March 31, 2005
I don't really like peaches any more than I like cheese. But at least I'm not allergic to peaches.
Which is to say, I think I'm going to move to Georgia. NOT because Carrie went outside in a bikini top in Athens the other day, although that's a pretty good reason too; I bet those guys in Wisconsin are still pulling fish up out of the ice (eeew).
The reason, of course, is money. UGA is offering me an assistantship, which comes with a stipend and a tuition waiver, and they want an answer in the next few days. UWM is offering nothing, and I know that there are only a few department jobs there, and really I'm only qualified for (maybe) two of them. The deadline to apply for those jobs isn't even for another month, and if I wait that long I'll lose my place at UGA. So the decision is easy after all.
Georgia was my number one school all along, and any time I indulged in fantasies about grad school, I was picturing myself there. But then when I got accepted at Wisconsin (a month before my Georgia application was even due) I thought for sure there was no way I'd get into both schools, and started to shift my thinking, and imagine myself in Madison. Then I visited Madison and it's (of course) amazing, and there are certainly some things I like better there than at Georgia, but to be honest most of those things have to do with the town and the campus, not the programme or the people. I'll be happy in Georgia. I'm going to put that acceptance form in the mail tomorrow and have done with this indecision.
So! On to more interviews.
Cece, here are your questions:
1. I've seen a remarkable number of ponchos in your archives. How many ponchos have you knitted, and which is your favourite?
2. How do you feel about the nasty backlash against ponchos that's going around the blog world right now? Does it bug you that the bitches couldn't give the poncho knitters one more freaking year to enjoy their ponchos before declaring them passe? How many knitbloggers do you reckon there are publicly declaring they'll never knit a poncho while secretly frogging the one they never finished last fall?
3. I see you make a lot of quilts. Do you have a huge stash of unfinished quilts? Do you have boxes of quilts in progress that have moved to more than one residence with you? Have you ever sewn an entire quilt top by hand, or do you think that's a dumbass waste of time? (read: should I just break down and use a machine, or let that one moulder in its box forever?)
4. You're turning 30 soon. . . how do you feel about that? Are you ready to kiss your 20s goodbye or do you want to hang on?
5. Someone I love dearly (except for his gross, unhealthy obsession with fish) used to breed crazy ornamental goldfish, and loves to freak me out by telling me how he would gently coax the eggs out of the fish BY HAND. Do you love fish this much? Could you ever milk a goldfish of its eggs with your fingers? Isn't it disgusting?
And for Rachel:
1. You talk a lot about historical costuming on your blog, but the stuff you do doesn't seem to always be from the same period/culture. Are you some kind of reenactor? What kind of reenactor are you?
2. Have you ever made a sarafan? How about a ghawazee coat? And would it be any cooler to walk around in the summer in a ghawazee coat than a sarafan (keeping in mind that I have lots of one and none of the other, so your answer could make work for me).
3. What kind of cake did you get for your birthday? Is it all gone yet?
4. Which do you like better, peaches or cheese, and why? Which would you rather have on your Pittsburgh Salad, assuming you'd eat one?
5. Do your feet hurt when you run? Do your boobs? What kind of shoes do you wear, and how often do they need to be replaced?
1. Over in your sidebar you have one project on the needles. Do you really have only one? Seriously? Aren't you addicted yet?
2. What inspired you to start a blog? Now that you've been at it for a few months, are you settling in, or is it still hard to find your blog voice? Is it taking over your life yet?
3. Who gave you that Christmas present sweater you unravelled? Aren't you afraid that person might find out?
4. I know someone who went down to Weight Watchers and told them that she had signed up as a member online and just wanted to buy a copy of the book, just so that she could get the book without having to join and pay for a membership. Would you do anything this dishonest? Had you thought of it already?
5. Is it true that Kansas is flatter than a pancake? Do people make jokes to you all the time about not being in Kansas anymore, and does it drive you nuts? Which band would you rather listen to, Kansas or Toto?
March 30, 2005
Don't touch that thing. I think it's still alive.
When I am an old woman, I shall regale the blog world with the gritty details of my ailments; I'll tell you all about fevers, body fluids, couch sleeping, nagging coughs, pill-taking regimens, side effects and what kind of sandwich not to buy when the thought of food makes you want to throw up even though you haven't eaten in days.
But for now I still have some dignity and even a wee bit of propriety, so I will just tell you that I am almost better.
To the people still waiting to be interviewed: thank you for being patient. I think I'll be able to get to some of the questions tomorrow; today I feel well enough to go to class, so I need to go catch up on my readings.
March 23, 2005
Misery loves company (or, not the most exciting post ever)
To the people waiting to be interviewed: soon. I promise. I'm just too fucking sick right now. After days and days of the worst cold ever getting worse, and still worse, and two long nights of coughing and sweating and feverish dreams in which I alternately fought bitterly with Peter and recoiled from fishes on platters (yes, they scare me, and I have nightmares about them, okay?), I went to the doctor. I have a throat infection.
