Friday, December 10


Oh lordy, of course I have to make this complicated. Don't update anything yet--I've just registered, but it's going to take a little while to get everything set up and the typepad site linked there. I'm doing this because after wrestling with typepad, I can tell I don't want to get locked into that system forever (sheesh, anytime you want to do anything YOURSELF, you have to upgrade!). So if I just register a domain, then I can move things around with minimal disruption to you, gentle blog reader.

So, who can tell me how to add my bloglines blogroll to my typepad sidebar. Anyone?

If anyone is still reading me by the time I finish messing things up, it will be a small miracle, I think.

I No Heart Blogger

I'm glad y'all are commenting, because if I had to rely on my own perception alone, I would say that my blog had disappeared. Happily, I received two comments via email today, and they didn't say "what the heck is wrong with your blog, girl?," and even referred to actual blog content, so I'm thinking that maybe you're seeing something I'm not.

So, why is my blog a big mess? It's because...

I'm movin' on up!

To typepad.

Just as soon as I figure out how to correct the feed, and maybe even put an automatic redirect thingy on here, I'll do it.

Why am I moving? I want categories. I want 'em bad. I want to be able to respond to the kind souls who comment here without having to divine their email addresses from the ether. I want to escape from the shame of a standard blogger blog on a standard blogger template (okay, so now I have a standard typepad template, hey, I didn't say I was moving that far up). I wanna be a cool kid.

So come on over. If you have me on your blogroll (and I know about it) I'll be emailing you with my new address. And slowly, but surely, I'll be putting up curtains and cleaning the carpets over there. Don't hold your breath though. I think I lived in my current house for 3 years before I put up curtains.

Does anyone have a Queer Eye for the Lesbian's blog link?

Thursday, December 9

Tell us about those "moral values," will ya?

We're back to more red-state cognitive dissonance, but this time it's me who can't seem to parse the difference between what they say and what they do.

It started when I heard from a friend of a friend that an old mutual acquaintance whom I knew had voted for Bush, is a "swinger," along with his wife. The have three kids and live in the suburbs. In a red state, of course.

At first I said, "oh, wow, they're poly!" But upon hearing more from my friend, no, they're not poly. They're swingers. They go to sex parties and hook up.

That's cool, whatever. I mean, they've been doing this for long enough that it doesn't seem to have affected their relationship. According to my friend, they are happy, and that's great. I'm happy for them. Everyone is consenting, they're all adults, and they're enjoying themselves. Bravo, I say. Have fun.

But then, to vote for someone who opposes gay marriage, I mean, what the fuck? In a way, the two have nothing to do with each other from my perspective. If we weren't the same sex, we would be the most boring, run-of-the-mill couple you'd ever meet. We have been monogamous for over 12 years. Our lives revolve around our kids, our jobs, our home, and our community. We do exciting things like knit and scrapbook. Sex parties are not even on our radar screen. Just. Can't. Imagine.

But it seems that the red states think that I am a threat to the moral fabric of our nation. Not exactly sure what that's all about--I guess I figured they thought we were having kinky sex all over the place (let us pause for a moment to laugh cynically--um, ever lived in a house with twin toddlers?). But shit, apparently they're having kinky sex all over the place in those red states, and here I am trying to figure out how to get dinner on the table and worrying about transitioning to preschool, this is where my brain just loses traction and starts to spin out, you know? And it's not just my old acquaintance who is doing this. There's a whole club he belongs to in his red state suburb. How many of them do you think voted for Bush? And, um, uh, what the fuck, huh?

So you know, I'm not coming out against swingers. Like I said, have fun, consensual adults, safe sex, all that. No problemo. But uh, could you please not vote for people who have pledged to take basic civil rights away from homosexual Ward & June Cleaver?

