Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Implied, or, Quality Spousery

Perhaps it's just me. Maybe I'm over-sensitive to the possible implications of words and phrases, but, for me, the phrases "good wife" or "bad wife" carry strong patriarchal and sexist overtones. The phrases "good husband" or "bad husband" do not, however; were I to hear a man referred to as being a "good husband", I would think only that he must be kind, generous and considerate of his role as spouse and partner. The same cannot be said for the female equivalent phrases: I hear the implication of gender roles and a patriarchal bias regarding household hierarchy and submission versus dominance. And, obviously, I don't like it. It turns me off, absolutely and completely, and I'm frustrated by the fact that the very word, "wife", carries all this antiquated baggage with it; "spouse" does not, but I find that I am tired of constantly having to remove gendered terms from language simply due to historic usage. In the - granted, flawed - age in which we live, we should be past these associations.

What's unfortunate about these linguistic implications is that I have been feeling lately like I'm starting to get the hang of this whole "wife" thing. I think I'm getting pretty good at it, particularly for one whose family model is far from ideal. But to say "I think I'm a good wife" feels demeaning, and that is deeply irritating to me, for reasons I don't think I can even define for myself, let alone anyone else.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

J-j-j-jitterbug! Or, day-late yarn pr0n!


As promised, pr0n! This is the skein of yarny goodness I picked up today to accompany me on the flight to Russia. It is lovely, sproingy, mottled Colinette Jitterbug yarn in colourway Jay, and it will become a Jaywalker scarf. I picked up some bamboo dpns to use. Two will hide in my hair to get through security, and the rest will sit in my purse in a glasses case. Hopefully the needles won't be a problem, but if so, my crazy hair will hide them nicely.


Our car is all better! As you may recall from my last post, our brakes were shot. The pad on one rear brake was nearly gone, and the other was entirely missing: worn right through. Through some smart shopping on the part of mum and her bf, Mr. Microscope, we were able to get new brakes for a very good deal, and thanks to Mr. Microscope's friend, Handsome Dan, they were installed at no cost. As they were working on the brakes, the utter destruction of the tires became apparent. It would seem we had worn all the way through the tread in spots on the rear tires, exposing the radial. Yeah, bad news. The good news was that - again, thanks to mum and the bf - a fabulous tire deal was found, and Dave Next Door agreed to install them for next to nothing. Buying the man a 24 of Heineken would have cost us more. So now we are braking and gripping and very happy with the general safety of our car.


And a response to Bezzie's question in her comment on the August 23rd post: "Can you feel your seizures coming on? I've got two friends that are epileptics, one can feel them coming on, one can't. "

In a way, yes. Most of my seizures have been at night, so I have been asleep as they began. But now, having gone essentially without any seizure activity for over a decade, I can feel when things aren't right. The last time I went off the meds after having a clean EEG, I began having absence seizures. Very strange, but also a little interesting (sort of a "stoned" feeling). The best way I can think to describe it is that I find things start to seem almost cute when my medication levels are low or non-existent. It's hard to put into words, but there is definitely something off, and it starts days or even weeks - off and on - before the glassy eyes and staring blankly starts. Which is good. It's nice to have some warning.

I, honestly, feel a little strange writing about my condition. There's this bizarre stigma surrounding epilepsy, due largely to the almost entire lack of understanding and education people have about the condition. It is so varied and, in many ways, so random, that it is a difficult thing for the lay person to conceive. And generations of misunderstanding harking back as far as Judeo-Christian scripture (all that bit about fits and the exorcising of demons? often epilepsy) and have continued to the present day. Even now, epilepsy awareness and support groups caution people to be wary when sharing details of their condition with employers, as many people have experienced discriminatory hiring and employment practices as a result. All that said, though, the only way to destroy the stigma is to speak openly. So I do my best!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Week's end wrap-up, or, I'm not feeling creative or eloquent enough to come up with a full coherent post on any subject

I know, I'm a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad blogger for coming to FRIDAY and not having even the merest hint of a picture. And it's pr0n day, no less!


Had some fairly nummy nachos last night with the dance ladies. It was a welcome distraction, and in total cost me less than $10 for a night out. Both good things.


After several weeks of horrendous sounds coming from our back brakes, we had my mum's bf take a look at them. Turns out we've worn all the way through the pads. It's essentially undriveable until they're fixed, though DH debates this fact. Hmph.


