Friday, November 30, 2012
Should. And Better.
I've been struggling with a lot of things of late. Well, let's be honest; for years.
And tonight someone said something about how I "should" do something with regard to knitting and it just set me off. It was said with no malice aforethought and with the kindest of intentions, but I went off in my head, and rather than trash someone I like, I thought I'd do a little out-loud therapy, which is what I started this blog for in the first place. I'm so very glad that I still have readers -- all three of you -- however I started this blog because I needed to speak.
I need to speak; I don't need to be heard. If nobody at all was reading this, I would still speak. And if something I say resonates with someone else, then that's all for the good.
But tonight, I need to speak. This is for me.
There are two words that are very triggering for me. Those words are "should" and "better".
I grew up knowing that I was good, sometimes even fantastic; but not good enough. Everything I did, it was good, but even if what I did made me happy, there was a "better" way to do it. I was never good enough. It was never right, or sufficient.
Or I was good, but not good enough to make a living at it, so I should learn to type and work in an office, even though the thought made me vomit.
And so I bowed, I folded. I gave up my dreams. I learned to type (90wpm with a 1% error rate, thank you very much) and I was a secretary, an "assistant" an "Office Administrator" and all of that crap for 26 years or more.
And then I sort of said "fuck it all" and cashed in a bunch of retirement funds and tried to do the yarn thing full time. Unfortunately that happened right about the time menopause hit me.
Nobody ever tells you how totally FUCKED IN THE HEAD you get during menopause. I wish women would talk about this more. I wish doctors would tell you. I wish mothers would tell their daughters. For the couple of years when you're perimenopausal you are MENTAL. Half the time you're horny as hell and the rest of the time you want to kill anyone who looks at you sideways.
I always knew when I ovulated. Some women don't feel it, but I could always feel my ovary pop and I knew that I had three days within which to get pregnant. But during perimenopause you are MENTAL. I would feel the "pop" and so I'd be getting on the bus and my body would scream "OMG, you have almost no time left, this might be the LAST VIABLE EGG, you must jump the bus driver now!!" and then the other part of my brain that was even MORE mental would yell "BUT HE IS A BASTARD AND THE CAUSE OF ALL OF YOUR DESPAIR, KILL HIM NOW!"
I think it's understandable that I wasn't functioning well at the time. I'm just glad I never jumped nor killed the bus driver.
And I'm rambling, but this is my blog and therefore I can do so.
Anyhow, back to the original topic ... should and must are terribly triggering words for me. And I had someone say to me that I "should" do something.
And I thought about it for a bit. And the thing that I should do is something that would make me unhappy.
So I ain't gonna.
This is a long rambling post written while in a state of drunkenness, and I'll likely edit it or delete it or something later. But I think the point is ... should? Why SHOULD I do something to change what I love, just because someone thinks it's BETTER? I've been told I'm not quite good enough all of my life and I have had so many things that I love taken away from me or polluted by the will of others.
My knitting, my art, is mine, and I shall do it my way.
I'm good. I'm just fine. The way I knit is perfect for me. If you like knitting socks on circs, then go, you bad thing. I knit them on DPNs because it brings me joy. I won't change how I do things because someone else wants me to come to Jesus and realize that circs are the ONLY way to knit socks. I knit with cotton, with acrylic and with cashmere. I use what I feel is the right yarn for the project. Imma keep using what I want to keep myself happy. You? Go do the same, but pleas stop trying to get all up in my grill and change how I make myself happy.
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Upon Artistic Appreciation
I was reading a book tonight, and one of the characters said "this is a play that would be best presented in the dark. And in pantomime."
This reminded me of one of my favourite reviews, which started with something like "Leaving an impression as lasting as that of Whistler's Father ..."
This makes me snort every time I think of it. I may be a bitch. I should also never be allowed to review anything.
The first paragraph of this post was referring to a community production of The Sound of Music, which is a movie I hate with every fibre of my soul, having been forced to watch it about 40 times as a child. I always want to yell to the Nazis that the family is hiding behind the cart ... but if they were even slightly competent, they would have found them anyhow. I mean, there were what, seven people standing behind some sort of cart and nobody looked? As if.
