Saturday, March 29, 2008

Pointy Needles are Dangerous

I've officially done it. I've deserted my circulars and knitting two socks at once, and have taken up with DPN's. I know... it's a sad day indeed. While I've flirted with DPN's and used them from time to time, I'm now using them exclusively. Why? Because I wanted to do a pattern which wasn't written for the two socks/two circ method and was too lazy to do the conversion. Fortunately, I had a set of DPN's which included the size I needed.

As is so typical of me, I couldn't use just any DPN. It couldn't be bamboo (I hate bamboo), it couldn't be steel (they're too heavy and shoot right out of the stitches - don't ask), and had to be sharp and fast. I finally found the perfect DPN. They're made by Golding Fiber Tools (they of the gorgeous spinning wheels and looms) out of black walnut. You have your choice of two different points (sharp or blunt) and two different finishes (slick and matte). I opted for the sharp and slick. They're kind of like the cars I favor - fast, smooth, and exotic.

The first set I received was wonderful. The socks flew off them (in a good way). The ends are pointy - pointy to the extent that they poke a hole in your finger if you're a pusher (which I am). The finish is fantastic - slick and smooth. Then I ran into a problem. My yarn was hanging up on one of the needles. I inspected it. Sure enough, a chunk of wood had risen from the needle; it looked like someone took a knife and inserted it at an angle. So I wrote to Golding and asked them for another set, explaining why I was ordering another one so soon. They were kind enough to send me a new needle at no charge. They won my loyalty with that simple gesture.

So yesterday, I was sitting there working on a swap sock (yes, I'm still working on the fucker), when the urge to pee hit with a vengeance. Getting out of the Monster takes some doing - I put my huge binder with all my sock patterns (yes, I do Xerox the patterns so I don't have to use the binder, but I hadn't done it yet), my ashtray, my ciggies and lighter, and any other things I happen to need on the footrest, so all that has to be removed before I can swing the footrest down and fall out of the thing. I yelled "PEE!" (Hubster knows he has to move fast when I do that), he gathered up all my shit, I swung down the footrest, fell out of the Monster because my legs had gone to sleep, hobbled as fast as I could to the bathroom, managed to get my jammie bottoms down, and did my business. After washing up, I came back to the Monster to resume my work.

Sounds perfectly innocent, right? It would be for most people, but I'm not most people. You see, I had stuck the spare needle in the ball of yarn and put the sock over it so it stood up straight - sort of like a boner with a cock sock on it - and decided that I could sit down without picking it up because the yarn was off to the side. I carefully lowered my big lard ass into the Monster and tucked my legs under me so I could sit comfortably. That works 99% of the time. This was that 1% that it didn't work, though. You see what's coming.

As I sat, the crater my ass formed in the seat of the chair caused the ball of yarn to roll inward. It didn't just roll inward, it rolled so that the needle was sticking straight up. Just as it came to rest, my ass came to rest on the upright needle. I sat down on that pointy little stick with my full weight. The needle shot straight into my ass. OWWWWWWWW.

I got up, fearfully pulled the needle out (it went in my cheek, thank goodness; otherwise, I'd have a crack and a half), and to my surprise, it wasn't broken. Then I inspected the other four needles. Oh shit. One of them had snapped in half, and my stitches were in danger of coming off. It was a complicated pattern, so I really didn't want to try and pick up the stitches in the correct orientation. So I carefully moved the stitches off the broken halves (no small task, I assure you), got a huge splinter in my finger (I HATE splinters), and sadly looked at my destroyed needle. Sigh. Off to the computer I went to order two more sets of needles in size 1. I figured I'd better get two in case I sat on another set. Thankfully, I had another set laying around, so I was able to continue knitting.

Hubster went to sleep around 5 a.m., but I wasn't tired yet. I had taken a break to work on the shop and decided to take my pills, knit a little more, and then go to bed. I sat there knitting away when an edge stitch (I'm on the heel flap) shot off the needle and the yarn flew out of it. I have one of those little crochet hooks I sell and used that to fix the problem. Those things are a lifesaver in more ways than one. I was merrily knitting along when I heard:

"Good Morning!!! I have packages for you!!!"

It was Art, the Yarn Fairy, holding an armload of boxes for the shop. I had fallen asleep hours before.

Of course, I was wedged in the Monster, drooling on my jammies (I have on my snowman ones), holding my knitting, my head leaning over and resting on my shoulder an inch from the points of my embroidery scissors, and looking as glamorous as a 90 year old woman in pasties. I straightened up immediately, sending all my stuff flying, and yelled for Hubster to open the door. Fortunately, he's got it programmed in his head that when I yell hi to the Yarn Fairy, that's his cue to jump up and open the door. I said good morning to the Yarn Fairy, picked up all my shit, and looked at the packages that Hubster placed on the footrest.

