July 28, 2006
Some things I've been making
I needed to do a piece for a fundraiser show for a Toronto gallery, and used the opportunity to make a sketch for a series of embroidered drawings I'm going to work on throughout the upcoming fall and winter. This piece is 12 by 12 inches, but I think I'm going to do them 8 by 8 from now on, since I'm happy with the small scale of the drawing but I think the overall pieces should be a bit more intimate. The matrices will all be household fabrics (probably mostly bedsheets and pillowcases, because I like the weight of these and you can get lots of hokey patterns) and the images will all have to do with industry in the area where I live (particularly the Big 3 automakers).
Project Spectrum, did you think that my dislike of purple had caused me to turn my back on you? Not so! I've been plugging away all month to produce this lovely half of a lace scarf, with a deadline of the end of this month. Actually, the deadline for the whole scarf, not just half, was the end of this month, but guess what? That ain't happening. If you are someone who recently chided me for giving half finished knits with IOUs in the past (ahem, MOM), just keep quiet, okay? I'll wrap it around some booze or something, show it to the birthday girl, then whisk it away again and have it finished before the weather turns cold. Promise.
I'm not going to point out the huge glaring mistake I opted not to rip back and fix (knitters will find it anyway). I'm trying to let go of perfectionism a little, so leaving this in is good practice.
The yarn is Misti Alpaca, and even though I don't care for purple this is really lovely, with subtle hints of blue and burgundy throughout. And sooooooooft. It will look beautiful on my gramma.
I've also been working on two new designs for next spring, and while I can't share too much of that with the internet, here's a peek at one of the swatches:
July 26, 2006
the communists have been shut out of the summer house, for now
Warning: this post is about menstruation. And some old-lady kvetching about my health. If you can't handle that, go away and come back tomorrow when I promise I'll have some pretty pictures of knitting and embroidery and flowers and stuff.
In the ongoing quest for fewer migraines, I'm trying something new: continuous birth control.
I have mixed feelings about it. The migraines are caused by dropping levels of estrogen, and when I tried to go off the pill back in the spring I was pretty much in agony every day until I gave in and started taking the pills again. I'm not overly concerned about the whole "natural vs unnatural" debate, because I've been on the pill for most of my adult life and thus have never really had a natural cycle anyway (although I have to admit that I was naively shocked when the doctor told me that women routinely mess around with their pills in order to ensure that they don't bleed on their wedding day, or on vacation. I swear I had no idea, and Peter can attest to how many times I've bled while on vacation).
I'm a little concerned about the lack of evidence that taking birth control continuously isn't harmful in the long term. But more than that I'm worried about giving up my period, which has always seemed to me to be not so much an inconvenience but a beautiful thing (except for the migraines that have been coming along with it for the last five years or so). I like the little reminder every month that I'm not pregnant (however remote the possibility may be). And I don't want anyone to think that I'm doing this because I'm buying in to any stupid idea about menstruation being dirty or shameful or, for crying out loud, obsolete. I hate that marketers try to convince us (and so many buy it!) that having a period is disgusting or abnormal, that PMS symptoms are something funny or pitiful, or that women should not be sexual while they're menstruating, or not be brides or whatever. That's all bullshit. I just want my head to stop hurting, and this might be a way to make it stop.
So I'm going to try this for three consecutive packs of pills (63 days), then take a week off (during which time I hope I will still bleed), then start another round of three consecutive packs. I'm going to keep careful track of when the migraines occur and how severe they are in order to evaluate whether this is working. I'm not really interested in getting into a debate here about whether it's a good idea or not, and certainly taking extra hormones that my body already produces is less harmful than all of the drugs I take to treat the migraines. I'm also not interested in opening up my comments for people to talk about how much they hate their period, because that's not what this is about and I heartily disagree with that position. So, know that I love y'all, but please keep the blood-bashing to yourselves.
This week is the first week; yesterday I started a new pack of pills hot on the heels of the old one. It feels strange: I should have my period today, but I do not. I should have a migraine today, but I do not. I'll let you know later whether it's worth it.