Yes, this makes me hideous and mean-spirited, but whatever. If I can live with it, you can too.
But it made me think about how artists are so concerned about public opinion. And me ... I guess I'm not. When I make something, when I dye something, it takes effort and it takes emotional connection. However when it's done, for me, that's it. If someone buys the things I dye and wants to knit washcloths, willie warmers or just landfill it, it makes absolutely no difference to me. The joy is in the making.
Once I've done it and you've bought it, I never think of it again.
I've had my yarn reviewed a few places. I have never read the reviews. I've never asked anyone to send me pictures of completed items. I guess I'm cold as ice or something.
But you see, for me, the reward is the making of the yarnz. Once it leaves here and belongs to someone else, I really couldn't care less if someone lets their chihuahua eat it (don't let your chihuahua eat it, it will tangle up inside them and they will die -- it's not a good idea).
I was happy to hear once that a friend was knitting in public with my yarn and she was asked what colourway of Wollmeise she was knitting, and she said "no, it's not Wollmeise, it's Rabbitworks" but really, that's about as far as my ego extends.
I'm really happy that the things I dye, that make me happy while dyeing them, make other people happy to own them, but once it leaves my house, it no longer belongs to me. And so it's yours, and you may do with it as you wish.
Am I alone amongst artists that I feel no connection to the things that I create once they leave my hands? I don't think so.
But maybe it's just me.
And to those of you who have bought my yarnz or my fibre; I'm delighted that you love them. I won't be able to dye much of anything for the next year or so, as we are moving to a smaller place and it likely won't have a space for me to work. I'll start up again next summer when we buy a house (at LAST ... I can't take this moving all the time shit; I need a nest). In the meantime ... the stuff I've made; it's yours, not mine. Just don't feed it to your chihuahua.
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
If You ... Wanna Call Me Baby ...
Just go away now.
Yeah, I know that's not how the song goes, but it's all I want to sing right now.
I'm really hard to offend (being frequently offensive, myself) but ... there are some things I just can't take.
One of them ... one of the biggest of them, is "endearments" by total strangers, in a professional setting.
Yesterday was a total assweasel of a day. I got up later than I wanted to, having had my sleep interrupted a few more times than I'd have liked (although for valid reasons) and so I went in to work sleep deprived and desperate for both food and caffeine. Caffeine mostly.
I love the coffee. Despite my constant reference to it, however, I usually have one cup a day at work, sometimes two. On rare occasions I will make a third cup and drink half of it. I'm not quite as hyped up on caffeine as some folks think, although if I go out to a restaurant for breakfast I'll have four cups without a blink.
And trust me, after four cups I'm so hopped up I don't even blink for about three hours.
Anyhow ... that first cup of the blessed caffeine is necessary and especially so yesterday, having had way less sleep than I'd wished for.
So I rolled into work and the first thing that went wrong was I discovered that I'd left my can of fresh-ground coffee (we keep the beans in the freezer and grind them daily -- we are snobs) on the counter at home. GAH! I worked for about half an hour and then snuck out to the lobby to buy a Venti of Starbucks coffee so that I wouldn't kill anyone. I hate Starbucks but at that point a Venti wouldn't have done it. But ya takes what ya gets, you know?
Then my break came around and just as I was about to leave, there was an emergency situation. We work in teams most of the time for a reason, so I delayed my break and dealt with the calls while she dealt with the situation (not a biggie, but not one that she could just stick on hold). By the time my break came around I was about 15 minutes late to leave.
I had errands to run on my break -- important errands. Usually I get 45 minutes. Usually these two errands would have taken ten minutes each. However, yesterday I got half an hour and both of the errands took close to fifteen minutes each.
And so ... I had the choice of either making my co-worker stay late and not get paid for it or skipping getting food and coffee. I decided to be nice. She got to go on time.
So I got back at my post, having had the grand sum of a small package of peanuts and a small pack of chips to eat, and no more coffee. I figured I'd just tough it out ... I have hypoglycemia, so I'm supposed to sort of graze all day but I knew I'd just be hungry and a little bitchy but not pass out. It's not as bad as Diabetes or anything (I make too much insulin, not too little, so if I don't eat I just get bitchy, my blood sugar doesn't go into dangerous zones).
