Archive for January, 2009

8 am:

Imp: UGH, there’s no place to poop.  It all smells.  It’s all full.   dig,dig,dig  UGH,  just how am I suppose to cope with this?  dig,dig,dig  This is disgusting.  dig,dig,dig.  

Lilith:  Just do what I do- perch on top, do your business, and don’t bother to cover it up.  Let her take her care of it.

Imp:  Can’t, must dig, must find clean stuff to cover.  dig,dig,dig 

9 am:

Imp:  dig,dig,dig

9:30 am:

Imp:  dig,dig,dig

10 am:

Imp: dig,dig,dig

10:30 am

Imp:  I can’t believe you are making me get out of the bathroom.  I’m trying to cover up that nasty smell here and you’re not helping any. 

Wait… what’s this in the hallway?  Sniffs opening in box of litter.  Smells like…. Yes!  It’s clean stuff.   Ahhh…. Ooooo…can I get in there?  Walks round box, sniffs again.  How do I get into that box?  Paws opening, sniffs again, circles box, tries to put head in box, sits back, ponders.

No.  You’re not really chasing me away from this too.  What?  You want me to implode?

Ahhhh…..  finally.  Out with the old, in with the new.  What’s this?  Sniff, sniff, sniff- smells wrong, too clean.  I’ll just dig down to the very bottom  and get all that nice clean stuff spread all over, dig, dig, dig, out on the floor, dig, dig, dig, tracked down the hall…  then, add some new Imp smell.  There, that’s better.


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This is the South- how can it be soooo cold?

Oh, wait, that was so 2 days ago-it’s 50 something degrees outside.  I can actually go out without a coat.

Never mind.

Yesterday I treated myself to an evening of knitting with friends.  I have been so busy at the opera I haven’t been to the knitting group since before Christmas and I really felt I deserved a evening out.  Preferably one free of Phillip Glass. I sat thru 2 dress rehearsals of Akhnaten this week and I can tell you that the music is lovely but stupefying in large quantities.

So it was off to the Friday night group at Knitch where I laughed and talked and knitted about 5 inches on my Stork’s Nest Scarf.  I had forgotten to bring the pattern but discovered I could remember it well enough.  I had a few glitches but nothing I couldn’t fix on the spot and returned home feeling very good about the whole thing.

Then I discovered that I must have enjoyed myself too well  because  I didn’t notice that I had failed to turn the work and had knitted the pattern rows on the wrong/purl side.  For 3 pattern repeats, 45 rows.   I had a moment of  “well isn’t that clever- the pattern reverses sides midway.  I can just keeping knitting it this way.  I’ll just twist it around my neck anyway” .  Then I spent the rest of the evening frogging lace and trying to figure out where I was before I changed sides.

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The opera, the Mercury Retrograde, and the weather.

I have done nothing this week but work.  I will do nothing next week but work.  This does not make for a interesting blog.

Most everything I have ordered, for the opera and myself, recently has had some kind of enormous snafu- backordered until the next millennium or lost in shipment or, get this:  the company is so behind processing return/exchanges they won’t get to mine for another 3 weeks.  They haven’t even opened the box.

I know, from experience, the best activities for a Mercury Retrograde are things like:  cleaning closets, finding receipts for my taxes, recycling, and chucking out useless stuff.   I really do need to reorganize my spices and I’m itching to clean out  all those little nooks where cat hair lurks.  One of my closets is about to reach Fibber McGee and Molly status. I would love to be taking care of those things right now.  I would be doing those things but I have dress rehearsals this week.

It’s been soooo cold,  I feel like I’ve been living in a cave- my curtains are closed, crevasses have been blocked, and the cats and I are huddling under the down comforter.  Going out is a quick sprint from the house to the car.  I have been wearing gloves with mittens over them and my fingers are numb before I can even flip the heat on in the car.  

Today it was finally warm enough to go out for a walk.  Sunny and breezy and the fresh air was wonderful….. while it lasted.  It’s supposed to snow tomorrow.

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And it’s about time.

I cast on for something new!  This:

Stork’s Nest Scarf by Nancy Bush from the January 2008 issue of Piecework.

I am using the A Star Alpaca- hand dyed, hand spun, 90% alpaca, 10% silk I got from Lambtown last summer. It’s soft and yummy with creamy tan and camel color variations.  It’s sport weight so I am using my size 6 Harmony circulars and knitting 2 pattern repeats across.  So far, I’m very happy with it.

I finally got up the nerve to sign up for this year’s Mission Possible on Ravelry.  In 2008, I only finished  7 of my 12 things- one of the leftovers being the endless scarf I have been working on, and I mean actually working on since 2007.  I was supposed to give up the yarn or it’s equivalent  from any of the uncompleted projects to charity.  Fortunately, there’s been a general amnesty. 

Just the same, if they want the pink mohair they can come and get it but I’ve hidden the Brooks Farm where no one can find it but me.  And in case the Mods change their minds- I’m sleeping with the Elsebeth Lavold Angora I need to finish my sweater under my pillow.

I finally realized that part of the problem was that I had too many projects at the start that I made up my own pattern for.  Because I hate to follow other people’s directions.  Because what I have in my head isn’t available in a pattern.  Because I really just want to start knitting and see what happens.

Then what happens is this:   I have to frog, tinker, reknit, and repeat until I get something that seems kinda like what I wanted.  So the 2 hats that should have taken a week each to make;  sucked up about 2 months time.   

Then I discovered that I really like knitting little free form toys- so I made lots.  My MP08 ones and then some. It was all I knitted for about 6 weeks.

Get the picture?