Yesterday it was a beautiful, sunny, almost spring day and I spent it sleeping on the couch, pinned down by a really fat cat who seemed to get heavier every time I went off on a coughing jag. Today, I don't feel any better but at least I'm awake, and this is my front porch.
March 21, 2005
Even the Spanish Inquisitors needed a day off once in a while
I still have several more people to interview, but I'm taking a break to talk about other stuff for a bit. The next round of questions will be up tomorrow.
When I was a kid I had gloriously long hair that was a completely wild and unmanageable mess (well, it's still unmanageable, but short now). I hated having it brushed, and one time when my mom was yanking great handfuls out of my skull in an attempt to torture the knots and curls into submission, I tearfully asked her why she had to be so rough and she told me that she couldn't help it, it was because she had been an Inquisitor in Spain in a former life.
I asked my dad if that was true (thinking for some reason that my dad was the definitive authority not only on reincarnation, but on whether it had happened to my mom) and he said "oh yeah, she mentioned that once before. It must be true".
Huh. Why was I talking about that? Oh yeah, the interviews. It's hard work to think up good questions for so many people at once.
My first RAOK
Look what came in the mail today, from Danielle:
40 packs of Kool Aid! Thanks, Danielle! She popped this in the mail for me after I bitched about not being able to find the varieties that other people were using. There are several kinds here that I haven't been able to find locally, including Wild Watermelon Kiwi, Raspberry Reaction and Jamaica. I'm mildly curious to find out what exactly Jamaica tastes like, but don't think I could actually bring myself to drink the stuff after seeing how well it dyes wool. I'm going to have fun with all this, though. I love that on the American Kool Aid packages, they list all the colours, so you can figure out what colour you will get before you try it. The Canadian packages don't have that.
My excitement at receiving a big package of Kool Aid was almost enough to offset my pissiness at the fuckers at the National Student Loans Centre, who have decided after a year and a half that when I was six days late in informing them that I was still in school (thus continuing my interest-free status on my outstanding student loan) that they should have charged me interest for the six month grace period. So they've added two hundred dollars to the amount I owe, in addition to requesting that I pay them a whopping six dollars right now. Fuckers. Do I look like I have six dollars?
March 18, 2005
In which our heroine's Clap gives her the blues, and more hapless victims are interrogated
So. I got the bright idea on the weekend to mix up a little bit of Kool Aid in a bowl and dye a test swatch for Clapotis. I mixed up some Blue Moon Berry with a little bit of Grape, and produced the kickass gorgeous blue seen in the swatch above (the yarn ball shows the original colour). I then happily mixed up what I thought were the same proportions of Kool Aid in a big pot and dyed the whole shawl on the stove, the results of which you can see in the background. Hmmmph. A nice purple, but not a colour I will wear. I'm assuming that I just didn't have enough blue to cover the whole thing, but will have to wait until after grocery day to get more and try again. Phooey! How many times can I immerse this yarn in Kool Aid before it just won't suck up any more?
Interview questions, part deux
1. You may have noticed yesterday that I'm a little obsessed with other people's stash; as a poor student, I have to stash vicariously. So let's hear some intimate stash details: how big, how many WIP, does your husband resent the size or storage of your stash?
2. What are your thoughts on the things that American Library Association president Michael Gorman has recently written about bloggers, and blogging librarians?
3. What first got you interested in blogging?
4. Have you ever written anything in your blog that you regretted later? Have you ever gone back and deleted a post?
5. Of all the states you've lived in, which would you most like to move back to, and why?
1. The other day you posted a picture-heavy blog entry of recent visits with friends, in which you sported three different hair colours! How often do you dye your hair, and what are the best/worst results you've ever had? Does your hair ever get dry and yucky from all the dyeing, like mine did when it was long?
2. I also saw a little peek of ink on your shoulder in one of those photos. Tell me about your tattoos: how many have you got, what are they, are you planning any more? Have you ever thought about getting matching tattoos with anyone?
3. What are you going to make with that freakin' amazing yarn that Amy sent you?
4. How much yarn have you bought since you started working in a yarn store? Did you work in a yarn store in Calgary too?
5. Which knitting project have you been most disappointed in when it was finished? Why? Did you frog it?
1. Hey chica, we move to different towns and the next thing I know you're knitting! Who taught you? Tell me about the stuff you've made so far.
2. What are you planning to knit next?
3. I just read in your blog that you got accepted at U of T--congratulations! Maybe I didn't look back far enough in your archives, but what MA programmes are you applying for? And which school is your first choice?
4. Where do you see yourself in five years? And where do you see Dru?
5. House Redhair is celebrating our campiversary this summer (ten years!), and the whiskey will be flowing like water. Will you be there to celebrate with us? Will Corrig?
