Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Nest of Moth-Ra

Tonight when I got home, I saw another moth. I promptly lost my ever-loving mind and went berserk searching every nook and cranny of this room…and then I found it.

Under the bed. WAY under the bed. So far under the bed that I had to get a broom to get to it – forgotten, forlorn, lost, and alone, a battered-up leaky bag from which there wafted the unmistakable chalky scent of alpaca.

Except it wasn’t alpaca. It was llama, a bag of llama yarn I’d gotten at a fiber festival, Lord, years ago. I’d messed around with it a bit, found it a bit unnerving thanks to the guard hairs (longer, whisker-like hairs that are a large factor in what make a wool scratchy) and strange soft-but-yet-coarse texture, put it into this bag and shoved it under the bed.

For all I know, those moths have been chewing on it since Day One. I wouldn’t be surprised if they had, because when I opened up the bag and pulled out what remained, it was like pulling out a random ball of short little strings, barely held together by some cotton ties. Whoa.

And just to put a little icing on it, a few moths even fluttered out, thumbing their noses at me and going, “Ha, ha, we ate yer llama!” (So I squished them. SO THERE, Sons of Moth-Ra!) (Although sweet Moses on buttered toast, have you ever tried to swat yourself a clothes moth?! They fly like little drunken Celts, swerving randomly around and somehow never being where by the laws of physics they really ought to have been. Also, they have super powers. Because nothing else can explain how I, at 128 pounds, can slam my hand down on something no bigger than the head of a really big pin and have it spring right back up again, fla-whittering around like it’s going, “Whoa! Duuuuuude! Yer harshin’ mah mellow, dude…!”

Fortunately, Everything Else that is beloved of moths and their progeny has been safely bagged up all along – I haven’t found a single frayed ply on anything else in the stash.

And, now that I’ve found the Nest of Moth-Ra…I will be able to sleep tonight.

On…the bed…

…above the former moth-nest…

oh dear, I seem to have given myself a raging case of the heebie-jeebies…

Running late but still on time

The sweater is coming swiftly along. I'll be starting the first sleeve on the homeward trek today – I have to admit, I'm really enjoying the semi-instant gratification thing right now.

Yesterday, I missed my train; the alarm went off and I sort of didn't take it all that seriously, you know? But…well…I was tired. Because, see, thing is? I saw a moth in my bedroom Tuesday night.

Twenty-some-odd years worth of hoarded-up wool, silk, alpaca, and cashmere yarn in that bedroom, and here's this drunken-flying little critter just skittering along all, "La la la, never mind me, I'm just here to ruin your life…"

So naturally, I was up until after midnight Tuesday night ripping my bedroom apart trying to find where the little @*^&@er were nesting. (Didn't find it yet, either. All the 'good stuff' is already safely wrapped up in Space Bags and Ziplocs, and I can't find any evidence that they've suddenly developed a taste for acrylics and cottons, nor can I find a single chewed-up strand of any wool/synthetic blends. AND I HAVE LOOKED. I don't think I have a single skein of "neat" yarn left in the whole lot. Sigh)

My bedroom looks like Moth-Ra and Godzilla stopped by for tea before heading off for their epic battle and tried to knit up tea cozies during their visit. It is so astonishingly bad in there right now that it defies description. I should totally take a picture of it, because it is a whole new kind of crazy how chaotically destroyed it is…and yet so OCD at the same time, because I have been taking this opportunity to finally get my <I>whole entire stash</i> up on Ravelry, updating locations so I have a prayer of finding things, taking pictures, etc. etc. etc. And of course I'm also organizing the yarn as I go, because things had gotten rather haphazard, storage-wise. So now I've got the 100% wool worsted in this bag, and the sock yarn in that bag, and the hand-dyed stuff here and the rotgut acrylics there and the baby-worthy stuff in here and the fancy-blends there and really, how a room can look like a hoarder's trailer that was hit by a tornado on the one hand, and yet be so compulsively organized is…kind of miraculous, actually.

But I digress.

ANYWAY, then the alarm went off at 3:40 the next morning as if Moth-Ra hadn't visited at all. And I was all, …meh… and then when I did motivate myself out of bed, I was all, …shower… and then the water was so warm and the clean-feeling was so lovely, and then I was all …I am going to stay in this shower for the rest of my life… and then, well, my train was halfway to San Jose while I was just slipping into the car trying to bend time to my will and make it so that leaving at 4:45 was totally going to get me to the station in time to a) park, b) walk up to the platform, c) validate my ticket and d) get on the train by 4:49.

