag…but I needed to get that off my chest. Thanks for hanging in there with me, and blog will return to normal tomorrow. Actually, why don’t y’all vote on which of the above topics you want me to write about.
Ragnar….not a fucking "normal" damn it, in spite of home-ownership, office job, and import car.
Friday, April 07, 2006
This is such a great story, actually some people think that it might be the basis for Rapunzle, also a favorite of mine, since it involves a beautiful princess hidden away in a tower and guarded by poisonous snakes. Alvilda (also known as Alfhild, or Elf Warrior) lived sometime between the 5th and 13th centuries so there’s been plenty of time to embellish this as you can probably already tell. Anyway, the idea was that the person who would be able to get to her through the snakes would be man enough to marry her….Vikings being big on manly. Many tried and failed of course until Prince Alf (yup Alf) made it through. Neither Alvilda, nor her parents were too excited about Alf. Alvilda was so un-excited in fact that she dressed as a man and took to the sea with a crew of other women “who were uninterested in marriage.” Boat full of Viking Lesbians, anyone?
She and her female crew hadn’t been at sea for very long, when they ran into a crew of pirates/Vikings who had recently lost their captain. The crew of the pirate ship was so impressed with her that they voted unanimously to make her the new Captain. She and her new crew set about raiding the coastline around the Baltic sea. Her raids were so devastating that (get this) Prince Alf himself was sent to try and stop them, unaware that the fierce pirate captain he was being sent to subdue was actually his former fiancé. The battle was fierce, but in the end the pirates were defeated. Alvilda had her face covered when she was taken captive (to hid her great beauty of course), but when Alf found out who she was he was immediately renewed his offer of marriage (nothing makes a Prince think about settling down like a fierce battle). Alvilda had been so impressed with his battle prowess that she married him on the spot…and they became king and queen of Denmark and lived happily ever after. Great shit eh?
Okay…so that’s too much of a fairytale ending for you? How about this for an alternative. The punishment for piracy was to be burned at the stake, but she escaped and “burned her husband on the same stake.” (seems like that could be embellished a little bit more, like maybe there should be some exposition in between “she escaped” and “burned her husband on the same stake”) So instead of becoming Queen of Denmark, she became queen of the sea, raiding and plundering with her crew of pirates.
I kinda like the happy ending though (softy that I am) so in my mind they arrange a fake stake burning, and run off together, and Alf becomes her second in command. Can’t you see them holding hands on the beach in the glow of a burning Norman village? Maybe a little Viking ankle biter or two…
This is the only picture that I can find of Alvilda, but since it doesn’t look very Viking or bad ass I’m discounting it as a fraud!
Instead let us think of her as Tilda Swinton in the Battle scene from The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe….because, yeah, totally bad ass.
How come the "good" guys always win in those movies? It should be obivious to everyone that the "bad" guys (so subjective) are much cooler.
Thursday, April 06, 2006
I also have a headache, and I’m semi inclined to think that it’s because of the caffeine I drank over the weekend. What the fuck, I’m on vacation right? I’ll have an espresso, and what the hell it’s a long drive…why not have half a cup of coffee? Because you’re a recovering caffeine junky Ragnar! Remember those splitting headaches you used to get? Remember how you had to prop your eyelids open with toothpicks, slither down to the kitchen in the morning and eat coffee grounds out of the bag before you had enough energy to make coffee? Remember the bad old days? It’s chamomile tea for you, or maybe some peppermint if yur feelin’ frisky, but you gotta stay away from the Black Devil of Java.
And I haven’t been able to go over and play in my new studio since last Wednesday. That’s more than a week! And since I don’t have time for a nice long winded rant, I’m going to post some photos and then try to find my sanity again…I think it’s under this pile of paperwork....or if you prefer I could tell some more pirate jokes?
Okay, sorry about the blurry blurry, but I don't like using the flash because it makes everything look so startled. Anyway, this is my old garrett studio, notice the sharply slanting roofline making most of the south side of the room completely useless.
