Tuesday, January 31, 2006

I trashed it

Today, I officially trashed a Master's Thesis that has been (theoretically) in the works for over a year and a half. In reality, its been on the shelf for several months. Molding and revealing its true lifeless self. It's a piece of crap. A BIG FLOATING IN THE POOL SERIOUS PIECE OF CRAP.
So today, I finally trashed it. I emailed my advisor, told her about my dumpster bound mountain of crap and pitched my new idea. And she was perfectly understanding and accepting (as she always is). So right now, I feel:

released, from the smell of rotting project and the weight of turning it into something good

stupid, for waiting so long and trying to convince it to be something it wasn't

invigorated, to start something new

tired, from thinking of starting ALL over

relieved, that I don't have to think about that one anymore

overwhelmed, thinking about the work ahead

worried, that I need to finish this one before it starts molding as well

optimistic, that I might actually finish this one

and generally pretty good (despite all those up there to make you think otherwise) about the whole silly thing.

If only it was a knitting project. Sigh.....

If only I had some bright idea of a way to combine knitting with mediation. Yuh know...in an academically acceptable way. But what I have should be good. I'll be buried in paper instead on yarn, but it should be all good.

(And yeah...uh...don't worry, I won't stop knitting. The Olympics are coming up for God's sake!)

Monday, January 30, 2006

The thing about reoccurring dreams is that they keep coming back.

Last night, while I was trying to get a little winter hibernation going, I wandered through thrift stores for what seemed like an eternity. At first it was fun, I was finding all sorts of neat little knitting goodies. Piles of double pointed needles, discontinued yarn, and enough vintage patterns to make an obsessive knitter's heart soar. I found books and silky scarves. Thrifty life was good.

I had started my shopping at The Garment District's Dollar-a-Pound. After finding my treasures, I was transported to a long line of stores that I don't know and don't really remember. But by the time I was through with those, I was looking for something. I had remembered something that I really wanted to find, that I MUST find before I was done with my shopping. This quest landed me in two stores that I've been in many times in dreams past.

One is in a location that I could drive you to...show you right now. You can't see it outside of my dream, but it's nestled right in that triangle between Rt 281 and Rt 13.
Map of Dreamy Thrift Store
That's Cortland, NY, by the way and if you know it, you'll know that my thrift store hides in between a building that used to be a Mister Donut and a plain, run-down residential house. Across the street is an A&W Root Beer (the real kind where you eat in your car) and a Mini-Golf Course.

I never find anything at this thrift store, but still I always have to check. I always end up in this store, at least briefly. I sift through the unorganized piles of clothes, books, and housewares and never come up with anything. But still I buy something, as if I owe the owner a donation of some kind.

After this stop, I'm almost always transported to a thrift/antique store that resides in an old Victorian house. The house has a creeky, magical/haunted feel that puts me at ease at the same time that it tells me to run away from the house as fast as I can. It's always hard to find the owner as the store stretches over many rooms. There's an antique parasol in the foyer that I always run my fingers across. There are brass goblets and rusted swords lying on every ledge and shelf.

This house always puts me in slow motion. I walk through the house for an eternity, looking for my holy grail and forgetting why I'm there every step of the way. By the time the owner surfaces (an older French woman with an accusing and welcoming smile), I get flustered, feeling guilty for drinking in all the beautiful things without holding even one of them with intent to purchase. I can't find what I want and I can't buy anything in this store. Feeling lost and empty, I blush, excuse myself, and head to leave the house....
and wake up.

