Dixie Peach: May 2007

Cooler than the other side of the pillow.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Gettin' Dotty With It

So much to say, so little ability to put it in any sort of real structure. Time for a bulleted list!

~ My MIL seems to have a boyfriend. Or beau. Or gentleman caller. Whatever it is you call a 73 year old widow's man action. And he's younger. Only 65. And he's a widower himself. He lives in the apartment building across the street from hers and she met him while they were walking their respective dogs. I'm pretty sure this is one big reason my MIL wants to share Bonnie with us - if we cut her off from regular dog walking she wouldn't meet as many people. Evidently I've seen this guy before as well when I was walking Bonnie - unfortunately I only remember his dog, a cute little smooth coat Jack Russell terrier named Willie. Anyway, she invited him over for coffee a few weeks ago and come to find out he's been wanting to ask her for coffee for a long time now but, as he put it, "I was nervous about approaching a fine lady like you.". Ever since their first little coffee meet-up they've been seeing each other nearly daily. And Bonnie likes his dog so it's a match made in heaven.

Want to know how much my MIL likes this guy? She won't let Aunt Annoying meet him yet. She hasn't even told Aunt Annoying about him yet. Saturday is Uncle Milquetoast's birthday and my MIL has to go over to their house for his dopey birthday party and I've got to be the one to drive her. In order to not scare this guy away she's choosing to be driven over there by me in an 11 year old, non-air conditioned Toyota Starlet instead of being driven by him in a comfortable 3 year old Mercedes. She must really dig this guy.

We're scheduled to meet him this Sunday. B's slightly hesitant about the whole thing because my MIL has not had the best track record with men since B's dad died. The first gentleman friend she had bought her nice gifts but he was weird and wanted her to stay with him at his apartment all the time - an apartment without a dishwasher or a microwave. Dishwashers and microwaves were too high faluten for him. That she could live with but she witnessed him having a hissy fit at a family party and that was it for him. The next guy was nice but a bit socially awkward and they ended up just being buddies until he dropped dead one day while visiting his late wife's grave. And the last one was a freak. After being together for about a week he wanted her to keep a framed photo of him in her apartment and he kept wanted to buy her groceries for her (a big no for her) and at her birthday party he kept hanging on her or petting her arm like she was a poodle. He was given the heave-ho after a month. B and I couldn't stand the guy. He walked around like he had a full diaper in his pants and B and I took to calling him "Pampers Butt".

~ Now we all need to join hands and say a prayer that on Saturday Magdeburg beats St. Pauli in soccer. Magdeburg has the opportunity to move up to the second league in soccer if we can beat St. Pauli...a major feat because last year we were in the fourth league. Third league games are virtually never shown on TV but this one will because it's a big deal. And what will I be doing while the game is on? I'll be driving to POS Cow Town with my MIL for Uncle Milquetoast's birthday festivities! And be forced to sit with the most obnoxious woman I know and her guests who are off-the-charts boring. Break out the muthafuckin' party hats!

~ Speaking of those who can throw a great muthafuckin' party, I want this t-shirt beyond all reason. I love Deadwood, I think Al Swearengen is brilliant and that line was one of the best lines of the whole show.

I just had an idea. Wouldn't that be a great t-shirt to wear to the Aunt Annoying/Uncle Milquetoast birthday festival?


Wednesday, May 30, 2007

It Could be the Weekend. Just Depends on What Point You Started It.

The lovely Jessica tagged me last week for a meme and I said to her "Check back here on the weekend. I'll do it then.". And I had every intention of doing it except on Saturday I got caught up in watching Dancing with the Stars and on Sunday I was entirely too drunk exhausted from being all afternoon at the city festival and Monday was a holiday too and therefore technically counted towards the weekend but I got caught up in reading and didn't spend much time online. So I'm doing it today. It's only Wednesday. That makes me only two days late getting it done. Believe me, in my world getting things done two days after I said I'd do them is an accomplishment. Ask anyone who's ever waited on me to mail stuff to them.

This is one of those "Seven Random Things" memes and I think I'll shake it up a little and make it seven random things about....let's see...about me and sleep. If you want to read seven random things about me in general, click on the links in my sidebar. You'll find two hundred of them there.

1. While I may live in the land of giant head pillows (regular German pillows are 80cm x 80cm - 2.5 cm are in 1 inch so you if you want to figure out how big my pillow is in inches, be my mathematical guest 'cause you know I ain't gonna do it for you) I only sleep on a very small portion of it. I don't really care to have the pillow touching my face - my ear may touch and a very small portion of my cheek and jaw but my eyes, nose, mouth and any other face-y parts need to be free. Now I suppose I could get along with a very tiny pillow but tiny pillows don't tend to be puffy pillows and I like thick and puffy pillows.

2. Standard German beds are also different from what one finds in America in that one doesn't have the standard fitted sheet, top sheet, blanket, bedspread and/or comforter arrangement. We have a fitted sheet and a quilted comforter covered with a duvet cover, often made of cotton, and it serves as our top sheet and blanket and bedspread all in one. Makes for fast bed making! Anyway, since nothing that's laying on top of one is tucked into the sides of the mattress it allows me to indulge in having my feet uncovered - and I love to have my feet uncovered as I sleep. It's got to be bitterly cold for me to sleep with my feet covered.

3. I love my mattress. It's the best mattress I've had in all my 45 years of life. It's perfect. Firm without being like a rock. Cushy without being mushy. I'm also fanatical about keeping it flipped over and turned head to foot every month.

4. I don't need absolute quiet or absolute darkness to sleep. I actually like to have the light from the street lamps coming through the windows and the sound of a fan running puts me right out.

5. If I take a nap on my bed (as opposed to napping on the sofa), I have to nap on top of the bed. I cannot get in bed, under the covers, with street clothes on. I get a little wigged out at the idea of being under the covers in jeans and a blouse. And I'll see you in hell before I get in bed under the covers with socks on.

6. I went to a camp for the weekend with my church's youth group when I was a teenager. It was October and rather cold at night and we were in unheated cabins with sleeping bags. I'd borrowed a sleeping bag from my backpacking older brother and thought I was all set for a cozy night's sleep because it was a down sleeping bag rated to something ridiculous like -40°F. Unfortunately I didn't know it was a mummy bag - you know where the bag tapers down until your feet are practically at a point - and I ended up freezing my ass off all night because I couldn't bear having my feet strangled together like that and had to sleep with the bag unzipped.

7. I never slept with stuffed animals as a child but I did and still do sleep with a small pillow (too flat for my head pillow requirements, however!). I don't generally hold it as I sleep or even as I'm falling asleep - I just have it next to my head. But not touching my face. Lord, don't let it touch my face.

