Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Late Night Fun

I am a David Letterman fan. Unlike Jay Leno, whom I find thick as a plank, Dave is witty, whimsical and thank God, intelligent. He's also well-loved by his employees, which to me is the sign of a good man. So most nights, being a night-owl kinda moon goddess, I am up watching at least the majority of his show.

Therefore, I don't watch Jimmy Kimmel. I really didn't like the Man Show at all; if I wanted to watch T&A humor I'd view some old Benny Hill - he did it better, but I didn't care for it either. Not a judgment (yeah, right - have we met?), but not my cuppa tea. However, his talk show is better. If there were no Dave, I'd sure watch him over Leno. As we cognoscenti know, Sarah Silverman, the naife girl-woman with her very funny self-named show, has been Jimmy's girlfriend for about five years. Recently, she went on his show, and played this song clip. (Warning, not for those whom are offended by bleeped language). This had the DH cackling so hard I thought we might have eggs for breakfast - oh, yeah, we did. Then today I got to see Jimmy Kimmel's response. OMG...I cannot THINK of the last time I laughed so hard. Again, some bleeped language, but just hysterically funny. And man, look at the stars in that - for what is essentially a gag bit on a late night show. What seriously good sports Damon and Affleck are.

Speaking of funny, DH and I saw Juno on Monday. No wonder it won best screenplay. It was smart, witty, and moving. Really well-cast too. Catch it if you can.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Voice of Reason

My last nerve has been trodden....nay, danced upon. With cleats. GOLF cleats. Sharp ones.

I am a reasonable woman. Logic is not only my byword, it is practically my religion. I don't always practice it, but one does try to remain faithful. That being said, I want to make it perfectly clear that I do not expect children to behave like little adults. Having raised two of what the DH and I referred to as VCC (Varmint Critter Children), and being the eldest of four whom I often had to watch, I am well aware that any child, given the opportunity, will show you up. The amount that they will misbehave is directly proportional to the number of other adults to whom these children are unknown that there are in the room, and the importance of whatever you're in the middle of doing.

This I know. This any reasonable person knows. Hence and therefore...ergo, even!...any parent should be prepared for this, and know how to regain control. Even be willing to remove said bra...children to affect a resolution with them. Also a reasonable expectation. Today's parent was not.

We are often called on to do covers for a local child-centered magazine. The sitting is won in a drawing said magazine holds, and is for younger children. All well and good; the DH is a model of patience, and in my selfless giving manner, I help. I hide in the office. With the door firmly SHUT. It's the least I can do, and you can always count on me to do the least. Today two children were brought in for one of these sittings with mommy in tow - no one can say she was bringing them - and they arrived a full half-hour early.

Folks, a photography studio is not a doctor's office. Arriving well before your appointment is just rude. You may well be interrupting a consultation with a bride, someone's viewing session, or another sitting. Or your photographer may desperately need to pee, and thought he had plenty of time. But that's just a general possibility, of course. Not saying that was the case at all, nuh-uh, nosirreebob.

In walks Ms. Clueless with older daughter aged 4, and a 2 year old son; much too old to still be using a pacifier, but who asked me. As I discreetly shoot my arm from the cuff of my sweater and peer at my watch, she burbles, "I wasn't sure how long it would take to get here." Maps being so rare, of course. Apparently she never thought of looking into one of the other shops in the building to eat up some time; no, we had to adjust to her.

I walk on in to show them into the dressing room. As she starts dumping her armload of stuff, Ms. C. realizes Junior hasn't followed. He is not in the camera room we just walked through. No, he's in the reception area, his arm shoulder deep in a trash can. Greaaa-aaate. This is such an auspicious beginning in the not-so-much kinda sense.

This being a summer camp issue of the magazine, they are doing soccer shots first. Daughter Dearest has a cow about having to wear her soccer shoes; she wants to be barefoot because, after all, don't YOU always kick a very hard ball around with no shoes on as you run over a grassy field containing God knows what? At this point I turn the whole mess over to DH, dart to the office, and hunker down, resisting the urge to hide under my desk.

Much shrieking ensues. I'm not sure who is yelling more, kids or Mom, but I am sooo glad not to be in there. I can feel my shoulders climbing up to ear level. DH pokes his head in during one costume change, and he's looking shell-shocked. "She has absolutely NO control over these kids," he whispered, aghast. This is a secret?!? I ask in my firmest manner if he'd like me to come in and take control. Looking, if possible, even more fearful, he mutely shook his head no and backed out, shutting the door behind him.

Probably a good call.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy V-Day

That term for Valentine's Day always makes me think it somehow refers to venereal disease.

Okay, so maybe that's appropriate, all things considered.