Which so didn't happen.

Which is why I was an hour late yesterday.

Which brings me to this morning. Last night, I resisted the urge to continue the cataloging (I have the whole day off tomorrow – I think it can wait just one measly day) and went to bed at a semi-decent hour. AND, I took my shower last night. HA HA, I am cunning, am I not?! My bags were packed and sitting by the door, all my knitting requirements for the day already put away, train tickets and badges dangling off the back of my bag where I could grab them easily, and I had even taken care of the other major time-sink the night before as well, to wit, answering the "what shall I wear today?" question.

For someone who is so not a fashion-hound, it perpetually amazes me how long I will stand in my closet on the average workday morning, just staring at my options. Which, by the way, are limited. I have several pairs of nice work jeans (not to be confused with my gardening jeans, even though I frequently do confuse them and end up at work in jeans with worn knees, frayed hems dangling at my ankles, and permanently ground-in dirt), and four (4) dressier pants (two of which are significantly too big for me, and one of which is tight enough to give me a stomach ache after a full day's wearing, but not too tight to zip up so therefore obviously they're Still Good). And about nine shirts. That's it.

So why it can take me fifteen minutes to settle on something to clothe my nekkidness is kind of a mystery. And yet it happens. I just stand there, frozen with indecision, staring at this vast array (ahem) and going, "Uhhhhhhhhhhhhh…" like the Fate of the World™ is riding on my next move.

I blame the earliness of the hour. Which is a convenient excuse for just about everything. Including the "wearing gardening jeans to work" thing.

ANYWAY. With all that groundwork for success having been laid the night before, I was doing so well on time when I made it downstairs to make my coffee (ominous music begins to swell) that I felt it was totally acceptable to scan through yesterday's newspaper real-quick while it was brewing.

I glanced at the clock on the microwave as I finished up the main news section. 4:25, doing fine.

Then I scanned through the comics and glanced again. 4:30. Yeah, better move it.

Then as I was taking the milk out of the microwave and going through the daily ritual of creating my morning mug of ambition, my gaze shifted to the clock on the oven.

And that son-of-a-beached-whale said 4:39.

And I said…well, never mind what I said exactly. Suffice to say that I said it with tremendous emphasis. A check against my cell phone confirmed that the oven was correct. The microwave was slow.

I was late. Again.

And then I went through a spasm of indecision.

The absolute latest I can leave the house and make the train is 4:35. And that's going to require pushing the speed limit, not getting behind any turtles on the road, hitting the lights right, parking fast and getting to the platform faster…and my coffee was. not. READY.

I finished making my coffee – fast. And then I grabbed my stuff and ran for it. I did calming meditations all the way to the train station. It's just one hour. It's OK. You're not a bus driver or a heart surgeon. Nobody will die if you're an hour late again. We'll get there when we get there. You can work on the train. You can work from home tonight. It's oooookaaaaay…

It didn't exactly work. It helped, but I was still white-knuckled on the steering wheel and having to make myself drive safely.


I made it in time in any case (barely), but then the train was four minutes late. So I didn't even have to run for it.

And I said to myself, said I, "Self! This is a sign! The Universe is with me today!!"

And that's the kind of day I'm insisting on having. Woot!

(sent from my Treo)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A little vintage in my life

This is the child's petal jacket from a (I think) 1958 Coats and Clark booklet. I made one in black for Danger Mouse last was recently found in the "finishing" pile (where "finishing" entailed sewing on buttons - why this took a YEAR is one of those Great Mystery sorts of things), and now she's wearing it, and now Boo Bug wants, here we go. It's a relatively fast knit, EXTREMELY like the famous 5 Hour Baby hopefully we'll get some instant gratification, knitting-style.

It has been a long week, and it's only Wednesday. Hope to blog allllll about it...because blogging is cheaper than therapy and I'm gonna need me some by the time this week is over!

(sent from my Treo)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Why Having A Stash Of Ridiculous Size Is Actually A Good Idea, Reason #17

When you find yourself with a knitting emergency and really, really, really would like to be casting on, you know, soon, it’s far better to already have the yarn on hand than to find yourself agonizing over whether or not it’s worth the extra $11 to have it “express shipped” so you can have it up to two weeks sooner than you’ll get it via the “free standard by which we mean slowest possible” method.


