Friday, September 29, 2006

Ex-coffee and good mail

I don't know why people do Random Wednesday, its Friday when all my thoughts break down into a random mess. But I'll try to stick to a few select topics today.....

Yesterday, I stopped at Starbuck before work, which I rarely do. Though I love me some Vanilla Latte, someday I want a house. So, it was a rare morning treat. I was even going to get a muffin or danish or something. So, I went inside instead of guessing what looked good from my car. For 6AM, there were a lot of people standing around, all with sort of annoyed-waiting faces on. I left and went through the drive-thru instead. They're always faster there and I needed to get to work. After more than the usual amount of time, I was greeted by the friendly Starbucks voice:

"Welcome to Starbucks. We don't have any brewed coffee today, but I'd be happy to make you one of our other drinks."

Oye. For the love of God! Why must you toy with me this way, Starbucks???

Now listen to me Starbucks, I may have just said "No Thanks" to the voice because I figured the voice was probably having one hell of a morning telling pre-caffeinated gorillas that they couldn't get their triple-caffeinated Starbucks. But to you Starbucks, I must say WHAT. THE. FUCK??? (deep breath) I mean, I understand, weird things happen. Starbucks runs out of coffee at 6 freaking AM! (deep breath) But tell me, Starbucks, why even bother? Just lock the doors and let the voice go home next time, ok? Then I'll move onto Dunkin Donuts a little quicker and at least mildly soothe my inner caffeine gorilla, ok?

Ok, my day didn't start out too great, but THEN, I had another good mail day! Lisa sent me all of this for my blanket and the whoring for yarn contest! Woo-hoo! Thanks Lisa! That is some serious blanket help sitting on that table!

Then, as if that wasn't good enough, I got my first sock yarn from Mama E's sock club. Look how purty:

So my blanket, which looked like this last week:

Now looks like this:

Can you find Chris and Lisa's squares? Yes, today it seems I'm hosting Sesame Street for knitters.


Yuh know how Tink always posts her little Hoop conversations for our delight. I may have to start to post conversations with Little A's dad for your incredulity (is that a word?, who the hell cares, its FRIDAY). He's just really been going above and beyond the realm of stupidity for the last couple of months, and I tell yuh, its wearing me down a wee bit.

These stories may have to come out bit by bit because, honestly, they are so exhausting and convoluted its impossible to express him in one random Friday bit. Though he's always had this "I'm such a tortured soul" self-pitying blanket that he wraps around himself, he's recently wrapped it around his work world as well. He has to work 50 hours a week, just to survive, he tells me. Wow. 50 hours. Whatever. A lot of people work a hell of a lot more than that and considering that he can work nearly 20 of those at home if he wants? Yeah, not so much pity. Suck it up, buddy.

He has Little A for approximately 2 waking hours at night 2 weekdays and Saturday. He also "gets her ready for school" though she tends to get dressed at my house, gets her own breakfast, so really all he has to do with her between the hours of 6:30 and 8:30 is to tell her to brush her teeth and hair. He claims this to be the hardest part of the parenting day. He throws a fit if he ever has to help her with her homework on the two nights she is over at his house.

Though conversations with him have their bizarre "are you kidding me" kind of humor, I'm really starting to worry about Little A. I think his behavior is really starting to make her feel unwanted at his house. He was not very attached to her when we split, but I thought it was really important for her to have a relationship with him, so I basically enforced a relationship. He's had his good times and bad times, but generally I thought it was good for her.

But now, I just don't know. I don't want her to feel unwanted everytime she crosses the threshold of that apartment. But, I still think it may be sort of mistake to cut him off, which I have little doubt that he would resist. I've attempted to talk to him about it a little, but once he's in his self-pity, there's really nothing that will get him out of it. EVERYthing is about his HARD life. Nothing and no one else even enters in, not even some concern for Little A.

I keep thinking when she's older, maybe I'll just move a bit, and he can become every-other weekend dad. But, I don't know. Is there an age that its ok to cut off dad? So far, much like working 9-5 instead of working these crazy 6-2 hours so that I can get her from school everyday, it seems too early, she seems too young.

It's something I think about every single day. Every time she calls me from his house, upset about something that he really needn't be an ass about if he could just grow up and be a parent. What think you, blogosphere? Is it better for kids to have consistent contact with lame-ass dad or better to let him fade out?