And this is my cutting table...completely buried in crap and not so useful for things like...oh maybe cutting?
And one of my sewing machines. This is an old Consew 100, I love it because it's got about 3 inches more throat depth than a normal sewing machine...and it has that nice table that's so useful for piling things on. This picture also shows the only "closet" in the old studio...it's about 2 feet by 2 feet, and completely useless.
But what's this? Why look at the space! Those ceilings must be 12 feet high! Those filing cabinets look lost in all that space! That wall is crying out to have things taped to it....or shelves, yes lots and lots of shelves. What the hell am I doing at work when I could be puttering around in all that space!? I must be crazy....or maybe I have some deeply hidden responsible streak that I haven't managed to squelch yet. Grrr.
And hey Beverly! I'm excited that your guild has jumped on the "multi yarn" idea. It sounds like some really interesting projects will come out of it, I definately want to see pictures!
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
So Philly and New York both survived invasion by Midwesterners, and our hosts both lived to tell the tale. There were also many photo’s taken, so I think I’ll restrain my urges to Blog about the roadtrip until they can be better illustrated.
However, I do have something knitty related to throw out into the blogosphere, so I’m going to write that up.
The last time we were Pillaging and Plundering, one of our crew was making a bias scarf with this fancy ball of yarn that she’d purchased for “way too much money” (according to her). It was basically a skein of yarn that was made up of a whole bunch of novelty yarns that had been cut into 2 or 3 yard sections and then tied together, and it was very cute! (did I just say cute? I’m sorry, I’m still suffering from the 13 hour drive yesterday) And me, being me, I open my big mouth and said “we could do that, if we just got a whole bunch of people together…” and she, being her, went out and organized a whole bunch of people (okay, like 3 besides me and her). So I’m going to present this idea at our LYS “knit in” this Saturday, but I thought that I would mention it here in case any of you freaky people wanted to get in on the action.
I’m not sure what the “rules” would be, basically we all have to agree on a color that we don’t hate, (black? Anyone? Black is a good neutral?) and probably on an amount of money and yardage etc. so that that's all fair and happy. Then everyone goes off and purchases one (or two or however many) skein(s) of the coolest yarn that they can find that “goes with” that color. I’m hoping that we will get mostly the main color, but some variegated stuff that will sort of go a long with it to add interest, and of course the idea is to get as many different weights and textures as possible. Then I will collect all the skeins, do a little math, and cut them into sections. I was thinking about tying them back together, but I think I’ll leave them in as long of sections as possible so that the project participants can decide what order they want to knit them in, etc.
I should say that I’m not talking about “fun fur” but rather all those nifty slubby, boucley type things that you always see at the yarn store but think “and what would I do with it when I got it home?” You know, silky and soyey and bambooey things like that…with maybe some eyelash thrown in for fuck’s sake. Hey if nothing else you’ll get a chance to knit some interesting yarns you’d never have picked up on your own…and you’ll have a ready made present for those people who aren’t worth knitting socks for, but who always want you to knit them something.
So anyone who thinks that this idea isn’t the stupidest thing I’ve ever thought of, can email me: savior_in_cellophane(at)yahoo(dot)com, and I’ll give you my address, blood type etc. Actually I think we will probably choose a “parent” skein at the “knit-in” and cut swatches off of it for anyone who wants to participate, so that there is a clear “must go with this” direction in which to depart, so the first thing you’ll probably get is an envelope from me with a little bit of yarn in it.
Ragnar...always volunteering herself for some goddamn thing or another.
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Yes. Manimal knits. Not very often, and he seems to use it as some sort of self inflicted punishment, since he curses the whole time and says “I hate knitting,” over and over until whatever it is that he’s knitting is finished. So far he has confined himself to hats. He picked up his latest project while I was in the throws of the extremely crappy hat. I think he was jealous of how miserable I was, and wanted to get in on the action.