Feeling restless. Like I'll always be searching in the wrong places.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

There will be pictures

But still no knitting pictures. It's not that I haven't been knitting (God forbid), it's that I've been too much of a lame-o to take pictures. And I haven't been so Chatterly Knitterly lately because I've got several patterns out there....being looked at and EVALUATED. So, I like to forget and pretend that all of that is not going on. Evaluation is one big bad buzz-kill. So, I'm just knitting my little fingers into arthritis and hoping that someone will get back to me before my head bursts into flames of anxiety. To that end, I joined the Knitting Olympics! (Hosted by the YarnHarlot of course). A proud member of

I plan on knitting a Hoodie over the 16 days. It's still in my head. It seems basic but I can never find a pattern that is just right. Picky freak. So, I'm making it up. Wish me luck in not royally screwing up the whole thing! I will post photo progress during the whole thing. Feel free to laugh when I knit two left fronts, instead of a right and a left. But do it behind your monitor ok? I don't need to be distracted by heckling!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Setting off balloons

As N and I came back from coffee on Saturday, I looked up into the deceivingly blue sky. It was beautiful, but frigid and he rushed toward the building. He opened the door and turned to see what I was doing. There was a balloon, floating high above the neighborhood with something attached to the end. The sight transported me right back to elementary school and I told him....

I grew up during the Cold War and the Cold War was one of the most deluded eras in our history (if you ask me). If was a time when hiding under a wobbly elementary school desk, or crouching next to a locker could save you from a nuclear (that's nucular for you Dubya) bomb. It was a time when earrings determined sexual preference and Michael Jackson was still a black man. It was a also a time when you could make life long friends through rubber.

I lived in Ohio between the ages of 5-8, and it was just at the beginning of the big outreach to re-humanize Russians after years of the opposite. Programs to connect American children with Russian children bloomed like daffodils in May. Talk shows featured kids who had met their Cold War counterparts and come home with the astonishing realization that they were kids...just like us. In my 7 year old mind, the message was always, "If the kids can do it, why can't you Mr. Reagan?"

My small school did not have any of these glorious groups of privileged world-traveling children, but felt that it had to do its part to warm the cold. One day, my teacher handed out small postcards to us and instructed us to write a short letter to a Russian kid on it. I was stumped. Always a little too shy, I wasn't really sure what to say to a stranger, even in postcard form. I stared at my postcard for a long time until it was clear that everyone else had finished. Hastily, I finally wrote something along the lines of "Hi Russian kid. Come visit Zanesville, OH sometime. It's nice here. We can have Doritos when you come." A truly peaceful outreach.

I shielded my postcard from the view of the other kids as the teacher marched us outside. Thinking that we would be walking to the post office, I was confused to see the line of students streaming toward the field (next to the cemetery with the creepy tree that I was sure was going to grab me and bury me a alive, by the way). We were greeted with the site of a gatillion helium balloons. Our teacher explained that we were going to tie our postcards to the balloons and set them off into the air. They would sail all the way across the ocean and land in the hands of children playing in the Russian countryside. (It may come as no shock to you that I have no memory of a science teacher in this school.) They would see how kind and fun we were, write back and we would all become fast friends.

The class was aglow with anticipation and excitement. We were the great balloon ambassadors, embarking on our mission on peace. We all received our balloons and secured our postcards and waited for the whistle to launch them. As the teacher blew the whistle, we all let go, filling the sky with bouncing colors as far was we could see. The teacher let us gaze at the balloons until they were out of sight. One by one, they passed from our line of vision right over the Atlantic and Europe to their final lofty Russian destination.

We waited for weeks for our return letters, but never received even one. After a while they were forgotten under the weight of spelling tests and three digit sums.

I heard, later, that setting off balloons was now frowned upon, even illegal in certain places because of the danger is caused to the wildlife in the area. And I thought of my balloon. Had it fallen in a beavers dam and suffocated Mr. Beaver when he tried to water proof his kitchen with it? And if he lived, did he travel to Zanesville, OH for the Doritos? Or did my balloon reach its destination? A Russian kid, hopefully emigrated to the town over, who was looking for the Doritos? Or did my poor balloon lay in a swamp, emaciated and dangling from a cattail? It's message of peace smeared by the rain and mud. Or did it go across the ocean and become suspect as secret code. Doritos? What are these Doritos? Is it a new defense system? Star wars?