For Rob. Now, Rob doesn't have a blog, but he has requested an interview, and while I know it's against the rules, well, I just can't say no to Rob. So, dearest, you have two options: 1) you can get a blog, and make this your first entry. I'm dying for you to get a blog anyway, and I think you would enjoy writing one. There are plenty of places to set one up for free, you should go for it; or 2) you can e-mail your answers to me and I will publish them here on my blog. I will only do this for you because you are Rob. Be aware that if you choose this option I will edit your answers for spelling; if you want to preserve the integrity of your typing, go get a blog. Now, here are your questions:
1. Did you ever finish those purple socks, or did you frog them? Did you keep the yarn? Have you done any more knitting, or did my bad teaching, and the fact that I neglected to tell you that that yarn on that size needles would make huge giant socks that would fit over your head, put you off knitting forever?
2. What's wrong with naming cats after ABBA anyway? Don't you think maybe you contributed to little Agnetha's psychosis by changing her name to Pandora?
3. What sort of plants native to my area would you recommend for a rock garden made out of 5-pin bowling balls, assuming that there's not room for a lot of soil between balls? Keep in mind that our front yard is very small, maybe 25 by about 12 feet. (see, I'm not above using this game to satisfy my own nefarious ends)
4. What one person in the world would you most like to shag, that you've never shagged before?
5. When are you coming to Windsor?
1. What is the butt-ugliest thing you've ever knitted? Do you still have it? (can we see?)
2. Watch out. . . here comes the obligatory stash question again! Is it a beast or a pussycat? Can it be contained? Does it cause domestic strife? (some of you more astute readers may notice a theme here, and wonder what I'm trying to say about my own stash-related domestic situation. I'm just trying to find out if I'm the only one taking over more than my fair share of the house, okay?)
3. And because I'm apparently obsessed with other people's ink, as well. . . that's a nice new tat! Do you have any others, and if so, what/where are they? Any more in the works?
4. What is you oldest WIP? How long has it been since you worked on it?
5. What do you eat squeezable shrimp cheese on? (please, for the love of god, don't say Pittsburgh Salad). Does that cheese come in any other flavours, and if so, have you tried them?
There you have it, kids. More questions tomorrow.
March 17, 2005
Q: Will I ever tire of this Kool Aid thing?
A: Oh, probably not for a while yet.
I have a lot of people to interview, so I'm going to go in stages and do the first five now. Here goes round one:
1. What are you planning to do when you finish graduate school? I know that sounds like a shitty question, and I hate when people ask me that but I don't mean "how will this degree be useful for you to make money", which is what I usually hear from people who think the arts are a waste of time. What I mean is, you are in school, pursuing what you love. When you don't have school to force you to focus on it anymore, how will you take your love of architecture and architectural preservation and continue to make it your life?
2. Can we see pics of your tattoos? How long have you had them, and do they mean anything?
3. How big is your stash? Do you wish it was bigger, or smaller? And how many unfinished WIP are in there?
4. I see that you are Irish. Do you think that the way North Americans celebrate St. Patrick's Day is in any way insulting or offensive? I mean, getting drunk and pretending to be Irish as if that is the entire nation's defining characteristic? And, while we're on the topic of your nationality, would you ever knit or wear these pants?
5. Have you ever eaten a Pittsburgh Salad? If so, was it disgusting? If not, would you? With ketchup or salad dressing?
For Merouda (this one is hard, because Merouda is a friend in "real life"):
1. If you could give up your job and go back to university, what would you study the second time around?
2. What is your oldest WIP, and how long have you had it hanging around? Which unfinished WIP is your greatest source of shame? (I'll show you mine if you show me yours)
3. What's the most embarrassing thing you've ever done while drunk? And would you consider doing it again this Whiskey Cellphone Night, so we can all see?
4. I think your crazy basement needs a few more weird little single-purpose rooms, don't you? If you could put another in, what would it be? Smelter? S&M rumpus room? Sandblasting unit?
5. How many monkeys are in Poopie's posse now? Do they jump on the bed? Do any of them ever fall off and bump their head? Do you call the doctor? What does the doctor say?
1. You are a brand new blogger; what inspired you to join this geeky club?
2. I see you're also a brand new knitter! How big is your stash so far, and how many projects on the needles? Are you to the point yet where your stash is causing domestic strife (it always comes to that point, doesn't it?)
3. Where in Florida do you live? Are there any Tim Hortons there?
4. Is there any kind of regional food thing in your area that you can gross me out with? (yes, this is another Pittsburgh Salad-related question). And is it true that you can find Pittsburgh Salad in Florida?
5. Several of today's interviewees are monkey-lovers. Do you have any kind of monkey thing going on that you haven't told us about yet? If not, what have you got against monkeys?
1. Are you in the SCA? And if so, will you be at Pennsic this year? (uh-oh, did I just out myself?)
2. You only started knitting in 2004 but I've seen a ton of intermediate/advanced projects on your blog. How many sweaters have you finished since you started to knit? How many are on the go right now?