So dude, if I'm going to be maligned and vilified for my "lifestyle" (because it is very, very, stylish--in an Erma Bombeck kind of a way), I think I really need to make my lifestyle a little more interesting. Being an upstanding, responsible, tax-paying, faithful, monogamous, church-going (ok, UU, but it still counts!), community-minded citizen hasn't done shit for my image. I'm pretty much a pervert, as far as red America goes. And I though that they just had a really low threshold for perversion, and while I thought they were very wrong and didn't understand, it turns out that they've got "lifestyles" of their own and are busy doing stuff that I don't think is perverted, but hey, you can't deny that it's a little kinky. But what exactly does a girl do with that kind of information? And this may be really sad to say, but I don't WANT to start a suburban sex club here in my blue state. I'd rather go to knitting night. I am telling the gods' honest truth. How sad is that?

In a much more depressing piece of red-state hypocrisy, see what Republic of T just posted about a little more red-state morality:

Sigh. If someone can explain this to me, I'd be grateful. Thanks.

Tuesday, December 7

Knitting Presents

I am now wearing a wrist brace. Too. Much. Knitting. As if there was such a thing. It's mostly a matter of prevention, but things were getting a little wonky there, and I know wrist injury is not something I want to mess with.

The multidirectional diagonal scarf is *almost* done. I think I will abandon the plan to do a mitered square hat, at least on a deadline basis. I may be struck with insanity, give the scarf for birthday (Sat.) and then make the hat an Xmas deal. Yeah, that's crazy. I'll probably do it.

I am also making THREE scarves with miserable novelty yarn for my kids' 3 daycare teachers. I think they'll like them but oh lordy, give me wool!

The Lopi sweater is coming along around the edges, but I'm procrastinating it to the last minute because I know I can work on it in the car up to NH where we're celebrating Xmas, and I don't think I'll see the recipient until Xmas night or even the day after. So I have TONS of time on that, and the scarves are going to be gifted the week before so back to the nylon ladder nightmare I go. Hey, the colors are pretty, at least.

Meanwhile, the voice of reason sounds from across the pond.

How to avoid a designer tea cosy

Props to Mary-Helen for the link.

Friday, December 3

Memo to the Nearly-Three-Year-Olds

I know you are getting bigger, and that like any normal children of your age, now is the time for you to become more focused and deliberate about your boundary testing. A year ago, you careened from one activity to another, pausing occasionally to see if I was paying attention and would tell you not to do some dangerous thing, but mostly you were simply bent on destruction exploration, and your limit-testing was more incidental—a by-product of your curiosity and exuberance.

But now, you are studying. Carefully probing the places where you sense any sign of weakness, whether it be the rare (yeah, right, I try, okay) inconsistent response, or the thing that makes me growl "NO" through gritted teeth. In short, you are checking out how best to piss me off.

I thought maybe we could all save ourselves some time. I will provide you with a list of things that piss me off. That way, you won’t have to check Every. Fucking. Day. to see if they still piss me off. In future, you can refer to this memo. I promise that if one of these things ceases to piss me off, I will update the memo to reflect my new attitude. I’m not expecting to do a lot of editing.

So here we go.

1. Putting your feet on my body, face, arms, etc. while nursing. What IS this???? And you BOTH do this bizarre behavior incessantly, even though you know that after 3 warnings the milky session is OVER. We’ve talked about touching with hands. We’ve talked about respecting mama’s body. But somehow, the feeling of feet (bare, socks, shoes, even rainboots, it doesn’t matter) against my body is just too appealing. It annoys the hell out of me. Sssssstop. K? Glad we’re clear.

2. Asking me for a cup of juice at dinner time, then climbing up on the table when I leave the room to get it. You know, I know you’re doing it when I hear the hysterical giggling. And you know that if you do it you are required to take a break from being in the dining room. You are allowed to leave the table whenever you are finished. No bonus for getting kicked out. So, well, this is pretty straightforward. I promise to be pissed about this every time you do it. As I think I have alluded to on more than one occasion in the past, it’s not safe, and it’s rude. So we can just stop with that little drama, because it’s not gonna change. Nope. I will remain this mean FOREVER. Just wait till I have car privileges to take away.