The Cold War was really the great delusional era, and sometimes I miss it...when all you needed to make peace was a balloon and maybe a bag of Doritos stashed in the pantry.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Rolling along

Women, notoriously, let a lot a lot of things slide. Sometimes its because we're too busy to fight it out. Sometimes its because we're too tired to fight it out. Sometimes its because we're too scared, too frustrated, or too subdued to fight it out. Sometimes I am all of those and sometimes it makes me a little too selective in choosing my battles. The little things get big, and the big become impossible.
When N and I got back together, this 13th time, he declared that he wanted us to talk about everything. Any little gripe I had, he really wanted me to bring up, immediately. I had a good laugh about this one with L: "Does he realize that if I brought up EVERY little thing, we would be deemed completely incompatible within 3 hours?"
"You left the toilet seat up again...in the MIDDLE of the night."
"You dumped out my coffee before I was done with it."
"You made me feel petty while I was bitching about my day...Isn't that one of the main perks of this kind of relationship?"
"Don't give me that look!"
"Geez you breath loud...stop bogarting the air!"
And so on...and so on. A lot of these things just are not worth the feeling of nagging someone. I'll just check the toilet next time, and clutch my coffee, and rant about my day whether you like it or not. It's really one of the primary strengths of women...our adaptability. But I think that my adaptability is a little too big for its britches sometimes.
When I was with Little A's dad, I let a infinite amount of issues roll right off of me. I had a small child and just didn't have the time or energy to deal with the Grand Teton of our issues. So when I was exhausted after a day with colic-y Little A, and he still further had to drain me by acting, literally, suicidal after dealing with crying for 20 minutes. I let it roll off of me. I went and got the baby and found us a counselor. When the counselor decided that only his issues were the important ones (always adept at getting attention, that man was) and ignored anything that I had to say, unless it was about him or how he was, I let it roll off of me. I went home to the baby and felt myself drifting away as I drifted off to sleep. When he refused any anti-depressant medication to ease the strain on us (because how could he get attention if he didn't have his depressed aura hanging over him constantly), I let it roll right off of me. When, day after day, he offered minimal help, and heralded himself a hero after meticulously organizing one desk drawer while I cleaned the rest of the entire house, I let it roll right off of me. When we tried to connect by sharing things from our past, and he deemed any painful memory I had as silly and nothing compared to what he had gone through like some pathetic little competition, I let it roll right off of me and stopped talking to him about anything that was really deeply inside me. When he declared that a theoretical conversation we had on a bus into Boston in the first weeks that we were dating indicated that we had an open marriage, I raised an eyebrow, but let it roll right off of me. When he told me that he'd slept with a friend, and would've continued had the friend wanted to, I let it roll off of me. When he told me he slept with another man, a stranger, months before, with no knowledge of his sexual or medical history and then proceeded to have sex with me for 6 months without telling me, I tried to let it roll off of me, but I never trusted him again. When he smacked Little A, not hard, but for no reason other than his own stupid temper, and defended it as a perfectly fine thing to do, I couldn't let it roll off of me. It was the end. There was no way I would ever let him teach my child that it was ok for any man to hit her, if he was just frustrated or angry enough. Ever.
It was mid-March and L and I had a rare night out on St Patrick's Day. Surrounded by green beer and all the leprechaun luck in the world, I recounted the story to her. The story ended with the words, "I could leave him." And as soon as I said it, as soon as I allowed myself to speak those words out loud, I knew. We officially split about one month later.
In hindsight, I clearly let too much roll with him. But at the time, it was just what I did. I was a mother and all the other stuff was just fluff.
And now, with N, I never know just how much to let roll. What conversation will help us grow, and which will make us reticent to be who we are. Which will build and not deteriorate. Choosing the battles is not easy for me and I worry that I'll never find that balance. I'll end up being the shrew or the subdued, but never the me that's in between.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Constitutional Amendments

