Monday, February 28, 2005

i am a bird of bright plumage 

I finished the cardigan over two weeks ago but was too embarrassed to ask Nick to take a dorky, crappy photo of me 'til this evening. I don't know why; he knows I have an on-line journal and even reads it sometimes. (Hi Honey! I'm sorry I kept trying to stick my finger up your bottom the other night!) just kidding. really.

I ended up sticking to the Meringue Yoke pattern of IK Winter 2003 out of sheer laziness, and given the egginess of the colours of the yarn I had to fill out my rapid decreasing ball of main colour with, I guess it was meant to be. I like it. I made the sleeves a little longer because I hate having my wrists exposed. I'm still a student at heart and I like to have something cushy to prop my chin up on while I pretend to be paying attention. Total primary school teacher colour scheme though, eh?

Since I'm trying to stick to the Amy Boogie one big project, one little project at a time plan, this means that the Map of the World afghan is my big project, and a pair of swirly knit tube socks (the After Bertha pattern in Socks,³ in Lorna's Laces UCB colourway (actually, the yarn you see by the snout of Crivens in the pic at the bottom of the e.e.cummings poem). I'm up into Canada (past Toronto) and onto the swirly part of the first sock, if that means anything to anybody.

Today when I got home, I saw a Woolworks catalogue sticking out of the mailbox. I read it in the tub and was overwhelmed with acquisitive lust...but since I know I have more stash than I can handle right now, and my wheel is languishing (BTW, it has a name now: Doug) I blew it out on imps' ears. The guilt of this unneccessary consumerism was serendipitously alleviated by Nick bringing up the rest of the mail which included a check from a scumbag credit card company I kicked to the curb awhile ago (I overpaid their usurer's fees in my purchasing of my freedom) and thus it all evens out at the end of the day. BTW, if you're into the whole BPAL thing and you haven't read Perfume...well, you should, because it's right up your alley.

One thing's for sure: I need to find more time for spinning, and put some of my yarn and needle stash out for auction. I blew over half of last week's paycheck on a stash dresser that (at its present size) won't fit it all.

You know I'm such a joiner, I think I'll join this stashbustin' trend. Like all these kids who dump their Merck stock jes cuz Vioxx be givin' everbuddy myocardial infarctions 'n' shit.

Wait, I'm still behind the trend and a yarn stash hasn't given anybody a heart attack yet--no matter what the melodramatic among us claim--so I guess that anal-ology doesn't work.

Next Week:

More pictures of the dogs I'm obsessed with!

(possibly) Auction listings as proof of de-stashing!
(g-d forbid I just knit faster and more)

A book review comparing (unfavourably)
Chuck Palahniuk [of Fight Club authordom fame] with Lemony Snicket!

A confession of my (now-not-so-secret) desire to bear Paul Simon's dwarfish love-child!


Friday, February 25, 2005

knitspotting in e.e. cummings 

now two old ladies sit peacefully knitting,
and their names are sometimes and always

"i can't understand what life could have seen in him" stitch
-counting always severely remarks;and her sister(suppress-
ing a yawn)counters "o i don't know;death's rather attractive"
—"attractive!why how can you say such a thing?when i think
of my poor dear husband"—"now don't be absurd:what i said was
'rather attractive',my dear;and you know very well that
never was very much more than attractive,never was

stunning"(a crash. Both jump)"good
heavens!" always exclaims "what
was that?"—"well here comes your daughter"
soothes sometimes;at which

death's pretty young wife enters;wringing her hands,and wailing
"that terrible child!"—"what"(sometimes and always together
cry)"now?"—"my doll:my beautiful doll;the very
first doll you gave me, mother(when i could scarcely
walk)with the eyes that opened and shut(you remember:
don't you,auntie;we called her love)and i've treasured
her all these years,and today i went through a closet
looking for something;and opened a box, and there she
lay:and when he saw her, he begged me to let him
hold her;just once:and i told him "mankind,be careful;
she's terribly fragile:don't break her,or mother'll be angry'"

and then(except for
the clicking of needles)there was silence


Monday, February 21, 2005

Happy Birthday to the Handsomest Boy Ever Whelped 

How can you be four already? How can you only be four? We can't remember a time without you and don't even want to think about it.

We brought him home with us on the Cinco de Mayo, so that's the day we'll really party, the day we knew how lucky we were to find each other in this big, big world.

Because Heidi d' Absinthe said she wanted to hear about it, I'm inflicting this on everybody.

So blame her, and while you're at it, go praise her mad textile skills.

Anyway, on Wednesday, the 16th, Tahoe, Belu, and I went to a San Diego Gulls hockey game for Bring Your Dog Night. We were really excited about it because I used to love going to Gulls games (holy $h!t about 13 years ago!) and we were going to be meeting up with friends from my old job at Club Pet.

