Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Nothing and Everything

Okay, I'll say it right now, writing makes you very strange to talk to.

Not blog writing--that sort of helps you hone up your stories and anecdotes--personally, I find that my stories are more polished and interesting when I've worked some rhythm, good word choices and zinging punchlines. Writing the blog is PRACTICE--for example, the 'I skinned the family cat' story can now be told in such a way as to excite laughter instead of disgust and funny looks denoting my imploding sanity. Blogging makes me sort of fun--not weird. No, the writing that makes me the most boring human on the planet is fiction writing.

And it's so unfair! What did I do this weekend (besides take charming pictures of my children and finish those funk-adorable hats, that is!)?

Well, I touched upon the lives of two children growing up destined to fall in love and the plan of vengeance that makes their love potentially tragic! I planned a Beltane Faire, executed it rather nicely but didn't dwell too long on the onerous details, caught a breathless moment of seeing a bright destiny, and wrote a parable in verse for a religion that doesn't really exist but that I'm starting to wish did.

I mean, really--that's some weekend. Now ask me--I dare you, ask me.

"Well, Amy Lane, what did you do this weekend?"

Answer? (Imagine my self deprecating grin, my shrug, and the exuding aura of embarrassment with the implication that my life is frittered away in daydreams and rocky road ice cream with the occasional baby nuzzle on the side.) "I wrote twenty-three pages." Pause. "And ate ice cream."

See--I really am the most boring human on the planet--I can only thank the twin gods and the wandering Goddess that you all like me enough to say 'Hi!'.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Fashion Hurts...

I asked Bryar to take a picture of the little kids in their hats, and I'm writing this and listening to the "I'm a bossy big sister" fight that has ensued--high hilarity, I assure you, but maybe it will mean some pictures of the spiral rib hat in the Manos...we shall see...

It's looking good so far, so here I shall attempt to write a coherent pattern. Don't laugh.

Materials: Manos Del Uruguay--one ball (two might be needed for the adult size)
Needles: Size 8 circulars and DPNs
Gauge: 3 stitches per inch

Sizes: Infant, Child, Adult

C/O 51 (61, 71)

K5, P5 around
Continue for 3 1/2(4, 4 1/2) Inches
K4, (p2 tog, p3, k2 tog, k3) around once.
K4, P4 around
Continue for 2 1/2(2 1/2, 3) Inches
K3 (p2 tog, p2, k2 tog, k2) around once--switch to dpns
K3, P3 around
Continue for 3(3 1/2, 4) Inches
(K2, K2tog) around
Work in garter stitch for 1 1/2 (2, 3) inches
(K1, K2tog) around
Work in stockinette stitch for 1 (1, 1) inches
(K2tog) around
Work in stockineete stitch for 1 (1, 1 1/2) inches
(K2 tog) around twice.
With 3-8 stitches on dpn, work i-cord for 1 inch.
Finish off.
Make pom-pom, attach.

Now, I've only actually made the infant and the child--the adult directions are sort of ad-libbed. The spiral thing works from the working a k5, p5 rib, but casting on one extra--when you decrease around, make sure you don't go around too far or you'll just end up with a vertical rib instead of a spiral one...and if it's looking way out of proportion, then my directions are shit and you could probably do a better job figuring it out yourself--but do let me know, because I'm kind of proud of this completely accidental pattern--Kewyn's so proud of his hat it 'bout kills me.

Bound is finally on it's way to press (sqqueeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) but beyond that, it's actually been a pretty crap week, all in all--I mean I've finally figured out the key to my 5th period--if I suspend 2-5 kids from class at the beginning of class, the rest of the day goes fairly smoothly. I hate being that teacher, but I owe my other kids a better day, so that's the kind of teacher I am this year. But beyond that, there have been a couple of deaths--a family friend and a colleague--not people that I was really really close to, but people that I am really really close to were really really close to them, so the losses ache in unexpected places and I'm sort of swimming through the pall of all that mostly. Which is why I'm going to do an episode of Top Sheep--because it cracks me up, and I'm totally ready for that!

Top Sheep--Episode 5 (I think)

(Susie Sockyarn) On today's episode of Top Sheep, our immunity challenge was knitting with food, and here we join our contestants for a day of knitting in the kitchen. But first, let's introduce a new contestant, Mr. Maurice O'Hare.

(Mo O'hare) My enemies call me Mo.

(Susie--taken aback) You're not abrasive or anything, are you?

(Mo O'Hare) My texture used to be fashionable.

(Willa Woolford) That's because people hadn't figured out that ripping out mohair was like ripping out chest-hair--it's painful and has a tendency to shed.

(Mo) Lady, are you making a crack about my physical person?

(Willa Woolford--bitterly) Hell no! Your chest hair is the closest thing to wool that I've seen in weeks!

(Judge Proximate Gauge) Now folks, we're here to see you knit with food. (Stops, blinks, shakes his head against the words 'knit' and 'food' in the same sentence.)Willa, I see you've gone the pasta route--can you tell us about your piece.

(Willa, shyly--she's got a little thing for Judge Gauge, but she's not as tacky as Katie Acryllic)Well, Judge Gauge, I call my piece 'Sweater Stroganoff'--I used wide egg noodles and simply overlapped them to ply them together into one long piece of noodle. Then I used my size whoopty 12s and knit it into a simple stockinette scarf...

(Proximate Gauge) Weren't you worried about the curl?

(Willa) Oh, no--the egg noodles made for a very firm hand--I cooked them al dente, and garter has too much texture for a ribbon yarn. When I was done I made pom poms out of ground beef in it's original strand form, and attatched them with corn silk.

(Proximate Gauge) Well--the whole thing looks very fashionable. (With a full mouth) And tasty. Nice job, Ms. Woolford.

(Willa preens.)

(Intarsia Strand, horrified) YOu mean it was supposed to be EDIBLE!

(Proximate) Well it IS food--why--this is a lovely, tapestried depcition of a still life fruit bowl--what did you use for fiber?

(Intarsia, depressed) Corn Silk, kiwi skins and coconut hair--dyed with food coloring. (Even more depressed) The blue looks like crap.

(Proximate, sympathetic) Well, it's not a color you usually find in food. Well, it's a solid effort, and you did use fibers found in a refrigerator, so we will simply judge your product, okay?

(Intarsia, brightening.) Thanks, Judge Gauge--somtimes you really can be forgiving, can't you?

(Proximate, wryly) A lot more forgiving than my brother, Precision, or my sister, Accura, that's for sure. Now, on to the fiber floosie herself, Ms. Katie Acryllic. Crap.

