Tuesday, January 29, 2008

PAI With a Kick!

We had a lady stop in today to talk about some boudoir portraits she wants to have done as a Valentine's present for her husband. The DH was on location, so I was giving her the nickel tour. No, I did not give her change back.

I had shown her the camera room, and some of the items we could use for her pictures, then we moved back into our reception area. I was talking about setting up her appointment when she abruptly asked me, "Does he have Tourette's?" Having watched South Park, I of course knew what Tourette's was (and btw, respect my authoritay!), but was confused. She hadn't met the DH yet, and anyway, he is probably the least potty-mouthed man I know outside a minister. Your Goddess, OTOH, could make a sailor blush. If I wanted.

"Yes," she continued, "the boy next door. Does he have Tourette's?"

I burst out laughing and told her there were 15 boys with Tourette's next door, or as they call it, karate practice! We VERY unfortunately share a wall with a small karate studio, and if you think the noise is bad...well, actually, you'd be right. But picture this....Sicily, 1932...no, no, that's not right. Picture us sitting in our consultation area, speaking with a dewy-eyed bride about her upcoming nuptials. She's speaking of her hopes and dreams of her wedding day, when ::::::Hi-YAH!:::::: and THUD against the wall. Leaves a little something to be desired in the whole sustaining a mood department. No soundproofing at all, the parents refuse to leave the one parking space we have next to the access ramp into our studio open - even when we posted a sign with the karate studio owners' agreement; very nice men - and the little cretins trample the bushes while hopping on and off our elevated porch area. Guess who Mummy will try to sue if the kid falls off onto the parking lot cement car stops?

The one that REALLY got me was the boy, decidedly old enough to know better, that I caught actually twisting and beating on the sign we had put up indicating that that one space was to be left for our clients. "Excuse me?!?" I ground out, looking at his mother who is gossiping with some other hausfrau. "Oh, are you helping to straighten the sign?" she simpers at her son. I state with emphasis, "It was never crooked!" as she makes her farewells, and walks up our ramp (completely separate from the karate studio, so they have no business on it at all) then begins to walk past me through the landscaping!

I point out that this is not a walk way, but a garden, and that stray dogs often do their business there. Seriously, there've been times I think someone let their elephant defecate there, but that's another rant. Anyway, she gives me a filthy look which I meet utterly deadpan, says to little Johnny, "I guess we'll have to walk around,"(why yes! - yes you will!) and goes back the way she should have gone to begin with.

And when I have my dogs in the studio, I make sure they take their dumps right next to the porch on the garden side. I call it an insurance policy. :->

Saturday, January 26, 2008

In Deep Knit

I saw the words "Deep Knit" recently, and having what my mom calls a Walter Mitty mind, I instantly had a vision of myself buried under a mound of yarn stash with only my arms and knitting sticking out. It had to be done, and with the help of the DH and my Photoshop skills, done it was. You can take a look at my Etsy store to see the result. Go now. What are you waiting for? Oh. Okay, yes, but as soon as you finish reading. I'll be watching you.

You may have noticed, but probably didn't because you're so self-absorbed that you only notice things that apply to YOU, the Before and After pictures in the right sidebar changed. This is the wife of the soldier in the previous set I had up, and the photo was taken in 1941. A scan was sent to me by their daughter, Pat O., I did repair work on them, and printed her a 5x7 of each. She got them yesterday, and stroked my ego massively....quite a task considering the size ego your Goddess has! I quote, "Got the restored pictures of my Mom & Dad today. Diana, they are great. Much better than I had hoped for. " There was more, but modesty prevents... Nope, even I cannot pull that off.

So to redeem myself, I'll tell a story on me. The DH and I were driving to work today, and I was rabbiting on about something no doubt excruciatingly crucial at the moment, when I noticed the house across the road. "Oh look!," I exclaimed, "They have chickens." We glanced at each other and just busted a gut laughing (to put it in my usual refined manner). For those of you that haven't seen it, there's a Tshirt we constantly say would be perfect for the younger DD - "They say I have A.D.D., but they just don't understa...oh, look! There's a chicken!"

I guess the DD comes by it honestly. :-/

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Wilde Woman

"The only thing that sustains one through life is the consciousness of the immense inferiority of everybody else, and this is a feeling that I have always cultivated." ~Oscar Wilde

I am a huge Oscar Wilde fan. I have yet to read a quote by him that I didn't find resounding deep in the depths of my...well, if not soul, definitely ego. Usually funny bone too. Consider some of my favorites.