As the shift went on, I was fine. I started getting a headache like someone had kicked me in the head but I knew I could deal with it after the shift was over, and I was not in crisis. I'll admit I was a little cranky, but I could still do my job.
And then this man phoned me. Now, I like dealing with calls. I have a lot of people who phone up and say "I have a strange question" and I always say "EXCELLENT!" They go "what?" and I say "I love the strange questions, it breaks up the boredom." And it relaxes them right away and then I can help them with what they need. But this guy ... I said "xxxxxx Hospital" and he said "Hello beautiful." Um what? I mean, was this a creepy ex of mine who had found me or just someone who was completely inappropriate?
Turns out it was the latter, and he asked if a friend of his was with us. The friend was not, but this guy kept wanting to tell me about why his friend should be there and he called me "beautiful" at least once more and "sweetheart" a couple of times and although I'm sure that his intent was not malicious, by the time we ended the conversation I felt violated. I wanted to go take a shower.
There was a link on Facebook a while about about how a woman just wanted to read her book in peace -- on the bus, on the train, in a restaurant, and how men thought she should put down her book to talk to them, because they "just wanted to talk" or "just wanted to be nice" and this felt like the same thing to me. Creepy and invasive as hell.
I don't mind endearments when they are appropriate. Where I work, there is a large geriatric population and a lot of people who call say "thank you, dear" and I take it as it's meant when it's said.
But although I'm a switchboard operator, my main function is emergency services. I call codes, I answer alarms, I alert teams, I liaise with emergency service providers. I mean -- would you call a police officer or a 911 operator "beautiful" or "sweetheart"?
I don't do what they do, as I said. I don't have the ova for it, but I provide essential services. I'm not even allowed to go out on strike, even though I'm union, because that position cannot remain unmanned (or unwomaned in this case).
So. I'd like a little respect.
To all of my friends -- please continue calling me honey, darling, sweetheart, bitch or even hoar. To anyone who expects to get professional service when calling my workplace, please learn to treat me as a professional.
Monday, August 27, 2012
Oh No, You Di'nt!
Those of you who have met me in person (and there are lots of you) are usually surprised when you meet me. I mean, despite the vigorous cussage that occurs here and the strong opinions, I'm actually generally quite a gentle person and easy to get along with -- although I will admit to a great love of inappropriate comments and slightly-over-the-edge-of-good-taste humour.
I have opinions, sure, and some of them -- as I said -- are quite strong. But just because I don't like a particular yarn or a particular design or whatever doesn't mean that I'm going to tell you you're a total assbadger for liking it when I don't. (Except for the hexipoofs. If you like those, then yes, you are an assbadger, even though I've dyed a ton of mini-skeins for just that sort of project -- but I digress).
In almost any field there is endless bitchery and the stabbings of the backs. I think we all know people who know the "right" way to do things. I've had several people offer to teach me to knit the "right" way.
I knit Scottish Production style. It's not that common, but it's what I learned. I don't hold the right needle -- it's propped somewhere on my body -- usually caught in the fold of the right hip (yeah, some call it "crotch knitting". Get over it -- it's nowhere near my crotch. It's more like groin knitting.)
I don't tension the yarn. I drop the yarn with my right hand after every stitch.
I'll try to explain in words ... when I learned to knit the mantra was "in, over, through and off". So the right needle (which is held somewhere on your body and I'll do a video of this one day if my daughter ever finds the charger for her video camera) goes in, the yarn is picked up by the right hand, it goes "over" between the needles, you hold the yarn in your right hand as the right needle goes "through" and then you give it a bit of a tug as it comes "off" the left needle. That's where the tensioning occurs.)
And, like I said, some folks think this is "wrong" and have tried to help me see the light. I tell them that off they must fuck, as my tension is perfect. No matter how you knit, if you do the same stitch the same way every time, and it always looks neat and tidy and exactly the same, then your tension is perfect and you're doing it right.
