Wednesday, April 29, 2009

T is for Timing

I haven't had anything "T" related lately so I've had nothing to write for the "T" post! I was thinking of T words and the word "timing" kept popping to the forefront. So I started to think of how timing might be playing a role in my life lately....

About two weeks ago, my best friend from Jr. High (Nikie) called to tell me her creepy ex-boyfriend from Jr. High contacted her through Facebook. I laughed and said how everyone I know who's on Facebook has had old flames contact them. I told her that I've been on FB for weeks now and not one of mine have contacted me! I was laughing with her that it was giving me a complex! I told her that honestly, the only ones I'd want to hear from I'm actually already still in contact with, right? I said how I sometimes looked for my asshole ex from the Army but only because the last time we moved, I found a box of pic's from my time with him. There were a bunch of pic's of his family from when I went to Seattle with him for his sister's wedding. I told Nikie that I didn't have the heart to throw them out and I wanted to find him to see if he wanted them. I haven't seen or heard from/of this boy in over 10 years! And he has a sort-of generic name so googling him was ineffective.

Guess who contacts me through Facebook. Two. Days. Later. Weird!

He ended up calling me and we talked for over an hour. It was so strange because I've been mad at him for all these years, right? He was a two-timer who drank and treated me poorly. Very poorly. All this time, I've known I wasn't so much mad at him as I was mad and disgusted at myself for putting up with it as long as I did. It was actually nice talking with him. He's grown up some and so have I. He says he still drinks and from what he's told me of his life, he's still a bit addicted to chaos. But what do I know? We only talked for an hour, right? Anyway, after talking to him, I went upstairs and made out with my lovely, sane husband! So happy with my choices that brought me and Dave together - hah!

Another timing thing that's been effecting me lately....
As I said, recently someone hit the "Hey! Look at that!" button and I got a sudden, unexpected rush of new LYS clients for my little Stitch Savers, including 3 great big sock clubs. So that was nice! I'm slated to make about 7000 of them this year. Seven. Thousand. Most of that is for.....

The Sock Summit! I'm a vendor! Got my booth, got my ticket, got my hotel. Splee! My friend Donna and I are sharing a booth and we can't wait to meet y'all! Who's going?

While I make my Stitch Savers, I listen to audiobooks. I'm in a reading challenge and it's nice to be able to include these books in my books count! I've been wanting to join this particular book challenge but wasn't sure if I'd have the time to make it worth joining. Then, with perfect timing, Chris blogged about the same book challenge! I went and actually read the rules and audiobooks count! Children's books, too! Hell, with the kid's books alone, I read over 50 a year for bedtime stories! Yay!

You're supposed to list the books from the library you want to read for the year. I'm going for 50 and I'm not up to linking 50 times so you're on your own with that! (AB = audiobook) Here it is...

1. 5th Horseman - James Patterson (AB)
2. Cat and Mouse - James Patterson (AB)
3. 6th Target - James Patterson (AB)
4. Miserly Moms (living on one income)
5. The Pleasures of Knitting
6. Mother-Daughter Knitting (WANT!)
7. Gods in Alabama - Joshilyn Jackson (AB)
8. Between Georgia - Joshilyn Jackson (AB)
9. Country weekend knits : 25 classic patterns for timeless knitwear
10. Crafty Chica's guide to artful sewing : fabu-low-sew projects for the everyday crafter
11. Don't panic-- dinner's in the freezer : great-tasting meals you can make ahead
12. The Camel Club - David Baldacci (AB)
13. The Broken Window - Jeffrey Deaver (AB)
14. Pop Goes the Weasel - James Patterson (AB)
15. Roses Are Red - James Patterson (AB)
16. Violets Are Blue - James Patterson (AB)
17. Four Blind Mice - James Patterson (AB)
18. The Big Bad Wolf - James Patterson (AB)
19. London Bridges - James Patterson (AB)
20. Mary, Mary - James Patterson (AB)
21. Cross - James Patterson (AB)
22. Double Cross - James Patterson (AB)
23. Cross Country - James Patterson (AB)
24. 7th Heaven - James Patterson (AB)
25. 8th Confession - James Patterson (AB) I think I mentioned I'm trying to read/hear all his work.
26. The Girl Who Stopped Swimming - Joshilyn Jackson (AB)
27. The Girl She Used To Be - David Cristofano
28. Outplaying the boys: poker tips for competitive women - Cat Hulbert
29. Socks From the Toe Up - Wendy Knits
30. - 50 TBD