3. Do you drink Guinness? Do you drink Tullamore Dew? This might seem like a St. Patrick's Day question but it's actually related to question #1.
4. Have you knit anything horribly, embarrassingly awful that you never wear and are embarrassed to show? If so, can I see it?
5. What temperature is it today where you are? Is the sun shining? Do you ever actually get to wear sweaters?
1. When you say that monkeys make you happy, what exactly do you mean? Do they make you happy in a bubble-bath-with-ferret kind of way? Do you mean real monkeys, or sock monkeys, or cartoon monkeys? Or is monkeys a euphemism for something I'm too dense to get?
2. Is there any kind of animal you WOULD consider taking a bath with?
3. You seem to work with a bunch of half-wits. How much education does one need to get a job in a hospital in your country? And do your ferret-loving, stuffed-squirrel, teen-pregnancy coworkers actually have any responsibility that could affect anyone's health?
4. Your blog is called "24 knits" but you never talk about knitting. Do you actually knit? Is this just a cover for something else? Are you in hiding?
5. There are a lot of Guinness drinkers among today's interviewees. Do you drink Guinness? Would you only drink it if it was mixed with gin? Do you drink anything that isn't mixed with gin? Would you put gin in a milkshake, or in your coffee? On your Pittsburgh salad?
March 15, 2005
A getting-to-know-you game
Just like when the teacher used to make us stand up in front of the class on the first day of school and say something about ourselves (my name is Jodi, on my summer vacation I played Dukes of Hazzard every day at Dougie's house because he has a car up on blocks in his yard. . . ). Except more fun.
So here are the rules if you want to play:
1. Leave me a comment saying “interview me.”
2. I will respond by asking you five questions here. They will be different questions than the ones below.
3. You will update YOUR blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.
And here are the questions posed to me by La, and my answers:
1. I think it’s safe to say that Mariah! is a big hit. Will you be publishing more designs in the future? If so, what? If not, why?
I will definitely be publishing more designs. I have a new design that will be in the spring Knitty, but sorry, I can't tell you about it. It's very different from Mariah, and might not appeal to the same kind of crowd. Think rockabilly, and bowling. I like to think it's the kind of thing Rizzo would knit. I'll also have a design in Jillian Moreno and Amy Singer's book Big Girl Knits, coming out some time next year. I'd like to do a few designs later in the spring to publish for free on my website, but I don't do as well with the deadlines when they're self imposed.
2. Regarding your art: What inspires you? What is your favorite medium? Which is your favorite creation?
This is a hard question, even though I'm getting pretty used to talking about my art. I'm not sure it's a question of inspiration (although like Hulk Hogan said, "a true artiste has inspiration, not perspiration odour"); it's just what I'm compelled to do. I think the best way to answer this is to cop out and give you a link to my artist's statement, which pretty much sums up what I'm doing right now, and why. I'm primarily a printmaker, and work mostly in lithography, relief and intaglio. I also use a lot of knitting, embroidery and quilting, usually combined with printmaking but sometimes on their own.
3. I LOVE ink! How many tattoos do you have, and what are they?
I love ink too. My mom won't want to hear this, but now that I've begun to put tattoos in places that actually show, I'm quite eager to cross the line between tattooed and heavily tattooed. I've got a long way to go though; I have 5 tattoos right now (but will be getting at least one more, maybe two, before the end of April). Here is a picture of my first one, on the small of my back:
The next one I got on my belly, and I won't show a photo because it descends into my bush, and I just don't want my parents to think I'm showing my bush to everybody. You can pretty much see it in all of my prints though; here's a detail from "dmc 666" a print on canvas with embroidery:
It looks kind of blobby in the prints, but the diamond is hatched lines just like the one on my back, and the black spiral bits are sharper.
My third was my armband, which you can see here. Then a band of stars around my calf, shown here. And number five, my first knitty tat, you can see back here.
The next one I was supposed to get on my birthday but my plans went awry. I'm just waiting for qpaukl to get his new needles sterilized and this is going on the nape of my neck:
This is the first one I didn't design myself; I ripped it off out of the Book of Kells. And since we're already pretty picture-heavy here, what's one more?
This image is from an old Punch cartoon from World War One. I'm going to do some work on it, cleaning it up so that it's less pen-and-ink looking and a little easier to read. Then I'm going to put her on my left upper arm. I like the idea of a knitting pinup that's not slutty looking, and I love the way she's clenched over the knitting in a kind of fury.
4. How long have you been knitting and what was your first project? do you still have it?
One or both of my grandmothers tried to teach me when I was about 8, but didn't show me how to cast on or off or how to fix mistakes, so I got frustrated pretty quickly and stopped. I had a spool knitting set and used to make lots of Barbie tube dresses (I was never really into playing Barbies, but always like sewing clothes for them. Then she would go out in her fabulous outfits and have terrible mishaps, like slipping on the ice and bending her knees backwards, or slipping while climbing Victrola mountain and getting her neck caught in her rope and hanging there off the side of the Victrola for days, dead but dressed to the nines).