So this year’s list is hopefully one I really can do:

I have 3 “amnesty” projects:

1. The endless scarf- I have about 6 more inches to go  or so I thought at the time- see post from 2/14/09.

2.  The Megan Shawl collar sweater in the angora- I am part way thru the first sleeve.

3. Something with the Brook’s Farm- Probably Flair and I am only promising to cast on by the end of the year

I am allowing myself 7 new projects:

4. The Stork’s Nest scarf pictured above

5. A fair isle hat using the leftover black Cascade 220 from my son’s Christmas gift and some tan Cascade 220 that mysteriously attached itself to me yesterday while I was in Sheepish. 

6. A scarf that is in my mind and yes, I will have to make up the pattern but I’m planning to chart it before I start it.  I have some light brown Berroco Pure merino for this.


Has anyone noticed?  I seem to having a tan phase.  





7. Some fingerless mitts as a Christmas gift.  Pattern to be found not invented.

8.  Knit up my Habu kit scarf- which I am really eager to start.

Then there’s my penance for failure to complete MP08:

9.  Use up some stash- I have a lot of wooly ends and partial skeins- by knitting some hats for charity.

10.  Use up the pink mohair in charity scarves. (my version of wearing a hair shirt)

What?  You say there are only 10?  The last 2 count double.



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I’ve turned the thermostat in my apartment down to 62 degrees.  That’s because last month my gas bill was higher than I budgeted for and I can’t have that. 

Suffice it to say, that it’s a little chilly and the cats have become very cuddly all of a sudden.

This morning I learned why the bill was higher last month.  Imp has been covering the floor vent in the living room with her supine body.  Probably all day while I’m away.  That’s  the room the thermostat is in.  That means that room never gets warm enough for the heater to stop running and it runs and runs and runs and the bill gets higher and higher.  Imp, the little sucubus, has been stealing the heat needed for  the household to keep her tummy warm. 

I’d like to believe that she doesn’t realize, that she’s just a cat, but I know her too well.  I know she somehow figured out that it wasn’t just a warm place to sleep but also that she could keep the furnace going by sleeping on the vent all day.  It’s obvious from the way she flattens her whole body out over the vent.  The selfish @#$%%!

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My Epiphany

It’s the 12 th day.  The holiday season’s last gasp.  I’m packing up all the good stuff and putting the trash out on the curb.  The cheery memories are stored for the cold times ahead and the ones I’d like to forget have been shut out- at least until time makes them seem more amusing.

This is what I have left:

My granddaughter made it and I’m keeping it.  Kinda sums up the whole aftermath thing though, doesn’t it?  Nothing says Christmas is over like a smashed soda can with a Santa face on it.  

I haven’t yet had any urge to make New Year’s resolutions or even a list of goals for 2009.  Everything seems too vague and open to change .  I’m opposed to resolutions anyway- they always turn out to be the non-binding kind.  Which I conveniently remember anytime I want to do something I have previously forbidden myself to do.  

 I do like to have a plan, however.  It makes me feel like I have a grip on things. It’s just that it’s hard to remember that there ever was a plan when the freight train is headed down the mountain toward the broken trestle that spans a ravine so deep you can’t see the bottom.  Right about then is when I realize I’ve neglected to put “get the brakes checked”  in the master plan.   So I’ve fired the engineer, stopped gripping the throttle and if the worst happens I’m just going to  hope the momentum will carry me over.  Who knows?  If the train jumps the tracks maybe the bottom of the ravine will be more interesting than the top.

So right now all I’m planning for is new spice jars because I have some of one kind and some of another and not enough of either and the labels keep coming off.  I can deal with a certain amount of unpredictability in my life but I do like to know what I’m eating.

Otherwise I’d  just like to keep things open ended and stay open minded.

May all beings be happy

May all beings be well

May all beings be safe

May all beings be peaceful and at ease

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So yesterday I joined  several million of my fellow humans and went to see the Chinese Terracotta warriors exhibit at the High Museum.  

I am sure there’s a perfectly rational explanation as to why people bring really small children and babies to the museum and expect them to behave as if they were interested in this once in a lifetime cultural event and think that really this so much more fun than the playground but I am dumbfounded every time I encounter it.  

The designer of the High must have expected  it though because he clearly intended the ramps to the upper floors to be used for the  purpose of giving bored children a place to blow off energy by running up and down them and knocking older patrons out of the way.  Not to mention if you squeeze right up against the wall the giant SUV stroller has plenty of room to run over your feet get by.

The exhibit was interesting but the the thing that really surprised me was that the figures all had square blocky feet- almost like the sculptor didn’t bother to form them.  I thought this was highly improbable and leaned over the rail to check it out.  Turns out  ancient Chinese soldiers wore something akin to Birkenstocks with square toes.  Who knew?  Also, if you were an officer your shoes could  have curly toes.  Now that’s a privilege worth striving for. 

If you’re a really good boy and work really hard in military school you can grow up big and strong and wear curly toed shoes.

I’ve also decided I’m saving all my failed craft projects.  One of the cases in the exhibit contained a large clump of  clay and tiles which had fused together in the kiln while tiles for the Emperor’s mausoleum were being fired.   This was obviously a great find for the archeologists.  I’m betting some future scholar will be thrilled to find my UFO’s and put them on display.   The tangle of novelty yarn perhaps?  Or the shibori quilt pieces from 1988?  The rejects from my stash of handmade Christmas cards?  This could be my chance to seize fame undying.

Now, though, I need to go dig out and sign all my weird useless unfinishable stuff.  It seems that the Emperor made everyone sign their work so if something went wrong the right person could be punished.  I’m sure the future will want to know who to blame.

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