I won't tag anyone but if you love memes, need a little content boost or just want to tell us random things about yourself, feel free to steal it. Or do as I did and tell us seven random things about you and something specific. You and your hobby. You and driving. You and desserts. You and college. Break bad! Improvise!

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007


If you go to a place like this:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

and have a lot of these:

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it's quite possible that before long you'll be up doing this:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

And that's what I love about our city's annual summer festival. You can do this:

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but if you've had enough of this:

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may only seem like a bad dream.


Friday, May 25, 2007

Friday Shuffle - Rock Star Love Edition

I'm not sure how we got onto the following topic, but that's a common thing when I'm chatting with Darling Mollie. We'll start out talking about her job or what I did that day and it'll morph into a discussion about the latest episode of Lost that I've seen and then we'll talk about some wacky persons she saw at the grocery store. We'll start at Point A and find ourselves at Point M via Point R before we know it.

Anyway, it was one of these roaming conversations that got us started on talking about what rock stars we thought were hot when we were teenagers. A discussion that left us both wistful and feeling older than we probably should feel. Do you remember your teenage rock star crushes? Care to confess them to me?

Now my first rock star love was John Lennon. Before I even started Kindergarten I wanted to marry him and thought it would be entirely possible to do that. Of course back then I thought all the Beatles lived together in one house in London.

When I was around 11 years old all of my friends were crazy over Donny Osmond or David Cassidy or Bobby Sherman. And while I thought they were good looking I never plastered their images all over my bedroom. They were okay, but not all that great. About the same time I got a pen pal in England. She lived in Gloucester and was crazy about Sweet. She would send me their records (you just couldn't get them in the States back then) and sent me her old copies of teen fan magazines and that's when I fell in love with their lead singer, Brian Connolly. I was a little in love with the drummer, Mick Tucker, but maybe I just wished I played drums like he could. But Brian had what I loved - he was skinny and blond and I loved his voice...and I still do. My pen pal loved the guitarist, Andy Scott, and she and I would write long letters about how we'd marry them and live next door to each other. Unfortunately Brian drank until he ruined his health and he died ten years ago and Andy Scott is fat now so it's probably best that we didn't live out that dream.

By then I'd discovered that I could have more than one rock star love and when I was 13 years old and attending my first rock concert I fell for my next one. My first concert was Led Zeppelin in 1975 and Robert Plant was my new love. I didn't know a lot about sex back then but he looked like living sex right there before me. And he had my requirements - skinny, blond, and a fantastic voice. I love that Robert Plant took my concert virginity.

Peter Frampton was next. I still had my English pen pal and she was a fan of his going back to his Humble Pie days. I had Frampton albums before Frampton Comes Alive came out and by the time it did, I adored him. I still remember my life sized Peter Frampton poster and I saw him in concert a couple times but after the Rolling Stone article about him by Cameron Crowe that called him the "Pretty Power Rocker", my lust began to fade a little. He was becoming appealing to the wrong crowd and being skinny, blond and with a voice I loved couldn't completely overcome this. And that dreadful Sgt. Pepper movie didn't help any either.

I've been listening to The Who for nearly as long as I've been listening to The Beatles but for some reason it took me until I was in my late teens before I developed an enormous crush on Roger Daltrey. Why couldn't I see it before? He's skinny! He's blond! And he has what I consider to be the greatest voice in rock. I still think he's fantastic. When I saw The Who in 1979 and ended up losing my hearing for three days afterwards I couldn't have been happier. Hell, I still think Roger Daltrey hot.

So after all these rock stars I loved when I was a teenager in the 70s, is it any wonder I married a guy who spent the 70s looking like this:

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Skinny. Not blond, but he had blondish red hair back then. Can't sing worth toffee though.

Time to shuffle. Not sure if any of my former loves will shuffle up but Bixente the iPod is holding songs from them all.
  1. Apple Of My Eye - Dolores O'Riordan
  2. Shadow Of The Moon - Blackmore's Night
  3. Everyday I Write The Book - Elvis Costello
  4. Ariel - Dean Friedman
  5. Jungle Love - Steve Miller Band
  6. Ready To Run - Dixie Chicks
  7. When I'm Up - Great Big Sea
  8. Veronica - Elvis Costello
  9. Keep The Car Running - Arcade Fire
  10. The Air That I Breathe - The Hollies
None of my boyfriends showed up but two from the fabulous, if not especially attractive, Elvis Costello.

Have a great weekend.

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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Thursday Haiku

Check me out! Keeping up with my Thursday Haiku and all. Sari must be so proud of me.

Buy shades for west side
Sun blazes through my windows
It won't let me nap.

No fair! No warning!
Doctor wants blood test today
And I'm in no mood.

No flowers planted
My balcony is barren
Must plant some next week.

Bought a new room fan
It's too hot to do without
Old one too noisy.

Mayonnaise is here!
Sweet, sweet peanut butter too
My mouth and bread smile.

Time for city fair!
Beer! Bratwurst! Concerts! More beer!
It's four days of fun.

Shuffle tomorrow
Bixente plays all the tunes
Come get your groove on!


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

No Knitty, Just Dotty

Another week has gone by with no discernible progress in my knitting. Frankly, I'm sick of the sock I'm working on and reading has been taking up a lot of my time as well. So today you're excused from more yarn talk for another week. Well. Sort of anyway.

~ Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch is a book sock knitting friends of mine have for a long time encouraged me to finally buy. I pooh-poohed it somewhat - there are tons of sock patterns online for free and I can be a cheap ass when it comes to buying knitting books but when I had a gift certificate to blow I bought it and it arrived today.

Holy smokes people - if you knit socks and don't have this book, you're not getting the most out of your sock knitting. It's billed as the only sock knitting book you'll ever need and I'd say it lives up to that. It's set up so that all you need to do is, pick a pattern, pick a yarn, pick the needles you want to use, have your leg measurements, know your gauge and you can knit dozens of different socks without the agony of worrying over whether a pattern is going to fit someone properly. It gives some styles based upon certain types of stitch patterns and then cleverly adds a stitch dictionary so that you can substitute different patterns with ease. Just when I was feeling a bit burned out on socks, this book arrives and rejuvenates it.

Since it was one of those "buy this book and get this other book too for this amount" deals, I bought the second book, More Sensational Knitted Socks, at the same time. For anyone interested in getting it for themselves the difference in the first and second books seems to mostly be the patterns offered...and the patterns offered are pretty gorgeous. The instructional part goes over the basics just as it does in the first book, the tables are basically the same and then there are some more techniques introduced like different cast ons for top down socks and bind offs for toe up socks. There's also another stitch dictionary provided. I'd say it's worth buying this second book.