(Katie, smugly.) They're good, aren't they.

(Proximate.) Fair Isle socks using red and black licorice whips.

(Farrah Ayle) They're a joint effort--we did petition Susie to stand or fall together. Notice, we've spelled out Top on one sock and Sheep on the other along with a traditional Fair Isle pattern border and lice pattern on the feet.

(Katie, REALLY smugly.) We also made matching underwear. They're edible.

(Farrah) Did Precision like them?

(Katie,) Oh yeah... (dimpling at Proximate) Your brother ate two pairs.

(Proximate) Oh God...my inner eye...somebody scratch it out... (He turns away in a hurry, even more upset because it's the best entry yet, and walks to Al Paca who is currently sitting in a pile of pastry boxes, finishing off a donut and staring around him sleepily in what is obviously a sugar induced heightened state) Al Paca...you won the immunity challenge today in which contestants speed-knit a dog coat out of cat-hair--I was really looking forward to seeing what you did with the food challenge.

(Al) That's easy--I ate it.

(Proximate) Ate what?

(Al) I ate the food. I have immunity. I could knit my own panties in a know and I still make it to my next round. Maybe in the next round you'll have a task for a knitter of my caliber...but for now...(He hums sleepily) Food, glorious food...

(Proximate, rubbing the bridge of his nose as though in pain.) But of course...

(Susie sockyarn over the closing montage) Tune in next week when we announce the winner of this weeks challenge, and when you discover what makes our customers do this: (Willa, breaking down and weeping, Organa Cotton hugging her in sisterhood, Katie Acryllic breaking a frown and swearing and Al Paca waddling in to his seat with the gleam of creative fervor in his eyes all swirl across the screen. Finish up with Intarsia Strand and MO O'Hare facing off and Mo O'hare yelling "Oh yeah, well you can suck my coptic sock!) Fade to black.

Hey, folks--don't quit with the Top Sheep challenges--I've tried to use as many suggestions as possible so keep 'em coming

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Why I'm a Weird Person

Julie put out a meme--6 weird things--and I liked it. I figured that since grades were supposedly due yesterday but our spasmodic grading program (I call it Powercrap) is having some sort of electronic epilepsy, and this fucking stack papers on my desk is apparently going to stay until it becomes sentient and crawls off my desk to die on the soccer field like a pathetic deformed bug wherein it will turn into mulch and produce the toxic, white-bleached, radio-active grass that makes you stupid just to walk on it, I might as well celebrate what makes me weird.

1. Writing sentences on a regular basis like that one I just finished makes me pretty weird.

2. Using disaster movies like Twister, The Day AFter Tomorrow, Armageddon, and Independence Day as (get this!) comfort movies, makes me kind of weird.

3. After I realized I was not skinny enough nor conventionally attractive enough to be an actress (nor good enough at acting to overcome these flaws) I immediately wanted to be a teacher. It was not something I just fell into--it was a true calling. (This makes my current disillusionment with my job that much more painful.)

4. But I have been writing plays and poems since I was very small--my first long work was a 24 page epic poem (I said this already) but my first short story was a combination poetry/prose about a girl who went into battle wearing her father's armor. If you thought I was immature and devastated when I saw pictures of that dazzling sweater yesterday, you should have heard the howling whine I let out when Mulan hit the Disney screen.

5. When I learned in science class that only a few people had the genetic coding to roll their tongues, I apparently taught myself to 'cheat' at doing it so I could say I was special. I didn't realize I was cheating until my husband and I had one of those bizarre dating conversations and he pointed out that I was rolling my tongue inside my mouth and forcing it into a taco shape as I stuck it out. I was honestly surprised that this wasn't what they had meant when they brought it up in science in the first place.

6. I taught myself to crochet after having a dream about it when suddenly the whole loop thing made sense. I went out the next day and bought a book and figured it out--and figured out how to read patterns too. I taught myself to knit when I realized that some of those pattern books had both knitting AND crochet patterns in them, and I hate being left out of anything.

7. (Because I can't count.) I have a tattoo on my right arm that is a PICTOGRAPH of the children's names-- A sword and a harp for Trystan (a knight from the round table) Bard (the singer from the old days), the obvious for Bryar Rose, a hawk (standing on Trystan's sword) for Kewyn (which is a variation of Gawain, another knight from the round table) and a crown for Tor (which means prince). The baby's is coming--I want to donate blood one more time first because getting the tat takes me out of the blood pool for a year. Yes it hurt. Apparently nobody has a compete circle around and under the upper arm--that's a very tender place--and the twining rose vine I had put there was very intricate. I told my husband that and when he got his, he chickened out and just got a rose put on his harp and not around his arm. (He hasn't had Kewyn added yet.)

And that's five weird things. :-)

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Why I'm a Bad Person

You all know I"m deeply flawed, but here's proof that I'm a bad person:

Yesterday the Yarn Harlot posted a very very lovely picture of Anny Purl's version of the Arwen Baby sweater. What was my reaction--was it positive? Did I say "Great minds think alike?" Did I say "Oh look--we had the same idea, groovy?" Did I say "Hers is so much better than mine!" (Well, yes, I did say that--I loved that color green, and there was nary a mis-crossed cable in sight.) No. How did I respond in the comments?

THAT'S MY SWEATER!!!!!!! Now nobody will believe I thought of it by myself! (Well, except you guys...but that's not what I said.)

I'm so immature sometimes, I can't believe they let me around children. Of course, Stephanie chose that moment to respond to my total maturity blow-out by reassuring me that it was just too good an idea to pass up... (there's a reason we love our Harlot, isn't there!) but seriously, I'm worse than my kids...

And speaking of my kids, have I mentioned Kewyn-the-cave-troll's penchant for muttering heartbreaking things in his sleep at 4-6 a.m. (After he's crawled into bed next to us, of course.) There's nothing like a toddler moaning "Broken, mama...broken..." 20 minutes before your alarm goes off to just ruin your sleep for frickin' ever. Some of his other favorites have been "Gone...is gone, mama..." or, "Come baaaaaacckckkkkk...." It doesn't help that this 'Guilt wake-up call' is topical--for example...

This Sunday we took the family to the railroad museum. The Cave Troll was ecstatic-- he climbed on the trains and looked at the trains and generally enjoyed himself thoroughly. We took a break for lunch (because I'm out of practice and forgot to bring crackers, this was a little early) and told him we'd go back. My husband actually took him back--for ten minutes, because he was too tired to get out of the stroller...but not too tired to cry all the way home..."Go back mama, trains...go baaaaaacccckkkk...want see trains...go back..." (Imagine a heartbreaking inflection at the end here.) Anyway, we thought that after he got home and took his nap that would be the end...