I made the mistake of calculating out how long it would take to finish a certain sweater in terms of ‘X hours for the front and Y hours for the back’ and then figured out how long that translated to how many days I was talking about considering my average number of available knitting hours per day and then I was all ohmygah and then I ordered the yarn (which naturally, I don’t have on hand because that would be convenient) and then…there it was. Staring at me. This order qualifies for free standard shipping! Hooray! Only it will take between 5 and 14 calendar days!

And then I clicked on and off the upgrade button for shipping.

{click!} 3 Day Express Shipping.

Stare at additional $11 added to the total just to get it in three days instead of up to 14.

{click!} Free Standard Shipping.

Stare at estimated delivery date of approximately forever plus two days from now.

{click!} {stare}
{click!} {stare}
{click!} {stare}
{click!} {stare}

And all this internal torment could have been averted, if I’d just had the wisdom and foresight to buy four warehouses of assorted colors and weights and fiber-contents at the last Stitches marketplace, instead of only three.

Live and learn, my friends, live and learn…

(Nah, I didn’t pay for the faster shipping. It would have brought me out in hives. And because I didn’t, it will take three weeks to get here, because that is how my luck goes. If I don’t care when it shows up, it’ll be here in five days flat. But the very fact that I am anxiously awaiting that box on the porch causes some kind of disturbance in the Shipping Force, rippling out into the Universe in such a way that the GPS systems of every major shipping company in the world suddenly begins to malfunction. It’s true! It’s like parking spaces. If I don’t care, I get a spot right in front of the store. If I’m all, “Meh, I don’t wanna hafta walk, I wanna spot right by the door…”, well, you’d have more luck trying to sneak a canvas bag marked “Warning: Explosives” bristling with random wires and ominously ticking electronics an unopened water bottle through airport security than I’ll have getting any parking space within three miles of the supermarket.)

Friday, October 22, 2010

The ritual of Friday night

Every Friday, there comes a moment when I say to myself, “Right. That’s it then.”

I close all the open windows. Disengage the SQL Servers. Close the spreadsheets, disconnect the links to Sharepoint sites, close the Word documents, click the little ‘x’ in the corner of the too-many emails I somehow have managed to open concurrently. (I can’t explain that. Really. Just about every afternoon I say to myself, “Oh for heaven’s sake, why, WHY do you always end up with, like, fifteen emails open all at once?!” – and yet somehow, throughout the day, I end up with a card-deck worth of emails sitting open all at the same time.)

I hit the ‘sync’ button. Files scan. Your folders have been successfully synchronized.


…and the screen goes dark…

I put away the power cord, the mouse and pad, the networking cable. Slip the laptop into its case and tuck it safely away in the closet, away from rampaging Denizens and their friends. Fold up the portable stand and put it back in the closet.

And in that moment, as I’m emerging from the closet empty-handed, there is a feeling of near euphoria.

Two days off.

I don’t have to get up at 3:40 tomorrow morning.

I don’t have to be on time to any meetings.

I don’t have to focus, a thing which by Friday has become nearly impossible as the combination of fatigue and brain-clutter builds up over the week.

I don’t have to think about source feeds, misbehaving scope flags, missing records, or how to go about sizing the potential downstream impact of the latest proposed logic tweak.

Another week is in the books. Another timesheet filled in. Another paycheck coming.

I’m blessed to have this job. And I love it. It’s about the most fun I’ve had while working this hard. It’s interesting and challenging and fast-moving. I know a lot and I’m still learning a lot and I’m not dreading Monday much at all.

But that doesn’t mean I’m not also wallowing in the joy of my weekend.


It’s a good thing.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Observational psychology, now with woolly fins

Working on this hat is a marvelous exercise in observational psychology...ESPECIALLY when you get started on the fins!!

People always watch you knit on trains and buses and planes. They can't help it, really...the human eye is drawn to movement in any case, and then here is this fascinating THING going on: Two sticks and some string are making a "something"...something beautiful, and/or practical, and/or warm...and/or whimsicle.

But for the most part, they watch from the corner of their eyes, working hard at pretending they most certainly are NOT watching. It is rude to stare, and strangers mad enough to be wielding pointy sticks are probably dangerous, not to mention the likelihood of "artistic temperament"...prone to some combination of emotion and lecturing at GREAT length about something mind-numbingly boring, like the relative virtues of this or that mordant, or the vegan properties of bamboo, or how many spectrum-bands are absorbed by this PARTICULAR purple.