I thought I'd share a cute one with you. Yesterday we were stuck at home due to a severe ice storm. Branches of trees that are well-established, taller than my house, were bent down to the ground, and I actually saw some snap off. I think if a bird had tried to land, it would have just twirled around the branches before slipping to the ground!

The walk was a skating rink, and the car was a four-wheeled popsicle. All this is a long way of saying we had a lazy day at home. I worked on Icarus (that is the designer's blog) and have about 8 rows until I'm finished. The DH did a bit of laundry, made all the meals, standard for by evening he was sagging. Literally. As Letterman got started, I glanced over at him and noticed that he was slunk down so far in his seat that he was resting on his mid-back. I laughed at him, thinking he looked like he was about 12. I said something to him to that effect, and suddenly his whole face lit up.

"I'm a slouch potato!" he exclaimed, and chortled, oh-so-pleased with himself.

But the laugh was on him. When he tried to get up, he flailed around for a few moments like a turtle flipped on his back. Turns out his body isn't 12 after all. Who knew? Why, I did, come to think of it.

You bet your sweet bippy I laughed. What's love for, after all?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A Fable for V-Day

I'm going to tell you a story, and as all good stories go, it begins, "Once Upon A Time..."

...there was a young-ish man. Not a kid, but seasoned by time, and some grief. Years before he'd lost the woman he loved to some murderous thugs who raped and killed her, and left him badly injured.

Oh! Did I mention this is NOT a bedtime story?

He took a long time to recover physically, and a longer time to recover emotionally. As the years wore on, he dated occasionally, but never seriously, and withdrew very much into himself. He was kind, but remote, brilliant, but reserved. His life consisted of work, reading, music, and running a local BBS (Bulletin Board System.)

Once upon the SAME time, there was a woman, younger than the man, unhappily married but with two great daughters. She had had to put all her dreams on hold to follow him around the world, but he never appreciated it. Living with him was like walking on eggshells - every word measured, fighting often, knowing herself unloved and under-appreciated. Her husband would snarl at her, "We're not married! We have a piece of paper, but we're not married." She worried a lot about her girls growing up thinking that this was what marriage was, but she was afraid to leave.

One day, her beloved grandmother died, and she saw how the grandfather who had always been so close to her heart mourned his lost wife. It hit the woman very strongly that if she were to die, her husband would feel relief, not sorrow, and it came to her that she deserved better. But after so many years of hurt, she didn't believe with her mind what her heart knew.

About a year later, the woman was testing a new BBS for some friends, and it led her to others in the area. She made several friends online, but the most special one was the man who ran his own BBS. They would talk about games they played online, and music, and families, and he came to realize that she was very unhappy, believing very little in herself. She came to realize how caring but lonely he was. They became dear friends and confidantes...but they had never seen one another.

After several months of getting to know one another over modem lines, they decided to meet. The woman was cautious, picking a public place and taking a girlfriend along. She went to Walden Books, and waited, scared to death. What if he didn't show? Worse, what if he DID!?

The man was nervous too. He didn't wear the sweater he said he would, just in case he decided to flee. But he didn't. He saw her, and he instinctively opened his arms. She walked in to them and it was the warmest, kindest gesture she'd had in years. Their friendship was well and truly sealed.

That was 15 years ago this past Sunday. His caring and belief in her gave her the courage to tell her husband that he was right about them not having a marriage, and she deserved better...even if it meant being alone. She knew her friend would always be her friend, but she didn't know if it would become more.

The man was a bit leery...he was used to his bachelor ways, and inviting three women into his life would mean changes beyond his scope. But after a year and a half, he called his parents while the woman was visiting, and told them the two were getting married. Although he'd asked her earlier in the day what she would say IF he asked her marry him, he hadn't actually done so, and she pointed that out when he got off the phone.

He remedied this oversight, and they were married a year later.

Okay, it isn't Cinderella. It isn't even Sixteen Candles, but it is true. The DH made my biggest dream a reality; he loves me just for me, and I can be utterly my own snarky self with him. Oh, and he still gives incredible hugs.

And we really have lived happily ever after.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Do You Know Jack?

Not my Jack, the Scottie, but a Great Pyrenees dog with severe injuries that is being fostered by Dave of The Merlin Tree. He is requiring a great deal of surgery, and there is a raffle being held on 2/15 to help defray his expenses. I'm donating a tote bag with my Chocolate Stash design, and you can bet I'll be donating to the raffle too...I'd love to win any of the prizes up, but more important, I can't bear to see an animal suffer.

Some people, on the other hand.....

Never mind. Go to to read more and see if you can help.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Dyeing To Tell You

Those of you that think I have a typo in my title get back on the short bus and ride away singing "One Hundred Bottles of Beer on the Wall." Now isn't that special???

