Monday, September 26, 2005

The books that ate my brains

You see, it's all John Stewart's fault. He has this "Goodness Theorem", where the content of TV is good at a constant factor of 12%, the remaining 88% sucks donkey butt. This somehow led my brain to thunk up the Attention Span Theorem - where the level of attention necessary for all things complicated remains constant no matter what the genres: books, movies, tv, yarn, conversation, sex, etc. Okay, maybe not sex.

So, my brain's capacity for attention is say, 100%. If I'm reading a really complicated book, I use 80%. Leaving 20% for other pursuits...like knitting (you see why I can't do lace?!).

I've been reading quite a few really good books lately. One is the Human Stain (see link on the sidebar.) A moving, lovely, astounding book, paragraphs so full – it takes eons for the words to fall into my brain folds. My real-life book club pick for the month of September. But-I-hadn't-finished-it-by-the-time-we-met. This phrase is now one of my hallmarks. I can't seem to finish anything.

Except these:




The Attention Span Theorem states that feeding my brain with mindless entertainment (and it is entertainment) should leave room for the accomplishment of other, more *ehem* worthy goals. (Elisa may argue that Stephanie Plum, the heroine of the above series, is certainly a worthy goal.)

It just ain't working though. I am a woman with a mission. People stare at the glow of my fluorescent book covers. I dazzle them with my ability to read pages quickly. I cannot put them down. The Attention Span Theorem is failing me.

It is with determination and guilt that I pick up this project..



Nothin' but a T - Bookish Style. This is the front. You have yet to see the front. I will be working on re-charting this, ripping, and foraging ahead. Its high time Stephanie Plum do a little more for me than just eat my brain. I'm going to take a stun gun to this baby and make it do my bidding.

-----

Thanks for the compliments on the pictures. Rob took them and put together the slide show soon after we returned home from our trip. It was fun to listen to him adding the captions - he kept giggling to himself. We had it printing into a spiral bound album (via Shutterflies Store.) It's fun to have the commentary. I have to tell you - he lied a little bit. I didn't NOT read 14 books, or knit 4 sweaters, we did not have rainbow trout calzones, and he is not some freaky dude on the top of the mountain, he is just a super rad husband. Rob is a story teller.

For the curious, bewildered, or just plain clueless:
Two-Buck Chuck


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Thursday, September 22, 2005

LACE?!?!?!

So Cara thinks that I should let my frustration with Shit-Com Chic slide and move on to LACE. Cara, did you miss the point about the eyelets, the yarn-overs that I couldn't even handle on The Shit?? LACE??? Maybe I screwed up because every time I saw YO I had to make my neighborhood gang sign with my hands. LACE!!!! That must be why I messed up. Darlin' you do beautiful work with your scratchy-only-to-you-yarn. However, to get me to try lace (*again*) you would have to come to BOS to hold my hands while I attempted something like that. And the Harlot would have to send Screech. I would have to be talked to calmly. It would not be good.

Excuse me while I go bang my head up against a wall.


LACE?!?!?!?



Now, let's move on to something equally as impossible. Climbing a Mountain.
Way back when - Rob and I spent our first anniversary in the Mountains of Colorado. This included "scrambling" up a peak outside of our cabin. Rob put together a great photo album of our whole trip, complete with captions. Check it out!

Enjoy.

Click here for very funny slideshow (the birth of The Shit (formally known as SitCom-Chic or ShitCom-Chic) is captured here.)
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Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Joy and Pain

Apparently earnest blogs on Wednesdays. After two really really long work days. Days that end before they start - because you're at your desk all day. Alas, I have been fortified with Shredded Wheat and a glass of two buck chuck. I am ready to blog.



Let's discuss frustration. And sadness. I started a sweater for BF Juli during our trip to Colorado. I proclaimed victory over the process and knit throughout the week. Chanting in my head: I would finish, I would succeed, despite my best efforts to prevent myself from doing so (which, by the way, is a really long mantra, I personally would advise against using such a long one.) I had decided on Sitcom Chic in Cotton Ease sugar plum yarn. I swatched on the plane ride there. My brain farted because of the altitude. Or maybe it was the lack of food. We forgot cash. I swear the airlines change the rules all the time. First they won't take cash, then they won't take cards. I could have sold my body for a drink. The brain fart led to temporary insanity where I forgot that I knit tightly. Or maybe I remembered, I just forgot which way my needles size should go - up or down. My swatches lied (crazy bastards.) And I decided to knit on. You've all read the blog enough to know where this story is going.