But this kind of project creates a terrible conflict in the human mind. Obviously, it is a fish...logic clearly says that Fish != Hat, and yet the overall shape clearly leans toward this being a HAT...but the hat has fins...does not compute, does not compute, does not compute...

And then finally, driven too near the chasm of madness...they MUST break the invisible wall, shatter the unspoken law that says we commuters must at all times maintain a certain sangfroid, they must, MUST!, brave the potential horror speaking to a stranger-than-usual stranger ON PUBLIC TRANSIT NO LESS!!!...and ask.

What ARE you making?!?!

(This morning, a weathered man in about his late 40s with obvious true grit grinned like a boy and said, "I'd love one! But in blue. Gotta protect my dignity with the boys at work." The Fish Hat - helping people everywhere find their inner whimsy!)

(sent from my Treo)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Half a tail may be better than none...

..but still makes for lopsided swimming. By George, I think I'm going to make it! long as nothing goes horribly awry, of course...


This week is zooming by on me. Being busy-busy-busy has a way of making time do that. In typical human fashion, I'm not happy either way: If it goes fast, I whine about wanting things to slow down. If it drags, I groan about uuuuuugh, will this week never END?!

Onward and upward, dear friends...and may our tails be strong for the swimming...

(sent from my Treo)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Bring on the Monday!

The Fish Hat grows a-pace. And confuses people who like to watch from the corners of their eyes and guess at what I'm making...always fun to guess who will give up and ask, and who will suffer on in deepest, darkest mystery...what WAS that thing that woman was knitting on the train this morning?!

I engaged in Advanced Slacking Off on Saturday. Then Sunday, I made five pints of pinto beans, three of kidney beans, two quarts and eight pints of salsa, twenty-four muffins, two loaves of bread, a batch of Parmesan crackers, a butternut/potato/lentil curry, sixteen pork turnovers, a chili-cornbread casserole, got a London broil into marinade and six pork chops stuffed and ready to go in the oven tonight.

And then I went to bed with a million things still not done...which is always the case so I guess I've become rather hardened to it.

Only seventy-eight more years to retirement, right...?

(sent from my Treo)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Hold the brats and booze, people, I'm in training

The next knitting Olympics is only 1,211 days away, people.

And it is never too early to begin training.

Which is why I intend cast on a Dead Fish Hat tomorrow, and have it completely finished by Friday of next week.

That’s right.

It is training, for the 2014 Knitting Olympics.

…and not, repeat, not, because I totally spaced on that whole “time and how it relates to you” thing and forgot I had promised Danger Mouse that I would make it for her BFF’s birthday party next Saturday…

It will be like this one, only in dark and light pink, and gray:


In somewhat related news, my coworker showed me some pictures of his daughter wearing the little anime hat I finally finished. Apparently, she loves her new hat! And she leaves it on her head!! Which is, like, unprecedented behavior – usually the little ones yank those suckers off as fast as they can and, depending on their age group and manual dexterity, either simply drop them on the floor, or, in the case of the older group, cram them under the nearest object – couch, car seat, van bench, dog’s backside…

And I am going to start this project…by going to bed.

Because an athlete needs her beauty rest, y’all…

(I can’t believe that whole “time-space continuum” thing bit me on the arse again…I mean, really, time keeps working exactly the same way for forty{mumble} years, and still I’m all, “Dude…wait…what? NEXT week? Are you sure?!” like October 23 is somehow coming early or something…)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Felt like a heel I turned one. (Ha! I slay me sometimes...)

This is turning out to be one of "those" weeks. Nothing wants to go as planned, anything that can go wrong will, several things that can't are doing so anyway...but I shall knit on, with confidence AND hope, and insist on finding the funny in It All no matter HOW much it irritates my companions in suffering. (They'll thank me later.) (Or, they'll murder me. One or the other.)

(sent from my Treo)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


It started so innocently. So very, very innocently.

“Do you think you could knit me a sweater?”

I’M ON IT!!!!!!

Now of course, the first thing I simply must do is unearth The Most Perfect Pattern Ev-Ah™ - which is no problem because I have what might be termed a somewhat…comprehensive library of patterns, in book and magazine and pamphlet form. (And that’s not even beginning to think about the Internet, which is dizzyingly large and I mean, really, Knitty alone could keep you busy for weeks and weeks when it comes to pattern-searching.)