Looking forward to August, Ruth!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

S is for Simplify

Yea. I can't even say that word with a straight face.

I loved Chickenknits idea of buying nothing but what was needed for one month. When she was talking about doing it a second month I thought, "I'm going to do that to! But, wait... the Nefarious sock club is coming up again and then there's that special edition book I want." I couldn't even be faithful to it in my head!
I only bought 3 books last year. But 2 were very expensive special editions (one's a short story anthology signed by all the authors!) and the other was a $15 book of short stories (one author, signed). This year, no books. Oh. wait. See! I can't even be faithful to that either! I almost forgot, I already blew that! I was a Buzz Agent last year (got to get in on ad campaigns and try stuff out for free) and with all my BuzzPoints I got $35 worth of gift cards for Borders. I bought the new Mason Dixon and book 5 and 6 of the Dark Tower Series (still need to get book 7). I also bought 2 other Stephen Kings but they were on the Bargain Books table ($6 and $7 hardback). Dave was laughing at me because the Book 5 was on the bargain table for $6 but it was hardback and I have those nice, big softback ones and wanted to keep the set the same so I spent twice as much for the softback.

In January, I discovered I had roughly 135 pairs worth of sock yarn. I think I'm up to around 150 now. My basement looks like a cyclone hit it and I can't seem to catch up with the mess. And when I do try to clean it up, I get so overwhelmed, I tend to need a lie down. It makes me think of that declutter guy and how he says clutter costs money. It's so true! Last time I tried to plow through the mess, I found 6 skeins of yarn that I had bought doubles of during the Great Xmas Knitting of '08. I returned them (for exchange only) and got a $65 credit. Sixty Five Dollars!! That's $65 of new yarn, sure but it could've been $65 still in my bank account, right?
I want to buy one or two small bookcases for the basement and Dave is flatly against it as he says they'll just end up jammed with junk like the rest of the basement. I think if I cleaned it out down here and kept it that way for awhile, I'd get the bookcases. I doubt that will happen. When we were in Tucson, I was bugging Dave for a proper, matching set of bedroom furniture. He said if I could keep the bedroom clean for 6 months, we'd talk about it. We never got the furniture. I'm a pile-maker. There's not anything disgusting like food or dirty clothes around but there's piles and piles of stuff - yarn, paper, books.... stuff. I'm a pack rat and I come from a long line of pack rats. Sometimes I get a wild hair and I go through stuff. Some of it makes me think, "WTF? Why am I keeping this?" and sometimes there's stuff I just know I can't throw out. It's all crazy and fairly arbitrary but if often gets to the point that I'm embarrassed to have people visit. Sad.
I was telling a friend how I've nearly filled my 30 GB ipod. It's got about 220 days worth of music on it and I'm listening to it all (alphabetically) to see if there are doubles or songs I just don't like. I keep one book at a time on it (to listen to while I make my Stitch Savers). I was laughing that I'll listen to it while I try to clean my basement again. I figured I could get through all the music before I finish with this small, partial basement. Again - it's just sad.
Is there anything you guys can't part with? If you're one of those people who don't pack rat anything, I envy you. And my husband envy's yours.
On a happier note, here's my custom birthday yarn!
It's Robin's Egg and Brulee Marzipan from Wool Candy. Isn't it lovely?!
Slogging through the mess, Ruth!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

R is for Required

I worked the Book Fair at the kids' school yesterday. We were all talking books and it made me think of books/TV/movies which, I believe, should be required viewing for everyone.