But no. Ten to six in the frickin' morning...you know, when you're hanging on to that snooze button because that ten minutes of sleep has just become the be-all and end-all of your existence...we hear the rolling over, and the tell tale whimper and then..."Go back...see trains, mama...go back and see trains..."

Anyway, the good news this week is, BOUND is no longer Shanghai-d. Today or tomorrow I"m going to get the proofs on e-mail, then it's 4-6 weeks until the book hits my front porch and amazon.com...I'm getting excited again--I'm dying for someone to read it, because I"m at the stage where I have doubts all over again...(You go back and forth--some days you wake up and it's the best thing you've ever written. Some days you wake up and decide to buy stock in the paper bag industry because you're about to make a run to the store and buy them as masks for the rest of your life.) But, either way, my waiting time is now finite, and I could not be more relieved.

I'm bailing now--I'm blogging from work and I think my grading program is back on line...I'm working on those pix, though, and, of course, the next installment of Top Sheep. Later!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

of Hot Chocolate and Bananas...

Okay...I sent the oldest into the grocery store tonight--remember, he's 14. There is a communication handicap there, but we've never really let that stand in the way of expecting a little bit of common sense from the lad, so I was a bit surprised at the results.

The grocery list:
Bananas for your brother's breakfast
Ice Cream
Two gallons of milk

The results:
Ice Cream
Two gallons of milk
Hot chocolate

"Well, I only had twenty dollars--I had to put the bananas back!"

I didn't see the Mentos until we got home, or I might have made him walk home in the dark.

The Manos del Uruguay hat turned out AWESOME. In fact, it turned out so awesome that I had to keep it for Arwyn...I started another one for the young lad with the unexpected penis tonight...this time in royal blue instead of aqua so I wouldn't be tempted to keep it for my own child again. The camera has NO batteries, but I'm buying some tomorrow because I'm so proud of this little swirl pattern that I apparently pulled out of my ear--and I made some boo-boos on Arwyn's version that I can totally fix on the new version, so I might even try for a recognizable pattern w/the picture...one can only hope.

Now, before I launch into Top Sheep (sorry--it's been a while since my last installment:-/ I forgot to mention the stamp thing--Joanna, Kewyn's gymnastics teacher (and my daughter's dance teacher, except Bryar just quit dance after 9 years...there were tears, I'll blog about it later) anyway, Joanna gives the kids stamps on their hands and feet when they do a good job in dance or gym... they go nuts over it. So, I, like every other emotionally stunted disorganized walking personal disaster area I could mention, write stuff on the back of my hand if I want to remember it--and sometimes I shower before I take care of it and it's gone anyway. But I had just written a hugomelous reminder to buy diapers on the back of my hand in purple ink when I picked the little uns up from daycare, and Kewyn looked at my hand and said, "Mom--you got a stamp! Good job mom! Yayyyy!!!"

And now that I've made up (I hope) for yesterdays totally depressing and vituperative blog on the education system, lets move on to Top Sheep.

(Susie Sockyarn) Last week on top sheep, contestants were asked to complete school uniforms using only the red tape left over theom the unused or useless educational reforms of the last fifteen years. Now you may remember that last week our judge, Precision Gauge, disqualified himself on a rather handsome laceweight alpaca sweater, so he has been replaced by his brother, Proximate. Proxy--what can you tell us about the efforts of our contestants this week?

(Proxy Gauge) Well, Susie--I'm very disappointed in this week's efforts. I mean, we can all understand the demands of time, and no size was given for the uniforms so gauge would vary, but, really--I don't see any effort here that doesn't need to go back to the frog pond.

(Willa Woolford)I'm very proud of my knitting and I'd stand by this piece.

(Intarsia Strand) You knit at six stitches per inch--that piece can stand by itself.

(Organa Cotton) Well you were not told you could use anything BUT red tape--where did that little yellow sunburst come from?

(Farrah Ayle--in Intarsia's defense) Red tape, masking tape, what's the difference?

(Al Paca--from experience) A tax audit, and honey, that ain't pretty.

(Proxy Gauge, to Organa Cotton) Now...let me understand this right...we told you that you could use corporate and governmental red tape...

(Organa) Red Tape is also a figurative term...

(Proxy) Well yes, but we gave you over two thousand yards of literal tape to knit with...

(Organa) But who does that!!!

(Proximat) Well obviously someone does--have you seen the state of education in Californa? It's a good thing you won the immunity challenge in which you spun and knit your own hat from cotton balls and the ends of Q-tips, otherwise, this would be it...you made your own cotton yarn from the fibers in boiled documents written in eduspeak and bull#$%@ and dyed it with Expo markers and that was NOT the assignment.

(Katie Acrylic--wearing a pleated schoolgirl's skirt out of red tape that definitely DOESN'T cover her assets and a red-tape bolero held together by a pencil being used as a pin and nothing under it) Now, Mr. Gauge, you know, that was above and beyond the assignment.

(Proximate) Look, you needletart (;-) Just because you're taking spinning lessons with my brother...

(Katie, giggling--and a lot more, uhm, laid back than she had been) Is THAT what they call it now... just calm down, Proxy--I'm not angling at a job as Proxy's doxy, if that's what you're wondering... Acrylic was made to be knit to Precision, if you know what I mean.... Now calm down and score my entry. (She pirhouettes, and Proximate sighs.)

(Proximate) Yeah--it's the best.

(Al Paca) Now wait a minute!!!

(Proximate) Oh get off it, Al--no one wears short pants nowadays, Farrahs is a size six X and everybody else is disqualified. Fiber Ho here wins.

(Al Paca) I'm so mad...

(Everybody) You could spit...we know!!!

(Susie Sockyarn) Next week tune into Top Sheep where our contestants will attempt to knit with food.

(Closing montage--Willa Woolford sobbing over a pot of Top Ramen) Wool...oh Goddess, all I want is some #$%^ing wool...

(Kewyn's contribution to Top Sheep--

Friday, January 19, 2007

and stuff...

Okay--I guess the Glitterspun shawl looked better than I thought--thanks guys--it's funny how your initial irritation with a project can color your perception of it. I am a little proud.

I'm in the kitchen right now, hoping that Arwyn will stop crying in a second--she's at that stage where if she's going to cry herself to sleep it's going to happen in 20 minutes--she's got 10 to go. Oh wait--we have to take a break while Kewyn types in his ABC's--


See--he sits on my lap and we sing while I let him type--he's all excited about it now, so you may see that little exercise a couple of times in this post!

