Thursday, July 23, 2009


Tonight's Conversation

Me: Oh no! I took my pants off! You're controlling me with your mind!

Her: Why did you take your pants off?

Me: Because I'm going to take a quick shower.

Her: Oh, you're getting ready for work.

Him: Because that's how she likes to fry bacon! (I was making dinner at the time).

Her: In the shower?

Sweet FSM, and they ask why I drink ...


Ibuprofen Is My Friend

I have returned from the Victoria Fibre Fest (in fact I'd returned before the last post) and although sales were very disappointing there, it was a worthwhile venture and we will likely go again next year. My kid had a fantastic time leaping about on the rocks all day with her friend and I got to meet some new faces, renew some old connections and generally have a good time while Amongst My People.

One of the really good things to come out of it was that at the end of the Fest, all of my unsold yarn (or at least all of it that I had skeined and ready) went to a fine new store called Knotty by Nature run by a lovely young couple who just happen to be the parents of the girl that Her Surreal Highness has had such fun with during the Fest the past two years. It's on Government Street in Victoria, BC, and if you're in the neighbourhood I'd really recommend popping in and saying hi. Even if you don't buy my stuff (shame on you!) it's a great place to spend some time.

Another fantastic thing was that I also got my yarn mojo back. I didn't think I'd be able to do it after TYAAHOSTAMBAATMIATUTIATT (The Year And A Half Or So That Ate My Brain And Turned Me Into A Totally Unreliable Twat In A Total Tailspin) (hmm, that's a slightly awkward acronym. I'll just call it "the missing year and a half or so", k?) but I somehow managed to dye and skein and gather up enough thangs to fill up a table in an interesting manner, and discovered -- rediscovered -- that this is the reason I get up in the morning.

I know there are a few folks waiting for yarn from me and I'll be doing my best to make it up to you if you are one of them. Some people won't forgive me, however if my best isn't good enough it in no way negates the fact that it is, in fact, my best. It's all there is. There will be extras. There will be refunds. There will be groveling. Stay tuned.

Since returning from Victoria I've been getting ready for the Sock Summit. There's been a little matter of finances (as always) as the gas bills for January through March were obscene and I've been paying them off for a few months. Who knew that heating a house this large would be so ugly? Anyhow, I've been working quite a lot at "the good job"* and my last paycheque enabled me to order some stock to go with the 200-300 skeins I have here in the house. Yes, I have that much. It's not all sock yarn but then again not everyone going knits only socks, so there will be "other stuff" in Portland also.

A few things have also found their way into my Etsy store, although not a whole lot as I live in fear of running out in Portland. Almost as much as I live in fear of bringing every single skein back with me.


Don't you just love the angst?

Anyhow, a couple of big boxes of yarn arrived on Tuesday of this week and I've been skeining like a madwoman, as another 40 lbs of stock is coming from Ashland Bay Trading Company tomorrow, and as well as skeining I have to, you know, like, dye the stuff. (let us not speak of my additional anxiety concerning the running out of dye powder, ok?)

Apparently one of the boxes of yarn I received is a Magic Box, hence the title of this post. The box with the 40 skeins in it? No problem. The other box? Well, there were 100 skeins in it to start. It actually comes in balls so I have to skein it before I dye it. I've been skeining like a madwoman for two days now, in between attempting to run a household, and every time I stop to count how many are left, there are 60. I'll skein five, count hopefully, and there are 60 left. I do another 7 or 8, recount ... still 60. I really need to get me one of them electric skeiner things, or even the kind you just wind, but in the meantime I'm doing it all on a niddy-noddy. One at a time. And never reducing the count.

It is indeed Magic, and I can certainly use the stock (although I think I'll have 700-800 skeins for Portland, which should surely be enough) but that whole thing with the niddy-noddy? After skein #1,896 or however many have come out of that box, using that thing hurts. I've talked the kid into cutting all of the ties I use to keep the yarn from tangling when I dye it, and she's done one or two skeins (also not reducing the count) but it's mostly been me. And quite frankly it stopped being amusing about half a bottle of ibuprofen ago. I suspect I shall be waiting for a new kidney soon -- thank the FSM for the Canadian Healthcare System (under which, should I be able to live long enough to get a kidney, at least I won't have to pay for it.)

