Gin. Knitting. Monkeys. What more could you ask for?!

31 August 2006


My pirate name is:
Black Bess Rackham
"Like anyone confronted with the harshness of robbery on the high seas, you can be pessimistic at times. You have the good fortune of having a good name, since Rackham (pronounced RACKem, not rack-ham) is one of the coolest sounding surnames for a pirate. Arr!"

Yeah, BABY!!!! Thanks to Lady Linoleum for the link to this spot-on quiz!!!

30 August 2006

WTF Wednesday

Okay, last week was more like, "what the heck, this could be interesting, here goes". As opposed to this week, where it's "WHAT THE F*CK?!" as in, what the heck are they thinking!?!?!



People, the late 70's/early 80's was a very, very ugly time for "fashion". I know this, I WAS THERE. There is no need to revisit that particular nadir in clothing styles.

I was at Target last nite - I know, not exactly the clearing house for runway togs, but it does reflect the knock-offs thereof. And, since I don't subscribe to any fashionista mags or frequent the malls, it really is the only frame of reference I have.

It started innocently enough - I noticed a pair of maryjane (the shoe, not the leaf) slipper-socks that were manufactured to resemble hand-knit items. There goes my idea for holiday presents. But around the corner, what was lurking?!


Don't believe me? There's more.

(those are the slippers between the various legwarmer styles.)

When I got to the clothing department, it got worse. I've utilized the Target official pictures because they detail the offensive nature more than my camera phone ever could.

I've mocked the return to gauchos, even despite having purchased two pair myself. (I never got to wear them back then, and I always wanted to, and they're comfortable and. . .) I personally detest but (kinda) understand the whole leggings/short skirt/tunic look.

I must admit I still have a big problem with the camel cameltoe look. (I realize its more brown cameltoe, but camel cameltoe seemed funnier, somehow.)

But nothing prepared me for the horror of. . .


As in, "don't get yer knickers in a bunch". Previously enjoyed by 18th century courtiers.

To update, a la 1980, the knickersuit. Niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice.

Some denim, for variety.

Oh, and as a side note? The late 50's/early 60's weren't such a banner time for women. I think most normal women (i.e., those not shaped like a pre-pubescent boy) would have a hard time pulling this one off.

New Favorite Song

No one can ever accuse me of not lovin' the power ballads.

Ed. to note When I first heard the beginning of this song, after a lengthy introduction by the radio deejay (who had not himself heard it), I thought to myself, "well, I don't know if I like the song (it's pretty mushy), but I'd {{*!*}} the singer!" (based solely on his vocal qualities.) After having heard the entire song, I decided I liked the song. After seeing this video, however, I have to rescind my offer to the singer. He's kinda like David Boreanaz on heroin on a really, REALLY bad hair day.

28 August 2006

Oy, Whatta Weekend!

I was out of bed, showered and dressed by noon on BOTH days!!! Amazing, I tell you. I need a day off to recover.

On Saturday, WeeMonkeyGurl had a "Cheetah Girls" party in the canyon. If you're not the mother of a female between the ages of 5 - 12, then you won't understand. If you have a daughter/niece/sister/cousin/classmate/etc. of that age that watches Disney Channel, then you totally understand. In any event, picking her up was a good excuse to keep on going - to THE VALLEY to check out Stitch Cafe. It didn't hurt that there was a Special Event being held that evening.

I found the drive over (from Beverly Glen) to be very enjoyable - but I don't think I could do it every day. It was a beautiful afternoon, the monkey was asleep in the back seat, and I had the tunes cranking. Once "over the hill", I started coughing, but soon acclimated to the soup they call air over there. The store was easy to find, and they were just getting set up for the festivities.

What a great store.

Despite being frazzled and a bit overwhelmed, everyone there was extremely helpful. You could tell they love what they do. WeeMonkeyGurl snuggled down in a window couch and worked on her casting on (while periodically pleading for new yarn.) I indulged in fondling the silk and mohair, and finally came away with some nice, practical stuff I could actually afford and use (didn't hurt that it was 25% off). There were a few racks with yarns at 50% off. There were yarns that they hand-dyed in the shop. The store itself is bright and lovely, and I could see making that journey again.