It's been 19 days since N moved in. Everything is good. His stuff fit after quite a lot of tweeking and generally he's being Mr. Wonderful. (And its fun to amuse myself by thinking about this large, macho, African guy sitting among piles and piles of yarn, knitting, barbies, etc....try it! It's fun!)
There's just one nagging, insanity inducing little problem. I believe that I lean toward misanthrope. And what I mean is that I need quite a lot of time when everyone just shuts up. The other people in the apartment, the T.V., the radio, the assholes upstairs. Everyone just needs to shut the fuck up now and then to keep me sane. So as to not hurt the feelings of Little A, N, and the assholes upstairs, this silence is best achieved through pure and simple alone time. In the past 19 days, I have had approximately 6.23 hours ( this would be .34 hours per day) of awake alone time (and I spent a good 3 of those talking to Roo last Friday). This. is. not. enough.
And this circumstance has produced, this morning, a woman who feels deeply and passionately that there should be a constitutional amendment that prohibits this oh so fucking fabulous free speech before 9AM. And by "free speech", I DO mean ALL speech. Punishable by death.
It's difficult to get people to shut up in the morning. It's as if they've stored up 8 hours worth of chatter during the night and just explode once the alarm goes off.
N: What are you doing today?
V: Grunt.
N: So, today is an early day.
V: Grunt.
Little A: What's in my lunch?
V: Grunt.
And yes, I exaggerate. (Don't go all Frey on my ass, ok?) Since Little A was born, I've had to temper my morning hatred of all humankind. So, I'm better. But inside my head, forget it. There is ONLY cussing. Like a truck driver. Who just ran over his own foot with 9 of his 18 wheels. Unfortunately, my lack of alone time makes it harder every morning. Without my serene quiet time, it makes it more likely that one morning we'll have an exchange like this:
N: Can you make me a sandwich to take for lunch?
I don't really think he knows I'm this insane yet.
Sunday....sweet Sunday. He should be at work from 8-12. And I. WILL. BE. ALONE!!!!!!!!!!!!

And by the way...morning talk radio? Honestly, WHO can stand to listen to that asinine blathering so early in the day? Doesn't it stifle your will to live?

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

This tooth

is MIA.

If you have seen this tooth, please alert the authorities at once. We are afraid that this tooth may have been kidnapped by an errant spaghetti noodle, and may now be suffering through the acidic torture known as digestion. If you have any information, please call 1-800-MY-TOOTH.

Monday, January 16, 2006

N doesn't always understand my accent

(He says I don't always understand his, but I have PROOF of my claim.)

Moments before N is belting out the theme to Rocky....yuh know...running on the beach, speed-bag....

V: Thanks for getting that song into my head.
N: What? Thanks for getting that thong in your butt?
V: Song. Song. In. My. Head. Pervert.

I wonder just how often he hears the things I'm saying as "______ in my butt"?

Was it the full moon?

I had quite the dream the other night.
Little A and I were attending a college reunion (mine, not hers). As we walked around the restaurant that bore an uncanny resemblance to what Hooters is in my mind, I felt endlessly uncomfortable. I searched for people who actually would know me, and found a few scant ones who pretended to out of courtesy.
After a little too much uncomfortable mingling we decided to get something from the buffet. I parked Little A at a table with some people who I pretended to know, sat down for a minute and talked with the people about my pregnancy. In fact, I was starting to go into labor right then. I asked one of the other girls if she could take over for me (the labor that is) while I went to fetch Little A some food. I weaved my way in and out of the crowd and it took me forever to reach the buffet and just as I did, Little A came running up to me telling me that the baby had been born. We rushed back through the crowd and back to the table. Everyone at the table looked a little uncomfortable and the girl who had taken over the labor, handed me a plate and said, "Here she is," apprehensively.
I looked down at the plate full of lettuce and was happy for a moment, until I realized that I couldn't see the head. I set the plate on the table and rifled through my lettuce baby pile looking for the head.
THERE WAS NO HEAD. I was mortified. My baby had no head.