Um, so, that's what I'm up to these days, and why you may not be hearing from me again until August 10 or so (although I'll try to update before I go, perhaps with a picture of a mound of yarn, and a still-full box of stuff waiting to be skeined).

If you're coming to the Summit, please do drop by and say hi. I and my partner in crime Barb, from Wild Geese Fibres will be in Booth #729 in the Blue Moon North area, I believe, and apparently I'll be in the "Colour Me Crazy" (how appropriate) booth on Saturday at 11:30am. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to be doing there, I think it's a Q and A and "meet the artists and find out what in the screaming purple hell was going through their heads when they dyed that" sort of thing. Mostly I expect to cuss and blush and fall over my feet, as I'm socially inept. Come laugh at me; it'll be fun.

And now? Oh, it's only 4:40am. I think I'll go skein some more.

*(Oh hey! I don't have to differentiate any more! It's the "only" job apart from the yarn stuff -- I'm still really stoked about having quit, and have declined to participate in an exit interview as I'm done with pretending I have any respect for or loyalty to them, and if I tell them the truth then I can't ever use them as a reference again, seeing calling the entire management structure "soulless, morally-bankrupt, ass-sucking weaselfuckers" isn't something that usually goes over well. Employers are funny like that. The weasels don't think much of it either.)

Saturday, July 04, 2009


Ponderings From The Shore

Yes, I know, another post. Don't get all het up or anything. Think of it as a special Independence Day present to my neighbours (or sorry, neighbors) to the south.

I worked Thursday night from midnight to 8am on Friday, came home and got about three hours of broken sleep (although now I'm more awake than anyone should be at 2am on Saturday; go figure).

However, tired as I was when I got up, my services were required.

My dear friend C had to go to work yesterday. She's a single mom, working like hell to keep body and soul together and make a good home for her twins. Unfortunately, the other day, after slaving for weeks like a navvy to make enough money for rent (hauling scrap metal, doing odd jobs, gathering and cashing in like $100 worth of cans and bottles for recycling while waiting for her new job to start), she lost her wallet.

A wallet with over $500 in it.

Now some people are honest, however apparently a wallet with that much money in it is more temptation than others can resist, and it hasn't been returned, so even though through the intervention of her parents she managed to make rent (and imagine how much fun it is to have to ask your parents for rent when you're almost uh, thirtymumble years old) she had to go out and haul scrap again yesterday to pay for goofy little things like, oh, cable, electricity, hot water, food. You know, those little luxuries upon which folks like us are wont to splurge.

Her kids are old enough to spend the day on their own, and in fact often babysit Her Surreal Highness for a few hours here and there when I have to juggle my own impossible schedule, but it's pretty boring sitting home all day long and she asked me if I'd take them out somewhere with HSH. She's saved my bacon about eleventy billion times, so the only possible answer was "yes, of course."

We chose to go to the beach, where her kids, who swim like fish, had a fantastic time and where E discovered that in fact she doesn't swim as well as she would like and requested swimming lessons as part of this summer's regimen. (I said yes).

While lolling about on the sand (in black jeans -- WHAT was I thinking??) I pulled out my ever-present little notebook and scribbled a thought or two that I thought I should share with you.

1. The company of children, like cheap liquor, when taken in great quantity is apt to make you vomit.

2. Children are far more pleasant when they are about 100 yards away, and in the water, optimally with the wind blowing in the other direction so you can't hear them at all.

3. It is preferable if those children are alive (I'm not completely lacking in maternal instinct; I mean I wouldn't, like, eat my young or anything, I'm just not Mary Poppins. I did, however, buy them all ice cream and brought them home as hale and hearty as they were when they left, so I'm hoping that gets me a few points).