I'm happy to say that one of the packages was from Australia. I'm carrying a new vendor from there who calls her business "Jolly Jumbuck". It won't go in this update, but it should be in the next one. There was also a package from British Columbia. Happy day!

So now I have to get ready to go see the grands, do stuff to get ready for prison day, work on the shop update (I'm not saying when it will hit because I'm always late), write a newsletter, work on my files, and try to fit in some more knitting between all that. I've not been well this week, so doing things has been an effort. I missed last week at the prison, though, so I have to go this week.

At least it's not sunny out. I don't like the sun and delight in gray, gloomy days. I also got a new battery yesterday in my 2002 T-Bird (which is like the third one that's gone dead because I don't drive it - I have 4,000 miles on the thing), so I took that out for a spin around the neighborhood. At least I know I can still drive.

Even if it is with another hole in my ass.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Don't Wear Dresses in Public or Attend Brunches

Yee gods. It's been almost another week since I last posted.

First, I want to thank Marin for the warning link she put in the comment space about some poor woman who got her ass glued to a toilet seat. Apparently, the poor thing fell asleep on the pot for two months or some such thing and sat there for so long, she suffered neurological damage in her leg and had open sores on her ass which then glued her to the toilet seat. I've warned Hubster that he is not to leave me in the bathroom for two months, no matter how engrossing my crossword puzzles are.

I've received a few letters from worried friends who haven't heard from me. I'm sorry. If I haven't been sleeping, I've been working on the shop. I have quite a few new things and more new things to come. It's a lot of work updating the joint (who knew?), but I'm trying to update about once a week or so. There are some new vendors who have joined me - the number is up to 70! - so you'll see all kinds of new and wonderful things coming. One of the new vendors is a delightful man who is a woodworker, and he's not the man who is making the needle cases for me. 'Nuff said.

So yesterday, Hubster and I trucked on over to P-Town to the HIlton for Easter brunch. You have to understand something about me and Easter brunch. My mother insists on having it every year because she's Catholic. You figure it out - I've never been able to. She's very religious whenever it's a holiday, wedding, or funeral. Otherwise, she couldn't give a shit. She also berates me every year for whatever it is I've chosen to wear. I showed up in jeans and a T-shirt one year just to piss her off. It did. The problem is, I don't have anything nice to wear to such things, nor do I wish to spend money on clothes when I could be spending said money on yarn or notions. It's such a waste. So this year, I waited until yesterday morning just before I got in the shower to decide on what to wear. I found a dress with a shawl top thingie that fastens on the diagonal. It's as nice as I've got, so I wore that with no bra, my Power Panties, and no slip (that also pisses Mom off - she thinks that a proper lady wears a slip no matter what kind of dress she has on because you can see through it). That explains it, then. I'm not a lady, nor do I give a shit if people can see through the bottom of it. I'll never see these people again. They should be thankful that they get a glimpse of my dimpled thighs.

So Hubster and I strode into the Hilton looking for Mom. I spotted her at the buffet, so we pushed our way through the crowd waiting at the desk and marched up to her. She pointed out our table (I could see her biting her tongue at my outfit sans slip), and we went over to see our babies sitting there grinning at us. Lily's hair was fixed as well as it could be. Daisy really did a number on giving her a haircut, the little shit. Our daughter was there too, looking pretty good. She's lost a lot of weight - she has a new boyfriend. That girl has more boyfriends than I ever did. I think she's hoping to get married and out of Mom's house. Can't say as I blame her, but she won't be taking the kids with her. She just can't take care of them.

Anyway, we went up to the buffet, grabbed our plates, and began moving through the line. Did you think that I could go through an entire buffet line carrying a plate full of food without disaster striking? Silly readers. If nothing happened, I wouldn't even mention the fact that I was there.

Everything went just fine for the first few dishes. They had these huge chafing dishes with covers that were domed and rotated backwards on two hinges. Most of them were just left open so you could see what they contained. I found several things that looked tasty and proceeded to load up my plate.

Mistake #1.

I plopped some huge raviolis on my plate - at the edge, so I could make room for more stuff to cram in my mouth - and the plate tipped. I frantically tried to save it but to no avail. It tipped to the point where it overturned in my hand, covering the floor with a bunch of food. No matter. I put the plate down, kicked the food under the table, and got a new plate. Nobody saw, so I was in no fear of being that weird chick kicking food all over the floor.

I managed to make it through the rest of that particular table with no problem. Then I came to the next table. All the chafing dishes were closed. Hmm. I had to see what was in them. So I held the plate in my left hand and opened the chafing dishes with my right. The first one held rice. Nope. The second one held some fish concoction. NOPE. The third one... the third lid was stuck. Hmm. I decided to play it smart, so I put my plate down, held the bottom of the dish with my left hand, and tried to open the lid with my right. Nothing. I tried again. Still nothing. Then I noticed that someone had wrapped the handles with towels (apparently they were hot at some time), and the towels were jammed in the hinges.