I must stay strong. I must not cast on for new socks until I finish what I'm working on now.

You can peek again! Yarn talk is over!

~ It's tempting to say "Holy shit, it's hot here!" but it's not particularly hot. What it is is humid. The sort of humid where even the slightest amount of exertion turns me into a sweaty mess. I have spent the entire day with most of my hair soaking wet. When I was in high school I worked in a dry cleaners and laundry and I don't remember sweating that much there, even in the middle of the summer. It's the sort of humidity where you can't bear for any part of your skin to touch any other part of your skin and should you have a puff of a breeze touch you, you nearly weep with joy. It's humidity you could surf on.

~ I'm going to blame this next part on the humidity and its ability to make me stupid. I went today to the immigration office to get my residency visa transferred from my old, expired passport to my brand spanking new passport. The residency visa has my photo on it. Did I think to bring a new photo with me? Of course not! That would have made this trip entirely too efficient and my time well spent. I got two photos when I renewed my passport so I have a biometric photo already that I can use - my only problem now is finding where I have it stashed. At least I made an appointment for my return visit to speed things up when I go back so there won't be any waiting in line. And I'd like to take this opportunity to compliment the ladies working at the immigration office. Nice, nice, nice and extremely patient. Friendly as all get out. I thought my MIL (who I like to take with me when I go do important things just in case there's one word I don't really understand) was going to invite them over for coffee and cake 'cause they were just so danged friendly! They may be a little dick-heady at the Bürgerbüro (for those of you not in Germany, that's a bureau that takes care of citizen matters - you get your national ID there, get a passport, register your residency, etc.) but by golly the ladies at the immigration office are top drawer!

~ I bought gasoline about 10 days ago. I don't drive a whole lot and my Toyota Econobox Starlet isn't exactly a gas hog so I fill it up usually every 7 or 8 weeks. Yay for good public transportation and living right in the middle of the main shopping district! Anyway, when I filled up I paid 1.36 € per liter for super unleaded. We'll not go into why I'm putting super unleaded in an 11 year old Starlet. I'm not even sure I have a good reason why. At the time I nearly fell out when I saw what I was paying for a liter of gasoline. The time before that when I filled it I paid something like 1.23 € per liter. I was a little mad with myself that I'd evidently picked a bad time to buy gas but I had to have it. Today I saw that super unleaded gas is going for 1.45 € per liter. Converted to American dollars that's about $1.95 per liter. Nearly $8 a gallon, folks and it's only going to get worse. Until people start getting serious about using less gasoline it's going to get worse. If not bringing a photo to the immigration office made me feel dopey, buying gas before the price spiked makes me feel like a genius. Or at least at the right place at the right time.

~ Mmmmm....coconut and chocolate ice cream. It doesn't cure sweated out hair but you care less about it.

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Monday, May 21, 2007

Favorite Pages

I'm powerless to not do a book themed meme when I see one so when I spotted this one over on Katya's blog, I had to nick it. Feel free to gank it for yourself should you be so inclined.

A book that made you cry: I don't often cry when reading books but the last book that made me cry is Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling. I still can't get over Dumbledore being dead.

A book that scared you: The Shining and It both by Stephen King creeped me out no end. To me they're his scariest books. And I remember reading Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi - it got passed around my group of friends - and that really scared me. I remember us talking about the idea that Charles Manson would be up for parole in 1978 and us all saying that we were afraid they'd parole him then - 1978 was only a couple years away at that point.

A book that made you laugh: A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole made me laugh out loud many times with its outrageous characters and situations. I'm not sure I've ever read a book more outrageous.

A book that disgusted you: I remember reading my sister's copy of Xaviera Goes Wild! by Xaviera Hollander when I was about 12 years old and nearly throwing up at the German Shepherd masturbation scene.

A book you loved in elementary school: Harriet the Spy and it's sequel The Long Secret by Louise Fitzhugh. Do you know anyone who read those books and loved them and didn't want to spy on everyone like Harriet?

A book you loved in junior high: The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. It's still one of my favorite books of all time and I re-read it yearly.

A book you loved in high school: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. One of my other all-time favorites. A good lesson regarding integrity at a time when a sense of integrity is a good thing to learn.

A book you hated in high school: The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway. That book alternately annoyed and bored the shit out of me.

A book you loved in college: I first read In Cold Blood by Truman Capote when I was in college and I credit it and Helter Skelter for kicking off my fascination with true crime stories.

A book that challenged your identity: I'm not sure about whether this qualifies as challenging my identity but A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving did change how I view fate, destiny and how I determine my direction in life.

A series that you love: I can't stop with one series because I am a fiend for books in series. If I love a book and it's characters I love seeing them in a series. It's like seeing old friends again. I started my series love when I was 8 years old with the Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Other series I love are the Mitford series by Jan Karon - they're a bit corny but I love their simple, gentle nature, the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovtich, The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis and naturally the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling. There are more I could list but I'll get to them later.

Your favorite horror book: The afore mentioned The Shining by Stephen King.

Your favorite science fiction book: I'm not a fan of sci-fi but I loved Slaughterhouse 5 by Kurt Vonnegut.

Your favorite fantasy book: The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Your favorite mystery book: It's a series, actually - the Kinsey Millhone Alphabet Mystery series by Sue Grafton. I'm waiting right now for S is for Silence to be delivered.

Your favorite graphic novel: Ghost World by Daniel Clowes.

Your favorite biography: I don't often read biographies which is a switch because I read every biography in my elementary school's library when I was a kid. I can't say I have a favorite but one that I've read and enjoyed was Me: Stories of My Life by Katharine Hepburn.

Your favorite "coming-of-age" book: She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb. I'm not sure if it strictly qualifies but I think you see a woman grow up and change find herself over the course of many years.

Your favorite classic:: That's so hard to pick. I could go on and on about classic books that I love. I'll just pick the first classic book I can remember reading - Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. I still love that story - romance, mystery, tragedy, mean characters, pure-hearted characters. Honestly, someone needs to make a classic literature meme.

Your favorite romance book: As a rule I don't read romance but I would qualify another series I love - the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon as being enough of a romance to qualify.

Favorite kids book: If we're talking about books for very small children I'd pick as my favorites the Curious George books by H.A. Rey.

Favorite cookbook: The Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook

Your favorite book not on this list: Stones From the River by Ursula Hegi and Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore are two all-time favorites of mine.