Well, finals are over, but I still have stuff to enter into the computer, and I'm torn between ditching everybody and spending Saturday in my dismal room which the little bastards have TRASHED this year (I don't want to even think about it--I was so proud of my room, I decorate it every year, and usually the students are so appreciative of the toys on my desk and the posters that they treat it really well. This year I have trash on my floor every day and two really nice posters that I will never use again and a bunch of tchotchkes that I've had for years that have been eternally round filed. It makes me cry, every other day) and doing my duty to my students while neglecting my duty to my family. Or I can show them a movie on Monday, enter their stuff on while they trash my room some more and instead go to the yarn store for the Debbie Bliss I need to finish Arwyn's sweater. Anybody want to guess which way I'm leaning?

I'm not going to Weight Watchers tomorrow--straight out not. Finals week sucked and let's just say I really went overboard on the comfort food. And since I've blown my food diet, I may as well just not make any pretense about a yarn diet. I may not ever enter the steek-along, but I'm going to buy some yarn for it. Or maybe a sweaters worth of Manos...or just more pointless sock yarn--except the Yarn Harlot had a point today--there is no such thing as pointless yarn. Sometimes we just have pet yarn--running our fingers through it is enough. Comfort food, comfort yarn, comfort children... I may recover from finals week after all.

I guess my depression after finals week comes from the fact that I caved. This snotty little biach called me a real bitch who didn't give a shit in my room where I could hear her, but I still sacrificed my pride and gave her that percentage to pass. I did it because enduring the parent bullshit is not something I need right now, especially when our administration has a long and honorable record of puckering up and getting on their knees and doing disgusting things to the dumbshits that raised these fuckers and sometimes it's all I can do to walk in with a smile on my face and a lesson plan and do my best to teach a group of kids who are envisioning me dropping dead of a heart attack and laughing as I go.

Okay, I'm done, no more bewailing my chosen fate--tomorrow I'm taking a picture of the cable (exquisitely hard!) I'm making for Arwyn's cardigan and the hat (e-z p-z) that I'm making out of some Manos del Uruguay for the Lady In Red's little boy... (Yes, a boy...did I already mention the surprise penis on the Lady in Red's daughter? You never know how to react to a surprise penis, do you? I mean, in a baby, it's like, "Good for you! Yes, you have a weiner--well done, little man, well done!" In a grown man, reactions to a surprise penis may vary.) Anyway, after carefully looking over the outfit I made for the baby, I'm pretty sure that the only truly girlie things about it were the shoes, but still--the wool is pretty, it's warm, it's blue and green, and it's 30 degrees here in the morning and I'm sure it will be useful.

And can I just say...Catie's looking up my book and I'm so tickled. It's not a requirement of reading the blog, darling, honest and truly it's not. (But it really did cheer me up. I'm such a narcissist--forgive me:-)

Anyway, Arwyn's cardigan is going to be
this cable on the front of

this sweater instead of the ribbing...and if I got this link to work, for my next trick, I'm putting everybody's web pages on the side of my blog, because I feel so third grade with only three links there. Yes, my children have known more about computers than I have for a long, long time.

And, when I can figure out how to add little icons to things, I'm putting that knitting mouse next to my name. Because I feel like we're soul sisters, that's why:0

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

And presenting...the Glitter@#$%ingspun Las Vegas Hooker Shawl

I was planning to post earlier than this, because I finished this puppy on Sunday, but it's finals week, and all my computer time is spent writing finals. This is both a pain in the patookus and a validation at the same time--as much as it feels like I haven't taught Jack Crap or his brother Bob this semester, it's very nice to write a final and go, "Oh, yeah--there is some shit these snot spitters should know--if they weren't paying attention that's their bad."

Anyway, I finished the abhorred Glitterspun Shawl--didn't you hear my whoop of relief from the four corners of the globe? No? I must be out of whooping-practice then, because the fact that I never have to see that Goddess-benighted piece of crap again is like a load of snot-spitting sophomores shoveled out of my classroom. (Goddess, if only...) Anyway, that being said, I've got pictures--just to prove I haven't been bitching about sunspots on my cerebral cortex left over from looking at that horrible yarn. Knotting the fringe was almost the worst part--it's a skill I've never attempted, and it was really pissing me off, but then the twin gods (right now they're named Irony and Satire) cut me a fucking break and Wendy came to help me out. It turns out she knots fringe all the time--except it's attached to her horses and it's for decking the two-ton beasties out for competition. It took me an hour and a half to do the first 1/2 of the fringe, and she finished the second half in 1/2 an hour--talk about humbling!

So, Top Sheep will be my next post, but right now I really have to get to writing that final, so I'm just going to leave you with the Glitter*&^%ing spun shawl and Wendy, my best friend, who really is that adorable--if any 40 year old can pull this thing off, it's Wendy--as well as a couple of pix of the cuter member of my family with her grandpa Bill. (Yes, that grandpa Bill. Nothing was said during this visit of Scumyuk or Crow, and I was very glad that he came.) I just previewed, and realized that the picture of Kewyn was lost in translation, and one of the pix of Wendy is sideways--and the other has her eyes closed. Trust me that Wendy is adorable, and that Kewyn really did sit on Grandpa's lap--everything else is self-explanatory.

Oh yeah--one more thing--

About BOUND...

If I told you that BOUND is experiencing a publishing delay related to the Shanghai earthquake, would you all believe me? It appears that my publishing company's art department is in, well, Shanghai, and the earthquake cut their internet lines. All I had to do was check the f@#$ing manuscript to make sure they'd made all my changes, and they can't get the final proofs to me. I hate this feeling. It's like forgetting to brush my teeth for two weeks...I want this manuscript OUT OF MY HANDS and on it's way to the press...but I'm being selfish and I know it, and it's not like Shanghai doesn't have more important things to worry about. But that doesn't mean I don't need to go brush my teeth...again.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Looks great, honey...

Okay, I'll probably do a Top Sheep tomorrow (you all seem to like it:-) but today, I'm finishing the detestable Glitterspun thing... Mate asked me today, "How's it looking?" To which I replied, "Like a Vegas hooker." Which actually took me back to a conversation we had last night. We were walking through the Arco Arena parking lot, (because it just wouldn't be a month if we didn't get to see the Kings lose) and we started taling about all of the phrases he'd picked up since I'd picked up my yarn habit in order to stay in my good graces. (All men know this--if mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.) Feel free to pitch a few in here, folks--and although I'm going to call it a top 10 list, you all know how I count...