Now, a sane person would have just left the damn thing alone. But I have issues. I have to know what's in things. So I gripped the bottom of the dish as tightly as I could, grabbed the handle with my right, and yanked.

You can see where I'm going with this.

Not only did the lid come flying open, the entire dish toppled over backwards. I tried to hold on to the damned thing, but over it went. So there I stood, holding the handle in my hand (it detached from the dish), watching all this really tasty-looking Eggs Benedict fly across the floor. Oops. And I had really wanted Eggs Benny. So I turned to Hubster (dropping the handle as I did so and kicking it under the table), and saying loudly, "Look what you did! What a mess you made!" The poor man just stood there with his mouth hanging open, not quite knowing what to do. The staff reassured him that it was okay and not to worry about it. He just shook his head and moved on. Heh.

I managed to make it through the rest of the line without mishap, got to our table, sat down on the bench seat, and began to slide across. I also dragged the tablecloth with me as I scooted along. That wouldn't have been a problem until I arched my back to smooth my dress under me. Not a smart move. I whacked the underside of the table with my ample womaness and sent the orange juice flying (they were already on a downward slide from the tablecloth being in motion). Oops. Of course, my babies thought it was hilarious and began giggling. Anything to entertain my grands.

Once all that was sorted out, we began eating and gabbing. Then my little ones had to go potty; I think they were just bored and wanted to get up. So I volunteered to take them, slid out (everyone held on to the tablecloth), grabbed their hands, and took them to the bathroom. I was right. They didn't have to go. But I did, so all three of us crammed into the stall. I did my business (they were fascinated by the tattoo on my belly, which was a cute little frog on a lily pad when I weighed 110 and is now a huge warty toad at my present weight; they kept poking it to watch it jiggle), pulled up my drawers, and we all washed our hands and headed back to the table.

I was so proud. People were looking at us and smiling at my little ones. They were cute as little buttons, dressed alike and carrying little purses on their arms, each one holding one of my hands, all of us looking alike (me just being an older, more wrinkled version of them), then people pointing and giggling, then stares... it's not often you see twins with a bald and tattooed grandma, so I was just as proud as can be of my gorgeous granddaughters and not caring if people thought I was strange, and we marched through the lobby, then the dining room, and finally to our table. The people at the tables near ours actually put down their silverware and stared agape at the parade of beauty in front of them, then put their napkins up to their faces. I actually heard people laughing, and one man was laughing so hard that he was crying. What the fuck? How dare he laugh at my babies! I seated my little munchkins, bending over so I could put their napkins in their laps, and then sat down myself.

Hmm. The seat was awfully cold.

Then it dawned on me why people were laughing. My dress was stuck in my Power Panties in the back, showing my ass and thighs in all their saggy glory. Not only that, I was trailing a flowing ribbon of toilet paper which was also stuck in my undies.

Ohhhh noooooooooooo.

I yanked said dress out of my ass as quickly as I could, balled up the toilet paper and kicked it under the table, and tried to look like nothing was wrong. But even my family was laughing at me. Thank god brunch was over and we could leave. So we got up (I made sure my dress was out of my ass this time), I grabbed Lily's hand, and we RAN out of the place (I told her it was a game). We waited outside until the rest of the family made it out (my mother was also weeping and dabbing at her eyes, which caused her to not see too well - that could account for why she walked right into a post), said our good-byes, and hightailed it out of there.

Happy Easter my ass.


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Household Items Are Hazardous to Your Health

So there I sat last night, minding my own business and doing a crossword puzzle, when it happened.

In grand style.

With all the grace of a 6'4" cross-dresser in 6" stilleto fetish boots. And all the beauty of that same cross-dresser in fishnet stockings and a hot pink boa.

I fell asleep while doing the aforementioned crossword puzzle, toppled forward off the pot, and woke up with a jolt.

With my face mashed against the wall, the handle of the plunger sticking in my rib cage and under my boob, my legs half in the tub and half against the sliding glass doors on the tub, and my ass sticking straight up in the air. All while I was contorted like a pretzel.

Hubster heard the enormous crash and came running, but it was too late. I was already stuck like a swollen cork in a wine bottle.