4. Boob implants look like boob implants no matter how young or how buff you are. Even in your early 20s, you shouldn't have lighthouses sticking up from your chest when you lie on your back on the beach. That being said, I appreciate the brevity of the swimsuits being worn by the aforementioned surgically-enhanced young ladies and would encourage them to continue with their research into the limits of swimwear.

5. Children (oh here I go again, call the Ministry) who are stupid enough to annoy Canada Geese by splashing water on them when they are serenely bobbing about on the waves minding their own business perhaps deserve a little menacing by said geese.

6. The plural of biscotti is surely biscotti, is it not, and not biscottis? (This from another barely-adequate book I was reading while lolling on the shore. I could be wrong on this but it just sort of struck a jarring note.)

Hmm, being a pedant, I've just looked it up at that online dictionary thingie and apparently the singular is biscotto and the plural is biscotti. At no point is it appropriate to use "biscottis". You can probably argue with me on this one but I'm just not interested; I've proven to my own satisfaction that the book was wrong and have demonstrated my moral superiority by not correcting it before returning it to the liberry. I can die happy now.

Anyhow, those were just a few scribbled thoughts I felt I needed to share. You're welcome.

And now for the meat of this post:

Tomorrow is the natal day of Her Surreal Highness. Nine years ago minus one day, I was being cheerfully sliced open by the sure and thankfully steady hand of Dr. R, after having endured six days of the medical community's attempts to induce labour (or labor, seeing, you know, the folks to the south and all).

My hoo-ha had seen the films about how babies usually come out and was heard to mutter "I can't be having with dilation and pushing, nasty stuff and all" a la Nanny Ogg. I mean really. I just couldn't possibly imagine doing such a thing and apparently my nether regions were in agreement. Anyhow, she arrived all well and healthy and a tidy scar that nobody ever sees is a small price to pay for her magnificence.

Her Majesty is my only chicken and although few can drive me to distraction (or drink) more quickly than can she, I treasure every moment of her life and every hair on her head. Even if she does poke at the batwings on my arms when I'm skeining yarn and asks me why I've gone all jiggly and then giggles like a madwoman as my face turns purple.

We've had some fiscal shenanigans over the last year or two, what with Mr. Assmuppet not having a permanent full-time job and with me being mentally incapable of much more than remembering where the bathroom is. He's working full-time now, thank the FSM, and I seem to be myself again (my apologies to all who didn't like me much in the first place; I'm afraid I'm back and I'm not going away again). The long and the short of it was that I was uncertain that we'd be able to do much in the way of birthday celebrations for Missy Moo, however the week has been quite wonderful.

There have been celebrations all week. My friend Ann send a Box O' Goodies which was received with squeals of glee. She has sons, no daughters, but she always seems to know the exactly right things to send. Gramma P also sent a box which got here yesterday, to an equal number of squeals of glee. Dresses! My kid doesn't wear dresses but these were bang-on and the kid's going to wear them happily.

My friend C has a friend who got her tickets for The Jonas Brothers concert this past Monday, at which I am told E danced and sang and screamed with the best of them.

I'm a little disappointed, in that my first concert was Blue Oyster Cult, definitely not a "boy band" but hell, she's eight and I was fifteen; one takes what one can get.

(And I sort of like the Jonas Brothers, too. Don't tell anyone, k? It'll be our little secret.)

We have also arranged for a party at the Laserdome. An hour or so of running about and shooting and then 15 minutes' climbing on the rock-climbing wall, followed by pizza, pop, chips and an ice cream cake. The minimum booking is for ten kids (including the birthday person). We've had eight responses, which means that unless someone shows up unannounced (they often do) there will be one slot left. My friend had said that the Laserdome was a great place for a birthday; they do all the work and I can just sit there and knit. However, unless there's a surprise arrival, you can bet there's going to be a mommy hiding behind the rocks and shooting people, and despite my fear of heights (which is immense and causes close-to-paralysis in me) I think I'll do the wall, too. So there.

The best thing, though? The Complete And Uttar Best Thing Evar?

The delicious and talented Lala has fallen upon hard times and is at the moment a "woman of leisure". She has been volunteering at the Rock Camp for Girls in California and told me that there was one in Vancouver, but however it was too late for E to go this summer.

