Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Got lots of stuff to blog about so hold onto your boxer shorts.

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


What? It's not enough to have a blog, now I have to update it as well?

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

Confessions of a bad parent

First a little house keeping and then I'm going to tell an excruciatingly cute story about the daughter creature (fair warning).

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

Scientific Discovery

Yeah yeah, long time no bloggy, thirty lashes with some hand-spun linen rope, and on to more important things: namely being the discovery of a new kind of human. Well not new, just new to me. I had read about them, but I never suspected that they actually existed. This new type of human? This deserves Caps lock, but I hate Caps lock, so just read it in a Vince Price type doom and gloom sort of voice: The Used Car Salesman.

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.