Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Boring Family Movies - Part II

First of all...

Happy Halloween!!

That said, it took me six fucking hours and more than 15 tries to upload the crappy pictures I have to offer you today. Argh. Add to that the decided lack of good monster/slasher/gore/horror flicks on the tube, my advancing illness (as well as Hubster's), and the coffee I spilled down the front of my clean jammies, and you have the makings for a truly memorable Halloween.

Today's picture show is all about our foray into Universal Studios, where they still make a lot of movies (they were actually filming some new Terminator thing and an episode of Scrubs when we were there), as well as a blurb about our incredible luck in outrunning the SoCal firestorm.

If you'll recall, I left you with my declaration of spotting smoke in the sky. Well, I did indeed. Very close smoke, to be more accurate. It turns out we left Poway one day ahead of the fires roaring through that part of the state. It saddens me immensely to see such natural beauty wiped out so quickly. Keep in mind that Universal, Disneyland, and the other places we were at are in Orange County, where a few of the fires were caused by arson. All in all, a horrible tragedy. It also made the air very dense and tasting of smoke, not to mention raising the temperature quite a bit above normal. It's a good thing I have to ride scooters around the parks now, or I would never have it made it through the remainder of the trip.

We began the second half of our vacation at the Hilton Universal City, which is a gorgeous, luxurious hotel right next to the studio. Our room overlooked the pool, spa, and Highway 101. Nevermind. My eye was on the spa and pool. The first night, though, we did nothing other than eat room service, watch TV, knit (me), snore (him), and try to get to bed early enough to get to the studio early the next day.

We took a taxi next door because it's up a rather steep hill - you can see this incredible set of escalators running down the side of what looks like a sports arena (their meaning will become clear soon). Upon exiting the taxi, we were faced with this:

I love the Art Deco architecture of the gates and entryway. By the way, those are pictures of Freddy, Jason, and Leatherface on the gates advertising their annual Halloween Horror Tram and haunted house thing. Of course, it was just on the weekends and Halloween, none of which would see us there. That little booth to the front right of the gates is the ticket booth. What you DON'T see are the prices to get in. We got the "Front of Line" passes, which cost us $100. EACH. That's right - $200 just for the privilege of walking in a special line so we could get on the rides early. Had I known how few rides there were, I never would have let Hubster buy them. In order to get the really good tour (where you could go on closed sets, meet stars, blah blah blah), you had to fork over $200 EACH. I don't think so. Universal makes some primo movies, but fuck me if I'll pay that kind of money for tickets anywhere. Unless it's Stitches West.

Once you enter those hallowed gates, you see this:

It's actually pretty neat and a fine example of bronze work. It's also nice and cool on a hot day.

So we wandered through the studio, took the standard studio tour (which does take you right next to the Psycho house and the Bates Motel - it didn't go that close when I went there as a kid, but how did we know that they would still make Psycho movies?; however, the tour still featured some of the same tired exhibits they had there 35 years ago), and then we went into some of the shows. There really weren't that many of interest; in fact, some of them were shut down due to filming or renovation. Here's me escaping the wrath of the Terminator or his enemies or something - I hate those movies:

I think they need a larger backdrop.

Here's a picture from the upper level looking down on the backlot (hence the escalators - they get you around all the different levels). In the distance are some of the other studios in the area (Warner Bros., Disney, Sony, etc.).

Here is yours truly pretending to be a Foley artist (I was banging on an empty plastic jug attached to a 55 gallon drum to make the sound of footsteps made by a really big monkey):

Hubster and I decided to go on the couple of rides they had. Here's what looks like the enormous Jurassic Park ride (or at least the front of it):

In reality, it's a very short, very tranquil (until the last 10 seconds or so) ride with a minimal drop. Bear in mind that it's a flume ride, and I expected a flume more like the one that Splash Mountain has. Nope. Most of it was inside a building. Actually, it sucked, but I like hokey. I guess I was expecting a lot more from a movie studio. Making things look real is their business, after all. There was also a Mummy ride, which was the worst roller coaster I've ever been on (and this from someone who hates roller coasters).

Last but not least is my Blond Love God posing next to some poor tourist who bought the $200 tickets and then found out he had nothing left to buy food or drink with.

We did go through a haunted house (which is the first time I've gone through such a thing since I was in high school; clowns, dolls, and haunted houses/dark rides scare the shit out of me) where Leatherface came after us with his chain saw, a mummy fell out of the wall and scared Hubster, and the worst part was walking through a bunch of plastic-wrapped bodies hanging from meat hooks (that one really scared the crap out of me). Then it was back to the hotel, where I insisted on going down to the pool/spa. Unfortunately, there were people down there, so I had to swim in my shorts and tank top (wheezing all the way - I was already sick), but as soon as they left, off came the clothes and into the spa I went. Hubster went into the hotel to get me some jammies and some broad walked by, took one look at my floating fun bags, and decided that she didn't want any part of the spa or it's hyper-chlorinated water (or me). She took off in the other direction rather quickly and rudely, not even returning my cheery (albeit wheezy) "Good Evening!".

Now I feel like a giant dog turd again from sitting up so long, so it's back to the Monster to knit some more (or pass out, whichever comes first). I'll do my best to post tomorrow, but I'm really hoping to get some sleep. It's in short supply these days.

Be well, dear readers.

Monday, October 29, 2007

I'm Out of Prison and Am Still Sick, But I Can Type

My Dear Readers,

First of all, I've missed all of you. I didn't realize what a close family you've all become to me.

Second, I'm going to have to divide this post up because of the sheer volume of crap I have to dump on you.

I'm going to begin with our vacation and work my way forward. We began our trip in Poway and arrived a few days early so we could dork around, go to the beach, and hit Old Town in San Diego. Hubster took the pictures - I really suck at taking them unless they're sitting on the Monster and not moving. Let's start out with Happy Pam in the ocean - the place where I'm truly at peace.

We always try to hit this particular beach right before the sun goes down. It's so pristine and beautiful, and the sound is incredible. I always have to wade into the water and goof around, but this time, I misjudged the strength of the tide and got soaked up to my knees. No matter. I was as happy as the proverbial clam. I figured I'd dry out sometime during the night (which I didn't, but who cares?).

These next shots are of the ocean as the sun is setting. I have a ton of them, but I tried to cull some out to give you an idea of how magnificent it truly is. Enjoy.

After hitting the ocean, we went into San Diego to Old Town. The world's most haunted house is there, and I wanted to take a tour of it. No pictures, but I can assure you that it is indeed eerie. I saw a curtain moving where there was no breeze, as well as a white figure moving across the front of a fireplace. It was enough to creep out a lot of people who were there that night. It was considered a mansion in its day and is preserved as it was in the 1800's. A must-see for anybody who goes down there. We also went into a bunch of crappy "Made in China" shops (you know... real Indian goods), as well as one shop that does have real Indian goods. I actually made it out of there without buying anything. I was trying to be good.

We had a beautiful suite in a La Quinta in Poway (I can just hear you thinking, yeah... a suite in a La Quinta?). Absolutely true. It had a huge front room, an equally large bedroom that could be shut off from the front room by French doors, and a lovely bathroom. Best of all, it had ceiling fans all over the place and windows that opened. I'm booking that room for next year.

For the couple of days before Mac (my duet partner in the concert) came into town, we just goofed off. One night, we went into Encinitas for the best Italian food I've ever had, as well as going into a so-so yarn shop (I had to go into at least one). This is why I don't take the pictures, although in my defense, I was trying to take a picture of an arch while in a moving vehicle. Hubster took the second picture while I was inside the store trying to find something to buy (I don't like SoCal yarn shops - they never seem to have anything I want).

We had this great idea - since we had a fridge in the room as well as a microwave, we were going to this Albertson's (you gotta see this place) and stocking up on food so we didn't have to eat out all the time. Well, we stocked up on food and ate none of it. I still have the Peppridge Farm Tahiti cookies that I bought. No matter - they're still good. Besides, what's the point of going on vacation if you don't stuff yourself full of restaurant food?

Mac came into town on Friday, and I went over to his hotel room for two hours' worth of practice before the concert the next night. Saturday night was the concert, and what a terrific event that was! I played my set (please forget that I look like a leather-clad whale in my regalia) and was bombarded by people in the lobby at intermission congratulating me. The upshot of all this is that I'll be recording my first CD within the next three months - how exciting! The performers were wonderful, the audience gracious and kind, and the whole evening passed in a whirl. At 1 a.m., we all finally got out of there and went to Denny's (the traditional watering hole of the concert performers), where we stuffed ourselves full of crappy breakfast food. No matter - I was hungry.