I did some dyeing this weekend, and no, not my hair. To push a KnitPicks order into the free shipping total (yeah, I'm a sucker for that too), I got three skeins of "Bare" which is a fingering weight merino wool/silk blend. I had read about dyeing yarn with Easter egg dye and thought it sounded intriguing. So last Easter I bought several boxes of egg dye when it went on sale after the holiday, and squirreled it away, something for which I have a great talent. One does believe in nourishing one's talents, after all.

So Sunday I had free time, cheap yarn, and an urge to get under the DH's feet in an annoying manner whilst he was trying to have fun brewing his latest batch of beer. Yay! I hit the trifecta! Of course, trying to guess what color each tablet is can be amusing, but I have years of experience dippin' eggs, so away I went. I knew I wanted to do gradients of color, and started with the purple. I kept dipping in more yarn and raising the fluid level, and got a result with which I was really pleased.

I grabbed skein #2. This one gets a green treatment, but I got adventurous. I dipped the second end in yellow, leaving about a quarter of the yarn toward that end undyed for a couple minutes, then I dumped all the yarn in the green dye, and put the yellow in with it. Whoo-hoo, this looked really cool! Skein #3 gets two colors in equal parts...simultaneously dipping in blue on one half, turquoise on the other. I kept raising the fluid level in increments, and then let color wick over the bit of yarn bridging between the two containers.

See what you think! And if you don't like it, keep it to yourself. My psyche bruises easily. You don't want me to call the psyche abuse hotline, do you?

My friend Barbara of Furryarns (check enabling list) welcomed me to a new obsession. I refuse to become obsessed. I had fun, but heaven knows when I'll even have a chance to knit with this stuff.
I have enough projects for eight years past my life expectancy. Ain't life grand?

Sunday, February 3, 2008

And The Winner Is...

...Cheryl Coville, who designed the Goddess in this picture. She gets a skein of Fearless Fibers yarn, and a tote with her design on it. Congrats, Cheryl!

I added a little more in the star section, including Orion. If you don't know why, read the myth here. Now the design is available in my Etsy store. For those of you too lazy to go look, and you know who you are, here it is in all Artemis's (that still looks odd to me. I was brought up to do just S apostrophe, but this seems to be accepted usage now) glory.

This design was specifically created as a complement to the Artemis Shawl Pattern on the MMarioKKnits Yahoo Group, which link is below. Members may obtain MMario's patterns free of charge, but I do encourage you to donate to the link on his patterns. It's only fair to reward so much effort and generosity. I'm sending him one of the totes free as a thank you for stroking your Goddess's (there we go again) ego. Having my ego stroked is one of my very favorite things.

I'm fond of having other things stroked too, but the DH has dibs on those. :::naughty grin:::

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Throwing Down the Gauntlet

A little knitting content here. My hands get really cold here in the studio. That's unusual for me, but the heat vent is oddly placed and the configuration of my desk means I have a cold spot. I had previously knit myself some fingerless mitts from a skein of handspun that I got in a spinner's exchange, but I decided to give them to my half-sister for Christmas. My hands stayed cold.

Kristina at BeadNTat (see the blog list) told me about some patterns on the Vogue Knitting site, and I went to check them out. I am currently utterly in love with cables, both the look and the doing, and I found this free gauntlet pattern to be my cup of tea (Lapsang Souchong, if you're pouring). I made them in some Austermann Inka Alpaca I had stashed, in which I also did the Tudora pattern from Knitty. Very nice stuff that I got from These are actually black, a beautiful deep true black, but they photographed lighter and I left it that way so you could see detail.
Warm and snuggly. I deserve nothing less, and neither do you.

Friday, February 1, 2008

But Wait! There's More!

The DH and I got iced in today. Freezing rain and sleet overnight closed schools and although some of the county was clear pretty quickly, everything where we are was glazed like a doughnut. No, not donut. I actually write in English, not Ad Copy. Anyway, discretion being the better part of valor, we stayed home.

So, I told you that to tell you this. We were watching some morning TV, a special brand of hell all its own, when a commercial for some useless piece of garbage comes on...and oh my, the excitement!'s only 12.99! Let's get two; they're cheap. Or not. Then they tell you the s&h is 19.99.

"Oh, yeah!" I snark at the screen. "I'm really gonna order this piece of crap, and pay more for shipping and handling than I do the item!" DH, who is used to me talking back to the TV, says zilch. I believe I've mentioned his intelligence and insight before.

Then the obligatory "But Wait!!!" section comes on. "Call now, and the shipping and handling are FREE!"

The DH looks anywhere but at me, and quietly remarks, "Oops."