I went to the website* and discovered that although they are full for this summer, they have a few slots left for Aboriginal girls.

My husband is Aboriginal. He's a Quinault and has Status, at least in the US (although not in Canada, as apparently when you cross the line that some white guy drew in the sand at the 49th parallel, you lose your cultural heritage, but I digress, and clearly have no issues with this. Shut up). E isn't status but she identifies as partially Aboriginal.

I emailed them, they emailed me, the committee discussed it and ...

I got the news yesterday that she would qualify for a spot. We may also qualify for funding although that's a small thing as we all know I'll be rolling in filthy lucre after Sock Summit.

Best birthday present ever.

Sadly, she has chosen to be a percussionist**, but at least she didn't choose the banjo. There are, indeed, small mercies.

* if you happen to have a few dollars spare, the Rock Camp for Girls is a worthy cause. Read the website, read what Lala has to say about it. This post is 900 years long and I'm running out of steam; but I think that any organization whose sole goal is to create a safe and empowering environment for our children is one worth getting behind. There is quite possibly a Rock Camp for Girls in your town, and if not, then there's one close to you -- or what the heck, go mad, contact them, and start up one of your own!

** E's grandfather is a drummer. His pipe band won the world championships in 1956. She comes by it honestly.

Thursday, July 02, 2009


If You Butter Them, They Will Come

I've been most negligent in my blogging duties over the last, oh, year or so, and as a result my readership has dropped off dramatically. And who can blame 'em? If there's nothing to read, why bother reading?

I think I've dropped from a high of 500+ readers a day to 90-ish, and I mentioned it to Mr. Assmuppet recently. He said "well, it's still a lot of people, but we could fit them in the living room, if we buttered them and packed them closely."

It seemed like a good idea, but then I thought "what about the vegans?" I mean, the vegans wouldn't want to be buttered would they? I resolved the problem by suggesting that the vegans should be coated in olive oil and stacked in the guest room. I mean, there can't be more than half a dozen, right?

These are the sorts of conversations we have in this house, which explains a lot, really.

Anyhow, for any of you who are still reading, I really appreciate your continued attention, and I promise the butter is fresh.

So things have been busy Chez Lapin. I'm getting ready for the Sock Summit and I think I'll have, oh, about half as much stock as I need. I'm also working almost full-time at the "good" job. About two days ago I grabbed myself a backbone or two and told the "bad" job that they should go and suck weasels because I'm never ever giving one minute of my time to them. It felt pretty good, and I actually managed to be polite and in my resignation email there was no mention of actual sucking or of weasels, although it was implied.

I've been working a lot at the "good" job, and have been spending most of the recent evenings there skeining yarn. There are some new colourways coming up and hopefully my Etsy store will actually have something in it tomorrow after I've had some of that sleep that I hear all the cool kids talking about. It sounds like fun and I'm gonna go get me some shortly. I have a big pile of green/yellow superwash merino that's a lot of fun and a few thangs of sock yarn and for the month of July, in honour of both the store's reopening and the birthday of Her Surreal Highness, shipping will be free.

I've also been reading a heck of a lot of books and I've been over the last day or two reading this thing. I mean this THING. It's by Lillian Jackson Braun -- she writes the "Cat Who" series. I read them from time to time, they're light and meaningless, sort of like the "natural flavoured" microwave popcorn of literature, or even "light butter", but this latest book makes me wonder if she's maybe lost it. It's "The Cat Who Had 60 Whiskers" and I'm 3/4 of the way through the book and so far there's no storyline and no plot. It's a pile of poorly written, uninteresting, disjointed paragraphs. It makes me sort of worry about her mental state. If you're a fan of hers, don't go read it. I mean really; don't. I shall be returning it to the liberry, tomorrow, unfinished.

And now it is the time for the sleeps. Again, thank you to all who are still reading. I will actually have some photos of new yarn (when I find out where I've put the frigging camera) in a day or two and maybe seeing I'm almost sane again I'll blog more than once a month ...

Bisoux to all of you.

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