There was a dog section, and it was definitely a small dogs venue, without much room for the dogs to get comfy if they were larger than a handbag. But the kids did all right, with Tahoe in my lap and Belu warming the laps of friends, and later we shared a seven dollar beer and a one dollar "puppy dog." They had a doggy relief area with about 100sf of sod and ten water bowls just outside the stadium doors where Tahoe peed on his paws and sniffed every single water bowl, deeming one after the other "too used."

They gave us a goodie bag for each dog with a toothbrush, dog toothpaste, salmon snacks, and a MuttMittpoop bag (ALWAYS handy) inside. All in all we were enjoying ourselves despite the lackluster hockey skills until a (very staged seeming) fight broke out on the ice.

Have I ever mentioned that Tahoe is very sensitive and hates conflict?

He wanted to get the hell out there as fast as possible. I tried seeing if he might calm down, but the mob reaction excitement of the crowd had pushed him over his threshold, and ten minutes and a run around the concourse later he was still shaking, the all muscles, all body kind of shaking you can see from far away and was just breaking my heart. So we left, in the third period with the Gulls still fumbling the puck around the ice leading 2 to 1 (they later lost in sudden death).

It was fun though, and a mostly good experience for them. I was really impressed that I didn't hear any (dog)fights, nobody I saw whizzed on anything but the piss-specific sod, and there wasn't very much barking.

There was an italian greyhound in the row ahead of us wearing a total thuglife-style down hooded parka tailored to fit. Schweet.


Saturday, February 19, 2005


Crivens, Mom, Tahoe, and I went to the San Diego Humane Society's Head Start class today. I really preferred the Head Start teacher we had when we took the class with Belu and Doog though, as this one spent most of the time talking and talking and talking, and we had maybe three times where we got to get up and actually do something with our dogs, for maybe five minutes total. Not that we have much patience for "obedience" in this family anyway.

On the off-chance that anyone reading this is a Ralph's grocery store shopper and a fan of the San Diego Humane Society and SPCA you might want to check out this free way to support the good work that the San Diego Humane Society does.


Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Book babble and the Music "meme" 

I think a large part of the money I earn goes to books.

I sometimes wonder where my money's gone and all I have to do is look around.

Stacks and stacks.

Books I've read, reread, books I really want to read, books I know I SHOULD read if I really want to be the well-rounded person I imagine myself to be, overdue library books (ouch, I hate shelling money out to the general fund, knowing that they'll probably do something completely silly and unbook-related with it) and old schoolbooks that have more sentimental than resale value.

And boxes and boxes of books in the garage.

Anyway, I stopped by The Grove at 30th and Juniper, a local combination yarn/book store and couldn't resist a book called One Thousand White Women, (I'm sorry but that title has so many fabulous possibilities for me) even though the jacket designers indulged themselves in something I really hate.

When I flip a book over, I want to see a brief summary of the plot, not what a bunch of effusive crap picked out by the publishers and written by people who earn a living reading books. Lucky bastards.

I look inside a book to see if I like the voice, what I need from the first glance is if this voice will have anything interesting to say.

Am I alone in this?

I also picked up Lamb (not with that cool cover though) because I think I'm on a bit of a Christopher Moore mini-kick. The man makes me laugh.

I love South Park. I'd love to live in that neighborhood if we could afford a little place with a yard and a garage, but I think one reason we really love it is that all that funky mixed use zoning and cute Craftsmans remind us of Sacramento.

I also love music.

Almost all kinds except thrash metal, depresso-rock, and misogynistic hardcore. So I've been enjoying reading this so-called "meme" around the blog-world and was actually (-sob-) really touched that Absinthe Heidi tagged me.

So here it is, though I don't do these kind of specific favourite things lists well (like a forgetful shotgun I am--all over the place I mean, not prone to blowing away stupid people who are trying to clean me...well, Rachael-a-go-go's explanation is a pretty good fit)but since I really like a lot of different stuff consider the items of #4 as random pellets in a large field (well, that's nice, summoning up the image of bunny dung when I'm just trying to keep that shotgun metaphor going. I give up, here it goes):

1. Total amount of music files on your computer?

According to iTunes, 11.28 Gigabytes, but since 1.84 is Audible stuff, I guess it's less than ten. I lost a whole bunch of stuff when the iTunes folder got wiped and I still have to re-import it. But it takes forever and iTunes is always crashing and freezing on me.

2. CD you last bought?

Afroman's Good Times. I may lose my Jr. Feminist Club Card for admitting that, but I think he's funny.