"All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That's his." Yes, well. My daughters should be so lucky. Be quiet, DD.

"Always forgive your enemies - nothing annoys them so much." Now, isn't this just a killer reason to do the Christian thing?

"Do you really think it is weakness that yields to temptation? I tell you that there are terrible temptations which it requires strength, strength and courage to yield to." The man obviously knew about chocolate.

"Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months." This is why your Goddess is currently in jeans, turtleneck and flannel shirt. I should probably also mention the long johns...but I won't.

"I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best." Hence the designation of Yarn Hussy. And my marriage. (That should get me a great Valentine's gift.)

"I think that God, in creating man, somewhat overestimated his ability. " But notice he doesn't mention the great job He did on women, am I right, ladies?

"I can resist everything except temptation." AND we're back to chocolate. Wonder if Oscar and Mae West were related?

I'm devastated by humor, cherish wit and adore cattiness. Darling Oscar's got it all goin' on!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Dr. King

No jokes today.

I was only 7 when Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. I was very lucky to be in a school that understood that history was occurring, and as a consequence, we were permitted to watch the services for him. I remember all the other little second-graders carrying their chairs into our class to watch events proceed on TV. The very fact that we were watching TV in class was enough to have made an impression on me.

What did not make an impression was Dr. King himself; I was too young to be watching the news. I don't remember the riots, or the fact that because we lived so close to Baltimore, my parents were very nervous. My father was getting his Master's at Morgan State, a historically black school. A white face had reason to be afraid on that campus during that sad time, but some classmates of his saw him hesitating to walk to his car, and said, "Walk with us." They had learned the lesson of Dr. King.

My parents grew up in the '50s in a conservative area of the state, raised by parents who, may they rest in peace, were wonderful people but not racially enlightened. They were products of the time they grew up in. But in my home, there was never a racist comment or attitude. My parents had learned the lesson of Dr. King.

When I was in high school, my Spanish teacher for four years, Sra. Sandra Jones, was one of the best educators I had in a school with a lot of good teachers. After almost three full years of her teaching me, my mother had occasion to meet her. After a nice conversation, as Mom and I were leaving the building, my mother turned to me. "You never told me Sra. Jones was black." I responded, somewhat bemused, "I never thought about it!" Mom got a huge grin and told me that that made her very proud. I shrugged, but looking back, my parents had made sure that I had learned the lesson of Dr. King.

My family is a good example of the ability of all of us to break the cycle of hate. If children are taught tolerance and acceptance at home, what they hear outside the home will have little or no effect. I cannot listen to Dr. King's speech about his dream without being moved to tears. It's such a simple dream when you get right down to it. All children should be able to grow up to enjoy playing freely and happily...together. We must all live the lesson of Dr. King.

Thanks, Mom and Dad, for being sure I got to do just that.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Saturday, Saturday!

If you didn't hear music in your head when you read the title, you are younger than I am and should go back to your sandbox.

Saturdays in the studio are feast or famine. Either we have people picking up orders, and back to back appointments meaning DH has to rush lunch (the Goddess does not rush her food even for money), or it's dead as a dodo. I actually don't mind a dead day here and there; we get caught up, and maybe I'll read, or listen to a book while I spin.

Yes, I spin here at the studio. Since I'm frequently here alone on Saturdays while the DH is out shooting, I thought it might be cumbersome moving a wheel around if I have spring up to go out to the reception area. An electric spinner seemed just the thing, and I had the opportunity to buy a Fricke E-spinner second hand, with DH enabling by making part of it a birthday gift. You betcha I'm keeping him. It has the foot pedal so if I need to stop quickly, I just lift my foot and go.

This spinner has the Woolee Winder which I covet for my Louet Victoria (little portable spinning wheel for those of you not amongst the Chosen), and makes spinning such a pleasure. The bobbins hold a ton. Today I finally got a chance to ply off what I've been spinning in tiny bits for about a year. I filled two bobbins with plied singles today, and we know what that means! Oh, wait, some of you don't. It means I have yarn. I do know, as my brother so 'helpfully' pointed out to me, I can buy yarn in a store. But it's fun to spin, I can make my own color scheme, the thickness I want - sometimes - and shutupScottyoudork.