But of course, digging through all that gets frustrating, right?

So naturally, I turned to Ravelry.

Where I think you could spend fifty-seven lifetimes and still not have clicked through all the possibilities.

But that’s OK, because Ravelry has my notebook, which has my library, which means that I can easily flip through every single knitting book and booklet I own (more or less) simply by…


Three? Three cardigans? That’s all I’ve got in my…no, now, waitasecond, that can’t be right…

Eeeeeeyeah. Apparently, I not only had neglected to put more than about 15% of my stash into my little online database friend, I had only entered four (4) of my books.

So guess what I’ve been doing all night instead of sleeping, eating, or anything else I should be doing?


80 books, 199 magazines, and 30 booklets so far.

And I am calling it quits for the night.

Also, I am marveling at what-all I’ve got in there now. Over 4,600 available patterns, 722 of which are adult-sized cardigans.

Happy sigh.

Oh, my sweet Ravelry, how I do love you…even if you do end up costing me two precious hours of sleep I’ll probably regret in the morning…

Monday, October 11, 2010

Eyes have it

Or, it has eyes.

Either way, I finally finished the hat on the train this morning! In related news, cross-stitchy stuff on a moving train is a pain. Geesh...

But it's awful cute, huh? Now, back to the sock-in-progress...hmmm...wonder what IT would look like with ears...

(sent from my Treo)

Friday, October 08, 2010

NOT today!!!!

I got my DailyOm horoscope a few minutes ago.

Didn’t even open it yet. Because the title? Perspective Beyond Programming.

OK, see, having just spent the whole entire day today scrambling around finishing up the test scripts for next week’s release, and starting the file for the next release, and stomping on about fifteen different fires that all involved recalibrating the programming on this, that or the other…and having just sent the at-last “I am the QA tester, and I approve these results” email to the various parties, with my spreadsheet of results and my SQL file of scripts and my test matrix summary, and shut down my corporate laptop, and listened to the husband rant and rave about what-all he’s still working on (and probably will be clear through the whole weekend because he’s got a bug “somewhere” in, like, 52,000 pages of code he didn’t write, so he doesn’t even know where to start looking but just has to start at the top and work his way down)…


Anything with the word “programming” in it right now? I’m hittin’ the NEXT! button, thankyouverymuch.

Now, where did I put that game disc...?

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Roam responsibly…and a hat!

When I was a kid, we roamed a lot. I roamed my neighborhood like a stray cat. On foot, on a bike, even by bus on occasion – I was out and about from a rather young age, all on my own.

Like, as in, kindergarten. And of course, this being nineteen-sebbenty-{mutter}, The Lady My Mother didn’t give it a second thought. I walked to kindergarten all by myself (in the company of approximately 62,000 other kids, but they don’t count). I was on my own. We all were.

And we learned real quick the do’s and don’ts of being out and about on your own as a child. What things could turn your sweet, dear, honey-voiced little mother into a raging, fire-breathing demon with red eyes, claws and the most unbelievably vile temperament. What situations turned really scary, really quick. We learned from each other what houses to avoid. We heard all the urban legends, about how there was this one time? When this kid? Was walking? Alone? And this guy? Was walking his dog? And he sez, “You wanna pet my dog?” and then…{dun-dun-duuuuuuh!!!!}

Blood, guts, dismemberments, we heard it all. By the time my parents thought to have The Stranger Danger Talk™ with me, I was all, “…and…?” because there was nothing new there.

There were other things I learned early, too. Things like…how to tell time. And what the relationship was between me and said time…most of which had to do with avoiding the red-eyed, fire-breathing, steel-clawed demonic mother-like person mentioned above.

But occasionally, it would be something not involving staying out of trouble. It would be something like…one of my friends inviting me to something. I would carve those dates and times on my soul (if I wanted to go, anyway). The first thing I would ask was, “What time Saturday?” And if I knew I had a conflict, I’d ask anyway. Because time is BIG. Sometimes, just because you have to be one place at 9:30 in the morning doesn’t mean you can’t be in another place by 2:30.

