Chitchat and the occasional in-depth analysis about fiber, knitting, spinning, crochet, cooking, feminism, self-image, and a modicum of personal blathering.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I can read the writing on the wall

Random and arbitrary photo dump. Mix of phone camera pics and olympus pics.


Car ditched in storm flooding near Monroeville Mall.


Hillside collapse.











A fake flower that landed on the windowsill at work near my cubicle.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Any way the wind blows.

Ok, so it's been like three weeks since I posted here and while I'm sure it's no great loss to the blogosphere, it feels weird not to and I have a few things on my mind.

Obligatory crafting update-I'm almost done with a lovely pair of entrelac socks that will be a gift for a very dear friend. Just the toe of the second sock remains.


And I'm almost 3/4 done with the Sunshine socks. (Pattern from Cookie A's Sock Innovation book, yarn is Knit Picks Bare Silk/Merino blend and a delight to work with, the amateurish dye job is my own.)



Really wish it wasn't so stripey but it'll do.

That's it in crafting for now, and I'm really feeling the lack of spinning. I need to spin. As soon as I finish those two pair of socks, I'm going to start spinning something on the wheel. What I don't know, but something for sure. Maybe the awesome bright orange/yellow sock fiber I got at the Waynesburg thing.

About the last post about humor, and especially for you, Meowser. Nobody but Bob knows what the butter in coffee thing meant, but it was situationally funny enough that I'm willing to explain it, and the square kids comment.

Square Kids.

Bob: "Pretty bad when the coolest thing in the commercial is the middle-aged cabbie who can't sing."
Me: "yeah, those kids in the back are so square you could play Tetris with them."
Bob: rolls on floor laughing ass off.

For the record, I hate that commercial and I hate Heineken in general.

Butter in Coffee

Bob and I went to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner one night. We had a gift card. I found the place absolutely abhorrent. The decor was hideous, like Arabian Nights meets Opium Den meets Disney. Which under some circumstances could be awesome, but this was not those circumstances. This place was butt-ugly and the food was average at best. The cheesecake was good. But the menu was what brought the conversation where it ended up.

We looked at desserts first, because, hello, Cheesecake Factory? One of the items on the dessert menu was fat free cheesecake made with splenda. Why on earth would you bother? Do you think for one second your body would be fooled by that, never mind the horror of all those chemicals going into your stomach. Sounded abhorrent to me. If you want cheesecake, have some damn cheesecake, not a chemical blancmange of hideousness.

What really got me, though, was one particular item on the chicken section of the manu. "Weight control chicken breast". They seriously put it in the menu like that. Weight control chicken breast. Sounds fucking delicious, doesn't it? The description actually did sound pretty decent, but why the hell would you call it that? It led me to a rant about diet culture, unhealthy mindsets, hypocrisy, and biology that ended with me saying "It's enough to make me want to put butter in my coffee!!!" and Bob ROFLAOing again. So that explains that.

Been feeling pretty isolated lately. Not much different, just realizing how little interaction I have with people outside of work. I have a lot of social networking "friends" who I feel closer to than almost anyone outside of family that I know in meatspace. Most of these people, I've never even met. At the same time, I have a lot of people I "used to know" connected with me on social networking sites and some of the things I see some of them posting are getting a little disturbing to me.

So I think that I need to cut loose a lot of those old ties because there are some things I'd rather not see. I'd rather not know how narrow minded and actually racist some people are. I'd rather not know how they view people who don't meet their standards for whatever. I find myself reading Livejournal any more wondering why I bother. It's not like most of these people are making any kind of effort to maintain relationships with me either so I think it's time for a major social networking purge. It would probably be very good for me, in fact. Some things are not funny. This probably makes me a prude. I don't care.

Unavoidable real life interaction with people is unfortunately ahead with the annual Mensa gathering coming to Pittsburgh. I find a lot of Mensans to be really insufferable, but there are also a lot of really fine people and dear actual friends. I'm volunteering as the action desk coordinator, which means I get the delightful task of explaining to non-natives how to get around this confusing-assed Pittsburgh cityscape. Should be fun, but I'm well-armed with maps and brochures.

We went to the Carnegie science center yesterday, which was kind of cool in some ways, but damn, people need to control their children better. I took some pictures from the coral reef exhibit.




Health is OK. No real changes. No surprises either.

I've been doing a lot of reading, which is probably cutting into my knitting/spinning time. I got back into going to the library, something that had gone by the wayside a while ago due to my lack of returning books and getting warrants out for my arrest (I wish I was kidding) and fines and court costs and stuff. I think I can trust myself more now, so I'm trying a little librarying and so far, so good. I read a few of the "#1 Ladies Detective Agency" books which were good, if a bit condescending in tone. I actually like the TV series better for a few reasons. In the books, Alexander McCall Smith obviously has a great deal of love for the country and the characters, but it's a patronizing, paternalistic love. The voice he gives Precious and Grace, in particular, is very childish and almost simple-minded. In the HBO series, they were much more mature and complex while maintaining the goodness and moral clarity they had in the books. Anyway, I did a couple of Cormac McCarthys as well, "The Road" and "No Country for Old Men". And I've had enough of that. It's just such a relief to be able to read without craving cigarettes. I never thought I'd get back here.

Until next time.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Crowds'll pay to giggle if you wiggle your ears

I've been giving a lot of thought to the idea of being funny lately.

I'm a funny person. Not so much on paper or in text but in person, laugh a minute. I've got a wisecrack for every occasion.* A quick wit, honed, as it were, on the sandpaper of a contentious childhood. Being funny was, and is, part of who I am.

It's almost involuntary sometimes. I have a strange sense of humor. I love wordplay and cross-referencing. I don't like mockery or making fun of people. Old-fashioned slapstick is ok as long as nobody gets hurt, but I'm way more Monty Python than Marx Brothers. Even though I love both.

When I'm in uncomfortable situations, especially when other people are uncomfortable, I like to use humor to set everyone at ease. Or, I should say I can't HELP but use humor to set everyone at ease. I've done it at inappropriate times. I've done it when people really can't "get" what I'm saying. I've done it when people can't keep up with my leaps of imagination. One of the things I love most about Bob is that he can keep up with me.

Maybe at this point in my life I'm starting to get a little resentful of the fact that everyone expects me to be funny. Maybe it's just a passing phase. Maybe I wonder if people care about me for me, or because I make them laugh.

Even my kids sometimes seem like they're waiting for me to say something funny.

Doubt I'll change at this point. Absurdities exist and I can't imagine not pointing them out. I guess I amuse myself as much as I amuse anyone else and that's worth something. I'm not looking for answers, or excuses, or compliments, just making an observation about the ongoing cluster fuck that is my life.

Why yes, I'm having a depressive episode just now, why do you ask?

I finished another pair of socks and started two more. And I took some pictures. Nothing much else to report on the crafty front.



Those are more Kai-Mei from the Cookie A book "Sock Innovation". The yarn is handspun superwash merino.

Here's a bee.


And a spider web. May the twain never meet.


* Case in point-"those kids in the back of the cab are so square you could play tetris with them." "it's enough to make me want to put butter in my coffee".