So, this is the finished product waiting to be skeined off the bobbins and washed. It's a mohair/Romney wool mix, in shades of pink from fuchsia to cotton candy, blues from turquoise to baby and cream. It still has some grease in it (lanolin, that is), so it will bloom nicely when it's done, and now that it's plied, there are tons of shades all through it.
The DH admired it dutifully, then, a la Terry Bradshaw about sushi, said sotto voce, "But they're different colors!" ::::snort::::

Friday, January 18, 2008

C'est moi.

I decided to add a picture to my profile. Understand, your Goddess is a deity of abundance. No Twiggy she. Or as the DH says, "The bigger the cushion, the better..." Hmm. Think I'll let that trail off into the ether.

Anyway, like most fat people, I don't like my picture taken; there's a reason, we say, that we're on the other side of the camera. But I realized a few years ago, when I was really getting into being the family genealogist, that without photos, I was taking myself right out of my family's memories. Preserving memories old and new being what our business is all about, I stopped shunning the camera. As much. Of course, it doesn't help when, like today, I actually ask the DH to take my picture, he does, then grimaces at the display screen! Just wait till next time he's nekkid. I know just the face to make.

So, now you sorta see what I look like. I'll pre-answer questions for you. Yes, that really is the color of my eyes. The hat? Yep, made it myself from Liz Lovick's Gansey workshop on EZasPi (see groups list below), made from Frangipani yarn. I believe you can purchase the workshop as a downloadable .pdf book, and worth every penny. Would your Goddess lie to you? Okay, but if my money wasn't involved?

What else? The earrings, if you look at the larger image, you may be able to recognize as Romi's Yarn Balls. Love these, had a friend offer to steal them right out of my lobes, but she backed off when I showed my teeth in a very Scottie-like manner. These, with the Swan pin, were an anniversary gift from the DH. VERY good taste he has, especially when I send him the links. Ladies, learn a lesson from someone who has been married about 26 years all told...if you want the perfect gift, tell him what it is! If you like surprises, give him several choices...you know you want it all, anyway...and let his decision be your surprise. Look at the engagement ring I'm wearing - perfect example. Showed him three or four, expressed no preference, darling man picked my favorite one anyway.

And yes, that IS my hair color. I did mention I do restoration work, didn't I?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Feelin' Frosty!

We woke up this morning to the radio telling us that school was delayed two hours. We dragged ourselves out of bed to find...nothing! No snow, no sleet...nada. Within an hour schools were closed and still nothing there. But as we were leaving for work, it started to spit a bit of snow. During the ten minute drive to the studio, it began to lay. DH went off to teach at the university, and I went in to work. Within a half hour, everything was covered and it was *SNOWING*! Gorgeous. You should know I still act like a kid who knows she's going to get out of school when it snows like this.

Oh, and I DID. The university closed down as of three o'clock, so my evening class was not going to happen. We pulled the plug on work and came home. This stuff is thick and heavy, with a very slushy base, clinging to everything. The county, in their infinite insanity, almost never does anything to the windy, steep road we must traverse to get home, but it was just a lovely drive. I thought you might like to see.

This is the road along by the river.

And a stand of pines near our home. I just cannot be snarky when it snows!

Oh, and I got the first Artemis contest entry today. This is exciting.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

¿Habla ingles?

First, note the pretty new pictures, both at the top and in my before and after segment. Go ahead, look. I'll wait. :::hums "Jeopardy" theme::: The MP is the father of a Scottie friend of mine. The ducks are the DH's shot, with my touch of...dare I say it? Of course I dare!...magic.

Now for another PAI story. My cell phone just rang. Since DH is here, DD #1 is sick and DD #2 is hoping lightning will strike me as long as she's still in the will, I figured it was for Reverend Di. If my mom called, btw, it would play "Pomp & Circumstance." Which should tell you something about my mother, but I don't want to speculate what.

Anyway, I use my cell number for my wedding officiant business, and it was a local number, so I thought it was a call for that. I answer, in my unique way, "Hello?"

On the other end is a man, youngish but not a kid, and he blurts, "Do you have a website for your business?" "Which one?" "Your wedding business." "For a wedding officiant, or photographer?"

At this point, it starts to get farcical. "The one for weddings," he replies. I calmly and graciously (shut up, Olivia-Lee!) reply that we do wedding photography, and that I do wedding services. "So what is the website for your wedding planning?"