3. Demanding one single exact clothing ensemble, regardless of whether it is clean or not, and then whipping it off 5 minutes later and demanding another one, treading, of course, on the initial outfit in the process. Seriously. I already, surprisingly enough, have a fair amount of laundry to do. Not really necessary to create more by wearing a different outfit every time you walk into a different room in the house. And I'll tell ya right now, being completely naked is not always my favorite alternative, especially when I have EXPLICITLY told you that we are leaving in five minutes and when you are in the other room disrobing while I am putting your brother’s shoes on. Duct tape? Is that the only answer? And no, it’s not okay to go to the library naked. I don’t really have time to explain the many reasons WHY right now, but trust me, they are the same as the last 25 times we have had that conversation, okay?

I think that will do for now. There's more, oh there's more, but if we can start there things will run a lot more smoothly around here.

PMS? Moi? Shut up, it has NOTHING to do with that. Nor is it related to the fact that I have been home solo with the kids for the past week, and for 3 weeks in the last 6 (or something, it’s all a blur now; that’s a conservative estimate), and one of the weeks DP was home involved dinner for 10 and houseguests. And the freelance project and the 9:30 phone meeting with a fucking COMMITTEE (I love phone meetings on Saturday mornings with COMMITTEES reviewing my work--LURVE IT!). That makes me extra perky.

Over at Naked Ovary, one of Karen’s trolls used her cursing as evidence she that she is not ready to be a parent. In that case, three years into it, I am DOOMED.

I had to edit to add this from the comments:

Stephanie has a great #4:

4. I know that you like to nurse standing up and that it seems like a real time saver to you. Despite how this makes me feel less like a loving, nurturing mother and more like a SNACK BAR I am willing to do it if you will simply NOT JUMP AROUND with my nipple in your mouth.

(also, if you could stop stuffing the leftovers from your snack down the side of the couch I would like that.)

Um, yeah, that one too. Technically, the drive-through closed shortly after the take-out and delivery service went offline (pumping, that is) at 18 months. I think around 2, I insisted that all milky sessions be sit-down meals. We did have one session on some days where the rules were off and they got to stand up and SHARE (the other fun twin nursing excitement. You haven't lived until you've had your kids execute an entire wrestling session WHILE latched on). That one session has been spot weaned because I was going to start breaking china if I had to do it again. It was mostly the wiggling, but also the casual way they would turn, holding the breast in one hand, to see what was going on behind them. Sit-down diner from now on.

Thanks, Stephanie, and congrats on the book.

Cool Web Thingamabob #642

Check out TypoGenerator, a cool thingy for creating random text-based graphics, found over at The Other Mother.

What does your vanity plate look like?

Thursday, December 2

The Yarn of Froggage

So I think I mentioned that I would be making a Lopi sweater out of yarn frogged from a poorly-conceived sweater started in, um, 1989?

Well, I frogged the offending garment, and started my Lopi sweater, destined to be a Yule gift for my step brother-in-law, the (arguably) lucky winner of my gift in the sibling gift lottery this year.

I knitted away, watching with satisfaction as the thing grew swiftly, having only 128 stitches on the needle for the entire body.

Wait a minute....that looks a little small....

Let's try to explain my thinking here. Bear with me, this promises to be convoluted.

When it comes to ribbing, I almost always use the same size needles for the ribbing as I do for the body. Only the more traditional (or outdated) patterns tend to have that kind of drawn-in ribbing these days anyway, but when I encounter them, I typically rib with the larger needles, figuring it will draw in a bit because it's ribbing, but it won't have that dreadful boofy look that really tight ribbing can produce (we've already discussed my desire not to draw attention to that particular area).