I have so greatly appreciated the kind words I've received in light of this crappy development with Jon's work. It truly has been a help to me, and I am feeling so much less insane about the whole thing, it's rather remarkable. I'll do my best to repay you by posting something picture-like in the next day or so.


Finally, some baby vibes for my friend BananaPink. She is now four days overdue with her third child. As of just a little while ago, she was still very much pregnant. So the baby vibes must be two-fold: first, that she have the baby as soon as possible, BUT also that she NOT have the baby until Sunday. Her BIL, her husband MadStix' younger brother, is being married tomorrow and she would really really like to be there.

Happy Friday to you all!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Metal objects, or, Testing My Mettle*

I need to get a bracelet. Specifically, a MedicAlert bracelet. Frankly, it's stupid of me to go off my medication (*cough*fourdaysago*cough*) without wearing something that reads "Stop freaking out: I am fine. I am not dying. Don't let that bus run over me while I lie unconscious on the ground"**. Or, you know, something to that effect, as I'm fairly certain that the company doesn't normally word their warnings quite like that, and even if they did, such a long statement wouldn't fit on the back of a tiny bracelet.

I have had a MedicAlert bracelet before. I got one when I was first diagnosed epileptic at 15, and then replaced it at 17 when I "mysteriously" developed an anaphylactic allergy to almonds (Please, parents: do not allow your children to eat copious amounts of fundraising candy laced with nuts, particularly if the children have pre-existing allergies. And by "let" I mean fail to lock up the chocolate in a high cupboard, because, really, a 17 year old girl with hopes of a performing career really should know better, both from a nutrition stand point, as well as the "I don't wanna be a fatty" standpoint). I haven't had one in a while though; my last one broke, or irritated my wrist, or I lost it because I refused to wear it and carried it in a purse...I can't recall.

So. I should get a new one. And I can get one for as little as $9.95 USD. Fab. But...I don't really like it. I would much prefer not to wear jewelry made of the same material as my cutlery. Still, for someone whose husband was LAID OFF unexpectedly yesterday, perhaps cheap is the order of the day. I could get a teeny tiny bracelet. Am I too old to get away with a coloured emblem? Maybe teal or pink? Or I could just blow a bunch of our money and get this one!


Yes, The Man was laid off. I almost don't want to talk about it, I am so utterly pissed off. There are various reasons for the rage. For one thing, his contract has been up for several months and his boss was dragging her heels on renegotiating. I think she knew months back she was going to have to let him go and didn't want to either come clean, or give him a brief raise. This is the same boss who never bothered to give him benefits. The money wasn't nearly good enough to justify having neither dental or optical. But what is also toasting me is that apparently there had been issues at work for a few months, and he failed to mention it to me. Now that the shock of all this is wearing off, I'm getting a little angry about it.


No pics today, I'm afraid. The lace scarf looks the same, but about 3 times as long. It seems to knit so quickly, about 5 minutes a row, but doesn't seem to grow very quickly, despite that speed. Huh.

*Witty, no?
**Having never had a daytime convulsive seizure, the likelihood of that ever happening is very slight, but I like to prepare for the worst. And a creative mind is a terrible thing to waste by not using massive, hyperbolic language.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Movie night, or, What to Watch While Knitting

Last weekend, The Man rented three movie, which we then failed to watch over that weekend. The evenings of this past week being entirely occupied by performances on Parliament Hill, it wasn't until Friday evening that the opportunity to watch any of them presented itself.

The first I watched was The Devil Wears Prada. I had heard that it was great, and I think the hype ruined it a little for me. I was a little disappointed. That said, I did enjoy it, and I thought that Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci were incredibly enjoyable. And the girl who plays Emily, while a horrible character, did a fantastic job. And I think watching so many lovely garments marching across the screen for an hour and a half has had an effect on me. I made a point of actually drying my hair this morning and wearing good shoes, rather than the little - granted, adorable - leather ballet flats that I have been absolutely living in for the past three months.

The second was Stranger than Fiction starring Will Farrell, Emma Thompson, Dustin Hoffman and Maggie Gyllenhaal, with Queen Latifah. It was good. It was weird, but it was, undoubtedly, very good. The Man isn't so sure, but I am. It was nifty, unexpected, and thought-filled. The characters were cute but not cutesy, thoughtful without being self-obsessed. And Emma Thompson, as usual, was brilliant. Seriously. This woman should be an Member of the OBE. Someone tell Queen E.