I finally learned to knit when I was 18 and in art school, from my art history teacher, Marg Blackie. She gave a sock knitting workshop and I was the only one of the bunch who kept knitting. So my first finished object was a pair of acrylic socks, and one was purple and teal and the other was teal and yellow. I don't have them anymore, as I always had problems with the dpn join line down the bottom of the foot wearing out. They fell apart (yes, even though they were butt ugly and HOT acrylic, I wore them until they fell apart).
5. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it by and why?
I haven't really travelled a lot so I can't say oh, definitely Berlin or Soweto or Dublin or Addis Ababa or a New Zealand sheep ranch (although I'm sure those would all be great places). So how about this: I'll describe my ideal place to live and if you ever find it you can let me know and I'll move there. I'd like to live in a lovely old house close enough to walk downtown, in a liberal town with a diverse ethnic mix and a good university with a fabulous library and art department that wishes to employ both Peter and me. Ideally there will be a nice old lady next door who likes babysitting cats, a bunch of guys who play pickup ball hockey nearby (for Pete, not me) and a YMCA within walking distance. There is also a fabulous job in this wonderful town for Peter's ex, so that we can be close to her and the kids. In our neighbourhood there is a yarn store, a thrift store, an Ethiopian restaurant and a good pub where I can drink Guinness and not have to listen to too much tweedle-dee-dee music. I can tell you that this place will likely not be in the United States (bad governance), Saudi Arabia (like the US but more overtly misogynist), or any coastal or island nation where the main source of food is fish (or worse, fish and pork).
March 13, 2005
. . . I gotta wear shades
Yesterday I promised some exciting news and then like the teasing skank I am, almost forgot to follow through. I've been accepted to the Lamar Dodd School of Art at the University of Georgia for a printmaking MFA. Since it's all about me here, I'll risk pissing off my harassing stalker commenter (who hates the blog but for some inexplicable reason still continues to read it) to tell you that they are only accepting three people. Somebody get a pin! and pop my swollen head.
I pretty much had my heart set on Georgia the whole time I was putting together my applications, partly because I had been to visit the campus in October of 2003, and it's a strong, well-respected art department on a beautiful campus in a very cool town, and the printmaking area has great facilities and talented, friendly people. Then I got accepted to the University of Wisconsin-Madison and visited there and guess what? --it's a strong, well-respected art department on a beautiful campus in a very cool town, and the printmaking area has great facilities and talented, friendly people. Aaack. It's nice to have Options, but I want this decision to be easy and it's not going to be.
It's been a year and a half since my visit to UGA, so I think I'll need to go back again to refresh my memory and hopefully meet some more people; then I can be sure the decision I make is the right one for me. I'm not sure that Peter will be able to take any more time off work to drive me down though, so it might be difficult, since I don't drive. I've taken the Greyhound from Detroit to Atlanta once before and it is a long and painful trip. I may need to appeal to the knitblogging community in Athens to give me a place to shower in between the bus trip and visiting the school!
Of course, money is going to have to be a big factor in my decision. I don't have the money to pay my own way, and won't be able to work legally in the States except for within the school I'm attending. So I pretty much need to have an assistantship or I'm not going anywhere. I have a (Canadian) friend who was accepted to UWM for a printmaking MFA and they were not forthcoming with an offer of money, so she ended up going to another (American) school and it was a crappy experience for her there. Peter thinks that I may have to take a chance and accept, hoping the money will come, but I don't want to make a commitment and end up being screwed. Ah well. I'm applying for assistantships, so we'll see. So far it looks like the procedure is a lot easier at UGA; I've submitted an assistantship application but wasn't asked to apply for any specific job, so I guess you must get approved first and then apply for the available positions. At UWM it seems that I'm required to apply separately for every assistantship position I want to be considered for and hope for the best, and I can't figure out where I'm supposed to find the information I need to do this. The university's website is hard to navigate, and all roads seem to end up in the same useless places.
In knitty news, only three more to go! I've finished this, although ends still need to be woven in:
And for your viewing pleasure, you also get a nice look at my ueber-sexy underarm hair. I think hairy armpits are hot hott hottt on girls, and haven't shaved since I was about twenty. In fact, all through my twenties I had hairy legs too, but last year I decided that as feminist statements go, it wasn't that meaningful to me anymore and besides, it pokes out of the fishnets and that looks stupid. Hairy legs feel a lot softer and silkier that waxed legs though, and sometimes I regret getting rid of it.
Okay, project specs on the top: it's the Girl from Auntie funnel top, super easy and quick to make provided you don't knit 8 inches and then throw it in a drawer for six months like I did. It's worked on 5.5 mm needles in Stahl Portofino, a super soft cotton blend that I like so much I bought a tonne more in blue at the same time. It's the kind of cotton that you can wear without a bra and not chafe your nipples off. I did mine in two colours because while I love the lime green, the lime green is not so fond of me; I keep relative peace in my relationship with the lime green by following a few rules, like not forcing it to hang out too close to my face.