You have to understand something about me and bathrooms. Ever since I was a kid, I've had this thing about being alone. And I do mean ALONE. If I heard a single noise in the hall, all action stopped dead. When I got married to my first husband, I'd make him stay on one floor of the house and I'd go on the other just to use the bathroom. If he was being funny, he'd wiggle his fingers under the door and growl at me. That was enough to keep me from entering a bathroom at all if he was within a mile of the house. Even when I married Hubster, it took 15 years for me to finally be able to use the bathroom with him on the same level of the house (or, in the case of our old house, in the same wing - it was a one-story with two wings and a center section). Part of that phobia remains with me to this day. For instance, I can barely use a public restroom, and god forbid if I have to use the bathroom when we're at someone's house. I'd rather die.

And I damn near did. If that plunger had a slightly sharper end or had rammed me in another place...

Like my eyes, you filthy-minded people. Another place could have been fun.

Anyway, he had to come unravel me, which was no small chore. I'm lucky I didn't break my nose, what with all that weight careening out of control and smacking my face into the wall.

Later that night, I walked straight into the post that used to be a wall, but which some previous owner of the house had cut down until it was a mere pillar. I didn't see it.

Then I was packing up an order at the dining room table. All our furniture is sized for a very large house, which means that our table barely fits in here. If you look at our front room, it looks like a tiny box crammed full of stuff. Nothing matches, because we've got bits of furniture from all different rooms stuck in here. My poor macaw has been living with my mother for a year because I don't have the room for him. He's very social and needs to be in the same room with us. Hubster is supposed to build a platform for him, but you know how that goes. Anyway, when these houses were originally built, the dining room had a wall with a door that led outside to a small covered area. On the other side of that small covered area was the garage with a door leading into it. Someone else took that small outdoor area, made it part of the house, and converted part of the garage into a bathroom (not up to code, I suspect), and then built off the back of the house into the backyard. That's my studio. Of course, this house has an old cast-iron grate in the floor which supplies all the heat for the house. My studio has neither heat nor A/C. I don't need to tell you what that means. So where this formerly outdoor covered used to be is now a weird square that you step down into, and then you step down again into this tiny hallway that my studio is off of; if you keep going, you turn left (the other bathroom is on your left then) and into the garage (which is now too small to hold even a Mini because of the bathroom which juts out into it). This little ledge that the formerly outdoor area has is part of the dining room floor. If you happen to be the unlucky person who is sitting at that end of the dining room and push your chair back, chances are good that you're going to go flying backward. That's where I sit to pack orders, since my studio is packed wall to ceiling with boxes, and my computer sits at the other end of the table. You can picture what's coming next.

I finished the order, weighed it, and pushed my chair back so I could stand up and go the computer to print out the postage label. I managed to push the chair back just fine. What wasn't fine is that I wasn't completely out of the chair when it went over the ledge. I went over the ledge with it and landed flat on my back with my legs sticking straight up in the air and my head on the floor. I moved my eyes to the right and saw the nice doodad on the back of the chair an inch away. Oh shit.

Once again, Hubster came and untangled me. This time, I wasn't so lucky. I hurt myself, but not on the outside - somewhere inside where I couldn't quite pinpoint it. Suffice it to say that I limped a lot and had a hard time sitting down, even in the Monster. And standing? Forget it.

I figured that was enough mayhem for one day and that I would be safe for the rest of the evening. I should know better than to assume anything.

Hubster had gone to sleep, so I was on my own. All I was doing was knitting while curled up in the Monster. How on earth could anything happen?

How indeed.

This time, I reached forward to pick up my pattern, which had fluttered down to the floor when a gust of wind hit it. Not a problem, right?

Not unless you lose your balance and fall forward flat on your face. On a hardwood floor. And then you can't get up because half of you is stuck on the floor and the other half is stuck in the chair.

That one took me a good 15 minutes to get myself out of.

It's the medication. It has to be. I was a star athlete in high school - even lettered in softball. I can swim for miles with the grace of a dolphin. I can even turn the radio on without electrocuting myself.

But something has happened, and whether it's the meds, a conspiracy of everything in this house to kill me because I hate living here, or just getting older, I don't know.

But something has happened, and I don't like it.

I think I'll stick to activities like gambling, where all I have to do is feed money into a slot and whale away on a button.

But I can't play blackjack anymore.

I might slice open my finger on the edge of the cards.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Another Week and Nothing to Report

I can't believe that it's been a week since I last posted. There really hasn't been a lot going on. The business takes up so much of my time and energy that I don't have room for much else.

We're working on an update right now. One of the special notions I've been waiting for arrived today (gorgeous!); I only got four of them to see how you all like them. We'll be taking lots of pictures tonight, and I'll be uploading as much as I can. We still have a lot of things left to arrive, and I'm always looking for new vendors. We're up to 62 now - I can't believe it.

We also just celebrated our one-month anniversary on Saturday. I can't believe that, either! It's a truly amazing thing. We've gotten wonderful feedback from everyone, so it looks like we're doing something right.