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Sunday, May 20, 2007


I just finished ordering nearly 35 € worth of Hellmann's mayonnaise and Jif peanut butter. Five little jars of mayo and 2 little jars of peanut butter. And I am over the moon excited.

That's sad. So very, very sad.

Then again I'm going to be a lot less sad when I get to eat tomato sandwiches and peanut butter, banana and mayonnaise sandwiches with the proper mayonnaise and peanut butter.

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Friday, May 18, 2007

Friday Shuffle - Everything At Once Edition

I said I'd do it
And it's true! I really will!
It's all in one post.

Haiku! Photos! Lists!
Bulleted or by numbers
With a shuffle too!

  • Why can't I just stop time with my hair? Right now I'm hitting a good hair day every day. It's nothing to do with how it's cut or colored - it's probably everything to do with the alignment of the planets.
  • I'm up to reading Harry Potter IV and have thrown aside knitting in favor of tales of wizards. I've also had a few dreams about Harry Potter, as if I'm a character in a book, and I'm fairly sure that means my geek quotient is at an all-time high.
  • While I'm very good with keeping the outside of my car clean, the inside is pathetic. Nothing exactly gross in it - no fast food wrappers tossed around or abandoned clothing items - but I'm fairly certain that there's enough dust in it that were it all compressed together it would be enough to form a fair size island. The dog hair's fairly out of control as well and I wish I had a nickel for every TicTac that's spilled out onto the floor. Sad, sad, sad.
  • Know what I'm looking forward to while visiting the US this fall? Yes, yes - seeing my family and friends tops the list but coming in a close second is buying new shoes. There's a lot about Germany that I like but their idea of shoes isn't among them. 'Cept for the Birkenstocks. Birkenstock clogs make me very happy.
Speaking of shoes, get ready to dance. Bixente the iPod's ready to shuffle.
  1. Sail On Sail On - NRBQ
  2. Latchmere - The Maccabees
  3. Boat On The River - Styx
  4. My Favorite Mistake - Sheryl Crow
  5. Im Nin'Alu - Ofra Haza
  6. Your Mother Should Know - The Beatles
  7. Locomotive Breath - Jethro Tull
  8. I Want You Now - The Feeling
  9. Sherry Darling - Bruce Springsteen
  10. Reflections - Diana Ross and the Supremes
A shuffle as all over the place as this blog entry is.

And to round things out here's your photo - a super groovy Kinder Surprise egg changing photo. Glide that cursor over the photo to see it change!

This time the prize is a puzzle.

Awwwww! A puppy and daisies! What better way to wind up a week than with an adorable puppy and daisies?!

Have a great weekend filled with adorable things.

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Thursday Haiku

The week's nearly over so let's not break form now. It's Thursday, it's haiku. Let's go.

Holiday today
Bakery's closed, eat pancakes!
Bacon on the side.

See you scratch your head
"What holiday?" you ask me
It's Ascension Day.

"That's a holiday?"
It is here. We're no heathens!
It's Father's Day too.

Fish sticks for supper
Eat them with lots of ketchup
Rush back to childhood.

I'm convinced of this
When the world eats more fish sticks
We'll have fewer wars.

Guests come on weekend
Dust! Mop! Iron tablecloth!
Hide junk in closets.

Baking butter cake
Fluffy soft, drenched in butter
Arteries say "Stop!".

Shuffle tomorrow
Bixente kicks out good tunes
Wear your dancing shoes!


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Wednesday Kinder Egg Blogging

Time to bring back an old blogging favorite. That's code for "The content well is getting mighty, mighty dry.".

Today's Kinder Egg blogging isn't from standard Kinder Surprise eggs but are from the seasonal Kinder Joy eggs. Golly, that makes it extra special, doesn't it?

As ever, roll your cursor over the photo to see the picture change.

I don't think one has to be a genius to see that the assorted parts are going to assemble into a goose.

But you probably couldn't guess that it's a goose and a eye liner pencil holder as well. Form and function! Two treats in one!

This one's a bit harder to guess but it does involve the application of stickers.

Spinning toy! They're cartoon ants spinning on top of their...ant condominium.

And before anyone asks, here's where to find out how to do the changing photo trick:

Groovy photo changing trick instructions.

No photos tomorrow but poetry. Perhaps on Friday we'll have a big combination bulleted list/photo/poetry/shuffle shebang.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

New Shape, Same Great Taste!

Now, now, you don't want the same old same do you? Another bulleted list? Another set of dots? Of course you don't.

We're gonna use tildes today! Break out the party hats!

~ Dear You know I love you dearly. You know I spend lots and lots of money with you. And I know you can't control what UPS or any other delivery service will do, especially when you're shipping overseas but I want my books. You told me that you estimate that my books would be delivered between May 5th and May 16th and they're not here yet. Please tell me they'll be here tomorrow. I have two knitting books in that order. Sock knitting books. I need new sock patterns, dammit! Send me my effin books!

Thank you. Smooches!

~ More from Aunt Annoying. She wanted my MIL to come out last Sunday to have coffee and cake with her and Uncle Milquetoast since my MIL's cousin, Ruth, and her husband, Walter, would be there - they won't be able to attend the Uncle Milquetoast birthday party. Anyway my MIL begged off saying that since we were having a lot of stormy weather she didn't want to be out in it. Yesterday Ruth reported to my MIL that Aunt Annoying got pissed and complained to Ruth and Walter that my MIL just doesn't want to keep a connection to the piece of shit backwater town quaint village of her birth. Let me pause to say that my MIL moved from POS Backwater Town when she was 20 years old. She's 73 now. I think that connection was lost long ago. Anyway, Aunt Annoying blathered on about how my MIL won't go out there and that she was sure that my MIL could get me to drive her out there for a few hours and blah, blah, blah and finally Walter said "You know, it's very windy and stormy with hail and and heavy rain expected. Do you not understand how dangerous that is for Margot and Kim to be on the road together in weather like that? What would happen to B if something happened to them?" Boy, that shut up Aunt Annoying right quick. She didn't make another peep on that topic.

~ Remember a couple weeks ago when I said that I had a dream that ZZ Top was filming a video outside of my apartment? Today while walking to the bakery I saw a poster advertising ZZ Top in concert in Leipzig in June. Dang. I'm like Jeane Dixon!

~ I have seen 11:11 a lot lately. Ever since Paula passed away on May 4th. I can't help think that means something. I've been trying a lot lately to put some meaning in Paula's death - to take something from it and learn something from it - because I can't stand the idea of someone 41 years old passing away and it not meaning something.

~ I'm very behind on my knitting. Not-so-secret-secret-project? Haven't touched it in a week. And I'm still working on the caramel colored pair of Jaywalker socks. I may need someone to threaten me to get my ass in gear.