Did y'all see that reality show that was on last year called The Baby Borrowers? I'm not generally a fan of reality shows. They are full of hysterical drama and not the hysterically funny that one would hope for. Most of them are so scripted you can practically feel the cue cards in your own hands and they all seem to reward very bad behavior.

Baby Borrowers was a bit different. There was no reward to "strive" for. These were just teenagers who were convinced that they were A) going to stay together as a couple forever and B) were ready to handle a house, job, and babies. They were put into a cul-de-sac of homes, one couple per home. At first they were given babies, then toddlers, then tweens/teens, then elderly folks.

It. Was. AWESOME! Those poor kids had no clue what they were in for. They couldn't even handle the babies much less the other sets of people they were given. (The parents of the loaner children were in another house with full-time monitoring along with a full-time nanny (who wouldn't get involved unless there was a safety issue) in the house at all times). They all had to choose someone to go to work during the day and one to stay home. It was very interesting to see how some kids who you thought would be slackers really stepped up and vice versa.

I believe in my heart that the show should be required viewing for all kids. Give them the sex-ed talk, then make them watch this show. Very eye-opening.

Last year, I also watched a movie called Bordertown. It was, sadly, very eye-opening as well. "Based on a true story" it hits on the subject of factories in Mexico. These factories run 24/7 and pump out hundreds of TV's/computers/etc. per second. The workers are primarily women because the women will work for lower wages and complain less. The thing is, the companies that left America to open these factories are too cheap to pay for proper security to get these female workers to and from their homes safely. The rape and murder toll is astonishing. Thousands every year. Antonio Banderas' character said, "If you want to make a snuff film, rape someone, be a serial killer, or just kill someone for any reason - just come here." The Mexican government not only denies these numbers, they actively cover up the murders so as to not lose the business these factories bring the country. They know all about it. I'm also quite sure the companies that own the factories know all about it. The women are expendable and it's a disgusting, dirty little secret. I recommend everyone rent this movie and after you've watched the movie, watch all the Special Features as well. I don't know what, if anything can be done about it but if anyone has any ideas how we can stop this madness, I'm all for it!

I was trying to think of any books that I would consider Required Viewing but since what I read is mostly fiction and mostly entertaining, useless fiction, I couldn't think of any. Maybe Roots. That one really taught me a lot of truth (in fiction) about slavery that I didn't know about.

I'm going to go ahead and review some other books and movies I've been perusing lately.

Rory O'Shea Was Here - This movie was a wonderful blend of funny, sad and poignant. It stars the ever beautiful James McAvoy as a young man with Cerebral Palsy. He has full vocal range and the use of 2 fingers ("for motion and for self-abuse" as he says). He's just arrived at a home for other people with similar disabilities and he hates it. He accidentally befriends another young man with CP. The other man can't talk in an understandable fashion but Rory understands him just fine. Rory keeps trying to get approved for independent living funds but is consistently denied because he's considered a troublemaker. His friend is a straight arrow and gets the assistance and hires Rory to be his interpreter ("2 for one" says Rory). It's an outstanding film.

Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy Series - I finished this massive tome on April 2. It was 816 pages containing all 5 of the HGG books plus a short story about Zaphod. This book was strange for me. I think I had it built up in my head that it was going to be roll-on-the-floor-laughing funny. (Guess I forgot it was written by an Englishman and the English humor is a bit drier and more subtle then American shenanigans.) And after Roots and Queen, I was sure I was going to fly through this book. Not so much. It's one of the few books that I'd seen the movie first (a couple of years ago) and that was helpful in that it gave me a better mental picture of the creatures in the book. I had a difficult time getting into these books, though. I don't know why! They were creative and pretty funny. They were engaging and interesting. It just took me forever to get through them. Strange.