On a personal level, I thought I was going to have to go to the hospital the other night. I was in so much pain that I couldn't even breathe. Hubster was horrified; he was hovering over me and trying to help, but there was nothing he could do. He finally just pumped me full of painkillers and made me rest. I felt better the next day, but it happened again last night. The doctor told me that I was going to get worse... he wasn't kidding. I'm not looking forward to the day when the pain hits and doesn't go away.

I'm sorry to be so boring, but there's nothing funny to report, no news of any kind, no pictures... nothing. I'm just tired and worn out; Hubster is in much the same shape. In fact, we're getting ready to take a nap and try to get some good sleep. Then it's back to work tonight.

I'm not going to announce the update until it's done because every time I do, I miss my deadline. This way, I don't have a deadline to meet. If I thought of something useful, I'd be truly dangerous.

Off to bed. I'll hopefully have something amusing to report in the next day or two. And maybe a picture to show you.

Maybe even of yarn.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Tears, Performance Anxiety, and a Contest Winner

I think I'm probably with the majority of people when I say I hate Daylight Savings Time.

Back when it was instituted, it was a good idea. It gave the farmers more daylight hours to work their fields. That isn't the case anymore. It's an outmoded, outdated, pain in the ass idea whose time (literally) has come and gone. What's worse, those in power have now made it last longer. I remember back in 1984, on my wedding night no less, it started on April 28th. It really wasn't a big deal - my ex took the care package of food they put together for us from the reception site, spread it all out on the bed so we could have a bed picnic, turned on The Love Boat and said, in all seriousness, "What do you want to do after we eat? Fantasy Island is on next!" I looked at him and thought to myself, you have just made the biggest mistake of your life. Having one less hour that night was actually a saving grace. I mean, I'm not a bum fuck, yet the man would fall asleep right in the middle of the Horizontal Mambo. That does a lot for your self-esteem and tends to give one performance anxiety.

Having said that, I hate it being light out at 9 p.m. We have enough little monsters in this neighborhood who are now going to be out much later. I just looked at the time and was shocked. It should be a hour earlier than it is now! Bummer! I also hated that I had to be up an hour earlier yesterday, which probably accounts for why I was late. You all know my sleep habits. Trying to get some sleep before I left was almost impossible. I was falling asleep when we went out to lunch after my prison visit. Then I slept all the way home, most of last night, and most of today. I'm finally awake - just in time to be up all night.

Before I go any farther, allow me to announce the winner of the poetry contest. The votes are in, the public has spoken, and the winner is:

Casey Hertter

author of Poem No. 1. Congratulations! You'll be receiving a gift very soon.

All the entries were outstanding. I really did have a horrible time of it, which is why I put the two front-runners up for a vote. Hubster and I each picked one, which was the only way I could even get close to a selection.

My prison visit yesterday was the most emotionally draining one I've had thus far. When I exited the block and walked out into the yard, it was teeming with inmates. They've been on lockdown for the past month (the stabbing I saw and a subsequent murder of a child molester are what did it), so everybody was out doing their thing. To make matters worse, my boys weren't waiting for me. The guards were giving them a hard time about waiting by the door for me, but finally, my bodyguard's head became visible over the sea of men, shoving his way through them. He fell into step beside me, and the men parted like Moses parting the Red Sea. It's nice to have friends.

What was so horrible about yesterday is that one of my boys had gone for a colonoscopy the last time I was there, and I wanted to find out his test results. He already has lung cancer; when he hugged me (and they all hugged me like they were about to lose me), I whispered in his ear and asked what the results were. He said something to the effect of "you know", and I did know, with absolute certainty, that the cancer had spread to his colon and intestines. And then, quite to my surprise, I burst into tears. He rocked me like a baby, wiped away my tears, kissed my cheek, and crooned to me, which made me cry harder. He told me not to worry, that he was fine, that he was okay with it, and that I shouldn't mourn because he wasn't. His eyes were shining when he finally let me go, but he tried to hide it. The lesson went great - we all joked around, and a new young man (and I mean YOUNG - 21 years old and a lifer with four counts of attempted murder - no parole possible), joined our group. He's Navaho or from one of the Pueblo tribes, I don't remember which. I worked with him alone for a while, and then we all just hung out and bullshitted until I knew Hubster would be in the parking lot. I hugged my sick boy and cried again, and then they escorted me to the door, blowing me kisses good-bye and making sure I'd be there in two weeks. I was absolutely drained.