Top Ten List of Things a Good Mate Says to His Knitter

1. Looks great, honey. (In order for this to sound convincing, Mate must first LOOK UP FROM THE COMPUTER.)
2. Ohh...I like the colors. (He loses points for this if you're making it for someone else and have been bitching about the colors until the dog whines.)
3. That's a nice yarn, honey. (He loses points for this one if he follows that up with 'How much did that cost?'.)
4. Wow--looks complicated.
5. You're really kicking that one out!
6. Mmmm...interesting--how did you do that? (He gains a steak dinner and the sexual favor of his choice if his eyes don't glaze over when you explain it to him.)
7. I'm sure they'll love that. (This response is mandatory if you're making something for HIS friends or HIS family.)
8. You're so talented! (He loses points for this one if it sounds the tiniest bit sardonic. He gains points if he puts a double entendre on it and makes you put down your knitting to jump his bones.)
9. NIce job.
10. The knitting is awesome--now put it down and come kiss me. (This one only works if you're not doing a MuFOD--Must Finish On Deadline.)

And now for the down side--these are the five things that Mate can say that will guarantee the room temperature dropping until you have to chip the ice from the windows with a jackhammer.

1. Hmmm...interesting.
2. Looks good--how much did it cost me?
3. Those colors? You think?
4. Are you sure you did that right?
5. Oh great, another blanket. (Scarf, hat, sweater, etc.)
6. Why doesn't it look like the picture?
7. It looks good, honey, but you don't look like the model in the book.
8. Why would you want to wear that?
9. You woke me up to show me WHAT?
10. Holy God! What the hell is that?

Of course, since Mate is practically perfect in every way, I've really only heard # 1--but now he's got guidelines for what not to say. This is good--men are very comfortable with deadlines.

Now I've got to motor--I'm putting fringe on the Las Vegas Hooker Glitterfuckingspun monstrosity, and I need to finish writing a final today--but I'll be back with pictures and another episode of Top Sheep. Oh yeah--appropos of absolutely nothing? The Adorable Infant is doing that thing where she sits and clenches her but so she moves up and down as she sits. And she sucks her thumb. Neither of these things were big with the other three, and we are totally charmed. Oh--one more thing--I'm reading this totally kick ass series by Lilith Saint Crow that stars a character named Dante Valentine who keeps swearing to the Lord of Death, Sekhmet. (Sound familiar, Julie?) Anyway, her favorite expression is 'Sekhmet sa'es.' Does anybody know what it means? I'd like to adopt it as my temorary fad expression (I have these--for a while, it was 'frell' and 'dren' from Farscape. Ah, good swearing days.) because if I can't figure out what it means I'm going to have to go with Tierce Japhramel, the name of the demon/love interest, because, let's face it, it just sounds frickin' cool!!!!!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

And this week's challenge...

(Susie Sockyarn, Voice Over) You may remember last week's challenge, that contestants knit a size XXL sweater using al-paca/mohair laceweight yarn. Let us join our contestants at the judges table, with our resident judge, Gauge Precision

(Gauge) What's the matter, Organa--I thought you would have been pleased to have some natural fiber.

(Organa, looking as though she tasted something sour) Gauge, what exactly is the mo that they get the hair from. I know what the Al Paca is, but what is that sticky mo animal--I don't understand...how can a natural fiber stick like acryllic?

(Gauge, kindly) Nevertheless, Organa, you're going to have to complete a project, because right now your hope chest has nothing but TOADS. Now Christine, you knew this was a speed challenge, what seems to have happened here?

(Christine Cable, obviously distraught) It was just all...plain...an stockinette...and...no texture. No texture at all. What's the harm of a little cable, I thought, just a couple of them...six or seven...but the gauge...so tiny...soooooooooooooooooo tiiiinnnyyyyy.... (Christine collapses, moaning,over a 6" by 3' scrap of intricately worked fabric.)

(Willa Woolford, trying to revive Christine) We've had a gauge accident! Knitter down! I repeat--knitter down!!!!!!

(Gauge, moving on professionally to Al Paca who is visibly upset about something) Al, this fiber was supposed to be your strength--what happened?

(Al, fuming over a completed sweater that has obviously been pulled out of shape and stretched beyond blocking) It's not my fault, Gauge--it's all the fault of that...that...dead dinosaur's doxy! That mohair more-ho! (He shudders.) Gauge, you don't even want to know what that synthetic slyvered slut was doing to my (sniff) beautiful al-paca. (Flash to Katie Acryllic, rolling around on Al's finished product on the blocking table, certain parts of her anatomy blurred out or covered with a very handsome tawny lace-weight fabric.)

(Gauge, looking at Katie with a question in his eyes.) Ms. Acryllic?

(Katie Acryllic, her usual perky ponytail in sensual disarray.) I'm sorry, Mr. Precision (she says throatily), and Al, I'm so, so sorry--I just...I've never held real yarn before. I was unaware of the power of natural fibers...and the mohair component... (she writhes sensuously...) it's sticky...like acryllic...but the fiber length...grrrrrrr.....

(Gauge Precision blushes and pulls at his collar.) Well, maybe Mr. Paca should have protected his knitting a little more, (she rubs his leg) vigorously, but can you show me your conpleted project?

(Katie smiles and strips off her outer sweatshirt, flaunting her perky, 22 year old cleavage in a camisole, then pulls on a gigantic oversized sweater done with lace weight al-paca on whoopty 12 needles) I like an oversized gauge. (She purrs.) How oversized are you, Gauge?

(Organa Cotton, primly) If that was the craft we were going to study, children, we would be on the Discovery Channel, and not USA.

(Intarsia Strand, cocking her head sideways) But that would make a lovely study of the human form, wouldn't it?

(Willa Woolford, eyes big) That things bigger than my size 50's!

(Farah Aisle) But it's still looks like wood!

(Al Paca) hey--that's not fair...what about my sweater! My sweater was perfect, you fiber floosie, get your hands off my judge!

(Organa, snidely) If she goes that wild over mohair, imagine what she'll do with some cotton fleece...

(Willa) Forget the discovery channel, if it had been cashmerino, we'd be on the Spice Channel!

(Al Paca, in tears) I'm just so mad I could spit!

(Susie Sockyarn) Tune in next week when our contestants get their next challenge.
(Closing montage)
(Organa Cotton) Red-tape isn't a natural fiber! (Willa Woolford) I'd give an ovary for some (bleep)(bleep) (bleep) ing wool! (Intarsia Strand) But school uniforms are so detrimental to the creative process. (Katie Acryllic, giving the camera a sultry look) But little schoolgirls in red can be soooooo sexy!

Next week on TOP SHEEP!