Unfortunately, I had a slight mishap that morning on the way back to the hotel after sound check. Yep. I ran into a parked car and ran my truck down it's entire length. It's amazing to me how it looks like a piece of crumpled tinfoil. I also managed to rip off the side mirror. Argh. At least the cop was nice to me and didn't write a ticket. The guy whose truck I hit (it sustained very little damage) was an asshole. I stopped my truck in the middle of the road (it was a narrow country road, and I had been trying to avoid hitting another truck who was going right down the middle when I hit his), and he yelled at me that I'd better park my truck behind his so he could get my information. Yeah. I'm going to flee the scene with vanity plates you can read a mile away. Give me a break. Assclown.

On Sunday, we checked out and went to the San Diego Wild Animal Park. What a cool place! We got there late, so we couldn't take the tour that let you feed the rhinos and giraffes. However, while we were going around in our tram, I noticed what looked like smoke in the sky. We had seen on the news the previous night that there were fires being fueled by the Santa Anas, and this looked close. Hubster said nah, that the smoke was probably far away, even though you literally could taste it. So we went on our tour (it was hotter than hell), got in the mangled truck, and proceeded on to Universal City, where I'll pick up the post tomorrow. It turns out that the smoke was a lot closer than Hubster thought. A LOT.

Chapter 2 tomorrow, dear readers. This sick old broad is going to drag herself over to the Monster, sit down, and begin my knitting. I haven't touched the needles in two or three nights. I did, however, finish a pair of socks on vacation.

Until then....

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Still Down and Out, and About to Go to Prison Again

Hey Gang!

I'm still sicker than I've been in a long while - one of the nasty things about my disease is that when I do catch a bug, it hits me like a ton of bricks - so I've been doing nothing but sleeping. I haven't even gone shopping (oh, the horror of it all). I apologize to all of you because I said I would post Saturday. No such luck.

Today, I'm heading out to Folsom again to teach at the prison tomorrow. I'll be back Monday afternoon, so I'll do my best to get my posting taken care of, both here and on the review page. I'm just so weak that it's an effort to hold my head up. I think by Monday night, though, I should be much better.

Rest assured that I have lots of things to tell you - including all about the little monster I ran over with my scooter in Disneyland - so I'm hoping the wait will be worth it. And to those of you who have left lovely well-wishes and welcome homes, thank you so much. It's so nice to know I have friends out there. :)

Until as soon as possible...

Friday, October 26, 2007

The Fires Didn't Get Me... But a Parked Car Did


I'm back, fun lovers! I'm also sick as a dog, so I just wanted to let you all know that tomorrow's post will be filled with yarny goodness, vacation photos (I know we all love those so much), and stories about my vacation. I would have done it today, but I truly am wishing I could breathe without hacking up some kind of organic shit onto my chest.

Until tomorrow, dear readers...

Monday, October 15, 2007

I Made Parole

Yes, happy campers, I made it out of prison. Oh, the tales I have to tell you! But first, this is what I came home to.

Yes indeedy... yarny goodness. I think the Yarn Fairy is back from vacation. Most of the packages were stuffed in the mailbox; there was a box tucked behind one of the plants on the porch. Standing upright in the back are Drooling Over Yarn in "Whimsy" and "Water Slide", and on the Monster's lap from left to right are Crash into Ewe in "Fallin for Ewe", Enchanted Knoll Farm in "Wood Elves", and The Painted Tiger in "Water" from their Elements Series. All gorgeous, all incredibly soft, all begging to go on vacation with me. I'll have to select one; it's going to be hard.

On another front, I read "that person's" blog (the one who wrote me that lovely letter about using bandwidth) to see if she had commented on our little altercation. She did indeed, painting herself as a helpful soul who was just trying to to save me from the wicked, crazed bloggers who resented this type of thing, and portraying me as a crazy person. She also said she was expecting an onslaught of retarded comments from Wiccans. Wow... this woman is either delusional or thinks she's important enough for me to waste my time gathering all my witch friends to put curses on her. I could do that myself; I don't need any help. I wish I had her command of the English language - retarded? Wow. The other thing she said that amazed me was that she considered replacing her button with a picture of a pile of shit or gay porn. Now there's a mature woman for you. If you're at all interested, I'll be happy to tell you (in private) what her blog name is so you can see a picture of this lovely creature for yourselves. I'd need an awful lot of candles and herbs to put a spell on that thing.

On to happy news. I went to prison today - the real deal - a max where a huge number of the inmates are lifers. But the saga begins last night when we went to our hotel. Hubster went up to the desk to register us - I had to pee like a racehorse and was dying to get up to our room - and then we were going to In-n-Out for burgers (it was one of the few places open at that time of night). He came storming out a minute later, telling me that their smoking floor was under renovation (it was a La Quinta - this particular one was formerly a Holiday Inn), and that the dude at the desk had no record of our registration. So we spent the next half-hour driving around Folsom looking for a hotel room. Most of them were full; the ones that weren't were smoke-free. The dude at La Quinta said that he would upgrade us to a room with a balcony so we could smoke, so back we went. After checking in, we headed right over to hamburger heaven, ate, and came back to our room. It was nice enough - not like the five-star hotel we stayed at in San Francisco (I'm spoiled for any other hotel in the City now), and I tried to knit, but the light was for shit. Besides, I had to be at the gate at 7:30 a.m. and it was already 2:30 a.m. So I got undressed, laid down, and was out like a light.

When the call came for us to get up, I just didn't want to get out of bed. I was warm and comfortable, but get up I had to. So we got ready and headed out to the prison.

Those of you who have seen Folsom Prison on TV have probably seen the old prison. It's gothic looking and older than dirt. They've built a new prison next to it (part of the new prison uses the old wall), but the old one is still used for activities and such. They also have a museum right next to it. The new one doesn't look much like a prison, but it is indeed. Not only that, it's a maximum-security facility. Hubster helped me carry my flute quivers up to the main gate where we met Chaplain Bill. My gate pass was ready for me, and then I had to take out every flute in the quivers so the guard could look at them and the sleeves they were in. What a pain in the ass - I had them very carefully packed. But they had to make sure that I wasn't carrying in contraband, so I did as they asked. That done, Bill and I got on a van driven around the facility by an inmate to get where we were going. Turned out that we couldn't enter the gate at C Facility (they have A, B, and C) and had to go back to A. So we hopped back on the van, got a golf cart at the main gate, and trundled back to A (this place is HUGE). You really don't realize it's a prison until you see things like razor wire, bunkers, metal detectors, and guards. Everywhere. I was fascinated. The cell blocks have long, narrow windows and are huge concrete rectangles placed around a central yard for each facility.

At Gate A, I had to sign in, show my pass and ID, and then pass through a metal detector. I set it off before I even walked through. The guard had me take off my shoes, but I still set it off. So he had to use the wand on me. It went off right in the middle of my back. Yep... it was the hooks on my bra that set it off (this thing is sensitive). He told me that most women who had any kind of boobs set the thing off. Since I'm top-heavy, it was no surprise. We finally cleared that entry point and entered the secured area.

When we got back to C, I had to sign in, show my ID again, and then we proceeded into the cell block itself. Now I felt like I was in prison. I signed in (again) at the booth inside the building (each one also houses medical facilities) and we walked outside. Right into the yard. No fences. No walls. I was right in the middle of a thousand inmates who all stopped what they were doing and STARED at me. It was kind of cool - I felt like I still had it (nevermind that any woman on the yard is cause for celebration - I could weigh 400 pounds and have tits that dragged on the ground, and they still would have stopped and stared). It was still an ego booster. I remembered from my prison shows (see? I knew they were educational) that to show fear was anathema to death, so I held up my head and marched along next to Bill. Nobody tried to come up to me or even talk to me. And then I found out why.

Right in front of the chapel (where the class was to be held) was a group of very large, very menacing inmates who were waiting for me. It turns out that they were extremely excited about this class and had been waiting for it with bated breath, as it were. One of them (Rick, Bill's clerk) came right up to me and extended his hand. I shook it in the prison handshake (you grab the other person around the middle of the forearm and they do the same to you), and both he and Bill walked me in. All the other men followed.