I also did a little more Kool Aid dyeing this weekend, with less than stellar results.
The top skein is Icelandic Lopi and the other two are more of the "Emerald Irish Knit" stuff. The only one I like is the green/purple one; I'm not sure why I even use purple so much since it's about my least favourite colour, but what I'm hating here even more than the purple is the turquoise. Blue Moon Berry, never never again. In the green and purple one, there is one tiny spot of the most gorgeous, cobalt-y blue. I'm going to do some mixing with the colours I used and see if I can find it again. Actually these skeins all look a lot prettier wound up into balls, but I'm not going to swatch any of them until after my WIP deadline. So expect to see an extremely swatch-heavy post coming in the first week of April. Admit it, you want to see it as much as I do, we're all geeks here.
March 12, 2005
The bachelor life
Peter's away with his kids for the weekend, which means I pretty much spend every night sitting on my arse in front of the computer with my knitting and my Irish Breakfast tea. Because he's not here, there's no motivation for me to make a real meal: last night I ate a whole pound of tofu for supper, baked in the oven in a really tasty marinade. Usually I crumble it into a salad with quinoa, but last night I couldn't be bothered. I just wanted to get back on the heating pad; I've got this pain in my back and I'm not sure if it's from modelling two days in a row or this cotton pony I've been riding, but it's interfering with my knitting so it has to go.
It's so bright outside right now, I wish I didn't have to leave for work in ten minutes. I'd rather sit here and drink tea all day than blow up balloons. These March mornings are my favourite mornings of the year; it's so much easier to get out of bed early when for the first time in months the sun is up with you. I have this glorious feeling that I'm snatching extra time from the day, extra sunny morning hours to spend doing something other than lying in bed wishing it wasn't so damned cold. Then the clocks change and everything is ruined, and I go back to my slothful ways. Before I went back to school I used to have time to do things in the mornings, and I can remember once putting up a batch of pickles before walking to work to open the store up at ten a.m. Those days are gone.
The Girl from Auntie funnel top is nearing completion, and I'll have a picture for you tomorrow. It would have been finished already but I miscounted a row down near the bottom and had to frog about eight inches. I'll also have some exciting news tomorrow, but there's no time to write about it now--I'm about to miss my bus.
March 10, 2005
Paedophiles I have known
I've been thinking about a discussion we had in my CanLit class a little while ago; we were talking about the short story "Evening in Paris" by Blanche Howard* and it raised some questions for me that I'd like to hear what others have to say about. The narrator in this story recounts her experience with a neighbourhood paedophile and looking back on her childhood, is surprised at her own apparent lack of innocence, that at age five she "knew peril when [she] met it, even then, even though it appeared in such affable guise" (293), that of a trusted adult acquaintance. Mr. B., the paedophile in the story, is someone that all the kids know about and avoid.
What baffles me is not so much the worldliness of the children but the innocence of the parents: if children are so savvy, why are parents so oblivious? For as long as there have been humans, and sexual urges, there have been adults who act out those urges on children. Our parents were no more sheltered than we were, and surely for all of them there must have been some adult that the kids "all knew about" (296). How could growing up and becoming parents make them forget about this danger of childhood? In Howard's story, when the adult narrator tells her mother about Mr. B., her mother is shocked, unable to believe that no-one ever told. But perhaps their blindness to the truth made the parents seem complicit somehow; by failing to recognize this man's behaviour they were, in a sense, condoning it. If it seemed that way, would you tell?
There was an old man at our family camp whom I'll call Grandpa Smith, because that was his name (I don't think I need to protect a man who diddled kids and who has been dead since the seventies). He was NOT my grandfather. He really was the grandpa of some of the kids at camp, but all of us called him that, and we all loved him. He would tell us stories, and give us quarters for the jukebox in the games room (you could get three songs for a quarter back then). When we were in our mid-twenties, my girlfriend Shar asked me if I remembered Grandpa Smith ever doing anything strange, and instantly a memory surfaced of sitting on his lap in the cool shade of the pavilion on a hot afternoon, Grandpa Smith speaking softly in my ear, telling me a story while his hand moved gently inside the front of my shorts. I must have been six or seven. I think this was the only time it happened, but I guess I can't be sure. I don't remember ever thinking that it was wrong or bad, and when Grandpa Smith was dying in hospital, all the kids made paper tulips in little pots to fill his room with, and much love was put into them. None of us ever told our parents, and I'm not sure if I told mine after Shar and I had our talk, either. They'll probably find out when they read this.
Grandpa Smith had worked in nickel mining, or smelting, and gave me this little blob of nickel slag. My dad put my initials on the back, and a hole through the little baby blob so I could wear it as a necklace.