I'm in a battle with one of my ex-vendors who sent out a letter a while back, saying she wasn't going to wholesale anymore because she wanted to use the time to prepare for shows. OK. That sucked, but I could understand it. Then I found out she was lying. She was doing an exclusive for someone else and couldn't sell to other shops. I've been writing her letters and telling her I want my money back because I don't want to sell someone's work once and not be able to supply more if it goes over well. She used to bombard me with letters every day, telling me about her exquisite taste, how good she was, how God has blessed her with this talent she has, blah blah blah. I don't give a shit if her opinion of herself is highly inflated; I just want my money back. Now I can't get her to even answer a letter. I'm not sure what I'm going to do, but I'm going to do something. And if you're reading this, mystery dyer, I'm telling you again - I'm not dropping this. Pretty soon, I'm going to blow your name all over this blog and let people know how you do business if you don't answer my letters. I'm slightly pissed. OK - I'm majorly pissed.

I've been trying to knit today, but I've mostly succeeded in sleeping. I'll be knitting tonight, taking pictures of the new vendors' work, filling orders, etc. I have so much to do that I could work all day every day and still not be caught up in two weeks. This is good, though, because right now is when we had to leave our house in a hurry last year. And you know what? I'm okay with it. I think I've finally accepted it. I'm still not happy about it - who would be? - but at least I can live with it. Sure, this hole is a sty, but I'll clean it up. One day.

Speaking of cleaning, I read that Lala (I think it was her) bought a Roomba and loved it. For those of you who don't know what it is, it's a robot vacuum cleaner that looks like a big disk. We went out and bought one, charged it up, and let 'er rip. It's awesome! It knows not to fall off ledges, bumps into things and turns around, then begins to learn what's in the room. You can see it - it sort of slowly swings back and forth when it senses there's something there, then avoids things. Hubster can even program it (such things make him cream his jeans). The coolest thing, though, was when it docked itself back in its' charging port. It rolled up to it, positioned itself, and slowly backed in. Then it beeped and turned itself off. This is too cool for words. Now I can have all the dust zombies picked up, leaving the heavy vacuuming for once a week. I don't know why we didn't get one ages ago.

Now I just have to get a Little Green Machine to clean the Monster. It's beginning to smell like a giant cup of coffee.

With milk.


Sunday, March 9, 2008

Going To Prison

Hey Everyone -

Folsom Prison has come out of lockdown, so we're leaving for my usual Monday stint there. We'll be home tomorrow night, so anybody who places an order will have it shipped out on Tuesday.

I'm sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.

Have a lovely day!

Friday, March 7, 2008

There's A Conspiracy Going On

There have been some strange things happening today. More about that in a minute.

First of all, thank you for the comments on my last entry. I'm glad you all enjoyed it. It is pretty funny; had it happened to someone else, I would have been sitting there snorting and peeing on my sandals. I have to laugh when I picture myself sitting there with that little pork turd sitting proudly on my little cue-ball head. The BBQ sauce was just the finishing touch. Presentation is everything.

It dawned on me that I haven't picked a winner for the poetry contest. I've been pouring over the entries and have narrowed it down to two. Since I can't decide between the two of them, I'm asking for your votes. Please do NOT vote on this blog; send your votes to me at It will be easier for me to count them there. To discourage voting here, I will disqualify and not count any that are left. I'd like to keep this a secret until I announce the winner; by putting votes here, the authors can see them.

Please vote by number. Here they are:

1. So there's this sweet shop by a goddess
Who's bald and tattooed and so honest
With a hubby named mark
Who's ass has been parked
At his desk fixing internet oddness.

2. With sticks and string,
I can make anything.

With yarn so fine,
and tools so cool,
I can make things that will make
any knitter drool.

The place to shop
for things as such,
is Yarny Goodness,
it's a new on-line shop.

With hand dyed yarn,
bags and tools,
from the coolest, and hip-est
ambitious women.

So order your yarn,
Pick out a cool pattern
And say "Thanks" to Pam Mann
Who made everything happen!

Run don't walk to:
Place an order and wait for the Yarn Fairy
to bring your Yarny Goodness to you!!

See my problem? I'm leaving voting open until Sunday at midnight. I'll be at the prison on Monday, so I'll announce the winner on Tuesday. Please - don't just read the blog; I truly need your votes to select the winner.

Enough of that.

Hubster brought in the mail today (no packages). I asked him what we got, and he told me it was mostly garbage except for a magazine I had received. Cool. I subscribe to several and never know when they're coming, so it could have been Vogue Knitting, Interweave Knits, Spin-Off, Exotic Fibers, various newsletters, or flute-related stuff. But this was a new one. It was...

Good Housekeeping.

What the fuck?

I did NOT order GH. The only time I read it is in the doctor's office. I would NEVER subscribe to something like that. But there it was, telling me that I had a one-year subscription (according to the label). Then I began looking at the cover article titles:

"I LOST BIG!" - How five women dropped a total of 408 lbs.

Cook Once, Eat Twice

Get Out of Debt

Clutter Control

What the fuck?

