Sunday, February 26, 2006

Olympic bust

It is true that sometimes with a deadline I procrastinate and then kick butt close to the end. It is also true that sometimes I adopt a "fuck you" sort of attitude to deadlines. I think the Knitting Olympics inspired the second in me. I was into it, happy, plodding along, tinking out row after row and moving on, but when I realized that I had the 37 repeats of the eight row pattern and it was way shorter than it should be (I don't think I could get close to 20" out of blocking) my inner olympian gave up. I really like the pattern and I am still working on it and I'm going to finish it, but I didn't feel the urge to stay up late or deprive myself of fun. This is a pattern that I had to go easy on the Guinness with, though. Too many Guinness and who cares about double yarn overs?

Here is where the shawl is right now:

swansen shawl

Last night I went to see Ira Glass' one man show at UNC Memorial. It was sold out. He was so funny and clearly loves what he does. There is soon to be a This American Life pilot on Showtime. Ira said that there are only about a million viewers of Showtime. This American Life on NPR gets 1.6 million listeners every weekend. Their polling shows that once people tune in, they don't turn the station and stay for the whole thing. I do. Sometimes I tune in a little late, but unless I'm in the car and have to get out, I don't turn it off. I wish there were free podcasts of it. I will go to their website and listen from the archives if I miss one. Ira's piece on the new indecency law was really good. Something else to revolt about. The list gets longer every day.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Knitting update

I gave up hope of completing my Olympic project a while ago, but I really like it and I'm well over half way to home on it. I think I'm not going to work on anything else until it's done (well, for the most part - I am not a monogamous knitter).

For my birthday I received a box of lovelies from my wishlist at Amazon. Five CDs were in that box! Those of you that are familiar with my habits know that music, books, and knitting keep me quite satisfied. The CDs are: Rodney Crowell, Donna the Buffalo, Kathleen Edwards, Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion, and Madeleine Peyrox. Right now Patty Griffin is playing for the kids to go to sleep to and I'm sititng here with my iPod on listening to Sarah Lee and Johnny. I have technology anxiety, but sometimes I like it a little too much. The books in my box are Zorro's Field, The Candle Cafe Cookbook, and Maureen O'Dowd's Are Men Necessary? Good music, good books, and some knitting to finish.

I'll post a picture of the shawl project soon, I'm having some technical difficulties and it's slowed down my photography. I'm determined to work out the kinks, though.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

I have been conscious of my oddities for a while, but I never imagined having an eastern tiger swallowtail happily parking itself on my forehead for half an hour or more.


Morgan found the caterpillar in mid-pupae - it actually finished splitting it's larval skin into a pupae in my hand. Erin decided to take custody of the chrysalis in her pop-up bug tent and there it has remained for a couple of months. I will readily admit I had little or no hope of it hatching under such circumstances. The bug tent has been moved gently, hurled, and accidentally catapulted by a dog during the metamophosis period.

Yesterday the blessed creature decided to hatch. I am impressed, but also saddened. She (it is a girl) cannot be let go out in the wild because it will be 23 degrees farenheit tonight. Our jonquils have started to bloom, and my kind children have picked some, but the butterfly doesn't seem too interested. I found her behind the computer this morning and right now she's parked on a houseplant. Chicky asked if we could "keep" her and I said that I kind of thought we had to since it was going to get cold and she would die. We'll see how it goes.

The Olympic knitting is sucking. I am so far behind it's not even funny. I'm kind of the Michelle Kwan of the Knitting Olympics, my fingers and brain have stressed themselves out and I don't know how I'm going to make it. Bowen's words of advice were, "Maybe you should have picked something easier." Thanks, kid.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Quick, keep knitting!

I am officially 48 rows behind where I "should" be for my Olympics. I finished sixteen rows at basketball practice, but I have to get goin' or I'm not going to meet my personal challenge.

Here is Chicky's finished sweater. I found a bind off edge that is loose enough for a roll-neck - yea! She seems to like it. I made it big since winter is almost over here in the south and it should last at least one more winter. It's made out of Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Superwash. It was nice to work with - we'll see how it holds up over time.

chicky sweater

I have to share some pictures of the boys at a birthday party at a place I would never take them (I don't like big, noisy places with lots of people, and I don't like spending money on games - .50 to $2 a pop). They had a very good time. I mourn for the past when birthday parties were at other children's houses or at a park. I've never done a party at a place for actual money and my children think I'm a freak (they're right). I tell them one day they will appreciate my oddities and thank me for them.