~ Perhaps the same person or persons disciplining me on my knitting could take moment and give me a stern reminder that just because the words "diet" and "sugar-free" are written on a can of whipped cream it doesn't give me license to put the nozzle in my mouth and fill my mouth with it. Repeatedly.

That's all for today. Hope that I get more writing inspiration soon before I have to start using the °s or the *s.

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Monday, May 14, 2007

Dotty Roundup

More and more I'm having to rely on the bulleted list. You've noticed too, haven't you?

Well at least you're already expecting it. Here goes!

  • Let's Dance, the German version of Dancing with the Stars starts tonight. I cannot abide the German version of American Idol which, thankfully, has ended for this season, but I love me some dancing C-list celebrities.

  • I can't be living the same horror again. We moved to this apartment because we had to flee from loud ass neighbors that disturbed us. Now I have neighbors above me with kids that practice their piano all the time. I'm trying to be a good sport about it. I don't say anything to them even though they play at 8:30am on weekends. I don't say anything even though they play the same. six. songs. all. the. time. Badly. You'd think with all that practice they'd get better. It's driving me crazy but I don't want to be the cranky, bitchy neighbors.

    And then today my doorbell rang and it was one of our neighbors that lives on the 5th or 6th floor. He'd rung at the wrong apartment - he was looking for the piano players. I told him they're up on the 3rd floor and he went on to tell me that the piano is making his family nuts and his little ones can't nap in the afternoons. I could have kissed him when he mentioned he can't stand the early-on-weekends playing either. He went up to them and said something to someone and we had quiet for a while but it cranked up this evening around 8:30 and went on until almost 9:00 when I finally did one of those shrill whistles that can be heard a block away.

    I can't bear moving again.

  • I'm gearing up for a battle between my MIL and Aunt Annoying over Uncle Milquetoast's birthday party. Aunt Annoying wants my MIL to spend the night. My MIL told us she'll see Aunt Annoying in hell first. I'm of the idea that a visit to Aunt Annoying and Uncle Milquetoast's house is akin to being in hell.

  • I'm re-reading the Harry Potter series in anticipation of the last book coming out. I'm sometimes amazed that I became such a fan of these books (and the films as well) because I'm normally a rather anti-hype sort. If everyone else likes it I probably won't. Still I caved in and started the series when the fifth book was published and was sucked in a way I haven't experienced since I was a kid reading the Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. When that seventh book is released, I'm going underground until I've finished reading it.

    And for the record, as much as I liked the Little House books, I detested that TV show.

  • You're off the hook for knitting talk tomorrow. Nothing new started, nothing old finished. However, I can't guarantee that you're off the hook from another bulleted list.

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Friday, May 11, 2007

Friday Shuffle - We're Not in Kansas Anymore, Toto Edition

Holy bag of socks it was windy today. Not windy as in "My hair's getting mighty tousled in this breeze!" but windy as in I couldn't get my leg inside the car fast enough before the wind blew the door shut on it.

And damn, that hurt!

B's not feeling well again. Stormy weather or sudden changes in the weather or, in the case of today, very windy weather screws him up. It effects his circulation and digestive system and since last night he's felt cramped and bloated and it's kept him from sleeping - and if he's not sleeping, I'm not sleeping.

After spending most of the day trying to get his wonky stomach to stop hurting I ventured out to run a few errands - go to the bank and get some cash, go pick up something for me for dinner since I was kept from doing my regular shopping, and put gas in the car. As I was driving and seeing thin branches blow down from trees I thought it was probably not the most prudent move to drive in this sort of wind - gusts of up to 60mph were seen - but when I passed the a crew from the fire department trying to pull upright from the road a metal fence that had enclosed a construction area I thought that perhaps I could be in more danger than I first suspected. All I missed seeing was an orphan and a Cairn Terrier flying by in a clapboard house.

I ran my errands and started my drive back home. The wind was relentless and while stopped I could feel my little car swaying at times. Then just before I reached home my cell phone rang. It could only be B - only about three people even have my cell phone number - and since I was literally around the corner from home I ignored it. Still him calling me means it's extremely important so after parking the car I rushed up to our apartment and breathlessly asked him what was wrong. If my cell phone rings it's not going to be good news.

I noticed what was wrong right away. The awing we have on our balcony had broken free on one side and was flopping free and ready for just the right gust of wind to blow it right off, likely straight for someone else's balcony or the windows on the backside of the shops in front of our apartment building. Hello Mr. Insurance Adjuster! Hello Mr. Attorney!

Now let the comedy begin. I'm about 5'3". The support poles are about 7' long. And there are two of them, plus the little metal arms that extend or retract the awning. Did I mention that the length of my balcony is just slightly more than 7'? We're not talking about much wiggle room here. And you didn't forget the flapping, flopping awing itself did you? And the plate glass window! The plate glass window I was desperately trying not to smash because the last time it broke it took about seven weeks to get it replaced.

It was going fairly well until I was trying to lay down the support poles. I got one on the balcony floor and that's when the other tipped over and crowned me in the head. Hard. Know the stars and twittering birds that accompany a banged head in cartoons? That's for real. All I was missing was the pointed lump raising from the center of my head.

Jeez, that hurt like a mother scratcher. The curse words I uttered should be reaching the shores of North America any time now.

Somehow I got the awning and its poles all laying on the balcony floor and away from the balcony door enough that I can still get outside. The awning itself is looks like monkeys have been at it but at least the plate glass window is still intact. Too bad I can't say the same for my noggin.

Bixente the iPod's ready to shuffle. I'll be the one dancing with the ice pack on my head.
  1. Wildwood Flower - The Carter Family
  2. Tiny Little Fractures - Snow Patrol
  3. Sweet Young Thing - The Monkees
  4. James Dean - The Eagles
  5. You Belong To Me Now - Candy Butchers
  6. Roots Radicals - Rancid
  7. Real Real Gone - Van Morrison
  8. Guitar Town - Steve Earle
  9. Otro Dia Mas Sin Verte - Jon Secada
  10. This Old Heart Of Mine - Isley Brothers
Have a great weekend. And mind your head.


Thursday, May 10, 2007

Thursday Haiku

Haiku poetry. Like a bulleted list but with style.

So windy today
Door bangs shut in garbage room
Dark. Scares me to death.

Brother called today
It's his graduation day
Call him Dr. Bill.

Look what's back in stores!
Bought myself six yesterday
Toys are from Shrek III

Doing Twitter now
Must follow all the new trends
Blame this on Poppy.

Peeled asparagus
And peeled and peeled and peeled and...
I won't eat the stuff.