And there are tons of other little bitcheries that occur in the world of fibre. I had someone hang around my booth a lot the first time I did Sock Summit. At that time I was selling my sock yarn as "Toe Jam". I figured that if an entire chain of shoe stores could be "Athlete's Foot" then I could sell Toe Jam, you know? And she kept picking up yarn and then putting it down and going away and coming back and she finally said "I'd buy some because I really love the colours but I can't buy it because it has such an awful name." And I said "oh, I'm sorry about that," but what I really felt like saying is "no, you wouldn't. You really wouldn't. If you loved it, you would buy it. You just wanted to make me feel bad." But being a vendor we can't say that sort of thing.
But now, seeing I seldom vend, I can say it. If that lady is reading this? No. You just wanted me to feel bad. And it really didn't work ... other people have the beautiful yarn and you don't. Go away.
And of course there are all sorts of things to do with pecking order and so on.
But that's not what this post is about.
I've recently entered the equine world, having somehow become a horse owner, and I expected all sorts of snobbery here and there. The dressage folks look down on the eventers or vice-versa, the folks who own this breed look down upon that one. These folks don't talk to those folks.
I wasn't surprised at all. When you're dealing with huge animals, some of whom command huge prices, there are huge issues. Some of these gorgeous creatures are very high-strung, and the owners and riders are equally so.
Really, I expected to walk into a giant vat of bullshit. Or horseshit, to be more accurate.
But I didn't expect any of it to be directed at me. Not yet. I'm just a little kid in this world. I've owned a horse for what six weeks? Totally new. And my little horse? She's recovering from neglect and from being a track horse. She's pretty much totally new, herself. Neither she nor I have ever done anyone in the equine world a moment of harm.
This is what my love looked like, less than two years ago. She was skinny and filthy and dispirited. Completely depressed and so horribly malnourished. She used to race, and then she blew out a knee. Once she couldn't make money for the people who owned her, they basically threw her away. They abandoned her, after she had worked her heart out while she was still a baby (horses don't mature until they're at least six years old. Today, at five, she's still just a baby).
I have no idea how this poor horse came to be on the farm where she was, but my friend Katt saw her and knew that she had to save her. After a year of love and food she was sleek and clean and much happier, although you could still see her ribs. Katt knew that this wasn't the horse of her heart. I've explained in a previous post how she came to be mine.
We've been feeding her like mad. You can only see her ribs, and only just a hint of them, if she takes a big deep breath. She'll never be fat but she's getting a nice decent weight on her now.
She's been training on the lunge line and is learning voice commands (for folks who understand what this means, she's only been on the lunge line three times and already responds to voice commands.) This girl wants to listen and obey and work. She's gaining some muscle, has made friends with the other horses on the farm and is quite frankly happier than a pig ensconced in manure.
And she knows that she is loved.
Yesterday I went to see the Grand Prix jumping out at the Thunderbird Equestrian Centre. It was The. Best. A horse that I had watched several times on YouTube was there (Flexible is his name) and he was MAGNIFICENT. I had the best day and I ate pie and talked about horses with people.
I got some free advice that I didn't want at all, which only confirms that free advice is often worth exactly what you paid for it. A lady told me that I should never hand-feed my horse treats, because it would make her mouthy and grabby. I hand-fed her later anyhow, and when I got home Ben asked me if my horse had liked her Chinese apple/pear. I said yes and told him of the lady's comments. He told me I should have asked her if that was what made HER so mouthy and grabby. I died laughing.
I have no problem with people who don't hand-feed, and if it makes Aviva get mouthy or nibble at me I'll stop it but right now it's something that we both enjoy and she's very polite and careful about it.
Anyhow, the point of this whole rambling post is that ... I found out that Someone. Dissed. Mah. Hoarse.
The "don't hand-feed" lady, who is one of Angela's friends, had asked another of her friends about my horse. The other friend (who is apparently no friend of mine) had said that Aviva wasn't a good horse at all. She was "dumped" on me by Katt because I didn't know any better, and should have been shot for dog meat."
What the fucking WHUT?