I have to say that none of them looked like what you might think an inmate looks like. Had I seen any of these guys on the street, I wouldn't have thought twice about saying hello. But inmates they were, and halfway through the class, the man sitting next to me (Buck) didn't want to participate anymore. Rick said he was pouting, and a verbal fight instantly erupted. I didn't know what to do, so I just sat there looking at the floor. It was over in a minute, and Buck got up and left. The rest of the class proceeded along just fine. These guys were totally into learning how to enhance their playing; I gave them homework; they gave me respect. I knew I was accepted when I told Rick that if a fight did erupt to shove me out of the way and not hit me; he told me that they would fight to the death to protect me. Intense. Then he and two other men formed a little triangle around me and walked me back to Bill's office (you never feel as protected as you do when three large inmates are surrounding you and walking you somewhere, and nobody else even dares to look at you). Rick gave me my papers for my permanent pass, all the men shook my hand and thanked me, asking when I was coming back, and Bill took me back out on the yard.

An inmate approached us and asked Bill a question. Bill had to go back in the chapel to get something and clearly didn't know whether to leave me alone on the yard or drag me back inside. He figured I'd be okay for a minute and went in. Said inmate immediately shook my hand and began talking to me. I was a bit afraid that they might think I was a white supremacist (due to being bald), but they all realized that I was ill right off the bat. These guys survive by reading people instantly. The man who approached me on the yard was black and obviously didn't think I was into Hitler. He told me his name was Isiah and asked if they would all have the pleasure of seeing me again. I told him yes, that I'd be back. He beamed at me, said good-bye, and after Bill answered his question, off we went again. A couple of inmates sitting on the lawn yelled at Bill and asked him what my quiver was. Bill told them, they said they thought it was for a papoose, and I told them that my baby days were over... unless the baby was a boy and of a certain age. Then I winked at them. The one asking the question busted out laughing and punched his friend. Then they both nodded at me. Respect. It's all these men have and is everything inside.

I found out on the way back to the main gate that the men in my group were all lifers, and I do mean life - life without parole. They were all murderers. It was surreal to realize I had been sitting there with men who had killed and were living in that concrete box for the rest of their lives, and that they were trying to make something of what lives they had left. It was also amazing to realize that I had earned their respect by being willing to come into their midst, treat them like humans, and not judge them. I even got to joke around with them a little. I think that as time goes by, they'll loosen up and begin to relax. They were clearly on their best behavior today, knowing that if they did anything, their privileges would be taken away and their program revoked. They also wanted my respect. It all worked out. But what I have to remember is that these guys are indeed dangerous; things erupt on the yard in a flash; bad things happen on a daily basis. I can't just stroll in (especially when I get my brown card, which allows me to move around the facility without an escort) and not pay attention.

So now I'm home, safe and sound, having had a couple cuppas and getting ready to knit. But I had to tell you about my adventures. This will be my last post until next Friday - we're leaving on vacation Wednesday, and tomorrow will be taken up with getting ready to go. I'll be thinking of you and will come home with pictures and stories to regale you with.

Until then... knit on, good friends.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Yarn - It Doesn't Always Do a Body Good

Yes, another vague title. This one really has me pissed off.

First, though, some yarny goodness. The YFIT is doing her job.

This arrived yesterday from Woolgirl. We have Painted Skeins in "Tempest" (Jen picked this one out for me) and "Autumn Welcome, and Spunky Eclectic Tough Socks in "Candy Corn". You've gotta love those Halloween and fall colors.

There was also a large amount of skin goodness from Northern Essence - creams, balms, and lotions. I didn't think that you particularly wanted to see a picture of bottles.

I didn't post yesterday because right after dinner, Hubster and I fell asleep right where we were sitting. By the time we woke up at midnight, I didn't have any light whatsoever with which to take pictures, so I decided to forego the post. You can all survive a day (or a couple of weeks) without my psychotic babbling.

Speaking of being gone, tomorrow is my big debut in prison. I'll write about it when I get home. Then we're leaving on vacation Wednesday and won't be back for well over a week. I'm not taking the computer, so I'll bring the camera instead and take lots of pictures to regale you with. I'm hoping to hit a few yarn shops while in SoCal, so maybe I can find some unique things.

So why am I pissed off, you ask? Let me tell you.

I received an e-mail this morning from another blogger who had been poking around on my site. Apparently, she was checking the buttons on the sidebar to see if they were from private sites or free ones. The e-mail I got informed me that I was stealing, gave me a link to show me the error of my ways and how to fix the problem, and then told me to correct the problem as soon as I was able. I was stunned.

First of all, I'm still new at this and still learning. I thought that by putting up buttons from sites I really liked, I might steer others to them, thereby increasing traffic on those sites and maybe giving them some business (if they were dyers or sold yarn or something). I didn't know anything about bandwidth or that I was stealing it. So this lovely blogger made sure that I knew I was a thief, costing people money, blah blah blah. I wrote one letter, sat on it for an hour, then wrote another one and sent it off. The gist of what I told her was that I was clearly in the wrong, would fix the problem when I returned from vacation (it's going to be a massive undertaking, but I'll do it), and stopped just short of asking who appointed her Blog Nazi. It was a rude, insulting e-mail, and you all know how well I react to that kind of thing.

To put the icing on the cake, she substituted a "Stop Bandwidth Theft" button for her regular one, which is what showed up on my blog when I logged in.

To those of you who have private sites and whose buttons I've used, I apologize. I will indeed correct the problem as soon as I get home. I just don't have the time to do it right now - getting ready for a long vacation takes some doing. It was not done intentionally - I was just trying to be helpful. To those of you who have your buttons on a free site, well... you're good to go.

Had she worded her e-mail in a different manner, I wouldn't have been insulted or pissed off. I would have written her back in a friendly manner. But she didn't. So I responded in kind.

Why is it that some people feel they have to police things for others? Do they have so much free time that they've appointed themselves keepers of the public safety and coffers? I'm all for looking out for my friends' interests (and you know I have your backs), but this is stupid.

Oh... I just got another letter from her. Now she's telling me that her referral log showed her that something wasn't right. She also said that hotlinking isn't something that I want to get a rep for. Then she told me to lose the attitude, and that she wasn't in the wrong here. Now I'm really pissed. I told her I was in the wrong - what more does she want? If she thinks I'm going to kiss her ass, she's wrong. I've also apologized to all of you.

Some folks should spend more time knitting and less time on the computer.

In any event, tomorrow will be the last post for a couple of weeks. I'll also resume my reviews when I get back. I hope you're all well and happy while I'm gone, and I look forward to reading everyone's blogs when I get home.

Except one.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Why The Hell Would You Want A Cell Phone?

Ah yes, dear readers. Another title that doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Yet.

First of all, though, the YFIT brought me some yarny goodness yesterday and today. The Hubster knew about most of it. The rest of it was from uh... yarn clubs. Yeah. Actually, one of the skeins was indeed from a yarn club and was Dream in Color Smooshy. As always, I won't take a picture of it until everyone has received their offerings. I may be a raving harpy bitch, but I'm not a spoiler.

Now for the yarny goodness you CAN see.

This first set contains yarns and needles that are new to me. Beginning with the needles, I finally decided that I needed a set of DPN's. I didn't make this decision lightly; I hate the damn things, but I'm getting more and more patterns for socks that use the little fuckers. So I did some research (I hate the Addi Naturas I've been using - the stitches drag), and settled on these. They're from Susan's Spinning Bunny; following is the description of them in her own words:

"Our wooden needles are made from the Surina tree, which is grown on plantations in the Sundarban area of India. Known as the "Elegant Tree", they are tall and very straight with thin branches producing a hard but lightweight wood suitable for fine woodworking.

Highly skilled artisans hand turn this raw material into exceptional knitting needles that are super smooth and lustrous, show a lovely pink grain and are stamped with both metric and US sizing.

No harmful chemicals or agents are used in the making of these beautiful needles.

Just south of Calcutta, Sunderban is one of the most unique ecosystems in this part of the world. Situated at the mouth of the Ganges, Sunderban spreads over 54 islands and two countries (India's West Bengal and Bangladesh) and is part of the world's largest delta region. It is one of the last preserves of the Bengal tiger and the site of a tiger preservation project."

You can buy them singly or in sets. I bought the 7" set in an olive case. The price was extremely reasonable, and Susan was kind enough to give me a size 1.5 instead of a 7. I would never use a 7; I don't even use them with circulars. There are also straights and crochet hooks. The wood is wonderful; it's beautifully figured and colored, and it's also very slick. I have high hopes for them. After I've cast on my next pair, I'll give you a review of them. I can't very well write about them until I've actually used them.