The third movie was an independant British pic, called 24 Hour Party People. It was a past-tense documentary-style film about Factory records and the rise of the Manchester music scene in the very late '70's and through the '80's and '90's beginning with Joy Division and on through Happy Mondays and the birth of rave culture. It was very well done, quite tongue-in-cheek and thoroughly enjoyable. And totally littered with obscenities, as it should be.

The shoulder shrug is almost done. I'm so close!!! I was able to try it on yesterday, and it looks pretty good. I'm hoping some funnyness will block out. It's really teeny! I think it'll be sweet with a tank or a little dress, though. Hopefully, it works out. And my lace scarf needs tinking. There are 16 stitches in every pattern repeat, and currently one of those repeats is sporting only 15. Where did the other one go? Who knows; I don't. So there will be tinking at lunch. And yes, I do have lifelines, so if it comes to that, we'll be alright.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Best I could do, or, Alpen!

Swiss-made periwinkle blue cotton yarnA nice look at the texture of the Swiss yarn

Not the best pr0n shots today, I'm afraid. I had plans to get up early, take some nice macro shots of my Rowan tweed shoulder shrug, but, uh, the lure of sleep was a little too great. I'm supervising a series of dance shows this week on Parliament Hill, and while I'm not doing the dancing, I think I'm moderately exhausted by the whole ordeal! I had no idea how stressful it is to stand and watch and wait and hope it all goes to plan. There was some knuckle-biting last night as I watched. Seriously.

So, all preamble aside, the pr0n-y details: Swiss-made Aarlan cotton yarn in a lovely periwinkle. It has some nice sheen to it, very pretty, and...I haven't knit a stitch so I have no clue how it knits up. I'm hoping it's lovely. Even so, I got it for next to nothing at a local yarn shop which has been owned and operated since its opening 53 years ago by the same woman. She and her son have operated it together for over forty years, and he has decided to retire, about a year after his mother's stroke left her unable to run the store with him. While it's very sad about his mother, I'm very happy for him that he is retiring while he is young and healthy enough to enjoy his retirement. He seemed thrilled to be closing and moving on, though he certainly loves fibre and knitting and was quite enthusiastic about finding things for the few people wandering through the nearly-empty shop on its final day.

Finally, I can always judge the appeal of a post by the comments, or lack thereof. The last post was rather self-pitying and spleeny, and I apologise. Best to get such thoughts out, though, rather than penning them up and allowing them to fester. I want to be fester free! (Two points if you can name the Whedon show, episode and character who delivered that line. What you can't? I can. Yes, I am a freak. No, you should not aspire to be like me.)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

An existential crisis, or, Where?

Yes, "Where?" as in "Where did my life go?" or "Where did all my great dreams and plans go?"

Things are fine, things are good, I enjoy my job and having a steady pay cheque and making plans and all that, but I'm listening to my online radio, and Feist comes on, and: she's really fantastic!! She's so good at what she does, and gets to spend her time doing precisely that: what she loves. I manage a database, for crying out loud.

How, how did it come to this? I feel like a fecking sell-out. I work for a very liberal, very progressive charity, so at least I agree with their policies and the fact that their faith-based is a daily boon to me, but it doesn't change the fact that I haven't really sung a note in over a month. A month. And my studies? They're all but forgotten, though, at least, I have tried to get a supervisor for that damned honours paper to finish my undergrad degree. No takers, no luck, no go. Ugh.

I just feel...unbalanced: not in the sense the phrase is so often used, to imply mental or emotional illness, but like my actions and my plans and my desires are not adding up, not balancing out in the long run, or even the short run, for that matter. And it leaves me feeling very much as though I've forgotten to do something, the way I feel when I know I've left something home which I will need on a long trip, but there is no way to go back and retrieve it.

I left home without remembering to bring my dreams with me...and now I am haunted.

Also, I have a fruit fly flitting around my cubicle, and it's really pissing me off.

Let's lighten up, a bit, with...pivot turns!! My absolute, favourite thing to do when dancing. Here we go:


First: the necessary highcuts immediately preceding pivot turns. Then three photos showing pivot turns with various partners. The male dancer, who can be seen wearing beret, cut-away and waistcoat, in addition to the kilt and diced hose as the female dancers must also wear, was remarkably good. He was tall, thin, well-muscled, and beautifully flexible, with a lovely grace of movement besides. He was very enjoyable to watch, and I hope that he placed well in this competition.

Truth be told, I feel better. The difference a little propelled pivot turn can make!

Monday, August 13, 2007

I know, it's not Wednesday, or, A Week Ago


What do you do when you have some fingering weight burgundy 100% Alpaca, begging to be knit, and a desire to knit something lacy? This scarf, that's what.