Even though she was made of a head of lettuce?
Go figure....Stupid acid dream creepin' me out first thing on a Saturday morning.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Fun Family Facts

Confessions about what the hell I grew up with:

1. My dad is a minister. We used to have a 45 minute commute to church, and on the way home, he would always buy scratch tickets.

2. I was paid to read the Bible. I believe the going rate in 6th grade was 25c a chapter, which could really add up when you pretended like you were really reading.

3. My mom wrote Sunday school material when I was young. Now she is a minister.

(You may now all stop wondering how I ended up to be such a shameful godless human being....can you say OVERKILL?)

4. We used to have family reunions with extended family. Sexist, racist, Nascar obsessed extended family. Before these reunions, I thought that egg-tosses were fun and not dangerous to one's health.

5. My grandma can do anything. Still. She's 84, and when I spoke to her over the summer she said "I haven't worked in almost 2 months! Is that terrible!?"

6. My eldest sister still openly resents and detests my brother for coming along and ruining her great life. She was 1 and 1/2 then. Now she's 40.

7. I'm the youngest and I can fake cry like nobody's business!

8. My parents let me house-sit during a funeral when there was a rash of robberies in the neighborhood. What they thought I would do at 15 when faced with a potentially armed robber, I have no idea.

9. RE: #8 I'm far younger than my siblings. By the time I came around, my parents were sick of parenting. They tried experiments with independence instead. They also taught "parenting classes" in their church during this time. I believe the general theme was "Let 'em do whatever the fuck they want. They'll probably live through it."

10. My dad has been trying to convince me that I'm a lesbian since he saw me reading Orlando. It's generally accepted in the family that my dad is horrified that at least one of his children isn't gay. He was really hoping to have the big accepting moment to prove what an open-minded guy he is.

11. My dad has posters of Ghandi and Martin Luther King, Jr. all over his office. This is one of my favorite things about him.

12. My mom would indulge in any craft that I ever desired. This is one of my favorite things about her. She's also a writer and a brutal editor (even in childhood), which is one of my other favorite things about her.

13. My oldest brother would dare me to run around the house 10 times....20 times...etc...while he was babysitting me so that he could make out with his girlfriend. He was my favorite, so I always did it.

Thirteen is always the best number to end with.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Mommy and Mom and a few random things

It's funny, but sometimes when N tries to be sweet, it terrifies me to no end.
For instance, as he fast forwards into our future forever, he casually says, "Little A will graduate from high school and then college..."
"Now there's no need to be cruel," I say. He gives me that smile....that smile that says, "I know you're a little nuts and I love you anyway...", pats me on the head and gives me a hug.

Am I the only one who hyperventilates at the thought of their precious little girl becoming an adult? A real, live, other-people-look-at-her-and-see-grown-up-and-not-the-smiles-and-monkey-shines-of-childhood adult?

Am I the only one who screeches like a howler monkey when people talk about girls getting their periods at 8 years old? It's not the period, or the talk, so much as the fact that my child could potentially produce another human this year??? She still believes in Santa Claus for God's sake!

Am I the only one who wants to melt into a crying puddle when she gives me that look....the one that indicates that she is far too cool for x now?

Am I the only one who thinks its entirely possible that I will be the shittiest, most impatient, uncool, lame-ass excuse for a mom of a teenager that has ever walked this earth?

I am one (though maybe not the only one) who's feeling just a little bit lost lately. Feeling the endless strain of adjustment, the pressure of unfinished projects, the monotony and irritation of work, the gray lack of sun, and flailing to find something to hang onto in January. As the snow blows over me, pulling me every way it can, I'm grasping for the right thing to hang onto.
It's not going to be my girls' childhood much longer. The thing that has grounded me for so long...I'm not going to be Mommy much longer. I'll become Mom, and with what tone I have no idea.
I'm not so sure about this Mom thing. The Mommy thing I had down. Feed her, play with her, show her new stuff that makes her think you are way cool, take her to farms, ponds, the ocean, read her stories and sing her songs at bedtime...the Mommy thing I've got. The Mom thing is a total mystery to me.