Did I SAY planning? I mentally test myself..." Soy una officiante de bodas..." Nope, I wasn't speaking Spanish. I know a little ASL, but pretty sure I wasn't using that over the phone. So I must have been speaking English; it's all I have left. "Sorry, no planning. Pictures, and minister. That's all." Finally, he says he's calling for a friend (with friends like these, who needs the village idiot, am I right, people?), and could he have the website for photography?

I provide it, and hang up, wondering where he got my number and who I need to throttle for it.

Monday, January 14, 2008

We R Prefeshunuls

You're in for a treat! One of my favorite rants, which always follow on from the universal theme, "People Are Idiots." I think from now on we'll just call them PAI rants. It'll be our little code. Don't tell.

Today we have that not-so-rara-avis, the micro-managing bride. These women (and, God help us all, their mothers) have every chance to see our work in advance of booking us. Any time a bride calls us who has not seen our work, we suggest they visit our very nice website. We have them visit our studio, where there is work on the walls and in albums. They have seen what we do, what we produce from our work, and they HIRE us. We're not big city expensive, but we're not cheap...this is our living, after all...and so one would think that the very fact that we get hired indicates a faith in our abilities.

Yeah. One would think, and that's what you get for thinkin', chum. Yes they love our work, yes we make beautiful images, and oh, yes, they are still going to tell us how to do our jobs.

Usually it is the LIST. Not just, as you might expect, the formal photos that we can be sure of taking as long as the people show up to deliver their gift and eat rubber chicken. That's okay; we tell the bride to give that list to the person who will drive you nuts if you don't give them something to do, someone who knows these people, which we, often thankfully, don't. Let him/her call them up, we'll arrange them and shoot 'em. (It's legal when we do it.)

No, our lovely brides-to-be want to tell us to get Uncle Harry and Aunt Darlene dancing together whilst sipping champagne and simultaneously smiling at the camera. Never mind that Uncle Harry doesn't drink, Aunt Darlene is in a cast and oh, yes, they aren't speaking. Never mind that we can either capture events, or have our heads buried in a list and miss them. Never mind that no one wants us to start telling them where to stand and how to act when they are trying to enjoy the party. And never mind that your contract tells you we don't work from lists!!

Folks, there is a quote from Red Adair that the DH loves: "If you think hiring a professional is expensive, wait till you hire an amateur." My corollary? If you do hire the professional, trust them to do their job.

Oh, and don't ask if they sell their 'negatives.' Oy.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Birth of a Goddess

Some of my readers (all four of you) are members of MMarioKKnits, a list for obtaining and occasionally test-knitting the designs of the multi-talented MMario. We want a design for the upcoming release of the pattern "Artemis", a sort of logo that can be put on tees, totes, etc., and also used for a button for the Artemis Beta-Knitting KAL. I am picturing an elegant depiction of Artemis in her guise as moon goddess, with predominant colors of silver, purple and deep twilight blues. If you can work knitting into the design but still have it true to the moon goddess theme, fine. It’s not a deal breaker.

N.B. Input from MMario: "I see 'Artemis' "riding sidesaddle" on a crescent moon, a star between the two horns of the moon holding a skein of yarn from which she is knitting."

Since I can’t draw a believable stick person, I’m opening this up to all of you, and anyone else you think might be interested. Through the end of the month, designs may be submitted to me at artemis06 *at* gmail.com.

Terms: your ORIGINAL full-color design should be 8.5x11 sized at 300 dpi. Portrait or landscape orientation is fine. The winner will receive his or her choice of a tote or tee, and some yet-to-be-determined yarn. In exchange, the design will become the property of Artemis Imaging to use for reproduction on any of the items I carry, which will be made available to KAL members. And anyone else with sufficient dinero.

I'm not easily impressed....but you can try. :-)

Friday, January 11, 2008

When in Disgrace with Fortune...

That's for you Shakespeare sonnet buffs. *sound of crickets* Oh, well.

Almost every Friday that we are at work, the DH and I order Chinese. We like our local restaurant, The China Kitchen (ah, these whimsical names!) and we get dinner portions, which are enough for two meals. That way, if DH has to be out shooting a wedding - or I'm officiating at one - the other partner has a lunch ready on Saturday, no worries. Plus we're chea...um, frugal.

With Chinese food comes fortune cookies. DH usually gets any cookies with multiple fortunes. He's lucky like that. "Like that" meaning in ways that will not win us the lotto. But today Fortune smiled on me. (I'm so punny.) I got two fortunes in my cookie!