The yarns, as I said, are also new. The yarn in the front is also from Susan's Spinning Bunny. It's a 50/50 Superwash Merino/Tencel blend and is called "Autumn Sunset"; she dyes the fiber herself. I rarely, if ever, buy a Tencel blend. I just don't like it. But this one may change my mind. I'll be writing a review of this and three other yarns which you'll see pictures of in this post, so please go over to my review page (Yarn Goddess Yarn Review - the link is in the post before this one) to read up on all of them. To the left is a gorgeous yarn by Drooling Over Yarn in "Witch Hazel Flies by the Seat of Her Pants". This one is 100% Merino in Aztec gold, purple, and burgundy. The yarn to the right (the one in the cake) is by Stone & String in "Cleverly Koi". This one is 100% Superwash Merino. The colors didn't come out very well because they're light, but it's salmon and grey. This seller goes by "bellababe519". Both she and Drooling are on Etsy.

This picture, starting with the skein nearest you, has Scarlet Fleece in "Antique Watermelon" and "Poodle Skirt", followed by The Knittery in "Coral Reef". I've got skeins from both these dyers; they're incredibly soft with vivid colors.

I know none of you can wait to hear why I titled this post what I did. Wait no more. Here are the gory details.

Of course, the phone call I really wanted didn't come today. I called the chaplain at Folsom Prison to ask a question about Monday's class (I can't believe it's almost here!), but he wasn't in his office. I left a message and paged him, but he must have been awfully busy (read: left for the weekend). I did get two other phone calls, though.

The first was from a lady whom I met at my LYS. We were sitting at the table waiting for our respective yarns to be wound and got to talking. It turns out she was looking for a teacher so she could learn how to do two socks on two circulars. I was her woman, so I opened my big mouth and told her where I taught. She said she would call in a few weeks and find out when the class was. As you all know, I sent a nastygram to the shop owner and essentially quit. So when she called, I told her I could teach her one on one and arranged to go into Oakland (on BART... at night... alone... armed only with very sharp embroidery scissors and knitting needles) to meet with her at the hotel the TKGA conference was held at. She works right up the street from the hotel and BART is five minutes from my house, letting out right across the street from the hotel, so it worked out well for both of us. I figured we could sit in the lounge, have a few drinky-poos (read: get shitfaced), and I could teach her the same class I was teaching in the Pit of Hell and get it accomplished in a couple of sessions. That call was pretty good - it didn't ruffle my feathers any.

It was the second call that was like an avenging angel from the Pit of Hell coming back to remind me that I'm only a seven-digit number (plus area code) away. Hence, the title of the post. Why would you want more ways to allow people to have access to you?

You guessed it.


"Is this PaaaaaaaaaaammmmmmmMMMMMMMMMM?"

Oh shit.

"Uh, I think so. Who's this?"

"Is there some reason why I can't use quiviut for my socks?"

"Uh... well... if you want to use a fiber even more expensive than buffalo and fuck that one up, too, then I guess not."

(I'm reaching for the oxycontin at this point.)

She begins to ramble on about how she won't dork this one up because she read the book and knows where she went wrong and she's sure she can do it right this time and she's going to alternate the quivy with merino to make the skein go farther and is going to design her own cable/lace monstrosity... uh... design and she remeasured her feet by standing on the ruler and peering over her boobs (she thinks a lot of her fun bags) and lo and behold the measurement was different so this one must be right and she's going to use a size 0 this time instead of a 000 and... and.. and...

I've just popped two Oxys and have the bottle ready in case I need a booster.

Hubster is standing in the background waving madly at me and mouthing something to the effect of, "Do you want me to yell something to get you off the phone?".

I'm too polite to have him just hang up the damn thing (oh, how I miss the days when you had a thingie on the part that hung on the wall that you could just depress to hang up on someone), so I continued on with the conversation. Then it hit me.

"I really can't help you anymore because I don't work there. I quit. If you need help, you'll have to talk to the owner."


"Well, why didn't you tell me that in the first place?"


My ear is still ringing. But I'm smiling. :)

A New Blog For Yarn Reviews!

Dear Readers,

I've decided that instead of using my regular blog for yarn/book/shop reviews, it would be better to have one strictly for that purpose. To that end, I have started another blog. You can find it at:

Yarn Goddess Yarn Review

By doing this, I can use my regular blog for my twisted humor and Yarn Fairy pictures, and keep the other one strictly for reviews. This way, everything will be in one place. I'll continue to use my regular blog for destash pictures until I get back from vacation; at that time, I'll either open up a destash page or use the pages already established for that purpose. Please be aware that the new blog is under construction; it will evolve as I get the time to work on it.

I'll be posting later today with a "real" post, complete with pictures of yarny goodness from the YFIT. I also have stories to tell you. Here's a hint: they have to do with the phone and buffalo.

Until later today after I wake up...

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Boring Is As Boring Does


Not only was today one of the most boring days I've had of late, it's also the latest I've posted. I don't know where the day went. All I've done is sit, knit, and doze. Oh wait... I did have some coffee. Away from my knitting.

On the knitting front, I'm on the heel flap of the second sock for my swap. I think I'll get it done before we leave on vacation. I've signed up to become a Sock Savior on another swap, so I plan to take that one with me on vacation. I always overpack, whether it's clothes, flutes, yarn, etc. Since I'm playing in the concert a week from Saturday (oh lord, I'm beginning to shit my jammies), I'm bringing about 15 of them with me. All for one set. In which I'll use one flute. It's like clothes - I don't know which one I want to use, and if I leave them home, I'll leave the one I'll want. Guaranteed.

As for packing yarn, I'll have to bring enough yarn to knit three pairs of socks, even though I probably won't even get to one of them. I've also got to adjust my weird sleeping schedule before we leave. Too much to do, too little time. It doesn't help that I procrastinate. Why do today what can wait until the night before we leave?

This is also the first time I've gone on vacation and left my car in the driveway. It's not that this is an unsafe neighborhood; it's just that I've always had my cars garaged. At least I have a cover on the beast, and I'll tell my neighbors that we'll be gone for a week. But it still bothers me. That car is the bulk of our down payment on whatever house we decide to buy, and it's the only car I've ever had that's appreciating in value. I also dread Halloween. What if one of those little bastards touches it? I'll have to sit at the end of the driveway with a bowl of candy and throw it at the little monsters as they run by me. At least I don't have to don a costume; all I have to do is put on my robe, black out my eye sockets, and stick a lightbulb in my mouth. Presto! Uncle Fester!

I just heard on TV that the annual Halloween party in the Castro has been banned for the first time. I don't think it's going to work. That event is huge, and no manner of threats is going to stop people from putting on their leathers and chains and converging on the street. It's the biggest party of the year, for crying out loud. Damn government officials. They take away all the fun.

To those of you lovely readers who are wondering what I did to get my new rating (I'm still beaming and proud), all I can tell you is that the breakdown said I mentioned "knife", "crap", "shit", and "fuck" (as well as a couple of other words that are so innocuous, a child could utter them and not get in trouble). Had I known that, I would have typed "knife" 100 times and gotten the rating a long time ago. I wish it were red like the "R" rating, but one can't be picky. I like to think that my ramblings have earned that thing.

I've decided that I'm going to open up new yarn review and destash posts as they move down the page so as to keep them in view. I updated both of them today. I've received a lot of letters from folks who are delighted with the yarn reviews, so maybe I've hit a winner. As for the destash, those are for sale. C'mon, dear readers! I need the money so I can buy more yarn... uh... put it in the bank. Sheesh.

I'm sorry this post is so fucking boring, but today really has been that way. The YFIT came (a new one - we have her all week as Art is on vacation), so I have hopes of receiving goodies. Hubster told me the other night that because I had been a good girl, I could buy some stuff from the Loopy Ewe's Sneak-Up. Of course, Woolgirl also posted new items at the same time. So I split the booty between the two. I should have pictures of what I bought in the next few days.

Back to the Monster. Time to eat dinner (yum... another sandwich) and then knit some more. I have to say, though, that my sandwich diet has paid off. Not only did I fit in my leather dress for the concert, it's actually a little baggy. YES!

Now all I have to do is select 15 flutes.

I Did It!

I just had to say something really quick:

I am SO PROUD! I got the WORST rating the movie system has to offer! They don't seem to have "X" anymore, or I'd be going for that one.

Just sayin'...

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Destash Page

Welcome to the Destash Page! I will be listing all the yarns I currently have for sale along with their prices and specs.