I was able to make the size I need (albeit by accident.) However, the farts kept coming. The sweater was asked to leave the house. I was banished to my bedroom with a trashy mystery novel. I had to reknit the eyelet row FOUR TIMES. I had to count stitches over and over. Yes, that's right I HAD to. Frustration had driven me to crazy land. There was an error. I might have been okay with the error. But to be okay with it I had to first figure out where it was. I knew I was off, in more than one place. Too many stitches here, not enough there. But without my finger on the point of origin I couldn't be okay with it. I finally found it. Waaaayyy down there, yes, below the join of the arms, seven inches of knitting down. I decided that I had spent 3-hours finding the error I should at least do myself the favor of fixing it. Big mistake. Never do yourself any favors that involve reknitting something - THREE TIMES!!!!

It's enough to make a woman give up knitting. Or at least leave the perfectionism to better more sane people. Or at least shove the stupid ass sweater to the bottom of the bin. Juli is used to getting presents late. Hell, I still owe her husband one mitten (I think I even sent him home with the single little fellow.) Frustration and sadness. I need a good knitter to come live at my house.



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Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Some Humans Ain't Human

Ummm, Hi.

So, where you been?

Busy?

Yeah, me too.

Actually, I promised myself that I couldn't blog until I got Kay's Prize Package into the mail.

You'd think that would motivate me.

It did.

But life kept intersecting my best intentions.

However, I'm back on track.

(My girls just sent out the "where the hell are you flares". I'm here! I'm here! I'm here!)



(Package. Complete with dog and cat hair under the packing tape. All the stops were pulled out for Kay.)

Blogging in earnest resumes tomorrow.


(who is earnest anyway?)
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Monday, September 05, 2005

Following the Road of Life

I've lost my voice. As have many of you. I actually had lost it before the tragedy...a post that will hopefully make its way out of my head someday soon. However, now the reason is different. I've had to pull myself from CNN as I witness this tragedy unfold and see my brothers and sisters in pain and unable to help themselves - dependent on others who just aren't there.

Rob and I have discussed our reaction to this quite a bit. First off, we have decided to hold off monetary gifts for a few months. If a call for them goes out - we will step up. However, too often humans have a short attention span. We know this tragedy will continue to play out for weeks and months and years.

We have discussed how self-reliant we are. Our summary, we are not. We depend so much on society and on our government. We don't collect any kind of welfare or unemployment but we both assume it will be there when/if we need it. We travel weekly to our grocery for our food. We buy all of our clothing in a store (except what I knit! But the yarn comes from a provider.) We know how to cook basic food from scratch, but we choose not too. What would happen to us if we were left on our own with nothing to hold us up? Our taxes failing us, our government and, in some cases, our fellow man fighting against us. Where would we be?

While it's interesting to wax Phil about these issues the butter is in the action. What are we going to do to change that? The only action that we can do (at this point in time) is to prepare ourselves for a tragedy of 9/11 and Katrina-kind. As crazy as it sounds we realized that we don't even have some of the basic items that would help if we found ourselves in a situation where we were on our own. Little things - extra batteries for our flashlight, water purification tablets, a cat carrier for the cats, a tent or other shelter, etc etc etc. It sounds a bit hokey, but for us, it makes us feel better to know that there are things that we can do to protect ourselves - even if our government can't.

On the other (and more important) hand, how can we help NOW? Well, I just traveled over to my local Boston Area Red Cross website to volunteer my time. We're not rich and can't afford to give loads of money but we are rich in health and time. If I have to use my vacation, so be it. If I have to beg my employer for a week of unpaid vacation, so be it (Red Cross asks for a 2-week commitment.) I have no idea if they'll call on me to attend training AND travel to the South or even help here in Massachusetts (temporary shelters are being set up even this far from the tragedy.) But I am ready and willing.

I'm curious. I find that many of us knit for reasons that are tactile or that we feel connected to the past. Many knitting/bloggers have other hobbies that are "old". (Forgive the characterization, my creativity is stifled.) Do we knit because it makes us feel more self-reliant? Do we have other hobbies that give us that feeling? I love to hike in the woods, I love to camp, I love to make soap (from scratch), I love to garden. I wonder why I love these things. I think it's because it makes me feel attached to the earth and to life. How about you? Do you do any of these things? And if you do, do you think that it makes you more self-reliant? Any other thoughts?

(If this post strikes a cord I'll be back in the comments to discuss it with you all.)
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