Afterward (while filling out a "knitting trivia" questionnaire), we enjoyed the sound of bluegrass music, the WMG snacked on marshmallows, cotton candy, popcorn and lemonade, while I sampled some Everglo (it was mixed with gingerale, so relax!) Me and the WMG thought that *every* yarn excursion should be so wonderful.

On Sunday, I decided it was finally time to see Pirates 2. :) Since I had waited so long, I didn't have many choices in theaters, but it was showing at my favorite, El Capitan. This is one of the world's most gorgeous movie theaters. The only bad thing about it is the location - it takes about an hour for me to get there from home, and I live about 2 miles away. Plus, since half the traffic is non-local, and the other half is drunk, it makes the drive even more fun.

There was a Capt. Jack Sparrow look-alike (NOT!!!!) outside the theater. I didn't even look at him, for fear the disregard would show in my eyes. But there were other things to keep me entertained - they have an organist that plays before the movie. I *know* its a bad shot, but hello, CELL PHONE. Plus, I wasn't sure photos were allowed. In any event, he does a number of Disney movie songs, with his special interpretative skills. It really is entertaining.
They have a balcony on either side that is decorated for the film. Again, really more lovely than my camera reflects. They had a raffle - two free tix to Disneyland (WMG was *very* disappointed we didn't win). And they had a special prelude to the movie that was absolutely the best way to begin. It scared WMG senseless, and, as her mother, I couldn't have been more pleased.

Of course, the movie itself was everything I expected. My love for Johnny Depp knows no bounds, and this only reinforced it. To all the naysayers that had criticisms of the movie (specifically, it was at once too long and felt like the ending was arbitrary), I say, "POOH TO YOU." There is nothing I would change, and nothing I felt unnecessary, and the special effects were phenomenal.

Afterward, there is a room where you can see props from the movie, such as Ms. Swann's (I just love saying that - If you're a long time MadTV watcher, you'll know what I'm talking about) wedding dress.
The "toe necklace" and other goodies
One of the evil undead
And a whole host of other things.

All told, for the same price you'd pay to go to the Grove (with similar driving/parking issues), you really get the full experience at El Cap.

Oh, and Lizzie? BACK OFF. The Captain's MINE.

25 August 2006

You've Probably Already Seen It, But. . .

I'm kinda excited about my completed bag. This is for WeeMonkeyGurl's drama teacher, who, in addition to dealing with her dying mother (conveniently located in NYC), her daughter starting college, and the usual chaos that rules a woman's life, managed to produce a very impressive staging of West Side Story, performed entirely by the under-12 crowd. [one day, when he gets around to it, the Jman should have some pretty amazing photos.]

Drama Teacher took a shine to WeeMonkeyGurl the first time they met, three years ago, and still gives her extra special attention (I know all parents would like that to be true, but it really *is* true in this case).

So here's the COMPLETELY FINISHED project.

As modeled by Monkey:

Outstanding lining (SO I DON'T HAVE TO WEAVE IN THE ENDS!!!!!) - "no sew" fleece, on sale at Joann's. Perfect for an old hippie, no?!

And, the best part - The GOODIES. Lavender soap and lotion (to help calm the nerves); chocolate money (so her life is rich); and fahncee cookies (so her life is sweet).

I hope she likes it. Because if she doesn't, I'm taking it back. Especially the cookies.

23 August 2006

Isn't It Ironic

So, I broke down and busted open one of those yummy rice candy boxes. Relax, there are only four pieces in each box.

But proof that things were better when we were kids - although they still have the melt-away inner rice paper wrapping, they feel the need to EXPLAIN it to you on the box. That was part of the beauty - watching some neophyte attempt to peel off said inner wrapper. Good times.

And the outer wrapper was something akin to wax paper - you know, like good, old-fashioned tootsie rolls. Now, they have some repugnant cellophaney outer wrapper. Like the kind that wraps the pre-made cheap baskets you can get for $15 at Costco. Blech.

Worst of all, they used to have TOYS inside. Little tiny plastic cars or dolls or some other ONE INCH TOY. How cool is that? Now, they have stickers. Or, in this case temporary tattoos (WeeMonkeyGirl doesn't like 'em, and I hardly need 'em!).