It's a conspiracy. Somebody knows that my house is a sty, that I'm in debt, that I don't cook anymore, and that I'm beginning to resemble the Michelin Man. Are there cameras installed on my street watching me as I wander outside in my cardinal jammies? (I get my jammies from the National Wildlife Federation - they have the coolest jammies, which is why I have so many different types.) Are there nanny cams installed in the house being used to take note of how many dust zombies there are on the floor? Are those same nanny cams being used to count the number of unpacked boxes from the move? Is there a sensor in the fridge that tells someone how little food is in there? There was a blip on the magazine cover - there's an article on haircuts that take off years, as well as anti-aging shampoos. I've often threatened to target a specific shampoo, go on TV, and announce to the world that if you use their shampoo, this is what will happen to your lovely locks. Then I could blackmail the shampoo company for millions of dollars. Think it would fly? I didn't either, which is why I never did it.

Back to the conspiracy. We got three phone calls today from companies who do home improvement. Like this dump could be improved. The only way to improve it is to tear it down or torch it. The advertisements arriving all showed... you guessed it... home improvement. And then there was the one from Jenny Craig, and another one from Curves...

I feel like somebody is watching us. It's easy enough to do - the Monster is right next to the front door, so at night, anybody driving by can look inside and see me oozing all over the damn thing, drooling all over the lovely embroidery on my jammie top. Isn't that a lovely picture? The only thing missing are the pink foam curlers, but well...

On a less paranoid note, I've signed up for some mailing list thing that will let me send out a newsletter with little or no pain. I've got to get working on that. Hm. I'll fit that in with all the other shit I have to do. I'm so looking forward to going to Folsom. Maybe Hubster will take me to the casino again - you know, for a hamburger. I still hold out hope that I'll hit the big jackpot. It could happen - people do win them. I won $16K on one Reno trip on dollar slots, and I've seen someone sitting next to me hit all three of the top symbols on an Elvis slot that paid out some obscene amount of quarters. I was actually in the casino when someone did hit the big one - we all got $50 in free play. BFD. With all that free play (which I plowed through in less than five minutes), I didn't win ONE SINGLE THING. But I still hold out hope.

If I blog from a laptop in the back of a limo speeding to Vegas...

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Now I Know What 50 Feels Like

What a past couple of weeks.

I always wondered, "What is (fill in the age) supposed to feel like?" I think I have a pretty good idea right about now. It could also have to do with the fact that I've been working literally around the clock and only taking naps. I had the best of intentions this morning. I was going to go to bed. I woke up with my face smashed in the keyboard again. Sigh. In fact, I sat down at around 4:00 p.m. to begin typing this. Two and a half hours later, I woke up. This wasn't done yet. So much for knitting all afternoon.

My body has finally yelled "ENOUGH ALREADY!!!" and shut down. Just like that. One minute, I was packing orders. The next minute, I was on the floor. I navigated through all the tissue and ribbons and tape to the Monster. And there I sat for pretty much the entire weekend. I got some knitting in, but for the most part, I slept. I had to cancel my prison visit (I haven't seen my boys in over a month now - the last time I was there, they went into lockdown) because there was no way I could make it. It was a good thing, too - I slept all Monday morning. Mark couldn't wake me up, so he let me sleep until noon. At least I'm getting things done. It takes me a while, but they're getting done.

To all of you who just placed orders in the past couple of days, they've been mailed off. I'm finding my way through all this and getting into a routine. It's all falling into place. We've been open two weeks now (I still can't believe it), and I'm convinced that I have the best customers and vendors in the world. Everybody has been so patient with us while we fix things, improve things, mail things, blah blah blah. It truly warms my heart. Thank you.

For the rest of the shop news, go to:

For the life of me, I can't remember how to make that a link. Hubster is gone at the office, so I can't pick his brain. I know it's simple, but I forget things from one minute to the next. That's most inconvenient, especially when I'm doing a lace pattern.

I want to say something about my two lovely swap pals, Tara and Martha. They both read this blog {{{waves}}} and know who I am. They've both been extremely accommodating, allowing me to mail their packages VERY late because they both knew what I was going through. I love them both and am so very blessed to have them in my life.

Enough sappy shit. The bitch is in the house.

So last night, Hubster and I go to the office supply store to buy padded envelopes (it's a waste to put a few small things in a big envelope, so I wanted to get the small ones with the bubble wrap in them). Then came the nightly question: "What do you want to do for dinner?" Since we were out, we decided to go to our favorite Chinese restaurant. I've been going to this place since they opened back in the 70's. The food is still the same, the staff is still pretty much the same, and the only difference is that I had hair back then.