July 24, 2006
Tales of interrupted sleep
Thursday night: shortly after midnight, approximately umpteen fire trucks come clanging down our street and gather around a house a few doors down. After some terror-stricken scrambling downstairs I reassure myself that none of our neighbours are in fact on fire (it's not the first time there's been a false alarm at that house) and climb back into bed as the trucks begin to depart. Then we hear a beep-beep-beep outside our window, followed by the sound of a truck speeding around the corner and heading off in the direction of the station, then another beep-beep-beep. Muttering and swearing, I look out the window and sure enough: rather than drive the extra block down our one way street to the next corner, the trucks are backing up, the wrong way on a one way street, to our corner. Because this is Windsor, and that is how people in Windsor drive, and I guess as long as the vehicle is facing in the right direction you can get away with it. Even when people are in bed and your vehicle is BEEPING.
Friday night: at 3:58 am we're awakened by the squealing of tires and a STUNCH! sound, then another squeal, another sound of impact, and more squealing; Peter made it to the window just in time to see a dark car speeding off down our street (in the right direction, at least). In the morning I looked around but couldn't figure out what had been hit; we later discovered it was the front end of our neighbour's pickup truck. Thanks to the eagle eye of a neighbourhood insomniac the culprit has been identified and accused and intends to pony up for the repairs. No word on whether he intends to stop driving around our neighbourhood pissed out of his skull.
Saturday morning: not our sleep being disturbed this time, but that of our beloved Pickle. When I went outside to begin what was going to be a full day of weeding the backyard, I noticed a hole in the ground alarmingly close to the stone we've used to mark Fat Boy's grave (and the future site of a flowering crab we're going to plant to keep him shaded and draped in blossoms). An animal, probably one of the large extended family of skunks that moved into our neighbourhood this summer, was trying to dig down to him and had made it down so far that bits of shredded plastic bag (that Animal Control had advised Dylan to bury him in) were visible in the bottom of the burrow. I became hysterical, of course, and we decided we had to move him into a deeper hole. I'm not going to describe the heart-wrenching ordeal that followed, except to say that a new, very large hole was dug and much of the earth over his grave was skimmed away before we realized that there was no way we could move him either logistically or emotionally. So we came up with another solution that we think will keep him protected and undisturbed, filled the holes back in and quit for the day.
Sunday night: while falling asleep, we thought we could hear a faint, high pitched squeal coming in the window. When I awoke around 3:30 needing to pee, it seemed to be louder, and I wondered if it might be the street light outside. Walking to the bathroom, the whine seemed to be a lot louder in Claire's room than in ours, and after a bit of bumbling around the source was found: the Tamagotchi she left here almost a month ago. I ripped out its heart with a pair of tweezers and I'm pretty sure the thing is dead now.
Tonight: I'm thinking of buying some earplugs. And possibly also some sleeping pills.
July 18, 2006
They're tearing down my house to build a shopping centre, but all you people care about is whether I have a schedule for stroking my pussy
The move went well, thanks to lots of help from Hockey Mom and Bob, who not only moved my stuff but also put me up for three nights, kept me well entertained and drove me to the airport. After my hour-and-a-half nap up in the friendly skies (hey, I had to fly over Ohio, and you know Ohio is French for boring), Peter and I had a lovely dinner in Detroit with Kirsti and Terry before heading back to our hot, damp, non-air-conditioned house. Ugh. The heat was worse here than it was in Atlanta, and we tossed and turned all night in a bed that felt hot to the touch. And just in case you were wondering, it was far too hot to stroke my pussy, and all night I had to keep moving my feet because she kept rolling her fat, furry haunch on top of them.
July 15, 2006
I took a little trip to Athens this weekend just to remind myself why I'm glad that I don't have to go to school in July; Georgia is unbelievably gross right now, sticky and soupy and fucking HOT. At least I got those sweat glands on the backs of my knuckles cleared out, because even living in the hottest part of Canada that's a place you just never, ever get hot enough to sweat from. Ew.