3. What is the song you last listened to before reading this message?

Well, at this moment, I'm listening to Willie Nelson's "The Maker" from Teatro but it just ended and now I'm hearing "Such Great Heights" (the Iron & Wine version).

4. 5 songs you often listen to, or which mean a lot to you?

Now the questions are getting hard.

a. "Feeling Good Again" from Robert Earl Keen's Walking Distance is the song we danced to at our wedding, and possibly the most perfect song I've ever heard. Sometimes when I hear it I get all misty because I feel in a rush how MUCH I love my husband and the life that we have, the love that we have, how lucky we are. I love Robert Earl Keen's stuff (not his Farm Fresh Onions CD, though, I don't know what happened there).

b. Gotta be something from Dar Williams in here, but WHICH one? I love her jaunty-happy-bouncy songs, like "Better Things" "Alleluia" or "Flinty Kind of Woman" but I think my favourite for capturing (again, that undefinable feeling of hope, thrill, confusion) a "mood" is "Are You Out There?" from Honesty Room. Though "I Won't Be Your Yoko Ono" from The Green World gets stuck in my head for days--"You can't trust a person like me/ I might sell your songs to Nike"

c. "Me Gustas Tu" from Manu Chao's Próxima Estación: Esperanza because it can completely turn my mood around. And I love all his stuff.

d. "Your Revolution" from Sarah Jones because it's "patently offensive."

e. "Kaanta Laga Haye Laga" from DJ Doll, because if I'd never run into this CD at a shop in Berkeley while getting an oil change I might never have fallen in love with Indian music. I also love that the video for this song was banned. I can't find the link for it now, but there was an internet stream of it, and it's totally tame by US standards (of course) but it's fun to see what looks like Hindi line dancing doing on, like "Thriller" meets "Boot Scoot Boogie" meets Bollywood. This song just makes me want to dance, like "Chunari Chunari" from the soundtrack of "Monsoon Wedding."

5. 3 you'll pass this on to (& why? Because I like you, that's why):

(this "meme" has been making the rounds, so if I tag anyone who's been tagged, please forgive me and ignore me [in either order])

Lori at HappyGoodLuck.

Stella at StellaKnits.

Ande at Knit and the City.

I like music that has a good beat, doesn't matter if I can understand it at all. If I can, and it is utterly reprehensible to my values...well, I try to deprive myself. I at least don't buy it, don't support its supporting advertisers. I love bhangra & punjabi pop, folk, bluegrass, hip-hop (MC Solaar, Afroman), music that makes me laugh or feel something (other than irritated at the noise). Yeah, so music, well, musical tastes aren't very easy to encapsulate in a "meme," but I really wanted to try.


Sunday, February 06, 2005

MMMMmmmmmm...tastes like weekend. 

Mounds of laundry. Sleeping in. Piles of dishes. Something forgotten in the crockpot. Lots of bleach, hot water, and soap.

A new foster dog who is Rumpel's opposite in everything but breed.

"Titan" is a young whippersnapper who votes against Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell for this month's KnitOne,ReadToo book selection.

Not the greatest pic, I know, but it is hard to photograph urine on a black book and a blue popcorn tin. I once dropped a copy of Roth's The Ghost Writer into a school toilet minutes before having to write an in-class final essay with it. Thankfully my margin notes are almost always in pencil.

Anyway, bleach and direct sunlight kills most anything.

Titan the pinstriped biblio-pisser has somehing I've never seen on another dog, a striping pattern which continues unimpeded
down his leg to his pad from the center of his back.

Remember when I said that a picture of 336 yards of worsted weight undyed South African Fine Wool wouldn't be very interesting to anyone? Well, it looks a little more interesting after it has been thoroughly "killed" by a rampaging foster dog.

Yes, I am a bad foster mom.

I can't get mad because I should have been watching him so he could learn that we don't pee on books or kill-shake skeins of yarn around here. Or at least we don't do it very often.

I heard him thumping around in the living room having a grand time, I just thought he was having it with one of the bazillion other dog toys which litter our landscape.

Weekends also taste like books...unpeed-on books...I finished
Nickel and Dimed last night. For anyone interested, I'll just warn that while it's an entertaining and quick read, you probably won't learn anything you don't already know about the plight of the working poor.

Well, actually I guess if I say that I'm assuming a lot.