Random things I keep meaning to say, but that aren't worthy of their own post:
1. I saw Memoirs of a Geisha. You should too. It was beautiful. Don't believe the critics. They're ass holes.
2. (Shameful advertising) I've got a pattern coming out in the February issue of MagKnits. Check it out! (They come out monthly and they are great...check them out anyway!)
3. For anyone counting, N and I have officially lived together for 10 days. So far, so good.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Love Letters...

I was just over reading at Mom, Ma'am, Me and she reminded me of a special little letter that Little A once gave me. She was about 2 and 1/2 and she could write certain letters...and draw a pretty damn good heart. So one evening, she swiped (paper theft is one of her primary fortes) a piece of paper and an envelope off of my desk and disappeared into her room. She came out a little while later frustrated that she couldn't quite stuff the paper inside the envelope, no matter how tiny of a ball she crumpled it into. I helped her fold it up and put it in the envelope and then handed it back.
Little A proceeded to seal the envelope. She licked the gluey part. She licked the entire back of the envelope. Then she licked the entire front of the envelope. Then she closed it and licked the whole thing one more time for good measure.
Then she handed me a sopping drooly envelope with a big grin. The envelope was so wet it was nearly disintegrating in my fingers, but I managed to free the letter inside. Unfortunately, the licking had smudged the letter.
But fear not...I had taken a peak, pre-licking. It said MOM, (heart), WOW. Those were her good letters then. It was the wettest and one of the sweetest love letters that I ever got.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

The Wonder of it all....

Several weeks ago I was listening to a clip on NPR about birds. I almost turned it off. Sure, birds can be pretty, sing nicely, fly beautifully, but they can also nose dive at your head and peck at your eyes. I know this is not the popular or even a normal thought that comes to mind regarding birds, but its my own special neurosis, planted here, just for you to mock. So, when I heard that my ride home was to be filled with chirping bird talk, my finger sprang toward the off button. But I didn't press down because just as I reached it, the interviewee said something truly shocking. He was comparing seeing an Ivory-billed Woodpecker, previously thought extinct, to seeing the face of God. Did you get that? The face of God. A bird. The face of God.
I found it a little.....fanatical, bizarre, extreme...I found it so many things and they culminated to the point that I just had to listen to the bird show. And I learned that the Ivory-billed woodpecker has been thought to be extinct for many years, but now there's evidence that there are still some in Appalachia. And truly, this man, this bird-stalker, felt that the sight of this bird would be no less awesome and wonderful than seeing the face of God.
I tried to get off my scaredy cat for a second and think about what kind of bird would cause that kind of reaction for me. Zilch. Nada. Not even a really big one....unless it was going to eat me and I was seeing God in my near death experience. But this man was so genuine about his awe...and I wondered if maybe he was right...maybe if I saw this bird, I would feel the same way. Then I realized, I wouldn't even know what I was seeing. To me a bird is a bird and though I might have a pretty strong reaction to seeing something that was once thought to be extinct, I don't have the kind of education that would allow me to know that information.
I spent the rest of the drive home thinking about wonder and awe. I'd have to have an education to know that I should be in awe of this bird. I'd have to have an education to know that I should be in awe of Beethoven's original scribbles. So was that it? Could you only feel awe if you had the knowledge to tell you that something was incredible?
Then I thought of Little A. She knows a lot for a seven year old, but she's seven so there is plenty that she's still learning. Hell, I'm 29 and there's plenty that I'm still learning. But Little A is filled with wonder, so easily and innocently and without much fanfare. A little card-trick. A Santa sighting. A rainbow. Evidence of a fairy house. Many things can set Little A's eyes aglow with wonder. Mostly things that I've learned are really not that awesome, unlike her bright eyes, which are completely magical.
The things that seem to cause us this giddy wonderment are those things that we can't easily explain, that shock us out of our everyday lives for a second and fill us with the interconnections of past, present, and future all at the same time and create an overwhelming sense of magic.
But are there things that are just wonderful, no matter who you are, no matter what you know? Is wonder a translatable language? And as warm and happy as wonder can make us feel, is it safe? Or is it a symptom of not knowing and and a sign of being easily manipulated? Wonder is one of those human tendencies that makes me nervous about religion. The addiction to the high of wonder that can lead anyone to unquestioningly follow one belief or another, follow rules that can be unkind and even brutal, and cling to that sense of something bigger that will take care of everything even as everything is falling apart. An awesome moment can change who you are, but it seems like if it really changes you, it might deserve some questioning.
Maybe wonder should be a controlled substance? Maybe when Benny Hinn fills the crowd with wonder by healing a paraplegic, the wonder police should come out to help the audience question itself out of manipulation. Someone, someone should be there to help us decipher between good, warm, fuzzy wonder and manipulative, staged, and even evil wonder. Who's up for the job?
I think I should call my congressman! Maybe they can create a Department of Wonder Protection. Not that the bill would ever get past Dubya...