But this time, since it's for a man with broad shoulders who will probably look good with a tighter waist, and since I figured I'd be traditional for once, I used smaller needles for the ribbing. This was a conscious choice. I remember deciding to do it. Well, now I do.

So, when it came time to change to the body stitches, I had a conversation with myself that went something like this:

Reading: "Hmm, change to larger needles and k 1 row in MC, increasing, blah blah."

"Change needles? I don't change needles. Those instructions are for people who follow instructions. Not me, no siree. I remain, immutably, a person who, as a matter of identity, does not change needles. Keep knitting there mama, and pity those poor pathetic souls who have to change needles at the top of the ribbing."

"Hey, colors! Fun. Keep that tension right. Follow that chart. Loop de loop, in and out, front and back, lalalalalala...pretty geometric forms....lalala..."

"Wait a minute. This fabric feels kind of thick. And you know, the body hasn't really started to expand below the needles as I knit. It's looking, well, like it's not much bigger than the circ needle circumference of 29". That's weird, I'm knitting a 40" sweater. My gauge can't be THAT far off. Let's measure."

"FOUR stitches to the inch? Must be wrong. Oh, definitely. Let's measure again. No, there really isn't any way I can claim this to be 3.25 sts/in, even in some sort of denial-fueled fantasy world."

"Hey. Wait a minute. These are SIZE SEVEN NEEDLES. Now it's not altogether unusual for me to go down 3 needle sizes to get gauge, but I have a vague recollection of only going down one needle size for this project. Now that I think about it.....ack! I *did* rib with smaller needles.....Hello, frogpile."

Sigh. This is not a brain with great powers of observation, is it? No, I don't think so either.

So I put the project in time out before frogging it (and not the positive, take a break time out my kids get, no, this was the shaming, you've been a bad, bad knitting project kind of time out), during which time I shared my tale of woe with Thanksgiving guest Sara, and drowned my sorrows in Eloise, who has met her own bump in the road, though at least it doesn't involve frogging, just waiting for yarn.

This past weekend, I refrogged it (this is the yarn that had already been frogged--should I just throw this stuff away and figure it's a bad omen? I think it has one more chance--you know, 1-2-3 Magic).

Luckily, frogging is not so painful when you're knitting with rope. By Monday evening I had this:

The whole thing is now on the backburner, however, as I frantically try to complete a Multidirectional Diagonal Scarf for Rhys, who is out of town with her sister, supporting her through chemo #4. BTW, solo parenting twin toddlers is TIRING and I have been doing it far too much the last few months. I'm glad she's helping her sister, but I'm also relieved Rhys won't be traveling much (except her one day per week in NJ) after this. The upside is I can (probably) knit her a scarf without her knowing, and that will be cool when I surprise her. (Well, that is if she continues her impeccable record of not reading my blog, despite having been given the address. Rhys, if you're reading this, tell me so I can stop sneaking around.)

I'm using some Kureyon in color 128 that Alison RAOK'd me a few weeks back. I think in order to make a respectable scarf, I'm going to need a 3rd skein. Webs' website claims they have that color. I want to put it in the middle of the scarf so any dyelot differences won't be too noticeable, so off to buy yarn with the kids tonight on the way home. Should be interesting. I'll look forward to being laughed at again...

Belated apology

When my parents were up for Thanksgiving, we did a Sorry Everybody photo. Here's our contribution to world contrition.

My mom is wearing the International Traveler Apology T-Shirt. (Perhaps we should also apologize for misspelling "traveler?" And "apologize." And for putting punctuation inside quotations. Oh, never mind.) The shirt was my early Yule present to her.

Still sorry over here.

Picture of Perfection

Go see my friend Sara's essay on parenting an "atypical wonder," a child with CP. Toby (and his big sister Hannah, aka the golden goddess of school-agedness according to my kids) came to be with us for Thanksgiving.

It was perfect.

Since she wasn't kind enough to share with you a photo of the smiling charming blondie boy, I thought I would do the honors.

See what I'm saying?