I didn't learn anything new about the plight of the American working poor, because I did two years at Starbucks and tried (and failed) to make it working full-time and going to school full-time without external financial help. (I have worked other service industry jobs but I had roommates to share the rent, and the job was more fun [parking valet--trust me, you'll never be more flushed with the joy of living until you've been hit by a car in front of a crowd of thirty or so half-drunk revelers (I saw the car coming at the last second, leapt up and away from it and managed to do a stunt man roll across the hood, down the driver's side to skim the sideview mirrow, land in pushup position on the asphalt just in time to pushup into a flying roll sideways into the relative safety of a hedge to avoid being rolled over by the rear wheels [damn front wheel drives])]). So I found her little one month sojourns to be (while voyeuristically amusing) self-indulgent--kind of ironic considering the pervasive attitude of self-deprivation. But it definitely turned me off from even thinking about contracting out my house-cleaning.

Nick and I are both reading Birds Without Wings. If you've never read a Louis de Bérnieres book, you really gotta. That's as much as a critical endorsement as I'll go into, despite my mad passion for this man's writings, because I'd hate to make an ass out of myself like Dorothy Gallagher from The New York Times Book Review when she said (of Nickel & Dimed): "Valuable and illuminating...We have Barbara Ehrenreich to thank for bringing us the news of America's working poor so clearly and directly, and conveying with it a deep moral outrage...She is our premier reporter of the underside of capitalism."

Hahahahahahahaha. Ha. "the news[!]"



Thursday, February 03, 2005

I want tomorrow to be Saturday so bad I can taste it. 

Here's something crazy: I feel like I've been so busy lately, but when I stop and look back, I can't pin down what I'm so busy with.

But who cares? Here are my highlights:
#1: I got to meet Ande of Knit and the City (possessor of the coolest hair I know;)and her very cool Mom.

Guess what we talked about?

I guess I can never make fun of baby people again, with their endless stories of cutesy-wootsieness and horrific projectile eruptions from infantile orifices as that is the person I have become, with poop on my walls (moving on) and riveted by dinner conversation concerning the antics of and heartwrenching injuries of those little hairy mooks we love so much.

P.S. I love Ella's expression in that linked picture.

Another week, another foster dog.

While I'm glad tomorrow will be Friday (and really do wish it was Saturday), I also don't want it to come, because it means giving this guy a bath and handing him over to the GAC transport team north. Look at those long toes grip that bone.

His name is Rumpelstiltskin (a name which Nick loves in all its pageantry, and I, well, I think it's a great name for the dog of a spinner, but the associated image of the fairy tale "manikin" disturbs me) and he is officially The Easiest Foster Dog Ever and a Fat Dorky Sweetheart Who Is Having a Growly Dream Right This Moment.

Check out his 90º angle tail. At some point it was broken, but he could give a sh*t about it and it has healed this way.

He went to the vet yesterday for his dental and unfortunately had some rotten teeth. Now he looks like a redneck.

Libélula drowns her jealousy of all this adoration of a being-too-large-to-have-its-ass-kicked in peanut-butter. Don't we all?

#3 We've actually seen some movies. "The Life Aquatic" (loved it, loved the music, and the funkiness though they should have gone back for the dog), "Napoleon Dynamite" (enjoyed it but I'm not quite sure what all the fuss was about, though I dig the "Pedro offers you his protection" line and the dance skit scene), and "The Woodsman." Generally, when we're going to shell out for entertainment, we want to laugh but NPR sold us on this one, and it certainly was thought-provoking. I liked that the main character was very open to interpretation, neither demonised nor heroicised, with archetypal elements of both woven into the story. Nick and I were cringing and flinching in dread while fearing, empathising, and loathing the character.

#4 Been reading a fair bit, no more really than usual, but since I'm plopping things down in numerical list form I scramble for what's to be found in the account of my daily life. MJ of Yummyyarn alerted me to this idea of reading 52 books in 52 weeks from Large Hearted Boy and I really dig the idea of getting it all down in my journal, so when I read back later I can say. Oh. I did read that. Why can't I remember it now?

So far this year I've read:
The Miserable Mill
The Plot Against America

and I am reading:

The Cloud Atlas
Strong Motion
Reading Lolita in Tehran
Jonathon Strange & Mr. Norrell

and just received an order today containing:
Nickel and Dimed
Fast Food Nation
Birds Without Wings
The Austere Academy

and I am feeling a Herman Melville kick coming on for some reason. Probably because we have a dog named Billy Budd going to a home soon. There are a whole bunch of books already on our shelves in the "to read" list, so I won't enumerate them.

#5 I've been loving me some public radio. If you are a David Sedaris fan you shoud check out episode #214 of This American Life (apecifically beginning at 53:28 in the realaudio recording available from the site)for a new potty-humour oriented episode. I like how he groans like a little dog in his dramatic pauses.

#6. I have been knitting. I have been spinning. It's just not finished/interesting yet. Wanna see some undyed worsted weight handspun South African Fine Wool? Nah, didn't think so.


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