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Good mail day

I came home yesterday to find my Knitflix package from Jennifer had arrived! Woo-hoo! I cannot even begin to tell you how much I love receiving packages (who doesn't...I know!). And this was a great one!

Jennifer sent me Benny and Joon, which I've wanted to see for ages, but never got around to it! She also sent that beautiful ball of superwash sock yarn. Could it possible be any prettier?? And the groovy card at the top.

But wait, that is not all!

She also sent me a pink yo-yo, which apparently has something to do with the movie...though I already had to wrestle it from Little A once. So, I don't really think it'll be *my* yo-yo for long. A neat little journal with changeable moods! Some nummy raisinets and that awesome zippery pencil case at the top. Hopefully Jen won't be offended when I (probably this weekend) do a little alteration to that baby and turn it into my dream DPN case! Thanks Jen! It was a GREAT package and I can't wait to watch the movie!

So, as if that wasn't good enough, I also got a little goodie from Chris. That FIRST for my whoring for yarn contest. Thanks Chris!!!

Isn't it pretty? Yeah...It's already in the blanket. Just like I can never wait until I get home to wear a new pair of shoes...Chris's yarn went right into the blanket!

Just so everyone knows, with the contest, you can send any weight from DK all they way down to lace weight...I'll combine them to get the right weight if they are lighter, which makes the whole thing even more fun. It turns out that doubling over sock yarn is just about perfect DK weight. I figured I can throw a lace weight into any that are just a hair shy of being thick enough. It all works. So, pretty please, help! :) I'll try to post a picture tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The Spinning Wheel

Was anyone wondering what happened to the building of the spinning wheel? Well, it turned into renovation of a spinning wheel because my sister bought me this at a flea market:

It cost her a whoping $45. It needs work, to be sure. But in the end, it seemed pretty awesome that I could start out with the basic structure, right there, and build it back into a wonder-spinning wheel. Any advice would be GREATLY appreciated. Send spinners....or woodworkers! I'm hoping to turn it into this (heehee, yup and Ashford Elizabeth):

Hey, at least I'm not trying to turn it into this:

So, I've got ONE thing going for me, right?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Paper Woes

My advisor suggested (since I like blogging...though she didn't seem to understand why) that I might use the blog as as outlet to explore some things. If this is insanely boring for any of you readers, I'm sorry! Regular blogging will resume tomorrow. Though there may be more of this nonsense with it.


When I met with my advisor for the first time after sending her my first draft of my project, she had many, many questions. Not questions like “Where did this brilliance arise from?” No, sadly, not those.

The questions fell more along the lines of “So, what’s the point?” At times I even felt her struggling for the questions as if the general nebulous nature of my paper made her questions want to be just as nebulous. “What?” “How?” “Why?” And so I had to wonder, not just to finish the paper, but to make something of this segment of my life.

I’m putting it lightly when I say that it was disheartening. Though some of her questions were expected, I didn’t expect an all out “What’s the point of this 100 page pile of information?” So, I thought about it.

I told her, during the meeting, how burnt out I felt by liberal arts/social science academia. More than 10 years, I had been steeped in ideas about life, society, people…all somehow connected…all somehow unknowable even as I attempted to learn them.

And so, my paper…Why did I do this? What was it about women in (and) conflict that constituted a topic, in and of itself, in my mind? What was my question? After all that information, after all that reading, what were my conclusions?

What was the point? Why was I so attached to this topic, but unable to isolate one specific area to analyze? Why was my voice trumped and drowned out by literature? What were my conclusions?

The point is this. I am a woman. I talk to women far more than to men. We seem to understand each other, a lot. We fellow bloghers are often preaching to the choir as we face the same problems, the same obstacles. Though translations across the gender lines happen, being a woman seems to be key to my way of looking at and acting in the world.

But even my womanhood was a point I struggled with in my writing. Trying to remain neutrally positioned, I even struggled with saying “us” or “our” when referring to various issues that women encounter in conflict. Though it’s a minor point, it is a prime example of how my voice had been completely lost in the paper. I became a reporter of the literature; obscured and trying to remain invisible. Though my questions came from within and from my own connections with other women, they became completely lost behind the veil of “information”.