This is what I got (minus the bird, which would have made it cool)

WTF Wednesday

We all know my poetry skills hover around the "ponder my bellybutton" level, and my interest in poetry lasts as long as a limerick (longer, if it's a dirty ditty!) But I got the following poem from a friend of mine, and I was really touched by it. Lemme know what you think.

Behind that Grimace, or Anxious Smile

Some mosquito nights, crouching in the junipers
Smelling of gin near the old wooden porch, paint peeling,
I watch her – I watch her smiling at the Bloodhounds
And talking to the parrot in the low-lit room.
But only in cut shot glimpses when the
Strange cool breeze of a fat, kind August
Frees the unfinished calico curtain
From the fly speckled sill.

Behind that grimace, or anxious smile,
Inside her head is a desperate asylum
Where racing thoughts collide
Like twilight bugs
Splattering on a fast summer windshield.
To the tick-passing-tock of uninteresting confessions --
Of metronome years….

Maybe tomorrow she’ll burn down the house

With all its weary cheer --
With all its half-dead inspiration –
With all its dust and frayed enthusiasm,
Pale and sickly as the half-hearted hydrangeas
Fading back to white in the unweeded garden.

With its piano full of dead mice
And its silver dishes full of starlight mints
Gone sticky in their cellophane wrappers.

With the anonymous guilt and its
-- Unattached shame --
And the terrible hum of the restless IBM Selectric…
Grimy keys and liver spots and that busy little silver ball
Tapping and clicking – and spinning and
Tapping and clicking out mountains and
Mountains of alphabet –
The prolix futility of trying to say –
Trying to say…ineffable…emptiness –
Trying to say emptiness volcanoes overflowing with hot weightless lack….

And trying to say other mountains too –
Trying to say mountains too full --
Too full of rage and regret and the eternal tapping
And clicking of malaria wings;
Of the constant buzzing of bloodhungry swarms
Of secrets and lies -- and unanswered letters never sent.
Never sent to Santa Claus, Florida, and Elvis --
Never sent to any of these false Gods of youth.

And all the Unstrung Lovers starving in the attic
With their Auschwitz ribs and deaf cello eyes –
With their xylophone smiles and their posable limbs.
They haven’t seen her in so many packrat years…
She doesn’t want them – She doesn’t want them to:
“No, she’s not that pretty anymore,”
Or to wonder (comma) if she ever really was.

22 August 2006


Don't try to comment at 1am after spending the evening drinking and crying. Oh, and doing laundry. Never-frickin-ending!

I came here to delete this blog. I still may, but I've decided to put off that decision until I can think straight. HAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAHAHAH! PHEW!!! {wipes tears from eyes}} I needed that!

What I meant to say in my accidentally-deleted comment was, THANK YOU. You guys are the best. Sachi, Miss Kendra, Uccellina, you know I love you. Ellen, you made me giggle (aloud!) when I didn't think I had a giggle left in me. It's good to know it gets better, if only slightly so.

Laurie Ann, we're like this {{gesturing wildly with two fingers from my eyes to your eyes to my eyes. . .}}

JenL, as the queen of cute kids, that is high praise. Actually, what the MonkeyGurrl lacks in sweetbabyness, she makes up for in DRAMA!!!

And Wendy, I love the dup comments - it makes me feel pop-poo-lar. Whenever you can break from your jetset lifestyle, we will welcome you like the celebrity you are. And seriously? Email me your snailmail addy. They sent me TEN boxes of the stuff. If I ate all that, I'd be the next person you mock at the gym (if I ever made it to a gym...)

21 August 2006

Good Monday Frickin Morning!

I hate Mondays. Really I do. It doesn't help to find this Monday morning, I'm stuck between a hard-head and a clueless. Both have been friends of mine for a very long time, both have their Point Of View, both of which no doubt have some merit, and both are stubborn as asses (the donkey kind). I'm of the, "aw, f*ckit. Who cares?!" variety, but the Voice Of Reason (as propounded my yours truly) will not be heeded.

So, on to more mundane items.

Mr. Bucket was being especially cute and cuddlesome Saturday. He was so snuggly soft I had to snap a quick pic.

Jaggers got jealous, so I got one of the old broad too.

I got a package from the 'rents (currently in Hawaii). It was . . . interesting. There was a package of gumball vitamins for the Wee Monkey Gurl (because, at 42 years of age, I don't know enough to get my daughter vitamins), and a separate package for me. The first item in my package was this.