What really brought me here was the thirty days notice to get out of my beloved little shack by August first so that the new owners can raze the compound to put up some godawful shitty shopping centre; since I wasn't planning to return to Athens until after August first, and the party of the year, in honour of a very important person who's turning 80, is happening on July 30th in Canada, clearly I had to take time out of my hectic tea drinking, porch lounging and pussy stroking schedule to come down to Georgia and schlep all of my crap to a new abode. It burns my arse so badly that I only got to live in my awesome new house for one month (and I didn't even upload the new shack pictures yet!).
But! I have a new place to live, in a house that's admittedly not a cool little shack nestled in a forest of bamboo in a cute scout camp-y little compound, but neither is it mouldy and rotting and smelly and full of vermin and slowly falling apart, and I won't have to haul my fat arse up a gigantic hill to get home from campus on my new bike, because the ride from the new place is fairly flat (rare for Athens). And, and! I'll be living with Joey, of the stuff! So now I can find out how he makes it (although the version I developed is pretty damn fine, I must say).
I realized that I haven't posted on Project Spectrum yet this month, so I've put up the one of all my clouds-out-the-plane-window pictures that looks the most like the lavender lullaby; I don't know if you American kids had access to Doctor Snuggles, but it ran for years on TVOntario and I loved it. Now that I look back on it as an adult, I'm pretty sure that show must have been all about (or inspired by) psychedelic drug use. That's probably why I liked it so much, because all I remember about that show now is the totally weird stuff, like going inside the giant diamond where all the faceted rooms were the colours of different precious gems, and the giant mushroom that had stuff falling off it that would turn things into butterflies, the alien dudes who steal water from the ocean by cutting it out in cubes and flying the cubes into outer space, and the lavender sheep. Trippy.
July 11, 2006
I am a lazy slag
Just for Hockey Mom, who said this afternoon (after I told her how close this was to being wearable) "now, that's just sad. finish the damned thing", I now present the crochet tank that's been sitting in a heap of unwoven-in ends since the middle of June, unwoven no more.
And here's how totally pathetic I am: weaving in the ends took a total of about twenty minutes; there were scarcely any ends to weave, it just looked like more because they were so long. Argh.
Here's the thing. It was supposed to be the Tuscany tank dress from Interweave Crochet, but something went horribly wrong with my row gauge so that the top two sections together reach just to the top of my jeans rather than to the bottom of my butt like they're supposed to. I'm pretty happy with it as a top, though, because I'd already decided halfway through making the thing that I didn't want this dress in black after all. I might make it again (with correct gauge) in olive green or blue. Or not.
What do you think, NWJR, are you tired of my huge fake smiles yet? Can I go back to scowling now?
Walking home from Greg and Mita's last night, we were approaching the alley that runs behind our house when we saw what looked like a skunk coming out of our driveway (I think it may have come out from under our dead van, please please don't let them be living there) and moving in a strange, wobbly manner towards the street. It looked like the beast with ten heads, and ten fluffy white tails. Just one block previous we had been met by a friendly, scrawny little black cat who had decided to accompany us home. I scrambled for the camera with one eye on the writhing mass of skunk and the other on our little stray, lest she give chase and get us all sprayed (Peter and I just bathed his mom's cat in tomato juice on Sunday, we're not doing it again). Meanwhile Peter was saying, "you'll never get a good picture, it's too dark, holy shit there are at least three skunks there, no there's four, your flash won't work from that far away, get closer, don't get too close, no, it's five skunks!" (I'm paraphrasing a bit here).
This crappy grainy papparazi shot is the best I can do. You don't seriously expect me to get closer than this to five skunks, do you?
Afterwards we were sitting on the porch and saw the skunks crossing the street a block down, still writhing together in one big mass. It's so funny that they walk around like that, it was like all the little kindergarteners holding onto the rope. What's not so funny is the asshole in the SUV who deliberately swerved to try to hit them (he missed). Don't worry though, I've taken care of that guy and soon his milk will be prematurely curdled and his cakes will fall in the oven and his hens will lay rotten eggs.