And I am not just a woman, but I am a woman who feels completely plagued by conflict. After spending several years in a program dedicated to dispute resolution, I still feel that I am hopelessly inept at resolving any conflicts, especially those that are my own. Its been a very emotionally charged problem for me, knowing that I’ve studied for a long time, taken part in an internship, and can still escalate a conflict with someone I love like nobodies business. And so every time I have a conflict with someone, the intensity of the conflict is compounded by the fact that I feel like a complete failure in the very area where I’m supposed to be earning a Master’s Degree. Is it any wonder that my paper came out like a pile of vague ideas and notions, all piled on top of each other, but meaning nothing? In some ways, it’s exactly how I feel.

I have all this information, all these ideas, all these theories. Yet when it comes to integrating it into real life, where it matters, it all falls apart.

Thesis = End of Sanity

V is not a happy camper this morning.

I had my meeting about my thesis. A piss poor meeting, to be sure.

I cannot express the level of burnt-outedness I feel about all things social science, and apparently, that feeling came through in the paper, loud and clear.

She thinks that since I've had three weeks "off" (hahahahahahahahaha!) that I should be able to look at it with "fresh eyes" and do some pretty serious restructuring. Too bad my eyes are no where near fresh, and I only like the word restructuring if is means lighting a match to that damn thing.

Here's the thing. I have read THOUSANDS of pages for this paper alone. I have been trapped in social science/peace-conflict studies hell for more than 10 years if we count undergrad, which we most certainly do count. Once you've read that much, once you've been completely immersed for so long, EVERYTHING is linked. Everything is inextricably connected. And apparently extracting myself from that realization is what I will have to do to "re-work" this pile of shit.

I'm so burnt out on it all. I fear there will be no fresh eyes for years and I can barely look at the thing without feeling nauseous.

Not happy.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Sleepy Monday mornings.

I'm not a fan of Monday morning. Especially when Little A wakes me up for no particular reason 15 minutes before my alarm goes off. I *NEED* those 15 minutes damnit!

I'm so sleepy that I may have left the wrong comment on someone's blog this morning. I'm not sure, but I left a comment, and it doesn't seem to be in its place, so if you got a totally random, nonsensical comment from me this morning...well, it was you. Sorry. That's when I stopped leaving comments this morning.

I'm on my third cup of coffee and still procrastinating the thesis read-over for today. Which brings me to:

(Before you wonder...the sides are very equal, once again my haphazard photographic skills make me look like a big terd...that's all)

I actually finished something this weekend! Which is amazing considering my level of startitis as compared to my level of finishophobic. I made this for L's new baby, who is all of 3 months now...and it had better still fit. I think I have one more baby gift to finish off, and then, THAT'S IT! No more babies! Yeah right...certain bloggers are conspiring...I know they are!

Here is my start on the mother of all blankets:

I didn't get a huge amount done due to my panic that L's baby would be growing out of the outfit that I made him. It's a good enough start though, and it makes me happy. There are several singles hanging around as well. Much like a nap would. No, less than a nap would. But still good.

Still whoring for yarn! Thanks to everyone who emailed me so far to help! Without these knitters, my blanket would facing stand still WAY too soon!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Random Friday (Aka Sock Nazi)

I did 3 (actually 4, but one proved to be too big) little squares for the blanket last night and found that I only need lengths of 10-12 yards. I changed the original post, but it seemed like it was worth mentioning. I realized last night, just how little of my stash is DK or sport weight. ACK! I REALLY need the knitterly help out there!

Next Tuesday morning, I have a meeting with my advisor about the thesis. I am SO looking forward to this meeting. The anticipation is welling up in me like a drunken, sleeping, sloth, let me tell yuh. She'll have read the whole stinkin' thing by then. I, on the other hand, have not even glanced at it since I sealed the envelope. Sure, I have excuses...muscles, endocrine glands, nervous tissue....but sadly, knowing my advisor she still, for some odd reason, will expect me to know what I wrote. Crazy bitch. (Just kidding...I love her dearly...she may even get a pair of socks at the end of this ordeal.)

Still reading way too much anatomy. It's making me think that knitting models of muscles is a fabulous idea (which should lend some insight into my current mental state). I could send them to Knitty! Hell...if they liked the uterus doll, just think how they'll drool over my knitted likeness of gluteus maximus. Maybe it could be a hat. Butthead.


My package for the Knitflix swap is nearly ready. Just one more little element and it will be off to Jen, my partner and the lovely hostess of Knitflix!