This first batch is all Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock. I will be adding to this page every day and removing yarn that has been sold. If you see it here, it's still for sale.

The prices on Lorna's are $15/set of two (you need two to make a pair of socks - these are matched dye lots). For the rare skeins that are singles (such as contrast colors), they are $8/ea. Should I have three of them, you may elect to buy a set of two; all three are $21. If not specified, all yarns come in pairs. I do not want to break up sets; should I do that, then the next person who wishes to buy that color will not have enough to make a pair of socks. PayPal is preferred for payment.

All skeins have been kept in a locking plastic bin with moth deterrent sachets of lavender. They are protected from pet hair, smoke, and all other odors. I am a smoker but do not smoke anywhere near my yarns; they are kept in my studio (with a closed door), which is a completely separate room from where I work.

The specs on Lorna's are:

Content: 80% Superwash Wool, 20% Nylon
Put-Up: Approx. 215 yds.
Gauge: 7 sts/in
Needle Size: 0-1
Weight: 58 grams
Care: Machine Washable; Dry Flat

Color: Hawaii
Color No.: 212
Dye Lot: 3823

Color: Downy
Color No.: n/a
Dye Lot: 4072

Color: Daffodil
Color No.: 204
Dye Lot: 7225

Color: Indian Summer
Color No.: 9741
Dye Lot: 0851

Color: Desert Flower
Color No.: 100
Dye Lot: 5467

Color: Envy
Color No.: 207
Dye Lot: 3592

Color: Country Christmas
Color No.: 206
Dye Lot: 7273

Color: Whitewater
Color No.: 86
Dye Lot: 8145

Color: Bucks Bar
Color No.: 142
Dye Lot: 5742

Yarn Review Page

This content has been moved to:

Yarn Goddess Yarn Review

I will be adding new reviews to this page at least once every two days, if not daily. Please come visit!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Coffee, Sleeping, Monsters, and Knitting Are a Bad Combination

Another pictureless post. I'm sorry, dear readers. There was no delivery from the Yarn Fairy today (it's Columbus Day, a Federal holiday, so my Canadian and European readers understand why I'm barren). However, I do have some things to discuss.

I was talking to a dear friend of mine who happens to be an indie dyer (outstanding doesn't even come close to describing her work) and my long-lost sister (or so we've decided). She told me something that came as a bit of a surprise - that I was showcasing indie dyers' work to the point where I was actually helping their businesses and influencing sales of their work. I got to thinking about it and decided that I would take it one better. If people are reading my blog and buying yarn based on my choices (and I know its true - I've received letters from readers telling me just that), I think it would be a good idea to actually review the yarns I receive. That way, people will have my opinion on them (for what it's worth) and one more way to help judge if a yarn is good or not. So beginning with the next delivery the Yarn Fairy brings - or my stash if he doesn't bring any tomorrow - I'll be listing all the specs of that particular yarn, as well as my impressions of it. If I have the time to knit up a quick swatch, I'll include that information as well. Might as well take this thing to the next level, no?

In addition to yarns, I'm also going to begin reviewing books. I'm a voracious book reader. While many of them are boxed up, I've decided that I need to put my studio together. My flutes are out, my sewing machine cabinet is sitting there, so it's time to get everything organized so I can work in there. It's hotter than hell in that room during the summer, but we're definitely into fall (my apologies to those of my sisters who are sweltering to the point where their pantyhose are melting onto their thighs) with temps in the low '60's during the day and down to the high '30's-low '40's at night. It's finally nice in that room, and if I open up the blinds, I have sliders going out to the pool to the south and a large window facing the east. There's enough natural light in there to start a fire. Anyway, I had a library of about 500 books (not just knitting/crocheting - also books on Native American culture, metaphysics, etc.) in my old house and had to leave most of them behind due to weight and cost (heavy sigh). I did, however, bring all my knitting books, so I just have to unpack them. They've all been read - now all I have to do is scan them to refresh my memory and write a review. What do you all think?

Don't forget that tomorrow is the first day of the destash pictures. I'll be posting two separate posts - one for general gum flapping and the other for destash.

Never say that I'm not the queen of segue when it comes to such gems as "gum flapping". This brings me to the title of this missive.

Last night, I didn't get to my knitting until very late (it was after midnight). Since we had slept so late, neither one of us was sleepy. Or so I thought. Hubster brought me a cuppa, so I set my knitting aside and settled in to drink it. No problem. I picked up my knitting again and began to work on it. Then I noticed that my eyes were burning and a little heavy. I chalked it up to allergies (I don't really have any, but what the hell?) There's a lot of crap flying around what with the sea breeze kicking up in the evenings. The second cuppa arrived. Great! Down went the knitting. Up came the cup.

Down went the cup.

All of it. In one huge, dramatic splash.

I had apparently fallen asleep while drinking my coffee (yeah, I'm the only person in the world who drinks coffee and falls asleep - caffeine has never bothered me). Unfortunately, that huge, dramatic splash went all over me, the Monster, and worse - my knitting. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I immediately pushed up my dripping sleeve, grabbed a dish towel (I keep one on the chair arm just for such occasions), and gently soaked up the couple of drops that lingered on the ball of yarn. Whew. They didn't sink in, nor did they stain my work. The Monster, however, was a different story.

That damn thing is made of microfiber over foam, which acts like a giant sponge whenever anything falls on it. Scotchgard? It can kiss my wide flat ass. It doesn't work with epic dumps like this one. Hubster came over, helped me out of the Monster (I was crying at this point and wringing out my sweats, which also act like a giant sponge), and tried his best to dry the seat. Nope. The Monster wasn't having any of it. All he was able to accomplish was to mop up a little of the coffee. The rest remained firmly entrenched in the fabric, the foam, and probably the floor (I'm sure it was dripping underneath).

I got cleaned up and changed into jammies, at which point, Hubster had put the People Bag (it's this enormous fleece thing that you step into - it zips from the bottom to halfway up, and then has snaps to further put yourself in it) on the seat so I could sit down and continue knitting. It made my ass hotter than hell, but it was better than not knitting or having to try to knit in lousy light. So I sat there weeping (and trying to keep my knitting away from all liquid at this point). And then I fell asleep again. For about five hours.

The worst part of it all?

I missed the last half of "The Devil's Rejects". Good thing I've got it on DVD and have seen it 100 times.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Where Is Everybody?


It's like there was a nuclear blast or something. Everybody is gone. There are hardly any new blog entries to read, very few new entries on Etsy (that's a good thing for me, since I'm still on yarn restriction), nobody on the roads. I suspect it's because this is a three-day weekend, what with Monday being Columbus Day and all. I didn't even post an entry last night. I had a really good reason for that.

I slept.

The Yarn Fairy brought me some yarny goodness yesterday, but it was a club selection. I noticed on another blog I read that another member of that particular club (the TVYarn club) posted their club selection, so anybody who hasn't already received theirs now has the surprise ruined. Please, dear readers... if you get any sock, yarn, and/or fiber club selections, don't post pictures of them. Our friends in Canada have to wait a couple of weeks for their stuff to come from the United States and vice-versa. I'm sure that most, if not all, of us would like to be surprised. If you instantly put up a picture of the haul, then you ruin it for everybody. The same is true of interstate mailings. Just because you've received yours, don't assume that everyone in every state has also received theirs.

And so ends my public service announcement for the month.

One other thing has been on my mind, and I've allowed enough time to lapse before saying something. It has to do with the Rockin' Girl Blogger nominations.

While almost everyone I nominated has either acknowledged their nomination and/or put the banner on their blog, there is one person I nominated who neither thanked me (or acknowledged it at all) nor put the banner up. So I'm rescinding my nomination for that person and nominating someone new. I've narrowed down my choices to a couple of people and will be announcing the winner Tuesday (when I'm sure that everyone, or most everyone, is back from their holiday jaunts). It just struck me as incredibly rude to not say a word about it. 'Nuff said.

I didn't blog last night because, as I said, I slept. And slept. And then it was too late to post anything, so I knitted for hours. I actually went to bed with Hubster, which was a huge event. I forgot how good my bed feels. I may visit it again tonight. Today, I didn't wake up until 4:00 p.m. - I guess my bed was holding me against my will. We just got home from the grocery store (my life is so exciting - the places I go, the people I meet, the things I see in the meat aisle), so I thought I'd leave a blurb of sorts for your reading pleasure. I apologize for the lack of pictures. There wasn't anything to photograph today, and I don't feel like digging through my stash. I'm a little under the weather - nothing serious, nothing I can put my finger on - just a sort of general malaise, feeling ice-cold, sniffling, aching... hmm... I wonder if it could be a cold or the onset of the flu. You think? My deductive reasoning gets more acute with every passing year. As usual, things like this happen at the most inopportune times. I have to teach at the prison in a week, and then we're off on vacation for an entire week. I hope my readership doesn't disappear off the face of the earth. I'm just beginning to develop a regular readership, but in the past couple of days, my numbers have fallen off. Maybe I'm not funny anymore. Maybe my pictures suck. Maybe everyone is on vacation. You never know about these things.