So we drive out to Dublin, which is about 15 minutes from our house (although we were in Fremont, so it took just a little longer), get to the place, go inside, greet everyone, and get seated. I don't have a very sophisticated palate, and I'm the first one to admit it. I always get the same thing - potstickers for an appetizer, BBQ pork (to bring home when I can't eat all of it), pork fried rice, and for a change(!), we shared shrimp in lobster sauce. That's about as adventurous as I get. My ex used to eat all kinds of weird shit - we had canned octopus in our pantry, and he put caviar on everything (the man was filthy rich - what can I say). I can't eat hot and spicy food because of my illness (and I don't like it anyway), so I always eat Cantonese or Mandarin. Hubster loves the hot stuff, but I guess he didn't want his asshole on fire the next day this time. So we're sitting there eating, and I get the bright idea to use chopsticks.

You have to understand that the last time I successfully used chopsticks was when I was a kid; my next-door neighbor (who was a Coast Guard guy and had learned in Japan) taught me how to do it. Hubster uses them all the time and has been egging me on to use them. "C'mon!", he'll say. "You use those tiny needles and hooks and make these incredibly intricate things, and you make socks - you can use these big sticks!" I think that was the problem right there. The chopsticks are larger than my knitting needles, so I'm not used to it. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

So he was delighted when I picked up the sticks of doom and prepared to use them.

I realize now that I should have practiced at home, but I hadn't even thought about it. I'm one of those spontaneous types who will do anything on the spur of the moment and regret it later. So I decided to try and grab a potsticker first. They're a good size; I could spear the thing if I had to. No problem, right?


I finally got the damn sticks just right in my fingers, went to grab a potsticker, actually got it in the air - and it shot across the table and landed right in Hubster's cup of tea.

At least it was his tea. He plucked it out, dried it off, and ate it anyway. Why waste a perfectly good piece of food, especially when you're hungry?

With his encouragement, I decided to try something smaller. Rice was out of the question. But I did have that pork. Yeah, that was the ticket. Nice sliced pieces of wonderfully tender and very messy pork. No problemo.

Once again, I picked it up, got it in the air - and it shot out from between the sticks, went straight up in the air, and landed on top of my head.


Of course, the only other diners in the entire restaurant were seated behind us and to the side. Of course, they were Chinese and probably had been eating with chopsticks their entire lives. There I sat, with BBQ sauce beginning to run down the side of my head with a piece of pork perched on top like a little bird turd. I was mortified. Hubster sat there trying not to laugh. I heard the people behind us gasp and then start to titter. That was all Hubster needed. He began to laugh so hard that he was crying. One of the waiters came over, removed the pork, and wiped my head with a hot wet towel. I just sat there and wished I were anywhere but there (like those Southwest commercials). Finally, everyone had their fill of fun at my expense and went back to eating their dinners.

I asked for a fork.

In the end, everything was okay. We finished our meal, got the rice and pork boxed up to take home (guess what I'm having for dinner tonight?), and I knitted for the rest of the evening.

I just called Mom's house to see if Hubster was still there (his meeting was supposed to end at 5:00 p.m., and it's 6:30 p.m.), and he just got there. It took him an hour to make a drive that should have taken 20-25 minutes tops. Traffic. Anyway, I got to say hi to my pumpkins. Lily just sort of grunted into the phone (they both think that when we talk to them, we're inside the phone), but Daisy got on and said, "Hi!" clear as a bell. I asked her how she was, she told me fine; I told her I loved her, and she said "I wuv you Gramma!".

I'd gladly wear a pork hat again just to hear that.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

A Favor to Ask

Hey Ladies,

This is for those of you who have received your orders from the shop. Could you please give me some feedback on how you liked the presentation of your orders? Were you happy with the way things were wrapped? The swag? I'm just trying to find out if I should change anything, or if people are happy with how it arrives.

I'm also reading the poems over and over, trying to select the winner. I'll announce the winner on Tuesday.

Thank you, and I'll see you Tuesday! Off to the prison!

Shop Update

I'm announcing both here and on the shop blog that the shop has been updated. You will find all new vendors:

Three Fates Fiber
Lena Brown Angora Blend Yarn
Martina's Hand-Made Stitch Markers
FreckleFace Fibers
Debra's Garden

There are several other new vendors (and new items in KaratStix), but they will be included in the next update.

Hubster has also updated the look of the site. I think you'll enjoy the pictures and layout a lot more than before. Enjoy!

I also want to thank everybody who sent well-wishes and cheered Hubster on for making me go to bed for a day. I've been working all night and finally threw in the towel. I have to get some rest before we leave for Folsom later this afternoon.

Any orders placed today or tomorrow will be processed on Tuesday and mailed on Wednesday due to our being out of town.

Thank you again, and I hope you enjoy the new items we have for you to look at.

I'll blog again Tuesday after I've rested up from the trip.