The Holy Chocolate Grail

Okay, so I've been pretty good on the New Year's Diet Resolution this week. I'll let you know how that translates into lbs. on Saturday, but right now it sucks. I just heard some crazy middle-aged woman offering money for chocolate to a class of 11th graders. Fortunately, they were looking out for me. Or just looking at me--either one. I took a crochet break from the Glitterfuckingspun shawl in order to finish up a couple of Christmas gifts, and now when I pick it up it's actually not horrible. (It's not Lorna's Laces on wooden needles, it's not a Cherry Tree Hill sock, but it's not horrible.) I can't wait until it's done.

I'm actually taking a break from writing a final right now--I know, I know, I'm blogging at work, but I'm fairly exhausted and if I had to keep working on the damned final I would have disgraced myself by falling asleep and drooling on my keyboard in front of 30 bored 11th graders who wouldn't sell me chocolate. The Cave Troll keeps crawling into bed with us, and nothing disrupts the ol' REM cycles more than Mate screaming "STOP KICKING ME, DAMMIT!" at dark-thirty in the a.m.

I'm going to do an entry tonight with TOP SHEEP, but for now, I thought I'd do another interactive poll. I read Roxie's blog, and she was talking about knitting during SCRUBS, and I read Julie's blog and she was talking about waiting to finish something during MYTHBUSTERS and I thought I'd ask everybody--what shows do you knit to? I use my TV time as an excuse to knit, so my list is long and distinguished--and the reason that my husband ends up cleaning the house a lot.

Shows I knit to: Mythbusters, 24 (lots of knitting time this weekend--wheeee!), ER, Medium, Heroes, CSI: Any-freakin-where, Law & Order (sometimes...SVU, not so much, although Christopher Meloni IS beefcake on the balding-hook), Scrubs, My Name is Earl, Numbers, Ghost Whisperer, Supernatural (okay, I drool a lot during Supernatural because this is my Dirty Old Fat Woman Crush on Cuter, Younger Beefcake show--but I still get a couple of stitches in when I can no longer slobber over Jensen Ackle's dimples in good conscience and must look down in shame)Friday Night Lights, Two and a Half Men, Grey's Anatomy, (mmm....beefcake...)and, since New Years, Top Chef.

What do you watch?

Monday, January 08, 2007

Scrapmeal Casserole

No Top Sheep tonight, just a couple of quickies...(Or, as I said to Rae last night--if you don't have enough yarn skeins for a full project, just throw it together for a scrapmeal yarn-casserole.)

First off, Julie, The Samurai Knitter, this one's for you:

This is my knitting space. This is as clean as it gets.

Roxie, honey, this one's for you.

This is a rare photo of me. This is why, although I treasure you as my weight watcher's buddy (I'm five points over tonight--but the egg nog is officially out of the fridge) I'm not posting my weight.

And this one's for everyone who wants to cleanse their visual pallette and see something adorable and charming:

Now on to a couple of pieces of wierdness:

*I've got a new knitting acronym. We've got WIP's (Works In Project), TOAD's (Totally Abandoned in Disgust) and UFO's (UnFinished Objects) and now we've got MuFOT's (Must Finish, On Timeline) Yeah...having trouble with that--someone cook me up another acronym--because if I can't get toh (typing one handed) to stick, I'm certainly not going to put wings on MuFOT.

* I've hooked my daughter on Junior Vampire Fiction. (Stephanie Meyer's Twilight, Annette Curtis Klause's Blood and Chocolate) I'm going to hell. But we all know this, and I know some of you are looking forward to sharing a glass of wine with me when I get there, and everybody else is hoping that Beelzebub will be hooked on the web by then and I can post from Purgatory three days a week.

* Last night the Cave Troll crawled into bed at 11:00 last night, interupting, well, plans to have something worth interupting. Dad looked at him as he burrowed in and made himself comfortable and said, "Uhm, son, you wouldn't want to go sleep in your own bed tonight, would you?"

"No dad." Said the three year old. "Cuddle mom." Then he looked up and smiled beatifically. "Sorry, Dad." Mate and I giggled to sleep.

* And here's the kicker--Big T is looking for irony. This is a tough concept for most high school students--much less my big guy who still doesn't get puns. The following conversation with him is, I'm sure, punishment for something I did in my youth.

(T) Mom, would it be ironic if Bryar's dead guinea pig, Spike, got killed by someone shoving a spike through it?

(M) MMmm, only if the spikes were made of iron.

(T) I don't get it.

(M) *sigh*

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Before the Storm...

Okay, I go back to work Monday but I'm still in denial so we'll just not talk about that tonight.

What I do want to talk about (besides tonight's episode of Top Sheep, which I've been twiddling about my grey matter like a teenager playing with her hair...) is the @#@#ing @#$%ing son of a !@$#$ing Glitterspun shawl. (You may ask why I didn't just use the swear words, since we all know I'm not squeamish about that sort of thing, but the actual fact of the matter is that, although (and those who have read my fiction know this) I can actually put a string of curse words together that WILL set your hair on fire (My students have actually reported blushing when they've read that part...the sex, not so much. The swear words? Yeah--blushing.) The reason I'm not using these words NOW is that, really, there is nothing I can put in print that will fully project the absolute loathing I feel for this project.

Oh Glitterspun Shawl,
How do I loathe thee?
Let me just fucking count the fucking ways...
I loathe thee to the 19 inch length and the 38 inch depth that I'm supposed to stretch you to,in spite of the fact that everything I've read and a wealth of personal experience insists that blocking acryllic is like giving a toddler pickled beets--it's an interesting personal choice, but it's really not going to do anybody any good.
I loathe thee to the k1p1k1 stitch that is so damn awkward it has me throwing the damned yarn.
I doubly loathe thee to the p3 together cluster on the whoopty-12 needles that forces me to yank on the bottom of the three stitches to get that needle in.
I loathe the for the fact that your yarn is made of mesh and in spite of the fact that whoopty-12s are duller than a tone-deaf, color-blind, lactose-intolerant 45 year old accountant who lives with his mother, your yarn still splits if I look at it crosseyed, and the mesh refuses to nicely twist back like yarn made of real fibers, like, say, rayon.
I really fucking loathe thee for the fact that the rows that aren't pattern stitch are purl, and all that purling is chafing my damned finger because, hello, CUPRO ISN'T A FUCKING YARN!
And the cherry on top of my loathe-thee sundae is that I've bought three different buttons for thee, and because I'm a total lame-o suck-o loser, I've lost all of them in different parts of the house. That's not really your fault, oh pain-in-the-ass-piece-o'-tackyness, but you have so many other bad qualities, I don't really feel bad pinning that one on you.