The stitch pattern is a chart taken from Deborah Newton's V-neck lace pullover in Summer VK '07. It's very angular and reminds me of a twisting rope, but also rather of Greek Keys in its linear, right-angled nature. I added a border to give the scarf definition, just simple pairs of yo's stacked around the edges of the fabric.

I liked it while I was knitting. After I pinned it all out, though, I loved it! I suppose this is really the first lace thing I've ever really gotten this far on. The lace alpaca stockings, *sigh*, are going nowhere, and are crying out to be frogged and the yarn re-wound.


I had plans this week - and I did endeavour - to post pictures from our long weekend. But I thought it likely that people visiting a so-called knitting blog might not be thrilled overmuch by a pic-heavy post with absolutely no yarn content and a large number of pictures of 18 year olds in kilts executing pivot turns. I thought "Flickr mosaic!" But no go: Flickr refuses to cooperate. Such has been the state of my past week with computers. This is just par for the course, I'm afraid.

In summation, it was a great weekend, with beautiful weather, and we had a fantastic time. Friday and Saturday at the Maxville Highland Games (hence the kilts and dancing) and Sunday was spent up at my aunt and uncle's cottage, sitting on the barge (essentially a floating dock with an outboard and a bit of roof for shade) and enjoying the good company of my family. A good day. Wembley met other dogs, ran around, took her first swim, and was thoroughly exhausted by the early evening.


Friday, August 10, 2007

Witty, or, I AM the target audience!

Very cool ads from the Spanish yarn manufacturer, Katia, featured in this weeks pr0n.


You can check out the online comments on this ad from back in March when it was featured on an online ad blog, and read the sometimes uninformed (Hello, yes, we're not all granny's knitting horrible scratchy sweaters; the new generation of knitters is young and hip, even if some of us are, in fact, grandmothers) but often refreshingly receptive comments from people in the ad industry. I thought it was cool, and wanted to share. Besides, the ads are fun, and I think they do a good job of targeting the "new generation" of knitters.

Pr0no for yarn-os, or, Baumwolle and Algodon

Two cotton yarns: Mississippi 3 by Katia and Waikiki by StahlA close-up of the two yarns.

Yes, cotton and more cotton! On the left, in the top picture, we have an algodon yarn from Spanish manufacturer Katia in a lovely taupe. On the right we have a baumwolle yarn from German manufacturer Stahl-Wolle in a nifty, multi-coloured ply yarn. Very nice. And yes, I realise that the "baumwolle" and "algodon" mean the same thing, but don't they look and sound more interesting than "cotton"? Even the aesthetic of the vowel sounds is superior.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Below, or, Utah

As the descendant of miners, I feel a great deal of pity and sympathy for the families of the six miners trapped underground in Utah. Though none of my immediate family have ever gone below, the reality of the coal-mining family feels deeply embedded in my family identity, though, fortunately, in a detached and somewhat unfathomable way. Somehow, through some miracle, none of my great-uncles died below in the coal mines of Cape Breton, despite being a mile below and several miles out under the ocean. Truly remarkable. I pray that the 6 miners in Huntington will be as fortunate.

Spare a moment, spare a thought.

Very little, or, Really, it's not much at all

I know, I'm way overdue for a post. I have lots of pictures from my fabulous - seriously, it was just brilliant - long weekend and some updates on the string and needles situation[s], however, that will have to wait until this evening. This mini-post is just an assurance that I yet live, I did not get lost in the Outaouais, and I do still spend far too much time online.

Wishing you all a pleasant day!

Friday, August 03, 2007

bat country

Oh my-fucking-gourd. Funniest frigging thing ever.

Bow-chika-wow-wow, or, Yarn Pr0N!

The spoils from my Yarn Acquisition Expedition last Saturday with mum! 2 skeins of handspun Rio de la Plata. It's an uneven bulky weight yarn with a nice 'wool-y' sheen. With it I got 5 skeins of Rowan Lambswool, marked down to $5 a skein because it has been discontinued. The pink of the lambswool is a perfect match to the handspun as you can see from the third photo. Which is which? Who knows! It's perfect!

I'm swatching, and envisioning some sort of sweater with the body of it knit in the handspun, and deep ribbed cuffs - or the entire sleeve, if I've run out of handspun - of the lambswool.

Pretty, pretty wool. Happy Friday, and to any fellow Canadians, Happy Long Weekend!


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