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Little ass.ociations...

The other day, Little A and I were talking. She was telling me, "You aren't allowed to say butt in school."
"Really?" I said thinking that was a little anal (hardyharhar).
"Yeah, but you can say button, even though it has the word butt in it. It doesn't MEAN butt, so you can say button."
"Yep, you're right. I guess you can say button all you want."
"A lot of words have other words in them....
"Like GRASS. You can say GRASS in school, yuh know?"
Oh. my. god. How old is this kid again?

The Debrief....get those freeking Christmas decorations down already!

Almost too late. I screamed "NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!" and almost smashed into the CD changer as it flipped to a Christmas CD and I feel like rolling my eyes at the smallest mention of Christmas myself, but I owe pictures and so here they are.

This is the tooth, or the lack of tooth, that caused so much despair. That crooked one on the bottom is next....It's been ready to be yanked out for weeks. SOMEone doesn't wiggle it.

This is the dog that I ended up making for my nephew. It looks weird because he's hugging the bloody crap out of it. Always take the mom's advice. JMom SAID that he'd like it. I thought, "No way....he's too old to want a stuffed dog." I was wrong. She was right.

This is the sweater I made for M&B's new baby. I'm assuming they have baby and sweater now, so I figured I'd let you all see it. Hopefully I'll be getting word soon!

This is the cat, thinking that Christmas is just fucking fabulous:

Here he is, liking is a little more:

Here are L's feet. In L's socks. She loved them. And I knit my little fingers off that day to get them done in time!

Here's JWife's scarf:

It came out so good, I'll show it to you closer!

Here's a pile of Christmas socks, keeping the recipients warm. The left ones are JMom's, the middle are JDad's, and the right ones are my dad. There was a little last minute gift swapping after I found out that my dad really wanted some new slippers and when the big red slipper socks wouldn't felt small enough for JDad. It all worked out pretty well. My dad wore those crazy things the whole time we were visiting.

Here, is Roo's gift:

Yeah...I haven't seen her yet. Sorry. It's cool....and the picture is in queue, but you'll have to wait.

And last, and probably least, is the strangest ornament I saw this year:

It's a head. Don't be fooled into thinking there is a doll there. It's just a head with a ruffle. It was on JMom's tree and I looked to see if there was an arm or a leg surrounded by ruffle that I could show you, but there wasn't. Next year there will be! Mwaa-haa-haaaaa!

Moving on....

I cried. I purged the apt. I drank coffee. And now I feel better.
There's nothing like unloading 10 bags of garbage out of your life.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Eat this.