Whew. So, you can see what I've been working on for the last few days instead of, say, writing the fiction I adore, blogging, or even knitting something I really love, like the baby sweater that still looks, thank Goddess, likes it's a wee bit too big for Arwyn. But she's been eating like a heifer, so who knows how long that will last.

Anyway, on to what you've all been wating for:


(Susie Sockyarn) Now, ladies and gentlemen, when last we left our contestants, they were competing to see who could knit the best seat cover out of electrical tape and pointed dowels. Organa Cotton and Willa Woolford did not finish. Since Organa's fibers give her allergy immunity, she is safe from elimination in this round, but Willa is subject to both moths and rot, so her partially completed product needs to fall into the category of UFO or she will be out. You may recall that every contestant gets one TOAD in their keepsake box, but everyone is aware of the dangers of TOAD proliferation, so the rules stipulate that more than one TOAD is an automatic disqualification. Let us join our judge, Precision Gauge, as he evalutates our contestants' work.

(Gauge) Intarsia, lovely work as always--your Ferarri motif is perfectly proportioned to the seat cover, and your choice of the silver duct tape is inspired.

(Intarsia Strand, gushing) Thanks, Master Gauge, you can critique me any time.

(Organa, sotto voice) Who does she think she is, the Yarn Harlot?

(Willa, also sotto voice) More like the Red-Heart Ho. (Both women snicker.)

(Katie Acryllic) Now I think you two are just awful--you may notice that Intarsia does well because she's always so bright and animated!

(Intarsia, with dignity) Thank you, Katie, and I just love what you've done with your seat covers.

(Katie) Why thank you, Intarsia, I thought that the knit/purl textured hearts on the bottom would give more than just visual interest--they're also very theraputic!

(Gauge) And Katie, your acryllic bias shows here to good effect--all of your stitches are exactly even--is that because you're used to man-made fibers?

(Katie) It sure is, Gauge--if you work with acryllic long enough, you get used to that certain stickiness on wooden needles, and I didn't hardly notice it this time.

(Gauge) Well, you already have anti-microbial immunitiy, so I think your performance in this round has propelled you to the top of the list, however, there is one person who needs to be on the bottom. Christine Cable, what inspired you to do a cable/lace/bobble on a car seat cover? Weren't you aware that this combination would be damned uncomfortable? Just looking at it gives me 500 miles of drivers ass!

(Christine, distraught, but holding on to her dignity.) Well, like Katie, I was aiming for theraputic, but I underestimated the hard texture of the duct-tape.

(Precision Gauge) Yes, Christine--it was like sitting on a box of my kids' magnatic toys--although the combination itself is very attractive set in the crisp hand of the tape, this is certainly not one of our better entries. However, I'd have to say that the worst performance of the night goes to Al Paca. Al--what were you thinking--seat covers usually go on the seat.

(Al Paca, covered in duct tape with his knitting dowels strapped points down facing tender bits of his body.) Master Gauge, I'm used to the stickiness of al paca fiber, but I've got to tell you, this fiber medium has me stuck.

(Gauge) I can see that, Al, and I've got to tell you, you're falling fast in the standings. Do you have anything to say that can recover you from this debacle?

(Al Paca) Please, just give me a chance, Gauge. No one ever said Al Paca wasn't resilient--let me play to my strengths, and I can show you what I can do.

(Susie Sockyarn) While the judges deliberate on who will be eliminated this round, we'll reveal our next challenge.

Ladies and gentleman--you all know that sometimes an intricate project needs to be done on the fly--and that's where this next challenge plays to. We all tend to knit larger projects in chunkier yarn, but for this challenge, we're going to go against that nap and knit a sized xxl sweater out of...(dramatic pause that Susie milks for every bit of lanolin she can get) lace-weight al-paca/mohair blend.

(Al Paca, in horror) You can't do that al paca fur!

(Christine Cable, in tears.) But how is texture going to show in that?

(Katie Acryllic, in awe.) Wow--all natural fibers. My fiber inexperience is really going to show.

(Susie Sockyarn) tune in next week to see who is a Knitter with a capital K, on the next episode of TOP SHEEP

(Closing teaser montage) Willa Woolford: OH My goddess...I've had a Gauge Accident...Knitter Down, I repeat, Knitter Down! (Al Paca, massaging cramped hands.) This isn't what I signed on for. I'm so mad I could spit! (Katie Acryllic, in tears.) You can't make me go back to Perfect Match. I won't do it, not if I have to hock my kids for real yarn!

And don't forget--I'm always looking for more challenges--although Coach Susan has given me some doosies! (Although, I do believe that Debbie New already knit socks out of green licorice whips--do I have that designer right anybody?) I also can't decide who to eliminate...or if I shouldn't just let all my players play until I'm bored and axe them all...I'll take any suggestions for the next installment of TOP SHEEP!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Why I hate Video Games

Short answer? Because my husband is playing them right now while Medium is on. Seriously--I did get to watch CSI New York, but how am I going to get my maximum serving of grisly crime drama without the sweet domestic touch of Allison DuBois and her long suffering, tasty husband?

But I guess it doesn't matter--the hard part about being on break is that, for the most part, not much to blog. I've been spending epic amounts of $$$ at my yarn stores...and this is different because? (I need to ask Julie about the environmental impact of this yarn called Tofutsies--it's made out of wool, cotton, soysilk and, get this, chiton--yes, ground crab and seashells...it feels heavenly, but it doesn't have--pardon the pun--a whole lot of body, which is important because it's a sockyarn, and that needs to be some tough shit...any yarn needs to be tough shit to live at my house, but that's another story... anyway, back to my regularly scheduled meanderings.)

The little ones were hard to get down tonight--The Adorable Infant (from here on to be known as Mama's Rotten Li'l Angel) had a screaming conniption fit for no more reason than she can get on all fours now and this will keep her awake when otherwise she would suck on her thumb in a temper and fall asleep. But before that, we were hanging out in the living room and the Cave Troll was going banonkers and she was just whining like tomorrow would come faster if she pole vaulted off my last nerve to get there and Mama snapped. "Okay, all you freaky snivelling whining children, let's get to bed!"

To my immense surprise, the two perfectly behaving adolescents got big eyes and both of them got up and started moving for their bedrooms. Mama did not know she had that much power. In the future it must only be used for good.

Okay, now to today's episode of Top Sheep, where our two judges, Susie Sockyarn and Precision Gauge are introducing the next challenge.

Susie: For today's yarn challenge, we will utilize common household goods in order to produce knitting's most coveted item--something of everyday use. Contestants are you ready?