Ordered some new books
Should be delivered this week
Two are about socks.

Shuffle tomorrow, folks. Wear your dancing shoes.


Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Fifty Minus Two

I have a good reason for getting drunk on a Wednesday if you're looking for one - it's B's birthday!

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This birthday also commemorates the tenth anniversary of the first time I celebrated B's birthday with him and since it is I may as well tell you about that particular celebration and how I made a horse's ass of myself.

It was B's 38th birthday and I was visiting him in Germany for the first time. B's mom was throwing him a big party with lots of people invited to not only celebrate his birthday but to let people meet me for the first time. Boy oh boy, there's no way better to make you feel confident and at ease with the situation than being in an 82 square meter apartment with 25 other people and there's only one other person there who speaks English! And he doesn't even do that all that well!

Our old apartment had two adjoining sitting rooms so the party guests were spread between the two. I kept myself stuck next to B as much as possible except for when I'd have to go to the kitchen to get food for us. I was in fear that I'd do something idiotic and B wouldn't be there to explain anything to me.

The party had been in full swing for a few hours and I was practically dizzy from the noise and gibberish being spoken around me. B wasn't as good at quick translation as he is now and trying to keep up with even the most simple conversation was proving to be work. I spent most of my time smiling and nodding and throwing in the occasional "ja!". Jeez, I felt stupid and all I could think was that I must look like a dolt in front of B's friends. I wanted to be charming and bright and witty and there was no way I was going to pull that off when I only knew a handful of words in German.

Finally I had to excuse myself. The chatter was driving me mad and anyway I had to pee something fierce. I walked down the hall and found the main bathroom, the only one I'd used since my visit began, was occupied. So I ducked into the powder room. While the rest of the rooms in the apartment had solid sliding doors, the powder room had one of those flexible accordion type doors. I did the bathroom type stuff I'd gone there to do and when it was time to leave I found that I couldn't get the door open. I tugged on it; it wouldn't budge. I tugged harder to no avail. I hesitated tugging too hard because I didn't want to break the door. I wasn't all that sure that B's mom liked me all that much and until I did, I didn't want to be responsible for destroying her property.

Still I did a bit more tugging at the door with no results. I wondered if perhaps someone was in the hallway who'd be able to help me so I tried knocking on the door - which was nearly useless as knocking on it only made the door flap around as it was attached to the door frame only at the top - and saying "Hello? Hello? Help? Hello! Help!".

Evidently everyone was busy in the sitting rooms slowly getting bombed.

Minutes were passing - many minutes - and I was still stuck inside. I went to the bathroom window actually considering jumping out until I saw that I truly was too far up. I briefly considered asking a passerby for help but unless I could make him understand my plight by using the only German words I knew at that point - danke, bitte, Liebe, ich, ja, nein, klar, schön, Bier - I didn't think I'd get too far.

I tried the feeble and futile door knocking and pitiful cries for help and still got no response. By now over twenty minutes had passed and I thought surely someone would notice I was missing but logic told me that the only person who would really notice my absence was the one guy who couldn't get up to look for me.

Finally I figured that I either needed to make my escape or spend the rest of my vacation in Germany locked in the bathroom. Broken door be damned, I gave it a hearty yank, the door popped free from it's latch and I was free.

By this time I must have looked like a crazed escapee from a prison and in a way I was. My heart was pounding, I was scared, upset, thirsty and I felt like a sweaty mess. And I must have looked a fright because when I returned to the living room B looked at me and said "Honey, where have you been?! What's happened to you?"

And I just lost it. My nerves were like kindling wood and I simply snapped. I burst into tears and babbled the whole story to B who tried his best to understand rapid-fire English from a hysterical, crying woman.

Naturally the rest of the party guests were wondering what had me in such a state and after hiccuping the story to B a few more times so he could understand it all he relayed the events to them. And they burst out laughing.

I felt like a first class jackass. I wanted so much to impress B's friends and make them think he had a lovely girlfriend from America and all I'd succeeded in doing was looking like a doofus who couldn't figure out how a door opens.

Finally B's mom came to me and hugged me and told me through B that the door in question was forever getting stuck and the only way to get it open was to either yank the hell out of it, as I had done, or lift up on the handle as you pull the door back to release it from its catch. But that one hug saved me. If B's mom thought I wasn't an idiot then the rest wouldn't either. Or if they did they would keep it to themselves.

It's been ten years since that party and I still on occasion get razzed about being locked in the bathroom. Except now if they give me too much shit I can dish it right back to them.

Happy birthday, my darling. I hope your special day is filled with every wish you make coming true and I hope your new life year is filled with good health, good luck, joy, and lots of love. I'd tear down every door in the world just to get back to you. I love you without end.

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Monday, May 07, 2007

Save Me a Place

Last week while trying to stave off an enormous personal meltdown I told B that I was tired and burned out. I love him, I love my life and I love caring for him but I haven't had a full 24 hours off in nearly three years.

"Well, maybe you can take a weekend trip somewhere."

I don't want to take a weekend trip. Well, I do but it's not what I really want.

"Do you think I could go home this year?"

B knows how much I miss my family and how I really need to go see my mother before she begins to forget who I am. There's a lot to work out before I can leave but he was willing to take it on. Getting B to agree to this isn't the trick. It's getting my MIL to agree to it since she takes over caregiving duties when I'm gone.

Yesterday my MIL came over to visit. She came back from a two week trip to a spa in Poland on the Baltic Sea all refreshed and rested and I envied her. And I dreaded bringing up the idea of me leaving home for two weeks. About an hour into the visit B mentioned that I'd like to go home for a visit this fall and I cringed inside waiting for her answer. And true to form - because my MIL loves me so much - she said we'd work something out. She's too old to take on the physical demands of caring for B all by herself and she'll need someone to come in and help her but she said we'd find a solution. We're going to look into service organizations and see if they can have people come in and help with various things and there's the option of hiring a nurse from Poland or the Czech Republic (a cheaper solution than hiring a private nurse based in Germany) and there's also the possibility that friends of the family, Norbert and Helga, can help. They're both retired now and there's the added advantage that they also had a son who was a quadriplegic and they know what caring for a quad is all about.

In any case, we should be able to find a solution so I can make this trip. As of now I don't have any dates - sometime between mid-September to mid-October - it's really going to depend on when I can get a reasonably priced flight. I haven't even told my sister yet and this is the sort of thing we never mention to my mother until I'm on the plane but I feel 99% positive that I can pull this off.

And what will I do first when I hit my hometown? What I always do first. Drive straight to Sonic.