Little A has been sort should I say this? She's been sort of like a....

Hormonal howler monkey with the patience of a hungry fruit fly and the temper of a bear from whom you've stolen reeces peanut butter cups.

I was explaining this situation to L and she said, "Do you think she's going to get her period soon?"
Crazy bitch! Yeah, and I love her dearly too, but there will be no socks for that comment.


I went to vote the other day. Yeah, I'm a good fucking citizen. That and I vote at Little A's school. It's so convenient that I would feel like a major lame-ass if I didn't. The lady at the entrance desk spent a good 5 minutes finding my name. She then yells out "DEMOCRAT!" Kind of like "Burger with fries, Up!" or "Vomit in aisle 7!" or "It's Alive!"

It was odd. I mean, I don't really try to disguise my political leanings and I was there to vote in a democratic primary, but it just seemed strange for her to yell it out to the entire room. Maybe I'll just wear a button next that the cop can start eyeing me to see if I have a bag of weed hanging out of my pocket the moment I cross the threshold instead of wasting all that time waiting for her to find my name.

Crazy Bitch. Defintely no socks for you.


I'm so incredibly slow on the uptake, that I, just yesterday, figured out how to have bloglines take care of my blogroll instead of manually inserting all the damn html onto the template page. My apologies for my previous assitude to those of you who I have read for ages, but never got around to htmling for you.

Have a lovely weekend.

And now....whoring for yarn.

It's a worthy cause. I promise you.

I hear that some people whore for much as I love comments, they don't keep me warm at night like yarn does.

So, a while back, I was quite obsessed with patchwork. I actually have a picture to post for Dawn, just so she'll know we may have been separated at birth, but I'm slow, of course. I still love it, but lately I've preferred sitting on my couch and knitting to sitting hunched over at the sewing machine. You may have also noticed that I've been making a log-cabin blanket...a concept that was so alluring to me because of its combination of patchwork and knitting. It's coming along nicely, thank you. (I think I have 4-5 more rounds...huge rounds, but still...and the border with I plan on crocheting different sized triangles with the leftovers from the blanket yarn...did that make sense? I really shouldn't blog this early in the morning.)

Anywho, as I logged onto my bloglines this morning I saw a link to this posted over at Yarnharlot. Scroll down to see that blanket. I'm. In. Love. Christmas knitting? What christmas knitting? There is a blanket that needs to live in my house.

No, I'm not asking you to go steal it from The Heathen Housewife. I have sticks of my own, and can make it, I promise. But, though my stash be vast, it be not that vast.

I checked out Shelly's calculations for her sock yarn blocks, but I don't think I have the endurance to go quite that fine. I think I'm going to go for DK weight or lighter yarns...I'll just combine them to get things about right. In adding things up, I think I'll need about 10-12 yards for each block.

And now, the whoring you've all been waiting for. It's a contest of sorts. Send me a 10-12 yard length of any yarn, DK or lighter and I'll throw your name into a hat for a drawing for a $25 gift certificate to Little Knits. The more different lengths of yarn you send, the more entries in your name I'll throw in. Easy, right? Send 5 little samples, get 5 entries! If you want to help me out on this psychotic project, email me at WhoringForYarn AT gmail DOT com. All yarn received by Halloween will be entered for the drawing (and my enduring love). I'll draw the winner on November 1st!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Public Service Annoucement

This is our cat:

This is our cat on drugs:

Any questions?
This is Little A:

This is Little A pretending to be a cat on drugs:

Any questions?

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

In Honor of Talk Like a Pirate Day....

6 uses for yer pointy sticks

1. Good fer stratchen. Anywhere, anyway mateys.

2. Skeweren your dinner. Mmmm....roast ship rat. A mighty fine supper.

3. Uncloggin yer ears when the captain is havin words with ye. You can use the booty to patch yer boat or yer boots.

4. I hear these mighty fine sailor shirts i looted from the last stinking pack of boats were made with em. Some laddy must be pulling me leg. He'll be meeting my pointy stick before he lets his scurvy head hit his stinkin pillow tonight.