The next book on my list for the year is Mists of Avalon. On April 4th, I read the Acknowledgements and the Prologue. I looked at the number on the last page (867) and sighed. I was thinking it was going to be another long one to get through. The next night I started on the book. I read 50 pages right off! And another 50 the next day! I'm on page 170 now but I'm completely engrossed and engaged in this book. I'd be in it every day but other things are making me very busy right now. The sequel (prequel, actually) that I've scheduled to read after this is Forest House and it's a more reasonable 480 pages so I should be able to stay on track for my "scheduled" reading.

I listened to 5th Horseman on audiobooks and it was good. Entertaining and keeping in line with the Women's Murder Club as established so far. These books are great entertainment while I make my Stitch Savers.

I also listened to another audiobook recently. I don't remember how I found the blog Faster Then Kudzu but I've been reading it for about 3 months now and I really like it! It's the author Joshilyn Jackson and her blog is so well-written and funny! She talks about being an author (she's just finished writing her 4th novel) and I it finally occurred to me that if I like reading her blog so much, I should check out her novels. I put her first novel on my ipod and.....
well, it reminded me why I don't attempt fiction. I've had a strange and wonderful life and I love writing about it. Occasionally, I toy with the idea of writing fiction. Then I read books like Gods in Alabama and they are so well written! I know I'd never stack up. The way she unfolded the story was excellent. There's 2 twists in the book - the one, I sort of guessed at. I didn't know for sure until it was actually revealed, it was just a passing thought - you know, "I wonder if..... nah". The other twist (the first twist in the story) shocked me completely! Excellent! Can't wait to get the next one in my pod.

Wishing for more downtime to read, Ruth!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Q is for Queen

Lately, I've been hearing about some high maintenance women. On the radio, they were talking about dating in this economy and dating for people who've lost their jobs. People called in with their ideas for cheap dates and then people started calling in with horror stories about high maintenance dates.

I never understood the whole high maintenance thing. I suppose, in my own way, I am also high maintenance. I like to be catered to (who doesn't!) and I pout when I don't get my way (again, who doesn't?). A friend from massage school says it's because I'm an Aries. I think it's because I'm just I'm a big baby. So I get high maintenance in that respect, the area I don't get is when it comes to looks and dating.

I don't wear make-up. Except for a brief period during high school, I never really have. I prefer jeans and T-shirts to skirts and heels. I haven't worn heels for more then an hour a year since 1998. And, as to dating, I'm a really cheap date.

On our first real date, Dave agreed to take me to a double feature of Jackie Chan at the drive-in. (The first clue that he was the guy for me!)

I had a friend who used to lament the high maintenance women he'd always end up with. I pointed out that when you take them to the most expensive restaurant on the first date, where is there to go from there but up? I told him he set the bar too high on the first date and he needed to take it down a notch or two if he wanted to find someone who would be more mellow. He said he wasn't going to take them to McD's and I realized he thinks in extremes. I asked what's his favorite hole-in-the-wall joint that he likes to go to. He mentioned a great taco bar we both knew about. I said, "If you want someone who sees things like you do, show them what you see. Take them to the taco bar and see if they like it!" I bought him one of the many books on cheap dates and mailed it to him.

My birthday is on Monday (4/13). I'll be 39. I don't need much. Yarn is always nice - hah! I bought myself one skein of custom-dyed yarn (she's mailing it on Monday, I'll share it when it gets here). I bought the Dorothea pattern from Through The Loops.

My oldest, T, said he's going to use his own money and buy me something. Then D2 chimed in with, "Yea, we'll go to Toys 'R Us and I'll buy you a girl thing and then no one will play with it and you can have it all to yourself!" They are all the gift I need!

We're going to a burger joint we heard about to celebrate my b'day. I love a great cheeseburger!
(Did I mention I'm a cheap date?)

I might find a tiara. Never been a girlie girl but lately I've been thinking I might need a tiara. And some red shoes. Every woman should have at least one pair of red shoes. Of course, I'll probably get some red Converse, but, you know, still red, right?