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Saturday, May 05, 2007

Only Hope

I'd like to thank y'all for the cheering up y'all gave me yesterday. It's hard to feel alone and unloved when others around the world are so eager to pop in with happy thoughts and comforting words.

And as bad as my week has been it was nothing. It was a whole lot of feeling tired and irritated and annoyed and today it's gone. All of my self-pity has gone out of the window because I've been reminded of how lovely life really can be if you just let it be and tonight I'm remembering someone who helped teach me that lesson.

My sweet friend Paula has passed. A good woman who was the embodiment of strength, love and loyalty is gone. A woman who insisted that we only be hopeful, never negative.

Poppy is the one who called me and broke the news to me. I know she didn't want to do it but that's what friends do for each other - they do what they can to soften what they know will be a blow to you. It was hard news to give and hard news to take and both of us loved Paula and knew what she'd been enduring for months now.

Poppy and I talked for a while about how hard it is to lose someone you care about, especially when it's someone who had so much to give to others and someone who had worked so hard to survive. It's hard to know that there's a man who's lost his loving wife and two kids who have lost their beloved mother. And it's hard for those of us who counted Paula as one of our friends.

After a while Poppy and I started talking about life in general and as is true to form with us it evolved to us telling one another hilarious stories. Stories we already know and new ones as well and we laughed and laughed. Silly, wheezy laughs. Poppy and I both can be incredible chatterboxes and when talking we tend to do it fast and furious, stepping over each other and not even noticing because we listen as fast as we talk. God, it felt good to laugh. We both have had lousy weeks and we needed the levity.

After many minutes passed Poppy mentioned that it seemed a bit weird to call to deliver bad news and end up laughing and running out mouths like sewing machines but that it was still the right thing to do. If those who didn't know us heard us they might think it was bad form. We might even think it was bad form. But Paula was all about enjoying life. Paula was all about loving your friends and she was all about having a good time with them and laughing. I know Paula was with us both and she was laughing along. I know that like I know my own name.

Paula lost her battle with cancer and yet it sounds so wrong to say that. I hate to think that the last thing that Paula did was lose at anything. Maybe her body lost the battle but Paula was more than her body. She certainly was more than the cancer that took her life. Paula was warm and loving and so filled with hope and optimism. When the doctors would tell her that her body was failing she'd say to us "Oh what do they know? I don't feel like I'm dying. Shouldn't I feel like I'm dying if I were?". She'd do what ever she felt she needed to do to keep going. To feel better even if it wouldn't save her. She fought on and every day she kept up hope. Even when she enlisted the help of hospice she didn't do it because she felt defeated. She did it so she could keep control for as long as possible. Paula did it because she wanted to be the one who would call the shots - not cancer.

Perhaps you'll remember that I knitted a pair of socks for Paula a couple months ago. I'd emailed her and asked her if she'd like me to knit her a pair and she was so tickled that I wanted to do it. It seems that she'd always wanted a pair of my socks and was too shy to ask. I knit her a pair of cotton/wool blend socks that were so soft and pretty and had striped in it that reminded me of the color of hydrangeas. I knit them extra fine and when I tallied up how many stitches I'd made the number was over 35,000 stitches. When I sent the socks to her I told her that every single stitch contained hope and prayers and love. I thought of her every minute I knit those socks. I didn't give a damn if she ever wore them - I wanted her to have them as a reminder of how loved she really was and always would be.

About a week after I mailed her the socks she told me she received them and asked her son to help her put them on. She told me how they fit so beautifully and how pretty she thought they were and how they soothed her sore feet. It was the most lovely compliment I think I've ever received and it meant the world to me. To give Paula back an ounce of the happiness and love she's shown me was so important to me.

Paula was strong. She lived her life with grace and dignity. She loved her husband and children unendingly. She was hopeful and determined and loving. She was brave and strong and unselfish. She was taught me what it means to hope, what it means to keep the negative things at bay and how to take charge of one's life. Paula never wanted people to pity her or treat her differently because she had cancer. She was straightforward and amazingly forthright with her thoughts and intentions and didn't suffer fools kindly. Paula was joy and love and I will never forget the incredible example she set.

Paula told me not too long ago that when she felt stronger she wanted to clear out an area on her property and make a park. There was a big tree out there for shade and it was peaceful and pretty there and I told her that if she finished that park I'd love to come see it and we'd have a party. Paula never got the chance to take her beloved John Deere tractor out to finish clearing the land and make her park and that makes me sad. And yet I know that Paula has returned to whom has created us all and when I get where she is that park will be there. And that's where we'll sit with others that we both know and love and we'll feel whole.


Friday, May 04, 2007

Friday Shuffle - All Done In Edition

Please let me begin with an apology. I have nothing for y'all today. I am so sleep deprived that my legs are literally twitching and this week I've been witness to enough sniping, backbiting, disrespect and general pissiness to fill me for a while. I'm cranky, burned out and right now the only thing that might make me feel better would be a large dish of Kraft Macaroni 'n Cheese. I am done in and as mentally empty as a football.

But I did get my hair washed. Woohoo! A golden moment in an otherwise forgettable week.

I have nothing more to offer than a shuffle so let's get at it.
  1. Roll Me Away - Bob Seger
  2. Henrietta - The Fratellis
  3. Ruby - Kaiser Chiefs
  4. The Lonely Bull - Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass
  5. London Calling - The Clash
  6. Cold As Ice - Foreigner
  7. Cruel To Be Kind - Nick Lowe
  8. Monday Morning Rock - Marshall Crenshaw
  9. Do You Feel Like We Do - Peter Frampton
  10. Across The Universe - Fiona Apple
Honestly, not everything this week has been lousy. Poppy finally sold her crapshack charming bungalow. I'll go back to calling it the crapshack once she's got a firm contract on it - I ain't chancing my negative vibes bollocksing up the sale. And I did get an invitation to join an online community that brings together those of us who have a certain passion for a certain craft - more about that in coming weeks. There's usually something good to be enjoyed even when you're feel like a two year old in dire need of a nap. Have anything good happen to you this week? Leave me a comment and tell me what it was. Or just tell me something - anything - that makes you instantly happy. I'm in search of some happy 'cause I'm all out of mac 'n cheese.


Thursday, May 03, 2007

Ordinary Done Up Fancy

I wasn't going to write anything today because I don't have much to say but what the hell. Haiku makes even the most mundane sound elegant.

My hair's so filthy
No time to wash - sweaty, damp
Brush and just pin up.

Weird dream as I nap
ZZ Top makes video!
Just outside my home!

New clothes come today
Ordered three of same T-shirt
One in each color.