5. In case yer missed it...taken care of yer treacherous mateys.

6. Stir ye mead with it, me lads. A swift lick leaves yer stick in prime shape for bludgeoning.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Random Friday

So, I don't think many of you know, but around my house lately, its all Anatomy and Physiology, all the time. I'm taking an accelerated course this semester...well two...basically jamming both A&P 1 and 2 into one measly semester. So, I find that now I can only think about glands and tissues and muscles and hair follicles and well you get the point. The result? I'm VERY boring. I tell you, I'm even boring myself this past week or so. I prefer my inner chatter to be about knitting or cooking or at the very least, some cutism of Little A's. most interesting thought in the past 10 minutes has revolved around killing the buzzing fucking fly in my office and wondering what kind of skin the fly has...he's awfully easy to crush....when I get my papers on him! Grrr. So, if your still there, after the boring award has been graciously received, I present you with some lovely random bits:

Little A may be doing Ok in the boy department. I realized this while watching The Sound of Music with her. While Ralph (Rolph?) was singing his cheez-o song to catapult Leisle into her patriarchal initiation, Little A says, "What an idiot." (Just like you hear it.) Ahh....just what I like to hear.
So I figured, hey! At least she's ahead of semi-fictional 16 year old Austrian girls.


In other crush news, we had this little conversation last night in the car:

Little A: Crush is going to buy me a pack of yogos.
Mom: Why?
Little A: Because there is a toy in it and he wants me to have the toy.
Mom: Really? Well, that's nice. What kind of toy is it?
Little A: It's a little button that you press and it pops yogos into your mouth.
Little A: You know how I like buttons.

Romance at its finest.


When we were on our vacation, I was reading Katherine of Aragon by Jean Plaidy in her series about the wives of Henry VIII (Mock me if you must, but I'm a sucker for all things Tudor or Arthurian). My epiphany may seem purely coincidental to all of you, but I tell you its true no matter what brought me to it. Are you ready?

Emeril Lagasse is the reincarnation of Henry VIII.

I kid you not. Watch Emeril Live. Try to read the book during the commercials. You'll see JUST what I mean. Then you'll be nuts too.


I'm making a log-cabin blanket (like every one else seems to be in the knit-blog universe):


And the crisp weather is making me all ready to go apple picking.

Friday, September 08, 2006

This week in history.

My history, that is. Tomorrow is my one year blogiversary. Friday, September 9, 2005 was my very first, very brief, quite unsure bloggy post. At that time, I was also broken up with N. I was convinced that I would finish my thesis before the year was done. I was, even then, a serious yarn hoarder and was embarking on knitting every single one of my christmas gifts.

It amazing how things stay the same from year to year. But there are some changes.

Little A started 3rd grade this week. Unlike last year, she spent the morning before her first day of school chattering a mile a minute about her crush. Though she won't admit such a label, the amount of talk about this boy betrays her everytime. It's a bit of an uncomfortable age for it, and I feel I'm only saved by the lack of bussing to the school. School busses scare me.

And of course, it freeks me out even more to know that at EIGHT, she is quickly approaching the age of "talks" about boys. My mom never gave me these talks, so I'm not really sure how they go, but I guess I'll have to figure it out pretty soon. I'd really like the talks to go like this:

Mom: Don't let any boy or man touch you until you are 18. Alert me if one tries. I have remedies. (Mua-ha-ha-ha)
Little A: Don't worry mom, I bolted the lock on my chastity belt this morning. Here's the key.

I'm just constantly appalled by the robbing of innocence SO early anymore. Not to go all "back in my day sonny" on yo asses, but hey! Back in my day, while I was walking to school up hill, both ways, even if my mom DID worry about anything like this (which I'm sure she kept herself so firmly in denial that she n-e-v-e-r had any inkling), she really would've only had to worry about little stolen kisses for at least 4-5 more years. Yuh know...until I ACTUALLY hit puberty. But apparently now, having a daughter on the verge of nine years old is enough to induce panic.

I was 15 when I lost my virginity, and even now, I look back on it and think that was way too young...for me...for my level of maturity at the time, even though I think that's a pretty average age for girls of my generation. Maybe I feel it was young because I felt pressured into it, which I imagine about 90% of girls are. And now I sit here and wonder about Little A. I know *good* kids who are sexually active by 12 years old. Not deliquent kids from neglectful, dead-beat homes. Good, straight-A, polite, going-somewhere kids.

And the thing is, I don't really care what age she is, as long as she's ready for it, not pressured into, and she's safe. She's could be 33 15 too, but I fear she will be much younger and I just can't imagine how she could be ready for that.