By way of explanation, I have never had a conversation with my egg donor that didn't include each of the follow topics - why my butt is so big, why my skin is so bad, how much I desperately need to lose weight. This has always been the case, ever since I was the Wee Monkey's age, if not before. Even when I went through my anorexic phase (99lbs @ 32 years old), there was still something to pick on. So when I saw these, my initial reaction was, SHIT. I really don't need this.

Then I opened the box.
And laughed my arse off. This was my *favorite* candy when I was a kid, and since the 'rents are selling their property in Hawaii, I guess this is my last chance to get it from the source.

Also included was a tank top that I have *NO* idea why they got it for me; probably because it is BLACK, and as everyone knows, I ONLY WEAR BLACK (Hi, Mom? It's been TWENTY YEARS since I graduated from college!!!!)

But it matters not, because said tank was quickly appropriated by WeeMonkeyGurl.

Precise transcript of conversation:

WMG: I don't think that will fit you. It looks too small.
ME: Oh, it does?
WMG: Yeah, but I think it will fit me.

Clearly she's been hanging out with her grandmother too much.

17 August 2006

The Road to Perdition

Since I'm pretty much a lace virgin, I decided to start slowly with Knitty's Perdita. I figgered I could toss it in with the Dster's birdday bounty.

Since it is "LACE", I could practice my blocking skills. Monkey thinks I overdid it.

A closer (yet fuzzier!) view.

Never one to rest on my laurels, I figgered I'd try another version.

I think I'm hooked. The only drawback is (obviously), I have to pay attention when I'm knitting. Which means if I'm knitting to keep from strangling WeeMonkeyGurl while she's doing her homework, I can't do it (constant interruptions). If I'm knitting at the SnB, I can't do it (mah gurlz are *interesting*!!!) If I'm knitting while waiting for a movie to start, the light to turn green, or the elevator to come, I can't do it.


But, this also means the beautiful (real) lace projects I've been eyeing aren't completely out of my range. But if I ever say I'm working on the wedding ring shawl, just go ahead and lock me up.

In sad news, with heavy hearts, we bid Ms. Lucy a fond fare-thee-well this week. Sigh. We're gonna miss her goofy face, her loving, cuddling, wiggly ways. I tried to get her mom to take Jag instead, but no such luck. Sigh. At least she left me something to remember her by - when overjoyed to see her family, Miss Lucy engaged in Rapid Frenetic Movement - that is, "Taz" behavior. And she was kind enough to THWONK me one on the jaw. Big, thick doggie skull against my fragile leetle jaw. Thank the gods for advil.

There is one person who is not sad to see Miss Lucy leave.

The Gargoyle.

He's such a sweet boy.NOT.

Since he wouldn't hold still for a close up, I lifted him by his scruff. He looks much more handsome with the face lift.

14 August 2006


So. A LOT has happened since we last touched base. Unfortuately, they've had me so busy here preparing for a stupid trial. HUH. Making me work and stuff.

Firstly, and most important, I bought a new car. Not a "new" new car, a "new for me" car. It was an EXCELLENT purchase. It's been a week and I'm still not regretting it, so I guess it was a good buy. Although a '98, this car was *literally* driven by a little (about 4'10") old (65? 66?) lady from Tarzana. (It's not Pasadena, but it is some far-flung So Cal neighborhood.) I wasn't exactly planning on getting a car, but since the Jman had the accident in the Jeep which I HATED because it was old and unreliable, much like the man himself, and he always had some excuse why he couldn't pick up or drop off the Monkey. But then I saw this

He went to check it out; it was PRISTINE. Although technically three years older than the truck (which was bought at model year end), it had 5k less miles on it. And it was so friggin clean it is unbelieveable. You could tell Little Old Lady's Old Man really enjoyed babying this beauty.

Wee MonkeyGurl thinks she's a princess on parade when riding in it.

To celebrate the purchase, why, I *had* to visit a yarn shop. I've been wanting to go to the Knitters' Studio for some time (it's in the hood), but have been a bit intimidated. Too bad I had a FABULOUS time. They had a bunch of stuff on sale (30%-50%, but it didn't matter if it was 10%, just so I could justify the purchase!!)