Yes, nerdy to do
But they're cute and soft and cheap
And look good on me.

And got new jeans too
Not too baggy in the ass
And legs aren't too long.

Not too bad a day
Cute new clothes and rock stars too
Now just need shampoo.


Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Measure Twice. Still Screw it Up.

I promised you Monday that there's be no regularly scheduled Tuesday knitting talk. We're just going to do it today instead. You didn't think I was going to let you off the hook all week, did you? Yesterday was a holiday anyway. I'm running things a day late, just like they do with our trash pick-up.

First, a story:

When I was about ten years old I wanted to wrap Christmas gifts by myself. I'd watched my mother and my older sister do it so many times that I felt I could tackle it on my own. I grabbed the wrapping paper and tape and scissors, went into my bedroom and closed the door, plunked myself down on the floor and attempted to wrap the gifts I had bought.

After about an hour my sister and mother came into my room because they'd heard me making all sorts of sounds of frustration. They found me on the floor, crumpled wrapping paper strewn all around while I was bawling my eyes out.

It takes too long to explain here but the dynamics of my family were such that when things wouldn't go as I'd planned, I'd freak out. If I was opening a can and the opener would go all wobbly and skip opening parts, I'd have a melt-down. If I wasn't picked up on time so I could get somewhere I needed to be, I'd wig out. Having the gift wrapping not go as I'd planned was sending me into orbit.

What was upsetting me so much? The corners of the paper weren't perfectly straight. I'd make the corner creases and then when folding the flap of paper down to tape at the ends, there would be an ever so slight gap or wrinkle. It wasn't just right so I'd snatch the paper off if frustration and start again. After wrapping the same package four or five times I was in an absolute lather over it.

Naturally my mother and sister asked me what had me in such a state and when I tearfully explained that I wanted to wrap gifts like them but I couldn't do it, they didn't understand. What I was holding looked like a wrapped gift to them. This caused me to get the crying jag revved up again because LOOK. AT. THE. CORNERS! They're not perfectly straight! There's a crinkle there at the corner!

My memory is that my sister laughed her ass off at me at that point and had I been her I probably would have too. I was flipping out over nothing. Wrapped packages usually do have that tiny crinkle at the corner. My mother then brought to me a package that she wrapped and showed me that what I'd done was actually better than what she'd accomplished. In reality I was doing a better job than them but since my idea of a well wrapped package was something like what I'd see on TV, I was losing my mind over it.

I stopped freaking out over that little imperfection and afterwards became the designated gift wrapper in the family because I did the best job at it. It didn't permanently cure my losing my shit when things do go as I planned but I stopped foaming at the mouth over gift wrapping errors.

Which brings me to the Jaywalker socks I'm knitting for my dear friend, Karen.

I've been taking forty-nine forevers to finish this sock, mostly because I can't be arsed to do anything right now that I really don't have to do and because I'm working on the not-as-super-secret-anymore knitting project as well. Last night I was to the toe decreases which generally means I have about an hour of knitting left.

I keep my yarn in a yarn bra that's really just a piece of tricot bandage that I've tied a knot in at one end. It keeps the yarn clean and from getting all tangled and covered in dog hair. Unfortunately it also keeps me from noticing anything unusual about the yarn since I can't see the ball so when looked inside and saw that I was nearly out of yarn, I started to get a little antsy.

At this point I could do three things - rip the sock back to the leg and knit the leg shorter, frog the entire sock and start from scratch or pray that I had more yarn than it appeared that I had. I started praying and figured another hour of knitting and being wrong was better than tearing apart 15 hours of knitting and it not have been necessary.

On this sock the grafting to close the toe is done after there are 28 stitches left in total. At the part where I had 32 stitches left I was thisclose to being fresh out of yarn. Now I had to decide on whether to give up, do the decreases and see where I was then, add yarn from another skein now (which I'd want to avoid at all since if I was running out of yarn on this sock, I'd run out of yarn on its mate as well if I did everything the same) or just skip the last decreases and close the toe a bit early and hope that it wouldn't look too boxy and I'd have just enough yarn to finish the grafting.

I'm the sort of person who, if I were on Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, would go ahead and answer the question even if I was only 50% sure and had run out of jokers. You know I was going to close up that toe and hope I had just enough yarn left to do it.

And I didn't.

I know you non-knitters can't relate to this but let me just say that if you're going to do grafting you need to have enough yarn before you start. It's possible to add new yarn in at the beginning but it's not the best way to do it. Adding yarn when you're halfway finished is an even goofier idea. I'd attached the new yarn to the old piece via a slip knot and frankly it looked like a monkey had a go at the grafting but I got the toe closed and somehow got the wonky bits hidden.

Here's the sock:

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It looks fine, doesn't it? From this distance it looks like a perfectly normal sock. However, just like with the corners of the wrapped Christmas packages, the toe isn't perfect. It's boxier than it should be and there's a sort of dip where I attached the two strands of yarn and on the underside I tried to minimize any lumpy bits but I'm half afraid that when Karen washes them the whole thing may all come apart.

I suppose over the last thirty five years I've learned not to freak if stuff doesn't go just as planned. When I get stuck in traffic I don't beat my head on the steering wheel. If I miss my train I don't scream. I still get a little flippy if cans don't open properly but I don't spend five minutes afterwards beating my fists on the counter. This sock didn't turn out as planned and while I didn't have a hissy fit over it I just don't have it in me to rip it out and start it again.

Of course I now have a new problem. I've got to knit its mate from a skein of discontinued yarn from which I've cut ten inches. Ten inches that I likely can't afford to lose because I didn't have enough yarn for the first sock and that means the second skein probably won't either. Looks like I'm going to have to knit the leg a bit shorter on the mate.

Karen, I'm sorry your socks won't be perfect, sweetie. Wear 'em under pants and tall boots.

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Making the World Smaller One Blog Post as a Time

Remember back a few months ago when I posted about my favorite pieces from my miniatures collection? I posted this picture of my very favorite piece:

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And who sent me an email today? The dude that made it! Somehow he found the photo on my blog - pretty good since I didn't write his name in the blog entry - and he wrote me to thank me for the kind things I said about his artwork. To me that's like getting a letter from a celebrity.

I truly do love that tooth fairy box. It's one of those "The apartment's on fire! Save the tooth fairy box!" sort of things.

Go take a look at Mr. Riccio's other pieces. They are truly incredible. Fanciful and intricate and interesting. The sort of things that absolutely capture my imagination. And I am now completely in love with his dragon box as well his new Man in the Moon tooth fairy box.

I won't even start with how I'm jonesing for the Nativity collection. You know how I dig Christmas stuff.

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