Go Morgan

Go Bowen

As always, my life is made up of mini-revolutions: politically, spiritually, physically, intellectually - life is definitely a process for me. Recently I've had another health revolution. I've been vegan for almost two years and I try and eat healthy. I read Dinner at the New Gene Cafe shortly after it came out and felt really strongly about not eating foods that have been genetically modified. Somehow, it slipped to the back of my consciousness and I let it go. I'm currently reading Harvest for Hope by Jane Goodall, Gary NcAvoy, and Gail Hudson. It's revolutionary for me. I've already told the children that we are going for quality over quantity. Over 70% of the foods in our regular grocery stores are genetically modified. If you don't have a Whole Foods, Earth Fare, a Trader Joe's, or a co-op - you're screwed. Make sure the labels say "organic" or call the manufacturer to find out for sure. There's a great list at http// that you can print and take along to the grocery store. Only in North America are people served GMOs. The rest of the world requires labeling and grocery stores won't buy it (because consumers don't want to be guinea pigs), and as a result manufacturer's won't make it. This is the drawback to capitalism, my friends, when the focus is money it all goes to hell in a bucket.

All right, my brief post and preaching are over. Back to the knitting! I'll keep reminding myself I work better under pressure.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Sad and happy

When leaving the house this morning I noticed my knitting bag (my first Booga bag) with the socks I have slowly been working on since October was in none of its regular hang outs. I also realized the black-fingered i-cord gloves I just made myself were also missing. I was puzzling over it on the drive to work and realized I must have left them in the movie theatre this weekend.

I thought about this tragedy on and off throughout the day and told myself the bag would surely be at home, maybe under a jacket, a throw blanket, a dog. Somewhere. On the ride home from work I told the kids my fear. "No, mama. I'm sure it's at the house," they reassured. When we got home, I turned the house over looking and it's not anywhere. I called the movie theatre…yes, we have a lost and found; no, there is no bag. I called the Apple Store. "Hello, Apple Store," the Brit said. "Hi, I have a really lame question for you." I said. "Oh, good." replied the Brit, "Yes, we have iPods." I laughed. "No, I have one thanks. I think I left a bag with knitting in it in your store. Do you have a lost a found?" Yes, he said, they did. But no, and again I say no, there is no knitting bag. Sigh. Maybe it's for the best. I've made a couple better Boogas since that one. And, truth be told, that sock pattern was cool looking but so tedious, it's why they weren't done a long time ago. I'm kind of still sad about the gloves, but they were my first try and I fucked up a bit. See, I talked myself right outta sad.

The good news is that Chicky's roll neck EPS sweater is almost done! It needs sleeves and we are talking finished object! I'm worried I won't be done before the Knitting Olympics start and it would drive me crazy to see it sitting there just waiting for a sleeve.

Here is a very excited Pittsburgh Steeler's fan on Sunday night.

steelers fan

He was thrilled at the end of the game (I let him watch the whole thing, sans the trophy presentation). He was sad I limited his number of running victory laps around our friends' living room and wouldn't let him scream outside at their house or ours at 10:15pm, but other than that it was all good.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Who's sick now?

This week has been one of rotating illness. First Morgan (adnovirus with asthma flare), then Bowen, and I. The boys had it worse than I do. Bowen's fever was only bad one day but he's still coughing, and I've had body aches, a cough, and a low grade fever for four days now. I had hoped my dogged perseverance would win out, but I think I'm getting my ass kicked.

2006 seems to be a year of catching up with the technical times for me. The digital camera continues to be something I use almost every day (and still have barely a clue of what I'm doing). Yesterday I made a purchase of a purely selfish, unnecessary technical object - an iPod. It was supposed to be a "Happy Divorce to Me" present, but I haven't got a divorce yet (I am in process, though). Since I jumped the gun a little, and because it's a pure luxury item I am having iPod guilt. I'll admit it's damn lovely to have all fifteen Steve Earle albums in the palm of my hand, but I'm still feeling like I've overindulged a bit. I guess time is the only way to get over it.

Illness has slowed the knitting projects some. Bowen has one i-cord glove, and about half of a sweater that I'm working on. I ordered yarn for the Swedish doubelmossa hat and it arrived today (yea!). I promised myself I wouldn't start on it until I've finished my other projects (including a sweater for Chicky I started yesterday). How many projects are too many?