So I guess this story does nothing to further my point or make this essay in any way cohesive, since we all trusted and loved this guy. Oh well. Let me tell you about the other one, and maybe that will get me back on track.
The other paedophile I knew lived directly across the street from us; I don't remember his name. He lived alone, and would invite all the little girls in the neighbourhood to come into his house to play in the basement. He had Pop Shoppe pop for them to drink, and a little cart on wheels that he would let them play on. That summer I was too busy playing with the boys (Dukes of Hazzard, and I got to be Daisy!) to care much what the girls were doing, and the old guy gave me a really creepy vibe so I stayed away. I only went there once; a few of the other girls talked me into going in, took me down the basement and showed me the wheely-cart and the many red crates of pop. I had only been there a few minutes when the old guy beckoned me upstairs and into the first floor bedroom and instructed me to sit on the bed. He then picked up an object from the chest of drawers and showed it to me--it was a salt-and-pepper set shaped like a man and a woman, and he demonstrated how they fit perfectly together. I jumped off the bed, hightailed it out of there and never went back.
I can kind of understand the parents not knowing about Grandpa Smith; we were in a privately owned campground, so there wasn't any perceived danger in letting the kids run around all day, and there were lots of places that were fairly private. And in the seventies people weren't afraid to let their kids out of their sight like they are now. But how could the parents on our street fail to realize that there was something weird about an old man who let little girls play in his house all day, every day? (I don't want to sound like I'm blaming my own parents for any wrongdoing here, or any lack of protection. We lived in a very small town and knew everyone; it should have been safe).
I wonder, if I had a child, would I be any more aware of the dangers than our parents were? It's true that people are a lot more paranoid than they used to be, and don't really allow children the freedom to run around and get lost and hurt and engage in any kind of imaginative play away from grownups. But I think maybe that has more to do with a fear of harm coming to kids from strangers. These people were our neighbours.
*Howard, Blanche. "Evening in Paris." Fresh Tracks, Writing the Western Landscape. Ed. Pamela Banting. Victoria, BC: Polestar, 1998. 292-299.
March 08, 2005
Time to renegotiate the terms
Sorry kids, but I'm just not going to have all those things finished by March 20th (you all knew that from the start, right?). Please don't roast me. I'm not a total failure, look:
I finished this skirt; all it needs are some i-cord belt loops so I can wear my belt with it. To recap: I took a secondhand acrylic sweater that fit like shite and cut it off under the arms, unravelled a sleeve and used the yarn to make a deep ribbed waistband. It looks pretty cute on; after the beltloops are on I'll have Pete take a picture of it in action.
Here's the finished back and two fronts of the Must Have:
You might not be able to see it in the photo, but I miscrossed the braid cable on the left front, way down about 5 inches from the bottom. So it'll be more than just a trip to sleeve island to finish this; I'll have to drop those nine stitches all the way down and recross the cable all the way back up. Yawn.
I also worked to the waist on the top down raglan t-shirt and bound off, only to discover that it's pretty much a total write-off: the body is too baggy and I want the neck to be bigger. It needs to be completely redone, so it's officially off the WIP Challenge list for now. After I finish my revised WIP list I'll allow myself to start a few things, and set a new deadline for finishing the things I'm dropping.
Also off the list are the green skirt and Evening Diamonds. The top I still intend to finish for summer and the skirt for fall.
The main reason I've decided to go back on my word and disappoint you all (other than the fact that I was crazy to make such promises to begin with)? This arrived yesterday:
A box of yarn! Am I going to show you the yarn? No way, it's a surprise. I've had a design accepted for a book, and a real deadline has to come ahead of my arbitrary one. The written pattern is due on the same day as submissions for Summer Knitty. So I have to start this now, and I should also start Peter's birthday sweater so that it's done in time for his birthday and for Knitty.
So. I'm still going to try to finish the rest of the things on my list, and won't be starting anything other than these two projects until my list is complete (I'm pushing the deadline back a bit, though). Here are the new, more reasonable terms for my WIP Challenge:
By March 31st I will finish the following things:
1. Must Have Cardigan
2. Girl from Auntie funnel top
3. granny square satchel
4. sassy red skirt (which needs to be unravelled right down to the crocheted part and redone)
During this time I will also work on two other projects:
1. Knitting, writing up and making charts for super-secret book pattern
2. Peter's birthday sweater, deadline April 9th, needs to be charted and written up by April 15th
But I won't be starting anything new.
I got something else done today that's been on my to-do list for a little while: look over there in the sidebar, there's a link to my new reader gallery! In there are all the finished Mariahs I've gotten permission to post so far (I know Michelle is reknitting hers, but I thought I'd put up the old one until the new one is finished). Does anyone else have photos I can add?
March 05, 2005
All those pot growing pit bull owners
Overheard on the #2 Dundas bus in London yesterday:
Guy #1: Did you teach those horses to read or could they read already?