One last thing to tell you before I go make a meatloaf: starting Tuesday, I'm going to begin photographing the stash that I'm selling and making separate posts for all those pictures. I obviously can't photograph the entire thing and post it all at once, but I can take pictures of... oh... maybe 10 skeins at a time and list all the particulars. I haven't sold any more of the Lorna's, so maybe if you all can see what it looks like (the colors, I mean), then perhaps you'll be interested in adding it to your stash.

And with that, dear readers, it's time to make dinner. Meatloaf and Pasta Roni. Mmmm... can't go wrong with comfort food when it's cold outside.

Besides, there isn't anything better in the world than cold meatloaf sandwiches the next day.

Except, perhaps, for Thanksgiving leftovers.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Sewing Can Be Hazardous to Your Health and Clothing

Odd title, no? You'll understand in a little bit.

I promised yesterday that I would have pictures for you. I'm about to fulfill that promise. It took one hour and fifteen minutes - let me repeat that for those of you who think that your eyesight has suddenly gone wonky - ONE HOUR AND FIFTEEN MINUTES - to upload five pictures. Google gave me a message in the middle of the upload three times to tell me that it had failed and to try again in 15 minutes. So instead of trying to upload all five at the same time, I tried doing three. That didn't work, either. So I finally had to upload each one individually. My ass has gone to sleep from sitting here twirling the track ball so the damn computer didn't go into hibernation mode.

In any event, let's start with a WIP. I just got this in the mail from the lady at the yarn shop... the one I wrote the nastygram to. These were on display in the store to advertise my class. I just have to finish the cuffs on them. The one that looks fat has the ball of yarn stuffed inside the heel. I left it in there to give it some shape. They're knit out of Lorna's Laces in "Tuscany".

Now we move on to yarny goodness. These are all from Miss Babs in "Rainbow", "Falling Leaves", and "Honeydew Lullaby" (that one is actually a very soft green and yellow - so soft that it looks like it has cream in it, too).

Next are skeins from Dashing Dachs. These are in "Pumpkin Patch", "Jack Frost", and "Bon Bon". A soft-spun yarn; it's yummy.

These are individual skeins from different dyers. We have Beyond Basic Knits in "A Girlz Gotta Have Chocolate", The Dyeing Arts in "Tub O Gin" (this one was a destash buy from Zonda and has the coolest stitch marker - a bottle of Bombay Gin - attached to it; Gabby's ear is in the way), Elliebelly in "Cleopatra", The Fuzzy Peach in "Holding My Breath For You", and Prairie Daisy Handspun in "Look at Those Maples".

Last but not least, here are two items I had made for me. The first is a set consisting of a bag from MommaMonkey, stitch markers, and absolutely gorgeous yarn from Merlin the Cat (the yarn has gold metallic thread winding through it for a bit of glitz), and an alpaca Fair Isle stocking cap with tassels and pom-poms made to fit my head by skyblue58 (she's on Etsy and makes the most exquisite hats). My head gets really cold in the winter, so I decided to get a hat that was lightweight but warm. When I found her post for another Fair Isle hat in alpaca, I wrote to her to see if she would make me one. We chose the colors and she had at it. It only took a few weeks and arrived yesterday. It fits like a second skin and will be a welcome addition when we're on vacation in less than two weeks now (wow!).

It's been a lazy day. It was also supposed to rain, but it's early for our rainy season. I guess some of the counties north/northeast of us got a little bit and it's snowing in the Sierras, so the ski resorts much be jumping up and down for joy. There goes any chance I had of going to Reno before next year. Neither one of us knows how to drive in the snow, and it scares the shit out of me when Hubster does it (we got caught in a snowstorm last year on top of the pass, and I made him turn around and go back to Reno - not a bad thing as far as I was concerned). I've got to jump in the shower and put my sweats on (it's going to be very cold tonight - at least for us) so I'll be comfortable for my knitting marathon. I tried like hell to knit last night, but I kept falling asleep. I wound up knitting one round total all night. Wow. At this rate, I won't finish these socks until November of 2010.

So before I got really sleepy and tried to knit last night, I had some mending to do. All was going well - I had found some thread and a needle (all my sewing stuff is packed, so I was lucky to find thread that matched what I was mending), and I sat in the Monster watching my usual court and prison shows (I have to get all primed for my prison incarceration... uh... visit... in a week) while I sewed. My mending finished, I secured the thread, cut it, put down my scissors, inspected the mend, and went to set aside the pants I was working on.

Something wasn't right.

My jammies went right along with the pants.

What was worse, my finger went along with my jammies.

You see, back in late 1983-early 1984, I was cutting an onion for my ex-husband's sandwich. Instead of putting the onion on it's side, I got lazy and set it flat side down on the counter, cutting straight through from side to side instead of having it on edge and cutting top to bottom. I know better. I remember thinking, "If this knife slips, I'm going to hurt myself.". My ex always kept his knives razor-sharp, so it was gliding through the onion like the proverbial knife through butter. I was thinking about the party I had set up for that afternoon at a local restaurant (I worked for DOE at Lawrence Livermore National Lab at the time, and as admin, part of my job was to set up parties for special events - you know, like Tuesdays). We were all going to meet at the restaurant around 2:00 p.m., and I was looking forward to the whole thing. I had also quit smoking two weeks' prior, so I was a little out of sorts. Anyway, while I was daydreaming and not paying attention, the knife hit a snag in the onion. I looked down, pushed a little harder... and the knife slid right through the onion, into the side of my finger at an angle, and lodged itself in the bone.

The good thing about sharp knives is that you feel no pain - at first - so I went to pull out the knife and inspect the damage. Unfortunately for me, since the knife had gone in sideways and was still partially in the onion, it wasn't budging and was only getting onion juice into the cut (that hurt). So I did the only thing I could do.

I pulled the knife towards me, completing the cut through the onion and further sawing into my bone and finger.

I have to admit, it was quite spectacular. I had cut the bone enough so that when I freed the knife, my finger just sort of separated and dropped down, hanging by a shard of bone and the skin on the other side. I looked at it spurting blood all over the counter and thought, "Well. He can't eat this sandwich.". (It's funny the really strange things you think when you've hurt yourself rather badly.) John came into the kitchen, took one look at my finger, and said, "You bled on my onion.". Great.

Then it began to hurt. A lot.

John then came out of his shock, grabbed a handful of paper towels, shoved the finger back into place (that HURT), wrapped it up, and off to the emergency room we went. When we got there, the lady behind the desk asked me what the problem was. She didn't even look at me. John said, "Show her, honey". So I unwrapped the bloody paper towels and let my finger dangle over her intake papers. That got her attention. She turned white, told me to sit down, and went and got a doctor.

Now, I don't know where this doctor got his medical degree - maybe one of those trade schools you see advertised on TV, or in the back of the National Enquirer - but he took me over to the sink, scrubbed it out with green soap (you remember that shit from grammar school, I'm sure), shoved it back into place, and put a splint on it. No stitches. No pain medication. Nothing. I called my boss while I sat there wishing I had a big old shot of Demerol to stick in my ass and told him what the problem was. He was horrified and told me to go home. I told him no, that I'd see him at the party - but that I'd be a little late. After everything was said and done, the doctor discharged me. Neato.

On the way home, I just had to do it. John must have read my mind, because he pulled into the first 7-Eleven we saw and bought me a pack of smokes. Ahhhh. Some relief, anyway. So I went to the party and found that Mike, my boss, had three Kamakazies lined up and waiting for me. I downed those in quick succession, lit another smoke (he would have made me smoke one of his if I hadn't stopped and bought my own), and promptly had another three Kamis. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Now I was shitfaced and nothing hurt.

The finger healed badly (duh... you think?) and left a nasty scar that goes diagonally from the side straight through to the middle of my finger, and since all the nerves were severed, there's no feeling on that side from the first joint to the tip. It's a really neat party trick to be able to stick needles through that part of my finger and scare the living shit out of kids (hehe - you should see me on Halloween). Which brings me back to the whole point of all this.