"You are a person of culture."
"You are never bitter, deceptive or petty."

Hmmm. :::Bugs Bunny voice::: Dey don't know me too well, do dey?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

I'm Not Ethel Merman...

....so don't call me madam. Or ma'am. So help me Hannah; I know I've reached a certain age (as the French so delicately put it around their mouthfuls of escargot), but must I be reminded?

I take one class a semester at the university here in my home town. This term it's The Sociology of Humor, the first class was this evening, and I'm going to love it. During the initial class, the prof warned that humor involves language and other things some folks find offensive. As an example, he used the F-word, and said it was hard to give this talk when he had an 80 year old grandma sitting in the front row. I made the mistake of laughing and saying, "I'm a grandma!" He pointed out that I didn't look 80 (therefore he lives on) and the class moved forward.

At one point he mentioned some of his favorite comics, and George Carlin came up. I love Carlin, the man is a god, and I said so. After class, one of the other students, probably mid-to-late 20s, said he was a big fan of Carlin's, and we got to chatting. He said if I liked Carlin, I might like another comedian named Eddie Izzard.

Now, it so happens that Eddie is currently my screensaver, flitting about the screen in a fairy costume and dangling cigarette, so we had a serious bonding moment here. I was feeling very warmly toward this obviously brilliant young man of exceptional taste. And then it happened. He called me "ma'am!" He actually said that word several times.

Have I really come to this? How did I become a ma'am? I'm fairly cool; I listen to kids, I watch Jon Stewart and I have a good sense of humor. I don't care what you heard. I don't mind being shown respect...adulation is better, but I like respect....but ma'am???

I may need to go disco dancing, or talk to my pet rock, to get past this. I'll check my mood ring and let you know how I'm doing.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

I wanna SEE!

Alright, so this gripes me no end. I knit. I buy patterns that intrigue me, challenge me, or are really pretty, but mindless and good for car knitting. Note that for me to know that any of the above are true, I must be able to see the stitch pattern within the garment or whatever. Gee, what a concept.

Now, if you followed the link above - and if you didn't, get off my blog right now, you obviously haven't the proper respect for my opinions - you'll see what Ellen at EarthFaire (a favorite site of mine) says is a very pretty pattern. Oh, really? How do da dog know? Perhaps she's seen it in person; I like her, I 'll give her the bennie. This once. But I note four pictures, and even blown up, you cannot properly see the pattern in any of them.

Oh, they're nice pictures all right. Very artsy fartsy. And since I do this stuff for a living, I know artsy fartsy. Great for a magazine layout. Even pretty on the webpage. But if I can't see that lace pattern, Picasso, I don't want to buy. Okay, okay, I know the darned thing is free, but the principle is there. Do try to work with me. It's not that hard.

Same thing with Victorian Lace Today. Mind you, I love that book. I lived in England for six years, and when I cracked the book open and the first thing I saw was one of my favorite towns, Lavenham (remember the poem "There was a crooked man?), I got misty. Same for shots of Cambridge; I lived near there and even attended a banquet there once. So I looked at the photography and was grudgingly forced to admit there was some seriously nice work there. But for the most part, I feel I cannot see the lace patterns in the items well. I haven't knit a thing out of it yet because of that, although I have a preciousssssss ball of qiviut that's earmarked for one of the scarves. I think.

For those of you with short attention spans, I'm saying, "SHOW ME THE PATTERN!"

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

And so it begins...

I never wanted a blog, and I'm still not convinced I do. Not that I've anything against them, mind you...no, I have several I read on a semi-regular basis, including the DH's when he finally updates it.

I guess it boils down to not having been sure I have anything much to say. Until I was spouting off about one of the usual idiocies I come across on a daily basis, and when I paused to take a breath, the DH (and he really is - I'm lucky, I know it) said, "You know, you really need a blog."

Stopped in mid-rant, I gaped at him. "I don't need no stinkin' blog!", I said, elegantly. "No, think about it," he replied. "You have all these strong opinions (the man is far too smart to say gripes) and you're so articulate about them (I have to give him that), that a blog would give you an outlet for them."

Hmm. Now mind you, I've been married to this brilliant fellow for 13 years. I know him pretty well, and was well aware that he had an ulterior motive. Get me grousing here, and maybe I'd spare him. Of course, the poor darling underestimates my capacity for spewing forth, but he'll learn. And so, you poor sap, will you.