Which brings me to Eldest. After the Great Childcare Debacle of 2010©, she now walks to school with two neighbors in the morning. She has an after school program she is supposed to be going to…but a couple days ago, I was on my way home when she texted (!!) (that still freaks me out a bit) to ask me what time I’d be there because blah blah book report and something about research and I said (texted) (!!!!) why don’t you go ahead and walk home?

I think she ran for home. Heady with the ultimate freedom that is being all on your own. Nobody around to squeal on you if you dawdle. Nobody you have to keep up with, or wait for. Nobody being the boss of you.

Just you, and the open road sidewalk.

Ah, sweet freedom…!

So imagine her surprise when she got an earful from me the minute I got home about stopping to talk to people on her walk home.

“What was up with the dog?!” I fired off as I came through the door. And as I was in the middle of giving her a big long lecture about not talking to people, even “nice looking” people walking their dogs in the park because they might be blood-guts-gore-dismemberment types!!!, I realized that…


…I have just officially turned into my mother. Steel claws. Red eyes. Fire. Brimstone. Vile temperament. Furious over “nothing.”

And poor Eldest stood there, looking at me like, Whoa! and slowly realizing that she must have butt-dialed me on her walk home. (Ya, she did. And I listened to almost ten minutes of her walking along singing and then stopping to talk to somebody about their dog, and I almost walked up to the front of the train to slam the accelerator to the floor because GAH! Street smarts! SHE AIN’T GOTS NONE!!!)

The next day, I was working from home thanks to a miserable combination of an oncoming cold and a really bad back pain week. Imagine my surprise when the door slammed open at about 2:45 and Eldest shouted, gleefully, “OH MooooooooOTHER MiiiiiiiiINE, I’M HOOOOOOOOOME!!!”

And imagine hers when the red-eyed, steaming demon erupted from the bowels of Heck to give her what-for about needing to know where she was. I MEAN, YOU KNOW, REALLY! It’s not that walking home is FORBIDDEN, it’s just that when I expect you to be one place and then you just walk away and turn up in another…!!!!!!!!!!!

(The Lady My Mother is so totally laughing right now. I can feel it. She is laughing so hard she is going to fall out of her chair.)

So today, she told me before she even left the house that she wanted to walk home right after school.

Then she reminded me via text message (!!!!!!!) when she went to lunch.

And then she called right before she left the school grounds. “Oh hai, yeah, just wanted to remind you I’m walking home – that’s OK, right?”

And then she entered the Den calling out, “Hi, I’m home, just like I told you! Three times, you may recall!”

Smart aleck.

And then a few minutes later, she got a phone call…and sadness. There were conflicting parties on Saturday. She really-really-really wanted to go to Party 1 and has been looking forward to it just forever...but Party 2 is a BFF+10, and she can only invite one (1) person and naturally she wanted Eldest because who wouldn't choose her first, and BFF+10 was most severely bummed that she couldn't go...and, feeling pained for BFF+10 (I have a big old soft spot for this kid, actually) I said, “Well, but, what time does she need you at her place? Because you’re coming home pretty early Saturday morning from Party 1…”

She looked at me blankly.

I said it again. S-l-o-w-e-r. I’m picking you up at Ludicrous O’Clock Saturday morning. What. Time. Is. The. Other. Party?

Still she’s looking at me as if she’s never heard of time. Time? Time? What’s that?


She had no idea. None. She hadn’t asked for and/or hadn’t retained this information.

This is a kid wandering the streets without a keeper.

But, you know…I can’t keep her a baby forever. At some point, she’s going to be out there on her own. She’s not going to learn how to fly if she never leaves the nest; I can’t imagine how bad it would be to turn her loose in the world for the first time after she’s gotten her driver’s license.

In other and completely unrelated news, thanks to a surprise meeting that was one of those ones where I do a lot of intense listening but almost zero talking, I finally started getting the face finished on the hat!

Oh, you know…the hat?


Ahem. Anyway. Yay me! I finally got the mouth and the nose and the pupils sewn onto the front of it! The ears are a bit (actually a lot of a bit) bigger than the picture in the pattern, but I think they’re kinda cute that way so I left them alone.

Anime Hat, Almost Done!

Now all I have to do is the white part around the pupils and it will be ready to plop onto Baby’s head. Eeeeeeeeee! I hope she likes it…or at the very least doesn’t loathe it…

And now three of the Denizens want one too. And I still owe one of Danger Mouse’s BFF’s a dead fish hat. Which she reminded me of when she was over last weekend. Forcefully reminded me. She wants it in pink and white because that would be “pretty.” But definitely she wants it to be a dead fish. Because a live one would be gross, whereas the dead one is funny.