Yes, we gave the kitty some food. She was very thin, very affectionate and very, very hungry. But before anyone suggests it, we're not keeping her! My dad and his wife are a couple of crazy cat ladies who have had as many as eleven cats at one time, and now that the cycle of life has whittled the cat population in their house down to a manageable five, suddenly they've found a baby kitten in their flower garden, they've got a new skittish stray coming around to get fed, and are talking about getting another kitten to keep the little one company. Gah! I refuse, do you hear me I REFUSE to be the sort of person that cats in need seek out because they know I'll take care of them. At least until Benny's dead so she'll stop chasing them away.
And no, I didn't see last night's stray again today, so hopefully she's found herself a new home already; she's sweet and loving enough that I'm pretty sure somebody would be happy to have her. As for the Old Kitty, he actually tried to walk right in my front door today (Benny put a stop to that, and when I went out to have a look I found that my neighbour Darlene's cat was out there egging him on; I swear they've got a conspiracy among them, to turn me into this).* So I went to the back porch and called him over from the neighbour's back yard, where he'd fled to in mock terror of the fat girl, to get fed. And he came. I'm doomed.
*how many more times do you think I can link to this story? I could forget about this lady and get on with my life if it weren't for that amazing giant dildo she's carrying.
July 09, 2006
I have a big surprise for you, but first you have to look at the size of this cat
When I got my brother this kitten from Beryl all those years ago I had no idea that he was part cat and part armoured personnel carrier. He's named after Bobby Hill, but if he were my cat I'd change his name to Refrigerator. I haven't seen Bobby in four or five years, and suddenly my own obese cat looks kind of small to me.
What's that? He doesn't look so big? Check it out, with chubby girl for scale:
If I stretch my leg out next to him, he reaches from my knee to the bottom of my heel, not counting his tail (and look, NWJR, I'm smiling just for you).
July 06, 2006
fuck fuck FUCK
Okay. Those of you who live in Canada, I want you to tell me something. You know those annoying people who have been going door to door for several years now representing different energy suppliers, trying to talk homeowners into locking themselves in to a fixed rate for their gas and/or hydro? When you have one of these little pests on your porch and you've told them you're not interested in being locked into any five-year fixed rate plan, that you don't mind paying what things are worth and to please go away and leave you alone, do they go, or do they stand there and argue and treat you like you must be stupid to pass up the deal they're offering? Do they bugger off and get the message faster when it's a man who answers the door, or do they treat everyone the same? Because I could swear that the last time I saw Peter deal with this nuisance they didn't put up the same sort of protest that they do with me. I just had to tell a guy to get off my property and not come back and slam the door in his face to get him to leave me the fuck alone. In the past I have said, flat out, stop treating me like I'm stupid, do you think your rudeness is going to get me to sign your damned agreement? And they still stand there and argue. Is it something about my face, do I look like someone who can be badgered into submission?
I want a little cartoon hillbilly to sit out on my porch with a shotgun across his knees and scare these buggers off. I want energy to be regulated again so they all go out of business. I want to have to say something only once and have that be the end of it.
pulling the pud
Here in our little love nest it is sometimes necessary to pause foreplay in order to shake our sillies out. Last night while we were getting down to the business of getting down, Peter made an offhand remark about his weenie. I replied, "weenie, schmeenie", to which he replied, "puddin' and pie". I started giggling because of the word "pud" in there; Peter didn't get it, so I had to explain that some of the boys I knew growing up used to refer to their weenie as "pud" (Peter had never heard of this, has anyone else? Or were we just backwoods losers who made up stupid words?).
We then mused for a moment on possible etymologies for the word "pud", until Peter said, hey, wasn't Pud that kid in the Bazooka Joe comics with the red turtleneck pulled up over his nose? And with that mental image, much hilarity ensued.
Sadly, a little internet searching in the sober light of morning totally burst my bubble and revealed that Pud was, in fact, the striped-shirted lad in the Dubble Bubble comics, and Bazooka Joe's foreskin-sweatered friend was named Mort. Dang.
July 01, 2006
Ya don't look a day over 130.