A non-knitting friend ended up at my house post pillaging and plundering last Friday, and (as semi-intoxicated people sometimes do) started talking smack about how he could knit. “An ex-girlfriend showed me how, and I knit like a Mofeekey (sp?) until I got bored.” How long was that one might ask? “About five minutes.” Ahh. And as semi intoxicated, uhm, who am I kidding, entirely intoxicated people sometimes do we decided that it was time for him to relearn…starting with casting on. I tried to teach him a continental cast on, but it wasn’t going very well. He kept interrupting with irritating questions like, “wait, how did you do that.”
Which is when Manimal stepped in, Manimal who had been at work late, had not meet up with us for pillaging and plundering, and so was entirely sober.
Manimal: First of all; no put your yarn down. Say “Fuck” as loud as you can.”
Non-knitting Friend: FUCK!
Manimal: That’s all there is to it.
(Beginning to cast on)
Manimal: You make a loop and put in on the needle.
Non-knitting Friend: By golly! You made a loop and you put it on the needle.
Non-knitting friend: (regarding the ball of yarn with suspicion) It’s got two ends, a ball end…and another end.
Manimal: (holding up the shorter piece of yarn) Loose end – tail.
Non-knitting Friend: So that’s the magic part?
(After a few minutes of “cast on” training”)
Manimal: So did you make a stitch?
Non-knittng Friend: Nope, I made a mess.
(A few minutes after that)
Non-knitting Friend: FUCK!
Manimal: What happened?
Non-knitting Friend: I’m just testing.
Manimal: Glad to see your keeping up your form.
(After initial cast-on success)
Non-knitting Friend: I just made “a thing.”
(After more cast-on success)
Non-knitting Friend: I’m casting like a mofeekey, but how far do I go?
Manimal: Do a bunch and then count them.
Non-knitting Friend: Count them? FUCK!
(After Manimal notices me taking notes on a random piece of paper)
Manimal: Are you doing math?
Manimal: Are you making notes for your blog?
Manimal: Why would you want to do that?
Ragnar: I can never remember when I’m sober what you guys do when I’m drunk.
Ta-da! So anyway, if you ever want to teach one of your drunk friends how to knit, you can drop them off at our house, because there’s an experienced teacher in residence.
And I also promised a review of the “TV-b-gone.”
This thing is awesome! They cost about $20, and they look sort of like those “boop-boop” remotes that people who drive new fancy cars get to have on their keychains. Basically it’s a universal remote control that only sends “off signals.” At one point we had every TV in the bar shut off for about 20 minutes before anyone noticed. You get to feel all secret spy like while you’re doing it because it sends out about 60 different remote codes, and you have to keep it aimed at the television the whole time without seeming like you’re aiming a remote control at their television….very sneaky. If you decide that you want one (and why wouldn’t you?!) get the “newer” model because it allows you to “double click” the button to prevent it from flashing in a distracting, and attention attracting way. It also lets you restart the turn off cycle by repressing the button half way through so you can turn TV’s off faster. This is going to be my universal present for all occasions.
Manimal said that he got both of the behind the bar TV’s with one click…what a pro!
When I got home yesterday, I flopped into my comfy chair, and Manimal asked how I was feeling. “I don’t even feel like knitting.” I muttered, and he knew it was serious. I did muster the energy to spin for a couple hours though. I looked at my spinning wheel with all three of its bobbins empty, and said “Fuck it, I’m sick and I don’t want to spin that nasty ass linen that has to be all damp and clammy and makes your fingers cold. I’m going to spin the fabulous fire colored wool/mohair fluff that’s been languishing in its tub of unspun fiber for the last month. And I did, and it was great.
As you can probably tell I’m feeling better today. The congestion has moved down into my chest so I get these great hacking coughs that cause my co-workers to regard me sympathetically, so I still get all of the pity without feeling so much like ass. I’m going to work like a “mofeekey” as non-knitting friend would say, and leave early so that I can pack for the trip. Yes! The trip. No Ragnar until Wednesday! And when I return I’ll be full of Kerouac style “on the road” anecdotes; the speed traps of Pennsylvania, the excitement of the Chinatown Bus into New York City…and much much road trip knitting.
Ragnar….foot loose and fancy free