Does this look like a horse of no value? Does this look like a meat horse? I have no problem with horses being eaten. I wouldn't eat one myself, but there's a zoo out near where she's boarded and there are animals there who eat meat. Often horse meat. There are lots of dogs who eat horse meat. Carnivores eat meat and that's what horses are made of. If it was her time to go, I really wouldn't have a problem with her being used to nourish another animal. It's better than cremation.
But ... and I ask again ...
This horse ... without a miniscule error in her conformation. This horse, who is sound in both body and mind. This horse, who is young and loving and willing to work ...
Does THIS look like the face of a horse that should be shot for dog meat?
I think not.
I'm not going to do anything to her. I'm also not ever ever ever until the day she dies, to anything FOR her. If she's on fire and I have a glass of water in my hand, I shall drink it.
Even if I'm not thirsty.
If she continues to repeat her lies ... well, then, I'm going to introduce people to my horse and let them make up their own minds.
And she's going to look like a total twat. Aviva will never race again; even if she could, I would not permit it. But she's a damned fine horse.
People who are looking for standing in a community should really choose the battles they want to fight. She can't possibly win this one (I'm not sure what the battle even is).
I'm not hurt. I'm offended on behalf of a very good horse who doesn't even know she's been insulted.
Imma keep feeding her and in a few short weeks Imma ride her.
She will be a paddock horse for a while and then we'll likely do some trail rides. Maybe, if she likes it, we'll do some dressage.
We will, however, not be shot for dog meat. Neither of us.
Saturday, August 18, 2012
Are You Going to Scarborough Fair?
If so, I hope you have a lovely time.
We, however, are not.
Today is Food Onna Stick day, Chez Lapin.
We are going to go to the PNE. Whilst there we shall eat ALL the things. Most of the things will be onna stick; the rest will either be inna bun or presented in a brightly-coloured and environmentally-questionable container.
Little of this alleged food will have much in the way of nutritional value. Much will be deep-fried (dudes, year before last they were selling DEEP FRIED BUTTER! If they have it again this year, I think I'll try it. If I keel over from cardiac arrest, you can have my stuff).
Her Surreal Highness and I have done this once a year for many years. We couldn't do it last year due to lack of finances, however we have a little to spare (really we don't, as I should have paid the cable bill instead but I can talk them into waiting until next week when I'm paid again, and we need this).
This year Mr. Assmuppet will accompany us for the second time -- we usually do this without him.
I expect that the entire day will be hilarious and expensive. I anticipate spending about $20 throwing darts at balloons, only to get a 6" high stuffed animal made in China for a dollar or less.
I'm sure I'll treasure it for at least a week.
There will also be smepping of llamas, skritching of goats and sheep, and possibly a little taunting of ducks and pigs.
I intend to ride the carousel and, if I get terribly brave, also the Ferris wheel.
And then, at the end of the day, there is a concert that we are hoping to get to. It's included in the entry fee and I've never seen Heart live -- I'm gonna get there if I have to drag my sleeping and sunburned family in a sack.
Photos to follow.
Today I suspect it won't suck even a little to be me.
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Just a quick update, seeing I'm at work. We got our bag back, complete with sketchbooks! It had been tossed out back of the townhouse complex where we live, and when I was telling my neighbour about the break-in I described the bag, and he had seen it.
I still have to get the window replaced (and I suspect that the insurance won't cover the three pencils and the felt-tipped pen *g*) but all is much calmer here Chez Lapin.
I'll write a longer post later, possibly including some fibery stuff (I got a new wheel at the show in Abbotsford in February!) and likely some foul language.
Sunday, August 12, 2012
And, dear asshole, the little girl whose art you stole?
When she was around seven, she drew and painted a dragon. It was displayed at a local mall for about a month, and then it went to our nation's capital, Ottawa, where it was displayed as an example of what art the youth of our country can do.
And then when she was nine, she dyed some wool (she works in several media. Mediums. that.) and we went to Fibre Week at Olds, Alberta and an internationally-renowned fibre artist, Cat Bordhi, said that her work was so amazing that it should never be used for socks and hidden in shoes. It was so beautiful that it should be displayed where everyone could see it.
She is an artist who will be heard from. Often and with volume. You might want to hold on to her sketches ... may be worth some money one day.