When I was sewing, I had the pants in my lap and my finger underneath them. Since I wasn't paying attention then, either, I sewed right through the fabric through my finger through my jammies. A nice, neat pants/finger/ jammies sandwich, as it were. I used to do that all the time when I was hand quilting, since my left hand was under the quilt guiding the needle. I was able to just cut the thread and slide my finger through it to free myself. But this was a little different.

So I got my embroidery scissors, carefully cut the pants free on top, and then carefully cut my jammies free on the bottom. Finger freed with a bunch of threads sticking out of it. Then I had to sit there with my tweezers and make sure that I got all the threads out. That task completed, I was finally released from my clothing jail.

No wonder I'm a nudist every chance I get.

Just a Quick Note to Say Hello

Well, dear readers, I have absolutely nothing to report tonight. I fell asleep and slept all evening, and just now got around to opening the lovelies that the Yarn Fairy brought today. You'll have many pictures to see tomorrow, oh yes. And in addition to the yarny goodness you'll get to feast your eyes upon, there is a special bit of beauty that I had hand-crafted for myself. I'll just say it's a piece of clothing for my vacation.

I hope that you all have a lovely Thursday, and I'll be posting in the afternoon with those pictures. Who knows what the Yarn Fairy may bring tomorrow?

Until then...

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

I Still Have An Enter Key, So I Must Have Unlimited Money in PayPal, Right?

Oh boy. Am I ever in trouble with Hubster.

Before I launch into that and today's amusing story, I only got one skein of yarn today that I could photograph. The others, as usual, are club offerings. The yarns in the pictures are from Wooly Wonka Fibers, Oldfield Creek Sock & Yarn, Smoky Mountain Fibers, Union Center Knits, Spindle Cats Studio, Maple Hill (the skein in the front in the second picture -that's the new one), Perchance to Knit, and Wild Meadows Yarn. These are from one of the original stash bins, but as I told you all earlier, I was going to have to begin raiding my stash to show you pictures. It's sort of like opening Christmas presents. I totally forgot about a lot of these beauties! Enjoy!

Hubster was sitting at the computer last night working on something. He had his headphones on, which is my signal that he's involved in something that requires his attention. When he was done, I was just beginning to cast on for my second Monkey (yay!), and he came over to me and said we needed to talk. Oh no, I thought. The last time he wanted to talk, something really bad happened

It turns out that he was working up a spread sheet to see where all our money was going. Instead of going up, our bank balance is going down. We couldn't understand it, because we don't have to pay rent (we paid it a year in advance), we have no bills other than utilities, and we don't eat out all that much. So he laid it on me. It turns out that I'm the major culprit (I knew I was), but I almost fell out of my chair when he told me how much I had spent. The figure was close to $4K. Yep. I spent enough to take a vacation on yarn and clubs. I was so shocked that I couldn't fully comprehend what he had just told me.

Once I regained my composure, I told him I wouldn't buy any more yarn and would cancel some of my clubs (heavy, sad sigh). While it's true that I'll never knit all the yarn I have in my stash, I love getting things in the mail. I'm still expecting a few things (yes, I was bad and placed some orders), but when those are delivered, that's it. I'll have to find a less expensive way to bring myself some happiness. I'm not canceling all my clubs, but some of the smaller ones will be going the way of the dodo. This is indeed a sad, sad day. He's right, though. This is another wad of cash that could have gone into the new house fund. I'm such a loser sometimes. I also haven't finished taking pictures of the Lorna's and Opal I'm trying to sell (nobody is buying any of it except for one lovely lady who purchased a fair amount - thank you!).

In happier news, I did write the yarn shop owner a nasty letter. I got a reply from her this morning. It was very short and didn't address most of my points. At the end, she asked me to return the yarn and pattern she had loaned me for the lace class which only three people signed up for (this was several months ago). She also claimed that I have needles from her, which I do NOT remember. It's so liberating to be free of that place, although the money was good. However, I was so exhausted when I got home from class that I would instantly fall asleep. Every time. I think my body was trying to tell me something. So I've burned that bridge and am much happier for it.

Hubster stayed up all night with me last night, since we both had slept all day and woke up just in time for me to get ready for the last class. After he went to bed earlier today, I went into the bathroom to spend some quality time with my crossword puzzle book. I happily took the book out from under the vanity, got my pen, and sat down. And down. AND DOWN. For the first time in years, Hubster had left the seat up and I didn't notice it.

That was bad enough. What was worse is that once my ass hit the water (and you ladies know how cold toilet water is thanks to our husbands and/or SO's), I tried to shoot up like I used to before I trained him to put the seat down. Like I said, I tried. I tried hard. But I wasn't going anywhere. My ass was stuck in the narrow part of the bowl where it narrows down to the little hole (you know that hole - the one that always gets clogged up). So there I dangled with my legs sticking straight out in front of me, my body folded in half (well, as much as it could fold what with my fun bags and belly in the way), and him sound asleep and unable to help me. Oh no. How in the hell was I going to get out of this one?

Pushing upwards didn't help. Grabbing onto the tub and trying to lever myself up didn't help. Yelling didn't help. I couldn't even do my crossword while waiting for help, since I no longer had a lap on which to put the book. I didn't even have any knitting books in there to read (not that I could have reached them). So I lit a smoke and dangled while I pondered what to do next while my ass froze. It was also hard to breathe since my fun bags were compressed against my thighs.

I finally decided to put my feet against the vanity and push as hard as I could while hoping that I didn't rip the toilet out of the floor. I braced my feet, took a deep breath, and pushed. Hard. Too hard. I went catapulting off the porcelain god, whacked my head on the shelf above me, and launched across the room (good thing the room is small). I wound up in a heap on the floor with my legs sticking out straight in front of me (again) and my back against the door. The worst part is that my crossword puzzle book and pen both fell in the toilet, which was flushing as I flew. I must have hit the handle when I was going up and then back down.

Since I now had a clog in that little hole (I told you they always clog), I had to fish the book and pen out. Thank god I hadn't done anything, if you get my drift. Once I got all the disintegrating pages out and managed to snag the pen, I had to plunge to get the rest of the pages down the pipe. So much for that book. It was a good one, too.

I should write a book. Only I'd have to label it as fiction. Nobody would believe it was all true.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Yuppies and Sock Classes Don't Mix

I'm so sorry, dear readers. There are no pictures today. The Yarn Fairy didn't bring anything other than a gorgeous club offering from Anni, which I can't show for obvious reasons. It's late and I just got home, so I don't feel like digging in the stash to get some yarny goodness for pictures. Instead, I'll tell you about the lovely experience I just had in Snobsville.

I spent the latter part of my childhood and my teenage years (not to mention a lot of my young adulthood) in a suburb of San Francisco, which at the time consisted of orchards and ranches. I used to ride my horse down Main Street and tie her up outside whatever store I was going into. I'd put my purchases in my saddle bags (and I don't mean the ones on my thighs), ride to the drive-up dairy, wait in line with the cars, and buy us each an ice cream. Then we'd ride to the Rose Garden, where I'd dismount and share my goodies with her. It was a bucolic town, very small and lovely. When I married for the first time, I moved ten miles away to another small town which was even more cowboy-oriented. I loved it.

After moving away when I got divorced, I returned several years later to find a neon-laden, coffee house filled, tequila bar town overrun with expensive houses. Lexus and Mercedes and Porsche were the new names in town. Every yuppie from all over the Bay Area had converged on my quiet little town and taken it over. Gone were the horses on Main Street. Gone were the funky little stores. Gone were the orchards. Progress had completely obliterated what I had known and loved for so many years. There were strip malls and shopping centers everywhere with big box stores and fast-food restaurants everywhere you looked. On Main Street, there were now trendy restaurants and people with fast cars, designer clothes, and no common sense strolling down the sidewalk. I was appalled. What had happened? Silicon Valley had happened, and these were cash-rich programmers who were no longer nerds, but wealthy people who liked to flash their cash. Shit.

The yarn store I've been teaching at is in my old home town. The owner and I never really saw eye to eye. She's a newcomer (anybody who hasn't been there for 20 years is a newcomer in my book). She saw my ring and informed me that she had a three carat diamond in her wedding ring (even though her old man had dumped her), and that she was going to get it reset so that her current squeeze didn't have to shell out the cash to buy her another one (cheap bastard). She also told me that this dude lived with her, but she couldn't get married until her alimony ran out or it would be terminated. Then she proceeded to tell me that she was turning her shop into a boutique that catered to the trendy, a place where you could buy indie yarns and sit and drink lattes and knit and be an asshole. I just listened to her and thought, well, I can do this. So I began teaching.