Sooooo....last night I had to meet some of N's family. His sister and family were visiting for the New Year and as soon as I walked in my door, I had to "freshen up" and go put on a much happier face that I really had. They were nice, their kids were sweet and cute.
His sister sort of kept fluttering around so I spent more time sitting with N and talking to her husband. He was very nice, and its purely a symptom of my piss poor mood that I'm going to dwell on the one thing that pissed me off instead of regaling you with tales of all that was nice. After a little bit of soccer chitchat, N turns to me and says, "Oh, tell him why you're a vegetarian." He seemed to be indicating that they had been talking about it before and he just couldn't explain it well.
I do not talk about this in general because it basically does no good. So, I smiled and said just that, "Yeah....I don't really talk about that. There's so many reasons...and it's really complex and I really just don't tend to talk about it."
The husband prodded me, "Ok, well give me two of those reasons, just two."
So I gave a couple quick easy reasons....its more environmentally friendly....it doesn't take as much to feed me as it does to feed a meat eater....I think it's more humane to eat without killing if you can, which I can. N nodded his head and for the briefest moment it looked as if that would be it.
But noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo. Of course not. The husband then starts to try to refute me and my reasons. He asks me if I eat dairy, and I reply that I do and that dairy is a much more renewable resource. He asks if I eat chicken....eggs....you name it. It supremely annoyed the piss out of me. I didn't start this fucking conversation. I didn't ask this guy to defend why he eats meat so why the fuck do I have to defend why I don't eat it. I will never, for the life of me, REALLY understand why so many people find it acceptable to berate someone about what they don't eat. Especially when even N, the biggest meat lover on the planet, will admit that I'm not a vegetarian proselytizer and never try to shame the stinking' meat eater even as he's berating me. How about this....next time....I think I'll just cut to the chase and say, "How about you kiss my big vegetarian ass? I didn't ask you why you eat SPAM so why the fuck do you care what I do or don't eat?"

Thank God its over.

And I didn't kill anyone. At least I don't think I did. Hopefully none of my gift recipients were allergic to wool. I have pictures for a little Christmas debrief once I pick my arse up out of the office and go get the camera out of the car. It's still buried underneath most of the Christmas visiting loot.
I just got back from visiting the J Squad and my parents in NY last night. Getting home always makes me feel empty. New Years always makes me feel incredibly blue, restless, and insignificant. Going back to work on a holiday for almost everyone in this stinking country makes me feel like banging my head into the brick wall behind me. Not sleeping the night before makes me feel manic. So...although I'd like to re-greet the blogging world with a whole buttload of giddy cheer, it just ain't gonna happen.
I have to fess up. I'm not the New Year's optimist, gleefully looking ahead to a zippy year ahead.. I'm not the whoopity-doo New Year's partier. I'm not the delighted hostess or the vehement resolver. I've tried them all out, but they all fit like a dollar store bra. Sadly, they just aren't who I am.
I'm the dissatisfied inquisitor. The one who always thinks New Year's could be fun, but knows that it won't be...because it rarely has been. I'm the New Year's pessimist who is most likely thinking about all the crap from the previous year, instead of all the wonderful things that the year held. I get trapped....thinking about the fights N and I had, the times I let down Little A, the stuff I didn't do. I'm the one who looks ahead with apprehension and wonders whether it all will really be ok. Will I work it out with N this year? We live together now, you know? Will we be able to adjust and grow? Will everything be ok with Little A? Will she go through some stage that I can't stand? Will I be an ~ok~ mom this year? Will my parents health hold this year? Will I finish my stupid master's project? Will I do anything this year...that I will be proud of? ...that I will hate? ...that I will cling to?
Maybe it's just a weird symptom of looking ahead and behind far more that I usually do. The New Year has this strange way....of making me feel like time is suspended...like there is no now, but only the past and the future. And I barely know what to do with myself. There's stuff to do now, the lists all tell me, but I usually have to wait it out. Another day or so, and maybe I'll get back to the comfort of now.