(Katie Acryllic) Oh yes-- you guys know I'm always ready for everything!

(Organa Cotton--sotto voice) When you dally with man-made fibers, everything's what you get!

(Willa Woolford) Or everything's what you let get you.

(Katie Acryllic) Now I heard that--it was just not very nice. My items may be somewhat reasonably priced, but that doesn't make my craft any less important than yours.

(Al Paca) Oh please, ladies--if you're going to get bitchy this soon into the game there won't be anything to film when I beat you all.

(Intarsia Strand) Why can't we all just blend our personalities into one big lovely picture of harmony, people--is that so hard to achieve?

(Gauge the Judge, watching on and commenting:) Now this is where the pressure really starts getting to them--you will notice that Katie and Al are so upset that they're forgetting to premoisturize, and Willa is actually using her knitting needle to pick her ear. If she doesn't stop that habit, it's going to cost her in the final judging.

(Christing Cable) I'm sorry, Susie--go ahead and present the challenge. (She glares) We're ready.

(Susie Sockyarn, smugly) Okay, contestants, today's challenge involves something everybody needs, but nobody thinks to knit. Today, we're going to knit seat covers for cars using nothing but pointed dowels and electrical tape. Now, you each get a different vehicle to fit and to measure--we'll all draw needles to see who gets the Lincoln, the Cadillac, the Lexus, the Ferrari, the Volkswagon bus, the Ford Escort, and the Dodge Caravan crapmobile with the tacky decal on the back--are we ready?

(Organa Cotton and Willa Woolford both faint at the thought of knitting electrical tape.)

(Precision Gauge) Oh my goodness--someone go get big bags of cheap wine--we've got knitters down, here, repeat, knitters down!

(Susie Sockyarn) Tune in next week where we see if our knitters can rise to the challenge.

(Closing Montage featuring Intarsia Strand and Al Paca)
(Intarsia, sniffling as though her feelings have been hurt) I don't see anything wrong with using different colors of electrical tape to duplicate the Ferrari Logo...we were told to bring our creativity to the table.

(Al Paca, in front of the Dodge Caravan Crapmobile) I'm so mad I could spit.

Tune in for our next episod of TOP SHEEP...Good Night Everybody!

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy Old Year...

So we spent our rockin' New Year's eve watching old episodes of Top Chef. Have you seen this program? It features these people who have this really clear, spiffy vision of themselves at the top of their fantasy job--sort of like my vision of myself getting interviewed on Oprah after being put on her book club list when I'm done winning the Hugo and the Nebula awards, right? And then they're given these absurd challenges--like cooking this butt-ugly monk fish for 10 year olds. (I love the group that made it into corn-dogs and called it 'monkey-dogs'.) Anyway, as I was hacking away at the Glitterspun shawl (on the wrong sized needles--did I mention that? I don't care. I'm finishing it, stretching it to within an inch of its life and getting it done. My friend weighs like, 115 lbs anyway--the difference between a whoopty 15 and a whoopty 11 for her is like the difference between putting me in a 3x and a 4 x, really. It'll fit...but back to watching the show...) So we're watching the clock tick to this show--and I really hate cooking, and I especially hate reality programming, but for some reason I'm just eating this crap up with a gravy ladle--when I started fantasizing a show called 'Top Sheep', where these knitters who are all under the delusion that they're Nancy Bush and Pam Allen or Anne Budd (You know, like me when I'm not working with Lion Brand--everybody laugh because that's a big frickin' joke!) getting presented with these really perverse yarn challenges:

"And today's quick-knitter challenge--You are all invited today to make a baby garment--out of super-chunky acryllic yarn using only garter stitch!"

(Willa Woolford)--Oh, this is a joke--this is not what I signed on for! I have to work with acryllic--I am so far above acryllic--it's like asking Picasso to work with super-sized crayon. And super-chunky in garter stitch? Where's the subtlety, where's the grace in this project...I just don't get it!

(Katie Acryllic) --Now this is a challenge that I can get into--no frills, just solid knitting with good assembly components--I'm thinking the Caron super-brights with big fluffy pom-poms--it will be darling, and I can really show the judges my versatility.

(Al Paca)--I'm just so mad I could spit.

(Christine Cable)--Now see, what I'm going to do is formulate a brand new, garter stitch cable and that way I can educate the children on the finesse that's required in their dressing. Just because they're pre-verbal doesn't mean they don't have taste.

(Intarsia Strand)--There are no rules about colorwork, so I'm thinking 62 shades of red-heart in garter, put together to show a scene from Calvin and Hobbes. Of course I can accomplish that in three days--it's only 24 inches around.

And so on... (I think I'll riff on this next blog too, btw--if anyone has some absurd yarn challenges for my characters, let'em rip!)

But for now, Roxie listed ways she was going to make it a spankin' new year--here are my resolutions, for your consideration. Hopefully I'll still be blogging and you can all give me a ration of yarn ends for this over-optimism next year.

* I'm going to start logging my points again for weight watchers--the kids want to go to Disneyland, and right now I'll be a big, fat drag, not to mention having a hard time fitting on the rides.

* I'm going to use stash before I buy stash. (Hey, you, in the back--I saw that. Save laughing at me until you're alone with your own stash, thanks much!)

* I'm going to finish BITTERMOON. (I'm always afraid I won't finish my books. It's hard because they're burning a path out of my heart every minute I'm not working on them.)

* I'm going to continue looking for an agent/publisher.

* I'm going to love my 5th period even if they shoot me with the guns they apparently all have in their possession. It will be very Green-like of me--hopefully I've got a little of him somewhere. (If I was Cory, I could have a lot of him somewhere very special, but that's a really inappropriate seque. I'm done.)

* I'm going to make my face relax when I'm sitting down with the Cave Troll and the Adorable Infant. They are this small and this cute for such a damnably short time.

* I'm going to take the time to understand my older son. We're going through a rough patch--it's hard to teach him his social skills without feeling critical all the time.

* I'm going to continue to make my older daughter know she's special.

* I'm definitely going to come up with a b-day present for Mate.

* I'm going to spend a little less time blogging (3 day a week max) because, although I love you all, I know the perils of over-extension.

*I'm never going to not have a working sock again. I can't sit at a stoplight without fidgeting now when I don't have my socks.

* I'm going to remember how to be a fat labrador instead of a keyed up anorexic poodle on amphetamines. The lab is happier dog.

* I'm going to shut up now because the Glitterspun is calling my name!

Don't forget your absurd yarn challenges, folks...I'm thinking I could have fun with this!

Happy New Year