The first thing I noticed was that these women didn't take their learning seriously. They were much more interested in discussing the latest kitchen remodels and their industrial stoves which never got used because they might get dirty and their spas and pools and slate walkways and and and... it was all I could do to get them to cast on. They couldn't even do that. I lost half of each class I taught because it was too hard. They didn't understand it. They didn't care to put in the effort it took to listen to me. So I accepted it, even though it didn't do much for my self-confidence as a teacher, and taught those who did want to learn. Some of my students weren't yuppies and were just normal people with a love for knitting. I figured that spreading the gospel was a good thing no matter to whom, so I kept at it.

Then I noticed a subtle change in the owner's attitude. She didn't really want to schedule a new class. Then it was that the next month was full. Then it was that I was going on vacation and she wanted to wait until November. Okey dokey. I'm easy. Usually. Until tonight, when it all came crashing down.

I taught tonight's class (an extra free class) to my five remaining girls. A couple of them had made serious mistakes which I helped them fix. I thought that my humiliation at this past weekend's class disaster would make me more compassionate, more patient. It did, with my students. I ripped out, I picked up stitches, I walked them through melding gussets with heel flap stitches, I got them to the point where they could begin their heels and finish their socks. They were ecstatic. I was happy. I had done my job, even though it took five class sessions to do it. I should had known something was up when the owner stuffed us into the front room where all the books and uncomfortable wooden chairs are. She had another class or something going on in the main part of the store with the comfortable couches. No biggie. Then the class was over and I went up to the desk to say goodbye and also to say that I would see her in November.

Then she informed me that her class schedule was full for November and December. Then she told me that she was holding a HUGE sock class using DPN's because my class was too hard. After all, I lost half my classes each time, so something must be wrong. A "young girl" (what the hell am I, an old bitch?) who had "lots of experience knitting socks with DPN's" was going to teach it (I got that information after I asked her why she didn't ask me). I told her she was usurping my students, which is when I found out that she was also teaching the Magic Loop method. Her DPN class was using large needles and yarn (which apparently was going to enable her yuppie cult to knit socks successfully). I was pissed. Majorly pissed. I ranted to poor Hubster about it almost all the way home.

To put the icing on the proverbial cake, when I got home I received a mass e-mail stating that she was starting a yarn/sock club where you would get fun stuff and Tofutsies (wow... what a neat yarn), and that you would go every week to learn how to do your socks and finish! YEAH! (those were her words and inflection) That was it. I'm going to write her a nasty note and burn the bridge. I now regret getting some indies into her shop, and I pray that Susie at Perchance to Knit doesn't send her any samples like I encouraged her to do. I think I need to call Susie and warn her. I don't think the indies are selling well there now anyway. I guess the yuppies are also cheap and don't want to spend the money for quality yarn. They'd rather get some crap and knit on large needles to make fetus-shaped monstrosities. The hell with them. I'll attend my group locally with normal people who don't think that life ends if they don't drive the most expensive car in the neighborhood and have to have a latte while they chat about how much they hate their husbands, but they stay because they can screw the pool boy while hubby is at work and still get the old man's money.

Die, yuppie scum. Die.

Monday, October 1, 2007

I'm Going to Prison... And Other Amusing Stories

You all know that I'm on a yarn diet. I'm happy (?) to report that I've been doing extremely well. Unfortunately, my yarny goodness pictures are suffering because of it, but once I run out of new yarn to show you, I can start on my stash. That should last for the next five years, by which time I'll be off the diet and able to show you new yarn. See how it works?

But in the meantime, I'm still receiving goodies. Today was no different. I got my first club offering from Chameleon Colorworks, along with a beautiful pattern (thanks, Jerry... a Ravelry enabler/friend). I had never heard of them, but I just love finding new dyers. Jerry was kind enough to let me know about them, and I'm glad he did! Their yarn is glorious, and the put-up is 400 yards. Soft as a cloud, the colors just blend and flow into each other. It's going to make a killer pair of socks. Anyway, I can't show it to you because of the whole spoiler thing. I also got another skein of the Spunky Eclectic September club offering because one skein just doesn't cut it with my enormous feet (my apologies to my Monkey Sock swap partner). Again, I can't show it to you. What I can show to you is some crack other yarn that arrived today.

What we have here are Strings and Yarn in "Elves Dance" (this is the lady who takes a piece of classical music and interprets it into glorious color - you HAVE to try it; she's on Etsy (who isn't)), and the other skeins are from Union Center Knits - Whatnot Sock in "Fall" and "Ivy". Joni Miles is the lady behind the beauty; you can find her work at Woolgirl. If I'm not mistaken, she does colorways specifically for Jen. Enjoy!

That little bit of happiness out of the way, let me tell you how things went with my going back to the conference on Sunday to apologize to Nancie for missing her class.

It didn't.

I got up late yet again, and since part of my reason for going was to buy a couple of things from the show, Hubster put his foot down and said we weren't going. So it resulted in another day of knitting in my jammies, which wasn't a bad thing. I'm down to the toe on one of my Monkeys. I think I may make the deadline in time after all.

I've also been reading the books I got from the show. They're wonderful books, and I can't wait to try those silk socks (knitted on size 000) which come from Nancy Bush's book. The pattern doesn't call for this particular yarn or even something close to its weight, but that's okay. I've seen the finished article, and its out-of-this-world incredible. Imagine a shawl out of lace weight translated into socks with a simple lace pattern, and you've got something really special. I just have to make sure that I get a good pedicure before I slip my rough old dogs into that delicate silk, or I'll rip the shit out of them.

I got some really good news today, news that I've been waiting for. I called Folsom Prison and talked to the chaplain about my clearance. I've been cleared!! I'll be conducting my first flute class two weeks from today. I also spoke to the inmate-clerk who works with the chaplain and had a grand time. We were comparing who had more tattoos LOL. I think I'm going to get along just fine with these guys. I told him that they could bash each other over the head with the larger flutes as long as they pushed me out of the way first, and he told me that there would be none of that. Apparently, these guys (even though many of them are murderers) are committed to learning the flute and are on a spiritual path, so they're welcoming someone coming inside the walls to lead them. It doesn't hurt that I'm a woman with huge tits. I told him I was bald but was definitely a woman, and he told me that's all they needed. I think I could be an old fat hag with a wart on my nose as long as I had tits and legs, and they would be happy. I'm really jazzed about this - I love this shit. Remember, I'm the one who watches cop and prison shows nonstop. I live for the Sunday COPS marathon.

Now for the humorous event of the week. We have a pool (why, I don't know - it's cold here, and I can swim maybe twice every summer; the ocean would be warmer), and having a pool means that you have to sweep the sides with a brush on a telescoping pole. My old pool was 10 feet deep; this one is about eight. No matter; I still need the pole. So I went out there early in the morning to do the deed. It was overcast and very cold; in fact, it was lightly drizzling because of the fog. I had on my slippers and jammies. I got the pole off the holder on the fence, made sure the telescoping thingie was locked in place, and began to brush the sides. Everything went just fine in the shallow end, and then I moved down to the deep end. This pool isn't that large, so it doesn't take too long to do the sweeping. I was out there watching the hummingbird that comes to the fuschia every day and enjoying the dark sky when it happened. The pole is old - probably as old as the pool (which was built when bulldozers were invented) - and the locking mechanism (which is a button that fits into a hole) came loose. The pole suddenly collapsed just when I was pushing down and had the brush on the bottom of the deep end. I felt myself going forward, jammed the brush against the bottom in a vain attempt to keep from going in, and suddenly the entire pole turned into a toothpick. I went face-first into the ice-cold water and promptly sank right down to the bottom, still clinging to the now useless pole. I surfaced and managed to make my way to the side (your muscles turn to mush in very cold water - ask me sometime about almost dying in the Sacramento River), where I hung on to the side of the pool gasping and swearing loudly. Then I glided across the water to the steps, climbed out, and promptly froze. I didn't have a towel out there, so I dropped the pole and ran into the bathroom where there was a towel, jumped into the shower and took a long, hot one, and put on flannel jammies. Not a good way to start the day. But it turned out well, so I can't complain.

I need a consolation skein of yarny goodness because I've been traumatized. Yeah, that's the ticket.

It's what I'm saying and I'm sticking to it.