She actually doesn't care that her sketchbook is gone; she thinks it's funny that you thought you were getting a computer and just got some scribbles; she can make more. She thinks that you're stupid for taking something of no commercial value.
Me? I'm her mommy, so I don't think it's all that funny at all.
And you're still an asshat.
It Sucks To Be You
An open letter to the screaming assflap who thought it was ok to break into my car last night:
Fairly recently, we got a second car. We purchased (for an unbelievably low price) a Ford
I am most pleased about this, even though I had to take money out of my ever-dwindling retirement fund to pay for it.
This morning about 3:30am I was sitting watching TV with my husband, enjoying some of the very-scarce time we get to hang out together. We'd had a late dinner (it was delicious, thank you for asking) and were having a drink, just sort of lazing about, when I heard an annoying noise. I finally figured out that it was a car alarm going off.
After a couple of minutes, when the noise didn't stop, I went out to see what asshole hadn't heard their alarm and had left it blatting for so long.
Apparently that asshole was me (and I apologize to my neighbours for not realizing sooner that it was my car and for not turning the alarm off more quickly).
I turned off the alarm and at first all seemed well. I started to walk around the car to see what had happened. I thought perhaps some person coming home in a drunken state had tripped and fallen against it, jostling it and setting off the alarm (we only have one parking spot in the car park in our complex, so it's parked on the street outside our townhouse. It's a large vehicle and the sidewalk is quite narrow), or perhaps the person parked behind me had nudged it while "parking by ear", as it were, and set the thing off.
And then I saw that one of the small windows on the rear passenger side was smashed.
I opened the car doors and at first thought that nothing was taken from the car; we don't keep much of value in there. And then I realized ...
There had been a bag on the back seat. A bag that very closely resembled a laptop case.
I had meant to bring the bag in when I got home from grocery shopping (for the delicious meal that we ate, and to which you were not invited) but I had to make four or five trips from the car to the house, and at the end I just left it there.
The reason I couldn't be arsed to go back for it was that all that it contained was a few pencils, a felt-tipped pen and a sketch book.
The sketch book that my husband and my 12-year-old daughter take with them to the coffee shop when they hang out while I sleep or work or whatever.
They are both artists and they love having coffee and drawing with and for each other. It's important Daddy/Daughter time.
And that bag was gone.
Now tell me; when you swiped the bag, you must have realized from the weight that there was no computer in there. Why the hell did you bother to take it? Was it that you'd cut your hand smashing the glass (please let this be true) and then had shat your pants when the car alarm went off (please please let this be true) and just ran off in a panic?
Was it because you're an idiot and don't know how much a computer weighs?
Was it because you'd gotten SOMEthing, ANYthing that didn't belong to you and so somehow you felt like you were a winner, even though the opposite is most clearly true?
It's not a great loss to us. I'm annoyed about the window -- I really don't have the money to fix it right now but I can hardly leave the car open to the elements. August is an expensive month for us. My daughter and I usually go to the fair, and then there's back-to-school clothing and school supplies. There's not an awful lot extra this month. Fixing the window is going to be terribly inconvenient for us, financially, but we'll manage, even if I have to dip into the retirement fund yet again.
But I'm sure you couldn't care less about all that.
You might care about the fact that if you'd taken a few more seconds to look around in the car that you'd have scooped a pile of CDs and a brand new phone charger. You might even care that there were a couple of brand-new camp seats still in their bags (worth about $20 each) and a few other things that were in the back. Haste makes waste, baby.
I hope you're happy with your new satchel. I wouldn't carry it about with you in public much if I were you, seeing we did report the incident to the police and provided them with a description. It's a fairly distinctive bag and I suspect you'd have trouble coming up with a suitable reason for it to be in your possession.
I know you likely will never read this, as you don't have the snazzy new laptop that you thought you'd snagged upon which to read posts -- that is, if you're literate enough to do so -- but I truly hope that you enjoy your new sketch pad that you stole from a little girl.
I'm really sorry that crayons weren't included -- I'm thinking that's more your style than pencils and felt-tipped pens, no?