Guy #2: Horses are smart animals.
#1: Smarter than dogs?
#2: Well I never heard of a horse starting a war.
[dogs start wars?]
#1: Here's what I don't get: if diamonds are a girl's best friend, and a dog is a man's best friend, where do horses fit in?
#2: (no answer)
#1: Hey, they got something new now: dog jail. Pit bull death row. Yup, dog jail.
#2: It's the owners that should be in jail.
#1: Yeah, they all got grow operations anyway.
[Dude, it's nice to see you read the paper this morning, but I think those were two different stories.]
March 03, 2005
Come see my mess*
Today I did some more printing. I've taken 34 of my most recent failed lithos, including all of the ones that you saw a while back with the dumbass headless pink body on them, and slapped a brand new image on top of them. On Monday I started with an opaque yellow on two thirds of the prints and a dark green on the rest; I just can't stand to do a whole press run with one colour, and prefer to switch it up a little, which is probably why I make so many butt-ugly prints, eh? Today I put orange for a second colour on most of the yellows and some of the greens, then a layer of burgundy on all of them.
Here's the image on the stone:
I started with a photo transfer, which only really transferred well in the top half of the image. So I stupidly filled in some areas in the bottom with lacquer where I wanted it to be really dark (now those areas are smoother than the rest and really stick out, like that line along the top of the underpants--ugh). My old image started rolling up underneath, and it was a smaller image so you can see the line of the edge of it, right down the left hand side of the stone there. Since that area all filled in, now it looks like a photo outside the line and like a drawing inside the line, where I had to scrape stuff out with snake slip and etch it to try to make it go away. I guess I shouldn't have levigated the stone while I was sick, because I didn't do a good enough job; so much for my all-powerful wrestling persona.
Unfortunately I can't show you how this image alone prints, because I only printed it on old stuff (I like to do a few on new paper, but I forgot to buy any). Here it is with not too much underneath:
Aaack! She looks like she's about to have her jugular pecked open by a bird.
So the head printed a lot better than the body did, and looks like it belongs in a different picture. Next week I'll counteretch the whole thing and redraw the body in really dark and solid with lithotine washes, then I can scratch the hell out of it with snake slip and acid to get the same effect as on the head. I really like how the head looks all film noir, but the body just looks like crap right now. But I can fix it!
Here's a really scary one:
You won't like me when I'm angry.
The solid layer of lime green underneath was already there; I love how it makes me look like a cross between the Hulk and the Green Lady of Hay Swamp. Watch out! I might kill your girlfriend and steal your 2-4.
The ones with orange in them are the nicest; here's two drying in the rack:
I'm thinking the next layer will be purple and Pepto-Bismol pink, because those are the colours I think will look the nastiest and most horrible (sometimes this works, and doesn't end up looking nasty at all).
*this is what the too-cute baby Kiernan said to me while he stroked my leg with his paint-covered hand.
March 02, 2005
It appears the cats are now arranging their kills by colour.
This reminds me of when Benny's sister
Agnetha Pandora (Benny was the only one of my kittens who got to keep her Abba name) used to kill baby birds and line them up on the sidewalk, perfectly spaced and all facing the same way. Given the options, I think I chose to keep the saner sister.
Just to show Rachael that her Digit is not fat, I offer you this shot of Benny, trying to get her fat arse up off the deck:
My poor baby. She'll be turning 11 next week. Yes, she's on a diet, but it doesn't do her much good when she keeps skipping the gym.
Kool Aid dyeing seems to be the cool thing to do this week, and I did some too.
The two skeins on the left are something I'd never heard of before, "Emerald Irish Knit" (Canadian-made); I got 4 skeins of it at Value Village. The skeins on the right are recycled lambswool, and used to look like this:
Looks much better now, eh? By my primitive method of reckoning, there are about 250 yards in the top skein, and 285 in the bottom one. And that's just one sleeve and half the front; this stuff is really fine, and there's tons of it. I see lots of lacy scarves in my future.
I'm jealous of the colours other people are getting, but Zehrs only seems to carry about 8 varieties of Kool Aid: Norma's getting great results with "Wild Watermelon Kiwi", and Eklectika's got some awesome Mango-action going on. What gives? How come I can't find these colours?
I finally managed to get my arse in to the shop to do some lithography; I've started to feel guilty because Farrah wants to use my stone when I'm finished with it and I've been just letting it sit there unused while I work on other things. So I'm doing some printing, and when these prints are done Farrah can have my stone and keep it; nothing else I'm working on right now needs to be done in litho. Remember the ugly-ass prints I was working on, ages ago? They're all getting covered up, bay-bee, with a brand new image. No pictures yet, maybe tomorrow.
March 01, 2005
Ueber hot pants
Feast your eyes on another sassy little number from the vaults:
I can't decide which I like more, the pouchy, bunchy shorts or the split skirt that draws everyone's attention to your crotch.