Thursday, November 18, 2004


Notice the buttons on the right. Robby did these for me. I love the book spines. They list the titles of some of my favorite books. We've still got to tweak a bit and there are more to be made but I am one lucky duck to have Mr Photoshop in the house!


This is the midwestern way of saying all right. I learned this in college. I learned other things too but this was by far the most annoying. Nails on a chalkboard I tell you.

First, this is Susan:

She is my mom and is she ever a good one. My parents live in upstate New York. As far upstate as one can get, you'd be in Lake Ontario if you were any more up the state. Rochester, New York. This is where I was raised. (Born in Texas. When I was off to graduate school in Georgia my dad told me, "Don't worry, you'll fit right in you're really a red neck at heart." Didn't float there. Could it have been the carpetbag I was carrying around?)

Susan is a worrier. In fact, she has created an imaginary hat called the worry hat. This hat is probably a bit worn down and thread bare, it gets a lot of work. She called yesterday morning to ask me about the tires on our car.

Mom: "How are your tires?"
Me: "Good how are yours?"
Mom: "Kevin Williams is predicting a snow storm for Thanksgiving and I just wanted to check to make sure your car was all set."
Me: "Well, it's been in the shop twice in as many months and it's on the heavy end of 100,000 miles. I'd say is not quite all set."
Mom: "But your tires, how are your tires? I don't want you two coming home without good tires on the car."

Okay, I should interrupt here for some background. My mother is obsessed with the weather in the winter. This is understandable. Rochester is a miserable place in the winter and one can only watch and hope that it can get better. Kevin Williams is like an old family friend. And he is trust worthy. The mom says he's pretty good, good enough to predict a snowstorm a full week before it will happen. Rochester also gets an unbelievable amount of snow largely in part due to the mysterious
"Lake Effect". There is so much snow that it's hard to get excited about it and/or worry about when and if it will come. It just will. If you're in the car on I-90 driving west from Massachusetts it will start at Rome, New York (there are a lot of Italin cities in Upstate New York. There are a lot of Italians in Upstate New York. Fabulous food!) and it will continue until you pull in the which point it will stop. Really, this is no lie. Rome, New York. Regardless of this certainty the worry hat comes out in full force this time of year. The emphasis usually falls on the tires. The tires will get you through. In fact, while I was living in Georgia my parents financed new tires often. Just in case I drove the 15 hours home AND hit a snowstorm on the way. If and when that happened, I would have good tires to get my through. It never did. Everyday these whoa-fully over qualified tires hit the steamy streets of Georgia without a purpose. It was horrible to watch.

After assuring her that the tires were okay, and yes, I would go check them as soon as I got off the phone. And yes, I would call if they were worn down even a little bit, and yes, and yes, and yes. And mom, will you go bury the worry hat in the closet?

I hang up the phone. I get back to work. The phone rings again.

Mom: How about your AAA, is that current?
Me: Yes, mom we just used it last week, and about three weeks before that. It's current.
Mom: Are you sure?
Me: Yes, I'm sure.
Mom: Well, maybe you should call and check. Because I think I used to renew it for your Christmas Gift.
Me: I will call and check to make double sure. And mom, will you go bury the worry hat IN THE BACKYARD before the permafrost sets in? It will have to stay there all winter, 'kay?

She is a great Mom. And because of her, I will always have good tires, a clean bed, lots of love, and clean teeth. To show my love and appreciation I am making her a caplet for Christmas (also named Susan.) The mom has a bad neck and back and she has to keep them warm and covered. She
picked out the yarn a few months ago. I cast on this weekend. I started with stockinette stitch because that's how I did the other. It didn't work with this yarn. My other caplet was made with Ribbon and it didn't roll in stockinette. Maybe because of its weight? The Interlacements that I'm using is primarily wool yarn with a bit of nylon. Roll city. I ripped and started it in garter stitch. This is a big step for me. Usually I fool myself into believing that it will work itself out and get better with time. The garter stitch looks awesome.
Click on the picture below for a close up.

This is the perfect stitch for this thick and thin yarn. The variegation has worked out perfectly so far, no flashing, pooling, or puddling (
The Harlot has a great definition of each.)

I love working with it and I'm really excited to see what the mom thinks of it over Thanksgiving. You can bet we'll get there all in one piece because the tires will get us through.

BTW - check this out...
my first pie. Cool, huh? I'm obsessed with pies. A few years ago I had the best pie I've ever had. I realized then that a good pie is hard to come by. I decided I would learn to make one. This is the first. (The mom says you'll always remember your first pie, she does. Good thing I got a picture. Someday I'll be able to show my daughter. ;) ) The piecrust dough is store bought (gasp.) I only wanted to deal with one variable at a time. It's apple-cranberry and it's delish. I used a recipe in Baking Illustrated. A fabulous book, I would recommend it to anyone who likes to cook/bake and is interested in the how and why of the process. The bread is out of my bread machine. Second loaf...the first didn't rise. Total bummer, I had forgotten the oil. You must have fat for bread. Fat good.

Lastly, Rob and I are creating a Christmas CD for our friends and family (The Stompers do Christmas.) Really, Rob is creating the CD, I'm just an advisor. We're in pre-production right now:

What's with all the green? For crying out loud.

I can't sing. But apparently I have to on We're a Couple of Misfits from
this movie. We're going to do a punk version where you don't really sing so much as YELL and SCREAM. I can't wait. Part of pre-production is figuring out how to edit out the swear words in some of the songs we want to do. What's a Christmas song without the occasional, fuck and hell thrown in? We don't think the right-wing contingency of the family would appreciate these shenanigans. Maybe Rob will just pause at the parts where these words fall. That way when we do the family sing along we can all YELL THEM REALLY LOUD and spread the REAL joy of Christmas around.

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Blogger Jackie said...

I remember my first pie, and I thought it looked good, but now I know what a pie is supposed to look like. I've never seen one that looks so tasty. My mouth is watering. Really.

Are you sure about the oil? I make bread too, and usually my loafs are just flour, salt, yeast & water. I'm curious to discuss this.



11/18/2004 11:43 AM  
Blogger Katie said...

Have you read the book American Pie by Pascale Le Draoulec? It is unrelated to the song or movies. You might enjoy it - it's a travelogue with pie recipes.

Also, spot on about Rome, New York (I'm from the Cleveland area but live in Boston now). Do you know what to do if you are caught in a storm and can't follow a semi or pull over safely? Turn off your lights but drive with your hazards on. Really. Headlights just reflect the snow back at you so you can't see; the flashers are low enough to light the way. I learned this on I-90 and have also used in on 80 in Pennsylvania. Have a good trip.

11/18/2004 11:48 AM  
Blogger Colleen said...

Is your mom my dad? Sounds like a conversation that I've had with him.


11/19/2004 10:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Arrrrr right! teehee Your Mom sounds cool. Have a safe trip home and don't forget the jumper cables! ;)

P.S. I lived on Lake Superior as a kid. I *know* all about The Dreaded Lake Effect, too. I learned to blame it for any and all bad days I had up there.

11/21/2004 7:17 AM  
Blogger Bookish Wendy said...

I'm so glad to hear that I'm not alone! Lake Effect and parents...they'll make any winter more complicated!

11/22/2004 10:05 AM  

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