Got some incredibly soft and beautiful Kaalund Expressions ~ 100% KID MOHAIR!!! Don't ask me what I'm going to do with it. Probably just fondle it endlessly. It wasn't even on sale (i.e., *really* expensive!), but I kept being drawn back to it, so I had to get it.

Ironically enough, when I got it home I found that it matched *exactly* with some bliss silk alpaca that had *also* been an impulse/fondle purchase. Maybe I'll just combine them all for some sinfully soft, fully-indulgent masterpiece. Or not.

This was on sale. And more gorgeous than a cell phone camera could ever convey. Tibetan recycled sari silk. GORGEOUS colors, but a little scratchy. Maybe a purse or something?

Noro silk, one of my new favs. And complimentary filitura de whatever. I just love the rich, deep colors. :)

Now here's the flash part - against all odds (and despite many people betting against me), I actually made it to a monthly Stitch-N-Bitch meeting at the Original Farmer's Market - AT THE CRACK OF DAWN. Well, okay, 10:30 - IN THE A.M!!! ON A SATURDAY.

And why did I make such an effort? For a MAN, of course.

He may young, but he knows what he likes. :) Thanks, MOM!!!!! (I may have skeered her; she thought I was gonna steal her baby. :) I thought about it!!!!)

04 August 2006

How Depp Is Your Love?

I think I won the contest for the Most Inappropriate Behavior (Over 40) category. At the very least, the other people in my office no longer argue with me over who loves Johnny Depp more.

I had this made:

And I'm going back next week when she gets more stock in, to add a skull (and hopefully, crossbones). Or I'll just do it myself. :)

Today is the Wee MonkeyGurrl's performance in West Side Story. Hopefully, I'll have amusing details and entertaining pictures for you on Monday.

Have a great weekend!

03 August 2006

Keep Dancin'

So here is what I decided to make for Wee MonkeyGurrl's Drama Teacher/Coach/Mentor, "MM". I wanted to use up some stuff in my stash, so I broke into the red heart stash. It wasn't because I thought MM deserved acrylic, but it is wrapped with a metallic thread, so it gives it PIZZAZ. (pizzaz?) I decided on the Strong Women Dance motif because (1) it is my favorite; and (b) MM is dealing with some heavy stuff, vis-a-vis her mom.

I doubled the yarn, and picked two colors that I thought would go together well, be dramatic, but not too christmas-y. Of course, I almost ran out of the blue, but managed to find an extra ball stashed with a sorry attempt at a christmas stocking (from last year). Good thing, because this stuff is only available at WallyWorld at christmas time, or on line. The Jman mocked me, b/c I always seem to be running out of yarn at the end of my projects. Hmmmmm....

I didn't use a pattern; I just did a bottom piece on a smaller needle (US7) in garter stitch for a tighter gauge, then picked up stitches around the edge. From there, I knit (stockinette) circular with a US10.5, and doubled the schematic for the motif (both height and width). Despite my adversion to mathmatics, it turned out surprisingly well.

All I have left is to do a strip to use as a strap (3 feet of 14 garter stitches. Woo-hoo!!!!), and sew in a lining. I only wish I had done it in wool, because I'm really not looking forward to darning in all these ends!!

The show is tomorrow afternoon, so I don't think it'll be done by then, but Wee MonkeyGurrl has one more month of summer camp, so I'm pretty certain I can have it completed in time. :) Maybe.

02 August 2006

Stop Looking At My Butt

The tail end (sans tail) of the weebil I made with the left over yarn from


This is her face:

Pretty fricking cute, but that may just be my opinion.

I just love these amigurumi guys. They are fast, fun and since it's all free-form, there are NO RULES. The only problem is, crochet really lends itself to the art (knitting would include counting and figuring and general *MATH* skills - ugh), but crochet just KILLS my wrist. Even this little tyke, who only took a few hours, almost broke me. But it was so worth the effort.

I gave her a flat butt (Dster, after all, is white) for sitting and a ruffle skirt for style. The ears are purposely uneven (hope you could tell with my fuzzy pix), and her head egg-like in nature. She kinda reminds me of a sweet version of Brain.

Pinky: Gee, Brain, what are we going to do tonight?
Brain: The same thing we do every night, Pinky. Try to take over the world!