(Just go with it, y’all. The logic of the ten-and-under set is mysterious indeed…)

Wednesday, October 06, 2010


I was just packing it in on the old work day when a tremendous BOOOM! rattled the windows and I said to myself, “…wait…was that thunder?”

Friends…this morning, it was a balmy, clear day. Cool, but not cold. Hint of fall, but still summery. And then, just as I was getting ready to head out for Denizen pickup, it started to thunder, and far, far away I could see little flashes of lightning.

I hadn’t gotten two blocks when the water began to come down from the heavens in buckets. It rained cats. It rained dogs. It rained chickens and antelopes. It rained as if it meant it, big fat juicy drops that almost hurt when they hit exposed skin.

The streets filled up fast. Lakes began to form. Driving to get the kids, I could barely see where I was going. Other drivers were apparently unaware of the situation, and were driving like complete nuckin’ idiots they could actually see the road.

Frequently, they would hit roadside lakes at full speed, sending up huge plumes of water from their startled wheel wells.

I got soaked just dashing from the van into the center. And then got double soaked getting back to the van, trying to keep Captain Adventure from rolling in the mud like a happy little pig, trying to keep Boo Bug from dawdling, trying to keep Danger Mouse from pulling out papers from her backpack to show me. Seriously, you are getting SOAKED, in the RAIN…not a good time for paperwork, babe…

I drove home with my senses tingling, white-knuckled and tense, as lightning flashed around us, as the streets got less and less passable, as earth that has forgotten what water even is did its best to deal with the sudden onslaught, as storm drains that had nodded off while waiting through the long, lonely summer awoke to find themselves overrun, trying to remember their training, trying not to panic as the water surged into them…OK! Ya! So, uh, keep it, erm, moving, people! Small molecules first! HEY, NO TREE BRANCHES!!

The lightning began to get closer, and closer, and closer. The crack-boom were nearly instantaneous, the light bright enough to hurt my eyes, the closeness of it setting off the instinct to get out of there.

The lizard in my brain sensed a predator, y’all. A big, invisible monster that was going to nail us if we hung around. {Crack!...Boom!} … {Crack!..Boom!} … {Crack!.Boom!.Crack!BOOM!CRACK!BOOM!!!!}

And behind me, cacophony. Captain Adventure screamed with laughter each time there was a sizzling crack and thunderous boom. Danger Mouse was yelling some complicated story or question or something. Boo Bug laughed with her brother at first, then realized she was missing a prime opportunity for whimpering and switched over to that.

Then we got home, and being the meanest mommy ever I herded them all indoors away from the fun of swimming in their very own front yard…and the lightening, which continued to slash around us from all directions like a demented disco ball.

I watched in amazement as the front planter box filled, and overflowed, and began to crawl up the porch. I watched our court fill, the water puddling and pooling, sending questing fingers all along the curb, looking for a way out of the concrete trap it had fallen into.

I watched a car on the access street hit a new-formed lake at what seemed like about thirty miles an hour, a wall of water shooting up all around it, watched it slip and slide and spin a quarter of the way around, wincing in anticipation of metal on metal, praying it would somehow not crunch sickeningly into the parked cars lining the street…and it didn’t. It collected itself and proceeded onward down the street, perhaps just a little more cautiously now.

And then the rain began to slow. Less than an hour into the storm, the drops lost their rotund shape, the pace began to slacken. The thunder still boomed and the lightning still cracked, but it was moving away, further and further away. The crack and the boom were separating again, one-alligator-two-alligator-three-alligator-four. Four miles now, now five, now six.

Now silent.

The ferocity of the rain tapered down and down and down, until it was barely more than a heavy misting, falling daintily all around.

The water receded, as fast as it had pooled. The pond growing on my doorstep that I’d been eyeballing nervously for ten minutes stopped its attempted conquest of the front door and crept quietly back into the lawn, sank into the thirsty ground…vanished.

The pavement of the court appeared again. The rippling lake was gone, gone as if it had never been there, gone into the drains, into the ground…gone, leaving us staring and blinking and wondering if we just imagined the rising waters, the pelting rain, the drops the size of a quarter…

Mother Nature Says: It’s Fall. And don’t you forget it! {crack-BOOM!}