Lovin' the sparkly things, Ruth!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

P is for Poetry

When I was in high school, I wrote some poetry. Most of it as an assigned project. Most of it really bad. Here's an example. Try not to laugh milk out your nose...

First off, the title has nothing whatsoever to do with the actual poem. I wrote this when I was a freshman in high school and was heavy into Edgar Allen Poe. EAP had written a poem called "For ----", OK, I can't remember the woman's name and then the poem after had nothing to do with the title. I copied that model for my title. Andrew Harris was a good friend of mine and one of my powder puff coaches. (Andrew Harris of Clovis, CA - where are you?) There's a bunch of really super-cool spacing on my poem, too, but I doubt Blogger will let me keep it in. (ETA - it didn't. You'll have to experience it without cool spacing. I'm sure it'll make a difference. Not.)

OK. Here it is...


Panther. Most beautiful cat in the world. Black and sleek.
Gracefully stealing through the
night -- silently approaching. You never even see me -- I come up
behind you -- head low.
Ears back.
Green eyes taking every bit
of you -- sizing you up. I run my pink-rose tongue across gleaming
white fangs -- anticipating the sweet taste of your blood.
Claws extend.


Haunches begin to flex. Muscles rippling,
bunching together -- ready to spring, to push off powerful back
legs in one graceful leap -- stretching lean body through the cool
night air -- landing on y-


Muscles tense -- head snaps up
alertly. Black nose to the wind -- twitching. I smell danger
approaching, gun-powder. I consider pouncing on your oblivious
body. Ripping out the soft, delicate flesh of your throat with
deadly, sharp claws and dragging you away before you can scream,
before you can realize...

The Gun, however, is coming quickly. I could drag you away
before it would get here, but your innocence -- your ignorance of my
presence has appealed to me, amused me.
I turn and lope silently.

Swiftly away.

To safety. 20 yards
away -- inky pelt blending, melting with blue-black shadows -- I watch,
casually cleaning my heavily padded, feline paws.

Emerald seeing white.

I could have killed you, foolish, ignorant human -- but your mate
has come to you. He kisses you.
Holds you.
Protects you.
You are safe, my General Physical Enemy, safe with your Love.
Safe in your Love.

For now.

"my General Physical Enemy"??? Seriously. How awkward is that phrasing? What does it even mean?? Melodramatic much? So glad we didn't have girls for kids. I can only imagine having to deal with the kind of drama my parents must've been forced to deal with.

OK, enough drivel.

Here's an example of some really great poetry. I have a friend named Seth. We met while stationed in Germany in 1992. He writes this amazing poetry. I have a few of his pieces and they are all truly beautiful. The only problem is that he would write in pencil. And really lightly. He has this really lovely script, but, after 17 years (really?? 17?! Yikes!) it's starting to fade. I'm going to transfer one to the blogisphere today and when I find the others, I'll do the same. As to the actual piece... I'm thinking of having them laminated? What do y'all suggest?

Anyway, here it is...

Stumbling around in the Darkroom that is Life,
bumping into walls and Tripping over obstacles,
Your eyes become accustomed to the Dark.
Such is our Legacy.

On occasion, if you're Fortunate,
your Sight picks up two simple pinpoints of Light.
To most, they are overlooked or unnoticed.
But to those who are blind, they are beacons.

A world hidden to the Sightless once,
opens up to reveal happiness where none was
seen before. Suddenly Life has quality.

Oh, how they rejoice and cheer for those Lights
The eyes of some brilliant Soul.
Little do they realize they are transient.

All too soon, the light is gone.

So I say to you, you who have been blinded
by the darkness, when you do finally find
Those guiding eyes; Claw, Scream and
beg But do not let them out of your Sight,
else back to the Void you go...

Pretty cool, right? Love his stuff.

He sent me some pic's of us in Europe in 1992. The first is on the Subway in Paris and the second is at The Green Goose (a club geared toward US soldiers that we frequented).

How young we were, Ruth!